[Actual Play] Exalted: Princes of Middle Earth


Maeljin of BadWrongFun
Validated User
My group as a whole is pretty bad at getting into the "worlds" we roleplay in. They can pick up concepts of the world (be racist against elves in Children of the Sun, be an honorable berserker troll in Earthdawn, etc.) but they don't really, as a whole, go so far as to add stuff themselves. I picked up Sidereals on a whim (well mostly because I am addicted to RSB writing) and ever since have been nuts about Exalted, but I didn't want to get my group to learn yet another world, whether through personal reading or the world-opening-up-as-you-go-along-and-kill-shit method.

Therefore, I decided to amalgamize a Middle Earth setting with Exalted mechanics with a dash of Midnight. They were pumped.

The story goes that on Mt. Doom, Gollum kills Sam. Frodo goes insane from his death and begins to use the Ring for his own power, killing Gollum in the process. Sauron, of course, notices and tries to take over Frodo but Frodo's resistance and resulting psychic battle rocks Mordor to the core destroying most of the orcs and swallowing the then fighting armies of the Free Peoples and Mordor. Exit Frodo, enter Manwe, one of the Valar.

Manwe sends a plea to some of his Valar brothers in the beyond to find him a way to save Middle Earth from Sauron since it seemed that the Free Peoples had failed. One of them finds another place in the cosmos where it seemed as if a powerful Valar gave the Maiar a gift to exalt men. The searching Valar takes this knowledge and a few Essence Solar Shards, "fixes" them, and hands them to Manwe. Manwe then Exalts a chosen few to bring about prosperity and freedom to all of Middle Earth.

Game Mechanic wise I took out Limit Breaks and most of Animas, everything else is pretty much the same. I took out Limit Breaks because 1) I didn't think I would use them much and didn't want to force myself to and 2) I wanted a little less dark game (a Solar going off to rape elves when he breaks wasn't the mood I wanted). Animas I took out because nobody knew or had legends for the Solars and so a Solar going off with a Anima and the reactions, I didn't want to deal with either. The Solars can still use the three Anima effects: knowing the time, glowing to be able to see, and showing the Caste Mark. Then in a coup de' gras I took away Castes too to make them all generic Solars.

So far there are five players (with a sixth on the way), they are:
  • Hagrid, a Beornling with strong soak and survival charms, he also has an imperfect transformation charm similar to Lunars.
    Han Solo, a rogue who infiltrated the Corsairs to save his family in Gondor from their raids. He has many stealth and larceny charms.
    Robin Loxsley, an elite ranger that used to be under Faramir's command.
    Darth Shinobi, the ninja... from the Nameless East, is mastering the Spider Style found on the Exalted Wiki.
    William Wallace, a guard captain of a port city in Gondor, almost purely defense.

Before you flame away, our group is happy with the names because the names constantly evoke the ideals of the player. Is good deal, comrade, you take.

The first session went a little slower than planned, but here is a break down. After Exaltation, the Solars started feeling an inward tug. The tug was basically taking them to Moria Gate. They get there, meet up and realize that they have an unspoken brotherhood. Manwe sends them a vision of Sauron in the east and tells them to bring forth great things unto Middle Earth. The pull then points inward to Moria Gate... except there is no more Moria Gate. There is rubble and ruined stones in the way.

A bucket brigade ensues to start clearing away the smaller rubble before they get to two huge slabs, appearing to be doors, smashed in on each other. The ninja decides to try and focus on a weak point for a slab and kung-fu's it, barely cracking it. Hagrid chuckles and turns into a huge bear (7 str) uses a Charm and crushes one of the slabs so hard that it breaks in two and bounces off the ground landing a few feet away. Robin fails to notice that the lake is starting to ripple, where it was glass smooth.

A few tentacles rip out of the water smashing into William (who we decided was closest to the lake). Shinobi goes all crazy Spider shit and climbs up the sheer rock face while Robin peppers arrows into the Watcher in the Water. William goes into Graceful Crane Stance and runs along the tentacles to the monsters base where he starts hacking at it. The fight starts well until...

Shinobi decides to basically elbow drop from 30 ft. up (using monkey leap which is fine) onto the Watcher. The Watcher cracks him like a baseball bat out of midair, picks up William where he manages to squeeze out and fall into the water, and oh yeah Hagrid. Hagrid decides to try and use Friendship with Animals Approach and reason with the Watcher. Okay I decided, difficulty 5, if you succeed the Watcher won't attack Hagrid for a bit. He fails... miserably even with a pity stunt die. Robin and Han are doing okay diving around and peppering the thing with throwing knives and arrows. Hagrid decides he has had enough and wades out to the Watcher where he uses Heaven Thunder Hammer on the wounded Watcher. A great success he uppercuts the Watcher 12 yards into the air where it smacks back onto the lake, deciding to retreat and going below. The Solars congratulate themselves and head in the small opening they had made into Moria Gate.

The way is fairly easy because of the footprints practically leading the way and the constant pull towards their goal. The footprints and the tug diverge, the Solars decide to go with the tug and end up in a great mining shaft, 200 yards wide with a stone edge going around. The path seems heavily used as of late and lo and behold a goblin unit comes through.

For the most part they are quickly dispatched with the coolest stunts when Shinobi drops from the ceiling on top of a goblin breaking it shoulders then punching it in the face repeatedly or when the troop walks by the hallway the Solars are hiding and Robin takes out nearly four of them with an Arrow Storm.

[Next week: Solars vs. the Balrog]


One Shot Man
Validated User
You win the Bad-Wrong-Fun Prize for the second quarter of 2005. Congratulations, sir! Please tell us more.


Validated User
I applaud your pushing of the envelope on this one ;)

Have you considered using the Queen song as a campaign anthemn? :D



Another Kill Team...
Staff member
RPGnet Member
DannyK said:
You win the Bad-Wrong-Fun Prize for the second quarter of 2005. Congratulations, sir! Please tell us more.

Yeah, this is great.

These guys are clearly uncompromising about their fun. I love it.
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