Character creation and analysis paralysis (Exalted) part 1

Felix

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For almost a year I've been doing a Let's Read/Compare thread about Exalted Third Edition, and I haven't actually created any complete characters for the game yet. :eek:

One of the reasons is that there are sooooooooo many options, I just don't know how to narrow it down. So I figured I'd try. (I thought about putting this in the character creation topic, but this feels too preliminary.) I might move the character there when I have a more solid concept.

At the moment, I have a mental image: A general on a howdah atop an elephant, leading his (or her) troops into battle, and stabbing all who approach him with a giant spear.

Here are a few images of the concept:
This one has horrible colonialism overtones, but I'm linking to it for the sense of action
.
A miniature
An orcs on a howdah miniature.
Queen Ranavalona on a howdah.

Things I am certain about for this character:
  • The mount will be a high dot familiar. (I am calling the mount Delenda, for reasons that totally make sense to me but are a bit convoluted.)
  • A Zenith is the best Caste for this. I'll use Survival to make Delenda able to survive a battle with anything truly nasty we encounter. Presence to be an awesome figure for the troops. Resistance for protection. And war for being a general.
  • The favored skills will include Melee for fighting (with a Dire Lance as the weapon if I can afford the dots at character generation); and Ride for being mounted so much.


Things I am in doubt about:
  • Supernal ability? I'm leaning toward Survival for OOC reasons: losing a pet is a brutal experience even if it's fictitious, and this makes it less likely to happen. The fact I can turn it into an Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant from Adventure Time is a nice bonus. :p
  • The final Caste ability and three other favored skills. I'm leaning toward integrity because I have a vision of this character as unshakable. But I have no idea what the final three favored should be.
  • Is Delenda actually an elephant? I'd be happy with mammoth, yeddim, roc, or anything that would let me keep the howdah.
  • On a related note, where is this character from? Where in Creation can I appropriately have the chosen mount?
  • Stat allocation. I suspect that they will be primarily a Social or Physical concept; a general who leads by force of will or by example, not one who leads intellectually. But I don't know which is which.


Out there concept:
A possible variant that's sticking in my head is that this is a Ganesh-looking Beastman, with an elephant head, son of a Lunar named Behemoth who is leading his tribe to glory since the Lunar was slain by the Realm's army. Delenda might actually be a sibling, or a gift from a god who was beholden to the Silver Pact for their powers.

I feel until I narrow some decisions down, I can't really go further. Comments and suggestions are of course welcome.
 
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