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Exalted and the WoD: My GM made it work

Arethusa

Sophipygian
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I’m currently involved in a game (with some very baroque worldbuilding) of Exalted set in the WoD.

Our ST had to tread very delicately, since as written the Exalted would stomp all over the WoD.

It required a lot of work, the elimination of certain elements, and some massive rewrites.

To be honest, while it is recognizably both Exalted and the WoD, it could be said to bear the sort of resemblance to them that Neil Gaiman’s stories do to the original mythology they are drawn from. Definitely recognizable, definitely them, but selectively and with different emphases and turned towards a different synthesis and understanding.

(As a caveat, the game is still ongoing and I don’t know all the particulars. I might have misinterpreted or mistaken some aspects, but the general description is here.)

Certain things were eliminated:

In this campaign the Neverborn succeeded in self-annihilation at the end of Creation, dragging all the Deathlords and Abyssals into the Void with them as they went. But they did not destroy Creation. It turns out their addiction was not to Creation but to the Games of Divinity, those mysterious games that bound even the wills of the gods.

Yu-Shan and all its inhabitants were destroyed in the final battle, as was the machinery which scrubbed memories from Exaltations. The Games of Divinity were destroyed, releasing the Neverborn from their fetters and clobbering the gods and giving them all aeons-long hangovers.

Many Fetich Souls have been destroyed. The Abyssal (and Infernal) Exaltations themselves (as contrasted with the human souls that bore them) remained in the world, but reverted to untainted Solar exaltations.

A plot by She Who Lives In Her Name to ensure her own survival made the Elemental Poles abstract, which had multiple effects, including removing the dragons, making the world round instead of flat and removing all the Terrestrials.

The Web of Fate was, if not damaged, gummed up and rendered inaccessible.

Autochthon retreated into Time-Not so his disease would not progress, and many Alchemicals died or went dormant.

Gaia had gone wandering outside the world and a barrier slammed down to keep the Fae (and her) out. The Essence flows were reduced so badly that the Exalted could not be sustained and any remaining Exalts died and their Exaltations went dormant. All the world is now Borderlands.

Basically, the powers that would simply roll over everything - the Fae, the Deathlords, any organized Exalted groups - were nerfed.

Enter the WoD:

The Changing Breeds are obvious remnants of the Beastmen.

A Ghostblooded necromancer child of one of the Abyssals tried to recreate the Exalted to protect the cities from the incursions of Beastmen, but had a distorted view of the Exalted because of heritage and did not have a high enough circle of Necromancy and rather bungled it and made vampires instead.

The Fae have been trying to undermine reality with their story powers. Mage’s consensus magic is a part of that. Remaining hobgoblins have been parasitizing humans to make changelings. Fae magic means history keeps getting garbled and respun and tangled. The creator of the vampires, now called Caine, has become bound up in Fae story magic and has very little free agency.

No one’s cosmology is accurate.

Enter the PCs:

Gaia has been battling the Fae outside Creation to re-enter the world. As she succeeds against their infinite forces, the flow of Essence in the world incrementally rises. As it does, Exaltation once again becomes possible, at first only a trickle, a handful or two of individuals. More will come as Gaia’s battle progresses, especially if these new Exalts, with full memories of an impossible past, can aid her.

The initial Exalts are a mixed lot: A Bastet changing breed become Lunar strategist-general; a Child of Aether mage become Solar psychologist-healer; an Alchemical ninja assassin; an Alchemical city; a human unaware of the WoD become a Sidereal Joybringer secret agent; and a vampire abruptly turned human become an ex-Abyssal Solar priest.

And while they *can* just roll over certain elements of the WoD (the ex-vampire accidentally destroyed a hit squad of Banu Haqim with her anima banner flare before she knew what she was doing), the Exalted are also a small group in a large world full of entrenched powers, a world which is, furthermore, a huge mess under siege by hostile powers from beyond space and time.

The PCs have to untangle what is going on and fix it, all the while dealing with their own entanglements and loyalties to various facets of the WoD.

It has been a fun game.
 
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Argent

aka Jerry Sköld
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I´m liking what I am seeing so far, and I would just love playing an Exalt bursting into the WoD like a live grenade.
 

Poisson Resistance

Registered User
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The Changing Breeds are obvious remnants of the Beastmen.
I wouldn't be so easily sold on that. Beastfolk don't shapeshift and aren't half spirit, after all; they're a fantasy adventure staple hastily affixed to Lunars, and in the first two editions of the game, in the worst way possible to boot.
 

Bejazeus

Registered User
Validated User
This sounds amazing, I may need to steal some of it in future! I'm currently in planning for an exalted game using city of mist, but may consider something like this for a follow up campaign :D
 

Evil Midnight Lurker

What Lurks at Midnight
Validated User
I wouldn't be so easily sold on that. Beastfolk don't shapeshift and aren't half spirit, after all; they're a fantasy adventure staple hastily affixed to Lunars, and in the first two editions of the game, in the worst way possible to boot.
I think "Gaea's attempt to recreate the Lunars on a budget" works better for the Fera.
 

Raygun-Goth

Registered User
Validated User
Honestly if you're going with oWoD, you could just drop some Exalted characters in with very little problem. Of course they will stomp over most of it, that there is the point.

Also, there is more than enough stuff in the oWoD to keep a group of Exalts busy. Just whip out those books where White Wolf foolishly deigned to stat 3rd and 4th gen vampires and go to town.
 

vitus979

Registered User
RPGnet Member
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The initial Exalts are a mixed lot: A Bastet changing breed become Lunar strategist-general; a Child of Aether mage become Solar psychologist-healer; an Alchemical ninja assassin; an Alchemical city; a human unaware of the WoD become a Sidereal Joybringer secret agent; and a vampire abruptly turned human become an ex-Abyssal Solar priest.
When 1e Exalted was new there were a lot of "Modern Exalted" threads on TRO discussing the many many variations of ways to handle the integration. This "second awakening" was something that often got brought up as an option. The option I'm going for in my not-yet-launched mini-campaign is to have the Unconquered Sun turn his face back to Earth for the first time in XXX,XXX years and start imbuing people again.

Lately you could argue that the whole "magical nuclear bomb" the the WoD used to knock out the Ravnos Antediluvian also acted like an alarm clock waking up all the Exalted Deities. Or that the nuke broke some modern equivalent of the Jade Prison.

Another is to have something like Shadowrun with a mana cycle, and once the ambient level of magic is high enough, a higher tier of magical beings start showing up again.

All kinds of fun possibilities.
 
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Arethusa

Sophipygian
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This game is based on 2e Exalted, 2e VtM, 2e MtA (with massive rewrites), because it’s what the ST initially laid hands on. I’m not sure which editions of Changeling and Werewolf they’ve based it on. (They’ve left some bits out, like the Kindred of the East, and I can’t recall seeing much serious Wraith stuff.)

One interesting thing is how the Great Curse is working. It’s still in effect for most Exalted, but the Alchemicals never were subject to it and the Neverborn removed it from the Abyssal Exaltations, which although now Solar again are still free of it.

This means that the Alchemical and ex-Abyssal Exalts can see something weird is happening with the others, but if they try to talk about it no one else can hear them or remember what they said. Even the gods are mostly in the dark about it.

It’s become another facet a few of the PCs have to puzzle out and somehow fix.
 

Arethusa

Sophipygian
RPGnet Member
Validated User
This sounds amazing, I may need to steal some of it in future! I'm currently in planning for an exalted game using city of mist, but may consider something like this for a follow up campaign :D
We are having a tremendous amount of fun with the campaign. I’d say go for it.
 
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