Spirit of the Exalted: Yet Another SotC Conversion

SquidFisher

Unregenerate Deviant
#1
So, I like Exalted, but I basically hate the rules with a burning, unholy passion. In an effort to get a Dragon-Blooded game going among my usual circle I've whipped up this quick and dirty rules-hack for Spirit of the Century, which I present here for perusal, criticism and the edification (hah!) of the masses. Bear in mind that my aim was to change the underlying system as little as possible, mostly because I'm lazy and also because this'll be the first Fate3 game I'll have run and my players will have played, so relative simplicity was the goal here.

Spirit of the Exalted

Mad props to: Trodax (Character Creation), Uruush (Bits of Occult).

Aspects

Most Exalted abstractions (Essence, Anima flares, Caste abilities) can folded neatly into Aspects.

Skills and Stunts

Skills and Stunts remain relatively unchanged save for stylistic alterations (Guns becomes Archery, Science becomes Craft; rename any Stunts as appropriate, e.g. Weird Science becomes Craft Artifact, Mad Science becomes Craft First Age Artifact). Mysteries is replaced by Occult, outlined below.

Occult

Insight: The GM may occasionally call upon a character to roll Occult in the same way she might ask for Alertness rolls. As the name implies, this will tend to be for things that are strange and mysterious, so predicting when it’s applicable can be hard to do. Occasionally, it may allow the player an assessment action to discover hidden aspects of a locale that are shrouded in mystic and arcane ways.

Occult Lore: Occult can be used in the same way Academics can, for research of exceptionally esoteric topics. The main limitation is that libraries necessary for this sort of research are few and far between, though characters may have an Occult Library of their own if they have sufficient Resources.

Divination: Through enlightened meditation and charting the movements of Heaven a character can use Occult to try to make guesses about the future. The knowledge gleaned is never terribly specific (unless they obtain Sidereal aid or are Sidereal themselves), but it allows the player to determine if a course of action is auspicious. The character should summarize the fortune as best they can. The fortune may be general or about a specific target but that’s the limit on the specificity. The GM can guide a player through building a proper fortune, using her guidelines. Fortune-telling is a form of declaration. The character may, once per session, make a prediction, and make a roll against a difficulty set by the GM. If the roll is successful, it’s a true fortune, and there is now an aspect that represents it. If the target of the fortune was a person, they receive the temporary aspect for the duration of the adventure. If it was a general prediction, it is considered to be a scene aspect on every scene for the duration of the adventure.

Artificing: Arcana can be used to create artifacts in much the same way that Craft can. This requires an Occult Workshop of appropriate level, but otherwise follows most of the same guidelines as Craft.

Stunts

Essence Sense

Whether it is due to specialized training or simply because you are Exalted, you are able to sense the ebb and flow of Essence throughout Creation.

This is the prerequisite Stunt to be able to use the Sorcery Stunts.

Normally, a character may be called upon by the GM to roll Occult as a kind of paranormal Alertness skill, to pick up on the surface strangeness in a place. With this stunt, you may deliberately use your Occult skill to gain some mystic or terrible insight into the mystic “climate” of an area, as if it were Investigation – using a similar time-frame and gaining a similar level of (paranormal) detail.

This also means that you may use Occult instead of Alertness when surprised, if the origin of the surprise is in some way supernatural, and can even use Occult as your initiative skill when locked in a conflict with otherworldly forces.

Used with this stunt, Occult can give you access to information that would normally be impossible to get – though the GM is under no obligation to give you that information in any clear fashion. Muddled riddles and vague intimations are the mode of the day.

Finally, a character with this stunt receives a +1 to any Occult roll when researching appropriate topics.

Terrestrial Circle Sorcery
Requires: Essence Sense


This Stunt allows the character to cast spells of the Terrestrial Circle. There are three functions provided by this Stunt.

1) Characters may Attack with their Occult Skill at a range of 2, similar to the use of the Archery Skill. This is defined as fire bolts, ice shards, or what-have-you as appropriate. As with Archery, defence is limited to Athletics, Weapons, or Fists. Also as with Archery, Arcana can not be used as defence.

2) Characters may Maneuver with their Occult Skill at a range of 2 without respect to environmental or scene Aspects. As with any Maneuver, this is an opposed roll against a target to place a Fragile Aspect on it. For most Terrestrial effects the opposing Skill will be Endurance. If successful, the Aspect will be type-appropriate. Examples: Seared, Suffocating, Held, Checked, etc. As with any other Aspect, it may be tagged by others to enhance their own attack or defence against the affected target. This attack might be defined as a wave of flame, vines or earthen hands holding the opposition from below, etc.

3) Characters may set a Block with their Arcana Skill at a range of 2 without respect to environmental or scene Aspects. Typically, a Block can only be set by a character in their zone. This Block could be to prevent a character from leaving a zone, to defend a friend, or to prevent some other action. The Skill used as defence is the same as for Maneuvers. See the SotC SRD for details. As with any other Block, it needs to be renewed each exchange if the character wishes to maintain the Block, and the GM sets any penalties.

4) Characters may define and cast other spells they feel are possible given the situation and the limitations of Terrestrial Circle Sorcery (which may, at its most potent, effect only a few hundred people or an area a mile or so in diameter, summon a First Circle demon or lesser elemental, etc.). They describe the desired effect and the GM sets a difficulty for them to roll against if they wish to continue. If they generate one shift they are successful and must pay one Fate Point. If they fail, they take one Health Stress (of the lowest box available) representing fatigue as well as any other consequences of their failure the GM deems appropriate (such as an irate and uncontrolled demon). Of course, with an Aspect matching their mode of Sorcery (e.g. “Student of the Heptagram”), they will be able to pay a Fate Point to make it less likely that they fail. This form of spellcasting usually takes a few minutes to complete, although more exacting rituals such as summonings may take up to four hours.

Note that if the spell is significantly small in scope and the GM determines the difficulty would be less than Mediocre, they should not require the cost of a Fate Point for the spell. Examples: Using a breeze to lift a skirt, lighting a torch, evaporating someone’s goblet of wine, and so on.

Celestial Circle Sorcery
Requires: Terrestrial Circle Sorcery


The province of the Celestial Exalted, this Stunt allows the character to cast mightier spells than those allowed by the Terrestrial Circle. Mechanically, it works in much the same way save for the effects permitted by general spellcasting; Celestial Circle spells may influence a few thousand people, an area many miles in diameter, summon Second Circle demons and puissant elemental servants, and cost two Fate Points if they are successful. They also deal a point of both Health and Resolve Stress if they fail, and can at the GM's discretion take longer than their Terrestrial counterparts to complete.

Solar Circle Spellcasting
Requires: Celestial Circle Sorcery


The occult arts of the Solar Exalted are potent indeed; this Stunt, like Celestial Circle Sorcery, works identically to Terrestial Circle Sorcery save that its spellcasting can effect entire cities and shake continents, call forth Third Circle demons and the most powerful elementals, and costs three Fate Points if successful. Failures deal two points of both Health and Resolve Stress, and the spells may take days to complete in some cases.

Character Creation

Phase 1 - Background
Choose two Aspects that define who you were as a mortal, before your Exaltation.

Phase 2 - Exaltation
Choose two Aspects that define the moment of your Exaltation and how it changed you.

Phase 3 – Solar/Dragon-Blooded/Abyssal/Sidereal/Autocthonian
Choose two Aspects that define you as one of the Exalted.

Phase 4 - Caste
Choose two Aspects that define your Caste.

Phase 5 – Creation
Choose two Aspects that define your deeds in Creation since you took the Second Breath.

15 Skills (1 Superb, Two Great, Three Good, Four Fair, Five Average), 5 Stunts as usual.
 

Ratix

Retired User
#4
Ah, SotC... I keep coming back to you for my Exalted hacking fiddly-work. Good to see others still interested in this too.

I like what you're doing, especially replacing of skills, though what do you do with Engineering if Science becomes Craft? You would also wanna figure out where medicine rolls and stunts go as well.

Sorcery - Free-form Sorcery, in Exalted? Sure, sounds cool. :D The mechanics you worked out is pretty good, though when you reference failures incurring Health and Resolve stress, I can only feel that this isn't... enough of a consequence. Because y'see, stress refreshes between scenes, so it doesn't really represent much passed a loss of ground or anything more than superficial stumbling/wounds. If you want failure to have bite, have the various levels of Sorcery inflict Consequences instead; Terrestrial gives a Minor Consequence, Celestial Moderate, and Solar Severe.

Also, I see you don't have prerequisites for the various Circles of Sorcery past requiring the previous Circle; does this mean starting characters can potentially cast Solar Circle with three out of their five stunt picks? And what about Necromancy?

Some time later, I'll post up some more ideas of my own, if you don't mind a little company in this thread.
 

Ratix

Retired User
#5
Okay, here are some of my own ideas; there's other, older ideas I have, mostly in the first thread that mindstalk linked to.

For Aspects, I came up with a couple of vague categories to differentiate Aspects, mostly mattering for character creation, but with some unique mechanics attached at times.

Aspect types: Background, Personal, Virtue, Virtue Flaw, Charm

Background Aspects: Allies, personal artifacts, affiliations, defining property, etc. These Aspects most often depict the character’s connection to the setting.

Personal Aspects: Intimacies, Motivation, goals, outlook, personal experiences, etc. These Aspects say the most about what the character is like.

Virtue Aspects: Relates the character’s interpretation of a defining Virtue. Virtues are defined as: Compassion, Conviction, Temperance, Valor, and Willpower. This can represent both high and unusually low Virtues, though it’s recommended a character have at least one “high” Virtue Aspect.

Virtue Flaw Aspects: Expression of the Great Curse in Solar Exalted. A character can only ever have one Aspect of this type. Note: The Virtue Flaw Aspect has special rules; when invoking this Aspect, the character gets either a +4 bonus or a re-roll and a +2 bonus to a single roll; Solars who revel in the madness of the Great Curse can accomplish incredible feats. Doing so automatically triggers an escalation to compel, however, and if the ST compels this Aspect for story effect, the player cannot opt out (but do receive the Essence Mote reward). Virtue Flaw Compels last for a scene at the minimum, and days or weeks at the most, depending on the severity; generally the more dangerous the consequences, the shorter the duration as the Exalt fights to regain control quicker.

Charm Aspects: Defines a “style” of Essence control. These Aspects are used to define the Exalt’s power, and how she uses it. Note: Charm Aspects have special rules; first, they are prerequisites for purchasing Charms. Second, whenever they are relevant, they give a +1 bonus to all related actions; actually spending an Essence Mote on them increases this bonus to +3 (or a re-roll with a +1 bonus), and increases the character’s Anima accordingly.

(With Charm Aspects, I originally wanted to incorporate the idea of "Irritated Essence" which is briefly mentioned once (and only ever once) in the 1st edition core, by imposing a penalty and compulsory compel of Charm Aspects if the character denies their bonus for appropriate actions. It turned out to be too complicated and steps on the toes of the Virtue Flaw though, much how the idea probably would have in the original game had it been fleshed out. That said, there still must be SOME drawback, at the very least a way to compel them that makes sense, but I'm a bit at a loss for the moment.)


Solar Exalted Character Creation

Phase 1: The Age of Sorrows – Character’s origins and growth.
Pick one Background Aspect and one Personal Aspect

Phase 2: Life as a Heroic Mortal – Personal development, accomplishments or struggles.
Pick one Virtue Aspect and one Background or Personal Aspect

Phase 3: Chosen of the Sun – Exaltation and related events.
Pick one Charm Aspect and one Background or Personal Aspect

Phase 4: Visions of the First Age – Glimpses of past life memories, latent talents, equipment, etc., as well as good and bad deeds.
Pick one Virtue Flaw Aspect and one Aspect of either Background, Personal, or Charm type.

Phase 5: Auspicious Destiny – The new Exalt puts her power to use.
Pick any two Aspects of your choice, except Virtue Flaw.

Different Exalt types would have slightly different phases, though all would have five; Dragon-Blooded would be the closest to standard SotC character generation, and would have "shared adventure" phases, which works great with their team-oriented style and strengths.


Anima Banner: The Solar Exalted cannot perform Essence-fueled miracles for long before their aura, which is saturated with the greatest extent of their power, becomes flooded with Essence and bursts into view. When Essence Motes are spent invoking Charms and Charm Aspects, the Exalt’s anima display increases by one step.

Motes Spent......Anima Display
0........................Anima not visible
1........................Caste Mark
2........................Glowing Aura
3........................Bonfire (Anima Power activates)
4........................Totemic Anima


Exalted-style stunts: That is, describing and attempting more audacious acts increases your chances of success. For that sorta feel, I’m adapting the Independent Rolls rule given on the Evil Hat Wiki. http://evilhat.wikidot.com/independent-rolls


Oh, and because I mention Charms and not Stunts; I've decided that rather than rework all the current stunts into Charms, or decide that some are Stunts (anyone can get them) and some are Charms (Exalts or specific types can only get them), all Stunts are available to everyone; Exalts, Heroic Mortals, everyone. Basically, baseline SotC characters are Heroic Mortals. So Exalts are that plus all their Exaltation specific Aspects, and their Charms. Charms are purchased seperately from Stunts (characters get 5 of them like Stunts), and they almost always require an Essence Mote spent to activate, but provide effects far beyond Stunts. As for what they do, haven't worked that out yet; each Exalt type would have unique Charms obviously, but I might work out some general effects that fall under specific Exalt-types' themes, and let them be player-defined from there. We'll see.

Note that this means spending Motes to gain full advantage. This is really just the way SotC works; you spend Motes to do things beyond your abilities. Fortunately, characters can accumulate Motes through compels without limit, so and due to the refresh rate it's best to spend all of them if you know a refresh point is coming up. In other words, Fate Point economy is different than Essence Economy in Storyteller Exalted. So, no special rules on regaining Motes from performing actions.
 

riotgearepsilon

Grumpy Gus
Validated User
#6
http://www.fudgefactor.org/2003/04/01/lord_of_the_dice.html

Thoughts.

Positive Numeric Modifiers: Exalted Excellency Charms

Negative Numeric Modifiers: Abyssal entropics

Virtual Plusses: Sidereal fate-boosting, Lunar adaptation

Virtual Minuses: Abyssal entropics

Pre-set Positive Dice: Artifacts

Pre-set Negative Dice: Sidereal cursing

Negative Result Multiplying: Terrible Solar Hubris

Positive Result Multiplying: Epic Solar Might

Negative Result Dividing: Cautious Sidereal Planning

Positive Result Dividing: Mealy-mouthed Sidereal half-measures

Rerolling Die by Die: Dragonblooded Elemental Mastery

One at a time: Alchemical Methodology

Penalty Reduction: Solar Trumping
 

mindstalk

Does the math.
Validated User
#7
Ratix: in your scheme, is Essence parallel to the Fate point economy, or do you re-name Fate to be Essence? The latter looks simpler, but I can see a case for the former, where mooks can still spend their measly one fate point on some aspect, while Exalts have essence to burn, and you can make the Solar/Lunar/etc distinctions in pools. And I think a Mote feels cheaper than a Fate point, or at least there's more of them... then again, I don't know how many Motes you spend to get the effect of a stackable +2 on a roll.

Also, I'd been intrigued by someone's alternate system
http://wiki.rpg.net/index.php/Exalted_Redux:Charms

Independent rolls for Exalted-stunts is interesting; I'd been thinking of a more direct conversion, where you get one or two (or three) bonus dice on a roll. (Bonus dice are the one mechanic not listed at Lord of the Dice but common on Landon's SotC pages: you'd roll 5 or 6 or 7 dF and take the top four. There's also penalty dice, where you roll NdF and take the worse four.)
in which Essence is committed to power a Charm, not spent outright. Nice idea, but invocation/compels depend on spending Fate points.
 

mindstalk

Does the math.
Validated User
#10
Anything left among Exalted mechanics to translate over, I meant.

Given the 4dF roll, you'd reduce variability with padded rolls or by setting some dice to zero. Maybe penalty dice would be a stronger entropic effect. Of course, even stronger is a simple minus -- wait, you covered that.
 
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