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This is going to be a list of my house rules for a bunch of RolePlaying games. Comments welcome - about my house rules or their formatting, please, not rants about games or publishers.

Exalted


These will be the rules / setting modifications / clarifications for '/Enemy', and are fairly similar to '/Candle's' rules. They reflect my take on the Exalted world. They aren't finished yet.

I use the Players' Guide rules, seeing as they tend to make sense - but I don't think I should force my players to buy it. So I shall transcribe the rules I'm going to use here. As far as CopyrightMatters go - these aren't actually the Players' Guide rules, they're my house rules. They just resemble the PG rules in places.

General
I accept all material published up to October 2004, explicitly including "Graceful, Wicked Masks" as canon.

Players may not split their dicepools further than the sum of their weapon's Rate and their Essence. The sum of the attacks and parries that a character makes may not exceed the weapon's rate without magical assistance.
So, not many parries at all, then? I should mention vaguely the massive and unending usefulness this will bring to scene-length defence charms - specifically Solar / Abyssal level ones. (This wouldn't be a problem, of course, except for the binary nature of the result). -- TI
This is intentional. The idea is to down-power parrying vs. dodging as a non-magical defence strategy - to give Solars a reason to take the Dodge skill.

A character's Essence is added to all dodge attempts. Players may abort to a full parry as well as a full dodge. Full parries are similar to full dodges - dice pool is Dexterity + Melee + Weapon Bonus for the first parry, then one dice fewer for each parry thereafter. No more parries may be made than the weapon's Rate.

Weapons' initiative bonus is a measure of their reach, while their rate is a measure of their weight and moment of inertia. Weapons' damage bonuses have been increased somewhat. I am the arbiter of reality.

The Five Magical Materials are unbreakable and require the aid of Essence to forge. Jade is the commonest; starmetal is the rarest; orichalcum is the most powerful; moonsilver is jealously guarded by the Lunars; soulsteel moans when in sunlight or near holy objects or non-Abyssal anima.

Ping damage equals the Essence of the attacking character. (This partially compensates for the smaller number of attacks possible under the Rate system, and the two together encourage the use of smaller, lighter weapons).

There is a penalty for unrealistically holding actions back, equal to whatever I feel like at the time.

For Stunt rules, see below under 'Metaphysics'

The better a character's attunement to Creation and its Essence flows, the luckier they are. A 'luck' roll is a number of dice equal to a character's Essence stat, and is their chance to unconsciously influence a totally random effect.

Do 1's subtract from the total number of successes rolled, as in Raven and All'sFair? --SF
Yes! Sorry for not making that explicit. I am using the Rule of One - that is, 1's subtract - and the Rule of Ten - that is, 10's count double! Except on damage rolls, Sidereal astrology effect rolls and anything else where it's impossible to botch and unlikely to get grand successes.
I suppose you could botch or do very well on your damage roll...but that's partly taken into account in the hit roll. It's probably simpler the way you've set it, but it might make for more exciting combat if the Rule of One affected damage rolls too... -- Xarak
Looked at the possibility, and gave an answer of finalness - "No."
The Rule of One as written in the Exalted rulebook isn't "1's subtract", it's "you botch if you roll a 1 and no successes." But it isn't generally played that way in Cambridge. Hence the reason I asked. --SF
I know. It's the RolePlaying/WorldOfDarkness? Rule of One that I'm using. We play exactly the same in our group in Peterborough (which includes FlameRider); I am so used to it that it's sort of canonical by now.

Martial Arts
Mortals, God-Blooded, Fae and Dragon Kings may practice up to Terrestrial level arts after extensive training. Terrestrials and Lunars may practice up to Celestial level arts, Terrestrials only after three years' initiation. Only Sidereals may learn Sidereal styles without a living tutor.
Could you possibly qualify: I don't have access to the Big-Ass Book of Kickassu (a.k.a. non-basic rules on Martial Arts); which ones are Terrestrial? -- TI
Terrestrial styles are the Five-Dragon style (D-B standard martial art) and the Crimson Pentacle Blade Style (PG). Celestial styles are all others apart from the three superpowered high-Essence styles in the Sidereal book.
And can you please explain why the hell Fae can use Terrestrial martial arts - ie, Fae using Charms, when Fae don't work that way? --SF
Well... I did say extensive training. I can't see why Fae should be the only beings in Creation or out of it who are not allowed to practice the supernatural martial arts.

Armour may be used with all Terrestrial martial arts styles that do not specifically disallow it, and may not be used with any Celestial or Sidereal styles that do not specifically allow it. The Five Glorious Dragon Paths may specifically be used with armour that does not have a fatigue penalty (see discussion below)

The signature-weapon bonuses are hereby irrevocably removed from the Five Glorious Dragon Paths. These weapons still count as unarmed attacks for purposes of Charms. The signature weapons of the other styles are available on application (I have a list but it's rather long).
Amen to the death of the Chakram. The rest (armour included) may be overkill - you're possibly removing any point in playing Immaculate martial artists (who would obviously be problematic in a DB campaign (I remain very glad nobody played one in mine), but less so in a Celestial game). -- TI
I'm trying to balance Immaculate MA vs. the other Celestial styles. Either all get a signature bonus or none do. And the 'no armour' thing is partially due to comments from the developers on ExaltedWiki? that Celestial styles shouldn't get armour. The Immaculate MA are quite powerful enough without allowing practitioners to wear superheavy armour as they leap gracefully from treetop to treetop. Also, as far as /Enemy is concerned there are reasons why I don't want Immaculates in the party.
It's also been explicitly commented by RebeccaBorgstrom and (I think) Geoffrey Grabowski that the Immaculate styles are armored styles. You're nixing the strength of Dragon-Blooded - their martial artists are supposed to be able to fight Celestial exalted. --SF
Really? I'd like to know where, because that's very interesting. I was under the impression that it was the other way around - that the position was that Celestial arts can't use armour due to the strength of the Essence being used, etc. Although I can very much see that the Dragon styles are originally the product of Sidereal masters and thus might work to slightly higher power levels. But the only references I can find to armoured Immaculates refer to Earth-stylists.
[Here] - "the Dragon styles are armored styles". I think they're designed for Dragon-Blooded to fight in, and Dragon-Blooded almost always wear armor, since Jade is a) cheap and plentiful and b) light (Jade armor has no fatigue value...). Hence it kinda makes sense. Maybe "only armour with no fatigue penalties" if you want to make it awkward for Celestials to use it. --SF
That's a good idea. :yoink:
I acknowledge all styles published before the end of October 2004, and Autumn Butterfly style, as canon. No others exist, but others may be created by arrangement.
Backgrounds and Flaws
The Sorcery and Necromancy backgrounds do not exist for player characters. Liege or Patron 4+ are not suited to player characters. No Exalted may have the Inheritance, Knowledge or Experience backgrounds. Artifact 4+ may only be selected with explanation as to from whom the artifacts have been stolen - this applies equally to Dragon-Blooded. Lookshy Outcastes may not select the Arsenal background.

No First Age or Shogunate-era goodies may be selected at chargen without being stolen goods, actively searched for by meaningful story factions.

Merits and Flaws work as follows - draw up a background, submit it to me, and I will assign a bonus point award / cost and any mechanical effects, in line with the chapter in the Players' Guide. Flaws with no story effect have no award. Maimed, deaf, blind, butt-ugly, stupid, but supernaturally quick-witted and dextrous people who are prodigies with one specific fighting style do NOT exist except as non-player characters. I reserve the right to say "No. No, no, no, no, NO!" to anyone's request.

Merits may be bought during play with Experience, if it is appropriate. Experience awards may be made if characters acquire negative features of similar depth to Flaws. Both of these will be very rare - Merits and Flaws are, on the whole, features of the God-Blooded and heroic mortals, not of the Exalted.

All heroic characters begin play with 2 additional Virtue points, and Virtues may exceed 3 without bonus points; however, Willpower may not be greater than 8 at chargen without spending bonus points. This is to allow the (supposedly heroic) party to start off with at least some morals and heroism.

Additional Virtue Flaws are a perfectly reasonable Flaw for a Solar - treat it as identical to the "Greater Curse" (or whatever it is) Flaw (3 points seems about right). There is a 1 bonus point reward for taking two Virtue Flaws that conflict with one another. Evil? Moi?

Thaumaturgy and Metaphysics
Thaumaturgy is the art and science of the creation of wards, the summoning of spirits, elementals, ghosts and people and the binding and exorcising of same, the brewing of potions and poisons (moved from Medicine), the making of exceptional items and the controlling of the weather. It may be used by anyone with Occult, but knowledge in any of the above areas may be bought for 1 experience point per area by Exalted or 3 points by lesser beings.

One is born either outside of Fate or inside it. One cannot become outside of Fate except by the actions of Solar Circle Sorcery or Sidereal Charms. One cannot become inside of fate except by the above, or by the direct actions of Destiny (the Arrows of Reason and the Greater Sign of Jupiter being an example).

Stunts are a bug in the Pattern Spiders. Autochthon, who created them, has an eye for good craftsmanship in all its forms - and hence the pattern spiders have a little loophole in their programming. Whenever anyone tries to do something incredibly cool and original, they look favourably upon it and tend to allow it to happen. This is not represented by a dice bonus - it is represented by the ability of everyone to do the impossible. Even mortals, if sufficiently inspired, may attempt impossible feats. In other words, if it's fun and original, it probably happens. This applies to everything - even things outside fate. Fate is easier to move through in flash ways. I.e. - the pattern spiders are in fact creating anime. Shounen anime.
Modifications To Canon
There is no such thing as a firewand, nor any other firearm smaller than a firedust cannon. This is NOT the Wild West. Celestial Devil Style does not exist.

The summer palaces of the Dynasts are in Lord's Crossing, which is the site of a minor Mountain Folk embassy. Paisap's Stair is significantly closer to the city than it says in Outcastes.

Feel free to add anything I've said about the setting which isn't canon in your opinion. I'll say if it's considered 'in' or 'out'.

Lookshy is a behemoth that strides creation, with more shinies than a polish factory? --SF
Lookshy has more than its fair share of shinies but only two field forces and a rabidly insular government.
Characters
The series will be Celestial in power level.
Solar and (strictly renegade) Abyssal characters are acceptable with limited ST approval needed.
Ronin Sidereal characters on application - no Bureau Sidereals allowed.
Lunars should be Changing Moons or No Moons - I do not want combat focused characters - who are capable of surviving in civilisation.
I see no reason a civilisation-capable Full Moon character, who is not destructively combat-focussed cannot be created. Offhand, I'd cite Coltraine from StephenErikson?, except the I still doubt most of you have read DeadhouseGates?. I agree with the intention, but I can think of interesting ways to cooperate with it. -- TI
It's more the intention than the letter of the restriction. I really don't want a combat-focused party, because in a game set in the heart of the Realm they will quickly get stomped on. And I have experience with the power of playing a combat character going to people's heads.
Dragon Kings on application - they should be First Age survivors and the Path to take human form is strongly recommended.
Fae on application due to their not-being-out-yet-ness.
No Realm Dragon-Blooded. Outcastes are allowed, but not Forest Witches or numina of the mist. They will get access to the Knowledge and Experience backgrounds to allow them to compete with the Celestials. Immaculates are discouraged for obvious reasons.
(foo)-Blooded, heroic mortals and thaumaturges of all stripes are allowed, and will reap a heavy bonus-point bonus for being insane enough to play mortals in a Celestial Exalted game.
Munchkined characters need not apply - I do not intend to run a combat campaign, but there will be some combat. Any odd skills that any character has will probably be written into the campaign.


Questions to be answered here?

Yippee! I want to be a mortal! I want to be a mortal! (Jumps up and down and sings)-- King DJ
Oh, no you don't.... -- Kira.
Oh, do. Do. You can even have a free "Guaranteed Favourable Reincarnation Or Your Money Back" voucher, redeemable upon your inevitable sticky end. --Requiem
Expect certain once-members of House Nellens (do you actually stop being a member of a Great House when you exalt as Anathama?) to look down on you instinctively... -- Senji
Which once-member of House Nellens would that be, but probably all members would look down on you; the question is only one of height. My personal choice would have been a Fae-blooded but alas will not get a chance. -- Tony
'Nellens' Vasily, although the same probably applies to 'Nellens' Kira also. -- Senji

Spirts still undampened. What kind of bonus points? -- King DJ
21 plus either Knowledge or Experience 4, or Knowledge 2 Experience 2. That's another 26 to 28 bonus points, plus up to 15 points from Flaws, minus unlimited expenditure on Merits. You may begin play as a Terrestrial level martial artist, paying 3 points to be able to channel Essence and 14 points per Charm. Essence pool is Essence + Willpower + Conviction + 2 * highest Virtue. --Requiem
Mortals get essence? I thought they would simply buy all their stats and abilities up to 5.--King DJ
''Mortals get Essence and the subtle and slow magic of Thaumaturgy; they may also practice Terrestrial martial arts (the claw based Five Dragon Style or the polearm-and-shield based Crimson Pentacle Blade Style). There are also relevant Merits. Anyone with all stats and abilities at 5, but no supernatural abilities, would die in their first fight with any Essence-user, regardless of the roughly 500 experience they had to use to get everything at 5.

TheInquisitor is saddened by the probable munchkined-ness of the Fae, since he'd give them a crack, otherwise. Tempted by the Fae-blood option. Must resist temptation to make character unkillable, subtly (or otherwise, in some cases).
Unkillable characters die. No, really they do. --Requiem
I'm breaking myself of the habit of making characters who spend the entire campaign fine-tuning personal protection - progress is slow but steady. (And yes, they *can* die, but I can cite past examples who would've shrugged off anything that wasn't an autokill on any other party member - which GMs tend to be leery of using, for some reason.) But... erm... yeah, this isn't supposed to be a challenge, except to myself (and then in an entirely different sense). -- TI

I would like to hold Iselsi/Nellens? Artan in reserve for a possible cameo, unless you are all sick and tired of that particular type of creative genius being let lose once again. :) -- Artan 

OP reminds people that /Enemy doesn't start till Michaelmas term.


New and important thought- still under development. Thoughts?

Players have a Dark Fate pool. This starts at 0. It may be increased in one of three ways - you may choose at any time to gain points for having an unlikely coincidence happen in your favour (ST decides cost of coincidence after it is described and happens), you may survive what would otherwise be a deadly injury by gaining a point, or the ST may choose to give you points for 'tempting Fate'. The higher your Dark Fate rating, the worse your luck will be. Enemies will attack you rather than your Circlemates, the guard will come round the corner at just the wrong time, and so on.
Each time an unlikely coincidence happens to your detriment (ST discretion), you lose a Dark Fate point.
Hmmm....it implies that the pattern spiders, or alternatively some midranking Sidereals/spirits in the Bureau of Destiny, are actually paying attention to outrageous luck and trying to "balance the account" so to speak. I certainly think it doesn't work for Sidereal Exalted, due to the way their charms operate (it *certainly* doesn't work if people are throwing Avoidance Kata, Destiny-Knitting Entanglement or Elegant Patterns of Fate around...), and I really don't like things Outside of Fate having their destiny affected in any way. Otherwise, I think it's a cool idea...just not for Sidereals, Demons or Fae. (And so probably not for /Enemy...). There is something fairly similar in Fading Suns (which runs d20, with added weirdness) as a penalty for using psychic powers too much. --SF
Well. This is merely conservation of luck. It's not an IC action - it's an OOC one. The character doesn't wish for something and it happens - the character is merely insanely lucky / unlucky. This is not a mechanical thing that's actually happening inside the world - this is me allowing the players a bit more freedom to assist in the telling of the story (basically, that's what the points are - little bits of Storyteller-level power). It also provides a handy "get out of character death" card, to codify my stretching of the rules such that characters are not killed by chance. Also - I have trouble deciding which character to throw bad luck and NPC attacks at - this will give me targets to aim at.
Great idea. I assume being a munchkin counts as "tempting fate"? ^_^ Also, you could reward players with a reduction of Dark Fate for deliberatly doing something detrimental to their character in the interests of RolePlaying. Still, given that this is Exalted, I'm assuming that if you build up enough Dark Fate, something really cosmically bad will happen to you? MuHaHa  -- Xarak
Quite. I was denying that conservation of luck happens. Sidereals are professionally lucky; that's what lowering a target number means. Events in the world just happen so as they favour your success. Fae, high-ranking Demons, and other nasties outside-of-fate don't have anything controlling their destiny, so I really don't see why their luck should be balanced either. In addition to that, you've got to figure Sidereal astrology in. People with Mentor 3 in a Gold Faction Sidereal or lots of backing or connections dots with the Golds, for example, might well have a blessing or two in their direction. In general, bad luck happens in the shape of NPC dice rolls, or sometimes your own. Ask Senji. I'm not saying this is a bad idea, in general, for roleplaying. I just think that there are certain people in Exalted who it doesn't apply to. --SF
I think what Requiem's saying is, this really has nothing to do with Fate or the Maidens or whatever, it's entirely an OOC and MetaGame effect. -- Xarak
And I'm claiming that, due to the in game effects of Sidereal charms and astrology being pretty much as he's describing as a MetaGame effect, it's a bad one if Sidereals are around to throw spanners into the works in their inimitable style (says the guy who just GMed a 19-session Sidereal campaign). I also hate MetaGame effects which don't have an explicable analogue in the UnrealWorld?. I see no reason whatsoever why beings outside of fate should have balanced luck; nor the Chosen of Fate, who control their own luck as a matter of course. --SF
Beings outside of fate I may have to agree with you on - but it's like the 'grand success' thing in the Sea of Mind; if some people can do it why not let everyone? Sidereals, on the other hand, don't have total control over their own luck - they can merely affect it. If you want an IC explanation - here it is. There's so much Sidereal astrology going on around the Blessed Isle, that luck is not quite the random thing it is elsewhere. There's a specific reason Amyra is affected. And beings outside of fate, may 'push' a little on the fate around them, deforming it as they go (cf. The Plan). But as there are ancient wards around the Blessed Isle which act against them, this will act much like the negative Sidereal astrology on the rest of the party. If you want an OOC explanation - I like this idea. May need tweaking as an idea, and is subject to player vote once it's in its final form and the players are all around.
Err, I've never had a bad dice roll ever.  Particularly not in the last session of anything... -- Senji
Nor while looking for very particular objects on a ship. --CH
I found some very particular objects! -- Senji

I had a similar idea for D&D except that time it was part of the fundamental nature of reality that luck was malleable (as it is for Sidereal Exalted). The idea was some people were naturally more lucky than others and that you could wish people good luck which actually resulted in the target becoming more lucky. In the end I decided the whole thing wasn't worth the effort and would probably just end up being munchkined somehow. Then I essentially decided to keep an unofficial tally of who I'd been nasty to and who I've been nice to behind the DM screen so I knew I wasn't playing favourites.

I think a get out of random death card would be fairly useful to avoid unwanted player kill off, especially as I am told many of the characters won't be taking perfect defences. I think Sidereals can be affected by the luck rules as normally they "buy" luck with essence and willpower but that wouldn't stop them "borrowing" it the same way as other Exalted (or even mortals?).--King DJ
Just to clarify. It's not a 'get out of trouble' charm or a perfect defence. You're still incapacitated, you're still on the floor. But circumstances will conspire such that you won't die. Sidereals don't generally believe in luck - as Syrtis would say, "I make my own luck. No, really, I do. I go up to the Loom and weave it." And their Charms' flavour is 'I made random chance go my way', so having a second effect for it is a bit dubious. But Amyra gets it, cause she's basically just like any other Celestial who randomly Exalted.

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