Exalted: Essence

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Jetstream

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So, OPP has gotten the green light to develop a ... side-edition, I guess? The Discord devs have been saying it's gonna be trimmed down, kinda like Fate: Accelerated as compared to Fate.

One way or another, it's gonna be a self-contained thing, with a streamlined system, and rules for every single Exalted type in the book.

So I'm kinda into that.
 

Skywalker

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I literally had to check to see that it wasn’t 1 April :smile:

I am excited for this, though I have vowed off Onyx Path and Exalted 3. I just hope that it is a genuine playable edition and not just a way to get people to buy into 3e.

I also hope that they go the Godbound route of a single set of Charms with actual cool effects and not just dice adders.
 
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Psychopomp

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Hmmm...if anyone affiliated with Onyx Path can pull this off, it's Monica. But I just do not trust Onyx Path as a company anymore to let this happen properly without royally fucking it up somehow. They burned most of their bridges with me and all of my goodwill for them with the 3e Kickstarter fiasco.
 

FeralToaster

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Neat, It is Exalted so yeah every game table has it own rules version. It will be interesting to read what the spin will be on this version.

any idea/gossip about how this will affect the next Exalt book to come out? I enjoyed the new Dragonblood book and I quite liked the new Lunar stuff from the Kickstarter (especially the new Lunar vs Dragonblood campaign). I kinda hoped they'd get to at least one of the new exalts before they did an alternate rulebook though.
 

Jetstream

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Neat, It is Exalted so yeah every game table has it own rules version. It will be interesting to read what the spin will be on this version.

any idea/gossip about how this will affect the next Exalt book to come out? I enjoyed the new Dragonblood book and I quite liked the new Lunar stuff from the Kickstarter (especially the new Lunar vs Dragonblood campaign). I kinda hoped they'd get to at least one of the new exalts before they did an alternate rulebook though.
Neall Price and Monica Speca are developing Essence as a stand-alone product.
 

Ladybird

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Sounds like a way for them to revise the poor reception that Exalted 3e got without dropping another full edition, and provide a chunk of content for fans of the splats that are near the back of the queue, as well as provide a neat on-boarding point. Could be good.
 

Baeraad

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Hmm, interesting. A more streamlined version was precisely what I wanted. I'll keep an eye on this, especially since I'm falling for the temptation to play Exalted all over again right now.
 

AsenRG

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The KS is doing predictably well. I'm on the fence:shade:.
 

Silverlion

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Wow if it's simple enough, I might be interested. But the difference between Fate and Fae is fairly narrow leap, so I'm not all that hopeful.
 
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AsenRG

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Wow if it's simple enough, I might be interested. But the difference between Fate and Fae is fairly narrow leap, so I'm not all that hopeful.
Personally, I'm more curious whether they've removed the bullshit from the Crafting syb-system.
 

Mankcam

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So...what was so bad with Exalted 3E?
(Honest and innocent question)
 

AsenRG

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So...what was so bad with Exalted 3E?
(Honest and innocent question)
Different people would answer that differently. Please note, I'm actually a fan of 3e!

First, they promised streamlining the system. Instead the corebook can probably stop at least some bullets.

Second, it only has Solars. Like, do you expect people who've been playing something else to drop their characters now for the restart?

The crafting system is a complete botch. Like, MMO-inspired mechanics in a game about mythic heroes? Fuck that noise with a red-hot poker!

The combat, social and sorcery systems work splendidly and immersively (and the latter should have been used for crafting as well). The problem: you need so many charms that have minimal effects and need to be combined, that the game becomes too slow. Oh wait, I paid this charm as well, so now I have double successes on 9s as well as 10s, let me count again:shade:!

Despite the size, still no bureaucracy system (and the crafting system could have been better for that, grinding through bureaucracy is much closer to an MMORPG raid, IMOE:devil:).


But, ultimately: they made it an exception-based system yet again. It would have been all way easier if they had taken notice from the previous two editions and tried something genuinely new!
 

Warthur

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Could be good, could be another Shadowrun: Anarchy situation. (In the latter case, all Catalyst needed to do to please people was produce a rules set for Shadowrun which was significantly lighter than the 5E rules but compatible enough with them to allow supplement use, but what we actually got was a weird stab at a narrative system that read like the sort of half-assed attempt you'd do if you'd heard about narrative systems but didn't actually understand them or have a wide knowledge of them.) Really depends on if the core book can get across the flavour and general style of play of Exalted in a more rules-light format.

All 10 Exalt types being playable from core book feels like a major step in the right direction. mind. Though I'm not sure how I'd feel if I were very invested in 3rd edition. As I understand it, last I checked they were a LONG way away from getting all the Exalt types written up for 3E, and the full-fat books for a bunch of them are still years away down the roadmap. The temptation to give up on the full-crunch version of the game and pivot to Essence, so as to get that action ASAP rather than wait for books which may or may not ever actually get finished has got to be there.

I know this is meant to exist alongside 3E, rather than replacing it, but if they do a really good job and a large enough proportion of the community pivots to it I can 100% see a near future where Exalted Essence is in effect the main game and the "full" version of 3E is solely the province of the hardcore crunch-heads, and then in the more distant future Exalted 4E resembles Essence more than it does 3E (and perhaps has "Exalted Advanced" supplements building in more crunch).
 

Silverlion

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I literally went and found 1E's original preview for 1E, and think that's playable. I'm alright with Shadowrun: Anarchy if you keep a GM and limit the narrative stuff, it works very well.
 

Psychopomp

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I'm temporarily at the $5 "get access to the draft manuscript trickle". The rules and Charms chapters will be my basis of whether I change that to $60 for the physical book, or $0 for another Onyx Path heartbreak.
 

AsenRG

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I'm temporarily at the $5 "get access to the draft manuscript trickle". The rules and Charms chapters will be my basis of whether I change that to $60 for the physical book, or $0 for another Onyx Path heartbreak.
I think I'm about to do likewise:smile:.

Oh, and Mankcam Mankcam I forgot to add to the previous part "the system replicating legacy mistakes that were pointed out repeatedly, like Linear Chargen Progressive Advancement and having godstats:wink:.

Different people would answer that differently. Please note, I'm actually a fan of 3e!

First, they promised streamlining the system. Instead the corebook can probably stop at least some bullets.

Second, it only has Solars. Like, do you expect people who've been playing something else to drop their characters now for the restart?

The crafting system is a complete botch. Like, MMO-inspired mechanics in a game about mythic heroes? Fuck that noise with a red-hot poker!

The combat, social and sorcery systems work splendidly and immersively (and the latter should have been used for crafting as well). The problem: you need so many charms that have minimal effects and need to be combined, that the game becomes too slow. Oh wait, I paid this charm as well, so now I have double successes on 9s as well as 10s, let me count again:shade:!

Despite the size, still no bureaucracy system (and the crafting system could have been better for that, grinding through bureaucracy is much closer to an MMORPG raid, IMOE:devil:).


But, ultimately: they made it an exception-based system yet again. It would have been all way easier if they had taken notice from the previous two editions and tried something genuinely new!
 

The Mad Hatter

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I'm hopelessly behind the curve with Exalted, it seems. I bought the 2e Corebook. Read it and just decided to stay with 1e. I have the 3e corebook in digital as well. But one skim thorugh of the Charm chapter, is enough for me to say nope.

I agree with Silverlion Silverlion about Shadowrun: Anarchy. Sadly it seems the Shadowrun publishers completely ignores it.
 

Psychopomp

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I'm hopelessly behind the curve with Exalted, it seems. I bought the 2e Corebook. Read it and just decided to stay with 1e. I have the 3e corebook in digital as well. But one skim thorugh of the Charm chapter, is enough for me to say nope.

I agree with Silverlion Silverlion about Shadowrun: Anarchy. Sadly it seems the Shadowrun publishers completely ignores it.

I'm mainly quoting you to use your line about bouncing off the 3e Charm chapter as a jumping off point for one of my pet peeves with Exalted 3e:

I feel like Essence (while a concept I endorse fully) is a band-aid for 3e's real problem. I think Onyx Path, and perhaps mainly Rich Thomas, is trapped in a sunk-cost fallacy with the corebook. It really needs an overhaul and a rewrite to the standards of the Dragonblooded and Lunars books, but Onyx Path went all in on supporting Holden and Morke during the 3e core boondoggle. I get the idea that it would look bad to rewrite the core after the excruciating time and money sink of it's three year development and all the bad PR they went through supporting those clowns while they were getting it done. But the Solar Charms are poorly designed and a few subsystems (cough cough Crafting) need a complete re-do. Letting the current developers oversee a reworked corebook to the standards of the current production/writing team would probably make 3e just as accessible as Essence will, if not more.
 

Brock Savage

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I just heard about this. I would love to know more about the system if anyone could post a summary.
 

Skywalker

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The KS is doing predictably well. I'm on the fence:shade:.

I am sure Onyx Path was more nervous about how this would go than most other of its KSs. The amount of words spent on reassuring fans and former fans on the KS page shows that.

Still it’s about to exceed both Lunar and DB’s backers in its first 48 hours so I think it’s looking like a smash success and tapping in to some of the former fanbase.

So...what was so bad with Exalted 3E?
(Honest and innocent question)

Ex3 is an example of good intentions and even good design going unchecked. To give an example, the entirety of Exalted Essence would it within the Charms chapter of Ex3 with pages to spare.

Exalted Essence is looking good so far to me. It is less just a stripped back Ex3, despite the reassurances that suggest it is, and more a revision of all the basic systems to something far more approachable, and it still retains much of its flavour. This is as close to an Exalted 20th Anniversary as we are going to get so I am in.

The recent podcast linked on the KS page makes for good listening for those wanting a preview of what to expect.

I actually thought the goal of making Exalted available to played by the growing livestream and podcast communities was enlightening as to what to expect with the final RPG. Exalted IMO caters to this day to a large number of RPGers whose interests in fantasy are mostly ignored by D&D and most other mainstream fantasy RPGs, and the stories it tells would be great to follow along for an audience.
 

Skywalker

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I just heard about this. I would love to know more about the system if anyone could post a summary.

It’s a simplified Exalted, so if you have familiarity with previous editions or any WW game you should have an idea of the system.

If not the Introductory Kit from 1e would introduce you to the concepts: http://kschnee.xepher.net/rpg/exalted/Exalted Starter Kit.pdf

It uses d10 dicepools, like all versions of Exalted and WW games though it sounds like they have tried hard to limit dicepools to a max of 20, most often averaging in the 8-15 range.
 

Chris Brady

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If they can make the system not actively hate the GM, then good. Otherwise, I doubt it'll change the mess the system is.
 

Voros

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Exalted doesn't really interest me but a stripped down, hell playable edition makes good sense and could rescue it from irrelevance.

Seems to me that Godbound nicked a lot of former Exalted players.

Considering the highly toxic fandom (or anti-fandom?) that has grown around OP will be 'interesting' to see how this develops.

I'm hoping for a lack of drama and negativity but I guess we'll see.

Since this seems to be getting developed by OP 'insiders' I suspect Holden and co.'s attempts to stir up shit will be less effective than in the past.
 

Voros

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I'm mainly quoting you to use your line about bouncing off the 3e Charm chapter as a jumping off point for one of my pet peeves with Exalted 3e:

I feel like Essence (while a concept I endorse fully) is a band-aid for 3e's real problem. I think Onyx Path, and perhaps mainly Rich Thomas, is trapped in a sunk-cost fallacy with the corebook. It really needs an overhaul and a rewrite to the standards of the Dragonblooded and Lunars books, but Onyx Path went all in on supporting Holden and Morke during the 3e core boondoggle. I get the idea that it would look bad to rewrite the core after the excruciating time and money sink of it's three year development and all the bad PR they went through supporting those clowns while they were getting it done. But the Solar Charms are poorly designed and a few subsystems (cough cough Crafting) need a complete re-do. Letting the current developers oversee a reworked corebook to the standards of the current production/writing team would probably make 3e just as accessible as Essence will, if not more.

The link above where Thomas talks about EX3 and Essence certainly back that up.

Reading between the lines it seems Thomas realizes EX3 only appeals to existing hardcores and he's deathly afraid of alienating them, especially as there are promised EX3 books yet to come.

But he realizes that to have any hope of actually growing the game he needs the mess that is EX3 cleaned up so this is the 'solution.'

I seems to me to be too much an old-fashioned approach to RPGs, in some ways replicating the parallel lines of AD&D and Basic, which is ironic as I'm pretty sure those lines were developed largely for legal reasons (i.e. to exclude Arneson from D&D royalties).
 

AsenRG

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The link above where Thomas talks about EX3 and Essence certainly back that up.

Reading between the lines it seems Thomas realizes EX3 only appeals to existing hardcores and he's deathly afraid of alienating them, especially as there are promised EX3 books yet to come.

But he realizes that to have any hope of actually growing the game he needs the mess that is EX3 cleaned up so this is the 'solution.'

I seems to me to be too much an old-fashioned approach to RPGs, in some ways replicating the parallel lines of AD&D and Basic, which is ironic as I'm pretty sure those lines were developed largely for legal reasons (i.e. to exclude Arneson from D&D royalties).
"Hardcore fanzerkers" are the new equivalent of litigation:grin:!
 

Rogerdee

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If people on sites give it positive feedback, I way well get this.
Whether I run it in Exalted system is debateable based upon complexity. I may end up converting to SW or something
 

AsenRG

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If people on sites give it positive feedback, I way well get this.
Whether I run it in Exalted system is debateable based upon complexity. I may end up converting to SW or something
If you end up switching the system, what would you need Exalted Essence for:shock:?
 

Nexus

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*Drifts back towards Exalted like someone with the disease from Memento returning to an abusive relationship* Oh, what's this? Is there a link to the KS available?
 

Jetstream

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The link above where Thomas talks about EX3 and Essence certainly back that up.

Reading between the lines it seems Thomas realizes EX3 only appeals to existing hardcores and he's deathly afraid of alienating them, especially as there are promised EX3 books yet to come.

But he realizes that to have any hope of actually growing the game he needs the mess that is EX3 cleaned up so this is the 'solution.'

I seems to me to be too much an old-fashioned approach to RPGs, in some ways replicating the parallel lines of AD&D and Basic, which is ironic as I'm pretty sure those lines were developed largely for legal reasons (i.e. to exclude Arneson from D&D royalties).
It kinda is a rock/hard place thing with Ex3. Rewriting the core book might make some people happy, but it’s very likely to piss off current fans, piss off people who already bought the first one, and probably not be enough to satisfy the real detractors.

In this case the sunk costs are the costs fans already put into the thing. To say nothing of the fact that whatever they do has to be approved by Paradox first. Onyx Path doesn’t own Exalted.
 
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