Exalted: Essence

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Skywalker

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This is true of any RPG looking at a new edition, though I agree that Ex3 is a more exaggerated case given the position it has got itself into. Exalted is such a massive RPG line and at the pace they are going at, 3e is going to take beyond any comparable RPG timeframe to see it to its end.

I, for one, am happy with what I have seen from Exalted Essence though. It feels about as close to an Exalted 20th Anniversary as I could hope for at this stage and having the rules streamlined further and consolidated into one book is all win.
 

Rogerdee

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I'm in on it, but I'm actually playing in an Exalted game with Lords of Gossamer and Shadow rules and its running better than any Exalted game I've been in.
I had never considered doing that, sounds a bit amazing.
Love to hear how you are doing rules, charms etc - if you wanted to open another thread?
 

chuckdee

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I had never considered doing that, sounds a bit amazing.
Love to hear how you are doing rules, charms etc - if you wanted to open another thread?
Not sure I'd have enough for a thread as I'm just playing in the game. From the perspective of my character, the only things different from standard creation are choosing a caste. There are charms, but as we're from outside the Empire, we didn't start with any, and have picked them up in play from training, so there's no following a tree or prerequisites in pre-purchasing charms, and for the most part they function like Power Words- at least the ones I've gained so far.
 

Rogerdee

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Not sure I'd have enough for a thread as I'm just playing in the game. From the perspective of my character, the only things different from standard creation are choosing a caste. There are charms, but as we're from outside the Empire, we didn't start with any, and have picked them up in play from training, so there's no following a tree or prerequisites in pre-purchasing charms, and for the most part they function like Power Words- at least the ones I've gained so far.

That is an interesting way of using them I had not considered either. I bet gameplay is super dast?
 

Skywalker

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Care to expand on it?
Have you read through it? There is a lot to like IMO

I like how simple yet flavorful the various powers are so far. Choice of caste actually seems to matter more now with the anima abilities.

There is lots of Godbound in there with concepts of tiered NPCs. For example, the passive Anima effects of Lunars are:- Full Moon: Extras cant hurt them - Changing Moon: Extras can't detect lies they tell - No Moon: Extras cant see or hear them.

Resource management level is much more my level having just 5 charms and 5 motes to start.

I also found it mechanically interesting that certain powerful anima effects now cost anima. So you spend Charms to flare the anima banner and then dull the anima banner to do these effects. For example, a Moonsilver Alchemical can get a second turn when at 10 Anima at the cost of 5 Anima.

Advancement also seemed decent with milestones being easy to apply and balanced, with a hint of PbtA style rewards. Personal Milestones can be gained once per session. You can spend them to gain a Mode or change an Intimacy. Minor Milestones happen once per chapter and you can buy +1 Ability or new Charm. Major Milestones happen once per Story arc. You can buy +1 Attribute or gain a new Merit. Exalted Milestone acts as a personal or minor milestone but are used for Exalted specific things. Essence goes up for all PCs at the same time at whatever pace the group chooses. You get an extra Ox-Body or Excellency each time you gain Essence.
 
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chuckdee

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That is an interesting way of using them I had not considered either. I bet gameplay is super dast?
dast == fast? Or am I missing something.

If you mean fast, oh yeah... a lot better, and it illustrates the powers of Solars a lot easier than that muddled Exalted system. I positively hate dice pool systems, but love all of the Aeon stuff, Exalted, and Scion (the backgrounds and ideas).
 

Trippy

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I'm in on it, but I'm actually playing in an Exalted game with Lords of Gossamer and Shadow rules and its running better than any Exalted game I've been in.
Well, technically, Lords of Gossamer and Shadows are using modified Amber rules. And they are classic.

I too find some of the later versions of Storyteller/StoryPath systems a bit too cumbersome though. Can’t quite pinpoint it - but I think Scion, for example has a brilliant concept and setting, but struggle to get traction when generating characters or running it in play. I think diceless play works best to capture the flow I’m after. It is one reason I think V5 rules, which has a lot of diceless options, work well with my group and, indeed why Amber works well for things like Exalted.
 

Voros

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I like that the art has moved away from the anime look. So less of this...

8335111317_2788cb1896_o.jpg

And more this...

fe8568dd75b4d55856d44db510c11871_original.jpg

I'd like to get a look at the new rules but not sure I want to back at even that low level yet.
 

Chris Brady

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The secone
I like that the art has moved away from the anime look. So less of this...

View attachment 31533

And more this...

View attachment 31534

I'd like to get a look at the new rules but not sure I want to back at even that low level yet.
The second pic looks... Bland. it doesn't show the alleged power of a Solar. I mean, they're supposed to be Demigods, this is just a bored faced blonde cutting a rather small Ent. There's not sense of power in it. At least the top has the woman in a display, having floored an entire troop of soldiers, even if the camera angle is mildly questionable.
 

Voros

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The secone

The second pic looks... Bland. it doesn't show the alleged power of a Solar. I mean, they're supposed to be Demigods, this is just a bored faced blonde cutting a rather small Ent. There's not sense of power in it. At least the top has the woman in a display, having floored an entire troop of soldiers, even if the camera angle is mildly questionable.

'Floored an entire troop'? Not sure where you see that.

I'll take bland over whateverthehell the first one is. I almost like it for its absurd lack of taste but it is so ill-suited to a fantasy rpg...
 

Chris Brady

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'Floored an entire troop'? Not sure where you see that.

I'll take bland over whateverthehell the first one is. I almost like it for its absurd lack of taste but it is so ill-suited to a fantasy rpg...
Have to seen Fantasy Art??? Some wear less and have even more ridiculous posing.




And that's the MEN!
 

Simlasa

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The second pic looks... Bland.
I agree. Straight up dull compared to the first one.
I do NOT like the dumbass costume on the first character, but outside of that it's more dynamic and interesting. The 'anime' styling doesn't put me off either.
 

spittingimage

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I'll take bland over whateverthehell the first one is. I almost like it for its absurd lack of taste but it is so ill-suited to a fantasy rpg...
That cover's kind of notorious. The company hired a well-regarded Korean artist who's known for a lot more than just his cheesecake art. He proceeded to ignore their every attempt to contact him and finally delivered a cover art piece that didn't match their guidelines at all. They were faced with the choice of printing it or missing a deadline. I wonder if they regret choosing the deadline.
 

Chris Brady

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That cover's kind of notorious. The company hired a well-regarded Korean artist who's known for a lot more than just his cheesecake art. He proceeded to ignore their every attempt to contact him and finally delivered a cover art piece that didn't match their guidelines at all. They were faced with the choice of printing it or missing a deadline. I wonder if they regret choosing the deadline.
It's only notorious because of the... Ah... 'strict' attitude of The Big Purple, most other people laughed or admired the work and bought the book anyway. Besides, Exalted sold itself partly on the Anime aesthetic, as well as general mythological.


I agree. Straight up dull compared to the first one.
I do NOT like the dumbass costume on the first character, but outside of that it's more dynamic and interesting. The 'anime' styling doesn't put me off either.
EXACTLY.

She's supposed to be the equivalent of a half God. Have her show it. Have her punch a man through a MOUNTAIN. Have her level small cities with the sweep of her blade.

A picture in a game book is supposed to evoke the feel of the game. The second image looks like something you could do in D&D. Why would I play this game instead?

Wait, I take it back, EARLY D&D. 5e has the basic peasant with an average build (Strength 10) able to carry, on their backs 150lbs, most real life people can't even carry half their own weight.
 

Ladybird

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She's supposed to be the equivalent of a half God. Have her show it. Have her punch a man through a MOUNTAIN. Have her level small cities with the sweep of her blade.
But, again, that first pic doesn't show any of that half-godliness, by your rule. She's just... there, all she's really doing is posing at the viewer, and the only thing it tells us she's capable of is trimming her pubic hair. Even if she had actually finished getting dressed that morning, it still doesn't tell us anything about her being powerful.

The facial expression on the second could be better, I agree, but she's actually taking action.
Wait, I take it back, EARLY D&D. 5e has the basic peasant with an average build (Strength 10) able to carry, on their backs 150lbs, most real life people can't even carry half their own weight.
TBH I've always assumed that unless it's explicitly set on earth, RPG humans aren't actually the same species as us.
 

AsenRG

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Have you read through it? There is a lot to like IMO

I like how simple yet flavorful the various powers are so far. Choice of caste actually seems to matter more now with the anima abilities.

There is lots of Godbound in there with concepts of tiered NPCs. For example, the passive Anima effects of Lunars are:- Full Moon: Extras cant hurt them - Changing Moon: Extras can't detect lies they tell - No Moon: Extras cant see or hear them.
I knew it that hired killers need to be more cerebral than brawny/social...:devil:

The art for Essence is lacking. It all seems very generic. However, that anime girl one is just as bad in my opinion. So I guess bad art is just part of the franchise.
Well, the quickstart for 3e had my players choosing their PCs by which picture they hated the least...:shade:


Yes, true story :thumbsup:. That's the only time they have looked at the art before the stats!
The contraction "fugly" was used multiple times, too:evil:.


But other than that? Yes, I prefer the first picture - the notorious one - as well. It seems exactly like stuff that's happened in my sessions more than once, by female PCs played by female players.
"You can look at me, guys, but anyone trying to touch me, dies messily. Now step aside as I'm busy. I need to kill your boss. Try not to get any saliva on my clothes, either!"

Granted, some details *coughcameltoeandmistakenproportionsnottomentionlimbsthatappearbrokencough* are extraneous and pointless...but then they really shouldn't have picked a hentai artist if they didn't want such things:grin:!
 

Psychopomp

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God, even the Solar in it looks bored with that second pic. Yes, the first pic caused quite the pearl-clutching in some corners of the internet (man, I hope no one ever shows TBP an actual manga cover) but the 3e art is all boring-ass DnD reject art. Even the bad 1e-2e anime inspired art was something different (there were, to be fair, some real stinkers in the 1e corebook, especially the line art), and the good stuff was just amazing. I've yet to see a piece of 3e art that made me sit up and go, "Oh wow, that's nice," like a lot of the 1e-2e anime-influenced stuff did.
 

chuckdee

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Well, technically, Lords of Gossamer and Shadows are using modified Amber rules. And they are classic.
Well, yeah- that's pretty well stated on the tin. The reason I pointed to Lords of Gossamer and Shadow is that it is truly a merging of the two background also. The Empire is the center of the universe, and has Dragon-blooded and Chosen as normal- it's just that a small number of Chosen are also Wardens and able to access the Stair. So it wouldn't be accurate if I'd pointed to Amber, as the trappings from LoGaS are there.
 

Voros

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I agree. Straight up dull compared to the first one.
I do NOT like the dumbass costume on the first character, but outside of that it's more dynamic and interesting. The 'anime' styling doesn't put me off either.

I just love posting it for laughs but the commercial anime style of previous editions was a big turnoff to me and I don't actually find anything particular to the setting or game that requires it be all anime.

Maybe I don't know my shitty anime well enough to get the references?

I'd also say that regarding the actual quality of the first picture, I'm relatively familiar with 'erotic' or pornographic comic art in Japan and elsewhere and I think that is shitty art within that tradition as well. Its crappiness is only tangentially related to its failures as a piece of art for an rpg.
 
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Luca

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So my question, inevitably, is: why use this, instead of Godbound?

Especially considering that Godbound finally made good on the promise that nearly all RPG games centered on super-high-powered characters fail to deliver: it gave GMs *actually useful tools* to answer the two questions:

  1. What does my character do, apart from basking in his own awesomeness
  2. How does the world change in response to that

which are of the utmost importance, IMO, if you're playing with a group of characters which are essentially reskinned Superman clones. "Punching super monsters" and "not much, if at all" just doesn't cut it anymore.
 

Chris Brady

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So my question, inevitably, is: why use this, instead of Godbound?

Especially considering that Godbound finally made good on the promise that nearly all RPG games centered on super-high-powered characters fail to deliver: it gave GMs *actually useful tools* to answer the two questions:

  1. What does my character do, apart from basking in his own awesomeness
  2. How does the world change in response to that

which are of the utmost importance, IMO, if you're playing with a group of characters which are essentially reskinned Superman clones. "Punching super monsters" and "not much, if at all" just doesn't cut it anymore.
Here's the thing, punching Super Monsters WOULD work, hell it's worked for Superhero comics for almost 80 years in some fashion, but Exalted (1-3e) doesn't let you do that without a bunch of hoops to slither through and conflicting mechanics. The other issue is how they sold the game, as Solars are allegedly the top of the heap, and no one wants to start perfect, as you've just pointed out, there's nowhere to go. And worse, it doesn't give the GM the tools to make Super Fights interesting or fun. The system barely worked for Vampire politics, and they're expecting to make it work for a genre where the action is larger than life, whether you're going for a Indian Mythological context or straight up Anime Bullpuckery.

Will this new iteration fix any of that? Iunno. But if I want to play Fantasy Demigods with outright superpowers, I'm going to use a system that's designed for it, whether it be my personal favourite Mutants and Masterminds 3e, or HERO System (any edition), GURPs (Same), the aforementioned Godbound or any number of other, better designed systems for it.
 

UnplayedRanger

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Well for me, I don’t like d20 games. So Godbound isn’t an option.

Now, I don’t have any previous exalted experience. This is my first entry point, and it seems good to me so far. The character classes seem solid, and get my imagination firing.

They haven’t put out the full rules chapter preview yet, so my opinion might change, but nothing so far seems like it’s gonna fall apart at the wheels.
 
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Psychopomp

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Well for me, I don’t like d20 games. So Godbound isn’t an option.

This. I keep bouncing off the Godbound core ruleset, to the point where I've seriously considered converting the Words and the undertakings system to Genesys. But that would be a lot of scribe-work, and they announced Essence before I got really started.

I ran Exalted 1e and 2e for about a decade, and for all the flaws in those systems we made it sing at our table. I've wanted to like 3e, but the core rulebook...the starting point...is a god awful 650+ page mis-managed mess of unnecessary opaqueness and scope-creep. I have hopes that just a better presentation and better designed version of the core rules will be something I can run like I did 1e and 2e. However, I was burned very badly by the 3e development cycle, so I am taking nothing for granted until I've seen the entire draft manuscript.
 

AsenRG

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Exalted art has always been of varied quality under any edition. I think the art of Essence is good enough and the quality doesn’t fall the lowest points in the previous three editions.
From what I'm seeing, that's rose-tinted glasses, sorry to say:thumbsup:!

This. I keep bouncing off the Godbound core ruleset, to the point where I've seriously considered converting the Words and the undertakings system to
Yeah, that's it for me, except in my case it would be Reign, Mythras or the like. And I've got more than a few Exalted conversions under my belt, too:shade:.
 

Skywalker

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So my question, inevitably, is: why use this, instead of Godbound?

Godbound is great for Exalted like play. But it still needs some significant work if you want it to model the specifics of the Exalted setting. As Creation is one of the big draws of Exalted for me, and not just the Exalted playstyle, Exalted Essence is an attractive option.

Also, a good chunk of Godbound is effectively systemless tools for Exalted like games, you can easily use it with Exalted Essence :smile:

From what I'm seeing, that's rose-tinted glasses, sorry to say:thumbsup:!

I don’t think that saying means what you think it means. Remembering 1e, 2e, and 3e art as being of varying quality with some awful pieces isn’t seeing it with rose tinted glasses :smile: To give a two word example: Tracy Yardley.
 
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Jetstream

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So my question, inevitably, is: why use this, instead of Godbound?

Especially considering that Godbound finally made good on the promise that nearly all RPG games centered on super-high-powered characters fail to deliver: it gave GMs *actually useful tools* to answer the two questions:

  1. What does my character do, apart from basking in his own awesomeness
  2. How does the world change in response to that

which are of the utmost importance, IMO, if you're playing with a group of characters which are essentially reskinned Superman clones. "Punching super monsters" and "not much, if at all" just doesn't cut it anymore.
Godbound's a great game. Love the hell out of it.

It's still D&D. D&D works in certain ways and has certain assumptions that don't really gel well with Exalted, really. You can do it, but really, you're better off playing Godbound as Godbound or insane-power-D&D, and letting Exalted be its own thing, y'know?
 
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AsenRG

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I don’t think that saying means what you think it means. Remembering 1e, 2e, and 3e art as being of varying quality with some awful pieces isn’t seeing it with rose tinted glasses :smile: To give a two word example: Tracy Yardley.
1e and 2e was "of varying quality with some great and some awful pieces". 3e, at least the first couple of books, is uniformly between fugly and average (and that's their best). Then I stopped looking, because the campaign folded:thumbsup:.
It's comparing 3e to 1e and 2e that I'm calling "rose-tinted glasses".

Essence is striking me as "3e style art", from what I'm seeing...:grin:

Mind you, whether I get or don't get EE is going to depend on the system and not the art. But the current art doesn't help one bit. At this point I'd prefer "The Classic Traveller Art Approach".


Sorry, the example doesn't ring a bell and the duckduckgo search on the name ends up showing the sonic hedgehog, mostly:shade:!
 

Chris Brady

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The art in a game is there to hook the player into wanting to play the game, the engine is there to keep them playing.
 

Skywalker

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1e and 2e was "of varying quality with some great and some awful pieces". 3e, at least the first couple of books, is uniformly between fugly and average (and that's their best). Then I stopped looking, because the campaign folded:thumbsup:.
It's comparing 3e to 1e and 2e that I'm calling "rose-tinted glasses".

It looks to me more like you are looking through rose tinted glasses at 1e and 2e. Though my overall preference is for 1e, it has plenty of clangers and the art style is all over the map as admitted in the Making of Exalted book.

Sorry, the example doesn't ring a bell and the duckduckgo search on the name ends up showing the sonic hedgehog, mostly:shade:!
thumbnail_IMG_3344.jpg thumbnail_IMG_3343.jpg

TBH 2e also has its share of low points, this example being my least favourite Exalted art of any edition.
thumbnail_IMG_3345.jpg

Likewise, 3e has some pieces that I consider to be excellent.
 
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