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My first Exalted experience

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  • My first Exalted experience

    We all remember that amazing sense of wonder and grandeur we felt when we first laid eyes on Exalted. This topic is meant as a place to share that experience.

    For me, it was in First Edition, after the Dragon-Blooded book had come out. I remember that because theirs was the first book I saw in the gameline. I'd already been playing V:tM for about a year so I was familiar with the quality products White Wolf put out, and I have always been a huge fantasy and anime buff, and lo! He comes this book that literally tells you those are some of its sources of inspiration. I was instantly compelled...

    I think I was spoiled in seeing DBs first. Here you come to learn of these ridiculously powerful Demigods (and for anyone coming from V:tM as their first tabletop experience, you know how vastly stronger starting DBs are than pretty much anything in the classic WoD) who go on grand adventures, slaying demons and these enigmatic Anathema characters, and have their own entire continent where you can play whole campaigns never needing a narrative or reason to leave the Blessed Isle! The whole book was full of enough information to spawn so many different types of Dragon-Blooded games, and yet you know from the get-go that there is a much grander world out there because it tells you so in the book!

    One of the things I fell in love with immediately was the inside map, followed by the amazing art pieces, which had plenty of fan favorites (shout out to my personal favorite Melissa Uran <3) and really allowed for a lot of mental immersion in this mythos they were creating with the Scarlet Empress and the Princes of the Earth. Overall, I would say I personally treasure that book over all others in my early gaming days because I made a real connection with the kinds of stories I wanted for my first Exalted character and felt inspired by reading it.

    With all that said, I am very eagerly looking forward to the 3rd Edition DB book, both as the potential opus of line so far, but also because of the weird mix of nostalgia and newfound wonder I hope to find inside its pages. And also that inside cover map!

  • #2
    DBs was a great book (I first read the 2E one). It was the book where I first learned about the Roseblack and she's been my secret DB crush ever since.

    Freelance writer for Exalted Third Edition.


    • #3
      2nd ed Core for me. I had a friend who kept telling me how great Exalted was, so when 2nd ed Core came out i took the plunge. 12 years later i'm still here. I've grown to hate the mechanics no matter the edition but the setting , oh gods the Setting...

      Hands down my favourite rpg setting ever. And third ed did the impossible and made me love it even more.

      And the fandom, some of the craziest, smartest, most creative people i have ever encountered. I remember ransacking the wikis and the threads, absorbing all the glorious and amazing homebrew people came up with.

      Kudos to all of you, line writers and fans who have kept the flame burning, even in the darkest years.


      • #4
        My first experience was with my girlfriend at university, she was more experienced than me and it was a little daunting at first so we took it easy but pretty soon it was exciting and soon enough we were doing it every chance we got.

        Assorted homebrew goes here.
        Please help the Ex3 wiki grow. Even if it's just posting existing homebrew there so there's less chance of losing it.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Lioness View Post
          My first experience was with my girlfriend at university, she was more experienced than me and it was a little daunting at first so we took it easy but pretty soon it was exciting and soon enough we were doing it every chance we got.
          Well, that's a hard act to follow, but I'll give it a go.

          In late summer 2014, one of my best friends was writing up a one-shot RPG for a bunch of us to play when certain distant friends came to town: a game about a demonologist who, in an effort to transcend his humanity and become more like the demon princes, created a bunch of demons from his own soul to serve him. He lost control of the process, though, and was consumed, so the resulting demons needed to sort our their identities and jockey for position amongst themselves, having all been made from the same person but partaking of very different parts of his nature.

          You may recognize this as "making a one-shot RPG out of the Charm Path of a Thousand Whispers from The Broken-Winged Crane," and indeed he explained that to me when I asked him questions about the metaphysics. I thought his high-level overview of Exalted was neat, so I borrowed Games of Divinity, read the Demons chapter, and then I was off chewing through the books.

          That autumn, after the game, a bunch of us who had become curious about Exalted ended up playing in a nearly-diceless campaign set at the Heptagram, where four of us were DBs and one was a Chosen of Secrets wearing a Scholar Resplendent Destiny to pose as one. We summoned demon familiars, got up to relatively wacky hijinks, and generally had a rollicking good time. After that game wrapped up, my life was Exaltedless apart from "reading the books" until recently, when a Mage: the Awakening game that died before it was born caused an Ex3 game to spring from its ashes! We had our first session last weekend; it was great, but honestly I'm more excited than I should be about being able to say "I've played Exalted" without caveats.

          Glorious Solar Kitten


          • #6
            My first experience was when 2nd Edition first came out. My ST suggested we skip using Creation and instead play on an alternative fictional World War 2 campaign.

            My character was the Dawn Caste, Imi Lichtenfeld.


            • #7
              Way back in High School my friends and primary gaming group told me about this crazy awesome new game from White Wolf. Only books out were core, ST's Guide, Scavenger Sons, and Book of Three Circles. It was such an insane change of pace from WoD that we were pretty much immediately hooked. Sure, went way hard on the gonzo Exalted back in those days, but goddammit, after years of Vampire, it was so damned refreshing!

              I can't remember which character I made first, a rough adaptation of Strider Hein from Strider or Siegfried from Soul Edge/Calibur

              Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Wraith, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Pioneer Pooch, Scion with Shield of Knowledge


              • #8
                A buddy of mine had picked up first edition. We'd played a bunch of Mage before and had a lot of fun with it.

                At first we focused way too much on the flawed part of the flawed hero idea. By happenstance that was the first part we started crunching through the rules. I suppose we figured that everything else would be basically the same.... just instead of rage or paradox you had this thing called Limit.

                I decided to make the most of it and came up with a cruel bastard of a sorcerer. We'd gotten it in our heads that it was thematic to be somewhere on the villain side.

                Well that didn't work too well. We did eventually figure out a lot more about how the system and setting were meant to work!

                Check out Momentum Exalted!


                • #9
                  Oh man I don't remember. The first 4 or so different games I ran were so wildly different from each other I count all of them as first experiences.


                  • #10
                    It was fucking nightmarish. The Dawn randomly decided that the unwashed hobo in the middle of the road looks gross and therefore must be a secret agent of the Deathlords, and tried to execute him. The other Dawn tried to convince him not to; in response, the first Dawn initiated combat because this was 2E so of course he did. Then we spent like two or three hours resolving a single turn.

                    Few things in life make me as happy as the existence of 3E does.

                    Evocations for the demonic tattoos gained from the Pact with Mara sorcerous initiation || Pyre-Kindler (Soulsteel and Red Jade Grimscythe, Artifact 3) || Tenebrous Descent (Stormcaller's Black Jade Reaver Daiklave cousin, Artifact 5)
                    Advice for running the corebook shikari antagonists


                    • #11
                      I was introduced to Exalted with the 2e Core. Shortly after I found Wonders of the Lost Age in a Half Price Books. I have a strong Final Fantasy background - so it was spiritual machines and magitek galore from my Twilight in my first game!

                      ... which was my only in-person game as a player. After that, I dove in head first. Since then, it's been storytelling for me!

                      The Lunar Castebooks fan project - Complete! (Changing, Full, No, and Casteless)


                      • #12
                        Hokay. So I'm pretty open that I've been following Exalted from the first "BEFORE THERE WAS A WORLD OF DARKNESS" ads.

                        So I got the Limited Edition 1e book, the day it came out. So being a part of my University's gaming club, I decided to run a one-shot immediately

                        Oh dear.

                        Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

                        It was a shitshow.

                        The people who I was playing with were all fairly familiar with White Wolf games in general, so the core system didn't need a whole lot of explaining. But I was the only one who had a copy of the book. And everyone needed to pick out charms. And there were these two proud minmaxers who would look through the powers of any system first, then build the character backwards to get what they felt were the most powerful ones so they could "cheeeeeeese [their] characters" (Their extra e's, not mine.).

                        So it was about three weeks of sessions spent in character generation for this thing, and then came the moment we were all waiting for. Well, the moment I was waiting for.

                        I'll be honest, it would be years before I really started to get Exalted, so this was kind of embarrassing in retrospect. I had the bare bones of a plot and a custom deathlord (we only had The Mask of Winters given anything resembling detail in the 1e core, with the Lover and the Prince given offhand mentions), but I completely didn't get how Hearthstones worked (somehow I'd gotten it into my head that you had to attune to them like an artifact) and tried to run something not unlike a dungeon crawl. The only thing that I'm not completely embarrassed about to this day about it is that the two munchkins chose Seven Shadows Evasion, and worked backwards from that; they turned into so much swiss cheese ten minutes in when confronted with an undodgeable attack (7SE explicitly failed against those).

                        I love this game, but I certainly did not do right by it the first time around.