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  • TFW...

    ...you're starting your first ever Exalted game as the ST, and you feel massively terrified you're going to mess it up. LOL! We start building our Circle tonight, and already my players (3 of them) have pretty solid concepts. But man, am I scared of running an Exalted game for the first time myself. Wish me luck!


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  • #2
    Best of luck! My recommendation is to sit down and have a really good chat with the players about what they want/ expect from the game and how you see things working. Don't be afraid to show that your nervous, just try and have fun!

    If you have specific issues and questions, feel free to ask them. Far wiser heads than I linger in this forum and might be able to help.

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    • #3
      Good luck! I was nervous as hell starting my first Exalted campaign. I'd never ST's (or DM'd or GM'd or Guided or Narrated) before, at all, and all my players were more experienced roleplayers than me. It was a 'take a deep breath, dive into the deep end and learn to swim' situation. Still going strong 3 years later. Glad I took the plunge. I'm sure you'll do fine. Exalted is immensely rewarding to run if you have a good group of players.


      "Measure of Hope is right about everything." - Wise Old Guru

      Currently running an Exalted 2.5 Abyssals game in a homebrew modern shard because I value neither my time or my sanity, and I'm loving almost every minute of it.

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      • #4
        Thank you all for the kind words of encouragement! I've mainly DM'd Pathfinder and Hunter: the Vigil for the past 15+ years, but never have I attempted to run a complete homebrew campaign before.


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        • #5
          Speaking as another person who ran mostly Pathfinder for years and then ran an Exalted 3E game, I'm sure you will have a blast. As will your players once they realize how much more power/agency they have in Exalted (assuming Solars) than in the common levels of Pathfinder.

          Have fun!

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          • #6
            One of us! One of us!

            I understand the idea of freting before you launch yourself in an Exalted Campaign, but I'm sure it's gonna be a blast for you and your players! Don't hesitate to pick our brains if you need to!


            If you like Ex3, you can support Holden on Patreon!
            Chains of Silver and Blood, my current Ex3 campaign.
            I do maps for your games!
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            • #7
              It's gonna be okay!
              Roll and run with things.
              Embrace the chaos.

              One of ussssss


              Part-time table flipper.

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              • #8
                I'm assuming TFW stands for The Forest Witches.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ChairKicker View Post
                  It's gonna be okay!
                  Roll and run with things.
                  Embrace the chaos.

                  One of ussssss
                  This is actually pretty legit advice, IMO. Roll with it, if a player makes a suggestion that sounds good steal it, and to quote the GM in Darths and Droids, "You guys have been great for my improv. I don't plan more than ten minutes in advance"

                  I personally have had a lot of lug with dropping minor hints to players for future plots, and if need be, moving the rails.

                  Example: You want to have the players run into what you hope is a recurring antagonist at Place A, but they sidestep the location, have the antagonist appear at Location G.

                  And if your players are newish to Exalted, especially fighting, I recommend starting them small. Mortal bandits and drunks in a bar. Enemies that your players don't need to use Charms to beat, to ease them into the combat system and Stunting


                  Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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                  • #10
                    All good words! Thank you everyone. We made characters last night, and they all had a blast.

                    We have 2 Dawn castes and one Twilight. One Dawn is playing basically an avenging angel. He cannot stand to let injustice go unchecked. The other is a warrior priest bent on finding out the truth of the Immaculate Philosophy. He has Cult at 2 dots since he wants to start his own religion to counter it. And the other is a sorcerer playing off the Scarred By Nightmares Shaping. He skirted the edges of the Wyld and saw The Leviathan. It told him he did terrible things, and it took his memories of his past Incarnations away. So, now he is working to atone for those sins.

                    Not entirely sure what path i want to start them on. One player mentioned wanting to fight DB's. Obvz that comes later. And since the other wants to undo the IP, I feel like we're going to be playing a fairly political?DB-heavy game, which sounds awesome to me.

                    DO you all have any suggestions for long-running arcs in terms of what I mentioned above?


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                    • #11
                      Glad the first session went well. Make sure to learn the rules they will use more and ignore sections they don't want. If no one learned Sail, don't study naval maneuvers.
                      It sounds like a focus on social influence and sorcery, combined with lots of spirit/gods interaction.
                      Use the I.P. to be the status quo of belief in most areas, show the downtrodden gods and ghosts, the corrupt gods bribing monks for extra days on the calendar.
                      For long term plot, tease out certain gods defeated to mention 'the old system' in passing when Solars ran it. Keep it vague, drop in ghosts or abyssals who talk about the old laws of Yozis to confuse who was in charge.
                      Use a sidereal or two as mysterious antagonists tjat seem to block their efforts or wreck their moves while away. At the end of things re-tie their goals to each other, the avenging angel learns about the terrible things the sorceror did. Is the warrior priest going to coverup bad actions made by key god-allies when power goes to ther heads, or tear apart their new religion to keep things uncorrupted.
                      Add little scenes or adventures that show the bad guys in a good light and good allies in bad ones, just as one-offs to remind them that its more than an easy video game type plot.
                      I've thought about this stuff a lot since i want to get my own game together. Share the adventures when you can!

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                      • #12
                        All of this is literal gold. I am definitely only focusing on the things they are interested in. I've gotten used to that running Chronicles of Darkness and Pathfinder as much as I have.

                        I had a question about Spirits: what exactly does it mean by Spirits? Does this include gods? It's a little unclear to me.

                        Originally posted by Cryo-Seraph View Post
                        Use a sidereal or two as mysterious antagonists that seem to block their efforts or wreck their moves while away.
                        Could you elaborate on what you mean by this? Sounds really cool.

                        What do you mean by tease out certain gods? Like, reference ones which don't exist anymore?

                        Originally posted by Cryo-Seraph View Post
                        ...the avenging angel learns about the terrible things the sorcerer did. Is the warrior priest going to coverup bad actions made by key god-allies when power goes to their heads, or tear apart their new religion to keep things uncorrupted.
                        This is the best part of what you wrote. Such a great idea!


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                        • #13
                          I can see several threads worth pulling, here. Let's see...

                          It shouldn't be at all difficult to keep your avenger occupied since injustice is rife in the Age of Sorrows. I realise they've already done chargen and chose the Dawn caste, but did this player consider the Zenith anima power that lets to burn a corpse, take on the strongest Intimacies of the deceased, and pass them on later to their loved ones as a feeling of peace, or to their enemies to return the pain they caused back to them? It just seems very in-theme for an avenging angel.

                          Hmm, from what we've heard so far about the Immaculate Philosophy, when you are 'enlightened' enough as a monk, they let you read the secret texts that admit that Solars and Lunars actually are the Chosen of the Sun and Moon, rather than demons, but that they're doomed to eventual madness and you have to kill them before they get too powerful, no matter how nice they seem right now, otherwise you get the excesses of the First Age all over again. This seems like the kind of thing your truth-seeking Dawn would eventually discover, and would play into the other two character's goals as well, but in different ways. The avenger gets proof that they knew all along they were killing the champions of the Celestial gods. The sorcerer gets confirmation that their prior self and probably many other First Age Solars were crazed despots. What they do from there is up to them but should definitely provide story fuel.

                          Which Leviathan did your Twilight encounter? The Lunar elder of the same name, or something else? Whatever it is, that being's agenda could provide complications that interfere with their objectives. It must have appeared to him for a reason. Maybe at some point they need to seek it out to get those memories back to solve an enigma? Why did it take them, and what would it demand for releasing them?

                          What are the Twilight's past sins? Maybe a curse he put on an area is still in effect. Maybe someone personally affected by his cruelty is still around (a god, a Sidereal, his Lunar mate). Maybe a terrible artifact he created has found its way into the hands of someone with ill intentions and he has to stop them unleashing its full potential.

                          What kind of religion is your warrior-priest building? He's getting Cult dots out of it, so I assume Solar-worship is at least part of it? What are its teachings? Find a few ways to challenge those teachings - does he preach that Solars are righteous champions of justice? Have an asshole Solar mess with his congregation and see how he recovers from that. Maybe while you're exploring what the Twilight did in his past life, you could confront your warrior-priest with the madness of his past self and shake his faith a bit (assuming he has skeletons in his closet, some First Age Solars were in fact nice).

                          It's late here and that's all I've got for now. Hope it helps spark ideas.



                          "Measure of Hope is right about everything." - Wise Old Guru

                          Currently running an Exalted 2.5 Abyssals game in a homebrew modern shard because I value neither my time or my sanity, and I'm loving almost every minute of it.

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                          • #14
                            Ideas for character foil antagonist NPCs:

                            1. An Avenging Angel Abyssal Day Caste, who goes around punishing injustices against the dead, Avenging murders, etc...in a brutal and indiscriminate sort of fashion, or maybe a poetic Justice serial killer type. Goes after actual villains, but also their friends/families/businesses/cities. Make the PC ask himself about justice vs vengeance and how much justice is too much.

                            2. Immaculate monks who are fighting to protect some locals from oppressors-maybe some monks are protecting a village from Guild-backed slaving raiders who are kidnapping people to sell to the Fair Folks, or nightly attacks by a hungry ghost or a demon cult. Maybe these monks recognize the PCs as badasses and ask for help before they know the PCs are Anathema. If you can get a dragonblooded monk to sacrifice himself or herself to save an innocent or a PC they still think is just a mortal hero, do it! Make your warrior priest consider the humanity and heroism of his enemies, and regret that his Anathema status keeps them from being friends!

                            3. Have them meet some Guild slavers who have been dealing in dream-eaten slaves. Maybe have 'em meet some folks who have been partially dream-eaten, and lost their memories of friends or loved ones. Play up how horrible this is, and include at least one partially dream eaten guy who was sold into slavery as punishment for commiting crimes he doesn't remember and is now deeply and childishly worried that he'll make the same mistakes again because he doesn't know what he did wrong. Also include one former sorcerer who's mentally broken and begs for help because the Raksha stole his secrets, and he doesn't know what they were but he knows they were really dangerous! Make the PC start to question his patron. Was it really about his past incarnation's crimes..? Or has the Leviathan been waiting for an Age for the new bearer of some dread sorcerous secret of the First Age?


                            So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

                            The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
                            -Roger Zelazny

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lukkychukky View Post
                              I had a question about Spirits: what exactly does it mean by Spirits?
                              Beings of Essence. This includes, but is not limited to, ghosts, gods, demons, and elementals. Fair Folk are not spirits, but certain effects that affect spirits can often be made to affect them as well, so some folks tend to lump 'em in as well.

                              Originally posted by Lukkychukky View Post
                              Does this include gods?
                              Yes, the gods of Creation are spirits. Regular dudes who get worshipped as gods don't become spirits through the transitive property, though.

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