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  • Tracking player essence

    Now that I’ve run a few games of exalted 3e I’m really enjoying it. However one thing that I am not quite sure of how to do effectively is keep an awareness of how the players are spending their essence and how quickly they are running dry.

    Has anyone found some method to be able to have an idea of where your players are at Essence wise during play?

    Right now it is alll happening out of my line of sight and while I trust my players, I’m also a big fan of the phrase “trust but verify“.

  • #2
    I don't know about specific tools but a method that's helped me is that I've started to number individual rounds because by far the most common bookkeeping mistake I've seen is forgetting the 5m/round recovery.


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    • #3
      My ST had us use different coloured beads for both types of Essence. It's not ideal (you wouldn't have an exact count), but it would provide a more obvious visual, and you'd always know when people are discarding/refilling.



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      • #4
        We use playing cards to keep track of essence. A misspent youth of playing CCG's has left me with several stacks of unused cardboard. So we use one type of card for personal and another for peripheral.

        This means the players can physically see how much essence they have left (especially personal when attempting something sneaky) and I see them discarding cards whenever they play charms. It's also easy to tell when a player is running dry by the size of their stack.

        I don't use this system for NPC's because it's too much bother. I run games with a laptop so if I want to track NPC essence it's normally with a combat tracker or roll20.

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        • #5
          You can use a d100 and a d10 like these. Use two pairs of different colours for Peripheral and Personal motes and be careful not to mix them up with your rolling dice.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Fizzlemeyer View Post
            Now that I’ve run a few games of exalted 3e I’m really enjoying it. However one thing that I am not quite sure of how to do effectively is keep an awareness of how the players are spending their essence and how quickly they are running dry.

            Has anyone found some method to be able to have an idea of where your players are at Essence wise during play?

            Right now it is alll happening out of my line of sight and while I trust my players, I’m also a big fan of the phrase “trust but verify“.
            Hi!

            I created an Excel Sheet to track essence in my game, one player (or the GM) fill the sheet with information (Initiative, Essence and others). In the future, I will improve the automatic improvements, like a button to make the end of round effects (+5m and clean the "X" in "Turn Comp").
            Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rn6...ew?usp=sharing

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            • #7
              Jars of beads is probably a good way of replicating the in-character feeling of knowing roughly how much you have left in each pool but not being able to count motes.

              'Course, if you really need to you can count them. So as a player you're not losing anything.

              The only issue is figuring out when peripheral is full so you can start filling personal...
              Last edited by Elfive; 10-30-2018, 07:42 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by nightshrike View Post
                We use playing cards to keep track of essence. A misspent youth of playing CCG's has left me with several stacks of unused cardboard. So we use one type of card for personal and another for peripheral.

                This means the players can physically see how much essence they have left (especially personal when attempting something sneaky) and I see them discarding cards whenever they play charms. It's also easy to tell when a player is running dry by the size of their stack.

                Plain ol' playing cards, one pack per player.

                Face cards (Aces included) are tens, numbered cards are ones, regardless of the actual number on them. Personal's black and Peripheral's red. You can easily represent 61 Peripheral and 25 Personal with cards left over, and those are Essence 5 pools.

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                • #9
                  Can never have too many plugs for https://www.lotcastingatemi.com/

                  Although, I know some people don't like having laptops at the gaming table.


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                  • #10
                    One of our players made up trays for all of us, divided into 4 sections. 3 of them had various colour beads, clear for willpower, blue for personal essence, green for peripheral essence, and a spent box to discard them all into. Blue/green wasn't the best choice but that was all he had access to at the time. Anyway, it makes it easy for all of us to spend essence properly and keep track, as well as the ST.

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                    • #11
                      I made this sheet for the player of my 2.5ish game to place different colored beads for personal essence, peripheral essence, current peripheral essence toward anima, and damage; and poker markers for Willpower and Virtues.

                      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1usz...ew?usp=sharing

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                      • #12
                        I trust my players aren't cheating, and will make smart decisions if they are running low. If I really need to know I ask.

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                        • #13
                          We'll be using some play sheets to speed Essence calculation, with reserved spaces to count out Essence and dice in between turns.

                          I'm encouraging the use of beads or coins. If you use pennies for singles and nickels for 5's , you can create ready-to-go combos that cost some number of nickels (or nickels and pennies if you're maxing it out) and you recover one nickel per turn.





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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hark View Post
                            I trust my players aren't cheating, and will make smart decisions if they are running low. If I really need to know I ask.
                            I don't even trust myself not to cheat. Not intentionally of course, but when you're building a 5 charm combo and some of those charms have variable cost from different pools and willpower it helps me to make it almost literal bean counting.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                              I don't know about specific tools but a method that's helped me is that I've started to number individual rounds because by far the most common bookkeeping mistake I've seen is forgetting the 5m/round recovery.
                              I have a friend who was the ONLY guy in his gaming group, including the GM, who remembered this after reading the rules.

                              About ten sessions in one of his fellow players went "shit, you guys, I am fucking DRY, the next time this asshole swings at me I'm probably going to explode" and he said to them "no problem, I'll pin him down for a couple rounds, you can recharge."

                              "Recharge?"

                              "... you get back five motes a round."

                              "... bullshit."

                              He had to crack the rulebook. Everyone was amazed, because they'd utterly forgotten about or missed that somehow. The GM was like "Jesus, I'm going to have to re-design all my encounters."


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