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  • Wow! locations to rope in new players

    I'm looking to run my first game of Exalted with my regular gaming group. I love the setting but my players haven't even read the books yet. I want to hook my players as soon as possible into the setting and I'm looking for some awesome locations that will feel very different to the usual dungeons and dragons style medieval fantasy worlds.

    In part I'm already playing up the eastern feel. All taverns have been replaced with tea-rooms. Rival martial arts schools battle it out in the streets. Mysterious gods guard ancient manses. Etc etc. And the central plot of my game is going to be the recovery, restoration and exploitation of a first age flying, teleporting city. Yes, I'm quite happy for them to break the setting. Indeed, I feel that's explicitly the point of being exalted, you get the change the world.

    But on their journeys I need some great locations to wow them with. The 3rd ed rulebook had a great piece of artwork that showed a city nestled in the hands of three vast statues. It just looked so cool and so different. So I'm after stuff like that. Are there any good examples in the setting (of which I've only really cracked the surface)?

    My players will be visiting locations in each of the cardinal directions, so anywhere is fine.

  • #2
    You could try the Tomb of Dreams. It's a neat little scenario to get a feel for things.

    Other than that, I usually do some google image search and write some key terms to get inspiration: "fantasy art jungle ruin," "pulp fantasy art village," stuff like that. You can get some cool inspiration that way.

    As for stuff in the actual setting, there's not much more at the moment than what's written in the corebook, unless you want to check material from previous editions. If you decide to do that, I recommend Scavenger Sons from 1E.


    Freelance writer for Exalted Third Edition.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by gribblethemunchkin View Post
      I'm looking to run my first game of Exalted with my regular gaming group. I love the setting but my players haven't even read the books yet. I want to hook my players as soon as possible into the setting and I'm looking for some awesome locations that will feel very different to the usual dungeons and dragons style medieval fantasy worlds.

      In part I'm already playing up the eastern feel. All taverns have been replaced with tea-rooms. Rival martial arts schools battle it out in the streets. Mysterious gods guard ancient manses. Etc etc. And the central plot of my game is going to be the recovery, restoration and exploitation of a first age flying, teleporting city. Yes, I'm quite happy for them to break the setting. Indeed, I feel that's explicitly the point of being exalted, you get the change the world.

      But on their journeys I need some great locations to wow them with. The 3rd ed rulebook had a great piece of artwork that showed a city nestled in the hands of three vast statues. It just looked so cool and so different. So I'm after stuff like that. Are there any good examples in the setting (of which I've only really cracked the surface)?

      My players will be visiting locations in each of the cardinal directions, so anywhere is fine.
      Well along with Palanquin theres a lot of other interesting stuff in the Dreaming Sea, a city built underneath the sea. An eternally dark and shadowed port, an empire of sorcerers, the walled and segregated city of Indian themed DBs. Lots of goog stuff.

      As of now, a book is currently in development called Across the Eight Directions which will cover a lot of setting and provide a ton of material. Sadly it's still deep in development, so you probably cant wait for that. I also recommend Scavenger Sons, much of the good setting stuff in Creation stems from that. Though note since its 1e, it's missing a lot of the new locations that was previewed in the Exalted 3e. Overall though Creation is a big place pick anywhere and there is some interesting twist to it


      .

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      • #4
        Chiaroscuro is a city built on the ruins of an ancient metropolis full of towers made from nigh imperishable glass ...many of which were cracked, knocked over, or destroyed during the fighting that formed the Realm. The city is criss crossed with wards made of salt to keep the shadowlands full of hungry dead at bay. (Think post apocalyptic New York that has been taken over by the Arabian Nights)

        The Lap is a Realm Satrapy built mainly in the lap of the Last Supplicant, a mountain that was carved into the form of a vast buddha seated lotus style. It provides lots of food to the surrounding region.

        Wu-Jian is an island that’s just one huge city, a shanty town built upon shantytowns. Look at the 3e intro fiction for some pictures of it.

        Lathe is a city literally built by tunneling out the corpse of an ancient petrified god-demon.

        Thorns was conquered by the Mask of Winters, a powerful lich and his army of the dead, including a mostly dead behemoth that he uses as a giant troop transport.

        The Denzik are sailing merchants who built an entire flotilla of junks lashed together into a massive city ship that sails around Creation on a yearly basis.

        The sorcerer Bagrash Kol used a powerful artifact to rule a full quarter of the North from his flying fortress-city....until the artifact turned on him and his city crashed. This was long ago, but the ruins remain.
        Last edited by BrilliantRain; 11-22-2018, 02:26 AM.


        ....

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        • #5
          Also, take a look at the Exalted Art Packs on the Storytellers Vault. All 6 are free and the art might give you some fun ideas. The first one is here: https://www.storytellersvault.com/pr..._45735_0_0_0_0


          ....

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          • #6
            Not a specific location, but something I've been working on.

            Emphasize and reiterate the environmental conditions as you set the Scene, and don't hesitate to linger on it with the descriptions. We're (finally!) starting our new Chronicle, and it's featuring a lot of stormy weather as a theme. So, rain, thunderstorms, poor visibility, cold water that gets under your collar and down your back.

            Your tea houses could always be bursting with the scent of tea, even if the rest of the street smells like the sweat of beasts and laborers.


            Check out Momentum Exalted!

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            • #7
              I'm a huge fan of An Teng. When I have set games there, I have often watched Ong Bak 2 with the players ahead of time to give them a feel for the aesthetic, and I have gone for an ancient Thai/Vietnamese/Louisiana mix for spirits and superstitions.

              One of the reasons I love it so much is that tropical climates are very non-european DnD. Bamboo forests and strict family etiquette and mist-shrouded mountains and jungles hiding ancient ruins and isolated villages. Occupying Realm soldiers causing trouble on shore leave. Shadowy criminal underworlds full of heartless Lintha pirates. Secretive conspiracies between noble houses, and schemes by the dethroned royal family to somehow regain their ancient glory. First Age Tombs covered in a thousand years of vines. Duels on rotting rope bridges high over dazzling waterfalls! Fish steamed in wrapped leaves! Leopards hunting naughty children who go out alone after dark. Hidden tribes of snake people! Tigers! Elephants! Shadowlands! Wandering exorcist-priests! Savage demon monkeys! Desperate people praying to the Pale Mistress for vengeance! Cities of canals and rice paddies and radical students planning protests of the Satrap's tribute demands! Tattoos everywhere!

              ...yeah, I love An Teng.


              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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              • #8
                Chiaroscuro is a city built on the ruins of an ancient metropolis full of towers made from nigh imperishable glass ...many of which were cracked, knocked over, or destroyed during the fighting that formed the Realm. The city is criss crossed with wards made of salt to keep the shadowlands full of hungry dead at bay. (Think post apocalyptic New York that has been taken over by the Arabian Nights)

                The Lap is a Realm Satrapy built mainly in the lap of the Last Supplicant, a mountain that was carved into the form of a vast buddha seated lotus style. It provides lots of food to the surrounding region.

                Wu-Jian is an island that’s just one huge city, a shanty town built upon shantytowns. Look at the 3e intro fiction for some pictures of it.

                Lathe is a city literally built by tunneling out the corpse of an ancient petrified god-demon.

                Thorns was conquered by the Mask of Winters, a powerful lich and his army of the dead, including a mostly dead behemoth that he uses as a giant troop transport.

                The Denzik are sailing merchants who built an entire flotilla of junks lashed together into a massive city ship that sails around Creation on a yearly basis.

                The sorcerer Bagrash Kol used a powerful artifact to rule a full quarter of the North from his flying fortress-city....until the artifact turned on him and his city crashed. This was long ago, but the ruins remain.
                Chiaroscuro is already in my story, including some Wuzia style rooftop chases and a hidden library guarded by a shadowy group of monks.

                Lap sounds awesome, its going in the game.

                Wu-jian I know from the intro as you say, not sure I want to use it though.

                Lathe is interesting, is that part of Autochthon? I'm not sure if I wan to bring that into the game until my PCs are more comfortable in the setting and have already got a good understanding about the godswar from in game sources.

                Thorns is going to be a big part of the game once they get their city flying. Mask of Winters is the "second season" big bad. One of their long quests will be to steal several of his Monstrous of Celestial Portions that still contain the exaltations of the abyssal exalted who were the previous big bad guys. With the aim of redeeming their exaltations for the Unconquered Son. I'm particularly interested in any information about Juggernaut as they are going to have to raid it/him at some point to infiltrate MoW castle.

                The Denzik boat city is new to me and I like it. My campaign will require a great deal of ocean travel so I can easily work that it.

                The flying city of Bagrash Kol could be a good location given that the PCs will also be trying to raise a flying city. A good example of where hubris can lead maybe.

                Wise Old Guru - That's exactly what I'm hoping to do, make it feel really different and like a unique setting for them.

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                • #9
                  Hell has everything you need... Everything...


                  It is a time for great deeds!

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                  • #10
                    Honestly? I find the best thing for myself is pictures.

                    Show your players the art from the book. See if there's anything that makes them go "wow, that looks really cool!"


                    "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                    • #11
                      Lathe isnt part of Autochthon, its detailed in the Vore and is in Creation. Its basically the corpse of one of the dead Primordials whose ghosts become the Neverborn I think.


                      .

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                      • #12
                        Another possibility - you could figure out some cool stunts & gambits you'd like to see your NPCs do, and set up the scene with that in mind.

                        A high bridge over a mountain gorge could be a setup for trip & throw gambits. Anybody thrown off, or who can't make a suitable Athletics roll when the bridge is rocked, goes plummeting out of the scene.

                        A harbor that's tightly packed with docked ships could be the scene of a battle along the tops of the masts and booms. A bit like the bridge battle, but with more chances to re-enter the fight if you fall. Unless there are sharks or siaka. You'll have sharks or siaka, right?

                        You could have some underwater ruins or a sea cave to explore and battle in. Breath-holding under exertion is a matter of rounds rather than minutes, so the Circle would have to rotate combatants - somebody always swimming up to the nearest air pocket for a breath and back down. The NPCs will be trying to grab an ankle before they can swim away and hold them until they drown.

                        You could have some sort of mobile scenery, like ships or barges that drift apart and back together, or giant gears that mesh and separate. The idea being that every X number of turns, the NPCs can summon reinforcements from the other side, or can grab members of the Circle and drag them over in order to bind them down and murder them. To win, the Circle has to secure their own side and then rally some allies to invade the other side.


                        Exalted can mess with those scenes quite a lot, so be ready. Athletics or Sail charms can keep them safe on the high places, and the moving ships or gears could be cleared with some obsidian butterflies, for instance. But that's just how Exalted works!


                        Check out Momentum Exalted!

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