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Best Charms for a hard-core bureaucrat?

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  • Best Charms for a hard-core bureaucrat?

    One of the Exalted games I play is starting to kick into high-gears - PCs are becoming major players in Creation-wide politics, going as far as starting to be important in Yu-Shan politics. I'm currently playing a social / bureaucratic focused character, and I'm wondering - what would be some best Charms you would recommend for such a politically-minded character to prioritise getting? What are some of your favourite Charms from Presence, Investigation, Bureaucracy, Socialise, etc?

  • #2
    It might be worth looking into the Lore charms for establishing facts if you want to be the Red Tape Tyrant who plays the system with knowledge of all the obscure laws.


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    • #3
      Be absolutely sure you have Speed the Wheels and up to Woe Capturing Web. WCW and its prerequisites will keep your organization corruption and curse free, while StW is an early and powerful charm when your circle is higher essence. My group has a Dawn, Twilight, and an Eclipse caste who are all essence 4 and use StW constantly. It is pretty awesome when any large-scale project our empire works on is done in days or weeks.

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      • #4
        Essence 1
        Bureaucracy
        Speed the Wheels
        Bureau-Rectifying Method
        Enigmatic Bureau Understanding
        Consumer-Evaluating Glance

        Investigation
        Watchman's Infallable Eye
        Crafty Observation Method
        Judge's Ear Technique
        Inquisitor's Unfalling Notice
        Evidence-Discerning Method

        Larceny
        Seasoned Criminal Method

        Linguistics
        Whirling Brush Method
        Flawless Brush Discipline
        Letter-Within-A-Letter Technique
        Sagacious Reading of Intent
        Word Shield Invocation

        Lore
        Harmonious Academic Methodology
        Flowing Mind Prana

        Performance
        Thousand Courtesan Ways

        Socialize
        Mastery of Small Manners

        Essence 2
        Bureaucracy
        Indolent Official Charm
        Bureau-Reforming Kata
        Honor-Instilling Mantra

        Investigation
        Irresistible Questioning Technique

        Linguistics
        Stolen Voice Technique
        Moving the Unseen Hand
        Voice-Caging Calligraphy

        Lore
        Tireless Learner Method
        Soul-Light Spreading Discipline

        Socialize
        Wise-Eyed Courtier Method

        War
        Tiger Warrior Training Technique

        Essence 3
        Bureaucracy
        Woe-Capturing Web
        Omen-Spawning Beast
        Infinitely-Efficient Register
        Foul Air of Argument Technique (If you have a Bureaucracy Supernal, you can wait until your Essence is higher.)

        Investigation
        Evidence-Restoring Prana
        Ten Magistrate Eyes

        Linguistics
        Soul-Drawing Pattern
        Power-Snaring Image
        Flashing Quill Atemi
        Twisted Words Technique

        Lore
        Legendary Scholar’s Curriculum
        Selfsame Master Instructor

        Socialize
        Knowing the Soul's Price
        Knowing the Court

        Essence 4
        Bureaucracy
        Spectacle-Inciting Order

        Lore
        Power-Awarding Prana

        Essence 5
        Bureaucracy
        Order-Conferring Action (IF your campaign features these types of enemies)

        --------
        Out of those,
        Speed the Wheels, Indolent Official Charm and Honor-Instilling Mantra are the most important. They let you single-handedly reshape the political landscape, and Honor-Instilling Mantra lets you dole out Defining Intimacies to keep betrying your organization an Unacceptable Order.

        Consumer-Evaluating Glance lets you know if people plan to go back on treaties, trade deals, etc. Buying up the anti magic tree may be a good idea if your Organization is going to be going against Solars and the Bureaucracies of Heaven, because you can bet your keister that they have magic to shut you down. Infinitely Efficient Register and Spectacle Inciting Order are the pay-off, letting gifts pour in and projects just randomly be completed. Foul Air of Argument, at later Essence, let you catastrophically shut down other kingdoms and organizations.

        Order-Confering Action is really only worth it for the Bulwark, and only if that's a thing that features in your campaign.

        The addition of Investigation will let you know a lot more about what's going on in your organization, as well as any other organization whose paperwork you can get ahold of. Each bureaucratic action can be seen as a "scene." Let that sink in. You will know when your paperwork is doctored or altered. You can automatically detect lies. You can profile bureaucrats by the work. Etc etc.

        Larceny is just for Seasoned Criminal Method, which has a million and one uses for a bureaucrat. It lets you be part of the criminal in crowd and thus less likely to be messed with. It lets you define the types of crime that is likely to come your way to fish out certain people, etc. A lot of ingenious uses.

        Linguistics is the "courtly" social skill. Letter-Within-a-Letter is the low hanging fruit here, letting you social influence people via treaties and such. At Essence 2, Voice Caging Calligraphy is nuts in what it can accomplish. Write someone their name, and hey can never tell it to anyone. A lot of creative uses. A heavier investment will let you create manuscripts much faster (useful when creating laws), break language barriers (game dependent in terms of usefulness), and pretend to be other people. Power-Snaring Image is of special note because it lets you mass copy your own work after putting expensive magic on it, without paying for that magic again. Twisted Words Technique is a generally useful social charm.

        Lore opens up the possibility of teaching charms, which lets you train up an army of bureaucrats like the world has never seen. If you go this rout, seriously consider also going with Larceny for Fate Shifting Solar Arate. The only thing better than mass teaching your followers is doing so while also gaining tons of experience off of it. However, the real reason you take Lore, and why the minimum is Harmonious Academic Methodology is the minimum, is establishing facts. You can get that, leave the teaching charms, and be perfectly happy.

        Performance gives you Thousand Courtesan Ways which lets you pair every social action you make (which will be a lot of them) with an Instill action to love you. You want to be loved, right?

        War lets you fight with armies. Tiger Warrior Training lets you have the best armies. You want the best armies, right?

        Ultimately, you don't need all of this on one character.If you are The Bureaucrat, stick to Bureaucracy charms. Lets someone else take Investigation, Linguistics, teaching portion of Lore, Socialize, and War. Pick up Seasoned Criminal Method (optional), Harmonious Academic Methodology, Masterful Performance Technique, Thousand Courtesan Ways, your basic combat survival charms, and a bunch of Bureaucracy charms. Make sure you have an excellency in Presence, Integrity, and Socialize. Consider Sorcery, which is generally useful for everyone.

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