Background: Stipend

I’ve always felt it strange that Dragon Blooded use the traditional Resources background, so I created this to take its place among Dynasts.

Dragon Blooded characters have access to the background Stipend. This background is representative of the increased resources available to a Dragon Blooded member of the Scarlet Dynasty or one of Lookshy’s Gens. It provides an effective Resources rating, as described below, but is replenished on a monthly basis; as such a character with a single dot of Stipend could make a Resources 3 purchase, which would reduce their effective Resources to 2, until their next stipend arrives, generally at the start of the next month. This is rated as follows:

x – Your character receives no stipend from his House or Gens; why is this? Have you offended an elder of your family, or disgraced yourself in some manner? Or perhaps you are an outcaste without powerful family.

o – Your family gives you the smallest stipend possible, the bare minimum for a Dynast to survive. This gives you an effective Resources of 3.

oo – Your family considers your a worthy member of its House, but you are yet to do anything of particular moment. You receive a decent stipend, giving your an effective Resources of 4.

ooo – Your family is proud to count you among its ranks, and has increased your stipend respectively. You likely have a reputation, either for some valued craft, or an important deed. Your effective Resources is 5.

oooo – You are an important and powerful member of your House. Likely the head of a minor household or an important member of one of the greater. Consider what worth you bring to your family for them to have elevated you to such a position. Who covets your place, and what do you owe other family members? Regardless, your wealth is almost beyond avarice, granting you an effective Resources of 5, but also allowing you to make a number of Resources 5 purchases a month equal to your permanent Essence rating or Breeding, whichever is higher, as the greatest wealth is afforded to the most powerful of Exalts.

ooooo – You are likely the head of a great household within a dynastic House, likely one of the contenders for leadership of the House, if such a calling interests you. You cannot maintain this level of stipend without having some calling of great importance to your House, and constantly being at the beck and call of conniving and whining relatives. Nevertheless, this level of importance comes with almost unlimited access to the House’s coffers, granting your effective Resources 5, but also allowing you to make a number of Resources 5 purchases equal to your Breeding + permanent Essence rating.

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General Exalted House Rules

The general rules I use for my Exalted games, in a quest to fix all the little problems I tend to find in the system whenever I play or run it.

The following also includes the 2.5 Errata changes, as adapted for use in my games

Character Creation

  • Players may raise any of their character’s abilities to five without spending bonus points.
  • Players receive four dots of specialities to distribute amongst their abilities.
  • All characters receive an additional 3 background points.
  • Virtues may be purchased for 1 bonus point each, with Virtues no longer adding to Willpower.
  • Willpower may be purchased for 1 point per dot.
  • Characters may start with Willpower + Compassion Intimacies without spending bonus points.
  • When selecting Charms, players may start with any charms they meet the prerequisites for; they are not required to select a certain amount of caste/favoured charms.
  • All characters gain an additional -4 Health Level per dot of permanent Essence they possess.
  • Charms for all Exalts now cost 4 bonus points, or 3 if they’re from a Caste/Aspect/Favoured ability.
  • Raising Essence at character creation now costs 7 bonus points regardless of Exalt type.
  • All characters receive 18 bonus points at character creation.

Charms, Spells and Martial Arts at Character Creation

  • Dragon Blooded count their default charm purchases as “terrestrial” purchases, and as such they may buy their own charms, Terrestrial Circle Sorcery and Terrestrial Martial Arts on a 1 for 1 basis. If they wish to buy Celestial Martial Arts at character creation, usually by being an Immaculate Monk, they must either buy these at a rate of 2 charms per 3 charm slots used, or pay an additional bonus point per charm they wish to learn. All typical requirements to purchase Celestial Martial Arts still apply.
  • Solar, Abyssal, Infernal, Sidereal and Lunar Exalted count their default charm purchases as “celestial” purchases, meaning they buy their own charms, and Celestial Martial Arts on a 1 for 1 basis, as well as any Celestial Circle Sorcery. If they purchase Terrestrial Martial Arts or Terrestrial Circle Sorcery at character creation, they either learn 3 such charms/spells per 2 slots used, or regain a bonus point for each one bought.

Alchemical Exalted

  • If an Alchemical Exalted starts with the Perfected Lotus Matrix or Man-Machine Weaving Engine charms, he may exchange charm slots on a one-for-one basis with martial arts charms or machine weaving protocols. He still retains the charms that would normally go into these slots, but has no slots to put them into, unless he spends bonus points to obtain additional slots.

Dragon Blooded

  • Dragon Blooded characters receive 18 background points (this includes the 3 additional points from above).
  • Dragon Blooded characters start with 14 charms.
  • Dragon Blooded now use the following formula to generate their essence pools; Personal (Essence x2 + Willpower), Peripheral (Essence x4 + Willpower x2 + Sum of all Virtues)

Lunar Exalted

  • Lunar exalted get 9/7/5 points to divide between their attributes at character creation.
  • Lunar Exalted start with 12 charms/knacks, with a minimum of 4 charms and 4 knacks.

Traits

Dragon Blooded

  • Dragon Blooded characters have access to the background Stipend.

Charms

  • Solar, Lunar, Abyssal, Sidereal Exalted and Dragonblooded no longer need to purchase excellencies. They automatically receive all excellencies for which they meet the prerequisites.
  • Infernal Exalted do not receive excellencies in the same way due to the unique nature of such charms. Infernal Exalted receive all excellencies for which they meet the prerequisites for both their Caste and Favoured Yozi. If they want to purchase the excellencies of other Yozis, then they are required to purchase the First Excellency in the normal manner (Ie. A number of times equal to their essence). This then unlocks all the other excellencies of that Yozi for free, although they must continue to purchase further upgrades of the First Excellency as per the original charm progression.Ie. Dagruda, the Slayer Caste Infernal Exalted who favours Cecylene, has Essence 2 at character creation. He automatically receives First and Second Malfeas and Cecylene Excellencies for free at character creation and need never pay extra XP to purchase them again if he increases his essence. As play progresses, Dagruda expands his potential, wanting to learn some Adorjan charms. Needing to buy at least the First Adorjan Excellency, he needs to purchase this charm a number of times equal to his Essence, so has to purchase it twice. This purchase then unlocks the rest of Adorjan’s excellencies, and so he automatically also learns the Second Adorjan Excellency too. When Dagruda raises his Essence to 3, he will automatically learn, at no experience cost, Malfeas, Cecylene and Adorjan Mythos Exultant and Invincibility Technique. However, he will be required to purchase the First Adorjan Excellency again as a training effect, as per the normal rules for Infernal Excellencies.
  • Alchemical Exalted are regarded as always having the charms First, Second and Third (Attribute) Augmentations for every attribute. This requires no charm slots or installation costs. They also receive (Essence) Augmentation-only slots for each favoured attribute, and one Augmentation-only slot for every other attribute. Augmentation-only slots can only be used for augmentation charms and require no installation costs.

Experience

  • The experience cost of increasing Essence is (7 x current rating) for all characters, regardless of type.
  • The experience cost for purchasing charms is as follows:
  • Terrestrial Charms and spells are 8xp each, or 6xp for Aspect/Favoured charms. This includes Terrestrial Martial Arts.
  • Alchemical charms are 9xp each, or 7xp for a Caste/Favoured charm. This includes Man-Machine Weaving protocols.
  • Celestial Charms and spells are 10xp each, or 8xp for Caste/Favoured charms. This includes Celestial Martial Arts.
  • God-Machine Weaving protocols are 11xp each, or 9xp if Caste/Favoured.
  • Solar Sorcery and Sidereal Martial Arts Charms are 12xp each, or 10xp for a Caste/Favoured charm.
  • The Terrestrial/Celestial/Solar Circle Sorcery charms purchased to enable a character to cast spells of the relevant level are regarded as a charm of the respective tier.