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Exalted for 2d20

Cross-posted from

I love Exalted–the setting, that is. Every version of the system has left me cold, so I’ve written a bunch of Exalted hacks over the years. Some of them were pretty good (Blood & Fire for Cortex), and others… less so (the awful Savage Worlds Exalted hack that never left my playtest group by common consensus of the players). I’ve also read or run a bunch of different Exalted hacks, some for one or two sessions (Fate, Godbound), others for months or longer (Mutants & Masterminds). I’m always looking for a more perfect way to run Exalted, trying out permutations of other systems, looking for ways to capture the feel and flavor of the setting without losing too much of the quintessential Exaltedness of it.

Recently, I’ve been reading a whole lot of Modiphius 2d20 games. While I normally don’t care for roll-under systems (something about them leaves me weirdly unsettled, like the natural order of things has been upended), I’ve really enjoyed Star Trek Adventures, I bought Dishonored the second it came out, and I’m really looking forward to Dune and Fallout. The 2d20 System isn’t likely to replace Savage Worlds or Cortex as my go-to games, but it’s always nice to have another tool in your kit.

With that in mind, how would you put together a basic framework for Exalted using 2d20? Would you use Approaches like Dishonored or Attributes like Conan? Conan’s individual skills with skill level and focus being separate things, or something more like Star Trek? Any and all ideas are welcome!

We are playing Exalted 2e, I hate the system, but 2d20 can be something I might enjoy as replacement :slight_smile:

I know only Conan 2d20, so not sure how Dishonored is organized, but for this super-high-epic anime-style fantasy of Exalted I would think rather powerful charms should be created. Attributes, Expertise and Focus are good to be retained and will build the necessary pool used by charms.

Maybe rather than momentum pool, it will be mote pool. Personal and group of course. It will be then spent on charms and combos. There might be charms that can be used freely with successful checks without mote requirement (to be equivalent of the permanent pool in the 2e) and others to demand motes to be spent for superior and extra effects.

Something I was considering was individual Momentum pools like in Infinity, but the big benefit for Dragon-Blooded is that they get a group pool as well, since their whole deal is cooperation and teamwork.

Give me about six months.

For what exactly? o.o

FWIW, I’ve got my basic framework for Exalted 2d20 down now: Dishonored’s approaches and skills (slightly renamed), with Conan/Infinity style focuses.

To make the conversion.

Here’s a first draft on my ideas for character creation.

Before creating a character, note that your character’s skills and styles are all rated 4. Then go through the following steps to create your character:
• Skills: Increase two skills of choice by +2, and another skill of choice by +1.
• Styles: Increase two styles of choice by +2, and another style of choice by +1.
• Focuses: Gain one focus at +3, two focuses at +2, and three focuses at +1.
• Exaltation: Choose an Exaltation and your Caste or Aspect. Apply the bonuses to skills, styles, and focuses that you gain from that Exaltation, as well as gaining the inherent Charms of the Exaltation.
• Charms: Pick two Charms that are available to your Exaltation type and for which you meet the requirements.
• Bonus: Select one of the following bonuses for your character—an artifact, an additional Charm, or an additional focus at +2.
• Belongings: Choose whatever mundane equipment is appropriate for your character background.

Solar Exalted

The Solar Exalted are chosen for their heroism—a dedication to greatness. The Unconquered Sun chooses those who look upon impossible odds or impossible deeds and then commits to them anyway. Sometimes, their Exaltation comes after succeeding despite all the odds, while in other cases it comes during such an attempt, giving them the power to overcome their obstacles. Some Solars are chosen because the Unconquered Sun sees in them some element of himself—his compassion, his courage, or his disappointment at the current state of the world. Above all else, Solars are chosen for their willingness to seize power and use it to change the world.

  • Special: Supernal Skill . Each Caste gains +1 focus on all rolls related to a single skill; this can increase their focus to 6.
  • Special: Solar Anima . A Solar Exalted can always tell the time of day by concentrating on the relative position of the sun. A Solar may cause their caste mark to appear and display itself as long as they desire. When their anima flares, all non-magical darkness-based concealment in the scene is reduced to 0.

Dawn Caste

The Dawn Caste were warriors, champions, and generals in the First Age. They led the armies of Creation against its enemies, teaching them why they should fear the coming of dawn’s first light. Members of the Dawn Caste are chosen for their surpassing excellence in the arts of battle—whether personal combat or the fields of war. Their caste mark is a golden circle surrounded by an eight-rayed sunburst.

  • Dawn Caste: +2 to Fight, +1 to Move, +1 to Survive; +1 to any two of Boldly, Forcefully, or Swiftly; +1 rank of focus in Intimidation and any one combat-based focus. Supernal Skill: Fight.
  • Special: Aura of Terror . The character gains a free reroll on skill tests including the Intimidation focus. Such attempts can target even foes that would normally not feel fear, such as automatons and the mindless undead. Additionally, any combat Charm the character uses that can normally only be used once per scene or once per round loses this restriction.

Zenith Caste

The Zenith Caste represents the glory of the noonday sun, a light that permits no shadows. They lead their people in prayer and righteousness, acting as priests of the Unconquered Sun. They must be able to walk equally among all peoples, surviving in the harsh places outside civilization to bring the word of the gods to them. They are chosen for their uplifting and just natures—for their desire to change the world into a better place. The Zenith Caste mark is a golden disc shining like the noonday sun.

  • Zenith Caste: +2 to Survive, +1 to Know, +1 to Persuade; +1 to any two of Boldly, Carefully, or Forcefully; +1 rank of focus in Concentrate and Resolve. Supernal Skill: Survive.
  • Special: Aura of the Righteous . The character may touch a corpse and incinerate it instantly, ensuring the deceased will not rise again as undead. Additionally, the character may spend 1 Mote to force a dematerialized spirit in their zone to become physical. The character only spends 1 Momentum per combat die added to damage rolls when attacking creatures of darkness.

Twilight Caste

The Twilight Caste are builders, sorcerers, philosophers, great thinkers of all kinds. In the First Age, they created the infrastructure that made that age possible. Twilights often do the intellectual “heavy lifting” for their circles, whether that is old lore or new insights. Twilights are chosen for their desire to learn—to become both knowledgeable and wise. Many are sorcerers or artificers as well as scholars. Their caste mark is a golden circle, full in the top half and empty in the bottom half.

  • Twilight Caste: +2 to Know, +1 to Craft, +1 to Persuade; +1 to any two of Carefully, Cleverly, or Quietly; +1 rank of focus in Engineering and Occult. Supernal Skill: Know.
  • Special: Aura of the Arcane . The character may spend 1 Mote to turn their anima banner into protective armor, gaining physical protection 3 for the rest of the scene; this does not stack with any other sources of protection, but it is impenetrable to the piercing weapon quality. Additionally, the character may spend 1 Mote to disappear from existence at the beginning of their next turn; the character vanishes and cannot be affected by any power or ability, reappearing at the closest place of power to their vanishing point at the next sunset.

Night Caste

The Night Caste walk in the dark places where others might fear to tread, bringing the justice of the Unconquered Sun to the wicked in their own lairs. They are spies, thieves, and even assassins, waging guerilla war against the enemies of the righteous. They are chosen for their subtle methods—for the ability to act unseen. They are hunters of men without parallel, and no injustice can escape their notice for long. Their caste mark is a hollow golden circle.

  • Night Caste: +2 to Move, +1 to Fight, +1 to Persuade; +1 to any two of Carefully, Quietly, or Swiftly; +1 rank of focus in Acrobatics and Stealth. Supernal Skill: Move.
  • Special: Aura of the Hidden . When the character spends Motes or Momentum, they may choose to keep their anima banner from flaring. Additionally, when their anima banner does flare, they may choose for their identity to be concealed by blinding light or clinging shadows, impenetrable to any power or ability. Finally, the character gains a free reroll on skill tests including the Stealth focus.

Eclipse Caste

The Eclipse Caste are the goodwill ambassadors of the Unconquered Sun, traveling far to forge alliances and pacts with others to create a grand civilization. They broker bargains between men and gods, keeping pacts and promises alive and whole. They are good with people and with organizations. Members of the Eclipse Caste are chosen for being keen students of the human condition—for putting negotiation and diplomacy ahead of warfare. Their caste mark is a disk within a circle, both of brilliant gold.

  • Eclipse Caste: +2 to Persuade, +1 to Move, +1 to Survive; +1 to any two of Boldly, Cleverly, or Quietly; +1 rank of focus in Deceive and Negotiate. Supernal Skill: Persuade.
  • Special: Aura of the Diplomat . The character may spend 1 Mote to sanctify an oath made in their presence; oath-givers who break such a sanctified pact are subject to a terrible curse (GM’s discretion). Additionally, the character has diplomatic immunity when treating with the enemies of Creation; so long as the character approaches them on legitimate business, such beings may not attack the character or their companions without just cause. Finally, the character may learn the Charms of spirits and other supernatural beings with advances as though they were Solar Charms.

Always happy to see critique or commentary!