Exalted Forum FAQ
by ikselam (HTML version by guybrush)
version 3.0, 09/08/2004
[n] - new this version, [u] - updated this version
A text version of the FAQ, including detailed update notes, is available here: exalted_forum_faq_3.0.txt
Contents | Very Basic
Stuff | Common Abbreviations | Personages of Note | Rules
Specific Powers | Exalted and Other Beings | Specific Exalted Types | Setting and Metaplot
Very Basic Stuff
Common Abbreviations (List is here.) [u]
Personages of Note (List is here.) [u]
Questions about Rules
Questions about Specific Powers
Questions about Exalted and Other Beings
Questions about Specific Types of Exalted
Questions about Setting and Metaplot
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Very Basic Stuff
Should I buy Exalted?
This one is easy. Since I enjoy the game, and your every action should obviously be ruled by my whim, you should definitely purchase your own copy of Exalted. Owning this game will whiten your teeth, speed up your internet connection, enhance your love life, increase your car's fuel economy, and erase centuries of bad karma. Exalted will actually make you a better person.
If that smart-alecky answer isn't satisfying, go to your local gaming store and flip through the first chapter or so of the main rulebook. A little bit of internet searching will turn up a bunch of gaming sites with reviews of Exalted, too.
Exalted is just like anime, right?
A fair percentage of the artwork is styled after Japanese cartoons, and there are things which are common in Exalted that are also common in certain genres of anime -- humongous swords, glowing battle auras, twenty-foot standing high jumps, and even giant robots. However, Exalted also draws heavily on kung-fu/wuxia movies, classical myth, and sword-and-sorcery fiction.
If you ask people what inspires their games, you will get lots of different answers.
Where can I learn more about Exalted?
- White Wolf's official Exalted page can be useful: www.white-wolf.com/exalted
- The Exalted Compendium is a large fan site: www.exaltedcompendium.com
- Alabrax's Exalted site contains a goodly amount of fan-created material: alabrax.com/exalted
- guybrush's Edge of Creation hosts this document, among other things: exalted.shaolinpunk.net
- The Exalted Wiki is a freely-modifiable repository of Exalted-related stuff: www.lensmen.net/wiki/exalted.pl?
- RPG.net contains much discussion of Exalted, as well as other games: www.rpg.net
Where can I find the official errata?
Errata currently exist for the main Exalted book, the Dragon-Blooded book, Book of Three Circles, the Lunar book, and the Player's Guide. They can be found on White Wolf's Exalted page (www.white-wolf.com/exalted) in PDF format, and are quite useful, even if you have one of the more recent printings of the main book which integrates some of the rules tweaks.
What is the scale of the maps on the inside covers of the books?
The map in Exalted: The Dragon-Blooded includes a line labeled "This line is 640 miles," but it's unclear exactly how we're supposed to measure the line, since it is curved. However, the straight-line distance between the two endpoints is exactly two inches, and you can verify that a scale of 1 inch:320 miles preserves the Blessed Isle's dimensions (as determined from the map in the main book) reasonably well.
The scale for the map in the main Exalted book can be found in the official Errata/FAQ on White Wolf's Exalted homepage. It is "roughly 1 inch:800 miles." More recent printings of the book include a scale.
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AB: A,E,F,Wa,Wo - Aspect Books: Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Wood
AoS - Age of Sorrows, aka the Second Age of Man, in which Exalted takes place
Bo3C - The Book of Three Circles (also abbrev. BoTC)
CB:D,Z,T,N,E - Caste Books: Dawn, Zenith, Twilight, Night, Eclipse
CotW - Creatures of the Wyld
DB - Dragon-Blooded, or their sourcebook
GoD - Games of Divinity
IO - The Immaculate Order, state religion of the Realm
MA - Martial arts
M&C - Manacle & Coin
M&S - Mail and Steel, mass-combat rules
PC - Exalted Power Combat rules (also abbrev. EPC)
PG - the Exalted Player's Guide
RoR - Ruins of Rathess
SMA - Sidereal martial arts (specifically, their high-Essence MA Charms)
ToT - Time of Tumult
To5C - Tomb of Five Corners (a free promo adventure)
UCS - The Unconquered Sun, king of the Gods (also abbrev. US or UC)
WoD - World of Darkness, setting of other White Wolf games
Many Charm, artifact, and hearthstone names are also reduced to acronyms.
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Personages of Note
Geoffrey C. Grabowski, aka GCG, aka Geoff - Exalted developer
Rebecca Sean Borgstrom, aka RSB, aka Rebecca - author of Malfeas, Sidereal Charms, etc. (and the RPG called Nobilis)
Michael A. Goodwin, aka Nephilpal, aka Neph - author of God-Blooded, Merits and Flaws, Abyssal Charms, etc.
Scott Taylor, aka izzylobo - author of the Lookshy chapter of Outcaste, etc.
Brian Glass, aka ProductionBrian - Exalted art director
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Questions about Rules
What is Power Combat?
Power Combat is a retooled combat system presented in the Exalted Player's Guide. [198-213] It makes many changes to Charms and basic combat mechanics. Some of the most notable changes have to do with how one's Essence score benefits various actions. It is widely assumed that second-edition Exalted will use Power Combat, or a very similar system.
What is Mail and Steel?
Mail and Steel is a mass-combat system presented in the Player's Guide. [214-230] Its most notable feature is that it treats units as modifiers to their leaders' stats.
How many specialties can I have?
The main book says that you can have three specialties per ability. What this means is that you can have a total of three "spots" of specialty for any given ability. Each spot counts as a "specialization." Much of the confusion probably stems from the fact that there are five empty spots next to each entry in the "Specialties" section of the character sheet; this is almost certainly a matter of aesthetics.
So, say I want to give my character maximum specialization in an ability. I can do this in the following three ways:
- Put three spots into a single specialty.
Example: Bureaucracy 3 (Obstructing Justice +3)
- Put two spots into one specialty, and one spot into another.
Example: Brawl 2 (Breaking Stuff +2, In Taverns +1)
- Put one spot into each of three different specialties.
Example: Socialize 4 (Macking on Ladies +1, Dressing Sharp +1, Lying Through Teeth +1)
This interpretation of the rules is borne out by the various characters who are given writeups in the "Antagonists" section of the main book. You can check that none of them have more than three spots of specialty in any given ability, even the very powerful ones like Mask of Winters or Ahn-Aru.
Note that exceptions to this rule exist: the spirit Kireeki in Savage Seas  has four specialty spots in Athletics, and the Second Circle demon Gervesin [GoD, 99] has eight specialty spots in both Melee and Thrown (although he's arguably a special case, as he literally is a spear). This may indicate that spirits can break the general rule; all statted, canonical human characters conform to the "three specialty spots per ability" rule.
How can I raise traits above five dots?
The commonly-accepted answer is that you must first raise your permanent Essence score above five. At that point, its rating becomes the character's new trait cap. So, an Exalt with Essence 6 could raise his traits to six, one with Essence 7 could raise her traits to seven, and so on.
Be aware that this answer appears to be contradicted by Power-Disrupting Blow, which requires Essence 5 and Occult 6. [CB:T, 74] Mask of Winters also violates it, with a Lore score of 10 and an Essence of 8.
On the character sheet, what is the purpose of the boxes underneath the Virtue rankings?
The boxes are there so you can keep track of how many times you have "channelled" a Virtue in order to add to dice pools. Each Virtue may be channelled a number of times per story equal to its ranking.
Can I "full parry"?
No. If you abort to parry before your initiative, you get only one parry. If you make multiple parries after your initiative, they are subject to the normal rules for multiple actions. Full dodge is a much more effective way of avoiding multiple attacks, or attacks made prior to your initiative.
CB:N  and CB:E  contain Charms which allow one to perform a "cascading parry" which functions like a full dodge. Power Combat rules include a full-parry option which works like a full dodge, but is limited by the weapon's Rate statistic. [PG, 200]
Can I "dual-wield"?
Yes, but you do not get extra actions just for holding two weapons. If you make an action with the second weapon, you take a one-die penalty for using your off hand. The main mechanical reason you might want to use two weapons is to have a powerful attacking weapon in one hand, and a powerful defending weapon in the other. CB:N also contains Melee Charms for fighting with two weapons. [70-1]
Will stunts allow me to regain Essence in places I normally couldn't?
GCG has stated that the answer to this question is "yes, in all caps, followed by a trail of exclamation points ending in a 1." Motes regained through stunts are not subject to the rules which state that Abyssal Exalted cannot regain motes normally in Creation, and that Creation-dwellers cannot regain motes normally in the Underworld.
Can I Combo together Charms from different abilities?
If they are reflexive, yes; otherwise, no. Simple, supplemental, and extra-action Charms are subject to rules which force them to benefit each other when in Combo. Therefore, all Charms of those three types which are in the same Combo must usually be from the same ability. Exceptions to this rule are those Charms which are explicitly allowed to benefit Charms from other abilities (usually combat abilities). They include the supplemental Charms Thunderbolt Attack Prana, Leaping Tiger Attack, Spirit-Cutting Attack, and Ghost-Eating Technique.
You can have reflexive Charms from as many different abilities as you like in the same Combo, since they aren't subject to the same rules constraints as the other types.
Questions about Specific Powers
Can I use Reed In The Wind to boost Shadow Over Water dodge pools as part of a Combo?
Yes. Reed In The Wind can be used supplementally, but it is in fact reflexive. This means that it doesn't have to benefit your dice action (as would be the case if it were supplemental), thus allowing it to legally benefit the reflexive dodge(s) you get from Shadow Over Water if you Combo the two together.
By the same token, Reed in the Wind can also be used to benefit the reflexive dodges gained from Flow Like Blood.
Can I use Golden Essence Block to raise reflexive parries above my full Melee pool rating?
GCG says yes. When used to benefit a reflexive parry (such as that provided by Dipping Swallow Defense or Fivefold Bulwark Stance), Golden Essence Block can add up to Dexterity + Melee dice.
How accurate is Accuracy Without Distance?
GCG has stated that Accuracy Without Distance is intended to always hit with one success, barring a "perfect" effect like Seven Shadow Evasion or Heavenly Guardian Defense. Dodges, parries, shield modifiers and the like affect the attack roll as normal, but they cannot reduce the number of successes rolled on the attack to less than one.
Note that Accuracy Without Distance is not "unparryable and undodgeable." (See the official Exalted errata section entitled "The Applicability of Perfection" for a discussion of what this means.)
Does Grasping Claw Method [CB:E, 75] really require Essence 5?
This is probably a typo. This Mantis Style Charm should probably have an Essence prerequisite of 3.
What does Angry Predator Frenzy Style [CB:D, 74] mean when it says I can abort to a "full parry"?
Since this Tiger Style Charm was written a long time prior to the Player's Guide, its reference to "full parry" probably means "single parry at full dice pool," rather than a cascading parry (see above) or a full parry as defined in Power Combat.
What version of a spirit Charm do Eclipse (or Moonshadow) Castes learn?
The same version which was known to the spirit who did the teaching. This includes not only effects and prerequisites, but also cost.
If an Eclipse learns Dematerialize, does he also need to learn Materialize?
No. Materialize is useless to naturally corporeal beings except in rare and bizarre circumstances involving forced dematerialization. If an Eclipse dematerializes using the elemental Charm, he or she can rematerialize at will, just as elementals can.
Note that spirits do not know the Dematerialize Charm, since they are naturally incorporeal.
How does Lunar soak work?
In the Lunar book, we learn that a Lunar Exalted cannot have a natural soak (i.e., soak gained from Stamina, Charms, and Beastman-form Gifts) higher than 12L/12B. [Lunars, 127] Any points of natural soak above that amount "spill over" and allow the Lunar to totally ignore weak attacks. The Player's Guide refers to this as "hardness"; Power Combat changes many soak Charms to provide hardness.
When the Lunar is hit in combat, he compares the raw damage of the attack to his hardness. If his hardness exceeds the raw damage, he completely ignores the attack. If it is less than or equal to the raw damage, he soaks the damage as normal using his 12L/12B, plus whatever soak his armor provides. Hardness is applied before normal soak, not after.
Ao the Turtle has Stamina 11 in his war-form. He also has a power which gives him +6L/+6B to his natural soak, as well as enabling him to soak lethal damage with his full Stamina. We would normally expect Ao to have a natural soak of 17L/17B, but under the rules for Lunar natural soak, he actually has a soak of 12L/12B and a hardness of 5L/5B. Further suppose that Ao wears a moonsilver breastplate, which gives him +6L/+4B soak. Soak from armor does not contribute to hardness; Ao now has a soak of 18L/16B, with his hardness remaining at 5L/5B.
Ao is attacked by an extra, who has Strength 2 and is wielding a knife (+1L). The extra hits Ao with one success; the raw damage of the attack is 4L. Since Ao has 5L hardness, he completely ignores the attack. The extra does not roll the usual automatic damage die.
Next, Ao is attacked by Cathak Shiri, who has Strength 4 and is wielding a reaver daiklave (+7L). Shiri hits Ao with five successes; her raw damage is 16L. This is greater than or equal to Ao's 5L hardness, so Ao cannot ignore it. Instead, he soaks it with his 18L regular soak. Shiri rolls one die of damage as normal.
Are Abyssal Exalted immaterial in Creation?
No. As can be seen on the chart on p.25 of the Abyssal book, living things are always solid, no matter where they are, and Abyssal Exalted are not actually dead.
Can Sidereal Exalted make up new Charms?
No. Canonically, the Charms printed in the Sidereal book are the sum total of their magical powers. The only exceptions are Sorcery and martial arts, both of which Sidereals may learn without restriction. As a result, Sidereals have a number of "secret" Martial Arts Charm trees, which have very high prerequisites, and correspondingly catastrophic effects. [Sidereals, 128, 184]
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Questions about Exalted and Other Beings
How many Exalted are there?
The Storyteller's Companion  states that the "canonical" population of Exalted in Creation breaks down as follows:
How long do Exalted live?
This question was answered in the developer chat (the transcript is at http://www.white-wolf.com/exaltedweb/DeveloperChat08082001.html).
Solars and Lunars live 2,000-3,000 years.
Sidereals live 4,000-5,000 years.
Terrestrials live 250-300 years.
Abyssal lifespans are theoretically unlimited.
Note that CB:Z contains an Essence 7 Charm called Extended Life Prana [CB:Z,72] which allows a Solar to live up to 7,000 years. There are also various hearthstones and other items which can drastically extend a character's lifespan.
What is a Primordial?
Primordials are divine beings who were deposed by the Gods. They are analogous to Titans in Greek mythology, or giants in Norse. Gaia, the personification of the earth, is a Primordial, as is the Machine God, Autochthon. Yozis and Malfeans are also Primordials. Information on Yozis can be found in the third chapter of GoD; solid information regarding Malfeans is almost nonexistent.
What is the difference between a Yozi and a Malfean?
A Yozi is a living Primordial who surrendered to the gods and was exiled to the hell-prison Malfeas. A Malfean is a dead Primordial. Despite their name, Malfeans do not exist in Malfeas; they exist in the Underworld.
Deathlords and Abyssal Exalted serve the Malfeans. Infernal Exalted serve the Yozis
Who or what is Autochthon (and how do I pronounce it)?
Autochthon is the Primordial who invented Exaltation (among other things). Aside from Gaia, it is the only Primordial we currently know of who was not either killed or banished by the modern gods. Autochthon is sometimes called the Machine God, or the Great Maker. It is currently sleeping somewhere beneath Creation, its vast mechanical body inhabited by human servants and Alchemical Exalted. Autochthon was introduced in the ToT adventure "Crusaders of the Machine God," and is also briefly mentioned in GoD.
"Autochthon" is a real word; it means "aborigine," or "original inhabitant," and is pronounced aw-TOKE-thon. The sidebar in ToT , on the other hand, gives the pronunciation of the game's Autochthon as "aw-TOH-thon."
What is an Alchemical Exalted?
Alchemical Exalted are manufactured beings created by Autochthon. [ToT, 163-9] They resemble robots or golems, and their castes are determined by which of the Five Magical Materials they are constructed from; their "Charms" are physical devices which are attached to their bodies. As Alchemical Exalted increase their Essence score, they get bigger, until they eventually form the foundations for Autochthonian cities. Alchemical Exalted are quasi-canonical; they can be found in the Time of Tumult adventure "Crusaders of the Machine God," but they aren't yet a "required" part of the game setting like the other types of Exalted. Chances are that there will be an Alchemical book in the not-incredibly-distant future.
What is an Infernal Exalted?
Infernal Exalted, or "akuma," are normal Exalted who have become infernalists and serve the Yozis. [GoD, 92] One way of becoming an Infernal Exalted is to read the Broken-Winged Crane, a magical book which corrupts its readers. [Bo3C, 22] The Player's Guide [86-89] contains rules for akuma creation.
Time of Tumult mentions a First Age villain named Thrice-Damned Gorol, who was very likely an Infernal Exalted.  Many people subscribe to the theory that the Scarlet Empress herself became Infernal at some point after gaining control of the Realm. We also know that the Yozis have obtained 50 Solar essences, which they are presumably crafting into Infernal Exalted. [Abyssals, 79]
What is a God-blooded?
A God-Blooded is the mortal offspring of a being with a high Essence score. They have a few supernatural powers, but nothing very powerful by Exalted standards.
The Abyssal book contains a table for determining whether or not a child will be God-Blooded, based on the parents' Essence scores.  Full rules for creating God-Blooded can be found in the Player's Guide. [44-93]
There is a brief discussion of God-Blooded in GoD , with sample stats. Further examples can be found in the ToT adventure "Spirit Exiles of the Western Ocean" [ToT, 111-12] and the Dragon-Blooded book, which mentions a God-Blooded Terrestrial Exalt named Ledaal Kebok Coren, the great-granddaughter of the storm demon Yan. 
What is a Dragon King?
Dragon Kings are a race of sun-worshipping lizard men who flourished during (and prior to) the First Age. In the Second Age, they are mostly extinct; the last remnants of their civilization are sub-sapient "Stalkers" which inhabit the ruined city of Rathess. More information on Dragon Kings, and Rathess, can be found in Ruins of Rathess. They also receive a full write-up, as playable characters, in the Player's Guide. [154-195]
Questions about Specific Types of Exalted
Do Dragon-Blooded have Caste Marks?
The consensus is that Terrestrial Exalted probably do not have little glowy logos on their foreheads like Solars. Their Caste Marks are the distinctive skin tones and low-key special effects which arise from their elemental affinity.
Note that it doesn't actually say anywhere that the little elemental logos that show up next to the description of "Terrestrial Caste Marks" [Exalted, 29] are not themselves Terrestrial Caste Marks, but there's a fair amount of circumstantial evidence that they aren't. For example, Dragon-Blooded can spend a mote to cause their skin to glow [DB, 148], but nowhere does it say that they can make symbols flare up on their foreheads like Solars can. None of the art in any of the books shows Terrestrial Exalted with logos on their foreheads, either, even when their animas are flaring.
Do Sidereal Exalted have Caste Marks (and how do I pronounce "Sidereal")?
Sidereal Exalted show Greek planetary symbols on their foreheads when they spend peripheral essence, much like the characters in Sailor Moon. Sidereals also have color-coded eyes, with stars in the pupils. Note that Sidereal anima flares are much more subdued than those of other Exalted types. [Sidereals, 111-121]
The word "sidereal" means "of the stars," and is pronounced sy-DEER-ee-ul.
What is Arcane Fate?
Arcane Fate is a magical effect which acts upon all Sidereal Exalted, due to astrological tampering perpetrated by them at the end of the First Age. It makes it very hard for people to remember that Sidereals exist, either individually or as a group. Arcane Fate is stronger against mortals, but also affects magical beings. [Sidereals, 62, 121-22]
What's a Resplendent Destiny?
Sidereals can partially compensate for the Arcane Fate by using Resplendent Destinies, which are like the astrological version of Method acting. By using one, a Sidereal can assume an archetypal personality template which people will remember normally. [Sidereals, 215]
How does Sidereal astrology work?
Sidereal astrology does not predict the future. Instead, it allows Sidereals to engineer the future, by crafting specially-designed destinies on the Loom of Fate. The effects of astrology tend to be fairly subtle, but can have enormous scope.
How much does it cost for Sidereal Exalted to raise their Essence with experience points?
It costs current rating x 9.
Do Lunar Exalted have Caste Marks?
The Storyteller's Companion  and the Lunar book inform us that Lunars' Castes are fixed by means of ritual tattooing and scarification, including a prominent mark on the forehead. When Lunars expend peripheral essence, their tattoos glow, their Tells become much more pronounced, and they display a silvery Caste Mark on their forehead. [Lunars, 110] This mark corresponds in shape to the appropriate phase of the moon. [Lunars, 75-7]
What's a Tell?
A Tell is a feature which remains constant in all of a Lunar's forms. The nature of the Tell is usually determined by the Lunar's Totem (their "natural" animal form); its obviousness is determined by how many levels of Deadly Beastman Transformation the Lunar possesses. Tells are often silvery in color, and are supernaturally difficult to conceal through mundane means. [Lunars, 120-1]
How do Abyssal Caste Marks work?
Abyssal Caste Marks look the same as Solar Caste Marks, except that they do not light up. At low levels of essence expenditure, they appear as a black brand. At higher levels, they begin to bleed, and crackle with dark energy. [Abyssals, 150]
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Questions about Setting and Metaplot
What happened to the Scarlet Empress?
From the beginning-of-chapter fiction in the DB book [175, 265], we strongly suspect that the Empress has been abducted by a Yozi called the Ebon Dragon, and is being held in Malfeas. She and the Ebon Dragon are apparently scheduled to be married at the same time her funeral-in-absentia is held in the real world. What this "marriage" actually entails is unclear, as is how exactly she got into this mess.
One of the Ebon Dragon's comments ("You have read our prayer book") leads some people to believe that the Empress obtained a copy of the Broken-Winged Crane, read it, and is now an Infernal Exalted. There are also any number of hints that her control of the Realm's defenses was predicated upon pacts with unnamed malefic forces.
Note that it has never been explicitly stated that the Ebon Dragon's intended bride is the Empress, only strongly hinted at.
What is a warstrider?
A giant suit of robotic armor. That pretty much sums it up. Details on warstriders can be found in the last chapter of Bo3C. [120-7] Like Alchemical Exalted, they can currently be considered quasi-canonical.
If you have seen the anime series Vision of Escaflowne (Tenkuu no Escaflowne to purists), you can think of warstriders as being functionally identical to guymelefs.
What kind of currencies are used in Exalted?
Jade is the standard upon which Exalted currency is based, but (as with gold in the real world), very little of it is actually in circulation, especially outside the Blessed Isle. Actual jade money is extremely valuable, with a single jade obol (the smallest coin minted by the Realm) being roughly equal to a peasant's annual post-tax income. [M&C, 107] The Realm also issues copper coins and paper scrip. Throughout the Threshold, the de facto standard is the silver dinar, which is backed by the Guild.
Complete information on currency and economic systems (as well as drugs, slavery, and the Guild) can be found in Manacle & Coin.
What is the Jade Prison?
The Jade Prison is where the Dragon-Blooded imprisoned the essences of slain Solars after the Usurpation, in order to prevent them from reincarnating. The Jade Prison was recently destroyed by the Deathlords, releasing half of the Solar essences back into Creation. The remaining half were divided between the Yozis (who took 50) and the Deathlords (who used the remaining ~100 to create Abyssal Exalted). [Abyssals, 79]
Who rules the Skullstone Archipelago?
Scavenger Sons says that the Deathlord of Skullstone is called the Silver Prince.  The main book says that it's Bodhisattva Anointed By Dark Water.  Adding to the confusion, in CB:D, the Deathlord is addressed as "Mistress,"  while in CB:Z it's "Master." 
The Abyssal book reveals that the Bodhisattva and the Silver Prince are two names for the same Deathlord. This is probably a retcon.
Are Deathlords and Abyssal Exalted really Solars?
Deathlords are the ghosts of First-Age Solar Exalted; they sold their names and destinies to the Malfeans in exchange for power and a chance at posthumous revenge. This is hinted at in numerous places, and actually confirmed in the Abyssal book. 
Most Abyssals are Exalted by the Deathlords, using the Solar essences they stole from the Jade Prison and have since corrupted with the forces of Oblivion. It is also possible for a willing Solar to be transformed into an Abyssal, through the use of a powerful necromantic spell. [Abyssals, 229] Like Deathlords, Abyssals sacrifice their names to their Malfean masters, replacing them with titles. [Abyssals, 107-110]
Who's who in the Celestial Gods group shot in Games of Divinity?
According to Chris Stevens, who drew the picture in question:
"Starting at the upper left and going clock-wise.
Top left is the Maiden of Serenity.
Next to her is the Maiden of Battles.
Then the Maiden of Endings.
Then the Maiden of Secrets.
Then the Maiden of Journeys.
Then the Unconquered Sun.
Yes, that is Luna sitting on Gaia's lap.
They have a strange relationship."
How does the Age of Sorrows connect to the World of Darkness?
First, and most importantly, it doesn't have to if you don't want it to. All of the connections between the two settings have been left purposefully vague. With that said, the various types of Exalted can be matched up pretty well with the various types of creatures in the WoD, as follows:
Solars ~ Imbued Hunters
Lunars ~ Fera, aka werecreatures
Sidereals ~ Mages
Abyssals ~ Vampires
Terrestrials ~ Kuei-jin, aka Kindred of the East
Fair Folk ~ Changelings
Ghosts ~ Wraiths
The group of Mages called Iteration X has a secret base in a place called Autochthonia, which strongly resembles the Autochthonia in ToT. A lot of kuei-jin legends also map fairly easily onto Exalted mythology; for example, they venerate the Scarlet Empress and the Ebon Dragon as personifications of Yang and Yin, respectively, and their creation myth shows some similarities to things we see in Exalted. Exalted also uses some of the same terminology as Werewolf: (dai)klaives, Gaia, the Wyld, Celestines and Incarnae, Malfeas, etc. Vampire mythology includes a character named Lilith, who may or may not be the Lilith who shows up in one of the main book's beginning-of-chapter vignettes. Soulsteel comes from Wraith, which also includes creatures called Malfeans. The Fair Folk have obvious similarities to faeries in Changeling.
The prophecy which prompted the Sidereal Exalted to orchestrate the overthrow of the First Age Solars predicted a future very similar to the World of Darkness if the Sidereals did nothing. Since they did not in fact do nothing, it is currently unknown whether or not the AoS will eventually become the WoD, especially since Sidereals seem incapable of predicting things having to do with Malfeas or the Underworld.
How does Exalted's metaplot work?
Exalted sort of has a metaplot, but it doesn't really advance in a linear way like that of WoD games. Right now, it seems like all canonical information takes place in the same "now," and that major events (such as Autochthonia invading Creation, Yurgen Kaneko taking over the North, Gem losing a trade war with Paragon, some super-powered yahoo named Yushuv going around kicking butt, and so forth) take place in different futures which are left completely up to Storyteller discretion. The stated purpose of this is to enable players' characters to have a strong impact on the setting in their own games without contradicting canon.
It's almost certain that not all of the events and characters described in the supplements can exist in the same timeline, since a number of them are to some extent contradictory. Any metaplot you read in an Exalted hardback can probably be considered canonical, though.
Who is the hottest Exalted character?
Some people will try to mislead you into thinking that it's Tepet "Roseblack" Ejava, Panther, Ocean Pearl, or even the Scarlet Empress, but you should not listen to their lies.
The Unconquered Sun is unquestionably the hottest. His atomic fires sear away all competition!
What is the proper way to use sunscreen?
The potent ultraviolet rays of the Unconquered Sun can permanently damage mortal flesh, especially that of naturally fair-skinned people. It is therefore important to use sunscreen whenever one plans on exposing large portions of one's skin to bright sunlight for an extended period of time. Anything under SPF 30 is not recommended, but very high SPF (e.g., 60+) doesn't really provide that much more benefit. In order to enjoy the full protection of sunscreen, it's necessary to apply it the way it's applied in laboratory tests: thick, greasy layers. If it doesn't seem like you're using too much sunscreen, you probably aren't using enough. Yes, you really should put more on after swimming.
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