Exalted – New Merits

Yu Shan Summit Trek

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   Our Exalted games usually run heavily towards the unique – so here we have an assortment of the exotic merits used by a couple of our local characters.

   Artificer (2 or 3): You may buy Artifacts as if you were an Alchemical Exalted (the cost remains 1 per 1 up through level five and you get three dots of artifact per dot purchased). This costs (3) if you have a plausible reason and source for the artifacts in question, (2) if you actually have the ability and resources required to make the artifacts in question and simply wish to have done so before starting play.

   Conservation Principle (0): The backgrounds you actually pay for are conserved; if something happens to one of them, it will either come back again shortly or you can trade the points in for another background. Backgrounds you acquire, however, may disappear at any time unless you turn them into conserved backgrounds at a cost of 3 XP per dot.

   Diary (0): The player must keep an in-character diary, write “letters home”, or keep a campaign log, and must provide the game master with a copy. In exchange, the character gains +3 bonus points worth of Backgrounds.

   Emissary (3): You are entitled to hospitality from, and will not be attacked without just cause by, spirits, demons, and the fair folk.

   Employed (0): There’s someone out there – generally a god, an exalted organization, or faction, but a major government is possible – who comes up with missions for you. In exchange for your undertaking (and hopefully completing and surviving) a fair percentage of them, you get access to some goodies. What do you get? You get whatever your game master assigns based on how big a pain the job is. If you leave – or get yourself fired – you lose whatever-it-is you were getting.

   Charles, for example, is a young Solar – working part time in Yu-Shan managing an artificing facility for Lytek. Now, admittedly, he’s really good at concealing the nature of his abilities, and actually is qualified for the job, and thus is generally accepted as a youthful god-blooded for whom someone is pulling a few nepotistic strings – but that’s still more than a bit precarious, and sucks him into various missions and all kinds of celestial politics. Ergo, as long as he keeps that job, he gets Salary-3, as well as relatively easy access to Yu-Shan, information, and materials.

   Essence Aptitude (1 or 2): Your essence is effectively two points higher than normal, but only for calculating any one of: ping damage, minimum dice pools, power effects, essence motes, skill and attribute limits, resisting magic, or learning more powerful abilities. 1 if limited to a particular situation (ping damage with bows, learning dodge charms), 2 if general. The variants do not stack and Essence Aptitude may be taken only once per category affected.

   Essence Master (1): Transfer 2x (Int + Occ) motes from your Peripheral Essence Pool to your Personal Essence Pool. The “2x” multiplier may be upgraded by +1 a the cost of 2x the current multiplier.

   Experienced (1): You have been around for a bit. This obligates you to take five points worth of disadvantages without getting any points for them, to name and provide a bit of information on four enemies, to name and provide a bit of information on three friends who you either own large favors to or would just go a long ways out of your way for, to provide details on at least two of your backgrounds, and to provide a character history (and accept whatever reputation and trouble that results in). On the benefits side, you gain a +2 on any three abilities (although this will not take them above your normal maximums) and +8 freebie bonus points worth of backgrounds.

   This is only debatably worth it – but it certainly results in the player having some major inputs into the game.

   Mystic Knack (1, 2, or 3): You possess 3, 7, or 12 trivial supernatural “talents”. Sample talents include:

  1. Background Music: Faint but appropriate mood music can be heard around you whenever you want it to.
  2. Breath of Life: You may animate very small and light objects (such as origami animals) for thirty seconds or so by blowing on them.
  3. Clockwise: You always know what time it is and have a flawless internal “alarm clock”.
  4. Flower Power: You may produce a fresh flower at any time. Variants produce other trinkets…
  5. Green Light: Traffic signals always turn green as you approach them.
  6. Inextinguishable: Your pipe, cigarette, or cigar never burns down or goes out as long as you’re holding it or have it in your mouth – even underwater.
  7. It’s in the Cards: You may perform flawless stage-magician style card tricks.
  8. King Me: You never lose in checkers, chess, and similar games unless you intentionally allow it, although your opponents can hold you to a draw if they’re skilled.
  9. Lightning Calculator: You may use a pocket calculator whenever your character is working with math.
  10. Look Good at All Times: You’re always neat and clean and your clothes are always in good shape.
  11. Master of the Do: Your hair (and beard/moustache if male) may be long, short, or styled in any way you prefer whenever you wish to describe it.
  12. Mousetrap Pockets: Anyone who attempts to pick or search your pockets will find the experience painful or annoying, as they get their fingers into mousetraps, superglue, cactus spines, or similar annoyances.
  13. The Essence of Emeril: When you cook or serve food, your spices have sound effects.
  14. They’re Watching You: People in paintings and photographs wave, blow kisses, point, or make rude gestures (in the case of serious enemies or nasty entities) when you go by.
  15. Unrelenting Nagging Technique: People will not forget about your requests. They may not do anything about fulfilling them, or even remember who you are, but they won’t forget that you asked.
  16. Velcro Skin: You need never explain what holds that dress up, keeps that hidden gun in place, or prevents your hat coming off.
  17. Video Game Supremacy: You cannot be defeated in video games by anyone who does not also have this knack unless you intentionally allow it.
  18. Who Was that Masked Man: For you, a tiny mask – or pair of thick glasses – is just as good as a mask that covers your entire face.
  19. Your Table Sir: A table always opens up just as you arrive at any eatery.
  20. Zippity-Do-Dah: Small animals like you. Squirrels bring you nuts, small birds fly down and sing to you, and rabbits come to be petted – although this ceases to work for twenty-four hours if you hurt or frighten any of them.

   Twilight Warding (2, Twilight Caste Solar Exalted Only): Your defensive anima effect is always as effective as if you had spent 11+ motes of Peripheral Essence – even if your anima is not otherwise active.

   Veiled Exaltation (1): Your exaltation type and caste mark are only detectable when your anima banner is active at the 4+ modes of peripheral essence level. Otherwise effects which would reveal them simply indicate that you might be a god-blooded or something.

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