Exalted – Factory-Cathedrals I, Forgestones, and Prefabrication Protocols

Cathedral and the Stephen Foster Memorial from...

The Spire of the Sun

First up for today, it’s some basics on designing Factory-Cathedrals, their own unique type of Hearthstone, a few new artifacts to put in them, and – as a bonus – a new Craft charm.

The rules on Factory-Cathedrals in Oadenol’s Codex are a tangled mess, referring to three other sections of the book – and several of those sections have errata in yet another book, Lords of Creation. Ergo, here’s a summary with a couple of minor gaps filled in.


  • Are ideal workshops, providing +4 dice on mundane, artifact, and magitech crafting rolls.
  • Can make stuff in batches – given sufficient raw materials:
  • 1 Artifact ***** can be made at a time.
  • 10 Artifact ****’s can be made at a time.
  • 75 Artifact ***’s can be made at a time.
  • 150 Artifact **’s can be made at a time.
  • 300 Artifact *’2 can be made at a time.
  • 650 Artifact 0’s (simple thaumaturgical preparations and toys) can be made at a time.
  • 1250 Non-Artifacts (items which can be made with pure crafting) can be made at a time.
  • May produce Artifact-0’s and Non-Artifacts automatically, using the traits of the Hearthstone Bearer as they were when production began.
  • If a Factory-Cathedral has Ability Enlightenment in an appropriate craft it gets a minimum of four successes on rolls.
  • If a Factory-Cathedral is sentient it can use its own traits if those are better than it’s hearthstone bearers.
  • Reduce the interval for Crafting rolls for mundane items and non-magitech artifacts from years to seasons, seasons to months, months to weeks, weeks to days, and days to scenes. Reduce the time interval a second time for items with costs of ** or less.
  • Prevent creatures aligned with powers opposing the Cathedral’s sponsor from regaining motes or will while nearby. If such a creature tries to attune itself to the place it suffers three unsoakable levels of aggravated damage from internal Essence burns.
  • Grant a free success on prayer rolls made to the sponsoring power.
  • Convert major sacrifices into concentrated ambrosia for the sponsoring power, which will usually produce some minor favorable response – even from Celestial Incarnae.
  • Require Maintenance 4 (and do get Manse Creation Points for it). Visitors must be ritually purified lest the place have to be repaired and the place consumes at least three exotic ingredients suitable for crafting artifacts rated 3 or higher per year. They are magitech artifacts with Repair ratings of 5 if repairs do come up.

Now Factory-Cathedrals are necessarily five dot manses – which means that they have at least ten manse creation points to spend – and, with their Maintenance drawback, most will have at least fourteen.

Some games may allow more points thanks to the use of Design Beyond Limit or massive networks of Geomantic Relays. On the other hand, some games don’t allow either, since both of them create setting problems as described – and there’s no provision to take a Manse built using Design Beyond Limit when creating a character. Thus the manses you’ll find here are normally more-or-less “legal” for a starting character. We tend to use charms that enhance existing manses, which usually drop back to normal when the charm-user ceases to boost them, instead.

Yes, it’s pretty odd to start off with a Factory-Cathedral – but almost anything is possible with the right backstory and it doesn’t actually violate any rules…

Useful Additional Manse Features:

  • Magical Conveniences (1) are almost mandatory. So is a Central Control Room (2) (Otherwise, how are you going to run all those gadgets?). Geomantic Nexus (1) allows the manse to take power from other manses to maintain additional powers.
  • Bound Servant (2) provides a servant comparable to a first circle demon. Add (+1) for a second circle servant and/or (+1) for up to (Manse Rating) Magnitude servants.
  • Archives provides +1d in (Manse Rating) Specialities (2) or Skills (3). Archives may also contain spells, formula, and various other items. In a Factory-Cathedral artifact templates, designs for mundane items, alchemical formulas, and so on are probably the best bet.
  • Immutable (2) shields the place against the Wyld – and is pretty much required if you’re installing Wyld Pockets or a Gate into the Wyld.
  • A Masters Workshop (2) will provide master-level workshops for five crafts.
  • Integrated Utility Artifacts (3) provide 10 points worth of Artifacts which are tied to the manse and powered by it. Useful items here include:
  • An Essence Forge (Artifact ***) can transmute the energies of the manse and raw matter drawn from the surroundings into supplies of basic mundane materials – stone, timber, iron, and so on – as needed to support the operations of a Factory-Cathedral.
  • An Essence Charger (Artifact ****) can provide basic mundane materials as per an Essence Forge as well as any and all materials needed for thaumaturgic creations.
  • An Essence Scriber (Artifact *****) adds essence-channeling runes to the essence-structure of an artifact while it’s being made – and can thus replace any one exotic component of level *** or less.
  • A Wyldsphere (Artifact ****) is a borderlands-level Wyld Pocket that does NOT require importing material from the wyld to maintain it. (And, even if considerably weaker, is a great deal less trouble than an Otherworld Gate into the Wyld). Whether or not having something like this around the carefully-balanced energies of a factory-cathedral is another problem, and is up to the game master. A Wyldsphere, after all, might do – or birth – all kinds of things, and the energies of the Wyld are immicable to some Cathedral-sponsors.
  • A Wondrous Globe of Precious Stability ***** (Wonders of the Lost Age page 70) will protect the area against the wyld relatively cheaply, but isn’t nearly as powerful as the Immutable manse power.
  • A Celestial Pheonix Cauldron **** (Wonders of the Lost Age page 66) brews up a variety of alchemical formula – but a Factory-Cathedral can manage most of that anyway.
  • Zone of Influence (3) or Extended Zone of Influence (4) allow the Manses’s powers to extend well beyond it’s walls.
  • Ability Enhancement (4) gives the manse four “skills” – on each of which it gets four automatic successes.
  • Greater Veil of Shadows (4) pretty much completely hides the place – and can make it nigh impossible to spy on the place. For (+1), upgrade this to a Grand Veil of Shadows, which provides a perfect defense against external observation and spies – although anyone who simply gets inside it to start with can bypass it easily.
  • Rainbow Tabernacle (4) allows the free use of thaumaturgy, reduces the cost of sorcery by ten motes, and adds +1 to the user’s effective essence when calculating the effects of sorcery spells.
  • Wyld Revocation (4) can be very handy.
  • You can use it to get around the maintenance requirements – although you do have to pay the maintenance drawback points back – but it requires an instance of that power devoted simply to that.
  • You may add Narrative Construction, allowing the plans and story of constructing an artifact to aid in its creation – reducing the need for exotic components by one exotic component – as an instance of Wyld Revocation. Unfortunately, this can only be taken once. If you do take it, however, it also covers all the basic, mundane, materials – stone, timber, iron, water, etc – that the factory needs.
  • Revocation of Mental Restraints can be quite helpful. Those affected by the manse are impervious to all Unnatural Mental Influence (Natural Mental Influence still works just fine though) while they’re there – and accumulate Limit and Clarity at only one-half the normal rate.
  • Revocation of Geomantic Restrictions makes the manse is now self-sufficient, and no longer dependent on external geomancy. The demesne outside does not become uncapped however; the fact that the manse doesn’t need external power doesn’t mean that it won’t take what’s available.
  • Indestructible (5) is about the last word in making sure that no one accidently damages the place.


Factory-Cathedrals can – like any other manse – grant unique powers to their Hearthstone bearers. In their case, however, their Hearthstones are often bought down. Still, when the do have a functioning Hearthstone, it’s often a Forgestone.

Forgestones are only generated by Factory-Cathedrals. They’re translucent to black, but blaze with an internal fire with a color related to the Factory-Cathedral’s sponsor.

– The user may control the place normally, and it will recognize him or her as the owner.

  1. * The user may use the functions of the Factory-Cathedral while he or she is in it without actually moving around and using the tools and shops. This seems impressive.
  2. ** The user may also monitor all operations and disturbances within the Factory-Cathedral from any location.
  3. *** The user may also consider himself within the manse at all times, allowing him or her to operate it’s systems remotely, recover essence more quickly, and draw on any special benefits that the manse bestows on its residents.
  4. **** The user may also draw on the manses active, constructive, powers regardless of his or her location.
  5. ***** The user also gains access to a single craft charm which he or she could normally purchase if he or she currently had the time and experience to spend.

New Crafting Charm:

Finally, here’s our new Crafting Charm.

The Prefabrication Protocols (also known as City Constructing Methodology):

  • Cost: —, Minimum: Craft 5, Essence 2; Type: Permanent
  • Keywords: None
  • Duration: Permanent
  • Prerequisite Charms: None

You may use an Atlier-Manse or Factory-Cathedral to produce or repair buildings, roads, manses, and similar infrastructure by creating the basic components for them – gaining the usual reduction in construction interval and multiplying your personal efforts as a supernatural laborer by the production factor (x1250) for non-artifacts. Unfortunately, operating this way means having to do all the work yourself.

3 Responses

  1. […] Factory-Cathedrals: Includes the Prefabrication Protocols crafting charm. […]

  2. […] Factory-Cathedrals: Includes the Prefabrication Protocols crafting charm. […]

  3. […] Factory-Cathedrals: Includes the Prefabrication Protocols crafting charm. […]

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