“Lesser Exaltations” are one of Charles’s research projects – and the techniques involved may or may not have anything to do with actual Celestial or Terrestrial Exaltations. What they do involve is bonding a mortal or god-blood character to three especially-designed and augmented five-dot Manses and twelve dots worth of artifacts – a Soul Sheathe (Artifact ***) containing a Least Rune Weapon (Artifact *), a Greater Ring of Thaumaturgic Mastery (Artifact **), a set of Commando Armor (Artifact ***), and a Lesser Sigil of the Moon (Artifact ***).
That’s still no match for the potential of a genuine Celestial Exaltation – but it does provide a good deal of immediate power and some fairly good defenses.
Unfortunately, the effects of three complex augmented manses and five complicated artifacts is kind of hard to keep track of – especially when the manses are designed to modify and amplify some of the effects of the artifacts. Ergo, we have a (still fairly complicated) summary sheet.
Lesser Exalts Gain:
- +1 Essence. They may continue to buy up their essence at (x8) as per the usual rules and gain an essence pool of ([Essence x 6] + [Willpower x 3] + [Sum of Virtues] +4). While they regain essence at the usual base rate (4/8 per hour) they are effectively “in” two manse *****’s at all times – providing an extra 40 motes per hour.
- Three Spirit Charms and the ability to buy more spirit charms at 8 XP each. They may buy Terrestrial and Celestial Martial Arts if they can find a teacher. Spirit Charms may be combo’d freely at a cost of 1 Will, but combos involving martial arts charms must be developed normally.
- +3 Strength
- +1 to each attribute other then Strength.
- Double their base ground movement speed.
- Base Health Levels of 2x -0, 8x -1, 8x -2, 2x -4, and “Dead”. Thanks to their investing a health level in each of two manses, for them “Dead” usually means “becoming a normal – if fairly minor – spirit”.
- Stamina-based Soak as per an Exalt.
- Immunity to Crippling, Unnatural Mental Influence, and unwanted Shaping effects.
- +10 Bonus Successes against Poison and Disease.
- +12L/+12B Soak and Hardness 6L/6B – although this does not stack with external armor.
- Cannot suffer more than three levels of damage from any single attack or flurry.
- Can reduce the final damage from any attack or flurry to zero three times per scene.
- +4 to Integrity and Resistance. These raise their effective skill rating, and so affect any figured abilities. They do not, however, raise the cost of increasing the base skill and may result in skill totals beyond the usual caps.
- +2 to Archery, Awareness, Martial Arts, Melee, Stealth, and Thrown. These raise their effective skill rating, and so affect any figured abilities. They do not, however, raise the cost of increasing the base skill and may result in skill totals beyond the usual caps.
- +2 to their Dodge DV.
- They regenerate one level of bashing damage every three actions in combat, all bashing damage over the course of a minute out of combat, one level of lethal damage every half hour, and one level of aggravated damage every two and a half hours.
- Their aging rate is negligible. They can expect to remain in good health for several thousand years.
- They may carry and attune two hearthstones without need for a socket or essence commitment.
- They may maintain a link with an external source of power – whether that’s an entity (which can communicate with the user, transmit powers through the weapon, and – if capable of becoming immaterial and not otherwise restrained – travel to it), place (in which case the user can draw upon that place as if he or she was within it), or device (in which case the user may draw on it as if he or she was in contact with it). The link can be changed, or renewed in a few moments if dispelled, but the Lesser Exalt may only maintain one link at a time.
- They need not eat, sleep, drink, or breathe, and are immune to natural environmental hazards.
- May invoke up to three thaumaturgic effects per day without having to expend motes or will. They do not, however, automatically know any thaumaturgy. Most do learn some though.
- Can store three thaumaturgic effects, ready for immediate use.
Each Lesser Exalt is attuned to a particular type of weapon – sword, staff, bow, etc – and can imbue any one such weapon at a time with the following powers:
- Perfection. Such weapons get two +1’s and a +2 to be divided between Accuracy, Damage, Defense, and Rate – although Rate can only be increased by +1. This does not stack with artifact powers however.
- Collapsible. The weapon can collapse into a small, easily-concealed, form.
- Unbreakable. The weapons cannot be destroyed save by truly grotesque intentional abuse or major directed magical acts.
These powers are protected against countermeasures short of Celestial Circle Countermagic. If so dispelled, they can be reinvoked six ticks later.
- A blurring/multiple-image effect, adding (another) +2 to their Dodge DV.
- +3 bonus dice to any roll they make.
- +6L/6B Soak that reduces Ping damage.
May spend one mote to:
- Be able to physically attack immaterial beings for (2 x Essence) hours.
- See the flows of essence, revealing the presence of immaterial spirits, spells, active charms, and similar effects for (2 x Ess) days.
- Stunt as an Exalt or other supernatural being for (2 x Ess) days. While god-bloods do this anyway, this is often useful to mortals.
- Negate up to four botches per scene that would otherwise harm them for (2 x Ess) days.
May spend two motes to…
- Take on up to twelve points of mutations for up to (2 x Ess) Days. This will not stack with itself, but can be dropped at any time.
- Occultly perform an hours simple work, such as sorting and filing, cleaning, cutting wood, weeding a garden, and so on. Sadly, this will not accomplish magical tasks other than alchemy and cannot be used on anyone above essence one who wishes to resist.
May spend three motes to…
- Generate a shadow-shield (as per desired physical shield) or up to a 10 x 10 wall. These have 12B/12L/12A Soak, require 12 levels of damage to destroy, and last for ten minutes otherwise. No cost for the first three times in a day.
There are, in fact, a number of ways this package could be made more powerful, more coherent, and better unified (most notably by using fewer, but higher-rated, artifacts) – but Charles has taken the “throw everything and the kitchen sink in” approach this time around and is designing around the use of artifacts that he can mass-produce with relative ease.
His next approach is to use manses in another way – as in the Bazaar of the Bizarre – to imbue mortals with the abilities of powerful manse guardians.
After that he may combine the two approaches – resulting in some pretty impressive powers – or try for the all-in-one uber-artifact approach like Authchthon. Uber-artifacts are a lot harder to make though.
- Exalted – The Primordial Geas from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Exalted – Geomantic Engineering (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Part XXI – The Maiden in Durance Vile (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Exalted – The Bazaar of the Bizarre (Manse ****) (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Part XXIII – The Great Gates (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Part XVIII – The Question of the Divine (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Part XXIV – A Pointed Plot (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice XVI – Thaumaturgic Challenges (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Part XX – Incidents of Artifice (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice Part XXII – The Logic of Lions (ruscumag.wordpress.com)