Wuxalted Redux

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Introduction

This is a work in progress to create a sleaker, more stream-lined version of Wuxalted, which itself a combination of Wushu and Exalted.

This work is intended as guide to help people who know Exalted and/or Wushu to play Exalted with Wushu-inspired lighter mechanics. This work is not intended to be a guide to help newcomers discover Exalted and/or Wushu.

Wushu is the property of Daniel Bayn, Exalted is the property of White Wolf Publishing, and Wuxalted was written by a bunch of guys on RPGnet. All the rest that's managed to slip through the cracks are my original ideas. My ideas are up for grabs, the rest is the IP of their owners.

Terminology

  • Scarlet / Ebon: Yang / Yin from Wushu.
  • Essence: This corresponds to the total dice cap one can gain when describing actions in Wushu, as well as to a character's maximum Chi.
  • Mote: Chi in Wushu. Motes are a broad umbrella for Essence motes, Willpower and Health levels in Exalted.

Mechanics & Basics

As in Wushu, there are three levels of conflict: Conflict with Named Characters (Nemesis), Conflict with Extras (Mooks), and Minor Challenges (Scab rolls).


Conflict with Named Characters

To resolve how much narrative impact a described action has upon a scene, the action's dice are rolled against a target number that is determined by the Attribute and Ability most appropriate to that action; the target number is equal to the Attribute + Ability.

An appropriate Specialty allows a player to reroll one dice on his roll when luck is against him.

Conflict with Extras

Minor Challenges

Characters

Motivation, Virtue, Flaw & Limit Break

A player defines some grandiose Motivation, as in Exalted 2nd Ed. Whenever the PC makes sizeable steps towards accomplishing his Motivation, he regains one Mote.

Virtue, Flaw & Limit Break work as Wuxalted.

Attributes

The three Attributes remain: Physical, Social and Mental. They are rated from 1 to 3. Attribute 1 means your character's development in this area is not particularly impressive; Attribute 2 means your character's development in this area is noteworthy and impressive. Attribute 3 means that your character's development in this area is amazing, bordering on legendary. Determine which applies to a roll to calculate the roll's target number.

Abilities

Each character now only has five Abilities but different Exalted do not use the same Abilities. They are still rated from 0 to 2. Ability 0 means that your character has not had significant training in this domain; Ability 1 means that your character is extremely competent in this domain; Ability 2 means that your character's training in this domain is master-class.

The Abilities are umbrella traits that, rather than detailing a character's capabilities in fine grain, keep an eye on theme, representing what each Exalt is traditionally good at.

Solars

  • Dawn (Archery, Martial Arts, Melee, Thrown, War)
  • Eclipse (Bureaucracy, Linguistics, Ride, Sail, Socialize)
  • Night (Awareness, Athletics, Dodge, Larceny, Stealth)
  • Twilight (Craft, Investigation, Lore, Medicine, Occult)
  • Zenith (Integrity, Performance, Presence, Resistance, Survival)

Dragon-Blooded

  • Air (Linguistics, Lore, Occult, Stealth, Thrown)
  • Earth (Awareness, Craft, Integrity, Resistance, War)
  • Fire (Athletics, Dodge, Melee, Presence, Socialize)
  • Water (Bureaucracy, Investigation, Larceny, Martial Arts, Sail)
  • Wood (Archery, Medicine, Performance, Ride, Survival)

Sidereals

  • Battles (Archery, Melee, Presence, Resistance, War)
  • Endings (Awareness, Athletics, Bureaucracy, Martial Arts, Medicine)
  • Journeys (Integrity, Ride, Sail, Survival, Thrown)
  • Secrets (Investigation, Larceny, Lore, Occult, Stealth)
  • Serenity (Craft, Dodge, Linguistics, Performance, Socialize)

Abyssals

  • Day (Athletics, Awareness, Dodge, Larceny, Stealth)
  • Daybreak (Craft, Investigation, Lore, Medicine, Occult)
  • Dusk (Archery, Martial Arts, Melee, Thrown, War)
  • Midnight (Integrity, Performance, Presence, Resistance, Survival)
  • Moonshadow (Bureaucracy, Linguistics, Ride, Sail, Socialize)

Lunars

  • Glory (Archery, Martial Arts, Melee, Thrown, War)
  • Purity (Athletics, Awareness, Integrity, Resistance, Survival)
  • Cunning (Dodge, Larceny, Sail, Socialize, Stealth)
  • Honour (Craft, Linguistics, Performance, Presence, Ride)
  • Wisdom (Bureaucracy, Investigation, Lore, Occult, Medicine)

Heroic Mortals

[TBD]

Great common sense here. Wish I'd thouhgt of that.

Backgrounds

Most Backgrounds can be used to provide bonus dice in certain types of conflicts; these Backgrounds come in two forms: ones that grant Held Dice (HD) and ones that grant Constant Bonuses (CB). Held Dice let you apply up to a total of 2 * Rating bonus dice in a conflict; Constant Bonuses add their Rating to every roll where they are applicable in a conflict.

Players should define as narrowly as possible the circumstances in which Backgrounds would apply; the inappropriate use of Backgrounds may be veto'd, like Detail dice.

Backgrounds are rated from 0 to 2. A Background of 0 is not significant to the story; a Background of 1 represents a resource or outside force capable of having a noteworthy impact in favour of the PC; a Background of 2 represents a powerful force or very reliable investment on the PC's part.

See Character Creation for more details.

  • Allies
  • Artifact -- CB. Artifact weapons typically offer bonus Scarlet dice when attacking with them; artifact armour offers Ebon dice when resisting with it.
  • Backing -- CB. Backing typically provides a bonus to Social interactions within the Backing organisation; it may also be used when the Backing organisation is helping the character to accomplish a goal.
  • Cult -- no bonus. A Cult allows the Exalt to regain its rating in Motes every day.
  • Familiar
  • Followers -- HD. Represents a substantial military force; may be used as Held Dice on military actions.
  • Influence -- CB. Represents the Exalt's political clout in his society. Beware that it also a potent storyhook, as it means your character is well-known and exposed to a certain amount of public scrutiny; Anathema with Influence are likely to be targetted by the Wild Hunt.
  • Manse
  • Mentor -- HD. A Mentor is usually helpful when even the character's best is not good enough; he may benefit from his Mentor's wisdom by training with him before taking on a known challenge.
  • Resources -- HD. Represents how rich a character is. Has many potential uses, but is also quite useless in some circumstances, for example if you find yourself stuck in the Wyld.

Sorcery

As in the original Wuxalted, Sorcery is bought as a three tier Background. Dragon-Blooded and Terrestrial-level Sorcerors may buy one dot to represent Terrestrial Sorcery; Sidereals and Lunars may buy up to two dots to represent Celestial Sorcery; Abyssals and Solars may buy up to three dots to represent Solar Sorcery.

The character should also have the related Ability at least at 1 for Terrestrial Sorcery; 2 for Celestial Sorcery; 2 with Specialty (Occult) for Solar Sorcery.

Sorcery is basically the most of Held Dice/Constant Bonus adders; it is also the most expensive. Indeed, it can be added to any conflict whatsoever as long as the player can describe an appropriate spell and spends 1 Mote per dot of the Background he wishes to bring into play. Hence invoking a Terrestrial spell for +2HD or +1CB costs 1 Mote, a Celestial spell for +4HD or +2CB costs 2 Motes, and a Solar spell for +6HD or +3CB costs 3 Motes.

Spending Motes on Sorcery causes the Anima Flare Setback; Night Caste Solars may not use their Anima effect to avoid this.

Essence

Your Essence represents the total dice you can receive by Detailing your actions. To get above this limit, a character must rely upon his Anima, Charms, Backgrounds or other such effects.

Essence also represents the number of Motes a character may hold. Motes represent narrative immunity in the story: enough Health Levels, Willpower, etc. to do what needs to be done.

Characters usually regain Motes at the rate of one per day.

Essence is determined from the following table:

CharacterBase Essence
Ordinary Mortals1
Heroic Mortal2
God-Blooded3
Dragon-Blooded4
Lunars, Sidereals5
Solars, Abyssals6
Established (after a long campaign)+1
Veteran (survived several decades)+2
Elite (survived several centuries, the Empress(?))+3
Legendary (First Age Solars, Deathlords, the Empress(?))+4

Anima

Anima Flare

Spending Motes on Anima effects causes an Anima Flare Setback with a severity equal to the number of Motes spent.

Solars

Dawn
  • Spend 1 mote: halve a Mook threat if it is capable of fear; additionally, for the rest of the scene, the Dawn gets an automatic Ebon success when fighting opponents (including Mooks) with an Essence score equal to or less than his as long as his opponent is capable of fear. If the opponent has the Valor Virtue, their Essence score is treated as being one higher for the purpose of this comparison.
Eclipse
  • Demons, Fae and Spirit will not physically attack the Eclipse or his party unless they attack first (Social combat, on the other hand...).
  • Spend 1 Mote to sanctify an Oath; an Oathbreaker loses ALL the successes of one future roll at a dramatically appropriate moment.
  • After having studied another Exalted or Spirit's Charm effects for long enough, an Eclipse may invoke said Charm effect at the usual cost, plus one extra Mote.
Night
  • A Night caste may spend an extra Mote to activate his CHARM and other ANIMA effect without that either Mote counting towards Anima Flare.
  • Spend 1 Mote to get an automatic Ebon success on all rolls involving hiding, sneaking, etc. for the rest of the scene.
Twilight
  • Spend 1 Mote to get an automatic Ebon success to resist physical harm for the rest of the scene. This includes combat.
Zenith
  • Spend 1 Mote to get +1 Scarlet dice and +1 Ebon dice when fighting unholy creatures for the rest of the scene.

Dragon-Blooded

Air
  • Spend 1 Mote: Get an automatic Ebon success against missile weapons (Thrown & Archery) for the scene.
  • Can not lose Motes or die from falling.
Earth
  • Spend 1 Mote: Get an automatic Ebon success to resist physical harm for the rest of the scene, as long as her feet rest on earth or stone.
  • Can not lose Motes or die from being smothered in earth.
Fire
  • Spend 1 Mote: Get +1 Scarlet dice for hand-to-hand combat for the rest of the scene.
  • Can not lose Motes or die from fire.
Water
  • Spend 1 Mote: Get +1 Scarlet and +1 Ebon dice when fighting on top of, or within, a body of water, for the rest of the scene.
  • Can not lose Motes or die from drowning.
Wood
  • Spend 1 Mote: Get an automatic Ebon success against arrows, wooden or wood-hafted weapons for the rest of the scene.
  • Can not lose Motes or die from plant-based poisons.

Lunar

Full Moon

Spend 1 Mote to gain 1 automatic Scarlet success to all actions involving speed, leaping and other displays of Athletics for the rest of the scene. This may be applied to combat if the situation is appropriate. (But remember, friends don't let friends cheese out!)

Changing Moon

Spend 1 Mote to halve a Mook threat if deception and impersonation can resolve the conflict. If the conflict involves a Nemesis, the Lunar gets an automatic Scarlet success on any deception or impersonation rolls.

No Moon

May cast Celestial Sorcery spells for only 1 Mote.

Charms

Solars

A Solar may spend 1 Mote to gain a bonus of (Attribute+Ability) dice on a roll.

Dragon-Blooded

A Dragon-Blooded may spend 1 Mote to gain a bonus of (Ability+Specialty) dice on a roll. Additionally, up to (Ability+Specialty) successes may be traded between the Scarlet and Ebon dice after the roll.

Lunars

A Lunar may spend 1 Mote to gain a bonus of (Attribute) dice on a roll; if this Attribute happens to be his Caste Attribute, gain an extra dice.

Additionally, to represent the incredible regenerative power of Lunars, they regain Motes at the rate of one per hour rather than one per day.

Character Creation

Solars

  • Define Motivation, choose Virtue and describe your Flaw; choose your Caste.
  • Assign points to Attributes; either choose to set one to 3, another to 2 and the last to 1, or set them all to 2.
  • Assign points to Abilities; your Caste Ability starts at 1. All others start at 0.
  • Assign points to Backgrounds; you may spend three points among the Backgrounds described in this section.
  • Essence starts at 6.
  • Record your Charm and Anima effects.
  • Spend Bonus Points: You may spend up to 15 Bonus Points to round out your character; see the Bonus Points table for costs.

Dragon-Blooded

As with Solars, except they receive Essence 4 and their own particular Abilities. Dynast Dragon-Blooded get 6 Background points, however (Outcastes don't; sucks to be them!)

Example Characters

Here are some characters created using the rules above:

Character Progression

Character progression, in the sense of characters getting 'better' or more poweful with time, remains in Wuxalted Redux as much a compromise between Wushu and Exalted as it does in Wuxalted; after all, in Wushu, character progression is not an issue, whereas in Exalted, it is the basis of the game's longterm structure. Characters in Wuxalted start out pretty kick-ass, so do you and your players feel they need to get better? If not, then it's simple: forget about it. If your characters are working and your players are happy, why upset the balance? If so, however, how do you go about doing it?

Well, the obvious method is to give them the occaisional extra Bonus Point at the end of an especially significant session (or when the players bitch loud enough!). Don't overdo it, though; keep in mind the fact that Wuxalted Redux is a very simple game as laid out and that there's only so much room to push things.

The other method is to increase the character's Essence to represent their growing power (see the Essence table). Granting them 'Established' status (+1 Essence) at the end of a suitable story arc spanning the survival and growth of a Circle of newly-Exalted Solars might be just the kind of reward the players will appreciate.

Bonus Points Table

Attribute7
Ability3
Specialty1
Background1

Tricks of the Trade: Running Wuxalted Redux

I'll insert tips on how to run the game as I go along here.

Antagonists

Spirits

Ghosts

Essence 2 base.

Use the Abyssal Ability set.

Nemissary

Essence 3 base.

Charm: May spent 1 Mote to end a conflict by abandoning its current host and fleeing.