This page is intended to serve as a translation guide for Exalted Backgrounds. This will not contain new mechanics or the like, but rather direct people to the parts of Strands that perform the same function as those Backgrounds did in the Storyteller mechanics.
The primary means by which Backgrounds are represented in Strands is through Aspects. For extremely important and significant Backgrounds, these might be reflected in the Character Aspects (particularly the Background Aspect if you're using the Aspect Alphabet). Lesser, but still signifant Backgrounds might be represented with Speciality Aspects, particularly the Foes, Gear and Help Aspects. An advantage of using Aspects for many of these is that they can be Invoked to make appropriate declarations, and be Compelled when they are potentially troublesome.
However, there are also Advantages which enhance the feeling of certain Backgrounds or address their main precepts directly. Those are outlined below.
- 1 Mundane Backgrounds
- 2 Supernatural Backgrounds
The primary means of representing Allies is through the Help Speciality Aspect.
CLASS This Background denotes a character’s place within the rigid society of Autochthonia. It subsumes the functions of Influence, because jurisdictional authority is incorporated directly into an Autochthonian’s social class. It subsumes Resources, because although Autochthonia does see some bartering and trade, particularly between nations, it has no fixed monetary unit, and individual hoarding is strongly discouraged. It subsumes Followers, because cults of personality are outlawed as disruptive. A social class’s administrative burdens dictate how many assistants and followers one of its members may requisition or appoint to assist in his labors. While an observer from Creation might believe Alchemicals stand outside of this rigid system, the truth is that they are enshrined in a special position as state-sponsored heroes. Unlike Creation’s Exalted, these industrial czars, technological innovators and mechanized warriors do not rule. Instead, they perform epic feats on behalf of their nation. Greater degrees of autonomy, luxury and authority to requisition goods and personnel are granted as they labor for the good of their mortal brethren. As such, all Alchemicals (save for those of the Adamant Caste) begin play with Class ••• for free and may raise it with bonus points to reflect a particularly illustrious service record before play begins. Autochthonian mortals exiled or born into outcast colonies do not use this Background and must scrape together a subsistence using Followers, Influence and Resources
ence using Followers, Influence and Resources.
X This is the rating of the Lumpen underclass and, in games where the Seal of Eight Divinities has been breached, of slaves from Creation. Class 0 provides a tolerable standard of living equivalent to Resources •, but imposes a -1 external penalty on all social interaction with individuals of higher Class.
• As a general laborer or aide of the Populat, your character enjoys a sparse but comfortable standard of living equal to Resources ••. She lives in a dormitory with several dozen individuals, the entirety of which is communal property. In a game incorporating Creation-dwelling loyalists, members of this Outsider caste also share this Class rating, though they are barred from entering Autochthonia.
•• Your character is a shift chief of the Populat, overseeing anywhere from 20 to 300 workers. She lives in a Resources ••• apartment with about a dozen peers.
••• Your character is either a foreman of the Populat, responsible for overseeing an entire factory, a junior member of the Tripartite (and thus also require Backing at 1–2 dots) or a young or notably disruptive Alchemical. She enjoys a standard of living equal to Resources •••, with a small staff of personal aides (ostensibly for professional use only). Your character’s rank allows her to requisition goods and services valued at Resources ••••, but she might need to justify such requisitions to her superiors. Foremen live in suites housing six peers, while the most junior members of the Tripartite pair up in sparse but spacious apartments. Slightly more experienced Tripartite members and all Alchemical Exalts have small private domiciles befitting their importance. Your character receives a situational bonus die to all social rolls when interacting with characters of lower Class.
•••• Your character is a regional supervisor of the Populat, directing an entire industry within her city. Alternatively, she is a veteran member of the Tripartite (with Backing at 2–3 dots) or a seasoned or unusually active Alchemical. Your character has a standard of living equivalent to Resources ••• or •••• according to her sensibilities and may freely requisition goods and services as valuable as Resources ••••• if she is willing to justify such extravagances to her local Tripartite Assembly. Your character’s private residence/office complex is spacious and comfortable, roughly the size of a townhouse in Creation, and she has an extensive staff of aides and assistants. Your character receives a situational bonus die to social rolls when interacting with characters of lower Class.
••••• Your character is a director of the Populat or a senior leader in the Tripartite (with Backing at four to five dots). Alternatively, your character is an elder or phenomenally accomplished younger Alchemical. She lives, as befits her authority, in a palatial residence, most likely living at Resources •••• or ••••• depending on her ego. Only the most egregious abuses of requisition power and/or her staff will be censured. Your character receives a two-die situational bonus when interacting with characters of lower Class.
The primary means of representing Contacts/Spies is through the Help Speciality Aspect. You may also use the Organisation rules if a character has a more formal setup to run their networks of eyes and ears. In this instance the Expert Advantage Headquarters may be relevant.
The primary means of representing Family is through the Help Speciality Aspect.
The primary means of representing these is through the Help Speciality Aspect.
The primary means of representing a Mentor is through the Help Speciality Aspect.
The primary means of representing a Patron is through the Help Speciality Aspect.
Depending on whether the character is famous or infamous, either the Foe or Help Speciality Aspects could work to model Reputation. Of the Expert Advantages, Well-Known is directly appropriate.
The primary means of representing Resources in SoF is, unsurprisingly, the Resources Ability (though this is used for more than just a measure of wealth in the game). This is further nuanced by Speciality Aspects focusing on Resources. In addition, you might consider the following Expert Advantages: Good Investment, Grease the Wheels and Money Talks. Finally, the Heroic Advantages Money is No Object and Persistent Speciality Aspect (for a Resource-based Exceptional Skill, for example) also support the notion of having a lot of money.
Breeding for Dragonblooded or Inheritance for God-Blooded, mechanically this is represented by Wellspring. If especially significant, it might also be an Essence-based Speciality Aspect or even a Character Aspect.
Celestial, Infernal, and Underworld Manse