Monthly Archives: February 2015

Announcement: Online Exalted!

Hello to all my fellow Exalted fans!

Have you ever said to yourself, “Man I love Exalted so much I wish I could play it more, and read and write more about it, but I can’t commit any more regular time periods of my weekend”?  If you have NEVER said that to yourself, you may not want to bother with the rest of this message.

As it so happens, I have said that exact phrase to myself many times.  After some careful research, brainstorming and technical finagling, I am pleased to officially announce Online Exalted!

How does this work?  I shall explain!

Anyone interested will create an account at the main website: http://exalted.prionspace.net/online/ and let me know what campaign and role you are interested in playing in.

  1. Storytellers are essentially the collective DM of the campaign.  They decide the story, the general direction of actions, and major events in the campaign.  They cannot have a character, though they may introduce NPCs.  They are ideal for experiencing the joy of creation.
  2. Editors are assistants to the Storytellers in terms of writing.  They do not know the direction of the plot but they are familiar with the scenarios the characters are in.  They may have characters, though it is somewhat frowned upon for these characters to be strategic thinkers since Editors have some clues as to what is going on.  They enjoy both creation and discovery in parts.
  3. Players are unable to see the posts with the Storyteller notes, and are thus completely unaware of what is happening outside of the descriptions of the Storytellers and Editors.  They primarily dictate their character’s actions, though they are also encouraged to add details of their own and can participate fully in any writeup.  They are ideal for experiencing the joy of discovery.

The party consists of a number of Characters.  Each Character has their own Page on the website and an actual character sheet in the possession of that Character’s player.  The Page will include a number of Default Actions for different situations (in case someone can’t regularly be at the computer).  This raises an important point: unlike in IRL Exalted, when a player has Sole Authorship over their character, in Online Exalted a player instead has Primary Authorship over their character.  They may have the final say on what their character says and does but it is expected that other people will write words for your character as well.  This makes it very important to develop a distinctive “voice” for your character from the outset, so other people can play them for you.

Additionally, the Storyteller has Primary Authorship over scenery, skill check types, and difficulties, but anyone else may freely insert what they feel is appropriate to the story.  The Storyteller retains final say and may edit as they wish, but should not feel disempowered by other people deciding what difficulty a standard locked door may be for a Dex+Larceny check, say.  (Of course, if the story actually surprises you with a hidden artifact lock, the Storyteller must jump in and say “ACTUALLY, you’re very surprised that you DIDN’T actually unlock that door like you were expecting!”)

The procession of play goes like this:

  • An Unpublished post is created, and the Storytellors and Editors (collectively referred to hereafter as the Writers) set the scene.
  • Players put their intentions for their characters in square brackets, and as they or the Writers set difficulties, someone rolls dice and someone sets difficulties for the actions.  Stunts are, as always, encouraged and accounted for.  Players may also signal their intention to “stunt” the final writeup further, earning extra stunt dice.
  • Once the Unpublished post is complete (as determined by agreement of the Writers) it is retained for posterity while someone creates a Published post that is in novelization form.  It is expected to be a collaborative effort.
  • Characters belonging to any Editor or Player who contributed at any point receive 1xp.

Note: the Unpublished and Published categories are WordPress categories that dictate where on the website the posts show up!  It’s magic!

Confused?  Hit me up!  I would be more than happy to energetically describe the whole process in more detail.

Now that you’ve read through this whole thing, please let me know what your interest level is!!!  Thank you!

Dramatis Personæ

  • Yurgen Kaneko, the Bull of the North.  A Dawn caste Solar who has created an empire and attracted many Exalted to his cause.  Is slowly but surely becoming convinced of his own divine right to rule.
  • Samea.  A Zenith caste Solar and mighty Sorceress who once took Yurgen under her wing but now answers to his leadership.
  • Kami the Healer.  A Twilight caste Solar who has reached the pinnacle of scientific prowess for one so young.  Has already developed a cure for a totally incurable disease and has built artifacts of his own design.  Always accompanied by his young nephew Jacob.
  • Narula the Tigress.  A Dawn caste Solar and the only living Solar who has learned from a Sidereal master.  Runs a very unremarkable dojo in the Hundred Kingdoms.
  • Richard.  A Night caste Solar with a cocky streak a mile wide who now serves as emissary and thief for the Bull of the North.
  • Verrance, Descending Violet Whisper.  A Chosen of Endings with a lot of experience in the North and a fair amount with the Bull of the North as well.  Mistrustful, secretive, and generally a typical Sidereal.
  • Arqubis.  A Twilight caste Solar and accomplished Necromancer who has taken residence in the Shadowland of Thorns.
  • Nalla Bloodaxe.  A Night caste Solar who serves the Bull of the North without question, going so far as to allow himself to be seduced by the Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears.
  • Howling Stripes.  A Wolf totem Full Moon Lunar a full three hundred years old, who first met Narula and Arqubis and pummeled them into submission while hoping for a good fight.  Now runs as Narula’s ally.
  • Zeke.  A Twilight caste Solar with great mechanical skill who has been loaned from his home Empire of Rathess to the Bull of the North as a gesture of goodwill and a contribution towards a secret plan.
  • Yvonne.  A Raksha of the Southeast who has come with Zeke to offer her diplomatic services to aid the Bull’s schemes.

Initial goals for BSG

The Bull’s Shadow Grows is an attempt to incorporate In The Shadow of the Bull more effectively into the other campaigns, and to follow Kami’s adventures post-Hearts of Silver.

Step 1 will be to post the story I wrote to set up ITSB.  That might give a few things away all by itself!

Kamahl’s Mission

The fires had died down, most of the party-goers had left to their more private entertainments, and only two young Lunars remained, basking in the afterglow of the celebration of their formal completion of their initiation into the Silver Pact.  The larger, a burly, yet still graceful young woman named Jenya, had chosen the moniker Chainbreaker, as an inspiration to all those around her who still had chains but could yet free themselves.  The other was a slender slip of a girl wearing bright pink hair and little else, who had renamed herself Laughing Surf to signify a new life that left the old one behind.  As the fire died down and the night grew dim and cold, the two sat closer together to continue their shared discussion of their new lives that lay before them.

“Good evening ladies, may I join you?” A soft, humble voice came through the darkness.  The two looked back and saw the familiar figure of Kamahl, Fist of the Wyld, the legendary Lunar warrior who would give all the chances they deserved to prove themselves.

“Of course,” Laughing Surf clucked cheerily, her trilling chuckle belying her dolphin-like nature.  Jenya nodded as well and made space, her distinctive pattern of facial markings standing out in the dark.  Kamahl bowed slightly then sat between them.

“I have been impressed with both of you,” He said plainly, nodding to each.  “You have done well at both the challenges placed before you as well as the celebration that followed.”

“A party’s always a welcome challenge to meet,” Laughing Surf said, tossing her pink hair ostentatiously.  Jenya smiled but concern danced in her orange eyes.

“Jenya, you are young to know me so well,” Kamahl said, smiling.  “You have sensed I am not here simply to congratulate you.  In fact, I believe I am here to rain on your parade a bit.”

Both looked at him inquisitively, but Kamahl seemed to be in no rush to end the suspense.

“Imagine, both of you for a moment, that you had passed the trials but no one knew of it.  No celebration, no speeches, just some tattooes and an empty land before you to explore.”

Both seemed thoughtful.  After a moment Laughing Surf scoffed slightly.  “Less fun, certainly, but if it were the price of the Second Breath I’d pay it gladly.”

“Yet somehow not having the sharing would diminish this gift,” Jenya concluded.  “What are you getting at, Master?”

“Well, your trials were well-constructed, but let’s just say I feel like they were lacking slightly.  I would like it if you could investigate something for me,” Kamahl said, getting to his point at his own damn pace.  “There’s an island off the coast of An-Teng, supposedly uninhabited, supposedly no natural harbors of any kind, yet somehow ships keep disappearing when they go near it.”

It was Jenya’s turn to scoff.  “What concern are the traders of the oceans to us?  Are we not bigger than that?”  But it was Laughing Surf’s turn to brood quietly.

“That depends,” Kamahl said sagely.  “The concerns of others are always the concerns of ours, if they are big enough.  That is the ultimate burden of being one of the Wardens of Creation.  This world cannot care for itself, but luckily, we are here.  Besides, some of those ships that go missing are slave ships.  Could we not bring more to our causes with this mission?”  His eyes twinkled as he sized up both women.  Each seemed to take this to heart.

“Now, there is someone I want you to include when you venture out there.  He’s currently in the capital of An-Teng, making his way through the city, getting to know what humanity is.  He’s lost it, you see, and he’s trying to reclaim it.  I think he may be helpful for you, and I know you will be helpful for him.”

“How shall we know him?”  Jenya asked.  Kamahl described a black-cloaked, white-masked fellow who was retiring in his nature and eager to avoid trouble.

“Catching him will be a challenge, as will persuading him to help you.  Under no circumstances must you reveal I sent you, or that I’m involved at all,” Kamahl said sternly.  Both young Lunars blinked in surprise but nodded slowly.

“It’s a good journey to An-Teng, though the trouble doesn’t really start until you get there.  Watch out for servants of the Realm.”  With that, Kamahl stood up, stretched, and began to stroll back into the woods.

Jenya and Laughing Surf looked at each other.  No words were spoken for a moment.

“So, shall we leave in the morning?”  Jenya asked delicately.  Laughing Surf nodded carefully.  “Yes, morning.”  Neither made a move to leave.  After a moment that stretched on and on, they each grinned, then suddenly Jenya was a Tiger and Laughing Surf was a Seagull and both took off into the jungle at dead sprints.

Mission Setup

Jenya and Laughing Surf have been sent on a mission to find out what’s happening off the coast of An-Teng.  They have a sub-mission to collect a mysterious cloaked fellow to include on this mission.  Their to-do list probably looks something like this:

  • Get to An-Teng
  • Hunt around as humans or birds to find this guy
  • Recruit him, delicately (he may try to escape)
  • All three set out for the islands to find out what’s up

Jenya and Laughing Surf get to An-Teng probably without incident.  What’s the first plan?

To do soon:

  • Set up User accounts and powers
  • Set up tags for Published versus Unpublished posts and for different campaigns
  • Set up Pages that will display Posts with certain tags
  • Customize the site to look like a Campaign site instead of a proof-of-concept for a theme
  • Make a Google survey
  • Make an official announcement email

Announcement: To Do List

  • Set up User accounts and powers (COMPLETED)
  • Set up tags for Published versus Unpublished posts and for different campaigns (COMPLETED)
  • Set up Pages that will display Posts with certain tags (COMPLETED)
  • Customize so only Announcement category posts will show up on front page (COMPLETED)
  • Customize the site to look like a Campaign site instead of a proof-of-concept for a theme (TO DO NEXT)
  • Make a Google survey
  • Make an official announcement email