Let’s start with a quick summary of what the exalted are in the default setting of Exalted.
Back at the dawn of creation, the gods were the servants of the Primordials (the wild, alien, powerful and volatile creators of the world).
The gods wanted to overthrow the Primordials, but were unable to act against them directly (due to oaths and constraints build into their very being by their Primordial creators).
Instead, the gods hit upon the cunning plan of giving a portion of their powers to mortals and using them as soldiers.
These god-shards were scattered amongst humanity programed to seek out those able and worthy to wield their great power, and thus the Exalted came into being.
Different types of powers came from different gods, creating the Terrestrial (elemental), Sidereal, Lunar, and Solar Exalted (and later the Alchemical, Infernal and Abyssal exalted were created).
At the moment of their downfall, the Primordials lashed out in rage and laid the Great Curse upon the Exalted.
This manifests as tendency of the exalted to go bat-shit crazy if they are provoked enough- for example, an Exalt with a Compassion curse may only by able to stand to see so much suffering and oppression, after which they will snap and fly into a blind rage for a scene killing all those they see as oppressors (and anyone who gets in their way) whether or not is is appropriate at the time.
So that’s the Exalted from the book.
There’s one idea that I had for some changes:
- the pantheon that created the Exalted were the gods of the Ancients, a powerful and advanced race that disappeared centuries ago at the end of the third age.
- this means that the powers of the exalted are somewhat more mysterious, and are not directly connected with the gods around today.
- One of the things that bugs me about exalted is that unless you are one of a tiny lucky chosen handful of people (there are just a few hundred celestial exalted in the whole of creation) then you pretty much don’t matter. Therefore, rather than there being a fixed number of exultations, anyone who meets the basic criteria of exaltation will gain access to a trickle of exalted power- only by performing suitable deeds will the character then prove themselves worthy of the next level of power etc.
Just a subtle change to the flavour of the game really.
- I think we may dispense with the great curse as well – its not much fun to have your characters temporary turn insane.