Epsilon's Dragon-Blooded Charm Redesign

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This isn't a forum for you to air your grievances. I'm redesigning 2e Dragon-Blooded from the ground up because I feel like it. Expect to see more entries here as i complete them, which I'm doing while goofing off at work so maybe once or twice a week. Feel free to comment to your hearts content.

The following is a complete rewrite of the Charms for the Dragon-Blooded in Exalted second edition. It should be used to completely replace the existing structure of Charms as presented in the Dragon-Blooded books. - Epsilon, on rpg.net

Dragon-Blooded Traits and Guidelines

Most Celestial Charms work on a principle that starts inward and expands outward as the Exalt grows in power. This internal to external focus allows them to steadily grow in power but makes it much harder to effect large scale events until they have refined their Essence sufficiently. The Charms of the Terrestrial Exalted work almost exactly the opposite, Dragon-Blooded Charms work easiest on things external to themselves and only as they refine their Essence and internalize it do they gain mastery over their own body. However while this gives them easier access to various environmental effects early on ultimately the methodology is weaker in the long term than Celestial Charms.

Dragon-Blooded and Dice-Limits

Dragon-Blooded Charms are weaker than most Celestial Charms when it comes to internal effects such as adding dice. Dragon-Blooded may add no more than their Ability rating in dice. This limit increases by the Exalts Specialty dice if that Specialty applies.

A large number of Dragon-Blooded Charms grant temporary Specialties for any number of Abilities. Charms which grant these Specialty dice allow the character to have any number of Specialties for one Ability, however the rule that no more than three dice may be applied as a bonus from Specialties still applies. Specialties granted by Dragon-Blooded Charms DO increase their dice-adder limits. Certain Charms only apply if a Dragon-Blooded has a specialty in a certain area, temporary specialties count when determining if the character can use that Charm.

Charm Aspects

All Dragon-Blooded Charms come easier to some Aspects then others. Each Dragon-Blooded Aspect has five Abilities it naturally favors. Any Charm that is developed from on of these Abilities is considered Aspected to that element. Dragon-Blooded of the appropriate Aspect can use the Charm without penalty. Any other being (including out-of-aspect Dragon-Blooded, Eclipse and Moonshadow Exalted) must first forcibly attune their Anima to the element by an act of will. It cost one Willpower to attune an Anima for one scene, which must be paid reflexively the first time the character uses an out-of-Aspect Charm. After spending the Willpower the character can use such Charms freely for the rest of the scene.

Additionally the Abilities within the Aspects have been reorganized as follows:

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

Reflexive Charms

Dragon-Blooded do not, unless noted in the Charm description, get to activate Reflexive Charms without it counting as their Charm activation for their action. However see the Anima keyword below for a refinement of this idea.

New Keywords

Some Dragon-Blooded Charms require special rules. Rather than repeating those rules the system of keywords allows the Charm to be shorthanded.

  • Cooperative - Many of the Dragon-Blooded's most important Charms are designed to be used in groups. Originally the Dragon-Blooded were the foot soldiers of the Gods, and their Charm design revolves around them cooperating with each other towards a common goal. To use a Charm cooperatively all the participating Dragon-Blooded must know the Charm in question and must activate it at the same time (on the same tick in combat). Eclipse and Moonshadow Exalted may learn such Charm but do not gain the improved benefits when using it with multiple Dragon-Blooded, their Animas do not naturally attune in the same manner Dragon-Blooded do.
  • Elemental - Charms with this keyword are tied more intimately to the five elements than normal. The effects of such Charms vary based on what Aspect the Exalt was born as, as described in the text. Unless otherwise noted in the Charm's text the Exalt may only learn the version attuned to their element.
  • Anima - Charms with this keyword represent a process of refining and developing the Exalts elemental Anima. In effect they render the Dragon-Blooded more like their patrons, allowing them to generate elemental energy from their very souls. These Charms permanently enhance the Exalts abilities, granting him new techniques he can use by manipulating his Anima. Think of them as similar to mutations, but these mutations improve the Exalts Anima rather than his body. The downside of Anima Charms is that they render the Dragon-Blooded more inhuman. When purchased each Anima Charm reduces the character Personal Essence pool by one permanently and increases the character's Peripheral Essence pool by one permanently (in effect on Personal Essence mote becomes one Peripheral Essence mote). If the Anima Charm has a cost in motes to activate it MUST be spent from the character's Peripheral Essence pool. Motes of Personal Essence cannot be spent to activate an Anima Charm under any circumstances. Personal Essence spent to activate the Dragon-Blooded's Anima do not count towards Anima Charms. Exalts with a large number of Anima Charm tend to be much more obviously supernatural than their counterparts, and even when they haven't spent any Essence at all they tend to have minor elemental effects surrounding them at all times. For every three Anima Charms the character has he suffers a -1 external penalty to any attempts to pass as a mortal. Unless noted otherwise activating Anima effects does not count as a Charm activation, instead they count as activating the Dragon-Blooded's Anima powers for the purpose of when and where they can be used. Eclipse and Moonshadow Caste characters can not learn Anima Charms.


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

Notes and Thoughts

  • This next bit I'm compiling from Epsilon's comments and answers to questions on the aforementioned rpg.net thread.

Thoughts on the Aspects and their purview's

Air is the element of motion, both physical and metaphysical. It facilitates communication which in turn creates the movement of ideas. Also, you can never see it and thrown is self explanatory.
Earth is the element of resilience, and thus all of its Abilities are focused on enduring. Whether its building something enduring, being emotionally or physically enduring, creating enduring emotions and idea (by spreading them among as many people as possible) or dealing with the enduring fundamental laws of Creation.
Fire is the element of action and reaction. It is hard to pin down, dangerous, compelling and without fire society would not exist. Plus Phantom Fire Warrior Horde is an awesome Charm name that must be preserved.
Water pretty much is exactly the same as the core book.
Wood is the element of growth and nature, deals with all things in the natural world (people, plants and animals) as well as our place in it and being aware of that. Archery because bows are made of wood.