This project returns to the original direction Lite was taking - more of a streamlining and balancing of the rules system, rather than a total rewrite. In a way, it's how I think third edition could feasibly look. This has some small unit conflict rules built in, but simply isn't suitable for mass conflict - see Exalted Nations for that.
Ultimately, I wand to address several large problems with the current Exalted rules set:
- Uneven trait value. Dexterity does offense and defense, while strength and stamina do one each. Melee is important, but Ride?
- Martial Arts. 'nuff said.
- Lack of resolution. I know it's attractive, but the claimed effects don't support the spread in-system. If someone with an attribute at 1 is so far behind someone with a 3, then they shouldn't beat them 11.88% of the time. While this doesn't solve that problem completely, it softens it a bit.
- Insane numbers of Charms, many of which provide the same mechanical effects.
- There are six attributes.
- Strength and Stamina merge almost completely to form Brawn. Except for initiating a grapple (done only with Dexterity), this is fairly straightforward.
- Charisma eats Manipulation, Appearance becomes a Merit / Flaw deal, and the other social Attribute is Ego, instead. Ego sort of functions as the counterpart to Brawn for social combat, while Charisma takes the place of dexterity. The mechanics aren't identical, however.
- Intelligence gets rolled into Perception (reconstructing events and other things that involve past sensory awareness) and Wits (most of the rest). This is because while it's easy to allow a player to think things through a bit (representing high wits), doing the same for intelligence is far more difficult. Certain mental duels allow wits to act like dexterity, while perception functions as Brawn.
- Virtues are the same, and aside from range (slightly), and replacing the need for willpower, they are largely unchanged.
- Willpower is gone. You spend virtue points, instead.
- The health system is completely re-done. Damage is not rolled, but instead, calculated via (Extra Successes)*(Damage Rating - Armor Rating). Naturally, there are more health levels to compensate for this.
- Abilities get a minor overhaul.
- Dawn Abilities are: Brawl, Command, Marksmanship, Melee, and War
- Zenith Abilities are: Expression, Integrity, Presence, Resistance, and Survival
- Twilight Abilities are: Craft, Lore, Mechanics, Occult, and Science
- Night Abilities are: Athletics, Awareness, Larceny, Medicine, and Stealth
- Eclipse Abilities are: Bureaucracy, Husbandry, Linguistics, Operation, and Socialize
- Comments are welcome about the exact ability spread. They're welcome about everything, but I'm mostly puzzling over this at the moment. Craft and Occult lose some of their ubiquity to the other abilities - Expression is most of Craft: Air, for instance, Husbandry takes out parts of the actual Husbandry art, and so on.
- ○○○○○ - The trait is not possessed by the character, or is insignificant on the human scale. This can occasionally be the case for severe cripples, though they may still live.
- ●○○○○ - The trait is rather poor. Attributes at this level are substandard for humans - about a sixth of the population has a given attribute at this rating. Abilities at this level are considered initiate grade - better than nothing but not representing significant training. Virtues at this level are considered caustic or subpar for one reason or another - a coward, insensitive, easily swayed, or 'loose'.
- ●●○○○ - The trait is 'average'. Attributes at this level are normal for humans - two-thirds of the population having a given attribute at this rating. Virtues are typical and abilities are what many average people in a profession possess.
- ●●●○○ - Above average. Attributes at this level are significantly above average for humans - about a seventh of the population having a given attribute at this rating. Virtues and abilities at this rating are notable, though common enough. This is the maximum rating normal human extras may possess.
- ●●●●○ - Good. This level of trait stands out in a small group. One in fifty humans possesses an attribute or virtue at this rating. This level of ability is typically considered mastery for most people.
- ●●●●● - Excellent. A normal human with a trait at this level leaves a strong impression. To most people, they are the best mortal they know of when it comes to such a trait. One in 750 humans possesses an attribute or virtue at this rating. Abilities at this level generate significant amounts of renown - the master smith for a small region or city.
- ●●●●● ●○○ - Exceptional. Mortals with this level of ability tend not to be - those that aren't Exalted certainly may. One in 30,000 normal humans possesses a virtue or attribute at this rating. Abilities at this level are known across a large region or a major city.
- ●●●●● ●●○ - Amazing. In the second age, people with the capacity to attain such heights almost universally Exalt, at least after the Empress has vanished. Those few that don't make an accounting for themselves. Less than one in three million normal humans would possess such an attribute or virtue were they not Exalted already. Abilities at such a level would represent the finest masters of Creation, even among the Terrestrial Exalted.
- ●●●●● ●●● - Legendary. No mere mortal has ever achieved such heights since the First Age, and their legends echo still, those unlucky few whose talents were worthy of Exaltation but never receiving its grace, instead standing beside the ranks of the Dragon Kings and Terrestrial Exalted in terms of status. One in a billion.
Scores of 9 or higher are, for one reason or another, simply inhuman.