Exalted: Modern-1 Mechanics Tweaks

This page covers the house rules/mechanical tweaks that Exalted: Modern-1 uses instead of the rules-as-written, such as character creation rules, crafts tweaks, etc.

Character Creation Rules

Unless otherwise noted, use chargen rules from the Scroll of Errata.

Starting XP

Bonus Points have been replaced by 50 XP.
Fresh Exalted start with 200 extra XP.
Experienced* Exalted start with another 200 XP.
*1-2 years for Celestials, 5-10 for Terrestrials. Exceptions may apply; some Exalted are just born with more potential for some reason, while others are not. This would generally have to be a plot point of some sort.

Shards of the Exalted Dream

The following rules are in effect from Shards of the Exalted Dream:

Simplified Astrology, Redesigned Resonance (and Doom), Redesigned Alchemical Exalted, New Charms, News Artifacts, Burn Legend Techniques.

New Abilities

The two following abilities are now available, (optionally) favored by the following Castes:

Drive: Eclipse, Moonshadow, Fiend, Earth, Journeys.
Firearms: Dawn, Dusk, Slayer, Fire, Battles.

Note that the above Castes must CHOOSE five of their six abilities to be favored, with the sixth turning into a normal ability. They do not start with six favored abilities instead of five.


The following Backgrounds are not available: Class, Eidolon, Salary, Past Life, Inheritance, Unwoven Coadjutor. Alchemicals also specifically lack access to Command, their specific version of Familiar (though they may take normal, corebook familiars), and Savant.

All Exalted start with 2 free points in the Resources Background, to represent being employed in some fashion (if not by the Superfactions, by whoever they work for). This is optional, but the points don't carry over into something else if you decline them.

The Mentor background no longer represents having a teacher, but rather BEING a teacher. Having a teacher is no different from having an ally, and does not provide any benefits. On the other hand, being a teacher allows the character to use training effects with more effectiveness on mortals, proportionate to how high their Mentor score is. This effect has no mechanical representation (ie I'm not writing rules for it), but keep in mind that it represents your character being extremely good at teaching, and this should be shown in their personality.

XP Costs

The following costs are in effect for all Exalted types:

Virtues: 2XP
Willpower: 3XP
Attributes: 6XP (-1 if favored)
Abilities: 4XP (-1 if favored)
Backgrounds: 2XP
Specialties: 2XP (-1 if favored)
Combos: Free

Charms: 10XP (-2 if favored, +2 surcharge for DBs learning CMAs)
Spells: 10XP (-2 if Occult favored)
Protocols: 10XP
Charmslots: 2XP (dedicated), 4XP (general)
Knacks: 9XP
Astrology Colleges: 4XP (-1 if favored)

Essence: [Current Score] * 8 XP

The Charms that reduce the cost of Terrestrial Martial Arts (as seen in Scroll of Errata, every Exalted type gets a version) reduce the cost to 4XP if Martial Arts is favored, and 6XP if not. Dragon-Blooded ALSO get a version of the Charm, with identical requirements to the Solar one.

Since the MUSH does not use actual character sheets and stats, Techniques from the Burn Legend Shard are just as viable as Charms to purchase. They are counted as Celestial Martial Arts Charms for the purposes of figuring out how much they cost, without the surcharge for Dragon-Blooded.

Altered Mechanics

The following mechanics are being altered:

All Exalted start with 5 free Excellency Charms.
Infernals only start with 1, but never need to pay extra XP.
Lunars start with 7 Charms and 3 Knacks.

Exalted receive the maximum amount of Essence possible from their Virtues (i.e. for the purposes of calculating Essence, all Virtues are considered to be at 5). Willpower calculates as normal.

Exalted (namely, Dragon-Blooded and Sidereal) are no longer REQUIRED to spend their ability points a certain way. However, use common sense, and base your abilities on your backstory. A CIA agent should have some points in Firearms and Drive, etc.

Charm Prerequisites

Martial Arts no longer require a mentor under any circumstances.
Sorcery (and Necromancy) trials are now optional, and completing them provides 1 free spell per trial completed.
Ability/Essence prerequisites remain. So do Exaltation-related limits, like Dragon-Blooded not being able to learn Sorcery higher than the Emerald Circle.

In short: all things come to the Exalted as naturally as Charms do, and they do not require any outside help to learn their glories. Their Shards provide them with all they need, in time, should they embrace their power and seek to better it.

Alchemicals, Infernals, Abyssals and Solar Bond

Infernals and Abyssals are bound to Lunars, as all Solars should be. Luna's love for Gaia being such that it could be considered Perfect, and the Bonds emulating this Perfect love, an Infernal or an Abyssal can suffer no punishment from their masters for breaking their Urges or the Sins of Life and Death when it is due to their Lunar Mate. Infernals and Abyssals may learn twisted versions of Solar Charms that mess with the Bond, and are considered proper targets for the Golden Widow Method Knack of the Lunar Exalted.

Alchemical Exalted, being a form of Lunar Exaltation, may have the Solar Bond background as normal.

Magnanimous Spellflinging Shells

It is possible for those who practice both Sorcery (or Necromancy) and the art of crafting Magitech (or Necrotech) wonders to imbue spells they know (not those they do not) in ammunition. Doing so is fairly costly, making the bullets rare and their use normally reserved for tight spots. When fired, the shells explode in a glorious display of Essence matching the spell contained inside, and automatically release the spell at the intended target of the bullet. Activating such a shell requires a small amount of Essence, but it elegantly solves the problem of Sorcery being hard to use in combat situations.

Due to the process of imbuing shells not being a perfect art, spells stored in Magnanimous Spellflinging Shells are significantly less effective than their real counterparts, but still remain roughly on-par with Charms the user could be using instead.

Needless to say, every shell offers only a single use.

Holy Charms

Still work as normal. This is NOT representative of the Unconquered Sun's status; whether or not he's alive has no impact on Holy Charms being effective in this theme. The laws of Holy Charms are essentially natural to the world at this point.

Drive, Lore (Hacking) and Firearms Charms

While Shards of the Exalted Dream contains a fair amount of them for all Exalted types, it is perfectly legit to make new ones up to fill gaps or to have a wider variety of them available. It is also a legit thing to adapt already-existing Charms to use the new abilities instead; for example, a variant of the Solar Hero Style that uses Firearms. While MECHANICALLY this would require a lot of tinkering, since MCM doesn't actually use Exalted stats and mechanics for combat, it's a matter of flavor.

Burn Legend & Ki-Based Martial Arts

Although they are extremely new (no more than six months to a year old ICly), mortals and Exalted alike have the ability to tap into their "Ki" and utilize the martial arts techniques found in the "Burn Legend" shard of Shards of the Exalted Dream. The first known practitioner of ki-based martial arts in Exalted: Modern is a man going by the alias of Amir, who defeated the Western War God with Mugen techniques. Since that time, a Solar Exalt of the Dawn caste has been spreading these very same techniques to mortals and Exalts alike to make his living.

Experience costs for Burn Legend Techniques are as-stated in Shards of the Exalted Dream, and no one should know more than one style of Burn Legend-style martial arts at chargen.

Note: Don't stress the mechanical interaction between Burn Legend and regular-style Exalted. This is pretty much here because we can do it readily on a MUSH without stressing that sort of thing, and because it is cool.


Those Dragon-Blooded whose blood is purest do not have to manifest their elemental traits when they don't wish to. Though they may choose to display them at all times if they so please due to the status it represents, they may also choose to hide the traits to throw their opponents off as well. Doing so simply requires a commitment of 1 mote. The commitment is automatically dropped and the traits revealed if the Dragon-Blooded spends 11+ Peripheral Essence in a single scene (and thus enters a state of Anima Flux).


Artifacts from both the canon material and Shards of Exalted Dream can be purchased as normal. This includes vehicles, warstriders and the likes. Vehicles and artifacts from the Space Shard MAY be purchasable to a certain degree; consult with Blossom Rose to be sure on this one.

Artifacts which are significantly powerful (like the Ring of Being) are either reserved as TP macguffins of one kind or another (like the Realm Defense Grid), outright unavailable or destroyed (like the Five-Metal Shrike), or aren't as strong as they are presented in the books (like the aforementioned Ring of Being). Basically, USE COMMON SENSE. If something looks like it's stupidly overpowered, you probably can't have it as-is.


Rather than need to invest points in every sub-type of Craft, an Exalted only needs to invest in the default Craft ability, and then take points of specialty in the sub-categories. These Craft specialties still go up to 3 points, but there is no limit to how many one can have; a character can have specialties towards Fire, Magitech and Earth all at 3 points if they want, which would mean that if they have 5 points in Craft, they end up with a dice pool of 8 when dealing with their specialties. They work as follows:

1 point = You are considered to have Craft (Specialty) at [(Craft / 3) + 1].
2 points = You are considered to have Craft (Specialty) at [(Craft / 2) + 2].
3 points = You are considered to have Craft (Specialty) at [Craft + 3)].

Also, there are no new Craft specialties. All things fall under the old ones somehow, usually based on the raw materials necessary. For example, making a car would fall under Craft (Fire) if you make it out of metal and if you make a regular engine. On the other hand, if you want to make an Essence-using car, Craft (Magitech) would be it. You may also need Lore to program the onboard computers (if any). Try to use common sense when deciding what something falls under, but generally it won't be Magitech unless it uses Essence somehow, and it won't be Necrotech unless it's made of corpses or uses inverted Essence.

It's worth noting that having Craft but no specialties is essentially a jury-rig ability not too unlike being MacGyver. You can use stuff you get your hands on, but you're not going to be able to make a car so much as repair a car for the ten minutes you need it to work.

Lore covers many aspects of science, like computer programming. However, Occult covers the deeper physics of the world, like knowing how Essence holds all of existence together. In that sense, it's like quantum mechanics.

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