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World of Darkness Overly Specific Condition Cards
by Malcolm B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/27/2016 17:19:07

While this is an april fools joke, it still shows creative examples of how conditions can be used above and beyond the typical.
Also, sometimes you are in a car, running out of fuel, risking breakdown, and being chased by monsters.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
World of Darkness Overly Specific Condition Cards
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Exalted 3rd Edition
by Marc M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/24/2016 15:10:00

As a longtime Exalted fan (I literally own every single first and second edition book) I have to say this has been something long awaited and it truly delivers on all the promise that this series has provided over the years. I won't mince words and will just say - if you love Exalted, you need to own this book



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
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Exalted 3rd Edition
by Paul S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2016 10:10:11

Speaking as a backer of the Kickstarter, I find this edition of Exalted to be incredibly disappointing. I was a huge Exalted fanboy and I wanted very much for this to be a good game that my group could enjoy.


When I got my backer copy of the rules, I spent a month pouring though the rulebook try to make sense of it. The book is full of complex and counter-intuitive subsystems, and I really had to study to figure them out. I was worried, but I still had some hope that things would work better when we actually started to play.


My first session of EX3 was a complete disaster. I have never had the first session of a game go this badly. My players instantly hated the game, and we couldn't even finish the first combat.


Don't get me wrong. There are parts of the system that are quite brilliant. The social conflict system in particular may be the best I've ever seen. But there are other parts of the rules that, while they may be mechanically sound, just make no sense. The combat movement is a notable example of this. It is two page of dense, convulated rules that might be "balanced" but are very difficult to understand and don't remotely resemble the way things work in reality.


Granted, movement was a mess in 2nd edition as well, but there it was only a marginal part of the rules and easy to fix. In 3rd edition, there a couple dozen charms and other elements of the combat that interact with the movement system, and streamlining movement would mean rewriting huge chunks of other rules. And combat movement is only one example of such a subsystem: the rules are full of things like this.


My group played and enjoyed the 2nd edition of Exalted after some house ruling to fix the weirder elements of that system. House ruling 3rd edition to the point where my group would be willing to play it would involve a nearly complete rewrite of the system. After waiting 3 years, I am left with a brick of a game that I can't use except maybe to steal a few ideas from, and I am pretty bitter about it.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
by John F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2016 14:38:17

I have got to say, I am impressed. The art and writing are excellent, and the mechanics look like they will aid in the fun. But the passage that really sold me is in the section about seduction.
THE RED RULE
In almost all aspects, Exalted doesn’t mechanically distinguish
between Storyteller characters and those the players
control. Here’s the exception:
A player-controlled character can only be seduced or otherwise
put in a sexual situation if the player is okay with it.
Otherwise, any such attempt fails automatically.
This is completely up to the player’s discretion, and they can
waive this rule’s protection if they want their character to be
seduced, if they think it would improve the story, or for whatever
other reason. This is entirely up to the player, and on an
attempt-by-attempt basis—waiving the rule once doesn’t
void your ability to call on it later against the same character,
or even in the same scene. If no one in your group ever
invokes this rule, that’s also fine—but players don’t have
to watch their character put into a sexual situation they’re
not comfortable with.
Groups that feel comfortable in doing so should allow player
characters the full range of their seductive prowess when
entangled with Storyteller-controlled characters… although
remember that the Storyteller is also a player and their
boundaries should be respected.
Thank you Onyx Path for this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
by Jason T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/22/2016 07:22:31

EX3, using it's cover title, is an immense tome of lore, systems, artwork and fiction that give us a glimpse into the massive world of Creation. There have been trials and tribulations for Onyx Path to bring this to the public, but they're worth it, the book is probably only one of a small handful of RPG books I'd happily leave out for non-RPG'ers to flick through.


Visually it's gorgeous - The original Kickstart Backer PDF had some issues with art, but following feedback these have almost all been either fully replaced and worked on. The layout is fresh and clean, not cluttered and boxed in and claustrophobic like some RPGs. Overall the entire presentation is one of high quality and would see even the most pretentionus Dynast seek a copy out for their library.


The systems presented within are solid, novel and cover all the bases yet leave room for growth for other Exalted in future supplements. Combat is quick and fun (I've run numerous sessions now) and whilst the sheer number of Charms (Exalted powers and expressions of skill) are vast they're quite quick to learn in play. There are a couple of minor queries regards specific timings of certain combinations of powers and when things occur, but these are the sorts of issues and queries that most medium-to-high crunch systems have. Again, overall, the systems are solid and where needed can be easily house-ruled to suit your individual tastes and gaming table.


The world and setting given in the book sits somewhere between 1st Edtion and 2nd Edtion - it brings back much of the wonder and awe of 1st but with the development and skill that was promised in 2nd Edition but didn't quite reach. It's clear, fun and interesting. All the nations, locales, events and beings are lovingly presented (Though obviously not detailed as much as some would want - After all detailing the totality of all things in one book would be somewhat of an undertaking! It's already 600+ pages as it is!) and offer a lot of gaming plot potentail whilst creating a strong desire for future supplements to be published quickly - EX3 has given me back a hunger for the setting of Creation!


tl:dr; This is amazing. It's few minor flaws are easily worked around (As with any TTRPG) and its strengths are numerous. This is a setting and book that'll give you years of enjoyment and games. Not for those who like minimalist systems though - This is medium-to-high crunch to me, likely heavy crunch to many!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
by Gavin M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2016 03:57:11

An excellent high-crunch game with an intriguing and innovative combat system, a fantastic social interaction system, and one of the best written settings of all time. This was a facelift a long time in the making and it was well worth the wait.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
by Alessandro B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2016 01:27:42

Exalted 3rd edition took a long time to get here, but it was worth the wait.
The combat mechanics are unique and convey the theme of high octane combat quite well.


There are a lots of charms, BUT almost no useless ones as even the first charm of a tree remains viable and useful all the way through.


Martial arts are outstanding, managing to give a lot of flavor to combat in ways I really did not think of. Each MA has a theme and is channeling a different archetype from different mythologies, fighting styles, anime etc. For example the Void Martial Arts is a clear depiction of samurai iaijutsu.


The setting really scream for more space, but of course it is not very much different from 2E, so one can just use those sourcebooks.
The new locales added are quite evocative, my favorites are the Dreaming Sea in the South East, the Caul in the West and the realm of Ixcoatli in the far East. A shame some old favorites do not make an appereance yet, like The Lap or Paragon.


The Social interaction system is quite well done, battle groups are reasonable and the systems for war and leaderships are just frameworks, but they work quite nicely. We even get rules for sailing and a handful of ships!
Sorcery is very much better, giving dozens of ways to reach enlightenment instead of the 5 stages from earlier editions. Sorcerous works also give you a framework of rules to do all sorts of world changing stuff.


So what's wrong with the game?
Not much to be honest, crafting is quite arcane to deal with, there are only a handful of evocations in the book and when every artefacts costing 3 dots or more, that is a lot of items to make evocations for, though the evocations system in itself is quite nice, elevating the artefacts from the place of mere stat upgrades to sources of power in their own right.


Some charms are also a bit weird to understand and it will take a long time before all of them have been understood and used.
But overall, I find this edition of Exalted to be the best.
5/5



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
by Nathan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2016 22:55:51

Probably the best edition of the game to date (at least comparing only core books). Creation finally feels as VAST as its meant to, and the mechanics don't result in "perfect-or-die" mote attrition in combat. May be a bit too mechanics heavy for some's tastes with the massive charm list and their new paradigm of stacking with each other - but it remains a tentpole for epic fantasy roleplaying.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
by Andrew D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2016 21:35:34

I've been running this game for my group since I got access to the backer .pdf a couple months ago, and I've found it to be the best version of Exalted yet. Easily my favorite RPG after about twenty years of gaming.


It's a bit on the heavy side, mechanically, but the mechanics seem to have been effectively engineered to enhance a dramatic, epic, and fast-paced game rather than get in the way or slow things down. Most of the mechanical pitfalls of previous editions that caused some very unfortunate behavior to emerge (mote attrition, paranoia combos, violent responses to social interaction, etc.) have been addressed brilliantly, and the systems for combat and social interaction in particular are some of the most inventive and fun that I've ever seen.


The direction that the tone and setting lore are taking is also pretty great in my opinion, as someone who was never overfond of magitech, commodification of sorcery, or the feeling that every other supplement was an entry in an extended clinical treatise on the metaphysics of the game world. Creation feels big, old, and dangerous again. Hopefully this keeps up throughout the new edition, but it's off to a promising start here.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
by Nathaniel C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2016 21:28:00

Tight crisp mechanics, well produced layout, hundreds of pages of kickass mythological heroes. This book is an amazing overhaul of the mechanics of 2nd edition. The lore is well written and engaging, the premise of the game is exciting, and it delivers an experience pretty unique among RPG's, the ability to play a living legend. If you ever wanted to perform the feats of hercules, rip bears apart with your bare hands and leave their bear friends looking on in horrified dismay, or have long and involved discussions about the economic viability of running an expansionistic empire that brings glory wherever they go, this is definitely the game for you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
by Richard C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2016 20:36:03

Exalted is back, with a much-needed mechanical overhaul. The all-new combat system has a marvellously dramatic feel, as combatants jockey for advantage to land a finishing blow, rather than taking turns pounding on each other until somebody collapses. Sorcerers now feel more unique (or, if you prefer, freakish), with individual quirks and advantages based on the origins of their power. Crafting and social interaction are now deeper and more interesting systems with more emphasis on roleplaying. And fluff-wise, it's still one of the most intriguing settings in fantasy gaming, and it returns the mystery and wonder of the first edition. Highly recommended!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/20/2016 17:17:00

Exalted Third Edition is the glorious return of a game that I had almost given up on. It’s funny how my experience with the game mirrored a lot of the in-game history.


The first edition was my First Age, full of wonder and promise that collapsed under the weight of complexity.


The Second edition was my Age of Sorrows. I wanted to like it, but it failed to capture my imagination.


This latest edition however, brings back the feel and mood that I loved, while demonstrating a stronger mechanical rigor that helps it stand despite the complexity demanded by the setting.


Each subsystem has been carefully considered and playtested, and adds a different kind of fun to different players. But what struck me the most was the fact that a lot of the gamey mechanics actually relied on a lot of role-play to pull off.


Social Influence rules are an easy example for this, as the player must think and act like they’re really looking for social leverage before they can act, or else the odds are stacked against them.


The changes to the setting are well considered, and while there are a few add-ons that feel a bit difficult to accept at first (like the Liminals) others were things that I didn’t know I wanted until I saw them, like the Exigents.


Creation is familiar and yet feels renewed once more. Solars have arrived and there’s a stronger call for them to become heroes more than ever.


Despite the delays in production, and the myriad little things that went wrong and slowed it down, the end result is a thing of beauty. I’m glad to have backed this book, and even happier to put down money to buy a print version when it finally becomes available on PoD.


If you’ve ever wanted to play Exalted, or if you’re still on the fence on whether or not this is a good evolution of the game, don’t worry, and jump in. You won’t regret it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
by Andrew S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2016 16:11:44

Having already played a number of sessions of this (thanks to the backer preview via kickstarter) I can say this is for me, the best edition of Exalted yet. Lots of great stuff and plenty of campaigns worth of material in this first book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shards of the Exalted Dream
by Brian P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2016 15:44:42

I remember reading the forum threads on this book when it first came out, and the excitement ended up nearly at a fever pitch. At the time I didn't really give it that much thought since I had fallen out of love with Exalted, but when my interest in the game rekindled, this was one of the first supplements I picked up. And I'm really glad I did, because it's fantastic. From the cover, you can tell what kind of book it'll be. The cover has a picture of the Scarlet Empress, but in multiple guises: as a martial artist, or a starfighter pilot, or a scientist, all of which get play in the setting material. The cover half-sold me on the book already, even without the enthusiasm I've seen for it elsewhere.


Shards of the Exalted Dream is divided into five major parts, which I'll deal with individually.


--Gunstar Autochthonia--
There's a quote I found on the internet from one of the authors that sums up this setting in a nutshell:


"Alright, so Battlestar Autochthonia is sorted."
"You know we can't actually call it that, right?"
"Gunstar Autochthonia."
"That works."

The Exalted were created by the gods. They evolved. They rebelled. There are many copies. And they have a plan.


...which failed, and so they all piled into Autochthon and fled into the void. Here, Creation is not a flat disc surrounded by an endless sea of chaos. It's a spiral of star systems, rising to the eternal palace of Theion the Universe Emperor at its height and descending to Black Non, where the Neverborn fitfully sleep and existence ends. It is there that the Exalted scheme to return, once their task of modifiying Autochthon into the perfect weapon--the Gunstar--is complete and their might is unassailable. Here the Solars rule, the Dragon-Blooded serve as voidfighter pilots with Sidereal coordination and oversight, and the Lunars hunt gremlins and Primordial infiltrators in the Reaches of Autochthon's body.


A lot of this setting would be more interesting to me if I had read Compass Autochthonia--I have no idea who the Viator of Nullspace is, for instance--but there's still plenty to love. It has a clear source of conflict, a clear game goal, a reason for the PCs to all work together, and plenty of interesting things to do. If they're Solars, perhaps they're working to find Gaia and Luna, who fled the Spiral by their own means when the war was lost. If they're Sidereals, maybe they're working with the Gunstar pilot Raanei, who thinks the war is suicide and just wants to find a place to settle down, far from the Primordials, where humanity can live in peace. If they're Lunars, maybe they accompany survey teams to worlds that Autochthon happens on and need to "pacify" the local population so the Gunstar can strip-mine the planet for raw materials.


I also like how it's space travel but with Exalted technology. Space combat takes place with voidfighters, but personal combat is still swords and bows. The authors took the magitech emphasis of Wonders of the Lost Age and found a way to make it fit perfectly. A Dragon-Blooded voidfighter chronicle would be a ton of fun, I think.


The chapter ends with Theion Charms, which are probably distinct from Malfeas Charms, but since I haven't read the Infernals book it doesn't mean anything to me.


And I have to admit, I like the idea that when She Who Lives in Her Name launched her counterattack against Creation at the end of the Primordial War, this is what it used to be like and why the end is such a tragedy. She was forced to destroy the very concept of Creation that was as perfect as she could wish it to be--a collection of spheres with fire at their hearts, endlessly revolving in the void.


--Heaven's Reach--
This is Exalted space opera. The "Exalted" began as a supersoldier project and became something more transhumanist as humanity's understanding of technology increased, the Yozi are vast intelligences created through stellar engineering who rebelled against their creators, the Fair Folk are dark matter entities called the Shrieking Hordes who pile out of damaged parts of space-time to attack shipping.


This setting has cars and guns and is pretty much our world in the (far, far) future, with thousands of worlds and easy space travel, aliens, blasters, giant trading conglomerates, and all the other trappings of space opera. The Central Empire is ruled by Heaven's Son, a Lunar who killed his Solar mate centuries ago and has ruled unchallenged since then. Out beyond the empire is the Frontier, and the distinction functions a lot like the Core vs. Rim in Firefly, including the contrast of light repression but safety vs. freedom.


One neat thing that's part of the setting is the Grand Celestial Mountain, which is an extradimensional supercomputer network that all worlds that were part of the ancient empire are connected to. It's a physical place that you can go to, so "hacking" here involves finding a portal to the Grand Celestial Mountain, walking in, physically fighting off the guardian "spirits," picking up the data, and walking out. It handily avoids the decker problem and provides a way for any character type to interact with computer tasks, which is very important in any kind of future game.


On the other hand, the starship stats make no sense because the speeds are still in miles per hour and the weapon ranges are in yards. I'm pretty sure that Mount Mostath-class battlecruiser is going to be worthless because no other ship is going to get within the 100-yard range of its superweapon.


Before I bought the book this setting was the one that stuck out the most to me, but now that I've read through all of them it's actually the least interesting. I think that's because it doesn't do that much that's different or exciting with its premise. "Exalted + Space Opera" sums it up, and physical hacking isn't really enough to save it.


--Burn Legend--
This isn't really an alternate setting at all. It's more like the old Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game, with an Exalted gloss on a setting designed for martial artists to beat each other up using ancient techniques learned from contemplating the wild or from secret masters. It rips out almost all of the Exalted system, replacing it with a simplified version of attributes and with Techniques, where each combatant picks a technique and they are all revealed simultaneously, some Techniques hard-counter others, then damage is rolled. The techniques are mostly what you'd expect, and include Shōryūken ("Burning Corona Strike") and Hadōken ("Heavenly Storm"), plus a bunch of other fighting game standards.


Noncombat functions are all abstracted away and handled by Backgrounds. If someone wants to overawe someone else with their reputation, roll Fame. If they want to acquire a new weapon, roll Resources. I did like the comment in the Fame Background that it could refer to "the special forces soldier who saved the President from terrorists." The Exalted definitely are bad enough dudes.


This seems like a cool idea, but it's not really Exalted except in the "coat of paint" sense, and I'm not sure why it's in here.


--Modern--
This is basically the World of Darkness crossed with Exalted. It takes place in Creation, but one where technology has progressed to the point of cars and computers and aircraft, with the military having day-after-tomorrow level tech like vehicle-mounted railguns and a moon colony in progress. The Dragon-Blooded are elemental supersoldiers created to fight the threat of spirits that still exist on the edges of Creation and at the Pole of Earth, and the three world powers of Meruvia, Union of Eastern States, and An-Teng fight proxy wars among their spheres of influence. Most people think of spirits as inimical to humanity, and follow the teachings of the Immaculate Church and its founder, St. Cecilia. Magic works, but is mostly not used. Why have a thaumaturge chant for hours to send a message 50 miles when you can just text them on your cell phone, and why pay a weather-witch to predict tomorrow's weather when meteorologists do it every day?


But it's all a lie! The world is actually ruled by the Infernal Exalted, traitor Solars who went over to the Yozi when they attacked the gods. Spirits have been a constant danger to humanity because they're the resistance against Infernal rule, and the Dragon-Blooded are actually made by infusing people with part of the Essence of the imprisoned Elemental Dragons. "St. Cecilia" is actually Cecelyne, the Endless Desert. Magic is weak because the Infernals sealed off most other worlds in order to cement their dominion, but now that the Abyssals they set to pacify the Underworld have broken the seal and the Sidereals have released the Solar shards they were guarding as part of a strategy to free the world of its masters, it's coming back.


This was my favorite setting. I think mostly because I love hidden truths and secret masters, but also just that modern technology in a fantasy world is so rarely done that it sticks out a lot, in the same way that Gunstar Autochthonia's starfighters + swords does. I can easily see starting with a team of Dragon-Blooded special forces and fighting spirits before learning that they're basically working for the Illuminati and having to decide what to do with it. Or even playing mortals--this is the only setting in Shards of the Exalted Dream that makes that appealing. Definitely the high point of the book.


--Appendix--
This is where all the new Charms and firearms and systems go. They're mostly pretty good, and about what you'd expect. Standouts include the Solar Charm that makes gunshots so loud that enemies run away, or the Lunar Charm that lets them touch a vehicle and imprint another vehicle with its traits, so they can ram their bicycle into a wall and the wall acts like a semi hit it. The Sidereals don't have to worry about carrying weapons because they can just point their finger at someone and yell "BANG!" and they have a Charm that lets them pull up next to someone, yell "There's no time to explain! Get in!" and then have the person comply. Sidereals always get the most interesting Charms.


The chase rules are pretty interesting, being as they are based on abstract "legs" rather than having to compare speeds on a tick-by-tick basis. Then on top of that, drivers have to avoid accumulating Hazard so they don't crash into objects, blow out tires, or otherwise suffer mishaps. It does look like a lot of rolling, but it's pretty good for anything involving an extended roll, and comparing drivers to each other means it doesn't suffer the "roll until something interesting happens" problem that crafting often suffers from.


There's also alternate systems for Sidereal astrology and Abyssal Resonance, but I'm not qualified to judge them.


This book is amazing. Ideas fair leaped off the page at every turn, and it opens up Exalted in a way that no other book in 2e that I know of really has. People have been hacking Exalted into other settings since it first came out--I still have a space opera version in a Word doc from 2002 I found in the internet somewhere--and I'm glad to see that when an official book finally came out, it's of this quality. I'd recommend this to anyone who's starting to fall out of love with Exalted or who wants to try something different. There's a wide enough variety that you'll almost certainly find something you can use.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shards of the Exalted Dream
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Exalted 3rd Edition
by Paula T. P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2016 14:28:19

This is the edition i've been waiting for. Exalted is by far my favorite rpg so i had great expectations on this version. And it's just great, as the SOLARS we play on it, gratz to eveyone involved!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
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