Jade-xalted: Collected

For ease of reading for anyone who wants to make use of my Jade-xalted Fate hack I have collected all of the posts together in a PDF document and posted it in my Red Dice Diaries google drive so that people can access it.

Jade-xalted: Sample assets

Below are some sample assets built using the system described in earlier posts.
* * *
White Jade Warstrider (Device)

Cost: 3 refresh
Features

  • Harmful – +2 shifts of damage on attack (up to a max of shifts scored on attack roll)
  • Protective – reduces shift value of successful attack by 2
  • Sturdy – has 2 stress boxes
  • Jade construction – +1 to rolls when used by a terrestrial exalt, may activate the ‘blessed by the elements’ aspect at will.

Flaws
  • Demanding – requires a scene of preparation and a great (+4) sorceror roll to activate the warstrider.

Warstriders are ancient suits of magitech armour from the First Age, designed to not only protect the wearer inside their enormous armoured hides but also to increase their strength and prowess, only scant few function in the present and these require extensive maintenance (normally in the form of barely understood annointing ceremonies) to continue running.
* * *
Door-Evading Technique (technique)
Cost: 3 refresh
Features
  • Exceptional
Flaws
  • Consuming
At the cost of a fate point the user of this technique may completely bypass one inanimate obstacle (such as a door for example) that impedes movement between zones.
* * *
Beastman warband (allies)
Cost: 2 refresh
Features
  • Professional x 2 – Warrior +2, Assassin +1. 
  • Resilient – Ally gains a mild consequence slot.
  • Sturdy – Gains an additional 1 stress box.
  • Numerous x 3 – 8 total allies. 
Flaws
Troubling (“Hunted and despised in civilised lands.”)
Having lurked on the fringes of civilisation for so long, many Lunar Exalted have bred half beast-like offspring and are served by their savage children.
* * *
These are just three examples of assets that can be quickly created with the Jadepunk style method of handling assets once you are familiar with the system, it is flexible but provides enough structure to enable you jump straight in and start designing.

Jade-xalted: Celestial and Terrestrial circle charms

The two asset features following are additional to those listed in my previous post (http://wh40krpg.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/jade-xalted-assets.html), and may be added to an asset in the same way.
Techniques (amended from previous post)
No technique can have the troubling flaw.
  • Exceptional
  • Harmful
  • Flexible
  • Protective
  • Focus
  • Sorcery
  • Celestial Circle
  • Terrestrial Circle
Additional Feature Descriptions (those not listed are in previous post)
  • Celestial circle (counts as two features, a celestial circle technique must have the consuming flaw) [this feature may be added to a technique only and may only be taken by Celestial Exalted (Solars, Lunars, Sidereals and Abyssals)]: When a fate point is spent to activate this technique the celestial exalt pours power into themselves, doubling the bonus that would normally be received through the use of the technique, however, once such a technique is used the exalt will be surrounded by a glowing aura of light coloured appropriately to their exaltation until the end of the scene. This is potentially very dangerous given that the Dragonblooded hunt the exalted.
  • Terrestrial Circle (counts as two features, a terrestrial circle technique must have the consuming flaw) [this feature may be added to a technique only and may only be taken by terrestrial exalted (dragonblooded)]: The terrestrials were fashioned to work together as units and be soldiers in the armies of the gods even their very exaltations work better as a group; when a character spends a fate point to activate a terrestrial circle charm they receive a +1 to their action for every other allied terrestrial exalt in the same zone who also has a terrestrial circle technique. Once such a technique is used the exalt will be surrounded by a dazzling display of their element (as appropriate) until either the end of the scene.
Sample Assets

Below is an example of both a solar and a terrestrial circle asset built using the asset rules as laid out in Jadepunk and with the additions made in this hack.

* * *

Protective Wall of Golden Blades (technique)
Cost: 2 Refresh
Features
  • Celestial circle – doubles bonus of technique, when fate point is spent to activate the solar is surrounded by a very visible glowing nimbus of golden light for the rest of the scene.
  • Exceptional – on a successful defense, deal shifts of harm equal to margin of success (this is doubled by the celestial circle charm)

Flaws
  • Consuming – technique costs a fate point to activate.
  • Limited – can be used once per scene.

When the solar with this technique is attacked they summon up the energy flowing through them and the air around them fills with phantasmal blades of golden light that hack and slash at their enemy, inflicting a number of shifts of harm to their attacker double to the margin of success on their defense roll. Although the blades fade, the golden light from them remains surrounding the Solar until the end of the scene.
* * *
Strike of the Dragon’s Fury
Cost: 2 refresh
Features
  • Terrestrial circle – When a character spends a fate point to activate a terrestrial circle technique they receive a +1 to their action for every other allied terrestrial exalt in the same zone who also has a terrestrial circle technique. Once such a technique is used the exalt will be surrounded by a dazzling display of their element (as appropriate) until either the end of the scene.
  • Harmful – +2 shifts of harm on a successful attack (max equal to the number of shifts scored on the attacking roll)

Flaws
  • Consuming – technique costs a fate point to activate.
When the terrestrial exalt possessing this technique makes an attack, with a striking motion they send out a short ranged blast of their element (flames, rocks, water, etc) that strikes their foe doing +2 shifts of harm on a successful attack.

If there are allied terrestrial exalts who also possess terrestrial circle techniques in the same zone then the exalt also pulls on the power of her allies and the elemental blast reflects this (for example: if a fire aspected terrestial made the strike whilst back up by a wood aspected terrestrial then the blast might be a barrage of burning wooden spikes), they add +1 to their attack roll for each such terrestrial in the same zone.

* * *

Jade-xalted: Assets

This section refers heavily to the excellent Jadepunk game, no challenge is intended to any copyrights and I have attempted to omit any rules specifically featured in the book – you will probably need a copy of Jadepunk to make use of this, but I would advise you to pick up a copy anyway as it is an excellent book.
ASSETS IN JADE-XALTED HACK

Assets

Step One: Asset Type

Ally: Helpful NPC assocate, sidekick, contact or secret society.
Device: A weapon, tool, or other piece of equipment including items made from the magical materials.
Technique: Personal capabilities either gained from special training, knowledge or as a result of the exaltation.
Step Two: Function/Guiding Aspect
Allies and Devices come with an aspect describing it’s function as per the rules in Jadepunk, it can be invoked or compelled as with any other aspect, but it tends to be more focussed on the role that the ally or device plays in the character’s life.
Technique assets don’t have function aspects, they are connected to one of the characters existed aspects (called it’s ‘guiding aspect’) as detailed in the Jadepunk rules.
Step Three: Features & Flaws
These function as per the rules in Jadepunk, each point of refresh you spent on an asset gives it two features, each asset also comes with one flaw. More flaws may be taken to give an asset additional features on a one-to-one basis.
Full rules for this can be found in the Jadepunk book however there are a few additional  list of features and flaws differ, they can be found below.
Ally Features
When you spend a point of refresh to create an Ally, in addition to any other features, they start with one application of Professional, Resilient and Sturdy for free.
  • Aspect
  • Resilient
  • Numerous
  • Professional
  • Sturdy
  • Independent
  • Talented

Device Features
The function aspect of a device featuring one or more of the magical materials must make reference to each material.
  • Aspect
  • Harmful
  • Jade construction
  • Moonsilver construction
  • Orichalcum construction
  • Protective
  • Starmetal construction
  • Soulsteel construction
  • Exceptional
  • Numerous
  • Flexible
  • Focus
  • Sturdy

Techniques
No technique can have the troubling flaw.
  • Exceptional
  • Harmful
  • Flexible
  • Protective
  • Focus
  • Sorcery

Step Four: Determine Refresh cost
Determine asset cost as listed in the Jadepunk book.
Feature Descriptions
As listed in the Jadepunk rulebook (with the following additions):
  • Jade construction: See magical materials section for details.
  • Moonsilver construction: See magical materials section for details.
  • Orichalcum construction: See magical materials section for details.
  • Sorcery (counts as two features, asset starts with consuming feature, many only be applied to a technique): Allows a technique to be perform over distance as long as the character possesses something taken from the location or something of significance to the person that they wish to affect; if the target is within the same zone then the technique can be performed at range without the requirement of the component.
  • Soulsteel construction: See magical materials section for details.
  • Starmetal construction: See magical materials section for details.

Flaw Descriptions
As listed in the Jadepunk rulebook.
Gaining and Improving Assets
Functions as per the Jadepunk rulebook.

The Magical Materials
The five magical materials below are easily enchanted by those with the right knowledge and each one resonates with a different type of Exalted.
Please note: In order to have an item made of a magical material (or several) a feature must be taken (it must be taken once for each magical material involved in the item construction).
  • Orichalcum: Gold purified by the Sun, Orichalcum is noted for making equipment which is good at everything. Orichalcum artifacts are used by Solar Exalted.
  • Moonsilver: Moonsilver is silver touched by Luna, and lends some of Luna’s protean nature to the material. Moonsilver is considered sacred by Lunar Exalted.
  • Starmetal: Rarer than all other materials, because the Sidereal Exalted must predict where this congealed essence of dead Gods will fall. Starmetal shines with the nature of the Five Maidens and warps fate slightly as part of its basic nature.
  • Jade: Commonest of all the Magical Materials, and used to make the weapons and armor of the Terrestrial Exalted. Jade comes in five colors, one for each Aspect.
  • Soulsteel: Comprised of the bodies of ghosts and scrapings from the Mouth of the Void in Stygia, soulsteel mutters and moans with the pain of the spirits trapped within. This horrifying black material is the trademark of the Abyssal Exalted.

An item made from one of the magical materials will function especially well in the hands of the type of Exalted that it was intended for (adding an additional +1 to any rolls made using the device, if a device does not use a roll but increases or reduces shift values then it increases/reduces it by an additional +1). This bonus only becomes active when the device is in the possession of the appropriate type of exalted.
In addition, the correct type of exalted may (at will activate the following effect):
  • Orichalcum: Device sheds light, bestowing a ‘light of the Unconquered Sun’ aspect on the wielder.
  • Moonsilver: Gives the owner the ‘master of disguise’ aspect.
  • Starmetal: Bestows the aspect ‘touched by fate’ on the owner.
  • Jade: Bestows the aspect ‘blessed by the elements’ as appropriate on the owner.
  • Soulsteel: Device sheds darkness, bestowing a ‘shrouded in darkness’ aspect on the owner.
  • Aspects gained from carrying items of the appropriate magical material can be turned on and off at will as long as the exalt still possesses an item of the appropriate material.

Jade-xalted: Finishing touches to character creation

Refresh
Refresh functions as per the rules in Jadepunk, however, the levels of refresh that people start with differ slightly.

  • Mortals and equivalents begin with 5 refresh.
  • Terrestrial Exalted begin with 7 refresh.
  • Celestial Exalted (Solar, Lunar, Abyssal and Sidereals) begin with 10 refresh.

Refresh is reduced by purchasing assets, you may not reduce your refresh below one.
Assets
Assets are purchased in a similar fashion to those listed in the Jadepunk rules, there will be additional options available to represent exalted charms and how the construction of magi-tech style items differs between Exalted and Jadepunk, these will be covered in more detail in a later post.

Stress and Consequences
Every character begins with three stress boxes and three consequences (mild, moderate and severe); these function as per the rules in Jadepunk.

Jade-xalted: Constructing a Concept

One of the complaints/issues that I have often heard laid at the door of the Fate system is that, because there is such a lot of leeway when it comes to designing aspects, that it can often be bewildering for players, especially if they are unfamiliar with the setting or RPG-ing in general; in the forthcoming Cthulhu supplement for Fate (which I have been privilieged to do some of the writing for) it offers a little more guidance for creating aspects and even (should the players/GM wish to use them) a series of random tables for creating aspects. I plan to adopt something similar for the Jade-xalted conversion, the constructed aspects will be quite general to allow for the players to customise them, but should hopefully create a good jumping off point for anyone who is a little bewildered by all the choice available in the Fate system.

Obviously you do not have to use this system but it should help anyone who is struggling.

Concept Aspect

Under this system a concept aspect uses the following format:

“I am a/an [adjective] [type] who is skilled at [verb]”

List of sample adjectives:

  • Angry
  • Calm
  • Clever
  • Clumsy
  • Elegant
  • Famous
  • Fancy
  • Fierce
  • Glamorous
  • Handsome
  • Helpful
  • Honourable
  • Innocent
  • Lazy
  • Mysterious
  • Old-fashioned
  • Peaceful
  • Powerful
  • Scarey
  • Scarred
  • Sly
  • Thoughtful
  • Thoughtless
  • Ugly
  • Violent

List of sample types:

  • Mortal
  • Solar Exalted
  • Lunar Exalted
  • Sidereal Exalted
  • Air aspected Terrestial Exalted
  • Earth aspected Terrestial Exalted
  • Fire aspected Terrestial Exalted
  • Water aspected Terrestial Exalted
  • Wood aspected Terrestial Exalted
  • Abyssal Exalted

List of sample verbs:

  • Athletics
  • Blackmail
  • Craft work
  • Gambling
  • Fighting
  • Larceny
  • Leading others
  • Oratory
  • Research
  • Running
  • Sociallising
  • Sorcery
  • Stealth
  • Storytelling

So, for example, using this system and sample list I could quickly create a ‘violent Solar Exalted who is skilled at leading others’, a ‘sly Lunar Exalted who is skilled at larceny’ or an ‘honourable Fire-aspected Terrestrial Exalted who is skilled at sociallising.’

The aspect could be invoked or compelled whenever the adjective was applicable or when the character’s specialist skill or talent comes into play.

For example: Our violent Solar could invoke his aspect when involved in violent action but may be compelled when he struggles to resist being provoked into such action unwisely, the player of the exalt could also invoke when attempting to lead others in some sort of action but may also find others naturally looking to him for leadership or seeking his advice on important matters (when the aspect is invoked).

Invoking the concept based on the type of Exaltation

Players can also invoke their concept aspect based on what type of exaltation they have received, this is not as immediately obvious as the preceding invokes and so I provide guidelines below for appropriate invokes/compels, anyone familiar with the Exalted setting should feel free to use their own judgement though.

  • Solar Exalted: The Solars were created to lead the gods forces against those of the primordials, a solar concept may be invoked when vastly outnumbered in a combat or in an attempt to rally/lead others against a foe; however the Solars eventually found themselves becoming detached from the humanity that their powers raised them above eventually culminating in the first age solars becoming brutal and violent, a solar concept may be compelled when a lack of empathy could cause issue or when a lack of restraint may cause a problem.
  • Lunar Exalted: Originally the Lunars were bound to their Solar counterparts, but fleeing the wyld hunt they now find themselves uncomfortable in civilisation. A lunar concept may be compelled when a lunar is confronting a Solar Exalted or when their lack of familiarity with civilised society may cause problems; it may be invoked when the characters knowledge of the wild would aid them or when attempting to resist the blandishments of the civilised world.
  • Sidereal Exalted: Manipulators of fate, a sidereal concept may be invoked or compelled when chance may play a part in unfolding events, since people tend to forget sidereals their concept can be invoked to aid with stealth or avoiding detection.
  • Terrestrial Exalted: As rulers of the realm a terrestrial concept may be invoked to aid in any social roll within the realm, however they may likewise be compelled should the exalt be in a situation where knowledge of their heritage might be disadvantageous. Terrestrials may also invoke their concept aspect if there is a significant quantity of their particular element is present in the same zone or if they can convincingly weave the element into their description.
    Please note: If a terrestrial features their element in their description then that element is actually produced (causing no additional game effect beyond the invoke but potentially giving away their heritage); for example, a fire-aspected terrestrial invokes his aspect by describing a flaming punch, his attack will actually produce a momentary gout of flame.
  • Abyssal Exalted: Created as dark reflections of the solars by the Deathlords, abyssals may invoke their concept aspect when dealing with undead creatures or spirits or when manipulating the energies of the underworld is advantageous, however they are ill-suited to the lands outside the underworld and the concept may be compelled in situations where their deathly aura and lack of warmth may prove complicated.

But what about castes John?

Castes were the game ‘splats’ in the original Exalted and were basically used to govern what powers and abilities you could possess, since Fate is a more freeform and i’m hoping to create a quicker more action-packed gaming experience that with the original WOD rules i’ve chosen deliberately not to focus on castes.

However if you are desperate to include castes then I would simply suggest that you assign a character’s caste based on the highest of their professions at character generation, the five professions were created based on the skill spread of the original castes so this should be a fairly close fit. 

Jade-xalted: Character Generation – Aspects & Professions

Since this is a hack to allow Jadepunk to be used to run an Exalted style game, i’m not going to reprint masses of the rules from the Jadepunk book (also i’d like encourage people to purchase the game since it is an excellent RPG campaign), i’m only going to discuss the rules where my proposed hack differs from the Jadepunk rules.

Aspects

Characters in Jade-xalted have five Aspects:
  • Concept: A short sentence that sums up your character; if your character is an exalt then the concept must make some mention of what type of exaltation they carry (please note that if you are playing a terrestrial exalted/dragonblooded then some mention of their associated element should also be included).
    Example: Rough and tumble solar exalted soldier, sly and sneaky lunar exalted thief, proud but honourable terrestrial exalted noble (fire).
  • Background: Where did your charater come from and what experiences they have had in life.
    Example: I was born in the slums and had to fight for every opportunity I got, I was in and out of trouble during my youth for stealing and other petty crimes, I grew up on my father’s estate and received the finest schooling his military pay could afford.
  • Exaltation: Although dragonblooded generally exalt (if they are going to) during puberty, a celestial exaltation can come upon a person at any time; where were you when you became exalted, what did it feel like and how did it affect you?
    Example: I was cornered by imperial soldiers when I felt the light of the Unconquered Sun lend strength to my arm, I was trapped with no way to escape the noose when Luna’s grace allowed me to pull the shadows around myself, my family were proud when I received the grace of the Dragon during my seventeenth year.
  • Belief: How do your characters beliefs colour their lives, were they staunch adherents of the imperial creed or a bit more free-spirited?
    Example: I was always taught that the Solar Exalted were demons and that the Wyld Hunt kept us safe now i’m not so sure, my people always feared that creatures that lurked beyond the edge of the map and now i’m one of them, I was raised to believe that the Dragonblooded were the destined rulers of the world but I don’t know if i’m ready for that responsibility yet.
  • Trouble: Consider your preceding aspects, which of them cause you the most complications in your life, have you made any enemies since your exaltation?
    Example: The local authorities know my face it can only be a matter of time before the Wyld Hunt seek me out, since being exalted I find civilisation increasingly stifling and long for the wilderness, I had so many plans for myself but now they all must be set aside to advance the aims of my family.
Professions

As with Jadepunk, Jade-xalted uses professions instead of Fate Core’s skills to rate a character’s proficiency in a particular area; these professions are:
  • Warrior: Warriors come from all different backgrounds, but they all share a proficiency for violent action.
    • Overcome: Feats of strength and of combative skill.
    • Create advantages: Combat maneuvres and creating advantages in the heat of battle.
    • Attack: Making physical attacks at close quarters and range. 
    • Defend: Protecting oneself and others from physical damage.
  • Priest: Priests travel the world preaching the word of the gods, in their travels they come to know the hearts of men and learn about the world during their journey.
    • Overcome: Priests overcome obstacles through knowledge that they have acquired in their travels, they have to be adaptable and strong in their faith to survive.
    • Create advantages: Using their knowledge of the world to their advantage or rousing the faith of other men.
    • Attack: Spurring others to action through rousing speeches or engaging in a contest of faith with another.
    • Defend:  Defending those of the faith or using your knowledge of the world to help protect your flock in dangerous situations.
  • Sorceror: The sorceror creates engines of fantastic magitech as well as researching into matters of the arcane and occult.
    • Overcome: Building or repairing magitech, sorcery and researching occult secrets of the ancient past.
    • Create advantages: Scrying using magic, temporarily boosting the function of occult devices. 
    • Attack: Using more baroque items of magitech or sorcerous items, casting an offensive spell.
    • Defend: Unless a sorceror is controlling a magitech item that can shield them from damage or is casting a spell to shield them from harm they are unlikely to defend.
  • Assassin: Deception and stealth are an assassin’s main weapons along with other nefarious talents.
    • Overcome: Bluffing/lying, thievery, stealth & disguise. 
    • Create advantages: Creating distractions, cover stories or false impressions.
    • Attack: This profession isn’t used to attack directly, more likely to set up a more devastating attack.
    • Defend: Using misinformation and doublespeak to throw off investigations or disguise their true motives.
  • Diplomat: The diplomat is at home in polite society, always knowing the right words to say and the appropriate palms to grease.
    • Overcome: Influencing others to do what you want, bartering, gaining information.
    • Create advantages: Creating advantages to represent momentary emotional states. 
    • Attack: Only likely to be of use in social situations or perhaps in ritualised duels. 
    • Defend: Defending against attempts to ruin one’s standing or blacken their reputation.

Each profession is rated with a bonus, choose one at Good (+3), two at Fair (+2) and two at Average (+1).

Jade-xalted: Initial ideas

I’ve been given some thought for a little while (in-fact since I got my copy of ‘Jadepunk: Tales from Kausao City‘) about whether it would be possible to “hack” Jadepunk in order to run games set in White Wolf’s Exalted campaign setting.
Why would I want to do this?

Well i’ve been in love with the idea of Exalted ever since I bought the first edition, the premise of normal people imbued with celestial powers set against the historical background of the terrestrial usurpation is very compelling, I like the thought of characters whose past-selves once ruled the world trying to reclaim that mantle whilst being opposed by the Sidereal Exalts and their puppets the Dragonblooded terrestrials, who have painted them as the demonic Anathema for hundreds of years and have hunted them almost to extinction. The idea of Exalted is great, the background material, stories and art have been very evocative, where it falls down IMO is the rules that are used; Exalted uses a version of the White Wolf/Onyx Path World of Darkness rules, it’s functional and was cleaned up a lot in the second release of the game but it never really captured the free-flowing, wuxia style of the game that I thought the system was reaching towards.
Fast forward a few years to the release of ‘Jadepunk: Tales from Kausao City‘, this is a campaign setting for the Fate Core game that presents a slightly different approach to the Fate rules; the campaign posits an oppressed, fantasy-style world where the economy of the setting (and much of it’s technology) revolves around enchanted jade mined in the shadow of Kausao city, a metropolis oppressed by it’s governor, the players take on the roll of martial arts masters and jadecraft tinkerers who rebel against this system and seek to fight for the common man. My video review of Jadepunk can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMiWg_zTlfg
Things to Consider

Jadepunk would seem to be a natural fit for an Exalted style game, before I get into working out how to create a hack though, I think there are a few things that I need to think about, these include:
  • Representing the charms of the different Exalts + their innate powers.
  • How to represent the anima banners that flare when Exalts use their powers.
  • The various other types of enchanted materials (orichalcum, soulsteel, etc).
  • Spirits and demons.
Over the course of the next few weeks I intend to start looking at these various aspects, plus any others that come up to see if I can create a workable “hack” to allow the playing of a more freeform, narrative style of Exalted campaign using the Jadepunk rules.