View Full Version : Critique of my new Exaulted character

Evil DM Mark3
2008-05-09, 11:22 AM
Not finished yet. Please critique.

OK. We are out West. My character and his brother both exalted, we are playing up Different As Night And Day ( http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DifferentAsNightAndDay) more than a little. Or rather Night and Zenith...

He is part of a circle of 4 solars (Him, Night, martial artist Dawn and Sorceress Twilight) and a lunar (Squid, changing moon)

Backstory Ethtethis and his non-identical twin brother Tethis where born on the island of Chorwell, far out in the western ocean. Chorwell is a single island for about half the day, but at high tide it separates into three islands. There is a large town on the largest portion and smaller population centres on the smaller island portions. Ethtethis and his brother where born to a smith and a fisherwoman on the second largest settlement. Life was not easy but had its compensations, during his childhood Ethetethis suffered from long illness that left him with sallow skin and lank hair whereas Tethis became a well liked and popular member of the community, for all that he was a casual thief. By the age of 13 Tethis was travelling with the merchant vessels that docked at the island periodically and was always bringing back all manner of trinkets. Ethtethis was already as good a smith as his father, having had plenty of time to study whilst he was too ill to leave his room. Even then the two's personalities clashed often. Ethtethis often accused his brother of pointless showmanship, whereas Tethis was happy to call his brother a sour faced old man in a sour faced young man's body. Despite this the bond between the two was strong, Tethis had spent many a long hour distracting his brother from the pain when the illness had been at it's worst.

On the eve before the two turned 18 everything changed. Tethis was abroad in the city of Coral, trying to steal the contents of a pirate ship's hold. But that is another tale. At the same moment a ship painted in red and with a bonze spike affixed to it's prow had docked at Chorwell. It's crew began to raid the island. Ethtethis was visiting family at the time and, despite having almost no training, ran to assist the militia. They where a sorry group with inferior weapons and little real training, no match for the crew of the red ship. Ethtethis, while skilled at making swords and blades, was not expert in their use. As he stood in the line in the town square he was knocked back off his feet by a charging pirate, and knocked down The Pointless Well.

The Pointless Well had existed for as long as anyone could recall. It was wonderfully decorated and, out of some tradition who's purpose was long forgotten, had a bronze chain and bucket dangling down it, raised at dawn and lowered at noon daily. There was no water at the bottom, and in any case this close to the coast any water would have been salt.

Ethtethis grabbed the chain and managed to slow his decent, stopping when the narrow edge of the bucket cut into his fingers. Hands numb with pain it was only a matter of time before he fell. And so he did. He fell four feet into sea water...

It was high tide, clearly this cave flooded at high tide. He swam, exhausted and his cut fingers screaming in agony, to the nearby rise, seeing by some strange dim light that seemed to come from the stones. He struggled onto dry land, crawled to what seemed to be a ring of five statutes and lay there, panting. The statues where of five humans, each carved in an aspect of pride and nobility, about twice and a half again as large as life. After a while, he was not sure how long, he tried to haul himself up, and managed to upset the nearest statue at it's base. It rocked, and then fell away from him, into the next statue, witch in turn knocked down the third, then the fourth, Ethtethis watched in horrible fascination, still too tired to move, as the fifth stature came down on top of his head.

And shattered. Leaving him unharmed. In the rubble lay something extraordinary. It was the single most beautiful blade he had ever seen, shaped much like field scythe, but a myriad times more intricate and with a blade nine foot along its length. He unfolded it and suddenly understood. In that moment he understood what had just happened. He understood and was overcome with a wave of pure fury. He allowed that rage to drive him, up that chain, out onto the surface, towards the boat, glowing like the sun. It was both beautiful and horrible to behold.

The people ever since have referred to him as The Smith of Burning Gold. To himself however he is, and always will be, simply Ethtethis.

Tethis arrived several weeks earlier and took to his role of godling with far more vigour. Within a few weeks the entire island was worshiping and venerating him, as though he, not Ethtethis, had saved the island. Tethis the Fair, Tethis the swift. Ethtethis minded not as he explored the underground caves, at least not untill he realised that some of his brother’s worshipers had been praying to HIM. The weight of responsibility weighed heavily on him, he realised that clearly he had to do something, one ship of pirates was a drop to the ocean, so much was wrong with the world. People where expecting him to do something about it. The sour faced young man and the silver tongued sticky fingered charmer found out more about their fates when a ship captained by a strange, overly jolly figure, came to port...

Physical description Ethtethis is 5ft 11, his upper body well muscled by his time at the forge. He is otherwise quite lean, he never had much of an appetite. His hair is clipped short and a greasy black, his skin a pasty white, made such by his childhood sickness. His eyes are dark brown, such that in poor light they might seem black. On his left cheek he has an old scar, a burn from a forge accident. His limbs are long, as are his slender fingers. Unless you have seen it, it is hard to imagine his face wearing a smile.
PersonalityEthtethis has the unfortunate combination of an accurate if cynical view of humanity, combined with a caring heart. He knows, from observation and experience, that many, if not most, people will do things that they know they ought not. Good, honest, people will take advantage of each other without even thinking about it. True they may do what is right when pushed, but how often will they ingnore the pight of others, make the small thoughtless cruelties? They abuse authority, act high and might, push their own agendas over the needs of others. All without really realising it.
But Ethtethis cares. He cares about people. He feels deeply for those who are in a weakened position, every begging orphan, every greving widow, every last child afraid in the night. Unlike some of the other exaults he travels with, in particular the lunar, he cannot view them as “just” mortals. They are people, just like him, and the only way he can see of fixing things is to do again what the realm has done, to strip their rights to chose from them, to make them second class to him, and he cannot countenance that. When he sees people being harmed, abused or merely ignored by those in authority he can end up loosing his temper.
He tends to drink a lot, that is to say almost constantly, but a high resistance and stamina score mean that he can rarely actually get drunk, much to his disappointment.
The MaseThe manse under the islands is of a strange design and, at the moment, almost totally non-functional. It is made up of dozens of small to medium chambers, joined together by paths cut through the island itself. Most of these chambers have intricate patterns, detailed images and long intricate passages of lore carved into them. They also tend to flood at high tide. There is a passage that leads to the outside, but it seems that at some point in the past the doors where destroyed. This would be a minor concern if not for the fact that the exit is below the water line and had a complex system of chambers for exit/entry and to prevent the manse flooding. Those will need to be fixed before the rest of the manse can be repaired. As it is the only two chambers constnatly above water are the statue chamber and the forge, with about eight other chambers flooded at various times of the day.

Caste: Zenith

Motivation: Form a new Deliberative of all celestial Exalts (and, if they can be freed and or restored the Abyssals) and a delegation of Terrestal Exalts, to protect and nurture creation.

STR 4, DEX 3, STA 4, CHA 4, MANIP 2, APP 1, PER 2, INT 4, WIT 3

(Physical primary, Strength and dexterity would already be good for a mortal due to his job. Mental secondary, smart and swift of though, not necessarily good at noticing thing however. Social Tertiary, he has presence and is just as capable of understanding motivations as most but he is a long long way from handsome.)

Favoured abilities: Melee, Lore, Medicine, Craft, Sail

Melee 3
Integrity 3
Performance 2
Presence 2
Resistance 3
Lore 3
Medicine 3
Craft (Fire) 3
Athletics 3
Awareness 2
Sail 2

Artifact 3 (Grand Grimscythe, the story teller has agreed, mostly for reasons of backstory, that this one’s blade can fold away along the length of the handle.)

Cult 1 (Tethis has a large cult. A smaller group of more cynical (and some would say depressed) people worship Ethtethis as a sort of cult within a cult. He is not overjoyed by this but is not going to complain, if it makes them happy.)

Manse 2 (For now. Storyteller is willing to have working out how to repair it as part of the plot)

Resources 1 (He was saving up what little he could before he exalted, he is not overly interested in money now however.)

First Melee Excellency, One Weapon, Two Blows.

First Performance Excellency.

First Presence Excellency, Enemy-Castigating Solar Judgment

First Resistance Excellency, Battle Fury Focus, Durability of oak meditation, Iron Skin Concentration, Spirit Strengthens the Skin.

Compassion 4, Conviction 2, Valour 2, Temperance 1. Not brave, but will fight for those he cares about. Seeks refuge in alcohol frequently.

Flaw: Red Rage of Compassion.

Bonus points:
Essence 3
Body mending Meditation and Ox-Body Technique (-1 -2 -2)

2008-05-09, 04:52 PM
I suggest you edit that second u out of your topic. It does not belong there.

Unless you've got something that requires E3, I'd recommend buying up skills or the like instead. I also find it XP-efficient to start with your Abilities at odd numbers; if you're going to go past 1, go all the way to 3, since let's face it, 1-2 XP for that second dot is a drop in the bucket.

And you can't go above 3 in a Virtue without spending bonus points.

Where'd he get this Deliberative idea? It seems rather disconnected from the backstory, and particularly given that according to his numbers I'm not sure he'd have much idea how one of those things worked (if you're going to set up systems of governance, having at least a dot in Bureaucracy really, really helps.) I'd also recommend a dot of Socialize on general principle.

Btw, you know if your ST could use a geomancer? Have Codex, will travel, and I like exchanging notes on story-worthy crafting endeavors.

The Valiant Turtle
2008-05-09, 07:34 PM
Overall that's a pretty solid character and you'll do fine just as it is if you are happy with it. If this feels like your character to you, go with it.

Ravyn is correct about the virtue of 4 not being legal without background points, so you should probably drop 1 of it and put it somewhere else, but if your Storyteller is fine with it and it's what you want, keep it there.

Personally, I disagree with Ravyn and always recommend getting Essence 3. You'll want it soon enough and it can be hard to save up the xp and find the training time to bump it up later. If nothing else you'll probably need the extra Essence motes.

Ravyn's point about odd abilities being more xp efficient is valid. If there are any other abilities you think you might want I would cut a point of some of your 2's and get them. You've got a decent selection though. From a pragmatic point of view you might want War or maybe Archery or Thrown for a ranged attack. Some Occult is often nice, but I'm guessing the party already has that covered. You never know when some Ride or Linguistics might be handy. Alternately you could cut a 2 down to bump up one of your other 2s, which would save you a few xps later.

Your charms are obviously resistance heavy, and that's perfectly fine, but I would plan on getting some more melee charms pretty soon and developing a decent combo. I actually feel that Hungry Tiger Technique would be better than One Weapon Two Blows to start off. The Grimscythe is better as a big gun for getting huge individual hits than trying to get multiples, especially with a starting dice pool of 6. Of course, the rest of the charm tree after 1W-2B can get multiple hits out of just about anything.

You've got a great story and I think you'll have fun. Enjoy!

2008-05-09, 10:22 PM
Solars can start with Virtues of 4 without spending bonus points under second ed (Core rules, page 75). This is a change from the first edition, so I can understand why it would be news to you both.

2008-05-10, 02:32 AM
I will resist the urge to go into an edition fogey rant. This time.

Raldor: Last I checked, it was only once you were trying to get past E3 that they started insisting on training times for Essence. Or did they change that too? It seems too sensible for them to have fixed. Otherwise, it's more efficient to either just go to 4 and get it over with (asking for trouble in my opinion) or to stay at 2.

The Valiant Turtle
2008-05-10, 08:10 AM
I just checked and you're right about the Essence 3 not needing training time. I still recommend getting it at creation.

2008-05-10, 03:27 PM
And I still don't. For 7 bp, you can raise an Attribute from 4 to 5 (16 XP) and a Virtue (for you, could be 3, 6, or 12 XP--and a corresponding increase in Willpower, which for you would be the equivalent of another 12 XP, if you increase anything but Temperance, and an extra mote or two of Essence either way)--or start tagging up Abilities, or the like. Either way, makes for a considerably better deal, and it doesn't take that long to hit the XP you'd need for an Essence increase. Even if you're just going for ability increases, that still comes out to more bang for your BP.

2008-05-10, 03:29 PM
If we're going to talk efficiency, Virtues that raise Willpower, and Abilities. Nothing else comes close. And I generally recommend against boosting Essence unless you need it for something you really, really want. But that's more because I usually need BP for character defining Artifacts and Abilities, really.

Anyway the backstory is long enough that I can't read it on a busy weekend, which is usually a good sign, and the Motivation is suitably epic.

2008-05-10, 06:24 PM
Time for Brickwall's Excellent Analysis Method! This is not simply a mechanical observation, but a quality in-depth look at how to enjoy your game.


Well, normally I don't feel the need for this, but here's a good question: do you really want to play what you're set out to play? See, here's the thing. You're playing a Resistance monster in a group that already has good warriors. You'll basically be left with nothing to do, except not die, which isn't as hard as you're making it out to be. With a Dawn and a sorcerer already in your group, there's no lack of combat might.

Instead, I suggest you focus elsewhere. Does your group have a good sailor? If not, you could definitely swtich out most of your Resistance Charms for that (At the very least, Resistance Excellency and Battle Fury Focus and Body-Mending Meditation). And Enemy-Castigating Judgement isn't worth starting out with enough to justify Essence 3. Those 7 BP are far too valuable for that.

I'd suggest allocating your Medicine Ability dots to Survival and Sail, and being a sailor. Zeniths and Eclipses are best at that, and you seem to be the only one of either. And sailing is really important in the West. You don't need to be a good fighter in a group that already has a few. Think hard about where you want to go with your character before you make your character. If you make a combatant in a group that already has some, you'll be redundant. If you take on a unique role, you'll be cool.

Evil DM Mark3
2008-05-10, 06:27 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys.

The game has died...

So um.

Sorry to have waisted your time.

2008-05-11, 02:11 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys.

The game has died...

So um.

Sorry to have waisted your time.

Alas! Tis the curse of Exalted... it's too awesome for this sinful world.

I can't tell you how many first sessions of Exalted we've had. We've only had a single complete game, and that one had to have the ending summarized instead of played out, because no one had time for it.