The Unbelievable Story of Five-Forest Vale [Exalted 2.5]
Six-hundred and fifty years ago seven monks formerly of the Immaculate Order came upon Five-Forest Valley. Its fertile fields had lain fallow for over a century and the five ancient rare wood forests that gave the vale its name had grown to cover them. The ancient forest of rare woods was valuable enough, but the plains they covered were ideal for agriculture. The valley was abandoned by mortals for good reason though: the Fair Oneís Gezri and Perrin, tumultuous beings who made the valley a place of death who the foolish and the surrounding lands a dangerous place to be. The seven monks, determined to right this wrong, began a crusade against the faerie warlords that was continued after their death by their followers in the form of the Golden Order.
Two-hundred years of strife later the Golden Order, aided by their holy martial art, brought civilization and humanity to the valley. Gods followed behind their mortal worshippers and soon the god Crowmaigne ruled the new spirit court as the valleyís deity. With civilization came many great things, but also many terrible things. The Dragon-Blooded mercenary general Red Crane came too with his army and conquered the people of the valley. The Golden Order, focussed on fighting the Fair Folk who still persisted, refused to become involved in secular matters, setting a precedent that would last another four centuries.
Red Crane ruled for almost a hundred years, holding the valley in an iron grip. This firm hand was despised, but proved necessary when his death began a ten-year power struggle that ended with the creation of three separate nations within the valley.
In the north, radiating outward from the gateway lake, was formed the Kingdom of Two-Falls, in the east, dominating the lands of the old capitol, was formed the ďRiceĒ Republic, and in the west, built upon ancient ruins, was formed Wilac. Between them all, keeping their borders apart, were faerie haunted lands still ruled by the tenacious and cunning Gezri and Perrin.
That was until twenty years ago when Gezri and Perrin vanished without a trace. The Golden Order, a shadow of its former self with only a few hundred warrior monks, were caught by surprise as much as anyone, but the weary monks were happy to accept credit for their disappearance. It seems that after over six-hundred years they had fulfilled their purpose. With their enemy defeated the last monastery turned both inward and outward, opening their doors for the first time to anybody who wanted to learn and consolidating themselves at their grandest home, the Golden Monastery.
Despite the disappearance of Gezri and Perrin tensions in the valley have only risen. With the Fair Folk no longer creating a buffer between the nations their borders collide for the first time, and with the Golden Order in ascendance nearby paranoid eyes turn toward them and the population that they had spent the last twenty years teaching martial arts. Head Abbess Hidden Cloud, concerned that the Golden Orderís sanctuary is in jeopardy, has called together a group of Dragon-Blooded from the monastery students. In them she will place her trust and hope as Five-Forest grows more turbulent.
The Big 10
1. What game system are you running (D&D, Call of Cthulu, Palladium, GURPS, etc.), and if applicable what edition (Original, Classic, Revised, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 10th, etc.)?
The game was originally meant to wait until the release of Exalted, third edition, and its new Dragon-Blooded book, but with the release pushed back (and probably the release of its new Dragon-Blooded book) I decided that Iíd go ahead now. What that means is that when the new edition and its new Dragon-Blooded book comes out there will be the option to convert the game.
2. What 'type' or variant of game will it be (i.e. "Shadow Chasers" or "Agents of Psi" for d20 Modern)? What is the setting for the game (eg. historic period, published or homebrewed campaign setting, alternate reality, modern world, etc.)?
This will be a Dragon-Blooded game, and it will take elements from the A Land Once Divided Must Now Unite game style focussing on the Scavenger Lands instead of the Realm.
3. How many Players are you looking for? Will you be taking alternates, and if so, how many?
I'm looking for between 3 and 6 players, and anyone who isnít picked will be the first I contact should anyone leave the game.
4. What's the gaming medium (OOTS, chat, e-mail etc.)?
This fine forum!
5. What is the characters' starting status (i.e. experience level)?
You will begin as a group of Dragon-Blooded students, learning from the monks of the Golden Monastery, a monastic school of Golden Janissaries, located in Five-Forest Vale.
All the starting origins (Dynast, Lookshyian and Outcaste) are available, however you also get three free dots in Martial Arts, one free dot in Lore, and the first three Charms of Golden Janissary Style (Cleansing Flame Strike, Rotten Leaf Arrested, and Where Is Doom Inquisition); these dots come at the end of Step Three.
Note: While the Immaculate Order finds secular Golden Janissaries merely suspicious and barely tolerates them (as long as they stay out of the way), they consider this spiritual order of them heretical (in part due to the co-opting of elements from within Immaculate holy texts, while dangerously leaving other elements out, such as the revilement of Anathema). As such anybody playing a Dynast should be aware that if/when their involvement with them becomes known they will face reprise from their family.
There is an additional origin for those who wish to play a member of this monastic order of Golden Janissaries. The rules for making a Golden Monk is detailed below...
Step One: Character Concept
Determine why your character has joined the Golden Order instead of the Realm or Lookshy.
Choose concept, elemental aspect and Motivation.
Note Aspectís anima powers.
Step Two: Choosing Attributes
Note that all nine Attributes start with one dot automatically before you assign any.
Prioritize your Attribute categories: Physical (Strength, Dexterity, Stamina); Social (Charisma, Manipulation, Appearance); and Mental (Perception, Intelligence, Wits). You have 7 dots to assign to your primary Attribute category, 6 to assign to your secondary one, and 4 to place in the tertiary category.
Step Three Choosing Abilities
Note Aspect Abilities.
Select Favored Abilities (3; may not be the same as Aspect Abilities.)
Golden Monks start with the following Abilities for free: Athletics 1, Awareness 1, Dodge 1, Integrity 2, Lore 1, Martial Arts 3, Medicine 1, Occult 1, Resistance 2.
Choose Abilities (25óat least 13 must be from Aspect or Favored Abilities; at least one must be in each Favored Ability; none may start higher than 3 without spending bonus points).
Step Four: Advantages
Golden Monks start with Backing (Golden Order) 1 and Reputation (Golden Order) 1; Choose Backgrounds (7óexcept for Breeding, use Backgrounds from the main Exalted book; no Background may be higher than 3 without spending bonus points). Charms (7 Dragon-Blooded Charms, at least 4 of which must be from Aspect or Favored Abilities; and the first three Charms of Golden Janissary Style [Cleansing Flame Strike, Rotten Leaf Arrested, and Where Is Doom Inquisition]) and Virtues (5ónone may be higher than 3 without spending bonus points).
Step Five: Finishing Touches
Record Essence (2), Willpower (starting value of 5, 1 bonus point per further dot), Personal Essence pool (Essence + Willpower + any gained from Breeding), Peripheral Essence pool ([Essence x 4] + Willpower + [the sum of the two highest Virtues] + any gained from Breeding) and health levels (7 + any gained from Charms).
Bonus points (18) may be spent at any time during character creation.
Aspect, Motivation, Virtues, and Background are as described for Outcastes.
12. Will you be doing all of the die rolling during the course of the game? Will die rolls be altered, or left to the honor system? If players can make die rolls, which ones do they make, how should they make the rolls, and how should they report them?
We will be using the forum dice roller for rolls and we will have a thread in the Dice Rolls sub-forum to keep miscellaneous dice rolls from cluttering the OOC (because that should be cluttered with other things).
I reserve the right to use my own dice, on my own table, for secret rolls, etc, etc, and so on and so forth.
13. Are there any homebrewed or optional/variant rules that your Players should know about? If so, list and explain them, or provide relevant links to learn about these new rules.
There's a slight change to how much and how fast XP is awarded because of the differences between PnP (pen and paper) and PbP (play by post). Since there really is no 'session' with PbP the normal session XP (4 XP) gets awarded to players at the end of a chapter (which is roughly when one part of the greater story ends and another begins).
There is no required amount of posting, however, there is an XP incentive to post at least once a day: every player that's posted at least once a day gets an extra 4 XP at the end of that week. The exception to that rule is if there is nothing reasonable for you to post (that way if myself or someone else fails to post that day the rest arenít punished for being active while others arenít).
14. Is a character background required? If so, how big? Are you looking for anything in particular (i.e. the backgrounds all ending up with the characters in the same city)?
Yes, yes, yes! A thousand times yes! Exalted is based on the Storyteller system and it is very much driven by its characters and story! Without a clearly defined character you will find yourself floundering so please write at least one page. That isnít a requirement though, just a request/suggestion (a well-written paragraph is far better than a page of nothing pretending to be something).
15. Does your game involve a lot of hack & slash, puzzle solving, roleplaying, or a combination of the above?
As a PbP game youíre all going plenty of time to roleplay even in the middle of what would otherwise be a very hectic few minutes at a game table, but even putting that aside there will be quite a bit of roleplaying. There will also be kung-fu action and intense, dramatic debates. These will sometimes take place at the same time. The only difference will be the scale of events - a battle between two opposing armyís, a debate between two factions, total war between nations, etc.
16. Are your Players restricted to particular rulebooks and supplements, or will you be allowing access to non-standard material? What sources can Players use for their characters?
Official material is given a blanket yes to start. Iíd love it if this game could start, continue, and then end without me having to say that thereís something youíve bought and can not use in my game. It just seems unfair. Having said that I will do it if the more wonky pieces of Exalted are abused.
Homebrew doesnít get a blanket yes, but if you think itís good and you want to use it then all you need to do is drop me a link or send it to me and Iíll probably say yes. Even if I say no, itíll be a provisional no more likely than not, so donít be worried about sending damaged goods if youíre up to a little DIY patch-job.