Some Simple Exigent Guidelines
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By The Hug Ninja

[Disclaimer: Nothing here is set in stone. I suspect once 3rd edition has a few books out I'll look back on this as an old shame but if this gives someone the boost of confidence they need to continue a project or play the character they want then it was worth it. I may revisit or expand on it or step aside for more qualified people.

Step 1: Determine Nature
Simply put, what is your Exalt the Exigent of? Perhaps you have a particular god that you would like as a patron or a particular concept you would like to represent? Some of these ideas are probably going to be fairly self-evident, a Bloody Hand is going to create a Chosen of Murder and a Volcano God is going to create a Chosen of Volcanoes.

Step 2: Planning
Draw up a small table and divide it up as follows.
Physical Social Mental

It doesn’t matter how their charmset is going to be structured yet, all Exalt types are going to have some use for the following three categories.
Physical is (at the very minimum) offence and defence even if they’re not presented as direct applications of force. A wall of psychic force will be considered physical at this stage even if it originates from the Exalt’s mental powers.
Social is how they interact with the world. It’s easy to consider certain patrons non-social but even if they avoid interacting with the world or only do so through intimidation that’s still potentially fertile ground for charms.
Mental is how they perceive the world. Even a patron that’s little more than animalistic rage will still notice things and react to them.

Now try to populate the table with some basic charm ideas. If you attempt this with an Exigent based around a concept you will likely discover you have difficulty filling out the tables, a concept cool enough to use as an anchor for your Exigent concept is likely to be impressive and powerful but concepts don’t perceive the world at all and that’s where a patron can enrich the entire thought exercise.

Another problem you could potentially have is where the central concept is extremely broad in a way that leaves you paralysed. A Chosen of Wisdom may seem like an interesting idea but the concept is rather difficult to pin down and differentiate from the most studious Exalted Castes but if you decide that the God of Wisdom takes the form of a giant owl and lives in a giant abandoned library, that can get you somewhere that the vague concept of Wisdom alone cannot.

For Example: A player wants to make a Chosen of a Volcano Goddess based on the Hawaiian goddess Pele. Under physical they have ideas for powers based on exerting the raw power of a volcano such as fire and environmental attacks. Under social they can channel her passion and jealousy. Finally mental can explore Pele as a creator as well as a destroyer. All the while the concept is anchored in real life Polynesian culture as a source of themes to run concurrently with having volcanic powers.

Similarly fixating on the patron and their history is not without its problems either. If we take the example of Ahlat, he was originally the god of bull walrus mating and feeling you need to include that might actually lessen your vision of his Exigent into something that’s actually less coherent.
Another potential pitfall is that in our early third edition environment we’re going to be drawing most of what we know about particular gods from first and second edition where many of them simply weren’t written to be much more than dull bureaucrats living comfortably in Yu-Shan and refusing to get their own hands dirty.

Sometimes the added effort of trying to work in an element that doesn’t inspire you can be a breaking point that can lead to you abandoning the project. The obvious answer to this is ‘don’t do it’ but if you don’t have an interesting idea for the patron god up front and the concept is strong enough to provide you with a wealth of options you could agree with your Storyteller to resolve the detail of the patron’s identity later.

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to revisit step 1. Your initial concept evolving in light of new ideas is not a bad thing.

Step 3: The Excellency
It’s productive here to think of an Excellency for your Exalt type because it’s a measuring stick for how powerful you want them to be and a way of incorporating their concept into every significant action they undertake. If we take the example of Revana Quin from the corebook she needs to stunt in an urban environment in order to achieve her full power.

One can also build dice tricks into the Excellency to help reinforce a distinct style.
For example: Nedele is a Highroller, an Exigent who won her Exaltation is a high stakes game of cards with Plentimon with a normal dice cap of (Attribute) but rolling a 7, 8, 9 and 10 on any dice roll grants her a point of Luck which can be cashed it at any point during the story to reroll a single action.

Step 4: The Charms
Phase 1 Stealing! Look for ideas similar to the ones you documented in Step 2 in the corebook. It’s easy to get worried about power level and consider the Solar Charms off limit but that is honestly shooting yourself in the foot.
A lot of Solar charms are powerful in-context such as Dual Magnus Prana which would be much weaker if it was disconnected from Solar Craft or placed at high essence because they reflect something that’s on the edge of acceptability for Solar themes like flight as is the case of Bonfire Anima Wings.

Part of why I advised getting your Excellency out of the way in Step 3 is because knowing which dice pools can be modified by how much is important. For example, possessing a Stamina Excellency lets you increase your Soak in a way that a Solar can’t and may affect the relative value of some Resistance charms. Similarly if the maximum dice you can add to a Melee attack is 5 then a damage enhancer is less useful to you because skilled enemies that you may need it against will be more likely to sidestep it.

Phase 2 Innovation! Now you have what is essentially an assortment of parts and it’s your job to make them look like they belong together in the same set. Please remember that you don’t need to design charms for every Attribute or Ability as long as you and your storyteller have some idea what it would look like if changing circumstances in the game caused you to invest in new areas of expertise and the table from Step 2 should already shed insight on how the Exalt solves physical, mental and social problems.

Example: Faina is an Apothecary, an Exigent of the Syndic Uvanavu (The God of Health and Well-Being) and in addition to miraculous powers to heal the sick may also curse her foes with injury. As such her player has decided that the Solar Charm Injury-Forcing Technique is appropriate for one of Faina’s attack charms. While it is an essence 3 Lore charm for a Solar, combat-healing is more appropriate to her. The newly renamed Health-Syphoning Malediction is essence 1 and the start of a cascade of charms dedicated to stealing away a person’s health rather than physically injuring them.

Essence Pools
A character’s essence pool represents a last check on power levels. Right now it’s an all Solar’s game with the core so shrinking the mote pools shouldn’t be required unless you come up with something absurdly overpowered. You may want to calibrate your Exalt to be comparable to an existing type as a means of future proofing the idea though.

Isn’t this a lot of work?
Yes, but not as much as you might think.
You don't need to have every charm written up front, this is secondary to a cohesive theme. In many ways its easier than working with one of the classic Exalt types that try and run with several sometimes conflicting themes. ]

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