Writer Q & A
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This page collects official answers and clarifications about Exalted 3e. Anyone is welcome to add to it, but try to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Answers should be from the line developers (John Mørke and Holden Shearer), or from writers who are discussing material they themselves wrote.
  • The main intention is for this page to be a repository for official clarifications on ambiguities that are likely to come up often. Not all developer comments, or even all interesting ones, should go here. In particular, answers that just refer people to a clear statement in the text that the asker missed should be left out unless a large number of people missed that statement.
  • Answers must have a source link. They can be paraphrased if the wording fits poorly with the Q&A format, but heavily paraphrased answers (not questions) should be marked as such.

Right now the only organization is between Charm-specific questions and everything else, but we'll probably need to add some later on when the list becomes large.

General Rules Questions

Q: At what point in the process of resolving an attack do you have to declare your Resistance Charms? (Barring explicit call-outs in the Charms themselves.)
Holden Shearer: Upon declaring defense, before the dice hit the table, same as any other.

Q: Battle groups don't lose Initiative from withering attacks, but does the attacker gain Initiative from hitting them?
Holden Shearer: [Paraphrased] Only the one automatic point for landing a withering attack.

Q: An intimacy eroding naturally over time doesn't count as weakening it for the purposes of limit, does it?
Holden Shearer: Yeah, I wouldn't have someone rolling Limit because they haven't talked to their buddy Tim from high school in years and just kinda stopped caring about him at some point during that time, either. There needs to be a discrete act-or-moment-of-turning-away of some kind.

Q: Do you need a teacher to learn a new martial art?
Holden Shearer: Yes, Martial Arts are specific schools with particular techniques and methodologies and you need some source to learn from, be it a sifu or a training manual or even unusually detailed folk legends, whatever, unless you are trying to create your own style. Luckily, teachers are not nearly so hard to come by in this edition since very few styles are restricted to practice by the Exalted.

Q: Does a reflexive Aim action still require you to forgo movement?
Holden Shearer: [Paraphrased] Yes, unless otherwise stated.

Q: If you have double 7s and a Sidereal raises your TN to 8, do your 7s count as two successes, or zero?
Holden Shearer: Zero successes.

Q: Could you define what counts as an instant for mote expenditure in regards to contributing to your anima banner?
Holden Shearer: All at once, all working upon the same act in the same moment.

Q: Regarding mote spend and anima: If I use 4 motes in an attack and then in the same turn an additional 4 motes to defend myself, does that add to my anima?
Holden Shearer: Nope!
Q: How about if I use 4 motes to defend against 3 different attacks for a total of 12 motes? Does that add to my anima?
Holden Shearer: Nope, you'd have to blow 5+ all at once, not 5+ in close sequence.

Q: Can dematerialized spirits pass through walls?
Holden Shearer: Yes.

Q:: Are there any specific mechanical actions for which a Bureaucracy roll is required and for which the system provides details on difficulty and what exactly success gives you?
Holden Shearer: Nope, all of its functions are handled by the basic task-resolution function of the rules, and it doesn’t habitually go head-to-head with another Ability in a way that’s worth clarifying (like Larceny and Investigation, which also both just use basic task-resolution except on those occasions when they lock horns with one another), so it doesn’t have any special sub-rules associated with it. I mean, we could have put in some use-case examples, I suppose, but 1) I already had to lop 80K out of the book so space was at a premium and 2) the Ability description in the traits chapter is pretty clear about what it does*.

*It’s not the “Leadership” Ability, incidentally, just as Socialize is no longer Word War, and Presence will now let you be charismatic at more than one person at a time. EX3 doesn’t have a “Leadership” stat any more than it has “Wisdom” or “Goodness” stats. When the book drops I strongly advise players of previous editions don’t skip past sections thinking “ah I already know how that works” just because the header looks familiar. Lots of things changed.

Q:: Say I do a Decisive on a battle group and it loses 1 size. Do I get the Init break bonus before or after init reset from decisive?
Holden Shearer: I'd say after. Losing that bonus would suck.

Questions about Specific Powers

Q: When using Battle Dancer Method (p367), do I need a flurry to dance and attack? Or just dance stunts?
John Mørke: You could flurry it as a social action or use it during one of the Simple Charms in that tree that entails a dance.

Q: How does Ferocious Jab (p274) interact with effects that negate onslaught penalties?
Holden Shearer: Most Charms just let you ignore your onslaught penalty [rather than actually removing it], either for an instant or to one aspect of your Defense. Very few Charms prevent onslaught from accumulating in the first place, but those that do would indeed mess up Ferocious Jab.

Q: Wound-Mending Care Technique (p342) restores WP if it heals 2 "wound levels". Does this mean it health levels or wound penalty levels?
John Mørke: It's wound levels. If the level of the wound was -4 and it becomes -1 or -0 you gain Willpower.

Q: What's up with Design Beyond Limit (p296)?
Holden Shearer: Hell almighty. That should be cut. I have no idea how that fix got reverted out (this project labors under a curse, that's how). We'll have to do errata for it presently.

Q: Does Iron Battle Focus negate onslaught for the purposes of all defenses, or just for Brawl-based Parry?
Holden Shearer: [Paraphrased] Just Brawl-based Parry.

Q: Can multi-attack Decisive Charms [e.g. Iron Whirlwind Attack or Hammer on Iron Technique] be used for Gambits (like to disarm multiple foes)? And if so, how does the Initiative work?
John Mørke: No, they can't.

Q: Is there a limit to what charms can be learned with Gloaming Eye Understanding (p359)? Can you learn charms from spirits you don't know?
John Mørke: You have to get a spirit to teach you its Charms. (The prerequisite works similarly.)

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