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Exalted, Second Edition Hardcover – March 13, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
These different castes help essentially define the characters class in the next chapter on character creation where you will devise and define your character in far greater depth than simply rolling a series of six-sided dice. You'll pick their abilities and attributes and decide on an appearance. As mentioned there are several different castes your character can choose to be part of which are basically like classes. For example the Dawn Castes are warriors, The Twilight Caste are the sorcerers and wizards, the Night Castes are thieves and assassins, and the Zenith Caste are the priests. Chapter 5 is one of the longest in the book and covers charms/spells. These charms function as spell-like abilities but can also function as personal abilities such as the "Thunder Clap Rush Attack" which is a martial arts charm. In all there are some 250 charms & spells in the book...far more than you'd normally think to find in a new game system (even if it is a 2nd edition).
Chapter seven introduces a small, but lively section of monsters and antagonists and includes rival exalted, demons, undead, and even Gods. The section detailing the weapons, armor, equipment, and magic items is extremely well done with a picture of every weapon and piece of armor. Other chapters provide the GM, referred to here as the Storyteller, the systems and rules for combat, movement, morale, large scale battles, environment and terrain, etc. This is all backed up by an extremely thorough and cross-referenced index at the back of the book. Complementing the text is outstanding artwork throughout the book. Each chapter begins with a short, generally 3 to 4 page comic story told in Manga-style artwork which leads into each chapter's subject matter. While the game is heavily influence by Manga/Anime, it's equally influenced by popular heroic and epic fantasy fiction.
The designers of Exalted have certainly set their standards and goals high. This is a big (400 pages) lavishly illustrated and beautiful book. But ultimately, it's more than just eye candy. The unique system will no doubt take veteran gamers a bit of time to adjust to but in the end I think most will love Exalted. It's extremely well-written and conceived and a welcome addition to the RPG scene.
Reviewed by Tim Janson
The original Exalted was rushed into production, and showed it. Even so, it was a good game, one that I enjoyed playing quite recently--it really renewed my feelings for the high-fantasy genre. And while many of the first-edition supplements were quite good, they all had to follow on from the problems of the core book, so the whole thing suffered from a slapdash effect. This time around, it looks like the supplements are very well-plotted. And the core book actually includes enough rules and information so that a GM can include all the major character types as NPCs without having to guess how their powers work. In fact, if you don't plan on running Abyssals and Dragon-Bloods and so on as player-characters, you can easily get by with just this core book and nothing else--although the Storyteller's Companion helps a lot with that. This is a big improvement over the 1st edition.
The art is, almost without exception, excellent, and a fundamental part of the book, as each section starts off with a multi-page manga story that shows you how the Exalted world works. There are a few minor margin-art pieces that don't seem to fit well, looking more like amateur fan-manga than the highly professional look of the majority of the art, but these are rare and easy to ignore. Oh, and the whole thing is full-color, printed on glossy, high-quality paper.
Players of the first edition will be amazed at the power boost to the Solar Charms and Anima powers--boosts that make sense, as well. Here and in many other rules I felt it was much more unified and rational than before.
One slight disappointment: No new Sorcery spells! The 1st edition had shockingly few, and the 2nd edition doesn't fix that at all. You'll have to wait for a supplement if you want to have a Sorcery-weilding character with a reasonable range of magic.
But that's a minor nitpick in the face of all the wealth in these pages. White Wolf, you've readdicted me to your games!