Altered Backgrounds

Backgrounds Changes

For this game the background system has been overhauled, these rules completely replace all backgrounds rules where they don’t reference them.

Backgrounds and Experience Backgrounds Cost Experience. Backgrounds may be raised at the cost of {New Dots} experience points. I will generally let players recover Experience invested in this fashion if story circumstances force the character to lose dots in a Background. Such protection is not absolute – dumb moves should have consequences – but you needn’t be afraid of permanent losses merely at a whim, either. Even backgrounds that are gained through the course of play (yes, even Heartsblood) need to be paid for in this fashion. Should the story demand that a character gain a Background in play without having the necessary Experience, she must spend at least half of all Experience she gains toward this Background until she is no longer in debt. Backgrounds are capped at 5 during character generation, but may rise above 5 during the course of play.

Delayed Backgrounds In general there are several backgrounds that don’t make sense for a starting character to have, especially if that character begins un-exalted. Any character can purchase these backgrounds but I will discuss with them how and when they will acquire them over the course of the first few sessions.

General Backgrounds

Celestial Artifact For each dot of Celestial Artifact the character may possess a dot of artifacts made primarily of celestial magical materials. The fourth and fifth dots of this background come with 1 & 2 respectively cumulative additional artifacts of rating 1. Unlike most backgrounds this background can be purchased more than once with each purchase indicating a different artifact and or pool of minor wonders.

Allies This background represents people that are loyal to you or owe you. They have their own interests and expect reciprocation for help they render, though only at “friend prices” Each Dot in this background provides one Ally that is roughly 75% as awesome as one of the PCs. Alternatively additional Dots can be spent improving the quality of an already purchased Ally. As this background scales with current PC power it does not provide extra benefits at high rating. Despite representing multiple people this background can only be purchased once, the increased demands of keeping multiple powerful individuals happy, both with the character and with each other, are represented by the increased cost.

Backing This background represents an official, or open but unofficial rank in a specific organization. This background is unchanged from the Exalted Main Book, being the official ruler of one of the Bewellen city-states is Backing 3. This background (Taken as Backing: Silver Pact) also supersedes the Lunar background Reputation, each Dot comes with the appropriate “-ya” title as detailed in MoEP: Lunars. This background can aid in allowing the character to qualify as a Savant or Sorcerer in the Mandate of Heaven.

Connections This background (originally detailed in MoEP: Sidereals) represents knowing the movers and shakers, the day-to-day operators and the etiquette of an organization. In addition to the organizations listed in the original, each of the Lunar factions is an organization as is the Concordat. When this background is selected pick both an organization and a Celestial or Terrestrial Compass Direction direction (North, Blessed Isle, Scavenger Lands, East, Underworld etc.). The character knows how to contact 1 mover and shaker (an entity generally as awesome as a PC) as well as several minor contacts (generally accomplished by rolling the background to determine if you ‘know a guy’). The major contacts provided by this background are under no obligation to accede to the player’s wishes. Like Allies multiple Dots of major contacts can be combined to make a more powerful contact. This background can aid in allowing the character to qualify as a Savant or Sorcerer in the Mandate of Heaven. Unlike most backgrounds this can be purchased more than once provided that each purchase applies to a different area or scope.

Command This background represents people under your command for whatever reason. These people are loyal to their provider first and you second. If you have both Backing and Resources equal to your command you may be their provider. This background provides 1+Dots Magnitude of troops that use the Elite Soldier extra stat line, or 2+Dots Magnitude using the Green Troops extra stat line. This background can aid in allowing the character to qualify as a Savant or Sorcerer in the Mandate of Heaven.

Cult This background is unchanged from the Exalted Main Book. It should be noted that this background does not provide temporal power over the worshipers (that’s Backing) nor does it provide an army of the faithful (that’s Command or Followers). This background can aid in allowing the character to qualify as a Savant or Sorcerer in the Mandate of Heaven.

Familiar This background is unchanged.

Followers This background is unchanged. It should be noted that the individuals provided by this background, while incredibly loyal to you are not soldiers, if asked to fight they will use a stat-line worse than Green Recruit. This background can aid in allowing the character to qualify as a Savant or Sorcerer in the Mandate of Heaven.

Henchmen Originally printed in MoEP: Dragonblooded, this background represents people loyal only to you (or your cause) and themselves. These people are stat-ed as Heroic Mortals with roughly 50% of the experience of a current PC. The Dots of this background provide 1/3/6/15/30/60/125/250 Heroic Mortals. For Lunars this is an excellent way to represent the cream of the Beastman Crop.

Manse This background is unchanged.

Mentor Mentor for Lunars almost always refers to the Lunar who presided over their trials and gave them their tattoos. For all PCs this is Kijuko Kesseki, this ancient Lunar would have the capacity to be a 5 dot Mentor, but chooses to involve himself in the events of the world and the character’s lives rather rarely and thus counts as a 3 dot Mentor. You need not pay for this Mentor background and cannot purchase a second Mentor, conversely should Kijuko perish or leave you will not receive an experience refund.

Resources This background is unchanged. This background can aid in allowing the character to qualify as a Savant or Sorcerer in the Mandate of Heaven.

Sorcery This background provides knowledge of a single Terrestrial Circle spell per dot and represents the memories of past lives’ sorcerous prowess. This spell must be drawn from the Exalted Main Book, or be the spell Emerald Circle Banishment. This background can be acquired post character generation only if the character gains access to a particular potent tutor or arcane tome etc.

Lunar Only Backgrounds

Heart’s Blood This background functions just as it does in MoEP: Lunars save that 5 distinct shapes can be “paid” to allow the Lunar to take the shape of any non-dangerous animal from a Celestial or Terrestrial Compass direction. For populated directions this includes a handful of random peasants at the player’s option.

Solar Bond This background is unchanged, however it can only be acquired from the character gen notecards (e.g. only one character has it).

Tattoo Artifact This background is unchanged (it specifically does not get the bonus points from Celestial Artifact).

Altered Backgrounds

The Thousand Streams of the River Country Xarei