We currently have a number of playtest groups working on Exalted 3e. One of them consists of Contagion of Law designer Shane Cherry and his longtime playgroup. They’ve been sending me playtest reports, and with the developers’ approval, I’m passing on excerpts from those reports to you!
The players have a wide range of attitudes toward game mechanics. Some are full-on crunch wonks. Others would rather not have to interact with any kind of mechanics at all. Players at both ends of the spectrum report that they’re happy with the level of complexity present in the playtest rules. They’ve provided a good bit of mechanical feedback; I’m in discussion with the developers to see how much of that feedback can be posted here.
Meanwhile, in today’s report, we meet the playtest Solar circle:
“[The PCs are] traveling on a merchant caravan going from Marst, a kingdom on the edge of the Hundred Kingdoms area, to Long Bough, a small city on the edge of the great Eastern forest. So far we have a young caravan guard who is hoping to escape her boring life and find a bright, adventurous future on the road (that is until [her player] inevitably changes her mind a little lol), and a retired Lookshy gunzosha warrior who is looking to reclaim the heroism he found in his youth.
“Once all the PCs were ready, the caravan from Marst to Long Bough finally began its journey, and with it the story of our heroes began. This first session, we were able to do a solid combat and several social scenes, where we tried out the new system there as well. Groundwork is being laid as well for what I hope is an interesting and fun use of the Investigation and Larceny rules that will take place next time we run. Details on the combat and social systems are below.
“The characters involved yesterday include Karis, a highly skilled thief born and raised in Marst. She steals because it is the life she knows and enjoys, but does do her best to make only those who have more then they should her targets. She may have bitten off more then she can chew with her last job though, as the most prominent merchant in town has hired the best huntsmen money can buy to track her down. In hopes of ducking the heat for a time, Karis has used her skills with a bow along with her sharp eyes and investigative talents to be hired on as a caravan guard, the jewels from the merchant’s estate safely tucked away under her armor.
“Mato Leaf-Dancer is a young Haltan who is just recently out of his coming of age ceremony. The reasons he left Halta are his own, but he is returning there now, a special package hidden in his pack. He seems genuinely likable despite his lack of speech, but his pointy ears, youth, and obvious Haltan appearance have put many ill at ease. He has booked passage heading to Long Bough in hopes of catching a river boat north back toward his home.
“Finally, there is White Ink, the elder statesman of the group. His appearance is weathered and well scarred, seemingly telling of a lifetime of battle. But he seems to limp when he walks, the large armor he wears seems too large for his old frame, and the massive sword upon his back is almost laughably out of place. None know why he is traveling East, and indeed his gruff exterior does not entice conversation. But those who have met him say he is only half as surly as he looks, and all comment on his eyes, which appear far too young to belong to such an old man.”
Next time: Solars vs Bandits. I wonder how that turns out?