My NYC playtest group managed another session a couple of weeks ago, but as that was just before I disappeared into the final stages of manuscript revision, I lacked the time and energy to post. Time to correct that! Unfortunately, I was dog-tired at the time and spent most of the session half-asleep. In addition, we didn’t actually do any weapons testing, so its value as an Arms of the Chosen playtest was questionable at best. Still, a playtest is a playtest…
We only had two players that night—myself and Chris, who had some roleplaying experience and, despite being unfamiliar with Exalted, was ready to jump in feet-first. Pat provided us with a pair of pregenerated Solar siblings. I got the older brother, Hunter, a Night Caste tracker with an inclination for violence. Chris played the younger brother, Scep, an Eclipse Caste and the face of our little two-Solar bounty hunting operation. Having just returned to Nexus after a job, Scep quickly got us another assignment: Procure tyrant lizard fangs for an ivory dealer in exchange for a sizable fee. After arranging for transit with a caravan heading southeast in ten days, we looked for ways to pass the time until then.
While Hunter spent his share of the proceeds of the pair’s latest venture on alcoholic beverage and persons of the evening, Scep decided to mix business with pleasure by seducing a wealthy older gentleman in order to loot the fellow’s home once the man passed out from an excess of drink. After pawning the man’s jewelry, he decided to make a profit on the fellow’s rich-but-archaic garments by fabricating the persona of couture prodigy Klaus Beaverhausen, and passing off the forgotten old styles as the cutting edge in Nexus fashion.
The project proved dramatically effective. Scep’s Charm-enhanced social maneuvering soon had many of the city’s movers and shakers figuratively eating out of his hand. One minor misstep involved offending a sought-after model, but after a heated lunch meeting, she set aside her animus in exchange for a role in an upcoming—and, indeed, pulled from thin air on the spur of the moment—Beaverhausen fashion show, to be held after his triumphant return to the city from his upcoming journey to the southeast. By the time the PCs departed the city, Scep had even taken on a couple of apprentice tailors as interns, arranging for them to spend the next month or two performing unpaid labor on his new fashion line to get a leg up in Nexus’ booming fashion industry.
(No, you won’t find anything about fashion shows in the 3e corebook. This was simply an instance of the Storyteller building on a player’s interest at the table.)
It was fun to watch Chris, an Exalted newbie, interact with the 3e social influence system, in which a moderately-experienced Storyteller was able to keep track of all of the rules without the player needing to know the specifics of various social actions. Chris definitely found it engaging enough that he came back for this past Thursday’s playtest, though he had to leave early and thus missed out on actual play, which covered a couple of vicious encounters with claw striders. Stay tuned for more playtest reports!