On Challenging An Exalt at Their Specialty

(in response to someone saying that taking Charms in a an area means the player wants to be challenged in that niche)

No. What it says is “I want to succeed at this niche”.

Like, If I was playing in Exalted and dropped all my Charms and points into combat stuff? I would want 99.9% of my combats to be “Final Light of Dawn draws his daiklave and everyone dies.”

I play Exalted to play a game where I am not a guy at the bottom of the food chain working his way up. I play Exalted so that I am starting near the top and where aside from maybe a double handful of other guys in the entire world I will kill the fuck out of everyone that shows up. I do not want to be in the world where everything escalates like a Shounen Jump comic and somehow, with no rhyme or reason, my guy who is the Best Swordsman In The World keeps on running into The Best Spearwoman In The World and The Best Archer In The World and The Best Martial Artist In The World again and again and again.

If I’m a Solar with all my stuff in Melee I want to play a game where, unquestioningly, if I draw my daiklave then I will kill the enemy. Because I want the game to be about the decision to kill people, not whether that will succeed but whether I should. I want to tell a story about Achilles versus Hector, where Hector walking off to fight this demigod is not a cool dramatic tense action scene… its a tragedy. I want everyone to know he is walking to his doom and to savor the drama of the scene. I want to stand across from Hector and engage in prebattle smacktalk. I want to walk away from the massacre with a frown, unsatisfied and unsatisfiable and the deepening realization in my characters heart that all this killing will accomplish nothing but make more killing.

And I want the same story about all the other abilities. I want my World’s Greatest Detective to solve any mystery… and then be stuck wondering if this difficult moral puzzle he has uncovered is something he should declare to the authorities or not. I want my World’s Greatest Thief to take whatever strikes his fancy… until he takes a job which forces him to make a difficult moral choice. I want my World’s Greatest Orator to win over every crowd and lead them in glorious revolution… and then have him wonder if he is breaking their free will and treating them like objects and maybe making himself a worse tyrant than the one he wants to overthrow.

All content unless stated otherwise is ©2021 Chris McNeil. He can be contacted here. The banner picture is courtesy of Jason Heavensrun. You can find more of his stuff at Checkmate Studios.