Beginning with an introduction to the world and setting of Exalted, this is intended as an entry point to the game, with an overview of the rules as well as an adventure complete with pre-generated characters. All you need to get sucked in...
Characters in Exalted are chosen champions of the gods, embued with special powers - yet all is not as rosy as it might seem. A lot has already gone on, with a rebellion against their rule having thrown the Exalted down, and many enemies awaiting those few which escape imprisonment and are reborn in humans in a kind of reincarnation. There's a quick review of both the history of the world and the way in which humans become exalted (as the reincarnation process is known), before a summary of how the game mechanic works, what dice to roll and what the results mean. As pre-generated characters are included, there's no need to discuss how characters are created or what absolutely everything means and does on the character sheet, but there's quite enough for newcomers to the game to give it a go.
This done, an introduction to the actual adventure is given, with the intention that all participants should read it, as well as the rules and setting information, in advance so that the adventure can hit the ground running once play begins. The four characters provided have 'ancestral memories' of a fifth companion, known to their exalted selves in the past, and receive a message porportedly from this individual inviting them to share in a momentous discovery as well as take the opportunity to meet up once again, for the first time in this incarnation. So, they have travelled across the land to the location specified. And now, the adventure itself begins.
The adventure is presented clearly, and even a novice Storyteller (GM) ought to be able to run it with little difficulty. Although straightforward there is quite a lot going on, mixing the devious nature of the politics and plotting endemic in this setting with opportunities to fight and to explore the other capabilities of an Exalted character. Moreover, it shows just how the rich background of the setting weaves around individual characters, as each will have an opportunity to investigate matters pertinent to them, things left by a previous incarnation.
The characters themselves are also well-presented, with plenty of background information to give each player a good feel for who they have become. Even those to whom both setting and system is new should find it easy to get under the skin of their character and role-play the distinctive attitudes and approach of that particular individual.
Overall, this is an excellent introduction to both the game system & the setting, and ought to leave players looking forwards to further adventures within this world.
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Reviewed: 1 April 2006