War and Pieces
There’s quite a number of changes I’ll be making to Alchemicals and the setting for the purposes of this game. Here’s a cheat sheet for convenience, though keep in mind I may update this as we get closer to the game or I think of good additions.
1: Character Creation
a. The default, errata’d version of chargen (18 bonus points and all) will be used.
b. Essence costs 8 bonus points to raise to 3 and cannot be raised higher during character creation.
c. Submodules cost half their experience point cost, rounded up. This means most of them will cost 3 bonus points. Please ask before taking them at character creation.
d. Characters will receive a small stipend of bonus points for submodules at chargen to finish customization. How many is tbd, but 6-9 is likely.
Due to the confusing, excessively expensive nature of Crafting in the base rules, a major edit is being implemented.
a. The basic elemental crafts still exist, but you only have one Craft ability.
b. You get a number of elemental crafts equal to your rating in the Craft ability.
c. You can buy a one-dot specialty in Craft that adds a special craft skill such as Magitech or Fate. These require special consideration from the Storyteller, aside from Magitech due to its prevalence in Autochthonia.
3: Experience Costs
To simplify things and avoid confusing optimization rules, all experience costs, by default, are double the bonus point cost. A few exceptions exist, namely:
a. Charms, which are normally 6 experience despite their bonus point cost of 1.
b. Backgrounds, which have no default experience cost and are instead earned in play.
c. Essence, which is still 8 exp. times your current rating.
4: The nature of Alchemical Exalted
A strong focus of this game is the dichotomy of man and machine. With this in mind, I have decided to make a number of changes to make the Alchemicals both more and less human. This has the following effects:
a. The Soulgem of an Alchemical Exalt starts in the default “brilliant-cut” shape. However, when the soul is catalyzed and forms a complete identity with the divine spark of Autochthon, the shape of the Soulgem changes to suit it, based on the design of Autochthon. Thus, a powerful Estasian warrior would catalyze a triangular soulgem, while a brilliant engineer might have a rhomboid like the Sodalites.
b. Alchemicals are immune to nonmagical disease and poison. Due to the fact that their bodies do not contain blood or normal chakra, only Essence-based toxins can affect them.
c. Alchemicals are machines and lack normal human digestive systems. Thus, they do not need to eat or drink (and cannot without having components installed to accommodate such activities). They can survive without air, but require breathing in order to speak. Recreational reproduction follows the same rules as eating and drinking. Obviously, Alchemicals cannot procreate.
d. The charm Sustenance Replication Engine does not provide the sustenance effect, but still fulfills all other listed effects and gives the Alchemical the capability to eat and drink. The charms Thousandfold Courtesan Calculations and the Voidtech charm Integrated Genesis System both enable recreational sex in addition to their normal effects. Other methods of gaining these optional additions may be discussed with the Storyteller.
Clarity represents the mental man/machine balance. Some characters try to keep it high, others low, but it is meant to be a personality trait up to the player, not a debilitating effect to balance other effects. This has the following effects:
a. Permanent Clarity: Permanent Clarity from high Essence does not exist. Exemplar charms only inflict permanent Clarity if it is dramatically appropriate, the charm is meant to make the character deliberately nonhuman, or the player wishes for the charm to grant permanent Clarity. Players may not choose for non-Exemplar charms to grant permanent Clarity.
b. The above does not apply to Apostates. If a character has Gremlin Syndrome, Exemplar charms and high Essence apply levels of permanent Dissonance.
c. Intimacies: when a character gains high levels of Clarity, they may lose emotional intimacies, as written. If and when Clarity is decreased, these intimacies return as normal, which may have lasting psychological effects on characters who lower their Clarity after keeping it high for a long time. This is retroactive: characters can gain emotional intimacies while Clarity is high, but they are automatically and instantaneously suppressed as normal, to reappear when Clarity ebbs. These intimacies can also be diminished or removed while suppressed.
6: Modular Charms
Some charms are only useful in specific situations, are necessary for storyline events, or serve a similar function to artifacts. As such, the rules for accessing charms on a temporary basis are slightly more fluid.
a. Characters may temporarily add certain charms at a vats complex without spending the experience points on them. The character must still have a charm slot available. Such charms must be returned to their owners (usually the State) when requested unless the player spends experience to harmonize with it and gets in-character permission to requisition it.
b. Characters may add charms amputated from opponents or given by allies by spending the experience and visiting a vats complex for normal installation. Doing so removes the charm from the subject and gives them back the experience points for the charm (subject to Storyteller approval), which must be spent on a replacement at a vats complex.
c. Upon a character’s death, certain charms maybe be left behind rather than dissolving as normal. These count towards the (Essence x5) dots of artifacts that may be made from the remains (a number of dots equal to the minimum Essence of the charm). Submodules dissolve upon death.
7: Specific Charms
a. Personality Override Spike requires Essence 3 and Manipulation 5 and automatically gives you Identity Recalibration Signal’s effects without requiring an extra charm.