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Mastery Feats & Dice Pools

Every Ability (Melee, Dodge, Seneschal, Lore, etc) has a set of three Feats attached to it, called Mastery Feats. These Feats allow a character to focus on the Abilities that are important to them and be heroically effective in those areas when and where they wish, instead of being limited to improving only the aspects of the game that the old Feats system covered. I feel that this improves diversity while maintaining mechanical consistency, and avoids adding too much extra complexity.

A character may buy one, two, or all three Mastery Featsfor each Ability, but may only buy each Mastery once for each Ability. The First & Second Mastery Feats can be used in combination but both are exclusive to the Third Mastery. I.e. a hero may benefit from a combination of automatic successes and extra dice, or a re-roll, but not both. Descriptions for the Mastery Feats are below.

There are two hard-coded limits in place to prevent truly horrific dice pools from developing:

  • A hero may never add more dice to a pool than the relevant (Attribute + Ability). Thus if a character has Dexterity 4 and Melee 4, they can add no more than 8 dice to that pool. Specialties and equipment do not raise this limit, nor do they contribute towards it.
  • A hero may not spend more Heroic Reserves in a tick than their (Destiny x 5). See the document Character Generation 2.0 for more details on the revised Destiny trait.

Using Feats

  • A character may invoke as many Feats as they like within a given tick, so long as all Feats have the Combo keyword and the Feat’s type permits it.
  • Simple and Extra Action Feats constitute a character’s action and thus cannot be used in the same tick as another Simple or Extra Action Feat, but can be combined with Reflexive and Supplemental Feats.
  • A given action can only benefit from one Supplemental Feat but can benefit from as many Reflexive Feats as apply to it.
  • Feats with the Counter keyword cannot benefit from Supplemental Feats when used as a counterattack.
  • A Feat without the Combo keyword may not be used in the same tick as any other Feat.

Definitions

Feat Types:

  • Simple: Simple Feats are exactly as described in the Exalted rulebook (p.182), with the following changes. Default speed of a simple Feat is 5 instead of 6. Also, some simple Feats will have a rate listed, allowing them to be flurried provided the Feat activations are the only actions in the flurry.
  • Reflexive: As described in the rulebook (p.182). We are using the 2.5 method of Feat resolution where a character may activate as many Feats as they like, so long as all have the combo keyword and are allowed by type.
  • Extra Action: As described in the book (p.182).
  • Supplemental: As described in the book (p.182) with exceptions. A given action can only have one supplemental Feat applied to it, and Feats are not tied to Abilities so that restriction is not in place. The Feat descriptions should provide the proper context for a given supplemental Feat.
  • Permanent: This Feat, once purchased, provides a permanent and ongoing benefit to the character without any need for activation. If the Feat has some kind of triggered effects, then activation of those effects counts as an innate ability – not a Feat activation.

Feat Keywords:

  • Chaos: The Feat summons or manipulates spirits of Chaos. Any damage it causes to a creature of Order is considered aggravated, unless otherwise specified. This Feat may not be used by a being or adept of Creation or Order, although certain creatures may mimic the effects as a special action.
  • Combo: This Feat may be activated during the same tick as any other Feat that also bears the Combo keyword, as long as it is permitted by Type.
  • Counter: This Feat grants a counter-attack or some other form of response to an opposing activity. Characters cannot use counterattacks to respond to other counterattacks, and characters cannot use multiple counterattacks to respond to a single attack unless otherwise stated. Making a counterattack imposes a cumulative counterattack penalty of -1 to your DV until your next action.
  • Creation: The Feat summons or manipulates spirits of Creation. Any damage it causes to a creature of Chaos is considered aggravated, unless otherwise specified. This Feat may not be used by a being or adept of Chaos or Order, although certain creatures may mimic the effects as a special action.
  • Crippling: This Feat has a special effect that is Crippling. This effect may be specifically targeted by other Feats or items.
  • Form: The Feat activates a specific style of Unarmed combat. Any triggered effects that the Feat allows count as innate abilities – not Feats – and are not subject to combo rules.
  • Influence: This Feat exerts natural or unnatural influence on the target to compel them to some form of action or inaction.
  • Obvious: Observers can tell that the character is doing something spectacular, and they may have a rough idea of its effects. Obvious permanent Feats are only obvious when actively in use.
  • Order: The Feat summons or manipulates spirits of Order. Any damage it causes to a creature of Creation is considered aggravated, unless otherwise specified. This Feat may not be used by a being or adept of Creation or Chaos, although certain creatures may mimic the effects as a special action.
  • Poison: This Feat has a special effect that is Poison. This effect may be specifically targeted by other Feats or items.
  • Sickness: Feats with the Sickness keyword cause some form of disease. This effect may be specifically targeted by other Feats or items.
  • Social: This Feat is designed to work in a social setting and timescale.
  • Touch: The Feat requires that the hero touch something in order to trigger some or all of the Feat’s effects.
  • War: The Feat is intended for use during large-scale battles and time-scales.

The Mastery Feats

First (Ability) Mastery

Cost: 1 HR Requires: (Ability) 1, Destiny 1
Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo
Prerequisite Feats: None

Heroes with this Feat are known for their moments of brilliance. The hero’s player can invoke this Feat when making a roll based on the relevant Ability. This Feat then adds one die to that roll for each HR spent. This Feat is the paradigmatic dice adder. The rule that characters are prohibited from increasing a dice pool by more than their (Attribute + Ability) almost always refers to the purchase of dice through the use of this Feat.

Characters can also use this Feat to enhance unrolled uses of the relevant Ability, usually to increase a Defense Value, for example, by increasing (Dexterity + Dodge) to protect against a physical attack. When enhancing static values, her player rolls one die for each HR spent on the First Mastery. Each success increases her effective (Attribute + Ability) rating for the task by two. Therefore, each success on the First Mastery roll increases an applicable static value by one.

Second (Ability) Mastery

Cost: 2 HR Requires: (Ability) 1, Destiny 1
Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo
Prerequisite Feats: None

Invoke this Feat when making a roll based on the relevant Ability. The hero then spends up to (Attribute + Ability) in HRs. This Feat adds one success to a roll for every two HRs spent. Each success purchased with Second Mastery is the equivalent of purchasing two dice with the First Mastery or some other dice adder. Therefore, if a hero had a (Dexterity + Melee) total of 8, he could purchase up to four successes with the Second Mastery. Any magical effects that hinge on the character buying dice will then react as if the character had just bought eight (Dexterity + Melee) dice. The character could not add dice from the effects of other Feats because he has reached his maximum of eight by purchasing the four successes.

The hero can also use this Feat to enhance unrolled uses of the relevant Ability. Each two HRs spent increases his effective (Attribute + Ability) rating for one task by two. This means that every two HRs spent on this Mastery increase a static value like a DV by one. The First Mastery is thus considerably more efficient for increasing static values than the Second Mastery, but not reliably so.

This Feat can be combined or used together with the First Mastery, but it is incompatible with the Third Mastery, and it can never be used on the same roll as the Third Mastery.

Third (Ability) Mastery

Cost: 4 HR Requires: (Ability) 1, Destiny 1
Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo
Prerequisite Feats: None

Heroes with this Feat recover smoothly from failure. A hero’s player can invoke this Feat after making a roll based on the relevant Ability. This Feat allows her player to make the roll again, using the new result if the player prefers it. The hero can also use this Feat to enhance static values derived from the relevant Ability. Doing so increases the character’s effective (Attribute + Ability) rating for one task by the Ability rating. This means that the Third Mastery increases an applicable DV by half the relevant Ability.


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