It’s been a while since there’s been a Bundle of Holding I have liked enough to post. This is definitely a good un’, though!
Exalted 1e was one of my earliest RPG books and is also, at the time of writing, one of my newest in the form of the massive third edition book. The game page on RPGGeek described Exalted as:
Exalted is a game of epic fantasy set during the Second Age of Man, a time before our own.
It is an age of magic and adventure, when heroes of legend are reborn into a time of woe.
At the dawn of the First Age, the gods gave power to men that they might slay the gods’ Primordial enemies. Anointed by the gods, these beings were thereafter known as the Exalted.
The greatest of the Exalted were the Solars, the Chosen of the Unconquered Sun, the mightiest of the gods. So great was their power that, when a Solar died, his power was quickly made manifest in a new individual – a reincarnation of sorts, but into a mature adult rather than a newborn.
The Exalted triumphed over the enemies of the gods, and in reward, the gods gave the Exalted dominion over the Earth. For a timeless age, the Exalted ruled justly over Creation, and their kingdom was invincible.
But the enemies of the gods had pronounced a terrible curse against the Exalted. This dark magic ate away at the hearts of the Chosen. The benevolence of the Solars turned to tyranny, and peace turned to civil war. It was prophesied that the madness of the Solars would bring about the destruction of the world. Seeing no other alternative, the lowliest of Exalted, the Dragon-Blooded, murdered the decadent Solar Exalted and locked their souls away.
And so, a Second Age descended upon Creation.
The greatest of the gods’ servants no longer walked the earth, and the Realm of the Dragon-Blooded was but a shadow of the lost old Realm. Solar Exalted whose power escaped to be reborn were slain by Dragon-Blooded inquisitors known as the Wyld Hunt, and the Realm claimed dominion over Creation. For more than a thousand years the Solar Exalted remained imprisoned and defeated – until now.
The Scarlet Empress, the Dragon-Blooded ruler of the Realm and controller of the Wyld Hunt, vanished five years ago. Without her might to enforce order in the Realm, the Great Houses of her Scarlet Dynasty have fallen to squabbling over the reins of power. And in this time of crisis, the Solar Exalted have returned. It is as if a gate was opened and the heroes of old rushed through it and returned to the world.
Your character is among those individuals who have become Solar Exalted. You are a being of legend, as mighty as a demigod and as cunning as an asp. Will you be the savior of Creation or one of the terrible menaces that beset your world?
It’s a strange, wonderful Asian-inspired fantasy. Bundle of Holding have two bundles available just now. The first of these is the core bundle. The first tier of the core bundle, priced at $12.95 contains the all-important core rules, along with a player guide and a book of spells and items:
- Exalted First Edition (retail price $18): The 352-page rulebook from White Wolf Game Studio that started it all in 2001.
- Exalted Players Guide (retail $18): Featuring the Exalted Power Combat rules update, mass combat, new martial arts, and new playable character types.
- The Book of 3 Circles (retail $11): The original Exalted book of spells, tomes, artifacts, and warstriders.
Level up with the second tier and you can get loads of goodies. The Storyteller’s Companion is particularly useful to those who want to run games, and the Exalted: The Dragon-Blooded is great for those who want to move beyond the Solar Exalted who appear in the main book. As usual, the price is a moving threshold but is sitting at $23.97 at the time of writing. That princely sum will net you the following:
- Exalted: The Dragon-Blooded (retail $18): The Terrestrial Exalted and their home, the Realm. Terrestrials are both playable characters and the chief antagonists for young Solars.
- Exalted Storyteller’s Companion (retail $9.50): More info on Terrestrial, Lunar, Sidereal, and Abyssal Exalted, as well as spirit powers and artifacts.
- Games of Divinity (retail $10): Details on gods, elementals, demons, and Creation’s Heaven and Hell.
- Scavenger Sons (retail $9): The best overview of Creation, plus an appendix on the Fair Folk.
- Creatures of the Wyld (retail $12): Beasts! Monsters! Behemoths!
But wait, there’s more! The second bundle is the setting bundle, the first tier of which is priced at $12.95. This tier consists of a stack of titles that flesh out the world of Creation. I really like the Bastions of the North and Kingdom of Halta books, which both add very different, well-themed locations to your games. The full contents are:
- The Outcaste (retail price $14): Alternate origins for Dragon-Blooded not born of the Scarlet Dynasty — Lookshy and its armories, the inscrutable Forest Witches, the pirate fleets of Eos and Ossissa, and the Lost Eggs adopted into the Realm.
- Bastions of the North (retail $15): The great nations of Creation’s frozen realm.
- Cult of the Illuminated (retail $14): The hidden followers who shelter and train young Solars, and the Wyld Hunt that persecutes them.
- Kingdom of Halta (retail $12): The Eastern tree-dwelling nation of Halta and its history.
- The Tomb of Five Corners (free): A short adventure to introduce the rules and setting to new players.
This bundle is further fleshed out in the second tier. At the time of writing, the threshold is sitting at XX and will net you the following:
- Manacle & Coin (retail $12): Finance in Creation and the workings of the drug- and slave-peddling Guild.
- Blood and Salt (retail $12): The Realm-conquered kingdom of An-Teng, the demon-blooded Lintha pirate family, and monsters and magic of the Southeast.
- Houses of the Bull God (retail $13): The nation of Harborhead; its Five Peoples; its patron Ahlat, Southern God of War and Cattle; and the Court of Orderly Flame that seeks to reform the corrupt spirit politics of the South.
- Ruins of Rathess (retail $10): The ruins of Creation’s first capital, home of the fallen saurian Dragon Kings who once shepherded humanity.
- Time of Tumult (retail $13): Four adventures across Creation and into the Machine God’s realm of Autochthonia. The final scenario introduces the Alchemical Exalted, strange clay-and-metal invaders from another world.
It benefits the same charity as the first bundle (Doctors Without Borders) and can be found by clicking here. I really do recommend this game. It uses pretty much the same system as World of Darkness, but has a very different tone and an interesting setting. Go!