Exalted is a tabletop RPG by White Wolf set in a mythic fantasy world known as Creation. The player characters are the Exalted, epic heroes and demigods blessed with cosmic power to reshape the world to their will. There are many established kinds of Exalted, each one chosen by a different god, titan, or cosmic force, and each one with a different role.The Solar Exalted, the Lawgivers, Chosen by the Unconquered Sun, are celestial powerhouses who have the potential to be masters of all they put their mind to. Their powers grant superhuman skill and ability, from cutting down mountains with a single swordstroke to jumping into the clouds to seducing entire cities. In the First Age of the ancient past, the Lawgivers were rulers of the world.The Lunar Exalted, Stewards of Creation, Chosen of Luna, are shapeshifting infiltrators and guardians of the world, boon companions and mates to the Solars. With powers that draw on mercurial shapeshifting and bestial power, the Stewards are the most adaptable and unpredictable of the Exalted. As of 3E, they are waging a centuries-long war against the Sidereals.The Terrestrial Exalted, the Dragon-Blooded, Chosen of the Five Elemental Dragons, are a race of superhuman soldiers who wield elemental powers. The Dynasts are the only Exalts who can pass their powers down to their children, and are at their best when cooperating in large groups.The Sidereal Exalted, Viziers to the Lawgivers, Chosen of the Five Maidens, oversee Fate itself, and make sure that gigantic Creation-wrecking disasters do not come to pass. The Viziers wield bizarre and esoteric magic, weave fates, and are masters of cosmic kung-fu.The Abyssal Exalted, the Deathknights, Chosen of Oblivion, are world-killing weapons destined to destroy Creation. Their masters are the Deathlords, ghostly servants of the dead Primordial deities, the Neverborn. The Deathknights are dark mirrors of the Solar Exalted, created by the Neverborn from Solar Exaltations they were able to capture after the Solars were overthrown. And if they dare to rebel, their lives start sucking. Really badly. (This ranges from a minor supernatural marking... to the mortal they care most about dying. And Death isn't cheap in Exalted.)The Infernal Exalted, the Green Sun Princes, Chosen of the Yozis, wield the power of the Primordial titans who created reality and were defeated by the Exalted at the dawn of history. Created from the Yozis' share of the stolen Solar Exaltations. Leaders of the Reclamation, the Yozis' plot to escape Malfeas (Hell) and return to the world, the Green Sun Princes might free their masters — or they might become a new pantheon of titans all on their own. They get MUCH more leniency then their Abyssal counterparts from their Yozi masters, and it's entirely possible for them to slip the leash completely. (Third edition information on the Infernals indicates that they will be changed significantly, with "living alien invasion" being suggested as one possible description. Details remain sketchy.)The Alchemical Exalted, Champions of the State, created by the self-exiled Primordial Autochthon, are machine demigods, forged from magical materials and imbued with the souls of heroes past. With Charms that take the form of magitech implants in their bodies, the Champions defend the mortals who live within the world-body of Autochthon from the corruption and blight that poisons the sick titan.Other types of Exalted will be introduced in 3E, but as yet little is known of them compared to the established types.The Liminal Exalted, or Chernozem, like the Abyssals, are associated with reanimation and corpses, and are said to be ghost hunters and sorcerer-exorcists, caught between the realms of death and life. They come to be when someone attempts one of the few truly impossible feats in Creation: bringing back the dead. On rare occasion, the fervor of these attempts reach into the Underworld and attract the attention of the Dark Mother. Something rises, but not the one who died...The Getimian Exalted, are Exalted apparently "drawn from stillborn destinies" and act as agents in a war against the Sidereals. Their charmsets are heavily tied to alchemy, as well as the yin-and-yang principle, and they are led in said war by a rogue Sidereal named Rakan Thulio. Their Exaltations are created by an as-yet-unrevealed figure "of godlike power", though not necessarily a god, and their name carries connotations of time.The Exigents, are champions of their individual patron spirit, and do not share a common charmset. In times of crisis, a god may petition Heaven for permission to create their own unique Exalt. The process demands a sacrifice from the god, however, and may drain the very life from a weak deity (powerful ones can create several Exigents), so such a deity must be careful who they choose. As an example, an Exigent created from the power of a harvest god would be known as the Chosen of the Harvest, and have harvest-themed abilities. (The Exigence, the divine fire that empowers them, is a form of Exaltation; consequently they are not 'Exigent Exalts' but rather 'Exigents'.)The so-called "black market" Exalts are the Exigents' dark siblings, created by gods who have stolen the Exigence and turned it to their own dubious ends. Like the Exigents, they share no common patron or charmsets.And more types yet await on the horizon, known only by their names or their pictures.
The Exalted were created at the hands of the gods to overthrow the Primordials, the tyrannical cosmic superentities who created the world. They won, with the help of two traitor Primordials, Gaia and Autochthon, slaying some of the creators, and forcing the rest to surrender. The dead Primordials became the Neverborn, the nightmarish quiescent remains of entities for whom there is no beginning or end, and bound to sleep in the Underworld. Those who surrendered became the Yozis, crippled titans imprisoned within the Hell called Malfeas, the world-body of their king. But the dead Neverborn cast a final curse on the Exalted, dooming them all to succumb to their own hubris and madness.The Solar Exalted were made rulers of the world, but slowly fell to the Great Curse, becoming depraved and heartless monsters, mad with their own power. The Sidereal Exalted, blinded by the hubris of their own curse, conspired against the Solars. They incited the Dragon-Blooded to overthrow their masters in the bloody conflict of the Usurpation, and imprisoned the Exaltations of the Solars, so that they could never again bless mortals with their power. The Dragon-Blooded reigned over Creation, but could not defend it from the infinite hordes of Raksha, soul-eating faeries from beyond Creation, and the plots of the Deathlords, the ghosts of dead Solars in service of the Neverborn. Almost all Creation was destroyed, swallowed up into chaos as the Raksha invaded and the Great Contagion engineered by the Deathlords wiped out nearly all life.The chaos ended when one Dragon-Blood activated an ancient superweapon of the Solar Exalted, saving Creation and uniting it behind her. She would become the Scarlet Empress, founding a Realm that would span most of Creation. But now, the peace she claimed is falling apart. The Scarlet Empress has vanished. The Raksha still creep across the borders of undefended Creation. And now, the Yozis and Neverborn have cooperated to free the imprisoned Solar Exaltations, stealing half of them to twist into their own dark champions. Harbingers of slaughter and entropy now stalk the land, while the champions of Hell work behind the scenes to free their masters. And into the midst of all this, the Solar Exalted have returned.This backstory would be bleak, forbidding, and generally depressing in any other setting, but the basic premise of Exalted is that you are a Hero, in a universe where Heroes Matter, and in fact are endowed with power to equal the rulers of the world. The Rule of Cool is the order of the day, and there is nothing you cannot do if you put some effort into it. In fact, the setting-function of the Primordial War is intended to show you that, given time and effort, you can overturn the foundations of the world and define your own reality.
See also Keychain of Creation, a long-dead Exalted Webcomic. Also see Chorus Of The Neverborn, which is still updating at time of writing. See also Scion, which is basically diet Exalted meets American Gods IN AMERICA. See also Nobilis, which is either about as dark and much more brooding, or even lighter and softer than Exalted, depending on whether you're playing 2nd or 3rd Edition of Nobilis respectively. See also the Old World of Darkness, which inspired parts of the game, and which the developers have mentioned that they would very much like to crossover with.Udon created a comic book available for discussion here.Has extensive character sheets in need of Wiki Magic.The third edition initially featured John Mørke and Holden Shearer as developers (though they were later replaced with veteran Exalted writers Robert Vance and Eric Minton), with original Exalted developer Geoffrey C. Grabowski returning as a writer. On May 9th 2013, the Kickstarter funding a deluxe version went live, utterly shattered its goal in less than twenty minutes, and set a new record for the most-funded tabletop RPG kickstarter, eventually being toppled by 7th Sea second edition.On October 23, 2015, after many delays, Exalted's third edition was released to backers. It was released for everyone else six months later on the 20th of April 2016, hitting platinum on DriveThruRPG within two days.Confused? You're not the first. Fortunately, the website Scribd has several extensive free samples of the first two editions' sourcebooks, both of which explain the game rather better than one page of text can.Now that so many examples of Tropes have been gathered, we had to split up the main page.