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  • I Just Want to Be Normal:
    • Zig-zagged across editions. The default assumption of a player character is that they have had sufficient time to come to grips with what they have become. Further, the Exaltation is attracted to those who would use the power. On the other hand, bemoaning their new and terrible power is not uncommon among the Abyssal Exalted, and the primary religion in Creation would lead most newly Exalted to believe themselves possessed by a terrible soul-devouring demon.
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    • One particular Solar in 2nd Edition, Shadow's Grace, played this trope straight. She wanted to be Exalted, and she was — but into the wrong caste. As Scroll of the Monk puts it:
      Life as a spy and assassin, maintaining the peace of the fledgling Old Realm, did not suit her; she thought the Eclipse Caste better suited her temperament. She prayed daily, begging the Unconquered Sun to change either her caste or her spirit. He knew better and ignored her pleas: the needs of peace do not match those of war. He wanted an assassin who would not enjoy her job too much.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: The Perfect of Paragon really, really wants to be an Exalt, and he's cursing the Unconquered Sun everyday for not making him a Solar despite all the things the Perfect has done for his people. Considering that the UCS has exalted the worst sort of people such as Havesh the Vanisher, the audience may well sympathize with the Perfect.
  • Immune to Fate:
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    • By definition anything that exists outside of Creation, which means Malfeas, the Underworld, Elsewhere, Autochthonia and especially the Wyld are neither visible to, nor under the influence of, the Loom of Fate — at least not until they have spent enough time in Creation to get incorporated into the Loom. Also to a lesser extent the Exalted themselves, as the gods did not want the Primordials to be able to just use the Loom to guarantee the failure of Exalted's uprising against them. A large part of the Sidereals' workload stems from compensating for the variables these beings introduce into fate.
    • After the Usurpation, sympathetic gods warned the Lunars about how the Sidereals could use the Loom to help locate and hunt them down. In 2nd Edition the Lunars took to periodically retreating into the Wyld so as to become harder for the Sidereals to keep track of.
  • Impossible Thief:
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    • Some of the more powerful Larceny charms have the effect of turning you into this. For example, Solars have a charm that lets them steal things from plain sight without the need to even touch it; Abyssals can steal people's faces, and Sidereals have a trio of charms that let you steal someone's thoughts, dreams or even their name. On some occasions, the Sidereal Dodge Charm Neighbourhood Relocation Technique may be employed to "steal" landscape marks, buildings or entire cities (red fedora and trenchcoat is appropriate attire while doing so.)
    • In 2nd Edition Infernals can get an Adorjan Charm that allows them to not only steal something from you, but also to steal the memory that it was ever yours to begin with. Even worse, the Charm also works on people that metaphysically belong to you. Like, oh, for example... your children.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • Improvised Assassin's Trick, a very, very basic Abyssal Charm, allows a Deathknight to turn any small, heftable object into a deadly thrown weapon. Explicit examples given include pebbles, playing cards, and origami animals.
    • Generalized Ammunition Technique performs much the same role for Sidereals. It gives anything you can throw at someone "the fate of an arrow", including special arrows, from the normal (sand) to the esoteric (a flounder or a shout).
  • In a Single Bound: The Solar charm Mountain Crossing Leap Technique, among others.
  • In Their Own Image: The Cauldronists, a faction of Solar Exalted from the First Age of 2nd Edition who wanted to destroy Creation so they could make a new world to their own specifications.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Fire Aspect animas as well as some other select Exalts who might have flame motif banners (although those are cosmetic). Several charms from Fire Dragon Style have such an effect too, its pinnacle mimicking the Fire Aspect anima or strengthening it if used by Fire Aspects themselves.
  • Incest Is Relative: There are some... interesting rumors about what House Cynis gets up to in their private time. How much this turns out to be the case is up to the ST and players in any given game.
  • Incest Subtext: The Maiden of Serenity's natural scent is a perfume that acts as both an aphrodisiac and a hallucinogenic, and she is able to interact with the illusions created by people who smell her scent. Fantasies involving her sisters are some of her most common offerings.
  • Incomprehensible Entrance Exam: Possible recruits for the All-Seeing Eye (an espionage group) have a piece of paper bearing the Eye's logo slipped into their belongings. If the recruit tells anyone about it, they are assassinated a few days later. If they keep their mouths shut, they're offered a job in the organization.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    • Black Ice Shadow (say it out loud) who embodies every "gothy" cliche in the book.
    • The Dextrous Midnight Runners, the First Age equivalent of the Post Office in 2nd Edition.
  • Industrial World: Autochthonia, the world-body of the mechanical Primordial Autochthon, consists entirely of country- to continent-sized complexes of machinery, tubing, and immense metallic constructs. Even its Elemental Poles, in contrast to Creation's Poles of Earth, Water, Fire, Wood, and Air, reflect the makeup of machinery — Autochthonia's component elements are Metal, Crystal, Smoke, Oil, Lightning, and Steam. Cities and habitable countries are squeezed into those areas that aren't made up of the immense mechanisms of Autochthon's body, and are themselves entirely devoted to industry and production, being in many ways as much like immense and rigidly ordered factory complexes as they are like civilian communities. The realities of living within a gigantic machine slash factory are a particular source of problems for the Autochthonians — there's no natural light in there, for one, and food is generally scarce and difficult to mass-produce.
  • Informed Ability: The Realm supposedly dominated the world, but about 3/4ths of described locations in the Threshold never really were in its grip and its military history looks like an unbroken string of defeats.
    • One of the 1st Edition books does note that the countries detailed are the interesting ones, the ones that are good places to adventure, whereas there are plenty of quiet generic Immaculate-Dragon-fearing agricultural principalities that pay their tribute and cause no trouble to the Realm which aren't listed because... well, they're just not good places to adventure in.
    • Part of the theme of the setting. The Realm is just the latest example of the decline that Creation has been undergoing since the First Age. In reality, it is only the Empress's control of the Realm Defense Grid that allows her to really control the Blessed Isle and bully some other cities and small nations into submission. However, since using it causes immense collateral damage, it's not a threat she can bring to bear except in the most dire times of need.
  • Inherent in the System: Humanity NEEDS the Exalted. Mortals are not strong enough on their own to withstand all the forces that assail Creation, and sometimes the Exalted have to break eggs to make omelettes. It's just the way it is. That said, there are many, many times when the cynicism gets taken too far even for other Exalted...
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: The various Animating Intelligences found in Autochthonia, very minor spirits that give intelligence to various devices, from warstriders to food-processing facilities. They are made by mortals, and tend to have quirks... some quirks are more harmful than others.
  • Intangible Theft: Charms which allow you to steal intangible things include Thought-Swiping Distraction, which lets you steal people's thoughts; Dream Confiscation Approach, which is used to steal people's dreams; and Name-Pilfering Practice, which allows its user to steal someone's name. As in, everyone in the world (including the victim) immediately forgets the victim's name.
  • Instant Armor:
    • Sorcery in 2nd Edition: One thing better than a Humongous Mecha is one you can create on the spot when you need it. For more personal scale, there is Invulnerable Skin of Bronze which, well, turns your skin into bronze.
    • Most Exalt types have Charms to produce personal-scale armour. On the Lunar side, the chain of Charms is Armor-Forming Technique > Stone Rhino's Skin > Invulnerable Moonsilver Carapace, which, in order, let you grow bone plate armor at will, toughens your skin to damage, and finally you simply flow moonsilver out of your pores into a perfect, gapless coating. And look like a T1000 turning into a were-(insert creature here). Solars go simply with shiny golden plate (or screeching black plate for Abyssals and brass alight with radioactive fire for Infernals). Alchemicals just pack normal artefact armour into hammerspace and don it when needed. Sidereals, in their usual fashion, spin fate of an armoured warrior around themselves.
  • Instant Expert:
    • Caste and Favoured abilities train instantly in 2nd Edition. Thus, a Twilight from an icewalker tribe with 19 xp stockpiled can go from "totally illiterate" to "one of the best-educated people in the world" immediately. In 3rd Edition you only train the abilities in days instead of the weeks of non-Caste/Favoured abilities.
    • The Celestial Incarnae can spend a few motes to instantly become experts in about anything thanks to some of their unique charms in 2nd Edition. Luna can use Nigh-Inchoate Supremacy to reshape herself into any form with the skills she needs (max level 10 for abilities). The Maidens can use Fateful Puissance Integration to instantly boost any ability (max level 20!) by taking the knowledge from samsara (and they also have Many-Flowering Lotus and Library of Inner Truth to instantly learn Martial Arts and spells in the same way). The Unconquered Sun does not bother with such petty bonuses and simply has Perfection Beyond Imagining which lets him succeed at almost anything he does.
    • And then there was the 1st Edition Locust War module, in which the Alchemicals became geniuses at naval combat who utterly curbstomped the Realm Navy, despite the Autochthonians hailing from a world with no bodies of open water larger than a puddle, where the one major ocean they do have is a) very hard to access, and b) made of petroleum, and who are coming up against an island superpower whose navy is stocked with a surprising number of water-powered super-soldiers.
  • I Was Never Here: The Sidereal Charm Avoidance Kata has you declare this and make the world accept it as a fact, teleporting you to a spot you would be if you took a different turn and erasing you from the memories of observers. General Sidereal Arcane Fate, practising Quicksilver Hand of Dreams Martial Arts and Adamant caste Alchemicals' anima power do the memory erasure as well.
  • Jerkass Gods: Not quite ALL of them, but a damn good majority of 'em. If you're willing to expand the definition of "god" past the setting's, there are many elder Exalted that fit this too in 2nd Edition. This trope is so prevalent that in one of the 1st Edition supplements dealing with gods, the writers had to include a sidebar specifying that no, not all gods are jerks. Lytek is a nice guy who's made some bad calls, the Censor of the South has essentially said "Fuck this" to Sidereal infighting and Heaven's corruption and does his job properly, the Censor of the West just takes bribes so the other gods will just leave him alone, and the Celestial Incarnae aren't jerks... they're just INCREDIBLY drained from their jobs, and suffering from depression which only gets sated by a Lotus-Eater Machine.
  • Kaiju: The Behemoths, gigantic unique creatures made by the Primordials. Also, some gods and elementals like the Kukla (a five-mile tall elemental dragon) definitely qualify. And, of course, there's a Lunar Knack (2nd Edition)/Charm (3rd Edition) for becoming kaiju.
  • Kangaroo Court: Prevelavent in 2nd Edition.
    • The Celestial audits that Sidereal Exalted frequently have to endure often end up being like this.
    • And on the other side of things, when Sidereal Exalted need more Starmetal (the material their artifacts are composed of, which is created as the result of a god's death), they go and get a god executed on trumped-up charges.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: Avoiding the Truth Technique- on a success the target sees through your "lies". They sure caught you, eh?
  • Ki Manipulation: Many, many different kinds, progressing all the way to the Kamehame Hadoken subtype.
  • Killer Robot: Apostates, Alchemical Exalts who have developed permanent Gremlin Syndrome, and their cousins, actual Gremlins.
  • Kill Sat: The Daystar, better known by most of Creation's population as the sun. It also knows Martial Arts, obviously.
  • King of All Cosmos: Most interpretations of the Incarnae (as gaming-addicted deities who ignore Creation almost completely), especially before the more sympathetic portrayal in Glories of the Most High, make them out as this. As far as the setting's actual creators go, the Primordials were even weirder. The one actually holding the title was Theion, who became Malfeas after the gods' rebellion, and now it belongs to the Unconquered Sun.
  • Kung-Fu Jesus: There are Biblically inspired spells in the game and one way to describe a religious character is Kung-Fu Jesus. Hell, this is pretty much the textbook definition of the Solar Zenith Caste.
  • Lack of Empathy: Most Raksha have trouble with the idea that creatures in Creation are independent beings, and not phantasms that exist solely by and for their pleasure.
  • Landfill Beyond the Stars: The Elemental Pole of Smoke, the lower fifth of Autochthonia — the world-body of the Primordial of industry and progress, a mechanical world bigger than some planets — serves as Autochthon's digestive system by collecting every piece of scrap falling down from the rest of his self, which gather there in immense fields and mountains of industrial cast-offs that are steadily eroded into slurry by ever-present corrosive gases and acidic rains and carried to the rest of Autochthonia for reuse. Despite all odds it's actually home to large communities of living creatures, mostly unlucky spirits stranded there with the garbage streams, Void-maddened gremlins, and degenerate tribes of human mutants capable of breathing the caustic air. The city of Xexas, which hangs upside down from the top of the Pole, lives mostly by sending scavenging expeditions to the bottom to recover useful artifacts and materials.
  • Large and in Charge: The size of a disease god is directly proportional to the virulence, deadliness and spread of the sickness they oversee. Gods of chickenpox or head colds are often little more than five feet high, gods of smallpox, the plague or cholera stand tall and strong, and the gods of the Great Contagion are said to have towered over buildings.
  • Layered Metropolis:
    • During the High First Age in 2nd Edition when the Solar Exalted ruled the world, their capital city of Meru was built so that the administrative districts, temple, and the mansions of the Solars were built on the sides of the immense mountain whose name it shared, while the living quarters of the servants and the thousands of mortal citizens were housed within a maze of tunnels beneath its surface. However, these underground quarters were spacious, well-lit and by and large nice places to live — they're a lightless warren infested with horrors now, but that's because of the city's cataclysmic destruction and the millennia of decay since then.
    • Likewise the people of the flying city of Tzatli were divided between the layers of its great towers. The upper stories were reserved for the Solars who ruled the city, while the middle layer was home to their Dragon-Blooded soldiers and bureaucrats. The mortal citizens were confined to the lowest stories.
    • Gethamane, a city built within a mostly hollowed-out mountain, is divided into five layers — the Temple District at the top, the Upper Ring beneath it, the mercantile Guild District in the middle, then the Outer Ring housing the larger portion of the city's population, and finally the Garden District housing the mushroom farms that keep Gethamane fed. Beneath this is a trackless labyrinth of tunnels crawling with horrible things and connecting to cavern systems extending throughout the depths of Creation. Unlike what one would expect, the desirability of each district increases as you head down, due to the cultural value placed on the food production that keeps the city fed and that makes up the tithes that keep the subterranean horrors away. The vital Garden District is the most prestigious neighborhood in the city and where most wealthy residents live, the Outer Ring houses the city's middle class, and only the poor share the Upper Ring with the city's livestock.
    • It's also a common structure for the Alchemical cities of Autochthonia.
    • Malfeas, the Demon City, is described as consisting of innumerable layers that generally float separately from one another (although they're connected in places by certain roads made from the voice of a powerful demon). In his rage and frustration, Malfeas has a tendency to crash his layers into one another; they'll often be merged together by this process.
  • Laser Blade: Beamklaves. Rather impractical, but no Alchemical would be complete without one.
  • Left-Justified Fantasy Map: The Elemental Pole of Water, and thus Creation's single major ocean (and boy, is it a doozy of one), is in the West. This is somewhat justified (ha), as Creation has not stabilized at the borders of the map and runs off into the Wyld. They even state that the waters in the far western pole have no floor and simply flow on eternally. These regions also state that they are adjacent to the encroaching Wyld.
  • Legacy Character: The way Celestial Exaltations work, all 700-800 Celestial Exalted are effectively Legacy Characters to some degree. Infernals can take it further with The Flame of the Rising Phoenix charm.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Well, as much as an Exalt can be a joke character. There's a definite totem pole for direct combat power in 2nd Edition and the errata'd 2.5 Edition, so at the very least, there are players who look down on Dragon-Blooded for being about as low as it goes for direct Exalt combat power (to the point of calling one of the major setting elements of the past, the Usurpation, impossible due to the power disparity, and considering the Wyld Hunt a joke in the present). Emphasis on direct combat power — Dragon-Blooded have arguably the best battlefield support and control effects of any splat, and an unprepared Solar is in for a rude awakening even in one-on-one combat. Earth Dragon-Blooded can lay down heavy constant environmental damage and penalties, shape the battlefield around them for control of the terrain, and completely destroy an opponent's essence economy (which is a vital part of survival in 2nd Edition and still important in 2.5); Water Dragon-Blooded make masterful grapplers in a system where getting caught in a grapple and being unable to escape is effectively a death sentence; even Fire Dragon-Blooded, the most direct among them, can be terrifying, whether by way of lightbike-style walls of environmental death or simply hitting so hard that slipping up once on timing and defenses can be fatal. Keep in mind that's one-on-one. Now note that Wyld Hunt teams operate in groups of at least five, throw in an Air Dragon-Blooded so the group's more or less impossible to shoot with ranged attacks and can better get the drop on their target and a Wood Dragon-Blooded for healing and poisons, liberal use of the large number of teamwork charms Dragon-Blooded get access to, and the fact that anything in close proximity to them when their anima banners are at their highest stage tends to die very quickly, and the Wyld Hunt becomes a very real and legitimate threat even with the relative-to-Celestial weakness of an individual Dragon-Blooded.
  • Let's Meet the Meat: During the First Age in 2nd Edition, the Solar Exalted bred a type of cow with golden horns, enlightened Essence and the ability to talk to serve as the sacred cattle of Ahlat, a god of livestock. Said cattle were specifically meant to be sacrificed on the altars of the gods or to be served on the dinner tables of the Exalted, and were perfectly happy with this fate — they reasoned that a willing sacrifice intelligent enough to understand its fate was morally and spiritually superior to any other, and when called to serve went gladly to the sacrificial altar or to the Exalted's kitchens.
  • Ley Line: Dragon lines, so named because the Dragon Kings were the first to map them out. Messing with them is a very bad idea. Geomantic weaponry is (one of) Creation's equivalent of nukes.
  • Lifetime Movie of the Week: What any portrayal of Lilith and Desus' marriage would be.
  • Lighter and Softer: Despite including the Phylactery-Womb and Deathknights going from Solars with dark tricks to potentially more horrifying harbingers of Oblivion, 2nd Edition is this to the 1st Edition. As noted above, the 1st Edition was a grim setting that narrated the end of the world in the first paragraph of the first book. In 2nd Edition, not only can your characters win, but do so meaningfully and heroically and not just as the latest in a succession of conquerors and tyrants. 3rd Edition, in turn, has been described in dev commentary as a more nuanced setting with 2nd Edition possibility of hope but lacking the sometimes odious levels of darkness that led to so many cases of Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy. As the opening text of 3rd Edition ends...
    It has been said that Creation is doomed.
    The world will end in fire and flames. Darkness will descend. The seas will dry up and the land will crumble into the maw of chaos. Nothing can stop this.
    Nor could the Solar Exalted slay the enemies of the gods.
    Nor could they master the sorceries which wrought the world.
    Nor could they ever return from their endless death amongst the stars.
    This is the world into which the Solar Exalted have returned - but will they save the world, or will they destroy it?
  • Lightning Bruiser: Most Exalted, especially those who are focused on the arts of battle, fit this trope. They're skilled enough to deflect a falling boulder, fast enough to strike you eight times in one second with a sword, and strong enough to decapitate a woolly mammoth in one blade swipe.
  • Lilliputians: In 2nd Edition the minikin were a crafted race in the First Age shaped from the already-diminutive Djala people and modified to grow no taller than two and a half feet, and were created to tend to and repair delicate machinery.
  • Lizard Folk: One half of the ruling beastmen ethinicities in the 3rd Edition nation of Ixcoatli (serpentfolk, actually, but they're still humans with scales). Unlike many depictions, they're a pretty sympathetic sort; the other half of the rulers are the raitonfolk, who used to be vicious rivals of the serpentfolk... but were allowed to resettle and have important positions in Ixocatli after the Balorian Crusade destroyed their old nation (though that wasn't entirely altruistic — raitonfolk records and thaumaturgy managed to survive, and the serpentfolk needed their expertise to replace what they lost).
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Each Yozi has at least one special Third Circle demon (which are their souls) known as a Fetich who acts as a load bearing boss. Killing a Fetich causes the Yozi to implode and come back wrong with a new theme and powers.
  • A Load of Bull:
    • One of the signature Lunar Exalted in 2nd Edition is Strength of Many. Since his Spirit Totem is a bull, his war form greatly resembles a minotaur. His Tell is having the hooves of a bull for feet.
    • One of the setting's most commonly featured secondary gods is Ahlat, the southern god of war and cattle and patron of the kingdom of Harborhead. His favored form is that of a towering, dark-skinned human with the head and legs of an aurochs.
    • Arctic demitaurs are creatures with taurine heads, humanoid bodies and horses' hooves. They're highly territorial, and any intrusion into a herd's territory will send it on a maddened rampage until it finds a new suitable home.
  • Logic Bomb: Infernal sorcerers can hide their nature by cajoling the concept of identity into proving that they can't exist.
  • Lost Technology: The First Age was a time of amazing magitech in 2nd Edition: indoor plumbing, advanced medicine, elevators, trains, robotic automatons, computers, A.I., a world wide web, Power Armor, giant mechs, super weapons, flying vehicles, flying cities, genetic engineering, and factory cathedrals to produced endless fabulous artifacts with all kinds of magical applications. In the Second Age, such technologies are mostly long destroyed, and the few First Age artifacts still intact are very highly coveted. The knowledge and especially the infrastructure necessary to recreate them is almost completely gone, and in several cases requires the Charms of Solar Exalted, which until recently weren't available.
  • Lost World: The world is full of unexplored or once-civilized places, many enduring in isolation from the rest of Creation for long periods of time.
    • The Beast Crater is a large, extinct volcano deep in the South, kept isolated from the rest of the world by steep walls and miles of desert and warded from the Wyld by unknown forces. Its interior contains a deep lake, broad savannahs and small jungles, home to a variety of exotic wildlife including dwarf elephants and a number of large, flightless birds, some carnivorous. Beastmen also live in the crater, counting tribes of snake- and batmen in the jungles and of gazelle-, hyena- and leopardmen in the savannah, for whom the Beast Crater is the entire world.
    • Mount Eledath is another extinct volcano in the forests of the Southwest, whose two-mile-wide caldera is filled with thick jungle and largely isolated from the outside world. In addition to regular if exotic animals and First Age flora and fauna extinct in the rest of the world, Mount Eledath is home to warring tribes of Dragon Kings, reptilian creatures who once ruled much of the world before falling into savagery, who have slowly been rebuilding a simple civilization. A volcanic island in the Western oceans is likewise home to remnants of Dragon King civilization, along with human barbarians whom they rule over and giant reptiles such as tyrant lizards and river dragons.
    • When She Who Lives in Her Name destroyed ~90% of the world in 2nd Edition, bits and pieces of it were thrown back into the Wyld; theoretically an Exalt with strong Wyld resistance can journey in it find things that were lost, up to and including worlds.
  • Made of Iron: Nearly all Exalted and other magical beings are like this, even the most otherwise physically weak. They have an innate ability to reduce lethal cutting damage that mortals lack, plus there is the near-universal Charm called Ox-Body Technique which increases the amount of health your character has, allowing for such situations as getting pierced straight through the torso by a BFS and living to tell the tale. Ox-Body isn't invulnerability, though — outside of perfect defenses, Exalts are actually still relatively fragile compared to the damage they can dish out in 2nd Edition. 3rd Edition has damage scale with the Initiative you have when you attack.
  • Made of Magic: Everything. Most notably (and literally) the Essence equipment created by Charms such as Glorious Solar Saber or Immaculate Golden Bow.
  • Made of Plasticine: The game has rules for what it calls "extras". These unfortunate souls exist only for your characters to scythe down by the truckload; they have only three health levels and if you beat their defenses by enough, they automatically die.
  • Making a Splash: Water elementals, deities associated with water and Water Aspect Dragon-Blooded can do this a bit, and the Dragon-Blooded's equivalents, the Water Ryuujin from the shard Burn Legend, do this virtually all the time, to the extent of getting damage and clash bonuses when near a full bathtub, fire sprinkler, or other sources of water.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: In the First Age, they did some really crazy things.
  • Magical Underpinnings of Reality: Creation is just shaped Essence stabilized out of the chaos of the Wyld. Autochthon created the Loom of Fate to maintain a stable linear timeline for Creation, and the gods were likewise created to oversee even the most minute details of reality. The whole setup is not self-sustaining, and constant effort by gods, spirits, elementals and the Exalted goes into keeping Creation up and running. If neglected badly enough, the whole thing would just dissolve back into the Wyld (which would suit most of the Fair Folk just fine).
  • Magitek: You've got your guns that shoot fire, your automatons, your warstriders... It's even called Magitech in 2nd Edition, though the developers are shying away from the term in 3rd Edition. note 
  • The Magocracy: The Realm in the Age of Sorrows, the Shogunate, the Solar Deliberative and other ruling bodies of the First Age... pretty much any state in the setting where the ruling class channels Essence one way or another counts.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Silver Voiced Nightingale is an entire Martial Art based around this.
  • Manly Gay: Homosexuality is socially acceptable (even encouraged) in the Realm, but only if one at the very least projects either this attitude or Straight Gay outwardly. Effeminate behavior is NOT tolerated. The main reason for this? Simple. The Dragon-Blooded Exaltation transfers through the blood, so they're encouraged to... be somewhat more open sexually to have children more frequently. However, family ties are VERY important and bastards clutter things up. So to eliminate the risk at all, Dragon-Blooded occasionally go for the other gender.
  • Marked Change: Celestial Exalted in general bear Caste markings as well as anima banners that flare out when expending heavy Essence, and then there are the moonsilver tattoos of the Lunars.
  • Martial Arts and Crafts:
    • If a Sidereal starts practising katas, run.
      • Sidereal Martial Arts allow them to punch people out of existence. Or into a horribly humiliating shape. The most popular by Memetic Mutation is a duck.
      • There's a Sidereal Martial Art in the 2nd Edition Scroll of the Monk whose first level technique permits you to dominate someone mind, body and soul by looking at them intently.
      • There is a specific combination of Sidereal Martial Arts Charms known by the fans as the Creation-Slaying Oblivion Kick in 2nd Edition, which would let you theoretically kill every living being in Creation in one blow, simultaneously. Or inflict any other effect listed here if you want. There is at least one canon NPC (Chejop Kejak) who has all the necessary charms to perform Creation-Slaying Oblivion Kick listed on his official character sheet in Scroll of Exalts.note 
      • There's a Sidereal Martial Art where you do a few katas and then everyone around you has their skin start sloughing off.
    • It might be a good idea to tread lightly around Solar and Abyssal Martial Artists as well. There's always that Million-to-One Chance that they've managed to find a willing Sidereal sifu...
    • There are Celestial and even Terrestrial Martial Arts that do such things as turn the hem of your dress into a lethal cutting blade, inflict horrible diseases on people, and fight off an assailant while relaxedly carrying on a conversation with someone else.
  • Master Computer: I AM in the First Age.
  • Mayincatec: Several different examples. First and foremost, the language of Old Realm is written with a featural alphabet that is vaguely similar to Mayan writing. Also, depending on whether you're talking 1st or 2nd Edition, the First Age was either loaded to the brim with this trope all over or it was mostly confined to Rathess and areas around it in the Southeast. Alchemicals have some of this aesthetic too, mainly in Melissa Uran art.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Alchemicals with the Charm balancing act, Lunars with shapeshifting, Exigents with the build-your-own-Charm system, 3rd Edition Infernals with possible point-buy shintai, Sidereals with... pretty much everything...
  • Medieval Prehistory: A variety of dinosaurs and Cenozoic megafauna inhabit Creation alongside humans, elementals and weirder things. Among others, there are tyrant lizards (Tyrannosaurus rex), raptors (originally featherless, which was later corrected), ox-dragons (non-specific ceratopsids), siege lizards (stegosaurids), mammoths and saber-toothed tigers in the far North, emperor sloths (megatheres) in the jungles of the East, and ferocious hellboars (entelodonts).
  • Memory Jar: There are several means of memory transfer. The most obvious is the Celestial Exaltations themselves, given that a Celestial Exaltation holds aspects of all its former incarnations. The other is dream stones and other memory crystals. These can be found in tombs or on the black market (dream stones are apparently nearly as addictive as the Xbox of the gods). Makes sense when you realize that the mortal vessels needed to be brought back up to snuff relatively quickly in order to deal with the Primordials or they'd pretty much be reduced to glittering fodder.
  • Metaplot: Originally intended to be averted, but Return of the Scarlet Empress for 2nd Edition does create a metaplot focused on the Infernals and the Reclamation. It's marketed as an adventure module, rather than a true advancement of the metaplot, however, and 2nd Edition's last development team used nothing from it except for the Yozi template. There was a plan for 3rd Edition to have a ten-year "soft metaplot" that consisted mainly of non-immediately-world-ending things, with the expectation that your characters would go through it like a giant orichalcum truck, but that appears to have fallen by the wayside in favor of just averting it altogether.
  • Mind Control: Many of the best social Charms basically amount to this in 2nd Edition, and some exist in 3rd Edition.
  • Mind Rape:
    • Many high-end social Charms in 2nd Edition, if applied with sufficient cruelty. And they can also make the victim love it.
    • What The Fair Folk typically do for their "meals" amounts to this, and leaves the victim as a near-mindless, will-less, identity-less husk capable only of unskilled menial labor.
  • Mind Screw:
  • The Minion Master: Sorcerers can cast Demon of the First Circle and Summon Elemental, once per day each. While the demons are more powerful and the elementals have a wide variety of uses than most examples of this trope, a sidebar points out that with a little dedication a Sorcerer could easily build themselves a small army, and the summons should be treated as a "battle group" rather than a bunch of individual characters in the name of game balance.
  • Miracle Food: Exalted is about demigods performing miracles, so of course it has the spell, Food from the Aerial Table; One casting of this spell produces enough food to feed a unit of Magnitude (Essence) for one day. It's demonstrated in Keychain of Creation here. And it makes all witnesses want to learn Sorcery.
    • 3rd Edition has a variant of the above, which combines the food with a sort of instant palace, producing not just a fantastic night's rest but also an almost familial strength tie of gratitude toward the host.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: Wyld mutations, and 2nd Edition's Genesis engineering, can both produce things combining multiple species. Examples include gryphons and simhata (lion-horses). Largely relegated to Sorcerous Workings in 3rd Edition.
  • Monumental Theft: The Sidereal Dodge Charm Neighborhood Relocation Scheme is exactly this. Make sure to fill out the paperwork beforehand.
  • Mook Chivalry: Averted. Ganging up five-on-one with coordinated attacks is pretty much the only way mortals have any chance of killing Exalted (and even that is slim to none against anyone really built for combat); similarly, the Wyld Hunt doesn't fight even remotely fair against Solars or Lunars.
  • Moral Myopia:
    • Like you wouldn't BELIEVE in the First Age of 2nd Edition; remains an issue in the Second Age.
    • Also, the reason behind the Primordial War.
  • Morphic Resonance: Lunars each have a unique body feature called a Tell, which is retained regardless of what they transform into. Their magic makes their Tell difficult for normal people to notice, but once you do, you'll have an easier time to identify that Lunar at a glance, regardless of form.
  • Morton's Fork: Storm serpents, elementals born from destructive storms, preferentially attack the pure and innocent during their rampages. This is used in some societies to determine an accused person's guilt. When a storm brews, they're left in the serpent's path; if they're guilty, they'll be ignored and afterwards punished as locally appropriate. If they're innocent, they'll be killed the moment the serpent spots them.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: Horribly subverted by a Wyld predator with a lure that resembles a baby in a basket.
  • Mountaintop Healthcare: 2nd Edition's Lands of Creation describes the Pentarch Pyramid, one of many wonders built by the Exalted. The dedication of those patients strong enough to climb the ziggurat's many steps magically speeds up their healing in the hospital they reach; weaker patients can be carried up by their friends or pay for transportation. Even in the First Age, there's no such thing as a free lunch.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: UnExalted Dynasts, or any mortal children born to the Dragon-Blooded generally. Because of thousands of years of interbreeding with ordinary humans, the Dragon-Blooded do not consistently pass on their Exalted nature and it is even possible for two Dragon-Blooded parents to produce unExalted offspring. This is seen as a great shame for both the parents and the child(ren) in the Realm. On the flip-side, mortals do sometimes spontaneously Exalt as Dragon-Blooded due to latent bloodlines asserting themselves.
  • Muggle Power: Among many examples... because people's souls reincarnate into new bodies after death barring enough unfinished business to cause them to become a ghost, Exalted in the 2nd Edition's First Age were often... less than concerned with the individual safety of the mortals under their rule, as nothing was really being lost. They did sign a treaty with Heaven, particularly the Bureau of Destiny, mandating that any mortal who died in the service of or as collateral damage from a Celestial Exalted's activities was guaranteed that their next reincarnation would be into the body of someone fated to have a happy peaceful life. Sadly, that treaty has almost certainly expired with the fall of the Solar Deliberative...
    • Towards the end of their Deliberative the Solars stopped caring about the souls of the mortals as well, in 2nd Edition. Trumping up charges against a mortal to justify smelting their ghost into soulsteel was one example. Another was allowing the Wyld to unmake millions of square miles of creation, along with their tens of millions of inhabitants, all for the sake of a military training exercise.
    • Back with a vengeance in 3rd Edition, where dedicated mortals can still pose a risk to the Exalted by sheer numbers. In the comic Tale of the Visiting Flare we see that this is how Flare's past life was killed - though he was a masterful swordsman, he couldn't take on an entire army singlehandedly.
  • Mundane Afterlife: The Stygia part of the Underworld. Everywhere else, it's an endless expanse of horrors. Of note is that the Stygian dead actively struggle to create (the illusion of) mundanity, such as the "sun" rising from the east and setting in the west, every "day". Otherwise, the Oblivion — which the city is situated right on — will drive the dead into suicide.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Many Solar Charms, like Swift Sage's Eye that allows them to read three pages per second, or Whirling Brush Method that lets you write down stuff really really fast. (Apparently Solar diplomats used it to transcribe political speeches and write treaties quickly. Not very impressive, but one imagines that it made their work a lot easier.)
    • There is also the infamous Alchemical Charm Thousandfold Courtesan Calculations, which lets Alchemicals brainwash people through pillow talk.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • In 2nd Edition the Kimbery Charm Fathomless Poison Haven protects you from any harm caused by exposure to liquids. While it can be used to breathe underwater or grant resistance to poison, the book also mentions using it to drink alcohol without any drawbacks.
    • The same book also mentions She Who Lives in Her Name using Hollow Mind Possession (a Charm that grants the user control over AIs) to play Gateway.
  • Mystical City Planning: Whitewall. Pretty much everything the Solar Exalted got up to during the First Age. Use of geomancy in later times is still widespread, but generally far less sophisticated.
  • Name's the Same: Just to be clear: the Void that afflicts Autochthon isn't the same Void as Oblivion. Autochthon's Void is a manifestation of his robo-cancer.
  • Name That Unfolds Like Lotus Blossom: Completely in love with this trope. "The Princess Magnificent With Lips of Coral and Robes of Black Feathers", anyone? And it's not just protagonists. Even minor characters have names like Coruscating Flame or Cold Bastion. Hell, even Autochthonia, which was divided from Creation millennia ago, has special pretty names for all its Exalts.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Exalted names can get weird, but some really do fit here. Some groups more so than others:
    • The Lunars usually have ones that inspire animal and monster themes: Red Jaws, Swims In Shadows, Seven Devils Clever.
    • The Abyssals are probably the best example, including names like the Lady of Darkness in Bloodstained Robes, the Seven-Degreed Physician of Black Maladies, the Celebrant of Blood, the Knight of Ghost and Shadow, and many more. Not to mention their masters are the Deathlords. Their names include Eye and Seven Despairs, the Walker in Darkness, the First and Forsaken Lion, the Mask of Winters, the Bodhisattva Anointed by Dark Waters...
    • The Neverborn tend towards this, with names such as Father of Murder, Abhorrence of Life and He who Holds in Thrall. But the most iconic of these isn't even a Neverborn (yet): in a future where Autochthon dies, he is called the Engine of Extinction.
    • The Sidereals have a few too: Crimson Banner Executioner and Black Ice Shadow (say it fast, and it loses some of the effect).
    • Alchemicals, too, manage a decent job of it with some names — Dreadful Adjudicator of Law, Unhesitatingly Loyal Weapon, and most Apostates. Others... not so much. Excessively Righteous Blossom, we're looking at you.
    • Then they bat it out of the park with Oberashti, the Shogun of Genocide, Lesser Elemental Dragon of Smoke.
    • In other cases, amusingly subverted, such as the Shoat of the Mirenote , a Creepy Child murderer.
    • One of the numerous strange creatures to inhabit Creation is a thirty-foot-long, heavily armored carnivorous fish whose aggressive nature and massive knifelike fangs have made it the terror of the Western seas. The locals know it by the rather descriptive name of "armored terror".
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: In 2nd Edition Infernals have part of their Exaltation courier demon stuck in their soul. Sometimes, they give good advice, other times they keep on blathering inside the Infernal's head, causing the Infernal to choose between listening or risk losing the one good idea in the flood of mental chatter.
  • The Needless: Infernals with certain Adorjan charms never need to sleep (as long as they spend the time they would have spent sleeping exerting themselves), eat (as long as they kill someone every so often), or breathe (as long as they inhale corpses every few days). Throw in the Cecelyne Charm Transcendent Desert Creature and they can also survive in any hazardous environment short of the actual Underworld without penalty and, should they decide to eat something, they won't produce any waste.
  • Nerf:
    • The main point of the periodically updated Scroll of Errata for 2nd Edition is to cripple the broken stuff. Since Exalted's game balance is held together with string and hope, this isn't exactly an easy task. Most notably, the very powerful Twilight anima power was drastically reduced in strength. The really broken stuff, in Dreams of the First Age, wasn't so much nerfed as nuked: several Charms weren't fixed, but instead had their existence utterly revoked. Goddamn Pattern Spiders.
    • Most of the 2nd Edition Corebook weapons were nerfed repeatedly in the head with a sledgehammer, mote regain was kicked around quite a bit, stunts were normalised to one per action, and lethality was reduced across the board. This is known as 2.5e. (While those may sound like serious mistakes in other RPGs, in Exalted this was considered good as this did a good work at reducing the phenomena of Paranoia Combat.)
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile:
    • The twenty-foot long boar-tusk crocodiles are a bit unusual, in that they're terrestrial predators who inhabit dry savannahs. They are perfectly typical for fictional crocodiles, however, in being vicious predators willing to attack almost anything they come across, even other predators like lions and claw striders, which they do through savage bites and by using their bony snouts like battering rams.
    • Despite their name, river dragons are essentially monstrous crocodiles thirty feet in length that inhabit Creation's largest rivers, devouring both other aquatic animals (up to the size of small cetaceans) and any creature that gets too close to the water. They will even capsize boats to get to their sailors.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Sidereals really did not think the Usurpation through. Setting aside the fact that the Deathlords are the ghosts of Solars they killed (or at least some of them in 3rd Edition), and later imprudently prodded, there is the matter of the Jade Prison. Left unguarded at the bottom of the sea, it never occurred to them that they had neatly-packaged almost all of the Solar Exaltations for the Neverborn and the Yozi to just make a grab for them, which resulted in the creation of the Abyssals and the Infernals. It was only pure luck that they only got half when they broke the prison open. Thus, they not only eliminated the beings meant to keep the dead or banished Primordials in their respective places, they provided them with Exalted armies of their own!
    • In 3rd Edition the Jade Prison was hidden in the stars, and so far there isn't information on how it got broken.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: The Yozi have a long history of screwing themselves over, the latest act of which was giving the Green Sun Princes true free will, with predictable results. Justified, in that the literal embodiment of screwing people over, the Ebon Dragon, is their main planner. The Ebon Dragon also had another three reasons for giving the Green Sun Princes free will: firstly, having free will makes the Green Sun Princes much more flexible when dealing with unexpected circumcises, which akuma might not be able to handle. Secondly, that since each of the Yozi had different ideas on how to escape, not having free will might cause the Green Sun Princes to make decisions that are ultimately counter productive. Thirdly, the Ebon Dragon had discovered a clause in the surrender oaths the Yozi had made to the gods, which would theoretically allow the gods to force the Yozi to order the Green Sun Princes to stop trying to free them, so the Green Sun Princes needed free will to be able to refuse such orders.
  • Nice Mice: The Mice of the Sun are celestial servants of the Unconquered Sun, the greatest of the gods, and are sent into Creation to cause small effects with large cascading consequences in order to aid the righteous and hinder the wicked.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: This game has, among other things: a family of demon-worshipping pirates (who themselves have demonic blood); a lost city run by a mad shapeshifting Sorceress and her army of half-man, half-ape hybrids; magical giant robots galore; ninja-themed Martial Artist assassins who help oversee fate; and armies of extradimensional steampunk robot communists seeking to strip mine Creation to feed their dying god/world. Then there's the Underworld's armies, which often feature gruesome combinations of dead flesh and unholy machines, and always involve the undead. The Underworld also, of course, contains the ghostly versions of demon pirates from Creation, making them something akin to demon pirate zombies. And then there are precious moments of recognizing yourself in trouble when an effect that determines "types" used on someone you meet returns "Human Undead Exalted." That, dear reader, is Abyssal, the Chosen of the Void.
  • Noble Demon: A requirement for good Green Sun Princes, due to their particular way of staving off Torment.
  • No Name Given:
    • The Green Lady. She probably removed her true name as well as her destiny from the Loom of Fate in order to infiltrate the Underworld, or something like that.
    • Many Sidereals, especially while under a Resplendant Destiny.
    • The Righteous Devil as well, being an expy of The Man With No Name.
  • The Nondescript: Mortals find it near impossible to remember a Sidereal's appearance, if they remember them at all.
  • Nostalgia Filter: What people (and players tend to) see the First Age through (and when the timeframe you're living in is dubbed "the Age of Sorrows," yesterday is gonna look pretty good). Not without its justifications; even if the First Age as depicted in 2nd Edition's Dreams of the First Age was far from perfect, it was still far safer and more comfortable than Creation's current state.
  • Not So Omniscient After All: The Sidereals are nowhere near as good at predicting the future as they like to think they are. This is due to a mix of the Great Curse and just plain hubris. They have failed to predict virtually every major threat to Creation since the Usurpation, and are often scrambling to catch up. To be fair to them, they did originate from beyond Fate, so they weren't represented on the Loom of Fate.
  • Nuke 'em: Exalted is by no means shy about including WMDs that make big booms.
    • Thousand-Forged Dragons, Creation's equivalent to nukes. Designed to re-sculpt geomantic energy in an area into a powerful soul-shattering explosion, they are stored in silos and armed with magical launch codes.
    • On a more portable side are the Soulbreaker Orbs, objects which cause destruction by ripping apart and destroying the souls of those caught in the blast. The detonation of one of these is just about guaranteed to cause a Shadowland to form.
  • Number of the Beast: Infernals who slip their primordial leash learn a Charm that lets them create the most powerful demons, who exist through and serve the Infernal. Its cost? 66 motes and 6 willpower.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat:
    • One of the Bureaucracy Charms permits you to throw these people out of your chosen organization. Another one lets you magically enhance their obstructiveness. As you may well guess, these can be used to influence the supply chain of armies...
    • Even Heaven itself is run by them, up to and including the sun god's own throng of divine secretaries. This results in a very unpredictable result for prayers directed at the Sun himself: sometimes your prayers are handled by a honest god and you get a well-deserved miracle; the other days it might land on the desk of a particularly callous god who simply gives you a nasty case of spontaneous combustion.
  • Odd Job Gods: To the point of hilarity. There are (admittedly non-sentient) gods of individual rice grains.
    • One that stands out is Dark Is Not Evil Nice Guy Nara-O. His title is "God of Secrets Only One Person Knows," which sounds cool, until you realize that means he's the god of privacy. Then again Nara-O knows where you hide your porn...
    • In 2nd Edition there is a gun that runs on prayers, uttered by the gods of tiny shrines carved into the barrels.
    • It all makes sense when you realise they're not supposed to be conventional gods, but the Kami of Japanese mythology.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Yozi will have this reaction when the Heresy Charm Swallowing the Scorpion is first used. This is because it severs the Exaltation's bond to Lilun, letting it select a host of its own accord: in other words, the Yozi have just lost control of the Green Sun Prince's Exaltation. Uh-oh...
  • Older Than They Look: All of the Exalted. By default, anyone who Exalts at a young age matures relatively normally, but aging slows down or outright stops afterwards. Dragon-Blooded and Sidereals become Elderly Immortals near the end of their lifespans. It's is less clear on Lunars and Solars: the Hierophant from 2nd Edition's Dreams of the First Age looks like a Type A Elderly Immortal, but he could've already looked like that when he Exalted, and there are Solars just as old as him who look like they could be in their twenties, and it's not clear if Raksi's stuck in her late teens due to Wyld mutation (2nd Edition), Lunar tattoos, just wanting to look like that, or some combination of the three. Abyssals don't age as such, however if they go the Evil Makes You Ugly route, it can make them look like they're getting older.
    • This is particularly highlighted with Fire Aspect Karal Linwei and her, until recently, mortal daughter Karal Fire Orchid. Linwei still looks like she's in her early 20's - possibly even late teens depending on the individual - despite being over 72, while Fire Orchid looks several decades older. This results in Fire Orchid looking as if she were old enough to be Linwei's mother instead of the other way around.
  • Old Shame: 2nd Edition's Scroll of the Monk and the much-reviled Void Avatar Prana for Ink Monkey Dean Shomshak.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Abyssal Exalted are the purest example in 2nd Edition; they and their masters want to destroy everything and bring it to unending stillness and Oblivion. The Fair Folk (or at least their most coherent faction) want to blast Creation apart and return everything to formless Wyld. The Cauldronist faction of the Solar Exalted in 2nd Edition's First Age wanted to annihilate Creation so they could build a new one In Their Own Image.
  • Once a Season: A minor Running Gag is that all of the 'sample adventure' books have had the word 'tomb' in their title (Tomb of Five Corners, Return to the Tomb of Five Corners, Tomb of Dreams...)
  • One-Hit KO: In 2nd Edition Soul Mastery lets you permanently sever a soul from its host. This is so horrifying to gods and spirits (who are essentially physical souls) that they automatically know if you have this charm and instantly fear you. Order Affirming Blow does this to Fae and their Wyld creations
    • Knockout Punch from 3rd Edition is a more straightforward version of this trope.
  • One-Man Army: Being Exalted makes this look almost easy. There are even some powers which allow one to take on entire armies; Infernals actually have a Charm that gives them more bonuses the more outnumbered they are and Shintai charms that can turn them into army-destroying Eldritch Abominations!
  • One to Million to One: The spell Flight of Separation, which turns the caster into a flock of birds.
  • One-Winged Angel:
    • The 2nd Edition Necromancy spell Birth Of Sanity's Sorrow causes you to turn into a huge monster instead of dying when you would run out of health levels. (They decided to have a little Fun with Acronyms with that one.)
    • For anyone who knows the disgustingly game-breaking Sidereal Martial Arts style known as the Border of Kaleidoscopic Logic, there's Beauty Is In The Eye. Unlike Birth of Sanity's Sorrow, you can reuse it, and in some ways it's even more broken.
    • Some of the Infernal Shintai Charms fall into this category.
      • Special mention goes to Devil-Tyrant Avatar Shintai; whoever uses it manifests Essence X 10 points of mutations. Mutating wolf legs is 1 point, being turned into a living hive is 6. note 
      • Demon Emperor Shintai is also particularly nasty. Even a combat-specced Dawn is strongly advised to step out of the blast radius and use a bow when that Slayer Caste goes Demon Emperor.
    • Lunars' Deadly Beastman Transformation. And that's just the starting-level character's Knack/Charm.
    • 3rd Edition has the Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style's capstone technique Invoking the Chimera's Coils, which turns the user into a bizzare carp-giraffe-deer-hybrid which flies. Really.
  • Only Flesh Is Safe: World-Weathering Incandescence is a Charm that lets Infernals burn and destroy inanimate non-magical objects (like walls and floors and ceilings) with a single fiery blow.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: Justified in Under the Rose, which notes that Autochthon is physically unable to design defenses without including puzzle-based deathtraps in them somewhere.
  • Open Secret: Every god in Yu-Shan knows the Sidereals were responsible for the Usurpation, but because of their breaking of the Mask meant that there was no evidence of their actions. However, it also means that everyone in Heaven is just waiting to bury the Sidereals in a landslide of inquiries and investigations at the slightest misstep.
  • Orcus on His Throne: The Deathlords have had 1500 years to destroy Creation, during which they were the most powerful free actors in the setting by a wide margin, and only the Dowager has really accomplished anything big. Granted, that something big happened to be killing 90% of everything alive, but they should have been able to finish the job by now.
    • It definitely didn't help when the Neverborn arbitrarily bound and punished the most powerful of the Deathlords, thus causing all his peers to feel somewhat less prone to take initiative.
    • The Bodhisvatta in Dark Water has been consistently working the entire time on his (very slow and subtle) master plan, which was intended to take over a millenium. He's been heard to remark that the disappearance of the Scarlet Empress has allowed him to shave 500 years off of his timetable.
    • None of the Deathlords have a firm grasp on reality. For example, the Bishop of the Chalcedony Thurible is attempting to destroy Creation through pure theological argument, whereas Eye and Seven Despairs is too busy with a labyrinthine gender-bending revenge plot against his own Deathknights. It's also been implied that at least some of the Deathlords prefer ruling over a large section of the Underworld to ending all existence and are deliberately dragging their feet.
  • Our Demons Are Different: All demons are basically either sub-souls of a Yozi or descended from a sub-soul.
    • Each Yozi has multiple subsouls known as Third Circle Demons. One of these is known as the Fetich, which contains the majority of the Yozi's self-identity. The other souls are other lesser aspects of the Yozis.
    • Each Third Circle Demon typically has seven sub-souls of their own, known as Second Circle Demons. The seven sub-souls are known as the Warden, Indulgent, Defining, Messenger, Expressive, Reflective and Wisdom souls, in recognition of their embodiment of the Third Circle Demon’s abilities to protect, gratify, define, communicate, express, reflect or understand its own essential nature, although exactly how is unknown.
    • Second Circle Demons can create whole races of demons known as First Circle Demons, which aren't part of the Yozi they descended from.
    • If a Second Circle Demon or Third Circle Demon is killed, its Third Circle Demon or Yozi patron is changed in some manner, which cannot be predicted.
      • If a Second Circle Demon is killed, its Third Circle patron is weakened, and the affected Third Circle Demon needs to rebuild it, and although it can carefully recreate and even change the replacement's traits, they rarely do so.
      • If a Third Circle Demon is killed, it is instantly recreated by its Yozi patron, but is heavily weakened, and the Yozi cannot chose what traits are changed. However if the Fetich soul is killed, the Yozi and its Third and Second Circle Souls implode so the Yozi can reincarnate as something new.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons feature prominently in the setting, typically as entities of immense power. In appearance, they're chiefly of the classical Chinese type.
    • The Five Elemental Dragons are souls/children (depending on edition) of the Primordial Gaia, who inhabit and power Creation's geomancy. The Lesser and Greater Elemental Dragons are elementals who have developed sufficiently in power that they assume draconic form, generally resembling Chinese and Japanese dragons.
    • Cogwheel dragons are metal elementals native to the world-body of Autochthon who resemble immense, wingless, mechanical dragons made out of gleaming brass. Despite their appearance, they're not true dragons in the sense that the Elemental Dragons are — indeed, it's fairly rare for them to evolve into one of Autochthon's own Elemental Dragon natives — they just look similar. They exist to guard and protect important areas, especially metal-rich ones.
    • The Dragon Kings are humanoid dinosaurs and pterosaurs. Relatedly, the Unconquered Sun's most well-known form besides his humanoid one is the golden dragon he appeared as when he was worshipped by the Dragon Kings.
    • There are also two draconic Yozi: the Ebon Dragon, a great wyrm made of living shadow, and Oramus, the Dragon Beyond the World, trapped in a prison made from his own seven wings.
    • Among the demons there is Iyutha, the Vitriolic Dragon, a demon of the Second Circle who resembles a massive black-and-purple dragon with translucent wings. She hates all forms of love, beauty and order, and seeks to wreck or subvert them wherever she finds them.
    • Halkomelem is a dragon-headed serpent made entirely of crimson paper scribed upon with golden ink, flies endlessly through the skies of Malfeas, and seeks nothing but to add ever more knowledge to that already recorded on its archive-body.
    • Several mortal beasts are likewise named after or resemble dragons to various degrees. Apart from the "natural" examples — such as ox-dragons (ceratopsians), pelagic dragons (huge plesiosaurs), sea dragons (mosasaurs) and river dragons (enormous crocodilian creatures) — there are also creatures affected by the Wyld such as the snow wyrms, 200-foot monsters that look like traditional Eastern dragons but behave more like traditional Western kind, and the Behemoth Sayla the Yellow Wyrm, an immense serpentine reptile who guards a hoard of precious crystals in an underground lair and can fly without wings.
    • Algal dragons are monsters of the Underworld resembling immense reptiles made out of seaweed and the bodies of their victims. They roam the Underworld's black oceans, destroying any ship they find to add its wreckage to their nests and the corpses of its crew to their bodies.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: The 2nd Edition Mountain Folk are a race of great craftsmen and engineers who live deep beneath Creation's surface in a rigidly ordered society within a number of underground cities. They worship Autochthon, their creator and the Primordial of machinery and invention, and seek to emulate him through acts of craftmanship and creation. They're a diminishing people despite their technical prowess, their past glories and power shaken by many cataclysms and now beset on all sides by enemies. How closely they fit this trope varies between their castes. Workers reach between three and four feet in height and serve as their society's miners, builders and minor technicians, while Warriors grow to five feet and are stoic, steadfast and disciplined warriors. Both tend to be stocky, muscular and heavily built and are often depicted as bearded, and Workers are often shown carrying mining picks. The Craftsmen who rule Mountain Folk society are more slender and as tall as humans, and resemble elves more than anything else. All castes have pointed ears.
  • Our Elves Are Better:
    • Better than the Muggles, certainly, and it would not be unusual for a Raksha noble to hand a Dragon-Blooded or a newly-exalted Celestial their ass. In fact, their betterness is enforced by game mechanics: every other character (including Exalted) starts with a minimum of one dot in each Attribute, before character creation begins. Raksha nobles, however, start with a minimum of three dots in each Attribute, so even in their worst area of physical, mental, or social ability, they will be better than average for a human. Plus, they receive enough dots during character creation that they will begin play with multiple Attribute ratings of six dots or more, which is both superhuman and better than even Exalted can start with. And just to rub it in, they have a special Charm, Imposition of Law, which allows them to become so expert at any one skill that they receive an automatic success on every roll with it (which only fails to apply when they go up against another being with Charms or attempt to do something that is actually physically impossible). The Fair Folk are better than you, Puny Humans. It's the rules.
    • Following the Our Dwarves Are Different example above, and much more in keeping with modern versions of elves as something other than The Fair Folk (though they are cousins), there are the Jadeborn. The Raksha that got caught when the Primordials created the world were saved by Autochthon to be his assistants. They helped arm the Exalted during their rebellion... and then got neutered along with everything else that could pose the slightest threat to their rule, no matter how unlikely or how they may have aided them in the past. This left Autochthon a little miffed.
  • Our Genies Are Different: Ifrit are humanoid fire elementals of fairly considerable power, and generally given much more respect by the gods than elementals usually are.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different:
  • Our Ghouls Are Different:
    • Han-Tha, the Ghoul King, is a god of cannibalism, necrophagy and scavengers who takes the form of a great eyeless beast with a giant maw filled with sharp fangs. His worship is forbidden, and is only found among depraved cults and degenerate primitives lurking in ruined cities.
    • The Ghost-Blooded, the half-dead and half-alive children of ghosts and living mortals, are sometimes referred to as ghouls.
    • The ghul, also known as deiphages, are gods driven insane by the loss of their domains and starved by the loss of Quintessence from mortal prayer. They lurk in the slums and sewers of the heavenly city of Yu-Shan, ambushing other deities and devouring them for their Essence.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Hobgoblins are the least of The Fair Folk, serving their more elegant kin and creators as footsoldiers, raiders and servants, although the Fair Ones' retreat from Creation after their failed invasion left many hobgoblin bands stranded in pockets of Wyld energies and cut off from the rest of Fair Folk society. They're always monstrous and misshapen in appearance, although beyond this their shapes can vary wildly based on their makers' whims or the dominant elemental influences of the areas where they make their home — hobgoblins in the swamps of the South may take the form of dark, red-eyed stalkers in the fog, while ones from the Northern snows may bear thick coats of white hair and long ivory tusks.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different:
    • Gryphons are Wyld creatures that originated as chance fusions of hawk and lion, but have since stablized into their own species. They're frequently used as steeds by the Fair Folk.
    • Flame gryphons are a variant found in the Southern Wyld, and possess golden claws and wings made out of flame. They can live fine in creation, but can only reproduce in the Wyld. They're also fiercely independent, to the point of tearing themselves apart rather than submit to magical compulsion.
  • Our Hippocamps Are Different: Sea horses are Wyld creatures that live in the oceans of the far West. They look like normal equines while on land, but in the water their hindquarters turn into large, scaled fish tails. They are often used by the Fair Folk as steeds, and are sometimes tamed for the same purpose by Exalted or daring mortals.
  • Our Liches Are Different: The Abyssal Exalted are masters of death and the Undead and can drink blood to refill their Essence pools; they can also be courtly aristocrats or hideous monsters. However, they can't spread their curse, and they don't have any of the standard weaknesses other than being vulnerable to Holy effects. They can be killed by the light of the Sun in 2nd Edition, but that's because the Dirigible Engine Daystar is an enormous battle-station that can kill just about anything. Back when the setting was linked to Old World of Darkness, the Abyssals were the Vampire equivalent.
  • Our Nymphs Are Different:
    • Nymphs are water elementals resembling blue-skinned women with pearl eyes. They're extremely beautiful and sometimes take mortal lovers, but these inevitably drown when the nymph takes them to her underwater home.
    • Dryads are minor deities of individual trees, charged with recording their lives but often driven to actively protect them; this is complicated for them because, as they're supposed to be passive recorders and gods aren't supposed to directly meddle with mortals anyway, they're prohibited from actively harming those who'd cut their trees. They're not bound to their trees and don't die with them, but the loss of their charge leaves them essentially unemployed until they can find another, form a cult or join a spirit court. They resemble women with bark for skin and leaves for hair, and often use tattoos or scarification to emulate wounds left on their trees by lightning or axes.
  • Our Souls Are Different: Human beings have two of them each. Exalted effectively have three. Primordials have many, many more: Second and Third Circle demons and devas are literally the souls of Primordials, each with semi-autonomous free will and a mind of its own. (First Circles are created by the higher Circles, but they're not part of the Primordial.)
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: There is a Charm (Order-Affirming Blow) that undoes Shaping effects. Guess what? The Fair Folk use shaping effects to create their bodies, and using said charm is a One-Hit Kill.
  • Out of Focus: Unusually, an era is Out of Focus: the Shogunate, which has never been the central focus of a book despite having existed since the First Edition corebook and having lasted (in 3rd Edition, at least) some eight hundred years.note 
  • Padded Sumo Gameplay: An element of 2nd Edition, in which perfect defenses (abilities which unconditionally and completely avert a single attack) were not only common, but in many cases cheaper than other defenses. Since one could originally also use only one Charm at a time, this meant the only sensible strategy was to save it for activating one's perfect defenses and nothing else. The result was characters gradually thwacking each other with normal attacks until one or the other finally ran out of motes and could no longer use their perfect defenses. The 2nd Edition "2.5e" errata sweep moved to correct this by dramatically amplifying the cost of perfect defenses, as well as removing (in most cases) the restriction on use of multiple Charms. This was not really an issue in 1st Edition, as most perfect defenses cost Willpower, which was a steeply limited resource. It's also less of an issue in 3rd Edition, as true perfect defenses are much rarer, and the ones that do exist typically have a once-a-scene use limit, with conditions available to reset that.
  • Paper Fan of Doom: It might be a good idea to take care around even Exalted's "bards," the Eclipse Caste. You never know if they've been learning the Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style, which permits them to turn a paper fan (or the hem of their dress, while we're talking) into a razor-edged implement of horrible doom.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Plenty of opportunity for this, with emphasis on Combat. You can actually kill someone with a sufficiently sharp insult.
  • Path of Inspiration:
    • The Immaculate Faith, though they're not unambiguously evil. Discussions on whether they're the good guys can be enthusiastic.
    • Less well known is The Tome of Endless Night, penned by one of the Deathlords. "Existence is suffering." OK, sounds like Buddhism, can't be that bad. "Therefore, work to destroy everything that exists, forever." Oh, Crap!, it's working...
  • People Farms: The Wyld mutants known as the hushed ones often keep "herds" of captured as living food stores for lean times, trapping them in pits after breaking their arms and legs and feeding them on scrounged vermin until they wish to harvest a captive to eat.
  • The Performer King: Malfeas, former Primordial King of Creation, now twisted into the Demon City of Hell. Despite being an insane edifice of Malevolent Architecture and Alien Geometries with a radioactive green sun for a heart, he quite enjoys leading dance processions through his streets.
  • Personality Powers: The Dragon-Blooded, most vibrantly. Keeping in tune with their elemental natures, Fire Aspects are deeply passionate in everything that they do, be it love or war, Water Aspects are street-smart, adaptable, and duplicitous, Air Aspects are clever and analytical but can be eccentric and absentminded as well, Earth Aspects are sturdy pillars of calm and reason, but can be annoyingly inflexible people, and Wood Aspects are lively, outdoorsy types who may have a libido bigger than even Fire Aspects'.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Virtually all Exalts, if they last long enough, can eventually graduate from being "just" a Lightning Bruiser and become this. Even Terrestrials.
  • Physical God: Played straight with the really, really important deities, but lesser gods are actually a subversion of the trope; reasonably skilled younger Exalted are entirely capable of taking many gods in a fight.
  • Place of Power: Demesnes, manses, and freeholds, places where large amounts of Essence pool/well up, often but not always due to the intersection of dragon lines. The main difference between them is whether they've been largely left undisturbed (demesnes), whether they've been harnessed for occult purposes (manses), or whether the Fair Folk have turned them into miniature Wyld zones (freeholds).
  • The Plan: A bad habit of Sidereal Exalted. The fact that they can literally predict the future with a disturbing degree of accuracy means that their plans sometimes approach Gambit Roulette territory.
  • Plant Person:
    • Generally, tree deities and wood elementals often resemble people made out of varying types of vegetable matter.
    • Wyld mutations and elemental influence in the deep East, where the Elemental Pole of Wood is closest to Creation, often lead forest peoplesto develop bark for skin or moss, leaves or vines instead of hair.
  • Playing with Fire: Fire is one of the five basic elements of creation, and beings associated with it — such as fire elementals, Anklok Dragon Kings and Fire Aspect Dragon-Blooded — can manipulate, create and extinguish fire and light. Fire is generally associated with purification and transformation, and beings tied to it sometimes possess powers related to this concept without necessarily manipulating fire directly.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: The Under the Rose scenario book openly advises setting up the traps in part of the Imperial Manse like this.
  • Point Build System: Specifically, it uses its own iteration of White Wolf's Storyteller System.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Lytek, the god of Exaltation, has known about the Great Curse that twists the Exalted for a long, long time; while he's been trying to solve it himself, he hasn't seen fit to tell anyone. First because he didn't think he needed the help, later on because he'd get into a lot of trouble for not bringing it up earlier.
    • Jupiter, Maiden of Secrets, also knows about it, but her very nature prohibits her from telling anyone.
    • Fortunately, Nara-O appears to know as well, and in 2nd Edition has his Sidereal minion Black Ice Shadow working on the problem. This is because Nara-O is the God of Secrets Only One Person Knows, meaning he probably knows about the Great Curse precisely because of Lytek's poor communication skills.
  • Powered Armor: As part of Magitek goodness, this game features some really awesome examples.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child:
    • Soulsteel. Guess what it's often made out of? And the victims don't get to spend the rest of eternity in peaceful oblivion; no, they're silently screaming in agony forever. At least in 3rd Edition it doesn't always have to be made out of souls.
    • What the Fair Folk do. They eat forsaken children.
    • Also Autochthon. And he's one of the nicest guys in the setting. Then again, considering the part of the souls he eats would normally dissolve or become a hungry ghost, his example may be justified (may be, since the part that does reincarnate gets stored in a tank, presumably forever unless the PCs do something about it).
    • The 2nd Edition Phylactery-Womb is a forsaken child.
  • Power Equals Rarity:
    • Played straight and averted with different types of Exalted. Terrestrial Exalted are weaker and far more common than Celestial Exalted, and Alchemical Exalted fall in between them in both power and rarity. On the other hand, Infernals and Abyssals are on roughly the same power tier as the more common Solarsnote , and Lunars are supposed to be on roughly the same power tier as Sidereals despite outnumbering them 3 to 4 against 1.
    • Mostly played straight with spirits. For example Lesser and Greater Elemental Dragons are among the rarest and most powerful types of elementals. There are only a few canon Greater Elemental Dragons; one of them, the Kukla, is a dormant beast kept this way until the Unconquered Sun decides it's time to end Creation. Sure, you might try to summon it if you really want, but even the book calls you mad for it: not that this ever stopped the Exalted...
    • Played straight and averted with demons. Demons are divided into three power tiers, in order of ascending power and rarity: the First, Second and Third Circles. Roll of Glorious Divinity 2 (which covers demons) specifically states that, generally, the most well-known and commonly-seen demons are the most powerful and useful ones, because those are the ones people summon the most often (duh).
  • Power Glows: Anima banners in general.
  • Power Levels: A character's permanent Essence score is a good rough measure of their power within their general type of being; it goes from one to five (or ten in 2nd Edition, and higher than five on the Storyteller's discretion in 3rd Edition).
  • The Power of Love: The Virtue of Compassion in 2nd Edition encompasses all forms of love, and when channeled by an act of will, can be frighteningly powerful even without magic.
  • Power Perversion Potential:
    • Lunar Exalted + Burgeoning Wyld Infliction = You can make your lover into anything you want him/her to be. Anything.
    • Thousandfold Courtesan Calculations + Hyperdextrous Tentacle Apparatus.
    • Initially, the 2nd Edition Infernal Charm Running to Forever makes it possible to run without fatigue. Once it's fully upgraded, it allows any intense physical activity to provide all the benefits of sleep. The book actually predicts this and has a RULE for the level of intensity it has to be. Gentle lovemaking doesn't count, but a passionate, loud, potentially destructive romp between rooms does.
    • Husband-Seducing Demon Dance. Bam! Instant orgy.
    • White Wolf released, as an April Fool's joke, The Scroll of Swallowed Darkness, a sixteen-page PDF on exactly what you think it would be about.
  • Powers as Programs: Charms, spells, and other abilities such as those used by the Fair Folk fall into this category. Also, there are a more portable variety found in hearthstones. And needless to say, this is standard operating procedure for the Alchemicals, especially with regard to Pattern Weaving, their answer to Sorcery.
    • However, while Charms embody this trope in every other way, in this case the compiler is right on hand: Exalts can (and, in fact, are encouraged to) invent new custom charms as they progress. The only exception are the Sidereal Exalted, who can't make new charms for themselves, but settle for inventing world- and game-balance-shattering Sidereal Martial Arts instead.
  • Powers That Be:
    • The Bureau of Destiny literally plans the Fate and Destiny of everyone in Creation. Of course, some things are outside of fate, and Exalted have the power to Screw Destiny.
    • The Sidereals, in addition to working for the Bureau of Destiny, also control much of Creation from behind the scenes in their own right.
    • The Celestial Incarnae (and, specifically, the Five Maidens) once filled this role, and are technically still supposed to, but thanks to their "WoW addiction" they generally don't.
  • Porn Stash: Nara-O is the god of things only one person knows, and knows all of these secrets. Therefore, Nara-O knows the location of every hidden porn stash in existence and its contents.
  • Prequel in the Lost Age: The 2nd Edition's Dreams of the First Age supplement is set in the titular First Age, a high-Magitek civilization ruled by the immensely powerful, and increasingly power-mad and deranged, elders of the Solar Deliberative. The supplement kicks off at the very moment that the Unconquered Sun turns his face from his Chosen. Furthermore, Exalted was originally billed as this to the Old World of Darkness.
  • Pride: The Sidereals. And how. It's actually their manifestation of the Great Curse; when they get together, they never second-guess themselves, and continue to carry out their already-laid plans no matter what.
  • Primordial Chaos: The Wyld, which still exists around creation and periodically tries to eat it. It's also home to The Fair Folk.
  • Principles Zealot: Anybody with Conviction 5, in 2nd Edition. Willpower 10 is not strictly necessary for invoking this trope, but complements it wonderfully. And if you mix the two together...
    • Still very easily possible in 3rd Edition; having multiple Major and Defining Principles along the lines of "My faith to the Immaculate Philosophy is beyond reproach" generally gives this effect.
  • A Protagonist Shall Lead Them: One of the default interpretations of the Solar Exalted.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Lunars, to an extent, often fall into this. It's been toned down a lot since 1st Edition, and there are many other options or themes, but it still has a major influence on many of them - though whether this is a good thing or not is subject to much debate.
  • Psycho Serum:
    • The Exaltation grants great power to those who are chosen, but comes with the Great Curse. It invariably starts to turn the Exalted insane, especially when they get too stressed out and start building Limit.
    • Celestial cocaine is far more powerful and dangerous than the mundane version. It lets mortals temporarily channel Essence, and they can use it to train to channel Essence on their own, if it doesn't kill them first.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The Raksha. Most of them don't mean to be horrific monsters. They just don't understand certain basic facts of reality. Like the sentience of other beings. And death.
  • Puny Earthlings: Played straight in the background (the supplements state that humans were specifically created to be puny worshippers with no other purpose, and this is the reason the Primordials didn't geas them into submission like everything else.) Obviously, averted with regard to the Exalted.
  • Punny Name: Everybody in the 2nd Edition Modern Shard has a name which is an Incredibly Lame Pun based off their name in the regular setting.

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