In hindsight, the level of new stuff we’ve designed for Exalted has been pretty minimal. In 3.5/Pathfinder, there’s always something to mod as a GM: monsters, feats, NPCs, magic items… In Exalted, which we played more of (and longer), most of the things which were GM-created were plot-bearing artifacts of major proportion. (I’m thinking of Reuben’s various plot-centric manses, and the Tyrant Lizard skeleton turned mecha.)
Part of it’s because the books offer a swath of new and interesting material; Oadenol’s Codex and Wonders of the Lost Age are brimming with hearthstones and artifacts. And they’re a lot more complex than a simple +1 longsword, so even the basic artifacts presented in the books are truly wondrous items of power. The other part is that most of the new items I introduced were ignored, such as the special Wavecleaver Daiklaive nobody used, or its socketed hearthstones nobody could find the manses to attune to. (Part of a plotline that never followed through in the grand scheme.)
There was one major thing I introduced, though: tainted Lunar exalts. There’s a sidebar fairly early in the Lunars book about the possibility that a Lunar mate’s bond could still work for an Abyssal. The Abyssals book goes further on this idea, stating that Abyssals and Lunars can feel a powerful love/hate bond, a subconscious reaction to the fading Lunar Bond between the ex-Solar and its mate. It’s mostly left up to the GM, but there’s enough there to get the gears turning.
Needless to say, I think the idea’s awesome, so I ran with it.
Ran a little too far with it, perhaps. The encounter I developed out of the idea involved not just an Abyssal Midnight Caste sorceress/ancestor-cultist whose name escapes me, and her Full Moon Lunar mate, but their hideous offspring: some horribly mutated and corrupted offspring, their tattoos a sickly silvery-black, with a horde of aesthetic Wyld mutations. (The many drawbacks of being born from a deathknight on the fringes of the Wyld.) Some hand-waving here; if the Infernals can have the Phylactery Womb, I’m pretty sure there’s a magical/necrotech way for an Abyssal to make mutant children.
Technically, these “lunars” are more like hideously malformed beastmen, though I modified some basic Lunar stats out of the Storytellers Companion (in another vain attempt to use that book). Since they’re Abyssal offspring, born in the fringes of the Wyld, they all get aesthetic deformities: extra limbs, rotting skin, fur falling off in tufts, extraneous digits, warped hands, withered limbs, bifurcated snouts, supernumerary eyes staring dead and lifeless. It was inspired, and a throwback, to our Werewolf game and its constant discussions of Metis children, including what we deemed the most unfortunate Metis in existance: Drippy the Skinless Werewolf, who made an appearance (sans his yellow “hugging poncho” and galoshes).
Stat-wise, these were designed to fill the role of Beastmen (e.g., lower-level but still powerful thugs) to bolster the Abyssal and her mate. She was tricked out with charms/spells, including the one that transferred damage to allies, namely her children. I gave her about six of them for three dots of Mooks (Followers ●●●); they performed admirably against three experienced Dragon-Bloods with 40-60 xp, but between the PCs experience, coordination, and stunting, the tainted Lunars didn’t even slow them down.
Note that their charms are chosen out of the Storytellers’ Companion, which was a bit broken, but was all that existed for non-Solars and non-Dragon-Bloods at that point in 2nd Edition. They’re not as broken as the Abyssal ones; while she had Obsidian Butterflies, the Abyssal spent most of her time using Crypt Bolt comboed with Essence Scattering Blast to screw up Reuben’s character big-time.
Tainted Lunar Warrior
Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 4 (favored), Stamina 2, Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Appearance 1, Perception 3, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
Virtues: Compassion 1, Conviction 3, Temperance 2, Valor 2
Abilities: Archery +4 (favored), Athletics +3, Awareness +3, Dodge +3, Integrity +1, Martial Arts +2 (Biting +3), Medicine +1, Melee +2 (Swords +1), Occult +1, Resistance +1, Stealth +2, Survival +3 (favored)
Backgrounds: Artifact 3 (Moonsilver Long Powerbow), Resources 3 (Choppin’ Sword and Buff Jacket)
Ox Body Technique x2: Added one -1 and four -2 health boxes.
Instantly Aware: The Lunar may spend 1 mote to become instantly aware of any attack.
Perfect Aim: The Lunar may turn up to (Dexterity) dice into automatic successes for Archery or Thrown at 2 motes per.
Bite: Speed 3, Accuracy 9, Damage 4L, Parry DV —, Rate 1, Tags: N
Choppin’ Sword: Speed 4, Accuracy 7, Damage 8L/2, Parry DV 3, Rate 3, Tags: N
Moonsilver Long Powerbow: Speed 6, Accuracy 9 (+ specialties), Damage 6L, Parry DV —, Rate 3, Tags: 2, B
Health Levels: -0/-1/-1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-2/-2/-2/-2/-4/Incap
Dodge DV: 5 Willpower: 5 Join Battle: 6
Essence: 2 Personal: 12 Peripheral: 30
Other Notes: These are the children of the unholy union between a Lunar and an Abyssal, both a mockery and legacy of the First Age’s bond between Solars and Lunars. Sickly and pale, afflicted by necrosis and mutation alike, these creatures are thankfully few, and live on the fringes of the Wyld. Their tattoos are a silvery grey-black mixture of Moonsilver and Soulsteel. Even as the tattoos protect against the afflictions of the Wyld, the lunars are afflicted by the cold and unforgiving Soulsteel, a leash bonding them to their miserable lot in life. Because of their upbringing, all tainted Lunars begin with two (or more) Wyld mutations. As their bond with Luna is severely weakened, tainted Lunars can never learn Deadly Beastman Transformation, Knacks, or Caste Attributes.
For creating them, I came up with the following mods to the base Lunar character creation rules to come up with the “average” creature stats above:
Attributes: 6/4/2; only select one favored attribute
Abilities: Survival and one other as favored; 24 points Backgrounds: 6 points Charms: 4
Bonus Points: 15, per Lunars