When Exalted was first released, it was outright designed to be a precursor universe to the Classic World of Darkness. On the back of the 1st edition books you can see the slogan, “Before there was a World of Darkness, there was something else.” Now, as Exalted moved into its 2nd and now 3rd editions it slowly edged away from being an obvious background to the WoD, but that doesn’t mean we can’t latch onto that idea to help create plot hooks and meta-plot for WoD games that tie into that pre-history. What follows are a few ideas you can steal from me. Really, I grant you permission!
1) Lunars Survive: In Exalted, Lunars are the stand-in for Garou and other Fera in the World of Darkness. Lunars can shift into various animal forms (if they’ve devoured the heart’s blood of that animal or person), and they are the progenitors of beastmen, who can only shift into one animal form. Now, the Garou myth is that Gaia made them and Luna blessed them, and that they are servants of the Wyld in the fight against the Wyrm and the Weaver. In Exalted, the Lunars hid in the dangerous Wyld, but they are the Exalted of Luna who are supposed to protect Creation. They also can live for millennia. So, here is what I suggest. Create a single Lunar who survives whatever destroys Creation and brings about the World of Darkness. This Lunar is one of the progenitors of the Garou, or perhaps the Ratkin. Have a pack discover them on a quest deep into the Amazon, or into Antarctica. They are dying, after millennia lived, and they pass on some small wisdom to the pack. “They Wyld is more dangerous than anything else. You think you serve it? No… children, you were designed to serve the Weaver.”
2) Sidereal Avatars: Now, the Sidereal Exalted are not exactly Mages as we know them in the World of Darkness. Probably the closest beings by the book are Lunars/Werecreatures and the Fair Folk/Changelings. That being said, the Sidereal have the ability to manipulate the Loom of Fate, they manage the Celestial Bureaucracy and they have access to Exalted Sorcery. As beings of the 5 Sisters, the close planets to Earth, they act as controlling agents to Creation. In the Cataclysm that destroys Creation, the Sidereal are broken alongside the Loom of Fate. Each Sidereal Exalted’s soul is shattered into pieces and cast into the universe. These shards occasionally fuse themselves with human beings in the new world. Those humans then gain a small portion of the ability to manipulate, shape, and alter the World. Heylel was the first full reborn Sidereal, but when they remembered their past lives, and saw what Creation had become, they set out to destroy this mockery. In the 21st century, more and more Mages are being born almost whole, and soon… more fully reborn Sidereals will awaken.
3) Arcadia Doesn’t Exist: In Exalted, the Fair Folk or Rakshas live within the Wyld, and they hate everything that is Creation. They are ruled by unformed beings, barely capable of being conceptualized by human thought. Yet, some of the Fair Folk are enamored with the idea of Form and the benefit it can bestow upon them. Eventually, these Raksha are cut off from the Wyld and become the Fae, and eventually Changelings. However, they are sad reflections of the beings they once were. These memories of Arcadia, a land of Fae power, are myth. A motley is sent on a quest into the Deep Dreaming because there is a rumor of a great Chimera wreaking havoc, slowing making its way toward Earth. When the motley arrives, the being stops, inspects them, and laughs. He smells a small amount of true Wyld essence upon them, and offers them a choice. “Join with me, or die, so says… Arcadia.”
There are probably thousands of plots you could pull out of Exalted to work into your World of Darkness games; these are three small suggestions and you can do with them what you will. Please comment with your own Exalted into WoD plotlines, because I’d love to hear them.
With 17 years of playing rpgs, Josh started with Mind's Eye Theater LARPs and loves the World of Darkness. He recently launched,www.keepontheheathlands.com to support his gaming projects. Josh is the administrator of the Inclusive Gaming Network on Facebook. He’s a player in Underground Theatre’s and One World By Nights Vampire LARPs and is running both a Mage game and a Dark Ages: Vampire game. He’s a serious advocate for inclusive gaming spaces, a father, and a recent graduate from the International Peace and Conflict Resolution graduate program at American University in Washington, D.C.
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.