Exalted: Essence Tabletop Roleplaying Game

Created by Onyx Path - Exalted: Essence

Help us create a traditionally printed version and a deluxe version of Exalted: Essence.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Digital Reward Distribution - Existing PDFs going out this weekend!
almost 3 years ago – Fri, Jul 30, 2021 at 11:02:07 PM

Excelsior, Excellent Exalted Essentials!

It's been just about a week since we launched our BackerKit Post-Campaign Pledge Manager, and most of you have visited, confirmed your pledge as well as reviewing (and maybe adding on) Add On rewards. With that information, I've been able to set up and start allocation on some of our existing rewards (i.e., the Exalted Third Edition Core Rules, Dragon-Blooded: What Fire has Wrought, and Lunars: Fangs at the Gate PDFs, as well as the other Exalted options including The Realm, Arms of the Chosen, and the Complete Exalted 1E and Complete Exalted 2E PDF Bundles).

This is my digital business look.


Many of the rewards for our kickstarter projects take a lot of time and effort to complete. Usually, the kickstarter is a means of moving the project from an idea (even when it's a mostly-fully-written idea) into the actual channel that turns it into a project/product. It'll be a while before we're ready to talk about delivery on Exalted: Essence, and even longer for our projects generated via Stretch Goals (the Jumpstart, the Companion, the VTT token packs, and the rest).

That said, there are a few rewards that are available now, as they were mostly add-on PDFs of existing products. And now we can work on getting those out to you over the weekend.

The following Add On Rewards Will Be Distributed This Weekend:

  • [Add On] Exalted Third Edition Core Rules PDF + Discounted PoD Links
  • [Add On] Dragon-Blooded: What Fire has Wrought PDF + Discounted PoD Links
  • [Add On] Lunars: Fangs at the Gate PDF + Discounted PoD Links
  • [Add On] The Realm PDF + Discounted PoD Links
  • [Add On] Arms of the Chosen PDF + Discounted PoD Links
  • [Add On] Complete Collection: Exalted 1E PDF Bundle
  • [Add On] Complete Collection: Exalted 2E Bundle


Your link to claim these digital rewards will be sent out by our BackerKit pledge manager over the weekend. Since we are using our partners at DriveThruRPG as the hosts for these, you will need to set up a DriveThru account if you don't have one already. If you encounter any problems with downloading your rewards, please contact DTRPG's customer service to resolve the matter, they've always been top-rated for customer service.

To make these redemption codes work, you'll need to log in to your DTRPG account first, and then click (or copy) the link shown in your BackerKit.

Again, you will receive an e-mail from BackerKit with links for these rewards over the next 3 days if any of them are on your expected list of rewards. I'll be releasing them in waves, so don't panic if you only see a couple links at first... the rest are coming. (We're in a digital world, but there are still a lot of manual processes. And there are many links to go out!!)

The easiest way to see if you've got digital downloads available is to login to your backerkit account: and it'll show anything available. Your backerkit account should also confirm all rewards that you should expect from your reward tier selected.

Which is a good reminder for those who haven't yet logged in to BackerKit, and also those who will want to revisit and/or revise their survey (maybe you've decided to take another look at the Add Ons, now that they're going out?)

If you need to review your information or pledge status, you can return to your survey by clicking the link in your survey email or requesting your survey link under "Lost your survey?" on our BackerKit project page at

If you used your Facebook credentials to log in to your Kickstarter account, the BackerKit survey is sent to the email address you use for your Facebook account. If you have another email address that you prefer to use, please contact support at

OK, that's a lot of stuff for a Friday night. I'll be back at the end of August with our regular, ongoing status check-ins. Keep an eye out for reward e-mails (coming over the next few days), and revisit your survey if you want to review your pledge rewards and confirm your Add On options.


  • Via E-Mail: Onyx.Kickstarter [at]
  • Via Kickstarter: Click Richard Thomas under the "Created By" heading on the main page, and then press the "Contact Me" button - the message will come to me!
  • Via BackerKit: Click "Need Help?" from your page, and then fill in the Contact Us form. BackerKit will pass your message along to me.


Now funding on Kickstarter - Journey to the Realms of Pugmire one more time...

Surveys Going Out!
almost 3 years ago – Fri, Jul 23, 2021 at 11:46:02 PM

Hello Exalted Essentials,

Dressed up for Survey Time!

Starting next month, August 2021, I will send out the first of our regular month end updates. Near the end of each month, I will be sending out an update with status notes on our main project as well as the Stretch Goal projects we added. As noted in previous updates, these projects take a long time to put together. You've seen the manuscript preview PDF, but there are still many moving pieces and puzzles to solve in turning this into an awesome book. These month-end updates ensure that communication is constant and consistent, and that we're all on the same page with regards to where we stand.

That's info for August, though. Let's talk about this month instead, because...

I will be sending out the BackerKit Pledge Manager surveys over the next 4 days!

But, before we begin all of that - I hope everyone's keeping safe and managing through our current times as best possible. I don't know how things will look as the world continues to change, but hoping the best for all of you.


Over the next few days, you’ll receive an email from us with a special link to your BackerKit survey. It’s important to respond to your survey as quickly as you can since we need this information to fulfill your rewards.

You don’t need to create a BackerKit account to fill out your survey. When you receive the email with the survey, click the survey invitation link to respond. Answer the questions about your reward preferences, provide shipping information, and purchase add-on items if you like. You don’t have access to this survey link yet, but it will be available soon via email!

The e-mail will look something like this:

After you respond to your survey, you can go back later and change your responses at any time before we close the surveys and get our final counts, and that won't happen until the books are printed and we're preparing to ship.

If you need to review your information or pledge status, you can return to your survey by clicking the link in your survey email or requesting your survey link under "Lost your survey?" on our BackerKit project page at

If you used your Facebook credentials to log in to your Kickstarter account, the BackerKit survey is sent to the email address you use for your Facebook account. If you have another email address that you prefer to use, please contact support at

If you have any other questions or concerns, you can post them to the comments for this update, the comment section, or message me via one of these methods:


  •  Via E-Mail: Onyx.Kickstarter [at]
  •  Via Kickstarter: Click Rich Thomas under the "Created By" heading on the main page, and then press the "Contact Me" button - the message will come to me!
  •  Via BackerKit: Click "Need Help?" from your page, and then fill in the Contact Us form. BackerKit will pass your message along to me.

If there are any issues you find with the Pledge Manager, please contact me as soon as possible to let me know. It rolls out in waves so that I can correct issues on the fly and make it work as best possible as people come on board.

Please send me an e-mail (to the address above) if there were any tweaks or changes that need to be made to your BackerKit survey that we talked about during the campaign. I have aged about thirty years during the past few months and my memory is... not as good as I'd like.

Within the BackerKit Survey and Pledge Manager, you can:

  • Review your Pledge Tier Selection and Rewards
  • Upgrade your Reward Tier pledge selection
  • Confirm Add On selections
  • Set up payment information for any failed payments from the Kickstarter campaign or to pay for any new Add On options selected.

When you click on your BackerKit invitation link, you should see something like this...

From the BackerKit welcome page you can choose to

1 - Review Your Pledge Level and Rewards

2 - Switch Your Pledge Level

3 - Start Your Survey, confirming pledge rewards, confirming or selecting new Add On options, and confirming any shipping and payment info that may be needed

If you select option 1, your Pledge Level, you will see a list of all items included in your Pledge Rewards, and also have the option to upgrade your Pledge Level, in case you've decided to get the hardcover instead of just the PDF for example.

Selecting the Pledge Level reveals the Pledge Reward List and other details.

Once you've confirmed that your Pledge Level is correct and where you want it to be, you can GET STARTED with your BackerKit Pledge Manager Survey.

Once we've got a fair response to our survey and collected a reasonable amount of info, I'll be working on fulfilling rewards that are available now - like the PDFs of the titles included in our Add On section (for example, Exalted Third Edition Core Rules PDF, Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought PDF, Lunars: Fangs at the Gate PDF and other existing PDFs).

So, in summary:

  • Look for an e-mail invitation to BackerKit sometime over the next few days
  • Get Started on your survey
  • Confirm your Pledge Level (or SWITCH your Pledge Level if you want to change it)
  • Confirm and Select Any Add On options
  • Confirm Your Shipping Information (if needed)
  • Confirm Your Payment Information (if needed)

I will post an update in another week or so, outlining the delivery of our first Add On rewards (the existing PDF titles, as noted above) and beginning distribution of those PDF rewards. And, you'll hear from me again at the end of August as I begin our regular month end status updates.


Now funding on Kickstarter - Journey to the Realms of Pugmire one more time...

Backers Only - New Compiled Manuscript Link
almost 3 years ago – Mon, Jul 12, 2021 at 07:19:06 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit and log in to read.

Exalted: Essence's Excellent Ending
almost 3 years ago – Mon, Jun 28, 2021 at 02:48:09 AM

Hello Excellent Exalted Essentials!


We funded the creation of Exalted: Essence, a new lighter system for interacting with Exalted Third Edition

We've known about Exalted: Essence for a while now - I remember watching the playtest sessions from last year's Onyx Path Virtual Gaming Convention - and clearly, many of us were eager to check it out. And now, we've made it a reality! Exalted: Essence is a go!


And not just that. What a campaign we've had - unlocking 38 Stretch Goals! 

The campaign has been rocking along during the entire run! That first day was incredible! And these past 48 hours were like holding on to a rocket. To be honest, the thing I'm most excited about is crossing the 4,000 backer threshold. The extra projects are great, but bringing more people together at the table - either physical or virtual - is the best feeling, especially during the challenging 18 months we've all gone through.

(To be really honest, I’m also very excited to sleep tonight! so tired!)


For a game that many are considering a "one and done" dip into Exalted Third Edition, there sure are a lot of new projects launched around it! And it's great to see all of the support Exalted still receives after 20 years, and the passion of the fanbase!


Thanks to your support, not only have we funded the production and printing of the deluxe Exalted: Essence book, but also a standard hardcover that will be sold through distribution channels into game and hobby stores to make Exalted even more accessible! 

Thanks to your support, not only have we funded the production of two hardcover versions of Exalted: Essence, but we've also added:

  • Exalted: Essence Jumpstart
  • Exalted: Essence Ready-Made Characters
  • Exalted: Essence Adventure/Scenario Trilogy
  • Exalted: Essence VTT Token Pack
  •  Exalted: Essence Charm Cards 
  •  Exalted: Essence Storyteller Screen 
  •  THREE Exalted: Essence Novellas by Lauren Roy, James Huggins, and Rai W. Cole 
  •  A Nerdykeppie Exalted Bag Opportunity 
  •  And the Exalted: Essence Companion book 

That's... that's a lot of Exalted: Essence stuff. And that's all thanks to your support!

38 Stretch Goals. We packed that Companion book full of fun sections! And we increased the art budget, added a digital wallpaper, will have a T-shirt available on Redbubble, and funded a bonus for the creative team as well.

That's incredible.

So, thank you for your support. Thank you for being part of this amazing campaign! Thanks for the amazing, weird, funny, and knowledgeable discussions in the comments, and thanks to Dixie and Neall and Monica for developing a great game, and also answering questions on message boards, in Discord, and on podcasts.

Thank you!


So, as noted in today's earlier update, I'll be sending out updates once a month and whenever we've got a new goal, survey, or other item to cover. If you have any questions or need clarification on something related to the kickstarter, feel free to get in touch. I may take a bit to answer as I recover from this past month, but I'll eventually have an answer!

The next update will be a brand new link for the preview manuscript - I'll merge all of the pieces together into one big document and have that out to you in the next week or so. There won't be any changes other than smashing it all together to make it a single file, but that should be a bit more manageable. 

The Feedback Form will be open for One More Week!

And a special note that the feedback form will be open for one more week before the developers consolidate all of your comments and notes and then start working on the next draft of the manuscript. The book is written, but rough edges will be sanded down and additional illumination will be brought to some shadowed parts. The creative team will be using your notes to help guide them along in this process. Another thanks for your help there too! 


  •  Via E-Mail: Onyx.Kickstarter [at]
  •  Via Kickstarter: Click Richard Thomas under the "Created By" heading on the main page, and then press the "Contact Me" button - despite being under Rich's name, the message will come to me!

For setting stuff and questions about the game itself, it's probably best to visit one of these Onyx Path discussion zones:

So, thanks to everyone for continuing to explore Creation with me! And thanks for making this the biggest kickstarter campaign I've ever helped on! I will judge every subsequent campaign against this one! Ha! 

Seriously, these past few days have been as exciting as those first few days. What an incredible campaign!

Now to attend to other business and eventually collapse for a few hours and recover from the awesomeness of the last couple days! High fives in the comment section, and you'll hear from me again next month!



almost 3 years ago – Sat, Jun 26, 2021 at 02:53:29 PM

Hello Exalted Essentials,

Welcome to the final hours of this campaign. What an amazing ride this project has been! These past 4 weeks have been quite an adventure, starting with an unbelievable first day and continuing that enthusiasm and excitement right up until the end. Our funding amount and backer count climbed through every step of the campaign, which has just been great!

As I prepare to post this, we are about 7 hours from the end of this campaign, and approaching an amazing finish! We've added three more stretch goal achievements since we posted our big list yesterday, bringing our total up to 36!!

ACHIEVED! - At $325,000 in Funding – Companion: Dragon Kings and ochilike – A faction writeup, locations and Rathess overview, Path Charms, and Chosen writeup will be included in the Exalted: Essence Companion PDF.
ACHIEVED! - At $330,000 in Funding – Discounted POD Option: Jumpstart – Backers receiving the supplemental Jumpstart PDF will receive a link to purchase a Print-on-Demand version at a discounted price.
ACHIEVED! - At $335,000 in Funding – Companion: Apocryphal Chosen– Umbrals, Dream-Souled: Modes, and Charmsets will be detailed in the Exalted: Essence Companion PDF.

36 Stretch Goals!!!

Great job, everyone!

I am hesitant to post any additional goals, because I know someone (probably me!) will be disappointed if we *just miss* one final goal. So, let's just talk, in theory, about imaginary goals beyond what we've listed. I'll say that we can probably keep our pattern going with a Companion section added or expanded with every $10K in funding, so we could imagine another section added to the Companion if we some how managed to hit $345,000 in funding. Who knows what it could be, let's not speculate until we get there.

But, we also squeeze in other rewards in between the Companion sections. So, let's imagine something that would fit before and after at $340,000 and $350,000. We could do something like we've recently done, marking those mid-points with PoD discounts. If we miss those, some of us may end up spending a few dollars more to order some print versions of our Stretch Goal rewards, but we won't be missing out on any new content.

So, let's post one last "real" Stretch Goal, and then everything beyond that is a hypothetical or a daydream of what could have been.

At $340,000 in Funding – Discounted POD Option: Adventure Trilogy – Backers receiving the supplemental Adventure PDF will receive a link to purchase a Print-on-Demand version at a discounted price.

If we somehow continued beyond that - and, wow, wouldn't that be something unbelievable - we'll figure out another section for the Companion. I mean, we've got lots of ideas kicking around in the comments or across the internet. But anything beyond the $340,000 is just theoretical, and we'll cross that bridge only if we come to it. Let's not worry about it right now, and instead celebrate what we've accomplished and maybe see if we can reach this one last target. That would be something!

Keeping my hair like this for all future campaigns

Refresher Course

We've had, and will have, a lot of new backers join in during these last days. I want to take a moment to highlight some key Update posts that new backers may want to check out (and existing backers may want to read as a refresher!).

Final Week Key Posts

MANUSCRIPT PREVIEW - As noted, the complete Preview Manuscript is available for you to review prior to the conclusion of the campaign. It was released in eight sections over the course of the campaign. If you're a backer, you'll have access to this preview manuscript after the campaign. Remember, though, there are still some minor edits, development and proofing that need to be done. But, you can consider this about 94.8% finished. Making the manuscript available for review before the campaign ends ensures that everyone know exactly what our goal is - making this book - and are on board with our aims for this project. Thanks for your support, we're all in this together!

Maybe even more important - it allows you to provide  your feedback at the earliest stage ever! You can use the Exalted: Essence Feedback Form to help Onyx Path while they forge the raw material of the manuscript into an epic artifact PDF.

June 21 update - REWARD TIERS + ADD ONS - your best starting point for figuring out which Backer Reward Level to choose to help support this project.

Your key decision:

  •  PDF Only - The Rising Star Tier is what you're looking for
  •  Standard Hardcover + PDF - The Young Exalt Tier fits the bill
  •  Deluxe Hardcover + PDF - The Legendary Hero will give you the goods
  •  Wait and See? - If you want access to the manuscript previews but don't yet know if you want the PDF or hardcover rewards, the Scholar of the Lost Age tier also grants you access to the Pledge Manager after the campaign so you can upgrade your pledge in the future.

Additional Rewards:

And after choosing your Pledge Reward Tier, you can select from our Add On menu, possibly adding PDF copies of some of the Exalted Third Edition books, or an entire PDF library from earlier editions, or maybe one of the limited number of deluxe Lunars or Dragon-Blooded books left from previous kickstarter campaigns.

June 23 update - STRETCH GOAL REVIEW - and check out all of the above and beyond rewards we're getting thanks to the community!  That's a pretty massive list! Can we add one more before the end?

Shipping is calculated automatically by Kickstarter, based on your location. Remember, Add On rewards are listed in the second stage of your pledge process (before you confirm your pledge), and will also be made available in post-campaign pledge manager sent out in about 6 weeks.

SO: Ensure that you've selected the Reward Tier you want, and select any Add On options you wish to include. AND - make sure that you are comfortable with the Pledge Total amount, in terms of it covering everything you want and its' affordability.

I'm going to speak against my own self interest for a moment, and repeat myself one last time - though 2021 has a potential to be better than last year, the world is still unpredictable and some futures are a little less certain. Ensure that your circumstances enable to afford this pledge at this moment - Kickstarter will begin processing payments after the campaign ends and neither Onyx Path nor I have any involvement in that process. If you are unsure of your financial situation but don't want to miss out, please pledge for a tier you can afford now and know that you will likely be able to upgrade to open pledge levels in our post-campaign Pledge Manager for some time before the book is completed.


Once you're comfortable with your pledge, please ensure that the payment and contact information in your kickstarter account is up to date and correct. Making sure your e-mail is entered correctly and your credit card isn't expired will speed up the next step process. (I have learned from experience!)



First, we celebrate. Kickstarter will send out a "Hooray!" email confirming the campaign ended with final totals. We'll give socially-distanced high fives and virtual fist bumps in the comments section.

Then, the Kickstarter payment process begins. Over the next week, kickstarter will begin charging your payment methods for the total amount you've pledged.

If there is an issue with your payment method (expired credit card or incorrect number or pre-paid Visa awaiting funds, for example), Kickstarter will keep trying to process payment during this time.

Once this step is done, which will likely be the first week of July, Kickstarter will confirm everything with Onyx Path and I can begin to set up the project with BackerKit and link it to the Kickstarter data.

BackerKit is a robust fulfillment integration and pledge management program that will allow us to work with all of the data and distribute the rewards to you. It will take me a few weeks to set the project up. Once I've got it all entered and built, the team from BackerKit will review to ensure I didn't mess anything up too badly, and then I'll make any changes they've suggested and we can move on to the Survey stage.


Once BackerKit says I'm good to go, I will send out a survey to all backers. This is why confirming your e-mail is important!

The BackerKit survey is both a verb and a noun - it will collect data for the analysis of some aspect of a group (enabling Onyx Path to set print runs, prioritize new projects, and fine-tune future kickstarters), as well as providing a general review or summary of the reward tier you've chosen, confirm all of the rewards associated with that reward tier, and confirm your total pledge amount.

I expect Surveys to go out by the start of August 2021.

During the Survey period, you can choose to increase your reward tier or add on additional options. If you've gone back to work or found an alternate income source and decide it's time to trade up to the deluxe hardcover version of the book or include another add-on, you can do so at this time. Note, you will not be able to reduce your reward tier selection, only increase.

If there was an issue with payment to Kickstarter, you should also be able to address that at this point in the process.

The survey will ask you to confirm your shipping address, even though it'll be some time before we ship out the final product. Do not worry about moving before shipping begins - you will be able to update BackerKit right up until the point that we begin fulfilling the final book. We will send out a notice prior to lock down so you can update any information.

I'll also use the Survey to confirm some details for the premium reward tiers.


This is a long process, but I will send out regular updates (usually at the end of the month) to keep you up to speed on our progress. There will be strings of updates that are just "still working on it," but I will share new artwork or information when I can.

Eventually, we will have a completed PDF of Exalted: Essence. We'll take some time to distribute, review, and compile any errata or corrections that need to be made. When we've made any necessary changes, we'll send out updated copies of the PDFs and then begin creating print-ready files for the Print-on-Demand and the hardcover versions.

It's yet another long road ahead, but one that we wouldn't be on if not for your faith and support.