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:

Building Power! More Stretch Goals!
almost 3 years ago – Fri, Jun 25, 2021 at 08:59:41 PM

Oh Exalted fans,

You showed me again! I thought I'd sneak in a stretch goal earlier today to carry us until we had our big Stretch Goal review post tomorrow, but you've already blown past that! Time for more!

ACHIEVED! - At $305,000 in Funding – Companion: Storytelling the Chosen II – More Storyteller advice and adventure hooks will be included in the Exalted: Essence Companion PDF.
ACHIEVED! - At $310,000 in Funding – Novella by Rai W. Cole – An awesome Exalted story will be written by Rai W. Cole and a digital edition made available to all backers.
At $315,000 in Funding – Companion: Sorcery and Necromancy Expansion – More rules for Sorcery and necromancy will be included in the Exalted: Essence Companion PDF.
At $320,000 in Funding – Discounted POD Option: Ready-Made Characters – Backers receiving the supplemental Ready-Made Characters PDF will receive a link to purchase a Print-on-Demand version at a discounted price.
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.

OK, well, I won't be revealing those stretch goals tomorrow! But let's see if we can't hit another goal before we get to our big Stretch Goal review! Great job everyone! Let's keep this campaign rocking for another 41 hours!



Final Day Review - Stretch Goals
almost 3 years ago – Fri, Jun 25, 2021 at 08:58:08 PM

Hello Excellent Exalted Essentials,

We're in the final DAY countdown for Exalted: Essence on Kickstarter - it ends tomorrow,  Thursday, June 24th at 2:00 PM EDT - there's still a few hours left to recruit additional exalts to our circle, but the finish line is fast approaching. With that in mind, I wanted to touch on some of the basics again to make sure that everyone has all of the information they need to support the project in the way that works best for them.

Final Week Key Posts

Whether you're a newly exalted Solar or a well-trained and accomplished Dragon-Blooded, these are good items to review to make sure that we all end up where we want to be.

(An aside, if you're a new backer, make sure you check out the Complete Manuscript Preview for the book, and this list of resource links that may answer some of the questions you might have before the end.)

Only 24 more hours with my swords.

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!).

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. 

Choose Wisely

Choosing the correct Reward Tier for your desired rewards, and then filling in any "gaps" with add-ons, ensures that you'll be claiming all of your desired rewards as a thank you for supporting this project and bringing this world to life.

Remember, your TOTAL PLEDGE AMOUNT is equal to your REWARD TIER + ADD ONS + SHIPPING. You will also be able to select Add On options in the Pledge Manager after the campaign, but remember that only funds added during the campaign count towards Stretch Goal funding targets.

Also to note, only those who participate during the campaign are able to have Stretch Goal rewards added automatically to their rewards lists. If you're waiting to pre-order at a later time, it's better to pledge to the Scholar of the Lost Age tier now and then simply upgrade your pledge later to include these bonus rewards.

On Thursday, I'll be posting one further "Final Day" update, covering What Happens Next and outlining what to expect once the campaign ends.

But until then, we're going to hopefully smash a final Stretch Goal achievement (or two!) as we race through our final day of the campaign!


Over the course of the campaign, we've achieved 33 Stretch Goals! 

Sorry, to repeat and confirm - THIRTY-THREE STRETCH GOAL ACHIEVEMENTS.

There are so many Stretch Goals unlocked that when I added the "Achieved" note to one of our targets last night, I exceeded the word count limit on our Kickstarter main page. So I've had to cut out some text and build this one big graphic. This will require some scrolling, but it's so impressive that I can't not post it:

We've been doing amazingly well, crushing Stretch Goal targets throughout the entire duration of this campaign, and we're picking up steam again as we rush toward the finish line! And there's a solid chance to make that an epic 34 (or unbelievable 35 even!) before we end...


Thanks to the success of the campaign, we've been able to unlock an Add On opportunities (the Exalted: Essence Storyteller Screen!), some great opportunities to spread some Exalted love (backer T-shirts, desktop wallpapers, bag), and some digital assets for online play!

We've also increased the art budget for Exalted: Essence, and - something I'm very happy with - added a bonus for the creative team that worked so hard on this manuscript.

For All Backers

These Stretch Goal rewards and opportunities are open to all backers of this project, regardless of which Reward Tier has been selected.

  •  Redbubble Backer T-Shirt Opportunity An Exalted: Essence-themed Kickstarter Backer shirt will be hosted on Onyx Path’s Redbubble store for a limited time. Only backers will be notified when the shirt becomes available for purchase.
  •  Digital Wallpaper– Dress up your monitor with some epic artwork from Exalted: Essence. This reward will be added to the rewards list for all backers.
  •  Exalted: Essence VTT Token Pack– Digital assets will be created to support online play for Exalted: Essence,  including key character and antagonist tokens from the book. This online asset pack will be added to the rewards list of all backers.
  •  Novella by Lauren Roy – A short story set in the world of Creation will be written by Lauren Roy and a digital edition made available to all backers.
  •  NerdyKeppie Bag Opportunity – An Exalted-themed bag will be created and made available on for a limited time. Backers will be notified when the bag becomes available for purchase.
  •  Novella by James Huggins – A short but epic tale of the Exalted will be written by James Huggins and a digital edition made available to all backers.
  •  Novella by Rai W. Cole – An awesome Exalted story will be written by Rai W. Cole and a digital edition made available to all backers.

Automatically Added to Rewards Lists of Backers Receiving the PDF

  •  Exalted: Essence Jumpstart PDF – An introductory scenario, designed to introduce new players to the game, systems, and setting will be created and released as a supplemental Jumpstart! PDF.
  •  Exalted: Essence Ready-Made Characters PDF – A full complement of ready-to-play characters will be released as a PDF supplement, providing examples and allowing players to jump right into the action!
  •  Discounted POD Option: Ready-Made Characters – Backers receiving the supplemental Ready-Made Characters PDF will receive a link to purchase a Print-on-Demand version at a discounted price.
  •  Exalted: Essence Adventure Trilogy – A trilogy of epic scenarios will be developed for Exalted: Essence and released as a supplemental Adventure Trilogy PDF.

And, of course, the main reward we've built throughout this campaign, the Exalted: Essence Companion PDF, which will include the following sections:

  •  Pillars of Creation – A Companion book with more Universal Charms, Evocations, Hearthstones, and warstriders
  •  Scattered Lotus Petals – Martial Arts, including Single Point Shining Into the Void, Golden Janissary, Celestial Monkey, and more
  •  Enemies of the Chosen – Antagonists and NPC examples, with a particular focus on demons and the Fair Folk
  •  The Eight Directions Atlas – More locations for beginning Storytellers
  •  Creation’s Chosen – More Solar/Lunar (Bond-Mode Charms), Exigents (Architects, Sovereigns, Strawmaiden Janest), Sidereal, and Dragon-Blooded Charms (Hearthmates)
  •  Storytelling the Chosen – Storyteller advice and adventure hooks, including advice for long-term play
  •  Beyond Creation’s Chosen – More Infernal, Alchemical, Getimian, Liminal, and Abyssal Charms
  •  Games of Divinity – More information on the cosmology and deities of Creation
  •  Lintha Expansion – A faction writeup and location overviews
  •  Other Antagonists – Even more antagonists
  •  Additional Artifacts – Even more artifacts
  •  The Eight Directions Atlas II – More locations for beginning Storytellers
  •  Lintha Expansion II –Devil-Prince Sword Style, battlegroup stats, and NPC writeups
  •  Scattered Lotus Petals II – Sidereal Martial Arts including Border of Kaleidoscopic Logic, Obsidian Shards of Infinity, Charcoal March of Spiders, and more
  •  Storytelling the Chosen II – More Storyteller advice and adventure hooks
  •  Sorcery and Necromancy Expansion – More rules for Sorcery and necromancy

That's... that's a lot. A lot of stuff. Remember, this is added to your rewards lists automatically if you're backing at a pledge level that includes the Exalted: Essence PDF. These will all likely be released for purchase in the future for those who miss the campaign... but don't do that. Don't miss out. 

Additional Rewards for Those Receiving a Hardcover Copy

  •  Exalted: Essence Storyteller Screen– A three-panel Storyteller Reference Screen with charts and information for running an Exalted: Essence game will be created and offered as an Add On to the hardcover reward tiers for +$20.
  •  Exalted: Essence Charm Cards PDF – Onyx Path will create Charm Cards for extant Exalted: EssenceCharms. A PDF version suitable for printing and passing out to play groups will be included in the rewards list for all backers receiving either hardcover version of Exalted: Essence.


As we head into our final day, we still have time to land a another one or maybe two Stretch Goal achievements and add even more content  to our list of rewards.

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.
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.
At $335,000 in Funding – Companion: Apocryphal Chosen– Umbrals, Dream-Souled: Modes, and Charmsets will be detailed in the Exalted: Essence Companion PDF.

That's right, there's the possibility to add two more sections to the outline for the Exalted: Essence Companion. And another PoD Discount option for the Jumpstart. With Exalted: Essence's focus on bringing in new players to Exalted, and welcoming back returning players, the hope is that additional formats for supplements like the Ready-Made Characters and the Jumpstart can see lots of usage at conventions and other gatherings in the future... when we can do that again.

I know I keep saying the goal of this campaign is to fund the creation of the book (and I'll say that again in a moment), but the goal of this project is to nurture and grow the Exalted fanbase and get even more gamers enjoying the amazing world of Creation. It's such an incredible setting that everyone should get to enjoy it at some point.

Anyway, I'm getting off topic for this post. It's really about...


That's right! You backed this project to help make and publish Exalted: Essence. Our primary campaign reward - the big thank you that we'll send out in appreciation for your support - is a PDF and/or  hardcover copy of this book! BUT AS A BONUS, you may also have the Ready-Made Characters, the Jumpstart, the Adventure Trilogy, the Novellas, the VTT Tokens, and the ExEss Companion supplement added to your rewards list as an even bigger thank you for our success in this campaign!

More Stretch Goals, Not Much More Time

I know these last numbers may seem daunting, but they wouldn't be STRETCH goals if we didn't have to really STRETCH to reach them! I'm confident that one more is within striking distance. Beyond that will require a hard push, but I have seen wondrous things happen in the final 24 hours of a campaign!

So, as every update concludes: let's keep the enthusiasm rolling! Keep spreading the word and letting others know about this project. They've got this final day to jump in and share the 34 (can we make it 35? 36!! ) Stretch Goals we've achieved!

And every backer who joins in as we approach the end is not only able to enjoy the additional rewards already added by the early fans and backers, but also help reward those early backers by expanding everyone's stretch goal rewards!

Remember, only the funds generated during the Kickstarter campaign go toward achieving these Stretch Goal targets, so the time to act is now! Together, we can bring this game to life and make great things happen!





Very Rewarding!
almost 3 years ago – Fri, Jun 25, 2021 at 07:10:51 AM

Hello Exalted Essentials,

We'll be reviewing our Stretch Goal progress on Wednesday, but here's a hint about what to expect...

ACHIEVED! - At $290,000 in Funding – Creative Team Bonus – The writing team behind the Exalted: Essence rulebook will receive an additional monetary bonus.

I'm so thrilled that we've passed that funding target! The writing team worked really hard distilling Exalted down to it's ... essence... and I'm glad to see a bonus for them to recognize and reward them!

Up next:

At $295,000 in Funding – Companion: Scattered Lotus Petals II – Sidereal Martial Arts including Border of Kaleidoscopic Logic, Obsidian Shards of Infinity, Charcoal March of Spiders, and more will be included in the Exalted: Essence Companion PDF.
At $300,000 in Funding – Exalted: Essence Adventure III – A third and final scenario will be added to the supplemental Adventure PDF.
At $305,000 in Funding – Companion: Storytelling the Chosen II – More Storyteller advice and adventure hooks will be included in the Exalted: Essence Companion PDF.

Some big targets to take us to the finish line! We'll check in on Wednesday to see how we're doing. Now how about a little peek at Tuesday's manuscript preview...

What’s an Antagonist?

Antagonists are characters controlled by the Storyteller. These characters oppose the players’ characters, but not always. This section contains rules for any Storyteller character, including allies or summons.

Antagonists and Players’ Character’s Abilities

Some Charms or other effects call out specific Abilities to be rolled. Storytellers will note that Antagonists have no such thing. In this case, use the most appropriate pool for the character. When in doubt, go with the character’s secondary pool, or tertiary if the roll seems out of character.

Other rules, such as aiding with Incapacitated are designed to keep the heroic protagonists (the players’ characters) in a fight longer. Once an enemy has reached Incapacitated, they’re out of the scene. If Storytellers wish to use this rule to make recurring villains, they may create it as a Quality.

Antagonists that work together with teamwork only add one die for each participating character. The Storyteller is not required to roll for each.

Antagonists creating their own ventures or doing other “off screen” activity automatically pass or fail any rolls by applying half their pool, round up, against the difficulty. An antagonist with a pool of 10 automatically succeeds at any roll difficulty 5 or lower, for example.

When wounded, if the antagonist has taken half their health (round down) in damage or more, they suffer a -2 dice penalty to all actions. Antagonists are assumed to heal entirely off-screen between appearances.

Otherwise, antagonists have access to all the same rules as players’ characters, from combat modifiers  to gambits and so on.

Extras and Significant Characters

Exalted stories, much like action cinema, have dozens of background characters who don’t get names or significant story beats. These are also called trivial characters or trivial targets, also called extras. They are shopkeepers, gate guards, porters, petty criminals, and so on. Overcoming them involves one roll resolution. Many anima effects allow characters to do this without needing any kind of roll.

Significant characters occupy an important space in the story whether as allies or enemies. If a character has an impact on the Circle (positive or negative), they are significant. They also have special turn order rules.


Among the greatest of Creation’s mortal warriors are elite military forces and handpicked fighters, from chosen clan champions of independent peoples to elite formations assembled by empires. Incredibly well armed, well trained, and often eager to fight, they are dangerous even to Exalts. They are rarely Extras, particularly dangerous in groups, and always desirable allies in a fight.

  •  Primary Pool (9): Athletics and Combat
  •  Secondary Pool (6): Campaigning and Senses
  • Tertiary Pool (4)
  •  Health Levels: 5
  •  Resolve: 3
  •  Defense: 5
  •  Hardness: 3
  •  Soak: 4

Attacks and Qualities

  •  Martial Technique: This character’s successful withering attacks generate 1 additional Power.
  • Murderous Blow
  •  Weapon: Glaive (ACC +0, DEF +1, OVM: 2, DMG: 3, Two-Handed, Reach)

Variant: Infernal Vanquisher

Killer of kings, wrestler of gods, enemy of empire and authority, the Infernal Vanquisher bears an exaltation bestowed by the imprisoned things in hell. They wield its power in opposition to Heaven and every mundane authority, and upend all order in Creation.

Apply the following adjustments

  • Increase pools by one
  • Increase Resolve by one
  • Add “Spreading Chaos” to primary pool and “Inspiring Emotion” to secondary pool
  • Add three Health
  • Essence 4

The Vanquisher may exchange Martial Technique for any Close Combat Infernal Charm.

  •  Weapon: Screaming Hell Chain (+3 Accuracy, +1 Defense, +0 Damage, 3 Overwhelming. Tags: Flexible)

Equipment Tags

All weapons have either the Melee or Ranged tag. Mundane equipment has up to two additional tags. Artifact equipment always gains the Artifact tag, and up to two more. Armors have up to two tags, adding Artifact if it was purchased as a Merit.

Aggravated: The weapon deals grievous injuries that cannot be healed using magic. Aggravated damage must be healed naturally over time.

Artifact: Artifacts are ancient weapons and armor with fantastical effects. Artifact weapons increase Overwhelming by two and either Accuracy or Damage rating (player’s choice) by one. Artifact armors increase Hardness by one and increase Soak by one.

Defensive: The melee weapon increases the character’s Defense by an additional one when taking the Defending Other or Full Defense actions.

Disarming: The melee weapon reduces the Power cost by one for disarm gambits.

Flame: A ranged weapon that shoots a narrow blast of fire, which can ignite flammable objects. Attacks made at close range with this weapon gain one bonus Damage.

Flexible: The weapon ignores the Defense bonus granted by Full Defense actions. Flexible weapons reduce the cost of the ensnare gambit by one to a minimum of one.

Melee: This weapon uses the Close Combat Ability to make attacks.

Paired: Weapons meant to be used as a set. Successful withering attacks generate 1 additional Power.

Powerful: Powerful ranged weapons deal damage like a heavy melee weapon at close range.

Ranged: This weapon uses the Ranged Combat Ability. Ranged weapons have a standard range band that they are rated for. Attacking a target in a closer range band grants one bonus to the Accuracy rating for the attack.

Shield: A melee weapon that acts to protect the wielder, and allows him to flurry the Full Defense action. Shields have a damage rating one lower than their stated class. So, a medium shield would have a damage rating of 0.

Silent: Armor that does not make noise when moving. Do not apply movement penalties to silent movement.

Thrown: This weapon can be used with the Ranged Combat Ability or in melee with the Close Combat Ability. Thrown weapons have a standard Range band that they are rated for. Attacking a target in a closer Range band grants three bonus to the Accuracy rating for the attack.

Two-Handed: The weapon must be wielded with two hands, preventing the character from dual wielding or carrying a shield. Two-handed weapons have damage rating one higher than their stated class. So, a medium two-handed weapon would have a damage rating of 2.

More to come! Much more! We'll get Chapter 7 and 8 on Tuesday, as well as the Appendix, giving us the entire draft manuscript to read before the campaign finishes. And we'll have a link to the feedback form, so the developers can continue to track your notes on the kickstarter draft and use them to help guide the next editing and development stages of the project.

In this final week, please remember to keep spreading the word. We've got a few Stretch Goals still ahead, but time is winding down. Let's do our best to ensure as many Exalted fans as possible know about the project and have the opportunity to join in if they'd like!

Next update will talk about Reward Tiers and Add Ons and hopefully answer any outstanding questions that you may have. In this final week, it's best to double-check your pledge and ensure you're set up to get the rewards you most want from this campaign. We'll cover all of that tomorrow!


Final Week Review - Reward Tiers & Add Ons
almost 3 years ago – Fri, Jun 25, 2021 at 07:09:24 AM

Hello Exalted Essentials!

We're in the final days countdown for Exalted: Essence on Kickstarter - it ends on Thursday, June 24th at 2:00 PM EDT - there's still time to find additional exalted and add them to our circle, but we're definitely getting closer to the finish line. With that in mind, I wanted to touch on some of the basics over these next 4 days to make sure that everyone has all of the information they need to support the project in the way that works best for them.

Final Week Schedule

  • June 21 - Reward Tier & Add On Review 
  • June 22 - Exalted: Essence Manuscript Preview 8 
  • June 23 - Stretch Goal Review 
  • June 24 - Checklist and Next Steps 

Whether you've just received your Exalted abilities or have been performing amazing feats for ages, these are good items to review to make sure that we all end up where we want to be.

(An aside, if you're a new backer, make sure you check out the Final Week resource post. It has links to the manuscript previews, interviews & podcast discussions, and Actual Plays!)

My actual 2021 hair! Can't wait to get a real haircut again soon!


Like it says right at the top of the campaign page, we've come together to help create a fully developed PDF, traditionally printed standard hardcover and limited edition deluxe hardcover  for this game, introducing a new way to interact with Creation and the story of the Exalted. 

Exalted: Essence is a streamlined version of Exalted Third Edition, designed to welcome new players and reintroduce old friends to the world of Creation. It contains all the mechanics and advice players and Storytellers need to run complete games of Exalted: Essence, though setting material and character, place, and creature ideas can be supplemented by the core line’s content.

To borrow an analogy that I've used in past Kickstarter campaigns, this process we're a part of works similar to the "Viewers Like You" support campaign from your local Public Broadcasting Station (for those who get American television channels or watched Sesame Street in the pre-HBO era): There are various levels of support that you can pledge to, and these come with various levels of rewards offered as a thank you. Like getting a tote bag or t-shirt when you give money to public broadcasting to fund them doing their thing, you can get rewards for helping Onyx Path work on this project.

Let's review the Backer Reward Tiers to ensure that you've pledged to a Reward Tier that provides all the rewards you wish to receive.

Your Exaltation: Digital, Standard, or Deluxe?

The main rewards offered in this campaign is, of course, the main goal of the entire proposition: the Exalted: Essence book. The first decision you need to make in figuring out your reward tier is whether you want to receive the PDF version, the standard hardcover, or the limited edition deluxe hardcover.


This is the PDF-only reward tier. So, if you're saving trees or saving shelf space - or avoiding the shipping charges that seem to be ever-increasing - this is the reward tier options that you should begin with. The PDF will be fulfilled by our partners at - when it is ready, you will receive a link to add it to your DTRPG library at no cost and be able to download at your leisure.


This reward tier includes the traditionally-printed standard hardcover version of this book. That means the books are produced in a larger offset print run at one time, and will have the best production values, from color clarity and appearance to binding and materials. In addition, this option also includes the PDF version, so you will get a digital copy as described above. 


This reward tier includes the premium hardcover version of this book. With a limited print run, this version will feature a foil-stamped leatherette cover, with metallic-edged pages and silk ribbon bookmark. The main contents will be the same as the standard hardcover, but this version will also list the submitted names of all kickstarter backers.  If you've received any of the deluxe Exalted Third Edition books from previous kickstarter campaigns, this version is designed to sit proudly alongside those beautiful tomes. In addition, this option also includes the PDF version, so you will get a digital copy as described above. 

In addition to these primary reward pledge tiers, we also offer the following options:

  •  Scholar of the Lost Age: Not ready to commit, or just looking to offer general support? This pledge tier is for you. This does not include our primary reward, but allows you to select some digital optional Add Ons, as well as participating in the post-campaign Pledge Manager as a backer. You'll also be able to read the draft manuscript of Exalted: Essence that we post throughout this campaign.
  •  Group Supporter: Backers looking to act as the point person for their gaming group (or those who just really like Exalted) should note the Perfect Circle and Unity of the Closed Fist reward tiers, which offer 5 copies of the standard or deluxe hardcover respectively (and may save overall on shipping per unit).
  •  Merchant Option: We love retailers, but modern publishing methods don’t always make it easy for them to get books into their stores. With this Exalted: Essence campaign, we have created a special Reward Tier just for you. Any retailer who pledges at the Scavenger Lord Reward Tier will get 5 copies of the Exalted: Essence standard hardcover book (as well as the PDF versions) at a retail-specific discount so that they can sell in-store.

Limited Premium Reward Tiers: A few Reward Tiers offer special limited premium rewards in addition to the basics. Availability of these tiers is limited and may be all claimed. If there's one you're really looking for, check carefully over these final days, as many backers will begin settling into their final pledges and you'll see them pop in and out of availability.

  •  Bestower of Titles: In addition to the Legendary Hero rewards, you'll also submit a name to the development team to use for an NPC included in the Exalted: Essence Companion PDF or one of the other projects added via Stretch Goal achievement.
  •  Fate-Weaving Pattern Spider: In addition to the Legendary Hero rewards, you'll also provide guidance to the development team in creating a Charm to be added to the Exalted: Essence Companion PDF.
  •  Manse-and-Hearthstone Architect: In addition to the Legendary Hero rewards, you'll also provide guidance to the development team in creating a Hearthstone to be added to the Exalted: Essence Companion PDF.
  •  Orichalcum-Hammer Blacksmith: In addition to the Legendary Hero rewards, you'll also provide guidance to the development team in creating an artifact to be added to the Exalted: Essence Companion PDF.
  •  Eternal Likeness: In addition to the Legendary Hero rewards, you'll also submit reference photos to be used by artists creating interior illustrations for the Exalted: Essence Companion PDF or one of the other projects added via Stretch Goal achievement.

PLEDGE MANAGER ACCESS - After the campaign is over we'll launch BackerKit, our post-campaign pledge manager, and invite the backers to set up their rewards via survey. This allows you to confirm your pledge and add on anything that you might have missed, as well as possibly increasing your pledged reward tier, should you choose to expand your reward selection. This option will give international backers additional time to investigate shipping options, should they choose, knowing they can confirm a physical reward at a later date. Funding collected in BackerKit after the campaign does not count toward any campaign Stretch Goals, however.

You'll note that two rewards - Access to the Manuscript Previews and Participation in Post-Campaign Pledge Manager - are included in ALL reward tiers. That's just one of the perks of participating in this kickstarter campaign!

MANUSCRIPT PREVIEWS – All Reward Tiers include access to Backers-Only manuscript previews. With the exception of the final chapters and appendix (which will be posted on Tuesday), I have posted the entire manuscripts across multiple sections. You must be a kickstarter backer to access these previews, as the link will remain in a backers-only update post. The manuscript previews may not be available to those who pre-order the book at a later date.

OPTIONAL DISCOUNTED PoD VERSION –  For this Exalted: Essence campaign, you will have the option of using’s Print-On-Demand service to purchase a physical, printed copy of the PDF directly from their PoD partners at discounted cost (this cost is not included in your pledge, and you do not need to increase the cost of your pledge to use this option). When the PoD versions are available to order (which may be some time after the books have gone to print), you will receive links to purchase these versions of the books from You DO NOT need to take advantage of this PoD offer as it does not affect in any way your pledge rewards.

EXALTED: ESSENCE PDF VERSION - The digital version of Exalted: Essence, fulfilled by our partners at Kickstarter backers will receive a redemption links for an early version of this book before it goes on sale to the public. This initial "Backer Version" will be used to get feedback from the fans to make the final version the best that it can be. When it has been updated to the final version, it will automatically be added to your DriveThruRPG library and available for download at your convenience.

EXALTED: ESSENCE HARDCOVER VERSIONS - The main goal of this campaign is to fund the creation, production, and print run of a beautiful standard hardcover and premium deluxe edition of this book. Note that all Reward Tiers that include a hardcover version also include the PDF version as a bonus. Additional shipping charges are automatically added to your pledge by Kickstarter, based on your delivery location.

Choosing Your Reward Tier

There has been some churn over this past week - a few Reward Tier adjustments and changes by backers, as budgets changed and people have seen the game in play and worked through the massive Charms chapter. In these final days it's best to ensure that you've selected the Reward Tier that offers you the options and rewards you want to receive and are ready to lock down. This timing - before the campaign ends - is the absolute most affordable and inclusive these rewards will be, and will save headaches and heartbreaks if fully considered now.

This is just the first step, however, in completing your pledge for this campaign. Additional optional extras can be added to your pledge, rounding our your rewards and increasing the overall funding and maybe getting us closer to a Stretch Goal. All the material in the book is compatible with Exalted Third Edition, so new and established fans can collect the core line’s books and use them with a beginner-friendly and less mechanically dense system. In fact, many of the Third Edition books are available as Add On options.

First Step: Reward Tier

To summarize the first part of this post, the absolute best way to ensure that you're getting the primary rewards you want from this kickstarter is to ensure you've selected the appropriate Backer Reward Tier. Selecting the right Reward Tier covers about 85% of the options available to you. If you want a PDF only, make sure you've selected the correct reward. If you want the deluxe hardcover version, double-check your reward tier to ensure the proper option is featured. If you're going digital now but want the option of getting a discounted Print-on-Demand copy later, make sure you've got a reward tier that includes it.

Once you've completed that important step, you're going to want to look at the Add On rewards for any reward "bits" that don't automatically fall into your reward tier. That takes us to the Add On step.

Step Two: Add-Ons.

Once you've chosen your pledge tier, you've likely already included the main rewards you want. In addition to the rewards offered as part of the Reward Tier configurations, there are a few other possible rewards you may wish to add. All Add-On rewards are described in our Add On menu below.

Each Add On includes an extra amount to add on to your total pledge amount. Remember that your total pledge amount includes all shipping charges and not just your reward tier level.

The Add On option menu appears in the second part of your pledge confirmation. When you decided to back the Exalted: Essence campaign, you first choose a Pledge Reward Tier. Once you've selected that, you can configure your reward with additional options.

You can add or update your Add On choices right up until the campaign ends on June 24th at 2:00 EDT. If you've already pledged, you just have to hit the Manage Your Pledge button on the top of the campaign main page.

Once you've decided to Pledge to the campaign, or to Manage your Pledge if you've already backed, you either Confirm or Change Your Pledge on the first menu.

Pick a Pledge Tier, then Add On Options

First step is choosing your pledge tier. You'll note that shipping costs are included for the Legendary Hero tier.

Once I click that green "Pledge" Button, I am taken to the second part of the Pledge confirmation, where I can further Configure my reward. There are many optional Add Ons, not just those visible at the top of the page. It pays to scroll down.

If you wanted to add the Exalted Third Edition Core Rulebook PDF, or Dragon-Blooded PDF, or an additional copy of the Exalted: Essence PDF or hardcover, you can add those during this step.

Once you've selected your Pledge, and then picked any Add On options, you press continue and review one final time before confirming your pledge.

In this example, I've updated my pledge to include the Arms of the Chosen PDF, The Realm PDF, and the Exalted: Essence Storyteller Screen that we unlocked via Stretch Goal achievement. Once I click Confirm, my reward tier and add ons are set for my pledge. 

You should also be aware that any available Add On options will be made available in our BackerKit pledge manager, so if you're unsure about adding on something at this point, you will be able to adjust your pledge in the post-campaign phase. 

Pledging to the campaign also opens up the Stretch Goal rewards as thanks for your participation. We'll review our Stretch Goal accomplishments on Wednesday, but it's important to note that backers who wait and Pre-Order Exalted: Essence at a later date will not have any Stretch Goal rewards automatically added to their rewards list. The Stretch Goal rewards will only automatically be added to the rewards for those who participated in this Kickstarter campaign.


All Add On and additional hardcovers can only be added to a reward tier that already includes a hardcover version of this book (and has therefore established shipping parameters). The Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought and Lunars: Fangs at the Gate deluxe hardcovers are limited stock remaining from previous kickstarter campaigns, so may already be sold out. If you're really interested in a kickstarter hardcover for these books, I suggest managing your pledge as we get near the end to see if any other backers have cancelled these options and made any copies available.

You can also add additional copies of the Exalted: Essence hardcovers. As with your pledge, additional shipping charges may be included based on your location. Your rewards will be sent in a single shipment when the Exalted: Essence books are printed and ready to fulfill.


About 6 weeks after the campaign has ended, I'll launch our post-campaign Pledge Manager to collect information from all backers and confirm which rewards you'll be receiving. At this point, you'll be able to review your rewards and also also adjust any Add On Options that you may have missed. Once we have everything confirmed, I'll be able to deliver any rewards that are currently available - like the PDF versions of the Exalted Third Edition Core Rulebook, Dragon-Blooded: What Fire has Wrought, Lunars: Fangs at the Gate, Arms of the Chosen, The Realm, and the older editions of Exalted bundles. Backers who have pledged for these options will be sent special redemption links to claim these digital rewards from our partners at Clicking these redemption links will allow you to add these PDF titles to your digital library to download anytime. I'll send an update when all of that is happening, though, so you are aware every step of the way.

So, while it will take some time for Exalted: Essence to move from manuscript form to a final product, you won't be waiting a year for PDFs that already exist. (You'll be waiting about 6-8 weeks or so, just enough time for us to set up the reward infrastructure.)

Physical Books

It's going to take some time to create the final PDF for Exalted: Essence and even longer for the eventual print runs for the hardcover book. When the books are at the printer, I will be in touch with all kickstarter backers and go over lockdown procedures and confirming addresses one final time. But that's a long time away, and we'll cover all of that as we get closer to that part of the process.

Don't fret if you had forgotten to select an Add On by the end of the campaign. These Add Ons will be available to select in our post-campaign Pledge Manager for those who participated in our campaign and have full access to the Pledge Manager. So, if you are undecided at this time, you will be able to hold off until we're closer to the final reward shipment goes out.

 Step 1: Pledge Tier

Step 2: Add On Options

Again, your first step should involve your main reward selection, and your Add On Options will build upon that. If you selected the PDF-only tier, you will be presented with PDF options. If you select the hardcover tier, you will be presented with physical reward options. You cannot add on additional hardcover books if the Exalted: Essence standard hardcover or deluxe book is not included in your pledge tier reward list.

Note that all funds are expressed in US Dollars, although Kickstarter displays the approximate conversion rate.

It Adds Up!

That should explain the process of Selecting your Reward Tier and Add On options and confirming your TOTAL PLEDGE AMOUNT. Since increasing your pledge amount increases the overall funding level of the project, add-ons can help us achieve our Stretch Goal funding targets, so it benefits us all to suggest that you double-check to make sure you're getting all of the rewards you want.

Additionally, this may go without saying, please review your personal budget and ensure you've selected the appropriate reward tier and add ons for your current financial situation. Kickstarter will begin charging your payment method once the campaign ends, so ensure you've budgeted correctly.


As we move through these final days of the campaign, please ensure you've chosen the correct Reward Tier for the rewards you want. And beyond that - please make sure investigated and selected any add-ons you wish to receive. If you have any issues with the Pledge process, either selecting the reward tier or Adding On optional rewards, try a different browser or device. Kickstarter is always refining their processes, but sometimes things are a little sticky. Changing browsers often solves the issue.

On Thursday, just before the campaign ends, I will send an update detailing the steps that occur after the campaign concludes, including notes about our Pledge Manager and the communication plan going forward.

So, just like always: Spread the word! Share your excitement on social media! Tell your friends! We're about to enter the rapid race to the finish line, so let's make sure that none of our friends miss out!

And I'll be back Tuesday with the FINAL manuscript section for Exalted: Essence, making the complete text available for all backers to review before the campaign ends!



Backers Only - Manuscript Preview #8
almost 3 years ago – Fri, Jun 25, 2021 at 07:08:25 AM

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