Dice Trick Comparisons

If you’re trying to build your own custom charms, you may be uncertain as to how good various different dice tricks are. How does “reroll 6s” compare with “double 9s?” What’s the effect of saying “1s subtract on attacks” versus a flat one-point bonus to a defense score?

To help with this, I’ve created the Dice Trick Comparison Grapher! It shows a graph (and a table) that compares two different dice tricks of your choice.

Many thanks to AnyDice for helping me double-check the probabilities on this.

If you’d like to see any items added to this, just let me know. I can’t guarantee that I will be able to accommodate any request, but I’ll at least try.

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Battle Group Generator

If you’re running a game with a lot of large-scale battles in Exalted, this will probably come in handy for you. Here’s a…

Battle Group Generator!

Select your group, set the size, drill, and might, and you’ll get the stats for it immediately. It uses the stats for various likely battle groups from the corebook. And let me tell you, Fair Folk Cataphracts are absolutely terrifying.

We’ve got…

  • Conscripts
  • Battle-Ready Troops
  • Nomadic Horse-Archers
  • Lintha Reavers
  • Elite Troops
  • Brides of Ahlat
  • Automata
  • Zombies
  • War Ghosts
  • Bonesiders
  • Blood Apes
  • Fair Folk Cataphracts
  • Fair Folk Hobgoblins
  • Silverwights
  • Buck-Ogres

Let me know if there’s anything you’d like added to this.

Stat Blocks

Some of you may have noticed that the characters on this blog don’t have any game stats listed – just a general idea of what they’re good at and what their capabilities are. This is because I started writing them before I actually had the rules! Obviously, that has since changed. I’ve statted up characters from both The Shores and from Red Jade Canyon.

I had to make a couple tough decisions along the way. One was that I didn’t like the standard Quick Character stat blocks. They’re fairly good, but I wanted something a little different: simpler dice-adders,  more complete combat stats, etc. I’ll paste a sample version below.

On the other hand, I didn’t want to write out a substantial number of charms for these characters. The more detail you give a character, the more work a Storyteller needs to put into running them. In my own games I used to write up full character sheets for every single NPC. It really helped me understand them. When I was using other peoples’ characters, though, I found reading lists of charms tedious. I realized that I preferred to have a general idea of a character’s capabilities (as in the writeups I’ve done so far) and to improvise charm effects as needed based on the official charm sets.

That’s what you’ll see in the PDF editions of these characters: Quick Character stats with just a little more detail, and without charm writeups.

Of course, I didn’t want to shortchange the Eclipse caste, so I did add a few Eclipse-specific charms at the end of the book. You’ll be able to pick up some of Alambor‘s ability to manipulate the tides, for example, which can be very powerful for a sailor or merchant.

Here’s an example of the stat block format that I’m using. This is the one for Amilar Valna. The formatting will look a little strange here because it’s controlled by WordPress stylesheets and I don’t want to fiddle with inline css for half an hour just to make it look right. It looks much better in the PDF.

Stats

Dragon-Blooded (Air)
Essence 3, 14/35 Motes
Physical 2, Mental 4, Social 3
Willpower 7, Resolve 4, Guile 4, Appearance 3

Skills: Necromancy 9, Speak with Spirits 8, Courtly Matters 8, Give Orders 7, Notice 6, Secrets of the Underworld 7, Athletic Actions 6

Dice Limit: Add up to half pool for 1 mote/die

Combat:

  • Join Battle 7, Parry 5, Evasion 3
  • Health 1/3/3/1, Soak 7, Hardness 0 (Lamellar Armor)
  • Jade Daiklaive: withering 10, decisive 7, damage 15L, overwhelming 4
  • Longbow: withering 9 at short range, decisive 5, damage 11L, overwhelming 1

 

Multiple Personalities

One of the more controversial sets of charms for Exalted 3rd is the “persona” tree in Socialize. For those who are unfamiliar, these charms let you create and switch into other personalities, who can even get their own XP and charms.

I’ve done a rules analysis for these charms, as I did in the past for Wyld-Shaping Technique and crafting heavy-duty artifacts. Some people are concerned that the persona charms could be overpowered. Personally, I wasn’t so sure, so I wanted to run the numbers. If you’re into persona charms for the “Thousand Masks” aspect, you probably love them already. If you just want to see whether they’re worth the XP investment, read on.

This is a much more difficult analysis than for Wyld-Shaping. I had to not only understand one charm and its descendants, but also several other entire trees, so that I could understand just how much benefit one gets from being able to pick up extra charms. With a fully-upgraded persona effectively getting an extra 66% XP, it seems obvious that having a persona will eventually give you a lot more charms. The question is when that “eventual” moment happens for different builds. Luckily for me, I seem to have chosen an XP value that’s close to that point, so I feel like I can give a pretty good overview of the whole “XP terrain,” as it were.

Here’s the spreadsheet.

There are six builds that I tried out. With this level of detail and complexity, it’s almost a certainty that I’ve screwed up a prerequisite in here somewhere. If you see something that doesn’t make sense please let me know.

Here are the characters:

  1. One character with no persona charms, who has Brawl Supernal. We’ll call her PunchGal.
  2. One character who has a single persona, with the goal of switching between social action and combat. This is SocialDude, and the brawler persona is PunchGal Jr. SocialDude has Socialize Supernal.
  3. One character who did the same thing, but later in the game. This is to try to take advantage of a strange rule in Draw the Curtain. We’ll refer to this persona as PunchGal Sr.
  4. A Social-supernal character who actually wants to be a brawler. Yes, yes, I know, a brawler should not have Socialize as their supernal Ability. Nevertheless, this is For Science, so I ran the numbers anyway. This is NotVerySocialDude, with a persona called WrastleVania
  5. A Brawl-supernal character who picks up persona charms for the express purpose of kicking more ass. This is PunchGalXTreme, with a persona called PunchPal.
  6. A Socialize-supernal character who wants to do everything. The central character is MostlySocial in name and skill. Three other personae are there to help out: PunchGal Jr., MicroCraftBot, and Lil’ Sherlock.

Each of the core personalities has 180 XP, which puts them at Essence 3. We’re ignoring Solar XP, and assuming that regular XP is spent only on solar charms. Since the whole point of Solar XP is that you can’t spend it on solar charms (who came up with that naming scheme??), that seemed like a good assumption to make.

The three most important charms for our purposes are Heart-Eclipsing Shroud, which creates the personae and gives them Intimacies, Legend Mask Methodology, which allows them to buy charms, and Draw the Curtain, which boosts their XP rate from 1/2 normal to 2/3 normal. The personae all have access to the original personality’s charms. They spend their own pesudo-XP to buy new charms, which the original personality does not have access to (there’s a charm that opens up temporary access, but I’m ignoring it for this). I’m assuming that you can just bank the XP you get from Heart-Eclipsing Shroud until you buy Legend Mask and then blow it all on charms. If that’s not true, this analysis will change substantially.

I tried to build all the characters toward similar goals, so they would be easier to compare. If they brawled, they wanted high-Essence Brawl charms, especially a counterattack and a scene-long boost. They also needed some brawn and mobility, for which I used Athletics. For the social characters, I generally took them all the way down the persona tree to Soul Reprisal, because having a self-resurrection charm is nice (even if it does require you to bank 20 Solar XP). I focused on Socialize for the social characters, with a little Presence to round them out. I gave them a little Brawl so they weren’t totally defenseless in a fight. I used Dodge for defense, and headed for Seven Shadow Evasion when possible. Everyone got a little Awareness as well, because who doesn’t love Surprise Anticipation Method?

Let’s take a look at how the characters turned out.

  1. PunchGal can really punch. Seriously. Do not get in a fight with this character. She’s going to slug you, you’re going to fly fifty feet, and then she’s going to already be there to punch you in the back. She’s going to build a ton of initiative and then use it to ignore any penalties you give her, and then once she unloads on you and resets to base initiative she’s going to pummel you repeatedly while ignoring your hardness. This is an excellent baseline from which to compare the other fighting personae.
  2. SocialDude is pretty good at being social. When it comes to persona stuff, he’s really great. He’s got a fair number of other tricks from Socialize and Presence, and having At Your Service is wonderful, but he’s not completely maxed out when it comes to social stuff because of the 64 XP spent on persona charms. However, when he turns into PunchGal Jr… she can fight about as well as a starting character with Brawl supernal. She can’t get to the higher-Essence charms (like Orichalcum Fists of Battle), but she does have more total Brawl charms than a starting character. However, PunchGal Jr. does have access to all of SocialDude’s social charms, so that’s nice. The only reason to turn back into SocialDude is to switch Intimacies, or because SocialDude probably has more points in Abilities available.
  3. This character is built just like #2, but waited until later to buy Draw the Curtain. Why? Because this charm sets your persona XP at 75% of your current XP, and then 66% of your future XP. Delaying the purchase gets you more XP. This was not a great trade-off. The benefit: one single extra charm. The drawback: PunchGal Sr. is a weaker persona for 100+ XP of gameplay. The lesson: buy Draw the Curtain as soon as you’re ready for it. Don’t bother waiting just to get a slight increase in XP.
  4. WrastleVania has not just a lot of punching charms (thanks to NotVerySocialDude buying them with regular XP), but also a bunch of wrestling charms that were bought using persona XP. On the down side, all those persona charms are expensive and this character doesn’t have Brawl supernal. WrastleVania doesn’t have quite the punching power that PunchGal does.
  5. PunchGalXTreme hits just as hard as PunchGal herself. How can she spend all her XP on just Brawl charms? Because she waited to take all the rest of her charms until she could put them into the PunchPal persona. Why does she have to do that? Because PunchPal actually can’t benefit from the fact that her primary persona has Supernal Brawl. Her charms need to be lower-Essence than the main persona is capable of handling, and since the main persona can’t even use them as prerequisites, it’s best not to take any Brawl charms for PunchPal. This strategy pays off, but it takes a long time, and for that time PunchGalXTreme is really mono-focused. One could also go the WrastleVania route (character 5 above) and pick up a whole different sub-tree of Brawl with the new persona.
  6. MostlySocial is a dabbler. Some sorcery, some dodge, a fair number of social charms. Not quite as good at social stuff as SocialDude, but that’s why the word Mostly is there. The other personae are… about as good as a starting character. By the time you have 180 XP, you can be a decent social character, and a starting craftsman, and a starting investigator, and a starting brawler, but it’s going to take you at least four hours to change your mind. It’s like playing an entire party of starting exalts… one at a time… with a single point of failure.

Overall, at 180XP, these characters are actually pretty well-balanced, with some pulling ahead. I picked the value just because it was late in the game and  easy to multiply by 2/3, but I seem to have found something near the ideal balance point.

This may seem strange to those of you who are numerically inclined. In terms of pure XP, the breakpoint is a measly 77 XP. If you spend your first 64 XP on buying persona charms, including Draw the Curtain, your persona’s addition to your XP total will be effectively make back the XP you spent by the time your base XP total reaches 77. (If you don’t buy Draw the Curtain, the breakpoint is 112 XP.) However, you won’t be able to take complete advantage of that super-low breakpoint, because either a: You have Socialize as your supernal and can’t buy higher-level charms from your second area of specialty, or b: You have another attribute Supernal and thus can’t even buy Heart-Eclipsing Shroud until your XP total is 125. Access to high-Essence charms is a big deal.

The purely numerical analysis treats all of the persona charms as nothing but sunk costs. That’s not entirely accurate, as several of the early charms have non-persona effects, but it’s a reasonable “first-order” estimate. If you value the early charms more, then buying a persona pays off a little faster.

My conclusion is that before about 150 XP, personae don’t pay off well if you’re just using them as charm accumulators. You’re better off being focused in one area. After 150 XP, you can actually accomplish more in your existing area of specialty by picking up a persona. Just be prepared to have a hard time for about 56 XP of game time.

If you’re min-maxing for a longer game, don’t take Socialize Supernal if you want to accumulate extra charms in your personae. Pick something else supernal. Then, buy into the persona charms, get a single persona, and live in it. Leave your old personality behind and become the person you want to be. Don’t switch back unless your Storyteller says you need to in order to train. Use your new persona to pick up random other charms, and pick up your Supernal-area charms with your primary persona. You now have a second Limit Break condition; deal with it.

If you want to be able to do everything, well, you’ll be the spork of the Exalted world. You’ll end up being able to do everything at sort of a mediocre level. You might be able to help when your party doesn’t have a particular character type and really needs it.

Long story short: if you want to grab piles and piles of random charms, and it fits your character concept, persona charms are the way to go in long-running games. In shorter games, you won’t see the payoff.


 

Side note: After looking through so many charm trees, I can say with some authority that the third edition really does succeed with one of the developers’ stated goals: to have every charm set be worthy of individual focus. If you want Dodge to be your thing, you will really, really out-dodge everyone. Just taking five or six Dodge charms will definitely help you stay alive, but it won’t be defining the way that having Dodge Supernal and pouring fifteen charms into it will.

Made of Dreams

You can tell that Wyld-Shaping Technique is a big deal from the fact that it takes up enough space for ten regular charms. Traditionally it’s been an important part of the setting, and a potential way for your characters to grab some territory of their own – possibly very powerful territory. It’s expensive and difficult, with some potentially great payoff.

It’s also a hazardous charm to use. You need to fight off Fair Folk, behemoths, and more while using it. Bring friends.

Character Creation

If you intend to use this charm near the beginning of the game, here’s how to do it. Set Intelligence to 5, Lore to 5, and take Lore Supernal with a specialty in “The Wyld”. Also, get some friends with enormous swords. Then take the following charms:

  • Harmonious Academic Methodology. Prereq. Thanks to your Lore specialty, get +Essence in non-charm successes for Lore rolls involving the Wyld, such as Wyld-Shaping.
  • Bottomless Wellspring Approach. Prereq.
  • Lore-Inducing Concentration. Prereq.
  • Truth-Rendering Gaze. Prereq.
  • Wyld-Dispelling Prana. Prereq.
  • Chaos-Repelling Pattern. Prereq.
  • Order-Affirming Blow. Prereq.
  • And finally, Wyld-Shaping Technique itself

You will also really, really want:

  • Wyld-Cauldron Mastery. +Essence successes on each roll.
  • Wyld-Forging Focus. Start on phase 2.
  • Demiurgic Suspiration. Refunds you essence after successful shaping, which helps fuel your Excellencies.
  • Heaven-Turning Calculations. +Essence non-charm dice on Wyld Shaping. Also on sorcery.

…and that leaves you with three charms left. Choose defensively. One should probably be sorcery, because you already get a bonus to it and because you’re seriously going to need the defense from Invulnerable Skin of Bronze. You can take Wyld-Called Weapon, but you can probably afford to wait a little while. You’ll likely have a few sessions of play before you get a chance to use Wyld-Shaping Technique in the first place.

Dice Pool

With all of this and a one-point stunt, you get a starting dice pool of 14 + 2 successes, with one die and one success as non-charm. If you can crank your Excellency into this, you can get another 8 dice, for a total of 22 + 2 successes. The question is, can you actually afford that much essence?

The answer is, strangely enough, probably yes. There’s no indication of how long a “phase” of Wyld-Shaping takes, beyond the minute of mental effort. It’s clear that phases aren’t intended to be immediately consecutive. The charm implies that you could get into a fight in the middle of each phase. Plus, if you couldn’t regenerate essence, the cost would be prohibitive – even an Essence 5 Solar would have trouble getting past phase 5. Presumably your character uses the charm, fights a few Fair Folk, recuperates, and repeats. The only real limitation on the length of time you can spend on it seems to be your ability to handle terrible creatures from beyond Creation, and your ability to stay awake (no getting incapacitated).

Since there are no rules about staying awake, we’ll assume here that you can’t spend more than 24 hours – which means no Willpower recovery. Perhaps a single point from an intimacy like “I sure do love Wyld-Shaping Technique,” or more from “I sure do love getting ambushed by the Fair Folk.” That’s sort of a bad idea for an intimacy, though. Maybe “I love when my circle-mates keep me from getting murdered by a behemoth” would work better. In any case, we’re assuming no willpower expenditure.

If you rest for two hours between phases (presumably with your allies protecting you from the Wyld and its creatures), you have more than enough to throw a full Lore excellency at your Wyld-Shaping roll on every phase. Heck, if you use the demon masseur you summoned with the sorcery I told you to take, maybe the Wyld will be relaxing enough that you can regenerate in just one hour. Probably not.

Risk/Reward

Now… how many phases should you attempt? There’s an XP cost, a rising risk of failure, increasing rewards, and effects that aren’t always easy to weigh. How can you decide?

To the spreadsheet! Follow this link to a Google Drive spreadsheet, or this link for the version you can copy into your own drive.

Let me explain the columns:

  • “Phase Success” is your odds of succeeding on that one phase.
  • “Cumulative Success” is your chance of succeeding on every phase up to and including that one – for instance, your chance of successfully making it through phase 6 is about 77%.
  • “Mote” gives the total mote cost, including the refund from Demiurgic Suspiration and the 10 motes you get back from resting for two hours.
  • “XP Cost” is the straight cost from using the charm.
  • “XP Overhead” is the average cost of failure – the XP you lose for pushing your luck to a certain stage, adjusted by the chance of failure. As you can see, it’s not so bad until phase 7.
  • “General” and “Specific” land areas are in square miles, with the radius of such an area also listed in miles. The assumption is that you’re not spending excess successes on area, since that gets you a really weak return.
  • There are also columns for the type of demesnes you can expect without spending excess successes, the amount of resources you could conjure up, and level of artifact you could get with Wyld-Called Weapon.

There’s no column for magical materials because it’s not worthwhile to conjure them up. Beyond the vagueness of the phrase “and so on” in that paragraph of the book, phase four will let you start calling up artifacts. That’s what most people would want magical materials for in the first place. Pick up Wyld-Called Weapon, shape yourself a bitchin’ magical airship, and fly around the world looking for magical materials with that instead.

What phase would I shoot for? Phase 6. It’s reliable enough to risk, the mote cost is within reach given a little extra rest (or Essence-Lending Technique from a friend), and the payoff is enormous. If you take Wyld-Called Weapon, you can pull a level N/A artifact from the Wyld. For 18 XP – well, 22 or so counting the average risk of failure – that’s pretty damn good. An island 54 miles across, with a major demesne on it, is also pretty great. After this point, the odds of failure increase to the point where you need to be higher-Essence to make the rewards worth the risk. Getting your hands on Sevenfold Savant Mantle and Power Beyond Reason will help you take on a additional phases as well.

So that’s Wyld-Shaping Technique. You need to buy a lot of charms to get it to work, so make the most of it. Camp out on the edge of the Wyld. Make some raksha enemies. Craft that all-jade warstrider you’ve always wanted.

Tomorrow: nothing scheduled. I’m in that phase where I’m working on new characters, so posts will be sporadic until Slumber’s Grasp is complete.

Ooh, that’s what I’m naming my fist-shaped goremaul now. Slumber’s Grasp. Yup.

Fast-Casting

Let’s say you want to be the fastest spell-slinger out there. You really think of your character as a combat caster, throwing around deadly spells in the midst of combat. Is this doable? Is “combat sorcerer” in the D&D sense a valid character concept in Exalted?

Well, you need to gather essence using shaping actions in order to cast spells. You can’t dump your own essence into the spell to make it happen faster. How can you make it happen faster?

Occult Excellencies are the most obvious one. If you have a 10-dice pool for shaping, you’ll get about 5 Sorcery Essence per action, which means it takes 3 rounds to cast Obsidian Butterflies. Fortunately, you can use Excellent Solar Occult to buy more dice, so if you pour in 10 motes in the first round and 5 motes in the second, you’ll probably be able to cast Obsidian Butterflies on round 2, just like it used to be in previous editions. Interestingly (perhaps intentionally?), this makes the cost from your own pool the same as the Sorcerous Mote cost.

Shaping Rituals almost seem intended for this purpose, but they’re fairly weak. How weak? An starting sorcerer with the Ifrit pact casting from next to a burning building will end up with just one extra sorcerous mote per turn. At most these rituals store up 10 motes, and those tend to recharge once per story. They won’t save you more than one turn of casting, and they’ll only do that that once in a particular combat. The best use of these long-term-storage rituals is probably to make up the difference when you’re just one or two motes short.

Other Options:

  • As usual, specialties can give you an extra die, and willpower can give you an extra success.
  • Spirit-Drawing Oculus (an Occult charm) can draw in up to ten Sorcerous Motes for you once per day.
  • Breach-Healing Method (a Medicine charm) can give an ally a non-charm bonus to Occult, as long as the person using it is trying to repair an object or treat an injury. It’s small early on, but it could be a big deal later in the game.

And that’s about it! Sorcery is not well-supported by other charms, especially in terms of casting faster. Here are a few other charms that will help reduce costs or improve power:

  • Heaven-Turning Calculations (a Lore charm) adds non-charm dice to spell effect rolls, but not shaping actions. It’s still incredibly useful, but it helps you cast better rather than faster.
  • Ancient Tongue Understanding (an Occult charm) will give you auto-successes (probably just one) on sorcery actions at the cost of alienating every spirit around you. In addition, these are regular charm successes, which means this is just reducing the cost of your Excellency, not actually increasing the average number of motes you get per turn.
  • Likewise, Supernal Control Method (an Occult charm) will let you use a full Occult excellency for free once per scene, so you can get things done more cheaply.
  • Spirit-Draining Mudra will let you draw some of your Sorcerous Motes from a bound spirit, but it won’t help you get any extra motes.
  • All the charms that deal with Wyld-Shaping technique seem to give a bonus to rolls with that charm in particular, but not to shaping actions in general.

So, in short, it’s really hard to cast faster. If you want to throw around blasts of power, sorcery is actually a really slow way to do it, and you’re probably better off reskinning the Thrown or Archery trees.

Next time: How to get the most out of Wyld-Shaping Technique.

Being the Artifactory

Here’s how to create a five-dot artifact as a starting character, without spending any white XP.

Craft is a massive, complex subsystem in Ex3. It may not be obvious at first that maxed-out stats and a full Craft excellency will barely get you a 50-50 chance of making even the most basic of artifacts. Creating a 5-dot artifact needs a lot of successes. It involves rolling an average of 22 successes on each of six rolls – and if you want reliability, you want to be able to get more than that when you need them. You need to pick your charms carefully.

First, choose Craft as your supernal ability, and set Craft (Artifacts) and one other Craft of your choice both at 5. (You’ll need Lore and Occult at 3+ as well.) Make sure you start with a craft attribute at 5 as well, probably Intelligence or Dexterity. And what the heck, take a specialty in crafting whatever you want to make most often.

You need the following charms. You could buy others, but they don’t generally seem worthwhile in terms of the number of successes they generate.

  • Excellent Craft (free with any other Craft charm)
  • Flawless Handiwork Method. For right now this is just a prerequisite, but see the note below.
  • Supreme Masterwork Focus. Buy this twice to get the double-8s effect on your Superior projects.
  • Experiential Conjuring of True Void. Since you have Craft Supernal, you get the upgraded version: +1 non-charm success and +6 non-charm dice.
  • Unbroken Image Focus. Buy this so you can purchase non-charm successes. This charm is your insurance policy.

(I should note that you can actually get all of this stuff at Essence 2, if you want to pick a different Supernal ability and just hold off on artifacts for a while.)

You should also build up a really big store of gold craft points. Like at least a hundred and twenty to be safe. You’re going to need them. You can either do this the long way, with at least 20 major projects, or pick up a couple charms to help you along. Arete-Shifting Prana and Sublime Transference are a good call, as the latter of which allows you to shift silver points into gold points. You should also take an Intimacy like “Man do I ever love crafting things” because you get more silver and gold points when your project upholds an intimacy.

Here are the steps for the crafting process in gameplay, along with how much they’ll cost you:

  • Gather ingredients (it’s sidequest time!) and draw up blueprints for your masterwork. Might as well define your blueprints as a major project and earn some gold points for it.
  • Make yourself a superior crafting slot in some way: perhaps 10 silver points and another 3 gold, perhaps a couple of other Craft charms.
  • When you are able to roll for completion (see time note below), spend 10 gold points as the rules require.
  • Start with a dice pool of 29 + 1 success: 11 from your attribute, ability, and specialty, 2 from a stunt, 10 more from a full Excellency, and 6 more plus the success from Experiential Conjuring of the True Void. [14 motes, 4 gold points]
  • Use Supreme Masterwork Focus to get double-8s on this roll. You will now get an average of about 21 successes on your roll. 1 of those is bonus, 14 of them are regular, and 6 are from the double-8s effect, which is important for the next charm. [5 motes, 1 willpower, 1 gold point]
  • Use Unbroken Image Focus to buy successes. You can buy up to 15 more successes on average (14 rolled + 1 for Essence), and you should buy more early in case you roll poorly later. We’ll assume for simplicity you buy just the one that you’ll need on average to get up to 22 successes total. [3 motes, 1 gold point]
  • You have now spent 22 motes, one willpower, and 16 gold points on this roll. As a starting Solar, this eats up only half of your mote pool.  Wait the five hours until your essence regenerates, then repeat. Rest to regain willpower, then continue the next day. It’ll only take you three days to finish.
  • Profit!

As mentioned, this eats up a lot of gold points. A minimum of 60 if you roll impossibly well; 96 on average, potentially more. You might want to get a couple Craft charms that help you pick these up faster, because running out means waiting until you can pick up more before you roll again – or worse yet, failing and wasting them all. If you can finish early, you’ll get ten gold points back per unused roll, so that helps a little bit.


 

A note on Flawless Handiwork Method: If you buy this a second time, it becomes much more worthwhile. You’ll get an extra +3 successes per roll from removing sixes, and +3 for the “cascading” tens. At that point it’s worth spending the motes on this charm. It won’t increase the amount you can get from Unbroken Image Focus, though, and the cascading effect is too unreliable to count on.

A note on time: Normally, you need to do downtime-type crafting for two years before rolling to complete a five-dot artifact. If you want to do this faster (YES), you should pick up Thousand-Forge Hands, which requires Craftsman Needs No Tools. Thousand-Forge Hands will allow you to start rolling after five months. If you only want to make a four-dot artifact, you can roll after five weeks. Plus, you also get to have Craftsman Needs No Tools, which you want anyway because it’s awesome and because it will help you stockpile tons upon tons of craft points.

Thanks to Lanaya, SoulGambit, Sanctaphrax, and TGUEIROS at the Onyx Path Exalted forums for helping to improve this!

Tomorrow: How to cast sorcery faster. Spoiler alert: it’s not gonna happen.