Clarification: Charms in Mass Combat


  • Exalted can use personal charms that only affect themselves as normal
  • Reflexive and Supplemental Charms can be extended to the whole mass combat unit
    • In this case the Stunting generates no other benefits than allowing the Charm to apply to the whole unit. E.g. no willpower, essence, etc.
  • Charms with the War Keyword are designed for mass combat and thus can be used without retrictions
  • Excellencies can be used for War
    • They are considered to have the "War" Keyword
  • For all Charms remember to use the War capped final Ability value for Dice Pool as opposed to the natural value
    • War Excellencies can be used to increase this limit
    • But unless the War Excellency is in an Combo (or have (War) Essence Flow) it is rather moot
  • Only the commander have full range of options of Charm use. The special characters have very limited areas in which they can use their charms


  • Can use charms to enhance the range attack of the Unit
  • Can use charms to enhance the defense of the unit against Range Attacks


  • Can use charms to enhance the close combat attack of the Unit
  • Can use charms to enhance the defense of the unit against an unit the Hero has attacked (or the Unit has engaged in melee with)


  • Can use charms to enhance the Unit against mental attacks
    • These are effects such as Fear, Route, etc.
  • Can use skill or anti-surprise Charm to negate Ambush against the mass combat unit

Scroll of Kings, pg 120

Stunting also offers a way to extend the benefits of a personal Charm to a complementary unit under the character’s command. As described on page 162 of Exalted, a commander can extend the effects of reflexive or supplemental Charms to a unit under her command, if the player can think of a way that the Exalt’s use of the Charm could inspire her troops to greater effort or that repeated use of the Charm could translate into a net benefit for the combat unit as a whole. Such extraordinary actions fall outside the normal rules that govern Charms or combat, but such actions do constitute a cool and dramatically appropriate use of the character’s powers and surroundings—the very definition of a stunt.

In this case, however, the character gains no Essence or Willpower from the stunt: these benefits are all plowed back into the Charm use. To use the example provided, of a Lawgiver using Adamant Skin Technique to protect his troops by jumping in front of attacks and rallying their will to fight through this display of invulnerability, the character would actually have to use the Charm dozens of times in the minutes that make up a single mass combat attack. Even Solars don’t have that much Essence to throw around! Instead, the player and Storyteller can presume that within the span of time and combat represented by the single mass combat attack, the character performs many individual acts of spectacular combat and defense, recovering Essence from these mini-stunts and from the reverent enthusiasm of his troops at being led and defended by an invincible living god.

Just as for any stunt, however, Storytellers should not offer this benefit casually. Excellencies are so basic a use of Essence that the Exalted can routinely extend the effects of Excellencies to their soldiers. Extending other Charms in this manner renders them vastly more powerful, and vitiates the importance of Charms that are specifically designated as benefiting groups. Insist that the player describe how the character uses the Charm to assist the combat unit, to keep this a special event in mass combat that establishes the character as a superhuman hero.

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