Paranoia combat reduces Exalted combat to a solved problem:

Paranoia Combat" is largely the brainchild of Jon Chung, a poster on rpg.net. You can see some of the basic implementations (and rationales) at this link. These solutions were established in response to the notion that Second Edition Exalted, as written, is too lethal — that is, there are enough things that will kill a non-maximized Solar in one action that the only reasonable combat tactic is to use Perfect Defenses to turtle up, using motes as a kind of video-game lifebar.


The question is, how can I avoid this, or at least lessen the effect on the game at hand?

On the one hand I don't want to suffer by not taking the strategy outlined, on the other hand I don't want to be constrained by it either. How can I either alter (or suggest to alter) the game so that I don't need to use Paranoia Combat?


2 Answers 2


Recent changes to game system (available via the Scroll of Errata) have neutered passive lethality (the largest problem). Soak has become far more important, both due to its increased use and the cost increase on perfects.

Many charms that granted soak have been improved (especially the Solar resistance line) and weapon and weapon stats from the Core book have also been change. In general the weapon stats have lowered damage. To compensate for the new minimum damage rules the Overwhelming tag has been added to all artifact weapons.

Additionally the Piercing tag has been removed from all (most?) weapons and replaced with a Thrust tag, which enables you to perform an attack that has Piercing (at a steeper DV penalty than normal)

Hope that helps!

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! This appears to be a very good answer, thanks for the contribution. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Mar 29, 2012 at 18:39

Don't play that way.

Really, as noted by @EpiGrad in the same question you referenced Paranoia Combat makes several base assumptions that don't necessarily apply to actual games of Exalted. I've played in several games of Exalted where this has not been an issue because the players don't sit around tweaking character builds and testing them in a theoretical "white room". In particular paranoia combat fall flat on its face if stunting awards are given out in way that rewards players for making it sound interesting and not so they get a mechanical bonus. (I would argue that if the storyteller becomes aware that players are stunting solely to get the bonus and not to sound awesome that they flat out deny such bonuses, it ignores the spirit of such a rule.)


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