One common complaint about Exalted is that it lacks any sort of mechanical incentive to "power up" and use increasingly powerful charm techniques over the course of a fight, unlike much of the martial arts fiction to which it hearkens. (Well, there's putting up your scene-length charms, but that's not quite the same.) Thus, here's an idea for replacing the current mote economy with a system that encourages ramping up usage while still retaining an element of long-term resource conservation.
Weapons of the Gods is an RPG based on a wu-xia comic. Its basic resolution mechanic is very similar to ORE: Roll a variable number of d10s and look for matches. A set of matching dice is converted to a numerical result equal to width*10 + height. Thus, for example, a 3x1 is read as 31. (Sets of only one die are allowed and 10s are read as 0s, so the worst possible result is a 1x0, which is read as 10.)
A lot of people are unhappy with Exalted: the Lunars. While I'm less annoyed by it than many other people, I don't think it's without its issues. I'm mostly okay with the flavor and background, as long as one inteprets it loosely, but I do feel that there are mechanical issues that need to be addressed. Here are some possible ideas on changing things around, not all of which are mutually compatible.
Some people dislike the dice-rolling and large quantity of charms involved in the mechanics for Exalted. To that end, I have produced a set of simple, abstract rules for Exalted that draw heavily on the mechanics of Nobilis. My version builds upon a rough outline proposed by Four Willows Weeping. I feel they are particularly well-suited for games or scenes running during the nebulous and mythical First Age.
- Gem of Calming Influence • (Air or Earth)
- This simple, smooth pearly-grey stone increases the bearer's Temperance by one dot, which may allow it to exceed five. Rubbing one's thumb over it produces a tranquil, relaxing sensation.
- Stone of Driving Focus •• (Water or Abyssal)
- This opaque red stone allows the bearer's determination to knock aside impediments to his finding things he wants. Add the bearer's Conviction to all Investigation rolls he makes.
(A Compassion-Based Virtue Flaw for Solar Exalted)
The character rails against the injustice of poverty and starts helping those around him who need it without regard to the expenditure of his own resources. He will buy them food, clothing, medical treatment, tools, or whatever else they need to improve their lot in life. If actively indulged, this will last for a number of hours equal to the character's Compassion; if there are not any targets around to help, then it will last for a number of days equal to the character's Compassion. In either case, if the character spends enough to cause his resources rating to actually drop by a level, then he will recover his senses.
Limit Break Condition: The character sees others suffering for lack of goods or services they need.
Knowledge is power, and you aim to know everything. You will not rest until you have learned everything there is to be found out about subjects you deem important and have determined how to apply this knowledge. You routinely exercise your prowess to dominate the weaklings and fools around you.
Gain Willpower whenever you display your superiority to others through an application of your vast knowledge and skill.
If I were to design an In Nomine CCG, I would start by tweaking the rules of Jyhad / V:tES because in my opinion, it has one of the most balanced systems. In particular, rare cards are just different or outright weird, not necessarily more powerful; you actually want less of them. Common cards make up 60%-80% of any good deck. And, Jyhad had a very strong political element. It allows several completely different strategies for winning, primarily rapid bleeding, manipulative voting, and direct combat.
The following are some rules I created for running Ethereal player character prior to the printing of the Ethereal Players' Guide. They're still an interesting, alternate take on the whole thing:
Ethereal player characters start out at seven forces, and have 150 essence to spend on vessels, at the costs given in The Marches (which can buy two levels of human vessels, or more levels of simpler vessels).
On those sad and terrible occasions when an Elohite loses sight of the true reasons for being, the former angel usually forgets his objectivity, giving in to a flurry of passions and tumbling screaming to Hell as a Habbalite, not even realizing what has truly happened. But, on a few, rare occasions, these precariously-balanced angels topple the other way. Instead of giving in to passions, they instead distance themselves too much from emotions in the quest for objectivity.