Exalted – Alchemicals (Charms)May 18, 2010
Alchemicals have an odd enough Charm structure that it gets its own post.
For most Exalts, Charms are an inherent part of them, a metaphysical awakening of their internal abilities that permits them to alter reality via manipulation of Essence. For Alchemicals, however, Charms are external devices, metaphysically linked to a specific Alchemical’s Essence and installed into their physical forms.
In many ways, the Alchemicals are the cyberpunk branch of the Exalted world. Their transhumanist themes are even more pronounced than those of the other Exalts, because while the others are human to begin with, the Alchemicals are a human soul installed in a robot body. Their Charms are devices, cybernetic enhancements.
Alchemicals also have to commit Essence to their Charms, unlike other Exalts, which limits how many Charms an Alchemical can have installed at a given time. While they may have as many Charms on retainer at the local vats complex as they can afford with experience, their practical limitations mean most tend to have certain “suites” of Charms, sets specifically designed for various missions.
This also gives them surprising flexibility, presuming they have time to prepare. With a single trip to the vats, a combat-optimized Alchemical can swiftly become a social engineer, artifact inventor, subtle infiltrator, or anything else the change of Charms allows.
Keep that flexibility in mind when I start discussing the Castes. While none of the Exalted Castes are terribly rigid, the Alchemicals are more flexible than most.