Exalted: The Sun Also Rises
Most types of Exalted have a special kind of complication known as a “limit break,” an emotional shattering point that amplifies their passions to impossible levels. A Solar or Lunar must tag one of their complications (preferably one that relates to a character failing of some sort) as a limit break complication. This complication works normally most of the time, except that each time the GM invokes it, the character gains a point of Limit.
Once this amount equals (20 minus the character’s Power Level), the next invocation of the complication resets the character’s Limit to 0 and causes the character to enter Limit Break. The character gains a hero point for the complication as usual (but see below). For example, a standard Power Level 10 character would have a maximum Limit of 10; the next point gained would reset his Limit to 0 and cause him to enter Limit Break.
Other factors can cause the character to gain points of Limit as well:
- Any time an Exalted uses a perfect defense, he gains a point of Limit;
- When a Solar or Lunar’s power loss is triggered, he gains a point of Limit, whether or not he negates the power loss with a hero point;
- If a Solar acts in a way directly contrary to his Motivation (in the GM’s opinion), the Solar gains a point of Limit;
- When a Lunar first sees the full moon on a given night, he gains a point of Limit;
- When a Solar or Lunar makes a successful Will save against an effect with the Compulsion, Emotion, or Mind Control descriptors, he gains a point of Limit.
- Any Celestial Exalted character can request a point of Limit once per session to represent their character feeling personally thwarted, stymied, or otherwise frustrated.
During Limit Break, the character enters an unstoppable, self-destructive course of action. For at least the next scene (or as long as the GM feels appropriate), the character’s complication reaches inhuman levels and cannot be assuaged by normal means. What this means exactly should be determined between the GM and player, but entering Limit Break should always be a terrible experience, either for the character or for those around him. A character’s behavior in Limit Break might be a direct amplification of his complication, or it might be a terrifying reversal of it.
For example, a character might have “Foolhardy Bravery” as a complication, demonstrating his tendency to rush into combat against superior foes and ignore dangers. In Limit Break, the character will refuse to leave the field of battle while still able to fight, even striking allies who try to make him leave. A character with “Pacifism” as a complication might turn into a bloody savage while in Limit Break, his normal abhorrence of violence twisting into a cathartic release of anger.
When Limit Break is invoked, the character normally receives a hero point from the complication. The player may instead choose to refuse the hero point to retain partial control of his behavior while in Limit Break. A character with partial control will not harm allies, permanently give away possessions, or inflict lasting harm against himself, but otherwise behaves in a manner detrimental to his overall well-being. A foolishly brave Exalt might agree to leave a battlefield after all of his allies have finished their retreat, while a bloody-minded killer might hold back his wrath from a foe that has surrendered.