Chapter Four: Heroic Traits

Mortals have three kinds of heroic trait - Edges, Heroics, and magic. All are detailed in this chapter.


Edges are heroic advantages possessed by a mortal to reflect his talent, training, or destiny. Unlike Exalted Charms or mortal spells or Heroics, Edges are always working to the hero's advantage. As the name suggests, they provide mortal heroes with a distinct edge over ordinary mortals.

Rules for Edges

Every mortal hero begins play with a single Edge from her Favored Ability. The hero must, of course, meet the Ability and Heroism requirements for this Edge, as well as any prerequisites.

Some Edges indicate that they may be purchased multiple times to increase the intensity of their effects. The hero may only purchase an Edge more than once when it is specifically stated in the description that this option is available. No Edge may be purchased more times than the hero's Heroism or his score in the relevant Ability, whichever is lower. Each purchase of such an Edge is called an application of that Edge, and rules for the result of multiple applications of an Edge are given in that Edge's description.

Learning Edges

Unlike the Charms of the Exalted, mortals require a period of study, training, and practice to develop new Edges. The hero needs access to a hero who possesses the Edge he wishes to learn, as well as weeks or months of rigorous training - eight hours a day, six days a week. Part-time study or training without a tutor increases the amount of time required to develop an Edge as per the rules in Exalted (p. 270).

The Rules of Edges

If players are creating their own Edges, Storytellers will want to keep the following rules of thumb in mind.

Theme: Edges are the advantages possessed by mortal heroes and should appear entirely mundane in function. Mortal Edges won't make a hero glow, conjure substances, or otherwise produce a mystical effect. There are a handful of exceptions to this rule, but these remarkable Edges have high Heroism and Ability requirements and are generally limited in effect. Always remember that mortal heroes should never be as flashy as the Exalted.

Limits: Few Edges have prerequisite Edges, but all of them require a minimum Ability of 3. Edges more powerful than those listed should not be allowed. Edges are constant advantages to a mortal hero, so an Edge that provides an extraordinarily useful bonus results in a far too powerful Edge. The advantages provided by new Edges should never increase the raw power of an existing Edge. Even a hero with two Edges should not be able to reduce the target number of any roll by more than 1, for example, add 2 successes to a roll on which she scores at least 1 success, or add more dice to a roll than her Heroism or Ability, whichever is lower. In some cases, two Edges might overlap somewhat to create a cumulative effect. The Stealth Edges Faceless Crowd Chameleon and Unobtrusive Presence, for example, provide 2 additional successes on any successful Stealth check the hero makes provided he is both hiding in plain sight (Faceless Crowd Chameleon) and not moving (Unobtrusive Presence). In these cases, the conditions under which the Edges operate should be different enough that the combination does not happen every time. There should not, for example, be a new Edge that has the same conditions and effects of Faceless Crowd Chameleon.

Edges by Ability

Archery, Athletics, Awareness, Brawl, Bureaucracy
Craft, Dodge, Endurance, Investigation, Larceny
Linguistics, Lore, Martial Arts, Medicine, Melee
Occult, Performance, Presence, Resistance, Ride
Sail, Socialize, Stealth, Survival, Thrown

Chapter Three: Traits Heroics Mortal Magic Chapter Five: Drama