I dropped some projects I didn't particularly like or figured weren't particularly worthwhile, which really only left me with the ones that refused to die or ones I actually need to consider getting done. I really figured I'd drop WoD Exalted, but since I actually want to see it in existence and Onyx Path has gone pretty firmly on record as saying they're not going to approach Exalted from the WoD core angle, if I don't do it, I'm not sure anyone actually will
. Not to mention Brent's variant WoD cosmology, which would probably use the same mechanical skeleton.
I'm fairly close to actually knocking out Charms, and I've got a lot of notes about what direction I want them to go in, but I'm keeping my eye on two things - base mechanics that get really unruly at higher levels and base mechanics that make mortals interesting and fun to play. The objective is a somewhat more modest Exalt and, really, a more modest world, mechanically speaking. If you have Yozis on one end of the power spectrum and mortals on the other, but want them represented in the same system, the overall curve is going to be more shallow, but it'll definitely be there. Charms and Merits are the core parts of that, I think, but it's still largely a base 1-5 system.
Mortals are built a lot like they are in WoD core, with the Attributes being the same.
The skills are listed as :
Archery, Brawl, Melee, Athletics, Awareness, Larceny, Expression, Presence, Drive,
Resistance, Survival, Bureaucracy, Socialize, Lore, Medicine, Thrown, Stealth,
Animal Ken,War, Dodge
Craft : Air, Earth, Wood, Fire, Water
Craft is an ability, but it's divided into 5. I wanted to just make it a scaling merit, but that's close enough to a merit in practical terms to make it a skill, plus, this makes it easier to roll.
Many of the base Merits from the WoD core book are directly applicable at their price rankings. My expectations are that mortal characters will rely heavily on Merit-based tricks and edges - they don't really make up ground on Charms, but they're readily available, and they'll shore them up with whatever occultism or martial arts skills they're able to accrue. My history in WoD, but new and classic, is that supernatural characters lean much more heavily on their innate powers and don't really feel the need to stack up on comparatively weak merits.
The exception is the super-specialist. Rather than branch out into other areas, the focused occultist or warrior tends to double down by purchasing whatever edge they can find that improves their abilities in their chosen field. In this way, you get a little bit of divergence from different super-focused characters.
Other than the normal merits, there's the Occultism Merit that allows access to Sorcery, Necromancy, and Astrology, various Martial Arts initiations and styles therein. Let's not forget specialty Crafting merits, of which there's a fairly sizable list at this point.
Exaltation is achieved mechanically by applying an Exaltation major template to an existing character. In terms of either/or abilities, it would overwrite minor templates like Wyld mutants, half-castes, and God-Blooded, rendering obsolete or otherwise shredding the flows of essence that made their powers work in the first place, replacing them with comparatively more potent Charms of the Exalt. Martial Arts and Sorcery initiations are otherwise unaffected because Exalts tend to buy those up too.
The Player's Handbook for Exalted 1st Ed. had a number of Merits that you could purchase that mimicked baseline Exalted traits, like immunity to disease, healing, essence channeling, and other stuff. As my way of making things consistent instead of making these unstated benefits, Exalts will just be gifted with them upon Exaltation. Like the exp. that's lost from being a minor template character that's suddenly gifted with a major template, it's up to the ST and playgroup to determine if the exp. spent on the merits that would have been provided for free to be refunded or simply lost, as neither the World of Darkness nor Creation are particularly fair.
A lot of this probably seems like it would be obvious in retrospect, but that's pretty much just the results of a few hours of consideration. The skill list, though, took a really long time to hash out. It probably wouldn't have taken so long if I had just made it up from scratch instead of trying to reprise as much of Exalted's as possible. I don't actually have a character sheet written up, but at least I know what's on it.