Thursday, April 2, 2009

Exalted RPG: Collaborative Creative Writing

So one of the players in my Exalted RPG, and I wrote a story for what our characters were up to between sessions. We did most of the writing together in Google Docs. Google Docs allows multiple people to view and edit a document at the same time. So we were able to start from an outline, each work on different sections, watch the changes being made by each other in real time and adapt and shift our own parts of the story accordingly. It was an interesting and fun experience in collaborative creative writing.

Here's the story we ended up coming up with (I've added [bracketed explanations] for some of the terms and places from the Exalted world setting):

Going by the information discovered from Marlina's trips to The Neck [The Neck = medium cluster of islands in the middle of the West], Li is investigating the rumor that Wavecrest ships [Wavecrest = large island nation to the south of The Neck] have been capturing slaves from The Neck to give as tribute to the Realm [Realm = continent in center of Creation controlled by Dragonblooded Exalts]. As a former slave himself, Li feels obligated to stop this. Unfortunately, he is a little too late and the islanders have already been rounded up and placed on the slave ship.

Knowing that he alone can't take down a fleet of armed men, Li transforms into a small gray mouse and boards the ship. From listening in on conversations and from reading the captain's log, an entire fleet of slave ships is preparing to leave Wavecrest in two months. Li knows that this would be the perfect opportunity to end the slaving operation and to harm Wavecrest, the only real Realm bastion in the West.


In the guise of a sea gull, Li flies back off the ship and back to Suryadvipa [Suryadvipa = small newly created, and populated island on the Western edge of the Wyld; also, our base of operations]. He brings this information to the circle. Light and Dorean are too busy working on plans for an artifact, but Marcus and Leggit are both interested. Marcus, being a defender of humanity, would love to get the chance to bring justice to Realm slavers. Leggit is interested in the operation for more political reasons. By disrupting the slave trade, he hopes to bring tension between the Realm and Wavecrest. Perhaps enough tension that the Wyld Hunt teams [Wyld Hunt = Dragonblooded Exalted teams that kill other types of Exalts like us] will retreat from the West for a bit.

The group plans to ambush the slaver fleet. Leggit will lead the ships while Li and Marcus will free the prisoners and slay the captains.


On the night of their voyage the Wavecrest slaver fleet sets out for the Realm. Unbeknownst to them, waiting in their path is the Suryadvipa fleet. Under cover of night, Leggit walks out onto the water (using the hearthstone borrowed from Light) leading a group of water elementals to create a dense fog bank between the slaver fleet and the Suryadvipa forces. Li, Marcus and Leggit's familiar Ati set out through the night fog in a small boat heading for the slaver ships. Marcus goes from ship to ship, drops off Li, then finds and assassinates the crew's leadership.

As a tiny mouseman with streaking silver across his body, Li sneaks down into the slave holds of the ship. As he picks the locks of the manacles he says, "I am Asdon, God of Mice. The gods do not want you to become slaves of the Realm, so I have come to rescue you. Ships are on their way and they will take you back to an island paradise if you choose. When you hear a horn blow three times, you must storm the decks and take out the crew. Be strong and brave, for the gods are with you this night. Now I most go and free your friends." After that, Li moves up and on deck to find Marcus. Marcus picks up Li and jumps to the next ship to continue freeing the slaves. Ati follows Li iand Marcus immaterially and when the last of the ships have been reached Ati uses Hurry Home to return to Leggit's side. Leggit organizes the fleet into battle positions and at the blow of his horn a coordinated ambush on the slaver fleet begins.

Caught surprised in the night fog, without leadership, and with the slaves revolting, the slaver fleet quickly surrenders. Those who are willing to start a new life in Suryadvipa are welcomed. The freed slaves who do not come are returned to their homes, the slavers who do not are killed, and the slaver ships are added to Suryadvipa's fleet with some modifications.


Wavecrest finds their main tie to the Neck (the slave trade) abruptly severed and must scramble to come up with the realm tribute which was to be the large shipment of slaves. Wavecrest's ability to investigate the incident or retaliate is delayed due to their dealings with the Realm.

In the meantime Dorean and Li spread anti-slaving propoganda to those barbarians in the Neck who actively traded slaves to Wavecrest. Thus providing a further barrier for Wavecrest in re-establishing their interests in the Neck.


  1. Collaborative writing is getting better all the time. I found this site is great if you don't already have a group of friends to write with.

  2. Even better - try