Oh snap! If there’s animation afoot, you know it’s got to be a big-deal moment. I just hope Paladin knows what he’s getting himself into.

When we last checked in on our fallen hero, I suggested that problem-solving through play was a worthy strategy, one that’s especially suited to combatting impossible conundrums. The phrase I used was, “The unique alchemy of group storytelling will shake loose new ideas.” That’s not just idle theorizing. Today I’d like to tell you about the time my group beat the forces of darkness and saved Creation through the power of thoughts and prayers. Is it time for another tale from the table? Do Exalted players giggle when you mention the Elemental Pole of Wood?

So no shit there we were, miles beneath Creation and at the end of our long campaign. An aspect of Luna had been trapped by a bunch of dickbag deathknights, and we were there down in the depths trying to save her. Easier said than done.

The White Lady had been poisoned, you see, which was the only way one of the Incarnae could have been trapped in the first place. And that was a major problem for our brave heroes, because we were ourselves lunar exalted. The poisoning of the moon had sapped our strength too, and that meant we no longer had the strength to break her prison walls.

“Can magic get through the forcefield?”


“Are there any gaps or bars? Maybe I can shapeshift into a bug and slip inside this bullshit barrier?”

“That’s a negative.”

“Well what about a group effort? Maybe if we all Louie Punch it at once, this translucent wall of unbalanced homebrew will crumble before our combined awesomeness?”

“It’s perfectly balanced! And also no, it doesn’t work like that.”

It was time for a group huddle. Because as our GM later confessed, these unbreakable prison walls were a manifestation of her Exalted GMing philosophy: You guys are demigods. You’re made to do the impossible. My job is to give you situations that I don’t think you can handle, then let you figure a way out. 

This is where the power of thoughts and prayers comes in. You see, this particular aspect of Luna was all about healing. And since this was a White Wolf game, literally all of our PCs came packaged with major trauma. The friendly quokka lunar couldn’t forgive himself for (necessary) violence. The yeddim brawler had survivor’s guilt over his dead master. My orchid mantis had dedicated herself to cold-blooded revenge.

“Hey guys! What if we all completed our character arcs at once?”

There were confused stares from around the table.

“I mean, we all have shit we need to get through, right? What if we just let it go? This is a god of healing that we’re trying to save! If we sacrificed our collective anime protagonist angst all at the same time….”

We had nothing else to lose. The moon’s absence was about to cause some major havoc out in the wider world. It was the campaign climax anyway, and we were out of options.

“I hereby renounce vengeance,” said the mantis.

“My master’s death is not my fault,” said the yeddim.

“You save who you can,” said the quokka. Tears were shed at this last one.

The barrier cracked like an eggshell. The black film of poison covering the White Lady evaporated, boiled away by moonlight. There was much rejoicing. And the phrase #ThoughtsAndPrayers became my group’s running gag for narrative-style, I’ll-allow-it-because-it-fits-the-story bullshit.

That of course brings us to our question of the day! Have you ever saved the day by simultaneously overcoming your personal arc? Were there mechanics involved, or was it a true moment of “the power of friendship saves the day?” For today’s discussion, tell us all about your own moments of #ThoughtsAndPrayers down in the comments!


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