Health Levels, Healing, and Damage

Health Levels

Heroic characters have 8 starting health levels: 2x -0, 2x -1, 2x -2, 2x -3, and a final, “Incapacitated” level.

Damage filters downward, checking off boxes and increasing wound penalties as it does. Wound penalties remove successes, and apply to all rolls.


When a character is reduced to “incapacitated,” they are taken out. Effectively, they are at their opponent’s (or the Storyteller’s) mercy. For bashing damage, this is almost always represented as unconsciousness. When a character is taken out with lethal or aggravated damage, death is a strong possibility.

(Note—Death and Player Characters: Exalted is a game centered around larger-than-life heroic figures. This means death should be dramatic—not a consequence of the whims of the dice. If a player character dies in battle, it should be with the consent of their player, and the Storyteller and the Player should work together to make the death of the character as meaningful as possible.

This also means that going to incapacitated doesn’t always mean death. It could mean capture by an enemy, or loss of a limb or other long-term damage. If death wouldn’t be satisfying, don’t do it. Losing in battle should always result in consequences, however. If a player brushes off a defeat too easily, or a storyteller always allows a villain to get away scot-free, this is also unsatisfying.)


Stamina increases vitality, granting two health levels for each dot that cycle through wound penalties evenly, ignoring Incapacitated.


Exalted heal abnormally quickly. While at rest, Exalted heal (Stamina/2) bashing damage per hour, or scene, whichever is shorter, or (Stamina/2) lethal or aggravated damage per day, or session, whichever is shorter. While not at rest, Exalted heal only one level per time increment.

Note that this slow healing times makes combat, win or lose, a proposition with long-term consequences. Every battle has the potential to weaken a character, and thus, shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Bashing damage heals before Lethal, which heals before Aggravated.

Health Levels, Healing, and Damage

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