Originally posted by Zelbinnean
I generally agree with what you've said and with this statement it just seems like pretty much all games tell you that PCs CAN do whatever they want, if only given justification. Are you mostly saying that NPCs in the setting are likely not to all do everything they want, but that notion doesn't apply to PCs? I'd agree with that. That a given NPC Twilight doesn't develop Athletics to literally pull a stone wall apart could mean that they have no aptitude fort doesn't really apply to discussions about a PC Twilight with the exact same stats and background suddenly developing and cultivating an interest in her own physical strength.
The statement boils down to "your characters just so coincidentally happen to have the aptitude to gain whatever traits you want to give them because otherwise your fun would just be getting kicked in the nads for no reason, but keep in mind that this is not a universal principle for all Exalted." If Riku Grassfist's player decides, after a handful of stories, that he wants to begin putting dots in Linguistics and mastering its Charms as he composes poems to commemorate his many bloodstained triumphs, nothing will ever tell him nuh-uh, you just don't have what it takes to be good at poetry. If I, Robert Vance, decide that I want to become a master swordsman, I am very rapidly going to hit the wall of dude your reflexes and strength and general overall fitness are lame as hell you are not going to be good at swords ever, even if I'm already a Twilight Caste or whatever. Maybe those things holding me back from mastering Melee is represented by my low physical Attributes. No matter how many hours I spend in the gym before collapsing in a fit of resignation, I probably just do not have it in me to reach 5—peak human capacity—in all three of Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina. There are just walls that I am not going to be able to plow through, and because I'm a real person, I don't get to choose what those walls ever. Player characters, for the sake of fun and playability, simply have those walls placed so as to align with those things that players don't want to have them develop an aptitude in.