Crowdsourcing opinions: how do you handle starting PCs above 1st level — waive Dominion requirements? Load them up with a bunch of unspent Dominion? Something else?
There are two approaches I would consider.
First and easiest. Just start them at the level you want and forget all about dominion.
Second. Start them at the level you want, and work with them to decide what was done with the dominion it would have cost to get there, and put those effects in the campaign world.
Why want you to start higher in the first place? There are only 10 Levels, and even a 1st Level Godbound is a big deal, especially if you know that he needs only one or two adventures to get to Level 2, and could use Divine Fury ones each level.
But if you want, I recommend every player has a session 0, were they tell you how they think their Godbounds existed before you join them together as Pantheon. Level 1 can only get Dominion through adventuring and you need Experience, too. There is a table on page 19, how much they need for which Level you like, and page 103 tells you how many adventures it may take to get there.
And a little advice, if your players are new to the game, use the lower levels to teach them the mechanics before you give them the big guns... each level gives them a new arsenal of powers that can potentially destroy your plans as GM.
If you as a GM are new to the game learn the mechanics and how to counteract and challenge a semi-god or Pantheon of them, before they get to powerful for your "regular" opposition.
And if you only want to play a one-shot, than give them everything you or them want and don't bother with later coming consequences...
This would be for converting an ongoing Exalted campaign into Godbound, so A) level 1 may not have enough gift points to represent all their Charms, and B) seems kinda lame to take their Essence 2-almost 3 Solars and make them level 1 again.
+Marshall Brengle Then just make them whatever level you think addresses their power level, and then just give then whatever worldly holdings and influence they already have that approximates that much dominion. Don't worry about making it all add up pefectly, you are the gamemaster and it's your perogative. Just do the dominion going forward
There is no perfect converting from system to system. May be you can use the rules for "Mortals Becoming Godbound" (p. 195, Deluxe Version), and say the characters were Heroes (Exalted) and now they are Godbounds (Godbound).