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Heartbreaker, the five-dot moonsilver reaper daiklave cousin of the One Ring

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  • Heartbreaker, the five-dot moonsilver reaper daiklave cousin of the One Ring

    Heartbreaker, the five-dot moonsilver reaper daiklave cousin of the One Ring

    Attuning to Heartbreaker renders the owner immune to its seductive powers.

    The first time in a scene that a character sees Heartbreaker's unsheathed blade, the sword reflexively targets them with an Instill social action to create or intensify a Tie of Love regarding itself. In order to increase this Tie to the Major or Defining level, Heartbreaker will target any appropriate Intimacy, such as a hatred for its current owner. At the beginning of every turn in which that character can still see Heartbreaker, or in the moment that the character first regains sight of it, the sword makes another such reflexive action.

    Characters who see Heartbreaker suffer from a temporary, day-long Derangement of Obsession as intense as their Tie of Love for the sword. Whenever they lose sight of the sword, they must stop what they are doing and try to catch sight of it again. As with a normal Derangement, this effect can be ignored for the rest of the day by spending an appropriate number of Willpower points. If they have no Willpower left to spend, they can resist this compulsion only by succeeding at a Willpower roll with an appropriate difficulty. If the character’s Tie increases in intensity that day, they once again suffer from the effects of the Derangement, but they discount the Willpower point cost by the number of Willpower points they already spent to resist; they never need to spend more than 5 Willpower points resisting this influence per day.

    Characters who already possess a Defining Tie of love for Heartbreaker, and whose Resolve is overcome by another of the sword’s Instill actions, will contract a permanent Minor Derangement of Obsession for the sword, with each successful social action after that intensifying that permanent Derangement to the Major and then the Defining level.

    Anytime that Heartbreaker’s owner successfully refuses social influence that would persuade him to hand Heartbreaker over to someone else, and anytime that he successfully uses Heartbreaker to inflict Withering or Decisive damage against someone else, the frustration or aggrieved horror they feel provides the sword a window into their hearts. It performs another reflexive Instill action, but to create or intensify a Tie of hatred for the owner. Heartbreaker will use the Tie of love for itself to strength this hatred to Major or Defining intensity, if possible. If they already have a Defining Tie of Hatred for the owner, Heartbreaker will instead aim to erode a positive Intimacy. Any of these Instill actions also target any witness who has a positive Tie to the person the owner refused or attacked. If the witness instead holds a negative Tie for that person, they feel a surge of joy at seeing someone they hate being kept from or harmed by the beautiful Heartbreaker. This softens their Resolve against Heartbreaker’s next social action with a penalty equal to the intensity of that negative Tie.

    Two opposing forces which come to love the sword more than their current objectives, or to hate the owner more strongly than either side hates each other, typically forget what they are doing and join forces to steal the sword from the owner.

    Sheathing Heartbreaker causes the sword to cry out with a loud, piercing ring. This is a Persuasion social action against everyone who can see the sword, or anyone within extreme range who hears the cry. This social action targets any positive Tie to the sword, or any negative Tie to the owner if that is more intense. Any character whose Resolve is overcome must enter a Decision Point to resist this influence, or else turn against the sword’s owner. The severity of their next actions depends on how easy it would be to take the sword by force, as well as the strength and tenor of the Intimacy used to persuade them.

    Characters motivated by a Minor Tie or no Tie will attack the owner if they consider it an Inconvenient Task. If it seems to be at least a Serious Task, they will instead resort to persuasion, an inconvenient exchange of goods or services, or threats of inconvenient harm.

    When motivated by a Major Tie, characters will attack the owner even if that represents a Serious Task. If it seems to be a Life-Changing Task, they will instead resort to heartfelt pleas, a serious exchange of goods or services, or threats of serious harm.

    With a Defining Tie, characters will attack the owner even if taking the sword seems impossible. Only if some circumstance renders them physically incapable of attempting to steal the sword (such as standing on opposite ends of a newly-gaping chasm) will they resort to desperate begging, life-changing bargains, or threats of life-changing violence to persuade the owner to part with it.

    Even those motivated by hatred for the owner will prioritize disarming the owner and stealing the sword over killing him, if that seems easier to accomplish. But even the most hateful enemy, should they succeed in stealing the sword, will always attempt to kill the owner; they may imagine living without the sword to be a fate worse than death.

    Attuning to Heartbreaker does not rid a new owner of any Love or Obsession they may have developed for the sword, but Heartbreaker ceases to exert any bewitching power upon them. Some new owners become distraught that Heartbreaker no longer fascinates them quite as strongly as it did before. Many more are too enchanted to recognize the difference.
    Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 04-02-2017, 11:34 AM.


    Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

    My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

  • #2
    I apologize to those who expected a completed write-up, but I've only had a day or so to absorb Stormcaller and work on this, I could only find enough uninterrupted hours to write it after I should have been in bed, and I was hoping for some form of feedback as I continue working, because no one I can talk to face-to-face cares a whit about Exalted.


    Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

    My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
      I was hoping for some form of feedback
      I know that complete silence is pretty disheartening, but I, for one, remained silent because I had no positive feedback to offer, and didn't want to appear like a nitpicking asshole. That said, in the spirit of constructive criticism, these are my issues with it:

      - I'm not sure why is this a 5-dot. It feels like a weird 4-dot at most.
      - I'm not sure why possessing this artifact would be seen as desirable by a player. It feels like more trouble than it's worth. And while "your character really wants it" is, on the fictional level, a perfectly fine motivation, I have a hard time envisioning a player who stays genuinely interested in roleplaying someone who's obsessed with a fancy sword for an extended amount of time.
      - I'm also not seeing how it reflects the themes and aesthetics of moonsilver. If you said "artifact sword that makes people weirdly obsessed with it", my first association would be starmetal (general weirdness, fate shenanigans or taking on the qualities of a god of weird obsessions) or red jade (passion). I mean, I guess you could say "moonsilver is associated with Luna and therefore madness", but to me, that feels like a tenuous connection at best.

      Sorry for being negative.


      Evocations for the demonic tattoos gained from the Pact with Mara sorcerous initiation || Pyre-Kindler (Soulsteel and Red Jade Grimscythe, Artifact 3) || Tenebrous Descent (Stormcaller's Black Jade Reaver Daiklave cousin, Artifact 5)
      Advice for running the corebook shikari antagonists

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      • #4
        Hopefully this is constructive criticism:

        1) What's your myth behind the sword? Like how Stormcaller in preview has the Akavadra. (Not necessarily anything bound within it). If you haven't worried too much about that, no problem, but I think that might make it easier to think about where you're going with this weapon and why.

        2) I'm not the biggest fan of weapons / martial that affect social so much, but even with this mind, I kind of agree with the question of "Why is this an advantage to have?" that aluminiumtrioxid (phew, what a digit twister) raises. IRC The One Ring allow its weiilder to bind others to your will, among other miscellaneous evil powers (invisibility). This... makes people want to kill you and behave foolishly in the process?

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        • #5
          Mmm, yes, delicious feedback. Keep it coming and I will answer as soon as I can return to my computer.

          Negative feedback is still constructive crictism. An inability to accept criticism is unhealthy. If you respect me, challenge me!


          Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

          My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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          • #6
            But seriously, absolute silence is the only response worse than abusive hate.


            Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

            My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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            • #7
              To answer questions out-of-order:

              The Arms of the Chosen Preview introduced both Stormcaller and the Dissonance/Resonance keywords, as well as Evocations gated behind one Exalted Host's native Charms. Stormcaller is really cool and powerful, but non-Solar players wouldn't be able to get as much out of the sword, and so there was talk about how acceptable it would be to reskin the sword as made from blue jade instead of orichalcum, and whether a soulsteel version could summon wind and lightning made of ghosts instead of elements.

              I thought it would be far more interesting and challenging to design swords which were thematically similar to Stormcaller. For instance, a soulsteel sword that sank the world around it deeper and deeper into the Underworld, starting by making its surroundings a Shadowland and ending with people trapped in the Labyrinth, or a starmetal sword that disrupted the Loom of Fate and caused reality around it to malfunction.

              Whereas Stormcaller is an orichalcum sword that seals a storm demon, it made sense to me that a moonsilver sword could be used to seal a demon of seduction; seduction was a major part of Luna's character in Glories of the Most High. Moonsilver's non-shapeshifting properties are not well-explained or represented, but the power to affect the bodies of its users and the minds of other people sounds logical to me.

              The demon within the sword is just as unpleasant a creature as Akavadra, and seduces others as a matter of nature. The demon doesn't particularly care if the owner lives or dies; all it cares about is that people love it and fight to own it.


              Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
              - I'm not sure why is this a 5-dot. It feels like a weird 4-dot at most.
              Is that because I haven't written any Evocations, yet? Or because the sword doesn't seem useful to you?


              - I'm not sure why possessing this artifact would be seen as desirable by a player. It feels like more trouble than it's worth. And while "your character really wants it" is, on the fictional level, a perfectly fine motivation, I have a hard time envisioning a player who stays genuinely interested in roleplaying someone who's obsessed with a fancy sword for an extended amount of time.
              The sword's creator intended that a proper owner of the sword would attune to it while it is sheathed, before ever looking at it. Just as the creator of Stormcaller intended its owners to attune to the sword without first having been seared by the lightning it summons. But what creators intend and what people actually do with their creations are two entirely different things.


              Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
              2) I'm not the biggest fan of weapons / martial that affect social so much, but even with this mind, I kind of agree with the question of "Why is this an advantage to have?" that aluminiumtrioxid (phew, what a digit twister) raises. IRC The One Ring allow its weiilder to bind others to your will, among other miscellaneous evil powers (invisibility). This... makes people want to kill you and behave foolishly in the process?
              A Lunar draws Heartbreaker to ensure that all eyes are upon her. She can halt a pitched battle between bloodthirsty enemies, putting an end to killing by giving her audience a common target.

              Through mastering Heartbreaker, she can spare her allies from its enchantment, which allows them to continue fighting enemies who can barely spare enough attention from the Lunar to attack anyone else, or perhaps even to defend themselves from anyone else.

              By using Heartbreaker and her own social prowess, the Lunar can turn staunch allies against each other, tricking them into killing each other for possession of the sword before they even lay hands upon it.

              By communing with the demon inside Heartbreaker, the Lunar might persuade it to share the secrets it spies within the hearts of others.

              By turning into a bird and flying away, the Lunar can draw her victims away on a wild goose chase. She can lead them away from the fortress they were supposed to guard, or trick them into following her into an ambush or trap.


              Heartbreaker isn't Stormcaller. It doesn't attack your body, but your mind, so it is used to achieve extremely different goals in extremely different ways.

              A Lunar can use Heartbreaker to kill you, but more often she uses it to RUIN YOUR LIFE. She will make you abandon everything you care about, bewitch you to center your life entirely around her, and then she will lead you to your death. If you're lucky, that death is swift... given how easily a Lunar can escape, you could end up chasing her for the rest of your wasted life.



              Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
              I know that complete silence is pretty disheartening, but I, for one, remained silent because I had no positive feedback to offer, and didn't want to appear like a nitpicking asshole. That said, in the spirit of constructive criticism, these are my issues with it:

              Sorry for being negative.
              On the contrary, thank you for caring enough to say anything.

              Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
              Hopefully this is constructive criticism:
              It is.


              Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

              My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                Is that because I haven't written any Evocations, yet? Or because the sword doesn't seem useful to you?

                Because the scope of its effect doesn't quite feel on par with that of Stormcaller, Volcano Cutter or Black Wind; because it feels like it introduces a random element you can't really control or plan around; and because it feels like the downsides far outweigh the downsides of using Stormcaller or Volcano Cutter.

                I wouldn't say it doesn't seem useful to me; it's more like it's useful in an incredibly specific and limited way that doesn't map well to the kind of use I want out of a weapon (and, arguably, the things it is useful for actively get me in trouble in most situations where drawing a weapon would be advisable), and which comes with massive, massive caveats. As someone who once wrote up a weapon whose primary use case is sparing the people you'd kill and turning them into Death Buddha instead, I certainly get the allure of making a non-traditional artifact, giving it to your players, and when they ask "well this is all fine but what do I use it for?", responding with "I dunno, you tell me", but in this case, it feels like the question is "when do I use it without it biting me in the ass big time?".


                Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                A Lunar draws Heartbreaker to ensure that all eyes are upon her. She can halt a pitched battle between bloodthirsty enemies, putting an end to killing by giving her audience a common target.

                Through mastering Heartbreaker, she can spare her allies from its enchantment, which allows them to continue fighting enemies who can barely spare enough attention from the Lunar to attack anyone else, or perhaps even to defend themselves from anyone else.

                By using Heartbreaker and her own social prowess, the Lunar can turn staunch allies against each other, tricking them into killing each other for possession of the sword before they even lay hands upon it.

                By communing with the demon inside Heartbreaker, the Lunar might persuade it to share the secrets it spies within the hearts of others.

                By turning into a bird and flying away, the Lunar can draw her victims away on a wild goose chase. She can lead them away from the fortress they were supposed to guard, or trick them into following her into an ambush or trap.

                Some of these actually sound pretty neat! But the preliminary mechanics you posted in the OP seem to work against some of these uses, or make them not super practical.


                Evocations for the demonic tattoos gained from the Pact with Mara sorcerous initiation || Pyre-Kindler (Soulsteel and Red Jade Grimscythe, Artifact 3) || Tenebrous Descent (Stormcaller's Black Jade Reaver Daiklave cousin, Artifact 5)
                Advice for running the corebook shikari antagonists

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
                  Because the scope of its effect doesn't quite feel on par with that of Stormcaller, Volcano Cutter or Black Wind; because it feels like it introduces a random element you can't really control or plan around; and because it feels like the downsides far outweigh the downsides of using Stormcaller or Volcano Cutter.
                  These all could be very true.


                  I wouldn't say it doesn't seem useful to me; it's more like it's useful in an incredibly specific and limited way that doesn't map well to the kind of use I want out of a weapon (and, arguably, the things it is useful for actively get me in trouble in most situations where drawing a weapon would be advisable), and which comes with massive, massive caveats.
                  I'd considered making it an actual ring that you could slip into and out of a pocket, but that lacks the sheathe necessary to attune to the sword without falling prey to it, and also doesn't map as well to attacking inspiring hatred in your targets, since you're not hitting them with the thing they want.


                  Some of these actually sound pretty neat! But the preliminary mechanics you posted in the OP seem to work against some of these uses, or make them not super practical.
                  I am not seeing how; could you explain?


                  Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                  My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                    I am not seeing how; could you explain?

                    Sure.


                    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                    A Lunar draws Heartbreaker to ensure that all eyes are upon her. She can halt a pitched battle between bloodthirsty enemies, putting an end to killing by giving her audience a common target.

                    Sure, this is something you can totally do! Except... your goal was to stop a battle between enemies. They're going to attack you now (or in two rounds, probably, when they get tagged with a Major Intimacy). But as long as they're seeing your sword, they're gonna get zapped with social influence again and again, building up to a permanent Obsession with grabbing your fancy weapon for themselves - so yay, you've prevented the bloodthirsty enemies from massacring each other but now they're both your bloodthirsty enemies forever so that might not have been a great bargain? And boy it sure would be convenient if you could somehow control others' exposure to the sword but oops, the moment you try to put it away, they're gonna be hit with a persuasion action aimed to get them to steal Heartbreaker, potentially forcing you to draw it again in self-defense, at which point the whole debacle starts from the beginning...

                    So yeah, not a super practical solution to your problem.


                    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                    By using Heartbreaker and her own social prowess, the Lunar can turn staunch allies against each other, tricking them into killing each other for possession of the sword before they even lay hands upon it.

                    I... suppose you could try? But my immediate feeling is that in the process of doing so, it's likely to accidentally slap them with an Intimacy of hatred towards you, and persuading them to do something (in this case: attacking each other instead of you) through multi-layered Intimacies to the contrary is hard enough that you'd probably be better off by turning them against each other the old-fashioned way.


                    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                    By turning into a bird and flying away, the Lunar can draw her victims away on a wild goose chase. She can lead them away from the fortress they were supposed to guard, or trick them into following her into an ambush or trap.

                    This runs into a bunch of logistical issues. I mean, okay, I draw the weapon, they get an Intimacy to chase it, but now what? Do I put away the weapon and hope there's nobody in extreme range who doesn't like me and would be immediately attracted to this place with the intent to fuck me up? Do I just let it dangle and suck it up that anybody I'm flying over who happens to glance up (which, let's face it, isn't exactly far-fetched considering there's gonna be a bunch of people running after me while staring up with an expression of strong emotions) will join the party? Both of these sound like messy and collateral-heavy potential problems I have no realistic way of predicting or working around. Again, not super practical.


                    Evocations for the demonic tattoos gained from the Pact with Mara sorcerous initiation || Pyre-Kindler (Soulsteel and Red Jade Grimscythe, Artifact 3) || Tenebrous Descent (Stormcaller's Black Jade Reaver Daiklave cousin, Artifact 5)
                    Advice for running the corebook shikari antagonists

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                    • #11
                      I mean this constructively. I am not meaning to be mean.

                      In short, my initial opinion is: you had a better idea posted that I think was the precursor to this idea. You should go back to that. The demoness sword idea had flavor, and potential, and drama. What if you fall in love with the demon in the sword? What if you redeem her into something not a demon (A daeva, if that is still the term?). You were onto something there, and this feels thin compared to that idea.

                      I cannot see anyone wanting, or keeping this who was not a blue falcon. And that might be fine as an adversary, but an adversary's weapons end up in a party's grasp.

                      Also, why is this a sword? It should do Sword things, or sword-adjacent things.Swords cause damage. That is their 'Essence'. It makes more sense as a piece of jewelry. Jewelry is meant to accent, and to be coveted.

                      Squabbling over the one ring makes for great fiction, but very poor tabletop experience with a group playing. When Blue Falcon, the jerk Lunar, pulls this sword out and it starts with the mind play... that is bad for group cohesion. Remember, in reality, stealing and killing from a friend has a certain stigma. In a game, well, the consequence is the other guy makes a new character. I might be wrong, but I have seen groups disband over stuff like this.

                      I do not mean to be offensive or disruptive. I would urge you to go back to the demoness locked in a sword idea, make it better at sword-stuff, and tweak the mental effect.

                      In the spirit of being constructive, I will offer a tweak on your idea; you want a sword that causes a powerful mental effect? You also seem to want a sword that should not be drawn. Well, swords are turned into plowshares. Make it a love effect, and an urge to surrender, maybe?

                      I dunno. I am trying to be constructive, and I fear I am failing. Please accept my apologies i I offend. I do not mean to. I just feel like you had better ideas earlier.

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                      • #12
                        You're both right. I had a good idea but lost my way when trying to solve a puzzle of execution.

                        I'm still really happy with HOW I managed to code the sword's persuasive influence, but I admit that the total design doesn't work the way it probably should.

                        I'm going to set this down and consider where to go from here. Either back to the drawing board, or perhaps take a break with the soulsteel sword first.


                        Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                        My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                        • #13
                          You know, the form of a sword might not be the greatest idea for an all-attractive artifact, but what about an implement that could be a form weapon for a seductive martial art like Dreaming Pearl Courtesan? A shimmering sash, a five jewel moonsilver war fan, or a comb that turns the hair it adorns into lethal moonsilver braids. Tone down the passive attraction, and reserve the obsessive attention for evocations to amplify and inflict. Give the power to redirect it's attraction with stunts by using the artifact to accent yourself, giving your social actions bonuses or letting Heartbreaker do the heavy lifting.

                          Don't confine yourself to an uncontrollable force the way Stormcaller does. The Sun burns as easily as it gives life, but the Moon is much more capable of subtlety. Of course, the Moon is also a crazy monster sometimes, and monstrous actions should be enabled by Heartbreaker.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Solarious View Post
                            You know, the form of a sword might not be the greatest idea for an all-attractive artifact, but what about an implement that could be a form weapon for a seductive martial art like Dreaming Pearl Courtesan? A shimmering sash, a five jewel moonsilver war fan, or a comb that turns the hair it adorns into lethal moonsilver braids. Tone down the passive attraction, and reserve the obsessive attention for evocations to amplify and inflict. Give the power to redirect it's attraction with stunts by using the artifact to accent yourself, giving your social actions bonuses or letting Heartbreaker do the heavy lifting.

                            Don't confine yourself to an uncontrollable force the way Stormcaller does. The Sun burns as easily as it gives life, but the Moon is much more capable of subtlety. Of course, the Moon is also a crazy monster sometimes, and monstrous actions should be enabled by Heartbreaker.
                            The whole idea right now is to provide people with alternatives to Stormcaller without simply filing off the fluff and trying to reskin the mechanics as-is.

                            But yes, the mechanics I ended up writing, and which I still regard proudly, can be adapted to work with Artifact jewelry or pretty war fans.


                            I'm also still proud of the mechanics I wrote for what happens when Heartbreaker is sheathed, even though the idea was flawed from the foundation. Sheathing the weapon should create a disaster for everyone else and potentially end the fight, not suddenly escalate the fight by creating a disaster for the user!


                            Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                            My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                            • #15
                              Edit: Nevermind.

                              Please don't edit the title of this thread. I want to use this thread to pursue other mind-altering artifacts ideas, not Stormcaller ideas.
                              Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 04-02-2017, 11:38 AM.


                              Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                              My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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