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Soulsteel "Stormcaller" Concept: Gravedigger

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  • Sunder the Gold
    started a topic Soulsteel "Stormcaller" Concept: Gravedigger

    Soulsteel "Stormcaller" Concept: Gravedigger

    Right now, my idea for a soulsteel Stormcaller is called Gravedigger, because the longer it is drawn, the deeper it sinks its surroundings towards the tombs of the Neverborn. Sheathing the weapon may return the sword's attuned owner back to his starting point if he wills it, but anyone within one range band of him can be left behind in the Underworld or Labyrinth, or hurled into the tombs of the Neverborn.

    The sword would work on the same intensity system as Stormcaller, but the closer one is to the tombs of the Neverborn, the higher Gravedigger's Intensity starts when drawn, because drawing the sword always affects its surroundings. It makes a weak shadowland into a stronger one, a stronger shadowland into a new pocket of the Underworld, drags a pocket of the Underworld into the Labyrinth, and drags a pocket of the Labyrinth into the tombs of the Neverborn. Drawing the sword while already standing in the presence of the tombs would cause something suitably awful to happen, not to mention the possibility of drawing the sword while physically inside one of those tombs.

    Naturally, the weapon makes the environment more dangerous for the living and more hospitable for the dead... at first. If used in normal Creation at night, your enemies can't escape farther than four range bands from you without entering the Underworld. If used during the day, your ghostly allies can physically join the fight without fear of the sun. Of course, even ghosts fear the Labyrinth and Neverborn, so the weapon is still useful when used against ghosts in the Underworld.

    I'm thinking Gravedigger's Evocations can let the sword dig up graves, metaphorically, by cutting holes between the worlds and letting Mortwrights out of the Labyrinth to assault your enemies, living or dead. Higher Evocations might let you summon and bind whole battlegroups of mortwrights, and coordinate them to combine their Thrashing Ghost Tantrum into a singular, powerful storm.

    A creature of death who attunes to Gravedigger becomes immune to the sun, as Gravedigger serves as a constant portal to the Neverborn tombs. A creature of life who attunes to Gravedigger becomes immune to the darkness conjured by a Mortwright’s Black Breath of the Abyss. Anyone who attunes to Gravedigger becomes immune to a Mortwright’s Thrashing Ghost Tantrum and also the environmental hazards of the Labyrinth, possibly including the mad dreams and whispers of the Neverborn.

    Its sheath would be made of orichalcum, to properly neutralize and contain its power.
    Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 04-02-2017, 11:09 AM.

  • ajf115
    replied
    Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post


    This is probably overpowered. First off, it's a cap-breaking power - it effectively adds non-Charm autosuccesses to your attack roll, which is an incredibly powerful effect in and of itself, and should be priced very conservatively. But not only does it do that, it adds a lot of them. A full Charisma+Presence excellency plus a stunt can easily go up to 10 successes, but even with a mediocre pool, the penalty can't go below (Essence), so we're looking at an up to -5 penalty for 5 motes. Counteracting this penalty with the excellency alone would cost an opponent 10 motes, so this is at minimum twice as mote-effective as the excellency. Add to this the fact that while Solars have access to very efficient penalty negators, most other opponents will have far weaker and/or more conditional effects, and this basically becomes an "instagib everyone who isn't a glorious golden demigod" power, especially if coupled with magic that increases decisive damage based on an attack's threshold successes.

    I strongly suggest approaching the themes and visuals of this power from a radically different mechanical direction.

    Hmm. I must admit, this is really my first proper go at making an artefact from scratch, so there's probably going to be a whole bunch of false starts and stupid mistakes. The inspiration for the Evocation came from the anime Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works and more specifically Assassin's pseudo-Noble Phantasm Tsubame Gaeshi. I might just drop that Evocation completely. I've got something of a roster of others, anyway.

    Leave a comment:


  • aluminiumtrioxid
    replied
    Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
    I've been working on writing up full Evocations for Gravedigger (I've been calling it Sable Harbinger) and I was wondering if this looks alright to people. Any opinions?

    Black Abyss Assault
    Cost: 5m; Mins: Essence 2; Type: Supplemental
    Duration: Instant
    Keywords: Decisive-only
    Prerequisites: None
    The wielder conceals themselves within the black Essence of the blade, cloaking themselves in near-tangible darkness. Then, they strike forwards, and their form and blade seem to splinter into a dozen phantasmal figures, each attacking from a different direction. Before rolling the Decisive attack, roll (Charisma + Presence) and reduce the target’s Parry or Evasion by (Essence), or the number of successes, whichever is higher.

    This is probably overpowered. First off, it's a cap-breaking power - it effectively adds non-Charm autosuccesses to your attack roll, which is an incredibly powerful effect in and of itself, and should be priced very conservatively. But not only does it do that, it adds a lot of them. A full Charisma+Presence excellency plus a stunt can easily go up to 10 successes, but even with a mediocre pool, the penalty can't go below (Essence), so we're looking at an up to -5 penalty for 5 motes. Counteracting this penalty with the excellency alone would cost an opponent 10 motes, so this is at minimum twice as mote-effective as the excellency. Add to this the fact that while Solars have access to very efficient penalty negators, most other opponents will have far weaker and/or more conditional effects, and this basically becomes an "instagib everyone who isn't a glorious golden demigod" power, especially if coupled with magic that increases decisive damage based on an attack's threshold successes.

    I strongly suggest approaching the themes and visuals of this power from a radically different mechanical direction.

    Leave a comment:


  • ajf115
    replied
    I've been working on writing up full Evocations for Gravedigger (I've been calling it Sable Harbinger) and I was wondering if this looks alright to people. Any opinions?

    Black Abyss Assault
    Cost: 5m; Mins: Essence 2; Type: Supplemental
    Duration: Instant
    Keywords: Decisive-only
    Prerequisites: None
    The wielder conceals themselves within the black Essence of the blade, cloaking themselves in near-tangible darkness. Then, they strike forwards, and their form and blade seem to splinter into a dozen phantasmal figures, each attacking from a different direction. Before rolling the Decisive attack, roll (Charisma + Presence) and reduce the target’s Parry or Evasion by (Essence), or the number of successes, whichever is higher.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
    Would you mind if I used the idea to make a full Artefact?
    The only thing I would mind is someone outright claiming that they took absolutely no inspiration from me while presenting my work as their own.

    Outside of that, go nuts. I post stuff on here to SHARE it.

    Leave a comment:


  • aluminiumtrioxid
    replied
    Originally posted by ajf115 View Post
    Also, could someone please direct me to where the 'Stormcaller' can be found?

    Here.


    In semi-related news, the black jade version of totally-not-Stormcaller is ready (where by "ready" I mean "hasn't been playtested at all, so approach with caution).


    Tenebrous Descent (Black Jade Reaver Daiklave, Artifact 5)


    Appearance

    The – over a foot wide and uncharacteristically thick – blade of this massive, single-edged daiklave is a rectangular slab of black jade, with every inch covered in etchings of interlocking coiling patterns. It feels warm to the touch; small waves of force press back gently against the palm laid on it. The hilt is long enough to belong to a grand daiklave, but the reason for this becomes immediately apparent to anybody wielding it: the weapon feels strangely heavy, as if it was drawn ever downward by an invisible force, and the added leverage is necessary to retain control of it.
    Tenebrous Descent has two hearthstone sockets directly above each other on the right side of the blade.


    Evocations of Tenebrous Descent

    Attunement to Tenebrous Descent confers no exemption from the effects of its powers. It is strongly recommended that prospective wielders invest heavily in Awareness, Resistance and Survival if they want to master its capabilities.
    Drawing Tenebrous Descent floods everything in the Exalt’s vicinity with watery Essence. The scope and strength of this effect is measured in Fathoms; its starting value is 1. Sheathing the weapon or the death of its wielder immediately ends all ongoing effects related to Fathoms.

    Fathoms effects:

    1-3: The wielder and everything within (Fathoms, up to a maximum of 3) range bands of her is surrounded by a haze, as if they were submerged in water. Sound becomes distorted. This applies a -1 penalty to ranged attacks launched from or into the affected area, all Awareness-based rolls and actions relying on sight. As Fathoms grows, so does the potency of this effect –light dims at first, then gutters out completely, plunging the area in total darkness. Increase the penalty by 1 per Fathoms, up to a maximum of -3. Proper illumination, such as light provided from the totemic display of Exalted animas or The Gem of Day’s Light and similar magic can reduce this penalty, but never below -1.
    4-6: As above; additionally, the buildup of Essence exerts a terrible pressure on everyone within the zone. Moving is a constant struggle against its force. Apply a (Fathoms-3) penalty on all movement rolls (maximum of -3); at Fathoms 6, the area counts as difficult terrain. Moreover, anybody who leaves the zone is exposed to a one-time environmental hazard with a difficulty of (Essence+2) and (Fathoms/2)L damage as diver’s sickness sets in. The same character can’t be subjected to this damage a second time until the blade is sheathed and the wielder builds up to Fathoms 4+ again. Sheathing the blade immediately exposes everyone in the area (including the wielder) to the same hazard, unless they’ve already been affected by it since the last time the weapon was drawn.
    7-9: As above; additionally, the pressure grows strong enough to crack bones and pop blood vessels. At the start of the wielder’s turn, everyone in the area (including herself) must roll Stamina+Resistance against an enviromental hazard (difficulty 3, damage/round (Fathoms-5)B). At Fathoms 9+, the difficulty increases to 4.
    10: As above; additionally, if any character (including the wielder) fails a roll against the pressure hazard, they begin to suffocate (see p.232 of the Exalted core). Turns in which they succeed against the roll do not count against their suffocation limit, but they need to leave the zone entirely in order to catch their breath.

    Magic that provides protection against underwater conditions (such as the Water Aspect anima power or Element-Resisting Prana) offers the same benefits against these effect as it would against similar, naturally-occurring phenomena.


    A Solar or Dragon-Blooded who attunes to Tenebrous Descent unlocks Into the Abyss for free.


    Into the Abyss
    Cost: 2m; Mins: Essence 1; Type: Simple
    Duration: Instant
    Keywords: Decisive-only, Resonant
    Prerequisites: None
    A massive overhead slash parts the hazy Essence around the wielder like a curtain, revealing a deeper darkness beneath. Into the Abyss is a special Gambit with the goal of increasing Fathoms. Instead of rolling against a character’s defense, the attack roll has a static difficulty of (current Fathoms), while the Gambit’s difficulty is equal to the level of Fathoms the wielder wants to reach. Fathoms can’t be increased by more than two points with a single activation of this Evocation.
    At Essence 2+, the wielder can reflexively activate Into the Abyss whenever she joins battle.
    Resonant: The maximum number of Fathoms increase in a single activation is (Essence or 2, whichever is higher) instead.


    Refuge-in-Depths Method
    Cost: 2m+; Mins: Essence 1; Type: Reflexive
    Duration: Instant
    Keywords: None
    Prerequisites: None

    Diving into the unknown is preferable to facing certain death. This Evocation allows the wielder to retroactively raise her Defense via the excellency after an attack has been rolled against her, by up to (Essence/2, round up) points. Increase Fathoms by the same amount.
    Special activation rules: can only be used once per scene unless reset by a two point stunt illustrating the character's willingness to pursue unorthodox courses of action when the conservative approach fails.


    Weight of the Ocean Stance
    Cost: 4m; Mins: Essence 2; Type: Supplemental
    Duration: Instant
    Keywords: Dual
    Prerequisites: Into the Abyss, Refuge-in-Depths Method

    By concentrating Tenebrous Descent’s crushing pressure on the daiklave’s edge, the wielder strikes a mighty blow that pulverizes armor and bones alike, and sends her foe sprawling to the ground. Weight of the Ocean Stance enhances a Chopping attack, converting its damage bonus into three levels of post-soak damage if withering, or two dice of damage into two levels of bashing damage if decisive. Additionally, if the attack hits, knock the target prone. Increase Fathoms by one whether the attack hits or misses.
    Special activation rules: can only be used once per scene unless reset by crashing or incapacitating a non-trivial enemy with an attack made with Tenebrous Descent.


    Maw of the Deep
    Cost: 6m, 1WP; Mins: Essence 3; Type: Simple
    Duration: Until the grapple ends
    Keywords: Decisive-only
    Prerequisites: Weight of the Ocean Stance

    Focusing her killing intent on a single foe, the daiklave’s master traps her target in a cage of suffocating darkness and crushing pressure. This Evocation can only be activated at Fathoms 6+.
    Maw of the Deep allows the wielder to make a special Grapple gambit against a character within Tenebrous Descent’s zone of control. Roll Wits+Melee both for the attack and the grapple’s control roll; additionally, the Gambit’s difficulty is increased by the number of range bands that separate the Exalt from her target. Since the wielder isn’t physically grappling her target, she doesn’t receive the usual penalties associated with being in a grapple. In all other respects, the gambit functions like a normal grapple, with the exception of the following:
    - Instead of its normal effects, savaging an opponent increases Fathoms by one and applies a –(Essence) penalty on their next Stamina+Resistance roll to resist the pressure hazard.
    - Throw/Slam is replaced by Crush. This functions similarly to Throw/Slam, but it uses Wits instead of Strength to determine the maximum number of turns the character can benefit from forfeiting, and a decisive crush has a base damage equal to (current Fathoms) instead of the character’s Initiative. Decisively crushing an opponent does not reset the character to base.
    Special activation rules: Maw of the Deep can’t be used on the same character twice in the same scene.


    Drowning-the-World Approach
    Cost: 30m, 2WP; Mins: Essence 4; Type: Simple
    Duration: Indefinite
    Keywords: Perilous, Resonant
    Prerequisites: Maw of the Deep

    Plunging the blade into the ground, the wielder unleashes Tenebrous Descent’s most destructive ability, engulfing a massive area in crushing darkness.
    This Evocation can only be activated at Fathoms 10, and its effect ends when the weapon is pulled out of the ground. While it is active, the statistics of the pressure hazard change to difficulty 6, damage/round 6L. Trivial opponents can be assumed to drown or be crushed to pulp in two rounds; incidental scenery crumbles into ruins or turns to dust based on the length of the exposure. More enduring materials such as fortresses of solid stone or manses can hold out much longer; it is recommended that such feats of demolition be modelled as an extended roll with an interval of a day or even a week, with the goal number heavily dependent on the materials involved and the desired level of destruction. It is probably safe to assume that the pressure hazard has 20 dice on feats of demolition, and may attempt Strength 10 feats.
    Pulling the blade out by anyone other than the wielder requires a difficulty 12 Feat of Strength, with a minimum Strength requirement of 7. Even after the effect ends, motes remain committed to it until the blade is sheathed. Once the blade is sheathed, it can’t be drawn again for a season. Reduce this time by two weeks for each hearthstone socketed into the weapon as it can draw on their Essence to recharge its reserves of power. Hearthstones of water double this bonus.
    Resonant: Expand the weapon’s zone of control by an additional range band for the duration of this Evocation.
    Last edited by aluminiumtrioxid; 04-08-2017, 07:08 AM.

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  • ajf115
    replied
    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
    Right now, my idea for a soulsteel Stormcaller is called Gravedigger, because the longer it is drawn, the deeper it sinks its surroundings towards the tombs of the Neverborn. Sheathing the weapon may return the sword's attuned owner back to his starting point if he wills it, but anyone within one range band of him can be left behind in the Underworld or Labyrinth, or hurled into the tombs of the Neverborn.

    The sword would work on the same intensity system as Stormcaller, but the closer one is to the tombs of the Neverborn, the higher Gravedigger's Intensity starts when drawn, because drawing the sword always affects its surroundings. It makes a weak shadowland into a stronger one, a stronger shadowland into a new pocket of the Underworld, drags a pocket of the Underworld into the Labyrinth, and drags a pocket of the Labyrinth into the tombs of the Neverborn. Drawing the sword while already standing in the presence of the tombs would cause something suitably awful to happen, not to mention the possibility of drawing the sword while physically inside one of those tombs.

    Naturally, the weapon makes the environment more dangerous for the living and more hospitable for the dead... at first. If used in normal Creation at night, your enemies can't escape farther than four range bands from you without entering the Underworld. If used during the day, your ghostly allies can physically join the fight without fear of the sun. Of course, even ghosts fear the Labyrinth and Neverborn, so the weapon is still useful when used against ghosts in the Underworld.

    I'm thinking Gravedigger's Evocations can let the sword dig up graves, metaphorically, by cutting holes between the worlds and letting Mortwrights out of the Labyrinth to assault your enemies, living or dead. Higher Evocations might let you summon and bind whole battlegroups of mortwrights, and coordinate them to combine their Thrashing Ghost Tantrum into a singular, powerful storm.

    A creature of death who attunes to Gravedigger becomes immune to the sun, as Gravedigger serves as a constant portal to the Neverborn tombs. A creature of life who attunes to Gravedigger becomes immune to the darkness conjured by a Mortwright’s Black Breath of the Abyss. Anyone who attunes to Gravedigger becomes immune to a Mortwright’s Thrashing Ghost Tantrum and also the environmental hazards of the Labyrinth, possibly including the mad dreams and whispers of the Neverborn.

    Its sheath would be made of orichalcum, to properly neutralize and contain its power.
    Hmm. This seems like it would fit a plot of mine pretty damn perfectly. Would you mind if I used the idea to make a full Artefact?

    Also, could someone please direct me to where the 'Stormcaller' can be found?

    Leave a comment:


  • Jefepato
    replied
    I'd been contemplating a daiklave named Gravedigger for quite some time, but it was going to be white jade and very literal -- a spade-shaped tip, and Evocations centered around manipulating earth and stone. Sadly I hadn't made any real progress on writing Evocations, but the signature one was going to be a technique that makes the ground itself start trying to draw a crashed opponent in (and actually bury them if they become incapacitated).

    The soulsteel thing is probably more fitting though.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Originally posted by Greyman View Post
    Should not a weapon called Gravedigger be more of a Soulsteel Longfang with a head shaped to resemble a shovel's spade, whose shadowland conjuring effect spreads every round that it is struck into new ground? Or something like that.
    I was tempted to make it an actual SHOVEL, but I'm still trying to stick to Stormcaller's "you won't like it when I put my sword away" feature.

    Also, artifacts that you stick into the ground and don't actually USE in a personal sense aren't supposed to be very fruitful with Evocations. You're not wielding them if you're just leaving them alone to do their thing without you.


    In any case, this version of Gravedigger is another failure to meet the concept. Because it is more dependent on having a specific brand of allies (ghosts, in this case) to be useful than Stormcaller is, the magic needs a vessel other than a sword. The sheathing-attack feature may also need to be dropped, which helps for making the artifact anything but a sword.

    Maybe if it's a flag/spear, and you plant it into the ground as people are suggesting. Again, this cuts off much Evocation potential, but it fits better with the themes of conquering/controlling territory and leading minions into battle.

    Leave a comment:


  • Greyman
    replied
    Should not a weapon called Gravedigger be more of a Soulsteel Longfang with a head shaped to resemble a shovel's spade, whose shadowland conjuring effect spreads every round that it is struck into new ground? Or something like that.

    Leave a comment:


  • aluminiumtrioxid
    replied
    Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
    If you don't mind an opinion, I think it would be cool if the black jade version is designed with the idea that it is usually used underwater, just as Stormcaller is intended to be used under the open sky.

    I don't mind the opinion, but given that I spent the last... erm... definitely-more-than-reasonable hours on designing it around the idea that it lets you bring your own underwater stuff with you into combat, I certainly won't re-write it from scratch to accommodate it :P

    Leave a comment:


  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
    I think we should make an "I can't believe it's not Stormcaller!" topic to contain these.

    Also, dibs on making the black and blue jade versions.
    If you don't mind an opinion, I think it would be cool if the black jade version is designed with the idea that it is usually used underwater, just as Stormcaller is intended to be used under the open sky.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sunder the Gold
    replied
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    Does this specifically work based on drawing people into shadowlands and the Underworld, or is the environment envisioned as having a more specific tactical effect than that? If it's just increasing intensity of the Underworld, what would be the benefit to the wielder of that? Is its offensive power purely from Evocations, with those dependent on how deep one has gone?

    ​Hmm, I can see you've partially answered the question with "if they run away at night they end up in the Underworld" and "ghost allies can help you", but that seems very situational and demanding of a lot of work apart from the weapon itself. I mean, if you are sans ghosts allies or an enemy who is likely to run from you (or fearful of the Underworld), it doesn't seem to help much.

    ​It's probably more a matter of personal taste, but I don't like the idea of daiklave evocations that don't really have much to do with hitting somebody with the sword myself. Even if I assume that the comparison to Stormcaller means that the increasing depth of death Essence is implicitly keyed to successful attacks on people, it still seems to have little to do with the image of a sword.
    Fair complaints.

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  • Blackwell
    replied
    I'd consider starting the intensity ramp by driving a ghostly image of the sword into a convenient surface. This is the "true" Gravedigger, and it sinks deeper (i.e. intensity increases) as the wielder uses it's material reflection to sacrifice worthy foes to it. Whether opponents can interact with the ghost-version to help ameliorate the effects or not (maybe they can), it creates terrain around which a fight can center and other combatants can make choices.

    Leave a comment:


  • Isator Levi
    replied
    Does this specifically work based on drawing people into shadowlands and the Underworld, or is the environment envisioned as having a more specific tactical effect than that? If it's just increasing intensity of the Underworld, what would be the benefit to the wielder of that? Is its offensive power purely from Evocations, with those dependent on how deep one has gone?

    ​Hmm, I can see you've partially answered the question with "if they run away at night they end up in the Underworld" and "ghost allies can help you", but that seems very situational and demanding of a lot of work apart from the weapon itself. I mean, if you are sans ghosts allies or an enemy who is likely to run from you (or fearful of the Underworld), it doesn't seem to help much.

    ​It's probably more a matter of personal taste, but I don't like the idea of daiklave evocations that don't really have much to do with hitting somebody with the sword myself. Even if I assume that the comparison to Stormcaller means that the increasing depth of death Essence is implicitly keyed to successful attacks on people, it still seems to have little to do with the image of a sword.

    Leave a comment:

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