No announcement yet.

"Obvious" Charms and trying to keep your Solar Nature on the DL

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • "Obvious" Charms and trying to keep your Solar Nature on the DL

    So I have a question. 3E has left behind the Obvious Keyword. Charms are also being worded to display more innate ability prowess and stepping away from the catch-all "magic" term.

    Many Charms can easily be seen as not necessarily having an innate Solar aspect behind them, unless a player decides they want to add that flare to their stunts. But some Charms seem rather obvious in terms of innate Charm displays. An example would be Glorious Solar Saber.

    So for Solars trying to keep their nature on the DL, does this come down to a case by case basis? Does anyone have tips on dealing with grand displays of Solar badnesses and the consequences that can occur?

  • #2
    Yes, it does come on a case-by-case basis. If your character jumps 20 feet into the air, well, there are a wide variety of ways that could happen. If they suddenly summon a sword or a horse made out of sunlight, that's going to be a little harder to explain away.

    Most of all, you need to make sure your caste-mark stays hidden. That's the one thing that all Immaculate believers are taught to recognize. If you can't do that, make sure that all the witnesses are dead or persuaded to silence. If you can't do that either, be prepared to pack up and run at a moment's notice. If you can't do even that much, move somewhere where the Immaculate doctrine doesn't hold sway and try to learn survival skills in a comparatively safe environment.

    On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

    Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz


    • #3
      The Solar Anathema are just children's stories.

      I mean really, have you ever met one? Ever heard of anybody who really saw one? Come on now. I know that a few years ago there was that fellow who showed up at the court of Ivory who had god's blood and defeated all of the Prince's greatest warriors - that's real. And I once saw a member of the Dynasty from a distance, even got a look at her while her servants carried her on a litter down the main street of the town. She had hair like spring grass and flowers on her brow, and I heard she could fire an arrow into the air and kill a deer a mile away and I believe it. That's real.

      I've met the god of Old Shoe's wheat fields down by the creek. Well, not really met - I turned the wrong way one afternoon during the reaping and saw it. Gave me such a fright, but I don't think it even noticed me and when I told Old Shoe about it he just said that as long as he set aside eight bushels a season as an offering he never had to worry about the crows taking his crop away. So I know gods are real. And there's plenty of other, stranger stuff out there too. What happened to White Rat's son was a tragedy. You know he doesn't even speak anymore? Just sits on the porch all day. Poor kid. They say the thing that found him ate all the joy and fear and hope and everything else in him and now he's all hollow inside. Now that's a demon.

      Anyway, point is the stories are just stories. Those Immaculate fanatics just tell them to us as kids to scare us into showing up and making offerings every week and doing what they say, but what is it we're supposed to look out for? Somebody with a sun-mark on his head and...what, sharp teeth? Honestly. Let me tell you a story: a few years before you came here when Iris Bell was just a girl, the crazy widow Nettle accused her of being a Solar Anathema. You know what she told the monks when they came? She said the girl's skin had turned all bronzy and that was proof she was a demon. Turns out she just fell asleep in the grass the day before. There's your Anathema.

      Look around, friend. I don't need to waste my time trying to find the boogeyman when there's plenty of magic in the world already.
      Last edited by Ferryman; 04-07-2017, 02:32 PM.

      Share your wonders in The Artifact and Evocation Workshop


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ferryman View Post
        The Solar Anathema are just children's stories.
        A fine tale, but I'm assuming that by the time we get to Cydoc's question, we're kinda past that.

        It's not hearsay. Your sister and her husband went to the fair to see that dancer everyone is talking about. Now they won't stop talking about how wonderful she is, and they're planning to join her traveling band. So is everyone else who went to see her. It's almost half your village.

        It's not a rumor. You jumped the big man in an alley with four of your friends, and he beat you all effortlessly. He just stood there, angrily telling you to stop, not even trying to defend himself as your clubs and knives bounced harmlessly off his flesh. Then he punched Rico though a wall. A stone wall! Right through!

        It's not a story. You saw the smith take the iron in his hands and mold it like clay. Within minutes, he had made a sword. It was plain but otherwise as fine as any you've ever seen, and he gave it to you as a gift - "everyone should be able to defend themselves!" he said with a smile. You've had that sword for six years, and it hasn't chipped once.

        It's not a lie. You found the drunken girl stumbling in a field, waving a bow around, singing. You thought she might be lost, but when you offered to lead her back to the road she just laughed and said she was hunting in between swigs at a bottle. Then she made you a bet - a flock of geese was flying overhead, and she said that if she could shoot every single one of them down, you'd have to give her your hat. And if she lost (she giggled) she'd sleep with you. She started shooting before you could give her an answer. And suddenly the sky was full of arrows, as if each shot had become a score, and over a dozen birds dropped to the ground while you watched. She let you keep half of them, but she insisted on taking your hat.

        ...Now, after your character does one of THOSE things, how do you avoid attracting unwanted attention?

        On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

        Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz


        • #5
          Well, my point is that when you do one of those things, you DO get attention. But most people who see (or hear about) those things don't necessarily think "My god, a Solar!" That's a pretty singular conclusion to draw, and not a terribly likely one.

          The dancer? She could be a spirit or one of the Fair Folk, or a hundred other things. She dances well, but why would I think that makes her Anathema? She didn't look like a demon!

          The big man who punched Rico through a wall? Maybe he's one of those Dragon-Blooded you hear stories about, or he found a charm that makes his skin like stone. His brow didn't glow like the sun, and that's how you know a Solar...right?

          The smith who forged the blade? I assume he was a god, of course. What else could do such a thing?

          The drunken girl? I don't know what happened there. But she didn't try to steal my soul, or murder my family, or force me to renounce the Immaculate Dragons, so why would I think she was a Solar?

          The question was how you keep your nature as a Solar on the down-low, but the truth is most of the time you don't have to try very hard to do that. Creation is full of fantastic, unexplainable things, and most of them are a lot more common - and a lot more recognizable - than a myth told by monks to scare children that hasn't been real for an age. Unless you flash a Caste Mark, I think it's a lot more likely that most people assume a Solar is something else. Just like when I see somebody leap three stories from the street to a rooftop, I look around for wires and cameras because I'm more likely to assume that there's a film crew shooting a movie than to assume I just saw a real-life superhero. Because superheroes don't exist.

          Share your wonders in The Artifact and Evocation Workshop


          • #6
            In terms of keeping a low profile, Solar Charms can be roughly divided into three groups:

            1. Charms that can be passed off as peak human capability or luck. These are generally safe to use, unless you keep using them in front of the same crowd or the circumstances make things look particularly improbable. And even if people get suspicious, it's unlikely they'll jump to conclusions about you being an Exalt.

            2. Charms that can be passed off as some more common supernatural capability - "Oh, I'm a thaumaturge/sorcerer/something-blooded!" These will raise suspicion and may prompt further scrutiny, especially in lands where Immaculate Philosophy holds sway, but you won't be instantly recognized as a Solar.

            3. Charms that clearly mark you as a Solar - anything that flares your anima/caste mark, creates things out of golden Essence etc. At this point, the best you can do is ensure nobody who's seen you talks.