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Watch me fumble my way through making a Charmset in Yet Another Lunar Homebrew Thread

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  • #16
    Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post

    Sure. Just don't ask for feedback unless you're prepared for endless nitpicking. (Irked's homebrew has elicited howls of incoherent rage from me on multiple occasions.)
    Eh, I don't mind nitpicking. I've gotten some feedback here and there, and you never agree with everything everyone gives you, so it's no big deal.

    Here ya go though...

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...h.g7a4tga5xcrz

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    • #17

      That's... a lot of Charms. Tell you what, I'm going to read it for inspiration, shamelessly steal whatever catches my fancy and be diplomatically silent about the rest.


      First however, I'm going to read Glories: Luna!

      ...

      ...

      ...Yup, I've read it. I mean, there genuinely isn't much in the way of insightful commentary I can offer here. Much of it seems inapplicable or irrelevant for the direction 3E is going for. Some notes:


      - I'm not much of a fan of the focus on Luna's divine seductress aspect. Even putting the dreaded p-word aside, it feels weird to have the text fixate on it so much (literally the first thing it says about her: "Seductive and exotic beyond measure..."; later: "Luna's design is one of elemental seduction...", then: "...Luna's seductive, magnetic nature was to act as a rook to keep Gaia in Creation..."), because this aspect of hers was never reflected in her Chosen to the same extent that it seems to define her.

      - In general, the text seems to riff on the same Dionysian themes that were later on decried as a bad direction for Lunars, which elicits some confusion from me, given that the book has three writers and Holden and Morke are two of them. They were very vocal about not wanting Lunars to go in the direction TAW picked, and they were also open about designing Charm trees around the idea of the Exalted reflecting the themes and aesthetics of their patron at higher Essence. Opinions change over time, I guess?

      - The book also gives us a three and a half pages long statblock for Luna, which makes Ahlat's two pages in the 3E core look like the very picture of restraint. It also seems to give her a thematically more or less balanced powerset, so maybe my initial impression of seduction getting undue focus was wrong.

      - Then we finally get to Luna's Aspects, ie. the very reason I decided to re-read the book before starting to work on Lunar Charms.

      - The part about externalizing alternative selves to join her in subjective discourse further reinforces my impression that Twig's Sylvester is a pretty great source of Lunar inspiration.

      - Her full moon aspect is said to be represented by "martial archetypes associated with vigilance and the hunt", chief of them the Bloody Huntress who seems to have an affinity for archery. This seems to be a generally neglected part of Full Moon design as far as I can see - a lot of Charms about being an awesome shapeshifting monstrosity with pointy bits and the ability to take punishment and keep going, but only a token amount about being an awesome archer.

      - Her waxing moon phase is associated with sharing wisdom and guidance, and reflects an aspect called The White Navigator, who in turn is touched by the alternate-Luna called Phrye, the Third Eye Pyramid. This is a bit too abstract and esoteric to use as direct inspiration for Charm design, but it's worth noting that apparently sharing knowledge, guidance/navigation and illuminating the hidden take up a sizable portion of the totality of her themes.

      - Her half moon phase is "represented by aspects that evince a meeting of opposites, including her role as a fertility deity and a walker between worlds". I'm going to read this part as "steal liberally from W:tF", which, conveniently enough, I already planned to do.

      - "Her waning moon phase is represented by aspects of ominous portent and failing light, of the terrors of the night and the presence of things from beyond the world." So basically TAW by any other name. *scribble scribble*

      - ...Isn't "falcastra" the plural of "falcastrum", therefore making the phrase "Luna is sometimes seen as carrying a falcastra" an oxymoron?

      - The no moon phase isn't really given much of substance that wasn't already included in the No Moon Caste's themes.

      - Outside of these phases exists the aspect of the Chthonic Baara, described as "an ever-evolving super-predator, a conspiracy of beasts bound into a constant evolution to create an apocalyptic force that will rise in bitter defense of Gaia". (If you ever wondered what the heck that name actually means, it's apparently a mix of Greek and (Biblical) Hebrew which could be facetiously described as a "subterranean brute/beast".) (Or, less facetiously, a chthonic brute/beast, but that's veering into "shaped like itself" territory.) This is basically the classic Full Moon imagery with a side order of Prototype.


      ...Aaand this is pretty much it for the parts I want to address now. The book also has Charms in it, but I'm going to read and comment on those when I get to the individual Attributes they're associated with.


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      • #18
        As regards the Chthonic Baara, your description of it makes me think less of the Full Moons and more of Lunar Totems/Themes as a whole. Evolution as "if what you're doing works, great. If not, try something else," seems like it should be everywhere in the Lunar charmset and the potential for your totem to shift from a normal animal into a God Monster like some kind of Exalted Pokemon should be a thing all Lunars can benefit from, not just the Full Moons.

        Also, a Tyrant Lizard isn't objectively the best totem. Yes, they are gloriously stompy, but 1) not everyone wants to kill stuff, 2) a T-Rex is huge, so it doesn't help in fights that take place inside buildings or in other constrained spaces, and 3) turning into a T-Rex is like painting a huge target on your chest. Plenty of Lunars would rather have a small totem that they can use to sneak around or a totem that grants them extra mobility like flight.

        Or at least there SHOULD be reasons that you want a totem that is thematic for your character, instead of just going for a T-Rex. I mean, if you can always just hunt and eat a T-Rex, a bird, and a cat, then picking one of those as your totem should be more about what is reflective of your character, not "Well, my powers lock out my ability to shapeshift in situation X, except for my totem form, so I should pick form Y as my totem, because that's the best one for situation X and I can just use my other forms for everything else."


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        • #19
          Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
          As regards the Chthonic Baara, your description of it makes me think less of the Full Moons and more of Lunar Totems/Themes as a whole. Evolution as "if what you're doing works, great. If not, try something else," seems like it should be everywhere in the Lunar charmset

          That's the plan!


          Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
          and the potential for your totem to shift from a normal animal into a God Monster like some kind of Exalted Pokemon should be a thing all Lunars can benefit from, not just the Full Moons.

          On the other hand, it's a thin line to walk between "constantly evolving god-monster" and "glorious silver shoggoth".

          That said, I'm not sure I'm quite as bothered by glorious silver shoggoth imagery as the old devs are, so we'll see where we'll end up!


          Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
          Or at least there SHOULD be reasons that you want a totem that is thematic for your character, instead of just going for a T-Rex. I mean, if you can always just hunt and eat a T-Rex, a bird, and a cat, then picking one of those as your totem should be more about what is reflective of your character, not "Well, my powers lock out my ability to shapeshift in situation X, except for my totem form, so I should pick form Y as my totem, because that's the best one for situation X and I can just use my other forms for everything else."

          Yeah, one of the reasons for planning the totem bonuses the way I do is to facilitate picking non-standard totems even for Castes where said totem would be atypical. An exchange between breadth and depth, if you will: picking a totem whose related Charms are mainly in non-favored attributes lets you branch out without wasting a ton of xp, while focusing on the things you're supposed to be good at allows you to grab a few cool toys before you'd otherwise be allowed to.


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          • #20
            Sorry mine wasn't quite what your player was looking for - but good hunting to you!

            For whatever it's worth, my experience was that deciding how you want shapeshifting to integrate is going to affect a lot of the rest of your design - even if you don't make it central, they way mine did, you have to decide how it fits in and balances with other things.


            Homebrew: Lunar Charms for 3e

            Solar Charm Rewrite (Complete) (Now with Charm cards!)

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Irked View Post
              For whatever it's worth, my experience was that deciding how you want shapeshifting to integrate is going to affect a lot of the rest of your design - even if you don't make it central, they way mine did, you have to decide how it fits in and balances with other things.
              Interesting. Could you elaborate, please?


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              • #22
                Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post

                Interesting. Could you elaborate, please?
                Sure. The short version is, we want Lunars to change shapes. This is, if not the core feature of the Lunar experience, at least a core feature. We want it to happen. So why do they do that - more narrowly, for the sake of this conversation, why do they do it in combat?

                Is it because, when they take the form of an animal, they get its stats? Because that's... not actually so great; most of the accuracy die pools for critters in the core book are pretty unimpressive. Sure, a t-rex has all kinds of neat tricks if it can hit you, but that's a might big "if."

                Is it because you get the best possible combination of the animal's stats and your stats? Well, okay - so are we cool with the optimal Lunar strategy being, "Eat a bodybuilder; wear his form into combat, and never raise physical Attributes again?"

                (And how are they paying for shapeshifting, anyway? Is it a free thing, that you can turn into a mouse and a t-rex and a whale and a bird and all the rest, basically just as a character perk? That does some odd things to the balance, if shapeshifting is a significant combat edge and they get it for free. Or do you have to buy Charms to unlock these powers? In which case, what do you get for free? Can you be a Lunar who... can't really change shape?)

                Is it because basically every Charm is shapeshifting, such that using Lunar magic of any kind necessitates changing form as a matter of course? That was my approach.

                This isn't an exhaustive list of possibilities, and there's probably some really clever stuff I just am not thinking of, but you have to do something with it if you're going to avoid the 2e-ism where, most of the time, a Lunar might as well have DBT as his only form.


                Homebrew: Lunar Charms for 3e

                Solar Charm Rewrite (Complete) (Now with Charm cards!)

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                • #23
                  Time to read through Charms!

                  Since I'm... basically okay with the way Irked did Charms for physical attributes, I'm going to go in reverse order: mental attributes first, followed by social, then physical. So let's (start to) read 1E's Perception Charms!

                  (I'm going to skip Shapeshifting tricks entirely in these first passes, because I'm not convinced they need to be gated behind attribute minimums at all.)


                  First is Hunter's Eye Technique, a Charm that lets you find weak points in your enemy's armor, reducing their armored soak for an attack. I like the idea behind this one: Lunars should be pretty good at finding and exploiting their enemies' weaknesses. I'm not a fan of the mechanics though - "finding your enemy's weak spots" really is a pretty rich thematic vein to mine (certainly rich enough to sustain its own sub-tree in Perception!), and the effect basically boiling down to "yeah you get to ignore some soak" cheapens this woefully. It also shouldn't have a prerequisite outside of Perception.

                  Eagle Eye Advantage, a ranged combat Charm, lets you convert aim dice to auto-successes, which is certainly thematic. I'm not sure I'm sold on the idea of this inherently being a shapechanging effect though.

                  Nature's Harmony Advantage allows the Lunar to ignore environmental penalties to their shot because smth smth "animal instincts". I'd actually put something like this under Strength - it's not that you're so perceptive that you can... calculate the trajectory of your missile and how environmental factors affect your shot maybe (shouldn't this be an Intelligence Charm then? but the fluff text says "animal instincts", which I also take to fall under the purview of Wits? yet it's somehow a Perception Charm?); instead, you let your projectiles loose with such force that such conditions can't cause them to stray from their path.

                  Knowing the Arrow's Path is a standard-issue "ignore cover" Charm. I certainly think there's something to the imagery of a Lunar archer who adapts and changes, flowing through obstacles and finding the smallest openings in their opponent's defense. It's a pretty Lunar thing to be.

                  Skillful Ricochet Attack feels like a natural outgrowth of that theme, allowing the character to... well, I'm not actually sure what this Charm does. Does it allow you to hit enemies you couldn't otherwise hit? Negate the cover bonus? How am I supposed to determine the minimum number of bounces to shoot someone?
                  In any case, killing people with bouncy arrows and throwing weaponry certainly sounds fun.

                  Finding the Needle's Eye and Arrow-Breaking Shot are the "I can shoot incoming projectiles out of the air" Charms of this set. It... feels like something a supernaturally perceptive and dexterous person should be able to do? On the other hand, it doesn't feel particularly Lunar.

                  Wolf Eye Advantage is basically nightvision which is a Charm listed under ranged combat for some reason.

                  Wind-Wings Carry Technique is your standard range-extending Charm. This should also be in Strength.

                  Riding the Secret Wind is an autotargeting Charm with really wonky fluff. You're... tapping into the senses of nearby beasts (what happens if there aren't any?) and into the flows of Essence to... shoot people you can't see otherwise, as a surprise attack that ignores cover? I can kinda see how that works but it also feels pretty dumb.


                  And this concludes Perception-based combat Charms so far. I think this is a good point to drop things off for now; next time, we'll return with Perception-based... perception things. (No, literally. The sub-tree is just called "Perception".)
                  Last edited by aluminiumtrioxid; 04-21-2017, 12:55 PM.


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                  • #24
                    Onto the Perception sub-tree!


                    Sense-Sharpening Change is a basic dice adder with some shapeshifting fluff. Actually a thing I'd rather like to do for an entry-level Perception Charm is the ability to physically manifest the senses of some animals in your form library, gaining access to their special merits. It remains to be seen whether this is a good idea: on a sanity check level, it seems okay-ish - you don't gain anything you didn't originally have, and since the change is physical, it clearly outs you as a supernatural creature, so what you get is effectively a misc action and HANDS. On the other hand, it might narrow down the design space for other sense-related Charms, I'll have to comb over the animal statblocks to check for sure. (On the mutant third hand, since there's nothing stopping you from using Charms in animal form, animal sense merits arguably narrow down design space for Perception Charms either way, so maybe it's a wash!)

                    Heightened (Sense) Method converts Perception dice to auto-successes and is explicitly incompatible with all versions of itself and other sense-enhancing Charms. I'm not sure what's the point.

                    Sense-Borrowing Method lets you... borrow the senses of others? It's kind of in the name? I think this is a valid thematic space for Lunars, although the original incarnation doesn't really do much with the idea. Cool higher-Essence upgrades would be the ability to use it at range (either on characters you tagged with Foe-Marking Style or by snatching up something physical from the target's body like hair or blood which are then consumed in your anima) or in conjunction with territory-marking Charms (a raven-totem Lunar with her own corner of witchy wood should be able to spy on people through the eyes of any raven in that forest, dammit!).

                    Ever-Wary Fox Technique is an anti-surprise Charm. There should be one in the set. Not sure about the particulars.

                    Observed Prey Instinct is very similar to 3E's Intent-Tracing Stare. I'm not entirely sure how I'd do this - maybe whenever you're the target of a Read Intentions, Profile Character or Aim action, you get the sense that someone is watching you, and can activate the Charm to tell which type of action triggered it, and reflexively respond with a Read Intentions action to suss out the general feelings and intention of the person who took that action against you? I like to imagine Lunar magic as a very instinctual, gut-based thing, and knowing that someone is watching you with killing intent or suspicion or just as a general part of their daily routine without knowing who that person is or even where they're hiding (if they are) feels very much in-theme to me.

                    Weather-Scenting Method lets you know what kind of weather to expect. This is a very niche effect and also something you should just be able to do by rolling Per+Survival or Per+Sail.

                    Unerring Earth Direction Sense is what, a 1-dot Merit that costs motes to activate? "Into the trash pile it goes" would be my first instinct, but... it also lets you roll Wits+Awareness to determine exactly where you are. Since I think Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes is totally someone you should be able to play as a Lunar (look at him when he fights! He's milking those Perception and Intelligence excellencies on his Brawl rolls for all they're worth!), this gives me pause. On the other hand, there really isn't much in that scene you couldn't just do with a bunch of successes on Per+Awareness, so hm.

                    Moonsilver-Scenting Sense is pretty terrible, but I can see potential in the more generalized idea of a Charm that lets you smell metal and magical materials in general, and even on people if they've been in contact with them for a long time. This is a far more useful effect, allowing you pick out the rich from a bunch of dudes at random, helping you to detect hidden weaponry, and pick out likely Exalts even when they're not decked out in their full panoply. Perhaps too useful, even?

                    Wyld-Sensing Instinct does what the name indicates. It's a solid utility Charm to have, even though I'm generally opposed to the idea of Lunars as "Wyld Exalted". Maybe it could stand to have a broader utility function.

                    Resisting the Lure of Madness makes you immune to Wyld addiction. I'm sure there's a much better version of this in 3E's Solar Integrity or Lore; if I wanted a starting point for anti-Wyld Charms, I'd rather go there.

                    Wyld Object Appraisal Method tells you whether it's a good idea to take out an object from the Wyld. This is a very limited effect for a Charm pick, but it makes me think that there should probably be a broader effect that gives you a better understanding of the Wyld's twisted narrative-logic, because changing the entire way you think in order to adapt is one of the most Lunar things ever. Albeit it sure as hell shouldn't be in Perception.

                    Fish-Eye Technique is, for some reason, a Manipulation Charm that gives you 360 degree vision at the cost of increasing difficulties on Perception rolls. a) dude wat, b) if anything, this belongs in the Infernal wheelhouse.

                    Night is Day is a nightvision Charm. I don't think this should require an overt physical transformation, and I'd probably also include the upgrade (Perceiving the Hidden World) in its effect, which is basically heatvision. This could then have a bunch of various fun branching upgrades related to inferring minute blood flow details from heat signatures, aiding in Medicine, Socialize and, well, murdering people by causing them to bleed out.


                    ...Aaand this concludes the Perception I and II sub-trees.


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                    • #25
                      As it turns out, I feel like doing more Lunars today!


                      Comprehending Ears Meditation allows you to understand languages by succeeding on a Wits+Linguistics roll. Something like this worked well in the old paradigm, where Linguistics represented your ability to speak languages, but obviating purchases of the Language merit with a Charm is probably not a great idea. Even Solars only get the ability to learn new languages upon exposure at Essence 3 (albeit they can make themselves understood at Essence 2 and can evaluate given phrases in isolation at Essence 1).
                      Since I'm mainly envisioning Lunar Charms as robust tools, I don't think something that works on a per-sentence basis is appropriate for them. A scenelong effect that hooks into basic motivations is probably appropriate for Essence 1 (you don't understand what they're saying, and you can't speak the language either, but as long as they're talking about things that are rooted in or related to basic physical needs - food, water, safety, companionship etc. -, you get a vague feeling about how the thing they're saying relates to it and how strong that relationship is). An Essence 3 upgrade to this could function similarly to Excellent Emissary's Tongue, allowing you to learn the language reasonably quickly as long as you maintain commitment to the Charm. Probably needs an Essence 2 midpoint that expands on how much you understand with the basic effect, because the jump from "general idea related to very basic things" to "can learn to use the language with some difficulty in a matter of days" is pretty sudden, but the details of that can be ironed out later.

                      Calls of the Human Prey allows you to learn languages from people you've eaten. I... like this one. I actually like it very much - so much that I'm somewhat willing to consider dropping the hardline stance of "no Solar-level ability to learn languages". Eating people to absorb their knowledge is an idea with such massive thematic resonance, it'd practically be a crime to disregard it. Maybe the language-learning Charm could actually have an inbuilt effect like "if you have such and such Intelligence Charm that lets you nom on people for ability dots, you can alternatively choose to retain a language they speak instead, lowering the commitment cost of [language-learning Charm] by X motes, to a minimum of zero". Maybe it could be an upgrade you actually need to buy. I'm unsure.
                      (Somewhat related to the subject is that Calls of the Human Prey is an awesome name for a mimicry Charm that lets you perfectly mimic the voice of anyone you've eaten regardless of your current form, maybe with a rider that if you mimic someone's voice in order to lure them to yourself, you gain non-Charm bonus dice on the persuasion roll equal to the listener's strongest relevant Intimacy to that person. I like the idea of nightmarish silver monsters prowling beyond the edges of civilization, calling out to you on the voice of your loved ones - arguably the mechanics could use some work, because if someone holds an Intimacy for a person, and you hook into that Intimacy when calling them, they'll get a Resolve penalty for that Intimacy anyway, so the non-Charm double-dip is stupid. But then again, the effect as proposed gives you bonus dice no matter the context of their Intimacy - they'll feel compelled to come even if they hate that person, or even if they actually know said person is dead and hold an Intimacy of wanting to take revenge on their killer, which accentuates the effect's obviously supernatural nature, and I like that. But this theme could also be preserved by just saying "any Intimacy personally related to the character whose voice the Lunar stole qualifies as supporting the persuasion for the purposes of determining whether it's acceptable influence", and making the base effect less double-dippy, say, by forcing people with positive Intimacies toward the person you're mimicking to spend an additional WP when resisting the influence in a Decision Point.)

                      Feral Ears Metamorphosis is a terribly stupid name for a Charm that lets you talk to animals. Otherwise... yeah. Lunars should be able to talk to animals. I don't even think this is a particular threat to Solar supremacy - sure, they can't talk to animals, but if you actually want something from them, you have to use social influence, while they can just fiat-level do it.

                      Rabbit Ear Method has stupid visuals (you get big doggie ears or literal rabbit ears), but the effect is basically a mix between the roughly ten billion hearing-based anti-Stealth Charms in the 3E core and Foe-Scenting Method. I'd ditch the visuals and hammer on the mechanics until it's no longer a better-than-Solar effect, but this one is basically solid.

                      Seeing Without Looking practically gives you a sonar. ...Okay? I mean, this is a typical example of a Charm that is reasonably in-theme but might be obviated by the proposed "use animal senses in human form" Charm if, say, a bat ever gets published. Although I suppose this is just an argument why I should tighten up the wording on that thing (the Tyrant Lizard's Relentless Pursuit being pretty much flat-out better than any scent-based Charm should be is another).


                      And this concludes Perception III.


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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
                        Unerring Earth Direction Sense is what, a 1-dot Merit that costs motes to activate? "Into the trash pile it goes" would be my first instinct, but... it also lets you roll Wits+Awareness to determine exactly where you are. Since I think Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes is totally someone you should be able to play as a Lunar (look at him when he fights! He's milking those Perception and Intelligence excellencies on his Brawl rolls for all they're worth!), this gives me pause. On the other hand, there really isn't much in that scene you couldn't just do with a bunch of successes on Per+Awareness, so hm.
                        Forgive me if I just didn't comprehend it reading through your stance on overlap with Solar Charms, but what are your thoughts on Charms like Salty Sea Dog Prana or whatever that Charm is called? A sort of grab-bag of basic effects that aren't worth their own Charms? You might put such a thing in there along with things like Weather-Scenting Method.


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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Ellis View Post
                          Forgive me if I just didn't comprehend it reading through your stance on overlap with Solar Charms, but what are your thoughts on Charms like Salty Sea Dog Prana or whatever that Charm is called? A sort of grab-bag of basic effects that aren't worth their own Charms? You might put such a thing in there along with things like Weather-Scenting Method.
                          I could do that, but, again, these are things you should be able to do by passing a roll with difficulty 3, tops. I don't think there's much value in making a dedicated Charm for them when any character with a reasonable basic pool has a very good chance of succeeding at the basic action even without spending motes.

                          Fiat-level "doing stuff" makes sense as a concept for Solar Charms, because they're the Exalts of "doing stuff", and these effects usually have low ability prereqs in their set, where succeeding at the related action isn't necessarily guaranteed for someone who just dips for the Excellency or whatever, but Lunar magic works on different principles.
                          Last edited by aluminiumtrioxid; 04-22-2017, 05:21 AM.


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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post
                            The fact that it subtly favors Changing Moons and No Moons (there's a lot more situations where you can leverage a good mental or social score on physical rolls than vice versa) also helps shaking off the Lunar baggage of being an unstoppable rage monster and not much else.
                            Nice catch.


                            - Caste and Favored attributes should come with free Excellencies. Currently I'm thinking 2 Caste, 2 Favored. This might change, but it's unlikely to.

                            - Further in the vein of "fuck having to buy Excellencies", I'm also thinking you get a free Excellency in a non-favored attribute if you buy three Charms in it. This offers parity with a Solar who can get an Excellency in every ability by sinking all fifteen of their starting Charms into non-favored abilities (except doing the same for attributes makes somewhat more sense).
                            Cool.


                            To make the transition from "can't use the Excellency at all" at one or two Charms to "can enhance every pool using that ability" at three smoother, something like "if you have a Charm in an attribute but no Excellency, you can enhance actions created or supplemented by that Charm as if you had the Excellency" might be in order.
                            Might be getting too granular, but otherwise not a bad idea.


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                            • #29
                              Continuing on with Perception...


                              Blood-Kin Sense allows you to smell familial relationships between people. On one hand, this is a reasonably Lunar Charm, thematically. On the other hand, it's an incredibly thin effect. Luckily, there's a bunch of stuff you can do with the idea of smelling/tasting blood, so this could certainly be one use of such a Charm.

                              Blood on the Wind is basically super-tracking. This is definitely something Lunars should be very good at. So good, in fact, that I don't feel like I should be beholden to treating the core as an absolute cap on how powerful these effects can get, because Solar tracking is pretty damn thin.

                              Emotion-Revealing Scent is... hm. On one hand, it's certainly thematic. On the other hand, this is Perception, and Charms that enhance Read Intentions actions should probably be in their own sub-tree instead of branching off of super-smelling. Basically my problem with this Charm is that it doesn't really allow for much subtlety - if I'm a graceful social predator, say, a spider- or peacock-totem courtier, smelling people to determine their emotional state is probably going to feel weirdly incongruent with the general imagery of my character. But putting this effect into the Charm tree either gates a useful social effect behind supersmell-related prerequisites and themes, or there won't be much point for a social character who also dabbles in super smelling to pick the Charm because her social Charms can already do something similar more effectively.
                              Granted, the entire set could be designed around the assumption that basically every single Charm is somehow rooted in the raw physicality of various senses, which is certainly fitting for Lunars-as-werewolves, and it would also solve the problem of the hypothetical courtier who now no longer has to dip into an effect she wouldn't want to invest in otherwise (because her every other Charm is also going to branch off of that or a similar effect), but that sort of overly literal implementation of Lunar themes is, I think, a poor fit for a No Moon Caste tree.

                              Truth-Scenting Method is basically shittier Judge's Ear Technique with a smell-based paintjob. A Lunar should be able to hone her senses in ways that make her very good at telling whether people are lying to her or not, but this is a very poor way to achieve that.

                              Spirit-Scenting Technique is your standard tool for seeing dematerialized critters. Definitely a necessary effect.

                              Pulse of the Invisible is basically discount All-Encompassing Sorcerer's Sight. I'll have to figure out a way to make it interesting and useful on its own right without just being a copy-paste of the similar Solar Charm.


                              And that's pretty much it for 1E's Perception Charms, as far as I can see. Next time, I'll either take a look at TAW or the Irked version (which already contains his port of the Ink Monkeys Charms as well as the ones from Glories: Luna).


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                              • #30
                                Let's continue with TAW! I'm going to use a compilation called Manual of Exalted Power - Terrifying Argent Witches instead of the more closely edited google doc by Imrix, because stealing ideas works better when there's more ideas on display to steal from. The downside of this is that I will probably whine a lot more about effects that don't fit my vision of Lunars, but by this point, this shouldn't really shock anyone.

                                The chapter opens by explicitly spelling out the subset's thematic backbone: "To look beyond the normal opens your eyes forever". It's a very No Moon way to approach Perception, but I'm not sure if it's productive to reduce the totality of protean and ever-changing Lunar magic to a pithy one-liner. I mean, I get the idea that constraints foster creativity, but, y'know, you could just pick a different theme for every sub-tree in the attribute, so you could have a fairly straightforward Full Moon with super-senses who doesn't really do any of the fancy incomprehensible revelation stuff?

                                But ah well. Let's proceed to the actual Charms.


                                Perspective-Marking Prana is a really cool effect that I personally adore. It basically lets you detect the sensory ranges of others through synaesthesia (even if you don't actually see them). Right now I'm tentatively leaning toward not putting it into my set, partially because Commandos-style visual cones are a poor fit for the general aesthetics I associate with Creation and partially because this would interact weirdly with my version of Observed Prey Instinct (which effect is an outgrowth of which? isn't OPI largely made redundant by just fiat-level knowing if you're in the sensory range of someone?). Although I suppose I could make this an upgrade to OPI, where succeeding on the read intentions action would also let you feel the sensory ranges and rough level of prowess of the person observing you.

                                Eyes Wide Open uses a lot of words to basically say "you can now detect dematerialized creatures". Albeit I do like the description: "The Lunar opens her eyes to the unseen, perceiving the reality-shadows cast upon the world by the immaterial. These spectres flicker and ripple in countless false colours as the Lunar stares right through them to places more rarefied than mere immateriality."

                                Distance-Violating Step is... basically a Sidereal Charm? It lets you move to a place without actually moving through the intervening space; I'm reasonably sure this is the exact description of a Sidereal Charm somewhere. It's a poor thematic fit for Perception's mechanical identity, it doesn't really match my vision of Lunars, and it steps on Sidereal toes. I'll pass, albeit with the caveat that strange and esoteric realizations about the illusory nature of reality actually fit well within Lunar Perception at high Essence, just... not like this.

                                Walls-No-Obstacle Prana is a logical outgrowth of its prerequisite. This is also an effect in Solar Larceny, and I can easily imagine Perception having something similar around Essence 4, perhaps branching off of Flaw-Finding Examination.

                                Parallel Intrusion Strike is essentially Single Point's Void-Slicing Wind, but as an upgrade to Distance-Violating Step. Not a fan.

                                Suspicious Siren's Torch is... wat? I think this is probably a Charm intended for Exalted Modern. But it also has a ride-related... rider (sorry not sorry), and... well... I'll just let the text speak for itself: "If the Lunar knows Riding the Weird Steed she may apply this Charm to her mount, the mote settling within its brow, shining strange searchlights from its eyes and screeching through its open mouth."
                                Yeah I think this might be something called, in a technical term, "fucking stupid". I mean, I like the basic idea of the Lunar Siren of strange unlight that makes people paranoid about what the Lunar Police might possibly want from them, but this can't really be backported into Creation proper without rewriting it from scratch.

                                Watching Warden Technique riffs on the same steward/warden/whatever thing I specifically want to avoid, so I'm gonna pass.

                                Impossibility's Arrival is an anti-surprise Charm with fluff that certainly looks to my uninitiated eyes like a load of wankery. "Too-wide eyes catch flickers of that which Is Not. To internalise this is to gain a glimpse into What Is, for when probability cascades into certainty Is Not becomes overwhelming showing all but what is about to happen." I mean, even putting aside Pretentious Capitalization and missing commas, it just... doesn't make sense? Glimpses of infinite impossibilities that paradoxically expand outward as probabilities converge on a singular event, showing everything but my ass getting punked doesn't sound super helpful in defending against whatever nastiness is coming my way, but surely I'm the pleb who just can't appreciate True Weird.

                                Un-World Backlash is a counterattack that... *sigh* works by tearing the fabric of reality itself, letting in the nasty stuff from Beyond ravage the poor hapless fool you unleash this upon. Let's just say that I'm not a fan of the broader implications an effect like this has on the setting, and leave it at that. But, as a personal challenge, I'm now going to start thinking about ways to do Perception-based counterattack Charms that aren't just "shoot them with Archery".

                                Uncanny (Sense) Practice is an Indefinite mirror of the Solar Keen (Sense) Technique which also comes with some sort of obvious (hell, even Obvious) physical change. I think I'll pass: it's more interesting to think about ways the Lunar equivalent can differ from the Solar effects, especially since you're going to build the upgrades in different directions anyway, and wouldn't it be nice if the base was specifically written around synergies with those later expansions?

                                Treacherous Siren Scars is, for some reason, an outgrowth of the previous Charm that lets you mark people you wound, making it easier for you to track them later. I think it doesn't really need to be a specific Charm, really - Lunar tracking Charms should just work better against people who are suffering from wound penalties caused by the Lunar's attacks, by default. (Actually, I'm reasonably sure I lifted that idea outright from Irked's homebrew.)

                                Intuitive All-Sense Synthesis is... weird and I'm not entirely convinced it's all that useful. It basically allows you to gain information from senses you couldn't employ on your original roll, as long as you have the appropriate U(S)P - so basically you get to know how the dude you hear on the other side of that door looks like, or how it feels to touch that eagle circling above your head. This is a very "Silver Infernal" effect that mostly just feels weird for the sake of weird. It's hard to visualize or even stunt without veering into the unintelligibly abstract, and is completely divorced from the raw physicality I associate with Lunars.

                                Organ-Sense Separation also feels like a Silver Infernal effect. It's basically "grow sensory organs anywhere on your body", which is the sort of shapeshifting effect that feels both aesthetically wrong and also more or less redundant with the rest of the set. I mean, sure, you could respond to being blinded by growing another pair of eyes on your forehead... or you could switch to sonar senses or regenerate the eye like normal people most Lunars would do.

                                Donorsomatic Gift Methodology is more or less the same effect I proposed as an expansion for Sense-Borrowing Method and Foe-Marking Style, just with more Cronenberg.

                                Inhuman (Sense) Observation is to Unsurpassed (Sense) Discipline as U(S)P is to K(S)T, and I already said what I think about it there.


                                This feels like a good point to stop; the next few Charms branch off of Eyes Wide Open, so it's probably safe to assume we're done with this branch of the tree for the time being.


                                I made dis

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