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Has anyone used Steel Devil Style?

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  • #16
    You're stretching the significance of the response you've had so far. A lot. This is a topic that has only been up for a few hours, of a workday.

    Many people that read it won't reply. If you´re really interested in knowing people's experience with Steel Devil, instead of seeking white room battles with whoever answers your call you should type "Steel Devil" into the search function and read what comes up.

    I remember at least one person saying they played a character with it and if I recall correctly they were satisfied.

    I have only played a Brawl character and a Snake/Crane character, does that mean everything else sucks? No, it only means that I've only had the opportunity to play that so far.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Iron Phoenix View Post
      1) No, nobody has played a PC in a game using Steel Devil Style. (This kind of reinforces my point. People aren't finding it cool/good enough to take it.)
      Incorrect. Misu in my Okeanos game uses it.

      What you should be gathering so far is that your perceptions of both the setting and intended play are way off-keel.
      Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 07-17-2017, 11:23 AM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by TGUEIROS View Post
        You're stretching the significance of the response you've had so far. A lot. This is a topic that has only been up for a few hours, of a workday.

        Many people that read it won't reply. If you´re really interested in knowing people's experience with Steel Devil, instead of seeking white room battles with whoever answers your call you should type "Steel Devil" into the search function and read what comes up.

        I remember at least one person saying they played a character with it and if I recall correctly they were satisfied.

        I have only played a Brawl character and a Snake/Crane character, does that mean everything else sucks? No, it only means that I've only had the opportunity to play that so far.
        Already did that search before I made the thread. Most tables don't consist of a ST running for a single player, so even if you haven't played a Steel Devil Style character personally, I'd expect some people to chime in and say "I haven't played it, but someone in my group has, and this is what we've seen so far..." and that hasn't happened.

        Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
        Incorrect. Misu in my Okeanos game uses it.

        What you should be gathering so far is that your perceptions of both the setting and intended play are way off-keel.
        Great. That's what I'm looking for. Can you share your gameplay experiences with the style, as well as what types of opponents that character has done well against, and what opponents that character has had difficulties with?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Iron Phoenix View Post
          Already did that search before I made the thread.
          Then how did you miss earlier discussions in which I mentioned Misu practicing Steel Devil? Or Kyman talking about his Eclipse? You really need to be more thorough before you go declaring that no one practices the style.

          Originally posted by Iron Phoenix View Post
          Can you share your gameplay experiences with the style, as well as what types of opponents that character has done well against, and what opponents that character has had difficulties with?
          He fights with paired short swords for most occasions; about the hardest fight he had was with an Abyssal with Essence 4 and Brawl, who used a Reflexive Clash Disarm to throw Misu's swords overboard. Other than that he's done just fine, cutting his way through troops of beastfolk and elite soldiers, dolphin-gods, water elementals, sea-demons, and Dragon-Blooded.
          Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 07-17-2017, 01:41 PM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
            Then how did you miss earlier discussions in which I mentioned Misu practicing Steel Devil? Or Kyman talking about his Eclipse? You really need to be more thorough before you go declaring that no one practices the style.
            I didn't miss the earlier discussions. You yourself didn't have much to say in defense of the style in this thread: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...is-steel-devil

            You've also stated in other threads that the character is a supernal Sail character with more Sail charms than combat charms. That tells me that, most likely, you're playing in a much lower-powered campaign than the ones my group likes to run/play in. There's nothing wrong with that, and if your table is having fun, then more power to you. If I'm wrong about the style and it has the ability to be effective against a high-defense opponent with onslaught negators, then please, let me know what you've found that I missed. That's the purpose of this thread. I want to be wrong.

            If I'm not wrong about the weaknesses of the style, then please say that and move on. I'm not trying to invalidate the experience of the player in your game. I'm saying that I think the style is below the power curve of the game that I'll be playing in, and I'm hoping there's tech that makes it viable in high-powered games.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Iron Phoenix View Post
              You yourself didn't have much to say in defense of the style in this thread…
              Sure I did! I indicated that, yes, the style has weaknesses, and so does every one. It's senseless to arbitrarily declare it "not viable" just because it's not the optimal style to use against high-op enemies. By that logic, neither is Black Claw, Single Point, Dreaming Pearl Courtesan, or Solar Thrown.

              Anyway, if you wanna get stuff that helps your Steel Devil Style guy, grab some Stealth and Athletics - it doesn't matter how high their Parry is when it's inapplicable, the damage-boosters are nice, and your later Charms will appreciate your ability to enhance a Rush.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Iron Phoenix View Post

                Assume all Exalts have 5 Dexterity + 5 (Relevant Ability) + Specialty.
                I think I see your problem.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                  Sure I did! I indicated that, yes, the style has weaknesses, and so does every one. It's senseless to arbitrarily declare it "not viable" just because it's not the optimal style to use against high-op enemies. By that logic, neither is Black Claw, Single Point, Dreaming Pearl Courtesan, or Solar Thrown.

                  Anyway, if you wanna get stuff that helps your Steel Devil Style guy, grab some Stealth and Athletics - it doesn't matter how high their Parry is when it's inapplicable, the damage-boosters are nice, and your later Charms will appreciate your ability to enhance a Rush.
                  I actually think all of those MA styles are more powerful out of the box than Steel Devil Style. Solar Thrown definitely has issues this edition, so I won't argue there. However, I hadn't considered Stealth. That's the bit of tech I was missing, since Triple Attack Technique would be fantastic when compared against Defense 0 from an Ambush. Thanks.

                  It's a bit weird for the stealth trope (An assassin leaps from the shadows to kill you! He's using...paired hook swords?) compared to Ebon Shadow Style or Solar Thrown, but mechanically I think that would definitely work well.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Kunoichi View Post
                    I think I see your problem.
                    To be fair, if that's the kind of game his ST is intent on running, a high powered game where enemies are "maxed out" then he doesn't have much of a choice but to try and make a character who can handle that kind of game. And asking if Steel Devil can stay relevant in that kind of a combat paradigm is a reasonable question to want to hammer out before you make a character and then find out that, no, it can't.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Iron Phoenix View Post
                      It's a bit weird for the stealth trope (An assassin leaps from the shadows to kill you! He's using...paired hook swords?) compared to Ebon Shadow Style or Solar Thrown, but mechanically I think that would definitely work well.

                      Why the hook swords? If I'm not missing something Crane doesn't really combo well with stealth (and between 13 steel devil charms + evocations + stealth charms it'll take forever untill you'd start expanding into another style anyway) so if you're going stealth + Steel Devil you'd surely be wielding Short Daiklaves no?
                      Last edited by limaxophobiac; 07-17-2017, 03:02 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post

                        To be fair, if that's the kind of game his ST is intent on running, a high powered game where enemies are "maxed out" then he doesn't have much of a choice but to try and make a character who can handle that kind of game. And asking if Steel Devil can stay relevant in that kind of a combat paradigm is a reasonable question to want to hammer out before you make a character and then find out that, no, it can't.
                        It's as much the fault of the players as it is the ST. All of us in my playgroup enjoy crunch/character optimization and even characters who are not combat-specialized rarely make it to the table without 5 Dex + 5 Ability + 1 specialty. In the game I was just running, even the supernal Lore Twilight, who had the least amount of combat investment, showed up to the table with Archery, Melee, and Martial Arts (White Reaper Style). Yes, 5 Dex, 5 Archery, 4 dots in Melee and 4 dots in Martial Arts.

                        I tried battle groups. The supernal Athletics Zenith with F&SS and LTA killed them. Plus, the Twilight has War and WRS. I tried overpowered solos. They didn't have the mote pools to withstand the offense that the F&SS + LTA + SPSitV Zenith, FJ + HoIT Dawn, and OWTB + PB Twilight could put out. I tried solos with a bunch of henchmen. The solos died to the Zenith and the henchmen died to the Dawn. I tried a bunch of high powered elite troops that should've been ran as a battle group, but I ran them as individuals to see how the party handled it. They won, but it dragged on forever.

                        While the players do have fun with encounters that are pushovers for them, they have the most fun when I throw encounters at them that are difficult and leave them wondering if they will come out on top. The types of encounters that run them through their entire mote pool and give them significant wound levels (every player has multiple levels of Ox-Body Technique with Body-Mending Meditation). I've found that the best encounters to do this, without the encounter dragging on so long that the players get bored of it and no longer enjoy it, are the ones where they're against a similarly-sized party of Exalts with comparable baseline dice pools. That means within 1-2 dice of the PCs, and the PCs are rolling maxed dice pools. The difference between Solar Excellencies and Dragonblood Excellencies, plus Solar Charms being more mote-efficient, weights the encounter in the party's favor without it being a foregone conclusion.

                        I'm going to be the player in a new game now, not the ST, but it's the same playgroup and so I anticipate the same difficulty level in combat. I've been asked to come up with character concepts for the players who struggle to come up with ideas, and so my goal has been to find not only the best starting combat builds for the players who enjoy combat, but also to find the most efficient combat builds that would allow a social/plot power character function under those combat assumptions while having plenty of room to take their social/plot power Charms.

                        3e is actually very well balanced. The only two trees that seemed to come up short were Thrown and Steel Devil Style. Both can work with Stealth, but they seem to ramp up very slowly and almost require Essence 3 before you you finally have enough of a toolkit to make everything work well together.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by limaxophobiac View Post

                          Why the hook swords? If I'm not missing something Crane doesn't really combo well with stealth (and between 13 steel devil charms + evocations + stealth charms it'll take forever untill you'd start expanding into another style anyway) so if you're going stealth + Steel Devil you'd surely be wielding Short Daiklaves no?
                          Short swords work if you want the accuracy from a light weapon, but not if you want to splash Crane. You have to take the hook swords to splash Crane, or if you want the +1 Defense from using a medium artifact weapon.

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                          • #28
                            RAW there are no artifact hook swords though, and if there were you'd still have to aquire and attune them as 2 seperate artifacts, which Short Daiklaves saves you from. The bonuses of artifact weapons over mortal weapons are pretty huge.

                            I also really dont think throwing Crane in there is worth it over being able to use Armor/Invulnerable Skin of Bronze and the opportunity cost of using that xp for something else.
                            Last edited by limaxophobiac; 07-17-2017, 06:00 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                              Or Kyman talking about his Eclipse?
                              Hm, what? Hi?

                              I'll mention that Agate, the aforementioned Eclipse, isn't really combat-focused... But in my experience the biggest problem she has in combat is against foes with high defenses... Which, as multiple people have said, aren't as common as one might think.

                              Just last week she had a fight with an Abyssal Necromancer. Dude was a bit tough to get through his Soak, but I managed the killing blow, so there's that!


                              Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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                              • #30
                                Having had some experience in the game I play in with Steel Devil Style, I can say that it's a pretty crummy style. Another PC, a newbie to the system, really liked the Steel Devil Style conceptually and was dead-set on playing one. The first few battles went poorly for the character, and seemed to involve a lot of spent motes for minimal benefit. Sacrificing rollover successes on the attack roll to pull off Double or even Triple Attack Technique means that any damage benefits are meager and, as my ST and I determined when we charted it out, often actually worse than normal attacks against enemies with a significant Defense.

                                Add onto that that against enemies with a reasonable Defense (Say, maybe 7?), you're going to want to pour motes into your Excellency to ramp up attack successes, and that many of the later charms in the style rely on chaining the attacks and charms together, and you'll quickly find that the style is remarkably expensive in terms of spent motes. Not to mention, one mediocre attack roll and you're out all those motes.

                                Add onto that that you've got to keep track of all of the "Offhand Charge' nonsense (adding an extra mechanic exclusively for an MA is a bad sign in any case) and how it affects all of the charms, and to get those points to a level where they'll be really effective takes a number of rounds and more mote expenditure.

                                As for the complaints about your assumptions about normal Exalts' capabilities, Phoenix, they're fair enough, but mostly irrelevant to the point. Your concern is not specifically that the style is bad at taking down big powerful Exalts, but is that the style is bad at taking down anyone with significant Defense. And most interesting combat will take place against enemies with significant Defense. Sure, Steel Devil is fine for stomping guys with a Defense of 4. But, honestly, who cares? You were going to stomp them anyway, and you could probably have done it more cheaply and with less bookkeeping with a few Melee charms. Steel Devil Style is complicated, it's risky, it's expensive, and it doesn't have a great payoff. Simple as that.

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