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[Bestiary] A Collection of Martial Artists

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  • [Bestiary] A Collection of Martial Artists

    I wanted to put together an example bestiary entry for Exalted in the style of 13th Age's really customizable stuff, so I made this, with a bunch of martial artists who can be mix-and-matched with a bunch of different styles. This might be useful for people who wanted mortal fights that aren't just blocks of numbers, and there are a couple of boss fights with mysterious Exalted warriors thrown in.

    It's been somewhat tested, but still probably needs tweaking. Please let me know what you think!


    Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine RPGJenna Moran's PatreonRobert Vance's Patreon

  • #2
    I don't have time to read over this properly at the moment, but this looks pretty neat. Some of the abilities are maybe more powerful than I'd let mortals have if this were a full system for mundane martial arts, but as antagonists, they look like they could be fun.

    Also, I suspect a couple of those martial artists aren't ordinary mortals. I don't know what it is. Probably just my imagination.

    I noticed a couple of oddities with the stat blocks, though, and I'm not sure if they're intentional.

    One is that the Adept and Master are nearly identical, and the latter actually has lower soak - is the Master's main advantage meant to be their mastery ability?

    The other is that the Starry-Eyed Master and Ying-Yang Master's soak are equal to the base level that their artifact armor provides, implying they have 0 Stamina, which... struck me as odd, but maybe that's intentional. It's not like NPC quick characters have to follow PC rules exactly.

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    • #3
      I adore the Arcane Fate trait, but it's phrased in a slightly unclear fashion: does she only gain the initiative when a player says the word out of character, or does it also cover in character mentions?


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

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      • #4
        The Yin-Yang master is missing a cost for Death Inviting Stroke. I feel like Balance of Opposition should be a charm for how strong it is, but that might just be me.

        Does Bear Style's soak adders stack? 19 soak seems too insane to be stacked.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Phoenix_Kensai View Post
          One is that the Adept and Master are nearly identical, and the latter actually has lower soak - is the Master's main advantage meant to be their mastery ability?
          They could probably stand to have a different ability and higher soak—the masters were originally supposed to be "low-end boss", but the scale got moved up a bit when it turned out that in practice they were closer to being mooks if the players are Solars who aren't complete noncombatants.

          The other is that the Starry-Eyed Master and Ying-Yang Master's soak are equal to the base level that their artifact armor provides, implying they have 0 Stamina, which... struck me as odd, but maybe that's intentional. It's not like NPC quick characters have to follow PC rules exactly.
          Good catch; they should be higher.

          I adore the Arcane Fate trait, but it's phrased in a slightly unclear fashion: does she only gain the initiative when a player says the word out of character, or does it also cover in character mentions?
          Basically, any time the ST hears the word spoken.

          It's a joke I invented to punish players for using out-of-character knowledge. ^_^

          The Yin-Yang master is missing a cost for Death Inviting Stroke.
          It triggers automatically.

          I feel like Balance of Opposition should be a charm for how strong it is, but that might just be me.
          I think that would just increase its complexity. (Honestly, I haven't had a chance to test how this hack to let a 5v1 boss battle happen works in practice yet. Somebody let me know if the yin-yang master goes down easily or is unbeatable.)

          Does Bear Style's soak adders stack? 19 soak seems too insane to be stacked.
          You use the highest one. It's phrased like that so you can just add it straight to the stat block you use to run the fight.



          Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine RPGJenna Moran's PatreonRobert Vance's Patreon

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          • #6
            These writeups are spectacular! Your little blurbs that explain the challenge posed by these martial artists are very helpful! I really like your three-tier packages of martial arts abilities.

            I'm curious, however: do you have any other styles written up in that three-tier style? If not that's totally cool, but would you be willing to say how you came up with the sorts of powers each of the styles has? I'd love to adapt some of the other corebook styles into that format for use with spicing up some mortal npc writeups.

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            • #7
              I basically just made them up, starting with the idea that I wanted them to be simple and not really deal in things like activation costs or actions; they're all either passive, reflexive, or activate on a certain trigger. Master-level abilities should be the ones you don't want every mook to have (I just swapped around Even Blade's master and adept abilities so that every fighter in the combat doesn't have access to an anti-AoE semiperfect.)

              Right now these are the only styles I have, but I'll probably add more as I get more ideas. I'm currently working on the next entry in my bestiary, which is E for elementals, featuring the hearthling, the dancing fog, the rockbreaker nymph, the oldenlode, the muchmoss, the honeycrisp, and the teakettle dragon.


              Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine RPGJenna Moran's PatreonRobert Vance's Patreon

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              • #8
                I actually got a chance to test out the yin-yang master, and I determined that Balance of Opposition works pretty well for a 5v1 boss fight, that her soak was way too high for someone everybody was expected to try to hit, and that I needed to adjust her abilities so that it was actually possible to try to work around them. I removed some powers that didn't get used much, made dark hours locked away her primary defensive ability, and changed her dice-snatching ability to only work on 10s and 1s.

                The function of Excellent Strike that protects your 1s from nasty magic got a lot more useful if you ever use this fight.


                Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine RPGJenna Moran's PatreonRobert Vance's Patreon

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                • #9
                  Is Saturn's Terrible Smile supposed to be exactly 4, or 4 and above?

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                  • #10
                    This is really really cool stuff. I haven’t digested all of it but super useful toolkit thank you!

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                    • #11
                      Ooh this is -very- cool; bookmarking for future use un my campaign.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Magistrate View Post
                        Is Saturn's Terrible Smile supposed to be exactly 4, or 4 and above?
                        Four or more is fine, else it would be even more unlikely to happen than it already is.


                        Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine RPGJenna Moran's PatreonRobert Vance's Patreon

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