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Isator Levi reads Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought

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  • Now, finishing off the Fire Aspect with Socialize, something that I always thought was one of the more interesting ones to give to that element.

    The Excellency is Loquacious Courtier Technique, a name that really speaks to me. It adds successes and raises Guile. Then there’s Wary Yellow Dog Attitude (a name that I still need to figure out the meaning of), which allows the character to roll Socialize in Join Battle rolls when a fight breaks out from a social scene, with the possibility of getting non-Charm dice if they’d influenced or read anybody who starts attacking them.

    Friend-to-All-Nations Attitude is a Wood Charm, and permanent. From just spending an hour in the presence of a new culture or social group, the Dragon Blood can gain a temporary specialty in that group, and can carry as many of those as their Essence, and can pick up new ones by dropping the old. I understand that all of their Charms are elemental, and that this one could be a simple case of the right element for the right effect, but I do wonder if the moment when the speciality is formed it either breaks a different Aura or creates a Wood one, as appropriate. I’ll need to ask about that.

    Anyway, next there’s Loyalty-Reading Meditation, to let one read intentions for an emotional Intimacy in a manner that makes it penalize Guile, and Smoke-Wreathed Mien to force others trying to read the Exalt’s intentions to reroll their successes if they get 1s.

    Auspicious First Meeting Attitude is Water, soooo… ahh, it’s not so sinister, just combine a read intentions and instil action in one, as a representation of figuring a new person out and tailoring one’s demeanour to them.

    And another old favourite, Brother-Against-Brother Insinuation. Enhances instill attempts to weaken a positive Tie to somebody from your target’s culture or group, or to create a negative one. Also prevents boosting Resolve against that action by drawing on an Intimacy to the culture that the targeted people share. I can’t recall exactly how the Charm used to work, but if the element of being specific to people from the same culture is new, I like the way it allows one to target a cohesive group for dissolution.

    Air Charm Seizing-the-Tongue Technique allows a Terrestrial to recover from their spoken fumbles, rerolling failed dice in Presence or Socialize rolls, with the Aura allowing it to be used reflexively after having made the roll, rather than Supplemental to reinforce a roll that might have done fine anyway.

    I was expecting Sweeten-the-Tap Method to be Wood now. Rather, it is Wood and Fire in combination. I recall that in Second Edition, they gave this a bit of expansion to include a variety of indulgences, owing to a certain lack of hard mechanical effect. That’s rolled back now to return to its roots; enhancing the potency of alcoholic beverages supplied by the Dragon Blood. The mechanics of it now are that everybody who drinks the stuff can be treated as though they have a positive Minor Tie to one another, and their Guile is slightly reduced. At the same time, the instability of the magically enhanced inebriation means that anybody who botches socially will have everybody else under the effect turn nasty towards them.

    Nooooww… Shadow-Dispersing Radiance used to add the difference between Appearance and a target’s Guile as non-Charm dice to a read intentions roll. Eye-for-Passions Scrutiny lets you get told an extra Intimacy when your read intentions action succeeds. And Watching the Salon’s Shadows allows one to apply a bonus to Guile against somebody that the user is unaware of reading intentions, and automatically rolling Awareness with double 9s to detect ones that fail. Last before the Signatures is Smoke Without Flame, both enhancing Guile, and giving those whose read intentions actions fail a false impression of success, revealing an exaggerated or caricatured version of the Exalt’s current emotional state (so if you’re a bit miffed, they’ll think you’re venomously hateful) or an emotion-based Intimacy, with Fire Aura making the Guile bonus non-Charm, and a repurchase at Essence 4 giving the option to expend Fire Aura to make the same effect work on somebody who successfully beat the Guile.

    Now, to start with Clear-Eyed Courtier’s Scrutiny. It can basically be used to read the intentions of an entire group, with the added benefits of double 9s. It can either be used to determine their individual motives within the context of the scene or how all of the individuals feel about a certain topic. If it fails against any given person, a regular read intentions act can be performed on them in the same scene without needing to be reset.

    Unfaltering Pillar of Unity lets a Dragon Blood have an improved instil roll to grant members of a group a Tie of loyalty towards their group, reinforcing traditional social order. Characters can only resist forming the Tie using a Decision Point, and need to wait several weeks to be able to voluntarily weaken it, unless the Tie contradicts a Defining Intimacy. Other characters instil actions to weaken the Intimacy need to deal with rules to overturn a successful persuasion.

    The Aspect’s Signature is Wildfire Scandal Revelation, a Charm with a prerequisite condition of having uncovered somebody’s embarrassing or incriminating secret. The secret can the be used in conjunction with the Charm to double 8s on a Socialize roll to instil negative or weaken positive Ties to the person who keeps the secret, as well as a group or culture that they belong to. From therein, the person with the altered Intimacy gains a temporary specialty in spreading the information, and resisting it costs extra Willpower.

    Water gets a Psyche Charm, Ego-Dissolving Deception. Ah, but it’s one that the user applies to themselves; they can spend an hour meditating, at the end of which they can rewrite their own memories of an event or relationship, an event lasting for up to a story. A Major Principle reflecting the altered memory is gained, and influence that would contradict the memory by weakening it is unacceptable. The motes maintaining the Charm can be reflexively released at any time, but doing so retains the created Principle until naturally eroded, which can create a confusing double memory. When the Exalt reaches Essence 5, the Charm upgrades to allow one to expend a Water Aura to use the Charm reflexively in response to somebody seeing through their Guile, to depict falsified memories to the scrutiniser.

    Last is Poisonous Sneer Reproach, allowing a Terrestrial to counter somebody else’s attempted social influence by making a Socialize roll representing a counterargument or general derision, with every success penalising the targeted speaker’s roll, with a dice pool reduced to zero or a botch resulting in the desired influence being inverted for every listener whose Resolve was lower than the Terrestrial’s successes.

    With the Charm Ember-Fanning Provocation, persuade rolls based on negative Ties to the Other or ones created with Brother-Against-Brother Insinuation get double 9s, and if higher than Minor, the Willpower cost to resist is raised to two.

    Then there’s another Psyche Water Charm, Smoothing-Over-the-Past Technique. It’s a rather lengthy one, and I’ve kind of been on Socialize for a while now, so I’ll summarize: it let’s an Exalt suppress somebody’s memory of some way that the user has acted that would negatively dispose the target to them, and interact with them for a scene on that basis (although the Charm itself is Instant). There are a few caveats and conditions, and the memory suppression can be resisted if it would cause action inconsistent with a Major or Defining Intimacy. At Essence 5 it can be repurchased to allow one to expend Water Aura to erase a memory permanently, and it takes repeated Willpower expenditure to restore the memory for more than a scene.

    There are three more before getting to Essence 4. Enticing Flame Feint lets one draw attention away from allies, in the form of penalising attempts to read their intentions (while doing so penalises the user’s Guile). Rumor-Dredging Gaze is another for Water, allowing an Exalt an enhanced read intentions to discover an Intimacy that the target would most want to hide from the scrutiniser, with rolls to blackmail from this information also being enhanced. Implacable Dragon Mien is Earth and grants bonus Guile except against reading intentions that would reveal a Major or Defining Intimacy based on emotion, or an intent arising from those, with Earth Aura increasing the general Guile bonus, and adding a bit against reading emotions.

    At the end is Rippling Mirror Face, ironically a Water Charm for the last Fire Aspected Ability. Its effect is actually comparatively simple; when someone fails to read the user’s intentions, they think they succeed, and instead see the Intimacy of another character in the scene that the Charm’s user has already read, with being in Water Aura allowing one to use the Charm after a roll has already failed.

    So Socialize has some interesting effects, a lot of nice enhancements for reading intentions, and a distinct throughline of sabotaging groups and societies by being able to mess up how others see them, or how they see themselves.

    The Fire Aspect themselves… I was initially thinking that they contrasted with what one might expect of the element, but then I considered how the Abilities that they have are rather focused; three with strong benefits to combat, two to engaging in major social scenarios. So I’d say they kind of get both; the intent of those five Abilities is rather focused, but the steps and applications are unusually varied and intricate. All in all, I’d say it’s a unique but easily recognisable representation of Fire.


    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
    Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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    • Hey Isator, do you think Swallows Defend the Nest from archery also deserves a mention to the developers for the same problem as the melee multiattack charm?

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      • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
        Hey Isator, do you think Swallows Defend the Nest from archery also deserves a mention to the developers for the same problem as the melee multiattack charm?
        ​I mean, I'm no game mechanics expert. I called the Melee Charm as I saw it, I'm hardly somebody who needs to give the go-ahead for you to make a query of your own finding.

        ​Still, assuming that I'm reading it correctly, that Charm looks a bit better because it gives each of your attacks a bit of extra damage to roll, that increases as your Essence goes up. So even if you're somebody with either Dexterity or Perception of 2 or less, and can only make one attack (which is not referred to as being halved by default), then you can make a ranged decisive attack with a bit of extra damage.


        I have approximate knowledge of many things.
        Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
        https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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        • Rrrrr...

          ​My day came out unexpectedly, so I don't have time to do Stealth. I'll get the remaining four covered starting in the morning.


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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          • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

            ​I mean, I'm no game mechanics expert. I called the Melee Charm as I saw it, I'm hardly somebody who needs to give the go-ahead for you to make a query of your own finding.

            ​Still, assuming that I'm reading it correctly, that Charm looks a bit better because it gives each of your attacks a bit of extra damage to roll, that increases as your Essence goes up. So even if you're somebody with either Dexterity or Perception of 2 or less, and can only make one attack (which is not referred to as being halved by default), then you can make a ranged decisive attack with a bit of extra damage.
            Yeah that's sort of what I was thinking, it's also cheaper and isn't a signature which I feel is a big deal. Signature charms need some wow factor to them.

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            • Okay, I ended up leaving this later than I intended to, and I’ve got too much shit to do today, so I’m going to try and bomb through Stealth.

              Distracting Breeze Meditation is uncommon as an Excellency with no effect besides adding to the Stealth roll. Not sure at the moment what the implications or purpose of that might be.
              Vanishing Wind-Body Technique combines reduction of penalties with general immunity to effects that detect somebody through air vibrations.

              Flowing Shadow Stance is a Water Charm to reroll 6s and grant Initiative for beating enemy rolls to detect you.

              Soundless Action Prana extends the idea of being soundless a bit mechanically by being able to reroll dice, as well as penalising superhuman or magical hearing.

              Shimmering Heat-Mirage Tactic is a Fire Charm, making one’s body hazier and trail afterimages to boost Evasion, with the interesting detail of being able to end prematurely if somebody makes an attack roll with no 1s against them.

              Huh, Signature Charms already? Okay. Air has the Permanent Charm Whispering Dragon Soul, allowing one to apply the Mute Keyword to any Air or Balanced Charms with a two mote surcharge. Extra purchases can give that effect to other elements. Considering how anima affects Aura, this can probably have some significant benefits.

              Sleeping Dragon’s Lair… I think I saw this in the previews as well, Charm to hide oneself in the earth. It makes one almost undetectable, while needing additional magic of one’s own to be aware of anything else. It also literally buries the user rather than mystically merging with it, so one still has a limited air supply. Sudden emergence allows one to bring up an obscuring cloud of dust. Repurchasing at Essence 5 allows one to do this to solid rock, and emerge with a spray of shrapnel.

              Fire-Becomes-Shadow Technique lets one roll Stealth against the Resolve of characters with Intimacies that might support deference or submission, which renders the Exalt basically invisible to them until they initiate hostilities or chooses to unveil themselves. Hmm, it’s referred to as unnatural influence, so shouldn’t it have the Psyche keyword? Unless I’m reading the term too systemically, and it should be considered to function primarily through the character’s stealth.

              Depth-Stalking Discipline lets one give regular Stealth rolls double 9s, and when surrounded by water such as being submerged or in heavy rain, they get double 8s and can’t be followed by smell at all.

              Shadow-Stalking Predator Spirit bends flora and foliage to help obscure the Exalt, allowing them to make rolls opposing Stealth subtract rolled 1s from successes when hiding in areas of moderate to heavy growth, as well as being able to spend Wood Aura to boost unexpected attacks made from their cover.

              Burning Shadow Double uses Fire to leave behind a heat mirage double while hiding in concealment and can move around (with limited actions) within medium range of the user as they wish, using the character’s Manipulation as Evasion (only against attacks from further than short range) and vanishing if hit. There are mechanics for figuring out which images are fake, and being in Fire Aura allows one to leave multiple images.

              Zone of Silence Stance renders the user completely silent, even to supernatural senses, and radiate that effect out to close range, making everything within unable to hear one another or be heard from outside, with Air Aura able to expand the cone.

              Deadly Riptide Executioner is Water, and lets one gain Initiative from stalking a chosen target while in concealment. Water Aura can be expended when the Charm is ended with an unexpected attack to transform into water for lunging forward, letting one ignore points of soak or Hardness and doubling 10s on decisive damage rolls.

              Essence 4 has Dragon Shroud Technique to let an Exalt impose a penalty on all rolls to oppose Stealth, and they don’t need to pay motes for muting Air Charms with Whispering Dragon Soul.

              Essence 5 gives Mela’s Hungry Jaws. Ah, of course; I called this one. Steal the breath from the lungs of people, the Stealth element being given by restricting its use to characters that are in concealment. It imposes the basic rules for asphyxiation, with trivial opponents getting no opportunity to survive. The Dragon Blood has to stay still, and the victim needs to successfully disengage to move, and can only escape the Charm if they manage to see the Exalt or get far enough away. Somebody else attacking the user can also end it, possibly even if they miss.

              Obviously that last one is a real stand out, and the rest is nice and functional, including against supernatural opposition.


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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              • If you compare the stealth excellency with the larceny and socialize ones you'll notice that all 3 simply add successes with no caveat. They're also all mute.

                So the mute keyword seems to count as a bonus feature for excellencies.

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                • EDIT: What Elfive said

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                  • I didn't notice those were Mute, that's a pretty substantial benefit (for those abilities, anyway). Thanks for pointing that out.


                    "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                    • Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                      If you compare the stealth excellency with the larceny and socialize ones you'll notice that all 3 simply add successes with no caveat. They're also all mute.

                      So the mute keyword seems to count as a bonus feature for excellencies.


                      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                      Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                      • Right, finish off the Wood Aspect with Survival.

                        Ration-Enhancing Method, a combination of Excellency and Charm to improve foraging for basic food.

                        Quarry Revelation Technique lets one reroll 6s on tracking rolls, and allows one to roll against otherwise perfect magic concealment. That is a pretty huge change over prior Editions, since I would often look over the tracking Charms and note how the Dragon Blooded were patently incapable of chasing after anybody with decent Charms to cover themselves. It stood out as a particular obstacle to a good Wyld Hunt, so it’s good for them to have something to redress this.

                        Conversely there’s Trail-Concealing Measure letting one double 9s on Survival rolls to cover tracks or Stealth rolls to establish concealment in areas with heavy flora. They can learn elemental varients for environments such as heavy snow and ice, underground or mountainous terrain, deserts, active volcanoes and fire and smoke, and in or near watery areas or rainfall.

                        Beast-Taming Aspect lets one make rolls to train animals or influence them with Performance and Presence with double 9s, gets the respect of animals that have been scared off, and turn an animal into a familiar over the course of weeks. Animal Empathy Technique lets one add non-Charm bonus dice to influence rolls made against animals, and eliminates any Resolve bonuses based on language.

                        Wild-Wandering Forester’s Charm… I think this was previewed. Lets you roll Survival to introduce facts about a wild area that the character is familiar with.

                        Mother-of-Beasts Mastery lets one reduce the internal for training animals and ignore the specialty requirements, and can be repurchased at Essence 3 to train their magical abilities.

                        Invoking Nature’s Forgiveness, interesting Charm name… use it to briefly train oneself, Sworn Kin or others to give them a temporary Resistance specialty in the local environment, and ignore part of the penalties produced by harsh climates. This is another instance of a Charm that can be used co-operatively, letting several characters that know the Charm using it together to determine how many people can be brought under the effect and how much the penalties are reduced by.

                        Stalking Wolf Pursuit ignores penalties to tracking rolls based on environmental factors such as visual obstruction or the age of tracks, as well as successful rolls letting one tell how long it’s been since the target was present.

                        There’s finally a different element with Air giving Vanishing Tracks Technique. They can reroll 6s on rolls to cover tracks, and apply some of that result to allied characters whose covering rolls aren’t as good.

                        Signature Charms, with Cunning Beast-Mind Inspiration to improve the minds of your familiar, making a Survival roll and adding half the successes to a familiar’s action, while also letting the familiar reflexively defend other to protect the master, and gives them double 7s to distract gambits.

                        Earth-Moving Kata lets one create a minor seismic burst to knock aside earth-based environmental obstacles that are natural, as well as briefly creating useful features such as bridges or stairs to cross other obstacles.

                        Wildfire-Taming Technique was previewed, and lets one control the direction of a wildfire, and possibly set it to track and chase a specific enemy.

                        Roaring Dragon Font is used to locate and summon underground sources of water in otherwise arid environs. The water is also mystically imbued, and can provide a slight bonus to rolls for Athletics, Resistance and Survival if they’re well disposed towards the Exalt.

                        Stalking Apex Predator Technique lets one ignore penalties to moving in forested terrain or entering concealment in combat there, attempt rushes in stealth, and add non-Charm bonus dice to concealing tracks. They can also expend Wood Aura to make an enhanced unexpected decisive attack.

                        Past the Signatures there’s Tireless Caravan Prana, a permanent Charm to add a 7 mote surcharge to Invoking Nature’s Forgiveness to give it the additional effect of greatly improved speed passing through the environment, although the worst obstacles can half how far they get, and being another thing helped by the Charm being used cooperatively.

                        Dragon’s Nest Shelter creates a shelter against the elements from the local environmental substances, with the particular conditions that it is best suited to protecting one from being based on the elemental Essence infused into it. At Essence 5, it also protects against the effects of the less severe portions of the Wyld.

                        Uncanny Fugitive’s Intuition is an Air Charm, allowing one to gain a sense of when somebody is trying to track you (although it requires them to have failed a roll to get the opportunity to activate the Charm), including their general distance and direction.

                        Fire gives Burning Fang Strike, through which an Exalt can expend Fire Aura into an attacking familiar to enhance their offensive power for a decisive attack, although it also means that the user shares in the familiar’s Initiative resetting to base if successful.

                        Hmm, Survival has a curious number of Charms without specific elemental keywords. Eternal Elemental Harmony is used when a roll against an environmental hazard is failed, making a Stamina roll whose successes reduce the hazard’s damage. If reduced to zero, the Exalt gets a point of Willpower. If one is in an Aura matching the hazard’s elemental quality, the duration of the Charm is matched to the Aura, repeatedly using the initial dice result to weaken the hazard, although only able to recover Willpower once.

                        Last is the Essence 4, Air/Water Charm Labyrinth of Mist Technique. Rolls to conceal tracks benefit from double 8s, and others who fail on tracking rolls will follow false trails that lead to becoming lost in the wilderness, with getting out being dependent on managing a difficulty 5 Survival roll (which delays one for a day if the roll is failed).

                        Survival is a lot like Stealth, mostly functional effects rather than highly impressive ones. It’s an interesting comparison to Solars that this Ability focuses a bit more on navigating environments than enhancing familiars. On that note, I’ll reiterate how good it is that their capacity to track and conceal having its relationship with perfect effects has been revised.

                        Wood came out rather nicely. Survival kind of leaves it ending on a less flashy note, but Archery, Medicine, Performance and even Ride all do a lot to balance that out.


                        I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                        Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                        https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                        • My day wound up being too overstuffed to fulfil my goal. If so much house work had not been piled in, I could have done the last two. They'll have to go tomorrow/later today.

                          ​I'm annoyed at having filled the entire week with this, but I suppose I can console myself with the idea that 16 Abilities is rather a lot to look over.

                          ​And hey, my reward shall be seeing Immaculate Dragon Styles using the Elemental Aura and Vance's polish (which are also likely to be mercifully shorter), Artifacts passed down through generations of Exalted, and stat write-ups for some of the notable personages. It's not all bad.


                          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                          • All right, time to end this. Both Abilities in quick succession.

                            Thrown starts off with Seeking Throw Technique, which presents itself not just as throwing very well, but being able to bend projectiles through the air, represented as both adding dice and being able to ignore light cover, with Air Aura even allowing one to slightly ignore heavy cover if they aim.

                            The immediate follow-up is an Earth Charm, Armor-Rupturing Fang. Ah, another kind of gravitational effect, lodging a weapon or projectile from a decisive attack in an enemy’s armour (and sometimes body, if their outer layer is durable) to mess it up by lowering soak and increasing mobility penalty, which requires a feat of strength to pull loose. Earth Aura lets one do so repeatedly to the same target, and I like the image of pelting an enemy with objects to increasingly weigh them down.

                            Fire then gets one with Blinding Spark Throw, which looks like it throws only the sparks rather than the weapon they’re ground off of. It lets one make a gambit to blind somebody for a few rounds, unless they pay Initiative and succeed on a Resistance roll to regain their sight, with the option to expend Fire Aura when an enemy is crashed to use the Charm on them reflexively.
                            And Wood gets in with Venomous Thorn Attack, letting the Dragon Blood secrete their own poison to coat their weapon as they make a decisive attack. Hmm, I feel as though this should have a specification somewhere about the property of the poison it creates, even if it was just to say that one had their choice of venom to apply.

                            Back to Air is Arcing Levinbolt Precision. I don’t think I’ve commented on it much, but I’ve enjoyed the references to Air based lightning attacks having improved effects on people wearing metal armour, so I like this one using that as the basis of an improved Thrown attack. An arc of electricity probing armour for a weak spot, represented by applying mobility penalty against soak or Hardness. It seems like a good effect (even if I presume it only counts natural mobility penalty, rather than stuff that has been stacked onto it), and considering how Lore gets the actual Charm to shoot lightning, I think it’s a good way to add at least the visual effect to Thrown.

                            Earth-Shattering Strike is simpler, using an Earth Aura to add weighty force to a thrown weapon such that a decisive attack can be made at a target’s feet to create a zone of difficult terrain from the impact crater. I’m a little bit unclear on if the attack is purely for that effect, or if it’s added to a normally damaging attack.

                            Invisibly Hidden Chakram Method…just sends a throwing weapon Elsewhere? I mean, fair enough that it isn’t limited to jade weapons like Elemental Sheath is but… actually, thinking about it, I guess I can see the advantage, being able to carry one’s ammunition undetectably, keeping up with a typical clandestine image for Thrown, but needing to commit motes for the privilege. Okay, that’s fine.

                            Mela’s Twin Fangs obviously can’t be as impressive as the last Charm to bear her name, but it’s not half bad, playing off of the prior Charm to allow one to rapidly pull a weapon out of Elsewhere in the wake of making another attack to make two withering attacks against somebody in the same turn. While Elusive Zephyr Strike lets one make a wind-guided distract gambit to benefit from double 9s, and Air Aura to add threshold successes from the attack roll to the Initiative one.

                            Before the Signatures is the Fire Charm Smoke Burst Eruption to cause a weapon to emit a shockwave upon striking an enemy that stirs up a cloud of dust in which one can establish concealment, from which one can gain a slight bonus to unexpected attacks. Repurchasing it at Essence 5 allows one using the Charm in Fire Aura to spend Willpower on the Charm to reflexively roll themselves into hiding in the smoke.

                            Air’s Signature is Persistent Hornet Attack, with which one can give a thrown weapon a kind of life of its own, taking the Initiative gained from an initial withering attack and using that for itself, while it moves, aims and attacks those at close range. It can’t benefit from other Charms, but can build Initiative toward inflicting its own decisive attacks, which end the Charm should one succeed, and conversely loses Initiative if it should go a round without managing to hit somebody. The weapon also has a Defense value and can have its Initiative taken with withering attacks, or else a disarm gambit can knock it from the air to end the Charm. A thrown weapon being able to move of its own accord is something that I’ve wondered about sometimes, and I think the realisation here works well.

                            Devastating Avalanche Barrage starts off well with describing another particularly striking elemental image, drawing a cloud of earthen projectiles to concentrate around a weapon to be thrown. They hurl their weapon in a withering attack against one person, and the added debris and shrapnel follows after to make an unblockable withering attack against the same person and anybody within short range of them, with the anima being a viable substitute in an environment with no appropriate features. The damage rolled by the follow up is also unsoakable, but not permitted to exceed damage rolled by the normal attack. The rocks render those hit by them prone, and if they are crashed then they’re sufficiently buried to be unable to move without clearing the debris with a feat of strength.

                            Exploding Weapon Technique provides a Decisive-only Charm, to concentrate one’s anima (if their Initiative is at least 12) into their weapon as an explosive force, that is discharged on making an attack. Unlike other explosive effects, the force seems to be concentrated solely on the targeted person, taking the form of adding the Exalt’s Essence to the damage roll, as well as being able to roll another die for every 9 and 10 that is rolled. It happens to destroy most mundane weapons that might be used for it. The Charm can be repurchased at Essence 5 to add a couple of extra effects: my liking for Armor-Piercing Fang is compounded by the idea that the embedded weapons can also be set off for additional motes, adding three dice of damage each (and which has to leave behind a rather messy body), and also adding to a Charm I haven’t seen yet, letting Exploding Weapon be activated reflexively, as a Balanced Charm without needing Fire Aura, and modifying an effect for repeated explosions (I’ll need to see the other Charm to fully know what is going on). Finally, this has the interesting distinction of not being limited in how much it can be used.

                            Fatal Riptide Strike gets to use both avenues, being Uniform (and also Mute), letting a Dragon Blood add aqueous Essence to their weapon so that it can be thrown without impediment through water, also enhancing surprise attacks that are made from within the water. It also gives the option of, once per scene, being used when the Dragon Blood makes an unexpected attack on somebody with lower Initiative with the addition of one Willpower and their Water Aura to make the attack an ambush.

                            Last is Hundred Thorns Blossom, with which an Exalt can make confusing, distracting motions to open an enemy up to attacks with a barrage of hidden weapons (there’s a reference to them being produced from hair, fingertips and the throat, but I’m unclear if this means that the Charm manufactures them, or they need to have been already there). In any case, it can be used on an enemy with lower Initiative to force them to roll Awareness against the user’s Guile, with failure meaning that a reflexive unexpected decisive attack can be made on them with damage equal to Manipulation, plus dice based on how far below the difficulty the target failed, which ignores Hardness, and doesn’t reset the user to base. It even has a rather generous reset condition, of successfully establishing concealment against all nearby enemies.

                            The regular Charms start again with Earth in Stone Needle Strike. It’s a short Charm; hitting somebody with a decisive attack literally pins them to the floor, requiring a feat of strength to be used before they can move again. Nice, simple and brutal.

                            Then it’s Winter Fang Attack, adding a numbing chill to a weapon such that successful gambits or decisive attacks cause the enemy to also lose Initiative for 10s that turn up in the damage roll. Following that is Thousand Razor Wind (the one that the Exploding Weapon Technique repurchase could enhance), aaaand ah, here is something that I was thinking Invisibly Hidden Chakram could use; the option to send all of the weapons hidden elsewhere flying at once in decisive attacks (something else that helps validate the Charm as separate from Elemental Sheath and justifies the mote commitment). While Initiative needs to be divided evenly between each weapon, they get to ignore Hardness, the Exalt’s Initiative… oh, wait, they still reset to base Initiative, just only when all attacks have been made. Still, it’s fairly cheap, and can probably be a bit devastating under the right circumstances… and I see what Exploding Weapon does now, adding three dice to each attack made with the recalled weapon.

                            Aww, we’re reaching the end already? Thrown has had such intriguing effects that I was actually starting to want it to keep going on for longer, in contrast to most other Abilities. Anyway, there are three Essence 4 Charms.

                            Whirlwind Shield Technique lets an Exalt surround themselves with a vortex of air in which local debris and any weapons tossed in swirl. It’s an unusual kind of defensive barrier; it rolls to Join Battle with Wits + Thrown, having a Parry rating equal to half the rolled successes (rounded up) and can provide a defend other action with that, moving to follow the Exalt for the scene, gaining Initiative whenever successful. It also has a soak of its own, which can probably be rather strong for being based on a combination of Essence, Dexterity and Stamina. It needs it, since withering attacks can take Initiative as normal and decisive attacks take two for each point of damage, with the Charm being prematurely ended if the shield is crashed. This is another where I’ll want to look back at what it used to be, but I can say that what it is now looks like both a strong defensive benefit and another intriguing instance of mastering an element to one’s will.

                            Vengeful Gust Counterstrike is a Charm with the Clash keyword, and another spin on the concept of generating a burst of wind to deflect attacks. Oh wait, it’s an actual enhancement of Whirlwind Shield, letting one reflexively clash attacks from out to short range with a decisive attack rolling damage equal to the whirlwind’s Initiative, not taking up the user’s combat action or resetting their own Initiative. It does, however, reset the whirlwind to just three Initiative if it succeeds, while if it fails the whirlwind is what absorbs the attack.

                            And last is Wind Armor Technique, a permanent enhancement to the whirlwind, meaning that while it is active it confers its Initiative as Hardness for the Exalt who used it (which doesn’t work while armoured), and inflicts a die of Hardness ignoring lethal damage on close range attackers that are parried by it. Right now, I’m picturing the dramatic circumstance of two Terrestrial Exalted who both know this Charms engaging in a duel that involves clashing whirlwinds; that would probably be a sight to behold.

                            Thrown is quite engaging, combining that niche of varied, tactical effects with some very impressive powers, and a nice even mix of elements.

                            I’ll need to review Charms at some point, because at the moment I don’t quite get the same sense from Air Aspected Abilities as a whole that I did from Water’s duplicity, Fire’s eclecticness and Wood’s interconnectivity (even if the Abilities individually are rather striking).

                            Just a little while before finishing up.


                            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                            • Just to let you know, so you can amend (or not) Venomous Thorn Attack, Vance has clarified that you must have the poison on you, the Charm only lets you apply it reflexively, it does not create a poison.

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                              • Originally posted by TGUEIROS View Post
                                Just to let you know, so you can amend (or not) Venomous Thorn Attack, Vance has clarified that you must have the poison on you, the Charm only lets you apply it reflexively, it does not create a poison.
                                ​Ahh yes, I remember seeing that. I suppose the image of it being secreted from the hands would be a matter of not needing to take the poison out of its container.

                                ​Not just being reflexive, mind; usually, poison can't be applied to a weapon without the correct tag.


                                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                                Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                                https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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