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Help with Evocations: Dragonblooded Style

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  • Help with Evocations: Dragonblooded Style

    So in anticipation of my group making a Dynastic game set in the West, I wrote up two short descriptions of the artifacts my Water Aspect possesses. One is from her grandmother, a found egg/Imperial Army sort, and the other is from a cadet house that ended up getting folded into House V'neef when they got founded. THing is, I may be so-so at narrative, but my mechanics..... I'd appreciate any help you could offer in thinking up Evocations.
    Thank you for your consideration.

    White Jade Lamellar Armor: Sandstone Lotus (Artifact ***)
    Fresh from her graduation from the uncompromising heights of Pasaip's Stair, the woman who would become V'neef Xera had learned the harsh lesson that beauty must come after the needs of practicality. Her notable stature and needs as a soldier in the Imperial Army meant that luxuries would have to wait until after the heat of battle. Thus it was that, when Xera originally commissioned a set of jade armor for herself, the piece was originally plain, without the sort of filigree or adornments normally considered standard for Dynastic armor. As her campaigns continued, however, Xera would occasionally take chisel to the lamellar paneling, making tiny scrimsaw into the armor in commemoration of a Wyld Hunt successfully completed, or to honor a fallen comrade. Mostly, she etched tableaus of her original homeland in the canyons of the South. The chips and jade-dust, Xera saved in a tiny, unassuming box, which now sits on her mantle (should the jade ever need be reforged).

    Nearly ten decades later, and what was once the plainest set of white jade to ever leave Varli Anton's workshop (who, at the time, was nearly blind with rage that something so bland had been given his brand) was now a testament to Xera's entire career as a soldier in the service of the Scarlet Dynasty, and the last faded memory of the Izari River village (destroyed by a Lunar Anathema in order to spite Xera). Recently, the granddaughter of Xera has graduated from her secondary schooling. Like Xera, the girl is too tall for her own good. But this time, the family is rich enough (due, in part, to the family's adoption into House V'neef), that finery would not seem so out-of-place. 'She'd better take good care of this,' Xera was heard to say. 'Now that I'm out of the army, I don't have time for this sort of thing anymore. Oh, but I finally got it looking decent enough, I suppose.'

    Materials: White Jade ‘resonates with the element of earth. It grants control over or allows manifestations of earth, sand, dirt, and stone, heardens things, immobilizes, strikes with enormous force, grants calm and mental clarity, and mesmerizes opponents.’

    Blue-Black Jade Razor Claws: Talons of the Harsh Mistress (Artifact ***)
    Seven times, the stormwinds blew, the mast battered, the riggings torn, in that hurricane off Nyalla's jagged coastline. Even the thick, well-crafted hull of Galisoh groaned and creaked, and the underdeck were full of bilge. Yet, by the slimmest margins, the ship managed to turn away from the hungry maw of the reef, lest all good hands perish that day. Still, the caravan needed repairs like a drowning man needed air, and so Galisoh limped into the drydocks to await his ship’s refurbishment. As the ship was lifted from the waters, the lost egg spied seven shards of jade, fragments of the reef he almost sank the ship into, stuck fast into the wood, and plucked them out. One touch, and Galisoh knew these shards held, locked inside, that terrible squall, and the promise of the ocean's depths.... but whether out of arrogance, or well-earned bravado, Galisoh saw to it those terrible promises would lie at his fingertips forevermore.

    Being a rough and tumble Prince, Galisoh saw fit to make himself a pair of claws, covered in tempest-dragons, and wore them every day. He swore, up and down, that the gloves whispered to him in the night, telling him when the West would cough up another squall, or if pirates or mad men were coming, promising all manner of challenges and riches. He developed a thirst for battle, and was renown for his pirate hunting. Calling up the power of the storm and surf, he laid a mighty legacy of reckless pride. Late in life, Galisoh would set back to Nyalla’s shallows in a rowboat, looking for the rest of the jade which almost sank his vessel that night. He never came back…. But the Talons washed ashore, to be held by his children until their adoption into House V’neef.

    Black Jade ‘resonates with the element of water. Its Evocations grant control over water, flexibility, the ability to communicate with or beckon spirits, the power to flood things or draw the moisture from them, and occasionally the manifestation of destructive liquids such as acid or boiling water.’
    Blue Jade ‘resonates with the element of air. It can can used to stir the air, create blasts of wind, lower the temperature or create ice, harness or manifest lightning, or anticipate the intent of opponents or even briefly glimpse their thoughts.’

    I used to know things. Forbidden things.

  • #2
    I suck at mechanics, so I'm gonna suggest something different. Read a bit of Arms of the Chosen, or if you don't have it, the artifacts in the Grand Panoply section of the core book and/or those in the preview of WFHW. Look for artifacts that could be reskinned. A daiklave can become a pair of razor claws, a buff jacket a lamellar, and you can also use the evocations a weapon has for your armor - it doesn't matter. See if you can find evocations you like. Focus on their mechanical aspects - the fluff that explains how they achieve that trick doesn't matter - in the case of Sandstone Lotus, whatever the effect, you can explain it throgh massive strength, elemental control, skin hardening, paralyzing the target, hypnotizing them, allowing supernatural mental clarity - anything that white jade could do. Theoretically you could reflavor Volcano Cutter as an armor that allows you to create powerful shockwaves - changing an element to another, or the source of a power to something else, or a bonus to one ability to another ability - it's not a problem (just don't take a bonus to occult and switch it to melee). In the case of the Talons of the Harsh Mistress, any evocation you grab will be controlling water or air, creating ice or lightning, spirits talking to you, desiccating people, anticipating their thoughts, and so on. And you could even grab an evocation you think is right for the flavor you're going for from one artifact, and then the next from another (as long as that doesn't render non-functional their mechanics).

    Alternately, if you really want custom evocations, as I said I suck at mechanics so I won't waste any more of your time, but I suggest you focus on what exactly you'd like your artifacts to do. Yes, those types of jade can do various things - but what do your artifacts do? What's their particular shtick? Their theme? Narratively speaking of course - you don't have to come up with a single mechanic, but if you can tell people what effects you'd like them to accomplish, it'll be easier for more mechanics-inclined people to help you.

    Best of luck!


    • #3
      I can't vouch very strongly for the mechanics, but this is an attempt at Sandstone Lotus.
      Mechanically, it focuses on the armor having it's own pool of initiative which the evocations build/spend, which seemed like it fit the idea of remembering past deeds.
      I also tried to have the order of the evocations represent a shift from humility to pride, with the first and last evocations requiring intimacies roughly matching these theme.

      Sandstone Lotus
      See Above

      Evocations of Sandstorm Lotus
      Sandstorm Lotus has an initiative pool which can hold up to 10 initiative, which can be filled and used by its evocations.

      Live Within Your Means
      Cost: 4m; Mins: Essence 1
      Type: Reflexive

      Keywords: Withering-Only, Dissonant
      Duration: Instant
      Use when an enemy makes a withering attack against you.
      To use this, you must have an intimacy of humility, caution, asceticism, or similar. If the attack hits, reduce the amount of initiative the enemy gains by the strength of that intimacy. Any initiative the enemy doesn’t gain because of this is instead gained by Sandstorm Lotus.
      Special activation rules: As long as the wearer isn’t dissonant with jade, this Evocation awakens at no cost when she successfully ambushes a non-trivial enemy.

      Violence Bound by Caution
      Cost: 3m; Mins:Essence 2
      Type: Supplemental

      Keywords: Decisive-Only, Resonant
      Duration: Instant
      This supplements a decisive attack. If the attack hits, you may take up to (essence) initiative from Sandstone Lotus and add it to your own after resetting.
      Resonant: You may activate this as a reflexive charm after the attack roll.

      Honor in Struggle
      Cost: 3m; Mins:Essence 2
      Type: Supplemental

      Keywords: Withering-Only
      Duration: Instant
      Prerequisites: Violence Bound by Caution
      This supplements a withering attack. If the attack hits, Sandstone Lotus gains half as much initiative as you do, round down. This does not take initiative from you, only adds to Sandstone Lotus’s pool. This includes the one initiative for hitting, but not any crash bonus.

      Resilience of a Legacy
      Cost: 5m; Mins:Essence 2
      Type: Reflexive

      Keywords: Dual, Resonant
      Duration: Instant
      Prerequisites: Live Within Your Means
      Use when an enemy makes an attack against you.
      If the attack hits, increase your soak against a withering attack by (Sandstone Lotus’s current initiative). Against a decisive attack, roll (Sandstone Lotus’s current initiate), and reduce the raw damage by the number of successes. This is not compatible with any other magic which reduces decisive damage. Either way, Sandstone Lotus loses all its initiative.
      If the attack misses, Sandstone Lotus’s initiative doesn’t reset, but the motes spent to activate this are wasted.
      Resonant: Reduce the damage by (Sandstone Lotus’s current initiative) rather than by rolling.

      Stone-Carved Legends
      Cost: 4m; Mins:Essence 3
      Type: Supplemental

      Keywords: Decisive Only
      Duration: One Scene
      Prerequisites: Honor in Struggle, Resilience of a Legacy
      This supplements a decisive attack. If it hits, the enemy is marked. Whenever a marked enemy is struck by an attack, Sandstone Lotus steals one of their initiative before any other effects of the attack. This ends if they ever deal you damage with an attack.

      World-Shaking Pride
      Cost: 6m, 1wp; Mins:Essence 4
      Type: Simple

      Keywords: Resonant
      Duration: Instant
      Prerequisites: Stone-Carved Legends
      To use this, you must have an intimacy of pride, honor for tradition, or support for an organization you are part of. All enemies within close range must roll (Strength+Athletics) against an environmental hazard of difficulty (intimacy’s strength), damage (1/2 Sandstone Lotus’s initiative, round down). Enemies marked by Stone-Carved Legends are take a –(your strength) penalty on their roll. All who fail are also knocked prone. As long as at least one enemy fails their roll, Sandstone Lotus loses all it’s initiative.
      This can only be used once per scene.
      Resonant: Increase the difficulty by 1.

      And an attempt at Talons of the Harsh Mistress
      Mechanically, there're a few charms themed around using aim actions to give your enemies warning, and a few that focus around warnings of coming danger, culminating in a capstone which gives a narrative power over a more combat-focused on.

      Blue-Black Jade Razor Claws: Talons of the Harsh Mistress (Artifact ***)
      See above

      Evocations of Talons of the Harsh Mistress
      Anyone attuned to Talons of the Harsh Mistress gains 2 bonus dice on Join Battle Rolls, as it whispers warnings of a coming battle to them.

      Inevitable Storm Strike
      Cost: 3m; Mins:Essence 1
      Type: Supplemental

      Keywords: Dual, Resonant
      Duration: Instant
      Storms take time to build, but no preparations can blunt their strength once they arrive.
      This adds any dice from aiming to the post-soak damage of a withering attack, or as one die to a decisive attack.
      Resonant: The full amount of dice is added to decisive damage. Withering attacks add the dice as automatic successes to their damage.
      (Note: This is taken wholesale from Kiss of the Sun Concentration)

      Timely Warning
      Cost: 2m; Mins:Essence 1
      Type: Reflexive

      Keywords: Resonant
      Duration: Instant
      The Talons offer warnings to their wielder, letting them know which when and where they must defend.
      Use this when you are attacked, after the roll is declared.
      You gain a +1 bonus to your defense. This cannot take you above the cap. If this was a surprise attack, you may ignore the penalty.
      Resonant: This costs 1m the first time in a round it is used

      Wind Whips the Sea
      Cost: 4m; Mins:Essence 2
      Type: Reflexive

      Keywords: Dissonant
      Duration: Instant
      Prerequisites: Inevitable Storm Strike
      Use this after crashing an opponent. You may reflexively take an aim action against that enemy, which only enhances attacks made with Talons of the Harsh Mistress. Alternatively, you may instead reflexively activate any Simple evocation of Talons of the Harsh Mistress.
      Dissonant: You may only aim, not activate Simple evocations.

      Riding Angry Winds
      Cost: 4m; Mins:Essence 2
      Type: Reflexive

      Keywords: Counter-Attack, Resonant
      Duration: Instant
      Prerequisites: Timely Warning, Wind Whips the Sea
      Use this after an attack misses you. You may make a reflexive decisive counterattack (use rules for Solar Counterattack for specifics)
      Resonant: If this attack is enhanced by an aim, the aim remains to enhance your next attack.

      Building Thunder Tension
      Cost: 5m; Mins:Essence 3
      Type: Simple

      Keywords: Dual, Resonant
      Duration: Instant
      Prerequisites: Wind Whips the Sea
      This creates an aim action. An attack with Talons of the Harsh Mistress enhanced by this aim can be made at up to short range. If it deals 3+ withering damage, or 1+ decisive damage, they may not take a movement action on their next turn.
      Resonant: The attack may be made at medium range. An attack made at medium range with this evocation only gains the bonus dice from aiming if a second aim action is taken, as if the attack was being made with a normal ranged weapon.
      (Flavor wise, this sends a lightning bolt to attack them)

      Crash Follows Waves
      Cost: 6m, 1wp; Mins:Essence 3
      Type: Simple

      Duration: Instant
      Prerequisites: Wind Whips the Sea
      This can only be used after aiming at an enemy. Make a decisive attack against them, gaining the benefits of aiming. If it hits, you may then make a single decisive attack against all enemies at close range before you reset to base initiative. The second attack deals (your initiative – damage dealt) damage to anyone it hits. This second attack is not enhanced by the aim action. Regardless of whether the second attack hits, you reset to base initiative.
      If the aim action enhancing this attack was from Building Thunder Tension, the bonuses from Building Thunder Tension do not apply.
      (Flavor wise, this create a column of water around the person you strike which crashes down on them and their allies)

      Whispers of Reefs and Squalls
      Cost: 10m, 1wp; Mins: Essence 4
      Type: Reflexive

      Duration: Instant
      Prerequisites: Riding Angry Winds, Building Thunder Tension, Wind Whips the Sea
      Activate this whenever a threat suddenly and unexpectedly arrives – a storm, a reef, a pirate ship, or similar. This can only be activated for threats which come from the ocean or the weather – including enemies arriving by ship, but not enemies already on land or on your own ship.
      You may describe a single action you took to prepare for this threat, such as hiding near the docks an enemy sails into, or tying down the ships cargo.
      This can be used once per story, reset by surviving a dangerous storm or other naval hazard without the benefit of this evocation. The Talons of the Harsh Mistress seek to bring their promise to fruition, making such storms more likely while Whispers of Reefs and Squalls is on unavailable. (no mechanical rules, just telling Storytellers to have random storms afflict the wielder. Remove/lessen this if you feel it’s unfun.) This cannot be reset by the Dawn Caste anima power.
      Last edited by autXautY; 04-28-2018, 08:27 PM. Reason: Adding Talons of the Harsh Mistress