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Punching above your weight class - anyone done it?

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  • Punching above your weight class - anyone done it?

    So I've been reading. And I realized that I don't like it very much. So tell me about it in your games. Like, the time when your dragonblooded killed the Solar warlord using preparation and allies. Or when that mortal killed that abusive terrestrial exalted using his arrogance and surprise. Or when a mortal defeated a sorcerer, or a shaman drove off a raksha.

    You know, awesome stuff like that.

  • #2
    Once, my mortal character leapt from canoe to battling canoe, ran up a warstrider, and smashed that warstrider in its face-plate, doing 6 bashing damage to the Dragonblood inside and knocking the warstrider over.

    Another time, my (different) mortal character beat the party's Brawl 5 Night Caste in a wrestling match (though the Night refused to admit it; and it wasn't a serious match or anything).


    In Thorns, which he'd seized, our Dragonblood party went up against Walker in Darkness. (This was in 2nd ed... where he had Essence 9 and a ton of Abyssal charms.) My one-eyed, low-breeding, Air-Aspect sorceress, Sesus Iyushi, wrestled Walker in Darkness to the ground and held him down for 3 rounds while the rest of the party wailed on him, throwing on tons of penalties and damage. He escaped after 3 rounds, but by that time he was very heavily wounded and with like a -6 penalty to his DDV, and so they were able to (re-)kill him.
    (Though admittedly Sesus Iyushi didn't survive, as he followed his escape from her grapple by punching her head into a pulpy splatter. But still, I was pretty chuffed I'd grappled him for so long, and that we'd managed to kill a Deathlord with a circle of six Dragonblood. I don't think we even bought any combat demons with us or anything.)



    I also have many other stories of Dragonblood or mortals beating Solars, but they're mostly Solar PCs being beaten up due to arrogance and hubris, so that may not be what you want.
    Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 10-04-2018, 02:14 PM.


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

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    • #3
      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
      Once, my mortal character leapt from canoe to battling canoe, ran up a warstrider, and smashed that warstrider in its face-plate, doing 6 bashing damage to the Dragonblood inside and knocking the warstrider over.

      Another time, my (different) mortal character beat the party's Brawl 5 Night Caste in a wrestling match (though the Night refused to admit it; and it wasn't a serious match or anything).


      In Thorns, which he'd seized, our Dragonblood party went up against Walker in Darkness. (This was in 2nd ed... where he had Essence 9 and a ton of Abyssal charms.) My one-eyed, low-breeding, Air-Aspect sorceress, Sesus Iyushi, wrestled Walker in Darkness to the ground and held him down for 3 rounds while the rest of the party wailed on him, throwing on tons of penalties and damage. He escaped after 3 rounds, but by that time he was very heavily wounded and with like a -6 penalty to his DDV, and so they were able to (re-)kill him.
      (Though admittedly Sesus Iyushi didn't survive, as he followed his escape from her grapple by punching her head into a pulpy splatter. But still, I was pretty chuffed I'd grappled him for so long, and that we'd managed to kill a Deathlord with a circle of six Dragonblood. I don't think we even bought any combat demons with us or anything.)



      I also have many other stories of Dragonblood or mortals beating Solars, but they're mostly Solar PCs being beaten up due to arrogance and hubris, so that may not be what you want.
      Oh no. I love this.

      Like, can you tell me more? Cause I always heard the Deathlord build was broken. Like... how did you do it? So how did your mortal character even beat a Brawl 5 Solar? Or even hit a warstrider? Weren't there penalties for smaller going against larger?

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      • #4
        There's no penalties for mortals to hit warstriders, the penalty is the other way round.
        Hitting a warstrider wasn't hard, they had big fat mobility penalties after all. The difficulty is doing damage, as they have enormous soak. But I had an exceptional mace (and maces did lots of damage in 2e), and in 2e piercing halved soak from armour, including soak from magical armour like a Warstrider.

        For the Deathlord... eh. I grappled him, through all my dice, excellency, stunt. He used a bit of excellency, but not much (he was, after all, being attacked by 6 DBs, and of course had big dice pools) and rolled really badly. Then the second turn, he took it more seriously... rolled kind of meh, I rolled amazingly. And the same the third time. Basically just arrogance and dice rolls.
        Arrogantly thinking they don't need to go all out on excellencies is generally what lets your enemies punch above their weight, in my experience.

        Or not wanting to flare. That's why my Lunar got beaten up by mortal thugs, I couldn't use excellencies much (and was a mental character, so didn't have much in terms of combat charms anyway) because I didn't have the motes.
        Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 10-04-2018, 02:36 PM.


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

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        • #5
          In other words, you're awesome as an exalted, until you need to do something out of your specialty or you run out of motes?

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          • #6
            Eh, generally it's people not wanting to burn the motes (either because they're worried about attention, or they think they can beat humans easily without it). Running out of motes mostly happens when outnumbered, rather than just fighting mortals. The fights don't last long enough generally for it to matter.

            Though Solars are quite specialised, yes. I've seen Solars do badly at things plenty of times because, well, they're not much better than a mortal at those particular things.
            It's just that, of course, players tend to make sure they're good at the things they want to do. Though sometimes they don't have enough points.
            (Everyone forgets about Integrity! Don't forget Integrity!)


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

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            • #7
              Ah. So modus operandi for a mortal sorcerer is to bait the Melee supernal into a desolated place, then start sending in a mook spam of summoned elementals and demons?

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              • #8
                That's probably the most sensible thing.

                Though, if you're a mortal sorcerer challenging a Melee supernal, I don't think combat is the way you're going to beat them.


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

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                • #9
                  Well, it's not always a matter of "not having the motes" but "not wanting to burn the motes." You don't want to start glowing if you don't have to - Wyld Hunts are bad news.

                  Speaking of Wyld Hunts. a properly mobilized team of DBs will kill you dead. You may be able to take them in a straight fight, but they know that - that's why they don't do straight fights. The first sign that The All-Seeing Eye has taken notice of you is a very hug -happy Water Aspect in your private bath, with numerous backup plans including "collapse the building on your head".

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
                    Ah. So modus operandi for a mortal sorcerer is to bait the Melee supernal into a desolated place, then start sending in a mook spam of summoned elementals and demons?
                    "We're going to drown our problems in a sea of demons, just like real heroes do!"
                    -my party's sorceress, completely unironically.


                    ..."But I've bought a big bat, I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me"

                    Message me for Japanese translations.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sorcerous Overlord View Post

                      "We're going to drown our problems in a sea of demons, just like real heroes do!"
                      -my party's sorceress, completely unironically.
                      You need to put that in the out of context thread
                      http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...-quotes-thread

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
                        So I've been reading. And I realized that I don't like it very much.
                        But the written word is one of our greatest treasures!

                        Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
                        You know, awesome stuff like that.
                        Reflection Barbus was effectively a mortal, and managed to kill three hobgoblins and unsettle a Fair Folk Lorelei enough that she fled.

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                        • #13
                          Man, let me tell you about Iorek Ragnar, Haslanti sky pirate and all around badass mortal. He was Heroic but Unenlightened, in 2E terms.

                          One time, Ragnar punched a Snow Lion in the face.

                          One time, Ragnar shamed a Sidereal out of trying to steal his Starmetal daiklave by beaming at someone recognizing how cool his sword was and dragging out his elderly grandfather (the crotchety old mechanic of the airship and the only one in the entire campaign to regularly one-up Ragnar) to tell the tragic history of the Family Sword, forged by his great grandmother as a gift for his great grandfather before she died, and all the times good fortune attributed to the lucky blade had spared her descendants from certain doom. "Here, hold it!" Ragnar insisted. "Feel the balance on that thing! Swing it around a bit, it's fine! See?! Did my great-grandma know how to forge a sword or what?!"

                          One time, Ragnar grabbed his sword and leapt off a skyship to attack a Raksha warrior riding a wyld-twisted war-swan with acid blood and a harpoon-tongue with NO ROPE AND NO PARACHUTE AND NO PLAN and proceeded to INTENTIONALLY MURDER THE MAGIC SWAN HE AND HIS OPPONENT WERE RIDING, declaring "I bet this fucker can't fly without his freaky duck."

                          One time Ragnar heard that the Crimson Blizzard Queen, a dread Raksha warlord known to the Winter Folk as the only foe Balor had feared, had broken free of her bindings and was leading a great war-host of cataphracts and wyld-shaped nightmare beasts and behemoths down from the North. So he flew out to meet her advance, and landed his ship and stood out on the snow between a small Haslanti whaling village and the wrath of the Wyld. Alone and hopelessly outmatched as the Crimson Blizzard Queen advanced riding a polar bear the size of a house made of frozen razors, Iorek Ragnar laughed uproariously and demanded she get down off her war-mount and "Duel me for the fate of this village-if you slay me in honorable battle you may pass...or, if you're not in a dueling mood, please just marry me IMMEDIATELY."

                          ...he Exalted at the wedding.


                          So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

                          The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
                          -Roger Zelazny

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                          • #14
                            My Jadeborn Artisan *almost* single-handedly fought an Infernal exalt to a standstill, and victory was only snatched from his grasp by said Infernal fleeing, iirc.

                            I was not combat specced per se, but 2e artifact cheese was how I held my own among a Solar and two Lunars. And this Infernal was not combat optimised either, so... yay me?


                            Open the gates of Hell: Random Demon Generator.

                            Shapeshifting Historian
                            Freelancer - Shattered Dreams, Dark Eras Companion - Forsaken by Rome

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                            • #15
                              I had a Dawn caste melee-supernal player get his ass whooped not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES by the same Wood-aspect veteran shikari. The last of these instances was fatal. After a while the party, made up entirely of Solars, was terrified of this guy and that made me so happy.

                              I'm on a phone right now but I might write a full post with the whole story later if people are interested.

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