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Different sorts of transforming artifacts

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  • Different sorts of transforming artifacts

    Arguably the most popular idea of a shapeshifting artifact is one that assumes different forms in order to perform different functions. Third Edition's developers have tried to move away from this being the primary thing moonsilver has to offer, in no small part because of how hard it is to balance an artifact which is essentially multiple artifacts for the price of one.

    But in trying to capture the feeling of a transforming artifact while avoiding that very issue, I've distinguished other kinds of shapeshifting artifact.


    Some artifacts transform in order to:

    0) As a weapon, do different things to the same target. Example: It may become a sword to cut someone or a bow to shoot someone.

    1) As a weapon, do the same thing to different targets. Example: A sword that inflicts aggravated damage to only one particular opponent, or kind of opponent, by transforming itself into their bane, such as mimicking the essence of cold iron to harm creatures of the Wyld. Visually, it can greatly satisfy the desire for a weapon that always takes on an appropriate appearance, while being mechanically very simple to balance.

    2) As a dress, become seductive by appealing to a specific individual's tastes. Again, it can satisfy the visual imagination while being mechanically simple.

    3) As a manse, do the same thing regardless of changing times. Example: A manse which is always adapting to remain comfortable regardless of the time of day, season, or weather.

    4) As a vehicle, do the same thing regardless of changing environments. Example: An air-ship which is always adapting to safely carry you through any weather, underwater, through Deep Wyld, through any environment of Hell, etc.


    Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

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  • #2
    The write-up for Eska of the Seven Blades includes another simple one, in the form of short daiklaves that can shapeshift into the appearance of regular knives for the sake of discretion and easier transportation.

    With Evocations, there's also room to explore the idea of a weapon that shapeshifts as a means of inflicting its attacks; not like a sword that changes into a bow, but a sword that is able to twist around in a serpentine manner.

    Although, speaking of bows, now I want to try and figure out something neat that could be done with a shapeshifting bow that is still specifically a ranged weapon...


    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
      Although, speaking of bows, now I want to try and figure out something neat that could be done with a shapeshifting bow that is still specifically a ranged weapon...
      It could expand for more power, and contract back down to be suitable for horseback archery.

      Perhaps it has an animal head in the center, and the bow envenoms arrows fired from it, and the wielder can change the animal displayed?

      Just thoughts.

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      • #4
        I'm writing up a Chain Daiklave idea that is essentially a transforming weapon. It's usable as a knife, or can spring the blade to reveal the chain section. It really would just be a change of tags, with the intention of coming up with a cool Artifact for an Ebon Shadow artist.


        Check out Momentum Exalted!

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        • #5
          I created for my current chronicle a soulsteel and moonsilver "living tattoo" that provides the bearer a choice between smashfists, razor claws, or slayer khatars. Here's the evocation that controls the transformation:

          Arsenal of the Ebon Hand
          Cost: 3m
          Mins: Essence 1
          Keywords: Perilous
          Type: Reflexive
          Duration: Instant
          Prerequisite Evocations: None
          One Line Summary: Changes the weapon-form between razor claw, smashfist, and slayer khatar
          Shadows take many forms, thus there are as many forms to catch them. With but a moment of concentration, Shadowgrasp can reshape its form for either one or both hands into a pair of razor claws, slayer khatars, or smashfists, using the statistics and tags listed on pp 594-595 in Exalted Third Edition.

          Usable once per scene, reset by reaching 15i after making a successful decisive attack with the current form or with a two-point stunt using the transformation to overcome a physical obstacle
          Last edited by Binary Phantom; 11-20-2018, 12:32 PM. Reason: formatting

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
            Although, speaking of bows, now I want to try and figure out something neat that could be done with a shapeshifting bow that is still specifically a ranged weapon...
            Maybe not the bow itself shapeshifting, but making the arrows take different shapes and functions?


            Part-time table flipper.

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            • #7
              Combination bow/skycutter.

              Cos thrown weapons work better for closer targets.

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              • #8
                I see now that I didn't really convey enough of what I had in mind with the bow thing.

                I think that bows are neat for reasons including that I think that springs are neat. I find something aesthetically pleasing in the look of a bow under tension and the whole principle of it storing and releasing muscular energy. I like how greater sophistication in bow technology consists of making it function as a more efficient spring.

                In that context, I liked the way that prior Editions differentiated the power bow from the regular one with things like actually being able to provide a damage bonus, and being able to bend regardless of how weak the shooter was (plus the whole thing where they weren't at risk of snapping from too much draw strength). I always liked the image that it gave me of the powerbow not merely being drawn back and released, but that it kind of flexed itself to add some additional power to the shot.

                With that, I had a particular fondness for how moonsilver was described as providing its attuned bonus to powerbows, with that idea of them reshaping themselves to more effectively launch the shaft. So in the context of shapeshifting weapons, especially when there are references to the likes of swords that might snake around other weapons or suddenly grow a bit to pierce a target, I think it would be neat to have something that had Evocations invoking the image that the arms of the bow are capable of flexing and writhing in a manner that does something useful tactically.

                Unfortunately, I can't really think of anything that doesn't end up being fairly basic and kind of boring, hardly distinguishable from native Charms to straightforwardly enhance archery, or else just ending up as a kind of grab bag of effects.

                Which... now that I'm thinking about it, is not necessarily bad considering the precedent of Evocations that provide enhancements to the wielder's own Charms and one of the moonsilver motif of melding user and weapon, but it's still kind of disappointing.


                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
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                • #9
                  You could integrate the flexing bits as part of a larger theme, like with the Frost-Thorn Knuckles in Arms of the Chosen.

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                  • #10
                    Sometimes a cool description can save a boring effect. If the arms of the bow bending and recurving to provide more force to the arrow doesn’t work, what about the arms splitting apart and forming some kind of X bow with a double string? Or maybe the bow does bend, flex, and reshapes the arrow so it curves in the air or grants different tags? Or maybe parts of the bow break off and provide infinite arrows and the bending and flexing of the bow cand provide a cool “arrow shotgun” charm?

                    One of the tricky parts of creating Charms and Evocations is that, effect wise, you’re probably gonna have something that either mimics an existing charm or makes it obsolete, especially if you’re building a combat effect. I mean, how many combat charms basically boil down to “add dice/successes to attack/damage/defense,” “negate penalty,” or “attack multiple times?” There are really only so many ways to boost things, especially if you’re trying to avoid creating a god combo.

                    Relax a bit, try writing all your ideas down, and discuss them with someone. Adding a cool visual or interesting access mode or penalty or side effect can do a lot to make a “boring” base effect shine.

                    Also the source of the boost can be important. An Evocation that lets you add +(Str) to the damage pool of a decisive attack is going to feel very different from one that lets you add +(Intimacy), even if they’re the exact same value.
                    Last edited by BrilliantRain; 11-22-2018, 06:26 PM.


                    ....

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                    • #11
                      What about a different way of handling the cost & Evocations?

                      On the idea that a four-dot Artifact opens up a new avenue of gameplay (compared to a three-dot) then perhaps an Artifact need only cost an extra dot to have a significant alternate use. The powerbow/skycutter/shillelagh could be a good one for an example.

                      The Evocations would probably need to work with either of these uses, or perhaps you need to be Resonant to unlock them. ("Did that Anathema just pick up Cathak Fred's powerbow and throw it like a boomerang?!?!?")

                      Interesting ideas!


                      Check out Momentum Exalted!

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                      • #12
                        I had an idea once for an artifact that could go between wingboard and skycutter. maybe use it as a shield too. never fleshed it out though.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                          Sometimes a cool description can save a boring effect. If the arms of the bow bending and recurving to provide more force to the arrow doesn’t work, what about the arms splitting apart and forming some kind of X bow with a double string? Or maybe the bow does bend, flex, and reshapes the arrow so it curves in the air or grants different tags? Or maybe parts of the bow break off and provide infinite arrows and the bending and flexing of the bow cand provide a cool “arrow shotgun” charm?

                          One of the tricky parts of creating Charms and Evocations is that, effect wise, you’re probably gonna have something that either mimics an existing charm or makes it obsolete, especially if you’re building a combat effect. I mean, how many combat charms basically boil down to “add dice/successes to attack/damage/defense,” “negate penalty,” or “attack multiple times?” There are really only so many ways to boost things, especially if you’re trying to avoid creating a god combo.

                          Relax a bit, try writing all your ideas down, and discuss them with someone. Adding a cool visual or interesting access mode or penalty or side effect can do a lot to make a “boring” base effect shine.

                          Also the source of the boost can be important. An Evocation that lets you add +(Str) to the damage pool of a decisive attack is going to feel very different from one that lets you add +(Intimacy), even if they’re the exact same value.
                          I'm probably setting myself up as impossible to please if I say that a few of these are going a lot farther than what I'm attached to in this particular image, even if they all sound like fine concepts in their own right.

                          I'm going to go back over the published Artifacts at some point and see if there's something more understated that I could use as a base.

                          As for the topic, I had this image of a kind of chimeric daiklave in which the shape of the blade (particularly the edge) is able to adjust into different kinds of stylized animals, providing different modes of attack.

                          Like, take a big old sword whose shape is wrought to evoke the image of a big wolf maw, which is able to change into a sword in a shape of a curved bird's wing; one conformation can inflict savage, lacerating, possibly grappling attacks, the other does something like a mobility aid or a kind of air buffet to knock things back.

                          Keep it limited and unified by giving the sword a mythology of a defined hybrid creature (although not one that necessarily exists in the setting, just laying out your parameters), and there might be a basis for having a daiklave whose powers are eclectic without just being a convenient and random grab bag.


                          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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