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I need a custom charm to stick it to Orabilis

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  • I need a custom charm to stick it to Orabilis

    So, there's a downtime coming up in my game & I'm ready to get into the old Celestial Circle Sorcery. My character's a reckless, thrill-seeking Twilight-caste gambler who got initiated into Terrestrial Circle Sorcery by winning a bet with Sigereth, the Player of Games. Before Exalting, he wagered his genius & lost, then panicked and offered himself as double or nothing. He won the second game. Sigereth was unable to dissuade him from cutting his losses (at least until after the Second Breath.)

    Now, no knowledge is more exciting than knowledge under close guard, so I've decided that I'm gonna go to the Demon City, travel from glass library to glass library and try to deduce some cosmic secret that will tempt the wrath of the End of All Wisdom. When he lays his hand on me, I shall defeat him in a contest of wills and wrest authority over that secret from him forever. Then, I'll bargain for the Celestial Circle initiation in exchange for keeping my mouth shut about it.

    Ordinarily, I'd think that this would be fodder for a plot arc on its own, but I think that's unlikely in this game. It's unrelated to the main plot, we already had a side-plot in the Endless Desert recently and the only PC who's tied up with demons is mine. But the storyteller likes my idea, so I reckon it'll end up happening as a downtime activity. Where I'm running into trouble is the mechanics of beating Orabilis in the contest of wills. In the 2e description, you had to beat him in a contest of wills, (Essence+Willpower) vs. (Essence+Willpower) until someone gets 3 successes over the other. In 3e, the contest of wills is (Sorceror's Intelligence+Occult) vs. demon's Resolve. There are no specific 3e mechanics for the Touch of Orabilis, as far as I'm aware, but he should obviously be presumed to be pretty badass.

    So I'm thinking a custom Integrity charm is called for here.* I'm thinking it'd have thirteen charms from among Lore, Occult and Investigation as prerequisites. It should thematically be about some vaguely belligerent assertion of a Solar's entitlement to know anything and everything they care to know. Now, you can see clearly what it's designed to do - but I don't want to make a custom charm that only works as a one-time plot device. So how else can such a charm benefit me? What broader effects could it have?

    Also, if anyone's keen on this initiation - any ideas for cool sorcerous merits for this one? I like the idea of being able to do something with that cosmic secret I'll wrest away, but I haven't thought much about what yet.

    *I considered Destiny-Manifesting Method, but it has two drawbacks for this. 1 - Breaking the curse wouldn't defeat Orabilis, so it probably wouldn't wrest the secret from him, and 2 - I don't have 10 charms in 1 ability.

  • #2
    Have you seen Mind Blanking Rebuke? (Scroll Errata 155), it forbids the target from performing an act. So in the custom charm you build, you might want to build off this charm, to prevent Orabilis from withholding knowledge.

    You might also want to reference Oracular Magistrate Understanding (160 Errata) and Power From Darkness (Errata 164). Power From Darkness allows Solars to learn charms, so creating a variant from that could be what you're after.


    • #3
      Given that he's referring to initiating into Sorcery from making a deal with a demon, and needing ten Charms for Destiny-Manifesting Method, I'm assuming he's referring to third edition.


      • #4
        Quite right, I am talking about 3e, but those charms might be useful for inspiration.

        Oracular Magistrate Understanding could well be a useful one to houserule into 3e for this character, but I don't know how much bearing it has on this goal. I don't know that the others are quite what I'm after, though. Thanks for the suggestions, in any case.


        • #5
          Orabilis cant touch you for knowing forbidden knowledge. That is a demon law isnt it?


          • #6
            Originally posted by vampire hunter D View Post
            Orabilis cant touch you for knowing forbidden knowledge. That is a demon law isnt it?
            No; Green Sun Princes were stated in 2e to be exempt from the touch of Orabilis, but anyone else who uncovers knowledge meant only for the Yozis gets made into one of the stars of Malfeas.


            • #7
              that doesn't sound right.


              • #8
                Originally posted by vampire hunter D View Post
                that doesn't sound right.
                From Games of Divinity:
                Descriptions of Orabilis in the old books carry a warning: Do not ask him to reveal the mysteries of the world. To do so frees him to lay his touch upon the sorcerer, even if bound, and to cast the sorcerer into the sky. However, one can safely demand a glass library from him, built in the mortal world and full of the lore Orabilis chooses.
                In other words, if you use his power to learn the secrets of the Yozis, even a sorcerous binding can't stop him from flinging you skyward.

                Moreover, I don't see why he'd make an exception for an Exalt who is brazenly going about in the Demon City, trying to steal knowledge held only by the mad titans.


                • #9
                  To clarify further, from Roll of Glorious Divinity II - Demons and Ghosts, pp 53:
                  The words of Orabilis rain down onto the Demon
                  City as beads of liquid glass and coagulate into great
                  libraries with translucent shelves of crystalline scrolls.
                  In their gleaming halls, demons grow wise in the ways
                  of Creation and Malfeas. Yet they must never become
                  too wise; certain knowledge is forbidden, and demons
                  that learn such things are doomed. When Orabilis
                  finds them, he says, “These are things known only to
                  the Yozis,” and lays his hand upon them. The touch
                  of Orabilis casts an offender into the void between the
                  layers of Malfeas, where she burns like a fateful star,
                  until eventually being extinguished by the winds of
                  Adorjan or the green corona of Ligier.
                  And pp. 54:
                  Other Notes: If Orabilis is given authority to punish
                  someone for learning forbidden knowledge, he must
                  lay a hand on the guilty target. This touch is a Speed
                  6 unblockable attack with 20 successes (Step 3). If the
                  target fails to evade it, the two instantly enter a contested
                  reflexive challenge of wills. The player of each
                  contestant makes an unmodified (Willpower + Essence)
                  roll, until Orabilis or the target gains three more total
                  successes than the other. If Orabilis wins this contest,
                  the victim is cast into the Malfean sky as a failing
                  star; if the victim wins, she wrests
                  control of the secret from Orabilis
                  and forever denies
                  him authority over
                  it. (Nonetheless, the
                  priests of Cecelyne
                  and other demons might
                  seek to silence her.)


                  • #10
                    On the one hand, there’s a part of me that likes the idea that Orabilis should just be able to go “into the sky with you” and you can’t do anything about it. However, Exalted is a game where you play people that eat stuff like that for breakfast, so giving Orabilis’s Touch game stats is probably the way to go. That way you can sensibly design a charm that boosts your defense in that area, assuming one doesn’t already exist.

                    As far as 3e goes, my first instinct was to turn it into a special Gambit, but, since Orabilis mostly uses it outside of combat and it’s nigh universally successful, the knock on effects mean that his Join Battle either needs to be sky high or his “Fling You Into The Sky” Gambit charm either has to have a fairly low difficulty or provide a bunch of extra initiative. Neither of those options sound quite appropriate.

                    That said, I’m not entirely sure what other method would be appropriate.

                    Something else to consider is, what secret knowledge are you going to get and what benefit does it give you? I mean, if the knowledge is an esoteric tidbit about the 5/16th lives of orgone essence as emitted by the Hell Lotus or some other bit of weird trivia who’s only real use is as a trophy to show how you stuck it to Orabilis, well...ok, that’s fine. I can buy that the Yozis put things under seal for reasons that don’t make sense to anyone without transcendent knowledge of the universe.

                    However, I could also imagine someone feeling disappointed that they went to all this work and all they really got out of it was a badge on the achievements screen, so to speak. It might be worth discussing this with your ST. I mean, I know you’re getting Celestial Circle Sorcery out of this too, but the secret itself might at least justify a cool Merit or a bonus to a Working or something.

                    Hmmm... If you use the contest of wills idea, what about an Occult charm which gives you a bonus to contests of wills with demons? Like when you summon them, you get a bonus, but it also kicks in with more esoteric stuff, like Orabilis’s Touch.



                    • #11
                      I definitely agree re: the importance of the Terrible Secret I'll be wresting from the End of All Wisdom. Like I said, I plan to make some sorcerous merits from it. I just haven't quite gotten around to thinking about what they'll be yet.

                      I like the idea of an Occult charm that gives a bonus to contests of wills with demons. I do bind a lot of demons. And this game might just go long enough that I start trying to bind 3rd circle demons, which is bound to need some kind of enhancement. Given my character's penchant for finding hidden information, maybe I'll have it allow me to buy down their Resolve to some limit based on how many of that particular demon's secrets I know, or give double 9s, 8s or 7s in a similar way to Vindictive Concubine's Pillow Book. Thanks for the suggestion! I'll mull it over a bit more and post again when I come up with something specific.


                      • #12
                        So life got hectic & now I've been going back & forth for a few days on whether doing what I said I'd do is worth being accused of thread necromancy... I looked for some guideline on that in the forum rules, but didn't find anything. So, here goes, and mods, if I'm breaking a rule, let me know & I won't do it again.

                        Let's call this a first draft. Cost: 5+m, 2 or 3wp Mins: Occult 5, Essence 3
                        Type: Supplemental
                        Keywords: None
                        Prerequisite Charms: All-Encompassing Sorceror's Sight, Terrestrial Circle Sorcery
                        The light of the Unconquered Sun pierces into foul places, illuminating hidden secrets and overwhelming the dread things that dwell therein. This charm enables a Solar to leverage knowledge that they've gathered about a demon to buy down its resolve in a contest of wills. This charm costs 5 motes per level of resolve removed, and either 2 willpower for Second-Circle demons or 3 willpower for 3rd-circle demons.

                        This charm always causes the character's anima to flare iconic. The light of the character's anima engulfs the demon and the iconic manifestation stands over it, silently menacing it with intrusive insights.
                        The demon's resolve can be reduced by a maximum determined by the number of these conditions that have been met.
                        • The Solar has discovered a significant secret that the demon hides. (1 per secret)
                        • The Solar is familiar with the demon's mind. (1 per defining intimacy known, 1 per 2 major intimacies known)
                        • The demon knows that the Solar is able to blackmail them. (1)
                        • In the case of a demon of the Third Circle – The Solar has interrogated the demon's component souls about their master. (1 for having interrogated 3 pertinent demons of the Second Circle, 2 for having interrogated all of them. 1 more if those demons are currently bound and available to provide counsel.)
                        Breaking the will of 3rd circle demons & even 2nd circle demons is a big deal, so I didn't want it to be too easy. Between the willpower cost (which it now occurs to me actually puts this out of reach for Willpower 5 characters trying to summon & bind demons of the 3rd circle) and the extra effort involved in getting the maximum level to something useful, I think it's involved enough that it makes a mostly mechanical challenge into a storytelling one.

                        What do you guys think?