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Scorpion Style, a White Elephant for Clophiroth

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  • Scorpion Style, a White Elephant for Clophiroth

    Scorpion Style

    Scorpion Style emulates the cold, calculated nerve of the eponymous arachnids, based on their ability to defend themselves from attacks from all directions while waiting for the perfect moment to strike back with deadly poison. Its practitioners, despite usually wearing some manner of armor, tend to be barefoot or wearing some manner of flexible footwear, blocking attacks with hardened soles or striking at an opponent’s limbs as they swing to deflect them painfully. The precise strikes and calm breathing of a master of this style betray their furious speed and killing potential, for a single scratch from their fingernails or speartips can be deadly. Flourishing mainly in the deserts of the far South and the dark corners of the River Province, mastered by Grass Spider and Scavenger Lord alike, it is nevertheless found in all corners of Creation, if one knows where to look.

    Scorpion Weapons: Scorpion style’s unarmed attacks are composed primarily of fast, precise kicks to exposed weak points or limbs, as well as elbow strikes and hits with hardened claw-like nails, always seeking exposed flesh and drawing blood. It may also be used with the spear, whip, staff or seven-section staff, favoring vicious lunges and sweeping motions to catch opponents off-guard. Any unarmed attack enhanced with a Scorpion Style Charm can always be stunted to deal lethal damage.

    Armor: Scorpion style is compatible with light and medium armor.

    Complementary Abilities: Scorpion stylists generally boast great prowess in Dodge and Athletics, moving in and out of combat range with unmatched ease. Some prefer the use of more insidious tactics, using Stealth to strike once and strike true while letting poison do the rest.

    Cornered Scorpion Dance
    Cost: 4m; Mins: Martial Arts 2, Essence 1
    Type: Reflexive
    Keywords: Terrestrial, Uniform
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms:None

    The stylist’s flexibility and speed are seemingly unbound by physical restraints, always finding a way to move out of her opponent’s reach. She gains +1
    Evasion, and ignores all poison, deprivation, or environmental penalties to her Evasion. Successfully evading the attack causes her opponent to overextend, losing -1 initiative (which she doesn’t gain) and taking a -1 onslaught penalty.

    Terrestrial: She cannot ignore more than (Stamina) penalties in total with this Charm.

    Beast-Slaying Venom
    Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 1
    Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: Decisive-Only
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: None

    Keeping a watchful eye for any openings in her opponent’s defenses, she drives her weapon or nails against his flesh, injecting discordant Essence into his body and watching as it tears him apart from the inside. This Charm can only be activated when benefitting from an Aim action against the target, or against a target suffering from onslaught penalties. A decisive attack that causes 1+ levels of damage poisons her opponent with
    a deadly venom, of damage 3i/round (Lethal in crash), duration (Essence + Stamina) rounds, and a -2 penalty. If the poison causes decisive damage to an opponent, that round doesn’t count against the number of rounds he must survive to recover from crash.

    Invincible Arachnid Hide
    Cost: 3m 2i; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 1
    Type: Reflexive
    Keywords: Mastery, Perilous, Uniform
    Prerequisite Charms: Cornered Scorpion Dance, Beast-Slaying Venom

    With perfectly calculated flows of primal Essence, the martial artist’s skin takes on a chitinous sheen momentarily, hardening to the point of steel. After an opponent succeeds on an attack against her, she may activate this Charm. For each 1 and 2 in her opponent’s damage roll, he rerolls a successful die, starting with 7s and moving up, to a maximum of (Stamina) rerolled dice for withering attacks or (lower of Essence or Stamina) for decisive attacks.

    Mastery: Successes are rerolled starting from 10s and moving down.

    Scorpion Form
    Cost: 8m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 1
    Type: Simple
    Keywords: Form
    Duration: One Scene
    Prerequisite Charms: Invincible Arachnid Hide

    The martial artist adopts a wary stance, squatting with one leg as the other extends forward, an arm aimed forward towards the earth as the other one extends backward to the heavens, whether a spear or staff is held between them or not. She gains +1
    Evasion, and adds an automatic success to her movement actions.

    When using Beast-Slaying Venom, she ignores the conditions to use it, being able to activate the Charm to supplement any decisive attack she makes. When an attack against her rolls 0 successes on the damage roll and she used Invincible Arachnid Hide to defend against it, her attacker becomes exposed to poison as if attacked with Beast-Slaying Venom. Finally, she takes no penalties for being prone.

    Special Activation Conditions: When an opponent affected by Beast-Slaying Venom’s poison enters Initiative Crash or takes decisive damage from poison, she may activate this Charm reflexively.

    Palp-and-Stinger Entanglement
    Cost: 5m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2
    Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: Decisive-Only
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Scorpion Form

    Moving with unmatched dexterity and force, the scorpion stylist holds her opponent in place with enough precision that she would appear to have many more limbs than she does. This Charm supplements a grapple gambit, rerolling 1s on the initiative and control rolls. If she wins control of the grapple, she takes no penalties for being in a grapple, and attacks that roll no damage against her do not reduce her control rounds for the grapple’s duration.

    In Scorpion Form, if her opponent is suffering from poison, the rounds he spends under a grapple supplemented by this Charm don’t count against the poison's duration.

    God-Killer’s Dread Grasp
    Cost: 5m 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3
    Type: Reflexive
    Keywords: Decisive-Only, Mastery, Terrestrial
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Palp-and-Stinger Entanglement

    The martial artist channels the very Essence of
    poison itself throughout her body, each touch and breath a vector for doom. When she wins control of a grapple against a poisoned enemy, she may activate this Charm; the poison’s remaining rounds of duration are increased by the number of rounds of control she has over the grapple. If the poison’s duration is higher than her control rounds before this Charm’s effect is resolved, she gains the difference between them in control rounds as well.

    Alternatively, she may activate this Charm upon winning control of a grapple, automatically poisoning her opponent as per Beast-Slaying Venom and setting its duration to (her control rounds) without a chance for him to
    resist, unless he uses powerful magic such as Immunity-to-Everything Technique.

    Terrestrial: She cannot add more than (Stamina) control rounds or rounds of poison duration through this Charm.

    Mastery: Poison enhanced through this Charm deals Aggravated damage in
    crash, and increases its damage to (Essence)/round, if that's higher.

    Bloody Hand Alchemy
    Cost: 4m 3i 1wp (2m 3i 1wp); Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2
    Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: Withering-Only
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Scorpion Form

    As she draws a bloodstained finger- or speartip from her victim’s body, emerald traces coruscate in the tiny wound she left. This Charm supplements a Piercing attack for 2m 3i, replacing its cost with the Charm’s own; if her weapon doesn't have the Piercing tag, she may pay a 2m surcharge to gain this tag for an instant, which she must then use for her attack. She ignores the Defense penalty for making Piercing attacks.

    If her attack deals more than (her opponent’s Stamina) withering damage, crashes him, or deals any damage to him while suffering the effects of poison, she may immediately roll all initiative gained by this attack as Lethal decisive damage, applying the effects of Beast-Slaying Venom for free. This damage does not include her base initiative or reset her to
    base. If all three conditions are met, she gains a point of Willpower.

    Dripping in Ancient Blood
    Cost: 5m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3
    Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: Decisive-Only
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Bloody Hand Alchemy

    The martial artist’s own lifeblood, poisoned to a point of corrosiveness, ribbons around her limb or weapon as she strikes, sending shocks and pulses of acidic destruction rippling through her opponent’s body. This Charm may only be used while the martial artist is suffering from a Wound Penalty of -1 or higher. She doubles 10s on a decisive damage roll.

    If her attack deals enough damage to increase her opponent’s Wound Penalty, his blood becomes tainted with acid; he is exposed to an irresistible Acid Bath environmental hazard (3L/round, difficulty 5 if magic is used to resist) every round until he either takes a Crippling Injury representing severe damage to his inner organs (or similar external damage with proper stunts) or an ally
    succeeds at extracting the acid by rolling (Intelligence + Medicine) at difficulty 5. The roll takes a -3 penalty unless done outside of combat, in a calm environment; the Storyteller should decide the frequency in which the hazard rolls are made in such situations.

    Being killed by this hazard causes the body to dissolve into verdant, corrosive blood, making Investigation or Awareness rolls to determine his identity impossible unless enhanced by potent magic such as Unsurpassed Hearing and Touch Discipline (by listening to his last words), and even then such rolls are made at a -(Essence) penalty.

    Skittering Horror Pursuit
    Cost: 5m 2i 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2
    Type: Simple
    Keywords: Mastery, Perilous, Uniform
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Scorpion Form

    As precise footfalls betray her speed, the scorpion stylist pushes the limits of her own speed to chase after her pray with deadly intent. She may rush a poisoned or crashed opponent from Medium Range, adding +(his Wound Penalty) dice on the roll. If successful, this will move her one range band closer to her opponent during her next two turns, besides her
    movement action, if her enemy provokes her reflexive movement as per normal rushes. She may only continue to move towards that enemy or lose this Charm’s benefits.

    She achieves perfect balance and weightlessness during her sprint, becoming able
    to run across things that could not normally bear her weight or things too narrow to keep balance on easily without a roll. If the opponent is both poisoned and crashed, or has a Wound Penalty higher than -2, she may even walk up walls and other surfaces for the purpose of this rush.

    Once she moves within attack range of him, she may immediately make an attack against him, adding the threshold successes from her rush as dice of damage. If the rush’s automatic movement actions weren’t triggered, she may make an additional attack against the same opponent or a different one within range per each movement action she didn’t trigger, benefitting from the rush’s threshold successes as well. If she makes multiple decisive attacks due to this Charm's effects, she does not reset to base until all of them are resolved.

    Scissors-to-the-Throat Rebuke
    Cost: 7m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3
    Type: Reflexive
    Keywords: Counterattack, Decisive-Only, Mastery, Terrestrial
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Skittering Horror Pursuit

    Stick your hand in a nest of scorpions at your own peril. The martial artist gains +1 non-Charm Evasion against an attack. If she evades successfully, she may counterattack with a gambit, with unique effects for each gambit as described below:

    Nest-of-Scorpions Onslaught (Distract): Upon making a distract gambit with this Charm, she grants the extra initiative to up to (Stamina) allies, as if she had made that many consecutive distract gambits to benefit them all against the same opponent. They lose this initiative if they don’t attack the distracted opponent as normal.

    Pincers Steal the Knife/Stinger-Enveloped Gift (Disarm): After a successful disarm gambit made through this Charm, she may ready the disarmed weapon automatically. If this is an Artifact, she breaks its attunement
    automatically, and may attune to it reflexively as she readies it.

    Alternatively, she may send it an extra range band away per every 3 threshold successes she rolled on the initiative roll; the first opponent to pick it up is exposed to poison as per Beast-Slaying Venom.

    Swarm-of-Scorpions Reversal (Grapple): She rolls an extra non-Charm die per every 10 on the initiative and control rolls of a grapple gambit created by this Charm. Furthermore, she may grapple beings beyond her normal ability to grapple, such as foes with Legendary Size.

    Terrestrial: The Evasion bonus is counted towards her dice cap.

    Mastery: Double 9s on the initiative rolls of all gambits created through this Charm.

    Maddened Lotus Dance
    Cost: 10m 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4
    Type: Simple
    Keywords: Counterattack, Decisive-Only, Mastery, Perilous, Terrestrial
    Duration: Until
    next turn
    Prerequisite Charms: Scissors-to-the-Throat Rebuke, Dripping in Ancient Blood,
    God-Killer’s Dread Grasp

    Eyes rolling back into her head, the martial artist enters a mad trance as her own blood overloads with contagion. Faster than any human reflexes would allow, more precise and deadly than any wild animal, attacking her is like attacking a blossom of hemlock-coated steel petals, yet her movements are far too alluring to ignore. She may activate this Charm while at initiative 15+, preventing her from taking movement actions during that round. Upon activation, she makes a (Manipulation or Appearance + Performance) inspire roll, which costs 1 Willpower and 5 initiative to resist. Those who cannot resist without going into Initiative Crash or have no temporary Willpower left are automatically affected.

    All successfully inspired opponents must only attack her for the duration of this Charm, and cannot take any actions that don't directly advance the goal of attacking her. During this time, she may counterattack with decisive attacks of her own, after the attack roll but before their damage roll resolves. Beast-Slaying Venom and Dripping in Ancient Blood apply to these attacks for free. Successfully incapacitating an opponent through one of these counterattacks causes his original attack to fail, regardless of whether it rolled more successes than her Defense. Her initiative does not reset to base until this Charm ends.

    Special Activation Conditions: In Scorpion Form, this Charm may be activated as a Reflexive-Type Charm when targeted by an attack.

    Terrestrial: This Charm can only be used once per
    scene, unless reset by incapacitating an opponent through poison or acid.

    Mastery: Every time she successfully defends against an attack and successfully counterattacks her opponent, she may move one range band in any direction as long as she is moving towards another opponent.
    Last edited by Alistair; 04-09-2019, 11:55 PM.

  • #2
    Shouldn’t this style use hookswords, and possibly Kama, or whips? At the very least Hookswords.

    It is a time for great deeds!


    • #3
      I tried to keep it mechanically and thematically coherent; staves, seven-section staves and spears have little in common with hook swords or kama, and besides, it's more about the stinger than the pedipalps.


      • #4
        No that makes sense. I can see the spear and the whip unified though in a stinger symbolism.

        It is a time for great deeds!


        • #5
          I suppose so. Added the Whip and changed the wording of Bloody Hand Alchemy a bit to enable Piercing attacks with any of its weapons.


          • #6
            I have been completely unable to post before today.

            I really like this, and will be canon in all my games. Like some poison-focused styles, and the general aesthetic is one I am really fond of!


            • #7
              Now I am one step closer to the Venom Mob circle I've always dreamed of!

              (also, the armor entry says Snake Style, btw)

              Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, No Moon Scholar, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Wraith, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Pioneer Pooch, Scion with Shield of Knowledge, Director


              • #8
                Fixed a few wording issues, including the typo SamuraiMujuru caught. And thanks for the kind words, Clophiroth!