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My first artifact – The Kiss of the Devil Serpent - critique please

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  • My first artifact – The Kiss of the Devil Serpent - critique please

    Below is the first try at a artifact for an ongoing DB game. I am playing a hunter/woodsman who is rather jovial (and a bit of a party animal, wood aspects am I right?). I wanted a weapon that contrasted him so I made a mean spirited bow. I mostly based it off spring razor but as a short power bow and snake themed. As it is my first artifact and first evocations/charms I have ever wrote I thought I would see what you all think. I already ran it past my GM and he approved but there is always room to improve.


    Afee-Raa: The Kiss of the Devil Serpent

    There was once an wood elemental in the shape of a cobra named Afee-Raa. Afee-Raa was a creature of pure beauty like the finest statue made of perfect green jade. However Afee-Raa looked at all the glory and radiance of the gods and his pride soured into jealousy and vanity. So Afee-Raa bargained with forbidden things from deep below and gained the power to poison and consume gods to gain their radiance. Soon it wrought terror across the land and a wyld hunt was called to destroy it. The foul creature was slain, but in its last breath it requested that its two fangs be made into artifacts worthy of his beauty. And so the left fang was worked into green jade and tempered in Afee-Raa’s own venom and named The Kiss of the Devil Serpent. It was given to its current wielder as a wedding gift. The right fang awaits it foraging.

    Afee-Raa: The Kiss of the Devil Serpent is a short power bow. The grip is a tightly woven tangle of serpent coils from which limb emerges. Each limb appears as identical rearing cobras made of brilliant green jade with each serpent scale highlighted with silver giving it an ornate but not gaudy appearance; emphasizing both the beauty of the idealistic cobra it is modeled after and the natural beauty of green jade. Each head contains a hearthstone slot and when slotted the eyes of the serpents take on the characteristics of the slotted stone. A bit of Afee-Raa still remains in the bow and gives it a vicious, haughty nature. It refuses to be wielded except by those that are the best of best and loves to be praised for its beauty and shown around as the precious prize it is. It also loves nothing better than to watch others die from its venom.

    Attunement 5 – Short Power Bow


    Afee-Raa: The Kiss of the Devil Serpent’s Evocations:
    This bows evocations primarily deal with its own poisons, it will tolerate no others. The Jealous spirit of Afee-Raa denies the use of its evocations to those that would soil it with the use of other toxins until they make amends. Usually polishing it with expensive oils and bathing it in the smoke of precious incenses.

    Venomous Flying Fang
    Cost: 4m Mins: Essence 1
    Type: Supplemental
    Keyword: Dual
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: None
    The toxic venom of Afee-Raa’s essence flows into the arrow as it is pulled back making it the spiritual reflection of Afee-Raa’s own fangs. A decisive attack supplemented by this charm poisons its target on a successful hit with snake venom (page 234; Snake Venom: 2i/round, lethal in a crash. Duration 3 rounds. Penalty -3. Vector Damage). On a successful withering attack supplemented by this charm on a target poisoned by Afee-Raa the Kiss of the duration of that poison is increased by 1 round.

    Special Activation Rules: This Evocation cannot be purchased with experience points. The bearer of this bow must prove themself worthy. Once join battle is rolled for combat with a significant foe the bearer of this bow must ask for Afee-Raa’s assistance. The bow’s cobra heads twist back and bites the bearer poisoning them with an incurable venom with an indefinite duration that lasts until their foe is defeated or they flee (2i/round, lethal in crash. Duration until combat is completed, Penalty -3 ). Should the bearer (and their compatriots) fail the bearer will die and their flesh will dissolve away leaving behind polished bones. The bow does show one mercy allowing the Charm to awaken once the bow has poisons its bearer.


    Rearing Cobra Stares Down Prey
    Cost: 6m Mins: Essence 1
    Type: Supplemental
    Keyword: Stackable
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Venomous Flying Fang
    Just as the rearing cobra fill its prey with dread before the serpent’s final strike so too does the aim of Afee-Raa’s bearer wither their enemies as they aim their deadly arrows. This charm has different affects depending on if you use it on a target already poisoned by Afee-Raa’s venom.

    When you aim at a target that is not already poisoned using a charm from Afee-Raa: The Kiss of the Devil Serpent on the following turn when you uses such a charm for a decisive attack or gambit no matter how well the target rolls to resist the poison (page 232) the duration cannot be reduced below 1 round. If the target and Afee-Raa’s bearer can both clearly see one another as the bearer aims the duration cannot be reduced below 2 rounds instead.

    When the bearer takes the aim action targeting an individual that is already poisoned by Afee-Raa: the Kiss of the Serpent increase the duration of the poison by +1 round. If the target and Afee-Raa’s bearer can both clearly see one another as the bearer aims the duration is increased by +2 rounds instead.

    God Tormenting Venom
    Cost: - Mins: Essence 2
    Type: Permanent
    Keyword: None
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Venomous Flying Fang, Rearing Cobra Stares Down Prey
    Afee-Raa was a cruel creature who loved to watch his godly victims writhe and howl in torment before swallowing them down. Having proven their worth to this bow the poison inflicted by it with Venomous Flying Fang and Spitting Cobra’s Strike increases the damage by +1 and duration by +2.

    Special Activation Rules: This Evocation cannot be purchased with experience points. The bearer of this bow has to successfully poison a god (or any individual with ranks in the cult merit) with a poison inflicted by one of The Kiss of the Devil Serpent’s charms. Then either the poison itself must kill the target or the bearer of this bow must make the final killing shot during the duration of the poison.

    Spitting Cobra’s Strike
    Cost: 7m Mins: Essence 3
    Type: Simple
    Keyword: Decisive-only
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Venomous Flying Fang
    A common tactic of a Cobra is to spray poison into the eyes of an aggressor or prey item. Why shouldn’t the user of The Kiss of the Devil Serpent act differently? This attack is a difficulty 4 gambit that can only be used at short range. If successful the archer shoots forth a bolt of poisonous essence directly into the eyes of their target poisoning and blinding them (page 168, -3 penalty on actions that require sight). Beings that have Legendary Size or have many eyes are only partially blinded (-1 penalty on actions that require sight). The blindness lasts for the duration of the poison. If the target is already poisoned with snake venom increase the duration as normal but the target is still blinded.



    Bone Melting Mists of Afee-Raa
    Cost: 10m Mins: Essence 4
    Type: Reflexive
    Keyword: Simple
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Venomous Flying Fang, God Tormenting Venom, Rearing Cobra Stares Down Prey
    Afee-Raa in the end was not a kind serpent and when the wyld hunt came to end his life he spread poisonous horror through their host. The bearer of his fang has access to such power as well. When an enemy dies from the damage poison damage at the end of the round the bearer can infuse their essence into the corpse from long range. Said corpse dissolves into poisonous essence affecting all those within short range poisoning them with Snake Venom. Battle groups are especially vulnerable as the poison surges through their ranks. The poison increases in duration equal to the size of the battle group and each time the battle group decreases in size the duration either increases equal to the new size or increases by +1 depending on which would be the higher duration. For example if the current duration of the poison is 1 and the battle groups size drops to 2, the duration increases to 2. However if the Duration of the poison is 2 and the battle group drops to size 2 the duration is increased by +1 to 3 instead. This charm does not receive the bonuses from its prerequisites. The bearer is immune to this poison.

  • #2
    Venomous Flying Fang: This is okay! The Withering effect should probably require some damage be rolled.

    Reading Cobra: This should probably be a simple charm, which either is an attack (weaker) or is an aim action (stronger) and maybe a resonant effect allows it to be placed in a flurry with other actions. It feels a bit awkward as a supplemental charm, and supplemental evocations are risky already because they can have unintended interactions with other charms.

    Spirtting Poison: This is fine, Id lower the mote cost and add a willpower cost. I’d also make it usable to medium range with an aim action (considering there is a blinding only terrestrial effect that costs only 4m at medium/short range and a poison attack in Martial Arts that costs 5m and works at short range, something like 3m, 1wp seems fair).

    Bone Melting: Is this Reflexive or Simple? Revisit the writing here, some type-o’s Are present. I’d consider modeling this more on mists of eventide’s airborne poison. Just as a thought, maybe make it a simple charm that dissolves all corpses within a certain range killed by the bow- and simplify the battle group effect, it’s explanation felt a bit cumbersome to read.

    Cool stuff though. Simple, straightforward (these are good) and fun.

    Final nitpic- you confuse affect and effect a bunch and are missing some apostrophes. Not the end of the world.

    Comment


    • #3
      Very good stuff! Your mechanics are all rock solid. Rearing Cobra Stares Down Prey and Spitting Cobra’s Strike could both afford to cost significantly less though.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JiveX View Post
        Venomous Flying Fang: This is okay! The Withering effect should probably require some damage be rolled.
        I had intended for that to be the case, I will add that in.

        Originally posted by JiveX View Post
        Rearing Cobra: This should probably be a simple charm, which either is an attack (weaker) or is an aim action (stronger) and maybe a resonant effect allows it to be placed in a flurry with other actions. It feels a bit awkward as a supplemental charm, and supplemental evocations are risky already because they can have unintended interactions with other charms.
        My intention is that it is a supplemental charm for the aim action. To be honest my intention here is to have some sort of extra bit of fun since a LOT of DB archery charms are best used after a aim. There is nothing so boring as to hear a fellow player describe how the jump, do a summersault, and pound a guy into the ground with their own fists and then on your turn just take the aim action. Also I must be ignorant but what is the unintended interactions with other charms? Is there a game breaking combo I don’t know about?

        Originally posted by JiveX View Post
        Spirtting Poison: This is fine, Id lower the mote cost and add a willpower cost. I’d also make it usable to medium range with an aim action (considering there is a blinding only terrestrial effect that costs only 4m at medium/short range and a poison attack in Martial Arts that costs 5m and works at short range, something like 3m, 1wp seems fair).
        The short range is an artistic choice because cobras really don’t shoot their venom that far. I don’t know if I should include it in the cost but I did intend on the gambit also costing the normal amount of initiative so there is the additional cost of 5i? I put it at 7 motes because poison already has a-3 penalty, so I thought combining that with being blinded which is another -3 was very strong. Almost too strong? Actually I am more tempted to add the will power cost to the 7m, 5i cost. Or have it have it usable only once per combat with a reset condition.

        Originally posted by JiveX View Post
        Bone Melting: Is this Reflexive or Simple? Revisit the writing here, some type-o’s Are present. I’d consider modeling this more on mists of eventide’s airborne poison. Just as a thought, maybe make it a simple charm that dissolves all corpses within a certain range killed by the bow- and simplify the battle group effect, it’s explanation felt a bit cumbersome to read.
        Ya, upon reading this and rereading the charm I agree it is a bit of a mess. The reason I chose Reflexive is because it violates turn order. In order to use the charm an enemy must die of the poison, which happens at the end of the initiative order after all characters have gone. For the battle group part what I was envisioning was the poison gas continuously infesting, killing, and exploding back through the ranks. I should probably put more flavor text there. Or just scrap the whole special battle group part. The charm is strong enough on its own without that part.

        Originally posted by JiveX View Post
        Cool stuff though. Simple, straightforward (these are good) and fun.

        Final nitpic- you confuse affect and effect a bunch and are missing some apostrophes. Not the end of the world.
        Thank you! I am rather proud of it though I will have to do yet another grammar edit I guess :/

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BadassOverlord View Post
          Very good stuff! Your mechanics are all rock solid. Rearing Cobra Stares Down Prey and Spitting Cobra’s Strike could both afford to cost significantly less though.
          Thank you! I explained my reasoning for the cost of Spitting Cobra's Strike in my reply to JiveX, but in short I feel it actually is under costed right now, but I welcome your opinion. How much would you have it cost given the above explanation? As for Rearing Cobra Stares Down Prey I put it at 6 because it feels sort of cheap to have it at a lower cost? Because it is letting you get a bonus for something you usually don't see the benefit from until the next turn, and it keeps you from just aiming for ever. On another note is the stackable tag ok here? My intention was that because the poison is increased by +2 duration that you could aim then shoot and then aim again and it would stack with the last increase to +3 (factoring in the duration decrease during the attack action).

          Comment


          • #6
            I think that with the baked-in 5i cost of the gambit 5m should be plently enough cost for Spitting Cobra Technique. As for the aiming charm, the benefit it provides is rather minor; poison damage is good only because it happens alongside your character taking other offensive actions. It would basically never be worthwhile to aim just to use this charm, but rather it is good because it lets you keep the pressure up while doing something you have to do: aim. So 4m is about the most I would pay for that kind of effect.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BadassOverlord View Post
              I think that with the baked-in 5i cost of the gambit 5m should be plently enough cost for Spitting Cobra Technique. As for the aiming charm, the benefit it provides is rather minor; poison damage is good only because it happens alongside your character taking other offensive actions. It would basically never be worthwhile to aim just to use this charm, but rather it is good because it lets you keep the pressure up while doing something you have to do: aim. So 4m is about the most I would pay for that kind of effect.
              Hmmmm..... Ok, you make a convincing argument on those. To be honest I was going with the idea that balancewise it was better to over than under cost charms? I really like evocations and I think that they add a lot to the game - on the other hand I can also be a bit munchkiny/power-gamery. Which is a quality of mine I do not like and try to temper. I could see how a person like myself could make charms that are over powered, perhaps not even on purpose.

              Hopefully when the exigents exalted book comes out there will be clearer guidelines on charm construction. I like the freedom evocations give but it would also be nice to have some solid guidelines and advise as well.

              Comment


              • #8
                I rewrote Bone Melting Mists based on critique, rereading the spell mist of eventide, and learning how poison could and could not affect a battle group.

                Bone Melting Mists of Afee-Raa
                Cost: 7m, 1wp Mins: Essence 4
                Type: Reflexive
                Keyword: Perilous
                Duration: Instant
                Prerequisite Charms: Venomous Flying Fang, Spitting Cobra’s Strike
                Afee-Raa in the end was not a kind serpent and when the wyld hunt came to end his life he spread poisonous horror through their host. The bearer of his fang has access to such power as well. If an enemy dies of poison damage at the end of the round the bearer of this bow can infuse their essence & will into the corpse from long range. Said corpse dissolves into a cloud of poisonous essence taking the form of a large emerald cobra made of toxic mist. This poison cloud last 3 rounds and characters that start their turn in the cloud & breathe it in are poisoned with Snake Venom (except instead of the vector being damage it is inhalation) which can affected by or enhanced by Afee-Raa: The Kiss of the Devil Serpent’s charms as normal.

                Battle groups caught in this cloud can be poisoned. Battle groups resist the poison as normal with a bonus to the roll equal to either their might or size whichever is higher; the battle group loses magnitude instead of Initiative until the duration ends. Poisoned battle groups are not subject to duration increases by Rearing Cobra Stares Down Prey.

                Bone Melting Mists of Afee-Raa can only be used once per combat, but can be reset by a character dying of Afee-Raa: The Kiss of the Devil Serpent’s poison damage or a battle group decreasing in size due to the damage of Afee-Raa: The Kiss of the Devil Serpent’s poison. It can also be reset by the bearer of the bow entering the poisoned area and allowing themselves to be poisoned and wavering their poison resistance check allowing themselves to be effected for the full duration of the poison including enhanced duration and damage from God Tormenting Venom.
                Last edited by Snakesandsuns; 02-08-2019, 03:52 PM. Reason: I word no good

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