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Most Permanent Charms with surcharges should just be Supplemental instead

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  • Most Permanent Charms with surcharges should just be Supplemental instead

    It's silly to keep around this bit of design that, as far as I can tell, only ever existed in the first place to get around the limits of 2e Combo rules.

    A simple example of this in practice is Numberless Blows Technique from the latest Lunars preview:

    Numberless Blows Technique
    Cost: —(+7m, 1a); Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3
    Type: Permanent

    [...] By paying an additional seven motes and a level of anima when she uses Motion of Myriad Legs, she adds one to the maximum number of attacks she can make and adds (Essence/2, rounded up) dice to the damage of each attack. [...]
    Why not make it a Supplemental, given that it is, in fact, supplementing another action? It could easily be written like this:

    Numberless Blows Technique
    Cost: +7m, 1a; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3
    Type: Supplemental

    ​[...] This Charm supplements Motion of Myriad Legs, adding one to the maximum number of attacks she can make with it and adding (Essence/2, rounded up) dice to the damage of each attack. [...]
    This would make it much easier to figure out which Charms are actually permanent effects, and which are instead activated powers that supplement another action.

  • #2
    It's not supplementing an action though. Its supplementing another charm.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Elfive View Post
      It's not supplementing an action though. Its supplementing another charm.
      I see nothing wrong with calling the use of literally any non-Permanent non-Supplemental Charm "an action".

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      • #4
        There did used to be Permanent Charms which gave "pay X to do Y" powers just for getting around the combo rules. This isn't that though; this is an example of a Charm that's permanent because it's not an independent effect; it is a permanent upgrade that expands the other Charm. Really, it's putting the cost in the Cost field that's inconsistent (the upgrade doesn't really have a cost, the other Charm's cost changes), but I can see why you would do it for convenience.
        Last edited by Blackwell; 02-26-2019, 11:59 PM.

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        • #5
          I think I prefer (for no good reason) the Permanent presentation - it may just be because it's familiar - but I follow your point.

          We don't have anything that cares how many Charms you use, right? Or anything that gives a per-Charm discount which might require clarification if you're adding a cost to one Charm vs. activating two?


          I attack people with giant insects both on and off the court.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Blackwell View Post
            it is a permanent upgrade that expands the other Charm
            What's the actual difference between a permanent upgrade that adds an extra power with a cost, and a Supplemental that can only be used with a specific Charm, aside from the former being harder to parse on an initial read-through?

            Originally posted by Five Eyes View Post
            We don't have anything that cares how many Charms you use, right? Or anything that gives a per-Charm discount which might require clarification if you're adding a cost to one Charm vs. activating two?
            There aren't any that I'm immediately aware of, and the precedent with the anima banner and the Mute keyword is for rules to care about motes per instant, not individual Charm activations.

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            • #7
              I guess the difference is you'd have to change the definition of the Supplemental keyword.

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              • #8
                A supplemental charm implies that it can be used independently from other charms. What these permanent charms are doing is permanently altering the function of an existing charm. They could also be a footnote at the end of the base charm noting an upgrade for purchasing the charm again. I'm pretty sure the repurchase method is out of favor for all but the simplest charm upgrades.

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                • #9
                  I'd have to look back over them, but even if there was a valid design space for Supplemental Charms that could only apply to actions created by other Charms, I feel as though the written Permanent Charms don't really read like Supplemental Charms, when they're consistently made as things that expand the initial parameters of the Charm. I think Permanent Charms are written like that whether they create a surcharge or not, and end up feeling distinct from how Supplemental Charms are written. The cost doesn't really throw me, because there are already Charms that already have surcharges to expand their initial parameters, so Permanent Charms consistently read more to me as additional appendments.

                  Are there not also Permanent Charms with surcharges that upgrade Supplemental and Reflexive Charms. Maybe there's a case for calling a Reflexive Charm an action, but I feel as though it would be weird to describe Supplements to Supplemental Charms.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Five Eyes View Post
                    We don't have anything that cares how many Charms you use, right? Or anything that gives a per-Charm discount which might require clarification if you're adding a cost to one Charm vs. activating two?
                    There's a few that call out targeting specific charms, for example the Solar Dodge charm Hundred Shadow Ways, but this could also be future-proofing against other effects. There could quite easily be a Sidereal charm that makes every charm you activate cost an extra mote or two.

                    I also think it might just be because it conveys information about the charm to do it that way. The charm is acting less like it's own separate thing and more like a permanent setting for an existing charm, like Elemental Burst Technique, so it's costed and typed as an upgrade charm. It is, however, much too long to put as an "A second purchase of this charm at..." at the end of the first.

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