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[Ex 3 Lunars] Glorious Argent Beastiary! (A Lunar's Character Thread)

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  • [Ex 3 Lunars] Glorious Argent Beastiary! (A Lunar's Character Thread)

    I originally posted this on RPG.net as I had figured that we had enough preview material released to start making characters (also to drum up some hype, always the hype!) So I thought I'd mirror it for the fine folk here:

    Hello all, the Exalted 3rd edition Lunars Kickstarter seems to be charging blithely forward so I thought I might drum up some interest and engage in an interest of mine, thinking way too much about the intricacies of character building. So I made this thread for everyone to post and discuss about Lunar Exalted characters:

    Let us begin with a concept I call: The Knight of Bone and Ivory. I'm calling it a concept because really I'm just putting the bare bones of a character here, the flesh is up to you and there are quite a few ways it could be built out.

    All I've given it is the ability to take a truck to the face and laugh.

    So the Knight is built with Shapeshifting in mind. Shapeshifting is supposedly the Lunar's equivalent to Solar Mastery or Sidereal Martial Arts, and if you play your cards right (like we are in this case), then it is really powerful.

    Let us begin:

    Step 1:

    Pick a Concept and a Caste. Pick A Spirit Shape and a Tell

    Concept: Knight of Bone and Ivory
    Caste: You really can go with whatever you like, No Moon, Full Moon, Changing Moon, Casteless. I'll pick Changing Moon for variety.
    Spirit Shape: Pestletail (what?)

    This is a Pestletail:



    otherwise known as Doedicurus clavicaudatus. It was basically a gigantic prehistoric Armadillo.

    Tell... I will tell you later, a ha!

    Step 2:

    Select two Caste Attributes from the relevant list (or none, if Casteless):

    Caste attributes for Changing Moons are in Social. I pick Charisma and Manipulation! (But whatever you like)

    Select two Favored Attributes, which can’t be the same as Caste Attributes.

    One of these (or a Caste attribute if you are a Full Moon) should be Dexterity. By no account should you pick Strength. Wits is good to favor. Other than that, whatever you like.

    Place one dot in each Attribute.
    Divide 9 dots among primary Attributes, 7 dots among secondary Attributes, and 5 dots among tertiary Attributes.

    Lunars get so many Attributes! They will end up with 3 more attribute points than SOLAR EXALTED. So take those 5s and don't look back!

    Here are my choices:

    Physical (Secondary, 7 points)

    Strength OO (Human Average is enough here)
    Dexterity OOOOO (Max this)
    Stamina OOO (a reasonable amount is fine)

    Social (Primary, 9! points)

    Charisma OOOOO
    Manipulation OOOOO
    Appearance OO

    Whatever you want here really.

    Mental (Tertiary, 5 points)

    Perception OO
    Intelligence OO
    Wits OOOO (This is favored and good for combat, I intend to raise it to 5 with BP, cheap at 3bp per dot)

    Note: This character could easily have Primaried Physical or Mental if they wanted to, really. Just take 5 in Dex, and as much Wits as you can, otherwise, put the points wherever you like.

    Step 3:

    Divide 28 dots among all Abilities. None may be raised above 3 without spending bonus points.
    Assign three specialties.

    Exactly the same as Solars. So what I'm going to do here is put my must haves and nice to haves up, everything else is up to you.

    Must haves -
    - Brawl (This is most Lunars' main combat ability and it is explicitly the only one to use for Shapeshifted forms. Max to 5 with bp)
    - Awareness (Going First and Join Battle is important)

    Nice to have -
    - Dodge (You have max Dex so it's always good to have two decent defences if you can)
    - Larceny (Disguise is an Int + Larceny roll)
    - Socialize / Integrity (High Wits and High Manipulation basically means you are a social tank)
    - Stealth (Lunars get so many forms with a Stealth bonus, they can be really, really good at it)

    But outside of the "Must Haves" I leave you to make your choice.

    Step 5:

    Select 10 dots of merits

    Okay, here is another important choice. Be sure to use the points this way:

    Mutation (Unusual Hide) OOOOO

    This mutation is extreme value for the Merit dots, with the drawback that you are basically as obvious as a skinless terminator. Because that is what you are, with this merit. Your skin is so freakishly tough that you are granted 5 points of extra soak, forever. But it is real not subtle.

    Now remember the Tell I said I'll tell you about later, the Tell is a Lunar's achilles heel, because it gives everyone a (extremely difficult) chance to notice them. The Tell is present in all the Lunars forms, shapeshifted or not, and the tell can be attached to a mutation which becomes in effect the Lunar's Tell.

    In this case I choose to attach the Tell to my Mutation (Unusual Hide) OOOOO Merit. Yay! I'm protected forever! But also painfully obvious to anyone save the blind!

    Artifact (Moonsilver Chain) OOO

    A good pick, light armor will give you even more Soak (5 extra points) and the Chain is explicitly concealable under normal clothing.

    Phew, still Charms to go, I'll pick that up in the next post.
    Last edited by prototype00; 03-02-2019, 10:35 PM.

  • #2
    Alright, Step 6:

    Pick 15 Charms

    Okay a couple of things of note here:

    1. Lunars do not get Mastery and are limited to Ess 1 charms. This actually turned out to be a good thing, much more manageable.
    2. If you pick two charms in a particular Attribute, you get that Attribute's Excellency. This is so good, because when you have to use a crappy Attribute, you can stunt in your good attribute value on an Excellency. For this character Str excellency is crap, but Str + Wits Excellency is much better! It pays to pick a couple of charms from attributes you don't have an excellency in, therefore.
    3. Once again, I'm going to give you a small combat suite, an important Universal Charm and your "Not be obvious you are a Lunar" picks, the rest is up to you.

    Alright, here they are:

    Universal

    Quicksilver Second Face (Cost 2i): This lets you shapeshift Reflexively, if you don't have this it's a Simple Action. Offence, defence, stealth, mobility, this charm basically makes it all possible for the shapeshifter Lunar.

    Appearance

    Subtle Silver Declaration (Cost -): Unless you start boosting your anima, this charm hides your Tell perfectly (i.e. no chance to detect) and is a pre-req for:

    Moon’s Hidden Face (Cost 2m): All your mutations gain the Subtle merit, meaning they can't be detected until they are used. Have this up all the time and nobody at all will be able to detect your freakish skin, until they hit you, at which point, I think they'd rather not know.

    As a bonus, with these two charms, you now also get Appearance Excellency for free! So its worth it for that as well.

    Dexterity (combat Suite)

    Agile Beast Defense (Cost 1m): Your bread and butter defence charm. More often than not, you will get the +1 defence, and if not, don't activate it.

    Bending Before the Storm (Cost 2m): Your onslaught negator, ish. Good in most situations, great if you are King Initiative.

    Golden Tiger Stance (Cost 3m, 2i): Oof this is getting expensive, but more defense is good.

    Sinuous Striking Grace (Cost 3m): All right, this is pure Moonsilver. Used at the start of the round it makes your Initiative 5 points higher for the purpose of determining who goes first and gives you 1 bonus die to hit those who have not gone yet. This will be great because in round 1, most people just have their piddly JB scores, and you can prowl around with massive values just by spending 3m.

    And that's it! 7 charms spent, 8 more to go. How you spend the latter half of your charms I leave completely to you! But this is basically a really functional character already!

    If I may, one suggestion I have is picking 2 charms out of every Attribute you don't have an Excellency with yet so that you basically have all attributes covered with your stuntable excellency where you can add a full other attribute (pick one at 5) if you really need to succeed.

    The reason to do this at character creation is that now, all Charms are equal value (free!), so it is cheaper to get the Excellencies. Once you start buying them with XP, charms from unfavored attributes will cost more.

    Step 7:

    Select Intimiacies and Limit Trigger. This I leave completely to you.

    Step 8:

    Spend 15 bp

    So as I said, spend 3 bp to max Wits (good for Resolve and Join Battle, so all round useful), and 4 points to max Brawl. Then for the remaining 8 points, spend it however you would like. Hearts Blood, merits, more Favored Attribute points e.t.c. These are all good choices.

    And there you have it, the full (heh) build, but how does it work? Let me tell you that in the next post.

    Comment


    • #3
      All right, time to round this out.

      I'm assuming your character is rather good at the other things you have specced them out for so I won't belabour. But let us talk about Combat:

      In combat, you will want to assume the form of your Spirit Shape, the Pestletail, who has these stats:

      Essence: 1; Willpower: 4; Join Battle: 3 dice
      Health Levels: -0x4/-1x4/-2x4/-4/Incap.

      Pestletails
      are gentle-natured, and will attempt to retreat from any
      enemy strong enough to pierce its powerful natural defenses
      after taking 6+ levels of damage.

      Speed Bonus: +0
      Actions: Feats of Strength: 14 dice (may attempt
      Strength 5 feats); Resist Poison/Disease: 7 dice
      Senses: 4 dice
      Resolve 3, Guile 1

      Combat
      Attack (Claws): 6 dice (Damage 12)
      Attack (Tail slam): 5 dice (Damage 17, minimum 4). A
      pestletail’s bony tail can be used to make smashing
      attacks (p. 586).
      Combat Movement: 3 dice
      Evasion 2, Parry 1
      Soak/Hardness: 17/10

      Now there are a couple of things about Lunar Shapeshifting we should get straight here.

      1. If the animal has a pool of dice for a certain activity, and you have a better pool for it then the animal does in your base human form, then you can use the higher of the two numbers (the one exception is Feats of Strength to prevent certain shennanigans).

      2. You lose all your mutations from your base form EXCEPT THE ONE ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR TELL (In our case Unusual Hide OOOOO).

      So let's break this down into offense and defense, shall we?

      Offense

      Now the Pestletail has one of the scariest attacks in the game (on par with heavy artifact weapons) that does not belong to megafauna with Legendary Size.

      Attack (Tail slam): 5 dice (Damage 17, minimum 4). A
      pestletail’s bony tail can be used to make smashing
      attacks (p. 586).

      17 base dice of damage minimum 4? Thats Grand Goremaul territory. But the main issue is that it's accuracy is utter garbage. At 5 dice, you won't hit much. Except, you can replace the pool of your attack with your own base form pool and since your own base form pool is higher than the pool listed here, you get to add a +1 accuracy bonus to attack.

      So eventually, you end up with a pool like this:

      (5 Dex + 5 Brawl + 1 Accuracy + 1 Specialty) = 12 dice, which is a darn sight better. I recommend stunting your attacks in combat and adding on a 4 dice Excellency from Dex whenever you attack (lower than your 5 mote/turn drip in combat, doesn't flare your anima) for a grand total of 18 dice to hit with your big damage attack.

      Also the Pestletails have this Latent Ability which is a worthwhile purchase if you have the XP:

      Smashing Tail Hammer (Latent): The pestletail may pay
      a point of Willpower before making a decisive tail slam
      attack to grant the attack the benefits of the Solar Charm
      Heaven Thunder Hammer if it hits. Using Smashing Tail
      Hammer counts as making a smashing attack, and incurs
      the additional Defense penalty for such.

      So it basically copies Heaven Thunder Hammer, which is a free source of Lethal Damage on decisives from either knocking your foe up in the air or into obstacles and whatnot, a worthwhile pick.

      Defense

      Pestletail Defense is also garbage,

      Evasion 2, Parry 1

      But we can sub in our own pool so eventually it looks like:

      Evasion 4, Parry 6

      Which is a darn sight better, even before Charms, and you can stunt it to make it one higher than this.

      But the real treasure is the Pestletail's Soak:

      Soak/Hardness: 17/10

      Amazing, that is artifact armor level of soak and one of the highest in the antagonist chapter. However we also have our own artifact armor (Moonsilver chain) and we can add our Unusual Hide mutation to this value (a Pestletail with Unusual Hide is a fearsome beast indeed), so you end up with:

      Soak/Hardness: 27!!!/10

      I have checked and there is nothing in the core rulebook with 27 Soak, not Fakharu the Lesser Elemental Dragon of Water, not Ahlat the Southern god of War and Cattle, and certainly not any other animal on offer. And this is all before spending even a single Mote on defence.

      Mortal weapons will ping helplessly off your hide (all of them, unless their users can get +10 threshold successes on their attack or something). Artifact weapons will more often than not do their base overwhelming damage which is 4... except all Pestletails have this merit:

      Impenetrable Armor: The minimum damage of any
      withering attack made against the pestletail is reduced
      by one die, to a minimum of zero.

      So it's actually 3 and in the likely event that they roll no successes on 3 dice (and on all the pathetic mortal weapon attacks) this Latent ability activates:

      Hardened Shell Superiority (Latent): Whenever a withering
      attack against the pestletail fails to deal any damage,
      the attacker loses a point of Initiative which is granted to
      the beast. Whenever a decisive attack fails to damage it,
      the pestletail gains an Initiative Break of 5 points.

      Which is just nuts, you basically get to farm Initiative from things unable to penetrate your thick hide.

      So thats the meat and potatoes of the Knight of Bone and Ivory build/my thought process. It is a minimum investment (Unusual Hide OOOOO, Artifact OOO, Dexterity OOOOO, Brawl OOOOO) backbone that makes you about as scary in combat as a Full Moon but can be bolted on to any type of build (Social Trickster, No Moon Sorcerer etc).

      Howsit look?

      Comment


      • #4
        Some considerations now that I have had time to digest:

        1. Physical can be your Tertiary Attribute, you just need to max Dex.
        2. Not all the charms are needed, just take

        Quicksilver Second Face (Cost 2i): This lets you shapeshift Reflexively, if you don't have this it's a Simple Action. Offence, defence, stealth, mobility, this charm basically makes it all possible for the shapeshifter Lunar.

        Subtle Silver Declaration (Cost -): Unless you start boosting your anima, this charm hides your Tell perfectly (i.e. no chance to detect) and is a pre-req for:

        Moon’s Hidden Face (Cost 2m): All your mutations gain the Subtle merit, meaning they can't be detected until they are used. Have this up all the time and nobody at all will be able to detect your freakish skin, until they hit you, at which point, I think they'd rather not know.

        Sinuous Striking Grace (Cost 3m): All right, this is pure Moonsilver. Used at the start of the round it makes your Initiative 5 points higher for the purpose of determining who goes first and gives you 1 bonus die to hit those who have not gone yet. This will be great because in round 1, most people just have their piddly JB scores, and you can prowl around with massive values just by spending 3m.

        and you should be pretty set for combat.

        3. As mentioned, you don't need the Pestletail to be your Spirit Shape. Choose whatever quirky animal you'd like. Freedom, thats what I'm offering you here.

        4. An alternative to the Pestletail as a combat form is the Boar Tusked crocodile, which while it loses out in the soak department 23/4 soak/hardness, so 1 less than Fakharu the highest in the game so far, it makes up for it with it's bite which is:

        Attack (Bite): 8 dice (Damage 16)

        and has this Merit rider:

        Crushing Bite: The three elongated fangs that give the
        boar-tusk crocodile its name have formidable biting pressure.
        Any withering bite attack it makes ignores up to
        four points of soak, plus an additional point of soak for
        each extra success on the attack roll. This cannot reduce
        an enemy’s soak below his (Stamina).

        Which plays merry hell with any enemy with a soak that is 4+ (thats all enemies basically).

        Also something for people who want to play the ultimate Lunar generalist:

        A thought experiment:

        Fact 1: It is trivially easy to have 5s in all your Caste and Favoured Attributes at CharGen and 2s in Everything else.

        Fact 2: If you are willing to spread your charms around, it is possible to get excellencies in all 9 Attributes at CharGen.

        Theorem: A Lunar who encounters a task he knows less than nothing about and is associated with his lowest attribute (2), with judicious Stunting can roll (2 base + 2 Excellency + 5 Stunted Excellency + 2 stunt = 11) 11 dice for any challenge ever.

        Ergo, it is possible/not onerous to build a CharGen Lunar that can throw as many dice at any task imaginable as the best mortal expert in Creation in that subject, at worst.

        Trust me, I’m an Expert!

        Comment


        • #5
          I wouldn't allow adding the spirit shape tell benefit to the spirit shape stats (two layers of armadillo hide, really?) but apart from that, nice character creation exercise.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by HoardAndSue View Post
            I wouldn't allow adding the spirit shape tell benefit to the spirit shape stats (two layers of armadillo hide, really?) but apart from that, nice character creation exercise.
            The Tell isn't based off a Spirit Shape, it can be a shock of Moonsilver Hair or ectopic eyes or elongated canines, even backward facing palms (for an Ape Lunar: Raksi), or a voice that sounds like tinkly bells (Ma Ha Suchi, now was it the goat or the wolf that has a tinkly voice?). HBT in contrast is specifically based off your Spirit Shape.

            In short, The Tell can be anything, anything at all. And I could have picked any Spirit Shape (Housecat comes to mind as advantageous) and still had a Tell that was Unusual Hide OOOOO. Now granted a Glyptodont with a Shell made of even harder material than the already bonkers average would be a Legendary beast, but then what are you going to do, as I said in the other thread, Exalts going to Exalt.

            Thus, according to the rules it applies, even with your own Spirit Shape, but you are free of course to house rule as you wish.

            Apart from that, thank you indeed for your kind words, when the full list of charms is released I shall endeavour to post more (hopefully alongside my fellow forumites), but I felt confident in this concept with what I had currently.

            prototype00
            Last edited by prototype00; 03-03-2019, 04:22 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by HoardAndSue View Post
              I wouldn't allow adding the spirit shape tell benefit to the spirit shape stats (two layers of armadillo hide, really?) but apart from that, nice character creation exercise.
              My experience is that a soak rating that high actually starts to work against you.
              Basically, you want your opponent to waste motes on threshold successes that weren't actually worth the trouble so they burn out faster. If they can look at your soak value and instantly recognise that minimum damage is the best they can do then they'll find the cheapest way to do that and try to make this into a battle of attrition.


              Onyx Path Forum Moderator
              Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hmm, as you can shift reflexively, we can make this even better! Namely joining battle in gorilla form!

                Howling Aggression: A gorilla may Join Battle with its intimidation dice pool, attempting to frighten enemies into fleeing by shaking large tree branches, beating its chest, or baring fangs. It may take its turn on the first round before that of any enemy whose Resolve was overcome by the roll, regardless of its actual Initiative rating.

                Now this is an intimidate roll targeting resolve, so we can learn the following universal latent ability:

                Predator’s Menace: Animals with an intimidate pool can be trained with this attack, causing an intimidated enemy to lose Initiative equal to the extra successes over his Resolve, even if he pays Willpower to resist. Once per scene.

                As you were planning a social character, this goes to bad, bad places. Such as crashing most of your opponents in the join battle roll. And with the pestle tails soak they will never, ever recover. Now, this also has the added advantage of freeing up wits as we no longer need it for joining battle. I recommend Intelligence! Because you know what's better than the pestle tail with Unusual Hide 5? One which also has Invulnerable Skin of Bronze for 33 soak. That spell also comes with some sweet powers which add nicely to the pestle tail's toughness.

                That floating sword spell from the DB book is also a nice defensive addition, and would make the tactic Lioness described a great deal harder. There's also demons. don't think they are published yet (why!?), but a Peronelle and a Stomach Beetle would round out the madness nicely.


                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lioness View Post
                  My experience is that a soak rating that high actually starts to work against you.
                  Basically, you want your opponent to waste motes on threshold successes that weren't actually worth the trouble so they burn out faster. If they can look at your soak value and instantly recognise that minimum damage is the best they can do then they'll find the cheapest way to do that and try to make this into a battle of attrition.
                  True, you could probably get away with either the Unusual Hide OOOOO or the Moonsilver Armor OOO for a 22 Soak, still more than respectable.

                  Hmm, as you can shift reflexively, we can make this even better! Namely joining battle in gorilla form!

                  Howling Aggression: A gorilla may Join Battle with its intimidation dice pool, attempting to frighten enemies into fleeing by shaking large tree branches, beating its chest, or baring fangs. It may take its turn on the first round before that of any enemy whose Resolve was overcome by the roll, regardless of its actual Initiative rating.

                  Now this is an intimidate roll targeting resolve, so we can learn the following universal latent ability:

                  Predator’s Menace: Animals with an intimidate pool can be trained with this attack, causing an intimidated enemy to lose Initiative equal to the extra successes over his Resolve, even if he pays Willpower to resist. Once per scene.

                  As you were planning a social character, this goes to bad, bad places. Such as crashing most of your opponents in the join battle roll. And with the pestle tails soak they will never, ever recover. Now, this also has the added advantage of freeing up wits as we no longer need it for joining battle. I recommend Intelligence! Because you know what's better than the pestle tail with Unusual Hide 5? One which also has Invulnerable Skin of Bronze for 33 soak. That spell also comes with some sweet powers which add nicely to the pestle tail's toughness.
                  Ah this one, thanks to this possibility, Vance said they didn't interact (but should) when I asked him. A shame, but there you go. If you were playing the Boar Tusked Crocodile variant, you have an innate Intimidate pool, so you can combine that with Poised Lion attitude to strip Initiative reflexively from one foe once per fight (unless there is a charm that lets you make a threaten/instill against multiple foes?) but I'm not sure if it is worth it.

                  That floating sword spell from the DB book is also a nice defensive addition, and would make the tactic Lioness described a great deal harder. There's also demons. don't think they are published yet (why!?), but a Peronelle and a Stomach Beetle would round out the madness nicely.
                  Spells aren't a bad option if enemies attacking you (mortals mostly) can't actually damage you. Not so great to be a battle sorceror against the Exalted with Overwhelming weapons.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Can I recommend Ferocious Guardian Beast Stance if you have any allies who like to fight in close range? Just in case your enemies rudely decline to attack into your 33 soak, impenetrable armor, and hardened shell superiority.

                    Clawstrider has much less impressive soak and damage, but if you have 3+ allies in close range it has a terrifying +3 free successes to every attack. And 3 free dice to unexpected attacks, if you invest in stealth.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by prototype00 View Post
                      Ah this one, thanks to this possibility, Vance said they didn't interact (but should) when I asked him. A shame, but there you go. If you were playing the Boar Tusked Crocodile variant, you have an innate Intimidate pool, so you can combine that with Poised Lion attitude to strip Initiative reflexively from one foe once per fight (unless there is a charm that lets you make a threaten/instill against multiple foes?) but I'm not sure if it is worth it.
                      Meh. Too bad. Still it doesn't really matter. Joining Battle with your social pool still rocks, as does the guaranteed 'go first' effect. Also, as you said Poised Lion Attitude exists and you can always choose to do an influence action against a group, and they do have an essence 1 charm to allow them to ignore the multiple target penalties (it's Poised Lion Attitude's prereq btw), so can still strip all the opponents of initiative before anyone gets to act, so nothing really changes ;-)

                      Originally posted by prototype00 View Post
                      Spells aren't a bad option if enemies attacking you (mortals mostly) can't actually damage you. Not so great to be a battle sorceror against the Exalted with Overwhelming weapons.
                      Well, Invulnerable Skin of Bronze gives you an unblockable, undodgeable disarm gambit when hit, or reducing the raw damage of a decisive by 5+essence, and lastly gives you a power which lets you reduce the minimum damage by 1 for 4 motes. This is all very helpful against opponents with nasty artifact weapons actually.

                      Virtuous Guardian of Flame creates a sword which automatically defends you with Intelligence+1 parry (and does other helpful stuff, like detecting hidden opponents, and allowing evocations if its your signature spell). So, that means your defense is skyhigh, before you even spent motes, forcing your opponent to either deal with it before even starting to attack you or spend an atrocious amount of motes to have a sucky chance of hitting you. Seems really solid! Especially against heavy hitters!
                      Last edited by Angwe; 03-03-2019, 02:13 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'll post Dr Soma, my Essence 5* Snake-Totem Lunar, when I've finished converting her.

                        *It's a high-xp game, and my Night Caste died, so this was his replacement.

                        But there's so many charms I want, I can't decide. I've had to cut a lot back. And I do need to spend some XP on Attributes and Abilities.


                        My characters:
                        Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                        Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
                        Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by autXautY View Post
                          Can I recommend Ferocious Guardian Beast Stance if you have any allies who like to fight in close range? Just in case your enemies rudely decline to attack into your 33 soak, impenetrable armor, and hardened shell superiority.
                          Definitely a great choice, does it count as being attacked for the purpose of Hardened Shell Superiority? (I'm guessing not)

                          Clawstrider has much less impressive soak and damage, but if you have 3+ allies in close range it has a terrifying +3 free successes to every attack. And 3 free dice to unexpected attacks, if you invest in stealth.
                          Its a legitimate choice, just, more situational than the Pestletail, obviously (hmm, familiar time, maybe)

                          Meh. Too bad. Still it doesn't really matter. Joining Battle with your social pool still rocks, as does the guaranteed 'go first' effect. Also, as you said Poised Lion Attitude exists and you can always choose to do an influence action against a group, and they do have an essence 1 charm to allow them to ignore the multiple target penalties (it's Poised Lion Attitude's prereq btw), so can still strip all the opponents of initiative before anyone gets to act, so nothing really changes ;-)
                          Yeah, since I can't join battle with the latent, I'd rather use it on the Boar Tusked Croc version of this character (almost as much soak, better damage). Just really boost that roll and hopefully crash all the enemies round 1 as a reflexive when they have piddly Initiative pools, then lay into them. (The Pestletail can't do it as it isn't "Intimidating")

                          Well, Invulnerable Skin of Bronze gives you an unblockable, undodgeable disarm gambit when hit, or reducing the raw damage of a decisive by 5+essence, and lastly gives you a power which lets you reduce the minimum damage by 1 for 4 motes. This is all very helpful against opponents with nasty artifact weapons actually.
                          The thing about Skin of Bronze that I don't like is more... narrative than mechanical. It apparently tints your skin bronze as a control spell (maybe don't have it as a control spell then?) and that doesn't go away, no matter what Lunar magic you try according to Vance. Seeing as how I actually have aspirations about making this character as secret-stealthy as possible too, its kind of a liability.

                          Virtuous Guardian of Flame creates a sword which automatically defends you with Intelligence+1 parry (and does other helpful stuff, like detecting hidden opponents, and allowing evocations if its your signature spell). So, that means your defense is skyhigh, before you even spent motes, forcing your opponent to either deal with it before even starting to attack you or spend an atrocious amount of motes to have a sucky chance of hitting you. Seems really solid! Especially against heavy hitters!
                          I actually haven't read this one yet, will go check it out.

                          I'll post Dr Soma, my Essence 5* Snake-Totem Lunar, when I've finished converting her.

                          *It's a high-xp game, and my Night Caste died, so this was his replacement.

                          But there's so many charms I want, I can't decide. I've had to cut a lot back. And I do need to spend some XP on Attributes and Abilities.
                          Snake style-snake totem Lunar? You could pull the omni-competence trick I mentioned up thread and just be really good at most things without investment except for excellencies?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by prototype00 View Post

                            Definitely a great choice, does it count as being attacked for the purpose of Hardened Shell Superiority? (I'm guessing not)
                            I would have thought it does, but now I'm not sure. If not then whether it's worth it depends on how good your allies defense is. If you're paired with a dodge supernal solar, or a crane stylist, or such it's probably not great. If your brawling Solar Mate wants someone to cover them while they grapple/build up onslaught with Falling Hammer Strike, it's great even without Hardened Shell Superiority.

                            Also good to protect anyone nearby who you don't want to die but who isn't fighting at an Exalted level (allied princes, parents, no-moons who didn't invest in any form of combat, random civilians if you're the kind of person who doesn't like civilians getting killed)

                            Originally posted by prototype00 View Post
                            Its a legitimate choice, just, more situational than the Pestletail, obviously (hmm, familiar time, maybe)
                            My thought would be get both, buy the latent abilities with LXP you didn't have much in the way of things to spend on (no martial arts, no artifact weapon), and just use whichever makes sense at the time. Most of the ways you build to be good at being a pestletail make you good in any form.

                            Familiars would even save you buying the latent to count humans as pack mates.

                            Originally posted by prototype00 View Post
                            Yeah, since I can't join battle with the latent, I'd rather use it on the Boar Tusked Croc version of this character (almost as much soak, better damage). Just really boost that roll and hopefully crash all the enemies round 1 as a reflexive when they have piddly Initiative pools, then lay into them. (The Pestletail can't do it as it isn't "Intimidating")
                            I'd worry about the loss of impenetrable armor + hardened shell superiority, as well as the loss of minimum damage when you fight someone who has 20+ soak. Once again, no reason not to get both forms and use whichever fits the fight you're in.

                            Once you get to Constant Quicksilver Rearrangement at Essence 3 it becomes practical to assume an intimidating form for the 1 round/moment it takes to trigger Predator's Menace. Also to do things like turning into a pestletail at the end of your turn and then back into boar-tusk/clawstrider/whatever on your turn.


                            Originally posted by prototype00 View Post
                            The thing about Skin of Bronze that I don't like is more... narrative than mechanical. It apparently tints your skin bronze as a control spell (maybe don't have it as a control spell then?) and that doesn't go away, no matter what Lunar magic you try according to Vance. Seeing as how I actually have aspirations about making this character as secret-stealthy as possible too, its kind of a liability.
                            The control benefit doesn't work if you have both moonsilver armor and ISoB up, so I'd get something else as your control spell. Ideally you decide on a day-by-day basis if you want to be disguised (no armor, no ISoB, rely on 17 natural soak), or brute force (armor, ISoB, 28 soak, look like an armadillo with bronze skin and silver armor)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by autXautY View Post

                              I would have thought it does, but now I'm not sure. If not then whether it's worth it depends on how good your allies defense is. If you're paired with a dodge supernal solar, or a crane stylist, or such it's probably not great. If your brawling Solar Mate wants someone to cover them while they grapple/build up onslaught with Falling Hammer Strike, it's great even without Hardened Shell Superiority.

                              Also good to protect anyone nearby who you don't want to die but who isn't fighting at an Exalted level (allied princes, parents, no-moons who didn't invest in any form of combat, random civilians if you're the kind of person who doesn't like civilians getting killed)
                              I mean, you are a soakbeast at that point so why not? It’s not like mortal weapons can do anything to you anymore.

                              My thought would be get both, buy the latent abilities with LXP you didn't have much in the way of things to spend on (no martial arts, no artifact weapon), and just use whichever makes sense at the time. Most of the ways you build to be good at being a pestletail make you good in any form.

                              Familiars would even save you buying the latent to count humans as pack mates.
                              Quite true, even with one point in the Heartsblood merit, you could pick up the Pestletail and a bunch of other nice forms.

                              I'd worry about the loss of impenetrable armor + hardened shell superiority, as well as the loss of minimum damage when you fight someone who has 20+ soak. Once again, no reason not to get both forms and use whichever fits the fight you're in.

                              Once you get to Constant Quicksilver Rearrangement at Essence 3 it becomes practical to assume an intimidating form for the 1 round/moment it takes to trigger Predator's Menace. Also to do things like turning into a pestletail at the end of your turn and then back into boar-tusk/clawstrider/whatever on your turn.
                              Yeah, at low Ess, shifting constantly would get real expensive, which is why I was focusing on a single murderform rather than shifting about except in emergencies. No worries, Pestletail and BT Croc both fulfill that requirement.

                              The control benefit doesn't work if you have both moonsilver armor and ISoB up, so I'd get something else as your control spell. Ideally you decide on a day-by-day basis if you want to be disguised (no armor, no ISoB, rely on 17 natural soak), or brute force (armor, ISoB, 28 soak, look like an armadillo with bronze skin and silver armor)
                              Ah yes, all quite true. You know what I’m hoping for in Sta? A low essence charm to make Armor not obvious when shifting.

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