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Lunar Combat Builds in 25 Charms or Less

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  • Lunar Combat Builds in 25 Charms or Less

    Hey Folks! I was reading prototype00's thread about The Knight of Bone and Ivory and that reminded me back in 2016 I made a thread about building combat focused Solars here and social version here. With the release of the final set of Attribute charms I wanted to kick this thread off with a renewed focus on Lunars. I know we don't have the QC or new animals, but we have a pretty short time before that comes out. So lets lay the ground rules down, they'll look familiar if you participated previously.

    I'm curious, what would you do with 25 charms on a combat focused character from the current Ex3 Lunar manuscript preview charm set?

    What I'm looking for are 3 things:
    • Your main combat focus charms
    • What you would call your build/function
    • How does it fulfill the roll you intend it too and how do these charms interact.
    • Animal shapes and merits you think are relevant.
    If you can, give some context about the combos how they trigger off each other, and how you would execute them that would be great. Now I am not expecting you to go into the depth that Prototype00 did in the Glorious Argent Beastiary. If somehow you live under a rock and don't know what the Lunars Preview is, here is the KickSarter, back at just a tiny $5 to get all the previews!

    Craft rewrite.
    Twitter Handle: at maudova

  • #2
    White Crown Thunder
    Han Kahuk was always tactical, clever, and fierce. From childhood to adulthood he exemplified independence and determination. However, his magnetism while not always apparent to him, gathered followers around him. He wasn't always careful how he interacted with them, nor did he recognize their own usefulness. He had to develop his talent for organization and group tactics. When Luna came to him, it was during a riot caused by his rabble rousing against a satrap working the peasants to death. The satrap sent the local garrison led by a junior dragon-blooded officer to kill the young man and during the ensuing fight he Exalted, surprising his enemies and evoking such fear in them he won the battle because they were too afraid to fight.

    Build: Leader on the Line - Fierce Tactician
    Spirit Shape: Tiger
    Caste: Full Moon
    Favored/Caste Attributes: Dexterity, Strength, Wits, Charisma
    Theme: White Crown Thunder Leads troops to victory, he is never without a plan, and rarely is he without his soldiers.
    Merits: Command 3, Followers 2 (Laborers), Resources 3,
    Combat Charms:
    Hybrid Body Transformation

    Pack Leader Attitude
    Lead the Pride
    Unified Pack Tactic
    Crimson Fang Mantle
    Raiton's Banquet Assault

    Agile Beast Defense
    Bending Before the Storm
    Golden Tiger Stance
    Skulking Rat Spirit

    Cunning Anglerfish Decoy
    Ant-and-Starfish Trick

    Boundary-Marking Meditation
    Squirrel's Cunning Technique
    Magpie's Nest Resourcefulness
    Secure Den Prana
    Rats-in-the-Basement Style
    Labyrinthine Lair's Depths

    Sinuous Striking Grace
    Cunning Beast Warrior Reflexes
    Wasp Sting Blur
    Octopus and Spider Barrage
    Thousand Claw Affliction

    To Be Continued...

    Craft rewrite.
    Twitter Handle: at maudova


    • #3
      Build: Lunar Defensive Charms+Crane Style.
      Strategy: Enter crane stance. Use Ferocious Guardian Beast Stance to protect your allies. Use all your other charms to not die. Counter attack bunch.

      Artifact 4 (Moonsilver Silken Armor), Artifact 3 (Moonsilver Hook Swords). Neither of these are necessary, though the extra soak is very useful for you.
      Any of the mutations that Hybrid Body Transformation gives you can instead be achieved with permanent mutations if you don’t need to be sneaky

      Caste: Any, probably Full Moon
      Spirit Shape: Something that justifies Unusual Hide 5
      Favored+Cast Attributes
      Dexterity, Stamina, Any 2 probably including charisma

      Hybrid Body Transformation (Unusual Hide *****) – this can be reduced for other merits, or and/or replaced with another source of unusual hide. Natural Shield is good for this character.

      Crane Style
      Essence 1
      Empowering Justice Redirection
      Fluttering Cry of Warning
      Essence 2
      Crane Form – Requires this to get counterattacks
      Crossed Wings Denial
      Humbling Enlightenment Commentary
      Kindly Sifu’s Quill
      Mournful Crane’s Cry
      Essence 3
      Feather-Stirred Arrow Deflection
      Wings Spread to Sky
      Essence 4
      Wisdom of the Celestial Crane

      Essence 1
      Impenetrable Beast Armor
      Durant Quicksilver Adaptation
      Relentless Lunar Fury
      Ox-Body Technique
      Essence 2
      Stone Rhino’s Skin
      Frenzied Bear Fortification
      Essence 3
      Wounded but Never Down

      Essence 1
      Agile Beast Defense
      Bending Before the Storm - Penalty Negation is very good
      Ferocious Guardian Beast Stance – very necessary for fighting in groups
      Golden Tiger Stance - Penalty Negation is very good

      Essence 2
      Gleaming Crescent Block
      Sensing the Deadly Flow - Penalty Negation is very good
      Essence 3
      Heron Sheds Rain


      • #4
        So, I've not got the whole build here, but will post it when I've worked it out a bit more:

        Raiva Caulborn a No Moon Sorceror who is the distaff/Lunar equivalent to Seeking Ash the Solar in the other thread. If you recall, Seeking Ash was based around a combat sorceror who could fire off a Flight of the Brilliant Raptor every turn. Raiva does much the same but:

        1. Does it as a fly from Long/Extreme Range away.
        2. Has a Greater Hearthstone (Hierophant's Eye) growing out of her forehead. (Three Eyed Crow!)
        3. Lunar tricks in Sorcery are definitely equivalent/better to Solar ones!

        Look forward to it!



        • #5
          So, I've got Raiva mostly statted up. I'm only going to put the skeleton here, as requested. Bonus points, the stuff I'm putting here is good to go from Ess 1.

          Build: Brilliant Raptor Raptor
          Tactics: Keep moving away until you are at (directly up) long range and fire off 11 Dice Decisives every round as you go.

          Merits: Manse OOO (Also Hearthstone OO and Demense OO, I chose Revolutionary Dog for the Hearthstone, this build is Willpower hungry), Suzerain of Endless Flame OO, Other Merits, free choice!

          Caste: No Moon is probably easiest.
          Spirit Shape: Some kind of bird of prey or a Raiton is in theme (be the Three Eyed Raven!)
          Favored/Caste: Dexterity, Charisma, Perception, Intelligence

          Int (Just Max 5 it):

          Inevitable Genius Insight
          Wafaring Sage Meditation
          Dreaming Wisdom Revelation

          These three are in service of giving you a pool of Foresight points, the important thing of which is to use them to boost a Shape Sorcery Roll

          Penumbra Witch Mastery

          This just lets you reroll 9s and split up your Int Excellency (always a good thing) so you can spend the motes from your Peripheral pool.

          Terrestrial Circle Sorcery
          Flight of the Brilliant Raptor (Control)

          Natch. You just need these for the build.

          Wits (You'll need 3 points):

          Desert Basilisc Diadem
          Radiant Basilisc Jewel

          These two charms just let you socket the Revolutionary Dog Hearthstone and grow out a Greater Heartstone of your choice, pick Hierophant's Eye (1 auto Success for Shape Sorcery rolls forever, which is what Ancient Tongue Understanding gave Solars, but this is better since it is Mote free).

          Dexterity (Just Max 5 it)

          Emerald Grasshopper Form

          If you're planning to spend the whole day killing things with fire, this is the form to take. Dead hard to notice (-3 Successes to do so) and you can probably fly (as a fly)

          Agile Beast Defense
          Bending Before the Storm

          The basic Ess1 defence suite. If you are a tiny animal or miniscule size critter, that much better due to Protean effects.

          So thats 10 charms already, final 5 for your choice.


          Occult OOOOO (Elemental Sorcery) Just max it with BP.
          Dodge OOO
          Lore OOO (to reset Dreaming Wisdom Revelation)

          Others, free choice!

          Shaping Ritual: Scarred by Nightmares, Defining Derangement one.

          Willpower OOOOOOOO ( 8 is fine here, with reset to base initiative, you get to add 3 to it for a 11 Dice Pool, which bypasses the Hardness of most everything in the corebook).

          So the Math Here is this:

          Flight of the Brilliant Raptor is 15sm (1WP, but no worries that comes back before damage determination)

          Shape Sorcery: (5 Int + 5 Occult + 1 Specialty + 2 Stunt + 3 Penumbra Witch Mastery + 2 Excellency) = 18 Dice = 9 successes on average = 9sm

          Suzerain of Endless Flame (3sm discount) + Hierophant Eye (Effectively 1sm) + Shaping Ritual, Stunted on Control Spell (3sm) = 7sm discount for a final cost of 8sm to cast Flight of the Brilliant Raptor.

          So there you go, basically an autocast of Flight of the Brilliant Raptor every round with an 11 Dice Decisive damage, and if RNG really hates you, just top up with Foresight Points from Dreaming Wisdom Revelation. To attack with it you need to roll Perception + Occult, so I recommend putting some Excellency on that too (but since you are mote neutral with the shape Sorcery, you probably can add stuff here and spend a bit, especially since your mote regen out of combat is a whopping 9/hour, 14/hour resting thanks to the Radiant Basilisc Jewel)

          And you can do it all day as a fly from long range thanks to Emerald Grasshopper form. Kind of hard to notice, especially since you aren't flaring anima.

          Last edited by prototype00; 03-12-2019, 10:58 AM.


          • #6
            Build: Sir Pounce
            Role: Adorable Destroyer
            Spirit Shape: Ladybug
            Merits: Hearts Blood X (Cat, as many venomous/poisonous animals that you can find), Unusual Hide 5 (Linked to Tell), Artifact 3 (Moonsilver Chain Shirt), Latent Talent 3 (Underfoot Menace), Latent Talent 3 (Shadow Stalking Hunter)
            Favoured/Caste Attributes: Dexterity, Stamina
            Abilities: Brawl 5 (Cat), Dodge 5 (Cat), Awareness 5 (Join Battle)
            1. Quicksilver Second Face
            2. Quicksilver Second Face repurchase
            These charms let the Lunar become a cat during the first turn of a battle, even if they are surprised.
            Becoming a cat costs 4m (and maybe 2i) and constantly gives +3 charm dice to attack and +4 charm dice to evasion. The cat’s bite deals damage equal to someone with Strength 1 attacking with a heavy mortal weapon, and has an Accuracy of +1.
            This leads to 15 dice to attack dealing 12 withering damage.
            1. Unwavering Predator’s Eye
            2. Sinuous Striking Grace
            These charms both increase the chances that Sir Pounce goes first at the beginning of every round. Having more initiative and going at the beginning of the round both protects Sir Pounce from being Crashed and augments many defensive charms. Furthermore, Sinuous Striking Grace adds a non-charm dice to attacks made against people going after the Lunar, bringing Sir Pounces attack pool to 16 dice.
            1. Agile Beast Defense
            2. Bending Before the Storm
            3. Fleet Gazelle Exercise
            4. Flowing Body Evasion
            Bending Before the Storm is here to deal with defense penalties.
            You can have a maximum of +5 defense from charms, being Tiny adds +2 Evasion, Fleet Gazelle Exercise is a scene-long charm that adds +1 Evasion, and Agile Beast Defense adds +1 evasion which can be added after an attack has been rolled (Protean bonus for Tiny animals). Both of these charms also grant initiative for successful defenses.
            This leaves 1 Evasion before you hit the charm dice cap. Flowing Body Evasion adds +1 Evasion before an attack, and if an attack hits it lets you reduce the damage that you take. This is something that the other charms don’t provide, and the FBE also protects against uncountable damage.
            1. Impenetrable Beast Armor
            2. Durant Quicksilver Adaptation
            3. Unmoving Aurochs Defense
            These charms are for if despite everything, you get hit. Use DQA to improve soak until you’re only dealing with Overwhelming damage, and use IBA only if Hardness 5 rather than Hardness 4 makes a different. UAD protects Tiny animals from being moved if they don’t want to be moved.
            1. Finding the Needle’s Eye
            2. Coyote and Badger Tactic
            3. Nimble Squirrel Evasion
            These are more aggressive charms. FNE helps attacks hit. CBT and NSE strip initiative from foes.
            1. Scorpion and Toad Absolution
            2. Adder Fang Technique
            3. Mamba and Cobra Mastery
            4. Mamba and Combo Mastery
            5. Coiled Serpent Strike
            6. Coiled Serpent Strike Repurchase
            When Sir Pounce decides to make a decisive attack, even a single success means dealing with deadly poison effects. CSE means that if an enemy decides to flurry Sir Pounce, he can give them a poison for each attack.
            1. Ever-Wary Fox Technique
            2. Observed Prey Instinct
            These charms help mitigate the danger of people attacking Sir Pounce from stealth.
            1. Ox-Body Technique
            2. Ox-Body Technique
            3. Ox-Body Technique
            When all else fails, it’s nice to have a bunch of extra health levels.
            In the first round of combat he activates Unwavering Predator’s Eye, Quicksilver Second Face, Sinuous Striking Grace, and Fleet Gazelle exercise.
            On subsequent rounds he activates Sinuous Striking Grace and any defensive charms he needs.
            In cat form, with Fleet Gazelle Exercise activated, he has a resting Evasion of 9 and attack pool of 16 (withering) or 15 (decisive).
            If he’s hit by a withering attack he just raises his soak to compensate. If he’s hit by a decisive attack, he reduces damage with Flowing Body Evasion and absorbs the hit with his extra health levels.
            He makes withering attacks on his turn, and uses Coiled Serpent Strikes if he wants to make a decisive attack so he can bring his initiative up before his foe attacks again.


            • #7
              Death Kitty! With poison! I approve! The Armor does give things away a bit though. It’s a problem I haven’t been able to solve.


              • #8
                Build: First Strike
                Strategy: Spend a ton of motes on join battle. Use Hunter’s Eye Precision+Birds-Fall-From-Flock Targetting to reflexively aim at all enemies. Spend a ton of motes to make a very deadly attack threatening everybody. Hit and critically injure, maybe poisoning+needling whoever didn’t invest enough in their defense, or be happy your enemies spent all their motes.

                Fast reflexes helps win join battle
                An artifact weapon (preferably a bow)
                Artifact armor won’t go wrong

                Caste: Any, No-Moon is suggested if you favor wits, Full-moon if you favor stamina
                Spirit Shape: Something venomous or poisonous if you want to favor wits instead of stamina.
                Favored+Cast Attributes
                Dexterity, Wits/Stamina, Perception

                Essence 1
                Sense-Sharpening Change (Not a combat charm)
                Unwavering Predator’s Eye
                Wolf-Eye Advantage
                Instinctive Supremacy Approach
                Essence 3
                Red Visions Realized

                Essence 1
                Scorpion-and-Toad Absolution
                Adder Fang Method
                Essence 2
                Mamba-and-Cobra Mastery
                Poison Blood Prana

                Essence 1
                Finding the Needle’s Eye
                Striking Mospid Method
                Needle Quill Technique
                Bombardier Spittle Alchemy
                Stingung Ichneumon Scourge
                Sinous Striking Grace
                Cunning Beast-Warrior Reflexes
                Essence 2
                Consumptive Worm Hungers
                Hunter’s Eye Precision
                Birds-Fall-From-Flock Targeting
                Unerring Fang Technique


                • #9
                  Originally posted by autXautY View Post
                  Build: First Strike
                  Strategy: Spend a ton of motes on join battle. Use Hunter’s Eye Precision+Birds-Fall-From-Flock Targetting to reflexively aim at all enemies. Spend a ton of motes to make a very deadly attack threatening everybody. Hit and critically injure, maybe poisoning+needling whoever didn’t invest enough in their defense, or be happy your enemies spent all their motes.
                  Do you have a more comprehensive break down of the fight strategy?

                  Craft rewrite.
                  Twitter Handle: at maudova


                  • #10

                    Most excessive version:
                    Join Battle
                    Perception 5, Awareness 5, Specialty, Fast Reflexes, 1-point stunt
                    Full Excellency (10m), 1wp, Unwavering Predator’s Eye with surcharge (3m), Wolf’s Eye Advantage (2m), Red Visions Realized (2m, 1wp)
                    24 dice, 1 success, double 9s, reroll 1s, roll twice and take the higher
                    If you win, gain 1wp

                    This averages 17 successes, plus however much 3

                    Sense-Sharpening Change (4m)
                    Sinuous Striking Grace (3m, act 5i higher)
                    Hunter’s Eye Precision (2m, 1i, 1wp)

                    Dexterity 5, Archery 5, Specialty, 1-point stunt
                    Instinctive Supremacy Approach (Free) gives full excellency, 1wp, Adder Fang Method (2m), Mamba-and-Cobra Mastery (2i), Finding the Needle’s Eye (3m), Needle Quill Technique (1m), Stining Ichneumon Scourge (2m), Consumptive Worm Hungers (3m), Birds-Fall-From –Flock-Targeting (2m, 1wp)

                    27 dice, 1 success
                    reroll Essence or 3 1s, ignore a point of defense from weapons, cover or full defense

                    for rest of scene their onslaught penalty can’t fall below -1, at the start of each turn suffer 1 die of harndess-ignoring lethal damage, can end this with difficulty 2 gambit
                    Poison (2i/round (B), 5 rounds, -2 penalty) or any other poison, +1 round, +1 round for every 10 on the attack and damage rolls, A in crash

                    Total Cost
                    39m, 6wp, but an opportunity to gain 1wp (an essence 3 lunar has 18/46m, -9 for artifact weapon and armor, so you have 18m remaining after this)
                    Make an attack with 27 dice, 1 success, and rerolling at least 3 1s, ignoring 1 point of some forms of defense boosting. An all-out defense from a solar/lunar/old sidereal/ahlat or Octavian tier spirit will give a defense of around base 6, 5 charm cap, 1 willpower, 1 stunt = 13, which you have a good but not absolute chance of beating
                    If it hits, it deals around on average more than 17 dice of damage, infects them with stinging ichneumon scourge, and poisons them (with around +6 rounds of duration).

                    There’s a few variations on this
                    If you already won initiative, consider skipping sinuous striking grace, all you lose is 1 non-charm die
                    If you’re fighting a single strong opponent, skip Birds-Fall-From-Flock Targetting
                    If many of your opponents don’t have extra health-levels or decisive damage reducers, and/or you rolled well for initiative, consider skipping all the attack charms except Instinctive Supremacy Approach, Finding the Needle’s Eye, and Birds-Fall-From-Flock Targeting.

                    Depending on the situation, you should find yourself at base initiative, with low motes and willpower.
                    However, you’ve dealt an enemy around 7 levels of damage, plus infected them with a needle and poison

                    In a duel, hopefully you just killed or crippled your enemy.
                    If you were fighting several weak enemies, now you’re probably fighting 1 fewer, once again with a limited toolset of your own. Ideally they’ll have all spent motes defending themselves so you won’t be too far behind.
                    If you were part of a team fighting a single foe, you ideally just gave them enough wound and poison penalties to let your team finish the job (plus you still have 5m/turn to spend on being a lunar)
                    If you were part of a team fighting another team, you ideally took out one enemy and drained the motes of the others (BFFFT), so now your allies can win with you helping out a little.

                    It’s a very all-in strategy, possibly not actually good but a fun thought experiment.