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  • Exalted: Arena

    LLLLLET'S GET READY TO RUMBLEEEEE!!!

    In this thread we pit foes against eachother and I roll out the fights. Exalted is a big complex system with lots of moving parts, how much does soak impact the game, how good is this combo of grapple enhancing charms, ect. Sometimes it's just hard to figure out what to do or how good something is in context. To that end we now have the Arena. Now, the arena isn't necessarily a white room, we might import some trees for cover, or make the whole thing submerged in waist high water. Let's talk about what it is, and what it is not.


    What it is:
    • A place to gain some insight into how Exalted fights might go in particular situations
    • A place to test some tactical options that you think might be cool, but aren't sure if they work
    • A place to discuss those tactical options and implications
    • A place to see second hand the spectacle of play-by-play exalted combat

    What it is not:
    • A place to see expertly played and constructed perfectly tactical fights
    • A place to figure out what builds/exalted can never beat other builds/exalted in any situation


    I'll be running though some fights of younger DBs in groups against single Lunars next, probably. I'm going to take some more detailed notes on those to give a better idea of exactly what's going on. If anyone has any suggestions or requests I'm totally open, but keep in mind I'm doing most of these on my own so like, gigantic 10 combatant fights are difficult for me to do.


    As promised I have spun off a tangential topic from this thread into it's own thread.

    Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
    You've kind of used an Essence 5 DB here; does that imply that Essence 2-3 DBs would fare much worse, or is it more that they'd fare about the same (same kind of levels of probability or win or lose), simply because DBs tools don't really scale much up to Essence 5 in ways which are useful for this matchup? I guess my bias would be to be a bit more sanguine about the latter than former.
    I used Essence 5 DBs just to give them the best shot possible. They have some effects that are based on their Essence, as well as just giving them mote pools that were comparable to/better than the Lunars in question. As for charm usage, I don't think I used a single DB charm over Essence 3. The higher essence DB charms tend to be bigger and flashier, but not actually more accurate or powerful to be worth their cost on low hit chance attacks. Also a lot of them are teamwork based and that doesn't work in a 1v1.


    Originally posted by Maseiken View Post
    It’s not just the initiative, those distract gambits are still applying onslaught. They don’t even need to be especially good at combat to be helpful. Even a non-exalt will most likely have enough i from their JB to contribute an attack that the anathema should Really spend to avoid. Assuming even One hits, it’s about +3 to your eventual damage rolls, plus the onslaught for every attempted distraction.

    On top of that, you need Fire Aura to use it, right? Well, that limits you to the second turn of combat, but it doesn’t mean the first turn is boring. I’d advise focusing on Guard and Defend Other though, which leaves you plenty of room to use your many, many Fire based parry charms. Assuming you’re a Big Target (you’re a high-essence melee specialist so you probably are or can be), you might get the chance to use Fire Incites Water to a Riot of Clouds, but that would be pretty risky. Mostly you just want everyone to hold on to their JB result, then delay so all the distracts are happening before HFA and HFA is before the enemy resets.

    Obviously all this is melee focused, but even if you need to close distance, there’s some fire charms in athletics that can help you out. They key thing is that your target doesn’t want ANY of these things to happen, and has to either spend accordingly or pick and choose. Their best Defense against HFA is Hardness, but even if they’re significantly armoured you probably also have Dragon Soul Burst and you’re already prepped to build an aura for it.

    ANYWAY I won’t do any more DB stuff here. Will gladly contribute to an Arena/theorycraft thread.
    Unfortunately a character can only benefit from one distract gambit at a time, so stacking them up multiple times on one character isn't doable. Also stacking onslaught penalties is normally a really great idea, but doing it with distract gambits against a celestial exalt isn't really a great idea. Solars have a charm that just flat negates all penalties to defense, and Lunars have one that halves penalties, ignores all penalties from lower initiative attackers, and another one that gives them a turn long defense boost and stops them from accruing onslaught penalties from attacks that miss them.

    On the other hand, if you're going 5v1 against a young Lunar with relatively experienced DBs the Lunar doesn't really have a chance anyway, as long as everyone can fight well and is taking it seriously. No Essence 1 Lunar has the motes to full excellency and cap-burst their defense/attack, six times a round for even one round, whereas the DBs can keep going for several.

  • #2
    I'm interested in how effective a Lunar who's all about poison is. I have an Essence 5 snake-Lunar who has Snake Style and poison charms (adder fang, Mamba-and-Cobra x2, Poison Blood). I'm not sure how nasty poison actually is though. Is it something I should rely on?

    I also thought about building mutations; bite, venomous, potent, venom sacs. Potent can be pretty nasty. But that didn't fit with the build I had, of hitting people with Snake Style. You'd need to build a grapple-character really. I wonder how good that would be.

    Anyway, there's tons and tons of builds you could try. But if you're not sure what,


    I actually thought this thread would be an Arena where people would try out their characters against each other, which is quite different. (Not to say your idea isn't good; it is). But would people be interested in some kind of thread like that? I need practice with my PCs in combat, honestly, I tend to forget all the charms they can use.


    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

    Comment


    • #3
      Aw maaaan. Ah well. Even one distractor backing up HFA is not to be sniffed at.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
        I'm interested in how effective a Lunar who's all about poison is. I have an Essence 5 snake-Lunar who has Snake Style and poison charms (adder fang, Mamba-and-Cobra x2, Poison Blood). I'm not sure how nasty poison actually is though. Is it something I should rely on?

        I also thought about building mutations; bite, venomous, potent, venom sacs. Potent can be pretty nasty. But that didn't fit with the build I had, of hitting people with Snake Style. You'd need to build a grapple-character really. I wonder how good that would be.

        Anyway, there's tons and tons of builds you could try. But if you're not sure what,


        I actually thought this thread would be an Arena where people would try out their characters against each other, which is quite different. (Not to say your idea isn't good; it is). But would people be interested in some kind of thread like that? I need practice with my PCs in combat, honestly, I tend to forget all the charms they can use.
        Maybe poison Lunar is the one who can go 2v1 against the DBs. I didn’t necessarily want to make a thread where people battle out builds against eachother because that can eat up a ton of posts as they go back and forth, and might end up somewhat adversarial.

        EDIT: wait, if they’re Essence 5 we might have do use more than 2 DBs to make it more even.

        Originally posted by Maseiken View Post
        Aw maaaan. Ah well. Even one distractor backing up HFA is not to be sniffed at.
        Yeah absolutely, especially after the recent changes to it that discount charm activations on it.
        Last edited by DrLoveMonkey; 04-17-2019, 11:48 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          I didn’t necessarily want to make a thread where people battle out builds against eachother because that can eat up a ton of posts as they go back and fort
          Yeah, after suggesting that I realised it would take ages.

          if they’re Essence 5 we might have do use more than 2 DBs to make it more even.
          It doesn't have to be identical to the one I use. I'm just generally interested in how effective poison-builds are.


          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

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
            Yeah, after suggesting that I realised it would take ages.


            It doesn't have to be identical to the one I use. I'm just generally interested in how effective poison-builds are.
            Would you be using Octopus and Spider Barrage? Because I sense that that will make a very large difference. I can probably run one or two combats today once I know that. I'll adjust the second combat based on how the first one turned out.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't have it. I guess I could get it in future, but I don't have much of that tree.


              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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                I don't have it. I guess I could get it in future, but I don't have much of that tree.
                k I'll run the first one with and if the poison Lunar wrecks faces off I'll try without.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would assume that probably the biggest factor in facing a Poison lunar is whether one of the DBs is wood caste.

                  EDIT: Tbc, they're not immune, but once they hit bonfire those resistance rolls will be a heck of a lot easier. Not much above Essence 1 in medicine should they have access to it, but even Venom Expulsion Method and the Excellency would be enormously helpful. Even moreso combined with Ailment Sensing Meditation.

                  Of course the question of whether the DBs In question KNOW they'll be facing poison and HAVE medicine charms is another one entirely.
                  Last edited by Maseiken; 04-17-2019, 08:56 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm curious, in addition to my other 'how well do lower essence DB hold up' questions from the last thread, how effective a Lunar with little native combat murder ability can be just rolling with dangerous animal spirit shapes and maybe one or two low Attribute combat charms from Dex or Stamina.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Okay, wow, that took a long time. I'm not sure I can do much of this on my own. I think I'll definitely need to get some friends to help if I do many more than 3 combatants. First let's look at our combatants

                      Lunar

                      Lunar Essence 3 Per:18 iph:37 (46)

                      Full Moon 5 in physical stats and Wits


                      Offenseive Charms
                      Snake Style (Entire)
                      Dexterity up to Supreme Predator Alacrity and Thousand Claw
                      Strength up to Unstoppable Beast Force Blow
                      Stamina up to Mamba-and Cobra/Poison Blood
                      Wits Excellency

                      Defensive Charms
                      Stamina up to Incomperable Bezoar Nature, Stone Rhino Skin
                      Dexterity up to Sensing Deadly Flow and Fleet Gazelle
                      3 Ox Bodies

                      Artifacts
                      Light armor
                      Daiklave

                      STATS

                      Attack:
                      Daiklave 14 (17 damage) O: 5
                      Parry 7
                      Soak: 10 Hardness 4


                      Fire Aspect Swordfighter

                      Fire DB Essence 3 Per: 14 iph: 24 (35)

                      Fire aspect with 5 dex, 3 in str and sta, all abilities at 5 with specialty

                      Offensive Charms
                      Melee up to Fire Incites Water, Burning Pinacle Strike

                      Defensive Charms
                      Melee up to Fire Incites Water
                      Resistance up to Earth Bears Witness
                      3 Ox Bodies

                      Artifacts
                      Daiklave
                      Heavy Armor

                      STATS

                      Attack:
                      Daiklave 14 (15 damage) O:5
                      Parry 7
                      Soak: 14 Hardness: 10


                      Water Aspect Brawler

                      Water DB Essence 3 Per: 14 iph: 26 (35)

                      Fire aspect with 5 dex, 3 in str and sta, all abilities at 5 with specialty

                      Offensive Charms
                      Brawl up to Hammering Wave Tech, Waves Swallow Mountain, Embracing the Violent Flow, Crushing Avalance Grasp, Entangling Roots Embrace

                      Defensive Charms
                      Dodge up to Threshold Warding Stance and Flow with Strife
                      Resistance up to Earth Bears Witness
                      3 Ox Bodies

                      Artifacts
                      Smashfists
                      Light Armor

                      STATS

                      Attack:
                      Fist 16 (13 damage) O:3
                      Dodge 6
                      Soak: 8 Hardness: 4


                      Round 1:
                      The Lunar and the Dragonblooded square off and join combat! The Lunar rolls in with 16 after a full excellency...and so does the Fire aspect, the water aspect lags behind with 10. We flip a coin to see who goes first and it's Fire aspect! He slices in with a full excellency and Crimson Fang Bite, the Lunar defends with Rhino's Skin, Impenetrable Beast Armor, and the Stamina excellency. Some of those were activated retroactively because the DB hits with his whopping 15 successes! For 10 dice of damage, dealing 4, but with two 1s on the roll it becomes 2 damage.

                      The Lunar retaliates with a sharp smash to the DB with her daiklave, full excellency, Striking Cobra Tech, Finding Needle's Eye, Divine Predator Strike AND Armor Penetrating Fang! Fire defends with a full excellency and ISoS. Lunar easily hits the DB getting a near miraculous 22 successes in total with six 10s. Rolling 33 damage and dealing 18 Fire is crashed. Lunar reflexively activates Snake style.

                      Water aspect attempts a grapple with full excellency, Inescapable Whirlpool and Entangling Roots Embrace. Failing to connect

                      Round 2:
                      Lunar attacks Water with Striking Cobra Tech and 5m excellency. Water defends with full excellency and ISoS. Lunar hits with 13, rolling 18 damage and dealing 12

                      Fire attacks with full excellency and Crimson fang, slashing wildly at the confidant Lunar. Hitting by 5 and dealing 5 damage

                      Water attempts full excellency and Hammering Wave tech, hitting by 3 for 6 dice of damage, but coming away with only 1 rolled damage.

                      Round 3:
                      Lunar attacks with Octopus and Spider Barrage, running out of motes now she needs to get this off while she can still apply 4 poisons in one attack. Going all out in a flurry of attacks with her Daiklave dripping poison. Fire defends with Flame Borne Interception and an excellency, water defends with dodge excellency. The first two attacks both hit water, but by one success each. The third attack hits fire, but the fourth attack misses him.

                      Water comes away with 3 rounds of poison applied to her, and fire with only 2. Water also takes 6 total decisive damage and Fire takes 5 from the attacks

                      Fire takes some initiative damage from poison, and attacks Lunar with his full excellency, but due to Snake Style and the poison penalties, fails to connect.

                      Water takes a lethal from the poison and attacks with full excellency, but due to the same penalties, fails to connect.

                      Round 4:
                      Lunar attacks fire with an unenhanced attack, hits by 3 for 5 damage, dealing 2

                      Fire takes 2L from poison, attacks with excellency but penalties are too strong, fails to connect

                      Water takes 1L from poison, attacking the Lunar with an excellency and hits for 4 damage, dealing 3

                      Round 5:
                      Lunar attacks Fire with Finding Needle's Eye, fire does not defend with essence. Lunar hits and deals a total of 3 damage

                      Water takes 2 damage from poison and resets to base initiative, attacks Lunar with an excellency, but fails to connect

                      Fire attacks Lunar with excellency, fails to connect

                      Round 6:
                      Lunar attacks fire with Finding Needle's Eye, fire does not use essence to defend. Lunar rolls badly and does not connect, slipping up in her advantage over the pair of terrestrials.

                      Water attacks Lunar, Lunar does not spend essence, but water fails to connect.

                      Fire rushes in slashes wildly with a small excellency and hits by 0. Dealing 1 damage for every die rolled Fire gets INITIATIVE SHIFT!!! Blazing back into the fight, veins finally clear of poison, the Fire aspect attacks again immediately with a discounted full excellency, Lunar defends with an excellency and Agile Beast Defense, but to no avail! Fire strikes again and deals another 5 damage

                      Round 7:
                      Fire strikes the Lunar with discounted excellency and Crimson Fang, hits again, the Lunar unable to handle the onslaught penalties, and no longer benefiting so much from Snake Form. Taking another 5 damage.

                      Water strikes with Pounding Surf Style, hitting and dealing 3 damage.

                      Lunar goes in and full excellency attacks Water, trying to avoid being clinched now that she can't rely on dodging a decisive with ease, being so low on motes. Water defends with dodge excellency and is hit, taking 6 damage.

                      Round 8:
                      Fire strikes at the moteless Lunar with full excellency and hits, dealing 3 damage

                      Water attacks again and deals 2 damage to the Lunar

                      Lunar attacks fire with full excellency, trying to knock Fire out of his discount, but the Lunar fails to connect again thanks to the DB's full excellency defense and a bad dice rolls.

                      Round 9:
                      Fire launches a full excellency attack at the Lunar, dealing 8 damage

                      Water attacks the Lunar, hits, but deals nothing

                      Lunar resets to base initiative and hits Fire, dealing 5 damage and finally resetting his discount

                      Round 10:
                      Fire attacks the Lunar with a full excellency and Crimson Fang, dealing 6 damage

                      Water attempts to clinch the Lunar with over 20 motes now saved up from not enhancing attacks. Water hits, makes the grapple roll, and full excellencies the control roll, rolling amazing against the moteless Lunar and clinching the lunar for 7 rounds!

                      Lunar attacks Water trying to break free, using Ferocious Biting Tooth and Divine Predator Strike to try and clear the clinch. Unwise choice though as the attack misses!!!

                      Round 11:
                      With the Lunar clinched and with Fire aspect having 33 initiative, and Water having 10, they decide it's time to end this. Fire attacks with Harnessed Firestorm Assualt, giving as much free excellency to each attack as he can, an also activating Crimson Fang Bite one last time. All attacks hit and deal a total of 18 damage, driving his daiklave into the Lunar.

                      Water aspect does a decisive throw using Hammering Wave Technique and releasing the remainder of her rounds of control and dealing a total of 7 decisive damage, ending the fight.




                      AGGHHH my god that took so LONG. It was actually a pretty awesome fight. I skipped over stunts, but I assumes everyone was doing at least a level 1 stunt for each effect, and that any higher level stunts were being canceled. That fight was close though, it could have ended way sooner if the Lunar didn't hit with 3/4 of her Octopus and Spider Barrage of attacks. Also she definitely got a ton of mileage out of Snake Form. Also though, if the DBs didn't have 7 dice to their poison resist rolls they would have been in a much worse way there, and those penalties were crushing.

                      So looking back at the viability of the poison build, even against people with a good resistance it was extremely effective, and even while being outnumbered. The penalties it inflicts have synergy with Snake's penalty inflicting form. I wish I'd gotten the chance to check it out with Essence Venom Strike, I think it might have worked out better as a way to try and focus fire down on of the DBs, but I'm not running that fight again to see. I didn't personally record initiative round for round, so it might be difficult to follow that fight up above, but I'm not sure how I could include it without there being information overload.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Man, really thought the Lunar had it after that first turn Crash, but I guess the motes just Weren't there.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Maseiken View Post
                          Man, really thought the Lunar had it after that first turn Crash, but I guess the motes just Weren't there.
                          Yeah, when you're trying to defend against two highly competent opponents, it's really hard to keep up. Unfortunately the Lunar didn't have enough initiative to go for full Octopus and Spider poison right off turn 1, because the DBs both had too much hardness, the attacks would have just failed. Against foes without hardness that might have been a better way to go, just get that poison online right away. Then again, that's why Dragonblooded can be scary, they're very often clad in heirloom armor that gives them that kind of protection.

                          Also I want to point out that I totally forgot about anima flux, before the Lunar was crashed she had hardness and could just ignore it. A crashed character has 0 hardness though, so she should have been taking 4 damage a turn from the Fire and Water anima banners. In my defense there's a LOT of moving parts here that I have to keep track of.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Oof! Yeah losing hardness on Crash really Amps up the danger from anima flux. Would combo great with White Veil for initiative poison on the DB side.

                            Although being On Fire is not particularly thematic for white veil so...

                            I’m setting up a fite of my own, I’d like to see how Solars handle an immaculate style. I’ll be testing a fresh Solar Earth Dragon Master against a veteran Fire Dragon Master.

                            I expect the solar to clean up handily but any competencies or factors to consider would be appreciated.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Alpharius View Post
                              I'm curious, in addition to my other 'how well do lower essence DB hold up' questions from the last thread, how effective a Lunar with little native combat murder ability can be just rolling with dangerous animal spirit shapes and maybe one or two low Attribute combat charms from Dex or Stamina.
                              I could definitely run that, and it would be way easier than what I just did.

                              Originally posted by Maseiken View Post
                              Oof! Yeah losing hardness on Crash really Amps up the danger from anima flux. Would combo great with White Veil for initiative poison on the DB side.

                              Although being On Fire is not particularly thematic for white veil so...

                              I’m setting up a fite of my own, I’d like to see how Solars handle an immaculate style. I’ll be testing a fresh Solar Earth Dragon Master against a veteran Fire Dragon Master.

                              I expect the solar to clean up handily but any competencies or factors to consider would be appreciated.
                              Yeah, Solar is probably going to dominate that fight, especially if you give him some support abilities. Unless you're pitting Essence 1 MA Supernal Solar against Essence 5 DB, then...could be pretty close?

                              Comment

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