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  • The Aura mechanic

    So maybe it's just my extensive research on the dragon blooded charmset, but since I haven't quite played it maybe someone could just confirm it but does the aura mechanic feel bad in and out of combat? This is just from a theory point of view it looks like they aren't remotely enough charms to fairly spread out the mechanic. I was looking at other abilities to branch out to and there seems like a very small chance of actually using certain abilities together without losing a majority of your charms. There are also a lot abilities in certain trees that you can't use because of element lockout. Resistance being one that's notable. In addition, to signature charms.

    I think another issue I didn't think would be an issue till I saw it was the expenditure of Aura for martial arts. Because there are so many defensive aura charms dragon blooded have with not so insignificant costs, you just end up losing a lot of defensive charms.

  • #2
    I'm very much not a fan of Aura. I've been running/playing a DB game for a while now and 90% of the time we just lose track of who has what Aura in between tracking motes, turns, initiative, etc. Same thing with Anima banner and Amina Flux actually.


    Are you in the market for some Martial Arts? Perhaps some custom Artifacts for your campaign?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by BadassOverlord View Post
      I'm very much not a fan of Aura. I've been running/playing a DB game for a while now and 90% of the time we just lose track of who has what Aura in between tracking motes, turns, initiative, etc. Same thing with Anima banner and Amina Flux actually.
      Does it hinder any charm use? I mean looking at it I can see trees where it happens at E3+ quite easily. Resistance seems to be unfortunate in that there are so many auras charms at different elements they are impossible to combine.

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      • #4
        A lot of the low charms are balanced so it won't make you lose an aura, but there are nice charms that aren't so you'll risk entering an aura you don't want or losing one you do if you use them.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by werlynn View Post
          A lot of the low charms are balanced so it won't make you lose an aura, but there are nice charms that aren't so you'll risk entering an aura you don't want or losing one you do if you use them.
          It depends on the element. Like try using dodge with anything but fire or some air and you get utterly limited.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BadassOverlord View Post
            I'm very much not a fan of Aura. I've been running/playing a DB game for a while now and 90% of the time we just lose track of who has what Aura in between tracking motes, turns, initiative, etc. Same thing with Anima banner and Amina Flux actually.
            Have you tried using a colour sided die? I'm legitimately curious because eventually I want to run Dragonblooded and I'm not sure how I want to track Aura.

            Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
            Does it hinder any charm use? I mean looking at it I can see trees where it happens at E3+ quite easily. Resistance seems to be unfortunate in that there are so many auras charms at different elements they are impossible to combine.
            That is kind of the point of Aura though, isn't it? To stop DBs from having the same kind of big combinational effects that Solars have, while still maintaining some powers that are solidly impressive.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

              That is kind of the point of Aura though, isn't it? To stop DBs from having the same kind of big combinational effects that Solars have, while still maintaining some powers that are solidly impressive.
              Even without Aura a lot of those charms are sufficiently weaker. There are a few charms sorta better. Like Air athletics gets scenelong true flight even if it's completely unusable during a fight thanks to the 4i per round cost. The bigger issue is that it means a DB has a smaller charmset outside of custom charms because you have charms that lock out other charms. In addition, it also means that you are rewarded for going in a few specific ways. Since I've been looking at martial arts for the most part I'll give an example. Earth dragon + resistance or Fire dragon + dodge + presence work amazingly. However you try Wood + dodge or resistance and water + dodge and you find yourself with very few charms that work.

              I believe resistance has balance charms but just looking at dodge over again the only balance charm it has is the excellency. And now this wouldn't be so bad if the aura key word wasn't so important for specific effects. After a skim through a lot of the aura effects seem to be for flashy or combat effects. So that is important to note.
              Last edited by Epimetheus; 04-20-2019, 12:41 AM.

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              • #8
                I haven't played Dragon-Blooded yet, but from a "feels bad" perspective, the thing that bugs me about Aura is that it really makes some Charms purely a "Charm Tax" for certain niche builds. That mostly shows up at high-Essence where you'd have a bunch of Charms anyway so you could better afford the "cost," but it still doesn't feel great.

                Look at Mela's Flashing Tongue at Essence 4 in Melee, for instance. It's an Air Melee Charm with an Air Aura effect whose prerequisites include Crimson Fang Bite (Fire, not Balanced), Dragon Soul Burst (Fire, not Balanced), Smoldering Essence Attack (Fire, Aura-keyworded), and Burning Pinnacle Strike (Fire, Aura-keyworded). If you want the Aura effect of Mela's Flashing Tongue you have to actively avoid using four other Charms which you were forced to learn in order to learn Mela's Flashing Tongue. And while Mela's Flashing Tongue is situationally a very strong multiattack Charm, I don't know that I'd say it's the equivalent of five Charms worth of power.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ascension View Post
                  I haven't played Dragon-Blooded yet, but from a "feels bad" perspective, the thing that bugs me about Aura is that it really makes some Charms purely a "Charm Tax" for certain niche builds. That mostly shows up at high-Essence where you'd have a bunch of Charms anyway so you could better afford the "cost," but it still doesn't feel great.

                  Look at Mela's Flashing Tongue at Essence 4 in Melee, for instance. It's an Air Melee Charm with an Air Aura effect whose prerequisites include Crimson Fang Bite (Fire, not Balanced), Dragon Soul Burst (Fire, not Balanced), Smoldering Essence Attack (Fire, Aura-keyworded), and Burning Pinnacle Strike (Fire, Aura-keyworded). If you want the Aura effect of Mela's Flashing Tongue you have to actively avoid using four other Charms which you were forced to learn in order to learn Mela's Flashing Tongue. And while Mela's Flashing Tongue is situationally a very strong multiattack Charm, I don't know that I'd say it's the equivalent of five Charms worth of power.
                  What’s the alternative though? Not giving them the Charms that punch above their weight class? 3E’s solution to those raw elemental power effects that transcend normal DB power is making a strategic limit on how they can be used. I suppose another way to do that would be to just limit them to once per scene with a reset condition, but that’s also a “tax” under the same logic.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ascension View Post
                    I haven't played Dragon-Blooded yet, but from a "feels bad" perspective, the thing that bugs me about Aura is that it really makes some Charms purely a "Charm Tax" for certain niche builds. That mostly shows up at high-Essence where you'd have a bunch of Charms anyway so you could better afford the "cost," but it still doesn't feel great.

                    Look at Mela's Flashing Tongue at Essence 4 in Melee, for instance. It's an Air Melee Charm with an Air Aura effect whose prerequisites include Crimson Fang Bite (Fire, not Balanced), Dragon Soul Burst (Fire, not Balanced), Smoldering Essence Attack (Fire, Aura-keyworded), and Burning Pinnacle Strike (Fire, Aura-keyworded). If you want the Aura effect of Mela's Flashing Tongue you have to actively avoid using four other Charms which you were forced to learn in order to learn Mela's Flashing Tongue. And while Mela's Flashing Tongue is situationally a very strong multiattack Charm, I don't know that I'd say it's the equivalent of five Charms worth of power.
                    Technically, if you are air aspected you could go into fire aura and switch to air but you'd still have to be air aspected and I don't know if you can combo it with other charms. If you have any fire aspected aura charms though you'd basically be losing them for that strike.

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                    • #11
                      To be fair, Aura empowered Mela’s flashing tongue isn’t situationally Good. It’s situationally Amazing. The closest equivalent in the Solars set would I guess be Iron Whirlwind tech+Invincible fury of the Dawn? Only that doesn’t get you any extra Initiative to spend.

                      Like a direct comparison is tough but you’re basically converting attacks from your allies into free attacks for you now. Your allies don’t even have to be good at fighting, just present and vaguely aggressive (maybe attempting gambits)

                      Like yes. It’s a long way to go to get a fight-ending charm. But it will end... like Most Fights.

                      Its primary weakness is opponents that avoid Onslaught, which is pretty much Just Exalts and even then Mostly Solars.

                      EDIT: and like... Having Friends.
                      Last edited by Maseiken; 04-20-2019, 01:22 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                        What’s the alternative though? Not giving them the Charms that punch above their weight class? 3E’s solution to those raw elemental power effects that transcend normal DB power is making a strategic limit on how they can be used. I suppose another way to do that would be to just limit them to once per scene with a reset condition, but that’s also a “tax” under the same logic.
                        Incidentally, that particular example is also once-per-scene with a reset condition (dealing enough damage to incapacitate a previously uninjured nontrivial enemy in a single Decisive attack).

                        My alternative would be not adding in those high-Essence Charms in Elements that the Ability doesn't otherwise support. The big example people pointed out when the book text first came out was Arrow Rain Tempest, an Essence 5 Archery Charm that is once-per-scene with no reset condition, is situational in use (requires two consecutive turns aiming at 12+ Initiative before use), carries the risk of friendly fire, and requires you to expend Water Aura. Death From Nowhere does work to set Water Aura up using another Archery Charm (and Death From Nowhere got easier to use [if also more expensive] between the Kickstarter preview and the final text), but Water really doesn't have much presence in Archery, and even though Arrow Rain Tempest is genuinely very cool, it just feels to me like the support for a "Water Archer" play style isn't there.

                        I suspect the Devs' argument would be that techniques like that are probably not meant to be play styles of their own... you don't take Arrow Rain Tempest because you're a "Water Archer" or Mela's Flashing Tongue because you're an "Air Swordsman," you take them because you're a great archer or a great swordsman who will occasionally bend over backward to use This One Cool Move... but I'd rather see more elementally-limited charm sets which actually support each element they do include in their non-Signature Charms.

                        (I was going to cite Brawl as an example of the kind of design I like, but I forgot that Earth Brawl doesn't have anything past Essence 3 and Wood Brawl carries a "Charm Tax" of a couple non-Balanced Water Charms, so I'll just say it's closer.)

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                        • #13
                          I disagree but I think I get where you’re coming from now. It’s not the direction the devs went with, and I personally like the blended charmsets, even if a charm or two are isolated. Buuut I can also see wanting a more focused build in each ability with strict elemental themes.

                          That said, I generally don’t Like activating more than like, two charms on my turn? So that’s just me.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Maseiken View Post
                            I disagree but I think I get where you’re coming from now. It’s not the direction the devs went with, and I personally like the blended charmsets, even if a charm or two are isolated. Buuut I can also see wanting a more focused build in each ability with strict elemental themes.

                            That said, I generally don’t Like activating more than like, two charms on my turn? So that’s just me.
                            That still limits you especially when you have aura charms aura charms that only last while in aura and have a willpower cost associated with it.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                              I believe resistance has balance charms but just looking at dodge over again the only balance charm it has is the excellency. And now this wouldn't be so bad if the aura key word wasn't so important for specific effects. After a skim through a lot of the aura effects seem to be for flashy or combat effects. So that is important to note.
                              Yeah dodge is definitely a big one that's hard to use if you're in non-fire aura. I tend to look at it as you having 3 options most basically, although outside of test combats I haven't played much I admit.

                              One is that you just ignore everything to do with aura, you freely match every kind of element and don't care that you never enter aura. You don't take aura charms but you take whatever else charms you want from all over the place.

                              Another way is to just go hard into your own element and balance charms, like if you're a wood aspect who uses dodge, just take the excellency and Swaying Grass, and maybe Hopping Firecracker/Virtuous Negation Defense. Swaying Grass and the Excellency will get you to be more evasive than almost any other DB anyway, and Hopping Firecracker is there if you really need it to sacrifice your aura and get away, but if you're not using aura at the moment it's no cost anyway. For water it's much the same, just take the sig, the excellency, Heat of Battle Advance and Ebbing Tide Recedes, which can actually be used in the same action I believe, even getting the Water Aura advantage.

                              And the third way is to try and make another element work outside of your own. Like you're a Fire aspect but you always take the Earth signature charms and be super careful about flaring your anima because it'll knock you out of the aura that you're in.

                              Or some kind of weird advanced hybrid of all three where you use Earth charms until your anima flares, use some kind of Fire charm that expends your Aura and then fall back on mixing elements for the battle.

                              Originally posted by Maseiken View Post
                              Its primary weakness is opponents that avoid Onslaught, which is pretty much Just Exalts and even then Mostly Solars.
                              Actually, I think it's been clarified that enemies suffering from onslaught penalties still count as having those penalties, even if they're currently ignoring them. So they might Dipping Swallow to get their defense back up, but you're still making 6 attacks.

                              Originally posted by Ascension View Post
                              My alternative would be not adding in those high-Essence Charms in Elements that the Ability doesn't otherwise support. The big example people pointed out when the book text first came out was Arrow Rain Tempest, an Essence 5 Archery Charm that is once-per-scene with no reset condition, is situational in use (requires two consecutive turns aiming at 12+ Initiative before use), carries the risk of friendly fire, and requires you to expend Water Aura. Death From Nowhere does work to set Water Aura up using another Archery Charm (and Death From Nowhere got easier to use [if also more expensive] between the Kickstarter preview and the final text), but Water really doesn't have much presence in Archery, and even though Arrow Rain Tempest is genuinely very cool, it just feels to me like the support for a "Water Archer" play style isn't there.
                              This particular one at least gets waaay easier if you're a water aspect. You can enter any other aura with dodge or resistance or athletics or something, even just popping a mote with her anima power, and make sure that your last expenditure flares you totemic to automatically switch to Water Aura.


                              Mela's Flashing Tongue is also an interesting one. What I might try to do is actually be an Air aspect, and try to fight a somewhat reserved battle in Fire Aura, before flaring totemic, switching instantly to Air Aura, and unleashing that devastating charm to finish the fight off.

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