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  • Minuscule Size: is it worth it?

    When I got a look at how Lunars can turn tiny at chargen I wept tears of joy. It seems like something that could enable a very unique playstyle and something that only a Lunar could do. And so I got to thinking about my first character with this gimmick in mind: fighting people Antman style.

    However, when I started looking at the mechanical side, I found that Tiny Creature is pretty much better than Minuscule Size in almost every way. Let's break it down:
    Tiny Creature gives you +2 Evasion and substracts 2 successes from all awareness rolls against most opponents. It's all upside.
    Minuscule Size gives you +3 Evasion and substracts 3 successes. It's stronger in a not insignificant way, but lets look at the trade offs:
    • Against enemies without Minuscule Size, the base damage of her withering attacks can’t exceed (Strength) before adding attack roll extra successes or dice from Charms.
    • Against enemies without Minuscule Size, her decisive attacks don’t deal damage, but can still convey poison and similar maladies.
    • She can’t grapple characters without Minuscule Size or oppose the control rolls of grapples made by such characters.

    Those are some pretty brutal drawbacks. We also have to take into account the cost and accessibility of these effects:
    Tiny forms can be obtained by default at chargen and can be assumed for 4m and a flurriable Miscellaneous action (or reflexive with an Ess 1 upgrade).
    Minuscule forms need a charm purchase before you can take them, cost 10m1w and a Simple action, meaning they take up your whole turn. They can only be made reflexive at Ess 5 with 4 charm purchases.

    Why is this so expensive? I would understand it taking into acount the +3 scene-long Evasion and effectively +3 non-charm successes on stealth. Except Tiny Creature gives almost the same benefit for free and without any of the drawbacks. what gives?

    Also of note is that all Protean and Totemic effects granted by Minuscule Size are also given to Tiny Creature.

    The fact that Decisives don't deal damage but can deliver poison made me think of trying an unusual playstyle of using the Lunar poison charms, which are also really cool, to kill people undetected. Except Tiny Creatures can do the same and just as well or better.
    The closest analogue to this strategy that we already have is White Veil Style. And we only need to look at the first charm of this style to understand the key difference: Birdsong Over Blades doesn't deal damage, but it also doesn't reset you to base, and you have a very good chance of staying concealed. Without these advantages, the 0 damage decisive is just not worth it, even with the game's strongest poisons and effects. Resetting to base with nothing to show for it is a recipe for a quick death.

    There are probably ways around this, such as imitating the effect of Birdsong Over Blades with a custom charm or Evocations, but the barrier to entry is already so high I have to question why that is.

    What do people think? Am I the only one who is bothered by it? What are other ways to make the "Antman" build viable can you think of?


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

  • #2
    Originally posted by BadassOverlord View Post
    When I got a look at how Lunars can turn tiny at chargen I wept tears of joy. It seems like something that could enable a very unique playstyle and something that only a Lunar could do. And so I got to thinking about my first character with this gimmick in mind: fighting people Antman style.

    However, when I started looking at the mechanical side, I found that Tiny Creature is pretty much better than Minuscule Size in almost every way. Let's break it down:
    Tiny Creature gives you +2 Evasion and substracts 2 successes from all awareness rolls against most opponents. It's all upside.
    Minuscule Size gives you +3 Evasion and substracts 3 successes. It's stronger in a not insignificant way, but lets look at the trade offs:
    • Against enemies without Minuscule Size, the base damage of her withering attacks can’t exceed (Strength) before adding attack roll extra successes or dice from Charms.
    • Against enemies without Minuscule Size, her decisive attacks don’t deal damage, but can still convey poison and similar maladies.
    • She can’t grapple characters without Minuscule Size or oppose the control rolls of grapples made by such characters.

    Those are some pretty brutal drawbacks. We also have to take into account the cost and accessibility of these effects:
    Tiny forms can be obtained by default at chargen and can be assumed for 4m and a flurriable Miscellaneous action (or reflexive with an Ess 1 upgrade).
    Minuscule forms need a charm purchase before you can take them, cost 10m1w and a Simple action, meaning they take up your whole turn. They can only be made reflexive at Ess 5 with 4 charm purchases.

    Why is this so expensive? I would understand it taking into acount the +3 scene-long Evasion and effectively +3 non-charm successes on stealth. Except Tiny Creature gives almost the same benefit for free and without any of the drawbacks. what gives?

    Also of note is that all Protean and Totemic effects granted by Minuscule Size are also given to Tiny Creature.

    The fact that Decisives don't deal damage but can deliver poison made me think of trying an unusual playstyle of using the Lunar poison charms, which are also really cool, to kill people undetected. Except Tiny Creatures can do the same and just as well or better.
    The closest analogue to this strategy that we already have is White Veil Style. And we only need to look at the first charm of this style to understand the key difference: Birdsong Over Blades doesn't deal damage, but it also doesn't reset you to base, and you have a very good chance of staying concealed. Without these advantages, the 0 damage decisive is just not worth it, even with the game's strongest poisons and effects. Resetting to base with nothing to show for it is a recipe for a quick death.

    There are probably ways around this, such as imitating the effect of Birdsong Over Blades with a custom charm or Evocations, but the barrier to entry is already so high I have to question why that is.

    What do people think? Am I the only one who is bothered by it? What are other ways to make the "Antman" build viable can you think of?


    Alright, so, to break it down: +3 non-Charm successes to Stealth and +3 Evasion (nearly a full excellency even after stunting max Attributes for free) is pretty goddamn huge. The cost is there in order for it not to feel like a no-brainer to just do it, and it's not intended to be used in battle. You want to use it for infiltration, assassination, quick escapes outside battle, general stealth purposes, and other underhanded means. You assassinate people through poison, which your Decisive attacks carry even though you don't deal any damage, and through disease by using Stamina Charms. In fact, with Stamina poison and disease boosters, stinging someone will severely mess them up and they'll at best try to swat you away, not think you're a Lunar Anathema and take the necessary measures to make sure you're dead. By the time they realize they've been poisoned, passed on a disease, or both, you'll be laughing miles away, and their attempts to swat you away aren't very convincing at +3 Evasion let alone any Charms you might have to boost it.

    Tiny Creatures have the disadvantage of looking much more dangerous (You'd at best try a little to swat a mosquito but eventually give up, but if a large scorpion stings you, you'll likely want to make sure the thing's dead or far away), they don't provide as many mechanical bonuses, and they are not as good at subterfuge purposes since it's strange for things like tapirs or rats to be running around in a palace but it's not for mosquitos or bees to be basically everywhere. Resetting to base does not matter; you're not fighting this person to kill them directly or even trying to do any damage whatsoever, you're going in to deploy poison and get out. For that matter, you can also use it to deploy sorcery while unseen or not being minded; no one will care about a bee until its stinger opens into a huge maw that absorbs all of the satrap's bodily fluids, creates a barrier in his room that impedes all guards from entering as it assumes a human form to assassinate him undisturbed, or emits a loud buzz that slowly saps the whole palace of their health and expands to encompass the city below. Even then, if you succeeded at Stealth and no one saw the bee, no one will know there's a sorcerous bee and you can keep doing that. Hell, hypnotize people with Peacock Shadow Eyes then use Glance Oration Technique to implant commands and beliefs in them without anyone finding out.

    I would recommend a Stamina build around poison and disease, a sorcerous build based around stealth sorcery deployment as I described, a Swarm build which is hella terrifying, a Manipulation Subterfuge build to make your crimes extremely hard to solve, Perception Senses and Scrutiny for scouting purposes, or Strength if you REALLY want to deal at least withering damage as a mosquito or ant.

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    • #3
      It has been ruled that sorcery spells that deal decisive damage cannot do anything while in miniscule form. Spells such as Death of Obsidian Butterfly are entirely ineffective at that size.

      However, a scorpion casting Death of Obsidian Butterflies is entirely unaffected by their size and it does full damage.

      I'm with the OP on this one.


      Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

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      • #4
        Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
        It has been ruled that sorcery spells that deal decisive damage cannot do anything while in miniscule form. Spells such as Death of Obsidian Butterfly are entirely ineffective at that size.

        However, a scorpion casting Death of Obsidian Butterflies is entirely unaffected by their size and it does full damage.

        I'm with the OP on this one.

        Who ever said anything about Obsidian Butterflies? You can use spells that don't cause direct damage but instead cause environmental hazards or other area effects, social effects, etc and they still work perfectly fine.

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        • #5
          I have reason to believe there will be a Charm you will approve of in Many Faced Strangers...


          Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Alistair View Post


            Who ever said anything about Obsidian Butterflies? You can use spells that don't cause direct damage but instead cause environmental hazards or other area effects, social effects, etc and they still work perfectly fine.
            So why would you not simply take a tiny form and just hit them with DoOB?

            When you're only subtracting one extra sux off a roll to spot you, why go to all that bother?


            Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

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            • #7
              Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post

              So why would you not simply take a tiny form and just hit them with DoOB?

              When you're only subtracting one extra sux off a roll to spot you, why go to all that bother?

              Because people will react more adversely to Tiny animals than to Minuscule ones most of the time. Tiny ones can actually hurt you, Minuscule ones you just wave at them until they're gone. Or so people think... Regardless, narrative conceit, if you don't think it's worth it then turn into a Tiny animal instead and do it, by all means.

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              • #8
                Wouldnt miniscule be better more for stealth? I only saw Endgame, so dont know how Antman fights in the other movies. But he mostly used his small size to sneak and get into hard to reach places.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by vampire hunter D View Post
                  Wouldnt miniscule be better more for stealth? I only saw Endgame, so dont know how Antman fights in the other movies. But he mostly used his small size to sneak and get into hard to reach places.

                  Indeed it's main use would be stealth and feigning being inoffensive, getting into places you otherwise couldn't, etc.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by vampire hunter D View Post
                    Wouldnt miniscule be better more for stealth? I only saw Endgame, so dont know how Antman fights in the other movies. But he mostly used his small size to sneak and get into hard to reach places.
                    Yeah, he turns giant to fight.


                    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

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                    • #11
                      Gambits are also unaffected by the Decisive limitation, leaving you free to Distract or disarm or trip whoever you want however you want. Which is great if you have an ally and middling at best if you don’t.

                      There are builds that take advantage of this and builds that don’t, the main drawback compared to Legendary is it’s not a combat strategy all to itself, but it also doesn’t cost nearly as much.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vampire hunter D View Post
                        Wouldnt miniscule be better more for stealth? I only saw Endgame, so
                        NO ENDGAME SPOILERS.

                        EDIT NOW.


                        Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                        My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                        • #13
                          "Ant-man turns tiny to sneak/giant to fight" isn't a spoiler - it's a description of what his powers are. Even people who are utterly ignorant of Marvel can piece that "spoiler" out by watching trailers.

                          "Turns out Tony Stark has always been a Skrull," on the other hand, would be a spoiler… if I hadn't just made it up.
                          Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 04-30-2019, 01:01 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Alistair View Post


                            Because people will react more adversely to Tiny animals than to Minuscule ones most of the time. Tiny ones can actually hurt you, Minuscule ones you just wave at them until they're gone. Or so people think... Regardless, narrative conceit, if you don't think it's worth it then turn into a Tiny animal instead and do it, by all means.
                            not a lot of people are gonna try and kill a cat, even if it scratches them. They're also a tiny creature.

                            All of the options for a minuscule creature are available for a tiny creature with the exception of fitting through extremely small areas. But again, it's still better to transform into a minuscule creature to get in somewhere and then change to a tiny, innocuous, creature so that you can actually do damage.

                            Minuscule seems like it's the way to go if you're set on only doing damage through poison or disease, or to get to places only an ant or similarly sized creatures can even get to. Otherwise, I'd say a tiny creature is far superior.


                            Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                              I have reason to believe there will be a Charm you will approve of in Many Faced Strangers...
                              If you're implying what I think you're implying then I can't wait for it to come out.


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

                              Comment

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