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  • Why is Fire Dragon the Worst IMA

    Moved conversation from another thread.

    Originally posted by Alistair View Post
    Melee Supernal, Lunar Witch, BGs with Might, and other DBs. That's what I've been fighting so far. Not that I have used FD extensively on any situation except against other DBs, but even then Fire + Snake loses to even Melee.
    Well I don't really know what to say. Your ST is putting you up against crazy boss odds every fight. I don't judge what Solars can do based off the fights that I have my players slamming into Octavian and his Size 3 battlegroup of Bloodapes who are being commanded by Siggereth

    Originally posted by Alistair View Post
    Ok, to break it down. Even without reroll 1s, Flame Flicker can be useless when an opponent doesn't roll 1s or rolls not-enough-to-raise-your-Defense-to-parry-their-attack 1s. It is not reliable, it is not at all the best defensive option in IMA or even close, and even at max efficiency it's only a post-roll half-free excellency (If you're in Fire Aura). Let alone that it works off of Parry only, instead of Evasion which at least could benefit from Dodge Charms to enhance the benefits, or even from Martial Arts that combo with Fire Dragon such as Snake Style.
    It also stops you from building onslaught penalties from foes who are lower initiative than you, which is a decent onslaught penalty negator, especially with how punishing Fire is about missing decisive attacks already. I don't think it's an amazing defense, but it has its place.

    Originally posted by Alistair View Post
    Searing Edge is stupid bad if you compare it to every single other workhorse. Sure, you gained 6i and your opponent lost 7 instead of 5. Great deal. Compare to Force of the Mountain, which under Aura (SEA has no Aura benefit btw) deals 2.5 initiative damage on average WHICH DOES ADD TO YOUR OWN INITIATIVE, unlike SEA. Also it prones people due to the Smashing tag, riddling them with penalties and potentially becoming a You Are Already Dead situation if your Dodge isn't up to par. Also it benefits Decisive damage with double 10s, an incredibly good benefit for 3m. SEA IS bad and contributes to the whole "Fire Dragon wastes initiative from every pore and never recovers it" issue with FD. Eye of the Wood Dragon deals more damage, does recover that initiative it deals AND it ignores soak so you can't even say "but me post-soak". SEA is worse than any other offensive option in IMA except for Air Dragon which just straight up does not have initiative regain.
    Yes, and Force of the Mountain when you're not under Aura deals an average of 1 damage, if you didn't get soaked down to minimum damage anyway. It also doesn't prone people, that would be amazing, it gives you the smashing tag, which your form weapon already has, so mostly who cares. It doesn't remove the 2i initiative cost, or the defense penalty for making it. Also if you're prone it's your parry, not your dodge, that you'll be wanting to defend with, since your dodge takes a -2 while parry only takes a -1.

    Eye Of the Wood Dragon doesn't ignore soak? It adds raw damage to the attack, that's pre-soak.

    SEA also can absolutely give you more motes, though, if it's the difference between crashing and not crashing an opponent. Which is an even bigger deal against DBs than against other Exalted because once you're crashed anima damage tears you to shreds. Or you could use it against an opponent who has a boat ton of initiative, putting him below you in the track and letting you act twice in a row, all while killing his ability to deal decisive damage with initiative. Also it scales with Essence way better than Force of the Mountain, which doesn't get any benefit from extra Essence while in Aura. Even once you get to Essence 3 is starts really shredding initiative from people.

    If you're having problems regenerating initiative, it might be a good idea to stop making alpha-strike attacks right off the bat, and to just keep building initiative over the fight, only decisive when you know you can end it. It's not even like Earth is some crazy initiative generating machine, before Essence 4 it really only has one charm that gives it bonus damage, and considering they have 5 less accuracy than you all the missing against high defense targets should help make up for that.

    Originally posted by Alistair View Post
    Also, consider that in order to combo this with anything that's not the hilariously dumb mess that is Steel Devil? You need to go unarmed. No twin blade Artifacts for you, no +5 non-Charm attack bonus, no Overwhelming goodness, no huge damage bonuses.
    Okay? Earth, Air and air have completely unique form weapons that can't be paired with any other style, and Wood can only be paired with White Reaper as far as I know.

    Originally posted by Alistair View Post
    Fiery Blade Attack is pointless when you don't have that 4i to pay for the attack, or when paying it will mean a stiff breeze crashes you to oblivion. Even when it goes off, an opponent can just disengage from you, making your expenditure pointless without giving you ways to regain that lost initiative. Also, it's Essence 3.
    Fiery Blade Attack always leaves you with enough initiative that a stiff breeze will crash you, it's a decisive attack, you're at 3i regardless when it's done. Also an opponent disengaging with your entire group is hard, costs initiative to even attempt, and makes them waste a turn. If they want to do anything else with that turn they're flurrying, which makes it even harder to do, gives a -3 penalty to both actions, and gives them a -1 defense penalty for the round.

    Originally posted by Alistair View Post
    In short words, Fire IS horrible at anything that's not alpha strikes or "Enter the fight with your best Join Battle, try your damnedest to crash one or two people, launch Perfect Blazing Blow, be useless the rest of the fight again" because it doesn't have ways to recover initiative, wastes too many motes, doesn't combo with anything unless you go unarmed (Steel Devil isn't valid and Violet Bier hasn't come out yet), and literally every other style except Air does better than it does at normal fights.
    I think you might just have had bad experiences with your ST's enemy selection. Against incredibly skilled and powerful foes like a melee supernal Solar, the alpha strike really is the best way to go. Even if you can't kill them off the bat dropping them into wound penalties is really helpful for your whole group. Has your ST ever pitted you against first circle demons? Essence 3 elementals? Anything like that? Even those aren't supposed to be trivial fights for Dragonblooded, they're just not like, the climax of an entire campaign.

  • #2
    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
    Moved conversation from another thread.


    Well I don't really know what to say. Your ST is putting you up against crazy boss odds every fight. I don't judge what Solars can do based off the fights that I have my players slamming into Octavian and his Size 3 battlegroup of Bloodapes who are being commanded by Siggereth


    It also stops you from building onslaught penalties from foes who are lower initiative than you, which is a decent onslaught penalty negator, especially with how punishing Fire is about missing decisive attacks already. I don't think it's an amazing defense, but it has its place.


    Yes, and Force of the Mountain when you're not under Aura deals an average of 1 damage, if you didn't get soaked down to minimum damage anyway. It also doesn't prone people, that would be amazing, it gives you the smashing tag, which your form weapon already has, so mostly who cares. It doesn't remove the 2i initiative cost, or the defense penalty for making it. Also if you're prone it's your parry, not your dodge, that you'll be wanting to defend with, since your dodge takes a -2 while parry only takes a -1.

    Eye Of the Wood Dragon doesn't ignore soak? It adds raw damage to the attack, that's pre-soak.

    SEA also can absolutely give you more motes, though, if it's the difference between crashing and not crashing an opponent. Which is an even bigger deal against DBs than against other Exalted because once you're crashed anima damage tears you to shreds. Or you could use it against an opponent who has a boat ton of initiative, putting him below you in the track and letting you act twice in a row, all while killing his ability to deal decisive damage with initiative. Also it scales with Essence way better than Force of the Mountain, which doesn't get any benefit from extra Essence while in Aura. Even once you get to Essence 3 is starts really shredding initiative from people.

    If you're having problems regenerating initiative, it might be a good idea to stop making alpha-strike attacks right off the bat, and to just keep building initiative over the fight, only decisive when you know you can end it. It's not even like Earth is some crazy initiative generating machine, before Essence 4 it really only has one charm that gives it bonus damage, and considering they have 5 less accuracy than you all the missing against high defense targets should help make up for that.


    Okay? Earth, Air and air have completely unique form weapons that can't be paired with any other style, and Wood can only be paired with White Reaper as far as I know.


    Fiery Blade Attack always leaves you with enough initiative that a stiff breeze will crash you, it's a decisive attack, you're at 3i regardless when it's done. Also an opponent disengaging with your entire group is hard, costs initiative to even attempt, and makes them waste a turn. If they want to do anything else with that turn they're flurrying, which makes it even harder to do, gives a -3 penalty to both actions, and gives them a -1 defense penalty for the round.



    I think you might just have had bad experiences with your ST's enemy selection. Against incredibly skilled and powerful foes like a melee supernal Solar, the alpha strike really is the best way to go. Even if you can't kill them off the bat dropping them into wound penalties is really helpful for your whole group. Has your ST ever pitted you against first circle demons? Essence 3 elementals? Anything like that? Even those aren't supposed to be trivial fights for Dragonblooded, they're just not like, the climax of an entire campaign.

    What?

    First of all, the onslaught negator is nothing crazy compared to what other things offer, but sure, let's count it as a fringe benefit. Force of the Mountain lets you make Smashing attacks unarmed, which (surprise!) means you can actually combo other very punishing penalties, poisons, etc from other styles along with it for trivial payment (2i, -1 Defense). Eye of the Wood Dragon lets you make Piercing attacks without penalties, which means soak reduction. SEA's -2 initiative is almost never going to be the difference between crash or not, unless you're Essence 4-5 (if you are, you are not the target balance for this Style). FotM scales much better than SEA because FoTM lets you pick between Essence and Strength, and please don't come at this assuming the Earth Dragon Stylist is not going to be in Earth Aura 24/7. I haven't been making alpha attacks, I only recently realized this was how FD was supposed to work, before I had only used it in normal fights and got my ass kicked despite that. Wood can be used with fucking everything, it has staves as its form weapon which means Snake, White Reaper, Golden Janissary, hell even Righteous Devil in RD Form combos with it. Wood and Water have the most combos by far. By FBA I meant that if you fail it's like -6 or -7 initiative to you. And no, the game is only starting, but I doubt my concerns are solely an issue with very powerful opponents, and if FD Style does poorly against people the same as you (Other DBs) then I'm very concerned.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Alistair View Post
      Also, consider that in order to combo this with anything that's not the hilariously dumb mess that is Steel Devil? You need to go unarmed. No twin blade Artifacts for you, no +5 non-Charm attack bonus, no Overwhelming goodness, no huge damage bonuses.
      Not to say that Fire Dragon isn't the shittiest IMA (it has one good Charm! ONE!) but this is not true. Kicking people while wielding two swords is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.


      Evocations for the demonic tattoos gained from the Pact with Mara sorcerous initiation || Pyre-Kindler (Soulsteel and Red Jade Grimscythe, Artifact 3) || Tenebrous Descent (Stormcaller's Black Jade Reaver Daiklave cousin, Artifact 5)
      Advice for running the corebook shikari antagonists

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      • #4
        Originally posted by aluminiumtrioxid View Post

        Not to say that Fire Dragon isn't the shittiest IMA (it has one good Charm! ONE!) but this is not true. Kicking people while wielding two swords is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

        It is perfectly reasonable, and it does help in fringe cases (Not killing your opponents, Bashing damage, etc). It is also objectively weaker in all stat-related aspects.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Alistair View Post
          First of all, the onslaught negator is nothing crazy compared to what other things offer, but sure, let's count it as a fringe benefit. Force of the Mountain lets you make Smashing attacks unarmed, which (surprise!) means you can actually combo other very punishing penalties, poisons, etc from other styles along with it for trivial payment (2i, -1 Defense). Eye of the Wood Dragon lets you make Piercing attacks without penalties, which means soak reduction. SEA's -2 initiative is almost never going to be the difference between crash or not, unless you're Essence 4-5 (if you are, you are not the target balance for this Style). FotM scales much better than SEA because FoTM lets you pick between Essence and Strength, and please don't come at this assuming the Earth Dragon Stylist is not going to be in Earth Aura 24/7. I haven't been making alpha attacks, I only recently realized this was how FD was supposed to work, before I had only used it in normal fights and got my ass kicked despite that. Wood can be used with fucking everything, it has staves as its form weapon which means Snake, White Reaper, Golden Janissary, hell even Righteous Devil in RD Form combos with it. Wood and Water have the most combos by far. By FBA I meant that if you fail it's like -6 or -7 initiative to you. And no, the game is only starting, but I doubt my concerns are solely an issue with very powerful opponents, and if FD Style does poorly against people the same as you (Other DBs) then I'm very concerned.
          Onslaught penalty negation is a situational benefit, but not a fringe one, it’s one of the only ways to avoid groups of weak enemies overwhelming you with low accuracy attacks.

          You’re also not going to be in Earth Aura 24/7. You can’t be in Aura in the first round of combat no matter what you do. So your first turn FotM is 3m for +2 damage at essence 2. Which works because the Styles actually don’t have a balance point where they’re supposed to be balanced, they’re just supposed to be decent for their Essence at whatever Essence you’re at. An Essence 5 Fire Dragon Stylist is supposed to be able to spend 3m for 5 extra levels of initiative damage. Or an Earth stylist with FotM is supposed to be able to get +5 dice right off turn 1. That’s part of what makes high Essence characters so powerful.

          If you think that Fire Dragon is so bad and hard to use then you should probably retire the character and pick up something else, but I’m not sure you’re going to have much better luck with what your ST is throwing at you. If he thinks chargen DBs should be fighting Supernal melee Dawn castes I’m totally stumped for what he thinks Essence 5 DBs should be fighting. What other DBs were you doing poorly against? We’re they Essence 3? Because that’s the biggest power jump in Exalted right now.

          Also just to clarify Wood can’t be used with Snake using form weapons, Snake’s form weapon is a Seven Section Staff, not the same thing.

          Comment


          • #6
            Wood dragon is compatible with White Reaper, Golden Janissary and Laughing Monster, weapon-wise.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

              Onslaught penalty negation is a situational benefit, but not a fringe one, it’s one of the only ways to avoid groups of weak enemies overwhelming you with low accuracy attacks.

              You’re also not going to be in Earth Aura 24/7. You can’t be in Aura in the first round of combat no matter what you do. So your first turn FotM is 3m for +2 damage at essence 2. Which works because the Styles actually don’t have a balance point where they’re supposed to be balanced, they’re just supposed to be decent for their Essence at whatever Essence you’re at. An Essence 5 Fire Dragon Stylist is supposed to be able to spend 3m for 5 extra levels of initiative damage. Or an Earth stylist with FotM is supposed to be able to get +5 dice right off turn 1. That’s part of what makes high Essence characters so powerful.

              If you think that Fire Dragon is so bad and hard to use then you should probably retire the character and pick up something else, but I’m not sure you’re going to have much better luck with what your ST is throwing at you. If he thinks chargen DBs should be fighting Supernal melee Dawn castes I’m totally stumped for what he thinks Essence 5 DBs should be fighting. What other DBs were you doing poorly against? We’re they Essence 3? Because that’s the biggest power jump in Exalted right now.

              Also just to clarify Wood can’t be used with Snake using form weapons, Snake’s form weapon is a Seven Section Staff, not the same thing.

              Different STs, and it's not the more recent one's fault. Or anyone's, really. Can't retire the character, he's got ties with basically all the other PCs on which some story elements depend. (And honestly if your answer to "Fire and Air Dragon are objectively worse than Earth, Water and Wood Dragon" is "Maybe you should retire your character and pick up something else", I don't think there's a point to this discussion).

              Sure, your first Earth Dragon attack won't be in Earth Aura (Unless you already were pre-fight). Then you'll be on it the rest of the fight. You might as well decisive with FOTM on your first turn, since Aura doesn't affect its decisive use, then the next round you recover initiative by FOTM withering attacks. Essence 5, as I keep telling you, does not matter. Hell, Essence 4 does not matter. Games will seldom get there. Essence 3 is the highest you can feasibly go before you start doubting if you'll ever see something used at all in a game. And Essence 3 Fire Dragon is objectively worse than any other Dragon Style except Air Dragon which is more of a compilation of Stealth, Dodge and Athletics Charms deemed too powerful to be on a regular DB's hands than a full on Martial Art.

              So, going back to the comparisons. Let's see each and every workhorse and see how they stack up.

              Air Dragon has Breath-Seizing Technique, which is honestly horrid. Tiny bit of withering damage added to a decisive attack, you don't gain said initiative, and only if you crash the opponent does it do anything decent... at the cost of your Initiative Break. The rest are Athletics, Dodge Charms, and the best onslaught penalty negator for Evasion that DBs have, I'll give it that at least.

              Earth Dragon has Stone Dragon's Skin (Pretty amazing Wound Penalty ignorer by Essence 3, but the real power's in the soak and hardness boost, particularly when not very armored, overall quite good), Force of the Mountain (Does everything. Good withering booster which becomes great in Aura, great decisive booster, smash attacks), Stillness-of-Stone Atemi (Cheap post-soak damage AND mobility penalty which is awful when you're prone, which you WILL be), Unmoving Mountain Stance (immunity to smash attacks + initiative gain reduction + resistance to OHK tricks like Mighty Ram Smash or Heaven Thunder Hammer, really nice and not that costly when you need it).

              Fire Dragon has Flash-Fire Technique (More like Sure-Fire Mote Tapout), Searing Edge Attack (does barely anything before Essence 3 and when you DO get to Essence 3 it is still worse than all other options except Breath-Seizing), Perfect Blazing Blow (The only attack booster in their kit except for Soul-Marking Style, I'll give it that. Still not very good at all considering WP cost, which SMS doesn't have AND SMS is better anyway since you use it once and its effects last for the scene, without WP), and Flame-Flicker (Unreliable and easy to counter for stronger opponents, otherwise decent at keeping you alive as long as you stay in Aura, based off of Parry so there's not even potential to combo with Dodge Charms).

              Water Dragon has Flowing Water Defense (Reduce your chance of hitting a little bit for a +2 non-Charm Defense, which is amazing and actually works well with the style since Tiger Claws are Light weapons and Tiger Claw Artifacts will go with half the styles in the books, it even refunds the init cost in Water Aura and isn't that expensive to keep up), Rippling Water Strike (Insane good at everything except maybe cost-efficiency. +2 minimum damage for a total of 5 OVW if using Tiger Claws, in Water Aura it adds +5 raw damage, and inflicts magical onslaught on several targets at once if it crashes someone, which is likely with that kind of powa.), Drowning-in-Blood Technique (Amazing for its cost, doubles 10s AND increases wound penalty which also plays into the Style's Form and other Charms really well, and in Water Aura it gives you a bonus you wouldn't have benefitted of while outside the Aura anyway, which is a great way to do it.), and Shrugging Water-Dragon Escape which is a catch-all for GTFO, a powerful one at that, and it does grant you initiative to make up for the fact that you spent motes and time escaping stuff instead of fighting.)

              Wood Dragon has Wood Dragon Vitality (which is even better than Stone Dragon's Skin at sheer damage reduction, adding up to +5 soak right off the bat instead of +3 and reducing Decisive damage by 1 instead of increasing Hardness, AND in Wood Aura it goes even beyond that. Of course, it makes up for the fact that it's a Light Armor style.), Eyes of the Wood Dragon (+5 damage, -4 soak from Piercing attacks, no Defense penalty for making Piercing attacks. Great withering damage adder overall.), Mind Over Body Meditation (not super useful but you'll regenerate a health level or two instantly which can reduce your wound penalty and your post-fight convalescence time), Soul-Marking Style (Obliterates Defense when you just straight up have +3 non-Charm dice to all attacks against opponents tagged with this),

              Overall? Fire Dragon sucks in comparison to anything but Air Dragon, and that's not saying much when Air Dragon is barely a MA style until you get to E3 and even then.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Alistair View Post
                Different STs, and it's not the more recent one's fault. Or anyone's, really. Can't retire the character, he's got ties with basically all the other PCs on which some story elements depend. (And honestly if your answer to "Fire and Air Dragon are objectively worse than Earth, Water and Wood Dragon" is "Maybe you should retire your character and pick up something else", I don't think there's a point to this discussion).
                That doesn't really matter. As long as you're not having fun there's a problem, even if the style is fine. I just think that there's an issue when your PCs are the weakest that Exalted ever get, chargen DBs, and you're pitting them against the strongest foes in the setting. Even if you just have artifact weapons, armor and an excellency you should pretty much be annihilating anything you come across, it's just going to take some motes. If you go look at the actual antagonist section of the book, or any of the Hundred Devil Night Parade supplements, you'll see what I mean.

                Which is why I think my experience is so different from yours. Like even just the form charm, you think it's really bad but, it's the cheapest of all of them and the easiest to reflexively activate, and it gives the equivalent of 2 non-charm dice to attacks, while also punishing anyone who misses decisive attacks against you. If they have more than 10 initiative they're losing 6 whenever they miss. Now, if you're facing really skilled enemies, like ones with decisive dicepools in the high teens, that's not really so hot. If they're around, 10-12 though, that's great, you can boost your defense to max, make them waste their turn decisive attacking you which you wanted to do anyway, and then drop them out of the ability to deal damage, lower in the turn order, and in some cases dangerously close to crash range.


                I could sit here all day and debate with you about it, but clearly you've made up your mind. I like it, I don't think it's underpowered, and I haven't seen anything in actual play or that you've said that convinces me otherwise. The setting of Exalted is vast, and strange, and wonderous, and crazy things can happen. Talk to your ST, it's their job to make sure you're having fun after all, and maybe during the next session or so your character might fall directly into a dragonline of the water aspect, and as the deluge of water essence subsumes your soul it changes you. I would suggest going Water or Wood Dragon over Earth though. When you're making an Earth Dragon Stylist you really want 5 in Strength and Stamina, and that leaves only 1 for Dexterity without spending BP, which of course you buy up to 3, but even then your base parry is 5, your decisive attack pool is 9 and your withering attack pool with your form weapon is 10.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                  That doesn't really matter. As long as you're not having fun there's a problem, even if the style is fine. I just think that there's an issue when your PCs are the weakest that Exalted ever get, chargen DBs, and you're pitting them against the strongest foes in the setting. Even if you just have artifact weapons, armor and an excellency you should pretty much be annihilating anything you come across, it's just going to take some motes. If you go look at the actual antagonist section of the book, or any of the Hundred Devil Night Parade supplements, you'll see what I mean.

                  Which is why I think my experience is so different from yours. Like even just the form charm, you think it's really bad but, it's the cheapest of all of them and the easiest to reflexively activate, and it gives the equivalent of 2 non-charm dice to attacks, while also punishing anyone who misses decisive attacks against you. If they have more than 10 initiative they're losing 6 whenever they miss. Now, if you're facing really skilled enemies, like ones with decisive dicepools in the high teens, that's not really so hot. If they're around, 10-12 though, that's great, you can boost your defense to max, make them waste their turn decisive attacking you which you wanted to do anyway, and then drop them out of the ability to deal damage, lower in the turn order, and in some cases dangerously close to crash range.


                  I could sit here all day and debate with you about it, but clearly you've made up your mind. I like it, I don't think it's underpowered, and I haven't seen anything in actual play or that you've said that convinces me otherwise. The setting of Exalted is vast, and strange, and wonderous, and crazy things can happen. Talk to your ST, it's their job to make sure you're having fun after all, and maybe during the next session or so your character might fall directly into a dragonline of the water aspect, and as the deluge of water essence subsumes your soul it changes you. I would suggest going Water or Wood Dragon over Earth though. When you're making an Earth Dragon Stylist you really want 5 in Strength and Stamina, and that leaves only 1 for Dexterity without spending BP, which of course you buy up to 3, but even then your base parry is 5, your decisive attack pool is 9 and your withering attack pool with your form weapon is 10.


                  Never said the Form Charm was bad, it is in fact really good when paired with Flame Flicker and Perfect Blazing Blow, and even on its own the onslaught penalty is sweet, it's also one of the things that the Exalted can avoid the most easily with minimal Charm investment. As for the fun, as I said, it has been different STs and the only fight I've gotten into with the new one was against another PC DB with Melee, chill on that. Don't have Artifacts at all either, in case you were wondering. The current ST is perfectly fine and they are not the cause of me disliking Fire Dragon, Fire Dragon is.

                  If I had to say anything at all about Fire Dragon, is that it places too much emphasis on burning your opponent's initiative and it never really looks at actually GAINING any for yourself, which other Dragon Styles do easier, cheaper and with more power (or slightly more costly but with vastly more power, such as Eyes of the Wood Dragon). It has a lot of help for hitting attacks between the Form and Perfect Blazing Blow, but you'll tap out of WP if you try to use that too much, and you wanna up your initiative before you do. It does alpha strikes better than anything else, but the alpha strikes severely tap you out of motes until you're E3-4. It has area-of-effect, but said area-of-effect is extremely punishing if you miss. Hell, if I had to compare Fire Dragon to anything, it would be a wimpier version of Single Point. Alpha strikes, unreliable defense, punishes you for missing. Essence-Igniting is useless against moteless beings and God-Immolating is useless against non-spirits so I can't even say they're all that applicable, though they do help in fights against the things I've mentioned. All in all, I'm still left thinking that Fire Dragon should get buffed and Air Dragon should stop pretending to accomplish both "Martial Arts Style" and "Mobility Charms Too Good For Normal DBs" and just get an actually decent workhorse kit. The others are fine as they are.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Alistair View Post
                    "Mobility Charms Too Good For Normal DBs" and just get an actually decent workhorse kit. The others are fine as they are.
                    So it's not just me who thinks Mobility charms suck more than normal?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                      So it's not just me who thinks Mobility charms suck more than normal?
                      Oh no you are not. Athletics and Dodge Mobility seem more focused on burning shit on your way than actually the movement part, with some exceptions. But apparently, "Limited Graceful Crane Stance + Other such Charms", "Flurry disengage and attack/aim", and "Enter Stealth without concealment" are better suited as a Martial Arts Style than as DB Charms which they should be.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Alistair View Post

                        Oh no you are not. Athletics and Dodge Mobility seem more focused on burning shit on your way than actually the movement part, with some exceptions. But apparently, "Limited Graceful Crane Stance + Other such Charms", "Flurry disengage and attack/aim", and "Enter Stealth without concealment" are better suited as a Martial Arts Style than as DB Charms which they should be.
                        That's kind of my issue with MA in this edition. It feels like Dragon blooded charms rather than proper MA. No one but dragon blooded get anything out of it. Which just feels lame.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Alistair View Post
                          If I had to say anything at all about Fire Dragon, is that it places too much emphasis on burning your opponent's initiative and it never really looks at actually GAINING any for yourself, which other Dragon Styles do easier, cheaper and with more power (or slightly more costly but with vastly more power, such as Eyes of the Wood Dragon). It has a lot of help for hitting attacks between the Form and Perfect Blazing Blow, but you'll tap out of WP if you try to use that too much, and you wanna up your initiative before you do. It does alpha strikes better than anything else, but the alpha strikes severely tap you out of motes until you're E3-4. It has area-of-effect, but said area-of-effect is extremely punishing if you miss. Hell, if I had to compare Fire Dragon to anything, it would be a wimpier version of Single Point. Alpha strikes, unreliable defense, punishes you for missing. Essence-Igniting is useless against moteless beings and God-Immolating is useless against non-spirits so I can't even say they're all that applicable, though they do help in fights against the things I've mentioned. All in all, I'm still left thinking that Fire Dragon should get buffed and Air Dragon should stop pretending to accomplish both "Martial Arts Style" and "Mobility Charms Too Good For Normal DBs" and just get an actually decent workhorse kit. The others are fine as they are.
                          I agree that Fire Dragon focuses more on burning away initiative from your opponent than farming it for yourself, it's also really built for killing things in one single strike, but not necessarily the first strike. It encourages you to push the Join Battle, so you're starting off with lots of initiative, and then really really wants you to stay ahead with all the charms that get bonuses or only affect lower initiative targets. Then just spend the fight building up initiative with crash bonuses and withering attacks until you can finish the thing with one strike. If you're starting from a position of 12 initiative that's only one crash bonus away from getting 20. Okay, 19 technically if you somehow crashed somebody by dealing just 1 damage.

                          It shouldn't be that hard to get initiative, especially with high accuracy weapons, unless you're facing opponents with high defense values and high soak, combined with a relatively low strength on the fire stylist. If you're slashing at a Dog of the Unbroken Earth with mundane twinblades and a level 1 stunt you're rolling 17 dice of damage, we'll round up to an even 9 successes, over by 6 because of the onslaught penalty, adding 6 to a base damage of 10, assuming strength 3, gives us 16 damage, minus soak of 10 and that's 3 damage and 4i gathered in total. For a Wood Dragon using a mundane staff and 4m Eyes of the Wood Dragon that's a 13 dice attack, round up to 7, over by 3, adding to 12 damage base with 3 strength, for 15, and then adding 5 damage for Eyes of the Wood Dragon and a total of 5 damage, gathering 6i. It's not like there's this absurd difference in the ability to gather initiative.



                          Breath Seizing Technique is pretty bad against anything that isn't a spirit though. At least the initiative break isn't lost if you get it, but it's really situational. The only time you'd ever seriously consider using it is against a Spirit who's at 1-2 initiative. At which point if you crash them they're losing like 6-7 motes as well as taking the damage. Air Dragon as a whole is just fine though, against enemies that don't have a good perception and either athletics score or ranged attack it's the most annoying thing to fight against. They attack then disengage, you follow, they reflexively move back, then you rush. If you fail the rush they attack and move back and you need to do it again, if you succeed they enter stealth instead and surprise attack you next round, or just move in and attack, letting you get one strike in before starting the chase all over again.

                          At Essence 3 it's even more annoying because if you succeed on the Rush they can Avenging Wind Strike you and hurl you back, knocking you prone. Then you need to flurry a Rise from Prone with a Rush to try and get to them again, so -3 on both those actions and -1 defense penalty, or just Rise from Prone regularly and forget rushing. Then you flip the table and go home.

                          Originally posted by Alistair View Post

                          Oh no you are not. Athletics and Dodge Mobility seem more focused on burning shit on your way than actually the movement part, with some exceptions. But apparently, "Limited Graceful Crane Stance + Other such Charms", "Flurry disengage and attack/aim", and "Enter Stealth without concealment" are better suited as a Martial Arts Style than as DB Charms which they should be.
                          Actually it's better and worse than Graceful Crane, it's more expensive, and only lasts for an action, but it lets you ignore difficult terrain and run up smoke and vapor which I don't believe any Solar charm lets you do.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

                            I agree that Fire Dragon focuses more on burning away initiative from your opponent than farming it for yourself, it's also really built for killing things in one single strike, but not necessarily the first strike. It encourages you to push the Join Battle, so you're starting off with lots of initiative, and then really really wants you to stay ahead with all the charms that get bonuses or only affect lower initiative targets. Then just spend the fight building up initiative with crash bonuses and withering attacks until you can finish the thing with one strike. If you're starting from a position of 12 initiative that's only one crash bonus away from getting 20. Okay, 19 technically if you somehow crashed somebody by dealing just 1 damage.

                            It shouldn't be that hard to get initiative, especially with high accuracy weapons, unless you're facing opponents with high defense values and high soak, combined with a relatively low strength on the fire stylist. If you're slashing at a Dog of the Unbroken Earth with mundane twinblades and a level 1 stunt you're rolling 17 dice of damage, we'll round up to an even 9 successes, over by 6 because of the onslaught penalty, adding 6 to a base damage of 10, assuming strength 3, gives us 16 damage, minus soak of 10 and that's 3 damage and 4i gathered in total. For a Wood Dragon using a mundane staff and 4m Eyes of the Wood Dragon that's a 13 dice attack, round up to 7, over by 3, adding to 12 damage base with 3 strength, for 15, and then adding 5 damage for Eyes of the Wood Dragon and a total of 5 damage, gathering 6i. It's not like there's this absurd difference in the ability to gather initiative.



                            Breath Seizing Technique is pretty bad against anything that isn't a spirit though. At least the initiative break isn't lost if you get it, but it's really situational. The only time you'd ever seriously consider using it is against a Spirit who's at 1-2 initiative. At which point if you crash them they're losing like 6-7 motes as well as taking the damage. Air Dragon as a whole is just fine though, against enemies that don't have a good perception and either athletics score or ranged attack it's the most annoying thing to fight against. They attack then disengage, you follow, they reflexively move back, then you rush. If you fail the rush they attack and move back and you need to do it again, if you succeed they enter stealth instead and surprise attack you next round, or just move in and attack, letting you get one strike in before starting the chase all over again.

                            At Essence 3 it's even more annoying because if you succeed on the Rush they can Avenging Wind Strike you and hurl you back, knocking you prone. Then you need to flurry a Rise from Prone with a Rush to try and get to them again, so -3 on both those actions and -1 defense penalty, or just Rise from Prone regularly and forget rushing. Then you flip the table and go home.



                            Actually it's better and worse than Graceful Crane, it's more expensive, and only lasts for an action, but it lets you ignore difficult terrain and run up smoke and vapor which I don't believe any Solar charm lets you do.

                            No weapons because I want to combo with Snake and other styles (Steel Devil doesn't exist), which means no Overwhelming, low damage, and vulnerability to high soak. It's not that it's difficult to gain initiative, it's that the STYLE doesn't make it any easier at all except by REALLY helping crash people, which is extremely risky (You have to throw three extra motes behind each attack for SEA and commit seven motes, spend three more for the best chance of actually doing some serious hurt to people's initiatives). So forget twinblades in this discussion, they actively hurt Fire Dragon's compatibility and that's what we want in this scenario. For Eyes of the Wood Dragon you forgot that you're always Aiming at the opponent (Soul-Marking Style), you lower their soak by -4 (Piercing attack), and you can use it unarmed for extra accuracy which translates to extra threshold successes at the cost of reliable damage. There IS an insane difference between the two when you're measuring "Literally mundane attack" against "Mundane attack with +3 non-Charm attack dice, +5 damage, -4 soak reduction".

                            BST is stupid bad. Even against spirits it is ridiculously bad. And as for the rest of Air Dragon? I don't care if it's the most annoying thing in the world to fight, it does not feel like a Martial Arts Style, it feels like Athletics, Dodge and Stealth Charms crammed into a style because they couldn't/weren't interested in changing the style's Charms from its older editions to something actually usable. Air Dragon Sight is amazing, but they should have taken Wind Dragon Speed and Cloud-Treading Method and turned them into actual combat workhorses, and the same thing with the vanishing-into-air Charm, and just put those in Athletics, Dodge and Stealth instead. It's a style with no actual workhorses that aid your ability to fight EVEN when you take into account its one combat workhorse, BST.

                            E3+ Air Dragon is fine for the most part, but by then it's not workhorses you're throwing at people, it's lightning and thunderclaps and mother fuckin' nature itself. And that means willpower, willpower, willpower. The ONE E3+ Charm that doesn't take WP takes FIVE INITIATIVE on a style that does not aid initiative gain at all AND cannot combo with other styles without giving up ranged attacks (unless you combo with Dreaming Pearl Courtesan, and then you give up Air Dragon Form for it).

                            It's better than several Solar Charms, does things Solar Athletics cannot, but it's still more limited and costly, and more importantly, it has no freaking business being a Martial Arts Charm.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                              So it's not just me who thinks Mobility charms suck more than normal?
                              the deeb charmset actually has a very strong mobility charm

                              it's in Performance


                              Evocations for the demonic tattoos gained from the Pact with Mara sorcerous initiation || Pyre-Kindler (Soulsteel and Red Jade Grimscythe, Artifact 3) || Tenebrous Descent (Stormcaller's Black Jade Reaver Daiklave cousin, Artifact 5)
                              Advice for running the corebook shikari antagonists

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