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[Homebrew] Sorcery charms

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  • [Homebrew] Sorcery charms

    As many people have noted, one of more painful gaps in charm trees is the lack of effects that let your sorcerer be a better sorcerer. This gap was most likely left intentionally, to make sure that magic-wielders do not overshadow other character.

    Some exellent sorcery charms ware already proposed on this forum. I am aware of the following: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...homebrew-peach
    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...ms-and-a-merit
    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...u-like-sorcery

    I would like to share some more homebrew charms for sorcerers.


    Uncanny Ivory Tower
    Cost: 6m
    Mins: Occult 4, Essence 2
    Type: Reflexive
    Keywords: None
    Duration: Permament
    Prerequisite charms: Terrestrial Circle Sorcery
    In Savant’s dwelling one cannot be sure of anything. Door knobs ask you for password, tables rush through chambers to serve meals, walls have secret passages covered by illusions, and if you put you hand in a wooden chest, it bites you.
    Once per chapter, the player may reflexively and retroactively introduce a Terrestrial sorcerous working of Ambition 1 or 2 which represents the changes which the Savant has made to her dwelling, personal belongings, immediate surroundings and places in which she spends a considerable amount of time, weaving the usual xp cost of a working. The working needs no roll and is considered automatically successful.


    Obsession-Driven Studies Methodology
    Cost: 10m, 1wp
    Mins: Occult 5, Essence 3
    Type: Reflexive
    Keywords: None
    Duration: Permanent
    Prerequisite charms: Uncanny Ivory Tower
    When everyone falls asleep, the savant rests awaken in the solitude of her studies. Strange voices are heard from behind the closed doors of her laboratory and the windows of her tower are lit with colours never seen before.

    The savant may declare that she is preparing a sorcerous working, committing this charm’s cost in motes. After the designated time frame for the working (provided the circumstances actually allowed enough spare time), the player declares retroactively what was the exact nature of the working. Only then ambition, finesse, and circle are established. Means involved have to be declared beforehand, while the working is still being carried out. For instance, it has to be explicitly stated in advance that the sorcerer gathers exotic components.

    This charm can used once per story. This can be reset by achieving a legendary social goal via a sorcerous working.


    Knowing Gaze of the Witch-King
    Cost: 4m, 1 wp
    Mins: Occult 4, Essence 2
    Type: Reflexive
    Keywords: None
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite: Ancient Tongue Understanding, Spirit-Detecting Glance
    When Ancient Tongue Understanding is active, the Copper Spider is able to hear the voices and see images in souls of people and spirits alike by looking deeply in their eyes. Her own eyes blazes with a cold light and whoever looks at her, is dazzled by whispers in languages long forgotten.
    The Lawgiver is able to sense surface thoughts. This does not allow her to see memories or deeply hidden sentiments, but she can see the rapid and nervous thoughts of a servant hiding a blade in his robes in an attempt of assassination. The victim can spend a point of Willpower to resist this effect, in which case the Savant has to make a reflexive [Perception + Occult] test with the difficulty [target’s Resolve] to access the benefits of this charm. Additionally, this charm reduces Guile of the victim by 3, but only when the intentions to be read are simple enough that they can be conceivably conveyed without using spoken language.



    Steel-Bending Thought Technique
    Cost: 3m
    Mins: Occult 4, Essence 2
    Type: Simple
    Keywords: None
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite: Ancient Tongue Understanding
    By concentrating her refined will, the Savant is able to overcome the inertia of matter. She can bend an iron bar with her keen thought.
    When the prerequisite is active, the sorcerer is able to move physical objects up to [Essence × 10] metres from her using [Solar’s Intelligence] instead of the Strength rating. Whenever precision of the manipulation is relevant, the sorcerer uses the same dice pools as with the actual physical manipulation. For instance, opening a lock usually requires a [Larceny + Dexterity] test. This can be used in fight to perform withering or decisive attacks with the dice pools of [Dexterity + Brawl] and characteristics of unarmed attack or attacks using weapon with the dice pool of [Dexterity + Appropriate skill].


    Unleashing the Primal Power
    Cost: 8m, 1wp.
    Mins: Occult 4, Essence 3
    Type: Simple
    Keywords: Perilous
    Duration: One Scene
    Prerequisite: Steel-Bending Thought Technique

    When the Copper Spider speaks words of ancient power, the earth trembles, the air cracks with pure essence, dark clouds cover the sky, and chilling winds chants forgotten spells in tongues older than history.
    This charm can be only activated when Solar’s anima is in Iconic state and ends immediately if the anima drops to a lower level. When this charm is active, every time the sorcerer makes a Shape Sorcery action, she may commit up to [Essence] sorcerous motes gathered in this roll to a separate Hazard Pool. Motes banked in the pool may be used to introduce an enviromental hazard of a nature adjusted to the Sorcerous Initiations of the Savant. The precise details have to be agreed upon with the Storyteller. If the sorcerer has at least 5 motes in the Hazard Pool, she can reflexively introduce a hazard with chracteristics [Difficulty 1, 1B/minute] in the Close range of the savant. The hazard may be further strengthened by committing sorcerous motes to the Hazard Pool in the following way:
    – for 5 motes, the difficulty rating may be raised by 1, up to [Solar’s Essence].
    – for 10 motes, the damage interval may be shortened to one round.
    – for 7 motes, the damage dealt by hazard may be upgraded to lethal.
    – for 10 motes, the range of the hazard may be expanded by one range band, up to [Solar’s Essence] range bands.
    – for 7 motes, the damage rating may be increase by 1, up to [Solar’s Essence].
    -- for 5 motes, the sorcerer may introduce situational penalties to appropriate actions, up to [maximum of Solar’s Essence or 3].
    All effects must make sense in the context of what kind of enviromental hazard is introduced and the description should fit the mechanics. For example, unnatural heat which causes bashing damage, can be promoted to spontaneous ignitions which causes damage every round, but should not introduce penalties to ranged attacks, unlike strong winds. The Storyteller is explicitly entitled to veto effects which she finds inappropriate, as per the Orichalcum Rule.


    Roaring Whirlwind of Essence
    Cost: 5m, 1wp.
    Mins: Occult 5, Essence 4
    Type: Reflexive
    Keywords: Perilous
    Duration: One Scene
    Prerequisite: Unleashing the Primal Power
    When the sorcerer unleashes tremendous powers, the sky roars and the lightenings strike, the flow of raw Essence raises her above the ground.

    When the prerequisite is active and at least 15 motes have been gathered in the hazard pool, the Savant can reflexively ascend one range band. She can repeat it for every next 15 motes gathered in the Hazard Pool, raising up to [Essence] range bands above the ground. While levitating, she can move at her normal speed, possibly enhanced by appropriate charms. If the savant’s anima banner returns to dim, she lands smoothly on the ground. If she is crashed when, this charm is active, she falls instead, suffering falling damage, and she is knocked prone.


    Untaming Tremendous Force
    Cost: 1m/2sm
    Mins: Occult 5, Essence 5
    Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: None
    Duration: Permament
    Prerequisite: Unleashing the Primal Power
    This charm permanently enhances the prerequisite. When it is active, during Shaping Sorcery action the savant may gather up to [Essence] additional sorcerous motes every round which can only be stored stored in the Hazard Pool. This raises the cap on how many motes can be placed in the pool in one turn.


    Land-scarring Cataclysm
    Cost: 15m, 2wp, 3a
    Mins: Occult 5, Essence 5
    Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: Perilous
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite: Unleashing the Primal Power
    When mighty sorcerers lead their battles, nothing is left unchanged. The winds echo screams from distant past, the space is twisted and the fabric of the reality itself is torn, opening passages to places for which no name is known in the Age of Sorrow.
    When the prerequisite is active and the Savant has gathered at least 40 sorcerous motes in the Hazard Pool, immediately after successfully casting a spell, she can focus her whole power in one cataclysmic invocation, raising the effects of the spell to a tremendous scale. She can reflexively, and for free, introduce a sorcerous working of Finesse 1 of the same circle as the supplemented spell without any roll. The working should loosely reflect the aftermath of the spell and the Storyteller may explicitly veto workings which seem completely inappropriate.
    This charm may be used once per story. This can be reset by achieving a legendary social goal via a sorcerous working.


  • #2
    Are you wanting feedback on your Charms?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Whybover View Post
      Are you wanting feedback on your Charms?
      Of course. Please, go ahead. Maybe a few words of my comment are in place, because my original post might look somewhat dry.

      All sorcery charms present in the official sources, and most of them in cited homebrew sources focus on making your sorcerer more efficient. I wanted to make some charms with more narrative implications which would let you wizard behave more wizardly and be the most wizard of wizards, along the main themes of Exalted.

      I started wondering which narrative effects I would like to emulate which makes great wizards what they are and I came up with the following wishlist:

      - you should be surrounded by long-term effects of your large magical projects, i.e., workings: you should always have a handful of magical surprises;
      - you should probably have some basic supernatural effects available on a more freeform basis, and they shoud be somewhat colourful (so that it doesn't look like space opera psionics);
      - you should be able to go into "very wizardly wizard" mode, when you levitate above the ground with glowing eyes with uncontrolled thunders around;
      - and, definitely, if you do enough magic in a battle in the climax of your campaign, the whole area should look distorted afterwards.

      Of course, some more items can be added to this list, but they all basically looked like a good basis for charms. However, I am rather open to changes in the mechanical implementations.
      .

      Comment


      • #4
        I really like the basis for Uncanny Ivory Tower and Obsession-Driven Studies Methodology. I think that they're brilliant ideas.

        Mechanically speaking, I think that they act as "Instant" Charms, not Permanent ones. They're not a constant benefit for the Solar, they can create a constant benefit.
        Uncanny Ivory Tower has a small spelling mistake (costs are "waived", not "weaved") but is otherwise completely functional. I think it might come off a little powerful as written, as it gives a fairly good benefit and has a low cost for completion. I would recommend perhaps changing it to once per story, and reset upon completing a Working; in return I might expand what it can apply to to include "any advantage represented by merits" i.e. to also let the Exalt buff her Command or enhance a Retainer.

        Obsession-Driven Studies Methodology is good, but a little confusing. It does not have a clear power level, and is difficult to put into context. If you make all the rolls for an Occult working simultaneously upon using ODSM, then it's actually quite weak if you need the benefit of all those dice tricks. If you "retroactively" make the rolls, then it is rather an "auto-success" for Lawgivers. I would probably have it require Celestial Circle Sorcery, and make it a 1/story upgrade to UIT, which allows it to be used for a Celesital Working but does not waive XP costs, and maintains its own reset condition. It constrains the power a little, but ends up making a Charm which flows and uses what you have already written.

        ***

        I can't comment on the other Charms particularly well, and I do not really feel that the wishlist is something I would want in my own Exalted Games. I would rather than Exalts who were going to be surrounded by such abilities got them via spells or Thaumaturgy; I'm not sure how "The Sun gives me great power focused through my Abilities" logically extends to mind control, telekinesis and gloating, enjoying the additional layer of there being a spell in the way. I'll offer some quick, mechanical, insights. All of my ideas should be prefaced with an additional "I think this would work better as its own spell".

        ***

        Unleashing the Primal Power should probably start out 1/round as it's a combat ability and the time/round distinction is not defined. It's a Simple Charm, so it's almost a waste to use in Combat without that benefit, it is effectively a wasted action until the next turn, and even with it, a Difficulty 1 Hazard is dangerous only to the weakest of foes; it's not going to get much more serious until some major Hazard Pool has been built up. It's confusing as to whether committed motes in the pool are being spent or being committed to another use, and how things add up. It gets worse with the vast complexity and ability to pick what happens, whilst needing to "make sense" to both the player and ST. I wouldn't use this Charm if I were min-maxing for an environmental Hazard, and I wouldn't want to use this Charm to create a custom cool effect as it would require too much bookkeeping.
        The upgrade Charms:
        Roaring Whirlwind of Essence grants an impressive benefit that seems a little weird. Why is it reflexive movement? Does it count as a move action? Does the Charm end if the prerequisite does, or only if the anima returns to dim? If I ascend one range band, then float back down, do I have to gather another 15 Hazard motes before I can move back up? Why 15 HM, that's likely to be at least 4 rounds?
        Untaming Tremendous Force increases the cap, but how much does it increase the cap by? Also, there isn't a cap "per turn", there's a cap per Shape Sorcery action; if a Charm/Evocation gave the power to create two Shape Sorcery actions, then the cap could be exceeded as written.
        Land-Scarring Cataclysm is a brilliant touchstone, but could be a little over the top for a strange amount of benefit. Currently, the major use I would have for it would be to build a scene in which:
        I go iconic.
        I activate UPP
        I cast a spell with a related purpose to a Working I desire, probably a Solar Spell.
        I do not use any Excellencies etc, I just focus on using the sm I gather to increase my Hazard Pool, hoping to not gain any net successes to the sm pool whilst I gather the prerequisite 40.
        Use UTF to create a Working with a benefit I wanted all along, getting a Solar Circle Working (admittedly at low Finesse) for cheap.

        ***

        Steel-Bending Thought Technique should have range bands, if you want to see it getting used in combat. As a Simple Charm, it can't be flurried, so does it create the action it emulates?

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