Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Supernal Ability Help

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Supernal Ability Help

    It's pretty late for me, so I apologize for any typos or grammatical errors.

    I'm in a bit of a pickle. This is going to be my first game of Exalted, and I'm struggling somewhat when it comes to the planning stages of character creation. I have my concept and backstory pretty much worked out, but the Charm system is kind of sprawling and difficult for me to wrap my head around from a distance.

    The game is set in the North, my character concept started off simple at first - I wanted to play a character who has always been faintly haunted by the spiritual. She was, essentially, a nobody living in poverty in Whitewall. Traditional schooling and occult instruction aren't available to her for the most part, and like many in impoverished communities, she turns to a different institution in order to gain a better understanding of herself, and the nature of essence. She turns to martial arts. At first this is of the non-supernatural variety, mostly represented by higher Brawl ratings, but eventually she graduates to the point where she has the proper Martial Arts skill. She understands the theory of internal essence, and indeed that's actually why she's interested in the martial arts to begin with.

    The concept gets more complicated when she first hears of the Star-Crossed Lover Style (a martial arts style I intend to invent once I've better internalized the books). At its root is the story of two lovers, and the man's eventual imprisonment. According to the story, a powerful sorcerer vented their anger by working a powerful sorcery to trap him in a constellation in the stars. The style itself recounts the obstacles the woman faced trying to bring him back, with each of the charms recounting an obstacle that stood between her and her desire.

    The character becomes obsessed with this story, to the point where she listens to/reads any information she can find on it. Eventually, as the style is beyond the knowledge of any of her sifus (and beyond the limits of a mortal in general) she ventures into the wilderness, and eventually scales a mountain, as a god that is familiar with the style is said to dwell on top of it. The life-threatening climb is what leads to her Solar exaltation, and she begins learning the style from there.

    The reality is, there's a charm missing from the recorded manuals - a gap in the story. There's clearly supposed to be a final obstacle that stands between her and her beloved, but if it was ever recorded, no one knows it. The idea is that she carries the shard from the woman, who was a First Age Solar, and the man imprisoned in the constellation is her Lunar mate. The final charm is something she will have to invent, which similar to the Dreaming-Courtesan style, will turn her into a monstrous wolf-creature that can devour the stars and free her beloved from his prison.

    So, my issue is - I don't know what kind of Supernal Ability I should take for this. My thought process was this:

    Martial Arts is essentially the root of all of this. She wanted to learn martial arts in order to experience her own essence in a way she felt she never could otherwise. The problem is, I'm also pretty attached to the idea that this is a Zenith concept. She just doesn't feel like a Dawn caste, to me. That's not 'what makes her a Solar'. But aside from that skill, I don't know if anything else 'really' fits for me.

    She exalts in the Wilderness, starving, thirsty, and near frozen to death. That would place Survival as the obvious Supernal skill. And that was actually my favorite for awhile, until I saw that Survival is pretty much 'The Pet Class Charm Tree'. There are some things I want in that charm tree that suit her very well - basically *everything* that isn't familiar related - but I don't want to do the familiar thing. That feels like a distraction to me.

    There's the obsession with the story, and tracking down information on it - Lore. But looking at the Lore charm trees, it's hard to really see what Lore does to tie into her legend. Most of the charms I'm seeing are either there to help you teach others, help you teach others stronger, or help you shape the Wyld into Creation + help you shape the Wyld into Creation even more. Doesn't really seem to fit to me. There are 'some' Lore charms that I would take, and because of the actual skill's relevance to her journey, I took it as one of her five Caste skills, but just like Survival, it doesn't feel like "The One". It doesn't feel like the thing that makes her a Solar.

    Integrity is the only other one I can think of, but just like the other two, I don't feel like any of the charms in the tree really help her accomplish her goals. They all seem nice, but I don't see myself focusing on charms from that tree. A good Integrity score makes sense because of her disciplined attitude, and her slowly remembering who she was and how everything ties together - developing her intimacies and goals - but I'm still not feeling like Supernal Integrity is it.

    Now, maybe I could just turn her into a Dawn Caste, but with Zenith, I have at least four skills right off the bat that resonate with my concept in the Zenith archetype. Reading the descriptions, she definitely seems more like a Zenith than a Dawn. Perhaps most telling? There's only one Dawn ability that really seems appropriately favored for her. Two, maybe. Brawl/Martial Arts is the only Dawn caste skill that I would consider taking as Favored without a second thought, just based on how it plugs into the concept. Now, I could take Awareness, Brawl, Dodge, Resistance, and one other thing, but the reality is that I'd be taking those other four skills - because she happens to be a Dawn now, and she needs to select five total. Not exactly how I want to go about making my character. All of those skills would make her better in a fight, but that's not really the point. She's not supposed to be an optimized combatant.

    Anyway, long post over. If anyone has an opinion to share, I'd be happy to hear it. Probably just gonna go sleep on it.


  • #2
    If Survival doesn't work, theres also Resistance


    .

    Comment


    • #3
      Survival but with a ton of custom charms, maybe?

      I mean, you're already home-brewing a martial art...

      Comment


      • #4
        You might want to look at some of the Integrity charms, it is a highly underrated tree and contains some real gems. There is also some significant overlap with Martial arts if you are looking for a path to enlightenment.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Solana View Post
          She exalts in the Wilderness, starving, thirsty, and near frozen to death.
          Sounds like Resistance to me, and guess what ability can Zeniths pick as their Supernal...?


          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

          Comment


          • #6
            You can do most "survive in the wilderness" Survival with Essence 1. Absent a desire to bathe in lava, I'd go with another Ability.

            Comment


            • #7
              Integrity seems like a perfect fit for a Zenith martial artist.

              -Integrity has a theme of powering through deprivation by sheer force of will (there's even a Charm that gives you sleep and nourrishment by meditating). So it would fit with her exaltation.

              -With her being completely fixated with a goal, she would be a good candidate for a story involving Destiny-Manifesting Method.

              -Stories about heroes fixated with a goal also usually involve powerful beings trying to turn the hero from their goal, which is where Integrity truly shines.

              -Since her story seems to involve Martial Arts related gods, she could acquire their powers using Divine Mantle.

              -Given she has to invent her final Charm, I could definitely see Inviolable Essence-Merging, the Integrity capstone, help with that. In addition to making the user impossible to harm or influence, it also helps them to make enlightened pronouncements about the nature of Essence, the movement of the stars, and the mysteries of the universe.


              A caveat for Integrity though : events that require Integrity tend to be dependent on the storyteller as they involve resisting social influence/torture/deprivation or psyche/reality-shaping/fate-altering effects. Make sure the storyteller is willing to and comfortable with running stories that involve Integrity before picking it as a supernal.
              Last edited by Epitome; 06-25-2019, 11:00 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Epitome View Post
                Integrity seems like a perfect fit for a Zenith martial artist.

                -Integrity has a theme of powering through deprivation by sheer force of will (there's even a Charm that gives you sleep and nourrishment by meditating). So it would fit with her exaltation.

                -With her being completely fixated with a goal, she would be a good candidate for a story involving Destiny-Manifesting Method.

                -Stories about heroes fixated with a goal also usually involve powerful beings trying to turn the hero from their goal, which is where Integrity truly shines.

                -Since her story seems to involve Martial Arts related gods, she could acquire their powers using Divine Mantle.

                -Given she has to invent her final Charm, I could definitely see Inviolable Essence-Merging, the Integrity capstone, help with that. In addition to making the user impossible to harm or influence, it also helps them to make enlightened pronouncements about the nature of Essence, the movement of the stars, and the mysteries of the universe.


                A caveat for Integrity though : events that require Integrity tend to be dependent on the storyteller as they involve resisting social influence/torture/deprivation or psyche/reality-shaping/fate-altering effects. Make sure the storyteller is willing to and comfortable with running stories that involve Integrity before picking it as a supernal.

                Thanks, your post was really helpful! I admit some of it is anxiety over taking a bunch of integrity charms, when she usually doesn't do the whole social influence route, or any form of coercion that gets too graphic. I tend to shy away from things that make me 'better at resisting conflict', because I'm usually the one who has to make the conflict myself, so I instinctively seek out the abilities that allow me certain options that otherwise would not be available to me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                  Survival but with a ton of custom charms, maybe?

                  I mean, you're already home-brewing a martial art...

                  I'm not opposed to that, I just don't know what direction I could take that in. A martial arts style is something very clear cut for me. Look at other martial arts trees - create my own in a similar pattern, while doing my best to make sure it's not too much stronger or too much weaker.

                  Survival already pretty much covers the not dying part. I already commented on the familiars. I really like/want Elements-Sculpted Avatar (MotSE 34), as her thing from the beginning was understanding and shaping her own internal essence patterns/flows. There doesn't appear to be any other survival charms in that vein, and I'm not sure where I would take that while avoiding the Lunar design space. I'm otherwise content to wait until Essence 3 before picking it up later in her journeys.

                  The only other thing I can think of is weather manipulation? A version of Baara-Unleashing Technique but for the elements seemed like an idea, but conjuring a bunch of elementals seems definitively Occult.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Solana View Post


                    I'm not opposed to that, I just don't know what direction I could take that in. A martial arts style is something very clear cut for me. Look at other martial arts trees - create my own in a similar pattern, while doing my best to make sure it's not too much stronger or too much weaker.

                    Survival already pretty much covers the not dying part. I already commented on the familiars. I really like/want Elements-Sculpted Avatar (MotSE 34), as her thing from the beginning was understanding and shaping her own internal essence patterns/flows. There doesn't appear to be any other survival charms in that vein, and I'm not sure where I would take that while avoiding the Lunar design space. I'm otherwise content to wait until Essence 3 before picking it up later in her journeys.

                    The only other thing I can think of is weather manipulation? A version of Baara-Unleashing Technique but for the elements seemed like an idea, but conjuring a bunch of elementals seems definitively Occult.

                    I've done some work on a homebrew re-write of Survival that focuses a tad more on the surviving and wilderness parts than animals, along with others. If you'd be interested in me sharing that, I think it could help, maybe. Depending on whether your ST would allow it. It's also still undergoing feedback and whatnot so subject to minor changes but, it's something.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      One thing to keep in mind is that picking a Supernal doesn't mean you have to max out that tree or that you will be able to (i.e. my Essence 3 Lore supernal is barely halfway through the Lore tree). if there are 4-5 Charms you like in an ability and you want to start out with them that could be fine too.


                      Some other ideas :

                      -She could be an Athletics Supernal focusing on acrobatics, to represent her natural fluid movement with martial arts (doubly so if her style turns out to be an acrobatic style)

                      -She could be a Lore Supernal focusing on the Essence manipulation tree that starts with Essence-Lending method. The left branch of the tree is for helping allies by giving them willpower and motes, and the right branch gives strange Essence-powered abilities like trading wounds with someone else, manipulating your Essence pools, draining someone else's motes, stopping a deadly blow by speaking a word that nullifies it, and the like. Lore is the place where you pretty much get to use Essence as though it were the Force in Star Wars, so any custom Charms representing your character's mastery of her own Essence would fit there too.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My first reaction was Resistance would work well, but Integrity could be good too.


                        ....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          One thing worth considering could be splashing three deep into Presence for Empowering shout. Gives you a good basis for being convincing and charismatic, plus a power that could pretty effectively evoke the story being directly used to inspire greatness in others (plus Supernal Empowering Shout is just plain good. 3m for +4 non-charm dice on anyone nearby about to do basically anything)

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X