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[Exalted 3E] Need the advice/help of the mechanics savvy folks...

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  • [Exalted 3E] Need the advice/help of the mechanics savvy folks...

    Hey all!

    It's nice to be here and I hope it is not bad form to open up with a "cry for help" on a new forum?!
    I posted this a while ago on another forum but I was really wondering if you all on here, the home forum of Exalted, come up with different stuff then I got over there. So here's my "problem" :

    Our GM has offered to lead another Exalted campaign and this time around, we will give the newest edition a real spin.

    It has been a while since i last read through the corebook and i am not finished with the pretty new Dragon-Blooded book. I want to go for something I'm not normally doing and build the best sword-fighter there is (this is also a pretty important thing in-character...it will get an intimacy, probably defining).

    The characters will be built via the usual character creation chapter, they will be Dragon-Blooded and we have an extra 175 XP to spend (half-way between Essence 3 and 4). I will be a Fire Aspect from the Realm.

    With the newest edition, what do i need to buy up?
    Can you, if possible, differentiate between the best meele build and the best martial-arts build? I lean towards martial-arts at the moment (the core book has two really nice sword-styles in Steel Devil Style and Single Point Shining Into The Void Style) but if you tell me i need to go Meele to be THE BEST (TM), then I'm open to it. It can also be mix-n-match, if that is feasible in 3e.

    As i said, corebook and Dragon-Blooded i have (I have seen that the Fire Dragon Style also uses swords and seems pretty nice) and am allowed to use for building my character.

    Please, Exalted 3E veterans, lecture me on how to build this sword-master! And thank you in advance!

  • #2
    So just to clarify, do you want to be the best combatant with the fewest holes in your defences and the least blind spots? Or do you just want to feel like the biggest badass out there on the field? There are a few builds for each I could suggest.

    Also how much help do you want from retainers and the like?

    Comment


    • #3
      You can find my advice for a normal starting character here: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...51#post1314551

      I will attempt to give you a properly considered response later. But have a read through and give me your thoughts on the character concepts in that thread and we'll see what we can do for you.

      I assume the other players and ST all expect optimized characters?

      Got a link to the advice on the other forum? (Feel free to PM me if you'd prefer.)

      Edit (My Builds):

      Starting Character Sword Fighter - The Invincible Sword Dynast

      175XP Melee Build - The Invincible Sword-Fighter
      175XP Martial Arts Build - The Immaculate Sword Fighter
      Best Possible 175 XP Combat Build - The Invincible
      Last edited by JohnDoe244; 07-15-2019, 06:03 AM.


      Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh there’s another extremely important thing here. Does your ST let you fight anything that isn’t a celestial exalt?

        Comment


        • #5
          Okay quick math run-down on the game everyone loves to hate: the character creation mini-game.

          How would you like an extra 276 XP?

          The 5th dot of an ability costs the same as the 2nd dot at character creation, but it costs a lot more when bought with XP. This means two starting characters can have vastly different XP values, and so (after a few sessions earning and spending XP) be vastly different in capability.

          A Dragon-Blooded which loses the character creation game is worth 387 XP. An optimized DB, however, is a massive 660 XP.

          Now, nornally optimising character creation is a fools game: you may get bonus XP but if your min-maxed character is unplayable you're going to have a bad time for the first 10-20 sessions gathering the XP you need to become playable, then waiting for the months of downtime you need to train. On the other hand, if you're starting play with that XP in hand, then you can shore up your weaknesses right away and get those lovely 273 free extra XP points.

          So how do you do it? Short answer is to take as many 5s in Attributes and Abilities as possible. That means taking 9 Caste/Favoured abilities to 3 with your 28 Ability points, then spending all 18 Bonus Points on raising those 3s to 5s. It means having your Abilities at 5/5/1, 5/3/1 and 5/1/1. It means being smart about your merits -- if you want Mighty Thew then don't buy it with XP, but otherwise buy Story and Innate Merits with your Merit points and leave Purchased Merits for XP, and play a Dynast for the bonus Merit dots.

          (I'll post my napkin math if anyone really wants to see it, but trust me this is how the numbers fall. But "normally" 1 BP is worth about 3 XP. If buying Aspect/Favoured Abilities from 3 to 5 each BP is instead worth a staggering 6XP. Honourable mention to buying 3 dots of Mighty Thew which is worth 6XP per 1BP, then Willpower is a poor third choice at 4XP per 1BP.)

          This is going to be a key part of the builds I'll post for you so keep that in mind.

          As an FYI, the Martial Arts build is probably going to be the weaker of the two mechanically. But let me play with the numbers some more. And it's not pivotal, but you mentioned the Corebook and What Fire Has Wrought but can you use Arms of the Chosen? Artifacts and Evocations are going to be a big part of any optimised DB build.

          Thoughts around support for your sword-fighter would be welcome. DBs work best in teams and your sword-fighter is going to be at their best with support from 3 Lieutenants riding on Tyrant Lizards each at the head of of a thousand Elite Legionaires, whilst your sword fighter wears a Warstrider. But at that point your concept of "sword-fighter" has become somewhat diluted by being the dino-wrangling robot commander of a state-toppling super-army that can rival a Great House. This is Exalted my friend: be precise about what you want and don't be afraid to aim high.

          Edit (My Builds):

          Starting Character Sword Fighter - The Invincible Sword Dynast

          175XP Melee Build - The Invincible Sword-Fighter
          175XP Martial Arts Build - The Immaculate Sword Fighter
          Best Possible 175 XP Combat Build - The Invincible
          Draft Air Apect 175XP build
          Last edited by JohnDoe244; 08-10-2019, 05:48 AM.


          Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey you two, thank you so much for offering up your time to help me out!

            Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
            So just to clarify, do you want to be the best combatant with the fewest holes in your defences and the least blind spots? Or do you just want to feel like the biggest badass out there on the field? There are a few builds for each I could suggest.

            Also how much help do you want from retainers and the like?
            Oh? Oh!!! Well, if you are willing to, how about you show me both...because both sound awesome. I like to feel the biggest badass...but being technically the best combatant with the fewest holes also sounds very enticing

            For now, my goal (or my character's goal, as well) is to become the best swordsman creation has ever seen (and i know, on the meta-level, that a DB probably can't be...a solar will trump him on a one on one fight) ... he wants to become immortalized as the living sword god or some-such. So I guess I picture him more like a war-god on his own, not with tons of troops and lizards and all.
            If you want, you can also read it as Duelist, although it would be cool if he can also rock it hard against several opponents at once. He wants to become the embodiment of swordplay.

            Does that paint a clearer (and also in-world motivated) picture of the character?
            Artifacts are OK, although i will probably only be able to get armor or sword(s), not both.

            If you feel like it, give me those "it's legal, but technically unplayable" builds, although I do tend to go a bit more balanced, especially in attributes (even if it is, mathematically, inefficient). I hate 1s in attributes ^^

            @JohnDoe - Oh wow, i didn't know that it is that much of a difference in efficiency (vis a vis XP)...that's crazy! One thing i can say, though, is that i put almost all my BPs in abilities aka skills...so i guess i did something right ^^

            Anyway, I hope this further clarifies some things and, of course, feel free to ask more questions. Thank you to the both of you for what you already put into this thread, i appreciate it!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
              So how do you do it? Short answer is to take as many 5s in Attributes and Abilities as possible. That means taking 9 Caste/Favoured abilities to 3 with your 28 Ability points, then spending all 18 Bonus Points on raising those 3s to 5s. It means having your Abilities at 5/5/1, 5/3/1 and 5/1/1. It means being smart about your merits -- if you want Mighty Thew then don't buy it with XP, but otherwise buy Story and Innate Merits with your Merit points and leave Purchased Merits for XP, and play a Dynast for the bonus Merit dots.

              (I'll post my napkin math if anyone really wants to see it, but trust me this is how the numbers fall. But "normally" 1 BP is worth about 3 XP. If buying Aspect/Favoured Abilities from 3 to 5 each BP is instead worth a staggering 6.5 XP. Honourable mention to buying 3 dots of Mighty Thew which is worth 6XP per 1BP, then Willpower is a poor third choice at 4XP per 1BP.)
              That method of optimising ability dots skips an important factor - non favoured ability dots and their charms. For example say you have no interest in advancing resistance and other options for your favoured abilities, but would like to have ox body technique. If you start play with 3 resistance and get ox-body x 3. In this case you are 6 xp better off from the charms due to cost difference. In addition to this lets say you leave 3 favoured abilities at 1 instead of 3, and get 2 non favoured at 3. 3 x favoured at 3 is equivalent of 21 xp. while 3 x favoured at 1 and 2 x non favoured at 3 is equivalent of 27xp. The efficiency you are gaining on the bonus points you are actually losing elsewhere.

              For ability dots I have always considered the "optimal" option is 3 dots in favoured + BP to 5 for the important ones. Other favoured leave at 1 and let xp sort them out. Put 3 in non favoured that are important but of no interest in advancing. With favoured being in abilities you want to start at 5, or abilities you intend to invest xp in.

              Also I believe your 6.5 should be 6 (5xp for 4th 7 xp for 5th).

              Comment


              • #8
                If you want to be the best swordsperson you can be I think Steel Devil, Single Point and Fire Dragon combined with twin artifact swords will do you nicely. Of course you'll want to be a fire aspect for this. Get the first two styles complete and don't bother with Fire Dragon after the form, and make sure you use the Dragon Blooded special MA rule as much as you can.


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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Single Point is only useable with slashing swords; Steel Devil is only compatible with paired swords; Fire Dragon is only compatible with short swords; thus, you can't use Fire Dragon, Steel Devil, and Single Point simultaneously.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mnemon Liranan View Post
                    Oh? Oh!!! Well, if you are willing to, how about you show me both...because both sound awesome. I like to feel the biggest badass...but being technically the best combatant with the fewest holes also sounds very enticing
                    What if I tell you instead what holes there are, how to plug them, and maybe let you decide for yourself? I'll do that below.

                    Originally posted by Mnemon Liranan View Post
                    For now, my goal (or my character's goal, as well) is to become the best swordsman creation has ever seen (and i know, on the meta-level, that a DB probably can't be...a solar will trump him on a one on one fight) ... he wants to become immortalized as the living sword god or some-such. So I guess I picture him more like a war-god on his own, not with tons of troops and lizards and all.
                    If you want, you can also read it as Duelist, although it would be cool if he can also rock it hard against several opponents at once. He wants to become the embodiment of swordplay.

                    Does that paint a clearer (and also in-world motivated) picture of the character?
                    Okay, I think I get it, it's true that you never will be as skilled as a similarly specialized Solar but for one...it's Exalted, it's a huge core tenant upon which a large section of the setting is perched, and for another a DB can become so badass as to stride through the setting almost ignoring everything she encounters in her path anyway so the difference really only shows when you're fighting Anathema or like...Octavian. Maybe.

                    Originally posted by Mnemon Liranan View Post
                    Artifacts are OK, although i will probably only be able to get armor or sword(s), not both.
                    That's okay! Artifacts are just kind of a "Do things but better" anyway, unless you talk about evocations.

                    Originally posted by Mnemon Liranan View Post
                    If you feel like it, give me those "it's legal, but technically unplayable" builds, although I do tend to go a bit more balanced, especially in attributes (even if it is, mathematically, inefficient). I hate 1s in attributes ^^
                    I hate legal but absurd builds myself. Like when I suggested to spend all your BP and Merit dots into retainers, who then spend all THEIRS into retainers, who then spend all theirs on 3 dot familiars I was being silly. No ST would ever allow that anyway. Well okay maybe one would.



                    Anyway, on to holes to plug.

                    Accuracy

                    Here's an obvious one! Get high accuracy! Accuracy for weapons not only increases damage by hitting more, misses deal zero damage, but also by overflow of super accurate attacks! Also clashes! Two handed weapons, and twin paired weapons get 2 free non-charm bonus dice to clash accuracy, and the DB melee tree also has a bunch of clash charms in its fire sections! And winning a clash stacks on 3 bonus damage as well as a bonus -1 onslaught penalty in addition to the regular one applied. Go clashes! Otherwise the DB charmset includes very little in the way of accuracy boosters, which I believe is by design. The closest DB melee has is a big discount on its excellency as long as your blade never fails or leaves your enemy, that's important as you will see.

                    If you don't have high accuracy, enemies with super high defense will hurt to fight.

                    Damage

                    Another obvious one, damage, get it. If you have low strength and a light weapon you might not have the damage to overcome enemies with super high soak. Obviously a heavy weapon will help here, and if you clash with it you'll have the same accuracy as a medium weapon. Thankfully DB melee does have damage boosting charms, costing willpower and based of strength though so be wary of that.

                    If you don't have high damage enemies with high soak will hurt to fight

                    Defense

                    More obviousness, defense. Now, I'll get to dodge in a minute but your main defense will likely be parry. Fire aspected melee does not have a whole lot of parry compared to, say, Wood aspect melee. So you need to make a choice here. Your parry will be best with a medium weapon, they add a flat +1 parry, but if you're trying to clash as much as you can, that won't really matter. Clashes don't use your parry, just your weapon accuracy. Parry WILL matter though, against multiple opponents, even powerful DBs have a hard time clashing multiple times every turn. Thankfully Flame Bourne Interception is Fire's melee parry booster and it's for exactly that case, so grab it if you want to fight many people at once.

                    You actually also want dodge too, but I think I explained that in the thread that Jondoe linked so I won't re-hash it here.

                    If you have low defense then you're going to find yourself vulnerable to enemies with any decent kind of accuracy.

                    Soak

                    Yep. Since you're using your parry as your primary defense, heavy armor is great to have, mostly. Heavier forms of armor give a big penalty to your evasion, your dodge defense, but not your parry. Also, no penalties to your clash attacks. Another way to grab soak temporarily is though DB resistance charms, but Fire resistance is odd. Apart from the first charm of it, Impervious Skin of Stone, you don't get much defense. Also that charm runs off of Stamina. The signature even harms your defense for more offense.

                    If you have low soak enemies with big damage values will pound you if they hit.

                    Hardness/Health Levels

                    So Hardness is a value granted usually by armor, and all it does is stops low initiative attacks from hurting you with real damage that takes a long time to heal. This is good, this will stop a lot of little chumps from ganging up on you. Then again, that won't even matter if you take 5 ox-bodies, Dragons Unfailing Vigor for 24 total health levels, and then the Water sicnature for an extra (Essence + Stamina)/2 average health levels per day. I can't really stress this enough, this alone will make you almost invincible in the world of Exalted. People will need something like a 70 initiative attack to stand any kind of good chance of killing you.

                    Mobility

                    Okay, so here's the first one that's not totally obvious. Why exactly do you need mobility? Well, simply put, because some ranged characters can totally kick your ass if you don't have it. If you're facing an opponent who's got archery, thrown, or god help you Air Dragon Style and you've only got 5 dex and 3 athletics, with a -2 penalty from heavy armor, then you're going to hate your combat. With a good athletics and dodge, and you can bet those types of enemies are boosting those stats, they're going to sit at short range pelting you with attacks while you have no recourse. The Air Signature melee charm could help here, but you want the fire one anyway. In spoiler tags is an explanation on how fighting and keeping at range works.


                    So this is how the whole range bands attacking things works. Let's say you're in close range with somebody and they want to get away from you, they disengage contested by all enemies who want to stop them from getting away. They roll (Dex + Dodge) against everyone's (Dex + Athletics) and if they win, they retreat out to short range with their movement. Archers and chakram throwers can't parry, so they want dodge anyway.

                    But disengage has another effect, the first time an enemy moves to close distance with you again, you reflexively retreat one MORE range band. So in that way you run after the dick who buggered off, and he gets to reflexively move again. What a jerk. So in stead your only recourse is to rush him. A Rush is an action of a contested (Dex + Athletics) roll, if you fail the rush, nothing happens, if you win, then when they move away from you next round, you do another reflexive move and keep pace with them. Then it comes back to your turn and you can use your combat movement on your turn to move into close range once more.

                    If you fail that rush though, then on their turn they attack, and retreat back, and all you can do is move forward and try rushing them again. If they keep beating your rush, you never close that gap


                    So for this the heavy armor that helps you so much might be a downfall, but not an insurmountable one. Get athletics charms, max athletics with specialties in chasing down foes, that aid in rushes like Bellows Pumping Stride, and athletics merits like Fleet of Foot. If you don't mobile ranged characters could hurt pretty bad. You can also help get around this by getting Elemental Bolt Attack from lore, at least it'll help a bit without ruining the swordsman feel?

                    Poison

                    All the combat power in the world isn't going to help you if you die choking in a poison gas cloud. How do DBs get around this? Well resistance charms, of course. Grabbing the excellency and Body Cleansing Prana is really all you can do here. Also get 5 resistance of course.

                    Without a good (Stam + Res) and poison resisting charms who knows what poison might do to you.

                    Environmental Effects

                    These are things like forest fires, extreme cold. If you don't want any holes that could be exploited then being caught in a blizzard is something you need to prepare for. Get Survival charms up to Eternal Elemental Harmony, and/or (Element) Protection technique.

                    Surprise

                    Surprise! It's not nearly as deadly as it was in 2e but it's still awful to deal with. Here there's lots of ways to help counter it, Resistance charms to avoid sleep, socialize to suss out a would be assassin. Really your main defense is a good awareness though. Max perception, and awareness, and grab, like, half the awareness charms. Variations of Earth Sense, Dragon's Crushing Gaze, Feeling the Dragon's Bones, it's all good to help stop ambushes. In fact DB awareness seems to be concerned a lot with ambushes and disguise, which makes sense considering their kind of cuthroat courts.

                    If you don't take maximum surprise you probably won't instantly lose in fights, but you're the greatest swordsman ever, you don't get chumped out like that.


                    Suggestions

                    So those are the holes to plug, I think.

                    Armor

                    Okay so you want soak, but you also want to be able to dodge, and chase down fleeing foes. You honestly probably want to go heavy here. The added soak and hardness is going to benefit you in almost any situation, and the downsides of losing that dodge and mobility really only matters when you're using dodge to get around unblockable attacks, multiple targets and want to keep up your melee excellency discount and stuff like that.

                    If you don't take heavy armor though, you could afford to invest more into dodge charms, having both dodge and parry to apply whenever you need, dodging when there's lots of environmental penalties and don't want to use the water melee penalty negator for example, and it would mean you don't have to invest AS much into mobility. Just don't choose heavy armor with 0 Athletics, thrown or archer enemies will take you to pieces.

                    Weapon

                    So for weapon, the optimal choice is pretty obvious. As a fire aspect with Crossfire Flash, Portenteous Comet Deflection, Cloud Riot ect, you're going to be relying on clashes a lot, and twinblades do that. Also twinblades let you combo Steel Devil and Fire Dragon if you're going that route. Clashing with twinblades lets you have the highest accuracy attack possible, which considering in a clash your attack is also defense it's gold.

                    There are some reasons to go with the others though. For one a medium daiklave just tends to fit the aesthetic better of an epic swordsman, and against multiple opponents Flame Bourn Interception is your go to defense there, as stated. I would avoid going the route of light armor and a medium daiklave unless you like the aesthetic though, because suddenly all your dodge charms get a whole lot worse when compared to a parry that's got a free +1 from the weapon.

                    Heavy is likely the worst choice, as always, but it could also be the most fun, simply because of damage. Anything that doesn't have a good soak, just gets knocked around by heavy weapons, and also they often have the reach tag if you want to go off horseback as well as some other nice features.

                    Mount?

                    Yes, mounts are great in exalted. They give you bonus defense, they let you make thrusting attacks with big heavy lances, and DBs have some really cool ride charms. Also on horseback your mobility issue goes way away as you get a huge boost there. It is, I think, always better to be mounted than to not be, but then that's yet another ability you need to invest in, and one that won't help you much indoors, so do it if you can spare it or like the idea.

                    Martial arts or melee?

                    Melee is going to be a lot more broadly applicable for your uses, I think, as it often is, but MA has a lot of cool tricks. People will disagree, I know, but I like the combo of Fire Dragon and Steel Devil myself. Steel Devil has this whole double-triple attack thing, where you need to keep rolling over the enemy's defense to get more attacks in, and with Fire Dragon Form, your onslaught penalties are applied BEFORE your attack, so to hit somebody with defense 4, instead of needing 4+3+2=9 successes, you only need 3+2+1=6 successes to land that triple attack. Remembering that your allies can stack on penalties as well, or even getting onslaught penalties with yourself if you swap the initiative order, and you're going to be getting that off a lot.

                    The downside is, against super powerful foes, like Dawn caste Solar Exalted, it just doesn't work. Between penalty negators and super high defenses it simply falls apart. With a Dipping Swallow Technique and a base parry of 8, it can't activate. The upside though is that against low defense, not weak by any means just low defense, enemies you will annihilate them without a thought. Simply put, it's FUN.

                    But really the most optimal to go with if you want to be effective in the most situations is to take Single Point, or DB melee. Actually the best is to take Single Point, Melee, Steel Devil and Fire Dragon and just use whatever fits at the time, but there you go.



                    I think that should be a good place to start anyway.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Klaek View Post

                      That method of optimising ability dots skips an important factor - non favoured ability dots and their charms. [...] 3 x favoured at 3 is equivalent of 21 xp. while 3 x favoured at 1 and 2 x non favoured at 3 is equivalent of 27xp. The efficiency you are gaining on the bonus points you are actually losing elsewhere.
                      I have accounted for that.

                      Everything you buy has an opportunity cost. Having a Tertiary Ability at 4 means you can buy the 5th dot for 3BP instead of 16XP... but also means you bought an Ability to 2 which you could have got for 4XP.

                      Investing in "secondary" abilities is cheaper at this stage, and as Might Thew is so darn expensive you could squeeze a little more efficiency from the build in terms of raw XP. But generally covering 10 abilities is enough. (But certainly, yes, buy your offbrand abilities, charms and evocations with your starting non-Bonus resources.)

                      Also I believe your 6.5 should be 6 (5xp for 4th 7 xp for 5th).
                      My bad, I goofed.


                      Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I haven't got a MA build I'm happy with yet, but here's a first draft Melee sword-fighter.

                        So being mounted is a massive advantage, Dragon-Blooded are great at leading troops and T-rexes and Warstriders are awesome. But you're not giving me that kind of vibe so here's a footslogger. It's not "optimal" but it's a power-build (9/10).


                        Mnemon Liranan - Character sheet


                        Fire Aspect - Mnemon Liranan - The Invincible Swordswoman - House of Bells

                        Attributes (88 XP spent you now qualify for Essence 3 charms)

                        Strength 5
                        Dexterity 5
                        Stamina 5 (40 XP spent to raise from 1)

                        Charisma 2 (4 XP spent to raise from 1)
                        Manipulation 2 (4 XP spent to raise from 1)
                        Appearance 5

                        Perception 3
                        Intelligence 5 (40 XP spent to raise from 1)
                        Wits 5

                        Fire Aspect Abilities (and Specialities)

                        Athletics 5 (Rushes)
                        Dodge 5 (Whilst wielding a sword)
                        Melee 5 (Swords)
                        Presence 2 (1 XP sent to raise from 1)
                        Socialize 3 (4 XP sent to raise from 1)

                        Favoured Abilities

                        Awareness 5 (Join Battle)
                        Resistance 5
                        Integrity 5
                        Occult 5
                        War 5 (Solo against Battlegroups)

                        Other Abilities

                        Sail 2

                        Merits (Native Language: High Realm)

                        Artifact 5 (Mela's Coil)
                        Artifact 3 (Spring Razor)
                        Manse 3 (Stone of the Rams Horn)
                        Pain Tolerance 4
                        (Dynastic Freebie) Resources 3
                        (Dynastic Freebie) Retainer 2 (Mortal medic/bard sidekick)
                        The Burning Name (6 XP)

                        Free Excellencies

                        1. Athletics: Effortlessly Rising Flame
                        2. Awareness: Precision Awareness Method
                        3. Dodge: Threshold Warding Stance
                        4. Melee: Stoking Bonfire Style
                        5. Integrity: Granite Curtain of Serenity

                        Starting Charms

                        1. Dodge: Heat of Battle Advance
                        2. Sail: Dragon Mariners Attitude
                        3. Occult: Spirit Detecting Mirror
                        4. Occult: Spirit Grounding Strike
                        5. Occult: Salt and Seed Warding
                        6. Occult: Dragon's Sacred Talon
                        7. Occult: Terrestrial Circle Sorcery
                        -. Control Spell: Invulnerable Skin of Bronze
                        -. Shaping Ritual: Heptagram Mudras
                        8. Melee: Flame-Borne Interception
                        9. Melee: Blinding Spark Distraction
                        10. Melee: Burning Fury Wreath
                        11. Melee: Crimson Fang Bite

                        Starting Evocations

                        12. Mela's Coil: Wind Rider Swiftness
                        13: Mela's Coil: Clutching Dragon Coil
                        Free. Spring Razor: Howling Lotus Strike
                        14. Spring Razor: Venom-Intensifying Stroke
                        15. Spring Razor: Seven Widows Venom

                        Purchased Charms

                        1. 8XP. Melee: Elemental Sheath
                        2. 8XP. Melee: Dragon Graced Weapon
                        3. 8XP. Melee: Flame Warden Stance
                        4. 8XP. Melee: Blazing Interception
                        5. 8XP. Melee: Dragon Soul Burst
                        6. 8XP: Melee: Burning Pinacle Strike
                        7. 8XP. Resistance: Oxbody Technique
                        8. 8XP. Resistance: Oxbody Technique x2

                        Purchased Evocations

                        1. 12XP. Mela's Coil: Spread The Dragon's Wings

                        Intimacies

                        Defining Principle: I will become the greatest swordswoman of all time
                        Major Tie: My Mortal Sidekick (Nobless Oblige)
                        Major Principle: The Immaculate Faith (Loyal Adherence)
                        Minor Tie: The Undead (Disgust)

                        Bonus Points
                        Taking 8 abilities from 3 to 5 (16)
                        Merits 2

                        Evasion 6
                        Parry 7
                        Soak 19 Hardness 10
                        Mobility Penalty -0

                        Spring Razor Accuracy 14 (11 Decisive), Damage 17 (Overwhelming 5), Lethal, Smashing

                        Razor Claws Accuracy 10 (5 Decisive), 15 Damage (OVR 3), Lethal, Concealable, Worn

                        The Burning Name Accuracy 14/13 (10 Decisive), 12 Damage (OVR 1), Lethal, Thrown (short), mounted

                        Join Battle 11 (+3 to result as normal)
                        Rush 11
                        Disengage 11

                        Resolve 5
                        Guile 3

                        Willpower 5
                        Essence 3
                        Personal motes 14
                        Peripheral motes 35 (24, 11 committed)

                        175XP spent
                        88 on Attributes
                        6 on Merits
                        5 on Aspect Abilities
                        64 on 8 Aspect Charms
                        12 on Evocations


                        Tactics

                        Spring Razor is a great Diaklave. It's "resonant" with Dragon-Blooded and slapping your opponent with a -2 to their dicepool and -3i each turn is a great debuff.

                        Mela's Coil is insane to the point of broken. You can fly. You're immune to drowning and to airborne poisons, diseases, and environmental hazards based on corrosive agents like acid. You get a backup artifact weapon. And you get a sweet, sweet medium range rush which grants a uniform +5 damage for a measly 5m.

                        Of course you need to win that rush, so an 11 dice pool with Excellency helps here. With 11 dice, 3 successes and exploding 10s you're going to win a lot of Rushes. Other DB rush charms are nice but they perform poorly against Solars, who are basically the only opponent you can't just out-dice. The only charm you'll miss having is Soaring Leap Technique, which is basically buying you one more die for 1m -- it and Merits like Fleet of Foot are great to have but I couldn't afford them in this build.

                        Disengages and Heat of Battle Advance gives you much needed mobility. Don't forget to think three dimensionally.

                        Dragon Mariners Attitude makes your 7 dice + Resolve bonus Seduction pool into an Intimidate pool for 5m, as well as letting you go instant Hero or Cool Gal as needed.

                        Sorcery is probably an oddball choice, but it's extra soak, a ranged attack, it's opening up workings and the Occult charms let you beat on dematerialised spirits.

                        Winning Join Battle is useful. This build isn't great at that. It's only 11 dice base with an option of three success from the Excellency (plus the normal base of 3). You're quicker than the Experienced Dragon-Blooded in the Corebook, but you're not optimised by a long shot.

                        Good thing you're so tough. You have -0×1, -1×10, -3×1, Incap×1 health levels. That's not too bad. Your Soak is 19. Not "19 against one attack if you spend a bunch of motes". 19 base. You're taking minimum damage from everything in the Corebook. Including Ahlat. Hardness 10 shuts down alpha strikes from just about anything without charms. Your Parry is 7 and Flame Borne Inception is a cheap Parry enhancer. If you have to dodge (like some kind of common peasant), your Evasion is 6.

                        But you wanted a sword-fighter, so let's talk sword.

                        You rock. Nuff said.

                        Fools try to clash you? Blind them.
                        Fools try to attack your allies? Punish them.
                        Fools try to be worse at combat than you? Help them out by taking a free attack.
                        Fools try to tank you? Attack ignoring Hardness without reseting your Initiative.

                        All your combat charms are either Fire or Balanced, so you'll always be in Fire Aura.

                        Pull your sword out of flames to get minimum damage 6 for a scene.

                        Crimson Fang Bite plus Windrider Swiftness costs 8m 1WP for +10 Withering damage, or +5 Decisive with double 10s. Aim and throw in another 8m on Dragon Soul Burst and you're rolling 10 dice of Hardness ignoring Decisive damage with double 10s... and you're not resetting to base after. That's expensive but it's combat ending.

                        Your Sworn Kinship will love you for Flame Warden Stance and I think it's well worth putting up to get Blazing Interception. And with Flame Borne Inception, you can (kinda) negate the Onslaught (so long as you successfully Parry).

                        Most combats you are just going to want to Rush, Howling Lotus Strike and (if you can spare the Initiative and defence penalty) make a withering Smash attack to knock your foe Prone (a massive debuff for most characters). With 5m regen, that can buy +2 Excellency dice on each attack and save your pools to fuel your defences.

                        Outside of combat you're a decent social bod. As long as you're talking in High Realm. If languages are likely to be a barrier, drop your Resources to buy other languages using your free Dynastic merits. You're going to want to make a big impression using Appearence.

                        You are illiterate. That's why you've got a manservant to read for you. Otherwise there's stuff you're not great at but you have no massive weaknesses. You can buy literacy for 3xp if you care that much.

                        Going forward, you really want to buy Portentious Comet Deflection, Fire Incites Water, and Harnessed Firestorm Assault ASAP. After that you're done with Melee. No, really, outside of custom charms you'll have everything you need from melee (well Cross Fire Flash isn't bad but you really want to be dual wielding in your duels, or at least using a two-hander, in order to get the most from it; Root-and-Hand merging is scene long and Balanced, which is nice quality of life but it's not essential). I'd buy Presence charms to get better at being social -- the better to impress your legend on others. (Awareness, Athletics, Dodge, Occult charms and Mela's Coil's Evocations can make you even deadlier at combat if that's all you care about. And, of course, you can stack three more Ox-bodies if you really need those 9 extra -1 health levels.) I really wanted to shoehorn Perdurant Vault into the build (it'd really help round out the character) but I can't make it fit. Pyre of Legions is an... adequate replacement for Spring Razor if you'd rather set your foes on fire than poison them: it also has Reaching and a higher OVR, and makes you "better" at Clashes (same accuracy, more Withering damage) at the expense of -1 Parry -- not a bad choice but I prefer Spring Razor.


                        I'll do you an MA build, but I doubt it'll come close to this one.

                        A starting Dawn could still turn you into red paste, but compared to published starting Celestials you are a beast (you're going to put Volfer in the ground in two rounds using his Tomb of Dreams write up in a one-on-one white room).

                        Questions? Querries? Comments? Suggestions? Corrections?

                        Edit:

                        Starting Character Sword Fighter - The Invincible Sword Dynast
                        Starting Character - Air Aspect Shogun Assassin

                        175XP Melee Build - The Invincible Sword-Fighter
                        175XP Martial Arts Build - The Immaculate Sword Fighter
                        Best Possible 175 XP Combat Build - The Invincible
                        Last edited by JohnDoe244; 08-22-2019, 04:51 AM.


                        Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                        • #13
                          To be fair, Volfer's only got two-thirds of a starting character's Charms in Tomb of Dreams.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                            To be fair, Volfer's only got two-thirds of a starting character's Charms in Tomb of Dreams.
                            I will happily run a white room combat against your published NPC of choice.


                            Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                            • #15
                              Just be careful going full Fire melee that you don't burn yourself out. It's really easy to spend a lot of essence very quickly with reflexive attacks and reflexive clashes. Very fittingly for Fire, the difficulty is usually in restraining yourself and not burning out unnecessarily rather than punching the throttle and going really hard.

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