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

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  • #76
    My bad, I read diagonally and thought you were looking for a replacement Artifact rather than for custom evocations.

    I think the Smiling Razors' Lore does touch on intimidation and peerless mastery, so you could definitely create custom Evocations for it that suit your character more while staying within the Artifact's themes.

    example Evocations :

    Flaming Duel Declaration : The Smiling Razors are imbued with the competitive spirit of their original owner, and this spirit flows outwards towards any who would make suitable adversaries. When Persuading someone to fight you, you may treat their highest Combat ability as an applicable Intimacy for the persuade action, which lowers their Resolve by the Ability's Rating.

    Fear from the flames : When you defeat an enemy, all witnesses within medium range gain a Minor Tie of Fear or Awe towards you if they don't already have one.

    The Establishment Burns : gain combat bonuses against opponents who are part of an organization or group. Upon defeating, killing or routing them, they automatically lower the intensity of any positive Tie towards that group by 1. If they don't have a positive Tie, they instead form a negative Tie or reinforce it if they already have one. Members of an organization may not use their ties towards that organization to defend against your social Influence.

    The Student Scorns the Sacred Scrolls : gain bonus resolve against social influence involving traditions, teachings, and learning the errors of your ways.

    Self-Taught Mastery : Spend time alone honing your skills in a dramatic scene-long sequence to gain passive combat bonuses for the next combat that day. This also serves as training time, which is as effective as if you had a teacher.

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    • #77
      Hey you all! And once again you folks provide a lot of interesting information. So yeah, as always, thank you!

      I never thought about the difference between the artifact ratings, to be honest. Interesting point you make here, Dr. LM. It has different axes for the power-up...hmm. I guess you can see that my earliest fantasy gaming was DnD ish ^^ I just thought that more dots means more power...not different "realms" of power/what is possible. It IS interesting. Not sure if it is suitable for me and my character here, because all i want my character to be/become is a living sword god. But as said, I do find branching out into other areas of "combat" interesting. Especially the social arena of conflict (because yeah, as a Fire aspect i can excell at that as well and i, as a player, love that "battlefield" just as much as actual combat, to be honest).

      So i hope that kind of answers your question, JohnDoe?
      It maybe also adresses the things Kelly said in the first paragraph. I always like my character to be the center of the story. So an artifact that enhances my character sounds good. Not that a awesomely powerful artifact with its own story and impact on the character can not be fun...it can...but i don't want the story to be "and he was a really earthshaking swordgod...because he had the sword-that-can't-be-beaten...." . If that makes sense?

      @ Kelly - wow, thank you very much. That already reads very nice. As said, I'm by no means an Exalted expert, so i have no idea how much work it is to come up with sensible evocations (read: something that makes sense in the context of all that is written by the devs aka evocations are balanced or at least comparable to official evocations). But if you feel like it, I'd love to see you work on some (or all) of the concepts you hinted at in your post.

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      • #78
        Originally posted by Mnemon Liranan View Post
        It maybe also adresses the things Kelly said in the first paragraph. I always like my character to be the center of the story. So an artifact that enhances my character sounds good. Not that a awesomely powerful artifact with its own story and impact on the character can not be fun...it can...but i don't want the story to be "and he was a really earthshaking swordgod...because he had the sword-that-can't-be-beaten...." . If that makes sense?
        One thing I think it's important to remember about evocations is that they're not just "things my artifact does". When you use Volcano Cutter's first evocation, Grand Eruption, to create an eruption point, that's not just Volcano Cutter doing it. Not every person could do that, even if they could attune to Volcano Cutter. It's a unique expression of how you have learned to use Volcano Cutter's distinctive magic. The game presents evocations referring to a generic wielder, but in the story, that's intended to be the specific way that the character who first shows up with the artifact uses them. If someone else got their hands on the artifact, they'd unlock at least slightly different evocations, because they'd have their own way of using the artifact, with their own tricks, and the story of the artifact itself would change. Evocations are presented as generic in the books because endlessly repeating "this is just an example, different people will have different evocations" would be a big waste of wordcount. Anyway, what I'm trying to say with all this is that thinking of an artifact's evocations as "coming" from it is the wrong way to think about it, really. Using your hypothetical example of the "sword-that-can't-be-beaten", even if we assume that the artifact's basic power is "can't be defeated in combat", that's going to manifest very differently depending on the wielder. In the hands of a sword master, it's probably going to look like a lot of perfect parries, attacks that cut through opponents' defenses like they're not there, and general "being good at Melee" stuff. But in the hands of a scholar who's got barely any skill with the blade, and not much interest in learning more, the evocations could instead become something along the lines of perfect defenses when attacked from surprise, and then teleportation or other movement magic to remove them from the fight entirely - the blade ensures "victory" by preventing defeat, basically.

        Anyway, all of this is not to say that if you don't want an Artifact 5 sword, that you should still get one. If that's not the power level you want, you don't have to get it! I'm just trying to explain why even a very powerful artifact that tends to make your whole story revolve around it can still preserve your character's agency. The story of someone with an Artifact 5 may revolve around that artifact, but it's still their story, and they're the one doing things, not just being pulled along by the artifact.


        Originally posted by Mnemon Liranan
        @ Kelly - wow, thank you very much. That already reads very nice. As said, I'm by no means an Exalted expert, so i have no idea how much work it is to come up with sensible evocations (read: something that makes sense in the context of all that is written by the devs aka evocations are balanced or at least comparable to official evocations). But if you feel like it, I'd love to see you work on some (or all) of the concepts you hinted at in your post.
        I can throw some stuff together, sure. I can't guarantee that these are perfectly balanced, and I won't bother to build all the evocations, since that would take quite a bit of work and I don't imagine you can buy all of them. But I'll try to build the Essence 1 evocations that you can take right away and their immediate follow-up charm. Others, I'm sure, will be happy to critique the mechanical balance on them too. :-)

        Evocations of Pelko and Paniikki
        The powers of this pair of weapons are only unlocked while its owner is wielding both together. Even being disarmed of a single blade is enough to cause their evocations to fail. While the wielder bears both, however, their puissant strikes create fear in their foes. If an attuned wielder hits with a withering attack and does 10 or more initiative damage, or if they hit and do damage with a decisive attack, they may immediately and reflexively make an inspire action, rolling the better of (Appearance or Charisma + Presence or Melee). If this overcomes the target of the attack's Resolve, the target has the emotion of terror inspired, and it costs 2 WP to resist this influence, rather than 1.

        Fear-Seeking Strike
        Cost: 5m; Mins: Essence 1
        Type: Supplemental
        Keywords: Withering-Only
        Duration: Instant
        Prerequisites: None

        Streamers of grey essence pour from Pelko, the Blade of Fear, and wind their way to the heart of a target who harbors fear within it, guiding its owner's strikes. This evocation supplements a withering attack. If the foe has any intimacies based on fear (including if they are currently experiencing a fear-related emotion), the wielder gains double 9s on the attack roll. If the intimacy has the wielder as a target (including if it is towards a category the wielder falls into), she also ignores (Intimacy's strength) of the target's soak.

        Visage of Panic
        Cost:
        5m; Mins: Essence 1
        Type: Simple
        Keywords: None
        Duration: One scene
        Prerequisites: None

        A mist of black essence rises from Paniikki, the Blade of Panic, and coalesces into a mask of its eponymous god upon its wielder's face. As long as the mask is in place, the wielder gains double 9s on instill actions to create or strengthen intimacies based on fear of her or what she represents, or inspire actions to create emotions of panic or fear. In either case, this only applies against targets she has already attacked in this scene (though this need not have been successful). Additionally, whenever she successfully makes a withering attack that does at least 5 initiative damage or a decisive attack that inflicts at least one health level of damage, she may reflexively make an instill or inspire action against that foe. If she does this on a withering attack, she subtracts 5 from the initiative she would gain, while on a decisive attack, she resets to base initiative one lower than she otherwise would.

        Terror Marking Practice
        Cost: 3m; Mins: Essence 2
        Type: Supplemental
        Keywords: Decisive-Only
        Duration: Instant
        Prerequisites: Fear-Seeking Strike, Visage of Panic
        As the wielder drives her blades into her enemy's body, she unleashes a rush of mixed black-and-grey power that binds fear to a foe's mind with unbreaking chains. This evocation can only be used on a target under the influence of some kind of intimacy or emotion related to fear, and the wielder must choose which such effect she is targeting. If the decisive attack hits and inflicts health levels of damage, the intimacy or emotion is rendered permanent and cannot be decreased or removed by normal means. Binding an intimacy requires a certain number of health levels of damage be done, based on its strength: 1 level for a Minor intimacy, 3 levels for a Major intimacy, and 5 levels for a Defining Intimacy. If an intimacy or emotion is stronger than the health levels required to bind it, it can be bound at a lower level, meaning it can be degraded normally down to the bound level. For example, if a foe currently had a Defining intimacy of "terrified awe" towards the wielder, but she only inflicted three health levels of damage, she could bind the intimacy at the Major level, meaning that someone could persuade the foe to reduce the intimacy from Defining down to Major, but no further.
        This binding is a crippling effect. For Exalted and others who heal as they do, it lasts for months equal to (6 - their Integrity), then heals naturally on its own, allowing them to once again degrade the intimacy normally. For mortals, the effect is permanent unless healed by appropriate magic.

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        • #79
          I agree with everything that Kelly said, artifact 5 weapons don't just wander around using their wielders as a vessel or something like that. That being said, an artifact 5 is never just a footnote in its wielder's story either. Well, never say never, but I can't imagine one that wouldn't be. Artifact 5 things are like Mjölnir, or Frostmourne or something. Like, this right here is totally artifact 5 shenanigans. Nobody talks like "Frostmourne did this, and Frostmourne did that, and also Arthas was there too. I guess he was holding it or something, nobody cares."

          It's something that really should be a pretty big part of your personal legend. If you have access to the book Arms of the Chosen that will really help explain things way better than I ever could.

          Kelly also has good ideas for some of the sample evocations. They're in theme with eachother and don't really step on the toes of anyone else in your group that might be a dedicated social character, or replace social charms you might want to pick up. You're probably going to be looking at evocations that play off of intimacies and manipulate them in really specific ways, rather than blanket buffs to social interactions. It matters a lot less if there's nobody else in your group who's trying to be a really social character, but even if there is you might still want to grab some presence charms. They do things like let you flurry a social action with reduced penalties, force enemies to prioritize you in combat, and gain temporary health levels.

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