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Charms of Underwhelming Might

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  • Charms of Underwhelming Might

    Exalted Charms tend to be powerful as a rule, but every now and then there's a Charm that makes you go "why would I ever buy this?".

    If you want to ask fellow players what good a Charm is because you can't figure it out yourself, if you want advice on buffing a Charm you think is underpowered, or if you just want to vent about Charms you think are terrible, this thread is for you!


    So I'll open with a question :

    Is the Lore Charm Unstoppable Magnus Approach worth getting at all? The Charm lets you pay 5 motes and 10 initiative to gain 1 temporary Willpower (with an explicit clause that you can't extend a fight artificially to farm Willpower). That seems like a terrible trade, especially for an Essence 5 Solar Charm with 10 pre-requisites (compare with Spirit-Tempering Practice, an Essence 3 Integrity Charm that gets you 1 willpower for 4 motes once per scene). Or is there something I'm not seeing?

  • #2
    I actually think Spirit-Tempering Practice is OP.

    Can Unstoppable Magnus be used out of combat? Otherwise, I can only see it used near the end of a combat when your Dawn friend is about to kill the last enemy and you're 2 range bands away with nothing much to do.
    Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 08-08-2019, 07:53 AM.


    My characters:
    Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
    Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
    Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

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    • #3
      RAW the Charm description implies it can only be used in combat.

      I agree that Spirit-Tempering Practice is probably OP, although even without it as a comparison Unstoppable Magnus Approach still feels lackluster.

      It feels like the Charm is designed in a way where it only shines when used as a farming tool, which is explicitly prohibited. Like, by definition, if you're not allowed to accumulate more ini than you need to win a fight in order to use this Charm, then you will never have enough ini to use it except when the fight is already a bygone conclusion.
      Last edited by Epitome; 08-08-2019, 08:12 AM.

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      • #4
        I could see it being used as a desperate grab. Plenty of other charms cost willpower, so a character could be running dangerously low thanks to other expenditures. Or if a character had been really liberal with Willpower for successes and then a nasty throw-down hit seemingly out of left field. Sorcery reimburses the Shaping willpower once the spell is cast, but you need enough gas in the tank to get the ball rolling.

        Granted, these are instances where I could see the benefit of "oh shit!" willpower grabs, rather than an explanation of how it's more powerful than it appears


        Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, No Moon Scholar, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Wraith, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Pioneer Pooch, Scion with Shield of Knowledge, Director

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        • #5
          I'll say that the Charms of 3rd Edition seem to suffer from this idea of either "this is a highly-specialized trick; hopefully it's worth it!" or "this is a very broad power; good purchase!" I'm getting a little uneasy familiarizing myself with them.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Zeal View Post
            I'll say that the Charms of 3rd Edition seem to suffer from this idea of either "this is a highly-specialized trick; hopefully it's worth it!" or "this is a very broad power; good purchase!" I'm getting a little uneasy familiarizing myself with them.
            This tends to happen with some of the Twilightish abilities (Bureaucracy, Craft, Integrity, Lore, Linguistics). Combat and Social trees are mostly pretty good in my experience.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Epitome View Post
              Is the Lore Charm Unstoppable Magnus Approach worth getting at all?
              I really don't think it is. In addition to the issues of cost you've already noted, it's pretty flavorless - just why is peerless mastery of Lore and enormous spiritual power (Lore 5, Essence 5 prereqs) required for this effect? Honestly, I think it would be better as an Integrity charm (and there's already an Integrity charm, Spirit-Tempering Practice, that lets you convert motes to WP).

              If I was rebuilding the charm, and had to keep it in Lore, here's how I'd do it:

              Unstoppable Magnus Approach
              Cost: 5m, 10i; Mins: Lore 5, Essence 5
              Type: Reflexive
              Keywords: Perilous
              Duration: One scene.
              Prerequisite Charms: Incalculable Flowing Mind, Surging Inner Fire
              The puissance of the Lawgiver's mind is so great that it grants her similar prowess on the battlefield. With dizzying intellect, she assess every possible fact and condition that might affect the course of battle, and cooly applies this knowledge to her own defense and offense.

              For the charm's duration, against any enemy who the Solar's educational background or specialties would apply, she may calculate her Evasion defense using [(Wits + Lore)/2, round up] - armor mobility penalty, rather than the typical (Dexterity + Dodge). Lore-based Evasion can be enhanced by the Lore Excellency. Any time she successfully avoids an attack in this matter, the proof of her mental superiority bolsters the Lawgiver, allowing her to roll her (current temporary Willpower) and gain initiative equal to her successes.

              The Copper Spider's knowledge can also be used offensively. She may make various gambits that exploit facts rather than her own combat skill to produce their effects. This can duplicate the effect of any gambit that the Solar can justify with information covered by her educational background. For instance, she might, if her educational background included human physiology, point out that a warrior's long exertions must surely have made his hand extremely sweaty, and his tendency to make wide swings would put considerable centrifugal force on his weapon - successfully completing a disarm gambit as it slipped out of his grasp. To achieve such a gambit, the Lawgiver rolls (Wits + Lore) in a decisive attack against her foe, who suffers a penalty to his Defense equal to the difference between his Wits and the Lawgiver's Wits, if his is lower. If the Solar hits, she rolls her initiative against the gambit's difficulty, as normal. Such gambits count as introductions of facts (Exalted 3rd Edition, pp. 237-238) for charms that enhance or otherwise affect that, but don't count against the normal once-per-scene limitation of such actions.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Zeal
                I'll say that the Charms of 3rd Edition seem to suffer from this idea of either "this is a highly-specialized trick; hopefully it's worth it!" or "this is a very broad power; good purchase!" I'm getting a little uneasy familiarizing myself with them.

                While I'm not a huge fan of the Solar charmset, I wouldn't say that is a problem in a lot of it. I'd probably agree with Epitome that it's much more of an issue in Twilight abilities than others.


                So, in Lunars, I'm generally happy with the charmset; most of the charms are good but not overpowered.

                There's only one charm that I find too weak, one two of my players have.

                Originally posted by Rugged Beast Endurance
                Cost: 3m, 1wp; Type: Reflexive; Keywords: Protean; Duration: One day
                The... Lunar adapts to a particular environment... gaining temporary Survival and Resistance specialties in that clime. She ignores environmental penalties on rolls those specialties apply to.
                So, for 1wp, you get, say, Resistance (+1 vs freezing cold) and Survival (+1 vs freezing cold).
                You also ignore penalties on Resistance and Survival rolls caused by freezing cold.

                But environmental conditions normally don't apply penalties, they increase the difficulty. They only impose penalties when you're making opposed rolls, and Resistance and Survival aren't things you're normally going to be making opposed rolls on. For example, if the players are in a blizzard, they're going to make difficulty 2 Resistance rolls or something, not a difficulty 1 roll with a -2 penalty.

                So, 95% of the time, the charm is "Pay 1wp, get +1 specialties on Resistance and Survival". Considering the charm is 8/10xp, and specialties cost 3xp each (or, hey, you could just buy more Resistance and Survival), I don't think it's worth spending 8/10xp and 1wp a day for a couple of specialties, even if you can apply them to different environments when you feel like it.

                I'll be honest, I've basically bumped up the charms' power by letting the Casteless character not make Resistance rolls for walking around the North in late winter without many clothes on (well, he's got a polar bear cloak now, but he still doesn't wear a shirt), because a)the charm is rubbish, and b)I can't be bothered to punish him for an aesthetic choice.

                I should say that the Protean benefit is okay (not amazing, but possibly you could do something good with Stamina charms) and the repurchase at Essence 2 is good. It's just the base charm that's weak.



                Every other charm my players have seems good. It's just this one that seems weak.

                Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 08-08-2019, 02:00 PM.


                My characters:
                Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
                Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

                Comment


                • #9
                  So I typed out a post but it seemed way overly critical so I'm typing this instead whilst I work out how to say what I mean in a constructive way.

                  But in short "yes, I've noted several charms that I'd never take".


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

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                  • #10
                    Unimpeachable Discourse Technique. 3m to reroll 1s under extremely narrow circumstances. That might be decent as an Essence 1 DB Charm, but it’s not, it’s an Essence 2 Solar Charm. And half the best Socialize Charms are locked behind it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
                      Unimpeachable Discourse Technique. 3m to reroll 1s under extremely narrow circumstances. That might be decent as an Essence 1 DB Charm, but it’s not, it’s an Essence 2 Solar Charm. And half the best Socialize Charms are locked behind it.
                      Aren't Essence 2 Solar Charms on the whole somewhat narrower?


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        Aren't Essence 2 Solar Charms on the whole somewhat narrower?
                        Narrower =/= an Essence 1 dice trick but significantly worse.

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                        • #13
                          I don't really mind narrow charms that much; if they're useful for you, you'll buy them, if not, then you won't. Though if it just re-rolled 1s for 3m... I think that'd be quite a reasonable charm? (Very dull, but reasonable power-wise; and it's less irritating in its interactions with dice-caps than many of those kind of charms). The restriction on when you can use it seems like a needless nerf.
                          The fact that much of the Socialise charm requires this charm you might rarely use seems a bit harsh though.

                          But of course, the restriction is one that I think is probably not supposed to be a big restriction to the sort of characters Socialise is intended to be about.


                          My characters:
                          Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                          Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
                          Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Talking about narrow I find the change from 2nd to 3rd solar mental defences extremely underwhelming you suddenly go from easy access to straightforward strong mental defences to extremely convoluted and narrow charms, that require multiple purchases to cover some of what used to be covered by 1 charm previously. This and solar crafting charms most of them look like they were written by a person who doesn’t understand and hates crafting characters and the whole mess was written in a way to punish people who want to engage in it as means of putting people of it lunar crafting charms are way less offputting by comparison.
                            Last edited by Beast of Bitter Oblivion; 08-08-2019, 06:55 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I was interpreting that one as a way to stop a high-end social / psyche effect coming from somebody you'd really rather put your boot up.

                              Not one that I'd buy, because we seem to be *pretty* good at bringing 2-dot stunts and WP bonuses when we need to, and there's also a low-level Integrity Charm that lets you buy off those costs. But that it was the intent.

                              Maybe I'm missing something and if all the Solars were Unstoppable Magnoi the Usurpation would have broken differently?


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