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  • Help Building an Air Aspected Melee Focused

    I'm building a character for an Dragon Blooded game next week and I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed by charms.

    He's a former Shinobi of Gens Karal who's wanted dead or alive by Lookshy and has been living in the lamb with his son in Chiarascuro for a few years. Sort of a Lone Wolf and Cub concept.

    The problem I'm having is that since 3E has come out, I struggle with grasping the power level of charms. I have no idea how effective double 9s or rerolled 6s are for example.

    I really could use some guidance. I'm mostly interested in Melee, Athletics, Larceny, Investigation, and Stealth charms. I'm also concerned about how all of these fire aura Melee charms are going to behave when I got bonfire in combat.

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Very roughly, if you throw 10 dice you'll get about this many successes on average :

    no doubles : 4
    double 10 : 5
    double 9 : 6
    double 8 : 7
    double 7 : 8

    when rerolling 6s :
    no doubles : 4
    double 10 : 5 or 6
    double 9 : 7
    double 8 : 8
    double 7 : 9

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    • #3
      Don't use Melee. Use Ebon Shadow or Steel Devil or whatever other martial art depending on what weapon you want.


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

      Comment


      • #4
        I looked into making an Air-aspected swordsman, because I thought it was cool (and I had a load of inspiring art for it). It's not impossible, but I did find that, tbh, it's probably the worst aspect to use with Melee.

        I don't think that should entirely put you off, if you're really keen on it; you can just fight in Fire Aura (just don't go iconic) or use Balanced charms. And the Air signature charm is reasonable, when you reach Essence 3. But it's not a great choice.

        Still, making a character to be the most optimal rather than the cool vision you have in your head tends to lead to boring characters.


        I run... Lunars: The Apocalypse! Exalted 3rd edition. Fimbulwinter is upon the world as an Ice Age begins, and only six young Lunar heroes have a chance of saving humanity.

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        • #5
          Given House Tepet is (or was until recently) a House of legendary Air-Aspected warriors, you'd think melee wouldn't mix so poorly with the Air Aspect, but what can you do.

          One thing you could do is get the Horizon Cleaver Artifact and use its Evocations to cover the gaps the Melee tree has when you're Air Aspect

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          • #6
            This is so very disappointing news. I have this magnificent character concept and excellent backstory and now I feel like I'm going to be frustrated every time I'm stuck underperforming in combat, which if you've seen Lone Wolf and Cub is an essential aspect of the concept.

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            • #7
              As BadassOverlord suggested Martial Arts trees can let you shine with Melee weapons just fine. I don't know Lone Wolf and Cub but a quick google tells me the Lone Wolf is a master of quick-draw swordsmanship, which is basically Single Point Shining Into The Void Style in a nutshell. Add a little Immaculate Air Style on the side so you can expend your Air Aura to remove Terrestrial Keywords and you'll probably have something decent.
              Last edited by Epitome; 08-09-2019, 07:09 PM.

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              • #8
                I do think the Air signature melee charm is good, IIRC, but the bonfire issue is significant.

                Have a look at some of the weapon-based martial arts. Even Blade (swords), White Reaper (spear), Wood Dragon (staff), Ebon Shadow (knives), etc. There might be something you like there, and they're all elementally-neutral.


                I run... Lunars: The Apocalypse! Exalted 3rd edition. Fimbulwinter is upon the world as an Ice Age begins, and only six young Lunar heroes have a chance of saving humanity.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Epitome View Post
                  Given House Tepet is (or was until recently) a House of legendary Air-Aspected warriors, you'd think melee wouldn't mix so poorly with the Air Aspect, but what can you do.
                  Indeed.

                  Though I did realise you can do something decent with Thrown in terms of front-line warriors. You always think of Thrown as being about assassins throwing shurikens (as that's what Solar thrown is like) but a lot of DB Thrown isn't necessarily that. There's quite a bit of stuff for piercing armour actually.
                  And, unlike archery, a lot of thrown weapons are one-handed or can be used as melee weapons as well.

                  So I think you can do your DB roman legionairre who leads in their front line and throws javelins (which, being artefact weapons, come back), then switches to melee when she gets charged.
                  There's also of course the DB slinger leading the auxiliary slingers, but due to the way the Realm's military works, that's not a very prestigious position. Still, there's a lot of DBs per legion in a military house like Tepet.

                  So that's what I imagine a lot of House Tepet's Air Aspects doing.


                  I run... Lunars: The Apocalypse! Exalted 3rd edition. Fimbulwinter is upon the world as an Ice Age begins, and only six young Lunar heroes have a chance of saving humanity.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                    I do think the Air signature melee charm is good, IIRC, but the bonfire issue is significant.

                    Have a look at some of the weapon-based martial arts. Even Blade (swords), White Reaper (spear), Wood Dragon (staff), Ebon Shadow (knives), etc. There might be something you like there, and they're all elementally-neutral.
                    Even Blade? Is that 3E?

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                    • #11
                      I created a Air Aspect Dragon-Blooded focused in Melee, but I need create two or three custom melee charms and use a custom silken black jade armor with thematics of fluid, harmony and evasion. I can send this things to you, but this character is not a starting DB.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                        So I think you can do your DB roman legionairre who leads in their front line and throws javelins (which, being artefact weapons, come back), then switches to melee when she gets charged.
                        My question is, why even switch back? At least for mechanical reasons close is the preferred range band for throwing weapons. For style points though I definitely agree, swap to melee.


                        Anyway, on to actual advice. In my opinion you have 3 options here.


                        Option 1 Air Aura

                        Compared to a lot of abilities melee is generous when it comes to balanced charms, so you can get away with just using them. You won't be as effective as a full fire aspect going melee, but you're not completely left out in the cold either. You've still got some neat tricks like Blinding Spark Distraction and the stacking melee excellency that will make you a deadly fighter, just not one of the greatest warriors ever. That can help you in your stealth though.

                        Because you're never using a charm that will knock you out of Air Aura, you can sit in it the entire fight, which will eventually be useful for Vanishing Wind Body, the stealth charm that lets you ignore penalties for stealth in combat. If you did this it matters a lot less that you don't have a bunch of extra melee charms to throw into your attacks, because you're going to try really hard to stay out of high anima anyway. Also you might want to initiate combat, use Vanishing Wind Body, and then break your stealth by attacking the next turn. Also once you hit Essence 3 you can start muting your melee charms, letting you use bigger combos without flickering your anima.

                        If you want to Shinobi assassinate somebody and then fade away into darkness, or just the one where you have to remember the least, that's probably the way to go.


                        Option 2 Fire Aura

                        If you want to though, you could try to use the full range of Fire options, this will give you damage adders and charms that let you protect somebody else, interposing yourself between them and an attacker, it will also open up the more powerful aura effects for you. For this you actually could retain a stealth angle, because you're going to need to stop yourself from going bonfire and knocking you out of fire aura.

                        This opens up some more tactical options for you, for example the damage adder Crimson Fang Bite becomes available. You won't be able to full excellency with it all the time, so it's better against low defense but high soak enemies, which can also make it good as a big assassin alpha strike. You'll also open up great charms like Burning Pinnacle Strike, and get full effect from the Warden section of the tree.

                        You'll be a pretty good brawler and a great protector, so if you really want to keep safe your little cub I'd say go this route. If you do though make sure your stats are very high, strength, dex, and melee, with a specialty or even two, just to make sure your accuracy is good and you're getting the most out of your charms.


                        Option 3 No Aura

                        With this option you just take whatever charm, don't care about aura, don't care about anima level. Don't take any charms that require aura, and don't even read the aura effects of charms. Use Flame Borne Interception to parry, Graceful Flowing Defense to ignore a penalty, and then attack on your turn with Demon Crushing Wolf Bite to get past the enemy's crazy high soak, or Crimson Fang Bite to lay on extra hurt on a low soak enemy.

                        With this option you'll be less efficient, getting bang for your motes than other styles, but also a lot more versatile. Flame Warden Stance isn't awful without the aura bonus, it's still perfectly usable as a charm to defend other your son for the whole scene, and Blazing Interception's aura effect doesn't even do anything unless your charge is rolled into combat.

                        This is probably the least challenging way to play, but it's also the most charm and mote intensive. You want a lot of charms to take advantage of the fact that you're not limiting yourself to what you can use.


                        Option 4 Do Them All

                        Or you could just go crazy and get an absolute metric ton of charms and pick the style you think suits the situation. Are you fleeing the city, protecting your son and need to make it REALLY clear to anyone chasing you that attacking him is a bad idea? Go Fire Aura and end the first person that tries to hurt him with one decisive slash. Need to do a shadow shinobi assassination? Go Air Aura and stealth your way deep into enemy territory with Soaring Zephyr Flight, and then fade back into the shadows. Doing either of those and it's not going to plan? Drop the aura and unleash the full power of all five elements at once.


                        Also in any of these cases evocations will probably help you get more of an edge, so definitely take a look at some artifacts.


                        Anyway, I know that's really complicated, and to be honest I probably missed at least one thing, but hopefully that helps guide you a bit!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Epitome View Post

                          Even Blade? Is that 3E?
                          Ooops! Sorry, I meant Single Point.


                          I run... Lunars: The Apocalypse! Exalted 3rd edition. Fimbulwinter is upon the world as an Ice Age begins, and only six young Lunar heroes have a chance of saving humanity.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My sign does not lie.

                            Air Aspects speak to me more than any other type of Exalted. I want to help you, because I've put countless hours into trying to build this. I'll try to save you what frustration I can.

                            But I would have had BB!

                            Martial Arts has been suggested. It's not a bad suggestion. Martial Arts charms are generally balanced around the level of Terrestrial charms. Single Point has a very Shogun Assassin feel, whilst Steel Devil is a bit more Kill Bill. Ebon Shadow gives you a surpising number of "melee" options and whilst Itto is famous for his dōtanuki, he does use other weapons. And if we're considering other weapons there's a great fight in the manga where he uses guns and a halberd (Righteous Devil/White Reaper).

                            The problem with martial arts is two fold:

                            1. The Terrestrial keyword. This nerfs Single Point into the Void. The style is completely unusable with the Terrestrial keyword. It's not a matter of being mechanically suboptimal: it's completely worthless and deeply frustrating. Other styles aren't so bad (even White Reaper), the keyword isn't such a great nerf and it can be managed with Aura.

                            2. Armor. Much more serious, Terrestrials don't have the same damage mitigation options as Solars and Lunars. A lack of Hardness and Penalty negation opens you up to alpha strikes. And Evocations are excellent (go look at Mela's Coil, you want your Swordsman to Rush at Medium Range and have Uniform +5 Damage? Sure you do!). Martial Arts is sucking down four merit points which you could be spending on Artifact armor AND it's locking you out of using armor. That's... well that's a death sentence. Fortunately, if you like the idea of Martial Arts then there are options. A Belt of Shadow Walking syngergises great with Air abilities, and there's Silken Armor. (Invulnerable Skin of Bronze also gives a passive soak bonus as a control option, and when summoned only counts as Medium armor, so that's worth considering on any Martial Arts build.)

                            When I was little, my father was famous. He was the greatest Samurai in the Empire...

                            If you want generic sword fighter advice, I have a couple of builds that might inspire you.

                            Builds: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...51#post1314551 (You can also find a reasonable breakdown of the Melee and Athletics charms in that thread.)

                            My advice is to grab Mela's Coil, a good artifact sword and invest heavily in Evocations. Use Balanced and Air melee charms. (DrLoveMonkey's Option 1.)

                            But most importantly, winning the character creation minigame will buy you slack for suboptimal choices in play.

                            Generic character creation minigame advice: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...93#post1322493

                            For the general dice trick charms, the (extremely) short-hand is that each trick (double 9s, reroll 6s) is worth one success. You usually want to max your dicepool first (with an Excellency usually) and throw on the dice tricks second.

                            President John Adams.
                            Last edited by JohnDoe244; 08-11-2019, 08:02 AM.


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

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                            • #15
                              Even two more home brew air aspect melee charms would probably make a big difference. Do you have two ideas of particularly air like melee abilities?

                              Edit : Or, apparently, shadowninja has a few for you to look at up thread.
                              Last edited by Apromor; 08-10-2019, 06:30 AM.


                              I want to play this as a starting character, I don't even care what game.

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