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Help Building an Air Aspected Melee Focused

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Timbo View Post

    Which charms? Also, what's all of the Occult for? Spirit-whomping? Is it necessary that I have these? Apparently multiple players are doing this.
    Hmm, either that or the three dot artifact that makes you a dematerialized wraith that can still attack non-dematerialized targets. (so a defensive pick)

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Timbo View Post

      Which charms?
      Welll...a lot of charms. Here's a basic rundown, I think, of the ones you want for fighting, assuming you want to go with the Fire Aura idea and no artifacts and stuff.
      Athletics

      (1)Effortlessly Rising Flame: You want this to chase down fleeing archers with rushes, otherwise they might just stay at range from you and kill you from there.

      (1)Bellows Pumping Stride: More bonuses to rushes.

      (1)Soaring Leap Technique: More bonuses to rushes and disengages.

      (1)Verdant Dragon Footsteps: This charm lets you ignore penalties for moving in heavily wooded areas, which you might have to fight in.

      (3)Dancing Ember Stride: Actually moving into short range instantly after rushing, very good.

      (3)Inescapable Blazing Advance: Again more bonuses to rushes and also sets your enemy ablaze.

      (5)Falling Star Maneuver: Allows you to make a reflexive attack after instantly rushing, which is also a shockwave, so good AoE plus reflexive attack, even if it counts as your combat action.

      Awareness



      (1)Precision Observation Method: This is for boosting your Join Battle so you can go first, have more initiative in combat, spot ninja assassins creeping up on you, detect poisons, the list goes on and on.

      (1)Cloud-Piercing Focus: You want this just in case you have to fight in a fog or sandstorm or something, but more importantly it's a pre-requisite.

      (1)Deep Listening Palm: Not really useful in fighting, but useful as a pre-requisite.

      (1)All Encompassing Earth Sense: This charm triggers when you get within short range of somebody dangerous, like a Realm or Lookshy assassin, it's good for avoiding ambushes.

      (2)Feeling the Dragon's Bones: Another good charm for feeling out attackers or ambushes, but more useful as a pre-req.

      (2)Dragon's Crushing Gaze: Directly gives you what is essentially a non-charm success for ferreting out a disguised or hidden target.

      (3)Dragon's Twitching Whisker: Super useful, if somebody hates you and gets anywhere near you, you'll know to get ready for a fight.

      (3)Eye of Blazing Truth: This charm will let you pick out an ambusher, deal some damage to them, and force them from their hiding place, so it's good to have.


      If you have all of those charms you will have done basically everything you can charm-wise to make sure nobody will ever get the drop on you, and will regret it if they try.

      Dodge


      (1)Threshold Warding Stance: You won't be able to block everything, some attacks are just unblockable, so you want this just in case. Also if you're fighting 2 enemies at once you can keep building your melee excellency discount on one while dodging the other. Also if you ever need to disengage, you need doge.

      (1)Heat of Battle Advance: Solid mobility charm for chasing down archers even if you're in the midst of a melee. You might have to do this when faced with an exalted archer and his battlegroup of mortal soldiers.

      (1)Flickering Candle Meditation: A decent charm, and also a pre-req for everything else.

      (2)Hopping Firecracker Evasion: A charm that lets you disengage reflexively and for free if you beat the attack by 2 successes.

      (2)Ember Amid Smoke Misdirection: Punish foes for missing you.

      (3)Unassailable Body of Fire: Punish people even more.

      (3)Elusive Dragon-God Dispersion: Punish them EVEN more for missing.


      Melee



      (1)Stoking Bonfire Style: It's the melee excellency, you want it.

      (1)Flame Borne Interception: Good at raising defense against multiple opponents.

      (1)Blinding Spark Distraction: Blinding your opponent will let you hit them easier and make yourself harder to hit, you want it too.

      (1)Burning Fury Wreath: It's an essential pre-req and ignoring hardness can be helpful in a pinch.

      (2)Elemental Sheath: Never be caught unarmed.

      (2)Dragon Graced Weapon: REALLY never be caught unarmed and also add bonuses to your weapon.

      (2)Crimson Fang Bite: It's a damage adder that will help you crash enemies

      (2)Demon Crushing Wolf Bite: It sacrifices your fire aura, but facing against a foe with insane soak it might be useful.

      (2)Flame Warden Stance: The defend other charm to protect your cub.

      (2)Blazing Interception: Counterattack people who are attacking your ward.

      (2)Crossfire Flash: If you're ever in a a clash this is a good non-charm die adder.

      (3)Root and Hand Merging: A balanced charm that gives you a permanent parry increase.

      (3)Dragon Soul Burst: Decent charm to use if you have time to aim to get free damage

      (3)Smoldering Essence Attack: After your attack lands you keep hurting your opponent.

      (3)Buring Pinnacle Strike: It's free reflexive attacks, they're good.

      (3)Portenteous Comet Deflection: It's more reflexive attacks.

      (3)Fire Incites Water to a Riot of Clouds: ANOTHER reflexive attack!

      (3)Harnessed Firestorm Assault: It's a damage booster that also lets you activate charms for free

      (4)Mela's Flashing tongue: If you ever have to go bonfire, this charm is your next choice to activate.

      Occult

      (1)Spirit Detecting Mirror Technique: You need this to see dematerialized spirits that may be spying on or trying to kill you.

      (1)Secret Wind Revelation: This will also help you pick out said dematerialized assassins.

      (1)Spirit Grounding Shout: You need this to fight spirits who are dematerialized.

      (1)Hidden Secrets Whisper: The excellency used for getting other charms.

      (1)Seed and Salt Warding: This can be used to ward off ghosts, again not combat but pre-req

      (2)Dragon's Sacred Talon: If you ever need to fight the dead or faeries, this is your charm.

      (3)Spirit Shredding Attack: Used to hurt spirits even more.

      OPTIONAL:

      Terrestrial Circle Sorcery, if you go this route there's any number of spells you can take to improve yourself, like Invulnerable Skin of Bronze for example.

      Resistance

      (1)Ox Body Technique: Get five of these.

      (1)Purifying Blood Ascendancy: Resistance excellency, used for resisting poison and environmental effects.

      (1)Body Cleansing Prana: Useful against poisons, which your enemies may use as a tool against you.

      (1)Impervious Skin of Stone: The most basic soak booster, this is useful against powerful attacks that you're not sure you can block or dodge

      (3)Dragon's Unfailing Vigour: Give you even more health levels.

      (3)Fathomless Depths Replenishment: Gain EVEN MORE health levels on the daily.


      Which if you tally them all up is about 60 charms, and that's not counting any evocations from your weapon or spells that you might want, but you'll also only reach that point over 300xp into the game. Also yes, occult is for fighting spirits, which you may have to do.

      It's a lot of charms, but if you start taking charms away you're worse at fighting. If you don't have Burning Pinnacle Strike, then there are going to be times where you could have made a bonus attack that you now couldn't. If you don't have Dragon's Unfailing Vigour then you could die by the margin of 2 health levels and it would have saved you theoretically.

      So that's around the top, or close to it, I'm sure I missed some key things. If that's what you want to strive for, then it leaves almost no room for anything else, but you will absolutely be better at fighting than almost anything you ever face. As long as they don't outnumber you anyway, fighting 5 Blood Apes at once is going to suuuuuck. Also I don't actually recommend building your character like this, and if you took 1/3 the charms listed here you'd still be an absolute MONSTER in combat, it's just that you could be better.

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      • #33
        Sorry for the double post, but I thought I should write something to clarify maybe why this is the case.

        If you look at a lot of fiction stories where the protagonist, or just one of the characters, is the greatest swordsman ever, who can kill any opponent in a single swing so fast you never see the blade leave the scabbard, then in the world of Exalted that would be an exalt, and probably a Solar. The thing is, there's a lot of exalts. So in a Green Arrow story with only Green Arrow you've got a story about a guy who can just churn through bad guys like butter, and then maybe encounters some resistance with the big final guy. In a justice league story though, that's just not happening. Not only is he fighting along side the justice league, which would be totally pointless if Green Arrow could chew through all the bad guys on his own, but the enemies they're facing are so many and so powerful that even superman doesn't want to face them alone.

        The world of Exalted is a lot more like the Justice League than a standalone movie. That goes double for dragonblooded games, since you're still relatively close in power to the most common type of exalt. A good ST will work around that though, again especially for DB games. With only like 4-5 charms if you get stopped by a group of soldiers in the street you can easily kill all of them with a single action and then keep walking along your merry way. It's just that if you're unfortunate enough to get surrounded by 5 DBs and you're alone, then your options are basically run, surrender or die fighting.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          If you look at a lot of fiction stories where the protagonist, or just one of the characters, is the greatest swordsman ever, who can kill any opponent in a single swing so fast you never see the blade leave the scabbard, then in the world of Exalted that would be an exalt, and probably a Solar. The thing is, there's a lot of exalts. So in a Green Arrow story with only Green Arrow you've got a story about a guy who can just churn through bad guys like butter, and then maybe encounters some resistance with the big final guy. In a justice league story though, that's just not happening. Not only is he fighting along side the justice league, which would be totally pointless if Green Arrow could chew through all the bad guys on his own, but the enemies they're facing are so many and so powerful that even superman doesn't want to face them alone.

          The world of Exalted is a lot more like the Justice League than a standalone movie. That goes double for dragonblooded games, since you're still relatively close in power to the most common type of exalt.
          To add to this:

          If you're playing an Air Aspect Swordsman and your buddy is playing an Earth Aspect Immaculate (with Fist of Titans no less) then you are Green Arrow and they are Superman. You can close that gap if you build your character keeping the idiosyncrasies of the game system in mind.

          As an ST, I'd rather you game the system and min-max to close that gap, because that makes designing encounters easier (especially combat). But it seems your ST comes from a different school of thought.

          Green Arrow is a powerful hero. You basically can't make a bad character in Exalted. But you can easily make a good character who is much worse than all their peers in every area. And that can cause frustration if you expected party balance -- but sometimes changing expectations is better than changing your character.

          Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          Welll...a lot of charms. Here's a basic rundown, I think, of the ones you want for fighting, assuming you want to go with the Fire Aura idea and no artifacts and stuff.
          Great list. I broadly agree (not going to repeat the breakdown I linked to earlier).

          Got a top 15 Essence 2 and below list?
          Last edited by JohnDoe244; 08-12-2019, 01:35 PM.


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

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          • #35
            Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
            Got a top 15 Essence 2 and below list?
            Hmm I think that would be extremely difficult just because different synergies, especially outside of a white room. For example if you want to grab Stamina 5 and 5 ox bodies, that’s amazing, you’re more than 3 times as hard to kill. The downside is that if you get knocked down halfway through your -2 health levels it takes 33 days to heal back to full, if you get Wound Closing Touch you can knock that down to something like 6 days. Or what about missing all of your -1s? That’s either 15 days or 2.5 depending on Wound Closing. So if you’re going that route I’d say definitely WCT if you can’t rely on an ally to have it. Also if you’ve got 5 stamina then Impervious Skin of Stone is really good. On the other hand if you’ve only got one stamina ISS is awful and even maxing ox bodies is...well it’s still amazing it’s just less so.

            I find that’s a very Earthy/Woody way of going about things, because then you can use Demon Crushing Wolf Bite really effectively, which is doubly great because with 5 stamina and high dex you probably won’t have a ton left over for strength. For that strategy you probably don’t raise your defence hardly ever, just use ISS to soak high damage attacks, if the enemy gets high initiative that’s okay because unless it’s 40+ you’re not in danger of dying and you can just smack them back harder once they blow all their initiative into a decisive.

            Looking at it from a more Fire perspective Blinding Spark Distraction is very good because it plays so well into the excellency and Flame Borne Interception. Where Earth and Wood are hard and tough, Fire is aggressive and elusive. If you miss your first attack and they blind you with Blinding Spark you can get stuck in an awful death spiral. You’ve likely lost 2 points to your defence, and are at -3 to attack and even to run away, and because of that you’re really likely to just keep feeding the Fire aspect more more discounts and making it easier and easier to blind you. I’m fact, keeping with Fire’s aggression theme, I might even launch a weak decisive after Blinding my opponent in hopes of getting them to their -2s, because when you’re at -5 to all combat actions you’re half-past screwed. That strategy is more fragile than just roughing through things, eventually one flubbed roll or one awesome one will throw a wrench into things, but the reward is worth the risk most of the time. Especially at Essence 3 when you get Pinnacle Strike and Cloud Riot and stuff. Cloud Riot reflexive clash, blind them with Blinding Spark, then reflexive Strike their blind class-penaltied ass.

            For that build though wound closing is way worse.

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            • #36
              Also just since it’s bugging me being incomplete, air defensive charms do things like give bonus evasion against ranged attacks, give you a disengage bonus in athletics even though disengage is dodge, the archery range extending charms are air aspected not wood, the air brawl signature lets you attack from range...so to me that says air is elusive in a way fire isn’t, where fire is in your face dodging around your attack and making you burn for it, air is keeping at range just out of reach.

              Water on the other hand is dynamic as all hell. They really took the “be shapeless be formless.” with it. It adds dex to soak, enemy 1s add to soak and hardness and remove attack successes, you gain hardness equal to your current initiative, it’s all over the place. The only real common thing is that it doesn’t usually add static numbers and it goes about things in weird ways.

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              • #37
                Thanks for all of the support. This thread had been incredibly helpful! I'm about to sit down and rework my character as we speak. I'll post what I come up with here.

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