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Help me build a high-essence Dragonblood who can pull their weight in a mixed game

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  • #16
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    I'd say that in both games, there's 1-2 characters who are really good at combat, and everyone else is not very good for an Essence 4-5 Celestial... but, you know, pretty good at combat. 8-10 Dex+ability and a handful of combat charms.

    What do you mean?
    Okay so there's some charms in the celestial charmset like Hail Shattering Practice, which lets you take (Essence) 1s and 2s in the attacker's attack roll, post attack roll, and use them to remove successes for 1m/success. Which is a charm that's not only twice as efficient as the excellency, but also lets you remove up to (Essence) successes PAST what your excellency would let you do. Likewise Rising Sun Slash which is a charm that for an Essence 5 character is a fairly consistent 1m for 1 non-charm success and 5 non-charm dice.

    So what charms like that do is allow Solars, and Lunars they have them too, hit people that have like, 16 parry, and dodge attacks with like 26 dice. Dragonblooded don't really, there's a few but they're rare and situational. The effect is that, and I don't know for 100% certain because I've never run an E5 Solar game, if you want foes who can properly clash with those warriors, they need more than a defense of 7-8. Which as a DB is awkward, because you have this awesome signature charm that lets you strike an enemy and turn their fancy armor into nothing more than a ten-ton weight, but your dice pool is at best 16 for that attack and it's just not going to hit.

    I don't think that the ST necessarily needs to go that route, but I can see how it would be tempting, or seem like the only option.

    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    I'd say in the Essence 5 game the main challenge is that the PCs are terrible at working together, and in the Essence 4 game the main challenge is an investigation-based one, not a combat-based one. The e4 game is not very combat-heavy, and already includes an Immaculate master and 2 Solar wrestlers.
    In the e5 game, the main antagonists are Ahlat and his circle of Exigents on one side, and the Realm on the other. So a deadly combat challenge is more likely to be an ambush by a group of Terrestrial-level antagonists when the other PCs aren't there because they're bickering, rather than a Celestial opponent.
    Ahhh okay that makes a lot more sense. I'll have to think about it some more. One suggestion I can make is to maybe go really hard into merits? They can help a lot and in my personal opinion are where the real power of terrestrials resides.

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    • #17
      As in social merits? Artefacts and hearthstones? Or just merits generally?

      I would probably play an Outcaste, who don't get as many merits, but I think the ST might agree to let me have as many merits as a Dynast. Wouldn't like to say for sure though.



      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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      • #18
        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
        As in social merits? Artefacts and hearthstones? Or just merits generally?

        I would probably play an Outcaste, who don't get as many merits, but I think the ST might agree to let me have as many merits as a Dynast. Wouldn't like to say for sure though.
        I think metita generally, but a lot of that I guess is predicated on the idea that as a DB your merits can be wielded with a lot less trouble, which I guess for your game might not apply.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
          But a giant monster... hmmm... how do people rate the Dragonblood Familiar-enhancing and Ride charms?
          Good but not great. Cunning Beast-Mind Inspiration (the survival Air sig) is probably a must. On the ride side Dragon-Among-Horses Exaltation is decent but not obligatory; the air sig can make any creature fly (airborne yeddim ftw) which is weird cause it actually means Air aspects on flying mounts are kind of a waste. Water turns your yeddim into a submarine, which is less useful but still interesting. If you wanna ride closer and hit them with your sword take Charge of One Hundred Generals, if you'd rather plink away with a bow from atop your big beastie take Elusive Skirmisher Tactics.


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

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          • #20
            Why do you mean it's a waste?


            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


            • #21
              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
              Why do you mean it's a waste?
              Because they have multiple methods of flight.


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

              Comment


              • #22
                Ah, sure.

                I've been looking at Sail, as that's something no-one in my group does. DB Sail has some reasonably fun charms (I really like Dragon Mariner attitude) and you can do stuff like summon fog or control the wind (or just ram people really well!). Solar sail seems a bit less interesting... but it's one of those where you can just get truly ridiculous amounts of successes, which you may need to win naval battles. Though a Solar captain vs a Dragonblood captain may just be a bit dull, maybe the Solar just always wins.

                What do you guys think? This is just from reading through each charmset once, and it's hard to remember everything. Plus I've never used the Naval Combat rules in practice.


                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


                • #23
                  I wouldn’t say that having a flying bison was redundant for Aang, especially since none of the rest of his group could fly.


                  ....

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                  • #24
                    Sail also has a weather-mitigating Charm (which I'm pretty sure isn't restricted to use while actively being on a boat) and Deck-Striding Prana, which is a neat way to enhance your combat movement with Sail.
                    I haven't used the naval combat rules either besides a whiteroom or two, so I can't really speak to those.

                    And I agree about the flying bison bit---a flying mount everyone can ride on can have a lot of use.


                    Abyssals: Whom Death Has Called, a PEACH-as-heck attempt to make an Abyssal 3E holdover.

                    Where I try to make Artifacts. When I finish them I'll probably post them in the Artifact Workshop thread so people can help me hammer them into shape.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                      I wouldn’t say that having a flying bison was redundant for Aang, especially since none of the rest of his group could fly.
                      Yeah but if I am Aang the Last Air Aspect and I have a flying bison as a familiar then a bunch of the air-aspected ride charms including the sig do nothing.


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

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                        Ah, sure.

                        I've been looking at Sail, as that's something no-one in my group does. DB Sail has some reasonably fun charms (I really like Dragon Mariner attitude) and you can do stuff like summon fog or control the wind (or just ram people really well!). Solar sail seems a bit less interesting... but it's one of those where you can just get truly ridiculous amounts of successes, which you may need to win naval battles. Though a Solar captain vs a Dragonblood captain may just be a bit dull, maybe the Solar just always wins.

                        What do you guys think? This is just from reading through each charmset once, and it's hard to remember everything. Plus I've never used the Naval Combat rules in practice.
                        Your initial assessment is pretty accurate. What a Solar can do is combo like 4 different charms together for less than 15 motes and pull all kinds of shenanigans. It's not even just getting a bunch of successes, but it's the reflexive boarding actions and bonus damage and stuff that will send the enemy to the bottom of the sea. Even though individually the Dragonblooded charms can compare kind of favourably in power, although not cost, it's the fact that they can only use one or two at a time that kills their abilities.

                        That's just by comparison though, an essence 4-5 DB captain is absolutely terrifying, just not a Solar. If you can swing it, enacting a Drowning Tide boarding maneuver with Ship-Siezing talon and Bellowing Thunder Admiral will let you kill just about anything aboard the other ship. It is also fun, with DB sail you create fogbanks to disappear into, or whirlpools that threaten to swallow enemy ships as they follow you. Those effects will never be as powerful as the Solar who just smashes through all that, but might make you feel more epic.

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                        • #27
                          What do you guys think about Wood-charms in other areas? I mean Wood-melee, Wood-resistance, Wood-dodge, and so on. It seems to me that there are some good charms, but I'm not sure there's enough to focus on other abilities.
                          Basically, I like Wood aspects, and I've only played them a tiny bit (whereas I've played Air, Fire and Water a fair bit), but I'm not that interested in archery or performance (medicine is okay, but I'm playing a doctor now, so I'd rather do something different). I don't mean Dragonblood Archery and Performance, I mean generally I don't play archers or performers.


                          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


                          • #28
                            More important is: what do you think?

                            Wood Athletics is pretty good. Lots of Balanced effects and Wood Aura effects. Wood Melee is Wood Melee: pretty good as discussed in other threads. Personally, I think Melee needs fire Charms, and Wood suffers the most if you're ever knocked out of Aura, but Wood and Balanced charms are pretty strong. Most Resistance work-horse charms are Balanced or at least have a good duration (mucking up your Aura on turn 1 for a Scene-long or Week-long effect is often a good trade). Supple Viridian Scales is pretty good (but it is the poor man's Armored Scout's Invigoration) as is the Sig. Wood Dodge sucks. Hard. Virtuous Negation Defense is good mobility and Swaying Grass Elusion is a cap-breaker but everything else apart from the Excellency sucks for Wood.

                            Presence has an Aura long Appearance booster.
                            War is pretty good when you factor in the Balanced charms. (I'd rather see Wood charms that played off mounted battle groups or enlisting wild animals than treachery... but you can't argue with effectiveness.)

                            Performance is very strong for Wood.
                            Archery is fairly strong for Wood.
                            The Wood Medicine capstone does the same thing as the Solar capstone (for a negilably higher cost) and syngerises well with Performance.
                            I think you're doing yourself a disservice by discounting the best Wood abilities.

                            Survival is good but a couple of key-charms are out of aspect (why Burning Fang Strike, why?). Ride is great (again, some great charms are gated behind Air) and contains Elusive Skirmisher Tactic (look at how many Archery charms require you to Aim, then look at this beast-mode charm).

                            There's a lot of room for a (resting, non-charm) Parry 9 mounted switch-hitter in Wood. Direlance in one hand, Perdurant Vault in the other, composite bow "just in case". Appearance based Performance and War rolls. Solar general, DB master of horses (or Tyrant Lizards).
                            Last edited by JohnDoe244; 08-17-2019, 08:22 AM.


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

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                              I think you're doing yourself a disservice by discounting the best Wood abilities.
                              I know, but unfortunately while I like the look and themes* of Wood Aspects, I just... don't like Archery or Performance that much, with any character or caste. My DnD ranger didn't use bows (I had a crossbow as a back-up weapon, for shooting vampires in the heart, but mostly used a greatswords), I never play bards (I like their skills, spells, etc... I'm just not interested in playing a musician). It's just not me.
                              I wouldn't mind playing an actor-performer, but I don't think Dragonblood have much for that besides the generic charms. And neither of the settings of our games really have much of an acting tradition. And I guess I wouldn't mind using a flamepiece.

                              *Wood charms have a fair few anti-undead focused charms. I like that, and also one of our games focuses a ton on fighting/investigating/dealing with undead.

                              Elusive Skirmisher Tactic
                              I read it earlier today, it seemed really, really, really good.

                              Most Resistance work-horse charms are Balanced
                              Yeah, I noticed that. I didn't notice the thing you raised about resistance charms having scene-long durations, that's a good point.


                              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


                              • #30
                                There are a couple of good Survival charms that synergise nice with medicine. And tbh outside of combat or a huge field hospital setting, the cost for medicine and Survival does not matter a lot.

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