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

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  • #31
    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
    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.
    So Universal charms are the main ones. In Oration you have the Balanced Lightning Declamation Style which lets you reroll 5s and 6s for 2m. That's yuge.

    But I really like Dance. The entire line. Flurry Intimidation with a Rush with no flurry penalities, ignoring difficult terrain and (with Effortlessly Rising Flame) +4 (charm) dice, a (charm) success and exploding 10s on the Rush for 5m 2i (throw in a Balanced Grand Jeté with Soaring Leap Technique and you can get rerolls for 1m). Lower Resolve. Turn Appearance dice into non-Charm successes. Get Appearance dice on Inspire rolls and buff other social characters. There's no bad here.

    But if you don't like it then you don't like it. You might be better off going Earth or Air though.
    And I guess I wouldn't mind using a flamepiece.
    Flame weapons are all about the Evocations. DB archery is not a big help.


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

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    • #32
      Dodge the ability is okay with wood aspects, you have an anima power that has synergy with it via penalty ignoring, but you won't be able to grab and use more than a few dodge charms until Essence 5. At E5 you can take Elusive Dragon-God Dispersion, which makes Hopping Firecracker and Unassailable Body of Fire into wood charms for you. In terms of defending yourself though going with parry is usually better. Dodge is the archery defense which you don't want to be using anyway. You could always grab both and one doesn't harm the other, but that's a big investment that I only recommend if you're trying to be the greatest fighter ever.

      I'm going to second ride as fantastic though, even just being mounted with a lance the benefits are impressive. With the excellency's additional effect you can really safely give it medium barding without ever really caring about the penalty, and even heavy is fine. Getting a free +4 non-charm dice bonus to rush, disengage and withdraw actions combined with things like Seven League Gallop and Vanishing Cloud-Rider Ways push your mobility through the roof.

      If you don't mind using a flame piece Righteous Devil can work well with that kind of setup, but just using simple melee is extremely effective. If you're down for having a bow as your backup weapon you might be able to use Wood Dragon style, using a powerbow as a staff in melee and then being able to disengage and immediately start shooting, but I know you don't necessarily want to be a monk with a monk already in the game. Consider though, if they're not a wood monk, that being a monk yourself could lead to interesting character moments where you debate philosophy together if that's your thing.

      You could also use brawl, wood-balanced brawl is pretty sweet. Oaken Thews Exertion is solid and the signature is pretty great. You could theoretically even ride in on a horse, 1 or even more enemies into a grapple with Hanging Tree Technique and Body of Deadly Thorns, and then disengage, dragging them out of the melee where the rest of your enemies might break your grapple and now you're free to go to town.


      Another thing to consider if you're fighting undead is Occult. Particularly in an investigation heavy game, detecting dematerialized ghosts, warding against them, and for the wood signature annihilating them in a huge radius.

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      • #33
        I would take a different approach. Dragon-Blooded Charms will never be able to compete with Celestials, and Solars get so many excellencies it's a little silly to keep up.

        I'm actually a bit inspired by the Marvel movies: no one will be as good of a fighter as the Hulk or Thor, but that doesn't mean Iron Man and Captain America were useless in fights. Everyone has their own niche, and not all of them are mechanical. Even Falcon had his uses (ha).

        I think that some place Dragon-Bloods really shine is their connections. Unlike Celestials, every Dragon-Blooded Exalt draws power from their connections. For many, that starts with their family: there's power and meaning in blood. Additionally, others are attracted to that power: merchants, craftsmen, and farmers know that a trustworthy DB can add value to every transaction, and the prestige that comes with it is a bonus. Finally, Dragon-Blooded of various backgrounds have access to armories and arsenals, or other places of power (such as manses and demesnes).

        For the E5 game, serving as the general's or sorceress's logistician or the socialites' spy or bodyguard might be fun and interesting contribution. For the E4 game, serving as the Craftsman's supplier or the swordsman's squire or guide or adventuring buddy might be fun. I think that building the Charms and mechanics on an interesting concept might make it easier to refine the character.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post

          Flame weapons are all about the Evocations. DB archery is not a big help.
          Why not both?

          I didn't notice Lightning Declamation was balanced, I just saw it was Air, good catch. (Though I think outside combat aura isn't something you have to worry so much about anyway.)

          I suspect you are right about being better off with a different aspect though. I realised before that, since I'm not keen on taking archery or performance or medicine or being a grappler (which is what Wood Brawl is mostly about) it was unlikely Wood was the Aspect for me, but I thought it was worth asking to see if there was some great Wood stuff in other areas. But it sounds like, while there is a bit, there's probably not enough.

          Interesting stuff about ride though DrLoveMonkey. I do like the charm for taming and riding beasts. And e5 dodge.


          I'll go have a look at Earth and Water, but anyone got any tips for particularly stand-out earth or water charms?
          Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 08-18-2019, 06:41 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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          • #35
            Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
            I'll go have a look at Earth and Water, but anyone got any tips for particularly stand-out earth or water charms?
            If you're playing a game in a big interconnected lake area then rolling with all of Water's "I don't care about water, in fact it makes me stronger" charms, like its sigs in Athletics, Ride, Archery, Thrown, Stealth ect. If you're not sailing you can at least ride across the waves, or beneath them. Such places would also make the elemental meditations in Lore much easier.

            Earth has some pretty neat wrecking crew style stuff in Athletics and Ride. I also personally really like its Bureaucracy signature.


            I'm not sure you should get too hung up on what elements favor what abilities by charm number, and more how you want your character to feel. If you like the way the wood aspect feels, you can make it work really well. Wood melee, for example, can have an insane consistent parry of 10-12. You start with 7 for max stats medium weapon, 8 when you're mounted, 9 for non-charm parry on Root Hand Merger, a discounted excellency, and finish it off with Aura of Grasping Branches that lets you ignore up to (Essence) penalties to your parry, and prevent onslaught penalties from attacks that you do parry.

            Also if your foes don't have hardness your anima is inflicting a die of damage and really really deadly poison effect every turn. If you're Essence 5 with 5 stamina the duration is ten rounds, which is impossible to resist without magic.

            If you're fighting ghosts, Occult is still really good. Sure the excellency is Air, but the charms for detecting spirits, making them corporeal, and warding them away from a building are all balanced or wood aspected. If you're looking at the later charms like Purifying Dragon Suspiration which is Air/Water, it really doesn't matter, it's a big extended roll. Anathema Sealing Tomb might have an effect, as it will knock you out of your Wood Aura, which makes your parry charms less good, but it's also a finisher charm attack that seals away your foe for half a millenia so you've got some time to get back in it.

            If you're looking at investigation there's only two charms that even interact with aura, both water, and they're both bonus effects. Even then in an investigation scene it's not hard to stay below bonfire anima until your last roll which gives you water aura, and that's something you might want to do anyway to avoid damaging the crime scene. So it's not really hard to be a wood aspect who uses charms like Inescapable Wave of Insight and the like.


            That's not 100% true for everything, Fire Brawl is pretty restrictive, but most abilities are a lot more open then they may appear initially due to their element spread.

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            • #36
              Isn't DB occult quite poor? For example you can only see spirits in mirrors?


              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


              • #37
                Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                Isn't DB occult quite poor? For example you can only see spirits in mirrors?
                Its worse than, that you can only see spirits in mirrors you are touching.
                Although when combined with Spirit-Chaining Strike "While it doesn’t become fully materialized, it’s visible to all Dragon-Blooded characters in the scene, and can attack or be attacked by them as though it were material." it becomes more useful
                Last edited by Fiikragg; 08-19-2019, 03:12 AM.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                  Isn't DB occult quite poor? For example you can only see spirits in mirrors?
                  Yes, but since your daiklave can double as a mirror the mechanical effect of that versus just seeing them is you take a -1 die penalty to attack rolls. It isn’t nothing but it’s not exactly crippling. As Fiikrag points out it only matters until you chain them anyway which you probably want to do so that everyone else can fight them anyway.

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                  • #39
                    I should also say again that this might depend on your game style, especially with a high essence mixed game. Most ghosts have an essence of 1-2, I think some have 3 in the supplements. So with that you can be pretty confident that you’re starting join battle of like 9-12 is going to be enough to chain the spirit you’re fighting right off turn one. The horrors that are Nephwracks though, that’s different, they’re Essence 5 and not so easy to chain right away. For that you’re going to have to work and probably at least make a withering attack against something before you try and chain it.

                    The Solar version of the same charm is Phantom Seizing Strike, which costs a willpower but always makes the target material for two turns and can be activated reflexively after making a damaging attack. There’s also Spirit Caging Mandala which cost more but is better in a lot of situations. If you’re facing a lot of Nephwrack level foes in the game you’re going to be less effective playing a DB.

                    Then again most dematerialized spirits are pretty harmless anyway so going 1v1 against them when you can strike them but they can’t strike back makes for a pretty easy fight. Spirits tend to become deadly when they materialize, or have specific charms that let them interact with the world while they’re intangible, and generally specific charms don’t hold up to exalted combat. The spirit cutting charms are usually used for slaying a mortwright that’s having a tantrum or something.
                    Last edited by DrLoveMonkey; 08-19-2019, 11:31 AM.

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                    • #40
                      I want to find a nephwrack... but I can't find him! The dodgy f*ck's hiding, he just sends his ghostly minions to wreck havoc. Some of those are Essence 3, but they're not Nephwracks. But good points, thanks.


                      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


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                        I want to find a nephwrack... but I can't find him! The dodgy f*ck's hiding, he just sends his ghostly minions to wreck havoc. Some of those are Essence 3, but they're not Nephwracks. But good points, thanks.
                        Oh yeah, any Nephwrack worth it’s salt is a slippery bastard. If those are the kind of foes you’re facing on the regular though your DB is going to be just fine. There’s no need to have attacks with 16 successes regularly or the equivalent parry, and charms like Secret Wind Revelation and Eternal Death Banishing Blossom are going to do serious work.

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