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  • Ideas for new Anima Powers for Solar

    Pre-writing : So it was discussed in the topic about supernal abilities that different Anima powers could be interesting for Solar in order for them to play a character that goes a little away from their standard Caste assumption, so the idea is to try to have Caste power that allows for more versatility. I tried to alternate between simple and complex powers, but to never have a straight "power up" anima power.

    Post-writing : I have finally finished them. I think a lot of you might notice they are more inspired by the "moves" of games of The Apocalypse like Legacy. I'm pretty happy about them, but my problem about some of them is that they are somewhat very convoluted or maybe a bit distant from Exalted mechanics. I still think than in the worst case scenario, they are good for producing fun story and making the character that used them exceptional or impressive. I also really think they allow to better represent different kind of archetypes in every Caste, while staying true to the idea of the Caste.

    Please, in any case do not hesitate to give your opinion about it, be it positive or negative. Also, please excuse the style and grammatical mistakes that may be contained in these lines.

    Edit : I'll post my analysis of every existing Caste Anima power and why I decided to make the new anima powers like they are. I only did it briefly for the Dawn actually

    I'll propose few ideas of Anima powers for each Caste. My basic proposition is that any character of a Caste can choose any of 3 anima powers in his Caste. My other suggestion would be that a character can pick 2 Anima powers from his Caste and 1 from any Caste. This last one can certainly open to abuse from some players, so don't use it if someone is trying to shenanigan it.

    Dawn

    D) 1) Bringing light to those assailed by darkness, the Dawn senses injustice. By meditating at dawn, the Lawgiver can sense one relevant warfare event that will happen in the near future. A shining ray pierces through the sky, showing him the way to battle. The warfare event must follow at least (or ideally exactly) 2 of the following conditions : 1) It must allow the Dawn to assert one of his Principles or fight one of his nemesis or its minions, 2) One of the side is positively biased toward the Dawn, and 3) One side in the event must be overwhelmed by the enemy forces. Does not work to find isolated individual preparing a violent encounter (like an assassin, a thief, etc ...). Once per month, but the use is not expanded if there was no conflict nearby where the Solar could arrive in time (accounting for travel Charms he possesses) (or something like that).
    Motivation : Less fight, more drama about the fight. Can also easily create a short scenario, and put forth the Dawn as the person in charge.

    D) 2) His soul forever linked to conflict, every being in Creation recognizes the Lawgiver's place in the giant battleground that is Creation. Every member of any kind of military or paramilitary structure are counted as if having a Minor Intimacy of Respect/Fear (or another appropriate feeling) towards the Dawn, depending on the context (enemies in battle will more easily have fear, while allied nations might have Respect or Trust for example)
    Motivation : Give the Dawn more social place and more opportunities to shine in social encounters.
    Post note : Thanks Epitome for the suggestion of making this power more subtle.

    Analysis : I tried to keep "warfare" thematic powers, while giving them the opportunity to be more useful in a social context, or to give the Dawn natural leadership for an event. In particular, the genius tactician, city guardsman, barbarian warlord, martial monk, former slave gladiator, wordsmith and arena brawler archetypes do not feel supported (except by pure combat) by the Dawn Anima Powers, while D) 2) allows for more social interactions on a daily basis for them. I think D) 1) is a bit broad but I feel it allows for a simple scene where the Dawn is assured to shine because he will either support his intimacies, find new allies or/and save the day.

    Zenith

    Z) 1) The Zenith's words are words from Heaven itself, and all recognizes its righteousness when hearing them. Upon spending a day in any settlement, town, village or the like, if the Zenith is preaching or making social contact in anyway, he acquires Followers (•) for a week, who are competent in an area logical for the location he spent time in. Additionally, he may acquire up to (Essence) dots of additional background Merits representing similar support, though no Merit other than Followers may have a rating greater than (Essence/2, rounded up). These Merits may be introduced as needed with an appropriate explanation, such as a recounting of how the Zenith gained the sponsorship of a local merchant (Resources) or won the loyalty of a gang of street toughs (Command)
    Motivation : There are a lot of archetypes (firebrand revolutionary, orator, peasant rebel, inspirational artist) that I feel are not fully represented by the existing anima powers.
    Additional note : Thank you vwllss trnt prncss for the suggestion and improvement.

    Z) 2) When darkness blurs everything, the soul of the Zenith will always find the path of what must be done. When spending time meditating at noon, the Zenith can calls his inner soul go to to Heaven, where he is rightfully welcomed. There, he can ask for an audience with any Incarnae for guidance. He does not need to know which Incarnae exactly he seeks audience with, but will nonetheless find one that corresponds to the questions and difficulties he is encountering. The Incarnae will lend the Lawgiver the wisdom he is seeking, not trying to sabotage him or lure him into a trap, and will try to help the Zenith accomplish his duties with the best efforts. After his audience, the Zenith wakes up in creation with new spiritual strength : He can act as if he was inspired with Definitive Intimacies toward completing the goal he set on with the Incarnae, and can decide to ignore one of his Major or Defining Intimacy that would prevent him from taking the necessary course of action to complete it (during a reasonable time, not more than 2 seances usually). Once per story.
    Motivation : I like the existing powers of the Zenith, but I feel like there is room to put forth spiritual guidance and help for the priests-king in an interesting way with this one. Maybe it's obvious, but the Incarnae will not give a "free win ticket" to the Solar : The purpose is rather to give him a unique insight on the problem he is facing.

    Analysis : I think the Zenith Anima powers are already very interesting (dissolve a corpse and get his intimacies to transmit & materialize spirit), and allow for a lot of cool scenes, but I felt like there is really few power that really speak to the "leadership" and "spiritual guide" aspect of the Zenith.


    Twilight

    T) 1) Once the greatest master of the mind, the Lawgiver's knowledge are a boon forever given to Creation, that suffuses every being back to recognizing the Solar's enlightenment. Every member of any kind of Bureaucratic or Academic structure are counted as if they had a Minor Intimacy of Respect (or other appropriate intimacy) toward the Twilight.
    Motivation : a lot of emphase is put on being a great master and planner, but actually no Anima power supports this trope. It allows for the character to more easily play any kind of teacher or leader and goes a bit beyond "I nerd magical projects in my cave"

    T) 2) Nothing in Creation and further is beyond the Twilight's understanding. He has looked for the truth of the universe, and found it several times, again and again. When meditating at sunset, the Twilight can reach for the deeper truth of the Universe and look for all the wisdom Creation has amassed about an organisation or a wonder, guessing the best way to make the entity durable and efficient for the longest time. Upon seeing them, he is automatically successful on a State a Fact roll to find an element that can help toward the best possible outcome for the entity in question, if possible. Once per story.
    Motivation : I love the "astrologer and mystic and stuff" of the Twilight, but once again only the State a Fact mechanic allows for this archetype, which is fine to me since I use the same core mechanic, however I wish for something more "Ultimate Occultist"-like. Of course, it's inspired by Doctor Strange in Avengers : Infinity War.

    Analysis : Twilights powers are fun (disappear and come back later), but the only I see really serve the themes of the Twilight is binding familiar spirits. I think this really does not put forward the bureaucratic and academic masters themes, neither does it allow for the grand genius revelation (you could do it regularly through State a Fact Lore, but this is not specific to the Twilight). I think these 2 powers allow for a bit more possibilities in these designs.

    Night

    N) 1) Forever cloaked in the darkness, the Night can never be mistaken when touching the light. After meditating at night, he can imbue his body and weapons with Solar energy. Upon striking someone in the following week, if the victim is truly innocent or pure, the Lawgiver can chose to discharge the energy invested in the weapon to nullify all damage and retain all initiative spent. When doing so, the innocent character instantly recognizes the truth about the Solar intentions when performing this act, and become inspired as if he had a Major Tie of Respect toward the Lawgiver if this intent aligns with any of his intimacies. Once per week (I guess ?)
    Motivation : Work for assassins obviously, but as well for any Night fighter, and allows for interesting dramatic cliffhanger.

    N) 2) The dead of night hides secrets unseen by all but the Lawgiver, and Creation recognizes his right to know of what happens in the dark. The Night can search for the truth about a character or an organization, and will then receive regular missives (lost or perfectly duplicated) from and about the entity he is watching over for a time period appropriate for the ongoing events (a character acting quickly would be once a day, an organization moving slowly once per month). Once the entity has accomplished a task for successfully safeguarding its intelligence (such as a terrestrial sorcerous working on its secret chamber, an investigation about its most shady members, etc ...) this effect ends, but this cannot be accomplished as long as the Night doesn't interfere with the entity's plans. Once per story.
    Motivation : I found the "spy and investigator" anima powers of the Night a bit lacking so I think it gives them more possibilities about this kind of archetype, without necessitating to be a "Stealth and socialize" classical Night.

    Post-note : Considered not satisfying for the moment. Suggestions are welcome.

    Analysis : I really like the Night themes, but stealth/larceny are just too present for 2 of their anima powers. N) 1) is totally inspired by Samurai Jack, and can as well integrate any kind of "assassin archetype" as well as all the more generic Night fighters without having them rely on stealth. N) 2) is much more oriented towards investigator and spy Night but does not necessitate to rely on stealth, and still goes for the theme of secrecy and infiltrating enemies structures.

    Eclipse

    E) 1) After Creation was freedfrom the darkness that created it, the Eclipse were the first to explore its boundaries and even beyond. Since then, their soul is forever bond to the people of Creations and elsewhere. The character chooses two domains between the following : Heaven, Hell, Underworld, Elemental Circle. The Lawgiver naturally forms a telepathic connection toward different useful beings of these domains (so usually gods for Heaven, demons for Hell, undead for the Underworld, and Elementals for Elemental circle), corresponding to a Contacts (•) merit, and enabling new insight about Occult phenomenon. The telepathic instances grow over time, allowing for the Solar to handle more connections. When gaining Essence, he can either gain a new domain, or gain a rank in Contacts in one of his domains, if he showed enough interest to justify so.
    Motivation : I like the Twilight one but I find oriented more towards "direct efficiency" rather than "occult and social intrigue". I guess this depends on how the Twilight and the ST handles it, I guess, so it might be redundant at your table.

    E) 2) The Eclipse knows no frontiers other than itself, and all in Creation crave for the freedom he embodies, and the riches he brings back. When preparing an expedition, the Eclipse can make known the destination to the inhabitants of Creation, and they will answer truthfully. When preparing the expedition, the Solar's character can state one organisation, the ST another organisation, and the rest of the table a last organisation that will participate one way or another in this expedition. For preparing this expedition, the Eclipse counts as having Backing (•••) to any organization that desires to participate in the expedition. During the expedition, no participating organization can try sabotage the expedition or try to destroy another organization, except if they are obligated to do so in order to defend themselves truly (individuals can still bring havoc on the expedition but their organization will not support them). The Eclipse doesn't need to take part in the expedition once it is gone. Upon a successful expedition, the Eclipse gains Ressources (•••) at the beginning of the next story that will fade over the course of the story. Once per story.

    Analysis : I think Eclipse have the coolest anima powers with the Pact and the Diplomatic Immunity, but the Diplomatic Immunity only works if you are often invested in going towards strange creatures in your games. I think E) 1) allows to do it a bit the other way around and allows for Occult supernal and general Occult Eclipse to insert the kind of surnatural creatures they want and are interested into more naturally in their themes. I was a bit reluctant to do another "bind yourself to magical entities" anima power since the Twilight already has one, but I think they play very differently. As for E) 2), Eclipse got Sail AND Ride as Caste powers so they are very oriented towards travel, but only the Diplomatic Immunity is useful for this theme, and only in a very specific way. I think it allows for the Eclipse to call for an event that will put forward these skills by making a maritime expedition or a caravane, for which I haven't seen a lot of mechanical suggestion overall in the books.
    Last edited by Chausse; 02-19-2020, 08:22 AM.


    My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

  • #2
    I've edited each of the caste with a little paragraph giving my thoughts and brief analysis on the existing anima powers of each Caste and why I created the new anima powers like I did


    My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

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    • #3
      I like the powers and In think they'd work well for specific characters, but maybe not as universal powers every Caste member gets.

      -The passives that force intimacies might go against a character concept - for instance, the Dawn terror who wants to be feared would not want to inspire respect in other soldiers.

      -Some of the powers are quite niche - for instance, many Eclipse archetypes will probably never prepare an expedition.

      The two Powers I feel could work as universal powers are D1 (Sense Conflict) and E1 (Spirit Contacts).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Epitome View Post
        I like the powers and In think they'd work well for specific characters, but maybe not as universal powers every Caste member gets.

        -The passives that force intimacies might go against a character concept - for instance, the Dawn terror who wants to be feared would not want to inspire respect in other soldiers.

        -Some of the powers are quite niche - for instance, many Eclipse archetypes will probably never prepare an expedition.

        The two Powers I feel could work as universal powers are D1 (Sense Conflict) and E1 (Spirit Contacts).
        To answer your first point, many existing powers are useful for specific character and less useful for the Caste as a whole, so I think the best option is to allow any player to chose 3 Caste powers between all available, it also allows for better balance, and fresh experience by varying different Anima powers for the same Caste.

        Maybe I should be more generic and allows the player to chose (in accord with the ST) for the passive powers that force intimacies. That would avoid the caveat you pointed at with the Dawn example.

        I think some powers are a bit niche, but they translate quite properly a lot of the archetypes and abilities of the Caste : For the Eclipse example, the half of the archetypes suggested are ambitious young noble, diplomat, merchant prince, adventurous sailor, royal advisor, gentleman explorer, and I see them all having to prepare some kind of expeditions at a moment or the other. The Caste abilities are Bureaucracy, Occult, Larceny, Linguistics, Presence, Ride, Sail, Socialize, and except Occult and Larceny (to a certain extent), I all see them being an opportunity for the Eclipse to shine with this power. It's true that the notion of expedition itself might be a bit too restrictive, and some characters might never be interested in this. Maybe I should put a more general description for this kind of power, to let the players adapt the concept to their character.


        My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

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        • #5

          Rereading a bit, for the Night Investigation Power, I'm not sure I understand how it actually works in-universe. Do the missives appear spontaneously, does the Power assume the Night has spies/contacts, or something else?

          Originally posted by Chausse View Post

          To answer your first point, many existing powers are useful for specific character and less useful for the Caste as a whole, so I think the best option is to allow any player to chose 3 Caste powers between all available, it also allows for better balance, and fresh experience by varying different Anima powers for the same Caste.
          For sure if players can pick Caste powers from a list then these extra powers could work out great.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Epitome View Post
            Rereading a bit, for the Night Investigation Power, I'm not sure I understand how it actually works in-universe. Do the missives appear spontaneously, does the Power assume the Night has spies/contacts, or something else?
            This one is the weakest I've done I would say, I was wishing to find something that stayed on the infiltrator/detective side but without requiring the character to invest in Stealth/Larceny. I don't think I have a single explanation in-universe. Creation bends itself to use a weakness of the organization, a way or the other : it might be traitors (think Hux from the last Star Wars ROTS), a spirit that wants to help the Night, etc ... depending on the ST and player idea.


            My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Chausse View Post

              This one is the weakest I've done I would say, I was wishing to find something that stayed on the infiltrator/detective side but without requiring the character to invest in Stealth/Larceny. I don't think I have a single explanation in-universe. Creation bends itself to use a weakness of the organization, a way or the other : it might be traitors (think Hux from the last Star Wars ROTS), a spirit that wants to help the Night, etc ... depending on the ST and player idea.
              Having sensitive papers miraculously land onto your lap, and also the Twilight power of peering through fate itself - both sound more like Sidereal Powers than Solar ones.

              Some ideas :

              -Twilight Power (T2) : Allow the PC to decide what their esoteric method for introducing the fact is. Maybe the Twilight is an idiot savant who occasionally randomly spouts the answer to millennia old puzzles without really noticing what he did, or maybe an astrologist communes with the moon and stars with a ritual dance.

              -Night Power (N2) : A Power that lets you look at a stack of paper (or any similar source of secrets) and immediately pick out which ones are the ones someone most doesn't want you to see. Instead of finding the innocent like with the first Power (N1), you find the "guilty", as it were. you don't know what the secrets are or why they matter, but it can start you on a new quest or help you in a pinch.

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              • #8
                D1: I love it. Probably needs verbage for what to do if the battle is too far away to reach in time or there's nothing anywhere nearby (Refund the use? Lead the Dawn somewhere they can cause a battle?)
                D2: I like the idea, but this is absurdly powerful. Remember, WP can be spent to prevent the creation of an Intimacy but not to prevent strengthening it. I strongly suggest making it a virtual Intimacy instead of a real one, not subject to strengthening.
                Z1: I like the idea, but •• of merits is a bit underwhelming. I feel that a scene of recruiting can get the same result for any Zenith with basic (Solar) social competence. How do you feel about "The Zenith's words are words from Heaven itself, and all recognizes its righteousness when hearing them. Upon spending a day in any settlement, town, village or the like, if the Zenith is preaching or making social contact in anyway, he acquires Followers (•) for a week, who are competent in an area logical for the location he spent time in. Additionally, he may acquire up to (Essence) dots of additional background Merits representing similar support, though no Merit other than Followers may have a rating greater than (Essence/2, rounded up). These Merits may be introduced as needed with an appropriate explanation, such as a recounting of how the Zenith gained the sponsorship of a local merchant (Resources) or won the loyalty of a gang of street toughs (Command)"?
                Z2: Love it.
                T1: See D2.
                T2: I agree with Epitome, the flavor text feels too Sidereal.
                N1: See D2, but imagine it's in all-caps and flashing red.
                N2: Once again I agree with Epitome.
                E1: See Z1.
                E2: Love it. Only concern I have is ambiguity, is the "no sabotage" clause supposed to apply to all participating organizations, or all organizations everywhere? The latter seems a bit overpowered.

                Overall great work, thank you for putting in the time for this!

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                • #9
                  vwllss trnt prncss

                  ​I'll answer point by point :

                  D1 : I like it too. At first I included a condition where the prediction could only be made to where the Dawn could be in time, counting on his different Charms and so on. I deleted it, thinking it was obvious, but your comment make it clear that it's not and some people will have different interpretations. I'll add a line about that.

                  D2 : I didn't actually know you couldn't use WP to prevent strengthening an intimacy. I will change the text to read "act like they have a minor intimacy" and I'll add flexibility on the subject of the intimacy as suggested by Epitome.

                  Z1 : I like your idea more than mine. I wasn't sure about the balance of the different Anima powers in term of "merit points", but I think having this one scale with Essence is quite fair. I'll use your version if you don't mind.

                  Z2 : Thanks. I must admit I'm very proud of this one, it really sparked out of nowhere when I was thinking "Man I really wish Zenith coule take advice from The Unconquered Sun a bit more", and pouf !

                  T1 : I'll change accordingly with D1 and try to add more flexibility as well, if I can think of any.

                  T2 : Do you think the flavor text is too sidereal or the effect as well ? I like the idea of T2, but I noticed as well it was going very sidereal-y, hence my comment on Sidereals noticing interference.

                  N1 : This one is a bit more complex, but I think I can as well change the nature of the intimacy to be something along the lines of "create a virtual Major Intimacy toward the Night for X time", which should be less problematic.

                  N2 : This one is the one I'm the most dissatisfied with from all I've written. I'd actually take suggestions on either a different power or a rewrite of this power to integrate more fluidly into the Night theme

                  E1 : I see your comment on Z1 but I'm unsure on how to transpose it to this power. Should I give more dots at the beginning and a better scaling ? For example start at Contacts (•) in 2 different domains, and you can improve the contacts level at each Essence level (instead of Essence 3 and 5) ? That would make an Essence 3 Eclipse with (for example) : Contacts (Heaven) •••, Contacts (Elemental Circle) ••• in permanent merit. I don't know if that's a lot

                  E2 : The no sabotage clause is supposed to apply to all participating organizations (not everyone in the world), like they cannot come to this expedition with the ill-intent to destroy the caravans of the other participants (but they can be very greedy and try to amass the riches for themselves). The idea is more than the organization cannot sabotage (for example The Guilde will not try to destroy all other participants in the Caravan), but the Guild Prince Merchant in charge of his part of the expedition can try to do it out of greed, and he won't enjoy the backup of the Guild if he does so (he can still count on his personal followers and soldiers, for example). I think the usual practical case is 2 sides are fair, and the last one has ill-intent, and the intrigue is to guess who. Of course it can take many other different forms, for example all 3 are fair, but a fourth powerful exterior organizations is trying to ruin the expedition because it threatens them, and you have to defend against them.


                  My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

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                  • #10
                    Epitome vwllss trnt prncss I've changed the descriptions accordingly to the criticisms I received, and added a note to thank you for your help.

                    In particular, I've made T2 less "siderealy", and I've temporary italicized N2 that was found rather unsatisfying.

                    I've upgraded Z1 and E1 to scale a bit better, I'm not sure of the power level yet but I think it's fine.


                    My homebrew (Leave comments if you want to help improve) : A quick recap of all the pools and stats for Quick Exalted 3E characters

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