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  • #16
    Originally posted by Sorcerous Overlord View Post
    I think its handled very poorly and the Merit Tax is an answer to a hypothetical problem not a real one.

    There's basically 2 types of MA: I am a primary fighter and I want a unique splash on a noncom. SP and WR a good examples of Primaries. SVN and DPC are the latter.

    Single Point, widely regarded as the most powerful, Surpasses then Ties them Loses to Melee in order of investment. It has arguably the most bang for your buck on a charm-to-power scale but a Dawn SPer is gonna get wrecked by a Melee Dawn. Im too sick to link the Exalted Arena page, but you can find it.
    This doesn't matter much when a Melee Supernal Dawn is the least likely possible non-mortal opponent a Dawn is going to face. Nothing in the games implies that Solars come to blows very often in the second age (for instance the 3e core book provides no quick and dirty templates for making Solar opponents--though it does for other Exalted). The vast majority of supernatural opponents a Dawn with SPSitV will face are:

    -Dragon-blooded/Liminals
    -Gods/Elementals
    -Maybe an Abyssal

    All of which besides the possibly the Abyssal (and only if they are a Dusk with whatever the Abyssal equivalent of Supernal Melee is) will get absolutely blown to smithereens by a Mastery-enhanced Single Point.

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    • #17
      Before this gets too far, can we all agree on a simple issue?

      The Martial Arts Merit isn't fun. For all we can argue about the value and if it even has any, MA vs Melee, the Merit vs. an Artifact, or whatever... the RAW Merit is a point/XP tax before you can spend more points/XP that actually do something. Even if you never buy any Evocations, an Artifact weapon is still a kickass weapon, and is thus fun to have. Melee 5, even if you never take any Melee Charms, still makes you one of the best human hand-to-hand weapon combatants in Creation and presumably you have some other tricks up your sleeve.

      Even talking about the point cost itself is fairly meaningless because the Merit costs are all over the place. They only way to make any sense of price for impact and story/innate/purchased is to presume a very specific mindset about what kind of rolls are more important than others. Fleet of Foot costs four points as well, and it's still just a +1 die to some Athletics rolls.

      The MA Merit, by itself, is just there to sink points into.

      Even if you agree with the logic that MA needs some gating, this is a poor way to do it.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Frostav View Post

        This doesn't matter much when a Melee Supernal Dawn is the least likely possible non-mortal opponent a Dawn is going to face. Nothing in the games implies that Solars come to blows very often in the second age (for instance the 3e core book provides no quick and dirty templates for making Solar opponents--though it does for other Exalted). The vast majority of supernatural opponents a Dawn with SPSitV will face are:

        -Dragon-blooded/Liminals
        -Gods/Elementals
        -Maybe an Abyssal

        All of which besides the possibly the Abyssal (and only if they are a Dusk with whatever the Abyssal equivalent of Supernal Melee is) will get absolutely blown to smithereens by a Mastery-enhanced Single Point.
        I agree. You thoroughly refuted an argument I didn't make though. SP isnt as strong as Melee, but it has a Merit Tax is the point. And as HeavyArms said, its just not *fun* to pay a merit tax, its bad game design.

        You buy a 4 dot artifact and you dont just get evocations, you get a totally bomb ass sword out of the deal. Nothing justifies the MA merit and you dont get crackerjack toy with it.

        And also, if you arent a dawn then the powerful charms arent available at chargen, and depending on your group its 5ish sessions before you hit E2 and you even unlock form charms.


        Please be warned: this is not champagne, this is most likely a duck.
        -Chausse

        Message me for Japanese translations.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Sorcerous Overlord View Post

          I agree. You thoroughly refuted an argument I didn't make though. SP isnt as strong as Melee, but it has a Merit Tax is the point. And as HeavyArms said, its just not *fun* to pay a merit tax, its bad game design.

          You buy a 4 dot artifact and you dont just get evocations, you get a totally bomb ass sword out of the deal. Nothing justifies the MA merit and you dont get crackerjack toy with it.

          And also, if you arent a dawn then the powerful charms arent available at chargen, and depending on your group its 5ish sessions before you hit E2 and you even unlock form charms.
          I think supposedly Martial Arts is supposed to come with some other stuff (access to private MA tournaments where you can talk secrets organizations, access to gods/old hermits than only speak to those who have mastered the ultimate Snake Strike, etc ...) but the game does not support this enough in its description, so it's effectively useless as anything else that a combat ability.


          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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          • #20
            Originally posted by Sorcerous Overlord View Post
            SP isnt as strong as Melee, but it has a Merit Tax is the point. And as HeavyArms said, its just not *fun* to pay a merit tax, its bad game design.
            Since you're invoking me a bit here...

            It's worth going back to post #2 and Kelly's point about Solar XP vs.normal XP.

            One of the things about MA is that it's really good if you're not a Dawn and you want some potent combat utility: you don't have to give up spending on your primary focus Charms to buy up your MA Charms too. If you're making an Eclipse social butterfly, the dual XP tracks makes MA a much stronger contender than native Solar Charms that would impede your progress in places like Presence and Socialize. It also has the benefit of, as long as you're careful about your Anima, not giving you away as easily.

            Stuff that doesn't always come out as well in things like The Arena.

            Of course, I still think the RAW way to having players weigh this is dumb, but I can't deny that if you're not a combat primary character without some gating MA is pretty much a must have in Exalted as such a default combat-heavy game. The amount of XP in the RAW you have to sink in MA is enough to question if that's really where you want to invest your non-native Charm XP.

            Now, for a lot of groups? I don't think they actually have a problem with this: hence so many drop the gating completely. Of course your social butterfly Eclipse grabs SVN or DPC... that's what those MAs are for, and you're not going to outshine a dedicated Dawn Melee fighter in the long run. Though in 2e that's how we ended up with the Dawn Solution. It's also not exactly fun for the Dawn players where they're "shtick" is being slightly better at combat because they have their kick ass Solar Charms, while everyone else gets cool evocative fighting styles that help match their character concepts. It's not great game design to have player be forced to pick between optimal but boring, and less than optimal but cool.

            So it's probably best to focus our energy in a different place: How do we make this all equally fun to play?

            If we take the playtest reports at face value and that MA needs some gating, is there a better method besides the Merit tax?

            If we need to at least keep the Merit for gating, what can we do to make the Merit more fun and less tax? What crackerjacks would you add that don't make it too good in the process?

            Originally posted by Chausse View Post
            I think supposedly Martial Arts is supposed to come with some other stuff (access to private MA tournaments where you can talk secrets organizations, access to gods/old hermits than only speak to those who have mastered the ultimate Snake Strike, etc ...) but the game does not support this enough in its description, so it's effectively useless as anything else that a combat ability.
            There were a lot of things that MA was supposed to do... we'll see if any of that ever comes to fruition fr 3e. Once upon a time mundane MA styles were supposed to work kind of like Fighting Style Merits from the CofD (thus giving the MA Merit value even for mortals), but that got dropped as the devs couldn't balance it with Charms or some such.

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            • #21
              I felt the earlier suggestion of giving a free MA Charm or two with the initial purchase of the Merit is fun but not overpowering, putting it on par with the kinds of artifacts that grant you a free Evocation when you first attune to it.

              ‚Äč(I don't personally have a problem with the Merit but I feel for the people who do, hence why I'm chiming in, as I feel it's a pretty decent compromise.)

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              • #22
                The biggest problem with the free Charm is you have to qualify for the Charm in the first place (which yes, isn't hard and would be weird not to do). It's not a hard fix (XP debt for anything your lacking) but it's a consideration.

                Though it doesn't do anything for mortals that take MA.

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                • #23
                  Mortals aren't really a point of consideration here. This isn't about them in any meaningful way.


                  Check my Exalted homebrew!

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                  • #24
                    This is a thread about whether or not the cost/benefit of the Martial Arts Merit are warranted; and possibly what to do if you don't think they are.

                    As:

                    1) The book contains rules for playing mortals either as their own thing or to do pre-Exaltation play.

                    2) The MA Merit applies to PC mortals, or if for some reason a NPC is stated up as a full character it would apply to them too.

                    Then mortals are a point of consideration here. Whether or not you care doesn't mean the rest of us feel the same way.

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                    • #25
                      I also like the suggestion of the free charm.
                      Additionally, I'd seriously consider the cost of the merit for a Dawn Caste who took Martial Arts as their Supernal ability since under those circumstances it's in direct competition with the likes of Solar Melee and many of the benefits of being able to treat a Martial Art like it's an Evocation tree would be lost.


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                      • #26
                        Supernal MA is a weird thing with how everything is structured. Really, the only reason to do it is to start with a full MA style mastered or close to it. If you're planning on mastering 3-4 styles or something, it doesn't really help in that situation.

                        Sure, all Supernals run into that as your Essence increases, but most of the Abilities have more side Charms, branches, and you can theoretically design custom Charms, which means you'll still have plenty of Charms over your Essence to grab for a good deal of play.

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                        • #27
                          The Merit wouldn't bother me except... you also need separate Ability dots.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            Supernal MA is a weird thing with how everything is structured. Really, the only reason to do it is to start with a full MA style mastered or close to it. If you're planning on mastering 3-4 styles or something, it doesn't really help in that situation.

                            Sure, all Supernals run into that as your Essence increases, but most of the Abilities have more side Charms, branches, and you can theoretically design custom Charms, which means you'll still have plenty of Charms over your Essence to grab for a good deal of play.
                            I had a player who did this in our separate mini campaign we ran when some players werent around for the main campaign. He made a Dawn Snake master and... yeah that was it. There was no way to get better at Snake than he was at CharGen. He picked up some Dodge and some non-com stuff like Lore and Investigate, but fundamentally he couldn't get better at actually being a Snake Stylist than he was at session 1, which is a really, really weird thing to think about in a game so heavily inspired by Wuxia.


                            Please be warned: this is not champagne, this is most likely a duck.
                            -Chausse

                            Message me for Japanese translations.

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                            • #29
                              As far as the Wuxia inspirations... that's not really a problem. Frequently "master of X style" means they're going to grow in other areas.

                              One of the larger problems is that MA isn't really built to compliment each other. Like, one beat that's really missing from Wuxia is masters of multiple styles swapping styles out to try to outmaneuver each other. Sure, if it's one-on-one and both take the Simple action to swap forms that can work, but it doesn't really do that in action in regular Exalted play. There also isn't really an eye towards making sure that the MA styles that get made all have strong niches that a multi-stylist is going to want to swap styles to match the situation.

                              This is pretty far from the Merit itself, though.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                One of the larger problems is that MA isn't really built to compliment each other. Like, one beat that's really missing from Wuxia is masters of multiple styles swapping styles out to try to outmaneuver each other. Sure, if it's one-on-one and both take the Simple action to swap forms that can work, but it doesn't really do that in action in regular Exalted play.
                                Often Wuxia is about demonstrating the superiority of the protagonist's signature style ("Japanese karate is no match for my kung fu!")

                                But I'm reminded of this KSBD arc: https://killsixbilliondemons.com/com...swords-10-147/
                                https://killsixbilliondemons.com/com...swords-10-149/
                                https://killsixbilliondemons.com/com...swords-10-158/

                                I think the Reflexive Form activation conditions handle swapping styles really well... but I hope Sids will have a way of mixing styles more effectively.

                                But each MA has a pretty strong theme. If you're fighting someone in heavy armor, you can switch to Snake, if you're fighting a Smash fighter you can switch to Tiger, White Reaper for battlegroups, etc..


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

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