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Henchmen and Heroes (Heroic Mortal Builds)

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Scrollreader View Post
    The merit isn't innate. You can pass it on, as above. It's 15 XP, or about as hard as getting from zero to four dots in an Ability.
    XP isn't a thing that exists in the setting, though. It's an abstract we players use for the modular advancement of characters. Of course players can elect to have their characters awaken latent sorcerous secrets inside themselves, but that shouldn't be taken to be representative of the setting as a whole.

    Originally posted by Scrollreader
    I'm not saying that anyone who drowns gets Sorcery, obviously. But there are lots of weird places and ways to self initiate.
    Only for those people who have what it takes to become a sorcerer.

    Originally posted by Scrollreader
    Not anywhere particularly relevant, no.
    Personally I find the setting more compelling when the largest demographic of characters isn't declared irrelevant out of hand. I mean, isn't that supposed to be the point of this thread? To have a set of interesting mortal characters?
    Last edited by TheCountAlucard; 09-16-2020, 04:35 PM.

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    • #32
      I'm really curious where you are getting the inherent and unlearnable sorcerous talent thing from. There's an awful lot about the incredibly rare and unteachable nature of Thaumaturgy in the 3E book. That's an innate merit that is specifically called out as such.

      And I like mortals. They're very interesting because they're people. I've played a long term mortals game in 1E where no PC had awakened essence. But when you are playing the Exalted, it's not their power that makes mortals interesting. Look at Steel Ribbon Warrior, up there. He's great. I'd play him in a heartbeat, or run an epic story where a former student Exalted as a Dawn Caste. What he isn't is "some super rare mortals can buy melee charms". Because that dilutes the nature and impact of the Exalted on the setting.

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      • #33
        Here ya go, dug up a dev quote just for you.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
          Thank you! (Genuinely). That's the missing link I was looking for, and trying to grok. Wish it was in my books.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Scrollreader View Post
            That's the missing link I was looking for, and trying to grok.
            Serious question - have you seen the movie Ratatouille?

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            • #36
              Yes. Not the best Pixar film, but solid.

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              • #37
                Scarlet Son
                Concept: Wanasaan Scion

                Str: 2 Per: 1(2) Cha: 2
                Dex: 2(4) Int: 4 Man: 3
                Sta: 2 Wit: 4 App: 2

                Integrity 2
                Investigation 3 - Occult Phenomenon
                Linguistics 2
                Lore 3
                Occult* 3(4) -Opposing Sorcery

                Awareness 3
                Melee 3
                Dodge 1
                Presence 2 -Intimidation
                Socialize 1 -Guile

                Athletics 1
                Resistance 1
                Sail 3

                Eyes in Both Worlds 3
                Language 1: Old Realm
                Resources 3

                Hideous -0
                Occult to 4 -1
                Per to 2 -4
                Dex to 4 -6
                Sorceror -5
                Extra Spell -5: Demon of the First Circle

                Shaping Ritual: Drowning in Mystery-Spirit Sword

                Wanasaan Robes and Hat
                Exceptional Chain Shirt
                Staff
                Sea Salt
                Occult Supplies and Paraphernalia
                Small Wanasaan Ship (treat as Large Yacht with smaller size and the HL of a fast Courier)

                Scarlet Son, named for the bloody birth that slew his mother, has always been ... Unnatural. As the boy grew into a odd youth, he eventually became tired of waiting for the gift of the Dragons, and managed to throw himself into the Spring of Echoes, trying to take his mother's place, which he saw as his birthright. He failed. And succeeded.

                Uses: In a game featuring Dragonblooded, Scarlet Son is a parable about what happens to those who try to demand the gift of Exaltation. In a game featuring mortals, his corpse-like visage and demonic attendents are more than enough to serve as a villain, albeit one who is, perhaps, better than the problems he is called to solve.

                Variants:. I've given Scarlet Son the spell Spirit Sword from a previous edition, detailed below (my conversion). If you don't feel comfortable with that, change his control spell to Keel Cleaves the Clouds (mostly for the ambience of the control effect) and have him rely on demons to deal with the unquiet dead. With some background changes (including his shaping ritual), and perhaps shifting dots from Sail into social skills, he makes a great demon cultist you can put anywhere.

                As a Solar:. Scarlet Sun will end up a Twilight, should he Exalt. He would gain. Dex, Int and Wits +1 and Man +2. Increase Occult to 5. Add Artifact 4 (Talion) and Hearthstone 2 (Stone of the Rebellious Dog).

                SPIRIT SWORD
                Cost: 5sm, 2 WP

                The Sorceror forms a scintillating weapon out of opalescent essence, that rings like a bell of iron when it strikes, and shimmers with a nacreous ever-shifting rainbow hue. This is a medium mortal weapon with the piercing tag, with a base damage equal to (Int+Current Temporary Willpower). Strength does not add to this damage. An opponent's parry is inapplicable against the blade, unless enhanced by magic, and the blade likewise cannot be used to parry mundane effects. Artifact weapons are always considered to be enhanced by magic for the purposes of this spell. The blade may be weilded with either Occult or Melee (+Dexterity), and can affect unmanifested spirits. If the Sorceror has no way to see those spirits, this attack takes a -3 penalty.

                If this spell is a Sorceror's control spell, it has the accuracy of a medium artifact weapon, and adds his essence or 3 (whichever is higher) to the base damage.
                Last edited by Scrollreader; 09-17-2020, 11:39 AM.

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                • #38
                  Voice of Fire
                  Concept: Priest of Flame

                  Str: 2 Per: 3 Cha: 3
                  Dex: 2 Int: 4 Man: 2
                  Sta: 2 Wit: 2 App: 2

                  Integrity 3
                  Lore 2
                  Performance 3(5) - Prayer
                  Presence 3 (5)
                  Resistance 2 - Environmental Hazards

                  Bureaucracy 2
                  Occult 3 (5) - Fire
                  Dodge 3
                  Linguistics 1
                  Socialize 2 - Passions

                  Awareness 3

                  Sorceror 5
                  Influence 2

                  Shaping Ritual: Burnt Offerings - Flight of the Brilliant Raptor

                  Extra Spell: Virtuous Guardian of Flame -4
                  Resources to 4 -4
                  Unburnt Majesty -2
                  The Burning Name -2
                  Suzerain of Endless Flame -2
                  Occult to 5 -2
                  Performance to 5 -2
                  Presence to 5 -2
                  Language: Old Realm -1

                  Voice of Fire is the god-blooded descendant of a princess and a Noble Ifrit Lord. Although ineligible for the throne (of either court) he serves as a Vizier to the current King, and high priest of the Cult to his father. Dark skin looks either baked by endless sun or else the color of dark smoke, depending on the light, with eyes that smolder like embers.

                  Uses: Voice of Fire makes a great support to a mortal king, with social skills to guide him and some serious firepower to back him up if needed (pun intended). He'd also make a classic evil Vizier, just add a goatee.

                  Variants:. By changing his merits (even just the elements of them) and his spells, Voice of the Sun can serve as high priest of many different gods, spirits, or demons.

                  As a Solar: Should he Exalt, Voice of the Sun would almost certainly be a Zenith. Increase Per and Int +1, Dex and Cha +2. Then increase his Integrity +2 and Resistance +1. Depending on his patron, he could end with a flaw or enemy as well.

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                  • #39
                    Inspired in part by my conversations in this thread, here are two more mortal sorcerors. I'd particularly appreciate feedback on the conversion of Spirit Sword to 3E, though as noted it's not necessary to Scarlet Son's ability to deal with ghosts (just his ability to do so directly).

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                    • #40
                      On Spirit Sword
                      The main things I'd compare it to are Wood Dragon's Claws and Blood Lash.
                      Both have superior accuracy (+5 vs. +2), mostly better damage (10+strength vs. current wp (max 10) + int), and better overwhelming. They also gain access to pseudo-charms if the user has essence. Blood lash has some other bonuses, but costs more sm and a health level.
                      However, Spirit Sword lets you strike immaterial spirits for free, and has the weakly unblock able attacks/no parrying clause. The second isn't hugely restrictive, since the user could have good dodge or carry a shield. The weakly unblock able is weak against Exalted, or anyone else capable of employing frequent magical blocks, but could be very strong against a mortal who doesn't have decent dodge.

                      In general, pre-control it feels a bit weak for exalted, who can get spirit-killers themselves and face a lot of people with magical defenses, and strong for mortals who need this to strike immaterial spirits, and are more threatened by pure mortals who this can sometimes render defenseless

                      The control effect mostly removes the weakened accuracy/damage, which seems stronger than the control effects of WDC/BL. I'd maybe say that it gains some degree of overwhelming as well, to fit with the upgrade to artifact-level attacks.

                      It also should possibly have a duration listed

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by autXautY View Post
                        On Spirit Sword
                        The main things I'd compare it to are Wood Dragon's Claws and Blood Lash.
                        Both have superior accuracy (+5 vs. +2), mostly better damage (10+strength vs. current wp (max 10) + int), and better overwhelming. They also gain access to pseudo-charms if the user has essence. Blood lash has some other bonuses, but costs more sm and a health level.
                        However, Spirit Sword lets you strike immaterial spirits for free, and has the weakly unblock able attacks/no parrying clause. The second isn't hugely restrictive, since the user could have good dodge or carry a shield. The weakly unblock able is weak against Exalted, or anyone else capable of employing frequent magical blocks, but could be very strong against a mortal who doesn't have decent dodge.

                        In general, pre-control it feels a bit weak for exalted, who can get spirit-killers themselves and face a lot of people with magical defenses, and strong for mortals who need this to strike immaterial spirits, and are more threatened by pure mortals who this can sometimes render defenseless

                        The control effect mostly removes the weakened accuracy/damage, which seems stronger than the control effects of WDC/BL. I'd maybe say that it gains some degree of overwhelming as well, to fit with the upgrade to artifact-level attacks.

                        It also should possibly have a duration listed
                        The lack of duration is totally my bad. Should be scenelength. The original spell in 1E ignored mortal armor, but that seemed too strong in comparison to WDC. Maybe an as essence power? (This is why it has the piercing tag). And yeah, it should totally have some overwhelming. As for damage, I just worry about 9 or 10 WP plus Int being significantly higher than most sorcerors could manage with a sword+str. (Perhaps it's less of an issue in 3E, but in my experience most sorcerors end up with pretty high willpower pretty quickly once play starts, due to the inherent WP drain that is sorcery). How does this strike you?

                        SPIRIT SWORD
                        Cost: 5sm, 2 WP
                        Duration: 1 Scene

                        The Sorceror forms a scintillating weapon out of opalescent essence, that rings like a bell of iron when it strikes, and shimmers with a nacreous ever-shifting rainbow hue. This is a medium mortal weapon with the piercing and balanced tags, with a base damage equal to (Int+Current Temporary Willpower). Strength does not add to this damage. An opponent's parry is inapplicable against the blade, unless enhanced by magic, and the blade likewise cannot be used to parry mundane effects. Artifact weapons are always considered to be enhanced by magic for the purposes of this spell. The blade may be weilded with either Occult or Melee (+Dexterity), and can affect unmanifested spirits. If the Sorceror has no way to see those spirits, this attack takes a -3 penalty.

                        If this spell is a Sorceror's control spell, it has the accuracy and overwhelming of a medium artifact weapon, and adds his essence or 3 (whichever is higher) to the base damage.

                        In addition, characters with access to their essence pool gain the following power while the spell is active:

                        Piercing Soul Strike (5m, Simple, Instant, Withering Only). When you make an Withering attack with the Spirit Sword, ignore all soak from armor.

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