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[3e, PEACH] I wrote Sidereal Martial Arts

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  • [3e, PEACH] I wrote Sidereal Martial Arts

    A few months ago I wrote a schema for Sidereal Martial Arts because I wanted to write some of them.

    I was interested in exploring the idea of SMA as a way of codifying and expressing a philosophy in a physical and tangible way, rather than them simply being "super martial arts", since that limits them to somewhat higher tiers of play.

    My General Sidereal Martial Arts Rules

    My desire was to have:
    • Sidereal Martial Arts that supplement, rather than replace, traditional martial arts styles.
    • Sidereal Martial Arts that are accessible at all levels of play, including for appropriate types of starting character.
    • Sidereal Martial Arts that express an idea or philosophy and feel embedded in the setting.

    Three Sidereal Martial Arts I wrote as part of developing my general thoughts:

    Argent Idol of Adoration: A style about desire, monsters, the moon and the wild sense of freedom that being with another person can bring.

    Iridescent Seals of Restraint: A defensive style focused on channeling demonic power to become the ultimate martyr in the name of what you love.

    Clear Breaths of Annihilation: A style inspired by the destructive art of Ki Rata from the webcomic Kill Six Billion Demons, this is a style focused on pure destructive power at the cost of all else.


  • #2
    In general, i'm just going to review the general rules i do find the styles interesting but I can't critique it do to my issues with the rules you've set up. Overall, I don't think it's an appropriate presentation. SMA is pretty much to sidereals as sorcery is to solars. Though solars can learn the style they can't master or teach it. The only real way to show this difference is to replace the mastery keyword with the sutra keyword and bar solars from teaching it or having any mastery over it. But that's just my opinion. It's a very ambious project and I wish you luck.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
      In general, i'm just going to review the general rules i do find the styles interesting but I can't critique it do to my issues with the rules you've set up. Overall, I don't think it's an appropriate presentation. SMA is pretty much to sidereals as sorcery is to solars. Though solars can learn the style they can't master or teach it. The only real way to show this difference is to replace the mastery keyword with the sutra keyword and bar solars from teaching it or having any mastery over it. But that's just my opinion. It's a very ambious project and I wish you luck.
      This isn't very good contribution to the thread.


      Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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      • #4
        Some quick thoughts:

        I like the idea that, from the perspective of the least of their users, the Sidereal Styles are essentially one-off Charms that you have to master an entirely separate Martial Art to learn. That makes them inherently weird and esoteric; why would I learn dots of Iridescent Seals of Restraint to access one Charm when I can learn Snake Style or Dreaming Pearl or whatever and access an entire Style? Of course, to mortals one is as good as the other but without enlightened practitioners championing it, mortal schools of such a style would be super rare, and super conspicuous; the Charms of a Style are supposed to be natural enhancements of its mortal version, and yet an Essence user who studies one of these (otherwise perfectly functional) styles learns, at best, one Charm? And no Form?! The philosophical implications there probably keep Immaculates up at night.

        To reinforce that, I'd tweak the levels slightly.

        Terrestrial: May only learn Root, at min Essence +1 and Martial Arts +2. Can teach the Root to anyone who can learn it.

        Non-Mastery, Non-Terrestrial: May learn Root and Stem with instruction, at min Martial Arts +1. Can teach Root and Stem to anyone who can learn. Can learn but not teach Blasphemy Charms with Root as prerequisite.

        Mastery: May learn Root, Stem, Leaf, and Lotus with instruction. May self-teach Root at Martial Arts 5. Can teach non-Epiphany Charms. After mastering the Lotus, may gain the Sutra keyword for a style with instruction as a 4-dot Merit. Can learn Blasphemy Charms with Root or Stem prerequisites.

        Sutra: May learn all Charms with instruction. Can teach any Charm they know. Automatically gain Mastery benefits for a Sidereal Style upon learning Lotus. Automatically gain Mastery benefits for any lesser Style after learning its Form. May prematurely gain Mastery benefits of any style with a special token.

        Sidereal/Getimian Only: After mastering the Lotus Charm, may invent one of each type of Epiphany Charm.
        ‚Äč
        I think I understand your motivation, but I do not like the Oleander Law keyword. Like, at all. If you feel you need the caveat I would replace this with something more like the Apocryphal keyword from Miracles of the Solar Exalted, but given that this is homebrew that keyword is essentially implied for the whole document anyway.
        Last edited by Blackwell; 04-08-2021, 04:29 PM.

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        • #5
          I'd make the Oleander Law more like the Gold Rule--Sidereal Martial Arts can really mess with causality in strange ways and that needs to be accounted for, but that seems like something to be accounted for out of game?


          The Book of Laughing Serpents Series(Latest Here)
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          San Jeanro Co-Op writer. Volume 1 here Volume 2 here Volume 3 here
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          • #6
            I'm not sure I understand Wretched Betrayal of the Trusting Hand. What is the advantage of changing the target of your decisive attack before the original target has even chosen their defense (as opposed to just attacking the real intended target in the first place)?

            The idea of the Charm is cool and flavorful and giving the user an incentive to betray their allies is an ideal Blasphemy against the style, but it doesn't seem very powerful for a Charm that costs 2wp, unless I'm missing something important about the target-changing thing.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Epee102 View Post
              I'd make the Oleander Law more like the Gold Rule--Sidereal Martial Arts can really mess with causality in strange ways and that needs to be accounted for, but that seems like something to be accounted for out of game?
              Maybe more akin to the Red Rule, but yeah. It's weird to me to attach this type of table-etiquette, social contract in a keyword for specific Charms, probably because it implies that it doesn't apply otherwise. Why does blowing up a city with Disharmonious Cosmic Exhalation need unanimous consent, when other mass-destruction powers do not? And if the table doesn't like the consequences of blowing up that city, why can we retcon it if we did it with DCE, but we can't retcon it if we destroyed it some other way?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Blackwell View Post
                Maybe more akin to the Red Rule, but yeah. It's weird to me to attach this type of table-etiquette, social contract in a keyword for specific Charms, probably because it implies that it doesn't apply otherwise. Why does blowing up a city with Disharmonious Cosmic Exhalation need unanimous consent, when other mass-destruction powers do not? And if the table doesn't like the consequences of blowing up that city, why can we retcon it if we did it with DCE, but we can't retcon it if we destroyed it some other way?
                This seems more like an indictment of Exalted 3e than a criticism of this particular homebrew. Consent mechanics are a good thing, fullstop. The fact that the big, campaign-reshaping Charms don't have tools like this to keep everyone on the same page is a pretty major flaw, imo.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KymmetheSeventh View Post

                  This seems more like an indictment of Exalted 3e than a criticism of this particular homebrew. Consent mechanics are a good thing, fullstop. The fact that the big, campaign-reshaping Charms don't have tools like this to keep everyone on the same page is a pretty major flaw, imo.
                  Hm, I guess? I don't think Dog Star is imrpoved by having "and be sure to ask your players if their cool with this" (that's the most campaign reshaping I've heard of). I feel like tools about "the goal is everyone has fun" (Orichalchum/Gold rule) covers it nicely.


                  The Book of Laughing Serpents Series(Latest Here)
                  Many Limbed Manual
                  Patreon here: https://patreon.com/undeadauthorsociety
                  San Jeanro Co-Op writer. Volume 1 here Volume 2 here Volume 3 here
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KymmetheSeventh View Post
                    This seems more like an indictment of Exalted 3e than a criticism of this particular homebrew. Consent mechanics are a good thing, fullstop. The fact that the big, campaign-reshaping Charms don't have tools like this to keep everyone on the same page is a pretty major flaw, imo.
                    I'm going to try to parse this very carefully. Apologies if I don't get it right the first time.

                    Roleplaying is a collaborative social space. The comfort of all participants is absolutely the most important thing, full stop.

                    What I don't like about the concept of a consent mechanic is that it puts in-game boundaries on what is "legitimate" to be uncomfortable with. In the case of the Oleander Law, it specifically calls out "big narrative consequences". But powerful magic you can tag with a keyword doesn't have a monopoly on narrative consequences! If the narrative consequence I'm not comfortable with is the death of everyone my character loves, why does it matter whether it was Disharmonious Cosmic Exhalation, a natural disaster, or a Night Caste with a knife who killed them?

                    Furthermore, saying "your in-game power fails if players don't consent to the consequences out-of-game" misses the fact that the consequences to the narrative are always in the players' collective control anyway. This is already enshrined, in print, in the Orichalcum rule: "Story comes before adherence to the rules". DSE says everyone dies... but my character's loved ones dying wouldn't be a fun story. So they don't die. Easy-peasy.

                    This is why I think the right place for this type of consideration is in a "meta-rule" like the Golden, Orichalcum, Storyteller's, or Red Rule. It's not a mechanic, it's part of a healthy social dynamic of the game being played. It needs to be able to transcend ALL game mechanics ALL the time. The entire narrative exists in the "unanimous consent" of the players, always.

                    Does that make sense?

                    EDIT: Also, in the case of DSE, it seems like the keyword is there because the OP felt that Ki Rata needed a Creation-Slaying Oblivion Kick, and writing explicit consent into the Charm was meant to excuse the problems that causes. For my money, it's more appropriate to make the Charm Apocryphal and just say "this was an idea for what this Charm would look like if it existed, but you should decide whether you want to open that can of worms at your table."
                    Last edited by Blackwell; 04-11-2021, 11:50 AM.

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