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What is your favorite 3rd edition Martial Arts Style & Why?

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  • What is your favorite 3rd edition Martial Arts Style & Why?

    Hello all, as the title asks. I was just wondering what is your favorite 3rd edition martial arts style & why? I have been running 3rd edition, sadly never getting to play but I have enjoyed seeing some weird stuff such as a Crane & Black Claw style user, discussed how horrific Centipede style is and recently had someone explore making a Falcon style practitioner. I like falcon for the sheer showy taekwondo imagery, but I can see a lot of fun in most of them except for Steel Devil Style which I find annoying as it should have been a melee charm set.

  • #2
    I've only used one, Earth Dragon Style, so that wins by default.


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

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    • #3
      Yeah... haven't really be able to play enough of them to really have opinions that seem fair. So far:

      Crane is fun, but a bit bland. Not necessarily in as bad of a way as that sounds, but a lot of what it does feels like it could just be a few normal Charms (Defend Other doesn't get that much love in most of the native Charms).

      Swaying Grass Dance was probably the one that shined the brightest, but it was hard to keep that up. I like that most MAs have some clear strengths and weaknesses, but the "keep your feet hidden" aspect of it got really finicky. I want to use my stunts to describe my character's awesome capoeira inspired Exalted fight moves, not constantly doing scenery edits on how my enemies can't see my feet.

      So, depending on my mood, one of those two.

      Tiger is the only other one I've gotten to use, and it was three editions in a row of "I want this to be cooler than it is. I just always find myself trying Tiger, and then thinking I could get the same thing but more fun out of a different mix of Charms.

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      • #4
        I like Steel Devil, but it's very persnickety and requires a lot of extra record-keeping.

        I like the flavor and descriptions of Black Claw and Righteous Devil, though I've never seen how they actually perform in combat.

        White Reaper is probably my favorite, just for the visuals of singlehandedly taking on a force that vastly outnumbers you and sending multiple opponents flying away with every sweeping blow.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post
          I like Steel Devil, but it's very persnickety and requires a lot of extra record-keeping.I like the flavor and descriptions of Black Claw and Righteous Devil, though I've never seen how they actually perform in combat.
          Righteous Devil is extremely effective, I had a character brutally kill a River Dragon in one shot...

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          • #6
            Definitely Dreaming Pearl Courtesan for me, nothing can be more awesome than wacking people left and right with your sleeves.


            The no.1 fan of Demetheus. I also draw Exalted things and is looking for commission works ~

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            • #7
              Personally, I'm a big fan of Centipede style. Not sure why... it doesn't have any particularly fancy gimmicks or anything, it just gets a bunch of really solid workhorse Charms right out of the gate.

              On the other hand, I've run two 3e campaigns, and in both of them the Dawn went for White Reaper Style--one as a purist, the other combining it with Righteous Devil. The first character I built when I was learning the system was a White Reaper user, and in out of the three (sadly brief) games I've played in I've used White Reaper in one of them.

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              • #8
                I like Air Dragon.

                It's a super diverse style, you've got like White Reaper for kicking battlegroup ass, Crane for being all defensive and counter attack-y, but Air Dragon is up here letting you run across clouds and smoke, ignore difficult terrain, stealth bonuses, double 9s on all movement rolls of any kind. It's pretty cool.

                I also like the thrown weapon option for playing with range bands. If you're fighting an archer you stick yourself right to their face and enjoy your +5 to hit while they're trying to get away and peg you with their -2. Against melee guys it's even better because you just play keep away with your chakrams until they're dead or actually catch you, at which point you say "good for you" and use Avenging Wind Strike to send them back to the horizon to start it all over again.

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                • #9
                  So I have played a bunch of MA styles since I like the MA aesthetic. It is rare that I play an exalted character who isn’t a martial artist. I also run a fair bunch of games which gives me a chance to tey out styles with NPCs.
                  My favorite style is probably White Reaper Style, I like the huge weapons with sweeping attacks, it gives a lot of space to stunt in. Mechanically it does the things I want a style to do: Have a good withering booster (Falling Scythe Flash), Have a good decisive booster (Enemies like grass), have a good defense charm (Flickering Corona Barrier, have a good soak charm: Impenetrable White Shroud and finally have some special utility specific to this style: (Halos & Battle Group effects).
                  Other good styles that I have used or seen used in my playgroup:
                  Wood Dragon Style After the form charm it falls off, but the first few charms are amazing bread-and-butter effects that will get constant use all game.
                  Ebon Shadow Style Obviously very stealth focused but can be great, lacks a bit of defense unless you are creative.
                  Snake Style & Tiger style good basic offensive & Defensive effects and some utility.
                  Laughing Monster Style has some hilarious and weird effects, but is also has good basic mechanical effects.

                  Mediocre / average styles
                  Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style Good basic effects and fun if weird style.
                  Steel Devil Style relies on overly complicated mechanics that often work out to only being slightly better than a normal attack. It really shines if you coordinate with the party and always attack foes with a defense of 1/0, but outside of that it is weak.
                  Nightingale Style can be decent, has some powerful charms but is less generally good at combat and more specifically around mixing combat and social.

                  Styles I have seen that I found lacking:
                  Crane Style (If on a PC then there are always better targets to attack than the counter-attacker)
                  Earth Dragon & Water Dragon Styles have a few decent charms but are pretty disappointing overall.
                  Black Claw Style really pigeonholes you and even when in the exact right circumstances it isn’t much better than one of the good styles.
                  Styles that have been problematic:
                  Single Point style provides too much good offense (if you have mastery). I’m not saying it is invincible, but in the one game where a player took this style they actually asked if they could swap it out as they had wanted their merchant eclipse to be moderately good at combat, not dramatically out-performing the dawn caste for so few charms invested. I’m sad about how OP this can be because I love the aesthetics of the style but it has become a meme for being overpowered in my playgroup.

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                  • #10
                    I gravitate to the slightly weird MAs, especially ones that work for characters who don't really have a martial focus. Laughing Monster I think is my favorite, just because it is super weird and silly, followed by DPC. I also quite enjoyed unleashing Mara's Black Claw and combat sorcery against a circle of DBs, though I don't think I would want to use the style myself over a long game.

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                    • #11
                      Black Claw is my favorite just because of how it's written ("Such virtue!"), but it's a bad first martial art. It thrives when mixed with dreaming pearl courtesan or white veil to give you more options. You could certainly work with it, but against a focused fighter, it won't go well at early levels.

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                      • #12
                        Snake has had a special place in my heart since 1E, but I really like Mantis Style - it's got offense, defense, some fun tricks, and a finishing move. It manages to be a grappling style without losing the finesse aesthetic.

                        Some day, I want to use mantis and Lunar native charms on a Lunar martial artist. Some day.

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                        • #13
                          does anyone have a spreadsheet or list of all the MAs so far, one that lists what book its in, and what the form weapons (if any) are for it?


                          Malfeas F'Tagn - go check out my epic MLP/Exalted crossover "The Scroll of Exalted ponies" @ Fimfiction

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by webkilla View Post
                            does anyone have a spreadsheet or list of all the MAs so far, one that lists what book its in, and what the form weapons (if any) are for it?
                            Hopefully this will work for you.
                            https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...#gid=186448199

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                            • #15
                              Duplicate post

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