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Artifact Help - Hand of the Deceiver

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  • Artifact Help - Hand of the Deceiver

    One of my players wanted to use illusions as a method of combat. Since that isn't something Solars have naturally, I've created an artifact that fits the bill. The hand is a 4-dot artifact. I've designed 5 evocations for the Hand. The text in parentheses for each evocation describes the original intention. I have a couple of questions:
    • How much should atonement cost? Just being attuned to the Hand doesn't offer a lot of benefits but the evocations seem fairly powerful.
    • Are any of the evocations too powerful? In particular, I'm concerned about the power level of Fractal Image. I tried to base it off Dodge charms while providing something unique.
    • What would you use as a started point for stats for the guardian to make it useful but not overpowering? Would the Walking Statue on p 500 be a good starting point? I'm considering giving the guardian an essence pool, a melee excellency, and Glorious Solar Saber.
    This is the first artifact I've designed for the new system, and it's pretty far off everything that's been presented in the book so far. Any comments or critique would be appreciated.

    Hand of the Deceiver

    Received in trade from Madame Marthesine of the Lost. She said it was made by a loving father for a daugter who felt the touch of the Sun's power in her youth. The Hand of the Deceiver is a wire framework glove of starmetal and moonsilver set with glittering dream stones. When worn, you can almost hear the essence singing joyously behind yours years. The artifact yearns to be used.
    A Solar, Sidreal, or Lunar who attunes the Hand can spend essence to create moving illusory images no larger than a grown man that last as long as the character focuses on them. Onlookers roll Perception + Awareness to recognize the illusion as false. The cost of this power is 1-3m depending on the scale of the illusions. For one Willpower, the duration of the illusion lasts for one scene.
    5 evocations
    • Fractal Image (reflexive defensive charm, can be cast on others)
      Cost: 3m; Mins: Essence 1
      Type: Reflexive
      Keywords: Withering-only
      Duration: Instant
      A illusory image splits away from the target, confusing attackers. The spectral image vanishes moments after the attack. For one attack, target's Evasion is increased by two. This is a non-charm bonus.
    • Cloak of Deception (maintainable illusionary overlay on self, an ally, or an enemy)
      Cost: 3m; Mins: Essence 1
      Type: Simple
      Keywords: Perilous
      Duration: Scene
      You cloak on human-sized target in a cloak of illusion. Outside combat, the illusion is an effective disguise. In combat, the illusion sows confusion. Anyone who scrutinizes the illusion rolls Perception + Awareness against a difficulty of the number of Evocations unlock on the Artifact to see through the illusion. In combat, enemies who see the illusion appear, reflexively roll Willpower + Awareness against this difficulty. At Essence 3+, this charm may be used reflexively when you roll join battle.
    • Greater Illusion (as basic power, but increased cost and expanded scope)
      Cost: 5m (+1 willpower); Mins: Essence 1
      Type: Simple
      Duration: Scene
      The simple illusions created by the Hand are greatly expanded as the bearer gains familiarity with the artifact. Illusions created by this evocation can fill a small room. As long as bearer remains focus, the illusion can shift and move as willed.For one Willpower, the illusions are maintained by the Hand for the scene.
    • Chaotic World (mass illusion causing confusion, requires the previous 3 as prerequisites)
      Cost: 5m (+1 willpower); Mins: Essence 2
      Type: Simple
      Keywords: Perilous
      Duration: Scene
      Prerequisites: Fractal Image, Cloak of Deception, Greater Illusion
      The influence of the Hand's illusions flow out from the wielder, creating confusion in the scene
    • Manifest Guardian (create a guardian of light and essence from your iconic anima banner)
      Cost: (10m or 3a) +1 willpower; Mins: Essence 2
      Type: Simple or Reflexive
      Keywords: Dual
      Duration: Scene
      The bearers anima banner flares iconic, and steps away from the bearer, fueled by the power of the Hand as a solid guardian of sculpted essence. Stat to be written. The Evocation can be used reflexively against decisive attacks. When used this way, the guardian becomes the new target of the decisive attack.
      Special activation rules: The evocation is learned at no cost and activated for free the first time the bearer is struck with a decisive attack while concealed by Cloak of Deception.


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  • #2
    Originally posted by ElfSpeaker View Post
    A Solar, Sidreal, or Lunar who attunes the Hand can spend essence to create moving illusory images no larger than a grown man that last as long as the character focuses on them. Onlookers roll Perception + Awareness to recognize the illusion as false. The cost of this power is 1-3m depending on the scale of the illusions. For one Willpower, the duration of the illusion lasts for one scene.
    Is the Perception + Awareness difficulty 1? Just need a single success to tell they're fake? Part of me wants to make them obviously fake at that costing, so it's more like a wizard's cantrip. If you want them to look legit, I might increase the cost to like 3-5, where making fake people that look legit could potentially add to anima gaining.

    Also, when you copy things over from other files, quote yourself after you post it and look at all the tags the forum adds in there for color, font, and size. It makes commenting on posts difficult and sometimes off-putting. I learned this the hard way. Make it clean and you'll get more feedback!

    Originally posted by ElfSpeaker View Post
    Fractal Image (reflexive defensive charm, can be cast on others)
    Cost: 3m; Mins: Essence 1
    Type: Reflexive
    Keywords: Withering-only
    Duration: Instant
    A illusory image splits away from the target, confusing attackers. The spectral image vanishes moments after the attack. For one attack, target's Evasion is increased by two. This is a non-charm bonus.
    3 motes for increasing a static defense by 2 is cheaper than an excellency. On top of that, they are non-charm dice. So yes, I would comfortably say this is overpowered. I'd say decide on what you want more, the non-charm dice or the more efficent defense increase. If you go with the first, cut out the last sentence and it's probably OK. If you want the non-charm dice, make it like 3m per 1 Evasion. Non-charm dice is VERY powerful in this game, so don't take it lightly.

    Originally posted by ElfSpeaker View Post
    [*]Cloak of Deception (maintainable illusionary overlay on self, an ally, or an enemy)
    Cost: 3m; Mins: Essence 1
    Type: Simple
    Keywords: Perilous
    Duration: Scene
    You cloak on human-sized target in a cloak of illusion. Outside combat, the illusion is an effective disguise. In combat, the illusion sows confusion. Anyone who scrutinizes the illusion rolls Perception + Awareness against a difficulty of the number of Evocations unlock on the Artifact to see through the illusion. In combat, enemies who see the illusion appear, reflexively roll Willpower + Awareness against this difficulty. At Essence 3+, this charm may be used reflexively when you roll join battle.
    This one is worded... poorly. Why do enemies in combat who see the illusion appear roll Willpower + Awareness? Is it to see the illusion? Why is it different from someone who scrutinizes it? The first line is clear but the second line needs a bit of clarification of what it's doing and why. I'd add a willpower to the cost myself for the scenelong, but others may disagree.

    Originally posted by ElfSpeaker View Post
    [*]Greater Illusion (as basic power, but increased cost and expanded scope)
    Cost: 5m (+1 willpower); Mins: Essence 1
    Type: Simple
    Duration: Scene
    The simple illusions created by the Hand are greatly expanded as the bearer gains familiarity with the artifact. Illusions created by this evocation can fill a small room. As long as bearer remains focus, the illusion can shift and move as willed.For one Willpower, the illusions are maintained by the Hand for the scene.
    So this is an upgrade to the base power? It just increases the size not the difficulty, correct? If that's correct, it seems legit. However you have the duration as 1 Scene, and then the option to spend 1 Willpower to make it... 1 Scene. That needs clarification. Also I might make this Essence 2.

    Originally posted by ElfSpeaker View Post
    [*]Chaotic World (mass illusion causing confusion, requires the previous 3 as prerequisites)
    Cost: 5m (+1 willpower); Mins: Essence 2
    Type: Simple
    Keywords: Perilous
    Duration: Scene
    Prerequisites: Fractal Image, Cloak of Deception, Greater Illusion
    The influence of the Hand's illusions flow out from the wielder, creating confusion in the scene
    I'm guessing you haven't fleshed this one out yet.

    Originally posted by ElfSpeaker View Post
    [*]Manifest Guardian (create a guardian of light and essence from your iconic anima banner)
    Cost: (10m or 3a) +1 willpower; Mins: Essence 2
    Type: Simple or Reflexive
    Keywords: Dual
    Duration: Scene
    The bearers anima banner flares iconic, and steps away from the bearer, fueled by the power of the Hand as a solid guardian of sculpted essence. Stat to be written. The Evocation can be used reflexively against decisive attacks. When used this way, the guardian becomes the new target of the decisive attack.
    Special activation rules: The evocation is learned at no cost and activated for free the first time the bearer is struck with a decisive attack while concealed by Cloak of Deception.
    This evocation is a capstone, but is learned for free by the 2nd evocation? That's strange and I'm not a fan. I can't judge the cost without stats on the guardian, but if you intend to give it charms bare in mind just how amazingly powerful it is to have something that can "defend other" on you. I would make it Simple only, I wouldn't include the Decisive reflexive power, but just my 2 cents. This is also Essence 3 for sure, manifesting your anima into a physical guardian is absolutely in that realm.

    I'm not a fan of the variable cost, 10m or 3a. Frankly, for how powerful you seem to be shooting for this thing, I'd give it both. I would try to design this guy as either a defender or an attacker, and then design it around that. An attacker can have more health levels, abilities, and things, but then I'd want to design it as the player has to actively control it. A defender could be more passive as it's only job is to take hits, but then you'd want to give it either few health levels or a mild parry.

    Magical minions is tricky ground to tread and even I don't have a firm handle on what's appropriate, but I know its fertile terrain for broken mechanics, so be careful. good luck!


    I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
    I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

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    • #3
      The thing with dice-bonuses is that they're hard to balance in a way that also feels satisfying for the user, because even 2 non-charm dice can fuck shit up, and that just doesn't feel good.

      For Fractal Image, i'd suggest something more along the lines of a Distract Gambit enhancer, something like: for 5 motes, roll a free Distract Gambit, which can benefit you or a friend, against a target. Doesn't count as dice added through charms.

      It's powerful, but no more than having an extra QC helping you out. You might even add a reroll-1s onto it, removing the possibility of botching.

      Or maybe it enhances your own Distract Gambits with a cheap Double 8s or reroll-1s or something (or both!), for when you want to help out your friends. Distract Gambits are kinda weak to begin with, but boosting them can really make them worth it, as instead of just transferring Initiative, you're actually generating more of it temporarily.

      It might need a restriction though, like "Once per scene, resetting when the character successfully re-establishes surprise", or maybe adding 1wp to the cost. I'm not entirely sure which is more appropriate (this is what playtesting is for :P ).
      Last edited by Fata-Ku; 04-14-2016, 11:51 AM.


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      • #4
        Here's a second vote for Distract gambit. Conceptually one of my favorite gambits, and definitely the only one I ever want a familiar to know how to do.


        I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
        I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

        Comment


        • #5
          Cloak of Deception (maintainable illusionary overlay on self, an ally, or an enemy)
          Cost: 3m; Mins: Essence 1
          Type: Simple
          Keywords: Perilous
          Duration: Scene
          You cloak on human-sized target in a cloak of illusion. Outside combat, the illusion is an effective disguise. In combat, the illusion sows confusion. Anyone who scrutinizes the illusion rolls Perception + Awareness against a difficulty of the number of Evocations unlock on the Artifact to see through the illusion. In combat, enemies who see the illusion appear, reflexively roll Willpower + Awareness against this difficulty. At Essence 3+, this charm may be used reflexively when you roll join battle.
          IMO it's too easy to see through the illusion. Any important NPC will be able to beat that no problem. This would be appropriate if an NPC was using it, but not for a Player.
          Also, outside of acting as a disguise, it doesn't seem to actually do anything that would warrant it being easily-pierceable. Is it meant to help in battle or to help disguise?

          If disguise: make it a Larceny or Stealth enhancer, something like Craftsman Needs No Tools, where you can roll it without needing makeup or whatnot. (Stealth if it makes you invisible)

          If combat: does it make you look like one of the other combatants? Maybe it could mess with Initiative, like stealing a single point from the person you're turning into. This one point helps set up a shift where in the right circumstances the player gets the upper-hand on a target. Maybe there's a special effect that triggers when this happens? Like, "when this raises the Player's Initiative higher than the Target's, the Player can ... [something something, I dunno]". Adding a variable initiative cost that maybe boosts the difficulty to see through the illusion can help the player control this situation.

          In either case, I'd suggest either a higher static value (like 3 + # of evocations) or a Larceny roll, because disguise Charms can do much better.

          Greater Illusion (as basic power, but increased cost and expanded scope)
          Cost: 5m (+1 willpower); Mins: Essence 1
          Type: Simple
          Duration: Scene
          The simple illusions created by the Hand are greatly expanded as the bearer gains familiarity with the artifact. Illusions created by this evocation can fill a small room. As long as bearer remains focus, the illusion can shift and move as willed.For one Willpower, the illusions are maintained by the Hand for the scene.
          How strong are these illusions? Can they move objects? Boulders? Can they rip open the earth? Can you make a giant bird and use it to fly?

          If they're intangible, what is their purpose? Enhance performance/larceny? Distract?
          Can you make illusory sand and throw it in peoples' eyes? Are they purely decorative? Can they send messages? Can they make things look like convincing replicas of other things? Can you make your horse look like a King's Elephant, decorated with gold and silk, and look like you're actually riding it?

          Chaotic World (mass illusion causing confusion, requires the previous 3 as prerequisites)
          Cost: 5m (+1 willpower); Mins: Essence 2
          Type: Simple
          Keywords: Perilous
          Duration: Scene
          Prerequisites: Fractal Image, Cloak of Deception, Greater Illusion
          The influence of the Hand's illusions flow out from the wielder, creating confusion in the scene
          ok, because i'm still stuck on distract gambits, how about this:
          8m 1wp, once per scene: Roll one Distract Gambit using Dexterity + Larceny and applying a free full excellency. Apply the result (accuracy and initiative roll) against every enemy in Short Range, moving Intiative around as you see fit. No ally can benefit from and no enemy can be penalise by more than one application of Distract.


          Manifest Guardian (create a guardian of light and essence from your iconic anima banner)
          Cost: (10m or 3a) +1 willpower; Mins: Essence 2
          Type: Simple or Reflexive
          Keywords: Dual
          Duration: Scene
          The bearers anima banner flares iconic, and steps away from the bearer, fueled by the power of the Hand as a solid guardian of sculpted essence. Stat to be written. The Evocation can be used reflexively against decisive attacks. When used this way, the guardian becomes the new target of the decisive attack.
          Special activation rules: The evocation is learned at no cost and activated for free the first time the bearer is struck with a decisive attack while concealed by Cloak of Deception.[/LIST]
          Cool! I wouldn't give it Charms though, treating it instead fully as a Living Statue QC. They're already pretty strong and giving them Charms creates a useless amount of book-keeping. Maybe the player can use their own Charms in their stead or something, as though the Guardian was an extension of them?
          Last edited by Fata-Ku; 04-14-2016, 12:24 PM.


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          • #6
            Thanks for the feedback. I'll take this all into account and put the evocations through a round of redesign.


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