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A Shield-Centered Style (Dark Souls, 300 Spartans, Captain America)

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  • A Shield-Centered Style (Dark Souls, 300 Spartans, Captain America)

    ​FIVE-DRAGON STYLE
    This Style is an integrated body of techniques inspired by five massive beasts which reflect the glory of true dragons: The Ox-Dragon, the Pestletail, the Skullstrider, and the Siege Lizard. Though each is different from the other, they all use their hard, bony protrusions as weapon, shield, and armor to give even the fearsome Tyrant Lizard pause. Especially as even the greatest predator must never become so focused on the prey's head that they forget the tail.


    Weapons: This style uses medium and and heavy shields and their artifact equivalents, though it can be used with light shields with partial efficacy. The Five-Dragon Style Martial Arts Ability may be used for unarmed attacks and parries, but the Charms of this Style cannot be used without some form of shield.

    Shield tag: A weapon with this tag allows the character to place the “full defense” action in a flurry, although this flurry can’t also contain an attack action. This is normally used to flurry full defense and rush actions together.

    The damage of shield-tagged weapons is 2 lower than their class would otherwise indicate (thus a medium shield-tagged weapon would have damage 7 rather than 9).


    Armor: Five-Dragon Style is compatible with any form of armor.

    Complementary Abilities: Practitioners who favor supplementing a shield's defense with the protection of armor find Resistance very useful. Masters of this Style often supplement their combat skills with Brawl, Melee, Thrown, Archery with crossbows and firewands, or another Martial Arts Style.


    Inspirations: Captain America, who often uses this Style without any weapon in his other hand, but occasionally used a gun in World War II. Dark Souls shields, with their parries, ripostes, and lunging smash Weapon Arts. Monster Hunter's Sword-and-Shield weapons. The Spartans of 300. Overwatch's Reinhardt Wilhelm and his Charge ability.

    Captain America's shield-throwing doesn't fit the Style, but is easily covered by native Melee Charms such as Iron Raptor Technique and/or Evocations appropriate to the unique nature of Cap's vibranium shield.

    Conversely, the Dark Souls Parry-and-Riposte mechanic inspired at least three diffferent Charms for the same image in much the same way that Single-Point Shining Into The Void's "single draw-stroke battle" concept inspired at least three different Charms for the same image.



    FIVE-DRAGON FORTITUDE - The martial artist emulates the sturdy strength of the five dragons, remaining on her feet in defiance of great force, or delivering enough of her own to smash her opponent to the ground instead.
    4m; Supplemental, Instant; Uniform; Martial Arts 3, Essence 1 -- No Prerequisites

    If this Charm is used to supplement a Full Defense action with a medium or heavy shield, the martial artist cannot be knocked down or back until her next turn. [More effect against Rushing / closing enemies?] She must commit these motes when invoking the Charm or else the effect will be prematurely canceled if she makes a reflexive clash attack or counterattack with the shield.

    If this Charm is instead used to supplement an attack with a medium or heavy shield, the shield may be used as though it had the Smashing tag. [More effective against Rushed / retreating enemies?]

    The Dark Souls Shield Block, combined with the Shield Smash attack.



    FIVE-DRAGON BLOCKING TECHNIQUE -- The martial artist rallies her strength for a mighty outward swing, parrying her foe's attack widely off-course and leaving his guard wide open.
    3m; Reflexive, Instant; Mastery, Uniform; Martial Arts 2, Essence 1 -- No Prerequisites

    After successfully parrying an attack, the stylist can use Gathering Light Concentration to reverse the onslaught penalties inflicted by it. Instead of applying them to her Defense, she applies them to her attacker’s Defense until his next turn.

    Mastery: At Essence 3+, the Solar may spend an extra 3i when activating Gathering Light Concentration to cancel all onslaught penalties she’s suffering from, and inflict them on her attacker.

    A copy-paste of Single Point Style's Gathering Light Concentration. The first step of the Dark Souls Parry-and-Riposte trick.



    FIVE-DRAGON FORM
    6m; Simple, One Scene; Form; Martial Arts 4, Essence 2 -- Five-Dragon Fortitude, Five-Dragon Blocking Technique

    Ignore the damage penalty of shields and allow lethal damage without a stunt. Negate off-hand penalty when using shield.

    Increase Parry Defense with shields by 1.

    Reduce Initiative cost of Full Defense actions by 1.

    Special activation rules: Whenever the martial artist successfully uses a shield to parry an attack that causes her attacker’s current Initiative to fall below her own, she may reflexively activate Five-Dragon Form.


    FIVE-DRAGON TAIL
    6m; Reflexive, Instant; Decisive-only; Martial Arts 5, Essence 3 -- Five-Dragon Tail

    Before your turn, parry/clash with shield, attack with other hand before next turn; on next turn, you can use bonus with shield.

    After successfully using your shield to parry or clash an attack made against you before your turn, add the difference between their attack successes and your Parry Value as automatic successes to your next attack, as long as it is made with your other weapon.
    After successfully using your shield to parry or clash an attack made against you after your turn, add the difference between their attack successes and your Parry Value as automatic successes to an attack made with your other weapon before the end of the next round.

    The second step of the Dark Souls Parry-and-Riposte trick.



    FIVE-DRAGON WRATH
    6m; Reflexive, Instant; Decisive-only; Martial Arts 5, Essence 3 -- Five-Dragon Tail

    After using your shield to make a successful parry or withering clash against an attack that causes your attacker's Initiative to fall below your own, reflexively make a Decisive counterattack with your other weapon or to attempt a shield-tackle grapple.

    The third step of the Dark Souls Parry-and-Riposte trick.



    FIVE-DRAGON INTERRUPT
    8m, 1wp; Reflexive, Instant; Clash, Decisive-only, Terrestrial, Mastery; Martial Arts 5, Essence 2 -- Five-Dragon Form

    This Charm allows the martial artist to make a reflexive clash attack with his shield. A successful attack grants Initiative equal to her extra successes, up to a maximum of her Wits. This Initiative is added before calculating the raw damage of the attack.

    When clashing an attack from an opponent who moved into close range with you as their last movement action since your last turn, enhance damage.

    Terrestrial: A Dragon-Blood treats the clash attack granted by this Charm as her attack action for the round, and cannot make another. If she has already attacked this round, then it counts as her attack for her next turn.

    Mastery: The martial artist’s attacker loses Initiative equal to the amount that the martial artist gains with this Charm.


    FIVE-DRAGON CHARGE
    4m; Supplemental, Until released; Decisive-only; Martial Arts 4, Essence 2 - Five-Dragon Form

    This Charm supplements a reflexive movement action. Until the Charm ends, every range band that the martial artist moves towards an enemy or object in a straight line grants her two points of Initiative. This Initiative continues to build until she enters close range with that enemy or object and uses her shield to make a decisive attack or feat of strength action to damage that object, after which the Charm ends. If the martial artist takes a movement action that does not bring her directly closer towards the charged enemy or object, makes a withering attack with the shield, or uses her shield to attack a different enemy or object, the Charm ends prematurely and she loses all Initiative built up with it.

    If the final attack is used to successfully clinch the target of the charge, and the martial artist does not stop moving in the same direction, Five-Dragon Charge may be reactivated for 0 motes.

    The martial artist is explicitly allowed to use this Charm while dragging an enemy she is restraining in a clinch initiated with a Decisive shield attack. In this case, she may target an empty range band where she wishes to deposit her passenger, and she may explicitly target the passenger with the final Decisive attack even if she is aiming her charge at a third character.

    At a storyteller's discretion, a martial artist without a passenger may likewise aim for an empty range band while trusting an ally to position and/or hold a target in that spot in time to receive the charge.


    FIVE-DRAGON SKULL
    7m, 1wp; Simple/Supplemental, Instant; Decisive-only; Martial Arts 5, Essence 3 -- Five-Dragon Charge

    If you successfully Rushed the target, add a number of dice to your Decisive attack roll equal to your threshold successes on the Rush.

    If you attempted to Rush the target, add a number of dice to your Decisive attack roll equal to your successes on the Rush. If you succeeded on the Rush, add one automatic success to the Decisive attack.

    Double 9s on the Initiative roll, and waive the Initiative cost of the gambit if it succeeds.


    .

    Sorry that Five-Dragon Wrath is a mess. I very suddenly just lost two hours of free time, and now need to scramble to get a lot of OTHER things done.
    Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 06-05-2016, 01:47 PM.


    formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

  • #2
    Was the slight dinosaur theme a bad idea? I was strapped for time and needed a bunch of Charm names.


    formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
      Was the slight dinosaur theme a bad idea? I was strapped for time and needed a bunch of Charm names.
      Hey Sunder, i had a look at this last night but was in the orocess of a game when i saw it - im intending on getting back tonight since i like shield combat.

      My first thought was seeing "Five-Dragon" and looking at it askance, but i havn't fully read it yet so.. Yeah.


      (10chars)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
        This Style is an integrated body of techniques inspired by five massive beasts which reflect the glory of true dragons: The Ox-Dragon, the Pestletail, the Skullstrider, and the Siege Lizard.
        I'll leave charm balance for others to criticise, but I will point out that you only named four beasts.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Swooper View Post
          I'll leave charm balance for others to criticise, but I will point out that you only named four beasts.
          Because that was a late idea, I ran out of time without warning, and I couldn't find another dinosaur of a similar type that wasn't just another ceratops. Just remembering the existence of the pachychephalosaurus felt like a minor miracle.

          I also pushed to have this done today because am I getting really tired of trying to develop all of these Exalted content ideas without ANYONE to dialogue with, in person or here in the bloody official forums.


          formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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          • #6
            "The fifth dragon is my manhood." -- Captain Nexus.

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            • #7
              At first, I was like "why is this called Five-Dragon style" but reading through, I think it kind of works. But where's Five Dragon Force Blow, the charm with the highest number of PC kills in games I've played?

              And I guess the dino-theme kind of works, though I don't think brilliantly, since dinosaurs are more just being tough than parrying. Maybe Ox-Dragons parry with their horns.

              Is it not supposed to have Terrestrial keywords, or was it just that you wanted to get the basics down first?

              Five-Dragon Fortitude I like conceptually, though I'm not sure it's that good. Maybe add a bit of soak as a Mastery effect?

              Blocking Technique I think is fine, though it needs the typo fixed of course.

              I really like the form, though I'm not sure how appropriate the lethal damage is?

              Five-Dragon Tail I think is conceptually fine, but surely when you're attacked it's both before and after your turn? The bonuses perhaps are very high too (depends I guess) though I guess it's high-cost. But does it need to be decisive-only?
              (Also, I'd call it Five-Dragon Claw, because I like this naming convention so why not stick with it?)

              Five-Dragon Wrath I like the idea of, but think is not actually very good. So, if I have Initiative 8, this charm is only going to work against decisive attacks with Initiative 8-9. If I have Initiative 12, it's only going to work against decisive attacks with Initiative 12-14. I don't feel that's going to come up that much. This feels like perhaps the Terrestrial version?
              Also, you need to explain what a shield-tackle grapple is mechanically. Is it just a grapple that's fluffed as using your shield?

              Five-Dragon Interrupt is good. All I have to say is the name's a bit meh, and it needs to say how it's enhancing damage (it just says when they moved from short range, enhance damage).

              Five-Dragon Charge is fine I think.

              Five-Dragon Skull I think needs to be rewritten to be a bit clearer.



              Overall, I like it, though I think there's possibly too much decisive-only stuff. That doesn't like a very shield-fighting thing.



              STing Bronze Age Exalted

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              • #8
                Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                At first, I was like "why is this called Five-Dragon style" but reading through, I think it kind of works.
                Cool.

                I didn't set out to make this the replacement for First and Second Edition's Five-Dragon Style, though it was one of the ideas I entertained. The old Style had no style; every Charm name was "Five-Dragon something", and everything something was "do this basic thing better without any explanation of how the basic thing is being done better." It also worked with any form of armor and the two most popular melee weapons in the world, so it didn't add interest through challenging restrictions.

                This proposed Style can work with the same weapons, but only as supplements to the shield. After all, Dragon Blooded can learn "Celestial" Style for swords and spears, now, but we've never had anything that tricked out shields.


                But where's Five Dragon Force Blow, the charm with the highest number of PC kills in games I've played?
                "Skull" felt more evocative of "giant dinosaur is ramming you with its skull on its way to slamming you into a wall". And I'd already changed out Invulnerability for Interrupt and Claw for Tail.


                And I guess the dino-theme kind of works, though I don't think brilliantly, since dinosaurs are more just being tough than parrying. Maybe Ox-Dragons parry with their horns.
                That and Pestletails can use their shells for superior Full Defense actions. Siege Lizards parry and even counterattack with their back plates.


                Is it not supposed to have Terrestrial keywords, or was it just that you wanted to get the basics down first?
                Basics.

                I have been working on this Style, Pacifist Runner Style, a Singing Sword whose Evocations synergize with Silver-Voiced Nightingale Style with some Steel Devil Style tricks for the duets between swordsinger and singing sword, I still haven't gotten to the sorcerous phylactery where you paint out the spell with sigils of fire, and I only recently finished the red daiklave Wake of Fire.

                But the only place where I can get encouraging dialogue is here. No one I know in the flesh cares.


                Five-Dragon Fortitude I like conceptually, though I'm not sure it's that good. Maybe add a bit of soak as a Mastery effect?
                Against enemies that closed in, yes. That was something I wanted to do.


                Blocking Technique I think is fine, though it needs the typo fixed of course.
                This whole thing needs more work, yes.


                I really like the form, though I'm not sure how appropriate the lethal damage is?
                Did you see Steve Rogers drive his shield through Tony Stark's armored battery like a guillotine? If Charms can make a fist deal lethal damage, they can make a shield do it.


                (Also, I'd call it Five-Dragon Claw, because I like this naming convention so why not stick with it?)
                The idea is that the Pestletail or Siege Lizard was defending itself with its head or forelimbs, and when it has the predator distracted with those, it suddenly whips around with the deadly tail. This is also a maneuver the other two can try, though in their case it's like enhancing a bare fist instead of a hammer or warpick.



                Also, you need to explain what a shield-tackle grapple is mechanically. Is it just a grapple that's fluffed as using your shield?
                I explained the idea in my Clinch-within-Clinch; Counter-clinch thread, but failed to get it into this thread before I lost two hours of time.


                Overall, I like it
                Awesome.


                though I think there's possibly too much decisive-only stuff. That doesn't like a very shield-fighting thing.
                Except for the shield-charging tricks, I think the shield is mostly for self-protection while setting up counter-attacks with the other hand, though there is supposed to be more room for shield strikes. Interrupt is exclusively a shield attack.


                formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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                • #9
                  IMHO, some Defend Other and Full Defense enhancers would be nice. Form charm gives some of that, but a scaling Defense buff would be useful, as would a way to grant or claim Cover.


                  Crunch isn't a hobby; it's a calling.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Meianno Yuurei View Post
                    "The fifth dragon is my manhood." -- Captain Nexus.
                    But seriously, can anyone think of a fifth dinosaur? I don't think the paracephelasaurus (sp?) tried hitting things with its horn, but I could be wrong.

                    I likewise don't think the sail-backed quadruped fits.


                    I'm not dedicated to the Five-Dragon / dinosaur theme, either. If necessary, I can choose something else.
                    Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 06-07-2016, 11:16 AM.


                    formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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                    • #11
                      There's a conceptual problem with this in that one of the central mechanics, parrying an attack so that the attacker's initiative falls below the martial artist's, is an extremely rare occurrence. You can't even use it with Searing Quicksilver Flight or Force-Stealing Feint, so it's essentially restricted to decisive attacks where the combatants are within 1-2 init of each other. This is so rare that you could easily go an entire campaign without ever being able to reflexively activate the form or use Five-Dragon Wrath. So, instead of using Gathering Light Concentration you should have a charm that does something like:

                      This charm supplements an attempt to parry an attack. If the attack is successfully parried, the martial artist may roll the difference between her Parry and the opponent's successes on his attack roll as withering damage against her opponent. This damage ignores soak. Initiative lost as a result of this Charm may explicitly be used to meet the requirements of Five-Dragon Form and Five-Dragon Wrath.
                      Besides that I would lower the Essence requirement of the form to 1 and either remove or re-write Five-Dragon Tail.

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                      • #12
                        Revisions are being delayed by a sudden change in address and occupation. My new job and new home have left me no real time to work on this since I posted it.


                        formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                          Also, you need to explain what a shield-tackle grapple is mechanically. Is it just a grapple that's fluffed as using your shield?
                          Here's a fun realization I came to in my quest to create a Shield-centered martial art Style.

                          Without a single Charm, you can describe a grapple as a charging tackle. Your initial act of making contact is the Decisive Brawl or Martial Arts attack, your success on the gambit and control roll are how well you grab and lift your victim, and then (if you scored at least two threshold successes) your first and subsequent clinching actions are Restrain/Drag as you carry your victim forward across at least one range band per round.

                          [If you have ALREADY made a movement action before making the grapple, you might choose a Savaging action first, to represent the painful impact of the tackle, and then use Restrain/Drag on the next turn when you can move again.]

                          You can aim for a wall, either to stunt a Savaging action if you run out of rounds of control (for Restraining costs two rounds of control), or to stunt a Slam action that expends the rounds you still had left. Alternatively, you can stunt a Throw as merely stopping in your tracks and letting momentum continue to carry the poor fool... possibly over a cliff edge that was not conveniently close enough when you grabbed them.

                          Fans of Overwatch's Reinhardt may find all of this deliciously familiar.

                          Seras Victoria's face-grinding attack against Soren Blitz in Hellsing can also be replicated in this way, though the actual mechanical damage is only inflicted at the end rather than during the travel.

                          Ox-Dragons should be capable of a stronger version of this maneuver as well, as a variation on their Deadly Charge attack which pre-requires a successful grapple. It could also be an alternative use of Horn Toss where the triceratops doesn't immediately slam the target after spearing someone on their horns, but instead begins running towards a wall. Or another charging ox-dragon for a meeting of the minds.

                          So, this is the sort of thing that mortal practitioners of this Style are going to do, even without Charms like Five-Dragon Charge or Five-Dragon Skull.


                          As I said, I failed to bring this explanation over here as I should have, because I was rushed for time, but I DID post this a day earlier in a Clinching related thread.


                          formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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                          • #14
                            ​FIVE-DRAGON INVULNERABILITY - When confronted by Tyrant Lizards, Ox-Dragons will form a protective circle, presenting the mighty predator with an impenetrable wall of interlocking plates and deadly spikes.

                            3m; Reflexive, One Round; Mastery, Uniform; Martial Arts 2, Essence 1 -- No Prerequisites

                            While this Charm is active, the martial artist receives a +2 Parry bonus to his shield if the attack was first parried by a shield used by another character or a battle-group whom is performing a Defend Other action on behalf of the martial artist.

                            Likewise, if the martial artist is performing a Defend Other action for another character or a battlegroup no bigger than Size 2, and parries an attack with her shield, that character or battlegroup enjoys a +2 bonus to their own shield parry against that attack.

                            Mastery: At Essence 3+, A Solar may benefit a battlegroup whose Size is no greater than his Essence score.


                            formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                              But seriously, can anyone think of a fifth dinosaur? I don't think the paracephelasaurus (sp?) tried hitting things with its horn, but I could be wrong.

                              I likewise don't think the sail-backed quadruped fits.


                              I'm not dedicated to the Five-Dragon / dinosaur theme, either. If necessary, I can choose something else.
                              A Nodosaur? or Gigantospinosaurus? Their spikiest parts are shoulders and upper back.
                              Placodonts? I don't know how actively they swam but they are quite different from your other 4 dragons. "Dragons" don't have to be true dinosaurs.
                              Saltasaurus? Not as heavily armored as ankylosaurs, and no tail club.
                              Aetosaurs? Personally I would use nodosaurs instead of these -- they're not exactly worthy of the name "dragon." But you could declare they can roll themselves into balls like armadillos.
                              The incorrect, spiked reconstruction of Agustinia.


                              I think renaming it something less confusing than Five-Dragon is a good idea regardless.
                              Last edited by Erinys; 06-15-2016, 01:18 AM.


                              She/Her. I am very literal-minded and write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                              My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
                              Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

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