Archive for May, 2010


Initiative Enhancing Charms

May 26, 2010

These are a few of the semi-creative ways I’ve invented to enhance Join Battle and similar rolls, rolls that function as initiative for Exalted.  Thanks once again to the many forum-goers who took the time to give me their feedback and suggestions, especially Lafing Cat, Plague of Hats, Natums, Scarlet Heavens, and Ilushia!

Divine Primacy of Action
: 5m; Mins: Awareness 4, Essence 3; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Mirror (Fetid Stillborn Banter)
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Any Keen (Sense) Technique

Those who challenge a Solar must know that, like the Unconquered Sun, he cannot be bested in his chosen field.  This Charm can be activated to enhance a Join Battle or Join Debate roll.  When activated, this Charm ensures that the Solar always succeeds with a threshold of one success more than the highest roll in the contest.  If another Charm contests this perfection, the Solar adds (Essence x2) dice to the ensuing roll-off.

New Abyssal Charm: Fetid Stillborn Banter (Prerequisite Charms: Any Superior [Sense] Focus; Keywords: Avatar [1], Combo-OK, Crippling, Mirror); The Abyssal knows he does not have to be faster than his opponents.  For all their speed, they cannot escape the all-consuming maw of Oblivion.  When activated, this Charm applies an external penalty to the Join Battle and/or Join Debate rolls of all those within (Essence) yards equal to the Abyssal’s Whispers rating.  This effect does not inherently discriminate between friend or foe.  The Abyssal can choose to exempt up to (Essence) individuals from the Charm’s effects, but doing so inflicts one Resonance on him, as the Neverborn do not appreciate sparing others from their spite.  In all other ways, it functions identically to its Solar Mirror.

Unity of the Dragon’s Talon
: 3m; Mins: Awareness 3, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK, Cooperative
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Any Awareness Excellency

While the Dragon-Blooded are individually less puissant than their Celestial cousins, they have long ago learned that together there is little they cannot do.  This Charm can be activated in response to a Join Battle or Join Debate roll, and only has a benefit if two or more Dragon-Blooded activate it simultaneously.  It allows all allied Dragon-Blooded who activate this Charm to act as though they had rolled the same result on the Join Battle or Join Debate, choosing the highest result rolled from among the eligible Terrestrials.  Additionally, for every additional Dragon-Blooded past the first who activates this Charm, the collective Join Battle roll gains one additional success, to a maximum of the highest (Essence) among the activating Terrestrials.

At Essence 3+, this Charm automatically upgrades to include Join War rolls.  When activated in this fashion, it gains the Leader Keyword, and its effects only apply to allied leaders of complimentary units.

Lightning Counterpoint Reaction
: 4m; Mins: Wits 3, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Any Wits Excellency

The Lunar Exalted are nothing if not flexible.  They have learned how to adapt to any situation, flowing smoothly into whatever position best suits their goals.  This Charm may be activated during a Join Battle, Join Debate, or Join War roll, when all participants have rolled but before the first action takes place.  The Lunar may choose to exchange his Join Battle, Join Debate, or Join War result with one willing target’s result, whether that result is faster or slower.

Feeding on Failure
: 3m, 1wp; Mins: Essence 2; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK, Shaping
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Shadow Spite Curse

Shadows are tricky things, difficult to pin down and often surprising.  The Shadow of All Things is all that and more.  This Charm may be activated in response to any roll made by both the Infernal and an opponent (such as contested rolls or Join Battle rolls, as examples).  The Infernal exchanges the result of his roll with the result of the opponent’s roll as a Shaping effect.  This Charm can only function if the exchange benefits the Infernal or causes harm to the opponent.  As with all things Ebon Dragon, his foe’s failure is his success.

Primacy of Kings
: 4m (+2m); Mins: Essence 3; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK, Compulsion
Duration: One action
Prerequisite Charms: Impervious Primacy Mantle

Woe to those who would interrupt the King of the Universe.  His patience is not unending, though his rage is.  This Charm can be activated immediately after a Join Battle or Join Debate roll, targeting up to (Essence) individuals who participated in the same roll.  The Infernal rolls (Charisma + Presence) as a single social attack against the MDVs of the targeted individuals.  Any targets who fail to resist this unnatural influence must default to Guard actions until the tick after the Infernal takes his first action.  This is a Compulsion effect, which can be broken at any time, not merely at the moment of application, with the expenditure of two Willpower.

At Essence 3+, this Charm automatically upgrades to include Join War rolls.  A second purchase of this Charm is available at Essence 5+, with Magnanimous Warning Glyph as a prerequisite and a two-mote surcharge.  When activated with this surcharge, the upgrade removes the Willpower cost to resist Primacy of Kings.  Instead, any victim who chooses to resist the effects of the Charm instead suffers as though the Infernal had triggered a Magnanimous Warning Glyph.  The Infernal can still activate the base effect of the Charm as normal.

Efficacious Coordination Engine
: 2m, 1wp [1m]; Mins: Wits 3, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK, Internal
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Anticipatory Simulation Processor

The Alchemicals are products of their society, literally and metaphorically.  They know that they serve the Populat, and the Populat is served by their knowledge.  This Charm takes the form of a series of starmetal and jade circuits running from the Alchemical’s brain to her vocal chords.  It can be activated in response to a Join Battle or Join Debate roll.  The Alchemical may choose up to (Essence) willing mortal targets, allowing them to enhance their results.  The chosen targets replace their roll results with the Alchemical’s result.

Enlightened Efficiency Upgrade (Essence 3): This upgrade allows the Alchemical to enhance willing non-mortal targets, such as spirits, enlightened mortals, or Exalted.

Synergistic Strategos Programming (2 xp):  This upgrade allows Efficacious Coordination Engine to apply to Join War rolls as well.


Celestial Directions – The Wyld

May 25, 2010

Stepping outside Creation is a dangerous venture, but it comes with potentially world-changing rewards.  Creation itself is ringed on all sides by the Wyld, a soup of chaotic energies from whence the Primordials made Creation in the first place.  It is a place of variation and mutation, of potential made actual in random form, but from that chaos, great wonder can be wrung.

The Wyld can be considered  series of concentric rings around Creation.  Once, there was only Pure Chaos, the furthest of the rings, and where it ended, Creation began.  Since the first age, however, Creation’s protections have failed or been sabotaged, letting the Wyld’s strength ebb and flow like tides against the world.  Now, there are weaker parts of the Wyld in Creation itself, usually referred to as Bordermarches, where the mundane begins to show hints of insanity.  Further out are the Middlemarches, where theme and flavor mean more than physics.  Further yet is the Deep Wyld, where sanity itself holds only the barest grip.  Finally, Pure Chaos yet exists, stretching infinitely outward (as much as distance and direction have any meaning in that meaningless place).

The Wyld is home to the Fair Folk, creatures of story and dream formed either accidentally by the Wyld itself or shaped out of its primordial composite by the more powerful Unshaped Fair Folk, manifestations of will that change as freely as the Wyld itself.

In each of the four directions, the Wyld corresponds (loosely) to the element of that direction.  The northern Wyld is a cold place, with floating icebergs, white-furred denizens, and fog that creeps low to the ground, literally freezing those it touches.  To say that it is an inhospitable place is to overstate the obvious.  It has themes of cold and height, corresponding to the Elemental Pole of Air, which lies deep in the Wyld by now.

In the East, the Wyld is verdant, almost hideously fecund.  Forests of swords, of hands, of plants made of rich minerals or jewels hide an abundance of life, though little enough of it can be recognized by Creation’s denizens.  Giant mushroom forests, beastmen, and Wyld mutants are plentiful here, and seem to thrive in spite of the dangers.

In the South, the Wyld is fiery and hot, with sands of blood, crystals of fire, and oases made literally of dreams.  You can find water that does not quench, sand that tastes of sugar, and, of course, multitudinous tribes of those too disenfranchised to live closer to civilization.  Perhaps the greatest boon of the Southern Wyld is firedust, the explosive powder used in flame weapons, which drifts in massive storms out of the chaos.

The Western Wyld is watery, oceanic, with grand behemoths of all types swimming beneath its waves.  In the far West, the water can become thick as jelly, or even as stone, letting people walk on the choppy waves.  It can also be thin as air, though still as unbreathable as water, as many an unfortunate ship has discovered.  With coral reefs made of faces, mermaids and fish-men, and jeweled grottoes stretching into Pure Chaos, the Western Wyld is perhaps more beautiful, but no less deadly.

In the end, while there are those who quest in the Wyld for power, fame, riches, glory, or even simply because they have nowhere else to go, the mutating chaos of the Wyld is venomous and lovely all at once.  Those who go there come back changed, if they come back at all.


Motonic Amplification Instrument

May 24, 2010

This one has gotten some good responses from the Exalted forums, so I’ll go ahead and toss it out here for public consumption!  This is a home-brew artifact of my own design, made specifically for an Infernal character I’ll never play.  Still, he will be able to sit, alone and unused, in my character folder, playing his motonic amplification instrument and singing the blues.

Motonic Amplification Instrument (Artifact 3)

Originally developed by the First Age Twilight artisan Fender of Immortal Armies, the motonic amplification instruments are a blending of First Age motonic principles and acoustic amplification.  It was a normal instrument, save that it was made from amalgamations of the Magical Materials, through which the user’s Essence vibrated harmoniously, making the instrument an extension of the user’s will.  Variants abound, and the design has been consistently altered by musically-inclined artisans in the following centuries, but the most common reproduction is usually some manner of guitar.

Attuning to a motonic amplification instrument costs ten motes, which harmonizes the user’s Essence with that of the instrument itself.  Most often, the body of the instrument is made from orichalcum, while the neck and frets are moonsilver.  Starmetal machine heads anchor soulsteel strings over a jade bridge, anchoring the wails and screams of the strings in an auspicious pattern.  Most such guitars have six strings, though dual-necked versions have been known to exist.

Most basically, motonic amplification instruments grant a two-die bonus to all Performance rolls made using the instrument, due to their fine construction.  However, this would be a most banal use of motonic physics, if the motonic amplification instruments did not have further uses.  When attuned, these instruments vastly increase the range of their music, amplifying the sound such that it can be heard clearly up to a mile away.  Furthermore, if the user spends a point of Willpower when making a Performance-based Social attack, the soulsteel-strings begin to wail and shriek in harmony with the user’s words and music, making the Social attack unnatural mental influence.

Most often, these items were used in quiet, dignified performances by Solars to their gathered friends and RPCs, benefit concerts that raised funds for the nations.  Since the coming of the Abyssals and Infernals, however, new styles of music have cropped up in Creation, shrieking metallic ballads or morose requiems that lead crowds of slavering followers into iniquity and perfidy.


Sample Fiend Charms

May 20, 2010

The following are a couple of home-brew Charms I designed for Fiends, the Infernal versions of the Eclipse Caste.  They’re certainly not canon, but I’m happy with their mechanics, and I’ve incorporated them into the games I run.  They both expand on and depend on Charms printed in the Manual of Exalted Power: Infernals, and that book will be required to utilize these Charms.

Primary Civic Enmity Dissonance
: – (+1 WP); Mins: Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Nemesis Self Imagined Anew

The Ebon Dragon is not solely the nemesis of individuals; even organizations, even nations must fear his black-hearted spite.  This Charm enhances its prerequisite, making organizations valid targets for Nemesis Self Imagined Anew.  To mirror an organization, the Fiend must activate Nemesis Self Imagined Anew as normal, while targeting a member of that organization.  He must spend one additional Willpower to activate Nemesis Self Imagined Anew in this way, and he cannot mirror an organization with Magnitude higher than his Essence.  His Motivation changes to become antagonistic to the unit’s Motivation rather than any individual’s Motivation, and Intimacies change to become antagonistic toward the unit’s Intimacies.
A repurchase at Essence 4 allows him to extend his corruptive spite to an organization he leads.  Doing so removes the range restriction on Nemesis Self Imagined Anew and includes a Shift Policy/Structure Action (see Masters of Jade, pp. 74-75) as part of the Charm’s activation.  He must have used Nemesis Self Imagined Anew on the organization previously, he must still foster the antagonistic Motivation so acquired, and he must pay the above surcharge.  If the Shift Policy/Structure action is successful, his organization’s Motivation becomes an antagonistic mirror of the target organizations, as per Nemesis Self Imagined Anew.  However, once the Shift Policy/Structure action has succeeded, the warlock does not need to commit the mote cost for Nemesis Self Imagined Anew: his organization’s antagonistic Motivation remains until altered by another Shift Policy/Structure action.

Theft of Noble Victory
Cost: 6m; Mins: Essence 2; Type: Reflexive (Step 10)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Illusion, Shaping, Sorcerous
Duration: Indefinite
Prerequisite Charms: Loom-Snarling Deception, Witness to Darkness

The Ebon Dragon is the ultimate liar and trickster, the ultimate deception, and even those who defeat him have to think twice before they can sleep easily.

This Charm is activated in response to an attack, and it takes effect after that attack is fully resolved.  When this Charm is activated, the Infernal appears to drop dead, felled by wounds dealt by the righteous heroes who have “slain” him.  The ruse is perfectly immune to mundane scrutiny and may not be resisted with Willpower expenditure.  Appropriate non-Excellency Charms may pierce the ruse using standard roll-off rules, but the Infernal’s player adds (Essence) bonus successes to his roll, just as with Loom-Snarling Deception.

This Charm can be maintained as long as the warlock chooses (or until dispelled), but this Charm provides no way to stave off starvation or thirst, provides no immunity to environmental hazards, and does not count as rest for purposes of regaining Essence or alleviating fatigue.

Should this Charm be used in a Combo with Bloodless Murk Evasion, the Infernal may opt to leave a phantom “double” in his place, presuming he can teleport to a location of concealment.  In this case, observers get a chance to spot the Infernal as he shucks a husk-duplicate of his Essence.  Treat this as a standard attempt to re-establish surprise, though the warlock does add his Essence in successes to his Stealth roll.  However, the husk is not a perfect ruse, denying the character his Essence in successes on any subsequent Charm roll-off.  The Infernal can activate this aspect of the Charm multiple times, but any new activation invalidates the previous husk, causing it to crumble into harmless ash.


Celestial Directions – The Blessed Isle

May 19, 2010

As I mentioned previously, the Blessed Isle is… different… than the other directions.  Not only is it the seat of temporal power in Creation, it is also a literally blessed and spiritual place.  Once the home of the gods, when the Primordials ruled Creation, it was inherited by the Celestial Exalted, and later claimed by the Terrestrials.  It has always been a place of magic and wonder, and while its wonders are certainly lessened in the wake of the Usurpation and the Contagion, compared to the rest of the world, it is a gleaming jewel of civilization and luxury.

The Blessed Isle is currently the home of the Scarlet Empire, also known as the Realm to most of Creation.  While the Empress herself is missing, the Realm continues on, led by the eleven Great Houses descended from her and her power.  It is a strict government, led by the Exalted and the Exalted alone, with an unchanging hierarchy of Dynasts, patricians, citizens, commoners, and slaves.  And yet, even the lowest commoners have amenities such as running water, clean streets, and medical care unknown to some of the wealthiest portions of the Threshold.

In the absence of the Empress, the Realm is run mostly by the Deliberative, made of Terrestrial representatives from the Great Houses.  However, there are numerous inter-faction conflicts between the Deliberative, the Immaculate Order (the state religion and the sponsors of the Wyld Hunt), the All-Seeing Eye (the Empress’ secret police), the Magistrates (the not-so-secret police), and many, many other political parties, all of whom want a piece of the Scarlet pie. 

Spiritually, the Blessed Isle is a place of notable stability, as the Immaculate Order keeps the local spirit courts in line.  Holidays are strictly sanctioned, and gods and elementals are fiercely (and sometimes violently) prohibited from holding anything resembling temporal power.  Thaumaturges and sorcerers are carefully licensed, and while Essence expenditure is a common occurrence, it is rarely done without one manner of restraint or another. 

But the times are changing.  With the disappearance of the Empress, the intricate cogs of the machine are wearing down.  Myriad factions, kept at bay by carefully planned conflicts and the Empress’ guiding hand, suddenly find that hand gone.  The Great Houses are pulling their resources back to the Isle, preparing for civil war, while the spirits are finding less and less Immaculate interference.  Like all of Creation, the Blessed Isle is subject to the ravages of the Time of Tumult, and while, for now, the various parties maintain an unsteady peace, the entire Realm is little more than a massive powder keg just waiting for the right spark.


Exalted – Vitriolic Octopus Style

May 18, 2010

To celebrate the christening of what I hope will be a regularly updated Exalted blog, I’m posting a Celestial Martial Arts style of my own invention, honed thanks to the help of numerous forumites.  I’ll continue to do updates and overviews of parts of the game world, but I’ll also be mixing that with some of my own work, as well as (hopefully!) insights into game design, game theory, and maybe even some interviews with authors or contributing forumites.


In the First Age, the Lunar Exalted were the pioneers of beast-man hybridization, experimenting with their forms in ways their Lawgiver mates could not duplicate.  One such Solar, his name long since lost to the vagaries of history, felt left behind by his mate’s explorations in a land she held all to herself.  His abandonment, at first, was nothing more than a passing flash of irritation, but as the centuries passed, it grew into something altogether more.  He attempted a number of experiments on himself, attempting to follow his mate, but her expertise was so much more than his, and he found his every foray tainted by his own bitterness.  Eventually, he fell onto the idea of embracing that bitterness, and while his metaphysical explorations did not bear the fruit that would allow him to wholly join with his mate, it did produce a seed that eventually became the Vitriolic Octopus Style.

Vitriolic Octopus Style is a Celestial Martial Arts style that emulates the fluidity of the natural octopus, while eventually exposing and evolving the user through his own bitterness and envy.  The form weapons for Vitriolic Octopus Style include any clinch-enhancers and their artifact equivalents, though it is most often practiced with fighting chains or dire chains.  Vitriolic Octopus Style is compatible with light armor, though anything heavier restricts the user and prevents the full flexibility needed to capitalize on this style’s techniques.

Startling Octopus Feint

Cost: 1m; Mins: Martial Arts 2, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive (Step 2)
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: None

The octopus is a clever fighter, striking suddenly and retreating fluidly, the better to confuse its enemies.  The followers of this style learn how to emulate that distraction, to a small extent.  When the martial artist activates this Charm, for an instant, he takes on the aspect of the octopus.  His movements become more harmonic with his surroundings, applying an internal penalty equal to his Essence on any one attack made against him or to any one Awareness roll made to pierce his Stealth.

Shy Devilfish Disguise
Cost: 3m (+1wp); Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Startling Octopus Feint

The octopus can change the color of its hide, literally blending in with its surroundings.  It is a simple matter for the martial artist to mimic this disguise by altering the flows of Essence through his body.  When the martial artist activates this Charm, he may make a roll to re-establish surprise (Exalted p. 156) as a reflexive action instead of a miscellaneous action.  If he spends a Willpower point when activating this Charm, he adds his Martial Arts as bonus dice to the roll.

Spite-Fueled Venomous Embrace
Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious, Poison
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Startling Octopus Feint

The vitriolic octopus does not simply mimic the octopus; he expands on it, infusing it with his own bile and spite.  That spite is infectious, venomous.  This Charm supplements an unarmed Martial Arts attack, injecting the victim of the attack with a poison born of the martial artist’s own spleen.  If the attack deals even a single level of damage, the victim suffers a dose of Vitriolic Octopus poison.  Vitriolic Octopus poison has the following statistics: Damage (Essence)L/action, Toxicity 3, Tolerance -/-, Penalty (Essence).

Vitriolic Octopus Form
Cost: 5m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Form-type
Duration: One scene
Prerequisites: Shy Devilfish Disguise, Spite-Fueled Venomous Embrace

In combat, the octopus is a plethora of arms, and it seems there is no way to escape its crushing grip.  While the martial artist has Vitriolic Octopus Form active, he adds (Essence) dice to all rolls made to initiate, maintain, or escape a clinch.  While participating in a clinch, he may spend two motes reflexively in Step 7 of combat resolution to count all successes on a roll to maintain a clinch twice for the purposes of determining damage.  Activating this aspect of Vitriolic Octopus Form does not count as Charm use.

Devilfish’s Cunning Grasp
Cost: 3m (+1wp); Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 3; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Vitriolic Octopus Form

Once enveloped in the octopus’ coils, shelled prey often finds its natural armor insufficient to deter the beast’s probing tendrils.  This Charm can be activated to supplement an attempt to initiate or maintain a clinch.  All clinches have the Piercing tag, but a clinch supplemented by this attack has its victim’s soak from armor further reduced by two points.  If the martial artist spends a point of Willpower when activating this Charm, the reduction in the armor’s soak value is permanent until repaired.  This secondary activation has no effect on artifact armor.  Armor permanently reduced to 0 soak by this Charm is destroyed.

Many-Tentacled Entanglement
Cost: 5m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Reflexive (Step 9)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Counterattack
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Devilfish’s Cunning Grasp

It is a fool who seeks to grip an octopus without being gripped by it, and fools get what they deserve.  This Charm can be activated in response to any close-combat attack against which the martial artist successfully applies his Martial Arts-derived Parry DV.  As an automatic counterattack, the martial artist can attempt to initiate a clinch at his full dice pool against the attacker.

Strangling the Future
Cost: – (+2m, 1wp); Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 4; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Poison
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Vitriolic Octopus Form

Once the vitriolic octopus has a victim in its clutches, that victim becomes the center of its awareness, a struggling, mewling thing that must be killed.  As such, the vitriolic octopus pours all its rage into that subject.  This Charm is a permanent upgrade to Spite-Fueled Venomous Embrace, allowing it to be activated as a Reflexive Charm in response to a failed attempt to escape or gain control of a clinch for a two-mote, one Willpower surcharge.  In this case, Spite-Fueled Venomous Embrace does not need to deal a level of damage; merely clinching the martial artist when it is activated is sufficient to expose the clincher to his spite.

Tenebrous Cloud Technique
Cost: 4m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Combo-Basic, Obvious
Duration: (Martial Arts) actions
Prerequisites: Vitriolic Octopus Form

The vitriolic octopus is not sated by blinding a single opponent, but spreads its hate over all near it, friend or foe.  When the martial artist activates this Charm, he expels a cloud of rapidly darkening Essence from his anima, which spreads from him to cover an area (Essence) yards in diameter.  This area is effectively treated as Fog, Night (see Exalted p. 135).  Anyone who knows this Charm can suffers no penalties from its effects.  The cloud remains stationary and cannot be moved or dispelled by mundane weather, though supernatural wind, rain, or similar effects halve its remaining duration.  The cloud dissipates harmlessly at the end of its duration.

Essence Ink Attack
Cost: 4m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Crippling, Obvious
Duration: (Martial Arts) actions
Prerequisites: Tenebrous Cloud Technique

The octopus, when threatened, can spew a viscous cloud of ink to blind its opponents.  What would the vitriolic octopus be if it did any less?  This Charm supplements an unarmed Martial Arts attack.  If the attack successfully hits, it deals no damage.  Instead, a stinging ink is sprayed from the martial artist’s hands.  This ink blinds the target (see Exalted, p. 135).  The ink can only be removed by magic that removes Crippling effects, though it dissipates harmlessly at the end of the Charm’s duration.

Blinding Whiplash Barrage
Cost: 8m, 1wp, +3m per additional attack; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4; Type: Extra Action
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Many-Tentacled Entanglement, Strangling the Future, Essence Ink Attack

The vitriolic octopus is a vicious creature, and could never be satisfied strangling only one enemy at a time.  This Charm is a magical flurry including a number of clinch attacks equal to the number of available limbs the martial artist possesses (to a maximum of the martial artist’s Essence, usually four).  This Charm explicitly ignores Rate, and all attacks are made at the martial artist’s full pool with a total DV penalty equal to the lowest DV penalty for any one attack, plus one additional DV penalty per attack made past the first.  When attempting to maintain these clinches, he makes one roll as a Miscellaneous action as normal and applies it to all those engaged in the clinch.  Ending one clinch, either voluntarily or as a result of losing control, does not end any others.  As a side-effect, this Charm permits the martial artist to remain a participant in as many separate clinches as he initiates with this Charm, though if he should later cease to be engaged in one of these clinches, this Charm does not allow him to resume it without a separate activation.
As an additional benefit, the martial artist may generate tendrils of pure Essence that emerge from his anima (or where his anima would be if he had one).  These tendrils cost three motes each, in addition to the base cost of the Charm.  While this does not allow the martial artist to make additional attacks beyond his (Essence), it does allow higher-Essence martial artists or practitioners suffering from amputation effects (or even just those who happen to have fewer limbs) to gain the full base effect of the Charm.


Exalted – Metal-Heart Mockery

May 18, 2010

I’m taking a break from the usual series to post some of my own home-brew mechanics for the game. I’m doing this because A) I’d like a break from the usual structure, and I’m sure you would, too, and B) it’s relevant for the game my roommate is about to run, and his wife’s character will appreciate the piece.

Lunars, in addition to having Charms like all Exalted, have a mechanic called Knacks, whereby they expand their shapeshifting powers. (Mostly, they call them Knacks instead of Charms so Eclipses can’t steal their powers and get better at shapeshifting than Lunars). Below is a custom Knack I created for Grace’s character.

Metal-Heart Mockery
Minimums: Stamina 3, Essence 3

The Lunars are masters of shapeshifting, and nothing, not even the cold-forged shells of their mates’ First Age servitors, is beyond their ken. This Knack makes automata valid targets for the sacred hunt, though, as with most similar Knacks, it does not give them access to their Essence-based powers. Rather than consume the automata’s Heart’s Blood (as it most likely has none), the Lunar must ritually hunt the automata and imbibe some integral part of its construction. Most Lunars hope their targets have some kind of oily liquid they can consume, lest they be forced to eat metallic gears in their stead.