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Celestial Martial Arts, Mega-Man Style!

September 22, 2010

So, last week, on the Exalted forums, someone (I seriously don’t even remember who) mentioned they kinda sorta wanted a Celestial Martial Art based around Alchemical Essence weaponry. Normally, I ignore things like that… not that it’s a bad idea, mind, but I’m not generally able to conjure mechanics for a martial art off the top of my head. Vitriolic Octopus Style took, like, a year to properly formulate, and it went through three iterations. However, as soon as I read the post, this style popped, almost fully formed, into my brain.

Behold: Celestial martial arts, Mega-Man style!

Overwhelming Ruinous Ordnance Style (Celestial Martial Art)

Originally invented by the Orichalcum Caste Luminiferous Physician, this Celestial-level martial art is focused around not only force, but also using force to shape oneself and one’s surroundings to achieve total victory. It teaches the utilization of precision force in precise amounts when called for, as well as overwhelming (some might say excessive) force in overwhelming quantities when necessary. While initially designed for Essence pulse cannons, the designer of the style was quite surprised to learn that it worked equally well with other hand-held, Essence-projectile weapons, such as concussive Essence cannons and similar weapons. While Luminiferous Physician was the designer of the style, it was most famously used by Overwhelming Yeoman of Adventure to fight his gremlin-nemesis, Deceitful Surgeon. Stories of the great patropolis Oveyead wandering the Wastes are common propaganda throughout Autochthonia.

Overwhelming Ruinous Ordnance Style treats Essence-projectile weapons (most commonly Essence pulse cannons) as form weapons. It can be practiced in armor (and often is).

Elemental Aspect
Overwhelming Ruinous Ordnance Style is aspected to the element of electricity.  As a side note, all Alchemical Exalted are automatically aspected to Autochthonian elements.

Inertial Velocity Exploitation
Cost: 2 motes; Mins: Martial Arts 1, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: None

By utilizing the momentum of an Essence cannon, the martial artist can propel herself upward with dizzying speed. This Charm can be activated whenever the martial artist makes a Jump action.  Doing so adds (Martial Arts x4) yards to the distance of the Jump.  Further, if the martial artist pays to fire a burst from an Essence-based weapon, he may add the weapon’s Damage rating to the Jump distance as well.

Paramount Efficiency Enhancement
Cost: 1 mote, 1 Willpower; Mins: Martial Arts 2, Essence 2; Type: Simple (Speed 3)
Keywords: Combo-Basic, Stackable
Duration: One Scene
Prerequisite Charms: None

The cost to fire an Essence-projection weapon is often their greatest weakness. By channeling the flow of Essence through himself and into his weapon, a skilled Overwhelming Ruinous Ordnance practitioner can remove this weakness. Activating this Charm reduces the cost per shot of an Essence-projection weapon by 1 (to a minimum of 0) for the remainder of the scene.

Barricade Purgation Procedure
Cost: 4 motes; Mins: Martial Arts 2, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive (Step 1)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: None

While the power of an Essence blast can often directly solve a problem, a true martial artist understands that sometimes, nothing gets a point across quite like catastrophic property damage. This Charm supplements an unarmed attack against an inanimate object, doubling the attack’s raw damage.

Essence Modulation Amplifier
Cost: 4 motes; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive (Step 1)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Inertial Velocity Exploitation, Paramount Efficiency Enhancement, Barricade Purgation Procedure

A skilled martial artist can learn to focus the power of her own Essence, withholding it from her cannon until the last moment, “charging” it so to speak, in order to fire a massive burst of energy.  When used to enhance an unarmed attack, for every die added to the attack roll from Aim actions, the martial artist adds one die of post-soak damage.

Overwhelming Ruinous Ordnance Form
Cost: 6 motes; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Combo-Basic, Form-type, Obvious
Duration: One Scene
Prerequisite Charms: Essence Modulation Amplifier

The master of the Essence cannon understands its full range of uses, offensive and defensive, and has learned that thought and action are one.  When this Charm is active, the martial artist moves with the speed of honed reflexes, gaining the full +3 bonus to Accuracy from a single Aim action.  Successive Aim actions still cannot raise the total bonus above 3.  Moreover, the martial artist can use form weapons of this style to parry attacks, firing beams of essence to knock weapons and projectiles aside. Doing so is an unarmed parry, treating the weapon’s Defense bonus as being equal to its Accuracy +2. If the martial artist must pay a cost or expend ammunition to fire the weapon, he must do so each time he makes use of this defense.

Sequence Calibration Refit
Cost: 1 mote/die; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Reflexive (Step 1)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Overwhelming Ruinous Ordnance Form

By adjusting the calibration on his weapon and on his own Essence, the martial artist can narrow the pulse for a more potent (but less reliable) strike, or widen the burst, weakening its impact to aid its accuracy.  This Charm supplements an attack with an Essence-projectile weapon. For each mote spent, the martial artist may subtract one die from the Damage rating of the weapon to add one die to his attack,  or subtract one die from his attack roll to add 5 to the weapon’s Damage.  Improving the accuracy of the attack is limited by dice caps as normal, but improving the damage is limited only by the motes available to spend and the Damage rating of the weapon.  Neither attack pool nor Damage can be reduced below one die.

Trajectory Correction Strategy
Cost: 5 motes; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Reflexive (Step 5)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: One Tick
Prerequisite Charms: Sequence Calibration Refit

Essence fired from an Essence-projectile weapon is still the martial artist’s Essence, and with practice, he can learn to control it even once it has left his body.  If one of the martial artist’s unarmed attacks misses, he can activate this Charm in Step 5 to redirect it at another enemy, as though they were the original target. Redirected attacks use the same rolled successes to determine if they hit.

Expeditious Impulse Evacuation
Cost: 6 motes; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4; Type: Reflexive (Step 9)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Counterattack, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Trajectory Correction Strategy

Attacks fueled with Essence project an enormous amount of force. With practice, the martial artist can harness this force to control his movements. This Charm may be activated in response to any close-combat attack against the martial artist. Regardless of the attack’s success, the martial artist may immediately make a unarmed counterattack against his attacker, paying the usual cost if he chooses to fire an Essence-projection weapon. Regardless of whether or not this counterattack succeeds, the martial artist is propelled (Essence x5) yards directly away from his attacker by the force of the blow.

Maximum Devastation Onslaught
Cost: 6 motes, 1 Willpower; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Sequence Calibration Refit

Precision is not a virtue to the Ordnance practitioner.  Devastation is.  This Charm supplements an attack with an Essence-based weapon.  Streamers of glowing plasma rocket forth from his weapon, careening wildly around him, leaving contrails of burning vapor and exploding on impact with staggering force.  The martial artist makes a normal attack roll and applies it to all valid targets within (Essence x2) yards.

Overwhelming Ruinous Barrage
Cost: 2 motes, 1 Willpower; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3; Type: Extra Action
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Maximum Devastation Onslaught

The martial artist can split an Essence pulse from himself into his weapon, arcing the attack into a spread of three, separate particles. This Charm allows the martial artist to make three attacks with an Essence-projectile weapon, each costing the normal firing charge, at the attacker’s full pool, and ignoring Rate. The total DV penalty for this flurry is equal to the highest DV penalty of any of single attack made.  Furthermore, if the first attack in this flurry benefits from an Aim action, all attacks in the flurry gain the same benefit.  It is said that Luminiferous Physician sought to improve this Charm, allowing for additional attacks, but was unable to make any Essence-discharge weapon more efficient.

Luminiferous Annihilation Cannon
Cost: 10 motes, 1 Willpower; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4; Type: Simple
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Overwhelming Ruinous Barrage, Expeditious Impulse Evacuation

Understanding an Essence weapon means understanding its fundamental purpose: annihilation.  This Charm consists of a single unarmed attack, which costs the usual number of motes if made with an Essence weapon.  The attack, if successful, deals Aggravated damage, and automatically converts all post-soak dice of damage directly to levels dealt.  Victims of this attack are most often only identified by black shadows seared onto nearby scenery or pairs of smoking boots left standing amidst ashes.

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