Archive for February, 2011

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NOT A CANON CHARM

February 21, 2011

In case it needs to be said, the Charm below is not canon.  It does not set any precedents for canon material, or for what is or is not valid Charm technology for any splat.  As with any Charm, no ST should use this on a character without the consent of the player, and should certainly not do so in an antagonistic manner.  This Charm does not legitimize douchebaggery in any form.  If you or someone you know uses this Charm in a manner inconsistent with common sense and basic human consideration, your fellow players have the right to punch you right in the goddamned mouth.  Comments discussing how it sets a bad precedent, how it is a dangerous door for Charm technology, or for explanations of how the ST can use this to screw over a player will not be replied to.  Use at your own risk.

That said… enjoy!

Just Denial of the Righteous
Cost: 20m, 2W; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 5; Type: Reflexive (Step 10)
Keywords: Chicanery-No, Combo-OK, Obvious, Shaping
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Thunder Breaks the Clouds

The most potent Solar heroes are often faced with moral dilemmas, whether to kill their defeated foe and be certain his power ends or spare him in the hope that he may repent, but risking that he will continue with his villainy.  Some of them have found a middle ground.  This Charm can only be activated if the Solar has made a Martial Arts attack that has dealt sufficient levels of damage to kill a Celestial Exalted opponent.  After damage has been rolled, but before it is applied, the Solar may activate this Charm.

In the instant this Charm is activated, the victim instinctively knows what choice is offered him: repent, and be stripped of his power, or die.  The victim instinctively makes this decision, based on the truest desires of his heart.   No external force can in any way impair this decision, and any such effects are placed in abeyance for this instant.  This is not a rationed, logical consideration: it is a primal response to choosing life or death.  For a practical guideline, assume that unless the victim’s Motivation involves his death, he will choose life.  Players may always choose for their characters as they like.  If the victim chooses death, the damage is resolved normally, and it further ensures that any contingency magic the victim may have to heal himself in the event of his death fails utterly.  If the victim chooses repentance, his Exaltation is struck out of him.

The victim’s Essence is immediately reduced to 3 (if it were higher), he has no Essence pool, and he loses all his Charms.  He is instantly refunded the relevant experience points.  If he knows thaumaturgy, Terrestrial Circle Sorcery, Shadowlands Circle Necromancy, Terrestrial Martial Arts, or any Essence 1-3 Spirit charms acquired through the Eclipse anima power, he has the option of automatically staying enlightened by paying for the Awakened Essence abomination or blight.  If he does so, he retains all Charms or spells that fall into the above criteria.  His Attributes, Abilities, Backgrounds, Willpower, and Virtues do not change, nor do his Health Levels except as modified by Charms.  He neither gains nor loses mutations, and if he was a Creature of Darkness, he remains so.  As a strange (and heretofore unknown) benefit, the individual is also instantly freed of the Great Curse, and no longer gains Limit or has a Virtue Flaw (or relevant mechanic).  He is otherwise, for all intents and purposes, a Heroic Mortal.

Assuming the Exalt continues to permit the individual to live, he remains a Heroic Mortal, and is as eligible for receiving Exaltation as he was before his previous Exaltation.  This Charm cannot function on Dragon-Blooded or Alchemical Exalted, as they do not have a separate Exaltation.  As a final note, due to the Charm’s Obvious nature, all observers understand the nature of the choice being offered, and comprehend that the consequences are those chosen by the victim.

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Home-Brewed Artifact Miscellany

February 19, 2011

This post is going to be immediately relevant to my game today.  Below you will find a small handful of custom-built Artifacts my players will soon be receiving as gifts.  I hope someone in your game will enjoy them as well!

Most Efficacious Astrolabe (Artifact 1)

This astrolabe is a minor wondrous item, most often produced by the Varangian City-States.  It is an immaculately crafted astrolabe, inset with precious metals and gemstones, and oiled to function perfectly.  When attuned, for the cost of one mote, it adds three dice to all the user’s Thaumaturgy rolls for the Art of Astrology.  Further, the user may pay five motes when making such a roll to convert all relevant specialty dice into automatic successes.

Prayer Shrine (Artifact 1)

This collapsible shrine is crafted of the finest quality materials, anointed with sacred unguents and incense, and inscribed with prayers to the whole of the Celestial Bureaucracy.  A priest may use this shrine to pray to the god or gods to whom he is ordained.  When praying, the shrine increases the effective Resources cost of any sacrifice made (minimum Resources 1) by one.  Additionally, if the priest is an Essence-wielder, he may pay five motes to add a single die to the prayer roll.

Blossom of the Deadly Amaranth (Artifact 1)

This beautiful blossom, magically preserved in a vase of purest crystal and filled with sacred water, never wilts or droops, remaining forever in the perfect height of its beauty.  However, such a trinket would be no more than a curiosity were it not for the power contained within it.  If fed a single mote of Essence, the flower produces one dose of a potent venom, which can be harvested and saved for later use as needed.  This venom uses the rules for Coral Snake Venom in the core Exalted book.  However, the flower must be fed a mote of Essence each day (which does not produce a toxin), or the magic sustaining its perfect beauty will fail, and it will crumble to ash.

Necklace of Teef (Artifact 1)

This primitive trinket is exactly what the name suggests… a string of wildly varying animal (and possibly human) teeth on a leather thong.  The teeth have all been ritually carved with runes important to the local tribes, and the thong itself has been soaked in sacred oils.  When worn, the user is displayed to all the spirit world as a man blessed by the shamans, infused with the power of this token.  When attuned (for a cost of one mote), the necklace grants its wearer a +2 bonus to all Social rolls made against spirits.

Fangs of Kel-Bashaan (Artifact 2)

Originally designed by the Sidereal craftsman Kel-Bashaan, these immaculately balanced knives were eventually mass produced in the height of the First Age. They are perfectly crafted for use either as a melee or thrown weapon, and they always come in sets of three (their unique geomancy requires nothing less). When thrown, if the Fangs miss their intended target, they automatically return to their attuned user. If they successfully hit, the user must make a reflexive Dexterity + Thrown roll (difficulty 1) or the Fangs remain lodged in their target. They can be crafted from any of the Magical Materials and gain the appropriate bonuses thereof when attuned.

Speed Accuracy Damage Defense Rate Range Tags
5 +2 +3L +1 3 30
T
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Sense Enhancement Mechanics

February 15, 2011

The games I run tend to be excellent sources of home-brewed content, since I can more easily find areas that desperately need improvement, or find gaps in the mechanics that need to be filled.  My roommate, Grace, is playing a character who would like to be a blind ranged fighter, which is completely awesome forever.  However, the current Solar sense-enhancing Charms A) require a decent commitment, and B) have to be activated every scene.  This causes me some issues.  Below, I have created unofficial errata for both of these Charms, as well as a Hearthstone to aid this character concept.  Enjoy!

Keen (Sense) Technique:  This Charm’s cost is increased to 5 motes, and its Duration is increased to Indefinite.

Unsurpassed (Sense) Discipline: This Charm’s cost is changed to None (+5 motes), its Type and Duration become Permanent, and its text is replaced with:

This Charm is a permanent upgrade to its prerequisite, allowing Keen (Sense) Technique to be activated with a 5 mote surcharge to gain the benefits from Unsurpassed (Sense) Discipline. 

Stone of the Dragons’ Flow (Rating 3 Wood Aspect Hearthstone)

This Hearthstone is an emerald-cut green stone with a matte finish.  If one looks closely enough, one can see small swirls of pattern deep within the stone, like clouds swirling on a windy day.  When used, the stone permits its bearer to tap into the dragon lines beneath Creation, shunting the burden of commitment onto them.  When activating a Charm with Indefinite Duration, the user spends the motes to activate it normally.  However, instead of committing those motes, the Hearthstone can maintain the commitment for the user, allowing the motes to be recovered normally.  The user can still end the Charm as normal, and the Hearthstone cannot maintain more than one Charm or ten motes of commitment at once. 

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Vinculum

February 3, 2011

Those of you familiar with the old Vampire: the Masquerade (and probably the new Vampire: the Requiem) are probably also familiar with the blood bond, or Vinculum.  For those of you unfamiliar, this was a mystical property of the vampire’s blood, making those who drank it fall helplessly in love with the vampire.  While I don’t normally like to draw parallels between the Exalted splats and the splats of World of Darkness, in this case, the connection is both mechanically and thematically appropriate.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the Vinculum.

Unbreakable Sanguine Chains
Cost: 5m, 1lhl; Mins: Presence 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Compulsion, Emotion, Merged, Stackable
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Poisoning the Will
 
The blood of the Chosen of Oblivion is a powerful force, drawing in the unwary like the weight of a black hole.  Irresistably, they ensnare the unwary in their bonds of blood.  This Charm is a Simple action, during which the Abyssal cuts himself and allows (or forces) the target to drink some of his blood.  If the target is unwilling, they must be restrained or otherwise rendered Inactive (unconscious targets are viable targets).  Once dosed, the victim is subjected to an effect that functions identically to Solar Bond, which gains one dot each time the Abyssal uses this Charm on the subject.  The Charm’s effects fade at the rate of one dot per month, but can be refreshed by the Abyssal with another use of the Charm.  The Abyssal can maintain this Charm on up to (Essence) separate individuals, and his Lunar mate is automatically immune to its effects. 

Celestial Exalted may resist this Charm’s effects for one Willpower, while Terrestrials must spend two, and non-Exalted must spend three.  Spending Willpower this way immunizes the victim for the remainder of the day.  Once the victim is afflicted, however, he must spend Willpower equal to the Abyssal’s Essence (maximum 5) to cancel the Charm’s effects.  Mortals cannot spend more than one Willpower per day in this fashion.

Some Abyssals call the effects of this Charm “the Vinculum,” and utilize it freely amongst their circles, baptizing one another in orgies of blood that bind them together into fractious but tightly-knit families of sorts.  Most deathknights, however, disdain this practice, preferring to utilize the Charm on their enemies rather than expose themselves to their allies.

Merged: This Charm also appears in the Medicine tree, with Cannibalistic Renewal Incitement as a prerequisite, and requiring Medicine 5.  All other aspects of the Charm remain unchanged.