Artifacts and EvocationsMay 20, 2016
As my last post hinted, I’m going to be discussing Evocations today, which are a new system in Exalted 3rd Edition (hereafter simply referred to as Exalted, since it’s the current edition). They’re pretty rad, and they add a much-needed level of flavor to Artifacts.
The entire Artifact system has changed to a 2-5 dot system, now a Merit rather than a Background. For those of you familiar with the new World of Darkness systems, like Requiem, this should be fairly familiar. For others, Merits work similarly to Backgrounds but instead of being wholly on a 1-5 scale, they vary. I’ll go into more detail on Merits in a future post.
Starting at three dots (which is where most Artifact weapons are, not coincidentally), Artifacts can now produce Evocations, which cost 10xp (or one Charm slot) to unlock. They function for an attuned user like Charms, but usually specifically involve that Artifact. A bow might fire arrows of love, for instance, or a sword might grow ever sharper in its wielder’s hands. Evocations represent a growing, magical bond between attuned user and Artifact, sometimes implying or outright stating minimal to maximal levels of sentience.
The idea is that every Artifact weapon now comes with its own suite (3 or so) of Evocations, which are customized to the Artifact in question. Armors and miscellaneous Artifacts, such as amulets and bracers, can also have their own Evocation suites, as long as they are at least Artifact 3. While this does put a little more stress on the ST to come up with appropriate Evocations for every Artifact, it also makes every Artifact unique, like they always should have been. No longer is your three-dot daiklave the same as Steve’s three-dot daiklave, but you wield Stormbolt while his sword is Karnak the Render. They have different names, histories, and now, different powers.
In that vein, I present the third of my Artifacts for a game I am soon to run:
Perception of Impulse (Orichalcum-and-Jade Infinite Chakram) Artifact (3)
This infinite chakram is crafted of white jade, shot through with veins and runes of orichalcum inscribing the thirty-three names of Olgur-Zalesh. Crafted by a master smith of the Realm for his Immaculate cousin, it is specifically intended to hunt and kill demons – though it has slain more than one Anathema in its time as well. Marek the Bold was the first to die beneath its razor edge at the hands of Cynis Syazana, but not the last. At least three Lunars were killed by the Wyld Hunt that bore this chakram, and countless spawn of the Yozis have fallen to its strikes. For all that, it still hungers for the blood of demons.
Whenever a Solar or Dragon-Blood who is attuned to this Artifact makes a successful decisive Thrown attack with Perception of Impulse against a demon, he adds that demon’s Circle to his base Initiative upon resetting.
Cost: 5m; Mins: Essence 1
The least of Perception of Impulse’s powers is a simple ricochet trick, guided by its wielder’s Essence. This Evocation can only be activated when the wielder succeeds at a decisive Thrown attack made with Perception of Impulse. If the attack is successful, immediately after resetting to base Initiative, the wielder can make one reflexive withering Thrown attack with Perception of Impulse at any one character within Close range of the first target. This Evocation’s cost drops to 1m if either target is a demon.
Kiss of Momentum
Cost: 10m ; Mins: Essence 1
Perception of Impulse amplifies its thrown force at its wielder’s command. This Evocation is activated after a successful decisive Thrown attack made with Perception of Impulse. If the damage roll generates at least one success, the target is knocked prone by the force of the blow. The more damaging the blow, the more forcefully her opponent will be knocked away from him:
For at least three successes, the opponent is lifted and bodily hurled into an object or surface within close range, hitting it with an impact equivalent to falling a short distance, destroying any less-obdurate objects she collides with, such as wooden furniture.
At four or more successes, the foe is knocked into an object at close range with tremendous force, or is sent sailing a remarkable distance by the force of the blow. If the former, the opponent hits a surface with force sufficient to leave cracks in a stone wall, impacting with a surface as if he had fallen from a medium distance. If the latter, the force throws him to short range with a short-distance falling impact.
If the target of this attack is a demon, the Evocation’s cost drops to 5m.
Cost: 5m, 1W; Mins: Essence 2
Prerequisites: Kiss of Momentum
Demons are tricky monsters, able to phase into and out of reality with a thought. Perception of Impulse dislikes this, and forces them back into the material world. This Evocation is a special difficulty 3 gambit made with Perception of Impulse against a dematerialized entity. If the gambit is successful, the wielder may immediately engage in a battle of wits with the spirit. The wielder makes a reflexive (Wits + Occult) roll against the spirit’s Resolve. If successful, the spirit is forced to materialize reflexively and at no mote cost. The spirit cannot dematerialize for one round per point by which the Occult roll beat its Resolve unless it spends two Willpower to overcome this mind-influencing effect.
If this Evocation is successfully used against an unbound demon, instead of forcing the target to materialize, it banishes the demon instantly as if through the appropriate “Demon of the X Circle” spell. It literally hits the demon so hard it ceases to exist in Creation.