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Vitriolic Octopus Style [Ex3]

May 31, 2016

I’ve always considered Vitriolic Octopus Style to be my own personal martial arts style, insofar as I have one.  It’s been my baby since early 2nd Edition, and now it seems it’s time to update it for the new edition.  Behold, the evolution of the Vitriolic Octopus!

 

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 channels all the worst aspects of the octopus – its canny wiles, its venomous bite, and its grasping tentacles. A Vitriolic Octopus stylist sees his enemies as prey to be constricted or predators to be escaped from. The style lends itself to cruelty, spite, and (as the name suggests) vitriol. It is practiced almost exclusively in the West or along the rim of the Threshold, as the masters of this style seem to enjoy the presence of the ocean to soothe the savage nature of their combat style.

Vitriolic Octopus Style Weapons: Vitriolic Octopus is used with fighting chains. It is also compatible with unarmed strikes and Grapple gambits. Any unarmed attack enhanced by a Vitriolic Octopus Charm can always be stunted to deal lethal damage.

Armor: Vitriolic Octopus Style is compatible with light armor.

Invertebrate’s Frustrating Resilience
Cost 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Dual, Mastery
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: None

The octopus is not hindered by such restraints as a skeleton. Why, then, should the vitriolic octopus be? This Charm may be activated in response to either a withering or decisive attack to enhance the martial artist’s resilience against that attack. Against a withering attack, it adds the martial artist’s (Martial Arts + Essence) to his soak. Against a decisive attack, it adds his (Essence) to his Hardness.

Mastery: If a withering attack is reduced to minimum damage by soak enhanced by this Charm, or if a decisive attack is negated by this Hardness, the vitriolic octopus steals one point of Initiative from his attacker.

Spite-Fueled Venomous Embrace
Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 1;
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Decisive-only, Terrestrial
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Invertebrate’s Frustrating Resilience

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 a decisive 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 2i/round (Lethal in Crash), 3 rounds, Penalty -2, Vector Wound.

Terrestrial: A Dragon-Blood’s poison has the following statistics: Damage 1i/round (Bashing in Crash), 3 rounds, Penalty -1, Vector Wound.

Vitriolic Octopus Form
Cost: 5m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 1;
Type: Simple
Keywords: Form
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. When activating this Charm, the martial artist’s arms flow and writhe like tentacles, almost becoming rubbery in their aspects. His stance is wide and braced, his arms in constant motion. While the martial artist has Vitriolic Octopus Form active, he adds (Essence) non-Charm dice to all rolls made to initiate a Grapple gambit and all Control Rolls. While participating in a grapple, he may spend two motes reflexively to count all successes on a withering roll to savage twice for the purposes of determining damage.

Special Activation Rules: Whenever the martial artist deals decisive damage with a grapple gambit, he may pay 5 motes to enter Vitriolic Octopus Form Reflexively.

Devilfish’s Cunning Grasp
Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2;
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Mastery, Uniform
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 savage in a grapple. A victim so savaged has his soak from armor reduced by 2 against this attack.

Mastery: 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 2;
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Counterattack, Decisive-only
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Devilfish’s Cunning Grasp

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

Shy Devilfish Disguise
Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Perilous
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Vitriolic Octopus Form

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 include a roll to re-establish surprise (Ex3 p. 203) in a flurry.  When using this Charm, the martial artist’s skin literally changes color, camouflaging him almost perfectly within the environment.

Tenebrous Cloud Technique
Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2;
Type: Simple
Keywords: None
Duration: One scene
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 everything in close range. This area is effectively treated as fog or night, imposing a -1 situational penalty on all relevant rolls. Anyone who knows this Charm 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 dispel the cloud immediately. The cloud dissipates harmlessly at the end of its duration.

Essence Ink Attack
Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2;
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Decisive-only
Duration: One scene
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 is a difficulty 3 gambit. Instead of dealing damage, a stinging ink is sprayed from the martial artist’s hands. This ink blinds the target (see Ex3, p. 188), imposing a -3 situational penalty to all rolls for the remainder of the scene. The ink can only be removed by spending a turn clearing the ink from his eyes (a miscellaneous action that cannot be placed in a flurry), though it dissipates harmlessly at the end of the Charm’s duration.

Blinding Whiplash Barrage
Cost: 8m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3;
Type: Simple
Keywords: Terrestrial
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Many-Tentacled Entanglement, 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 grapple gambit including a number of grapple attempts equal to the number of available limbs the martial artist possesses (to a maximum of the martial artist’s Essence, usually four). When attempting to maintain these grapples, he makes one control roll as normal and applies it to all those engaged in the grapple. Ending one grapple, 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 grapples as he initiates with this Charm, though if he should later cease to be engaged in one of these grapples, this Charm does not allow him to resume it without a separate activation.

Terrestrial: A Dragon-Blood activating this Charm can only engage in two grapple gambits simultaneously.

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