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Exalted 2e interest check

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
@Greenstalker @Miscellany @Psychie @Thief of Words

I've been batting around an idea for a lower level Exalted game using the 2e rules with the errata tossed in for good measure. This game is centered on using Solars only; no other class of Exalted will be allowed into this game - at least, starting out. For character creation, I'll allow Merits and Flaws from Scroll of Heroes, but there are a few restrictions.

First, no Artifacts or Manses/Hearthstones are going to be allowed with character creation. You are freshly Exalted, and have not had the chance to get your weapons of Creation shattering power. Getting that stuff will be the focal point of your first story arc.

Second, the highest you can raise your Essence at start-up is 3. As the game goes on, you'll have the opportunity to raise it up later.

Third, when you get either Sorcery or Necromancy, you get a free spell of that Circle for free.

Fourth, we are going to be using the Hardy Keyword for extra health levels. Here is a quick description of how that Keyword works, and the Charms involved.

New Keyword: HARDY
Each purchase of a Charm bearing this keyword works like a purchase of the Exalt's native version of Ox-Body Technique. This entirely replaces the Charm by that name; players lose those Charms and spend the refunded XP on Charms with the Hardy keyword.

No character may benefit from the Hardy keyword more times than their Essence score. An Essence 5 character with seven Hardy-keyworded Charms only benefits from the equivalent of five purchases of Ox-Body Technique until he raises his Essence score.

No character may receive the benefits of the Hardy keyword from any Charm not considered natural to his kind. Eclipses cannot learn Bruise-Relief Method and thus gain extra health levels, nor can a Malefactor grant extra health levels when bestowing Transcendent Desert Creature upon her followers as a mutation effect.

Charms which gain the Hardy keyword, by type:

SOLARS:
Body-Mending Meditation
Soul-Fire Resurgence
Rising Sun Renewal
Inner Fire Unleashed
Final Ray of Light
Unbreakable Warrior's Mastery
Enduring Mountain Method
Immunity To Everything Technique
Tireless Sentinel Technique
Invincible Essence Reinforcement
Durability of Oak Meditation
Spirit Strengthens the Skin
Iron Skin Concentration
Iron Kettle Body
Adamant Skin Technique
Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit
Element-Resisting Prana
Eternal Elemental Harmony

As per the Errata, everyone gets starting out 18 Bonus Points, 4 free Specialties, and Willpower starting at 5.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
I have a character idea, but I am wondering if I would be allowed to use Plague of Hats' rewrite of the Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style. It makes the MA style a little bit more balanced, and I like it a lot.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Here is the rewrite.
Plague of Hats rewrite of Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style

Weapons and Armor: This style treats as unarmed attacks those made with fan, sash, cape and rope. Without appropriate reinforcement (as a war fan or rope dart), such weapons are rarely useful. Some have artifact equivalents, like the fate ring or forms of magical clothing. Most clothing and similar things are too flimsy to serve as weapons for this style, but those that are specially weighted (usually at negligible increased cost) can serve as improvised weapons that are compatible with the style. They generally have Speed 6, Accuracy -3, Damage +0B to +4B, Defense -2, Rate 2. Many carry the ‘R’ tag.

There is a thaumaturgical ritual from the Art of Enchantment known as Careful Master Peacock Attire (2, Intelligence, 3, One week) that is often used to reinforce clothing for use with this style. It transforms ordinary clothing of any quality into subtle protective gear that gives its wearer +1L/1B armor soak that stacks with standard forms of armor but not similar sources of soak (such as steelsilk clothing, which is a suitable artifact substitute). Clothing or other objects so enchanted are sturdy enough to be used at least as improvised weapons that are compatible with Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style’s Charms. Increasing their Artifact or Resources cost by one allows them to be used as real weapons, eliminating the Accuracy penalty their equivalent improvised version would suffer.

This style is incompatible with armor.

Complementary Abilities: Dreaming Pearl Courtesans must have at least one dot in either Performance or Presence as well as one dot in Socialize.

Demure Carp Feint
Cost: 4m; Mins: Martial Arts 2, Essence 1; Type: Reflexive (Step 2)
Keywords:
Combo-Basic
Duration: One action
Prerequisite Charms: None

The distracting beauty of the martial artist’s hand gestures and flashing fans make it difficult to bring oneself to strike her and, even when violence is sought, to strike true. This Charm can only be used when the character can validly apply her own Martial Arts-based Parry DV with an unarmed free hand or with a form weapon of Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style. It grants her a cover bonus to DV equal to the Defense trait of her weapon. This does not count as a dice bonus from Charms and this bonus is based only on the Defense of the weapon in question, not any external bonuses that may increase the weapon’s Defense like Perfected Kata Bracers. Magical material bonuses and the like are not external bonuses. If a weapon’s Defense is 1 or less, this Charm’s distracting kata still provides a cover bonus of +2.

Pearlescent Filigree Defense
Cost: 1m per +1L/2B soak; Mins: Martial Arts 2, Essence 1; Type: Reflexive (Step 7)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: None

Captivating as baubles and precious treasures, still the shining beetle carapace and oil-slick, rainbow surface of cabochons are impenetrable and sturdy. Activating this Charm, the stylist adopts this same combination of fortitude and sparkling countenance, a prismatic sheen falling over his skin and clothing to turn aside blows and amaze onlookers. Every mote spent on this Charm increases his natural soak by +1L/2B for the rest of the scene, up to a maximum of (Martial Arts) motes.

Lethal Paper Fan Attack
Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 1; Type: Reflexive (Step 1)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: None

Leaving behind a white cloud of afterimages in the air, the martial artist’s attacks are fierce and fast, even with “weapons” like clothing. The world shivers with the cutting precision of the martial artist. Used to enhance an unarmed Martial Arts attack, this Charm reduces its Speed by one, to a minimum of 3, and raises the weapon’s Accuracy to +0 if it would be lower. If the weapon already has Accuracy +0 or higher, this Charm adds one to its Accuracy.

Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Form
Cost: 5m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2; Type: Simple
Keywords: Form-type, Obvious, Social
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Demure Carp Feint, Pearlescent Filigree Defense, Lethal Paper Fan Attack

The Dreaming Pearl Courtesan is the center of attention, always accompanied by fluttering allies. When adopting this form the character releases up to (Essence) weapons that are form weapons of this style (not her own hands or feet, of course). They float in the air, surrounding her like a gossiping crowd. As long as one such weapon flies free, the martial artist may make a single, reflexive unarmed Martial Arts attack every action tick, but only with one of the flying weapons.

An attack that successfully inflicts at least one level of damage to the martial artist may also knock one of her accessories out of the air, the attacker sacrificing one level of damage to do so. This causes no permanent harm to the prop, but without reactivating this Charm the weapons no longer flies nor counts for the bonuses provided by this Charm.

In social combat, these floating accessories help to emphasize the martial artist’s intentions. She gains extra dice on Performance- and Presence-based social attacks equal to the number of weapons flying around her. The weapons flit about, acting out, twisting, moving the air and framing the character’s face and actions to call attention to her points as she desires.

While this Form Charm is active, it also enhances the use of its prerequisite Charms in the following ways:

Demure Carp Feint: On the tick the martial artist activates Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Form and until her next action tick, she may activate Demure Carp Feint as if it were not a Charm. By reflexively paying a two-mote surcharge, the martial artist may do so again after having already activated this Form. The Charm also gains the Social keyword while this Form Charm is active, allowing it to apply its DV bonus as bonus dice to shield the user’s motivations (Exalted, p. 131) and to enhance Socialize rolls to set up an unexpected social attack. These social combat options do count as a dice bonus from Charms.

Pearlescent Filigree Defense: The soak bonus provided by this Charm increases to +2L/3B per mote. Every two motes spent on the Charm also increases the character’s Appearance for the scene, but only to a maximum of (Essence) additional dots. No combination of Charms that includes this one may increase Appearance by more than a total of (Essence) dots, and dice provided this way count as a Charm bonus.

Lethal Paper Fan Attack: If a weapon’s Accuracy would be less than +0, it rises to +1. If it is already +0 or higher, it is increased by +2. Taking advantage of this benefit increases the Charm’s cost by one mote and is optional. This same surcharge may be applied to give the Charm the Social keyword, allowing it to further emphasize the points made by the martial artist’s flying weapons. This enhances a Presence- or Performance-based social attack, making it unnatural influence that costs one Willpower to ignore as the Dreaming Pearl Courtesan’s words cut truer and deeper with her showy emphasis.

Flurry of August Leaves Concentration
Cost: 2m per weapon, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2; Type: Extra Action
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Form

The martial artist’s delicate movements extend through her awareness of herself into the props she surrounds herself with, be they fans of silk or steel, sashes weighted or not, and even the air they fly through. These are her minions, and they act in concert with her to perfection. This Charm is a flurry of up to (Essence + 1) unarmed Martial Arts attacks, at least one of which must be made with the character’s own hands or a held weapon. The others may be made with her hands, feet or held items, or by the flying weapons that surround a martial artist who has activated Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Form. Attacks made with flying weapons can validly target foes up to (Essence x 5) yards away.

The attacks made with this Charm ignore multiple action penalties but not Rate, and impose a DV penalty equal to the highest of any one attack in the flurry.

Resplendent Sash Grapple Technique
Cost: 4m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3; Type: Reflexive (Step 9)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Counterattack, Obvious
Duration: Instant or until the clinch ends
Prerequisite Charms: Flurry of August Leaves Concentration

The whirl of high society surrounds the martial artist, deflecting and subduing distractions that are not worth his time. This Charm is an unarmed Martial Arts counterattack using the character’s full (Dexterity + Martial Arts) pool to respond to an attack against him. The martial artist must have successfully parried the attack. If he has activated Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Form and has at least one floating weapon available, he may use this Charm to respond to attacks from as much as (Essence) yards away; otherwise, this is a close combat Charm. It may have one of two effects:

• Successfully striking the aggressor is resolved as an attempt to disarm them in response. This follows all the rules found on Exalted, p. 158, save that the martial artist suffers no external penalty on his attack roll. This is an Instant effect.

• Successfully striking the aggressor initiates a grapple that can only be used to hold them. This clinch is maintained as long as the martial artist remains within (Essence) yards of his foe and commits motes to this Charm. Every six ticks after initiating it he reflexively maintains the clinch with ([Dexterity + Martial Arts] ÷ 2) successes, which may be enhanced further with Charms.

He may not maintain more of these grapples than he has flying weapons as per Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Form, and each grapple reduces by one the number of weapons considered for the effects and bonuses of the Form Charm. A foe that gains control of the clinch can only respond by ending the clinch normally. If the flying prop used for the grapple is attacked and destroyed or knocked out of orbit, the associated clinch ends immediately.

Vindictive Concubine’s Pillow Book
Cost: —; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Emotion, Shaping, Social
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Resplendent Sash Grapple Technique

With a word and perhaps a rude gesture, a secret properly revealed might leave even the most confident exposed and unmanned. Having gotten to know a foe, the martial artist can now embarrass him. This Charm permanently enhances its prerequisite, adding the following response options:

• Successfully striking the aggressor does not inflict damage. Instead, the target makes a reflexive roll of (Wits + [Dodge or Larceny]) against a difficulty equal to the martial artist’s threshold successes on the counterattack. If the target fails, the straps and buckles loosen on their armor and their bulwark flies from them as they try in vain to evade the counterattack, depriving them of the benefit of their armor as it comically slumps across their shoulders and down their knees. This is equally effective against mundane and magical armor, but it can only remove one source of armor soak at a time. A character may resituate their armor and regain its benefits with a number of consecutive miscellaneous actions equal to its mobility penalty (minimum one), which cannot be flurried.

If the target benefits from armor soak from Charms, these become Obvious in nature to the martial artist. Instead of stripping the target of the physical armor that hangs from his frame she may flense his spirit with derisive laughter, forcing one of the target’s armor soak-providing Charms to prematurely end as if the target canceled it. This is a Shaping effect.

• In social combat, the Charm can be used to respond to a social attack with a saucy slap to the behind (with or without the aid of a long, weighted sleeve) or even just a knowing look that tells everyone how transparent the target is. This is still resolved like a physical counterattack, but if it successfully hits the target must roll their Temperance at a difficulty of half the Dreaming Pearl Courtesan’s Essence. If they fail this roll, the target suffers a -2 internal penalty to all social actions, reflexive or not, for the rest of the scene. Overcoming this unnatural emotion costs two Willpower.

Fragrant Petal Fascination Kata
Cost: 6m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Combo-OK, Emotion, Obvious, Social
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Flurry of August Leaves Concentration

There is only so much room around the star of the show, and so there is always competition to fill that space. Those left out of the running are heartbroken, neither savvy nor lucky enough to spend time with the martial artist. This Charm is activated with a (Manipulation + Martial Arts) roll, adding extra dice equal to the character’s Performance. Those whose MDV is lower than the martial artist’s successes are helplessly entranced by his posture, his movements, his mere presence.

This unnatural emotion imposes a -1 internal penalty to an affected character’s actions that do not reflect such feelings, such as paying close attention to other tasks or even defending oneself. The penalty increases to -3 when performing actions directly contrary to infatuation with the martial artist, such as attacking the Dreaming Pearl Courtesan or attempting to leave her presence. This lack of self-control lapses for (target’s Temperance) actions if the martial artist attacks a given target, and it may be ignored completely for two Willpower for the rest of the scene. This cost rises to three Willpower if the target already has a positive Intimacy to the martial artist when the Charm is activated.

The infatuation of this Charm lasts as long as a character can see the martial artist. When the Dreaming Pearl Courtesan is out of sight, it does not fade but instead transforms into longing melancholy to recapture the vision of one so lovely. It is otherwise dealt with in the same manner, inflicting penalties and resistible with Willpower expenditure as above.

Seven Storms Escape Prana
Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4; Type: Reflexive (Step 9)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Counterattack, Obvious, Social
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Fragrant Petal Fascination Kata

Giving ground before opposition, the martial artist gains a new position from which to respond. Such canny strategy is as much a defense, and as admirable, as remaining a bulwark and standing one’s ground. This Charm is activated in response to an attack either physical or social, the martial artist exhaling a small cloud of murky, blue smoke and disappearing in a flurry of sleeves, fans, gestures and polite nods. The character disappears and reappears up to (Essence x 5) yards away. The martial artist may only reappear in a place that she can see and could currently reach with any number of valid Move actions. This Charm fails to activate if the martial artist attempts to bypass a ward against teleportation.

When the martial artist activates this Charm and sacrifices a valid, readied (in hand or floating nearby with Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Form) in-style weapon to serve as a distraction, she may roll her (Manipulation + [Stealth or Socialize]), adding her Essence as extra successes. Leaving behind a torn sleeve or crumpled fan, the martial artist is nowhere to be found, having slipped into hiding as per a valid Stealth or Socialize action to conceal one’s location and intentions. The martial artist rolls Stealth in physical combat or Socialize in social combat. She may even hide when there is no valid cover, her foes dumbly losing track of her, but in this case she remains concealed only for two ticks.

This Charm does not help to defend against the attack to which it responds, though if that attack is part of a flurry it may render her an invalid target for the rest of the flurry. Obviously, this Charm does not render her an invalid target if she remains visible and within range of the attacker, but whether using Stealth or Socialize it can be equally effective at hiding her from a bone-breaking assault or a withering argument.


Cup of Pearls and Wine Ascension
Cost: 10m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4; Type: Simple (DV -0)
Keywords: Combo-Basic, Emotion, Obvious, Shaping, Social
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Vindictive Concubine’s Pillow Book, Seven Storms Escape Prana

Sidereal scholars who study this style make many conjectures on the nature of beauty and enchantment. If the Dreaming Pearl Courtesan reflects on the desires of the world as a whole, whence do these aesthetics come? Even the alien perspectives of the Primordials seem orthogonal to the nature of the Cup of Pearls and Wine Ascension. Activation of this Charm begins a physical transformation which occurs over time, from the tick it begins to when the character’s DV refreshes. The martial artist lifts into the air, too delicate to touch the ground. His body elongates, taking on the natural, powerful shape of a dragon, covered in iridescent scales. His eyes distend and warp to form perfect teardrops of burning sapphire, searing blue runnels dripping from them to mark their hundred-and-one duplicates trailing down either side of the character’s sinuous body. Instead of a dragon’s head, the martial artist’s thins and stretches into a gold-beaked foal’s head, crowned with four endlessly twisting antlers that dance like smoke in the wind. For each dot of his permanent Essence, the character’s new body possesses a pair of barbed carp fins. These float lazily within a few inches of where one might expect them to belong on such an alluring alien form.

When the character activates this Charm, he may reflexively and simultaneously activate Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Form by paying its cost. The shining rainbow scales of the character’s new body affords him an armor soak of 8L/12B and 4L/4B Hardness. He may substitute his permanent Essence for his Appearance rating as if it were his natural Attribute rating for the duration of the Charm. He loses his normal appendages, but the beak and fins serve largely the same purposes despite their odd appearance. These natural weapons of the Ascension body have the statistics listed below. In addition, the character’s fins are valid weapons to be levitated into the air around him by his Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Form. They may be knocked out of alignment like other flying weapons, but this merely deprives the Form Charm of their use, it does not remove them from the martial artist. They may be left behind to conceal the character using Seven Storms Escape Prana, in which case this does count as a Crippling amputation that removes the fin permanently (or until this Charm is ended and reactivated).

The character’s gear disappears Elsewhere for the duration, though necessary equipment may be called back to rest daintily atop a fin by paying one mote and taking a miscellaneous action to draw it forth. These appendages offer no hardship in holding, manipulating or caressing the world around the martial artist.

Though tales may be told of the Ascension body’s physical perfection, its beauty touches something deeper than simple visual aesthetics and transcends all known boundaries. The first time in a scene anyone with Dodge MDV less than (martial artist’s [Martial Arts + Essence]) sees, hears, feels or smells the martial artist, they are subject to an unnatural emotion that instills in them an Intimacy of heartaching appreciation for the wonderment that is the Ascension. This Intimacy cannot be suppressed or eroded until after the scene ends, though it may be rejected initially for two Willpower, rendering a character immune to this effect from any source for the rest of the scene.

The mystical advantages of this form can run to cruder ends, too. A character who has adopted the Cup of Pearls and Wine Ascension body treats the Type of Fragrant Petal Fascination Kata as Reflexive (Step 2) rather than Simple. In addition, he reduces the total cost of activating any other Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Charms (including the Form) by one mote, to a minimum of one.

Beak: Speed 5, Accuracy +1, Damage +2L, Defense -2, Rate 3, Tags: NP
Fin: Speed 4, Accuracy +2, Damage +3L, Defense +2, Rate 1, Tags: NR*
Coils: Speed 6, Accuracy +4, Damage +4B, Defense –, Rate 2, Tags: CNP

* Each fin is a separate weapon, and the character receives (Essence x 2) fins, so despite their low Rate they can be used to flurry many attacks.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Lets see here, what else can I tell you? The Circle will know one another prior to game start, and we are kicking off in the South. Firespeak is a good idea to know so you can communicate with the locals. You have all recently Exalted, and are on the run from the Wyld Hunt as they chase you across Creation. You have gotten a tip that there is a hidden cache of First Age Artifacts that you are after, and the location of this Cache is known only by one man. You'll have to find him and convince him to tell you or, better yet, show you, where it is.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Do we need to be a Perfect Circle, or can we overlap our Exalted Castes? I was personally looking at a Zenith or Eclipse Courtesan.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
So, how is everyone doing with a character? I've only seen Psychie's rough draft in my PM so far.

This is still open for more people if there are any interested parties out there.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
I'm almost done with my sheet. I have to write up a good background, and come up with a name. Other than that, I'm all set with the character.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Don't forget with your background that you have been Exalts for a very short amount of time.
 

Thief of Words

Archivist for Hire
Well, I was hoping to make a night, but sounds like that role would be taken, so trying to come up with a different (Twilight or Dawn?) concept. It's just taking time.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
So far it sounds like we have @Psychie with a Zenith, @Greenstalker with the Night, then @Thief of Words with your idea of either a Dawn or Twilight. I'll make up a NPC of one of the Castes you guys don't take. If you know anyone that might be a good match to join in, let them know.

I'll make up a thread for the game shortly.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
If you want to pull in a second Night Caste, there is no restriction on having two of the same Caste in the game. Its up to you.
 

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