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Incremental Artifacts

I was brainstorming on new artifact idea for my character when I suddenly thought of this idea. Why not have Artifacts that can gain new abilities over time. There are plenty of animes out there that allow this. There are two different schools of thought that I have on this 1) When the artifact is created have 5 different versions of it (1 dot, 2 dot, 3 dot, etc.) and have it cost a particular amount of experience and training time to raise the artifact to the next "level". And 2) allow the PC (with ST approval of course) to purchase new abilities with exp and training time. What do you all think let me know if you have any ideas on mechanics or if you just like the idea =)



The ST in the game I'm does that, only except, we spend XP to boost our artifacts's up levels. Kind of like with flaws and merits. We also kind of need a stunt to unveil the upgraded artifact's spiffiness... so far, we haven't upgraded our artifacts. So far...
~ Haku

I have been a fan of Bleach for some time and have thought about using the weapon premise of Zanpaku-to, Shikai, and Bankai in Exalted. The whole premise is that each state is larger, more powerful, and insanely over the top. Zanpaku is just the regular weapon. Shikai is a basically the first release form. Examples of the power manifests in effects like poisons, illusions or power blasts. Bankai is the most uber of forms and takes 10+ years to manifest. Basically it takes it to a whole other level.

Zanpaku Daiklaive
Speed +2, Accuracy +2, Damage 5L, Defense +1, Rate 3
Shikai Daiklaive
Speed +7, Accuracy +3, Damage 4L, Defense +8, Rate 6
Effect: Target is hindered with each strike at a -1 die, effects are cumulative.
Bankai Daiklaive
Speed +10, Accuracy +12, Damage 15A, Defense +0, Rate 5
Effect: Bone spines of a great Behemoth come out of the sword and are connected and rage against the target. The sword itself can attack on its own rate with Independent Actions equal to its rate.

Those are an example of a daiklaive at level 1 through 3. Each level completely alters the blade in a new combat style and the character should adjust with that. This next bit is taken from a web site dedicated to bleach. This describes the progression of a Zanpaku.

Like the vast majority of other zanpaku-to, Zabimaru's normal form looks exactly like any old katana, and Renji carries it stuck through his obi, like any samurai would. The only difference is the crossguard, which has a stylized lighting-bolt pattern carved into it.

With a quick shout of "Hoero!" (Howl!), Renji changes Zabimaru from an unassuming katana to a much larger, heavier weapon looking a lot like a sawblade. Zabimaru is comprised of seven rectangular plates that gradually widen from hilt to tip. Jutting out from the sharpened end of each plate is a flat, tooth-like spike, the last one on the last plate being long enough to qualify as a fang. The real surprise comes when opponents figure out that Zabimaru is not a sword, it's a *whip*. The plates are joined with a flexible material that can extend incredible distances. Renji can mentally control the length of the whip, but it still takes some weapons finesse to control it directionally. Shikai Zabimaru has one other ability, which Renji rarely uses. Called "Higa Zekkou" (Monkey Fang Absolute Bite), it allows him to control almost telekenetically the scattered pieces Zabimaru to "bite" into an opponent in one huge pile.

BANKAI: HIHIOU ZABIMARU (Baboon King Snaketail)
Though he's called the "Baboon King" Hihiou Zabimaru is really a giant snake skeleton. Renji holds onto the tip of the tail, which then coils into multitudes of round ribs all the way up into a huge snake head, complete with white furry ruff at the back of the skull-joint and several rows of fangs. Like Shikai Zabimaru, Hihiou Zabimaru is a whip, it just has a much, much larger range. Instead of having a flexible material joining the rib segments, all of Hihiou Zabimaru is held together by Renji's spiritual pressure, so it's nearly impossible for an opponent to sever it. The head can actually search out and bite opponents of it's own will to some extent, as well. Renji himself also changes appearance to a noticeable extent. He gains a white fur mantle over his black shinigami robes, held in place by an animal-fang chain. Decorating his left shoulder is a long, flat baboon skull.

The Blades of the Sky are an attempt by me to do something like that. The principle behind them is yet a third way to do it. Have different pieces of the artifact scattered hither and yon, and have the characters quest for them. Thus they don't expend XP on it, but they do expend story and RP time, which... is the whole point. :-) - Tardach

The game Earthdawn does this really well. The idea that it uses is that each item has "levels" of power that have to be unlocked to be used. Each lock has requirements for opening. A small portion of these are rules based (e.g. must be level X), but most of them are story based (e.g. must discover the name of the maker). As an example, a set of magical pipes has a level that requires the user to learn a specific song and play it. This kind of system would work well in exalted, where "learning this charm" could also be used as a requirement. -- Wordman

I have never cared to much for Earthdawn as a system or world, however, this does peak an interest. It would be a good foundation to something on the wiki. I do kind of like that artifact, to bad I am a storyteller for Exalted and not a player or I might try to wiggle that into the game. hehe. -- Savare

Opinions on this approach are welcomed: BillGarrett/LegendForged