These new Dragon-Blooded Melee Charms go outside the rigid monopoly that the Elements have on their own Abilities. There are many obvious thematic overlaps and special cases among the elements, so I skipped the rule of strict Ability alignment to its standard element to make cool and useful Charms. For example, I don’t see why armed melee combat always should be Fire-aspected. Other elements should have their own Charm styles and themes for Melee.
The canon Charm arrangement is still the norm though. New Charms that go outside it are designed to be special cases and to intrude on them as little as possible, and instead provide other elemental flavors. For example, the basic dice adder Charms are always in the regular Charm tree. The extra Essence cost for out-of-aspect Charms apply normally to the new Charms.
Here is a discussion on this rule heresy: Discussions/DBsAreDifferent.
Comments and suggestions are much appreciated as these Charms haven't been play tested very well yet.
Blade Of Shifting Winds Method
Aspect: Air Cost: 1 mote per 2 points Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Minimum Melee: 2 Minimum Essence: 2
Infusing her weapon with the quick and deft energies of Air, the Dragon-Blooded receives a bonus of two points per mote to her initiative roll. The bonus cannot exceed her Melee rating. The Charm must be activated before Initiative is rolled.
Eagle Returns To The Nest Technique
Aspect: Air Cost: 1 mote Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Minimum Melee: 3 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms: Blade of Shifting Winds Method
A strong gust of wind lifts the Dragon-Blooded's weapon and carries it to her in the blink of an eye. This Charm can be used to reflexively draw a sheated weapon, but also to retreive fallen weapons within a range of Essence x 5 yards. The Dragon-Blooded must see the weapon or know exactly where it is. The wind avoid obstacles in its path and has a Strength + Athletics rating equal to the Dragon-Blooded's Essence rating for overcoming obstacles in its way. The weapon retreived must be well-known to the Dragon-Blooded.
Aspect: Air Cost: 2 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Minimum Melee: 2 Minimum Essence: 1
This Charm halts the Dynast's weapon right before it hits, but the force of the blow creates a thundering blast of air that knocks the target off his feet and stuns him, without serious injuries.
The damage of the strike is converted to Bashing. The Charm also adds the Dynast's Essence rating to the inflicted damage, but only for purposes of knockdown and stunning.
Enemy-hurling Whirlwind Kata
Aspect: Air Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Simple Minimum Melee: 4 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms: Stormshock Strike
The Dragon-Blooded executes a whirling kata with his weapon, moving it so fast it produces a gust of hurricane-strength wind that throws enemies off their feet.
Roll for a normal attack and add the permanent Essence rating to the rolled damage. Everyone within Essence x 2 yards is hit by the attack (if it succeeds), but only its knockdown, knockback and stunning effects. The attack doesn't inflict any actual, direct damage, but secondary effects might.
Twin Breezes Strike
Aspect: Air Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Melee: 4 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Blade of Shifting Winds Method
Further increasing the speed and deftness of her weapons, the Dragon-Blooded may make two attacks at her normal initiative against the same target. They are parried and dodged as one attack, using the same defense roll against both.
Howling Winds From The North Strike
Aspect: Air Cost: 4 motes Duration: Instant Type: Simple Minimum Melee: 5 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Eagle Returns to the Nest, Enemy-Hurling Whirlwind Kata
The Dynast executes a strike in the air, which is carried to her target by a deadly gust of whirling winds, that are cold and sharp as ice and crackle with Essence discharges.
The Charm allows the Dynast to make a ranged attack with her melee weapon. The range is equal to permanent Essence x 5 yards. As for normal ranged weapons, attacking at twice this range is made at a -2 dice pool penalty, and -4 for three times the range. The attack is parried and dodged as a normal ranged attack.
Lightning From A Clear Sky Technique
Aspect: Air Cost: 5 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Minimum Melee: 5 Minimum Essence: 4 Prerequisite Charms: Twin Breezes Strike
Moving with the near instantaneous and unexpected motion of a lightning from a cloudless sky, the Dynast can attack before anyone can react. She automatically reacts before all others, unless they employ similar magics, in which case initiative is decided normally. The Charm can be activated after initiative is rolled to preempt someone faster. It can only be activated once per turn.
Earth Holds The Mountains Method
Aspect: Earth Cost: 2 motes Duration: One scene Type: Reflexive Minimum Melee: 2 Minimum Essence: 1
Earth energy infuses the Dynast's weapon and not only anchors it in her hands, but also makes it supernaturally durable.
This Charm automatically resists all non-magical attempts of stealing, disarming or otherwise removing her weapon from her person against her will, as long as the motes remain committed. Disarming Charms, spells and such are inflicted with a difficulty increase equal to the Dynast's Essence rating.
Furthermore, the weapon cannot be broken, worn or damaged by any mundane means. Magical attempts to damage it must overcome a difficulty increase equal to the Dynast's Essence.
Unstoppable Avalanche Strike
Aspect: Earth Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Melee: 3 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms: Earth Holds the Mountains Method
The Dragon-Blooded's Essence-strengthened weapon strikes with the unstoppable force of an avalanche. The strike becomes impossible to parry by any mundane means. Roll for the parry anyway, but the Charm eliminates any number of successes by striking the weapon aside. Should the parry roll fail, the opponent's weapons is struck from his hands. Essence-enhanced parries have their successes reduced by the Dragon-Blooded's permanent Essence.
Aspect: Earth Cost: 2 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Minimum Melee: 4 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms: Unstoppable Avalanche Strike
When the Dynast's weapon strikes another weapon, either intentionally or because of a parry, she can let her Essence-enhanced understanding of solid materials create a dissonance in her opponent's weapon that usually shatters it.
A reflexive Strength + Melee roll is required to destroy a weapon. Most mundane weapons are at normal difficulty, but well-made, sturdy and large weapons require more successes. The Charm can be used against shields as well, at +1 difficulty. It has no effect against magical weapons.
Tremor Pulse Technique
Aspect: Earth Cost: 3 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Melee: 4 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Unstoppable Avalanche Strike
By striking a solid material with her weapon, the Dynast creates a pulse that carries the force of the blow through the material (normally the ground) to a target some distance away. The pulse usually inflicts some damage to the material along its path, but nothing like the violent eruption it causes under its target's feet.
The pulse has a maximum range of Essence x 10 yards and must be aimed at a target in sight. The damage is increased with the Dragon-Blooded's Essence rating and the attack cannot be blocked, only dodged. Regardless of whether it hits its intended target or not, it counts as an automatic attack against the material the target is in contact with (see Exalted p. 239).
Shrugging Earth Strike
Aspect: Earth Cost: 3 motes + 1 mote per extra turn Duration: Varies Type: Simple Minimum Melee: 5 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Tremor Pulse Technique
Like the power of an earthquake slowly builds over time and is all released in a devastating in-stant, the Dragon-Blooded holds back her strike, charges it with Essence and finally unleashes a mighty blow.
The Dragon-Blooded delays her attack, reducing her initiative to zero, but adds her Strength rating number of dice of damage to the strike. If she wishes, she can delay the attack up to Essence turns (including the turn of activation). Every consecutive turn adds Strength again to the damage. In the turn the strike is unleashed her initiative is automatically zero.
During the Charm the Dragon-Blooded must fo-cus strictly and may only perform reflexive actions. If she uses her weapon in any way, the Charm is imemdiately broken. She is allowed to move normally during the Charm though.
Aspect: Earth Cost: 1 mote per success Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Minimum Melee: 4 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms: Earth Holds the Mountains Method
The Dragon-Blooded briefly infuses her weapon with the attractive gravitational force of the Earth, diverting incoming attacks towards her weapon.
The Charm can be reflexively activated before an opponent's attack roll is made. It subtracts one success per mote from the attack, to a maximum of the Dragon-Blooded's Essence rating.
Impenetrable Wall Defense
Aspect: Earth Cost: 4 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Until next action Type: Simple Minimum Melee: 5 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Blade-Attracting Defense
The Dragon-Blooded assumes a defensive posture that is so exquisitely well-balanced that it offers the protection of a solid wall against attacks.
Roll a normal parry and apply it to all hand-to-hand attacks aimed at her from the front and sides. Although it can deflect many attacks, the parry is actually just one maneuver. The defensive stance cannot be interrupted volountarily once it has been initiated and prohibits all other maneuvers except the parry.
Gracefully Flowing Strike
Aspect: Water Cost: 1 mote Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Minimum Melee: 2 Minimum Essence: 1
Like a stream twisting and flowing around an obstacles, the Dragon-Blooded's weapon flows around defenses. When a dodge or parry totally negates an attack, she may reroll the attack and apply it against the same defense roll. The second result must be accepted. If the Charm is part of a combo, the Essence cost for the other Charms must be paid again.
Strike Like Rain Method
Aspect: Water Cost: 2 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Melee: 3 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms: Gracefully Flowing Strike
Further drawing on water's ability to flow past obstacles, this Charm decreases dodge and parry successes against an attack by the Dynast's permanent Essence.
Water-snake Fang Strike
Aspect: Water Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Melee: 4 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms: Strike Like Rain Method
The sea holds many of Creation's most poisonous creatures, and often their stings or bites leave no mark but can kill a man in a heartbeat. Executing a similarly subtle and treacherous strike, the Dynast's Essence-touched weapon moves through her target's body like through water and leaves no physical marks, while still inflicting lethal internal damage. Not even the target's armor is left with any marks from the strike.
This Charm halves the attack's damage after it's been rolled, but it leaves no external marks whatsoever, either directly or over time. It will not cause bleeding or body parts to be chopped off. Only a thorough medical examination will reveal the subtle but lethal internal injuries this Charm causes.
Crack In The Dam Strike
Aspect: Water Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Melee: 4 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Water-Snake Fang Strike
The Dynast senses the flows of bodily fluids in her target and lets Essence guide her strike to spring severe leaks in this flow. The Charm results in profously bleeding wounds that can empty a grown man of all his blood in seconds.
A target will start bleeding at a rate of one lethal health level per turn if the attack inflicts at least one health level of damage. The Exalted can stop the bleeding by force of will, but it takes a successful Stamina + Resistance roll at a difficulty equal to the Dynast's Melee rating. This roll can be extended over several turns. The difficulty to staunch bleeding caused by this Charm is at least equal to the Dynast's Melee rating, both for unExalted and Exalted targets. Only attacks with cutting edge weapons can be enhanced by this Charm.
Meandering Blade Technique
Aspect: Water Cost: 1 mote per 2 points Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Melee: 3 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms: Gracefully Flowing Strike
As a stream finds it way into all places, so does the Dragon-Blooded's blade find vulnerable spots on her opponent's armor. Two points of armor soak per mote is ignored. A maximum of motes equal to the Melee rating can be spent at this Charm at once.
Aspect: Water Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Melee: 4 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisite Charms: Meandering Blade Technique
Just as waves wear down the strongest of rocks, the Dragon-Blooded's strike wears down the armor of his opponent. Straps come loose, armor segments unhinge, plates crack and soft armor rips.
Every point of pre-soak damage that exceeds the target's armor rating (excluding the natural soak) permanently reduces its soak values by one. The target takes a number of dice of damage equal to this number, soaked only by his natural soak. The Charm only works against non-magical armor.
The Trees' Many Branches Technique
Aspect: Wood Cost: 1 mote Duration: Instant Type: Simple Minimum Melee: 3 Minimum Essence: 2
The Dragon-Blooded may instead of a full dodge do a cascading parry.
Unfolding Petals Defense
Aspect: Wood Cost: 5 motes plus 3 per additional turn Duration: One turn Type: Simple Minimum Melee: 4 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: The Tree's Many Branches Technique
Whirling her weapon around her in a defensive pattern, the Dragon-Blooded can keep opponents at a distance. Those who attack her face the risk of being hit by the spinning weapon.
All close combat attacks against the Dragon-Blooded are made at difficulty increase equal to half her Melee rating, rounded up. Should an attack be completely negated, she may make a reflexive attack against the attacker, but no more such attacks can be made during the turn than her Melee rating.
At any time during the turn, the Dragon-Blooded may choose to make one reflexive parry at her full dice pool, but this ends the Charm. The Charm also ends if a counterattack is botched or if any dice action is taken. The Dragon-Blooded can move her normal movement. If the Charm remains active at the end of a turn, it can be reflexively continued for another turn for three motes.
The Tree Falls On The Logger Technique
Aspect: Wood Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Minimum Melee: 4 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: The Tree's Many Branches Technique
This counterattack Charm allows the Dragon-Blooded one strike directly after her opponent's attack has been resolved. She can add a number of dice equal to the opponent's successes to her attack roll, but she cannot increase her dice pool by more than her Melee rating.
Prune The Thorn Bushes Strike
Aspect: Wood Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Melee: 3 Minimum Essence: 2
Like a gardener trimming the thorns off roses, the Dragon-Blooded can strike precisely at sensitive spots on her opponent, thus incapacitating him with-out severe injuries.
The Dragon-Blooded attacks as normal, but must declare what effect she wishes to accomplish before the strike. The attack must inflict at least one health level of damage for the Charm to take effect. The actual damage inflicted is never more than one health level.
The effects of the strike last one scene for Ex-alted. For mortals it lasts until the health level in-flicted is healed. The effect can also be negated with a successful Intelligence + Medicine roll at the same difficulty as the original strike.
- Leg. Difficulty 3. Halves movement rate and prohibits running. If both legs are paralyzed, the target can only move Dexterity yards per turn.
- Arm. Difficulty 3. –4 dice on actions that are dependent on the arm.
- Throat. Difficulty 4. Paralyses speech centers and makes target unable to make any sound.
- Eyes. Difficulty 5. Blinds the target temporarily.
- Spine. Difficulty 5. Partially paralyses the target, which is at –4 on all physical actions.
Strike At The Heart Technique
Aspect: Wood Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Minimum Melee: 4 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Prune the Thorn Bushes Strike
The Dynast's understanding of life and death energies directs her strikes to vulnerable points on her enemies. She can reroll damage once, but must accept the new result. If the Charm is used in a combo, the Essence for the other Charms must be paid again. The Charm only works again living opponents - not the undead, automatons and the like.
Spring Ends Winter Prana
Aspect: Wood Cost: 5 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Melee: 5 Minimum Essence: 4 Prerequisite Charms: Strike at the Heart Technique
The life energies of the Wood element is anathema to the undead. Infusing her weapon with these energies, the Dragon-Blooded can strike devastating blows to the living dead. The Charm causes one strike to inflict aggravated damage to undead. It has no effect on Abyssal Exalted or Deathlords.
I like these charms very much, and have been using the water and earth charms in a few of my games (They have worked rather well). I haven't run a DB game in recent however (My players want to be big solar gods all the time), so they've seen most of their use in antagonists and allies.
One of the questions risen to me by a mutual friend is about Crack in the Dam Strike. It's one of the charms I haven't used from water in my games all that much, but since it's supplemental, can you effectively apply several bleeding effects at once on one target? Say I hit 3 times, does the evil anathema Glorious Puppy Smasher of the East have to staunch three times for each bleeding effect, or once? And if he fails, will he take 3 more health levels of damage? PoisonFish