Five Animal Style
This style is an extension of five of the more basic animal style martial arts:
- Tiger Style (Caste Book: Dawn)
- Snake Style (Exalted main book)
- Crane Style (MartialArts/CraneStyle7)
- Mantis Style (Caste Book: Eclipse)
- Leopard Style (MartialArts/LeopardStyle2)
Although in the Second Age the Sidereals are the undisputed masters of martial arts, it is still the case that the Solar Exalted can achieve excellence in any field that they choose. By weaving together principles from the animal styles of tiger, snake, crane, mantis and leopard, the advanced Solar martial artist can develop an array of awesome techniques that have been lost since the First Age.
Sidereal sifus are too concerned with abstract concepts to practice this style. Those few masters who remember it dismiss it as barbaric and unsubtle. Clearly, any martial art not developed by the masters of destiny must be inferior, anyway...
The only training needed for this style is the extensive practice and knowledge of all of the 'pillar' styles. It takes some time to learn to co-ordinate them or develop new techniques, but the basic roots of the skills are contained in the other styles.
In order to learn any of the first-tier charms in this tree, a character must first have the Form-type charms from each of the five lesser styles, and have the complete tree from at least one of them.
Weapons and Armor
Five animal style may be practiced freely with any of the weapons allowed by any of its prerequisite styles. That is, tiger claws, seven section staves, hook swords, wind-fire wheels, war fans, or spears.
Five animal style is not compatible with armour.
All Things To The Advantage Practice</b>
<b>Cost: 7 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 4 Prereqs: The five Forms, plus one whole tree.
Defence is not enough. One must gain every advantage. Gaining advantage is not enough. One must use the advantage to overcome one's opponent. Overcoming one's opponent is not enough if it allows them opportunity to attack. The style that focusses on only one thing is doomed!
When this charm is activated, the character may make a single parry with his full Dexterity + Martial Arts pool. he may also parry lethal attacks without a stunt. If this parry is successful, there are two consequences.
- The character who activated this charm may immediately choose to commit one or more motes to his knowledge of the fighting style of the character he just parried. For every mote committed, the martial artist gets +1 dice on all Martial Arts pools against that character or anyone using a reasonably similar style, bearing in mind normal dice pool caps. You can't spend more motes in one go than extra successes on the parry.
- The parried character must make a Stamina + Resistance roll with a difficulty of the extra successes on the parry + half the martial artist's Essence (round down). Failure results in the striking limb being brutally shattered by the overwhelming certainty of the Solar's parry. Armed attackers suffer the same fate as the essence of the block is channelled through their weapon. In addition, weapons not made of the five magical materials will disintegrate when parried with such force.
Penalties for horribly broken limbs are up to the GM, but I imagine some kind of Valour or Conviction roll might be appropriate for something, and maybe doubling all wound penalties, and definitely instant death by shock for squishy mortals. I mean, what are mortals doing fighting someone this powerful anyway? - F
Inevitable Disablement Of Attackers Technique</b>
<b>Cost: 8 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 5 Prereqs: All Things To The Advantage Practice
Sometimes it is better to take prisoners than destroy one's enemies. Sometimes it is better to destroy one's prisoners.
When this charm is activated, the martial artist may make a parry with his full Dexterity + Martial Arts, with extra successes on the roll equal to his Essence. If the parry is successful, the martial artist may immediately put his opponent into a hold using the extra successes on the parry + his Essence as the base difficulty to break free. Thanks to his encyclopaedic knowledge of pressure points, he can maintain this hold using only a single arm or leg and without being considered held himself.
Finally, should the victim attempt to break free and fail, the martial artist may reflexively spend 4 motes and tighten his hold. This inflicts no health levels of damage but causes one of the victim's arms or legs to break in up to three places, rendering it useless. Mechanics for broken limbs are up to the GM.
Tiger-Crane Essence Hammer</b>
<b>Cost: 4 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 4 Prereqs: The five Forms, plus one whole tree.
Even the world has pressure points and chakra that can be manipulated. With a measured and precise strike to the air before him, a martial artist can send coruscating shockwaves through his anima and the world beyond. Such is his skill, though, that while his enemies are blasted with power, his allies may never even realise what happened.
This charm may only supplement a martial arts attack that does not have a target. Roll the attack as normal, then apply it selectively to every designated opponent within (Essence + Martial Arts) yards. If the attack inflicts any health levels of damage through armour, the armour violently tears itself apart and must be replaced. Fragments of armour shattered by this charm, charged as they are with Solar essence, often make potent talismans against the dead. Armour made of the five magical materials withstands this kind of attack normally.
Alternatively, this charm may be used to focus one's anima into a powerful geomantic sigil and supplement an attack against a single inanimate object. If used thusly, the pre-soak damage is multiplied by the martial artist's Essence and the resulting destruction can be as precisely shaped as the Exalt desires, allowing the chiselling of detailed bas-relief carvings with a single blow. This use of the charm can damage the five magical materials, but receives no damage multiplier if used to do so.
Maw Of Overflowing Venom Strike</b>
<b>Cost: 10 motes, 1 lethal health level Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 4 Prereqs: The five Forms, plus one whole tree.
Forcing his anima to condense in his fingertips, the martial artist's hand blazes with light as his essence is forced into potent patterns that tell of inevitable death. The strike that follows is so blisteringly fast that his fingers split as they tear through the air, disgorging the distilled essence of fury directly into his hapless target. The blaze infects their body, burning away flesh and bone with terrifying rapidity as the solar fire feeds directly on pain and fear.
Attacks enhanced with this charm do lethal damage, and do the martial artist's Essence in extra dice of pre-soak damage. Anyone harmed by this charm suffers one unsoakable level of aggravated damage every turn thereafter unless they make a Compassion or Temperance roll with a difficulty of the martial artist's Essence. Once this roll has been passed three times, the subject has managed to extinguish the venom with his softer emotions. The venom also ceases if the subject becomes unconscious.
Attacks using this charm may strike dematerialised spirits, but the magic grants no special ability to perceive such targets. Attacks against beings without emotions will not deal any damage over time, but attacks against ghosts, zombies and any other undead short of Abyssal Exalts in power will do aggravated damage instead of lethal. This generally spells instant destruction.
Multiple applications of this charm are cumulative.
Finally, anyone slain by this charm burns away to nothingness. This has the same effect as the Zenith corpse-burning anima power, preventing hungry ghosts from rising.
The Harmonious Touch</b>
<b>Cost: 12 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 5 Prereqs: Maw Of Overflowing Venom Strike
Even the greatest opponent is dependant on essence flow. The martial artist summons his essence and coagulates it into a powerful toxin. With a precision strike, he transfers the poison so sublimely that most people never realise that they have been infected. (Perception + Awareness or Medicine, difficulty 6.)
The attack supplemented by this charm need not do damage to convey the essence venom, it need only hit the target. As well as normal damage, if any, when this attack hits the martial artist rolls Essence. Each success is a -1 dice pool penalty that persists forever in mortals, and for everything else one day per point that the martial artist's essence is higher than the target's. The martial artist may reflexively roll Essence once every turn afterwards, with each success adding to the penalty. The poison persists for as long as the martial artist can see his victim.
This charm does not work on targets with an Essence higher than the user. It does work on the undead, automata, and other things that are normally immune to venom because it is a strange essence-based toxin, but antivenom magic of any kind still cures it normally.
This charm does not stack with itself. You get one Essence roll per target, per turn. When the victim is helpless (all dice pools at 0), you can do what you like with him.
Dancing Vengeance Rain</b>
<b>Cost: 10 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Scene Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 4 Prereqs: The five Forms, plus one whole tree.
Life, teach the sutras of the five animals, is similar to a giant game of janken. To every attack there is a superior defence and an inferior defence, and vice versa. The style that encapsulates only one of these has a blinding flaw and will inevitably be brought low.
While this charm is active, the martial artist gets a free action whenever he is subject to an attack that he is aware of. This action may be a parry, a dodge or a counterattack using the full normal dice pool with the character's Martial Arts in bonus dice. The martial artist may also choose to forgo the action entirely.
In addition, regardless of the action taken, the Exalt may immediately fly through the air up to (3 x Essence) yards in a controlled glide. The direction of flight is up to him, but must be in a straight line. If he doesn't finish his movement on the ground, he falls as normal in the next turn.
Grandmasta here managed to comment before I'd even started writing the style. Good grief. :-P
Kung Fu Kung Fu?! ~ Grandmasta