- 1 Nine-Tailed Fox style
- 1.1 Background
- 1.2 Kit-Eared and Yipping: Student Techniques
- 1.3 One-Tailed Wisdom: The Form
- 1.4 Mastery Techniques
- 1.5 Nogitsune Family Path: The Road of Endless Curves
- 1.6 Myobu Family Path: The Road of Blessed Fulfillment
- 1.7 Kumiho Family Path: The Road of Grinning Knives
- 1.8 Ten Names and Many Faces: Ultimate Technique
- 1.9 Comments
Nine-Tailed Fox style
The kitsune are a breed of fox-like spirits found only in the East. Earthly servants of the Bureau of Destiny, they exist in three families, which each stand in service to a different division of Bureau. Their natures and temperament run from malicious to benevolent, yet they are universally crafty creatures and even the kindest among them have a great love for playing tricks on mortal kind. Illusionists of the finest caliber, kitsune rarely choose to show themselves openly, instead preferring the fine art of subtly manipulating others into accomplishing their tasks for them. When they do appear to a mortal, knowing if one is dealing with a benevolent myobu, a wily nogitsune, or a malevolent kumiho can often spell the difference between following a road that leads to home and happiness, one which leads in endless circles, and one which leads into death at the hands of a bandit ambush.
The Nine-Tailed Fox Style, also referred to as the path of the sly countenance, is an old style in the East, crafted by Sidereal who once used it to train Eastern Terrestrials as more effective servants of Fate. Since the Contagion and the rise of the Realm and its Immaculate Order, the Nine-Tailed Fox Style as since fallen out of favor for this use, but still lingers in dojos and among certain spirits in the East. In modern times, its practitioners are often limited to Outcaste Dragon-Blooded, spirits with a close connection to the kitsune, and the occasional Solar. Lunars, particularly those No-Moons with fox or dog like totems, will also occationally seek to master the path of the sly countenance. Rarely one of the Sidereal, most often the Chosen of Journeys, Secrets, or Endings will choose to learn the Nine-Tailed Fox style as a practice art but this remains as rare as the elusive servants of the Maidens themselves.
The style emulates the kitsune's sly craftiness. It is a highly evasive style, full of trickery and illusion, but not a particularly offensive one. There are almost no "hard" strikes or outward motions in the mundane form and just as few among the supernatural element. Martial artists on the path of the sly countenance instead follow a simple principle: "Let your opponents defeat themselves." They learn to evade, frustrate, and tire opponents, to dazzle them and to confuse them, to redirect them and leave them helpless but to move how the Nine-Tailed Fox stylist wants them to. Practitioners of the style are often known for their unflappability, able to hold a grin in the face of nearly any danger, and a great fondness for playful pranks.
There are three main paths of the style past form, each focused upon one of the three kitsune families and their place as guardians, manipulators, or assassins for the Bureau of Destiny. As a student of the Nine-Tailed Fox style progresses on the path towards mastery, her anima banner begins to take on rather unsual additions, forming fox-like ears and multiple tails of Essence against their bodies when ignited. Startling to some at first, the student soon comes to accept these changes as badges of honor and each new tail merely a mark of their progress towards enlightened mastery.
Nine-Tailed Fox Style favors swiftness and ease of motion, the ability to move quickly out of the path of danger or just as quickly into it. As such, the style is completely incompatible with armor. Form type weapons are those which are primarily defensive in nature or can be easily concealed as mundane items while still retaining a certain elegance and grace. Nine-Tailed Fox style considers attacks made with war fans, sai, umbrellas, and iron vambraces (use the stats of a cestus) as unarmed.
Kit-Eared and Yipping: Student Techniques
Laughing Spirit's Light
Cost: 1 mote per Orb Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min Martial Arts: 2 Min Essence: 1 Perquisites: None
The Exalt calls forth glowing orbs of irradiant foxfire that hover around her continuously and let out soft bell-like laughs, distracting and meddling with the concentration of her foes. This Charm can be activated upon the Exalts initiative or reflexively against a declared attack. The Exalt can summon a number of foxfire orbs equal to her Manipulation score. Each orb inflicts a one die penalty upon foe attacking the martial artist. After each attack upon the Exalt, regardless as to whither or not it was successful, a single foxfire orb will wink out of existence and decrease the penalty by one. Additionally, should the Exalt herself initiate an attack against a target (excluding counter-attacks) all remaining foxfire orbs instantly vanish. Orbs summoned will last until the end of the scene unless destroyed or dismissed.
Thousand Shadowed Smile</b>
Cost: 4 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min Martial Arts: 2 Min Essence: 2 Perquisites: Laughing Spirit's Light
As the Exalt darts back from an attack, she leaves behind a momentary illusion of herself to take the blow; throwing off her opponents balance and rhythm and leaving them open to a swift counter strike. After successfully dodging an attack, the Exalt may make an unarmed counter-attack at her full Martial Arts + Dexterity pool. However, if the opponent is making more than one consecutive attack against the Exalt, she may hold back the counter. Each successive dodge after the first she makes against the same opponent adds a number of dice equal to her Manipulation to the accuracy of her eventual counter-attack. Should she fail a dodge attempt before making her attack the counter is lost and the Charm is wasted.
<b>Riding the Autumn Wind
Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min Martial Arts: 3 Min Essence: 2 Perquisites: Thousand Shadowed Smile
The Exalt does not move to avoid a strike, but by all appearances simply vanishes under the blow, often seeming to dissolve into a swirling cloud of leafs or flower blossoms only to reappear in the same manner a short distance away. This Charm is activated after the Exalt has successfully dodged an attack or upon her initiative. She can instantly move up to half her normal running speed (one half (Dexterity + 12) yards) in any direction, circumventing any obstacles or barriers in her path. Activation of this Charm upon initiative counts against the distance can move and still make another action, though not when activated in response to a dodged attack, and may negate the penalities imposed by shields. This Charm is considered a hopping-defense for the purpose of Power Combat rules.
One-Tailed Wisdom: The Form
Nine-Tailed Fox Form
Cost: 5 motes Duration: One Scene Type: Simple Min Martial Arts: 4 Min Essence: 3 Perquisites: Riding the Autumn Wind
The Exalt takes on a kitsune's air of unsurpassed guile and flippantness. Her every word and action, no matter how polite or subtle, so openly baits and taunts her foes, that it grates upon the nerves of even the most temperate stalwarts and drives them to distraction. For the remainder of the scene, she uses her Manipulation score in place of Martial Arts. In addition, she adds her Essence to her Manipulation score. This is a Charm enhancement and counts against the maximum amount an Exalt may increase her martial arts pool with Charms. While employing Nine-Tailed Fox Form the foxfire orbs summoned by Laughing Spirit's Light will no longer dissipate after an enemy attack, though all other restrictions and effects from other Charms still apply. Additionally, every time the Exalt performs a stunt while in Nine-Tailed Fox Form, she gains a number of orbs equal to the stunt bonus. These orbs count against the maximum number of orbs the Exalt may have, but otherwise function the same.
Three Fox Path</i>
Cost: None Duration: Permanent Type: Special Min Martial Arts: 4 Min Essence: 3 Perquisites: Nine-Tailed Fox Form
<i>Once there was a traveler who came upon a crossroad where three paths diverted from her own and upon each path stood a fox. One white and one red and one black.
“Come with me,” bade the white fox gently. “This way lies your destiny. Happiness and salvation may be yours.”
“That one lies,” sniffed the black fox testily. “And will only lead you to death. Follow my path instead. For this is the only safe path."
“I would not listen to either of them,” spoke the red fox, smiling reasonably. “All I can say is that you certainly do not wish to come down this path. Just go back the way you came.”
Now I ask you, dear student: Which fox were you when you asked your question?
The Exalt picks a road to follow and comes to resonate closer to one of the kitsune families. Experience costs to learn the family path charms of the family the student selects are reduced by 2. Additionally, they gain the following permanent effects dependant on which road they choose to take. Note that these extra dice count only towards social rolls, but do not against the Exalts regular dice-cap.
Myobu, the White Fox: For every Myobu Family Path Charm the Exalt knows, add two dice to any roll where she attempts to manipulate someone into doing something she believes is for their own good.
Kumiho, the Black Fox: For every Kumiho Family Path Charm the Exalt knows, add two dice any roll where she attempts to manipulate someone into doing something she knows for a fact will only bring them harm.
Nogitsune, the Red Fox: For every Nogitsune Family Path Charm the Exalt knows, add two dice to any roll where she attempts to manipulate someone into ignoring the truth.
Nogitsune Family Path: The Road of Endless Curves
Hajime Nogitsune: Bliss of Blind Ignorance
Cost: 5 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 3 Perquisites: Path of Three Foxes
The Exalt closes her eyes and draws Essence out of the darkness that she sees, suffusing it onto her palm in a dull gray blanket. Not only will this Charm add dice equal to the Exalts Essence to the accuracy of an unarmed martial arts attack, but those she strikes are rendered completely blind for a number of turns equal to the damage received from the blow. They automatically subtract two successes from every attack made and cannot effectively make attacks over 100 yards. Awareness Charms or other kinds of Charms specifically designed to counter the affects of blindness can circumvent the effects of this Charm, but not those Charms which involve enhancing a characters low-light vision (such as the Lunar Charms Night-is-Day and Perceiving the Hidden World). This Charm is explicitly allowed to be with used counter-attack Charms.
When determining the number of turns this Charm will remain in effect, the Exalt can choose to sacrifice the foxfire orbs summoned by Laughing Spirit's Light to extend the effect by a single turn per orb. Every turn added extinguishes a single orb.
Nidaime Nogitsune: The Game of Foxes and Fools</i>
Cost: 5 motes per Orb Duration: Special Type: Reflexive Min Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 4 Perquisites: Bliss of Blind Ignorance
Playful as they are devious, the Nogitsune family enjoys nothing so much as promising a fool absolute truth so long the mortal can catch them, the leading them on the giddy chase until their impromptu playmate has run himself to death. Activating this Charm, the foxfire orbs around the martial artist stir into a wild crazy. Flashing and flaring with a blinding light, when the dazzling display fades away, a host of identical martial artists stands where only one stood.
This Charm creates illusionary copies of the martial artist around a foxfire orb. She can create up to her permanent Essence in illusions, though each uses a foxfire orb, denying her the standard penalty gained from it and preventing her from replacing it until the Charms effects have ended. Each of these illusions can move independently up to the martial artist's normal running distance and may take Athletics actions to jump, climb, or otherwise overcome obstacles, but may take no other dice actions. It requires a Perception + Awareness roll at difficulty equal to the martial artists Manipulation to discern which figure is real and which is illusion. Until a successful roll has been made, all attacks upon the martial artist are considered to have struck an illusion, instantly destroying it but leaving the martial artist herself unharmed. This Charm cannot be used again until the illusion has been dispelled or all illusionary forms destroyed.
Myobu Family Path: The Road of Blessed Fulfillment
<i>Hajime Myobu: Little White Lie
Cost: 4 motes per orb Duration: Special Type: Reflexive Min Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 3 Perquisites: Path of Three Foxes
Often, the Myobu Family has learned, the best way to allow a traveler on the path of destiny to avoid trouble is to convince that trouble what is coming down the road is of benefice to them rather than dangerous. Upon activating this Charm, the foxfire orbs scatter through the battlefield, buzzing excitedly around the martial artists opponents. Those marked by a foxfire orb gain the one die penalty against attacks that is usually granted to the martial artist by that orb. However, at will the martial artist may redirect an attack made by one such marked opponent towards another. These attacks do not need to be made against the martial artist for her to redirect them. The foxfire orb of the attacker winks out of existence once this has been done.
Nidaime Myobu: A Portion for Foxes</b>
Cost: 10 motes, 1 willpower Duration: One Scene Type: Simple Min Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 4 Perquisites: Little White Lie
Those who follow the road of the Myobu family are never for want of sustenance on their journey. Focusing upon the simple manta “Providence Provides, I Provide Providence” the Exalt becomes surrounded by a faint light that ignites with sustaining energies when she actively affects the world around her. Whenever the martial artist succeeds in a dice roll that employs her Manipulation attribute, she regains 3 motes of Essence. The martial artist can also reflexively ‘eat’ any foxfire orbs currently surrounding her or ‘feed’ them to her allies. Each orb consumed adds one mote of Essence to the recipients current pool.
Kumiho Family Path: The Road of Grinning Knives
<b>Hajime Kumiho: Trail of Carmine Tears</b>
Cost: 6 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: One Scene Type: Reflexive Min Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 3 Perquisites: Path of Three Foxes
Upon activating this Charm, the foxfire orbs around the martial artist take on a decidedly crimson color and their bell-like laughter changes to the equally distracting sound of weeping. For the remainder of the scene, whenever the martial artist is attacked or a foxfire orb would normally expire due to the effects of Charms, one of the foxfire orbs floating in the air around the martial artist will fling itself forward with suicidal intent. In a burst of light, the orb will explode into the face of her attacker or the nearest foe. Each fox-fire orb deals a single point of unsoakable lethal damage. The foxfire orb may be dodged or parried and is considered to have a number of successes on it's attack equal to the martial artists Manipulation for this purpose. The damage reducing effect of Starmetal armor or similar effects can negate this damage, but it ignores any hardness gained from armor or Charms.
<b>Nidaime Kumiho: Chain of Fools</b>
Cost: 10 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: One Turn Type: Reflexive Min Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 4 Perquisites: Trail of Carmine Tears
The Exalt takes on stance lax unawareness or arrogant indifference and awaits her foes to come to her as if inviting them to kill her. For the remainder of the turn, whenever the Exalt successful dodges one attack, she may instantly make a number of counter-attacks equal to the number of opponents currently within her reach. Each attack must be employed on a different target and all are made with a pool equal to the Exalts full Manipulation + Martial Arts. Opponents can dodge or parry these attacks normally. This Charm can be explicitly placed in a combo despite it's non-instant duration.
Ten Names and Many Faces: Ultimate Technique
<b>Dance of the Nine Named Friends</b>
Cost: 10 motes, 1 Willpower (+1 mote per orb) Duration: Instant Type: Simple Min Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 5 Perquisites: Chain of Fools, The Game of Foxes and Fools, A Portion for Foxes
Employing this Charm, the Exalt performs a slow kata, swinging her arms. As she moves them, the fox-fire orbs in orbit around her trail behind her hands or new ones flare into existence, until nine are arrayed in a half-circle around her. Fox-tails of Essence ignite from her back, each tip corresponding to an orb. Her awareness flows out into each as she mediates upon their secret names and becomes one with them. A creature of nine names, each able to act on it’s own.
Using this Charm, the Exalt gains a pool of nine extra actions. Actions in this pool can be expended for movement on the Exalts initiative or reflexively, to parry or dodge or to refresh the Exalts Dodge pool when using the full dodge maneuver. They can not be used for additional attacks on the Exalts initiative, but may explicitly be used to ‘follow up’ a counter-attack with additional attacks. Each time an action is use, a single fox-fire orb is consumed. There must be at least one orb available per extra action taken or else none may be employed. Activating this Charm allows the Exalt to purchase orbs as with Laughing Spirits Light.
The Exalt may never employ more actions from this pool each turn than her permanent Essence score. Once used, this Charm cannot be used again in a scene until all the actions have been expended. At the end of the scene, any extra actions remaining in this pool are lost.
The concept of this style incites me to glee. May I suggest that you call the Ultimate Technique section "Ten Names and Many Faces?" This would be a reference to the fact that each of a Kitsune's tails may have a name, a privelige granted by their god Inari. So, the most powerful kitsune is one with nine tails and ten names (such as Akomachi, head of the Myobu family in Japanese myth). I recommend something keyed off of the user's Essence score, since it so well reflects the levels of ability a Kitsune's tails also represent. - IanPrice
- Thanks a lot! I love the suggestion for the section title and the ultimate. Been having some trouble even getting a concept down for what they should be. Gotta admit that my own knowledge of the whole kitsune myth is based mostly on what I could learn off the web, popular entertainment, and then just filling in the rest. Nice to have a suggestion from someone who seems to know a bit more about it. Hopefully I'll get this thing finished in a useable fashion soon. As is, half the Charms are rough-drafts and don't actually work very well. First time out with MAs and all. - Greymane
- I actually think the charms of this style are all pretty much functional as is. I'll do a full analysis later, but this is pretty well balanced. - IanPrice
Another good martial art, and really nicely themed! I have found a couple of weird inconsistancies, though. The form means orbs don't dissipate when the enemy attacks, but they still (all) dissipate when you initiate an attack yourself. Thus, using the duration-extending function on Bliss of Blind Ignorance is really rather hard... Unless you get the orbs for stunts before you need to spend them on the charm, you'll never have any orbs unless it's a counterattack.
Also, the Trail of Carmine Tears seems a little overpowered... stating they may not activate any reflexive charms that can counter it simply because they're getting no roll is amazingly stringent. Even things like Blow-Concealing Gesture allows perfect ambush-awareness charms to negate it - specifically, the charms work because they don't need to perceive the danger (most of them). If you really want it to negate charms which specifically and <b>only</b> negate surprise, I would suggest making it cost a willpower in addition to the current cost. Aside from that, everything looks great, and I'm eagerly awaiting the pinnacle.
- A full analysis from me would be rather redundant, since Darloth just pointed out the only things I'd have mentioned. Mostly the Trail of Carmine Tears bit, since I think sticking exclusively to counterattacks is very thematic for Kitsune.
- On that note, perhaps the pinnacle charm should be another counterattack charm, since there's only one of those in the style so far. Also, will the pinnacle require all three fox paths? I think it should.
- On a final note, the correct way to say "second" in Japanese is "Nidaime," not "Daini." Daini = big two. If that's what you were going for, rock out. - IanPrice
- Only reason I was pointing out the fact that you needed to counter to get the orb-bonus was simply -because- there is no counterattack in that sub-tree.
- Only reason I was pointing out the fact that you needed to counter to get the orb-bonus was simply -because- there is no counterattack in that sub-tree.
Many thanks for the correction on my ghetto Japanese, IanPrice. "Second" was indeed what I was going for there. I blame the Japanese-English dictionary I was using (easier than admitting I was too lazy to just double-check). Anyway, I added a pre-form Charm that I had always intended to put in but lacked a name for, did a little minor fiddling with some other Charms just for additional clarity, and on someone else’s advice made some changes to how Laughing Spirit's Light and the Form worked, mainly for a bit more synergy with later Charms. I also reworked Trail of Carmine Tears to what is hopefully something a bit more employable in nature and not as overpowered. Still haven't added the ultimate, mostly because I'm still not sure exactly what to do with the thing. One more counter-attack of epic proportions couldn't hurt, just a matter of figuring out how to make it. - Greymane
- Maybe make a not-a-counter effect? The lunars get a couple, and Mantis style has one... something that, if successfully triggered, doesn't really count as a counterattack, just does something nasty to the attacker. It's a powerful effect, so don't make the charm too nasty, because these sort of things -do- work on counterattacks themselves (unless you state it doesn't) and typically can't be defended against ever, because they're just not an attack of any sort. But anyway, it's a suggestion. There are lots of other things you can do.
Hmm... one other question - why does Laughing Spirit's Light disallow subsequent activations? It caps at Manipulation, and with the form granting orbs as stunt bonii, it seems very hard to use this charm, since you're usually going to have one or two kicking around. It's hardly overpowered to allow them topups, is it? (Or, if you wanted it harder, only allow them to topup with the charm if the form is already active... Just seems weird that if you have 1 orb, you have to either lose it, or stunt, you can't just spend essence to get back to whatever your max is. Remember, it takes the charmslot for the turn.)
- Actually that was a very good point about Laughing Spirit's Light and I'm glad you mentioned it cause I would have missed it otherwise. I had that as part of the Charm in the original draft because the orbs worked differently. The Charm was sickeningly overpowered even with the restrictions imposed on it though, which is why it got changed. But now that it's no where near as bad as it once was, there isn't much reason to keep that restriction on it, so I went ahead and deleted it. - Greymane
Well, after half of forever I'm finally putting the last Charm up for this style. And, truth be told, I don't like it at all. Someone else came up with it (which of itself isn't why I dislike it) and I've ended up using it simply because I find myself able to think up better. A Charm which in most respects amounts to "Principle of Motion+" doesn't fell right as the pinnacle of this style - nothing about it particularly feels like the rest of the style was leading up to that. However, I am yielding to great duress and a desire to simply have this style finished and to play test. - Greymane
Might I suggest that the actions can also be used to counterattack? For a counter-style, it seems to be rather lacking in actual sources of counterattack save that one pre-form charm and possibly a sub-tree counter I missed somewhere but remember reading another time... Either way, I really like the style, and I hope you work the final charm into something you're happy with. I think it's okay at the moment, but I do agree, it's not quite up to the coolness of the rest of the tree ^_^