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This style reworks Argent's Unrelenting Automaton style, modifying it to better fit with the sensibilities of the campaign I run. It remains a First Edition style. I love the idea of the style, but it had a number of things I wanted to change before introducing it into my own campaign. The issues I had with the style as written were:

  • A number of the effects essentially made prerequisite charms mostly useless. As an example, once you learned the form, you had almost no use for the initial charm. This violates the "no speedbumps" rule of charm design.
  • Some of the charms were a bit to powerful for my tastes. Based on comments made by Argent, the style seems to have been conceived as an NPC only style, which is not the purpose to which I wanted to put it.
  • At 14 charms, it's a bit long for a celestial style. Canonical styles are usually around ten charms, and almost never more than 12.
  • I wanted to make the style slightly more in tune with the Alchemical exalted.
  • Least significantly, I didn't like some of the charm names. In particular, I didn't like the use of "protocol", as protocols mean something much different in the Autochthonians book. Also, the use of "panzer" seemed anachronistic.

- Wordman

This celestial martial art developed over the millennia in Autochthonia, for use by the alchemical exalted. Most popular with younger Jade caste exalted, it remains evenly practiced by elder alchemicals of all castes. Some masters exist even in Creation, though how knowledge of it reached them remains a mystery. Most stories told of it in Creation intersect with mentions of the Eye of Autochthon, so the Eye remains the most likely conduit.

The style focusses on eumlation of the machine, becoming relentless, sturdy and forceful. It focuses primarily on armor, both enhancing the martial artists and penetrating his opponent, but also on speed and endurance.

This style is intended for First Edition, but not power combat. It does, however, use the concept of Hardness in places, using it as a convenient shorthand for the cumbersome phrasing of the 1E lunar soak rules (where charm enhancement beyond 12 points adds to Hardness instead), the Invulnerable Skin of Bronze and several other places. This style allows armor, including shields, but uses no form weapons of any kind.


Iron Sheath Posture

Cost: 1m per point of reduction; Mins: Martial Arts 2, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive
Duration: 5 turns
Prerequisite Charms: none

Taking clues from the basic lessons of the Machine God, the Exalt learns to treat his armor not as an external factor, but as part of himself. He may reduce the Mobility penalty and Fatigue rating of his armor, to a minimum of zero for each. He can spend no more motes than his Martial Arts rating when activating this charm. If invoked when already active, the old invocation immediately ends.

Hydraulic Body Configuration

Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Iron Sheath Posture

With a quick, precise kata, the martial artist temporarily supercharges his muscles with essence, emulating the hydraulic mechanisms of the Machine God. If he uses this form while having the Pertinacious Automaton Form activated, his body is temporarily covered with essence lines converging at his reconfigured chakra points. He may put his reconfigured muscles to use in one of the following ways, decided when activating the charm:

  • He adds his Dexterity to his initiative
  • Charms such as Thunderclap Rush Attack do not automatically win initiative over him.
  • He adds his Strength to jumping distance
  • He adds his Strength to his base movement

Vibrating Hammer Palm

Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2; Type: Supplemental
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Iron Sheath Posture

The exalt strikes out with a forceful open-handed punch, using his essence to allow the force of the blow to bypass the armor of his opponent as if it just wasn't there. He may reduce his opponent's armor-based soak for one unarmed Martial Arts attack by his Martial Arts, to a minimum of zero.

Pertinacious Automaton Form

Cost: 5m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Hydraulic Body Configuration, Vibrating Hammer Palm

Assuming a fluid, yet forceful stance honoring the perfection of the Machine God, the martial artist harmonizes his essence with the Machine God, effectively becoming part of the great machine. His unarmed Martial Arts attacks do lethal damage and he may parry lethal attacks with his bare hands. He adds his Essence score to his Strength, both for feats of strength and damage. He also adds Essence dice to any rolls to resist environmental damage or any effect that specifically has reduced effect against automata.

While this form is in effect, the martial artist may activate Iron Sheath Posture as an intrinsic ability, without it counting as a charm activation. Any unarmed Martial Arts attacks made while this form is active reduce the Hardness of the target's armor by the martial artist's Essence, to a minimum of zero.

Automated Defense Adjustment

Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Reflexive
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Pertinacious Automaton Form

By analyzing the fluctuations of battle patterns in his opponent, the martial artist can become as one with him, allowing his limbs to react with machine-like precision and move to interrupt otherwise unanticipated attacks. He gets a reflexive parry action using his full Dexterity + Martial Arts. Using this charm, he can parry lethal attacks with bare hands.

Accelerated Prescience Gearing

Cost: 6m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Automated Defense Adjustment

Feeling the flow of the Machine God accelerating his muscles and mind, time slows down for the martial artist, as he becomes a blur to his opponents, striking out with inhuman speed. For the remainder of the scene, all of his multiple action penalties are halved (rounded down).

Alchemical exalts activating this charm gain a point of temporary Clarity.

Merciless Iron Assault

Cost: 3m per success; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3; Type: Supplemental
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Pertinacious Automaton Form

For one moment, the martial artist's body becomes as metal, his muscles and joints hardening to wires and pistons, granting his blows tremendous machine-like force. He may buy up to Martial Arts successes to an unarmed Martial Arts attack roll. If this attack succeeds, for each attack success purchased, the martial artist may convert one post-soak damage dice into an automatic success.

Perforating Piston Offensive

Cost: 7m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Merciless Iron Assault

The martial artist's synchronicity with the Great Maker grants him deep insight into the armor of his target. If he has Pertinacious Automaton Form activated, his fingers seem to end in pinpoints of light, like brightly burning embers. His punches and kicks slam through armor as if it were not there. All unarmed Martial Arts attacks made while this charm is active deal piercing damage. Further, any soak reduction done by other charms of this style are applied after this charm divides the soak in half.

In addition, the martial artist can reflexively spend a point of Willpower when making an unarmed Martial Arts attack to have that attack completely ignore all of the soak provided by armor, forcing the target to soak the attack only with their Stamina and charms that enhance natural soak.

Alchemical exalts activating this charm gain a point of temporary Clarity.

Reactive Armor Reinforcement

Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Reflexive
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Pertinacious Automaton Form

The martial artist's connection to their armor becomes so great that the armor moves to intercept and incoming strike, reinforcing itself at the point of impact. When the charm is activated, the martial artist may choose one of the following effects:

  • Halve all pre-soak damage from the attack.
  • Counteract the effect of piercing, soaking damage from a piercing weapon with full soak instead of half.
  • Add his Martial Arts to the armor's Hardness rating.

Invincible Avatar Cocoon

Cost: 4m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Reactive Armor Reinforcement

The martial artist's essence configures and re-configures his armor, hardening it into a invincible shell. If he has Pertinacious Automaton Form activated, his eyes, hair and nails becomes smooth, matte metal, and his joints seem to grow armor plates. He reduces the minimum damage dice dealt to him by his Essence, to a minimum of zero.

Alchemical exalts activating this charm gain a point of temporary Clarity.

Divine Machine Realization

Cost: 10m, 2wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4; Type: Simple
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Accelerated Prescience Gearing, Perforating Piston Offensive, Invincible Avatar Cocoon

Achieving the ultimate connection to the nature of the machine, the martial artist becomes like a living automaton: strong, quick, precise in its movements - an ideal form shaped out of his essence and focused through the design of the Great Maker. This charm gives all of the benefits from its three immediate requisite charms. The martial artist also fully becomes one with his armor; his anima integrates it with it and an iconic banner might take on cosmetic aspects of it.

In addition, the martial artist becomes a living weapon; his unarmed Martial Arts attacks become weapons, adding his Essence to their Accuracy, Damage and Defense. If wearing armor made out of one of the five magical materials, add the associated material bonuses to the weapon stats. In the case of soulsteel, essence absorbed successful attacks fills the martial artist's own essence pools, starting with personal.

When this charm ends, the martial artist suffers one level of unsoakable damage, as the connection between armor and anima short circuits. For alchemical exalted, this damage is lethal, but all others take aggravated damage instead.

Alchemical exalted gain a point of permanent Clarity upon learning this charm. Upon its activation, the also gain a point of temporary Clarity.


Name: Pertinacious Automaton
Author: Wordman
Description: Soak manipulation and speed, through emulation of the Machine God.
Type: celestial
Rules: E1
Form Weapons: none
Armor Allowed: all
Shield Allowed: yes
Essence Range: 2-5
MA Range: 4-7
Total Charms: 11
Forms: 1
Comboable Charms: 5
Reflexive Charms: 4
Persistent Charms: 6


Some preemptive comments about what changes I made from the original. One observation that didn't seem obviously made in the original is that adding to damage and reducing soak are nearly identical mechanically (reducing soak is slightly weaker because, when soak is zero, it provides no benefit, while adding to damage would).

  • Iron Sheath Posture: Made the effect slightly more variable. This should really only matter at low levels, or when using warstriders.
  • Hydraulic Body Configuration: Combined Argent's Automated Overdrive Offense and Hydraulic Body Configuration together to make a more flexible, but slightly more expensive charm. Also, reduces charm count. Note that, as a reflexive, it could be cast multiple times per turn with different effects each time, without needing a combo.
  • Vibrating Hammer Palm: Increased the cost and the limit. This is largely done to compensate for changes to the form. As written, Argent's version is similar to Striking Fury Claws Attack from Tiger style (actually, his is a bit weaker, since it doesn't do lethal damage).
  • Pertinacious Automaton Form: Changed a lot, mostly to avoid making speedbumps out of earlier charms. Also, adds the concept of protection from environmental effects (more useful to an alchemical than most). Note also that the Hardness effect is less important in 1E that it would be in 2E or with Power Combat, as vanilla 1E doesn't have that many Hardness effects. Also, the original essentially added Essence to damage twice: once by raising Strength, once by reducing soak. This seemed odd to me. It also seemed weird that the form didn't ally parrying of lethal. I'm not sure if this was intentional, but seemed out of theme to me, so I added it. On balance, the form now seems slightly weaker to me. If used in 2E, the hardness reduction would make it stronger than the original.
  • Automated Defense Adjustment: Changed the name a bit, but that's about it. Instant charms should have instant sounding names.
  • Accelerated Prescience Gearing: Again, name changed (originally Hypergear Acceleration Protocol), but not much else.
  • Merciless Iron Offense: Changed significantly after comparing the original with Life-Severing Blow (VBoS). The original cost the same, but was supplemental (so you had to choose how many successes to convert before the attack roll), while LSB is reflexive so can be purchased after soak is applied. Also, LSB allowed buying extra successes, not conversion of dice. And, it allowed comboing with Brawl charms. My change keeps the supplemental part, so you have to guess ahead of time. Cost based on 2E's second excellency. Also gives the style a way to cope with dodge-monkeys.
  • Perforating Piston Offensive: A bit of a merger of the original's Steel-puncturing Piston Offense and Merciless Metal Hunter Configuration Protocol. I agree with the comment that MMHCP was a bit to uber, especially compared to Armor Penetrating Fang Strike. Also, given the nature of the pinnacle charm, if anything the "protocol" charms should be a little weaker than usual. I tried to keep the scene-long bit and the possibility of full armor penetration, without being overpowered. I also didn't see the point of having a piercing attack charm if the very next charm allowed you to ignore armor all together. Plus, mixing them together reduces the charm count.
  • Reactive Armor Reinforcement: A mix of Armor-Plated Behemoth Defensive Stance and Iron-sheathed Demon Activation Procedure. Again, a charm that increases Hardness, followed immediately by one that makes Hardness basically irrelevant didn't make much sense to me. Even so, added as one of the manipulations available. Also, hated the names of both of these charms. As with Hydraulic Body Configuration, reflexive structure of charm allows this to be activated multiple times per instant with different effects.
  • Invincible Avatar Cocoon: Using Essence for ping reduction in 1E without Power Combat is a bit odd, but protects against things like VBoS form. Otherwise, similar to the original.
  • Divine Machine Realization: Other than the name and phrasing, mostly unchanged.

- Wordman