Resplendent Crane Style
In the First Age one of the most prominent and proud Martial Arts traditions was that of the Resplendent Crane. Masters of the style claimed that it stood pre-eminent among the Celestial Martial Arts while still remaining accessible to newer, younger Exalts. Even initiates in the school were said to be haughty and arrogant fighters, and there are many stories of rivalries between practitioners of this art and students of other styles who believed the Resplendent Cranes were overproud and ought to be brought down a peg or two.
While it is true that in the First Age, practitioners of this Style tended to be arrogant and look down on other styles, it was not an unfounded pride. Students of this style are exceptionally dangerous with their bare hands or with their preferred weapon, the humble staff. They are taught to be almost supernaturally aware of their surroundings, able to face a dozen opponents at once and defend against unseen attacks with aplomb. Resplendent Crane is a soft style that emphasizes maneuverability and tactical superiority over less-disciplined combatants and teaches techniques that turn an opponent’s strength against himself or his comrades, rather than crudely attempting to break their bodies. Chief among their achievements was the mental fortitude demonstrated by the advanced students in the style. Resplendent Crane Masters were said to be literally unkillable unless they wished it, and even the lesser practitioners were known to face their own deaths with unflinching stoicism, a reputation that earned admiration from even their staunchest rivals.
Armor and Weapons: Resplendent Crane Martial Artists wielding staves are considered unarmed for the purposes of all Charms in this Style. None of the Charms in this Style are compatible with armor.
Shedding Water Step</b>
<b>Cost:3 motes Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2 Type: Reflexive (Step 7) Keywords: Combo-OK Duration: Instant Prerequisite Charms: Any Martial Arts Excellency
By infusing her anima with Essence, the martial artist may twist, turn and roll with a potentially lethal blow, greatly lessening the damage suffered by physical attacks – she sheds them like water rolls off a bird’s feathers. After being successfully attacked and after soak is applied, but before damage is rolled, the martial artist may roll her Martial Arts ability and reduce the damage of the attack by one per success. This can reduce the post-soak damage of an attack to zero, in which case the attack is considered to have failed.
Broken Ray-of-Light Technique</b>
<b>Cost:4 motes Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2 Type: Reflexive Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious Duration: Instant Prerequisite Charms: Shedding Water Step
The martial artist moves with singular grace, employing irregular motions that are impossible to predict, like the refraction of light through rippling water. With this Charm, knowing the exact point at which the Resplendent Crane will strike is nigh-impossible, greatly hindering any defense against it. Reduce the Dodge or Parry DV against this attack by the Martial Artist's Essence, to a minimum of the target's Essence.
Resplendent Crane Form</b>
<b>Cost:6 motes Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2 Type: Simple Keywords: Form-type, Obvious Duration: One Scene Prerequisite Charms: Broken Ray-of-Light Technique
When a martial artist adopts this Form, his stance becomes aloof and his movements precise and calculated. He reads his opponents’ intentions in their every move and knows the patterns of their attacks before they are launched. Many opponents find the sublime confidence radiated by a Resplendent Crane maddening, yet they cannot deny the uncanny skill he demonstrates. Masters of this technique are capable of facing many opponents with stupefying ease.
While in this Form, the martial artist lowers the penalty imposed on his DV from Martial Arts attacks he makes by 1. Also, the dice-penalty he suffers from making a Flurry is reduced by his permanent Essence score.
Stillness of the Empty Mind Meditation</b>
<b>Cost:6 motes Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2 Type: Simple Keywords: Combo-Basic, Social Duration: One Scene Prerequisite Charms: Resplendent Crane Form
Mastery of the mind and mastery of the body are two of the core principles of martial arts, and vital for one who wishes to learn how to master his own Essence. The Resplendent Crane who uses this Charm distances himself from fear and pain, and assumes a greater control of his own mind than mere mortals can ever achieve. For the rest of the scene, the martial artist reduces the effects of wound penalties and Crippling effects by his permanent Essence score. The character also adds his Essence score to his MDV.
Immaculate Pillar of Heaven Stance</b>
<b>Cost:3 motes, 1 Willpower Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3 Type: Simple Keywords: Combo-OK, Compulsion, Obvious Duration: Until broken Prerequisite Charms: Stillness of the Empty Mind Meditation
Resplendent Crane masters were often said to only fight when they wished to, and that unless they willed it, no opponent could so much as move against them. This Charm is the root of those legends. The martial artist marshals his force of will into an aura that abhors violence. So long as the martial artist takes no aggressive action, he may substitute his MDV for his Parry or Dodge DV against physical attacks - assailants who fail to successfully strike the saintly figure of the martial artist are assumed to have been unable to go through with the attack in the first place. Note that while the Exalt cannot take offensive actions, he is permitted to employ Counterattack effects against those who make attacks against him so as to instruct them in the folly of assaulting a holy man.
Wind-Tattered Cloud Technique</b>
<b>Cost:5 motes Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 2 Type: Reflexive (Step 9) Keywords: Combo-OK Duration: Instant Prerequisite Charms: Resplendent Crane Form
By flowing with an attack rather than blocking it completely, the martial artist can redirect the force of the blow with casual ease. After successfully dodging or parrying a physical attack, the martial artist may employ this Charm to redirect the attack to another target within (Essence yards) of himself. The attack is then resolved as normal against the new target.
Riding the Tiger</b>
<b>Cost:4 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: One Scene Type: Simple, Obvious Minimum Martial Arts: 5 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Wind-Tattered Cloud Technique
Resplendent Cranes were infamous during the First Age for their death-defying acrobatics in the midst of pitched combat, ignoring the lesser warriors below them as they danced, untouched, amid and above the the chaos of battle. On every tick that the martial artist takes a Move action, he may add 1/2 his Athletics score to his Dodge DV. In addition, while this Charm is active the Crane practitioner reduces the cost to activate Wind-Tattered Cloud Technique by 2 motes, and activating it is not considered a Charm use.
One Thousand Raindrops Strike</b>
<b>Cost:5 motes, 1 Willpower Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3 Type: Extra-Action, Obvious Keywords: Combo-OK Duration: Instant Prerequisite Charms: Resplendent Crane Form
During the First Age, adherents of the Resplendent Crane art were feared for this technique, which allows them to unleash a flurry of blindingly fast attacks on their opponent, often leaving them battered or dead. This Charm creates a magical Flurry of many unarmed Martial-Arts based attacks. The Exalt makes a total number of unarmed attack equal to (her Essence+1). This Charm lets the martial artist make these attacks regardless of her weapon's Rate, without multiple action penalties and with a DV penalty equal to the highest penalty of any one attack. In addition, each attack beyond the first increases its raw damage by the extra successes of the preceding attack, assuming the preceding attack was successful. The martial artist must make all her attacks against the same target.
White Crane Spreads Its Wings</b>
<b>Cost:7 motes Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3 Type: Simple, Obvious Keywords: Combo-OK Duration: Instant Prerequisite Charms: Immaculate Pillar of Heaven Stance, Riding the Tiger, One Thousand Raindrops Strike
With the grace and majesty of a crane taking flight, the Exalted twists and leaps into the air, anima coiling about him, to launch an attack against all enemies nearby. Some masters assault their opponents with their own burning animals, whilst others strike the very air before them, seinding a shockwave out in all directions to bowl over those who dare to stand against the Exalted. The player rolls the Exalt’s Martial Arts attack as normal and applies the result to all enemies within (Essencex2) yards of himself that he can perceive. Unlike other applications of this generally nonlethal Style, the damage can be either Bashing or Lethal at the Exalt's choice.
This version of RCS makes a number of changes to existing Charms and streamlines the Style as a whole. Among other things, it combines Wind-Tattered Cloud Technique and Stream-Polished Stone Deflection into one Charm, and does away with both Wading in the Rushes and Dancing the Unassailable Road entirely, leaving White Crane Spreads Its Wings as the pinnacle Charm. The effects of Stillness of the Empty Mind and Immaculate Pillar of Heaven have changed to reflect the new social combat system. The structure of the Charm cascade has changed somewhat, making the overall Art tighter and smaller than it previously was, while retaining its emphasis on mobility and the contrasting principles of stillness and motion. --teflonshugenja