The Six Kings Style:
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Lossefion: I really like the concept for the style. There are numerous plot and metaplot styles you could weave into the background. “Six Kings” could be an analogy for the Four Virtues, Willpower and the Self. The “Self” perhaps denotes Essence. The masters could have used these blocks as starting points for the style.
The story link in the capstone charm – that it was the marauding Fair Folk that prompted the creation of the style – gives perhaps sinister connotations. It could be the original practitioners were using the weapons of the Fair Folk against them, or that the entire thing was a cruel raksha joke meant to create a fulfilling (read: “tasty”) story of valour and hope in the face of horrific odds. With this type of history, I agree it would be traditionally taught to unenlightened mortals as a gateway style.
Where Willpower is spent by an unenlightened martial artist, I’d consider having the cost equal to 3 motes per WP overall for an enlightened martial artist. I’d also consider turning this martial art into a tool for enlightenment, adding it as a pathway from the capstone charm. If it is to be used by unenlightened mortals, I would suggest reducing the minimum Essence required to 1 across the board or eliminate it entirely. Unenlightened mortals by definition have Essence 1.
I’ve added my own thoughts on each Charm and tried to offer an alternative take based on an assumption from reading the fluff. I kind of run rampant with ideas. I hope you can forgive that, and enjoy. Feel free to ignore all of this.
Lossefion: There are two things I would suggest changing. I don’t think that you should penalise mortals who stunt by adding a mechanic to remove the benefits of stunting when they have it lessened anyway (Exalted Core pg 123 – 124). I also think that adding a new mechanic to withold bonuses and spend them later overcomplicates things a bit. I’ve taken this into account with my later suggestions. Relying on the Six Kings style in play appears to require a lot of stunting in general to keep that Willpower topped up.
Consider that the purpose of this martial art may be to turn a mortal “more-than-mortal”. Perhaps a permanent charm, linked to Compassion. Allow stunting martial artists a new option to regain health levels equal to the value of the stunt. Spending a WP to channel Compassion through the same action adds to the value of the stunt which could be spent: 2 for 1 Bashing, 3 for 1 Lethal. The stunt might have to be done in certain circumstances – facing a deadly foe, uncertain odds, protecting others.
Imitating Cloud Posture
Lossefion: I see links to the Temperance virtue. Adding (Temperance) to Dodge or Parry DV as an option for 1WP would be good for a simpler mechanic. This could be 2WP or 1WP for (MA) Actions or scene-long as you decide. Scene-long is powerful at the moment.
Iron-Lake Mountain Pulse
Lossefion: There could be comparison to Laughing Wounds Style. I see links to the Conviction Virtue here. There are three options here. Gain (Conviction) in Lethal and Bashing Soak that counts as Natural; reduce all incoming damage by (Conviction); or gain (Conviction) hardness. Any of these would last for (MA actions). You could also add MA rating to Conviction for derived ratings, or combine any two options.
Shooting Star Step Method
Lossefion: I hate to say it, but to me Perfect Dodges in a Terrestrial Style of any sort just don’t fit. I think this one has to be nerfed. Something akin to Leaping Dodge Method from the Exalted Core Rulebook might be better. 1WP cost to enhance a Dodge or Parry action, potentially breaking a flurry, but you don’t have to move out of range. (Actually, this perhaps should gain the Counterattack Keyword.) Their (Wits+Ability) vs (Dexterity +Martial Arts + Specialisation) should still stand to succeed. You could perhaps add (MA) to the selected DV for the rest of the action. This charm should perhaps be removed to after any suggested Form-Style. Fluff says to me "Sureness of Self" here.
Honed Steel Needle
Lossefion: I see links to Valor. This could perhaps be a permanent charm allowing the holder to choose whether to inflict Lethal or Bashing damage, whilst still using the base Punch, Clinch or Kick statistics. Add an option to spend 1WP to add the Piercing tag for (MA actions), add Valour to Damage and the Overwhelming (2) tag, or to add the Jade magical material bonus to the strike for the same length of time.
Lossefion: I like this, and it has connotations of Willpower about it. I would look to the Shock Pike for inspiration as well, perhaps making the base damage (WP) Lethal. This gives a static rating, seeing as you do not add strength to the damage. Attack pool could be (Perception + MA). I believe that it should cost 2WP, as it’s an extreme projection of will.
In hindsight, making the base damage (Current WP) would also reflect the drain on the martial artist’s will.
The Six Powers Realized Enlightenment
Lossefion: I would suggest the cost be changed to (+1lhl, 1xp), raise the MA minimum to 5, and remove the Form-Type keyword. This would make it a supplemental charm for the suggested alternative Six Kings Form charm below. Whilst in this state, all preceding charms that last (MA in actions) may be activated for the duration of Six Kings Form. Alternatively, any relevant Martial Arts specialisation in the Style may be added to values derived using (MA) or (Virtue).
The ST should keep track of Experience Points spent on this charm. Where it equals the cost of the Essence Channeler blight, the Martial Artist receives it for no extra cost. The Martial Artist may also use this charm as training time towards related merits at the ST’s discretion, including raised Essence rating.
Alternatively, XP spent here could go towards a Signature Style merit, or Daredevil merit.
The enlightened martial artist may spend motes of Essence on Six Kings’ Style for a 3m to 1WP ratio. They may mix and match costs.
I suggest a potential restructuring of the style, with a building block of the four “Virtue” charms, through a new Form Charm, then Storm God Strike and Shooting Star Step as splitting off before culminating in Six Powers Realised Enlightenment.
Alternatively, here’s one that remains much the same: Life Return Meditation + Imitating Cloud Posture = Shooting Star Step; Iron-Lake Mediation + Honed Steel Needle = Storm God Strike; Storm God Strike + Shooting Star Step = Six Kings Form; Six Kings Form = Six Powers Realised Enlightenment. Six Power’s fluff said that the Form charm was the “penultimate expression” of the Form’s power.
Six Kings Form (suggested form charm)
Cost: 2WP Min: Essence 1, Martial Arts 4, Specialisation [Six Kings Style] 2 Duration: Scene Prerequisites: Life-Return Meditation; Honed Steel Needle; Iron-Lake Mountain Pulse; Imitating Cloud Posture
Fluff: Wherein the virtues of the kings are made manifest, the martial artist begins to impose his Will on an ever-changing world. The martial artist adopts an upright, classical position – a relaxed stance, ready to defend or attack. Every movement is just so, lending a serenity to her every motion.
Crunch: The martial artist may now stunt as an Exalt if they could not do so before. The martial artist adds (MA rating) to any one of the following: Bashing/Lethal Soak; Dodge DV, Parry DV.
The Martial Artist adds (highest Virtue) to difficulty of all hostile Shaping Actions, or to pools to defend against such actions. (This could alternatively be added to Six Powers Realised.)