On the applicability of "One Activation per Instant," "Multiple Defense Actions" and how they interplay with Grasping Mantis Defense
[quote="Sliver"]Yes, you can have many DIFFERENT counterattacks, since there are no restrictions on reflexive charms in combos, but NO, you cannot counter the same attack twice. only one activation per instant, meaning maximum of one dodge, one parry and one counter per attack against you.[/quote]
Sorry, but the One Activation per Instant doesn't specify parries OR dodges OR counterattacks, it's a rule about how often you can activate the same Charm. Meaning that you can't use the same Charm more than once against one attack. That is to say, the only thing the "One Activation per Instant" prohibits you from is counterattacking twice with the same Charm.
The rule about only 1 parry and only 1 dodge against each attack is located elsewhere, under the section "Multiple Defense Actions," on the same page but in the next column, right after "The Applicability of Perfection." This section does mention counterattacks, but it does not forbid the stacking of them.
In conclusion, there's nothing in the rules that will prevent you from doing multiple counterattacks against one single attack, but there probably should be.
Grasping Mantis Defense is not labelled as a counterattack Charm. It's not even an attack. It is the meanest, most evil parry Charm in the game, and my ST quickly nerfed it when I demonstrated how easy it was to use it to beat people right up.
Seriously, it even beats HGD. Check this:
Invincible Sword Princess: "Finally I've caught up with you, Deadly Fist. You must face justice for what you have done.
Resplendent Deadly Fist of Bone: "Princess, I have comitted nothing that was a crime in the eyes of my master, and certainly done nothing that was wrong. You were foolish to come here, into my masters shadowland.
ISP: Nevertheless, I am sworn to bring you to justice. Defend yourself!
(ISP activates the Roaring Tiger Pounce, which is Thunderclap Rush Attack, Leaping Tiger Attack, Hungty Tiger Technique, Heavenly Guardian Defense and Dipping Swallow Defense.)
(ISP activates Thunderclap Rush Attack, as well as all supplemental Charms in the Combo)
RDFoB: Foolishly, you overextend yourself in your quest for vengeance. Allow me to demonstrate the superiority of the Cold Grasp of Oblivions Embrace Technique.
(RDFoB activates the Cold Grasp of Oblivions Embrace Technique, which is Flickering Wisp Technique* and Grasping Mantis Defense)
(RDFoB activates FWT and reduces the attack to 0 successes)
(RDFoB activates Grasping Mantis Defense and rolls his parry against an attack that has 0 successes. If you disagree that this is allowed, we can discuss it later in this thread)
(On his parry, RDFoB rolls 7 successes. This is a total of 7 more than were needed. He places ISP in a very uncomfortable clinch.)
Why were I not allowed to activate DSD?
RDFoB: I must unfortunately inform you that there was no attack step, and thus no step where you could activate any conventional defensive Charms. I am most sorry. Perhaps your next incarnation will be wiser and not overextend itself so recklessly. Maybe it will even follow me, as I travel down the path towards oblivion.
ISP: WAIT wait wait! I've got HGD in this combo. Surely that isn't a conventional defense!
RDFoB: Surely it is not. However, we are now at the "Resolve the effects of the attack" step, not at the attack itself. It would be the equivalent of saying "I trust my armor," then changing your mind after watching the damage roll and realising your opponent is strong as a Yedim and wields a Piercing weapon.
ISP: Oh well. I wasn't really happy with this build anyway, I wanted to be a Twillight sorceress in the first place. Do your thing.
RDFoB: It does me good to see you finally accept that death must be the end of all things. I will carve your name into the walls of my palace in the underworld, that my servants will know to let your ghost pass, should you wish to serve me and learn the true meaning of life.
- (Think Seven Shadow Evasion. Perfect Dodge.)
Grasping Mantis Defense Revised (Power Combat version)
Cost: 5 Motes Type: Reflexive Duration: Instant Ability: Martial Arts 5 Essence: 3 Requirements: Grasping Claw Method
Grasping an opponent at vital Chakra points, before being hit but just after the opponent has comitted to an attack, Grasping Mantis Defense interrupts the offensive essence-flow that runs from the Root of Valor towards the offensive hand, rendering the attacker helpless before a master of this defense.
After an opponent has declared an attack against you, during the defensive step, you may activate Grasping Mantis Defense. If you do so, Grasping Mantis Defense gives you a Martial Arts parry at your full pool. Extra successes on this defense should be noted.
After the defensive step is resolved, before damage is applied, Grasping Mantis Defense provides you with a counterattack that must be used to initiate a clinch. Any extra successes on the initial parry roll are translated directly into successes on this clinch attempt, to be defended against as normal successes on the clinch roll.
If you are using Grasping Mantis Defense with an in-form weapon, the weapons accuracy bonus can be used on the clinch initiation (the player chooses whether to do so) but not on any subsequent rolls in the clinch, unless applicable per the standard rules for weapons in a clinch.
If Grasping Mantis Defense is activated against a counterattack, it does not itself provide a counterattack. Instead, add your Permanent Essence in automatic successes to your parry roll.
Heh. I was going to look up the Charm text and point out that the parry successes are treated as successes on the roll to initiate a clinch. Then I looked them up, and it doesn't actually say that. So your interpretation is correct, I suppose, in a sense. If it works this way, I think it should cost a Willpower, in addition to the 5 motes, 'cause, like, that's scary. :) However, I would argue that you cannot roll a parry against an attack that has 0 successes. Anyway, I think Grasping Mantis Defense is another victim of bad writing or editing in the Castebooks. While I won't argue that your interpretation is valid given the text, I think the intent is more for the extra successes on the parry to count as successes on a roll to initiate a clinch, which could be defended against normally. Being able to skip the attack/defend stage of an attack is a VERY powerful effect, as you noticed. I don't think 5 motes is a fair cost for that. :) - David.
see Snake Body Evasion for an even nastier version. Especially since the lunars get success combos. Their version is functionally very similar, but instead of going straight into a clinch, it skips straight to deal damage. I personally this the effect is perfectly valid given the place of the charm (almost all of the way up a martial art... it's only 1 away from pinnacle) ability 5 essence 3, which is the same level as persistant defenses. It's powerful, sure, but also deals no damage. The original text says hold, which meant you couldn't (personally) harm someone using this charm without some funky effects from elsewhere. It fits with mantis very well. Since power combat has abolished the difference between clinch and hold, it has indeed been upgraded... The Player's Guide has not modified this charm, which in my opinion it should have. Simply add the disclaimer "The user of this charm may not choose to deal damage in any clinch initiated by this charm" and it becomes perfectly balanced again. Still, it's hardly vastly overpowered to begin with, since you need to completely parry, and I agree, if you completely dodge an attack you can't choose to parry as if it had 0 successes. If you can luck out and dodge it down to 1 success, that's a different matter entirely, but if you succeed at that it's skill or luck and you deserve to be able to do something unpleasant. The whole idea of mantis form is doing unpleasant things to people that attack you, after all ^_^