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Skill Sapping Sidestep

Cost: 3 motes
Duration: Instant 
Type: Reflexive
Min. Ability: 5
Min Essence: 2
Prereqs: Fivefold Shadow Form

With a single contempuous movement, the deathknight invoking this charm saps all of the will to fight out of an assailant. The attacker loses all of their pre-charm, pre-stunt dice; this charm explicitly reduces their die-pool to 0.


This is similar to the sidereal parry charm in effect, but less certain, since heroic mortals will probably be rolling 1 stunt die, and anyone with a dice-adder can at least attempt an attack. Still, it's a very cost-effective defense to use with persistants... I've based the cost on the cheapness of the sidereal parry, but put it a few charms down the tree and at considerably higher skill, hopefully balancing it. It is not perfect, and thus perfect attacks still hit. It should also be noted that I view Impeding the Flow (the siddy parry charm in question) as costing 4m to use, and have houseruled it so. I agree with Rebecca's arguments... but I still think 3m is too cheap for that. It's perfect for this though ^_^
-- Darloth

I like this a lot. --MF

It seems a bit too efficient for me, but then, I frequently seem to feel that way about Sidereal charms. I would probably remove the "Reduce to zero" clause, and have it subject to the normal minimum (Essence). Coupled with a persistant defense or a normal defensive action, it would still make a successful attack unlikely. --Toram

Abyssal 'dodges' ALL ignore the Essence minimum. They say so implicitly (because they make an attack miss if they reduce pools to 0), and somewhere there's an explicit wording by Neph that says they do. But, if you'd rather do it that way in your games, fine. However, I'm standing by my version.
-- Darloth

It is all a bit iffy insofar as the Abyssal mechanics were written before Power Combat and the Essence minimum existed. Would Abyssal Charms have all worked that way if the Player's Guide had come first? I don't know. I expect that there might have been some Charms that reduced things to Essence and others that could go to zero... or maybe they would have come up with a different mechanical schtick. It is all speculation, really... -szilard
Remember that Power Combat was under development, and available to the authors, for a long time before EPG came out. --MF
Yes, they would. Abyssal -attack- charms can never reduce a die-pool below essence. They all state this. Their -defense- charms explicitly say they can reduce it to zero. Thus, it's fairly obvious that this was taken into account. Its a def > atk thing again, I think. That's my interpretation of it anyway.
-- Darloth
On the players guide section to power combat, minimum essence things... it does actually state right at the end, that charms which specifically reduce a pool to 0 take effect as normal anyway.. FluffySquirrel

When you say "Pre-charm" dice, does that mean dice before supplemental charms, or all dice added to the roll through charms? In other words, do scene-long die-adders get canceled by this charm? And how about Increasing Dexterity Excercise? -- Reyemile

Scene-long dice adders do not get canceled, as it's a defensive charm and shouldn't nerf scene-long offensive charms that much as they tend to be really hard to get to. It removes whatever your natural die pool is, which means you will almost never HAVE 0 dice (unless you can't think of even a 1 die stunt) but certainly does cut a big chunk out of it.
-- Darloth

Neat idea. I would just say that you should be more explicit about what dice pools you can use this on. Can you only use it on attacks, or attacks and defences (eek!) or anything? (This latter seems a little odd - you could plausibly sidestep something like Listener-Swaying Argument, but probably not Seasoned Criminal Method or something.) I'd also make it Essence 3, but that's just me. - Falcon

I think the cost of said charm is a tad -low- for what it does. 3 motes to just nuke any chance of an attack? -Personally-, I would attach a willpower cost to the effect. Or at least make it cost the same as the solar dodge charm, 7 shadow evasion (6 motes). ~ Haku

Unless they're you know, an exalt. Blade of the Battle Maiden, Excellent Strike, Wise Arrow. All of these things will still give anyone targeted by this a 50/50 shot to break though a persistant defense. SSE is /perfect/ It'll stop Accuracy Without distance. It'll dodge the godspear, or a sudden rain of rocks falling from a mountainside. This is not even close to perfect. Unless you're fighting extras. Hence why it costs less. - Scrollreader

Actually, SSE can't dodge the godspear. Not from my last reading of the godspear text. As for accuracy withour distance, that one is iffy. Personally, I still feel 3 motes as it is, is a tad low... personal opinion, mind you. But think about it. Said abyssal would be packing a die-adding or add-subtracting dodge charm in addition to this... in which case, your die-adding efforts are negated as well... Also, buying die up to the point where you can negate a persistent defense (even 50/50) is -expensive- like all hell. ~ Haku

Well, yes. Buying offense is more expensive than defense. That's intentional. And SSE is the /definition/ of what beats AWD. Perfect defense meets perfect attack, perfect defense wins. This charm does nothing to beat AWD. It only works against an /opponent/ (this is actually important) and in addition, even then, it's not a guarantee by any means. It does NOT, unlike SSE, grant a dodge. Why should it be as expensive? - Scrollreader

That's just it... I wouldn't bother using a charm against mortals. As my dice pool generally is good enough to avoid any issue. Because, let's be honest here... you're going to be using charms against beings you'll end up with trouble, said other exalts, fae, spirits, demons... what have you. Please note that faes, spirits and demons in general don't exactly have a die-adder... so in this respect, it IS as good as a frikking perfect defense.

Against exalts who most likely won't be using die-adding charms all the time in an attempt to conserve motes, this can provide deadly, especially when you lost the init, the solar or DB or what have you goes aha! and strikes first, putting everything he's got into the attack, die-adding and what have you... you throw this charm in, the majority of his attack pool is gone and it's no match for your persistent defenses... you then smile and smack the living Unconquered Sun out of the relatively helpless opponent. ~ Haku
This happens to anyone without a combo. All the time. Once again, defense wins. This is the way the game was /designed/. There's a sidebar on it in the corebook. Defense > Offense. Anybody who isn't prepared to defend themselves is asking to be taken out of combat in a bodybag. And yes, it's /almost/ as good as a perfect defense. And so, it costs, suprisingy enough, almost as much! You're proving it's a good charm, but in every example you provide, and in all of mine, SSE works just as well. Except in terms of mote efficiency. You want to make this charm cost as much as SSE, when it's categorically worse in at least three respects. why? Have you found SSE to be insanely overpowered in your games, or something? - Scrollreader
It's just the worrybug in me that feels that the defensive charms -should- cost more for what they do. Of course, that's what my own personal opinion. Nothing more. As for SSE? I haven't found it to be particular overpowering... given that it hasn't come up as a charm used. No, people prefer to use the cheaper and more effective HGD. ~ Haku
This seems ok, as it just removes pre-charm dice. If it removed all dice, I'd probably make it cost 4 motes, as it would be slightly weaker than SSE. -FlowsLikeBits