Balthasar's Survival Charms
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Shepherd’s Unfailing Sense
Cost: 3 motes Duration: One scene Type: Simple Minimum Survival: 2 Minimum Essence: 1 Prerequisites: None
For one scene, the Abyssal gains a type of sixth sense, and is able to flawlessly locate any still-rotting corpse in a (Permanent Essence) mile radius. While he cannot simply point them out on a map, he may track them down, without any margin for error, until the Charm expires.
Cost: 1 mote Duration: Instant Type: Simple Minimum Survival: 3 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisites: Shepherd’s Unfailing Sense
During long stays in Creation, the intrepid Abyssal finds he is required to partake of the flesh and blood of the living to survive. Often, in long journeys through the wilderness, finding proper sustenance is difficult, and other methods must be used to go on. An Abyssal uses this Charm while butchering a human body, investing the Essence in his incisions – making them precise and effectual. A corpse butchered in this way lasts one week for every point of Survival the Abyssal possesses, providing the same amount of motes when devoured as a still-living mortal. If devoured piecemeal, the Storyteller is encouraged to use common sense and divide the amount of motes gained amongst the butchered body parts evenly.
Carrion Bird’s Mannerism
Cost: 1 willpower Duration: Special Type: Simple Minimum Survival: 3 Minimum Essence: 2 Prerequisites: Lamb-Slaughtering Technique, Enduring Huntsman Method
When in dire straights, the Abyssal may devour corpses and gain nourishment from them. After spending a point of temporary willpower, the exalt may consume the rotting flesh of one corpse with no ill side effects, and gain Essence as if he had fully consumed a living mortal instead. This Charm does not work on corpses that have rotted longer than a month.
Vile Extraction of Humours
Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Simple Minimum Survival: 3 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisites: Lamb-Slaughtering Technique
Lifting his palm towards an immobile mortal target, the Abyssal focuses his essence into a fine thread of energy. In an instantaneous flash, a rip opens on the target’s throat, and blood pours out, racing through the air directly to the Abyssal’s waiting mouth. This Charm allows the Abyssal to feed from a distance, although all other mechanisms for feeding remain identical except the range. The Abyssal must be within five yards of the target in order for this Charm to work.
Raiton Plucks the Eye
Cost: 7 motes, 1 willpower Duration: Instant Type: Simple Minimum Survival: 4 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisites: Vile Extraction of Humours
Often, an Abyssal is not so kind as to simply draw forth the energy of life from a subject as cleanly as may be. Sometimes, mangling an opponent as he is fed from is far more effective. This Charm facilitates that idiom. Similar to Vile Extraction of Humours, the Abyssal simply changes the location of the blood extraction from the throat to the eyes. After a brief half-felt struggle, the Exalt’s player rolls Wits + Survival, difficulty 2. If the roll is successful, blood gouts from the mortal’s eye-sockets violently, popping the mortal’s eyes and rendering him blind. Surplus successes equal dice of unsoakable lethal damage. This Charm may be attempted on beings with Essence higher than one, although the difficulty of the roll increases to 3, and natural lethal soak applies. Additionally, this damage is temporary to Exalts, and with a little time taken to heal the damage naturally, the Exalt’s eyes eventually regenerate.
Swarming Vermin Cloud Kata
Cost: 5 motes Duration: One scene Type: Simple Minimum Survival: 3 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisites: Carrion Bird’s Mannerism
Though the domain of insects is inherent more in the natures of demons, spirits and Lunar Exalted, the deathknight with this Charm is aware of a subtle connection between all carrion creatures. The Abyssal focuses, crackling with decayed Essence. If he is wearing any soulsteel armor, or holding anything else made of the magical material, it hums in a buzzing manner. Within one turn, a thick cloud of flies, gnats, nits, and assorted carrion insects arrives, obscuring everything in an impenetrable black cloud as broad in every direction as the Abyssal’s Survival Ability in yards. All visibility within this cloud is removed, even to those who may normally see in deepest darkness, and all hearing is obscure and difficult to discern, resulting in a +2 to the difficulty of rolls involving hearing. Strong winds or area attacks will flush the vermin for a while, but they will always return within one or two rounds until this Charm expires or is willfully dispersed.
Eyes on the Bough
Cost: 10 motes Duration: One scene Type: Simple Minimum Survival: 4 Minimum Essence: 4 Prerequisites: Swarming Vermin Cloud Kata
The Exalt unifies himself with the alien hive-minds of all the insects within his permanent Essence in miles, linking his sensory input to theirs; specifically, his vision is broadened through use of the billions of lent eyes. Though he may only simultaneously witness the events in a radius of his permanent Essence in yards, he may freely change location from moment to moment, viewing new locales reflexively. This Charm does not prevent the Abyssal from witnessing events close to himself – his vision is only supplemented by that of the vermin’s.
Lofty Collection of Murders
Cost: 5 motes Duration: Instant Type: Simple Minimum Survival: 4 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisites: Swarming Vermin Cloud Kata
The deathknight immerses his mind again in the currents of Essence, and extends his instincts out to throb pitilessly in the hearts and minds of larger creatures – carrion birds, in specific. All around him, the sky darkens swiftly with an impending flock of driven, bloodthirsty feathered beasts. The birds sweep through, attacking everyone in a swath five yards wide, and two yards long for every success on a Charisma + Survival roll. All animals and people within the swath so assaulted suffer dice of lethal damage equal to the character’s Survival ability.
Ten Thousand Murder Stride
Cost: 10 motes, 1 willpower Duration: One turn Type: Simple Minimum Survival: 5 Minimum Essence: 4 Prerequisites: Lofty Collection of Murders
The Abyssal momentarily shines with anima light, but that light dims rapidly into shadow, which encompasses the deathknight and overlaps his features. All is silent for a split-second, before the shadowy form bursts into a flock of noisome winged beasts. The player chooses which type of winged animal the Abyssal transforms into upon choosing this Charm, and thereafter it cannot be changed. This Charm allows the swift transportation over great distance – up to the Exalt’s permanent Essence x 1,000 in yards may be traversed in moments. After crossing the distance, the Exalt reforms over the course of one additional turn, and is then free to act normally.
Shepherd’s Unfailing Sense: Simple and clever. Does this only apply to human corpses? Also, I assume that it indicates the presence of corpses you aren’t aware of; the wording might be taken to imply that it only directs you to a specificAbyssalSurvival/I> corpse.
Lamb-Slaughtering Technique: Interesting. I’d add Essence Engorgement Technique a requisite for this Charm.
Carrion Bird’s Mannerism: Another interesting Charm. I like the Willpower expenditure; it would take willpower to choke down rotting meat. :)
Vile Extraction of Humours: And the Abyssals get Theft of Vitae. It was inevitable, really. :) Looks reasonable.
Raiton Plucks the Eye: A rather nasty Charm. The text regarding Exalts regenerating the damage could be a little cleaner.
Swarming Vermin Cloud Kata: Cool, with nice special effects. I wouldn’t totally cut off vision though; the cloud can’t be that dense, can it? Give it visibility equal to thickest fog. Also, you might want to change the prerequisite to Fetter the Beast, which seems closer in nature to this Effect than the Shepherd’s Unfailing Sense tree.
Eyes on the Bough: Very nice. I’d make it a cross-Ability Charm though, and add an Awareness requirement with an appropriate prerequisite Charm.
Lofty Collection of Murders: Cool. Are the birds magically transported through Elsewhere, or does the Charm only call local birds? If the latter, there should be some simple guidelines regarding bird availability.
Ten Thousand Murder Stride: I dislike this one, as it’s basically an improved version of the Flight of Separation spell.
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