With the introduction of Independent Actions in Sidereals, we have a new venue of tactical exploration to pursue. Unfortunately, Rebecca didn't provide us with everything we need to explore IA as a high-tier Charm type. This is my attempt to complete the taxonomy of Charm types to take IA into account.
How IA Works
Independent Actions are defined in Sidereals. As I understand it, Independent Actions represent doing several things at once, as opposed to the Extra Actions paradigm of doing several things very quickly, sequentially. Mechanically, Independent Actions are:
- Identical to actions taken on successive turns, except:
- The character only moves once.
- It still counts as a single turn; this is important for certain Charm effects, the sutra discount for Sidereal Martial Arts, and so on.
- Characters can split their actions.
- Characters who have split dice pools can interweave their actions. For example, they can split one action's dice pool between an attack and a parry, taking another action in between.
- Characters cannot use Extra Actions effects in a turn they use Independent Actions effects.
We can characterize some different kinds of possible IA Charms. One type, exemplified by Charcoal March of Spiders Form, grants access to independent actions while being of a different type itself. Another kind grants unrestricted independent actions; like unrestricted extra actions, Infernals are the only sort of Exalted known to have access to this effect, with Countless Locust Insurgence Style. A third type grants some amount of independent actions, some or all of which must be used for some type of action. Pandaemonium of Voices is an example of this type of Charm.
The following is true of all instant IA Charms: Activating an IA Charm is the character's action for the turn; he may act with the independent actions it provides, splitting them freely. The Charm must be activated on the character's intiative unless the Charm specificaly states otherwise, but the actions it provides for that turn are otherwise like normal actions; they can be delayed and such. Like Extra Actions, unless the Charm permits otherwise, which many do, all the actions taken must be from the Ability that grants the Charm.
So, how do you Combo these monsters? Well, this is problematic, because you can freely use extra Charms anyway, to a certain extent. So, we'll define one action as the 'origin action'; this is the action where the Charm originated, and where the problem lies. This is because the origin action is the one in which you used a Charm; you must use a Combo to use additional Charms on it, but not necessarily on the other actions.
- If the Charm grants one unrestricted action and one restricted action, like Pandaemonium of Voices, the restricted action is the origin action. If it grants multiple restricted actions, all of these Combo as the origin action.
- The origin action Combos like an Extra Actions Charm - any Supplementals must supplement it, it must instantiate any Simples, etc. Ability accord applies.
- Comboing an origin action does not make it unsplittable. If you split an origin action, each split action must be supplemented/must instantiate all relevant Charms in the Combo.
- The non-origin actions don't interact with the Combo rules at all.
- If the Charm grants only unrestricted actions, then one of them must Combo as an origin action, and the others need not be Comboed, as above.
To set this in a simpler light: independent action Charms are extra action Charms that represent doing many things at once, as opposed to doing many things very fast? - Balthasar
More or less. The big, big difference between IA and EA is that IA allows you to do many different things. The complexity arises when IA and more restricted processes interact. - FourWillowsWeeping
Just my opinion on how IA Charms are best implemented... :) But I think IA-granting Charms should, generally, be non-Instant. Making very brief ones One-Turn duration would, I think, solve the Combo issue. You'd still have to write up the other basic rules of IA-type Charms, if you make it a Charm type, rather than a mechanic that some Charms put into action. -David.