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Infernal Dodge

Part of the idea behind these Dodge Charms is to break the metarules of the game, either by fiddling with the dice, or allowing unusual defense strategies. The spiritual ancestor for these Charms is the Ebon Dragon, for the most part; the imagery reflects his influence.

Charm Count: 7

Wind-Riding Grace

Cost: 1 mote / 2 dice
Type: Reflexive
Duration: Instant
Min. Dodge: 3
Min. Essence: 1
Prereq Charms: None

The Infernal lightens his substance to the consistency of shadowstuff; in this state he blows awa from attacks like smoke on the wind. He can buy dice for a dodge at the listed rate; in no way can he increase his pool beyond Dexterity + Dodge + Limit.

Shadow-Attacking Attitude

Cost: 2 motes per DT reduction, 2 Willpower
Type: Simple
Duration: One Scene
Min. Dodge: 3
Min. Essence: 2
Prereq Charms: Wind-Riding Grace

The Infernal tightens the bounds between himself and his shadow, so that an attacker is never certain of which he tries to strike. The unsettling appearance of this distracts those who try to argue against him, causing them to direct their arguments against irrelevant points. While this Charm is active, the Infernal lowers the DT of his Dodge rolls, and rolls he makes to counteract Socialize, Bureaucracy, or Presence actions of others, by 1 for every 2 motes spent. The Infernal may lower DT as many times as his Dodge score.

Doubling Threshhold (DT)
The point at which a die is worth 1 more success than the digit below it. For normal Exalted Ability rolls, this is 10. Lowering DT when DT is equal to TN sets DT to 10 and adds a success on all dice. (Lowering DT 4 times on a standard roll means that 7-9 are worth 2 successes and 10 is worth 3.)

Heartbeat Caesura

Cost: 6 motes
Type: Reflexive
Duration: Instant
Min. Dodge: 5
Min. Essence: 2
Prereq Charms: Shadow-Attacking Attitude

With this Charm, the Infernal dodges the passing of time briefly, so that while an attack comes to him, he simply cannot be changed by it. Later he resumes normal functioning, once the blow has passed him by. Those watching see the Infernal's anima flicker for a moment as it is disconnected from the present; at the instant of contact, his body is still, a silhouette of dazzling, priceless black. This Charm perfectly evades any dodgeable attack.

Ninefold Darkness Defense

Cost: 2+ motes
Type: Reflexive
Duration: Instant
Min. Dodge: 4
Min. Essence: 1
Prereq Charms: Wind-Riding Grace

If an Infernal fails to avoid a blow, it is not the end. Perhaps it only penetrated his clothing, and left his flesh untouched. Perhaps it is only a scratch, nothing to be concerned with. Perhaps it is only a flesh wound, not something that damages the soul. This is the Ninefold Darkness Defense. With this Charm, the Infernal may attempt to dodge a blow with his full pool, regardless of whether he has tried to before or not. Each time he uses this Charm against a single attack, its cost doubles.

Corners-of-Creation Escape

Cost: 5 motes
Type: Supplemental
Duration: Instant
Min. Dodge: 4
Min. Essence: 2
Prereq Charms: Ninefold Darkness Defense

With this Charm, the Infernal draws on his fear of an attack, shattering into a flock of shadows that flee in the four directions. This allows him to dodge any attack, even those attacks that cannot ordinarily be dodged. He escapes the area of area-effects, and is briefly not himself, so he cannot be touched by effects that target him by his identity. When the Charm ends, the shadows flow back together, and he reforms in approximately the same spot. Furthermore, it doubles the dice pool for a dodge roll.

Song of Freedom Stance

Cost: 6 motes, 1 Willpower
Type: Simple
Duration: One Scene
Min. Dodge: 3
Min. Essence: 2
Prereq Charms: Wind-Widing Grace

The Infernal dips her hand into the Word Serpent's heart and pulls out an incantation of grace. She wraps the coil of words around herself and dances to its song, Essence guiding her steps. The Infernal can reflexively dodge all incoming attacks with her full Dexterity+Dodge pool. If she is using Blossoming Joyful Aria or Pandaemonium of Voices, she may substitute her Appearance or Performance. Furthermore, she is immune to mundane Hold and Clinch actions.

Underling-Trampling Dance

Cost: 3 motes (7 motes), 1 Willpower
Type: Reflexive
Duration: Instant or Indefinite
Min. Dodge: 4
Min. Essence: 2
Prereq Charms: Song of Freedom Stance, Corners-of-Creation Escape

With this Charm, the Infernal deftly directs attention to some hapless bystander. This permits her to perfectly redirect an attack at that bystander, or direct the consequences of another's social action at him. So, in response to a shout of 'Anathema!', she could step aside and point at whoever may be nearby, even though it is she that is sparkling with brassy light. If the victim answers to the authority of the originator of the action, then the Infernal may pay 7 motes instead of 3; if she does so, the victim must seek to gain reparation for the injury from the aggressor for as long as the Infernal commits Essence to the Charm, and may continue thereafter if his disposition is appropriate. In general, appropriate reparations are an equal amount of HLs in damage, or reducing the aggressor's ocial Backgrounds by some amount through social assassination. Regardless of whether this effect is used, the Charm's duration is Instant for the purposes of Comboing.


A) I like these overall- although I've some pricing concerns about Shadow Attacking Attitude and Ninefold Darkness Defense. Are those being modeled after anything, or are they gut priced?

B) Heartbeat-Skipping Technique is currently emulating Seven Shadow Evasion in functionality, but is VASTLY more expensive (with the Willpower cost). Shouldn't it be trumping applicibility?

C) A personal amusing thought- Ninefold Darkness Defense should require the Infernal keeping rolling, once it's been started, until they have dodged the attack or run out of Essence- thus making it a bit riskier to utilize, and preventing it from being used to lower an almight attack to a ping. IMO, anyways.

D) Is the lack of a geniuenly Persistant Dodge intentional?

E) Might I suggest a social Dodger akin to Safety Among Enemies- an effect that lets you shift the target of a social attack from yourself to someone else? Thereby facilitating the Infernals-bring-infighting thing?

Overall, I like the feeling - these are mostly nitpicks :) DariusSolluman

Thanks for the comments! Responses:

A: Gut-priced, though SAA is at least a little coloured by Blade of the Battle Maiden.\\ B: Hm... as it stands, I'm trying not to shift the palette of competencies that profoundly. I'll check Seven Shadows and recost it, more than likely.\\ C: I was thinking of that effect, actually; that probably means that I should use it. I was also considering an effect that basically let you use the abortive dodge against an attack - you keep dodging, but your pool keeps dropping...\\ D: I just haven't gotten there yet.\\ E: I love that. I'll put one up ASAP.\\ - FourWillowsWeeping

Just wanted to point out that if you have a willpower in it, it usually can dodge attacks that are undodgeable, just like HGD can parry even unparriable attacks. - haren

Without realizing it, with Corners-of-Creation Escape I've made the hypothetical "applicable but not automatic defense" that the WW boards have been talking about. I'm lowering the cost of Heartbeat-Skipping and moving it up the tree; if you want an HGD-style Dodge, you can Combo CoCE and HST. It's not as good as the Solar version, being more expensive, but you could certainly extract a higher-ranked Charm out of the combo that's cheaper and better. There's your true scenelong dodge. I also hope you'll like Underling-Trampling Dance. - FourWillowsWeeping

How does Corners-of-Creation Escape interact with Perfect Attack Charms (IE, those that don't require an attack roll, such as AWD)?

And I like Underling-Trambling Dance a lot, although the lingering consequences is a bit much- wouldn't the motes of Essence for the charm remain committed the entire time? Or maybe I'm just not understanding- a clear example may help. - DariusSolluman

It can't negate perfect attacks; it only has the perk of trumping inapplicability. You still have to roll, and therefore can't negate an unrolled attack. I'll discuss the consequences of UTD more; I've also added a cost to have the consequence linger. - FourWillowsWeeping

Mm. Not quite sure how I feel about the whole Doubling Threshold thing. It feels to mechanically similiar to the Sidereals. On the other hand, the idea behind the Siddies breaking Dice caps is that they are breaking the rules by bending fate- and rules breaking is what the Infernals are supposed to be about.

Oh, and a practical question- which way does the Threshold grow? Does it go 10 becomes 3 successes, 9 becomes 2, 8 becomes 2, etcetc? Or is it 9,8,7,10? Also, alternate versions- let the Infernal add extra successes to various numbers- for, say, 3 essence a pop, you can 'buy' potential successes, which are then added to already successful numbers. I spend 15 motes (5 bought), and now 7 and 8 are worth 2 successes (2 that I bought), 9 and 10 are worth 3 (3 that I bought).

Madness ensues! 'Whadya mean the Infernal rolled five dice at got 11 successes???' ;) - DariusSolluman

Much as I love the flavour of everything here, I think that both Shadow-Attacking Attitude and Heartbeat-Skipping Technique are underpriced by a long way.

Firstly, the simple one: Heartbeat-Skipping Technique - at 3 motes, it's half the price of the equivalent Solar and Abyssal charms. Unless you're trying to make Infernals kick Solars and Abyssals into touch when it comes to Perfect effects, I'd seriously recommend making it cost 6 motes along with SSE and its twin.

Secondly, by my reading of Shadow-Attacking Attitude, for 8 motes and a Willpower I could double the success rate of every dodge I make for the rest of the scene. That's not too bad in itself, I guess, though it gets really, really sickening coupled with Ninefold Darkness Defense; it's the fact that it also beats the living daylights out of every Social charm I can remember reading. I'd suggest increasing the cost to 3 motes per die, or at least adding in another Willpower point cost (much like BotBM) - Translucidity

... Huh. I'd missed the double use of SAA as a Social and Physical dodger. That should certainly bump up it's cost a bit. On the other hand, it's effects are more comparable to the Siddie TN changers than BotBM- most of which are also scene longs, IIRC. How are they typically priced?

And good catch on HST. I must be going soft, not to have seen that. :) - DariusSolluman

Actually, most of the TN changers in the Sid book are Instant. Thrown, Dodge, Archery, Melee, all Instant - only one I can find at a glance-through that's Scene-long is the Stealth one. Archery and Melee are 2-per-TN instants, Dodge is 1 for 1, and Thrown is quirky.

SAA can more than double the effectiveness of any given dice pool, whereas TN tweaks can't really exceed a certain threshold; that's why I view SAA as more akin to BotBM's dice-pool doubling than ordinary probability manipulation. - Translucidity

The Threshold goes like this, per packet of motes spent:
  1. 9 becomes 2.
  2. 8 becomes 2.
  3. 7 becomes 2.
  4. 10 becomes 3. Slightly less good than a Solar success-doubler at this point.

Your alternative looks a lot like the previous version of SAA, which you can see in the wikiarchives. Madness does indeed ensue.

Hm, I haven't looked at Solar perfect dodges in a while. I changed the cost to align with the Solar and Abyssal versions; thanks for the catch. I actually edited the cost of SAA down from 3 motes per DT reduction; I have doubts about its awesomeness, but I'll take the edit to align with BotBM. I'm siding with Darius that it's more like a TN changer than a dice buyer. It's definitely a frightening capability, though, and it's intended that it opens scary doors when it interacts with other Infernal magic - only playtest will tell if it's as terribls as it's cracked up to be. After all, it's a big thing to commit motes to.

- FourWillowsWeeping

I like these a lot! Could you clarify the text on CoCE to explain the assumed re-gathering affect at the end of the charm? It leaves that aspect a touch vague. Otherwise, I'm going to be going through these and piecing them into one of my NPC's. -Suzume

Thanks! Done. - willows