Powers for Heroic Mortals
These are some merits (in a new category; heroic) that, with training and mastery, allow heroic mortals to push their limits in ways beyond what most can normally do. In effect, these are nifty powers for mortals! Heroic merits differ from normal merits in a few ways. First, they have prerequisites much like some God-Blooded merits -- they can require abilities, attributes, and previously learned merits! Also, some of them have costs to be used -- others are "free abilities".
None of these should be powerful enough to really challenge exalted, or even gods/demons. They might allow a really powerful and experienced mortal to go up against a god-blood, though, at the extreme of the power-level. Mortals can buy these powers for the normal cost of "x2 the merit cost in xp". I'm not sure if Exalts and other supernaturals should be able to buy these, it depends on the exact system I end up using in the end.
I'll also put some 'generic' merits and flaws in here, that allow
3pt Heroic Merit
Prerequisites: Dexterity 3+. Brawl 4 or Martial Arts 3.
A unarmed fighter with this merit is an expert at defending against armed attackers, and may attempt to do such without the use of a stunt. The defense roll in question is considered to be Difficulty 2, due to the difficulty of the defensive manuevers employed by the character using this merit, but there is no other cost.
4pt Heroic Merit
Prerequisites: Wits 3+, and Dodge or Brawl/Martial Arts/Melee 4
Normally, when a mortal is attacked in combat before his initiative he either has to abort to a defense and give up all other options or just take the blow. Someone with this merit has learned to react quicker, and can interrupt another characters action to split his actions for defenses. This allows him to declare a defense (or multiple defenses, against multiple attacks in the turn) and still leave himself an attack for later. The defense happens immediately, but the character is unable to attack until his normal initiative.
This heroic merit requires the expenditure of 1 willpower, which remains 'commited' until the character lowers his guard. Until the character does such this power remains active. You cannot keep this power up for more than your Perception x10 minutes at a time, or one scene, whichever is longer. Heroic Defense only affects one defensive ability, though it can be bought twice to cover additional abilities. This merely gives you a choice in which defense you choose to use while interrupting for defense, however, and does not allow you to defend against the same attack twice.
5pt Heroic Merit
Prerequisites: Heroic Dodge, Essence Awareness, Dexterity 3+, Dodge 5, AND Brawl/Martial Arts/Melee 5
Often, when attacked by heroic individuals blessed with the energy of the gods, mortals are helpless. They simply don't have the skill or potential to save themselves, unless the god-like being attacking them is unlucky. However, the greatest masters among the mortals can move like quicksilver and attempt to avoid even these godly attacks! This requires the mortal to abort to a defense, and prohibits him from taking any other action that turn other than defense against this one attack. He can split his dice pool for two actions, with the normal penalities (-2, and -3). One of these is a dodge, the other a block. The results are applied together against one attack. You can stunt while invoking this power to reduce the penalities.
This heroic merit requires the expenditure of 3 motes of essence, and 1 willpower.
What do people think of the costs? I'm leaning toward "base-level heroic powers cost about 8xp", and possibly more for the better ones, but I'm not sure in the end. I could easily see Heroic Defense costing 10xp, or possibly even more, for instance. How much should this stuff cost? Keep in mind that they're, in a way, kind of like charms for heroic mortal games.
I don't think the first one should be a persistent defense... even half-castes can't learn persistent defenses! They're specifically excluded, so mortals shouldn't have something more powerful than half-castes. Make it cost something each time ^.^ -Stryck
Well, as I noted on WoD, this isn't quite a persistent defense. Rather, it's a maintained effect that you can keep up as long as you want, that lets you split your dice pool multiple times even if you loose initiative. It requires decent wits, and a high skill in the weapon in question, and lowers your max willpower pool by 1 while you are ready for a heroic defense:D -- CrownedSun