Editor's Note: This was originally on LibraryMailanka, Mailanka's comments have been left in line.
Mailanka, on the subject of Orichalcum items, especially weapons and armor, at a lower rating than 4. I am in agreement with you in that the Solar wouldn't tend to make trinket items except in very special situations, I still think that players deserve to be able to get a daiklave of their own material early on, they really can help! So I came up with an idea on how it could work.
When the Sidereals and Immaculates slew the Anathema kings and queens long ago, they had a problem. They didn't want to anger the ghosts of the fallen by taking their treasured weapons, armor and possessions, but at the same time they didn't want to just leave weapons of such crushing power just "lying around". Thus, sorcery and ritual was designed to "seal" in most of the potential of a weapon, without destroying it. This accomplished both goals.
The Immaculates, with an elaborate ritual (or terrestrial circle sorcery) can do an elaborate series of knots in bright red cord, with several jade implements in the image of old realm words associated with sealing evil (and sutras from the immaculate text). Once completed, these seals become part of the daiklave, and only the proper (and extremely secret) technique for untying them can remove them (they are otherwise indestrutable). Celestial circle sorcery can also destroy such a seal, but terrestrial cannot. This technqiue can seal an artifact of up to rating 4 down to a base type or rating 1 or 2, whichever is appropriate.
The Sidereals developed a similar system, but far more power, involving an elaborate inking of runes in a starmetal based ink, celestial circle sorcery, and astrology. They paint elaborate runes all over the item, in an ink only visible in bright starlight at the same time of the year as when the seal was made. The unsealing procedure involves painting a rune in a magical-material-based ink (any will do) in the proper place on the item. Most sidereals with occult 5 will know how to deduce such runes, but almost no one else will. Solar circle sorcery can also dispel this, but good luck finding someone to do that for you. This can seal an artifact five down to a rating 2 or 3.
Countermagic is, in my rules, the way to dispel it, but custom spells sure are an option too.
What do you think of this idea?
That's a TOP NOTCH way of eliminating the need to POUR lots of points into an artifact, but still have a legendarily powerful Daiklave. Of course, the players can dispel them, or possibly (and more interestingly) complete quests to "unlock" parts of their blades. What I would do is define a power sealed away by each seperate seal. For example, if your player took a "standard" orichalcum daiklave (artifact 2) You could have 2-3 seals on it. Each seal, when broken, opened up a new power for the character. This is fun, and hearkens back to video games that often do the same thing. Plus you could work out your powers later.
I have, in mind, a soul steel blade that is similar, but operates completely differently. It's sealed away because no being can wield its full, open might, so they close most of it away, and you can open up what you need, struggle with the weapon as you slay your foe, and then seal the power back up again.
I thought it was a really cool idea, and I still do. So I say go for it. Obviously, not ALL blades must work like this. If a player wants to pour the points into an artifact 4 blade right off the bat, I'd let him. The Usurpers had their hands full, and so couldn't seal away EVERYTHING, so it's possible his blade, however he got it, escaped the sealing.
But this option allows players that wanted an artifact, but didn't have the points for a cool one, to eventually be as nifty as the other weapons...
Yeah, some items won't have it (some might even be resistant to it!). The reason I developed that system was to add some story hooks to a game I was working on. I wasn't thinking of allowing partial unsealing, since I'm unsure how I would rule that (although now that you mention it, I might just). I especially like the sealing method I devised for the immaculates. Some of the knots will be common knowledge, and some will be relatively unusual immaculate koan-style knots designed to increase inner reflection and higher-thought. Thus, you might be able to con a monk out of the instructions for one knot. I was going to put several old, mortal monks all over threshold in retreat whom know one or two of the knots involved. Most of them won't come undone unless a certain sutra is being chanted while the final step is being taken (otherwise at the last step, the knot just "falls back" into place).
One game we playtested this metric in, someone found a really neat way to defeat the seal. The powerbow in question was originally designed for fair folk combat, so it was very resistant to the wyld. The character threw the bow into a deep wyld zone and watched the seal melt off and become a bunch of scaly doves with wagon weels for feet, then jumped in and grabbed it. :)
Exalted is a rough game to GM since the games are SO damn character driven. You can't lead people around by the nose like you can in D&D, people really need to make choices on their own, especially when playing Solar. I think this sort of thing helps GMs add questions without seeming too obvious ;)
It does. By the way, I REALLY should post my "Mailanka's Guide to Gaming." When I plop a few tips down on the forum, people just eat them up. I've been running games for.... phew, 15 years now? I've picked up a few tricks that are VERY useful. I think some people would appreciate the tips. :)
What do I think?
Also, I imagine that many weapons are sealed in Elsewhere. (Die with a banished weapon. ) The Void Dragon probably doesn't like it's treasure taken anymore than the Exalt that lost it in the first place. Leaving opportunity for travel to Elsewhere for players, or to reality for the Void Dragon. (You could have a Ragna Blade, this way.)
That's actually similar to something my ST came up with. A shard can only have one weapon and one suit of armor in Elsewhere at the same time. What if you learn that charm that sticks your weapon in Elsewhere, and try it-- but it doesn't work? And when you try the "call your weapon back" bit, it brings back a Daiklaive of legendary power the likes of which you've never seen? Quite amusing. --Dissolvegirl
NOW I remember where I got this idea! I'm using this for the sword of one of the characters in my Solar game--thanks for coming up with this. It's helped me a lot. -Dorchadas