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Due to the fundamental difference in how Alchemicals aquire charms, should Alchemicals be able to learn the same Martial Arts Charms that the other Exalted can?


I'd say yes, but they may require some type of construct similar to a charm to be implanted to represent the style for them to progress in it. Anyone agree or disagree?

Well, as far as game balance goes, I wouldn't begin to know how to calculate that. So I'm going to look at in character metaphysics right now. From my reading, I have gathered that MA depends more on manipulating your internal essence as opposed to causing changes by manipulating the surounding essence flows. So, as I see it, if Alchemicals can manipulate essence on their own in any way, then they should be able to learn MA normally. Otherwise they probably need some kind of essence circuit that they can funnel essence through to use the style as normal, just as DarkWolff suggests.

I think it might be cool if the Alchemical has to construct the Kung-Fu Enabling Unit to suit the particular style he wishes to learn. - David.

Just for you...

Kung-Fu Enabling Unit

Installation Cost: 1 mote/charm 
Cost: N/A 
Duration: Permanent 
Type: Special 
Min Essence: 2 

While this charm is installed, Alchemical Exalted may learn the charms for the style of martial arts that it is attuned to. The Alchemical pays the normal activation cost (-1 ?) for the charm, and it cost the same amount of xp as a normal charm. The Kung-Fu Enabling Unit starts off as a dull orb. When a new Martial Arts charm is learned, the orb splits. When the Alchemical learns a new charm of that style, the orb begins to glow slightly.

Yeah, so it's formatted badly (because I'm at work and don't have the time to do anything but a rough draft), but that's what I figured something like this would look like. Back to the discussion at hand though, Alchemicals manipulate Essence in ways totally different then other Exalted, relying on physical components installed into bodies to do so, so I think they'd need a way to simulate the essence of martial arts. Conversely, if they don't in fact need an outside source to learn them, Martial Arts may provide an way to alleviate the inherent limitation brought about by having to commit essence...sorta like how Sidereals use MA to get around the "NO NEW CHARMS" limit. Again, I apologize for the bad formatting.

I like it. So the Alchemical would have to custom construct a new orb for each style? I would probably use cosmetic peices that reflect the style, but I don't think that's the point being made here. So yes, i think that the Alchemical would need a device to let him/her ... umm, it (do they have a real gender?) manipulate their personal Essence.

It might be interesting to allow the orbs to enable Style benefits, a la the Immaculate weapon benefits, for the Alchemicals - because they're internalizing the MA on a similar level, they get certain tricks, but can't mix-and-match. Ferex, Snake Style System might boost the Alchy's Init when using seven-section-staves, but with it installed he can't use Violet Bier of Sorrows Style System, which gives its own benefit and access to VBoS charm use. ~ BerserkSeraph
Either they'd have to construct a new orb, or the other orb would bud a new one when he learned the style. If they'd have to construct a new orb, then perhaps they could get a style benefit from doing so. This would eliminate the charm feeling like a speedbump, but the effects would have to be something minor like the initative adding idea above. The Immaculate style benefits would probably be a bit too powerful, after all the Sidereal are the masters of MA, not Alchies.
I'd suggest that they'd have to get a new orb, maybe at some decreased price, to get access to a new Style. It both puts a limit on their use of CMA - good because they're the lowest rung on the Celestial Ladder - and means that they have to make some investment to do something that's a little more organic than their usual tricks.
That makes me think though, since the DBs receive the style benefits because of their elemental nature, should the appropriate jade caste receive those same benefits? Would they have to pay an extra mote for an out-of-aspect charm that matches their caste?
I'd say no. The Dyansts have the especial blessings of the Dragons themselves, whereas the Jade Alchies are merely made of a metal that the Dragons approve of. ~ BerserkSeraph
Doesn't that seem stupid to you? "I am limited to this one thing, but I get the especial benefit of beings who are much more broadly competent in it, and have the style designed specifically for them!" I can't imagine how this makes sense; perhaps I am misunderstanding something. - willows
It would not be the same bonus (The Immaculate bonuses are probably a touch too good to just hand out), merely in that vein - and the reasoning was more precisely that the bonuses are said to spring from the degree that the DB can internalize the styles to - because it's in their nature. This is why, despite Sids being obviously superior at all things MA, Chejop can't get the Fire Dragon bonus - his nature isn't suited for it.
Linked, therefore, is the conclusion that by adding something to his or her being an Alchy could internalize a style to the same degree - The Alchy can make Snake Style part of his nature... to use your words, he can make *himself* designed for the *style* - but he can only do that to one MA at a time. It would be trading flexibility for efficiency, in all essence.
The overall effect would mean that it's more advantageous for an Alchy to dabble in a few MAs and switch 'styles' according to situations, which both underscores their toolbox nature ("Oh, a fast opponent. I better install Snake Style.") and gives them a bit of a quirk, MA-wise. And everyone has an MA quirk - Terrestrials can learn the Immaculate paths, Solars can do anything, Sids have their secret styles, Lunars suck at it, and Alchemicals get minor benefits reliant on Style but can only draw from one Style at a time. ~ BerserkSeraph
It only seems stupid to me in the sense that of all the things Alchemicals could or might be able to do, there is this big desire for them to get good access to MA. There's also the question of how plausible it is that Alchemicals would ever be able to get ahold of enough Immaculate MA guys who would show them the whole of all the Immaculate styles in order to make the charms. Of all the things that the Machine God could teach his followers to make for Alchemicals, there is concern that Alchemicals -should- get a nice, juicy piece of the MA pie. But, an alternative or perhaps supplemental idea perhaps to BerserkSeraph's. I think the idea behind giving the aberrant Immaculate style bonus would only go to the color jade. White jade Alchemicals get the Earth Dragon style bonus if they get that style installed. A red jade Alchemical would not if he got the same style installed. Instead, red jade would get the Fire Dragon Style bonus. Maybe there enough elementalness in being made pretty much out of jade that makes the Alchemicals elemental enough to get the bonus. Maybe the Autochtonian machine charms are just so good that they can perfectly mimic any and all bonuses of a style without the Alchemical needing to be capable to internalize and understand and be enlightened (i.e. normally, the Alchemicals would be like gods, who just can't understand the stuff needed to pursue Martial Arts but their charms can overcome this handicap).
I'd be happier on the whole with Alchemicals getting some shape-shifting stuff. Like, being able to transform into strange and wondrous vehicle forms needed to navigate through all of the odd areas of Autochton. You guys see the stuff on Autochton in the quarterly? Dangerous place where an Alchemical could need multiple shapes to best get around. Or maybe something that could let an Alchemical increase in mass to become warstrider sized and powered. Or jet packs. Chest plates that split open to allow a bunch of essence bolt attacks to put Crypt Bolt to shame. Some kind of unit that could ingest mundane matter and refine it into a magical material of the appropriate type (e.g. an Orichalcum Alchemical who could turn plain jane gold into Orichalcum). ~Andrew02