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(Type) Exalt Ways

Are you allowed to take the (Type) Exalt Ways charm more than once, or are you required to decide on which one Type you can imitate at the time when you take the charm? -- Senji

Yes, you can take it multiple times. ~Sabis

As Sabis said, you may take the Charm several times, but you only have to take it once to progress through the tree. - David.

Actually, I was thinking about it a bit, but can Exalt Ways be used to imitate powers that are part of a particular Exalt type/Caste, but are not actually so much that they're doing something themselves as calling the attention of more powerful beings? The one I'm talking about is the Eclipse/Moonshadow oath-binding. While they are basically a Celestial/Labyrinthian notary, they're not the one's enforcing it. And I can't imagine that the Unconquered Sun or Malfeans are going to be fooled quite so easily. But, maybe so. - haren

Haren, I would rule that anyone can tie such an oath, just as anyone can project an aura of fear, soak unusual amounts of damage, or antagonize creatures of darkness. (Subject to their individual Charm palettes; this is mostly an important problem for Sidereals.) It is not clear whether the anima-muting power of the Night Caste is something that others can learn (unless you wish to take Night Caste Exalt Ways as proof, which I find... a little dangerous.) At any rate, it is a quality of their sparks' Essence structure that allows Eclipse types to bind oaths, not an artifact of their social position (unlike Eclipse diplomatic immunity, which, I believe, Exalt Ways cannot copy, though since one is an Eclipse for all that observers can tell while under influence of the Charm, one could probably take advantage of it anyways), and so a Martial Artist faking an Eclipse anima could bind an oath. <plug>A Charm like Another Woman Meditation might, used intelligently, allow its user to usurp Eclipse diplomatic immunity without simulating the anima.</plug> - willows

True, I'd been thinking about it, and figure that if it happened in a game that I was doing, I'd allow it to happen. Though, I do have to say I disagree with you about if it's a positional power. I see it as them being Celestial notaries and diplomats. They have been granted the right to sancitify deals. I'm not saying they shouldn't be allowed to do it, but I get the feeling there might be consequences. The Unconquered Sun may see it as a sort of hubris and taking advantage of their own position. The Malfeans might see it as an opportunity... hmm, which brings up a point, while they aren't exactly Abyssals if they used Exalt Ways, I could see it being used by the Malfeans as a hook. If they used the Moonshadow oath-binding, it's possible the Malfeans might then see the "offender" and perhaps make them act like an Abyssal (read suffer Resonance). And while I'm not sure if it would stick after the Charm wore off, it might... and Sidereals don't have the same natural ability to channel Resonance out into the world. Hmmm - haren

In fact, as I would interpret it, they are calling on lesser beings to watch over and enforce the oath; the core states "he sanctifies the oath, but Heaven enforces it" (emphasis mine.) Note that it says Heaven, rather than "the Unconquered Sun", etc. I envision an oath god whose being is tied to the oath, who is cobbled into existence with the Essence the Eclipse uses to sanctify it. As I said in the thread on prayers, though... if someone is using the powers I granted them myself, to bring me glory or enforce my laws on the mortal plane, I have nothing to do but be pleased. If someone goes so far as to emulate the powers that I grant my Chosen, then so long as he does no harm with them, I can only view it as flattery. I also think you worry too much; if consequences are cooler than not-consequennces, by all means have consequences, but have them because they're cool and not because some notion of Exalted/divine politics compels you to. Cosmology is only a tool to approach coolness! It should be used as carrot, not stick. - willows

I envision that it's not something you have to use, but it's fitting for the Sidereal who are trying to play in the big leagues of Yu-Shan. But, I think that the "oath god" would have to be one whose importance is considered equal to that of the Celestines or it's actually something involving all of Heaven, because of the description of Eclipses as an event that shows the perfect unity of the Heavens to all of Creation. That, and I also can't imagine that the Moonshadows call on beings that much more powerful (and decidedly easily annoyed) to sanctify their oaths. Anyway, the reason I'm mentioning it, is because it's a perfect example of the Sidereal Great Curse. If one copies a Moonshadow, and something terrible happens... well, it can't be a consequence of what they did! ;) Eclipses are probably safer to copy, but there's still the possiblity of political problems down the road. I'd like to ask, willows, would you say Resonance is affects the anima of Abyssals? And, if so, can it attach to animas that have taken on those qualities for a time? Just it takes the form of an aura of death or danger, which could easily be an unseen effect linked to their own anima... hmm, effects changing the animas of others.- haren

When I say "oath god" I mean a being of the magnitude of, say, a dream fly or a mouse of the sun... literally, "the spirit of the oath", as opposed to your "the god who presides over oaths". I don't think that all spiritual beings and effects have to be big to be interesting and important. Honestly, if Sidereals can turn animals into gods with Charms, I don't think it's strange for Eclipses to spin them whole-cloth out of Essence.

As for "involving all of Heaven"... Heaven is not a unified entity; it is a crumbling, corrupt, and fractious bureaucracy, and it's not like Eclipse oathbinding has any really huge, world-bending effects under which all Heaven will band, despite their differences. It's like, three botches, ever. A strong intelligent Astrology effect could accomplish the same thing. If you want to place more significance on Eclipse oaths than that, you can, but be aware that you're magnifying something that isn't exactly huge in canon.

On Resonance being tied to animae: By that logic, Limit is tied to lunisolar animae, and hubris is tied to Sidereal animae, etc. Not in my world. Resonance is explicitly a Great Curse manipulation performed by the Neverborn; I wouldn't play that a Sidereal simulating Abyssal animae recieves Resonance, for the simple reason that they are not, in fact, becoming Abyssals, with all the metaphysical ties that entails. They are simply repatterning their animae to create certain effects that strongly resemble those of Abyssal anima effects.

As for it being cool, yeah! It is. But I wouldn't do it unless I were telling a story about Sidereals walking the corruption road; it's perfectly appropriate for Black Ice Shadow to attract Neverborn attention for masquerading as a Moonshadow, but Fleet Brilliance or Ayesha Ura should get off scot-free, because it is not interesting for their characters; more likely than not, if they are simulating Moonshadow animae, it is for the purpose of being unnoticed, rather than to infiltrate and study (as BIS would likely be up to). For Eclipse copying, the biggest political problems I can imagine are bureau-internal.

MoSec: Refracting Opal, what are you doing? My Chosen are not enforcers of the law, nor do you lay it down!

Refracting Opal: Mistress, I was disguised as an Eclipse, and it seemed like a good idea...

MoSec: And now... and now you've bound an important god whose identity you did not know, into an oath that neither of you knows the full extent of, and you probably expect the Bureau of Secrets to help figure that out?

Opal: Well-

MoSec: Enough! It's almost my turn. Go weave at the Loom for a few months, while I tell big brother to send over a real Eclipse and sort things out. Tell May Blossom to look in her bookcase, by the way.

- willows

Oh, I like your small god presiding over an oath idea, ok... that's good. I admit, I didn't understand what you meant. And I still think all of Heaven is involved, but that's because it is a bureaucracy and they live for paper. And yes, I agree with the problem being bureau-internal. I could maybe see a outside memo being given telling someone to reign in their Sidereal agent, but then it being left for the bureau to handle.

As to why Resonance is anima-related in my mind is because it is more an external effect than internal. "Should an Abyssal turn against his destiny and defy his mandate of darkness, his tainted power turns against the world around him, leaving the touch of the Abyss where he will not." Just my opinion.

Last, what I figured is that the Sidereal would have to screw up big time to get smacked and draw the direct attention of the Malfeans. The easiest way would by using the Moonshadow oath-binding, but it's just one idea. That does specifically say that the Malfeans are the ones enforcing the oath. I don't say you shouldn't let PCs do that, just that if they play with fire, don't complain if they get burned. Heck, let them get away with it once or twice, let them feel confident they're untouchable. Be creative. And personally, I'd say all Sidereals are vulnerable. Black Ice Shadow might be respectful enough of the dangers (the evil he knows and whatnot) to not want to risk that. But, in the end, it's up to the taste of the ST.

And perhaps saying they "gain Resonance" isn't proper, but I would say there could be similar sorts of curse manipulation going on. For me, it's a when you look into the Abyss sort of situation. If a non-Abyssal calls on the Malfean's power, there could be reprecussions, from the Malfeans gaining insight into this character, to some sort of curse. - haren

Rather than gaining Resonance, you could simply have a Black Miracle manifest on them at the same time as the oathbinding, with a Resonance value of the binder's Essence. That's pretty scary fire right there. - willows

I considered that as one, or a penalty (that lasts for some time, or until the character figures out a way to "cure" it) to social interactions as there's a sense of something not right. Yes, similar to Resonance, but would naturally bleed off given time, or could be cleansed without trying to make right with the Malfeans. Oh, and without the nasty, nasty penalty to virtue rolls that Resonance has. - haren

This whole discussion seems very strange to me. As I read it, the Charm replaces your anima banner with that of another type of Exalt (for five turns) ... it doesn't give you any of the anima powers (like sanctifying oaths). Am I missing something? -- BrokenShade

It says it replaces your anima banner and effects with those of another type and caste of Exalt. It's really a very effective Charm within the time limit. - haren

Ah. I see what you mean. ^_^ -- BrokenShade

If it bothers you to have Eclipse Exalted Ways martial artists sealing deals, just rule that the oath lasts as long as the character's anima power lasts for. For Eclipses, this is "forever", since it's innate to them. For the Exalted Ways user, this is.. what, five turns? You can still accomplish a lot in that time, if you are lucky and clever. - BillGarrett

Eclipse oaths last beyond their death... -- Senji

That's just fine. My view on this is a Post-It Note(tm) stuck to the pattern spiders' rec-room bulletin board reading "foresee any betrayal of this guy's oath and make that sucker's life hell a few times". The spark is what's powering that note, not the character's mortal shell. If for some reason the spark goes up in a puff of smoke, the spiders go "hmm, that's odd", and take down the note. If you play with the limited-oaths clause, then that note lasted for all of five turns, the spiders go "hmm, that was odd" and go back to their business. Then again, this is just for people who are bothered by random high-power martial artists compelling Heaven to manage their oaths. :) -- BillGarrett