Discussions/SpellShatteringPalm

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Ok, this is so topical we at least need a thread on to keep for posterity (and so as NOT to rehash it forever).

Here are my thoughts ...

Where exactly would the problem with SSP come in?

(1) in a game where players play Solars
(2) in a game where players play Sidereals
(3) in a game where players play a mixed bunch.

If (1) then a good storyteller won't use it too often, in fact will only use it where appropriate. It will be believable, fun and cinematic, and ADDS to the fun of the game.

If (2) or (3), then if it is being used on NPC spells it is only a problem if you have a "bad" storyteller who

(A) allows the PC Sidereal to easily get close to the spell
(B) doesn't storytell the proper consequences.

If (2) or (3), then if it is being used on PC spells, the sorceror is perfectly capable of and likely to provide the consequences himself.

So truly, gameplay is not negatively affected by the existence of the charm.

To me that is what matters.

Anything is possible in Exalted ... at least for Celestial Exalted (I include Abyssals here as well as Solars, Lunars, and Sidereals).

You can kill the gods and smash their toys. You can certainly smash a Solar's toys. Don't expect to survive doing so though.

Hope this helps! ^_^ BrokenShade


I'm done on the WW forums, and I'm only going to explain my position here once.

My problem is not with SSP as a single particular charm. It is with the mentality of 'Since all things are possible, all things are brute forceable' and 'Solar Circle Sorcery is a niche, but Sidereal's MA niche trumps it'.

To the former, all things may be possible to the Celestial Exalted, but that doesn't mean all things are possible with a single Charm. It is posisble to achieve your goal despite SCS, despite it being inviolate to anything short of Adamantine Countermagic or an equivelently powerful effect. You get around it, you avoid it, you circumvent it, you research the spell and find it's exit condition. You don't just hit it with a bigger hammer.

To the later, Solar Circle Sorcery has both been an example of the Solar Schtik of Perfection since the core rule book, and to let Sidereal MA have the sole lock on breaking it does diminish that aspect of the schtik. That way lies madness and actual powercreep.

Bugger any question of if the Charm is balanced or fun for a moment, I'm thinking of the direction the line is devolping and how the precedent SSP may be used in the future.

- DariusSolluman


For Pete's sake! Do we really need to rehash this crap again?\\ _Ikselam

Well honestly, what did you expect in a discussion about Spell Shattering Palm? Why'd you follow the link if it was only gonna increase your blood pressure? And why the hell do you think I stopped trying to explain myself over at the WW Forums? - DariusSolluman


Seems to me, if it's that much of a problem, you could just make a Celestial or Solar Circle spell that trumps the effect, or makes it more difficult. For example, why not make a spell that temporarily boosts permanent Essence? Or just a spell that generally increases the difficulty to avoid or halt your spells? Or an Artifact. Or a Hearthstone. Or a Charm. - Balthasar

Because that shifts the onus of balance from the Sidereal who's cracking the spell to the Solar who's casting it. It's like saying that Solars can only cast Solar Circle Sorcery if they have the Mantle of Brigid. - Quendalon

For some strange reason, I don't think giving Solars the advantage is really all that out-of-genre. Call me crazy.  :-D - Balthasar

Then maybe I wasn't clear, because that's what I'm saying: the Solars SHOULD have the advantage here, and they don't. In practice, it's not much of an advantage if they need specially designed external aids to maintain that advantage against a simple Charm whose existence has been kept secret from them. - Quendalon

Aha. I see! Well, it doesn't bother me, much, to be honest. It's not HouseRules, so much as mechanics. The profundity of whether or not the new Spellboosting Occult Charm I'm giving a Solar is a crutch has no relevance to my decisions as a Storyteller. After all, if it's designed right, it will have other applications as well, such as boosting spells. Making spell-shatterers frustrated is just an added benefit. - Balthasar


Well, just to put my two cents in, I am not bothered by the basic concept of Spell Shattering Palm, and don't feel a huge desire to protect Solar Sorcery from ever being disrupted. Afterall, many Solar Sorcery effects can be laughed off by Heavenly Guardian Defense, which is only Essence 3. I do think, however, that it ought to take a higher essence charm than level 4 to disrupt Solar Sorcery. I would probably only allow Spell Shattering Palm to affect Terrestrial Sorcery (Essence 3) and Celestial (Essence 4), and require a higher level charm to disrupt Solar Circle. - JohnBiles

Hey, I totally agree; disrupting Solar Sorcery should be theoretically possible, but only to the biggest and baddest badasses Creation has to offer. So I think the version of SSP that can shatter the Solar Sorcery should be the Ultimate technique of a Sideral Secret martial art, or - and this is the thought that I think is fairly clever - why not rule thusly: SSP can only disrupt SCS if the martial artist a.) can use the Elder Sutra for that martial art, and b.) has the Elder Sutra active at the time they wish to disrupt a SCS with SSP. - DigitalSentience

That would prevent Solars from being able to disrupt Solar Circle Sorcery, since they can't use Sutras. This would be...strange. - JohnBiles

My quick-fix errata: Spell Shattering Palm. This charm automatically fails if the Martial Artist's permanent Essence is less than the Essence of the caster.

Protects niche; protects first-age solar spells; all spells are still possibly targetable; looks good. -Fifth

D'oh... I forgot that Solars could conceivably be seeking out this technique along with Sidereals. Yeah, the 'higher Essence only' version sounds good. - DigitalSentience


I'm inclined to note that while this is a seemingly logical fix, there are a whole lot of Sidereal charms (including the grandaddy of them all, which happens to be in the same MA form) that boost permanent Essence. Which admittedly makes the whole process more expensive and allows for some nifty "stopping the legendary, First Age whatsit" stories. Still, it's a potential problem with the quick-fix.

Perhaps limit the effect to disrupting the spell for a period of time (MA in turns, scene, whatever), and while permanent disruption is possible this would need the MAist to know what spell he was up against and discover where to hit it. There's also the often overlooked consequence of the unleashed essence, being at ground zero when a solar sanctum collapses explosively isn't going to be pretty (although I guess you could duck fate/avoidance kata your way out of it ;) ) - YerMum

Dammit, Soul-Fire Shaper Form didn't even occur to me; that does limit it somewhat, especially since SSP is a prereq and it's likely that having SSP means SFSF is on the way. Could jsut change it to "unmodified" Essence, but that doesnt' seem to fit thematically, at least IMO. I'll have to think about this... -Fifth

What don't get is, why is such a thing needed? Exalted goes out of it's way to make sorcery easy to counter. Countermagic is about as easy as any sorcery gets. Not to mention that sorcery is pretty useless in combat as it is, except vs mooks. What's wrong with requiring the Sidereals to just learn countermagaic like everyone else? It's not like it's that difficult to defend yourself from the Solar Circle Combat spells. (Or just wack the sorcerer in the head if your a martial artist). I would note that the closest sorcery equivilent, Technique Mirror, was removed from Savant and Sorcerer. -FlowsLikeBits, is positive no-one cares, but didn't want to forget

A month late, but what the hey... I think that the charm should work as advertised. However, if should be noted that the charm only disrupts the spell, but provides no protection against the explosion of essence that happens when a spell is disrupted. And your sidereal is at ground zero.

Congrats, you've managed to stop that horrible, icky solar's adamant circle spell, now if you didn't have to die from the backlash of said spell being disrupted or being 'dispelled'. Note that the shattered -shards- of the spell themselves are as powerful as many emerald circle spells, capable of killing unprotected mortals (or exalt), laying waste to the countryside... etc etc...

This is not counting the difficulty of the 'attack' roll that the MA needs to do unarmed, which is equal to the solar's essence and occult (10 at the least) ~ Haku

Actually, it's just Essence+Circle, so a max of 8. Give that you can throw all sorts of dice at MA attack rolls, this trivial. I still don't see why the Sideral can't just use Countermagic like everyone else? Besides, if a Sidereal SMA's lets the Sorcerer chant for 3 turns, and then can't get out of the way(which is pretty easy.Heck, Impeding the Flow would work.) they deserve what they get. Maybe if it was an unmodifed Int+MA roll, and the Martial Artist knew the relevant countermagic spells, I'd allow it. -FlowsLikeBits
Minimum of 8, actually. Especially as solars can conceivably get Essence boosters of some form or another also.
--Darloth
While I suppose I can picture Soul Fire Shaper Form as a occult charm, that's still a max of 13, which isn't that hard for a Martial Artist at Essence 5. -FlowsLikeBits

My house rule for this is short and (at least I like to think) elegant. You cannot shatter any spell you could not conceivably learn. You must own the Mantle of Brigid before you can conceivably learn SCS, Mr. Sidereal. One of the two big things that bothered me about this charm was the fact that at essence 4 it can do what SCS cannot: directly counter Void Circle Necromancy. Both of these Circles should be beyond the range of Sidereals unless great plot is undertaken to destroy them. There are a few ways I could see Sidereals destroying SCS or VCN, but all of them are very difficult and very unpleasant if you fail. . . -TzalFlameforge

Could always just turn the whole thing around on it's head though you know.. make a solar circle spell that utterly messes with a targets head, making their thoughts chaotic and unable to hold onto any kind of calm meditative state. Then see how the siddy likes it when they can't use their advanced martial arts charms ^^ FluffySquirrel

People have postulated that before. But then, we get into the arms race scenario, which just seems wrong, and it rapidly escalates into who can use their thingy first. It's also rather too similar to the outperfecting perfection debacle.
-- Darloth

I'd suggest that the imbalance comes not from the fact that SSP exists, but that (particularly with Soul-Fire Shaper Form), it's so damned cheap. If I toss 60 motes and 3 WP (and burn 4 turns) at you, I'd damn well expect it to cost you something to prevent my effect from going off. Why not simply require the SSP-user to pay the cost of the spell they are shattering, including the WP cost? That would make the Siddies think twice, would it not? - Hapushet

Hmm. My own thoughts on the matter are akin to Haku's: It acts like a countermagic of the same leve lof the spell. Which means.. WEll. Emerald Countermagic: 'Countermagic is not aclean or quiet proccess - spells in the midst of being cast are huffed out in a puff of essence, and already existing magics are deliberatly torn Asunder. While the magician who used the countermagic will remain safe, those nearby may receive minor flashburns, small fires may be kindled, and weak 'echo' effects of the disrupted spell may wash over the area.' (page 218, core rules.) Sapphire circle: 'The side effects of countering the spell are greater because more essence is released when the spell is cast. These side effects can even cause some damage, un cases where the countered spell is very powerful.' and Adamant? 'The side effects of countering Solar Circle Spells are very impressive - the shattered fragments of essence are themselves as powerful as many first circle spells. The effects of shattering a spell of the third circle can kill unprotected mortals and lay waste to the countryside - but compared t othe effects of a spell such as rain of doom, they are nothing.' Right. Now I've stated what we all know, I'll explain what I draw from this. I always visualise SSP assomething you might see in DbZ, or any other anime where you have powerful martial artists fighting a powerful sorcerer. You know the bit I mean: When the villain of the week tosses a spell that will destroy the city/country/planet, The hero dives in front of it, Makes a Kiai shout, and holds out his hand.. is engulfed by the ball of energy, a crater forms.. lifts.. spell explodes into fragments of energy, but doesnt' go off: Leaving the hero turn up, tired, but Unhurt. And everyone and everything in his immediate vicinity is screwed. So. If you get SSP in my game - MA 5, Essence 4 - It will work as published. a variant of Emerald countermagic, which can affect Adamant circle: But has no possibility to snuff out the magic with no side-effects, and involves a roll. and I /will/ be hitting anyone else in the area with something akin to DoOB. Anyone there you like? Oops. - Molikai

Hapushets idea is probably the one I'd most favour truth be told... if they had to expend the same amount as you, it wouldn't feel quite as bad.. and it'd still be a damn good charm, cause what they've been casting for 3 or more turns, you've just stopped in one. But as for the arms race thing dar.. personally, I see that as what would have happened in the first age anyway, you can bet no solar would be happy about a siddy being able to counter his godking supermagic. But this is all theory anyway, as BrokenShade said right at the beginning, you don't really ever expect it to come up that much. FluffySquirrel

In regards to an arm's race.. I can see Solar's getting a permanent charm that, say: Adds their essence to the difficulty of any roll ti counter their magic: If no roll is required, It now requires one at a reduced diff... Hmm. THat feels t ome like an occult X, Essence 5 charm. - Molikai

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