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Imperiously Raised Eyebrow Style Martial Arts

The Dragon-Blooded tell a tale of the time of the Uprising, about an anathema who fled faster than they could follow, and had established a kingdom of armed men and women when they finally caught up with him. Unwilling to slaughter the innocents who lived in fear of their terrible god-king, the soldiers of the Dragons took the battle directly to the anathema itself.

A score of them burst into his throne room, resplendent in their fury. Without hesitation they attacked with spell or sword or arrow, and were dismayed as the being turned aside all blows with the slighest of movements. Gathering their resolve, they struck again with such fury as to shatter the stone walls of the room and leave gouges in the floor that remain to this day. Their opponent slew half of them with a casual gesture, and blasted the rest back with a contemptuous stance and a raised eyebrow.

The faith of the hunters wavered in the face of this powerful enemy, and their thoughts turned to flight. Their weakest survivor leaped forward to buy time for their escape, and his surprise attack scored a slight graze on the invincible anathema. Seeing this, his fellows charged to the attack, and discovered that despite his prowess, a solid strike from a grand goremaul killed him just like anyone else.

This is a celestial martial arts style based on reputation and fear rather than hitting people. Don't be fooled, though: at the higher levels it has some potent attacks. Oh, and fear the man who masters Imperiously Raised Eyebrow and a useful style for hurting people. Ouch. The tree goes...

 Superior            Invincible        Effortless          Mighty
Confidence -------->  Attitude    |--> Demolition ----->  Overlord -------------|
  Stance               Stance     |     Strikes            Gesture              |
                         |        |                                             |
                         |        |                                             V
                         V        |                                        Stance Of The
                     Imperiously                                            Invincible
                       Raised                                               Emperor In
                     Eyebrow Form                                           His Glory
                         A        |                                             A
                         |        |                                             |
                         |        |                                             |
                      Avoidance   |    Example-          Gaze Of The            |
Blow-Predicting --->   Through    |-->  Making  ------->  Wrathful   -----------|
     Eye             Observation        Prana             Emperor

This style is incompatible with the use of armour (what kind of Invincible Emperor hides behind plate?) but you may use any weapon with any charm in the tree except Effortless Demolition Strikes and Mighty Overlord Gesture.

Superior Confidence Stance

Cost: 1 mote + 2 per person\\ Duration: Scene\\ Type: Reflexive\\ Minimum Ability: Martial Arts 2, Presence 2\\ Minimum Essence: 1\\ Prerequisites: None

With a thought and a change of stance, the character allows her anima to make her force of personality an almost physical thing. Her posture commands respect, and attackers falter lest their blows invite overwhelming retribution.

You get +1 die on Presence rolls for the rest of the scene, and you may specifically intimidate as many people as you are willing to pay the Essence cost for. These people must roll Valour before they attack you with a difficulty equal to your permanent Essence. If they fail, they are at -1 die to attack rolls for every success they were short. This charm does not stack with multiple applications, and your victims only roll once per scene to see if they overcome its effects or not. You can re-activate the charm to target different people.

  • Um. For the majority of the time, you just made the Imperiosly Raised Eyebrow Technique more effective for fewer motes than the Dawn Caste Anima. Maybe drop the cost to 2 but require it to be used on an individual, case by case basis. Low end charms SHOULD be less efficent than high end, longer lasting ones.
    • Falcon - Point. I'll do that, or something like it.
  • Also, unless your specifically using FWW Universal MA Ability, it'd be better if there wasn't a Presence requirement- it makes it ugly hard for determining both Favored/Caste cost and minimums. DS
  • Generally, I prefer requiring an appropriate Charm as a prereq out of the relevant Ability. For MA this is silly, since MA is universal, instead I would recommend a mechanic that makes Performance necessry to use the Charm effectively; here I would simply change the Valour roll difficulty to Perf rather than Essence. This will</i> still create ridiculous diffs to overcome the effect, but it's less horrible at high levels and not only clears up mechanical ugliness, it also forces the character to diversify, which is a great benefit in low-level MA (see VBoS for a Style that doesn't force diversification and is, partly as a result, kinda boring.) - willows

Invincible Attitude Stance

Cost: Special\\ Duration: Instant\\ Type: Reflexive\\ Minimum Ability: Martial Arts 2, Presence 2\\ Minimum Essence: 2\\ Prerequisites:Falcon/SuperiorConfidenceStance

Building on the techniques learned before, the character is able to project such an aura of confidence that it can physically deflect blows. Even those who actually manage to harm the character are often reluctant to believe that they have done so.

When activated, this charm increases your bashing and lethal soak by a number equal to your Presence for one attack only. In addition, you may pay extra motes dependent on how hurt you are to convince your attacker that you are unharmed by his strike. (Quite apart from psychological effects, this works well in conjunction with charms higher up the tree.)

Wound             Cost To\\

Penalty 'Fake It'

  0                3 motes
 -1                4 mote
 -2                7 motes
 -4               19 motes

Blow-Predicting Eye

Cost: 3 motes\\ Duration: Instant\\ Type: Reflexive\\ Minimum Ability: Martial Arts 3\\ Minimum Essence: 1\\ Prerequisites: None

The character learns to keep a wary eye on his opponents, and is able to anticipate and avoid their attacks, adding to his image of superiority.

This charm lets you add your Perception in dice to a dodge or block attempt. Failing that, you can dodge or block using just your Perception as a dice pool.

  • Mm. I'm still iffy on this Charm- if you've got Perception 5, it's cheaper to add 5 dicec with it than with Reed in the Wind, which feels off to me, personally. DS
    • Falcon - It's true. Of course, this is more versatile, but 3 motes seems too expensive for what it does... On the other hand, first-tier martial arts charms aren't usually very good... Right, three motes it is. Now, what to do with the next one...

Avoidance Through Observation Practice

Cost: 4 motes\\ Duration: Instant\\ Type: Reflexive\\ Minimum Ability: Martial Arts 3\\ Minimum Essence: 2\\ Prerequisites:Falcon/BlowPredictingEye

With practice, the student of Imperiously Raised Eyebrow refines his observation of enemies to the point that he can avoid their attacks entirely while concentrating on something else, thus displaying his disdain for their feeble attempts at violence.

You may make an immediate defence roll against any single attack you are aware of using Perception as the base attribute. (That is, Per + Dodge, or Per + Martial Arts, or Per + Melee, or whatever.)

  • Comments about speedbumping go here. There is literally 0 advantage to using Blow Predicting Eye now. For the same 2 motes, I could roll just Perception or Perception+Martial Arts. - DS
    • Falcon - It's true. I was trying to level it with things like Dipping Swallow or Reed In The Wind. On the other hand, it's more useful than either of those because it's more versatile... 4 motes or 5? 5 seems a little steep, so I'll make it 4 for now.

Imperiously Raised Eyebrow Form

Cost: 5 motes\\ Duration: Scene\\ Type: Simple\\ Minimum Ability: Martial Arts 3, Presence 3\\ Minimum Essence: 2\\ Prerequisites:Falcon/InvincibleAttitudeStance"",Falcon/AvoidanceThroughObservationPractice

There are many lessons the Invincible Emperor must learn...

Bringing together the lesser elements of the style, the intermediate student of Imperiously Raised Eyebrow learns to simultaneously avoid her opponent's attacks and project her aura of confidence. Furthermore, she learns how to tie these two together, so that every failure by her attackers contributes to their fear and destroys their confidence in the face of her invincible composure.

For the rest of the scene, you may add your Perception in dice to all dodges and blocks you make. If you have no dodge or parry pool, you may reflexively dodge with just your Perception.

In addition, anyone who wants to attack you must make a Valour roll (diff 1) or be too overcome with fear and doubt. They may try again next turn. After this charm has been activated, every time an 'able combatant' (definition left intentionally vague) actually attacks you and fails - whether by missing, or soak, or Invincible Attitude Stance, or whatever - the difficulty of the Valour roll increases by one. Botches on this roll generally lead to panicked flight.

  • First, the Form should idealy not render the pre-Form Charms into speedbumbs. Why would anyone use Avoidance Through Observation Practice again?
    • Falcon - Well, ATOP gives you a better defence. I think you mean the other one, Blow-Predicting Eye. Maybe if you could use BPE to enhance your defences on top of the pool the form gives you?
  • Second, you don't specify the base difficulty of the Valor check to act against the character. Assuming it's 1, it would still rapidly skyrocket to enormous- most fights in Exalted have vast numbers of misses, which are a logical and inevitible part of the fight itself. Furthermore, if two Dragonblooded, each with Valor 3, fought one another with this style, the fight would probablly end in less than 6 seconds, with both too intimidated to do anything against the other. Requiring a Willpower check that starts at 1, rises when the character is not harmed for an entire turn by anyone, and caps out at the Exalt's Valor (or Essence, or Presence) would be way more in line with my expectations, and still fit the theme of the Charm. - DS
    • Falcon - I like the idea of 'not being hurt for an entire turn'. That makes it less powerful, and the difficulty does need a cap... I still think it should be Valour rather than Willpower, because it's all about courage. Maybe something like 'for every full turn in which you are unharmed (or use IAS to appear to be so), all attackers must make a difficulty 1 Valour roll or retreat in fear', and rely on the sheer volume of rolls to get the effect across?

Effortless Demolition Strikes

Cost: 6 motes\\ Duration: Instant\\ Type: Supplemental\\ Minimum Ability: Martial Arts 4\\ Minimum Essence: 2\\ Prerequisites:Falcon/ImperiouslyRaisedEyebrowForm

...and the first is, what you will becomes real...

One of the first advanced techniques of Imperiously Raised Eyebrow covers the ability to shape the world to your will. Such is his confidence that when the character believes his blows will strike true and deadly, they do. When he believes that armour offers no impediment to his strikes, it doesn't.

A barehanded attack enhanced with this charm does lethal damage. In addition, the target's lethal soak is reduced by the character's Willpower. If this wholly negates lethal soak bonus from armour, the armour is torn asunder by the attack. Armour made from the Five Magical Materials is immune to this latter effect.

  • Minor thing. Is that supposed to be a Sutra? On a Celestial Level MA? It just seems to pop outta nowhere. Other than that, looks good :) DS
    • Falcon - I just got the idea for it while writing up this charm. Don't think of it as a sutra, think of it as the mysterious ramblings that stereotyped martial arts masters go on about while teaching you kung fu. :)

Mighty Overlord Gesture

Cost: 3 motes per attack\\ Duration: Instant\\ Type: Extra Action\\ Minimum Ability: Martial Arts 4\\ Minimum Essence: 3\\ Prerequisites:Falcon/EffortlessDemolitionStrikes

...and the second is, your every gesture affects the world...

With practice, the character is able to infuse her slightest gesture with the essence of her mightiest blow. No longer constrained by having to firmly strike her opponents, she may casually sweep aside whole groups of attackers. The most typical gesture used is a dismissive backhanded slap.

You may take as many attack actions this turn as you are willing to pay for, to a maximum of your permanent Essence. Each attack counts successes on the attack roll twice for determining damage.

Example-Making Prana

Cost: 5 motes + 1 mote per die\\ Duration: Scene\\ Type: Simple\\ Minimum Ability: Martial Arts 3, Presence 3\\ Minimum Essence: 2\\ Prerequisites:Falcon/ImperiouslyRaisedEyebrowForm

...and the third is, you must lead by example...

Despite the fear that acolytes of Imperiously Raised Eyebrow cultivate in their opponents, sometimes an example is necessary to drive home just how unpleasant their anger can be.

If, while enhanced by this charm, you knock out or kill someone, you may immediately make a reflexive Charisma + Presence roll against anyone who saw you do it. You may buy extra dice for this roll up to the normal maximum. You may target this intimidation effect against as many people as you like, but the successes you roll must be divided as equally as possible between them.

If you score more successes than four times their Valour, then the target is so impressed and intimidated by your power and authority that they cave in instantly. Depending on their personality, they may retreat, run screaming, or prostrate themselves on the floor and beg for mercy. Generally speaking, they will do almost anything you command them to. They may spend a Willpower point to overcome the effects, but this only lasts for a single turn.

If you score more successes than twice their Valour, then the target is frightened by your example, but not beyond reason. They will act rationally to avoid becoming the next example, but that is all.

Fewer successes indicate a terrible act of brutality, but nothing more.

Note that the rolls involved in this charm are subject to circumstancial modification depending on who you're trying to intimidate - people with low Compassion are harder to shock this way, for example.


Wow! what a cawl MA! Trueform

Neat Charm names. I await their descriptions. - Quendalon

Coming right up... - Falcon

Falcon - Right... there's a lot of comments from DS on here at the moment (I know you're reading this right now :P ) based on the idea that this is a Terrestrial martial art. It isn't. All of my styles are celestial unless otherwise mentioned. I said that on theFalcon/Charms section, but I didn't think about people jumping straight to this page. Consider it fixed. The other stuff I'll just do case-by-case.

Fair enough :) I'll nix the comments to the effect of 'Terrestrial Style? Buwah?' DS

Falcon Also a point from DS that I'll address here... a lot of these charms have Presence requirements as well as Martial Arts ones. It is still a martial arts tree, and a martial arts style, and the idea that was initially behind it (chi-focus through supreme willpower and self-belief) is more a martial arts one than a presence one. Really, just think of it as a martial arts tree with some extra prerequisites in here and there.

The style would be a lot more approachable if it were all on one page, like the other styles on the wiki, rather than being divvied up into a whole bunch of separate pages with one Charm each. - Quendalon

Falcon - Hmm. Possibly. I prefer this method, although I'll admit it does have its flaws. If enough people bug me about it, I'll change it. Maybe I'll do the next one in the traditional format. We'll see.

I also want you to group the Charms together. Not only is it a more compact, accessible presentation, it also avoids spamming RecentChanges.\\ _Ikselam

Falcon - Okay okay I give up. I'll fix it when I next have time. Wednesday, probably. It is a good point about spamming RecentChanges. Sorry about that - I keep forgetting to check the minor edit button. I'll also admit to not reading the formatting guidelines before getting stuck in. Mea culpa, etc. I didn't even realise there -were- formatting guidelines. Or so many. So many things to change, so little time... (I'm supposed to be actually playing Exalted in 45 minutes or so...)

I was so annoyed that I put all the Charms on one page for you, with their accompanying comments, if any were interesting enough to preserve. The individual pages still exist, though. - willows the layout police

Falcon - Cheers. :)