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I was looking on Sabis's house rules, and he claimed that Coiled Cobra Stance was broken. HA! It is, admittadly, CONFUSING, but it isn't BROKEN.

It's sick.

Here, let me show you:

First, notice the duration: variable. This charm lasts until the character aborts to a defense, or splits his dice pool. Thus, it isn't a great defensive technique, but you soaker/regenerators will love it.

Let us assume I'm using a Dex 10 lunar with Savage Moonsilver Talons and two levels of Bestial Reflexes (this is meant to be extreme). With wits 5, we have a base iniative of 27. Against a DB with a jade daiklave, their best is only 16, at most. If I drop TEN from my iniative, I still have the advantage, and my maximum base attack dice pool is 32.

Assuming I can survive the first turn (rather likely), and he isn't dead after 32 full dice just slamming into him, the charm is still active... but I haven't activated my charm for the turn. There is nothing stopping me from turning on, say, parry charms or dodge charms that I may happen to have, so long as I don't split my dice pool, and I use my main dice pool to attack.

With a martial artist Lunar in Ebon Shadow Form (say, and using Elusive Shadow Flicker (or whatever it's called), we've got a Lunar with a decent defense, and an unbeatable offense

So no, I don't think it's broken, though I'm willing to admit it's a bit obscure to see the use of it. You really have to look for it. At first glance, it seems "Hey, I sacrifice init to gain attack" then you realize you can't defend on that turn... then you realize it never stops until you DO defend...


- Mailanka

Hey Mailanka.

I really respect your opinions when it comes to Lunars ... you do know your stuff. On this point I have to disagree however. ^_^

Reading the charm, it is (1) supplemental, and (2) refers to giving its bonus to "the attack" which is not a plural.

So although the duration is "Varies", I think this refers to the fact that it can terminate early, and is not implying that it can last more than one turn.

The termination clauses seem to be pointing out that if you don't use your initiative action to attack (i.e. parry, or full dodge), then you lose the benefit of the charm. This doesn't mean that if you use it for an attack in that turn, it will last longer.

As an aside, can it be comboed with this duration? I know it refers to not being able to do specific kinds of combo in the text (implying that it can do others) so ...?

What do you think? - BrokenShade

First, we begin with the duration: Variable. This means it lasts an amount of time as determined by some outside force. In other words, this doesn't last an arbitrary amound (an instant, a turn, a scene) but an amount of time that changes from use to use of the charm. Agreed?

So, the question is, what determines that amount? Well, nothing in the charm specifies outright, but we have some clues.

"This bonus cannot exceed the Lunar's Dexterity, coutns against the Exalted's Dexterity Charm dice, and only applies during turns (note: plural) when the character plans to make Brawl or Martial Arts attacks."

First, this charm effectively adds up to your dex in dice. Assuming that you're Dex 5, that's +5 dice for -5 init and 5 motes (1 mote per die). At this rate, Tyrant lizard is just as cheap, and more effective. One might assume that this is a slightly more effecient charm at, say, Dexterity 10, but considering the prerequisites, I think it is something more.

It goes on to state that you must attack during the turn that you activate, if you abort to a defense, the effects are lost, and you cannot split your dice pool during a turn that you "(use) Coiled Cobra Stance" which can certainly imply that in a turn when you are gaining the benefits of the charm, you cannot split your dice pool.

The example further seems to suggest that our heroine uses Coiled Cobra on her first turn of combat, and is still reaping the benefits of it on the second turn.

On the flip side, I see nothing in the text that suggests it lasts only a single turn. The duration doesn't hold true with that, nor does any of the descriptions of the ability. While it doesn't STATE that it lasts more than one turn, I wouldn't assume that it only lasts a turn since it doesn't actually state otherwise.

Do you see what I mean? ~Mailanka

I see your point Mailanka, but i beleive the other interpretation to be equally valid. As i'm lazy and like the changes i've already made to the charm, i'm not changing agian, but your input is duly noted and apreciated. =)


I still have to stick to my interpretation. ^_^ I'm like that sometimes!

The duration has to be variable ... it (A) starts before initiative is rolled in the turn, which it has to do since it adjusts the initiative total, and (B) ends either when you attack or at some other point if you don't attack.

So saying the duration is variable is obvious, and tells us very little. Not conclusive or even indicative.

And nothing says that the duration is determined by some outside force - I would say that is determined by the Exalt who uses the charm, in either interpretation. Not sure that this matters though. ^_^

Ok, it mentions turns plural. These turns do not all have to be for the same use of the charm. Even more likely, this is referring to the fact that you can't use the dexterity bonus to help you during turns where you do not plan to make an attack.

The charm also does not specifically define what it means by, as you mention, the effects being lost.

That's just my understanding of course, but it seems logical to me. Just as I am sure yours seems logical to you. Funny that! ^_^

Have fun! -- BrokenShade

Question, was looking at the combat section for Lunars and have a quick question. Foe-Driving Attack is a Melee Charm, and it seems to imply it requires being close because while arrows are useful they don't have much use for "force of arms". Would you allow it used with Archery? - haren

Hi haren! Now that is a good question. ^_^ My ruling is that

  • Lunar charms which cannot be used with a particular type of attack, say so
  • Foe Driving Attack does not say so
  • Thus it can be used with any type of attack (unarmed, melee, or ranged)

Conceptually, I can visualise repetetive arrow strikes driving someone back just as easily as I can view repetetive sword strikes doing the same.

Have a super day! -- BrokenShade

I think most people's problems with Lunars, have to do with the way charms are set up and the lack of five castes. Its just like the problem with Werewolf Gifts. The powers are different from the other types of Exalted and cause undo stress on the system. While I can understand that they spilt the charms the way they did due to the caste problem, but its a cyclical problem. Sabis had made some good suggestions as to how to fix it but its not perfect. I'm currently looking at his illusion charms, which I think he has posted here but I forget.

That and their goofy incompatability with Martial Arts. - SagaciousAscendingHero (name changed)

I disagree. - willows has made his stance on Lunars clear elsewhere and really doesn't want yet another Lunars flamewar to erupt from this comment.

I've been in the camp of people who say that Lunars are either lame or broken depending on the gift, and have entirely over-speed-bumped trees. While going over the Lunar Charms this morning as an effort to work on my final fix-the-lunars personal project, I've started to realize something. Mailanka, in general, is correct. I'm not sure if the specific example given is correct since I haven't spent a lot of time with Lunars-- but the Lunars don't bite the way they appear to at first, and as others have said-- the Charms just look weird. I'm beginning to revise my opinions of Lunars, which may ultimately end in me throwing out some of my 'fix the Lunars' stuff-- or at least, toning it down some. I think the shapeshifting-as-paths thing is a worthy idea, as is differential castes and appearance-based charms (which I haven't worked on yet). I'm not sure I want to continue the Caste Favored idea I've been kicking around with my paths; but I've begun to realize why Lunars don't get "true" permanents or persistents, and don't get "true" perfects.

It's because, thanks to the way DBT and dice-doubling/successes work, the Lunars are pretty freaking powerful as it is. Yes, they're going to be expending a lot of essence in combat to keep it up; but Solars, Sidereals, and Abyssals (at least in theory) are going to have to be expending quite a bit (often including willpower) to make defenses against the overwhelming Lunar hits and make AWD (or better, and despite the 1 mote cost, remember AWD does have that willpoer ding) style attacks to get around huge split defenses. So maybe DBT-style combat isn't broken; the lack of true perfect and persistent defenses means that their ungodly die pools are going to be probably split, and possibly just nullified. At the same time, if a target runs out of willpower or otherwise can't mount a perfect defense, it may take just a single shot to mutiliate them. I'm also pretty sure that just "keeping up with the joneses" is cheaper for the DBT'd Lunar anyway. This is also why Lunar Charms are incompatible with Martial Arts in combos-- you'd go from "Interesting variations that you have to think about" to overwhelmingly powerful with direct access to standard Celestial effects.

So, perhaps Lunar combat is balanced, rather than lopsided. That still leaves the problem of non-physical effectiveness. Lunar Survival charms are pretty damn effective. LunarLunarCommentary/Healing/ Charms are incredibly effective for swift treatment; something that I don't allow Solars until relatively high Essence. Lunar Perception can, to a small degree, be affected by DBT, and their perceptive techniques can work with some level of unison. (Note that Sense-Sharpening Change is scene-long, and Heightened (Sense) Method can be used two at a time). Stealth-Charms are /definitely/ modified by DBT in terms of raw effectiveness, and their non-direct Charms are pretty good.

It continues in that vein for some time with other abilities; and Lunar shaman/occultist types have the benefit of the No-Moon discount (which may, again, mean that I should just ditch the 'pick-your own' effect). Upon reflection, the Lunar Charms may actually /not suck/ or be oddly out of proportion in some places. I think the major problems that Lunars have had are (1) The whack-ass society and (2) the lack of Lunar NPCs with full strategic analysis.

Dragon-Blooded, Solars, and Abyssals are pretty direct in most of their Charm effects, although there are weird special effects for DBs and Abyssals, and Solars suffer from either "first book syndrome" in some cases (look how nifty the Sail Charms in Savage Seas are, for example) or "Being taught by people who are deliberately sabotaging them" (IE, cult of illuminated). But in general, their strategies are consistent. Sidereals get weird in some cases, and function with a different mechanic for their direct Charm Trees, but you can always default to Martial Arts, and their Funky Charms tend to be pretty badass.

Lunar Charms, however, are strange-- and require either experience playing/reading to work out proper tactics and workable combos, or would be vastly aided by the presence of a few Lunars worked out to the detail of the Wyld Hunt in Cult of the Illuminated. As far as I know, there's only one with detailed combos at all (Mnalif Nganto, in Blood and Salt; those combos, I think, have some interesting hints to Lunar Strategies); and three others who have neither combos nor strategies written for them-- Faithful Pia in Cult of the Illuminated, and Last Hunter of Xaal and Arr-D'gado in Kingdom of Halta. I'll note that those last two have the old cop-outs of "Along with any other Charms or Combos the Storyteller feels are appropriate". I may be missing a lunar or two somewhere, but I doubt that any will have that much detail to them.

Er, so, conclusion-- Lunars probably actually do work well, but they work differently than the vast majority of Exalts we've seen. Anyone have any experience running/playing fairly unmodified Lunars who'd care to share their wisdom? --IsawaBrian

Lunars work very well indeed if you drop the charm costs... I agree that the charms themselves are fine, but since they are indeed speedbumpish, you need rather a lot of them... I personally think 12/15 is way, way too high, and change it to 9/11 same as siddies, as then the lunars end up paying about as much as dragon-blooded, since they can almost never pick all-favoured charms. Other than that and the occasional useless charm like Steel Paw Style, they seem to work well... I havn't played one personally, but I've seen someone else play one, and he's to be quite honest as good or better in combat compared to the dawn caste swordmonkey.
-- Darloth

I don't think anyone ever seriously suggested Lunars can't hold their own in a low-Essence fight. If you're only talking about two Ess 3 or 4 Exalts with a similar number of Charms and no artifacts greater than 2-dot going at it, the Lunar will quite likely kick someone's ass. Yay for being street punks.

This and shapeshifting are the only times they are ever useful, and even shapeshifting the Solars can do better through Charms like Perfect Mirror. If Lunars are the fightmonkies of Exalted, they have to be able to stand one on one against a Sidereal- if not Solar or Abyssal- at the same Essence and experience total, and if the Lost Castes truly had any meaning at all, the Lunars are missing a number of Charms which could quantifiably be enumerated as 'a buttload.' - Arafelis

I play a lunar and it is easy. I use the normal charms, at the normal experience costs and my lunar is fully capable of hanging in there with all other types of exalts in combat, social intrigue, etc. I have custom charms as is expected, but only a handful. It is not difficult because there are only 3 castes, attribute based, problems learning martial arts, charms aren't as powerful as solars, yadda yadda yadda. I have the whole Earth Immacualte style, and a ton of other normal lunar charms. Once my lunar was set in his charms, I would pick up another martial arts charm. In this game we are 1000 point characters (playing for a long time now), and no where along the line were the solars and everyone else too much to handle for my Lunar. Not because the players picked poor charms or anything like that. To play a lunar you have to be creative. the charms just don't do it all for you. that is a solar. if you want to spend some motes and look at your perfectly running city, or flawlessly picked pocket, play a solar. Lunars shouldn't be as powerful as solars/abyssals. they are not suppossed to be. everyone should read Myriadofshades philosophy on exalts, charms and all that jazz. powerful stuff!

- Madoka

Linked this page from LunarsAreFine - anyone reading this is encouraged to drop by and give us a look-see :) -- BillGarrett