- Back to LunarsAreFine/Combat
Lunar Active Defense Charms
It's important to note that many Lunar defensive Charms operate under some sort of limitation. This table outlines some of the common limitations for comparison.
|Charm||Purpose||Requires defense action?||Initiative-limited?||Other limits?|
|Steel Paw Style||Parry lethal||Yes||No||No|
|Ground-Denying Defense||Reduce # of attackers||No||No||No|
|Golden Tiger Block||Success buyer||Yes||No||No|
|Wary Swallow Method||Parry||No||Yes||No|
|Feline Guard Technique||Parry||No||No||Yes|
|Crouching Tiger Stance||Parry-counterattack||No||Yes||No|
|Bowing Reed Technique||Full-dodge enhancer||Yes||No||No|
|Bending Before the Storm||Success buyer||Yes||No||No|
|Wind-Dancing Method||Hopping defense||Yes||No||No|
|Serpent Eye Defense||Dodge dice adder||No||No||Yes|
|Unmoving Bear Defense||Dodge dice adder & no-move dodge||No||No||No|
|Flowing Body Evasion||Semi-perfect dodge||Yes||No||Yes|
|Running Through the Herd||Redirect attacks||No||No||No|
|Snake Body Technique||Dodge attack back at attacker||No||No||Yes|
|Finding the Needle's Eye||Ranged parry||No||No||Yes|
Crouching Tiger Stance
Synergy Opportunities: Snake Body Technique, low-init weapons
This is an awesome boosted reflexive parry that comes with a counterattack if it succeeds-- similar to Crimson Palm Counterstrike, but cheaper, not tied to a specific Ability, and with a "only before your action" restriction.
This Charm is ideal:
- Against faster opponents. You can increase the size of this category by using a slow weapon, or not Dex-maxing-- note that the Charm itself grants you 2 extra parry dice, so you can get away with not Dex-maxing too much.
- When Comboed with a reflexive dodge that doesn't count as your action, so you can still use this Charm if the dodge fails. The Lunars have Unmoving Bear Defense, which is somewhat weak (until you get caught in waist-deep water and only you and the Fire Aspect can dodge anymore), and Snake Body Technique. Combo this Charm with SBT whenever possible-- it is the key tactic for a Lunar close-range active defense monkey-- it is the only way to get a fully reflexive full parry and dodge. Depending on which counterattack you're looking for, you may want to use SBT before this Charm, or after this Charm.
- When you can afford to delay your action. Note that in Classic Combat, you can do this all the time, but in Power Combat, you'll take accuracy penalties for it. In Power Combat, as a Lunar, you need to pick someplace in the initiative order you want to go and pick a weapon that goes with that.
Note that this Charm wrecks havoc on those without readily available full-pool defenses. It's an excellent Charm because it gives you both a parry and a counterattack without the need for a Combo and you can use it with Brawl, MA, or Melee, but it's not always practical for high-initiative Lunars-- plan accordingly. -TheMyriadOfShades
Snake Body Technique
Synergy Opportunities: Bending Before the Storm, Unmoving Bear Defense, with a parry
This Charm, hidden 3 Charms deep into Unarmed 1 (and also getting an init-adder and fulfilling the prereqs for the Unarmed dice-adder), provides a reflexive dodge against a Melee or MA attack. If the dodge succeeds, the damage from the attack plus the extra dodge successes are applied to the attacker-- there is no counterattack roll, and the attacker cannot parry or dodge the redirected attack. The Charm text states that if the SBT roll succeeds, the damage is applied to the attacker.
This Charm is ideal:
- Against all users of Martial Arts and Melee in hand-to-hand combat. The Charm is a bit expensive, 5 motes, but it provides the Lunar a fully reflexive dodge and redirects the attack, and can be Comboed with the Lunar Dodge Charms for even greater effect. Highly recommended against Sidereals, who tend to be MA/Melee dependent and who tend to have high damage but not very high soak.
- When the Lunar can use a parry, either with his action or Charm-driven, that will largely but not entirely turn aside the attack-- synergizes with how SBT works very well.
Synergy Opportunities: Foe-Taunting Utterance, or other effects that control initiative
This is a Reflexive Charm with a duration of one turn, and its use must be declared before initiative is rolled. The Lunar can effectively whittle his attackers down to (a) the fastest in the group and (b) any opponents with ranged attacks.
This Charm is ideal in two situations:
- Where the Lunar can more-or-less guarantee that he will win initiative. This is almost always true with Deadly Beastman Transformation, and much less reliable against Dragon-Blooded packing jade artifacts.
- Where the fastest opponent is also the weakest. Outside of Power Combat this is fairly easy to achieve; with the changes to weapon stats in PC, the longest (and often biggest) weapons now have equally-high Speeds, so be careful.
Note that this Charm makes it IMPOSSIBLE to even attack the Lunar in hand-to-hand. Attacks and defenses don't even begin to come into play. This means if you are confident your opponent has a wimpy enough attack for you to handle, you can disassemble or deflect him without even worrying about the others. In Power Combat, figure out the Rate of your opponent's weapon and allocate enough defenses to handle those (or just regenerate any resulting damage). -- BillGarrett
Unmoving Bear Defense
Synergy Opportunities: Snake-Body Technique (the power of SBT's counterattack increases with the more dodge successes you score-- in this Combo, UBD serves as both a defensive and offensive dice-adder)
The ability to dodge is useful, but dodging only works when you can effectively move. Some Exalted (notably the Dragon-Blooded) depend heavily on Dodge. Can your Lunar character put his opponents, and maybe himself, in a position where mobility is restricted enough to prevent this?
Examples of no-mobility conditions:
- In the water, or underwater (especially good for Lunars that have some sort of combative animal form, such as river-dragon, or DBT with Aspect of the Gillman)
- In the trees, moving from branch to branch. Note that many animal forms, like tree-dwelling cats and primates, are both able combat forms and wouldn't take the movement/mobility penalties in the trees that a human would (in addition to being vastly superior at climbing them in the first place). Also, remember that other Exalted may have Athletics Charms to restore their balance.
- Small quarters too small for a human to move around in, or especially thick and dense underbrush. A Lunar may be able to turn into a wolf or other form small enough to move, when a human-sized opponent cannot. In addition, one can use Rat Head Technique to be able to squeeze into such areas when in larger forms, such as in DBT shape
- more suggestions?
The big problem with Flowing Body Evasion is that it's Simple. That makes so little sense that I'm convinced it's a typo and it's meant to be reflexive and provide the dodge roll. Between the high cost and initiative limit, I think that's fine. Ground-Denying Defense ... that's got to be among my favorite canon Charms. Its only big problem is that it's unComboable, which means that the benefit it provides is, in some respects, negated if you want to be able to hit hard in return. I think a lot of the Lunar combat Charms, most notably defensive ones, have little holes in them like this that strike me as oversights in editing, rather than actual bad Charm design. Feline Guard Technique is another pet peeve of mine, if only because it's got so many limitations and exclusions. - David.
- Lunar parry/dodge Charms are generally divided into two camps - those that provide a reflexive defense, but before your initiative, and those that modify your regular dice action at any time. In other words, if you are surrounded by a lot of opponents, or you are facing a lot of attacks, your dice action should consist of defenses and movement. This is different from the Solar paradigm of "stand there and trade blows", but it works marvelously well if you imagine (say) a panther-totem Full Moon suddenly rushing through a pack of soldiers, tearing several of them open as he dashes by. -- BillGarrett
- I do agree with that image. Managing a Lunar in combat is a lot like managing a heroic mortal in that you have to pick your opportunities to attack, and hold back to defend a lot. That might be what I like most about Lunars. - David.
- DBs have to do it, too. The Lunar advantage is that its much easier to use their copious mobility enhancers to control the pace of the combat-- Lunars are king at hit-and-run. -TheMyriadOfShades
Are you sure about Serpent Eye Defense? I don't see anywhere in the charm that says it requires a defensive action. It's a reflexive dodge adder, can't it build from 0? I think the chart entry for it should read No, No, Yes (because of the "look at me" restrictions). -Vaegrim
- I don't have my Lunar book with me. Feel free to correct it if you are sure, and if not I'll do it myself when I'm back with my books. -- BillGarrett