Celestial Defender Style
In the First Age, the Celestial Defender Style was favored by those who took upon themselves the responsibility of protecting those weaker than themselves. Whether it was a village or an entire nation, those under the protection of a Celestial Defender were well protected indeed.
The key to the Celestial Defender Style is learning to perceive weaknesses, both in your own defense and those of your opponent. By doing so, you may both strengthen the weaknesses in your own defenses and exploit those in your opponent's.
In the Second Age, there are few practioners of the Celestial Defender Style. Those who exist are primarily Lunars who have taken beastman tribes under their protection, and a few Terrestrial Exalts who have been initiated to the Celestial Martial Arts and taught these charms by gods who wish them to protect their charges.
weapons allowed:</b> Attacks made with a specially-weighted circular target shield or Celestial Shield (artifact version) count as unarmed attacks for practioners of this style.
<b>armor allowed:</b> none
<b>circular target shields
power combat statistics
Hand to hand:
Circular Target Shield</b>\\ Speed +0 Accuracy +0 Damage +5B Defense +4 Rate 1\\ Resources <b>•••</b>; Requires: Strength <b>••</b>
<b>Circular Target Shield</b>\\ Accuracy +0 Damage +4B Rate 1 Range 10\\ Resources <b>•••</b>; Requires: Strength <b>••••</b>
Hand to hand:
Celestial Shield</b>\\ Artifact <b>••</b>\\ circular target shield\\ Speed +0 Accuracy +1 Damage +5B Defense +5 Rate 2\\ Requires: Strength 2; Commitment: 5
<b>Celestial Shield</b>\\ Artifact <b>••</b>\\ circular target shield\\ Accuracy +1 Damage +6B Rate 1 Range 15\\ Requires: Strength 4; Dexterity 3; Commitment: 5
Celestial Shields, when attuned by a celestial exalt, exhibit that exalt's caste mark in the center of the shield. There is no mobility penalty for their use. When used as a shield, they provide the normal +1 difficulty bonus of a target shield. Their statistics do not include magical material bonuses.
Mantle of the Defender</b>
<b>Cost: 4 motes Duration: Indefinite Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 2 Min Essence: 1 Prereqs: None
The Celestial Defender becomes one with his shield. Practitioners of this style have an uncanny fluidity to their motions with their shields and bring them to bear against attacks with inhuman grace and speed. This charm allows the Celestial Defender to gain the normal benefit of a target shield (+1 difficulty added to all attacks against her) during any round in which the exalt actually touches her shield. The exalt also adds her Essence to the rate of the shield. Essence used to activate this charm is committed until the charm ends.
Defender of Others Method</b>
<b>Cost: 1 mote Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 2 Min Essence: 1 Prereqs: Mantle of the Defender
The exalt trains herself to look to the protection of others as well as she does her own protection. When making a parry, the exalt may activate this charm. Each parry that this charm is used in conjunction with may be opposed to any single attack upon any target within the martial artist's range of movement. This charm may be used with individual parries within a cascading parry.
Blow Absorbing Technique</b>
<b>Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 3 Min Essence: 1 Prereqs: Mantle of the Defender
The martial artist learns to absorb the strength of a blow by intercepting it at its weakest point and dissipating he blow's essence across the surface of her shield. When attacked, the martial artist may activate this charm, adding her essence to her shield bonus and increasing the difficulty of the attack.
Celestial Defender Form</b>
<b>Cost: 6 motes Duration: One Scene Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 4 Min Essence: 2 Prereqs: Defender of Others Method, Blow Absorbing Technique
The grace of the Celestial Defender defies description. She and her shield become one. As she perceives weaknesses in the flow of Essence, her shield moves to bolster them – or exploit them, as she wishes. For the duration of this charm, the martial artist gains a free cascading parry that does not count against her actions in the round and is wholly independent of her shield's rate, neither limited by it nor counting against it. These parries have all the benefits listed under Defender of Others Method as well. Her unarmed attacks are piercing. This is a Form charm; characters cannot use more than one Form charm at a time.
Everywhere Shield Technique</b>
<b>Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 2 Prereqs: Celestial Defender Form
The martial artist's tie to her shield is such that she may guide it by mere Essence, not even needing to hold on to it. She may toss her shield, using it to attack or defend at range, guiding it from a distance, until it returns to her hand at the end of the turn. The use of this charm does not extend the shield's range as a thrown weapon. While the martial artist has control of the shield, and can cause its path to describe a large arc, the shield cannot change direction dramatically once in flight without being able to ricochet off of objects. If there are such obstructions, the martial artist can exert tremendous control over the direction in which the shield bounces after impact.
<b>Cost: 4 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 3 Prereqs: Everywhere Shield Technique
By returning along the flow of essence of a parried attack, the Celstial Defender may return a blow to her attacker. This charm may be activated after a successful parry. When it is activated, the character may make a reflexive counterattack upon the individual who originated the attack with dice equal to the extra successes on the parry plus the character's Essence. This is a reflexive action and does not count against the rate of the character's weapon.
Essence Guided Defense</b>
<b>Cost: 8 motes Duration: One Scene Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 2 Prereqs: Celestial Defender Form
The martial artist is able to discern weaknesses on a purely instinctual level, such that her shield parries simply flow into the weak points of her defense. When this charm is activated, add a character's Essence in dice to all parries she makes for the remainder of the scene. She may also reflexively parry attacks she is not consciously aware of with her Essence.
Ultimate Protector Method</b>
<b>Cost: 5 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 3 Prereqs: Essence Guided Defense
The martial artist learns to channel her own Essence into her shield, causing it to dissipate even the most powerful of attacks. When a character uses her shield to parry an attack, she may activate this charm, suffusing her shield with glowing Essence. No dice are rolled, and the attack is halted. This charm can explicitly be used to stop sources of damage that are not normally able to be parried, including area effects and falling damage. Objects striking the character's shield when this charm is in effect will normally shatter unless they are magical. This charm does not allow a character to parry an attack that is made explicitly unable to be parried by another charm, nor does it stop perfect attacks. While this charm may be used to parry attacks composed entirely of Essence or energy (such as flame), it may not be used to parry attacks that lack a tangible component.
Thundering Shield Rush Attack</b>
<b>Cost: 4 motes Duration: Instant Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 2 Prereqs: Celestial Defender Form
The martial artist launches herself at a weak point in her target's defense, making a normal Martial Arts attack. When she strikes, there is a thunderous blast as she transfers the strength of her charge to her target. This attack is unblockable, but it may be dodged. The target takes normal damage from the attack. In addition, as long as the attack hits, the target is knocked back a number of yards equal to the extra successes on the attack plus the martial artist's Essence. If the target hits a solid object before reaching that distance, it will take one level of damage (typically bashing) per yard untraveled. This damage is soaked separately from the damage of the attack.
Lightning Shield Offensive</b>
<b>Cost: 3 motes/attack, 1 Willpower Duration: Instant Type: Extra Action Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 3 Prereqs: Thundering Shield Rush Attack
Essence crackles across the upper torso and shield of those who use this charm, as the grace of the Celestial Defender stylist is coupled with the speed of lightning.Upon activating this charm, the martial artist may spend 3 motes each for extra attacks, up to a limit of their Martial Arts. These actions must all be attacks, but they need not be against the same target. If used in conjunction with Adamant Defender Meditation or in a combo with Everywhere Shield Technique, these attacks may be used at range without a stunt.
<b>Cost: 8 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Instant Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min Essence: 3 Prereqs: Lightning Shield Offensive
The character's perception of weaknesses in the defenses of other has become incredibly acute. With this charm she can take advantage of these weaknesses with a precise strike. Activating this charm, she makes a normal Martial Arts attack. The difficulty of any defenses (parry or dodge) against this attack is raised by the character's Essence. The character's Essense is also subtracted from her target's soak. Characters using this charm may choose to do either bashing or lethal damage with their unarmed attacks.
Adamant Defender Meditation</b>
<b>Cost: 10 motes, 1 Willpower, 1 health level Duration: One Scene Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 5
Min Essence: 4 Prereqs: Avenging Blow, Ultimate Protector Method, Weakness-Pursuing Strike
Using her shield as a focus, the character enters a trance in which she perceives the lines of Essence that flow between all things. She realizes that as Essence composes her shield, her shield may exist in all places at once. She gains the benefits of Everywhere Shield Technique for the entire scene. In addition, with the shield as a focal point for her perception of Essence, she makes better use of it in halting her enemy's attacks. Provided that she gains at least one success on a parry attempt, she adds her Essence to the target's soak for the attack she attempted to parry even if the parry attempt was unsuccessful. This soak bonus equally applies against bashing, lethal, and aggravated damage.
I like it! Nice style - I got some very amusing visuals reading these Charms. - SMK
Can someone say Captain America? - Banquo
Spiffy. Throwing a shield every which way to fend off attacks on your friends is a very cool image, and all the Charms look balanced with no obvious loopholes or anything. I will now meditate on the combination of this style and my own defender Style among the lotus blossoms. Or, think about it in the kitchen while I make some food. Whatever. - DeadManSeven
Very cool. Heck, just being able to actually parry with a shield is cool. I like the style of this...uh style. -FlowsLikeBits
- Thanks! -szilard
Thinking about this style - while I am generally happy with it, it conceptually feels more like a Terrestrial Style than a Celestial one. -szilard
- Could be Terrestrial. I can't think of any cannon styles that focus on single weapon like this, except for Righteous Devil Style. There is something of a trend toward making esoteric weapon styles Celestial. Righteous Devil and the Autochtonian Thousand Wounds Gear style for example. Personally, I'd call it Celestial, as it lacks the "gimped" feel Terrestial styles tend to have, especially in their Extra Action charms(Lightning Shield Offensive). It also has the semi-perfect Ultimate Protector Method. I think it tends to feel Terrestrial due to the tight focus(which is nice actually, it's a good tight style). Powerwise, I consider it solidly Celestial, not to powerful, not to weak. -FlowsLikeBits
- Yeah - I designed it at a Celestial power-level, and I am actually pretty happy with how that worked out. The concern was more conceptual than power. I guess Righteous Devil is similar in that sense, though. - szilard