(Yes, another one.)
Crane Style is one of the many animal styles practised by the Solar Exalted, and its origins are as ancient as martial arts themselves. It focusses primarily on defence by surprising movements, with many circular flourishes to confuse and disorient opponents, and rapid motion from seemingly static postures to dodge strikes and position the martial artist for counterattack or escape.
All of the charms in this Crane tree can be used with spears or dire lances, with the exception of Downward Striking Crane's Beak which has to be used with bare handed attacks only, and Crane Finds Defence In Assault, which must be used with kicks. None of the charms can be used with armour.
For people who don't like this version of Crane Style, might I recommand Quendalon's White Crane Style at MartialArts/WhiteCraneStyle""?
Poise of the Preening Crane</b>
<b>Cost: 4 motes Duration: Scene Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 2 Min. Essence: 1 Prereqs: None
One of the first things any practitioner of Crane Style must learn is the poise and balance required to adopt even the most basic forms of the style. Although as the student learns, his balance naturally improves, the supernatural ability to remain upright no matter what happens continues to be useful.
Mechanically, this charm is identical to the Solar Athletics charm Graceful Crane Stance. In fact, if an Exalt knows Graceful Crane Stance (or some other perfect balance charm of similar or greater power) he need never learn this charm, and is considered to know it for the purposes of filling the prerequisites for Crane Form.
Wheeling Wings of the Crane</b>
<b>Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 3 Min. Essence: 1 Prereqs: None
The student of Crane Style quickly learns the peculiar circular blocking motions intended to emulate the way a crane uses its wings to keep its enemies at a distance. By keeping his arms whirling in front of him, the martial artist learns to guide and deflect attacks without having to touch the attacker.
This charm adds a number of dice equal to the user's martial arts score to a single martial arts parry. It also allows him to parry lethal attacks (but not projectiles) without a stunt.
Wary Crane Keeps Its Distance</b>
<b>Cost: 5 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 3 Min. Essence: 2 Prereqs: None
When a crane must fight it does so from as far away as possible, staying just far enough away that they cannot touch it while striking back with its superior reach. This too, the student must emulate.
This charm may be activated immediately after a successful dodge in melee combat. As a reflexive part of the dodge, the Exalt moves up to eight yards away from his attacker, taking him out of the reach of almost all weapons. If the attacker cannot move (or has already used up all of his movement for the turn) he must forgo any further attacks against the Exalt. If he can move, the Exalt can simply activate this charm repeatedly, hopping away until the attacker runs out of movement or attacks.
Downward Striking Crane's Beak</b>
<b>Cost: 4 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 3 Min. Essence: 1 Prereqs: None
One of the most distinctive aspects of Crane Style is the 'beak-hand' made by pointing all the fingers together with the thumb to emulate the pecking motions of a fighting crane. When charged with essence, a martial artist can make jabbing attacks that can punch holes in all but the most solid armour.
Attacks enhanced by this charm reduce the target's soak from armour by the martial artist's Essence. At the GM's discretion, armour may be damaged or destroyed by repeated applications of this charm.
<b>Cost: 7 motes Duration: Scene Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 4 Min. Essence: 2 Prereqs: Poise of the Preening Crane, Wheeling Wings of the Crane, Wary Crane Keeps Its Distance, Downward Striking Crane's Beak.
The martial artist adopts the unconventional stance of a fighting crane - arms wide and spread, one leg raised and ready to kick. Despite the odd appearance, the rigorous training of a Crane fighter ensures that this stance is not as vulnerable as it would seem.
While this form is active, the martial artist adds his Essence to his bashing and lethal soak totals. He may also reflexively parry or dodge incoming melee attacks with half his Martial Arts score (round up), and adds his Martial Arts in dice to all 'declared' dodges or parries. Finally, if he is knocked down, over, or away, or otherwise loses his footing, he may automatically and reflexively roll to (or land on) his feet.
Crane Finds Defence In Assault</b>
<b>Cost: 5 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 4 Min. Essence: 3 Prereqs: Crane Form
Just as the crane keeps attackers at bay with its long legs and graceful movements, so a practitioner of Crane Style can use his powerful kicks to propel himself - and others - around the battlefield.
This charm can only be used to enhance unarmed kicking attacks. Kicks enhanced with this charm increase their base damage by the Exalt's Essence, and generate knockback of one yard per pre-soak damage die. This knockback can be applied to either the target of the kick as normal, or can be used to propel the kicking character around in a more controlled fashion, allowing him to 'kick off' targets to escape or better position himself.
The Flying Crane Dances</b>
<b>Cost: 6 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Scene Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 4 Min. Essence: 3 Prereqs: Crane Finds Defence In Assault
Masters of Crane Style are incredibly graceful combatants, dancing through rank upon rank of enemies without suffering a scratch. They seem almost weightless as they glide through the air and flow away from even the fastest attacks, such is their skill at movement.
With this charm in effect, the Exalt can act as if he is almost weightless. He exerts no pressure on surfaces he stands on unless he chooses to do so, and gains his Martial Arts as a free reflexive dodge pool against all melee attacks. This stacks with the ability granted by Crane Form if the Exalt is using both. He may add his Martial Arts score to his initiative totals. Finally, his jumping ability is tripled and he need not touch any surfaces at all as he moves, although this latter effect is blatantly magical.
In A Storm Of Feathers, The Hydra Bites Itself</b>
<b>Cost: 5 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 4 Min. Essence: 3 Prereqs: Crane Form
Crane Style martial artists are taught to remain constantly in motion, and to move in unexpected ways and directions. As they increase in ability, they become able to distract and confuse their opponents in combat, turning their enemies' numbers against them.
When activated, this charm allows the Exalt to make a martial arts parry at his full dice pool against a single melee attack. If the parry is successful the attack may be redirected to hit any other target in melee with the Crane stylist, using the extra successes on the parry as the base number of successes on the new attack.
The Penultimate Teaching of Reach</b>
<b>Cost: 10 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Scene Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 4 Prereqs: In A Storm Of Feathers, The Hydra Bites Itself
The sublime master of Crane style has learned all of the tricks that can be used to keep opponents at a comfortable distance: close enough to strike, but too far away for them to retaliate. No opponent can get close without first weathering a storm of blows, and few dare to face a master's wrath.
Once activated, this charm provides the Exalt with a single counterattack at normal dice pool (Dexterity + Martial Arts) against every melee attack that is directed her way, whether they hit or not. In fact, if the Exalt successfully makes an active defence against an attack (i.e. reduces attack successes to 0 with a parry or dodge), any extra successes on the defence are added as automatic successes to the counterattack roll.
Otherwise, this is a normal counterattack charm and follows all the usual rules thereof.
A Place For All Things</b>
<b>Cost: 6 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 3 Prereqs: Crane Form
The true master of Crane style knows that all things have their natural place in the order of things, and the rightful place of his attacks is in the vulnerable spots of his opponents. Guided by such conviction and the flows of essence, the martial artist can strike devastating blows.
Once damage dice have been calculated but before they are rolled, the Exalt may activate this charm to do one of the following things:
- Double the number of post-soak dice of damage the attack inflicts.
- Convert all the post-soak damage dice into a dice pool penalty to the target that persists for the martial artist's Essence in hours.
- Roll the post-soak damage as normal, but heal that many health levels of bashing or lethal damage.
- Count the post-soak damage dice, and reduce the target's current dice pool penalty (from injury, pain, etc.) by that many levels. (This effect lasts for the martial artist's Essence in hours.)
This charm may only be activated once per successful attack. Other effects may be brought about at the GM's discretion.