MartialArts/CrimsonPanoplyOfVictoryStyle1

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Crimson Panoply of Victory Style

The Crimson Panoply of Victory teaches this style to its bannerbearers, champions, and generals: those who will be remembered for carrying its name. Its form weapons are the spear and fighting gauntlet. Shields with no mobility penalty do not inhibit the Style, but heavier shields are incompatible.

I wrote this Style up in two variations. They are both identical before the Form. After that, the Balthasar Variation follows Joel's notes more closely, while the Moxiane Variation develops some ideas that I had with Moxi and others in #wod.

Charms

Prowess of Historic Calm

Cost: None
Duration: Permanent
Type: Special
Min. Martial Arts: 2
Min. Essence: 1
Prereq Charms: None

The student of the Crimson Panoply has seen every battle there ever was worth seeing - and a few others besides. This lends him the experience to expect every tactic; it is nearly impossible to surprise him. No mortal tactical surprise will find the adept unprepared - and supernatural attempts are likely to fail: he may add his Martial Arts to any defensive pool a supernatural ambush permits. This has no bearing on perfect ambush effects, however.


Splendid Fruit-Bearing Triumph

Cost: 5 motes
Duration: Varies
Type: Simple
Min. Martial Arts: 2
Min. Essence: 2
Prereq Charms: Prowess of Historic Calm

The fruits of victory, to the student of the Crimson Panoply, are more than metaphorical in nature. This Charm draws on bloodlust and glory, and funnels them into power. Immediately after he is victorious in battle, he is bouyed by inner strength and nourished by it. If the martial artist is victorious in single combat, he need not eat, drink, or rest for a day afterward. If he leads an army into battle and wins, then he is sustained for as many days as the highest Permanent Essence of a foe he defeated. Once this effect is concluded, he must live on mortal sustenance for one full day before this Charm can take effect again.

Multiple applications of this Charm are not cumulative, but its duration can be extended. If, two days after the adept defeats an Essence 3 foe in mass combat, he defeats an Essence 5 foe the same way, then he need not eat for two further days - as if he had defeated the Essence 5 foe to begin with.


Reaching for Heaven's Eye

Cost: 6 motes, 1 Willpower
Duration: One Scene
Type: Simple
Min. Martial Arts: 3
Min. Essence: 2
Prereq Charms: None

The adept's study of the Sixteen Efficacious Extensions of Space allows him to reach farther and more gracefully across the battlefield. He increases the distance which he can attack across. Normally, unarmed Exalted can attack targets within one yard, and those bearing mortal spears can attack at a range of two yards. Unusual users of the Style, such as very large or small gods, may have different basic attack ranges. When using mortal weaponry, the Exalt doubles these distances.

When using supernaturally pliable Artifact weaponry, or Essence weapons that respond to will as well as motion, the Exalt's understanding is applied even more effectively. Instead of doubling his attack range, he multiplies it by his weapon's Artifact rating (for Artifacts, minimum 2), or his Essence (for Essence weaponry and godly attributes such as a Crimson Banner Spear of Hu Dai Liang.)

For this Charm, I had to explicitly define attack ranges...which are implicit in the Core, and supposedly abstracted out in Powercombat though really they're not. They are important for much of this Style's functions.


Chariot Splinter Cloud

Cost: 4 motes
Duration: Instant
Type: Reflexive
Min. Martial Arts: 4
Min. Essence: 2
Prereq Charms: Reaching for Heaven's Eye

The master of battles will brook no cowardice on his field. When someone within his attack range attempts to flee, he instantly becomes aware, and may activate this Charm in order to launch an immediate hamstring or trip attack in order to halt his escape. This is a standard Martial Arts attack, and after the attack is resolved, if it is not completely dodged, the victim must succeed at a reflexive Dexterity+Athletics roll at Difficulty 2 or be knocked down and lose all further movement this turn; he cannot cross any distance without the aid of movement-enhancing Charms.

When attacking vehicles with this Charm, there is no roll to escape being knocked down; if the attack lands, then the vehicle is stopped automatically, barring the use of Charms to reenable its movement.

This Charm is a type of counterattack, though the action it interrupts is not an attack action. It cannot be counterattacked.

Balthasar Variation [#balthasar]

Crimson Panoply of Victory Form

Cost: 7 motes
Duration: One Scene
Type: Simple
Min. Martial Arts: 5
Min. Essence: 3
Prereq Charms: Splendid Fruit-Bearing Triumph, Chariot Splinter Cloud

Millennia of study and practice culminate in the Crimson Panoply of Victory Form, which sports a striking and fearsome array of abilities. Assuming the attitude of an ancient general, the adept spits on trivial injuries to his person; he soaks Lethal and Bashing damage both with his highest soak value. He also learns to use the movements of troops and melees to his advantage; for every foe within his attack range, he adds 1 die to his Martial Arts attack pool. He can add no more dice than his permanent Essence in this manner.

Finally, he is able to interweave his understanding of magical power and combat technique, in order to take sorcerous advantage of chinks in his opponents' defences. Each turn, the Crimson Panoply of Victory Form provides the martial artist with a number of counterattacks equal to half his Essence. He can use one of these whenever a foe within his attack range attacks any individual, including himself, who is enacting the Crimson Panoply of Victory Form. After the provoking attack is resolved, he performs a Martial Arts attack against the foe.

This Charm may be placed in a Combo with Supplemental and Simple Charms as though it were an Extra Actions Charm. In other words, it takes up the Extra Actions Charm slot of the Combo, and the actions it generates are affected by the Charms it is Comboed with. Unlike a normal Extra Actions Charm, however, it generates these actions (its counterattacks) over a duration of the scene rather than instantly. Doing this does not permit the user to take any actions when he activates the Combo, nor is he forced to pay the mote cost of the Charms that have been Comboed with the Form at that time. The Form takes effect normally. Instead, the Combo binds the Simple and Supplemental Charms into the counterattacks the Form provides; instead of being normal counterattacks, he must pay the cost of the Comboed Charms (but not the Form itself) whenever he uses one of the counterattacks that the Form provides, and their effects take place. This counterattack-bolstering effect does not count as the adept's charm use for the turn. When used in this manner, the motes spent to retain the Crimson Panoply of Victory Form are committed, but the Charms affecting its counterattacks are not.

This is a Martial Arts Form-type Charm, and is incompatible with armour or other Forms.


Culling the Wounded[#ctw]

Cost: 4 motes
Duration: One Scene
Type: Reflexive
Min. Martial Arts: 5
Min. Essence: 3
Prereq Charms: Crimson Panoply of Victory Form

A broken and battered army is easier to crush than one that is whole. Like the ocean inexorably tearing bits away from a cliff till it collapses, the martial artist cuts away at his enemy one strike at a time. Each time he successfully strikes a foe, he adds 1 to the damage of his attacks. On his initiative each turn, this bonus resets to zero.


Yawning Canyon Collapse[#ycc]

Cost: 1 mote
Duration: Instant
Type: Reflexive
Min. Martial Arts: 5
Min. Essence: 3
Prereq Charms: Culling the Wounded

Sometimes the foundations of belief will crumble beneath a person's feet, and his confidence collapses to rubble. Sometimes the earth opens like a hungry mouth and devours anyone standing upon it, without reason or warning. With this Charm, the adept can make a victim's world crumble on false premises.

After he performs an attack and before soak is applied, the adept may choose a new target for the attack. If the original target had attempted to defend against this attack and had any success in doing so, then the new target may not use that type of defence against it.

The first time someone experiences this technique, it is shocking and baffling; once per scene per target, the adept can ambush the target with this Charm.


Stirring the Calm[#stc]

Cost: 4 motes, 1 Willpower
Duration: Instant
Type: Simple
Min. Martial Arts: 5
Min. Essence: 3
Prereq Charms: Crimson Panoply of Victory Form

The warrior's unshakeable confidence inspires dark and upsetting understandings in others. His steady gaze awakens a premonition in his opponent, a vision of defeat at the master's hand. The martial artist rolls Awareness + Martial Arts; he may add half, rounding up, of the Damage bonus of his fighting gauntles, as well as a gauntlet Specialty if he has any, to this roll. The target may reflexively resist with his Conviction + Valor. If he fails, then the vision is only vaguely unsettling, and the victim loses 1 Willpower. If he succeeds, then the vision cuts away at the victim's belief in himself, imposing a 1-die penalty per net success on all actions against the martial artist. This penalty persists for as many turns as the user's permanent Essence.


Spear Becomes All[#sba]

Cost: 5 motes
Duration: One scene
Type: Simple
Min. Martial Arts: 5
Min. Essence: 4
Prereq Charms: Stirring the Calm

More than a technique, this Charm is a state of mind. The battlemaster is lost in a maze of awareness; he sees the battle around him as a pattern of motion, a system of interconnected forces. The only thing between him and the world is his spear. He adds his permanent Essence to the dicepool of all combative actions using his spear. This is a bonus derived from Charms, and cumulative with other bonuses, can no more than double the warrior's Dexterity + Martial Arts pool. Though the Crimson Panoply Style can be used bare-handed and with fighting gauntlets, this Charm functions on the spear alone.

While using this Charm, the adept is completely incapable of communicating with others; he cannot distinguish friend from foe, nor can he give or recieve orders.


Circle Swallows the Unwary[#cstu]

Cost: 6 motes
Duration: One Contest
Type: Simple
Min. Martial Arts: 5
Min. Essence: 3
Prereq Charms: Crimson Panoply of Victory Form

In the forests of the east, the forgotten ancestors of the Djala people, painted in yellow and green, seem to vanish in the bamboo, only to appear surrounding their enemies on all sides. The bannerbearer's tactical insight allows him to arrange these kinds of uncomfortable situations for his enemies; in any personal contest between two parties, such as a show of dominance or freestyle rap duel for honor, the adept may maneuver his opponent into a surprising trap. This requires a roll of Manipulation + the relevant Ability, resisted by a reflexive roll of the opponent's Awareness. For each net success on this roll, the opponent suffers a difficulty penalty to one of his rolls for the contest. The adept can choose how to arrange these penalties, but may not apply a difficulty penalty greater than his Essence to any single roll.


Wheel of Thorns[#wot]

Cost: 5 motes, 1 Willpower
Duration: Instant
Type: Extra Actions
Min. Martial Arts: 5
Min. Essence: 4
Prereq Charms: Yawning Canyon Collapse, Spear Becomes All, Circle Swallows the Unwary

In a dizzying blur of blood and tears, the master attacks all within his reach. He makes a single Martial Arts attack roll; every foe within his attack range defends from this attack individually. This Charm can be placed in a Combo with Melee or Brawl Charms.

Moxiane Variation [#moxiane]

Crimson Panoply of Victory Form

Cost: 7 motes
Duration: One Scene
Type: Simple
Min. Martial Arts: 5
Min. Essence: 3
Prereq Charms: Splendid Fruit-Bearing Triumph, Chariot Splinter Cloud

Millennia of study and practice culminate in the Crimson Panoply of Victory Form, which sports a striking and fearsome array of strengths. He is able to interweave his understanding of magical power and combat technique, in order to take sorcerous advantage of chinks in his opponents' defences.

The adept can bind as many Charms into the activation of the Crimson Panoply of Victory Form as his Essence - up to one Simple Charm, any number of Supplemental Charms, and any number of Reflexive Charms. All of these Charms must be able to affect Martial Arts attacks. He commits the Essence cost for these Charms in addition to the Form's cost itself. For variable-cost Charms, he must choose how much to pay at this juncture. Some of the Charms of the Crimson Panoply of Victory Style permit the user to make counterattacks. Each time that the adept uses one of these counterattacks, he may pay 1 mote per Charm bound into the Form. This causes the counterattack to take the shape of the Charms that the Form binds:

  • If a Simple Charm is bound into the Form, then the action created by the Simple Charm replaces the simple counterattack. Regardless, it must be an attack against the target that provoked it.
  • If any Supplementals are bound into the Form, then all their effects apply to the counterattack.
  • If any Reflexives are bound into the Form, they must be able to be used supplementally to affect an attack. The character has the option to use their effect or not, as he wishes.

This counterattack-bolstering effect does not count as the adept's charm use for the turn. This is a Martial Arts Form-type Charm, and is incompatible with armour or other Forms.


The following are as in the Balthasar Variation:


Circle Swallows the Unwary

This Charm is replaced by:

Smoking Banner Sensibility

Cost: 5 motes, 1 Willpower
Duration: One scene
Type: Simple
Min. Martial Arts: 5
Min. Essence: 3
Prereq Charms: Crimson Panoply of Victory Form

The adept's training allows him to use the movement of a battle to great advantage, manipulating opponents into uncomfortable positions and striking at them when gaps appear in their defences. Like a rune of smoke, he seems wrap effortlessly around things, outlining space with his motions. Using the movements of troops and melees to his advantage, he adds 1 die to his Martial Arts attack pool for every foe within his attack range. He can add no more dice than his permanent Essence in this manner. In addition, each turn, the Smoking Banner Sensibility provides the martial artist with a number of unarmed Martial Arts counterattacks equal to half his Essence. He can use one of these whenever a foe within his attack range attacks any individual, including himself, who is enacting the Crimson Panoply of Victory Form or this Charm. After the provoking attack is resolved, he performs a Martial Arts attack against the foe. This Charm is incompatible with armour.

Comments

Splendid Fruit-Bearing Triumph feels... well, not like a Martial Arts Charm. And I'm not sure it's really that appropriate for the Crimson Panoply. I mean, the true warrior foregoes nourishment for the sake of victory, rather than achieving victory for the sake of foregoing nourishment. :) Not that it's a bad Charm, I'm just not sure it belongs here.
Reaching for Heaven's Eye: what about supernaturally pliable weapons with an Artifact rating of 1? No bonus at all, by the current formula. - Quendalon

Yeah, I didn't exactly know what to do with Splendid Fruit-Bearing Triumph. Division Styles are weird because you want to make them Siderealy...but not too Siderealy. I'll think on it. As for RFHE, I don't imagine that there are very many Artifact 1 spears, but I'll put in provision for that. - willows

The Form Charm seems a bit strong for a Celestial-level Form Charm. Also, the Combo ability feels weird; I can't see why it's necessary, and its special combo rules give me a headache -- are you Comboing the other Charms with the counterattacks? - Quendalon

I'm really more interested in the Comboing ability than the other effects; is the dice-adding too much? Maybe it should have a lower cap, like MA or Essence. Yes, you're essentially Comboing with the counterattacks. - willows
The combo rules for the Charm need to be rewritten, because right now it's seriously unclear. Do you only get to activate the Combo on the turn you activate the Form, or are you engaging the Combo on later turns, while the Form is up? Can you really activate the Combo during the same turn that you activate other Simple and Extra Action Charms, or even Combos? This effect breaks a lot of rules, and if you're going to break the rules you have to be extra careful to spell out exactly how everything works. - Quendalon
Yeah, you're right. The wording is messy. The idea behind it, informally, is to allow an open-ended version of the technique we see in the Soul-Fire Shaper Form - the use of subsidiary Charms as extraneous abilities rather than Charms, once an umbrella Charm is in place. - willows

Suggestion: You can bind x Charms into the activation of CPoV Form (x = Essence). The cost for each of those Charms is commited. Then, for n motes (n = #Charms) you can counterattack with the bound Charms. It'd mean you had a potentially -huge- commitment, but you get to use them for a relatively small cost afterwards. Also - Combos cost xp and have to be pre-planned. This one's a little more flexible.- Moxiane

That's a really elegant and cool way to go about it...but I'm not sure whether it's appropriate for a Celestial Form. It's like "the form that's different every time"...which is awesome, but profoundly flexible and intelligent, as well as more Essence-heavy than I think Celestial magic should be. It'd make a great Sidereal effect, though. For reference I was trying to hit a power level between a naive use of Five Directions Formation Protocol and the Soul-Fire Shaper Form here - both deal with combining Charms in very different and interesting ways. - willows

Question: With Wheel of Thorns being classed as an Extra Action Charm does this mean, if placed within a Combo, you have to pay the extra mote cost for every person attacked, even though only a single dice pool is actually rolled? If so, with a long weapon like a spear, this is a very easy way of emptying your essence pools in a single turn. - Moxiane

Yes, it probably is. I don't know how one would deal with this, precisely; the Charm's mechanic hearkens back to Central Pillar Attack Pattern Mastery, which is equally odd, though it cannot affect as many targets as this. - willows
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