MartialArts/HexStyle

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Contents

Hex Style

Background

Created by the same Saturn Caste Necromancer who forged the Hex Iron and Curse Plate Armor, the Hex Style is rare and extremely deadly. Anyone facing a master of the Hex Style has reason to fear for their lives. Hex Style teaches that to win, your opponent must defeat himself. With mind-warping essence, curses and downright bad luck, the Hex Stylist strips away fortune and skill from his opponents.

The Hex Style treats daggers, knives or Short Daiklaves as unarmed attacks and is compatable with armor. An Occult score of at least 3 is required to learn the Hex Style due to the complex curses involved.

Charms

Luck Frowns</b>

 <b>Cost: 2 motes
 Duration: Instant
 Type: Reflexive
 Min MA: 3
 Min Essence: 2
 Prereqs: None

By touching his opponent, which requires a successful attack in combat, a Hex Stylist fills her body with dark Essence that eats away at probability and chance. The next action taken by the victim counts both 1's and 2's for the purposes of botching.


Stripping the Blessing</b>

 <b>Cost: 4 motes, 1 willpower
 Duration: 5 turns
 Type: Simple
 Min MA: 3
 Min Essence: 2
 Prereqs: Luck Frowns

The Exalted and other magical beings have greater skill and luck to draw upon then their mortal counterparts. With a simple slashing gesture and a wave of black-red Essence, the Martial Artist strips this blessing away and curses her victim with bad luck. For the next five turns, that target counts 10's as a single success and removes 1 success for each 1 rolled on an ability check. This Charm can not be activated more then once in a combat and the user must touch his victim.


Creeping Curse Infection</b>

 <b>Cost: 6 motes, 1+ willpower
 Duration: Special
 Type: Supplemental
 Min MA: 4
 Min Essence: 3
 Prereqs: Stripping the Blessing

A successful strike by the Hex Stylist marks his victim to Fate as a target. One botch is forced upon the target per point of willpower spent. No more points of willpower can be spent then the user's Essence. The ST determines when these botches occur.


Failing the Test</b>

 <b>Cost: 2 motes per success, 1 willpower
 Duration: Instant
 Type: Reflexive
 Min MA: 4
 Min Essence: 2
 Prereqs: None

Every action taken is a test. Facing the Hex Style almost ensures a failure at some point. For every 2 motes spent on this Charm, up to the user's Martial Arts + Occult, subtract 1 success from a single action which directly threatens the user. This Charm can only be activated once per turn.


Jinx in Minor</b>

 <b>Cost: 4 motes, 1 willpower
 Duration: Essence in turns
 Type: Simple
 Min MA: 4
 Min Essence: 3
 Prereqs: Falling the Test

Even the simplest action has a chance of going wrong. By speaking a single, scathing word the Hex Stylist can curse his opponent, causing that tiny chance to grow exponentially. Even the simple actions of walking, running and jumping short distances now require rolls. The Storyteller should decide what actions require rolls and what the rolls are. For example, running at your foe may now require a Dexterity + Athletics roll. These rolls are all difficulty 1. The curse lasts for a number of turns equal to the Hex Stylist's Essence.


Hex Form</b>

 <b>Cost: 5 motes
 Duration: One Scene
 Type: Simple
 Min MA: 4
 Min Essence: 3
 Prereqs: Jinx in Minor, Creeping Curse Infection

A series of quick, cutting motions accompanied by a spate of wicked syllables allows an adept of Hex Style to assume this Form. While wearing the Hex Form, the sheer negative power of the martial artist exudes into the air around him like a vile miasma. Remove a number of dice equal to the user's Essence from all attacks made against him. In addition, all enemies within the character's Essence x10 yards add 1 to the difficulty of their rolls.


The Evil Eye</b>

 <b>Cost: 3 motes per Health Level, 1 willpower, 1 Health Level
 Duration: Instant
 Type: Simple
 Min MA: 5
 Min Essence: 3
 Prereqs: Hex Form

There are stories of people with an Evil Eye so powerful their glares can strike down the target of their ire. Those stories are true, for with a glance and silent curse, misfortune will strike down the foes of a mature Hex Stylist. Make an attack using Wits + Martial Arts with extra dice equal to your Essence score. This attack is resisted using Stamina + Occult. The Evil Eye meerly needs 1 net success to be effective. For every 3 motes spent on this Charm, the curse does 1 health level of damage. This damage is not rolled, but can be soaked with the target's Stamina-based Lethal soak. No more motes may be spent on this Charm then the user's Essence x3.


Forcing the Roll</b>

 <b>Cost: 5 motes, 1 willpower
 Duration: One Turn
 Type: Reflexive
 Min MA: 5
 Min Essence: 4
 Prereqs: The Evil Eye

Gamblers are well familiar with luck, good and bad. Every roll of the dice is a chance for luck to strike. Using this Charm, a practioner of the Hex Style forces his opponent to take a chance on luck. For the next turn, one target of the martial artist's choice is unable to activate Charms which grant automatic successes or convert dice into successes. If they already have a Charm active which grants such effects, the effects are suspended for a single turn. This Charm can only target one person at a time and may only be activated once per combat round.

Example: Damer, a Chosen of Endings, is battling Silver Wing, a Full Moon Lunar. Silver Wing gets initiative on Damer and attacks him. Because the battle has been going badly, Silver Wing attempts to do some serious damage by activating Deadly Claw Blow and converting 5 of his Dexterity dice into automatic successes. Damer knows this would spell his doom and activates Forcing the Roll to prevent Deadly Claw Blow from working. Silver Wing must take the roll as it comes.


Perfect Miss</b>

 <b>Cost: 4 motes, 1 willpower
 Duration: Instant
 Type: Reflexive
 Min MA: 5
 Min Essence: 4
 Prereqs: Forcing the Roll

In truth, no action is guaranteed. There is always margin for error and a chance of failure. A powerful curse can twist fate and savage luck until both scream. One single attack misses automatically. This charm must be activated before the attack is rolled. This is a perfect defense.


Malediction</b>

 <b>Cost: 2 motes
 Duration: Instant
 Type: Reflexive
 Min MA: 5
 Min Essence: 4
 Prereqs: The Evil Eye

Remove a number of successes equal to the user's Martial Arts from one parry or dodge directed at one of your attacks. The attack must have originally had at least 3 successes in order for this Charm to work.


Baleful Strike Curse</b>

 <b>Cost: 5 motes, 1 willpower
 Duration: Instant
 Type: Supplemental
 Min MA: 5
 Min Essence: 4
 Prereqs: Malediction

Starmetal weapons are destined to strike the most potent and lethal of blows. On the opposite side of the spectrum, some opponents are simply destined to fail miserably at defending themselves. A fast hex and a surge of will drives fate home like a hammer. For a single instant, the target exposes her weakest spot to attack. A successful strike reduces target's soak to 0 and inflict at least 1 level of damage.


Curse of Fallibility</b>

 <b>Cost: Special
 Duration: Instant
 Type: Reflexive
 Min MA: 5
 Min Essence: 5
 Prereqs: Baleful Strike Curse, Perfect Miss

A master of the Hex Style learns that by expending a portion of his own life he can power a curse so vile it can crack even the most impeneterable defenses of the Exalted. By expending 3 motes and 1 willpower per minimum Essence of the target Charm, the martial artist can force even perfect defenses to accept chance. Perfect effects must now roll, at difficulty 1, in order to work properly. The difficulty of this roll may not be increased by any other effect, nor may the dice-pool be reduced beyond the victim's Attribute + Ability score. Semi-Perfect effects targeted by this Charm simply add 1 to the difficulty of their activation roll. The Stylist invoking this Charm must take one unsoakable health level of Lethal damage.


Hex Storm</b>

 <b>Cost: 10 motes, 2 willpower
 Duration: One Scene
 Type: Simple
 Min MA: 5
 Min Essence: 5
 Prereqs: Baleful Strike Curse, Perfect Miss

When a true Master of the Hex Style is around, anything can happen. Objects fall for no reason, water boils to steam, dry grass and plants ignite into flame, sharp fragments are lodged in flesh when they should fall to the ground. Anyone witness to this charm is filled with a feeling of utter dread as they feel something go terribly wrong for whoever is too close. Every turn, the Hex Storm does the user's Essence in lethal damage to anyone within Essence x10 yards. This damage can not be soaked by armor. The Storyteller should be creative when deciding the source of the damage. No matter the direct source, falling objects or a twisted ankle, the damage is caused by freak accidents catalysed by the cursed Essence flooding the area.

Comments

Telgar, do you want your Saturn Caste to learn this? :) ... Also, I suggest you let stripping the blessing last 5 turns. That seems to be a sidereal theme, and it's kinda powerful at 1 scene. Just a thought. -- DaveFayram

Well, yeah, sorta. Its becoming a theme. Agree about the duration thing. Fixed it. Where are you anyway? - Telgar

I still think that this would be better as a Sid MA. Make all the charms including the form Ess 4, and all charms after the form Ess 5, and all of the charms require MA 5 and I think it's workable. That way you can have a sutra, too, so you can write a sutra for it :) -- GoldenH

Considering the lack of Sidereal MA-level Charms, I have to disagree. Just because I don't include worthless crap Charms does not make this an overpowered style. - Telgar

In fact, I would advise that you study the mathematics of this carefully - the low-rank Charms have such small effects that they might be negligible. Sure, changing the dice system looks like a radical shift, but how does it change effectiveness in Actual Play? GoldenH, Sidereal MA does not mean 'good MA.' It means that it is a martial art which not only does one impossible thing, but does so in an immaculately fearsome way. This is no such thing - compare the low-rank abilities of Charcoal March of Spiders (particularly Cannibalistic Heritage): they are not just good Charms, they each open up a whole new tactical venue for the user. - FourWillowsWeeping

You are thinking of sid martial arts like CPoC, which goes from ess 4 and up to ess 7, not what I am talking about, which starts at ess 4 and goes up to ess 5. Prismatic Arrangement of Creation does not do anything impossible, and does not do it in a particularly fearsome way. It does open up new tactical possiblities - but then that is what your definition of this tree is. So I think that your points are only making my claim stronger. - GoldenH

Only because you deliberately misread my points. I didn't claim that this Style opens up new tactical possibilities - in fact, I don't believe that it does. What I did say is that a Sidereal-rank MA does do that, and it is required to do that. This Style doesn't fit that definition. It specifically makes it easier for the martial artist to stick to his old tactical toolkit, with the knowledge that his opponents will be less good at opposing it. Now, for a Charm-by-Charm critique:

  • Malediction / Baleful Strike Curse: These effects are very closely related, and including both of them doesn't do a lot to make the Style more interesting.
  • Laughing in Danger / Perfect Miss: Same thing.
  • Vengeance Curse: wisegirl said this on the forums; while the mechanics are interesting, you don't justify them in the game world.
  • Hex Form: This essentially subtracts Essence + MA dice from any action taken against the user. That's a big effect. I'd rather use one effect or the other, and then add in something like "and you can make MA attacks at range (Essence * 5 yards) using your Manipulation + MA, base damage Essence bashing."\\

- FourWillowsWeeping

I've now added flavor text to the Charms that lacked it, so Vengence Curse makes in-game sense. GoldenH, I can't understand your reasoning behind calling this a Sidereal-level MA. Nothing in Hex Style is as shatteringly powerful as even Prismatic Form's lower charms. Soulfire Shaping, Type Exalt Ways? Way out of Hex Style's league. This definantly isn't a Sid MA.

  • Malediction / Baleful Strike: These are actually the only two Charms in this Style I designed to be used in a combo together. If you have suggestions for increasing diversity or interest, I'd love to hear them. Hex Style is still a work in progress.
  • Laughing in Danger / Perfect Miss: Ditto, if you have suggestions, I'd love them. I created LiD after Perfect Miss, it was the best lead-in to Perfect Miss I could think of. I wouldn't mind replacing it at all.
  • Hex Form: Actually, this Form isn't as strong as it looks. Everyone in Essence yards (allies included) has a base difficulty of 1/2 user's Essence, rounded down. That's generally going to be 2. That isn't bad at all. The -MA to attacks is the real power of the Form and that isn't horribly unbalancing for an Essence 4 charm.

Anyway, let the comments contiune and feel free to make suggestions! - Telgar


Telgar, I am currently homeless. I am living out of a hotel, looking for a place to call my own, and working 12 hours days at Lockheed Martin Missions Systems to try and make ends meet (and because I have a degree of net-access at work). Things should settle down.

Sorry for the lack of warning. I just had to get the hell out of my apartment. I finally snapped when my roomate and I discovered cockroaches in the apartment. It freaked me out, it was nasty, and quite frankly, I needed to move closer to work anyways.

Ugh. Cockroaches are so freaking nasty.

Tell everyone on IRC for me, will you?

-- DaveFayram

Message conveyed, Dave. Your new job is *12* hours a day? Damn man. I'm sorry. I agree about roaches. The room where my mom teaches preschool has a roach infested toy closet, full of roach poop and giant bugs. It bothers her too. I hope you find an apartment soon. - Telgar

My job is 12 hours a day because I need extra cash. I have a condo lined up, I look tomorrow, and could move in on the first if I like it. But that's $2400 as a cashier's check up front. It's a lot of cash, so I need to be able to continue to pay basic bills and still go home for the holidays. -- DaveFayram

Forcing the Roll is uh, rather wierd, I assume it can't stop the activation of HGD? And I believe that Luck Frowns and Stripping the Blessing are meant to be used together?

Anyhow, as I read it now it looks ok so I hope you're pleased. - GoldenH

Forcing the Roll prevents the use of Charms like Deadly Claw Blow, Ten Magistrate Eyes and Fire Dragon Form. It won't ever bother a Charm that gives automatic success. Just automatic success*es*. And yes, Stripping the Blessing and Luck Frowns go together, like Malediction and Baleful Strike. - Telgar

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