Hungry Soul Style
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Hungry Soul Style emulates the nature of Soulsteel: its bite and feeding, its resilience. Developed by an Abyssal who had been cast out by his masters, it also represents a struggle to find a place in a world that seems inimical to one's very existence.
A soulsteel item is the centerpiece of training for this style. The Exalt's anima must be focused through it, forced to attain its properties, and so the Exalt will gain an understanding of how she is like the soulsteel herself. She understands her own resilience, her own hunger. From here the training turns inward, and all the charms following the Form focus on unleashing the P'o and its power.
Weapons and Armor
Any weapons or armor made of and resonant as Soulsteel. If the bearer isn't an Abyssal, she must force attunement to use the item with this style. This style may not be used without being attuned to at least a single resonant soulsteel item.
None required, but a good Lore rating helps non-Abyssal students to force attunement to Soulsteel. Resistance and Athletics also complement this style well.
Cost: 1m per increment Minimums: Essence 4, MA 5 Type: Supplemental Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious Duration: Instant Prerequisite Charms: None
On a successful attack that inflicts at least 1 health level of damage, drain a number of motes of Essence equal to (the user's permanent Essence) for each mote spent on this charm. Motes of Essence gained through this charm in excess to the user's maximum are lost. No more increments of this charm may be purchased than the Exalt’s Essence.
Cost: 2m per increment Minimums: Essence 4, MA 5 Type: Supplemental Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious Duration: Instant Prerequisite Charms: Breath Fades
On a successful attack that inflicts at least 1 health level of damage, drain a point of temporary Willpower for every 2 motes spent on this charm. Willpower gained through this charm in excess to the user's maximum simply grant 2 motes of Essence. No more increments of this charm may be purchased than the Exalt’s Essence.
Cost: 3m per increment Minimums: Essence 4, MA 5 Type: Supplemental Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious, Stackable Duration: Scene (if successful) Prerequisite Charms: Breath Fades
On a successful attack that inflicts at least 1 health level of damage, drain a dot of Virtue for every 3 motes spent on this charm. Virtue dots gained through this charm in excess to the user's maximum simply grant 2 motes of Essence. Lost Virtue dots return to the victim at the end of the scene they were stolen. No more increments of this charm may be purchased than the Exalt’s Essence.
Cost: 4m per increment Minimums: Essence 4, MA 5 Type: Supplemental Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious, Stackable Duration: Scene (if successful) Prerequisite Charms: Breath Fades
On a successful attack that inflicts at least 1 health level of damage, drain a point of physical attribute for every 4 motes spent on this charm. Attributes of the user cannot be more than doubled in this way. Attribute dots gained through this charm in excess to the listed maximums simply grant 2 motes of Essence. Lost physical attribute dots return to the victim at the end of the Scene they are stolen. No more increments of this charm may be purchased than the Exalt’s Essence.
Hungry Soul Form
Cost: 8m Minimums: Essence 5, MA 5 Type: Simple Keywords: Form-Type, Obvious Duration: Scene Prerequisite Charms: Hearts Crumble, Hope Dies, Bodies Fail
When in this Form, the user may inflict lethal damage with the style's chosen weapon instead of bashing. In addition, when the Exalt uses or combos the previous charms in the style in increments more than one, the first increment is free.
The Soul Knows No Pain
Cost: 6m1w Minimums: Essence 5, MA 5 Type: Simple Keywords: Combo-Basic, Obvious Duration: Scene Prerequisite Charms: Hungry Soul Form
When health levels of damage are inflicted upon the user in Step 10, reduce that damage by half of the user's permanent Essence(round up).
The Soul Never Submits
Cost: 8m1w Minimums: Essence 5, MA 5 Type: Simple Keywords: Combo-Basic, Obvious Duration: Scene Prerequisite Charms: The Soul Knows No Pain
When any hostile or unwanted charm is used against the Exalt while this charm is active, the attacker must spend an additional number of motes of Essence equal to the Exalt's permanent Essence for each charm used. Attackers with a permanent Essence equal to or higher than the Exalt may roll their Essence against the user to omit this effect for that charm.
The Soul Knows No Equal
Cost: 6m1w Minimums: Essence 5, MA 5 Type: Simple Keywords: Combo-Basic, Obvious Duration: Scene Prerequisite Charms: Hungry Soul Form
When attacking, gain an Accuracy bonus equal to the user's Martial Arts rating. When inflicting damage, gain bonus levels of pre-soak damage equal to the user's permanent Essence. If an attack inflicts at least 1 health level of damage, roll the user's Essence against the victim’s Essence. If the user is successful, the victim loses attunement to their lowest cost artifact for the rest of the scene.
The Soul Never Relents
Cost: 8m1w Minimums: Essence 5, MA 5 Type: Simple Keywords: Combo-Basic, Obvious Duration: Scene Prerequisite Charms: The Soul Knows No Equal
The Martial Artist gains an extra independent action for the scene, as his P'o uses his shadow to gain physical form, loosely attached to his body. This charm can only be ended by spending willpower equal to half the user's permanent Essence(round up), and the Essence to re-activate it must be spent again at the beginning of each scene if this cost is not paid. Furthermore, this charm can be a great hindrance in social combat – while the P'o obeys its master in battle and war, it rebels against any attempt to conceal its base desires. Thus, it acts according to the Storyteller’s perception of its master’s base desires in any social situation, with traits equal to the character’s own.
The Soul Knows No Salvation
Cost: 10m1w Minimums: Essence 5, MA 5 Type: Simple Keywords: Combo-Basic, Obvious Duration: Scene Prerequisite Charms: The Soul Never Submits, The Soul Never Relents
When the Exalt inflicts damage with an attack while this charm is active, he heals an equal number of health levels. The "healing" levels are all the same, regardless of the type of damage actually inflicted by the attack - rather than actually consuming the target, this charm allows the character's lower soul to be satisfied with the harm it has inflicted. A single level of "healing" can heal 2 levels of bashing damage, 1 level of lethal damage, or 3 levels can be used to heal an aggravated level(user's choice). Levels of "healing" granted in excess to the user's maximum health levels can gain temporary -0 health levels until the end of the scene for 3 levels of "healing". These temporary health levels disappear when lost to any form of damage, and so 3 levels of “healing” must be spent to replace them no matter what removed them.
This is a dangerous charm, because opening one's soul to the P'o and its desires so fully invites the terrible wrath of self-loathing when failure strikes. Any time the Exalt makes an attack and fails to inflict damage while this charm is active, he takes an unsoakable aggravated health level of damage. He may then end the charm in response to this, but he may not end this charm reflexively before this after committing to an attack.
I have some questions before commenting:
- It would appear that every charm after the Form is also a form charm, is this intentional?
- For Hope Dies, what determines the order virtues are drained in? Can a solar have his primary (read linked to the great curse) virtue reduced below three? How long does the boost to the Martial Artist's virtue's last? The charm's duration is instant.
- For Bodies Fall, what determines the order in which attributes are drained? How long does the boost to attributes last?
- For The Soul Never Relents, is this a true independant action granting an additional charm use?
- For The Soul Knows No Equal, the charm text states it grants an 'Accuracy' bonus. Does this affect the accuracy trait of the Exalt's weapons and therefore ignores die cap, or is it capped like all other charm granted dice?
That's all that pops up after my first reading.-Ambisinister
The form-type keyword was a copying error on my part. Hope Dies and Bodies Fall don't specify because the charm user chooses the order - I'll go fix that to say so specifically at some point. Never Relents is indeed a fully independent action, as per CMoS form. No Equal is a bonus to the accuracy trait, and so is handled however charm bonuses to weapon traits are handled in any given game. For us, this means they're not capped. - IanPrice
I'm a bit concerned about the ease with which a practitioner of this style can effectively shut down an opponent, via willpower draining. With the ease of spending 2m (while the form is up) to drain 2WP is tough (requiring a charm action or a combo) the benefit of having the independent action cannot be underestimated. More generally, if this style hasn't been used in combat yet, I note that you've got two type of charms - the really awesome scene-long, and the supplemental drain-charm. With that many drains (each costing xx motes per dot), unless you're comboing them all together, you can't really make use of them effectively - most opponents you get 2-3 drains off of are already dead. (Speaking of which, do drained dice last after an opponent dies?) The scene-longs, some of which are truly powerful (and luckily Ess 5, or I'd throw a fit), offer a lot of potential. The one I'm most worried about drops all incoming damage by 3 successes, a huge savings. With something like a Twilight anima effect up, you're dropping incoming damage by 8, or roughly 16 dice or so. To really hit someone with that up would take an excruciatinly big strike, or worse yet, a lot of them. Since it's scene long (already doing a possibly overpowered defensive job), adding any other kind of damage reduction could really make the practitioner unkillable - and that's with one charm. Anyway, cool imagery, I like the style, but unless you've playtested and found it ok, there's a few things to watch out for. Ah heck - for the price of having to learn all these charms, it's probably fine. But if I ever get to play in a game with you, I hope you'll be as lenient with me! -- GreenLantern
Aside from the points that GL mentioned, which I do agree with somewhat, my big contention is with Bodies Fall and Hope Dies. Both, in additon to draining parameters, are scene long stat boosting charms that a) have no willpower cost, and b) require no committment of essence.-Ambisinister
As I said above, I didn't design this myself. The friend who did seemed okay with the idea of having to make a Combo to use multiple drains. The damage-reduction charm was actually at the suggestion of our Storyteller, since the character who plans to create this style already has a lot of soak and hardness, and our ST thought more of the same damage mitigation would be boring - also less useful, considering some antagonists we will be facing have things that ignore soak and hardness. Thus, Twilight anima or Starmetal type effects are the only thing left besides having more health levels, in those situations. Plus, the character who's inventing it is a Dusk, so in that specific case, he won't be so unkillable. If my Twilight does end up learning it, the ruling may well end up being "they don't stack with each other," depending on how things play out.
Bodies Fall and Hope Dies do not bother me so much, since hitting an enemy and doing damage can often be quite difficult in my experience. Also, why did you assume the motes wouldn't be committed? Our assumption was that they would be. I suppose I should have written the duration as a scene though... oops. - IanPrice
- The instant duration is what gave me that idea. Regarding pricing, consider the charm's cannon precedent: Strength Stealing Technique from the 1E Abyssal core. It's an essence 3, athletics 5 charm with two prereqs. This charm has three prereqs and is ess 4, MA 5. So far so good, you should have to work a little harder to match an Abyssal level effect with a MA charm, especially a pre-form charm. Strength Stealing is instant/supplemental , Body Fails is now supplemental and scene long. Strength stealing costs 4m per dot stolen and a willpower, Body Fails is just 4m per dot. Advantage Body Fails. Strength Stealing can double your Strength, but only works on strength, and requires the theft of two dots from a victim to raise yours by 1. Body Fails can only boost to the character's cap, but it provides other effects for points gained over cap. In addition it works on all attributes and uses a 1:1 ratio instead of a 2:1. I'd say the advantage here is also for Body Fails, especially considering you can get dex at 4m a dot and steal it from a foe, when you'd otherwise need to pay 5m a dot with the first Abyssal athletics equivalent. Strength Stealing only works on beings with an essence greater than 2. Body Fails works on anyone. Also, Strength Stealing cannot lower an exalt's attribute below his essence, and Exalts may ignore the drain by spending 5 motes per dot drained. Body Fails has no such restrictions. Neither works on beings of a higher essence. Finally, Strength Stealing requires a successful hit, and while it doesn't need to inflict damage, you do have to succeed at a willpower roll against a difficulty of the opponent's essence. Body Fails also requires a successful hit, but it only needs to inflict a single level of damage. All things considered, Body Fails is a significantly more powerful charm, and cheaper, and I don't feel having one more pre-req and being essence 4 is enough to justify that since it is a pre-form celestial martial arts charm.-Ambisinister
- I attribute all this to not having the Abyssal book on hand at the time this charm was written. You're right, all this makes Body Fails more powerful in a lot of ways. I'll discuss it with the charm's author - one thing that occurs to me is simply removing the extra benefit once you've capped out your attributes. Probably also reducing the ratio to 2:1, and adding the "cannot reduce someone's attribute below their Essence" clause. That would make Strength Stealing superior again, since it can put you well above your cap. It'd still be slightly easier to get your dots out of Body Fails, but with its much lower cap and no post-cap benefits, I think that should be left in so the charm is useful. - IanPrice
- I've talked to the author, and the revisions he wants are as follows:
- First, he didn't actually intend to limit himself to the normal attribute cap, he meant to be referring to the previous sentence where it said "no more than double."
- Second, he would like to put a restriction of no more dot theft than health levels dealt.
- Third, he accepts the 2:1 ratio, since it is what the original charm functioned with.
- Finally, the charm will have a limit of reducing opponents to 1 dot in any attribute, and one attribute must be specified before the attack is rolled. No others will be affected, and if too many increments of the charm are bought, the extras are wasted.
- However, we're keeping the mote-refund for extra dots you would gain above double, until testing shows whether or not it's a problem. - IanPrice