- 1 Motion: The Vermilion Cavalcade of Moments
- 2 Weapons and Armor
- 3 The Student's Sutra of Motion
- 4 The Elder Sutra of Motion
- 5 Comments
Motion: The Vermilion Cavalcade of Moments
NB: This style is still under construction.
A Sidereal Martial Arts style, based on questions of motion arising from Aristotle's Physics. I wrote the sutra in a moment of madness and decided I couldn't not try to make a style to go with it. I wanted it to be another "typical" SMA, with a power level and power scale similar to CMoS, but a very different feel. It's probably particularly popular among elder Chosen of Journeys.
Still to do: cost, description, & precise effects for Standing Without Stillness, troubleshooting on Stillness Without Standing and Precontinuity Kata. I'm also slightly worried about the number of Charms - the style feels a little top-heavy, but the sutra really only had room for five charms in the Student's Sutra. I don't know if this is really a problem, but it feels a little weird.
I do not want any of these Charms to break time in the way that Solar Circle Sorcery can't break time. The style is, however, all about creatively bending it. Comments are absolutely welcome - this is my first attempt at designing a Sidereal MA style.
Weapons and Armor
The form weapons of the Vermilion Cavalcade of Moments are fighting chains and seven-section staves, weapons which, like motion, are both discrete and continuous. This style cannot be used in armor.
The Student's Sutra of Motion
- Once, there was a maiden...
To Measure the Avalanche
Cost: 9 motes Duration: Essence in turns Type: Reflexive Minimum Martial Arts: 5 Minimum Essence: 4 Prerequisite Charms: None
- ...who stepped through the world as water through stone.
The martial artist is able to mark the passage of moments and pick precisely the correct one in which to act. The character no longer suffers any penalties due to holding her action and subtracts 2 from all multiple-action penalties.
Cost: 12 motes Duration: Instant Type: Extra Action Minimum Martial Arts: 5 Minimum Essence: 4 Prerequisite Charms: To Measure the Avalanche
- She was hindered by nothing save her own fear;
As the martial artist begins to grow in the knowledge of the Cavalcade, she begins to be able to assert her desires upon it, causing it to hearken to her call. She utters a great shout, then seems to speed up many times. She rolls her Valor + Martial Arts; for each success, she gains one extra action this turn. These extra actions may be dodges or unarmed Martial Arts attacks or parries. Use of this Charm reveals the character's position to all within earshot, making stealth temporarily impossible and disrupting for the rest of the turn any Charms of stealth or concealment which affect the character. At the end of the turn, such Charms resume their normal effect. This Charm has no effect on resplendent destinies or the Arcane Fate.
Standing Without Stillness
Cost: ? Duration: Essence in turns Type: Reflexive Minimum Martial Arts: 5 Minimum Essence: 4 Prerequisite Charms: None
- she feared nothing save that she be hindered,
Allows full sprint & attack. If the character moves at least 10 yards immediately before an attack, add Essence in autosux.
Inverted Principle of Continuity
Cost: 8 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Minimum Martial Arts: 5 Minimum Essence: 4 Prerequisite Charms: Standing Without Stillness
- and so, when she stood upon the sky,
The martial artist steps briefly through Elsewhere. He may emerge anywhere within (his Essence x 100 yards of his original position. He may invoke this Charm as part of a dodge attempt; however, since it requires the martial artist to actually take a step, he must still roll to dodge, adding his Essence in automatic successes. If he invokes this Charm in response to an attack without access to a dodge pool, he increases the difficulty of the attack roll by his permanent Essence instead.
Vermilion Cavalcade of Moments Form
Cost: 12 motes Duration: One scene Type: Simple Minimum Martial Arts: 5 Minimum Essence: 5 Prerequisite Charms: Motion-Channeling Shout, Inverted Principle of Continuity
- there was nothing that did not move her.
Description of Form goes here. For the rest of the scene, the martial artist gains the benefits of To Measure the Avalanche and Standing Without Stillness and doubles his base initiative (Dexterity + Wits); effects such as Thunderclap Rush Attack do not automatically win initiative over her. Furthermore, all defense and counterattack rolls against the martial artist take a dice pool penalty equal to the difference between the current initiative and the initiative of the character attempting the roll, if her initiative has not come yet; similarly, any attempts to attack the martial artist after her initiative take a dice pool penalty equal to the difference between the current initiative and the initiative on which the martial artist acted.
The Elder Sutra of Motion
Bereavement of Time
Cost: 20 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: One scene Type: Simple Minimum Martial Arts: 6 Minimum Essence: 6 Prerequisite Charms: Vermilion Cavalcade of Moments Form
- The maiden wept, and her tears did not fall,
This Charm takes its name from the idea that Time is a maiden who frowns on those who seek to abuse her. Practitioners of this style sometimes use the less flowery but perhaps more appropriate imagery of "being crushed beneath the Cavalcade". Regardless, a martial artist with mastery of this Charm can cause his foes to be much more careful about how they act. Each turn, each of the martial artist's foes (defined as anyone he wishes to suffer this effect) within (his Essence x 10) yards takes a dice pool penalty equal to her own Essence for every non-reflexive action she took in the preceding turn. (Time shows her displeasure more to those who can do more by abusing her, and those who stand out in an avalanche are more likely to get crushed.)
Stillness Without Standing
Cost: 5 motes Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Minimum Martial Arts: 6 Minimum Essence: 6 Prerequisite Charms: Bereavement of Time
- but the starlight that shone upon her froze at the sight.
As he further probes the innermost secrets of the Vermilion Cavalcade of Moments, the martial artist becomes able to move not just his body, but his Essence itself through the stuttering, discontinuous motions of the Vermilion Cavalcade of Moments Form. By executing a quick kata with his Essence alone, he is able to force it into familiar patterns with great rapidity. Stillness Without Standing allows the martial artist to reflexively activate another Charm. The following rules govern such activation:
- Only Martial Arts Charms may be activated using Stillness Without Standing.
- For the purpose of Combos and Charm activations in a single turn, the activation counts only as an activation of Stillness Without Standing.
- Stillness Without Standing does not provide non-reflexive dice actions; if the subject Charm requires such an action, the character must use an action gained from some other source, such as splitting her dice pool or a Combo with an extra action Charm, to activate the Charm. Any appropriate multiple-action penalties apply. Unless otherwise stated, all simple Charms are assumed to require a non-reflexive dice action, whether or not any dice are actually rolled.
- All the costs of the activated Charm must be paid normally, in addition to the cost of Stillness Without Standing. The costs of the activated Charm are treated as part of the cost of Stillness Without Standing for the purpose of sutra benefits from the Vermilion Cavalcade of Moments Style. However, if the subject Charm is part of a style with a sutra, the sutra benefits of that style may also be applied to the cost of the subject Charm, before adding the cost of Stillness Without Standing. Sutras cannot reduce the total cost of activation below 5 motes.
- Only the Essence spent to activate Stillness Without Standing remains committed, though all costs of the activated Charm are paid normally. If the activated Charm requires the commitment of Willpower or health levels, they also remain committed.
- Charms which normally take longer than one minute (twenty full turns) to activate have the time required to activate them divided by twenty. Charms which normally take less than one minute to activate can be activated instantly.
- Simple Charms of non-instant duration may only be activated once per turn with Stillness Without Standing.
- Extra action Charms and Form-type Charms may not be activated using Stillness Without Standing.
Invocation of Discrete Time
Cost: 15 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Minimum Martial Arts: 6 Minimum Essence: 6 Prerequisite Charms: Bereavement of Time
- She said, "Come and join me!
Often mistaken for Inverted Principle of Continuity, this Charm is much more powerful. The martial artist steps briefly out of the Cavalcade of Moments, sending herself Elsewhere in response to an attack and avoiding it completely. This is a perfect combat defense which is treated as a dodge. She specifies a number of turns up to her permanent Essence; she reappears, in exactly the same state she was when she disappeared, on the same initiative count on which she disappeared, that many turns later. While she is Elsewhere, she is inviolable; nothing can affect her in any way. She experiences no passage of time; any effects with a limited duration are still in effect when she reemerges from Elsewhere, and she maintains her original position, orientation and speed - it is foolish to attempt to use this Charm to avoid a fall! If her original position is occupied by something through which she could not walk (including, for example, an elephant, a mountain, or an angry demon, but not including a ravening fire), she instead reappears as close as possible to it. For the martial artist, it is still the same turn on which she disappeared; this may matter for Charm use, Combo activation, or multiple-action penalties.
Cycle of Sidereal Dreams
Cost: 20 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: (12 - target's Essence) turns Type: Supplemental Minimum Martial Arts: 6 Minimum Essence: 6 Prerequisite Charms: Bereavement of Time
- It is true I am not moving,
By touching his foe on the forehead, the martial artist can lock her out of the Cavalcade. He makes an unarmed martial arts attack at difficulty 3, which, if successful, does no damage. Instead, his target is sent Elsewhere for the duration of the Charm. When the Charm expires, she returns in the manner described for Invocation of Discrete Time, above. In the meantime, the martial artist steals that portion of the Cavalcade which the target occupied, appropriating it for his own use. Each turn, he gains an additional fully-independent action for each foe who remains locked out of the Cavalcade in this manner on his initiative. The savants of Motion claim that those sent Elsewhere in this manner experience no time, as they have no time to experience; however, subjects of this Charm have reported bizarre visions of Fate that seem to last for many years. At the Storyteller's option, the player of a subject of this Charm may roll Perception + Occult upon emerging from the Cycle of Sidereal Dreams to gain some insight into fate: specifically, the fate of the martial artist who used this Charm. This may have any effect the Storyteller desires. No Solar Exalt has successfully learned this Charm, as the Vermilion Cavalcade of Moments was still a young style at the time of the Usurpation; however, there is speculation that this effect of the Charm would be radically different if the Charm were used by a Solar.
Cost: 15 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Until released Type: Simple Minimum Martial Arts: 6 Minimum Essence: 6 Prerequisite Charms: Stillness Without Standing, Invocation of Discrete Time, Cycle of Sidereal Dreams
- for I have already moved,"
By executing the Precontinuity Kata, the martial artist can put a moment into stasis, to be recalled at a later date. She spends five minutes executing the Kata, moving faster and faster in a strobing, disjointed fashion, and then takes a single turn of action; the only actions she may take during this turn are unarmed Martial Arts attacks. She makes any attack rolls as though she had a target or targets to attack. She must specify how many targets she is attacking and which target she attacks with each action. She may use Charms or a Combo as normal, spending any costs at the time she executes the Kata, but may not use extra action Charms or Combos that include them; nor may she use effects that grant her multiple fully-independent actions. This turn is then encapsulated and sent Elsewhere. She can recall it reflexively; this does not count as a Charm use. When the turn is recalled, it is effectively a fully-independent action which is resolved immediately, with the attacks directed at the number of targets specified when the Kata was executed. The attack rolls made when the Kata was executed are used; targets may defend normally. The character can still take her dice action for the turn, but is subject to all the normal limitations on fully-independent actions, with the additional restriction that she cannot interweave actions as is normally possible with such actions. While she is enacting the recalled turn, the martial artist is treated as though she were under any effect she was under when she encapsulated the turn, including Form-type Charms and other persistent Charm effects, but once she has enacted the recalled turn, all such effects end, including Charms of non-instant duration invoked during the recalled turn. The Essence used to activate this Charm is committed, but the Essence used on or committed to any Charms in the encapsulated turn is not.
Perfection of Singular Motion
Cost: 20 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Instant Type: Simple Minimum Martial Arts: 7 Minimum Essence: 7 Prerequisite Charms: Precontinuity Kata
- and took a single step.
Such is the martial artist's transcendent knowledge of motion that she is able to act in a single moment: as soon as she has resolved to act, she has acted. She may move up to (her Essence x 10) yards, making a single unarmed Martial Arts attack at any point during this movement. This attack is unblockable, undodgeable, and undetectable; only a perfect defense against surprise attacks in combination with a perfect combat defense will enable the target to defend against this attack. This Charm may be activated before the martial artist's initiative, on any tick up to and including the tick just before the character with the highest initiatve total this turn, and may not be activated more than once in a turn under any circumstances, including by the use of Charms or other effects which grant extra or fully independent actions.
Right. Cycle of Sidereal Dreams written, Stillness Without Standing rewritten. You were right, GregLink - I do like this version better. Cycle of Sidereal Dreams I specifically wrote to synergize well with SWS. - Kurulham
I don't remember why I put in the caveat about non-instant simples, but I'm sure I had a good reason. - Kurulham
You did. Many Simple instant charms are attacks. Things that do nasty nasty things to people. Things like that high-end Snake style charm that hurts a lot. Traditionally, you can use them maybe once per round, maybe 3 times if you've got CMoS form up. If you allowed simple instants, you'd be allowing someone to use them (and thus generate a dice pool and attack) reflexively, allowing you to wait until your opponent had used his defenses 'inadequately', such as activating a nice dodge charm (Reed in the wind, for example), but not a combo. You immediately whip out SWS, loaded up with Cascade of Cutting Terror, and rend the ever-living sin out of him. How many times do you use CoCT? Well, as many times as you have Essence for, because he ain't gonna be defending against it. - GregLink, explaining why allowing instant simples would be the crazy.
- ...okay, apparently my wording was the stupid. I do allow simple instants, but you don't get a free dice pool. See also "if the Charm involves a non-reflexive dice action..." - in the example you gave, using CoCT would be legal as long as you had reserved actions to use it in advance. That's actually part of the point of the Charm - allowing you to, say, CoCT to force him to dodge, then something else (nothing unblockable comes to mind, but I'm sure there's something) to get around his defenses the other way. That's assuming, of course, that CoCT were a MA Charm, because remember you can only use MA Charms with SWS. - Kurulham, seeing that he needs to rework the wording again
I'm going to suppose that when using Precontinuity Kata, all persistant effects the martial artist may currently be effected by are temporarily suspended while she re-enacts the encapsulated turn. Now for some questions: What happens if the martial artist is using different weapons in the encapsulated turn than in real time? My other question is about incongruous actions: For example, say the martial artist stores a great turn of dodging. She's currently choking some guy out in a clinch when his buddy jumps in and slams her with a flurry of attacks. She activates PK and dekes all the attacks. Does she immediately go back into the clinch? -Ambisinister
- You are correct about the working of persistent effects. My initial conception was that this is an offensive technique. As such, only attacks can be made during the encapsulated turn; Charm text has been changed accordingly. With regards to clinches, I don't see any reason why she shouldn't drag the poor bastard she's clinching around with her as she makes her attacks. She has, after all, mastered the penultimate technique of Motion! ::grins:: Now, weapons... my immediate instinct is to just say that only bare-handed attacks can be made, disallowing even the form weapons of VCoM, but something doesn't feel quite right about that. Any other suggestions? - Kurulham
- One option, probably the least favorable, is eliminate Seven-Section Staves as a form weapon. Or, since you've already brought up the possibility of elsewhere in the charm, when recalling an encapsulated moment, whatver weapon you are currently wielding is temporarily shifted elsewhere (presumably with all the persistant effects currently buffing the martial artist) to be replaced by temporal memory of whatever weapon she was wielding when she captured the moment. I would, however, specify that encapsulated attacks must be unarmed (ie unarmed or with form weapons).- Ambisinister
- "Unarmed attacks only" is already specified. I like your solution, but I see some potential problems with artifact weapons. What if the weapon you had is somewhere else? What if it's been destroyed? That seems to me to cross over the fine line between bending time and breaking it in half. I'm really not sure, though - there's a part of my mind that's yelling, "Essence 6 Charm! Dude, it's an Essence 6 Charm! ESSENCE 6 I TELL YOU! At Essence 6 you can kill Primordials 4tw! Nothing is broken at Essence 6!" I know that voice speaks madness, but it is a seductive voice despite the fact that it is also the voice of a fourteen-year-old munchkin. - Kurulham, wondering why he writes such headaches for himself
- I'm not sure which weapon you're talking about when you say "weapon you had." If you mean the weapon you were using when you captured your moment (which is what I think you mean), employing my temporal memory idea, it should be irrelevant. You're not actually busting out the weapon, just recalling how it affected your motions and essence and applying that to your targets, who are, after all, currently sharing the temporal memory with you.- Ambisinister
- You make a compelling point. Unfortunately it is now past time to shift my poor abused brain to the translation of Greek, but I'll change & clean up the Charm text later today, most likely. - Kurulham
Having had some time to digest the rest of your style, I've got some more feedback for you. Stillness Without Standing Seems a little cheap once you take the student and master Sutra's into consideration. I'd put its cost at at least 15 motes. Maybe even 15 and a Health Level. I mean, when you reduce the charm into lowbrow terms, your Siddie is basically hot wiring his essence to jump start a charm. You'd think that would cause some nasty feedback, trained martial artist or no, she is bending a pretty strict rule.
Now, as for Standing Without Stillness. My first reaction for the charm would be to make it instant and supplemental, but I can see where it being reflexive would have its uses...I don't know that I'd keep its duration as longer than instant. The effect as you have it written seems pretty tight. If it provides an attack at your full die pool, then I'm inclined to say it should be either an extra action type charm or a counterattack charm. You could always switch it over to supplemental though. Hell, you've been playing so fast and loose with the rules that you could make it type: special and have it function as both a reflexive and supplemental charm. You can use it supplement an already existing attack so you could pursue those hopping defenders. Or you could use it in response to attack, generating a counterattack/move combination that would allow you to strike back at ranged attackers. Regardnig pricing, hard to say until you know for sure what it does.-Ambisinister
- Re: Stillness Without Standing - look in the Old Comments page for GregLink's remarks on sutras and costs, with which I agree. And the Sidereal is not hot-wiring her Essence - rather, she is applying the same principles to her Essence as she does to her body with the Form. She is moving in new and extremely fast ways. Hot-wiring her Essence would be like Exalt Ways - forcible reshaping, and if memory serves, that does cost a health level. Keep in mind, also, that SWS is an Essence 6 Charm. I hate to wave that around as a talisman against brokenness, but I'm fairly confident that the Charm is properly priced for its general effect. Making sure the effect itself isn't broken is where weird things start to come in. (Note that Casting Six Shadows, in the example, burned through most of his Essence pool extremely quickly when using Stillness Without Standing.) From a more numbers-crunchy perspective, it's been noted that 1 Willpower is roughly equal to 10 motes. It takes 1 Willpower to activate a Combo; similarly, it takes 10 motes to activate SWS twice, to enable the use of two Charms. The Combo cost is a flat rate, whereas the SWS cost increases as you add more Charms, quickly becoming prohibitive. Yes, the SWS effect is more powerful, but you pay for that power, in two ways: the high, scaling Essence cost, and the fact that it's an Essence 6 Charm. Sure, you can use SWS to allow you to use Life-Severing Blow with Metal Storm without sinking xp into a Combo, but then you're paying an extra five motes every time you activate a Charm that turn. There are offensive effects that inflict things like that. Standing Without Stillness... bnrk. Can't be arsed. I'll get to it, I swear! - Kurulham (Oh, and one final note. Read the section in Stillness Without Standing that covers how it interacts with sutras very carefully, and keep in mind that the more Charms you use in a turn, the less effective a sutra becomes.)