MeleePaths

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Melee Paths

This idea is created to make Solar Melee look and feel cooler. I suspect that the popularity of Martial Arts is the write-ups, and the style names. A consequence of this is that it is much easier to visualize what a Fire Dragon Specialist is doing, whereas the Melee specialist can wield so many different weapons and attitudes that visualization is more encumbersome. I've tried to do this without changing much, and each of you can easily ignore any mechanical difference, but still use the general idea. However, in order to do some things more clear, I've added more charms, and eliminated Retrieve the Fallen Weapon.

On a more mortal trend, the moves that the charms do extra, can be emulated by mundane means, specializations and splitting dice. So, each master, mortal or not, can talk about their paths, and intimidate their potential opponents. Mortals want to look cool too, even though they're not as successful.

So, these paths are emulated by mortals. Mechanically, this mainfests in specializations. Solars get one specialization dot for each charm in that path's moves. However, this can never exceed three, and if there are fewer charms, the last charm will grant the maximum specialization. This means that a Solar, in time, can have a lot of specializations. In order to uphold game balance, I've tried to keep the specializations very narrow. If a Solar can use several specialization per turn, then the cap of three can never be exceeded.

The general principle that I've tried to follow is that each path ends with a (often scene long) badass charm. Once learning it, you may call yourself a master of that path. Canon examples are; Five-Fold Bulwark Stance, Whirlwind of Searing Blows.

Steel Ribbon Path (a salute to Mailanka's Combat 101)

Steel Ribbon Path is very much focused on defense first, and then attacking. As such, it consists of these charms; First Strike, Dipping Swallow Defense, Solar Counterattack, Ready in Eight Directions Stance, and Steel Ribbon Style. However, as the founder is a legendary mortal, its essence-based development hinges a lot on Jaida, a relatively newly Solar Exalted Melee specialist. Rest assured, this path will see some revolutionary developments. Mortals specializing in Steel Ribbon Style adds dice for counterstrikes.

First Strike</b>

<b>Cost: 1 per +1 to initiative
Duration: Instant 
Type: Reflexive 
Min. Melee: 1 
Min Essence: 1 
Prereqs: None

As the morning overcomes night, the first sun beams appear in the distant. Before shadow, there must be light. A Solar beginning to learn the Steel Ribbon Path must learn to act faster than her opponent. If you are hopelessly confined into defense, you cannot benefit from the Steel Ribbon Path. The Solar can by extra initiative at the cost of one mote per point. This cannot exceed Dexterity + Melee. As a reflexive charm, it can be activated after the roll, and after learning the opponents total initiative.

Steel Ribbon Style</b>

<b>Cost: 5 motes, 1 WP 
Duration: One scene 
Type: Simple 
Min. Melee: 5 
Min Essence: 3 
Prereqs: Ready in Eight Directions Stance 

The art of counterattacking is now perfected by the Steel Ribbon Master. Each thrust against the Master is punished by a vicious counterstrike at full dice pool, including the three specialty bonus dice from Mastering the Path.

Whirling Strikes Path

As the Solar has increased his option to land a blow, she can choose to focus on hitting many times. The path consists of Excellent Strike, Peony Blossom Attack, Iron Whirlwind Attack, and Triple-Attack Technique. Mortals specializing in the Whirling Pounds Path adds their specialty dots to initiative.

Triple-Action Technique</b>

<b>Cost: 5 motes, 1 WP 
Duration: One scene 
Type: Simple 
Min. Melee: 5 
Min Essence: 3 
Prereqs: Iron-Whirlwind Attack

After mastering the Iron Winds, the Solar is able to more persistently attack multiple times without any further effort spent. This charm has no visual effects whatsoever. It only appears in the sense the Solar is brilliantly using her weapon of choice (or moment) to a superior expertise. Each turn the Solar gets [Essence/2 rounded up] additional melee actions. These actions can only be attacks or blocks. This charm is not fully compatible with the Dawn Caste Anima power. Whenever a Dawn uses this power and her Anima power, one of the extra actions granted from this charm is lost, but the extra given action may be used as a dodge action.

Furthermore, while this charm is activated, combos with supplemental charms are interpreted more beneficially. Usually, all supplemental charms must supplement all applicable actions. When using the Triple-Action Technique, these rules are no longer used. Thus, a combo consisting of Excellent Strike, Hungry Tiger Technique, and Fire and Stones Strike give the Whirling Strikes Path Master the opportunity to choose which attack to supplement with each attack. This rare and secret technique enables triple-attack comboes, where each attack is supplemented by different charms.

Fading Light Path (stolen from the Compendium, unknown author)

One excellent extension to basic melee training is the oft-forgotten Fading Light Path. It specializes on hitting even the must evasive and blocking opponents. The techniques are focused in breaking the defenses down, and glide through it. First, it increases the chances on landing the blow (Sting Ray Attack), and the second is completely avoiding the defenses parry. The third technique consists of using a light illusion of two weapons, and the last is a perfect strike (Solar Perfection Technique). Mortals specializing in the Fading Light Path adds dice to hit when the opponent tries to defend the attack. These dice are added after the opponent has declared her defense.

Sting Ray Attack</b>

<b>Cost: 1 per 2 dice 
Duration: Instant 
Type: Supplemental 
Min. Melee: 2 
Min Essence: 2
Prereqs: None

This is the most basic surprise technique taught by Fading Light Masters. Instead of adding more skill to a single blow, this very unusual technique is created to confound the opponents. Effectively, this charm creates another attack pool to be added to an initial strike. This attack pool starts at zero. An attack is defended as usual, but after the first (of possible two) defense, the extra dice are rolled and considered as successes passed through the first defense. However, if no defense is declared or the initial attack breaks through the first defense, the extra dice are wasted. If the initial attack is blocked by a first defense parry, and the past defense dice rolls a botch, then the attack is considered as simply failed. This charm cannot be comboed with another charm that supplementally adds dice to hit, such as Excellent Strike.

Fading Light Cut</b>

<b>Cost: 2 
Duration: Instant 
Type: Supplemental 
Min. Melee: 5 
Min Essence: 3 
Prereqs: Sting Ray Attack

The Solar's familiarity and control over his weapon has reached the point where he may cause it to flow seamlessly in and out of Elsewhere as he strikes, vanishing as an enemy's blade strikes out to block it, yet reappearing to cut into that enemy's flesh as the Solar finishes his strike. Mechanically, an attack supplemented by Fading Light Cut cannot be parried without the use of a "perfect" parry, such as Heavenly Guardian Defence. This charm does not ignore armor or natural soak.

Solar Perfection Technique</b>

<b>Cost: 3 motes, 1 WP
Duration: Instant 
Type: Supplemental 
Min. Melee: 5 
Min Essence: 4 
Prereqs: Two-Fold Mirage Strike 

This is the final technique of the Fading Cut Path. Its legends and rumors are many-fold and extremely varying. In the first age, only a few of the most dedicated and persistent Melee specialists developed this secret technique. It cannot be taught, because the appearance differs for all users. However, this is not known, and some masters have been fruitlessly trying to teach it to dumbfounded students. No matter how hard an opponent tries to defend against this technique, at least one success will remain after all defenses, including environmental defenses. This is a perfect effect.

Ripping Strike Path

Instead of landing many blows or breaking through defenses, Ripping Strike focuses on the thing that really started the use of arms from the beginning; inflicting serious wounds. The path is a brutal and bloody one, and the masters of this path have seen so many bodies cut or battered down that their eyes do not flinch when victims fall.

The charms consists of Excellent Strike, Hungry Tiger, Fire and Stones Strike, and Essence-Laden Weapon Technique. Mortals specializing in the Ripping Path adds dice to raw damage.

Essence-Laden Weapon Technique</b>

<b>Cost: 5 motes
Duration: One scene
Type: Simple
Min. Melee: 5
Min. Essence: 3
Prereqs: Fire and Stones Strike

As the weapon itself is imbued with essence and power, the Solar improves her capability to deal damage. The weapon glows with an illuminous power of a torch. For the rest of the scene, the weapon's damage is increased by her Melee score, and the minimum damage rolls are equal to her permanent Essence score. Alternatively, the scores can be interchanged, so that damage is increased by Essence score, and minimum damage is Melee score. This choice is made when the charm is activated, and cannot be changed without re-activating the charm again. Furthermore, the weapon becomes unbreakable. Weapons charged with this power invariably breaks, unless it is made of one of the five magical materials.

Innocent Diplomat Path

Not all Melee specialists actually need a visible weapon at hand. This path was very popular among Eclipses that did not wish to reveal any potential violent intentions, but still feel safe with their arms. They are the best users of improvised weapons as well as controlling the forged light.

Innocent Diplomat Path comprises Call the Blade, Summon the Loyal Steel, Glorious Solar Saber (Weapon). Innocent Diplomat Path mortals add dice to use improvised melee weapons, weapons summoned from Elsewhere, or weapons created from the light of the Unconquered Sun.

Heartless Wolf Path

Some melee fighters lack the finesse and style to follow the ancient rules of duelling. These practitioners are known for throwing away their hearts and souls, only to win the battle. In a sense, the Heartless Wolf practitioners are the only ones that really understands the true necessities of war. Many times, a Heartless Wolf has been scorned and despised, only to save the day at the most critical moment. Heartless Wolf Path comprises Call the Blade, Iron Raptor Technique, Sandstorm-Wind Attack, Blazing Solar Bolt. Mortals specializing in the Heartless Wolf Path adds to dice to strike when throwing their melee weapons, but Solars also get the bonuses when throwing bolts of light.

Shining Solar Path

As the Unconquered Sun gave his warriors the courage to fight the dead, he also gave them parts of himself. Naturally, mostly Solars benefit from this even more, but mortals are also benefitted from this gift. The Charm are Excellent Strike, Edge of Morning Sunlight, and Corona of Radiance. Mortals trained in this path adds dice when fighting undead, or creatures of the night. Masters of the Shining Solar Path gets additional benefits to Melee charms developed to battle creatures of the night in the other Paths. For instance, Blazing Solar Bolt gets Essence extra dice on the strike roll. The Glorious Solar Saber gets +Essence bonuses distributed to accuracy, damage, and defense (player's choice) when created by a Shining Solar Path Master.

Gentle Bulwark Path

Some melee fighters do not look for a lethal outcome of each battle. Instead, they try to defend themselves, trying to prolong the battle in order to calm down the opponent. It is said that masters of this path can make any fighter, no matter how ferocious, to surrender out of fatigue. Furthermore, there are rumours that are spread around that there is one master who are able to use an angry opponents ire, and draw essence from it. Gentle Bulwark Path consists of Golden Essence Block, Dipping Swallow Defense, Bulwark Stance (Fury-Converting Block), and Five-Fold Bulwark Stance. Masters of Gentle Bulwark Stance and Steel Ribbon can activate both Five-Fold Bulwark Stance and Steel Ribbon Style as one charm at the cost of 7 motes and 1 Willpower. Mortals specializing in the Gentle Bulwark Path adds dice to blocking maneuvers.

Instead of Bulwark Stance, many Solars learn Fury-Converting Block, particularly Masters of the Shining Solar Path often favor this charm over Bulwark Stance.

Fury-Converting Block</b>

<b>Cost: 1 mote 
Duration: Instant 
Type: Supplemental 
Min. Melee: 3 
Min Essence: 1 
Prereqs: Dipping Swallow Defense 

When the opponent's strike is met with impeding weapon, sparks from the area of contact forms into a sphere of golden essence that flies up and down a few times before it merges with the defender's chest. The more experienced defenders are able to use the malicious intent of opponents attacks and turn them into something constructive and useful. This particular instance has created a philosophical debate of the moral stance of consequence ethics. Each net success in a successful parry supplemented by this charm becomes a mote of essence that the defender can store as her own. However, each strike cannot generate more than the Solar's Melee rating, and no motes more than Melee x 3 can be generated per turn. This charm can be activated after the number of successes of the incoming attack is known, but it has to be activated before the parry roll. This charm can never be in the same combo as Heavenly Guardian Defense. Fury-Converting Block is only applicable when blocking is the only active defense against an attack, but passive modifiers can be used before to reduce the number of successes.

Furthermore, if a Master of the Shining Solar Path at least gets one net successes is rolled against a soulsteel weapon supplemented by this charm, then truly powerful forces clash and additional effects take place. First, the motes gained is drained from the attacker, perhaps a surprised Abyssal or Ghost. Secondly, the souls in the steel weapon are partially released. For every other mote gained the weapon's bonuses are reduced permanently in the following order; accuracy, and initiative. If both statistics reach zero, then the weapon is competely and utterly destroyed. Finally, Fury-Converting Block is based on malicious intent in the initial attack, and cannot be used unless the attacker, in her heart truly, wants to injure the defender. As such, some Masters of the Gentle Bulwark Path are able to discern the true intentions of sparring partners.

Mirror Reflection Path

The practitioners of this path are mostly using their chosen weapon to reflect the rays of light, to blind or confuse their opponents. Furthermore, their defensive stances and clever techniques has given the arts of fighting against many opponents a whole new meaning. Many experts claim that to beat a Mirror Reflection Path Master, you have to fight her alone. This is a very rare technique, that only a few knows exist. However, should any Master desire to learn it, there is no problem to develop it from the beginning. The path stems from Dipping Swallow Technique, by far the most common technique that almost all Melee students learn along with Excellent Strike.

Eyes of the Bronze Tiger</b>

<b>Cost: 1 per 2 dice 
Duration: One scene 
Type: Simple (Reflexive) 
Min. Melee: 5 
Min Essence: 2 
Prereqs: Golden Essence Block 

Facing a practitioner of the Mirror Reflection Path is a difficult thing. This technique causes the eyes and the weapons of the practitioner to glow in a blinding way. The user of the technique may choose the level of intensity of the glow. In contrast to many techniques, this charm are always obvious in itself, and the charm can only be powered with peripheral essence motes. Opponents wishing to attack can do so with a visual dice pool penalty, equal to twice the motes invested in the charm, though the maximum penalty is limited at Essence. At least one weapon is necessary to activate this charm, as the reflections from the eyes and the blade create the necessary amount or light. Furthermore, as this technique is pending on the inner light of the user, Masters of the Shining Solar Path may activate this charm reflexively.

Bouncing Block Brigade</b>

<b>Cost: 4 motes 
Duration: Instant 
Type: Reflexive 
Min. Ability: 5 
Min Essence: 2 
Prereqs: Golden Essence Block 

Some students who continue the Mirror Reflection Path have learnt to turn their opponents' weak attacks into attacks of their own. Whenever a parry is successful, this charm redirects the attack into a nearby bystander. Technically, the Mirror Reflection practitioner rolls her Melee + the number of extra successes on the parry roll as a new attack. Damage is based on the strength of the practitioner, but the weapon of the initial attacker. Visually, the charm is very evident that the user caused the effect.

Reflecting Thoughts of the Sun</b>

<b>Cost: 5 motes, 1 WP 
Duration: One scene 
Type: Simple 
Min. Ability: 5 
Min Essence: 3 
Prereqs: Bouncing Block Brigade, Eyes of the Bronze Tiger 

True Masters of Reflection do not have to rely on visual effects to get their opponents shaken. Instead of glowing, the Master simply states a few ancient words, using the words of the Unconquered Sun himself. This slight whisper causes the souls of the opponents to doubt the point of their existence, and the point of the battle. For the rest of the scene, opponents wishing to attack the Mirror Reflection Master may do so with a dice pool penalty equal to the sum of their two highest virtues.

Being a Master

A master is a master, regardless of path enjoy a certain status and respect from those who know the way of the blade. This, of course, is only applicable when the person is a known master. Many Solars and Mortals prefer to keep their techniques and skills hidden. A fair deal of Solars, have mastered many paths, but only acknowledge the mastering of one path. The benefits of being Master are plenty. In addition to the obvious notion that most protagonists refrain themselves to pick a fight with a known master, the master can also charge heavily for their teachings. A known Master can easily keep a Resources 2 in just about any setting throughout Creation. In particularly war-ridden settings or cities, this can be even higher, or if the path is forgotten or very rare in the region. In larger cities, and metropoli, there are almost always several masters known and active. It is up to the storyteller which path is rare at each particular region. On the downside, being a master also have its negative aspects. In many cases, people tend to only regard them as the Master, and forget all other aspects of the person. Furthermore, there are a few moronic enthusiasts who constantly wish to challenge a Master, only to get painful lessons in return. Every once in a while, a master cuts a moron down. In those cases, the procedure of expediting are often so brilliant and lethal that on-lookers refrain themselves to challenge another master. In the First Age, it was not possible to turn down a challenge. However, in the confusing Second Age, there are so many challengers that refusing today is common. Also, if a Master choose to stay for a longer period of time, then the others would come to her in times of crisis. Some clever people have found out that pretending to be a master can be quite beneficial in the short term. However, those who are discovered by another master invariably suffer a terrible fate.

When becoming a master of one path, some righteous Solars automatically learns The Mind's Battle charm for free. Only the most devoted and true fighters can learn the charm.

The Mind's Battle</b>

<b>Cost: 1 mote 
Duration: One turn 
Type: Simple 
Min. Melee: 5 
Min Essence: 3 
Prereqs: Any final path charm 

When two or more honorable and respectable opponents meet. They can choose to slowly close their eyes to measure their skill and speed against each other in their minds. In the mind's arena, they can conduct a similar fight as they would have in their real bodies, but without the loss of life and limb. This is an ancient ritual performed often in the First Age, and it is portected by Goddess of Rightful Battles and Fair Play; Equina. She is very strict, and those who fail to immediately acknowledge the winner of a Mind's Battle, or interfere by any other means suffer her great and terrible wrath. At times, she allows mortals to join a Mind's Battle, but only those of great dedication to fair fights and martial training are considered.

System: The Mind's Battle is a measure of skill and honor, only one artifact may be used, the primary weapon, in the battle. If the primary weapon is set of thrown weapons or a bow with arrows, then they can all be brought. Furthermore, the time in the Mind's arena flows different from the time in creation. The entire Mind's Battle only take one turn, during which bystanders and audience must roll a successful Conviction roll at difficulty 3 to interfere. Those who succeed, or participants that lies about the outcome of a Mind's Battle, loses something important ranging from 3 ability points in their best ability, to one permanent point of Essence. Those who once have dishonored Equina and the Mind's Battle may never again participate in a Mind's Battle.

Grandmasters

Inevitably, there will be Masters of several paths (i.e., three or more paths). These warriors of immense battle experience and combat shrewdness are able to develop Grandmaster techniques. Whenever someone develops one such technique, she is a Grandmaster. All GM techniques will be between Essence 4 and 6. So far, there is only one known Grandmaster in Creation, Clar'dan, the Immaculate Monk who resorted to the ways of the blade instead. A Grandmaster is probably the end of Melee development, and all the techniques are individual, where each particular swordsman develops customized charms that suits her the best. As reaching Grandmaster is no common feat, there are no social benefits from it, unless she is gathering a lot students and masters who all know about it. Grandmaster techniques should bring the Melee charms to another qualitative level, giving minor benefits to other skills as well. For instance, a Grandmaster Solar Perfection Technique would ignore any event that reduces the rolled number of successes, and other opponents would have difficulties in attacking the Grandmaster.

Comments

I see some problems with some charms, as some of them are very similar to what others have thought of before or after. There should be a dual-wielding path as well. Other than that, I'd really want to know of you guys feel that the idea is disrupting the game, if you feel that some paths are superior to others. Otherwise, comment whatever you like. Clebo

I like this idea, and I also like a lot of the mechanical stuff here so far, but I still have some major questions.

So I'm reading it like this: you buy charms from the lists above, and each one gives you a speciality dot in the path it's from, until you have three specializations in that style? "This means that a Solar, in time, can have a lot of specializations." This seems to indicate that Exalted get these specialisations, but in the path descriptions, only mortals seem to get particular benefit from them. Can you explain?

I'm also dubious about what the next few lines mean: "In order to uphold game balance, I've tried to keep the specializations very narrow. If a Solar can use several specialization per turn, then the cap of three can never be exceeded." So I reckon that means that the Solar does get the specalisations, but can only use a maximum of three dice from them each turn. So if they have three dots of Whirling Strikes and two dots of Steel Ribbon, they can maybe add two to their initiative and then add one die to all counterstrikes. The problem is, you can only have three dots of specialisation, total, for Melee, according to the normal rules. I'm assuming these Path rules supersede that rule? Yeah, it is reasonable for Solars to eventually master all styles of armed combat.

But I don't like the idea of being able to invoke two different fighting styles in the same turn. It seems kinda weird to be fighting in two different styles with one weapon, simultaneously. I have some ideas on ways to deal with this but it would change the nature of paths fundamentally so I might just houserule it and stay silent here.

Having specialisations in a weapon style is very cool, though there should be some attention paid to avoid overpowering the speciality. Like, you can normally take a specialisation in Daiklaives or Two-weapon Fighting, and sure you're planning to fight in that way all the time so you don't worry too much about situations where your speciality doesn't apply. But they do come up, and they form part of your character's dramatic palette and also part of their combat limitations and vulnerabilities. My fear is that this will be lost if you have a combat style speciality, even if they're narrow and deliberately limited like these ones are. Then, you obviously intend to fight in that style, and there's no dramatic or tactical way to stop you doing it. Your speciality is applicable all the time. So, I'd like to see something to change that. The combat styles, after all, will have their own strengths and weaknesses. So, maybe, the Steel Ribbon path can only be used with weapons that have a Speed of +4 or more, or only with one-handed weapons, or maybe on turns when you score the initiative. This means that when your opponent disarms you or detunes your Daiklainve, and you have to grab the axe from your fallen henchman's corpse, you have to fight in a different style (possibly another style that favours your new circumstances).

The last thing I have to say is about how the charm trees for the paths are structured. I think the paths that have several charms in them shouldn't just branch off the Melee trees like little sprouts, or grow completely independent of them, but rather be interwoven with them. For example, I think Steel Ribbon Style should have both Ready in Eight Directions Stance and First Strike as prerequisite charms. And the Fading Light path should be related to the main Melee tree; for example by making Summoning the Loyal Steel another prerequisite for Fading Light Cut. This would of course make it significantly harder to master certain paths, and their power level should change accordingly.

So yeah, those are my questions and comments. Tried to be polite because I do really like the charms and ideas on this page, but I was probably just blunt instead =) I'll post some more at some point. -- Onyx Chasm

Yay! I feel the love from Onyx Chasm, mainly because the commenting at all, and you were not blunt. I spent much effort in the above, but few wanted to comment on it. Now to the questions.

Specialities are messy in the text. I wanted to make the mortal path masters particularly cool in certain aspects of the game, but at the same time keep the Solars similar. That is, when you have mastered a path you get the specialty dice only when the requirement is met. However, these requirements turned out to be too narrow. For instance, specialty in "counterstriking" is clearly inferior to "attacking". So, my solution was to enable multiple specialties, where a Master of all paths practically can use +3 dice to all actions. However, that would mean complete mastery of all Melee charms in the game. Maybe this is counterproductive when it comes to stylish melee combat. Another solution would be to remove specialties altogether, letting it go beside the system above. However, that would mean no mechanical difference for the mortal masters. I agree that the specialty issue is a problem, and I'm very open for suggestions how to handle it better!

Charm structure is also very debatable. For instance, Excellent Strike and First Strike are useful for many paths. The reasons I thought of for making the paths straight are as follows: Everyone wants to be the Path Master. Now, I want all Masters to be cool, effective, and fairly equal in power, though Masters of the Gentle Bulwark Path are probably more frequent. Therefore, some paths should not be that more cheap or expensive to learn than others. An intervowen cluster of charms would perhaps create this. I've tried to keep the paths about four charms deep. This is not really perfectly met in the system above, but some paths are more demanding (Steel Ribbon Path) because it must be able to do two things (parry and counterstrike) whereas others only does one thing such as Gentle Bulwark Path (parry). One way of doing it would be to let both path start out the same way:

Gentle Bulwark Path: GEB, DSD, BS (FCB), and 5FBS Steel Ribbon Path: GEB, DSD, SC, Ri8DS, SRS This would mean 7 charms to master two paths, comparable to a 4-charm path (Whirling Strikes Path) and a 3-charm path (Shining Solar Path).

I think that one problem that I have is with First Strike, and Excellent Strike. They are so useful for so many paths. Perhaps, I'd better remove First Strike and Sting-Ray Attack, and let all paths begin with ES, GEB, and StLS? I don't know, but as always, I'm open for suggestions! Please do present them Onyx!

Two styles in one turn. Hmm, this is not a problem that I initially thought of. For instance, a MA master can easily invoke both Tiger and Water Style charms in the same turn, using the same weapons. This is only one of many examples. Granted it takes a lot to master two MA trees, but in theory, a Celestial only needs one charm from two different trees to do a bastard combo. Thematically, your comment is valid. Why should a Master ever abandon his Path? I don't want you to stay silent about this. Clebo

Two-Fold Mirage Strike: The text reads as if you're saying that an attack enhanced by this charm strikes as if the defender was surprised, i.e. they can anticipate the "visible" attack, but they cannot anticipate the unseen attack unless they have ways of sensing this "unseen" attack. There are charms which allow one to deal with surprise attacks (surprise anticipation method, flow like blood, air dragon sight), and I feel that these should be fully effective against this attack as it relies on surprise (via misdirection). Of course, if it is the intention that this charm is proof against even those charms, then I think the description needs to explain why being able to anticipate where the real attack is coming from doesn't help one dodge it (e.g. use of "elsewhere")

Hmm, I have stolen the Two-Fold Mirage Strike from an unknown author. I thought of the charm as an undodgable attack, provided the defender uses vision. I don't know if I wish to change the text. Let me think about it for a while. Clebo

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