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This is a layout stolen from TrialBySchmendrick to facilitate an On-line Match in ImmortalKombat.

Trial started: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 2:44PM PDT
Trial completed: Friday, May 7, 2010 7:05PM PDT


Eroding Mountain of the Faithful - Jade Caste - Air Dragon Style

Golden Serpent - Dawn Caste - Snake Style

1. Full Essence 3 builds allowed.

2. Full Artifacts allowed.

Blank Tick Template

Flavor text describing the events, stunts, etc.

Mechanics of one fighter
Mechanics of another fighter. If a fighter makes an attack, use the attack steps. Second Edition, for example, would be:
  1. Attack specifics, including charm use.
    1. Additional details, like countercharms
    2. Or other responses to the attack made during this step
  2. Defense declaration
  3. Attack roll
  4. Attack reroll
  5. External penalties
  6. Defense reroll
  7. Base damage
  8. Soak
  9. Counterattacks
  10. Result

Arena + Setup

Starting Distance 44 Yards. I was thinking a swamp near the Font of Mourning.

Swamp to me says there are things like logs and rocks for solid ground, with mostly a waist-deep muck that smells really terrible everywhere. There are trees like weeping willows, some living and some dead, and there are lots of bugs and maybe creatures like alligators/crocodiles.
Yep, sound right to me.

Serpent will face his opponent standing on a flat, mossy rock. He is clad in loose black trousers and a brown vest with a stylized cobra's hood represented on the back in gold; he is wielding a pair of hooked swords with hilt ornamentation displaying hooded cobras whose fangs form the finger-guards. He eyes the mechanical man before him and says, "Perhaps when I'm done with you, my sorcerer-engineers can put you back together as a soldier for my army."

The shining, almost wet stone of Mountain's form stood in colorful contrast to the black murk around small perch. "You'll find the warriors of the Machine God do not fall so easily. Still, you could join our cause, and help all people work towards the common good."


Tick -1

Golden Serpent activates Leaping Cobra's Eye for 1wp, spending 3m on Striking Cobra Technique and 3m on Monkey Leap Technique. His anima surges forward with the image of a cobra whose fangs seek Mountain's throat, but he leaps upwards into the treetops. Join Battle (10 dice + 5 successes): 9, 8, 9, 5, 8, 10, 9, 5, 5, 6 (7 + 5 = 12 successes). Serpent has 4/5 willpower, 29/35 peripheral essence, 14/14 personal essence, 7/7 health levels.

EMF rolls a normal Join Battle roll. 0, 3, 7, 0, 9, 5, 6, 6, 2, 8. 7 successes.

6/6 WP 0/0 Personal 19/19 Peripheral. 10/10 Health.

GS Acts on Tick 0, EMF acts on Tick 5.

Tick 0

GS's leap carries him soaring onto a high bough - the summit of one of the trees, and upon reaching it he crackles with essence as ephemeral golden scales form on his skin and the ghostly forms of snake's heads engulf the hooks of his swords, extending their fangs along the points of them. He laughs. "Let's see just how tough that metal body of yours is then!"

Crunch: Leap 18 yards up (reflexively as my movement action thanks to Monkey Leap technique). Reflexive roll of Dexterity + Athletics to perch atop the tree (8, 7, 5, 6, 4, 3, 4, 6, 3, 4 = 2 successes, should be enough). Activate Essence Fangs and Scales Technique for 6m (Speed 5). Current Peripheral motes: 23/35. Anima flare is at the 11+ level, causing Dawn power to activate.

EMF Darts back, lightly stepping from log to log, keeping as much distance as possible.

Crunch: Distance +7 yards.

Tick 1

Still only one leap per flurry, so GS runs forward along the tree branches overhead. 5 yards per tick, continued on ticks 1-4 -20 yards

Moving away, 7 yards a tick, continued from 1-4 +28 yards.

Tick 2

Tick 3

Tick 4

Tick 5

Simultaneous actions! Our Wits + Awareness totals are equal, so I'll just go ahead and declare that GS leaps towards EMF (36 yards horizontal) while Aiming.

Adopting a flowing, quickly changing stance, EMF activates Air Dragon Form and keeps circlin Speed 5 DV -1. +7 yards. Next action tick 10. 6/6 WP 0/0 Personal 14/19 Peripheral. 10/10 Health.

Distance is 44-20+42-36 = 30 yards.

Tick 6

Tick 7

GS reaches his full Aim bonus of +3 to his next attack.

Tick 8

Tick 9

Tick 10

GS leaps again, bounding up through the tree branches again. Horizontal distance closes to 4 yards if movement rates remain constant; vertical distance opens to 18 yards again. Serpent laughs, "Ha! They made you fast at least! Less confident than you boast?"

"Not at all. Distance is... relevant." With a spin like an ice skater stepping into a pirouette EMF unleashes a barrage of 4 chakram which seem to materialize out of the wind generated by his powerful gyrations. Their aim seems true as they effortlessly slice their way through branches and leaves on the way to their intended target. With a snap upright EMF comes to a halt, the light shower of leaves drifting down standing in stark contrast to the statuesque Alchemical.

Making a non magical flurry of 4 attacks. Waiting on Stunt Die awards before rolls.
I'll give that 2 dice, but ask you to also make a Dexterity + Athletics roll to come to a stop on something solid instead of swampy (which the dice apply to as well as the attacks of course). Difficulty 3 I'd say.
1,4,2,9,6,2,6,4,3,7,9,10 = 5 successes.
Speed 3, DV -4 Next action tick 13.

Serpent's laughter continues as he bounces off a branch and spins in the air, rolling into a diving fall through the storm of chakrams. He hooks his swords together, hook to guard, letting the connected weapons fly out as a sweeping radius of danger with his falling spin. When each chakram touches his skin, his anima flares, revealing a great golden cobra whose eyes transfix his enemy's, and whose scales are utterly impenetrable. Bouncing off the attacks, Serpent reaches for Mountain with a steely whirl of counters.

I likes it. =) 2 Dice for sure... but getting to travel 20ish yards for all of the attacks seems a bit much for a stunt, as you already had to leap 36 yards to get this close. I'd be fine with either you choosing a different action/charm (and landing 4 yards away from me) or you continuing with that, but only being close enough to counterattack for the last attack. Kinda like a reverse leaping dodge effect (which seems to make sense to me). Either way, here I go rolling attacks. =)
Remember that the long distance is vertical, up from EMF. Gravity brings you down to earth and all that, since Serpent is deciding not to actually stand on a branch this time. I'll take the one counter restriction as fair given my stunt, but I'd like to use the one highest-success attack you rolled (which is technically attack #2) for the purposes of Snake Strikes the Heel.
What i was saying was you falling, accelerating due to gravity, from 0 to whatever, 18 yards (that's 54 feet, or 5 and 1/2 stories tall) in less than a second is almost twice the distance you should get to fall (and you're not moving/jumping down, as you already did this to get to the place you want to fall from). To call physics into light (assuming Exalted has normal earth gravity, which seems to be the setting assumption), acceleration due to gravity is 9.81meters/s/s. meters to yards is 1.1, so you get a bit over 10 yards in a second if starting from 0. That still leaves you 8ish yards above me at the end of the tick (which, for argument sake, you're actually 4 yards distant from me with perhaps a 2 yard reach, leaving the idea of you more or less over me kinda silly.) I felt I was being more than fair getting you here, but, for the fun of it and to make things more epic, let's assume you fall at double the normal rate. And you get the most favorable possible attack to hit. Let's see what happens. =) (also, you will need to take falling damage for that distance. As you MUST fall the whole way without stopping yourself to have a chance of hitting me back, you can make a reflexive Wits + Athletics roll, each success adding one point to your bashing soak for 9B damage (which is piercing))
Also, you're still getting shot at 4 times, so you're going to need to declare defenses for those other 3 attacks. I know the counter one is exciting, but the rest still happen. =)
Activating Victory in Stillness for 1wp, foregoing DV, and activating Adamant Skin Technique against any attack which rolls successes. Trying to stunt to get in range for counterattacks via Snake Strikes the Heel. 12m on AST, 3m on SStH, dice pool 9 + 5 + 2 = 16 base + 3 die aim. 16m on first MA excellency = 35 die pool.
  1. First Attack
    1. Stunt 2 Die
    2. Defensive Stunt 2 Die
  2. Defense declaration
  3. 15 dice: 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,6,7,9,9,9,0= 8Sux
  4. None or DV
  5. None
  6. Defense reroll
  7. Base damage
  8. Soak
    1. Perfect
  9. Counterattacks
  10. Result

  1. Second
    1. Stunt 2 Die
    2. Defensive Stunt 2 Die
  2. Defense declaration
  3. 14 dice: 1,1,1,2,5,6,7,7,8,9,9,9,9,0 = 9 Sux
  4. None or DV
  5. None
  6. Defense reroll
  7. Base damage
  8. Soak
    1. Perfect
  9. Counterattacks
    1. Snake Strikes the Heel (And 1st MA Excelency?)
    2. 35 dice: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10 (13 successes)
    3. Defense declaration (any DV will be penalized by 4 for flurry, 2 for height advantage) "Moving as he lets the flailing sword strike out at him, the jade man curtsies neatly under the serpents instinctive blow." (Dodge declared) For math, I'm just going to assume a 1 die stunt.
    1. DDV 7 (Base 12 + 1 stunt -4 flurry -2 height)
    2. Attack Reroll (none)
    3. Defense Reroll (none)
    4. Base Damage: 6 attack successes + 4 str + 3L Hook Sword = 13L. Damage is piercing.
    5. Soak (Piercing reduces EMF's armor by half, making soak 16. I'm unclear if piercing reduces hardness on artifact armor; if not, then we are faced with an odd situation where hardness exceeds soak. I'm also unclear why the armor plating charm appears to contradict the general ruling that hardness does not stack, at least the way you've written it up. If hardness is reduced by piercing, or does not stack, the attack manages to do ping. Otherwise, it manages to do nothing.)
Hardness is separate from, and applied before soak. (Main book 149 "Before worrying about soak, however, the attacker's player should compare the raw damage of the attack to any Hardness") Piercing tag (as far as I've been scouring the errata since the beginning of this match a few days ago looking for this answer) affects soak, but has no effect on hardness.
From MOEP: Alchemicals: Page 134 "This exoskeleton is Obvious, and while artifact armor may always be worn over it for cumulative benefit, mundane protective gear must be specifically tailored to accommodate the Exalt." Also, the hardness isn't listed as #/#, it's listed as +#/#, adding to an armor rather than providing a static number. Thus hardness stacking.
  1. Nothing. (unless someone knows something special from errata/clarifications I don't have)

  1. Third
    1. Stunt 2 Die
    2. Defensive Stunt 2 Die
  2. Defense declaration
  3. 13 dice: 1,1,1,1,2,3,3,5,7,9,9,0,0 = 7 Sux
  4. None or DV
  5. None
  6. Defense reroll
  7. Base damage
  8. Soak
    1. Perfect
  9. Counterattacks
  10. Result

  1. Foruth
    1. Stunt 2 Die
    2. Defensive Stunt 2 Die
  2. Defense declaration
  3. 12 dice: 1,2,3,4,4,5,5,7,7,7,8,8 = 5 Sux
  4. None or DV
  5. None
  6. Defense reroll
  7. Base damage
  8. Soak
    1. Perfect
  9. Counterattacks
  10. Result

  1. Falling Damage (on GS)
  2. Auto hit the ground
  3. No Defense
  4. Raw Damage 9B (piercing)
  5. Soak: Athletics roll: 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10 (6 successes). Total soak is thus 9, and environmental effects such as falling can be soaked to 0.
  6. Results: No damage.

Tick 11

Serpent splashes into the muck, rising and coughing, blinking as he sees Mountain's unscratched carapace. He stands as he can, then bows slightly and offers his weapons. "I can offer no stronger attack. I apologize for my insolence. Please accept my surrender, and allow me to send word to my men so they may negotiate my release."

"Your surrender is unnecessary. You may go as you please. I have learned, and now must meditate on this wisdom." Mountain bows, turns, and walks away into the swamp.


A section for what was learned

Home player

I forfeit, as it is impractical for me to pierce the rather excessive hardness possessed by my opponent. Though I would have done so had I managed an average roll on that counterattack, and had I used other tactics might have been able to manage multiple counterattacks, it would take more luck and essence than I could expect to have for Golden Serpent to consistently inflict damage.

My objective with Golden Serpent was to determine if Snake Strikes the Heel + Adamant Skin Technique was as broken a combination as I remember it. Conclusion: Yes, but flawed unless combined with Armor-Penetrating Fang Strike. Even then, unless errata comes out to apply that charm and/or the Piercing tag to Hardness, the inability to use heavy weapons with the style becomes crippling against certain opponents. Namely, Alchemical Exalted focused on armoring themselves. Allowing Exoskeletal Armor Plating to stack with other armor hardness because it is listed with a "+" by the number makes this augmentation considerably more powerful than any Solar soak charm short of Adamant Skin Technique, and even then, AST costs motes to activate. The armor plating is continuously present. Had EMF been constructed with an Essence Shield Projector instead of Aegis Integration, I might have faced 21 hardness. A strength 5 character with a grand goremaul would have to score more than a single net success to penetrate that, and with Motic Field Stabilizers it can be active indefinitely.

Ultimately, my conclusion must be that Alchemical defenses are significantly better than Solar defenses.

Away player

My goal was to explore a hardness based defense character that could ping spam an opponent from range.

Heavy weapons like the Serpent Sting Staff? (10B/P, more depending on material) With the same stats, and 1 more success (still below average) you would have overcome my hardness.

Hardness stacking is pretty good, but I had to invest a lot more to get that going (3 charms for the enhancements, 5 background dots for the armor, and another charm to attune to it properly and not have it hurt my dodge defense, plus the permanently committed motes necessary for those charms being installed) than you needed for your 3 charm combo that kills. The Essence Sheild Projector breaks after 1 bypassing, so you only have to hit hard once. Layered ablation nodes take another charm to get up to Stamina 6, and then a speed 6 simple action to put it up again, although it can be comboed.

Alternitively, Sans soak/enhancers etc, Anyone with a perfect defense can ignore that combo. It's not really broken at all, just good. It's one of many "Perfect or die" situations, but it is a bit lower on the end, as it requires a large attack pool from your opponent to work, and fails to other counterattack based builds. Ping spamming a lot of attacks at low dice also renders it less effective.

Finding that a particular style has a particular weakness to specific builds is one of many things that IK is about. =)

I don't think that says alchemical are better defenders, but they are better at hardness based defenses than solars. Solars are better (more efficient, less charms) at dodge and parry based perfects.

A little disappointing, but regardless, good match. =)


Initial Negotiations

Where and what is the font of mourning? I only have my core book and storyteller's companion with me. A swamp sounds fine though. - IanPrice

Oh, it's a swamp in the southwest, where the head of Ot pops through into creation and the Alchemicals first emerge. -Sabis

Player Chat

I'll leave environmental description at the start to you, I'm kind of terrible with setting scenes... my players always complain. -Sabis

Done and done, let's have a nice fun battle. :) - IanPrice

Observer Comments

Font of Mourning is the area around Calan's Loss in the South West. It's the blighted and dangerous region where Thrice-Damned Gorol was revealed to be an Akuma in the First Age and killed his friend and friend's lunar mate via trickery and deceit. The first infernal demesne and 'natural' source of vitriol. nikink

Tick 1: I don't understand what you mean by 'Can only leap once per flurry, so GS will take a Move action on these remaining ticks' (excuse the paraphrase)? If MLT lets you jump as a reflexive action instead of Move, then surely on the other ticks you could continue jumping? The limit of one Jump per flurry is (as I understand it) the same as one Move action per Flurry, so you cannot Jump-Attack-Jump-Attack-Jump-Attack for example (without charms that let you do so that is). nikink

Actually, in the description of the jumping miscellaneous action, it says "a character can make only one jump in a flurry or on its own," but Move lists its speed as per-tick. Since making every tick a leap would make MLT sooo much better than the equivalent-level charm Lightning Speed, I've always seen it interpreted that one jump per DV refresh remains the rule. - IanPrice
The errata on the official wiki even clarifies that this is the case, you can only leap once per action. - Bencyclopedia
No more than one jump per action. (Scroll of Eratta, page 15: [You may jump] "Only once every 5 ticks, as normal.") -Sabis

Wow. Another shorter than expected match! As I noted in the comments for Match 7, in some ways this format is weighted to the advantage of Alchemicals, who are written and designed to be Solar strength when mono-focussed but completely lacking in every other area when they do that focussing. In this Kombat, they only have to mono-focus, so requiring charms towards survival, craft... anything non-combat related is unnecessary, and no refit times for charm swapping either. Not that this really matters, but I would expect, given enough matches, that the Alchemical contestants tend to score as highly as Solars. Time will tell if my theory is right I suppose. :) nikink

In these setups, no one has to do anything besides combat focus, so i think that part of your argument is extraneous. As far as Solar strength charms, not only are their charms less efficient (1-2 more motes per activation) they also cost permanent motes to have in the first place. Their essence pool calculations are smaller too. (for instance, I had a grant total of 19 motes to play with, 14 after form charm.) I expect they'll be more on level w/ Lunars in the long run... but I haven't gotten to run my Lunar yet. =) -Sabis
Not true. Aoshi has to look into things other then MA when she moves into the Ess 5 matches. if I was feeling particularly clever (and I would have to feel a damn sight clever) I could use her Destinys more and tailor her a little more that way, but I really cant be bothered for the payoff when compared to the pather she is going to take. Muzz
  • blink blink* So... how is that doing anything besides combat focus? It's combat focus using primarily non-combat focused stuff (resplendence and such), but I hold that no one has to do anything but combat focus in these matches. It's no different than using Integrity charms to boost your DV's or Medicine charms to eliminate wound penalties and get more health levels.
Time wll tell. The point is that Alchemicals were designed to be approaching Solar level when monofocussed, and this power was balanced by the necessities of refits and being only Heroic Mortal (ish) level in every other area of endeavour while monofocussed. Thus I expect in these matches that Alchemicals will generally perform above their weight (so to speak). You are correct that their PDs cost 4m, vs a Solar PD of 3. But a Lunar PD is 6m and a Sidereal is 10m. So, they do approach Solar power in that regards. I look forward to being proved wrong when enough matches have finished that meaningful stats could be gleaned. :) nikink