Righteous Cycle Society
I almost made this an MA style, but it's not deep enough and there's already too many MAs. Instead, it's a new kind of Melee Charm. To learn any of the Charms in the following tree, the Solar must have a specialty of Swords (or, in a game with stricter specialties, Straight Sword or Slashing Sword and their daiklaive equivalents) +1. In order to use any of the following Charms, he must weild a straight or slashing sword (or equivalent daiklaive, assume this from now on) with two hands-- if one of his hands is bound or he finds himself weilding a different type of sword, the Charms fail to function.
The Charm tre is not meant for general use, but more as a specific Melee school known as the Righteous Cycle Society that once taught younger Solars in the First Age who wished for a combat style that interacted well and was developed from the basic Solar Melee skills. There are probably still training manuals for it in some Solar tombs, though if there were more powerful extensions of the technqiue than those here, they were either highly secret or highly personalized, and no widespread records remain.
(The person who gets the references gains my undying geek approval.)
The blade went by many names...
Rightful Procession Stance</I>
Cost: 4 motes Duration:: Scene Type:: Reflexive Min. Melee:: 4 (req. spec.: Sword +1) Min. Ess.:: 2 Prereq:: Call The Blade
The Solar's connection with his blade is a true one, and he is ever aware of his grip, its position, its movement, and its home, be it sheath or opponent's flesh. A Solar who knows his weapon may use it more properly as a tool. With this Charm activated, the Solar adds his Melee to the difficulty of all disarming attempts against him. Also, if he is wearing a sheath for the weapon, he may reflexively sheath and unsheath the weapon at any time. If the Solar is successfully disarmed, this Charm ends.
Without this Charm, sheathing (and at ST discretion, unsheathing) a sword is a dice action that requires no roll, as per Ebon Lightning Prana (see E:tA).
<I>... the Waking Dragon, coiled, as spring dawns...
Sudden Steel Blossom</I>
Cost: 6 motes Type: Supplemental Duration: Instant Min. Melee: 4 (req. spec.: Sword +1) Min. Ess.: 2 Prereq: Rightful Procession Stance, Excellent Strike
As the last coughs of winter hide the impending glory of spring, as a sheath hides a sword, so too can a Solar use a seemingly unprepared position to hide the quality of his next strike. To use this Charm, the Solar must have his sword sheathed-- in using the Charm, he unsheathes the weapon and attacks in one smooth, unpredictable movement, faster than any mortal can move from a sheathed sword to a dead opponent. The Solar adds his Essence to the difficulty to defend against the attack.
<I>... Hawk's Harvest, seizing prey in the tall summer grass...
Patient Talon Rebuke</I>
Cost: 3 motes Type: Reflexive Duration: Instant Min. Melee: 5 (req. spec.: Sword +1) Min. Ess.: 2 Prereq: Righful Procession Stance, Solar Counterattack
The Solar waits for the proper moment to instruct his foe in the folly of attacking him, timing his attack to take advantage of his attacker's commitment to his own attack, just as the hawk picks the mice from the field at its lesure when a mouse goes in search of food. This Charm may only be activated AFTER the Solar's own initiative count, despite its reflexive type, though it may be invoked freely after then. The Solar makes a reflexive disarming attempt when attacked in hand-to-hand combat (Melee, MA, or Brawl) that is resolved before the original attack. The Solar rolls at a difficulty of 1-- the Wits+Combat Ability roll to retain the weapon is made at +2 difficulty, to represent the defender being caught in a moment of weakness, weapon already extended for attack. This Charm relies on the leverage an opponent must use to weild a weapon, and as such has no effect on unarmed opponents or those weilding un-disarmable weapons like Cesti and Tiger Claws, which are attached to the hands themselves. The sheer speed required to use this Charm means that the user's sword must be unsheathed before the Charm is activated.
<I>... Autumn-Razor, the patient hunter...
Falling Leaf Strike</B>
<B>Cost: 10 motes, 1 Willpower, 1 Health Level Type: Simple Duration: Instant Min. Melee: 5 (req. spec.: Sword +1) Min. Ess.: 3 Prereq: Rightful Procession Stance, Fire and Stones Strike
All things must come to an end, and in the fall nature reflects this, as many living things die and others go into hiding or hibernation. It is almost as if life itself is fleeing from the world, and so the Solar attempts to usher the flesh at the other side of his sword down the same autumn path towards the end of life.
The execution of this strike requires that the Solar begin with his sword unsheathed, and the attack's completion sheaths the Solar's weapon. The Solar makes a normal Melee attack. He adds (3xEssence) to his damage and all damage dice are converted to automatic successes, IF the attack kills the opponent. This is an all-or-nothing attack. If it does not kill the target, the target only suffers a single automatic level of lethal damage if the attack hits and no damage if it does not.
Due to the nature of the strike, this Charm cannot be comboed with Sudden Steel Blossom. If no sheath is available for the character's sword, properly executing the attack is difficult, and the attack is made at +3 diff.
...the Famine-Of-Winter, that kills the babe at its mother's empty breast...
Unforgiving Sentinel Prana</I>
Cost: 8 motes Type: Reflexive Duration: 1 Turn Min. Melee: 5 (req. spec.: Sword +1) Min. Essence: 3 Prereq: Rightful Procession Stance, Ready In Eight Directions Stance
In the winter, nothing moves. All should sleep. Any disturbance in the cold and snow is especially noticeable, and the cold saps the energy from one's movements as a punishment. So too is the Solar's onslaught critical of movement in a time when none should move, striking down movement and restoring the peaceful sleep of winter.
The Solar cannot move any distance during the turn this Charm is activated, though he may shift his stance and move his body without changing his position-- he may parry as normal, but all dodges are at +3 difficulty. However, anyone within his blade's reach (normally a yard, as long as 2 with some daiklaives) must remain absolutely still, or suffer retribution. If someone moves into, attempts to leave, or move around within the character's reach, the character receives a free attack against them. If someone makes an attack or attempts some other action, including defensive actions, the character reveives a free attack against them. The only case in which no attack is made is in response to defensive actions made against one of the character's own attacks. The same target may be attacked multiple times in a single turn in this turn, if they insist on continuing to take actions.
<I>... and it was said he who held the blade held the very reins of the world.
Perfect Flow of Nature Approach</I>
Cost: 5 motes, 1 Willpower Type: Simple Duration: Scene Min. Melee: 5 (min. spec.: Swords +2) Min. Ess.: 4 Prereq: Sudden Steel Blossom, Patient Rebuke, Falling Leaf Strike, Unforgiving Sentinel Prana
The Solar masters the basic lessons behind the Rightful Procession Stance, and learns to navigate combat flawlessly from beginning to end without thought, just as salmon leaps upstream and a bear lays down for the winter. The Solar cannot be disarmed while the Charm is in effect. He adds his Melee+Essence to his initiative on every turn-- moreso, initiative means little to him-- though he still cannot take actions before his own rolled init, he may always split his actions as if he had won initiative, even in response to a faster attack. Finally, he ignores his Melee+Essence in split action penalties (including full parries, if using Power Combat), as his perfected concentration allows him to make 5 strikes as easily as he could make one.
<i> CARDBOARD TUBE SAMAURI!!!! </i> - Scrollreader
I'm not going to examine the charm mechanics right now, but something that jumps out at me is that Rightful Procession Stance should be rooted in the Call the Blade tree. - Quendalon
Hmmm. I very much agree. - TheMyriadOfShades
I like many of these charms, and think that they are quite balanced, my only concern is someone using the Scabbard of the Living Weapon, from the Twilight Caste book. It makes you immune to all non magical attacks while the sword is sheathed, so with Rightfull Procession Stance, he would gain an abnormal boost to his power.