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Blood-Smoke Prayer

Cost: 10 motes, 2 Willpower
Duration: One Scene
Type: Simple
Min. Dodge: 6
Min. Essence: 4
Prerequisite Charms: Flow Like Blood

You may dodge any attack automatically.


That's a really bad charm. Where did the old Willows, who wrote good things and was a happy person go? - Telgar

It is, but I get the feeling Willows has put it up for us to dissect. Smallest thing first, I don't believe you can get Dodge 6 without Essence 6, so minimum Essence should be increased to 6 to begin with. Secondly, this is not a scene-long HGD equivalent as it does not affect applicability. The cost seems suitable to the willpower-locked high essence combat, at which point it is likely that people have access to Undodgeables, feeding off the second point. And lastly, this prevents you from using any other dodge effect as it automatically triggers to take up your dodge response to an attack -- Somori hopes that this is the kind of commentary Willows was after

It's not intentional that it consumes your dodge opportunity to the exclusion of using other Dodge Charms; if it were, the text would be very specific and explicit on that count. I've changed the text to make this more obvious. Rather, the Charm exists to force opponents to resort to undodgeable attacks or Charm interruption technology. It's supposed to make a point - for Solars of sufficient skill, it takes very little power for them to totally disregard the presence of extras in combat. - willows
Doen't this work a little too well? Alchemical don't have undodgeables, I THINK (don't own it, and its been a while since I looked through it) Sidereals have it until they get MA, and I don't think the Dragonsblooded have them, and anything the Fair Folk would have of that nature would be Glamuor and easly igonored by an Essence 4 Solar. This makes you basicly untouchable to anything by Solars, Abyssmals, (Old) Sidereals, and... well, thats it. Lunars my fit in there somewhere, but it they do, you would have to ask someone who owns the book. - Dasmen
Are you sure that DBs don't have undodgeables? They have access to environmental damage, after all, which isn't defensible at all. Notice that Ability 6 isn't a trivial requirement. - willows
I find this as scary as Protection of Celestial Bliss. PoCB will stop anything, but only a few anythings. This stops a limited number of attacks, but all of that limited number are stopped. Their both on the same level, to me Essence 5 Ability 6 charms. Just my viewpooint, take it as you would. - Dasmen
Compare to a similar effect: "You may reflexively dodge any attacks with your full pool; your Dexterity + Dodge dice automatically roll 10s." See how this version, though it's less predictable, is actually significantly better? I don't debate that the original form is quite scary, but I think that PoCB is much more so, for being a basket of HGDs. (It may help to remember that I'm writing from the perspective of a guy who plays a very high-Essence game all the time, and so I don't see the defensive capacity of this Charm as particularly more impressive than respectable stacked persistents; the lack of access to defence-success-based riposte effects (see Crimson Palm Counterstrike) makes this strongly crippled in my eyes.) - willows
You don't need ripostes if you have this. It basicly says "All attacks that aren't REALLY REALLY SPECAL fail." The only way anyone will ever hit you is by draining their pool into Charms that aren't going to do them any good byond giving them a chance to hit you - and at this level you'll be double diping into dodge charms, meaning that only comboes will have a chance. No one can stand to more then five or six rounds of chaning to use comboes every turn. - Dasmen
Yep, that's what it says. More to the point, at the level Ability 6 becomes accessible, I think that dice are more difficult to come by than flat perfect effects, and dice (and successes) are more valuable for reasons we already know. At the point someone has this Charm, I fully expect his opponents to have turnlong effects that make their attacks undodgeable. -w
Sorry, I'm going to have to come down on the side of "Perfect is better then rolled, even if your[sic] rolling alot[sic]." Chance always favors the NPC - Dasmen
You're not sorry, but that's okay because I'm not really sure what hypothetical Charm you are talking about. - willows
PS: Don't those DB charms have the disadvantage of being utterly indiscrimnate? It requires teamwork for DBs to beat a solar, so such charms are almost worthless by defalt aganst the Princes of the Earth.
On Willows point about Solar's ignoring Extras, how about "You may perform a Dodge action in reaction to any attack that results in 5 automatic successes?" as an effect? This means that you have to be somewhat special to hurt this kind of solar, but doesn't prevent all attacks. Although I still wonder how it is possible to have an ability of 6 without essence 6? And do you envisage many Ess4 Solars getting access to this charm? -- Somori
Somori, just because something has an Ability req of 6 doesn't mean it MUST have an Essence req of 6. Essence Reqs for Charms are in no way, at all, associated with the Ability Req. There are possibly effects, charms, artifacts, whatever that use the Essence Req of a Charm in their mechanics and, for such reasons, it can be set at whatever value is determined happy and right. Yes, a Solar needs Essence 6 to get this (or the Merit that allows level 6 abilities), but that doesn't matter to the req of this *specific charm*. - Telgar
Hell, I would be happy with "You may add five automatic successes to any Dodge. This can create a pool from nothing, and can be used in responce to attacks you are unaware of." - dasmen
When I say "extras", I'm usually including anyone that's not a Solar. - willows
Uh huh... you've overloaded a defined game term. That's bad juju, that is. I'll let it slide now you've explained it though. I don't quite see where your coolness is coming from though, most likely because I am looking at this single charm in isolation. Do you have links for other charms you use at Essence 6? -- Somori who is honestly trying to figure out how this high-essence gig works.
Ask Charlequin about advanced Charms. -w
Actually, um, I've written enough stuff for advanced combat that I can direct you toward it. I'll do so presently. -w

Personally, I'm on the 'bad charm' side of this discussion. This Charm doesn't just block extras - it blocks everyone that doesn't have a single specific way of dealing with problems (ie undodgeable attacks). I'm not a fan of single Charms having this kind of specific effect, and I don't think the rules support it. If the Solars had effects like this at Essence 6, how exactly could the Dragon-Blooded have overthrown them? - FrivYeti

I don't mind them having it at essence 6. As I said, to me, its no worse then PoCB, but it's at essence four - that's my problem. As for the dragonsblooded beating the Solars - they died by the tens of Thousends for every solar that they killed... Including the ones that were so druged up they couldn't use charms, and they mostly acted as Smokescreens for the Sids. - Dasmen
I disagree. First off, over 10,000 Dragon-Blooded died, but that's a BIG difference from dying by the tens of thousands per Solar (For that to be true, over 3.5 million dragon-blooded would have had to die. Secondly, PoCB isn't that powerful. It's a non-instant Charm - it's used for emergency situations. This offers complete immunity to everyone who doesn't have a specific, rare Charm effect. The equivalent combat Charms are agg damage high range and no sight penalty arrows, +2Essence damage to unarmed attacks, or a very small number of perfect defenses that can't be comboed. Sidereal Martial Arts, sadly, has no scene-lengths at Essence 6 to compare, but the Essence 7 one turns Agg to Lethal. These are all much lower than what this Charm does. However, my view of the way the system works is clearly so far from yours as to need a telescope to see one another, so I'm going to bow out. FrivYeti
I dunno. Write some Essence 6 DB Charms. - willows
But maybe I will. FrivYeti

I'm more interested in what Willows thinks about the OBVIOUS Melee counterpart: You parry all attacks automatically. A Solar with the two charms would be invulnerable to all attacks except perfects and, then of course, has HGD and PoCB to handle those. So, um, they just beat everyone. Forever. And ever. At Essence 6. - Telgar

Except, of course, for the individual who can come up with multiple inapplicable attacks or other inconveniencing effects per round. For example, Grabowski in his discussion on Heavenly Guardian Defense defined attacks as damage applied against the Solar's soak. If you have a nifty Essence 4 effect that causes unsoakable levels of damage to someone who fails on their opposed roll of Willpower against your Charisma+Presence, from sheer overpowering glory, then you've just figured out a way to burn through the enemy's willpower. Even better, come up with an effect that doesn't cause damage at all, but saps his temporary Willpower; he cannot make the choice to spend Willpower or take a little damage, but is losing his most precious resource either way. Vargo Teras

Somori, here are some things that illustrate my vision of advanced combat:

  • Martial Arts:
    • Bitter Flower outlines a low-Willpower expenditure combat strategy that helps you win by draining your opponent's Willpower while avoiding the use of Combos.
    • Argent Scorpion of Opposition is something of an answer to Charcoal March of Spiders; a major component of it is the system of independent Secrets that allow some of your Charms to operate autonomously.
  • Other Stuff:
    • SolarLore/FourWillowsWeeping contains some references for novel weaponry and Charm-timing techniques; of interest are Unconquerably Excellent Solar Armoury and Integral Understanding.
    • SolarMelee/FourWillowsWeeping reacts to perect defences; relevant things are the Feints and In Opposition to Perfection.

The picture isn't complete, because I am also taking into account significant extensions to the Solar Charm library made by Charlequin; Birds-of-Trinity's combat cheat sheet can give you a glimpse of the other stuff we're dealing with (scenelong autosuccess adders in both defences, persistent ranged melee attacks, &c.) - willows

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