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AlecAustin's Lore Charms
I came up with these because Lore is about knowing things, yet there are no charms in the Solar lore trees which have any relevance to the ability's core purpose. These are intended to correct that lack.
<b>Cost:2 motes per difficulty reduction Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Lore: 1 Min Essence: 2 Prereqs: None
By clearing their mind of distraction and doubt, the Exalted using this charm can cut to the heart of even the most difficult and abstruse topics. The character may reduce the difficulty of any Lore roll (to a minimum of 1) by spending 2 motes for each level by which the difficulty is reduced.
<b>Cost:1 mote per level of difficulty Duration: Instant Type: Simple Min. Lore: 2 Min Essence: 2 Prereqs: Piercing Insight
By focusing on a specific memory, the character may recall any one incident, person, or object which they have ever encountered in perfect detail. This costs them one mote per difficulty level of the Intelligence or Lore roll the Storyteller would otherwise have demanded for them to recall the information, and covers every nuance of every sense-- the character effectively relives the past in their mind, focusing on whatever aspect of it they choose.
<b>Cost:1 mote per die Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Lore:3 Min Essence:2 Prereqs: Piercing Insight
By drawing on the accumulated gestalt of all their memories and knowledge, an Exalt with this charm can use their powers of reason to discern patterns in chaos and truths that have been hidden by ignorance and lies. For each mote they spend on this charm, the character may add one die to a single Lore roll, though they can no more than double their regular Attribute + Lore pool.
All-Knowing Sage Method</b>
<b>Cost:8 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Lore: 4 Min Essence: 3 Prereqs: Perfect Recall, Savant's Wisdom
While a character using Savant's Wisdom hopes to gain knowledge, one who has mastered the All-Knowing Sage Method comprehends all. The character gains a number of success on a single lore roll equal to their permanent Essence.
Wisdom on the Wind</b>
<b>Cost:5 motes, 1 willpower Duration: One scene Type: Simple Min. Lore: 5 Min Essence: 3 Prereqs: All-Knowing Sage Method
By tapping into the eddies of knowledge and understanding that swirl around him, the character can gain insights into things about which he would ordinarily know nothing. Once a turn, the character may make a reflexive Wits + Lore roll to draw general knowledge and a sense of context about one topic, be it a person, place, event, law, or what have you, from the world around him. The difficulty and number of success the character gains on this roll determines what and how much they learn.
- Difficulty 1: The vast majority of the people within the general area know about the topic in question. (Example: Whether it is illegal to throw objects into the river in Nexus.)
- Difficulty 3: A significant minority of the people in the area know about the topic. (Example: The identity of a local crime boss in the Nighthammer district.)
- Difficulty 5+: Only a few people in the area know about the topic. (Example: The membership of the Council of Entities.)
- 1 success: What everyone knows and the consensus opinion, or if there is no consensus, that there is no agreement on the topic.
- 3 successes: A more detailed understanding of the context surrounding the topic; specific opinions and attitudes of specific groups towards the topic.
- 5 successes: You know all-- what many different individuals know about the topic, how they feel about it, and what support they have for their beliefs and feelings. You either know or can make a credible guess as to the true state of things.
This charm is most effective when used as a mean of gathering context and background about unfamiliar names, phrases, and locations, as well as for feeling out a community’s opinions about a particular topic, event, or individual.
<b>Cost:Varies Duration: Instant Type: Simple Min. Lore: 5 Min Essence: 3 Prereqs: Wisdom on the Wind
By touching another individual or meeting their eyes, the character can project their knowledge and understanding of a single topic into the subject’s mind a single instant. The cost to do this ranges from 2 motes to upwards of 10 motes and depends on the complexity of the topic; generally, the charm costs twice the difficulty of the roll which would be required to verbally communicate the information transmitted to the recipient. (The context surrounding a simple personal disagreement would cost 2 motes, for instance, while a master ship-builder transmitting everything that they know about First Age shipbuilding to a layman would cost 10 motes or more.) This charm transcends language barriers. Note that when a character harbors misconceptions about a topic, those misconceptions are communicated through this charm.
Enlightening the Masses</b>
<b>Cost:As Bestow Enlightenment, but +2 motes per extra target Duration: Instant Type: Simple Min. Lore: 5 Min Essence: 4 Prereqs: Bestow Enlightment
Driven by their desire to share their knowledge, the Exalted may gift their knowledge to many individuals at once. This charm is identical to Bestow Enlightenment, save that it can affect up to 2 x (the character’s permanent Essence) individuals and the character need only glance at the individuals they choose to communicate their knowledge to.
hplovescats posted an earlier version of this tree on the Exalted forum, and since then I've restructured the tree and dropped the "crush people's minds with pointless trivia" charm that followed Enlightening the Masses. If I ever play a Twilight again, I'd definitely want to pick up a few of these, which is, well, why I wrote them.
Mm. Perfect Recall and Piercing Insight are basically the same charm, except the former is more efficent than the later. Further, both are more efficent than All-Knowing Sage Method, and Perfect Recall is more efficent (statistically) than Savant's Wisdom. In other words, the early part of the tree is FILLED with speedbumps. Furthermore, it's more traditional to just have 'buy successes' than 'reduce difficulty' with the Solars- although the effects are the same statistically, it's better consistancy. I'd advise going from Savant's Wisdom to Perfect Recall of (THING) (at 1 mote per success, must be a speciality, cap of Lore+Essence) to All-Knowing Sage Method (5 motes, gain Essence in Successes)
An easy fix would be to drop Piercing Insight, and restrict Perfect Recall to a subset of Lore, no broader than a speciality, but allowing it to be purchased multiple times.
Wisdom on the Wind is odd- it feels more like an Investigation than a Lore Charm to moi.
I'd change Bestow Enlightment and Enlightening the Masses to require a scene of teaching, but teach as much in that scene as could normally be taught in a full 10 hour day of study- thereby bringing it better in line with Craftsman Needs No Tools and the llike.
Overall, not a bad conception behind the Charms- they just need some technique refinment :)
I can see all of your points. I think my take on what Lore covers as an ability might be broader than yours, though, which is why the tree is so long; if my last character had ever gotten ahold of any of the dice adders or success-buyers, he would have become a strategic monster, crushing anyone and everyone who dared to oppose our circle. I'm hearing Sima Yi from Dynasty Warriors 4 right now: "Fools! Fools! You know nothing of strategy!"
Piercing Insight is there for a couple of reasons, the most prominent being understanding first-age devices. Its purpose is to make insanely hard rolls easy, while later charms are meant to make you really successful/knowledgeable, no matter the inherent difficulty of the roll.
Example: Julian is trying to decipher how to make the first age airship he and his circle have been fighting on not crash into a mountain. The Storyteller decrees that this is a difficulty 7 roll. Julian spends 12 motes on Piercing Insight. The roll is now difficulty 1.
This actually came up in our game. Julian did not have the charm (largely because the charm did not yet exist). He botched the roll hard.
I suppose that it might be effectively converted into a charm like Ten Magistrate's eyes, though, save that it would never reduce the difficulty of a roll below 1.
Re: Perfect Recall and Savant's Wisdom, Perfect Recall can only tell you things you already knew or could have known, while Savant's Wisdom lets you figure new things out by implication. Want to remember exactly what your nemesis looks like so you can draw a picture of him? Perfect Recall. Want to figure out the technical (non-magic) side of making a manse or daiklave, even without prior experience? Savant's Wisdom.
The relationship between Savant's Wisdom and All-Knowing Sage Method _is_ quite problematic, but I didn't want either of them to make the other useless. I'm tempted to make All-Knowing Sage Method do something else interesting but related to Savant's Wisdom. I like your suggested changes too, although I'm going to hold off on implementing them for the moment.
More suggestions and/or comments are, of course, welcome.
I agree with DS: these are very good ideas, but there doesn't seem to be much cause to have so many Charms that basically do the exact same thing. PI, SW and AKSM could all be reduced to a single dice-adder or success-adder Charm with no meaningful loss to gameplay. - Quendalon