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  • coughs* So- um. Yeah. This is Bored During Class Inspiration Prana's effects. I was theorizing about perfect damage effects, and then I started to expand the perfect attacks, and that sort of moved me into other directions of how Charms integrate, and... yeah. So, I only need one more Charm to double the initial tree. Yow. - IsawaBrian

Okay, lotsa charms.. The top stuff I liked and thought was well balanced, so no big comments there. A few comments on some of the lower charms...

  • Total Annihilation Method - OUCH. But, I've always maintained that Solar Melee is the ultimate combat tree - look how scary Iron Whirlwind is, and it's only Mel5, Ess 3. I'd pit high essence solar melee against high essence Sidereal MA any day. Frighteningly, this is 'only' an essence 7 charm, imagine what's above this!
  • Elegant Defense Method - I'm not sure if you want to clone SSE exactly here, but SSE's cost is 2 motes more than EDM. On the other hand, this has more prereq charms, so maybe you are factoring that in?
  • In the Shadow of the Sun - I like how you tweaked the cost a bit from Blade of the Battle Maiden - assuming a) that's what you did and b) I remembered the charm name. I might add a small cost for the reflexive parries though (1 mote per), or add another will to the total cost.
  • Flooding River Strike, Tornado Assault Technique, and Thousand Cuts Prana - It seems to me that TCP should be before the other two. Really, it's about the same power as IWA, you just get actions instead of attacks and it's based on Essence and not Dex, where as FRS and TAT give you a potentially great number of attacks than IWA.
  • Weapon Reinforcement Meditation -- I have an idea for a charm that would have a prereq of Summoning the Loyal Steel and this which would make the character's favorite weapon unbreakable and reflexively summonable.
-- Qaphsiel
Added a few more. Addressing your points as they come...
    • EDM is designed to be less expensive than SSE because you have to have a weapon in your hand. SSE can dodge any dodgeable attack if you're sitting naked in the middle of the snow- in fact, I'd rule that you could dodge something while in manacles using SSE. So- it costs more because it's got a greater amount of utilitarianism.
    • In the Shadow of the Sun already has a larger cost, versus BotBM already. The persistent defense I'm treating as a perk of Being a Solar. I might up it to 5 + 1 + 2/per, but I'm leaning against it.
    • Actually, TCP is much, much more powerful than IWA. IWA has to be used every round, after all. TCP is a scene-long effect. :) And, after all, since they're /extra/ actions, you can invoke a Charm of *any* type, every turn...
    • Sounds like a good idea, on the WRM/SLS thing. Permanent Charm, or long-term investment?
- IsawaBrian

      • EDM, duh, yeah, makes sense.
      • BotBM is 2m + 2w + 2m/per (at work, so I could be misremembering), which if you use the standard coversion of 1w = 10m translates to 12m + 1w + 2m/per. As Solar melee, it should definitely be more powerful than celestial MA, but lowering the cost and upping the effect seemed too much to me.
      • I think I missed that TCP was scene-long. :-p
      • Hmm, how about permanant, take it up to valor (or Ess or Mel, valor just seems fun here and caps it at 5) times, and it takes you a week to 'attune' a weapon a new weapon to it (if you loose the current one, or just want to replace it with a spiffier one)? Not sure how to deal with de-attuning a weapon... but I think it shouldn't be too easy. Cost could be temp will? XP? limit break? A slot of valor channeling?
-- Q
        • Ah, so BotBM *is* 2WP. Heh. Small error there. Changed!
        • Actually, I'd keep it with just one weapon. I mean, at best, I'd note that perfectly identical weapons should be counted as just one, but otherwise, like SLS, I'd say it's just not the sort of thing that you can do for more than one weapon. As for changing- I'd make it just a result of attuning a new weapon

Blinding Rush Method - Ahh, very cool. A nice analogy to Arrow Storm Tech as well as a follon to MotS. I'm not sure I'm sold on it begin permanant though. I'd prefer a scene long with a modest cost, 5 motes maybe. Reflexive, obviously.

Peony Garden Meditation - I think I'd add a per cost of a willpowe to this too. Just a straight 4m and 1w per FIA, and ever odd one taken must be Melee specific.

Iron Hurricane Assualt - Sweet jeezus. Bring on Chejop Kejak... and remind me to stunt to regain some willpower. Scary as hell, but what else can you at these essence levels? It's gonna be scary.

-- Q

    • Blinding Rush Method is actually based on Secrets of Future Strife. I figure, if a Celestial Martial Art, which is supposed to be weaker than normal preform can do it for *everything*, it's not too out of the ordinary if I change the flavor text, requirements, etc., and limit it to melee stuff.
    • Changed. I'd originally intended IHA to be only 2 WP, and I wanted it to be competive.
    • Heh. Well, yes, and no. Remember, Chejop's got to have at least Essence 10. I imagine he has FIAs of his own. However, based on the evidence, it /looks/ like he either only /barely/ has perfect anything, or doesn't have any. So... maybe. Personally, I wouldn't go after him- assuming Essence 10- unless I (a) had a custom-made Artifact 5 suit- one that combines the nifty perks of the Dragon Armor with the power of Orichalcum Superheavy Plate *and* the Outside of Fateness of the ... whatsitsname... the one that Crimson Banner Executioner uses, (b) had Essence 9 at least, 10 to be guaranteed, and (c) a pair of artifact 5 end-of-the-world weapons. >.>
And, well, some more Charms. *shrugs* Came to me last night when I was thinking about Jane Yolen's Sister Light, Sister Dark series. The last one, directly inspired by that series, was the hardest to write.
- IsawaBrian

Har, I badly misparsed BRM - I read it as long as he goes first, he keeps getting the bonus (and hence my strange leap to AST). Read correctly, it makes sense as a permanant charm. :-p

Re SLS+WRM: I'm thinking a group of charms: 1 - a basic SLS + the unbreakable for a scene; 2 - A bump to SLS which lets you have up to Mel weapons in elsewhere; 3 - one which is basically a combination of #1 and #2. Then you can start adding in Initiative effects somewhere along the way too. FWIW, there is a precedent for multiple weapons in elsewhere, it's either DB thrown or Air Dragon MA - you can load a bunch of thrown weapons into elsewhere and then attack quasi-reflexively (not an action, but has to occur after init) with them - pretty nasty really. So, anyhow, now I have something to do after aikido this evening. I'll list WRM as an optional prereq where appropriate.

The Shadow charms look cool, though I haven't thought about them a lot yet. I would charge a permanant Essence for the last one though. Think about it as splitting of a bit of your shard.

Lastly, you might want to split this comment section off onto its own page, it's getting pretty big. (Sorry!)

-- Qaphsiel

Moved these here. Anyway- on the Shadow one, yeah, changed that. Let's see... on the increasing number of weapons, I don't think I would. It doesn't feel right to me, you know? It just feels out of character. I still encourage you to do so, just to see how it looks. - IsawaBrian

The melee charm that uses the craft-charm mechanics, Careful Warrior Technique, or similar - I like the mechanics and the description, but this is either overpowered, under costed, or under requisited... The non-combat charms are specifically made more powerful (or rather, more certain, thus more autosuccess effects) than the combat ones. While I do definately like the way this charm works, and I think you should keep it, auto-combat successes -on top- of rolls seems a little high for melee 1 essence 1, and perhaps the cost should go up a little. Just a suggestion, but it can easily make excellent strike a little pointless (not totally, as Excellent Strike still lets you expand pools for multiple actions... but much less useful.) Anyway, I like all of your quite vast collection of charms! - Darloth uses the Sandwidge Criticism Technique for 7 motes. (Socialise 1 Essence 1?)

Spirit-Burning Solar Aura seems a bit weak for essence 7. I would have it dammage stanima rather then Heath levels, and have it obliterate the slain, even down to their Shard if they were an Exalt - Dasmen

It's based on progression and comparison from canon. There's a canon archery charm that causes a single shot to do aggravated damage at Essence 6/Archery 6. So, when I was making the "higher damage" tree for this, including the metaperfect that will instantly kill (but is single shot and horrendously expensive), I fit in a 'one shot' agg at Essence 6/Melee 6. Making it scene long has to be a higher requirement, or it's pointless; so... *shrug* --IsawaBrian
I think everyone pretty-much agrees that the solar castebook charms at essence 6ish are all vastly, vastly underpowered. I certainly think so. Inexhaustible Bolts of the Sun and Protection of Celestial Bliss are exceptions, but the agg damage at ess 6 is in my opinion nowhere near essence 6... Martial arts gets it at 3 or 4, and there are other celestial level charms that also grant it at 3-4, although usually with drawbacks... As such, I'd say it should be essence 5 at the most, probably with other benefits.
-- Darloth
Eh, especially in the first one, yes. The thing is, though, they're what I have to work with. The only sourcebook I'm prepared to reject some of the Charms on for the purposes of mechanical balance is Cult of the Illuminated, and that's because pretty much all of the Charms introduced in there (the stunt-success roller had me rolling my eyes, and most of the frag nasty ones seemed pretty much designed to keep the Solars dependent on their bosses) are all (IMO) obviously purposely altered to be either less efficient or have some form of 'bleed off' to keep the Solars in check. So, for now, it's probably going to stand, unless the Agg damage levels get changed in 2.0. I do admit, I'm going to be looking at that Snake Charm today and seeing if it wouldn't be a better model. --IsawaBrian

Pretty nice. I like the way many of these draw from the standard visuals.

  • Focused Attack: This charm unfortunatly is a speedbump. The effect is good, but you'd probably better using Excellent Strike as your single charm and it doesn't work well in combos, as you HAVE to spend the motes on it, and it may not be that usefull. Probably the best solution is to say it does not HAVE to be activated in comboes. Although you could also make it reflexive and build in the other restrictions (Supplemental and melee actions)
  • One With the Blade: I wonder where this came from? ;) Seriously, I'd up the mote cost to about 3-4, as melee tends to have a much higher base damage than archery, making perfects considerably more dangerous
  • Spear Of The Unconquered Sun: Ouch! Note that making this undogeable and unblockable means the target basicly can't reduce the successes. I'm not sure if that was intended, but I'm actually ok with for a 5/5 charm.
  • In the Shadow of the Sun: I'd probably cost this as 1 mote per die, as it's got higher prereqs vs BotBM and isn't a MA charm.
  • Tornado Assault Technique: Unfortunatly, the max number of people who can be around a single charachter is 5, so this is basicly weaker than Iron Whirlwind except under very strange circumstances. I'd make all foes within Essence+Melee yards.
  • Swift Slice: Lacks a duration, but is obviously an instant. I'd probably make it little more expensize, like 3-4 base cost, as melee doesn't really need init boosts
  • Flanking Mospid Charge: I'd probably give this a cost of 4, due to being a melee charm
  • Striking Pterok Speed: This I would make quite a bit more expensive(6) as negating auto-win effects when your carrying a big long hunk of metal is quite powerful. The requirements should probably also be higher, maybe 5/4. The name is also odd, but cool anyway.
  • Sunray Spear: See previous comments. Personally, I think the whole init increasing subtree is a bit powerful due to the fact that melee tends to have the best init anyway.
  • Heart of the Sun Attack: Honestly, I'd probably cost this as 10+1, with 5/5 prereqs. Essence venom strike is 10+1+1hl, with a 5/3 cost and some bennies, although it has a tree below it. I don't think you should have to wait 100 years to be able to do agg damage with a weapon. You could also make it be a charm that bypassed natural soak, which is mostly the point of Agg anyway.
  • Moment of the Strike: This is really nasty, as it effectivly negates ambushes, which tend to be melee's one weakness. Same goes for the next charm.
  • One Weapon, Two Lives: This seems weak compared to CMoSF, which gives 3 actions with similar restictions and some additional bonuses. I'd probably substitue the next charm (Peony Garden Meditation) or even Iron Hurricane Assault for this one, as pure Abilities should generally be better than MA IMHO(well, for Solars at least)
  • Shadow of My Soul: The whole "shadow can be killed" aspect, while neat, makes this too risky to use generally. I'd probably say the shadow reflexivly decommits if killed and is unaccessable for a number days equal to 10-Essence. I would only allow the permanant ones to be killed.
  • Warhost Mortality Discipline: This is just cool.

Anyway, pretty cool overall. -FlowsLikeBits

Heh. *grins* Thanks. Some of these were hard to adapt, and the utterly and totally unique ones can be fiddly.
    • Focused Strike is not quite a speedbump. It's better in some situations- facing shielded opponents, for example- and in other situations of subtlety and environmental distress. It does have a larger effect, individually, than the scene-longer behind it. However, I am going to make it reflexive anyway, because I just realized; it really should work with parries anyway.
    • Hey, perfects are fun for everyone, the whole family, etc. It's a good point, though. However, at the moment, I'm going for mechanical equivalency (especially since Archery Charms can be used with some, if not all, siege weapons. For now, I'm keeping it as is.
    • Yes. You are not meant to stop the Spear with anything less than a meta-perfect (ie, Heavenly Guardian Defense) defense. It's an ugly, ugly attack meant for hyper-powerful solars.
    • I've had a lot of trouble costing In the Shadow of the Sun. I BELIEVE that I upped the cost slightly to deal with the fact that it gives reflexive parries; I'm not sure BotBM does.
    • Tornado Assault Technique and its Brawl brother, Thousand Meteors Strike... Hmm. They can't be stopped, the way Flooding River Strike can be. The attacks are simply made. Do you think they'd still be worth 6e, 1 WP if upped to the range you suggest? And what about a change to the Area of Effect Melee Charm I made beneath it, Explosive Solar Wrath.
    • I'm going to leave the initiative ones as they are for now-- for mechanical symmetry, and because they can't be used to make clinches. The Martial Arts initiative boosters have the rest of their chains to support them.
    • The agg ones, I'm still thinking about. I don't want to bring them out of compliance with the Archery Charm, which is a bit lame, I'll admit. Plus, Essence Venom Strike is a Cap Charm; those, like Forms, play by different rules. I may end up either reducing the level on this or making it Supplemental; but my first instinct is to try for canon compatibility.
    • Actually, it has no effect on ambushes whatsoever. A mechanical ambush isn't a charm, so it isn't disrupted; its effects aren't initiative-based either. You either can't do anything the first round without reflexive charms or can't attack-- or it's a normal round, in which case the ambusher doesn't get the automatic initiative anyway.
    • Heh. Half the point to making this tree was, in fact, to get high-level Melee experts on a level with Sidereal Martial Artists. That being said... It's (a) slightly cheaper in its comitted cost and (b) doesn't screw up social or mental actions (in theory, you could use this to start a Sorcery effect while still fighting someone with melee). I am concerned about the charms that are side-benefited to Charcoal March. Potentially, I could give all of the FIMAs some additional benefit; of course, Charcoal March IS a Form-charm, which breaks rules, because (barring Prismatic) you can't get more than one of them up at a time.
    • Shadow of My Soul... hmm... That is a good point. Until you've "fixed" the Shadow, it isn't really permanent or real yet. Yeah, I'll make that change. Thanks!
    • Hee. I love the imagery off of it. :)

Something that might be useful for balancing - Smiling at the Damned, pg 158 Sidereals, a Melee 4 Essence 3 charm that makes your attack do aggravated damage. It does, however, halve the raw damage for an attack (presumably before soak, it annoyingly doesn't say.)
-- Darloth

Hmm. These are all good points. I'm going to drop the Aggravated Damage charms' requirements by 1 Melee/1 Essence each, as well as fool around with the area of effect attacks. Thanks! -- IsawaBrian

What I really like about this, is how incredibly complete it is.

      • In the Shadow of the Sun: BotBM doesn't allow reflexive parries, although given this charms place in the tree, I'm not sure the reflexive parry effect is that useful, given where it is in the tree; this isn't a viable replacement for FBS anyway. (WAY to expensive). I'd drop the reflexvie parry thing and the extra cost personaly. My geek side also wants to point out a sun cannot have a shadow, but that is silly.
      • Tornado Assault Technique: Cost seems ok. It's not clear weather you make seperate attack rolls for each opponent or one roll that applies to all.
      • Explosive Solar Wrath: Seems ok to me.
      • One Weapon, Two Lives: CMoSF also gives you Dance of the Hungary Spider and Unatural Many Step Stride, both of which are quite powerful. Thus I think a break for ONLY giving Actions is ok. Cost wise, CMoSF gets a 5 mote break from the sutra also. Thus I said this seems a bit weak to me. The only significant restriction of the Social/Mental ban seems to be Sorcery. My take on this problem is here. Comments appreciated!
      • In the area affect charms, Terrible Anger of the Unconquered Sun: Why don't extra's take double damage? (Second to last sentance). I don't think it matters really, it's just weird. Also, is it double damage from damage successes or double attack successes when counting damage?

The area affects look fine to me. I personaly wouldn't go to overboard with them, as most games I've seen don't track location all that accuratly.(No maps really). That's just me though. -FlowsLikeBits

*grins* thanks again. :)
        • Hmm. That's a good point. I'd like to preserve some uniqueness for In the Shadow of the Sun, though, so I think I'll see if I can come up with some other reason for the different cost.
        • I think I meant for it to be separate; I'll sleep on that.
        • OWTL: Need to keep at as being more expensive than Iron Whirlwind Technique by enough to make IWT still a viable charm-choice. On the other hand, IWT does give more actions, and this charm shuts down other extra actions (other than splitting) Maybe a 6 or 7 mote cost? I'm ignoring CMoSF's sutra ability, because I'm treating that as a Sidereal Perk. My answer to the Sutra is in SolarAbility/IsawaBrian (I should migrate it to SolarMulti, I suspect). I'll give yours a look-see when I'm not about to drop from exhaustion. :) (Thank God, finals are almost OVER)
        • *laughs* Extras don't take double damage because they're instantly killed. Second sentence, last paragraph.
-- IsawaBrian
          • OWTL: I'd delete it and drop Peony Garden Meditation down to 5/5, as PGM is superior in every way anyway. The original melee tree is a little speedbumpy anyway. Personally, I find the Fully Independant Actions vs Fully Independant Melee actions distictions cumbersome and not-needed for balance reasons. YMMV however. Requiring one be melee, as in Iron Hurricane Assault might be ok, but it just seems confusing otherwise. Not a big deal though.
          • Iron Hurricane Assault: I'd probably make this cost 2 willpower, as it's not THAT much more efficient than Peony Garden Meditation.
          • *laugh* Doh!. Sorry I missed that. Honestly, I can't imagine an extra surving being hit by a Solar who has Ess 7 solar melee charms...You could probably delete both mentions of extra's and leave it implicit. I mean, we're talking about charm that wipes out cities here...:)
            • I'm going to keep OWTL, as it appeals to my sense of symmetry.
            • Hmm, good point. In fact, I'm not even sure why it's 3 in the first place.
            • Nah. I'm going to state it outright. It's a part of the fundamental nature of the Charm.