<B>Cost:1 mote per die, 1 Willpower Duration: Scene Type: Simple Minimum Presence: 4 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Listener-Swaying Argument
The Exalt speaks, and his words reach out toward all within range of his voice, as a cool drink beckons a man dying of thirst. Each member of the Exalts intended audience feels as if the character is speaking to them personally. For each mote spent, the character adds one die to any Socialize, Presence, or Bureaucracy roll he makes for the scene. Multiple applications of this Charm are cumulative, but the character cannot more than double his normal Charisma + Presence pool. While under the effect of this charm, successes for any Socialize, Presence, or Bureaucracy roll may be applied to any within range of the Solar's voice. Only successes may be made "area effect" in this manner. Effects of Charms that go beyond what may be accomplished with successes, such as "Hypnotic Tongue Technique", "City-Sweeping Speech", or "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" may be applied only to the normal number of targets specified by the Charm. The Exalt may pay the cost for Charms such as these multiple times in order to affect multiple targets; doing so requires only a single action as normal for invoking the Charm once.
(My attempt at combining Listener-Swaying Argument with Blade of the Battle Maiden)
Primacy of Solar Authority</B>
<B>Cost:8 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: One speech Type: Simple Minimum Presence: 5 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Audience-Swaying Oration
There is no finer leader in war, or any endeavor, than a Solar. With a single speech, the Exalt may empower his audience to excel in any task performed in service to the Solar. The character makes a speech describing his objectives; these may include such things as winning a war, founding an organization, or protecting something of value to the Exalt, for example. The character makes a single Charisma + Presence roll. The audience, formed of up to (the characters Essence rating x 100) targets, each recieve a temporary essence pool equal to the successes scored on the Solars Presence roll. When in the service of the stated goals of the Solar, the targets may use motes from this pool as follows:
- 1 mote to add a success to any Valor or Attribute + Ability roll, up to a maximum of the Solars Essence successes.
- 1 mote to initiate communication with the Solar for 1 scene. This ability may only be used when within the Solars Essence in miles. Communication is not verbal; rather, an understanding of the situation is communicated. The Solar may similarly communicate a knowledge of what he wishes the target to do. Miscommunication or deceit is impossible using this method.
Multiple uses of this Charm on the same target do not stack: the targets must choose which speech they will continue to benefit from.
(An alternative to Tiger-Warrior Training Technique)
<B>Cost:5 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: One speech Type: Supplemental Minimum Presence: 5 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Audience-Swaying Oration
Many have said that the most powerful force in the world is an idea. If that idea was planted by a Solar using this Charm, they are correct. The Solar may make a single Presence roll to convince his audience; if successful, the Solar's speech empowers his audience to spread the word. The Solar's speech spreads from mouth to mouth, each new convert gaining the ability to apply the same number of successes on the Presence roll to a new audience. A total audience of 10*the Solars permanent Essence*the number of successes scored on the Presence roll may hear the speech until it finally loses its supernatural power to spread, although it may still continue spreading naturally. In this manner, it is possible for a powerful idea to sweep across a city as fast as the idea can be retold. Normally, only successes may be spread in this manner. Effects of Charms that go beyond what may be accomplished with successes, such as "Hypnotic Tongue Technique", "Primacy of Solar Authority", or "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" may be applied only to the normal number of targets specified by the Charm. The Exalt may pay the cost for Charms such as these multiple times in order to affect multiple targets.
<B>Cost:8 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: One speech Type: Supplemental Minimum Presence: 5 Minimum Essence: 4 Prerequisite Charms: City-Sweeping Speech
A single whisper in the right ear can topple nations. The Solar may make one Presence roll to convince up to his permanent Essence in targets; if successful, the Solar's speech empowers these people to spread the word. His audience may each speak to up to (the Solar's permanent Essence) other people, applying the number of successes that was achieved on the original Presence roll, minus one, to convince this new audience. In turn, this new audience spreads the word to more people, and so on. Each time the speech is retold, one success is lost from the original Presence test until the speech has lost its power to spread. Unlike "City-Sweeping Speech", the effects of Charms that go beyond what may be accomplished with successes, such as "Hypnotic Tongue Technique", and "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" may be applied to successive generations of targets. However, the Exalt must pay the Charm cost again for each generation beyond the first he wishes the effects of his speech to spread.
Presence of the Master</B>
<B>Cost:2 motes per success Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Presence: 4 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Listener-Swaying Argument
The Solar channels essence through his voice, his words falling like drops of molten orichalcum into the minds of his listeners. To use this charm, the player first makes a Socialize, Presence, or Bureaucracy roll for the character. Then, the player may buy additional successes, to a maximum of the characters permanent Essence rating + the number of successes scored on the roll. Each such success costs 2 motes of essence.
(It's "Masterful Performance Excercise", but for Presence. It's somewhat more broadly applicable, but with higher prerequisites.)
<B>Cost:5 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Presence: 5 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Presence of the Master
Not all Solars prefer to slay their enemies. Rather, some prefer to gather friends and allies to their cause. Solar Exalts are great leaders as well as incredible fighters. This Charm is favored by those Exalts who are both skilled and merciful duelists.
When making any attack doing Lethal damage, the Exalt may choose to use this charm. Instead of killing his target, however, the attack does no damage at all. Rather, damage done to the target using this charm is kept track of separately. If the converted Lethal damage created by this charm would otherwise be enough to kill its target, the Exalt may immediately make a Charisma + Presence check at a difficulty equal to the targets permanent Willpower. If this check succeeds, the target is immediately converted to the Exalts cause. If the target has an Essence greater than the Exalt, the target is merely considered very friendly towards him and his cause, but will not become a devoted follower. If the targets permanent Essence is less than or equal to that of the Exalt, that target becomes a devoted henchman of the Exalt, and his Nature may be changed to Follower if the Solar wishes. A devoted henchman may also gain a "Driving Passion" merit of the Solar's choice. The effects of this charm are permanent on mortals; otherwise the duration is limited to the current Story. To make this charm permanent on a non-mortal requires the Solar to spend 1 XP sometime before the current Story has finished. Otherwise, the henchman will find reasons to leave the Solar's company, although he will remain very friendly. As with any friend or henchman, the Solar will risk losing them if he abuses their relationship. This charm is explicitly permitted to be in a Combo with Charms of other Abilities.
Stare of Solar Conscription</B>
<B>Cost:8 motes, 1 Willpower Duration: Instant Type: Simple Minimum Presence: 5 Minimum Essence: 4 Prerequisite Charms: Life-Altering Blow
To meet the gaze of a servant of the Unconquered Sun is to know the certainty of Solar mastery over Creation. Many who have come face to face with a Solar using this Charm have fallen to their knees, shaking, knowing that they owe their life to the mercy of the Exalt and forevermore pledging their service to his cause.
To use this Charm, the Solar must meet his intended target eye-to-eye. Then, he must make a Charisma + Presence check at a difficulty equal to the targets permanent Willpower. If this check succeeds, he and his target are taken to a battlefield of the mind, to fight until one of them is defeated. The rest of the world fades from existence while the Solar and his target meet in battle. The battlefield resembles the real world, and each participant in the fight enters exactly as he was in reality. Once either the Solar or the target are defeated, they are both returned to the world unharmed and unchanged by their experiences, with no time having passed and no resources (such as essence or willpower) having been used. Avoiding battle is a concession of defeat. If the Solar defeats the target, the result is the same as if a Life-Altering Blow had succeeded. If the Solar was defeated, he may not use this Charm again on the same target for the duration of the current Story.
Authority of Sol Invictus</B>
<B>Cost:2 motes/Essence of spirit Duration: One task Type: Supplemental Minimum Presence: 5 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Presence of the Master
The Unconquered Sun has authority over all spirits in the Celestial Bureaucracy, and this Charm allows a Solar to share in some of that authority. Invoking this charm allows the Exalt to speak to any god or elemental whose domain is within range of his voice. The Charm may be invoked only on spirits with a permanent Essence less than or equal to that of the Solars, and on spirits that recognize and respond to the authority of the Unconquered Sun. This charm allows the Solar to command one simple effect that is within the domain of the spirit to grant; for example he may command a lock to open, a river to part and allow him to pass, or a sword to break. The exalt pays 2 motes of essence per point of permanent Essence of the spirit he is commanding. The essence is committed until the Exalt is done speaking and the task is finished; this may be immediately for something such as the breaking of a sword. If the spirit wishes to contest the Solars authority, it may do so by succeeding on a contested Willpower vs. the Solars Charisma + Presence check. This charm does not permit actual conversation to take place unless the spirit chooses to manifest itself and speak normally.
Words of Castigation</B>
<B>Cost:3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Minimum Presence: 5 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Presence of the Master
A word may be more dangerous than any weapon. With this Charm, the Exalt speaks a word or phrase that falls upon the ears of any single creature able to hear him. The Exalt attacks the target with Charisma + Presence, doing bashing damage equal to his permanent Willpower. Extra successes add to damage as normal. This damage does not overflow into lethal, and may be soaked only with the targets Stamina. This attack is not normally blockable or parryable, but may be defended against using Charisma + Presence. Successes on the defense subtract from successes on the attack. Against demons, the undead, and other creatures of darkness the damage this attack does is lethal.
(My version of "Words of Power")
The Great Shout</B>
<B>Cost:3 motes Duration: Scene Type: Simple Minimum Presence: 4 Minimum Essence: 3 Prerequisite Charms: Presence of the Master
This Charm gives the Solar near-total control over the the volume of his voice. The benefits of this effect include:
- The Exalt may choose to speak clearly at a range of up to Essence miles.
- The Exalt may focus his voice into a beam of destructive power, attacking targets using Charisma + Presence and doing bashing damage equal to his Strength. Against living targets, this damage may be soaked only by the targets Stamina. Against objects, this attack does double damage and ignores non-magical soak. Extra successes on the attack add to damage, as usual. This attack may be blocked or dodged as normal.
- The ease of vocal control given by this Charm makes the essence cost of Charms that rely on the voice cheaper, by Essence motes.
- This Charm doubles the number of dice provided by a successful stunt in cases where volume of voice is relevant.
(Yet another version of "Words of Power")
Mind and Body Forging Discipline</B>
<B>Cost:12 motes, 2 Willpower Duration: One Day Type: Simple Minimum Presence: 5 Minimum Essence: 4 Prerequisite Charms: Primacy of Solar Authority, Presence of the Master
It is not only Celestial-circle sorcerers who may create powerful servants; a Solar well-mastered in the disciplines of leadership and the imposition of their Presence may accomplish similar miracles.
With this Charm, the Solar molds and trains a single chosen individual using advanced, customized training techniques. This Charm may be used only on willing targets with Essence less than the Solar's own, and never on Celestial Exalts. The Solar inspires the target towards greater heights, and the target willingly learns as much as he is able over the course of several days or weeks. The Solar rolls a Charisma + Presence check, and totals the successes. These successes may be used by the target as bonus points to be spent on anything the target could normally raise with bonus points and training, including but not limited to Abilities, Attributes, charms, spells, most merits, and some backgrounds. In order to raise an Ability or learn a Charm or spell, the target must have appropriate training by someone already versed in the topic. Most backgrounds are not available for purchase, however the Inheritance, Experience, Knowledge, and Sorcery backgrounds are explicitly available, up to a maximum of the Solar's permanent Essence in dots for each background. The Knowledge background may only be learned if appropriate training in the occult or a library is available. The Inheritance background may only be purchased if the target already possesses it. The Sorcery background may only be used to take Terrestrial-circle spells, and an appropriate mentor or spellbooks must be available to teach the spells. The target may also not raise his Essence beyond the Solars permanent Essence - 1.
The process of training takes one day of close one-on-one supervision from the Solar, thereafter, the target consumes knowledge and training voraciously from any available source, requiring only a few words of encouragement from the Solar every few days. In order to learn new Abilities, Charms, or spells, usually only a single demonstration is necessary. The target usually trains at a rate of one bonus point/day, although if certain specialized forms of training are not available during that time, bonus points may be saved for future use. Multiple activations of this Charm on a single target over time do not stack; however any extra successes beyond those already used in previous activations may be spent on bonus points as normal. Targets forged using this training discipline invariably become extremely loyal towards their Solar "parent".
(Inspired by "Imbue Amalgam" and "The Spawning of Monsters", but much more balanced. If that's possible.)
Ritual of the Sun-Child</B>
<B>Cost:None Duration: Permanent Type: Special Minimum Presence: 5 Minimum Essence: 5 Prerequisite Charms: Mind and Body Forging Discipline
This Charm upgrades "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" to allow mortals trained with this technique to reach far greater heights of power than they might otherwise. During the first day of training a mortal, the Exalt endures a ritual in which he shares a small amount of his own blood with the target. This process costs the Solar 1 health level. If using Charms such as "Mastery of Erudition Methodology" and "Audience-Swaying Oration", 1 health level must be paid per mortal converted in this way. The mortal becomes a Solar half-caste, and is now qualified to purchase the Inheritance background and purchase Charms as such.
(Just spreading the love around a bit. Figured this made sense as an "upgrade" charm, a la 2nd edition sample charms I've seen.)
Mastery of Erudition Methodology</B>
<B>Cost:None Duration: Permanent Type: Special Minimum Presence: 5 Minimum Essence: 5 Prerequisite Charms: Mind and Body Forging Discipline
With time and practice, a Solar may further his knowledge of advanced teaching diciplines. This Charm upgrades "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" to remove the need for close one-to-one supervision during the first day of training. The motes for the Charm need only remain committed for a day, and a few words of guidance must be given to focus the trainee upon their path. So long as these conditions are met, the Exalt may use multiple activations of "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" in order to train multiple students.
So, what do people think? I especially like Life-Altering Blow, but I'm not sure if its cost or prerequisites are ideal. There may be a way I can improve the phrasing, too.
LIfe-Altering Blow is definately within the auspices of what Solar presence can do. Your execution leaves me a little confused, though. Why bother having it supplement an attack? It seems like it would make much more sense to skip the combat and go straight to the charima + presence check. Change the difficulty of the check to the target's temperance+ essence, and have the charm not take effect until the exalt accumulates a number of successes equal to the target's permenant willpower. Maybe add the restriction that the exalt can only use the charm once a day on any given person. I'd probably add 1 willpower to the cost as well. Last but not least, I'd also add an xp cost to make the charm's effects permenant (actually giving you points in the henchmen or followers background). After all, this is basically the presence equivalent of the survival charm that allows you to acquire familiars (Spirit Tied Pet).-Ambisinister
- I like the changes you describe, although it sounds like an entirely new charm. What you describe sounds like a conversion that might happen over the course of a conversation. Life-Altering Blow (a.k.a. Convert or Convert) is intended to provide a direct alternative to killing an opponent. The act of successfully using this charm prooves that you spared the life of the target AND that you probably have sufficient Presence to convert him normally anyway, given time for a proper conversation. The difficulty (or arguably, relative ease) of the Presence check is related to the fact that 1) you only get one roll per use of the charm - this isn't an extended check, and 2) a "legendary" presence check is only 5 successes. Most house rules I've seen for "social combat", including what you have described above, make conversion a lot more difficult than I think it should be. Also note, there is an additional implied cost to the charm: the cost of whatever charms the Solar needed to "kill" the target of the charm, and of course the risk of the fight itself. I think your idea for spending XP is a good one, though, and I've changed the charm description to add that cost for non-mortals. It should be perfectly OK if a Solar doesn't pay XP to recruit a hundred extras to follow him over the course of a few days. -Madwand
I've got to say I really like the Stare of Conscription, especially in a rather large combo. Properly done, a Dawn caste walks up to the opposing army, singlehandedly defeats their elite troops in mental battle, goes back to the really real world, and proceeds to start the normal war. About 5 minutes in, the other army realizes that it's own elite troops are currently backstabbing the ever living heck out of them, and when asked why, the only response they get is "Didn't you see who we're fighting? How could we ever think to fight him?!". My only real concern is the way you could use it, one at a time, on a room full of DB's. Should it be that the Solar's 'tanks' aren't refilled after fighting, but the target's are? This makes the use of the charm a bit more risky, as if you lose in the dream-realm, you're certain to have a problem in the real world. I don't know. I think what I just proposed is too far a swing in the other way. Anyone else chime in? - GregLink
- I'm glad you like it. It's definitely a "Dawn caste" sort of charm. The army-defeating scenario is certainly one of the more interesting possible uses for the charm. Your scenario of conscripting a room full of DB's could theoretically happen, although of course there is the usual risk of getting into a fight with said roomful when the Solar's anima flares after 1 or 2 uses. Each use of the Charm costs 8 motes and 1 willpower, so there is a limit to how much conscription can happen this way. It's probably easier to conscript powerful NPC's one at a time, just as you would with normal social-fu.-Madwand
Dawn Nothin'! My latest Zenith Caste is going to be picking these up. Great job, very much in theme. ~ BrigandRansom , who thinks these charms are "The Bees Knees"
I fall beneath the awesome might of this Social-Fu. I cannot counter the Nation Toppling, nor the City-Swaying. I adore. I adore. My only concern is the range of applicability of the two charms. Not that I think they're too powerful - no, I worry about if the Nation Toppling one is powerful enough. I worry that while it does spread very effectively, it's too weak to matter. For example, an Ess 4 Solar who rolls 8 successes, not out of the question with a simple combo, can affect 348,000 people. Of those, 262,000 of them are at 1 success, which ain't much. 65,000 get two successes, still not much. Before you really start affecting people, you need three successes, which limits you to only 16,500 people or so. Yeah, I suppose that's enough. Never mind. This begs one question though: What happens when you use both Nation Toppling and City-Swaying at once? Does City-Swaying push the Nation-Toppling out to 120 people, who then start 'trees' of their own? Do the two work entirely independently, with 120+4 people getting smackered, and those 4 people going on to tell thousands? My gut reaction is to rewrite the geometric tree growth of Nation Toppling method to be a bit simpler, with wider trees, and a bigger gap between levels. Something along these lines:
- The Solar makes a normal attribute+Presence roll to convince a given target (or targets, as appropriate), as normal; if successful, the Solar's speech empowers these people to spread the word. His audience may each speak to up to (the Solar's Permanent Essence + the number of successes on the Presence roll) other people, applying the number of successes that was achieved on the original Presence roll, minus one, to convince this new audience. In turn, this new audience spreads the word to more people, and so on. Each time the speech is retold, one success is lost from the original Presence test until the speech has only (Essence) successes remaining.
With some extraneous notation, we'll set E=Permanent Essence and S=number of successes on the original roll. The original charm gives an expansion of roughly O(E^S) people. The suggested version gives an expansion of O((E+S)^(S-E)) people, an algorithmically smaller magnitude in E, but larger in S. The trick is, that in the second case, while the Ess 4 guy with 8 successes got a total of 348,000 people with the old version, in the new version, he's getting 271,000 people. Fewer, yes, but at the 'edge' of the tree, he's still got 4 successes rolling in. As you add successes, it gets much wickeder, with an Essence 4 guy pulling in 114 million people with an initial 10 success roll. Then again, maybe I'd better stick with your version. Never mind. Going algorithmically superior in S is dangerous. Going algorithmically superior in E is boring. So yeah. Never mind. -- GregLink, still in awe at the charms. He must have them. He must!
- Audience-Swaying Oration seems pretty heavily undercosted to me. Take into effect that BotBM costs twice as much for raising only one ability (And not even all uses of that ability). Herein, you're raising three. Even accounting for a MA inefficiency (which I beleive is already be accounted for) this is insanely mote efficient. - Scrollreader Who can never imagine using Masterful Performance Exercise Again, if this charm is still going at this price!
- I think it's an issue of ever using a parry die-adder whenever, for 2m , you can get a full-pool parry. In 99% of situations, just go with the full pool - it's far more mote efficient. Here, I'll compare to Harmonious Presence Meditation, which for 6m, gives Essence dice to any Socialize , Presence, or Bureaucracy roll for the next hour. (I think that's what you meant, not MPE) This charm, when you first learn it, you're at Ess 3. That means for 3m, 1WP, you can get 3 dice on a roll (equivalent to HPM). Thing is, 1WP is easily comparable to 3m, bringing them back in line. Once you break Ess 4+, it gets more and more expensive to use this charm to compete with HPM, which can be fueled only be Essence, making it less of a pain to use on a regular basis. In theory, with a tiny hearthstone, you can keep HPM up all of the time. There's no way you can do that with Audience-Swaying Oration. Continuing, HPM is an Essence 1 charm, this an Essence 3 charm that has HPM as a prereq (and Listener-Swaying Argument). Given that, the ability to go from a small pool bonus (Essence) to a large pool bonus (1 die per mote) makes sense. If necessary, for a big speech, a higher Essence Solar whips out his massive, throbbing, venous Social-Fu and says "Here it is. 19 dice, for the scene. Impressive, isn't it ladies? What was that you were saying, Mr. Dragonblood?" I'm just saying, that there are cases where you never use the old charm again. In a lot of those cases, it's because the new charm is better. The only reason to use the old charm is to save WP, or because there's some tiny efficiency gained. My claim is that this falls perfectly in the realm of Solar-Social-Fu (Heck, to me, this is the Solar schtick), and in the realm of those charms that, by virtue of being two higher in a tree, and with higher prereqs, are of course better. In regards to MA comparison, also mind that BotBM is something Sidereals can learn. So can Solars. So can Lunars, and even Alchies. CMA ain't the be-all end-all of charms, because it isn't anyone's schtick. It's purposefully weak, and really the lowest common denominator. Sure, this would be monstrous if given to a Lunar, or to an Alchie. Then again, they're not Solars, the God-Kings of the Earth. -- GregLink
- I think I agree with Scrollreader here. While you can, as you note, keep HPM up all the time, a low level persistant boost is not that useful to the typical situations in which you need the dice. You, or at least I, tend to find you make one or two rolls, where high pools are better than efficiency (You're outside combat, so efficiency isn't nearly so important) and as it's a scenelength charm, will probably cover you for them anyway. In addition, unlike HPM, it applies to any and all of the group you need to affect, not just one individual and I if I read it right, rather than applying 8 successes to the amorphous and fractious mob that is the crowd, you apply 8 successes to each member as an individual -- more more powerful. Finally, even if there is still an edge use for HPM, it still completely and totally speedbumps Lister-Swaying Argument, which I don't think is good design - Kraken voicing some concerns.
The great shout is nice enough. But it /really/ feels like a performance charm. Remember, performance is the s rusing speeches to the troops, and this seems like a performance charm anyway, used by exalted actors. - Scrollreader Who likes it anyway, even if it seems really busy. Remember when converting spirit charms that they're generic on purpose, as each spirit probably only has one aspect of it. This is a /very/ busy charm.
- Yes, it's the busiest charm I've created yet. I did it this way because I felt each of the individual effects wouldn't merit the full 8 or 10 XP for a new charm, and they fit well together thematically. Also, it's still a lot less wordy or complex than many canon charms. As for the division between presence and performance... that is an interesting discussion. The difference between these skills when it comes to influencing people isn't really obvious to me. Certainly presence may be used to affect a large group of people under many circumstances, most notably in leadership. I chose to place The Great Shout here because it fits into the general theme I am going for with these charms of using presence as a weapon, or as a tool for working the Exalt's will upon the world. -Madwand
Welcome to the new world of "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" and "Ritual of the Sun-Child", my new Charms inspired by "Imbue Amalgam" and "The Spawning of Monsters", two very broken Celestial-circle spells. These Charms also require Essence 4, and are far, far (far!) more limited in their potential power for abuse than the spells that inspired them. Still, their sheer power boggles my mind, as do most good Essence 4 Charms I've seen, so I may be on the right track. I'd like to hear your comments. Do you think it is even possible to have an effect like this that is balanced? What would you do to change/improve on my initial idea here? Comment away. -Madwand
- I think "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" is perfectly reasonable and balanced, so long as it cannot be applied to Exalts; a full day's time for an Essence 4 Exalt is quite valuable, and a high-powered heroic mortal sidekick is a reasonable return for it. I don't think "Ritual of the Sun-Child" is appropriate, not because of its power (which is acceptable) but because it's out of theme for Presence to provide overtly magical transformations like the granting of Solar shininess. More reasonable would be making the second Charm able to affect Terrestrial Exalts. Under no circumstances should any Charm of this Essence level be able to provide permanent, significant enhancements to a Celestial Exalt; aside the balance issues of pumping your entire Circle, it seems non-thematic. Vargo Teras
I like them, but going straight to half-caste so quick is a bit much. I thought you could only even have proper god-blooded children at Essence 4, and here you can pump them out without worry? My recommendation is that by upping it to Ess 5, you'd remove all problems. At the same time though, I'd recommend perhaps replacing it's Essence 4 slot with a multi-training charm. Almost a form of TWTT for Presence, instead of Performance. Make yourself a loyal little set of groupies. -- GregLink
- I have modified "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" to fail when used on Celestial Exalts. That still leaves open the option of training Terrestrial Exalts, or just god blooded. Based on the comments here, I have also raised "Ritual of the Sun-Child" to Essence 5, and created a new Charm "Mastery of Erudition Methodology" also at Essence 5 that allows the training of many students at once. I chose Essence 5 because of the sheer number of students that can be trained with the 1-per-day restriction lifted. "Primacy of Solar Authority" is my TWTT-substitute, but "Mastery of Erudition Methodology" makes it look like kindergarten. Appropriate for Ess 5, I hope. -Madwand
- Since I'm a big fan of clarity, and of these charms, I'm going to ask for two examples of the use of the new "Mastery of Erudition Methodology". The first example would be a simple one, most likely one sentence, along the lines of "For example, even though a Solar might have a busy workday ahead of him, a brief conversation with two underlings in the morning, and the expenditure of 24m, 4WP, and 2HL he'll soon have two more Sun-Children working for him." The second thing I'd look for would be some clarification of what happens with something like Audience-Swaying Oration, or, more ridiculously, Nation-Topping Dogma (perhaps comboed with Audience-Swaying, if that's legal). Would this enable a team of newly trained "super teachers" to run around the encampment, training the next batch, as the Solar sits at the center of his "Manse of infinite Willpower", sucking in a huge stream of motes and WP to pay for it all? Would he need to pay for every student individually, or just the activation of the charm once, and due to Audience-Swaying Oration, it would affect all of his trainers? What about those affected through Nation-Toppling Dogma? -- GregLink, wondering how many days, motes and WP it would take to train, say 1014 officers for a large sailing vessel.
And now some more comments/questions: The Great Shout - While it is approapriate it does seem rather 'messy' for a Solar Charm. What is the range for the offensive effect? The full Perm Ess miles? Even if it isn't, was it your intention to create one of the most effective Area Effect weapons in the game? Activate the Great Shout. Activate Audience-Swaying Oration (for only 7m+wp for 10 dice). Total cost: 10m+wp. Roll a 20 dice Cha+Presence attack. Apply it to everyone you wish within at least 3 miles. Do that again next turn. And the next turn. And ... - for more fun, use Presence of The Master on the roll. Either gain one success totally for free, 2 for 1m, or more for more motes. As I understand it, a similar effect could be obtained with Voice of Castigation too, though with less extreme range. Unless you used both charms together I guess... Authority of Sol Invictus - this is a much more personal disagreement, and I do like the image the charm presents, but I'm really not sure Presence (or any ability) should have an Ability that allows you to duplicate Charms in so many. - Kraken who is wondering just what ship GregLink has that needs 1014 officers ...
Also, some thoughts on the answer the question GregLink just asked with regards to the time and cost and suchlike. I think it's about 7 months, for 1014 approximately 50BP solar halfcastes, assuming a fairly conservative production rate that still leaves the Solar with ~half his pool to do stuff. This assumes that the solar activates The Great Shout for a 5m discount, then activates Audience-Swaying Oration, then uses the charm on 5 people, commmiting 35m (since my reading of the charm suggests the commitment is the only important part, one could argue that buy using Audience Swaying Arguement, the other costs are waived - if they arn't, add a week or so extra time to get some wp and HL fountains via Solar Lore - in the highly broken case of 'Audience-Swaying Arguement lets you apply it in parallel for only 7m commit', then the answer is one day, as everyone within 5 miles of you ... the population of Nexus say ... becomes a fanatically loyal solar halfcaste, or via Nation Toppling - "Creation is yours." ) then buying up to 17 successes with Presence of the Master (again, comservative - This merely requires 6 successes on a 20 dice roll). Alternatively, if you want DB training, you can give them about 40bp. Twinking involving being an Eclipse with Sid charms and some artifacts gets you about 60bp DBs, or 80bp halfcastes. - Kraken who gets bored and does math on the way home ...
- Ah, good, I see that people are starting to notice how these Charms work together. Kraken has seen the full potential of these Charms. All the Charms I've created are designed to combine with each other in ways that make them greater than the sum of their parts. Whether this sort of power is appropriate is something I'd like to hear back from everyone about. My feelings on the matter is that Presence is representative of Solars as a whole, given that Solars are supposed to be the ultimate leaders. I feel that Solar Presence Charms should reflect the Solars status as "lawgivers" and kings. I'll address the concerns brought up individually:
- I have added a clarifying statement to "Ritual of the Sun-Child". The Charm requires that you lose 1 Health Level per Solar half-caste created. Sun-children are not amenable to mass production, at least not at this Essence level.
- "Audience-Swaying Oration" is a key Charm. After all, everything can be made better if it can be made area-effect, right? Yes, it is legal to combine "Audience-Swaying Oration" with "City-Sweeping Speech" or "Nation-Toppling Dogma", and I reccommend doing so for extra punch. I have altered these charms to Simple in order to limit some of the wierdness that can happen, though.
- Athough it may be possible to combine "City-Sweeping Speech" or "Nation-Toppling Dogma" with "Mind and Body Forging Discipline", a wise Solar won't bother. "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" requires interaction from the Solar to work at all. "Audience-Swaying Oration" is a much better option for your mass-production needs, once you have "Mastery of Erudition Methodology". Note that it is only necessary to pay for the cost (not including health level costs) of "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" once when using "Audience-Swaying Oration". Super-teachers or Manses of infinite Willpower are unneccessary complications. Oh, and if you have 1014 officers, I reccommend spreading them out among an entire fleet of vessels. How long it will take to train all those officers depends on whether or not you have "Mastery of Erudition Methodology". If you don't, it will be 1013 days + (successes). If you do, it will take (successes) days.
- As for "The Great Shout". Yes, this is a powerful Charm. I actually have some trouble wrapping my head around the potential uses this has. By far the most important effect the Charm allows is the increase in vocal range, and the consequent interation with "Audience Swaying Oration", or any use of Performance. Yes, it makes it possible to social-fu large armies, or just knock them into unconciousness. I'm not sure if this is good or bad. The "beam of destructive power" is closely based on Words of Power, which as far as I can tell has infinite rate and range. "The Great Shout" caps the range at Essence miles. I am very undecided about the power level of these effects. Taken individually, the Charms each seem reasonable to me. It is when you combine them that their true power becomes evident. I am considering adding 1 Willpower to the cost of "The Great Shout" because of this.
- For "Authority of Sol Invictus", the charm does some cool, useful, but not really game-breaking effects. It's especially cool when combined with "City-Sweeping Speech" or "Nation-Toppling Dogma". Yes, it allows Presence to do some things that you would usually expect to see in other Abilities. I don't have a problem with this, and in fact I intend to expand on this angle with some later Charms. It seems very appropriate for Solar Presence to be able to "command anything", whether that be people, clouds in the sky, or the weapons of your enemies. In this case, the Charm is actually commanding small gods or elementals. -Madwand
- A one HL cost is really negligable given that you can train 50BP Golden Children. Just train them to take your hurt. As I noted, it's merely a weeks delay in a training program that gets you 140 such beings a month. You can still mass produce them. And actually, since you note it's merely the HL that must be paid, the production you can manage is scary. I think you need about 30 people to let you make 15 Half Caste (assuming you have 15HL) in an hour. But once you have that, you can do 15 an hour for a whole day. You spend one day of your production in making yourself able to make more, and then you can churn out a silly number of Half Caste in a day. (Well, you then have to wait a couple of weeks for them to mature, but who counts that?)
- ...And also, since you say it does work with the Grand Shout, assuming I don't want a nation of halfcaste, just want a large city state to be fanatically loyal to me, I simply fire that up. Use Mind and Body. Everyone within 5 miles of me is a little more awesome, and fanatically loyal to me, assuming I can manage a bare handful of teachers to tell them things. If I'm really smart, I use the lowest pool I can, so that I can pull them back for supergodblood training with little lost benefit. On the range ... while Words of Power has no explicit range, the implication is I feel "As far away as the users words can be reasonably heard" which in this case, thanks to the charm is a mile.
- Finally, I point you up to my comment on the lynchpin of this whole thing, Arguement-Swaying Approach - Kraken who thinks these charms are perhaps a liiiitle powerful.
- I'm not following your argument about mass-producing half-castes. Maybe there's something I'm missing, but it doesn't seem that easy to me. Yes, if you have a way to quickly heal health levels, it should be possible to make numerous half-caste per day. The current character I'm playing who is considering taking these charms has a realistic expectation of creating 20-30 BP heroic mortals, god bloods, and eventually half caste. For the latter, he will be using Body-Mending Meditation to heal the damage, and so can expect to create 1 half caste per day, on average, assuming he has to rest every other day in order to regenerate Willpower. What's this about 30 people to let you create 15 half-caste? I don't follow that... Anyway, yes, "Audience-Swaying Oration" is a key Charm. By itself, it doesn't do anything that Performance doesn't do. Combined with other Presence Charms, it's really amazing. As for if it or other Charms on this page possibly being too powerful, that's why they're here, to get feedback and suggestions. If you or anyone else feels that requirements/charm costs should be changed, or wording changed, let me know. -Madwand
Madwand, I have some bad news. I can't really reply right now, because my body is still convulsing from your changing the charms from supplemental to simple. Now, maybe I'll get better if you change them back. Maybe. But you'd better do it soon, before I choke on my own tongue. -- GregLink, so shocked that Madwand reduced them to simple, from their former glory and utility.
- LOL, charms have been changed back. I originally changed them to Simple because the idea of combining them with a some of the other Simple Charms on this page was giving me headaches... Not sure it actually helped, because due to the multiple-turn duration of many of these charms, it is possible to combine most of them together without actually using a Combo. Oh well. -Madwand
Since I don't have much time, I can't say much, but first, thanks for fixing that issue. As for the charms, you're much better off leaving all of them supplemental, then explaining what can and cannot be done in the problematic charms themselves. For example, the idea of Audience-Swaying allowing some charms to work on anyone in earshot is a bit much. Compared to any other Extra-Action type charm (which is really what it is), it's amazing. Most EA charms are either "up to (Essence) targets" or "pay X motes per target". The problem here is the total and utter devastation, similar to the archery charm that lets you shoot as long as you keep hitting. Even in that case, you have to pay for the other charms you're activating. My recommendation, then, is to let it allow basic rolls (unaugmented, or augmented with scene-longs) affect everyone in earshot, but require the character to pay per charm for things you're using across the board. Honestly, otherwise, it really is too much. Take the same tangent, only nicer, with the others, allowing your words to carry on to others, but again, having to pay for subsequent charm activations to a point. For example, you could have the next-tier charm (city), which normally lets you affect something like 80 or so people allow any charm activated automatically (without additional cost) affect (Essence) targets per time you pay the cost. Moving on to the Nation-Toppling one, you could allow it to affect everyone in earshot for one payment (if comboed, as it is supplemental), but you'd have to pay the cost for each additional 'level' you wanted it to carry out or something. -- GregLink
- ...Yes! That's what was bothering me. They are all EA charms. Extended duration EA charms. Audience-Swaying is the equivalent of a line in BotBM saying "And in addition, you may apply the effects of any attack to anyone within reach." (And, I guess, swords actually having some decent amount of reach). It also makes Listener Swaying Arguement a total speedbump, as I noted earlier up the page. What use do I have for Listener-Swaying when I have Audience-Swaying? And to reply to Madwand's reply above ... the individual targetting is something that performance doesn't do. Performance tends to assume you're playing to a crowd, not to an individual. This lets you treat a whole crowd (or with other charms a whole city) as individuals.
- As for the mass production ... Even with just Body Mending Meditation, and assuming the damage done is lethal (and I believe charm costs default to bashing damage) you heal the HL in about half an hour. But anyway, what the 30 people let you do (if carefully chosen) is when they're halfcastes, they can learn Solar Lore. They can lend you motes, they can lend you wp, they can heal you. Asssuming you have a level 3 manse for them to attune - just the manse .. they don't need the hearthstone - to (and some special attention to get more bp) a halfcaste with Touch of Miraculous Health can heal you 6HL an hour. Willpower regen is an issue, but you can easily spread the load over any number of Halfcaste with high conviction and Willpower Lending. - Kraken
- Love your suggestions, GregLink. First, please realize that no non-instant charm can be comboed. This includes "City-Sweeping Speech" and "Nation-Toppling Dogma", as these have a duration of "one speech". All is not lost, however. Simply speechify for more than one turn, and activate any additional Charms you require during that time.
- Second, "Audience-Swaying Oration" is not an Extra-Action Charm, any more than "Total Annihilation" is an Extra-Action spell, or Performance is an Extra-Action version of Presence. These are all examples of area effect Charms, spells, and Abilities: an entirely different thing. However, your point is taken in that the multiplying effect of area-effect Charms must be given careful consideration and balancing. Your specific recommendations for individual Charms are excellent, and I will be implementing variations on all of them.
- "Audience-Swaying Oration" now no longer allows Charm effects (beyond successes) to be applied area-effect, unless additional costs are paid
- "City-Sweeping Speech" has a similar limitation
- "Nation-Toppling Dogma" allows Charm effects to be spread generationally, each additional time a Charm is paid for allows it to spread an additional generation.
- "Listener-Swaying Argument" is, and always has been, a speed-bump Charm. Anyone who actually tries to use it quickly realizes this when he figures out that he has to pay 20 motes to boost his social effects by 10 dice. Not even Excellent Strike, a Charm most people recognize costs too much to be truly practical, is this bad - and that's not even counting the Willpower cost of LSA! The day my Zenith completely emptied his mote pool to roll 12 successes trying to convince a dragon-blood to leave him alone and please not kill him, and nothing happened, was the day I realized something was seriously wrong with LSA. (and the social-fu house rules of my ST, but that's another matter. See Madwand/Social-Fu for that discussion.) "Audience-Swaying Oration" is my response to this flaw, and I have no regrets about it's functionality as a dice-pool booster.
- As for the area-effect functionality of "Audience-Swaying Oration"... that's all it is. It's not doing anything that Performance doesn't do automatically. There is no benefit (that I am aware of) to applying successes on a social-fu roll to an individual rather than a crowd. The whole bit about "Each member of the Exalts intended audience feels as if the character is speaking to them personally." is just flavortext, there to explain why this Charm allows Presence to do the same things that Performance is capable of doing by default.
- Thank you for the explanation about the Lore Charms. You are partially correct: Will-Bolstering Method can certainly enable a Solar to use "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" more often, assuming there is someone in the Circle who can teach the charm. This is not a bad thing, after all what use is such a charm unless you get to use it once in a while? However, there is an absolute upper limit on how many times "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" may be used in a day by the Solar: his essence pool. "Essence-Lending Method" may not cause the targets essence pool to rise above it's normal maximum, and the motes for "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" must be committed for a day. I reccommend using the new version of "Nation-Toppling Dogma" for your mass-production needs, although this method is still very expensive and subsequent generations of trainees will be less powerful than if you invoked "Mind and Body Forging Discipline" on them personally.
- Thanks for all the comments, GrekLink and Kraken. I believe some of the problem Charms are a bit better balanced now due to your efforts. Please let me know what you think of the changes, and if all the balance issues and confusion over possible use have been satisfactorily addressed. -Madwand
- Well, as you had it when if you applied the charm to make several people at once you only got one commitment (and only paid one set of costs, except the HL)... you could affect (some number) of people at once, and only have 7m commitment. Then have the people restore your ess/wp/hl and do it again. That's how you make many at once. There was an upper cap, but it was in the region of 75 Halfcaste per day, assuming you wanted about half your pool free.
- Well, I guess I should be more explicit. A charm that is a speedbump is bad. I would therefore suggest you also include a houserule or rewrite for LSA. Life is too short to buy useless charms. Maybe I want too much, but I should never buy a charm and then go "Great, I have that. Now to save for a charm I will actually use."
- My reasoning for agreeing to the EA charm description is because as written, they are much closer to EA charms than Area of Effects. You are applying the full effects of a normally individual skill to some selection of targets within range, each as a lone individual, rather than (as in an Area of Effect) applying some effect to everything within range without fear nor favour. Consider the application to Bureaucracy (where the EA nature becomes clearer) ... there is no way I can run off the same spiel and get a massive discount with every merchant by getting up on a platform and making some blanket statements (Which is Area of Effect - and well, with solar Performance I could but I'd need all the massive successes that can make) but with this charm I can simultaneously bargin with every merchant at once. Which sounds an awful lot like EA to me ... - Kraken who is glad he was able to help, anyway, but is sleeping now and will comment more in the morning
- I think there should be a range cap on the Great Shout's offensive effect - As it currently stands, a Solar with this Presence charm is a better attacker at range than a Solar with Solar Archery. The Solar with Presence has a longer range, access to a cheap scenelong attack adder, the ability to ignore probably 75%+ of the opponent's soak as well as the AoE/EA effect of Audience-Swaying Arguement. While the Solar Archer has charms that will overcome these limitations, they will be spending more xp and more motes per attack.
- To comment further (on the crowd vs individual thing) - I view a lot of the things that you do with Socialise, Bureacracy and Presence (for example bartering, seduction, gladhanding powerful nobles etc) as being things that you have to do individually if you want any chance of success, so in my view of the world a one-size-fits-all "Area of Effect" style of looking at things is inappropriate for such actions, so anything that affects more than one person for such an ability check seems a lot more like an "Extra Action" effect to me. - Kraken who thinks this makes a little more sense than last night's comment
- "Audience Swaying Oration" does not allow the Exalt to do complex back-and-forth negotiations with multiple people at once; such a thing would indeed resemble an Extra Action Charm. What this Charm allows a Solar to do is apply the effects of a single speech to everyone within range with one roll. What this speech might be would vary widely, but one can imagine many uses that do not require back-and-forth conversation. If the Storyteller desires this sort of negotiation, I would reccommend that he choose one member of the crowd to negotiate on it's behalf. This sort of use would qualify as "debate" in my social-fu system Madwand/Social-Fu.
- It is not within the scope of the Charms I am writing here to propose house rules for modifying already-existing Charms. If I were to re-write LSA, it would look much like "First Presence Excellency" from 2nd edition.
- The Great Shout's offensive effect is really one of it's most minor benefits. It is a possible alternative to archery, yes. But it is really no better than "Words of Power", a very simple Spirit Charm. The fact that there exist Presence Charms in the Core and on this page to make the offensive effect much more worthwhile is not a bad thing; it is appropriate. I'll note that with "Audience-Swaying Oration" rewritten as it has been, it is no longer possible to knock out an army using The Great Shout. Use "Words of Castigation" for this instead; that will work. I'll note that it takes an additional two turns of preparation to put up the two scenelengths that make the most out of "The Great Shout" before you can use "Presence of the Master" to make the most of your attacks; a Solar archer can start kicking ass right away, and with the right Charms, will be much more effective at an equivalent level of experience. Take a look at SolarArchery/Madwand for additional examples of Archery Charms that put these Presence Charms to shame for the purposes of slaughtering individuals or armies, although the Core charms are sufficient to demonstrate this too. Thanks for your comments! -Madwand
Due to request by my ST, I have nerfed "Primacy of Solar Authority". Motes from the pool it grants can no longer be spent as personal essence -Madwand