Thus Spake Zaraborgstrom/SiderealUseofImmaculateMA

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On Sidereal use of the Immaculate MA

The Dragon-Blooded benefits for the Immaculate Martial Arts are D-B only. Martial Arts are like cars: you can only have one personalized license plate, and it either says "DRAGBLD" or "SIDREAL".

(SIDREAL license plates are, of course, sutras.)



Could a Sidereal, using (appropriate Terrestrial) Exalt Ways, learn to use the Dragon-Blooded benefits? I theorise that this might even be how the Sidereals "alpha tested" the Immaculate Styles before they opened them to the IO for the beta-test? -- Trithemius

Exalt Ways only gives you anima abilities, if I remember correctly. That's not the same as having the appropraite elemental aspect. -- Stanoje

I rather imagine that during the build-up to the Immaculate Styles' development, the Sidereals herded together the fates of a few Outcaste DBs they'd been keeping around for this purpose, then brought them in when it became time to do "testing". Who knows what happened to those guys afterward... -- BillGarrett

I'd go with BillGarrett's way of doing things if testing was needed, since the Immaculate benefits for Dragon-Blooded using those styles really are an aberration in Martial Arts that shouldn't be perpetuated if MA is to be a universalized fighting ability in the same sense Sorcery and Necromancy are universalized. Myself, though, I don't really think the Sidereals needed to do much testing on others, or could, since you pretty much need to go and make Styles from whole cloth. And since all you need is time and the stats, there is really no chance of failure. The Style comes out just like the Sidereals wanted them to come out, no fuss or muss.

Myself, I'm wondering what the Solar license plate is. ~ Andrew02

UNCNQRD. Or perhaps THE SUN? -- Sixten
Heh. I was thinking more along the lines of the Sidereal one is sutras, and the Dragon-Blooded is their aberrant benefits to utilizing the Immaculate styles. It seemed implied their should be something for Solars, Abyssals, Alchemicals, and Jack-Diddly for Lunars (as per the Player's Guide). ~Andrew02
Lunars get Deadly Besatman Transformation, which lets them augment their dexterity. And since the cap for martial arts dice adders (like Blade of the Battle Maiden) is dex + MA, a twinked out essence 5 Lunar can get a martial arts dice pool of 36 without the moonsilver daiklaive that can legally be used with VBoS or any relevant specialties. And then there's the various multi-limb DBT gifts that further improve dice pool splitting abilities. A less focused attribute and gift spread is still quite powerful. As for Alchemicals, they apparently can't learn or use martial arts without a special implant, and they have to pay a huge amount of experience for them, so I don't think they're really compatible enough with MA to get any benefits. They do, however, get implanted armour plating that counts as part of natural soak, and some of the extra limb charms stack with MA. As for the Solars and Abyssals, I'm thinking that the Sidereals could design Celestial and Sidereal level martial arts styles that harmonise with them the way the Five Dragon Paths harmonise with Dragon-Blooded. - GordonMichael
Actually, Exalts using Martial Arts Charms are still limited by their dice-adder cap. A Lunar using BotBM can only add up to his Dexterity in dice, a Dragon-Blooded could only add up to his Martial Arts + Specialties. - David.
This is specifically noted to be not true for Sidereals. Is it specifically noted anywhere that it is true for other kinds of Exalts? My impression was that it's not the Exalt type that gives the limitation, but the Charm type. Thus, a Lunar Charm cannot increase a dice pool beyond Attribute - nor, it is to be assumed, any combination of effects that includes a Lunar Charm - but that doesn't necessarily mean that Lunars can't have their pools increased some other way. Like, say, by MA Charms, which, it is noted in the Sidereal book, are treated mechanically as Solar Charms. - Kurulham with his 2p
There is no note that Sidereals can violate their dice-adder cap with Martial Arts. What the note says is that Sidereals have a different cap with MA Charms. No other type of Exalted gets this explicit declaration of different dice-adder caps, so I think it is very reasonable to believe that the dice-adder cap is a feature of the Exalt, not necessarily a feature of the Charms. I believe that unless a Charm explicitly states that the dice it adds do not count as Charm dice (for the purposes of the dice-adder limit), then all dice bonuses from Charms do count against that cap. - David.
Five Directions Formation Protocol, a Terrestrial MA Charm, notes at the end: "The benefits lent by this Charm are bonus dice from a Martial Art and cannot exceed the character's Attribute + Ability on any one roll." This implies to me that that is the norm for Martial Arts Charms, regardless of Exalt type. Also, if it is determined by Exalt type and not by Charm type, what is the dice adder cap for mortals and spirits who learn supernatural martial arts? - Kurulham
Note that no-one has a dice-adder cap higher than Attribute + Ability, so the fact that the bonus dice can't exceed Att+Ab is always true. As for unExalted practice of Martial Arts, I don't know of a canon answer. Normally I would say that the dice cap for Spirits is the relevant Virtue, but it's tough to pin MAs to one Virtue. With heroic mortals wielding the right Merits, I would say their dice cap is Essence. Alternately, the dice cap for super-mortals might be abnormal - instead of a hard number of dice you can add, maybe they just can't increase a Trait to more than (5 + permanent Essence), a la the Flow of Essence Merit. Regardless of which interpretation is correct, I think it's a sign that the dice-cap rules are incomplete, perhaps having been outgrown by later material. The reason I go with my interpretation is twofold. One, Martial Arts Charms that add dice on a variable basis are fairly rare (the only ones that come to mind are Spine-Shattering Bite and Blade of the Battle Maiden). Most MA Charms simply add a fixed number (+MA or +Ess, usually), and for the majority of martial artists, that flat boost is well within their dice-adder cap. Two, I dislike the idea of Martial Arts actually being superior to the "native" Charms of a given splat for a given application. Here, Sidereals are the exception - Martial Arts has always been their schtick. In a sense, Martial Arts Charms are "native" Charms for Sidereals. - David.
Wow. Yay for the power of tangent. I'd like to continue this discussion, but it should probably be done elsewhere. Any suggestions? - Kurulham
I was thinking the same thing. Surely, we haven't seen any MA's with Perfection in them yet, so that can't be it (in canon, at least), and since all charms are identical in text, there's nothing there either. Only thing I can think of would be some sort of "Solar MA" class, which contains things that even Sidereals can't master. Alternately, I can imagine that the Brawl tree, if fleshed out heavily would count, as things like the brawl equivalent to Melee's hanging defense charm would really count as a Solar so dang good at unarmed fighting that he doesn't need martial arts. His raw fighting technique is so flawless, and so powerful, that it subsumes all others. Still, that hasn't happened just yet, so we're left wondering. I'm hoping ExaltedSecond fixes these things, as the Solars really need their schtick re-defined (or is it defined in the first place?) - GregLink
Well solars seem to get a MA that demands you have solar social fu to master as per Dreaming Pearl Courtasan style in the PG. -BogMod
Yet another reference to how Solars are the Bards, masters of Social-Fu. I do wonder about that sometimes. So yes, there's one example, and admittedly, the top-level charm in that tree is rather amazing, if done properly. - GregLink, with nothing useful to contribute
Righteous Devil Style needs a Solar charm too, if I recally correctly. Though, again, I think those styles really are aberrations that resulted from lax editorial control. Solars really do need a niche re-definition, as the most they received was a sort of 'top dog' billing that is conducive to the opinion of those who believe Solars should just flat out stomp anyone. As far as I care to recall, Solars' niche was being 'the best.' It didn't go further, and it suffered when everything that came later was balanced to make it attractive in light of Solar awesomeness (and not as inferior as one might infer in the context of the Solar's vaguely defined niche), or designed (as the Sidereals were) to take into account how the Solars were showing their age and were not as they should be. - Andrew02, who never contributed anything useful in his life
Righteous Devil Style has a charm that anyone can learn (at least anyone who can learn Celestial MA), but only Solars can use. There is an MA charm (a Terrestrial one, no less) in Cult of the Illuminated which allows for a perfect attack, albeit with a steep drawback. - HeridFel
And mortals learn that style, too. It just shows you how crazy and out of control MA is. It needs to be stopped. ~Andrew02
Where in the tree is it? If its past the form Mortals can't learn it can they? -Malikai
It's not that. It's that once you use it, you die. Actually, to be purely precise, you die as you use it. Kindof a "In case of emergency, press the red button" kind of thing. - GregLink
I believe HeridFel is referring not to Verse of the Martyr, but to Purity of Purpose Attack, which can only be stopped by perfect defenses, but costs 1 experience point and has nasty cumulative effects as you keep using it. And yes, it does come after the Form. - Kurulham
There is nothing in the Players Guide, which has all the rules for unExalted use of Martial Arts charms, that says that they are unable to use charms above the form, the only statement similar to that is the statment that Abbyssals using a charm to keep their charms after dying cannot use Celestial charms above the form. I see that statement whenever non-Exalts and MA charms are brought up and I still don't know where it came from. - Blackedout
I forgot to look it up when I was over at my friend's house but I am almost certian that it says something about it in the god-blooded section actually. That they can learn terrestrial styles but not past the form. I have always assumed that awakened mortals wouldn't be any stronger than that even if its never explicitly stated. - Malikai

Okay, regarding mortals and godblooded, there is NO rule stating that they can not learn terresterial martial arts past the form charm, they do have a rule (at least for godblooded) that they need Martial Arts 5 and essence 3 to learn terresterial martial arts (godblooded section).

They also explained the hows of ghosts mastering terresterial styles and how expensive it is (20 xp per charm), which is why few save the most dedicated of fighters master any forms. Former abyssals have their own limitations.

Spirits, demons, elementals essence 5 and below can only practice or emulate Terresterial MA, essence 6 and higher to -emulate- (NOT learn or practice) celestial MA. No spirits, demons or elementals can learn or emulate Sidereal MA. It's also noted that Deities, elementals, demons, ghosts, humans and godblooded may not invent martial art charms or styles at all. Dragonkings apparantly had their own terresterial MA, and can not learn any human type MA syles...
~ Haku who has the PG open up to page 234