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I might be interested in twinking out some sidereals. Would you or FrivYeti run F&FL? --flymolo

Gleep, this is going to become a full-time thing for me. ;) Yeah, sure, but don't expect rush delivery. - FrivYeti

I feel the need to mention this, tactics-wise, before we go too much further into your prep. The Lion, as it stands, has a very easy way to win this fight; fly 60 yards straight up, activate the Relic Bow Charm, and start shooting. Not very fair, but very easy; eventually, he'll hit. - FrivYeti

Hmm, interesting. Can't wait to see how your construct them. :) ((Incidentally, Overly Combative Simian is a fancy way of saying 'combat monkey'; a little embedded joke on my part. - FrivYeti

Is the Ebon Shadow form finger something people should consider? It's prevents a split dodge pool, at least. - GregLink, with literally less than two cents.

It is something I consider. Indeed the Night martial artist will probably go that way. - TonyC

Abyssal Aegis is actually in Exalted: the Abyssals, rather than B&E, and it renders the user immune to any effect that has an extra effect against undead, Abysslas or Deathlords. If the effect consists solely of such, it is negated entirely; if it has an additional benefit only, then the usual effect happens but no additional effect is gained. As for destroying shadowlands, the spell is called Cleansing Solar Flames, it is of the Adamant Circle, costs 50 motes for a 50-mile radius cleansing plus 10 motes for every extra 50 miles of radius, and takes 10 minutes per 50 miles of radius cleansed. And it's obvious. Very, very obvious. - Hapushet

Something that might want to be looked at, and I'm thinking of using eventually if I pop off a Solars vs Lion attempt myself is Five Directions Protocol. This is lethal, as the solars can literally have a variable turn/scene combo using MA instant/supplemental + reflexives charms (HGD + 7SE + solar supersoak charms together), it doesn't state that ALL of the members need to know that style or even that charm. And if you have persistent charms active before the protocol is started up, the effects get bled over at a cost of 1 mote per persistent from the one with said persistent. This means that everyone could be packing CMoS form + Prismatic Arrangement form + something else as well as Blade of the Battle Maiden + Principal of Motion

If you look at the comments in the previous discussions, you'll see that I've wondered about using Protocol. For this battle though, I've decided against it for two reasons. One, I don't have Exalted Players Guide. To use protocol, I will have to borrow a friend's copy. (This is also why I probably won't use Righteous Devil Style.) Two, after really looking at Prismatic Arrangement of Creation, I don't think protocol is that useful. One application of Sequential Charm Disruption, and the protocol is broken. Four, and the protocol is gone. Protocol isn't a Form charm and thus is vulnerable that way. - TonyC

True... but that's where HGD's effects would be in place if it's in the protocol, like I said... something to think about... and which I'll be using myself if I get the chance. Also note that if you have PAoC form up for everyone via protocol up and running, you'd also likely be doing the same back to the Lion, multiple-times if need be. Also note that Protocol acts like a combo, which means it can be tied into a reflexive charm activation. But I digress. I'll still be interested in seeing your results. ~ Haku

Except that you can't use HGD against it. Sequential Charm Disruption is a supplemental parry charm and you can't parry a parry, lest it rains cans of worms. I'm really more worried about the interaction between Sequential Charm Disruption and Charm Redirection Technique against their respective selves and each other. For now, I'm going to assume that the same "you can't parry a parry" logic applies. - TonyC

That's a good point, except, you're using sequential charm disruption -as- an attack vs one of the solars' charms... in which case, it wouldn't be a parry, would it? The text says that it's used to target charms being used against the martial artist or being activated within 3 feet of her. So, in this sense, it is a parry. And if an attack charm gets redirected at someone else in that protocol, if it's up and running as I noted, it can get pushed right back at the Lion reflexively by one of the solars in the protocol or dodged and parried as normal as it's noted that the attack goes off as normal just pointed at the wrong person, kind of like safety amongst enemies. I'm not sure if that makes sense, I'll come back in the morning aft

I'll chime in on this when I get home and have my PG around. - FrivYeti
I went and looked back at the debate about whether you can use HGD or ICSS to defend against Rune of Singular Hatred. Since SCD doesn't do HL damage either, I'm pretty sure you can't use HGD against it. I still have no idea how SCD vs. itself goes though. I do recommend to FrivYeti that if he can't find an actual rule anywhere, that he rules SCD can't be defend against itself. Not only because it's parrying a parry, but also because an SCD race between Student and Lion would be boring.
HGD is the ultimate perfect parry, it doesn't matter if you can do so or not... it just -works-. And as for SCD, there are specific rules regarding that charm, one of which is that it only works within 3 feet, and against charms directed AT the user, or at someone near the user. The protocol works as a pusedo combo, which can be negated or redirected, and if it gets redirected, the -combo- can be defended against as normal as if it was an attack redirected by safety amongst enemies.

Also SCD must be able to legally annul or redirect ALL the charms in a combo, or protocol in this case, and since -form- charms are part of that protocol or bled into it, it simply can't shut the protocol down or redirect it. Of course it should also be noted that a protocol's cost is divided evenly across all its users, while the lion would need to pay the entire cost + 5 motes to affect it, which could make it a tad expensive. ~ haku
ST: The Guild merchant decides that he doesn't like you and doubles his price.
Player: Heavenly Guardian Defense!
ST: What?! But -
Player: HGD! I HGD it away! Look, it just works, okay.
No offense, Haku, but if we follow your reasoning through, you'll end up in that situation. And doesn't PG discuss this already? And as for protocol, have you considered the style weapons? Unless you want everyone to go unarmed. Yes, there are ways to get around that. But if we create the whole circle to get that effect, you'll end up with boring quintuplets. Also, just because a protocol has Form charms don't mean the rest of the protocol can't be shut down. Protocol is not a combo. A combo contains Instant charms only, can only contain one Simple charm, one Extra Action, and has rules about ability and such. This can be destroyed by SCD. Or you can choose to annul one existing effect. While an existing Form charm can not be annuled, SCD can annul, say, an existing Flow Like Blood. Next, Lion will pay the price, no problem. Guy has 200 motes to spare. Then he kills you and regains the motes. Protocol is strong, but there are ways to shut it down. Against Lion, it's a lot safer to go with multiple approaches rather than relying on one schtick. - TonyC
You mean like how the Lion keeps on depending on SMA to stomp the solars into the ground? Because let's face it, that's what happened the last go-around. In a non-SMA fight, the fight might have gone different. Also, a truly twinked out group of Solars would have gotten a number of spirits to bless 'em as well as sidereals to hit them with positive sidereal astrology to buff them up.

Regarding the protocol, it -behaves- like a group combo designed for dragonblooded, heck, it's even been noted to cost double to purchase with xp for non-dragonblooded. Which does make it a sort of combo, and should the Lion want to hit the group with SCD, he would need to hit -multiple- times at the moment they engaged him to nail all the persistents up and running (the solar whose running the persistent is the logical target).

In any event, it is your call, but when you give one side access to virtually all the SMA, and the other side restricted access, what do you expect to happen? Naturally, one side would stomp the other. Also, as far as I know... none of the SMA allows the user to pack a daiklave, which is what the Lion did the last time around. Althou, Reborn Glacier Rain as an artifact knife (Zenith Caste Book) would be an artifact that works for VBoS and CMoS.
~Haku who does agree that there are ways to shut down Protocols, one of which is to KILL or disable members of the troup.
Peh. Last fight, the Lion used exactly two SMA Charms, one of them only once to stop a one-hit special effect. CMoS Form was useful for pre-fight power-up, but he could have fought the rest of the fight just as well with Unfurling Ebon Lotus; he had the mana. The fight might have gone differently, if only due to the Rune, which is a bizarre effect to bring into an arena. The reason you see SMA is only because there are more SMA Charms than all the other high-Essence combat Charms combined. - FrivYeti
you're using sequential charm disruption -as- an attack vs one of the solars' charms - I'm fairly sure that while you are using SCD to affect a Charm, you aren't technically attacking it. In the meantime, even if it is an attack - if the Charm (rather than the Solar) is the target - can the Solar use HGD to block an attack not directed at him? - szilard
The same way you could jump in front of someone to HGD a bad effect/attack away. I'm not even going to guess what happens when someone tries to SCD a HGD... ~ haku
Oh, right! He just needs to jump in front of the Charm he's using... Bah! That makes no sense. I just don't consider this an attack in any meaningful sense if it is directed at a Charm itself. -szilard

Has anyone given thought to the fact that the fight is taking place in a shadowland, where technically, the Lion is still -dematerialized-, but can interact as normal with the solars? Which means charms and effects that work on dematerialized beings WOULD work on him. And no, there wouldn't be any dematerializing effects available to both sides. ~ Haku

Because of the way he's bound into his armor, the Lion is the only Deathlord that is actually naturally materialized. - Hapushet
Odd... that I didn't know... but isn't that in Creation thou and not in the underworld/shadowland? ~ Haku
I'm not sure what the difference is. He's naturally material. That means he's material everywhere. In the Underworld, and in Creation at night, there is no such thing as "dematerialized" - as a spirit realm, it's pretty much all on the same plane of existence. But that's irrelevant to the Lion, because he's material anyway. - Hapushet

That reminds me. Autochthonians mentions that the Lion can use the Death in Life Path from the PG - the Arcanos designed for Ghost-Blooded use - because he's naturally materialized. Under the circumstances then, I think he probably should start out with Lower Soul Ascendant for his stat boosts in the opening round: 60 motes for +10 Dex, or 7 motes and 1 Willpower for +10 Str, +10 Dex and +10 Stamina? He'll have to act as though he's suffering the a Deliberate Cruelty Limit Break... but who will be able to tell the difference? - Hapushet

There's only one small problem, he's a ghost and his po isn't bound into the same body as him, which is required for that arcanoi to work... so, it wouldn 't really work. ~ Haku
The fluff text describes it that way, but the mechanics certainly don't seem to demand it, and Autochthonians says flat out he can use the Charms in the path. Moreover, just because he's a ghost doesn't mean he - as a Deathlord, and one suffering special torments from a Malfean to boot - lacks a connection to his po. I could easily see a justification for the idea that part of a Deathlord's special ghostly status involves tying them to their lower souls; it would explain why they maintain so much of their "Exaltedness," as it is the po that is the repository of the shard during life. I'd say, given the explicit exception granted him in E:Au, that he should be able to pull the trick off. - Hapushet
If you say so... mind you, if he can use all the charms in that tree, that would mean he can pull off Restless Spirit Soujourn and seperate his 'body' and 'soul'... ~ Haku whose like being all snipish... -_-;
Don't see any problem with that; it's probably the only way for his soul to get out of the armour, however briefly. Besides, the Death in Life path is six Charms long, and two of them are Po based. - FrivYeti

No good can come of disobey your Neverborn master in attempting to... bypass his punishment. ~ Haku

You know that any circle worth mentioning will have one archer and one thrown weapon guy at least? Probably also someone who can fly. Also, how does he fly? His hearthstones and artifacts don't list anything that enables him to fly. That Eagle Wing Style requires one hand to be held in front of him all the time, preventing him for using any two handed weapons, including bows and grand daiklave. - TonyC
*coughs* Eagle Wing Style has that requirement, but the Abyssal one in the Abyssals book doesn't. - FrivYeti
At least one of them will have the CMOS charm that lets you walk on air.
It's going to take me a while to twink out the Sidereals anyway. I'm starting from the battle techniques required, and working backwards.
The Sidereals will stand a better chance than the first Solars.--flymolo

ATTENTION FRIVYETI I can't finish Burning Mandala until the following questions are answered:

  • I am quite sure that you could intentionally abort a spell and use a charm or combo. You didn't think so. I tried to convince you otherwise, but I still don't know what your final answer is. Can we or can we not abort and use a charm/combo?
Sorry, was busy at work and not checking the Wiki. :) I reread the section, and yes, you are right. *thumbs up* - FrivYeti
  • If I choose Summon Animal Avatar, will you let "Anything you want, just deal with this NOW!" fly? Because there's no time for prolonged negotiation in the middle of combat, and a 500 XP Solar should have some idea whether it's even worth attempting.
Yeah, I'm willing to give that to you. :) - FrivYeti

There's also these little details.

  • Are we in a shadowland at night or day? I had assumed dawn but turns out it was never actually specified.
Good point. I assumed daytime shadowland, which means no Underworld Hearthstones, and therefore just gave the Lion two originally. I'm willing to keep that.
Daytime shadowland works fine. And Underworld Hearthstones work in shadowlands, regardless of time. They do not work in Creation, regardless of time. - TonyC
  • Somebody said that spirits (ghosts included) can't be possessed. I don't recall ever seeing a prohibition against it. I always thought that the main criteria is that the possessed must be material and the possessor can somehow inhabit the same space as the possessed (usually it means the possessor is dematerialized). One of my tactic is attempting to possess Lion's (permanently) materialized body. Is this flat-out impossible or is there a chance of it working?
Hm... I don't think ghosts can be possessed, as they don't have bodies in the traditional sense. The Lion's armour isn't really a body, it's an attuned chunk of Oblivion woven into his soul. I don't think I'd allow it, but I'd be happy to have someone with actual rules chime in. - FrivYeti
Okay, until someone who knows more chimes in, I'm going to assume possession on Lion just doesn't work, period. Instead, I'll switch out the charm with some other SMA charm. - TonyC
  • What is Flying Silver Dream's Power Combat stats?
Ooh... what the hell, we'll go with Version 2 from the Wiki page in question. Don't forget that it's 10 motes for the Moonsilver bonus, 5 without. :) - FrivYeti
Ah, no, Flying Silver Dream's text specifically says that Solar gets the moonsilver bonus. This is a specific exception. - TonyC

Basically, take the time to check each character's page and read the notes and comments section, replying as necessary. Thanks. - TonyC, who wants to get the actual fight started sometime this weekend.

And a question for you... where are we sticking Soul-Flaying Glance on the Social-Fu scale? Its' primary effect (WP drain) isn't social fu, but there's a secondary effect that is. Would you be willing to say that the Charm is allowed, but we assume that, in the heat of combat, any obediance effects from it don't come into play? - FrivYeti

Actually there's two primary effect. One is that the victim loses his turn. The other the WP damage. Either is very powerful at high-essence combat. But at any rate, go ahead and use it. We'll ignore the obedience effect. Keep in mind that the only way you can use that without leaving Lion defenseless is by using CMOS Form. And if you use CMOS Form, then you can't use Varan's Ruin, leaving Lion without access to PoCB and HGD. And if you use Varan's Ruin, the CMOS Form gets nullified instantly. - TonyC (who's going to try his hardest to keep the whole Circle alive but won't be surprised if at least two of them bites it).

TonyC, I can't find where the decision or ruling was made to disallow the Adamant Cord. Could you help out a poor Wikizen by either pointing us to the relevant "You can't or won't use it that way" discussion, or at least give a synopsys (like, say for example "Oh, the rules explicitly prevent TonyC from doing what he wants, on page 313 of the core book"). Thanks in advance, I've been enjoying your twinkery to no end, and just want to know what ruling or decision I can cite to keep other players from trying the same thing. - GregLink

There's no such ruling. You misunderstood me. I didn't take the Cord because I was too focused on creating the best thrown attack. But then I looked back and told myself, "Don't be stupid, Burning Mandala's a sorcerer." - TonyC

Hmmm... Actually, a little known fact is that the melee ability and thus charms can be used with any weapon, even improvised weapons. I'll even quote you page numbers from the core book (check out page 134) - brawl ability where they talk about improvised weapons being used with brawl or melee as the fighter chooses and if you look at melee, they'll also note that they can be used with martial art weapons as well... thus you CAN use any and all weapons you choose as melee weapons. On that note, since the Infinite Jade Chakram is an artifact 'weapon', I would say it can be used with HGD as well as general parries. ~ haku

I'd rather sidestep the issue. - TonyC

Um, Tony? Just thought I should mention: Threefold Binding of the Heart doesn't work on characters with an Essence higher than the caster. Would you like to revise Burning Mandala's spell choice? - FrivYeti

Blast! They changed it from the Three Circles version. Oh well, back to Summon Animal Avatar version. - TonyC

Brought this up over on FrivYeti's page, but it's probably better to bring it up here. PAoC + CMoS + VBoS should allow the Lion to use Varan's Ruin with CMoS, though it does take a great deal of wind-up... just a thought. - Kurulham

It would, but at some point you have to stop and ask, why bother? Is there a significant enough synergy between Varan's Ruin and CMoS Form to make the extra effort worthwhile? Personally, I don't think so. - TonyC
I don't either, but it kind of offends my soul... "Hmm. I have a really tough fight coming up. Guess I'll have to put my horrible soul-eating legendary EBIL Grand Daiklave of Awesome down and grab my... fearsome... orichalcum... toothpick... of doom." But then again, this is a twinking contest, so I suppose we're not worried about offending souls. XD - Kurulham, who is well aware that the Lion will probably be whipping Varan's Ruin out at some point, but is just thoroughly amused by a nine-foot-tall monstrosity brandishing a throwing knife

Ahh, to be a Sidereal, just for once ... ItF would turn this into ugly, ugly things for the Lion - but then, he knows who he's going up against ;) -- Dakkareth

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that Tornado Offense Technique could be used with ANY ranged attack? Charm description says "martial arts or ranged attack", which I take to mean anything that's allowed with the form (fists, feet, chakrams) OR any ranged attack (i.e. everything that leaves your hand when you attack with it). I take that to be why it's more expensive than the standard Celestial Extra Action Charm. This would mean that there's no particular reason why Ivory Spines couldn't have range increments, and the fact that they specifically don't go away after the attack seems to imply that they're thrown weapons, not Essence attacks. Thoughts? (Er, also, sorry to be a bother, but how did FFL get an Accuracy of 76 on those attacks? I worked it out at 56... 8 Dex plus 4 Thrown gives 12 base pool, plus 10 accuracy is 22, doubled is 44, plus 12 again gives 56...) And yet another question: why can't Student use his free SCD from Soul Fire Shaper Form on the Combo when it begins? Yes, he doesn't have the Essence, but he doesn't need it, unless I'm misinterpreting Soul Fire Shaper Form... - Kurulham, filling up the peanut gallery all by his lonesome

I dunno, I've always read the 'free' SCD in Soul Fire Shaper as referring to not being a Charm use, not to not costing Essence. Otherwise, SFSF is just completely and utterly broken beyond repair. - FrivYeti
Oh, right. Now whacking self in the forehead - I always forget that SCD isn't reflexive like SSP. Moron point for - Kurulham
Looks like FrivYeti covered the SCD part. As for Tornado Offense Technique, the way I run it is that form weapons are requirements while "extra martial arts or ranged attack" are the result. If you are using a weapon that isn't a form weapon, the charm never goes off in the first place, so you don't get anything. For most cases, this means that Tornado Offense Technique works only either barehanded or with chakram only, but if you can somehow work around the form weapon, then you get the Extra Action granted by Tornado Offense Technique. FrivYeti's comboing Tornado Offense with Ivory Spine is a clever work around. Other ways include PAOC form, persistent spells, and possibly hearthstones and non-weapon artifacts. As for whether Ivory Spine is an essence attack or not, let's do this test. Is the bone needle usable as a weapon without the use of charm or stunt? If so, what are its stats? What is its Range? Is it anywhere near the 50 yards that Lion gets? Moving on, you were asking how FFL gets an Accuracy of 76. Your calculation is correct. The 20 dice difference comes from the charm Lower Soul Ascendant, which bump physical stats (including Dex) by Essence (10), giving Lion a Dex pool of 18. Scary eh? - TonyC
With regards to Tornado Offense Technique, in my game, the book reads "unarmed Martial Arts attack" instead of "martial arts or ranged attack", as do other Charms of the Air Dragon Style that say similar things. I suspect whoever wrote the Air Dragon Style wasn't too clear on how chakrams being form weapons interacted with the Charms. As to Ivory Spines... If one of my characters actually wanted to pick up one of those spines and throw it back at the Lion, I'd let him do so, honestly. The range, damage, etc. would be significantly reduced because it's no longer being expelled from the Lion's body with the use of a Charm - I'd probably use the stats for a throwing dagger, perhaps -1 Accuracy because it doesn't actually have a grip. I see Ivory Spine Technique as: "create a thrown weapon from nowhere, then boost the attack further with Essence until it's X good." I say this because it is a supplemental Charm - meaning it enhances an action, rather than being an action - and because it is a Thrown Charm. Contrast with things like Crypt Bolt or Elemental Bolt Attack, the classic Essence attacks, which are simple Lore Charms. (Though it is also worth noting that in my game Thrown supplementals can be used with anything that rolls Thrown to hit, and I have house-ruled Elemental Bolt Attack to be Dex + Athletics or Dex + Thrown, instead of the book's Archery. </tangent>) Also, Lower Soul Ascendant makes me go eep and hide under the bed. I feel even sillier for having ignored it given that an Ghost-Blooded death cultist used it in my game about three months ago and caused the PCs no end of grief. See also: never get cocky.
On another side note, while we're (or at least I'm) on the subject of house rules, whenever an attack which is in any way a projectile is listed as having a "range", I take that to mean "range increment" unless it's obvious that it's meant as a hard-and-fast limit. Also, even as written there's nothing that keeps Essence attacks from having range increments - see Elemental Burst Technique, EDB181. (Curiously, Elemental Bolt Attack is not written as having a range increment, even though most of the wording is nearly identical; this makes me think that the lack of inclusion of range increments in Essence attacks is an oversight, and we're expected to understand "range" to mean "range increment".)
I think we're in basic agreement on how things ought to work. I'm just noting that this is, after all, a twinking contest (and one which I am watching with great interest as to the tactics, as well as the result, as most of the games I've run involve fairly low-Essence Dragon-Blooded as the primary combatants, with the occasional 200-300 xp Anathema to make life hectic), and, as such, rules that haven't been broken by mutual agreement can be a little overbearing. - Kurulham
I think the effects in Air Dragon Style that specify "martial arts or ranged attack" are intended to work with non-MA ranged attacks. Now, because it's an MA Extra Actions Charm, it's normally not going to be compatible with most of your Thrown offensives, so in most respects the ability to make extra non-MA ranged attacks is ... well, really not that great. However, it is compatible with Ivory Spine Attack, because Ivory Spine Attack is not supplemental. It's reflexive. It isn't, however, compatible with Air Dragon Form, due to the new form weapon rules in the Player's Guide. - David.

While checking things up on Kurulham's comment, I, uh, realized that Lion's combo is illegal in the first place. MA Extra Action + Thrown Supplementals = Error. Sorry I didn't realize this sooner. Anyway, there's a couple ways to handle this. One, just declare the combo legal using Kurulham's "any ranged attack" argument. Two, bump Lion's Thrown to 5 and substitute in an actual Thrown Extra Action charm. Three, scrap the whole thing a build a deadlier combo. I don't like any of the choices. Got a fourth choice? Anyway, Kurulham, I'll reply to you later. - TonyC

... Erm. That is an excellent point, and I feel extremely stupid for having not noticed it. I'll delete the Lion's action, and do something else for the first turn. (Probably tommorow.) Boy, I am not at my best in this fight. - FrivYeti

I corrected several things. With 18 motes to Aid of Ill Wind, the range is 50x10=500 yards. Also corrected essence expenditure. - TonyC

Mandala is a twilight, right? He should be able to use his anima power to reduce the damage if it's enviromental, not much reduction... but it is possible... spend 5 motes, roll essence to remove damage done to health levels. ~ Haku

I'll be honest. I forgot. But it really doesn't change anything. For those who play WD as rolled damage, average damage is 4L. Using Twilight anima ability reduces it to 2L, so risking it makes even more sense. On the other hand, for us who play WD as enviromental effect, reducing the 10L to 8L is still far too risky. I am not comfortable having to make a difficulty 8 roll. - TonyC
Erm... it's not difficulty 8. The rules for the twilight anima power is simple, you pay 5 motes, you roll your essence. Each success you get removes 1 HL of damage that you would have taken, on average... you'd roll 2 successes with 5 die, so that's 2 less health levels of damage you'd take. It's your last line of "ST, please don't kill me defense." ~ Haku
And the trick here, is that since Burning Mandala is currently casting a spell, if he takes damage (approx 8, as per your calcs), he must make a roll to keep from accidentally losing the spell. That roll, as TonyC points out, would be at diff 8. Hence his worry. - GregLink (not actually 100% sure of the rolls, so if I'm wrong, tell me)

Is there any reason you can't channel a virtue when using the Twilight anima power? ...and channel another virtue to aid in not losing the spell if he ends up taking damage? It might make the thing worth risking. -szilard
I'm guessing because then, that one spell would be sucking up a total of about 5WP, just to have it SCD'd by the Lion. Admittedly, making him spend the essence is a nice idea, because he's burning essence /real/ fast for someone not sucking it back by killing and hitting just yet. Still, it is a good suggestion, and I'm interested to see if TonyC takes you up on it. That'd bring him to a 10 pool to reduce, and a 13 or so (perhaps more with specialties) to keep casting. The 10-pool will reduce (on average) 10L to 5L, and 13 dice can be expected to make a diff 5 roll. So yeah, there's some strategy here. Best of luck, Tony! - GregLink
Actually, he only needs to reduce 9L - he does in fact have one point of lethal soak, from his mighty mighty Stamina. Small, but possibly significant in this case. However, I was under the impression that you can only spend Willpower to directly enhance rolls - which includes channeling - once per turn? (This is a matter for a ruling, however, since it's only ever explicitly stated that you can only spend WP for an automatic success once per turn.) This turns it more into a matter of luck, but I still think it's worth a shot. Also, sorcery cannot be SCD'd - it has to be SSP'd, which is actually less beneficial for Burning Mandala, as SCD is supplemental and has a cost based on whatever you're annulling, wherease SSP is reflexive and has a fixed cost of 12m. - Kurulham, who is interested to see how long the Animal Avatar lasts against the Lion

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my reading of CMoS makes me think that you can't use Charms from the same Combo in each successive "turn" unless you reactivate the Combo each time. The net effect of which would be that Lion would have to pay 2 extra Willpower, and Student would have to use SCD three times - possibly putting him in Barney and/or allowing the Lion to not overinflate his Combo. Haven't really thought about it a lot yet, just wanted to bring it up to see what you guys think. - Kurulham and His Spectacularly Annoying Peanuts, now on tour!

Yeah, I've always thought the same thing as well. If you're using simples, you get one per 'turn'. You've got three such turns. You activate a simple-based-combo during each one of those turns. Each simple-based combo requires you to have the supplementals and simples in it. Conveniently, the reflexives and instants, once part of any single combo, can be used anytime during the turn, so need only be activated once. So yes, FaFL has to pay up the extra willpower, and the student can attempt to SCD the second and third uses of the combo, unless they too are uber-expensive (or, you know, he dies in the first attack.) - GregLink
Charcoal March of Spiders specifies that only one turn actually passes, which means that, since Combos only require one Willpower per turn, not per action, you're only going once. - FrivYeti

Yay for nitpicky details! Since none of the Solars knows Unnatural Many-Step Stride, they'll all have to make a d1 Valor roll every turn or lose their action because the CMoS is freaking them out. Not that it's likely to make any difference whatsoever, but you never know... - Kurulham, Honorary Elephant

None of the Solar actually gone yet. Speaking of which, Friv, are you going to require this Valor check for all the Solars? Since the Solars are supposed to have encountered Lion several times, chances are they've seen CMoS Form. If not, both Princess and Student have Sid MA, so their teacher may have shown it to them. Princess even has a CMoS charm, although it's Rain of Unseen Threads instead of Unnatural Many-Step Stride. - TonyC
Seing as the Solar have seen CMoS repeatedly, I'm willing to let them not have to roll the Valor. :) - FrivYeti

I wish you guys had commented on the whole Withering Dirge, Twilight anime ability, CMoS Form, and SCD yesterday. But too late. I still think using Twilight anima ability to soak up Withering Dirge is too risky. Aborted spell, somewhere between 0-9 HL lost, more wp, etc. Even if it succeeds, there's no guarantee that Mandala won't have to abort anyways, as Lion is targeting Mandala right after Student. Anyway, since I already said abort, it'll stay so. As for independent actions and combo, I don't think FrivYeti wants to rework that combo again, and there is room for doubt, so I'll let it be. Besides, I missed it too. And trust me, I'd rather deal with this Thrown combo, which is comparatively simple, than having to deal with multi-style MA combos. - TonyC

Heh, sorry - my Internet was being a moron. And I'm actually glad you're going to let it rest because I feel like I'm holding you guys back or something, constantly going "no, it works that way." "Wait, can you do that?" And so on. I feel like a Rowan Atkinson character gone horribly wrong. ;) And anyway, I'm terribly interested to see what's going to happen. So - on to the killing! (Or re-killing. Whichever is applicable.) - Kurulham
What are you talking about? I posted the WD + twilight power as soon as I saw it get popped out... and you were like... oh... roll against diff 8 and all... ^_^; - haku
Bah! Bah! :p And how come nobody told me that I forgot to give Burning Mandala Rune of Singular Hatred? Bah humbug. Ah well, live (or in this case, die) and learn. - TonyC
I thought you had an insane plan that didn't involved THAT rune... ^_- ~ haku
I thought he does have it. After all, you specifically noted that he has XP left over for spells and charms as needed.... methinks it's not against the rules to simply spend some of it... - GregLink
I shall be strong! And not yield to the temptation of redoing characters after gameplay starts! Besides, I think I can manage. - TonyC

I thought that perfect-defenses-only Melee Charm was supplemental - and thus not able to be included in this Combo? (Like it's going to make a difference, but Lion may as well save those 5 motes...) - Kurulham

Yeeps, you're right. I was thinking of reflexive Charms. I will correct that. - FrivYeti

Since Summon Animal Avatar has been disrupted (too bad, but wholly expected), let me tell you that having the Mammoth Avatar (although Tyrant Lizard Avatar is very cool too) fighting in person is actually the last thing I considered. My first tactic would be to have the Avatar cast curses. My second tactic would be to have the Avatar Ride one of the Solar, giving him godly Strength and motes and possibly healing wounds. - TonyC

I'd say Lion wouldn't have to re-spend the Willpower, as Student can't blanket-nullify the reflexives; he has to nullify each one individually, and they can be reactivated as he nullifies them, ad nauseam, being all reflexive and whatnot. That those individual nullifications are probably all taking place simultaneously is beside the point. ::grins:: - Kurulham

THAT is going to hurt the lion... bad, o.0
~ Haku

I'm on the edge of my proverbial seat, here. MORE! Citizens demand... MORE! - Kurulham

Observation: I am aware that you don't (or didn't) have BoB&E, Friv, but in reality killing the Lion would simply make him *worse* - assuming he hasn't already cast it at some point in his existence, the spell Birth of Sanity's Sorrow (which can be cast instantly in response to going beyond your Incapacitated HL, regardless of previous Charm usage that turn, costs only 10 motes, and substitutes a permanent Willpower point loss for the usual 3 WP required to activate a Void Circle spell) would cause him to convert into a monstrosity with Str 22, Sta 22, Int 4, Social Attributes 1 and all other Atts reduced by one from their current level - that also has 50 -0 HLs + 1 Incap, can activate any Charm for 1 mote and can substitute 1 mote for 1 WP if need be as well. Moveover, this form should have three unique powers costing between 5-10 motes to activate that are on the scale of Void Circle Necromancy, but activate as though they were Spirit Charms (bit of extrapolation on my part there, activation-wise). Yes, it is the "ultimate boss spell" - and no, he doesn't begin flashing red, but he might as well be. This, like the Rune, is a once-per-lifetime spell, but it is without doubt part of the Lion's repertoire. It would make the Solars very, very unthrilled to see it, to, since they would never have seen it before... -- Hapushet

The following is a look into the inside of TonyC's mind.
Fun Tony: Birth of Sanity's Sorrow! Oooo, oooo, that's that Final Boss Transformation spell, right! Sweet! Let's tell Friv to pull it off. It'll be awesome!
Twink Tony: Great idea! I haven't gotten around showcasing Stone Monkey's awesomeness yet, and I think I can still pull something with Princess. Now, technically Student could use Spell-Shattering Palm in that instant the spell is cast, but while Occult 5 Student will of course know about necromancy, I'll say that Occult 1 Student doesn't.
Director Tony: So we cut into a full FMV of Gaia's Rebuke, then Lion makes some witty but cliche comment about "now I'll show you my true power" and we cut into another FMV of the transformation sequence. Great! I'm sure Friv can write something cool.
Rules Lawyer Tony: Actually...
All the other Tonys glare at Rules Lawyer Tony.
Rules Lawyer Tony: Sanity's Sorrow would count as a shapechanging spell, and while the other Deathlords will have no problem with it, Lion's armor would prevent the spell.
All the other Tonys: DEJIKO EYE-BEAM!
Next to the smoking crater, the other Tonys gather and discuss.
Video-gamer Tony: We could, well, not do the transformation sequence and maybe just palette-swap Lion. Lion in red armor maybe?
Fun Tony: Palette-swap? That's so 8-bit.
Director Tony: Worse. I think even the original Final Fantasy has a proper transformation scene for the final boss.
Twink Tony: Crap. So what do we do now?
Video-gamer Tony: Dunno. Hmmm, let's beat Mr. Rules Lawyer again. It won't actually do anything, but it'll make me feel better.
This has been a look into Tony's mind. Thank you for reading. - TonyC
Heheh. Wow, that is a good spell. I'll have to grab my friend with the book and take a quick look at it. I don't think the Lion's actually immune to shapechanging the way Lunars are; still, I think that if Student sees something going on like that, he's going to have to try and counter it. Again, since he's 5 motes ahead of the Lion, I don't think the Lion can wear him down far enough and still be able to cast the spell. But it's worth a shot, since Student still needs to roll 3 successes to parry. ;) - FrivYeti
Actually, Spell-Shattering Palm's not in the Student's Combo. He can't stop it. -- Hapushet
See Soul Fire Shaper Form. - TonyC
As FrivYeti already pointed out, he's already used his freebie for this turn. -- Hapushet
FrivYeti was thinking multiple SCDs, but you are correct. Ouch. - TonyC
I don't see why you can't have a transformation incorporating the armour itself... it grows massive, with even more spikes and pointy edges and stuff.... ~ haku
That's beyond the scope of the rules as written and falls into FrivYeti's purview as Storyteller. - TonyC
Since the Lion's not immune to shapechanging, only to dematerializing, I would allow it. :) However, I would also firmly allow Spell-Shattering Palm against it on Student's part. ;) - FrivYeti
The armor explicitly prevents full body shapechanging. This is mentioned in both E:Abyssal and E:Autochtonians. But if FrivYeti says the Neverborns built a specific exception for this, then they did. - TonyC