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Trial started: 19 June 2006
Trial completed: 27 June 2006

Home: Snake, "Snake"

Wordman brings us Snake Style, the first canon martial art ever presented. Bravely, Snake Schmendrick will see how the original stands up to a higher-essence variant. Snake style has defensive and soak charms and provides ways to pierce armor. It also boats a powerful multi-action charm, a ranged attack charm, and a pinnacle which deals aggravated damage.

For this fight, Home will be using the following equipment: lamellar (exceptional, with points going to soak and mobility) and hook swords (exceptional, with points going to Accuracy, Defense and Rate).

Away: Winged Serpent, "Wing"

IanPrice fields his Winged Serpent Style. Sharing the first two charms of Snake Style, Winged Serpent also relies on the universal Excellencies of the Exalted (in 2E) as prerequisites before entering its form. Several permanent charms enhance this form, allowing the martial artist to spend a mote of essence (without wasting his charm action) to do a variety of things. However, the form does nothing simply by activating it. The Winged Serpent Schmendrick also has defenses which negate the perfection, unblockability, or undodgeability of attacks, a perfect attack which is unblockable and undodgeable, and a pinnacle charm which allows a significant amount of essence and willpower recovery.

Away arrives wearing exceptional articulated plate armor (points going to mobility and fatigue), with identical hook swords to Home.


  • Musician: Using 2nd Edition rules
  • Ship's Wheel: Fighters are considered to be solars. Each fighter is also given all three starting Martial Arts Excellencies for this trial. Home elects to be Twilight caste. Away elects Dawn.


Since the highest requirements for any of the style charms used on either side is Essence 5, Martial Arts 5, those values are given to the Essence and MA traits of the fighters.

Combatant: damage, willpower, essence (remaining/committed/total), DV penalty (including mobility and wounds), soak (bashing/lethal/aggravated)
S: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 8/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 57/0/57, DV plty: -1, Soak: 13B/9L/7A
W: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 8/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 57/0/57, DV plty: -2, Soak: 14B/12L/10A
Distance: 20 yards

Mistake Note: always including the mobility penalty in the DV turned out to be a mistake, because mobility penalties only affect dodge DV, not parries. Future contests should probably apply mobility on the fly. During the fight, we regularly applied a mobility penalty to parry DV, which is wrong.


A featureless plane of white glass extends as far as the eye can see in every direction. The grey sky glows dismissively, as if it doesn't really want to be there. Two versions of the same man stare at each other, 20 yards apart, both wondering the same thing: where the hell am I? And who is this demon pretending to be me? He must die! There can be only one Schmendrick!

Wing cautiously raises his hooked weapons, Essence beginning to swirl about him as he sets himself in a high stance with arms outstretched, blades pointing inwards. Potential seems to build in his armored form, the beginning of an ominous shadow in his golden anima. "I will defeat you, demon."

"Your clumsy movements betray you as false, demon," accuses Snake, seeing that his stance is a corrupt betrayal of the righteousness that is Snake Style. Home contemplates rushing in to attack before his opponent is fully prepared, but thinks the better of it. "Here, let me show you how it is done."

Wing declaration: Form activated from peripheral motes.
Snake declaration: Form activated from peripheral motes.
Resolution: Both forms activate. Wing can now spend motes to eliminate DV penalties from flurries or raise DV against attacks. A Dawn castemark burns on his head. Snake's bashing soak becomes 18B; attacks against Snake subtract five dice from attack pool. A Twilight castemark burns on his head.
S: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 8/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 52/5/57, DV plty: -1, Soak: 18B/9L/7A
W: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 8/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 51/6/57, DV plty: -2, Soak: 14B/12L/10A
Distance: 20 yards

Snake's body continues to undulate as he starts to circle his opponent. Without missing a step, his anima flares into a brilliant bonfire of red and purple. A long, flickering shadow extends behind his opponent as far as the eye can see.

Wing's eyes glint behind the mask of his armored helm, and the swirling essence about him forms into a white-gold Mospid, coiling about his body in pursuit of its tail. Its wings spread imposingly from his back, creating a fearsome visage of Essence that moves with his arms. He chuckles at Snake. "Your adherence to the old ways will be your downfall. I will defeat you in exactly seven blows."

Snake declaration: Activate Essence Fangs and Scales Technique with peripheral essence.
Wing declaration: Activate Infinite Deadly Venom with peripheral essence.
Resolution: Both chams activate. Snake can now soak lethal with bashing soak, making is lethal soak 18. His attacks also do lethal piercing damage. Wing now regenerates essence when his DV makes an attack miss or he does damage. Both fighters have anima banners that now provide their effects for no cost. Since Snake's Valor is less than Wing's essence, this effectively raises Wing's DV by 2, to a base of 9. Snake's anima now essentially absorbs 5 health levels of damage from any attack.
S: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 8/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 46/11/57, DV plty: -1, Soak: 18B/18L/7A
W: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 7/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 31/26/57, DV plty: -2, Soak: 14B/12L/10A
Distance: 20 yards

Join Battle

Wing tenses, his anima coiling with him, preparing to strike. Continuing to bob and weave, Snake replies "You'll have to reach me first."

Wing declares Join Battle using Striking Cobra Technique with peripheral essence (6 dice, 5 automatic successes). Roll: 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10 = 3 sx + 5 asx = 8sx
Snake declares Join Battle using Striking Cobra Technique with peripheral essence (6 dice, 5 automatic successes). Roll: 1, 1, 6, 7, 8, 10 = 4 sx + 5 asx = 9 sx
S: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 8/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 43/11/57, DV plty: -1, Next action: 0
W: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 7/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 28/26/57, DV plty: -2, Next action: 1
Distance: 20 yards

Tick 0 - Snake

Snake continues to circle around his target, spiralling closer to his prey. His steely eyes scan his target for any weakness.

Snake spends a reflexive Move action to move (Dex - Mobility - wounds = 3 yards) closer. He then starts an Aim action.
S: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 8/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 43/11/57, DV plty: -2, Next action: 3
W: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 7/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 28/26/57, DV plty: -2, Next action: 1
Distance: 17 yards

Tick 1 - Wing

Wing springs forward, heading low with a double-hooked lunge at Snake's forward leg. His speed is amazing, as is his feint! Indeed, when Snake's body begins to move to defend, Wing's leg will come down beside him, planting himself to suddenly change direction. The mouth of his anima's mospid-form will strikes with his left hook, assisting as he brings it up and suddenly down and back, attempting to hook Snake's hook swords and pull them from his grasp. As Wing pulls, he will spin around, slashing his other sword across Snake's back. Snake, sensing his impending doom, begins to back away, still looking for any opening he can find.

Wing begins a flurry, including a Dash (4 dex + 6 - 2 armor = 8y per tick), a Disarm attack, and finally a regular attack. He pays 4m to negate the DV penalty with his form, 10m to reduce multiple action penalties by 5 (negating the whole penalty to all actions). When the attacks come, he'll use 20m2w to activate Deadly Serpent Precision twice, negating Snake's highest DV and making the attacks perfect.
Snake continues to Aim, spending a reflexive move action to move back 3 yards.
After some confusion and a rules discussion, we decided the motion ticks in the flurry gets resolved before the attacks.
S: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 8/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 43/11/57, DV plty: -2, Next action: 3
W: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 7/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 14/26/57, DV plty: -2, Next action: 6
Distance: 12 yards

Tick 2

Wing's flurry continues, with another tick of the Dash action moving him closer. Snake again continues to Aim and spends a reflexive move to back away.
Distance: 7 yards

Tick 3 - Snake

As Wing closes in, Snake sees the opening he was looking for. Gathering his will and reveling in the glory of the fight, he reaches back to strike and the bonfire of essence around him expands into a giant coral snake, bands of alternating colored fire glowing with the colors of the setting sun. The head of the snake reaches back, curved fangs bared, then darts forward as Snake strikes, crossing the closing gap and biting at Wing. Wing sidesteps it easily. In the resulting confusion, Snake cuts to the side, sprinting away to keep Wing at a comfortable distance.

According to Aim rules, Snake's DV doesn't refresh on this action. Snake starts a two action flurry of his own, starting with a ranged attack using Uncoiling Serpent Prana. The second action is a Dash. The Dash portion will move Snake away 9 yards this tick. Attack steps:
  1. Attack uses Uncoiling Serpent Prana for 3m. The Aim provides +3 dice to the attack. (As an aside, presumably, if the flurry contained more than one attack, the Aim would only help the first one?). I believe rules require me to state in this phase that he will also spend a point of Willpower on the attack to channel Valor. Multiple action penalties start at -2, so the attack will have aim + valor - 2 = +5 dice for a total of 15.
  2. Wing pumps his DV using the form, 4m for +4 DV. Dodge DV = [(Dex 4 + MA 5 + Essence 5 + 8 Form bonus = 22)/2 = 11] - 2 mobility penalty +2 dawn caste anima = DV 11.
  3. Attack roll: 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 6, 6, 6, 6, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10, 10 = 8 sx
  4. No attack reroll used
  5. 8sx - 0 external penalties - 11DV = 0 sx
  6. No defense reroll used
  7. No damage
  8. Soak irrelevant
  9. No counters
  10. Result: Attack misses, activating Infinite Deadly Venom restoring 5 motes to Wing.
S: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 7/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 40/11/57, DV plty: -5, Next action: 8
W: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 7/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 15/26/57, DV plty: -2, Next action: 6
Distance: 7 - 8 + 9 = 8 yards

Ticks 4 and 5

As Wing closes in on where Snake was, Snake opens the distance between them, not trusting a demon that could sidestep the Uncoiling Serpent so easily at all. The contestants regain their balance and their breath, eyeing each other warily. Wing observes his opponent's flight as he regains his balance and breath, considering his options as the distance widens, Snake continuing to run.

Snake still still has two ticks from the Dash in his flurry left. I'll use them to move away 9 yards each tick. That might be to far, but I'm afraid of you.
Distance: 8 + 9 + 9 = 26 yards

Tick 6 - Wing

Wing settles into a defensive stance, brimming with thwarted fury. "You can run, demon, but you cannot hide in this place. Come destroy me if you can - your pathetic whips of meager essence cannot touch me with such meager effort."

Wing guards, and waits. He knows how hard he is to hit.

Tick 7

Snake stands watching his opponent, scowling. They lock eyes and a timeless moment passes. Snake considers that is exactly the time for a lone hawk to cry out in the distance. When the optimal moment for the cry passes without a sound, Snake takes it as a sign. He smiles. He knows what he must do.

Tick 8 - Snake

Snake moves with deliberate steps towards Wing, each step getting a bit faster. Once up to speed, he swings down into a crouch digging the hooks of his swords into the glassy ground. Shards fly as he continues the motion into a leap, pulling himself into the air. Trailing purple fire behind him, he strikes out again with his anima.

Wing is still guarding.
Snake's DV refreshes. He uses a reflexive move 3 yards, then launches a two action flurry. The first is a leap. Normally this would move him 12 yards, but I'm hoping the pull-his-leap-with-hookswords stunt gains him an additional yard, putting him exactly ten yards away. Assuming this works, the second action will be an ranged attack with Uncoiling Serpent Prana.
2 stunt dice for that. I like it. Apply them to the attack too, since it's part of the same flurry.

Wing ducks to the side, mimicing his foe's use of a hook sword in the ground to arrest his sudden movement, launching himself forward into a roll under the vicious Essence snaking towards him. He comes up in a flat out run, bearing down on his prey.

  1. Attack uses Uncoiling Serpent Prana for 3m. He will spend a point of Willpower on the attack to channel Valor. Multiple action penalties start at -2, but the attack is the second action, so the attack will have 10 + 5 - 3 + 2 stunt = 14 dice.
  2. Defense uses Winged Serpent Form for 4m. DV = 11 as per last time.
  3. Attack roll: 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10 = 10 sx
  4. No attack reroll used
  5. 10sx - 0 external penalties - 11DV = 0 sx
Attack misses, activating Infinite Deadly Venom restoring 5 motes to Wing. Snake gains no motes from stunt.
S: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 6/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 37/11/57, DV plty: -3, Next action: 13
W: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 7/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 16/26/57, DV plty: -2, Next action: 9 (guarding)
Distance: 10 yards
After defending, Wing will be beginning his dash next tick. I simply included it in the description of his defense since it's a continuous motion. Not that I need the stunt dice at this point, but hey, that's not the main motivation for describing the cool things you do in Exalted. =)

Ticks 9, 10, 11 - Wing

Wing's feet pound the ground, swords held out to the side as his form dictates, bearing down on Snake as a diving Mospid strikes.

Wing dashes, getting 3 potential ticks worth of movement at 8 yards per tick. He will be moving around behind Snake at a distance of 1 yard (good Hook Sword range), then waiting for his next action on 12.
I'm not sure if Snake is allowed to take Move actions for these ticks because of the Jump. Not that it matters, since you'll outpace him anyway, but I think he could if he wanted to. He stands his ground, though.

Tick 12 - Wing

Finally having closed with his prey, Wing's anima flares, the serpent within it forming two heads, one to strike with each blade. Just before his form blurs into a strike that almost cannot be seen, he says, "I told you, demon: seven strokes."

Take a stunt die for melodrama :-).
Wing spends 10m1wp on Deadly Serpent Precision, and 1m to negate the attack's DV penalty.
  1. Attack uses Deadly Serpent Precision. Attack is undodgeable and perfect. 10 dice + any stuntage. Snake Form subtracts 5 dice. Thus, 6 dice.
  2. Defense: parry DV = 3
  3. Attack roll: 1,4,8,9,10,10 = 6 sx.
  4. No attack reroll used
  5. Attack Successes = 6sx - 3 DV = 3sx.
  6. No defense reroll used
  7. Base damage 7L + 3 sx = 10L
  8. 10L - 18L soak = ping damage = Wing's Essence = 5 dice. (Wing rolls 6,8,10,10,10 = 4 damage). Snake's anima sucks up 5 health levels.
  9. No counters
  10. Result: Attack hits, but Snake avoids damage. Successful stunt gives Wing back 2 motes.
S: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 6/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 37/11/57, DV plty: -3, Next action: 13
W: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 6/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 7/26/57, DV plty: -2, Next action: 17
Distance: 1 yard

Tick 13 - Snake

"That is one, demon," Snake says, taking up a defensive stance. "Show me the others."

Snake takes a Guard action, which he'll probably renew on 16 and hold until Wing's next action.
S: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 6/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 37/11/57, DV plty: -1, Next action: 16
W: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 6/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 7/26/57, DV plty: -2, Next action: 17
Distance: 1 yard

Tick 17 - Wing

Wing reflects on his options, locked in this standoff face-to-face with an invulnerable mirror of himself. He clearly raked his sword across his enemy's back, but instead of blood, only a spray of golden Essence rewarded him. Wing growls low in his throat, then starts laughing. "As you wish. just try not to cry for mercy too much."

For overly defensive opponents, Wing's style reserves a special kata. The wings of his anima beat furiously, invigorating his Essence. Four strikes swiftly follow: his left sword slips down to hook Snake's right ankle; as that comes up, his right sword comes down and across Snake's blades, with a step back to add leverage as he pulls them away; as Snake's balance wavers, Wing will kindly steady him with one arm, as the other sword slits the straps to the lamellar scales Snake has chosen to wear. All the while, Wing wears a grin, and closed eyes! This kata is second nature, so he need not let himself be distracted by Snake's irritating undulations.

Wing is performing 3 attacks, none of them aimed to damage Snake. A trip (showing off, -1sx to -4sx at your discretion), a disarm (-2sx), and an attempt to render Snake's armor unwearable (showing off again - I envision this resulting in the same penalties as if the armor was hastily donned, thus improperly strapped on). Wing spends 3m to negate the DV penalties and 5m to negate the multi-action penalties. Since Wing's eyes are closed, he suffers a -4 blindness penalty, but does not suffer the -5 penalty from Snake Form since he can't see it.
Take two stunt die for this exchange, usable wherever in the flurry you think they'll do the most good. For the trip, the last line of the Knockdown rules (pg. 153) suggest a -2 penalty with automatic knockdown check.
  1. Attack: 10 dice + any stuntage - 4 dice (blind). Thus, 6 dice + stuntage. 3wp to channel Valor once and Conviction twice (see note below). Both stunt dice to the attempt to cut the armor straps. Due to the Hook Sword bonus, this means each attack gets 12 dice (10 + 2 + 4 - 4), except the trip which takes an additional -2 to accuracy, but I feel that the Hook Sword bonus applies, meaning an accuracy of 10 on this. Yes?
  2. Defense: Snake dodges, currently 6 DV. Due to onslaught penalties, the 2nd dodge is DV 5, and the 3rd is DV 4.
  3. Attack rolls: 1st (1,1,3,5,5,6,6,7,7,8) 3sx, 2nd (2,3,3,3,5,5,6,7,8,8,10,10) 7sx, 3rd (1,1,2,3,4,6,6,6,6,7,8,8) 3sx.
  4. Attack rerolls used on all three rolls (12m for 3x Essence Resurgent): 1st (2,3,4,4,6,6,7,8,9,9) 4sx, 2nd (1,3,4,6,6,8,8,8,9,9,10,10) 9sx, 3rd (1,4,6,6,6,8,8,8,8,9,10) 7sx.
  5. Attack Successes: 1st: 4 - 6dv = 0sx, trip fails. 2nd: 9 - 5dv - 2 = 2sx, disarm succeeds! Snake must make a Wits + Martial Arts roll difficulty 2 or lose his weapons. 3rd: 7 - 4dv - 2 = 1sx, armor cutting succeeds! No immediate mechanical effect, but a botch or appropriate stunt could levy some significant penalties on Snake.
  6. No defense reroll used
  7. Against disarm, 8 dice, 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 6, 7, 9: 2 sx, Snake holds on to weapons, barely.
  8. Soak n/a
  9. After consideration of how few extra successes were scored, Snake decides not to counterattack.
  10. Result: Snake has an impending disaster in his armor, Wing gains 4 motes from successful stunt.
S: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 6/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 37/11/57, DV plty: -1, Next action: 19 (guarding)
W: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 3/8, psnl: 14/0/23, prph: 0/26/57, DV plty: -2, Next action: 22
Distance: 1 yard

Mistake Note: Since there is a rule on pg 115 allowing only one Willpower point to be expended per action to do things like channel virtues or buy an automatic success, the use of three channels in a single flurry is illegal, since a flurry is a single action.

Tick 18 - Snake

After cartwheeling over Wing's clumsy attempt to trip him, barely holding onto his weapons and hearing a strap on his armor straining, Snake sees Wings closed eyes. Holding one weapon far out to Wing's left, Snake hisses into his weapon, the sound bouncing from it into Wing's left ear. As silently as he can, he shifts and gathers all his energy to bring an attack to Wing's right.

Wing feels Snake break away from him, and hears the hissing whistle of a blade coming from the left. With his eyes closed, he does the only thing he can: duck.

Snake aborts his Guard and attacks.
Two dice for playing off of my stunt with yours, I love that. Wing pumps his DV by 4 at a cost of 4m.
  1. Attack: Attack uses First Martial Arts Excellency. Snake spends a point of Willpower to channel Valor (third channel). Accuracy 10 + 9 excellency + 4 valor + 2 stunt = 25 dice.
  2. Defense: Dodge DV 9 (due to blindness pool penalty) + stunts. The option of a reroll remains to me.
  3. Attack roll: 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10 = 17 sx
  4. No attack rerolls.
  5. Attack Successes: 17 sx - 9 DV - 0 external penalties = 8 sx.
  6. Defense reroll: None
  7. Raw damage: 7 + 8 = 15L. Essence Fangs and Scales Technique makes attack piercing.
  8. Soak: 2 + (9 + 1 (exceptional))/2 (piercing) = 7L. 15 - 7 = 8, but min = 8L. Roll: 1, 1, 4, 5, 7, 10, 10, 10 = 4 health levels. (Ian, you might want to use that defense reroll, since you forgot attack was peircing. I'll reroll damage if you want to use it.)
  9. No counters.
  10. Result: Wing takes 4 health levels lethal damage, giving him a -1 wound penalty, redcung DV by 1 and movement by 1 yard. Snake gains 4 motes from successful stunt.
S: --|-----|----|-|-, wp: 5/8, psnl: 23/0/23, prph: 32/11/57, DV plty: -1, Next action: 23
W: XX|XX---|----|-|-, wp: 3/8, psnl: 10/0/23, prph: 0/26/57, DV plty: -3, Next action: 22
Distance: 1 yard

Tick 19

In the featureless sky, two constellations shine and twinkle, almost as if they are conversing. Even as the fighters plot their next move, they vanish without a sound. The infinite expanse of white glass reflects the stars until they, too, vanish. A lone drop of blood slowly sinks into a set of small scratches.

After looking at the essence curve, Ian determines that he can't win. Wordman isn't so sure, since Snake only has one more Valor channeling left; however since he changed strategy at Tick 7 specifically to try to win the Essence race, he can't fault the logic and agrees we may have learned all we needed.


What did we learn?


  • Ian may have nerfed the Winged Serpent Form charm a bit too much. Because it now costs essence to do anything, it is significantly weaker than Snake form. I think the original version was actually OK, once the willpower regen of the pinnacle charm was eliminated. Another idea would be to have one of the form's bonuses be constant, but the other remain a cost per point.
  • The Twilight caste anima power is extremely powerful, perhaps unbalancingly so. I'm going to alter the being signs to suggest that caste abilities be ignored.
  • Essence 5 combat without combos can take a while and is highly defensive.
  • Snake style is more complete in Second Edition than I remember it being in First. Essence Fangs and Scales, in particular, is much more useful in Second, not to mention armor.
  • Stunting in Second Edition is more useful for mote replenishment than I thought it would be.
  • Second Edition is more "arithmetic-y" than I expected.
  • Mobility matters. Snake might have been able to kite Wing the entire time. In a fight with combos (where Snake could attack at range well enough to exceed Wing's DV), that might have proven decisive.
  • Flurries and movement could use some 'splaining.
  • I may have set Schmendrick's virtues to high. The one-time nature of these bouts provides no reason not to channel virtues all the time, which probably wouldn't happen in your average fight. I'll mention in the main page that future bouts may want to limit this.


  • I do think I will be reducing the costs on some of the things in Winged Serpent again.
  • The Twilight aura would be less potent in real Essence 5 combat, where Combos make real offense more possible.
  • I should have used Excellencies instead of Deadly Serpent Precision. DSP is a type of charm that doesn't do much without a Combo to improve its damage.
  • Mobility once again proves "Athletics charms for teh win." Should've worn a Reinforced Breastplate instead to be lighter on my feet.
  • If I'd hit on the stunt idea with the armor sooner, I think that I could've made a win out of it. Essence regen and WP be damned, bending the rules and doing cool stuff is STILL the reason to stunt.


Initial Negotiations

I want to use the Musician sign, since that is what Winged Serpent was designed for. Also, I would prefer Ship's Wheel for the being sign. That should be all that's needed though. - IanPrice

OK. Snake style actually doesn't prevent the use of armor. In first edition, only two charms could not be used with armor (one being the form), but there was no general restriction on armor for the style (nearly all the canon celestial styles work this way, except VBoS). If you want to use Musician, in second edition, none of the Snake charms have armor restrictions, not even the form. As for being signs, there is no need to pick any at all, but if you want to do solars, that's fine. How many extra solar charms do you want to add? Zero? Five? Looks like both fighters will have MA 5, Essence 5. Also, how do you want to handle excellencies? Looks like Winged Serpent requires 1st, 2nd and 3rd, but Snake only requires one of those. Wanna give both guys all three starting MA excellencies? Since we're not using combos, it might not matter much, either way. -- Wordman

My bad on the armor. Both having all three excellencies should be fine. No extra charms, let's just use the styles. I've made a couple revisions to mine after considering your comments. - IanPrice

I've added the equipment I intend to use and my caste. Depending on what you select, I may alter this. I also entered some flavor for the setup. Does 20 yards apart to start with sound OK? 10? 30? -- Wordman

Now that I think about it, I have no idea how we'll handle stunts. -- Wordman

How about we assign each other stunt bonuses? - IanPrice
That sounds fine. Since I suck and stunting and there isn't much in the way of scenery around, it probably won't matter much. -- Wordman
Awright. I'll do my best to be fair. =) - IanPrice

Since you're going with heavier armor, I'm going to upgrade to lamellar. Assuming that doesn't change anything on your end, we're good to go. Not sure if you read the changes on the main page about how the "setup phase" works. If not, please do so. Who should declare first? And do you care how far apart we start? -- Wordman

No change. I'll declare first. I'm going to call my fighter "wing" in my descriptions, because it makes it less jarring for me to write. - IanPrice


Anyone have any predictions? I think I have a strategy that may keep Home alive for a while, but without using combos, he'll need serious luck to exceed Away's DV. Mathematically, the +Essence to DV from Away's Form is essentially twice as effective as the -Essence to pool of Snake form. Add Away's ability to avoid DV penalties, and I predict it may come down to who runs out of motes first, which will be Home. -- Wordman

The 26m committed by Away is going to be a hefty load, but with Infinite Deadly Venom, it goes (1m = +5 DV, regain 5 motes). Away can manage an increase of 1m + 1w per turn just using that capability, which can be spent on attack stuff. Away wins. - FrivYeti
Committed motes cannot be regained, as they are not considered spent (see 2nd Ed, pg 184), but clearly the regen will be killer anyway. -- Wordman
Right, sorry - that wasn't well-worded by me. What I meant was, being able to spend 1 mote to boost his DV by 5, then regain 5 motes and convert three of them into a Willpower means that unless you can get lots of successes consistantly, Away is just going to boost his DV, ignore DV penalties for flurries, and flatten Home without ever losing more Essence than he committed. - FrivYeti
Yup. Assuming I miss a lot, which is likely, since his dodge DV is likely to be 18 (actually 20, with the Dawn amina power) most of the time and I'll have no perfect attacks and max of 14 dice (including Valor channeling). I'll see what I can do to make it interesting. -- Wordman

I've looked multiple times.. .. and I can really see no way he could ever get a dodge DV of 18 .. given that he has a dex of 4, dodge 5, no specialities, and essence 5.. that would give him a base DV of ((4+5+5)/2) = 7 .. and he could at most add 5 to his static DV with charms, thus making it 12.. if you take infinite MA mastery.. you can in theory get a better base defence.. because your form is decreasing his dice attack as well (although as you noticed, his ability to negate DV penalties is a bonus that will let him flurry a lot) FluffySquirrel

Yeah, I'm not sure what I was smoking. I confused myself into thinking that the form gave a flat +Essence to DV and some other charm could activate another +Essence paying motes per attack; that isn't how the style works. I also did the math with a 5 Dex. So, it's not as high as I made it sound, but it is still possible to get that high. Base is 7, plus 5 from the form takes it to 12 and the Dawn power takes it to 14. In theory, he can still use an excellency to add more, since the form pumps DV directly, not via the "pool" mechanism that the excelencies use. On average, that will take it to 18 or 19 (or, potentially higher, if the 1st excellency is used and rolls well). I'm guessing Excellency use for defense will be slight, though, so his DV will probably be around 14 most of the time. Still I'll only have 9 dice, usually. -- Wordman
Nah, you don't have to worry about that.. the max you can ever increase a static DV like that is by half of your relevant attribute + ability.. any charm bonuses to DV don't stack beyond that point.. (although... I'm still unsure whether it rounds up or down.. but given exalts tend to round up.. I presume if you have dex 4, MA 5.. you can get +5 to DV) FluffySquirrel
Ah! Page 185. You are correct. -- Wordman
It states that all such additions are treated as adding to the pool before it is halved to calculate the DV, so since the DV itself rounds up, the bonus would also round up. - IanPrice
Thanks.. that does indeed definitely clear it up :) FluffySquirrel
I've looked into it, and this strangely would mean it's like rounding down. Pool 9 + 9 = 18, divide by 2 = 9. Since a pool of 9 = 5 DV, this is like rounding down, since you can increase the DV only to 9. - IanPrice

hey guys, so far everything looks great and I find myself eagerly watching and waiting. But you should look at rules discussion, how ticks, movement and flurries work has been explained. Madoka

I'm fairly sure they know, since its the same people in both places. - Telgar
I know they know. I just explained it there. Just posted about 5 minutes ago. I was letting them know that I just posted there, expalining it. As prior to my post, people were commenting and not really explaining anything. But thanks for your comment. greatly appreciated. Madoka

Moved here from Tick 3: One question about defenses: the description for Uncoiling Serpent Prana imply that this attack is insubstantial, which usually means it can be dodged but not parried, but the charm rules never actually say this, which implies that it can be parried normally. Doesn't matter in this case, since Dash forfeits parrying anyway, but I'm curious. -- Wordman

Wing could also abort his invalidated flurry, using his charm action to activate Fallen Feather Guard so he may use his inapplicable Parry DV (sidestepping any questions of dashing or insubstantiality - though I believe USP works like Sandstorm Wind Attack in that it can be parried normally if the target can parry ranged attacks). Though since a pair of Hook Swords only adds its defense once, as far as I know, there's no real reason to do this. Wing's flurry and charm activation will be aborted anyway. -- IanPrice

Ack. I meant to give you a stunt die for your attack description. - IanPrice

I'm also now immoble until action 8, if I'm reading the "can only move or dash but not both" rule correctly. I may not be. It's possible that once the 3 ticks of Dash are over, you might be able to Move in the remaining ticks. No idea. -- Wordman

I'd be inclined to say movement is allowed in the last 2 ticks. Particularly, you cannot move while Dashing. However, a Dash lasts three ticks, and therefore you are not dashing in the last two. Just my thought. -- GreenLantern

I think Wing should be down an additional WP from the Deadly Serpent Precision.

Has anyone else noticed that this isn't as exciting as we thought it'd be? Both combatants seem much more defensive than offensive - I wonder if either will be able to gain an advantage anytime soon... - Hapushet, commenting from the peanut gallery

That's what happens when you match people evenly, honestly. Both styles lend themselves more to defense than to offense too. I'll see if I can't make it more interesting. - IanPrice, who just checked himself, but DSP only costs 1wp.
My strategy is to bore Wing into surrendering. Or something. - Wordman

By the way, you could channel valor fine.. pool limits only cap charms.. channels don't really apply to them FluffySquirrel

This is correct. The dice bonus limit is for charms only (Ex2 p.185) - IanPrice

First Blood is drawn....Madoka

Wing surrenders. I ran myself out of Essence too fast, there's no way I can win now. The reroll would dip me too low without returning anything, and Snake has enough left over to easily overpower my defenses several more times. - IanPrice

While I really enjoyed reading this battle, I do feel the need to comment. If the intention of the battle was to compare the 2 styles, why was Snake Twlight caste & Wing a Dawn caste? Wouldn't a combat neutral caste (say Eclipse?) be better suited for a test such as this?

I agree - I think we'd see much more parity in the fights if we forced identical, preferably neutral, subsplats on the fighters in order to avoid these issues. Eclipse, Changing Moon, Water Aspect (MA is a Water Ability anyway), Secrets. After all, if they'd both been Eclipses, Wing, not Snake, would have drawn first blood... - Hapushet
My fault for choosing a Being sign. Though this fight has shown me just how powerful the new "always active" Twilight power can be (perhaps too powerful; +2 DV automatically versus -5 damage - though I admit that the Dawn power also applies to MDV, introducing non-combat uses), in addition to re-affirming how vulnerable any Exalt is without Combos. If we were to fight a second round, I would be much more conservative with my Essence expenditures, and probably wouldn't use DSP at all. It's just not worth it without a combo to pump up the damage. - IanPrice

Heh, yay.. Darloth thought Winged Serpent would win.. but I was backing snake.. .. and the reason?.. .. twilight rules :P .. for reasons you already picked up on.. Twilight is stupidly powerful in 2e.. I could never really see the fight going any other way sadly.. .. I'd probly go for Winged Serpent if you'd both been dawns or something though FluffySquirrel

I've been thinking that a tweak for the automatic version of the Twilight power might be something like it sucks health levels equal to the difference between the Twilight's Essence and the attacker's (min zero), but you could still pay the 10m for the full Essence health level suck. - Wordman

It should be noted that it's normally 5m for the Twilight power. A couple other possible house rules I've thought of, just to add to the pot:
  • Instead of subtracting from damage dealt after soak, the anima strengthening could add to soak against any attack, and reduce the minimum damage of that attack, both by Essence (to a minimum of 1). Or simply add Essence to soak and hardness.
  • Go back to 1ed's mechanic, where you roll Essence and subtract the successes from the damage dealt after soak.
  • Instead of the full score, use half Essence (rounded up) for the subtraction.
The basic Twilight power is very powerful, even at Essence 5. The thing to remember about this fight, though, is that we weren't dealing with true Essence 5 Solars. We were dealing with no combos of doom, no non-MA charms. A real Essence 5 Solar could punch through a 5 HL reduction much more easily, even wielding Hook Swords. Pick up 5-Dragon Force Blow, Increasing Strength Exercise, add in Martial Arts Essence Flow so you can use an Excellency without a combo... it gets quite easy. This is to say, I don't think I lost unfairly. I think I have been shown what this trial was meant to show: the strengths and weaknesses of my style when used without augmentation. I'm very hard to hit, but in order to hit hard, I have to spend a lot of Essence. - IanPrice

Subtracting 5 hl of damage is always great. No one would ever complain about that. But when the lunar I play can deal 40 or so dice of damage/hit, its not as ground-shaking. Madoka

Possible mistake in tick 17. According to page 115, you can only spend 1wp per action for channelling virtues or gaining a free success. Since a flurry is a single action, I'm not sure Wing could have channeled once for each attack. Not that it matters now, but if it is an error, I'd like to mark it as such, so people don't think it is legal. -- Wordman

It's true, and this was later pointed out to me during TrialByFire/ShunVersusMonkey - IanPrice
This seems quite confusing. This view of an action (Each flurry is an action) seems to me to be mutually exclusive with the way that Fivefold Bulkwark Stance works, which treats each attack/whatever that makes up the flurry it's own action, as per Thus_Spake_Zaraborgstrom/FiveFoldBulwarkStance. - Kraken
That wording issue stems from the change from turn-based to tick-based. Each 1e "turn" is now called "action". What it really means is "the specific length of time from tick X to tick Y that back in 1e would have been called a turn." Unfortunately the system also use the word "action" to refer to "the thing(s) you do during your turn". Just separate those two meanings (if it helps, try relabeling the first meaning back to "turn"). This is not that confusing. I assume that you did not interpret the one charm per action rule as being able to activate multiple different charms just by flurrying, no? Just apply the same yardstick. - TonyC
I guess my question was more "Without reference to 1e texts, how can you tell which 'action' it is?". I had parsed the rule as the 'action' (for virtue channelling) being the single attack or similar 'action', rather than the 'action' being the flurry which contains several such 'action's. Which is, as you pointed out, inconsistent with the reading I had made of the charm rules. - Kraken who wishes that, for once, WW could manage an unambiguous ruleset without overloading terms that have a very similar meaning.
I agree. And I know they can do it. nWod terminology has been disambiguated very nicely. sigh. - nikink