Because The Sidereals Are Going To Eat Our Children
Okay, so I've got an idea for a Secret Style, but I'm looking for a little help. Right now it's a theme and a bunch of charm ideas - the form came to me first before I realized there might be some potential to the style. There's very little in the way of crunch here.
So, at this point, I'd like the Wiki's help in checking me thematically. Naturally, I'd like to know if you think I've strayed with the existing charms and so forth, but what I'm most looking for are suggestions on concepts I've missed. And names for things. Now: the unspeakable monster style:
The style is not compatible with armor or weapons, save the natural weapons of the behemoth form.
Essentially, it is intended to invoke the archetypal horrific Things That Should Not Be. The charms should give a clearer picture of what I mean:
The practitioner's attack is suffused with the terrifying might of a behemoth. Who could hope to stand against it?
Something along the lines of forcing the target of the attack to channel a virtue or spend a WP to defend at all...
Disturb the Water's Surface
The martial artist brushes her fingers across the target's skin, and her touch is that of the not-limbs of the un-gods. The target, forced into such direct contemplation of the nature of these creatures, must neccessarily break a little in order to survive.
Perhaps this grants the target a derangement.
Churn Up the Deeps
This touch is far less gentle. The artist's touch is infused with the warping power of the wyld, and flesh becomes protean in her grasp.
Not quite sure about this charm - whether it should mutate the target, or what - or even if it should exist at all.
Unspeakable Monster Form
The artist reshapes her essence in accordance with the patterns-that-are-not-patterns of the monsters drawn from deeper places than the id. She becomes so inherently alien, so impossible, that those who view her are forced to reject their senses. Their minds simply cannot accept the possibility of her existence - therefore, she is entirely imperceptible. However, consciously, the onlookers still realize that she - rather, that something - is there, but that it is also invisible and undetectable. And it just tore out their lover's ribcage.
As a side note, complications for the artist may arise with overuse - not only due to the unnatural shaping of the artist's essence, but also because lack of belief is the same thing that let the fair folk into creation in the Contagion's wake.
Reap Them Like Wheat
Only a hero can stand before one of these monsters and hope to survive. The artist denies the destiny of those who have none - allowing her great power over extras in combat. Something along the lines of 'infinite reflexive instant kills against any extra in range' as well as 'complete Perfect immunity to all extras' attacks.'
Feast On Their Flesh
The monster cannot be killed. It brings slaughter, and grows stronger with each death. The artist regains strength, probably in the form of essence, for killing. Potential for terrible carnage when combined with Reap Them Like Wheat.
When the fields are burning, and all lie dead around you, the monster's demands begin to seem quite reasonable. This is the charm the artist uses to control towns through terror with a minimum of effort, emulating the tyrannical beasts that require frequent sacrifice in order to gain a respite from their wrath.
You have no allies. If you fight the monster, you fight it alone. The artist removes the ongoing effects of all charms, sorcery, and astrology cast by others from all who oppose her for the scene.
Effulgent Breaker-Into-Pieces Assumption
The monster is not theory, nor story. It is flesh, and fire, and teeth and claws and murder. It is here.
The artist crafts for herself a Behemoth form in accordance with the rules in the Fair Folk book, given a certain number of mutation points and whatever based on her essence, and treating herself as the handler. Whenever she uses this charm, she may take that form, and lay waste to the world.
Pretty cool ideas here! Have you thought about maybe making this a Sword Shaping Style? It seems to fit beautifully... B-) Anyway, to think along the lines of a Sidereal Style some ideas I have are:
- Churn up the Deeps - Maybe have this as a damage adder of some kind, so it combos nicely with Fearsome Arc, and if the derangement inducing effect of Disturb the Water's Surface is based on Health Levels inflicted in some way, then it will make all three pre-forms worth combo-ing (although I'd imagine quite expensive as well).
- Unspeakable Monster Form - I can see this granting an additional attack every turn (say, at a base pool of MA) that is treated like attacks from invisible enemies (thus at -2 successes from defences) that can not target the Martial Artist's main target for the turn (ie: anyone they have spent their normal actions attacking). I would consider letting this 'Phantom Attack' extend to a fair range - maybe Social Attribute + MA + Essence yards? And it would appear more like things flashing past from the sky, out of shadows or from the earth itself.
- Reap them like Wheat - Interesting idea, don't like the insta kill idea personally though. Perhaps treat this as a counter-attack charm? Or maybe, just maybe, as a charm which forces the target to succeed at a Parry and Dodge to avoid a given attack? This would blend nicely with the Form special attack.
- Feast on their Flesh - Perhaps add Health Levels inflicted to the Martial Artists current total (upto their normal full health)? Kind of a regen charm. Possibly very needed as there is very little else in the way of defence in this Style.
- Demand a Virgin Stance - Not a fan of this name. Virginal Sacrifice Proposition maybe? Not sure how this Charm could work. Maybe a mass fear inducer - succeed at a valor check to attack, else suffer Martial Artist's Essence as damage (from heart attack and the like) applied vs Natural Soak only, or maybe bypassing Soak altogether? Or maybe using one of the Target's virtues as a soak? Again, this would make it defensive in use, but still very aggressive in action, nice in combo with Feast on their Flesh and vs a mook army.
- Leave-Behind-Thy-Guardians-And-Tormentors-For-They-Have-No-Place-In-My-Domain Stance - Again, not a fan of the name (mostly cuz of the damn length!!!) but I have no alternative at the moment... B-) This would seem to be very similar in function to, perhaps more powerful than, the Spell and Charm dispelling charms from PAoC or Hungry Ghost Style. So it might be worth looking at those for ideas. And again, defensive while aggressive.
- Effulgent Breaker-Into-Pieces Assumption - I see this as similar to, but better than, Dreaming Pearl Courtesan's transformation, and for more in Style reasons! I like it a lot because of that, even though I'm not a huge fan of shapechanging Charms in MA as a rule. I'd give this similar (but tougher) restrictions to the DPC Style charm as regards to remaining in this shape forever - maybe give base Mutation points equal to user's Essence, and a base recovery from transformation roll of (say) Willpower (difficulty 1). Then for every additional Mutation point taken, the recovery roll increases in difficulty by 1 also. Just a thought.
I reckon there's room in there for a Your Weapons will not Avail you technique charm which can destroy the target's weapons and/or armour if non-MM, and break the attunement if they are MM, too.
Hope that's helpful! - nikink
Give it a color! All Secret Sidereal styles should have a color! (I only recently discovered that Sidereal styles have colors the way celestial styles have animals, so be patient with me) -Seraph
Incarnadine Evocation of Unspeakable Monsters Style - maybe? nikink - Also, you should remember the wiki best practises and shift this page to underneath MartialArts... at least when you are finished developing it...
And on a more serious note, I'm not a fan of Demand-a-Virgin Stance. IMHO, it's out of style for a Martial Art to get a broad and sweeping social effect such as could dominate a location. That's a perforance/presence/Charisma charm there, not Martial Arts. -Seraph
capric approves greatly of this style! Unknowable horror is always fun. However, I think you have 2 distinct themes going on in this tree: you have the theme of unthinkable horror, and the theme of dominating monstrosity. Since this is SMA, I would recommend you focus on one of those themes and leave the other for a seperate SMA. I generally think that Horror is better theme than Monstrosity, but then, I like horrors more than monsters ^^
Anyway, I did notice something of oceanic sub-theme, which I think is also great for horror: because everyone knows that the sea represents the unconcious, and thus sea monsters represent hidden unthinkable horrors. Read various Lovecraft for inspiration along those lines.
Hm, random sutra you might get idea or two from:
- The Student's Sutra of Horror: Once, there was a smiling maiden. She played amongst the rocks and swam with joy through dark waters. She played with the creatures of the sea, and laughed as they ripped and tore. She played with the ships and the sailors above, their blood the most beautiful paints, their screams the most beatiful nursery rhymes. She did all this and it was good.
- The Elder's Sutra of Horror: The maiden became restless, for she was tired of her old playmates. She went into the darkest depths looking for new friends. She looked a long, long time before she finally found one. And with a smile on her face, she played with her new friend. She ate her legs, she ate her arms, and she ate her body. She even ate her mouth, and then only the smile remained.
Fuliginous Delight of Kraken Style! or, if you wanna be literal: Ultramarine Submersion of Horrors Style
Charm comments, along with random name thoughts:
- Fearsome Arc- maybe this should like drain virtue channels upon successful hit? And gives some bad effect when you're all out of channels and get smacked. Random name: Kiss of Dark Waters
- Disturb the Water's Surface- There are already charms that grant derangements. Maybe this does extra damage when target remembers being hit? Or does extra post-soak damage unless they reflexively repress memory of that turn (willpower diff 3 or something)?
- Churn up the Deeps- Hm, maybe make this defensive move? Reflexive 5 turner that evokes the darkest fears within viewers? Maybe lowers effective valor by 2 to all that look at you.
You need a few more pre-form charms, at least 2 more. You should also try to split pre-form charms pretty evenly between offense and defense. Random names: Elusive Noctiluca Technique; Sirrocan Tide; Unseen Currents Prana
- Unspeakable Monster Form- I like nikink's ideas. Or maybe it makes all your attacks count as being surprise hits, unless they make willpower roll and suffer penalties on success or something?
- Reap them Like Wheat- Also not a fan of extra instakills, if only because they are of very little utility against real opponents. Remember, Mail and Steel make killing thousands of extras pretty easy anyway if you totally outclass them. Maybe some effect that gives strong offense that can only be negated by stunts? Like reduces base pool of all defenses to zero, but stunts count like 5x or something. Name: Inevitable Undertow Method
- Feast on their Flesh- not really sure. This charm is very much in the Dominating Monstrosity theme.
- Demand a Virgin Stance- Maybe instead give some fascination effect that draws opponents in, as they are fascinated by the unknown horror? MA charms probably shouldn't give totally social benefits... they should always be able to be useful in a fight. Random name: Fevered Obsession Stance? I dunno
- Leave-Behind-Thy-Guardians-And-Tormentors-For-They-Have-No-Place-In-My-Domain Stance- I like the mechanics for this, actually. But the name has got to go. Stricken Denial Stance? Leviathan Swims Alone Technique?
- Effulgent Breaker-Into-Pieces Assumption- I dunno about this. Ess 7 MA charms seem to have effects that are only useful on massive scale. Maybe make this charm dependent on the number of people that witness you? Or maybe make it a charm that makes you totally intangible, and totally prevents movement and lets you use MA charms of this style on multiple targets at high premium? Build in enough weaknesses so that it's not undefeatable. Random name: The Kraken Eats Itself
Er, looking at all this, I've commented quite a bit more than I originally intended to. I really like what you have so far though, and am very curious to see what you finally decide to do with this! ~Capric