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Guen Plan

From DivNull RPG

Some possibilities for Guen. These make use of the costs and training table, the Monsoon Needles and the Mark of Autochthon.

Guen has a lot of unspent experience. He should be able to use the Mark to train for things quite quickly.

The Supremacy of Dexterity[edit]

One of the big advantages of lunars is that their charms are based on nine Attributes instead of 25 Abilties. So, things that boost these attributes have a much wider reach. Guen also now has access to two additional types of charm that make pumping up attributes even easier.

One of the things the Mark revealed to use is the existence of excellency charms. The lunar version of excellencies, a set of nine Attribute Affirmed charms, provide some advantages that may not be obvious at first. The basic charm effect is decent: it lets you convert die in your pool to successes prior to rolling, one mote per die. While this isn’t as strong as some of the other excellency charms, it is very wide reaching. For example, learning Dexterity Affirmed would let you do this when dodging, making martial arts attacks, leaping, firing an arrow, and so on.

The secondary benefit of this charm, however, is that it can act in the place of similar (more limited) charms in the lunar book. As an example, see the section on Archery, below. Basically, the charm is not only flexible in use, it also allows more flexibility in picking charms.

The second method that Guen has access to (that most lunars don’t) are the Embodiment of Luna charms revealed by the Monsoon Needles. These are nine charms that permanently increase what the maximum rating of your Attributes can be. Normally, your attributes can only be as high as either five or your Essence rating, whichever is larger. So, to raise your Dex to, say, seven, you’d need to have Essence 7. With these charms, you can raise Dex that high without raising Essence first. Learning the Dexterity version of this charm, then raising Dex to the new max, would not only give you more dice, it would also raise the limit on how many dice you can add from charms. The whole thing would look like this:

  • Dexterity Affirmed (15xp, 12xp if using the Monsoon Needles, 16 hrs untrained): Before roll, convert up to Dexterity dice to successes for 1m/die.
  • Embodiment of Full Moon’s Dexterity (15xp, 12xp if using the Monsoon Needles, 24 hrs training using Needles as tutor): The maximum that you can raise Dexterity becomes seven.
  • Dexterity to 6 (19xp, -1xp if using the Monsoon Needles, would take 480 hours without training, but with the needles both acting as a trainer and accelerating the process, only takes 120 hours). Note that if this is still not fast enough, the Mark could be used to compress it into eight hours for two Willpower a point of Precision.
  • Dexterity to 7 (23xp, -1xp if using the Monsoon Needles, 144 hours with needles). Note that if this is still not fast enough, the Mark could be used to compress it into eight hours for two Willpower a point of Precision.

Martial Arts[edit]

Leopard Style[edit]

Some time ago, I reworked the charms in Leopard Style based on some internet feedback and things I noticed in play. One of the issues of the original style was “speedbumps”, where charms higher in the tree would be such you would never have a reason to use their prerequisites. So the newer versions change the prerequisites to be more functional. I will attempt to draw attention to some of these in the “combo” section below.

There are two charms in this style that Guen doesn’t yet know; however, they are not particularly compelling given Guen’s other abilities.

Tiger Style[edit]

You have a number of charms to learn in tiger style. Since this style matches the notion of your totem form, by our house rules, you only need to pay 8xp per charm for these.

  • Raging Tiger Pounce (8xp). Successful attacks automatically knock down opponent.
  • Spine Shattering Bite (8xp, req. Raging Tiger Pounce). Attacks do 4L barehanded or +4L with tiger claws. Add up to Dexterity + Martial Arts dice to attack roll.
  • Stalking Cat Movement Meditation (8xp). Add up to Essence dice to Stealth and Awareness when stalking target.
  • Leap From Cloaking Shadows Attack (8xp, req. Stalking Cat Movement Meditation). Unaware targets have soak halved.
  • Angry Predator Frenzy Style (8xp, req. Spine Shattering Bite, Leap From Cloaking Shadows Attack). Make two Martial Arts attacks at full pool each turn. In addition, may counterattack with pool equal to Martial Arts plus attackers extra successes. This charm requires a trainer.

Hungry Ghost Style[edit]

You are starting to learn Hungry Ghost Style. There is some good stuff there, particularly for lunars, who don’t have other ways to do some of these tricks. You have a way to go if you want to master the whole thing. Charms that seem good for Guen

  • Shrouded Claw Attack (12xp, 32 hours untrained). Targets attempting to dodge or parry halve their pool.
  • Hungry Ghost Form (12xp, 64 hours untrained, req. Shrouded Claw Attack). Regain a mote for every point of damage you do. Lunars don’t have many choices for regenerating essence, and this is a pretty good one. Only trouble is that a form, and you can only use one of those at a time.
  • Consuming Entropy Strike (12xp, 80 hours untrained, req. Hungry Ghost Form). Reduce the target’s soak for one attack at a rate of 2L/mote. Reducing soak is almost identical to gaining attack successes; assuming the attack hits, they both generate more damage dice. (The difference, of course, is that successes help you beat defenses like dodging, and reducing soak does not.) Still, this is pretty cheap for the effect.
  • Power Reaping Prana (12xp, 64 hours untrained, req. Hungry Ghost Form). Regain essence when others activate charms around you. Not bad, but costs Willpower, which lunars have a hard time regenerating.
  • Charm Smothering Technique (12xp, 80 hours untrained, Power Reaping Prana). This is one of the few charms in Exalted than can mess with other people’s charms, making it quite powerful.

Other charms can be learned, but don’t suit Guen’s current abilities very well:

  • Unnatural Shambling Deftness (12xp, req. Hungry Ghost Form). Take Essence extra actions this round. Can’t be used with armor. Given Guen’s abilities at multiple actions, this charm isn’t worth the activation cost.
  • Lunging Phantom Method (12xp, req. Unnatural Shambling Deftness). Cool looking, but sort of pricey for the effect it gives, which is to allow you to “attack from behind”. You also would need to learn the previous one, making it even less cool.
  • Blood Freezing Technique (12xp, req. Consuming Entropy Strike). If an attack deals damage, it also reduces your target’s Dex by a dot. This is a neat effect, but is way too expensive to see real use.
  • Soul-Flaying Strike (12xp, req. Lunging Phantom Method, Blood Freezing Technique, Charm Smothering Technique). On an attack, roll Essence against the target’s. If you win deal an additional Essence levels of aggravated damage. Victims who die from this rise as hungry ghosts. Spirits and Fair Folk who die from this are permanently destroyed. This is very costly, sort of opposite of Guen’s personality, requires a bunch of gunky prerequisite charms (see above), requires a trainer and isn’t all that impressive. The spirit destruction is the most compelling thing about it, but probably not worth it. On the plus side, if you did want to learn it, the health level cost of the charm would be less troubling to Guen than it would be for someone else.

Mixing Styles[edit]

All of the styles you know use tiger claws and have forms that prevent the use of armor. (You get around the armor restriction in beastman form thanks to Shaping the Silver Skin.) One of the benefits of learning different styles is that you can combo charms of compatible styles together. Even better, lunars do not have to match the ability or attributes of charms within a combo like other exalts do, so they can combo their own charms with martial arts charms. Assuming you eventually follow the advice above, the comboable charms from the styles you’ll know are:

More on how these might work combined in the “Combo” section below.

Defenses[edit]

Guen is pretty tough, but something like a 60L attack would probably kill him if it hit. Lunars, unfortunately, don’t have completely perfect defenses, but they have some that come close. This would take you down the path to get them.

  • Unmoving Bear Defense (15xp, 12xp if using the Monsoon Needles, 48 hrs untrained, pg. 165). Dodge without moving, adding Essence dice. Can also provide a dodge of Essence dice if you don’t have one reserved.
  • Flowing Body Evasion (12xp 10xp if using the Monsoon Needles, 64 hrs untrained, requires Unmoving Bear Defense, pg. 165). A perfect dodge. It has a flaw, though: you can’t have acted yet in the round to use it. So, what this means is that you need to do a little strategizing against tough foes. Still, would allow you to stand toe to toe with a deathlord, briefly. Note that our house rules make this charm Reflexive, not Simple, and one of the annoyances in the book has been removed.
  • Sinuous Striking Grace (15xp, 12xp if using the Monsoon Needles, 16 hrs untrained, pg. 136). Note that, thanks to the Monsoon Needles, this charm has no prerequisite. It lets you increase your initiative. Nothing to write home about, but…
  • Snake Body Technique (15xp, 12xp if using the Monsoon Needles, 64 hrs untrained, requires Sinuous Striking Grace, pg. 165). Probably one of the best charms in the lunar book, providing you a full Dex + Dodge pool to dodge a hand-to-hand attack in such a way that if you avoid it, the attack is reflected back onto the attacker.

Shapeshifting[edit]

Archery[edit]

Of the two root charms in the lunar ranged combat tree, one is Eagle Eye Advantage. Even though this is a Perception charm, what it actually does is convert Dexterity dice into successes. But, that’s what the new Dexterity Affirmed charm does (and it is half the cost). So, any charm that requires Eagle Eye Advantage can instead use Dexterity Affirmed as a prerequisite.

Familiar[edit]

Combos[edit]

Combos allow you to activate more than one charm a turn. They are powerful, but they have four basic drawbacks. The first is that they take a while to learn. Fortunately, the Mark of Autochthon lets you learn them instantly. The second issue is that they are expensive to activate, especially in terms of Willpower. The third is that they are expensive to learn in terms of xp (though the Mark helps out here as well). Lastly, there are many restrictions about which charms can be comboed together. As a lunar, you can ignore a number of these restrictions, but not others.

The main restriction is that all charms in a combo must be Instants. Another restriction is that more or less all of the charms in a combo have to be activated, so they are “all or nothing”. The huge exception to this are Reflexive charms, which you can choose not to activate. Consequently, there are usually three types of combos:

  1. Combos based around a Simple and/or Extra action charm (only one of each allowed), with lots of supplementals and maybe one Reflexive for a defensive “safety”. These tend to be “finishing moves”, where you burn lots of essence to make sure a guy dies, since you can’t split your pool when you use Simples.
  2. Combos entirely (or nearly so) made of Reflexives. These give a bunch of flexibility, allowing you to handle a wide range of situations. Usually, these are set up so the combo is more reactive, letting you do a “normal” action, but with some other options to use against incoming attacks.
  3. Combos that use a few compatible Supplementals and some Reflexives. This is more of a hybrid approach, the main benefit being that the supplementals usually provide some attacking ability, but still allow you to split your pools. The drawback is that you still must use the supplementals on any action where they could be used during the turn the combo is up.


A Reflexive Combo[edit]

It’s tempting to build a combo with every reflexive you know in it. With the Mark, that’s almost viable. Still might be overkill. Presumably, if Guen learns this, he’ll use the Mark to do so, so the following ignores training time (it would be a lot, probably). Every charm you add to a combo adds its minimum attribute or ability value in xp to the cost of the combo. This one includes all of your reflexives, assuming you learn the charms mentioned above. To activate it, you pay 1 Willpower the first time you activate a charm in the round, then for the whole turn you can:

  • Pay 5m to dodge with full Dex + Dodge pool. If you succeed, reflect attack back on the attacker (+3xp, Snake Body Technique)
  • Pay 6m, 1wp to perfectly dodge if you haven’t yet acted in the turn (+4xp, Flowing Body Evasion)
  • Pay 1m/die to convert Dexterity dice to successes before a roll (+1xp, Attribute Affirmed)
  • Pay 5m to turn into a beastman (+2xp, Deadly Beastman Transformation)
  • Pay 1m to turn into a true shape (+1xp, Finding the Spirit’s Shape)
  • Pay 2m to add MA dice to an Athletics roll (+3xp, Feline Grace Meditation)
  • Pay 3m to make a clinch or throw counterattack (+3xp, Low Stance Counterthrow)
  • Pay 3m to dodge/escape a clinch (+3xp, Cat-in-a-Box Kata)
  • Pay 4m to counterattack with MA dice, or add MA dice to a counterattack from another source (+4xp, High Stance Counterattack)
  • Pay 1wp to gain motes from a nearby charm activation (+4, Power Reaping Prana)
  • Pay 1+m to counter a charm being activated (+5xp, Charm Smothering Technique)
  • Pay 1m/-2L to reduce the soak of a target for an attack (+5xp, Consuming Entropy Strike)

That’s a lot of xp, but its pretty flexible. Mix and match to tastes.

Strong Attack Combo[edit]

Combining a number of martial arts supplementals, you could do the following. Pay 1wp to activate the following Combo. For each attack you do:

  • Pay 9m
    • Increase base damage by Essence (+3xp, Striking Fury Claws Attack)
    • Add +4L to damage and add one die to the attack, you may more dice at 1m/die until you double your Dex + MA pool (+4xp, Spine Shattering Bite)
    • Halve the target’s defense pool (+2xp, Shrouded Claw Attack)
  • Adding in some reflexives to the combo would allow you to (optionally)
    • Pay 1m/die to convert Dexterity dice to successes before a roll (+1xp, Attribute Affirmed)
    • Pay 5m to dodge with full Dex + Dodge pool. If you succeed, reflect attack back on the attacker (+3xp, Snake Body Technique)
    • Pay 6m, 1wp to perfectly dodge if you haven’t yet acted in the turn (+4xp, Flowing Body Evasion)
    • Pay 1m/-2L to reduce the soak of a target for an attack (+5xp, Consuming Entropy Strike)

This combo might work best with Hungry Ghost form, as you would probably regain most of the motes spent to power it.