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Pertinacious Automaton Style

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This style was created by Argent on the Exalted wiki. It has been altered in several ways to fit better into the Forgotten Suns campaign. This style was taught to Regret of the Sun in Autochthonia.

This celestial martial art developed over the millennia in Autochthonia, for use by the alchemical exalted. Most popular with younger Jade caste exalted, it remains evenly practiced by elder alchemicals of all castes. Some masters exist even in Creation, though how knowledge of it reached them remains a mystery. Most stories told of it in Creation intersect with mentions of the Eye of Autochthon, so the Eye remains the most likely conduit.

The style focuses on emulation of the machine, becoming relentless, sturdy and forceful. It focuses primarily on armor, both enhancing the martial artists and penetrating his opponent, but also on speed and endurance.

This style is intended for First Edition, but not power combat. It does, however, use the concept of Hardness in places, using it as a convenient shorthand for the cumbersome phrasing of the 1E lunar soak rules (where charm enhancement beyond 12 points adds to Hardness instead), the Invulnerable Skin of Bronze and several other places. This style allows armor, including shields, and allow the use of fighting gauntlets as form weapons.

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Iron Sheath Posture

Kind: Celestial Martial Arts
Cost: 1 mote per point of reduction
Duration: 5 turns
Type: Reflexive
Min. Martial Arts: 2
Min. Essence: 2
Source: Pertinacious Automaton style inspired by Argent
Prerequisite Charms: None
Summary: Reduce mobility and fatigue penalties, spending no more than Martial Arts.

Taking clues from the basic lessons of the Machine God, the Exalt learns to treat his armor not as an external factor, but as part of himself. He may reduce the Mobility penalty and Fatigue rating of his armor, to a minimum of zero for each. He can spend no more motes than his Martial Arts rating when activating this charm. If invoked when already active, the old invocation immediately ends.

Hydraulic Body Configuration

Kind: Celestial Martial Arts
Cost: 3 motes
Duration: Instant
Type: Reflexive
Min. Martial Arts: 3
Min. Essence: 2
Source: Pertinacious Automaton style inspired by Argent
Prerequisite Charms: Iron Sheath Posture
Summary: Choose to either add Dexterity to initiative, negate effects that automatically win initiative, add Strength to jumping distance or add Strength yards to base movement.

With a quick, precise kata, the martial artist temporarily supercharges his muscles with essence, emulating the hydraulic mechanisms of the Machine God. If he uses this charm while having the Pertinacious Automaton Form activated, his body is temporarily covered with essence lines converging at his reconfigured chakra points. He may put his reconfigured muscles to use in one of the following ways, decided when activating the charm:

  • He adds his Dexterity to his initiative
  • Charms such as Thunderclap Rush Attack do not automatically win initiative over him.
  • He adds his Strength to jumping distance
  • He adds his Strength to his base movement

Vibrating Hammer Palm

Kind: Celestial Martial Arts
Cost: 4 motes
Duration: Instant
Type: Supplemental
Min. Martial Arts: 3
Min. Essence: 2
Source: Pertinacious Automaton style inspired by Argent
Prerequisite Charms: Iron Sheath Posture
Summary: Reduce soak provided by target’s armor by Martial Arts.

The exalt strikes out with a forceful open-handed punch, using his essence to allow the force of the blow to bypass the armor of his opponent as if it just wasn’t there. He may reduce his opponent’s armor-based soak for one unarmed Martial Arts attack by twice his Martial Arts rating, to a minimum of zero.

This charm is roughly equivalent to Consuming Entropy Strike (abys.164). In comparison, it becomes cheaper as your MA increases, but is both bounded and doesn’t offer as much control.

Pertinacious Automaton Form

Kind: Celestial Martial Arts
Cost: 5 motes
Duration: One scene
Type: Simple
Min. Martial Arts: 4
Min. Essence: 3
Source: Pertinacious Automaton style by Argent
Prerequisite Charms: Vibrating Hammer Palm, Hydraulic Body Configuration
Summary: Bare hands deal and parry lethal damage. Add essence to Strength and any die rolls to resist environmental damage or any effect that is reduced against automata. Cast Iron Sheath Posture intrinsically. Reduce Hardness of target’s armor by Essence.

Assuming a fluid, yet forceful stance honoring the perfection of the Machine God, the martial artist harmonizes his essence with the Machine God, effectively becoming part of the great machine. His unarmed Martial Arts attacks do lethal damage and he may parry lethal attacks with his bare hands. He adds his Essence score to his Strength, both for feats of strength and damage. He also adds Essence dice to any rolls to resist environmental damage or any effect that specifically has reduced effect against automata.

While this form is in effect, the martial artist may activate Iron Sheath Posture as an intrinsic ability, without it counting as a charm activation. Any unarmed Martial Arts attacks made while this form is active reduce the Hardness of the target’s armor by the martial artist’s Essence, to a minimum of zero.

Automated Defense Adjustment

Kind: Celestial Martial Arts
Cost: 3 motes
Duration: Instant
Type: Reflexive
Min. Martial Arts: 4
Min. Essence: 3
Source: Pertinacious Automaton style by Argent
Prerequisite Charms: Pertinacious Automaton Form
Summary: Reflexively parry a lethal attack with Dexterity + Martial Arts.

By analyzing the fluctuations of battle patterns in his opponent, the martial artist can become as one with him, allowing his limbs to react with machine-like precision and move to interrupt otherwise unanticipated attacks. He gets a reflexive parry action using his full Dexterity + Martial Arts. Using this charm, he can parry lethal attacks with bare hands.

Accelerated Prescience Gearing

Kind: Celestial Martial Arts
Cost: 6 motes, 1 willpower
Duration: One scene
Type: Simple
Min. Martial Arts: 5
Min. Essence: 3
Source: Pertinacious Automaton style by Argent
Prerequisite Charms: Automated Defense Adjustment
Summary: Halve penalties from multiple actions, rounding down.

Feeling the flow of the Machine God accelerating his muscles and mind, time slows down for the martial artist, as he becomes a blur to his opponents, striking out with inhuman speed. For the remainder of the scene, all of his multiple action penalties are halved (rounded down).

Alchemical exalts activating this charm gain a point of temporary Clarity.

Merciless Iron Assault

Kind: Celestial Martial Arts
Cost: 3 motes per success
Duration: Instant
Type: Supplemental
Min. Martial Arts: 5
Min. Essence: 3
Source: Pertinacious Automaton style inspired by Argent
Prerequisite Charms: Pertinacious Automaton Form
Summary: Add up to Martial Arts successes to an unarmed attack. For each success bought, you may also convert one dice of damage into an automatic success.

For one moment, the martial artist’s body becomes as metal, his muscles and joints hardening to wires and pistons, granting his blows tremendous machine-like force. He may buy up to Martial Arts successes to an unarmed Martial Arts attack roll. If this attack succeeds, for each attack success purchased, the martial artist may convert one post-soak damage dice into an automatic success.

Perforating Piston Offensive

Kind: Celestial Martial Arts
Cost: 7 motes
Duration: One scene
Type: Simple
Min. Martial Arts: 5
Min. Essence: 3
Source: Pertinacious Automaton style inspired by Argent
Prerequisite Charms: Merciless Iron Assault
Summary: All unarmed attacks to piercing damage. Spend 1wp for an attack to ignore all armor.

The martial artist’s synchronicity with the Great Maker grants him deep insight into the armor of his target. If he has Pertinacious Automaton Form activated, his fingers seem to end in pinpoints of light, like brightly burning embers. His punches and kicks slam through armor as if it were not there. All unarmed Martial Arts attacks made while this charm is active deal piercing damage. Further, any soak reduction done by other charms of this style are applied after this charm divides the soak in half.

In addition, the martial artist can reflexively spend a point of Willpower when making an unarmed Martial Arts attack to have that attack completely ignore all of the soak provided by armor, forcing the target to soak the attack only with their Stamina and charms that enhance natural soak.

Alchemical exalts activating this charm gain a point of temporary Clarity.

Reactive Armor Reinforcement

Kind: Celestial Martial Arts
Cost: 3 motes
Duration: Instant
Type: Reflexive
Min. Martial Arts: 4
Min. Essence: 3
Source: Pertinacious Automaton style inspired by Argent
Prerequisite Charms: Pertinacious Automaton Form
Summary: Either halve all pre-soak damage from an attack, soak damage from a piercing weapon with full soak or add Martial Arts to your armor’s Hardness.

The martial artist’s connection to their armor becomes so great that the armor moves to intercept and incoming strike, reinforcing itself at the point of impact. When the charm is activated, the martial artist may choose one of the following effects:

  • Halve all pre-soak damage from the attack.
  • Counteract the effect of piercing, soaking damage from a piercing weapon with full soak instead of half.
  • Add his Martial Arts to the armor’s Hardness rating.

Invincible Avatar Cocoon

Kind: Celestial Martial Arts
Cost: 4 motes
Duration: One scene
Type: Simple
Min. Martial Arts: 4
Min. Essence: 3
Source: Pertinacious Automaton style inspired by Argent
Prerequisite Charms: Pertinacious Automaton Form
Summary: Reduces the minimum damage dice dealt to you by Essence, to a minimum of zero.

The martial artist’s essence configures and re-configures his armor, hardening it into a invincible shell. If he has Pertinacious Automaton Form activated, his eyes, hair and nails becomes smooth, matte metal, and his joints seem to grow armor plates. He reduces the minimum damage dice dealt to him by his Essence, to a minimum of zero.

Alchemical exalts activating this charm gain a point of temporary Clarity.

Divine Machine Realization

Kind: Celestial Martial Arts
Cost: 10 motes, 2 willpower
Duration: One scene
Type: Simple
Min. Martial Arts: 5
Min. Essence: 4
Source: Pertinacious Automaton style inspired by Argent
Prerequisite Charms: Accelerated Prescience Gearing, Perforating Piston Offensive, Invincible Avatar Cocoon
Summary: Gain benefit of Accelerated Prescience Gearing, Perforating Piston Offensive and Invincible Avatar Cocoon. Bare hands add Essence to Accuracy, Damage and Defense. Add material bonus for weapon of same material as armor. Take 1ahl when charm finishes.

Achieving the ultimate connection to the nature of the machine, the martial artist becomes like a living automaton: strong, quick, precise in its movements – an ideal form shaped out of his essence and focused through the design of the Great Maker. This charm gives all of the benefits from its three immediate requisite charms. The martial artist also fully becomes one with his armor; his anima integrates it with it and an iconic banner might take on cosmetic aspects of it.

In addition, the martial artist becomes a living weapon; his unarmed Martial Arts attacks become weapons, adding his Essence to their Accuracy, Damage and Defense. If wearing armor made out of one of the five magical materials, add the associated material bonuses to the weapon stats. In the case of soulsteel, essence absorbed successful attacks fills the martial artist’s own essence pools, starting with personal.

When this charm ends, the martial artist suffers one level of unsoakable damage, as the connection between armor and anima short circuits. For alchemical exalted, this damage is lethal, but all others take aggravated damage instead.

Alchemical exalted gain a point of permanent Clarity upon learning this charm. Upon its activation, the also gain a point of temporary Clarity.