Actions

Stag Plan

From DivNull RPG

In no particular order, some possibilities for Stag. These make use of the costs and training table.

Using the Mark[edit]

The Mark of Autochthon allows quite a bit of progress into the items below, particularly the Martial Arts stuff. A straight forward walk down that path would look something like this (and assuming you’d be working to reduce your Precision as you go):

  • Learn Conclusion-Pursing Approach (9xp, burn a dot of Source, gain a dot of Precision).
  • Four Magical Materials Form (10xp, burn a dot of Source, gain a dot of Precision, requires the previous step). You might want to gain another point of Precision, and spend 3 willpower to use the mark’s Deep Resonance ability to compress the training for this into eight hours.

At this point, a totally different combat tactic becomes open to you. Many of your really cool abilities cost Willpower, but Conclusion-Pursing Approach basically lets you regain Willpower by punching people, and this changes the whole dynamics of your charm set. Prep for combat would basically go like this:

  1. Turn 1: (Optional) Reflexively spend 1wp to activate the “student’s sutra” for Prismatic Arrangement of Creation Style. (You now can do this, because you have learned your first form of this style). The makes all charms from this style cost 5 motes less. Note that if you elect not to use this sutra, your Efficient Kata Bands reduce sidereal martial arts by 3 motes anyway. Unless you plan on using a lot of sidereal martial arts charms (i.e. those from Prismatic Arrangement of Creation Style), you might be better off using the bands.
  2. Turn 1: Activate Four Magical Materials Form (15 motes, -5 if you use the sutra or -3 using the Kata bands). You now have +12B/+12L soak, +7L damage from wicked claws, +2 to speed/accuracy/defense, can parry lethal and ranged attacks with bare hands, convert any lethal damage you receive to bashing, can strike at distance and all the bonuses of Five Jade Fury.
  3. Turn 2: Activate Conclusion-Pursing Approach (10 motes, 1 wp, 1 health level). You can now regain a point of willpower any time you damage someone with martial arts. This happens any time an attack does damage, so it will pay to split your pool for multiple attacks if you need to restore willpower. This charm also has other effects (see below).
  4. Turn 3 (or 4): Activate Joy in Adversity Stance (5m). Now, any time you successfully defend against an attack (dodge or parry), you roll Essence dice, gaining two motes back for each success. This averages out to five motes each time an attack misses you. Note that this charm is Reflexive, so you can still act on the same turn you activate it.
  5. Turn 4 (or 3): Activate Defense of Shining Joy (5m, 1wp). Reflexively Dodge with Dex + Dodge or Dex + Performance.
  6. Turn 5: (Optional) Activate Blade of the Battle Maiden with as much essence as you can spare (up to 18m, 2wp). Every two motes spent buys an extra Martial Arts die for the whole scene, so you can double your base pool. This would give you 18 dice, even before additions from artifacts and charms. Note also: Five Jady Fury awards bonuses based on how many dice you actually roll, so pumping your pool makes those bonuses even better.

Assuming you do all of that, you’ll be glowing pretty badly, having spent something like 50m, 4wp. On the other hand, your attacks would look like this:

  • +5 to initiative
    • +2 from startmetal claw’s Speed rating
    • +3 from Five Jade bonus
  • 21 attack dice:
    • 9 dice from Dex + Martial Arts
    • 2 dice from Accuracy of starmetal claws
    • 1 die from kata bands
    • 9 dice from Blade of the Battle Maiden
  • Seven added automatic successes to the attack roll from Five Jade bonus using 21 dice
  • Serious damage
    • 3L base from Strength
    • +7L from claws
    • Five Jade bonus using 21 dice provides 7 added automatic successes to the damage roll
    • Five Jade knocks target back a yard for each level of damage inflicted.
    • Any damage dealt means you get back a point of willpower

The average result of this will be an attack roll generating 11 successes, plus seven added automatically, for a total of 18. Very few targets will be able to get these many defensive successes. Let’s say they get none at all. That 18 successes then adds to the damage to deal 28L damage. Even if their soak is this insanely high, you still get your “ping” die, to which is added 7 automatic damage successes. So, if you hit them at all, you’re guaranteed to deal at least 7 points of damage. On an unarmored target that doesn’t defend, you’d average something like 19 points of damage.

How about without the Blade of the Battle Maiden? That would only be something like 32m, 2wp, with stats like:

  • +5 to initiative
    • +2 from startmetal claw’s Speed rating
    • +3 from Five Jade bonus
  • 12 attack dice:
    • 9 dice from Dex + Martial Arts
    • 2 dice from Accuracy of starmetal claws
    • 1 die from kata bands
  • Four added automatic successes to the attack roll from Five Jade bonus using 12 dice
  • Serious damage
    • 3L base from Strength
    • +7L from claws
    • Five Jade bonus using 12 dice provides four added automatic successes to the damage roll
    • Five Jade knocks target back a yard for each level of damage inflicted.
    • Any damage dealt means you get back a point of willpower

Average of six rolled successes, plus four automatic. If not defending, that’s 20L, with four added damage successes.

Pros: You are now not only combat effective (large dice pools, great damage), but also a master of regenerating essence and willpower. While it seems very costly to activate, you will have regained nearly all the cost within a few rounds.

Cons: Slow to activate. Loses the nice damage effect of Violet Bier of Sorrows Form (back to one die minimum damage), though this is mitigated by Five Jade adding automatic damage.

Once Stag does this, he’ll have three more points of Source. The most obvious use for these would be to learn more Prismatic Arrangement charms. The most interesting of these are probably:

  • Charm Redirection Technique
  • Sequential Charm Disruption
  • (Type) Exalt Ways, maybe for Earth Aspect
  • Spell-Shattering Palm

Another option would be to use them for more Earth Dragon charms.

The Way of Charm Combination[edit]

Combos allow you to use multiple charms at once. They have three drawbacks, all of which you are now in a position to not worry about that much:

  1. In addition to the cost of the charms, they cost 1 Willpower to activate. Since you now have one of the easiest ways to regenerate Willpower in the game, this is not a huge problem.
  2. They burn through essence quickly. Since you now have number of decent essence regenerating techniques, this also isn’t that bad.
  3. They take a long time to learn. Since the Mark will now let you do this instantly, this should be no more trouble than gaining a point of Precision.

The bad news is that Stag doesn’t have that many charms that are “comboable”. First, any charm in a combo must have an Instant duration. Many of yours don’t. There are also some complicated restrictions about what types of charms can be in a combo. For example, a combo can have up to one Simple charm, but no more. Since it is going to take Stag so long to “power up”, a combo might be more of a secondary thing for him.

Still, you could create a interesting “grab bag” of reflexive charms into a combo. The great thing about reflexives in a combo is that, unlike supplementals, you are not forced to use all them when the combo activates. You can pick and choose, saving essence. The way this would work is: the first time you want to use one of the charms in a combo (and assuming you haven’t activated a charm already that round), you pay the 1wp to activate the combo, then use any of the reflexive charms in it at will.

Some charms that can be in a combo (with the ones in bold being recommended for a single combo):

  • Forgotten Earth (1m): Triple your leaping distance for a single jump.
  • Life-Severing Blow (2m/health level): After hitting opponent with unarmed attack, buy up to Essence automatic damage successes. This could be really brutal when added to automatic damage you will already be doing.
  • Death-Parrying Stroke (2m/health level): If you parry an attack but it still damages you, reduced rolled damage. Since your defense is based around dodging, not as useful as it could be.
  • Shield of Mars (5m, 1wp): After damage is rolled against you, roll Dex + Resistance. Every two successes transfer a point of this damage onto the attacker.
  • Martial Arts Resurgent (1m per die): You don’t know this charm yet, but it would let you re-roll failed attack dice.
  • Performance Resurgent (1m per die): You don’t know this charm yet, but it would let you re-roll failed performance dice (including those used for dodging with Defense of Shining Joy).
  • Duck Fate (10m): You don’t know this charm (or is prerequisite) either. See “The Way of Almost Perfect Defense”, below).

You might also include some supplementals. The only difference with them is that if you make a dice action that could use them, you must activate them, at least at a minimum level. The other restriction is that all the non-reflexive charms in your combo must come from the same ability. You’re choices here:

  • Force of the Mountain (Martial Arts, 2m): Add Essence to damage of next hand-to-hand attack. Attack can hit dematerialized spirits. Might not be the best choice for a combo, since you will already be doing automatic damage anyway.
  • Hot-Eyed Snake Whispering (Socialize, 1m/reduction): You don’t know this charm yet, but it would let you reduce the target number on Performance rolls (including those used for dodging with Defense of Shining Joy). This charm is a bit of an exception, in that it explicitly is allowed in a combo with charms of other abilities.

One other choice would be to use a Simple or Extra Action charm in the combo as well. I don’t like Simples in combos, usually, because they limit when you can activate it. If there is a Simple, you have to use that simple for your action, so it cuts down on flexibility. Your only choices here anyway are:

  • Earthshaker Attack (Martial Arts, 5m): All within Essence x 10 feet roll Dexterity + Resistance (Essence) or thrown off feet, taking EssenceB damage.
  • Metal Storm (Martial Arts, 3m/attack): Make up to Martial Arts extra attacks at full pool. You may not split your pool in the same turn you use this charm.

If you build a combo with the charms in bold above, the code depends on the minimum requirements:

  • Forgotten Earth: Athletics 2 (favored ability), Essence 1
  • Life-Severing Blow: Martial Arts 5 (favored ability), Essence 3
  • Shield of Mars: Resistance 3, Essence 2
  • Martial Arts Resurgent: Martial Arts 1 (favored ability), Essence 2
  • Performance Resurgent: Performance 1 (favored ability), Essence 2
  • Duck Fate: Dodge (favored ability) 3, Essence 2
  • Hot-Eyed Snake Whispering: Socialize 3 (favored ability), Essence 2

The experience cost of this combo is the sum of all the minimum ability ratings, or 18xp. Training time without a trainer (which you will be able to avoid entirely with the Mark) would be something like 768 hours.

If you wanted a combo with just the charms in the above list that you already know (i.e. the first three), experience cost is 10xp.

The Way of the Ass-Kicking Martial Artist[edit]

Short Term Goal: Mastering a lesser martial art[edit]

Stag cannot learn sidereal martial art form charms (see following goals) until he learns every charm in a lesser martial art. Since he already knows many charms in the Violet Bier of Sorrows tree, it would be logical to finish the rest:

  • Conclusion-Pursing Approach (pg. 181, 9xp, 40 hours training). For a scene, gain a point of Willpower each time you do damage. Also, opponents wound penalties are tripled when attacking you or defending against Martial Arts attacks from you. You can also enhance this with a prayer strip to remove a point of Willpower from your target each time you do damage (this is one of the few charms in Exalted that can do this). Since this is the pinnacle charm for this style, learning it requires a trainer (or use the Mark).

Short Term Goal: Four Magical Materials Form[edit]

This is a sidereal form that Stag already has most of the prerequisites for. To finish:

  • Master a lesser martial art (see above)
  • Increase Essence to 5 (completed)
  • Find a sidereal teacher (or use the Mark).
  • From the teacher, learn Four Magical Materials Form (pg. 191, 10xp, 240 hours training). When active, he becomes a living artifact (+12B/+12L soak, +7L damage, +2 to speed/accuracy/defense, ability to parry lethal and ranged attacks with bare hands, convert any lethal damage you receive to bashing, strike at distance and all the bonuses of Five Jade Fury).

Note that this also allows you to use the “student’s sutra” for the style, which saves essence.

Medium Term Goal: Earth Dragon Style[edit]

  • Find a trainer in Earth Dragon Style (or use the Mark)
  • From the teacher, learn Hungry Earth Strike (pg. 250, 9xp, 40 hours). Make the earth swallow a target.
  • From the teacher, learn Avalanche Method (pg. 250, 9xp, 40 hours). On a successful barehanded hit, in addition to damage, inflict penalties, even paralysis.
  • From the teacher, learn Shattering Fist Strike (pg. 250, 9xp, 32 hours). Double damage for purpose of destroying objects.
  • From the teacher, learn Weapon-Breaking Defense Technique (pg. 250, 9xp, 40 hours, requires Shattering Fist Strike). On a successful parry, roll Strength + Martial Arts to break the attacking weapon, even one made of magical materials.
  • From the teacher, learn Ghost-Grounding Blow (pg. 250, 9xp, 40 hours, requires Weapon-Breaking Defense Technique, Avalanche Method, Hungry Earth Strike). Make a dematerialized spirit solid enough to hit.
  • From the teacher, learn Perfection of Earth Body (pg. 250, 9xp, 40 hours, requires Ghost-Grounding Blow). Become living stone.

Long Term Goal: Games of Divinity Form[edit]

This form builds from God Ways. It isn’t quite as impressive as the previous one, but isn’t as difficult, either. You need:

  • Find a sidereal teacher (or use the Mark).
  • From the teacher, learn at least one instance of (Type) Exalt Ways (pg. 193, 10xp, 192 hours training), where type is is a type of exalted. Your anima banner will appear as this type of exalt for five turns while active. You also get five automatic successes for every test using an ability favored by the type. For example, suppose you learned Earth Dragon-Blooded Ways. Your anima (if visible) would erupt into a mantle of white and yellow light, shifting like rolling sand. Earth aspect dragon-blooded favor Awareness, Craft, Endurance, Martial Arts and Resistance, so at the time of casting, you could choose one of these and get automatic successes in tests using it. Note that lunars favor attributes (e.g. Dexterity) instead of abilities. Hammer in the Woods knows the Eclipse version of this charm.
  • Master a lesser martial art (see above)
  • Increase Essence to 5 (completed)
  • From the teacher, learn Games of Divinity Form (pg. 194, 10xp, 240 hours training). When this form is active, attackers must fail a Compassion roll to be able to attack you, even if you are beating the crap out of them at the time. People who see this form may also become addicted to watching it.

Long Term Goal: Demesne and Manse Form[edit]

A short path to another form. It isn’t quite as impressive as the previous one, but isn’t as difficult, either. You need:

  • Find a sidereal teacher (or use the Mark).
  • From the teacher, learn Demesne Emulation Practice (pg. 193, 10xp, 192 hours training). For a scene, each time you hit something, you also do a separate batch of aggravated damage.
  • Master a lesser martial art (see above)
  • Increase Essence to 5 (completed)
  • From the teacher, learn Demesne and Manse Form (pg. 194, 10xp, 240 hours training). When this form is active, a 5 dot hearthstone is brought into existence, with a power matching Stag’s personality.

Long Term Goal: Soul Fire Shaper Form[edit]

A longer path to another form. It contains some extremely potent abilities for messing with other people’s magic. You need:

  • Find a sidereal teacher (or use the Mark).
  • From the teacher, learn Charm Redirection Technique (pg. 191, 10xp, 192 hours training). Use a parry action to either cancel or re-target someone else’s charm as it is being activated.
  • From the teacher, learn Sequential Charm Disruption (pg. 192, 10xp, 192 hours training, requires Charm Redirection Technique). Expands on Charm Redirection Technique, allowing the cancellation or redirection of already running charms and Combos.
  • From the teacher, learn Spell-Shattering Palm (pg. 193, 10xp, 192 hours training). Attack a spell, countering it if successful.
  • From the teacher, learn Astrology Interruption Method (pg. 192, 10xp, 192 hours training). Attack astrological effects, canceling them if successful. This can even target the resplendent destinies of sidereals when they are not active.
  • Master a lesser martial art (see above)
  • Increase Essence to 5 (completed)
  • From the teacher, learn Soul Fire Shaper Form (pg. 193, 10xp, 240 hours training). When this form is active, your Essence rating becomes effectively 10 (e.g. effects that “add your Essence rating”, will add 10 instead of your normal Essence). This also increases the size of your personal and peripheral essence pools, but does not fill them; effects that regain essence will fill them up as normal, though. In addition, each turn you can make one free use of one of the four charms mentioned in this section.

Ultimate Goal: Prismatic Arrangement of Creation Form[edit]

This is the pinnacle of the sidereal form Stag has started on. You need:

  • Learn Four Magical Materials Form (see above)
  • Learn Games of Divinity Form (see above)
  • Learn Demesne and Manse Form (see above)
  • Learn Soul Fire Shaper Form (see above)
  • Find a sidereal teacher (or use the Mark).
  • From the teacher, learn Prismatic Arrangement of Creation Form (pg. 194, 10xp, 240 hours training). This form doubles initiative and you notice everything happening within 50 yards (though noticing hidden things requires a Perception + Awarness roll, which you make for free and get automatic successes). The form’s main benefit, however, is that it allows you to wave the restriction on using only one martial arts form at a time. You can activate all of the forms of this style as well as any two others.

The Way of Virtue[edit]

Sidereals use the four virtues more than the other exalts. Among other things, for each virtue there is an “essence replenishment” charm that costs nothing to use (they are always on, like Ox-Body) that restore twice the virtue motes any time the virtue is rolled or a particular condition is met. Stag has one of these already (for Conviction) and have the prerequisites for two others (Valor, Compassion). Virtues can be rolled in two ways. First, you might roll them directly to defend against something (usually a spirit charm). More commonly, you can “channel” them. To channel a virtue, convince the GM that a virtue might come into play for what you are trying to do. For example, say you see a slave being beaten and want to smack the beater in the mouth. You could probably convince me that you could channel Compassion for your attack roll, since you are protecting the oppressed. You would then spend a point of Willpower to channel the virtue, which would give you extra dice equal to the virtue’s rating for the roll. If you had Compassionate Essence Replenishment, you’d regain 2*Compassion motes.

Sidereals can milk this even further because they have charms that allow them to channel specific virtues even when they are not appropriate (that is, you don’t need to convince the GM to let you use them). You have some of these already. For example, your charms that disintegrate zombies can always channel Valor. If you had Heroic Essence Replenishment, you’d gain 2*Valor motes for doing so.

Virtues are also important to sidereals because they provide limits or conditions to several charms. Optimistic Security Practice, for example, only works against targets with Essence less than your Compassion.

Lastly, the size of your Essence pool is calculated using virtues (among other things). Increasing a virtue increases your peripheral pool by one. Similarly, increasing your Willpower increases both your personal and peripheral pools by one (not to mention allows you to channel virtues more often). So:

  • Increase Compassion to 3 (6xp, 0 training time) to increase pool and make Optimistic Security Practice effective against low level exalts.
  • Learn Heroic Essence Replenishment (pg. 159, 9xp, 16 hours training). Regain 2*Valor motes anytime you roll Valor or make a Presence roll that bends an enemy to your will.
  • Learn Compassionate Essence Replenishment (pg. 149, 9xp, 16 hour training). Regain 2*Compassion motes anytime you roll Compassion or a Performance roll gives people a significant surge of favorable feeling toward you.

The Way of Motion[edit]

Stag has already spent some xp to bump Athletics. This allows him to learn several Athletics charms. In general, Athletics charms tend to be used both in and out of combat. There are only five charms in the whole tree, with the final charm being seriously useful.

Goal: Invisible Motion[edit]

This charm is the top of the tree and lasts for an entire day. This means you could theoretically cast it using peripheral essence in the morning while hidden somewhere, then wait for a half-hour or so for your anima banner to subside. To learn this charm, you need to learn its prerequisites. You can learn the following right away:

  • Burn Life – completed.
  • Forgotten Earth – completed.
  • Raise Athletics to 3 (3xp, no training needed).
  • Inexorable Advance (pg. 175, 9xp, 48 hours self-training). Ignore wound penalties for five turns.
  • Hungry Touch (pg. 174, 9xp, 48 hours self-training), need Burn Life first. Become extra effective at destroying objects.
  • Raise Athletics to 4 (5xp, no training needed).
  • Invisible Motion (pg. 175, 9xp, 64 hours self-training). For the rest of the day (24 hours), you suffer no penalties for wounds or to running speed. You double your movement rate. Every turn, you get a number of automatic successes equal to your Athletics score that you can spend on any physical action.

The Way of Almost Perfect Defense[edit]

Sidereals don’t have perfect defenses. They do have one charm that is pretty close though: Duck Fate. It “avoids any undesirable effect”, but you need to succeed in dodge roll to make it work. The difficulty of this roll is equal to the Essence rating of the person creating the effect you are avoiding. (The book doesn’t say, but I’m going to rule that if you have to Defense of Shining Joy up, you can use Dexterity + Performance to make this roll instead of Dexterity + Dodge. This would let you use any other charms that enhance Performance rolls, such as those in the Way of Charm Combination, above.) So, against say, an Essence 9 deathlord or something, making this roll could be difficult. If you succeed, though, you dodge the effect totally.

  • Absence (pg. 145, 9xp, 32 hours self-training). Reduce the target number on a Dodge + Dexterity roll. Note that this could replace Hot-Eyed Snake Whispering in the combo above, but is less flexible, since Hot-Eyed Snake Whispering works with four abilities instead of one. On the other hand, Absence would help defense even if Defense of Shining Joy wasn’t running.
  • Duck Fate (pg. 145, 9xp, 48 hours self-training).


The Way of Buffness[edit]

There are a couple of random increases Stag could make:

  • Increase Strength to 4 (12xp, 1536 hours self-training)
  • Increase Dexterity to 4 (completed)
  • An additional level of Ox-Body Technique (11xp, 48 hours self-training).
  • Endurance to 3 (3xp, 288 hours of self-training)
  • Another additional level of Ox-Body Technique (11xp, 64 hours self-training).
  • Endurance to 4 (5xp, 384 hours of self-training)
  • Another additional level of Ox-Body Technique (11xp, 80 hours self-training).

The Way of Intuition[edit]

You mentioned wanting to increase your Lore ability. Since the Mark of Autochthon has made Lore a favored ability for you, this is now cheaper and faster to learn. The Lore charms are a bit odd, even for sidereal charms. They largely have to do with either gaining bonuses for abilities or manipulating fate in some way. Some of these charms require the participation of additional sidereals, so may not be that useful to you. In addition, the final charm in the tree seems not worth the effort to me.

There are some useful things here, though. The first charm in the tree is needed for all that follow:

  • Systematic Understanding of Everything (pg. 166, 9xp, 16 hours self-training). Gain a +1 specialty until you sleep. This is basically an extra die for using specific ability in a specific way. For example, you might pick a +1 swords specialty. This would give you an extra dice to Martial Arts attacks, but only when using swords. You’d also get the die for, say, Craft rolls involving swords. You choose the specialty at casting time.

After learning it, you could do the following (in any order):

  • The Methodology of Secrets (pg. 167, 9xp, 32 hours self-training). Similar to Systematic Understanding of Everything, but using the specialty with a specific ability is at +3 dice instead of +1.
  • Avoiding the Truth Technique (pg. 169, 9xp, 48 hours of self-training). Convince target that a true statement you utter is a lie.

You could also/instead increase your Lore to 4 and learn these:

  • Increase Lore to 4 (5xp, no training time needed)
  • Of the Shape of the World (pg. 168, 9xp, 64 hours self-training). Lower target number on astrology rolls.
  • Of Secrets Yet Untold (pg. 168, 9xp, 64 hours self-training). Bind a spirit to owe you a favor, chosen by necessity, not desire. While bound, spirit has penalties to initiate hostile action against you.

The Way of Knowing[edit]

Stag is on his way into the Investigation charm tree. These charms basically allow the harvesting of information the sidereal has never actually learned in various ways. Given that he is looking for answers to questions that others most others have never even considered, this could help him a lot.

Goal: Embracing Life Method[edit]

To learn this you need the following (any order):

  • Marvelous Inclusion of Details (pg. 163, 11xp, 32 hours self-training). Add automatic successes to an Investigation roll. Also helps locate type of evidence you want to find.
  • Raise Investigation to 3 (4xp, 288 hours self-training) then 4 (6xp, 384 hours self-training).
  • Once done, learn Embracing Life Method (pg. 164, 11xp, 112 hours self-training). Form a question while writing a prayer stip and plant a the strip like a seed. It grows into a tree the next day. Over the next five days, spirits are drawn to it and leave small gifts and information relevant to the question.

The Way of Sorcery[edit]

Stag has Occult as a favored ability. If you want to take Stag in a whole new direction, he could become a sorcerer. His essence is already high enough to cast Celestial Circle Sorcery (Jorias, the only other sorcerer in the group, only has Essence 3, so he is at least three months away from being able to do this). Those bone lions you fought are an example of Celestial Circle Sorcery. The drawback to it is that spells require a lot of essence.

Goal: Terrestrial Circle Sorcery[edit]

To follow this path, you need to do the following (in order):

  • Occult to 3 (3 xp, no training time needed)
  • Find a trainer (Jorias would qualify, as would his trainer, Guen’s friend Jaguan, also books from the tomb can act as tutors)
  • Undergo a five-stage initiation
  • Learn Terrestrial Circle Sorcery charm (pg. 171, 9xp, 24 hours training). This will also teach you a spell.
  • Acquire written spells. (You have tons of books.)
  • Learn spells from the writings (each spell 8xp, 48 hours self-training)

Goal: Celestial Circle Sorcery[edit]

One requirement for this circle for sidereals is that they must know a prayer strip charm. You already know one (Earth and Sky Bargain) and a number of others are suggested in these pages. To follow this path, you need to do the following (in order):

  • Learn Terrestrial Circle Sorcery (see above)
  • Occult to 4 (5 xp, no training time needed)
  • Discover a method of initiation (some of Wyr’palja’s books can help here)
  • Follow the method of initiation
  • Learn Celestial Circle Sorcery charm (pg. 171, 9xp, 64 hours self-training)
  • Learn spells from the writings (each spell 8xp, 48 hours self-training)

Goal: Unweaving Method[edit]

A number of other Occult charms exist. Stag knows one already (Incite Decorum). Stuff to learn along the way:

  • Mark of Exaltation (pg. 170, 9xp, 16 hours self-training). Your caste mark casts a light seen only by spirits and sidereal, by which unmanifested spirits can be seen. Also gives one automatic success in social dealings with spirits or in Yu-Shan (heaven).
  • Innocuous Maneuver (pg. 171, 9xp, 48 hours self-training), must know Mark of Exaltation. Gain a spirit’s support in some political matter.
  • Once done, learn Unweaving Method (9xp, 64 hours self-training). Inflict unsoakable, undodgeable, unblockable aggravated damage on any object you can see.

The Way of Fate[edit]

Stag has Craft (Fate) as a favored ability. This is good for working sidereal astrology. Astrology uses some involved dice rolling and planning to create long term bonuses and resplendent destinies. Because you are detached from sidereal society, many of the bonuses typically used in astrology tests will not be available to you. There are things you can do to get around this.

There are 25 constellations. Each one has a body of learning to manipulate it called a college. The college provides a base number of dice for some of the tests involved in astrology, so increasing your rating in a college improves your chances. You can only work astrology in a college you know. You can do astrology in a college to create some kind of bonus or penalty related to that college (for example a blessing using the Mask might reduce the target number of any tests the target makes to conceal themselves). The effect is long term, ranging from months to a hundred generations. The target can be anything from a single person to hundreds of millions. The larger the target and the longer the time, the harder to succeed and the more paradox it generates. You may target yourself with these effects, but not other sidereals or targets outside fate (Primordials, Deathlords, demons of the second and third circles). Beings with essence greater than one require additional successes to be affected.

Astrology may also be used to generate resplendent destinies on yourself, which can be worn as disguises. All destinies are “on” you at once, but only one (or none) is the “active” identity. The active identity will be remembered by people, but out of character acts generate paradox. Each identity has a number of “effect points”. These points can be burned to generate effects (based on college). Once all the effect points are gone, the identity vanishes, and people’s memory of it along with it. Thus, sidereals usually have some destinies they only use as identities and others used only for effect dice. In a departure from standard rules, you may have multiple destinies from the same college on you at once, provided they are completely different identities.

Goal: Improve Colleges[edit]

Additional colleges will allow you you create different kinds of resplendent destiny. Increasing your rating in colleges you already have will allow more dice when generating effects. Some possibilities:

  • Increase the Lovers to 3 (6 xp, 192 hours self-training).
  • Learn the Captain to 1 (5 xp, 288 hours self-training). Increase to 2 (3 xp, 96 hours).
  • Learn the Musician to 1 (5 xp, 288 hours self-training). Increase to 2 (3 xp, 96 hours), then 3 (6 xp, 192 hours).
  • Learn the Pillar to 1 (5 xp, 288 hours self-training). Increase to 2 (3 xp, 96 hours), then 3 (6 xp, 192 hours).
  • Learn the Peacock to 1 (5 xp, 288 hours self-training). Increase to 2 (3 xp, 96 hours), then 3 (6 xp, 192 hours).
  • Learn the Ship’s Wheel to 1 (5 xp, 288 hours self-training). Increase to 2 (3 xp, 96 hours).
  • Learn the Banner to 1 (5 xp, 288 hours self-training). Increase to 2 (3 xp, 96 hours).
  • Learn the Gauntlet to 1 (5 xp, 288 hours self-training). Increase to 2 (3 xp, 96 hours).
  • Learn the Quivver to 1 (5 xp, 288 hours self-training). Increase to 2 (3 xp, 96 hours).
  • Increase the Ewer to 3 (6 xp, 192 hours self-training).

Goal: Practice Astrology[edit]

You might want to spend some of the training time doing astrology instead. You could make a new resplendent destiny or provide a bonus for yourself of other members of the circle. Astrology can take many days to do well, and has a greater chance of failure than most things (failures simply generate no effect). Some possibilities:

  • Invoke the Ewer to lower your target numbers for seduction attempts by 1.
  • Invoke the Lovers to allow yourself (or party member) to gain a point of Willpower every time they have sex.
  • Invoke the Mask to lower Varden’s difficulty when applying a disguise.
  • Invoke the Shield to curse someone such that their target number for parrying is increased by 1.

The Way of Serenity[edit]

Goal: Greater Sign of Venus[edit]

You can already make the Lesser Sign of Venus (this is your anima effect: 10 motes to give 4 successes on Performance rolls to you or allies). The Greater Sign is considerably more devastating: spend 10 motes, 1 dot of permanent Essence and 1 dot of permanent Willpower to manifest a brilliant blue aura around you. Within four or five miles of you, all magical effects that are not Solar Circle Sorcery or the work of greater gods (like the Maidens) snuff out. This include spells, effects from artifacts, charms, etc. This is obviously a very drastic thing to do, but imagine doing it facing an army of undead. Since undead are all animated by magical effects, they would all simply collapse. You don’t need to spend xp to learn how to do this. All you need to do is have a rating of 3 in all of the Colleges in the House of Leisure (Ewer, Lovers, Musician, Peacock, Pillar).