From DivNull RPG
Varden is the only one in the circle who knows much about artificing. To really get good at it, however, he needs to learn the Science of Magitech. This will allow him to use his Craft skills on things that are too advanced for him at the moment, such as repairing the two warstriders (check the bottom of those pages, by the way, as they list what is needed to repair them). To get them up and running, you’ll need a Magictech rating of at least ●●. To get them fully functional, complete with flight options, you’ll need Magitech ●●●●.
For the first dot of Magitech, you need to have Occult 3, Craft (Fire) 3, Craft (Air) 1 (all of which you already have), Lore 4, and some source of knowledge that can teach you. So, you will need:
- Wyr’palja’s Workbook contains enough information to act as a tutor for Magitech ●. You could also use the Mark’s “tapping the source” ability for this if you wanted, but this seems like a waste.
- 2xp and 200 hours to learn. (Naturally, using Precision could speed this up.)
To learn Magitech ●●, you first need to learn another science called Perfection. This is a more mundane science for making flawless, but still non-magical items. Mortals train for a lifetime to be able to do this. It will not take you that long. You already have the abilities needed to learn Perfection ●, and can again use Wyr’palja’s Workbook and other sources to teach you:
- 2xp and 40 hours to learn. (Naturally, using Precision could speed this up.)
Magitech ●● requires Lore 5, Occult 4, Craft (Fire) 4, Craft (Air) 2, Perfection 1. So, you’ll need:
- 8xp to take Lore to 5 (192 hours)
- Wyr’palja’s Workbook contains enough information to act as a tutor for Magitech ●●.
- 3xp and 300 hours to learn. (Naturally, yadda yadda.)
Magitech ●●● requires Lore 5, Occult 5, Craft (Fire) 5, Craft (Air) 3, Perfection 1. So, you’ll need:
- Wyr’palja’s Workbook contains enough information to act as a tutor for Magitech ●●●.
- 6xp and 600 hours to learn.
Magitech ●●●● requires Lore 6, Occult 6, Craft (Fire) 6, Craft (Air) 4, Perfection 2. This is a bit trickier. You can’t actually raise abilities to 6 until you raise your Essence to 6, which you can’t do until you are at least 100 years old. So, instead, what you need is add specialties to your abilities. These will add to your rating for particular uses of the skill. So:
- 3xp and 288 hours to gain a +1 Magitech specialty to Lore. (Note that the Mark can give you this specialty without xp or training time for a permanent point of Source.)
- 3xp and 144 hours to gain a +1 Magitech specialty to Occult (cheaper, because it is favored).
- 3xp and 144 hours to gain a +1 Fire specialty to Craft.
- 3xp and 60 hours to learn Perfection ●●.
- Your only current source of training Magitech this advanced is to use the Mark. As a solar, a point of permanent Source and temporary Precision will buy you training for this dot.
- 10xp and 1,000 hours to learn Magitech ●●●●
Experience change: -41xp
This is another science, dealing with manses. Your abilities already let you repair manse structures, fix their minor powers and make minor alterations. The Architectonics science allows design of manses, adding new powers to them and repairing their more formidable powers. It’s progression is similar to Magitech, except that it is based on Craft (Earth) instead of Craft (Fire), and requires a lesser science called Geomancy instead of Perfection.
Raising your Essence to 5 would cost 32xp and take 768 hours. You don’t need a trainer for this. If you want to use the mark’s Deep Resonance, you could spend eight Willpower and gain a dot of Precision to go into a training trance that compresses the 768 hours of untrained learning into an eight-hour vision quest. Since this is to gain a point of Essence, you must describe this vision quest to the rest of the players (not necessarily the characters), which will give you an immediate test to regain Willpower at the end of it (i.e. roll Conviction, gain willpower for each success). What does Varden find out about himself during this quest? What allows him to unlock this new power?
Ebon Shadow Style
You have five charms remaining in the Ebon Shadow tree. Mastering this tree would take:
- Blow-Concealing Gesture Technique (8xp, 80 hours untrained). Can deny dodge or parry to target.
- Limb-Immobilizing Method (8xp, 64 hours untrained). Instead of damage, paralyze limbs.
- Shadow-Body Style (8xp, 80 hours untrained). Flatten body to fit through small openings.
- Paralyzing Touch Attack (8xp, 80 hours untrained). Reduce target’s Dex.
- Shadow-Stepping Motion (8xp, 40 hours trained, requires Essence 5). You must have training for this charm, so Source may be required. Teleport into a shadow up to 100 yards away.
The Mark provides knowledge of a set of excellency charms. The solar versions allows buying extra dice for stuff. Varden could do worse than learning Craft Overwhelming and Martial Arts Overwhelming.
Your two Martial Arts styles don’t allow armor, and don’t have any form weapons in common. This means that to use attack/parry charms from both at once, you need to attack bare-handed. In addition, the two styles don’t offer a lot of combo opportunity.
On the other hand, since the style combination already uses no armor and no weapons, you have a lot of choices for adding in another style. You might want to take a serious look at Wood Dragon. Even though it is an archery style, it can still be used bare-handed as well.
Just in case you were not aware: Ebon Shadow Form makes you harder to hit than Snake Form does. Snake Form eats Essence dice from the attacker, while Ebon Shadow essentially eats Essence successes from the attack. On average, two dice = one success, so Ebon Shadow is about twice as effective. Doesn’t bump soak or add to initiative, though. And you wouldn’t be able to use the Serpent-Sting Staff while it was running.
Your Ophidian Kata Rings have powers waiting to be unlocked, based on you finding out certain things.
Remind me to change the mechanics of the Gem of Desire. The Second Edition version works a lot better (not as easy to resist).
Varden can use the Mark to unlearn his one Brawl charm:
- Pay a point of Willpower and gain a point of Precision to unlearn Ferocious Jab, gaining 8xp.
Experience change: +8xp
Increasing Strength from 3 to 4 costs 12xp and takes 576 hours with a trainer, twice that without. The Monsoon Needles could be used to cut this to 10xp and 288 hours.
Increasing Strength from 4 to 5 costs 16xp and takes 768 hours with a trainer, twice that without. While the Monsoon Needles can still be used as a trainer, your Essence isn’t high enough to cut the training time in half (though if you first raised your Essence to 5, it would be).
If you want to use the mark’s Deep Resonance, you could spend eight Willpower and gain a dot of Precision to go into a training trance the compresses the 768 hours of untrained learning into an eight-hour vision quest. If you want to describe this vision quest to the rest of the players (not necessarily the characters), you gain an immediate test to regain Willpower at the end of it (i.e. roll Conviction, gain willpower for each success).
Caste Book: Twilight contains some additional Craft charms, as does Wyr’palja’s Stylebook. You might also look at the Occult charm Wyld-Shaping Technique, as this is a good way to create exotic components.
An obvious, but expensive, combo would be something like this (assuming you learned the charms you don’t know):
- Armor-Penetrating Fang Strike (min MA 5, Ess 2, supplemental)
- Snake Strikes the Heel (min MA 5, Ess 2, reflexive)
- Essence Venom Strike (min MA 5, Ess 3, simple)
- Distracting Finger Gesture (min MA 3, Ess 2, reflexive)
- Blow-Concealing Gesture Technique (min MA 5, Ess 2, supplemental)
- Martial Arts Overwhelming (min MA 1, Ess 1, supplemental)
- Seven Shadow Evasion (min Dodge 5, Ess 1, reflexive)
- Iron Skin Concentration (min Resistance 2, Ess 1, reflexive)
This make a single, massive attack. Since this mixes style charms, it would need to be a barehanded attack. Activating the combo would cost 13m, 4wp plus 1m per added MA die (min 1, max Dex+MA). So, at max, this would be 23m, 4wp to make an attack that:
- Uses 20 dice.
- Ignores soak from armor.
- Adds Essence to base damage.
- Does aggravated damage.
- Forces to the target to make a Wits + Awareness test. If their successes equal or exceed your Essence, they can only block or parry using magical effects. If they get less that that, they can only block or parry if the magical effect works against surprise attacks.
- Optionally spend 2m to reduce target’s initiative and prevent them from splitting their pool.
- Optionally spend 4m to counterattack using MA + attacker’s extra successes. You could, while doing this, buy more dice with Martial Arts Overwhelming as well.
- Optionally spend 6m to perfectly dodge.
- Optionally spend 3m to reduce raw damage of an attack on you to attacker’s Essence.
This is an OK finishing move, but 4wp is pretty steep. If you swap some other charms in and out, you might find something for more everyday use.
A simple and cheap, but effective Craft combo:
- Flawless Handiwork Method (min Craft 1, Ess 1, supplemental)
- Craft Overwhelming (min Craft 1, Ess 1, supplemental)
This enhances a craft test. Activating it costs 1wp, plus 1m per added die (min 1, max base pool), plus 3m per added success (min 1, max Essence + however many successes were rolled). So, for a single craft roll, you can as much as double your pool, then more than double the number of rolled successes.