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Martial Arts and Brawl

The 'Martial Arts' Ability does not exist in this rewrite. It is replaced by Brawl, an Ability representing a character's skill in unarmed combat.

Martial Arts Styles are divided up into three categories. Terrestrial Styles, which anyone (even enlightened mortals) can learn. Celestial Styles, which any Celestial Exalt can learn, and which Terrestrials can learn with great difficulty. Finally, there are Sidereal Styles, which only the Sidereal Exalted can learn. The Sidereal Styles are no more powerful then the Celestial Styles of the same Essence level, but they rely on bizarre logic and draw power from esoteric concepts, such as consumption, plague, or Essence itself.

A Martial Arts Style is a special cascade of Charms that draws on different Abilities. All of the Charms in a Style are related and draw on a single theme, such are the hit-and-run ambush tactics of Grass Spider Style or the Essence-fueled pressure point strikes of Wood Dragon Style.

Typically a Style will draw of two or three Abilities, but some (especially Sidereal Styles) may draw on as many as five. There is no strict cap on the number of Abilities that can be part of a Style, but a limit of three (for Terrestrial and Celestial) and five (for Sidereal) are suggested to keep the Style focused and coherent.

Essence Discounts

Some Martial Arts Styles resonate with a certain element. The Dragon Styles, for example, each resonate with the element of one of the Immaculate Dragons, and Five-Dragon Style resonates with all five elements. For the purposes of the Dragon-Blooded, Charms in a Style that resonates with a character's element are considered in-Aspect Charms.

Dragon-Blooded do not receive discounts on Styles with no elemental resonance, even if such a Style uses elements as part of its theme.

The elements a Style resonates with will be listed in it's description.


If a Style uses weapons, the artifact and non-artifact weapons are equally effective for use with its techniques. A Style that uses swords also allows daiklaves, a Style that uses bows also allows powerbows, etc.

Hero Abilities

Hero Abilities are additional powers certain characters gain when learning a Marital Arts Charm as a Native. The type of Exalt or character that benefits from Hero Abilities is listed in the Style's description.

Form Charms

A Form Charm is a scene-long Charm that encapsulates the theme, movements, and stances of a Style. Every Style has a Form Charm, typically in the middle of the Charm cascade, but sometimes as the capstone Charm. Some esoteric Styles, such as the Sidereal Styles, have two or more Form-type Charms. Unless special rules apply, characters may only have one Form-type Charm active at a time. Invoking a second Form-type Charm ends the first one.

Creating Styles

Any character can design a new Martial Arts Style. Terrestrial Exalted can design only Terrestrial Styles. Solar and Lunar Exalted can design Celestial and Terrestrial Styles. Despite the lack of obvious benefit to them, over the millenia they have designed hundreds of 'lesser' Styles for use by their Dragon-Blooded servants. Sidereal Exalted can design any type of Style with ease.

A Style should be coherent and centered around a theme. It is not an excuse to place every Charm a character wants in a single Charm-cascade to get around Ability requirements and prerequisites. A Style based around Thrown and Dodge, for example, will probably not have a perfect soak or an armor-increasing Charm. Celestial Styles may include Celestial-level perfect defenses as part of their cascade.

Water Charms -- Brawl

Blade Deflecting Palm
Cost: -- [1m]
Minimums: Brawl ●●, Essence ●
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: None

This Charm reinforces a character's unarmed attacks with power drawn from her anima banner. The character may use her hands to parry lethal damage and ranged attacks without a stunt. She may deal bashing or lethal damage with unarmed attacks as she chooses. Her unarmed attacks are considered lethal weapons and require the target of her attacks to be armed in order to parry them.

By committing one mote of Essence as a reflexive action, the character's unarmed attacks gain the Magical Material bonus for the color of jade that matches her Aspect and are considered Perfect quality weapons. Blows from her reinforced punches and kicks deal +[Essence]L additional damage. Additionally, the character's hands and feet become as imperishable as an Artifact weapon. The character may re-distribute the bonuses granted by the Perfect quality by spending a mote of Essence, doing so is a miscellaneous action.

[Disaster] Disrupting Fist
Cost: 3m
Minimums: Brawl ●●●, Essence ●●
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Elemental, Shaping (Air), Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Blade Deflecting Palm

The Dragon-Blooded steps forward and raises her fist, punching an attack aside before it can affect her. This automatic defense is considered a Parry, but it will not function against an unparryable attack. Additionally, this Charm provides a secondary elemental effect, described below.

Air (Whirlwind) allows the character to parry Sorcery spells at an increased cost of 1W, even if such attacks would normally be unparryable. The spell must have a physical component that is directed at the character as an attack. A disrupted spell is considered improperly countered, as though the character had used the same Circle of countermagic. It dissolves into jagged bolts of Essence and hissing feedback. If the spell had an area-of-effect component, any other potential targets are also unharmed. Spells above the Terrestrial Circle cannot be disrupted, although the character can still protect herself (and only herself) by using this Charm as a Parry. Earth (Avalanche) reduces the cost of invoking this Charm by 1m each additional time it is activated on the same tick, to a minimum of 0m. Fire (Inferno) fills the character with a burst of energy, allowing her to make a flying leap of [Dexterity + Brawl] yards, this can carry her out of range of further attacks. Water (Tsunami) allows the character to flow around the disrupted attack, she suffers no onslaught penalty from the blow. Wood (Stampede) allows the character to move with the impossible grace of a leaf on the wind. The cost of this Charm is 0m, increased by 1m each time the character activates it during an action.

This is actually a cluster of five Charms, with each purchase representing a different element.

Disarming Strike Prana
Cost: --
Minimums: Brawl ●●●, Essence ●●
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisites: Blade Deflecting Palm

This Charm improves a Terrestrial's ability to disarm opponents. The character suffers no penalties for a disarming attempt.

Dragon-Claw Elemental Strike
Cost: 1m, 3m, or 5m
Minimums: Brawl ●●●●●, Essence ●●●
Type: Simple
Keywords: Elemental, Knockback (Earth), Obvious, Poison (Wood)
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: Blade Deflecting Palm

This Charm functions in two ways. The first costs one mote of essence and allows the character to sheathe her fists or a brawling aid in elemental energy as a Supplemental effect. Each elemental Aspect has a different effect. Air strikes buffet the target, subtracting two dice from their next action. Earth strikes cause a tremor in the ground, knocking the target prone. Fire strikes deal an additional 4L damage. Water strikes fill the target's lungs with water, delaying their action by 3 ticks. Wood strikes expose the target to a plant toxin, dealing an additional 2L damage and inflicting a -1 penalty on all of the target's rolls for the rest of the scene.

The second function of this Charm allows the character to shape a brawling aid from her anima banner, aligned with the element of her Aspect. For 3 motes, the character creates a normal brawling aid or a set of paired weapons designed for dual-wielding (such as razor claws). For five motes the character an Artifact brawling weapon no better then Artifact ●●. These weapons have elemental effects as described above. The character automatically has ownership of these created weapons.

This Charm can be purchased multiple times, with each purchase representing a different element. If the character has purchased this Charm multiple times, she can add additional elemental effects after the first one when she activates it. This has a mote cost equal to half the elements unleashed.


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April 2012

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