[Burichan] [Futaba] [Nice] [Pony]  -  [WT]  [Home] [Manage]

Report completed threads!

[Catalog View] :: [Archive] :: [Graveyard] :: [Rules] :: [Discussions] :: [Wiki]

[Return] [Entire Thread] [Last 50 posts] [Last 100 posts]
Posting mode: Reply
Name
Email
Subject   (reply to 865044)
Message
File []
Embed   Help
Password  (for post and file deletion)
  • Supported file types are: GIF, JPG, MP3, MP4, PNG, SWF, WEBM
  • Maximum file size allowed is 20000 KB.
  • Images greater than 250x250 pixels will be thumbnailed.
  • Currently 3821 unique user posts. View catalog

File 151790010471.png - (11.27KB , 400x300 , mark.png )
865044 No. 865044 ID: d36af7

You all meet, at midnight, in the middle of a flying castle that's about to explode.

Which of you owns this place, or is it held jointly between two or more?
What sort of landscape is below it?
Who's trying to summon a demon, which one, and for what larger purpose?
Who's trying to interrupt that ritual?
Who's trying to patch the damage to prevent an explosion?
Who (or what) inflicted that damage in the first place?
Which of you snuck in to rob the vault while everybody else is distracted, and what were you surprised to find there?
Which mighty artifacts, if any, do the lot of you collectively have on hand?

Who are you people?
https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4587981
Expand all images
>>
No. 865055 ID: 35089a

the answer to all of these is john the pizza delivery guy
AND HIS ARMY OF PIZZA DELIVERY CLONES
>>
No. 865095 ID: d36af7

One character per suggester, at least to start.

At the heart of it all is your PERSONAL QUEST, the driving goal which motivates your heroism. Do you want to forge an empire? Destroy an existing empire, liberating and/or exterminating it's subjects in the process? Become the greatest swordsman in the world? Catch and catalogue at least one specimen of every species of pokem demon? Build a weather-control machine and use it to destroy the autobots forever? Attain something more abstract, like occult wisdom, inner peace, or true love? If it's something small and personal, like building an ordinary house, fetching a trinket from the bottom of a nearby lake, marrying a princess, or rescuing a lost child, there will need to be sufficiently epic obstacles involved that the project could reasonably require months of work even with the skills and resources of a demigod.

WILLPOWER is your overall mental and emotional stability, and the pool of spiritual resources by which you'll overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. Progress on your PERSONAL QUEST is the best and fastest way to recharge, but, being the core of self-determination, it can then be used for almost anything, even sabotaging your own agenda. Rate it with an integer between five and ten. (WP values of 4 or below are the domain of meek peasants, not epic heroes. Zero would mean you're an automaton, utterly incapable of the slightest self-motivated action.)


Surrounding, protecting, and balancing your heart of hearts are the four VIRTUES:

COMPASSION is how broadly you care. Defending the innocent, subduing the guilty and bringing them to justice, preventing needless cruelty or death no matter who stands to benefit, pursuing romantic love, making the world a better place for everyone, even at personal expense. Too much makes you soft and conflicted.

CONVICTION is how deeply you care. Remembering who your real allies and enemies are, finishing what you started, making the hard decisions when there's no way for everybody to get what they want, imposing your dreams on the world by force. Too much makes you callous and corrupt.

TEMPERANCE is your sense of order. Resisting impulses and temptations, piercing illusions and mind control, making calm unbiased judgements, planning ahead, swearing an oath and sticking to it in both letter and spirit. Too much makes you bland and hesitant to the point of passivity.

VALOR is your sense of chaos. Adapting quickly to changing circumstances, seizing opportunities as they arise, defending your pride by violence, facing down terror and death with a smile. Too much makes you dangerously unpredictable.
Rate each from zero to six. The sum total must be at least four more than your WILLPOWER.


Last but not least, make an itemized list of stuff you care about (people, places, objects, gods, whatever), and emotional context for each. Can't have any fewer than your COMPASSION, nor more than the sum of that and your WILLPOWER... unless your CONVICTION is zero, in which case you don't really care about much of anything after it's out of your sight.

More generally, VIRTUES at zero correspond to a severely damaged soul, and even a rating of one is somehow notably deficient, while those at four or above correspond to unhealthy extremes of passion, six being superhumanly intense. Such overwhelming sincerity has uses, though...
>>
No. 865113 ID: d36af7

How do you naturally excel? Are you the fastest, the strongest, the wisest, the cleverest, the toughest, the prettiest? What are your corresponding weaknesses? Nobody's a perfect paragon in every aspect of body and mind, at least not when they're just starting out.

What fields of human endeavor have you mastered? Swordfighting, sailing the high seas, archery, blacksmithing, blackmail, medicine, a particular style of martial arts, espionage, philosophy, science, religion, sorcery, stealth, dance, pickpocketing, hiking barefoot across the frozen tundra, detective work, calligraphy?
Pick at least four, not limited to the above list, and prioritize among them. On a sufficiently long list of non-overlapping fields, those lower priorities will correspond to merely dabbling competence, but sometimes that's all you need.

Where do you get your superpowers from?
Family history with the raw power of air, earth, fire, water, or wood?
Personal pact with one of the celestial incarnae (sun, moon, or stars), or a demon prince? Or both, presumably intending to eventually betray one for greater favor from the other?
Drinking the blood of the living and hastening the end of days?
Or were you built by a team of half-mad super-scientists as some city-state's latest strategic asset, halfway between Robocop and Astro Boy?

More importantly, what are those powers good for? What do you routinely accomplish that ordinary people can only dream of?

Don't worry about point values so much for any of these, just spell out what you want in broad strokes of capability, then I'll figure out how to wrangle that into the system. If there's more than one way to make it work, I'll summarize the other implications of each option to help you choose between them.
>>
No. 865122 ID: d36af7

>>865055
If you want an army of clones of yourself, delivering pizza to airborne fortifications, possibly while also summoning demons within and/or laying siege to an airborne fortress, the first option which comes to mind is a pact with one of the sheridans of Adorjan, the Silent Wind (she's represented by that four-segmented hollow red circle in the OP image), in which case other implied powers would include the ability to run very fast, silently and without leaving tracks, through dangerous environments without being harmed by them, across walls and ceilings; eagerness for violence so supernaturally intense it can distort the flow of time, negating an attacker's advantage when John is ambushed, and allowing him to take several simultaneous actions (other than ranged attacks) with little or no multitasking penalty; and, as an alternative to conjuring clones out of thin air, the ability to induce parthenogenic pregnancy in himself.

Does all that seem consistent with your idea of John the Pizza Delivery Guy's core concept, or would you rather back up and work it out from a different angle? If the "pizza delivery clones" are meant to be duplicates of other people, rather than himself, that sounds more like a Lunar sort of power, or maybe Szoreny the Silver Forest. If each clone exists only for the duration of the delivery of a single pizza (or set of pizzas, beverages, breadsticks, etc. to a single site), self-destructing when it's mission is complete, there are some powers of Isidoros the Black Boar Which Twists The Sky that could be a better fit. If they're 'shadow duplicates,' mostly just combat decoys rather than being capable of significant independent action, that could be an elemental power, or part of a supernatural martial arts style, or an unusual artifact. Or is the imperiled flying castle itself an automated genetics lab, row after row of growth tanks popping out Pizza Delivery Agents like stormtroopers or Venture brothers?

What I'm saying is I need more information to narrow down the possibilities.
>>
No. 865130 ID: 008b25

The house is owned by Astius, Lich queen of the flooded kingdom, a largely ceremonial title as no one bloody well remembers you these days. Ingrates!

Below the castle currently lies the Fungus plains, a large fungal forest that is populated by a variety of peoples drawn by the rich mushroomy harvests.

Despite your rather.. ominous title you hold no ill will to the living, despite there fickle memories, you merely wish to spend some time alone practicing the rather tricky art of demonic command. You are currently summoning the succubus Silthriss for study, something that would be insanely dangerous for a living person, but since you lack the organs the succubi affect you are in the perfect position to interrogate her.

At least you where, but then someone put a smocking hole in the side of your castle leaving you VERY ANNOYED!

WILLPOWER 10
COMPASSION 3
CONVICTION 4
TEMPERANCE 4
VALOR 3

DEEDS!
Undead resilience. Sorcery. Dance (what... you have hobbies!)

Power comes from a life times research into the shadow realms and their magic. You where all ready well on the path to lichhood when the kingdom flooded, turned out building a great damn on a fault line is a really Stupid decision..

You can raise the dead as both mindless automatons and intelligent revenants, depending on whether the spirit wishes to come back. You could force them back into their corpses but frankly that strikes you as rude.

Your ultimate goal is to establish a kingdom of leisure and learning, where the living spend their time in relaxed thought while the dead do the labor.

You also have other shadow based abilities, teleportation, shadow form, illusion ect
>>
No. 865176 ID: d36af7

>>865130
Sounds like an Abyssal. Native to the realm of the dead, direct sunlight and the ambient essence of the living world are uncomfortable, but not injurious unless wielded as a deliberate attack. Refilling her magic fuel tank may be slow and/or tricky in downtime, but alarmingly quick and easy when in combat with the living.

So, questions:

Is Astius hideously shriveled, or a creature of unnatural flawless beauty? High-Essence Abyssals never look blandly 'normal' without a magical disguise.

Which caste? Daybreak seems like the best fit for a reclusive researcher, granting the anima power to refine perception of fine details and tear away illusion and misconception.
Midnight could also fit, emphasizing the undead resilience and leadership side of things, dance and dramatic (even deadly!) illusions within a well-rounded suite of Performance charms, as well as granting priestly status and an anima power to smite the living or reanimate the dead without the effort of casting actual spells.
Day caste would bring a ninja skillset and stealth-focused anima power, emphasizing subtler illusions, transforming briefly into shadow to slip through sealed windows or flow around enemy blades, and the "forgotten by the world" aspect.
Dusk and Moonshadow seem like poor fits, focused on front-line combat and wide-ranging diplomacy respectively, but the Moonshadow anima power to sanctify and enforce binding oaths bears mention as an option if you're dealing extensively with otherworldly forces, demons included.

>the house is owned by
Any co-owners, allowed to draw power from the site and possibly control some of it's functions when they're visiting? Any essence user (even ghosts) can potentially attune themselves, but only with the unanimous consent of those already attuned, and there's no way to break attunement short of catastrophic damage - meaning that list won't be directly relevant for much longer unless somebody gets the damage patched.

How much geomantic power is focused here, on a scale from one to five? Anything above a three is rare, difficult to repair, and will result in a more rapid and severe explosion, but can also fuel greater capabilities, potentially including self-stabilization and even self-repair. Does it have a winch-and-bucket elevator for ground access, or a magical levitation platform, or a skyship dock? Can the entire structure descend safely to the ground? What is the structure's overall shape? Is the interior a luxurious palace, or starkly unfurnished like a tomb? Rugged and battle-hardened, or delicate as spun glass? Does it conceal itself from all outside detection within a cloak of illusions? That would require at least a level 4 manse, and perhaps explain the current crisis - someone could have unwittingly crashed a skyship into the wall, thinking it was open air. Are there any notable traps, secret passages, libraries, workshops, climate-control systems? Lightning cannons on turret mounts, skeleton warriors which reassemble themselves almost as fast as they can be smashed apart? Magical amenities such as self-lighting candles, or esoteric maintenance requirements such as a silent and unwounded priest laying out fresh flowers every few months, or a particular interior wall on which the coating of blood must never be allowed to completely dry? There's a whole other point-buy system for this, too many options and modifiers to list effectively, so spit out some ideas and I'll patch it together from there.

>succubus
One of the neomah, the weavers of flesh, demon courtesans? Some other type of sex-oriented first circle demon?
Or is Silthriss something of the second circle, one of the unique subsidiary souls of the demon princes themselves, a spirit of such power that she can only be called forth from the prison-realm of Malfeas during the dark of the moon in the gap between months?
Does she have mortal cultists among the despairing and depraved, like Deer-Footed Mara, the Soul-Eater, or a relatively stable and persistent secret society more like that of Sondok, She-Who-Stands-In-Doorways? Or has she been too busy with her own alien obsessions, the internal politics of Hell, or some previous sorcerer's bound tasks, to cultivate worship, as with Janequin, Fortune's Fool? Perhaps you misspoke and meant to summon Stanewald, She-who-Surmounted-the-Omphalos, whose skill at dancing is unsurpassed among demons (second only to the yozis themselves), to whom no music is sweeter than the sound of shattering stone, and who has lately been seeking a new purpose for her existence.

All four of those second circle demons I just listed most commonly take the form of beautiful women, in case that was unclear, and have at least some interest in sex and association with shadows, though neither issue is the exclusive area of concern for any of them. Mara's focus is corruptive knowledge, Sondok's is guardianship, and Janequin's is the defiance of probability.

Alveua, Keeper of the Forge of Night, and Berengiere, the Weaver of Voices, have more to do with crafting than sex (the only aspect of which not adequately implied by their titles being Alveua's affinity for insects), but since Berengiere is the progenitor of the neomah and Alveua is the expressive soul of That Which Calls to the Shadows (who rivals even Venus, Maiden of Serenity as an instructor in the arts of love), and both of them are beautiful women - Alveua more on the girlish side, though she wields an enormous hammer - whose interactions with mortals tend to involve spiritual theft, they deserve mention as relevant possibilities.

There's also Zsofika, the Kite Flute, but she's far too concerned with killing and eating to be mistaken for a succubus by anyone remotely sane. Her skin is hard as steel and, in combat, hot enough to cause third degree burns or ignite dry wood on contact. She can predict the future, and has access to various other bits of wisdom, so she might be useful as a source of information, but has no particular link to shadows.

The most lust-oriented second circle demon might actually be Gumela, the Jeweled Auditor, who is a barely-anthropomorphic mass of tangled threads and, incidentally, male. His sweet breath drives mortal passions mad, unraveling repressed desire along with the deepest secrets - which has some obvious research applications, when study has become snagged on an inextricable mystery.

I could invent a new one, but that's more work.

>lack the organs
By default, abyssal exalts are fully capable of reproduction, though it tends to have unpleasant consequences. Is Astius's anatomical lack the result of a sorcerous mishap, deliberate surgery (perhaps as a condition of taking the throne, due to some ancient political compromise), or postmortem Dark Fate backlash? In any case, lacking the capacity is not an absolute defense against the desire. Perhaps she's still perfectly capable of intercourse and pregnancy, but used shadowy powers to fortify her mind so that the very idea of sex for pleasure is unbearably hateful and repulsive?

>teleportation
Rapid long-distance travel is a big deal in Exalted. Even the mightiest must factor time, distance, and infrastructure into their plans, rather than effortlessly appearing in the blink of an eye wherever they wish to be. Fortunately, as an Abyssal, you've got great (if disturbing) strategic mobility options, surpassed only by the star-chosen and possibly the adamant circle of sorcery - and against those, the spell Black Faith (which, as Void Circle Necromancy, is more or less abyssal-exclusive) is an ultimate trump card, providing instant access to any point in any realm of existence, no matter how obscure or thoroughly warded. The costs, prerequisites, and risks of casting it are considerable, however.

For now, the lich-queen's teleportation capabilities are likely far more modest, limited to places she's seen before, and a maximum range of a few tens of miles. Is it a native power built on the foundation of her mundane ability to dodge and jump, or sorcery? A spell would work in the daytime, and can bring along any type of passengers, but only a few, and it's easy for somebody to interrupt it, which might literally blow up in your face. The native ability is faster, cheaper, and safer to use, but self-only, and can be upgraded for bringing along an undead army of potentially unlimited size. Could even take both, though that wouldn't leave much for non-teleportation-related powers.

Or, as a third option, it could be a device she built: a cloak, or belt, or flying-saucer-style vehicle, something which could potentially be gifted to someone else, who'd then be able to attune and use it as well as she can. Cheapest option in terms of points, with potential for a lot of nifty secondary functions, but likely more limited range than teleporting under her own power, and the crucial disadvantage that it can be lost, stolen, used against you, perhaps even destroyed. Most artifacts are very durable, but complex and limit-pushing devices often have maintenance requirements or other weak points.
>>
No. 865192 ID: af6e04

>Who (or what) inflicted that damage in the first place?
Malice, conscripted servant of a powerful demon prince!

>Which of you snuck in to rob the vault while everybody else is distracted, and what were you surprised to find there?
Also Malice, because why not at this point?? She was surprised to find the skeleton of a dragon and the four mythical hyper-rhomboid gems.

QUEST: Kill master
WILLPOWER: 5

COMPASSION: 2
CONVICTION: 1
TEMPERANCE: 3
VALOR:4

>How do you naturally excel?
The cleverist! She's still very young and lacks strength of body and wealth of experience. Looks disarmingly cute though.

>What fields of human endeavor have you mastered?
Stealth, Sabotage, Philosophy, Espionage, Tactics

>Where do you get your superpowers from?
Pact with demon prince.

>More importantly, what are those powers good for?
She can fly on leathery wings, utilize echolocation, and drink blood to gain some of the victim's strength
>>
No. 865253 ID: d36af7

>>865192
Animal-theme powers and long-term power gain from drinking blood makes me think Lunar, but deep disloyalty rules out an akuma. Could simply be working under relatively conventional duress, such as threats to a hostage, or implantation of a slave collar.

Could also be some entirely different sort of exalt who simply started as a bat-theme beastman and learned the necrotic paths of air and/or water from a suitable dragon king. Might even pick up all five, as long as you're taking the unusual background. Hm... necrotic path of water presents an alternative coercion option, too, one which makes active disloyalty and boss-murder a conveniently plausible personal challenge, along with some espionage-related abilities which could be accessible to humans.

Apart from the blood thing, those powers seem like stuff a heroic mortal with mutations would be capable of. Could be a starting exalt with mostly low key charms, but figuring out which type requires more information. What do you see Malice's powers developing into?

Radioactive green fire inside crusty brass armor, dancing before a crowd of screaming fans who kneel and sprout wings of their own in emulation of her glory?

Liquid silver under cold blue light, warping flesh and stone, plant and spirit, space and time, an all-purpose Monster From Outside which can be delayed or wounded but never stopped?

Red mist and silence punctuated by laughter, wisdom inextricably entangled with madness and harrowing tragedy from which the new crop of heroes must spring?

Gray bark around a core of vibrant color, swampy jungle of bottomless gnawing greed which appears innocent and elegant, until the time comes to pounce and assimilate all things into itself?

If none of those sound remotely right, there are other options, most notably Abyssal charmtech and the Ebon Dragon. Didn't really want to have the only two serious characters so far throwing shadows back and forth at each other, though. Seems like that'd get tedious. Isidoros might work, but doesn't cover stealth OR flight very well, while the four above all provide at least one of those factors natively and can support the other to some extent.

>She's still very young and lacks strength of body and wealth of experience. Looks disarmingly cute though.
Obvious way to literalize that, stealing weapons to be used against their original wielder using primarily cuteness, is Black Claw Style martial arts. If you go for that, though, consider very carefully exactly who you learned it from. That particular student/sifu relationship has long-lasting mechanical effects. It was invented by Deer-Footed Mara, and, among those who know the style's full implications, counted as one of her greatest vengeful schemes against the gods.

>mythical hyper-rhomboid gems
What makes those so valuable and famous? Are they a power source, a weapon, construction tool, defense screen projector, portal to a pocket dimension, repository of ancient secrets, intelligent automaton, two or more of the above, or just unusually large and shiny (and possibly enigmatic components of some larger puzzle)?
>>
No. 865264 ID: d36af7

>>/questdis/120364
It's okay to start out without any really obvious over-the-top powers, so long as there's sufficient breadth of mundane competence and a clear theme for further development.

Don't forget to define Intimacies, and social context in general! You're supposed to be god-kings, or at least closer to that than to basic murderhobos. Part of that is a mix of alliances, finances, public reputation, servants, soldiers, bureaucrats, and/or worshippers. Support NPCs don't need to be described in detail, approximate number and vague job description is enough for me to work with.
>>
No. 865450 ID: d36af7

>>865192
>Stealth, Sabotage, Philosophy, Espionage, Tactics
>fly on leathery wings, utilize echolocation,
The other straightforward way to take this is airbending. Air anima power is just super-jump and feather fall, not outright flight by itself, but wings could still be a mutation... or an artifact called Wings of the Raptor, which looks like a cloak when not in use. Air-aspect charms cover tactical communication, audio-only scrying, cryptography, science (including shooting energy blasts from your hands), sorcery, spirit-binding, thrown weapons, and stealth (including Feeling-The-Air Technique, which provides most of the benefits of echolocation without making noise).

Sabotage is more of a water-aspect thing, whether that's Naked Thief Style in the Larceny tree to pick locks and saw through iron bars without tools, or Thrashing Carp Serenade and Thoughtful Gift Technique in the Bureaucracy tree to clog up and subvert whole organizations. Water-aspect dragonblooded could still use Wings of the Raptor, but wouldn't have the air anima power to catch them in the event of a fall... though the water anima power could be an adequate substitute over a lake or ocean, and provides considerable advantages when swimming, including the ability to breathe water.

You could potentially also start with Ramparts of Obedient Earth, to reshape the landscape a few cubic yards at a time, but it'd be more cost-effective to just take the prerequisites, which are all about small-unit tactics, then unlock earthbending's rampart-and-trench capabilities in the course of play.

What are you looking for in terms of philosophy-based superpowers?
>>
No. 865452 ID: af6e04

>Lunar
>bat-theme beast man
I feel like I'm lacking a bit of context to make this call, but the second option seems good. From what the great sage Google has told me, the lunars seem to be more shapeshifters than beast men. And they've all gone feral I guess? And are all widows to an extinct race called the solars? This is a lot to take in. Normal beast man sounds good.

>What do you see Malice's powers developing into?
>Red mist and silence punctuated by laughter, wisdom inextricably entangled with madness and harrowing tragedy from which the new crop of heroes must spring?
Seems logical given the relatively high scores in temperance and valor.

>Black Claw Style martial arts
This sounds perfect, though I'd better hear these long-lasting mechanical effects before I make a decision.

>What makes [hyper-rhomboids] so valuable and famous?
They are in fact a portal into a pocket dimension contained within an intelligent automaton whose ancient mind contains a vast amount of secrets (many of which are vapid and insignificant, as it can't really differentiate the interesting from the mundane)

>Don't forget to define Intimacies, and social context in general!
As far as followers go I'd say Malice wouldn't have anything organized or established. I'm imagining she tries to stay within the realm of fairy tales, at least among mortals. Visits orphans, bereaved parents, social outcasts, and isolated hermits as a benevolent ghost and befriends them, thereby gaining many contacts from every population and walk of life that she can subtly influence and gain information from.

>>865450
Achk, the last thing I needed was MORE options!

>What are you looking for in terms of philosophy-based superpowers?
What kind of philosophy based superpowers are there?
>>
No. 865503 ID: d36af7

>>865452
>This sounds perfect, though I'd better hear these long-lasting mechanical effects before I make a decision.
You'll love your sifu. No way to stop feeling it without powerful magic, and even with that, the love will be rekindled time you practice the style. They won't necessarily love you back, and the style's more advanced techniques allow them to turn that emotional vulnerability into a physical one.

The other problem is a little more indirect. Black Claw Style lets you punch somebody in the reputation, routinely subverting society's mechanisms of praise and blame by which prosocial behavior is enforced. If you could walk up to a cop in broad daylight, beat him to death with his own stolen gun, and count on the hundred random strangers who saw it all happen to not just stand aside, but actually testify under oath in unanimous support of your nonsensical self-defense claim, to cheer for you and say "justice was done!" when you were found not guilty... if you could do that kind of thing, reliably, would you keep right on obeying the law, and paying all your taxes? Or would you carve out personal exceptions whenever that would be too expensive or inconvenient?

That is the question Deer-Footed Mara asked the world, by inventing Black Claw style. You can probably guess which answer she was hoping for.

>What kind of philosophy based superpowers are there?
If you're going to be a GSP, almost all the powers will be at least partly philosophical. Theft As Release, for example, doesn't exactly enhance your own ability to steal things, but rather persuades the victim that they're better off without whatever it was you took, or are now in the process of taking, on the grounds that the root cause of suffering is attachment to material things. Sometimes they'll even become convinced it was never theirs to begin with.

For dragon-blooded, the most philosophy-based stuff is the earth-aspected Integrity charm tree, which is mostly straightforward effects that convert moral certitude into physical durability and/or physical foundations into mental stability, like Unsleeping Earth Meditation which lets you function without sleep, or Chaos-Warding Prana which protects against the chaos beyond the edges of the world, or Unflagging Vengeance Meditation which... you get the idea. Air-aspected Lore charms let you draw on ambient elemental energy to recharge and even heal faster, Wood-aspected Performance can let you pray (or dance, or sing, or play guitar) hard enough to put a hole through a demon's skull from half a block away, Fire-aspected Presence can inflict mood whiplash among rage, lust, and terror as easy as flipping a coin because all burning passions share some essential commonalities. It goes on and on.

If you're starting as a dragon-blood with Black Claw Style, though, you probably won't have any native DB charms to start. Dragonblooded can only learn such a powerful style with special enlightenment and strict focus, excluding other studies until they've fully mastered it.

>she tries to stay within the realm of fairy tales, at least among mortals. Visits orphans, bereaved parents, social outcasts, and isolated hermits as a benevolent ghost and befriends them, thereby gaining many contacts from every population and walk of life that she can subtly influence and gain information from.

Could have Contacts and even a minor Cult that way, sure. In fact, that's nearly the strategy Anja Silverclaws, one of the example lunar characters from Scroll of Exalts, uses. She lurks on windowsills in animal form. How would Malice go about impersonating a helpful ghost?

Whispering to people from afar and hearing their whispered replies is possible with the air-aspected Linguistics charms, but easier with Adorjani (red wind, silence, laughter, etc.) charmtech... downside being that the first one, Hateful Wretched Noise, heightens hearing by making it hypersensitive. Any sound above a whisper causes pain and, lemme just quote from the book here, "Such loud noises also impose an unnatural Compulsion to impose corrective silence by any means necessary, starting with the loudest noise and working down from there. The character can’t take non-reflexive actions unrelated to imposing quiet until this goal is complete, but actions serving the Compulsion are not penalized." Fortunately, the Scourge-caste GSP anima power includes the ability to magically suppress nearby sounds, so you can "impose corrective silence" temporarily by non-destructive means, in case you run low on willpower to resist the compulsion.
The next charm along that tree is Eloquence In Unspoken Words, which is projective telepathy - at the expense of capacity for verbal utterances other than laughter. Unlike Hateful Wretched Noise, it can be switched off if you change your mind later, though there may be problems if you need to do so quickly without a sorcerer's help.
The third is Gift Of Silence, which lets you bestow that same telepathy power on others, with the same downside. After that it's mostly a series of upgrades to your telepathic broadcast range, from the base 100 yards up to a mile, then ten miles, and so on. There's also a trick for turning any influence based on deception back around, so the source starts to believe their own lie.
>>
No. 865560 ID: af6e04

>You'll love your sifu.
Sounds like a pretty terrible weakness. How would I stop my sifu from exploiting me endlessly, or even know they were doing so? Why wouldn't they exploit me endlessly if I had no way of stopping them? An interesting philosophical dilemma. But if I have to focus everything on the black claw style I think I'll pass regardless. 'Deadly cuteness' isn't the primary archetype I had in mind anyway.

>Theft As Release
This sounds hilarious, but I can't for the life of me figure out what GSP stands for...

>convert moral certitude into physical durability
Sounds like a poor choice for low conviction character

>Whispering to people from afar and hearing their whispered replies is possible with the air-aspected Linguistics charms, but easier with Adorjani (red wind, silence, laughter, etc.) charmtech... downside being that the first one, Hateful Wretched Noise, heightens hearing by making it hypersensitive.
I believe Adorjani was what I was looking to go with? Is that what gives me Hateful Wretched Noise, or is it the air-aspected Linguistic charms? Wording is kind of vague there.

I'm having trouble actually figuring out what my choices are here.
>>
No. 865679 ID: d36af7

>>865560
>what my options are here
"Pact with a Demon Prince" would normally mean being either a Green Sun Princess, with access to all the Reclamation Yozi charmsets, two of which are particularly favored (one according to the job they were hired for, the other a more personal preference), or a wretched Akuma with one Yozi charmset (whichever they sold their soul to) plus their original exalted powers. Akuma don't have enough free will to make resentment and revenge against their boss a driving goal in life, so GSP is the simple answer. The Reclamation yozis are, in alphabetical order:
*Adorjan, the Silent Wind
*Cecelyne, the Endless Desert
*Isidoros, the Black Boar Which Twists the Sky
*Kimbery, the Sea Which Marched Against The Flame
*Malfeas, the Demon Emperor
*Metagaos, the All-Hunger Blossom
*that one with white fire and crystal spheres whose real name is a cognitohazard
*Shadow of All Things, the Ebon Dragon
Scourge-caste means you'd have Adorjan as one, so if we're going with that, pick your other favorite among the remaining seven.

Alternatively, you could rethink the 'source of power' thing, say that servitude (or symbiosis) with a demon lord is just a situation Malice is stuck in for now, rather than one which will define her entire existence. Maybe her real power comes from Mela, the Immaculate Dragon of Air, in which case she'd be Dragon-Blooded, with elemental themed powers. Avatar: the Last Airbender and sentai shows like Power Rangers aren't a perfect summary of DBs, but do provide a solid conceptual starting point.
>Sounds like a poor choice for low conviction character
It's based on Integrity, which is training in meditation, catechisms, and other rhetorical defense/evasion tactics, rather than Conviction which is deep undercurrents of the soul. All DB charms are based on learned skills rather than innate attributes.

As a third power source option, there's Luna, who's the Unconquered Sun's backup for those all-too-common sticky situations which absolute invulnerability, supremacy, and perfection in all things somehow can't solve. A multifaceted genderfluid trickster-divinity, wielding chaos and darkness but never fully internalizing them, ultimately motivated by nurturing stewardship. Hard to summarize the powers available because so many of them are about blurring boundaries, breaking rules, sometimes operating by outright Looney Toons logic.
As one example, there's a lunar charm which can be used to see around corners by shining spotlights from your eyes, then having the beams bend at arbitrary angles in midair, a periscope built from moonbeams. An upgrade to that same charm lets you shine silver light on everything out to forty yards or more, leaving all scenery and creatures in that radius (those without rare and exotic protections, at least) frozen in time, due to observer-dependent quantum shenanigans, until you move away or turn your anti-time aoul-light back off. That's sort of a wacky edge case, though.
Lots of Lunar powers relate to shapeshifting and predator/prey relations, not just in the obvious ways: the charm Observed Predator Instinct lets you give observers "the unmistakable impression that the Lunar knows they are watching her, is watching them with equal care and is comfortable —if not pleased— with the arrangement," which might psych out an enemy spy badly enough that they'll do something foolish, so you can then notice them for real. Lunar charms are all based on attributes, founded in exploring or adjusting who you are rather than enhancing what you do.

>How would I stop my sifu from exploiting me
By choosing one who's conveniently good-natured, or moe-blob incompetent, or by going full-bore yandere and locking them in your basement?

Any or all of those could be accomplished by the sifu being a member of first-circle demon type which suffers from crippling overspecialization in something other than combat, such as Stomach Bottle Bugs, which are Compassion 5 idiot-savant field medics with an obsessive-compulsive need to eat as much poison as they can find. Denying a sesseljae access to sufficient quantities of poison to accidentally kill itself seems like the kind of thing a loving attitude could thoroughly support as "for your own good," no matter how much they beg.

Summoning a first-circle demon into a diagram which stops it from wandering off is magic on a level even un-Exalted humans could manage, given training and the (expensive) materials. Dragon-blooded could start with the first five charms of Black Claw Style, plus the two enlightenment charms needed to start learning it, and still have more than enough character-creation resources left over for the equivalent of a bachelor's degree in demonology, including dozens or hundreds of specialized rituals and thaumaturgical tricks within that broad theme.

As for less drastic options, anyone can resist ordinary exploitative social influences by Parry (counterargument) or Dodge (ignore) Mental Defenses, or by spending willpower (agreeing that you should, but doing something else anyway, and then feeling vaguely like a terrible hypocrite until you recover the WP somehow). When some whole scene of social engagement seems to be headed nowhere good, you can cut it short by flipping the table, storming off in a huff, punching somebody, pulling a knife, or otherwise rolling Join Battle. Love won't prevent that. It's quite possible to love someone and still be angry about their behavior. The Adorjani charm Joy In Violence Approach lets you recover WP by starting such fights, among other benefits.

Or you could cut to the heart of the issue with repeated use of powerful mind-altering magic, such as the Adorjani charm "Freedom Lets Go" or the Kimberyan charm "All Things Betray," both of which are well within reach of starting GSPs.

See, in most games, 'you'd need powerful magic' is just a softer way of saying 'no.' Exalted doesn't work that way. Wanna do brain surgery, on yourself, while speeding down a busy freeway? Go for it! As Egon Spengler would say, "there's definitely a small chance we'll survive," and when you've got Valor 4, that's all you really need. It'll be a wild ride, at the very least.
>>
No. 865729 ID: 3abd97

I'm thinking about someone who's powers are broadly themed around mirrors and reflective surfaces. Stepping in and out of the looking glass, traveling between mirrors, physically or metaphysically altering people and things by interacting with their reflection. Possibly a sort of Fallen London style overlap of mirrors and dreams. Parabola.

If pushed into a straight up fight, she's never going to be stabbing you directly, she's be attacking you by attacking your reflection.

She's deeply motivated to bring out people's best selves. Which could mean anything from being the absolute best therapist possible for someone, or pulling a Jack Slash and talking someone into becoming a monster, and all kinds of thing in between. She doesn't actually really see the difference. It's all getting at the stuff hidden inside, the potential unrealized or suppressed or broken down, pulling it out into the open, and making it shine, bright and whole. She's helping people you see? Everyone should be their best selves, whoever that is. Pulls this off with a combination of social fu and getting into people via reflections.

Not sure on hard numbers, but probably high virtue ("facing down terror and death with a smile" and "unpredictable and dangerous" sure sounds right) low temperance (not good at resisting impulses). I'm not really sure how to map this kind of blue and orange morality onto compassion / conviction. She cares, and she's sincere about that, but her priorities don't really line up with conventional compassion, even if she believes she's fundamentally helping people. (Unhealthy passion to overwhelming sincerity for her cause sounds right).

Human endeavors? Social fu, indirect action, anything pertaining to glassworking... and I should probably be able to put a few more things in there but I'm blanking right now. The first two might be too broad and need to be broken down into more specific fields anyways.

Strong preference for tools, weapons or artifacts that are glass, transparent or crystalline in nature.

>Part of that is a mix of alliances, finances, public reputation, servants, soldiers, bureaucrats, and/or worshippers.
An entourage of servant-worshipers sounds right. People she's helped who loved her for it (not all of those do, after all) and ended up devoted and loyal. And stable enough to be used, at least. Not every star that burns bright does so for long, or can be harnessed. A mix of personalities and motivations there. For the most part, she's not setting out to turn people into devoted followers, it's just that the best selves of some people turn out to be.

Someone who remakes people habitually and sometime destructively, and get into places she shouldn't seems as if she should have had plenty of opportunities to accumulate of wealth but I don't have any specific ideas there.

Word salad name pending.

tl;dr- There's a crazy person in the mirror here to help.
>>
No. 865810 ID: af6e04

>>865679
>pick your other favorite among the remaining seven.
After a bit of skimming, Cecelyne seems pretty cool.

>My question about concerns of sifu exploitation getting thoroughly answered
Alright I do love the idea of having a demon beetle tied up in my own yandere dungeon. I forgot that a lot of things in Exalt aren't humans with human motivations.

>It'll be a wild ride, at the very least.
I'm sold!

>>865729
This is a really cool concept, I think.

>Word salad name pending.
Was it trite of me to take the obvious easy way out?
>>
No. 865823 ID: d36af7

>>865729
First thing that comes to mind for mirror-centric powers is Szoreny, the Silver Forest. I haven't found a good fan-made charmset for him, though, so I'll do some research and get back to you on that one.

A lunar could work, but the sort of brain-picking personal attention you imply isn't a great fit for their charmset.

I think what you're looking for is a Sidereal, chosen of Serenity or maybe Secrets, with Obsidian Shards of Infinity style for the really overt mirror weirdness. Maybe a few carefully selected shadowlands circle necromancy spells. Best pop-culture reference I can think of for what Sidereals tend to look like from the outside is the G-Man from Half-Life.

The core sidereal powerset is narrow and hard to customize, though, so lemme just pick through it for all the most theme-relevant overt effects. If that's seeming inadequate or off-base, I'll dig into other options.

Resistance: Discourage people from attacking you by momentarily impersonating whoever they care about most. As an upgrade to that effect, hide your heat in a pocket of emptiness that lets you ignore pain, fatigue, poison, disease, etc. until you put it back. As the capstone of that whole tree, entangle your fate with nearby enemies (or hostages) so that any harm you suffer is inflicted on them as well.
Sail: transfer a ship into a mostly-empty mirror realm, allowing it to bypass mundane obstacles, even to the point of taking a straight-line shortcut through a mountain range, or travel to other planes. Can also be used for personal travel, but requires a body of water (or at least a mud puddle), a handful of salt, and is equivalent to swimming rather than walking.
Thrown: Carry one real shuriken which never leaves your hand, strike and wound a dozen different targets with shadow duplicates of it.
Craft: Build things faster, and with an upgrade, restore things to their rightful condition, undoing damage from inauspicious sources or, eventually, anything that would be inconsistent with the subject's "best self," as defined in part by the destiny you've chosen for it. Equally applicable to living creatures.
Arrange for any item you own to be delivered to your hand by a string of convenient coincidences. With an upgrade, deliver items to other named people by the same method, even across realms of existence, or banish an item so it'll never be found again without your permission (or an epic quest, hindered by a series of contrived obstacles proportionate to your power).
As the capstone for that whole tree, start building something and then allow the project to continue without your direct involvement.
Dodge: teleport away, retconning memories and forensic evidence to show that you were never actually here to begin with, though the direct results of your actions remain. With an upgrade, bring your friends along too. Capstone lets you quasi-retroactively relocate miles-wide landscape features, such as cities.
Performance: Weddings, funerals, giving a name to a baby or a sailing ship, coming-of-age, whatever, any ceremony you officiate goes smoothly and inspires all participants with the inevitability of the beneficiary's good future.
Socialize: Create or destroy relationships between people by mystic meddling rather than conventional social engineering.
Melee: Hard to summarize without getting into the combat mechanics, but there's an effect which helps when defending or being defended by someone who's benefited from your instruction in the past, and one called "Orchestration of Mirrored Fates."
Investigation: Efficient Secretary Technique is basically an instant google/wikipedia lookup for any objective fact that's not actively hidden or inherently esoteric. In a world where most people are copying books by hand and sending messages by horse or pidgeon, that's a decent approximation of omniscience. The upgrade, Research Assistant Invocation, lets you turn a small plant into a tireless, hypercompetent grad student, though they'll panic and turn back into a plant if faced with combat or other danger.
Larceny: Convince someone that what you're saying is false, even if they'd normally be inclined to agree. Flawlessly disguise yourself as a ghost, demon, or other creature from beyond. Steal someone's train of thought, or wear their name as if it were your own.
Stealth: Cover up all perceptible evidence of your presence by stepping outside fate. With an upgrade, whisper to someone so they interpret your words as a product of their own thoughts.
Bureaucracy: Compel someone to do their official job, honestly and to the best of their ability. Make yourself anonymous and irrelevant to anyone who thinks they're better than you.
>>
No. 865874 ID: d36af7

>>865810
>I do love the idea of having a demon beetle tied up in my own yandere dungeon.
Next question: is the yandere dungeon in question a physical place, which other people could conceivably visit? Or is Malice's demonic sifu also her unwoven coadjutor, stuck in an inviolable 'headspace' dream-realm, always available for advice but never capable of interaction with the outside world? Every GSP has a demonic Unwoven Coadjutor, same as every Lunar has that first totemic form (usually an animal) which they can shapeshift into, but similarly, some make more use of it than others. A Coadjutor might be sullen and reticent, or constantly babbling nonsense, or otherwise useless beyond the basic necessities of metaphysical biology, and thereby a mere afterthought on the character concept... or it can justify mutations, strange urges, a pocket dimension with nigh-unlimited inventory space, eventually even a workshop for creating any item you need from the raw material of prayer, and generally provide an iconic focal theme. GSPs do tend to have other demon friends and minions, too, commanding some degree of loyalty just from their status as champions of Hell.
>>865810
>Cecelyne
Almost half her charmset is about interacting with demons, laying down the law, showing them who's boss, and forbidding them from acting directly against you. Might be enough to keep a demon sifu under control even without physical restraints.

Want to stick with the Scourge caste, or switch to Malefactor? The anima power of Cecelyne's chosen provides enhanced beauty, a silver tongue to beguile the weak, and a bonus to demon-related sorcery which makes dangerous mishaps far less likely. Also counts as a priest, regardless of who the prayer is being directed to. No silence aura or anima-flare suppression if you go for that, but she could keep the Hateful Wretched Noise compulsion under control by taking a really good pair of earplugs as a 1-dot artifact, noise-canceling headphones plus an extensive library of audiobooks (or maybe a comm system?) as a 2-dot, or an actual area-effect silence projector, possibly integrated with a whole custom suit of power armor, as a 3-dot or higher artifact.

Which specific charms is Malice starting with? Ten slots for sure, possible to buy more. Assuming she starts at Essence 2 (which is more XP-efficient, and should help keep decision paralysis under control), only the first three of Black Claw Style will be accessible: Open Palm Caress ("He started it!"), Torn Lotus Defense ("You missed, therefore you secretly admire me."), and Flexing the Emerald Claw which has the other two as prerequisites. There are a lot of options for Infernal Monster Style, but I don't think you're going for the 'incredible hulk' thing quite so much? Many other martial arts styles as well, but let's not get sidetracked.
Biggest decision is which Yozi Excellency you're going to take. Don't strictly have to take any, but then you'll have trouble keeping up with other exalts in any sort of contested rolls, combat included. Could take more than one, but that gets expensive. A major commitment to a particular yozi's themes, with lots of other general charms that build off of it, including thematic restrictions or distortions to sorcery, and the (Yozi) Mythos Exultant which is a bonus to stunting - meaning it'll probably be kicking in on every action in combat, which adds up fast. Can't get either of those 'till Essence 3, though. Each Yozi excellency costs two charm slots now, plus more as your Essence increases.
Outside the excellency, most yozi charmsets are split into two main trees with separate 'root' charms, though they interlock later on.
For Cecelyne, that's Hellscry Chakra, which leads into Demonic Primacy of Essence and the 'law' tree, and Transcendent Desert Creature which leads into the 'desolation' tree.
For Adorjan, Wind-Born Stride leads into the 'speed' tree, Sacred Kamilla's Inhalation into a more abstract 'breath' tree, including Freedom Lets Go, and Hateful Wreched Noise which has it's own very small tree which we already discussed most of.
As for the others, Isidoros has Indomitable Hedonism Drive leading into the 'desire' tree and Weight-Exaggerating Ego Density leading into the 'black hole' tree,
Kimbery has Mother Sea Mastery leading into the 'acid ocean' tree and Intolerable Burning Truths which is actually a cluster of related charms without many building off of them apart from basic defenses.
Malfeas has By Pain Reforged leading into the 'armored sollipsist' tree, and Insignificant Embers Intuition leading into Green Sun Nimbus Flare and the 'radioactive glory' tree, plus Hardened Devil Body which is a standalone charm for extra health levels.
Metagaos has Palate Without Limit leading into the 'hunger' tree, and Sprawling Marsh Indulgence leading into the 'plants' tree, which includes a nifty stealth charm. Hidden Predator Camouflage, which you might want to consider, particularly since it can be upgraded to function as a perfect defense.
That one with the crystal spheres full of white fire only really has one proper charm tree, starting from Factual Determination Analysis, though there's a second root charm, Chirality Prohibition Index, which is a potentially a fun trick for reshaping landscapes and societies but doesn't have much of anything building off it.
The Ebon Dragon's main tree starts with Witness To Darkness, which many players consider to have more disadvantages than benefits, Cracked Cell Circumvention which leads into the 'defiance' tree, and Loom-Snarling Deception which is more like a disguise charm with upgrades than a complete tree of it's own.

What practical effects are you looking for, or what themes are you interested in exploring?

If you want to maximize Malice's prospect of survival, the usual prescription is a 'Chungian paranoia combo' consisting of A) an excellency, along with any available efficiency boosts for it, B) protection from unexpected attacks, C) an applicabilty-trumping perfect dodge or parry, which is expensive but absolute, and D) 'step seven' defenses.
Every yozi brings their own style for A and C, and D can be covered by artifact armor without any charm purchases. The tricky part is usually B, since only three yozis have surprise-negators: Threat-Monitoring Excitement, which requires Joy In Violence Approach and Wind-Born Stride from Adorjan, All Things Betray which requires Intolerable Burning Truths from Kimbery, and Unbothered By Flies which requires Indomitable Hedonism Drive from Isidoros, which has the interesting quirk that it doesn't actually let you notice attacks, just coincidentally "be where the bullets aren't" like Mr. Magoo. It's also the cheapest, costing no motes to activate, even partially refunding the cost of other charms used for a successful defense.
The Adorjani option is probably fine for Malice, but - just for the sake of completeness - the Crane Style martial arts charm Fluttering Cry of Warning is another possibility, potentially protecting allies as well, but it only works if you haven't proactively attacked yet during the scene. (Counterattacks don't count, and Crane Style offers a lot of counterattack options.)
>>
No. 865897 ID: af6e04

>>865874
>always available for advice but never capable of interaction with the outside world?
Well that does sound like the most secure dungeon possible.

>provide an iconic focal theme
I think this makes the most sense given our relationship.

>Want to stick with the Scourge caste, or switch to Malefactor?
I think I would rather stick with Scourge caste.

>What practical effects are you looking for, or what themes are you interested in exploring?
Stealth, bypassing carefully constructed defenses, wearing foes down slowly and imperceptibly, efficiency over raw capability

If I'm going to be choosing specific charms that'll require a lot of reading and weighing of options, which I don't have time for today but can probably get around to within the next couple days.
>>
No. 865942 ID: a2c5e0

Actually, let me try to put it more elegantly. Anything that lets me be a sneaky little gremlin who, when caught, makes my confronter out to be the nad guy.
>>
No. 865949 ID: a2c5e0

>>865942
Badguy*
>>
No. 865968 ID: 3abd97

>>865823
Oh, interesting. I thought you might come back with Lunar or Green Sun, didn't really consider that a fate ninja might work. I think I've usually seen them come up they've been depicted as devoted to maintaining fate and order, the idea of one going around and using the same powerset to change people as her whims take her is amusing.

I don't know how much room there is to slap thematic fluff on top of existing charms or powers as, but a good deal of those effects seem consistent with what I'd like her to be able to do.

-Resistance sounds entirely consistent with with Jungian dream mirror world vision quest therapy-manipulation metaphysical conceptual bullshit.
-Sail might be a useful trick to move followers or allies around, but I'm really more interested in personal flitting in and out of reflections than a vehicle or practical strategic utility.
-Thrown sounds good if the shuriken fits her material preferences. Bonus points if the copies don't have to fly from her hand and can come from unexpected directions.
-Craft applied to people / hearts / minds sounds exactly like what I want her to be able to do. And ridiculous coincidence engineering seems appropriate considering the partial Worm inspiration. Bonus points for also being applicable to materials, fits with glasswork and inevitably having to deal with the problem of people trying to counter her by wrecking or removing reflective surfaces.
-Melee sure sounds like appropriate Jack Slash or Ziz bullshit
-Dodge, Stealth and Socialize all seem appropriate applications of her powers assuming she's pulling them off with mirror / reflection nonsense somehow. Socialize especially fits the core idea.
-Performance, Larceny, Bureaucracy and Investigation sound like consistent supporting skills that wouldn't need to be tied to mirror stuff to execute. (Although tapping into some kind of collective unconscious and/or mirror world to justify the information gathering function of Investigation makes sense).

>>865810
Thanks! I think the whole yandere sifu thing is an entertaining addition to the rest of your idea, and I'm glad you went with it. It's a nice juxtaposition of treachery and love.

>Was it trite of me to take the obvious easy way out?
Considering my other characters running around with a single name, and the unnamed family and goddess that are kind of centrally important to two of them, I'm not about to throw stones.
>>
No. 866119 ID: d36af7

>>865942
Alright, here's a short list of the non-Adorjani charms which seem appropriate.
Black Claw Style: Open Palm Caress, Torn Lotus Defense, Flexing the Emerald Claw
Victorious Concession Style: Hearing the Unspoken Word (emotion-based situational awareness, partial surprise negator), Spoken In Kindness (redirect attacks to yourself, thus protecting allies, and enabling counterattacks or wacky defense-charm side-effect shenanigans), Could take either of those separately.
Cecelyne: Transcendent Desert Creature, Dust Devil Feint, Crumbling Sand-Self Embodiment, Sands Through Fingers Defense (in no particular order, they're all defenses building off TDC directly), Sand-Slip Trick (movement speed boost), Swallowed In Eternity (upgrade to stop an enemy's movement toward you)
Ebon Dragon: All three root charms are relevant to being a sneaky bastard, but Cracked Cell Circumvention is by far the most helpful for covering Adorjan's vulnerability. If you go for Witness To Darkness, the obvious next step from there is Nemesis Self Imagined Anew, fitting her name.
Isidoros: Indomitable Hedonism Drive, Unbothered By Flies
Malfeas: Insignificant Embers Intuition (magic echolocation, sorta), Tarnish Flash Technique (pocket sand laser). On the off chance you go for Malfeas's Excellency, could also take Beauty Without Malice, which is for dancing.
Metagaos: Sprawling Marsh Indulgence, Hidden Predator Camouflage, Slinking Jungle Shelter (x2 makes it a perfect defense). Or for social rather than physical stealth, Flowering The Fairer Face and Innocent Petal Assumption also build directly on Sprawling Marsh Indulgence.
that one with the crystal spheres: Factual Determination Analysis, Unshattered Tongue Perfection (Adorjani telepathy only works in one specific language, this lets you teach people that language very quickly), Essence-Dissecting Stare (could be reskinned as echolocation), Mind-Hand Manipulation

There's also a Heretical charm, Fourth Soul Externalization, which requires Malfeas's charms By Pain Reforged and By Rage Recast, and the Ebon Dragon's Loom-Snarling Deception, allowing you to take on temporary mutations based on your Unwoven Coadjutor.

Ten charm slots, could buy maybe five more with bonus points. Don't forget to save some for Adorjani stuff and an Excellency.

>>865968
Sidereal charm-picking might be trickier, particularly since the concept there seems so ideally consistent with some sort of sidereal akuma, meaning EVERY trait could potentially be cashed in for XP and reallocated to improve something else. Biggest question is, what Essence do you want to be starting at? Default is 2, but entry-level sorcery and necromancy (lots of cool mirror-related spells there) needs 3, and those capstone 'prayer strip' charms require Essence 4, among other grand miraculous effects. Then we can start cutting it down to specific charms, spells, MA styles, etc.

As for which caste, big decision point is anima power, which can apply to all nearby allies. Each of them also has a Greater Sign, which requires Essence 4, applies to everyone within a radius of miles, and using it costs a dot of Essence and Willpower, permanently. One of those 'ultimate forbidden technique' deals. Journeys triples movement speed, Greater Sign is anywhere-to-anywhere teleportation for yourself and an unlimited number of allies. Serenity enhances Perfomancce, and the Greater Sign is basically an anti-magic field. Battles reduces damage to allies and the Greater Sign is more of the same. Secrets provides immunity to mind-reading and mental attacks, and the Greater Sign brings everything in range inside Fate, allowing sidereal charms to work on powerful entities of other worlds, or which are worlds in themselves. Endings increases damage done to enemies, and the Greater Sign is more of the same.

>Sail might be a useful trick to move followers or allies around, but I'm really more interested in personal flitting in and out of reflections than a vehicle or practical strategic utility.
Sidereal charmset is weird like that. Lot of the time, the main thing you end up using some charm for is a weird side effect of the 'intended' purpose. As I said, you don't need a ship, or even an ocean, you can just throw salt on a tiny puddle and jump in, then return anywhere after you swim across the intervening distance - at double your usual swimming speed, which other charms might enhance. Stepping out of a mirror on arrival would be a stunt, which could provide extra benefit through World-Shaping Artistic Vision (specialized in 'reflection' or something like that) in the Craft tree. Mirrors could also be important if you're navigating with help from a necromancy spell like White Shard Funeral as the 'scry' in scry-and-die tactics.

As for yozi patron options, if you're going akuma: She Who Lives In Her Name is the go-to for crystal spheres, including field control by conjuring walls of glass, and ranged attacks that function by hacking the laws of physics with no visible projectile, but her mind-magic is sorta limited to making cogs fit into a machine. Personal identity or volition are seen as correctable flaws. Szoreny I already mentioned, and the Ebon Dragon has a lot of 'dark mirror' thematics, but Kimbery might be the best option for reshaping other people into whatever you think their 'best self' ought to be, drawing out things they've repressed in the process, since that could tie into so many of the themes in her Excellency. Lot of options for messing around with mutations, and there's a remote-controlled tentacles effect at Essence 2 with only two prerequisite charms. Easy to stunt that as sticking your hand in a mirror, then grabbing somebody by reaching out of the cup of water they're about to drink from.

Black Tide Style (in Debris from the Fallen Races) isn't too powerful as supernatural martial arts go, but it's all about tactical use of reflections on the surface of the water, it mixes well with Kimbery charms, and you could teach it to anybody, even un-Exalted humans.

Infernal Monster Style isn't particularly relevant to reflections, but if Jungian dream-world powers are on the table, and you're willing to consider digging deep into the charm tree...
Retribution Will Follow => Raging Behemoth Charge => Bounding Beast Advance => Leaping Smash Technique => Nowhere To Hide => Blood Heralds Death => Armageddon Nightmare Duel => Sanity-Devouring Night Terror.
First you've got to tag somebody by inflicting actual damage on them with an unarmed attack, but with help from other MA styles that could be done at range, or with Avoidance Kata in the Dodge tree you could sucker-punch somebody, teleport away, and retcon all physical evidence and memories within Fate to fit the story that you were never there, they must've gotten that bruise by walking into a doorknob or something. The tag lasts a week, and whenever they're asleep during that time, you can use Armageddon Nightmare Duel to fight them in their dreams, with Sanity-Devouring Night Terror providing the option of attacking dream-images of anyone they care about to alter the emotional context of those feelings.
>>
No. 866232 ID: 3abd97

>>866119
>Essence do you want to be starting at? Default is 2, but entry-level sorcery and necromancy (lots of cool mirror-related spells there) needs 3, and those capstone 'prayer strip' charms require Essence 4, among other grand miraculous effects.
I for sure want lots of cool mirror stuff so 3 seems like a minimum. Going 4 for capstone powers from the get go probably isn't necessary, although I'm not sure if you're asking me how powerful I want to be or how much of a fixed xp pool I want to invest in essence.

>As for which caste, big decision point is anima power
I think we can discard Serenity and Endings.

Journeys to facilitate mirror moving/swimming/ports could work well, although I'm sort of not sure how well that's already covered by powers already discussed.
Secrets nicely lets dish out her style of bullshit but not have to take it. The capstone of being able to ply her craft on beings that she'd otherwise be unable to perfect is the tempting part though. Although I'm not sure how much that will come up and if it only applies to the sideral charms and not the yozi ones it might not matter so much.

Battles could obviously be useful with manipulated allies but it's sort of more practical and less entertaining than Journeys or Secrets.

>As I said, you don't need a ship
Oh whups, I guess I misread that. Guess I need a crystal vial of salt or few handy. And water. Maybe some crazy bottomless artifact. With a dreams association, tossing salt around could tie in as a sort of sandman thing.

>akuma
I'm sure there won't be any terrible consequences to having my will subsumed.

She Who Lives In Her Name does sound interesting powerwise, but yeah the philosophical perception on identity there seems a dealbreaker. Aren't cross-Yozi charms a thing, or is that just for GSPs? I don't know much about Szoreny.

Kimbery and Black Tide Style are sounding good.

That whole MIB tag that turns nightmare duel sounds fantastically awesome, but that's a heck of a big investment in a style that otherwise really isn't consistent with how I'd want her to operate. Infernal Monster Style is heavily focused on ridiculous overwhelming brutality, ain't it? Doesn't really mesh with someone who genuinely cares (even if it's sometimes twists), and that kind of uber-violence is a pretty direct approach.
>>
No. 866338 ID: af6e04

Alright, so after looking over things a bit I've picked out some charms but I also need some clarifications.

Can I pick and choose any charm from any charm set, provided I have the prerequisites (and they're essence 2)? What's special about my primary and favored charm sets? Can I only take an excellency in a primary or favored charm set?

So saving two charm slots for the excellency (looking at Cerelyne's) and taking all three available Black Claw Style abilities, I'm left with five slots.

For Adorjan, Wind-Born Stride seems like a no-brainer and Hateful Wretched Noise is important for the character concept. Looks like I could get Freedom Lets Go right out the gate but then I'll only be left with one charm slot. Might be better to take Joy In Violence Approach since it has no prerequisites (aside from what I've already decided to take) and builds toward Threat-Monitoring Excitement.

For Cecelyne, Transcendent Desert Creature seems really good. Would the protection against tracking attempts also cover clues left behind while sneaking into places? It doesn't specifically say the protection against tracking only applies in desolate areas in the source I'm reading from. Also, I'm kind of favoring the Sands Through Fingers Defense tree over any of Adorjan's defense charms (except maybe Threat-Monitoring Excitement).

Witness to Darkness kinda fits the bat theme and Nemesis Self Imagined Anew does seem awesome so that's a path I'll probably go down. Cracked Cell Circumvention and Loom-Snarling Deception fit the character perfectly.

>Beauty Without Malice
Amusing, but yeah Malfeas' excellency doesn't seem right.
>>
No. 866339 ID: af6e04

Also, I'm having trouble finding any charms for winged flight. Am I going to have to drop the beastman theme?
>>
No. 866341 ID: d36af7

In order to speed this process up, build a more shared setting, and make sure everybody's paying attention, please feel free to suggest ideas for other characters. A character's player can veto, at least during character creation, in which case the proposal turns out to have been nothing more than unsubstantiated in-setting rumor.

In particular, I don't want Azathoth claiming a monopoly on the in medias res manse's design, then failing to follow up. Memorable encounters seldom occur in featureless cubes.

>>866232
>discard Serenity
Really? They're the ones who favor Craft, Dodge, Performance, and Socialize, as well as Linguistics which I didn't mention for some reason. Very short tree, only four charms, but it has some relevance to relationship manipulation. Favorable Inflection Procedure lets you calm somebody down and make them like you just by saying their name, Blue Vervain Binding is a universal translator, Abandoned Words Curse induces highly selective aphasia ("A guard may prevent all from entering a secret meeting, because he cannot recognize the correct pass phrase; a spy who forgets his conspiracy’s secret code may find himself shunned or even assassinated."), and the capstone, Lover's Oath, creates a pair of magical wedding rings.

More importantly, the Serenity anima power can be very powerful in conjunction with the ability to treat combat actions as Performance-based, which is possible through Wood-aspect DB charms or a type of infernal relic armor known as a Hauberk of Bells, and to a more limited extent through the Sidereal Performance tree or Swaying Grass Dance Style martial arts, while the Greater Sign is a rare straightforward way to shut down an Invincible Sword Princess on a full-power rampage, since it deactivates all her artifacts and scene-long charms yet technically doesn't count as an attack. Get the timing and placement just right, which is definitely a job for someone with scry-and-teleport powers, and you could badly disrupt one side of a fight while leaving your allies unaffected, turning a precarious mirror-match or JRPG-style final boss battle into a pathetically one-aided beatdown as whoever you Greater Serenity'd scrambles to reassemble their defensive strategy despite equipment failure and depleted mote pools. http://keychain.patternspider.net/archive/koc0048.html

>The capstone of being able to ply her craft on beings that she'd otherwise be unable to perfect is the tempting part though.
There are other ways, mostly Sidereal charms and powerful starmetal artifacts. That's just the most reliable and far-reaching.

> Maybe some crazy bottomless artifact.
An Infinite Resplendence Amulet incorporating starmetal (the magical material which Sidereal Exalts favor) includes hammerspace pockets with a total capacity of two thousand pounds, in addition to the basic power of transforming into any sort of clothing at will. Combined with Sidereal Astrology, that would make switching disguises in combat time remarkably easy, even without Loom-Snarling Deception (which the Ebon Dragon makes available to all akuma). Salt is worth more than it's weight in silver in some places, though, so if you're going to have truly prodigious quantities routinely available, you should explain where all that money comes from.

Ronin sidereals, that is, those which were never formally recruited and trained by the Bureau of Destiny, get 7 dots in Backgrounds (plus any bought with bonus points). If you're going with that, and want the sort of lifestyle where you can eat meat every night or buy whatever basic adventuring equipment you need without the budget being an adventure in itself, put three of those dots into the Resources background. Easy enough to justify; with Craft (Air) 3 (Glassblowing +1) you've simply got a 'day job.' A further 2-dot Artifact background could make the workshop necessary for practicing that trade highly portable. Several different options for that, actually. You could get a mundane kiln, tools, and materials that add up to no more than 500 pounds and load it all on a Windslave Disk, more or less a pocket-sized forklift.
Could stick 'em in a Cache Egg, perfectly concealed in Elsewhere but less convenient to retrieve. Volume is the limiting factor there, rather than weight: a 1-dot cache egg is no more than a cubic foot, 2-dot up to a cubic yard, 3-dot is three cubic yards, 4-dot is ten. Can't buy four-dot or higher backgrounds without spending bonus points, though.
Could have the tools themselves be the artifact, meaning they're supernaturally durable and precise, while the kiln needs no fuel and can be easily disassembled into sections small enough to fit into the Infinite Resplendence Amulet's pockets - though in that case, for it to be fully portable, you'd need to buy the IRA as a separate 3-dot artifact, or higher if you want other MM features.
Could take a Chancel, a self-contained pocket of the Wyld. Little bit like Howl's Moving Castle, except doors are more concealed, can't be quite as far apart, the main one can be tucked in an ordinary pocket instead of being a freestanding fantastical vehicle, and the interior is hundreds or thousands of square miles of mutagenic madness. Just middlemarches intensity, though, shifting things around on a scale of weeks rather than hours. You could avoid mutating yourself (and select allies) with Sidereal Dodge or Integrity charms, and reverse mutations already in place with Sidereal Craft or Kimbery charms. In both cases the former option is more expensive and less reliable, but also far more broadly applicable.
Or you could go with something more like Thrice-Radiant Misho's slightly-bigger-on-the-inside wagon, cargo capacity comparable to a two-bedroom house but can't move without a draft animal or a separate 2-dot artifact engine. That could be a magitech perpetual motion machine which also functions as a heat source (not quite enough to melt glass by itself, but it'd definitely reduce fuel costs and startup time, and keep the wagon's interior pleasantly warm all winter long) or a helltech Omen Weather Engine, which exploits the interactions between Malfean and Gaian Essence to power a turbine with a never-ending stream of some specific type of unnatural precipitation, such as blood, or poisonous tropical frogs... or salt, which might justify some Resources all by itself, or simply provide the material you need without any outside supply chain.

If you're working for the Bureau of Destiny (or they still think you are), you start with 15 background dots, and can spend them on a Celestial Salary, with a single dot bringing the terrestrial purchasing power of Resources 3 - but that's an expense account, with an audit trail and official consequences for misuse, not just a heap of treasure you can do with as you will. It also corresponds to a full-time job debugging the Loom of Fate, with only four weeks of vacation per 60-week year. Could be a lot of this mirror stuff is part of the job, since the Maidens move in mysterious ways... but conspiring with demons definitely isn't. If the boss finds out you sold your soul, or even seriously suspects? Well, let's put it this way: the official story is that there has never been a Sidereal Akuma. Not once, in all of history. The inventors of certain reality-altering martial arts styles are very proud of their ability to maintain, or occasionally repair, that perfect record. It's not possible to actually go back and change the past in Exalted, but even lowly mortal bandits know how to make an inconvenient person almost completely disappear; the works of certain gods or heroes differ only in scope and thoroughness.

> Infernal Monster Style is heavily focused on ridiculous overwhelming brutality, ain't it?
Overall, yes. The first charm lets you respond to being injured by flying into a berserk rage, but activating it is entirely voluntary. The rest of that particular sequence is more about pursuit than brutality: Raging Behemoth Charge increases movement speed when moving toward an enemy, Bounding Beast Advance extends that benefit to jumping, Leaping Smash Technique lets you reflexively jump toward a target before attacking, Nowhere To Hide upgrades that by letting you jump toward anyone you've taken a swing at within the last hour, even if you otherwise have no idea where they are. You might faceplant into a wall (or crash through it, if you've got some other powers), but then you can be sure they're in that direction, on the other side of that wall. Blood Heralds Death develops that into longer-term tracking. There's another upgrade, Eternal Monstrous Hunt, which makes the tracking effect permanent, even (at Essence 6+) passing it on to children or siblings when the target dies. Harder to remove, too, though still not impossible.
Most of the brutal ultraviolence stuff starts with Infernal Monster Form, which is the actual incredible-hulk transformation. Might want that later on, and the sidereal-akuma-specific upgrade Fallen Star Fury for stepping in and out of Fate at will and tricky combo/stacking with other MA styles, but that's not a prerequisite for the nightmare duel trick.

You don't need to start with every charm you're ever going to have. I plan to stick with the training time rules fairly strictly (lots of ways to have adventuring or downtime activities count as training in addition to other useful results, but no way to get a month's worth of practice in less than 28 days without appropriate magic), and simply assume everyone has earned at least as many XP as their number of meaningful posts in this quest's thread(s).
>>
No. 866350 ID: d36af7

>>866338
>Can I pick and choose any charm from any charm set, provided I have the prerequisites (and they're essence 2)?
Yes.
>What's special about my primary and favored charm sets?
During character creation they're the same, but in play, learning un-favored charms requires slightly more XP and a lot more training time. Accordingly, it makes a certain sort of sense to grab up front whatever reasonably accessible tricks you want that are outside the character's main theme, then grow into the favored and caste yozi charmsets over the course of play. That's why I was recommending Hidden Predator Camouflage: when I think of a bat who's also a ninja, "hanging upside-down in a tree, unseen" seems like a key part of the implied skills, but Transcendent Desert Creature doesn't usually aid stealth when there are trees present. Unbothered By Flies could also have some fun synergy with Black Claw Style once you get an overdrive pool, particularly with the addition of an Unconquerable Silence Gemstone.

>Would the protection against tracking attempts also cover clues left behind while sneaking into places?
To some extent, yeah. It's more related to the always-on metabolic changes than the terrain attunement. No sweat means no skin oil, which usually means no fingerprints, assuming there's nothing else sticky all over your hands. Shadowlands always count as places of desolation, though, so raiding an Abyssal's fortress will usually provide the full TDC benefits.
>Adorjan's defense charms
I'm actually using modified/expanded versions of these, done by Eric Minton after the last round of official 2.5 errata.
Kalmanka's Grace Cost: 3m; Mins: Essence 2; Type: Reflexive (Step 2) Keywords: Combo-OK, Velocity Duration: Instant Prerequisite Charms: Wind-Born Stride Replace the text of this Charm with the following: The Infernal waltzes and pirouettes through sky-darkening tempests of arrows, untouched and seemingly oblivious to their passage. Kalmanka's Grace adds two to the Infernal's Dodge DV against an attack. Against ranged attacks made from outside the Infernal's engagement range, this bonus rises to her (Essence). These bonuses do not count towards the maximum DV limit. This Charm cannot be activated at speeds less than dashing at maximum rate. Successfully defending against a ranged attack with this Charm allows the warlock to reflexively move up to her full dashing speed towards the attacking character as a counterattack in Step 9. Firefly Arrowhead Grip Cost: – (+2m) Replace the text of the Charm with the following: When one is fast enough to sidestep arrows, catching them is easy as plucking insects from the air. The warlock can pay an additional two motes when activating Kalmanka's Grace to apply its bonus to both her Dodge and Parry DVs. Such activations allow her to parry lethal ranged attacks unarmed, and successfully doing so allows her to catch the projectile and reflexively ready it as a weapon. At Essence 4+, parried projectiles may be caught and “carried” in eddies of wind spinning around the Exalt. Such items may be knocked from their irregular orbit with a successful disarm attack and may be grabbed and wielded by the warlock as if they were stored on her person. More importantly, the warlock can reflexively hurl all captured projectiles into an enemy to enhance a close combat attack, with each item adding one die to the attack roll (up to the normal limits for Charm bonuses) and two to the attack’s raw damage. Projectiles exceeding this limit still fly at the target, but to no additional effect. Hurled missiles then drop to the ground, no longer held by Firefly Arrowhead Grip. Beauteous Carnage Incentive Replace the text of the Charm with the following: With experience of the world, Adorjan's appetite to share enlightenment only grows. This Charm grants the Infernal an additional 10-mote pool of Peripheral Essence. Whenever a scene of combat ends, the warlock may transfer any offensive motes in her Overdrive pool into the pool granted by Beauteous Carnage Incentive, converting them into regular motes. Fond Remembrance of Adrián The counterattack granted by this Charm ignores both soak and Hardness from armor. It has a minimum damage of 2. Wayward Wind Evasion Cost: 2m; Mins: Essence 2; Type: Reflexive (Step 7) Keywords: Combo-OK Duration: Instant Prerequisite Charms: Wind-Born Stride A reflex of Essence sends the warlock recoiling from an attack even before it hits, turning deadly threats into glancing blows. An attack opposed by Wayward Wind Evasion has its post-soak damage reduced by one die for each purchase of Wind-Born Stride the Infernal possesses, to a minimum of zero dice. Attacks that have already been reduced to their minimum damage by the warlock's soak instead lose only a single die of post-soak damage. Blood-Stained Sky Assault Cost: 4m; Mins: Essence 2; Type: Reflexive (Step 1) Keywords: Combo-OK Duration: One tick Prerequisite Charms: Joy in Violence Approach No one kills faster than the Silent Wind. All attacks the warlock makes on this tick add a single die of post-soak damage. Against mortals and animals, this is converted into an automatic level of damage in Step 10. With Essence 3+, the warlock can pay an additional three motes to convert the bonus damage of this Charm to automatic levels against Essence users as well as mortals. Heart-Seeking Wind Caress Cost: 1m; Mins: Essence 2; Type: Supplemental Keywords: None Duration: Instant Prerequisite Charms: Tragic Love Amusement Nothing can keep the Silent Wind from the objects of her affection. As the warlock strikes, her blades dissolves into a blur of motion, slipping through armor to strike the heart. An attack supplemented by this Charm subtracts the Infernal's (Compassion) from any soak or Hardness from armor that is applied against it. If the Infernal channels her Compassion to enhance the attack, she instead halves soak from armor if that would afford a higher reduction.

>>866339
You can spend bonus points on mutations, and even get more BP by taking disadvantageous mutations. The example chiropteran beastman package from CoCD: Wyld is Claws, Enhanced
Hearing, Fur, and Night Vision for 1 point each, Ugly for -1, and Wings for 6 points. Vampire bats get another -2 for dietary restriction (blood of mammals and birds). Enhanced Hearing isn't quite as powerful as Hateful Wreched Noise, but lacks the downside. Not everything is charms.

That being said, if you want to have a whole library of temporary mutations to show off, for that stylish "one-winged angel" power-up effect, the charm you're looking for is By Rage Recast, from the Ink Monkeys. Builds off of Malfeas's By Pain Reforged, upgrades further to Devil-Tyrant Avatar Shintai - or that heretical charm I already mentioned, Fourth Soul Externalization, which creates a separate mutation library based on your Unwoven Coadjutor - which could just as easily be a bat-like demon rather than a sesselja.
>>
No. 866358 ID: af6e04

>>866350
>in play, learning un-favored charms requires slightly more XP and a lot more training time
Ahh, okay. Switching focus here then. Here's what I'm favoring now: Cecelyne excellency, the first two Black Claw Style charms, Sprawling Marsh Indulgence + Hidden Predator Camoflauge, Cracked Cell Circumvention, Wind-Born Stride, Witness to Darkness + Nemesis Self Imagined Anew.

Actually, I might change the favored charm set to Metagaos if I can. It has some cool charms, though in that case I might switch Sprawling Marsh Indulgence + Hidden Predator Camoflauge with Unbothered By Flies and its prerequisite.

>Enhanced Hearing, Fur, and Night Vision for 1 point each, Ugly for -1, and Wings for 6 points. Vampire bats get another -2 for dietary restriction (blood of mammals and birds)
Do I have enough for all that? Night Vision seems redundant with Witness to Darkness.
>>
No. 866361 ID: af6e04

>mutation-themed charms
Tempting, but I've already got a character in a different campaign who's heavily based on mutations, and I think I'd like to spend the slots on something else.

Also, the way I conceived it is the wings actually being built in to the arms instead of separate limbs. I thought it was an important distinction to mention.
>>
No. 866398 ID: d36af7

>>866358
>Do I have enough for all that?
Sure. Solaroids get 18 bonus points, plus up to ten more from disadvantages - I tweaked a lot of stuff from Scroll of Heroes with houserules, and to discourage self-destructive munchkinry I'd prefer to dole that info out in response to specific requests rather than present a whole list to be combed over for exploits - and you only spent one of those so far on Virtues & WP.
>Night Vision seems redundant with Witness to Darkness.
No need to stick with that package exactly, particularly if it's at least partly from the Chrysalis Grotesque rather than an established chiropteran beastman lineage. Could drop darkvision entirely, or swap it for Enhanced Sense (Vision) which will stack with WtD.
Maybe represent the vision thing as multiple eyes, throw in a prehensile tongue for 1 or 2 more points, and be Kyreli https://tgchan.org/wiki/Forsaken or someone of the same species? Kyreli's relatively poor maneuverability could be represented by the 4-point Glider mutation rather than full 6-point Wings. The whole setting there fits reasonably well: some First Age province abandoned by it's creators, perhaps in the Usurpation, or later on in the Shogunate when (former) slaves initiated themselves into sorcery and damaged the reality engines protecting some key trade route. Now it's an isolated island of stability, surrounded on all sides by the Wyld. Blind Librarian could be a Lesser Elemental Dragon.
A man walks down the street
He says why am I short of attention
Got a short little span of attention
And wo my nights are so long
Where's my wife and family
What if I die here
Who'll be my role-model
Now that my role-model is
Gone Gone
He ducked back down the alley
With some roly-poly little bat-faced girl

Four eyes and an unusually dextrous mouth might also be consistent with a chiroperan beastman who gained mutations from a roughly arachnoid coadjutor, such as a sesselja or anhules.
>>866361
>Also, the way I conceived it is the wings actually being built in to the arms instead of separate limbs. I thought it was an important distinction to mention.
Difficulties with belt-based clothing and lack of single-purpose hands could easily be worth another two or three BP as negative mutations. Can't wear conventional armor, or wield weapons the normal way while using your best movement. Might have relatively fragile bones, too.
>>
No. 866426 ID: 3abd97

>>866341
>please feel free to suggest ideas for other characters. A character's player can veto, at least during character creation
An idea for Astius' player to consider: go hideously shriveled Abyssal, but have her act like / be unable to recognize that she's not a creature of unnatural flawless beauty.

>Serenity Really? [...] which I didn't mention for some reason
>Chosen of Serenity: Who oversee life, and matters related to joy and pleasure.
Well yes you sold it as enhancing Performance which I was rating as a useful secondary power but hardly core to the concept. That other stuff you brought up and that line from an exalted wiki does make it sound more consistent with her core motivations than the others. Journey might also work, but all that mirror travel stuff is the means, and not the end.

>Infinite Resplendence Amulet
That sounds cool and like a very good fit.

>you should explain where all that money comes from
The day job sounds good, and making resources portable makes sense as I was thinking she was kinda nomadic.

Possible other sources of incomes: mirror walking and retconning away evidence you (or the goods) were ever there would make robbing secure locations pretty easy. Remaking lives must leave behind broken and discarded pieces, some of which would be valuable to scoop up. The entourage probably contributes to the cause to some degree. Plus social-fu is a great way to get resources sometimes.

>Chancel, a self-contained pocket of the Wyld. Little bit like Howl's Moving Castle
>the interior is hundreds or thousands of square miles of mutagenic madness. Just middlemarches intensity
Oooh, oooh, that kind of personal realm is a really good fit for some of the Fallen London inspiration. There's even mirror-marches. http://thefifthcity.wikia.com/wiki/Parabola (Lore Spoiler warning, since FL is largely a game of exploration and discovery).

Can you put structures in there? A personal memory-palace / workshop inside a twisting impossible landscape of dreams and nightmares would be fantastic.

>the official story is that there has never been a Sidereal Akuma. Not once, in all of history
Well of course not there's never been a sidereal exalted so how could any go akuma. :v

>Bureau of Destiny, Ronin and/or Akuma
The idea that a madgirl going around following her whims actually serving the priorities of Fate is amusing, and a vast conspiracy tolerating an arguable monster they can point in a useful direction does fit some of the themes.

That said it sorta looks like she couldn't really do everything I'd like her to be able to do without yozi charms. Plus her central quest seems very thematically consistent with the yozi- taking a positive and making it something that's doubled edged, both wonderful and terrible.

I'm not really seeing her as being good for maintaining an extensive long-term undercover con against the Bureau, so ronin akuma is probably the way to go. (I imagine they'd want her dead and covered up anyways, but I think pretty much near every variety of exalt has people gunning for them).

>Infernal Monster Style
Hmmm. Pursuit might be more in-theme, crashing through walls face first less so. I guess it comes down to how many points I have left to throw around once we're done sketching other things out.
>>
No. 866495 ID: af6e04

>Kyreli
Haven't read Forsaken but the design looks cool. Though I feel like the huge ears and the weird nose are requirements for a batgirl.

>Can't wear conventional armor, or wield weapons the normal way while using your best movement. Might have relatively fragile bones, too.
Indeed, should be fun weaknesses to work around.

All those mutations sound fine to me. So with that and the charms chosen, is there anything else I need to decide on to finally wrap up the character generation?
>>
No. 866502 ID: 3abd97

>>866495
Foresaken's not a long read, but it's got some nifty re-interpretations of classic races, and great atmosphere. I'd recommend it.
>>
No. 866553 ID: d36af7

>>866426
>Can you put structures in there?
Absolutely. The 2-dot model provides six waypoints, 3-dot provides ten, arranged and linked up however you'd like. Average waypoint is thirty miles wide, but they can be as small as a single room, or almost arbitrarily large so long as it's still a conceptually cohesive location. For best results, though, you'd want to have a raksha noble living in there full time, keeping things relatively stable and consistent for you. If you're Howl, that'd be Calcifer. Note also that raksha and primordials have been enemies since before Exaltation was invented, so you'd still be 'playing both sides' in some sort of supernatural cold-war intrigue.
>>866495
>anything else I need to decide on to finally wrap up the character generation?
Conversion scale I worked out for attributes is that a 2 in Exalted is equivalent to a 10 in D&D or GURPS, and then a one-point difference in the former is a 3-point in the latter. so an Exalted attribute at 5 is the equivalent of a D&D ability score at 18 or 20. For Malice I'm thinking Strength 1, Dex 5, Stamina 3, Charisma 1, Manipulation 5, Appearance 0 (which could be a significant impairment to some later Black Claw Style techniques), Intelligence 1, Wits 5, Perception 5. Does that sound about right?
For skills, you've got 25 points to throw around freely, and XP-optimization math suggests you should be mostly carving out a character niche by buying at least two or three straight up to 5 dots. Caste abilities (Athletics, Awareness, Dodge, Larceny, and Stealth for a Scourge) and five Favored abilities - which should probably include Martial Arts and Occult - can be bought up later with reduced XP cost and zero training time. Favored abilities have to start with at least one dot. Torn Lotus Defense implies at least Martial Arts 3, and two more among Larceny, Socialize, and Performance. Caste abilities can start at zero, but you'll definitely want Awareness, if only to make best use of Open Palm Caress, and the others seem very consistent with the concept as well. Additional dots in caste or favored abilities are one BP each, all others are two. Four free specialties (no more than three in a particular skill). Thaumaturgy is technically a type of Occult specialty, but you can buy any number of different Arts (Alchemy, Astrology, the Art of the Dead aka charcoal-circle necromancy, Demonology & Elemental Vitriol, Elemental Earth, Elemental Fire, Elemental Wood, Enchantment, Exorcism & Warding, Geomancy aka marble-circle sorcery, God-Bothering, Husbandry, Weather-Working & Elemental Air, conceivably others) with up to three degrees in each at four bonus points per degree, or any three specific Procedures for one bonus point. Thaumaturgy doesn't usually have the raw power of charms, but it's cheap and versatile, and can be impressive with the right setup.

There's also Backgrounds - we were already talking about Contacts? As a GSP you could take more focused professional Spies, in addition or instead. Specify who your main contacts are or where spies are stationed, one per dot. You get one free dot each in Backing (a specific Yozi), Cult, and Influence (demons loyal to your Yozi patron), plus seven more to increase those further, or buy Allies, Artifacts, Contacts. Demonic Minions (each instance is a separate first-circle demon who'll obey you without being bound; a 3-dot minion can leave the demon realm and appear in your presence with a simple prayer roll, no magical summoning needed), Familiars (houseruled to be somewhat more powerful, almost in line with equivalent-rating Artifacts), Followers, Manses (also covers uncapped demesnes), a Mentor, Past Life Memories, Resources, knowledge of Superscience (very helpful for operating, maintaining or repairing First Age artifacts, or faithful reproductions thereof, not so much for designing new stuff from scratch), and relationship with your Unwoven Coadjutor. Extra backgrounds can be bought very cheaply with bonus points, but Cult can't normally be bought above 2 at character creation; if you want the benefits of a 3-dot cult, either buy a 2-dot and magnify the output through a temple-manse and/or Vestment of Holy Vigilance, or explain how you're keeping the equivalent population of a small city hidden from witch-hunters, safe from hostile environments or natural disasters, supplied with the necessities of life, and maintaining their relentless, reverent loyalty.

You also need to pick an Urge, which is like a second Quest but imposed by a specific Yozi. Not necessarily the same one as your Caste or Favored. Which specific yozi it's from determines what happens when your Limit overflows.

Finally, that list of intimacies. Minimum two are accounted for by sifu and yozi patron, but laying out up to five more would help a lot with characterization.

And, of course, compiling all the info into a single post for final review and ease of future reference.
>>
No. 866602 ID: d36af7

>>866426
>>Infinite Resplendence Amulet sounds cool and like a very good fit.
Going with the base 3-dot model, the 4-dot with one additional magical material, or the 5-dot with all of them, possibly omitting soulsteel?

Orichalcum adds +4 Appearance, and a stealth-defeating glow. Can be switched off.
Moonsilver provides low-profile armor, camouflage, and a disguise bonus.
Jade provides the hands-free equivalent of a heliograph tower and set of signal flags, mostly useful for comms and morale when leading a military unit, and can incidentally be used as a controlled, highly directional light source.
Soulsteel means that the amulet's attuned wearer is treated as being in a shadowland, without regard for (or significant impact on) the actual geomantic situation. This is seldom useful for Creation-based exalts, since it reduces the rate at which they recover motes, but could be a great asset for someone on a long visit to some realm where they wouldn't normally be able to respire ambient essence at all, or anybody with the Transcendent Desert Creature mutation.
> how many points I have left
As a ronin sidereal akuma? Let's see, 9+8+6+4= 27 attribute dots which can be cashed in for 4 BP each,
10 dots among caste skills and four (not five!) favored skills, another 15 free-choice worth two each, and four specialties, so those could be cashed in for a total of 44 BP,
Colleges of Sidereal Astrology cost the same as skills, with five by caste and one favored, but as a ronin you don't get any free training,
Five caste/favored charm slots (worth 5 each) and three more free-choice (worth 7), so 46 BP there,
Seven dots in backgrounds, minimum WP 5 and Virtues totaling 9, all worth one each, so 21 BP up for grabs there,
Normally you'd have 18 BP to start with. Investiture as an akuma provides another 30, and the ability to take quite a few negative mutations, derangements, and other assorted disadvantages, if you're so inclined.

In total, you have 267 soul-motes available, but that figure is a bit deceptively high. You'll want to start by spending at least 4 on Stamina 1, for the ability to survive outside of a very advanced hospital's intensive-care ward, 10 more on raising your Essence to 3, and similar bare necessities. Attributes and abilities can be bought up to 6 instead of the normal human limit of 5, or to 7 if you first spend 30 more BP on Essence 6.

If you want to eventually have access to Onyx/Labryinth Circle Necromancy, which has some really amazing mirror-related tricks, you'll want the Mantle of Soot. It's a 6-dot artifact, and thus not normally for sale at all, but I'll give it to you for 9 BP. Iron/Shadowland Circle Necromancy requires Essence 3 and 3 dots in Occult, and counts as an Occult charm, so a total of 13 BP if Occult isn't Favored or 8 if it is. Could buy known spells with BP, but it might be a better deal to spend a point or three on a copy of The Black Treatise, or a dreamscape tutor gem, or a manse including an appropriately morbid library. Any of those could include several spells which you could then learn in a week each, a particular 3-dot Vitriol-aspect hearthstone could reduce that to a single day per spell, and it's a favorable XP-to-BP ratio. Of course, anything you want to use in the immediate conflict would need to be bought properly up front.
>>
No. 866747 ID: 3abd97

>>866553
>For best results, though, you'd want to have a raksha noble living in there full time
The Fae that are living stories slash worlds slash spaceships? Okay sounds fun. How much worse is it if I don't have one?

>>866602
>Infinite Resplendence Amulet
Probably the 4-dot, maybe 5? Moonsilver or maybe Orichalcum seems the best fit (are the bonus and glow on the same switch or separate?), though I might go for the 3-combo.

Since this is supposed to be a general use tool and most of the people she'd want to help are probably in Creation, probably best not to take soulsteel. Picking up something to help regain essence in an alien realm seems like a preparation to take at a later date when planning that kind of extended trip.

>the ability to take quite a few negative mutations, derangements, and other assorted disadvantages
Any interesting ones that would seem pertinent? Not looking for maximum minmax so much as I'm open to in-theme or interesting character weirdness.

>necromancy stuff
Google tells me the Mantle of Soot gives me a significant artificial boost to essence and sorcery for necromancy? I'm fine with grabbing a study item (dreamscape tutor gem sounds pretty in-theme) + hearthstone to pick up most the actual spells later. Maybe one or two workhouse spells now since otherwise the specialized artifact and/or caster stats aren't doing anything?

>all that number stuff
Kiiiinda overwhelming there. Not really sure what I'm supposed to be making decisions on. Does favored skills mean I should pick 4 of the things from >>865823 ?
>>
No. 866859 ID: d36af7

>>866747
>The Fae that are living stories slash worlds slash spaceships?
Continuously writing bad fanfic about themselves is the basis of their metabolism. Eating souls isn't strictly necessary, but in some cases does provide them a significant power boost, even apart from recreational value.
>Okay sounds fun. How much worse is it if I don't have one?
Strictly speaking what you need is a freehold, which actually implies at least two, one of them embedded in the landscape and sessile/nonvolitional, the other ruling the place and keeping the bonefire fed. Without that stabilizing force, anything and everything left inside the chancel without Shaping defenses (which are expensive) is subject to random mutation on a weekly basis, plus 'wandering monster' trouble due to spontaneous generation.
>Infinite Resplendence Amulet
>orichalcum
>(are the bonus and glow on the same switch or separate?)
Same switch, all or nothing. Transcendent loveliness and unwanted attention are two sides of the same coin. If you're going for the 4-dot, Moonsilver seems like the obvious mirror-theme fit, since it can provide that Terminator 2 liquid-metal face-morph effect.

Incidentally, all Infinite Resplendence Amulets incorporate Adamant, the sixth magical material with no known corresponding exalt type (apart from the type of Alchemicals whose anima power is a more thorough memory-wipe than Sidereals get). That MM bonus is part of the amulet's baseline abilities of transformative clothing, sanitation, and minor environmental protection.
>Since this is supposed to be a general use tool and most of the people she'd want to help are probably in Creation, probably best not to take soulsteel. Picking up something to help regain essence in an alien realm seems like a preparation to take at a later date when planning that kind of extended trip.
If you want to hide from Sidereals and Yozis at the same time, and you're in a hurry, the Labyrinth beneath the realm of the dead is one of the few plausible options. Easy to enter, difficult to leave, no living Essence to respire while inside (except during Calibration). If you're in a living world and need to recharge fast, there's always the option of simply taking the amulet off, or even leaving it behind for eventual retrieval via Craft charms.
>the ability to take quite a few negative mutations, derangements, and other assorted disadvantages
>Any interesting ones that would seem pertinent? Not looking for maximum minmax so much as I'm open to in-theme or interesting character weirdness.
I'll compile a list, and try to find a good fan-made Szoreny charmset while I'm at it.
>necromancy stuff
>Google tells me the Mantle of Soot gives me a significant artificial boost to essence and sorcery for necromancy?
Yep.
>I'm fine with grabbing a study item (dreamscape tutor gem sounds pretty in-theme) + hearthstone to pick up most the actual spells later.
Could have both in one: a 3-dot Vitriol-aspect or maybe Kimbery-aspect manse which produces a Stone of Acrid Understanding and has the Archive and Sympathetic Dream Link powers could provide status updates and training while you sleep. With some other powers, it might only be physically accessible through an esoteric and counterintuitive procedure such as "continuing to travel for five days after the point where you know for certain you've lost the way and should turn back," which would keep unwanted visitors to a minimum. Possibly supplemented by more conventional traps, defensive turrets, etc., though for best results on that you'd probably want to bump it up to 4- or 5-dot.
>Maybe one or two workhouse spells now
Summon Ghost, Banish Ghost, and Countermagic hardly need to be explained.
Blood Mirror Speech lets you send somebody a text message by flinging some of your blood at a mirror. Notably superior to the equivalent sorcery spell, Written Upon The Water, in that it doesn't require you to take the time to write the message out manually, persists until the message has been understood rather than vanishing half-finished if the recipient is distracted, and allows them to send a reply, unless they don't have blood. Corresponding downsides are that it costs a health level of lethal damage to cast, and requires an actual mirror at both ends rather than any body of liquid being sufficient.
Bone Puppet Dance provides the skeletal equivalent of bloodbending, letting you pull the 'stop hitting yourself' gag on somebody at range.
Death Flies Two Sails lets you conjure a boat. Moves under it's own power at 30 mph (which is very fast by pre-industrial standards), carries yourself plus three passengers or 600 lb, and reduces random-encounter risks on Underworld seas. True sunlight melts it in about a minute, so it's only consistently useful in the living world underground or at night.
Door of the Dead turns any reflective surface into a temporary portal from Creation to the Underworld or vice-versa.
Easing the Forsaken Memory lets you arbitrarily edit 'haunting' effects (cold spots, spooky noises, illusory blood on the walls, etc.) out to a range of tens of miles. Can be used as remote, persistent social influence to inspire particular emotions, create fake clues to a murder or buried treasure, etc.
Hungry Creeping Shadow creates an assassin-blob that attempts to hug and drown it's designated target. Immune to everything but magic and fire.
Master Puppeteer's Knife de-animates necrotech war machines one at a time, or a whole bunch of regular zombies.
Piercing The Shroud is that quick Labryinth access spell I mentioned. Only works at night, though.
Shade Prison Amulet prepares a piece of bone to trap the next loose po soul (or in Jukashi's terminology, "zomby goast") which touches it, to be released when the bone is broken. With appropriate craftsmanship producing bone projectiles that reliably break on impact, this could be used to transport and deploy expendable skirmishers. Sidereal Archery charms would reduce the need for crafting and enable shooting around corners.
Shattering Void Mirror is an attack, dealing damage proportional to the target's current HP. Ignores armor and drains some motes, too.
Smoothing the Crease-Worn Mind provides temporary respite from the maddening whispers of the Neverborn - and denies their guidance to those who would willingly serve them.
Stones Worn Smooth crunches up a ghost into a hearthstone to power artifacts or recover essence. Only lasts a few weeks, then they pop back or pass on as if incapacitated by mundane violence.

Might as well discuss sorcery, too. As an akuma you can access up to the highest circle, but only through your patron yozi's themes, and you need to take the First (Yozi) Excellency as a prereq, which costs a number of charm slots equal to your Essence.
Most notable spell, only available to yozi initiations, is Slave-Spawn Summons. Works much like regular demon-summoning sorcery, but in seconds rather than hours. Still only one opening per day... while inside Creation. If you've got a manse that's Outside Fate, or some other loophole, you could toss out new demonic minions in combat time (though you'd want a bodyguard or some other way to avoid actual melee, since it does still require delicate concentration). Summoning the Lesser Minions of the Eyeless Face isn't as powerful, but rubbery featureless humanoids drawn forth from a pool of scented oil might fit the aesthetic better, and there's a higher-circle spell which lets you use them as body doubles. After that, priority is probably defensive effects:
Burning Eyes of the Offender makes you glow too bright to look at. Kimbery's sorcerous initiation can't be used to cast it, nor any other spell based on fire or burning energies.
Curtain of Quartz creates orbiting rocks that are very sparkly and distracting to anyone nearby (but not you personally) and can absorb incoming energy weapons.
Fugue of Truth breaks through illusions, magical or otherwise.
Impervious Sphere of Water transmutes a 10' radius around your heart from air to magically breathable water, or from water to air. Held in place by a magical shell of force as long as you concentrate, during which the only other voluntary action you can take is using anima powers.
Invulnerable Skin of Bronze... do I really need to spell this out? Think of the 'metal' powerup from Mario 64.
Personal Tempest slows your movement by half, but deflects incoming attacks as if you were peeking out of a stone bunker.
Sleep of Stony Safety gives you and a few allies an actual stone bunker for the night. Well, more of a vampire-style 'sink into the earth' deal. No vulnerable viewports, and inconvenient biological processes are paused. Raising the Earth's Bones is the one for permanent construction, though that's drifting out of your core themes.
Shadowy Simulacrums of Smoke creates a cloud of fog of muddled sounds and transient illusory decoys. Caster can see and hear through it normally, and it stays behind if you leave.
Paralyzing Contradiction lets you stun-lock everybody with Intelligence 2+ who can see or hear you, until they either puzzle their way out of a koan (with an extended Lore roll) or suffer a physical attack.
Private Plaza of Downcast Eyes is the basic anti-scrying ward.
Virtuous Guardian of Flame would be totally incompatible with Kimbery-style sorcery, but you might be able to invent a variant based on some other material.
Coin of Distant Vision creates a scrying sensor. Slip it into somebody's pocket and you can observe with all senses (except touch) as if you were following them. If the coin gets stuck in a sealed container, you can only see the inside of the container and sense approximate range and distance.
Disguise of the New Face takes ten minutes to weave an illusion. Notably inferior to Loom-Snarling Deception except that it can also be applied to a willing or immobilized subject, and while remaining outside Fate.
Incantation of Effective Restoration repairs objects. Less useful on magitech, but it can reduce maintenance time by half.
Open the Spirit Door lets you gatecrash a god's immaterial sanctum. If you've got demons which serve you willingly rather than being bound by sorcery, they could set up their own sanctums, into which this spell would then let you enter unannounced, perhaps to raid the fridge or sleep on the couch.
The Parting of the Seas is that classic Moses trick. Be careful not to fall asleep or otherwise get distracted while midway across an ocean.
River of Blood is that other classic Moses trick. Very bad for the environment.
The Spy Who Walks in Darkness can only be cast on the night of the full moon, and only lasts a number of days equal to your intelligence + occult total.
Droning Suggestion, unlike almost all other spells, can be cast without visibly flaring your anima.
Theft of Memory isn't quite as subtle but can be concealed with sleight-of-hand. The stolen memory is stored in a gemstone, sold separately.
The Violent Opening of Closed Portals breaks down doors or bores holes in walls, unless they're magically reinforced.
Water From Stone might be useful if you want to use puddle-dependent powers in an arid environment.
Assassin's Fatal Touch lets you command the loyalty of weasels. Wait, no, that's Commanding The Beasts (which also works on non-mustelids). Now what was...? Oh, right, deadly single-target poison. Needs fifteen minutes of setup and something the target touched no more than an hour earlier.
Corrupted Words stops someone from communicating about a particular subject. Try to push through it? Vomit unlimited maggots.
The Eye And The Mouth translates writing.
Eye of Alliance creates an empathic comm network.
Flight of Separation lets you shatter into a flock of birds, fly around at 20 mph, and then reassemble up to a few miles away.
Floral Ferry is comparable to Death Flies Two Sails, in that it creates a small self-propelled boat, but has greater capacity (ten passengers or 2000 pounds), at the expense of defense systems. No issue with sunlight, but the autopilot is locked in to a destination set at casting, and it crumbles to nothing ten minutes after arrival, instead of being steered freely. Doesn't require any committed motes, or leave a trail of blood and bile, though. In fact, with Kimbery's initiation, all water- or poison-related spells are much cheaper.
Keel Cleaves the Clouds lets you trick a watercraft into traveling through air. Can be disrupted by mundane action, and air spirits don't like it, but landing is always gentle.
Malediction of the Distorted Compass destroys someone's sense of direction until the next sunrise. They might get lost on the way from their own bedroom to the adjacent bathroom.
Mists of Eventide is a knockout-gas grenade, The resulting 25 hours of unconsciousness are not restful, and involve no dreams.
Shadow Summons lets you steal somebody's shadow via arcane link, and then either send it back with a verbal warning (up to about 15 minutes, unless you can delay sunrise somehow) or burn it to cause them terrible pain for the next week. Takes a full month to grow back. Again, burning is incompatible with Kimbery's style.
Spoke the Wooden Face lets you see and speak through a face you previously carved into a living tree. Easy enough to reskin into something glass-based.
Viridian Mantle of Underwater Journeys transforms seaweed into magical SCUBA gear. Potentially inferior/redundant with Kimbery charms, though it has the advantage of not needing committed motes. Main benefit, ability to breathe water, is also available as a 1-dot artifact called a Gill Cloak, which even mortals can use with some thaumaturgical support.
>since otherwise the specialized artifact and/or caster stats aren't doing anything?
I'm adapting some rules from 3e, allowing sorcerers (or necromancers) to create quirky persistent non-artifact magical effects even without actual spells known. Requires at least a few days of ritual setup, potentially weeks or years, and appropriate lab space and resources, but then provides solid mechanical justification for the accumulation of weird stuff like Strela Leonial's Bottle of Infinite Ravenous Worms, alarming fragility and all.
>all that number stuff
>Kiiiinda overwhelming there. Not really sure what I'm supposed to be making decisions on. Does favored skills mean I should pick 4 of the things from >>865823 ?
There's 25 skills, except for Craft which counts as one for 'favored' purposes but has twelve elemental variants (Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Wood cover mundane stuff, Vitriol for helltech, Lightning for magitech, Crystal for fate and gossamer, Oil for necrotech, Metal for unattuned magical materials, Smoke for modding spirits, Steam for biotech) which each have to be bought separately. Each of them, again counting Craft as one, has an associated astrological college. Sidereal Astrology is this whole other can of worms; start by learning at least one dot in a college, pray to the Pattern Spiders, and I'll explain the rest as it comes up. Here's the whole list:
Journeys: Resistance (the Mast), Ride (the Messenger), Sail (the Captain), Survival (the Ship's Wheel), Thrown (the Gull)
Serenity: Craft (the Peacock), Dodge (the Ewer), Linguistics (the Pillar), Performance (the Musician), Socialize (the Lovers)
Battles: Archery (the Quiver), Athletics (the Banner), Melee (the Spear), Presence (the Gauntlet), War (the Shield)
Secrets: Investigation (the Key), Larceny (the Guardians), Lore (the Treasure Trove), Occult (the Sorcerer), Stealth (the Mask)
Endings: Awareness (the Crow), Bureaucracy (the Haywain), Integrity (the Rising Smoke), Martial Arts (the Sword), Medicine (the Corpse)

Five skills and colleges set by caste, four other skills and one college by personal favor, are cheaper. How many points go into different skills may be dictated largely by which Sidereal charms you want, or that at least sets minimums, but caste/favored determines how expensive those skill and charms are, and how much time and XP it'll cost to learn more later.
>>
No. 866915 ID: af6e04

>[stats] Does that sound about right?
Looks good to me.

>skill stuff
You kinda lost me completely here. I don't have any of the exalted books, I'm just operating on what little scraps I can get from google searches. I have no idea how specialties work, what the requirements for my charms are, or really what any of these skills do. Likewise lost in the paragraph about contacts.

>You also need to pick an Urge, which is like a second Quest but imposed by a specific Yozi. Not necessarily the same one as your Caste or Favored. Which specific yozi it's from determines what happens when your Limit overflows.
I don't know what the Urges associated with each Yozi are.

>Finally, that list of intimacies. Minimum two are accounted for by sifu and yozi patron, but laying out up to five more would help a lot with characterization.
That I can handle, probably! Let me think about it for a bit. If I come back with any characters who are grossly unfitting for the setting then tell me.
>>
No. 867024 ID: 3abd97

Okay let's try to pin down some things in the pile of options.

Lute Silhouette Speculation in Comet's Reflection
-Ronin Sidereal Akuma
-Chosen of Serenity
-Starting Essence: at least 3
-Kimberly as Yozi patron
-Black Tide Style martial arts
-Craft (Air) 3 (Glassblowing +1) 'day job'
-Parabola-esk Chancel, day job workshop, raksha
-Infinite Resplendence Amulet, 4-Dot, Moonsilver
-Mantle of Soot
-Charms, Skill, Mutations TBD

I don't really know what numbers to assign to virtues (past my broad musing here >>865729 ) or attributes so I'll trust your judgement there (if she's trekking / swimming between places probably better stamina than your average caster / social specialist?).

One intimacy should probably go towards the relationship with the raksha(s).

>>866859
>Could have both in one: a 3-dot Vitriol-aspect [...] up to 4- or 5-dot.
Okay that sounds cool. Can I assume I don't have to specify in advance what spells I'm got queued for later learning in that library?
>If you've got a manse that's Outside Fate, or some other loophole
Can I cram it into the chancel? Or maybe that's putting too many eggs in one basket.

>all dem spells
What's the difference between the first block of spells and the second? The first are recommended practical things, or the second are akuma only, or higher circle?

Those sound interesting, I'll figure out which few I'd like to start with.

>create quirky persistent non-artifact magical effects even without actual spells known
That sounds like a fun side-thing to fool around with, especially when if I can arrange for them to show up with Craft coincidence delivery manipulation.

>25 skills + astrology
Which one of those craft variants applies to remaking people's hearts and minds?
>>
No. 867073 ID: 094652

Embri, the Huldra-Geisha-Ninja-Assassin.

And yes, we're going to ignore the fact that she's somehow in the Exalt universe despite plans to have her appear in the Blood Mire after her sister Ivori within the next ten years. For now. (I just want to play one of these fox nymphs with ninja powers already!)

Willpower: 7 (Dedicated but easily Distracted)
Compassion: 2 (Loves little sister and devoted to house and teammates. Shows no mercy to almost everyone else.)
Conviction: 4 (Dedicated to protecting her charges and completing the mission, in that order, by any means necessary... or she would if she wasn't distracted by all sorts of things)
Temperance: 4 (Years of training have honed her to a sword's point of near-slave obedience, but recent events have shaken her faith. Not to mention her masters are not here. At all.)
Valor: 1 (Half her life has been seducing targets and poisoning / murdering / ruining them and their families. The only versatility she's learned is how to improvise the exact means.)

Cares (To Embri, this means those she has sworn under her charge):
Ivori: Will protect her sister no matter what. Her sister isn't here, but those that resemble another Huldra might elicit some form of affection.
Oyabun: Will obey her master's kill orders, so long as they do not involve killing her charges. Seeing as how her Oyabun isn't on this PLANET, that's a minor issue, but illusion magic might be enough of a trigger to unleash her inner murder-ninja.
Oathbound: Embri will defend those who she has sworn a (usually temporary) contract with. The only ones who can break this contract are herself, her sister, and her Oyabun.
Other Ninja: Embri feels a sense of Kinship between other ninja and will attempt to learn new tricks from them... unless they are attacking her charges, at which point she'll try to obliterate them as quickly as possible.

Strengths and weaknesses:
Speed++, Strength-, Wisdom-, Clever+, Tough--, Pretty+++

Skills:
Seduction (Can seduce targets that are sexually attracted to females)
Stealth
Espionage
Pickpocket (Mostly reverse-pick-pocketing, like Skyrim poisoning)

Superpower Origins: From The Event that separated her from her sister. She woke up in this world with a wood-affinity superpower; she can now absorb or be absorbed by wood-based objects. If it's an object that has less mass than herself, she can 'consume' it and either regurgitate it later, back to its original form
(and if the level of impurities like ink or metal tips was minor, those get restored too) or use it as fuel for energy. She can absorb a limited number of patterns with a limited total weight limit. If the object has more mass than herself, she can 'infest' the object and meld with it, causing it to take on a lighter shade (based on her white fur) and slowly changing it according to her needs. However, the wood's enchantments might affect and overwhelm her, so this isn't an automatic walk-through-everything card.

Before all this, Embri's ultimate goal was to uplift her noble house into the annals of royalty. But now, the most pressing need in the back of her mind is to find her beloved sister Ivori. But to be honest, serving under a noble house and uplifting them to a dynasty of kings is her thing.

Embri's kept silent about herself and her abilities until now. But she's sick of waiting.
>>
No. 867732 ID: d36af7

>>866915
>I have no idea how specialties work, what the requirements for my charms are, or really what any of these skills do.
Yozi charms never have prerequisites other than Essence or other charms of the same Yozi. You might need other traits to use a charm effectively, but not to learn it. Martial Arts charms require the Martial Arts ability, of course; you should probably take that as favored, and you'll need to start with a rating of at least 3 to qualify for the entry-level Black Claw Style charms. Maybe go straight for 5.

More generally, it's best to think of skills (technically 'abilities' but that's too easy to confuse with 'attributes') in Exalted as more like broad character archetypes, almost equivalent to whole classes in a system like D&D. "Sail" covers everything from tying knots to predicting the weather, "Investigation" covers every 'detective' job from crime scene forensics to interviews, "Lore" is every field of academic study, "Thrown" ranges from needles and chakrams to massive beam-sling siege weapons.

One dot in a skill is the minimal basics. Might be talented, with a big dice pool thanks to good attributes or an Excellency or virtue channels or whatever, but you're going to be recognizably amateurish. One dot in Lore is enough to be literate, one dot in Occult is enough to learn basic thaumaturgical procedures (and know some of the very simplest without spending any points, such as how to summon ghosts in a graveyard by saying the right words and spilling some blood), one dot in Athletics is enough to swim or climb a tree without assistance, one dot in Ride is enough to direct a calm and well-trained horse outside combat, one dot in Craft (Earth) is enough to set up a peasant's ramshackle hut or, with supervision, contribute to a larger construction project by laying rows of bricks. Two or three dots is the trained/competent professional level. Someone who's going to contribute to the construction of an artifact needs at least 3 dots each in Lore, Occult, and the relevant Craft. Four dots is famous experts in the field: an elite soldier might have Melee 4, the master of a guild of cabinet-makers might have Craft (Wood) 4. Five dots, plus three specialties, is the peak of human capability. An Olympic gold medal winner might have Athletics 5 (Pole-Vaulting +3), supported by physical Attributes in the 3-5 range.

You want Malice to be an amazing burglar? Larceny skill covers general 'criminal' stuff, including disguises, picking locks, disarming traps, and fencing stolen goods. Recognizing the best loot might benefit from a few dots in Bureaucracy (which covers merchant stuff) and/or Lore, which might also be helpful for identifying the most vulnerable parts of a machine. Stealth is, I hope, self-explanatory. Dodge covers getting out the way of attacks and hazards, but also fancy footwork in general, and overlaps with Athletics for jumping. Awareness is mostly paired with Perception for noticing stuff, particularly as contested rolls against somebody else's Stealth, but it's also your 'initiative' stat in combat.

>Likewise lost in the paragraph about contacts.
If you want to have access to (and, OOC, possibly invent) inside information about the manse where the initial action takes place, such as where the treasure vaults and secret passages are, one dot in Spies is enough, but then that's all you'd get, and there would also be an agent inside (disguised as a chambermaid or something) who probably needs to be rescued from the explosion.

A Contact might be able to provide a layout of the non-secret areas, including where guards are visibly stationed, but no more than rumors about the deeper stuff. The advantage is that they'd also provide broader friend-of-a-friend social connections, and won't need extraction from a deep-cover op.
>>
No. 867771 ID: d36af7

>>867024
>I don't really know what numbers to assign to virtues (past my broad musing here >>865729 )

Genuine desire to help, deep focus on others' identity as people rather than value as assets, says higher Compassion than Conviction to me. Similarly, engaging in combat only indirectly and from a distance doesn't imply high Valor. If somebody shouted "What sorcery is this? Come out and face me properly, steel against steel, instead of cowering behind illusions!" ...would she take that seriously at all? If not, I'm thinking Compassion 5, Conviction 3, Temperance 2, Valor 2.
>It's all getting at the stuff hidden inside, the potential unrealized or suppressed or broken down, pulling it out into the open, and making it shine, bright and whole.
I could also see Temperance 4, though. There are some parallels with example characters like Mirror Flag or Meticulous Owl or the Green Lady, but with them, the idea seems to be a vast web of lies with nothing at all left in the center. Deep concern with honesty, getting the truth out where everybody can see it, means Temperance. If you want Lute Silhouette to be the one who stays mostly functional when the whole party's been dosed with hallucinogens and dumped in a disorienting kaleidioscopic oubliette, because that's basically Tuesday for her, Temperance is part of how you make that happen.

A lot of the 'unpredictable and dangerous' can come from behavioral modifications due to Yozi charms. For example, among the options for Intolerable Burning Truths:
• Mother Before Daughter: The Infernal can’t
knowingly betray beloved characters or ancestors
from whom she descends (i.e. parents, grandparents, etc.). Betrayal means a course of action or inaction that she believes will result in more harm than good.
When making rolls to navigate anywhere or track a beloved character, she adds bonus successes equal to the number of beloved characters she has.
• Trust Is Naïve: The Infernal refuses to believe anything bad about a beloved character. At best, she can be persuaded that such a character is a victim who has been duped into poor decisions by the wickedness of others. She requires only a single scene of action or persuasion to build a positive Intimacy toward anyone she has never reviled.
• Existence Is Agony: The Infernal can’t show
mercy. She may spare an enemy, but only with the
intent to prolong his suffering. If multiple courses of action seem to offer roughly equivalent benefit to herself, she must choose the path she believes will maximize harm to non-beloved characters along the way. Compassion 3+ no longer compels her to care about anyone except beloved characters, though she may magnanimously choose to care about strangers in hopes of making them beloved.

'Reviled' means anyone or anything you have an intimacy toward with a negative emotional context, 'Beloved' means anyone or anything you have a positive intimacy toward, and also includes loyal descendants and things you own, but only if they're not reviled.

>or attributes so I'll trust your judgement there (if she's trekking / swimming between places probably better stamina than your average caster / social specialist?).
Attributes are hard to train up in play, particularly at high levels, so if you're going akuma it makes sense to go for extremes in order to take full advantage of that. Beautiful and terrible as the morning and the night, fair as the sea and the snow on the mountain, stronger than the foundations of the earth, etc. Buying all nine attributes up from zero to 6 dots only costs 216 BP, so that's at least a plausible option. Maybe leave Strength at 1, since her job doesn't involve hard hitting or heavy lifting, and Charisma at 0, plus some unconscious use of Avoiding The Truth Technique like http://www.kiwiblitz.com/comic/page-287, so she's very clear and upfront about what she's trying to do, but nobody believes her until it's too late?

Another thing to think about is grafted artifacts. Neither canonical Kimbery charms nor the Sidereal charmsset have a good general-purpose 'workshop up your sleeve' charm. If you're putting a lot of focus on Craft, that could be a problem. There's a 3-dot artifact, Bracers of Universal Crafting, which is an all-purpose toolkit and gives a broad bonus to fine manipulation. An upgraded 4-dot version provides all that plus Doc Ock-style tentacles (made of force fields, so when not in use it's just a couple of flat panels on your back) complete with extended reach and an integrated AI to simplify multitasking.

Could have your whole spinal column and most of the associated nerves ripped out, replaced with starmetal wire, and overclocked for improved reflexes. That'd be a 5-dot artifact, providing another +6 dexterity for most purposes - equivalent to, in d20 system terms, something like +20 to dex-based rolls, and with base dexterity 6, barefoot land movement speed of 216 feet per six seconds with other combat actions, or 324 in an all-out sprint. Even faster with Perfected Boots or equivalent power armor, or when swimming with Mother Sea Mastery and maybe Acrid Slipstream Assist.

>What's the difference between the first block of spells and the second?
The former is first-circle necromancy, using the morbid Essence of the Underworld. The latter is first-circle sorcery, using living Essence. Development in completely different directions.
>>
No. 867790 ID: af6e04

>In order to speed this process up, build a more shared setting, and make sure everybody's paying attention, please feel free to suggest ideas for other characters. A character's player can veto, at least during character creation, in which case the proposal turns out to have been nothing more than unsubstantiated in-setting rumor.
Alright, now that I have some free time and mental energy.

>Any co-owners, allowed to draw power from the site and possibly control some of it's functions when they're visiting?
Astius has plenty of hopeful and lazy mortals living within her castle who act as worshipers, maintenance workers, and voluntary revenants (when they die) and have low level access. She's also on friendly terms with a giant wyrm whose huge body/tail can often be found weaving a long path through the doors, hallways, and vents of the palace.

>How much geomantic power is focused here, on a scale from one to five?
Five. Astius doesn't go halfway.

>Does it have a winch-and-bucket elevator for ground access, or a magical levitation platform, or a skyship dock?
Huge levitation platform capable of taking up an entire village worth of mortals at once. Also has four of those UFO style light beams that can lift people up. Two on port side, two on starboard.

>Can the entire structure descend safely to the ground?
Yes indeed, though it's a time-consuming process. Large landing platform extrudes from the bottom of the castle to absorb inertia and keep the whole thing level on uneven ground.

>What is the structure's overall shape? Is the interior a luxurious palace, or starkly unfurnished like a tomb? Rugged and battle-hardened, or delicate as spun glass?
Very tall, high center of gravity. Cluster of towers stretching up far into the sky. Interior is a luxurious palace. The structure is not battle-hardened, but it is hardy and fortified.

>Does it conceal itself from all outside detection within a cloak of illusions?
Astius doesn't seem like the secret world type, so I'd say it's right out there for everybody to see.

>Are there any notable traps, secret passages, libraries, workshops, climate-control systems?
What kind of lich doesn't have a library? The largest known mobile library, it's easy to get lost among the towering bookshelves. Palace is full of large stone vents that range from just big enough to walk upright, to big enough to fit five men laying down. They make for good shortcuts if you know where you're going but they tend to be labyrinthine. Secret vaults are generally only accessible through these vents. Astius probably has a workshop too, but I'm having trouble thinking up anything creative for that.

>Lightning cannons on turret mounts, skeleton warriors which reassemble themselves almost as fast as they can be smashed apart?
On the former, I would say forbidding crackling orbs that bathe the exterior in an otherworldly light. And a simple yes on the latter. Similar lightning sentries can be found in high-security areas of the interior.
>>
No. 867989 ID: d36af7

>>867790
>Five. Astius doesn't go halfway.
Base of ten geomantic power points, then. Could take a five-dot hearthstone, or trade that off for more manse powers.
>Interior is a luxurious palace. The structure is not battle-hardened, but it is hardy
No extra points from Habitability nor Fragility, then, though there might be one or two points from a Vulnerability.
>maintenance workers
How intensive are the maintenance requirements, on a scale from one to five, and what are they specifically? Could include anything from ordinary sweeping and polishing and adjustments to machinery, to regularly scheduled ritual sacrifices, to a 'load-bearing boss' who props the place up just by staying in residence and observing certain sacred vows.
> and fortified.
> forbidding crackling orbs that bathe the exterior in an otherworldly light.
The Fortress power costs 3 geomantic energy points, improves how much damage the manse can take before suffering power failure, and provides some short-range anti-siege defenses. Let's say the 'otherworldly light' is roughly equivalent, in practical terms, to boiling oil.
>descend safely to the ground?
>Yes indeed, though it's a time-consuming process.
Limited Mobility, a 2-point power. Being built on an airborne demesne which moves around is a separate 1-point power,
>The largest known mobile library
Could be a 2-point Archive power, covering five subjects. Each 'subject' could be one dot in a particular specialty for a particular skill, one degree in a particular thaumaturgical Art, or spells, or maybe other things. A single Adamant or Void circle spell takes up three slots, Sapphire or Labyrinth circle spells take up one slot each, Emerald or Shaowland circle spells are five per slot. Could take the Archive power multiple times for greater capacity... or you could spend four geomantic power points on broader Ability Enlightenment, providing comprehensive knowledge of any four entire skills.
>reaspawning skeletons
Probably a Bound Servant Force, costing three points, with rapid repair as another of those anti-siege powers from Fortress. Magnitude 5, with one purchase, meaning around five or six hundred chump-level zombies, or no more than two hundred if they're equivalent to heroic mortals.
>levitation platform
One point on Magical Conveniences provides that and more.
>UFO abduction beams
If these can be used to grab unwilling targets, though, that's something more like Integrated Essence Artillery, a 4-point power, which would also require either Ability Enlightenment w/ Archery, sapient (a 5-point power), or Central Control (a 2-point power) for targeting. If someone can operate the controls without being attuned to the manse, that's an additional 1-point power, Password Activations.

>Astius probably has a workshop too, but I'm having trouble thinking up anything creative for that.
Well-equipped but mundane workspaces for any five Crafts (say, Air, Fire, Water, Wood, and Oil, for all the mundane trades needed to support a palace plus necrotech construction, repair, and maintenance) would be a single 2-point power.
A flawless workshop for a single Craft is a 3-point power. Thousands of square feet of shop floor, vast selection of raw materials including some exotic ingredients from the far corners of the world. The kind of infrastructure major powers in the default setting pick fights over.
After that the next big step is automation. A fully automated production line for mundane goods is a 4-point power, plus another point for each additional Craft it can work with, and needs a Maintenance rating of at least 3.
A fully automated production line for solid-state magic items is a 5-point power, and needs a Maintenance rating of at least 4. Nobody in the default setting is widely known to have access to a working one, much less the knowledge of how to build new ones.

Outside of actual crafting, there's magical stuff. A Host-Binding Circle, as a 2-point power, would make it possible to alter the summoning and binding of a second circle demon so you instead end up with an army of that demon's first-circle progeny all bound to your will at once.
Assuming this is a Void-aspected manse, could take the Ebon Dragnet power for 3 points. Anyone slain-but-not-disintegrated while inside lingers for a scene, conscious but physically incapacitated. That's enough to deliver a drawn-out final speech (maybe 20 minutes or more), or, since they're not quite all the way dead, to receive medical care and possibly recover in full. If not, after dying properly, they automatically stick around as a visible ghost for at least one additional scene.
Could take the Rainbow Tabernacle power which provides a discount and power boost to sorcery spells cast on the premises, or Black Tabernacle which works the same for necromancy spells. Normally costs 4 points, but Void aspect reduces Black Tabernacle to 3, and Solar aspect would similarly reduce Rainbow Tabernacle to 3.

>good shortcuts if you know where you're going but they tend to be labyrinthine. Secret vaults are generally only accessible through these vents.
A 1-point power could provide several minor tricks, such as a labyrinthine layout that subtly steers the unfamiliar back toward the exit, or traps that are more inconvenient or humiliating than deadly. The sort of thing McGuyver might be challenged by. Self-resetting traps could count as one of those Magical Conveniences.
Dangerous traps, as a 2-point power, provides five effects that could kill mortals, or injure weak or unwary exalts. Basic nasty-dungeon stuff: keyholes that spray acid when probed with lockpicks, a sloped hallway which releases a cascade of oil from the top and jets of fire at the bottom, a room with spikes on the ceiling and a net of steel wires concealed in the cracks between cobblestones to lift you up into 'em. The sort of thing Indiana Jones might be challenged by.
For three points, a single "ultra-deadly" trap. Not necessarily lethal; it might simply strand victims in a pocket dimension. Regardless, it's ridiculously excessive force against mortals, meant to pose a serious threat even to well-prepared exalts. The sort of thing Superman might be challenged by.

Concealed doors that open and close silently, providing a Stealth bonus to anyone who knows how to make use of them, are a 2-point power.

A Veil of Shadows that conceals certain areas (alcoves, meeting rooms, vaults) from outside observation, including scrying, would be a 2-point power, but that just imposes a penalty. Perfect wards against all scrying and teleportation would be a 3-point power for a single room up to 25 yards across, or 4 to cover the entire manse, and in either case partial protection from normal senses is also included. Extending the anti-teleport ward beyond the manse's walls would cost a total of 8 points (5 for the wards, 3 for Zone of Influence), or 9 for a range of miles (4-point Extended Zone of Influence), but then other manse powers can also operate within that range. Skeleton warriors could be sent out on patrol, powers like Comfort Zone or Subtle Breath Of Sextes Jylis could make hostile environments safe or vice versa.

If you want more powers than you have the points for, the basic answer is to draw power from somewhere else. Two ways to do that: one, call on the Yozis or Neverborn to do it for you, by casting an Adamant or Void circle spell (respectively). Nigh-unlimted power, subject to the boss's whims.
Two, do it yourself, the hard way. Multiple manses. Each one has a 1-point Network Node power, allowing them to share information instantly, regardless of distance. 'Donor' manses spend points on the Geomantic Relay power, no more than their rating, which provides no local benefit. 'Recipient' manses spent one point on the Geomantic Nexus power, and then can draw on the network's pool of additional points provided by those relays.
>>
No. 868055 ID: 3abd97

>>867771
>valor
>If somebody shouted [...] Come out and face me properly [...] would she take that seriously at all?
Probably not. Unless of course this was someone she was helping and answering the call to an honest fight was a necessary step in guiding them towards their best self. (A certain kind of hero might need to believe that can work).

I was more thinking "unpredictable and dangerous" in that her priorities don't line up in a way that will make sense to an uniformed observer. Like for someone who's been traumatized or abused, helping them reach their best self might be therapy that frees them to live their live again. But if you're a nascent Bruce Wayne, she'll make sure your parents are killed in front of you. How else could you reach your Batman potential?

It's an alien mindset or prioritization problem. Helping people be their best selves is ranked more highly as a compassionate action than things like "safety" or "what they actually want". I figure a similar problem contributes to "facing down death and terror with a smile", she's not ranking violence or imminent danger where most people would.

>temperance
>vast web of lies with nothing at all left in the center
Yeah not so much what I was thinking.

>Deep concern with honesty, getting the truth out where everybody can see it
>stays mostly functional when the whole party's been dosed with hallucinogens and dumped in a disorienting kaleidioscopic oubliette, because that's basically Tuesday for her
This sound very right though. Madness behind mirrors and getting people to be true to who they really are, and what they can be.

Looks like Compassion 5, Conviction 3, Temperance 4, Valor 2 then.

>behavioral modifications
Mother Before Daughter could work assuming "harm" fits her subject perception. Trust Is Naïve sounds like an entertaining way to treat how she sees people she's helping (they're just misguided). Would that disallow being able to play villain or foil to someone if that's what they needed? (Wouldn't be able to recognize driving someone to hate / oppose / attack you).

>Charisma at 0, plus some unconscious use of Avoiding The Truth Technique like http://www.kiwiblitz.com/comic/page-287, so she's very clear and upfront about what she's trying to do, but nobody believes her until it's too late?
Does charisma mean something different in an exalted setting? That seems a weird choice for someone invested in interpersonal stuff. I do enjoy characters who lie with the truth though, and people not believing the crazy person seems apropos.

>maxing all stat from the get go
>even more artifacts
I'm starting to suffer from Rhea's problem of confusing resource limits walking out from the underground to the forested wilderness. Also starting to get leery of getting too much stuff instead of investing in things she can do.

>power armor
That feels like the wrong direction.

>The former is first-circle necromancy, using the morbid Essence of the Underworld. The latter is first-circle sorcery, using living Essence. Development in completely different directions.
Silly me, thinking necromancy was a subset or sorcery. So separate initiations / awakenings for each then.
>>
No. 868276 ID: d36af7

>>868055
>Silly me, thinking necromancy was a subset or sorcery. So separate initiations / awakenings for each then.
Yes. Among the yozis, only Oramus and the Ebon Dragon have anything to do with necromancy, and even then no further than the Labyrinth circle, but becoming akuma wouldn't negate a sidereal's native charmset, including the potential for Shadowland circle initiation. If anything, Kimbery might leave that part of your soul alone because she's scared to touch it.

>Does charisma mean something different in an exalted setting? That seems a weird choice for someone invested in interpersonal stuff.
Charisma and Manipulation can both be used in social combat for many of the same things, and the core book honestly doesn't do a great job of explaining the difference. Lot of people think of it as Charisma being honest and Manipulation being dishonest, but I think that oversimplifies the matter. My interpretation is it's about force vs. finesse, like strength vs. dexterity. Charisma can be "You should do this because I want it, and I'm awesome, everyone should do whatever I say" while Manipulation can be "You should do this because you want it, deep in your heart of hearts, regardless of what I want." Any given akuma is literally in-setting a min-maxed character, rebuilt heart and soul to excel at a particular task, quite possibly at the expense of being remotely healthy or functional in other respects. Buying the first few dots in an attribute is actually fairly cheap: 5 xp and undefined training time (magical assistance or some other special justification is required) to buy from 0 to 1, 4 XP and one month from 1 to 2, 8 xp and two months from 2 to 3. There's no special penalty for charisma zero beyond having fewer dice for charisma-based actions. Same applies to Strength and Manipulation, but Appearance 0 makes any face-to-face interaction difficult or impossible, unless it's based on intimidation. Mental attributes at zero would mean you're not quite up to the level of "I think therefore I am," or even "fire bad!" Dexterity zero indicates near-total paralysis, while Stamina zero indicates skin like tissue paper and imminent, if not ongoing, vital organ failure. Extremely high mental attributes seemed like a fitting part of the 'unpredictable and dangerous' aspect, so she can routinely make observations and deductions that even extraordinary humans are incapable of, which would contribute to an alien perspective.

>Even more artifacts
>That feels like the wrong direction.
I'll try to stick closer to the themes, then. These are from Oadenol's Codex, including the design notes below each. Aesthetic tweaks or even radical variants are not only permissible, but encouraged, wherever inspiration strikes.

DARK RIDER (Artifact 3)
Dark riders are foot-high statuettes chipped from obsidian and attached to a thin base of magical material. The figures are humanoid but vaguely monstrous. They often show horns, large teeth or elongated normal features such as fingers or eyes.
A character activates the dark rider by committing six motes to it, making the statuette blur into the character’s shadow. The shadow takes the form depicted by the statuette. From there, it watches the character’s back, making it impossible to surprise him. The monstrous shadow also lends the character a frightening appearance, adding three dice to social rolls that benefit from the unnerving mien.
The dark rider can also be used offensively. A character mentally commands the rider and may insinuate it into another person’s shadow, where it conceals itself near-perfectly. Rolls to detect the rider are difficulty 5. The character can see through the shadow’s eyes at will, which causes both the character’s and the rider’s eyes to burn crimson (decreasing the detection difficulty to three). He can command the rider to return if it is within 10 miles, or to envelop a target. The rider then inflicts an eight-die clinch attack that, if the rider maintains it for at least two actions, forces the victim Elsewhere. The dark rider must then immediately return to its master and deposit the victim back in Creation.
Bright light (such as that of a Solar anima at the 12+ mote level) and fire both burn away the shadow instantly, ending the attunement and leaving nothing but a small statuette in its place.
No one of these abilities is very powerful, but all of them are useful. The shadow makes an effective personal guard, spy or kidnapper. It has a weakness against flame, but this is a two-dot drawback at best, perhaps accounting for the low attunement cost.

ILLUSION-SHATTERING MIRROR (Artifact 3)
These small hand-mirrors are backed by moonsilver instead of regular silver. When the mirror reflects a false image or appearance, from magical illusions to mundane disguises, the moonsilver alters the reflection to display the truth to anyone who looks in the mirror. Confronting a person suffering from an illusion effect with one of these mirrors shatters that effect. The mirror only performs its magic when attuned for eight motes.
This artifact definitely provides a great advantage. No illusions or disguises are safe against a character with the mirror, and it can even defeat some forms of mental influence. Some Charms may still confound the mirror if
potent enough (see the sidebar “Powers Versus Powers or Charms” on p. 13). Still, this artifact is reactive, not active. It is a significant defense but no more; a character wielding it does not become able to accomplish amazing things. It can also be inconvenient to keep glancing in a mirror. Because it doesn’t qualify for overwhelming advantage, it remains Artifact 3.


CLOAK OF VANISHING ESCAPE (Artifact 4)
The tough, white fabric of this cloak never seems to soil. It’s thick enough to keep a traveler warm like a heavy mantle, but that isn’t its purpose. The cloak’s wearer can wrap the cloak around herself and disappear in a burst of white light, reappearing anyplace she can clearly see. It attunes for five motes, while activating the cloak requires five motes and several seconds of concentration. In combat, the character takes a miscellaneous action to activate the artifact’s power before disappearing on her next action. The character can take up to one additional living creature for an additional five motes, and she can travel no more than (owner’s Essence) miles. Because the character must see her intended location, the cloak does not work well for the blind or in the dark.
Instantaneous teleportation is a great wonder in Creation, and this artifact makes a character almost impossible to corner or capture. It has the drawbacks of slow activation and limited targeting. It is possible to trap a character using this artifact (in a sealed cell or in total darkness) and to wound or kill her before she escapes—these justify the lower attunement and activation costs. Using it also means abandoning one’s allies. This is a tremendous advantage, but not world-shaking enough to make it Artifact 5.

FOLDING SHIP (Artifact 4)
This double-masted ocean-going merchant’s vessel has a hull of strong, gold-tinged wood and steelsilk sails (see p. 158). It requires no crew: the ship handles its own sail, bilge and the like. It needs only a helmsman. From the helm, a pilot can verbally command the rest of the ship.
At its owner’s command, the folding ship folds itself up in a visual spectacle, completing the one-minute process as a 1’ x 6” x 6” box that weighs 20 pounds. It takes just as long for the boat to unfold. Twelve straight hours as a box repairs the ship of any damage it may take. If the owner wants, the folding ship can reassemble as a vessel with self-moving oars and a shallower draft for river travel. The attunement cost is 10 motes, and using Sail Charms with an attuned folding ship provides a 2m (minimum 1m) discount.
The folding ship offers complete mastery of water travel. Though it could certainly be more impressive (one of the First Age, hearthstone-powered ships, perhaps), it needs no crew but the character and is ideal for getting just about anywhere on the water. Plus, it’s incredibly cool. This is a greater wonder.

FORGOTTEN BLADE (Artifact 5)
Perhaps the Sidereals forged the Forgotten Blade in the High First Age, but records of the weapon are scant even in Heaven. The Forgotten Blade may or may not be beautiful—it is impossible to remember. This daiklave has average statistics, but as long as one does not look at it, one cannot remember its appearance. In fact, no one but the person attuned to it can remember it at all when not in its presence. This unnatural mental influence requires two Willpower to shake off for a scene. Attuning requires five motes.
The weapon does not hurt people physically. It inflicts ‘phantom’ damage (mark it with a circle in health boxes). Its damage rating is normal for a daiklave, but the character wielding it adds Intelligence rather than Strength to calculate base damage. Each level of damage the weapon inflicts causes the victim to forget how to use one Ability (determined at random) and the last five years of her life. Someone “killed” by the Forgotten Blade suffers complete amnesia. Victims suffer normal wound penalties due to disorientation. Ability use returns as the wounds heal (at the same rate as bashing), but lost memories are gone forever. Compassionate warriors may prefer to cut away smaller chunks of memory or target specific memories with called shots. The difficulty of the attack increases by one (“forget only the last year,” or limit the number of random Abilities) to four (“forget the last five minutes,” or, “forget me completely”).
As an amazing power without any real analog, the Forgotten Blade clearly represents a five-dot power. Its only drawback is that if its owner lets his attunement lapse, he forgets he owns it.

RING OF BEING (Artifact 5)
Forged in the secret manse at the heart of the Imperial Mountain, each ring of being is made only of a single magical material, purified a dozen times over. This complete purity, commingled with the Essence of their unique forge, affirms and protects its wearer’s identity and nature. Only things of Creation proper can affect the character—the dead, Fair Folk, demons, gods and the Wyld cannot even target the character with their magic. They may use physical and social attacks, but everything else does not touch her. Elementals, however, are of Creation, and a weapon empowered as an artifact or by Charms still counts as physical force. A ring of being only functions for an Exalt natural to the magical material and costs 15 motes to attune.
This is very, very powerful. Its power names entire classes of entity that no longer threaten the character—at least not effectively. Mundane attacks could still take her down—don’t expect to wrestle the Unconquered Sun and win—but it’s not very likely.

One- and two-dot artifacts weren't included in that list because none of the ones listed there seemed like an amazing thematic fit, and in any case such items are more the sort of thing that could be acquired as 'random treasure' (in tombs or vaults, wielded by mortal heroes, presented as 'gifts' from benevolent or conniving spirits, etc.), or crafted in a reasonable time during play, or sold at auction without kingdom-toppling quantities of money changing hands. Almost anything you could buy off the shelf IRL is available as a 1- or 2-dot artifact, likely upgraded to be nigh indestructible, need no fuel besides ambient essence (or committed motes), and incorporate convenient functions that would be implausible for mundane engineering, such as the Thousand Comforts Lounge which can be easily rearranged into any single piece of overstuffed furniture, from an armchair to a small footrest to a king-sized bed. The ubiquity of such minor wonders in the First Age is a big part of what made quality of life so much better for most people, most of the time. Any 'minor magic item' effect can also be worked out, including consumables like scrolls and potions. In fact, there are single-use artifacts all the way up the scale, though the only 5-dot example I can remember offhand is a city-killing weapon.

>Also starting to get leery of getting too much stuff instead of investing in things she can do.
Charms, then. First there's the general charms, mostly meaning Excellencies and upgrades thereto.

Black Tide Style consists of seven charms, including the capstone which lets you punch somebody's air-only lungs into permanent water-only gills or vice versa, but since it's a terrestrial style you could buy it at half price if you first learn Roots of the Brass Lotus. Maybe throw in the first three or five charms of White Veil Style to make that a round number, and enhance your ability to fight with subtlety, delivering Touch effects or even mundane poisons without the target ever becoming aware that anything happened. All that would require Martial Arts 5, and White Veil would additionally require 2 in Socialize and either Larceny, Presence, or Stealth.

You probably don't want to take the first or second excellencies for any ability from the sidereal charmset. There are cases where they could be useful, particularly for reaching outside Kimbery's themes, but most of the time it'll be redundant. Training time is just a day or two, anyway, so it'd be easy to pick up later if you change your mind. Main one to consider is the Third Excellency, which allows rerolls. Yozis don't have any analogue to that, since they still can't really conceive of their own failure, or even inadequacy. If you've got a dot in a given skill and think you might need to use it when Kimbery's themes wouldn't apply, such as subduing someone you have no prior connection to without poison or excessive cruelty, or you just need an excellency as a prerequisite for some other charm, that's probably the one to pick.

There are two other general sidereal charms which require 4 dots and an excellency in the appropriate ability, and Essence 3. First is the Fateful (Ability) Excellency, which reduces target numbers. See, normally the way Exalted works is, you roll a pool of 10-sided dice, 7 or higher counts as a success, 10 counts as two successes. Spend a mote on the Fateful Excellency, and that'll turn into 6 or higher. Four motes (maybe more or less, with other target number modifying shenanigans, which Sidereals have a lot of) plus one willpower? Every single die in the pool counts as an automatic success. Represents messing with fate and probability to slant things toward the best plausible outcomes - but pushing that to extremes does, technically, cost you the slim chance of a heroic beyond-the-impossible outcome represented by rolling all 10s.
Propitious (Ability) Alignment ties into sidereal astrology, giving you a scene-long discount on excellencies for the skill in question that's partly based on your mastery of the corresponding astrological college.

On to Kimbery charms. First, there's the Excellency. Not technically required, but for an akuma it's sort of a no-brainer. Three charm slots if you're starting at Essence 3. It's the longest of the canon yozi excellencies in terms of wordcount.
The Great Mother is endlessly giving and too often forgiving, a self-defined victim of endless betrayal. She holds others to impossibly high standards, but thinks she is fair. Secrets are among the greatest purviews of her depths, particularly shameful truths and those kept with force and guile. Though her patronage and kindness are real, spurning her incites fury that drowns all opposition in her corrosive touch. Kimbery hides ugliness beyond imagining beneath playful waves of beauty, charm and poise. The Great Mother rejects the immediacy of brute force violence in favor of poison, acid, bleeding, curses, disease and other tactics that perpetuate spiteful suffering without further effort. Her social tricks follow the same logic, stirring undercurrents of distrust and dissent beneath the polite surface of society until the entire organization dissolves. Some Yozis call Kimbery lazy and cowardly for striking once and holding back while afflicted victims weaken, but she considers this elegant practicality. Everything she does harms someone or sets them up to suffer worse in the future, but she is capable of martyring herself to be the one in pain. Because her depths hold no lasting generosity, she demands payment proportional to her sacrifice. Whether beneficiaries ask for her gifts or not doesn’t matter, but she gleefully tortures those who insult her by refusing her largesse. Those who cannot pay her back conventionally pay with screams. She takes great pride in brokering deals, offering the just and true their darkest desires so that she may see them brought low. She considers herself to be the ultimate trafficker, moving everything from worlds to secrets, with a discerning eye for an advantageous bargain. She has a talent for temptation, using secret lusts against her enemies as a rook into further disfigurement. That Kimbery takes pleasure in the agonies of subordinates is her worst-kept secret, but she sacrifices this joy to avoid wasting what is hers. She shows no restraint in tormenting enemies, punishing them for actual transgressions and venting her bottled-up fury toward all who escape punishment. The Sea That Marched Against the Flame loves to warp herself and others into new shapes as useful as they are uncomfortable, imagining herself a great artist. She may be right, but even her siblings find her aesthetics bizarre and vile. Kimbery’s Excellency aids actions that create disturbing art in any media, whether conventional paintings and sculptures or artful blood spatters on a wall. Appropriate stunts can make almost anything into vile art. Her power helps keep secrets by any means necessary. This Charm assists all actions to cause delayed or ongoing harm. Purely immediate harm falls outside Kimbery’s purview unless punishing someone who has benefited from her help or betrayed her love. She may also impose harm for the sadistic joy of doing so rather than expediency or necessity.

Second (Kimbery) Excellency is an upgrade to the first, rather than a standalone charm. Just one charm slot, lets you add successes directly to a roll instead of, or in combination with, dice.

(Kimbery) Mythos Exultant requires Essence 3 and the excellency, and gives you a third option for stunt awards (normally every action, a big part of the economy of combat tactics): instead of recovering motes or willpower, you can heal damage. Just bashing or lethal, no aggravated. Lots of sidereal charms, particularly the capstones, have a cost in health levels of damage; this would let you use them far more freely, in addition to the obvious benefits if stabbed by an actual enemy.

(Kimbery) Inevitability Technique also requires Essence 3 and is another target-number dice trick. Not as powerful as the sidereal version in any single application, but far broader, and possibly more efficient at countering enemy probability manipulations.

Effortless (Kimbery) Dominance requires Essence 4 and provides a discount on the excellency based on how many times you've used it already in the scene, eventually all the way down to zero. In an extended action scene, the value of zero-mote excellency use can hardly be overstated; this charm (or equivalent), more so even than perfect defenses, is the tipping point where Celestial and Primordial Exalts become effectively unstoppable by almost anything but each other, since it means they can attack and defend with maxed-out dice pools while saving all their stunt awards to fuel other effects.

So Speaks (Kimbery) requires Essence 5 and reduces the cost of the excellency by half, not cumulative with Effortless Dominance.

Mother Sea Mastery negates penalties for operating underwater, including the water resistance which would otherwise prevent bows or swung melee weapons from working effectively, and provides broad bonuses to a lot of noncombat actions involving liquid, such as swimming or catching fish. At Essence 3+ it also negates fatigue from relevant actions.

Building off of MSM there's:
-Acrid Slipstream Assist doubles the speed of any water vehicle, or turns anything big enough to stand on (e.g. a daiklaive) into a surfboard
-Fathomless Poison Haven protects beloved targets against environmental hazards, any liquid is as the purest air to breath and cleanest water to drink
-Spiteful Sea Tincture, lays magic poison traps
-Tidal Renewal Discipline, fast recharge while submerged

Building off of Spiteful Sea Tincture:
-Sea Within Veins Prana provides total and permanent immunity to disease, plus a poison blood spray counterattack when wounded. Second purchase upgrades it to xenomorph-style acid.
-Great Mother's Tears is four separate poison-related upgrades they apparently couldn't think up good names for separately. One lets you make nonlethal knockout poisons, another is for mutagens, another limits the total penalties you can take from poisons and makes you immune to further poison damage once you're down to about half HP.
Ichor Flux Tendrils is the remote-control tentacle thing, and a second purchase lets them continue grappling somebody without requiring your attention.

Building off of Tidal Renewal Discipline:
-Sea Dissolves Herself lets you convert unwanted Shaping into an aquatic-themed mutation, and remove mutations you gave yourself.
-What Lurks Beneath lets you summon aquatic critters, basically aquaman's fish telepathy. Second purchase expands that to include first-circle demons. Third, at Essence 5+, to Cthulhu, Godzilla, or other such aquatic behemoths... though it doesn't actually let you control them.

Building off of Intolerable Burning Truths:
-All Things Betray is a surprise-negator and initiative booster
-Retributive Tsunami Force is a magical flurry of attacks, potentially including social attacks
-Bitter Heart Unbleeding adds your total number of negative intimacies to your soak against a single attack (it's worth noting that another Intolerable Burning Truths variant, Hate Springs Eternal, lets you maintain an unlimited number of negative intimacies, though it has other downsides which seemed inconsistent with the character you're designing) and further upgrades have other physical and social defensive benefits.


Then there's the shintai, at Essence 5 with lots of prerequisites. Your boss-mode transformation, basically. A huge gelatinous tentacle monster, virtually immune to anything but energy weapons.

Sidereal charms:
Most of the Resistance tree only requires 3 or fewer dots in the Resistance skill, exceptions being Heartless Maiden Trance, fourth or further purchases of Ox-Body for extra health levels, and of course the capstone.
-Water And Fire Treaty provides protection from environmental effects, including non-liquid-based problems which Fathomless Poison Haven won't cover. The upgrade, Water And Fire Legion, lets you bind a touched elemental to protect something you care about. Akuma cannot learn or use the usual sorcery spell for summoning and binding elementals.
-Someone Else's Destiny lets you catch incoming poison, sickness, or madness and tag somebody else with it instead. The upgrade, Shield of Destiny, lets you do much the same thing with post-soak damage and return it as a counterattack.
-Optimistic Security Practice is the illusory-hostages thing, plus a soak boost that's even better if you're not wearing armor (and the Infinite Resplendence Amulet doesn't count as armor). Upgrade is Heartless Maiden Trance.
-Storm's Eye Stance, the capstone, needs all six of those plus Essence 4.

Most of the Ride tree is about acquiring and upgrading minions. The only one that's not, Yellow Path, requires Ride 3. Mostly it's a strategic-scale travel speed boost, applicable regardless of the specific method of travel, but when you've got a deadline to beat it can grant miraculous shortcuts, effectively teleportation. Can't bypass active opposition, though. If you're trying to rescue a princess from an arranged marriage, it might let you run a thousand miles in ten seconds, if that's what it takes to get there at the exact moment when the priest is asking whether anyone objects, but you'd have to deal with any intervening guards or locked doors the old fashioned way. Kimbery's excellency could make that sort of miracle much more reliable.

For Sail, the main one you were looking for is Mirror-Shattering Method, which requires Sail 4 and Stone Skipping Spirit, a very straightforward charm which negates environmental problems for a ship you're aboard.
-Serendipitous Voyage helps you locate a ship (or other group conveyance, such as a trade caravan) headed where you want to go - whether or not that's the intended destination. Simplest way to a pirate's lair is to be captured, for example.
-Salt Into Ash Sleight and the upgrade, Walls of Salt and Ash, are mostly defenses against aquatic spirits.
-Five Ordeals Odyssey, the capstone, is a plot device for arranging 'out of the frying pan, into the fire' situations. Some obstacle to travel which you can't deal with effectively is replaced by a completely different obstacle.

With three charm slots (Adopting the Untamed Face lets you talk to animals, Becoming the Wilderness lets you treat the harshest natural environments like pleasant parkland) and Survival 4, you could use Dreaming The Wild Lands to shift scenery around. Big stuff takes an hour to get anywhere, but individual rocks and trees can move fast enough to function as an attack.
The other side of the Sidereal Survival tree is Sky And Rain Mantra => Sky Spirit Demand, for manipulating the weather and air elementals. Then the capstone, Wilderness-Commanding Practice, is basically a miles-wide druidic C3I system.

From Thrown, the two you probably want are Willful Weapon Method, which is the shadow-projectile trick, and Life Gets Worse Approach, which adds damage, embeds the weapon in the wound, and makes the victim attract other projectiles like a cartoon magnet. Both require only 3 dots in Thrown.

For Craft, you asked which are most applicable to reshaping bodies and minds? Well, Craft (Air) includes tattooing, and Craft (Wood) could be applicable to cosmetic or reconstructive surgery (though you'd also need Medicine). Reshaping minds is usually the province of social abilities, but Craft (Smoke) is the applicable skill for resculpting souls, including with some fairly basic necromancy spells, or fabricating new ones from scratch - good luck finding the right tools and materials for that, though. Craft (Steam) is for altering bodies on a genetic level, but learning it requires two dots each in Wood and Water plus an equal rating in Medicine, much the same way Craft (Lightning), for magitech, requires two dots each in Air and Fire plus an equal rating in Lore. Craft (Crystal) is the one for destiny and narrative, crucial for various Sidereal and Raksha stuff. As for specific charms:
-Elemental Vision broadens the applicability of Compassion channels, and provides a free target number reduction, for any action targeting an individual strongly associated with one of the elements for which you have the corresponding Craft skill rated at 4+. For example if you've got Craft (Fire) 4, you could channel Compassion on Dex + Medicine and Manipulation + Presence or Investigation rolls to vivisect a volcano god or torture information out of a fire-aspect dragon-blooded exalt. Wood requires only 2 dots if you're Chosen of Serenity, or Water for Secrets.
-World-Shaping Artistic Vision is another target-number manipulation thing that can easily apply to non-Craft actions, but requires some Craft rated at 4+
-Destiny-Knitting Entanglement requires any one craft at 3+, and can target anything you own regardless of how it's made
-Predestined Delivery Shaping requires any one Craft at 4+, but sending an object you don't know how to make is slower and less reliable. Craft (Crystal) always helps.
-Excellent Implementation of Objectives speeds up any Craft project for which you've got the relevant skill at 3+
-Mending Warped Designs requires EIoO and an appropriate Craft rated at 4+ based on the thing you're trying to repair, or Medicine for living creatures

For Dodge, everything but the capstone only requires 3 dots, apart from some upgrades which require 4, but maxing it out is probably smart if you're serious about not wanting to get hit - unless you've got Defense of Shining Joy, below.
-Absence negates penalties, and is prerequisite for all the rest.
-Duck Fate lets you dodge absolutely anything except the Great Curse, Paradox, and unexpected attacks. Not just physical stuff, either. Expensive and sometimes unreliable, particularly against high-Essence attackers.
-Trouble-Reduction Strategy lets you dodge on someone else's behalf, while they're within (dexterity) yards, including possible use of Duck Fate to negate normally undodgeable stuff like falling damage or heroin addiction.
-Avoidance Kata, the 'I was never here' effect, has Duck Fate as a prereq, and whoever you're protecting with Trouble-Reduction Strategy is retcon-ported away with you, whether they want to go or not, though as usual neither relocation nor memory edit work on those outside of fate.

Each dot in Linguistics is another language (or, really, a group of languages; by Exalted's standards, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish are basically just regional dialects of Latin) that you know, and also an improvement to your calligraphy, vocabulary, paragraph-format construction, etc. that serves as the equivalent of Appearance for social combat based on writing. Sidereals only get four non-general Linguistics charms. Blue Vervain Binding and Favorable Inflection Procedure require 3 dots, Abandoned Words Curse requires 4, and the capstone requires 5.

For Performance
-Heart-Brightening Presentation Style requires Performance 2, and lets you use any Bureaucracy, Performance, Presence, or Socialize Excellency for a roll with any of the other three skills, as well as allowing you to channel Compassion for any such roll. Yes, even a Socialize roll to break up a happy couple by seduction or slander, or a Bureaucracy roll to calculate how long you can starve those hardworking orphans before the factory's productivity will start to decline.
-Faultless Ceremony requires Performance 3
-Perfection In Life requires Performance 2, and enhances a social attack so anyone who fails to resist it gains a point of WP, but then can't change their mind and resist later in the scene
-Defense of Shining Joy requires Perfection In Life and Performance 3, and lets you use Performance instead of Dodge for, y'know, dodging. Also negates some penalties.
-Song of Spirit Persuasion requires Performance 3 and knowledge of the First Language
-Ice And Fire Binding requires Song of Spirit Persuasion and Faultless Ceremony, it's a multipurpose summoning ritual with some interesting teamwork options

For Socialize:
-Shun the Smiling Lady requires 2 dots, you touch somebody and people tend to stop loving them, at least in romantic ways
-Cash and Murder Games requires StSS and 3 dots, inflicts a relationship on somebody, causing them to view a particular other person in a particular way, and imposing penalties on any attempt they make to resist that person.
-Life Without Compunction requires StSS and 4 dots, lets you violate taboos or do outrageously offensive things without making people mad.
-You And Yours Stance requires all three of the above, makes it hard for people to attack you whenever it seems like you'd be willing and/or able to provide what they want.
-Fortuitous Fellowship requires only Socialize 4 and lets you create common-interest groups with a Wits + Socialize roll wherever a sufficient population exists. Much easier to target a group with various effects, rather than a scattered mass of strangers.

I'll do the rest later. Tired and hungry and this post is too long already.
>>
No. 869879 ID: d36af7

Alright, lemme try breaking this down into functional categories, particularly the stuff that couldn't be done by a sufficiently competent mortal.

Must-have:
First Kimbery Excellency
Sorcerous Enlightenment of Kimbery
Mother Sea Mastery
Swallowing the Lotus Root

Necromancy:
3 dots in Occult
Shadowland Circle Necromancy
Craft (Smoke) for soulforging
thaumaturgical Art of the Dead

Fleshwarping:
Medicine
2 dots each in Craft (Water) and Craft (Wood)
Craft (Genesis) for bioengineering - requires specialized workshop, probably at least a 2- or 3-dot manse
thaumaturgical Arts of Alchemy, Geomancy (mostly for enlightening essence), & Husbandry (long-range mental influence on animals and humans)
Spiteful Sea Tincture => Great Mother's Tears (add mutations)
Tidal Renewal Discipline => Sea Dissolves Herself (remove mutations)

Fate-weaving:
Craft (Crystal) is the key skill for sculpting the infinite possibilities of chaos into specific narrative outcomes. For best results you'd want to sneak into Heaven, work directly on the Loom of Fate itself, but it's also used in a lot of sidereal (and raksha) charms, and as the most open-ended way to boost sidereal astrology. If you want something done that could somehow happen by a series of mundane actions and coincidences, and you're not in a wild hurry, sidereal astrology is a very powerful tool.
Excellent Implementation of Objectives => Mending Warped Designs
Third Craft Excellency => Fateful Craft Excellency (some functions of Mending Warped Designs require 20 or 30 successes from a single roll, which can only be done reliably when all dice are converted to successes)

Movement:
Sidereal Athletics, Dodge, and Sail trees
Yellow Path from the Ride tree
resplendent destinies from the colleges of the Crow (lets you turn into a literal bird and fly), the Key (summons the Calibration Gate), the Messenger (lets you ride on an animal which could not otherwise support your weight, and some other bonuses), and the Ship's Wheel (strategic-scale speed boost, fatigue immunity for the duration of a single job)
Acrid Slipstream Assist

Spooky indirect attacks:
Spiteful Sea Tincture => Ichor Flux Tendrils
resplendent destinies from the college of the Rising Smoke (disintegration, super effective on demons; also lets you send and receive secure mail without a fixed address, and boosts charisma when dealing with judges, magistrates, and gods)
sidereal astrology in general, really, it's a whole system for potentially generation-spanning customized blessings and curses
4 dots in Occult + 3 prerequisite charms => Unweaving Method from the sidereal Occult tree, direct damage without the fiddly setup or paradox risk of disintegrating somebody with the Rising Smoke
Conning Chaos Technique, capstone of the sidereal Larceny tree (more of a long-term curse than a quick snipe, can result in uncontrolled wyld mutations for a designated target)
might also want Kimbery Mythos Exultant for combat-speed recovery of health level costs for those last two

Perfect defenses:
Kimbery charmtech building off of All Things Betray (flaw is dependence on either negative emotions, or proximity to large bodies of water)
Absence => Duck Fate (flaw is unreliability against high-Essence problems)
4 dots in melee + Harmony of Blows + Impeding the Flow => Serenity In Blood (flaw is attacks enhanced by sidereal astrology, particularly your own)
The Crystal Chameleon (aka Disco Ninja) and Crane styles of celestial martial arts seem like they could fit the character, though more likely as a further development rather than up front, and both happen to include perfect defenses. Crossed Wings Denial interferes with attacking and costs more each time it's used in a scene, while Flashing Leaves Evasion (aka Shadow Among Shadows) is weak against undodgeable attacks and reroll effects, though it could still be used to dodge, say, an avalanche, or find a dry path through a rainstorm if re-invoked every action. There's a fan-made SMA style based around portals, which could be a really good fit, but I need to go dig it out of some archive again. That, and the fan-made actually playable version of Obsidian Shards of Infinity Style.

I've also possibly completely lost my mind and invented a new custom 5-dot artifact, just for you. It's a hand mirror, frame shaped like a scorpion made of monstrous teeth (a tribute to, or parts from, Ishiika the Grass-Cutter Scythe, a creature or weapon larger than the world) which are held together with wires braided from the threads of Time. The tail serves as a handle from which the stinger-stylus partially detaches, for a tablet phone sort of interface. Use it to spy on somebody from afar, then reach through and grab them to quietly switch places. Flick the image with your finger to launch them into a wall, or off a nearby cliff, or lick for much the same result and incidentally also find out what they taste like. Several other interrelated powers, particularly when socketed with a hearthstone from a manse with Archive and/or Sympathetic Dream Link.

Inspiration for that was partly to create a more lunar/sidereal counterpart to the Atlas of the Unconquered General, an existing 4- or 5-dot artifact which also resembles a hand mirror. The basic version is a battle-management system, keeping track of terrain and the status of any armed forces within a two-mile radius, friendly or enemy. The five-dot version can also do speculative simulations: point at a unit on the map, pay five motes, and ask the corresponding player how they'd respond under particular conditions. If those conditions actually occur within the next day, they've got to either do as they said they would, or spend WP to represent the mental strain of quick adaptation in the face of an enemy commander who's anticipated their every move. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheTapeKnewYouWouldSayThat Very handy for laying elaborate multi-stage fakeout traps. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/BatmanTheAnimatedSeriesE25TheClockKing
>>
No. 870108 ID: 3abd97

>Charisma and Manipulation
Ah, I see. So Cha is for leaders, demagogues, battlefield commanders, fiery passionate heroes, inspiring speeches to large groups, that kind of thing.

>>868276
>>869879
Okay there's too much cool stuff in there for me to react all of it piece by piece without a huge post so instead I'm going to start figuring out which things I'm starting with.

(Although the fist excellency is a little confusing, it sounds more like a lore description of my patreon than a description of what the power actually does).

Okay, if I go Strength at 1, Charisma 0, other stats 6, how many motes does that leave me to purchase other things with? Actually might as well add in the must-haves, too.

I think I have three constrains to consider as I pick things: motes to spend, charm slots (are this distinct from mote cost?), and how many artifacts I can have attuned to me at once (do I pay for that out of the same starting mote pool, or are those points determined by / coming from somewhere else)?

Carrying capacity might also might be a limiting constrain for artifacts at str 1. Could she even wield that daiklave, for example?
>>
No. 870177 ID: 094652

Embri's M.O. is the Black Widow - seduce her targets into her web, then slaughter them with a series of traps, poisons, and the sharpest dagger in the toolshed. But most of her clients need to think that it's their decision to lose their minds and go down the alleyway for some vixen pussy, or they'll concentrate on a "look, don't touch" mindset to keep themselves from being easily seduced.

So I suppose a good skillset would be
Strength 0 - Intentionally keeps herself lithe for sex appeal, only uses kunai and shivs anyway
Dex 3 - Trained ninja, but she performs less competently than her sister and co-workers
Stamina 0 - Not very concerned about her health
Charisma 2 - As a high-profile assassin, she needs to look normal
Manipulation 6 - Her greatest power is to persuade others into following her to their doom
Appearance 4 - Stark raving beautiful
Intelligence 2 - Her intellect is dull but sufficient
Wits 2 - Does things patiently until the prey is in her web.
Perception 4 - A must-have for any assassin.

So she has an attribute loadout similar to Azure's, but plays differently; Azure is all about constantly being in the spotlight and hacking others with magic while they're distracted by her song and dance number, while Embri is luring targets TO the spotlight, beauty and sexuality that intentionally cloaks its features to entice others with a demand for more, to make them feel like the hero or the lucky fool chasing a mysterious sexual mythical creature, then shutting it off and killing the targets while their pants are down.
>>
No. 870204 ID: 3abd97

>>870177
>Stamina 0 - Not very concerned about her health
>>868276
>Stamina zero indicates skin like tissue paper and imminent, if not ongoing, vital organ failure
You might want to rethink that one, Kome.
>>
No. 870219 ID: 094652

>>870177
Well, I don't want to spend too many points in stats, because Embri's playstyle requires powers and skills. But yeah, 2's for all dump stats to make her average and untrained for anything other than her job.
>>
No. 870517 ID: d36af7

>>870108
>the first excellency is a little confusing
Primordial Excellencies are weird like that. Long story short, it can be used to enhance ANY action, regardless of the attributes or skills involved, provided the methodology and context of that action are sufficiently consistent with the given themes. Sidereals operate in a framework of auspicious correspondences between activities and constellations, but Primordials are the ones who set those stars in the sky. Why should they be constrained by categories such as 'sword' or 'bow' or 'fist' which they invented themselves, and could just as easily transcend? (Well, technically they must because denizens of those categories defeated and imprisoned them, but that's just a surrender-oath, not the root of their power.)

>motes to spend,
Let's stick with calling the character-building resource 'bonus points' to avoid confusion with motes of essence, the magical energy which tends to be rapidly spent and recovered in combat time.
>charm slots (are this distinct from mote cost?),
As an akuma you can completely forget about charm slots as a character-creation constraint. Caste/Favored Abilities remain significant, though, since they modify the cost of skills, sidereal charms, MA styles, and spells.
>and how many artifacts I can have attuned to me at once (do I pay for that out of the same starting mote pool, or are those points determined by / coming from somewhere else)?
As a sidereal exalt, you've got a personal essence pool proportionate to the sum of your Willpower and twice your Permanent Essence, which is to say 16 with WP10 and Ess3, and a peripheral essence pool proportionate to your Willpower, Virtues, and six times your permanent Essence, which is to say 42 with WP10, Ess3, and your current Virtue spread. Any or all of those 58 motes of essence could potentially be committed to artifacts, but the more you have locked up in an elaborate panoply, the less will be left over for other tactical necessities.

Generally you'll want to have peripheral essence committed to artifacts, keeping personal essence free, because that's the portion of your power which can be spent without setting off a stealth-defeating light show. Crystal Chameleon Style's capstone embraces that problem and 'crosses the line twice,' spreading out your anima banner across a whole battlefield to obscure your specific position (hence the fan nickname). There are a few different ways to get a larger peripheral pool, though it generally can't be committed to artifacts. Best available option for expanding your effective personal essence pool might be the Sidereal Stealth charm Soft Presence Practice, which allows you to spend peripheral motes on some charms without causing anima flare.
>Carrying capacity might also might be a limiting constrain for artifacts at str 1.
Starmetal Infinite Resplendence Amulet provides two thousand pounds of hammerspace cargo pockets, which doesn't count as encumbrance.
>Could she even wield that daiklave, for example?
Normal daiklaive requires strength 2, so she'd be attacking at a -1 internal penalty for insufficient strength. Could boost strength temporarily by using Kimbery charms to gain the Large mutation, or simply swap out the daiklaive statline for some other 2-dot artifact weapon with a lower strength requirement, such as a pair of hook daiklaives or razor claws, or a floating ribbon (longest reach of any melee weapon!), or serpent-sting staff, or thunderbolt shield, or even a ranged weapon such as a sky-cutter or short powerbow. Sidereal Archery has some fun tricks, of which shooting around corners and using a handful of sand or a whispered phrase as ammunition are only the beginning.

>>870177
Normalizing that to a more standard 8/6/4 spread for starting Exalts, how about Strength 1, Dex 5, Stamina 1, Charisma 4, Manipulation 5, Appearance 2 (plus a merit to be supernaturally normal/unremarkable/difficult to remember), Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Perception 4?
>>
No. 870519 ID: 094652

>>870517
Sounds good, fits the playstyle. Appearance will need makeup though.
>>
No. 870587 ID: 3abd97

>simply swap out the daiklaive statline for some other 2-dot artifact weapon
Oh right those things are customize-able. Thanks for reminding me of that, a giant sword is less her style anyways.

>42 peripheral essence that can be committed artifacts
Okay cool, a bigger budget than I was expecting.

>'bonus points'
Right. So how many of those to I have left to spend on other things once I've got my stats (str 1, cha 0, all-else 6) and the 4 Must-haves?

And as for the cost of things: artifacts cost as many 'bonus points' as their rank, right? What about skills, sidereal charms, MA styles, and spells?

I don't need an exact price point for every individual thing you've mentioned so much as I need a ballpark to work in when selecting what to start with. I'm certain my first attempt will need correcting, but that's preferable to trying to make a ranked list of every offering suggested. (I assume there's a lot more cool things than I can afford)!
>>
No. 870855 ID: d36af7

Found it.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/14xv7d6dfacsd6Vz8JEo9ln_-aq2n01J_J1ZKYazX7lM/
Mechanics of the charm Strike Only the Horizon need adjustment to be balanced with the 2.5 errata and there are some other mechanical tweaks but the concept's all there.

>>870587
> So how many of those to I have left to spend on other things once I've got my stats (str 1, cha 0, all-else 6) and the 4 Must-haves?
43*4=172 spent on attributes, 6*5=30 spent on charms (assuming MA favored) plus 5 for the five dots in MA needed as prereq, another 35 altogether for Ess3, WP 10, Compassion 6, Conviction 3, Temperance 4, and Valor 2... that only leaves 25. You could gain up to another 30 by taking derangements, negative mutations, etc., but most likely would have so few skills as to be effectively a blank slate, approaching many common situations with almost childlike naiveté backed by superhuman innate capability.
>And as for the cost of things: artifacts cost as many 'bonus points' as their rank, right?
Backgrounds, including Artifacts, at the 1-, 2-, or 3-dot levels cost one per dot, yes. 4-dot backgrounds (such as a Starmetal/Moonsilver Infinite Resplendence Amulet) usually cost a total of 5, 5-dots usually cost 7, and 6+ aren't usually available at all. Rare exceptions, which can be addressed as they come up. As an Akuma, you also inherently (no points cost or tradeoff options) have a 5-dot demonic Patron, meaning you can get training, advice, and various other Backgrounds 'on loan,' so long as you're doing a satisfactory job and stay in touch. Contacting a demon lord remotely could be done by sorcery, thaumaturgy, prayer (which is based on the Performance and Integrity skills), cultist intermediaries (who might also be useful in other ways), or physical travel to the demon realm - Mirror-Shattering Method simplifies that last option considerably, provided you've got a ship that's rated to traverse sand and/or acid.
>What about skills,
One per dot if caste or favored, two per dot otherwise. Half that much for specialties, with a limit of three specialties per skill. It's possible, even relatively common, to take the same specialty three times.
>sidereal charms,
>and spells?
Five each if caste or favored (spells are based on Occult), seven otherwise.
>MA styles,
Tier-dependent. Assuming MA is caste/favored, Terrestrial styles (the 'roots' of the perfected lotus) cost 4 per charm, Celestial styles (the 'bulb') cost 5 per charm, and Sidereal styles (the 'blossom') cost 6 per charm. If Martial Arts is not favored, all those costs increase by 2 per charm. Swallowing the Lotus Root counts as a Celestial MA charm, and reduces the XP/BP cost of Terrestrial styles by half, so 2 per charm if caste/favored or 3 otherwise.
>>
No. 870858 ID: 3abd97

>>870855
>that only leaves 25
>so few skills as to be effectively a blank slate
I was afraid of that. I think I may to have to rethink the akuma extreme attribute min-maxing. Awesome stats at the near-complete expense of cool things you'd want to apply them towards doesn't sound terribly fun.

I'm gonna think on a starting build, probably end up over-budget, then we can work on paring it down to something that works.

>favored
Are favored things solely determined by caste or am I supposed to be making some kind of addition decision(s) as to what the character specifically favors?
>>
No. 870872 ID: 094652

Game-wise, Embri seems to be a hybrid mix of Sidereal and Alchemical(Moonsilver). Her great quest (ambition) is the Kingmaker: to take a house and bring it to greatness, the beginnings of a great vizier. However, her playstyle focuses on the agent, luring others against their otherwise... wise judgement into making poor decisions that lead straight into a mastercrafted backstabbing ambush. And in either case, her original class was always the Whitelist Assassin, the face on the streets right at the entrance of a dark alleyway, with clothes of an aspiring geisha, mannerisms of a common courtesan, and blades always ready for that sweet moment when the target is lured out of the light and into the shadows. That's a combination of looking normal and being forgettable - Moonsilver and Sidereal.

Story-wise, she's a Traveler who woke up a few months ago on a beach after The Event with a strange new Wood-Absorption ability, separated from her House and sister. Aaand I don't know what to do next.
>>
No. 870899 ID: d36af7

>>870858
You can pick four favored skills, and one favored astrological college, in addition to the five set by your caste. Low XP costs and zero training time for increasing those over the course of play.

Training time for Charms is also relatively short, particularly low-Essence Favored charms. You could save four charms (freeing up 20 BP) by skipping the Kimbery Excellency and sorcery, then buy the excellency in play with one day of training time and 8 XP in the bank. Could free up 10 more BP by starting with Essence 2 instead of three; no training time for that either, and it only costs 16 XP to buy later.

XP/BP tradeoffs are Exalted 2e's equivalent of an OD&D linear fighter/quadratic wizard problem: do you want to be tough and paranoid now, to survive the immediate exploding-sky-castle sort of problems, or will you invest in prospects for future development to get more power (with less work!) in the long term, at the risk of abrupt and tragic demise at the hands of those shorter-term problems due to bad tactics or bad luck? Instead of a binary choice, though, it's a question of priority among different capabilities.

You could spend those 30 points on, say, Dodge 3, Lore 3, Sail 4, Avoidance, Duck Fate, Stone Skipping Spirit, and Mirror-Shattering Method. Kimbery Excellency plus those 6-dot attributes lets you throw a pool of 12 dice at most mundane tasks, and Martial Arts 5 kicks that up to 20 or more in unarmed combat, so even without charms you can do most anything any heroic mortal could do, or take on a whole squad of average soldiers all by your lonesome and win easily, so long as you use the terrain to avoid being completely surrounded, and don't let 'em grapple you. Duck Fate is a panic button, for 'nobody could survive that!' sorts of problems, and Mirror-Shattering Method (particularly in combination with Mother Sea Mastery) is your getaway car. Main thing to worry about at that point would be unexpected attacks, and Ledaal Ji >>/questdis/121068 could help on that front with Fluttering Cry of Warning. Could simply stick close to him and avoid directly attacking anyone until you've bought All Things Betray or appropriate sidereal Awareness charms. Could gain another 8 bonus points by taking an oath of total pacifism linked to, say, two dots of Appearance (meaning you'll stop being quite as cute when you've got blood on your hands, even if it's just metaphorical) then spend them on Awareness 3 and Prior Warning. If assassins approached while you sleep, that would let you wake up, spend five minutes constructing a pillow-based decoy, and know for sure you had time left to depart the scene or select a counter-ambush spot before they even arrived. Then the proper sidereal surprise-negator, Expected Pain, would require only three days training. With a dreamscape tutor gem (possibly borrowed from your Patron rather than bought outright), that'd just be three good nights of sleep, possibly mixed right in with adventuring activities. Or, if you don't want to lock in Awareness as favored, you could go the Kimbery route, take any one of the Intolerable Burning Truths + All Things Betray.
>>
No. 870966 ID: 094652

>XP/BP tradeoff
As of now, most of Embri's skills simply aren't... applicable. She's specialized for social interaction, stealth, and crowd camoflage. She does have use with ninja training, but ultimately took less to it than Ivori. So I figure Embri should start out with a higher average ninja skill tree but low potential for growth, and start with a lower average manipulation skill tree but higher potential for growth, so that she can use her dexterity skills right now to escape the castle, and develop her actual gameplay skills later.
>>
No. 871407 ID: 3abd97

Lute Silhouette Speculation in Comet's Reflection
Ronin Sidereal Akuma (Kimberly)
Chosen of Serenity (favored: Craft, Dodge, Performance, Socialize, Linguistics)
-Additional: 4 favored skills, 1 favored astrological college
-3 specialties per skill
Motivation: Bring out people's best selves
Virtues: Willpower ??, Compassion 5, Conviction 3, Temperance 4, Valor 2
Essence: 3 2
Attributes: Strength 1, Dexterity 6, Stamina 6, Charisma 0, Manipulation 6, Appearance 6, Intelligence 6, Wits 6, Perception 6

Skills:
-Craft (Air) 3 (Glassblowing +1) 'day job'
-Sail 4
-Thrown 3

Charms:
-First Kimbery Excellency
-Sorcerous Enlightenment of Kimbery
-Mother Sea Mastery
-Swallowing the Lotus Root (???)
-Stone Skipping Spirit
-Mirror-Shattering Method
-Willful Weapon Method

Artifacts / Stuff:
-Scorpion Hand Mirror (Artifact 5, cost 7 BP, attune ?? motes)
-Forgotten Blade Ribbon (Artifact 5, cost 7 BP, attune 5 motes)
-Infinite Resplendence Amulet, Moonsilver (Artifact 4, cost 5 BP, attune 10 motes)
-Mantle of Soot (Artifact 6, cost 9 BP, attune ?? motes)
-Chancel w/ 'day job' workshop, raksha (2-3 dot, cost ?? BP)
-Dreamscape tutor gem Vitriol/Kimberly manse Stone of Acrid Understanding thing for learning necromancy and/or sorcery spells later [I think I have mashed several things together here] (3-5 dot, ?? cost ?? BP)
-Something for the shadow shuriken trick (probably artifact 1-2, or something made herself?)
-Salt (for MSM)
-Water (also for MSM)


Okay so you see my problem, I think. I'm bankrupt before I pick up all the interesting artifacts, let alone any skills or charms. I've only got skills as prerequisites, instead of investing in any she'd need to well, function. Do you need a minimum in linguistics to speak? Does it even make sense she'd already have 'helped' people in the past without ranks in socialize to make it possible? (Can history / skill conflicts be explained away by being mixmaxed by the yozi? Ie, she lost skills she'll have to relearn). It sorta seems like however this goes her first several batches of XP will have to go towards filling out basic necessary skill trees and charms.

So prioritizing: I'm pretty attached to the Infinite Resplendence Amulet, and she has to be able to do her moving through mirrors trick, which means Mirror-Shattering Method (I think) and preqs Sail and Stone Skipping Spirit and probably Mother Sea Mastery to enable it.

The Chancel's not as strongly required, but a chaotic personal dreamscape just seems such a good fit for the character, and as I understood it I need the a day job setup anyways for other stuff to be viable. Plus I was sorta assuming the glass-working would be something that linked back to pre-exaltation so it would be sorta weird to start without it.

I'm willing to put all the occult, necromancy and sorcery stuff aside for future growth (which also removes my reason for starting with essence 3), although that still leaves me bearing the costs for the Mantle of Soot and whatever the fast learning tool is now. Might make sense to outsource the learning tool to demonic patron loans as you suggested. The Mantle seems an awfully high ticket item to pull that with though (especially since once you reach the point where you can use it, you won't want to give it back).

The forgotten not-a-daiklaive sounds like a lot of fun, as does the idea of a battle-ribbon. It's perfect as an indirect attack too.

I could live without the hand mirror, although it sounds pretty neat and it seems a shame to ignore something tailor made for her.

Swallowing the Lotus Root seems like it can probably be put off if I don't invest in any martial arts yet.

Thrown / Willful Weapon Method isn't something I'd need to start with either, but you know, I might need some offensive capability, and it's a comparatively cheap way to get indirect attacks that physically damage things.

Regreatably, sacrificing the Excellency initially seems sorta necessary, especially if sticking with the yozi-maxed stats. Might be necessary to gouge some of those too.

Not really sure what to do with the favored choices yet. Occult, Sail, Martial Arts all seem like things I'll need to invest in for cool stuff later? Not sure if necromancy or sorcery count as skills. Not sure if I'm going to go far enough down the throw tree for that to be worth it. (Or occult even, beyond as a preq). No clue about a favored college. No idea how specialties might favor in.

I'd be willing to consider a weird mutation or two if you've got any that were in-theme.


So... yeah. Help turning this over-budget dysfunctional thing into something that might work?
>>
No. 871457 ID: d36af7

>>870872
>alchemical
>forgettable
How about Adamant caste? Their anima power is basically a MIB-style memory erasure ray. That would necessitate some adjustment of the attributes, though. Alchemical Exalts don't get caste or favored skills, but they DO get caste and favored attributes. The Adamant caste is associated with Strength, Appearance, and Perception, and they all need to start at at least 2. Pick three others as favored, maybe Dexterity, Manipulation, and Wits? Then you could have Strength 2, Dex 5, Stamina 1, Charisma 4, Manipulation 5, Appearance 5, Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Perception 4 at a cost of 12 bonus points. >>867073 Four more for virtues and WP, leaving you with two.
As for skills, how does this sound? Archery 3 (Unaware Targets +1), Athletics 3, Awareness 3, Dodge 3, Larceny 3 (Reverse Pickpocketing +1), Lore 3, Medicine 1, Performance 3 (While Naked +1), Socialize 3 (Seduction +1)
In terms of Backgrounds, you get a 3-dot Mentor for free, presumably representing the Oyabun, and 10 dots in other Backgrounds. Alchemicals get an unusually good deal on Artifacts: three for the price of one, and no extra cost at the 4+ dot level. You could, for example, spend six of those ten on artifacts and thereby start with not only that unique Mantle of Soot which Lute Silhouette Speculation is searching for, but also twelve dots of other artifacts. Maybe an Amulet of Shadow Walking (stealth, and phase thru walls, 3 dots), Quicksilver Aegis Talisman (concealable tentacle armor w/ autonomous close-range defenses, 5 dots), and a Time-Strung Bow (arrow can wait until the target would least expect it, great for assassinations, 4 dots)? Remaining four could then go to Resources 1 (all that thieving and whoring presumably brings in at least enough money to keep yourself fed) and Savant 3 (training in how to operate and maintain magitech, such as the Amulet of Shadow Walking or Quicksilver Aegis Talisman, though it's not much use for major repairs beyond initial diagnostics).

Alchemical charms are based on attributes. There are six "augmentation" charms that can be bought for any attribute: the first three act like excellencies, adding dice, successes, or allowing rerolls. The fourth increases the 'natural' rating of the attribute by one for as long as it's installed, and can be installed multiple times at higher Essence, which is particularly important because that increases the dice cap for other augmentations. For example, if Embri had the First Dexterity Augmentation, she could buy 5 dice for a total effective Dex of 10 for that one action, but with the First and the Fourth, she'd have Dex 6 all the time and could boost it temporarily up to 12. The Fifth Augmentation provides a scene-long boost, which can be more efficient than using the First or Second repeatedly, and unlike those two is compatible with rerolls from the Third. Disadvantage is slow warm-up and lack of subtlety. The Sixth Augmentation is sorta weird: it gives you the maximum possible rating in a specific skill, but only when that skill is used with the corresponding attribute. Can be taken lots of times, once for every skill.

So, here are my recommendations:
Second Manipulation Augmentation
Fourth Appearance Augmentation
Fifth Dexterity Augmentation
Sixth Intelligence + Craft Augmentation (this effectively gives you 5 dots in all twelve Craft skills, but only for intelligence-based rolls - which will be most of them)
Protosynthetic Ammunition Replicator
Pheromone Regulation Systems
Integrated Artifact Transmogrifier (pass for human instead of obviously being a cyborg)
Omnitool Implant
Technomorphic Integration Engine

Spend those last two bonus points to buy the Precursor Technology Absorption submodule twice so you can carry an unlimited number of mundane items internally. Could swap out the Ammunition Replicator for Thousandfold Courtesan Calculations if you want to focus more on social stuff, particularly in a sexual context, but honestly the main benefits of that only kick in you've got more Appearance augmentations.

Alchemicals can't normally develop new charms just by training. (It's possible, but involves something called a "transorganic desecration cyst," which, in case the name isn't clear enough, is bad juju and will mess you up. Could be fun, but consider carefully before committing.) Normal procedure is to go back to base, requisition materials, assemble a team of technicians and surgeons, and stew in a bacta tank until the installation process is complete. Same for Attributes and Essence. About the only things Alchemicals can get better at just by practice are Skills, Virtues, and Willpower.
>>
No. 871480 ID: 094652

>>871457
>starting attributes
Sounds good
>Backgrounds
I dunno how this works
>Artifacts - 3 for the price of 1 for first purchase
Awesome. As for the actual selection, can you post a link to relevant artifacts? For now, the Shadow Walk amulet and Time-Strung Bow would be appropriate for an ambush class.
>recommendations
Might need some fine-tuning, but mostly good.
>Alchemicals can only train skills, Virtues, and Willpower, everything else is made from installing augmentations
Generally, that was what I was planning anyway. Embri is basically the Agent of the party; she's the civilian who cases the joint, the distraction at the gates, the snake in the streets who catches off-duty captains at their weakest and eliminates them quietly, and the dancer at the party who relays information to the thieves. Developing her skills to increase the odds of these quick-and-decisive actions is more important for her than preparing for a war of attrition.
>>
No. 871744 ID: 1c2a1b

>>871480
Looks like I made a mistake, actually. You only start with eight charm slots (which ARE a meaningful concept for Alchemicals after character creation - physical slots into which magitech machinery is installed, and from which it can be removed with the same sorts of force that could amputate a limb) so drop the Protosynthetic Ammunition Replicator. It's somewhat redundant, since you could simply store internally as many arrows as you can get your grubby paws on using the Technomorphic Integration Engine, then later retrieve them for the same cost as the Replicator requires to produce from scratch. Some risk of running out, though, and you'd only have access to varieties of ammo previously purchased or stolen, and they'll be real objects, with corresponding forensic traces, rather than disintegrating back into ambient essence shortly after they hit.
> can you post a link to relevant artifacts?
No. Tell me what you're looking for, in terms of function and power level, I'll lay out some options.

The quicksilver aegis talisman is an automaton combining some of the best qualities of a quoddle and a T-1000. Polymorphic moonsilver tentacles can harden into a single blade for the user to wield like a sword, or a shield. It can form armor, or lashing whips to fend off or dispatch lesser opponents autonomously, without distracting you from dealing with some other task such as picking a lock, patching a damaged manse, or dueling a champion. Each tentacle can perform a separate task independently, or they can smoothly combine their efforts in various combinations. A more conventional sword, even a very fancy one, requires time and physical effort to draw; however slight the cost, those are valuable commodities in a combat situation, so a blade which leaps into your hand of it's own accord when needed, and quietly slinks away to hide when not, is something really special. The benefits of armor, and potential delays or complications of donning it when threatened yet removing it when not wishing to appear as a threat, are even greater. That versatility, the freedom to flicker instantly between empty-handed nudity and being fully girded for battle, plus a tireless robo-squid bodyguard watching your back so you know exactly when to do so, is what makes it a 5-dot artifact.

>>871407
>she has to be able to do her moving through mirrors trick, which means Mirror-Shattering Method (I think) and preqs Sail and Stone Skipping Spirit and
Essence 3 is another prerequisite of Mirror-Shattering Method. The scorpion mirror artifact (named Shard Fallen From Ishiika's Eye) could somewhat cover that aspect on it's own, though, being a single specific reflective surface you can step through.

The cheapest possible option for that would be to take an itinerant noble raksha as a 1- or 2-dot Ally, delegate the Chancel to them, and define a mutually-beneficial (though perhaps cosmetically antagonistic) relationship under which you carry the front door to that Chancel in your pocket much of the time. Raksha need dreams and drama the way humans need food and water, so it's not hard to imagine how such a being might benefit by associating with someone whose job description involves buying traumatic revelations and journeys of self-discovery by the ton, then handing them out like an ambitious politician distributing bread and beer to the poor. Nonetheless some thought should be put into the raksha's style and role, and what services they provide beyond a mobile shelter.

Hmm... if you're familiar with the Rise of the Runelords adventure path, perhaps the chancel's interior is based on the town of Sandpoint and environs, complete with glassworks? Only, it seems to be caught in a 'groundhog day' time loop, perpetually being raided by pyromaniac goblins. In truth, the townsfolk are mostly hollow illusions, little more than animate scenery, with a few actual mortal prisoners (who all know about the 'time loop,' but generally think they're alone in this knowledge) while the 'raiding' goblins are commoner raksha who serve the lord of the place, ritualistically enacting subtle variations on the daily violent mayhem.

Naturally, the chancel's front door, as well as the other access points which spontaneously appear somewhere within a few miles, seem to the uninitiated to be slightly anomalous mirrors, like the sort of sunglasses which reflect a view of the Nevada desert which remains constant no matter the actual surroundings. Gates are large enough to drive a cargo wagon through, yet also small enough to pick up with one hand and carry in an ordinary pocket, and magically self-concealing so nonheroic types won't be able to get in without an invitation, or probably even notice the door. A chancel makes an excellent foundation for one of those mysterious shops that wasn't there yesterday and won't be tomorrow, but always happens to have the exact thing you need to continue your quest. (Being able to actually produce the minor magic items sold by that sort of business, on the spot as needed, is one of the functions of resplendent destinies from the college of The Guardians.)

If you're starting at Essence 2, best option for arbitrary mirror access would be defining (and at appropriate moments, re-defining) locations for those other gates using the dramatic editing benefit of 2-die or higher stunts.
>>
No. 871780 ID: 094652

>>871744
- An artifact that allows Embri to merge herself with wood (or some other material, only one choice for now) and manipulate it to her will. The total mass of the material must exceed her body mass and any mass of whatever she brings with her. She will not be able to use this artifact if the mass of her inventory exceeds a specific limit. From there, she can exit from any part of the material or shapeshift it to her will to move. More material means the resulting piloted golem slows to a crawl; so she CAN turn into a giant statue the size of a mountain, but that would mean she'd also move and act with the (lack of) speed of a mountain. Any enchantments and properties of the material she merges with will likely hinder her as well.
- An aging vial that causes fermentation in seconds. Great for creating poisons out of food scraps. Also handy for creating a shot of whisky - for targets only, because the vial is cursed to make its contents allergenic - consumers feel sick after a few hours, might even break into hives.
- A knife that mends the skin and flesh of whatever it stabs, but will still work normally on other organs like brains, balls, and bone. Great for causing hard-to-identify internal bleeding. Near-useless for inflicting external wounds. The knife was originally created as an experiment to invent the perfect barber's knife, but was discarded when it became apparent that carving the beard from the inside resulted in hundreds of itchy ingrown hairs.
- A blanket that absorbs all light, which increases in intensity as it stays in unbent sunlight. Great for turning open alleyways into pitch-dark gruegrounds. It disperses heat at a comfortable rate and Embri uses it for her Kotatsu.
- A hand-mirror with strange properties that makes it near-invisible to most, but not to Embri. Great for keeping an eye on a target's back.
- Smoke grenades with the force of a frag. Can even kill at point-blank range, especially dangerous in the water. Can be retrieved and repaired at any LARGE water source, or a series of tiny water sources.

In a nutshell: Supernatural merging ability, poison, knives, shadows, mirrors, smoke bombs. Classic arsenal for an assassin. Might need to think up some appearance-based artifacts.
>>
No. 872327 ID: d22dc0

Okay, I was doing my best to read through some of the thread, but it gets very difficult for me to sift through very quickly; I'm going to post based of the starting instructions, and work from there.

The vibe I'm getting from this is that I'm essentially deigning a super hero. At a quick glance, we don't have anyone dedicated to being big and strong, so that seems like a good jumping off point.

Drawing on that as a template, I'm feeling like cleric/war priest domains that observe the forge are an interesting foundation thematically.

Personality wise, I'm not sure how feasible this is, but a character who has two sort of "aspects" she can manifest that are in conflict with each other. Sort of an anders/justice from DA2 situation.

Her quest would be to found a monastery untouchable by violence and strife, removed from the mortal realm so she can practice her craft with a number of disciples untroubled by the outside world. Unfortunately, in a time of great need she forged her soul anew with the power she needed to destroy her foes, and now her spiritual landscape has been shifted to one of wroth and violence. Pulling a little bit from the burning hate from Pd[n]To, but in my head it's a cold fire rather than a hot one. Uncaring and cruel, she has a duty to vanquish evil without hesitation, remorse, or consideration for other things like collateral damage or potential consequences. Her two aspects are in conflict within her very essence, and thus she cannot shirk her duties and sequester herself. Yet.

What exactly she is bound to do in terms of fighting evil is open for tweaking, but I imagine it's something along the lines of eliminating demons and stopping wars by killing the people/creatures who would start them.

I would imagine the Virtues to breakdown as so, with the values on the left being her warm aspect, and the ones on the right being her cold aspect. Both have the same total so there's no problem with willpower.

Willpower: 9

Compassion: 5 | 1
Conviction: 3 | 6
Temperance: 3 | 3
Valor: 2 | 3

What is important to her:

Mercy: All deserve a chance at redemption and understanding. She believes everyone, everywhere, is doing the best that they can, and should be respected as such. Never Kill when you can Main and all that jazz.

HOLY RETRIBUTION: TO CRUSH THE UNREPENTANT AND DESTROY THOSE WHO WOULD SOW THE SEEDS OF WAR AND DESTRUCTION. THERE IS NO CAUSE MORE TRUE AND VITAL. USE WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY.

Smithing: It is an unmatched art in her eyes, and a true path towards divinity for in ones devotion to their craft, they can become as a god.

DEATH TO THE UNGODLY: THOSE WHO'S FORMS BLASPHEME THE GODS MUST BE STRUCK DOWN WITHOUT HESITATION OR COUNCIL. THEY WOULD SPILL THE BLOOD OF INNOCENTS AND FORGE THE CHAINS OF WAR. THEY GET NO REDEMPTION FOR THEY ARE LOST UPON THEIR CREATION.

Ceramics: Her second art, she uses ceramics to express her feelings when words fail her. Smithing is a form of godliness, pottery is her connection to mortality, empathy, and emotion.

Self sacrifice: Other beings are ultimately self serving and violent. It is the way of this wicked world. But those who are weaker than you deserve to be protected and warmed by the hearth, no matter how they might harm or spite you. Let not a blow befall another when it might break upon your back instead.

Cultivation of Faithful: There are those among the mortal populous who are capable, worthy, and willing to leave behind the pain of the mortal realm to pursue a life of cultivation, practicing whatever arts they see fit. They should be made aware of your goals, and brought under your wing as disciples of your ways

The Armaments of the Betrayer: Armor and weapons she once loved, forged for her by a friend who ultimately betrayed her in the pursuit of war and violence. They are buried on his grave, along with her past life. She is beyond needing such things.

Her Twin: A perverse and twist soul, who's life mirrors hers; his power was granted by a dark entity seeking to spread war across every known frontier. She knows not where he has gone, nor how she will deal with him, but he cannot be allowed to gain hat he desires.


Her stamina and resilience are unmatched, allowing her to work tirelessly at the forge for weeks without stopping for food, drink, or sleep. Her work requires heroic strength and precision, but she is slow and steady like a train, and has trouble switching tracks without causing a disaster. She is far from persuasive, and while she holds most life dear, she struggles when trying to make her intentions understood or comfort others. Like a mountain, she is physically unassailable, but difficult to read, and far from comforting.

Skills, in order of when they were learned and how much time has been spent on them

Smithing

Armed combat

Positive energy and magical healing

Killing Demons

Resisting Mental Influence

Bathing in Flame

Flight on Wings of light

Pottery/ceramics

Unarmed pasification

Where are my powers from? Assumedly, a pact with the sun incarne, although that's a best guess without much info on hand.
Routinely my powers are used to turn demons to ash, prevent their travel, protect and heal others with barriers made of light, smithing items no mortal could dream to forge, manifest radiant wings and to sustain myself physically and mentally, without detriment or need for replenishment.

If it's not redundant, I assume she would both be the one trying to interrupt the ritual, and the one trying to patch the explosion. I'm imagining a preemptive medicine type deal, where she wants to stop the situation before the demon actually arrives and her hand is forced. Doesn't usually work for her, but she knows that should her cold aspect be invoked, she won't really have the option to repair the ship anymore, so that's prudent to get straightened out before anything regrettable occurs.

As for name an appearance, I'm imagining she is built much like a mountain, and is similarly difficult to look up at. Her face is some combination of "don't stare at the sun" and "impossibly tall peak, shrouded in snow and clouds." I like the idea of her being perpetually back lit by some sort of warm halo or nimbus, no matter what angle you look at her from. She also has 60ft wings made of light sometimes.

Bridget resonates with me, although it's not a very exalted name. Maybe it's a truncated form of something, Bridge that Spans the Sun and Moon or another appropriately long winded title. Bridget Spaonsym?
>>
No. 872347 ID: d1248b

>>871780
>Supernatural merging ability,
This seems like the kind of thing that should probably be handled mostly with a charmset rather than a separate artifact. Sure enough, merging with smaller items and storing them inside your body is already covered by the Technomorphic Integration Engine, and phasing through larger objects is possible with the Amulet of Shadow Walking. The ability to turn mundane scenery into an ad-hoc warstrider like Misho here https://keychain.patternspider.net/archive/koc0163.html would be possible for an alchemical exalt with a God-Machine Weaving Engine at Essence 5. Being warstrider-sized is the default condition for Alchemicals at Essence 6 or 7, and they grow further, to city- or mountain-sized, at Essence 8+. Even before that, Alchemicals have a lot of options for boosting their size, durability, and physical might - most of which, however, are Strength or Stamina charms. So, probably better to think of this as a theme for future growth rather than something you'll have full mastery of as a starting exalt.
>poison,
Something that can arbitrarily accelerate any sort of alchemical process would be very powerful, probably comparable to the 4-dot Celestial Phoenix Cauldron. If you just want a bottomless dispenser of irritating-but-seldom-lethal poison, first thing that comes to mind is 2-dot hearthstones such as the Gem Of Tears To Poison, or the Lips-Like-Poppies Gemstone. Could be an actual hearthstone linked to a manse, or an "elemental core," bought as an artifact, which needs to be brought back to base every three months for a recharge, or could be reworked as a standalone artifact. For either a hearthstone or an elemental core, you'd also need an artifact to socket it into. Basic 1-dot hearthstone amulet provides slightly improved mote recovery for a single mote commitment, various 2-dot or higher artifacts include a socket alongside other functions (such as weapons, bracelets which improve evasion and provide other MM-dependent combat benefits, or a dragon tear tiara which boosts perception particularly on occult matters), and a socket surgically implanted as a 2-dot artifact can actually expand your essence pool instead of requiring any committed motes. Poison that can reliably kill mortals, or meaningfully threaten exalts (at least, those without specialized anti-poison defenses) could instead be produced by a 3-dot, hearthstone, or there's the Frozen Hearts of the Tellerauthelot, each a 4-dot artifact. They produce a few doses per hour of Ice Marrow, which is not only equivalent to ultra-deadly Yozi Venom when in the veins of the living, but can also reanimate corpses as enhanced zombies, and provide an otherwise impossible degree of repair and maintenance to necromantic war machines.
>knives,
Take an adamant reaper daiklaive (or any sort of 2-dot artifact weapon with a hearthstone socket, really, but adamant keeps it compatible with the Technomorphic Integration Engine, and the reaper daiklaive's high-accuracy, low-damage statline seems appropriate for an assassin's weapon) then socket it with a variant of the Snakeskin Stone, a 3-dot lunar-aspected hearthstone. The original version causes the bearer to shed their skin when they sleep, healing all bashing damage and half of their lethal damage and concealing any remaining wounds from anything but a proper medical exam, since the remaining lethal damage represents purely internal injuries. This variant could apply that same sort of healing to anyone incapacitated by wounds from the weapon into which it's socketed, including by subsequent bleeding or infection, automatically staunching any bleeding wounds but making a 'buried' infection far more difficult to treat. Extras who would ordinarily be killed outright by such weapons might still be maimed or crippled, but almost always survive for at least a few hours or days unless subjected to further violence, making live capture quick and easy.
If you're taking a magic sword but don't plan to use it might, you might also want to think about a Scabbard of the Living Weapon. It's a 3-dot artifact which, as long as it's attuned for five motes with an attuned daiklaive sheathed inside, makes you completely immune to mundane damage. Charm-enhanced attacks, anybody with Essence 4 or higher, and artifacts or even thaumaturgy-enhanced weapons aren't "mundane," so it's of limited value in any serious fight with spirits or exalts, but you could get trampled by a herd of elephants, or have somebody strap you down to a table and try to chop your head off with a huge axe made of ordinary steel, and be in no danger unless they took the scabbard away first. An erupting volcano might be bad news due to the unbreathable fumes involved, but actual lava would be no more of a hazard than thick mud.
>shadows,
Negating light over a wide area could easily be a 4- or 5-dot power. Vulnerability to sunlight is what keeps a lot of nasty stuff in caves from rampaging freely across the surface, control over visibility can be a huge force-multiplier in combat at any scale, light deprivation could be used to kill crops, etc. Sounds like you're looking for something more in the two or three dot range, though, a tactical advantage rather than a terrifying strategic weapon. How about this, as a 3-dot artifact: at all times, it functions like a superior mundane blanket, muffling sounds enough to impose a -2 external penalty on hearing rolls and reducing damage from environmental effects by two, similar to and not cumulative with the magical material bonus of jade armor. After ten hours of direct sunlight, or 50 hours of any light bright enough to read by, the blanket radiates darkness equal and opposite to the light of a torch, imposing murky vision within five yards and making the bearer effectively invisible under normal conditions, or reducing the stealth-defeating effects of anima flare by one step. The aura of unnatural darkness itself, however, is as clearly visible in otherwise well-lit areas as a torch would be on a moonless night. The blanket maintains this level of charge indefinitely, and cannot be charged further by mundane light sources. Overcharging it requires a magical light source equivalent to direct sunlight, such as a bonfire-level anima flare (12+ motes for most exalts, 16+ for sidereals), focused through mirrors similar to those used for smelting orichalcum. Five hours of charging is enough to conceal a bonfire-level light source for one hour - the blanket cannot conceal a full iconic anima under any circumstances - or radiate near-total darkness out to a 5 yard radius, and murky vision to ten. Maximum overcharge requires 625 hours, enough to provide that level of darkness for five full days.
Whenever it's charged, you can throw the blanket at the exit to an enclosed space (no more than forty yards in radius) and spend 15 motes to duplicate the effects of Dragon's Lair Obtenebration: total darkness fills the space, impenetrable to any natural light and reducing magical light by half, user gains perfect awareness of the position of everyone else within the field, no limit on range or angle of the user's attacks so long as they stay inside the field, free reflexive attack on anyone entering the field which automatically counts as unexpected. Duration is one scene at normal full charge, plus one hour for every five hours of overcharge, so maximum duration is one day from the end of the scene in which it was activated. Can't be shut off early or relocated by anything less than adamant or labyrinth circle countermagic, and it's always fully discharged afterward.
>mirrors,
How about something that looks like a palm-sized chunk of glass while not in use. Commit two motes to it, it becomes reflective to you - and only you, remaining transparent to anyone else - and additionally turns your hand and forearm invisible when you're holding it outstretched. A 1-dot artifact on it's own, or add it as a secondary function to a reaper daiklaive to halve the DVs of anyone without supernaturally acute senses and thereby bump the sword up to 3 dots, or throw in a 'periscope mode' as an alternative to the standard adamant magical material bonus on a daiklaive which also functions as a windblade, https://youtu.be/brUwfQncCvI?t=3m27s which would be a 4-dot artifact overall and neatly explain how you reached this flying castle in the first place.
>smoke bombs.
Wood-aspected Elemental Pulse Grenade, more or less a rechargeable canister of nerve gas which fills a 10 yard radius exactly and leaves no dangerous residue, would be a 2-dot artifact.
>>
No. 872436 ID: d1248b

>>872327
First thing that springs to mind for a huge, tough holy warrior is Zenith caste Solar. Anima power is all about smiting creatures of darkness and burning the zombie-potential out of corpses.

Could do the 'dark side' as a limit break thing, and/or the charm Vile Anathema Shroud (Larceny 4, Essence 3, prereqs Flawlessly Impenetrable Disguise and any Larceny excellency) which makes your charms and anima flare look like those of an abyssal temporarily.

In terms of being the group's "tank," you'll mainly want Resistance charms, but a few others might be important: Integrity-Protecting Prana and Reflex Sidestep Technique for negating Shaping and unexpected attacks, and Spoken In Kindness from the Compassion-based celestial martial art Victorious Concession Style, for redirecting attacks to yourself.

>Smithing
That'd be Craft (Fire). If you want to be a master of mundane forge-work, you'll need decent Intelligence and Perception among your attributes, plus Dexterity for fine work, four or five dots in the actual Craft skill, maybe an appropriate specialty, the First or Second Craft Excellency, and a suitable workshop, which could be represented by Resources 3 or 4, or a 2-dot artifact, or part of a 2-dot manse... or, with Essence 3, you could take Craftsman Needs No Tools and beat a plowshare back into a battle-ready sword with no hammer or anvil but your bare hands, and no fuel or bellows but your own breath. No solar charm will ever allow you to work without raw materials, though. Closest you can get to that would be Wyld-Shaping Technique, which lets you forge the chaos beyond the edges of the world into new items, landscapes, and people.
>Armed combat
Solar Melee charms fall into three main trees: damage boost/multi-attack, retrieval/range, and defense. For defense, you want at least 3 dots in Melee and Dipping Swallow Defense => Bulwark Stance => Protection of Celestial Bliss. With at least 4 dots in melee, you could take Heavenly Guardian Defense instead of (or in addition to) PoCB, if you're expecting to need more than one perfect parry per scene. You'll also want the Second or Third Excellency, and Infinite (Melee) Mastery (which also requires Melee 4) as soon as you hit Essence 3, and of course Dexterity is crucial for all sorts of combat purposes.

The retrieval/range tree starts with Call The Blade, which lets you quick-draw any weapon you own, causing it to leap into your hand even from well beyond arm's reach. With Melee 4, Essence 3 you can upgrade that to Glorious Solar Saber, summoning an idealized holy weapon from your own imagination. With just Melee 3 and Essence 2 you could instead go for Summoning The Loyal Steel, which is the basic 'hammerspace' effect. Further upgrades to that charm allow more efficient storage of multiple weapons, for that Gate of Babylon/Infinite Blade Works sort of effect. Or, also building off of Call The Blade, you could learn the Iron Raptor Technique, throwing your weapon and having it return to you like a boomerang. With Melee 5, Essence 3, and Iron Raptor Technique, you can learn Blazing Solar Bolt, which is basically a mile-long laser beam of holy fire. You need to be holding a melee weapon to use that charm, but the weapon's stats don't factor in at all. Could be a stick you found on the side of the road.

There's also an Archery charm called Flashing Vengeance Draw which requires only 3 dots in Archery and one prerequisite charm, which can be used with melee weapons. Lets you draw so fast, at the start of a fight, that if you win initiative your first attack counts as unexpected due to sheer dazzling iaijutsu speed, even if you were in plain view and somebody else was initiating the hostilities.

>Positive energy and magical healing
Healing magic would be Solar Medicine charms, which are pretty amazing. Only one from the core set that requires Essence 3 is Wholeness-Restoring Meditation, for Crippling effects up to and including amputated limbs. Start with an Excellency and Flawless Diagnosis Technique, then Instant Treatment Methodology for combat-speed work, Contagion-Curing Touch to ignore penalties (including working without tools), Wound-Mending Care Technique for restoring health levels instantly instead of waiting for natural healing, then figure out which keywords are a priority. Poisons, diseases, aggravated damage, pain? Maybe stack some temporary health levels on there in advance? They've got it all.

That's not exactly 'positive energy,' though, more based on mastery of relatively ordinary medical techniques. If you want to rebuild somebody's body just by throwing energy bolts at them, as a solar, the Lore tree might actually be a better fit. Two Lore excellencies + Chaos-Repelling Pattern => Wyld Shaping Technique => Wyld Cauldron Technology. Needs Lore 5 and Essence 4. With all that, you can use the power of primal chaos to take somebody apart, body and soul, then put them back together different. Takes hours or days to set up, though. If you want to be able to 'hold the charge,' throw that kind of power around far from the bordermarches, best bet would be a 3-dot artifact called the Hand of the Great Maker. Needs a hearthstone or some other sort of power supply; the best option would be a Protoshinmaic Vortex, a separate 5-dot artifact which requires regular Wyld Shaping Technique maintenance. A PSV is basically a crumpled-up baby universe. Too much missed maintenance, containment becomes unstable and the detonation takes out everything within at least a mile radius. When I say "everything," I'm not just talking about physical objects, either. A perfect defense can protect you from the initial blast, but then you're stuck in a zone of Pure Chaos, with no landmarks and rolls to resist mutation on a minute-to-minute basis. Good news, a PSV is an incredibly intense and versatile power source. Some heavy-duty artifacts need multiple hearthstones, or specific elemental aspects, or both, but a single PSV is always a sufficient substitute, and usually enough for previously undreamed-of overclocking even beyond the item's normal capabilities. The only things that might require multiple PSVs are those that can't normally be powered by any comprehensible number of hearthstones at all, like a miles-wide Titan-Class Aerial Citadel. A set of Gates of Auspicious Passage, which allow instant travel for vehicles or armies across arbitrary distance and would normally require several hours of max output from multiple linked manses for a single minute, could be held open indefinitely by a rotating array of just 25 PSVs.

>Killing Demons
Regular combat charms cover a lot of that, particularly if they include a holy-keyword effect. There's a terrestrial martial arts style, Golden Janissary, which is all about that kind of thing. Mainly uses spears. You could teach mortals that style, after enlightening them with thaumaturgy or Lore charms, to have a squad - or in time, an army - of demon-slaying henchmen.

In terms of specific anti-demon techniques, the main thing to look at is Occult charms. Sorcery, of course, can summon, slay, or banish, but... I dunno, the character you're describing doesn't exactly seem like a sorcerer. Native solar Occult charms cover the important stuff, anyway. Start with Spirit-Detecting Glance, then Spirit-Cutting Attack, which only require 2 dots in Occult and do exactly what they say. With Occult 5, the former can be upgraded to All-Encompassing Sorcerer's Sight, which lets you directly observe magical auras, and the latter into Spirit-Repelling Diagram, which again is fairly straightforward. The main one, though, is Ghost-Eating Technique, at Essence 3, Occult 4, which lets you permanently slay spirits which would otherwise reform after 'lethal' violence. That's arguably the core purpose for which all the Exalted were originally created: to shatter the invincible and slay the eternal. At Essence 5, Ghost-Eating Technique can be further upgraded with Demon-Binding Redemption, allowing you to subjugate and enslave defeated demons rather than obliterating them outright. That's limited to a year and a day, and is subject to 'exact words' dickery - unlike a proper sorcerous binding, which covers both letter and spirit and can last indefinitely, but also requires more setup.

>Resisting Mental Influence
That's most of the solar Integrity tree, plus Judge's Ear Technique from Investigation (a lie detector) and Sagacious Reading of Intent from Linguistics (which analyzes a speaker or writer's intent, and negates any associated mental influence if it's fundamentally hostile)

>Bathing in Flame
Could be covered by Resistance charms, but the more efficient long-term option is Survival 5, Essence 3, Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit => Element-Resisting Prana.

>Flight on Wings of light
At low Essence, your best option for this would be an artifact: Transcendent Phoenix Pinions, Wings of the Raptor, or a flight system incorporated into Celestial Battle Armor. Being able to fly completely under your own power (without mutations) would be an Essence 4 Athletics charm. Two options on that, actually: Eagle-Wing Style (with three prerequisite charms) for low-altitude tactical flight, Mountain-Crossing Leap Technique (with two completely different prerequisites) for jumping so high you come back down five minutes later, twenty miles away (or more at higher Essence). Adamant Skin Technique from the Resistance tree might be a good hedge against mishaps with that one, since it's one of the few charms that can fully protect against falling damage.

>Pottery/ceramics
Craft (Fire) again. I'm planning to somewhat rework the charms Object-Strengthening Touch, Durability Enhancing Technique, Chaos-Resistance Preparation, and The Art Of Permanence based on their 3rd edition versions, to make their utility a bit broader and clearer.
>Unarmed pasification
If you want to beat Godzilla unconscious with your mighty fists, or whatever improvised weapons are close at hand, that's what Solar Hero Style is all about. If you want to specifically pacify your enemies, subdue them without needless damage or death, it might be worth looking into Path of the Arbiter Style martial arts. It's a terrestrial style, total of nine charms, so you could master the entire style, and Golden Janissary as well (7 charms), at a cost of only nine charm slots including Swallowing the Lotus Root. The abilities are individually weaker than your native Solar set, but it includes handy powers like detecting disguised demons or mutant cultists by touch, setting entire groups of them on fire, conjuring your signature weapon and armor out of solid light, a perfect and absolute defense against inflicting unintended harm, and, with the capstone of Path of the Arbiter, giving a pre- or mid-battle "surrender or be destroyed"/"in the name of the moon, I will punish you" speech with some real tactical significance and power. Perhaps most interesting, you could take the Whispers background to give that mysterious dark side a way to help you out when you need it most, which, with some of my houserules, synergizes particularly well with Path of the Arbiter, allowing much more powerful weapons or armor to be produced than would normally be possible for a celestial exalt - possibly even more powerful than you'd get with Solar charms.

> sustain myself physically and mentally, without detriment or need for replenishment.
Solar charms can let you go a lot longer than normal without needing to eat, drink, sleep, etc., and find shelter or forage food in otherwise implausible conditions, but they won't let you renounce basic human metabolic needs outright. Abyssal charms can, though, and with Black Mirror Revelation (Occult 5, Essence 4, requires either Labyrinth Circle Necromancy or an excellency + upgrade) you can learn 'em.
>>
No. 872461 ID: d22dc0

>>872436
So, if you're approving the character's conceptual underpinnings, this description of ways to represent those skills with in game powers makes me assume that I'm to be sorting through these suggestions and finding what I think feels fitting or right, within a points constraint that you're mostly keeping track of until it comes down to bras tacks and I have to choose the exact details of what ways I can exercise my powers.

Broadly speaking, from what I've read there is one allotted amount of points that is split between everything you do. Somewhere in the range of 250-300 point units, which can get converted other units at an exchange rate of 4-1 for base attributes. The main places you spend your points are:

>Stats:
This covers willpower, virtues, ability scores, and your essence cap. These are broad physical limits that will determine how much power you can expend at any one time, and how good you are at using that power when compared to someone of equal training.

>Charms:
Charms seem to be small groups of skill trees that determine what you actually know how to do. They give off the impression of "moves" from the apocalypse system, rather than the more nebulous d&d terms of "this is what I'm good at". The relationship in fact seems nearly inverse to me; "because I know X move from Y skill tree, I am good at Z skill" as opposed to "Because I am good at Z skill, I can probably do X action with a decent chance of success, right?"

>Equipment:
You can attune to this stuff, often times objects so powerful a normal soul would have no chance to use it. They're also sometimes charms? But sometimes not? Seems to be a situation of "Y item allows me to preform X skill, as opposed to me having to learn how to do it of my own power." It took me about 6 hours to read most of the thread, and I got to a point somewhat close to the edge where I had simply burnt out and couldn't keep digging, so I don't know if I get the hole system currently, hence me posting this instead of making meaningful character choices. Want to straighten out the basic terms and mechanics.

From what I can tell, the game is played in scenes, where presumably each character will get to make one of these moves to influence the outcome of the scenario. The moves seem strangely narrow and specific to me, as I mentioned with the inverse relationship compared to what I'm used to. You have a lot of little skills that build on each other thematically in order to build your character's specialties.

Also there's something called sidereal? Which are important, but maybe not for everyone?


Actual Character Decisions:

Okay, so for my main focus I'd like to invest in smithing, protecting, and healing others. I'm imaging a relationship similar to any dual identity superhero book, with her cold aspect having about as much screen time as bruce wayne or clark kent do. The main character is her warm aspect.

And, to tie this in to other characters, I've been imaging the cold aspect as a negative of her, a polarized inverse, which is a type of reflection in itself. I think her mind and soul are very split on what her best self is, so I think that might be an interesting Dynamic for you to work with Magey. Spiritually she's bound to believe her cold aspect is her ideal self, but mentally and physically I think she desires to retain her compassion and mercy. Sort of a situation where One best self is so narrowly focused, there is no "self" left, just a burnt out computer-esque husk mindless preforming a directive, but the other is so reserved and removed she might as well not exist.

So, back to smithing. Based on what I've read I think Twilight might fit her better than zenith- she's less "holy warrior" and more "crafter and healer" in her warm aspect. The main points seem good to me- I want her to be better at this when she's at her worst than most mortals are at their best.

I was wondering if there was a way to spec her out with lower dexterity without having her crafting suffer for it. Some sort of charm or artifact, a skill that lets her substitute a different ability score in, maybe some sort of "slow and steady" vibe that replaces her dexterity with her wisdom? She makes no mistakes, not because of her deftness and grace, but because of her patience and experience kind of deal.

I'm thinking depending how much realizing her core features costs, that I might actually have her at essence 4, so craftsman needs no tools is appealing. Especially with one of her central goals being based on her lack of an ideal home base, I think that also implies a lack of an ideal workshop. No sure how much the re-emergence of the solars is going to plan into this setting, but if she found a group of other Twilight Solars to work with in a makeshift/under construction temple, that might make sense. She has a place to go when she's off duty, but it's not ideal, she has access to some tools, but not the perfect forge she desires. No need or desire to make something out of nothing, requiring materials falls well within the realm of her character.

As for tanking and resistance, her actual armed combat experience would be more akin with the multi-attack power and power attack realm. I was imaging that would be relegated more closely to her cold aspect, but with limited points, I might have it be closer to mundane training received through experience in a war before she was quite so exalted as she is now. The base inspiration for this deign draws on the warpriest class from pathfinder, so the class features detailing training with an array of weapons, heavy armor, the quickly strengthening your armaments with holy power for attack and defense, those were the basis for that skill on her background. Being able to make an ideal holy weapon lines up pretty closely with those powers, so I may look into that if I have the points to spare.

For healing, the mechanics sound exactly like what I want, but on the outset the thematic aspects sound contradictory to her character. It sounds to me like she's essentially just putting everyone back together again through mundane surgery, at a rate faster than is conceivably possible. Makes me think of Machi from HxH https://youtu.be/9i93O-nF4O0?t=55s

And while that's exactly the kind of power I'm trying to use, supernatural healing, mechanically it sits too close to crafting for me- putting all the bits in the right place is still a craft, whether it's flesh and bone or magical steel bars. Bridget has one true devotion, so it seems like the way this healing is explained run counter to her motivations as a character.

Carrying around a mini-universe to power spontaneous breaking down and re-building of people wasn't the original idea, but it does sound cool. Another thing to come back to depending on how the points hash out; I doubt I'll be able to afford it though, it sounds like something too expensive to be set up with leftovers.

Sounds like the solar path has everything I need for building her, including a perverse mirror aspect that has powers I can tap into to do what I need to do. I'll come back to the specifics of combat, but it sounds like occult is going to be an important skill for multiple facets. Dexterity is also recommended for two separate realms of her power, but as mentioned I wasn't planning on investing in dex. Will I be crippled as a character, given what I want to do, without high dex? Is that okay, in terms of your goals with this game? Still not sure exactly what we'll be doing since it seems like character creation takes a while, and we're going to be starting off at odds with eachother.

>Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit => Element-Resisting Prana.
This looks like you were describing stats that would be useful for resisting fire, and then this is part of a charm tree? Take one, then the other?

I was imaging flying through my own power, but despite being worth a good chunk of committed motes, the Transcendent Phoenix Pinions sound like a very satisfactory item. If I can't afford the Eagle-Wing Style, which I would prefer since it's more in line with "I have the power to fly" as opposed to "I have an item that lets me fly", I'll probably default to the Pinions.

Path of the Arbiter Style sounds like what I'd go for rather than bludgeoning mothra to death with my fists. Or, it does when you describe it as the non-lethal pacification option, less so when it's described as immolating crowds of people. Based on your description though that'll probably be my main fighting style, which the motivation being Bridget growing sick and tired of slaughtering people during the war, so re-focusing on the cultivation of a means to passify hostiles without undo risk to their lives made the most sense. If you don't like having to mince the people foolish enough to turn against you, learning ho not to mince people is a good place to start. Mechanically, I was imagining something along the lines of a transition from traditional warpriest into the sacred fist archytype. https://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/hybrid-classes/warpriest/archetypes/paizo-warpriest-archetypes/sacred-fist/

As for other unmentioned character things, I should probably propose attributes:
Strength 5, Dex 3, Stamina 6, Charisma 1, Manipulation 1, Appearance 1, Intelligence 5, Wits 5, Perception 5. My highest resources is my health and stamina, so naturally the others must be lower by comparison. Everything else relating to my craft is strong, but I'm weak socially, and not nearly as fast as I am any really anything else. Not sure what all the skills mean or do, so this is more of a rough guess based on what you said about the 10 point system, and their relative relations to eachother. If a scorce of 1 is supposed to be less than 7, I may re-consider. I'll want to narrow down skill cost before making a final decision, but I imagine I have very few points left with this load-out.

There was some discussion of the starting area, but to reaffirm my understanding the story thus far is that a lich, residing in her floating castle, was planning on summoning a demon. Bridget arrived, intent on intervening, but before a meaningful conclusion was had, a large explosion threatened to destroy the castle, and likely us with it given how geometrically powerful the castle is. This was at least partially to blame on Malaice, ho has snuck in with the help of a confidant in order to steal precious jewels that give access to a Gilgamesh style sage who is wise beyond belief, and likewise incapable of readily imparting useful wisdom. Somewhere in the mix we have at least two additional exalt, but I didn't see the post detailing the why and how of their involvement in the current situation.

Castle design seemed to be wildly over cost, so I have some proposed tweaks- the castle itself was created as a place for leisurely study and the pursuit of arts, right? So what if we take it down a notch, say that it's about as fragile as a regular library, only more harry potter-eque inside? I know the first rule of doing stuff together is "yes AND" but it seems like we may need to cut costs somewhere. I wasn't sure exactly what you meant by having extra manses giving power- basically we have small batteries with us? Why can we not just be surrounded by little one point batteries then? I'm confused as to how the power lending system works. An endlessly shifting library removed from mortal memory might have less need for defense and city moving capabilities, so maybe we could dial it back on the traps and defendability of the structure, focus on the leasurly spending of life after death. Maybe we could skin those lightning defenses as a lightning storm, traveling with the castle? Takes the form of massive fog-bank spilling endlessly when it lands, preferably somewhere over water perhaps, pierced only my the light of the full moon?
>>
No. 872477 ID: 3abd97

>>871744
...I'm rapidly approaching the point where I discard the optimized akuma attributes for something more conservative that actually lets me start with some charms and skills, but I suppose I'll try and figure this route out a little longer. It's looking like she'll end up starting with the attributes, some artifacts, and zero charms and skills. And I remain unconvinced this will be fun or interesting, even if it's more long term optimized. (And does it function? Like, if I go to work on someone with high Manipulate and no Socialize, what happens)?

Can work on the chancel stuff for now, as that should apply either way.

>if you're familiar with the Rise of the Runelords adventure path
Nope.

The groundhog looping town in the mirror being destroyed and rest daily is a fun concept though. Bonus points if the goblins manifest as rival serpent and feline factions, and the town is a casualty of their turf war. I'm reminded of how the rival fae courts are depicted in A Practical Guide to Evil- the same actors reborn (reset) to enact the same conflict and over and over. A thousand variations on the same story. Which side is the aggressor or the defender changes, who's the new upstarts or the old established power, who's the winner or the loser (well the city is the battlefield, it always looses), which prince or princess leads as their people's king or queen, etc.

Part of the cosmetically antagonistic relationship between Lute and the Raksha could be assuming roles on opposite sides of the cyclical conflict (given the nature of the loop, neither the roles nor side would have to be consistent). I don't really have any definite ideas how to define the Rakasha Lord's style role and services beyond that, right now. Maybe personality modeled on good-mood-Q. (As opposed to a rebuke-all-humanity-mood-Q).

I was imagining a marshy, jungle-y landscape (with distant mountains, some the wrong way up) rather than a desert. Although I could compromise on that if it's the difference between you being able to tap an existing resource to fill out a background thing versus having to invent an entire environment fresh.
>>
No. 872500 ID: 094652

Poison: Needs to be lethal If it doesn't kill quickly, it's not going to keep Embri from getting revenge-skewered. Any non-lethal poisons should be purchased on-site "for special occasions" or obtained from a squad member who is specialized for non-lethal methods.
1: Frozen Hearts of the Tellerauthelot - Holy crap this one's awesome. Lethal, abundant doses, and it can even create meatshields out of dead targets!
2: 3-dot Hearthstone - Less costly but it should do the trick.
Knife: Sounds good. This knife is specifically for backstabbing and 1v1 skirmishes with alerted targets in the brothel room. If she's forced to fight, her preference is a bow, caltrops, and some kunai. The scabbard means she won't have to worry anymore about low-grade assassins revenge-stealth-killing her with cheap weapons, that is a huge load off her mind.
Blanket: Worried I might not think of its full potential, but shadows for Embri.
Mirrors: Add as a knife mod, I was planning on having the mirror used specifically for assassinations. Plus, the knife itself can be used as a mirror with this mod, so that's one less artifact to keep track of.
Smoke Bombs: Nerve gas, nice.

So actually, some new ideas come to mind:
Caltrops that drop from underneath her kimono while she's running away. Just a small amount, but it can be triggered quickly to hinder pursuers when she's using a narrow escape route. They'd have to ignore her kimono entirely. Maybe they could be poisoned?
Time-Displaced Kunai - Much like the Time-Strung Bow, a few of Embri's kunai disappear and store their potential energy for the right moment. Unlike the bow, treat them as ethereal invisible kunai in the middle of a very slow time-bubble that will pop when an unsuspecting pursuer runs straight into it, causing the throwing dagger to instantly fire. This means if Embri isn't hitting any targets, she can slip a few of these in her ineffective kunai volleys and run for it, and when the enemy reaches the point where she threw, it's an instant trap. The kunai can only hold their charge for about ~30 seconds before they run out of stored horizontal kinetic energy, the bubble pops, and the kunai just fall straight to the ground.
Let me know what you think.
>>
No. 872507 ID: d1248b

>>872461
> one allotted amount of points that is split between everything you do. Somewhere in the range of 250-300 point units,
That was specific to Mageykun's character, an akuma. Someone who's sold their soul completely to an extraordinarily powerful demon, and had it all mulched up and re-forged, potentially in a shape so different as to be unrecognizable. Free-willed exalts face more constraints, being bound by minds that must be largely sane, memories and personal histories that formed in an environment of strictly linear time, etc.
>which can get converted other units at an exchange rate of 4-1 for base attributes.
Normal exalts have a much smaller pool of bonus points (hence the term, a small totipotent bonus added on top of a relatively rigid framework) but the conversion factors remain accurate. As a solar, you have 18 bonus points, plus up to ten more from disadvantages, but rather than zero your Attributes start with one dot each, plus 8 more in the primary category (physical, mental, or social), 6 in the secondary, and 4 in the tertiary.

>broad physical limits
Mental and spiritual as well, but this paragraph is otherwise a serviceably accurate summary.

>The relationship in fact seems nearly inverse to me; "because I know X move from Y skill tree, I am good at Z skill"
This is somewhat an artifact of the abstracted design process. Exalts are enhanced, uplifted humans; their charms are built on a foundation of human capability. Again, the metaphor of the Perfected Lotus: the dirt around the lotus's roots is mundane effort, repetitive practice, building muscles or training reflexes or simple humility acquired by sweeping out the dojo day after day. No dirt, no flower. Weak dirt, not as good a flower. Character design in this system is like gardening, or architecture. First you imagine the pinnacle, the perfumed penthouse suite, the milkshake that brings all the bees to the yard, then you work backwards through the stalks and pipes and girders, the foundations, the underlying rocks and mud necessary to support it all. Then you compare those glorious aspirations to cold, hard schedules and budgets.

Anyway, charms aren't the sum total of what you can do. Skills and Attributes are enough for mundane actions, stunting and willpower can push those to the limits of plausibility, virtues can be channeled to go even further in moments of heroic necessity, and then there's thaumaturgy, which covers everything from low-key folk magic to the most foolish sorts of demon summoning.

>You can attune to this stuff, often times objects so powerful a normal soul would have no chance to use it. They're also sometimes charms? But sometimes not? Seems to be a situation of "Y item allows me to preform X skill, as opposed to me having to learn how to do it of my own power."
Yes. Some artifacts have a particular affinity for some types of exalt, attuning more easily and with greater benefits, but that also means doubling down on your archetypal associations. Artifacts can be more interesting as a way to step outside your niche, develop complementary powers that you'd never have been able to learn. Touches on a couple of major themes: one, the value of infrastructure as a force multiplier, and two, the historical fact that, during the Primordial War, the Exalted Host stood together stronger than it's component parts, for each type of exalt complemented the others' strengths and covered their weaknesses.

>From what I can tell, the game is played in scenes,
Correct, to a point. Scenes are an explicit unit of time in play, traditionally approximated as twenty in-game minutes, which sets the duration of many magical effects. A scene could be a matter of seconds, when a mysterious figure appears, slips a few words into your ear or sharp things into your kidneys and vanishes again, or an hours-long overlong pursuit or battle. Scenes are times when something is happening, downtime is the region between scenes when nothing of real significance is happening.
>where presumably each character will get to make one of these moves to influence the outcome of the scenario.
Raksha work this way, explicitly and consciously directing narratives with the Shaping Combat rules - which are, and I say this as a connoisseur, really confusing. More conventional sorts of violence or social interaction are handled in a relatively strict gamist/simulationist blow-by-blow sort of framework, tracking movement in yards and time in seconds or minutes. I'm planning to try and actually play some of that out, more or less 'by the book,' once character creation is done. A single action in combat might plausibly be a flurry of five distinct attacks against five different targets, each attack supplemented, resisted, or otherwise modified by more than one charm from both the attacker and defender. The flurry might even be interrupted by counterattacks.
>something called sidereal?
Stripped of context, the word means having to do with the stars. Sidereal Exalted are Chosen of the Five Maidens of Destiny: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. They are natural advisors, astrologers, matchmakers, schemers, spymasters. When they exert themselves beyond subtlety (which is a rare event, and not just because they are so few in number) their souls glow with starlight.

>Based on what I've read I think Twilight might fit her better than zenith
You get just as many Favored skills as Caste, so you could make a Twilight with lots of traditionally Zenith charmtech just as easily as the reverse. Key distinguishing point mechanically is the anima power, and from a characterization perspective, the reason this person Exalted. Why are you here? What's it all about? Is this character, first and foremost, someone who lives and breathes SCIENCE, who pokes into dark corners and takes notes on whatever is found there, learning more about how the world works largely as an end in itself? Or is this someone who lives and breathes RIGHTEOUSNESS, who pokes into dark corners and takes notes on what's gone wrong, learning more about how to fix it because that just ain't the way things ought to be? Twilight anima power lets you notice details, analyze magic, snap out of illusions. Zenith lets you smite and purify the unclean.

>I was wondering if there was a way to spec her out with lower dexterity without having her crafting suffer for it.
Crafting is based on the lowest among Dexterity, Intelligence, and Perception for small items assembled personally, but Dexterity isn't a factor for "larger works." A surgeon, or somebody working on Faberge Eggs, absolutely needs steady hands; somebody directing a team of journeymen and unskilled laborers, not so much.
>Some sort of charm or artifact,
Yep.
>>867771
>There's a 3-dot artifact, Bracers of Universal Crafting, which is an all-purpose toolkit and gives a broad bonus to fine manipulation.

>I might actually have her at essence 4, so craftsman needs no tools is appealing.
Boosting Essence to 4 costs 14 of your 18 bonus points, and is a poor BP/XP tradeoff, but on the other hand it saves three solid in-game months of training time and unlocks some of those very interesting charms. Speaking of which, if you're going for Craftsman Needs No Tools and E4, might as well take it a step further and pick up Words As Workshop Method. At that point, even the finest mundane forge would be entirely superfluous, except perhaps for stealth or energy-conservation purposes. The infrastructure you'd need to expand your options further would be the sort pf magical materials and exotic ingredients that major countries quarrel over. A smelting facility for turning gold into orichalcum, which is the magical material for which solars have the best affinity, typically involves an active volcano and enormous, high-precision mirrors for focusing sunlight. Building such mirrors is a matter of Craft (Air) rather than Craft (Fire), so Lute Silhouette Speculation might have valuable skills to offer for such a project, and favors to ask in return.

>multi-attack, power attack
If you want to do truly gratuitous amounts of damage, the real trick is to stack multipliers. Hungry Tiger Technique doubles the contribution of excess accuracy to raw damage, and is prerequisite for Fire And Stones Strike which adds to post-soak damage. Thunderbolt Attack Prana, over in the Athletics tree, defines a 'signature move' which gives you a small boost to the attack roll and doubles the post-soak damage, possibly including any additions from Fire And Stones Strike. One Weapon, Two Blows (another melee charm with no prereqs beyond the skill itself) allows you to apply that post-soak damage twice, and it's the prerequisite for Peony Blossom Attack, which lets you make a single attack roll against everyone within three yards at once. If you've got Peony Blossom Attack, Iron Raptor Technique, and Essence 4, you could learn the Grass-Cutting Strike and apply that single attack roll simultaneously to all targets in a 40 yard radius around you. Stacking all the multipliers could be expensive, but sometimes you just really need to take out, say, an entire unholy cathedral in one shot: all the cultists, the summoned demons, and even those thick stone pillars holding up the roof.

>Will I be crippled as a character, given what I want to do, without high dex? Is that okay, in terms of your goals with this game?
You'll have smaller dice pools for some actions, including a lot of combat stuff, and a slower tactical movement rate. There are ways to work around that. Dex 3, Melee 5, an Excellency, and a single simple combat-oriented 2-dot artifact, such as a daiklaive, thunderbolt shield, or medium armor, already puts you head and shoulders above any mortal combatant. Against a well-optimized celestial-tier combatant, you'd probably lose... but that's true anyway, without a full Chungian paranoia combo. Consider Marena (from Keychain of Creation), particularly her reluctance to directly oppose other exalts and overall inefficiency in combat. Would you say she's crippled as a character?

>This looks like you were describing stats that would be useful for resisting fire, and then this is part of a charm tree? Take one, then the other?
Both are Solar Survival charms. HSMS negates external penalties for harsh environments, including difficulty finding food and water in a barren desert, or fatigue from temperatures which even a completely unprotected person could survive for a few hours. Element-Resisting Prana requires HSMS, as well as Survival 5 and Essence 3, but then it provides immunity to environments so hazardous they could cause damage in combat time, such as a raging forest fire. Not actual attacks, though.

>If I can't afford the Eagle-Wing Style,
You can, it just needs Athletics 5, Essence 4, and four charm slots.

>immolating crowds of people
That's the capstone of Golden Janissary, not anything to do with Path of the Arbiter. Sorry about blurring those together.

>Strength 5, Dex 3, Stamina 6, Charisma 1, Manipulation 1, Appearance 1, Intelligence 5, Wits 5, Perception 5.

Hooboy. First, can't have social that low. Being Hephaestus-style ugly fits the forge-worker archetype, and relative lack of Manipulation too, but even if it's your tertiary category that still squeezes Charisma up to 5. Might not have much in the way of social skills, but there's a foundation of burning passion to work from at least.

For mental, if you want to be patient, how about making that the primary set with Intelligence 5, Wits 1, Perception 5? Covers the crafting stuff and slow reactions.

That leaves secondary physical. Can't normally start with attributes above 5. Could go with Strength 2, Dex 3, Stamina 4, then boost it to 3/3/5 with the 1-point mutation Large, which is at the upper end of the range for natural human sizes - or 3/3/3 boosted to 5/3/5 with the 2-point mutation Huge, which is well outside that range, on the order of nine feet tall. Mutations cost bonus points, of course, but you could get some back by taking an appropriate derangement.

More to come. Manses are tricky to explain, and I've got IRL stuff to do.
>>
No. 872544 ID: d1248b

>>872477
>I was imagining a marshy, jungle-y landscape (with distant mountains, some the wrong way up)
Sandpoint is a coastal town, named after mineral resources which are suited to the production of particularly high-quality glass, rather than an overall ubiquity of sand. Brinestump Marsh could be one of the other waypoints within the chancel. http://paizo.com/products/btpy8j5w?Pathfinder-Module-We-Be-Goblins

Also, an intriguingly relevant quote from the section in the first Rise of the Runelords adventure's description of the town: Aside from the occasional goblin, the citizens of Sandpoint have traditionally had little wor- ries about invasion or banditry—the region simply isn’t populated enough to make theft a lucrative business. Hanging from a bent nail at both the gatehouse and the southern bridge is a sign and a mirror—painted on each sign is the message: “Welcome to Sandpoint! Please stop to see yourself as we see you!”
>And does it function? Like, if I go to work on someone with high Manipulate and no Socialize, what happens
If you needed to roll Manipulation + Socialize, as an exalt with six in the former and zero in the latter, you could go ahead and roll those six dice. With an applicable Yozi excellency, you could buy six more dice, for a total of twelve. In-setting, you'd be making it up as you went along, re-deriving the rules of etiquette on the fly rather than remembering any sort of training. A fairly competent mortal courtier or con artist might have attributes and skills both at 3, so you'd be able to hold your own by dint of raw superhuman brilliance even without the excellency. Readily available points of comparison that spring to mind would be Kaylee's ability to charm high-class partygoers by talking shop about ship engines in the Firefly episode Shindig, or Ein helping Jet play Shogi in Cowboy Bebop, or Kevyn Andreyasn's adventures in military leadership, particularly starting here https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2004-11-04 No formal training, might be outplayed by someone with formal training since they already know the tricks instead of having to invent it all on the spot... but usually won't be, because she's just that good.

>>872500
As an Alchemical, you've got a larger than usual budget for artifacts, but it's still not unlimited. At some point you'll need to narrow this down to the items you're actually taking.
>>
No. 872580 ID: d22dc0

>>872507
>You have fewer points, but also haven't sold your soul to a demon

Makes sense! Although now that I'm thinking about it in terms of selling your soul for power, my background does pitch it as "some portion of my spirituality was auctioned off for greater power and re-forged into something that suits the needs of another entity". I was picturing that as the reason I have some super human characteristics in the first place though.

>1 in everything, then add 8/6/4
Got it. With that arrangement, I'll boil it down to:
Strength 2, Dex 3, Stamina 3, Charisma 5, Manipulation 1, Appearance 1, Intelligence 5, Wits 1, Perception 5.
Then, to get some extra BP, I'll take allergy (soulsteel), disturbing voice, and chakra eye, to get +4 points. With that I'll take huge and inexhaustible, for strength 4 and stamina 5. I'm curious about how taking chakra eye twice works, since it gives you -2 points, but taking it twice gives you a blight that costs 4 points.

I was thinking about taking disgusting scent, but it seems a little one-note to take a bunch of social debilitating mutations. The idea of smelling constantly like sulfur and copper is a cool idea though. I also though about taking hungry, since it's counteracted by inexhaustible, but that seems a bit like cheating.

>First you imagine the pinnacle, [...] Then you compare those glorious aspirations to cold, hard schedules and budgets.
Gottcha! I was imagining we were starting out as full blow god-like super heroes, but I'm more than happy to work towards a described ideal instead of starting there. Helps me re-contextualize what my actual goal in character creation is.

>charms aren't the sum total of what you can do
Good to know. There was an emphasis on them, so I was getting the impression most of what occurred in each scene would be moves gained from charm, and in between scenes we'd be mainly using skills, but from what I've read and what you've said it seems like there's a good opportunity to use a mix of both.

>Artifacts
Makes sense that it's cheaper to build within a theme- I like that idea, and think the themes of "stronger together" lends itself to the way you're encouraged to specialize- if everyone specializes in a theme, and them compliment each other, it'll be stronger than all of us building outside our theme. I think it also lends itself to interesting story development; if we're counting on each other to shore up our weaknesses and strengthen the team, then the inevitable conflicts and betrayal create more drama and interesting results.

>Scene
Pretty much exactly what I was thinking. Didn't realize it also doubled up as a defined unit of time, but that makes sense.

Okay so sidereal is another type of exalt, not a thing you can do, got it.

As for twilight vs zenith, her main reason isn't specifically science, but it isn't righteousness either. Crafting magic artifacts seems to be solidly within the realm of twilight, but she does it as an art form, not for understanding or discovery. Her evil purifying sidejob is almost entirely at odds with her character and motivations, so that's not her main gimick. Unless of course you think it makes more sense for her to be a Zenith because despite her primary goals and desires, she was granted power in order to purge evil. So I'll defer to you on whether her caste is a result of her needs, or a fundamental facet of her personality and self.

>all-purpose toolkit and gives a broad bonus to fine manipulation.
Sounds like something I want at some point. We'll have to see what my budget for charms and artifacts is since with my stats I've already spent all my BP, and that's before I've even looked at Essence level.

>Doing lots of damage in combat
Again, perhaps another after thought field. Not the primary focus of her character.

>You won't be the best at combat, but you can shore up your weak points
Sounds like a good fit then. I don't mind being bad at things in game, but I know there are certain systems or goals where deficiencies are self defeating to the character concept. For example, being required to a dex based weapon for sneak attack damage would mean that a low dex rouge is almost unable to use certain class features. If I don't have to worry about that, then there's no issue.

>Element-Resisting Prana
Sounds like exactly what I want. Not sure what my budget is since I've spent all my BP. It sounds like I want to try to get survival and occult and crafting as high as I can to start with.

>You can afford flying
Perhaps outright, but it's not the first priority. If I really wanted to, I could take more mutations and get wings. We'll see based on how much I can game the system and what I have room for in the budget.

>Golden Arbiter
Got it, I'll actually look them up on my own so I have a better understanding of the detail. I'll also look into backgrounds since I haven't even touched that subject yet

>Hephaestus-style ugly
I was imagining that would be relegated closer to 0 rather than 1, although I may be overestimating how ugly he is supposed to be. I was picturing 1 being equivalent to an ability score of 7 in traditional terms, which is below average but not hideous as to be unthinkable. Mechanically, it only boils down to a 10% debuff compared to your average joe, which didn't seem too unreasonable. Does it work differently than I'm imagining?

>I've got IRL stuff to do.
Please, take your time. You've been more than accommodating. I'm not in any rush.

Anyone want to chime in on my proposals to the castle and introductory scene? It's been a while since I've seen strngy, I hope they're doing alright. Seems like they too might have some tough stuff going on IRL.
>>
No. 872712 ID: d22dc0

Decided to look into backgrounds, and frutratingly I wasn't finding any sort list detailing different backgrounds, their costs, or what they did- mostly jut home-brew or incomplete list. I ended up finding this:

http://fap.if.usp.br/~fmneto/exalted/pdf/Exalted%202E%20-%20Dreams%20of%20the%20First%20Age%20-%20Book%202%20(Lords%20of%20Creation)%20[revised].pdf

And did a little reading. I'm going to throw some ideas out there based on what it says I get to spend, but obviously I understand you're the storyteller and get to decide how the rules actually work, so I'm just going to use this as a sort of inspiration/jumping off point as I try to familiarize myself with the system.

One of the first questions posed under the solar character creation thread i "how do you feel about other exalted" which is a good question that I don't know the answer to. I left the background vague enough to fill in with details from the setting, but as we narrow it don it might help establish the character better. So I guess question one is what war was I involved in and how did the exalted play into it? My core idea was that it involved fighting against demons at some level, with the scale and motivations behind it not yet filled in. I imagine before becoming exalted, Bridget would likely have been someone of low social standing and power, perhaps even to the point of slavery or indentured servitude, with the "war" perhaps being a large scale revolt she was pressed into to save the lives of herself and her loved ones.

Abilities:

>A Solar Exalt gets eight free dots in Abilities by virtue of Celestial Training—one dot in Bureaucracy, Presence or Socialize; Lore 2; Occult 2; Ride or Sail 1; and two dots allocated among Archery, Martial Arts, Melee or Thrown. Members of each Solar Caste also receive specialized training in areas considered appropriate to their societal role. Some of these Abilities are Caste Abilities, but others are not. Collectively, these are called Caste Training Abilities. Each Caste gains free dots in those Training Abilities in addition to the dots gained from the Celestial Training Abilities.

>Dawn Training Abilities: two dots in Archery, Martial Arts, Melee or Thrown; one dot in Ride or Sail; War 1

>Zenith Training Abilities: Bureaucracy 1, Performance 2, Presence 1

>Twilight Training Abilities: Craft 1, Lore 1, Medicine 1, Occult 1


>Night Training Abilities: two dots in Investigation or Larceny; one dot in Archery, Martial Arts, Melee or Thrown; Stealth 1

>Eclipse Training Abilities: Integrity 1; Linguistics 1; one dot in Ride or Sail; one dot in Bureaucracy, Performance, Presence or Socialize

>After noting all the free dots your character gets through training, pick her five Favored Abilities (which cannot be Caste Abilities). Divide 10 dots among your Caste and Favored Abilities. You must have at least one dot in every Favored Ability. Once that’s done, allocate the other 18 Ability dots as you wish. You cannot raise an Ability above 3 without spending bonus points.

So, based on that, I would choose the twilight caste and end up with:

Craft 1; Lore 1 + Lore 2; Martial Arts 1; Medicine 1; Melee 1; Occult 1 + Occult 2; Presence 1; Sail 1;

As my free set of skills. After that, most of the skills I want or need are covered under my caste, so I jut chose other skills I thought sounded fitting as my favored.
Athletics**
Awareness**
Integrity**
Resistance**
War**

I don't know if specialties are part of this procedure, so I may want to re-work this later, but I think 3 points in craft and resistance is the first place to start with my 5 leftover caste/favored points, and then I can actually get all my skills up to 3 with the remaining 18 points. Instead though I might only have 2 sail, 2 war, and 2 presence, and get 2 ride and 1 archery. If specialties come into play though I'll wanna re-distribute some of my points.


>Solar Exalted begin with 20 points in Backgrounds. Also, all Solars begin with one free dot in the Cult Background and one free dot in the Manse Background (representing a manse somewhere in Meru, most likely a one-dot Air or Earth manse unless the player assigns more dots to improve the quality of this manse).

Arsenal 1
Backing 1
Connections 1
Command 1
Cult 2
Manse 2
Panopoly 3
Reputation 1
Salary 1
Savant 5
Sifu 1
Wealth 3

With the backgrounds done, I think I'm starting to get a better feel for the origin story of the character. I think it probably fits the general arc of

"I lived in a small community, likely exploited or uncared for by the powerful. A demon invasion or something similar occurred, and I became exalted during the process, making me one of the few instrumental individuals in turning the tide. After saving the people almost singlehandedly, I was contacted by other exalted,
mainly solars, (connections + Sifu) nearby who had recently began to return. We set up a base of operations (manse), and got connected with some higher power in Yu-Shan, so now we're on the payroll (backing + salary) with a notable following (cult) thanks to my reputation. Re-purposing the spoils of war has given us access to a degree of resources (wealth + panopoly), and I earned a small reputation since the community wasn't really that notable to begin with. We organized and outfitted a small fighting force (arsenal + command) to help prevent this sort of thing from happening again. Savant is jut who I was before the war. Probably suffered a great deal of personal tragedy, and don't want much to do with the whole situation, but her compassion stops her from just abandoning the community, and she's sort of bound to service after becoming an exalt, despite how much she'd like to live a life of peace and quiet sequestered from the violence of the world.

>Each Solar begins with 15 Charms. At least five of them
must be associated with either Caste or Favored Abilities.

Have to get into that another time, it's getting late. Probably want to re-visit essence level as well, since I was originally under the impression my attributes cost all 18 points, but the pdf seemed to indicate I might be able to use those as a separate buying pool.
>>
No. 872732 ID: d1248b

>>872580
>Although now that I'm thinking about it in terms of selling your soul for power, my background does pitch it as "some portion of my spirituality was auctioned off for greater power and re-forged into something that suits the needs of another entity". I was picturing that as the reason I have some super human characteristics in the first place though.
The Immaculate Philosophy calls solars and lunars "anathema," and considers them to be more or less possessed by demons.

>Her evil purifying sidejob is almost entirely at odds with her character and motivations, so that's not her main gimick. Unless of course you think it makes more sense for her to be a Zenith because despite her primary goals and desires, she was granted power in order to purge evil. So I'll defer to you on whether her caste is a result of her needs, or a fundamental facet of her personality and self.
The iconic example Zenith, Panther, was an amoral pit fighter pre-exaltation. One day he stepped out onto the balcony to get some fresh air, saw some problems elsewhere in the city, and thought to himself, "that ain't the way things should be." http://www.casualvillain.com/Unsounded/comic/ch03/ch03_05.html Now, instead of boxing for money, he tries to make the world a better place by picking fights with tyrants and misbehaving gods.

>We'll have to see what my budget for charms and artifacts is since with my stats I've already spent all my BP, and that's before I've even looked at Essence level.
Ten charms, seven dots in backgrounds no higher than 3 dots each. You start with 18 bonus points and Essence 2, buying Essence up costs 7 per dot for solars so Ess4 costs 14 BP, leaving you with four.

>Then, to get some extra BP, I'll take allergy (soulsteel), disturbing voice, and chakra eye, to get +4 points.
Allergy gets you +2, Disturbing Voice gets you +1. The split personality could easily be represented with a derangement worth at least another +1.
>With that I'll take huge and inexhaustible, for strength 4 and stamina 5. I'm curious about how taking chakra eye twice works, since it gives you -2 points, but taking it twice gives you a blight that costs 4 points.
Chakra Eye costs 2 points, because it's not a disadvantage. In terms of mutations, with the combination of Disturbing Voice and Huge you're now talking about some sort of hulking mountain troll who won't be widely acknowledged as human. If you want to go for that, instead of Inexhaustible (which I'm less than confident about in terms of balance), how about maxing out disadvantages with a congenital twisted leg for +2 (hitting the Hephaestus thing again) and Wandering Po for +4, then spending the eight points thus freed up on Thick Skin for +2 natural soak, and a second head? No off-hand penalty that way, makes flurried actions easier, and from an RP standpoint you get to argue with yourself out where the other PCs can see it and possibly interrupt. With the charm Soul Fire Resurgence (Essence 2, Resistance 2), you could even round out the forge troll archetype with willpower-fueled regeneration in combat time.

Then, for artifacts, you could take a pair of three-dots: a Cup of Flowing Blood (healing potion, rechargeable by equivalent injury) and a Necklace of Solar Charisma, which gives +3 dice to Appearance and Charisma rolls, but the main benefit is an anti-xenophobia mental influence: nobody will ever attack you just for looking like a dangerous monster, and anybody with lower Essence (which, if you're starting with E4, would include all unExalted humans, even god-blooded or enlightened martial artists, and many supernatural beings as well) will consider you normal and/or pleasant-looking, rather than peculiar or unsettling, regardless of the actual details of your appearance. Strictly an emotional tweak, doesn't affect memories at all.

>Does it work differently than I'm imagining?
Appearance 2 is your average peasant. Appearance 1 is somebody who's notably ugly, maybe lumpy or lopsided somehow; it counts as equivalent to Appearance 3 for purposes of intimidation, which is why poor personal hygiene and extensive facial scarring mix well with thuggish behavior. Appearance 0 is the 'unspeakably hideous' level, for rotting corpses and particularly unpleasant demons, and counts as equivalent to Appearance 5 for intimidation purposes. That's the level where random bystanders start screaming or fleeing or vomiting with minimal provocation. The way I'm thinking of it, Hephaestus wasn't all that ugly in objective terms, but the other gods of Mt. Olympus were all in at least the Appearance 3 or 4 range, and being married to Aphrodite highlights the contrast even more.
>>
No. 872735 ID: d1248b

>>872712
Those rules are for starting solars in the High First Age, before the Usurpation, when they'd been ruling the world for thousands of years and had it rigged up just the way they liked it. Default setting is the Age of Sorrows/Time of Tumult, some fifteen centuries and three apocalypses later. The majority of Solar Exaltations spent most of that time imprisoned under the sea rather than seeking out new hosts, and have now awakened from the sleep of ages in a ruined world where the dominant culture's official religion teaches that they must be killed on sight, while the runner-up (Lookshy) only disagrees on a few technicalities of the most tactically expedient way to do so, and who should be in charge of organizing such hunts. Accordingly, modern solars don't get any of the extensive formal training and free social capital those rules reflect. Some factions are willing to prop them up, such as the Cult of the Illuminated, but those tend to have ulterior motives, and even with the purest intentions, much of the First Age social and educational infrastructure is simply gone. On the strategic scale, newly exalted Solars tend to be more rebels and refugees than rock stars... at least when they're starting out.
>>
No. 872769 ID: d22dc0

Okay, lost my work for no discernible reason, lazarus isn't working, so lets try round 2.

I think I'll stick with the allergy, voice, and delusion, and go for Huge + Chakra eye. Tough is useful for being a tank, but I think the eye is jut more fun. Don't want to have to deal with murdering people in the middle of the night, or having a twisted leg, so we'll stick with ugly one headed troll woman for now.

For backgrounds I'm thinking then I parse it down to just her making the crucial difference, no other exalted in the mix, so we'll end up with

Cult 1
Manse 1
Reputation 1
Savant 3
Wealth 1

I have a small following of people who hail me as their savior and protector, and am known locally. I set up a small workshop and converted the spoils of war into a small pool of wealth and resources I can draw on.

The two items you mentioned sound good, but it also sounds like I won't have much left for getting combat oriented charms. We'll have to see what else I think I need.

Let me know if my skills are sorted appropriately; if I still get skill boosts for being a Twilight, then I'll want to stick with that because it gives me pretty much exactly the kind of skills I want.

If we're in the age of sorrows will we have to worry about remembering our sidereal PCs? Or did the mask thing happen later?
>>
No. 872800 ID: d1248b

>>872769
Wealth and Savant are directly derived from the economic and educational resources of the First Age. How about a 1-dot wood-aspected Manse producing a Farmer's Stone (which improves agricultural productivity on any farm the bearer regularly tends), Resources 3, Cult 1, Backing (town council) 2?

Bridget's family has lived in the rough lands near the edges of the world since time out of mind. Mostly they keep to themselves, dwelling in cliffs along the sides of canyons, working with earth and fire, meditating on the riddle of steel and other fragmentary technical secrets from long ago. The only common interaction with outsiders was toll-collecting: caravans are permitted to cross on stone arches constructed over the canyons, in exchange for live sheep and certain highly ritualized gestures of respect. Five years ago, the Guild became dissatisfied with this arrangement, and hired a sorcerer to summon a small army of demons with the intention of subjugating or possibly exterminating all the bridge-trolls. You Exalted while fighting those demons, and, in the course of back-tracing the chain of command to make sure any Guildsmen involved learned their lesson rather than trying again after a year or three, accidentally conquered and liberated a drug plantation, complete with several thousand slave workers. The plantation HQ was (well, still is) a manse, and while it didn't have any proper anti-siege defenses, on-site bureaucrats managed to hole up inside and defend themselves from the rioting slaves by using remote-access codes for powered sliding doors and the ridiculously overbuilt climate control systems. Now they all work for you. The last few years were spent in reseeding coca fields with food crops and other setup for self-sufficiency. Then one day, some bizarre castle, forged partly of black metal that makes you itchy and nauseous just to look at, flew overhead. Nobody but the Sun gets to cross above your territory without paying due respect and three goats; even Luna steers her Silver Chair a little bit off to one side every night. So, one Mountain-Crossing Leap later, here we are.

Sound good? Ten charm slots, three of which would be needed for Mountain-Crossing Leap; the prerequisites, Monkey Leap Technique and Soaring Crane Leap, give you a level of tactical maneuverability that's almost as good as flight. Golden wings could be the iconic anima banner. Two Survival charms for the environmental damage immunity, three Resistance charms for the fast healing and armor (Whirlwind Armor-Donning Prana => Glorious Solar Plate, or Durability of Oak Meditation => Iron Kettle Body if you want to go bare-chested, which is slightly less efficient but can be activated reflexively, even against an unexpected attack, and is also more compatible with martial arts. Glorious Solar Plate needs a few crucial seconds of sparkly transformation sequence before it's ready, and produces a stealth-defeating glow which provides extra protection against demons and other creatures of darkness), then... hm.

Last two could go into Call The Blade => Glorious Solar Saber,
or a Craft Excellency => Craftsman Needs No Tools,
or Heroism Encouraging Presence => Tiger Warrior Training Technique so you can turn starving refugees into a SWAT team with alarming speed and ease,
or an Athletics Excellency => Flying Faith Legion so sufficient loyalty lets any army you command follow along on Mountain-Crossing Leaps.
>>
No. 872897 ID: d22dc0

>>872800
Sounds like a good set up, I'll take hat you've suggested and go for the, Durability of Oak Meditation => Iron Kettle Body tree, and then I don't think I satisfy the pre-requs, but Craft Excellency => Craftsman Needs No Tools sounds like a good pick for me. If I'm allergic to the ship, I imagine the opening is going to be difficult for her.

Based on the book (again, I recognize you're running the show- this is just a jumping off point) I'll have personal motes somewhere in the 13 - 21 range, and peripheral Essence in the 36 - 50 range. Using 10 motes before I've even started is also a bit of a commitment. Not sure what else there is to buy, but I should probably settle for essence 3, and pump some points into skills and charms to make sure I'm ready to rumble, unless you'd advise otherwise. Looking at the arbiter style, there's some interesting points; mainly the capstone and protection from inflicting harm unintentionally. Most of the other stuff seems either uninteresting, or downright unusable for my character idea, like a weapon and armor when I want to use unarmed and go unarmored. I'm also not sure about the themes behind being an arbiter, but I think I can sort of fit it into the cold aspect of the character, who is much more oriented on commitment to an ideal.

Falling Blossom Style seems good for what I want to do, and if it combos with my ability to leap better then that's even better- but it sounded like I'd only be able to enhance my jumps when I make the movement action on my own turn. With some people using necromancer techniques on our team, there actually seems to be a opportunity for some cross play with the Falling Blossom Form- I could let a friendly PC coup-de-grace me while I'm dying and then return as a ghost, right?

Golden Janissary seems very cool for the whole vengeful destruction part, and I kinda like how it's almost exactly the opposite of what I was looking for; fits the dark mirror theme.

Jade mountain style seems very cool, and more applicable to the non-lethal style with the focus on grappling and tanking.

Terrible Ascent Driven Beast Style also seems very cool. Falling Without Fear also seems like it would pair well with the mountain leaping skill since you can save yourself if you get interrupted.

I'm not interested in the White Veil Style, or at least, I wouldn't be interested in such a style if it existed. I did like how the page wrote about it though, that was very fun.

Blazing Corona doesn't excite me as much as some of the other styles, but the ability to superheat attackers weapons and armor is not only useful, but thematic as well. Could be combined with the needs no tools charm to make an opponent drop weapons and armor, craft them into something on the spot, and them encourage them to surrender as they have lost their offense and defense.

The Hurricane Fist style seems thematically at odds, but the defensive abilities to use gusts of wind to knock away oppenents and attacks are cool. Could be themed as the red hot breath of the forge being exalted from my rather large lungs.

Ruthless Avalanche Style is also appealing for the defensive capabilities, and the advantages it gives for drawing agro. Not sure ho often I'll be on bare earth, but it's certainly strong in its element.

Arrow Frog style also seems very good with what I want to do- nothing encourages someone to top fighting like being slowly poisoned. If I can combine Internal Intent Venom with the charm that re-directs attacks to me that would be a strong deterrent I imagine; you can't attack other people, but if you attack me you hurt yourself.
>>
No. 872898 ID: d22dc0

Just realized I wad only looking at the terrestrial styles. I'll take a look at the celestial styles tomorrow night probably.
>>
No. 872983 ID: d1248b

>>872897
>Based on the book (again, I recognize you're running the show- this is just a jumping off point) I'll have personal motes somewhere in the 13 - 21 range, and peripheral Essence in the 36 - 50 range. Using 10 motes before I've even started is also a bit of a commitment. Not sure what else there is to buy, but I should probably settle for essence 3,
If you're starting with Mountain-Crossing Leap as the explanation for how you reached the sky castle to begin with, that requires Essence 4.

Let's lay out the BP budget point-by-point just to make sure we're on the same page.
18 - starting solar
+4 - negative mutations (allergy, disturbing voice, split personality)
-14 - Essence 4
-4 - Willpower 9
-2 - Chakra Eye
-2 - Huge

That doesn't leave any for Virtues, so we could go with Compassion 3, Conviction 3 (Heart Of Flint flaw, limit gain condition: character is frustrated by the intemperate or childish), Temperance 1, Valor 2, which would imply a Personal essence pool of 21, Peripheral of 46.

As for skills and charms:
Athletics 5
>Monkey Leap Technique
>Soaring Crane Leap
>Mountain-Crossing Leap
Craft (Fire) 4+
>Second (Craft) Excellency
>Craftsman Needs No Tools
Resistance 3+
>Soul Fire Resurgence
>Durability Of Oak Meditation
>Iron Kettle Body
Survival 5
>Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit
>Eternal Elemental Harmony
That leaves four specialties and eight dots in skills. Some of those are going to need to go toward the minimum of one dot each in your five Favored skills; there's no equivalent minimum for Caste skills.
>>
No. 872992 ID: e1cb2c

>>872983
I like the heart of flint, but I’m not sure about the condition. Nothing straight out of the book seems exceptionally fitting, but the fanatical conviction seems slightly more fitting; instead of my goal or motivation though, it would really only make sense with the demon slaying idea. Let me know if you feel okay tweaking the condition for it or if you want to go strictly book rules
>>
No. 873037 ID: d22dc0

Okay, here's my skill load out- I assumed since I got a couple skills that got some points from being a solar, and some points from being a Twilight, that I should combine those. Otherwise I'm 2 points over if those bonuses don't stack.

Archery 1; Athletics** 5; Awareness** 1; Craft 4 (fire); Integrity** 1; Lore 3; Martial Arts 3; Medicine 2; Melee 1; Occult 3; Presence 1; Resistance** 3; Ride 1; Sail 1; Survival 5; War** 1;

For my four specialties, I don't really understand how these work, so I'm just going to put them into things I want to be good at.

Martial Arts, Medicine, Resistance, and Survival makes sense to me.

I'm also thinking of making the Laughing Wounds Style my first priority, or perhaps my second priority after developing some notable healing powers.
>>
No. 873090 ID: d1248b

>>873037
>For my four specialties, I don't really understand how these work,
Each must specify some subset of the potential applications of that skill to which it applies. That could be the result of realistic specialty training, like a War specialty in "near cliffs," a Craft (Fire) specialty in "swordsmithing," or an Integrity specialty in "demonic corruption," or an esoteric affinity like a Dodge specialty in "former lovers," or a Melee specialty in "products of my own forge." You can put up to three in the same skill, including the same one three times. Dragon-Blooded need to put some careful thought into specialties, since that's part of the dice cap for their Excellencies and thus a major factor in combat effectiveness; to everyone else, it's potentially significant, but more often valued as a characterization tool.
>>872500
>Caltrops that drop from underneath her kimono while she's running away. Just a small amount, but it can be triggered quickly to hinder pursuers when she's using a narrow escape route. They'd have to ignore her kimono entirely. Maybe they could be poisoned?
Technomorphic Integration Engine can already do this, at the cost of normal caltrops, and poison which could be as simple as raw sewage. For mote-economy reasons you might want to use wider stuff that counts as a single "item," such as a tatami mat woven with thorns and rusty nails, rather than wasting energy on single caltrops.
>Time-Displaced Kunai - Much like the Time-Strung Bow, a few of Embri's kunai disappear and store their potential energy for the right moment. Unlike the bow, treat them as ethereal invisible kunai in the middle of a very slow time-bubble that will pop when an unsuspecting pursuer runs straight into it, causing the throwing dagger to instantly fire. This means if Embri isn't hitting any targets, she can slip a few of these in her ineffective kunai volleys and run for it, and when the enemy reaches the point where she threw, it's an instant trap. The kunai can only hold their charge for about ~30 seconds before they run out of stored horizontal kinetic energy, the bubble pops, and the kunai just fall straight to the ground.
This is a vastly weaker effect than the Time-Strung Bow. If you simply want pursuit-deterrent traps, use that Intelligence+Craft augmentation and the Omnitool Implant to build them. Other avenues for further investment in that strategy would be the thaumaturgical Arts of Alchemy, Enchantment, and Warding & Exorcism, and the charms Dynamic Reaction Enhancement System => Incomparable Efficiency Upgrade to craft (and perform many other actions) faster.

Could have taken the Chemical Fog Generator, but that requires Stamina 3 and the upgrade to turn kunai (or any other projectile) into gas grenades requires Strength 3, Essence 3. If ability to run away fast enough is the concern, 1-dot artifact Perfected Boots let you run faster and jump higher, and the charm Personal Gravity Manipulation Apparatus lets you dial it down so you bounce like you're on the moon, or run along walls and ceilings, or both. There are further upgrades, including plasma jets, most of which require higher Strength. Accelerated Response System => Precalculated Evasion System improves your ability to dodge, even undodgeable effects with the Transphase Engine submodule, while the Anticipatory Simulation Processor counters unexpected attacks. Can't learn supernatural martial arts, even terrestrial styles, without a Perfected Lotus Matrix, but you do have the prereqs for that.
>>
No. 873125 ID: d22dc0

>>873090
Okay, I figure I'll spread my bases and then train up stuff I want to be good at later. Not sure how to be quite as succinct so I'll describe the idea I'm going for and maybe someone can help me think of a way to encapsulate it into a handy phrase.

Martial Arts Specialty in non-lethal take downs

Medicine Specialty in helping surrendered enemies

Resistance Specialty in defending against enemies I don't want to kill. Kinda going for a "Look, I don't want to have to do this, just give up before you hurt yourself" vibe

Survival Specialty for... hm, I'm actually kind of torn on this one. I want to be at my best working in the hottest heats- the endless sands of the south, reaching into the fires of the forge, etc, but I think my Mendicant spirit and the Elemental Resistant Prana should have me covered, right? As long as I'm good there, I think resisting the effects of the Wyld would be fitting. Given that I come from a family of mutants on a distant farm, I think it makes sense that I come from the borderlands between the River Providence and the Far/Near East. That accounts for the mutations and isolation, and the rituals- probably started as a way to find out or ward off fair folk and other malevolent beings more than anything else, but developed into a ironclad tradition as it was passed down.
>>
No. 873646 ID: ab7dcc

>>872477
A rarer and more advanced type of force-projection weapon developed later in the First Age is a set of gauntlets of distant touch (Artifact 3 for a pair). These light, articulated gauntlets connect to magical material bracers stretching up to the elbow. The bracers house the kinetic conduction coils, while the gloves manipulate and direct the dynamic Essence field the artifacts project. A pair of these gloves costs four motes to attune, which resizes them to perfectly fit their wearer. Used in close combat, the gloves add the pertinent magical material bonus for their construction to the character’s unarmed punches and allow unarmed parries of lethal and ranged attacks. When charged with an additional commitment of three motes, however, an invisible aura of force forms around both hands for the rest of the scene. During this time, the character may perform any task that would normally require his hands simply by making the appropriate gesture (the action uses its normal dice pool and difficulty), and the Exalt may affect any objects within (Essence rating x 3) yards. From a utilitarian standpoint, the gauntlets can levitate objects (but not the user), manipulate them, pull them close or push them away. In combat, the gloves can deliver ranged Martial Arts hand strikes or clinches that benefit from close combat magical material bonuses. Such attacks also impose a -1 penalty to the opponent’s Parry DV because of their invisible nature. Finally, a character wearing charged gauntlets can parry attacks directed at anyone else in range, though each such parry cumulatively decreases her Parry DV by -1 until her next action. All close and ranged attacks made using gauntlets of distant touch are considered unarmed for the purposes of compatibility with Martial Arts Charms.

Maybe combine these with Bracers of Universal Crafting and a Fourfold Demon Arm as a single 4-dot artifact, or throw in the effects of Forge-Hand Gauntlets to make it a 5-dot? An artificial arm, made sometimes of ice and other times of molten glass, which can manipulate things at range not by stretching and physically grabbing them, but rather by acting as a dynamic lens to distort images and thereby manipulate arcane forces.
>>
No. 873749 ID: ab7dcc

First actual played-out scene, I'm thinking, will be at the site where Malice has just crashed the airboat her boss loaned her by ramming it into an inexplicably high-altitude stone wall. There's now a small breach in that wall, but passing through it involves crawling under the airboat's hull and being exposed to leakage from the ship's omen weather reactor, which resembles a waterfall made of razorblades rather than actual water. That's no problem for Bridget, who has just leapt up from ground level (miles below), entered an arterial hallway, and encountered a patrol of skeleton warriors.

>>873037
As a starting solar in the Second Age, you only get a total of 25 dots in skills, before bonus points. The charms selected require 5 dots in Athletics, 4 dots in some Craft (presumably Fire), 3 dots in Resistance, and 5 in Survival. That's seventeen, so you'd have 8 left to spend. If you're taking Awareness, Integrity, and War favored, those need at least one each, leaving five. I'd recommend Lore 1, Martial Arts 3, Medicine 1 for the remainder, so you can read, punch, and apply bandages competently. With no offensive charms, you won't actually be all that scary in a fight, apart from constantly bouncing up to the high ground and relentless refusal to die.
>>
No. 873861 ID: 3abd97

>>873646
Oh the geeze the last thing I needed was more cool artifacts I'm already struggling to try and budget something acceptable out of the pile of too many things I said yes to.

Enabling crafting, being crystalline, and allowing remote interacting with things by distorting images is very much true to the original character concept though.

I'm not really sure really I understand the differences between the various mash-up combinations offered, though.

(Also if I can just mash artifacts together to save on cost that gives me a whole new set of angles to consider. Maybe the forgotten blade is just the stylus for the pocket mirror? :v ).

The Mantle of Soot looks like the most obvious first thing to cut. Specing myself so I actually start with necromancy to use it with from the start comes at too high a cost in other things left on the table, and it doesn't seem worth spending that much on a tight budget of points that won't be useful until after months of training. Too bad it's otherwise unobtainable.

>Somewhere in the mix we have at least two additional exalt, but I didn't see the post detailing the why and how of their involvement in the current situation.
I decided to try and make an interesting character first, worry about what she's doing there second.

Given her motivations / history, I'd guess Lute's reason for getting involved is she's targeting someone involved for her particular brand of help. Or maybe she's raiding the library for something pursuant to her growth into sorcery / necromancy since it doesn't look like she'll be starting with those. Or maybe the Fates and/or Yozi guided her there in service of unknown plots.
>>
No. 873884 ID: d22dc0

Sounds like a good use of the points. Thematically I’m re-considering the design elements of the character, based on what she can actually do- a large, warped woman who is more recognizable as a monster than an exalted at first, trained in “not fly, jump good”, surviving temperature extremes, and crafting with her bare hands. I like the backstory, and with her ideals of carving out a home space for herself, maybe instead that conflicting set of desires, her motivation is actually to claim back areas of creation from the Wyld, and slowly reshape the land to follow the accepted order of things? Follows with the highly valued rituals and dedication to tradition, and I think I can still uphold the gentle giant merciful soul aspect of the character well enough. Same backstory, just a new goal, to better fit her existing skills.

So Lute was already on board the ship then, which makes it easy- if the motivations for PCs don’t jump out at you as dreams you want to help realize then I think being there as part of a study holiday makes sense, considering the tower was described as a hit destination for non-mortals to do such things.

I was having trouble thinking about why skeletons would logically be in such a place, but I suppose it would help keep things tidy and make it easier to escort out a bothersome guest if need be. I think it’s amusing that we have a place of leisure and research just stacked on all sides with weapons and traps.
>>
No. 873961 ID: ab7dcc

>>873861
> Too bad it's otherwise unobtainable.
Three things are truly impossible in the Exalted setting, but they're actually all one thing: returning the dead to true life, rolling back the flow of time to alter the past, removing the Exaltation from a human without killing them in the process. The one impossible thing is to negate deep consequences. Exalted were made to do many other things, particularly some which shouldn't be possible, but clearly are.

Alright, let's say you don't have the Mantle of Soot in hand, or know for sure it still exists, or even that it ever existed, beyond the legends of the First Sorcerer's regalia and speculation on the 'dark mirror' metaphysical symmetries of grave goods. That just means, before you can start a fetch quest properly, you need more information - and where better to look for that sort of obscure necromantic lore than an ancient lich-queen's vast mobile library? An Archive may explicitly have one of it's slots devoted to "a powerful and dangerous secret," rather than spells or broader mundane knowledge.

Of course, you might first need to prevent that library from exploding before you can access it. Patching damaged essence-flows in a 5-dot manse would require a total of 20 dots among Lore, Occult, appropriate Craft (Earth, for a typical manse, but one bound to the sky might reasonably be based on Air instead), and the thaumaturgical Art of Geomancy, plus an expensive specialized toolkit. Bracers of Universal Crafting (or an upgraded variant thereof) would cover the tool requirement, since it can pluck at essence flows directly, but you can't muscle past inadequate background knowledge with an Excellency. That's why 5-dot manses are rare: ordinary humans, and even most dragon-blooded, are not capable of learning how to build them or conduct emergency repairs. To acquire skills at that level, you'd need to be at least Essence 6 - or an akuma.

Abruptly-yet-elegantly arriving in the right place, at just the right time, for all the wrong reasons, is a very Sidereal sort of thing to do.
>>
No. 873990 ID: 5f3f48

>20 dots among Lore, Occult, appropriate Craft (Earth, for a typical manse, but one bound to the sky might reasonably be based on Air instead), and the thaumaturgical Art of Geomancy
If I'm removing the Mantle of Soot from consideration due to opportunity cost I don't really see how investing more than twice the resources in being prepared to look for information on it would be more attractive.

Occult and Craft (Air) at least are things I probably would have invested in anyways, at least eventually. Now is still an open question.
>>
No. 874002 ID: 0bb62b

>>873990
I think that load out is what’s needed to fix the manse before it explodes, thereby giving you access to a library that you could use for research; if we mix and match skills we could probably get enough characters with enough knowledge to make sure we aren’t all destroyed in a fiery explosion, but right we haven’t heard from strngy, Tunic, Kome, or anyone else in a bit so it seems like it’ll probably be a non-starter for fixing the manse.

Question: if manses are basically leylines converging, how do you make them mobile? Or am I misunderstanding that element of the Manse/Demense anatomy
>>
No. 874008 ID: ab7dcc

>>873990
Lore is basically the 'science' skill. Covers most general academic knowledge, designing machinery with multiple moving parts, knowing what all the buttons are for in cases like this http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/20p71/ Sidereals have some astrological mental defenses based on intellectual snobbery, "I've got more Lore than you, therefore I can ignore whatever argument you're making." High-end crafting involves Lore at least as much as Occult.
>>
No. 874020 ID: ab7dcc

>>874002
>I think that load out is what’s needed to fix the manse before it explodes, thereby giving you access to a library that you could use for research;
Yes.
>if we mix and match skills we could probably get enough characters with enough knowledge to make sure we aren’t all destroyed in a fiery explosion,
Nope. Magitech maintenance can work that way, but emergency repairs on a manse that's likely to explode in a matter of minutes doesn't allow enough time for diverse specialists to coordinate, at least not without some serious supernatural mind-to-mind communication.
>Question: if manses are basically leylines converging,
That's an oversimplification, and outright inaccurate in many of the more interesting cases.
>how do you make them mobile?
Very carefully.
>Or am I misunderstanding that element of the Manse/Demense anatomy
Yes. Ley lines, or dragon lines, are natural flows of Essence through the landscape, often traceable back to powerful spirits such as the Celestial Incarnae, the slumbering Elemental Dragons, or third-circle demons. They're detectable with geomantic tools, and can be tapped or manipulated by magic, but for the most part just constitute part of the natural background level of ambient essence. There aren't a lot of rules for the exact locations and properties of dragon lines.
Demesnes are self-sustaining vortexes of essence contained in particular locations. Any essence user can detect an uncapped demesne from miles away, or attune themselves to it for a significant boost to mote recovery and other benefits. Ordinary mortals, animals, and inanimate objects who spend too much time in a demesne get mutated - along a consistent theme, unlike the true chaos of the wyld, but it's still not something to take lightly. Demesnes are strategic assets, and there's lots of rules about how to find and exploit, even create or destroy them, though engineering the geomantic landscape involves hundreds of workers and years of effort with potentially cataclysmic risks. Mishandling energies on that scale can easily result in miles-wide mutagenic explosions, while really serious errors cause a permanent curse across broad swathes of landscape. Best pop culture reference for a demesne being messed with by people who don't completely know what they're doing might be the Pool of the Great Forest Spirit in Princess Mononoke, particularly toward the end; a more competent (though no less disturbing) example would be the Nationwide Transmutation Circle(s) in FMA: Brotherhood, though the end results in that case bear more resemblance to high-end sorcery or necromancy, or celestial-tier exalts arriving in an environment of mostly heroic mortals and god-blooded, rather than what Exalted usually does with geomancy.
A manse is what you get when you cap a demesne with some sort of structure, to stabilize it and channel the energies toward more productive ends, such as on-site powers and a hearthstone which persists indefinitely rather than boiling off in a matter of days the way a demesne's 'essence tokens' do. Laymen think of a manse as being a stone building, but the gardens surrounding a manor might be just as important to the essence-channeling structure as any of the more conventional load-bearing walls, or a manse could consist of a single enormous organism, like the earth elementals known as 'gemlords,' or the living cavern Scathra Yn Thera. The Mountain Folk are particularly adept at constructing underground manses with minimal materials, sometimes no more than a few mirrors and optical-quality crystals to create a structure of reflected and refracted light, though such a thing is also extremely fragile.

Some demesnes are naturally mobile. Classic example is the Engine Rising To The Wounded Sky, on the slopes of Qaf, the Heaven-Violating Spear, one of the yozis not aligned with the Reclamation. Isidoros sought to climb to Qaf's (definitionally nonexistent) summit, then got bored and left - but one of his hoofprints stayed behind, sliding ever upward, to complete the impossible task in his absence rather than admitting defeat. Somebody built a fortress in that print, and so it moves endlessly up the mountain at the speed of a tireless galloping horse. For a more terrestrial example, the Denzik City-Ship, a group of more than a hundred blue-water merchant vessels networked together and traveling on a consistent annual circuit around the coasts facing the Blessed Isle and major islands of the West, could conceivably cultivate a water-aspect demesne which follows that same route, arranging and refitting the ships into a manse to cap it.

It's possible to put a mobile manse on a non-mobile demesne, but incredibly complex, difficult, and wasteful. Basically you need a whole network of manses, channeling parts of their power toward a central one, then that one lifts off from it's base, leaving only some minimal capstones behind, and then you've got a manse-like vehicle. One of those absurd extravagances of the First Age.
>>
No. 874078 ID: 3abd97

>I think that load out is what’s needed to fix the manse before it explodes
Look what I'm trying to do right now is:

1) Figure out which artifacts I'm actually taking, since I like what's probably too many (Can't be easily bought with xp later id skipped over now).
2) Figure out which charms and skills I want to buy with what's left of my points after that. (What's skipped now can be trained up later, but starting with too little is unfun / uninteresting).
3) Revisit if there's an interesting or fun negative mutation or two to take.
4) Make up however much I'm overbudget by gouging it out of those perfect sixes. (Hard to train up in play, but it's not worth sacrificing fun on the altar of perfection).

And what's motivating those choices is what combination of stuff lets her feel like the character concept. Stuff like "pragmatic defense" (see the build suggested in the last paragraph of >>870899 ) or "stopping the building from exploding" would be nice, but they don't rank high enough to jump the queue.

So in pursuit of that:

On the artificial arm (3rd arm or replacement?): What's the difference between proposed the 3-dot Gauntlets of Distant Touch versus the 4-dot combined with Bracers of Universal Crafting and a Fourfold Demon Arm, and the 5-dot combined with Forge-Hand Gauntlets? 3 is just ranged telekinesis, 4 adds invisible tools and the shape shifting, 5 adds... a Craft (fire) bonus, allows making the TK or tools red-hot, and a bunch of defense and combat bonuses that don't feel applicable. Having "an exceptional blacksmith’s forge on his person at all time" feels redundant with the chancel workshop, which I like better thematically. So based off that reading I guess I'd choose the 4-dot version.

Would it be possible to save cost on the Forgotten Blade (or non-blade derivatives) by nerfing it or merging the effect in with something else? I find it interesting, but at 5-dot, I think the arm pushes it out of contention as closer to core concept and something that would see a lot more frequent use. (A stylus for the hand mirror that people always forget seems apropos and amusing).
>>
No. 874099 ID: d22dc0

>>874020
>explanation on Manses

Perhaps I was not particularly articulate, or am still missing a key ingredient, but that explanation pretty much lines up with exactly what I thought. I just didn't really understand how a demense could be mobile, but some of those examples help a little with contextualizing it.

>>874078
Yeah, by all means! I wasn't trying to suggest you shoulder the burden of repairing by yourself, just trying to clarify what was being suggested.
>>
No. 874112 ID: ab7dcc

>>874078
> Having "an exceptional blacksmith’s forge on his person at all time" feels redundant with the chancel workshop,
With the forge-hand gauntlets, you can scoop up a handful of sand and blow it into glassware like a birthday clown making balloon animals, maybe even crafting relatively simple mundane stuff in combat time given the legendary skill levels involved. Psych somebody out by tapping them on the shoulder (from well beyond normal arm's reach) to get them to look the other way, then when they look back, half of the room's been redecorated with floor-to-ceiling mirrors.
>(Can't be easily bought with xp later if skipped over now)
If you've got a whole laundry list of high-rated artifacts you want, how about saying they're not yours, but rather your Patron's? Third-circle demons are known as "the Unquestionable," and all the resources of Hell are at their disposal unless in conflict with each other, the Yozis, or their jailers. You could be like James Bond, with R&D resources equivalent to a major country backing you up - but only one fancy toy at a time (or however many you pay for), as needed for the current assignment. There's no BP cost to define what your Patron has and is willing to lend out, not when they're already so powerful.

You'll likely have to return to a friendly base to swap them out - though, with the errata, Destiny-Knitting Entanglement would let you remotely observe and retrieve items which you metaphysically own even if you've never seen them. There are also a wide variety of options for returning to the demon realm - if you want a single-use "escape rope" sort of item, that'd be a 2-dot artifact Infernal Hospitality Prayer Strip. Opens a portal into your boss's office, guarantees at minimum 25 hours of shelter, food, and entertainment for the user and any well-behaved guests who come along, but it only works at sundown on the night of the new moon, or in places outside of fate. The inside of a chancel isn't actually all the way outside of fate; it's just middlemarches, not deep wyld. A manse could be built so that it's outside fate, which is a four-dot power, but, being structural rather than essence-powered, it doesn't necessarily need to be a four-dot manse. Best cheap options for a quick escape, though, would be either a 2-dot Key to the Infernal Gates which can open any lockable door as a portal to the Endless Desert, or the necromancy spell Piercing The Shroud for quick access to the Labyrinth. Expensive option would be another 5-dot artifact: the Scarlet Bridge. One end is a fixed structure in Hell, and the other end, whenever you're outside Hell, you can summon to your current location. Takes a lot of energy to keep in place, but for a few minutes at a time it's a path wide enough to march armies through. It can also be opened from the demon realm end, in which case it leads to the same place as the previous activation, unlike prayer strips or keys which don't include any return option apart from the usual hike across the Endless Desert.
>>
No. 874175 ID: fc3fc0

http://exaltedpast.wikidot.com/rules:wyldmutation

None jumped out at me as particularly fitting, but this list should be a decent enough reference for mutations if/when you're looking at them.
>>
No. 874263 ID: ab7dcc

>>874078
>an interesting or fun negative mutation
Magical Plague Carrier effectively works out to 8 points of disadvantages, and the disease could be something like, say, obsessive introspection and staring into mirrors, using the stats for Lypothymie. Amusingly, that makes poor Charisma an asset: low initial virulence helps conceal 'patient zero' status.
>>
No. 874323 ID: 3abd97

>>874112
Well that would be handy cost saving if I put the burden of one of the 5-dots on a patron.

>>874263
That is interesting, but how severe would that kind of thing be? It might mess with her main goal, or preclude having a cult or useful followers if anyone who spends prolonged time with her is eventually going to catch it.
>>
No. 874445 ID: 3abd97

Oh, it also occurs to me willpower didn't come up when we talked virtues. Is that not a concern for akuma? (Had my will subsumed by my patron).
>>
No. 874529 ID: ab7dcc

>>866915
>the Urges associated with each Yozi
Hard to explain, since a lot of possible Urges could fall under more than one yozi's themes. Better basis to choose is the mechanical consequence of repeatedly resisting it (or suffering too much stress from other sources) without venting Limit through acts of villainy.

Adorjan's limit break results in aphasia, Urges tend to involve bizarre obsessions.
Cecelyne's limit break results in getting sandblasted for physical damage, Urges tend to involve authority and conquest.
Isidoros's limit break results in despirited passivity, Urges tend to involve revolutionary upheval.
Malfeas's limit break results in contagious berserk rage, Urges tend to involve destruction.
the pyrian queen's limit break results in clinical detachment to the point of sociopathy, Urges tend to involve enforcing hierarchy and conformity.
Metagaos's limit break results in a sort of asceticism, discarding wealth and finding all pleasures unsatisfactory, Urges tend to involve acquisition and consumption.
The Ebon Dragon's limit break results in shameless debauchery and overindulgence, Urges tend to involve corruption.
>>
No. 874530 ID: 3abd97

>acts of villainy
>>/questarch/658722
Would this summary be accurate here?
>>
No. 874612 ID: 5c3123

>>/questdis/121667
>can't imagine ever using archery or ride unless absolutely forced to
Quoting from the character creation chapter in Manual of Exalted Power: Dragon-Blooded... "All Dynasts must have an absolute minimum of Archery 1, Lore 2, Martial Arts 1, Melee 1, Performance 1, Presence 1, Ride 1, Socialize 2 and War 1, to represent the basic training in the arts of war and the social graces that form the underpinnings of Realm culture. Most Dynasts will have all of these Abilities rated at two dots or more. Those who do not are generally regarded by their peers as deficient in critical life skills. They’re also terrible embarrassments to their poor families."

>An eight-hour heretical martial arts performance every night sounds like a logistical nightmare.
The very next charm in Crane Style, Humbling Enlightenment Commentary, drastically reduces Martial Arts training times. It's possible all his heretical martial arts training so far has taken place over a cumulative total of less than half an hour of face-to-face discussion and sparring, while another 35 minutes would suffice to master the pinnacle of Crane Style. That accelerated training is of no use without sufficient banked XP to take advantage of it, though.

Even without such training, learning the remainder of Crane Style from memory and books would at this point would take less than a season. Out here in the barbaric wilderness far from the Blessed Isle, even if there were any Immaculate monks present, they'd likely be more concerned with the lich-queen, and other active or visibly entrenched threats, rather than a scholar who keeps to himself and could easily disappear. The Stealth skill is associated with Air aspects, so Ji could acquire the first two dots with four XP, then up to five dots for only fifteen more, with no training time at all. Stealth charms will also be fairly cheap: 10 xp each, training times as low as one or two days.

>I don't suppose I could take [Tireless String-Plucking Meditation], Performance 1 (+3 Guqin), and actually pluck strings for eight hours a night for my mentor instead?
When a charm has Performance 4 as prerequisite, that means four dots in the actual Performance skill, not just specialties. Buying Essence 3 at character creation would require ten bonus points, likely meaning either several severe disadvantages or fewer Backgrounds. Freeing up two charm slots without losing Crane Form would mean trading off those medical charms, or even more bonus points. So, it's possible, but maybe not desirable just yet.

For Ledaal Ji, who doesn't have Performance as an aspect or favored skill, buying Performance from one dot up to four would cost 12 xp and six weeks of training, while Performance Charms cost 12 xp each, with training time between two and ten days depending on the specific charm. Training time is doubled without a tutor, quadrupled or worse if you're inventing charms from scratch. Essence 3 costs 20 xp (for dragon-blooded; other exalt types vary) but no training. So, Tireless String-Plucking Meditation might be less than 60 XP and two in-game months away, and I'm planning to award one XP per (non-spammy) post in this thread. 'Stepping off the path' before completing Crane Style would make it harder to resume, though.
>>
No. 874618 ID: 20ea96

>>874612
>one XP per (non-spammy) post in this thread
Aw. That sucks for me then, having a pre-genned character instead of taking a very long time building them in this thread for tons of free exp from the get-go.

>Tireless String-Plucking Meditation is prohibitively expensive
Forget it then. I'll leave Performance at 1 and run the character exactly as you have him built already, focusing all of his training time on martial arts.

Is there anything else I need to do, or is Ledaal Ji good to go, now that I've specified intimacies?
>>
No. 874623 ID: 3abd97

>I can't imagine ever using archery or ride
If it's any consolation, skills in exalted are pretty broad. For instance, my character would have to have ranks in archery to throw shadow-shurikens. Those skills might cover use-cases you're not thinking of.

>one XP per (non-spammy) post in this thread
I was assuming that didn't apply until after chargen? XP for talking over character ideas seems a little silly.
>>
No. 874638 ID: 5c3123

>>874623
>ranks in archery to throw shadow-shurikens
That'd be the Thrown skill, actually. Covers lever-arm projectiles, including beam-sling siege engines, whereas Archery is for bows and other weapons which use stored energy so the targeting is more or less point-and-click rather than dependent on rotational timing.

>XP for talking over character ideas seems a little silly.
Think of it as a balancing factor. Folks who don't know the system as well, but are eagerly trying to learn, get a little bit of a power boost as soon as they survive to the first few days of downtime. The really crazy stuff takes hundreds or thousands of XP, anyway, and balance between two characters often has more to do with how well their areas of expertise relate to the situation than any sort of absolute power scale. Challenge the world's greatest swordsman to a chess match, the chess grandmaster to a footrace, the olympic athlete to a cooking contest, the legendary pastry chef to swords at dawn, and you might win every time despite having fewer XP than any of them.

>>874618
>is Ledaal Ji good to go, now that I've specified intimacies?
Yep! As far as character creation, anyway. Want to jump right in to IC actions, or hammer out more of the environment first? What else is your mentor known to be capable of, beyond teaching the Bulb of the Perfected Lotus? What have they told you, if anything, about the history of the world, the Silver Pact, or the Thousand Streams River? How about that henchman, has he got a name?
>>
No. 874671 ID: 094652

>one XP per (non-spammy) post in this thread
Please tell me that's when the game starts, I've been quiet since I'm new to Exalted (barely scratched anything beyond the Keychain webcomic) and didn't want to irritate you guys with stupid questions.

There is ONE stupid question I'd like to ask, though - where can I find a quick wiki of Exalted character creation and rules? Because the official wiki's all whack and the rules for various PCs are scattered across multiple websites and etc.
>>
No. 874732 ID: 5c3123

>>874671
>when the game starts,
This thread IS the game. It started with the first post. Character creation is part of it.
>where can I find a quick wiki of Exalted character creation and rules?
Core rule is, when you want to do something, specify what resources you're spending in the attempt (willpower or virtue channel, which charms you're using, how many motes on an Excellency/Augmentation, etc.) and roll a bunch of 10-sided dice. When in doubt, roll too many dice, then I'll figure out how many of them are relevant.

When you want to know more about something specific, ask me. If you're embarrassed to ask (or just prefer massive OOC research projects over cheap XP), bootleg PDFs of all the Exalted 2nd Edition books are available on appropriate torrent sites. The Scroll of Errata and the Ink Monkeys Ultimate Collection are available for free, legitimately, on DriveThruRPG I think. There's also this http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/main-category/exalted/124885-how-to-put-a-band-aid-on-infernals?p=128384#post128384 though it's mainly relevant to GSPs and akuma, and https://ericminton.wordpress.com/category/exalted/ink-monkey-bones/
>>
No. 874791 ID: 094652

>>874732
... Great.

So, I picked out Embri's character flaws, the limit break things right?

Heart of Flint - A lifetime of luring people to their deaths and murdering them at their most trusting has hardened Embri's heart. She usually dealt with this emotional backlash by confiding in her sister... but her sister isn't here. Embri doesn't really care, her emotions would get in the way of murder. Of course, murder isn't the only thing she does, things like diplomacy and intrigue, things that require an understanding of emotions to manipulate...

Contempt of the Virtuous - Embri has lived her whole life among professionals. Her sister, her house, the other servants, all of them learned to live with high standards of discipline and self-maintenance; even if they were acting out or indulging in private, it was to prepare themselves for another day of rigid, dutiful focus. Now Embri has found herself among a new team, and they *CRASH*... aren't *BABIES SCREAMING*... Embri might find herself ranting at her teammates for their spoiled, shortsighted behavior.

That Time-Strung Bow - is it a powerbow? I read that Powerbows work best for low-strength characters.
>>
No. 874796 ID: 3abd97

>>874638
...oh I think I see what I confused. Shurikens use the Throw skill, but Sidereal Archery charms, right?

I guess I'll justify the character creation XP to myself as the character gaining experience through introspection. :v

>>874112
Okay, I think I'll take
-Infinite Resplendence Amulet, Moonsilver
-Third Arm (4 or 5 dot)
-Chancel / Ally (1-3 dot? Not clear on what scales with cost)
-Scorpion Hand Mirror (on loan from patron)

I'll consign the Forgotten Blade Ribbon to something I might swap the mirror out for on a different mission. Probably get the tutor gem or other study tools the from patron loans when needed too.

I'm considering Magical Plague Carrier >>874263 but I'd like more information on how it would work. Would this be fatal for people who contract it from me? Would be be permanent, or would they eventually fight off the infection? Can people be infected more than once? How severe would the effect be (starving in front of their reflections? A disruptive compulsion? A distraction?). What kind of exposure / infection rate? Would those I infect be infectious, or would people have to contract it from Lute? How hard would it be to treat or cure those infected? Basically, I'm interested, but I'm not willing to take it if it messes up creating best selves too much, or it ruins being able to have a cult / followers.

Then there's charms and skills with the points left over. I'd like to ask for help picking a build there?

Not interested in speccing for perfect defense. Necromancy and sorcery and fleshwarping and fate-weaving seem like things to consider training up later.

Thinking we can put Mirror-Shattering Method / Sail aside to grow into, and rely in the third arm and hand mirror to cover mirror / image weirdness and indirect actions for now.

On the table: Essence 2 or 3, the "Must-have"s, not-exploding-the-castle skills, social stuff, crafting, maybe dodging. Maybe throw and shadow shurikens, but that seems a lower priority.
>>
No. 874890 ID: 5c3123

>>874796
>Shurikens use the Throw skill, but Sidereal Archery charms, right?
No, they use Thrown charms, such as Essence Thorn Practice and Willful Weapon Method. Archery weapons, mainly meaning bows but also the various muzzle-loading flamethrowers, use Archery charms such as Any Direction Arrow and Generalized Ammunition Technique.

>Would this be fatal for people who contract it from me?
If it's based on Lypothymie, almost never.
>Would be be permanent, or would they eventually fight off the infection?
Lypothymie is active for five days, then goes into indefinite remission.
>Can people be infected more than once?
Yep.
>How severe would the effect be (starving in front of their reflections? A disruptive compulsion? A distraction?).
Depends on how much previously-unexamined inner conflict they've got. http://forwardcomic.com/archive.php?num=21
>What kind of exposure / infection rate?
Resistance is a roll of Temperance + Integrity. Virulence, that is, the difficulty of avoiding initial infection, is based on the carrier's Charisma. As long as Lute Silhouette has Charisma 0, only people with abnormally weak self-control would be at risk.
>Would those I infect be infectious, or would people have to contract it from Lute?
The former.
>How hard would it be to treat or cure those infected?
The difficulty of Medicine rolls to treat Lypothymie is based on the victim's Compassion. So, usually not very difficult, and only beyond an ordinary doctor's capabilities in the case of extremely sensitive and kindhearted types. Someone with no prior knowledge of the disease would be operating at a penalty, though.

>Then there's charms and skills with the points left over. I'd like to ask for help picking a build there?
If you're spending 172 on Attributes (strength 1, charisma 0, everything else 6) and another 25 for Essence 2, WP 10, Compassion 6, Conviction 3, Temperance 4, Valor 2, that leaves 70, plus 8 from Magical Plague Carrier. Assuming Chosen of Serenity, with Lore, Martial Arts, Occult, and Thrown favored, how about this?
[1]Ally 1: the Sandpoint Devil (relatively weak noble raksha w/ chancel)
[5]Artifact 4: Moonsilver/Starmetal Infinite Resplendence Amulet
[5]Artifact 4: Multifocal Lens Arm (no forge-hand capabilities, but might be upgraded later)
[1]Artifact 1: Starmetal Hearthstone Amulet
[3]Manse 3: Thread-Body Movement Stone
[7]Craft (Air) 6 (Restoring Symmetry +2)
>[5]Destiny-Knitting Entanglement
[8]Investigation 4
>[7]Efficient Secretary Technique
[6]Lore 6
[1]Martial Arts 1
[6]Occult 6
[6]Performance 6
>[5]Perfection In Life
>[5]Defense of Shining Joy
[2]Thrown 2
>[5]Essence Thorn Practice

Investigation is in there for a few different reasons. It's the operative skill for analyzing or tampering with forensic evidence, which is handy in case you want to do the MIB "I was never here" thing the hard way, or against people outside of fate. Socially, it's Socratic dialogue as an alternative to Perfomance-based grandstanding, and analyzing someone's motives without needing to say anything at all. Then there's charms: Efficient Secretary Technique means you can skip the tedium of basic research. Next up is Research Assistant Invocation, which, while it's meant for academic purposes and never a real combatant, can absolutely be used as an expendable 'substitution technique.' What sort of mirror-mage doesn't have a few decoys?

Defense of Shining Joy costs 5 motes, 1 wp, and an action to activate for a scene. That should generally be the first thing you do in (or just before) a fight, because it lets you dodge physical threats with the Performance skill, which you have, instead of the Dodge skill which you don't. Also negates various penalties, and improves your ability to defend others.
Essence Thorn Practice lets you create and throw a single-use magical blade, optionally traveling along with it for up to 20 yards. That would be easy to reskin as Barbatorem's mobility trick, lobbing his cleaver far ahead and then stepping out of the reflection on it, particularly in conjunction with the hearthstone's power. https://ericminton.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/ink-monkey-bones-22-new-infernal-hearthstones-part-2/ A 3-dot Gumela-bound manse could have Wyld Revocation (preventing entry except by some bizarre esoteric means) and Sympathetic Dream Link with plenty of points left for Archives.

Let's say the lens-arm approximately combines a Fourfold Demon Arm, Gauntlets of Distant Touch, Bracers of Universal Crafting, and a variant Elemental Lens which doubles the base damage of Sidereal charms that project blasts of energy or create a non-permanent weapon, which, ah... isn't exactly how Sidereal charms tend to work. There are a few, though, and Essence Thorn Practice is definitely one of them. Others would be the capstone of the Thrown tree, Generalized Ammunition Technique in the Archery tree (but only for non-solid improvised arrows), Shield of Destiny in the Resistance tree (when used to counterattack), Unweaving Method in the Occult tree, Invocation of the Storm-Following Silence in the Medicine tree, Blade of the Battle Maiden in Violet Bier of Sorrows Style, and Pneuma-Sealing Strike in Throne Shadow Style (when used to crush someone with their own stolen breath).

With just one more bonus point, say from a minor derangement, you could swap out that relatively bland hearthstone amulet for a 2-dot Dragon Tear Tiara, which provides a bonus to perception and occult sensitivity (including manse repair) in addition to the basic hearthstone socket.

Probably the first thing you should buy with XP is the First Kimbery Excellency.
>>
No. 875021 ID: 5c3123

>>874791
>So, I picked out Embri's character flaws, the limit break things right?
Alchemicals never fought in the Primordial War, because none of them had actually been built yet, so they aren't subject to the Great Curse. In fact, their status as the prototype template for other exalts provides a degree of resistance to it - though that won't be relevant for Embri, as no known type of exalt naturally resonates with Adamant. They technically do have a limit track, but it's seldom relevant. Their main psychological stress stat is Clarity, the balance between human warmth and machine efficiency, and it's not necessarily a bad thing to increase unless you're infected with Gremlin Syndrome.

>That Time-Strung Bow - is it a powerbow?
Mostly, yeah. Secondary feature is, well, remember that weird problem where Marijke got shot, but the arrow was deflected and went skipping along into the future? This lets you spend a point of willpower to do that on purpose, as an assassination tactic.
>I read that Powerbows work best for low-strength characters.
Strength still modifies damage. The advantage is in staying out of melee range.
>>/questdis/121720
>Caste Dots (+8): Strength+0, Appearance+4, Perception+4
You can't have Strength +0 as a starting Adamant-caste. All your caste attributes need to start with at least 2 dots.
>I forgot what abilities you recommended,
>>871457
>Archery 3 (Unaware Targets +1), Athletics 3, Awareness 3, Dodge 3, Larceny 3 (Reverse Pickpocketing +1), Lore 3, Medicine 1, Performance 3 (While Naked +1), Socialize 3 (Seduction +1)
Looks like I forgot to include Stealth. Huh. Well, you've got 18 bonus points to start with, spent 4 on virtues and WP, buying Strength up to an acceptable level would only cost 3 more.

How about spending ten on Stealth 5, and the last on three one-dot artifacts? A Winterbreath Jar for cold storage (chilled wine, ice cream, etc. to enhance a classy geisha routine, or keep the Frozen Heart maximally productive in warm environments, or so a severed head won't get too ripe while you're bringing it back as proof of another job well done), a pair of Perfected Boots (so you can routinely outrun cavalry and jump over 20' high walls), and a Fire Pearl (lighting candles as a flashy parlor trick, or more likely arson and corpse disposal).
>>
No. 875027 ID: 3abd97

>>874890
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/ExaltedSpirits
>Lypothymie
Oh! Okay, wasn't familiar with her. Neat. So would plague be someone else she turned into a spiritual-emotion? That would be a cool plot hook to explore.

That looks pretty solid. Weird magic mirror stuff, indirect actions, social-fu options (plus options to know more than she should about a person), with scholar/mage/academic/investigator on top? Yeah, seems to hit all the important thematic elements.

I'm just gonna review to make sure I get how this would works:

Social interaction would use Performance for putting on a show, or Investigation for analysis / profiling / questioning. Efficient Secretary Technique adds a level of bullshit information gathering on top of that.

Lore is fields of academic knowledge, but what's Occult apply to here? The theoretical underpinnings of magic and supernatural stuff? So... without sorcery or necromancy, it applies to using the third arm, the handmirror, and manse stuff?

Speaking of manse stuff, this leaves me at... 18 of the 20 craft+lore+occult dots needed to stop things exploding? 20/20 if it counts as restoring symmetry. I would need to drop something and take the thaumaturgical Art of Geomancy if I wanted to do that though?

Is Destiny-Knitting Entanglement just for swapping out lent artifacts? (Not sure it allows returning gear at the same time). And... spying and projectile retrieval and ant-theft measures I suppose.

What's the reason for taking Defense of Shining Joy instead of putting 5 points in dodge? I'd be rolling with 5 Dodge instead of 6 Performance, but it wouldn't cost motes or wp to set up.

Perfection In Life stops people changing their minds when persuaded or manipulated, and can also be used as party support as a source of wp.

>no forge-hand capabilities, but might be upgraded later
Oh cool, I didn't realize that was an option.

Is the Raksha getting powered up over time as it gets fed also an option?

>one more bonus point, say from a minor derangement
Like what? >>874175 makes it sound like derangement are the most severe class of mutations, which doesn't sound like what you mean.
>>
No. 875034 ID: d22dc0

Okay, I'm taking a second pass now to organize relevant information and straighten any last bits out.

Bridge that Spans the Sun and Moon, often referred to as Bridget, was once a dedicated smith in a past life, working tirelessly with her family to bend fire to their will. She lived on a remote farm that encompassed some of the last bridges on the Meander River, where her family had a long history of taking tribute and demanding respect from travelers, first to ward off the fey, but eventually upheld as tradition, and a method of sustenance. Her bloodline was twisted by the Wyld over many generations, and as a result her family resembles trolls more closely than anything else, their massive frames and unsettling third eye contrasted by voices that could reasonably be compared to the chirping, burbling noises thin ice makes as it is put under stress. Once she Exalted, she realized she had the power to enforce order and tradition, not just upon fire and steel, but upon the Wyld as well, and push back it's tainted essence wherever she can.

Tired of paying the tax, The Guild hired a sorcerer, who then summoned a small army of demons bent on helping the guild "re-negotiate" more favorable terms. While fighting against the tide, Bridget and her imaginary twin brother both Exalted, although this led to wildly different outcomes. Bridget went on to ensure the Guild wouldn't try this sort of stunt again any time soon, and ended up liberating several thousand slaves, along with the drug plantation they were being forced to work. Bridget's imaginary twin, urged on by dark whispers, had a falling out with Bridget, and went to go make use of his newfound powers, while Bridget has spent the past few years helping the people she liberated build a sustainable agricultural community. She buried the weapons and armor her brother gave her, and decided to train in the ways of martial arts to ensure she could adequately pacify any trouble makers without unneeded bloodshed. Presently, she is reeling from the collision of another vessel into the stomach churning black Castle that crossed her family's lands without paying it's due respect and sheep. Hopefully she can ensure no one here dies in a fiery explosion, or she'll likely never get what she's owed.

Character Specifics:

Compassion 4, Conviction 2, Temperance 1, Valor 2 (Soul of Honour, limit break condition: not fighting against cruel and despicable treatment of others)

Essence 4

Willpower 9

Personal essence pool of 21, Peripheral of 46.

Things She Cares About:

Things she wants to do include
>Bending the Wyld to her will, and enforcing structure and order upon it.
>Training to ensure she can pacify, protect, and heal others in need.

Things she wants to protect include:
>Her homestead
>The town she guards

Things that trouble her include:
>Her imaginary evil twin, who is out there doing who knows what in the name of getting stronger and dominating others
>Her old armor and weapons, buried on the battlefield

Things she does for fun include:
>smithing
>gardening

Mutations:
Allergy (soulsteel), disturbing voice, delusion (she has an evil twin brother; this is just plain not true)
Huge, Chakra Eye

Stats:

Strength 2(4), Dex 3, Stamina 3(5), Charisma 5, Manipulation 1, Appearance 1, Intelligence 5, Wits 1, Perception 5

Background:

1-dot wood-aspected Manse producing a Farmer's Stone, Resources 3, Cult 1, Backing (town council) 2

Skills:
Athletics 5, Craft (Fire) 4, Resistance 3 (unreciprocated levels of force 1), Survival 5 (resisting Wyld 1), Awareness 1, Integrity 1, and War 1, Lore 1, Martial Arts 3 (Non-lethal 1), Medicine 1 (surrendered enemies 1).

Charms:
Monkey Leap Technique, irrelevant compared to Soaring Crane
=>Soaring Crane Leap, allows me to jump 135ft vertically, or 270ft horizontally, in addition to moving my normal 9ft per tick. It also means instead of being 5/-1 action, jumping counts as a 0/0, but can only be done once on my turn, not every tick like walking.
=>Mountain-Crossing Leap, allows me to leap up to 20 miles, at the cost of 10 motes and 1 willpower. Takes roughly 5 minutes, although the duration is up to the storyteller as I understand it, which means that, if I had enough willpower and motes (I don't) I could travel at roughly 240 miles per hour, at the staggering cost of 120 motes + 12 willpower. Exhausting, but damn that's fast.

Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit, which allows me to negate negative environmental penalties to my survival rolls for 10 motes, which makes it very easy to survive in the wilderness without any sort of prep work. It seems like this is something I need to commit motes to, but I'm not sure.
=>Element-Resisting Prana, which upgrades Hardship-Surviving Mendicant Spirit to not only negate negative environmental penalties to my survival roles, but to also make me wholly immune to environmental damage- standing in fire or acid, being struck my lighting, or walking along the bottom of a lake should all be done with ease. Do I still need to breath? Not sure.

Durability of Oak Meditation, which allows me to soak 9 extra L/B damage from an attack, after it hits, for 2 motes per attack. Because of the minimum damage rules this means I don't totally block the attack, because it already hit, I just reduce the dice pool down, to a minimum of the attacks base damage.
=>Iron Kettle Body, which allows me to pay an additional 4 motes, for 6 total, to increase the my extra soak to 14 for an entire scene.

First Craft (fire) Excellency, which allows me to add two dice to my pool at the cost of 1 mote, I think.
=>Craftsman Needs No Tools, which allows me to pay 7 motes and 1 willpower to negate the need for tools, as well as negative penalties for working without tools, on a single craft action. It also allows me to work 12 times more quickly on certain projects, which I guess makes the high cost more understandable.

This is actually only 9, but I'm pretty sure you had me speced out at 10, so i might be missing one. If I have a free slot though, I'd like to start working on parrying lethal and ranged damage, since that seems like it'll help me not die without armor or weapons.

I think that covers the character basics for now, which leave me wanting a lot of things, but such is life- if you start out at level 20, there's not much room to grow, is there?

I'd like to ask, do undead like skeletons, and necromancy in general, represent a warping or perversion of creation? Would my character have any sort of moral reason to immediately view the skeletons as Bad Things? I'm not sure if they're tied into the energies of the Wyld at all, but from what I remember about the deathlords shadowlands, the whole undead thing goes against the normal order of creation, in which case I'd have to see about setting that right.
>>
No. 875079 ID: 094652

Still looking for a way to Munchkin my 3X Artifact dot purchases - for now, I intend to invest 7 backstory points into those, let me know what the effects of investing bonus points are - 1 or 3. As far as I can tell, 4+ dot artifacts are liable to be stolen, with the risk increasing as the object gains higher rarity levels.

Still, Alchemicals can purchase said 4+ artifacts without spending additional points.

So there's one thing I think I missed - the hearthstone for the stealth knife, the one that mods it to heal stab wounds so the internal bleeding is harder to identify without a proper autopsy (which might be forbidden in certain areas because the body needs to be pristine for the funeral). What category of purchases do Hearthstones belong to - Artifacts, Charms, or something else? And as for Charms, do I still have enough bonus points to purchase what you recommended?
>>
No. 875081 ID: 20ea96

>>874638
>Want to jump right in to IC actions?
Not without the rest of the party.

>hammer out more of the environment first?
Sounds like the world is already firmly established. Unless I'm misunderstanding the meaning of "environment".

>What else is your mentor known to be capable of?
Given their profoundly heretical status, and after a brief browse-through of what little information on Lunar Exalted I can find, I'll suggest Master as being a person of many forms, shifting and changing as the mood suits them, both humanoid and animal shapes. Their gender is ambiguous, sex ever changing, and their heart filled only with a divine love for nature, sometimes gentle and sometimes viscerally ruthless and cruel. The sort of person who on the one hand will do things like benevolently feed the birds, tend to the local flora such that it flourishes, and purify unnatural contamination from the world wherever they have the power to do so, while at the same time also doing things like taking all their meals raw and alive. An aesthetic somewhere between a serene, otherworldly angel and a hot-blooded, predatory wild beast. Skills mainly related to shapeshifting, nature, and the martial arts they're in the process of teaching, and generally more focused on things that are meaningful in non-civilized settings. Their name is irrelevant because Ledaal Ji will only refer to them as Master.

>What have they told you, if anything, about the history of the world, the Silver Pact, or the Thousand Streams River?
Well, that's up to you, isn't it? I don't exactly have a sourcebook handy.

>How about that henchman, has he got a name?
Ledaal Ji will prefer the term "companion". How about... Alcaeus? If he's technically a slave, it's unlikely he'll have a surname.
>>
No. 875093 ID: 5c3123

>>875027
>what's Occult apply to here? The theoretical underpinnings of magic and supernatural stuff?
Yep. Also the relevant skill for attacking with Ichor Flux Tendrils, once you learn that charm.
> I would need to drop something and take the thaumaturgical Art of Geomancy if I wanted to do that though?
That would help but is not strictly necessary.
>Is Destiny-Knitting Entanglement just for swapping out lent artifacts?
Nope. Anything you own, you can spend 2 motes to check on remotely, and optionally pull closer by structured coincidence. If this item already in the same scene, retrieving it costs nothing and is reflexive (though it does count as a charm activation, so you can't do so while using non-comboable charms), so for example a sword knocked away during a duel might fly up in the air, bounce off a passing seagull, and drop effortlessly back into your hand.
>What's the reason for taking Defense of Shining Joy instead of putting 5 points in dodge?
It negates a lot of DV penalties. Suppose you get flanked by a couple of massive zombie ogres, flawlessly coordinated by their unholy master. Your dodge DV gets reduced by 2 due to being surrounded, another 4 by coordinated attacks, and if you're trying to hit back that's probably at least a further -1 from your own actions. Altogether, that would drop your dodge DV to zero before stunt bonuses, meaning you'd be in grave danger. With DoSJ, all those penalties are negated, so they probably won't be able to lay a finger on you. It also means you can use your anima power to boost dodging even further.

>Like what? >>874175 makes it sound like derangement are the most severe class of mutations,
They copied that chart wrong. A derangement is a type of negative mutation with no physical component, and any given derangement has versions for all three degrees of severity.
Megalomania, Deficiency [-1]: When the character encounters people who do not accede to his commands or who demonstrate greater leadership abilities than himself, his player rolls Compassion. On a failed roll, the character develops a strong dislike for any person who undermines the character’s sense of superiority. A botch drives the character into an immediate homicidal rage. These effects last for one scene, though the character may resist them by spending a Willpower point. Debility [-2]: The Compassion roll automatically suffers a -1 internal penalty or the character may not spend Willpower to resist the compulsion. In addition, the effects last for a full day. Deformity [-4]: The Compassion roll suffers a -2 internal penalty and the character may not spend Willpower to resist the compulsion. The effects last until the character is persuaded through Social rolls to forgive the person who failed to recognize his superiority. Otherwise, the effect with regard to that particular person is permanent.
That might be a good fit, and not much of a problem for someone with such high Compassion. Lute Silhouette Speculation isn't exactly self-aggrandizing in a conventional sense, but does believe she has a uniquely important role in guiding individuals and the world, yes?
>>875034
>(unreciprocated levels of force 1)
I'm not sure what you mean by this, so it'd be hard to adjudicate when it applies. How about "While standing on stone" instead?
>(surrendered enemies 1)
Ragara Myrrun, one of the example characters from Scroll of Exalts, has a Medicine specialty in "Treating Harm He Inflicted." That might be a better fit here, since it'll still cover most surrenders, but also training accidents among friends, or patching up Bridget's own wounds in the all too likely event that some magic ritual eventually requires willingly-given blood - which Soul Fire Resurgence wouldn't restore.
> irrelevant compared to Soaring Crane
Monkey Leap Technique is scene-long and requires only 3m committed, whereas for Soaring Crane Leap you're paying 4m per action.
>It seems like this is something I need to commit motes to,
Any charm that's not instant, permanent, or sorcerous requires committed motes.
>Do I still need to breath?
Yes. Suffocation is not a type of environmental damage. You could ignore toxic fumes, including choke-damp, or 'forage' for breathable air on the ocean floor, but solar charms alone won't let you actually breathe water, much less hard vacuum. A gill cloak is only a 1-dot artifact, though, or 2 dots for an actual space suit, and there are other options: sorcery, Black Tide Style martial arts, blessings from various gods or elementals, all sorts of stuff.
>First Craft (fire) Excellency
The excellency applies equally to any and all Craft skills you have at least one dot in.
>missing one
Soul Fire Resurgence. No more than once per action, pay one WP, roll Valor (or other virtues, when appropriate) and heal a number of health levels equal to the successes. Doesn't work on self-inflicted injury.
>do undead like skeletons, and necromancy in general, represent a warping or perversion of creation?
In the judgement of the Unconquered Sun, yes, they are Creatures of Darkness. Holy charms have extra effects on them, mostly aggravated damage.
>Would my character have any sort of moral reason to immediately view the skeletons as Bad Things?
Apart from grander metaphysical issues, walking corpses almost always smell terrible and carry nasty diseases, so prompt and thorough disposal is a sensible public health/sanitation measure.
>I'm not sure if they're tied into the energies of the Wyld at all
Not usually.
>>
No. 875124 ID: 5c3123
File 152180515097.png - (14.39MB , 3840x2303 , Creation Map v5_2c.png )
875124

>>875081
>Sounds like the world is already firmly established.
The broad strokes, yes. Elemental poles, demon princes, history on the scale of centuries and geography on the scale of continents. If we're using the attached map, these events are likely somewhere in square W-7. You will note that W-7 consists of a quarter-million square miles, roughly the same as France, and yet, on that map, contains no named landmarks.

No sourcebook I'm aware of describes the headwaters of the Meander River in any more detail than a sentence or two. The immediate area might look somewhat like this http://www.mangahere.cc/manga/gate_jietai_kare_no_chi_nite_kaku_tatakeri/c041/43.html but with mostly giant mushrooms rather than normal trees. Details on that scale, landscape features and political groups small enough for individuals to meaningfully interact with, have barely been established at all.

How far off is the nearest tribe of parrotmen? Which color are they, and what sort of reception could Alcaeus expect if you dropped by to visit? What small gods or other spirits do they deal with on a regular basis, and what sort of rival tribes dispute their borders? Human barbarians, other sorts of beastmen, Arckhzeki or some less-infamous wyld mutants, chakra orchids or some other mind-slaving parasite, Mother Bog or some other landscape-scale behemoth, maybe a lost city of relatively civilized people with a few bits of semi-functional infrastructure dating back to the Shogunate, or perhaps even further?

>Their name is irrelevant because Ledaal Ji will only refer to them as Master.
What is the single consistent feature which their shapeshifting never completely obscures? When the silver light of their anima is on full display, which animal (or plant, or other living thing) does it take the iconic form of? Where is the territory they nurture and defend?

> I don't exactly have a sourcebook handy.
Ah, well, that's the fun part! Other Lunars have met with Ledaal Ji's master, or sent sorcerous messenger-cherubs, or otherwise discussed matters of significance where he could overhear. From context, the Silver Pact is an alliance or code of conduct (or both) for Anathema, somehow involving magical tattoos, while the Thousand Streams River is a philosophy and/or political agenda of truly vast scope and duration. I am asking you to invent some specific details about those subjects, which Ji has been deliberately informed of, or eavesdropped, or inferred from other fragmentary sources. Over the course of play we will find out how much of that information was accurate.
>>875079
>What category of purchases do Hearthstones belong to - Artifacts, Charms, or something else?
A proper hearthstone is bought with the Manse background. Alchemicals don't normally have access to that, as there aren't any demesnes or manses in Autocthonia, but since this game takes place in Creation it seems fair to give them at least the same level of access that Solars have. Normally, though, Alchemicals cover hearthstone-equivalent needs with essence capacitors and/or elemental cores, which are both freestanding artifacts that require periodic recharging. Essence Capacitors have a one day on/two days off duty cycle, and don't grant any hearthstone-like powers, but the recharge just requires ambient essence. Elemental Cores provide steady output for three months, plus a hearthstone-like power, but can only recharge inside a special reactor - either the heart of an Essence 8+ alchemical exalt, taking the form of a city, or a mobile metacore reactor, which is a 5-dot artifact in it's own right and requires an uncapped demesne for power.
>And as for Charms, do I still have enough bonus points to purchase what you recommended?
All alchemicals start with eight charm slots (four general, four dedicated) and eight charms to fill them at no cost in bonus points. I was recommending the Second Manipulation Augmentation, Fourth Appearance Augmentation, Fifth Dexterity Augmentation, Sixth Intelligence + Craft Augmentation, Pheromone Regulation Systems, Integrated Artifact Transmogrifier, Omnitool Implant, and Technomorphic Integration Engine, which is eight charms. Those last two require Wits 3 and Intelligence 2, respectively, so you'd need to shift a point from Charisma over to Wits, leaving you with Strength 2, Dexterity 5 (6 with the augmentation), Stamina 1, Charisma 2, Manipulation 4 (plus up to two successes for 2m each from the augmentation), Appearance 5 (up to 10 for a scene for 3m per dot with the augmentation), Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Perception 5.

Embri's got 13 motes of personal essence, 8 of which are committed to installed charms, leaving only 5 free for charm use without visible anima flare. That's enough for the Manipulation augmentation, or messing around with pheromones, but not both at once, though either way leaves a mote free for storing and retrieving items.

You could free up one or two more motes of personal essence by linking up those charms into arrays as groups of four, the downside being they then can't be installed and removed separately. You'd probably want to keep prerequisites together, meaning Omnitool and TIE with the Intelligence+Craft and Pheromones with Manipulation, but the other three have no charm prereqs so they could go anywhere. Probably makes the most sense to stick Dex with the tools as a "tech" array, and the other four as a "social" array. Then you'd only have six personal motes committed to installed charms, seven free, allowing pheromone manipulation plus a single auto success on the social attack roll without any anima flare to give you away.

Presumably the Integrated Artifact Transmogrifier and Omnitool Implant would be paid for with 9m from her 39-mote peripheral pool and kept active full-time. Spending fifteen motes (over the course of five actions) to warm up the Appearance augmentation is her "go loud" option, providing overwhelming force in most face-to-face social contexts and usually flaring her anima to the level where most people won't be able to remember the event accurately afterward, but also clearly revealing her as a supernatural being to any that do. Resisting costs a number of WP equal to her Essence.
>>
No. 875198 ID: d22dc0

>>875124
>No sourcebook I'm aware of describes the headwaters of the Meander River

Perfect! Totally coincidental, but I think that's fitting.

>How far off is the nearest tribe of parrotmen? Which color are they
In the Fungus Plains there's a splinter cell of Red Parrotmen who were unhappy with the decision to allow Blue from Red to live, but, being outvoted, decided to leave their tribe and head west to ensure they could raise their offspring properly, without the influence of the other tribes. I think when they left around RY 700, they numbered around 5 septs, so in 70 years there probably hasn't been significant growth, just a couple generations.

>what sort of reception could Alcaeus expect if you dropped by to visit?
Not sure how to answer this one, as it seems I'm visiting Alcaeus, but also giving the reception? I'm also not sure who Alcaeus is

>What small gods or other spirits do they deal with on a regular basis and what sort of rival tribes dispute their borders?
Based on the description of the Parrotmen, and the picture you provided about the terrain, what do you think of them worshiping an infant forest walker located in the Fungal Plains? Until recently it was actually an elemental, bound to the natural world of creation, but worship catalyzed it's growth into not just a place, but an idea beyond it's physical boundaries sometime in the last century.

In addition, the parrotmen have to contend with two ghosts fettered to the area, who died during the Usurpation; one, a powerful solar, hunted and killed, the other being the hunter of the Solar, who died during the ensuing fight. Both were so committed to seeing the other one dead that they resisted re-incarnation so they could be sure they vanquished their foe. Upon finding each other as ghosts, they continued their fight, and over the many years, have lost any semblance of personality or self, their endless duel the only thing keeping them here. Each one has a tribe local to the area that associates themselves with their "patron". A small group of dragon-blooded, descended from a disgraced house that attempted to assassinate the Empress long ago, are pledged to the service of a ghost carrying out their eternal work against the Solars, and fight against a larger group of humans who fled from some horrifying monstrosity that had emerged from the Wyld beyond Lake Carda to commit unspeakable crimes against civilization; these humans of course followed the ghost of the solar, who was also chased from their home and hunted like prey. After many generations, much like the ghosts they follow, neither tribe remembers why they fight each other, only that this is simply how things have always been, and how things will always be. And, just for kicks, we'll say there's a larger population of bovine beastmen who worship a minor harvest god centered around seasonal decay and the growth of life from death. Some notable traditions include the cultivation of rotting flesh on still living bodies, the subsequent sacrifices needed to create hollowed fields upon which bountiful harvests will grow, and the fermentation of mushroom wine, infused in containers that lend it hallucinogenic properties when imbibed.

The parrotmen fight most with the other beastmen, who's territory they moved into, as well as the humans, who attack all beastmen.
The dragon-blooded fight most with the the Humans, and occasionally form uneasy alliances with the heffers
The humans seem to be at odds with everyone, but while they actively hunt the dragon-blooded, they seem to fear the other beastmen, and stay far away unless cornered.
The Heffers have been there the longest, and have cultivated land, metal tools, and walls defending their territory, but have struggled to maintain their lands against the outsiders pushing ever closer.

I imagine, given how I described they Wyld's influence on the area, that we must be close to it, and therefore that plays into this power dynamic, so I think it makes sense that there's pervasive mutations across the various groups of people, but I think the Elemental of the Forest, now turned God, prevented the Fair Folk from being too big of a problem. It's likely though that a small contingent of overly mutated people from the various groups have created a safe haven for themselves somewhere nearby though, if anyone wants to chime in there. I'm realizing now that I might be monopolizing a bit, but there's still plenty of room for other history, spirits, gods, and other things in the area.
>>
No. 875282 ID: 5c3123

>>875198
>who Alcaeus is
Yisheng Ji's companion. Under what circumstances did he become separated from the other parrotmen, and how happy would this particular tribe be to see him?

>elemental into god
That's not how that works. An elemental can develop into a Lesser Elemental Dragon and thereby acquire social status equivalent to a celestial god, but metaphysically they're two completely different things... though I suppose, in truly unusual circumstances, a sufficiently desperate god left unemployed by the Great Contagion could bind-or-assassinate and replace a sufficiently successful elemental, in order to usurp the theoretically-lesser spirit's cult.

>ghosts
It'd be unusual to see ghosts active in an area with no shadowlands, but if it's just one or two extremely old and powerful individuals, that could make sense. Are there shadowlands any closer than the Mound of Forsaken Seeds? Perhaps some remnant of the lich-queen Astius's domain, beneath Lake Carda - which was created by damming up one of those minor rivers, as part of the combined geomantic engineering and military expansion through which the yakfolk secured their current territory.
>A small group of dragon-blooded, descended from a disgraced house that attempted to assassinate the Empress long ago,
Surviving descendants of Manosque, the Empress's eldest child? Manosque Viridian seized the Eye of Autocthon about 520 years ago (presumably from the ruins of Bagrash Köl's empire, way up north in what's now the Haslanti League) and used it to de-power the Realm Defense Grid as part of a very nearly successful coup attempt, which ended abruptly when his entire army, only a day's march from the capital, simply fell into the sky. (The Eye of Autocthon is very powerful, and was poorly understood even in the High First Age. Do not taunt happy fun ball.) The remainder of House Manosque was put to the sword, but it's conceivable a few members of that army, those who happened to be within arm's reach of flight-capable artifact vehicles, could have escaped, with some children, grandchildren, and great*25-grandchildren, still in hiding. Now that the Empress is missing, their ancestor's status as her eldest child might be newly relevant. How many of them in total, and how many of those have actually Exalted?

>The dragon-blooded fight most with the the Humans, and occasionally form uneasy alliances with the heffers
Let's say the Manosque exiles hammered out something like a Cselenite pact between the Yak Folk and a local elemental court led by the Mushroom King, who (in concert with the river god Lord of Nine Falls) has twice defeated the demon Octavian, the Living Tower in battle - the only entities ever to have done so.

The yak folk are relatively few in number, slow to breed and requiring considerable food, but huge and physically imposing. They're like buck-ogres, but with fewer heads and more brains, and hold about five or six times their own number in human or near-human slaves, who are routinely bound by sorcery such that attempting to discuss the possibility of disobedience or escape causes them to vomit live maggots. Most of the yak folk have enlightened essence. Every adult carries both a staff and a sword; many of the staves - maybe 25% - have some useful enchantment, and a few are artifact-quality weapons or sorcerous tools, of which the greatest is a Singing Staff capable of reshaping stone with arbitrary precision. It was carried into exile by the Manosque scions, then gifted to the yak folk leader, as payment for her hospitality and as a symbol of the alliance.

The yak folk outnumber the dragon-blooded about a hundred to one, including many terrestrial martial artists and a few sorcerers, but no exalted - except perhaps a distant Lunar patron whose assistance is far from guaranteed. If not for their common enemies (mainly necrolatrist barbarians under the ghost of Burning Soul Godo, and beyond them, the mobile swamp which has some personal grudge against Godo but is unwilling or unable to ally with any other local faction on any level beyond a basic protection racket) the Manosque scions and the yak-folk would soon be killing or trying to enslave each other, driven by a mix of ideology and raw ambition. In such a conflict, both sides would surely take losses they could ill afford to replace, so neither is eager to start such a fight - not without a decisive advantage from outside forces, anyway.

The sapient swamp will accept many things as payment: corrosion-resistant metals, any magical trinkets that won't be damaged by a bit of dirt and damp. What Mother Bog often takes, though, is corpses. From the bodies of draft animals or big strong men she makes her shambling laborers and soldiers, graceful deer or beautiful women are sculpted into her dancing silver-tongued emissaries, and from small children or beloved pets she makes creeping sorcerer-assassins. None of the bog's minions, it must be noted, are in any sense undead; they are simply new life made from the remains of the old, as all swamps - all carnivores and herbivores - have always done.

The Lord of Nine Falls is the god of the tributaries of the Meander River, which include (as the name suggests) nine major waterfalls. Each waterfall has an artificial cave behind it, hollowed out by the Singing Staff, with a dock for ships and a spiraling ramp leading upward. Across each canyon there is a bridge, each an identical 1-dot air aspect manse. The bridges are made from fine latticework which can be commanded to expand wide enough for cargo wagons, or to fold up almost as thin as a blade. They are networked together, so that anyone who knows the code can use controls on any bridge to open or close any other bridge. The Nine Bridges were built as a collaborative project between the remnants of House Manosque and the Yak Folk, and have served well for centuries, keeping the plateaus and valleys at the core of their shared territory not only well defended, but virtually unknown to the outside world. However, this dependence on impassable terrain also makes the renegade red parrotmen - and all you other air-mobile types - a strategic threat far out of proportion to their numbers.
>>
No. 875289 ID: 3abd97

>>875079
>As far as I can tell, 4+ dot artifacts are liable to be stolen, with the risk increasing as the object gains higher rarity levels.
I don't think artifact theft in general is especially problematic. I was more making the point that if you take something really valuable, plan to trade it away, and then make sure you don't know it's value in character... don't count on not getting cheated in some way.

>>875093
>so you can't do so while using non-comboable charms
So which of my current charms are non-comboable?

>Megalomania
Hm. Thinking about it, but not really feeling it. Maybe a Delusion would fit better, but I haven't thought of a good one yet.

>Neuralizer anima flare
So would Embri have any control over who that affects, or is she just strobing memory-erasure as long as she's glowing? That's going to make any serious combat action interesting. I wonder how often I'll be rolling Investigation: what-the-heck-where-we-just-doing in the aftermath of fight scenes.

What are the cutoffs for caste-marks and anima lightshows becoming visible anyways?

What things give away my status as an akuma, by the way? (Does it affect the appearance of my anima)? I assume that's something I'm supposed to keep quiet (to keep from being killed by the Yozi's opponents, or unpersoned by the Bureau of Destiny). Less sure how that would be approached in party: Malice is a Green Sun Princess, so we're nominally on the same broad side (assuming neither of us have betrayed the reclamation), Bridget's an anathema and Ledaal Ji takes instruction from one, which puts them both in the Scarlet Empire's bad side (if the empire found out what Ji was up to, anyways), and I have no idea where alchemicals fit into those politics. If Astius is still working for the Neverborn that put them against anyone who wants Creation to keep existing.

>>875124
>>875198
>I'm realizing now that I might be monopolizing a bit
Don't worry about it, plenty of room to toss in ideas for factions and surroundings.

The mushroom forests sound cool to me.

>chakra orchids or some other mind-slaving parasite
And I approve of a community of some kind of horrid parasites trying to make a go of it.

>I'm also not sure who Alcaeus is
Ledaal Ji's minion.
>>
No. 875291 ID: 3abd97

>>875282
This all sounds good. I dig the sapient swamp.

A seemingly inaccessible shadowland under the lake (unless you have the right charms or gear to operate underwater, or find a way to drain it) sounds interesting. With Kimberly charms and an interest in necromancy that seems like a plot hook I could do something with eventually.

>How many of them in total, and how many of those have actually Exalted?
Um. A dozen exalts or less, maybe? Less confident on picking arbitrary numbers for the larger population.
>>
No. 875331 ID: fc3fc0

>>875282
>descendants of Manosque, the Empress's eldest child?

Sure, let's go with that! The whole "mostly put to the sword, but a few escaped" was kinda what I was going for. It's likely that there was a group of doomsday preppers within the house, ready for the worst, who happened to get lucky when their flighty instincts proved correct.

>How many of them in total
>The yak folk outnumber the dragon-blooded about a hundred to one
>The yak folk are relatively few in number
>and hold about five or six times their own number in human or near-human slaves

This is a bit tough then; if theres a dozen exalted Dragon-blooded Scions, then there's at least a dozen of them all together, meaning we need at least 1200 Yak Folk, which means that their slave population is at least 6,000 strong, and if we assume conditions somewhat similar to the trans-atlantic slave trade, there would need to be a human population of roughly 30,000 to support that kind of slavery. All in all, this represents roughly a tenth of a percent of the population that was in frace around 1850, so if we want to boost the numbers to fill the area more thoroughly that would certainly be doable. I'm not sure what kind of population density you're imagining, given that this area is unmapped, and therefore largely unimportant to the rest of the Near East and the Scavenged Lands, as well as the empire as a whole. We could easily up everything by a factor of ten, but at that point you start to wonder about how much of a difference absolute values vs percentage values would affect a war effort.

>Yisheng Ji's companion. Under what circumstances did he become separated from the other parrotmen, and how happy would this particular tribe be to see him?

Seems prudent to leave that one for Tunic

>a sufficiently desperate god left unemployed by the Great Contagion
Is it possible for someone to duplicate the creation of the Dawnstar and Unconquerable Sun on a significantly smaller, and obviously flawed scale? Rather than simply taking the domain of an elemental, could a god sufficiently shape their own domain, create the ship which they pilot?

>no exalted - except perhaps a distant Lunar patron
Yeah, that sounds good . Perhaps some Half-castes make up their elite warriors and give them some connection to an otherwise long gone ancestor; The kids like to think they're self sufficient, but every now and then you can't roll with the punches and have to call home to your folks.

>>875289
>Don't worry about it
It's hard to convey tone over text like this, but that's reassuring; I definitely like to talk and create, but I don't want to talk over anyone or take up all the fun opportunities.

Maybe those chackra orchids and such could be part of the living swamp? I don't know much about them to be honest, there's a lot of exalted and I don't read quite as quickly or as accurately as JamesLeng, so I'm mostly filling in bits and pieces where I can.
>>
No. 875338 ID: 094652

>>875289
Noted. Still, there's an important opportunity to trade a 6-dot artifact for a 3-dot hearthstone and some opportunities, instead of buying a 6-dot artifact with diminishing returns on bonus points while Embri wastes her potential for artifact discounts on a hearthstone. If you guys can come up with an appropriate play to trade fairly, we save more than 4 dots total.

>>875124
On that note, though, I think the essence charm hearthstone replacement would be a better fit. The one-day on, two days off thing is acceptable, as the specialized internal bleeding assassination would be reserved for high-priority targets, like guard captains or wealthy merchants. For nobodies like night guards or gang members, a simple shank-and-stuff (in the closet) will suffice.
>>
No. 875357 ID: 20ea96

>>875124
>What is the single consistent feature which their shapeshifting never completely obscures? When the silver light of their anima is on full display, which animal (or plant, or other living thing) does it take the iconic form of? Where is the territory they nurture and defend?
How about taking the iconic form of the great grey shrike, and retaining the bird's characteristic black eye stripe? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_grey_shrike
I suppose that would make their favored terrain lightly-forested grasslands and/or bogs? That would likely make them a friend of Mother Bog, the sapient swamp.

>Silver Pact is an alliance or code of conduct (or both) for Anathema, somehow involving magical tattoos
Considering you can be murdered by religious zealots just for associating with Anathema, Ledaal Ji should know very little about it, for his own safety. Perhaps just enough to help him avoid danger presented by other Anathema bound by the Silver Pact. His Master could have taught him how to visually and/or spiritually identify and distinguish Silver Pact tattoos from ordinary tattoos, as well as some way to indicate to Silver Pact members that he is non-hostile to the faction. Perhaps a sacred phrase or a specific form of divine resonance.

>the Thousand Streams River is a philosophy and/or political agenda of truly vast scope and duration
I'm assuming Ledaal Ji is just a relatively weak, low-level acolyte, since you noted "all his heretical martial arts training so far has taken place over a cumulative total of less than half an hour of face-to-face discussion and sparring", so again, he should know almost nothing about something as huge and important as the Thousand Streams River philosophy. Half an hour isn't much time to even summarize something "of truly vast scope and duration", not to mention the necessity of holding back on the advanced concepts until the basic concepts are mastered. Perhaps Ledaal Ji made an crude, shallow-minded guesstimation that it had something to do with the way a thousand myriad, weak streams will eventually merge into a single mighty, unstoppable river. And in the same way, there can be a thousand myriad paths for an individual to take on the road to enlightenment of the Tao. That all ways are correct if you only have the knowledge and strength of will to follow them. And in a more politically-minded context, an unenlightened one such as himself could easily imagine a thousand myriad factions, individually weak, but when united into a single entity, all moving in the same direction, invulnerable.
>>
No. 875360 ID: 20ea96

>>875331
>>875198
>how happy would this particular tribe be to see Alcaeus?
>Red parrotmen who were unhappy with the decision to allow Blue from Red to live
>Alcaeus is a blue parrotman
From what you've written, it seems you pretty clearly answered that they would absolutely despise Alcaeus, to the fullest extent of fantasy racism.

>Under what circumstances did he become separated from the other parrotmen?
Given his status as a slave to the dragonblooded, there's no doubt he was captured by dragonblooded. Yet despite this, he seems to be on very good terms with Ledaal Ji, a dragonblooded, so it's clearly not a source of racially-motivated angst for him. Perhaps his tribe attacked a member of/stole from/committed some other crime against a major dragonblooded house, and were summarily made an example of, being forcefully suppressed and their members sold into slavery. This would have happened at a very young age, when Alcaeus was merely a chick. Presumably, House Ledaal purchased him for a similarly young Ledaal Ji as a personal servant/companion. Thus, while Alcaeus is legally a slave, the emotional bond between them is more like childhood friends. Having a mandatory presence for a young minor noble like Ledaal Ji, studying all sorts of scholarly topics later in life, a clever parrotman with a knack for memorization like Alcaeus would naturally have learned much. Discovering a particular interest in alchemy, and being privileged enough to be able to share many of Ledaal Ji's resources, he would eventually reach his current status as a master alchemist. Plus, as an excuse, it never hurts to have a talented slave serving you, right?
>>
No. 875379 ID: 5c3123

>>875289
>What are the cutoffs for caste-marks and anima lightshows becoming visible anyways?

Main rule to remember is one step up for every four motes of peripheral essence, one step back down per scene (or per 20 minutes in particularly long scenes) without spending any.

In a little more detail, at one to three motes, there's a faint sparkling which requires a perception roll to notice. Not a problem unless you're under particularly close scrutiny, but it can take an hour or more to fade completely.
At four to seven motes, magical stealth fails (it's still possible to hide behind opaque cover, but notably harder), and anyone who spots you will know which type of exalt you are thanks to the color and shape of a glowing mark on your forehead.
At eight to eleven motes, you're surrounded by a glowing aura bright enough to read by, which shines through solid objects clearly enough that anyone within hundreds of yards who's not blind or sound asleep can't possibly fail to notice.
At twelve to fifteen motes, the aura becomes a rippling bonfire, enough to light up a large room or be visible as a spark on the horizon from miles away. This is the level where anima powers activate for free, and it also tends to have lasting (though largely cosmetic) effects on the environment.
Sixteen motes is the maximum. No matter how many more you spend in a scene, it can drop back down to the previous level after a single action. It's known as the "iconic" level because, rather than glowing even brighter, it reveals your specific personal identity as an iconic image.

All that applies to Solars, Lunars, GSPs, and Abyssals. Terrestrial exalts don't have caste marks, and the elemental energies of their animas cause physical damage to anything nearby at the 8 mote or higher levels. Alchemicals exude trace amounts of the corresponding magical material, making them easier to track for up to an hour, in that same range.

Sidereals are the oddest exception. They're inherently subtler; they don't flare as bright, just as the stars are less visible than the sun or moon. Caste marks still require a roll to notice up to 8 motes, and stealth or disguises have some chance of success up to 12. They get a bonfire-equivalent glow at 16 motes, which persists for the scene, but never display a personal iconic image - though some claim to be able to recognize individuals by subtle differences in the aura's color.

>So would Embri have any control over who that affects, or is she just strobing memory-erasure as long as she's glowing?
At 12+ peripheral motes, it's on whether she wants it or not.
>What things give away my status as an akuma, by the way?
Only way to really be sure would be the spiritual equivalent of a cavity search or MRI scan. Any of the Incarnae, Lytek (god of exaltation), or somebody wielding Lytek's diagnostic tools could definitely do that. High-essence Solar or Lunar charms might enable soul analysis. An adamant-circle sorcerer could call upon the yozi surrender oath to summon whichever demon performed the Investiture and bind them to the task of identifying you (and other agents); the Unconquered Sun, or Verumipra, Ambassador to the Cursed City and Warden of the Exiles, could compel the yozis themselves to testify.
More likely, though, you'd have to worry about circumstantial evidence. Noticing that somebody is a Creature of Darkness is fairly easy - one of the entry-level charms from Golden Janissary style can do it with a touch, and practitioners might smite you on general principles. Celestial Lions, Heaven's police force, can do so with a glance. Loom-Snarling Deception won't cover that by itself, you need an upgrade charm... which is not automatically available to all akuma.

Someone might simply ask whether you're an akuma and check your answer with some sort of lie detector, such as the solar Investigation charm Judge's Ear Technique.

When you use Kimbery's charms, someone with the ability to directly observe essence flows (essence sight) and sufficient occult knowledge might recognize them as such. For charms with the Obvious keyword, essence sight would not be necessary, though expertise still would.

There's a spell, Universal Precept Shroud, which can conceal any and all telltales except during use of Obvious-keyword charms. Casting it by yourself would require initiation into sapphire-circle sorcery, and getting the full effect normally requires Essence 5, but there are some loopholes: with a Sorcery-Capturing Cord of braided starmetal and moonsilver (a 4-dot artifact) you could store a spell cast by someone else and deploy it later as if you were the caster, with the right 4-dot manse (Twice-Striking Lightning Prism hearthstone, Rainbow Tabernacle for one of the powers) you could boost your effective Essence to the necessary level for spellcasting purposes. Let's say that spell is already in place, since it's within the scope of demonic patronage and clearly mission-relevant, but you still need to worry about the possibility of being exposed by countermagic.

Handy backup option for such a contingency would be a Veil of Fathomless Wickedness, 2-dot artifact which can defeat any scan because it doesn't technically conceal your nature as a CoD, but rather transforms you enough that you no longer are one. Bad news, it also locks out all your charms and other essence-based powers. Sidereal Astrology still works, but it's seldom the best tool for immediate self-defense.

>(Does it affect the appearance of my anima)?
If you had an iconic anima, it would be subtly distorted in some manner symbolic of your damnation. Fortunately, you don't, and Venus's blue goes well with oceanic imagery anyway.

>I have no idea where alchemicals fit into those politics.
Neither does anyone else. Solars and Lunars are well-documented in Immaculate dogma, Abyssals fit well enough since they're similar to solars but worse, all that's easy enough for most people to wrap their heads around. Sidereals and GSPs keep a lower profile, but most of the GSP powerset is Yozi charms which were adequately studied in akuma, and by direct experimentation on the yozis during the High First Age, and even some records all the way back to the Primordial War. GSPs may develop strange new sorts of transcendence, but only after months or years of 'making it up as they go along,' allowing others a chance to adapt. Broad agendas of all the fallen titans are no great secret, however obscure the latest specific implementation is.

Alchemicals come from a completely alien world, with language and culture that have evolved to fit totally different environmental pressures for upwards of 4500 years, and they're wielding a broad, well-developed set of powers that nobody outside Autocthonia has ever seen in action before. Not the wisest sages, not the most ancient ghosts in the Underworld, not even the yozis themselves. Gaia, the Incarnae, and a select few others such as Lytek or Queen Merela might possibly be able to recognize the broad strokes of it from Autocthon's initial concept sketches for Exaltation, but no prototype was built to those original plans, not until after the War, within the Great Maker's self-imposed exile, inner workings of which were hidden by the Seal of Eight Divinities.

>If Astius is still working for the Neverborn
Astius was never really working for the Neverborn. The Lich-Queen is uniquely old, among Abyssal Exalts: one of the Solars which survived the Usurpation, at least long enough to have never been stuck in the Jade Prison, hunted down and forced to reincarnate again and again during the Shogunate. Finally came near a place called the Well of Udr. Somebody... existed there. "Lived" isn't the right word. Owned that place, brooked no intruders. With writhing snakes where fingers ought to be, summoned an entity known as Loras, the Death Sun to drive off the intruders, then returned to her studies. Loras is shaped vaguely like a human, but thirty feet tall. Wears robes of black glass, carries an immense sword, obliterated an army and broke a skyship in half with about as much visible interest or effort as scraping horse-dung off cobblestones, devoured ghosts like salty pub snacks. The Death Sun explained to Astius, with unexpected courtesy, "There are two ways I can complete my bound task at this point. Killing you, or," and then she picked the other one.

Didn't have any more trouble from the Wyld Hunt after that. Built a little kingdom, out on the fringes of the world, but anything she cared about too much kept exploding in black fire, and anyone who cared about her too much tended to go insane, or abruptly die in inexplicably horrific ways. Blighted the very landscape sometimes, or suffered seemingly random injuries herself. More than once a whole crowd of people tried to cut out their own eyes after seeing her iconic anima banner. Only the dead were safe, and they've got their own limitations. As such, even with the best leadership and logistical management she could provide, the whole empire-building project never really got off the ground.

>>875331
>I'm not sure what kind of population density you're imagining,
On that map, inside square W-7, you see that cluster of mountains? All the yak folk, their croplands, supply lines, and the remnants of House Manosque occupy a small enough portion of that area that they've managed to avoid being noticed in any serious way through multiple centuries of wandering adventurers, some of whom have superpowers, as well as sporadic aerial scouting by Lookshyan forces, Fair Folk, and who knows what else. There might be over a hundred Manosques in total, but some of them would have to be children or unExalted adults, and even with magical genetics and extended DB lifespans, twenty-plus generations of inbreeding starting from a very narrow gene pool would have to cause some sort of problems. Marrying barbarians or the yakfolk's slaves would dilute the potential for exaltation, and options for strengthening it again are few and unpleasant. Purity Crucible Strike risks the subject's death while a Dragon's Nest requires a 3-dot or higher demense and all the other complications of building a manse, not least the risk of yak folk sabotaging it to preserve the balance of power.

>Is it possible for someone to duplicate the creation of the Dawnstar and Unconquerable Sun on a significantly smaller, and obviously flawed scale?
Well, there were these things called Titan-class Aerial Citadels, which could be adequately summarized as a mix of http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092067/ and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116629/ so in that sense, yes.
>Rather than simply taking the domain of an elemental, could a god sufficiently shape their own domain, create the ship which they pilot?
There's a second-circle demon, Florivet, the Whim-of-the-Wind, who sails around on a ship made from his own surgically extracted bones, which were replaced with red glass. Fairly decent guy, as demons go, likes getting drunk and going on adventures.

>>875357
>I'm assuming Ledaal Ji is just a relatively weak, low-level acolyte,
Being Exalted at all puts him head and shoulders above the common mass of humanity. Initiation into Celestial Martial Arts puts him on the same level as the sort of folks (Immaculate monks) who are nominally in charge of going out and picking fights with the Anathema. Once you've got that, and sorcery, all that's left is mastering other styles, or increasing Essence and expanding the native DB charmset (which includes at least one old-age-resistance charm, Well-Tended Garden Of The Soul), or extrinsic power such as artifacts and manses.

There are some frustratingly hard-to-explain differences between cultivation as depicted in I Shall Seal The Heavens and the way training and XP work in Exalted. Humbling Enlightenment Commentary accelerates training for the martial arts, so that each minute provides as much benefit as would normally be possible in a full day. Half an hour is the equivalent of more than a month, and that month-equivalent of training gave focus and direction to six years worth of downtime XP.

There's a 5-dot hearthstone right in the core book which stops the bearer from aging, and a few different options in Dreams of the First Age, including a 6-dot artifact crown which, in addition to solving the whole 'old age' issue, causes it's wearer to rapidly regenerate from any injury, even growing back whole and alive if reduced to a fine pink mist. Only way to kill the user is to remove the crown and keep it away from them for a few minutes, or interfere with the crown's annual maintenance and recharging. Building a 6-dot artifact from scratch is... possible in theory. You'd need six exotic ingredients, each equivalent to a 5-dot artifact, then the design process would require Lore, Occult, and an appropriate Craft all at 8 dots, and several hundred successes on an extended action with one roll per season.

Charms can help, mostly Solar or Alchemical. Embri's Omnitool Implant and Bridget's Craftsman Needs No Tools would be good places to start, though far from sufficient in themselves. That 12x speed multiplier means the roll interval for crafting artifacts is reduced from three months to a week.
>>
No. 875383 ID: 094652

>>875021
What are the relevant rules for Clarity? I mean, from a stat perspective, how does this tie in to Embri's existing rigidity and cold-heartedness?

>You can't have Strength +0 as a starting Adamant-caste. All your caste attributes need to start with at least 2 dots.
Well dang. That makes the powerbow less effective, huh. So Embri's Strength needs to be average (2) or more because of caste rules, then? Does that rule apply to Favored stats as well?
How about this, then: Strength 2, Appearance 4-5, Perception 4-5. Need to decide if a mystically-gorgeous appearance is more important than sniper-precise perception.
>>
No. 875402 ID: 3abd97

>Main rule to remember is one step up for every four motes of peripheral essence, one step back down per scene (or per 20 minutes in particularly long scenes) without spending any.
Ah. So we're not intended to be running around with all our peripheral motes assigned to artifacts then? We're supposed to attune them as needed? Unless maintaining already committed motes doesn't count as a new expenditure.

>Akuma discovery stuff
Less bad than I feared it might be. In the immediate scenario, it sounds like Astius (possibly sorcery and confirmed demon summoning) is best specced to make me, probably followed by Bridget, with anti creature of darkness stuff.

>Veil of Fathomless Wickedness
Going to pass on that for now. I'm happy with the proposed build in >>874890 (still toying with the idea of taking a derangement or not) and there's not much room for removing things to free up points. (And I don't even have any Sidereal Astrology to fall back on yet).

Maybe I'll obtain one later in the course of play, or if I'm going somewhere where I'm more likely to be found out, I'll artifact-swap with my patron.

Are there decisions to be made about said patron? I'm guessing Kimberly doesn't handle the day to day managing of material and my Q is some upper tier demon in her service.

>Building a 6-dot artifact from scratch is... possible in theory
There's an interesting possible plot hook or long term goal. Several of the PCs are crafters, to different extents. Agreeing to some kind of long term shared project might be one way to get them working together.
>>
No. 875415 ID: d22dc0

>>875402
Based on what I read, attuned motes do count towards glowy powers, but you only need to keep that to a minimum if you don’t want to make a big aura. For example, Bridget is probably pretty confident in herself, and likely won’t worry about people realizing her treacherous exaltation. In addition, she hasn’t actually learned any martial arts or charms that would let her realize your demonic influences. At least, I don’t think so. Her only real powers thus far are:

Jumping good
Resisting the elements
Surviving some otherwise dangerous wounds
Turning raw material into finished products on the fly

Given that she is expressly uneducated in the ways of the first era, and has low occult currently, she probably doesn’t know much about the Yozai, so there’s not much of a reason for her to dislike Lute just for being an Akuma. As long as they get along well during this crisis, should be no reason for friction. In fact, Kimberly was instrumental in bringing about the Holy Tyrant, who in turn brought about the Unconquored Sun, so historically there’s a viewpoint that favors the Yozai as benefactors of creation. It certainly wouldn’t exist without them.
>>
No. 875469 ID: 5c3123

>>875081
>Not without the rest of the party.
I'm not going to enforce the PCs all being in the same place and on the same side. The way the rules for downtime activities work, once you're more established, sometimes it'll make more sense to split up for months at a time, and the way social combat works it's very much possible for allegiances to shift, at least when they haven't been locked in with Righteous Lion Defense or equivalent. Every Exalt's charmset has it's own version of that, with it's own limits on what it can be applied to.

>>875415
>Kimberly
The only letter 'L' in "Kimbery, the Great Mother, the Sea That Marched Against The Flame" is the one in the word 'flame.' http://plagueofhats.blogspot.com/2010/09/yozi-kimberly.html

>>875402
>Unless maintaining already committed motes doesn't count as a new expenditure.
That's correct.
>Are there decisions to be made about said patron? I'm guessing Kimberly doesn't handle the day to day managing of material and my Q is some upper tier demon in her service.
Conveniently, third-circle demons are actually somewhat easier to stat out than weaker ones. They've got Essence 8, 9, or 10, willpower usually in the same range, virtues wherever they need to be for the personality archetype, 18-25 base dice for any conceivable action, pretty much every spirit charm that doesn't go against their themes, and a couple of unique powers. No need to worry about Backgrounds because they're Unquestionable, so everything in Hell is up for grabs. I think Madelrada, That Which Wears Down The Mountains is Kimbery's only 3rd-circle soul with a canonical stat block, so do you want to be a spy for the living army and grandmaster of strategic attrition, or make up a different one?

>>875383
>What are the relevant rules for Clarity?
First there's a long section explaining that it's all about efficiency, not brutal sociopathy (at least until Gremlin Syndrome gets involved). Skipping that since I can probably explain it better as specific examples come up.
GAINING CLARITY There are two kinds of Clarity: permanent and temporary points. Permanent points of Clarity cannot be removed as long as the conditions that produced them remain in place. Temporary Clarity fluctuates according to behavior and situation. Characters may gain Clarity in the following ways: • Transhuman Essence: Alchemicals gain one point of permanent Clarity for each dot of Essence they possess over five. • Suppressing Virtues: Whenever an Alchemical spends a point of Willpower to suppress a Virtue he possesses at 3+, he gains a point of temporary Clarity. Alchemicals may automatically fail any Virtue roll without paying Willpower by accepting two points of Clarity instead. • Forsaking Humanity: Alchemicals gain a point of temporary Clarity after spending a full week without meaningful, nonviolent human contact of any kind. Other Alchemical Exalted do not count as humans for this purpose. • Charms: Charms with the Exemplar keyword bestow permanent Clarity while they are installed. Some Charms grant temporary Clarity when they are invoked, as well. See Chapter Five for more details. LOSING CLARITY Unlike Limit, Clarity does not “break” at 10 points. Gains in excess of this total are simply ignored. As mentioned, permanent Clarity can be lost only by removing the situation that produced it (usually by removing an Exemplar Charm). Temporary Clarity, however, can be removed in two ways. • Human Contact: At the end of a scene in which the Alchemical meaningfully interacts with normal humans, roll Compassion (applying penalties according to current Clarity). Add one bonus die to this roll if the Alchemical bears an emotional Intimacy toward any of the humans with whom she interacted. If the roll is successful, the Exalt loses one point of temporary Clarity. On a botch, the Alchemical’s alienation deepens, and she gains a point of temporary Clarity. Only one point of Clarity may be lost in this manner each day. • Embracing Virtue: Whenever the Alchemical spends a point of Willpower to channel a Virtue, he loses a point of temporary Clarity. EFFECTS OF CLARITY Rising Clarity erodes an Alchemical’s ability to empathize with humans, even as it attunes her to the alien logical processes of her Primordial patron and his component souls. This is a gradual process with several recognizable stages, each with its associated benefits and drawbacks. 0–2: The Alchemical’s thought processes and behavior seem as ordinary and human as her traits would indicate. 3–4: The Exalt grows notably colder, though not inhumanly so. She seems faintly impatient with and disdainful toward mortal failings. In general, she has less time for people. All social rolls not pertaining to intimidation suffer a -1 internal penalty, unless the Alchemical is interacting with an Autochthonian spirit, automaton or Alchemical of equal or greater Clarity. In those instances, the Exalt enjoys a +1 situational bonus die. Compassion rolls suffer a -1 internal penalty. The senselessness of broad emotional commitments becomes obvious at this level of Clarity, restricting the Alchemical’s available range of Intimacies. She may not retain emotional Intimacies toward broad social groups (as opposed to narrow ones — the Delzahn, children, or the inhabitants of a certain city would be purged, while the National Tripartite Assembly of Yugash, the Council of Entities or the character’s assembly would not). Intimacies toward groups that directly support her Motivation or are of regular material benefit or hindrance to the Alchemical remain unaffected. 5–7: The Alchemical’s movements and speech become clipped and laconic for greater efficiency. She no longer pities mortals for their imperfections, correctly recognizing pity as a waste of cognitive function. In short, she is notably inhuman. Emotional needs are taken into account only for motivational purposes. Mistakes meet with prompt chastisement and punishment if possible, or the prompt filing of disciplinary reports with the defective mortal’s superiors otherwise. The thrum and boom of distant gears sometimes impresses itself on the Alchemical in her dreams. All bonuses and penalties from the previous stage double at this level. The Alchemical may no longer sustain emotional Intimacies to broad social groups at all. Such Intimacies may remain only if they are valued for strategic import alone. Antagonistic Intimacies at this level of Clarity may be sustained only if the subject of the Intimacy is a serious, ongoing threat to the Alchemical or her goals. Emotional Intimacies of friendship may be retained only if this friendship is of material benefit to the Alchemical. 8–9: The Exalt has progressed beyond humanity, able to look back on it as a necessary but regrettably imperfect phase of her evolution. When absolutely necessary, she can present a façade of polite courtesy to facilitate expedient interaction with less enlightened minds. Her dreams are full of the crystalline hum of the Machine God’s logic processes, and this stream of autonomic data sometimes impresses itself on her waking mind. Internal penalties and bonuses rise to three dice, and the Exalt gains a situational bonus die to all Mental Attribute or Temperance rolls involving memory, analytical deduction or dispassionate self-control. The Alchemical may now retain emotional Intimacies of friendship only if such ties directly support her Motivation. Intimacies based on love disappear at this range of Clarity unless the relationship is of material benefit to the Alchemical. 10: The Alchemical’s voice carries occasional undertones of multilayered harmony, indicating her perfect synchronization with the Design of Autochthon. Her eyes are glassy, amorally regarding the world as an array of pure variables swirling around the goals she has set for herself. Humans receive no more consideration or priority in such calculations than any other piece of data. Social penalties and bonuses rise to four dice, while mental bonuses rise to three dice. All Compassion rolls made for the Exalt automatically fail. The Alchemical may sustain no emotional Intimacies at all. Groups, objects, nations and individuals are valued only for their utility in fulfilling the Exalt’s Motivation. Grand Autocrat Kerok of Yugash might be retained as an Intimacy, for example, but only because he is an unusually effective leader and policy maker, and extraordinary measures should thus be taken to see that he is preserved.
>That makes the powerbow less effective, huh.
...no? Base damage for a time-strung bow is Strength+3, plus any bonus for arrow type, so higher strength means it hits harder.
>So Embri's Strength needs to be average (2) or more because of caste rules, then?
That's correct.
>Does that rule apply to Favored stats as well?
No.
>How about this, then: Strength 2, Appearance 4-5, Perception 4-5.
You can buy additional dots in caste or favored attributes for only 3 BP each. I was recommending Strength 2, Dexterity 5 (6 with the augmentation), Stamina 1, Charisma 2, Manipulation 4 (plus up to two successes for 2m each from the augmentation), Appearance 5 (up to 10 for a scene for 3m per dot with the augmentation), Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Perception 5, Archery 3 (Unaware Targets +1), Athletics 3, Awareness 3, Dodge 3, Larceny 3 (Reverse Pickpocketing +1), Lore 3, Medicine 1, Performance 3 (While Naked +1), Socialize 3 (Seduction +1), Stealth 5. That would cost 3 bonus points for the attributes and 10 for the skills, while Willpower 7, Compassion 2, Conviction 4, Temperance 4, Valor 1 costs 4 BP, which is 17 out of the 18 you get without disadvantages. Last one could go to another dot of Artifacts, or mundane Resources so you can afford a safe place to sleep, steady supply of food, some non-artifact weapons...
>>
No. 875474 ID: d22dc0

>>875469
Huh, I thought ISP was glowing like a miniature sun because she had so many notes devoted to her stuff- what was causing her to light up before she had done anything in the scene?

Also seems like it might be useful for me to garner some sort of natural or cheap hardness- any easy way to do that?
>>
No. 875487 ID: 5c3123

>>875474
>what was causing her to light up before she had done anything in the scene?
She'd activated several charms, technically within the scene but 'off-screen,' before joining the fight. Infinite Melee Mastery all by itself was probably 20 motes.
>some sort of natural or cheap hardness- any easy way to do that?
The only really easy way to get Hardness is artifact armor, but that's not compatible with Iron Kettle Body. At Essence 5 you could buy another Resistance charm building off IKB, called Unbroken Chain Resolve, which provides very temporary natural Hardness. There are sorcery spells, such as Invulnerable Skin of Bronze.

The Solar charmset has perfection as a major theme, but it's also somewhat constrained by the human context. Humans don't normally have skin that casually turns blades, so solars are mostly limited to reducing the damage, or transient perfect soak such as Adamant Skin Technique, and a well-rounded defensive strategy for them needs to focus on dodging or parrying first. If you want to be a traditional sort of tank, somebody who gets hit a lot and takes some damage from it but doesn't stay down, the Alchemical or Lunar Stamina charmsets are much better suited to that, with the combination of quick and easy regeneration and effects which reduce an otherwise deadly wound to mere incapacitation. Malfeas's charmset also has a lot of 'natural armor' sorts of effects, starting with Scar-Writ Saga Shield which provides always-on Hardness after a few repurchases, so a GSP or Malfeas akuma might work.

Simplest option is just to get yourself some good armor, though, particularly if you're already planning to focus on forge-work. A timeless lesson from the last panel here: http://guildedage.net/comic/chapter-1-page-8/
>>
No. 875505 ID: d22dc0

>>875487
Worth considering in the future, but I think I'll forgo fitting a specific role for the character integrity. Was kinda aiming for an unarmed, unarmored martial artist, don't see a reason to scrap the whole basic character design idea for slightly better tanking. Does my Elemental-Resistant Prana work against things like that fire based anima flare effect? Or am I just going to have to grin and bear it as a grapple focused unarmored martial artist.
>>
No. 875546 ID: 5c3123

>>875505
>Does my Elemental-Resistant Prana work against things like that fire based anima flare effect?
Having natural lethal soak (as all exalts and many other magical beings do) is enough to protect against terrestrial anima flux at the 8-mote (per minute) and 12-mote (per 9 seconds) levels, but not at the iconic (every second) level. Element-Resisting Prana covers accidental damage from the iconic level, but not if it's being deliberately used as an attack. To protect against environmental-damage attacks, you'd need the upgrade Steadfast Elemental Emperor Stance.

So, Bridget's just jumped more than a mile up in the air to demand sheep from whoever's in charge of this flying castle. Fortunately the walls seem to be made primarily of some white stuff that looks like fog and feels like ivory, and is easy enough to climb; that awful black metal with screaming faces inside is only used for occasional joints and fastenings.

The most readily apparent entrance to the structure is a breach in the wall where a vehicle recently crashed into it. The vehicle's structure is made from silk and bronze bamboo. There are four figures in the cabin: a chiropteran (anthropomorphic bat), a giant spider, a bloody-furred ape, and the most heartwrenchingly beautiful horse-sized wasp Bridget has ever seen. The four are arguing over which among them is most at fault for the crash; chiropteran seems to be nominally in charge, but does not have the full respect of the others.

Entering the castle through this breach would require either traversing the airship's cabin, or crawling underneath it's hull, through an endless cascade of whirling knives which seems to be venting from the ship's damaged engine, streaming down the castle's wall (leaving ugly scratches on the ivory/fog/whatever blocks) before arcing out into empty air and dissipating as acrid smoke.

Inside the castle, there's a 13-foot-wide hallway guarded by five human skeletons wearing lamellar armor and wielding halberds, directed by a human (possibly still living, but gaunt and jaundiced) in black robes, with a mummified hand worn on a necklace and an elaborately embroidered hat.
>>
No. 875557 ID: 3abd97

>Kimberly
Funny, I would have thought names chosen to deliberately mess with spell check were more the Ebon Dragon's thing.

>clarity stuff
Well that sure seems fitting for an assassin.

>do you want to be a spy for the living army and grandmaster of strategic attrition, or make up a different one?
http://exalted3e.wikidot.com/lex:madelrada
Gotta say, she sounds nearly ideal for a spymaster. I mean, no one wants to be a piece sacrificed in pursuit of the great game, but long term attrition and your opponents never being sure when you've actually suffered a setback is the way to play it. Seems like the kind of person who would be able to put esoteric sidereal tricks to good use, or find find ways to advance a greater agenda in Lute's seemingly chaotic pursuit of her own quest.

I think that's just about it, save the derangement, and I'm having a hard time finding a useful list to consider.
>>
No. 875560 ID: fc3fc0

>Temperance 1
>heartwrenchingly beautiful horse-sized wasp

I think Bridget wants to get closer to that wasp. I think the idea is that we're supposed to describe our actions with flavor and such so I'm gonna go ahead and give a little vignette down below, but tl;dr, I activated Iron Kettle Body on the ground upon seeing an airship that makes me itchy, and then upon landing and having my heart wrenched, I'm going to jump over to their crashed ship with Soaring Crane Leap. I'm still not sure what exactly counts towards anima flare; mountain crossing leap was used about 5 minutes ago, so that's not relevant, but Iron Kettle Body, despite being activated 5 minutes ago, is still ongoing since it lasts a whole scene; do those 6 count towards my total when I use my Soaring Crane Jump?

Bridges the Sun and Moon had felt her skin crawl before, but not like this. The castle trespassing on the land of her blood made her uneasy, but traditions had to be upheld. Steeling herself for the daunting task ahead, she prepared to help whoever laid claim to the flying fortresses understand the rules, and right the wrongs they had committed. Never had she been required to go to such lengths, save once, and that was an ordeal not easily forgotten. Through sheer dedication alone, she soared into the sky, a harpoon intent on ensuring it's prey did not escape. When she landed however, her priorities changed as she saw the damage that had been done to the castle. She would not- could not- let herself be swayed from her task, but should everyone here die before amends could be made, then she would have failed in her duties anyways. She jumped towards the nearest anchor point, as a bird might dive to catch an early meal, effortlessly approaching the travelers who would likely need to be rescued shortly.

"You have crossed the border, and must pay tax. This damage will be mended first. Who possesses the knowledge required?"

>>875379
>There might be over a hundred Manosques in total
Let's up everything by a factor of ten then, with 120 Manosques, 12000 Yak Folk, 60,000 almost-human slaves, and 300,000 disorganized nearly-humans taking up that space. Given the size of the area, we're still barely scratching the surface for possible population density if historical french population numbers are applicable in this scenario.
>>
No. 875561 ID: 094652

>>875469
>Clarity notes
Thanks. Clarity is worrisome, the mechanics claw into Embri's main function. What's her starting essence again?
>Current Build
Mostly okay, but might need a few extra tweaks.

I figure that any bonus points invested in Background are a 1:1 deal, even when making an alchemical.

Perception doesn't have to be godlike for assassins, does it?

What I'm getting at is: no BP in Stats, invest 4 BP into Background: 3 for Savant, 1 for Resources. That means of the initial ten dots Embri has for Background, they all get invested for the 3:1 deal in Artifacts.

After consideration, Embri could lose 1-2 points in Conviction, if needed.

And finally, Performance (While Naked+1) isn't a good specialization for Embri - she'll be preparing her knives around the moment the target has made it to the brothel room, so undressing at this point is a rare occurrence.
>>
No. 875577 ID: 5c3123

rolled 6, 9, 9 = 24

>>875557
>no one wants to be a piece sacrificed in pursuit of the great game,
Entry-level wisdom in that position is to make yourself such an exquisitely valuable piece, the boss prefers your continued presence over any plausible gain from a sacrifice. Tricky to achieve in practice, particularly when everyone else on your side knows the score just as well and is trying to do the same thing.
>finding a useful list to consider
Make something up. Spell out conditions when it applies, the Virtue roll or WP needed to resist, effects if you don't, and some suitably more severe loss of composure on a botch.
>>875561
>Clarity is worrisome, the mechanics claw into Embri's main function.
Well, so long as you're getting regular social contact with humans, it's easy enough to keep under control, particularly if you genuinely care about some of them. More Compassion would definitely help with that, though. Or, if you'd prefer crocodile tears, http://unicornjelly.com/uni518.html there's a charm called the Empathy Simulation Engine.
>What's her starting essence again?
Exalts start at Essence 2 by default. That's also the lowest level where spirits, Dragon Kings, etc. can be fully sapient and self-aware. In the Exalted setting, Humanity has sapience at Essence 1 as their racial 'hat.'
>bonus points invested in Background are a 1:1 deal,
Up to 3 dots, yes. The 4th or 5th dot in a background costs 2 BP, and can't be bought with ordinary non-BP Background allocation. Alchemicals with the Artifact background are a special exception to that rule.
>Savant 3, Resources 1, Artifact 6, Artifact 4
If you want to be an elegant and flawlessly-groomed courtesan with abundant supplies of mundane ninja tools, rather than a peasant clad in sackcloth and armed with crudely repurposed farm equipment, you might want to either bump Resources up to 2 or 3, or else include among those artifacts a Collar of Dawn's Cleansing Light and Compliant Umbral Panoply, or something equivalent. The former keeps you clean and tidy, negating some social penalties, while the latter lets you resculpt and solidify your shadow into any shape you care to imagine. Omnitool Implant covers most specialized tools, but what if you need, say, a grappling hook and length of rope? Or a wooden beam just the right size to hold a door shut? Or a parachute? Or a horse? Granted, a shadow-horse would only move when you mentally direct it, rather than taking it's own actions in combat, but that also means you don't need Ride skill to keep it under control.
>isn't a good specialization for Embri
How about 'with a blade close at hand,' then? Doesn't apply while all the sharp things are off in Elsewhere, but does for more conventional up-the-sleeve sorts of concealed carry.

>>875560
>"You have crossed the border, and must pay tax. This damage will be mended first. Who possesses the knowledge required?"
Without dots in Linguistics, Bridget only speaks her native language, and can only understand speech or writing from the same language family - probably either Forest-tongue (native peoples of the East) or Rivertongue (the Hundred Kingdoms and wide-ranging trade routes).

The three demons' native language is the Malfean dialect of Old Realm, but the beauteous wasp happens to know Bridget's native language (or something adequately close), as well as High Realm, the language of the dragon-blooded and patricians of the Blessed Isle, and thus can serve as an interpreter, at least until Malice's stats are finished.

If you're making a serious effort to persuade, negotiate with, or interrogate someone, rather than small talk or a casual call for volunteers, everybody involved should roll Wits+Awareness for Join Debate, to determine who gets a word in edgewise first. The agata NPC has Wits 2, Awareness 1, and the other two demons can't understand what Bridget is saying, so I'm rolling three ten-sided dice.
>>
No. 875583 ID: fc3fc0

rolled 5, 10 = 15

>>875577
>Bridget only speaks her native language

Yep, that’s kinda what I was planning; isolated monster people don’t have much need for the words of outsiders. We’ll lock in river tongue as it fits her disturbing voice and her background somewhat. With awareness 1 and Wits 1, Bridget slowly rumbles in. I think her talking is reasonably compared to whalesong, albeit more unsettling; it is slow and purposeful, not really eloquent or agile in any sense of the word.
>>
No. 875586 ID: 5c3123

>>875583
Ten counts as two, so that's a tie, you both act on tick 0. Speaking in-character almost always qualifies as at least a 1-die stunt, though. In general, you should probably roll a few more dice than you think you'll need, to account for stunting, circumstantial bonuses, etc.

Are you doing a single Charisma+Investigation attack, asking for information about who's got the repair skills? Or maybe try a flurry, to try and get whoever-it-is with the right skills on the job immediately, rather than after five more minutes of arguing and increasingly turbulent Essence flows? That'd face multiple-action penalties, though, and you'll probably need all the successes you can get since you don't know any of this creature's psychological weak points, and it's got an overwhelming advantage in relative Appearance, so MDV modifiers will be slanted against you even if the base is low.
>>
No. 875589 ID: d22dc0

rolled 2, 7, 2, 6, 9, 4, 1, 10, 1, 4 = 46

>>875586
I'll always roll 5 extra dice, then, just to cover my bases. I'm also happy to just let you roll for me, if it makes things easier. I've never been particularly superstitious, so I don't care much about rolling my own dice, or even seeing the rolls. I trust you to create an interesting game, mechanically and story wise. As a general rule, We'll say the leftmost dice are counted first, and any unnecessary dice rolls further to the right will simply be ignored?

Bridget deliberates for a brief moment, deciding whether to address the one in charge, who doesn't seem to understand her, or command its breath-taking subordinate and hope she is stronger than their established Hierarchy. Time being of the essence, she chooses the latter, and makes her demands known with a massive, calloused finger directed towards the Wasp:

"This Manse must be fixed. By the Unconquered Sun, you will assume command. I will escort your chosen pilot to the helm, you will see resources allocated to the needed repairs."

Assuming this is charisma + another social skill, and since I don't have any on my list, I'll just go ahead and roll 5, plus 5 extra as I mentioned earlier, for a total of 10d10.

Seems interesting to me that, given the natural course of combat in most games is to kill or otherwise subdue an opponent, that all social encounters are automatically "combat". Makes sense in certain situations, but in this scenario for example, it's interesting to me that we're immediately trying to see who will defeat the other; having just appeared, the idea that everyone's first instinct is to try to defeat me seems a bit of a different set of starting assumptions compared to other games with a social conflict element.
>>
No. 875664 ID: 5c3123

>>875589
>rolled 2, 7, 2, 6, 9, 4, 1, 10,
Erring on the side of generosity, let's say that's Charisma 5 + relevant skill 0 + stunt 2 (speaking in character, invoking the UCS to intimidate demons) + 1 from taking a moment to study the situation (aiming). Four successes.

The beauteous wasp looks out through one of the airship's badly damaged windows, cants his head quizzically, asking "And who are you, sir or madam?" Overly formal, with a bizarre buzzing accent, but some hint of sarcasm still comes through. Turning back to his crewmates without waiting for a reply, in Old Realm the wasp says "Some local ogre is demanding a docking fee and help with repairs. 'Covert insertion' my razor-sharp translucent ass! We need to get moving again, quick."
The blood ape smiles at that, turns to Malice, and with a voice like gargling tar asks "Ya want I should murderize 'im, boss?"
"Tough talk from the only one here with no plan for solo freefall. You volunteering to get left behind?" answers the wasp.
The blood ape indignantly attempts to clarify. "Not you, ya cake-eater, I meant the local boy!"
"Pretty sure this one's female, actually. I've studied human anatomy at great length. Never seen any quite that size before, though, at least not a live one." interjects the spider. Others don't seem to consider that distinction immediately relevant.

The wasp is mostly ignoring your point, or in mechanical terms, defending with Dodge MDV. Base value is (Willpower + Integrity + Essence)/2, or 5 in the wasp's case. Another +3 from relative Appearance, maybe a stunt bonus (stunting often benefits defenses more than attacks), and... I'm not seeing any possible penalties that could add up to nearly enough to matter. Swing and a miss.

That stunt does allow you to do some 'dramatic editing,' though (nothing that would contradict previously established facts), and also to recover either 4 motes OR 1 wp out of the 14m & 1wp you've spent on jumping around.

Malice should probably get a chance to act before events proceed too much further, so I suppose we're waiting on Strngy.
>>
No. 875700 ID: 5c3123

Embri and Lute Silhouette Speculation In Comet's Reflection have each, separately, infiltrated the lich-queen's extravagant bedchamber. The Mantle of Soot, which both of them came here to retrieve, is not present in the cabinet where prior research indicated it is usually stored. Conceivably, whichever of the two secret agents arrived first has already snatched the prize, tucked it away in her extradimensional storage, and is now feigning ignorance in order to waste an enemy agent's time and possibly lead them into a trap. Embri's oyabun is no friend to any raksha nor the yozis, while Lute Silhouette works closely with both, so lasting cooperation between the two of them seems unlikely.

The bed itself appears (on a material level at least) to be unoccupied apart from badly stained silk pillows, and a suit of plate armor with elaborately articulated facial features.

There's been a booming crunch upstairs, on the north side, and a sorcerous ritual is still ongoing somewhere in the basement.


Embri
Adamant-caste Alchemical Exalt
Essence 2, Willpower 7, Compassion 2, Conviction 4, Temperance 2, Valor 1
*Strength 2
*Dexterity 5
>Fifth Augmentation (raises effective natural value to 6)
*Stamina 1
Charisma 2
*Manipulation 4
>Second Augmentation (up to two successes for 2m each)
>Pheromone Regulation Systems (4m per scene, max range Appearance x10 yards)
*Appearance 5
>Fourth Augmentation (up to total of 10 for a scene for 3m per dot)
>Integrated Artifact Transmogrifier
Intelligence 2
>Sixth Augmentation (Craft)
>Technomorphic Integration Engine
>>Precursor Technology Absorbtion x2
Wits 3
>Omnitool Implant (4m indefinite)
*Perception 4
Archery 3 (Unaware Targets +1), Athletics 3, Awareness 3, Dodge 3, Larceny 3 (Reverse Pickpocketing +1), Lore 3, Medicine 1, Performance 3 (With A Blade Close At Hand +1), Socialize 3 (Seduction +1), Stealth 5
Artifact 5 (Frozen Heart of the Tellerauthelot [0], Time-Strung Bow [8m], Thousandfold Obscenity Gown [6m], Windblade [1m, plus 10 per hour], Winterbreath Jar [0]), Artifact 2 (Concealed Knife Bracer [4m], Dragonfly's Ranging Eye w/ essence sight [4m], Green Jade Essence Pulse Grenade [0], Superheavy Plate [8m]), Mentor 3, Resources 3 (stripper ninja), Savant 3
Four dedicated charm slots, holding an array consisting of the Manipulation and Appearance charms. Four general slots, holding an array consisting of the Dex, Int, and Wits charms. 13 personal motes, 6 of which are committed to charms. 39 peripheral motes, 4 each committed to IAT & omnitool, and 6 to TIE storage, leaving 24 free. Note that the essence pulse grenade and it's winding key, being made primarily made of green jade rather than adamant, cannot be stored in Embri's Technomorphic Integration Engine and so must be concealed by mundane Larceny skill (fortunately it's deadly function is not obvious at a glance). Recharging it after use costs 6 motes and a miscellaneous action. All other listed artifacts are either adamant, or non-MM-specific. Bracket lists attunement cost, which need not be committed while in storage. Mundane items cost nothing to store, but 1 uncommitted mote to retrieve. Dozens or hundreds of arrows in storage, many pre-poisoned with ice marrow, and various other nonmagical ninja gizmos.
While stored in the Winterbreath Jar, the Frozen Heart of the Tellerauthelot produces 8 doses of ice marrow per hour. Ice marrow has a shelf life of only one hour, but may last much longer inside a necrotech monstrosity, or indefinitely on arrows outside the normal flow of time. Naturally the heart can't produce anything while it is itself being stored outside of time, such as in the Technomorphic Integration Engine, so it's not in storage by default.
>>
No. 875701 ID: add037

rolled 7, 3, 8, 4, 4, 6, 8, 6, 3, 7 = 56

>Malice has just crashed the airboat her boss loaned her by ramming it into an inexplicably high-altitude stone wall.
Intentional of course, but nobody else needs to know this.

>>875664
Malice greets Bridget with an apprehensive fangfilled smile and turns to her wasp minion. Please stop arguing you three, it's making me nervous. Try to convince the local to come with us. She seems to think you're in charge so start barking orders. And get those bone heads out of our way!"

Do these guys have names that I've bothered to remember?

I'm just gonna roll a buncha dice
>>
No. 875710 ID: 094652

rolled 10, 9, 3, 1, 7, 4, 3, 9, 9, 1 = 56

>There's been a booming crunch upstairs
Yeah, there goes Embri's Exit point. Whatever made that noise is probably at war, or is so bratty and angry it may as well BE one.

>a sorcerous ritual is still ongoing somewhere in the basement
Embri's main goal is to escape the castle, but disrupting any enchantments made on this castle should help greatly, as they'll also serve for a good distraction. She'll go that way.

Timeline (how things actually went depends on roll): Embri snuck in. Embri searched for maid clothes in servant rooms on her way to the main bedroom. Then she attempted to steal the Mantle of Soot in the bedroom. After walking towards her exit strategy, she heard a loud noise in that general direction, prompting her to fall back. Using the information she gathered, she decided to disrupt the casters in the basement. Embri pretended to be a maid/guest when there were no shadows to hide behind.
>>
No. 875789 ID: 5c3123

rolled 4, 1, 3, 3, 9, 1, 1, 5 = 27

>>875701
>Do these guys have names that I've bothered to remember?
Erymanthus sometimes hands out business cards (small plates of carved bone, not paper) which say "Legbreaker," but that's more of a job description than a name. He's the cargomaster, in charge of loading, unloading, keeping it all balanced and securely tied down, and is also the most qualified for maintenance or repairs on the omen-weather engine and associated machinery. Blood apes aren't typically known for highly technical or intellectual skills, but this one studied at the Tin Orchid Academy. "Maintenance" seems to involve a lot of howling and hammering with his bare fists, but there's no arguing with his results: the only engine troubles you've had this whole trip were deliberately inflicted.

The agata serving as the ship's navigator and scout doesn't seem to have a consistent name, but receives many odd (and apparently insulting) nicknames from the blood ape, of which 'cake-eater' is the latest. The two of them constantly disparage and even sabotage each other, have occasional frantic makeouts that soon escalate into noisy airborne sex, and consider this a normal, healthy type of romantic relationship. (Demons are weird.)

The golden orb-weaver anhule is female, goes by 'Jo.' Handles the airship's rigging, gasbag repairs, and any medical needs. Vaguely desires romance but hasn't met the right person yet, no interest whatsoever in conventional sex, excessively eager for 'exploratory' surgery in which web bondage substitutes for anaesthesia.

The three of them have a shared sanctum, a palatial space carved out of Elsewhere with an immaterial portal linked to the airship. It's got about 25 rooms, with floors and pillars of jumbled bone bound together by sticky red silk and sinew, high arched ceilings in some places so there's plenty of room to stretch your wings, in other sections a maze of crossbars ideal for brachiation. Lighting inside tends to be dim and green, filtered through walls and 'windows' of oily iridescent scallop-textured paper. Constant soft creaking and grinding punctuated by distant sourceless screams, unless somebody's playing the pipe organ in the main hall. Most of the floors are a knobby mess of rubble, where they're not studded with outright spike traps. Jo has a charm to teleport captives into there.

>get those bone heads out of our way!
Legbreaker doesn't need to be told twice. Swinging out of the airship, he jumps down into the hallway and decapitates three skeletal halberdiers with claw, other claw, and bite before they have a chance to react. I'm rolling his Join Battle, and anyone else who wants to participate in this fight should also roll for that.

The robed human seems to be shaping a necromancy spell. Waving hands, chanting, ribbons of dark energy coalescing into a hovering rune, the whole bit. The remaining two intact skeletal guards are defending their supervisor, and may be able to endure the blood ape's assault for the few seconds until the spell can be cast. Figuring out what the spell's effect will be is a reflexive Wits + Occult roll.
>>
No. 875817 ID: add037

rolled 3, 1, 2, 8, 2, 10, 3, 6, 7, 7 = 49

>reflexive Wits + Occult roll.
Not sure what my Occult is, so I'm gonna do 10d10 again.

Can I use Hidden Predator Camoflauge to get to the caster unseen and mess up his spell?
>>

rolled 5, 9, 7, 4, 8, 6, 4, 9, 6, 2, 2, 8, 10, 5, 6, 5, 4, 3, 4, 5 = 112

>>875700
>>875710
Lute smiles bemusedly after her competition, who seemed to be doing her very best to ignore her, more focused on other things, up until the distant sound of expensive property damage prompted a quick exit. Very focused, that one. Perhaps too focused? Creatively interpreting Kome's planned timeline not acknowledging Lute at all.

Rolling for... perception and investigation I think? (Maybe wits or manipulation I'm not sure). So have a bunch of dice. What did Lute Silhouette Speculation manage to pick up on about Embri, or get out of her, observing or interacting with her before the crash? Can I tell she's an exalt, or an alchemical (is she obviously artificial the way Elegant Nova of Progression is?), or an assassin, or not really a maid? Did I discern her mission? Anything about her motivation or character? Just trying to see what information I have to start with.

Next action might be to check up on the ritual or crash that noise with the Shard Fallen From Ishiika's Eye, though I might need a quick primer on it's use. (What functions have essence costs, limitations of who and what I can target).

>Without dots in Linguistics, Bridget only speaks her native language
I don't think any of us took dots in Linguistics. That might be tricky. Did Lute and Embri share a language? (Well, presumably one or both might have pretended they didn't).

>Conceivably, whichever of the two secret agents arrived first has already snatched the prize, tucked it away in her extradimensional storage, and is now feigning ignorance
Mute Smugness Speculation isn't telling.
>>
No. 875894 ID: 094652

rolled 3, 2, 8, 8, 7, 10, 7, 9, 1, 1 = 56

>>875890
Shadowlight lesson #273: Who hunts the hunters of hunters? Why, the hunters, of course.

By now, Embri's perception should have picked up on another spy's trail. Maybe not enough to pinpoint the spy, but enough to know that whoever else they sent in this castle is a professional on Ivori's level, someone who could kick her ass any day of the week.

Luckily, Embri was always a whole new game when dealing with traditional ninjas. Fighting in the light means using resources and opportunities where a regular ninja would only see obstacles and trials.

Embri has placed small, subtle clues of a spy's movements whenever she detected something suspicious. A scuffle in the walls here, a long string of silk there. Things that would mark the telltale signs of a cat burglar, NOT a master of disguises and crowds. If she's searched, most of her gear is in the hole in her back, covered with a thin layer of padding. They won't pay too much attention if she accuses them of trying to fondle her backside.

If Embri is lucky enough, she can find another maid and strike up conversation. Get them to start yapping about their personal lives, and learn some new information in the process. She's very pretty, empty-headed damsels love to talk to the pretties. And with enough work, she can perform a subtle switcheroo with the hapless maid. For instance, by yapping about a rumor convincing her of an unguarded piece of raw jewelry in a specific room. The hapless maid can be manipulated into thinking she could make a profit by switching the jewelry with her own, but only if she's quiet and subtle about it. Then Embri will take on the yapping persona while the maid acts like a poor spy, and is promptly skewered by the competition, leaving Embri's hands directly clean for the day and the spy with delays or evidence pointing to her intrusion.

If she can only find guards, Embri has replicated the movement of a maid, but with a hurried step and constantly looking up into the ceiling. A couple guards notice this and catch up. Embri hurriedly exclaims there's something following her, something she can't explain, and she feigns concern over what the guards intend to DO about that.

Rolling to manipulate the guards into tailing her but redirecting their suspicions on the existing spy in the shadows, using their suspicious nature to look around for her.

In the event that they catch on, she can deal with the guards herself by manipulating them further into coming up with a basic plan to have one guard a small room while the other interrogates her inside. From there, she can quickly stealth kill her interrogator with a little dexterity and some technomorphically-integrated knives, and deal with the remaining guard with classic ninja assassination.
>>
No. 875952 ID: 20ea96

rolled 10, 2, 1, 8, 7, 5, 7, 9, 3, 5 = 57

>>875379
>There's a 5-dot hearthstone which stops the bearer from aging
>>865044
>Which of you snuck in to rob the vault while everybody else is distracted
Ledaal Ji is of the opinion that demonic rituals are other people's business, as long as nobody is trying to involve him in them. He is certainly no shining crusader. Fortune favors a quick and nimble opportunist, however, and his Master has suggested this would be an excellent chance to put some of that crane-style training into practical application for the first time. If Ledaal Ji is lucky, perhaps he'll even manage to come away with more than just life experience.

>>873749
>There's now a small breach in that wall, but passing through it involves crawling under the airboat's hull and being exposed to leakage from the ship's omen weather reactor, which resembles a waterfall made of razorblades rather than actual water.
Ledaal Ji shall go for a spirited dance between the iron raindrops. A swords dance through a sea of blades. Flitting through the air and twisting in unnatural ways, changing velocity faster than the casual eye could allow itself to believe. Perhaps he will suffer a few tender kisses, but let the spilled blood be the red marks on the manual of his body, pointing out and carving away his flaws. Polishing the unrefined gem of his martial art.
>>
No. 876201 ID: 5c3123

>>>875894
>rolled 3, 2, 8, 8, 7, 10, 7, 9, 1, 1
Perception + Awareness. Shortly after leaving the bedchamber, Embri becomes clearly aware that someone is watching her from afar, but not exactly who.
>manipulate the guards
Treating that same roll as Manipulation + [Larceny or Socialize]... skeletal troops seem to be mindless automata, thus effectively impossible to seduce or distract, but their handlers are not, and every squad on patrol includes someone who can respond effectively to the unexpected. Ghosts sometimes yeild to her charms, while ghost-blooded (living proof that the dead can not only be seduced, but occasionally impregnate the living) are almost trivially driven into hypervigilant paranoia with just the right blend of artificial pheromones. 'Accidentally' unveiling an impact-actuated flint sparker and small packet of firedust from behind a tapestry - which Embri herself planted earlier, as one of several contingencies against pursuit - quickly persuades the guards that this cute, bumbling maid couldn't possibly be the nefarious saboteur they're now looking for.

Half the skeletons in the castle are soon gathered together, and their handlers briefed on the developing situation. Looks like they'll be splitting back up into three groups of 25 each: one to reinforce guards around the summoning vault and hearthroom (separate areas, but mostly accessed through the same choke points, and damage to either could have devastating repercussions), one to sweep for other incendiary devices (starting in the rare/high-value/irreplaceable section of the library), one to escort any support staff or other noncombatants to either their personal quarters, or some big room where they can all keep an eye on each other, then once that's secure, repel a group of non-sneaky hostile intruders near the airship dock on the third floor. Maids are supposed to go with that third group, of course, but those hooded robes the handlers wear are one-size-fits-all, even loose enough to be worn over the maid uniform, so thirty seconds in a broom closet with one of the ghost-blooded might be enough for a change of disguise.

>>875817
>Not sure what my Occult is, so
I'm not either, which is a problem. Malice needs a finalized character sheet before participating in these events. I'll work on compiling what we already decided on, and recommendations for the rest. If the batgirl visible in the crashed airship gets attacked in any serious way before then, that'll lock in Splintered Gale Shintai as one of your charm selections. "Oops, turns out she was actually a perfect copy of you, body and mind, but without the magic powers."

>>875952
>Ledaal Ji shall go for a spirited dance between the iron raindrops.
Avoiding the cascading blades requires a dodge or parry DV of 8 or higher. Ji's Dex + Dodge + Essence gives a base dodge DV of 6, two-die stunt raises that to just enough.
>rolled 10, 2, 1, 8, 7
Treating that as a Wits + Awareness roll for Join Battle with a 2-die stunt, Ji takes advantage of the distraction provided by the overeager blood ape's initial roar to react two seconds sooner than anyone else in the fight. He can manage better than twenty miles per hour in an all-out sprint, which is enough to slip past the skeletal guards and be out of sight around a corner before anyone else can react - though committing fully to such a dash means -2 dodge DV for those three seconds, and no parrying at all without a stunt to explain how it's integrated into the motion.

Where's Alcaeus at this point? Stowaways aboard Malice's airship, or did you reach the sky-castle by some other means, perhaps involving that erudite, distractable, casually-shapeshifting type of elementals native to the clouds?

The cloud-people rarely accept visitors, and even if they were less insular, their cities are only solid enough to support weight during Calibration, or for a week at a time within the year when reinforced by sorcery. Naturally, they'd object on a visceral level to cloud-stuff being bound into permanently fixed shapes with soulsteel ligatures, so studying such a seemingly unique phenomenon might be an excellent way to gain leverage with them. As long as they remember you being instrumental in the manse's destruction, they may be grateful... or, if their memories for worldly matters are as short as is rumored, learning to replicate the techniques by which this place was built should at least enable you to teach them fear. Thanks to Iris-Bulb Discourse, they would not even be able to escape your grasp by dematerializing.

Many have speculated - and Master Shrike has quietly confirmed, though without elaboration - that the Cloud People's collective knowledge of the Art of Astrology surpasses that of the famously clock-and-star-obsessed nation of Varangia, as their position on the upper side of the very highest clouds enables them to view the stars clearly regardless of weather conditions, perhaps even during daylight hours. They almost certainly have some sort of rare wisdom to share (no such thing as too much of that), and might even provide key insights on the worrysome problem of predestined death. Specifically, whether you've got one coming and if so, enough detail on the circumstances to derive a plan for delaying it indefinitely, if not thwarting the Maidens outright.

Blatant defiance of Fate is supposedly one of the few things that greater gods bestir themselves to punish, but if their plan involved killing you sooner than you'd prefer to die (i.e. at all) before you started making a fuss, accepting that sort of risk is just another facet of acknowledging exactly who you've secretly been at war with all along. Then again, it's possible that fated plans can be as mutable as any other bureaucratic intention when a sufficiently powerful player's interests are threatened, however petty those interests may be. For example, Spinner of Glorious Tales, one of the gods of Great Forks who drove off the Princess Magnificent With Lips Of Coral And Robes Of Black Feathers (an extraordinarily powerful and dangerous ghost), supposedly began life as a mortal bard and secured deification by first acquiring precise knowledge of the fated day, hour, and minute of his own last breath, then relating a distinct intriguingly incomplete anecdote to each of three celestial gods during the Carnival of Meeting, then slipping away to the next, arranging it all such that, when they caught up with him, he would have time to finish only one of the stories with his last breath, the other two being lost to Lethe immediately afterward. Faced with that reverse-blackmail, they rescued him from his destined end. However, deification leaves something to be desired as an overall immortality strategy. Gods certainly enjoy life, and fear no old age nor ordinary violence, but they can be coerced and even permanently killed - that's a big part of how Immaculate Monks keep busy when the Anathema aren't around. Conventional divinity would also mean losing some of the advantages of exaltation.

>>875890
>rolled 5, 9, 7, 4, 8, 6, 4, 9, 6, 2, 2, 8, 10, 5, 6, 5, 4, 3, 4, 5
>What did Lute Silhouette Speculation manage to pick up on about Embri, or get out of her, observing or interacting with her before the crash? Can I tell she's an exalt, or an alchemical (is she obviously artificial the way Elegant Nova of Progression is?), or an assassin, or not really a maid? Did I discern her mission? Anything about her motivation or character?

Read Motivation is a Perception + (higher of Investigation or Socialize) roll against a difficulty of the target's (Manipulation + Socialize)/2. As in combat, half the defender's dice pool is used as a static value in order to approximate the results of an opposed roll, without skewing the results by introducing excessive variability. Perception 6 + Investigation 4 + a 2-die stunt (the previously established detail of her ignoring you) is twelve dice for five successes - would've been seven successes with one extra die, or a target number one lower, nine with both. Figuring out one of her relevant Intimacies would've required 8 successes. Four successes is enough to read Embri's current dominant emotion and place it in the context of the scene - in this case, confirmation of the intent to steal something, and strong suspicion that she wouldn't hesitate over a few expedient murders in the course of doing so.

In terms of physical evidence, she's got the appropriate clothes and mannerisms of a chambermaid, but they're slanted slightly toward seductive caricature. Her skin and hair are implausibly perfect, with few natural blemishes and no evidence whatsoever of aging or calluses from hard work. That's consistent with exaltation, though far from conclusive.

In terms of magic, she's got a fist-sized device concealed in her skirts. A quick prayer to the device's Least God reveals that it was originally crafted by the Mountain Folk, consists mainly of green jade, and a deluge of other technical minutia, most of which is confusing and irrelevant. The device can't be fetched with Destiny-Knitting Entanglement, which implies it's owned by another essence-user, further indirect evidence of Embri being some type of exalt - or at least a highly favored god-blood with unusual connections.

First attempt with Efficient Secretary Technique can't find anything about Embri's personal history. No previous employers, no family, no teahouse or brothel where she'd be recognized by the regular customers and staff. That almost certainly means she's Outside of Fate, and either arrived in Creation very recently, or her activities are being covered up by someone either moderately powerful and very diligent, or something very powerful and subtle yet indiscriminate. Rather similar to Lute's own situation, perhaps.

DKnE and EST both cost two motes per attempt, but those four motes are recovered by the stunt award. EST is subject to a certain amount of literal-genie 'exact words' dickery, though, so carefully phrased followup questions may be useful if you're willing to throw more motes at it. There are some possibly counterintuitive restrictions on what information the 'google spider' can and cannot retrieve:
-Common knowledge (known to at least 100 people inside fate), objective facts, and the contents of your personal library.
-Nothing subjective. It might be able to tell you who was holding the knife when a given lethal stab wound was inflicted, but not who committed a murder (at least not until the trial's over and an official judgement has been filed somewhere) because the difference between murder and other types of killing is a question of justification and intent.
-Nothing deliberately concealed or innately esoteric. It cannot read minds, find someone who's using mundane Stealth skill, or anything else requiring a contested roll. It cannot diagnose medical problems. It cannot provide a shortcut in sorcerous engineering, even if someone already did all the work, wrote it down somewhere, and showed it to a hundred other people inside fate... unless the book they wrote it in happens to be properly filed as part of your personal library, and even in that case it can't check the math.
-It definitely can solve ordinary math problems, including multivariate calculus and prime factorization of alarmingly large numbers, and do other things that would normally require an uncontested Investigation, Lore, or Occult roll with difficulty no more than 5, returning the answer in seconds regardless of how long the action would normally take.
-It cannot predict the future, not even in trivial common-knowledge ways. Ask who's winning a battle in progress, a one-sided massacre where the outcome was never in doubt for any of the hundred-plus participants and witnesses, and you won't get a useful answer.
-It's meant for quick answers about banal subjects, and interprets ambiguities accordingly. A vague question about some warlord's current activity will usually return something like "sleeping" or "eating lunch" rather than strategic agendas. It can provide extensive detail when necessary, though, such as reading off the complete transcript of a politician's hours-long public speech, or any specified section thereof.

>I don't think any of us took dots in Linguistics. That might be tricky.
Chosen of Serenity have Linguistics in-caste, so you can buy dots and even specialties in the skill with no training time, potentially picking up new languages and good-as-a-native accents the moment they're encountered, so long as you've got the XP to spend. The charm Blue Vervain Binding would let you spend XP you haven't earned yet, and extend that option of instant language training to other people, http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2003-09-24 in addition to the temporary translation capability.

> Did Lute and Embri share a language?
Lute's "native" language is most likely the Malfean dialect of Old Realm, since that's Madelrada's preferred tongue. Alchemical exalts would normally speak Autocthonic, which is derived from Old Realm but even more divergent than High Realm is from the dialect of the Blessed Isle's peasantry, and thus mutually unintelligible under normal circumstances. However, if Embri was created as a purpose-built infiltrator, believing herself to be an agent of a non-Autocthonian ninja clan somewhere in the Hundred Kingdoms, Rivertongue would make more sense.

>Next action might be to check up on the ritual or crash that noise with the Shard Fallen From Ishiika's Eye, though I might need a quick primer on it's use. (What functions have essence costs, limitations of who and what I can target).
The Shard Fallen was spoils of war, rather than a purpose-built device with the designer's notes readily available. Madelrada's subsidiary souls have sporadically investigated it's functions and loaned it out to various agents over the past eight centuries or so, but still haven't definitively worked out everything it's capable of. The only known functions with essence costs (besides basic attunement) are attacks: jabbing with the stylus-tail, poking or grasping at a reflected image using your hand or tongue. Doing the same things without spending motes has purely cosmetic effects: for example, the stylus can be used to take notes, or licking a reflected image can reveal the taste and smells associated with whatever it's an image of. It's possible to attack using the mirror without spending motes, but only as a social prop, or by brandishing it like a frying pan at hand-to-hand range. Even those functions have some magical bonuses, though.

With your Thread-Body Movement Stone socketed where a normal scorpion's mouth would be (ironically the least toothy part), both of the Shard Fallen's claws and one of it's eight legs unfurl. After a bit of experimentation, counterclockwise caresses around the mirror's rim rewind the image to a point in time just before Embri left, but her preserved reflection appears to be made of crystalline clockwork, brass, and clay rather than flesh. Clothes are unchanged. High magnification turns up a stray bit of lint which fell from her dress. Retrieving that thread from the floor (fortunately it's fresh; an arcane link based on something so superficial would be useless for occult purposes in a matter of hours at most) and tying it around the scorpion's stinger switches the image in the mirror to a realtime view, tracking along smoothly as Embri walks down the hall and revealing her shadowy surroundings clear as day out to fifty yards. 'Clicking' the unfurled leg switches back and forth between spying on Embri, or reflecting things more or less the way a normal mirror would. Seems like, to spy on the vault where the ritual is going on, you'll need to touch the stinger to an arcane link that leads to someone who's already down there.
>>
No. 876218 ID: 20ea96

rolled 5, 3, 3, 4, 8, 7, 1, 7, 2, 4 = 44

>>876201
>an all-out sprint, which is enough to slip past the skeletal guards and be out of sight around a corner before anyone else can react
>no parrying at all without a stunt to explain how it's integrated into the motion.
Fluttering like a lone feather through an invisible tornado of inexplicable speed and direction, Ledaal Ji started his dance with the momentum of a boulder at the top of a hill, where death lay hidden in the dewdrops on the grass. In traversing between the blades to safety, he is also able to make use of them to accumulate a burst of speed on the other side, for the very thing that made them dangerous, their physicality borne of force, can be exploited by the light-as-air birdman during this dance: slippery, treacherous stepping stones of ice across a frigid river of death, through which one may avoid the bridge.

>Where's Alcaeus at this point?
Well he's certainly not getting in the same way Ledaal Ji is. I suppose if there is no other way in, he'll be seeking passage through the crashed airship. I worry for his safety inside this castle though. I'm not 100% sure what his physicial capabilities are, but if he's not confident in at least being able to escape with his life, perhaps he should stay outside and find a place to hide. I'd rather not have to close this scene cradling his corpse in my arms.

>cloud-people object to the castle
>studying such a seemingly unique phenomenon might be an excellent way to gain leverage with them
>their memories for worldly matters are short
Indeed, some negotatiation should certainly have taken place at some point in the past, in which Ledaal Ji and company bargained for transportation to this castle, promising that we would do our very best to study its architecture if we could, with implications that we may raze it if we find a way to, backed by the explicit truth that we care nothing at all for the castle beyond what we may acquire from it, nor do we have any grievances against the cloud-people. Even should we fail and acquire nothing at all, our end of the bargain is fulfilled by us simply moving against the castle with theft of its secrets in mind.

If the castle is destroyed and/or we successfully acquire the technique of its construction, we should almost certainly be able to find a way to acquire a portion of the cloud-people's astrological wisdom as well.

>Blatant defiance of Fate is supposedly one of the few things that greater gods bestir themselves to punish
Ah, heavenly tribulation. That's how you know you're getting somewhere good.
>>
No. 876245 ID: 094652

rolled 10, 6, 2, 7, 10, 3, 5, 7, 9, 8 = 67

>Three groups, each with 25 undead soldiers and their handlers. Total number of skeletons in the castle ~= 150
Is that too many for Embri to handle? I don't think it's too many to handle.

>First Company, protect the Vault at the choke-point entrances
Tempting, but no. A full frontal assault / Master-Level infiltration would be required, followed by precise knowledge and tools for vault-cracking which Embri does not have. If her sister or comrades were here, this would be their first target, but ANYTHING Embri does in this area will be suspicious and she'll lose all her advantages.

>Second Company, go to the restricted section of the library with all our priceless tomes and make sure they're not on fire, then do a sweep for incendiary detonators around the area
Now THIS looks like a breadwinner. If Embri sets a firebomb in a controlled location, she can steal rare books by copying their contents and storing them in her personal Elsewhere hammerspace. Right now, she needs information about this world she has found herself in, and stealing scores of books, expensive or not, would be the best use of her time. Plus, the guards won't find it too suspicious if one of the bookworm maids is busy grabbing tomes from the restricted sections of the library, running for the exit, and then giving them all to the nearest guard station for safekeeping while the library is on fire, especially if they run back in to get more.

>Third Company, escort our non-security staff to a safe room and defend them until the crisis ends
This might be the quickest way to leave, unless the room in question is a bunker with no windows for her windblade to fly out of. Embri could manipulate the maids further in there, but they wouldn't be able to do much. Still, it would be relatively safe against the other intruders, and she could incite panic when she needs to leave.

>What do
Depends: Can Embri's current augmentations take physical objects like books and create copies in seconds with intact data in her personal Hammerspace? Can she do it by touching them with her hands?

If so: Embri will 'seduce' one of the handlers into a private room by acting like she's fatigued and needs someone to help her get her corset off, and she would be grateful enough for a quick fondling session, and look she uses pheromones and stuff. After ensuring the handler is sufficiently dealt with (for once, Embri isn't taking the directly lethal approach, she'll just poison him to sleep, stuff him in a box in the closet, and barricade the door with everything in the room... which might kill him from suffocation, but meh), she'll follow the other handlers to the library, subtly planting incendiaries along the way. After a quick tour of the library and its contents, she'll detonate the incendiaries or light a fire or whatever she can do while everyone isn't looking, and begin stealing books in broad daylight, only to give them to someone outside for safekeeping. You know, so they don't catch on fire, which she'll request the other handlers to help her with. She'll also instruct the skeletons to grab any books that they know are worth less than a few silvers (so they'll filter out the penny dreadfuls and children's fables) and just throw them anywhere outside. When they're done getting the books to a safe location, Embri will "review" each book by its cover only (copying them with her augments while nobody's looking) to ensure they won't get fired for missing anything important.

If not: Screw it, her current pickings are good enough. Embri will follow the other maids to the safe room, and converse with the other maids there. Getting them panicked will help her slip out in the confusion when the time is right, instead of being searched individually. She'll also look for a quick exit, she needs to get out of this castle as quickly as possible. If she can get to a window, she could use her flying sword to glide down to safety. If not, she'll knock out a handler once she gets the maids adequately clucking and flapping like chickens from fear of the "ninja in the shadows waiting to burn them all alive", steal his robe, and go for the basement. If anyone asks, the handler needs to get orders about what to do about the gaggle of panicking maids.
>>
No. 876255 ID: 5c3123

>>876245
> Can Embri's current augmentations take physical objects like books and create copies in seconds with intact data in her personal Hammerspace?
She might be able to steal an arbitrarily large number of ordinary books or other mundane items in four seconds each, but it'll only work if she can establish ownership of them first, in some metaphysical sense. Not enough Intelligence + Occult to be 100% sure how that works. Any books qualifying as artifacts would require a 1 mote commitment each, and might not be hammerspace-compatible at all if they make extensive use of the Magical Materials.

Even if that worked, it's a matter of moving the originals and leaving the shelves conspicuously empty, not copying anything. Embri could make copies using Craft (Air), given raw materials, but without other magic to speed the process along, copying out an entire library by hand might plausibly involve hundreds of person-years of tedious scribing, with particularly high risk of errors if you're working by rote without understanding whichever language the books are written in.
>>

rolled 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 3, 4, 10, 9, 8, 10, 6, 9, 4, 7, 10, 7, 2, 5, 5, 8, 9, 4, 1, 2, 9, 6, 6, 6, 1 = 177

>spying on Embri
Ah, what a good little thief, Lute beams. She's show me the guards plan to distribute themselves, and which directions a few points of interest are in. Very helpful.

Wait? What. No. No no no no. Lute frowns in consternation and jabs the thief's image for emphasis. No planting incendiaries in the library! Bad thief. Stop that.

If Embri attempts to plant incendiaries where they would harm the libraries, I'm going to spend essence to attempt to disrupt said planting through the Shard Fallen From Ishiika's Eye. Lute would, after all, prefer those libraries remained intact.

>Seems like, to spy on the vault where the ritual is going on, you'll need to touch the stinger to an arcane link that leads to someone who's already down there.
Well! Lute turns slowing, a critical eye roving over her surroundings. She is in the bedchambers of the Lady of the Castle, who is almost certainly involved in the ritual. Surely there must be something suitable to use a focus nearby?

I'm guessing looking around the room for something to use as an arcane link is Perception + Investigation? Maybe occult.

>Lute's "native" language is most likely the Malfean dialect of Old Realm
Well being limited to speaking something Mafean seems like a bad idea for keeping Lute's allegiances secret.

>you can buy dots and even specialties in the skill with no training time, potentially picking up new languages and good-as-a-native accents the moment they're encountered, so long as you've got the XP to spend
Oh that's really cool. I'll probably be doing that at least once then (although I should save at least 8 XP for the First Kimbery Excellency). What's the XP to dots exchange rate? We discussed BP before >>870855 .
>>
No. 876364 ID: 5c3123

Malice
Scourge-caste Green Sun Princess, Metagaos favored
QUEST: Shatter all the basalt roads of Jacint, the Prince Upon The Tower, and eat his still-beating heart
Urge (Cecelynian): Assemble an air force to undercut Lookshy's protection of the Hundred Kingdoms
Essence 2, Willpower 5, Compassion 2, Conviction 1, Temperance 3, Valor 4 [1 BP on soul stuff]

11 personal motes, 29 peripheral motes, of which 5 will usually be committed to Hellscry Chakra and 5 more to the personal forcefield projector.

Attributes:
Strength 1, Dexterity 5, Stamina 3
Charisma 1, Manipulation 1, Appearance 3
Intelligence 1, Wits 5, Perception 5

Skills:
Archery 0
*Athletics 1
*Awareness 5
Bureaucracy 0
Craft (Air) 0, (Earth) 0, (Fire) 0, (Vitriol) 0, (Water) 0, (Wood) 0
*Dodge 0
*Integrity 1
Investigation 0
*Larceny 2
Linguistics 1 (chiropteran tribal dialect too high-pitched for normal hearing, Old Realm)
Lore 0
*Martial Arts 2
Medicine 0
Melee 0
*Occult 1
Performance 0
Presence 0
Resistance 0
Ride 0
Sail 0
Socialize 0
*Stealth 5
Survival 1
*Thrown 5
*War 1

Backgrounds:
Artifact 2 (yasal crystal - somewhere between a genie bottle and a pokeball)
Artifact 2 (vitriol-tainted starmetal discreet essence armor - costs 3 motes to activate for a scene, or 6 to avoid a glow. Soak 5L/5B, hardness 3, reduces minimum damage by 1)
Cult 1
Backing (demons) 1
Influence (demons) 1
Unwoven Coadjutor 4 (a sesselja, master of the Black Claw, Dagger Wind, Orgiastic Fugitive, Shadow Hunter, and Victorious Concession martial arts styles) [2 BP]

Charms: [15 BP for five favored charms]
>Black Claw style:
Open Palm Caress
>Adorjan:
Wind-Born Stride
Thousandfold Typhoon Hand
>Metagaos:
Sprawling Marsh Indulgence
Hidden Predator Camouflage
>Cecelyne:
First Cecelyne Excellency x2
Hellscry Chakra
Transcendent Desert Creature
Crumbling Sand-Self Embodiment
>Isidoros:
Indomitable Hedonism Drive
Unbothered By Flies
>Ebon Dragon:
Cracked Cell Circumvention
Witness To Darkness
Nemesis Self Imagined Anew

Mutations: [net cost 0 BP]
Can't wear ordinary belts, shirts, or armor due to wing membrane [-2], Cannibalism (roll Temperance at -1, or spend 1 wp to resist on a failed roll) [-2], Diet (blood of mammals and birds) [-2], Enhanced Hearing (bat ears) [1], Enhanced Vision (four eyes) [1], Fragile (10s on blunt damage dice apply two lethal levels instead) [-2], Fur [1], Glider [4], Prehensile Tail (actually a tongue) [2], Ugly [-1]

Fragility, tongue, additional eyes, and pudginess resulting in downgrade of Wings to Glider are due to the sesselja coadjutor's influence. Proper flight could be recovered with 4 xp and two months of either starvation or vigorous exercise, perhaps warmup for learning Dagger Wind Style. Derangement is trauma-based / cultural, similarly curable with mundane skills. Other mutations are chiropteran beastman racial template, which also includes Night Vision (superceded by Witness To Darkness).

Look good? I think that's everything but the specialties and intimacies. In addition to four natural specialties, you get two more from your Unwoven Coadjutor.

You can put specialties into Linguistics to learn a particular regional dialect well enough to be mistaken for a native, instead of the usual dice bonus. For example, speaking Old Realm with the same accent as the Dogs of the Unbroken Earth (gods who protect the wilderness untouched by civilization) might make it much easier to extort offerings of milk and meat from isolated homesteaders out on the frontier, or, maybe once you've got the Ebon Dragon's disguise charms, rile up some of the actual Dogs into a road-ruining rampage. Not that that'd be a very hard sell, since they naturally hate road-builders more than anyone.
>>
No. 876472 ID: 5c3123

>>876303
>Lute frowns in consternation and jabs the thief's image for emphasis. No planting incendiaries in the library! Bad thief. Stop that.
>If Embri attempts to plant incendiaries where they would harm the libraries, I'm going to spend essence to attempt to disrupt said planting through the Shard Fallen From Ishiika's Eye.

That's a roll of Dexterity + (best among Archery, Martial Arts, or Thrown)+ 1 from accuracy, -1 success for range. Costs three motes. No applicable charms. Can't aim usefully since you haven't "shot a pattern" with this thing yet. Want to spend Willpower, either on it's own or through a virtue, to maximize your chance of success?

Attack roll will be compared to Embri's choice of physical defense value: she could dodge, or parry with a bare hand (or foot, which is usually suboptimal), or with the incendiary device itself, likely activating it prematurely.
>>
No. 876479 ID: 3abd97

>>876472
No stunt dice? Darn. Do I only get those with charm use?

>Want to spend Willpower, either on it's own or through a virtue, to maximize your chance of success?
What are the rules for that? You can spend a willpower whenever for a bonus die, or you can spend a willpower to add one Virtue's worth of extra dice, with some limit on the number of times you can do that?
>>
No. 876485 ID: d0ac55

>>876472
Attack roll will be compared to Embri's choice of physical defense value: she could dodge, or parry with a bare hand (or foot, which is usually suboptimal), or with the incendiary device itself, likely activating it prematurely.
Gee whiz, such complicated options for a ninja with natural dexterity 6, Atheletics 3, and Dodge 3! Whatever will I OF COURSE EMBRI'S DODGING
>>
No. 876488 ID: 3abd97

Actually, I won't wait for clarification on how virtue channeling works, I'll just spend the one wp, and regain it if the description was good enough for a stunt.

Be it a dodge or a hit, the thief will (hopefully) get the message someone doesn't want the library burnt down, and will rethink.

>dexterity 6, Atheletics 3, and Dodge 3
Wouldn't an attack out of thin air count as surprise, and force DV 0?
>>
No. 876522 ID: 5c3123

rolled 2, 4, 8, 7, 5, 9, 4, 6, 1, 4, 2 = 52

>>876479
>No stunt dice?
Ah, sorry, that description does qualify as a two-die stunt. Three, if protecting the library (or something else immediately relevant) resonates with your Urge. What is Lute's Urge, actually?
>>876488
>Wouldn't an attack out of thin air count as surprise, and force DV 0?
Apparently there's some perceptible cue of the oncoming 'nudge,' at least for someone who's already wise to the fact that they're being watched. Want to try the same thing on yourself, next, to find out exactly what it is?

>>876485
That description does not qualify for a stunt bonus, however. Dodge DV against the attack is 6, eight successes on the attack roll is a hit by 2. Raw damage is twelve bashing, Embri has no armor (well, none equipped; without the Instant Aegis Upgrade submodule, which requires Stamina 5, the plate armor would take a minute or two to put on), no natural soak boost, and stamina 1, so eleven dice of post-soak bashing damage. Also, gimme a (Dexterity or Stamina) + Athletics roll to resist knockback.
>>
No. 876526 ID: 5c3123

>>876522
>rolled 2, 4, 8, 7, 5, 9, 4, 6, 1, 4, 2
That's three successes, filling Embri's -0 and both -1 health levels. She's going to be taking a -1 wound penalty to most actions now. After that, she's got four -2 health levels (two is the default for a human, two more for being an Essence 2 alchemical), a -4, an Incapacitated level, and after that bashing damage starts rolling over into lethal.
>>
No. 876565 ID: 3abd97

>if protecting the library (or something else immediately relevant) resonates with your Urge
Well, I was thinking if Lute's personal quest is to bring forth people's best selves by bringing that which we keep hidden in ourselves to light, she wouldn't approve of reckless destruction of secrets. And her high lore and occult make her a scholarly type.

>What is Lute's Urge, actually?
Oh, I didn't have one picked, I wasn't sure if those applied outside of GSPs. From this list, right? >>874529 (Although I notice Kimbery and Szoreny aren't represented).

Going by Limits, the Ebon Dragon's sounds like it would be the most entertaining to play with, and a lot of Lute's 'help' might qualify as corrupting. Pyrian queen pushing sociopathy might also be interesting, but hierarchy and conformity are a bad fit. Adorjan's limit would be pretty crippling, but thematic (and probably result in silly attempts at non-verbal performance based communication) and a bizarre obsession could fit.

I'll think on a specific Urge, but I'm open to suggestions too.

>filling Embri's -0 and both -1 health levels
Well! The Shard Fallen From Ishiika's Eye bites harder than Lute Silhouette speculated. Hopefully that dissuades the thief from arson.

Is it possible to be merciful, pull my punch, and spare her the -1 level of damage?
>>
No. 876570 ID: d0ac55

>>876526
Ow.

That is NOT good. Whoever is spying on her has their own sniping abilities. Embri's damaged, but stable.

Wait, that doesn't make any sense. She let her guard down, it would be easy enough to shoot the incendiary detonator she was placing and set her on fire, dooming her and leaving her fire-warded spoils for the taking. But they merely scratched her, and since they're still hiding it means they're also a spy, yet they pulled their punches. Which means they... protected the library? With the distraction in the unimportant section, they could steal far more tomes in the shadows than Embri could in the light. What's so important about this place?

Maybe it's just a religious thing. Embri opts to explicitly craft a book, write a few notes in it, and put it into the bookshelf for the other thief to see and pick up themselves.

The notes go something like this:

"You could unmask me, I could cause havok. Let's stop fighting each other, fellow shadow. We both stand to make a profit while staying out of each others' way.

I do not understand what sacrilege against the conducts of war you think I am committing by committing arson in the heart of my opponent's fortress. What I can tell you, is that this is not the only firestarter I was able to place. If they were all to go off at once before the guards can find them, the fire WILL reach this library.

If you seek to protect this place and make your profit, I have a favorable alternative. The vault. I will not despoil it, because I can not. I do not have a heart of shadow as apt as your own.

Here is my proposal: I will scribe pages from these books. I will not steal the originals. When I am done, you are to notify me of a potential exit. I will lead the guards to open this exit for me, and perform a chain of distractions (using the non-fire tricks) simultaneously while exiting, diverting the guards from the vault. This will be your window of opportunity to steal what you want. I'm sure you can find your own way out.

I will move to the other side of the library and scribe what I can from this place. Place your reply in this book. I am trusting you, with your conduct of war, not to trap your reply. I will know if you have. Remember, my destruction will trigger the fires, and you will hunt me down and utterly destroy me if I trigger them myself.

Oh, and before you ask: the owner's bedroom was ransacked. So neither of us is getting what we wanted there. Prepare the weregild dedicated to your master for failure, as I do now."
>>
No. 876594 ID: 5c3123

>>876565
>Lute's personal quest
Akuma, having sold their souls for power, lack the free will to choose their own larger goals in life. "Bring forth people's best selves" must therefore be the Urge from Lute Silhouette's yozi master. Good news is, it's not limited to the yozi's archetypal themes as GSPs are... bad news is, that's because there's no coadjutor or equivalent internal mechanism to enable a smooth reset if the urge is completed, or becomes impossible. Fortunately, with an open-ended goal like that, it's not likely to come up.

>Is it possible to be merciful, pull my punch, and spare her the -1 level of damage?
Maybe next time. http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20071217 That kind of problem is why Shogunate-era tactical manuals emphasize the first round of testing for any newly built or captured weapon should be done under relatively controlled conditions, rather than in the field. Mnemonic phrase for that is "even a rock can kill." It's got a clever double meaning: simple low-tech weapons are deadly enough in the right hands, and poorly-understood high-tech stuff can explode in your face even if it looks harmless. Madelrada is of the opinion that this doctrine was driven as much by a 'sour grapes' attitude toward the fading glories of the First Age as by true practicality, but also that subtle flaws in a worthy enemy's thinking make that perspective all the more important to study, so that similar flaws can be exploited when they recur.

>>876570
>craft a book
Writing a quick note might be done in minutes, or seconds with superlative skill, but high speed calligraphy is dexterity-based and Embri only has the augmentation for intelligence-based crafting. You would also need materials, and a roll. Forging a copy of a book sufficient to pass even casual inspection - a hollow shell whose spine wouldn't be clearly out-of-place on the shelf - might take hours. An accurate copy, all the words and diagrams, by hand? Months. Per book. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-f1drY3EdqDQ/V9bbQjY7fVI/AAAAAABrZFk/YG0dxQoM72A/w1900/MR-350390-738179-18.jpg There are magical ways to speed the process up, but Embri doesn't have any of those installed yet.

That's in addition to the roll you haven't made yet for resisting knockback, which has tactical significance because being launched fifteen feet into a wall while visibly injured would attract scrutiny from the guards, and a medical exam... which might incidentally find that gas grenade.
>>
No. 876613 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 6, 3, 6, 10, 8, 3, 4, 2, 4 = 47

>>876594
I did not understand stunt dice. So, I'm supposed to do roleplay or something? I'll try.

Embri suddenly jerked as something in her back reverberated. She was pushed forward, but held what little ground she could before being lifted off her feet. She touched base with the bookshelf with just enough finesse to keep it from tipping over. Embri instantly turned around with a knife in hand, only to realize there was nobody there, and there was no hole in her clothing. There was, however, a jarring stab wound in her back, thankfully unpoisoned, or whatever was needed to poison the strange being she had become.

Rolling to prevent knockback from being fatally high-profile.
>>
No. 876620 ID: 5c3123

>>876613
Knockback avoidance succeeds, but stun resistance fails, so Embri's at -2 to non-reflexive actions for a few seconds, in addition to the wound penalty. Not much of an issue outside combat time. Bracing on the bookshelf qualifies as a two-die stunt, meaning in addition to recovering motes or WP you get to do some dramatic editing, such as declaring that sufficient materials (ink, paper) are readily available for that note you wanted to write.
>stab wound
No, just blunt force trauma so far. Estimated time to complete repair is nine hours, assuming rest, or indefinite with continued exertion.

>>876303
>She is in the bedchambers of the Lady of the Castle, who is almost certainly involved in the ritual. Surely there must be something suitable to use a focus nearby?
Indeed there is a wealth of such connections, and she is! The ritual-vault in question hasn't even been warded against scrying, at least not by conventional means. The Shard Fallen grasps a new viewpoint with it's left claw, to reveal...

At first glance, a naked corpse, pustulent and rotten, somehow standing upright and wreathed in coruscating shadows. Female, or possibly a eunuch. Fascination, revulsion, and stranger feelings abruptly collide within Lute's mind like four out-of-control freight trains aimed at a singularly ill-starred intersection. https://www.xkcd.com/253/

In mechanical terms, the lich-queen prepared for this contingency with some scene-long line-of-sight Unnatural Mental Influence effects. First up, Atrocity Without Witness, enhanced with Honey-Tongued Serpent Attack and Killing Words Technique. Nine successes, normally against your dodge MDV, but HTSA makes it unexpected, so in the absence of a method to negate that, it hits DV 0 automatically. Normally you'd be able to pay two willpower to resist the Compulsion to ignore the Abyssal (as well as the Illusion repressing memories afterward, though the Shard Fallen could deal with that part for you) but all those threshold successes increase the cost to five, while Killing Words Technique means you have to pay in lethal health levels instead.

Five lethal would fill all of Lute Silhouette's -0, -1, and -2 health levels, leaving only one each of -4 and Incapacitated. There are six more Dying levels after that, but without Kimbery Mythos Exultant or some other serious magical healing, dropping down into those means no chance of recovering on your own.

That's the first UMI effect. There are two more.
>>
No. 876628 ID: 5c3123

>>/questdis/122028
>Maybe I could have sent a message via Destinty Knitting Entanglement? I'm not sure that has a send function.
The 'send' version is an Essence 3 charm, Predestined Delivery Shaping. You could try poking at stuff with the Shard Fallen From Ishiika's Eye's tail-stylus, including writing with it.
>I may have gotten myself killed even faster
You do have the option of not rejecting the influence, thereby taking no damage - but also being compelled to ignore the lich-queen and her current activities. A rather binary 'take it or bleed it' choice, which is why I wanted to get that one out of the way before moving on to the other two, which offer more complex options.
>>
No. 876729 ID: add037

rolled 5, 4, 3, 3, 2, 10 = 27

>>876364
Looks good to me! Still not really sure on what the yasal crystal does though. Picking specialties and intimacies is still difficult with my limited understanding of the setting.

>Unwoven Coadjutor
What is the name of my sifu/heart's desire?

>pudginess resulting in downgrade of Wings to Glider
Hahahaha perfect

So with Wits 5 and Occult 1 this would be a total of six dice, yes?
>>

rolled 6, 1, 2, 2, 7, 10, 10, 9, 3, 4 = 54

>>876594
>Urge must be her personal quest
Works for me, seems like it would be double edged enough to count

>>876620
Lute's hand reflexively tightens it's grip on Shard Fallen as her other snaps in place to cover the horrid-yet-entrancing imagery and her other snaps in place to cover her eyes.

Not resisting the compulsion or taking the damage, thank you very much. Not sure if there's anything for me roll for, but have some dice.

Also dang, Killing Words Technique is nasty and cost efficient to boot. Is that 1wp anytime someone triggers the Atrocity Without Witness, or just once when setting up the scene long defenses?

>as well as the Illusion repressing memories afterward, though the Shard Fallen could deal with that part for you
A recording stopping me from attempting the same dumb thing because I forgot I did would be useful. http://goblinscomic.com/comic/12132011

>>876729
>Still not really sure on what the yasal crystal does though
I think it's this:
http://jamesx007.blogspot.com/2009/01/yasal-crystal-artifact-or.html

>So with Wits 5 and Occult 1 this would be a total of six dice, yes?
Yes, but you may often want to roll a few more dice than you think you need, in case you get a bonus of some kind, or earn stunt dice.
>>
No. 876849 ID: 5c3123

>>876739
>>dang, Killing Words Technique is nasty and cost efficient to boot. Is that 1wp anytime someone triggers the Atrocity Without Witness, or just once when setting up the scene long defenses?
Just once. It's a surcharge on the charm's activation. KWT is just turning insult to injury, though, it's HTSA that's really the nasty part here.
>Not resisting the compulsion or taking the damage, thank you very much.
Alright, next up is Inescapable Massacre Technique, also enhanced with Killing Words. Ten successes against your dodge MDV, which has a base of 6 for (Willpower 10 + Integrity 0 + Essence 2), +2 for the stunt of covering the mirror with your hand, +2 for going against Conviction since you already decided to look away, but -3 because confrontation would align with your Urge. Three threshold successes.

Now you're faced with two conflicting compulsions: AWW says ignore the lich-queen and the action she's involved in or lose 5 lhl, IMT says don't leave the scene nor avoid the action she's involved in or lose 4 lhl. Only way to avoid grievous injury at this point is to somehow reconcile the two and obey both, then eventually weasel out of one or the other, possibly by arranging circumstances to take advantage of the rules for Impossible and/or Unacceptable Orders. (For most people, the only Unacceptable Order is self-destruction; exact reasons are tricky but a major one is to avoid having social combat make physical combat irrelevant by simply talking enemies to death.)

The last effect, Morbid Fascination Style, faces a stronger MDV with fewer successes, and fails. At least Lute isn't also compelled to sit quietly and watch without interfering.

>I think it's this
That's correct. As I said, basically a pokeball: throw it at any spirit no higher than Essence 3 to trap them inside and thereby add their powers to your own - just as soon as you either make friends, or break their will to resist, anyway. Cecelyne's charmtech will help. She's all about the genie-in-a-bottle dynamic, from either end.

>>876729
>rolled 5, 4, 3, 3, 2, 10
Can't identify the spell exactly, but that's enough to figure out it's targeting Legbreaker, and that the spell's effect isn't friendly (in case that wasn't obvious from context) but also probably won't directly cause any serious harm. Might be intended to restrain? Interrupting the casting will almost certainly make some sort of ugly mess, but it's generally far less severe than a deliberately constructed attack spell, and more likely to be the caster's problem than effectively targeting you or your minions.

Going ahead with the stab-the-caster plan? Remaining skeletons can't see you, and blocking or dodging while casting is excessively difficult, so this might be a good opportunity to show off with something trickier than a basic attack - and whether that means precision mercy or gruesome overkill is, of course, up to you.

>>876218
>if there is no other way in,
Let's say Alcaeus has his own pair of Path-Carving Boots (shaped differently, of course) and is using them to circle around the exterior, hoping to find a proper airship dock or some other less violent way of getting inside. That way, if one of you is taken prisoner, the other might be positioned to arrange ransom or rescue.

Currently, though, Ledaal Ji is loose inside the castle. Two bonfire-level anima banners are visible straight through the walls: sun-bright behind him, though it's the middle of the night, and void-dark down below. These are convenient points of reference for navigation in unfamiliar twisting hallways, while running around far too fast for the slow-witted skeletal guards to intercept or surround. Does he have his own Path-Carving Boots equipped, leaving yard-wide basalt streaks on the floor to ensure he's not wandering in circles? Or would he rather have a chance of not being followed? More importantly, what sort of things is he actively seeking out?
>>
No. 876851 ID: 094652

rolled 6, 6, 6, 1, 2, 10, 9, 4, 8, 10 = 62

>>876620
Embri writes a quick note (in Rivertongue dialect, which is pre-programmed in her somehow) to her rival about desiring a ceasefire, along with a mutually-beneficial string of distractions which will allow both of them to leave with their faces intact. She leaves the note in a book which has been placed upside down and sticking out a few inches, then immediately leaves.

This has all gotten out of hand. Even the other spies in the castle will defend this 'sacred' place. Embri will leave with her spoils as is. But of course, there's the issue of finding a relatively safe exit that's loosely guarded with minimal warding in place.

Embri speed-walks through the castle, looking for an opportunity, pretending to check on the other skeletons. Hopefully, she can find a map or seduce and then interrogate a guard captain.

Embri also attempts to will herself to bring up her options in this weird body of hers. Maybe she has the key in these weird powers of hers and she hasn't realized it yet. (OOC, would like a brief description of current slotted augmentations)
>>
No. 876864 ID: 5c3123

>>876851
Fifth Dexterity Augmentation is strictly passive, always-on. Sixth Intelligence Augmentation, likewise, passively adds to your mundane skills. Integrated Artifact Transmogrifier keeps you looking like a normal organic human instead of a weird robot. None of those are really obvious magic powers.

Second Manipulation Augmentation adds successes to Manipulation rolls, and Pheromone Regulation Systems let you mess with people's minds by creating supernaturally powerful emotions. https://keychain.patternspider.net/archive/koc0121.html

Omnitool Implant lets you turn your hands into any sort of fine tools. Go go gadget lockpicks, tweezers, surgical-grade scalpel, you name it. Not great for weapons but sometimes better than nothing. Of course, that means your hands won't look like normal hands while you're using it, so be careful who's watching if you want to maintain a cover story.

Fourth Appearance Augmentation is another social boost, stronger and less subtle. Can stack with the pheromone thing. Using it does not necessarily out you as a machine-person, but you will obviously be some sort of supernatural being. Most likely it'll cost enough motes that you'll flare your anima and activate the memory-distortion power, anyway. Even if someone does remember it clearly, the simplest explanation (which you could even offer them) is that the "maid" was some sort of undercover goddess, slumming among the common people, who has now shucked her disguise. Lots of morality-play sorts of myths involve a figure like that, most often bluntly decreeing punishments for the wicked and rewards for the just (or at least those who pleased her) in order to wrap up major loose threads of the plot just before departing.

Main bag of tricks is the Technomorphic Integration Engine. Apart from a virtually unlimited supply of mundane ninja gear, that's where you're keeping all your artifacts other than the rechargeable poison gas grenade.

One of the items in there, the Thousandfold Obscenity Gown, is yet another social tool. Semiliquid red robes give you a seduction bonus, and can secrete... well, let's call it "red milk." When somebody drinks that, which costs a mote per dose and takes five minutes of bodily contact, they gain an intimacy toward you. If they later lose the intimacy, it deals three levels of lethal damage on the way out - enough to kill nameless extras outright.

Dragonfly's Ranging Eye goes over one of your eyes and lets you see essence flows, like a scouter from DBZ. Can see in the dark and through some walls, but probably not thick stone-equivalent walls inside a manse. It also lets you see around corners, by repositioning the viewpoint, though with such a basic model, it has to stay within both forty yards and line-of-sight to your actual eye.

If this has turned into a combat mission, you might want to gear up accordingly. If you'd had your armor on (it's a superheavy suit of plate armor made from alchemically perfected diamonds) that mysterious space-warping attack would have been an almost negligible threat, one die of bashing damage per hit at most instead of more than ten. Downside is, even though the armor's magically lightweight, it does slow you down a little bit (-1 dodge DV, etc.), and thick fluted plates of shiny, sparkly diamonds are not concealable. Might as well completely drop the maid disguise at that point.

There's the time-strung bow, which can be used as a regular bow to shoot people, or an assassination tool to hit them whenever they'd least expect it within the next five days, no matter how far away they run during that time.

In terms of less-obvious combat gear, there's the Concealed Knife Bracer, which is, as the name suggests, a quick-draw holster for six knives. Also includes an auto-retrieval system, so you can throw them without worrying about running out or leaving too much evidence behind.

Gas grenade, of course, fills a ten-yard radius with poison gas. Not quite certain death, but it'll certainly ruin any ordinary mortal's week. Can be set on a time delay, up to an hour, but probably shouldn't be left behind since it's reusable: just six motes and a few seconds of fiddling with the special jade key.

Finally there's your Windblade, which is a flying surfboard (not actually usable as a sword, sorry, budget constraints; good news is, time-strung bow and throwing knives can be used while flying), and the Winterbreath Jar which is an extremely sturdy jar that's magically always cold inside, and the Unmelting Heart of the Tellerauthelot which extrudes an extremely deadly poison that turns people it kills into supercharged ice zombies. Also works on ordinary pre-existing corpses, they don't have to die from the poison specifically.

Each zombie can absorb 50 doses of the stuff, usually burning through two doses per hour just to stay animate, and more to repair damage. The Heart creates eight doses per hour under ideal conditions (the Winterbreath Jar helps), so you couldn't maintain more than four zombies long term without additional support from some other power source. The ice-bound dead do seem to follow your instructions, within the limits of their ability to understand. Might be possible to use ice marrow to "bribe" the skeletal troops themselves, get them working for you regardless of what their handlers say. If it worked, the ones on your side would be stronger, tougher, and even somewhat faster than loyalists, maybe enough to overcome the numerical disadvantage, particularly in narrower hallways... but if it didn't work, you might be handing out that buff to the local troops for nothing.
>>
No. 877022 ID: 20ea96

rolled 8, 7, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3, 9, 5, 2 = 50

>>876849
>Alcaeus is searching for some other less violent way of getting inside
Sounds good.
>if one of you is taken prisoner, the other might be positioned to arrange ransom or rescue
Do we have a way to communicate telepathically without risk of message interception? That would be an exceptionally valuable ability to have, navigating this castle from opposite ends. It will allow us to easily rendevous and escape when the time comes, especially if that time comes rather sooner than expected and our retreat must be made expeditiously. (Such as if someone actually does figure out how to nullify the castle's support magic)

>Does he have his own Path-Carving Boots equipped, leaving yard-wide basalt streaks on the floor to ensure he's not wandering in circles? Or would he rather have a chance of not being followed?
Ledaal Ji would rather avoid giving anyone a breadcrumb trail leading right to him. However, that is not to say there isn't anything he could do on that front. If possible, he shall lightly damage or otherwise mark small items as he goes. Passing through a hallway with the speed of the wind, it is simple to wield a small blade, and scar the scenery in ways unlikely to be noticed by the casual observer. A particular horizontal scratch with a unique flourish on the wall, hallway furniture, lighting fixtures, and so on. Ledaal Ji needs only to pay attention to signs of his own marking to avoid traveling in circles through labyrinthine castle corridors.

>More importantly, what sort of things is he actively seeking out?
Ledaal Ji is hunting for two things: knowledge and artifacts. Certainly there will be a vault somewhere, full of valuable items, but it will almost certainly be the most heavily guarded area, especially during a high-alert invasion like this one. A better target would be a private study, where the master of the house may relax and pore over their research. Magical artifacts used on a regular basis will almost certainly be located in a convenient place like that, and not sealed away in the vault. Therefore, Ledaal Ji shall attempt to sniff out such a location while the castle attention is diverted to the higher-priority areas.
>>
No. 877024 ID: 3abd97

>Now you're faced with two conflicting compulsions: AWW says ignore the lich-queen and the action she's involved in or lose 5 lhl, IMT says don't leave the scene nor avoid the action she's involved in or lose 4 lhl. Only way to avoid grievous injury at this point is to somehow reconcile the two and obey both

How about this: as long as Lute carries the Shard Fallen with an arcane link to the lich queen she hasn't left the scene or action, as each remains capable of delivering ranged attacks via the artifact. The scene travels with her. This satisfies IMT. AWW is satisfied by ignoring the lich-queen. Which, while not wise, can be accomplished while remaining on a common battlefield.
>>
No. 877063 ID: 5c3123

>>877024
Alright. That also means you can't "change the channel" back to Embri, or to break illusions in the local environment, or even rewind... but you could brandish the Shard, 'accidentally' sharing the live feed of that eye-stabbing nude scene with any others who care to look.

You're still in the lich-queen's bedroom. That seemingly empty suit of armor laying on the bed has propped itself up on one elbow and is saying something in Skytongue, with a voice like the sound of dry autumn leaves burning and inflection suggestive of mild surprise.

>>877022
>Do we have a way to communicate telepathically without risk of message interception? That would be an exceptionally valuable ability to have,
An ability many air-aspected dragonblooded have, and one which absolutely every Lookshyan exalt learns before they turn eighteen, but sadly not one Ledaal Ji has mastered for himself yet.

Very practical people, the Lookshyans. What they lack in quality and quantity (fewer lineages of Exaltation there, each with weaker blood than any Great House save shameful Nellens, which depends on House Ledaal for protection) they make up for with home-ground advantage, magitech support, and mandatory military service. While a Realm DB is learning how to play the sanxian, take tea correctly, and avoid being 'pranked' into heroin addiction, a Lookshyan is training to whisper in such a way as can be heard by the right person from miles off, and to shoot bolts of lightning from empty hands. Both of those tricks are easy enough to pick up, given basic skill with linguistics and science respectively, but it's probably better not to do so just yet, even if there was time: stepping off the path of Crane Style halfway through would make it far more difficult to complete. Same problem applies to any Celestial Martial Art, at least for non-Anathema students. That's a big part of why Immaculate Monks lead such structured lives, so they won't be tempted to distract themselves with practical adaptations to worldly problems.

>A better target would be a private study, where the master of the house may relax and pore over their research. Magical artifacts used on a regular basis will almost certainly be located in a convenient place like that, and not sealed away in the vault.
What seems to be the main magical research lab, where that anti-glow is building toward a climax, is under very heavy guard at the moment. A full platoon, possibly more.

There are several lesser workshops, however, including one which stinks of rust and pickled meat, resembling a nightmarishly perverse hybrid of a machine shop, luxury spa, surgical theater, and small-town blasphemous shrine. Vats of formaldehyde the size of bathtubs, tables meant for either massage or autopsy with elaborately articulated side-segments for supporting arms with too many elbows, neatly organized racks of gaudy ritual tools for scrubbing, cutting, stitching, and clamping, racks of neatly labeled bottles with oils and acids and powders and incense. Bells far up above, with sinewy ropes by which to operate them from down on the shop floor. Iron shavings and old bloodstains in most of the hard-to-reach crevices, though important working parts all seem to be well-maintained.

A heavyset, matronly woman in a slightly frilly black-and-white dress shuffles into the lab, dumps out a wicker basket full of jumbled human femurs into the appropriate bin like she's done it a hundred times before, then notes Ji's presence. "If I may be so bold, sir, you're obviously working on something important, but don't seem to know your way around this place just yet. Anything I could help you find?"
>>
No. 877071 ID: 094652

rolled 5, 10, 2, 3, 5, 10, 3, 3, 9, 4 = 54

>>876864
Might as well test the poison out.

Embri figures that with a handler robe, she can take a single skeleton for 'maintenance' into a broom closet. And then restrain the skeleton soldier with everything she can find before using a single dose of venom.

If it works:
Embri has a solid high-profile exit strategy: don armor, summon a bunch of arrows with half of remaining motes, fire at will on the skeletons. While she's running, the arrows will hit the skeletons from behind when they're distracted chasing her, and she can order them to open a path. Simple.
1. Don armor
2. Fire arrows at skeletons in stealth
3. Attempt to walk to the nearest exit point with the cloak still on
4. Totally get spotted
5. Run and laugh as skeletons are mind-controlled by your venom arrows
6. Order your minions (and non-existent fellow ninja) to clear a path while you escape.

If not:
Embri deals with the skeleton quite violently. She'll search it for runes or other strange markings. Then she'll use her Dragonfly's Ranging Eye to check for incoming guards and make her way out. Maybe the upper levels will be less guarded now that the players have caused some havok down below. A few extra traps, bombs, and other such things are placed on her way to the stairs.
She may need to switch to lethal methods.
>>
No. 877081 ID: 5f3f48

>>877063
If I understand right then, to escape the effects, I either need to wait for the scene to end (probably with the summoning being completed or something exploding I'm guessing), accidentally trick someone else into changing the channel for me (so I'm made to leave the scene instead of leaving deliberately), find an edge case where the compulsions are impossible or fatal to comply with, or go stare at Embri's anima and forget the compulsions.

>Skytongue
If I grab a dot of linguistics to understand that, what else would be included? Since they cover whole families at once.

Ditto for Rivertongue, since that's what Embri and maybe Bridget are speaking.

I'm assuming it won't be practical to pick up every language being used in the castle, so I'm looking for information on what's broadly applicable.
>>
No. 877158 ID: 5c3123

>>877071
Requisitioning a skeletal 'soldier' for help with lifting something heavy is simple enough. The handler instructs it: "All standing orders must remain in place, but otherwise obey her as you would me, until the task is complete or one hour has elapsed, whichever comes first. After that, return here."
As soon as you're out of sight, a single dose of ice marrow on it's tongue - why does it even have a tongue, when there's so little other flesh? - rapidly covers the skeletrooper in a layer of frost. As a quick check on whether the standing order against damaging the manse is still in force, Embri orders it to punch a load-bearing wall, and it complies without hesitation. Unfortunately, it also crunches up a few of it's own phalanges in the process. With the Dragonfly's Ranging Eye in place, she can see the ice marrow flowing inside, moving to repair the damage... and when it's spent, the frost thaws, causing further damage throughout the whole skeletal structure. Looks like it might take more than one dose each to keep them loyal to you through a combat situation.

Speaking of structural damage... while the congealed-cloudstuff walls still appear mostly opaque under Essence sight, flows of energy beneath the surface are plainly visible, and becoming increasingly unsettled. Embri does not have enough Occult skill to know for sure what this means, but has more than enough Lore and (Intelligence + Craft (Earth)) to recognize it as resembling the lead-up to an earthquake.

>While she's running, the arrows will hit the skeletons from behind when they're distracted chasing her,
That's not quite how the Time-Strung Bow usually works, but definitely close enough to be stunt-worthy. Any living guards who see this happen might, in the heat of battle or with a bit of help from memory-melting anima flare, think the bluish translucent crystalline plate armor is the same stuff as the bluish translucent ice hijacking their skeletal minions. On the off chance the maid's face is recognized, she might appear to be just another victim of some unseen archer further back, rather than the mastermind.

Heading for the docks to hijack an airship, or just the nearest room with a window and zooming off with your windblade? Trying to track down Lute Silhouette first to drag her along? Ice skeletons seem to be able to nonlethally subdue living targets by inflicting hypothermia with a touch. Gimme a Join War roll, in any case, since you're now commanding a Magnitude 1 group of soldiers and ordering them around in battle.
>>877081
>If I grab a dot of linguistics to understand that, what else would be included? Since they cover whole families at once.
Majority of the dialects in Creation's Northern direction, including Tear Eaters, Icewalkers, city-states such as Gethamane and Whitewall and fjord-centered Arendelle in the far northwest. Not the more isolated tribes such as Varajtul and Hushed Ones, though.

>Ditto for Rivertongue,
Mainly that one is associated with Nexus, the Guild, scavenger-lords and commerce relatively independent of the Realm's control. Far more people speak it as a second language than natively. It evolved in response to the necessities of trade, rather than being deliberately designed by ancient god-kings to reinforce the borders of the world.
>>
No. 877170 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 9, 8, 1, 9, 1, 8, 2, 9, 10 = 58

>>877158
>punch a load-bearing wall, and it complies without hesitation
Yay, they're loyal-
>resembling the lead-up to an earthquake
Crap. Definitely need to leave right now.

>Airship
Want that. Stealing an airship is both profit AND a good bulwark against the upcoming earthquake on a mountain. Either way, Embri needs to leave right now.

Here's the plan:

Embri only has 7 doses remaining in her regular storage, and using an arrow would be dangerous and probably damage the skeleton into using the poison to heal, but Embri only needs 3-4 skeletons. The one who was damaged punching the wall, take this note saying that the castle is going to crumble or some other self-destruct, go to the library and draw this castle crumbling or exploding or whatever, act it out or point at the note repeatedly, anything to spread the warning in the one place Embri knows the other spy could attack her from. It will not stop for as long as it can.

Embri will convert three other skeletons with the poison, double-doses each, via more 'requests' from the other handlers. In the event that they are 'spotted' acting suspicious Embri has programmed the skeletons with 'kidnap' protocols, by hoisting her up and carrying her to the dock, using a quick route with many windows. Embri will act like a damsel in distress, first acting unaware, followed by confused agitation at the grabby hands, followed by girly shrieking, and finally 'accidentally' touching the skeletons causing her to act unconscious as they pick her up and hold her in the air as they run. Hopefully nobody will think about why the maid is covered in diamond-crusted armor when she's clearly in the wall-grinding grip of three skeletons.

Plan A: Using the kidnapping disguise, rush through to the docks, try to find an unmanned, relatively small airship so her literal skeleton crew won't have any problems manning it, but she'll take what she can get, and notify any pursuers that the castle is going to explode.

Plan B: If the skeletons are on the verge of being neutralized, they will throw her out a window to fake her death, so her windblade can carry her far away before the castle self-destructs.
>>
No. 877198 ID: 5c3123

>>877170
>Embri only has 7 doses remaining in her regular storage,
No, she's got 25 doses of ice marrow, it's just that most of them are pre-applied to individual arrows. The temporal stasis of Elsewhere is a very nice loophole for shelf-life problems.

>programmed the skeletons with 'kidnap' protocols, by hoisting her up and carrying her to the dock,
Hypothermia would become a problem as soon as they grab you. Ordinary clothing definitely isn't adequate protection, and even the armor might not be. The effect is a penalty to dexterity rather than automatic incapacitation.

>relatively small airship so her literal skeleton crew won't have any problems manning it
Neither Embri nor the skeletons are adequately trained to serve as an airship's crew, much less as the captain. You'll likely need to press-gang somebody with dots in Sail to make that work.

Even the Windblade requires three dots in Ride for best results, though Embri is safe enough in routine non-combat flight thanks to superlative Dexterity and the craft's intuitive interface.
>>
No. 877308 ID: 094652

>>877198
Embri will walk there, then. She'll claim that the blue tint is part of some master plan from the mistress; there are blue, red, and green tinted skeletons, each with specific enchantments and orders written in. She was instructed to bring at least two of the skeletons to the docks, have them walk around the area. The other guards should be on the lookout for the red-tinted skeletons, they'll come next. The next handler should have more strange instructions, but it should fit together when all the steps are followed.

Once she's inside, she'll look for a sufficient airship, something relatively small but well-manned, get into the cabin, redress in her Thousandfold Obscenity Gown, quickly seduce a well-trained ship captain, and ask for a simple joyride across the perimeter - call it a personal patrol. Why, they could even harass the local barbarians for sport!

If that doesn't work, or even if it does work, she'll change tone and whisper into his ear that she's following secret orders from the mistress, and no she doesn't have the whole picture yet but her orders are very simple and very specific. The three skeletons are to come on deck and help the engineering team while they do a 4-mile radius sweep. No, she doesn't know what they are ordered to do, yes, they have a restraining order of five feet from any non-combatants.
>>
No. 877425 ID: 5c3123

>>877308
>the blue tint is part of some master plan from the mistress;
This is accepted as plausible, since the lich-queen has pursued stranger plans, and the harbormaster asks if it has something to do with the blue parrotman who just showed up.

>she'll look for a sufficient airship, something relatively small
There's only one docked right now. It's a heavy cargo model, 450 feet long, crew of twenty, but maybe could get by with as few as ten in an emergency. Crewmembers are presumed to be in bed asleep, because they just got here, most were pedaling hard all day, and it's almost midnight.

A second, much smaller and more technically sophisticated (e.g. non-pedal-powered) airship arrived more recently, but not at the dock. The parrotman - Alcaeus - is attempting to claim the crash was a result of faulty instructions from local traffic control rather than any sort of piloting error, and otherwise cast aspersions on the competence and hospitality of the sky-castle's residents.

The harbormaster finds such claims implausible up until Lt. Malroth, a skeleton-handler who was patrolling the upper hallways, arrives at the dock horribly maimed (missing an eye, most of his nose, both legs at the knee and one arm near the shoulder) but bandaged up with sticky silk fibers, riding a Beauteous Wasp along with a bat-woman who has a faintly glowing red ring on her forehead. Lt. Malroth reports that he attacked the newcomers without any clear provocation, in violation of protocol, then was subdued and given medical treatment by them.

>>877081
>go stare at Embri's anima and forget the compulsions.
The effect of Embri's anima doesn't break other mental influences, and only kicks in at the end of a scene in any case.
>>
No. 877446 ID: 5c3123

Incidentally, though he's not aware of either situation IC, Ledaal Ji's Satchel of Resplendent Healing contains acupuncture needles which could be used to restore those nine levels of lethal damage Lute Silhouette Speculation In Comet's Reflection hasn't quite taken yet in just over two hours, as well as an instrument which could regrow Lt. Malroth's various amputated bits in about two days each, with power from a 2-dot or higher Wood- or Solar-aspect hearthstone.

Bridget has a wood-aspect hearthstone, but unfortunately it's only 1-dot.
>>
No. 877465 ID: 3f5235

rolled 5, 9, 10, 8, 2, 4, 1, 5, 8, 2 = 54

>>877063
>Anything I could help you find?
Ledaal Ji should have no difficulty in pretending to be an eccentric-yet-benign-to-the-help researcher into the blasphemous arts, given that is, in fact, pretty much exactly what he is already. In the air of one who is frustrated about something completely unrelated to you, and therefore both not-to-be-excessively-bothered, and dismissive enough of you that it is safe to be off-guard in their presence: "Indeed! I cannot for the life of me recall where I've put my notes! Have you seen any important-looking documents lying about recently? I know they're around here somewhere, in one of these workshops no doubt." Ledaal Ji will continue to root through drawers or other feasible paper-containers as he makes the inquiry. His divine sense will search through and commit to memory any interesting-looking material he finds, significantly faster and in greater detail than his physical body's brief flip-through would appear to be doing.
>>
No. 877470 ID: 094652

rolled 8, 5, 2, 2, 10, 7, 3, 2, 7, 10 = 56

>>877425
Crewmembers are presumed to be in bed asleep
Embri's current thought process:@#$% @#$%^&*( @#$% @#$%er @#$%ing @#$%

How many are accustomed to the ship and sleeping in it right now? Ideally, she needs to recruit seven sailors, so using her brainwashing gown while they're sleeping would work.

The main issue is that most of the castle's population seems fervently loyal to the mistress, and even her enemies treat her with reverence! Embri has to find and brainwash/seduce/convert/whatever someone with a high Sail ability, and at least seven other minions, to steal the ship successfully!

>Lt. Malroth reports that he attacked the newcomers without any clear provocation, in violation of protocol
... Of course, maybe that's just her paranoia talking. Looks like this idiot may be out of a job soon. While he can't do much by himself, if he wrests control of the other skeletons at port before the mistress realizes what is going on, they could flee to safety. Without a body, she can easily thrall him to her in a matter of weeks, and figure out how to wrest control of the skeletons completely - or ditch them and hire a proper pirate crew.
>along with a bat-woman who has a faintly glowing red ring on her forehead
That bat-woman is clearly someone of note, what with the weird symbol on her forehead. If she has power, that might be just enough

Embri will talk with everyone she can, and make a decision on who to con into flying the ship for her - and ultimately save their collective hides. Use motes but try not to activate the anima flare.

If she's unmasked, Embri will unleash her anima deneuralizer and dart away on the windblade while the skeletons distract. Igniting the gas bomb could also work if it deals zero-damage to Embri even at point-blank range. Mundane smoke bomb also works.
>>
No. 877472 ID: 5c3123

>>877465
After rifling through graftable skin reserves to check that all the vellum in there is blank, Ji is directed to the main scriptorium and adjacent library, most of which seems to be devoted to relatively mundane scheduling, mapping, inventory control, and suchlike. Sorcery archive is on strict lockdown at the moment due to a sabotage scare, nobody in or out without direct authorization from the queen, and the guards are pretty sure there aren't any recent lab notes from anyone other than her in there anyway. She should be done with that big do-not-disturb ritual within the hour, though, if you want to ask.

Browsing through the stacks, Ji notes that one reagent-use ledger's spine is overhanging the shelf just slightly, and further that it's been put away upside-down. Inside there's a note in Rivertongue, written with great skill but in equally great haste, on a fresh green leaf from a rare sort of tree (one that isn't known to grow anywhere within several hundred miles, and which he happens to recognize because the sap is a powerful antipyretic) and spattered with blood no more than a few minutes old. The note seems to be written from one secret agent to another of a different faction, and frankly outlines a plan of temporary alliance, burglary, and arson.
>>876570
>Let's stop fighting each other, fellow shadow.

Before Ledaal Ji processes the full implications of this, Alcaeus comes running in, path-carving boots in hand, and with a tone of (largely feigned) panic asks whether there's a doctor in the house. Apparently someone at the airship dock picked a fight with a blood ape and has, predictably, been gruesomely injured. Still alive, though, which is rather unusual for a mortal in that situation.
>>

rolled 7, 6, 10, 4, 7, 8, 10, 10, 5, 10, 9, 2, 8, 9, 4, 3, 6, 4, 8, 10, 4, 10, 6, 7, 2, 4, 8, 1, 10, 5 = 197

>>877063
>That seemingly empty suit of armor laying on the bed has propped itself up on one elbow and is saying something in Skytongue, with a voice like the sound of dry autumn leaves burning and inflection suggestive of mild surprise.
Discovering she is not alone, Lute's demeanor changes. Turning away from her hand mirror towards the being stirring from rest, she offers an earnest and anticipary smile, apparently completely at ease.

I'll buy a vowel dot of language to understand. (Do I need to ask Efficient Secretary Technique to repeat what the armor just said, as I would understand it now, but I didn't before)?.

Attempting a social performance / manipulation to answer the armor's concerns or explain Lute's presence where she was not expected.

I also feel like I should get Defense of Shining Joy up, just in case.

>>877158
>Speaking of structural damage... while the congealed-cloudstuff walls still appear mostly opaque under Essence sight, flows of energy beneath the surface are plainly visible, and becoming increasingly unsettled. Embri does not have enough Occult skill to know for sure what this means, but has more than enough Lore and (Intelligence + Craft (Earth)) to recognize it as resembling the lead-up to an earthquake.
Is this phenomenon visible in the bedroom? Lute's got a lot of Lore+Int+Craft(Air) dice.
>>
No. 877611 ID: 5c3123

>>877470
>How many are accustomed to the ship and sleeping in it right now?
None of them. Airship bunks significantly compromise comfort in the name of minimizing mass, so dockside beds are universally preferred when available. Might be two or three aboard to handle overnight maintenance, refueling, and security, but they'd be wide awake and at least a little bit suspicious of unscheduled visitors.
>Ideally, she needs to recruit seven sailors, so using her brainwashing gown while they're sleeping would work.
Five minutes each, plus sneaking around without waking them up... compromising the whole crew that way would take at least an hour or two. Might not have that kind of time; the magical instability inside the walls looks like it's building toward a climax within the next few minutes.
>>877498
>buy first dot of Linguistics for 3 xp
Lute Silhouette's XP is now spent up through this post: >>866426 and she knows Rivertongue.
>buy second dot of Linguistics for 1 xp
Lute Silhouette's XP is now spent up through this post: >>866232 and she knows Skytongue.

It turns out that the suit of armor is a sort of mechanical prosthesis worn by a ghost, optimized to avoid the strain of materializing ephemera by direct exertion of Essence. Movable articulation of the facial features, fingers, genitals, and even toes is disconcertingly elaborate. The suit is currently occupied by the higher soul of Lich Queen Astius's favorite grandson, Melchior, (NSFW) https://yuni.deviantart.com/art/Grave-of-the-Light-704820408 who ascended to the role of prince-consort upon his demise (they were no longer blood relatives at that point, at least according to local law, since ghosts don't even have blood in the traditional sense), and whose formal duties consist almost entirely of looking pretty in the occasional public ceremony and keeping her thoroughly entertained in bed. He seems to be a reasonably canny politician, at least enough so to fend off various rivals for the queen's affections over most of the past two or three sixty-year cycles.
>Is this phenomenon visible in the bedroom?
Lute Silhouette Speculation in Comet's Reflection is neither attuned to the manse, nor equipped with an artifact that provides essence sight (at least not one she's willing or able to use for such at the moment), nor does she have a charm such as Telltale Symphony active. By the time uncontrolled essence venting is evident to the naked eye, it will be too late.

The prince-consort, however, is attuned to the manse, and describes relevant sensations clearly enough for Lute Silhouette to understand and begin to address the underlying problems.
>rolled 7, 6, 10, 4, 7, 8, 10, 10, 5, 10, 9, 2, 8,
With a one-die stunt for damage control, that's thirteen successes, beating the difficulty by ten. Two more successes thanks to the lens-arm's high precision essence-manipulation capabilities, offset by penalties for working blind, and distraction from constantly keeping that Shard delicately balanced on the periphery of her awareness, neither avoiding nor taking conscious notice of it. Under the circumstances, I'm going to say that means you manage to do all necessary stabilization from within the bedroom, without even calling attention to yourself, just using the arm to knock on walls like the Fonz. You also get to decide where in the manse the new essence vents flare up, and to some extent what form they take. Has to stay consistent with the properties of raw void-essence, though.

Unless somebody causes further damage, imminent explosion (as referred to in the OP) has been canceled. That's just a patch job, though. Full repairs will require something like a hundred man-years of work, mostly from people with Craft (Air) at 3 dots, 4 for supervisors. Some other Craft skills will be relevant as well. Somebody with Resources 4 or equivalent could pay for the damages without losing a dot in the appropriate background, but it would put a noticeable dent in their budget. Split the project into 15 stages, about 20,000 man-hours of work each, any given stage requires a 3-dot purchase worth of materials and labor. Anyone with Resources 4 can afford a number of such purchases per season equal to the sum of the Bureaucracy of whoever does their bookkeeping, and the Temperance of whoever has the last word on denying frivolous or wasteful purchases, so someone with very poor personal finance skills might be tapped out for two or three years by such a project, maybe more if other expensive problems came up in the meantime. Major cost-of-living cuts (with potential social and even medical consequences) or 'on-screen' profit from adventures can help close the gap when money is tight, and really significant treasures - the equivalent of a purchase at least one dot above your current Resources rating - can actually increase the Resources background, if properly invested. Likewise, a 3-dot purchase is possible for Resources 3, but then reduces it to 2, due to selling off revenue-generating assets, income offset by debts, or something like that. A one-dot artifact might sell for the equivalent of a 3-dot Resources purchase, but that's a very rough guideline. Converting artifacts to cash (or vice-versa) is meant to be an adventure hook rather than downtime activity. It's usually less like trying to get a better deal at Honest Ed's Used Cars, more like trying come up with a bribe that'll convince Max Rockatansky to walk away.

Only people on site with readily accessible Resources 4+ are Bridget, the Lich-Queen Astius, and the Sandpoint Devil. The former two are likely to insist, as a matter of justice, that those parties responsible for the actual damage provide some sort of restitution, while the latter is a little bit like this fella http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20050411 but has bat wings, knows how to run an airship, and is generally much smarter than he looks. Only speaks Old Realm, though, southwestern rakshastan dialect.

Lute Silhouette could easily requisition assets of that magnitude from Madelrada, but even with Destiny-Knitting Entanglement, the logistics may be a non-trivial problem. It takes a lot of 'coincidences' to haul an ordinary brick all the way out of Hell, across the Endless Desert, and then a mile up into the sky, and you'll be wanting far more than just one brick. Probably need a sorcerer involved to finish such a job in any sort of hurry, or at least a few competent cultists and stuff for thaumaturgical summoning.

Embri and Malice's respective patrons certainly have that kind of money, as do many members of Ledaal Ji's extended family, but none of them are inclined to extend lines of credit without some assurance that their strategic interests will somehow be advanced by doing so.
>>
No. 877686 ID: 20ea96

rolled 2, 7, 5, 2, 2, 5, 5, 6, 3, 6 = 43

>>877472
>whether there's a doctor in the house
"Indeed, I am one. Lead the way."

>leaf note
Ah, someone must have been very desperate to get this message to someone else. Truly a pity then, that (with a surreptitious flick of the wrist) the leaf seems to accidentally come dislodged from its hiding place. How unfortunate that a breeze happened to blow by, sweeping it gracefully into Ledaal Ji's pocket and coolly drying the wet blood in the process, such that it won't be ruined or smeared. How annoying that this random, irrelevant doctor is now running off to some emergency with the note in his pocket.

>Alcaeus
As they proceed, Ledaal Ji will covertly scan the note for exploitable information, and quietly share what he's learned so far with Alcaeus, including that the queen is currently involved in some massive ritual and thus our timeframe to loot and escape will fall to sometime within the hour. The queen of this place is most certainly someone Not-To-Be-Trifled-With. Making good use of competing antagonistic factions will greatly increase our own chances to survive and profit.
>>

rolled 1, 6, 1, 4, 7, 9, 3, 5, 4, 4 = 44

>I'm going to say that means you manage to do all necessary stabilization from within the bedroom, without even calling attention to yourself, just using the arm to knock on walls like the Fonz.
Lute raps out a quick series of knocks (dah-di-di-dah-di, di-dit) and then offers the prince consort a thumbs up.

>You also get to decide where in the manse the new essence vents flare up, and to some extent what form they take. Has to stay consistent with the properties of raw void-essence, though.
I'm going to assume putting the essence vents indoors is a bad idea. And that putting them in the ritual chamber an excessively bad idea.

Let's say... smokestacks. But when examined closely, what one might mistake for smoke is actually a collection of strangely muted bubbles. Capturing one and gazing inside it, you are treated to a disturbing vision pertaining to the subject of a positive intimacy. Popping one is unhealthy. Left to their own devices, they drift in the sky, slowly calcifying in the sunlight, until they fall to earth as stone marbles.

>long term repairs
One would think a security conscious ruler might raise some objections sub-contracting repairs to the forces of hell, or to a fae. Planning is probably premature, until such time as ownership of the manse has changed, or accommodations some kind have been arranged.

>>877686
>Truly a pity then, that (with a surreptitious flick of the wrist) the leaf seems to accidentally come dislodged from its hiding place. How unfortunate that a breeze happened to blow by, sweeping it gracefully into Ledaal Ji's pocket and coolly drying the wet blood in the process, such that it won't be ruined or smeared. How annoying that this random, irrelevant doctor is now running off to some emergency with the note in his pocket.
I'd like to use Destiny-Knitting Entanglement to make sure that note eventually makes it's way to Lute. The chain of coincidences has already begun!
>>
No. 877708 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 6, 6, 9, 2, 7, 9, 7, 9, 5 = 61

Well.

The castle isn't rumbling, so Embri might have anywhere between a minute and an hour. Right now, convincing a higher-ranked handler to order the workers for her is the main priority. She can always fall off the pier and fly herself to safety.

So Embri is going to strike conversation with the thoroughly eviscerated Lt. Malroth and more subtly with his fluffy batty friend. Attempt to find a way to convince them they want to do a patrol on the ship, using a literal skeleton crew along with the few sailors still nearby. Embri can negotiate with the bat lady once they're safely out of range of the detonation.

Embri tries to subtly steer the conversation towards the crashed second ship, which might have something loose and would need engineers to fix or it could lose its property values. After the major breach in protocol that Lt. Malroth intentionally disobeyed, it might help alleviate his upcoming punishment (and get some fresh air to dull the pain from his crippling wounds) if he were away from the castle on dutiful maintenance business, at least long enough for the mistress to stop being angry and write up a joke on Lt. Malroth's behavior and injuries.

As for the bat lady, Embri will just talk girly and discuss fashion trends.
>>
No. 877714 ID: 2dfd8a

rolled 3, 4, 6, 9, 8, 5, 4, 4, 6, 3 = 52

Bridget, satisfied that the violence had come to a close and everyone was safely treated, had set about the task of fixing the damages to the manse; that is, she was going to, until it let out a final shudder, hiss, and pop, before calmly settling into its cracks and scrapes. Obviously the construction was still compromised, given the gaping hole the airship parked itself in, but things seemed to be calm for now; so then, seeing as no one here seemed to have the authority to make amends for trespassing, she would seek out whoever could. Her hulking form is betrayed by gentle footsteps, neatly sweeping the skeletal remains into small cairns as she passes by; her blazing aura should ensure someone of note responds to her presence as she tries to find whoever is responsible here.

Rolling (int+investigation) I assume, +5 misc dice.
>>
No. 877836 ID: 5c3123

>>877686
>quietly share what he's learned so far with Alcaeus
Let's call that Manipulation + (lower of Larceny or Socialize) for hiding a discussion of criminal activity in jargon and metaphor.
>rolled 2, 7
No dots in Larceny, no relevant stunt, but one success anyway. The idea of a volatile situation with competing factions and a short timetable has been conveyed, but presence of literal incendiary devices and other key tactical details might be less clear. Want to covertly pass Alcaeus the note, so he can look it over himself, or spend 1 WP to hang on to it and try to think up other ways to explain?

>"Indeed, I am one. Lead the way."
The patient, one Lt. Malroth, is at a small and underequipped infirmary near the airship dock. Amputated limbs (consistent with an interrupted erymanthus attack) have been adequately bandaged with spider silk, so risk of death by blood loss at this point is minimal, but no effort was made at disinfection. Facial wounds do not appear to have been inflicted with claws or teeth; looks more like some sort of miscast spell backlash, or maybe an energy weapon. Between his own skills, and the contents of his Resplendent Satchel of Healing, Ledaal Ji is perfectly capable of fixing all that. Even regrowing those limbs, once a suitable hearthstone is obtained.

However, the patient seems stable for the moment, and the issue of payment has yet to be addressed.

>>877692
>I'm going to assume putting the essence vents indoors is a bad idea.
Putting them somewhere people or valuable items might accidentally bump into is a bad idea, but there's no particular reason the focal point of the venting needs to be on the outside. Think of it like a topological defect in a crystal, or a turbulent vortex in a closed system of fluid with otherwise laminar flow: it's existence somewhere within the boundaries is unavoidable given certain outside factors (the fact that this 5-dot demesne now only has four dots worth of manse capping it), but, like a coin buried in a lump of dough, you can massage the whole system in such a way that the hard, dangerous focal point of the anomaly moves around to somewhere more convenient.
>And that putting them in the ritual chamber an excessively bad idea.
This is likely true.
>Let's say... smokestacks. But when examined closely, what one might mistake for smoke is actually a collection of strangely muted bubbles. Capturing one and gazing inside it, you are treated to a disturbing vision pertaining to the subject of a positive intimacy. Popping one is unhealthy.
This could work.
>Left to their own devices, they drift in the sky, slowly calcifying in the sunlight, until they fall to earth as stone marbles.
Neither essence vents in general nor Void essence in particular are typically associated with new solid objects being created, however. More often the reverse.

>>877708
>Embri is going to strike conversation with the thoroughly eviscerated Lt. Malroth
"Dismembered" might be a better word. His viscera are mostly still in place.
>Attempt to find a way to convince them they want to do a patrol on the ship,
Malroth is currently on medical leave, lacks the authority to alter the patrol schedule even when he's on duty, and as for casual small talk, is angling to spend the next few hours or days in an opium-induced stupor just as soon as he's finished answering the doctor's questions. Might have more luck talking to some higher-ranking officer. However, discussing serious matters in front of all the troops would be mass social combat, so you might be at a disadvantage without your own retinue of followers - hijacked skeletons would be as useless for that purpose as effete courtiers against a cavalry charge.
>>877714
>seeing as no one here seemed to have the authority to make amends for trespassing, she would seek out whoever could.
>rolled 3, 4, 6, 9, 8, 5, 4
Perception plus Socialize plus a stunt off the anima banner, letting them come to you... two successes. Do you want to talk to the exchequer immediately, or the lich-queen herself in about half an hour?
>>
No. 877962 ID: f3e670

>>877836
>Do you want to talk to the exchequer immediately?
Yeah, let’s do it. I’m not sure about the general area and disposition of the approaching party, so I’ll wait on a little flavor text to jump off of. Bridget is generally in a proud and commanding stance, but she is obviously unwilling to inflict violence in most circumstances. The image that comes to mind is a large, gnarled oak- somewhat imposing, looming even, but rarely threatening in its own right.
>>
No. 877987 ID: 094652

Embri does not realize the castle is stabilized.

With scant few minutes remaining, and all strategies to get the airship manned shot down, Embri decides there's one final course of action: to retreat, hunker down, and perform further subterfuge at another potential treasure node; the crashed airship. She'll figure out where it is and then put her plan in action:

Rather than jump off completely and risk pursuit by elite guards with flight superpowers, Embri is going to use up her skeletons by making them the center of attention. Embri gathers her minions, ordering them to surround her and standby until she gets the signal prepped, and looks busy at something that looks like a control panel next to the open air, mumbling about the complexity of the devices she needs to install on behalf of the mistress, when one of her skeletons suddenly raises its weapon and (intentionally) narrowly misses Embri. Bonus points if she can get some fake blood on the weapon. Embri goes limp and falls, the blue skeletons march over to the airship and attempt to fly it out, effectively scuttling it if nobody is paying attention. Most likely, the other dockworkers will witness the perceived betrayal of the handler by the skeletons and take them out quickly, but will also assume Embri was killed.

Embri was busy preparing her windblade, and proceeds to fly at low altitude towards the crashed, smaller airship. She can scavenge the area for parts, listen in on the loose security, or wait for the castle to explode and take out the security team while they're utterly distracted.

Anything that doesn't involve staying in an exploding castle.
>>
No. 878182 ID: 20ea96

rolled 5, 9, 9, 5, 4, 2, 9, 6, 9, 3 = 61

>>877836
>Manipulation + (lower of Larceny or Socialize) for hiding a discussion of criminal activity in jargon and metaphor.
>No dots in Larceny, no relevant stunt
Uh, I was intending to just say it quietly while we were moving, given the empty labyrinthine halls and no accompaniment. I didn't realize it would be a whole scene. I would have stunted had I known that. Here I was, stunting the retrieval of the leaf, only to have that not be a roll at all, while passing my companion a message actually needed a stunt. Seems I can never catch a break from screwing myself over, huh? Would have preferred not being punished for failing to do something I could have easily done, had I known I was supposed to do it.

Fine, what's done is done. After committing the contents of the note to memory, Ledaal Ji will walk side-by-side with Alcaeus. The leaf, casually falling from his pocket, will swirl in a sudden, unexpected breeze, coincidentally landing right into Alcaeus's satchel, for him to discover (having been secretively informed it is there). Ledaal Ji will let Alcaeus keep it for review, no need to return it. Just dispose of it when he's done with it.
>>
No. 878560 ID: 5c3123

>>877987
>Embri does not realize the castle is stabilized.
Until she looks at it through the Dragonfly's Ranging Eye again and notices that the energy flows seem to be settling down, rather than continuing to escalate their thrashing.
>>878182
>needed a stunt
Only time you need to stunt an action is when it wouldn't otherwise be possible.
>Seems I can never catch a break from screwing myself over,
Such a degree of self-criticism seems excessive for almost any situation, much less a crunch-heavy game system with which you have so little prior experience.

If you're in a mood to learn from mistakes, though, I would say neglect of the dramatic editing option - by all the players, not just you - is a more frequent and serious oversight than failure to stunt at all.

>empty labyrinthine halls and no accompaniment
No amount of mundane stealth is sufficient to conceal a person's presence from the senses of a manse which they stand within, as many a heroic mortal has discovered (to their sometimes lethal dismay) in the course of attempting to burgle a Dynastic household. Not all manses have the capacity to comprehend, retain, or share that information, but in such a powerful manse, whose design you came here to study (and thus, presumably, do not already fully understand), "No one else is in the room, therefore we are not being watched" is a dangerous assumption.
> Just dispose of it when he's done with it.
He suggests with a smile, after looking it over, that he's got a clever idea for how to pursue a strategic advantage by doing so. Must be dreadfully boring to live in the same house for centuries, speculates the parrotman. People come and go, and you can't possibly remember them all, particularly not the sort of people who make their whole living by being forgettable. http://www.viruscomix.com/page529.html

>>877692
> that note eventually makes it's way to Lute.
An envelope slides through a crack under the bedroom door, ramps off a doorstop, through the air and into Lute Silhouette's free hand. Written on the inner surfaces of the envelope:
>"My beloved queen,
>The enclosed was found at an improvised dead-drop in the library - after the official search was already complete. It can be concluded that guards have been compromised by at least one infiltrating faction. I am uncertain who can be trusted, excepting only your majesty herself.
>Your loyal servant,
>Alcaeus"
It contains Embri's note. >>876570

>>877962
A new scene, then. Everybody who wants to claim innocence of all wrongdoing and/or demand payment for services rendered, or at least persuade some courtiers to support such claims before the Lich-Queen herself becomes personally involved, is directed to meet in a suitably grand hall. Anyone involved, gimme a Wits + Awareness roll for Join Debate. Stunts on that roll should probably involve some sort of formal introduction.
>>
No. 878591 ID: 094652

>>878560
Well, daring deception IS the core of Embri's class, buuut...
>Mediocre Wits+Awareness stats
>Possesses the mantle in her hammerspace, easy to detect by magical means
>Knocked out a handler and left him in a dangerous situation
>Attempted arson of a library so sacred that enemies of the owner defended it
>Injured, -1 to most skill checks
>Stole undead guards
>Made undead guard punch a wall
>Left an orgy of evidence of all of the above
Naaah.

Embri will focus on either (A) stealing the airship at the docks, or (B) investigating the crashed airship in the woods.
>>
No. 878609 ID: 3dc0e0

rolled 1, 4, 8, 4, 4 = 21

>>878560
Bridget enters the grand hall, silent. She remains so until addressed, stepping forward to proclaim her demands:

"By the light of the Unconquered Sun, I have been named the one who Bridges the Sun and Moon. By the blood of my ancestors, I have been named the one who enforces our borders. You all, who would deign themselves grander than Luna, who moves her chariot to respect our lands, owe a debt of 3 sheep, and a ceremony within my residence. Any number of representatives may be delegated to undertake such a task, as long as at least one is present for the duration."

I think I have 1 wits and 1 awareness- actions using my voice are penalized though. I'll jut go ahead and roll 5d10.
>>
No. 878621 ID: 5c3123

>>878591
Option A is infeasible with current assets. The smaller, more advanced, less structurally intact airship is in the process of being repaired by a tiger-sized spider named Jo. Planning to approach through the hallways as a maid and offer ice-enhanced skeletons as laborers, or deploy the windblade and circle around to scope out the crash site from outside, or what?

Windblade has another 36 hours of flight time left before it's next scheduled maintenance, and zooms around up to 70mph at a cost of 10 motes per hour of flight. Returning to base after this mission's done should take about 10-15 hours of flight time, mostly depending on the weather and whether you need to shake pursuit. If you don't do that maintenance, it's good for another 70 hours of flight with increasing internal wear-and-tear but no obvious performance problems. After that, you'll start losing speed, the controls will get wobbly, and it'll be making anguished little beeping noises. If you try to muscle through that for another three days to a week of full-time flying, averaging maybe 25 mph (meaning ordinary airships, birds, or galloping horses could usefully pursue you), eventually the windblade will crap out completely. Getting it running again at that point would likely require spare parts which Embri doesn't have available. Fortunately, she does have supplies for basic maintenance, and the Omnitool Implant makes it possible to do that maintenance in an hour or two, with any dry tent or cave-mouth standing in for a workshop.
>>

rolled 9, 3, 3, 7, 1, 1, 6, 4, 4, 10 = 48

>>878560
A women walks towards the assemblage, trailed by the prince consort. Their entrance causes a minor stir among the more observant of the guard- they didn't pass through one of the main entrances, and there are no known secret passages in the direction they're walking from. Just a mirror.

With a slightly manic smile, she announces herself, "I am Lute Silhouette Speculation in Comet's Reflection and I'm here to help."

Seems the place to be, as a social operator. Maybe play the role as a mediator, helping some of the other 'guests' make their claims, and gain assets or advantages in return? Negotiate a potential repair contract between one of the parties capable and those who hold the manse? Could also try to take credit / claim payment for stopping the castle from exploding, but doing it as quickly and unnoticed as she did might make that difficult. (Could also possibly take credit for dissuading the thief's arson, although that would mean outing said thief, and she's still potentially useful and apparently willing to cooperate).

I'd also like to have activated Defense in Shining Joy before my entrance, just in case negotiations sour, or the Lich Queen (or the demon) aren't in a talking mood when they arrive.

>new scene, then
Clicking the left claw to toggle out of hazardous scrying before the Lich Queen can reestablish UMI defenses, then.
>>
No. 878756 ID: 094652

rolled 1, 9, 3, 2, 3, 10, 7, 4, 3, 5 = 47

Embri will be compromised in a matter of hours. Once they find the guard stuffed in the closet, he could easily notify everyone to be on the lookout for impostor maids and handlers. Embri has analyzed that any other disguises are significantly harder to maintain, so she'll be out of masks. She can't slip into shadows as well as her current rival, who will attempt to locate and steal the mantle back. So, it's time to go. Embri will fake her death and spy on the crashed airship from the trees. She'll wear armor to prevent further damage and just scan the ship from a medium distance midway on a bushy tree.

But since she's got time, she'll take a good look at the first airship before she bails. There might be some technology she can copy. Or whatever.

On the plus side, since she didn't directly kill anyone in the castle, negotiations to ransom the expensive Mantle of Soot back should go smoothly.
>>
No. 879294 ID: 2007b6

Will Ledaal Ji and Malice be involving themselves in the discussion of finances before the queen arrives, or doing something else?

>>878724
>Clicking the left claw to toggle out of hazardous scrying
Thinking about the events afterward would normally require paying WP to resist Atrocity Without Witness, but that lingering repressive shame is an Illusion effect which the mirror can easily cure.

The Shard Fallen now contains (among many other records) a video of Queen Astius with all her nasty basilisk-gaze charms active, which could be replayed by anyone who knows how to work the scorpion-mirror's controls.

>>878756
>Embri will fake her death
By longstanding custom in the lich-queen's domain, low-ranking employees (such as maids) should remove their uniforms before committing suicide. Embri requisitions a lantern, to make sure that anyone outside will be able to see her, and performs a whirling striptease before backflipping off the end of the airship dock's pier, disappearing into the moonless night.

Ten seconds later and a quarter-mile closer to the ground, she steps onto her windblade and glides safely to a halt, safely concealed inside a cloud. It'll take two minutes to put on armor, half a minute to fly back up to the castle.
>spy on the crashed airship from the trees
There are very few trees more than a mile above the ground, and maintaining stealth at all will be tricky. See, Embri's only got 7 motes of personal essence free. If she spends at least four but no more than seven motes of peripheral essence, the resulting glow will make stealth more difficult (though not impossible, with good cover), and overwhelm the Integrated Artifact Transmogrifier, so anyone who does get a good look at her will almost certainly recognize her as an Alchemical Exalt. If she spends 8 or more peripheral essence, stealth at typical combat ranges is impossible even with hard cover, though she might escape meaningful notice from far enough away. The 12+ level would make her anima banner visible from miles off, but also activate her memory-warping anima power, making strategic stealth far easier.

Attuning the armor requires 8 committed motes, and powering the windblade costs 10 motes per hour. So, options to choose between:
A) Avoid significant anima flare by spending all 7 personal + 3 peripheral on powering the windblade, recover that with stunts, and then commit mostly personal motes to the armor. Stealth maintained, but very little margin for error, and all personal motes being committed means no more charm use without a light show. Needs two stunted actions inside a cloud, one of which could be retrieval and activation of the windblade, but the other needs to come before the armor is retrieved.
B) Similar plan, but retrieve and power up the windblade before jumping, recovering the motes with easier stunts involving the dance and 'tragic' departure. Having a personal magitech vehicle out and ready for use would cast doubt on the legitimacy of the apparent suicide, though, so you'd need to roll for a social attack (fortunately the dance itself could be used as such), possibly spending more motes on mood-setting pheromones or your anima power to really be sure.
C) Forget conventional stealth. Attune the armor and power the windblade entirely with peripheral motes, flare iconic down inside the cloud bank, fly back up, activate Appearance augmentations (also with peripheral motes) until you're overwhelmingly prettier than anyone else on site, seize command of the wrecked airship and get it moving again while everybody else is at the budget meeting. Omnitool plus Craft augmentation means Embri might well be a better engineer than whoever's currently doing repairs.
>>
No. 879313 ID: 3abd97

>a video of Queen Astius with all her nasty basilisk-gaze charms active
I'm surprised the UMIs are recordable, that's interesting!

I wonder if and when someone sees those recordings if Astius would still be the person rolling for successes, and if she would still be able to apply excellencies or supplemental charms.

>Attuning the armor requires 8 committed motes
Why wouldn't Embri's armor already be attuned? Can attunement not be maintained when it's unequipped?
>>
No. 879318 ID: 20ea96

rolled 2, 8, 2, 10, 10, 7, 2, 4, 4, 8 = 57

>>878560
>Will Ledaal Ji and Malice be involving themselves in the discussion of finances?
I don't recall ever meeting anyone by this name, but certainly, Ledaal Ji is going to extract payment for any and all healing services rendered. He will, in fact, request payment for all non-emergency operations up front, before said services are rendered, and quoting mildly extortionate prices, taking advantage of a detected element of timely desperation and backed up by a guarantee of success (once the patient(s) has been examined and such claims can be made freely and truthfully).

>claim innocence of all wrongdoing and/or demand payment for services rendered, or at least persuade some courtiers to support such claims before the Lich-Queen herself becomes personally involved, is directed to meet in a suitably grand hall
Ledaal Ji will then turn right around and use his medical work here as an alibi. Introducing himself as one "Doctor Xu", he will explain that he was far from the scene, busy with his own personal research before being called over to repair the injuries of these strangers, and that the library will vouch for his presence. Naturally, he wasn't going to turn down a little extra funding for his thauma-architectural soul studies. That being said, he has reason to believe some of his research notes may have gone missing recently. If any of the courtiers happened to have perhaps seen any notes on the subject around, he would be profoundly grateful not to have to bother the lich-queen with such trivial matters. Naturally, a few shiny (and recently-earned) tokens of appreciation may find their way into the pockets of those Ledaal Ji perceives to be more favorable to his... plight. A little diplomatic gratitude goes a long way.
>>
No. 879321 ID: 2007b6

>>879313
>I wonder if and when someone sees those recordings if Astius would still be the person rolling for successes, and if she would still be able to apply excellencies or supplemental charms.
She applied supplemental charms and rolled the dice once, then that attack applies to the defenses of all witnesses, realtime or otherwise.
>Why wouldn't Embri's armor already be attuned? Can attunement not be maintained when it's unequipped?
For most artifacts, attunement takes 20 minutes, and lapses after a day out of contact. There are various exceptions: tattoos, grafts, and sapient hellforged artifacts can't be voluntarily deattuned, warstriders can be attuned and released about as quickly as someone can physically climb in and out of the cockpit, a Cup of Flowing Blood can have multiple attuned users at once. The Technomorphic Integration Engine is one of those exceptions: while an artifact is stored, Embri only needs to keep 1 mote committed to storing it, instead of however many would be required for powering it, and then she can re-attune it instantly (as part of the same action as retrieving it from storage) rather than over the course of a scene. Normally that's a good deal, since her mote pools are so limited, and the armor isn't particularly stealthy anyway.
>>
No. 880188 ID: 2007b6

>>879318
>rolled 2, 8, 2, 10, 10, 7
Wits 2 + Awareness 1 + a 2-die stunt enhanced to three by Motivation relevance. Ledaal Ji sets the reaction count for this scene of social combat with six successes, and acts on tick 0.
>>878724
>rolled 9, 3, 3, 7, 1, 1, 6, 4
Lute Silhouette rolls two successes, and will act on tick 4.
>>878609
>rolled 1, 4, 8, 4, 4
Bridges The Sun And Moon rolls one success, and will act on tick 5.

The NPC exchequer rolled three successes, and so will act on tick 3, backed up by two dozen assorted clerks, courtiers, and guards - a magnitude 2 social unit. Having such a group means that the tactics of debate involve matters of official policy, procedure, and decorum at least as much as personal preferences. Rather than willpower, the exchequer may spend loyalty to resist successful social attacks on the group, and running out of it means losing the group's support.

A beauteous wasp-demon is present, but not visibly engaged with the discussion. Chiropteran nominally in command of that crashed airship is either somewhere else, or being supernaturally stealthy. The Lich-Queen Astius is expected to wrap up her other business and arrive somewhere around tick 28; might be be wise to have some things settled here before she gets involved.

So, "Doctor Xu" has walked in like he owns the place and seized the initiative to such an extent that he can count on three minutes of speaking before anyone else gets their wits together enough for a substantial interruption or counterpoint. What's his first action?

Simplest option would be demanding the money (how much money exactly? >>/questdis/122464 ) as a single social attack. Could ask for something else at the same time, as a flurry, or take time to lay groundwork with a monologue (adding bonus dice, like aiming in physical combat), or both. Downside to a more committed attack is, as ever, lack of reserves for defense. In a rhetorical context, that means MDV penalties. Parrying is harder when someone can use your own words against you, and dodging is harder when you're engaged in the conversation deeply enough to contribute to it.
>>
No. 880215 ID: 094652

After much consideration... Plan B.
>>
No. 880432 ID: 2007b6

>>880215
Embri descends through a hole in the more natural, non-solidified clouds underneath the sky castle, and moments later finds herself flying above a seaside town.

Nearest part of the ocean is supposed to be a couple thousand miles away to the west, and there's no other body of water significantly closer than that which is wide enough to prevent her from seeing the far shore at this altitude. Landmarks on the horizon are all wrong, too, and it's a bright, mostly clear day, whereas above the clouds it was the middle of a moonless night and densely overcast.
>>
No. 880463 ID: 094652

rolled 6, 3, 9, 10, 7, 5, 8, 3, 6, 2 = 59

Embri's first thought is to take a look around. She contemplates the probability that she was caputred by the lich-queen and hypnotized to lower her mental defenses. There's little she can do if she is in the lich-queen's thrall, but hey, live in the moment.

Embri opts to scout the area in a wide berth, favoring distance in the event that the hypothetical-hypno-enchantment has a limited range and manipulation. Then she'll land on the outskirts of the town, apply a suitable disguise, and gather intel on her way to the main market.

And find an inn. It's been a long night.
>>
No. 880925 ID: 20ea96

rolled 8, 10, 6, 4, 4, 1, 9, 6, 2, 7 = 57

>>880188
>demand the money
>>/questdis/122464
>a mercenary sorcerer earns around five jade talents per year
>preventing their senseless death might conceivably be worth more than twenty talents
Okay, pay me five jade talents and I'll restore the arm, patch up the wounds, and be on my way. A year's salary is very reasonable in exchange for life, limb, and whatever business you've all gotten yourselves injured in trying to accomplish. Unless you'd rather wait around for another, cheaper doctor to drop by, happy to take their pitiful wage just to get this fellow standing again, still in no shape to be jogging, let alone fighting. Hardly healing at all, in my opinion. But decide quickly. I have other things to do. Oh, and that'll be up front. Sorry Link, I can't give credit.

>exchequer
>>877472
>Sorcery archive is on strict lockdown at the moment due to a sabotage scare, nobody in or out without direct authorization from the queen
I've been extremely busy with my research recently regarding strengthening the castle, which I am supposed to be in the middle of right now. You know, we wouldn't be having these problems with broken walls and intruders and sabotage and whatnot if I was actually allowed to work in peace and solitude with the resources I need, like I originally requested. I visited the library earlier and was told the sorcery archive is on strict lockdown, even to me! I need access to that for my research! Want me to patch up this giant, literal security hole immediately? Fetch me someone with authority to accompany me to the archive so I can get what I need and get on with it. Then you can send the guards around and easily sweep up whatever petty troublemakers are still lingering, unable to escape. Honestly, I barely show my face around most of the year, hard at work, and this is the treatment I get. Tsk.
>>
No. 881059 ID: 5f3f48

>>880188
Oh, is the prince consort present or participating? I tried to stunt bringing him along in >>878724
>>
No. 881468 ID: 2007b6

>>880925
>rolled 8, 10, 6, 4, 4, 1, 9
>pay me
Charisma 2 + Presence 1 + aim 3 + stunt 3 (two-die plus Motivation) + 1 success from spending WP (recovered by stunt award) -2 multiple action penalty for a two-attack flurry => five successes. The exchequer's dodge MDV is 4, +2 from relative magnitude, +2 because unloading a big heap of cash on someone who you barely know in exchange for outlandish promises goes against Temperance, -1 because the proposed course of action is consistent with organizational policy, and -2 for relative Appearance.

Orders are given, and heaps of jade are brought forth, nearly two hundred and fifty pounds in total. Of the five ledger talents presented, half of it (two talents and four bars) are made available for Doctor Xu's immediate use, the rest to be held in escrow until Malroth's promised full recovery.

The jade is mostly in the form of neatly stacked obols, with occasional shekels or larger pieces, but none of is is proper Earth aspected white, nor any other wholesome terrestrial element. It's black, and not the deep swirling indigo of Water aspected 'black' jade, no, a hard empty obsidian-black, iridescent as if coated in a sheen of oil but almost painfully dry to the touch, like compacted ashes. Alcaeus says it's from the Underworld, unsuitable as an ingredient in medical alchemy, but most likely equivalent to normal jade in nearly all other respects.

>let me in to the higher-security archives
Manipulation 2 + Presence 1 + various other bonuses, -3 multiple action penalty, the Exchequer's Dodge MDV is at an additional -1 for onslaught, but that's irrelevant as the proposed action is beyond the exchequer's authority. The captain of the guard ordered the lockdown, and it's clearly a security matter, so only he or the Queen herself can permit exceptions.

>>881059
Yes, that was a valid use of dramatic editing.

>>880463
>land on the outskirts of the town, apply a suitable disguise, and gather intel
Northern approach has a wall and gatehouse with guards, but an unattended bridge allows entry on foot from the south. There's a large sign on the bridge, written in Old Realm, with a palm-sized mirror hanging from it.
>find an inn
Nobody around here seems to speak Rivertongue with any useful degree of fluency. Embri nonetheless manages to locate six hospitality businesses: of the two largest, which seem likely to have rooms for rent, the quieter and cleaner one has a pair of deer carved from white wood over the door, while the other features a corroded iron statue of an ant-headed dragon (with notably broad shoulders and hips, relative to typical depictions of dragons) and a bulletin board inside with what seem to be bounty notices and similar job postings. Three others mainly serve alcohol (one has a substantial sideline in gambling, seafood, and combinations thereof), while the last is a brothel.

A brewery, tannery, glassworks, and lumber mill are also evident from far off, thanks to their distinctive noises and smells. Other notable buildings include a temple with an open-air courtyard in the center and stone-marked graves out back (outer walls are recent construction, though the seven standing stones and circular altar in the courtyard look far older), and ruined foundations of a massive lighthouse, quite possibly dating back to the First Age.

All over town, but particularly around the temple, preparations are underway for some sort of festival. Lots of butterfly imagery and fireworks. One of the locals tries to explain that they're celebrating both the butterfly-god's temple being completed, and night being the same length as day - but her tone implies that the latter is somehow just as infrequent.
>>
No. 881910 ID: 2007b6

So, Ledaal Ji has acted, then on tick 3 the Exchquer took a miscellaneous action to deliver the first half of the requested funds. Lute Silhouette is up next.

Malice the chiropteran GSP hasn't declared any actions in a while. Is strngy still playing?
>>
No. 881923 ID: 094652

rolled 2, 4, 9, 4, 10, 1, 10, 1, 9, 6 = 56

Embri's first order of business is to visit the market, buy some stuff on sale, and view the local festivities. Not for entertainment, but because you never know when an army of guardsmen will give you a pop quiz at spearpoint. Also, she's looking for potential targets to seduce, sedate, and steal everything from.

Embri chooses the white deer inn. She'll rent a room for a week and set up the area with her own personalized traps and trinkets.

Embri manages to fox-purr for the first time in weeks, as she swears she can almost feel that Mantle of Something from within her Hammerspace.
>>
No. 881932 ID: d22dc0

>>881910
I believe so, but from what I've gathered Strngy is also going through some life changes, and might need a little time before they can re-join in full force.
>>

rolled 1, 7, 3, 5, 6, 8, 2, 5, 2, 3, 2, 8 = 52

Ah, very good, the dynast's petition has already been accepted. A fine showing by the good doctor "Xu". Now... the Scourge, illuminated mountain that she is, seems less at home in this arena. Rather than speaking immediately, Lute bides her time, waiting to speak up and support the mountain at the right moment. After all, if Lute would guide the giant to her best self, supporting her is a good first step at gaining her ear.

Setting up a coordinated action with Bridges the Sun and Moon to support her claim. I think the correct order of operations is I roll for that now, Bridget stalls with guard or aim to sync with my next tick, then we both roll for social attacks?
>>

>>882475
Oh whups, Bridget is a Twilight, not a Scrouge. Was trying to play off her caste mark being visible but I must have confused her with Malice momentarily.
>>
No. 882732 ID: d22dc0

rolled 7, 1, 5, 9, 4, 3, 3, 7, 4, 1, 9, 10, 2, 6, 9 = 80

>>882475
Gentleness is not something one oft expects of Bridget, at least not from people who do not know her. Deftness of body and precision are also assumed to be lacking. Yet, as she steps forward, proclaiming her demands, the care in her steps is undeniable. The Exchequer, lazily waiting while other do as she bids, her clerks hastily moving scrolls and books rescued from the fire but not yet organized in their search for Jade, is momentarily distracted; a flash of light in the corner of her eye, some sort of impossible reflection glinting at just the right moment, gives Bridget the opportunity to act. It is hardly a moment before the table is transformed into a topographical map of the area, Bridget's home outlined for clarity.

"Here, across this stream; the clearing is suitable to disembark, and not a stones throw from where the ceremony shall be conducted. Presenting payment and submitting to our hospitality swiftly will allow the completion of our business together within two sunrises, and should you be judged sufficient, no further actions will be necessary."

Mechanically, Bridget aims until she and lute can Make a coordinated attack. She uses craftsman needs no tools and crafts the table into a map. Spending 7 from my peripheral pool; if I get a stunt reward, I'd like to regain motes. Gonna roll, uh, 15d10 sounds good?
>>
No. 884710 ID: 2007b6

Coordinated attack succeeds; Lute Silhouette Speculation and Bridges The Sun And Moon present their arguments together on tick 9.
>>882732
Charisma 5, ability capped by Socialize zero, another two dice from the stunt... only two successes.
"Setting aside any diplomatic repercussions of violating our longstanding policy against swearing fealty to ground-based powers," says the exchequer, "the treasury does not currently contain any living sheep. Even if it did, what exactly are you offering in return, apart from crude threats?"
Seems to be mostly of a rhetorical question, though the petition wasn't formally denied outright.

While Bridget thinks over how to respond, the exchequer turns toward Lute Silhouette's side of the discussion. What's she pushing for?

>>881923
During that week, the town is invaded, sacked, and burned to the ground by vicious little goblins.

Twice.

None of the townsfolk seem to note anything odd about the place being all charcoal and wailing widows one evening, then cheery festival preparation among tidy intact buildings the next morning, though with the language barrier it's hard to be completely sure.

Just after the second 'reset,' a young woman enters town, along the same path Embri used. She's clad in dirt and rags, dragging herself along the ground on a small, crude cart - though at a glance it's unclear exactly how, since her arms and legs alike seem to be paralyzed. Peeking through the Essence sight of the Dragonfly's Ranging Eye reveals that she's a supernatural being of significant power, and eavesdropping on her attempts at conversation with the locals reveals that she can speak Rivertongue.

>rolled 2, 4, 9, 4, 10, 1, 10, 1, 9
Embri does not suffer any random mutations during that first week. Does feel like the flow of time is somehow crooked, though.
>>
No. 884723 ID: 094652

rolled 2, 5, 2, 3, 1, 1, 9, 7, 1, 2 = 33

On the first week, Embri lured hordes of goblins into her deathtraps, but could not stem the vermintide. She managed to escape the town in time, only to wake up in the bed she rented at the white stag inn to a festival that should have been ashen confetti on the wind and broken laughter in the streets. On the second run, she focused her efforts on interrogating high-status civilians and bandit captains, but they knew little. Changing who lived and died that week did not prevent the reset, either.

For the third week, Embri was planning to fly far away and cause chaos to whatever simulation or enchantment she was under, but then she saw the rag girl 'walking' the streets in the middle of the festival, and her analysis was promising.

Embri decides on an uplifting tactic: she'll pretend to boisterously make a small bet with the next high-status citizen to berate the 'homeless diseased street rat' that she can turn the ragged girl into a beautiful dancer in time for the final dance of the festival. After leading the girl to her room (and a serious bath), Embri will wear her red gown, give the girl an affectionate touch, and after a few minutes of further bull^&*(, ask relatively politely what the @#$% is going on in this town.
>>

rolled 7, 1, 8, 10, 6, 1, 8, 6, 5, 3, 8, 6, 10, 3, 9, 7, 2, 9, 1, 5, 8, 9, 2, 3, 9, 7, 8, 6, 9, 9 = 185

Sorry for the delay, everyone!

>You all [...] owe a debt of 3 sheep, and a ceremony within my residence. Any number of representatives may be delegated to undertake such a task, as long as at least one is present for the duration.

>"Setting aside any diplomatic repercussions of violating our longstanding policy against swearing fealty to ground-based powers," says the exchequer, "the treasury does not currently contain any living sheep. Even if it did, what exactly are you offering in return, apart from crude threats?"

>While Bridget thinks over how to respond, the exchequer turns toward Lute Silhouette's side of the discussion. What's she pushing for?

Lute Silhouette Speculation answers the exchequer's unspoken invitation with preternatural grace and aplomb, seeking a favorable outcome where Bridget's demands have been satisfied, the manse's bureaucracy was happy to pay, and both sides would be inclined to lend the Sidereal their ears in the future.

"Surely if the treasure's ovine reserves are depleted, it can afford an equivalent toll paid in another currency? Or it can arrange for the purchase and delivery from a third party.

"And to peaceably normalize relations with a foreign power is a far cry from an oath of fealty.

"The castle can afford pay a diplomatic sinecure, and to participate in a ritual of hospitality, and would reap the benefits of peace, goodwill and expedient resolution in return."


Mechanically... rolling for a social attack, or maybe a flurry, since I made several points? I'll roll a bunch of dice in case. Perfection in Life is Instant, so it doesn't commit motes for the scene, right? Assuming that's right, I'd like to use that charm to enhance the attack.

>Embri's antics
Lute was most amused by the portion of the thief's week she glimpsed in the Shard Fallen, before arriving at the meeting.
>>
No. 889812 ID: 2007b6

>>885779
> Or it can arrange for the purchase and delivery from a third party.
There are three groups widely known to travel through the air on a commercial basis. The strongest, Lookshy, is overwhelmingly hostile to Astius due to deeply-held religious convictions - they consider her an "anathema," which all right-thinking people are obligated to resist or if possible destroy. Hiring them isn't a plausible option.

The Haslanti League is friendlier, and numerically superior, but their home territory is more than four thousand miles away and most of their airships can't go even half that far without stopping to refuel. One of the few that can is currently docked, but they're very cautious about situations where those as-yet-irreplaceable magitech engines might be stolen.

Third group is the hawkriders who live on the upper slopes of unscalable Mount Metagalapa. They're the closest, almost neighbors, and they work relatively cheap for almost anyone who can provide refined sugar, but they'd have to deliver sheep one at a time. Also, they've got a bit of a reputation for sacking whole towns and refusing even the most humble apologies when they feel they've been insulted.

Or there's the possibility of some sort of freelancer. An independent sorcerer willing and able to conjure an azure chariot and load it up with livestock, roving sky-pirate, something along those lines.

Which would you recommend, O wise vizier? Sheep need to be acquired, brought up to the castle for inspection (can't very well start diplomacy off on the right foot with a substandard gift), then delivered to Bridget's territory along with an emissary, and of course the emissary needs to be brought back safely afterward.

Last item on the agenda at the budget meeting is structural damage caused by that crash. If nobody steps up to take responsibility for the repair costs, the exchequer says he plans to direct guards to seize the vehicle in question and sell it to the Haslanti as scrap.
>>
No. 889843 ID: d10e29

rolled 3, 6, 4, 9, 8, 2, 9, 3, 5, 5, 10, 2, 10, 2, 9 = 87

>>889812
Bridget will offer her services in the repairs, contingent upon sastifatory results from the ritual. She refuses to work with any creatures of the fey; however, should they be willing to assure her they are not Fair Folk, nor working with them, she will be willing to offer any assistance she can until sheep can be procured. She asks that, should anyone be found guilty of harboring ties to the fair folk, they agree to allow those knowling involved to be executed in a swift and merciful fashion. Otherwise, she will remain on board and simply wait, to ensure that her requirements are being persued in good faith. She has little knowledge of manse repairs or the work required to do such things, but she is a capable craftsman and can assist with re-building structures, or other such things, given proper instruction.

As an assurance of the safe return of any emissaries, she will offer an an oath of a years service for every life lost due to her negligence, or proportional services for proportional injuries.
>>
No. 890431 ID: 4f1cbc

>Which would you recommend, O wise vizier?

>The Haslanti League is friendlier [...] One of the few that can is currently docked, but they're very cautious about situations where those as-yet-irreplaceable magitech engines might be stolen.
That seems an opportunity worth seizing. An attempt should be made to secure their assistance.

Should that fail, more high stakes diplomacy with the hawk riders could be attempted, or in lieu or an independent sorcerer, the crew of the scrap-to-be could be persuaded to fly missions for the manse if their vessel were left intact.
>>
No. 896068 ID: 2007b6

If Ledaal Ji is going to follow through on his promise to fully restore Lt. Malroth's eye and limbs, he'll need a 2-dot or higher Wood or Solar aspected hearthstone. Obvious options for how to make that happen:

*Find a manse generating such a hearthstone (through maps, or your own geomantic survey) and make friends with whoever owns it
*Find manse generating such a hearthstone, kill whoever owns it, do a detailed analysis of the internal essence flows to triangulate the hearthstone's location, then go fetch it
*Find a manse generating such a hearthstone, chase off or kill whoever owns it, damage the manse just enough that the existing hearthstone shatters (wherever it is, hopefully wasn't powering anything else important) and a new one forms inside the manse a month later
*Find an uncapped demesne and build a manse from scratch (expensive, probably takes years)
*Upgrade Bridget's existing 1-dot Wood manse by strengthening the underlying demesne (definitely takes years)
*Head back down the river to Nexus, throw a heap of money at the Guild to rent a suitable power supply (limited selection, but they can probably come up with something)

>>884723
>rolled 2, 5, 2, 3, 1, 1, 9, 7, 1, 2
That's... looking like probably a botch on the mutation resistance. Failure, at the very least. I'm open to suggestions for the specifics, but remember that IC you've got no control over it unless deliberately questing for power and succeeding on the resistance roll.

After three weeks, in addition to whatever horrid distortion of her body, mind, and/or soul just occurred, Embri has finally racked up enough training time to lock in 3 xp and mostly understand the local language. Want to go for that?

>>889843
Problem here is, a lot of the Craft(Fire) work which needs to be done for repairing this particular manse is also going to set off your allergy. Want to pick up some other Craft skill, probably (Wood) for scaffolding, ropes, and cranes, or (Earth) to square off the blocks of cloud-stuff? No training time for caste/favored, just spend the XP and you're up to speed.

As for charms, first of all, any Craft charm applies to every Craft ability, provided you've got enough dots to meet the prerequisite. Craftsman Needs No Tools, for example, lets you operate empty-handed as if you had a basic workshop or tool belt for any Craft you've got 4 or more dots in. It only provides a speed boost for new construction, though. Main Solar Craft charm for repairs is Crack-Mending Technique, which provides the same speed boost and lets you fuse things back together as if they'd never broken in the first place, thereby negating the need for glue or replacement parts - provided you can find all the pieces. That one requires 5 dots in the appropriate Craft skill, though.

>>890431
The Haslanti are having trouble with sky pirates intercepting shipments of food and supplies to Diamond Hearth - though not, oddly enough, the archaeological treasures being hauled back. Combination of Efficient Secretary Technique and background briefings from Madelrada allows Lute to easily recognize the efforts of an Adorjani cult - her allies as part of the larger Yozi Reclamation conspiracy, at least in theory. The mortal Haslanti authorities have no idea, and are offering a generous bounty for capturing any such pirates intact enough for interrogation.

Want to get involved? Arranging a decisive victory for either side would likely earn their gratitude, or keeping outcomes uncertain could provide an excellent training environment for various colleges of sidereal astrology and Kimbery charms, not to mention opportunities for heroic mortal self-actualization under stress.
>>
No. 896072 ID: 2007b6

Embri now has a 2-point positive mutation corresponding to an anatomically implausible hole where her kidneys ought to be, voluminous enough to stash either the Winterbreath Jar by itself, or the Essence Pulse Grenade and several other small items. She also has two points of purely mental negative mutations, including a delusion that the hole has always been there.
>>
No. 896083 ID: 094652

rolled 8, 1, 10, 4, 5, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 = 55

Embri walks up to the girl in rags, and says something along the lines of "As you've no doubt seen, every week in this town is just the same. So I'm going to leave on a magical flying sword through a hole in the sky, would you like to come along?" Stated so that the mortals around the two think they're doing a comedy skit, but intuitive enough for the ragged girl to realize it's a way out.

Summary: Surprise social attack to convince the girl to come along with her and escape this place.
>>
No. 896086 ID: 2007b6

>Should I add a summary sentence to every character post so you can skip my convoluted roleplay and get a simple action?
One way or another, try to make it clear how the action you're taking engages with the mechanics. >>896083
For example, are you buying any successes on either the roll for surprise, or the social attack itself, using your Second Manipulation Augmentation? Should probably include enough dice to roll for those separately. Might also be able to influence the target's mood using Pheromone Regulation Systems. Limited supply of personal motes (currently only 7 uncommitted) means you risk outing yourself as a supernatural creature via anima flare, though up to three motes peripheral spent in a single scene is subtle enough someone could miss it if they weren't looking closely, so 10 motes all at once can still be reasonably sneaky with at least an hour to cool off afterward. (Notably, powering the windblade costs 10 motes per hour.)
>>
No. 896163 ID: 4f1cbc

>training environment for various colleges of sidereal astrology
Okay, I've looked over the rules for sidereal astrology, and I've got some questions.

Is this something Lute could theoretically do at this moment, or does she need to spend xp and/or training time before she could perform and sidereal astrology?

It seems like setting up destinies is meant to be a strategic action, not a tactical one? You set up what you're going to need to work with in advance when you have room to burn stuff on getting the prayer and effect rolls high enough. Assuming you have a job or mission to complete, you prepare for it by created the false identities you'll need, and stacking Providences on yourself to lower target values on things pertaining to your mission?

It looks like even passing a prayer roll at all would be rather unlikely without a relevant excellency? It's (Charisma(0) + Performance(6)) with difficulty 6. Can get a few more die with extended prayer, but a petition requires resource dots I don't have, and cosignatories seem like a resource you would have to accumulate on a strategic scale?

On the subject of excellencies, what's the difference between 1st / 2nd / 3rd again? Every time one comes up, the books seem to assume you know.

I don't understand which colleges I'm allowed to pull respendencies from. Do I have to buy astrological dots in those colleges in order to use them? I notice these colleges share names with the groups charms are split up into. Does having charms from a college mean I have dots in it for the purposes of sidereal astrology?
>>
No. 896164 ID: 6785a6

rolled 7, 10, 7, 3, 2, 9, 1, 10, 3, 10, 8, 8, 10, 2, 9 = 99

>>896068
>a lot of the Craft(Fire) work which needs to be done for repairing this particular manse is also going to set off your allergy

The mountain endures rain, sleet, and the footfalls of dragons, but does not frown or ask for respite. Likewise, Bridges the Sun and Moon fears no temporary weathering, no passing discomfort. She shys not away from the soulsteel simply because it displeases her. Many things in this world are displeasing, and yet be dealt with they must. And so, Bridges the Sun and Moon commits her considerable prowess to molding the castle back into shape. When she is not working, she will commit herself to the books that managed to escape the fire; Worldly knowledge can bring about a great many things, and Bridget is the type of person who intends to bring things about. Several of the scholars are profoundly interested in her, for one reason or another; those interested in her as a mirror to some of their abyssal colleges, or as both a relic of the past and a herald of the future, as well as a would be suitor who only seems spurred by her disinterest, all vie to assist her in her learning. As such, I'll be spending 16xp to boost my lore from 1 up to 5, (Caste favored so 1-2 needs 1xp, 2-3 needs 3xp, 3-4 needs 5 exp, and 4-5 needs 7xp) as well as purchasing the second lore excellency for 8xp. By my count that's all my xp so I'll be finished training before too long since only the charm takes a notable amount of time. The sun sees all, and remembers it well.

So, craft 4 + what, int 5? For relevant rolls? Probably at least a two dice disadvantage for the allergy. Lets say Bridget is willing to doll out a single use of craftsman needs no tools a day, plus some monkey leaping for convenience sake, as she doesn't totally trust everyone here yet. I'd say my description is a two dice stunt, so just in case I have trouble getting motes and willpower back lets grab 4 motes for my peripheral pool, and roll, uh, 15 dice for extra padding?
>>
No. 896165 ID: 2007b6

>>896163
>Is this something Lute could theoretically do at this moment, or does she need to spend xp and/or training time before she could perform and sidereal astrology?
The latter. She was secured by Madelrada's agents before the Fivescore Fellowship could give her even the most basic training, so she'll need to find some substitute for that training.
>It seems like setting up destinies is meant to be a strategic action, not a tactical one?
Very much so, yes, though it's at least possible to attempt a tactical timescale.
>It looks like even passing a prayer roll at all would be rather unlikely without a relevant excellency? It's (Charisma(0) + Performance(6)) with difficulty 6. Can get a few more die with extended prayer, but a petition requires resource dots I don't have,
When you need something you can't afford to pay cash for, consider alternatives such as: barter, beg, borrow, build from scratch, or steal.
>and cosignatories seem like a resource you would have to accumulate on a strategic scale?
Cosignatories can include a solar exalt and a lunar exalt. A solar is readily available, there might be a lunar nearby, and nothing says they need to actually understand what they're signing off on.
>On the subject of excellencies, what's the difference between 1st / 2nd / 3rd again?
First gives dice, second gives successes, third allows a reroll. There's also some fiddly (but important) details about how many dice or successes you can buy at once, which varies between exalt types.
>I don't understand which colleges I'm allowed to pull respendencies from. Do I have to buy astrological dots in those colleges in order to use them?
Yes. First you learn how a given constellation works, then you weave a resplendent destiny in it, then you use that as fuel for the powers.
>I notice these colleges share names with the groups charms are split up into. Does having charms from a college mean I have dots in it for the purposes of sidereal astrology?
No. The only actual mechanical link between colleges and skills is a discount on Propitious () Alignment, the sidereal equivalent of Infinite () Mastery.
>>
No. 896167 ID: 2007b6

>>896083
The girl hems and haws and bites her lip. "I'd really like to, but... I can't leave this place unless I knew for sure it was about to explode right behind me. It'd be unethical. I'll go with you once I've finished figuring out how to extirpate all the chaotic influences."

In mechanical terms, she was compelled to spend WP to resist because the influence went against her Motivation and/or Urge.
>>
No. 896170 ID: 4f1cbc

>>896165
Is there a penalty to failing prayer rolls besides wasted time and/or resources?

What's the xp cost on buying into astrological colleges, then?

If I'm getting time to do a training montage, First Kimbery Excellency is probably still my first priority. Would I have time to pick that up if I went and got involved in the sky pirate situation?

After that, astrology is probably competing with putting dots in socialize, starting learning martial arts, or Intolerable Burning Truths -> All Things Betray.
>>
No. 896184 ID: 2007b6

>>896170
>Is there a penalty to failing prayer rolls besides wasted time and/or resources?
Nope.
>What's the xp cost on buying into astrological colleges, then?
Listed in the scroll of errata on p.80, superceding the information on MoEP Sidereals p230, though as a houserule I'm also going to give you one "favored" with in-house XP costs and zero training time.
>If I'm getting time to do a training montage, First Kimbery Excellency is probably still my first priority. Would I have time to pick that up if I went and got involved in the sky pirate situation?
Training time for a caste/favored Excellency is eight hours, and even the best Haslanti airships can't cover more than a couple hundred miles in a day, so it shouldn't be much of a schedule conflict at all. More interesting question is what form that training will take, and how you're planning to keep anyone else aboard from noticing your true intent. http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0961.html
>>
No. 896197 ID: 2007b6

>>896164
>15 dice for extra padding?
Nine dice from attribute + skill, up to another nine dice from the First Excellency, two more from the stunt, would be twenty dice before penalties. With fourteen successes on the first fifteen of those dice, you're off to a pretty impressive start. In fact... yeah, inside two days you've got as many bolts and brackets and staples hammered out as this repair job is likely to require, and spares besides. (Still the actual assembly to be done, but that uses Craft skills you don't have yet, and counts as repairs rather than new construction so CNNT won't provide a speed multiplier.) Forge-craft enough to be worth dozens of sheep - or in this case, enough that so far as Lich-Queen Astius is concerned, Bridget has full legal claim to that crashed airship. Any demonic crew still aboard the vessel may disagree with her ruling.
>Several of the scholars
Do any of them have names, or distinguishing features?
>powering through the allergy
Smelling the allergen causes sneezes or coughing. Even brief contact with it induces hives and rashes for a scene, inflicting a -1 internal penalty to all actions. Touching the material for more than two actions (consecutive or within a single scene) deals one level of bashing damage for each subsequent contact.
How are you going to go about recovering that damage?
>>
No. 896208 ID: 6785a6

>>896197
It only takes a few hours for exalted to heal up from bashing out of combat, right? Bridget will simply meditate on wholeness of spirit, and her body will follow suit, assuming it’s rightful form. As long as she’s not incapacitated it can’t take more than a day or two to recover right?

As for the names of the scholars, hm, lets say... Icarus is the potential suitor, and Daedalus is his mentor, similarly interested in her, but as an avenue for research, her being the mirror to some of his abyssal colleges. So, along those themes, Icarus is possessed of a dangerous hubris, and Daedalus is a skilled crafter and artist.
>>
No. 896219 ID: 2007b6

>>896208
Needing to take a three-hour break after carrying a piece of soulsteel for ten seconds, or nine hours after twenty seconds in the same scene, is still a fairly significant snag in the workflow.
>>
No. 896222 ID: 6785a6

>>896219
It's a good thing the castle is designed for art and study then, isn't it? Plenty of tools around to make transporting dangerous and fragile materials safer for her, plus those scholars are more than willing to try and help her circumvent her allergy. Not possibly to totally get around it, but I'd imagine there's enough wiggle room to say she did competent work with time to rest and recover in-between. Could also just say those 2 days of work took place over a longer period of time to give her the chance to adequately recover.

Also, unrelated, but I don't think Bridget is actually qualified to have soul fire Resurgence, since I think you need unbreakable heros body first. Want me to swap it for something else? Go into XP debt and just say that she has the pre-req? Something else, provided its actually a problem at all and I'm not misunderstanding?
>>
No. 896226 ID: 2007b6

>>896222
>I don't think Bridget is actually qualified to have soul fire Resurgence, since I think you need unbreakable heros body first.
No, Soul Fire Resurgence's only prerequisites are Essence 2 and Resistance 2.
>Could also just say those 2 days of work took place over a longer period of time
Let's talk about possible preventative measures before agreeing to slow the whole project down by three orders of magnitude. This creepy stuff is getting under Bridget's skin, figuratively and literally - how much research has she done into what it actually is, where it comes from?
>>
No. 896230 ID: 6785a6

>>896226
Well, craft fire 4 implies knowledge above a professional level for mortal smiths, which in our world normally means you know stuff about carbon content and specific heat points, that sort of thing. So if Bridget is doing her job well, presumably part of her lore research binge involved getting up to speed on the materials she was working with. Knowing what is is and what its made of is certainly unpleasant, but we already have her reaction to that given the allergy. Unless of course theres a way she can free the souls already trapped within, its a bit like throwing away meat someone cooked for you because you don't approve of killing animals for food. Moral position is certainly understandable, but the animal is already dead, might as well leave the food for someone else instead of wasting it completely, even if you don't want to partake. Presumably there's someone on the ship willing to argue for why it's not as bad as it sounds, although lacking the relevant knowledge OOC it would be hard for me to represent that conversation in game. To continue the metaphor, I assume that methods to avoid the material when necessary would be comparable to someone who might get nauseous or off put by skinning and preparing an animal carcass. She doesn't need to be there for the whole process, just long enough to render the meat into a useful form, then she can go puke in a toilet and rest for a few hours while she reads about the history of creation and whatnot. I was imagining it wouldn't be too difficult to take, say, 3 health levels of bashing damage, then sleep them off, right?

Speaking of sleeping things off, when we're doing extended actions like this over a couple days, how should we keep track of motes and WP and stuff? If it's been a couple days, is she relatively close to full? Would she normally be, but other stuff is hampering her recovery?
>>
No. 896256 ID: 094652

rolled 7, 5, 7, 5, 2, 5, 4, 1, 8, 2 = 46

>>896167
Embri walks alongside the girl as she wires the girl's logic
"So you wish to purify this place of whatever chaos plagues it, correct?"
Wait for "yes"
"And you do not care how long it takes you, but the curse of this area must be corrected?"
Wait for "yes"
"And how long have you been here?"
Wait for her to say something.
"Miss, surely you understand that whatever forces infest this place, they will eventually mutate us if we are unable to solve the issue in time - and you know from the severity of the problem that this issue, while solvable, will take MONTHS, if not years. My offer to escape will only last for a short while - should we escape together, you could petition for help from experts with immunity to chaos and work on the problem from the relative safety of real space. I understand your conviction to assist and assure these people, but you cannot say it is in their best interests to methodically turn every stone when the solution or those who could help discover a solution for these people much quicker, could be recorded in a public library. If you retreat, you stand a better chance of discovering a cure, or finding others who would gladly assist you in this quest."

Summary: Manipulation + Second Manipulation Augment 1 Success (2m) to convince the girl that she has a better chance of saving the area if she retreats, does research, recruits other scientists to help her, and comes back prepared.
>>

rolled 9, 9, 8, 3, 2, 5, 1, 1, 9, 7 = 54

>>896164
>repair work
Oh, mind the new essence vents, dear. You'll find them...

>>896068
>Want to get involved?
Yep. Lute accepts, although, OOC, I'm a little interested as to who or what the manse's representatives think they're sending to their allies. Her miraculous repair work didn't draw attention, she hasn't let on that she's an exalt, and her main claim to participate in these proceedings is that she was able to show up at all, and inexplicably has the prince consort for company. (I suppose giving the setting people have learned not to understate mysterious interlopers).

>>896170
>>896184
Okay, so re-prioritizing a little:

After her near-fatal mishap with Astius and her hand mirror, Lute's going to spend the first few days of the voyage learning Intolerable Burning Truths (Trust is Naïve) and All Things Betray.

Once that's done, Lute will stop being a weirdo hanging out in her quarters and will start spending time with the sailors, working to pick up two dots in sail, since this is a good opportunity to learn such a skill, and it will be useful in her current endeavor (then Stone Skipping Spirit, but I don't have the xp for that yet. Plot hook stunting to follow).

>More interesting question is what form that training will take, and how you're planning to keep anyone else aboard from noticing your true intent.
In general, a lot of Kimbery charms seem connected to emotions, bonds and relationships- the kinds of things a Chosen of Serenity would be concerned with anyways. Plus, both Kimbery and Mercury are thematically associated with water.

I think training for Trust is Naïve and All Things Betray could be disguised as a kind of mediation interspersed with composing and contemplating relevant poetry, and perhaps performance of songs of appropriately beautiful tragedy (lost love and betrayal are fairly immortal musical themes). Sort of a double bluff- play the role of a bard or poet, leaving the role as a sidereal to be found if someone went digging, with the Kimbery stuff concealed underneath.

>other stuff
When it's safe to do so, Lute should probably cut off the scrying link to Astius (and make sure she tags the recording as a cognition hazard before making a remote backup) and check what amusing things her pocket thief has been getting up to.
>>

>have learned not to understate mysterious interlopers
*underestimate
>>
No. 897113 ID: 2007b6

>>896256
She agrees to withdraw from the time-looped town, but only after a burglary spree to finance this proposed program of research. It turns out the hole in the sky has either closed, or moved, or is very hard to see from the inside, or possibly only works one-way, but the two of them soon enough manage to find an alternate exit through the basement of the local glassworks.

>>896291
>check what amusing things her pocket thief has been getting up to
No sooner is the Infinite Resplendent Amulet's pocket opened and the chancel's door drawn out than hundreds of pounds of silverware, jewelry, porcelain, candlesticks, fine glasswork, linen tablecloths, silk bedclothes, paintings, and other miscellaneous urban plunder (much of it damaged by rough handling and/or fire) erupts into Lute Silhouette's tiny cabin, followed closely by Embri and Force of Ordered Thought.

The airship's wicker frame creaks in protest, and, off in the bridge, a grizzled old Haslanti pilot begins shouting in Skytongue. Lute recognizes, at minimum, a word for "distance above the ground," and just going by the tone, he doesn't seem at all happy about it. http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20080801

Currently you're about two thousand miles from Astius's castle (or at least, where it was when you left - it moves around), near the headwaters of the Avarice River. Up ahead, wheat fields around a small village seem like they'd be the safest place to land - if not for the fact that the fields in question have apparently been lit on fire as part of a raid, or massacre, either by bandits or some unusually petty and spiteful local military faction. The attackers don't seem to have finished the job and left yet, so you may get the opportunity to rescue a few people - other than the airship's actual crew, that is.

>>896230
>Speaking of sleeping things off, when we're doing extended actions like this over a couple days, how should we keep track of motes and WP and stuff? If it's been a couple days, is she relatively close to full?
Exalts normally respire 8 motes per hour while relaxing or meditating, 4 per hour during light activity, plus any from Cult or hearthstones, so a day's rest should be more than sufficient to refill your mote pool unless you're stuck somewhere that lacks compatible ambient essence, usually meaning the Underworld.

Willpower, on the other hand, can only be recovered in downtime from dreams: roll a dice pool equal to your Conviction for every night of restful sleep, for your own dreams, and then add in any from the Cult background, for those hopes and dreams worshipers have invested in you.
>>
No. 897128 ID: 6785a6

rolled 5, 2, 8, 8, 8, 10, 3, 8, 9, 7, 7, 6, 4, 4, 2 = 91

>>897113
How do you want to resolve the situation with Bridget? I was planning on having her leave with the airship after finding out the horrible truth etc etc. Probably going to have to roll several times for willpower and limit gathering, so I'll go ahead and smack some dice down now to get that started, but let me know how exactly I should handle that and what, if any, moments of uncertainty I need to make important decisions in.
>>
No. 897144 ID: 094652

rolled 5, 7, 10, 9, 4, 2, 3, 7, 7, 2, 10, 4, 8, 6, 10, 2, 1, 7, 2, 10 = 116

"...Well. It appears we are sinking. Unfortunate. Force, help me prioritize dumping items with the highest weight-to-value ratio. Same goes for the rest of you.

My apologies Force, but we won't earn any favors from the local scholars if we sink a refugee ship with our filthy lucre. We can retrieve what we can when we're done saving this ship - ah, and those poor villagers on fire, of course."

Charisma Roll to convince Force to dump a portion of the loot so we STOP SINKING, followed by a Dexterity Roll to quickly dump just enough loot to safely land.
>>
No. 897170 ID: 2007b6

>>897144
Embri emerges from the cabin into the hallway, charred tablecloth full of mostly broken glass slung over her shoulder, to find a young pale-haired man pointing a sword at her and asking agitated questions in Skytongue. She's not on the ship's passenger manifest, so he probably wants to know how she got on board.
>>
No. 897186 ID: 2007b6

>>897128
Three scenes worth of rolling Compassion 4 gets you nine successes, and Solars don't have a convenient way to safely dissipate Limit, so when it's up at nine her righteous outrage is a bomb on a hair trigger. Only ways I can think of to reduce it without a limit break would require learning new charms first.

Let's call that's one scene for the initial research (for some reason I'm particularly thinking of a bit in The Quiet American, finding out about other uses for Diolacton), one for an impassioned but futile argument with the local forge-boss looking for alternatives, and one to flee this accursed place, stumbling around with those nine dice in Perception + Craft (Fire) now revealing screaming children's faces inside every cloud-snaring staple and rivet.

It's been a few days, so the Haslanti airship has already left. Might be possible to catch up with it, but Bridget's too huge and heavy to fit inside there anyway. Question is, will she be grabbing the partially-repaired demon airship, and pressing her Astius-backed salvage claim against the crew thereof? Or just leaving the way she came in?

Also, what's Malice been up to?
>>

rolled 5, 2, 6, 9, 2, 6, 4, 10, 1, 2, 5, 2, 9, 7, 8 = 78

>Currently you're about two thousand miles from Astius's castle
So from the airship's rate of travel, Lute's finished learning Intolerable Burning Truths (Trust is Naïve) and All Things Betray, and is still working on that first dot in Sail.

>Embri and Force of Ordered Thought [erupt] into Lute Silhouette's tiny cabin
>>897144
>>897170
Lute smiles and shakes her head, bemused that once again Embri has fled a shared room without even stopping to acknowledge her. And already run into the crew, by the sound of it. While the thief is so occupied, the akuma turns her attention on her unwitting peer, still off balance by her sudden chance in venue: a hero of the moon and pyrian flame, primed and waiting to be turned against the unsuspecting forces of chaos.

"The vessel is overburdened, the fields below aflame, and the adjacent settlement under assault by lawless brigands. Can I depend on your aid in restoring order in this hour of need?"

Making a surprise social attack, enhanced with Perfection In Life.
>>
No. 897673 ID: 2007b6

>>897203
>a hero of the moon and pyrian flame
Pyrian flame, yes, but a distinctly un-Lunar caste mark flares on the girl's forehead.
>Can I depend on your aid
"I don't take orders from the likes of you," she says, as a titanic crystalline hand with too many fingers curls to engulf the ship, "but you may count on me to bear my own luggage."

In mechanical terms, she's using Mind-Hand Manipulation + Manifest Consciousness Extrusion + a 2-die stunt to apply the equivalent of a 20-dice feat of strength toward holding the airship steady on course despite the excess cargo. Possibly also enhancing her action further with an Excellency, but since that doesn't have the Obvious keyword you wouldn't be able to tell just by looking.
>>
No. 897753 ID: 6785a6

rolled 7, 6, 9, 6, 6, 9, 2, 6, 4, 3, 4, 3, 2, 8, 4 = 79

>>897186

I want to give strngy a chance to reply, but I'm not sure they're around or able to participate right now

>what's Malice been up to?
>pressing her Astius-backed salvage claim against the crew thereof?

Let's make the best of both worlds. Can Bridget get on the ship with Malice and crew, and fly after Lute, see about catching up in time to secure tribute, maybe get her help with the whole soulsteel ship debacle?

I still need to roll to recover will from sleeping, also probably need to roll something to get the crew and malice to agree to fly away with me. Let's say 15D10 since I'm not particularly gifted at persuading people.
>>

rolled 10, 9, 8, 5, 10, 5, 9, 3, 8, 9 = 76

>>897673
Lute Silhouette takes this sudden development with equanimity, as she admires the crystalline sculpture now embracing the hull, the cabin's porthole peeking out just between two of the immense digits.

"Your courtesy is appreciated; I'm sure we are in good hands."

Moving the conversation along, putting up Defense of Shining Joy (since we're still above a battlefield and dealing with an exalt of poorly understood intentions). Also Lute digs crystalline stuff.
>>
No. 898035 ID: 094652

rolled 9, 7, 9, 8, 1, 1, 8, 1, 2, 8 = 54

Embri settles the sack of glass and compliments Force on her skill. Then she tells the sailor to wait outside and NOT disturb her companion, who is busy ensuring the boat has a safe landing. She will explain their intrusion when they are on the ground.
>>
No. 898946 ID: 2007b6

>>897753
>Can Bridget get on the ship with Malice and crew, and fly after Lute, see about catching up in time to secure tribute, maybe get her help with the whole soulsteel ship debacle?
Yeah, alright. If the Haslanti ship is one of the bigger models, the demon-made airship goes about half again as fast and doesn't need fuel thanks to it's omen weather engine. Stayed behind at Astius's castle for about a week, then spent two weeks catching up.
>>
No. 899230 ID: 2007b6

The Haslanti airship's crew has just about settled on the hypothesis that this crystalline hand - which has now split off fractal branches and is conducting minor repairs to the structure - is actually an ice sculpture, and represents a miraculous intervention by the Ennead in general and the Triad of Ice in particular.

Then another airship - the same one that was crashed into the side of Astius's castle, but now with Bridges The Sun And Moon on board - emerges from a hole torn in the sky scant yards away. A beauteous demon-wasp buzzes around, grabs the Haslanti ship from below, taps on a windscreen with one forelimb and makes eye contact with the pilot.

"Hello, yes, excuse me! This is tax collection time!" says the wasp. "Those who do not be fighting will also not be harmed, yes. Thank you and inspection should only take a few minutes."
>>
No. 899234 ID: bb5006

rolled 9 = 9

>>
No. 899239 ID: 2007b6

>>899234
The town doesn't have a name. Or, rather, it's trying very hard not to. Supposedly, if everybody manages to forget the old name and avoid replacing it with a new one, that'll break the curse some ancient asshole sorcerer laid on that perpetually mist-shrouded island in the middle of a nearby lake.
>>
No. 899243 ID: 2007b6

>>899242
Based on previous discussion, should probably have a Resistance specialty in "feigning death." Since all Lunars have Survival favored, you need to start with at least one dot - probably the extra dot left over since you only spent 24 out of 25 on skills. If you're spending BP to raise Martial Arts, it probably makes more sense to go all the way to 5 there.

For charms, please list Excellencies on separate lines, and group the different charms under headers by attribute (possibly with descriptions or page references) instead of listing the attribute in parentheses afterwards.

Please include the full list of your Heart's Blood library, preferably sorted into categories (birds, fish, etc.)
>>
No. 899447 ID: bb5006

Of all the days that she had seen since she was chosen as a Lunar Exalt, even as she had traveled some distance in the north, Light had never seen an airship. Following on as a logical follow up to her never having seen an airship, the concept of an airship crashing was completely beyond her. However, creation didn't see fit to conform to the somewhat feral formal barmaid's perception of reality, and so when she came into town for the first time in weeks, she found that there were two ships in the sky, and one of them seemed to be being held up by a giant crystal hand while they other was coming out of a hole torn in the sky.

Clearly, something was amiss with this situation, and the only way that she was able to figure out what this WAS was to go up there herself. Fortunately, she had the form of a bird that could easily fly that high as she made sure nobody was watching and she hunched over, sprouting feathers from her body as her nose and mouth fused into one hooked beak and her body contorted in seemingly painful ways over the course of a few seconds until she had taken the form of a Vulture (Wyld Taint roll 2 dice -2 from SCC no roll), and so up she flew, searching for an access port or piece of battle damage to the hull that she can use to slip in and turn back to human.
>>
No. 899452 ID: 2007b6

>>899447
Alright, what initially almost appeared to be two wispy seed pods stuck together, gripped by the most beautiful hornet she's ever seen and a life-sized glass sculpture of a disembodied hand, upon closer approach turns out to be some sort of enormous and inexplicably airborne tent structure, almost as big as Lookshy's flagship Skywolf, with cottage-sized wicker baskets hanging underneath. There are people inside, arguing in a foreign language.

Sex addiction kicks in, gimme a roll either for seducing the horse-sized wasp or self-control to avoid doing so.
>>
No. 899453 ID: bb5006

Roll to resist (Temperance -1)
>>
No. 899454 ID: bb5006

Same as above, just not messing it up by putting the notation in subject
>>
No. 899455 ID: bb5006

>>899452
>>
No. 899456 ID: bb5006

rolled 4, 7 = 11

>>
No. 899457 ID: bb5006

Light was definitely intrigued and wanted to get that weird beautiful bug horse into her bed, it was hardly something that couldn't wait, instead, she started to examine the wicker basket structures tied to a strange balloon. She ignored the one that sounded like it had people arguing, since she couldn't speak the language, and she didn't particularly like transforming in front of strangers. So, she started looking for a bridge to land on so she could navigate the alien structure in the form of its intended occupant.
>>
No. 899458 ID: 2007b6

>>899457
Light finds an access hatch on the rear of the smaller basket, but before she can make her way inside, a blood-soaked gorilla with rows of horns down it's back swings a pipe wrench in her general direction, hooting "Geddoff! Mine! Not for vultures!" in perfectly intelligible Rivertongue.
>>
No. 899490 ID: bb5006

rolled 4 = 4

>>899458

As Light found what she was looking for, and quickly found herself being assaulted by a far less beautiful looking blood monkey thing, she flew to a spot just enough away from the creature to avoid being hit with a wrench before she turned back into a human (Wyld Taint +2 for turning into a spirit form, +1 for turning into a true form, 1 dice) into a

"Well if not for Vultures, then how else is anyone supposed to get up here you stupid talking ape? Besides, I probably don't even want whatever it is that you have if a vulture would be interested in it."
>>
No. 899491 ID: 2007b6

>>899490
Light Of The finds a spot atop the balloon out of the ape's reach. Turns out that section can support a vulture's weight just fine, but not a human's. She plummets ten yards, ripping through two layers of silk canopy, to land feet-first ( https://tgchan.org/kusaba/questarch/res/666731.html#667494 ) on the stomach of Bridges The Sun And Moon, who was laying down on an improvised bed in the cargo section.

Jo the spider-demon shrieks in dismay at the prospect of "all the hot air" escaping through those holes, and scrambles to repair the damage.
>>
No. 899501 ID: c8a0f5

Light was glad that she ran into someone a bit more human than the other weird animals that her instincts told her she couldn't become yet. She figured she should PROBABLY get to looking, but someone who hasn't attacked her because she was a bird at the moment, and even if she was pretty ugly she figured she was probably the best bet at asking someone what all of this was, unless the spider stopped frantically going about, or she felt particularly inclined to find that blood ape again.

In Rivertongue she asked, quite plainly she thought, "You're a native to this strange primitive balloon thing, what is it and where did it come from?" As she asked, she also sat down on the, unbeknownst to her, Solar's stomach to be a bit less uncomfortable than if she had kept on standing.
>>

rolled 3, 4, 7, 10, 6, 6, 4, 5, 6, 4, 5, 6, 1, 5, 9 = 81

>>897203
>Lute's finished learning Intolerable Burning Truths (Trust is Naïve) and All Things Betray, and is still working on that first dot in Sail
Correction. Also adding a dot in linguistics for skytongue to that, since it's favored and it really makes more sense for Lute to have been able to communicate with the crew while she was learning sail from them.

>>899230
>"Hello, yes, excuse me! This is tax collection time!" says the wasp. "Those who do not be fighting will also not be harmed, yes. Thank you and inspection should only take a few minutes."
In what language? (So far the wasp has demonstrated capability in rivertongue and old realm, while the sailors have been speaking skytongue).

>>899230
Still facing the porthole, Lute's eyes lower until she is studying the reflection of the other occupant of the cabin. They raise again, to meet the gaze of a jade spider, reflected but not present in the room behind her. A moment of silent communication passes before it scuttles out of frame and another airship appears in the nearby skies.

Mechanically, rolling for read motive on Force of Ordered Thought, and using Efficient Secretary Technique.

EST Questions:
-Who is in my room?
-What did she and Embri get up to inside the chancel?
-Who's onboard the airship that just arrived?
-How large is the military force attacking the town below?

Stuff Lute probably got earlier:
-Various mundane details about the airship crew. At the very least, everyone's name.
-Names of the others she encountered in Astius' castle.
>>
No. 899516 ID: 094652

rolled 5, 3, 10, 5, 3, 5, 10, 8, 2, 4 = 55

Embri quickly deflects Lute's questions with a simple "I don't know what happened, but apparently it was the exit to that tunnel we were in", followed by a quick "is this really the time to annoy us? Force is busy setting us down and I need to don my armor in preparation for the upcoming battle to save the town below". And then she dons armor and stuff.
>>
No. 899520 ID: 4f1cbc

>>899516
Sorry if it wasn't clear, but Lute's asking those questions to her invisible pattern spider wikipedia lookup with the charm Efficient Secretary Technique. Unless I misunderstand how that works, she didn't speak her queries aloud where Embri could hear them.
>>

>>899509
>skytongue
Wait, nevermind, I forgot I already bought that back in >>877611
>>
No. 899549 ID: 6785a6

rolled 1, 6, 9, 5, 4, 3, 2, 9, 8, 8, 7, 3, 10, 2, 5 = 82

>>899230
The solar, upon seeing the burning town and giant crystal hand, shrouded herself in essence, an almost instinctual motion at this point. Her skin, hard as iron, is cast into equally impossible areas of shadow and light as her third eye blazes with the power of the Unconquered Sun. Hardship Surviving Mendicant Spirit is already active, ungraded by Element-Resisting Prana, and she spends 6 motes to active Iron Skin Concentration.

>"Those who do not be fighting will also not be harmed, yes. Thank you and inspection should only take a few minutes."

"Violence is unnecessary. Our destination is elsewhere." Her tone enunciates what she does not: Mistreatment of others shall not be tolerated.

>>899491
>She plummets ten yards, ripping through two layers of silk canopy, to land feet-first [...] on the stomach of Bridges The Sun And Moon
>>899501
>"You're a native to this strange primitive balloon thing, what is it and where did it come from?"

Bridget looks down at the smaller woman, bathing her in a golden light, before issuing a command, backed by the divine providence she was imbued with.
"You are mistaken. Explain yourself." She gestures to Jo, and all her hard work was just destroyed.
>>
No. 899554 ID: bb5006

"Of course, I'm mistaken, like I said I have no idea what this thing is other than it looks like someone tried building a real airship, but only instead of first age craftsmanship and magical golden materials, they used a bunch of sticks, and that's why I'm asking you about it. Besides how was I supposed to know that I would fall through the air bag thing, it's not like it had any kind of warning."

As she was getting frustrated with the fairly ugly golden person, and she responded in turn by flaring up her silvery aura, this time it was shifting from silver to dark purples and blues with a rainbow hidden between the shifting colors, and a silver crescent moon glowing brightly through her hair.
>>
No. 899566 ID: 2007b6

>>899509
>In what language?
Rivertongue.

>EST Questions:
>-Who is in my room?
In your apartment back in Hell, Madelrada's Reflective soul is reading your dream journal and tidying up after ransacking the place.

Right here is Force of Ordered Thought, a Brass Tiger (which is to say, Chosen of Malfeas) and agent of the Reclamation, who has a much nicer residence than you reserved for her in the Coventicle Malfeasant, but hasn't actually been there yet.
>-What did she and Embri get up to inside the chancel?
Entity designate "Embri" not found in any record consistent with specified parameters.

There was a string of burglaries in Sandpoint consistent with sightings of FoOT's anima. Items reported missing would in total be valued at the equivalent of a Resources 3 purchase; a more detailed inventory is available.
>-Who's onboard the airship that just arrived?
An erymanthus, a golden orb-weaver anhule, and a Copper Spider, all of whom you've met previously, and something shaped like a vulture - wait, no, a naked woman - whose true nature is indeterminate but who is widely known to be associated in some way with Mother Bog.
>>
No. 899599 ID: 2007b6

>>899509
>How large is the military force attacking the town below?
One fang (nominally five, plausibly anywhere from three to ten) of light cavalry, and a scale (nominally twenty-five, in this case exactly 30) of archers which fired two volleys of flaming arrows before either withdrawing or establishing some sort of thaumaturgically-enhanced stealth. Everyone else killing each other down there has lived and worked in the town for a year or more.
>>
No. 899701 ID: 4f1cbc

>In your apartment back in Hell, Madelrada's Reflective soul is reading your dream journal and tidying up after ransacking the place.
It's how you know they care!

Probably a pretty impressive journal with all the dice Lute has to throw at penmanship and composition.

>who has a much nicer residence than you reserved for her in the Coventicle Malfeasant, but hasn't actually been there yet.
Oh those Green Sun Princess.

>Force of Ordered Thought, a Brass Tiger (which is to say, Chosen of Malfeas) and agent of the Reclamation
On record as an active agent and not one of the ones who've gone rogue? Good to know.

>An erymanthus, a golden orb-weaver anhule, and a Copper Spider, all of whom you've met previously, and something shaped like a vulture - wait, no, a naked woman - whose true nature is indeterminate but who is widely known to be associated in some way with Mother Bog.
Huh it missed Bridget, interesting.
>>
No. 899752 ID: c33d02

>>899554
“I do not know the history of this ship, save for its occupants, who have ties to those across the endless desert. Prior to our arrival, I sought an ally, but there are more pressing matters. I would that you make amends here, and allow me to rise. If you join me below, I would share my gratitude. It seems only proper to right the wrong of the world alongside Luna’s chosen.”

How many hundred feet are we below the ground, and how easy would it be for Bridget to base jump down there safely?
>>
No. 899974 ID: bb5006

>>899752

"Well, that is something of a wash, but yeah, going and dealing with those raiders again was about the next thing that I was planning on doing regardless, since they haven't generally been half this bold, but I figured they could hold off for a few minutes."

With that, Light would leap from Bridget's stomach, looking for a place she could leap from the ship, either an open port, or a place that she could smash through the walls, fully intending to turn into a bird to stop her fall before she hit the ground.
>>

rolled 5, 2, 8, 3, 8, 3, 3, 3, 7, 6, 10, 6, 4, 7, 7, 9, 1, 10, 4, 1 = 107

>Looks like the Read Motivation was three successes against a difficulty of at most 2, thanks to FoOT's mediocre sense of etiquette and tact.
>We already established that Lute's EST can pull low-security files from the Reclamation's HR department, which might include some sort of basic personality profile or official mission listing for FoOT.

As she turns to face her fellow agent of the Reclamation, Lute Silhouette notes the determined resolve writ in Force of Ordered Thought's face, buoyed by a contempt for those she perceives as agents of chaos. A heartbeat later and the sidereal feels a tickle of unseen legs by her ear, followed by whispered details of an infernal personal file. (Bureaucracy: it's not just for heaven).

Medical records... rendered quadriplegic immediately before accepting exaltation, capable of movement under her own power. Psychological evaluation... stubborn and single minded, prefers direct methods, little patience for subtle action. Maiming due to her own refusal to back down when faced with a dictatorial abuse of power in the hundred kingdoms. Obsession with her own safety and security and the elimination of chaotic forces (societal, social, fae, etc). Largely passive outside the context of obsessions. Receptive to infernal as tool/weapon mindset.

Current assignment... hmm, still on her introductory shakedown mission. Getting a handle on her new powers and resolving personal affairs before reporting to hell.

Well! Handy that there's a distraction in the form village burning forces of chaos to distract from allied village burning forces of chaos!

(Stunting off of >>/questdis/122592 to invent some background to fill in the result of my read motivation roll and EST check).

"I will leave the descent to you then, I must see to the airship that has just arrived. Perhaps afterwards, the vandals burning down the local town should be addressed?"

Lute's off to go liaise between the airship crew and the demon 'tax collectors'. On the way, she casually moves the pale-haired man's sword aside as she passes between him and Embri, and address him by name in skytongue, joking "She's harmless, mostly, assuming so long as you keep her away from libraries."

Rolling for social attacks, I think.
>>
No. 901417 ID: 2007b6

>>899752
>>899974
By the time Bridget and Light are done talking, the airships are within twenty yards of the ground - low enough that anyone with at least five points of natural bashing soak (Bridget has that much normally, Light can use her Stamina Excellency) could jump down onto a muddy field with minimal risk of injury.
>>900352
Lute manages to keep everyone relatively calm, blades sheathed, and the subject of "tax collection" tabled, for the time being.

The bandits don't stick around long once supernatural beings start falling from the sky.

Last night, this town had about a thousand people in it. Now half of them are dead or missing.

Bulk of the bandit infantry seem to be heading due west, most likely toward an old played-out copper mine up in the hills, escorting wagons loaded full of the contents of the town's granary. Without that food, most of these people won't be making it through the winter, or even if they do there'll be no seed corn for the next year's crops.

Cavalry and apparent leadership was seen heading north-northeast, toward Bear Pond. They've got hostages - attendants from a local shrine, who 'carry the hopes and dreams of us all,' and are described as unconventionally beautiful in some way that involves small bits of metal c