Skip to main content
Topic: Mortal Martial Arts (Still WIP) (Read 5176 times) previous topic - next topic

Mortal Martial Arts (Still WIP)

I don't like the 'no more mortal martial artists using Charms' bit, personally. It should be painful but not impossible.

Centering Ritual (•••••)—Purchased
Prerequisites: •••• in both the respective Martial Arts style, and the Ability associated with the Centering ritual.

The Exalted are blessed with fungible Essence, but mortals are not so gifted. Harmonizing rituals, known as Centering rituals, must be performed each day in order to permit a stylist to gain the ability to learn and access that style's Charms, up to the Form Charm, and a small Essence pool with which to wield them. Any Terrestrial penalties also apply to mortal practitioners.

Each Style has its own unique Centering Ritual, which must be purchased separately. Unless a mortal stylist is Centered to a Style, she has no access to that Style's Charms - as if she had never learned them. A mortal martial artist only benefits from Voice of the Night Bird while Centered to Nightingale Style, for example. In the exceedingly rare cases of mortals who know more than one Centering Ritual, they may only benefit from one Ritual at a time - and thus only have access to that Style's Charms.

Centering Rituals require one hour to perform, requiring an appropriate (Attribute + Ability) roll, with a difficulty specified by the Style. On success, the stylist becomes Centered to the associated Style for the next full day, gaining the ability to access that Style's charms and a small peripheral Essence pool of (4 + Willpower) motes, plus another four motes if she knows the Style's Form Charm. These motes remain until spent or until the mortal stylist fails to properly execute the Style's Centering Ritual for the day.

These motes do not stack with other effects granting peripheral Essence pools (such as Exaltation). It functions perfectly well alongside effects that grant personal Essence pools, such as Prophet-Uplifting Evocation. As it is peripheral Essence, use of it causes minor environmental effects in the surrounding area - winds blow, dust, sand and dirt are stirred into the air, and small pebbles may levitate. Light may bend and waver around the martial artist, as if she were a burning flame, but this proto-anima display generates little if any light of its own.

Nascent Essence Wielders

Those characters who can only dabble in the usage of Essence have a more conscious rather than innate understanding of its flows, and do not recover motes of Essence during combat by default.

Certain beings - including humans - are able to surpass the limitations they were born with. Mortals who know the Form Charm of the Style they are Centered to may recover one mote of Essence per round while in combat. This is the limit for mortal aspiration - Charm dice can push them no further.

Competent Application of {Style}
Cost: 2m per die or 4m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 1
Type: Supplemental or Reflexive
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisites: {Style} Centering Ritual

Mortals do not have true excellencies, but the most superlative mortal stylists may, in their finest moments, call themselves peers of those Chosen who merely dabble in martial arts. The character may spend up to four motes on this Charm, either adding two dice to a Martial Arts roll or 1 to their Defense.

Each Style has its own Competent Application Charm, and for mortal stylists, it is an additional prerequisite to the style's Form Charm.

Centering Rituals

Mortal Centering rituals only exist for Styles whose Form Charms are Essence 1. The Difficulty is based on the MA prerequisite for the Form Charm. In addition to being easier, more accessible Styles have additional procedures to aid in Centering.

A properly geomantically aligned chamber in which to practice also reduces the Difficulty by 1. Such a chamber is typically represented as a Major Craft project, with the appropriate materials and services typically costing Resources ••••.

Snake Style: Wits + Brawl, Difficulty 4. The stylist must permit a pair of snakes to coil about her arms, wherein she must perform her strikes with such fluid perfection as to not disturb them. On a failure, the disrupted Essence angers the snakes to biting, causing 1 level of bashing damage. On a botch, her twisted Essence flows additionally disturb snakes, effectively preventing her from attempting to Center this Style for a week.

If the martial artist performs this ritual with poisonous snakes, she gains an automatic success on her roll, but angering them is far more dangerous. She takes 1L damage on a failure, and 3L on a botch.

Tiger Style: Strength + Athletics, Difficulty 4. The stylist practices extended, continual leaps, never ceasing in her motion even though no mortal tiger could hope to show such endurance. On a failure, she takes a -2 fatigue penalty to all rolls for the day. On a botch, she passes out from the stress, not waking for (10 - Stamina) hours, after which she is still fatigued.

If the Artist subsists only on water and raw meat for the previous day, she gains an automatic success on her Centering check.

White Reaper Style: Wits + Melee, Difficulty 4. The stylist spends the hour contemplating a single blade of wheat, at the end of which, she must sever a single grain with a single strike from her weapon, leaving the rest of the stalk unharmed. Failure disrupts her flow of Essence immensely - she cannot attempt this Centering Ritual again for a week. On a botch, she cannot attempt to Center White Reaper Style for a full year.

If the Artist personally sowed and reaped the blade of wheat that she is studying, she gains an automatic success on her Centering roll.

Ebon Shadow Style: Perception + Stealth, Difficulty 4. The Artist seals herself in pitch darkness, meditating on the nature of the shadow that engulfs her. Should the tiniest spark or ray of light disturb her meditation, the result is treated as a botch. On a failure, shadows cloud her vision, causing a -1 penalty on all rolls involving sight for the day. On a botch, she is blinded for the day, instead.

If the Artist has not seen the Sun's light in the previous day, she gains an automatic success on her Centering check.

Silver-Voiced Nightingale Style: Charisma + Performance, Difficulty 4. The stylist practices her song any time during the night. Though soft and simple, the training is arduous, and a failure renders her mute for the day - for three days on a botch.

If the martial artist can convince a nightingale to practice with her, she gains an automatic success on her Centering check.

Black Claw Style: Manipulation + Presence, Difficulty 4. The stylist spends one hour before sunrise performing careful exercises, postures, and stretches, that when relaxed give her a naturally demure look. They look more confident than the poses she takes in combat - an unenlightened observer would mistake it for any other exercise regimen. On a failure, one positive emotional Tie towards her degrades by one step. On a botch, all positive Ties towards her are diminished by one step.

If the martial artist rejected the advances of someone utterly infatuated with her in the previous day - someone with a Major or Defining Tie of love or lust towards her - she gains an automatic success on her Centering check. The rejection must be thorough enough that her suitor will not proposition her again until he is given some reason to think he has another chance - no sooner than a month at a minimum. If she ever consummates the affections of someone she has so rejected, it is treated as botching her Centering Ritual.

Steel Devil Style: Wits + Melee, Difficulty 5. The stylist spends the hour practicing dangerous katas with her weapons, honing her muscle memory that she may properly execute the Style's Charms. Failure means the martial artist takes two levels of lethal damage, a botch inflicts six levels of lethal damage.