View Full Version : [Exalted CMA] Laser Panther Style

2011-05-15, 06:03 AM

Dust motes drifted through the stale air of the room, invisible in the darkness, undisturbed in their patterns for centuries. Nothing was alive down here; even the rats had long since died, decaying into bones before the bacteria starved as well. This was about to change.

The ceiling shuddered ever so slightly, its faint vibrations disturbing the air below. It did so once more, before sounds began to filter through, muffled and broken, but practically cacophonic by the room’s standards. There were thumps, the steady thud of panicked footsteps, a violent whirring, a scream, a shout-

And then the ceiling, which had withstood the test of time with admirable determination, caved in. It would have been oddly beautiful, to watch it in slow motion. A spear of light pierces into the darkness, near-instantly bouncing off each of the walls to provide dim illumination. The dust-motes hang suspended for a moment, before scattering like a shoal of startled fish, displaced by the column of new air. Debris tumbles down, spinning slightly, before impacting on the floor, sending up further clouds of dust and breaking apart into smaller chunks, like raindrops hitting a puddle.

Unfortunately, the collapse wasn’t in slow motion, so it was messy, confusing and loud, and the first blocks of former-ceiling had barely finished falling when the light changed colour, flooding the room with an actinic green. This change was followed by a black-armoured figure slamming to the floor on his back, cursing, and scrabbling for the metal cylinder that had fallen with him.

Our hero, ladies and gentlemen, the Neon Expeditor of Conspicuous Chastening. Applaud if you feel it necessary.

Above the stunned Alchemical, the natural light was blocked by a sudden shadow, as a horse-sized creature with a lobsterlike metal shell and a meaty human undercarriage followed him down. It lunged with a horrid fluidity, only to collide with a hastily-raised boot, and let out a frustrated screech as its undersized claws scrabbled at the attached leg.

This stalemate was broken after less than a second with a triumphant cry from the downed Exalt, as his fingers finally closed around the cylinder. Shoving the void-creature back with a kick, he swept the handle around, flooding Essence through it to activate the mechanisms within.

Coruscating emerald light flooded out from the end of the handle, stabilizing instantly into a clear edge that sliced straight through the metal shell of the monster, mixing the unpleasant smell of burnt metal with the even more disturbing scent of cooked meat. It deflated with a quiet hiss, dead before it knew what had happened.

Seemingly none the worse for wear, the Neon Expeditor picked himself up and dusted off his black body-armour, accomplishing nothing more than spreading the grey around. Breathing heavily through his facemask, he glanced around, before apparently deciding that the room contained nothing of further interest.

Pressing down on a section of the facemask near the back of his jaw, the Alchemical delivered a clear and concise report.

“The gribbly’s cooked. How far did I end up falling?”

When he received no reply but a hissing static, he tried again. Then a third time, louder, apparently reasoning that volume should compensate for the miles upon miles of layered concrete and metal that separated him from Arat proper. Bereft of reply, he expressed disappointment in his support-team.

“Useless glotstuffers!”

This complaint was accentuated by punting the severed upper-half of the void creature across the room, where it impacted against a far wall, accompanied in two sounds. The first was as expected; a noise like a metal pot of giblets being thrown down the stairs. The second was rather more surprising, and caused the Exalt to take a cautious step backward; a gentle hum, as a minor and long-abandoned Charm-system was activated anew.

Light danced out from the wall in thin lines, manipulated and reflected by revealed mirrors to form a calculated lattice, a three-dimensional shape that moved in place. The Neon Expeditor edged closer, eying the Autochthonian words that shimmered at the base of the hologram. ‘Example of First Age Solar Genesis’, they read. ‘Laser Panther’. A denizen of Autochthonia, the Jade Caste had no idea what a panther was. Nevertheless, the creature he was being shown was beautiful. It was elegant, deadly, and possessed of an alien grace. He said so.

“That is an awesome animal”.

Minimum abilities: Learning the Charms of this Style requires a Melee rating of 2+, even if the beam weapon being used is a Martial Arts or Thrown weapon; the principles of Laser Panther Style are drawn from unsheathed bravado.

Weapons and Armour: Unusually, the only form weapons this Style can use are a certain variety of artifact weapons; namely, beam weapons (the rules for which can be found in Manual of Exalted Power: Alchemicals, or in revised format below this Style). This Style can be practiced in any armour.

Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: None
The laser panther flicks its claws into existence as it pounces, leaving glowing razor trails in its wake. The martial artist may activate this Charm upon rolling to Join Battle, adding (Martial Arts) automatic successes to that roll, and allowing him to immediately ready and activate any number of his beam weapons at no mote cost.

Cost: 4m (+2m); Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive (Step 2)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Counterattack
Duration: One tick
Prerequisite Charms: Unsheathing Neon Claws
The laser panther bats away flies and arrows alike with a flick of its tail. For the duration of this Charm, the martial artist increases his Parry DV against ranged attacks by (Essence).

In addition, if the martial artist successfully parries a purely energy-based attack while this Charm is active (such as an Elemental Essence Bolt, a shot from an Essence Cannon, or an attack from a beam weapon) he can reflexively pay two motes as a non-Charm activation in order to make a counterattack in Step 9 of that attack, targeting any character he desires, with the same range and traits as the original attack. This counterattack is considered unarmed, and uses the normal dice pool of (Dexterity + Martial Arts).

Cost: 6m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Combo-Basic, Form-type, Obvious, Crippling
Duration: One Scene
Prerequisite Charms: Lambent Tail Defense
Leaning backwards into a new stance, the martial artist mimics the flowing motions of the Style’s namesake, as his beam weapon glows with the colour of his anima. The martial artist’s unarmed attacks cause lethal damage, and he may parry lethal and ranged attacks unarmed. In addition, he ignores penalties to his Parry DV caused by making unarmed attacks.

If he is wielding an active beam weapon, the illumination it provides flares outward, extending to a radius of (Essence) yards, while his eyes blaze with that same light, rendering him immune to any effect meant to blind him through light or darkness. Other characters with unshielded eyes suffer a Crippling internal penalty of -1 when making attack rolls within the radius of the coruscating light; this increases to -2 on any tick in which the martial artist makes a successful unarmed parry or has one of his unarmed attacks parried.

Of course, this light is also highly conspicuous, granting two automatic successes to any character attempting to visually detect the martial artist.

Dynamic Form Transition:
Laser Panther Form may be reflexively assumed without a Charm activation in the following ways:
• If the practitioner successfully parries a purely energy-based attack.
• If the practitioner successfully causes a Crippling amputation injury with an unarmed attack.

Cost: 4m (+1wp); Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Crippling
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Laser Panther Form
Most big cats go for the neck, hoping to sever the spine with a single bite. It matters little where the laser panther bites; sizzling flesh and charred bone always follow. The martial artist may use this Charm to enhance any unarmed attack. If the attack causes even one level of lethal damage, the martial artist may pay a single point of temporary Willpower to reduce the damage inflicted to a maximum of two levels of damage and inflict a single Crippling amputation effect of the martial artist’s choice upon the target (Exalted, pp. 152). The initial cost of this Charm is reduced to one mote if the attack is made with a beam weapon. For the purposes of this Charm, the damage dice inflicted upon a character who parries a beam weapon barehanded is considered to have been inflicted by the attack in question.

If the target is a mortal or extra, or the damage inflicted would normally be enough to reduce the target to Dying health levels, or the martial artist is wielding a beam weapon, this amputation actually severs the limb or body part in question, preventing anything but specialised magic from restoring it. Otherwise, the amputation effect simply badly maims and burns the target, mimicking the effects of an amputation without the actual seperation; such injuries heal at the normal rate.

Cost: — (+1m); Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Form-enhancing
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Laser Panther Form
This Charm upgrades Laser Panther Form, increasing its cost by one mote and providing the following additional powers:
• Any beam weapon that the martial artist is wielding gains the Thrown tag, with a Range of (Essence x 4) yards. Its other traits remain unchanged. If the weapon already had the Thrown tag, it is not altered.
• The martial artist may spend one mote as a non-Charm activation to reflexively ready any beam weapon that she owns, provided it is within (Essence x 2) yards, and a flight path exists between the weapon and his hand; the weapon itself flies into his hand, ready to flare. In addition, she may activate such weapons at range.

Cost: 8m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3; Type: Extra Action
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Plasma Cat Understanding, Cauterizing Fang Strike
A black blur shrouded in gegenschien, the laser panther slaughters all prey that stands before it. The only reason the term “hot knife through butter” is inappropriate is that this beast’s claws are far, far hotter than any knife. This Charm is a magical flurry of (Essence) unarmed attacks, all made at the martial artist’s full dice pool, with a DV penalty equal to the highest penalty of any attack made. If any of these initial attacks are parried, the martial artist may make an equal number of additional attacks, also at his full dice pool. None of these additional attacks may have the same target, and none of them can target a character that the martial artist has already attacked this tick. These additional attacks do not provide further attacks if parried.

Example: Neon Expeditor of Conspicuous Chastening, an Essence 4 Alchemical, uses this Charm to make four attacks against the gremlin horde surrounding him. Two of them are struck, but two parry his assault, granting him two additional attacks that he may direct against two further gremlins, provided he has previously targeted neither.

Cost: 2m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3; Type: Reflexive (Step 1)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: One tick
Prerequisite Charms: Plasma Cat Understanding, Cauterizing Fang Strike
The laser panther’s sleek velvet hide camouflages it, hiding it from watchful eyes until it makes its move. When that happens, its eyes light up, its maw fills with plasma, and its claws hum with energy. By that point, it is far too late to run. This Charm can only be activated on a tick in which the martial artist has activated a beam weapon. For the rest of the tick, the first attack the martial artist makes against a given target is undodgeable. Any subsequent attacks made against a given target on that tick can be dodged as normal. This effect is negated by Charms that negate surprise.

Cost: 6m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 4; Type: Simple
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Whirling Ferocity Aurora, Sudden Radiant Ambush
The roar of the laser panther shakes the jungle and bleaches the trees, ionized air causing strange ululations in the bellow. There are few other creatures who can eat well-done meat without first starting a fire. If wielding a beam weapon, the martial artist can flood his Essence through it, provoking a great burst of coloured destructive energy to rush forth. If unarmed, he can place the heels of his hands together, bending his fingers in mimickry of the open mouth of the laser panther, to unleash a similar blast. In any case, this Charm is an attack with a dice pool of (Dexterity + Martial Arts), and a maximum Range of (Essence x 8) yards. It is undodgeable and ignores armoured soak. It also ignores DV bonuses from cover or shields. Its base damage is equal to the highest damage of any active beam weapon the martial artist is wielding, or (Essence)L if he is fighting barehanded. In either case, the attack follows all the rules for beam weapons, and is considered to be unarmed for the purposes of this Style.

For the next (Martial Arts) actions after activating this Charm, the martial artist’s hands glow with an awesome power; they gain all the benefits of beam weapons, and are treated as such for the purposes of this Style’s Charms.

The Beamweapon template may be applied to any Artifact weapon that causes lethal damage and is wielded with Melee, Martial Arts or Thrown (Thrown weapons cannot be ammunition-based, such as slings). The commitment cost of the weapon is increased by two motes, or by four for warstrider-sized beam weapons, while its Artifact rating is increased by one. If the weapons are paired, their total rating is increased by one, not by one each.

A beamweapon has the same stats as a normal Artifact weapon of its type, including magical material bonuses. However, when inactive, it is nothing but a club (or staff, for larger weapons) without any magical material bonus. To activate the weapon, the wielder must reflexively pay five motes. It is active for the rest of the scene, or until the wielder reflexively deactivates it at no cost. Deattunement forcibly deactivates the weapon. While active, the blade can set flammable objects alight with a touch, and spreads its coloured light within a radius of two yards around the wielder.

If a non-magical weapon successfully parries or is parried by a beam weapon, it is destroyed in Step 10 of that attack resolution. If a natural weapon successfully parries or is parried by a beam weapon, the character using them suffers two dice of unsoakable lethal damage (this damage deals disabling injuries as a Crippling effect [Exalted, pp.152]). If the character in question is an extra, the limb is amputated entirely. Obviously, if the beam weapon attack is perfectly parried, this effect is ignored.

If a beamweapon successfully strikes non-magical armour, it is soaked as normal. However, the raw damage of the attack is permanently subtracted from the armour’s bashing and lethal soak values in Step 10 of that attack. If both of these values are reduced to zero, the armour is completely destroyed. Objects have their soak reduced in the same way, though they are not automatically destroyed if their soak values are reduced to zero (note that structures are split into a number of smaller objects, each of which would suffer this soak reduction separately). Obviously, if the beam weapon attack is perfectly soaked, this effect is ignored.

2011-05-15, 06:08 AM
I saw this on the White-Wolf boards earlier, and I think it's awesome. I'm gonna' be using both this and Crystal Dragon Style for one of my characters, in an upcoming PbP game, so I'll probably comment on it more, once I've tested it out, but yeah, it does look awesome.

Also, this should probably be in Homebrew, rather than Roleplaying Games.

2011-05-17, 12:20 PM
I can't really say anything about the mechanics, not being crunch-savvy.

But what about Neon Expeditor of Conspicuous Chastening? Are we possibly going to read more about him, here or on the White Wolf Forums? I, for one, found his character very amusing and appealing. Especially the propaganda behind him.

2011-05-18, 04:23 AM
I can't really say anything about the mechanics, not being crunch-savvy.

But what about Neon Expeditor of Conspicuous Chastening? Are we possibly going to read more about him, here or on the White Wolf Forums? I, for one, found his character very amusing and appealing. Especially the propaganda behind him.Italics on Alchemical names ^^

I've already commented on this style, but it's just as awesome as before. I am, however, interested in seeing what a beam weapon TMA would look like. After all, weapon mastery styles are supposed to be TMA, traditionally.

The Blue Guard
2011-07-05, 06:37 PM
I didn't have the good fortune of seeing this style when it was posted on the White Wolf forums, but I'm damn glad I've found it now that I'm making a higher experience version of my only Alchemical.