View Full Version : [Exalted 3rd Edition] Infernal Monster Style

2015-10-29, 11:04 PM
I'm futzing about with Exalted 3e. Trying to learn the system. This was my favorite Martial Art from 2e, so I figured I'd take a shot at converting it. I'm sure I'll end up changing it as I learn the system more, and I welcome all suggestions and commentary to that end.

I also plan on adding some example Evocations for its capstone Charm.


Infernal Monster Style

Infernal Monster Style is a brutal, inhuman form of combat first adopted by ancient Exalted who ventured to the Demon City of their own creation to mock the victims of their war crimes and heap yet more torment on the cosmic artisans and philosophers they had gleefully broken. They found that, where once the souls of the Primordials had been pure and beautiful, they now reflected the hatred and treachery of the Gods and Celestial Exalted. Most Chosen were deluded enough to believe themselves better than the languishing monsters of their invention, but a few were honest enough to gaze into the abyss and devour it, reflecting outwardly the monstrosity they must have always contained within, to have wrought such agony and horror on the Titans.

In modern times, the style is even more rarely seen in Creation. Perhaps some instructive scrolls are squirreled away in some forgotten alcove of a Sidereal dojo in Yu-Shan, kept for completeness sake among those who prize Martial Arts above all else, or a few old, bitter Lunars who adopted the art for its synergy with their savage, animalistic nature, could be convinced to pass its teachings along. Yozi Cults would have the readiest access, as the secrets of the Infernal Monster are just as popular among the brutish and thick-headed citizens of Malfeas as Black Claw is among the manipulative and guileful.

While mortals cannot learn the Charms of a Supernatural Martial Art, and therefore cannot truly synchronize with the Infernal Monster via its essence-fueled rage, mortal aspirants to its teachings do tend to develop an inability to manage their anger, entering into entirely mundane psychotic frenzies when provoked into violence.

Infernal Monster Weapons: Infernal Monster Style uses wide, heedless unarmed strikes without an ounce of finesse, as well as all improvised weapons. Any unarmed attack that is enhanced by an Infernal Monster Charm can always be stunted to deal lethal damage.

Armor: Infernal Monster Style is not compatible with armor.

All-Consuming Rampage Release
Cost: 1m; Mins: Martial Arts 2, Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Mastery
Duration: One Scene
Prerequisite Charms: None

When mortal-kind was made, it was blessed with free will, that they might be capable of great empathy and compassion as well as great cruelty and ruthlessness, not as a byproduct of their nature, but by honest, unadulterated choice. This act of unrestrained, unconscionable stupidity birthed a special kind of monstrosity into the world. How awful is it that, when faced with the choice to do anything, there are those who choose to butcher the innocent and spread misery and despair where once there was peace and love? The state of the world in the Age of Sorrows proves that this is not an unpopular choice for the inheritors of the post-Titan Creation.

This Charm may be activated in response to being successfully struck with a withering or decisive attack, or in response to the Martial Artist witnessing something or someone they have a positive Tie towards coming to harm.

Once activated, the martial artist enters a zen-like state in which all of their worldly concerns are stripped away and they become a mindless force of rage and death without comprehension of that which is not violence. This functions like the Berserk Anger Virtue Flaw, save that it does not reset Willpower or Limit like a normal Limit Break. However, at this Charm's end, if the stylist killed at least one sapient being, or viciously beat unconscious someone they have a positive Tie towards, they shed a single point of Limit due to the sheer bliss of unrestrained, uncaring rage. Like the Virtue Flaw, this Charm may be ended early if the martial artist has no more potential victims or they incapacitate a subject of a positive Tie.

While enraged by this Charm, the martial artist ignores all wound penalties.

Mastery: As the haughtiest and most despicable of mankind, the Solar Exalted may activate All-Consuming Rampage Release in response to mere insults to their person, or when they detect that someone standing before them is lying to their face, in addition to its other triggers. Their paler, marginally less genocidal cousins, the Abyssal Exalted, receive the same benefit.

Raging Behemoth Charge
Cost: 4m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 1
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Uniform
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: All-Consuming Rampage Release

There are those that attempt to flee the madness of the world they were born into, and wouldn't it be nice if anyone cared? There is no escape from the injustice and brutality humanity has made, save perhaps to leap into it, to be swallowed by it, consumed, to become part of the problem, to become just as horrible and petty as all the other monsters.

This Charm supplements a Rush action, such that it may be made using Strength in place of Dexterity for calculating its dice pool. If the martial artist is enraged by All-Consuming Rampage Release, they also take no flurry penalty to either action if they flurry the supplemented Rush with a melee attack using an unarmed or improvised weapon against the target of the Rush.

Infernal Monster Form
Cost: 8m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 1
Type: Simple
Keywords: Form, Terrestrial
Duration: One Scene
Prerequisite Charms: Raging Behemoth Charge

The martial artist must be enraged by All-Consuming Rampage Release in order to enter Infernal Monster Form. In doing so, the martial artist begins to mildly convulse, their veins and muscles bulging and straining against their skin, drawing it tight against the meat within. Some stylists howl in agony, while others gibber nonsense about meat-bicycles.

While Infernal Monster Form is active, the martial artist increases their Strength by 1, which can temporarily raise their Strength above 5. Furthermore, they may use Strength in place of their Dexterity when calculating their Dodge and Parry ratings, as well as attacks made with Infernal Monster Style Weapons, and rolls to oppose Disengage actions.

A character that is incapacitated by a martial artist in Infernal Monster Form, but somehow survives, may choose to immediately adopt a Minor Intimacy of either Anger or Fear directed at either the martial artist or the world at large that allowed such a monster to exist (or intensify such an Intimacy by one step if they already possess it). As long as their Intimacy remains, at one intensity or another, the traumatized character can purchase dots of Martial Arts (Infernal Monster Style) and (if they are capable of learning Supernatural Martial Arts) Infernal Monster Charms without requiring any formal teachings as justification. Rather, their persistent nightmares that force them to relive the most painful and infuriating moments of their life again and again act as their sifu, instructing and encouraging them in the ways of mindless violence.

Special Activation Rules: Whenever the martial artist kills an innocent bystander not involved in their current combat, or takes damage from a decisive attack that fills in a -1, -2, or -4 health box, they may reflexively activate Infernal Monster Form. They must still be enraged by All-Consuming Rampage to enter Infernal Monster Form, as normal.

Terrestrial: A Dragon-Blood does not gain the extra point of Strength typically granted by this Charm.

World-Breaker Grip
Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: None
Duration: Until the grapple ends
Prerequisite Charms: Raging Behemoth Charge

All living things are responsible for the intolerable state of this wretched universe. Even the Titans that forged the world in their glory could be said to have had a measure of fault; had they not been so trusting and virtuous as to fail to foresee the betrayal and ensuing massacre of themselves and their innocent children by the Exalted, much suffering could have been averted. But perhaps the poignancy - of the Monster using those guilty of causing the world's pain to, very physically and directly, beat more pain into the world - is lost on it.

This Charm supplements a grapple gambit. If successful, the martial artist picks up their victim with one hand, using their tremendous essence-fortified strength to drag them around, unhindered even as their foe struggles uselessly against their grip.

Though their victim suffers all the normal effects of being grappled, the martial artist does not. They may still make flurries, and do not take the -2 Defense penalty for grappling. Merely being attacked is not sufficient to remove turns of control from their grapple (although damage still does), and they may take movement actions without using a Restrain/Drag action as if they were not grappling.

Furthermore, the martial artist may use their specially grappled foe as an improvised weapon to attack and parry with. The foe may be considered a Light, Medium, or Heavy weapon based on their size, at the discretion of the Storyteller. For example, an average person would qualify as Medium, while a child would be Light, and a bear would be Heavy.

When a victim is used as an improvised weapon, roll your Strength each time they successfully damage a target or parry an attack. They take the successes as Initiative damage, unless they are in Initiative Crash, in which case they take it as damage to their health levels. This damage is usually bashing, unless they are used to parry a lethal or aggravated attack, in which case the damage they take is of that kind.

If a victim dies in your grip, they may usually still be used as an effective improvised weapon until the end of the scene, should you choose. However, being sliced up or disintegrated enough might reduce them down to a Light weapon, or ruin their usefulness as a weapon altogether.

Screaming Meat Shield
Cost: 5m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Perilous, Decisive-Only, Terrestrial
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: World-Breaker Grip

It is not with consent that new souls are born into this mad world, destined to suffer endlessly throughout incarnation after incarnation, sullying the lives of others with their flawed nature, and being subjected to the cruelty of others' imperfections. If they are very lucky indeed, they might be born with the heart of a hero, and ascend to such might that they can more effectively inflict their perspectives on a greater number of people that don't want them.

This Charm may be activated in response to a decisive attack while the martial artist has a creature held in their World-Breaker Grip, after the damage for the decisive attack has been rolled. The martial artist may then spend points of their own Initiative to transfer successes on the decisive damage roll from themselves to the victim held in their grip, at the rate of 1 Initiative to 1 success.

If the martial artist forces their attacker to kill someone they have a positive Intimacy towards (or if killing the person violates a Principle the attacker has, such as killing an innocent Realm citizen while they have a Defining Principle of 'It Is My Duty To Protect The Realm') by using this Charm, the attacker is stricken with mental anguish. They roll one die if the Intimacy is Minor, two if it is Major, and three if it is Defining, subtracting rolled successes from their current Willpower.

Terrestrial: This Charm costs an additional 1m, 1wp when used by the Dragonblooded, and they may not transfer more than (Strength) successes to their held victim.

God-Smashing Blow
Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Perilous, Dual
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Infernal Monster Form

"Power corrupts" is a meaningless phrase, as those with choice over their nature are inherently corrupted by the power to choose evil. At any moment, they might choose to harm others, and it is only their lack of power that restrains them in doing so. Violent weaklings tend to live short lives, and so the weak cower behind kindness until they might one day achieve the strength to exact the monstrosity that dwells in every heart. There is no greater example than the Gods and God-Kings of old, who ruined a world they had the power to save.

A withering attack supplemented by this Charm automatically knocks its target prone if it deals even one point of Initiative damage. If the target is Crashed by this attack, and the martial artist is currently enraged by All-Consuming Rampage Release, the martial artist may make a reflexive decisive attack against them.

A decisive attack supplemented by this Charm automatically knocks its target prone if it deals even one point of damage, and is also especially humiliating. Characters that are subservient to, or under the protection of, the victim must pay a point of Willpower or lessen a positive Intimacy they have towards the victim by one step (removing a Minor Intimacy), and acquire an Intimacy of anger or fear towards the martial artist or the world at large (or strengthen one that already exists by one step). If the martial artist is enraged by All-Consuming Rampage Release, characters with Essence equal to or less than the martial artist's that do not pay this Willpower must also flee the scene, panicking by the notion of what the monster shall do to them, and lacking any confidence that their master can protect them.

This Charm can only be used once per fight, unless reset by killing a non-trivial opponent that you harmed with God-Smashing Blow.

Fists Of The Old Ones
Cost: 10m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3
Type: Simple
Keywords: Decisive-Only, Terrestrial
Duration: Simple
Prerequisite Charms: God-Smashing Blow

Suffusing their fists with the rage of all that have suffered needlessly at the hands of history's sadists and monsters, the martial artist prepares to perpetuate the cycle of violence.

While active, this Charm adds (Strength) dice of damage to all of the martial artist's decisive attacks. A victim that suffer at least three levels of damage from one of the stylist's decisive attacks is also catapulted one range band away, and is then faced with a choice; stupidity or cowardice. Characters that choose stupidity remain in whatever state they are in. Characters that choose cowardice are permitted to leave the current scene, and are not allowed to return until its completion. Even characters that are knocked unconscious by the attack can choose cowardice, being catapulted somewhere out of sight, or rendered seemingly dead, and the martial artist will not recognize the need to come by and murder them at the battle's end, even if under the effects of All-Consuming Rampage Release.

If a character chooses cowardice, they and any characters in the scene that are subservient to, or under the protection of, the coward lessen a positive Intimacy they have for the coward by one step (removing a Minor Intimacy), and acquire an Intimacy of anger or fear towards the martial artist or the world at large (or strengthen one that already exists by one step). This stacks with the effects of God-Smashing Blow when used in conjunction with that Charm, potentially destroying a hero's reputation and sowing a prodigious amount of discontent with a single show of terrible force.

While enraged by All-Consuming Rampage Release, the martial artist may activate this Charm reflexively if they have murdered three or more characters in the current scene that are subservient to, or under the protection of, one of their other enemies in the scene.

Terrestrial: Dragon-Bloods add their (Essence), not their (Strength), to the dice of their decisive attacks with this Charm.

Rabble-Terrorizing Puissance
Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Uniform
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Infernal Monster Form

How brave must the Exalted have felt, falling in the hundreds and thousands upon a scant handful of Titans, considering themselves greater beings merely by having been engineered into living instruments of war to fight peaceful authors and demiurges caught by ambush. Surely their proficiency at killing made them right. Surely they could not have been endowed by the Gods with a equivalent level of empathy and power over non-violent conflict resolution.

This Charm supplements an attack made against a Battle Group of Size 1 or larger. If the attack is modified by a stunt that describes unrestrained and entirely gratuitous ultraviolence, the bonuses the stunt grants are doubled, and the difficulty of Rally and Rally For Numbers actions taken to benefit that Battle Group are increased by 2, due to much of the damage being dealt to the Battle Group representing the death of its members and not merely fatigue or loss of morale.

If an attack supplemented by this Charm causes a Battle Group to lose a point of Size, its remaining members acquire a Minor Intimacy of anger or fear towards the martial artist or the world at large (or increase the intensity of a pre-existing Intimacy of that kind by one step).

Post-Traumatic Brutality Roar
Cost: 8m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3
Type: Simple
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Rabble-Terrorizing Puissance

Breathing in the putrid breath of a fallen world, the martial artist unleashes a resounding bellow that calls all living things to remember their honesty, to recall that they are just savage meat with savage instincts, perhaps fooled into delusions of grandeur, but truly helpless victims of an uncaring universe, and the best they can hope for is an eternity of reincarnations filled with, in sum, infinite suffering.

Battle Groups in the current scene that are commanded by someone with an Intimacy of fear or anger towards the martial artist or the world, or that are composed of a majority of members with such an Intimacy, have their Drill reduced to Poor. If their Drill was already Poor, they take an additional -1 penalty to their Defense and the difficulty of command actions made to benefit them increases by 1. Furthermore, the martial artist rolls their (Strength) and the group takes any successes rolled as damage to their Magnitude as some of their number either flee in terror or devolve into frothing lunatics.

A commander may oppose the effects of this Charm, rolling [(Charisma, Appearance, or Intelligence) + War] against the martial artist's (Strength + Martial Arts). If the martial artist is enraged by All-Consuming Rampage Release, they add (Essence) automatic successes to their roll.

Glory To The Demon-Monster
Cost: -; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Screaming Meat Shield, Fists Of The Old Ones, Post-Traumatic Brutality Roar

While in Infernal Monster Form, the martial artist may see immaterial spirits, and may target immaterial spirits with attacks supplemented by World-Breaker Grip or God-Smashing Blow. A spirit grappled by World-Breaker Grip becomes material for the duration of the grapple, and spirits damaged by God-Smashing Blow become material for the duration of the current scene.

If the martial artist kills a spirit while in Infernal Monster Form, the spirit's essence does not return whence it came, but is rather trapped within the ectoplasmic gore left behind by its material corpse until the end of the scene. Should the martial artist spend a combat action to gorge themselves on the corpse's spiritual flesh, the spirit's essence is permanently destroyed, consumed by the Monster in full.

A martial artist that eats their first demon via this Charm becomes physically changed by it, gaining some small trait indicative of that demon, and may acquire a single demonically themed Evocation, paying for it as normal whenever they should wish it, by drawing forth the essence of the slain that now languishes in agony within their own soul. The martial artist may continue consuming demons, becoming progressively more monstrous in appearance, and unlocking up to (Essence) additional Evocations for purchase; one more for each dozen demons they consume (or a single Second or Third Circle Demon). A martial artist that consumes a Third Circle Demon may unlock one available demonic Evocation for free. They earned it.