View Full Version : Exalted 2e-solar combat tactics?

2008-06-29, 08:00 AM
I'm kindof at a loss how to play my Solar in combat. Not that I'm doing badly, but, it seems limited somehow.

I'm a Night Caste martial artist.
Relevant stats (to combat only. I've got other charms and skills):
Strength ***
Dexterity *****
Stamina ***

Martial Arts *****
specialty- staves * (I use a Wrackstaff artifact from Scroll of the Monk - +3 accuracy, +3 defense, +12 B damage, or +4 L damage, rate 4, flurry 4)
Dodge *****

Other noteables:
Resistance ***
Entire Night Caste ability block *** or higher.
Thrown ***** (Carry a lot of shuriken)

Combat Charms:
Ox Body (-1, 2x -2)
Martial Arts 2nd Excellency
Martial Arts Infinite Ability Mastery
Shadow over Water
Reflex Sidestep Technique
Seven Shadow Evasion

From Scroll of the Monk--
Leaping Mantis Technique
Iron Arm Block
Mantis Form

Dodge DV 7
Parry DV 7

Now, we don't have that much experience yet, but I'm noticing a problem. If I use charms to attack, I get smacked, hard. I can flurry for 4 with my staff, but that leaves me open to attack. I can compensate for that with a perfect defense, or shadow over water, but only if I haven't already blown a couple (nearly free) martial arts masteries. My willpower and essence aren't that high yet, so even if I had combos built (which I have no idea how to build strategicly), I couldn't use them often before being exhausted.

I need suggestions!

2008-06-29, 09:46 AM
Well, first thing is you should remember to stunt every attack and every defense possible. Not only does it make combat more interesting, but it helps you get your DVs up and get more Essence.

Second thing is to remember that the Excellencies for Martial Arts can be used for defense. You can use that 2nd Excellency to buy up your Parry DV in the same turn you buy successes on your attacks.

Third, get a combo or two. Stunting well can alleviate the Willpower and Essence drain fairly well, and it's the only way to have your best Charmed attacks go off without leaving you without a Charmed defense. Besides, most combos end up being powerful enough that you only need to hit with it once to end a fight. It works fairly well in practice.

2008-06-29, 11:42 AM
Speaking from 1e experience, assuming no massive variations in-system between games:

1. Combo an offensive Charm with a defensive Charm. If you eventually make your way to the "Make a parry/dodge against all attacks this round" Charm (again, assuming that's an option - I don't have the book yet), that'll be the one you probably most want to get into a Combo. Extra points if you toss in the "Counterattack All Attacks This Round" with said combo. Be prepared to burn Willpower and pray your ST likes your stunts.

2. Rely on regular attacks, hopefully with stunts, and use your autodefense Charms. With a daiklave or equivalent weapon, I was consistently throwing down around 10 to 15 dice per single attack without invoking Excellent Strike.

3. Multiple actions/split dice pool. Make one attack with fewer dice, and keep two or three actions on hand for parries. Yes, it runs a risk of wasted dice, but that's the balancing act.

4. Aborting to full parry or full dodge. No offense for that round, but you got to defend against everything at slowly decreasing dice pools.

Are there equivalents to those in 2e?

In 1e, a character either learned to hold actions for parries, was willing to abort to a parry or full dodge when an enemy declared before their initiative and they wanted to keep themselves alive badly but not burn Essence, or they kept their choice of Charms open for defense, in my experience.

2008-06-29, 12:09 PM
Your main problem is that you vastly overestimate the dice pools of things you fight. You have not yet faced anything that's really capable of hammering you (yet - you will soon). So far, you've been facing officer types with a DV of 4 and a dice pool of 8-10, or mooks with a DV of 2 and a dice pool of 6.

Attacking you incurs a -1 DV penalty for anything I set you up against.

You have DVs of 7, and a dice pool of what? 14? If you make a three attack flurry, and bring your DV down to 4, even the "tough" things you've faced so far have difficulty hitting you. And don't forget, I'm in the same boat as you are. If one of the Dragon-Bloods you fought decided to use an offensive charm, and you didn't go down, you've turned around and unleashed the righteous smackdown on your next action.

2008-06-29, 02:48 PM
I don't know much about your storyteller, but coron is right. You have serious ox body resistance and a great dice pool. Go for a flurry and accept the dv loss. Most non exalts, and alot of dragon bloods will still need to use charms to hit you. When they do, well that's what 7 shadow evasion is for.

2008-06-29, 05:12 PM
Taly has this issue where if she doesn't have a, "You can't hit me!" spell or ability prepared and ready for use, she feels like she's in immediate mortal peril. I've actually noticed this mindset in a number of games. She could be using the second excellency to both plow every enemy where the sun does not shine, and defend herself from harm, but she's afraid to use it because it prevents her from using her perfect dodge charm.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting behind my screen (metaphorically speaking, the game is run over OpenRPG) cursing up a storm because I can't hit any of the circle.

2008-06-29, 05:30 PM
With my ST, and I suspect it's true most of the time, just a reflexive parry charm worked fine for keeping me fairly safe, unless I was squaring off against a Big Bad (Lunar, in that campaign) - in which case, I expected to be fairly roughed up after anyway. And what I see there is a lot more defense than I ever had..

I also remember that the perfect defense Charms had a willpower cost in 1e - did those go away?

2008-06-29, 06:30 PM
The Solar charms have virtue flaws, but no willpower cost. Lunars have a perfect dodge with no willpower cost, but their perfect soak charm costs a willpower (however it has a duration that can be extended until one runs out of motes - the willpower cost is only paid on activation). The Abyssal perfect defenses have cheaper mote costs than their Solar equivalents, but cost a willpower if activated in Creation. I haven't looked at Sidereals.