My usual OOC thread introduction habits fail in the face of a game where I'm asking you not to post your character sheets, so, um... hello! As a greeting, I suppose that will have to suffice. Hello, and welcome to The Lotus Blossoms! I'm pleased as punch to have you all here, so please make yourselves at home.

Your witty banter and/or complaints about Charm trees may continue uninterrupted here. My essays and soapboxes might as well, but please don't let that chase you away.

The IC thread has already been posted and may be found here!
Please go ahead and jump right in.


Spoiler: Archived Recruitment Thread Info
Image credit: Gworld on DeviantArt

The Lotus Blossoms!

You are Chosen of the Sun, blessed with martial skill the like of which has not been seen beyond the halls of Heaven in an age. Though still relatively new to your power, you have likely already outstripped the accomplishments of your Sifu, no matter who - mortal, Exalt, god, or demon - may have taught you the ancient, half-forgotten arts you practice. Until recently, you may well have thought yourself without peer, matchless in your strength.

But that was before the stranger arrived. He looked strong, tough, but no stronger or tougher than any dozen would-be challengers you’d faced before. But the way he moved, the powers he unleashed… his martial arts were beyond even your enlightened comprehension. You might have thought him a sorcerer, but… no, even his most fantastic powers blended seamlessly with his more traditional forms and katas, flowing directly from the strength of his own body and soul.

He promised you that you yourself could learn his impossible arts, that the potential lies inside you, waiting only to be unlocked. He could teach you, he wants to teach you… but he only has the time to take on one student. And you, he told you, you are not the only candidate, not the only one who holds that limitless potential.

And so it is that you have come to journey far to the Southeast, to a forgotten island lost within the Wyld-haunted waters of the Dreaming Sea. You have been invited to test your strength against those very few in Creation who could truly be called your peers. Only one can triumph in this contest. Only one can become the first Solar of the Second Age to reach the true limit of martial skill. In only one will the Perfected Lotus fully blossom.

The time is now here. The Tournament of the Golden Lotus is about to commence. Do you have power enough to shake the heavens? There’s only one way to find out…

~ ~ ~

Welcome to The Lotus Blossoms!, a shounen-inspired, martial-arts-themed Exalted campaign. In true shounen fashion, I’m looking to start this off with a tournament arc. This will include PvP elements, potentially to the point of the tournament itself being completely PvP if I have an appropriate number of players interested.

What does that mean for players whose characters are eliminated in the tournament? I leave that up to you. If you want to just have a fight and then move on, that’s fine, and if that’s what everyone’s most interested in, we could just run through the full bracket and end the game with the crowning of a victor. However...

If you’re up for it, I would love to have eliminated competitors hang around to provide commentary, socialize, hatch schemes against rivals, get caught up in subplots, what have you, just like one of my Japanese animes. If there are enough players interested in continuing to game together when we get to that point, the finals might go in a… different direction. After all, how many anime tournament arcs actually have a cut-and-dry finish?

Due to the particular emphasis of the game, as well as the PvP elements, character creation for The Lotus Blossoms! is going to be tweaked a bit from Ex3 and PbP norms. Please pay close attention to the following guidelines.

1.) Do not submit your character sheets publicly, through this application thread. PM character sheets directly to me. For at least the first-round matches, I’d like to enable the sense of surprise found in fighting anime, when an opponent reveals an unexpected ability. To that end, I don’t want the players to start out knowing each other’s capabilities in detail. You can introduce yourself with a description of the traits of your character that anyone could see (e.g. “Mighty Ox is a tall, broad-shouldered Easterner whose muscles seem hewn from ironwood.”), but please don’t give away your trump cards.

2.) Please use the guidelines for creating Experienced Solars given in the box on pg. 126.

3.) Please avoid Charms from offensive abilities other than Martial Arts. This is a martial arts tournament to determine who is worthy of learning Sidereal Martial Arts, and winning through Melee or Brawl or somesuch would defeat the purpose. I certainly don’t mind non-MA defenses (like Dodge and Resistance), or unconventional approaches (like taking social skills and attempting Talk no Jutsu), but Invincible Sword Princess and Indomitable Southpaw Empress aren’t welcome.

4.) The Martial Arts Ability does not require a Merit to access, nor does it require a dot of Brawl, nor is declaring Martial Arts a Caste or Favored Ability linked to declaring Brawl a Caste or Favored Ability.

5.) Martial Arts is a single Ability, but your character requires a Specialty in a specific style in order to purchase that style’s Charms.

6.) Your character does not have to be Dawn Caste in order to declare Martial Arts as their Supernal Ability. Non-Dawns can declare Favored Martial Arts as their Supernal Ability. This does not give them a second Supernal Ability, nor does this exemption give anyone access to any other out-of-Caste Supernals.

7.) Have fun! This isn’t an optimization contest or white-room battle arena, despite the initial PvP format. This is an anime-flavored superpowered martial arts tournament, like the Dark Tournament, the Chuunin Exams, any number of examples from the Dragon Ball franchise, etcetera. I want to see melodrama, esoteric abilities, heart, maybe a few explosions… not, say, eight identical minmaxed Single Point stylists duking it out to see whose sword gets better rolls. Characters who fit the tone will find it much easier to get stunt bonuses.

Rules for the tournament itself will be announced in-character, though I can go ahead and tell you there’ll be a no-killing clause.

I look forward to meeting your fighters! To make things a little easier for me, I ask that you please use the sheet template linked here.

Here’s a little extra background which might help you in writing up your characters:

The Stranger:
As an agent of Heaven, the stranger who invited you all to join in the Tournament of the Golden Lotus is a man who wears names and faces like suits of clothing, adopting new guises as they befit his needs. He may have visited you as…

- Caraba Denit, a patrician scholar who wandered away from his studies in search of simpler pleasures. He had a cherubic face, but a too-clever grin that hinted at mischief.
- Dhanesh, a world-weary Tengese ascetic. The the tracks of tears were visible on his cheeks, and dust caked his gnarled, shoeless feet.
- Bright Crescent, a Northern Lunar chieftain. He looked so noble in his furs of ermine, with a hooked daiklave of Moonsilver at his belt.
- Laughing Oak, a doddering but jovial Eastern sage. He came clad in threadbare robes, and he tried to engage you in philosophical discussion before challenging you.
- Or perhaps he came wearing an ornate mask and made no introductions, issuing his challenge simply by attacking you

No matter what face he wore when he challenged you, by the time he invited you to the tournament, he had revealed his true form. But… it’s all a blur when you try to think back on what he looked like then, wreathed in the light of his uncanny power. All you can remember clearly are his eyes: dark, piercing eyes flecked with a radiant green.

The Arena of the Sun:
Well beyond Volivat, off the northern coast of the Dreaming Sea, an isle of brittle shale rises from a sea of rolling mudflats. Arcades of sun-baked mud brick stand to mark the heart of the isle out as an amphitheatre, and gnarled trees grow from the amphitheatre’s cavea, their branches heavy with apples, pears, hearts, and livers. Raw, untamed essence, suffused with the iron scent of blood and the primal heat of the Sun, rises from the arena’s floor (making it a two-dot Solar demesne).

Reaching that strange shore was the first trial the celestial sifu set before you, a sort of qualifying round for the coming tournament. While the journey is a trial which you have already passed, your success may not have come without cost or sacrifice. How did you reach the tournament grounds?