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- Jun 2008
[Exalted 2.5: Gunstar Heroes] [P.E.A.C.H.] Raksha Mounts & Vehicle Clinches
Exalted recently released the 'Shards of the Exalted Dream' supplement, with quite a lot of alternate ideas. The space-based Gunstar Heroes game intrigued me, but one of the major villain factions - the Raksha - are missing spaceships. This simply will not do.
Since the Raksha of Gunstar Heroes are not, in fact, soul-eating horrors from the chaos outside the universe building bodies out of faerie tropes, but are, in fact, soul-eating horrors from the chaos outside the universe building bodies out of alien tropes, they clearly need appropriately alien ships.
With thanks to Starcraft, Battlestar Galactica, and, of course, the original White Wolf Writers, I present:
The Alternate Raksha Way Grace - The Mount
In the Gunstar Heroes setting, the Raksha can transform their Way Graces into Mounts, living gunships capable of going toe-to-toe with the Voidfighters. Each Mount has certain set abilities - Essence-fueled wings and organic turbines that allow them to reach the target, talons or fangs or deadly breath to destroy enemy ships, and heavy armor to withstand assaults.
Mechanically, Mounts are ships, piloted and maneuvered as such. However, they are piloted using the Ride skill, rather than Sail skill.
All Mounts draw power from the Wyld, and each has a natural mote pool equal to ten times its Artifact ranking. The Rider of the Mount can refill it freely, but it will lose one mote every day of operation outside the Wyld. If it reaches negative motes, it calcifies, becoming nothing more than a piece of sculpture shaped like a living being. This state lasts until it has spent a year and a day uninterrupted in the Wyld.
Mounts do not ‘carry passengers’, as such, and they only ever require one crewman - the Rider. Inside each Mount, however, is a waypoint of territory, equivalent to the Middlemarches of the Wyld in protean nature, with the sole exception that those inside regenerate motes as if they were in whatever territory surrounded the Mount.
(So if the Mount is flying through the Bordermarches, they regenerate motes as if in the Bordermarches; if the Mount is flying through empty space, on the other hand, they regenerate as if in Creation.)
Each Raider has a certain number of Graft points, representing powerful Charms incorporated into its shape. These can be used to purchase Grafts from the list below; if the grafted Charm has a duration other than (Instant), it is active constantly with no mote cost; otherwise, the rider may use it, paying any costs associated out of his choice of the Mount's mote pools or his own.
Mounts have three Undamaged health levels for each dot of Artifact ranking, three Minor Damage health levels for each dot, and one each Critical damage and Inoperative damage per dot.
They come in three classifications: Raiders, Ravagers and Abominations.
Raider Mount (Artifact • or ••)
Raiders are the lightest form of Mount, fast-moving, lightly-armored ships that surge out of space for an attack and then vanish into the mists. Raiders add one bonus success to all attempts to maintain clinches.
Raiders have Armor 5L/10B for one-dot Raiders, or 10L/15B for two-dot Raiders. They fly at speed 60/120, and have Maneuverability +3R, requiring Ride 3, Way 2 to pilot. All Raiders start with one attack from the Raider list below, and may purchase additional Raider natural attacks using Graft points. They may not purchase Ravager or Abomination natural attacks.
One-dot raiders have 6 Graft points. Two-dot raiders have 9 Graft points. These can be used to purchase charms with the Graft tag as Behemoths purchase Mutations from the list below, as well as additional natural attacks.
Ravager Mount (Artifact •••)
Ravagers have Armor 15L/20B. They fly at speed 50/100, and have Maneuverability +2R, requiring Ride 4, Way 3 to pilot. Each Ravager starts with one Raider natural attack and one Ravager natural attack, and may purchase more Raider and Ravager natural attacks using Graft points. Ravagers may not purchase Abomination natural attacks.
Ravagers add two bonus successes to all attempts to maintain clinches.
Each Ravager starts with 12 Graft points.
Abomination Mount (Artifact •••• or •••••)
Abominations have Armor 20L/25B for 4-dot Abominations, or Armor 25L/30B for 5-dot Abominations. They fly at a speed of 40/80, and have Maneuverability +1R, requiring Ride 5, Way 4 to pilot. Each Abomination starts with one Raider natural attack, one Ravager natural attack, and one Abomination natural attack, and may purchase more using Graft points. Abominations add three bonus successes to all attempts to maintain clinches.
4-dot Abominations have 15 Graft points. 5-dot Abominations have 20.
Grafts come in two types: Charms which can be integrated into the Mount, and additional weapons that can be equipped to it.
New Charm Keyword: Graft (x). This power may be given to a Raksha mount. If it is has a duration other than (Instant), it is active constantly with no mote cost; otherwise, the rider may use it, paying any costs associated out of his choice of the Mount's mote pools or his own.
For purposes of these abilities, the Mount's Abilities, Attributes, Virtues and so forth are those of the Rider.
List of Graft Charms:Spoiler
Sovereign Element Shape: Steed (1)
Elegant Muse Attitude: Steed (1)
King of Beasts Method: Steed (1)
Subtle Wraith Arts: Steed (1)
Imposition of Law: Steed (3)
Bastion of the Self (Grace): Steed (4)
Swift Wings of Song: Steed (1)
Gladdening Visage: Steed (2)
(This Charm disguises the Steed as a voidfighter, hellfighter, or equivalent.)
Opalescent Gossamer Raiment: Steed (2)
Blade-Turning Skin: Steed (1)
Pincer of Transcendent Time and Space (Waking): Steed (2)
Sundering the Gates of Death (Waking): Steed (3)
Rarefied Air of Inevitable Victory: Steed (2)
Hundred-Hand Style: Steed (2)
Racing Dragon Speed: Steed (1)
You may also purchase additional attacks.
(2 MP) Hooked Talons: Speed 6, Accuracy +2, Damage 15L/2, Defense -1, Rate 1, Range 5, C, O
(2 MP) Razor Blades: Speed 4, Accuracy +1, Damage 15L/2, Defense +2, Rate 2, O
(2 MP) Plasma Breath: Speed 5, Accuracy +1, Damage 15L/3, Rate 2, Cost 3, Range 1000, O.
(3 MP) Flechette Storm: Speed 4, Accuracy +1, Damage 10LP/2, Rate 4, Cost 1, Range 500, O
(3 MP) Tendril’s Grip: Speed 4, Accuracy +1, Damage 15B/2, Defense +1, Rate 3, Range 15, C, O,
(3 MP) Meteor Spit*: Speed 6, Accuracy +1, Damage 30L/3, Rate 1, Cost 10, Range 1000, O
**: The explosion hits every ship in an area of 100 yards..
(4 MP) Black Hole Maw: Speed 6, Accuracy +2, Damage 20L/3, Rate 1, Cost 7, Range 500, C, O
(4 MP) Primal Bombardment: Speed 6, Accuracy +3, Damage 20A/3, Rate 2, Cost 5, Range 1500, O
(4 MP) Arsenal of Chaos: Speed 6, Accuracy +2, Damage 45L/5, Rate 3, Cost 10, Defense -2, O
Hooked Talons: Claws, talons, or fangs extending on long necks, limbs, or tentacles. They latch onto enemy ships and pull them into close range of the Mount. Attacks with Hooked Talons are made using the pilot’s (Dexterity+(Melee or Martial Arts)).
A successful clinch with Hooked Talons immediately pulls the target adjacent to the Mount.
Razor Blades: Sharp claws, blades, spikes, or equivalent mauling equipment used to shred enemies within close range of the Mount. Attacks with Razor Blades are made using the pilot’s (Dexterity+(Melee or Martial Arts)).
Plasma Breath: The Mount can spit fire, ice, lava, rocks, or some equivalent natural form of attack. Attacks with Plasma Breath are made using the pilot’s (Dexterity+(Archery, Athletics or Thrown)).
Firing plasma breath costs three motes.
Flechette Storm: The Mount can fire barrages of razor-sharp projectiles such as gossamer daggers, adamant shards, or shurikens made of lightning. Firing flechettes cost one mote per shot. Attacks with Flechette Storm are made using the pilot’s (Dexterity+(Archery or Thrown)).
Tendril’s Grip: Long tentacles that can wrap around a distant target, crushing it and bringing it into close range with the Mount. Attacks with Tendril’s Grip are made with (Dexterity+(Melee or Martial Arts)).
A successful clinch with Tendril’s Grip immediately pulls the target adjacent to the Mount.
Meteor Spit: The Mount can spit or fire an bursting bolt, crashing into a target and then exploding in a shower of death and destruction. Attacks with Meteor Spit are made using the pilot’s (Dexterity+Archery).
All ships within 100 yards of the initial point of detonation are damaged if their DV is lower than the pilots attack roll. Firing a meteor costs ten motes.
Black Hole Maw: By drawing on a connection with Nirupadhika, the Mount can pull an enemy ship from a long distance into the range of its dark maw, crushing the target into a pulp (and, incidentally, teleporting it into eating distance). Triggering the Black Hole Maw costs seven motes per shot. Attacks with Black Hole Maw are made with the pilot’s ((Wits or Dexterity) + (Occult or Ride)).
Primal Bombardment: By drawing on a connection with Nirvishesha, the Mount can create a vast number of natural hazards which swarm onto the opponent in a blaze of comets, radiation storms, and corrosive gases. Attacks with Primal Bombardment are made using the pilot’s ((Dexterity or Wits) + (Occult or Archery)). Triggering a Primal Bombardment costs five motes a shot.
Arsenal of Chaos: By drawing on a connection with Nishkriya, the Mount can draw hundreds of thousands of weapons of all sorts from the pure destruction of the Sword, tearing apart whatever enemy is foolish enough to get within range of the Arsenal. Attacks with the Arsenal of Chaos are made with the pilot’s ((Dexterity or Intelligence) + (Occult or Melee)). Attacking with the Arsenal of Chaos costs ten motes a swing.
Clinching a Ship
A pirate ship throws grappling hooks onto the merchant vessel it hopes to prey upon. A Raksha mount swoops down on a voidfighter, latching on to tear the ship apart. Harpoons fire across from the demon’s airship into the deck-plates of their would-be hunters.
These are potential epic scenes that Exalted currently lacks the rules for. Therefore, I have decided to write some.
Clinching between two vehicles works essentially the same way as clinching between two individuals. The attacker uses a Clinch attack; most ships carry grappling hooks, which are short-ranged but serviceable. The defender defends using standard DVs.
The pools are different. Instead of using Martial Arts+(Dex or Str), you use (Ride or Sail) +(Dex or Wits)+Maneuverability. Some of the actions are also different:
- The ‘Break Hold’ action can only be used to release the target, not throw it, without a stunt.
- As vehicles do not have a Strength score and do have extremely high soak, the ‘Crush’ option is normally not an especially good idea, and may not be attempted without (Clinch) tagged weapons.
- There is a new action: Board Crew. This allows a unit of (Magnitude) up to at most the threshold successes on the clinch action to board the attacked vehicle. Against open vehicles (such as ships or airships), this may be accomplished regardless of health levels; against closed vehicles (such as voidfighters or battle carriers) the craft must be reduced to Minor Damage or worse before any members of the boarder’s crew can enter, and only a unit of Magnitude (Threshold successes -2) can board unless the vehicle is suffering at least Major Damage.