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- Jul 2009
Imaginary Fist Style [Exalted 2e] [TMA] [PEACH]Imaginary Fist Style
This may be the single strangest terrestrial martial art in creation, because its origin is both enigmatic and paradoxical. It was created several thousand years prior to the development of its form weapon, without which it cannot be practiced by except by mystic beings capable of various forms of telekinesis. It was developed as a thought experiment by Dalai, the Pavillion Meditating Upon Consumption, twelfth soul of Eztiul, who could not practice the Imaginary Fist Style, having neither fists, nor charms which were appropriate to its use. He taught it to his own second circle reflective soul, Cloudwatcher, the Architect of Delusion, who mastered the style while paralyzed and unable to move.
Due to this odd heritage, students of the Imaginary Fist Style are generally taught by forcing them not to practice the Imaginary Fist Style, and instead to imagine how they would do so if they were capable of it. Because of this practice, the style has far more students and teachers who are not actually capable of using Imaginary Fist Style than those who are capable of it - indeed, those demons who are best suited to the style - descendents of She Who Lives In Her Name - have a hard time even contemplating a martial art which is primarily learned by those who canít use it, and mostly taught to those who canít use it until it is mastered.
The most common practitioners of Imaginary Fist Style are first circle demons of Hegra and Oramus as well as both shaped and unshaped Raksha, who can use a number of its charms in conjunction with other abilities, though with the creation of the Mindklave it has become one of the most fast-growing styles in Malfeas and is even beginning to spread to Creation.
Weapons and Armor: The Imaginary Fist Style is unique in that strikes made with its charms cannot be delivered physically. Only mutations, charms, or other abilities which allow the martial artist to strike at their foe indirectly - either by causing a gust of wind to blow, or launching a bolt of power or a telekinetic strike - can deliver the attacks of the Imaginary Fist. Because of this limitation, charms from Imaginary Fist are explicitly allowed in a combo with any other type of charm - though this does not bypass normal combo limitations such as requiring other charms to be combo-ok or combo-basic. The Mindklave, described below, counts as a form weapon for this art, and references to Occult in its description are replaced with Martial Arts while it is being used in conjunction with this style. Since the Imaginary Fist Style is a matter of the martial artistís mind and not their body, wearing armor does not impede the practice of this style - indeed, being paralyzed or trapped in stone generally doesnít hinder the user in the slightest.
Complementary Abilities: Because of its inherently non-physical nature, students of the Imaginary Fist Style must be capable of understanding abstraction and impossibility on a visceral level. To begin learning this style, they must have Occult ***, and students generally have an Occult rating at least equal to their Martial Arts.
Sleight of Mind
Cost: 2m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 1; Type: Reflexive
Prerequisite Charms: None
The first step of the imaginary fist is to learn to think before acting, and know without knowing. In learning to do this, the practitioner learns to make their commitment to action as ephemeral as their attacks.
Sleight of Mind replaces reroll Charms and cannot be used in concert with one, and may only be used when an attack was made with an ability or weapon appropriate to this style. The martial artist may invoke it after seeing the quality of his attack in Step 3 of attack resolution but before comparing it to his targetís DVs. His player rolls (Wits+Martial Arts) at a difficulty of (targetís Perception). If this charm was activated as part of a combo, none of the other motes spent as part of that combo are refunded and if the martial artistís anima flared because of this combo he gets a -2 internal penalty to his (Wits+Martial Arts) roll for this charm, in addition to any other effects the anima display would normally have.
If successful, attack resolution ends immediately. It is as if he never attacked, though observers with a Perception greater than the number of successes rolled know he is acting... odd.
Mental Misstep Method
Cost: 1m (+3m, +1wp); Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 1; Type: Supplemental
Duration: Instant or Scene
Prerequisite Charms: None
Those who donít expect the impossible can hardly imagine the improbable, let alone what the Martial Artist is actually going to do.
This may only be used the first time in a scene the Martial Artist deals damage to an enemy with a strike made with a weapon or ability appropriate to this style. When this happens, the raw damage dealt is doubled for the purposes of determining knockback, and in addition any target who is moved at least 1 yard must make a (Dexterity+Athletics) check against the levels of damage dealt after soak or else fall prone.
For an additional 3 motes and 1 willpower, the Martial Artist may keep this charm active for the rest of the scene. In this case, each time an enemy is damaged for the first time in the scene, apply the effects of this charm. In addition, whenever the martial artistís attacks cause knockback for the rest of the scene, he may choose the direction in which the target is moved.
Imaginary Fist Form
Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 2; Type: Simple
Duration: One Scene
Prerequisite Charms: Sleight of Mind, Mental Misstep Method
Practitioners of the Imaginary Fist do not outwardly display their preparation for battle, but that doesnít mean they arenít ready to fight. Those who adopt the Imaginary Fist form are playing out various scenes of violence and combat within their own mind, granting them excellent insight into what their enemies are likely to do and predicting the flow of the fight.
When activating this charm, only those present with some form of essence sight active, or other Martial Artists who succeed on a reflexive Perception+Martial Arts roll with a difficulty equal to the userís essence, notice that they have readied themselves for a fight. While active, the Imaginary Fist Form provides bonus dice to all Join Battle rolls and all rolls with a weapon or ability appropriate to the form equal to half the userís essence, rounded up. All damage with such weapons may be made either Lethal or Bashing at the Martial Artistís discretion, with Bashing damage dealt this way never converting over into lethal. Finally, the Martial Artist ignores the first DV penalty due to onslaught from each enemy that attacks her.
Forking Mind Prana
Cost: 2m + 1wp per attack; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2; Type: Extra Action
Duration: 1 Round
Prerequisite Charms: Imaginary Fist Form
Having so many scenes of violence and destruction playing out in their mind, it is little wonder that the Martial Artist should want to try out more than one of these. Holding within her mind all of the possible ways she might attack her enemies, the Martial Artist chooses those most likely to succeed and attempts all of them at once.
After activating this charm, the character may take a number of mental actions up to her permanent willpower +1. This might include Perception tests, activating reflexive charms, using weapons appropriate to this martial art or any other action the Storyteller deems appropriate. For each action after the first, the character spends a point of temporary willpower. Rate limits on form weapons or similar charms do not apply to these actions.
The characterís DV penalty is equal to the highest DV penalty of all actions taken. In addition, the character may not take any physical action until her DV refreshes - this includes dodging, or physically blocking with a weapon, causing Dodge and Parry DVs to be reduced to 0 without an appropriate stunt. Parries made with form weapons and abilities are still allowed.
Aura of Finesse
Cost: 3m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Supplemental
Prerequisite Charms: Forking Mind Prana
Imagination is the root of creativity, and the truly creative mind can find an ideal solution to any problem. Attacks made with this charm gain the Piercing quality, or if they already have the Piercing quality they ignore all soak from armor. Cannot be used to supplement attacks that would deal aggravated damage.
Distracted Enemy Stance
Cost: 4m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 2; Type: Simple
Duration: (Martial Arts) Actions
Prerequisite Charms: Imaginary Fist Form
Having learned to focus his own mind, the Martial Artist sees how very simple it is to distract others. With this in mind, they begin prancing around the battlefield in a confusing display, jerking and moving in an awkward way which forces their foes to pay attention to them, whether they want to or not. While this charm lasts, the Martial Artist has an additional -1 DV penalty, and any physical action he takes is at a -2 internal penalty. However, every time he takes an action, including when he first activates this charm, he makes a Willpower+Martial Arts attack against the MDV of all targets who can see him. Any enemy who is hit with this attack is delayed before their next action by 1 tick.
Attacks made with form weapons or similar abilities are not generally subject to the internal penalty imposed by this charm.
Stream of Unconsciousness
Cost: 4m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Prerequisite Charms: Distracted Enemy Stance
Further projecting his internal mental state onto the enemy, the Imaginary Fist practitioner discovers the secret pressure points in the enemy's unconscious mind, rendering them vulnerable to purely mental attacks. With a subtle pulse of mental effort, the Martial Artist makes a single Willpower+Martial Arts attack against one enemy within (Essence) x 10 yards - if they have a Form Weapon or similar ability which could be used in place of this attack, they may use its base range and dice pool instead.
The attack deals 'subdual' damage equal to the successes rolled, and is soaked by the target's Willpower. This damage cannot convert into lethal, and goes away at a rate of 1 point per hour of sleep. After damage is dealt, the target must roll (Stamina+Resistance) against their highest wound penalty or they lose consciousness. This only puts the target to sleep - they are automatically roused by taking further damage, being shaken, or if they succeed on a Perception+Awareness roll on their next action (penalized by wounds) with a Difficulty of 1 if combat continues, or with a difficulty of the lowest Stealth score present (minimum 1) if everyone is attempting to be quiet.
Moment of Mind Over Matter
Cost: 1m; Mins: Martial Arts 5, Essence 3; Type: Reflexive
Prerequisite Charms: Aura of Finesse, Stream of Unconsciousness
The most paradoxical aspect of this style is its capstone. Any student who masters the style becomes capable of using it, thanks to this charm. With this level of imagination, their very thoughts can pierce the veil of reality and make something that could theoretically happen actually occur, but without needing to follow through with the necessary actions.
The master of this style no longer needs to wield or even use a weapon for it to be deadly. When making an attack action, the Martial Artist is treated as though they are wielding any weapon that they have on their person for which they meet the minimum requirements. This also counts natural weapons, such as fists or claws, and weapons that the character is actually wielding. Weapons in Elsewhere can be used with this charm as long as the character has access to them, but the martial artist must pay any cost for recovering it from Elsewhere, and putting it back, as though they had done so - although this does not require a charm activation or any other actions.
Attacks made with this charm are compatible with all charms of the Imaginary Fist Style, regardless of the weapons used. This charm may be used on any or all attacks in a flurry, but the cost must be paid for each attack which uses an unwielded weapon - costs relating to drawing or returning a weapon in Elsewhere need only be paid once per weapon per flurry. Ranged weapons which require ammunition may not be used with this charm, but essence weapons or thrown weapons which return to the user may be used so long as rate limitations are accounted for.
Finally, this charm may be used for defense as well as attack. By choosing to activate this charm in Step 2 of an attack against them, they may apply the defense bonuses of any weapon they could access (following all the same rules as for attacks) on a parry made with an imaginary weapon.
Practitioners with Martial Arts 5, Occult 5, and an ability appropriate to the style discover a second use for this charm. When used in conjunction with a Form Weapon or appropriate attack, Moment of Mind Over Matter will double the base range of any such attack.
Example: The demon Malory is wielding a sword and shield in his clawed talons, but does not wish to drop them in order to draw his essence pistol. As a master of the Imaginary Fist Style, however, Malory does not need to draw that pistol - instead, he pictures how he would do so, dropping his sword and reaching behind him, channeling a mote of essence into the weapon and firing a deadly bolt at his enemy. With Moment of Mind Over Matter, Mallory spends two motes - one to activate the charm and another to power his weapon - and a bolt of essence-fire erupts from the air in front of him to strike his target.
The Mindklave (Artifact **)
A relatively simple and elegant looking headband with a single empty setting for a hearthstone which is at the center of the forehead. When in use, a heatless green flame pours from the setting, causing illumination effects mechanically identical to the 4-7 mote level anima effects of a celestial exalted. With an appropriate stunt, one can be used to disguise or mimic the other. The Mindklave is used to project a burst of force from the center of the users forehead, similar to a manís punch, but with attributes dependent on the userís mental abilities rather than physical prowess. These bursts of force are accompanied by flashes of light, visible ripples in the air, whooshing sounds, and other effects which make the attacks obvious and allows those attacked a chance to defend. The bursts of force do not need to be straight, however, and can curve around the user so long as they remain within the base range of the attack. Attacks made with this weapon, like those from a Firewand, do not extend beyond this range.
While attuned to a user, it provides the wielder is treated as always having a weapon available for the purposes of parry and attack, and if a victim has not seen the Mindklave used before, or does not recognise it, a surprise attack made in plain sight does not suffer the normal penalties. Attunement to this artifact is similar to the Mind-Hand Manipulation charm from She Who Lives In Her Name, but only provides the bashing attack from that charm, and cannot be used for grappling, moving objects, or in place of tools without an appropriate stunt - the Mindklave explicitly generates a single strong pulse of force each time it is used, so using it to hold an object aloft, for example, would be more like juggling than telekinesis, and would be just as difficult as juggling an object by repeatedly striking it with a Daiklave..
Those Mindklave which are made from one of the five magical materials do not normally grant their magical material bonuses to attacks made with the weapon. However, if the wielder also uses a charm which aligns with the material - such as Glorious Solar Saber for Orichalcum or any Vitriol-tainted material with Mind-Hand Manipulation - they may apply the magical material bonus to attacks made with that charm.
(Note: Willpower is the base attribute to wield the Mindklave, making the values below the entire normal dice pool, not including occult specialties)
Speed: 5, Accuracy: (Willpower+Occult), Damage: (Essence+1) B, Defense: (Willpower+Essence+Occult), Rate: (Essence/2, round up), Range: (Essence)x2 yards, Minimums: Occult *, Willpower *****, Attune: 5, Cost: Artifact **, Tags: O/2, F*
*While this weapon uses Force instead of Flame, it is otherwise treated as a flame weapon with regards to range and damage.
A/N: I'm planning on using this as part of a story, but anyone who likes it can take all or part of it for their game. I want to know what people think - of the flavor, the overall powerlevel, and whether I need to explain it more. I balanced this against the Terrestrial Martial Arts in Scroll of the Monk, with the Mindklave artifact as a 2-dot artifact version of an essence-2 Infernal charm - Oadenol's Codex says Artifact** is roughly equivalent to an Essence 1-2 charm - and only actually part of that charm (one specific attack, granted by a general-purpose TK charm). If anyone thinks the artifact rating is too high or low, that would be good to know. Thanks!
Last edited by kestrel404; 2015-04-30 at 01:23 PM.Homebrew:
Iron Chef Trophies:Spoiler
Iron Chef X - 3rd (My first entry!)
Iron Chef XI - 4th
Iron Chef XIII - 4th
Iron Chef XIV - Honorable Mention (and 4th place)
Iron Chef XVI - 3rd place
Iron Chef XVIII - 1st place
Iron Chef XXXIV - 2nd place