Combat in second-edition Exalted has often been described as “Perfect or Die” – meaning that the target must deploy a perfect defense when seriously attacked or he or she will probably die. That isn’t entirely satisfactory; I’d like some wiggle-room between “fine” and “dead” besides “running low on essence motes”.
What we need is something that can be activated to survive the strikes that would be terminal – but which has a high enough activation cost so that taking minor wounds is acceptable and so that it may be worth allowing a weaker opponent to escape.
Given that this is an experiment, and that such an effect will need to be wedged into the combat system, this particular charm is for the Raksha – who desperately need a perfect defense or two and who, as creatures of chaos, can be expected to produce strange new effects and violate the usual rules.
Dreaming Thunder Guardian
Cost: —, Mins: Heart 3, Essence 3. Type: Permanent
Duration: Permanent, See Below.
Prerequisite Charms: Bastion of the Self.
Within the depths of the wyld every potentiality, pattern of essence, or creation unimaginable boils up from the chaos – and is just as summarily wiped away once more. That constant storm of possibility is the Dreaming Thunder.
At the moment when an attack or effect would normally be resolved (during step ten, after the effect has been determined but before it’s marked down), the user may expend one gossamer and one virtue channel, draw both time and a defense from the chaos of the Wyld – however distant it may be – and describe a defensive wyld stunt.
This works even in the depths of creation, although there the user suffers a one-die penalty on his or her stunt.
Presuming that the roll succeeds, if the stunt is…
Worth one die, the attack or effect is defeated, perfectly. If the attack or effect is a part of a flurry, the entire flurry is defeated, perfectly.
Worth two dice, the attack or effect is defeated perfectly, and further attacks using the same basic effect – weapon attacks or what have you – are also defended against perfectly for the next (Essence) ticks.
Worth three dice, the initial attack or effect may be redirected against any other target the Dreaming Thunder Guardian user selects within thirty feet save the originator, using it’s original statistics. Further attacks of the same type are defended against perfectly for the next (Essence 4) ticks.
While this is powerful and versatile as defenses go, it also requires a successful check, a dot of gossamer, and a virtue channel; Dreaming Thunder Guardian will not stand up against an Exalt for long – but it may buy the user time to escape. Fortunately, it works in creation as well, but the stunt suffers a one-die penalty – although this may be made up with the dice from the user’s Style pool or by other methods.
- Exalted – The Halls of Alternity (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Exalted – Solar Guardian Presence Charms (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Exalted – The Way of Manse and Demesne (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Exalted – Terrestrial, Celestial, and Solar Spells from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Exalted – The Files of Charles Dexter Ward, The Coatl from Emergence Campaign Weblog (ruscumag.wordpress.com)