Exalted – Militaristic Raksha Treasures

Next on the catching-up it’s a selection of devices for some Raksha Warriors.

Tale Of Heroism (Inward Facing Onieromancy *, 3 Motes to Attune):

Like the essence-imbued melodies, emotions, and similar incorporeal essence-tokens formed in some demesnes, this subtle Onieromancy takes an intangible form – a tale of military heroism that stirs the heart and encourages those who hark to it’s teachings to emulate such greatness in their own lives. Sadly, only one person seems to be able to remember it at any one time…

  • Assumption Of The Person’s Heart (1). This Onieromancy becomes an intangible part of the user’s mind – although its presence is still readily perceivable by essence senses.
  • Gladdening Visage (1). The user is not seen as a Raksha; he, she, or it is generally perceived as a helpful policeman or protective military figure of some sort.
  • Imposition of Law: The user automatically succeeds on reflexive War (Tactics) checks to know where their allies and opponents are and how to coordinate with their allies (3). While stealth-oriented stunts and charms will easily conceal characters from this ability, troops inspired by a Tale Of Heroism need no communications to coordinate their efforts, identify each other, avoid “friendly fire” incidents, pass targeting data around, and otherwise work together perfectly.
  • Mad God’s Mein (1): A Tale Of Heroism is not subject to Countermagic.
  • Ordinary Object Conjuration x4 (4): The user may select four items from the following list(s) and produce them as needed:
    • A fully-loaded Exceptional Assault Rifle, with integral Laser Sight, Bayonet, and Grenade Launcher. In theory, you conjure an entirely new gun to get more ammo. In practice, you simply assume a tiny and irrelevant stunt description to tweak the conjuring to reload only.
      • Exceptional Assault Rifle: Speed 5, 9L, Range 200, Clip 42, Rate 4, Strength 3 Minimum, Accuracy +2, May burst fire 3/10/20 shots in an attack for +2/3/4 dice split as desired between damage and accuracy.
      • A Laser Sight allows 6’s to count as successes.
      • Exceptional Bayonet: Speed 5, Accuracy +3, Damage +5L, Defense +2, Rate 2, Strength Minimum 2, Reach.
      • Exceptional Grenade Launcher: Speed 5, 6L in a three meter/10 foot radius, Range 30, Clip 8, Rate 3, Accuracy +2. (Thrown grenades are Range 10, Strength Minimum 2). If someone happens to wind up on top of it or clutches it to themselves or gets it inside their armor or some such they take double damage – but there is no area effect.
    • A Basic Military Pack: This contains MRE’s, a tarp, some blankets, a basic first aid kit, water, rope, toiletries, a “spare uniform”, and so on. As with the Assault Rifle, you simply assume a tiny and irrelevant stunt description to tweak the conjuring to refill the pack rather than producing an entirely new one. Basically, you need not worry about basic supplies. Those aren’t often a worry in Exalted anyway, but now you have a magical excuse for it. As a side effect, this means that a Raksha with a Tale Of Heroism makes a WONDERFUL relief worker; those tasty mortals need never go without basic supplies when you’re around.
    • Two heavy weapons of choice. Possibilities here include a Flamethrower, a Demolitions Pack, a disposable four-shot Missile Launcher, a Claymore or Anti-Personnel Land Mine, a large drum of Gasoline (and a small burner), a Heavy Machine Gun, or even a Military Jeep, APC, Attack Helicopter, or Light Tank (complete with fuel and repair kit) – although the heavy machine gun or a vehicle requires a full scene to create. Sadly, since they generally have to default to dexterity, generic Raksha warriors aren’t all that good as drivers or pilots – but they’re still about as good as the average trained human is at it.
      • Flamethrower: Speed 6, Accuracy +0, Damage 8L + 4L/Action, Rate 1, Range 20, Strength Minimum 2, A, F.

You COULD replace this stuff with classical gear for games set in Creation proper instead of modern earth – but why bother? They’re RAKSHA. Every possible world is out there in the deep wyld. Go right ahead and make them at least ANNOYING. Let them pattern their stuff on a truly modern setting and defend that freehold with an artillery barrage, machine-gun nests, and poppets with assault rifles. Why not? If a bunch of Exalts can’t find a way to handle that fairly readily then they fully deserve to get shot up a bit and maybe even driven back on their first attempt.

Barking Dog (Feybeast *, 3 Motes to attune):

A Barking Dog is a huge – Russian Wolfhound sized, but heavyset – hound. Unlike any normal hound, however, they are living artillery pieces; their “throats” and “stomach” can function as civil-war era cannons – firing either cannonballs or grapeshot. While their sense of smell is not exceptional unless they’re upgraded (they smell too much of sulphurous smoke), they make quite serviceable fire support when you need it.

  • Mutations: Exceptional Weapon (+1 Rate, +1 Accuracy, +50 Range, 1. These bonuses have not been included below), Luminous Exhalation (“reloads” their internal cannon as needed, 2), Large (+1 Str, +1 Sta, +1 -0 Health Level, 1), Fur (+1L/1B Soak, +1d on Survival Checks, 1), Fangs (Can do lethal damage while biting, 1). Innate Weapon: Light Cannon.

Basic Light Cannon: Speed 6, Accuracy -2, Damage 15L/3, Rate 1, Range 70, Cost ***/-, Tags O, P, S, Special; weighs about 600 Lb, normally crew-served but can be magically reloaded, in which case no crew is required. Damage is only 10L with no Piercing tag when loaded with grapeshot, but this does affect a modest area. It could quire reasonably be considered Unblockable by most weapons (shields will work) and Undodgeable barring abilities that remove you from the area affected – but that’s up to individual game masters. In any case, the ** version of the Barking Dog adds Gossamer Winged Flight (2) and an enhanced sense of smell (1).

In less modern exalted games where you have to use Firedust instead of cheap gunpowder and cannon aren’t common military weapons, you can use the statistics for an Exceptional (“heavy”) Siege Crossbow with Flaming Arrows from the Scroll of Kings (Speed 6, Accuracy +1, Damage 12L (plus 1L continuing environmental), Rate 3, Range 200, Tags B, F). Personally. I’d give that the Overwhelming tag and make it 12L/2L under 2.5 rules – but it doesn’t make all that much difference as a rule. Such weapons can use multiple-dart or fragmenting ammunition to target a small area rather than an individual, but this reduces the damage to 9L and forfeits the Overwhelming tag if the game master was allowing it in the first place. Once again, I’d just go with the cannon; it’s not especially overwhelming in Exalted combat – and it only has a bit over a 50-50 chance of killing an unarmored human with a direct hit. An armored one – say using a Buff Jacket – is very very likely to survive. When you come right down to it… that’s even less realistic than most exalted combat is.

Mantling Dream Of The Peerless Warrior (Treasure ***, 1 Mote to Attune):

This particular item was dealt with in the last post, but I’ll quote it here to keep things together. If you’ve seen it, just skip past the quote-box.

This Raksha “armor” is forged from the dreams of military commanders, the men who look at the people they actually have to lead and wish – oh so fervently – for different ones. For men who are well-trained, fast, strong, skilled, and durable. Fortunately for them, a Raksha (or even a mortal!) wrapped in this particular dream is indeed quite competent – and at an attunement cost of only one mote.

  • Perfect Lamellar: Soak +7L/9B, Mobility -, Fatigue -, May be concealed under heavy jacket or cloak, with it’s Mobility and Fatigue penalties reduced to zero, it no longer counts as armor.

Special Properties:

  • Augmenting: +2 each to Athletics, Dodge, Firearms, and Melee (4 total).
  • Disguised (2): The Mantling Dream has no fixed physical form; it can “become” any type of armor or clothing that the user desires; it is the user’s military bearing and discipline that is the true mark of its presence.
  • Essence Focus (1): As the Mantling Dream is derived from Mortals, so can it be attuned even by unenlightened mortals who choose to commit a point of will to it.
  • Exoskeletal/+1 Dex (2): The Mantling Dream grants it’s wearers swiftness and sureness – a boon to those who wish to survive a battle.
  • Talismanic (2): Each Mantling Dream is a bit different, offering the user access to a particular general thaumaturgical effect. You can default to the kind of elemental tricks that the Vest of Elemental Mastery makes available for a particular element, but there are certainly lots of other possibilities.
  • Talismanic/Walkaway (1): Three times per scene the Mantling Dream can reduce the final damage from any attack or flurry by three levels. In conjunction with the Warding function this will reduce damage to a single level.
  • Warding (2). The Mantling Dream limits the maximum damage that the wearer may suffer from any attack or flurry to four levels.

Mantling Dreams (and many MANY variants thereof) are obviously popular with the Raksha, but do occasionally appear elsewhere. More than a few great mortal military men and (well, for mortals) heroes have drawn a tale of noble service about themselves and made themselves a part of that dream or legend – donning a Mantling Dream Of The Peerless Warrior without even knowing of its existence.

Portable Foxhole (Chancel *, 3 Motes to Attune, contains 3 Waypoints)

These aren’t particularly powerful – but they’re a great place to store your stuff. For a common warrior, they usually function as garage, stable, apartment, armory, and place to keep their lesser minions – any human slaves/snacks that they may have, an assortment of (rather heavily armed) homunculi, and so on. In general… A Raksha Warrior with a Portable Foxhole may be quite capable of deploying a battalion of 150 elite soldiers (via Transient Work of Flesh and Bone) and backing them up with a few attack helicopters, tanks, and other military vehicles manned by his or her homunculi without drawing on any external resources at all and at a moments notice.

That collection has a total attunement cost of 10 motes – half a commoner warrior’s pool. Worse, they still have one artifact-dot left and still need to pay for an assumption…

It’s time to take a look at the Lorekeepers.

A Company of Commoner Raksha Warriors is generally led – or at least given orders – by a Heroic Commoner Lorekeeper. Such an individual will, of course, have some treasures of his or her own.

Oriflamme of Conquest (Onieromancy ***)

This standard generally flies by the commander’s station in the rear echelon – whether or not that’s where the Lorekeeper attuning it actually IS. Within it’s range of influence – an entire city or other major battlefield – those adhering to the Raksha cause enjoy a subtle, but very powerful, advantage.

  • Assumption of Dreams and Passion (1): The Oriflamme takes the form of a flowing battleflag.
  • Assumption of the Cities Heart (4): The effects of the Oriflamme cover a city-sized area and its environs.
  • Mad God Mein (1): The Oriflamme and it’s effects cannot be destroyed by Countermagic.
  • Elegant Must Attitude (3): Under the influence of the Oriflamme the loyalty and morale of the Raksha forces are almost without peer, granting all of their military actions a +3d bonus (and yes, this WILL improve their Dodge and Parry DV’s as well as their attacks, piloting checks, and any other militarily-related rolls they may make).
  • Unwanted Obsession Provocation Technique (3): Similarly, the power of the Oriflamme subtly demoralizes everyone who opposes the Raksha within it’s range, inflicting a -3 penalty on all of THEIR military actions within range – reducing their attacks, their Dodge and Parry DV’s, and hindering everything else in ways large and small.
  • Untouchable Performer Technique (1): Where the power of the Oriflamme touches the world Unnatural Mental Influence can neither inspire the populace to oppose the Raksha forces nor can it inspire any forces which are already organized to do so.

The Oriflamme offers a Raksha army a six-die advantage over it’s opponents. Admittedly, three of those count as dice provided by a charm – but it’s not like Raksha normally have a lot of motes to spend buying bonus dice with direct charms anyway. In any case, a six-die advantage is easy enough for an Exalt to overcome – but even elite soldiers are going to have a hell of a time dealing with it.

The wonderful thing about Abjurations is that you can swear to them and then pass ownership on to someone else without losing their benefits – and the new owner can swear to it too, and pass it on in turn. Given that they’re also by far the cheapest way to take on an assumption, there are some major benefits to having some lorekeeper buy a few…

The Aspect of Pan (Abjuration *. 1 Committed Mote):

I shall seek to understand the amusements of the creation-born while I choose to walk there.

  • Assumption of Bestial Visage: Provides an assumption and (Essence) points worth of animalistic mutations of choice. These guys will usually want to take a Tail (+2 Athletics) and some light Fur (+1 B/L Soak and +1 Survival).
  • Blade-Turning Skin: Grants (Essence) Aggravated Soak – enough to protect a Raksha against casual contact with Iron.

Those swearing to the Aspect of Pan will always try to find some time to experiment with alcohol, parties, plays, material sex, drugs, and the other amusements of the creation born when they’re wandering creation. After all, even the crudity of many of them will be new to Raksha used to the blandishments of the Wyld. This is the basic oath for most Warriors; it lets you

The Wondersmith’s Oath (Abjuration *, 1 Committed Mote):

What I labor to create shall be reasonably enduring within creation while I remain there.

  • Creators Fugue (1): This provides +1 Success when the user is creating something; in the case of things being created by charms such as Essence Forging Art and Awakened Dream Manufacture this automatically goes to making them permanent works of glamour.
  • Spectacular Insanity (1): Whenever the character enters Bedlam, he or she may spend 5 motes to regain temporary willpower and gossamer equal to the value of the associated virtue.

Now, the cheap way to take advantage of THIS is to keep your commoner warriors Sword graces – which means you can inflict Bedlam on them, or pull them out of it, at will. OK, you have to give them time to respire five motes in between the gossamer-mining, but that’s not a big deal. For a cost of one committed mote those can be pretty useful bonuses.

Mirth Like Mail (Abjuration *, 1 Committed Mote):

I shall laugh in face of peril while I remain under arms.

  • Opalescent Gossamer Raiment (2): The user gains (Ess + Heart) Lethal and Bashing Soak.

This one is uncomplicated – but handy enough. A little extra Soak never hurts, particularly when you can’t afford much in the way of active defensive charms.

The Stormtreader’s Oath (Abjuration *, 1 Committed Mote):

While I walk within Creation I shall rejoice in the furies of it’s storms.

  • Assumption of Water Shape: The user is adapted for life underwater. He or she may freely move and breathe there, need not concern himself of herself with pressure issues, and generally gets ignored by Fish (who instinctively know better than to get involved).
  • Assumption of Fire Shape: The user gains immunity to all non-magical fire, heat, and smoke, including natural lightning (even if that IS pretty rare) and electricity (which come closer to being fire than to any other element).

This one is pretty handy when you want to climb out of the ocean and start playing with the flamethrowers…

The Oath Of The Distant Wanderer (Abjuration *, 1 Committed Mote):

I shall endeavor to learn of the lands about me, near and far, until I satiate myself with places that I would really rather not visit!

  • Assumption of Air Shape: The user may ignore all natural cold and may move over ice and snow without trouble.
  • Assumption of Wood Shape: the user may resist all natural poisons with a successful stamina check and may stand on the thinnest of branches (or, presumably, similar supports) with no trouble.

This one is pretty handy if you expect to deal with any toxins or bad weather – and works very nicely on irritant poisons, such as tear gas. If you want to saturate an area with gas and ignore it, then this is the oath for you!

Hm… that’s five one-point Adjurations – for a net cost of five motes. That will only leave a typical Raksha Warrior with about five motes available if they take all five of them.

Of course, the Raksha Warriors I have in mind have exactly two charms they’re likely to want to use in combat – one at the beginning which is only usable once per combat and one is a last-resort damage-reducer – and each of those costs five motes. So they can simply stunt for more motes, and all is well.

That still leaves each Warrior with one point worth of treasures unaccounted for – but, if you like, you can leave the Lorekeepers to more important things and treasures and simply assume that they each have one of the various oaths and that they pass them around as needed.

2 Responses

  1. […] Militaristic Raksha Treasures: Tale of Heroism, Barking Dog, Mantling Dream of the Peerless Warrior, Portable Foxhole, Oriflamme of Conquest, Aspect of Pan, the Wondersmith’s Oath, Mirth Like Mail, the Stormtreaders Oath, and the Oath of the Distant Wanderer. For when you want to equip some combat troops. […]

  2. […] Militaristic Raksha Treasures: Tale of Heroism, Barking Dog, Mantling Dream of the Peerless Warrior, Portable Foxhole, Oriflamme of Conquest, Aspect of Pan, the Wondersmith’s Oath, Mirth Like Mail, the Stormtreaders Oath, and the Oath of the Distant Wanderer. For when you want to equip some combat troops. […]

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