Lunars Preview [Exalted]

Exalted

Hey y’all, it’s Eric and Vance here. This time, we’re previewing Lunars: Fangs at the Gate with a selection of Lunar Charms. This selection is aimed at showing off their shapeshifting, their core concept as divine apex predators, and the warrior-trickster-witch themes of Lunar Castes. Enjoy!

Heart-Drinking Allure

Cost: —; Mins: Appearance 3, Essence 1
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: None

The Lunar need not shed blood to taste of her lover’s heart. When she performs a sacred hunt to take the shape of a human that has a Major or Defining Tie of love or lust toward her (or her current shape), she may conclude it with a voluntary act of physical intimacy — a passionate embrace, a kiss, sex — instead of killing him.

Herd-Reinforcement Stance

Cost: 4m (+1wp); Mins: Charisma 4, Essence 2
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Herd-Strengthening Invocation

The Lunar embodies the archetypal Other, set apart from society yet defining it through her presence. When she makes an influence roll whose targets all belong to the same culture, she treats each target as having a Minor Principle reflecting one of that culture’s customs. Not only can this penalize their Resolve, but it can also be leveraged when using an instill roll to strengthen an existing Intimacy, when using a persuade roll to determine what level of task targets will perform, or similar purposes. The Lunar must be aware of the custom she invokes, letting her either appeal to it overtly or subtly phrase her arguments to prey on it.

If the Lunar has a Defining Tie towards the society whose custom she invokes, she may pay an additional Willpower to instead treat the custom as a Major Principle. Outcasts, dissidents, or any culture members whose personal Intimacies conflict with the custom still only treat it as Minor.

Flowing Body Evasion

Cost: 5m (+1wp); Mins: Dexterity 5, Essence 3
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Perilous, Uniform
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Sensing the Deadly Flow

In the moment that she is attacked, the Lunar’s body becomes fluid and malleable. Her flesh yields to the passage of blades and arrows without suffering injury, can compress itself to take shelter between even the tiniest gaps between falling boulders, and can seep through pools of acid or lava unharmed. She may dodge even an undodgeable attack as long as she is aware of it. If the attack roll beats her Evasion, she may pay one Willpower to subtract successes equal to her Evasion (against that attack) from the damage roll. As long as the Lunar takes no damage from the attack, she is considered to have successfully dodged it.

Alternatively, the Lunar may use this Charm, paying its Willpower surcharge, to perfectly dodge a source of uncountable damage. If the damage is recurring, the Willpower surcharge is waived on subsequent rounds in the same scene.

Swift Killer Style

Cost: 3m, 2i; Mins: Dexterity 3, Essence 2
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Perilous, Protean, Uniform
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Predator Grace Technique

The Lunar is a frenetic blur of violence, letting the momentum of her blows impel her across the battlefield. To use this Charm, she must move into close range with an enemy and attack him on the same turn. If the attack succeeds, she may reflexively move one range band in any direction, vertically or horizontally. This doesn’t count as her movement for the turn.

Protean: In animal shapes capable of flight, the Lunar may instead ascend two range bands upward. In aquatic animal shapes, she may instead descend two range bands down into a body of water.

Memory-Drinking Meditation

Cost: 1m; Mins: Intelligence 3, Essence 1
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Stackable
Duration: Indefinite
Prerequisite Charms: None

The Lunar tastes the minds of her prey through their heart’s blood. When she completes a sacred hunt to take a human’s shape, she takes on one of her target’s Ties to an individual character, gaining it herself at the Minor level. She must be aware of the Tie beforehand, either through a successful read intentions roll or as an inference from observing her target’s behavior.

As long as she is in the target’s shape, she has access to all his memories that relate to the adopted Tie. The Storyteller may choose to reveal specific information related to the victim’s memories to the Lunar when it becomes relevant, and the Lunar may introduce facts (Exalted, p. 237) as though these memories were a relevant Lore background. This Charm ends if the Lunar’s adopted Tie is completely eroded.

The Lunar may stack multiple activations of this Charm to retain the memories of multiple victims, or a single victim’s memories of multiple Ties.

Devil-Pleasing Chiminage

Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Intelligence 4, Essence 2
Type: Simple
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Ardent Prayers Fulfilled

The Lunar bears secret wisdom of the ways of Heaven and Hell, and knows how best to appease their otherworldly denizens. She makes an (Intelligence + [Lore or Occult]) roll to introduce a fact regarding the existence of something that will make an especially pleasing offering to a spirit or raksha, without needing any specific Lore background. The roll is made against a difficulty of (the entity’s Essence + 2), although the Storyteller may lower this if the Lunar describes an offering that will require notable effort to recover. The offering must be specific and unique — if she attempts to court a river god, she could not introduce a fact that he desires apples, but could declare that the first apple of spring that grows on a specific tree would be efficacious.

Once the Lunar has introduced this fact, she or someone else must still undertake any efforts necessary to secure the offering. It counts as exceptional equipment (Exalted, p. 580) on a bargain roll with that entity made by whoever offers it, and also counts as a Major Intimacy supporting that influence. If the Lunar or the Solar mate conveys the offering, it counts as a Defining Intimacy and also increases the cost to resist by one Willpower. The offering’s benefit can only apply to a single roll.

Uncertain Sky Ambiguity

Cost: 6m; Mins: Manipulation 3, Essence 1
Type: Simple
Keywords: Mute
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Tale-Spinning Mastery

There are no certainties in the company of tricksters. The Lunar makes a special (Manipulation + [Presence or Socialize]) instill roll with (higher of Essence or 3) bonus dice, sowing disbelief through implication and innuendo. Success causes her targets to doubt whether a specific fact is true: A traveler waiting to meet a companion might question whether he’s waiting at the correct teahouse; a merchant might second-guess the value of a good; the victim of a pickpocketing might doubt whether he had the stolen item with him all along. This uncertainty can be leveraged with social influence as though it were a Major Intimacy for the rest of the scene.

A character presented with direct evidence that the fact is true may shake off this influence without spending Willpower. Likewise, a character with an Intimacy encompassing belief in the fact the Lunar seeks to cast into doubt may treat the roll as unacceptable influence. A soldier with a Tie of loyalty towards his commander might be made to question whether he heard her orders correctly, but not whether he serves her.

Echo-Drinking Awareness

Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Perception 3, Essence 2
Type: Simple
Keywords: Protean
Duration: One day
Prerequisite Charms: Heightened Sense Method

The Lunar subtly shifts her vocal chords and inner ears, perceiving the world through ultrasonic vibrations. She is able to “see” everything out to long range through echolocation, visualizing a black-and-white image of everything within that range even in zero visibility. Her echolocation is capable of penetrating through walls and similar obstructions, so long as they aren’t airtight. Characters can still conceal themselves from the Lunar with Stealth, but she adds an automatic success on rolls to detect hidden characters by echolocation.

If the Lunar has Sense-Sharpening Change active enhancing her hearing, its benefits also apply to rolls that would normally be vision-based.

Protean: In animal shapes with the Echolocation Merit, the Lunar instead doubles 9s on all echolocation-based rolls, including Join Battle rolls.

Steel Paw Style

Cost: —; Mins: Stamina 2, Essence 1
Type: Permanent
Keywords: None
Duration: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: None

Standing firm as she interposes her weapon between herself and the world, the Lunar becomes an unshakable aegis. When she blocks an attack using a medium or heavy weapon, an unarmed attack, or a natural weapon, she may use Stamina in place of Dexterity to calculate her Parry.

Adder Fang Method

Cost: 3m; Mins: Stamina 3, Essence 1
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Decisive-only, Protean, Totemic (Wits)
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Scorpion and Toad Absolution

The Lunar reshapes her anatomy to create toxic skin glands or venom ducts, lacing her attack with deadly potency. She envenoms a decisive attack with a poison that has Damage 2i/round (B in Crash), Duration (Stamina) rounds, and a –2 penalty. Alternatively, the Lunar may substitute the poison or venom of any animal form she possesses. Normally, this can only enhance unarmed or other natural attacks, but the Lunar may envenom a weapon with a suitable stunt.

Protean: In animal shapes that are venomous or poisonous, this Charm may instead increase the duration of a single dose by (Essence).

Totemic: A Lunar whose spirit shape is venomous or poisonous may learn this as a Wits Charm.

Stalking Nightmare Hunter

Cost: 10m, 1wp; Mins: Strength 4, Essence 2
Type: Simple
Keywords: None
Duration: One dream
Prerequisite Charms: Terrifying Predator Consumption

Once the Lunar has marked her quarry, he may flee to the ends of Creation yet still never be free of her. In his dreams, she is there, lurking in the places he dares not look or pursuing him with monstrous inevitability. Upon using this Charm, the Lunar chooses a human with a Major or Defining Tie of fear towards her or one of her shapes that she has either damaged with a decisive attack or successfully threatened within the last week. The next time that character sleeps, she hunts him through his dreams in whatever of her forms terrifies him the most, rolling (Strength + combat Ability) against his Resolve, taking his form on a success. Successfully claiming a character’s shape in a dream-hunt prevents him from regaining Willpower from that night’s sleep.

This Charm can’t be used against the same character more than once per story.

Magpie’s Nest Resourcefulness

Cost: 3m, 1wp; Mins: Wits 2, Essence 1
Type: Simple
Keywords: None
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Squirrel’s Cunning Technique

The Lunar has a knack for anticipating exactly what’s needed in any situation she might encounter. Upon using this Charm, she reveals that she’s had a mundane item that could be concealed upon her person all along. She makes a (Wits + Ability) roll at a difficulty of the item’s Resources rating, using an Ability that reflects how she procured the item: for example, Bureaucracy if she bought it while passing through a market, an applicable Craft if she built it over downtime, Larceny if she stole it, and so on. If successful, she produces the item, and it counts as exceptional equipment (Exalted, p. 580) for an applicable task. On a failed roll, she still produces the item, but it is deficient in some way determined by the Storyteller: It might impose a ?1 penalty, fall apart at the end of the scene, or similar.

If the Lunar succeeds on a Craft roll with this Charm, she gains crafting points as though she’d completed a basic project (Exalted, p. 240).

This Charm can only be used once per scene.

  14 comments for “Lunars Preview [Exalted]

  1. July 31, 2018 at 10:15 am

    I prayed to the blood moon and the blood moon has provided! Hail Luna!

    This looks great. Clearly-written, thematic, not Silver Solars 2.0 (or 3.0, I guess). Very excited to see them come to fruition.

    (And now I’m gonna be That Guy and point out that it’s vocal cords, not vocal chords, per standards in medical anatomy.)

  2. Maudova
    July 31, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Pretty great sample charms. I really like Stalking Nightmare Hunter

  3. July 31, 2018 at 10:50 am

    I can’t wait to see these animal merits – like Echolocation!! Good stuff!

  4. Noelle Nilsson
    July 31, 2018 at 11:25 am

    I feel Devil-Pleasing Chiminage is too niche charm and is very wordy, It just doesn’t feel right at all
    Charms that interact with Introducing Facts are always kind of itchy because they draw attention to the fact that if not for Lore’s existence, every ability would be able to Introduce Facts relevant to its purview.
    And as a result, Charms like Devil-Pleasing Chiminage seem like something you “should” be able to do anyway.

    Also. I didn’t get any witch theme at all with this

    • Glamourweaver
      July 31, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      The most basic function of a shaman is too niche? Dealing with spirits is a pretty central element of the setting.

    • John Veltman
      August 1, 2018 at 4:40 pm

      Yes, because witches have never played with hearts, tormented people in dreams, been notorious pack rats prepared for every situation, shapeshifters, or dealt regularly with spirits. There’s absolutely no mythological basis in half the world’s myths of witchcraft, nope.

  5. Werner van Voorst
    July 31, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Wow, these are some amazing charms and really cool previews.
    I like the form-acquisition charms, Heart-Drinking Allure might be a bit awkward around the table but at least having an Essence 1 charms that means you can take human shapes without killing them is a great improvement.
    Devil-Pleasing Chiminage is the most wow, that’s amazing charm to me. I can already imagine the cool stories Lunar players at my table will come up with to court a powerful spirit.
    Memory-Drinking Meditation also has me very excited. You can steal people’s memories. At Essence 1!
    Each one of these charms either allows players to tell stories or make characters in ways we haven’t seen before. I have a lot of faith Lunars are going to be amazing if they are going to be of this quality.

  6. Alan-Michael Havens
    July 31, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    Nice! These all look cool and evocative, though I think that Stalking Nightmare Hunter takes home the gold, especially since it suggests that there will be even more than the nine Heart’s Blood Charms for taking people’s shapes.

  7. Phasmyda
    July 31, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Damn, these are cool. Most especially Stalking Nightmare Hunter and Devil-Pleasing Chiminage, but really, all of them are very evocative.

  8. YOLF
    July 31, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    This is some good stuff. Lunars are looking very evocative, Memory-Drinking Meditation and Stalking Nightmare Hunter in particular are really cool extensions of Lunars’ predatory shapeshifter witch themes. Flowing Body Evasion is quite elegant and powerful as well, and provides a very interesting point of comparison with some similar Solar charms.

  9. Reshy
    August 2, 2018 at 7:21 am

    Magpie’s Nest Resourcefulness having a willpower cost I’m not sure if it fits or not, since it’s highly limited in what it can produce and limited to once per scene.

  10. Zachary Johnson
    August 13, 2018 at 3:12 am

    Where is the Exigents book that was due out in July? Is it out? Cannot find it anywhere. I could care less about lunars. But the exigents sounded cool.

    • Ian A. A. Watson
      August 13, 2018 at 3:18 am

      You can see the current productions status of all our projects on the weekly Monday Meeting Notes blog.

      Exigents isn’t out yet; we generally don’t do release dates, so I’m not sure where you saw a July date.

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