Signature Charms (Dragon-Blooded, Pt. 3) [Exalted]

In Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought, each Dragon-Blooded Ability has five powerful Signature Charms, one for each element. Signature Charms are powerful and relatively easy to access, but you can only take one for each Ability.

Distraction of the Babbling Brook

Cost: 6m, 1wp; Mins: Bureaucracy 5, Essence 3; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Psyche, Signature (Water)
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Thoughtful Gift Technique

Suffusing her language with the fluid ambiguity of water, the Dragon-Blooded can ensnare business partners or customers in labyrinthian contracts. This Charm enhances a bargain roll made with any Ability, allowing the Dragon-Blooded to conceal one of the conditions or requirements of the deal from the target. If the deal is verbal, the hidden words slip past the target’s attention; if it is written, his eye slips over the obfuscated terms. Because the target is not consciously aware of this part of the bargain, he cannot call on Intimacies that oppose it to bolster his Resolve or spend Willpower in Decision Points. Similarly, his Resolve is not penalized by Intimacies that oppose it.

The Dragon-Blooded’s influence roll subtracts a number of successes based on the severity of the clause. If it is comparable to an inconvenient task (Exalted, p. 216), such as a hidden fee, it loses -1 success. If it is a serious task, such as committing a serious crime or making payments that risk bankrupting the target, it loses -3 successes. If it is a life-changing task, such as convincing someone to sell himself into slavery or trading a queen a horse for her palace, it loses -5 successes.

The target may pay three Willpower to resist, becoming aware of the hidden clause and able to call on any applicable Intimacies in response. Resisting renders him immune to this Charm for the next (Integrity + Essence) days. Otherwise, he is bound to the term—once he becomes aware of it, his mind rationalizes an explanation for how he could have accepted it voluntarily, despite having no memory of doing so. He must comply with the bargain no matter how harsh, unless another character overturns the Dragon-Blooded’s influence (Exalted, p. 221).

Distraction of the Babbling Brook can only be used once per story, unless reset by completing a major character or narrative goal (Exalted, p. 170) through bureaucratic means.

Sleeping Dragon’s Lair

Cost: 7m, 1wp; Mins: Stealth 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Mute, Signature (Earth)
Duration: Indefinite
Prerequisite Charms: None

The Dragon-Blooded descends into the earth beneath her, lurking or slumbering underground until she wakes. As long as she is standing on soil, sand, or similarly pliant earth, she may use this Charm to sink into the ground, entombing herself just below the surface. While she is underground, it is impossible to detect her with sight or hearing without using applicable Charms or other magic, such as hearing the sound of her heartbeat with Knowing Beyond Silence or sensing her presence with Feeling the Dragon’s Bones (p. XX). She can still be tracked by scent, but her trail ends abruptly at the point where she vanished into the earth.
While entombed within the earth, the Dragon-Blooded is incapable of using her senses or moving without the use of appropriate Charms. She could eavesdrop through a layer of topsoil with Deep-Listening Palm, use All-Encompassing Earth Presence to detect the presence of anyone range, or even use Following the Dragon’s Path to move her underground hiding spot. She buries herself along with enough air to breath for five minutes, after which she must hold her breath or make use of Charms such as Unbreathing Earth Discipline (p. XX).

When this Charm ends, the Dragon-Blooded emerges from the earth in a great plume of dust that extends one range band into the air that she can hide within. If she is in Earth Aura, she may expend it through the dust plume to blind all enemies in short range unless they succeed on a (Stamina + Awareness) roll at difficulty 3. Blinded characters must spend three Initiative and a turn washing out their eyes or receive proper medical treatment to regain sight.

An Essence 5 repurchase of this Charm lets the Dragon-Blooded descend into solid rock as long as it is natural, unworked stone. She could embed herself in the wall of a cavern or a mountain overhang, but not the stone floor of a dungeon. Emerging from solid rock unleashes a spray of stone shrapnel instead of a blinding dust plume. In addition to penalizing Awareness, this acts as a one-time environmental hazard out to short range from the Dragon-Blooded with Damage 3L and a difficulty equal to the lowest of her (Strength, Dexterity, or Stamina).

Tempest-Ruling Commander

Cost: 8m, 1wp (5i); Mins: War 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Signature (Air)
Duration: Until stratagem is completed
Prerequisite Charms: None

The Dragon-Blood commands the skies themselves, calling down bolts of lightning to fill her armory and darkening the horizon with the storm clouds that precede her armies. This Charm creates a unique magical stratagem of difficulty 5 to control the weather over the course of a strategic warfare, forcing the enemy to contend with storms or similarly perilous weather.

Once the Dragon-Blooded Joins Battle against the opposing army, the harsh weather rises to its peak in the form of a thunderstorm, gale-force wind, heavy snowfall, or other extreme weather. This imposes a -3 environmental penalty on all physical actions that enemy battle groups take in combat. Non-battle group enemies may suffer a -1 environmental penalty on appropriate actions, but the weather does not impede the Dragon-Blooded or her allies.

At the beginning of each round, if the Dragon-Blooded has 12+ Initiative, she may pay 5 Initiative to reflexively create an instantaneous environmental hazard targeting a single battle group—a bolt of lightning, an avalanche, or similar dangers. This hazard has difficulty (higher of Essence or Intelligence) and Damage (Willpower)L. If this deals enough Magnitude damage to reduce the battle group to Size 0, the Dragon-Blooded gains one point of temporary Willpower.

Tempest-Ruling Commander can only be used once per story, unless the Dragon-Blooded achieves a cumulative total bonus of +4 to her next Strategic Maneuver from any combination of non-magical sources.

Terrifying Forest-Devil Mask

Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Larceny 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Signature (Wood)
Duration: One day
Prerequisite Charms: None

The Dragon-Blooded dons a mask and vanishes into a world of legends and devils, taking up a disguise that embodies an archetypal warrior-hero, monster, or mythic character. Most Dynasts prefer to create ornate ritual masks from wood by hand, shaping their persona as they carve it from the wood wood, but a simple mask will suffice on short notice as long as it suitably evokes the persona’s image. She rolls to create a disguise with double 7s. Her persona must be either a fictitious identity or archetypal role, and cannot imitate an existing character. She divides (Essence) temporary specialties that fit her persona among any of her Abilities for as long as she remains in disguise.

Upon donning the mask, the Dragon-Blooded accepts a Defining Intimacy that suits her role, such as “Those who abuse their power must be humbled” or “Destroy all Anathema.” As long as she remains in disguise, this Intimacy cannot be weakened or changed by any means. Onlookers who fail to beat her disguise roll will react to her as though they had a Minor Tie, with a context appropriate to her persona and the circumstances. A folk hero might inspire gratitude among the peasants she fights for while drawing the ire of princes and their minions, while a horrible devil inspires sheer terror in all who look upon it.

In combat, an enemy may attempt to strike away the Dragon-Blooded’s mask as a difficulty 6 gambit. Doing so ends this Charm.

Wildfire-Taming Technique

Cost: 10m, 1wp; Mins: Survival 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple
Keywords: Signature (Fire)
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: None

The Dragon-Blooded may admonish even a wildfire, brandishing her elemental Essence to impose her will on the flame. This Charm can be used to divert a forest wildfire, forest-fire, or similar free-burning flame from the path of the Dragon-Blooded and her travel companions. She must come within at least short range of the wildfire’s edge and roll Charisma + Survival. The difficulty of the roll depends on the size of the fire—a small grass fire or a forest fire that has just begun might be difficult 1, a larger forest fire difficulty 3, and an out-of-control blaze that spans miles 5+. The Storyteller may apply penalties or bonuses based on environmental factors such as recent rainfall or high winds that help the fire spread.

A successful roll diverts the wildfire from the Dragon-Blooded’s path. Though it continues to burn, it avoids the Exalt and her companions, and will not pose any direct obstruction to them for the remainder of the story. If she has any threshold successes on the roll, she may redirect the wildfire to track down a character, using her total threshold successes in place of the Perception + Survival roll for tracking. Though it lacks sapience, the tamed wildfire is able to sense its quarry magically, and is thus even capable of tracking down a Solar using Traceless Passage.

The Storyteller decides the fire’s speed based on the environs and weather, up to a maximum of 150 miles per hour in ideal conditions. However, if there is no path of forested land, grass, peat, or other fuel that the fire can follow to pursue its target, its efforts end, making it possible to escape by fleeing from the wilderness.

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