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 Perfect Defenses and the Four Flaws of Invulnerability House Rule

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Chosen One



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Join date : 2009-05-04

PostSubject: Perfect Defenses and the Four Flaws of Invulnerability House Rule   Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:19 pm

All the Exalted and especially the Solars have access to certain charms that fall under the catch-all phrase of "Perfect Defenses". In the Solar's cases, these defenses truly are perfect. An attack that is "undodgeable" can be dodged (Seven Shadow Evasion). An attack that is "unparryable" can be parried (Heavenly Guardian Defense). And attacks that get through defenses can be entired soaked up, whether the damage was 2 bashing damage or 100 aggravated damage (Adamant Skin Technique).
They are, in a word, perfect. But the Celestial Exalted pay for their mastery of defense in what are known as the Four Flaws of Invulnerability which are related to the virtue the Perfect Defense is linked to. These flaws are designed to both add some spice to the game as well as prevent players from throwing up a perfect defense for every attack that comes their way. After all, it would hardly be interesting if you could just apply a perfect defense whenever and turn battles into a case of "Nope, perfect defense".

However, this post is not here to describe why the Four Flaws exist. It is to describe a certain house rule I have. I have played and been Storyteller for enough games to know that certain virtues are selected and others ignored because their "flaw" is considerably weaker or conversely inabling to the player. Specifically, the Conviction and Compassion flaws.

Valor and Temperence have immediate game mechanic effects. Valor forces you to approach the most dangerous target your character determines, while Temperance causes you to stand your ground. Both conditions last until your DV refreshes twice. Obviously if you invoke a Perfect Defense again this "timer" is reset. These are sufficient "penalties" as standing your ground or approaching the most dangerous target can often be detrimental to your health. Not always, but the risk of perfection is apparent.

Compassion and Conviction, however, function all the time without additional game mechanic affects, EXCEPT under certain conditions where they do not function at all. For Compassion, you are required to be in the presence of someone or something you care about. This is the "inabling" flaw as it requires you to either drag around someone you care about or come up with a stupid or contrived reason to why some object (like your sword) is worthy of your compassion. In essence, the Compassion Flaw makes the perfect defense useless except in certain special situations.
Conviction, on the other hand, works ALL the time except when the character acts against their motivation. As a character will never willingly work against their motivation, this means that unless an extremely contrived situation appears, the character can use their perfect defenses as often as they want and with no risks attached.

Obviously, almost no one picks a high compassion and many players do everything they can to make sure conviction is their primary virtue. I don't like how the rules discourage the use of Compassion and heavily encourage Conviction. So i've changed it.
Below are the House Rules for the Four Flaws of Invunerability:

1) Valor and Temperance flaws stay exactly as they are.


2) Both Compassion and Conviction flaws are based around betrayal of the virtue, not merely around special conditions. Whenever a character suppresses a successful virtue check they lose access to that flawed Perfect Defense for the remainder of the scene because they "betrayed their principles".

ex. Deep Tide rolls his compassion dice (equal to his rating) to see if he will ignore the needs of a man being bullied by the guards. If he fails the check (gets no successes), he is fine and can do as he pleases. If he passes then he must either help the man (which might carry risks of him failing his current objective or inciting the guards against himself) or he must spend a willpower to suppress the check. His Perfect Defense, Seven Shadow Evasion, was linked to Compassion. As he "betrayed" his heart for the sake of his mission, he is unable to use Seven Shadow Evasion for the rest of the scene.

ex. # 2: Glorious Days Anthem rolls his conviction dice as he must decide whether or not to carry on a task he now knows has dire consequences (such as making unexpected "necessary sacrifices" of innocent people). If he fails, he can adjust his objectives or abandon the task as decides the cost is too great. If, however, he succeeds, he must continue with his objective in full "for the sake of the greater good", no matter how much trouble or pain it might cause later. If he chooses to spend a willpower to suppress the check and rethink or alter his objectives, he is considered to have betrayed his integrity and the necessity of the task at hand. His Perfect Defense, Heavenly Guardian Defense, is linked to Conviction. As he "betrayed" his integrity and goals by switching from his set task, he is unable to use Heavenly Guardian Defense for the rest of the scene.


3) Conviction is still affected by betraying ones motivations AS WELL as actively working against or failing their own current goals. If someone's motivation is "Protect all Solars" and they let one die because they don't think they can save them, they are considered to have betrayed their motivation and cannot use their related Perfect Defenses for one scene. If they had an objective and they either abandoned it (for whatever reason) or did something to contradict it (for whatever reason) they are considered to have betrayed their integrity (much like in rule # 2) and cannot use their related Perfect Defenses.


4) Compassion does not require someone or something the Exalt cares about be nearby to employ. However, the Exalt cannot use a Perfect Defense if it would somehow endanger someone/thing they care about. Such as using Seven Shadow Evasion if the projectile that missed the Exalt would hit their loved one behind them or being told by your attacker that any attempts at using special magics would result in them harming the character's loved ones.
Additionally, any act of deliberate cruelty on someone who was never capable of defending themselves from you, you are unable to use any related Perfect Defenses for the rest of the scene.
Exemption: If for SOME reason you have a Virtue Flaw like "Deliberate Cruelty", "Foolhardy Contempt" or the like and you are in the midst of a Limit Break, the "deliberate acts of cruelty" doesn't apply as in that state you do not view any act you commit as "deliberate cruelty". It is all quite necessary.
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