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    Default [Exalted] Dolorous Carnifex Style

    Dolorous Carnifex Style
    The style of the Dolorous Carnifex is a rare one, as it originates beyond Creation and its practitioners have a tendency to live very short, selfish, pitiless lives that do not lend themselves to opening dojos and training students. Still, it can be tracked rather consistently back to the Shogunate Era, following the swift rises and falls of uncouth ruffians throughout the martial art circuits of Creation, especially the underground fight clubs set along the trade routes of the South.

    Its creator was a Fire-Aspect Dragonblood who had fallen to become an Akuma of The Endless Desert (and he was certainly not the only Terrestrial to do so in that time of senseless warmongering). His task, as was set by his mistress, was to take advantage of the weakness of Creation with the Solars finally vanquished, and expand the practice of Yozi worship. To this end, he was given a measure of Cecelyne’s power, which allowed him to bestow a variety of gifts upon mortals in order to tempt them.

    For those of great faith and talent, Cecelyne ordained her Akuma to awaken their Essence so that they might rise above their extremely restrictive mortal limitations and become her champions. He did as he was told, though quickly noticed that, among the dispossessed who had easily flocked to the cults of the Yozi, not many had the patience or even the raw intelligence (or literacy) to become thaumaturges, much less sorcerers, despite their fully realized Essence. He attempted to teach them the few Terrestrial Martial Arts he knew, but they required extensive effort without offering much that couldn’t be had elsewhere in Creation from a less blasphemous sifu.

    And so the idea for the Dolorous Carnifex was born. A simple, easy to learn, brutish style for those that wanted power without a lot of thought towards long-term consequences. Its focus was primarily on viciously destroying mortals, while being entirely worthless against more worthy opponents, allowing would-be neophytes to be tempted by the opportunity to play the unstoppable bully immediately after joining the Cult of Cecelyne (the part about being worthless against other Essence-users was typically left out of the explanation).

    Dolorous Carnifex is aspected to the element of Vitriol. Terrestrials with an Air aspect, or Terrestrial Akuma of any kind, pay no surcharge for using its charms.

    Weapons and Armor: Gauntlets, cestuses, boots, knives, khatars, axes, scythes, and spears count as unarmed attacks for the purposes of Dolorous Carnifex Style. It was originally intended for being taught to disenfranchised street brawlers, dirt farmers, and other members of the angry lower class. You didn’t get a lot of people with formal training in the use of the Seven Section Staff or the Straight Sword, but you did get people who had hefted an axe to chop wood or scythed grain before their farm had been burnt to the ground in the struggle between two neighboring daimyo. For similar reasons, this style works in light armor, but nothing heavier.

    Special Rule: By learning this style, a mortal’s Essence is easily overwhelmed by the vitriolic taint that the Dolorous Carnifex entails. When a heroic mortal wishes to learn a charm of this style, they may choose to forfeit some of their mind or body to make the process easier. They may sacrifice a dot of Compassion or Temperance, which lowers the cost of learning the charm by 9xp, or they may sacrifice a dot of Intelligence or Charisma, which lowers the cost of learning the charm by 12xp, or they may sacrifice a dot of permanent Willpower, which lowers the cost of learning the charm by 4xp. This option may not be used to lower a trait below one.

    If the heroic mortal later Exalts, somehow becomes a Godblood, or in any way transcends their pathetic mortal existence, the vitriolic damage is removed from them, restoring their traits and pushing them into Experience Debt for the total amount of experience they circumvented spending by sacrificing those traits.

    Innocent-Bystander Eviscerating Fist
    Cost: 1m; Mins: Martial Arts 2, Essence 1; Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: Combo-OK
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: None

    As the vitriolic essence of the Carnifex taints the martial artist, it also begins to evolve him in the perverse way that is its nature. He becomes a predator among his own people, betraying his station at the bottom of the totem pole to butcher his peers.

    Supplemented by this charm, an unarmed attack directed at a mortal extra, mortal, or heroic mortal deals lethal damage. In addition, it has the tag “Overwhelming 4” versus mortal extras, “Overwhelming 3” against mortals, and “Overwhelming 2” against heroic mortals, unless the heroic mortal also has enlightened essence, in which case this charm confers no Overwhelming bonus.

    Stride of the Grinning Hector
    Cost: 2m; Mins: Martial Arts 2, Essence 1; Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: Combo-OK
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Innocent-Bystander Eviscerating Fist

    The Dolorous Carnifex loves to fight battles he knows he can win.

    This charm supplements a Join Battle roll. If the martial artist is entering a battle against a force with no essence-users in it, he subtracts a number of dice from his Join Battle roll equal to his Martial Arts score, and adds the same number of successes. If at least one of his opponents is an essence-user, the minute pressure their presence exerts negates the benefit of this charm.

    Biggest Kid in the Schoolyard Method
    Cost: 1m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 1; Type: Reflexive (Step 2)
    Keywords: Combo-OK
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Innocent-Bystander Eviscerating Fist

    Surely the Carnifex is a god among men. Or at least a termite among ants. At the very least, he’s like the kid who got held back a year twice in Middle School, so he’s like 6’ 1” in 7th grade.

    This charm is activated in response to an attack made against the martial artist. He adds his Martial Arts score to his bashing and lethal soak for one attack. This benefit fails against any attack made by an artifact or supplemented by a charm.

    Example Setting Posture
    Cost: 2m; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 1; Type: Reflexive
    Keywords: Combo-OK
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Innocent-Bystander Eviscerating Fist

    You never need to be stronger than the rest of the crowd. You just need to be stronger than its weakest member. Once you beat a lesson into that one, the rest will be too scared for their own safety to oppose you.

    This charm must be activated in response to dropping a mortal extra into or below their Incapacitated health level. A number of other mortal extra opponents equal to your Martial Arts score must immediately make Valor checks or flee for their lives.

    Dolorous Carnifex Form
    Cost: 3m, 1wp; Mins: Martial Arts 3, Essence 1; Type: Simple
    Keywords: Form-Type
    Duration: One Scene
    Prerequisite Charms: Stride of the Grinning Hector, Biggest Kid in the Schoolyard Method, Example Setting Posture

    The martial artist uses essence to puff out his body to appear larger and more imposing than it actually is. Every movement and gesture is focused to give the impression of tremendous strength and skill, whether it is actually there or not.

    While in this form, the martial artist may parry lethal attacks while unarmed. He increases his DDV and PDV value by 1 against opponents without enlightened essence, due to the flimsy and easily pierced facade of power he exerts. Finally, he may make use of Example Setting Posture without it being considered a charm activation.

    Culling the Limping Gazelles
    Cost: 2m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 1; Type: Extra Action
    Keywords: Combo-OK
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Dolorous Carnifex Form

    Channeling the twisted evolutionary traits of vitriol, the martial artist aids in the strengthening of his people by eliminating its weakest members. Its certainly not so he can look awesome and feel better about himself.

    This charm is a flurry of (Martial Arts) unarmed attacks, which ignores Rate and multiple action penalties. However, each attack may only target a mortal extra, and each attack must be targeting a different extra.

    Ultimate Attack of Inescapable Death
    Cost: 3m; Mins: Martial Arts 4, Essence 1; Type: Supplemental
    Keywords: Combo-OK
    Duration: Instant
    Prerequisite Charms: Culling the Limping Gazelles

    An unarmed attack supplemented by this charm is a Perfect Attack against a mortal extra and, if it succeeds in hitting, it kills them instantly, dealing infinity damage.

    This charm is Obvious, after a fashion. Instead of divulging its full effects, it is merely Obvious that the charm is capable of murdering someone in a single blow, regardless of their defenses. Also, it explicitly makes sure everyone understands “infinity damage” is what we‘re dealing with.

    Against anyone but a mortal extra, this charm has no effect, and is not Obvious.


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    Default Re: [Exalted] Dolorous Carnifex Style

    This is a silly style for serious (if weakling little mortal) characters. I approve wholeheartedly of the idea.

    It does good effects, very cheaply, with the option to learn it incredibly fast (with a little sacrifice to those Yozi overlords, of course...) at the expense that, in fact, anyone learning is is an Essence-wielder... Who is only good against non-essence-wielders. In fact, most of these tricks can only be pulled out against mortal extras.

    I would go so far as to say that this style crosses the line into too weak against mortals. It certainly should be less-than-effective against heroic mortals, but I think that at least Culling the Limping Gazelles needs to work on normal mortals as well.

    The capstone charm is very, very nice for intimidation purposes, however, which helps to redeem the whole chain. Imagine the embarrassment when a martial artist who knows this style manages to freak out a Solar with that attack. Embarrassment could be for the Solar who was tricked... Or for the guy once the Solar finds out and kills him.

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    Default Re: [Exalted] Dolorous Carnifex Style

    My only problem with this style is its potential in armies. An army of mortals with this style just crushes every other mortal army ever, regardless of who's leading them. And even against other mortals, mortals should never really win, ever.

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    Default Re: [Exalted] Dolorous Carnifex Style

    I definitely like the idea of letting mortals sacrifice their minds and virtues to gain this style, and aspecting it to Vitriol.

    "Dolorous Carnifex" is a bit hard to remember, and starting at Biggest Kid in the Schoolyard Method I became unable to think of it as anything but "Big Mean Jerkface Style." I'm not saying change the name or anything, I'm just saying that this is Big Mean Jerkface Style.

    Should Example Setting Posture be Reflexive instead of Instant?

    The form seems a little weak to me, but your call.

    Culling the Limping Gazelles seems slightly strong for 2m to me, maybe raise it to 3m.

    In any case, it's beautiful. Good work.
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    Default Re: [Exalted] Dolorous Carnifex Style

    Well, I'm glad you all like the concept!

    Quote Originally Posted by aetherialDawn View Post
    It certainly should be less-than-effective against heroic mortals, but I think that at least Culling the Limping Gazelles needs to work on normal mortals as well.
    Quoted for evaluation. Anyone second this notion?

    Quote Originally Posted by DCGFTW View Post
    My only problem with this style is its potential in armies. An army of mortals with this style just crushes every other mortal army ever, regardless of who's leading them. And even against other mortals, mortals should never really win, ever.
    Would this really be a problem though? I can't imagine raising an entire army with this style would be super easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    I definitely like the idea of letting mortals sacrifice their minds and virtues to gain this style, and aspecting it to Vitriol.
    I've been meaning to do a Vitriol-aspected martial art for a while now. I actually have two others partway done that I scrapped because they ended up being much too Celestial in style (though not necessarily in power).

    "Dolorous Carnifex" is a bit hard to remember, and starting at Biggest Kid in the Schoolyard Method I became unable to think of it as anything but "Big Mean Jerkface Style." I'm not saying change the name or anything, I'm just saying that this is Big Mean Jerkface Style.
    Oh yeah, definitely. I came up with "Dolorous Carnifex" pretty much right before posting it. In all seriousness, the name I had been operating under while writing it was "Douchebag Bully Style". But I didn't think that sounded Exalted enough. And proper nouns are very important in Exalted.

    Should Example Setting Posture be Reflexive instead of Instant?
    It's both, actually! One of those is a type and one is a duration.

    Culling the Limping Gazelles seems slightly strong for 2m to me, maybe raise it to 3m.
    I may combine this with aetherial's suggestion, and make it work on non-extra mortals (and maybe a tiny, weak effect on heroic mortals), but up the cost to 3m. 3m is a lot to an Essence 1 mortal, though, scarily enough.

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    Default Re: [Exalted] Dolorous Carnifex Style

    I like this style.

    I don't think the point about armies is a problem. Sure, an army of Dolorous Carnifexes will absolutely devastate an army composed entirely of mortals, but the same would be true for any Terrestrial Martial Art. You're pitting Essence-using martial artists against unenlightened mortals; that is not a fair fight regardless of what style they know. The only difference is that this style is easier to teach to mortals with the proper mindset, but I think that's the main draw of it. There's precedent for that sort of thing; see akuma and Yozi-kin.

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    Default Re: [Exalted] Dolorous Carnifex Style

    Why do I need charms to fight mortals? An exceptionally weak induvidual has the potential to kill an extra with a single kick. The style seems superfluous to me.
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    Default Re: [Exalted] Dolorous Carnifex Style

    Quote Originally Posted by tribble View Post
    Why do I need charms to fight mortals? An exceptionally weak induvidual has the potential to kill an extra with a single kick. The style seems superfluous to me.
    You don't. Your cult of mortal extras, on the other hand...

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    Default Re: [Exalted] Dolorous Carnifex Style

    What does infinity damage look like anyway? Molecular-scale nuclear explosions?
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    Default Re: [Exalted] Dolorous Carnifex Style

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarian View Post
    What does infinity damage look like anyway? Molecular-scale nuclear explosions?
    You tear out their heart and an apparently-real Pattern Spider arrives to announce 'Fatality' at the rest of the target's body violently tears itself apart into a bloody mess.

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    Default Re: [Exalted] Dolorous Carnifex Style

    Would this really be a problem though? I can't imagine raising an entire army with this style would be super easy.
    Weeeell... actually, probably not. I can't think of a way to teach MA charms to lots of people quickly that someone who practices Dolorous Carnifex would plausibly have. Crane Style and Throne Shadow both have charms that let you teach martial arts charms very quickly, but they're a) one-on-one and b) not martial arts that a Terrestrial Akuma is terribly likely to study.

    Oh yeah, definitely. I came up with "Dolorous Carnifex" pretty much right before posting it. In all seriousness, the name I had been operating under while writing it was "Douchebag Bully Style". But I didn't think that sounded Exalted enough. And proper nouns are very important in Exalted.
    Would something like Sneering Marauder be sufficiently Exalted-y?


    It's both, actually! One of those is a type and one is a duration.
    Oh right, I've been reading too many NWoD books and forgot that instant actions aren't a thing in Exalted. Don't mind me.

    I may combine this with aetherial's suggestion, and make it work on non-extra mortals (and maybe a tiny, weak effect on heroic mortals), but up the cost to 3m. 3m is a lot to an Essence 1 mortal, though, scarily enough.
    True, but it's "3m and probably kill everybody next to you." As opposed to the capstone, "3m and definitely kill that one guy." I think it's reasonable for Culling the Limping Gazelles to have *some* effect on non-extras, but if it's too strong it'll overshadow Ultimate Attack of Inescapable Death, and we don't want that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thespianus View Post
    I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.

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    Default Re: [Exalted] Dolorous Carnifex Style

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    Would something like Sneering Marauder be sufficiently Exalted-y?
    I second this name. Dolorous Carnifex is nice and all, but Sneering just adds that extra touch.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlySeraph View Post
    True, but it's "3m and probably kill everybody next to you." As opposed to the capstone, "3m and definitely kill that one guy." I think it's reasonable for Culling the Limping Gazelles to have *some* effect on non-extras, but if it's too strong it'll overshadow Ultimate Attack of Inescapable Death, and we don't want that.
    This is true, but the Ultimate Attack of Inescapable Death is 3m to kill someone in a way that can scare even Exalts. I would look at it not as a charm for combat effectiveness, but for intimidation - the perfect capstone to a style that sacrifices actual effectiveness for apparent effectiveness.

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    Default Re: [Exalted] Dolorous Carnifex Style

    This Style is love. Takes a theme, runs with it, and encourages fighting in a certain style, which is just what Martial Arts is about. Good job!

    Culling could probably be used on regular mortals as well, with few problems.

    As for armies trained with this; it could be a problem... But then, armies of enlightened mortals beating down unenlightened mortals is a no-brainer anyway, and we've yet to get the War equivalent of Terrestrial Edification Program. I think it's fine.
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