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🎨 Creative [Exalted 3e] I need some help designing Evocations, which I am terrible at.

Patkin

ougikawa
Validated User
I'm working on a Dragon-Blooded character, a Water-aspect outcaste from Grieve named Black Lynx. She's a local magistrate (in the mold of Judge Dee), and in addition to being a superior investigator, she's also a brawler. So obviously the artifact she'd possess is a smashfist. And that's where I start having trouble. Aside from the rating and design (an artifact 3, black jade smashfist) and the what I feel is a great name for it, Ten Fingers, I'm at a blank.

But then I thought, "hey, there's a lot of people on RP Open who do Charm and Evocation design, maybe I can ask them for tips and ideas!" So, um, yeah.
 

MonkofLords

Registered User
Validated User
So basically, what I start with for any Artifact is "What is the theme?"

It's a Water themed fist, and in general, the next step is "What is it made of and why?". The Name Ten Fingers doesn't evoke that to me immediately (And that's fine).

So...is it a solid jade and metal fist, heavy and vastly larger than the hand it's over?
Is it a thin and light knuckduster, lightly wrapped around your hand?
Is it ornamental? Is it plain?

Who made it and for what purpose?

Starting with that, you should start seeing a theme form.
 

Gaius of Xor

Registered User
Validated User
I don't have much expertise to share, I'm afraid -- my lazier thoughts have largely been in the vein of, "Find an existing artifact with Evocations I like and just try to adjust from there to better fit the new artifact." >.>

Expanding on M MonkofLords 's fine suggestions, my understanding is indeed that coming up with a clearer identity for it before trying to work at mechanics is the way to go. They might help suggest directions. Stuff like...
  • What are some cool things you can think of for the smashfist to be able to do? Don't worry if nothing firm comes to mind yet, nor limit yourself to this as you go; this may just give you some thoughts.
  • Looking over the list of associations/capabilities in the core book and in Arms of the Chosen for Black Jade, are there any that seem particularly cool to you? Do any of the other magical materials (or any other sort of exotic magical component you can think up) sound interesting to you as a possible influence?
  • Related to the above, if there's anything in the Terrestrial Charmset in any Ability that you think might be cool to build off of for this artifact, bear in mind that such Charms could be enhanced or otherwise play nice with Ten Fingers. Brawl's an obvious contender, but you also mentioned Black Lynx is an investigative sort. Things that might help with Investigation could be a naturally synergistic possibility (e.g. some sort of benefit when fighting a criminal you've previously profiled), or even an Ability you wouldn't normally think about for the character or for a weapon.
  • If Ten Fingers isn't brand-new, it can help to think about a possible history. Can you think of any potentially cool origins, prior wielders, or significant events in which it was involved (i.e. events both in the sense of achievements of its wielders, and events which may have changed/affected the artifact itself)?

Fortunately! I also have slightly more than general conceptual questions/thoughts, there. I haven't read it in a while, but this guide by Wise Old Guru on the Onyx Path forums was very well-received. I remember really digging what it had to say at the time.
 

Patkin

ougikawa
Validated User
It's a Water themed fist, and in general, the next step is "What is it made of and why?". The Name Ten Fingers doesn't evoke that to me immediately (And that's fine).

So...is it a solid jade and metal fist, heavy and vastly larger than the hand it's over?
Is it a thin and light knuckduster, lightly wrapped around your hand?
Is it ornamental? Is it plain?

Who made it and for what purpose?
  • Related to the above, if there's anything in the Terrestrial Charmset in any Ability that you think might be cool to build off of for this artifact, bear in mind that such Charms could be enhanced or otherwise play nice with Ten Fingers. Brawl's an obvious contender, but you also mentioned Black Lynx is an investigative sort. Things that might help with Investigation could be a naturally synergistic possibility (e.g. some sort of benefit when fighting a criminal you've previously profiled), or even an Ability you wouldn't normally think about for the character or for a weapon.
  • If Ten Fingers isn't brand-new, it can help to think about a possible history. Can you think of any potentially cool origins, prior wielders, or significant events in which it was involved (i.e. events both in the sense of achievements of its wielders, and events which may have changed/affected the artifact itself)?
So, the name Ten Fingers is... well, it's kind of a boast. "I will only need Ten Fingers to bring you to justice."

I think that at its core, Ten Fingers is kind of a judge's weapon, something to bring an offender low, face the law, and solve crimes. So the affinities it might have are for deception (or the uncovering thereof), mystery (likewise), intuition and maybe tradition? So perhaps it's decorated with white jade in some secondary fashion (another aspect to Black Lynx's character is she has great potential in Integrity) to incorporate that.

An idea I like is that it originated with a Shogunate-era judge, someone renowned for their incorruptibility and wiseness, and the fist has worked its way around Creation, though I'm still kind of figuring out how it wound up in my character's possession or specific events it may have been involved in. Visually, I see it as... I guess the "solid jade and metal fist" is closer, just this mailed fist, like the gauntlets taken from plate armor; but I don't know if I see it as outrageously oversized compared to Black Lynx's hands (at least, no more than average for an artifact).

So, uh, yeah. A Shgunate-era weapon for a brawler/investigator/judge that maybe has interplay with Brawl, Investigation or Integrity. That's what I think I'm looking to do.
 

MonkofLords

Registered User
Validated User
Okay, in that case, I'd say tie it into the investigation mechanics. Get evocations for handling evidence, and getting bonuses against people you have successfully cased as suspects. Also some to help resist social influence when trying to deter you from the case.

The first step is the attunement bonus (Which, could just be "Get the first Evocation for free")
 

DNE

Registered User
Validated User
I want to see one of its evocations be a one-finger strike, to boast even more!
 

Gaius of Xor

Registered User
Validated User
Hmm, something about one of its focuses being "deception (or the uncovering thereof)" and the phrase "five-finger discount" makes me think of a notable/influential time in which Ten-Fingers may have been in the hands of two thieves, each wielding one smashfist of the pair.

Perhaps the artifact was at one point much more larcenous in spirit and acquired its prevailing character of investigation/justice later (perhaps beginning when the a more upstanding wielder had white jade fitted to them).
Instead, perhaps that ownership simply gave the weapon more of an understanding of the criminal element, all the better to uphold the law, make in-roads into trickery ("Sometimes, it's a help if the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing."), and maybe even work in tandem with a partner.
Or perhaps shared ownership of Ten-Fingers even wound up bettering the nature of the duo, turning them from cut-throat thieves to Robin Hood figures, perhaps pointing to a potential capacity to reform a lawbreaker.

Just some musing that came to mind.
 

Patkin

ougikawa
Validated User
I want to see one of its evocations be a one-finger strike, to boast even more!
Hmm, something about one of its focuses being "deception (or the uncovering thereof)" and the phrase "five-finger discount" makes me think of a notable/influential time in which Ten-Fingers may have been in the hands of two thieves, each wielding one smashfist of the pair.

Perhaps the artifact was at one point much more larcenous in spirit and acquired its prevailing character of investigation/justice later (perhaps beginning when the a more upstanding wielder had white jade fitted to them).
Instead, perhaps that ownership simply gave the weapon more of an understanding of the criminal element, all the better to uphold the law, make in-roads into trickery ("Sometimes, it's a help if the left hand doesn't know what the right is doing."), and maybe even work in tandem with a partner.
Or perhaps shared ownership of Ten-Fingers even wound up bettering the nature of the duo, turning them from cut-throat thieves to Robin Hood figures, perhaps pointing to a potential capacity to reform a lawbreaker.

Just some musing that came to mind.
So, I like the idea of an underlying larcenous nature to the weapons, especially with the notion of it potentially helping to reform lawbreakers in the process. Some other ideas I had were a weapon-catch sort of deal building off of Blade-Deflecting Palm that might help with a disarm gambit (reminiscent of Four Eyebrows, the wuxia hero), which I guess would be kind of similar to certain parts of Earth Dragon style?

But let's see, so far:
* some kind of benefit to fighting previously-profiled criminals.
* boosting case scene actions
* resisting social influence trying to throw you off the case (which kind of sounds like an aspect to one of the Investigation capstones for D-Bs?)
* a weapon-catch defense
* a one-finger strike that... does something, maybe it knocks an offender prone?
* helping understand the criminal element (how though?)
* maybe a means to impose a principle onto an offender as a sentence? (I kind of like this as the capstone, maybe.)

I don't know, I feel like I might be all over the place right now.
 

nikink

Rampant Green
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Just throwing some ideas out.

By handling an object the artfact can let the wearer know (or have an impression of) the last person to handle the object. Perhaps this is just a boost to the Investigation roll. A person so uncovered can then be designated as a 'target' for later Evocations.

For example:
A 'target' is easier to restrain. Perhaps a boost to grapple rolls or a penalty applied to break free from same.
A 'target' is easier to parry as the artifact grasps the targets weapons. Perhaps a successful parry also applies a disarm gambit.
A 'target' finds themselves unable to convince the wearer of their innocence. The wearer holds up their hand ("talk to the hand, chump") and gains some bonus to social or mental persuasions.

Just off the top of my head.
 
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