Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wushu Courtier Abilities

Last Wushu Post

The Courtier abilities as designed by Sherri-- intended to give abilities for the use of characters who combine social skills with warrior prowess. Closer to the broad conception of the Expert class from True20. She did a nice job adapting the virtues over into a set of ideas for play. Anyway, less mechanical posts on other topics coming up.

Virtuous Bearing of the Courtier:
Courtier track abilities cost 3 for the first rank, four for the second, and five for the third. Second rank abilities from these tracks count as stances-- meaning they cost chi to activate, have the stance ability limits, and cause doubling.

BENEVOLENCE
1. The Perfect Aid: With a successful Human Perception + Manipulation roll, Courtier may unerringly determine what act within their means will most greatly assist a target. The Courtier will not automatically know the reasons for the efficacy of the act nor precisely to what purpose the assistance will be used, but can often deduce these more readily with additional successes.

2. Courtier Effect: Benevolent Intervention: Courtier may add Coordinated to their attack without it counting toward their effect limit. As always, only one Courtier Effect may be added to any action. The word for this maneuver is Benevolent, of course.

3. Benevolent Aura: By spending 1 chi and 1 willpower, the Courtier will not be accosted, attacked or engaged so long as the Courtier does not perform any aggressive action or call out commands. In the case that the goal of the Courtier is directly opposed to an individual of greater Legend (i.e. securing an unwilling audience, removing a prisoner from their keeping, surviving as a witness to a terrible act, etc.), that individual is exempted from this effect but risks suffering a long-lasting drop in trust from any that he commands to stop the Benevolent Courtier. That individual must exceed the Courtier's own Legend on a Legend + Presence roll, or the Willpower of any he so orders will drop to zero for as many days as the Courtier's Legend. If the individual gets no successes, they themselves will lose as many Willpower as the Courtier's Legend.  This is not a subtle effect--in fact, people's eyes are drawn to the Courtier when they take on this Aura. If taken prisoner, the Courtier will be treated with respect and deference.
 
PROPRIETY
1. Propriety is a Gift: With a successful Human Perception + Charisma or Manipulation roll and 1 chi, Courtier may either:

*magnify the obligation placed upon the recipient of a gift or favor that the Courtier presents
*minimize the obligation taken on by accepting a gift or favor from another
*successfully refuse any gift or favor without giving offense
*nullify a similar attempt if faced by another Courtier

2. Courtier Effect: Unassailable Propriety: Courtier may add Deflect to their defense without it counting toward their effect limit. As always, only one Courtier Effect may be added to any action. The word for this maneuver is Unassailable.

3.The Semblance of Propriety: By spending an action and stepping into a place where none can witness the transformation, the Courtier may render their appearance immaculate, carefully arrayed and appropriate to the situation before them for one scene.
 
LOYALTY
1. Seek the Loyal Heart: With a successful Charisma + Human Perception roll and 1 chi, the Courtier will be drawn to the suitably skilled stranger within an hour's travel who is most amenable to the Courtier and the Courtier's specific and immediate purpose. Typically used to find hirelings, this ability does not help the Courtier to identify loyalty or appropriate skills among those already of their acquaintance—that's what Human Perception is for, dang it, and that's not a magical ability.

2. Courtier Effect: Loyalty is It's Own Reward: Courtier may add Returning to their attack without it counting toward their effect limit. As always, only one Courtier Effect may be added to any action. The word for this maneuver is Loyal.

3. Clear Eyes:  Courtier may spend a willpower to give themselves a 1 die bonus to resisting the effects and identifying the use of such effects of any other Courtiers for a scene.  If an effect has no resistance recourse listed, the Courtier may still make a resistance roll by exceeding the other Courtier's Legend with a Willpower roll.
 
RIGHTEOUSNESS
1. The Word is Mighty: By spending 1 willpower, Courtier may substitute Manipulation in place of Strength for an entire scene.
2. Courtier Effect: Right-minded Gaze: Courtier may add Focus to their attack without it counting toward their effect limit. As always, only one Courtier Effect may be added to any action. The word for this maneuver is Righteous.

3. Their Eyes May Not Avert: Courtier may spend 1 Willpower and 1 Chi to become the center of attention for a scene. While in this state, Courtier gains + 1 die to any rolls on Diplomacy, Presence or Expression. Only upon a roll of Manipulation + Resistance exceeding the Courtier's Legend may any look away, and their eyes will be drawn back if they fail a later Manipulation + Resistance roll. Additionally, it requires an Intelligence + Presence roll that exceeds the Courtier's Legend to pull another's attention away from the spectacle—and that person must then also begin to succeed on Manipulation + Resistance rolls. (The later rolls need only succeed, not exceed the Legend of the Courtier.) If Courtier cites, recites or performs the Classics, there is an additional + 1 difficulty to resist the effect of the allure.
 
INTELLECT
1. The Way: By spending one chi, Courtier may determine the most advantageous route and means of travel to a destination available to them at that moment for the stated purpose (speed, ease, information, services, etc.).   The Courtier's intuitions on this account are affected by his subconscious sensitivity to patterns in omens, traffic, gossip, weather and politics as well as his well-informed status, allowing him to avoid danger and complications--even those that do not already exist.

2. Courtier Effect: Intelligent Precaution: Courtier may add Silent to their action without it counting toward their effect limit. As always, only one Courtier Effect may be added to any action.  The word for this maneuver is Intelligent. 

3. Wise Instructor (aka Training Montage):
By spending 1 Willpower and 1 Chi, Courtier may train up to 2 willing volunteers or hirelings in one skill to be used for a specific situation, up to Courtier's general skill – 1 dots. Hence, Courtier may train peasants to defend their village against a known upcoming threat, or transform rough servant girls into elegant ladies-in-waiting for a single occasion—or even tutor fellow party members so that they can perform a particular play to gain entrance to a heavily guarded fortress. Each person (except PCs) so trained has a chance to retain 1 dot of the said skill if they did not previously possess the skill.
 
HARMONY
1. Gauging the Balance: By spending 1 chi, Courtier may determine Virtues of target and gain some insight to their interplay with the target's actions, arguments and desires.  This grants a 1 die bonus to social skills with that target for the scene.  Certain social stances may negate this ability.

2. Courtier Effect: Harmonious Solution: Courtier may add Subdual to their action without it counting toward their effect limit. As always, only one Courtier Effect may be added to any action.  The word for this maneuver is Harmonious.

3. Without Ripples: By spending one Willpower, the Courtier may negate the effects of one social faux paux committed by themselves or in their presence.  
 
VALOR 
1. Step Aside!: Courtier may spend 1 chi and challenge a target of equal or greater legend. All mooks and those of lesser Legend will step aside to allow the Courtier to move past and engage the target. This is treated as a duel, even before the target accepts the challenge. If the target refuses the challenge, for the remainder of the scene all successful attacks on the target by the Courtier will carry the effect Humiliating. If the target accepts the challenge, those who have stepped aside will not interfere.

2. Courtier Effect: Valorous Will: Courtier may add Overdrive to their action without it counting toward their effect limit.  The word for this maneuver is Valorous.

3. Not Today!: Courtier may spend 1 Willpower and automatically successfully parry or block a blow meant for another regardless of distance or attack type.  The attacker's attention is then diverted to the Courtier.  This may only be done once per scene.

ARTFULNESS
1. Clever, Clever: Courtier may spend a point of chi to give themselves a 1 die bonus on any one social, craft, perception or expression skill for a scene.

2. Courtier Effect: Artful Gesture: Courtier may add Surprise Attack to their action without it counting toward their effect limit.  As always, only one Courtier Effect may be added to any action.  The word for this maneuver is Artful.

3. Clever Disguise: By spending a chi, Courtier is able to maintain a perfect disguise by dint of their ability to simply 'be' the type of person they are disguised as.  None but another Courtier also using this effect can recognize the Courtier.  The disguise effect is blown as soon as the Courtier takes an action or makes a statement that is out-of-character--usually a surprise attack or "I have you now!" exclamation.  In order to mask themselves as a specific person, the Courtier must spend one Willpower, invest in time to perfect the costume and makeup and take preparations to learn the routines and personalities of the specific person's daily life.  Those familiar with the person that Courtier is masquerading will be made uneasy or suspicious upon making an Intelligence + Human Perception roll that exceeds the Courtier's Legend, which may be made every time the Courtier is forced to resort to a Bluff roll to maintain in-character behavior.  Preparation pays off.
 
ENDURANCE
1. Mind over Matter: By spending 1 willpower, Courtier may substitute Presence in place of Stamina (for purposes of Soak and rolls only—Courtier does not gain additional Wounds) for an entire scene.

2. Courtier Effect: Enduring Contemplation: Courtier may add Balance to their action without it counting toward their effect limit.  As always, only one Courtier Effect may be added to any action.  The word for this maneuver is Enduring.

3. Until I'm Done: The Courtier may spend a point of chi to remain awake and alert all night to finish a specific task.  The Courtier will suffer no penalties for this all-nighter the next day.  The Courtier may only do this as many nights in a row  as the Courtier has Legend.  Completion of the task before the night is over means that the Courtier will at that point grow drowsy, but the shortened night's sleep will not penalize the Courtier. 
 
JUSTICE
1. What Happened?: Courtier may spend a point of chi to grants themselves a 1 die bonus to perception skills and interviewing attempts for one scene.

2.Courtier Effect: Just Reaction: Courtier may add Reverse to their action without it counting toward their effect limit. As always, only one Courtier Effect may be added to any action. The word for this maneuver is Just.

3.Guilty Conscience: By spending one chi, Courtier may 'encourage' a single target to make an admission of guilt.  In order to do so, the Courtier must bring the conversation around to the context of the guilty conscience (i.e. start chatting about the recently murdered shopkeeper, bring up the filial responsibilities between brothers, etc.).  The target may resist by realizing  the Courtier's intent with a Wits +  Bluff roll that exceeds the Courtier's Legend, but still must spend a Willpower to actually keep himself from blurting out the truth. Target is not guaranteed to admit guilt to the act that the Courtier expects...innocent parties simply can't and some guilty parties have greater guilt over other acts associated with the topic than the one the Courtier is fishing for.  Courtier may only use this effect on a target once per scene.
 
FORCE
1. Undeniable Gaze: When the Courtier spends a chi and selects a target, the target locks eyes with the Courtier and may not look away.  For combat purposes, the target remains inactive until the Courtier looks away.  The Courtier may still act but all further actions are resolved as if another action has already been done and at a -2 penalty beyond that for not being able to bring full attention to those further actions--hence, Courtier must reserve the first action of every combat round for keeping her target locked down.  After the first full round, a Wulin target with equal or greater Legend may spend a point of Willpower to break the gaze and is thereafter immune to the effect in that combat.


2. Courtier Effect: Ringing Blow: Courtier may add Stunning to their action without it counting toward their effect limit. As always, only one Courtier Effect may be added to any action. The word for this maneuver is Ringing.

3. Overt Order: Courtier barks out a command to a target and spends 1 Willpower. The target must comply. The command must be one that both the Scion can give and the target can accomplish in one action.  (I.E. Stop!, Sit down!, Run away!, Strike him!, Drop it!, etc.) The command may not be directly suicidal for the target, but it may be injurious or something that could provoke a life-threatening situation.  The target does have leeway to interpret the command to prevent death to himself, but not if all he's trying to do is keep out of trouble.  
 
LOVE
1. Come Hither: For one chi, Courtier may take a standard action to draw the attention of one individual.  Unless the target can exceed the Courtier's Appearance or Manipulation + Presense roll with a Wits + Resistance roll of their own, the target is drawn immediately to the Courtier and compelled to engage in conversation.  In combat, the target can still fight unless they fail utterly on their Wits + Resistance roll--however, they will want to engage in witty or boastful patter, causing a certain level of distraction that the Courtier can readily take advantage of. 
 
2. Courtier Effect: Loving Correction: Courtier may add Binding to their action without it counting toward their effect limit. As always, only one Courtier Effect may be added to any action. The word for this maneuver is Playful.

3. Lasting Impression: The Courtier can easily create an effect that is slow to fade away.  Thoughts of the Courtier creep into the target's mind unbidden either to undermine his concentration or uplift his spirit for 24 hours.  By spending 1 chi and some time in conversation with a target, the Courtier may inspire the target, refilling his willpower by 1 and granting an extra die on any two non-combat skills of the Courtier's choosing.  Alternately, by expressing disapproval or disfavor, the Courtier may sap one willpower and bestow an one die penalty on any two non-combat skills of the Courtier's choosing. This effect last for a day and can only be used on as many persons simultaneously as the Courtier has Legend.  The inspiration effect is mildly addictive and can over time create a substantial feeling of dependency on the Courtier, making the retaining of approval and avoiding of disapproval very important to a given target over time.
 
DUTY
1. Dutiful Soul: Courtier spends a point of chi and something in their bearing or expression convinces a single target not to dismiss what is being said.  The listener gives the Courtier the benefit of the doubt in regards to what is said next despite what he might be otherwise inclined to believe.

2.Courtier Effect: Dutiful Eyes: Courtier may add All-Around to their action without it counting toward their effect limit. As always, only one Courtier Effect may be added to any action. The word for this maneuver is Dutiful.

3. My Burdens Are My Strength: By spending a Willpower at the time of accepting a concrete task from a superior and swearing to complete that duty, the Courtier gains a 1 die bonus for any actions directly related to completing that particular task.  This bonus may apply to combat if the opponent(s) have engaged the Courtier specifically with the intention of preventing the carrying out of that duty.  Courtier may maintain as many of these sworn duties as Courtier has Legend.  Appropriate tasks have easily defined conditions for success--deliver a message, collect a object and return it to superior, escort this person to a destination. "Uphold the law" or "Dispense Justice" are not tasks that qualify.  Should the Courtier fail in the sworn task, they function at a -1 die to all actions until they return to their superior (or his replacement) and accept any punishment.