The River's Tread

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BadassOverlord
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Might as well post one of my old favourites. The absence of God-Kicking Boots from the 3E corebook is a crime I intend to rectify.
 
The River’s Tread (Black Jade God-Kicking Boots ···)
 
It is said that the Goddess of Waterways herself wore these boots as she painted the landscape of creation with what would become its major rivers and lakes. While this is most likely just a tall tale, a constant stream of water does follow wherever these boots tread, building in volume and speed the swifter the wearer becomes.
 
Attunement Bonus: a character clad in The River’s Tread can walk on water, and ignores difficult terrain when standing on water or ice. Furthermore, she gains a non-charm success on all movement rolls when standing on such surfaces.
 
Many of its Evocations use or increase Flow. The maximum amount of Flow a wearer can have is equal to the greater of her Essence or 3.
 
Evocations of The River’s Tread:

Surging Step:
Cost: 3m; Mins: Essence 1
Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Resonant
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: None
As the river flows down the mountain it grows ever wider and quicker, trampling all on its path to the ocean.
The wearer may use this Evocation to supplement any movement roll. She gains a point of Flow, then adds successes equal to her current Flow to the roll. If she succeeds, she gains 1 initiative.
 
Resonant: on any turn in which she moves more than one range band, the wearer gains 1 flow.
 
Crashing into the Sea:
Cost: 6m; Mins: Essence 1
Type: Supplement
Keywords: Uniform, Resonant
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Surging Step
With the joy of finally reaching its destination, the river pours all of itself into the ocean.
This Evocation supplements an attack, adding successes equal to Flow to both the attack and damage roll. After the attack is resolved, Flow is reset back to 0.
 
Resonant: if she crashes or incapacitates the target, her Flow doesn’t reset.
 
Leaping Over Waterfalls:
Cost: 5m1w; Mins: Essence 2
Type: Simple
Keywords: Uniform
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Crashing into the Sea
Never pausing in her race, the wearer launches a powerful waterspout at a distant enemy and rides the ensuing flow.
This Evocation allows the wearer to make an attack at medium range. If she hits, she may reflexively rush the target.
 
Speed of the Flood:
Cost: 3m1w; Mins: Essence 2
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Resonant
Duration: One Scene
Prerequisite Charms: Crashing into the Sea
With every step the trailing stream of water grows larger and bolder, threatening to drag the wearer’s enemies in her wake.
On any turn on which the wearer moves at least one range band, treat the trail of water as an environmental hazard affecting those she passes within close range of, with a damage of (Flow) initiative, bashing in crash, and difficulty of (Athletics). She does not gain this initiative.
 
Resonant: an enemy that fails the roll to resist the hazard suffers a -1 penalty to defence until their next turn.
 
Rushing White Waters Stance:
Cost: 2m1i; Mins: Essence 2
Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Perilous
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Speed of the Flood
The wearer eludes her enemies with swiftness and strength, leaving curtains of spray and foam behind her.
She ignores points of penalties to her Evasion equal to her Flow. If she successfully dodges an attack from close range, then the attacker suffers an automatic hit from Speed of the Flood.
 
Breaking Wave Strike:
Cost: 5m; Mins: Essence 2
Type: Simple
Keywords: Decisive-Only, Resonant
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Speed of the Flood
The wearer shatters her opponent's balance, and they are hopelessly dragged under by the river that flows in her wake, caught like debris in a flood.
The wearer makes a difficulty 5 Gambit to drag an enemy in her wake. If successful, the enemy is knocked prone and can’t take movement actions, instead they are dragged behind the wearer wherever she goes. They automatically fail the roll to resist Speed of the Flood’s hazard. They can attempt to escape the stream by succeeding on a (Strength + Athletics roll), difficulty (Athletics) as a miscellaneous action. They cannot attempt this roll while Crashed.
 
Special Activation Rules: this Evocation can be flurried with a movement action with no penalty. Whenever an enemy is crashed by Speed of the Flood’s hazard, the wearer may use this Evocation against them reflexively.
 
Resonant: reduce the difficulty and cost of the Gambit by her current Flow, minimum 1.
 
Irresistible Tide Devastation:
Cost: 7m1w; Mins: Essence 3
Type: Simple
Keywords: Decisive-Only, Dissonant, Resonant
Duration: Instant
Prerequisite Charms: Breaking Wave Strike
With a mighty leap, the wearer blasts her stream into an explosion of rain, scattering those caught in it to the four winds.
This is a Decisive attack targeting all enemies caught by Breaking Wave Strike. She makes a single attack roll and all enemies hit take damage equal to her full initiative. If she has 1 enemy caught in her stream, she doubles 10s on the damage roll, if she has 2 enemies caught, she doubles 9s, if she has 3, she doubles 8s and if she has 4 or more, she doubles 7s. All surviving enemies are released.
Once per scene.
 
Dissonant: divide initiative evenly, rounding, up, between all enemies hit.
 
Resonant: for the rest of the scene, increase the damage and difficulty of Speed of the Flood by the number of enemies hit by this attack.

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AutXAutY
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This seems to overall look good. I like overall themes around movement.
Is it intended that Surging Step is the only way to generate flow? It seems like it would be difficulty to get more than 1 flow/turn, or 2 flow/turn with mastery, so it would be tricky to get at high levels. On the other hand, Crashing Into the Sea seems to be balanced around fairly low amounts of Flow.
Also, does the mastery effect of Surging Step trigger on any turn, only on turns you use the charm, or only on movement generated by movement actions enhanced by Surging Step?
I like Leaping Waterfalls combination of a distant attack and a rush. I worry that since it sounds like it creates an attack at medium range that doesn't require aiming it could be used to kite, but the willpower cost means it would probably not be a great strategy.
in Rushing White Waters Stance, does an automatic hit mean they must roll agains the difficulty, or they suffer the damage without any roll? Also, do you need to have Speed of the Flood active to gain that benefit? For a moment I thought this was too weak, at least for solars, but the Speed of the Flood rider means it's probably competitive.

I worry a bit that Irresistible Tide Devestation requires too much set up to be good - you need to trigger Breaking Wave Strike at least twice for it to be more than a charm to double 10s (plus the resonance effect), and you need to have enough initiative to make a decisive attack good even after paying for the gambits which likely will need a few withering attacks - it seems hard to pull this off before turn 5, and likely not by then.
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BadassOverlord
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Thanks for your questions! Roughly in order:
Yeah, you need to use Surging Step to increase Flow and the Resonance effect only triggers on turns where you use it. Surging Step and Crashing into the Sea are roughly on curve at 1 Flow and value-positive at 2, everything above that you're getting a lot of bang for your buck so the ramp-up is a necessary limitation imo. A high-mobility character can probably stall for a few turns while building Flow and staying mote-positive if they feel so inclined.
You're correct that you could theoretically kite indefinitely with Leaping Over Waterfalls but the cost should make it prohibitive to do so more than 2 or 3 times. Same logic applies as with similar charms like Iron Raptor Technique and Uncoiling Serpent Prana. A smart opponent will take cover and Full Defend for a couple turns and let you burn out.
Automatic hit in Rushing White Waters Stance means you go straight to rolling damage. Missing on the attack roll essentially replaces failing the roll to resist the hazard. Of course, the rider only applies if the prerequisite is active.
It's true that Irresistible Tide Devastation requires a fair bit of setup, but ideally your allies should be able to help you with that by letting you snatch up low initiative foes reflexively with Speed of the Flood. Its main benefit is that it's a single attack roll that doesn't split your initiative, meaning it essentially multiplies the value of damage adding effects (such as Crashing into the Sea) and considering it can be combined with Brawl and Martial Arts charms already that's quite potent. It's already worth using against 2 targets, anything above that is style points. It's a good strategy for your friends to give you Distract gambits since you can effectively multiply that value for the slam.

All in all, this is certainly an Artifact that shines is longer fights where it can ramp up and it is most effective against multiple middling foes rather than single powerful ones, but I think a group that plays to its strengths can get a lot of mileage from it. Of course, I only got to test it in a one-shot, so if anyone ends up trying it out on an actual campaign I'd love to hear their impressions.
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AutXAutY
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BadassOverlord wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 12:53 am
Thanks for your questions! Roughly in order:
Yeah, you need to use Surging Step to increase Flow and the Resonance effect only triggers on turns where you use it. Surging Step and Crashing into the Sea are roughly on curve at 1 Flow and value-positive at 2, everything above that you're getting a lot of bang for your buck so the ramp-up is a necessary limitation imo. A high-mobility character can probably stall for a few turns while building Flow and staying mote-positive if they feel so inclined.
You're correct that you could theoretically kite indefinitely with Leaping Over Waterfalls but the cost should make it prohibitive to do so more than 2 or 3 times. Same logic applies as with similar charms like Iron Raptor Technique and Uncoiling Serpent Prana. A smart opponent will take cover and Full Defend for a couple turns and let you burn out.
Automatic hit in Rushing White Waters Stance means you go straight to rolling damage. Missing on the attack roll essentially replaces failing the roll to resist the hazard. Of course, the rider only applies if the prerequisite is active.
It's true that Irresistible Tide Devastation requires a fair bit of setup, but ideally your allies should be able to help you with that by letting you snatch up low initiative foes reflexively with Speed of the Flood. Its main benefit is that it's a single attack roll that doesn't split your initiative, meaning it essentially multiplies the value of damage adding effects (such as Crashing into the Sea) and considering it can be combined with Brawl and Martial Arts charms already that's quite potent. It's already worth using against 2 targets, anything above that is style points. It's a good strategy for your friends to give you Distract gambits since you can effectively multiply that value for the slam.

All in all, this is certainly an Artifact that shines is longer fights where it can ramp up and it is most effective against multiple middling foes rather than single powerful ones, but I think a group that plays to its strengths can get a lot of mileage from it. Of course, I only got to test it in a one-shot, so if anyone ends up trying it out on an actual campaign I'd love to hear their impressions.

I think that answers all of my questions.
I missed the reflexive activation on Speed of the Flood, that makes Irresistible Tide Devastation a bit easier to set up.
I'd also worry it might scale too well at high levels, if you can hit 4 people it effectively multiplies your damage by 4. Though that's a lot of set up and you probably deserve a big reward.
Crashing Into the Sea also scales very well - at essence 5 it can hit 5 successes on attack and damage for 6m, with is 20-30m of value for 6m. It should probably be good at flow 5, but maybe not that good?
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BadassOverlord
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AutXAutY wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:00 am Crashing Into the Sea also scales very well - at essence 5 it can hit 5 successes on attack and damage for 6m, with is 20-30m of value for 6m. It should probably be good at flow 5, but maybe not that good?
True, but considering the stuff you can pull off at Essence 5 and that this takes at least 3 turns to charge in the best-case scenario, I'd say it's warranted. Between the fact that it resets your Flow and that most fights end at turn 4-5 at the longest in my experience, it usually winds up being a once per fight finisher, or maybe twice if you can proc the Resonance effect.
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