Abyssal Headless Horsemen

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Sunder the Gold
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So, there are a number of us who are sure that someone who has JUST been decapitated has the time to accept the Black Exaltation, especially given the frozen moment of time in which the deal is offered.

But can Abyssal Exalted support being a headless horseman in an effective manner? Or rather, while it's cool for the Exalt that he survived, his head is still off, and that can be extremely inconvenient in lots of ways.

Playing such an inconvenienced character would be fine for a flaw, I suppose. Though it's a rather big flaw, to always need one arm free (or a specialized sling) for carrying your own head around, not to mention what can happen if you find yourself disarmed of your head.

To advance beyond this concept as a flaw, there are at least three possible routes.

1) You reattach your head, either in the immediate rush following the Final Breath, or later through magical medicine. However, this is no good for someone who wants to play a "headless" Abyssal.

2) You transfer the seat of your consciousness into your body, complete with the ability to see and hear without eyes or ears. Call this the "Celty Sterluson / Dullahan" route. This way, you don't really need your head except to talk, though it works like a lich's phylactery in that destroying it would kill you. You might also suffer memory loss or something from being separated from it for too long.

3) You learn how to make your head levitate and fly around on its own power. Call this the "Sekibani / Nukekubi" route. It's even compatible with reattaching your head, since your head can fly around on its own, it makes no difference if it lands on your neck.

Thoughts?

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Gensh
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I believe the previous 2e canon was that it simply wasn't possible. Abyssals were of Death but were not yet dead. In spite of the myth of guillotined nobles clinging to life for minutes afterward, that does not actually happen. I'm currently completely out of the loop for 3e and so can't comment on any changes.

I would allow headlessness only for the first player who asked -- as a unique miracle. That being the case, I would let that player make whatever requests they wanted off the cuff. I have a pretty reactive GMing style.

I think the only early risk of unbalancing the game is hiding the head somewhere to snipe someone with eye beams. It's altogether not much different from having a familiar whose death kills you as well. Being effectively one-handed should be no more crippling for a Celestial Exalt than blindness was for Toph Beifong.

None of a dullahan's capabilities majorly exceed majorly exceed the Abyssal toolset, so I personally wouldn't treat the character any differently most of the time. Certainly, it's not anything comparable to a shintai. Maybe a rather expensive mutation and call it a day. It's more beneficial due to the increased capacity for surprise than detrimental.
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Maseiken
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If I were doing this in 2e I'd say that being trapped in a Headless body is a Crippling effect/Mutation imposed by Onyx Circle necromancy. If absolutely pressed I'd say that the spell moves the character's skull and brain to Elsewhere but keeps it connected to the trunk of the body.

To have a functional head would be as simple as a Coil 1 Necrotech creation with Attunement (0) Linked (4) Stamina+1 (1). Anyone with the capacity to craft higher coils could tinker as they please (A mortal with this situation would need to power their head somehow, which is a ready-made plot if I ever heard one).

The above would be easily achieved during or shortly after an Abyssal exaltation (I've always thought the Neverborn imposing Crippling effects on their Chosen would be a cool thematic thing).
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andrix
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I think technically speaking it's not possible for the reasons Gensh said...however, this is Exalted and it's definitely in rule of cool territory enough that if someone wanted to play it or I had an NPC idea and it geled well with the game I was running I would absolutely allow it.

I'd probably restrict it to option 1 or 2 however, 3 seems just a liiiiittle too silly for me. I'd also probably insist on some sort of mental derrangement as part of things because I cannot see how that would be anything but incredibly unhealthy for your sanity and I'd be keen to make sure that the impact of the character was explored rather than it just being casual
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Blackwell
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Contrary to the above, I feel like there *was* a canon or at least deuterocanon (maybe Ink Monkeys?) Abyssal Charm, probably Resistance, that did exacty this? May or may not address the "at the moment of Exaltation" bit.
Blackwell
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Ah, nevermind; the Charm I was thinking of is in Larceny, and let's you steal someone *else's* head (and replace it with a jack-o-lantern or similar)
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andrix
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Blackwell wrote: Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:32 pm Ah, nevermind; the Charm I was thinking of is in Larceny, and let's you steal someone *else's* head (and replace it with a jack-o-lantern or similar)

And do what with the original head 😯 Apparently I don't remember this charm at all and now have even more questions!
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Maseiken
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Image
It goes on for a bit after that. Basically everyone thinks the target's possessed body is the real deal and it murders the original target's positive intimacies but tries to make it look like an accident.

The head is still alive but can only talk to the Abyssal.
It's very long, very niche, and has the Illusion, Shaping, Touch, and Combo-OK keywords so it's a real blast from the past.
Bastet
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Especially for me, Mørke let me name it.
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