Second Edition Solar Anima Powers

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Solar Exalted Anima Banners

Rule used by: Ialdabaoth

This is the system I've been using; it's worked pretty well so far. Each Caste has three powers - one Passive, one Active, and one Iconic. The Passive Power is always available; the Active Power costs one mote, and always causes the Solar's Caste Icon to flare during the moment it's activated (well, except for the Night Caste, but that's specifically due to the nature of their power). The Iconic Power activates automatically when their anima banner is iconic (16+ motes), but may be activated for a single instant for 5 motes. Doing so causes the anima to flare iconic during that instant.

Dawn Caste

Passive Power - Leadership

The Dawn Caste are natural leaders of men. After leading a unit to victory in battle with a Magnitude less than or equal to the Dawn Caste's Essence, the character may choose to acquire the unit as Followers. By spending a single experience point, he acquires the Followers background with a maximum rating equal to his Essence (any difference in unit size is lost to casualties, deserters or retirees).

Active Power - Valorous Inspiration

For one mote, the Dawn may display his caste icon while rallying his troops, causing them all to add his Essence to their Valor when attempting to rally or resist breaking.

Iconic Power - Terrible Mein

At the Iconic level, a Dawn's anima banner blinds and terrifies his foes, reducing their DV by one-half the Dawn's Essence (add or subtract the Dawn's Essence from the raw DV calculation before halving the total), and increasing the Dawn's DV by his full Essence. Characters opposing the Dawn Caste may roll Valor at the beginning of combat; each success reduces the power of this effect by 1 point for the remainder of the scene (to a minimum of 0). Characters who botch this Valor roll flee in terror rather than fight their doom incarnated.

Zenith Caste

Passive Power - Priesthood

A Zenith Caste's prayers always reach heaven. A Zenith is always considered to be a sanctified priest of any deity he prays to. Additionally, Zenith Caste do not need to spend XP to raise their Cult and Follower backgrounds up to their Essence during play, so long as they play through the acquisition of these Backgrounds – mortals that they turn to their cause naturally follow, respect and worship them as heroes and avatars of a righteous god.

Active Power - Prayers for the Dead

For one mote, the Zenith may display his caste icon while praying over a fallen body, burning it to ash and consigning the soul immediately to Lethe.

Iconic Power - Holy Aura

Against Creatures of Darkness, a Zenith Caste Solar gains most of the effects of the Dawn Caste, Twilight Caste, and Fire Aspect Iconic Anima Banners. All Creatures of Darkness and unholy attacks reduce their DV (before halving) by the Zenith's Essence, the Zenith adds his Essence to both his soak and DV (after halving), and all Creatures of Darkness caught within (Essence x 10) yards take 1 die of lethal damage per tick as the nimbus of sunlight sears their unholy flesh. As with the Dawn Caste, Creatures of Darkness may roll Valor to negate the anima banner's effect on their DV and attacks, but this does not affect the negation of damage dealt to the Zenith or the environmental damage they receive from his holy nimbus of light.

Twilight Caste

Passive Power - Understanding

The Twilight Caste's Exaltation provides them with an innate understanding of Creation. They automatically gain three dots of Knowledges for each Ability dot they learn, and learning new Knowledges and Specializations cost only 1 Experience per dot. If not using the Knowledges System, instead award them one level in every Thaumaturgical Art and Science for each dot of the appropriate Ability (Occult or Lore) they know, and allow Twilights to purchase the Crafts ability once to purchase all relevant Crafts at that rating.

Active Power - Mastery of Device

For one mote, the Twilight may display his caste icon while touching an unattuned device or Artifact, declaring his sovereignty to its little god and allowing him to attune to it without the need for a roll (but still requiring the normal attunement time). If the artifact has an attunement cost, the mote spent may be applied to that cost.

Iconic Power - Arcane Protection

At the Iconic level, a Twilight Caste's anima absorbs and deflects all attacks, reducing their damage by a number of Health Levels equal to the Twilight's Essence. This reduction occurs after damage is rolled, in Step 8 of combat resolution.

Night Caste

Passive Power - Discretion

The Night Caste are considered “above the law” of Heaven. No action they perform, no matter how heinous or disruptive, can ever be the subject of an official Celestial Censure. Additionally, it is an offense for any member of the Celestial Bureaucracy that reveals a Night Caste's nature to others while the Night Caste is disguised, with a severity equal to the Night Caste's permanent Essence.

Active Power - Hidden Essence

For one mote, the Night Caste may suppress the display of his anima, channeling one Charm's use of Peripheral Essence through his hidden caste mark as if it were Personal. This will even cause Obvious charms and combos to become non-obvious, achieving their normal effect through less-spectacular but no less effective means.

Iconic Power - Cloak of Shadow

At the Iconic level, a Night Caste's anima mutes light, sound and scent - imposing an external penalty to any attempt to attack, spot, or identify the Night Caste equal to his Essence. In the case of attacks, this adds half the Night Caste's Essence directly to his DV, or serves as a raw external penalty if the character's DV is reduced to 0.

Eclipse Caste

Passive Power - Flexibility

The Eclipse Caste have a powerful ability – for double the experience cost, they may learn the Charms of any other being in creation, so long as they meet the prerequisites, and so long as they are taught by a tutor who knows the Charm.

Active Power - Diplomatic Immunity

For one mote, the Eclipse may display his caste icon, declare his identity, and state his purpose, providing him and his companions diplomatic immunity to all Gods, Elementals and Creatures of Darkness so long as his side does not initiate hostilities.

Iconic Power - Sanctity of Oaths

At the Iconic level, an Eclipse may sanctify any oath made, so long as he is touching the oath-takers. If the oath is broken, the oath-breaker receives a number of botches to future critical rolls equal to the Eclipse Caste's Essence at the time the oath was consecrated. Each of these botches should be at the worst time possible, and of the most severe (and possibly lethal) nature possible, and should preferably manifest in a manner appropriate for ironic or divine justice.

Alternate Ideas

Several people have been looking for solutions to the unbalanced Anima powers. Here's a good collection of ideas.

Dawn Caste

The Dawn Caste Anima is often considered to be the weakest of the Solar Anima Powers. This has spawned a number of suggested fixes

Free Combos

In addition to making mooks run away (basically all it does now), Dawn Caste Solars can create legal combos from any/all of their Caste abilities on the fly, for free.

  • These combo's can't contain non-Dawn ability charms (i.e. Athletics) except for Dodge and Resistance charms.
  • Must be fully legal as per the normal rules.
  • Still cost 1wp
  • Cost an additional 5 motes (on top of the normal cost of the combo); this is waived when the Dawn Caste's anima is at the 16+ level.
Rule used by: Kath and Bazzalisk
One (very minor) downside of giving Dawn's free combos is that it makes the ability of Full Moon Lunars to combo on the fly (via Gift and Fury-OK charms) less unique. This isn't a major problem, but it does make the fighting strategy differences between Dawn's and Full Moon's less distinctive.--Kath 14:25, 15 October 2007 (PDT)

Strengthened Anima Effect

With this fix, When the Dawn Caste Solars' anima banner is flaring, he gains the following benefits:

  • When the Dawn Caste is attacked, he gains a +2 bonus to DV for each point of difference between his Essence and the attacker's valor, to a minimum of +2 to DV.
  • Mortals must make a successful Valor Roll or flee from the Solar. If the Exalt's Essence is higher than the Mortal's Valor, this roll suffers an internal penalty equal to the difference between the Mortal's Valor and the Exalt's Essence.
Source: MurderMunkey

Animas as Unnatural Mental Influence

The Dawn Anima effect is an unnatural influence (Emotion: Fear), which affects everybody in sight / hearing range. It raises the Dawns DV against them by 2, or if their Valor is greater then the Dawn's Essence by 1. Resisting this effect costs WP (and therefor Limit) equal to the penalty per action.
In masscombat the Anima triggers an automatic rout check when first encountering the Dawn's unit and sets all other rout checks connected to that unit to +1 difficulty.
Immunity is determined as usually, and Solars, Abyssals, Deathlords and Incarna gain special immunity due their heritage.

by Langeweile 02:58, 5 February 2008 (PST)

Zenith Caste

Most people are relatively happy with the Zenith power as written.

Damage to Creatures of Darkness

Kath and Bazzalisk felt that with the other anima power changes they had made the Zenith one was now underpowered, and hence suggested the following change:

In addition to functioning exactly as written, the Zenith anima power gains the following bonus: when the Zenith's anima is flaring, she damages Creatures of Darkness as follows:

  • 8 to 10 mote level - 1 die of lethal damage per minute
  • 11 to 15 level - 1 die of lethal damage every 9 ticks
  • 16+ level - 1 die of lethal damage every tick

In general this follows the same rules as a terrestrial's anima flux, but only affects Creatures of Darkness.

Twilight Caste

The Twilight anima is generally considered to be the strongest of the default powers. In arena battles it has become apparent that Twilights are significantly better than any other caste in combat due to the way in which their anima power functions. A number of suggestions have been made on how to weaken it.

Combat Engineer

This fix keeps the original spirit of the official power but adjusts when it is applicable.

The damage-reduction ability of the anima only works when the Twilight's most recent action was entirely composed of miscellaneous or shaping actions, in addition Dramatic actions which would normally have their length measured in minutes may instead be used in combat, with their length measured in speed 6 miscellaneous actions -- the use of this ability costs 5m unless the twilight's anima is flaring at the 11+ level.

This version has been used by Kath and Bazzalisk.

Rolled Defense

This is a very simple and popular fix, it reduces the effectiveness of the damage reduction by making the Twilight roll her essence and subtract the successes from any health-levels of damage taken.

Bazzalisk doesn't like this solution as it keeps the general combat applicability of the Twilight anima, which seems odd for a caste who are not supposed to be front-line combatants.

Damage Downgrading

With this fix, the Twilight Anima banner has the following effects:

  • If the twilight would suffer wound levels, she may spend ten motes to reduce the damage.

(This raises the price to be consistent with all other anima powers, which cost 10 motes to activate.)

  • For each dot of Essence that the Exalt possesses, up to two wound levels are downgraded one level in severity. (Aggravated becomes Lethal, Lethal becomes Bashing and Bashing is negated entirely.)
  • The most severe damage is reduced first; all Aggravated damage must be reduced before any Lethal, and all Lethal must be reduced before any Bashing.
  • Each damage level may only be reduced once; a Lethal damage level cannot be reduced to Bashing, then reduced again, negating it.

Example: An Essence three Twilight is struck by an attack that would inflict 5L damage. Activating her anima, all five levels of Lethal are weakened to 5B damage; because each level may be reduced once, the additional reduction is lost.

Created by MurderMunkey

Night Caste

There have not generally been many complaints about the strength of this power.

Eclipse Caste

Problem: In some occasions when other groups have very cheap but also low powered Charms, the 16 XP cost can become very expensive. Suggested Fix: Learning foreign Charms costs either 16 XP or double the cost to learn it as favored, native Charm, whichever is less.

by Langeweile 03:00, 5 February 2008 (PST)

Heavenly Powers

Following on from a discussion on ( about giving each of the Solar anima's a minor extra boost when dealing in Yu-Shan (from an IC point of view, these are presumably the legacy of various Eclipse-sanctified oaths), the following additions were suggested:

Dawns: The right to trial by combat. May involve something suitably epic, like "must survive all challengers for up to seven days, with no more than a single hour to rest between battles", if a suitably powerful single opponent isn't available. The right to stand in as proxy for anyone.

Zeniths: Emphasize status as priests of every deity.

Twilights: Authorized (automated?) access to practically any 1st Age or divine library.

Nights: Cannot be forbidden to testify, cannot be required to testify, cannot be required to self-incriminate with regard to how information was obtained.

Eclipses: Diplomatic immunity.

Re-catagorising the Anima Powers

Following on directly from the above discussion, it was suggested that it might be a good idea to give each Solar Anima three powers - one inherent, one active and one legacy. The inherant ability and active abilites are hard-wired into the shards themselves, placed there by Sol himeslf when he formed them. The legacy abilities, on the other hand, are the result of the First Age awesomeness of each of the Castes. The below assumes you're using the modified anima abilities described above.

Dawn Caste Benefits

  • Inherent: Free combos
  • Active: Anti-mook aura
  • Legacy: Right to Trial by Combat, Duel Proxy

Zenith Caste Benefits

  • Inherent: Add essence to soak and minimum damage vs. Creatures of Darkness
  • Active: May put the Dead to Rest, and can harm Creatures of Darkness with their anima.
  • Legacy: Always counted as a Priest of every god.

Twilight Caste Benefits

  • Inherent: Reduce damage dealt by [Essence] when taking Sorcery or Miscellaneous actions.
  • Active: ???
  • Legacy: Authorized (automated?) access to practically any 1st Age or divine library.

Night Caste Benefits

  • Inherent: Can use Peripheral essence or Obvious charms without Anima Flare.
  • Active: Mini-stealth Charm for 5m
  • Legacy: Cannot be forced to testify in any court.

Eclipse Caste Benefits

  • Inherent: Can Learn Charms of Other Exalt Types
  • Active: May Sanctify a Binding Oath
  • Legacy: Always Have Diplomatic Immunity