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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:26 pm

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The martial art on page 192 of Mystic China and its unique martial art ability is very interesting. There are some issues I do not understand about how it works though.

Under "abilities of the animus" it mentions that if it is unable to wake a character that it can take over the body and move it, with 'dodge' being an explicit capability.

Dodging normally costs melee attacks though, and I don't see any mention of how many attacks per melee an animus has.

Assuming it has as many as the character might be too much of a power-grab. Especially since, in addition to dodging, it can use any chi mastery abilities the character has, and can be directed to use them, which would effectively double your melee attacks.

Although not particularly broken at low levels since you start with just 1 action, but doubling 2 to 4 at 2nd level or 3 to 6 at 8th makes you pretty competitive.

I was thinking since an animus would not have any combat skills or attributes that you should maybe just give it the 1 attack per melee that all characters untrained start with by default, and give it no bonuses to anything it does, unless of course it does things like spend chi to get bonuses. On the other hand I'm not sure because at 10th level when it can detach, it gets the same Spd that the character has (ie if you take the Running skill, your Animus is ALSO faster) so maybe that means the Animus has the same attributes and bonuses you do?

Since there is nothing preventing someone with Pao Chih from selecting Negative Chi Mastery and since an Animus of Positive Chi possesses "whatever Chi Mastery Abilities the character has", would that mean it could use "Negative Chi Control" to flush positive chi and replace it with negative and then use powers like Fist Gesture or One Finger Chi or Negative Chi Attack to attack enemies?

At 6th level, the Animus gains an ability to "Absorb Positive Chi" at the rate of the environment's flow. Prior to this, if someone with Pao Chich had Dragon Chi (Fu Zhensong) the Animus should already be able to do something very similar, so I am wondering about the usefulness of it at that point.

Since the level 6 ability is not actually 'chi mastery' it would not violate the 'only one chi mastery ability can be used at a time' so that would save on melee attacks from switching while trying to use other skills.

Another benefit I can see it having over Fu Zhensong is that it always lets you absorb the full flow, while with FZ you are limited to absorbing your current level. So if the animus was under a 9 point waterfall but only had 1 point invested, FZ would only let it draw 1 chi while the level 6 power would let it draw the full 9.

The downside of the level 6 ability is it doesn't let the Animus draw chi from a volunteer, which could be a good way to get a boost in places with low chi flow.

Another thing I am not certain about is the limits of "Use Animus to Block Negative Chi, the 1st level ability.

Since you start with chi mastery, this means no matter what, you Animus will know the basic abilities from page 118 of the core book "Chi Awareness" + "Chi Relaxation" + "Defend against Chi Attacks".

The third ability would seem pointless at first. Why expend positive chi when you automatically defend against negative chi attacks for free?

But when I thought about it, this could be useful when against multiple chi attacks in the same melee round.

I don't know if I should assume that Negative Chi Attacks works the same as One Finger Chi and Fist Gesture (both can be done once per melee round, take the place of all physical attacks) because in the combat example it seems like the mysterious figure in a red hood uses 2 attacks in the first melee (because Chan Wey the Tai-Chi Ch'uan practitioner with Chao-Jin and Chi-atsu is told he doesn't get there to make an attack in the next melee)

Even if only one NCA could be done per attacker per round, you could still be targeted by multiple NCAs if fighting multiple opponents with Negative Chi Mastery. Since the level 1 ability lets you block a number of points "every melee round" that might mean you use them up defending against the first and are vulnerable to the second.

In that case I think the Animus would then expend chi on "Defend against chi Attacks". Although their "free chi defense per round" could probably be split. Like if only 1 negative chi were expended, only expending 1 free point of chi should be necessary, so if it were a 2 chi animus then it could save 1 free point against a 2nd chi attack that round.

Since the GM tells Alan how many points of negative chi are coming I figure that means an Animus could also sense how many points in the attack and not over-expend.

Although I can see it being very defensive and always matching the attack. If you were attacked by 6 points of negative chi for example I think it would always expend its free 6 on that, even if 1-5 could have done the job. I could only see it being smart enough to economize otherwise if you were directly controlling it or giving it prior instructions (like "expend the minimum needed to block, even if it's not like" or "expend enough that the average amount dispelled will be enough")

"Defend against Chi Attacks" would be another deal though. Since going to 0 chi would kill it, if it had only 2 chi left then it would only spend 1 point trying to block the chi even if it were 6 points coming in. It might also be more conservative like expending only 1 point per 2-3 points incoming rather than 1 per 1. Do you think it might be cheaper and more of a gambler?

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