This Style is made of equal parts sadness and exultation-in-beauty; its Charms are meant to inspire awe and defeat hope in the same motion.
Out in the world of the writers and players, this is intended to play very differently than a traditional Art; its various triggered effects and arbitrary Combos are intended to evoke the feeling of a video game.
Bitter Flower Style is an unarmed and unarmoured art.
Moving like the rainclouds of spring, recovering faster than can be expected, the martial artist adds her Martial Arts to her next turn's initiative. This Charm can only be used once per turn.
Sunlight passes unhindered through the scattered clouds of summer! In the same way, the unarmed Martial Arts attack the adept makes deals piercing damage.
Reaching out with the crying sorrow of the season where all things come to a close, the adept pulls her opponent's heartstrings. In addition to inflicting physical injury, she may transfer one of the opponent's Virtue dots to another of his Virtues. It is possible to exceed the natural maximum in this manner! Transferred Virtues flow back at a rate of one point per day; heroic victims are able to force themselves back into their own personalities by engaging in activities that satisfy their Nature. Instead of gaining Willpower points, they may reset Virtues. Transferring Virtues does not have any effect on Essence pools, but it may make spiritual Charms impossible to use.
Many forbidden trysts are held beneath the flowering branches of the mango tree, which is said to be privy to secrets of the heart. In the same way, the Mango-Blossom Gesture unlocks the things hidden in a warrior's mind. With a successful attack, the martial artist learns something that his opponent would prefer he not know. Generally, this is a tactical weakness of his, but with a difficulty 3 Perception + Compassion roll, the adept can extract something deeper, like a repressed romantic longing.
Tumbling to the earth, the adept's helpless gesture arouses pity in her enemies. The difficulty of the next attack against her is increased by the attacker's Compassion.
The scent of jasmine can be used to distract as well as decieve. With this mudra, the martial artist makes the target remember fragrant springs of his youth. She may sacrifice raw damage dice from an attack; for each die sacrificed she rolls two. For each success on this additional pool, the target is bound into contemplation! He must spend one dice action revelling in recollections of lost loves for each success; in time when the victim's life is in danger, he may not expend more such dice actions in a turn than outwardly-focused actions, under any condition, and he must spend at least one action recollecting each turn until he is no longer wrapped in reverie. Outside of life-threatening situations, the contemplation lasts for minutes rather than dice actions.
As she retreats, a cloud of fragrant dust rises from the adept's footsteps, confusing her opponents. She vanishes, and the next person wishing to attack her must devote a dice action to a standard-difficulty Wits + Awareness roll in order to locate her. This reveals the adept's location if the subsequent attack is hand-to-hand and rolls at least 1 success. If the attack is ranged or rolls zero successes, then she remains concealed. For the purposes of defensive Charms in this Style, consider the Wits + Awareness location roll an attack.
The adept puts on the upset expression of a rare lotus whose lake is being overrun by weedy papyri. This subtle vegetal hauteur puts a biting edge on her attacks; whenever an opponent suffers HL damage from one of her attacks or wards it away with a perfect defence, he loses credibility in the eyes of others, and must succeed at an Appearance + Presence roll at a difficulty of the martial artist's Essence, or recieve a -1 penalty to the next (adept's Martial Arts) Social rolls he makes during the scene. In addition, the adept adds 1 die to Martial Arts attacks against opponents for each temporary Virtue dot they have. (Temporary Virtue dots can be acquired through certain Charms.) The adept cannot add more than her Dexterity + Martial Arts to an attack in this manner.
This Charm instantly ends if the adept adopts the Unassailably Germinating Stance.
A vine festooned with thorns makes an effective whip! The unarmed Martial Arts attack enhanced by this Charm is particularly painful; if the attack deals at least 1 HL, for as many turns as the adept's Essence, double the victim's wound penalty.
The rose understands that the best way to be safe among the weak is to be dangerously strong! The martial artist understands this as well, and puts on a threatening front; she may roll her Appearance + Conviction in conjunction with making an unarmed Martial Arts attack. Her opponents must put on a similar show of valor before they resume the attack; any opponent may roll Appearance as a dice action. Until they accumulate as many successes as the adept, it is unthinkable to attack her; no enemy with Virtues who witnessed the adept's display will do so.
Repeated applications of this Charm do not stack, but rather, they set the counter to the larger number of successes. Each turn, reduce the number of accumulated successes required by 1 as though the opponent had made a single success on an Appearance roll.
Arranging her fingers in the White Chrysanthemum mudra permits the adept to awaken beauty in her opponent's heart. If the unarmed Martial Arts attack this Charm supplements has at least one success that the target does not dodge, then he gains one temporary Virtue dot, chosen at random. This does not affect his Essence pools or his ability to use Charms. Temporary Virtue dots fade at the end of the scene.
The Exalt makes a sweeping, circular attack that cuts a cleared space around her. This Charm supplements an unarmed Martial Arts attack; the martial artist adds successes equal to the number of successes rolled on the attack to the next parry she makes. These successes are available reflexively; if she is able to parry an attack but has no action to do so, she may use the successes independently.
Like the weed whose roots cannot ever be eradicated completely, constantly producing shoots from unexpected places in the earth, the adept seems to be able to reach every place at once. It is almost as though she had unlimited numbers of arms! When she activates this Charm, she gains as many 'hanging' counterattacks (as per Solar Counterattack) as her Martial Arts + Valor; these function in a manner similar to the hanging parries of the Protection of Celestial Bliss. With these, she may attack any opponent she can reach when he spends a Willpower point, with her Martial Arts score plus applicable bonuses. In other words, her full offensive pool, minus Dexterity. She may only counter once per Willpower point expended. The adept may not use these hanging counterattacks while she stands in the Offended Inflorescence Stance; she may retain at one time as many counterattacks as her Martial Arts + Valor
Entangling her Essence with that of the earth, the Bitter Flower master can fight with bewildering speed and flexibility. Whenever she activates a Charm of the Bitter Flower Style, she may simultaneously invoke any number of other Charms of the Style, as long as the Charms collectively satisfy the following conditions:
In addition, the adept can inflict and block lethal damage unarmed, without a stunt.
This attack is suffused with the bitterly hopeless scent of wilted flower petals littering the rain-sodden earth. It causes the victim to lose 1 Willpower point if the attack is successful. If the victim has 0 Willpower when he suffers this fate, instead he falls in love with the adept, gaining the True Love Merit and Follower Nature with reference to her. This has all the social and behavioral implications of these traits' natural presence. Heroic beings may throw off this transformation by restoring their full complement of Willpower Points and indulging in an act that satisfies their normal Nature. Each Nature-indulging act permits a Willpower roll at standard difficulty; once the hero has accumulated as many successes as the adept's Essence, he returns to his true self.