This is the first artifact I created for Ex3. One of my players wanted his character to be able to use illusions in combat, and since that's not a normal part of the Solar charm package, I thought an artifact would be the best way for him to do that. Originally, the Hand had more Evocations that were directly combat focused, but I realized the best way to represent all the little ways illusions could help in battle while leaving the widest field for creativity was to use the stunt system, hence the Hand's final attunement benefit.
I've used a modified standard format for the evocations. After the name, I've included the design intention in parentheses, which is where I start my design process. The italic text is descriptive, while the normal text provides rules. Where an Evocation references another rule in the book, I've included the text of that rule for convenience.
Chaotic World is the Evocation that I'm the least certain of. My player has yet to unlock this evocation, so it's rules have not been tested.
Hand of Illusions (Artifact 4)
Received in trade from Madame Marthesine of the Lost. She said it was made by a loving father for a daughter who felt the touch of the Sun's power in her youth. The Hand of the Deceiver is a wire framework glove of starmetal and moonsilver set with glittering dream stones. When worn, you can almost hear the essence singing joyously behind yours ears. The artifact yearns to be used.
A Solar, Sidreal, or Lunar who attunes the Hand can spend essence to create moving illusory images no larger than a grown man that last as long as the character focuses on them. Onlookers roll Perception + Awareness to recognize the illusion as false. The cost of this power is 1-3m depending on the scale of the illusions. The illusion lasts as long as the character focuses on it. For one Willpower, the duration of the illusion lasts for one scene. The wielder of the hand can describe illusions as part of stunts.
- Fractal Image (reflexive defensive charm, can be cast on others)
Cost: 3m, 1wp; Mins: Essence 1
Illusory images split away from the target, granting advantage to the attack. The spectral images vanish moments after the attack.Once per combat, make a reflexive distract gambit to aid an ally's attack. The attack roll for the gambit is Manipulation + Melee/Bawl/Martial Arts. Regardless of success or failure, the gambit does not consume initiate from the wielder of the hand. Fractal Image can be reset by felling an enemy or avoiding a deceiving attack with a 2-point stunt that uses the Hand.
Distract (difficulty 3-5): The character leads, threatens, or feints his target into the path of an ally’s decisive attack. The attacker declares an ally (who is not in Initiative Crash) as the beneficiary of this distraction; that ally gains the Initiative the character loses as a result of successfully executing this gambit. The transferred Initiative must be used to attack the gambit’s target on the ally’s next turn, or it is lost. A character can only benefit from one distraction bonus at a time.
Exalted Third Edition, page 200.
- Cloak of Deception (maintainable illusionary overlay on self, an ally, or an enemy)
Cost: 5m, 1 wp; Mins: Essence 1
You cloak on human-sized target in a cloak of illusion. Outside combat, the illusion is an effective disguise. In combat, the illusion sows confusion. This Evocation initiates a disguise roll (p 224) using Wits + Essence. The roll gains 1 automatic success but the roll can not be enhance with Charms or other effects. At Essence 3+, this charm may be used reflexively when you roll join battle.
- Greater Illusion (as basic power, but increased cost and expanded scope)
Cost: 10m; Mins: Essence 2
The simple illusions created by the Hand are greatly expanded as the bearer gains familiarity with the artifact. Illusions created by this evocation can fill a small room. As long as bearer remains focus, the illusion can shift and move as willed.
- Chaotic World (mass illusion causing confusion, requires the previous 3 as prerequisites)
Cost: 5m, 1wp; Mins: Essence 2
Prerequisites: Fractal Image, Cloak of Deception, Greater Illusion
The influence of the Hand's illusions flow out from the wielder, creating confusion in the scene. Ephemera dance and spiral, obscuring faces, hiding movements, and All beings within Short range roll (Wits + Awareness) against the user's (Wits + Essence) On a successful roll, the momentary confusing inflicts a penalty equal to the user's Essence to actions that rely on sight for the next round. Beings who fail the roll suffer the penalty for the duration of the Charm. The effect ends if the user enters Initiative Crash.
- Manifest Guardian (create a guardian of light and essence from your iconic anima banner)
Cost: (10m or 3a) +1 willpower; Mins: Essence 1
Type: Simple or Reflexive
The bearers anima banner flares iconic, and steps away from the bearer, fueled by the power of the Hand as a solid guardian of sculpted essence. The guardian uses stats that are yet to be written. The Evocation can be used reflexively against decisive attacks. When used this way, the guardian becomes the new target of the decisive attack.
Special activation rules: The evocation is learned at no cost and activated for free the first time the bearer is struck with a decisive attack while concealed by Cloak of Deception.