John Mørke wrote:
It's not weird at all.
It's kinda weird!
(Sorry, watching too much How I Met Your Mother lately.)
Solar Charms originally had names like Extra Health Levels (Ox-Body Technique) and Multiple Attacks (Iron Whirlwind Attack), before Geoff went through and renamed them. He didn't change their functions, though. If you had Ox-Body Technique, you were playing a vital person with the constitution of an ox. If you had Iron Whirlwind Attack, you were just playing a guy who was really good at multiple attacks. Charms move in themed strings because they represent skill in certain areas. A character who is a walking blender is represented by putting 24 exp into the Multiple Attacks part of the tree; a guy who is about ki direction puts it into the Solar bolt part of the tree. Each part of the tree is a simplification; a list of purchases that help to depict a character's skill from the lower end to the upper end.
But all that exists kind of, mm, in parallel to the points I was making - it doesn't change that it's a little unusual to associate "Charms are particular techniques" and "Charms are something external to you." Likewise, it doesn't actually contradict that Charms are pretty commonly viewed as particular specific techniques - a guy who has Iron Whirlwind Attack is a guy who is really good at multiple attacks, yes, and he's really good at them because he knows this technique
. (Again, cf. "Kenshin is a really good swordsman, because he knows the techniques of Whatever The Heck His Style Is Called.")
I mean, obviously that's not your intent, but it is a very natural reading of the situation. It explicitly dates back at least to the 2e core: "Charms are simple magical 'tricks.' Each is a technique for channeling Essence through the body or mind to enhance a Solar's Abilities to superhuman levels." (I would not be shocked if this goes back to the 1e core, for that matter, but I don't have that on me.)
Iron Whirlwind Attack, as I just demonstrated, doesn't exist as a distinct technique. It is just modeling your ability to strike multiple times.
If you took Kenshin's sword away and gave him a grimcleaver, he wouldn't know what to do with it. So he is clearly not using Iron Whirlwind Attack. His technique actually depends on a sword. Whereas, Iron Whirlwind Attack, which is named deceptively like a technique, is really just Multiple Attacks and could be described as "Buy this to depict a character who can flurry his weapon. Any weapon."
The kung fu presentation is there to be cool, but that's all it is.
It seems very
peculiar to me to suggest that Kenshin would not be, if translated, an example of a Solar meleeist sword-wielder. That... particularly seems like it requires an over-narrow view of how Charms "should" be viewed.
I mean, I'm not going to tell you you're mistaken about what you intend Charms to be - that would be kinda dumb. But it seems to me that the distinction you're drawing - between "This is an application of my skill" and "This is a discrete technique" - isn't... well, real. Something can be both
recognizable as an innately-developed application and
a discrete, repeatable technique.
As a practical example: learning to derive "Socrates is mortal" from the early parts of that syllogism is something I can theoretically do on my own, using only my own skill at logic. It's my ability at play that lets me reach this conclusion! It's also
an application of the discrete technique commonly called "Modus Ponens," and many a math professor will require you to shout the name of your technique as you apply your skill if you want full credit on the proof.