Sunday, April 12, 2009

CLASS: The Fighting Men

Back here I discussed an overview of the three classes.

I'd like to elaborate a bit on the fighting man. First off, the basic mechanic used by the Fighting Man is the D20. Additionally, he uses Standard D6 Checks, like almost everyone else will, for utility checks and other misc tasks.

His prime requisite is CON. One important feature of CON will be one's "Reserve Points" (to use the OGL 3.5 SRD term). Basically, there are HP that power your own healing, a la 4E healing surges. Rather than relying on every party having a Heal-Bot, healing will be in the hands of the injured.

Reserve Points Quick Look
  • Each Reserve Point allow you to improve one toughness level of injury (So, it will bring you from Disabled to Bloodied, or Bloodied to Hale). If Toughness levels are not being used, it allows you to recover 1/3 of your maximum HP.
  • You will have 4 +/- CON modifier Reserve Points. Thus, because Fighting Men must have 9 CON, they will have at least 4, probably 5, and sometimes even 6 or 7 Reserve Points.
  • These are the number of Reserve Points you need to spend to get back to full-up "Hale" status after being wounded: Bloodied (1), Disabled (2), Dying (3). So, as you can see, a Fighting Man will be able to get really beat up possibly 2-3 times/day before he runs out of points.
  • You will be able to recover all of your reserve points by resting. Additionally, every few encounters you may get an extra reserve point.

Ok, pressing on. Similar to the schools of magic, there will be Schools of Swordsmanship. The primary three will be oriented in a triangle with R-P-S type superiority again.


Additionally, there needs to be some addressing of Ranged Combat Techniques, so we'll introduce a Marksman category. That will be seperate from the RPS system.

TECHNIQUES: Each school will have three levels of technique. Basic techniques will be open to all characters. Simple techniques will be open to characters that have a prime associated with that technique -- so, a DEX-based monk will have some facility with the Italian School's simple techniques. Fighting Men can use Simple Techniques from any school because they all have the CON prime. Advanced Techniques are open only to fighting men with an appropriate Primary Ability Score (school of study). So, only Swashbucklers become masters of Italian technique, only Skalds master the English school, and only Warriors master the Germanic way of swordsmanship.

USING TECHNIQUES: After using a Simple or Advanced Technique, a character can only use a Basic technique. At the start of each round, roll a D6. On a 5 or a 6, you have recharged and can use another technique.

OPTIONAL RULE: Allow Fighting Men to select which school they shall become masters in, independent of their primary Ability Score. This is best done through Role Play, where the student must meet a master, apply for training, etc. Thus, a Skald might take up the German tradition, or a Swashbuckler the English.

Acquisition of Advanced Techniques: A fighting man begins play knowing one advanced technique from his chosen school. Each tier of play, he may learn an additional advanced technique from his school. Whenever he gains a level, he may swap out any advanced technique he knows for a new one.

The German School: The German school focuses on offense using strong, simple attacks. Germans gain a bonus to hit against individuals parrying because their hews are good at breaking guards, which makes them effective against the English. In addition to Fighting Men, Eldritch Knights and Paladins can usually use the Simple Techniques of this school.

Basic - Strike Blow (A simple attack using STR to hit)
Simple - Drei Wunder (three wounders -- On a hit, deal 1 Body track penalty to enemy)
Advanced - Zornhau: 'wrath-hew' (Accept penalty to defenses to deal powerful blow)
Advanced - Krumphau: 'crooked-hew' (Cleave; drop enemy and immediately attack another)
Advanced - Zwerchau: 'horizontal-hew' (Accept penalty to hit to deal powerful blow)
Advanced - Schielhau: 'squinting-hew' (If Marked, you are no longer marked. Attack, and target is marked by you.)
Advanced - Scheitelhau: 'part-hew' (Charge)
Simple - The German Guard (Gain defensive bonus and Mark enemy a la 4E)

The Italian School: The Italian school focuses on controlling the initiative (tempo) and spacing (measure) of the fight. Whenever, they use a Simple or Advanced technique, Italians can roll an Agility check at the start of every turn to break a German's Mark. In addition to Fighting Men, Wizards and Monks can usually use the Simple Techniques of this school.

Basic - Disengage (Fall back fighting; move one space without an OA)
Simple - Passo straordinario (Lunge; increase your melee reach by one space for this attack)
Advanced - Gaining the Measure (Make an Agility Check. Move this many hexes without an OA. You must end the move next to the foe you are currently engaging.)
Advanced - Breaking the Measure (Withdraw from melee at full speed without an OA)
Simple - Control Tempo (On a hit, deal 1 Agility track penalty to enemy)
Advanced - Contratempo (Sacrifice initiative, but gain accurate riposte attack)
Advanced - Mezzotempo (Large initiative bonus, but deal half damage)

The English School: The English school takes a utilitarian, straightforward, and flexible approach to combat, emphasizing practical defenses. The English gain a bonus on OAs, which makes them effective against Italian skirmishers who rely on mobility. In addition to Fighting Men, Beguilers and Priests can usually use the Simple Techniques of this school.

Basic - Parry (Total defense)
Simple - Guarded Attack (Make attack at penalty to hit; gain defensive bonuses)
Advanced - The Tumbling Chase (used vs. disengaging foe; take OA at penalty and move up to your speed to follow foe, ignoring OAs yourself)
Advanced - Riposte (1/2 total defense; if enemy attacks and misses, make counterattack)
Advanced - The Dragon's Tail (a slashing blow, useful vs. lightly armored foes)
Simple - Valiant Strike (Make attack; if hit, all NPCs within command radius may make a morale check to rally with bonus equal to your CHA mod)
Advanced - Words Answered with Words (Spend your round to parlay during an encounter; if the enemy has a negative reaction and attacks you, gain benefit)
Advanced - Disheartening Strike (On hit, Enemy takes -1 Heart)


Most campaigns feature the Company of Masters. This is a swordsman's guild that regulates the teaching of martial arts, to ensure quality instruction as well as traditional relationships (and income) are maintained throughout the Lawful realm. The ranks within the guild are that of Scholar, Free Scholar, Provost, and Master. Four Senior Masters oversee all functions of the guild.

To rise in rank, participants must have sufficient combat experience, time in the guild, and participate successfully in a Prize Playing. Prize Playing tournaments are organized by one of the Senior Masters and feature non-lethal sparring before the public and assembled guildsmen; almost always, the entrant is promoted to the next rank, but this serves as a public test of skill and a demonstration of martial capability and endurance.

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