Combat Skills

COMBAT SKILLS

“It is a profound tragedy that these lowly creatures will never know the light of God; that I must banish them with my sword to a place beyond redemption.”

–Elias, Master Paladin of the Sacred Order of the White Lion

Combat skills are how a character gains the ability to do battle and survive combat.  Each Combat Skill follows a similar structure:

Rank 1: Basic Use
Rank 2: Defensive Abilities
Rank 3: Footwork
Rank 4: Advanced abilities
Rank 5: Master stroke

Basic Use

The first Rank of melee weaponry Skills allows the user to safely physically parry.  Weapon hits that are “significantly interfered with” are rendered harmless, even if they do happen to touch the blocker anyway.  Physically parrying without this ability causes a Hit to your blocking arm. Note that the Fear condition removes this ability, causing physical weapon parries to count as arm hits.

Skills that don’t involve melee weaponry, like Archery, Firearms and Shields simply allow the basic use of those pieces of equipment at this level, and the Brawl skill grants unarmed attacks.

(Read more about Game Effects)

Defensive Abilities

The ability to call Dodge or Parry primarily comes from Combat Skills, which grant abilities such as DefenseGuard, and Footwork.  Skills may grant multiple versions of these abilities under the same name.  For instance, “Defense” as granted by Arming Weapons allows a use of Parry, while “Defense” as granted by Brawl allows the use of a Dodge.  If the same character has more than one of these abilities, she may spend them in either manner she chooses, but it still expends that ability until it refreshes.

Footwork

Combat Skills each grant the user the ability to use an ability called Footwork.  Footwork confers a number of advantages on its user, who enters the Footwork Condition by having their back foot planted for one entire Beat, and remains in this Condition as long as they do not step with their (new) back foot more frequently than once every Beat.

Footwork may be expended (and thus needs to be re-established) to use a Defensive ability (Parry, Dodge, or Armor, depending on the Skill) or to deliver Combat Conditions alongside their successful Hits.  Hits to a limb may call any of the 1st Tier Combat Conditions (BleedStagger, or Pain), while Hits to the Torso may call any of the 2nd Tier Combat Conditions (WindedKnockdown, or Stun).  

Striking Conditions

          Bleed
          Winded
          Strike

Staggering Conditions

          Stagger
          Knockdown
          Slam

Stunning Conditions

          Pain
          Stun
          Blackout

(Read more about Game Effects)

When entering the Footwork Condition, you should perform a small salute gesture with your weapon to your opponent to signal that you are in Footwork.  Footwork requires no leg Injuries to use.

Fighting Styles

Skilled fighters may learn Fighting Styles, a specialized group of fighting moves that grant them new abilities or help them shore up weaknesses in their fighting style.  Once reaching Rank 4 in a Combat Skill, they may learn and use Fighting Styles they are taught, or teach themselves ones they meet the prerequisites for.

(Read more about Fighting Styles)

Light Weapons
Arming Weapons
Heavy Weapons
Brawl
Shields
Archery
Firearms

LIGHT WEAPONS

Light Weapons are those weapons which are naturally between 0 and 24” in length.  Not well-suited for open battle, they instead find their value in murder rather than combat.  Light weapons are easily concealed and well-suited for close-quarters combat and surprise.

Common light weaponry includes daggers, rondels, stilettos, hatchets, clubs and short swords.

Rank 1: Light Weapon Use

The fighter may use Light Weapons to physically parry in combat.

          Fear disables this effect

Rank 2: Light Weapon Defense

DEFENSE
The fighter may call Parry against all Hits or all Conditions delivered by melee attacks that occurred during the current Beat if they have a Light Weapon readied.
Refresh: Rest

Rank 3: Light Weapon Technique

The fighter gains access to the Footwork ability while wielding Light Weapons.

FOOTWORK
The fighter may enter Footwork with a Light Weapon readied and deliver its special attacks through Hits from a Light Weapon.

  • Footwork may be expended to call Parry
  • Footwork may be expended to call a Tier 1 Combat Condition (Bleed, Stagger, or Pain) with a successful limb Hit.
  • Footwork may be expended to call a Tier 2 Combat Condition (Winded, Knockdown, or Stun) with a successful torso Hit.

Resolution: Footwork ends when the fighter steps out from it, takes Stagger, or expends it for one of its benefits.

Rank 4: Advanced Light Weapons

The fighter may expend Footwork with a Light Weapon hit against the opponent’s weapon to tangle their attack in a clinch, calling Grab.

Rank 5: Backstab

The fighter can take advantage of distraction or slowness to deliver crippling precise blows to their opponent.  When attacking the back of the torso, the fighter may call a Tier 2 Combat Condition (Winded, Knockdown or Stun) without using Footwork.

ARMING WEAPONS

Arming Weapons are those that are naturally between 24” and 48” in length.  Arming Weapons are those that are standard issue for militaries, soldiers, guardsmen and other professional fighters.  They are well-known for their balanced approach to attack and defense, and a master can do either task without having to sacrifice the other, every guard an attack and every attack protecting the fighter.

Common arming weaponry includes broadswords, battle-axes, maces, sabres, and hammers.

Rank 1: Arming Weapon Use

The fighter may use Arming Weapons to physically parry in combat.

Fear disables this effect

Rank 2: Arming Weapon Defense

DEFENSE

The fighter may call Parry against all Hits or all Conditions delivered by melee attacks that occurred during the current Beat if they have an Arming Weapon readied.

Refresh: Rest

Rank 3: Arming Weapons Technique

The fighter gains access to the Footwork ability while wielding Arming Weapons.

FOOTWORK

The fighter may enter Footwork with an Arming Weapon readied and deliver its special attacks through Hits from an Arming Weapon.

  • Footwork may be expended to call Parry
  • Footwork may be expended to call a Tier 1 Combat Condition (Bleed, Stagger, or Pain) with a successful limb Hit.
  • Footwork may be expended to call a Tier 2 Combat Condition (Winded, Knockdown, or Stun) with a successful torso Hit.

Resolution: Footwork ends when the fighter steps out from it, takes Stagger, or expends it for one of its benefits.

Rank 4: Advanced Arming Weapons

The fighter may expend Footwork with an Arming Weapon hit against the opponent’s weapon to deftly or powerfully free it from their grip, calling Disarm.

Rank 5: Riposte

The fighter can perfectly create attacks and defenses without sacrificing either.  When they expend Footwork with an Arming Weapon, they may call Parry and call a Condition with a Hit from an Arming Weapon, rather than having to choose one or the other.

HEAVY WEAPONS

Heavy Weapons are those that are naturally longer than 48” in length.  Heavy Weapons are sometimes specialized weapons of war, such as the greatsword or poleaxe, intended for elite fighters to reach over the press to help the common soldier.  In other cases they belong to the common folk, the long farming scythe or the pike pressed into the hand of a levied militiaman. In either case, Heavy Weapons, usually wielded in two hands, benefit greatly from reach and can smash through all but the stoutest and heaviest of armor.

Common heavy weaponry includes greatswords, spears, polearms, and staves.

Rank 1: Heavy Weapon Use

The fighter may use Heavy Weapons to physically parry in combat.

Fear disables this effect

Rank 2: Heavy Weapon Defense

DEFENSE

The fighter may call Parry against all Hits or all Conditions delivered by melee attacks that occurred during the current Beat if they have a Heavy Weapon readied.

Refresh: Rest

Rank 3: Heavy Weapons Technique

The fighter gains access to the Footwork ability while wielding Heavy Weapons.

FOOTWORK

The fighter may enter Footwork with a Heavy Weapon readied and deliver its special attacks through Hits from an Heavy Weapon.

  • Footwork may be expended to call Parry
  • Footwork may be expended to call a Tier 1 Combat Condition (Bleed, Stagger, or Pain) with a successful limb Hit.
  • Footwork may be expended to call a Tier 2 Combat Condition (Winded, Knockdown, or Stun) with a successful torso Hit.

Resolution: Footwork ends when the fighter steps out from it, takes Stagger, or expends it for one of its benefits.

Rank 4: Advanced Heavy Weapons

The fighter may expend Footwork with a Heavy Weapon to strike the opponent or their weapon to call Slam.   

Rank 5: Cleave

The fighter can carve bloody ruin through foes, using the momentum of their heavy swings to carry through to the next opponent, and the next, battering their foes around and using their positions against them.  Whenever the fighter calls a Condition with their Heavy Weapon, they may call the same Condition on every opponent in a 90° arc in the direction of their swing.

BRAWL

Brawling is the ability to use the body itself as a weapon, delivering punches and grapples to disable an opponent.  While less imminently lethal than fighting with weapons, unarmed combat nonetheless has the advantage of being always available, and can be combined with more traditional forms of armed combat to blend their advantages.

Rank 1: Brawling

BRAWLING

The fighter may lay a hand on the opponent’s body and call a specific Combat Condition based on the location touched, or may lock their opponent into a grapple.

  • Punches to the limbs (arms or legs) cause Pain.
  • Punches to the front of the torso cause Winded.
  • Punches to the back of the torso cause Stun.
  • Contacting the opponent on any location, the fighter may call Stagger.
  • Contacting the opponent on any location, the fighter may call Grab.

Refresh: Brawling may be used once per Beat.

Rank 2: Brawl Defense

DEFENSE

The fighter may call Dodge against all Hits or all Conditions that occurred during the current Beat.

Refresh: Rest

Rank 3: Brawling Technique

The fighter gains access to the Footwork ability while fighting with at least one hand empty.

FOOTWORK

The fighter may enter Footwork under the normal conditions of Footwork, or after having maintained a Grab for one Beat.

  • Footwork may be expended to call Dodge
  • While maintaining a Grab, Footwork may be expended to call Strike to one limb.
  • While maintaining a Grab, Footwork may be expended to call a Tier 2 Combat Condition (Winded, Knockdown, or Stun).

Resolution: Footwork ends when the fighter steps out from it, takes Stagger, or expends it for one of its benefits.

Rank 4: Advanced Brawling

While maintaining a Grab, the fighter may expend Footwork to choke their opponent into submission, calling Blackout.

Rank 5: Takedown

The fighter can deliver amazing power through their unarmed strikes.  By expending Footwork and and using the Brawling ability on the opponent’s torso, the fighter may call Strike, Slam, or Blackout.

SHIELDS

Shields are used to interpose a barrier between the fighter and her opponent.  The basic shield is small and maneuverable, ranging all the way to extremely large tower shields that cover most of the body.  Shields are commonly paired with an Arming Weapon, as much part of the fighter’s attacking capability as their defense.

Rank 1: Shield Use

The fighter may physically block Hits with their shield.

Rank 2: Shield Guard

GUARD

The fighter may call Armor against all Hits or all Conditions that occurred during the current Beat if they have a shield readied.

This ability combines with Defense.

Refresh: Rest

Rank 3: Shield Technique

The fighter gains access to the Footwork ability while bearing Shields.

FOOTWORK

The fighter may enter Footwork with a shield readied.

  • Footwork may be expended to call Armor.
  • Whenever you are in Footwork and spend Guard or Footwork for Armor or Block against an attack from melee, you may Stagger the opponent that attacked you.

Resolution: Footwork ends when the fighter steps out from it, takes Stagger, or expends it for one of its benefits.

Rank 4: Advanced Shields

The fighter may expend Footwork with a Shield to mime a shield bash against an opponent in melee range and call Knockdown.   

Rank 5: Block

The fighter uses the shield to masterfully glance away attacks as they arrive.  Whenever the fighter uses a Shields ability to call Armor, she may instead call Block.

ARCHERY

Archery uses ranged weaponry such as bows and crossbows to fire arrows into opponents.  Missiles fired by skilled archers can use accuracy to pierce through almost any defense without ever exposing the archer to danger.  While mechanical weapons such as crossbows are indeed devices of engineering, they may take advantage of the Archery Skill.

Archery requires ammunition, which are are produced in batches by Woodworkers, and some arrows can be custom made to better perform.

(Read more about Weaponry)

Rank 1: Archery Use

The fighter may load, draw and fire a bow.

  • Melee weapon hits cannot be physically parried with a bow.

Rank 2: Archery Defense

DEFENSE

The fighter may call Dodge against all Hits or all Conditions that occurred during the current Beat if they have a bow readied.

Refresh: Rest

Rank 3: Archery Technique

The fighter gains access to the Footwork ability while wielding bows.

FOOTWORK

The fighter may enter Footwork with a bow readied and fully drawn, and deliver its special attacks through Hits from an arrow.

  • Footwork may be expended to call Dodge
  • Footwork may be expended to call a Tier 1 Combat Condition (Bleed, Stagger, or Pain) with a successful limb Hit.
  • Footwork may be expended to call a Tier 2 Combat Condition (Winded, Knockdown, or Stun) with a successful torso Hit.

Resolution: Footwork ends when the fighter steps out from it, takes Stagger, or expends it for one of its benefits.

Rank 4: Advanced Archery

The fighter may expend Footwork with a bow to snipe a specified target within Shouting Distance, calling Strike.

Rank 5:  Marksman

The archer’s shots are so accurate that they barely need to aim, able to take advantage of every exposed target.  All of the physical arrow Hits and Conditions delivered by the archer gain the Quick Quality.

FIREARMS

Firearms are the latest in martial technology, created by mechanist engineers and using expensive Dwarven black powder to fire iron shot into opponents.  Dwarven longrifles and manmade pistols are the weapons of the wealthy elite of Capacionne, but their use is slowly picking up elsewhere.

Firearms use blasting caps to signal their effect, and failing that, the BANG call.  Firearms are delicate and do not work in wet conditions. If it has rained that day or is currently raining, Firearms cannot be used.

(Read more about Game Effects)

(Read more about Devices)

Rank 1: Firearms Use

The fighter may load and fire and maintain a firearm.

  • Melee weapon hits cannot be physically parried with a gun.
The fighter’s familiarity and comfort with the percussive forces of black powder allow them to not be Staggered by the Bang effect of Firearm weapons.
 

Rank 2: Firearm Defense

DEFENSE

The fighter may call Dodge against all Hits or all Conditions that occurred during the current Beat if they have a firearm readied.

Refresh: Rest

Rank 3: Firearms Technique

The fighter gains access to the Footwork ability while wielding firearms.  The fighter must have the gun fully drawn and pointed at their target as if aiming.

  • Footwork may be expended to call Dodge.
  • Footwork may be expended to Knockdown after shooting an opponent.

The fighter is an expert at reloading his weapon, quick hands working by muscle memory alone with nimble fingers dancing over the casings.  Reload time is reduced from 30 seconds to 10 seconds.

Rank 4: Advanced Firearms

The fighter’s rigorous care, oiling, fitting, filing, customizing and polish of their weapon means that their firearm is unaffected by wet climate, weather and rain. This takes 10 minutes of maintenance roleplay per weapon weatherproofed per day.

Rank 5:  Quickdraw

The gunman can draw and fire without aiming by reflex faster than his opponent can anticipate to Dodge.  Immediately after drawing their gun, the fighter may add the Quick quality to a shot with their firearm.

This may be used once per Combat Scene on the first shot only.