ADVANCED FIGHTING STYLES
In almost every world, a certain style of martial prowess may develop that rises above all others. This style, whether unlocked through intense training, biological manipulation, faith and devotion, or other means, is a powerful representation of the world’s spirit. Though these styles are not magical in nature, they do carry a sense of mysticism. Warriors who attain an advanced style are often hailed as heroes or villains of their worlds, figures of fear or inspiration on the battlefield.
To qualify for an advanced style, a player character must first meet the pre-requirements. Second, they must find a suitable teacher of the style; this information is almost always Find Out In Play, but can involve diplomacy, trials, dedications, or some other sort of tribulation. Each fighting style is meant to add flavor and unique abilities to a character, not provide the easiest path to power, but they almost always have in-play ramifications that cannot be immediately seen.
Each fighting style follows the progression below. Note that characters from an Origin World receive a 5 CP discount on the first level of the Advanced Fighting Style.
|Exploration = Skill Level + Perceptive Trait|
|1||20 CP||Level 1|
|2||5 CP||Level 2|
|3||10 CP||Level 3|
|4||15 CP||Level 4|
|5||20 CP||Level 5|
|6||25 CP||Level 5, Master|
Skill Requirements: Axe 6
In-style: Maximum-length greataxe and nothing else. No shields of any kind.
Dauntless Hewer Style is a tradition from Pagan culture dating back to the days when they lived in the Primaeval Forest. They fought arboreal predator plants as a part of their daily lives and trained to chew through living wood. Dauntless Hewers are mortal heroes of the Fen. They hunt Willowisps and they even harry the Animal Gods. Of course, defeating an Animal God doesn’t prevent them from coming back. Although the Fen is somewhat serene in the sad sort of way, the Pagans are a more brutal bunch. Hewers are why Redcaps actually have to be on their game. If a Hewer went bad, they’d have a problem on their hands. This is the grizzled barbarian loner, sitting in the dark corner of the tavern with a rusty ax bigger than anyone in the room. Bogies should not expect to be taught this fighting style (at least from other Pagans).
1) Bonus Prowess 1, Grim Determination
2) Bloody Thumb 1/day, *Block*
3) Bonus Prowess 2, Whittling Man
4) Bloody Thumb 2/day, Hewing the Roots
5) Bonus Prowess 3, Rage of the Ancestors
6) Bloody Thumb 3/day, Gruesome Buck
1 – Grim Determination: This ability allows the practitioner to ignore the Strong requirement to wield their style weapon (and ONLY their style weapon), so a character who is not natively Strong could wield their greataxe in two hands. If the character is already Strong, they instead gain an extra use of Bloody Thumb, once they possess at least level 2 in this style.
2 – Bloody Thumb: Once per day for every even level in Dauntless Hewer style, the practitioner may call a free Killing Strike or Mortal Blow, at their discretion.
3 – Whittling Man: This ability allows a practitioner to break through any form of threshold with every attack. The stylist may call “Vital Strike” at will, with no prowess cost, which simply does 1 damage and ignores all threshold.
4 – Hewing the Roots: The Stylist may call sweep attacks per the normal rules called as “Style Sweep Attack.” In addition, the stylist gains a +1 Power Strike bonus while in-style.
5 – Rage of the Ancestors: With this ability, the stylist may instantly regain 3 prowess by spending a feat of Charisma, Empathy, or Will (called as “Rage of the Ancestors – [trait]”). Additionally, the practitioner may ignore any form of Fascinate, Fear, or Slow, calling “No Effect” when targeted by such.
6 – Gruesome Buck: If the character suffers a limb wound while in style, they may immediately attempt a free Mortal Blow against the foe who dealt it (if able). While this Mortal Blow will affect targets other than the intended one of it hits them accidentally, the stylist must have *sincerely* been trying to strike the attacker that wounded them. While bearing the limb wound (and not dependent on the free Mortal Blow connecting), they reduce the cost of Mortal Blows to 2 prowess (this reduction does not stack with other effects that reduce the cost of Mortal Blows) and increase their Power Strike damage by 2. These benefits vanish if the limb wound is healed, including being tended with the Healing skill.
Skill Requirements: Shield 5, Survival 3
In-style: Large Shield and Short Weapon, with no Heavy armor.
The Gorgon Shield style is focused on survival for both the hunter and their tribe. They are used to surviving in the roughest terrain and understand that living “now” means you can come back to finish the job. They are experts in working in groups with other large shields and can survive against the worst that their world has to offer. A common custom among those who practice this style in A World With No Shadow is to attach a piece of their greatest kill or trophy to their shield.
1) Bonus Prowess 1, Alabaster Diplomacy
2) Hunter’s Focus 1/day, Defending the Tribe
3) Bonus Prowess 2, Kindred Strength
4) Hunter’s Focus 2/day, Wall of Alabaster
5) Bonus Prowess 3, Pure of Body
6) Hunter’s Focus 3/day, Gorgon’s Fate
1 – Alabaster Diplomacy: This grants the user access to Subdue, which can be delivered with a pommel strike from any appropriate style weapon (this weapon must have appropriate pommel padding).
2 – Hunter’s Focus: Once per day for every even level in this skill, the character may call a Resist against any mental effect or persistent condition, which is called as “Style Resist!”. Alternatively, they may spend a use of this ability to call a Style Deflect.
2 – Defending the Tribe: While in full style form, the practitioner may use their Deflect ability (including such from Hunter’s Focus) for anyone who is attacked within 5’ of them. This ability is called as “Style Ally Deflect!”, and the attack is negated just as if the ally had called the deflect themselves.
3 – Kindred Strength: While in full style, the character cannot be disarmed of their weapon or shield by any known combat ability, nor can their weapon or shield be broken by any Break maneuver, and should call “No Effect when targeted with such. Magical break or disarm effects are not stopped by this ability.
4 – Wall of Alabaster: This enables the practitioner to utilize their allies’ shields in ways that allow them to strike harder from a safer location. The practitioner must be in style and must be within 5 feet of an ally who is conscious and actively using a shield (either small or large, not buckler). This grants them a +2 to their power strikes. The ally need not have any shield skill, but must be able to use the shield normally.
5 – Pure of Body: The practitioner gains complete immunity to the Poison and Disease Persistent Conditions, though not any damage that may accompany them. This does not apply to Quick Venom and Plague. A character with this ability is also considered in-style even when wielding a Large Shield (and nothing else).
6 – Gorgon’s Fate: This ability reflects a Hunter’s devotion to martial training, and it simply increases by 2 the damage of any Power Strikes they call against any Mythical or Accursed creatures.
Skill Requirements: Polearm 6
In-Style: Must wield a halberd of minimum length and nothing else (no shield)
These footman were born and bred to kill. They could be mistaken for executioners both in their demeanor and their effectiveness on the field. Knights would often refuse to charge them and melee soldiers would turn and run before they ever engaged. Even at range, most archers or gunners find they can not do enough damage before these deadly soldiers are upon them — and once they engage, death is imminent. The fortunate are those who die quickly.
1) Bonus Prowess 1, Brutal Training
2) Dire Counterstrike 1/day, The Blade is My Life
3) Bonus Prowess 2, Wristbreaker
4) Dire Counterstrike 2/day, My Life for the Blade
5) Bonus Prowess 3, Indomitability
6) Dire Counterstrike 3/day, March of Death
1 – Brutal Training: The character lowers the strong requirement to wield their style weapon by one. If they are already Capable the character is then considered to have Hand-and-a-Half for the purposes of their style weapon; if they have Hand-and-a-Half then they are considered to have Heavy Arm for their style weapon only. If a character is natively Strong 3 or higher, they instead gain a +1 bonus to their Power Strike damage while in-style.
2 – Dire Counterstrike: Once per day per every even level of this style when the stylist is successfully struck by a damage dealing weapon strike (only melee) they may call “Parry – Power Strike X” where X is the highest amount Power-strike they have while using their in-style weapon. This ability functions in a similar manner to the Fencer ability. Magical or ranged attacks cannot trigger this ability. Note that both the Power Strike AND the Parry are part of this per-day ability and do not cost prowess to use.
2 – The Blade is My Life: A Footman with this ability gains access to the Block, Recover, and Withstand maneuvers.
3 – Wristbreaker: This grants the Footman the Greater Disarm combat maneuver, at a cost of 2 prowess.
4 – My Life for the Blade: This ability allows the Footman to call a free Mighty Blow (called as Style Mighty Blow X) by suffering 2 damage to the arm of their choice. This self-inflicted damage can be mitigated ONLY by Reduction or outright Immunity; nothing else applies, other than taking it on Resilience.
5 – Indomitability: The footman will not be swayed or cowed; while in full style form a character with this ability is entirely immune to Betrayal, Fear, Slow, Subdue (though not Greater Subdue), and the Stunning Blow combat maneuver. If targeted by these, the Footman must call “No Effect.”
6 – March of Death: For 2 Prowess, the practitioner may call a Mortal Blow against anyone in the Prone position (kneeling, sitting, lying down). In addition, a character with this ability will automatically restore 2 Prowess any time they call a successful Killing Blow.
Skill Requirements: Mace 5, Craft 3
In-Style: Max-length greathammer with a head at least that is at least 4 inches thick and 14 inches in width and length + covered in spikes, serrations, or an otherwise “wicked” appearance
The barbarians and cultists of the Undergods were fierce and without mercy. Thus a style of fighting that was equally fierce and would show the cretins that to war upon Dreyrain would cost them more than they could afford; their bodies would lie crushed under the assault of massive hammers.
1) Bonus Prowess 1, Grip of the Bold
2) Fatal Crush 1/day, Tenacious Shell
3) Bonus Prowess 2, Wall Crusher
4) Fatal Crush 2/day, Bulwark of Perdition
5) Bonus Prowess 3, Nomad’s Bane
6) Fatal Crush 3/day, Sturm Und Drang
1 – Grip of the Bold: The stylist may wield their style weapon in two hands even if they are not natively Strong. If they are natively Strong 1 or higher, they gain access to the Shield Break maneuver for 2 prowess.
2 – Fatal Crush: The stylist may call a free “Style Mighty Blow X” (where X is twice the character’s normal Power Strike damage) or a free “Style Greater Weapon Break” for every even level in this style.
2 – Tenacious Shell: The practitioner gains the ability to repair their own armor (which they must be wearing at the time) as if they had Advanced Repair instead of Intermediate Repair. If they actually have Advanced Repair normally, they instead add +1 to the maximum value of any armor that they wear, which stacks with all other bonuses. The practitioner also gains access to the Block combat maneuver.
3 – Wall Crusher: The stylist gains access to the Sunder ability and may call “Shield Pierce” as they desire for zero prowess.
4 – Bulwark of Perdition: The practitioner gains the ability to spend 2 production points on the spot in order to fully repair their armor with a 3-count (called as, “1, 2, 3, Bulwark of Perdition”). This is a Concentration effect, and the production points are lost if it is interrupted. The practitioner may alternately spend a 3 count and 1 production point to instantly repair their style weapon should it suffer a Break effect.
5 – Nomad’s Bane: When using the Weapon Break (not Greater) or Shield Break combat maneuvers, the user may immediately refund the prowess cost if the attack is negated with the Dodge ability or strikes an invalid target (ie, a Weapon Break on a shield or vice versa). The prowess is NOT refunded if the target uses the Withstand maneuver, uses a Resist of some sort, or if the attack has No Effect or misses utterly. The stylist also gains access to the Greater Weapon Break combat maneuver for 2 prowess.
6 – Sturm Und Drang: As long as the practitioner is in-style, whenever they spend prowess on any combat maneuver with a prowess cost of 2 or higher, they may immediately (within 3 seconds) follow up with a free Weapon Break or Shield Break (ie, “[other combat maneuver], Style Weapon/Shield Break!”), much like the Fencer ability.
Skill Requirements: Bow 6
In-Style: Bow; No shields of any kind, No armor
Archers noted for their excellent marksmanship as well as their ability to hit and run. Many enemies fled or deserted their post rather than face even a handful of these devastating archers. While not in combat, many considered them dishonorable or even assassins, but rarely would these remarks be said to their faces.
1) Bonus Prowess 1,Strike and Blend
2) Wind in the Trees 1/day, Through the Wrist
3) Bonus Prowess 2, Uncanny Dodge
4) Wind in the Trees 2/day, Through the Knee
5) Bonus Prowess 3, Heartseeker
6) Wind in the Trees 3/day, Three of Spades
1 – Strike and Blend: The archer may spend 2 prowess to use the Concealment ability. If the archer gains the Concealment ability via Survival, they may instead use Greater Concealment; if they gain Greater Concealment with Survival, they instead gain a bonus of 2 Prowess.
2 – Wind in the Trees: Spending a use of this ability allows the character to use the Haste ability exactly as if they had done so with a Greater Feat of Agility (“Style Haste, Haste, Haste…”). Alternatively, they may spend a use to simply call a Dodge.
2 – Through the Wrist: This allows the archer to perform a Disarm Maneuver. For safety concerns, the arrow must strike the target in a legal hit location; please do not aim for the actual phys rep. Through the Wrist counts only as a “normal” disarm, not a Greater Disarm. When firing, the archer may specify either the hand to target (“Disarm Left Hand!”).
3- Uncanny Dodge: The archer gains the Mobility ability while in style. If they already possess Mobility, they instead gain +2 prowess.
4 – Through the Knee: The stylist gains the Sweep Attack combat maneuver. Additionally, they are considered in-style when wielding no weapon at all, allowing them the use of defensive maneuvers when unarmed.
5 – Heartseeker: The practitioner gains the ability to fire True Strikes at zero cost; however, these true strikes explicitly only ever deal 1 point of damage, and that damage cannot be increase through ANY means.
6 – Three of Spades: When the practitioner spends prowess to call a normal Powerstrike, they may immediately follow up with up to two additional Powerstrikes at zero prowess cost. The two additional attacks must occur within 5 seconds of each other, or the opportunity is lost.
Skill Requirements: Sword 5, Performance 3
In-Style: Two longswords which are no more than 40” and of equal length. No shields of any kind, nor any armor greater than 2 points or that is worn on the limbs or head.
These desert swordfighters were as much performers as they were warriors. Terrain meant little to them and they could be anywhere on a battlefield. Many veterans would simply surrender when they heard the drums and calls of what new recruits thought was a dance troop.
1) Bonus Prowess 1, Macabre Finesse
2) Dance of the Keen-Eyed Hawk 1/day, Invigorating Step
3) Bonus Prowess 2, Lonely Dancer
4) Dance of the Keen-Eyed Hawk 2/day, Rhythmic Recovery
5) Bonus Prowess 3, Dance of the Crimson Spire
6) Dance of the Keen-Eyed Hawk 3/day, Dance of the Sanguine Blade
1 – Macabre Finesse: This ability will allow the student to wield their style weapons even if they do not natively possess Agile 2. If they possess Agile 2 normally, then the Dervish may ignore the debilitating effects of leg wounds while in full style form. They may walk (but not run) at a normal pace and stand while suffering them. Going out of style will cause the Dervish to fall to the ground, though they may ignore them once again upon assuming style form. Any attack to a wounded leg still transfers to a torso wound.
2 – Dance of the Keen-Eyed Hawk: Once per day per every even level the stylist may call a free True Strike X, where X is their normal Power Strike damage. Alternatively, this ability may be used as an Inspired Performance, though only for a 1 minute dance-based performance.
2 – Invigorating Step: Whenever the character benefits from an Inspired Performance they immediately gain either 3 prowess or 3 vitality, whichever they prefer, in addition to the standard benefits. Responding to a Long or Grand Performance can activate this ability, but does not increase it in any way.
3 – Lonely Dancer: The Dervish is considered in-style even if they wield only one sword. Additionally, the dervish gains the ability to respond to their own Inspired Performances (so long as they are some sort of appropriate dance), much like the Audience of One ability. The latter ability requires the Dervish to be in-style.
4 – Rhythmic Recovery: This ability allows the practitioner to regain 1 prowess when any combat ability that he spends prowess to use is Parried, Deflected, or Dodged. Only those specific defenses will trigger this ability; mundane defenses/dodging or other protectives will not.
5 – Dance of the Crimson Spire: A Dervish with this ability simply increases their Power Strike damage by 1 and gains Immunity to the Disarm and Weapon Break combat maneuvers while in-style.
6 – Dance of the Sanguine Blade: After responding to one of their own Inspired Performances (which also triggers Invigorating Step) and calling “Dance of the Sanguine Blade!”, the Dervish can erupt into a dance of grace and death, gaining +1 Powerstrike damage, Mobility, and complete immunity to Strength Drain, Bind, Shackle, and Slow effects. This lasts until the next time the Dervish rests to regain prowess.
Must be able to manifest claws
In-style: Wielding claws from any source, no shields except a buckler.
The Requin Blades are a feared and respected part of the Sahagin military. It is said that single Blade, released into an enemy camp, will only stop killing upon receiving a direct command from an officer. The Blades have a long and honorable tradition of being the first to engage entire groups of enemies, fully knowing that backup will arrive only after they have fallen. Though many Blades work to control their bloodlust in battle, some learn to embrace it fully, becoming terrifying whirlwinds of violence and gore.
1. Bonus prowess 1, Hunter’s Scent
2. Blood in the Water 1/day, Unwavering Blades
3. Bonus prowess 2, Piercing Rush
4. Blood in the Water 2/day, Sucker Punch
5. Bonus prowess 3, Shellpiercer
6. The Unstoppable Tide
Bonus Prowess: This ability simply adds +1 to the total prowess of the Requin Blade, while they are in style.
Hunter’s Scent: This ability grants the Requin Blade the ability to ‘detect’ a hidden figure just as the Perceptive ability Hidden Sense. Note that this does NOT grant them immunity to subdue, however. If the Blade already possess Perceptive 1 or above, this ability simply grants them a free FoP once per day for the exclusive purpose of revealing a Concealed person or item.
Blood in the Water: Once per day, the Requin Blade can declare ‘Blood in the Water’ upon seeing an enemy combatant become critical, dead, or otherwise wounded and unconscious (this does not apply if the target is merely unconscious but unharmed). While under the effects of this ability, the Blade immediately restores all prowess and natural vitality. By delivering a killing blow to any target, they instantly restore 2 prowess or 2 vitality, their choice. However, while under the effects of this ability, they must actively seek out and killing blow ANY person who appears to be unconscious, critical, or otherwise dropped by combat, friend or foe. A Feat of Empathy or use of Charismatic Sense by another player will successfully cause the Blade to ‘ignore’ a downed target, but at a 1 to 1 ratio.
This effect ends when there are no enemies within visual range for more than five minutes, or the Blade may end it voluntarily. Ending the effect immediately removes all prowess and vitality (but does not cause a wound) and places the Blade under an unavoidable Stillness effect equal to their total prowess. This can be treated as normal.
Unwavering Blades: This ability grants the user the ability to ignore the debilitating effect of limb wounds, exactly as the Toughness ability Indomitable. Note that they do not gain the other effects of Indomitable, however.
Piercing Rush: This ability allows the Requin Blade to expend all of their prowess in order to call a ‘Shield Pierce X’, where X is the amount of prowess spent. Note that the Blade MUST spend all available prowess when calling this ability, and the amount of prowess spent must be at least 1.
Sucker Punch: This ability simply allows the Requin Blade to call a disarm for 2 prowess, same as the Sword ability.
Shellpiercer: This ability allows the Requin Blade to call a ‘Vital Strike’ at will with their claws. This ability does a base 1 damage and specifically ignores all threshold.
The Unstoppable Tide: While under the effects of Blood in the Water, the Requin Blade is immune to all movement impairing effects, such as knockdown, slow, or bind. Further, they may spend 1 prowess to call a ‘resist’ to any mental effect, magical or otherwise. This includes any attempt to calm them away from delivering a killing blow.