Martial Abilities

American Western Fast Draw

American Western fast draw is synonymous with ”Wild America.” The image of a lawman or outlaw, wielding his trusty six-gun, is not only an evocative symbol of the relative freedom from British rule found in the American West, but also often enough the last thing a visitor sees.

  • First Tier: +1 to sidearm attacks, +2 to western-style six-gun use.
  • Second Tier: A gunslinger may draw and fire as one action.
  • Third Tier: The gunslinger draws, sights, and fires in an average of .20 seconds, faster than human reaction time. Shots made as a fast draw can no longer be dodged by fourth-tier reflex training and reflexive actions cannot be used to push the barrel aside in melee.
  • Fourth Tier: A second shot can be sighted and fired in .10 seconds, allowing the marksman to make up to six shots in a single action. For every shot after the first, apply a -2 modifier to that shot and all that follow, to a maximum o f -6 (i.e. 0,-2,-4,-6,-6,-6).

Brigmann Assault System

The Brigmann Assault System was developed by a special forces soldier named Josef Brigmann in the Pacification Conflict that followed the Forgotten Wars. This cavalier style of combat disdains traditional rules of safety and cover, favoring speed and the element of surprise to more cautious techniques. Despite the obvious danger of the techniques, Brigmann survived to retire and die peacefully in his bed.

  • First Tier: +1 to firearms, +1 to run, dive, roll, and climb.
  • Second Tier: Run and Gun. You may move without incurring an aim penalty.
  • Third Tier: Running Firefight. You may dive, roll, kick open doors, etc. while shooting without incurring an attack roll penalty.
  • Fourth Tier: Steady Arms. You may use two pistols or sawed-off shotguns, one in each hand, without penalty. Reloading must be performed first on one gun, then the other, as two separate actions, as usual.

Jujitsu

Jujitsu is the Japanese art of grappling and striking that has been adopted by the Jesuits. It is a broad and robust fighting style, with many techniques for facing an armed opponent whilst unarmed.

  • First Tier: Basic training in Jujitsu provides a +1 modifier on unarmed attacks and throws, and a +2 modifier on Jujitsu techniques. Jujitsu throws deal +1 damage on success.
  • Second Tier: You may attempt to disarm an opponent while unarmed without taking damage from the opponent’s weapon on a failure. You also roll safely if thrown or struck toward the ground, allowing yourself to regain your footing instantly so long as you are not held down on a successful motor skills roll without having to spend an action doing so.
  • Third Tier: On a successful strike or throw, if you pass a difficulty 9 Discipline roll, your opponent is stunned, losing his or her next action (an action must be spent being stunned before actions of any other kind can be taken. This may be any action: combat, reflexive, or free dodge.).
  • Fourth Tier: Sleeper Hold. If you can keep an opponent in a hold for three consecutive turns, they are rendered unconscious. Does not work on large animals, ghosts, or machines, for obvious reasons.

Kenjutsu

Kenjutsu is the art of Japanese fencing. It cannot be used without possession of a proper Japanese sword, which can make it expensive, but the payoff is well worth the effort and cost.

  • First Tier: +2 on all Japanese sword techniques, including parrying and disarming opponents.
  • Second Tier: Cut Through. When you successfully dispatch a foe with a Kenjutsu attack, you may carry through with the strike, causing half damage to the next thing in the sword’s path. Enemies affected are granted a defense roll against your previous attack roll -2 to avoid the cut.
  • Third Tier: Iaijutsu. When drawing the sword from its scabbard, you may make an attack at +1 modifier simultaneously on any target in range, drawing the sword and striking forcefully in one movement.
  • Fourth Tier: Nitojutsu. As Miyamoto Musashi developed it, you work two swords in harmony (usually one katana and one wakizashi). When doing so, you may take a second sword action whenever you take a first sword action, to a maximum of two per round. These may be independent, such as one strike and one parry, one feint and one disarm attempt, etc. No penalties for multiple actions are applied due to the extra action – it is taken simultaneously as a free action.

La Verdedera Destreza

La Verdedera Destreza uses the smaller, lighter Spanish style sword and fast, one-handed techniques. Unlike the now-disdained ”performance fencing” of its linear cousins, la Verdedera Destreza includes circling and a variety of situational techniques for use outside of a classical duel.

  • First Tier: Basic training provides a +1 modifier with swords, and a +2 when using a light sword one-handed. The rapier is preferred, but a British officer’s saber can function nearly as well.
  • Second Tier: By moving quickly, you strike the offending limb of the attacker on a successful parry, dealing normal damage -1 for the situation. You now parry at +1 with all one-handed weapons.
  • Third Tier: Circling Step. A quick side-step takes you out of your opponents path and to the side on a successful dodge. From this position of advantage, you are granted an immediate free attack against the opponent when wielding a sword in one hand.
  • Fourth Tier: Blinding Steel. By careful use of riposte, balance, and position, you are able to attempt a second free attack whenever you successfully strike an opponent with a rapier OR are parried by a margin of less than 3.

Liechtenauer

The antiquated Liechtenauer school of fencing favors the broadsword or longsword, to be wielded in two hands. It stresses both technical mastery and the application of great force, making it a system favored by those strong enough to enjoy the benefits of overpowering an opponent.

  • First Tier: Basic training provides a +1 modifier on all melee weapon attacks, and a +2 on all Liechtenauer school two-handed sword attacks.
  • Second Tier: Oberhau, Mittelhau, Unterhau. The famously devastating attacks of the Liechte- nauer school are known to you, allowing you to deal +2 damage on a successful attack when wielding a long sword with two hands.
  • Third Tier: Absetzen. On a successful parry, you simultaneously stab the opponent, sliding your blade over theirs in a free instant attack. If you parried by a margin of +3 or better, the enemy is denied reflexive rolls as they totter off-balance from the force of your guard.
  • Fourth Tier: Duplieren und Mutieren. When your attack is blocked or parried by a margin of less than -3, you may attempt any Liechtenauer technique as a new, free action at -1 modifier.

Ninjutsu

Ninjutsu is the Art of the Ninja. This discipline has become a popular training regimen for spies, Royal Shepherds, explorers, and mercenaries. Ninjutsu stresses efficiency of movement and tactical thinking.

  • First Tier: +1 on ninjutsu strikes and grapples and +1 to dives and rolls. Basic ninjutsu grapples prevent the target from taking actions, but do not include high-damage throws. Striking training includes unarmed techniques and the use of the ninjato and staff.
  • Second Tier: Additional +1 on strikes, grapples, dives, ad rolls. As a reflexive action, you may prevent damage and take the weapon from an armed melee attacker’s hand with a successful grapple taken at -2.
  • Third Tier: +1 to stealth, dodges, climbs, and attacks made while unobserved. +3 to remain silent when taking any action.
  • Fourth Tier: Having studied ancient tactics, you have learned to create smoke bombs and shuriken, and make thrown shuriken and knife attacks at +3. Smoke bombs increase the difficulty of all sight-based perception rolls by -2 in a thirty-foot radius, and cost £5 each to create.

Pankration

Pankration is the ancient Greek system of bare-knuckle, no-holds-barred fighting is the proper foundation of modern sport, and recent practitioners of these noble athletics have maintained its practice admirably.

  • First Tier: +1 on all unarmed strikes, grappling, and throws. Pankration attacks deal +1 damage on rolls showing 9 and higher on the dice.
  • Second Tier: +1 on all resistance rolls against being thrown, struck, or grappled.

Scottish School of Sniping

The Scottish school of sniping was realized to be superior to the previous marksmanship training offered by Her Majesty’s Army when 5 Lovat Scouts clad in Ghillie suits eliminated 107 officers in one month during the Balkan Conflicts of the turbulent Forgotten Wars, 1911-1949.

  • First Tier: +1 to firearm attacks, +2 to sniper’s rifles.
  • Second Tier: Long shot: double the range of all rifle attacks.
  • Third Tier: Sure shot: take two rounds sighting, and get a +4 modifier to attack roll.
  • Fourth Tier: Crack shot: +2 modifier on attempts to hit specific targets (a switch, a bag, an eye, etc.)

Street Fighting

Street fighting is not a true discipline, but rather experience in dirty fighting. No teacher needed.

First Tier: You have knowledge of dirty tricks. When attempting to blind an enemy with sand, deliver a kidney punch or haymaker, pull a jacket over the opponent’s head, or strike the genitals, eyes, or joints, you gain a +1 modifier. A haymaker deals +1 damage on successful hit, but prevents the free dodge for that round being used. Kidney strikes and ear claps stun an opponent, denying them their next action (an action must be spent being stunned before actions of any other kind can be taken. This may be any action: combat, reflexive, or free dodge.).

Second Tier: Opportunism: whenever an enemy is disarmed, blinded, stunned, grappled, or rolls snake-eyes within your reach, you may attempt an instantaneous attack on the hapless fool. In so doing, you leave yourself open to other dangers, and take a -1 modifier on defense and dodging until next round.

Wushu

Wushu is a term which may be broadly used to describe the various methods of self-defense pre- scribed by Cathay and its neighbors, its name taken from the Cantonese language. The progression listed is advancement in the art of Hung-ga.

First Tier: Taming the Tiger Fist. Your training in basic Hung-ga allows you to make unarmed attacks with great skill, giving a +1 modifier to all rolls made while attacking in melee combat, and a +2 modifier to unarmed Hung-ga style strikes. Hung-ga striking deals +1 damage on rolls showing 9 and higher on the dice.

Second Tier: Double Blow Fist. On a single attack made with the fist, after rolling damage, if you pass a difficulty -2 Discipline roll you may double the damage dealt.

Third Tier: Tiger Crane Paired Form. For every attack made in unarmed combat, you may either add 5 feet of reach to your attack or reduce the effective armor for the purposes of the attack by one. You may attempt to parry sword attacks with your hands, using the Crane Wing Block, without taking damage from the sword’s blade except on snake-eyes.

Fourth Tier: Shadowless Kick. You may attempt one free kick whenever attempting any melee maneuver.

Other Styles

Styles created by a character or not listed may be constructed by a combination of variants on listed abilities, the addition of more modifiers to attacks, or both. Likewise, the use of weapons that are not listed is allowable when creating a new style of Martial ability. The narrator has final say on what is and is not acceptable in any given story.

Hybrid Style

To use two styles in concert, gaining the full modifier and additions of both, you must take one tier of skill in Hybrid Style for each style you wish to so combine. For instance, to use Blinding Steel with your wakizashi while performing Nitojutsu, you must spend a total of 9 points, four in La Verdadera Destreza, four in Kenjutsu, and one in Hybrid Style. To also be capable of using your Jujitsu-based stun on a Shadowless Kick, another point in Hybrid Style would be needed, to a total of two points in Hybrid Style, four in La Verdadera Destreza, four in Kenjutsu, four in Hung-Ga Wushu, and three in Jujitsu.