Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New Styles: Force-Swordsmanship

The Destructive Form (3 points)

Alternate Names: The Way of the Reaper, The Seven Killing Strokes

Darth Vader at Bespin
Force-Swordsmanship, as written, includes a considerable emphasis on using your force sword to destroy your opponent’s weapon, which seems an exceptionally solid tactical concept. If we strip the style down to that concept alone, we get something reminiscent of how Darth Vader fought in the Empire Strikes Back, and to how Darth Maul fought in the Phantom Menace, what the Expanded Universe calls “Juyo.”

The Destructive Form focuses on destroying one's ability to fight. Against opponents armed with weapons other than force swords, the stylist focuses on destroying their weapons first. Against force-sword opponents, the same tactic results in beats that batter aside their opponent's weapon and opens them up to an attack. Against all opponents, the Destructive Form is patient. It seems to demolish defenses first, through a combination of eliminating weapons, pushing aside defenses, injuries to the arms or legs, shoves and stuns, and then goes in for the kill with a simple and direct attack.

The Destructive Form places a great deal of emphasis on personal strength over mobility or internal, emotional balance. Practitioners learn strikes (and sometimes kicks) to supplement their force sword attacks (and often have a reputation for being dirty fighters). Beats and shoves also place emphasis on strength. In addition to precognitive parries, practitioners of the destructive form perform feats of great strength and utter terrifying shouts. Some stylists expand their techniques with kicks or by throwing their force sword at more distant foes. The Destructive Form is preferred by psychokinetics, who can augment their own natural strength with their telekinesis, and they can quickly pull their thrown force sword back to them. Nonetheless, the style remains vulnerable to psionic powers and being outmaneuvered.

Skills: Force Sword, Brawling
Techniques: Beat, Elbow Strike, Force-Sword Shove, Hammer Fist, Targeted Attack (Force Sword/Arm), Targeted Attack (Force Sword/Leg), Targeted Attack (Force Sword/Weapon), Targeted Attack (Force Sword Pummel/Face), Targeted Attack (Karate Elbow Strike/Vitals)
Cinematic Skills: Immovable Stance, Kiai, Power Blow, Precognitive Parry
Cinematic Techniques: Dual-Weapon Defense (Force Sword), Timed Defense (Force Sword)
Perks: Dirty Fighting, Finishing Move (Force Sword), Grip Mastery (Force Sword), Special Setup (Power Blow works with Force Sword), Sure-Footed (Uneven), Sure-Footed (Slippery), Trademark Move (see below for ideas).
Optional Traits: Striking ST +1 to +2 [5 or 10], High Pain Threshold [10]
Optional Skills: Armoury (Force Sword), Fast-Draw (Force Sword), Savoir-Faire (Dojo), Thrown Weapon (Force Sword)
Optional Techniques: Kicking

New Skills and Techniques

Thrown Weapon (Force Sword) deal 8d(5) damage, with an Acc of 0, a 1/2D of 0.5xST and a max range of ST. If a character has TK-Tether for his sword he may return it to his hand from any distance after a throw with a Ready maneuver or a Fast-Draw roll of -4. If he has sufficient TK-Grab to lift his force sword, he may also return the weapon to his hand with a Ready, or a TK-Grab skill roll at -4.

Force Sword Shove: Hard. Defaults to Force Sword -2. After parrying or being parried by another force sword, instead of doing a beat, the character may shove the character. This works exactly like a beat, except its effects target the character's body. That is, the character is forcing the character off-balance.

Signature Moves

The Dignity-Killing Stroke: The Destructive Form begins on the offensive. In standard grip, make a rapid (-3 or -6) pummeling strike (Brawling-1 or Hammer Fist) vs target's face (-5). Roll Karate-9 or Hammer Fist-8. Deal thr(+karate bonuses) damage. If shock is inflicted, target must roll vs stun. Then make the second rapid strike against opponent's weapon with Force Sword. Roll Force Sword-4 (for long polearms or rifles) to -6 (for small weapons, like force sword hilts or pistols) and inflict 8d(5) damage. This counts a dirty trick. Setup: The first turn of combat.

The Patience-Killing Stroke: The Destructive Form pushes its opponent to parry or to attack, or risk losing their ability to dodge. In Defensive Grip (-2), make a deceptive (-2, though typically reduced to 12) defensive attack to the leg (-2). Roll Force Sword (-6) to hit. Deal 8d-8(5) burn damage to the leg. The stylist defends at +1 for the remainder of the turn, with an additional +1 against forward attacks. Setup: None, though typically if one’s opponent is defensive.

The Balance-Killing Stroke: The Destructive Form turns the tables on an aggressive opponent through strength. In defensive grip, make a Force Sword Shove (-2, with +2 from the two-handed grip). Roll ST-based Force-Sword+0 in a quick contest with your opponent’s ST-based Force Sword. If successful, apply the margin of victory as a penalty to opponent’s dodge and kicking skill. If success by 5 or more, inflict one yard of knockback. Setup: After making a successful parry.

The Spirit-Killing Stroke: The Destructive Form batters down its opponents defenses and then destroys his opponent’s ability to fight. In Defensive Grip (-2), Make a rapid-strike Beat (-6, or -3 with Weapon Master, +2 from two-handed grip). Roll ST-based force-sword skill (-4 or -1 with weapon master) with your opponent’s ST- or DX-based force-sword skill. Success applies margin of victory as a penalty to attack and defense, while success by 5 or more unreadies the weapon. Then make a second (-6 or -3 with Weapon Master) attack against the arm (-2) of the opponent. Roll Force-Sword (-10 or -7 with weapon master). Deal 8d(5) burn damage to the arm. Setup: Your opponent successfully parries your attack.

The Reaping Stroke: The Destructive Form has destroyed its opponents defenses, and then finishes off its opponent. Take a Step (while still keeping your opponent in one of your forward hexes) and use Grip Mastery to shift from Defensive Grip to Regular Grip, and then make an All-Out Attack to the Torso. As a special effect, this attack may be described as attacking the neck (this is cosmetic, so apply no hit location penalties, nor any hit location benefits). Roll Force Sword (+0). Deal 8d+8(5) damage. This is a Finishing Move. Setup: Opponent is stunned.

The Graceful Form

Obi-Wan vs Darth Maul
Alternate Names: The Way of the Dancer, the Courtly style, the Lunar Techniques, the Four Point Kata.

Force-Swordsmanship, as written, places a great deal of emphasis on the cinematic nature of the light-saber duel, with its flashy leaps and spinning flourishes. Those moves might not seem to make a lot of tactical sense, but it does make for an entertaining show. Nonetheless, the flashy leaps are certainly grounded in a serious tactical need to cover ground. A force sword is useless if it's not in melee. The more quickly you can get in touch with the enemy, the sooner you can bring your superior melee power to bear. And while we're studying leaping about, we might as well take advantage of that mobility to defeat our opponents with greater ease. And all that flashiness is very intimidating, which can persuade lesser opponents to quit the field. The resulting style is deliberately modeled on how Qui-Gonn and Obi-Wan fought in the Phantom Menace, using the so-called “Ataru” form, but I also drew inspiration from the other major cinematic style, Wushu

The Graceful Form focuses on mobility and theatricality to defeat its foes. The characters remain in near constant motion, and seek to gain an advantage on their opponent by moving to points where their opponent cannot defend well. It folds its antics into its techniques, so their opponents are never sure if they actually intend to attack or not. When they finish off their opponent, they generally do so as stylishly as possible and, if that is not possible, they'll pause after victory to demonstrate an artistic flourish. This makes the style a smash hit among spectators, making this a preferred technique for gladiators, duelists, or easily-impressed young men.

The style focuses on high speed, agility and dexterity. It also relies on its opponent's inferiority. A master of the Graceful form will tear apart a novice of another form with stylish ease, but he'll certainly lose against someone of greater skill than his own. This does make the Graceful form an excellent means of disposing of mooks, however.

Skills: Acrobatics, Force Sword, Jumping
Techniques: Acrobatic Stand, Combat Art (Force Sword), Evasion, Feint (Acrobatics or Force Sword), Spinning Attack (Force Sword)
Cinematic Skills: Flying Leap, Kiai, Power Blow, Precognitive Parry
Cinematic Techniques: Evasion Attack, Dual-Weapon Defense (Force Sword), Flying Strike, Timed Defense (Force Sword), Whirlwind Attack (Force Sword)
Perks: Acrobatic Feints, Flourish, Graceful Glider, Grip Mastery (Force Sword), Special Setup (Power Blow works with Force Sword), Sure Footed (Uneven), Sure-Footed (Slippery),
Optional Skills: Armoury (Force Sword), Dancing, Fast-Draw (Force Sword), Intimidation, Savoir-Faire (Dojo)

Signature Moves

The Flying Step (“Descend from Heaven”): The stylist sails gracefully into the air, force sword spinning, and then descends on his foe like a terrible meteor. After making a full run, make a Flying Leap roll (-5) and make an Committed Flying Strike (-4) (base jump distance is 2x your move) using Force Sword Art (-3) for a total of Force Sword-7. If you hit inflict 24d (5) burning damage and gain +1 reaction modifier. For the rest of the turn, you may not parry, and you dodge at -2 and may not retreat. Setup: You concentrated for one turn. This is best done as the battle is just beginning.

The Trickster's Step (“Transcend Lesser Troubles”): The stylist runs at his opponent, and then suddenly flips over the top of her, and attacks her from behind. After running full move, make an Flying Leap roll (-0, or no roll with Graceful Glider) to clear opponent's head. Then make an Acrobatic Attack (-1) to Spin to face your opponent and then make a Force Sword attack (-3) against the torso. Your first defense is at +2, but you may not retreat or parry with the weapon you attacked with. Setup: Initial attack.

The Counter Step (“Accept Adversity With Grace”): The Stylist parries an attack and uses that momentum to perform a pirouette, and uses that energy to create a new attack. When attacked, make an Acrobatics roll to spin around the attack and then defend against the attack (+2 from acrobatic parry) while making a side-slip (+2) with a riposte penalty (-4). Roll parry+0. On your turn, make a Spinning attack (-2) against your foe's torso. Apply margin of success+4 as a penalty to your opponent's defense. Setup: You are attacked.

The Playful Step (“Walk Among the Stars”): The Stylist spins or tumbles around his opponent similar to Accept Adversity with Grace, but instead of attacking, the display turns into pure acrobatics. Roll Acrobatics as a Defensive Attack (-2) replaced with a (normal) Feint. Defend at +1 for the remainder of the turn, and apply a +2 to your next defense. Setup: You have used the Counter Step or the Trickster's step previously in the fight.

The Final Step (“Dispense Justice Generously”): In the culmination of the Graceful Form, the stylist weaves a perfect four point kata that strikes all foes around him. Make a Whirlwind Attack(-5) using Force Sword Art (-3) for a total of -8. Attack each opponent that is one yard away in a clockwise order. If the character fails to miss (he may be parried), gain a +1 reaction modifier for onlookers. You may not defend. Setup: You have at least three opponents one yard away from you.

The Triumph (“Be Artful in All Things”): After defeating a foe, the stylist spins his force sword artfully. Make a Force Sword Art roll+4 (Force Sword+1) . This can either count as an intimidation roll or success adds a +1 to reaction rolls. Setup: You have defeated a foe or knocked a foe down, and you must have the Flourish perk.

The Serene Form 5 points

Alternate Names: Way of the Void, the Art of Stillness

Obi-Wan in Mos Eisley
Force-Swordsmanship is heavily inspired by kenjutsu, but why limit ourselves to just that style when it has so many cousins we can pilfer? In particular, Obi-Wan is able to rapidly draw his lightsaber and remove an alien's arm before nearly anyone can react, which sounds like iajutsu. He also fights patiently, defensively and slowly, as befits the aging actor who played him, but this style isn't inappropriate to star wars. Star Wars has two forms that focus on defensiveness: Soresu and Shien. The latter focuses on deflecting blasters, so we might say this is inspired by that technique.

I envision the Serene Form as a largely motionless technique. Its practitioners do not move, but allow others to come to them, and knows what to do with an opponent no matter what range he's at: Against blasters, he can parry and deflect them back. At near range, he can parry and counter attack. Against close-combatants, he can use Judo techniques, or even fight with his force-sword in very near quarters. The ability to fight anywhere further translates to fight anywhen. The stylist should be able to wait patiently and defeat his opponents simply by lasting longer than they do, but if their opponent is quick, their mastery of precognitive defense allows them to rapidly draw their force sword and defend from any circumstance, in any situation.

The Serene form is an intellectual technique. It benefits from high Will and high IQ, as many of its skills, cinematic skills and optional skills make use of IQ. The practitioners of this style are more likely to be ESPers than to follow any other psionic tradition.

Skills: Fast-Draw (Force Sword), Force Sword, Judo, Meditation
Techniques: Back Strike (Force Sword), Close Combat (Force Sword), Counter Attack (Force Sword), Breakfall (Judo), Low Combat, Reverse Grip (Force Sword), Targeted Attack (Force Sword/Arm), Targeted Attack (Force Sword/Leg), Trip (Judo).
Cinematic Skills: Blind Fighting, Immovable Stance, Mental Strength, Power Blow, Precognitive Parry
Cinematic Techniques: Dual-Weapon Defense (Force Sword), Precognitive Deflection, Precognitive Fast-Draw (Precognitive Parry), Springing Attack (Force Sword), Timed Defense (Force Sword),
Perks: Follow Through (Force Sword), Grip Mastery (Force Sword), No Nuisance Rolls (Precognitive Parry), Special Setup (Power Blow works with Force Sword), Sure-Footed (Uneven), Sure-Footed (Slippery), Technique Mastery (Precognitive Deflection), Trademark Move (see below for ideas).
Optional Traits: Danger Sense [15], Enhanced Parry (Force-sword) [5/level], Unfazeable [15]
Optional Skills: Armoury (Force Sword), Breath Control, Diplomacy, Expert Skill (Hoplology), Savoir-Faire (Dojo), Tactics

Signature Moves

The Void Endures: Evaluate opponent. Gain +3 to your next melee attack, and ignore up to -3 in defense penalties from deceptive attacks, feints or ruses. Make a free Tactics or Expert Skill (Hoplology) roll to gain some insight into your opponent's style or objectives. If taken as a trademark move, gain +1 to the free Tactics or Expert Skill (Hoplology) roll. Setup: Opponent is defensive.

Gaze into the Abyss: Make a Concentrate maneuver to initiate a Contest of Wills. If your opponent rejects it, he must succeed at a Will roll or be drawn in anyway. Once initiated, roll a Regular contest of Will, Mental Strength or Intimidation. The loser must either retreat, or apply the winner's margin of success as a penalty on all attack rolls. If taken as a trademark, apply the bonus to the Contest of Wills. Setup: Opponent Waits or Evaluates.

Serenity between Seconds: Make a Precognitive Fast-Draw (Roll Precognitive Fast-Draw, then Fast-Draw) to instantly draw and ready a force sword. Then make an Attack on the Arm (-2). Deal 8d(5) damage. If arm dismembered and you have the Follow-Up perk, spin your force sword and make a free Intimidation attempt, and then use Grip Mastery to enter a Defensive Grip. Setup: Your force sword is still sheathed and your opponent is armed.

Twinkling Starlight Defense: After successfully defending against a blaster or laser attack with Precognitive Parry, on your turn make a Precognitive Reflection roll (+0) to return the attack to the person who made it. Setup: You made an All-Out Defense against blaster fire on your previous turn.

The Sharp Edges of Emptiness: Switch from Standard to Reverse grip with the Reverse Grip technique (Force-sword -6) and then make a Counter(-5) Back Strike (-2) against the Torso (-0). Deal 8d+1(5) burn damage. Defend for the rest of the turn at -4. Setup: You made a Timed Defense against an attack from behind last turn.

Eternal Endings: Wait for your opponent to attack, with the stipulation that if he attacks, you'll attack at the same time. If your opponent attacks, make a Springing Attack Stop Hit (-2). If you miss and your opponent hits, you defend at -3 (-5 if you want to parry). If you hit and your opponent hits with a larger margin, defend with -1 (-3 if you want to parry). If you hit and your opponent hits with a smaller margin or misses, he defends at -1 (-3 if he wants to parry). Deal 8d+8(5) burn damage. Setup: You crouched (-2 to attack and defense) for at least one turn.
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