Thursday, March 15, 2018

Templar Martial Arts

New Weapons

The Psionic Force Sword (the Resonance Sword)

When the Templars first came to the Temple Worlds of the Keleni, they brought with them the force-screen based technology of the force sword, which have a sleek, glass-like look to their blades, as they are formed from finely sharp and destructive force screens. This technology worked nothing like the Psi-Blades and Psi-Swords native to the Dark Arm of the Galaxy, with their intense light and diffuse blades. Over time, the Templars learned to combine both technologies, creating their signature blades which with a jewel-like appearance burning with an inner energy.

Treat a Resonance Sword as a Force Sword with half their normal damage, plus one die per 10 points of psionics abilities from the best single power the character has. The character may add his Talent for that power to damage, and may apply the special effect appropriate for the power currently energizing the blade from page 39 of Pyramid #3/51. A Resonance Sword has an armor divisor of 5 or the armor divisor listed in his special effect whichever is better.

A Resonance Sword must be constructed with an Eloi Fragment or a Psuedo Fragment. A Resonance Sword is double the cost of a Force Sword (that is, CF +1). Fine or Very Fine Resonance Blades do not improve damage, but instead improve the character’s Talent for the power currently empowering the blade (which also effectively increases the damage of the blade); +1 for Fine Resonance Blades, +2 for Very Fine Resonance Blades.

The Simple Form: 3 points

Alternate Names: Ancestral Force Swordsmanship, the Grandfather Form, the Eight Direction Stance, The Way of Water

When the Templars first liberated the Temple-Worlds of the Keleni, they brought with them the aristocratic force swordsmanship techniques of the Alexian Empire. While studying the ways of True Communion, they began to see not just the connections between themselves, but between all forms of force swordsmanship, and found commonalities among them. From this, they derived a simple form, the “orginal” form of Force Swordsmanship from which all others descend: the Simple Form.

The Templars usually taught this highly simplified form to all prospective Templars. It’s aim is, first of all, to get a basic understanding of combat to their pupil as quickly as possible. Because the form contains within it the seeds of all other forms, the student can quickly branch out from the Simple Form to other styles.

But this style serves as more than just a basis for learning other forms. Students who continue to explore the depths of the Simple Form quickly learn why masters call it the “Grandfather” form, for all forms feed back into the Simple Form. They can use the techniques learned in the Simple Form to exploit weaknesses in other styles, and true masters, such as Gladius Tao, can use it to shift from form to form, displaying absolute mastery of all forms.

The Simple Form focuses on basic attack, defense and teaches its students unpredictable angles of attacks (best treated as Feints and Deceptive attacks). They fold in basic unarmed techniques as well, so that the student can defend himself from all forms of attacks. Students often learn to fight blindfolded, allowing them to defeat their opponents while in total darkness while in a fog. The style can be expanded into almost any other style, and true masters often learn to fight with all weapons with astonishing facility, translating their master of the force sword into mastery of the vibroblade or pain-glaive or a chair plucked up in a bar brawl.

Skills: Force Sword, Judo

Techniques: Breakfall (Judo), Disarm (Force Sword), Feint (Force Sword), Retain Weapon (Force Sword), Sweep (Judo), Targeted Attack (Force Sword Strike/Weapon), Trip (Judo),

Cinematic Skills: Blind Fighting, Mental Strength, Precognitive Parry

Cinematic Techniques: Dual Weapon Defense (Force Sword), Grand Disarm (Force Sword), Whirlwind Attack (Force Sword)

Secret Trait: Infinite Stance Mastery

Perks: Grip Mastery (Force Sword), Off-Hand Weapon Training (Force Sword), Quick Swap (Force Sword), Secret Trait (Infinite Stance Mastery), Style Adaption (Any Force Sword Style), Style Mastery (Force Sword Styles only), Sure-Footed (Uneven), Technique Adaption (Disarm, Feint, Sweep), Technique Mastery (Feint), Trademark Move (See below for ideas)

Optional Advantages: Combat Reflexes, Fit, Weapon Master (Force Sword), Weapon Master (Any)

Optional Skills: Armoury (Force Sword), Axe/Mace, Broadsword, Expert Skill (Hoplology), Karate, Knife, Philosophy (True Communion), Polearm, Savoir-Faire (Dojo), Shortsword, Spear, Staff, Tactics, Teaching,

Optional Techniques: Armed Grapple (Any optional melee skill)

Signature Moves

The Simple Parry: Students most learn that there is a time for attack and for defense, and when hemmed in by their opponents, they must rely on both on footwork and their force swordsmanship to keep them alive. While in a Defensive Grip, make an All-Out Defense maneuver. If attacked, retreat (non-weapon masters may only retreat once) and make a Precognitive Defense roll and then make a Parry (at +1 if from the front; -1 from the sides or rear). and, if that fails, a Dodge. You may not attack.

The Simple Strike: A novice with a force blade often either attacks or defends. Skilled students must learn that they need to do both, often in rapid succession. The simple stroke involves a direct attack along a diagonal at an opponent’s torso, while retaining enough poise for a simple defense. Make an Attack maneuver for the torso (+0) while stepping towards your opponent (if not already in range of your opponent). Your opponent has no penalty to defend. You suffer no penalty to defense.

Simple Deception: Novices tend to be predictable, especially when using the Simple Form. The student must learn to change the tempo of his attacks, and to draw his opponent into false defenses. Make a Feint maneuver: roll a quick contest of DX-based Feint vs your opponents best Feint, their best DX-based weapon skill, or Tactics. Success applies the margin of victory to your opponent’s next defense.

The Formless Strike: A master of the Simple Form understands where to best position a force sword for defense and, thus, knows where to strike to best exploit holes in defenses and how to defy his opponent’s expectations. The character first makes a Quick Swap to his Off-Hand (-4) and then make an Attack Maneuver with a Deceptive (-8) attack; the opponent defends at -4; if an opponent has never faced a Quick Swap attack before, at the GM’s discretion this may be treated as a Dirty Trick and apply an additional -1 to defense; You may defend normally.

The Formless Sweep: A master of the Simple Form understands that he must fight with more than his force sword. The simplest means of doing this is using his own body to disrupt his opponent’s balance. Step into close combat with your opponent and make an Attack Maneuver using a Deceptive (-4) Judo Sweep (-3) for his legs (+0). Your opponent may dodge or parry with an unarmed skill at -2. If successful, roll a quick contest of Sweep against your opponent’s ST, DX, Acrobatics or best grappling skill. If you succeed, your opponent is knocked prone..

The Simple Victory: The novice seeks to kill, but the student must learn to end a fight without ending a life. The preferred victory for a practitioner of the Simple Form is disarming one’s opponent. Make an Attack at your opponent’s weapon (-5 for force swords) at an additional -2 for attacking without a fencing weapon, while adding your Disarm technique as a bonus. Your opponent may defend normally. If you hit, roll a quick contest of DX-based Disarm; your opponent resists with ST- or DX-based weapon skill or Retain Weapon (+2 if using a defensive grip with his force sword). If you succeed, your opponent is disarmed. You may defend normally.

The Gentle Victory: Against opponents who wield weapons other than a force sword, victory is a simple matter: strike their weapon and end the fight. Make an Attack targeted at your opponent’s weapon (-5 for force swords or pistols, -4 for reach 1 weapons or rifles; -3 for polearms or heavy weapons). Your opponent defends normally. On a success, strike the weapon and damage it normally. You may defend normally.

New Traits


Style Mastery: Prerequisite: Force Sword 18+; Weapon Master (Force Sword), Style Familiarity (Any); If the character already has Style Familiarity for a Force Swordsmanship style, he may purchase a “second level” of familiarity called Style Mastery. This replaces the ability to ignore up to -1 in penalties from a deceptive attack or feint from a stylist with a blanket +1 to defense against that style.


Infinite Stance Mastery (10 points)

Prerequisite: Force Sword 18+, Style Familiarity (Simple Form) and at least two other Style Familiarities for Force Swordsman Forms, Weapon Master (Force Sword)

By learning multiple force swordsmanship forms and mastering the Simple Form, the character has learned to understand the heart of force swordsmanship, and can shift from stance to stance altering his fighting technique to suit combat.

Entering Infinite Stance Mastery requires a single Concentrate maneuver (the effect lasts a minute, so is generally done in battle, or shortly before battle begins), and the character must choose a force swordsman form that he has the Style Familiarity perk form. Once completed, the character gains 4 points of his choice in any techniques known by that style, to the usual maximums. While in the stance of the given form, his opponent may gain the benefits of Style Familiarity or Style Mastery if he knows the Style Familiarity/Mastery perk for the style the character has chosen for his Infinite Stance Mastery. The character may change his “stance” to another style again with a single Concentrate maneuver (which removes the previous 4 points and replaces it with a new 4 points of techniques from the new style), and may remove the stance completely with a single Concentrate maneuver.

Statistics: Modular Power (“Stance Change”, 4 point base, 5 points per point of ability; single 4 point slot; Nuisance Effect, single style vulnerability -10%; Takes Extra Time, 1 second -10%; Trait limited: Force Sword Combat Techniques only -40%) [10]

The Serene Form 5 points

Alternate Names: The Sacred Form, the Way of the Void, the Art of Motionlessness

The Serenity Form resembles the Graceful Form in that both are exceptionally beautiful styles of force swordsmanship, but where the Graceful Form seeks to impress onlookers, the Serene Form seeks deeper connection with Communion. The result is a deeply introspective technique wherein the practitioner engages in long moments of meditative stillness and silence. Used as a meditative technique, the style makes quick, precise and graceful motions like a sacred combat dance that brings the practitioner closer to the divine.

The Serenity Form also has combat utility. The Serene Form studies stillness and motion and its practitioners master both. When the character must wait, he excels at waiting: practitioners often Evaluate, Wait, or engage in Diplomacy in an attempt to talk their opponent down. When they must act, they do so swiftly and decisively, drawing their force swords with blinding speed and striking with astonishing precision, often finishing a battle in a single, beautiful and practiced stroke.

In both uses, the Serene Form prefers not to move. Once a practitioners feet are planted, there he stays. It gives ground grudgingly and, in combat, focuses intently on defense from all angels, allowing him to defeat those behind and before him, near and far, with equal ease. Practitioners often describe the world around them in three zones of control. If they cannot immediately destroy their opponent, they’ll into a defensiveness, and excel at battering back blaster bolts at their attackers.

The style has proven popular among Templars after the fall, not just for its sacred connection to True Communion, but for its exceptional utility in cantina brawls and back alley fights.

Skills: Fast-Draw (Force Sword), Force Sword, Judo, Meditation

Techniques: Back Strike (Force Sword), Breakfall (Judo), Close Combat (Force Sword), Combat Art (Force Sword), Counter Attack (Force Sword), Deep Trance (Meditation), Low Combat (Force Sword), Targeted Attack (Force Sword/Arm), Targeted Attack (Force Sword/Leg), Trip (Judo).

Cinematic Skills: Autohypnosis, Blind Fighting, Immovable Stance, Mental Strength, Power Blow, Precognitive Defense

Cinematic Techniques: Dual-Weapon Defense (Force Sword), Precognitive Deflection, Precognitive Fast-Draw, Springing Attack (Force Sword), Timed Defense (Force Sword)

Secret Power: Mirror Blade Defense

Perks: Body Discipline (Force Sword Combat Art), Fastest Force Sword in the Galaxy, 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), Secret Power (Mirror Blade Defense), Spiritual Kata (Force Sword Combat Art), Technique Mastery (Precognitive Deflection), Trademark Move (see below for ideas).

Optional Secondary Traits: Basic Speed, Will

Optional Advantages: Combat Reflexes, Danger Sense, Enhanced Parry (Force-sword), Weapon Master (Force Sword), Unfazeable

Optional Skills: Armoury (Force Sword), Breath Control, Diplomacy, Intimidation, Expert Skill (Hoplology), Philosophy (True Communion), Savoir-Faire (Dojo),

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.

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 Defense, 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 Grip Mastery and then make a Counter(-5) Back Strike (-2) against the Torso (-0) of an opponent behind you. 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.

New Traits


Fastest Force Sword in the Galaxy: This is a leveled perk; each level adds +1 to Quick Draw contests for who draws their force sword first. Cumulative with Precognitive Fast-Draw.

Spiritual Kata: A successful execution of a Force Sword Combat Art move, inside or outside of combat, provides a +1 reaction to Communion for your next Communion reaction roll.


Deep Trance


Default: Meditation-4;

Prerequisite: Meditation; May not exceed Meditation.

The character meditates deeply for one hour and enters a trance. This trance either offers the same bonuses as Autohypnosis or +1 to all Psi skills plus an additional bonus equal to 1/3 of his margin of success, to a maximum of +5. He gains +4 from sensory deprivation, +2 from a successful Breath Control roll, +2 for the Body Discipline perk and a successful roll with the appropriate skill, and may use Religious Ritual as a complementary roll.


Mirror Blade Defense

Prerequisite: Force Sword, Style Familiarity (The Serene Form), Weapon Master (Force Sword)

The first time the character precognitively parries a ranged attack with his force sword in his turn, if he can precognitively deflect the attack, he may automatically and immediately do so, using full skill. He may only do this once per turn.

Statistics: Extra Attack (Limited Skill: Precognitive Deflection only -40%) [15]

Resonance Harmony

Resonance Harmony is not, strictly speaking, a form of force swordmanship; instead, it studies the construction of force swords in great detail and contains within it the Templar secrets of the construction of the Resonance Sword.

Practitioners of Resonance Harmony have a deep understanding of force swords and their related technologies. They can build them, repair them, even invent new ones! In its heyday, the Knights of Communion taught most of its members at least the basic core principles of Resonance Harmony, so that they could gain a deeper understanding of their weapons, and build their own when the time came.

Masters of Resonance Harmony can tap into the power of their blades. If wielding a Psi-Sword or a Resonance Sword, the character may use Imbuements to expand the natural psionic effects of their weapon. Ergokinetic practitioners of Resonance Harmony can create a similar effect by directly warping and manipulating the blade of a standard force sword.

Skills: Armoury (Force Sword), Force Sword

Additional Imbuement Skills: Any (See lists below).

Secret Power: Force Sword Imbuement

Perks: Double-Ended Force Sword Training, Secret Power (Force Sword Imbuement), Technological Secret (Psuedo-Fragments), True Weapon Bond, Weapon Bond,

Optional Advantages: Quick Gadgeteer (Force Swords only -80%) [10]

Optional Skills: Connoisseur (Force Swords), Staff


Double-Ended Force Sword Training: Buys off the penalties for using a Double-Ended Force Sword

Technological Secret (Psuedo-Fragment): The character knows the secret to creating artificial eloi fragments, allowing him to construct a resonance sword without access to an eloi fragment.

True Weapon Bond: Prerequisite: Weapon Bond, Weapon Master (Force Sword), True Communion 4+. The character has utterly attuned himself to his force sword. This stacks with weapon bond to add an additional +1 to skill when using one specific force sword! This force sword must be constructed by you, and is psionic in nature: if the character has lost access to his psionic powers for any reason, he loses his True Weapon Bond bonus for the same duration.


Force Sword Imbuement 2, 4 or 8 points.

Prerequisite: Armoury (Force Sword), Force Sword, Weapon Master (Force Sword); Either Ergokinesis Talent or True Communion 4+.

The character may use specific Imbuements from the list below to alter the means in which his force sword, psi-sword or resonance sword works. This is a psionic power. See GURPS Power-Ups 1: Imbuements for more details.

The character may use his Imbuement skills to alter and manipulate his force blade. If the character uses a Resonance blade or psi-blade, he may use any of the skills appropriate to the psionic power currently empowering his Resonance blade or Psi-blade. If he is using a Force Sword, he must use Ergokinesis to directly manipulate the blade. What imbuement skills the character may use are limited by power (Force Swords can be manipulated with Ergokinesis Imbuments); the appropriate psi-talent adds to imbuement skills associated with that power (or to general imbuements).

(This technique was inspired by Psionic Imbuements, though modified to account for the particulars of Resonance blades and my personal taste: see Pyramid #3/12 for more, including ideas on an Anti-Psi version of this!)

Statistics: Imbuement (Psionic -10%; Force Sword only -80%) [2, 4 or 8 points]

General: Cutting Strike, Ghostly Weapon, Impaling Strike, Telescoping Weapon

Ergokinesis: Dazzling Display, Electric Weapon*, Shockwave.

ESP: Forceful Blow, Supreme Control

Psychic Healing: Continuing Attack, Crippling Blow, Drugged Weapon, Sudden Death, Withering Strike

Psychic Vampirism: Chilling Strike, Corrosive Strike, Sudden Death, Traumatic Blow, Withering Strike

Psychokinesis: Chilling Strike, Crushing Strike, Dancing Weapon, Forceful Blow, Incendiary Weapon, Project Blow, Traumatic Blow

Telepathy: Crippling Blow, Project Blow, Stealthy Attack, Stupefying Blow, Sudden Death

*Ergokinetic Resonance blades are already electric, but Ergokinetics wielding a Force Sword may also make it Electric)

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