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Whoops, somehow I accidentally posted this under playtests--fixed!
I came up with this during my first swashbuckler playtest, and since the playtest has put me in a swashbuckler movie watching spree.
How cool would it be to replicate the Inigo/Man-in-Black duel conversation? How much do you want to say "I see you are using Orisini's defense against me!"
This is also a great opportunity to help out some weapons that are not 18-20 crit range (and a boost to those as well).
So, basically spitballing here, but I put a few examples together to get the idea across. As for stances, I don't think those should necessarily apply to Weapon Style Feats, unless the swash gets a MoMS exception, since Inigo and Wesley were clearly using a blend of multiple styles throughout that duel. It also encourages the weapon master's blending of his training to ultimately create his own style at high levels.
The Orisini fencing style focuses on defense--particularly on defending others. It requires a rapier and an open hand.
You are practiced in the basics of Orisini's Defense. By using intricate footwork to maintain a slim profile towards your opponents, you are able to avoid attacks and gracefully move to better positions.
Prerequisites: Acrobatics 3 ranks, BAB +3, Combat Reflexes, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus: Rapier
Benefit: While fighting with a rapier in one hand and holding nothing in the other (including bucklers and shields), you gain a dodge bonus to AC and Acrobatics checks equal to your Charisma bonus.
You have honed your battlefield awareness beyond just self-defense, and can effectively protect others from harm by harassing opponents with a web of flashing steel.
Prerequisites: Acrobatics 5 ranks, BAB +5, Combat Reflexes, Orisini Student, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus: Rapier
Benefit: While fighting with a rapier in one hand and holding nothing in the other (including bucklers and shields), any opponent you threaten that also threatens an ally gains a +3 circumstance bonus on all attacks made against you, and a -3 circumstance penalty on all attacks against any other target. The threatened opponent may forego the penalty if it chooses, but doing so provokes an attack of opportunity from anyone with the Orisini Fencer feat.
You are a true master of defending your allies in combat. You use your footwork and awareness to position your allies as well as yourself to maximum effect.
Prerequisites: Acrobatics 8, BAB +8, Combat Reflexes, Dodging Panache deed class feature, Orisini Fencer, Orisini Student, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus: Rapier
Benefit: While fighting with a rapier in one hand and holding nothing in the other (including bucklers and shields), whenever you use the Dodging Panache deed, you may first move a willing or helpless ally you are adjacent to 5ft. as well. The ally does not provoke attacks of opportunity with this move, but you do as normal. Both you and your ally gain your Charisma bonus to AC against the triggering attack. Additionally, you may activate Dodging Panache when an adjacent ally is attacked. If, when doing this, you move yourself into the square your ally occupied before using Dodging Panache, the attack is resolved against you instead of your ally, if you do not move yourself into the ally's square, the attack is resolved against the ally.
Normal: You may only activate Dodging Panache when you are attacked.
Brix Underfoot spent decades honing her skills battling the giants that threatened her homeland. Eventually she "retired" to a fighting academy where she shares her secrets for overcoming a small stature. This style utilizes a longsword and a buckler
Using a high guard stance, you focus your parries against attacks from above.
Prerequisites: Dex 13, Opportune Parry/Riposte Deed, Slashing Grace: Longsword, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus: Longsword
Benefit: While fighting with a longsword and buckler, you ignore the penalty for parrying larger opponents and instead take a -2 penalty for parrying attacks from targets the same size as you, and an additional -2 penalty for each size category smaller than you.
Your parries against larger opponents put them off guard.
Prerequisites: Cha 13, BAB +3, Dex 13, Opportune Parry/Riposte Deed, Slashing Grace: Longsword, Underfoot Student, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus: Longsword
Benefit: While fighting with a longsword and buckler, whenever you successfully use Opportune Parry against an opponent that is larger than you, you gain a bonus to CMD and CMB equal to your Charisma bonus against that creature for a number of rounds equal to your Charisma bonus.
Prerequisites: Cha 15, BAB +7, Dex 15, Opportune Parry/Riposte Deed, Slashing Grace: Longsword, Targeted Strike Deed, Underfoot Fencer, Underfoot Student, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus: Longsword
Benefit: While fighting with a lonsword and buckler, whenever you use the Target Strike deed to attack the Legs of an opponent that is larger than you, that opponents move speed is reduced to half, and they suffer a penalty to AC equal to your Charisma modifier. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier, it can be removed before then with a successful DC 15 Heal check.
Again, these are just some thoughts, but it is a way to have a lot of fun with the swashbuckler, especially if you can combine a few styles at high level. I didn't really try anything here, but it would stand to reason that you could do a little more with lower crit range weapons since those swashbucklers are already dealing with a little less panache.
So what do you think?
|Less Lawful, More Good|
The examples are just concepts, and ideas to play with deeds not named Precise Strike. Obviously, fencing styles would not have to be all deed-related, and I would hope that many weren't so that other martial classes can use them.
Again, these are just back-of-the-envelope examples.
|Sean K Reynolds Designer, RPG Superstar Judge|
|Mort the Cleverly Named|
There would be a slight issue with a dip into Master of Many Styles being really strong for fencing or two-handed fighting or whatever, but that is trivially bandaged over.
Indeed. All it would take is a bit of wording to differentiate weapon style feats from unarmed style feats. That said, it does occur that if weapon styles are part of the game, a fighter archetype similar to the Master of Many Styles, but focused on weapon styles wouldn't be a bad idea. Just try to make it slightly less dip-friendly than the monk one.
Needless to say, I quite like the idea of weapon style feats. I even have an old thread on the homebrew forum with some ideas that I'm tempted to dig up.
I agree, European fencing was really diverse. Rapier + Maine Gauche, Rapier + Weighted or rolled cloak. Savate!
Actual Medieval swordsmanship was a lot more like a martial art than Hollywood gives it credit for (ever see a swords-master wield a long-sword the way they REALLY used to? That thing never stops moving, looks nothing like anything we've ever seen from movies).
You need one for Jones Style Fencing. It would require proficiency with firearms.
Also, where's the focus on punching your opponent? I mean, we are talking about fencing as it would be practiced in the era, right?
Don't forget tangling your opponent's weapon on your cloack and stabbing repeatedly in the gut.
You can have my sig for this petition.
Though Im not really a fan of the "style" concept. Im a fan of diversifying character options. Ive made my own feats for "one hander" style combat, but i´dd like to see some official way for characters to fight with weapons like bastard swords and longswords and be efficient.
(One hander meaning One melee weapon in one hand, and nothing in the other hand.)
"Styles" I would like to see: (Idd rather just have standard feat chains though)
A feat chain that supplements fighting with a medium weapon in one hand and nothing in the other. (General Longsword fighting, focused on jabs, stabs and chops that alternate between one-hand and 2-hand techniques while keeping a narrow profile between attacks, I guess the style would translate to greater accuracy (+1 on attacks) and defense (+1 dodge or Shield Ac) while keeping the option to 2-hand the weapon open).
A feat chain that supplements fighting with a light weapon in one hand nothing in the other. (Short-sword or dagger fighting which is all about defensive posture and striking when the opponent has weak footing, Perhaps the style would enable swift-action feints and extra damage).
A feat chain that enhances double-weapon fighting. (It might be as simple as releasing a "Rapid shot" feat for Double weapons.)
A feat chain that makes reach weapons (or just spears) more interesting.
A feat chain that enhances bludgeoning weapons. (Perhaps it would culimate in a static critical modifier that made Bludgeoning weapons score threats on 18-20, that would fit into the "Crushing blow" theme associated with Bludgeoning weapons).
A feat chain that enhances slashing weapons (but favors axes). (Likely including a bunch of damage bonuses).
I've always included homebrew feats to capture styles. Including a blademaster type feat tree that was inspired by blademasters from Wheel of Time.
Personally, I've always been a fan of a character that wields a 1-handed weapon in two hands, and gains a bonus to defense due to their ability to parry attacks. Fighting with a massive 2-handed sword has always been more about brute strength to me. Using 1 normal sword but wielded two-handed was more about finesse and skill IMO.
The actual quotes are:
"Inigo: You are using Bonetti's defense against me, uh?
Man In Black: I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.
Inigo: Naturally, you must expect me to attack with Capo Ferro.
Man In Black: Naturally, but I find that Thibault cancels out Capo Ferro, don't you? Jumps down.
Inigo: Unless the enemy has studied his Agrippa...."
Flashing Blade [General]
You can use a light melee weapon with exceptional speed.
Prerequisites: Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, Dex 15+, BAB 4+
Benefit: Select a one-handed Finessable melee weapon for which you have Weapon Focus. When making a full attack with this weapon with nothing in the other hand, you can make one extra attack per round. The attack is at your highest base attack bonus, but all attacks suffer a -2 penalty.
Stackable; applies to a different weapon each time.
A fighter may select this as a bonus feat.
|Joex The Pale|
I am of two minds about this. On one hand, I think this would be really cool, on the other I think it's completely unnessecary, just give style names to your other combat options... call power attack one thing, fighting defensivly another, any improved combat maneuvers you use can have names, you are just giving your character more flavor.
If you lean towards having actual feats for weapon-combat styles then there is no reason that it should be limited to fencing styles either, why not a style for greataxe, or one for the mace?
looking outward from classic fencing styles, how about more feat trees focusing on the piercing, slashing and bashing types? Ideas like piecing weapons ignoring x points of DR where X=1/4 your full BAB or slashing weapons inflicting 1d3 Bleed (save to negate) on a threat. Bludgeoning could do something like reflex to avoid a -2 penalty to dex for 1d3 rounds? No thought given to balancing these ideas but it would cool to see something to expand on the flavour of your weapon choice.
I fully support this idea, and it should be extended to more weapon types. Some of the TWF/THW disparity can be alleviated by making the TWF styles only one or two feats, for example. Stronger styles could be used to shore up otherwise subpar weapons such as the Bastard Sword, the lone Rapier, the Halberd, and TWF with non-matching weapons.
Edit: It'd also be interesting to have racial styles that make the Elven Curve Blade worth it, and combos of two one handed weapons, like dual Dwarven Waraxe.