Rules Amendments In Use

Rules Alterations

  • Virtues/Hubris’/Wiles/Flaws
    • A hero with a Virtue remains unchanged, being able to activate that Virtue at will by spending a Drama Dice.
    • Activating a Hero’s Hubris, on the other hand, has changed significantly. Now a Hero will activate their Hubris themselves, rather than having the GM activate it. When a Hero activates their Hubris, it has the effect described in the rulebook, and in addition, the GM will give one Drama Dice from his own pool of Drama Dice to the Hero. If the GM has run out of Drama Dice, the Hero simply recieves a Drama Dice from nowhere.
    • A Villain with a Wile activates it as normal, with the GM spending a Drama Dice to gain its effect.
    • A Villain with a Flaw has had some minor changes to their mechanics, though; a Fate Witch can still see their arcana, as normal, but any Hero may ask the GM if a particular Villain has a Flaw that can be activated to some effect whenever the Villain is present in a scene with their Hero. If the Villain has a flaw, and activating it will have an effect, the GM is required to tell the Hero this (though not the effect, though it may become evident). If the Villain has no Flaw, or if the Flaw will have no effect on the current scene, the GM will tell the Hero that they may not spend a Drama Dice at this time.
  • Rolling Dice over 10:
    • The previous rules for rolling more than ten dice have been changed
    • For every two full unkept dice over ten, instead keep one additional dice on your roll
    • For every dice kept above ten, instead add one free raise to the roll
  • Reputation:
    • Positive reputation points and dice work as normal
    • Negative reputation and dice are amended as follows:
      - gain negative reputation as normal
      - for each 10 negative reputation, you gain one dice that you may use much like a positive rep dice to have people identify you, be used in reparte actions etc.
      - a Scoundrel may use any rep dice to negate further negative reputation gains, as people expect less of them. Roll vs. a TN equal to the amount of negative reputation points gained by your actions. On a pass, gain no negative points. On a fail, gain them as standard.
    • The usual limit of -30 reputaion applies on anything below this (-31 down), the character becomes an NPC. Scarovese works as usual.
    • A Scoundrel who gains +30 rep becomes a hero, and loses the ability to negate negative rep gains. His good deeds have raised people’s expectations of him too high to fob off petty crimes, cheating and the likes.
  • Damage:
    • standard damages are now as follows:
      - fencing weapon: 2k2
      - heavy weapon (broadsword, longsword, axe, warhammer etc): 3k2 if used one-handed, 4k2 if used 2 handed.
      - polearm: 4k2
      - improvised weapon: as standard rules
      - Musket: 6k4 firearms
      - Pistol: 4k4 firearms
    • Regional and special variants of weapons should have their damages adjusted accordingly (so a claymore is 5k2 with -1k0 attack, a Zweihander is 4k3 but needs to be reset, etc.)
  • Active Defences:
    • Some swordsman knacks have changed the way they affect active defences. See the list of knacks below for any such changes.
    • Passive TN remains unchanged; 5 + 5 x Defence Knack (footwork, balance, climb, sprint, leap, roll, swing, ride, parry)
    • Parry active defences are your first line of defence, and the most effective. Make these active defences as normal (Wits+Parry vs Attack Roll).
    • Resorting to movement as an active defence throws you off balance, however, and may compromise your position. To use footwork, balance etc as an active defence you must “give ground” by leaping back or to the side, twisting uncomfortably, dropping or swinging slightly if climbing etc. You must have room to perform such a maneuver first off, so you cannot dodge with footwork if your back is pressed to a wall or if you are surrounded (though other options may exist such as rolling over a table, leaping up to catch a rope above you and the likes, in which case you may use the appropriate skill). You make your defence as normal, and whether or not it is successful you must raise your next action dice by one phase (if it goes above 10 it is lost) to represent becoming off-balance. You must also physically move out of reach of the attack, though you cannot move particularly far in most cases (though if sprinting this is obviously not the case, and if climbing you can drop as far as you desire with normal falling rules applying).
    • Giving ground is risky, but it may save you from a particularly unpleasant situation, or indeed multiple attacks. If a brute squad attack you and you leap off a balcony to evade, all of them miss you at once. If a swordsman double-attacks you, a quick step backwards out of reach may evade both strikes. Treat the active defence as your roll vs both attacks in this case, so it may beat none, one or both at once. This is better than parrying the attacks, as only one parry may be made per action (even with double-parry), but still leaves you off-balance and possibly in fresh danger.
    • Of course, giving ground into a hazard is permitted, but not advised. Forcing your opponent to the edge of a pit can be a good way to make him surrender, as he faces your blade or the drop, and only a skilled swordsman can extricate himself from such a situation.
    • The Sidestep Knack works as normal here, with a few exceptions. Replace it with Break Fall if you fall to escape the attack or with Rolling if you leap over a table or swing on a chandelier to a new point. Thus a skilled mover can keep his balance whilst giving ground, and even end up in a favourable position. The Torres swordsmen are feared for this ability to lead their opponent to where the Torres seems to be in danger, then as quick as a flash reverse the position, leaving their opponent trapped and open to attack.
  • Drama Dice:
    • standard drama dice have no changes, and work as they always have
    • temporary drama dice gained in combat are now all identical, and follow these rules:
      - they can only be used during the current combat to add to rolls as normal
      - they may not be used in other ways, such as to activate a virtue or villainous flaw, for sorcery etc.
      - they last until the end of the combat, whereupon they instantly disappear if unused.
      - dice spent in this manner do NOT add to the GM’s total, they are “freebie dice”
      - they may NEVER be converted to XP under any circumstances.
      - you may not build up more than twice your standard Drama Dice in this fashion. Thus if your lowest trait is 3, you may not have a total of “combat Drama Dice” exceeding 6.
      - if you gain a permanent DD from gameplay, it does not count towards your total as a combat dice under any circumstances.
  • Swordsman Schools:
    • Purchasing a swordsman school at character creation still costs 25 HP
    • This includes the basic curriculum, the apprentice ability and any other special benefits (membership in the Guild or a free knack rank usually)
    • You begin with the two core knacks at rank 1 each, and choose two other knacks from the options available to start at rank 0. You may NOT learn the third option at any point without learning another school with the knack available, so choose carefully.
    • Your virtual “exploit weakness” knack is equal to your mastery level at all times. Thus it begins at rank 1.
    • Progressing to Journeyman is now slightly quicker; you must have your core knacks at rank 4+ each, and your optional knacks at rank 3+ each.
    • Master level remains the same; rank 5+ in all of your swordsman knacks.
  • School Curriculum and Knack Listings
  • Avalon
    • Donovan: Buckler & Fencing.
      Core: Bind(buckler), Riposte(fencing).
      Optional: Disarm(Fencing), Disarm(buckler), Feint(Fencing)
    • Goodfellow: Archer & Hunter.
      Core: Arc(Bow), Tagging(Bow).
      Optional: Disarm(Bow), Double Attack(Bow), Trick Shot (Bow)
    • Finnegan: Pugilism & Wrestling.
      Core: Sidestep, Corps-a-Corps.
      Optional: Disarm(unarmed), Hook(unarmed), Uppercut(unarmed)
    • MacDonald: Heavy Weapon & Athlete.
      Core: Beat(Heavy Weapon), Lunge (Heavy Weapon).
      Optional: Pommel Strike, Disarm(Heavy Weapon), Whirl(Heavy Weapon)
  • Castille
    • Aldana: Fencing & Courtier.
      Core: Feint(Fencing), Riposte(Fencing).
      Optional: Tagging(Fencing), Disarm(Fencing), Lunge(Fencing)
    • Gallegos: Fencing & Athlete.
      Core: Riposte(Fencing), Tagging(Fencing).
      Optional: Feint(Fencing), Disarm(Fencing), Wall of Steel(Fencing)
    • Soldano: Fencing & Performer.
      Core: Double Parry(F/F), Whirl(F).
      Optional: Tagging(F), Lunge(F), Bind(F)
    • Torres: Fencing & Cloak.
      Core: Sidestep, Tagging(F).
      Optional: Double Parry(F/C), Feint(F), Disarm©
    • Zepeda: Whip & Acrobat.
      Core: Disarm(W), Tagging(W).
      Optional: Bind(W), Corps-a-Corps, Sidestep
  • Eisen
    • Drexel: Heavy Weapon & Dirty Fighting.
      Core: Lunge(H), Pommel Strike.
      Optional: Disarm(H), Beat(H), Set Defence(H)
    • Eisenfaust: Heavy Weapon & Panzerhand.
      Core: Bind(P), Beat(H).
      Optional: Disarm(P), Lunge(H), Pommel Strike
    • Hopken: Crossbow & Athlete.
      Core: Reload(X), Trick Shooting(X).
      Optional: Arc(X), Tagging(X), Corps-a-Corps
    • Loring: Panzerhand & Streetwise.
      Core: Disarm(P), Hook(P).
      Optional: Bind(P), Double Parry(P), Corps-a-Corps
  • Kanuba
    • Nahgem: Polearm & Athlete.
      Core: Kick, Pole Vault.
      Optional: Throw(Spear), Lunge(Polearm), Pommel Strike
  • Montagne
    • Boucher: Knife & Criminal.
      Core: Double Attack(K/K), Double Parry(K/K).
      Optional: Riposte(K), Corps-a-Corps, Whirl(K/K)
    • Tout Pres: Fencing & Dirty Fighting.
      Core: Double Parry(F/Imp), Corps-a-Corps.
      Optional: Tagging(F), Bind(Imp), Disarm(Imp)
    • Valroux: Fencing & Knife.
      Core: Double Parry(F/K), Tagging(F).
      Optional: Feint(F), Lunge(F), Disarm(K)
  • Ussura
    • Bogatyr: Heavy Weapon & Hunter.
      Core: Lunge(H), Throw(H).
      Optional: Pommel Strike, Beat(H), Ambush
    • Dobrynya: Wrestling & Athlete.
      Core: Bear Hug, Disarm(Unarmed).
      Optional: Fortitude, Corps-a-Corps, Sidestep
  • Vestenmannavanar and Vendel
    • Halfdansson: Polearm & Whaler.
      Core: Lunge(Pole), Pommel Strike.
      Optional: Disarm(Pole), Beat(Pole), Arc(Pole)
    • Leegstra: Heavy Weapon & Wrestling.
      Core: Beat(H), Lunge(H).
      Optional: Corps-a-Corps, Fortitude, Hook(H)
    • Rasmussen: Firearms & Courtier.
      Core: Reload(F), Trick Shooting(F).
      Optional: Pommel Strike, Parry(F), Tagging(F)
    • Siggursdottir: Hand Axe & Athlete.
      Core: Double Attack(HA/HA), Throw(HA).
      Optional: Whirl(HA), Lunge(HA), Pommel Strike.
    • Swanson: Fencing & Dirty Fighting.
      Core: Conceal, Double Parry(F/F).
      Optional: Pommel Strike, Lunge(F), Bind(F)
  • Vodacce
    • Ambrogia: Fencing & Dirty Fighting.
      Core: Feint(F), Pommel Strike.
      Optional: Riposte(F), Tagging(F), Beat(F)
    • Bernoulli: Fencing & Pugilism.
      Core: Beat(F), Lunge(F).
      Optional: Corps-a-Corps, Riposte(F), Pommel Strike
    • Cappuntina: Knife & Performer.
      Core: Throw(K), Pin(K).
      Optional: Trick Shooting(K), Arc(K), Conceal
    • Villanova: Fencing & Knife.
      Core: Stop-Thrust(F), Feint(F).
      Optional: Double Parry(F/K), Disarm(K), Lunge(F)
  • Pirate Nations
    • Rogers: Fencing & Dirty Fighting.
      Core: Bind(F), Corps-a-Corps.
      Optional: Pommel Strike, Beat(F), Lunge(F)
  • Knights of the Rose and Cross
    • Desaix: Fencing & Knife.
      Core: Feint(F), Lunge(F).
      Optional: Double Parry(F/K), Double Attack(F/K), Disarm(F)
  • Swordsman Knacks:
    • Beat: You are trained in the maneuver known as a beat; a strike against an opponents weapon designed to temporarily defeat their defences. Roll Finesse+Beat as an attack against your target’s TN, plus one raise per rank of your opponent’s brawn. Success denies the opponent the opportunity to actively defend the attack with a parry, though they may still give ground. If they choose to do so, they must raise their lowest action dice by one for each point of the Beat knack you have, rather than just the standard one.
    • Bind: You are trained to use one of your weapons to bind the opponent’s weapon, usually by pressing it against their body (though panzerhand users can “catch” an opponent’s blade in their gauntlets), and how to free your own weapon from such a maneuvre. As an attack action, roll Finesse+Bind vs TN. The opponent cannot actively defend with the weapon you are trying to bind, but may do so with another weapon or by giving ground. If successful, you have bound the opponent’s weapon and both are unusable until freed. Freeing the blade requires your opponent to spend an action and roll Brawn+Parry opposed by your own Brawn+Bind, freeing his weapon if he wins the roll. You may spend actions to increase your hold, adding a free raise to the opposed rolls for each action spent, but your opponent may do the same, or may simply release the weapon, whereupon it falls to the ground (if bodybound) or stays in your grip (if using a panzerhand). You may not give ground whilst involved in a bind (either side) without releasing your weapon.
    • Corps-a-Corps: You are adept in close-in combat, able to put your opponent off balance with a well timed shoulder charge, headbutt or well-placed-knee. If you make it past their defences you can knock them prone with a Finesse+Corps-a-corps roll vs their TN. Any active defence may be used to defeat this (a parry puts the blade in your path and stops you from following through etc), but if you succeed you deal Brawnk1 damage and knock your opponent prone. This can be a risky maneuvre if your opponent manages to stay out of your reach, however: if you fail this maneuvre for any reason you are considered TN 5 to hit for this phase only.
    • Disarm: You are trained to take advantage of your opponents mistakes in combat, robbing them of their weapon should they attempt a clumsy blow. If the attacker misses your passive TN you may roll Brawn+Disarm vs their Brawn+Attack. If you succeed you knock their weapon out of their hands. If you attempt the roll with two raises to the base TN you can finish the maneuvre holding their weapon (requires an empty hand to do so).
    • Double Attack: Your school teaches a very offensive style of attacking with both weapons in a fast, rhythmic fashion. Spend one action to attack once with each of your weapons, taking a raise to hit on each. You cannot actively defend with either weapon on the phase you make such an attack. If your opponent gives ground as a defence, their active defence roll counts against both of your attacks. Only one attack may be parried per active defence action, though your opponent mey spend more than one action to defend if they so choose.
    • Double Parry: You are trained to make spectacular, solid defences with both of your weapons at once, catching your opponents’ blows as often as deflecting them. Roll Wits+Double Parry in place of another Parry active defence. If you succeed you gain 1 Combat Die
    • Feint: You are trained to trick your opponent into an early or incorrect parry using false signals. Roll Finesse+Feint as an attack against your targets TN, plus one raise per rank of their Wits. If you succeed, the opponent may not parry the attack, though they may still give ground. If they choose to give ground, however, their lowest action is increased by one for each rank in your Feint knack rather than the standard one.
    • Lunge: Your school teaches an almost reckless style of offence designed to take advantage of an off-guard opponent by viscously lunging in for the kill, abandoning defence. Roll to attack as normal, but add four unkept dice to your damage should you hit. For the phase that you attack you are TN5 and cannot actively defend.
    • Pommel Strike: You are taught a particularly dirty (some would say useful) trick by your masters, utilising the pommel of your blade to temporarily stun your enemy. Roll Finesse+Pommel Strike as an attack, and if successful you deal 0k1 damage (add your brawn as usual). Your opponent is put off balance by the attack, and is lowered to TN5 for this and the next phase. All his active defences must be made with two raises for the duration of the effect, unless it is to give ground.
    • Riposte: The lightning fast cut-and-thrust of fencing goes up a notch with the riposte, a counterattack designed to take advantage of a hasty or weak attack. To perform a riposte you must be able to actively defend in the phase that you are attacked in. First, roll your parry attempt, halving your parry knack, rounding down. If successful roll your attack, halving your attack knack (rounding down). This attack cannot be actively defended against, but it deals 1k1 less damage. You may split a number of unkept dice equal to your rank in Riposte between the rolls.
    • Stop-Thrust: This secretive technique is taught only by the Villanova school, and is amongst their best kept secrets. A risky maneuvre, it relies on lightning reflexes and pin-point precision to be successful. When an opponent attacks you, you may declare a stop-thrust with a current or held action (you may not use an interrupt; the stop-thrust is treated as an attack in this regard). Roll Wits+Stop-Thrust vs their passive TN (this cannot be defended against, even by another stop-thrust), and if you hit you deal 3k2 damage. This damage is not modified by your brawn, and may only be modified by raises on the stop-thrust roll. No school or weapon abilities apply to this damage. If this damage causes a dramatic wound, you prevent the enemy’s attack. He loses his attack action at no effect, though if it had effects on himself (such as in the case of a double attack or a lunge), they still apply as normal. It is a dangerous thing to attack a Villanova, but a skilled attacker can best this defence with a successful Beat or Feint, disallowing the stop-thrust as if it were an active defence.
    • Tagging: Born of arrogance and showmanship, this technique involves humilating your opponent or showing those around you your own superior ability for dramatic effect. Tagging your opponent can involve tearing off a patch of clothes (not armour or weapon straps), cutting a lock of their hair, or merely stopping one’s blade an inch from their flesh and watching the look in their eyes. To perform a tag, roll Panache+Tagging vs the opponent’s TN. This may be defended against as normal. On a success, you may humiliate your opponent and deprive them of a drama die (though it returns at the end of the combat), or show your skill and gain a Combat Die. However, you inflict no damage with such an attack (to them or their equipment, though you may humiliate by exposure if you so desire).
    • Wall of Steel: Your school, taught by academics primarily, focuses on a highly defensive style that is maintained though balance and a fast guard. When using Parry as your passive TN you may add 2 x Wall of Steel to your base TN, as long as you have not attempted an attack (including a riposte) this combat round. This increase resets at the start of each round, so you may attack one round and regain the TN bonus next round.
    • Whirl: A trick descended from Crescent teachings, the multiple blades of your style are perfectly suited for attacking more than one person at once in a dance of flashing steel. You may add 2 x Whirl to your attack rolls when attacking more than one brute. This has no effect on Henchmen or Villains.
    • Exploit Weakness: This Knack is no longer paid for by a member of the school. You automatically have an exploit weakness knack equal to your mastery level in any school you know. You may still learn another school’s weakness, subject to the usual limitations, but you may not raise the knack above the mastery level of your highest-ranked school. In this, as many other cases, grandmasters are rated as mastery level 4.
  • Exploit Weakness limitations (for clarity):
    • You may only buy exploit weakness knack ranks from a school that you have defeated a member of.
    • You may buy the knack at rank 1 if you defeat an apprentice of the school
    • You may buy the knack up to rank 2 if you have defeated at least two members of the school, one of which must have been a journeyman at least.
    • You may buy the knack up to rank 3 if you have defeated at least 5 members of the school, including one journeyman and one Master (or two masters).
    • The knacks cost 2XP times the rank you wish to buy (as usual) for the next rank up in the knack.
    • Razors recieve a discount of 1XP/rank bought to this cost (minimum 1XP).
    • Members of the Swordsman’s Guild recieve a discount of 1XP/rank bought to any sanctioned school’s weakness knacks (minimum 1XP)
    • These discounts stack

Rules Amendments In Use

The Saga of Rosemary Goodfruit BigHammer