Sword Skills for AGE

Spellcasters in RPGs get all the fun. I wanted a way to bring a little complexity to AGE for non-casters that also conveyed the versatility of swordplay. After a couple iterations and helpful suggestions, I think I have something that really works. Like everything though, you don’t really know until it’s tested. I have taken a bit of hiatus from AGE, but am looking to maybe start up a game in the near future.

EDIT 12/26/18: Renamed “Flashing Blade” to “En Garde.”

SWORD SKILLS

Elegant, brutal, and deadly—anyone can swing a sword but only a few ever learn to truly master it. With time, dedication, and training, a swordsman is able to perform feats, called sword skills, which allow him or her to outmaneuver and outclass his or her opponents. However, the effort and exertion required for these maneuvers eventually strains the swordsman and must forego broadening his or her skills in other areas. With this sacrifice, those that master the blade become a force to be reckoned with.

Learning Sword Skills: Instead of gaining foci as you level, you can learn these special techniques. You can perform sword skills with any curve blade, heavy blade, or rapier.

Name: What the sword skill is called and what sword techniques are required to learn it, if any.

Action: This is the action required to perform the sword skill. If an effect would prevent you from using the indicated action, such as being unable to move because you are frozen solid, you also are unable to perform the sword skill.

Cost: Tells you how much Fatigue you must pay. You can think of Fatigue as another pool of damage that is unaffected by Armor Rating. Its maximum is the same as your Health and if you are dealt damage or spend Fatigue that is equal to or greater than your current Health total, you become exhausted by the effort you have exerted during battle. In game terms, you are unable to perform sword skills or stunt for the rest of the combat encounter. Unlike regular damage, Fatigue goes away after taking a 5-minute rest.

Range: The range of sword skills is always melee, unless you Lunge.

Weapon Damage: Weapon damage is equal to the sword you are wielding. Often times, the sword technique will call out that it deals only half damage (rounded down).

Backswing (Requires Flurry of Blows)
Action: All-Out Attack
Cost: 5 Fatigue

If you hit, you can make another melee attack against an adjacent opponent with a -2 penalty.

Binding Blade 
Action: Attack
Cost: 3 Fatigue

If you hit, you forego weapon damage and the opponent’s weapon is bound. It is unable to attack with it and must make an opposed test against your attack roll vs. the target’s Strength (Might) to free it. You are unable to attack with your sword during this, but are able to make an attack with another weapon (such as a fist or an off-hand weapon). While bound, you can perform the Disarm Stunt for 1 SP.

Deflect Missile (Requires Parry)
Action: Reaction
Cost: 3 Fatigue

Once per round, you can make an attack roll against an incoming bullet, bolt, or arrow. If you meet or exceed your attacker’s roll, you block the attack. You must be aware of the attack. 

En Garde (Requires Footwork and Lunge)
Action: Reaction
Cost: 3 Fatigue

Once per round, you can make a melee attack against an enemy that moves away from you or passed by you.

Feint
Action: Move
Cost: 3 Fatigue

You forego movement to instead make a melee attack roll against an opponent. If you hit, you deal no damage but you throw your opponent off-guard and it has a -2 penalty to Defense against your next attack this round.

Flurry of Blows
Action: All-Out Attack
Cost: 5 Fatigue

You make two melee attacks against the same opponent with a -2 penalty.

Footwork
Action: Reaction
Cost: 1 Fatigue

Once per round, you can move 2 yards when an opponent moves adjacent to you. You can do this even while unarmed, but an opponent can make a melee attack against you with a -2 penalty.

Hair’s Breadth (Requires Footwork and Parry)
Action: Reaction
Cost: 5 Fatigue

Once per round, you can move 2 yards when you would be hit by an attack. This negates damage but not any other affect of the attack, such as if you would be disarmed. 

Hamstring (Requires Thrust)
Action: Attack
Cost: 3 Fatigue

If you hit, you deal half weapon damage and your opponent must succeed a TN 15 Constitution (Stamina). On a failure, your opponent’s speed is reduced by half and cannot Charge or Run. This lasts until the target succeeds the ability test or receives healing. 

Lunge
Action: Move
Cost: 1 Fatigue

You extend your reach with your sword to 2 yards.

Overhead Chop
Action: All-Out Attack
Cost: 3 Fatigue

If you hit, you deal 1d6 + weapon damage.

Parry
Action: Reaction
Cost: 3 Fatigue

Once per round, you can make an attack roll against an incoming melee weapon attack. If you meet or exceed your attacker’s roll, you block the attack. You must be aware of the attack.

Pommel Strike
Action: Attack
Cost: 3 Fatigue

If you hit, you deal half weapon damage (rounded down) and the enemy is knocked prone and cannot take a major action on their next turn. If this would reduce the enemy to 0 Health, you can choose to knock them unconscious for 1d6–1 hours (minimum 1 hour) instead. 

Quick Draw
Action: Free Action
Cost: 1 Fatigue

You draw up to two weapons.

Riposte (Requires Parry)
Action: Free
Cost: 3 Fatigue

Once per round, you can make a melee attack with a –2 penalty following a successful Parry or a missed melee attack against you.

Slice Artery (Requires Thrust)
Action: Attack
Cost: 5 Fatigue

If you hit, you deal half weapon damage (rounded down) and the enemy must succeed a TN 15 Constitution (Stamina) or be dealt 1d6–1 penetrating damage (minimum 1 penetrating damage) per round. If you are wielding a rapier, this deals 1d6+2 penetrating damage per round instead. This lasts until the target succeeds the ability test or receives healing. This sword skill has no affect on opponents who do not have blood or something similar to it, such as ghosts or slimes. 

Sunder Guard
Action: Attack
Cost: 5 Fatigue

If you hit, you deal half weapon damage (rounded down) and reduce your opponent’s Armor Rating by 1d6–2 (minimum 1 AR). This penalty lasts until the end of the combat encounter. You cannot use this sword skill with a rapier.

Sweeping Attack
Action: All-Out Attack
Cost: 5 Fatigue

You make a single melee attack roll against up to 3 enemies. If you hit, you deal half weapon damage (rounded down) unless they immediately move a 2 yards back. 

Thrust (Requires Lunge)
Action: Attack
Cost: 3 Fatigue

If you hit, you forego weapon damage and instead deal 1d6+3 penetrating damage. If you also used Lunge to reach your opponent, you instead deal 2d6+3 penetrating damage.

TALENT: Swordmanship Style
Classes: Warrior, Swashbuckler*, Sword Mage*

Novice: You learn two sword skills.

Journeyman: You gain a +1 melee attack rolls while performing sword skills.

Master: You choose one sword skill to become your signature sword skill. Your signature sword skill costs 2 less Fatigue.

*After becoming a novice in these specializations, you can choose Swordsmanship Style as a talent.

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