Proficiency Appendix

APPENDIX

Proficiency

Proficiencies, where combat is concerned, measure the amount of training, practice, and familiarity a character has with a given brand of weapon or fighting style. Proficiency covers the basic tenants of how such a weapon or combination is used, and what its effects are. Proficiencies represent relatively loose categories – a short club, for example, can be used with a sword-related proficiency based on its weight and method of use. What is important is how the weapon is being used, not necessarily what the weapon is.

A final important aspect of the proficiency is its default – that is, the penalty a character suffers when he uses another proficiency in which he is not trained. The default is based on how similar the proficiencies are. For example, someone trained in Sword & Shield would be at a smaller disadvantage when fighting with a Shield & Lance in a joust than someone whose primary proficiency did not include a shield.

Each entry contains a list of weapons which might fall into each proficiency’s domain and a list of defaults. Throwing rocks or irregularly-shaped objects defaults from any missile proficiency at -3. Melee proficiencies contain a list of maneuvers natural to the proficiency and the activation costs for each of the maneuvers. Using appropriate maneuvers not listed for a proficiency increases the activation cost by 2.

Bow Cut & Thrust Longsword Pole-Axe Spear & Shield
Brawling Darts Mass Weapons Rapier Sword & Shield
Case of Rapiers Doppelhander Modified Tools Slings Thrown Blades
Crossbow Escrima Open Hand Small Blades Trident & Net
Curved Blades Lances Pole-Arms Spear & Javelin Wrestling

Bow | Missile Proficiency

Most nock-and-draw bows have a better range than other missile weapons. They can be found everywhere.

  • Weapons: Long bow, short bow, recurve bow, recurve composite bow
  • Load time: Typically 2 (from ground) to 4 (from quiver) rounds.
  • Defaults: To Crossbow -3, from Crossbow -4.

Brawling | Melee Proficiency

The one weapon everyone has is his or her own body. Variations of unarmed combat exist all over Erd. While dangerous in its own right, brawling is often ineffective compared to real weapons. Brawling includes punches, kicks, grappling, and dirty tricks.

-1 Defaults -2 Defaults -3 Defaults -4 Defaults
Small blades, Open hand, Wrestling Case of Rapiers, Cut & Thrust, Escrima, Rapier Modified Tools, Pole-arms Doppelhander, Longsword, Mass weapon, Pole-axe, Curved blades, Sword & Shield, Spear & Shield, Trident & Net
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Case of Rapiers | Melee Proficiency

This is an unusual style which grows in popularity in the training yards of some noble houses. Despite its advantageous reach, the swordsman is left without a smaller weapon if his opponent gets inside his defense. Weapons: Two full-length 4’ rapiers

-1 Defaults -3 Defaults -4 Defaults
Rapier Cut & Thrust, Escrima, Open Hand, Curved Blades, Spear & Shield Small blades, Longsword, Mass weapons, Modified tools, Pole-arms, Pole-axe, Brawling, Sword & Shield, Wrestling, Trident & Net
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Crossbow | Missile Proficiency

  • Weapons: Arbalest, double crossbow, heavy crossbow, hunting crossbow, light crossbow, repeating crossbow
  • Load-and-span time: Typically 8 (from ground) to 11 (from quiver) rounds.
  • Defaults: From Bow -3, to Bow -4.

Curved Blades | Melee Proficiency

This style overlaps with Cut-and-Thrust when it comes to sabers, scimitars, and long messers. Curved Blade proficiency contains different maneuvers for traditional curved single-edged blades. This is a common style for hunters and some cavalry. The advantages of this proficiency are its speed and versatility. Weapons: Langes messer, 3’ 6” curved knives with a cross guard, sabers, and scimitars.

-1 Default -2 Default -3 Default -4 Default
Cut & Thrust Escrima, Longsword, Modified tools, Rapier, Sword & Shield Case of Rapiers, Small blades, Brawling Doppelhander, Mass weapon, Open hand, Pole-arms, Pole-axe, Wrestling, Spear & Shield, Trident & Net
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Cut & Thrust | Melee Proficiency

In some regions, armor and shields are considered impractical against the dangerous longsword styles. This fighting style emphasizes quickness, attempting to wound opponents with a primary weapon and then finish them off with powerful thrusts. This is a fast and tricky offensive style which doesn’t sacrifice defense. Weapons: Lighter one-handed swords such as broadswords, backswords, sabers, and sword-rapiers, and an off-hand buckler, poniard, dagger, or arming glove.

-1 Default -2 Default -3 Default -4 Default
Curved blades Case of Rapiers, Escrima, Rapier, Sword & Shield, Trident & Net Longsword, Mass weapon, Modified tools, Spear & Shield Small blades, Doppelhander, Open hand, Pole-arms, Pole-axe, Brawling, Wrestling
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Darts | Missile Proficiency

Assassins and roguish duelists use metal darts – often poisoned – to deliver a quick, short ranged missile attack.

  • Weapons: Darts, blow darts, poisoned needles
  • Prep time: Typically 1 (in hand) to 3 (from bag, etc)
  • Defaults: With Spear & Javelin -3.

Doppelhander | Melee Proficiency

This style focuses on the true two-handed sword, an enormous weapon used to cut down pike formations and other pole-armed infantry and which resembles a spear more than a sword in actual use. It is a popular weapon among the barbarian tribes in Polm and the northern houses. The style does have a noticeable disadvantage to fighting styles which specialize in getting in close. However, this style boasts a fearsome power and great range. Weapons: 6’ foot long blades with 18” grips and a second cross-guard about 10” up from the first.

-2 Default -3 Default -4 Default
Longsword, Pole-arms, Curved blades Pole-axe Mass weapon, Open hand, Wrestling, Spear & Shield, Trident & Net, Case of Rapiers, Cut & Thrust, Small blades, Escrima, Modified tools, Open hand, Brawling, Rapier, Sword & Shield, Wrestling
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Escrima | Melee Proficiency

Known as kali in Lāhu, this style was brought to Polm by them long ago. Elsewhere the wooden sticks are used by men as training for short swords or long knives for flurried attacks and parries. This style is convenient for carrying and concealment without the intimate reach of the dagger. It also possesses speed in the two-fisted approach to attacking and a wide variety of maneuvers. Weapons: Balanced cutting and bashing weapons of short range used in pairs, such as sticks, short cudgels, short swords, or long cutting knives in any combination.

-1 Default -2 Default -3 Default -4 Default
Small blades Cut & Thrust, Modified tools, Brawling, Curved blades, Wrestling Case of Rapiers, Mass weapons, Open hand, Sword & Shield, Trident & Net Doppelhander, Longsword, Pole-arms, Pole-axe, Rapier, Spear & Shield
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Lances | Melee Proficiency

This style is used by heavy cavalry and tournament champions. Lances use the horse’s strength, not the rider’s. See Blood & Iron: Mounted Combat for information. This style has awesome range and great power in a charge. Weapons: Lances from 8’ – 14’ in length along with a shield.

Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Longsword/Greatsword | Melee Proficiency

Where better armors exist, warriors often discard shields in favor of larger and heavier blades. This style boasts a longer range, lots of cutting power, and many maneuvers. Weapons: Greatswords, longswords, bastard swords, estocs, and any other two-handed or hand-and-a-half blade 4’ to 6’ long.

-2 Default -3 Default -4 Default
Doppelhander, Pole-axe, Sword & Shield, Trident & Net Cut & Thrust, Mass weapon, Pole-arms, Curved blades Case of Rapiers, Small blades, Modified tools, Open hand, Brawling, Rapier, Wrestling, Spear & Shield
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Mass Weapon | Melee Proficiency

From the simple wooden club have evolved weapons such as battle-axes, picks, flails, morning stars, and maces. These weapons are often improvised from farming tools. Using cheap weapons, this style is popularly used with peasant infantrymen. The weighted end of the weapon makes parrying difficult, so the style focuses on evading or using a shield for defense. These weapons often prove effective against plate armor. Weapons: Any single- or double-handed weapon that is heavy on the business end, such as axes, maces, and flails.

-1 Default -2 Default -3 Default -4 Default
Sword & Shield, Trident & Net Cut & Thrust, Escrima, Modified tools Doppelhander, Longsword, Open hand, Pole-arms, Pole-axe, Wrestling, Curved blades, Spear & Shield Case of Rapiers, Small blades, Rapier, Wrestling
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Modified Tools | Melee Proficiency

In areas where lower class citizens aren’t allowed to carry weapons, many have learned to use their common farming equipment to defend themselves. This often improvisational style is effective at disarming and tripping. Weapons: Threshes, whips, wooden flails, sickles, scythes

-1 Default -2 Default -3 Default -4 Default
Small blades Escrima, Mass weapon, Open hand, Pole-arms, Curved blades, Wrestling, Trident & Net Cut & Thrust, Doppelhander, Longsword, Pole-axe, Brawling, Sword & Shield, Spear & Shield Case of Rapiers, Rapier
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Open Hand | Melee Proficiency

The otherwise pacifistic Gabron monks are known for their dangerous style of martial arts. Good methods of unarmed defense against unarmored opponents exist in many cultures in Erd. These styles allow unarmed warriors to take on armed opponents. Weapons: Kicks, punches, and battlefield-ready unarmed techniques

-1 Default -2 Default -3 Default -4 Default
Small blades, Brawling, Wrestling Modified tools Case of Rapiers, Cut & Thrust, Escrima, Longsword, Mass weapon, Rapier Doppelhander, Pole-arms, Pole-axe, Curved blades, Sword & Shield, Spear & Shield, Trident & Net
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Pole-Arms | Melee Proficiency

This style is very versatile, with a wide grouping of weapons such as the spear, the pike, and the quarterstaff. A popular style, it is the only one which could be practiced by serfs or slaves without attracting too much attention. Due to such a wide variety of designs, common sense and storyteller discretion should be used when choosing maneuvers. This style offers incredible range and speed. Weapons: All staff or pole-mounted weapons 8’ – 14’ long.

-2 Default -3 Default -4 Default
Doppelhander, Longsword, Modified tools, Pole-axe Case of Rapiers, Cut & Thrust, Rapier Mass weapon, Open hand, Wrestling, Spear & Shield, Trident & Net, Small blades, Escrima, Brawling, Curved blades, Sword & Shield
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Pole-Axe | Melee Proficiency

The primary purpose of this style and its weapon is to cleave through armor and shields. Most knights and infantry have trained with this weapon. It is popular in every corner of Erd. This style is especially useful against armored opponents or for tripping enemies for a quick knockdown. Weapons: 4’ long poles with hardwood half and reinforced steel head, often adorned with a spike or hammerhead on the back, top, or both.

-2 Default -3 Default -4 Default
Doppelhander, Longsword, Mass weapon, Pole-arms Modified tools Doppelhander, Escrima, Sword & Shield, Wrestling, Case of Rapiers, Cut & Thrust, Small blades, Open hand, Brawling, Rapier, Curved blades, Spear & Shield, Trident & Shield
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Rapier | Melee Proficiency

The rapier is a newer style descendant of Cut-and-thrust which focuses entirely on piercing. This style is common in Dishi, where heavy armor is rare, and has begun to catch on in some of the western city-states of Polm as well. It is also used by nobility as a dueling weapon since it is relatively useless on a battlefield. This style is quick and deceptively deadly. Weapons: Rapiers are long, well-balanced blades reaching 4’, often with an off-handed dagger or arming glove

-1 Default -2 Default -3 Default -4 Default
Case of Rapiers Cut & Thrust, Curved blades, Spear & Shield Small blades, Longsword, Open hand, Pole-arms, Brawling Doppelhander, Escrima, Mass weapon, Modified tools, Pole-axe, Sword & Shield, Wrestling
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Slings | Missile Proficiency

Shepherds often use slings to scare off predators. It is also a common weapon with peasants and troublemakers. Slings used with lead balls often have staggering effects.

  • Weapons: Slings
  • Load-and-whirl time: Typically 3 (in hand) to 6 (from bag, pocket)

Small Blades | Melee Proficiency

Daggers and knives are popular instruments of death in every part of the world. Small blades are common civilian weapons carried by almost everyone. Fighting styles involving small blades are closely related to brawling and wrestling. The best advantage of these weapons is their easily hidden nature. Weapons: Stilettos, poniards, rondels, or any manner of short stabbing or slicing blades.

-1 Default -2 Default -3 Default -4 Default
Escrima, Open hand, Brawling, Wrestling Cut & Thrust, Longsword, Modified tools, Rapier, Curved blades, Sword & Shield, Trident & Net Mass weapons Case of Rapiers, Doppelhander, Pole-arms, Pole-axe, Spear & Shield
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

Spear & Javelin | Missile Proficiency

Medium-length sticks with sharp ends are some of the easiest weapons to construct.

  • Weapons: Javelins and short spears
  • Preparation time: Typically 1 (in hand) to 2 (from ground)
  • Defaults: From Pole-arms and Spear & Shield -3, with Darts -3.

Spear & Shield | Melee Proficiency

This style is particularly useful for groups of pikemen who need to face cavalry or larger opponents. The long range of the spear in addition to the Shield Wall maneuver makes for a very formidable fighting style. One-handed short spears are usually 3’ long and can be thrown like javelins.

-1 Default -2 Default -3 Default -4 Default
Mass weapons, Pole-arms, Trident & Net Modified tools, Sword & Shield Doppelhander, Pole-axe, Rapier Case of Rapiers, Cut & Thrust, Small blades, Escrima, Longsword, Open hand, Brawling, Curved blades, Wrestling
Offensive Maneuvers Defensive Maneuvers

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Proficiency Appendix

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