The Martial Disciplines (Melee Skills)

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The Martial Disciplines (Melee Skills)

Melee Basics

Martial combat is at once both honorable and barbaric. A holdover from the days before technology and magic were commonplace, head-to-head melee combat is seen alternately as more noble and more savage. Regardless of common perception, though, it remains in play because it is still effective and efficient... as well as satisfying.

Whether unarmed or carrying a weapon, the Martial Disciplines all require getting in close with the enemy, and as such there's a distinct disadvantage against ranged opponents. However, Martial combatants are also sturdier due to their trials and can generally get as good as they give.

Blocking and Parrying
A user may use their weapon to block another attack instead of attacking. Your normal magnitude of damage is instead treated as a magnitude for defense, reducing the incoming attack's effectiveness, potentially stopping it outright.​
Parrying refers to turning an attack aside. Doing it properly requires some skill in Battuentis, but it's important to note that parrying is all-or-nothing: either your parry is capable of turning aside the attack, or that attack will strike at full strength.​

Shield-Users
A shield counts as a melee weapon, and depending on the type (buckler, kite, tower, etc) can be light, medium, or heavy. Each has different benefits, detailed within the relevant skills; Battuentis, Militis, and Barbaris, respectively. As one might expect, they are better suited to defense than offense, but you can still attack with them.​

Dual Action
It is possible to wield two weapons at once, but there is no direct benefit or disadvantage to doing so. Dual-action rules, allowing a second attack or block per round, apply whether using the same or multiple weapons. When performing two physical (martial or ranged) actions in one round, the strength of the secondary attack or block is reduced by two tiers of magnitude, and the primary attack or block is reduced by one tier. Primary and secondary do not necessarily mean first and second: you can lead off with a weaker action and follow with a stronger.​

Combat Magnitude
In melee combat, the magnitude of your attacks is equal to your proficiency + the tier of your weapon + the tier of your tech used, if any. Although the magnitude potential is much lower than spellcasting, melee combat is much less costly overall, and less risky.

It's important to note that in Post Terminus, physical weapons or armor can block magical attacks. If the magic is capable of harming you physically, then it can be defended against physically. However, magic attacks are usually much harder to block because of area effects and unusual trajectories. Consider your character's in-game experiences.​

THE DISCIPLINES

MILITIS, THE SOLDIER

"He who knows his own fate is free. To be a soldier is to advance onward, confident and free."
- Prophet Vexus


The Discipline of Militis encompasses combat styles that are more direct. The Soldier can wield a broad variety of weapons and shields, choosing to accept combat head-on but balancing their offense and defense. Caution and confidence mingle here: for a Soldier, the ultimate goal is getting the job done and coming back home alive.

Soldiers can handle all sorts of weapons, from humble daggers to broad greatswords, although they are best suited to medium-sized weapons that give them the best balance. Medium shields may be used for parrying or blocking, making them a versatile defense. When blocking with a medium shield, increase magnitude by two additional tiers; this bonus doesn't apply when parrying. When attacking with a medium shield, reduce magnitude by one tier.

BATTUENTIS, THE FENCER

"Again he lashed out, thrice he swung, but the shadow would not be struck. Still he did not relent, until the shadow struck back."
- Prophet Deimar, excerpt from Annales Viskar


Favoring a more fluid style of combat, Disciples of Battuentis are mesmerizing to watch, and terrifying to face. Though Fencers favor lighter weapons and light, or even no, armor, they are formidable in combat due to their ability to redirect attacks and take crippling advantage of flaws and openings. Some who learn the Fencer's style do so out of necessity, seeking a method of combat that suits their frail forms. Others learn it for its graceful efficiency of motion.

Fencers utilize light weapons, like daggers, rapiers, sabers, or scimitars, and light shields like bucklers. They need to be lightly armored to move fluidly, meaning that avoiding attacks is more important than landing a hit. Bucklers and other very-light shields are only useful for parrying, not outright blocking, making them an all-or-nothing defense. However, when parrying with a buckler, increase magnitude by one additional tier.

CONTIGERI, THE LANCER

"Mightily he cheered, lifting his lance high. As all cheered with him, he charged ahead, to claim the victory he already celebrated."
- Prophet Adria


Seeking control of the battlefield, the Discipline of Contigeri encourages use of reach weapons and the adeptness to use them in both close and medium ranges. Lancers need to be mobile, using not only the greater range of their weapons but adept footwork to keep the upper-hand. They attack fast, retreat fast, and switch between the two seamlessly.

Lancers are trained in the usage of polearms of all kinds: spears, halberds, lances, guisarmes and so forth. It's possible to wield a spear with a shield, but that style of combat is better suited to Militis. The Discipline of Contigeri keeps both hands on the polearm.

BARBARIS, THE BARBARIAN

"Make way lest the way be made through you."
- Prophet Deimar


Disciples of Barbaris attack with overwhelming force. That’s all there is to it. Why retreat when you can force the enemy to retreat? Barbarians use their brawn to devastating effectiveness, with a reputation for being fearless in battle.

Heavy weapons are the specialty for this Discipline: greatswords, axes, warhammers, giant clubs, tower shields. Heavy shields, such as tower shields, may be used for blocking but are too unwieldy for parrying; they make a steadfast defense. When blocking with a heavy shield, increase magnitude by three additional tiers. Heavy shields are unwieldy to attack with, but their bulk makes them effective bashing tools if you can land a hit.

PUGILIS, THE BRAWLER

"Hearty and hale, he strode ahead, head lifted high, unarmed but unbroken. As the stone against the tide, his enemies crashed against him only to be cast aside."
- Prophet Adria


In order to fight without a weapon, one must become the weapon. That is the one shared goal of the many styles that comprise the Discipline of Pugilis. To fight unarmed against armed, it’s not enough to be good at attacking. It’s necessary to sublimate the fear of being struck, to suppress the pain of your wounds, and turn your mastery to limiting your foes’ attacks.

The weapon of the Brawler is their own body, clearly. Any part of the Brawler's body is considered equivalent to a 'fist weapon.' At times, one may choose to use very small weapons that can be wielded without changing up the user’s unarmed style: some daggers, kukri, knuckle-dusters, and so forth are acceptable augmentations. When completely unarmed or armed only with fist weapons, the Brawler may attack twice per round with dual-action penalties for both attacks reduced by one (resulting in 0, -1).






THE DISCIPLINE OF MILITIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF MILITIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF MILITIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF MILITIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF BATTUENTIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF BATTUENTIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF BATTUENTIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF BATTUENTIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF CONTIGERI

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THE DISCIPLINE OF BARBARIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF BARBARIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF BARBARIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF BARBARIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF BARBARIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF PUGILIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF PUGILIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF PUGILIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF PUGILIS

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THE DISCIPLINE OF PUGILIS

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