Training (Archery) [Agility]
The Archery Training talent has its histories back in the wild times, between the fall of the Djann and the rise of the first republic. At that time the bow was considered a peasant's weapon, good for hunting and little else, since stout armor and elemental magic made archery all-but-useless on the battlefield. As such the bow was disdained by the monarchical ruling elite. Peasants began learning the bow in secret, mastering its tricks. Wandering masters would travel from community to community, taking those who had the will to learn the way of the archer.
Unlike those who have ranks in Missile Weapons, if you have Ranks in Archery your concern is more than simply hitting and damaging the target, or getting as many arrows in the air as possible. The Archery Training talent is much more like Shado, the Asian art of archery, which practices clarity of thought and emptiness of will before the arrow is launched; thus, there are some Missile Weapon tricks that Archers don't learn, and many secrets Archers have that their more mundane counterparts cannot match.
This gives you an edge in the first round of combat. You may add your rank in this sub-skill to your initiative test during the first round only. With a bow this usually requires that you have the bow in hand and an arrow nocked (that's always a requirement with a crossbow).
This lets you nock and fire a second arrow during the course of the round, or allows you to reload the crossbow in a single round rather than the usual two. Use your Second Arrow test as the attack test, and do damage normally; you need not aim at the same target. For crossbows, make a Second Arrow test against the difficulty of the Crossbow's damage stop. An average success lets you reload the crossbow in one round, rather than two. An Extraordinary success lets you reload the crossbow almost immediately, and make an attack with it the same round you reloaded.
By spending time concentrating and looking over the field of battle, you can arrange more attacks during the first round of combat. Make a Place Target against one opponent's Physical Defense during one round of observation. If successful, you may spend another round making a second Place Target test against a different opponent, up to your rank in place target. Once you begin combat you can make an attack test against each placed target during the first round, releasing as fast as you can draw. These Attack Tests are made as normal, and constitute your attack for the round (though you can follow up with a use of the Second arrow skill).
This sub-skill lets you aim at distant targets. If you make successful test against the target's Physical Defense, you can fire at your targets as if they were at close range, ignoring all range penalties. This doesn't actually increase the range of the weapon, just removes the penalty. It lasts for Rank rounds.
This lets you make a particularly well-aimed and damaging shot. This takes a whole action to aim, but when you do attack (using your Archery Training) you add your Rank in Lethal Arrow + 2 to the damage of the shot (assuming it hits).
This lets you draw aim on a single target in line of sight and prepare your attack. Spend one round making a mystic aim test against the target. If successful, you may add your Mystic Aim step to your attack step on the next attack you make against them, as long as they stay within line of sight.
You may enter a state of deep concentration, blocking out distractions and ignoring the outside world, while still performing simple actions (which, for you, includes combat). The meditative state lasts for a number of rounds equal to your outcome, and increases both your Magic and Social defenses by your Rank in Meditative State. If you are wounded, you must make a new Meditative State test with the damage done by the attack as the difficulty for remaining in the state. You cannot talk or interact in any way while in the Meditative State; doing so breaks the effect.
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Copyright © 2000 Brian Rogers