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Melee Combat [Agility]

This skill represents your general ability with melee weapons. It does not cover ranged weapons or unarmed combat, but anything else pretty well falls here. Melee combat is the basic form of combat in the land, and a good way to picture it is to imagine medieval combat: heavy weapons, medium/light armor and shields, powerful overhand swings and strong forward jabs. It is not the graceful combat of light weapons and limited armor (that's Training-Fencing), nor the structured combat of Martial Arts (that's Training-Battle). Despite its apparent crudity it is the equal of those two methods when used by a practiced hand.

Avoid Blow
This is the basic "Get the Hell out of the Way" maneuver. Whether it's because of martial prowess or a finely honed instinct for not getting your skin punctured, Avoid Blow is the ability to not get hit. Any time you're hit by an opponent, once a turn, you can try to dodge the blow at the last second. Make an Avoid Blow test against your attackers roll to hit you. If you beat his roll to hit, you slipped out of the way at the last second and took no damage. Fail, and you were hit; worse, you automatically get knocked down.

Charging Strike [Body]
This is the charge-leap into your opponent, putting your weight and momentum into the blow. You must make a full combat move in the same turn. Make a normal Melee Weapons test against your opponent. If successful, replace your Body step with your Charging Strike step +2 for the damage done. If combined with Focusing yell, add the Focusing Yell step to the Charging Strike step, then +3 steps for the combination of the skills.

Momentum Attack
Whenever you make an extraordinary success with a regular Melee Weapon attack, you can follow it up immediately with a Momentum attack, essentially hitting your opponent on the back-swing. This does your normal attack damage. If it is an extraordinary success as well, you may make another; this may continue for as long as you keep making extraordinary successes, and they all fall at the same time (your opponent has no time to recover, and the Momentum attacks don't come at the end of the round).

Second Weapon
You have been trained to carry a second weapon in your off hand. Use this sub-skill rather than Melee Weapons when making attacks with the second weapon, which must be smaller than your primary weapon and does normal damage. If you don't have a weapon in your off hand, you may use this to punch your opponent, supplanting your Unarmed Combat skill with Second Weapon for the attack.

Shield Strike [Body]
This skill lets you use your shield as a weapon, making a second attack during the turn by whacking your opponent with your shield. Use your Melee Weapons step to hit, and do damage with your Shield Strike step, with a +5 on the knockdown difficulty if required. This does not cost you the use of your shield during the round; you are skilled at making the Shield Strike and recovering to a defensive position.

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Copyright © 2000 Brian Rogers