Combat Paths are similar to backgrounds, but available exclusively to the Fighter and Skirmisher classes. You may pick a single path, and the skills contained within the path are made available for you to purchase as normal. You do not need to select your path at character generation, but once you have purchased a skill from one of the paths that path is fixed, and you may not purchase skills in any of the other paths. You may only have one path. The level 1 skill in each path costs 0 points (i.e., you get the first skill free when choosing a path), all other skills cost 1 skill point as usual.
Some paths lend themselves to either the skirmisher or fighter path more than the other, and to be usefully used as part of the other class may involve careful selection of backgrounds.
A combat path is an integral part of a character. Even if the role is not currently one which they do, it still defines who they are (a Holy Warrior without a church is still a Holy Warrior, even if they are currently doing Mercenary work). However people change, and in time it is possible that even a fundamental part of yourself can change. Mechanically a player must spend an adventure with access to no combat path, but with appropriate behaviour for the Combat Path they are switching to. After this adventure they will be able to buy skills in the new combat path. Any points put into the original combat path are lost.
All level 5 skills feature an option for retirement. When using the level 5 skill in this way you gain some substantial combat benefits, but the character retires immediately after then end of the encounter. The default way that the retirement works is that the character is mortally wounded and dies shortly after the end of the encounter (usually after a stirring death speech), but can be handled differently. If you wish to arrange a different explanation for the retirement this is possible, but needs to be discussed with the Larpo before-hand and needs to explain why they are unable to continue in further encounters.
Inspiration: Martial Arts practitioners, Zen masters, etc.
You know and practice martial forms with weight and meaning beyond simple combat, bringing clarity of mind and spiritual insight. The practical benefits of these forms are difficult to see, although practitioners tend to develop abilities surpassing their more practical minded compatriots and being a practitioner will win you respect in certain social circles.
Assuming you are regularly practising your Greater Forms, then you will always take BLIND X as BLIND 3
Assuming you are regularly practising your Greater Forms, then you may chose to dodge Backstab calls.
You are immune to the FEAR call.
Assuming you are regularly practising your Greater Forms, then your greater abilities can be utilised to dominate a fight. For one encounter during an adventure you can utilise the following combat calls by roleplaying the practise of several steps from your greater forms (this should involve several seconds of slow breathing and slow exaggerated weapon movements as a minimum).
Retirement: Your mastery of your internal world allows you to grasp the very movement of the world beyond. Pick an outcome which can be achieved within a relatively short time frame and it will come to pass.
Inspiration: Grizzled sergeant & combatants used to fighting as a close group.
You can understand a battle map, have knowledge of basic tactics, and great experience of leading small units.
This skill gives you you a pool of dodges that may only be used in specific scenarios. Every encounter you have access to a number of dodges equal to the number of members in your party. You may only use these dodges when moving through combat to reach a party member who has been dropped in combat or when moving a dropped party member away from combat.
During an encounter you can co-ordinate with another member of your party in order to bring down a particular foe. For the rest of the encounter you and you co-ordinated ally get +1 damage against the specified target. This stacks with Strengthen, but does not stack with any other source of +1 Damage.
Sometimes when things go bad there is no option but to retreat. Yet all good soldiers know that it is when you retreat that you are most vulnerable. When working with less experienced fighters (as often happens when dealing with adventurers) the experienced soldier will defend the rear as the less experienced make their retreat or move to regroup. 3 times per an adventure, you may aid in the escape of other members of the party. Each time you use this ability you gain 10 seconds where you may be defending or retreating, but may not make any offensive calls (you may feint with your weapons or even make strikes). During these ten seconds you must call resist to all damage and effects calls.
Your experience in battle gives you and your allies a substantial advantage in combat. Once per an adventure you may give strategy advice which carries a benefit if followed. You may specify a target opponent to each party member (yourself included). At any point during the encounter that the party member is engaged with the opponent you specified they gain the following benefits:
Retirement: You become a One Person Army. Pushing your experience and skills to the absolute limit, allowing you to hold off the most impossible of odds. Knowing this is the end, you take a HEAL FULL, RENEW FULL, gain the effects of TITAN OF BATTLE (call IMMUNE to effect calls, still take the damage) and call ALL MONSTERS: I'LL BE YOUR OPPONENT (they must fight you until you are down) until the end of the encounter where either you are eventually overwhelmed and defeated or your foes are vanquished and the force of the exertion kills you. So long as you are not receiving aid from another source (friendly combatants / Tender Priest healing you, etc) then you are also limited to taking only 1 point of damage per second.
Inspiration: Any hired gun (or sword)
You know how to find the right sort of people to offer your services. You will have 1 or 2 contacts who regularly make use of your services, and will quickly be able to find potential employers in large population centres (medium sized towns and larger).
You are more used to dealing with employers. Unless the employer has an existing relationship with another member of the party, you can expect to have arranged all of the following with your employer:
If the employer has a pre-existing relationship with a party member then you will probably still be able to arrange the pay increase, but it is unlikely you will gain the other benefits.
You're in it for the money, and that means keeping your costs down as well as ensuring decent pay for your work. You have a network of associates who you can use to get your supplies at a reduced rate. Any purchases for weapons, armour, or other resources (potions, tents, etc) are reduced by 25%. This does NOT apply to the purchase of resources, nor does it stack with other reductions (take the largest).
You know that they key to a quick take down is to hit first and to hit hard. This doesn't mean that you will always solve your problems through violence (violence means injuries, which means paying for healing, which means a smaller profit), but when you do resort to violence you resort first. On any occasion when you are the first individual to call damage in an encounter, the first two calls you make can be QUINT STRIKEDOWN.
You're a talented Mercenary, you have a wide network of contacts, and you know exactly how to leverage them to best effect. In trees.
Once per an adventure, you can have paid for some Mercenary aid. They will already be deployed in bushes, trees, or other hideouts, having followed your party for a short while (knowing exactly when you would need a helping hand stems from your experience and a mercenary's sixth sense for trouble). During this encounter you will have access to the following calls (these are ranged calls which simulate archery from off-stage mercenaries):
Retirement: You can call in even bigger favours than that. During your adventures you have worked for numerous employers and done many deals. Some who still owe you are far from human. Summon an entity to aid you on the level of a fully ascendant god.
Inspiration: Zorro, Mendoza, and other dashing swordsmen.
You have practised a very specific and flashy move (Zorro's carving of a “Z” into his opponents clothes using his sword is an example of this skill). This can be delivered by calling ZERO when striking with your weapon. In order to use this skill you must remember to brief everyone before the beginning of the adventure that any ZERO called by your character will be your signature move (and describe what this signature move is). Please consider which weapon you are using when deciding what your signature move will be (the GMs will be unimpressed with anyone carving a “Z” into their opponents clothes using a mace).
Triple the number of all offensive combat calls you gain through weapon mastery, talent and supremacy skills while fighting with a weapon in one hand and nothing in your off hand. Any single use damage bonuses from superior or master-crafted weapons are also tripled. This skill acts as Single Hand Focus for the purposes of pre-requisites in the fighter tree. (Note: this does apply if you have a throwing weapon in one hand and are carrying nothing in the other).
Twice per an encounter you may negate the effect part of a call. Instead you MUST take a strikedown, even if you would otherwise be able to resist the strikedown.
You gain a single free dodge against each opponent within the encounter. The free dodge granted by that opponent may only be used against calls made by that opponent. In the case of encounters featuring waves, you only gain one dodge for each phys-rep, not one of each waved opponent.
When you are fighting alone (do not have any allies fighting with you) and are facing 2 or more opponents in melee, you may call resist to every other strike called against you. You may ignore all components of the resisted call.
Sometimes things just play out right. Once per an adventure you can enjoy an encounter of exceptionally lucky timing. During this encounter, every time you dodge a blow you may immediately return the call against the opponent who delivered it.
If you are using this skill with the Skirmisher Agility class feature, you may only reflect one blow per an opponent, per a use of agility.
Retirement: Pushing your experience and skills to the absolute limit, blurring your speed and blows into a swirling whirlwind of blades to take down your enemies. Knowing this is the end, you take a HEAL FULL, RENEW FULL, and can call AGILITY when moving from one opponent to another (even if they are still standing) and call ALL MONSTERS: I'LL BE YOUR OPPONENT (they must fight you until you are down) until the end of the encounter where either you are eventually overwhelmed and defeated or your foes are vanquished and the force of the exertion kills you. So long as you are not receiving aid from another source (friendly combatants / Tender Priest healing you, etc) then you are also limited to taking only 1 point of damage per second.
Inspiration: Paladins and heavily armed combatants who fight for a church or faith.
Abilities in this path stem from training provided by the church, items lent by the church, or abilities of the church used upon you. They do not stem (at least directly) from divine favour, and will not be lost as a result of losing favour with your god. It is possible for some of these to be lost by falling out with your Church, although falling out with a single priest will not be enough (threatening the high priest would be). In this situation you would need to find a new Church willing to take you in before some abilities would be re-instated.
You have a relationship with one of the Churches of Acryn, and have been trained by them to fight in their armed forces. You will be recognised by members of the church (so long as you are wearing their livery) as someone who can be trusted.
You have been trained to face down the enemies of the church. In the face of great fear you can wield your resolve and stand your ground. When the subject of a fear call you call IMMUNE and stand your ground. You may not further approach the source of the fear but may otherwise continue fighting normally.
So long as you maintain good-standing with the church, you will always be able to find a priest willing to lay a blessing upon one of your weapons or your armour. This blessing only lasts for a few weeks (one adventure). The effect of the blessing will vanish if the weapon or armour is repaired or leaves your possession for more than a few moments. If you wish to continue wearing a suit of ruined armour, you can continue to derive the benefits of the blessing.
|Builder||+10 hits, Renew 2 at end of each encounter||Strike another for RENEW 4 once per encounter||N/A|
|Leader||N/A||1xWeaken per encounter||One use of JUST HEAR ME OUT per adventure|
|Tender||N/A||Heal 2 to wielder once per an encounter||HEAL 3 to another once per encounter|
|Warrior||Strengthened||Extra call appropriate to weapon per encounter||N/A|
|Traitor||N/A||QUAD once per encounter||ON the first occasion of falling to 0 hits after donning the blessed item, HEAL 2 after ten seconds|
|Lord of the Rock||NA||MASS STRIKEDOWN twice per adventure||Gain one RESIST to STRIKEDOWN or REND per encounter|
You have participated in a grand ceremony where you were dedicated as a Champion of the Church and your God (or at least the Church's God). This has two effects:
Note: this is an effect performed by priests with the aid of a large congregation, not the direct intercession of a God. If you defy the God or Church the effect will remain in place, but it is highly likely that the Church will be out to get you (and should they get you will at minimum try to remove the blessing and probably just kill you).
Once per an adventure you may have an encounter which behaves as if you were in the sight of the gods, although is powered by the blessings laid upon you rather than the sight of the gods. You may make free use of the miracle you gained as part of Blessed Warrior (although the usual time limits will apply).
Retirement: You may choose to use all the power which has been laid upon you in one go to perform a Miracle of the same power a full Priest could, consuming yourself into the effects that follow. With 15 seconds role play, you can pull down a great chunk of your god’s power to achieve something potent within their purview once per adventure. As long as the miracle falls within your god’s purview, it will come to pass, even if your god does not approve of the precise decision taken - though this can have consequences down the line.
This miracle has the following limits: it may not permanently alter the flux and the miracle cannot affect peoples knowledge or beliefs. The miracle will usually be more impressive/far-reaching with more worshippers of the god present. You may tell the GM what you are intending, but the exact effects will be determined by the GM.
Inspiration: Hercules, Conan, and others who combatants who use overpowering or supernatural strength.
You exude the nature of the warrior. When you shake hands people wince. If people had to guess who would win in a fight, they'll assume you will. For obvious reasons you will not usually be able to intimidate your way past an encounter, but you are more imposing than your average adventurer and this can be used to your advantage (please remind the GMs you have this skill when you believe it is appropriate).
Your natural power or training allows you to wield weapons more easily than others. For the purposes of skill use, any weapon you wield which is less than 48in in length instead acts as if it were 36in in length.
Your skin is substantially tougher than most. You have an additional three hit points which count as flesh for the purpose of healing, but armour for the purposes of taking damage. These hit points are lost after your armour but before your flesh hits.
When dropped to zero hits you may choose to remain conscious and keep moving. If you choose to do this, the following rules apply:
Once per an adventure you may draw more heavily on your power. For the duration of the encounter you are using this ability all damage that you call will be QUINT.
Retirement: You may retire by making a declaration of intent, knowing that this will likely be your last act. You can declare something that you intend to happen in the reasonably short term. As long as you turn your personal power towards it, the world's passage towards this result will be smoothed and it is likely to come to pass, unless individuals of great potency or significant adverse events get in your way.
Mechanically, as long as you are pushing the party towards your goal, and doing your best to achieve it, you and your party gain the following benefits for up to three encounters (anything beyond that and you've probably declared too far in advance).
HEAL and RENEW FULL at the start of each encounter AND the point you make the declaration.
Inspiration: Ninjas, Rogues, and other combatants who rely on distraction and deception.
You are used to moving silently within the shadows. You have a reasonable chance of being able to sneak past guards or watches without alerting them, pick a lock, or perform other similar activities. Counts as Larceny for the purposes of Pre-reqs in the Skirmisher tree or in backgrounds.
Triple the number of all offensive combat calls you gain through weapon or dagger mastery, talent and supremacy skills while fighting with a weapon in one hand and a cloak in your off hand (scarves, handkerchiefs, other distractions, or nothing also count so long as you are only wielding one weapon and no shield). Any single use damage bonuses from superior or master-crafted weapons are also tripled. This skill counts as Single Hand Focus for the purposes of pre-requisites in the fighter class.
By preparing some earth, dust, or other irritant you may temporarily remove an opponent's vision during a fight. Once per encounter you may call Blind 5 against a single target.
Your experience with the arts of deception mean you are always partially prepared to divert an attack away from you, and can accomplish deceptions capable of completely fooling the senses of others at a moment's notice. So long as you were not caught completely unaware you may use two of your dodges to completely avoid the effects of an attack you would not usually be able to block (for example, a ranged attack by a wayfinder or a magical spell). If you are a Skirmisher, you may also choose to use up one of your uses of Agility to dodge an otherwise undodgable attack.
This probably will not work on abilities which require GM adjudication (usually level 5 mage or priest skills).
Your experience at distracting the enemy means that you might as well be invisible. For one encounter per an adventure you may use the following additional rules:
This ruleset represents a distraction sufficient to completely mask your movement. It does not represent true invisibility or teleportation.
You must explain these additional calls at the beginning of any adventure which you are playing.
Retirement: You choose a target which must die and devote yourself to their demise. Their death will come to pass and they will die by your hand. You gain a call of POISON which can be used against your target to condemn them to a death over the next day, and until you strike you may use the effects of Become the Shadow freely.
Inspiration: Anyone who fights on behalf of an individual.
Several abilities in the Body Guard path refer to a principal (the person you are intending to defend). While you may choose a different principal from encounter to encounter, you must have chosen your principal in advance of the encounter. You will also need to relay any additional rules affecting your principal ahead of the encounter.
You have an ongoing relationship with a Principal. They have a high opinion of you, and this will open doors for you.
Once per an encounter, when your Principal is being threatened, you may call “I'll be your opponent”. Assuming the opponent is intelligent, their intention to attack will be redirected to you. This will not result in them blindly attacking you, and they will defend themselves if attacked by others. You will need to explain these additional rules before any adventure that you will be playing.
When you are actively fighting to protect them (within a few feet), your Principal gains access to a pool of five dodges. Access to this pool is lost if you get too far from them. (You will need to explain these rules to your Principal before the encounter)
You may defend those who are physically close to you with your own body. If an ally who is close to you (within arms reach) takes damage, you may immediately respond with a HEAL X up to the amount of damage they just took. You must then deduct this amount from your own hit points (this CAN be taken from your armour unless the original call was through damage).
Additionally, you start with a pool of 5 extra hit points every encounter which can only be used for the purpose of using this skill. These do not accumulate across encounters.
You are capable of pushing yourself to the limits of human capability to keep a safe barrier between your principal and the enemy. Once per an adventure you may provide the following rules to the player of your principal:
Retirement: You may choose to push yourself even further in defence of your Principal to supernatural levels, becoming an eternal defender for your Principal. For the encounter, they gain an additional 10 DODGEs from your defence, and at the end of the encounter you transcend your mortal form to confer a major benefit as you linger as a guardian angel. The exact effects and nature of this benefit should be discussed with the LARPO.
Inspiration: Knights, and other heavily armed combatants who work for a cause or organisation (which isn't a church or faith).
You are a standard bearer for the armed force of one of the organisations in Acryn (see The Churches, The Colleges, The Noble Houses, Mercantile Interests, The Wayfinder's Guild, & The Forces of Acryn for relavant organisations). In the event of war you will be a key part of organising their force, acting as a staging point, and relaying the orders of the unit commander. For now, you help manage their drills and lead the force during parades.
You are trained to hold a standard while in combat (represented by a larp-safe staff or polearm). Your experience means that you can use this to defend yourself while in combat. You gain 2 uses of Resist Shatter, Disarm, or Strikedown per encounter against blows which hit your standard.
Additionally, you may purchase skills which require Medium Shield Use as a pre-requisite. Your standard takes the place of a medium shield for the purposes of these skills.
When fighting with a weapon and standard, resists from standard or shield skills can be applied to strikes against either your standard or your weapon.
Rather than attempting to fully outfit their Standard Bearers in plated armour, it has become common practice to focus the armour in key areas, such as the hands and arms. For the purposes of using your Standard Bearer skills, any strike that hits your arms below the elbow counts as a hit on your Standard.
The standard bearer is the rallying point for their unit, when things have gone wrong they are the place you head. They are used to getting themselves to a defendable position, and getting their unit back to them. Once per an encounter, when the party has been separated, the Standard Bearer can call “RALLY ON ME”. At this point ALL members of the party gain 5 seconds of dodges so long as they head directly for the Standard Bearer and continue to fight there. Any character on 0 hits may during this time crawl or stagger towards the standard bearer before collapsing again. The Standard Bearer will need to explain these extra rules at the beginning of any adventure in which they are playing.
You may call immune against any SHATTER or DISARM call made against your standard. You may call a FEAR against any enemy whose call you negate in this way.
The Standard Bearer is used to giving encouragement when the battle wears on too long. Once per an adventure you can make a call to arms. This should in some way include the organisation you serve or the cause currently being fought for, but MUST end with the key phrase “WE CAN GO ON”. When a call to arms is used every member of the party (yourself included) has any encounter-use abilities refreshed as if they had just entered the encounter. This ability does not restore lost hit points, any adventure-use abilities, or abilities gained through drinking a potion within that encounter. The Standard Bearer will need to explain these extra rules at the beginning of any adventure in which they are playing.
Retirement: If you choose, you may make use of this ability 2 more times during an adventure. If you do so, the 2 extra uses must be used within the same encounter as each other (but do not have to be used in the same encounter as your regular use of the ability). During this encounter you will receive extensive and fatal wounds from the extra attention your opponents pay you and will die shortly after the end of the encounter. This death cannot be prevented or reversed in any way.
You can use this ability to dedicate your standard's symbol and colours to a particular event that occurs during the encounter. The story of this event ripples across the world and the symbol you died for becomes powerfully associated with what happened, conferring a benefit to those who walk under it (exact effects to be discussed with the LARPO)
Inspiration: Trackers, Hunters, & Robin Hood. Those who live and survive in the wild.
You have experience hunting (and on occasion being hunted) by wild creatures. You have a strong knowledge of the creatures to be found in the area immediately surrounding Acryn (and their flux equivalents). This extends to include any environment your survivalist covers.
Twice per an encounter you may call WEAKEN with a weapon you know how to use.
Once per an encounter you may use a single effect that you are capable of delivering by arrow or throwing dagger against a target within 5m. You do not need to loose an arrow to do this (although should in some way roleplay a fast shot made with your bow or crossbow).
Your accuracy can completely ruin a creature's (or person's) limb as it shatters the bone and tears the ligament. Twice per an encounter you may make a call of WOUND 30 by weapon, or if carrying a bow or crossbow, at anyone within range.
For one encounter per an adventure you may make ridiculous trick shots. On any occasion where you successfully hit a target with one of your arrows or throwing daggers, you may make the same call against a second target within 2 meters1).
Retirement: You become the wild hunt, define your Prey.
Inspiration: Musketeers, Snipers, and other long range weapon users who fight as part of an organised force.
You are experienced in organising the defence of fortified locations. In the event you are involved in a siege, the defenders can benefit from your experience. If you are also a member of the city watch then you will be responsible for a watch on the city walls, and be well respected for this duty.
Your experience allows you to make good use of the terrain when you have the opportunity to. You may select a suitable position within the encounter to hold, and gain a benefit from doing so. You will gain a pool of 3 additional dodges so long as you have not taken more than a single step from where you were standing when you loosed your first arrow. You may not regain this advantage once you have moved.
Your experience allows you to make good use of the terrain when you have the opportunity to. You may select a suitable position within the encounter to hold, and gain a benefit from doing so. You will gain +1 damage so long as you have not taken more than a single step from where you positioned yourself (you must have been standing still for 10 seconds before you gain this benefit). If you move, you lose all benefits until you spend another 10 seconds entrenching yourself. This stacks with Strengthen but does not stack with any other source of +1 damage.
Twice per an encounter, when you are standing in an entrenched position you may call MASS ZERO STRIKEDOWN so long as you immediately move away from the area.
Your experience defending your own walls has left you with no doubts about the problems they pose in the hands of defenders. With much practice and some modifications to your own weapons have provided you with a semblance of a solution. Once per an adventure you can have an encounter where you make full use of the strength of your modified weapon to apply massive damage to the enemy. During this encounter you may call BLAST TRIPLE three times on successfully hitting an opponent. In the event you are engaged in combat with an enemy ensconced behind a wall (and are using a bow or crossbow) you can instead call this damage directly as the force of your blows cause parts of the wall to fracture, injuring those behind it.
Retirement: This place will never fall. You summon defenders to secure your location. First a few supernatural defenders appear, but in time hordes of people who share your understanding of the need to defend this place for all time.