Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Martial Arts of the Mystical Tyrant

The Cult of the Mystic Tyrant has long made use of the Force Sword and the Psi Sword before it.  They readily adapt forceswordsmanship techniques from outside the Cult, especially the Fury Form of Domen Sonostrum and the Destructive Form of humanity.  In addition, they have two styles unique to their order.



Art of the Tyrant’s Guard: 5 points

Alternate Names: Way of the Pain-Glaive; Seflum Hiten, Sefelke Kalen

When the Ranathim ruled the galaxy, a royal guard dressed in the deepest scarlet always accompanied them, bearing long and menacing pain-glaives. Those who came too close to their lord would only receive excruciating agony as a reward. As time passed, the role became increasingly ritualistic and bound into the mythology of the Mystic Tyrant. They became extensions of their master, partaking in his rituals, and enacting combat-rituals of their own. Eventually, they took on a semi-divine status, similar to angels at the feet of a God, or demons at the feet of the Devil.

The style traditionally uses the pain-glaive, a staff tipped with a neurolash-equipped vibroblade, but some have adapted the techniques to the modern force sword. While the Royal Guardian Way sometimes teaches its practitioners the force sword, this variant has evolved into its own distinct style.

The style focuses heavily on the appearance of the practitioner. He must look the part of a royal guard, and he must fight impressively. Second, the style focuses on driving home the mythical importance of their role as defender of the Mystic Tyrant. As such, they learn to fight ceremoniously as well as to genuinely defend the Tyrant; Tyrant Guards often engage in ceremonial expositions and can fight in a beautiful, dance-like synchronicity. Those who exploit the ceremonial nature of their role can begin to the Dark Communion around them to make themselves more fearseome combatants, and some can even tap into the unique path of the Slave and use their loyalty to their master to empower themselves.

Skills: Polearm, Savoir-Faire (Servant), Staff, Stage Combat

Techniques: Armed Grapple (Polearm or Staff), Back Strike (Staff), Combat Art (Polearm or Staff), Feint (Polearm), Neurolash Field Defense, Neurolash Field Push, Sweep (Polearm or Staff), Targeted Attack (Polearm Swing/Face), Targeted Attack (Polearm thrust/vitals), Targeted Attack (Staff Swing/Neck), Targeted Attack (Staff thrust/vitals)

Cinematic Skills: Blind Fighting, Mental Strength, Power Blow, Push

Cinematic Techniques: Dual Weapon Defense (Staff), Grand Disarm (Staff), Timed Defense (Staff), Whirlwind (Staff)

Signature Miracles: Dark Confidence, Moment of Dark Truth, Strength from Pain, Unstoppable, Unstoppable (Enhanced), Wisdom of the Master

Perks: Cloaked, Fearsome Stare, Flourish, Form Mastery, Grip Mastery (Polearm), Looks Good In Uniform, Sacred Warrior (Dark Sanctity, Polearm), Sacrificial Parry, Signature Miracle, Teamwork (Fellow practitioners), Technique Adaption (Force Sword)

Optional Traits: Archetype (Slave), Danger Sense, Enhanced Parry (Staff or Polearm), Fashion Sense, High Pain Threshold

Optional Skills: Body Language, Force Sword, Group Performance (Fight Choreography), Intimidation, Judo, Observation, Philosophy (Mystical Tyrant), Polearm, Savoir-Faire (Dojo), Spear, Staff, Tactics, Wrestling

Signature Moves

Watchful Guardian: While in Staff stance with a Defensive grip, make an Evaluate maneuver. This grants him a free Body Language or Tactics roll against his opponent to discern his intent, and grants a +3 to the next attack, and allows the character to ignore up to -3 in Deceptive Attack or Feint penalties to defense. While in Staff Stance, he may shift the reach of his weapon as a free action. Defend at +1 from forward attacks. Setup: You face a single foe.

Stay of Execution: While in standard Polearm stance, make a defensive feint with Polearm. Roll Polearm-2 in a quick contest of your opponent’s best DX-based skill or Tactics. If you succeed, apply the margin of success as a penalty to your opponent’s next defense. You may defend at +1.

Reminder of Place: While in Staff stance with a Defensive grip, make a Defensive, Deceptive (-2) thrust with the blunt end of the pain-glave, using a neurolash defense (-1). Roll Staff-3. Your opponent defends at -1 and your attack is not vulnerable to a destructive parry. If you hit, inflict thr-2 cr damage and HT-5(5) aff. You may defend at +1 (at +1 against forward opponents and -1 against all other opponents).

Imprison: Make a step into close combat with your opponent and make an Armed Grapple (staff or polearm -2). Roll Weapon Skill-2. If successful, your opponent is grappled. On subsequent turns, you may attempt to inflict the agony neurolash affliction on him; this is passive and does not require an action. Roll ST (with wrestling bonus) or Armed Grapple skill in a quick contest with your opponent’s ST or DX. If you attempt this, you must roll DX or accidentally touch the neurolash field yourself, but you resist at +5.

Kneel For Judgment: While in standard polearm stance, make an Artistic Committed Swinging Deceptive (-2) Neurolash Defended (-1) Push (-1) Attack. Roll Polearm-6. Your opponent defends at -1. If you hit, inflict sw+3 cr double knockback damage straight down. Your opponent must roll DX at a penalty equal to every yard of knockback suffered, and must take collision damage with the floor; for simplicity, treat this as 1d cr. Your attack is not vulnerable to destructive parries. You may not parry with your weapon, nor may you retreat, but you may dodge at -2. This attack might impress onlookers, acting as a +1 reaction bonus or a complimentary roll for an influence roll.

Merciful Judgment: While your opponent is on the ground and you are in Staff stance, make an Artistic (-2) All-Out (determined +4) thrust attack with the neurolash field on the butt of the staff for the target’s vitals (-5). Roll Staff-3. Your opponent defends at -3 for being prone. If you hit, your target takes thr+2 cr and HT-10(5) aff. You may not defend. This attack might impress onlookers, acting as a +1 reaction bonus or a complimentary roll for an influence roll. This attack might impress onlookers, acting as a +1 reaction bonus or a complimentary roll for an influence roll.

Execute Judgment: While in standard polearm stance, make a Committed (+2) Deceptive (-2) field-defended (-1) polearm swing for the neck (-5). Roll Polearm-6. Your opponent defends at -1. If you hit, inflict sw+1d+5(5) cut, which is doubled for the neck hit location, and HT-5(5) aff. Your attack is not subject to destructive parry. You may not defend with your pain-glaive, and you may not retreat, and your dodge is at -2.

Tyrant’s Glory: After successfully defeating or knocking your opponent prone, make a Flourish. Roll Intimidation+4 (add +1 after a successful combat art roll, such as for Kneel for Judgment or Merciful Judgment). Opponents in combat resist at +5; if they fail, they must All-Out Defend as their next action; if they fail by 5 or more, they must flee.

New Weapons

Pain-Glaive: called a Sef Hitennik in Lithian, this weapon is a traditional weapon of the Ranathim royal guard. It consists of a reinforced shaft tipped in a long vibro blade which bristles with a crackling, red agony field, and a second neurolash field on the base of the weapon. While it has fallen out of favor with the rise of the force sword, it remains popular as a ceremonial weapon.

Weapon

Damage

Reach

Parry

Cost

Weight

ST

Notes

Polearm (DX-4, Spear-4, Staff-4, Two-Handed Axe/Mace-4)

Pain-Glaive

sw+1d+5(5) cut

1,2*

0U

$2.200

10

12†



linked

HT-5 (5) aff











agony

or

thr+4(5) imp

1-3*

0

-

-

11†



linked

HT-5 (5) aff











agony

Staff (DX-5, Polearm-4, or Spear-2)

Pain-Glaive

sw+2 cr

1,2

0U

-

-

-

Blunt Pole

linked

HT-5 (5) aff











agony

or

thr+2 cr

1,2

0

-

-

-

Blunt Tip

linked

HT-5 (5) aff











agony



New Traits

Perks

Sacred Warrior: The character must specialize by Sanctity form, and by weapon skill. While in a High Sanctity area, he gains +1 to his effective skill with the specialized weapon skill; in an area of Very High Sanctity, he gains +2.

Techniques

Neurolash Field Defense

Average

Default: Melee Skill-1

Prerequisite: A Melee Skill; May not exceed default skill.

The neurolash field presents sufficient resistance to actually touching the weapon that a skilled wielder can parry or attack without risking losing his weapon to a destructive parry or attack, like those of a force sword. This penalty applies to both attack and defense.

Neurolash Field Push

Hard

Default: Melee Skill-1

Prerequisite: A non-flexible Melee Skill; May not exceed default skill.

If a neurolash field can push weapons away, it can push the bodies of others away too, rather dramatically. This maneuver takes advantage of the field as the wielder momentarily super-charges the field at the point of impact and strikes in such a way that he unbalances the target. The crushing damage of the attack gains double knockback instead of its linked affliction.

The Maelstrom Form: 3 points

Alternate Names: Sefelka Shedreh, the Sorceror’s Way, Dark Resonance Style

Those who practice the Maelstrom Form tend to be those who have favored psychic training over force swordsmanship. They use their force sword as a defensive shield, held defensively between them and the enemy (preferably a single enemy) while they use their psychic powers offensively to either distract or weaken their foe until such time as they can destroy them with a single, powerful blow from their force sword.

The form is, in fact, a series of interrelated styles, depending on the practitioner’s psionic abilities. Ranathim tend to favor using Psychic Vampirism to wear down and defeat their foes; members of House Grimshaw (especially the Jainian Knights) prefer to use Electrokinesis to shock their foes and disable their enemies force sword directly; but the true signature of the Maelstrom Form is psychokinesis, which pracitioners will use to choke, buffet or directly grab their foes.

The Maelstrom Form has a poor reputation with practitioners of other force swordsmanship schools, as it teaches very little about the force sword that other schools don’t already know, and it has a reputation as “cheating” by using psionic abilities to directly strip their opponents of their weapons. Even so, it excels at defensiveness, deceptive feints, and patient power, as it can create phenomenally powerful attacks comparable to the Destructive Form. Some variants teach the practitioner to throw their force sword, and then immediately recover it with TK-Tether, a rather unique tactic.

Skills: Force Sword, Meditation

Additional Psionic Skills: Drain DX; Drain HT; Lightning; Steal Life; Surge; TK-Crush; TK-Grab;

Techniques: Beat (TK-Grab), Counter Attack (Force Sword), Feint (Force Sword, Lightning), Jam (Any), Mass Surge (Surge), No Contact (Steal Life), Painful Draining (Drain DX, Drain HT), Particle Beam (Lightning), Throat Squeeze (TK-Crush)

Cinematic Skills: Mental Strength, Power Blow, Precognitive Parry

Cinematic Techniques: Dual Weapon Defense (Force Sword)

Signature Miracle: Psychic Nova

Perks: Finishing Move (Force Sword Swing), Grip Mastery (Force Sword), Psi Strike (Psychokinesis or Electrokinesis, Force Sword), Psionic Duelist, Signature Miracle (Psychic Nova), Special Exercise (Power Blow works with Force Sword), Special Exercise (Power Blow works with TK-Grab), Special Exercise (Power Blow works with Lightning), TK-Tether, Warrior Psi (TK-Blast, Lightning), Willful Psi

Optional Advantages: Enhanced Parry (Force Sword).

Optional Skills: Mind Block, Philosophy (Mystical Tyrant), Savoir-Faire (Dojo), Throw (Force Sword)

Signature Moves

Omen: Dark Omen is a template for multiple possible signature moves, but they share the following basic components: While holding your force sword in a defensive grip between yourself and your target, Concentrate and activate a power:

  • Dark Omen: Activate Surge against the target’s force sword. Roll Surge skill (with normal range penalties) in a quick contest with your opponent’s force sword HT. If successful, roll your Surge damage dice and if they exceed 2/3 of the target force sword’s HP, the character must roll against the force sword’s HT or it “shorts out” and will not work until repaired. Your opponent may not defend against this, but they may Jam your Surge.
  • Fool’s Omen: Activate Drain DX (painful drain) against your opponent. Roll Painful Drain (Drain DX -1), with a -1 for every yard between yourself and your opponent, vs your opponent’s Will. Success reduces your target’s DX by your margin of victory for a length of time determined by your Drain DX level. Your opponent is Stunned; he may roll Will to snap out of it. This costs 2 fatigue. Your opponent may not defend against this, but they may Jam your Drain DX.
  • Grave Omen: Activate Drain HT (painful drain) against your opponent. Roll Painful Drain (Drain HT -1), with a -1 for every yard between yourself and your opponent, vs your opponent’s Will. Success reduces your target’s HT by twice your margin of victory for a length of time determined by your Drain HT level. Your opponent is Stunned; he may roll Will to snap out of it. This costs 2 fatigue. Your opponent may not defend against this, but they may Jam your Drain HT.
  • Hungry Omen: Activate Steal Life (No Contact) against your opponent. Roll No Contact (Steal Life -7), with a -1 for every yard between yourself and your opponent, vs your opponent’s Will. Success allows you to drain half of your Steal Life level in HP, which you may use to replenish your HP or, if that’s already replenished, your FP. This costs 2 fatigue. Your opponent may not defend against this, but they may Jam your Steal Life.
  • Void Omen: Activate TK-Crush (Throat Squeeze) against your opponent. Roll Throat Squeeze (TK-Crush -7), with long distance modifiers, vs your opponent’s Will. If you succeed, your opponent takes damage based on half your TK-Crush level. If you inflict more than your target’s HP/2 damage this way, he begins to Suffocate. This costs 2 fatigue. Your opponent may not defend against this, but they may Jam your TK Crush.

If you are attacked, you defend against your opponent at +1, but against any attacks to the side or rear at an additional -1, and you must roll Will-3 or your Combat Focus to keep from losing your concentration.

Counter Pulse: Wait (“If my opponent attacks, I will first use Counter Pulse against him.”) If your opponent attacks, make a Concentrate (TK-Grab) Manuever at the same time, and then make a Attack maneuver with your TK to grapple his force sword. Roll TK-Grab at -4 to hit the target’s force sword. Your opponent defends at -4. If you hit, your opponent has a -4 to use his force sword (including on his subsequent attack against you) as long as you maintain your grip, provided your TK-Grab level is at least half his ST. You defend normally, but if you use an active defense you must roll Will-3 or your Combat Focus to keep from losing your concentration (and thus your grip on his blade). Most practitioners follow this technique with a Beat or a contest of TK-Grab level vs ST to wrest the force sword away; advanced versions of this move combine them into a Combo or a Rapid Strike.

Body Resonance: Make a Concentrate maneuver to activate TK-Grab, and then with TK-Grab, make an attack maneuver to Telekinetically Grapple your opponent's torso; your opponent may dodge at -4. If grappled, your opponent is at -4 to DX, provided your TK-Grab level is at least half his ST. If you are attacked, you must roll Will-3 or your Combat Focus to keep from losing your concentration (and thus your grip on his blade). Experts sometimes combine this with Resonance Disruption below as two rapid strikes, or a single combo.

Resonance Disruption: While telekinetically grappling your foe, Beat your opponent’s body. Roll Tk-Grab-Level-Based Beat against the best of your opponent's DX- (at -4!) or ST-based unarmed skill or Acrobatics (at -4!). Success applies margin of success as a penalty to your opponent's kicks and dodge attempts to a maximum of 4. If the margin of success is 5 or greater, the target must also make a DX roll or fall (in a direction of your choice), if you wish. If you are attacked, you must roll Will-3 or your Combat Focus to keep from losing your concentration.

Energetic Disruption: While in a standard grip, make a Lightning based Defensive Feint. Roll a quick contest Lightning vs your opponent’s best combat skill; if you succeed, apply the margin as a bonus to your next defense. You may defend normally

Devour the Fallen Star: If your opponent attacks, make a generous riposte (-4) and then Counterattack on your own turn. Make a Committed (+1 damage) Force-Sword (-5) attack. Your opponent defends at -6. If you hit, inflict normal damage, +1 per 2 dice, to the torso. You may not parry with your weapon and you may not retreat. If your character has Grip Mastery, shift from Defensive Grip to Standard Grip when making this attack. Setup: You parried last turn with a riposte of -4 after an Energetic Disruption, or making a telekinetic Beat on your opponent’s weapon.

Omen Execution: If your opponent is stunned, disarmed or lacking a weapon, while in a standard grip, make an All-Out Attack (Strong) with Force Sword. Roll Force Sword to hit. Your opponent defends as is normal for his state. If you hit, inflict normal damage to the torso, +1 per die. You may not defend. Masters of this technique have a variation that uses Power-Blow for even greater damage.

Energetic Execution: If your opponent is stunned, disarmed or lacking a weapon, while in a standard grip, make an All-Out Attack (Strong) with Lightning. Roll Lightning to hit. Your opponent defends as is normal for his state. If you hit, inflict normal damage to the torso, +1 per die. You may not defend. Masters of this technique have a variation that uses Power-Blow for even greater damage.

New Traits

Perks

Combat Caster: Prerequisite: Will or Combat Focus at 16+; The character may ignore the rules for rolling Will-3 after being stunned, knocked down or forced to make an active defense while concentrating; the character always maintains his concentration.

Psi Strike: Pyramid #3-69 page 17.

Psychic Duelist: +1 to all Jamming attempts with any power skill listed in your style.

Signature Miracle: Gain +1 to Communion Reaction rolls when calling on one specific Specified Miracle (Leveled, to a maximum of +4)

Warrior Psi: Pyramid #3-69 page 17.

Willful Psi: +1 to resist any attempts to Jam your power.

Techniques

Combat Focus

Average

Default: Will-3

Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes; May not exceed Will+4.

When using the Concentrate Maneuver, the character may roll Combat Focus in place of Will-3 if he is forced to make an active defense, is stunned or knocked down while Concentrating; success allows him to maintain his concentration.

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