Beyond being an excellent means of vanquishing one's adversaries on
the field of combat, fencing is an art, a highly specialized set of maneuvers
and tricks that make for a very formidable adversary and moreover an adversary
with style. Although modern fencing confines itself to three blades (foil,
epée and sabre), the kithain practitioners of the art of the blade
preserve may esoteric styles as well, including a method of fencing with
the great-swords that are the hallmark of the Shining Host.
Typical weapons for fencing include rapier for one or both hands, rapier
and main-gauche (or left-hand dagger), rapier and short-sword, rapier
and buckler (a small sheild which may be equipped with a vicious spike),
short-sword and buckler, sabre, and sabre with a rapier, main-gauche,
or buckler. Fencing with a noble sword requires two hands for certain
maneuvers, and is therefore incompatible with a two-weapon style.
*This information is mostly for Changelings, however anyone can use these
skills so long as they have the dice pool and have listed blades: swords
-as their specialty.*
The maneuvers below are specializations of the swordsman's art, and require
a Dexterity + Melee pool of 5 dice to be employed, representing a level
of basic competence in armed hand-to-hand combat. I have borrowed many
of these systems from the game Mage: the Sorcerer's Crusade, where they
are detailed on pages 197, 198 and 203.
(Mage: the Sorcerer's Crusade, 1998, White Wolf Publishing, Clarkston,
· Feint: A common tactic, the fencer
attempts to mislead his opponent as to where his blow will land.
(System: Dexterity + Subterfuge, Difficulty 7, Damage 0, but a successful
feint increases the target's difficulty to dodge or parry the attack by
one, or possibly more for a highly-successful feint.)
· Fletch: Also known as ballistra,
the fencer runs or slides in toward her target and lashes out or thrusts.
The momentum carries the point of the weapon through the target's body
with additional force.
(System: Dexterity + Melee, Difficulty 7, Damage = Weapon + 1)
· Riposte: This blindingly-fast counter
follows a successful parry; as the fencer sets up his next shot, the player
adds two dice to her next initiative roll. The riposte must follow a parry.
No other action can be taken between the two moves or the opportunity
(System: Dexterity + Melee, Difficulty 6, Damage = Weapon)
· Thrust: A sudden dip of the blade
sends it deep into an enemy's flesh - and usually into an organ. This
is one of the deadliest fencing maneuvers because it happens so quickly.
One moment the fencer faces you with a motionless blade; the next, that
blade passes through your heart.
(System: Dexterity + Melee, Difficulty 7, Damage = Weapon + 2)
· Tranche: A quick move whips the blade across the target's
hand, chest, face, or leg. The cut is usually superficial but very painful;
the target must roll Willpower against Difficulty 8 or be stunned the
following turn. A good way to end a fight quickly with minimal bloodshed.
(System: Dexterity + Melee, Difficulty 7, Damage 1 + Special. A successful
tranche may lower the difficulty of the fencer's attempt to intimidate
his opponent into yeilding.)
Other Maneuvers - Tricks and Stunts
While the above maneuvers require a measure of expertise with a blade,
the following moves, while still useful to a fencer, may be attempted
in any sort of combat.
· Bind: By catching an opponent's
weapon and holding it, a fencer may keep it at a distance. To disengage,
the target must beat the fencer in an opposed Strength roll. Binding a
weapon usually is performed with the guard of one's blade, leaving the
opponent open to an attack from the fencer's left-hand weapon. Clever
use of a buckler or other surdy object will work just as well.
(System: Dexterity + Melee, Difficulty 6, Strenght v. Strength to counter,
· Blind Foe: With an unexpected sweep
of the blade, the fencer targets her opponent's eyes, blinding him for
a scene or perhaps permenantly. A difficult maneuver, as the target will
reflexivley shield his eyes if he can.
(System: Dexterity + Melee, Difficulty 9, Damage = Special)
· Disarm: With a quick swipe, the
fencer flings his opponent's weapon across the room or takes it in his
own hands. Three successes sends the the targeted weapon flying; five
or more snatch it away.
(System: Dexterity + Melee, Difficulty 8, Damage = 0 + Disarm)
· Frighten Foe: With a display of
supreme confidence and disdain, the fencer plays on her target's instinct
for self-preservation, convincing him to yeild.
(System: Manipulation + Intimidation, Difficulty 7or Target's Willpowe,
whichever is higher, Damage 0 but each success increases the target's
resistance roll Difficulty (base 7) by one, Willpower Roll to counter)
· Stunning Blow: Striking with shield,
pommel, or the flat of the blade, the fencer delivers a concussive blow
to the target's solar-plexus, chin or head. Such attacks knock a person
unconscious if the total damage after soaking is greater than the target's
Stamina; she stays that way for one turn per damage success. The victim
might stay on her feet if she she can succeed at a Stamina roll (Difficulty
8), though she'll be a bit dazed. Stunning blows do not hurt the target
beyond the Bruised injury level.
(System: Dexterity + Melee, Difficulty 7, Damage = Special)
Players are encouraged to be creative in employing tricks and stunts.
Changeling is a game of wonder and adventure, and combat deserves dramatic
treatment. Kithain are the masters of melee combat in the World of Darkness,
and they fight not only with deadly skill, but unmatchable style.
Narrative play should reflect that.
Each Kith and House have special combat skills,styles and cool moves.
Please refer to those sourcebooks for more information.