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.*

Game Systems
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, Georgia.)

Special Maneuvers
· 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 is lost.
(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, Damage 0)

· 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.

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