Combat specializations are unique fighting styles for player characters. Combat Specialists spend long hours at practice to master a particular fighting style, and as such most classes can only learn a single Combat Specialization. Knights and Martial Artists are an exception to this rule and may learn up to two Combat Specializations.
Faith and Spirit classes are not eligible for Combat Specializations unless they are mixed classes possessing one of the Primary Skill sets listed below as part of their mixed class.
Some classes are further restricted by virtue of not being able to use weapons of the type required for that combat style (i.e. Marksman cannot use shields, therefore Sword & Board does not apply)
|Sword and Board||1H Weapon & Shield||✔||✔|
|Duelist||Weapon & Empty Hand||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Great Weapon||2H Weapon||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Paired Weapon||2 Identical Weapons||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Freestyle||2 Mixed Weapons||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Sharp Shooter||Bow/Crossbows @ long range||✔||✔||✔|
|Skirmisher||Bows/Crossbows @ short range||✔||✔||✔|
|Warder||Any weapon with a ward-off||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Mounted||Any weapons while mounted||✔||✔||✔|
|Self Defense||Defense (Focus)||✔|
Any bonuses or skills gained through Combat Specializations only apply while fighting in the styles outlined for each Specialization. If for some reason during combat you no longer meet the requirement for that Combat Specialization (i.e. Paired Weapon Specialist that has their off hand weapon disarmed) all benefits immediate cease until the condition is met again.
Sword and Board
The sword and board fighting specialization actually refers to wielding any eligible weapon in the main hand and a shield in the off hand. While this is a popular specialization for high defense tanks, it can assist in in some offensive builds as well.
Mutually Exclusive with Freestyle – cannot have both
Rank1 – Adds +5% to the block attribute of any type of 1 handed shield and +5% Parry (Swords) or +3% Crit (Axes) or +5% Stun (Bludgeons) or +5 hit (any other weapon type)
Rank2 – Deflect: Whenever successfully blocking a melee attack the enemy attacker is thrown of balance, receive +10 to hit against them on your next melee attack
Rank3 – Distraction: When not engaged in close combat can use Distraction as an instant ability; slam your main hand weapon against your shield to create a distraction, any target within 15″ that is not already engaged in close combat switches its focus to you if failing a Resolve test, this can only effect each target once per battle
Rank4 – Requires 2 Skill Points; Shield Slam: When moving into base contact use your off hand shield attack as if were a main hand attack (can apply special abilities to it accordingly) then use your weapon as a regular off hand attack that inflicts +50% damage. Also, when an enemy moves into base contact if you successfully block their first attack can elect to knock them back 2″ with a stun chance equal to the Shield Blow % of your shield
The Duelist wields any type of weapon in the main hand with no weapon in the off hand. This style blends versatility and speed, making it ideal in one-on-one combat. The Duelist specialization also grants certain classes added flexibility, allowing them to use their off hand for casting spirit or faith powers, or can simply allow for other tricks on the battlefield that might require a free hand. This style is popular among those that wield weapons that can be used both in one or two hands, potentially increasing damage by adding the empty off hand to their main hand weapon to inflict two handed damage when required. A free hand can also be useful for those that combine weapon based attacks with unarmed Focus attacks, allowing them a potent off hand attack.
Mutually Exclusive with Great Weapon – cannot have both
Rank1 – Receive +2 damage with your main hand weapon while your off hand is empty or if you’re offhand is used as part of wielding a two handed weapon
Rank2 – When in base contact with a single opponent gain +0.5/lvl dodge contribution to AC and gain a 10% parry that can be added to ANY weapon type (increases to 15% at lvl 10 and 20% at lvl 15)
Rank3 – Free Hand: If not using a two handed attack, you may use an item off your belt (such as drinking a potion) as the off-hand portion of the action phase of your turn (provided you have not already drank a potion); also any power cast using the off hand or any Focus based off-hand fist attack has +5 hit and +1 damage OR +2 healing; if neither of those applies, can make a basic punch attack with your off hand that also benefits from the +5 hit and +1 damage bonus; this effect can be used when wielding a two handed weapon, so long as it was not used to attack that round
Rank4 – Requires 2 Skill Points; Grapple: Can elect to use your empty off hand to grab a single opponent in base contact; this counts as an instant and can be followed up with a melee strike, unarmed attack, or regular main hand attack; must pass an Agility vs. Dodge stat roll-off; if successful the next attack has +10 to hit and inflicts 2x damage if using a small main-hand weapon or 1.5x if using a medium main-hand weapon; if failing the target receives +15 to hit you on their next attack; a successfully grappled target cannot choose to leave base contact and remains that way until either being released or passing a Strength test
Great Weapon fighting refers to a combat specialization that requires using two hands to wield large weapons that can deal a significant amount of damage but are often clumsy for the untrained. While some would claim that the only requirement to fight effectively with a massive weapon is pure strength, this is not necessarily the case. Great Weapon combat specialists rely more on technique and momentum than brute strength. As such Great Weapon Fighting is Mutually Exclusive with Duelist and Strongman
Rank1 – Adds +10% to Overpowering weapon effects OR +2 to Crushing Blow weapon effects OR +3% to Cleaving weapon effects when wielding two-handed melee weapons
Rank2 – Finesse: Removes the Clumsy weapon effect from any two-handed melee weapon; if not Clumsy then adds +5 Graceful weapon effect
Rank3 – Forceful Advance: Anytime you miss with your two-handed melee weapon in the frontal 90 degree arc, you can elect to push both you and your target 1″ in the direction of the attack
Rank4 – Requires 2 Skill Points; Cut-a-Swath: If not using any action based primary skills that round, can elect to have your regular attacks with a two-handed melee weapon hit all targets in a frontal 180 degree arc (friend or foe)
Paired Weapon Specialists practice combat as graceful art form, a dance of blades. (Dual Wield with two of the same weapon, can’t use Clumsy weapons)
Mutually Exclusive with Freestyle and Strongman – cannot have both
Rank1 – Receive +1 weapon damage to both weapons when wielding two identical weapons (Not including craftings or enchants)
Rank2 – Double Strike: Whenever you successfully hit with a main hand strike type ability your off hand attack becomes eligible for the same strike if attacking the same target (however you must pay TWICE the ability cost for for the second strike)
Rank3 – Scissor Strike: Combine both weapons together into a single regular attack or strike; if hitting inflicts the weapon damage from both weapons but treats damage bonuses (and fury gains) as though it were a single 2-handed attack; any offensive weapon effects are combined together as well; for the purposes of counting the number of attacks per action (as seen in the global rules for Multiple Attack Actions) Scissor Strike counts as two attacks, one main hand and one off hand
Rank4 – Requires 2 Skill Points; Blade Dance: If not using any action based special abilities that round, may attack up to twice with each weapon (see the global rules for Multiple Attack Actions for details)
Freestyle Specialists are highly versatile combatants who are comfortable fighting with a vast array of weapons and prefer to dual wield mixed or mis-matched weapons (including shields), with an emphasis on off hand attacks. Together these strategies make them highly unpredictable in combat, keeping their opponents guessing. Freestyle Specialists also recognize that in the chaos of battle you never know what weapon, or whose weapon, will end up in your hand and it is pure wisdom to ensure you can wield it effectively. (Dual wield with two different weapons)
Mutually Exclusive with Paired Weapon and Sword and Board – cannot have both
Rank1 – Versatile: You can use any weapon used in the main hand, even if lacking the correct weapon proficiency, without suffering the Combat Penalties for using a weapon they are not trained in; does not apply to weapons that are forbidden for a particular class (i.e. that they can never gain proficiency in regardless of training, see Classes for details); if using a main hand weapon you have proficiency with, gain +2 weapon damage; if using Rank 3 Strongman to wield a two handed weapon in your main hand this bonus weapon damage is lost.
Rank2 – Leftie: Off hand attacks made with a weapon you are proficient with gain +5 hit, +1 damage, and +5% to Parry, Stun, Cleaving, or Steal Weapon effects
Rank3 – Quick Hand: If not using any action based special abilities that round, may attack twice with the off hand so long as it is smaller than the main hand weapon (see the global rules for Multiple Attack Actions for details)
Rank4 – Requires 2 Skill Points; Unpredictable: When facing opponents one-on-one in melee combat you gain +10 to hit and the enemy suffers -10 to Hit
Sharp shooters are long range specialists, who prefer to line up shots with bows or crossbows well away from immediate threat of retaliation.
Rank1 – Thread the Needle: When firing at targets more than 10″ away, Sharp Shooters can establish line of sight with only the slightest target presented, allowing them to shoot past friendlies with little to no risk or hit score a hit when nothing more a foot or elbow presents itself as a target (GM’s adjust your LoS judgments accordingly); also allows the Sharpshooter to ignore any cover bonuses that a target might have
Rank2 – Follow Up: Allows the Sharp Shooter to fire a second time during the first action taken with a ranged weapon, provided the target is more than 10″ away; counts as two separate attacks (see the global rules for Multiple Attack Actions for details); if using a reload-ranged weapon must also sacrifice your instant and must not have moved that turn
Rank3 – Call the Shot: If firing at targets more than 10″ away, can pick out a specific target such as an eye or hand to get spectacular results, such as blinding or dropping weapons. (must roll vs. Perception) the GM gets the final say as to whether it makes sense or not.
Rank4 – Requires 2 Skill Points; Critical Aim: If not using any action based special abilities that round, can fire a single arrow/bolt with +30% critical hit chance at targets more than 10″ away
Skirmishers are highly mobile ranged specialists that use bows or crossbows at short range with deadly effect.
Rank1 – Mobile Shooter: Removes the penalty for moving and shooting while firing at targets within 10″
Rank2 – Flanking Shots: when shooting at targets within 10″, any shots that hit from the side or rear arcs of the target have +5 to hit and +1 dam
Rank3 – Point Blank Firing: Can fire your ranged weapon at targets in base contact @ -10 to hit and +2 dam
Rank4 – Requires 2 Skill Points; Rapid Fire: If not using any action based special abilities that round, can fire twice at targets within 10″; counts as two separate attacks (see the global rules for Multiple Attack Actions for details); if using a reload-ranged weapon must also sacrifice your instant and must not have moved that turn
Peltasts specialize in throwing weapons of every kind (does not apply to weapons thrown using the Fury ability “Furious Throw”)
Rank1 – Receive +5 hit and +1 damage when attacking with thrown weapons
Rank2 – Quick Toss: Can throw a single throwing weapon as an instant (treat as a main hand throw)
Rank3 – Momentum Throw: The first weapon throw after having moved receives +1 damage per inch moved (foot or mounted)
Rank4 – Requires 2 Skill Points; Critical Throw: If not using any action based special abilities or throwing more than one weapon that round, can elect to throw a main hand throwing weapon that auto-Crits if the target fails a dodge test;
The Warder fighting style is one that seeks to keep enemies at distance, frustrating them at every turn by preventing attacks. It is a very defensive combat style, but one that is quite popular among those who seek to avoid taking damage. The Warder combat specialization only applies when wielding weapons with the “Ward-off” weapon effect.
Rank1 – Add +1 to your own Initiative Stat roll-off when attempting to Ward-off an enemy
Rank2 – Rapid Ward: May Ward-off one additional attack each round
Rank3 – Frustrate Foe: any enemy that has had an attack warded off suffers -10 to hit on their next attack
Rank4 – Requires 2 Skill Points; Circle-Ward: May ward off one melee attack from every enemy within melee range of your weapon at -5 to your Initiative Stat roll-off, however this negates any regular Ward-Offs and does NOT benefit from any of the effects of previous Ranks of the Warder combat Specialization
Fighting effectively from a mounted position is its own unique style that requires an immense amount of training. This fighting style can apply to any type of weapon, so long as it is used while mounted.
Rank1 – Receive +5 hit and +1 damage when attacking un-mounted targets (Does not stack with elevation bonuses)
Rank2 – Well Trained: choose one only:
- When using weapons with the “Riding” or “Charge” weapon effect, add +2 damage if you moved in the direction of the attack prior to attacking (If the weapon is both “Riding” and “Charge” it still only benefits from +2 damage)
- When using weapons with the “Thrown” weapon effect, add +2 damage if you moved in the direction of the attack prior to attacking
- When using weapons with the “Ranged” or “Reload-Ranged” weapon effect, reduce any penalties for moving and shooting by 15, up to an including cancelling any penalties (i.e. shooting a bow from horseback after having moved 6″ would normally carry a penalty of -30 to hit (-5 per 1″ moved), however with “Well Trained” it would be reduced to only -15 to hit.
Rank3 – Battlefield Presence: Gain +3 to your initiative score if it would put you ahead of any un-mounted friends or foes in the turn order;
Rank4 – Requires 2 Skill Points; Cavalry Charge: If not using any action based special abilities that round, may make a single mainhand attack against any enemy that crosses a straight line move made by the mount (in addition to trample effects if applicable), must still adhere to the 4-3-2 rule for limiting the number of attacks made.
(Focus classes only)
Pugilists are unarmed combat specialists, preferring the simplicity and reliability of their own fists or the devastating impact of a variety of kicks to the reliance upon weapons.
Rank1 – Receive +5 hit and +1 damage when attacking with any unarmed attack (i.e. Focus Fist or Kick attacks)
Rank2 – Receive +5% Critical hit chance and -5% Critical miss when attacking with any unarmed attack (i.e. Focus Fist or Kick attacks)
Rank3 – Hyper Focused: Any damage taken that is 5 or less does not reduce focus and as such, no Resolve test is required (Stacks with Physical Defense: Controlled Pain)
Rank4 – Requires 2 Skill Points; Concentrated Impact: If not using more than one unarmed attack (fist/kick attack) in a round, may add another +2 to your focus dice roll
(Focus classes only)
Self Defense specialists are highly trained to use their body in a defensive fashion, making them extremely resilient in combat and even allowing them to weather some damage without losing Focus
Rank1 – Gain 1 free Focus ability point that must be spent on Defense abilities, but does not count towards the total allowable Defense ability points for your class
Rank2 – Controlled Pain: Any damage taken that is 5 or less does not reduce focus and as such, no Resolve test is required (stacks with Pugilist: Hyper Focused)
Rank3 – Gain a second free Focus ability point that must be spent on Defense abilities, but does not count towards the total allowable Defense ability points for your class
Rank4 – Requires 2 Skill Points; Toughened Up: Any time you lose Focus, reduce the damage that caused the Focus loss by 50%