Overview: The Armsman is called by many names- Sword-scholar, Kensai and the Weapon Master. He is a breed of warrior who trains his body, his mind and his soul into union with his weapon. These Warriors are united by one principle, stated well by the Kenrei sage Sung Su: “Superiority upon the field of battle lies within the self, not without”
The Armsman seeks within himself the power to destroy his enemies. The Champion may use pretty ideals as a crutch and the Soldier may depend on guile and deceit, but the Armsman’s means are the purest – he needs only himself and the steel he bears to win the battle, to win all wars.
Role-playing notes: There are those that say that all steel, be it in keen blade or cruel hammer, has a song. The Armsmen say that it can be made to sing death and devastation by one with the skill and the will to do so.
As an Armsman, you are an artist of battle and a scholar of steel. It is your gift to play the song of the death to those who oppose you. It is your task to know every piece and portion of your weapon, every cruel inch of metal and wood.
Some Armsmen are quiet scholars of the blade while others are boisterous braggarts always itching for the next duel. There are Armsmen seek nothing but excellence with his weapons while there exist Armsmen who seek knowledge of their weapon by knowing all and everything about the world.
But all possess the same talent, the same deadly dedication to their craft bend to one and the same end: complete and utter victory.
SUB-CLASS FEATURES: A first level Armsman automatically receives the following abilities at no cost to build:
STUDENT OF STEEL
– You learn the Critical Strike Feat at no cost in build.
– You can observe an enemy for at least 30 seconds, moving no faster than a slow walk and saying “Studying 1, Studying 2…Studying 30”. Any damage or Control effect you receive disrupts this process – at the end of this, you may perform 1 Critical Strike feat for free (0 SP) upon the enemy you have studied. Preface this Critical Strike with “Expert” (e.g. “Expert Crit 10 damage!”). This Critical Strike costs you 0 SP to perform but must be performed within 30 seconds after completing your study and it must be your next melee attack.
– In addition, once per Moon, you can choose a Weapon-type and a Weapon-style (such as Dual Axes or Axe and Shield) to specialize in. You must defeat 5 foes in real or practice combat or quietly meditate for 10 minutes over your weaponry to gain the following bonus: whenever you use the Critical Strike feat, you inflict 2 more points of damage than normal. This bonus disappears at the end of the Moon.
WALL OF BLADES
– You gain your choice of the Parry feat or the Block feat for no Build cost.
– Furthermore, you can Augment the Parry feat to defend against ranged weapon attacks such as arrows and thrown weapons. When you do this, say “Spinning Parry” instead of “Parry”. A Feat cannot have more than one Augment or Modification at a time.
The following Sub-class features can only be gained when the Character reaches the required level and has learned the required feats, skills and/or spells.
Level 2: Whirlwind of Pain
Requires: Critical Strike feat and Cripple Limb feat
Once per period, an Armsman can perform an audacious feat of martial skill, negating a melee attack that hits her and then performing an attack that hits all nearby creatures.
To do this, say “Whirlwind of Pain” to negate a melee attack against you and then immediately follow it by saying “Whirlwind 15 damage” or “Whirlwind Cripple 10” (where you specify which Limb you are affecting). You affect everyone within a one-handed weapon reach of you – extend your weapon forward and downward to determine the extent of your reach. If you are using a two-handed weapon, you may extend it to determine your reach but you must keep one hand on the middle of the weapon.
At 10th level, the damage increases to “20 damage”.
Level 4: Challenge the Worthy
Requires: Challenging Strike feat and Pierce/Batter Shield
An Armsman functions best when dealing with a worthy adversary. When dealing with a foe that she feels is worthy of her attentions, an Armsman can call that foe to attention and engage it in proper combat.
After you use the Challenging Strike feat upon a foe, whether you hit or miss, your normal melee attacks gain a bonus to damage against it at a small cost to your speed. Whenever you make a normal melee attack against your enemy, preface your damage with “Flourish” but add 2 to what you would normally inflict. This slows down your strikes but allows you to deliver more powerful attacks.
You can no longer use this bonus if you attack a different target or after 10 minutes has passed. Furthermore, you can only use “Challenge the Worthy” while you are using the Weapon and Weapon style that you have specified with the Student of Steel feature.
Level 6: Flurry of Blows
Requires: Any Weapon Expertise and any Weapon Style Expertise
Once per period, an Armsman can explode in a flurry of deadly weapon strikes. To do this, say “Flurry of Blows” and then you may perform 5 consecutive Critical Strikes against any targets within 60 seconds of using this Class Feature. Preface each Critical Strike with “Expert” (e.g. “Expert Crit 10 damage!”). These Critical Strikes cost you 0 SP to perform.
Level 8: Deadly Defense
Requires: Parry feat or Dodge feat
Practice and experience has taught you well that the best defense is a deadly offense.
In the same vein, after performing the Dodge feat, Block feat or Parry feat against an enemy’s attack, you can find a hole in his defenses to exploit – you may then perform a Critical Strike feat upon your assailant that costs 0 SP and must be prefaced with “Expert” as above.
With the Dual Weapon Expertise skill or the Einhander Expertise skill, you can perform two “Expert Critical Strikes” instead of just one.
Level 10: Master the Mystery of Steel
Requires: Any Weapon Mastery skill and any Weapon Style Mastery skill.
You have finally mastered the riddles and the mystery of your weapon. When you fight with the Weapon-type and the Weapon-
style that you have chosen for the Student of Steel feature, you gain the following benefits:
– When any effect would break your weapon or shield, you may instead take 5 damage and say “Mystery of Steel” to negate the effect.
– When studying an enemy to gain a free use of the Critical Strike feat, you may move at a fast pace and you may defend yourself.
– When you use Whirlwind of Pain, you may inflict 20 damage instead of 15 damage.