"Windholme's Panthers" Combat Style
Written by Franklin W. Cain
"Windholme's Panthers" Style of Weapons Mastery:
A New Martial Art for Fantasy Hero

In a back issue of Adventures' Club, someone wrote up a martial art for medieval warriors called "weapons mastery." This is a variation of that martial art from my campaign.

This is the fighting style used by an elite mercenary company known as "Windholme's Panthers." The style was created by "Kat" (Kathryn) Windholme, the first Captain of the Panthers, as an amalgamation of the fighting knowledge and combat experience she has acquired over her adventuring career.

The style emphasizes striking power and defense, at the expense of accuracy.

"Advanced" practicioners are often taught by "Kat" herself. In this case, they may learn certain special techniques (listed below). These special techniques are taught only to those who have been with the Panthers for several years and who have learned all of the basic maneuvers listed below.

Maneuver   Phs.   Pts.   OCV   DCV   Damage / Effect
Advancing Attack½5 -1+3 Strike +2d6 (+1 DC K)
Charge½5 -2+1 Strike +2d6 (+1 DC K) +v/5; FMove
Defiant Stand½5 -1+2 +15 STR to Resist Shove; Block, Abort
Forceful Attack½5 -2+1 Strike +4d6 (+2 DC K)
Shoulder Aside½5 -2+1 +20 STR to Shove

KS: Fighting Styles *
PS: Mercenary
WF: Common Melee Weapons *
WF: Flail
WF: Quarterstaff
WF: Lance

Elements (Required)
+2     Use Art with Sword/Knife, Weapon & Shield, and Axe/Mace/Pick

Elements (Optional)
+1     Use Art with Club (Impromptu Weapon)
+1Use Art with Polearm
+1Use Art with Flail
+1Use Art with Staff
+1Use Art with Lance
+1Use Art While Mounted
+2+1 OCV with one specific maneuver

"Special" Techniques
4     Feint: Up to +4 OCV with melee combat, "instant": lasts one Phase only (-1), RSR: Sleight of Hand (difficult roll; resisted by PER roll; -1½), "ablative": cumulative -1 penalty to skill roll (-1), "side effects": up to -4 DCV (proportional to attempted OCV bonus; -¼)
7Parrying Expertise: Up to +4 OCV with melee combat, only when Blocking (-1), only to offset penalty for Blocking multiple attacks (-1)
10Precision Strikes: Up to +4 OCV with Martial Art, only to offset penalty for hit locations (-1)


The "Use Art While Mounted" Element is required for the "Use Art with Lance" Element.

The character can buy multiple levels of the "+1 OCV" Element for a specific maneuver. However, no maneuver can have its OCV modifier increased beyond "+2". (For example, you could not buy this Element more than three times for the Advancing Attack maneuver.)

When using the "feint" technique, the player states how much of a bonus the attacking character will attempt (from +1 to +4), and the player rolls his character's Sleight of Hand at that penalty (if trying for a +2 to OCV, the Sleight of Hand has a -2 penalty). If the attacking character fails his Sleight of Hand, or if his opponent succeeds at his Perception roll by a greater margin of success than the attacker's Sleight of Hand roll, then the attacker has the corresponding penalty for the rest of his Phase (if he tried for a +2 bonus and failed, he would have a -2 DCV until the beginning of his next Phase). Bear in mind that, once you've used this against a particular opponent, that opponent will be more likely to expect it next time (thus, the "ablative" Limitation). Assuming you both survive the current battle, the next time you face each other, he won't necessarily be expecting it again (assuming sufficient time has passed for him to forget about it, of course).

The parrying expertise enables the character to make Blocking attempts against multiple attacks within a single Phase, at a reduced penalty. (It does not enable a character to make multiple attempts against the same attack!)

The last of the special techniques to be taught is the art of strike one's opponent at a specific part of his body. This ability is learned only after considerable experience in fighting.