Recently an NPC dwarf armed with a glaive-guisarme effectively swept the legs of a fleeing assassin and slit his throat as he fell. This type of special maneuver should be available to PC's and other party members on a controlled basis. Such maneuvers are permitted within these guidelines and restrictions.
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Cavalier and fighter classes and their sub-classes will be permitted such maneuvers. These include cavaliers, paladins, samurai, fighter, ranger, barbarian, oriental barbarian, bushi, sohei, kensai, bard, berserker, knight of solamnia (all orders). For game balance, runecasters will be permitted such maneuvers, and ninja will be permitted them with ninja-prefered weapons.
Each special maneuver will require a proficiency slot. These slots will be weapon slots unless one of three things is true: 1) the maneuver does no damage or minimal damage based on some other definable objective, such as a bill-hook trip and pin, or a fast draw; or 2) the objective is essentially defensive, such as a disarm or special parry or block; or 3) the maneuver does not use a weapon, such as a hand push or shield batter. In such cases, non-weapon slots may be used.
Specialists may not learn maneuvers in weapons other than their specialization, and kensai to a weapon may not learn them for weapons other than their dedication. They may learn non-weapon oriented maneuvers. Those classes with weapons of choice (cavalier, paladin, sohei) may learn such maneuvers in their weapons of choice, and for other weapons in which they are proficient; they cannot learn more than one maneuver for any weapon which is not a weapon of choice. All weapon plusses apply to weapon maneuvers.
Kensai to a martial arts style may not learn maneuvers outside that style. Kensai to a body part may learn maneuvers which are reasonably related to that body part.
Bards as fighters may learn maneuvers for any weapon for which they could if they were straight fighters (that is, depending on whether they specialize or generalize). They may not learn such maneuvers as thieves. When they become bards, they may learn such maneuvers only for weapons on the list of bard weapons. Ninja may learn as many as are available for ninja weapons using ninja slots only. Those ninja who are also bushi or sohei may also learn maneuvers according to these rules for the other class.
All other fighter classes are generalists, and as such can learn any number of available maneuvers for any weapon with which they are proficient.
So-called weaponless maneuvers must be learned in connection with a weapon, and cannot be effectively used without the weapon. That is, a character who learns to push his opponent off balance with his shield while fighting with his long sword may only use that maneuver while fighting with his long sword. True weaponless combat can only be learned as a martial art.
All maneuvers must be designed to match a specific weapon. Those which do the same thing with different weapons are distinct, and not all weapons can perform all maneuvers. If a maneuver substantially duplicates a martial arts version, martial arts weapons can only use it within a style. Such maneuvers might be adapted to non-martial arts weapons.
Although players are invited to create such maneuvers, PC's may only learn them from other characters. Such characters obviously have better things to do than give away their secrets, and will have to be appropriately persuaded to teach the maneuver. Further, only 10% of such characters will know more than one maneuver. Those who do will be superior experts, and will only take students who 1) are promising in their ability, 2) are serious in their intention, and 3) offer some significant advantage or incentive to the teacher which goes beyond mere money. Such teachers may require proof of alignment or religion, a quest on the teacher's behalf, availability of the student to assist the teacher, and other advantages or evidence.
The teacher must use the same or a substantially similar weapon as the student. Efforts to adapt a long sword maneuver to a broad sword will require the student to make an intelligence check or fail to learn it with the current proficiency slot; the slot must be used for something else.
Attempts at special maneuvers without proficiency incur a standard non-proficiency penalty. This is added to any such penalty for the weapon.
Certain maneuvers may require multiple attacks to perform. In this case, all attacks must be made in the same round. Maneuvers may also alter opponent AC, attacker chance to hit, and other combat details.
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