[Fantasy Craft] Wuxia Sample Character: Impetuous Blade (long)

Posted: April 5, 2013 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Fantasy Craft, Roleplaying Games
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Now that I’m looking at a Wuxia Campaign for Fantasy Craft, I figure that it will be best if I go back to the basics and try my hand at character creation again, going over it in a step-by-step format.

I still remember some of the stuff from my earlier articles on Fantasy Craft, but I’m considering this as a refresher course.

So today we’re putting together a 1st level character, a wandering knight-errant (or Xia) by the name of Impetuous Blade. A young, talented and overconfident swordsman. This is a little longer than my usual articles so check the rest out after the break:

Given this concept, we’ll go over the basics: Race, Talent and Specialties.

For the Race, we’re going for Human, the only one allowed for the setting I’m putting together. While this might seem restrictive for a lot of D20 veterans, it’s important to remember that Fantasy Craft differs from the norm by providing a second set of choices to pick from after selecting Human as a Race.

Humans in Fantasy Craft get to pick from twenty-five different Talents, which are essentially Racial packages to represent the broad range of different humans in a setting. For Impetutous Blade, we’re going for Agile as a Talent, which gives the following Racial benefits:

AGILE:
Attributes: +2 Dexterity
Base Speed: 30 ft.
Double Boost: You may spend and roll 2 action dice to boost Dexterity-based skill checks.
Natural Elegance: Your Appearance bonus increases by +1.
Parry: You gain the Parry advanced action (p.222)

Next, we get to pick a Specialty. A Specialty is another sub-package of benefits that represent what the character has been up to. If Talents are what they are like, then Specialties are what characters can do. Unlike Talents, all other races can pick as Specialty as well. For our swordsman, we’re going for Fencer.

FENCER:
Bonus Feat: Fencing Basics
Decisive: You gain a +5 Bonus with Initiative.
Edged Proficiency: You gain the Edged proficiency.
Fast: Your Ground speed increases by 10ft.
Parry: You gain the Parry advanced action (p.222).

There’s a bit of redundancy with getting Parry twice, but that’s not something to be worried about.

At this point it might be a good idea to take a look at my Characters Attributes. Old hands at D20 and D&D in general will feel at home here. FC defaults to a point-buy system with a default of 36 points to start with.

As such, I’m going for :

STR 11 +0
DEX 15 +2
CON 11 +0
INT 12 +1
WIS 12 +1
CHA 15 +2

Adding the bonuses from the earlier choices gives me a final spread of:

STR 11 +0
DEX 17 +3
CON 11 +0
INT 12 +1
WIS 12 +1
CHA 15 +2

Not too shabby. We also get to pick 2 skills as Origin Skills. These can be purchased even as if they were Class Skills as they represent skills that you’ve obtained via your Origin, but I think I’ll save those for after we’ve picked a class.

So, moving on, we’ll pick a class for Impetuous Blade. While Assassin was tempting, I decided to go with Soldier instead to represent the fact that Blade wasn’t the type to be skulking about.

A quick look at the class gives us the following:

SOLDIER:
BAB: +1
Fort +1
Ref +0
Will +2
Def +1
Init +1
Lifestyle +0
Legend +1

Accurate: Each time you spend 1 action die to boost an attack check, you roll and add the results of 2 dice.
Fight On: Gain 1 additional Basic, Melee, Ranged or Unarmed Combat feat or 2 additional proficiencies.

Class Skills: Athletics, Crafting, Intimidate, Notice, Resolve, Search, Survival, Tactics
Skill Points: 4 + Int modifier per level (×4 at Career Level 1)
Vitality: 12 + Con modifier per level
Starting Proficiencies: 6

Moving on to the rest of character creation, it’s time to pick out Feats for Impetuous Blade. Given that he’s a Fencer, he’s already got Fencing Basics for Free. All Level 1 characters start with a free Feat, but Soldier also grants him a free combat Feat as well, giving him an opportunity to really excel in his chosen combat style even at Level 1.

Heck, given his name, why don’t we make him extremely focused then? Giving him all the Fencing Feats nets the following benefits.

FEATS:
Fencing Basics: Once per round, you may make a free attack with a fencing blade against an adjacent flat-footed character. You inflict only 1/2 normal damage with this attack. You also gain the Work The Line stance.
Fencing Mastery: Each of your fencing blade attacks may inflict your choice of lethal or stress damage instead of the weapon’s normal damage (no penalty or damage decrease occurs). Also gain the En Garde! Trick.
Fencing Supremacy: Your Dexterity score rises by 1 and you gain the Touche! Trick.

STANCES:
Work The Line: Each time an opponent attacks you and misses, you may move 5 ft. and draw the opponent into the square you previously occupied. Also, each time an adjacent opponent moves away from you, you may immediately move into the square he just left.

TRICKS:
En Garde!: Each opponent who moves into a square adjacent to you must make a Reflex save (DC 10 + your Dex modifier + the number of Melee Combat feats you have) or be automatically hit by your fencing blade.
Touche!: If your target is a standard character with a lower Dexterity score than yours, he immediately fails his Damage save (damage isn’t rolled). You may use this trick once per round.

Looking pretty scary already in combat, and I can imagine that Impetuous Blade has spent a lot of time taking down mooks.

The next step would be checking out the Advanced Actions available to Impetuous Blade. He’s already got Parry, so let’s look at anything else we can check out. A character purchases Tricks and Advanced actions by spending Proficiencies. Thankfully Fencer already gives Impetuous Blade the Edged Proficiency needed for Fencing, so I only have to spend 1 to raise it to an Edged Forte. This means that have 5 left to spend on either buying more proficiencies.

I spend an additional 2 proficiencies to get Unarmed, just in case Blade ends up without his sword for any reason. The rest I use to buy Advanced Actions and Tricks… mainly Arrow Cutting (always fun), along with the Mix-Up trick that adds bonuses for switching tricks around in a fight, perfect for a character with a flashy fighting style.

Okay, character-wise, we’re almost done with Impetuous blade. Let’s have a look at his character sheet so far:

Impetuous Blade

Level 1 Agile Human Fencer
Class: Soldier

STR 12 +1
DEX 18 +4
CON 11 +0
INT 11 +0
WIS 12 +1
CHA 15 +2

Vitality: 12
Wounds: 11

BAB: +1
Fort +1
Ref +4
Will +3
Def 15
Init +10
Lifestyle +2
Legend +1

AGILE:

  • Attributes: +2 Dexterity
  • Base Speed: 30 ft.
  • Double Boost: You may spend and roll 2 action dice to boost Dexterity-based skill checks.
  • Natural Elegance: Your Appearance bonus increases by +1.
  • Parry: You gain the Parry advanced action (p.222)

FENCER:

  • Bonus Feat: Fencing Basics
  • Decisive: You gain a +5 Bonus with Initiative.
  • Edged Proficiency: You gain the Edged proficiency.
  • Fast: Your Ground speed increases by 10ft.
  • Parry: You gain the Parry advanced action (p.222).

SOLDIER:

  • Accurate: Each time you spend 1 action die to boost an attack check, you roll and add the results of 2 dice.
  • Fight On: Gain 1 additional Basic, Melee, Ranged or Unarmed Combat feat or 2 additional proficiencies.

SKILLS: 16 Skill Points (* to denote Origin Skills)
Athletics (STR) 2
Bluff* (CHA) 2
Crafting (INT) 0
Intimidate (WIS) 2
Notice (WIS) 2
Prestidigitation* (DEX) 2
Resolve (CON) 2
Search (INT) 2
Survival (WIS) 2
Tactics (INT) 0

FEATS:

  • Fencing Basics: Once per round, you may make a free attack with a fencing blade against an adjacent flat-footed character. You inflict only 1/2 normal damage with this attack. You also gain the Work The Line stance.
  • Fencing Mastery: Each of your fencing blade attacks may inflict your choice of lethal or stress damage instead of the weapon’s normal damage (no penalty or damage decrease occurs). Also gain the En Garde! Trick.
  • Fencing Supremacy: Your Dexterity score rises by 1 and you gain the Touche! Trick.

STANCES:

  • Work The Line: Each time an opponent attacks you and misses, you may move 5 ft. and draw the opponent into the square you previously occupied. Also, each time an adjacent opponent moves away from you, you may immediately move into the square he just left.

TRICKS:

  • En Garde!: Each opponent who moves into a square adjacent to you must make a Reflex save (DC 10 + your Dex modifier + the number of Melee Combat feats you have) or be automatically hit by your fencing blade.
  • Touche!: If your target is a standard character with a lower Dexterity score than yours, he immediately fails his Damage save (damage isn’t rolled). You may use this trick once per round.
  • Mix-Up (Distract and Feint): Once per round, when the character hasn’t taken the chosen action during the last 3 rounds, he may take it and gain a +3 morale bonus with the first attack or skill check it requires.

ADVANCED ACTIONS:

  • Parry (Initiative Action): Once per round when the character’s not flat-footed, after he’s been hit by a melee or unarmed attack but before damage is rolled, he may make a Reflex save (DC equal to the attack check result). With success, the damage drops to 0 (though any special effects from the attack are still felt). The character may take this action a number of times per combat equal to the number of Melee Combat feats he has.
  • Arrow Cutting (Forte): While armed with a melee weapon, once per round after the character has been hit by a bow or huled attack but before the damage is rolled, he may make a Reflex save (DC equal to the attack check result). With success, the damage drops to 0 (though any special effects from the attack are still felt). The character may take this action a number of times per combat equal to the number of Melee Combat feats he has.

PROFICIENCIES:

  • Edged Forte (+1 to attacks)
  • Unarmed Forte (+1 to attacks)
  • Arrow Cutting
  • Mix-Up: Feint
  • Mix-UP: Distract

With regards to his gear, Impetuous Blade doesn’t really have any armor but he does have a Scholar’s Sword, a fencing blade with some rather interesting qualities:

Damage: 1d8 lethal, Threat 20, Qualities: Finesse, and Lure.

Finesse allows the character to use the higher of their strength or Dexterity modifiers for rolling the weapon’s damage.

Lure on the other hand gives the wielder a +2 gear bonus with Feint actions.

Okay that was complicated, but also pretty fun. What can we do with Impetuous Blade?

Well alright, let’s go over what kind of combatant he is. For one thing, he’s got a very high Initiative modifier, giving him a good opportunity to act first. Add the fact that his Ground Speed is higher than normal, and he can position himself to an advantageous location earlier as well.

Once he’s in position, Blade can hold it with surprising ability. With the En Garde! Trick, Blade can start tagging opponents who enter an adjacent square for free.

Blade is also remarkably good at keeping himself alive. Arrow Cutting and Parry are available at three charges each per fight (given that he has 3 Melee Combat Feats in the Fencing Tree.) This allows him to have a safety whenever he’s successfully attacked by an opponent by ranged or melee attacks.

For offense, Blade also has a few interesting tricks. He can spend a half action to Feint, causing his target to become flat-footed. This grants him an immediate free attack (at half damage) from his fencing sword. He can then attack with his remaining half action with a standard attack if his target is still up. Having Mix-Up and the lure quality in his weapon is icing on the cake as it makes it easier for him to successfully pull off the maneuver. If that’s not good enough then there’s still the Double-Boost ability for Dexterity Checks to make sure it happens.

If he’s hoping to get his allies in the proper positions, he can also cause a bit of a delay in the opponents with the Mix Up: Distract Trick to force an opponent to drop in the initiative order, screwing up their ability to coordinate.

As you can see, a level 1 character in Fantasy Craft is already a handful. I’m already seeing that it might come in handy to have some way to track all the charges of the little tricks that the character has in combat.

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Comments
  1. […] a refresher course on Fantasy Craft combat with a sample battle between our hot-blooded swordsman, Impetuous Blade and his opponent, Bloody Rose, a female assassin from the Crimson Banner […]

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