Thursday, April 7, 2011

Combat Maneuvers in Swords & Wizardry

So I was over at RPG.Net as usual when someone was looking for ways to spruce up S&W fighters. I suggested the following maneuvers, based on later edition feats (and then thought, hey, this is what a blog is for). Anyway, the idea would be a fighter can start trained in two of these maneuvers at level 1, gaining a third menauever for which he qualifies at level 8, and a fourth at level 16. Generous GMs could allow paladins, rangers and monks training in one maneuver at level 1 and another at level 12; rogues and assassins could gain training to one maneuver at level 4 and another at level 18. Clerics who follow war gods might be allowed one maneuver at level 1 and another at level 16, at the GM's discretion.

Maneuver Training Summary:
Fighters: two at level 1, then one at level 8 and 16
Paladins, Rangers, Monks: one at level 1 and one at level 12
Assasins, Rogues and Bards: one at level 4 and one at level 18
Clerics of a War God: one at level 1 and one at level 16

Summary of Maneuvers

Dual Weapon Strikes: a fighter (and only a fighter) can get a primary and off-hand light weapon. He can gain a +2 parry bonus to AC with one attack using a parrying dagger, or he can dual-strike, gaining a -2 penalty to both attack rolls but at the possible benefit of getting two strikes in. Note that normal characters default to the standard S&W rules for this kind of attack. Optionally rangers may also be allowed access to this maneuver.

Cleaving Strike: you down an opponent and can immediately make an attack against a second adjacent opponent. Like the combat dominance feature (hitting 1 HD or less creatures) but only applies to two creatures with no HD limit.

Advanced Cleaving: you must have cleaving strike and be level 8 or better; you can cleave until you run out of adjacent enemies.

Weapon Specialization: you can pick one weapon to gain +1 attack and +2 damage with.

Weapon Mastery: requires Weapon Specialization and level 8 or better: you are now +3 attack and +3 damage with that weapon.

Disarm: you can target a foe armed with a weapon at a -4 on your attack roll; if you make it, your opponent makes a saving throw or drops the weapon. If you specialize in whip or net and use this disarm you can snare the weapon instead.

Feinting Maneuver: you can trick your opponent in to mistaking your intentions; you make an attack roll as normal, but instead of damage your target rolls a saving throw. If it fails, you can either deal maximum damage or deal half damage and gain a +2 AC bonus until your next turn.

Knockdown: You wield a large (two handed) weapon and can potentially knock down opponents. If you make an attack roll with a -2 penalty to your attack you can prompt your foe to make a saving throw or he takes damage and is knocked prone. Otherwise he takes half damage if he saved and is still standing.

Sundering Armor: you can target the foe's armor. You take a -4 penanlty to attack, but if you make the hit, roll damage and divide by four (round up), penalizing your foe's armor by that amount. This damage may be permanent; the armor is reduced to scrap if the damage exceeds its armor bonus to AC, and will otherwise require a proficient armorsmith with appropriate percentage of cost to repair. Magical armor may be immune to armor sundering at the GM's discretion.

   GMs could use these maneuvers as special tactics by certain well-trained foes (imagine an ogre with knockdown or Sundering Armor, for example!) and if you allow fighters (or other characters) access, then monsters should definitely use these maneuvers as well.

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