The Blackwood Campaign Setting
Any character may spend gold to attain mastery in a weapon, similar to the way gold may be spent to purchase and learn spells. Use of this mechanic should be agreed upon at the table before each campaign. GMs should adjust encounters to accommodate training time and costs, and to coincide with similar mechanics for Spell Mastery.
Skill at arms is broadly defined by three levels of mastery, similar to Spell Circles. On a character sheet, these are indicated with a roman numeral following the name of the weapon. Each level requires gold and time spent in training to achieve.
|Level…….||Cost (SP)||Training (Months)||Attack Bonus||Damage Bonus|
At character creation, you may choose one Mastery (advancing to “Skilled”) at no cost instead of choosing a spell. Additional Masteries chosen at first level cost 60 sp each. Starting characters may not be more than “Skilled” in any Mastery. After character creation, Masteries can be purchased using the mechanics in this guide. All characters begin with basic ability in every weapon. They may attack with no penalty and deal normal damage according to the statistics provided for each weapon in the rule book.
Advancing beyond basic skill level requires several things. First, a character must have the corresponding skill for the weapon to be mastered. Second, the character needs time and money for training. Use the chart above to determine the cost of each skill level, and the time needed to achieve it. Training occupies half of each day for the indicated amount of time.
When you are skilled with a weapon you receive a +1 bonus to attack and damage, and unlock new abilities with the weapon. When you are considered an expert in a weapon your +1 bonus to attack and damage is increased to +2, and you unlock further abilities. Mastery increases the bonus to +3 and unlocks the full potential of the weapon.
- Agile: This weapon may be used in a grapple, after being swallowed, or while attempting another physical action (climbing, etc.).
- Bleed: After a roll of maximum damage, the target continues to take 1 HP of damage per round from bleeding for 1d4 rounds.
- Charge: Weapon does double damage if used in a charge.
- Deflect: Once per round, the user may make an attack roll against any incoming attack. If the user’s result is greater, the blow is safely parried.
- Delay: When struck, targets must pass a Rogue check with a DL equal to damage dealt or be forced to act last next round.
- Disarm: Targets must pass a Warrior check with a DL equal to damage dealt or lose hold of their weapon. Only one weapon may be disarmed at a time.
- Pin: On a damage dice result of 4 or higher, target must pass a Rogue check with a DL equal to damage dealt or be pinned. Breaking free requires a Warrior check with a DL equal to 5+your mastery level with the weapon. Characters suffer a -2 penalty to attack and defense while pinned.
- Reach: The weapon may be used from the second rank of combat. Alternatively, its normal reach is doubled.
- Riposte: If an opponent misses you by more than 5 points on their to-hit roll, you may immediately make a counterattack against them once per round.
- Stagger: On a damage roll of 4 or higher (before any modifiers), opponent must pass a Warrior check with a DL equal to damage dealt or lose 1 action next round.
- Stun: On a damage roll of 4 or higher (before any modifiers), opponent must pass a Mage check with a DL equal to damage dealt or lose their turn for 1 round.
- Trip: Instead of dealing damage, you may force an opponent to fall prone. Target must pass a Rogue check with a DL equal to damage dealt to remain standing. Standing from prone requires 1 action.
- Vicious: When attacking viciously, roll damage twice and take the higher result. This incurs a -2 penalty to defense for 1 round.