August 11, 2011

Hari Ragat: Secrets of the Guros

I’ve been wrestling for some time with the problem of differentiating weapons from each other by the way they’re used, as opposed to tacking on fixed properties like damage ratings or initiative modifiers.  This is my solution, inspired by D&D 3.x Feats, FATE Aspects, and most importantly Clinton R. Nixon’s Secrets from The Shadow of Yesterday.

Here’s a preview of the Secrets that will go into the game:

Many Vijadesan disciplines are passed on in secrecy from master to apprentice. A Secret is a technique that you have learned from such a master, or even directly from the spirits, and makes you better at certain activities.

Many Secrets are weapon-specific. Thus your choice of favored weapon should mesh with your choice of Secrets.

Secret of the Serpentine Thrust
Weapon: kris. Tap this Secret for bonus dice to perform faster, deadlier thrusts that weave deceptively through your opponent’s defenses. This technique is defeated and therefore cannot be used against opponents bearing a kalasag shield; it does work against the smaller palisay shields.

Secret of the Fearless Blade
Weapon: barong. Tap this Secret for bonus dice to perform devastating attacks from very close range, where the shortness of the barong becomes an advantage. The agile movements required to do this preclude using this Secret when wearing armor.

Secret of the Sundering Stroke
Weapon: kampilan or panabas. Tap this Secret to destroy a shield or weapon or item of armor of your opponent. If the item is enchanted to be unbreakable, however, this Secret automatically fails. You cannot use this Secret while using a shield.

Secret of the Whirlwind Blades
Weapon: kris or barong. Tap this Secret to gain bonus dice when fighting with two blades, or to Save from a defeat. Fighting with two blades gains you great flexibility, but it keeps you from using a shield.

Secret of Arrested Flight
Weapon: spear. Tap this Secret for bonus dice to catch a spear thrown at you or someone behind you; at your discretion you may also cast the spear back as part of your action.


  1. Cool Idea! One could add some Bushido inspired stuff like "Arrow Cutting" or a "First Strike" secret.

  2. Maybe not the arrow-cutting, as bows aren't encountered far less often than spears/javelins; but you'll get something like First Strike in Secret of the Scabbard-Cutter for the kampilan.

    Instead of taking the time to draw your kampilan, you take the whole scabbard out of your sash and strike - and the technique makes sure the blade cuts right thru the scabbard and into your target. :)

  3. This is the sort of thing I'm looking for in Echelon. Never mind this "weapon focus gives +1 to attack rolls" crap, I want effects specific to the weapons used.

    Mind you, the effects of a combat style aren't limited to just the weapon or how it is applied. Kreshtar Axe Fighters like the big weapons, and learn to use bigger and bigger weapons... and at higher tiers actually get larger when they fight. Like that guy over there. Yeah, the one carrying a large shield on one arm and wielding a halberd with the other hand....


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