Power Sword Weapon Style for Spacemaster

Copyright Elton Robb © 2005

Edited by Aaron Smalley for The Guild Companion

"Special care is needed to keep the energy blade away from the body when attacking."

In this article, I'll show you some weapon styles made with the Martial Arts Companion's weapon style rules for Spacemaster. The result is a power sword weapon style for use in Spacemaster: Privateers or alternative Spacemaster campaigns. With a little work, these weapon styles can be retooled for HARP campaigns in space. The styles can also be changed to incorporate a force blade. Both the power sword and the force blade and their applicable attack tables are found in the Spacemaster Tech Law: Robotics Manual. This first article focuses on power swordsmanship, a second article will deal with unarmed martial arts for Spacemaster.

Power Swordsmanship
Advanced Weapon Style [60 points]

Description — In some Spacemaster Campaigns, the power sword or force sword is the weapon of choice for a few adventurers who want to keep the traditions of fencing and kenjutsu or kendo alive, or in cultures like the Tulgar, where dueling is important. Practitioners would practice the art with a plastic, Plexiglas, plastisteel, or wooden weapon at first, to get the moves down and to learn the art of defense. When it came time to use the force blade or power sword, they would train with a remote next on how to parry energy blasts.

The average swordsman uses a one or two handed grip on his weapon that is similar to Japanese kenjutsu. Of course, special care is needed to keep the energy blade away from the body when attacking, as the sword is composed of energy. However, power swordsmen had a mystique grow around them when the style was first being developed. Many began to believe that power sword masters were confident in that they could parry energy beams from their blasters and laser guns. On the contrary, many masters learned that a superior defense in dueling was better than a superior offense, and they had to parry energy beams as if their lives depended on it.

Recommended Skills — Power Sword Skill (1 handed melee), Adrenal Defense, Feinting (armed), Disarm Foe (armed), Beam Deflecting, Meditation, Swashbuckling

Weapon Style Abilities: Power Sword melee attack [5 points], All-around Attack [15 points], Defensive Ward (using the power sword to parry incoming attacks) [10 points], Lesser Adrenal Defense [10 points], +2 to melee initiative rolls [10 points], -1 to fumble range [5 points], +5 bonus to meditation [5 points]

Paired Power-Swordsmanship (Optional)
Advanced Weapon Skill [60 points]

Description — Some power sword masters teach a style that includes paired power swords or force swords. The style stresses dexterity and defense with one power weapon and offense with the other. And in situations where it is warranted, an additional melee weapon attack is taught. The learning of the all-around attack technique in regular power swordsmanship is often sacrificed. Nevertheless, a paired power swordsman is just as deadly, or even deadlier, than a traditional power swordsman.

Recommended Skills: Power Sword skill, dominant hand (1 handed melee); Power Sword Skill, off-hand (1 handed melee); Two-Weapon Fighting (Power Sword), Adrenal Defense, Feinting, Disarm Foe, Beam Deflecting, Meditation, Swashbuckling

Weapon Style Abilities: Power sword melee attack, dominant hand [5 points], Power sword melee attack, off hand [5 points], additional melee weapon attack [15 points], Defensive Ward (using the off hand power sword to block or parry incoming attacks) [10 points], Lesser Adrenal Defense [10 points], +10 bonus to two-weapon fighting (power sword) [5 points], Paired Weapon Attack [10 points]

Force Blade Fencing
Basic Weapon Style [30 points]

Description — A basic style taught to most students of the art of power sword or force blade defense. This style also focuses on defensive and offensive maneuvers using the force blade. The style is basic in that more advanced techniques are not taught such as the defensive ward techniques and the prevention of fumbling, although the student still needs to hold the force sword "good and steady."

Recommended Skills: Force blade skill (1 handed melee), Feinting (armed), Disarm Foe (armed), Beam Deflecting, Swashbuckling

Weapon Style Abilities: Force sword attack [5 points], +1 to initiative [5 points], +10 OB Bonus to Feint [5 points], +1 to critical strikes [15 points]

Power Sword Adept [L]

The Power Sword Adept studies the arts of power swordsmanship or force swordsmanship. He studies and perfects his own martial weapon style. Study of power swordsmanship often takes up a lot of time, so the master has seldom learned anything much beyond the Art of Defense by the power sword.

Quote: "The power sword is an elegant weapon, not as random as a blaster."
Unknown Powersword Master from Aldebaran

Time to Acquire: 95 months
Starting Money: Normal
Cost: None

Special:
Power Sword (+10) 40
Force Blade (+10) 40
Power Sword (+5) 30
Force Blade (+5) 30
Power Sword 10
Force Blade 0


Category or Skill # of Ranks
Combat Maneuvers Skill Category n/a
Beam Deflecting 1
Force Blade Fencing (basic) 2
Lore * General skill category 2
Weapon StyleLore 2
Self Control skill category n/a
Meditation 2
One Handed Melee Skill Category n/a
Power Sword attack 1


Cost by Profession
Criminal 36 Recon 29
Explorer 34 Scientist 50
Pilot 35 Soldier 24
Psychic 71 Technician 42


Beam Deflecting
Combat Maneuvers Restricted Skill

This skill provides a bonus to use a personal energy shield, a power sword, or a force blade to deflect or reflect on-coming beam attacks, usually from a blaster. To determine the effect of such a feat, you roll (open ended) and add the Beam Deflecting skill bonus. Then you refer to the maneuver/movement table in Arms Law or Spacemaster: Privateers using the "Extremely Hard" column against blasters, plasma weapons, and psychic bolts; or the "Sheer Folly" table against lasers (although some GMs may rule to use the "Absurd" table in a Hard Science Fiction campaign like Privateers for deflecting lasers). If the result is positive, it is subtracted from the weapon's attack roll in addition to the normal DB. If the beam weapon misses, there is a chance that it will be reflected back on the attacker. Roll d100 (open-ended) and add the modification received earlier from the movement/maneuver table. If the result is over one hundred, the energy bolt is reflected back at the attacker. The beam deflecting skill requires 100% activity action. The roll is modified by -20 for each energy bolt that the character wishes to deflect that round. Resolve each beam attack separately. {SD}