Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Forgotten Realms Journals
 Running the Realms
 Martial Arts in the Realms
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Previous Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 4

Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1189 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2015 :  13:31:21  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

What weapons should be part of the basic warrior training for all drow?
My guess a typical lowest rank sargtlin would have been trained in: dagger, smallsword, rapier, spear, staff, crossbow and hand-crossbow

quote:
Some weapons would be required, some would be optional, but common, others would be optional but rare and yet others would not be taught as part of the Melee-Magthere ordinary curriculum, but only as part of learning a new dedicated martial art.*

*Which, however, might still be done at Melee-Magthere or the equivalent, for gifted students who caught the eye of masters of other styles.

Blades, from short knives to long one-handed swords, would obviously be a core component. But what else?
Graduation is done with a staff, so obviously a form of quarterstaff fighting is taught to every melee-magthere applicant.

An applicant at Melee-Maghtere is expected to train for 10 years with the following weapons.

quote:
Bucklers [required/common/rare/not part of the basic curriculum]?


quote:
Shields [required/common/rare/not part of the basic curriculum]?


quote:
Longswords (i.e. two-handed swords of any type) [required/common/rare/not part of the basic curriculum]?


quote:
Staves [required/common/rare/not part of the basic curriculum]?


quote:
Spears [required/common/rare/not part of the basic curriculum]?


quote:
Polearms [required/common/rare/not part of the basic curriculum]?


quote:
Axes [required/common/rare/not part of the basic curriculum]?


quote:
Maces [required/common/rare/not part of the basic curriculum]?


quote:
Flails [required/common/rare/not part of the basic curriculum]?


quote:
Whips [required/common/rare/not part of the basic curriculum]?


quote:
Chain or rope weapons [required/common/rare/not part of the basic curriculum]?


quote:
What about various exotica, like sword-catchers or disarming weapons? Unusually shaped weapopns like tonfas or the equivalent?
A student at Melee-Maghtere is exposed to exotic weaponry during their two years of training at Arach Tinilith and Sorcere, where he is expected to pick up handy tricks against weapons and spells wielded by priestesses and mages, such as flails, hammers, whips & chains.


Of the weapons available for training under masters in their art at Melee-Magthere I'd limit them to:
(shortened) polearms (naginata-jutsu & glaive fighting adapted to enclosed spaces)
axes (pollaxe, axe and buckler, axe and dagger)
maces (dual maces escrima-style, sword and mace, mace and shield)
thrusting blades (french smallsword, destreza & italian, dual wielding styles)
long and short cut and thrust blades (shortsword fighting, dagger fighting, scimitar and shamsir fighting, sword and buckler, sword and shield, dual wielding styles)
longswords (a graceful form of german longsword fighting, enhanced with vestiges of forms of bladesinging -expanded into alure kiliandrathir by Eilistraeans-)
staves (quarterstaff and bo staff fighting, probably in Jeet Kun Do and Hwa Rang Do styles)
chain fighting(kasurijutsu; also taught at Sorcere)
spears and lances (hoplomachia, longspear fighting and -also taught at Arach Tinilith- furusiya)
flails (Hwa Rang Do two-handed flail -and ritual 'whip of fangs' use at Arach Tinilith-)


My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders

Edited by - Bladewind on 19 Sep 2015 13:32:51
Go to Top of Page

Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2015 :  15:35:17  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

My guess a typical lowest rank sargtlin would have been trained in: dagger, smallsword, rapier, spear, staff, crossbow and hand-crossbow

Why fencing blades rather than shortswords and broadswords? Do you see the rank and file of drow houses fighting unarmoured, primarily against unarmoured opposition?

I'd imagine that sabers, smallswords and rapiers were the weapons of nobles and most guards and house warriors used shortswords or the like.

quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

Graduation is done with a staff, so obviously a form of quarterstaff fighting is taught to every melee-magthere applicant.

An applicant at Melee-Maghtere is expected to train for 10 years with the following weapons.

It's been a long time since I read Homeland or any other novel set in a drow city. Remind me, does every drow warrior study at Melee-Magthere or the equivalent, or is that just for nobles and talented commoners being considered for high positions in households?

quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

A student at Melee-Maghtere is exposed to exotic weaponry during their two years of training at Arach Tinilith and Sorcere, where he is expected to pick up handy tricks against weapons and spells wielded by priestesses and mages, such as flails, hammers, whips & chains.

Fair enough.

quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

Of the weapons available for training under masters in their art at Melee-Magthere I'd limit them to:
(shortened) polearms (naginata-jutsu & glaive fighting adapted to enclosed spaces)
axes (pollaxe, axe and buckler, axe and dagger)
maces (dual maces escrima-style, sword and mace, mace and shield)
thrusting blades (french smallsword, destreza & italian, dual wielding styles)
long and short cut and thrust blades (shortsword fighting, dagger fighting, scimitar and shamsir fighting, sword and buckler, sword and shield, dual wielding styles)
longswords (a graceful form of german longsword fighting, enhanced with vestiges of forms of bladesinging -expanded into alure kiliandrathir by Eilistraeans-)
staves (quarterstaff and bo staff fighting, probably in Jeet Kun Do and Hwa Rang Do styles)
chain fighting(kasurijutsu; also taught at Sorcere)
spears and lances (hoplomachia, longspear fighting and -also taught at Arach Tinilith- furusiya)
flails (Hwa Rang Do two-handed flail -and ritual 'whip of fangs' use at Arach Tinilith-)


I agree with the view of having them pick up many different styles during the years of study, rather than trying to design one style which shoehorns in all the training they do.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas
Go to Top of Page

Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1189 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2015 :  16:27:07  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I see the rank and file sargtlin using thrusting swords because of the predominantly confined environment of the Underdark provides disadvantageous circumstances for weapons requiring wide-arced slashes. Spears would be advantageous in defence, and rapier and buckler charges the dominant 'battlefield engagement'.

A 'noble' weapon would probably (because off the battlefield the fighting conditions can be made more favorable for the attacker) be one that uses arced slashes as well as thrusts, like the baskethilted backsword, longsword or cutlass. Some might (over)specialize and wield scimitars (like Zaknafien did) in complex high speed flurries meant to overwhelm the targets defence and morale.

Melee-Magthere sees both commoner drow affiliated to a house and noble drow of the many houses pass its walls. I would hazard to guess that most houses sponsor at least 5 commoner drow each year to train for joining their houses standing forces, and all their noble born males are obliged to attend its classes. I guess mercantile grouped drow commoners are least represented.

My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders
Go to Top of Page

Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2015 :  17:38:39  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

I see the rank and file sargtlin using thrusting swords because of the predominantly confined environment of the Underdark provides disadvantageous circumstances for weapons requiring wide-arced slashes.

Neither shortswords or arming swords/broadswords require wide-arced slashes. In terms of the space needed to use them, both require less open space than rapiers, significantly longer in the blade and reliant on a lot of free space for footwork, sideslips and retreats.

Shortswords were historically used for close-order drill on a battlefield, by everyone from Roman legionaries to landsknecht mercenaries, as well as for self-defence by the urban middle classes. The weapon cuts as well as it thrusts, but it certainly has a pedigree attesting that it is useful even without a lot of space for each soldier.

No real-world army has ever used a fencing weapon for the rank-and-file. It is not unlikely that this is for a good reason. Some of those reasons may be that fencing weapons are designed for duels between unarmoured opponents with equal weapons and a lot of space for footwork.

I can't see any benefit to smallswords over shortswords in a melee in a confined area. And at least the shortwords are more robust, penetrate armour better, have sharp edges and are good for a cut. The same for rapiers over arming swords/broadswords of similiar weight.

quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

Spears would be advantageous in defence, and rapier and buckler charges the dominant 'battlefield engagement'.

The humble spear is generally a much better military weapon than any kind of sword. Swords are a sidearm, the insignia of a warrior, more than they are practical primary weapons for a military. The difference between an assault rifle and an officer's pistol.

That being said, drow elves are individualistic and each of their soldiers probably self-identifies as a 'warrior'. Their armies are not as good as professional armies of Lawful societies, where spears or polearms are carried by ordered ranks of disciplined soldiers. Drow are exceptional raiders, not exceptional soldiers.

So I have no trouble imagining that the most popular styles would focus on bladework. I just think that fencing swords make sense for those who mostly fight duels or in short, sharp brawls, where there is no kind of formation and they can dart about at will. That it true for a lot of drow warriors, in particular the nobles, but perhaps not the lowest of them.

quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

A 'noble' weapon would probably (because off the battlefield the fighting conditions can be made more favorable for the attacker) be one that uses arced slashes as well as thrusts, like the baskethilted backsword, longsword or cutlass.

In the real world, cutlasses and basket-hilted backswords were designed and mostly used for extremely close-quarters, where the kind of mobility required for proper use of fencing weapons was not possible. As such, they would be every bit as useful underground as they were in boarding actions on ships.

quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

Some might (over)specialize and wield scimitars (like Zaknafien did) in complex high speed flurries meant to overwhelm the targets defence and morale.

While a lot of scimitars are cavalry sabers under another name, many are also just slightly curved shortswords. The lighter versions can be used like a fencing saber, but the heavier ones are used just like backswords.

quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

Melee-Magthere sees both commoner drow affiliated to a house and noble drow of the many houses pass its walls. I would hazard to guess that most houses sponsor at least 5 commoner drow each year to train for joining their houses standing forces, and all their noble born males are obliged to attend its classes. I guess mercantile grouped drow commoners are least represented.


Thanks. That's just about what I figured.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas
Go to Top of Page

Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1189 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2015 :  18:10:15  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Aye, I agree that shorter cutting swords could be a more common choice for rank and file sargtlin (especially on surface raids or larger battlefields against averagely armored defenders). Though against heavily armored foes in enclosed spaces, like duergar, I can see experienced sargtlin using a heavy onehanded war-rapier with heavy shield to cautiously threaten soft spots between dwarven armor plates while slowly pressing for ground. Noble sargtlin might make use of specialised weapons that penetrate plated armour, like awlspiess, pollaxes or a long twohanded estoc-rapier, to break defences with hit and run attacks.


My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders
Go to Top of Page

Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2015 :  18:32:44  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Warrior Art

'Sargtlin Lloun'

8 points

All drow warriors learn the basis of batons, blades, bucklers, clubs, crossbows, spears and staves as part of their martial training. Talented warriors, nobles or commanders usually learn other drow styles in addition to these basics, but it is not unknown for commoner rank-and-file to have to rely solely on their Sargtlin Lloun training in battle all their lives.

Sargtlin Lloun is a comprehensive armed style, but it eschews any form of unarmed training, the rationale being that a drow warrior ought to be armed at all times and that barehanded fighting is for slaves or primitive tribes of the Underdark. Some variations do teach a few kicks and strikes with the pommel, when the primary weapon cannot easily be brought to bear, but these are not emphasised. Drow weapon masters who disagree with this philosophy teach Sargtlin Lloun alongside some form of unarmed combat or at the very least, another armed style incorporating unarmed techniques.

Sargtlin Lloun teaches weapon and buckler forms, as well as two-weapon forms and two-handed staff and spear forms. In any case where two weapons are used, it is most common for stylists to attack with one weapon at a time and defend with the buckler or secondary weapon. Drow who desire to fight with two weapons at the same time learn another style for that.

No one philosophy of combat can encompass all Sargtlin Lloun stylists. In general, stylists are fast and light on their feet, even if they may not be as blindingly fast as masters of more esoteric drow styles where no armour at all is worn. Sargtlin Lloun students aim to stay on their feet in combat and avoid the acrobatic flourishes some other drow styles teach. All stylists are likely to use Feint to create openings in enemy defences, but how enthusiastically they will give up their own defensive postures to take advantage of such openings varies.

Some stylists are aggressive and reckless, favouring Committed Attacks whenever they see or create a weakness in enemy defences and relying on parrying any counterattack (or other foes) with a secondary weapon. Others are cautious and patient, using Evaluate or Wait to watch for openings and then responding only with Defensive Attacks, so as to not give up any openings of their own. Most Sargtlin Lloun stylists, however, favour the Attack maneuver, as offering a solid balance between offence and defence.

Whenever a stylist manages to wound or disarm a foe, the usually accepted doctrine is to follow up success with more attacks on that opponent, until he is no longer any kind of threat. The extravagant sadism or theoretical pragmatism of leaving crippled foes or having wounded opponents get in each other's way has no place in a basic fighting style. A wounded opponent is an invitation to Sargtlin Lloun stylists to finish what they've begun.

In terms of Earth martial arts, Sargtlin Lloun looks a lot like the armed part of Burmese thaing, Banshay.

Skills: Broadsword; Crossbow; Knife; Shield (Buckler); Shortsword; Spear; Staff.
Techniques: Disarming (Broadsword; Shortsword or Spear); Feint (Any melee weapon skill in style); Reverse Grip (Broadsword; Knife; Shortsword or Spear).
Cinematic Techniques: Dual-Weapon Defence (Any weapon skill in style).
Perks: Buckler-Swashing; Mobile Block (Buckler); Mobile Parry (Broadsword; Shortsword or Staff); Off-Hand Weapon Training (Any one-handed weapon skill in style); Style Adaptation (Any Drow style); Sure-Footed (Uneven); Teamwork (Sargtlin Lloun); Technique Adaptation (Feint).


Optional Traits

Advantages: Combat Reflexes.
Disadvantages: Bloodlust; Callous.
Skills: Axe/Mace; Brawling; Fast-Draw (Knife or Sword); Flail; Kusari; Polearm; Shield; Whip.
Techniques: Hammer Fist (Brawling).
Perks: Armour Familiarity (Any skill for which Mobile Block or Parry is learnt); Targeteer.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas

Edited by - Icelander on 20 Sep 2015 18:23:21
Go to Top of Page

Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2015 :  18:54:21  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

Aye, I agree that shorter cutting swords could be a more common choice for rank and file sargtlin (especially on surface raids or larger battlefields against averagely armored defenders).

The versatility of cut-and-thrust shortswords makes them a good choice for sidearm for nearly any military force. Shortswords are at least as good, if not better, at getting through armour with a thrust as any other one-handed sword. They can be used for tight-ranked, formation fighting in enclosed spaces just as well as they can be used for the kind of mobile, individualistic unarmoured dueling or urban brawling as portrayed in woodcuts of historical medieval shortsword fighting.

That most sources mention shortswords as common weapon among drow is also a solid argument for having them be the major weapon for 'average' or 'normal' drow warriors.

quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

Though against heavily armored foes in enclosed spaces, like duergar, I can see experienced sargtlin using a heavy onehanded war-rapier with heavy shield to cautiously threaten soft spots between dwarven armor plates while slowly pressing for ground.

A 'war rapier' is an arming sword, broadsword or a longsword. Optionally, could also be an estoc. Rapiers are civilian versions of battlefield weapons.

Also, why wouldn't they just use spears for that? If you are not going to have space for the kind of footwork fencing styles teach, why would you use a fencing weapon? War spears are cheaper, longer and have more robust points to defeat armour.

quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

Noble sargtlin might make use of specialised weapons that penetrate plated armour, like awlspiess, pollaxes or a long twohanded estoc-rapier, to break defences with hit and run attacks.

With access to better training and freed of the requirement to spend most of their time doing boring tasks which earn their living and thus able to train most of the day, noble drow warriors can afford to develop the skill to aim for gaps in the armour or at least thrust for weak points.

War spears tipped with long spikes of good hardened steel to defeat armour are still cheaper than even rapiers made from inferior steel. You could issue every commoner soldier such a spear for combat with duergar or dwarves. Such spears don't have to be very long. Lengths could vary between 5' and 9', depending on whether combat was expected to take place in caverns or narrow tunnels.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas
Go to Top of Page

Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2015 :  20:40:49  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Swift Blades

'Sarnor Velven'

5 points

The drow have an almost infinite number of knife-fighting styles. Many are tailored toward silent killing and assassination. Sarnor Velven, however, is not merely slay-by-stealth method, it is a true dagger fencing martial art.

This drow fighting style focuses on light blades, usually well under 24" in length. Most stylists prefer long daggers or knives, with a rare few using light double-edged shortswords. Stylists usually carry two blades, one in each hand. It is most common for the blades to be of unequal length, usually a longer blade in the primary hand and a shorter one in the secondary hand.

Dazzlingly fast and intricate bladework is an integral part of the style, used to confuse the opponent and disguise real attacks among a flurry of artistic flourishes. Only rarely will the stylist make only one Attack, as some combination of Dual-Weapon Attack, Extra Attack and Rapid Strike is generally employed so as to make as many attacks as possible. If the GM allows the option of electing reduced damage for a bonus to attack rolls, Sarnor Velven stylists will often take advantage of that rule and use the bonus for a swift Deceptive Attack or to make more strikes as part of a Rapid Strike.

Stylists with multiple attacks will often follow such a series of quick, probing attacks with a dramatic Spinning Strike designed to take advantage of an over-extended or momentarily distracted defender, particularly if the stylist manages to score a minor, but painful, hit in his flurry.

A Sarnor Velven stylist relies on reflexes and fast footwork, more than armour or strength. The blademaster will seek to slip past the guard of longer weapons and get to work at close quarters, seeking unarmoured flesh with his wicked blades. Foes with reach weapons that do manage to keep them at bay will usually be ignored in favour of easier prey.

Sweeps or Trips that render the opponent prone are a favourite tactic against larger, stronger foes that can't be put down with one stab or slash. This is especially common after a Feint with the blades. If it becomes necessary to deal with a skilled foe with a longer weapon, Feinting before a Slip under the defences, followed by a Sweep, is often the prefered tactic. A prone foe will generally be quickly dealt with by a series of darting attacks to his head, neck or vitals.

At all times, Sarnor Velven stylists must avoid having combat degenerate into a brutal smashing match or coming down to weight and leverage. They will thus use Evade to seek to avoid getting grappled or pushed into a position where retreats or sideslips are not possible. Many stylists also train to fight while crouched or even sitting down, in order to adapt to close-quarters or enclosed spaces.

All-Out or Committed Attacks are rare, as stylists will often wear light or no armour. On the other hand, Sarnor Velven is not a cautious or patient style. Attacks are favoured over Defensive Attacks and Evaluate or Wait maneuvers are rarely used unless in special circumstances.

Skills: Fast-Draw (Knife); Judo; Main-Gauche; Main-Gauche Art.
Techniques: Back Strike (Main-Gauche); Close Combat (Main-Gauche); Evade (Judo); Feint (Main-Gauche); Low Fighting (Main-Gauche); Reverse Grip (Main-Gauche); Retain Weapon (Main-Gauche); Ruse (Main-Gauche); Spinning Strike (Main-Gauche); Sweep (Judo); Targeted Attack (Main-Gauche Swing/Arm); Targeted Attack (Main-Gauche Swing/Neck); Targeted Attack (Main-Gauche Thrust/Face); Targeted Attack (Main-Gauche Thrust/Vitals); Trip (Judo).
Cinematic Skills: Breaking Blow; Flying Leap; Hypnotic Hands; Light Walk; Precognative Parry; Sensitivity.
Cinematic Techniques: Dual-Weapon Attack (Main-Gauche); Dual-Weapon Defence (Main-Gauche); Fighting While Seated (Main-Gauche); Roll with Blow (Judo).
Perks: Akimbo (Main-Gauche); Flourish (Main-Gauche); Off-Hand Weapon Training (Main-Gauche); Quick-Swap (Main-Gauche); Quick Sheathe (Knife); Style Adaptation (Any Drow style); Technique Mastery (Feint); Unusual Training (Dual-Weapon Attack; both attacks must target the same foe); Unusual Training (Main-Gauche Art replaces Hypnotism as prerequisite for Hypnotic Hands); Weapon Adaptation (Shortsword with Main-Gauche skill).


Optional Traits

Attributes: Increased DX.
Secondary Attributes: Increased Basic Speed; Increased FP.
Advantages: Ambidexterity; Combat Reflexes; Enhanced Dodge; Enhanced Parry (Main-Gauche); Enhanced Time Sense; Extra Attack; Fit or Very Fit; Trained by a Master; Weapon Master (Main-Gauche or Short Blades).
Disadvantages: Impulsive; Overconfidence.
Skills: Acrobatics; Brawling; Fast-Draw (Sword); Holdout; Judo; Jumping; Karate; Main-Gauche Sport; Thrown Weapon (Knife).
Techniques: Acrobatic Stand.
Cinematic Skills: Throwing Art.
Perks: Acrobatic Feints; Acrobatic Kicks; Armour Familiarity (Judo or Main-Gauche).]

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas

Edited by - Icelander on 20 Sep 2015 22:12:46
Go to Top of Page

Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1189 Posts

Posted - 20 Sep 2015 :  12:25:00  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sarnor Velven is so bad-ass. Congrats on that one!

One last factor I want to bring to your attention regarding the smallsword debate is the manufacturing material used for most drow blades, adamantine. It's supernatural hardness might have given rise to superior thrusting blades, as a sleek & thin adamantine blade's strength and stiffness helps transfer the energy of a thrust with little worries about the blade snapping. Again the footwork needed might pose a problem, but the threat of giving point with a nimble, sleek and sturdy shortblade would give drow warriors a deadly finishing blow to threathen with.

Another hint at the dark elven mindset in swordplay is the elaborate spiderlegged-handguards you see in some art for drow warriors. Though styles with a less protected broadsword, rapier or smallsword held back could be popular too (like in your proposed Orrl Dhrakta style).

My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders
Go to Top of Page

Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 20 Sep 2015 :  18:02:06  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

Sarnor Velven is so bad-ass. Congrats on that one!

Thanks. Two of the drow warriors I'm introducing into my campaign will specialise in it, Sziran Kenamalyraen and Rane Autum Leaf Falling.

quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

One last factor I want to bring to your attention regarding the smallsword debate is the manufacturing material used for most drow blades, adamantine. It's supernatural hardness might have given rise to superior thrusting blades, as a sleek & thin adamantine blade's strength and stiffness helps transfer the energy of a thrust with little worries about the blade snapping. Again the footwork needed might pose a problem, but the threat of giving point with a nimble, sleek and sturdy shortblade would give drow warriors a deadly finishing blow to threathen with.

I never meant to imply that drow elves never used fencing weapons. Far from it. What I do mean is that given the need for more space around a fencer than a warrior using a blade in a more conventional military style, it made little sense to postulate that common rankers all fought as fencers.

Nobles, gifted warriors, members of prestigious mercenary bands, house assassins and elite raiders are all likely to fight with fencing weapons and techniques. I just prefer them to learn one of many drow fencing styles, instead of having the style taught to beginning warriors be a fencing style.

Those drow warriors who never learn another style than Sargtlin Lloun will be those who lack the training time, inclination or ability to do so. Anyone with talent, drive and dedication who takes up the profession of arms in drow society will learn multiple martial arts during his lifetime. Those who do not probably spend their time standing guard, patrolling walls and rousting unruly slaves or commoners.

Any drow encountered as part of the bodyguard of an important personage close to the surface or as the member of a raiding party is likely to be more than just a hapless guard useful for making up the numbers for a house. Those warriors who go on such dangerous missions are not average spear-carriers, any more than active-duty soldiers in frontline MOSes deployed to combat zones in the modern day are comparable in combat power to security guards, cops or militiamen without training for active deployments.

A drow warrior belonging to the elite which goes on dangerous missions might well carry an adamantine smallsword, for settling affairs of hounour and for fighting in a mobile hit-and-run skirmishing style. And he might well be skilled enough with it so that he could stab opponents in the face or neck, bypassing even thick armour.

But the most mundane guards would not.

quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

Another hint at the dark elven mindset in swordplay is the elaborate spiderlegged-handguards you see in some art for drow warriors. Though styles with a less protected broadsword, rapier or smallsword held back could be popular too (like in your proposed Orrl Dhrakta style).


I thought about a style where a spiked handguard was used for striking opponents at close quarters. We'll see.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas

Edited by - Icelander on 20 Sep 2015 18:05:29
Go to Top of Page

Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1229 Posts

Posted - 21 Sep 2015 :  13:10:50  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Confidence in the Mastery of Weapons

'Sargh Veldrukev'

10 points

All drow warriors begin their martial educations by learning the basics, what is often called Sargtlin Lloun or the Warrior Art. As a comprehensive armed style incorporating the most popular weaponry among the drow, it is an excellent grounding for common soldiers. For those who have the talent or the birth to study weapons more extensively, however, Sargtlin Lloun seems simplistic in its refusal to teach unarmed techniques alongside armed ones and in the implicit assumption that the warrior will not have sufficient space to maneuver around his foes.

Noble drow warriors, house weaponmasters, officers of house guards, members of elite raiding bands or mercenary groups, hired swordsmen and other skilled warriors in drow society expect to fight in more irregular skirmishes, duels and ambushes than they fight pitched battles. As such, they prioritise mobility to a much greater extent than the rank-and-file soldiers of drow society.

Sargh Veldrukev is a fighting style for drow weaponmasters, whether they hold that position officially in a household, are scheming to acquire it or simply have the skills required, but no desire for the position. As important as the body of forms and techniques is the mindset taught, instant readiness for deadly combat and constant vigilance for threats. Masters of Sargh Veldrukev paradoxically believe that they are beset by infinite threats, but have the skills to defeat each and every one of them. They might be on a hair-trigger at all times, but they are rarely nervous.

Sargh Veldrukev teaches stylists to fight in duels as well as in skirmishes or battles. Situational awareness is drilled into stylists from the beginning of their training, the need to be aware of not only their foes, but also the shape of the battlefield and any potential threats that are not immediately evident. Even on the field of honour or the gladiatorial arena, Sargh stylists never discount the possibility that the umpires or audience might suddenly turn out to be in the pay of their enemies and reach for a hidden weapon.

Much of Sargh Veldrukev training is conducted by sparring with other stylists. As a result, even stylists who never compete in it are proficient in sparring non-lethally, with a house weaponmaster or Melee-Magthere instructor acting as umpire. As such, all students are familar with the conventions of the practice hall and the nature of drow society ensures that all of them learn Games (Sargh Veldrukev), as knowledge of the minutae and rules of sparring matches can be useful in many ways to a devious drow warrior.

Weapon strikes are pulled in competition or sparring, but unarmed attacks are usually allowed at full strength, so there is no need for a Sport version of Judo or Karate. Injury and even death during sparring and competition is widely tolerated in drow society, as long as the students do not appear to be killing each other deliberately.

Those who seek to be named among the leading students of each intake of Melee-Magthere or equivalent schools, as well as those who become instructors, will spend years mastering Sargh Veldrukev as a sport, as much as a martial art. Dedicated instructors or house weaponmasters will also be adept at staging elaborate demonstrations and training exercises as well as teaching the fighting form of the style.

More than one sub-school or weapon form make up Sargh Veldrukev. These schools or forms share a unifying philosophy, a lot of footwork and the unarmed techniques that underlie many armed strikes. All Sargh forms are highly mobile and acrobatic, all of them are tailored to take advantage of drow speed and grace, and all of them teach complex and intricate combinations of attacks that mix feints, real weapon strikes and unarmed kicks, punches, elbow strikes and knee strikes.

The only difference between Sargh forms lies in the preferred armament of each school. Sargh stylists may choose to master shortswords, sabers, scimitars, cut-and-thrust swords, rapiers or longswords. There are some who master all of these, figuring that versatility is the true mark of a master, but others focus on becoming the absolute best they can with a chosen weapon or two. That preference marks them as students of a school or form named for that weapon.

Practically speaking, the most important distinction between the forms of Sargh Veldrukev is the length of his sword(s). Shorter swords are those with blades between 20" to 30" and longer swords are defined as those with blades between 30" to 48". Almost no sword used by a Sargh Veldrukev stylist will be heavier than a few ounces over 3 lbs. without sheath and most of them will weigh around 1-1.5 lbs. for the shorter blades and 1.5-2 lbs. for the longer ones.

Method of use is more important than exact length in determining form and it is possible to use a sword of up 36" blade length with shorter blade techniques. If such a Sargh stylist wants to wield two swords of that length and fight effectively with them in unison, however, he will have to master Dra'Rahi Malarin as well, as coordinating two such long blades is not easy.

In game terms, as well as in most practical aspects, all Sargh Veldrukev forms using shorter weapons, including shortswords, sabers and scimitars, are functionally equivalent. They all use the Saber and Saber Sport skills. At most, a single Weapon Adaptation Perk distinguishes the Meun Bista'Killian (Shortsword Form) from the Meun Halrathn (Saber Form) and Meun Siasta (Scimitar Form), with another Weapon Adaptation Perk being necessary for stylists who prefer heavier sabers or scimitars. Other differences between the forms are a matter of emphasis and preference and come down to familiarity penalties.

All of these shorter weapon forms favour rapid slashing attacks, but also teach effective thrusts, with the Meun Siasta perhaps focusing more on slashing than any other Sargh Veldrukev form. Attacks tend to be made in combinations or series, with Extra Attack and Rapid Strike a popular way to enable multiple strikes, and the if the option to reduce damage for a bonus to hit is allowed, probing attacks often take advantage of that option if they are not Defensive Attacks.

All of short blade forms teach the use of both one and two blades of the favoured kind, with the stylist's degree of coordination determining whether the weapons are used alternatingly for defence and attack, or whether the student can truly fight with them both independently. Stylists who wish to master two blades of equal length often combine this style with Dra'Rahi Malarin, like Menzoberranzan's legendary weaponmaster Zaknafein Do'Urden or the infamous exile Drizzt Do'Urden, master of the Meun Siasta.

Meun Dhrakta (Rapier Form), Meun Killian (Sword Form) and Meun Kanarvan (Longsword Form) are also identical in game terms, apart from the necessary Weapon Adaptation (and possibly Form/Grip Mastery) Perks, as well as being practically speaking so alike as to be merely a matter of familiarity penalties between them, which can swiftly be reduced or eliminated by cross-training. In order to use the heavier one-handed swords, the stylist must have a Weapon Adaptation (Broadsword with Rapier) Perk, so most Meun Kanarvan and Meun Killian stylists will have started their training with lighter cut-and-thrust swords at any rate. For the longer blade forms, use the Rapier and Rapier Sport skills.

All of Meun Dhrakta, Meun Killian and Meun Kanarvan use a cut-and-thrust sword, generally with a blade 30" to 36", though blades up to 48" are known, and usually only teach the use of one weapon and a live hand. The preferred swords of Meun Dhrakta stylists will be fractionally thinner and lighter for their length than the preferred swords of Meun Killian or Meun Kanarvan stylists, but the difference is often so slight as to require an expert to recognise it in many cases.

Stylists who favour swords with longer than 36" blades sometimes add verve (īlong') to the name of their form, as in Meun Verve'Dhrakta, as utilising the long reach of these weapons calls for some specialisation in tactics. Meun Kanarvan stylists generally disdain any such appellation, as genuine drow longswords are rarely shorter than three feet.

Unlike many other drow fencing styles, rapiers or other swords with elaborate enclosed hilts are usually disdained, unless the weapon is of such exceptional quality or puissant magical power as to make it unthinkable to reject. Such hilt designs would interfere with the tendency of Sargh stylists of the longer blade forms to slowly spin their blades in their hands as they circle the foe, just as those with shorter blades do, and even switch their sword between hands to attempt to confuse their foe.

The offensive emphasis of Sargh stylists with longer blades is usually equally on slashes and thrusts, though Meun Dhrakta stylists are likely to give some small preference to the thrust when presented with a tempting opening. Some stylists like to defend with a dagger, buckler or cloak in the off hand, but anyone who wishes to truly master such off-hand weapons will also study them as part of another fencing style.

The natural tendency of Sargh stylists to await an opening and circle a foe while taking stock of him is present to an even greater degree in the longer blade forms, as the consequences of a failed strike are greater, if the opponent manages to get inside their reach. On the other hand, with a long blade, a Committed Attack once a weakness has been identified may be worth the risk, as an opponent with a shorter blade may not be able to reach his killer during the momentary opening provided by such an enthusiastic attack.

As a natural consequence of the longer reach of their weapons, unarmed techniques are less common as part of offensive combinations and more commonly responses to opponents getting inside the guard of the longer sword. The longer blade forms are also more likely to use Riposte than Counterattack and generally avoid making so many attacks with Rapid Strikes so as not to be able to Deceptive Attack, thus inviting a Riposte in turn.

Any stylist who prefers a slightly heavier blade, anything heavier than ca 1.5 lbs., can learn the Broadsword skill and Form Mastery for his chosen weapon, to enable swinging at full power while defending with the fencing skill. Building on that technique, some stylists who prefer long blades learn to quickly move from a fencing stance into a two-handed grip with their longswords for a more powerful strike, though usually only those who also study a dedicated longsword style, like Thalack Kanarvan. Such stylists are some of the most dangerous weaponmasters in drow society; as graceful as they are lethally powerful.

Whatever his chosen form, a Sargh stylist will usually circle his foe while making probing attacks in the search for openings in his defences in the beginning of a fight and in lulls between exchanges of blows. Only against clearly inferior opposition will a Sargh stylist commit himself to a decisive strike before he has taken the measure of his foe. Once he has, he will generally preface any Attack with a Feint or make the attack as a Riposte, if his foe is incautious enough to offer a chance for it.

In general, a Sargh stylist will seek to use Evaluate, Defensive Attack and Attack maneuvers. The Observation and Tactics skills represent carefully study of the battlefield and intelligent use of terrain to counter enemy strengths and capitalise on their weaknesses. Move is used to take up an advantageous position, in preference to the more risky Move and Attack, which forbids a Parry with the attacking weapon and prevents Retreat. Acrobatics skill is used to negotiate obstacles or Change Facing quickly and to avoid ever presenting foes with the stylist's unprotected back. More flashy somersaults, twists and backflips are generally eschewed, unless the situation absolutely requires them.

The length of the stylist's weapon(s) will determine his optimal engagement distance and all the stylist's formidable situational awareness and graceful footwork will be deployed to ensure that this optimal distance is held at all times. Sideslips or Retreats are generally used to prevent an opponent from pushing inside the Sargh stylist's guard, while a foe with longer weapons will face acrobatic Slips that aim to render reach weapons useless.

As these tactics would suggest, the Evaluate maneuver is used heavily in any combat with a worthy foe. All-Out Defence is not used during circular maneuvering for position, however, unless the stylist is tired enough after a prior flurry in the combat to make it necessary. A circling Sargh stylist should be able to take advantage of any mistake made by the foe to end the fight immediately, with a series of attacks that does not sacrifice his defences.

Even if a Sargh stylist manages to inflict a serious wound on his foe, he is taught not to expect such a wound to prevent his foe from killing him in turn if he should be unwise enough to lower his guard. Any wound, whether deep or not, is followed up with a fast transition to an offensive combination that assumes that the foe is still capable of defending himself. Popular targets are whatever is exposed by the natural defensive reaction of a foe taking a wound.

Facial wounds are often followed by low stabs to the belly, slices of the thigh are generally followed up with attacks to the head or neck and any wound to an arm call for thrusts to vital areas as a follow-up. Sweeping kicks, grapples or throws are also popular as follow ups to wounds, as they allow the stylist to finish the downed foe at his leisure. Using the leverage of a thrust weapon left in the wound to throw a wounded foe is perennially popular, as it demonstrates examplary control, cruelty and skill.

In terms of real-world martial arts, Sargh Veldrukev resembles the unarmed and sword techniques of Siamese/Thai Krabi Krabong.

Skills: Acrobatics; Games (Sargh Veldrukev); Judo; Karate; Observation; Savoir-Faire (Dojo); Tactics (Adventuring); and either Rapier or Saber; as well the corresponding skill of Rapier Sport or Saber Sport.
Techniques: Back Kick; Counterattack (Judo; Karate or Saber); Elbow Strike; Feint (Rapier or Saber); Kicking; Knee Strike; Push Kick (Karate); Retain Weapon (Rapier or Saber); Reverse Grip (Rapier or Saber); Ruse (Rapier or Saber); Sweep (Judo or Karate); Targeted Attack ([Rapier or Saber] Swing/Leg Veins/Arteries); Targeted Attack ([Rapier or Saber] Swing/Neck); Targeted Attack (Saber Swing/Face); Targeted Attack (Rapier Thrust/Face); Targeted Attack ([Rapier or Saber] Thrust/Groin); Targeted Attack ([Rapier or Saber] Thrust/Vitals); Targeted Attack ([Rapier or Saber] Thrust/Vitals Chinks); Trip (Judo).
Cinematic Skills: Blind Fighting; Breaking Blow; Light Walk; Power Blow; Precognative Parry; Sensitivity.
Cinematic Techniques: Dual-Weapon Attack (Saber; Judo; Karate or [Rapier or Saber]/[Judo or Karate]); Dual-Weapon Defence (Rapier or Saber); Roll with Blow; Timed Defence (Rapier or Saber).
Perks: Armour Familiarity; Evaluate Mastery; Flourish (Rapier or Saber); Hold Evaluate; Off-Hand Weapon Training (Rapier or Saber); Quick-Swap (Rapier or Saber); Standard Operating Procedure (Back to the Wall); Style Adaptation (Dra'Rahi Malarin; Khel Gordo Saroless; Sarnor Velven or Thalack Kanarvan); Technique Adaptation (Feint or Ruse); Technique Mastery (Feint or Ruse); Unusual Training (Dual-Weapon Attack (Saber; Judo; Karate or [Rapier or Saber]/[Judo or Karate]); both attacks must target the same foe); Weapon Adaptation (Broadsword* with Rapier skill); Weapon Adaptation (Cavalry Saber** with Saber skill); Weapon Adaptation (Shortsword with Saber skill).


*Includes arming swords and longswords held in a one-handed grip. Due to the way GURPS fencing skills work, swinging attacks with these weapons are not made at full power while they are being used with fencing skills. Their damage is thus equivalent to that of an edged rapier, jian or another cut-and-thrust sword while used with the Rapier skill through Weapon Adaptation.
**Includes any one-handed backsword of ca 2-3 lbs. weight, regardless of whether it is curved or not (that is handled with familiarity penalties). As above, when used with a fencing skill, heavier swords cannot be used to swing at full power and are thus limited to sw cut base damage, the same as a jian.


Optional Traits

Attributes: Increased DX.
Secondary Attributes: Increased Per.
Advantages: Ambidexterity; Combat Reflexes; Danger Sense; Enhanced Parry (All; Rapier or Saber); Extra Attack (optionally w/Multistrike); Fit or Very Fit; Peripheral Vision; Reputation (Champion, Contender or Weapon Master); Trained by a Master; Weapon Master (Rapier, Saber, Swords or Blades).
Disadvantages: Delusion (Paranoia); Jealousy; Obsession (Win; Prove Himself Best or Master His Fighting Style); Odious Personal Habit (Chronic Mistrust or Exaggerated Caution); Overconfidence.
Skills: Acting; Body Language; Broadsword; Cloak; Connoisseur (Weapons); Expert Skill (Hoplology); Fast-Draw (Knife, Sword or Two-Handed Sword); Group Performance (Fight Choreography); Intimidation; Leadership; Main-Gauche; Performance; Polearm; Rapier Art; Saber Art; Shield; Shield (Buckler); Smallsword; Smallsword Sport; Smallsword Art; Stage Combat; Spear; Staff; Tactics (Guerilla or Infantry); Teaching; Two-Handed Sword and the weapon skill and Weapon Sport skill not chosen as primary skills above.
Techniques: Close Combat (Rapier or Saber); Counterattack (Broadsword; Rapier or Two-Handed Sword); Evade (Acrobatics or Judo); Ruse (Acting); suitable Targeted Attacks listed above for optional weapon skills.
Cinematic Techniques: Dual-Weapon Attack (Rapier or Rapier/Main-Gauche); Fighting While Seated (Judo; Karate; Rapier or Saber).
Cinematic Skills: Pressure Points.
Perks: Attribute Substitution (Acting based on Per); Attribute Substitution (Expert Skill (Hoplology) based on Per); Buckler-Swashing; Cloak Master; Form Mastery (Arming Sword); Form Mastery (Cavalry Saber); Form Mastery (Longsword); Grip Mastery (Arming Sword); Grip Mastery (Longsword); Mobile Block (Buckler; Cloak or Shield); Mobile Parry (Any non-fencing optional weapon skill in style); Quick Sheathe (Knife or Sword); Standard Operating Procedure (Check the Crowd); Style Adaptation (Any drow style); Targeteer.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas

Edited by - Icelander on 20 Sep 2017 16:44:02
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 4 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2017 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000