Fighting Style Staff Fighting
Prerequisites: Strength •••, Dexterity ••, Weaponry ••
Effect: Your character has learned to wield a quarterstaff, bo staff or jo staff effectively in combat. This is likely something she has learned from a martial practitioner. This style is sometimes called bojutsu. Dots purchased with this Merit allow access to unique combat maneuvers with polearms. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for the subsequent maneuver. Your character cannot have “Temple Strike” until she has “Trip.” These maneuvers and their effects are described below. All maneuvers are based upon the Weaponry Skill.
Note that while a quarter-, bo or jo staff are the norm for this fighting style, the maneuvers are not limited to these weapons. A character can use any polearm for these maneuvers, but using other polearms with an item fighting style spetznaz knife fighting-fighting style staff fighting that isn’t one of the aforementioned three staff types requires an additional point of Weaponry (Weaponry •••). A character can also utilize improvised polearms (including post-hole diggers, scythes or other objects at least five feet in length) with this maneuvers. In such cases, the Weaponry ••• is still required, and all attack rolls are made with the appropriate improvised weapon penalties in place. Remember as well that utilizing a polearm in combat grants the wielder a +1 Defense.
Trip (•): Your character can use her polearm to trip a single opponent, hopefully sending him to the ground. It is a contested roll pitting the character’s normal attack roll against the opponent’s Dexterity + Athletics. The character’s attack is penalized by the foe’s Defense, as usual. If the opponent falls, assume Knockdown rules (per p. 168, the World of Darkness Rulebook). In this case, however, the fall to the ground incurs a single point of bashing damage to the opponent.
Temple Strike (••): Your character brings her staff against the side of her adversary’s head. The normal –3 penalty to hit the head still applies, but if the damage meets or exceeds the target’s Size, the target falls unconscious for a number of turns equal to the damage done. This damage is usually bashing, as it is meant to be performed with a blunt staff. The damage can be performed with a bladed weapon such as the naginata, however. The effect is the same, but the damage is now lethal instead of bashing.
Dangerous Radius (•••): With this technique, your character can swing her weapon in a wide arc, hitting anyone within three yards. Make a normal attack roll for the character (Strength + Weaponry + weapon bonuses). This roll receives a dice penalty equal to the number of opponents hit with this strike (to a maximum of –5 dice). Successes achieved on this roll are done as damage to all within the three-yard radius. If the weapon is a normal blunt polearm (i.e., a staff), it does bashing. If bladed, the weapon causes lethal damage. Drawback: This attack cannot distinguish between friend or foe. Any allies within the three-yard radius are hit along with enemies. The technique cannot be pulled to exclude friends from the damage.