Zhentish Rapier Fencing
Befitting its place of origin, this style is deceptive and underhanded, relying on feints and surprise moves to seize and keep the advantage. The style is taught with a rapier and main-gauche, but can be used (with reduced effectiveness) with just a rapier. A fencer displaying only the rapier sometimes keeps his off hand tucked in the small of his back (but often carries a concealed knife there). Practitioners develop their own tricks and surprises as well, and the style has a solid foundation of technique that makes it formidable fighting art.
Zhentish fencers will generally spend just a single point on Main-Gauche (required to buy the style), and may purchase Off-Hand Weapon Training (Main-Gauche) without it counting as a Style or Combat Perk – allowing them to buy Two as One (Rapier and Main-Gauche) as their first Style Perk, and use their off-hand knife with the Rapier skill at no penalty.
Style Skills: Main-Gauche; Rapier; Holdout.
In addition to the power-ups below, anyone with this style may also buy the Craftiness talent (DF11, p. 35), up to level 4, as a professional power-up.
Bind Weapon (4 points for Level 1; 9 points for Level 2)
You’re skilled at locking swords with your opponent. You must specify either Rapier or Main-Gauche when buying this power-up (the Two as One perk allows it to cover both skills); you roll vs. your unmodified skill at Level 1, or Skill+4 at Level 2. If you have a weapon with a specially-designed crosspiece (plus $100 to cost), you can attempt to bind any weapon, as if you were using a Jitte/Sai. See p. MA67.
Perk: (Level 2) Technique Mastery (Bind Weapon) (1).
Technique: (Level 1) Bind Weapon (H) Skill+0 (4). • (Level 2) Bind Weapon (H) Skill+4 (4).
Feint (5 points for Level 1; 8 points for Level 2)
You’re skilled at drawing your opponent of his guard. You must specify either Rapier or Main-Gauche when buying this power-up (the Two as One perk allows it to cover both skills); when making a feint (p. B365) with the chosen weapon, use Skill+4 at Level, or Skill+6 at Level 2.
Perk: (Level 2) Technique Mastery (Feint) (1).
Technique: (Level 1) Feint (H) Skill+4 (5). • (Level 2) Feint (H) Skill+6 (2).
Sinister Dagger (7 points for Level 1; 12 points for Level 2)
Prerequisites: Weapon Master (Main-Gauche); Off-Hand Weapon Training (Main-Gauche) (or Ambidexterity).
If you haven’t yet attacked or defended with a knife or main-gauche in your off hand (including one that was just Fast-Drawn), or your current foe is otherwise unaware of it, you can attempt to use it for a surprise attack. If you succeed a Holdout roll (unmodified at Level 1; Holdout+4 at Level 2), your first attack with the knife is defended at -4. (This is instead of the normal bonus for a Hidden Weapon – see DF2, p. 12.) This is part of a normal off-hand attack, and doesn’t require an extra action, Rapid Strike, etc – it can be made as part of a Dual-Weapon Attack, though the defense penalty applies only to the first sinister dagger strike. Such a trick only works once per opponent per fight, and anyone who’s seen you do it before gets a plus 2 to resist the ruse. It can benefit from Dirty Fighting, if used in appropriate circumstances for that perk to function. With a knife in your off-hand, you can also use Holdout (unmodified at Level 1; Holdout+4 at Level 2) in a normal Ruse (p. MA101), in place of IQ-based weapon skill.
Perks: (Level 1) Unique Technique (Sinister Dagger) (1). • (Level 2) Technique Mastery (Sinister Dagger) (1).
Technique: (Level 1) Sinister Dagger (A) Holdout+0 (6). • (Level 2) Sinister Dagger (A) Holdout+4 (4).
Sword and Dagger (6 points)
Prerequisites: Weapon Master (Rapier and Main-Gauche).
Two-Weapon Fighting (DF11, p. 13), specialized for the Rapier and Main-Gauche pair.
Perk: Off-Hand Weapon Training (Main-Gauche) (1).
Technique: Dual-Weapon Attack* (H) Rapier & Main-Gauche+0 (5).
Style Perks (1/perk)
Dirty Fighting – See DF11, p. 11, and PU2, p. 5.
Off-Hand Training (Fast-Draw (Knife)) – See PU2, p. 16.
Two as One (Main-Gauche and Rapier) – This perk merges the style’s weapon skills into a single body. Instead of improving two separate fencing skill, you always use the higher of your Rapier or Main-Gauche skills when wielding either. Any advantage, perk, technique, or other ability (including Enhanced Parry, Weapon Master, Imbuement skills, etc) that you have which applies to either skill, but could also be bought for the other, need only be purchased once to apply to both skills. Requires the Off-Hand Weapon Training (Main-Gauche) style perk; you must also have at least one point in both Rapier and Main-Gauche skills.