Sunday, September 4, 2016

New Cryptworld Skills: Combat in the Victorian Era

And we're back!

This blog has been on hiatus for far too long. It's time to get back to work now that summer is about to transition into fall, and Halloween is just around the corner. To get things started, I've returned to my mission to bring you new rules for injecting a little Hammer Horror into your CRYPTWORLD games. Hammer Films produced such rich and colorful productions with beautiful period costumes and atmospheric sets I can't help being inspired to recreate that same feeling when I run my games.

Today I have not one but three new CRYPTWORLD skills, this time focusing on combat. While I tend to lean toward the Victorian age in my own games, these new skills could certainly be used in other historical eras including modern times (albeit a bit eccentric). You might have some trouble getting a swordstick past the TSA though...

Exclusive: No
Base: (Str+Agl+Dex+Per)/4
Check: Specific

The swordstick (or cane-sword) is by all appearances a typical men’s walking stick or cane that conceals a rapier-like weapon within. By the late 18th century, carrying a sword in public became increasing less socially acceptable and practically unheard of by the Victorian age. The swordstick allowed gentlemen trained in the art of swordsmanship to carry the weapon on their person without appearing uncouth. The sword parasol is a variant of the swordstick preferred by women of the Victorian era wishing to conceal their socially unacceptable (for the period) knowledge of swordsmanship.

Having the Swordstick skill is not required to use the weapon, but it takes 1 round to withdraw the sword from concealment within the cane. Those possessing the Swordstick skill do not suffer this penalty.

Stick Fighting
I said "Good Day", Sir!
Exclusive: No
Base: (Str+Agl+Pcn)/3
Check: Specific

Stick fighting is a martial art where any type of wooden stick is used as a weapon. Examples include staffs, canes, walking sticks, even umbrellas and parasols. It does not include fighting with heavier wooden weapons like clubs or maces (see the Short-handled Weapons skill instead).

Characters with the Stick Fighting skill at the Expert or Master level may choose to use the unarmed combat results key instead of the armed combat results key to reflect their training and ability to “hold back” their blows. This determination must be made during the declaration step of the Sequence of Play. All others including characters without the Stick Fighting skill may only use the armed combat results key. Anyone fighting with a stick may still make a called shot.

Dry Clean Only!
Exclusive: Yes
Base: (Str+Dex+Agl+Per)/4
Check: Specific

The art of fighting with a cloak was developed by various sword fighting schools during the Renaissance but saw a resurgence in popularity during the Victorian era when one did not walk around armed and armored in polite society. Cloaks may be used to deflect sword blows, cause confusion, obstruct an attacker’s vision, and entangle opponents. Characters trained in this skill are able to entangle their opponents with their cloak, cape or coat.

A cloak has no effect except on a “C” result. A “C” result indicates that the defender has become entangled in the cloak. As long as the defender is tangled in the cloak, they must make a general Agility check each round to remain standing. If they fail the check, they immediately fall down and are considered “on the ground” until they stand up—which also requires a general Agility check. The entangled defender may use no melee skill in attacking, and they defend in melee on column 1 while entangled. See the notes on the Bola in the core rulebook for the defender’s chance to free themselves (or be freed); the same rules apply.

At the Expert or Master level, characters with this skill may also use their cloak, cape or coat as if it were a small shield shifting their defense column one column to the right. All restrictions for shield use apply normally: protects against only two attacks per round and offers no protection from firearms or paranormal attacks.
Steampunk Tony Stark or Pulp Sherlock Holmes?