Fighting Style: Chain Weapons
(• to ••••)Prerequisites: Strength ••, Dexterity •••, Weaponry •••
Your character is trained in the difficult art of fighting with chain weapons. Chain weapons are notoriously unpredictable unless mastered — a poorly skilled fighter is as likely to tangle or cut himself as he is to harm an opponent. Your character’s training is likely to have been formalized, having learned the skill at a martial arts dojo or perhaps in stage combat for the theater. (Note that a character using chained weapons who possesses no Dots in this Merit suffers an automatic –2 to all attack rolls.) Dots purchased with this Merit allow access to unique combat maneuvers with chain weapons. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for the subsequent maneuver. So, your character cannot have “Hand Bind” until he has “Impenetrable Defense.” These maneuvers and their effects are described below. All maneuvers are based upon the Weaponry Skill.
Impenetrable Defense (•): Your character may choose not to attack in a given turn, and instead whirl the chain in the direction of her opponent (or opponents). During the entire turn, regardless of Initiative, you may add +2 to your character’s Defense to deflect incoming blows. Your character also takes no penalty for defending against multiple opponents until she faces three attacks. The first and second attacks made against her cause no negative modifiers to her Defense.
Hand Bind (••): This defensive maneuver is made against an incoming attack (Brawl or Weaponry-based). When a foe attacks with a weapon or with his body, your character wraps the attacking limb with the chain, grappling it with a Strength + Weaponry attack. The foe’s Defense is not subtracted from this roll, but his successes on the attack roll are. If your character is successful, the limb is bound with the chain, and the opponent can attempt to escape this next turn with a Strength + Brawl roll. If the foe achieved more successes on his attack, his attack is still diminished by whatever successes you rolled on the Hand Bind roll. This maneuver must be done on the attacker’s Initiative turn, and performing this action means your character cannot make an attack this turn.
Outside Choke (•••): Your character attempts to wrap the chain around her opponent’s neck. Roll Strength + Weaponry. The victim may attempt to free himself on his next action with a Strength + Brawl roll, which is reduced by your character’s Strength +1. This maneuver is not to cause damage or kill the opponent — this maneuver is to render him unconscious by pressing the chain against the arteries of his neck, thus halting blood flow to his brain. If your character is successful on the grapple, she can begin to choke the victim on the following turn. For every turn that the choke hold is not broken, the victim suffers an additional –1 on all rolls to resist. When your character has accumulated a number of uninterrupted turns equal to the victim’s Stamina, he falls unconscious. This maneuver, when complete, causes a single point of bashing damage to the victim. This combat maneuver is ineffective against characters who need not breathe.
Whirl and Thrust (••••): Your character at this level is highly adept at using chains, and can make focused attacks with any part of the weapon. By whirling the chain a few times, she can build momentum on a single attack, which can be made with startling accuracy. On a targeted attack, you can ignore up to –2 of penalties associated with directed attacks. In other words, attacks to an opponent’s torso or limbs are done at no penalty, attacks the head would be at –1, to the hand –2 and to the eye –3. Drawback: Your character negates her Defense for the rest of the turn. If your character has applied her Defense against any incoming attack before her turn, she may not perform this maneuver.