Arcanum 1780: A New World
Boxing (Pugilism) 3pts
Commonly called “Pugilism” in New Britain, the sport of boxing is one of the oldest non-lethal competitions known. Boxing Matches in New Britain (often advertised as “Organized Fisticuffs” or “Prizefighting”) are bare-knuckled, untimed events where the competitors seek to beat their opponent into submission or incapacitation. Some fights (mostly illegal, unsanctioned bouts fight in warehouses) are little more than punching fests, but the Art listed below is for the “Scientific Art of Pugilism” popular in every major city.
Skills: Boxing, Games (Boxing)
Techniques: Counterattack (Boxing); Exotic Hand Strike (Boxing), Feint (Boxing); Targeted Attack (Boxing Punch/Face); Targeted Attack (Boxing Uppercut/Face); Uppercut
Perks: Skill Adaptation (Exotic Hand Strike defaults to Boxing); Special Exercises (DR with Ablative); Special Exercises (Striking ST +1).
Boxing (Bareknuckle Prizefighting) 3pts
While Pugilism (see above) might be enjoyed by the nobles in a public square, Bare-knuckle Prizefighting is almost always found in seed bars (sometimes called “Boxing Clubs”) or half-empty warehouses filled with drunk commoners looking to see someone get the snot beat out of them. Rules are much looser than in pugilism, and grapples and head butts are fair game as long as both men are standing.
Skills: Boxing, Wrestling
Techniques: Counterattack (Boxing); Feint (Boxing); Headbutt; Targeted Attack (Boxing Punch/Face); Targeted Attack (Boxing Uppercut/Face); Uppercut
Perks: Skill Adaptation (Headbutt defaults to Boxing); Special Exercises (DR with Ablative); Special Exercises (Striking ST +1).
Cane Fighting 2pts
As walking sticks gain popularity in fashion, so too does the art of thrashing ones opponents with the versatile accessory. The sword cane brings a more edge to this art, but note that trained fencers do not need to study this art seperately, as the can easily use most cane-swords and walking sticks with the fencing skill.
Techniques: Disarming (Smallsword), Feint (Smallsword), Retain Weapon (Smallsword)
Classical Wrestling 3pts
As a sport, Wrestling has been around just as long as boxing, though in New Britain, matches tend to be limited to college campuses. The sport is meant to develop strength and fitness in student athletes, particularly ones planning on attending military academies. Although it is a competition, Classic Wrestling is seen more as a physical academic pursuit, rather than a practical combat training, despite the fact that a skilled practitioner will pick up several useful techniques. ST at 11+ and Fit are strongly recommended to represent anyone with Classic Wrestling training.
Skills: Games (Wrestling); Wrestling.
Techniques: Arm Lock; Feint (Wrestling); Low Fighting (Wrestling).
Perks: Power Grappling; Special Exercises (Lifting ST +1).
Haud Circle Wrestling 3pts
A popular sport in Haudenosaunee communities (even White Stick villages), Haud Circle Wrestling consists of two men in a sand circle doing everything they can to either get their opponents out of the ring. Most Haud Circle Matches are preceded by feats of strength by the participants.
Skills: Games (Circle Wrestling), Sumo
Techniques: Drop Kick, Feint (Sumo), Ground Fighting, Low-Fighting, Low Line Defense, Sweep, Trip,
Perks: Power Grapple, Technique Adaptation (Ground Fighting).
Iroquois Warrior Path 4pts
Besides the extensive training in wilderness survival and hunting tactics that all Haudenosaunee warriors learn, the Warrior Path is a specific discipline in brutal close-in combat that sets them apart from most other tribes that had little formal training. Spear and Bow training are common among the Haud, but are not part of this man-to-man style.
Skills: Axe/Mace, Knife, Wrestling
Techniques: Arm Lock (Axe/Mace or Wrestling); Armed Grapple (Axe/Mace); Choke Hold (Axe/Mace); Feint (Axe/Mace); Retain Weapon (Axe/Mace); Spinning Strike (Axe/Mace).
Perks: Off-Hand Weapon Training (Knife); Quick-Swap (Knife); Special Exercises (Striking ST, Surprise Attacks only)
The term Lacrosse is a bastardization of a French word meaning “hooked stick”, but the Iroquois know it as “The Little War”, and this “sport” is seen as a slightly less lethal (though no less violent) means of settling tribal disputes. Some matches are centered around religious events and can contain several hundred “players” on each side. Skin is often painted with clay, charcoal and other natural paints ot make teams more obvious. Lacrosse matches are thoroughly enjoyed by New British spectators, who flock at the chance to watch the spectacles and even invite tribes to clash on the greens outside of walled cities or near hills where bleachers can be constructed. Detroit is infamous for the only permanent Lacrosse field outside the city walls, with tiers of pine bleachers a major draw for visitors to the city. Note that the Axe/Mace skill of the Stick is NOT a Sport skill, broken bones (especially limbs and jaws) are not only common, but expected, and death is not infrequent.
Why is a Native Sport listed in Martial Arts? Because besides the obvious combat skills imparted in the brutal game, Lacrosse was used in one of the last great uprisings in the land given to the Haudenosaunee after the Parliament of 1754. June 2, 1763, news of Pontiac’s Seige of Detroit hadn’t yet reached the far north Fort of Fort Michilimackinac. The Forts young commander, 30 year old British Major George Etherington ignored warning from traders in the area that natives where seeking to raise up and reclaim their territory from the British and Haudenosaunee. Major Etherington was so confident that he and his men left the protection of the fort to watch an epic lacrosse match of the Ojibwe (caked in white clay) versus the Sauk (painted black with charcoal) – 500 men in total. A few minutes after the match started, armed British soldiers were taken by surprise and the entire regiment beaten to death with lacrosse sticks and the fort was burned to the ground.
Skills: Brawl, Games (Lacrosse), Staff
Techniques: Close Combat (Staff/Mace), Spinning Strike (Staff), Targeted Attack (Staff Swing/ Jaw), Targeted Attack (Staff Swing/Limbs),
Perks: Form Mastery (Staff), Teamwork (Lacrosse)
La Verdadera Destreza (Spanish Fencing) 4 pts
Spanish fencing, known as La Verdadera Destreza, or “The True Skill” is a form of fencing designed to represent oneself in in duels of honor, and it focuses on intricate geometry and personal introspection to minimize wasted motion of the body or the mind in combat.
Skills: Expert Skill (Natural Philosophy); Mathematics/TL2 (Pure); Rapier
Techniques: Bind Weapon (Rapier); Counterattack (Rapier); Disarming (Rapier); Feint (Rapier); Retain Weapon (Rapier); Targeted Attack (Rapier Thrust/Face); Targeted Attack (Rapier Thrust/Neck); Targeted Attack (Rapier Thrust/Vitals).
Perks: Chi Resistance (Kiai); Off-Hand Weapon Training (Rapier); Sure-Footed (Uneven).
Royal Infantry Training 6pts
Nothing defines the Royal Infantry as much as discipline. But even the most disciplined troops are useless if their traditions grow stagnate. A sea of red-coated young men with their longarms and bayonets were long considered invincible until they faced the canny native guerrilla warriors. Through a century of adaptation, the professionally trained fighting force of New Britain is once again renowned as the premier professional army of the New World, but military instructors are always seeking to keep their edge, always ready to adapt and overcome – like a legion of ants.
Skills: Brawling, Fast Draw (ammo), Guns (Musket), Hiking, Spear.
Techniques: Counterattack (Spear); Disarming (Spear); Feint (Spear); Knee Strike; Targeted Attack (Spear Thrust/Vitals).
Perks: Battle Drill, Teamwork (Royal Infantry), Form Mastery (Rifle/Bayonet)
Royal Officer Core 6pts
Leading most units of Royal Infantry is an educated, commissioned officer, usually a member of the nobility, though not always. In the best units, the officer commands his infantrymen from the back of a horse, shouting orders and brandishing a beautiful cavalry saber – the mark of his commission. Expert Skill: Military Science should be added to highly educated officers.
Skills: Ride (Horse), Broadsword, Tactics (higher ranks will also have Strategy: Land), Leadership, Guns (Pistol)
Techniques: Cavalry Training (Broadsword), Combat Riding, Hands-Free Riding, Mounted Shooting, Staying Seated, Targeted Attack (Broadsword Swing/Neck)
Perks: Battle Drill, Weapon Bond
Royal Ranger Skirmish Training 8pts
Possibly the most intensive combat instruction in world, the Royal Ranger combine traditional professional military drilling with rifles, bayonets and sabers with aggressive techniques learned by the side of Haud veterans, the two disciplines become melded into a single, effective combat style that puts the Rangers into a league of their own.
Skills: Axe/Mace, Broadsword, Brawling, Fast Draw (Ammo), Guns (Rifle), Hiking, Spear, Wrestling
Techniques: Counterattack (Broadsword or Spear); Arm Lock (Wrestling); Armed Grapple (Axe/Mace); Choke Hold (Axe/Mace or Wrestling); Disarming (Broadsword or Spear); Feint (Axe/Mace, Broadsword or Spear); Retain Weapon (Axe/Mace or Rifle); Spinning Strike (Axe/Mace); Targeted Attack (Broadsword Swing/Neck); Targeted Attack (Spear Thrust/Vitals).
Perks: Battle Drill, Teamwork (Royal Rangers), Form Mastery (Rifle/Bayonet), Special Exercises (Striking ST, Surprise Attacks only)
Rajput Swordsmanship 5pts.
Evolving in through the fusion of Kalaripayit strongly influenced by French fenching salles set up by the nobles in India, Rajput Swordsmanship is a beautifully effective and exotic art rare outside of certain warrior-noble lines of the French Empire. The Rajput Swordsmanship style involves many familiar fencing techniques using more exotic weapons, such as using the Katar as a Main-Gauche.
Skills: Main-Gauche; Saber; Shield (Buckler); Karate
Techniques: Bind Weapon (Main-Gauche or Saber); Counterattack (Saber); Disarming (Main-Gauche or Saber); Feint (Main-Gauche or Saber); Kicking, Spinning Kick (Karate), Targeted Attack (Main-Gauche Thrust/Vitals); Targeted Attack (Saber Thrust/Face); Targeted Attack (Saber Thrust/Neck); Targeted Attack (Saber Thrust/Vitals), Trip
Perks: Off-Hand Weapon Training (Saber); Technique Adaptation (Counterattack).
Skills: Thrown Weapon (Chakram) and Whip (Urumi) are not uncommon as either additions or replacements for the above skills; Large Katar use Short-Sword skill, and some practitioners replace Rapier with Broadsword to use the Pata, a full sword-lengthed version of the Katar with an enclosed fist guard.
Slowly gaining popularity in the fading French Empire, Savate is a flamboyant combat style involving high and low-line kicks, including the memorable main au sol (“hand on the floor” – treat as All-Out Attack (Strong)) kick. Besides the French, Savate has it’s place among Haitians and the occasional pirate. French savateurs often combine Savate with Cane Fighting to form a well rounded combat combination.
Skills: Karate, Wrestling
Techniques: Back Kick; Drop Kick; Feint (Karate); Hammer Fist; Head Butt; Jump Kick; Kicking; Spinning Kick.
Perks: Improvised Weapons (Karate); Technique Mastery (Kicking).
With the influx of German and Prussian immigrants to North America comes many Old World traditions, and with a fair portion of Arcane Artificers coming from German education, the art of Schläger has found it’s way into the niche of Artificer culture. Schläger is an “academic” style that is used as sort of hazing to test the manhood of fraternity members – mesh goggles and padded armor are donned as members make oblique strikes to each others faces (the only valid target!) with the blunt-tipped, sharp edged mensurschläger blades until blood is drawn. Dueling Scars from Schläger bouts are fast becoming a badge of honor among Artificers.
Skills: Broadsword; Games (Schläger Fencing).
Techniques: Feint (Broadsword); Targeted Attack (Broadsword Cut/Face).
Disadvantages: Distinctive Feature (Dueling Scars) [-1] is common
Immensely popular, especially with sailors, Singlestick is a combat sport that evoled from saber practice – participants hold a long stick (sometimes as simple as a broomstick, other times a “regulation” custom made stick complete with hand guard) and fence with one hand either held or tied behind their back.
Techniques: Feint (Broadsword)
Smallsword Fencing 3pts
Designed to emphasize the riposte as a signature move, Smallsword fencing uses a short thrusting blade, ideal for the parry-and-counterattack riposte move as well as being better suited for close-combat disarming than cumbersome sabers. In recent years, the Smallsword has become a popular fashion accessory among the noble elite and fashionable gentlemen prefer it in duels over the pistol, not that many gentlemen seem to spend the time to master the blade as much as the master posturing with one.
Skills: Games (Sport Fencing); Smallsword;
Techniques: Bind Weapon (Smallsword); Close Combat (Smallsword); Disarming (Smallsword); Feint (Smallsword); Retain Weapon (Smallsword); Targeted Attack (Smallsword Thrust/Vitals).
Perks: Quick-Sheathe (Sword); Quick-Swap (Smallsword).