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Blade Caster O.C.C.

 

During the Great War between the Elf and the Dwarf,

Before the cataclysm that ended the Age of Suffering,

Dwarf formed a fighting style unparalleled by any other.

A style neither warrior nor mage could best alone.

A style that combined both magic and the sword.

A style that would not be seen for another eight thousand years.

The style of the Blade Caster.

- an excerpt from one of the Seven Prophecies of Arkaya

 

                The style of the Blade Caster was formed near the end of the Elf-Dwarf War. Only a small handful of dwarves ever became Blade Casters. When the dwarves swore off of magic, the art of the Blade Casters became forbidden to learn. Those who already knew the art were forced to forsake it. It is rumored that many of the Blade Casters fled into the mountains to continue their practices.

                Now, over eight thousand years later, a number of Blade Casters have begun to emerge across the world. This new breed of Blade Caster consists of members from several different races. Where they learned this lost art remains a mystery. Many believe that the descendants of the originals have begun to teach the other races, but their purpose remains a mystery.

                The strange part of this new breed is that an overwhelming 90% of them have only a standard quality blade. Only about 8% have a weapon of at least moderate dwarven craftsmanship and about 2% actually possess kobold weaponry. This is so strange due to the fact that the original Blade Casters always wielded weapons of the highest Dwarven quality. Usually, the teacher would forge the student’s blade and grant it as a gift for ascending beyond the level of pupil. This raises the question, what has happened to this ancient custom if it truly is the descendants of the originals?

                The reason Blade Casters makes such formidable opponents is due to the fact that they are able to combine both magic and sword technique into one fluent fighting style. They can fight with their swords, stop to cast a spell in an instant, and continue to fight hand to hand directly afterwards (e.g. You created a Blade Caster with six attacks per melee who can cast two spells per melee round. This means that your character can cast a spell on actions three and six. If you chose, your character can fight hand to hand for actions one and two, cast a spell on action three, return to hand to hand for actions four and five, and cast a second spell on action six).

                This unique talent is learned through years of study and mental concentration. Although this allows a Blade Caster diversity in combat, it limits the character’s options. First, the character is limited to light types of armour. Despite the character’s abilities as a warrior, heavy armour still limits magical abilities. Also, due to the fact that the Blade Caster loses some degree of concentration during a battle, the P.P.E. cost is considerably higher (double the normal cost). Fortunately, the character is unhampered by this P.P.E. drain when not in combat and allowed to fully concentrate.

 

Magic Knowledge and Abilities:

1. Initial Spell Knowledge: The character begins with two Minor Blade Spells and one Major Blade Spell of choice. The character also gets to select a total of two (2) spells from the levels 1-3.

2. Additional Spells: The Blade Caster is able to select an additional Blade Spell, minor or major, at levels two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve, and fourteen. In addition, the character gets to select one normal spell equal to his/her current level at levels four, eight, and twelve. If the character chooses, he/she may select a second Blade Spell instead of the standard spell.

3. Learning New Spells: Spells and ritual magic (tend to avoid ritual magic) of any level can be learned and/or purchased at any time, regardless of the Blade Caster’s own experience level, provided the character can find an instructor and pay the price (which is not always cash). This should be played as a role playing element.  See the Pursuit of Magic for more details. Note: Many magic users view the Blade Caster with contempt. They feel that the Blade Casters are “false” users of magic who focus too much on fighting and do not place enough faith in their magic. For this reason, those who follow the “true path of magic,” as they often refer to themselves, will not teach a Blade Caster new spells. Those that do will charge no less than twice as much as any other type of spell caster, give twice as difficult of a task, a chore that is almost impossible to complete, or something extremely lethal in exchange for their services.

4. Magic Bonuses: +1 to save versus magic at levels one, five, ten, and fifteen; +3 to save versus horror factor.

5. P.P.E.: All practitioners of magic are living batteries of mystic energy. The character draws from this energy to create magic and cast spells. Permanent P.P.E. Base: 2D4x10. Add 1D6 P.P.E. per each additional level of experience, starting at level two. However, due to the character’s divided studies, the character can only draw half as much P.P.E. from ley lines, nexus points, and other people as a normal practitioner of magic. See the Magic section for details.

 

Blade Symbiosis:

                A Blade Caster treats his blade as a living breathing entity. Without the blade to show the way, a Blade Caster would be nothing (or so is the belief). A Blade Caster strives to become one with the blade, separate yet the same. After training every single day, six hours a day, for a minimum of six months, a sort of symbiosis is formed between the two.

                Once the symbiosis is formed, the Blade Caster gains several new advantages when using that blade. First, the Blade Caster will always be able to tell that blade apart from any other, even if an exact duplicate is created. Second, the Blade Caster is now able to cast a Major Blade Spell on the blade. Third, the Blade Caster is able to cast a Minor Blade Spell upon drawing the weapon (no melee action and minimum P.P.E.). The spell lasts for as many melees as the Blade Caster is wielding the weapon. This spell must be chosen when the symbiosis is first formed and can not change. Also, this spell should be used frequently when practicing with it so that “the blade may become accustomed to such magic.”

Fourth, the Blade Caster gains a bonus of +2 to strike and parry when using that blade. An additional +1 is added at levels four, eight, and twelve. Finally, when blinded, the Blade Caster is only half the usual penalties because “the blade helps guide its master’s hand.” Note:  Only one blade can be linked to the Blade Caster at a time (unless trained with as paired weapons, but then both must be used together in order receive the bonuses).

 

Blade Caster Requirements and Skills:

Alignment: Any without restriction. When fighting, they usually fight with honor because they feel they are unbeatable warriors who cannot lose. Therefore, there is no reason to cheat. However, when not in a fight, their personalities can vary greatly.

Attribute Requirements: I.Q. 12, M.E. 14, P.S. 7, P.P. 12; a high P.E. is also recommended but is not a requirement.

Race Restrictions: Dwarves have sworn an oath not to use magic, not even the most vile and villainous dwarf will break that oath. Elves are also strongly against this art due to the fact that it is a reminder of the Great War. Only an evil elf (and even then it is rare) will learn this art. Currently, only one elf is known to have learned this art.

Special Bonuses: +1D4 to M.E. and P.E. attributes. Also, add 2D6 to S.D.C. and +1 on initiative.

O.C.C. Skills:

 

Languages: Native Tongue at 98% plus two of choice (+20%)

Literacy: Two of choice (+15%)

Lore: Magic (+10%)

Lore: One of choice (+10%)

Mathematics: Basic (+15%)

W.P. One of choice at third level proficiency.

W.P. Two of choice.

Hand to Hand: Martial Arts only (no substitution allowed)! Blade Casters are confident in their technique. If they wanted to kill someone, they would do it in combat. Most love showing off their abilities and have no fear of defeat.

O.C.C. Related Skills: Select six other skills at level one, plus select one additional skill at levels three, six, nine, and twelve. All new skills start at level one proficiency.

 

Communications: Any (+5%)

Domestic: Any

Espionage: Forgery, Escape Artist, and Intelligence only (all +5%)

Horsemanship: General or Exotic only.

Medical: First Aid only.

Military: Any

Physical: Any, except Acrobatics and Gymnastics.

Rogue: (Any, but only if evil)

Science: Mathematics only.

Scholar/Technical: Any (+10%)

Weapon Proficiencies: Any

Wilderness: Any

Secondary Skills:  The character also gets to select four secondary skills from the previous list at level one, and two additional skills at levels two, five, ten, and thirteen. These are additional areas of knowledge that do not get the advantage of the bonus listed in the parentheses. All secondary skills start at the base skill level. Also, skills are limited (any, only, none) as previously indicated in the list.

Experience Levels:  Same as the Dragon (Rifts).

Starting Equipment:  Two sets of clothing, boots, a pair of soft leather gloves, belt, bedroll, backpack, a medium-sized to large purse/satchel, two small sacks, a water skin, a 100 page notebook, 1D4 sticks of graphite, 1D4 candles, a small mirror, and a tinder box.

Armour:  Starts with a suit of studded leather (A.R. 13, 38 S.D.C.).

Weapons:  Starts with a dagger and two weapons of choice, all are basic S.D.C. weapons of good quality. Any one of the aforementioned weapons can be upgraded to exceptional quality (kobold or dwarven) for half of the usual price. Magic weapons and other equipment must be acquired later. Note:  95% of Blade Casters form a blade symbiosis with a sword, 5% use other bladed weapons. None will use non-bladed weapons (staves, whips, bow and arrows, etc.). A character’s weapons choices should reflect this fact.

Money:  The character starts off with 160 in gold, which can be used immediately to purchase more equipment or saved. Additional money will come from payment for jobs (often hire themselves as mercenaries) and/or booty.

 

© 1983, 1987, 1988, 1990 Kevin Siembieda; © 1995 Palladium Books, All rights reserved world wide. No part of this work may be reproduced in part or whole, in any form or by any means, without permission from the publisher. All incidents, situations, institutions, governments & people are fictional & any similarity to characters or persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.

 

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07/29/2011 04:04:41 AM -0700