De cape et d'épée
Joseph Antoine de La Croix
Bretteur hors pair et homme de main
Malgré un regard dur, voire intimidant, et une posture assurée, l’homme semble souffrir d’une certaine désaffection dans l’exécution de ses tâches. Cet apparent détachement se volatilise lorsqu’il en vient à prendre les armes. Ses yeux bleus paraissent dès lors s’animer d’une impitoyable énergie, et toute son attention est inexorablement tournée vers son adversaire.
Il arbore sur le visage une longue mais fine cicatrice « signature » reçue d’un des rares duellistes à avoir eu le dessus sur lui en combat.
|Might: 1||Brawl: 0||Noble: 2||Lifeblood: 11||French (N)|
|Daring: 2||Melee: 3||Duelist: 2||Fortune: 3||Italian (F)|
|Savvy: 2||Ranged: 0||Ruffian: 2||Advantage: 5||Spanish|
|Flair: 0||Defense: 2||Thief: 1||Advancement: 45/2|
- Dueling Style x2 (Italian, Lunge; Spanish, Footwork): You are trained in one of the styles of swordplay, which gives you a special benefit when using the proper weaponry in the proper stance. Each Style also has a group of favored Maneuvers. You also begin with one of these Maneuvers already mastered.
- Fearsome Looks: You have a knack scaring people. Use a Bonus Die whenever you try to intimidate somebody to give you information or do something they don’t want to do.
- Laugh in the Face of Danger: You get a Bonus Die to all Daring rolls to resist fear and intimidation. Likewise, any Social Combat or Repartee attacks made against your Daring have a Penalty Die.
- Maneuver Mastery (Beat, Bind): You have mastered two Maneuvers.
- Infamous: You are well known for some wicked deed in your past. Irrespective of whether the allegations are true or not, or whether you had a good reason to do what you did, this bad reputation precedes you wherever you go. You get a Penalty Die in social situations when making first impressions, and continue to receive the penalty until you earn a person’s trust.
- Distinctive Appearance: There is something about the way you look that sticks in men’s minds. Whatever it is, you have some superficial characteristic that causes you to stand out. You gain a Penalty Die whenever you try to disguise yourself or maintain a low profile. Bounty hunters and spies will also get a Bonus Die to seek you out.
- The Italian Style
Also known as Florentine Style, the Italian style follows the adage that “the best defense is a good offense”. For this reason, strength training in the sword arm is of great importance, as well as being able to strike down your opponent quickly. While the main gauche is usually meant as a defensive weapon, students of the Italian style are quite deadly with it (it does 1d6 damage instead of 1d6-1), much to their opponent’s surprise. In addition, students of the Italian style have a very strong grip, getting +1 to resist being disarmed.
Maneuvers: Beat, Bind, Lunge, Stop-Thrust, Sword Break
Final Secret—The Cross Lunge: If you get a Mighty Success on an attack with either weapon, you may make a free Bladework attack with the other weapon as well.
- The Spanish Style
Also known as La Verdadera Destreza (the True Art), this style emphasizes footwork and keeping your blade always pointed at your enemy. Fencers of this style train within a circle filled with geometric patterns, which are used to teach students lines of attack, footwork, and defense. Stepping to the side as you make an attack (or defense) is a hallmark of this style. This style teaches the swordsman to cut as well as thrust with the rapier. While you are armed with a rapier and keep your off-hand behind your back you may spend 1 Fortune Point for +2 to your Defense against a Melee attack.
Maneuvers: Quick Cut, Footwork, Riposte, Dodge, Tag
Final Secret—Unmoving Steel Wall: You’ve become adept at standing your ground and parrying rather than retreat from attack. You may spend a Fortune Point to make a free Parry, even if you have no actions remaining.
(Might + Melee vs. Might)
You knock your opponent’s blade aside, spoiling their next parry or attack. If you succeed, you or an ally gets a Bonus Die to the next attack against the opponent OR the opponent gets a Penalty Die to their next attack with that weapon.
Note: You or your opponent get a +2 Bonus to Beat (or to resist it) if using a 2-Handed Weapon. So an opponent with Might 2 and a Halberd would give a difficulty of -4, not -2.
Mastery: Bonus Die to Beat rolls, +1 to avoid Beat Maneuvers.
(Might + Melee vs. Melee)
You trap the enemy’s sword with your own sword. The opponent can spend a Minor Action (rolling Might + Melee vs. your own Might) to break free (or they can simply let go of the weapon, or use the other arm). Of course, you cannot use the weapon you are binding with either.
Note: The target of a Bind will get a +2 Bonus if using a 2-Handed Weapon (unless you are as well). So an opponent with Melee 2 and a Halberd would give a difficulty of -4, not -2. Don’t forget that when you Bind an opponent’s weapon, you draw in Corps-a-Corps with them, and either of you can then try to Disarm the other.
Mastery: You may use Bind as a Reaction following a successful Parry.
You spend your Reaction side-stepping, rolling, ducking, leaping over enemy attacks, etc. You get +2 Defense against all attacks this phase, including Ranged. So an attack that just barely hit will instead miss if you Dodge.
Mastery: You may make 1 free Dodge per round.
(Savvy + Melee vs. Savvy)
You step around your opponent, trying to get to an advantageous position. If an opponent or obstacle is blocking your way, you can roll Footwork to get around it. If you are fighting an opponent who doesn’t want to let you escape, a successful Footwork will be necessary to disengage. The difficulty is either the foe’s Savvy or a set difficulty decided by the GM based on how difficult the obstacle is to bypass. In some scenarios, the GM may declare that a certain position (such as the top of the stairwell) is very advantageous in a fight granting +1 Defense or +1 Melee to whoever holds that position. Taking such a position off an opponent would require a Footwork roll.
Mastery: Bonus Die to Footwork rolls, +1 to resist Footwork Maneuvers.
(Daring + Melee vs. Defense)
You leap forward in an all-out attack, doing +1d6 damage but you get -1 Defense and cannot Yield Advantage until after your next turn.
Note: You must be wielding an impaling weapon, like a rapier, bayonet, dagger, etc.
Mastery: You don’t have a -1 Defense penalty.
- Quick Cut
(Flair + Melee vs. Defense)
Rather than a standard attack you make two quick cutting attacks at the foe with a single action. You perform this Maneuver 1 phase sooner than you would normally act. The attacks may be against the same foe or two, adjacent ones, with no penalty for Splitting your action. Quick Cut only does half damage (Round Down), and may not be used with a heavy or 2-handed weapon.
Mastery: A Bonus Die to hit with the first attack, +1 to avoid Quick Cut attacks.
(Savvy + Melee vs. Defense)
With expert timing, you attack your opponent immediately following your successful Parry or Dodge.
Mastery: You may make 1 Free Riposte per round.
(Contested Roll: Daring + Melee vs. Opponent’s Attack Roll)
You try to impale your enemy on your blade, rather than blocking their attack. This is a contested roll against the enemy’s attack, just like a Parry. If you succeed, you have managed to impale them before their blade strikes you and you roll damage with a +2 bonus against them. If the enemy survives this attack, however, their attack hits you (for normal damage). If your Stop-Thrust roll fails, they hit you with +2 to the damage.
Note: Neither you nor the opponent can Yield Advantage when using this Reaction. Needless to say, it is usually only used in desperate situations.
Mastery: A Bonus Die to Stop-Thrust rolls, and +1 to avoid Stop-Thrust Maneuvers.
- Sword Break
You must already have your opponent’s weapon in a Bind, or have some other special circumstances to attempt this Maneuver (such as achieve a Mighty Success when parrying). Roll damage with your weapon, and your opponent does the same (both ignore Might). If your roll is greater than the opponent’s, their weapon is broken. If their roll is equal or greater, the weapon is not broken. A broken sword can function as an improvised dagger.
Note: This Maneuver is used to break any weapon, not only swords. A firearm counts as a club for purposes of this Maneuver.
Mastery: +1 bonus to the damage roll to determine if the weapon breaks.
(Flair + Melee vs. Defense + Daring), or (Tough [-4] Flair + Melee)
You use your blade to write your initials, slash off an enemy’s mustache, put out a candle, or some other impressive act. If you are targeting an object, the total difficulty must be -4 or greater to be sufficiently impressive. If you succeed in tagging a person they must Yield Advantage or lose 1 Composure. If you tag an object, any opponents engaged in combat with you (or intending to be) are awestruck and must spend a Minor Action to recover.
Mastery: A Bonus Die to Tag, +1 to avoid Tag Maneuvers.
Originaire de Montpellier en Languedoc, ayant étudié l’escrime auprès du maître renommé Salvator Fabris, Joseph Antoine de La Croix de Castries (prononcé « Castre ») est bien connu – et redouté – à Paris.
Implacable et talentueux duelliste ayant été au service de Concini, de la Croix de Castries était considéré comme l’homme de main au service de l’Italien, encourant ainsi la haine et le mépris de nombreux nobles opposés au favori de Marie de Médicis.
De nombreuses rumeurs courent sur lui, notamment quant au rôle qu’il aurait joué pour “dissuader” certains de manifester leur opposition au régime en place.