Sword and Gun Kata


The original source rules for Sword Schools and Gun Kata are a little confusing. They also kind of suck, so we’re house ruling these pretty heavily.

Sword Schools and Gun Kata allow your character to create special melee and ranged attacks by combining; these are analogous to Spell combos. Like Spell Schools, there are 9 Sword Schools and 9 Gun Kata.

You must spend 200 XP to open a new School/Kata (per b1.6p12) and 100 x Current Rank to improve an open School/Kata. Your maximum rank in any School/Kata is capped at your current character Level.

Custom Schools/Kata

Player-designed Schools/Kata are allowed if cleared with the SM. That School/Kata would become canonized and available to the other characters meeting any prerequisites that make sense for the school. (E.g., these could be an expansion of the generic Schools/Kata, or they could be “Prestige” Schools/Kata.)

Gun Kata

Sword Schools and Gun Kata both use the same set of rules, they just have different power lists. However, the power list for Gun Kata looks like it was rushed and is effectively broken when compared with Sword Schools.

We haven’t decided what to do about this. One possibility is that ranged attacks duplicate and tweak the set of Sword Schools (instead of the Gun Kata). Elements that don’t make sense for ranged attacks (like Setting Sun’s Zephyr Dance) would be replaced with player-designed replacements (first player to get to a given nonsensical skill gets to choose the replacement! ; ). Another alternative would be for somebody to redesign/rebalance the 9 Gun Katas.

Examples of why Gun Kata is broken (listed as Gun Kata skill vs. comparable Sword Kata skill):

  • White Hat’s Slap (L2 Clay Pigeon, 2 Points, disarm – no save) vs. Weakening Grip Technique (L4 Diamond Mind, 4 points, disarm – TN20 Dex save allowed)
  • Silver Bullet (L2 Tin Star, Cost 1, Explode on 9+) vs. Blood in the Water (L5 Tiger Claw, Cost 4, Explode on 9+)

House Rules

Weapons and Attack Types

Attack type and weapon restrictions are removed. Any School may be used with any melee weapon attack, and any Kata may be used with any ranged weapon attack. You still cannot use Schools for ranged or Kata for melee attacks.

Free Special Attack/Trick Shot with new Rank

When you buy a Sword School/Gun Kata rank, you get one special attack/trick shot at no XP cost. This attack must have both restrictions and advantages equal to the rank you just gained. You can improve it from there as desired, spending XP as usual. This brings the XP cost to parity with Spell Schools, which grant a free spell.

Opening a Sword School/Gun Kata

A character “opens” a Sword School/Gun Kata by discovering tricks of their own (in the spirit of the school). The player clears with the SM a unique character-specific 1-point hindrance and two new 1-point advantages, which form the character’s first Special Attack.

Grandmastering a Sword School/Gun Kata

A character “closes” a Sword School/Gun Kata in a similar fashion to how they opened it. When a character achieves Grandmastery of a School/Kata by ascending to the 5th rank, the character gains a unique signature move of the school (cleared with SM) consisting of two unique 5-point advantages and one unique 5-point disadvantage.

Creativity Encouraged

When creating your unique advantages and hindrances, get creative! E.g., a restriction could be “Can only be used when dual-wielding fire extinguishers”, not just just technical (e.g., -2k2 damage).

School/Kata-specific Tweaks

Devoted Spirit’s Castigating Blow" is changed from:
*If this attack hits the head or gizzards it deals additional damage equal to your devotion.
*"If you succeed on a alignment check (no penalty on failure), you deal critical damage on 9s as well as 10s.

Sword and Gun Kata

Dungeons: the Dragoning ScotiaBaker ScotiaBaker