Vicanti Swordsman School

Country of Origin: Vodacce
Salon: Chiarisa (Small)
Founded: 1668

Description: The Vicanti School is known by only a handful of people across the face of Théah. It was designed under the watchful eye of Alcide Mondavi, and is used primarily by his agents to carry out assassinations. The school relies on surprise to defeat opponents.

Vicanti fighters wield a rapier in their primary hand, and place their off hand at the small of their back, where they have a hidden sheath holding three throwing knives. Many fighters challenge their opponents with their swords, waiting for the opportunity to render an arm useless with a carefully placed knife and move in for the kill. Other, more practical Vicanti fighters simply throw a poisoned knife. Practitioners of Vicanti often study the art of concealment and the science of toxicology, but they are not part of the basic training.

The main flaw of the Vicanti style is that it is a “one trick pony.” Once an opponent knows about the throwing knives, the element of surprise is removed, and the school is less effective. However, less experienced opponents generally don’t last long enough to prepare for the knives; a single, well-placed throw has removed many players from the Great Game.

All credit for Vicanti goes to Justin Sinclair, who developed the original Swordsman School.

Basic Curriculum: Fencing, Knife
Knacks: Exploit Weakness (Vicanti), Feint (Fencing), Pin (Knife), Tagging (Knife), Throw (Knife)

New Swordsman Knack: Pin. You may use a missile weapon to pin an opponent’s hand to a nearby surface, such as a tree. To do this, you must throw a single missile weapon using this Knack instead of your normal Attack Knack, and add ten to your TN to hit (which cannot be negated with Trick Shooting). If you succeed, your opponent’s arm is pinned, and he drops whatever he was holding in his hand. In addition, he must spend one Action to free himself. This Knack can only be used on targets wearing cloth or other soft clothing. Pinning a suit of Dracheneisen armor to a tree just isn’t feasible.

New Swordsman Knack: Throw. When you throw a knife as an attack, you must use this Knack instead of your Attack Knack. This Knack is the same as the Throw (Knife) Knack found in the Knife Skill in the Player’s Guide, but it is considered a Basic Knack for students of the Vicanti School.

Revised Swordsman School: Feint. When attacking an enemy, you can declare a Feint. You roll Wits + Feint, and must roll a number of Raises equal to your enemy’s Wits in order for your Feint to be successful. If you are successful, he cannot avoid the attack using any Active Defense. The Raises taken on this roll add Unkept Dice to your damage roll as usual.

Apprentice: Vicanti Apprentices are highly trained in the off-hand use of a knife. They suffer no off-hand penalty when throwing a knife, and may draw and throw a knife as a single action.

Since Vicanti is not recognized by the Swordsman’s Guild, students do not gain membership in the Guild for free. Instead, they may take an extra Rank in one of their Swordsman Knacks at no cost.

Journeyman: Vicanti Journeymen are taught to use their fencing blades to open wide holes in an opponent’s defenses, creating attractive targets for their thrown knives. A Journeyman may choose to perform a Feint using the normal rules, but without inflicting damage. If they do, the TN to hit the target of the Feint drops to 5 for the Journeyman’s next Action with a thrown knife. This bonus is lost if not used before the target’s next attack, or if the Vicanti fighter uses his next action to perform any action other than throwing a knife at the target.

Master: Vicanti Masters learn to throw their knives in the blink of an eye. The Vicanti Master may use an Interrupt Action to perform an attack with a thrown knife.