Country of Origin: Cathay
Dojo: None (the style is passed on from Masters among the steppes riders of Xian Bei to those under their command)
Description: Ma shejian is the precision horse archery combat style of the steppes riders of Xian Bei. It is derived from the same fighting style as the Vahiy style favored by the Atlar’vahir tribe in the Empire of the Crescent Moon. Unlike Vahiy, Chima Gongjian Shou is not strategy-based. Instead, it is more of a mob combat style where each horseman is free to attack whatever target he can find. His individual actions cannot disrupt his unit’s formation because it does not have one. Furthermore, this self-reliance allows the practitioner of this style to function at maximum capacity even if he does not have an army with him.
The style, as with many styles of mounted combat, relies on the ability to move quickly, harass the enemy, and withdraw with speed. Because he is trying to minimize his exposure to enemy fire, he must fire rapidly and accurately if he wants to maximize his combat effectiveness. Hastiness, sometimes to the point of error, is the main weakness of this style.
Basic Curriculum: Archery, Rider
Knacks: Arc (Archer), Charge, Exploit Weakness (Ma Shejian), Horse Archery, Snapshot (Archery)
New Swordsman Knack: Horse Archery. This replaces the Attack (Archery) Knack when firing a bow from horseback. This is the same as the Horse Archery Knack found in the Archery Skill, but it is considered a Basic Knack for students of Ma Shejian.
New Swordsman Knack: Snapshot. When skilled enough, some marksmen focus on speed as much as (or more than) accuracy. With this Knack, you require only one action to reload and fire, but you must make two Raises in order to do so. When firing and reloading as one Action, this replaces the Attack Knack. This Knack cannot be used from horseback. This is the same as the Snapshot Knack found in the Archery Skill, but it is considered a Basic Knack for students of Ma Shejian.
Apprentice: Archers of this style learn to make every arrow they fire count. They may add twice their Mastery Level in Ma Shejian to all Damage Rolls they make after hitting a target with an arrow.
Apprentices receive a free Rank in one of their Swordsman Knacks in lieu of membership in the Swordsman’s Guild.
Journeyman: Journeymen archers of this style are like dervishes in combat, darting about on their mounts and striking quickly. While on horseback, they may lower a single Action Die by their Rank in the Charge Knack before Phase 1 of each Round of combat, not just before the first Round.
Master: Masters have perfected the ability to draw and fire an arrow in the blink of an eye, even while mounted. They may use their Snapshot Knack on horseback. In addition, they do not need to make two Raises when using their Snapshot Knack, whether on foot or mounted.