Country of Origin: Eisen
Salon: Stärke (Tiny)
Description: During the War of the Cross, a young military officer named Hans Schmitter battled valiantly against the northern Vaticine army and the Montaigne mercenaries that fought alongside them. A staunch practitioner of the Eisenfaust Fighting Style (then a Swordsman School), Hans was nevertheless intrigued by the rapier-and-main gauche Schools used by many of the Montaigne mercenaries, with their whirling blades and flowing movements. Once the War ground to its bloody end, Captain Schmitter resigned his commission and opened a dockside tavern in Stärke, where he was struck once again by the sword-and-dagger fighting techniques of Vodacce travelers who made their way into his establishment (and inevitably found themselves in a duel, especially when Tricomi and Villanova Swordsmen crossed each others’ paths).
Abandoning his Panzerhand for a sturdy dagger, Hans began adapting the techniques he observed for use with his broadsword, the off-hand weapon used primarily for defense. Finding that the heavier weapons he had chosen did not suit themselves well to fancy Flourishes or cagey Stop-Thrusts, he adapted what he could and invented the rest, eventually forging his ideas into a concrete Fighting Style.
He quickly abandoned the idea that the dagger should be used solely for defense when there were so many opportunities to strike with it (especially in conjunction with the other maneuvers he had studied). Thus, the stance of a Schmitter Fighter leads with the dagger, while the broadsword remains back and away from the opponent, enabling powerful attacks aided by the sword’s momentum. Of course, deft footwork is not forgotten, and even a simple Sidestep can create an opening for a dagger attack.
For all its strengths, the Style is not without its weaknesses. While Schmitter emulates the rapier-and-dagger styles common in Vodacce and Montaigne, the heavy weapons it uses do not lend themselves well to a Double Parry or a Riposte. They seem slow and clumsy, and any opponent worth his salt will be prepared to defend himself from the “slow motion” strike of the sword and counterattack in the moments just afterward while the Schmitter Fighter regains his balance.
Basic Curriculum: Heavy Weapon, Knife
Knacks: Beat (Heavy Weapon), Double Parry (Heavy Weapon/Knife), Exploit Weakness (Schmitter), Riposte (Heavy Weapon), Sidestep
Revised Swordsman Knack: Beat. When attacking an enemy, you can declare a Beat. You roll Brawn + Beat, and must take a number of Raises equal to your enemy’s Brawn in order for your Beat 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: From the earliest stages of their training, a Schmitter Fighter learns to use a heavy broadsword in one hand and a utilitarian dagger (rather than a fancy main gauche) in the other. He never suffers a penalty for the use of a dagger in his off hand, nor for using a broadsword (a Heavy Weapon) single-handedly. In addition, he receives a free Raise whenever he uses his Double Parry Knack for an Active Defense.
Due to its reliance on “archaic” weapons, the Swordsman’s Guild refuses to offer sanction to the Schmitter Fighting Style. As a result, its students gain a free Rank in the Swordsman Knack of their choice in lieu of membership in the Guild.
Journeyman: A Schmitter Journeyman leans a Technique called the “Passing Slash,” a savage strike at an opponent’s back as an attack is dodged. After the Journeyman benefits from the use of his Sidestep Knack, he may immediately spend an Action Die, even if it is not currently legal, to make a dagger strike against his opponent’s exposed back. For purposes of this attack only, the opponent’s TN to be hit is reduced to five.
Master: At the highest levels of mastery, Schmitter Fighters are capable of devastating knife attacks, set up by a powerful slash of their swords. After successfully executing a Beat, the Master may spend up to three Action Dice, even if they are not currently legal, to attack the same opponent with his dagger one time for every Action Die spent. The opponent may not use his primary weapon for either Passive or Active Defense. The Master may decide after each successful dagger attack whether or not to trigger a Wound Check.