MacLean Swordsman School

Country of Origin: Avalon (Highland Marches)
Salon: None (the School is taught by the MacLean clan, primarily to its own warriors but occasionally to outsiders who make their way to MacLean lands)
Founded: 1403

Description: While most clans in the Highland Marches practice the MacDonald (or MacLeod, or MacGregor, or…) School, even going so far as to claim it as their own, the small MacLean clan chose centuries ago to follow its own path. The MacLeans, vassals to the MacIntyres, developed their own set of skills with the claymore and, in their isolation, shared it only among themselves or with the MacIntyres. Over time, the MacLeans’ role evolved into a sort of buffer between the MacIntyres and the rest of the Highland Marches, and knowledge of their signature School began to trickle into Highland warfare.

Although relatively unknown even among the other Highlanders, the MacLean School remains popular with its practitioners despite the lighter blades currently favored in Avalon. This School teaches its practitioners to wield a claymore in broad, whirling arcs in order to “make great room” around themselves and their blade. To do this requires considerable strength training, and with that comes an increase in endurance that helps a MacLean Swordsman remain on his feet when another warrior would be grievously wounded.

Unfortunately, these whirling arcs also contribute to the School’s primary weakness. A claymore is a big sword, and once it is sent spinning into motion, it is hard to stop. An opponent who is familiar with the MacLean School can easily duck under these sweeping attacks and attack the Swordsman’s blind side as his pendulum-like blade pulls him into a full rotation.

Basic Curriculum: Athlete, Heavy Weapon
Knacks: Beat (Heavy Weapon), Disarm (Heavy Weapon), Exploit Weakness (MacLean), Fortitude, Whirl (Heavy Weapon)

Revised Swordsman Knack: Beat. When attacking an enemy, you can declare a Beat. You roll Brawn + Beat, and must roll 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: A MacLean Swordsman’s strength training makes him better able to handle an unwieldy claymore. The Apprentice may ignore the claymore’s one Unkept Die (-1k0) penalty to attack rolls.

The MacLean style has never been submitted to the Swordsman’s Guild for sanction, and under the Guild’s modernized structure, it would not be granted anyway. Instead of Guild membership, MacLean Swordsmen receive a free Rank in one of their Swordsman Knacks.

Journeyman: Journeymen of the MacLean School have begun to learn to adjust the angles of their swings on the fly, making them better at deflecting incoming attacks. While using this School, a Swordsman may add five to his TN to be hit while using Parry (Heavy Weapon) as his Passive Defense Knack.

Master: A Master’s claymore is so sharp, and his swings have become so precise, that damage they inflict may turn out to be more severe than originally perceived; the wounds do not come open until the opponent makes a move. After making a Damage Roll with his claymore, the Master may spend a Drama Die to reroll the Damage Roll, taking whichever total is higher.