Numanaius Swordsman School

Country of Origin: Vodacce
Salon: Numa (Small)
Founded: Unknown
Restructured: 1659

Many centuries ago, this school was considered the elite fighting style of the Numan Empire and its soldiers. While all Numan Legionnaires could fight, those trained in Numanaius were considered to be a cut above the regular Legionnaire. One was typically not even approached to learn the deadly fighting style until he was beyond his seventh year of service. (A Legionnaire pledged to serve twenty-five years to Numa when he joined the ranks.) Consequently, most students of the school were veterans of at least one war; the Numan Empire was far reaching and often in conflict with the native peoples along its ever-expanding borders.

In “modern” Théah, the appeal of Numanaius has all but dried up. Its brutal mindset and rigid structure are long out of fashion, particularly in Vodacce. Nevertheless, a small group of men and women (primarily nobles from within the city of Numa) study the ancient School and embrace the ideals of the Numan Legionnaire: FrugalisSeveritas and Fidelis (Frugality, Severity, and Faithfulness). These were the ideals that the Numan Legionnaires lived and died by.

Thse nobles find their studies hindered by the fact that only a single Numanaius “Master” exists, and even he is merely a Journeyman of the style he has adapted. All traces of Numanaius mastery are lost to time; no document has been found that describes the Master ability of the Numanaius Legionnaire. The libraries and war colleges that once housed the works have long since lost them to war, fire or some other mischance. The School was originally designed to be used with a gladius; modern Swordsmen may substitute a smallsword, but at a penalty of one Unkept Die (-1k0) on all rolls (except Damage Rolls) using the modern weapon.

Historically, the strength of the School was the practiced, coordinated maneuvers of its students, acting in concert. It promoted solidarity among its students: together, any group of comrades is better, stronger, faster, and more powerful than its individual members. This attitude carries over into the School’s modern equivalent: its students are accustomed to training together, standing together, and fighting together. Isolate a student from his or her companions, and the School’s techniques, while potent, are a little less effective than when a group of Swordsmen stands as one.

All credit for Numanaius belongs to the creators of the Numa e-book, where the first iteration of this School originally appeared.

Basic Curriculum: Bodyguard, Gladius
Knacks: Beat (Gladius), Coupé (Gladius), Exploit Weakness (Numanaius), Lunge (Gladius), Wall of Steel (Gladius)

New Swordsman Knack: Coupé. A coupé is a method of pressing an attack even as an opponent begins to bat it aside; essentially, you slide your blade up over the opponent’s parrying weapon and thrust the point home. For each Rank you have in this Knack, your attack rolls are considered two higher when determining the Target Number for any sort of Parry Active Defense.

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: Frugalis is the dominant ideal of Apprentice training in Numanaius. A student is expected to be economical in every way: with money, when exerting energy, and when taking action. When an Apprentice uses a Held Action in combat, he receives a bonus to his attack or Active Defense roll equal to the number of Phases the Action was Held. Thus, a student of Numanaius who Holds an Action Die showing a “3” and uses it to attack on Phase 8 may add 5 to his attack roll. Only one Action per Mastery Level may be Held to take advantage of this benefit; if an Apprentice decides to Hold a second action before he has used his first, he loses this benefit.

Numanaius is not a Guild-sanctioned school. In fact, it is unlikely that the Swordsman’s Guild (or, for that matter, anyone else in Théah besides its practitioners, its detractors, and a handful of scholars) is even aware of its existence. Accordingly, students of the school receive a free Rank in the Swordsman Knack of their choice in lieu of Guild membership.

Journeyman: Severitas is the watchword of the Numanaius Journeyman; he should be focused, determined, and not easily dissuaded from his intended action. He may add a number of Unkept Dice equal to his Mastery Level in Numanaius to any attempt to resist a Repartee Action in combat (or, at the Gamemaster’s discretion, at other times when his training may come into play). The Journeyman’s superior focus also allows him to add his Mastery Level to his Initiative total; his taut muscles and grim determination help him to strike a little more quickly than his undisciplined opponents.

The Master level of Numanaius is lost to Théah, and cannot be learned by any modern Swordsman. Presumably, the technique focuses on the ideal of Faithfulness, but even that is speculation. Students of the style are perpetually in search of any manuscript that describes this lost technique; the discovery of an old Legionnaire’s diary or training manual would be of incredible value to them, and they would likely pay any price or go to any lengths to gain custody of it.

(Game Masters may CLICK HERE to see the Master level technique.)

Note: A gladius is a short, double-edged weapon popular in Numan lands centuries ago. It is always a Masterwork weapon, and has a Damage Rating of 2k2. Gladius is a Martial Skill consisting solely of the Basic Knacks Attack (Gladius) and Parry (Gladius).

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