Country of Origin: Eisen
Salon: None (the School is taught solely by the ghost of its founder)
Description: In the early years of the War of the Cross, a Vodacce mercenary named Luciano Ricasso was hired by the southern forces to train unseasoned Objectionist conscripts in swordplay. Unbeknownst to (and unfortunately for) the Objectionist leadership, Luciano was an irresponsible drunk who never got around to demonstrating any useful techniques to his charges. The men he was supposed to train were massacred in their first battle, while Luciano himself slept off the previous night’s drunken binge. His position was overrun, and he was executed by the Vaticine general, which should have spelled the end of Luciano. However, that was not what the strands of Fate held in store for him. Still bound by his commitment to pass on his skills, Luciano was reborn as a ghost, inhabiting the ruins of the tower where he was killed, and waiting for someone worthy who he can instruct in the Swordsman School he developed so many years ago.
For the most part, Ricasso is concerned with avoiding attacks, either by knocking an opponent down, depriving him of his weapon, or even turning his own attacks against him. Ricasso Swordsmen must be nimble and quick-witted to withstand the onslaught of more offensive-minded opponents. When a Ricasso Swordsman does strike, he is trained to target vital areas or portions of the opponent’s body which cannot be protected by a weapon that is no longer available.
For all their focus on defense, a Ricasso Swordsman’s most potent attacks come after they have been struck themselves; that is both their greatest strength and their greatest weakness. In order to unleash his greatest offense, the Swordsman must first lower his defenses and open himself up to attack. Knowledgeable opponents will wait for these moments and strike hard, possibly disabling the Ricasso Swordsman before he has a chance to counterattack.
Basic Curriculum: Athlete, Fencing
Knacks: Corps-á-Corps, Disarm (Fencing), Exploit Weakness (Ricasso), Riposte (Fencing), Sidestep
Apprentice: A nimble defense is the first lesson taught to students of Ricasso. The Apprentice may add his Rank in Finesse to his TN to be hit.
Luciano died before the Swordsman’s Guild was even formed, so students of the School do not receive Guild Membership (unless someone learns the School and chooses to submit it for sanction). Instead, students receive the Combat Reflexes Advantage at no cost.
Journeyman: The next lessons taught to students of Ricasso are to add cagey parries to their Apprentice footwork, and to maximize the damage they inflict by striking hard at vital areas. In addition to his Rank in Finesse, he may add his Rank in Wits to his TN to be hit, but only while using Parry (Fencing) as his Passive Defense Knack. Furthermore, the Journeyman may add an Unkept Die (+1k0) to all damage rolls made with a rapier.
Master: Ricasso Masters have perfected a technique called the Savage Return: when an enemy’s blade has struck home, it is no longer available for defense. Any time the Master suffers a Dramatic Wound, he may immediately make an attack against the opponent who wounded him without spending an Action Die, and the Journeyman technique is increased to one Kept Die (+1k1) for this attack only. If the opponent struck with a weapon, he may not use any Knack related to that weapon for either Passive or Active Defense.
I enjoy reading these explanations of the various types of attacks and schools. I like the bit of storytelling at the beginning of each. I feel that introduces and captures the reader in a creative way.
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I wish I could take credit for that, but the original creators of 7th Sea established that format. A paragraph or two for history, a paragraph describing the stance and style, and a paragraph about the School’s shortcomings. I do generally provide more exposition than most official Schools, but you know how wordy I am. 🙂
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