Riemann Swordsman School

Country of Origin: Eisen
Salon: Freiburg (Large)
Founded: 1671

Description: Heinrich Riemann, a retired Eisen mercenary captain and veteran of the War of the Cross, hurriedly developed this school in anticipation of Eisenfürst Stefan Heilgrund’s siege of the city of Freiburg. While foreign Swordsmen poured into the city to aid in its defense, Riemann realized that there no one was teaching the uninitiated to defend themselves. Drawing upon the martial expertise he developed during the War, he slapped together a fencing style, teaching it first to his sons, then his neighbors, then anyone who cared to learn, at no charge. Few gentlemen are attracted to the school, and as a result, its students have a reputation for being lower class thugs.

The Riemann School focuses on the rapier to the exclusion of all other weapons, but also teaches unarmed fighting techniques, so that a student is never without a weapon, even if he loses his sword. The style is built upon three basic attacks (the thrust, the slash, and the lunge), three advanced techniques, and four defensive guards. Combined, these maneuvers produce an array of fighting moves.

At the same time, a set of six attacks and four defenses produces a very small set of options. It is woefully easy for a Riemann Swordsman to run afoul of an opponent who can quickly learn to anticipate his attacks and overwhelm his defenses.

Basic Curriculum: Fencing, Wrestling
Knacks: Beat (Fencing), Bind (Fencing), Corps-á-Corps, Exploit Weakness (Riemann), Lunge (Fencing)

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 Riemann Apprentice learns to use his rapier to aid in grapples as well as simply cutting opponents apart. So long as the Apprentice has at least one hand free, he may initiate a Grapple with an opponent, using his sword to restrict the opponent’s movement. He suffers no penalty for grappling with his off hand, and an opponent seeking to escape the grapple must add the Swordsman’s Rank in Attack (Fencing) to his TN for the Escape Knack if the Swordsman is armed with a rapier.

Riemann is not sanctioned by the Swordsman’s Guild; consequently, students receive a free Rank in one of their Swordsman Knacks in lieu of Guild membership.

Journeyman: Journeymen of Riemann learn a simple (if inelegant) technique called the “trip and stab.” If a Journeyman successfully knocks an opponent prone with his Corps-á-Corps Knack, he may immediately use an interrupt Action to make a standard rapier attack against that opponent.

Master: Riemann Masters learn the value of using a grappled opponent as a shield, and increase the speed with which they strike a fallen opponent. When the Master has an opponent in a Grapple, he receives a bonus to his TN to be hit equal to twice his Rank in the Grapple Knack. In addition, he may now use his Journeyman Technique by spending only one Action Die (even if it is not current) instead of two.

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