Country of Origin: Tar-Netjer
Salon: None (it is not formally taught, but perfected by its practitioners as they travel throughout Tar-Netjer)
Founded: c. 1265 AV
Description: Gamba is a fighting style that places an emphasis on strength and toughness rather than any sort of formal training. Many of its practitioners travel throughout Tar-Netjer perfecting their skills, for reasons as mundane as seeking fame, fortune, or power. Others devote themselves to protecting their communities from outside threats.
Gamba is a brutish style; its practitioners rely on strength, speed, and power to compensate for their lack of formal training. Many Gamba fighters join warrior or hunting lodges that offer a sense of camaraderie, but only a minimal amount of training.
The average Gamba fighter is only a part-time warrior, spending the majority of his time herding or hunting. In order to learn the secret battle techniques of Gamba, a prospective trainee petitions a society for membership and undergoes some sort of initiation ritual. These rituals are intended to test a candidate’s resolve, and often involve pain and physical deprivation. These rituals are not intended to cause injury or death, but to impress upon the candidate the importance of his role in society.
Gamba relies on the use of a short spear, along with a bone, leather, or (rarely) metal bracer worn on the off-hand wrist and used as a buckler. The spear is wielded with both hands, used for thrusting attacks and parries, with the bracer utilized for secondary defense.
The brute force and wild, sweeping attacks of a Gamba fighter are its primary weaknesses. Anyone who uses finesse to close the distance to a Gamba fighter and stay inside his reach has a distinct advantage over his spear-wielding opponent.
Basic Curriculum: Buckler, Spear
Knacks: Beat (Spear), Corps-á-Corps, Exploit Weakness (Gamba), Lunge (Spear), Whirl (Spear)
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: An Apprentice Gamba fighter learns to use his spear and bracer in tandem, especially for defense. He suffers no off-hand penalty for using his bracer defensively, and receives a Free Raise on any Active Defense he attempts using the Parry (Spear) Knack.
Gamba has no connection to Théah’s Swordsman’s Guild, and would not be sanctioned even if it did. Its students receive a free Rank in one of their Swordsman Knacks instead of any sort of Guild membership.
Journeyman: By the time he has become a Journeyman, a Gamba fighter has learned to shrug off blows that would cripple a lesser combatant. Whenever he fails a Wound Check, the Gamba fighter increases the Wound Threshold before he takes any additional Dramatic Wounds by twice his Mastery Level in Gamba. Thus, a Journeyman who fails his Wound Check against a melee attack takes an extra Dramatic Wound for every twenty-four points he fails the check by, instead of every twenty. Against a firearm, his Wound Threshold would be fourteen instead of ten.
Master: A Master of Gamba has grown tired of simply absorbing blows, and has incorporated a series of dodges and evasions into his repertoire. So long as he is using Footwork as his Passive Defense Knack, the Master may add ten to his TN to Be Hit.