Gaulle Swordsman School

Country of Origin: Montaigne
Salon: Bascone (Large)
Founded: 1632
Sanctioned: 1666

Description: The Gaulle School was founded in the early 1630’s. Maurice Gaulle dul Motte, son of family patriarch Vincent Gaulle dul Motte, pioneered the substitution of the triple dagger for the main gauche. An avid swordsman by the age of sixteen, Maurice sought a style that “improved” upon the Valroux School, which he considered too fancy for simple Gaulle tastes. Why should one waste time taunting an opponent and making minor cuts to infuriate them? Better to spend one’s time simply hitting them. Better yet, why leave them with any weapon at all?

Maurice soon gained a following for the Gaulle School. However, the family’s relative isolation, and the Montaigne nation’s obsession with Valroux, meant that the style never spread very far. Valroux swordsman defeated by a Gaulle duelist never admitted it, for fear that the reputation of their “perfect” school would suffer. Duelists who fought a Gaulle practitioner outside of Montaigne dismissed the style as a minor aberration, and didn’t see enough of it to conclude it was a taught style.

This changed in 1666 when, for personal reasons, an aging Maurice contacted the Guild, sending his best student, Sibert, to be tested. Surprised to hear of a style that had been around so long but had drawn so little attention, the Guild thoroughly tested the young man and found Gaulle worthy of their sanction.

Gaulle uses a rapier in its main hand and a variant of the main gauche, the triple dagger, in the other. The dagger is used to bind or disarm an opponent, allowing the rapier to attack unimpeded. In contrast to the Valroux School’s taunting, Gaulle teaches its students to be silent during the duel, allowing them to concentrate on wounding their opponents with steel instead of words.

This business-first viewpoint is one of the School’s best features, but the disdain it teaches for elaborate moves can also undo its practitioners. A School with a singular focus is easily countered.

Basic Curriculum: Fencing, Knife
Knacks: Bind (Knife), Disarm (Knife), Double Parry (Fencing/Knife), Exploit Weakness (Gaulle), Sunder (Knife)

New Swordsman Knack: Sunder. When making an attack, you can choose to strike at an enemy’s weapon, hoping to break it and leave your opponent defenseless. To make this attack, you roll Finesse + Sunder, taking two Raises to target the enemy’s weapon. If your hit is successful, roll damage as normal; this damage is not applied to the opponent, but compared against the following chart to see if the opponent’s weapon breaks:

Type of WeaponTN to Sunder
Dagger, Knife, Main Gauche20
Fencing Weapon25
Heavy Weapon30
Firearm, Polearm35
Buckler, Shield40

Game Masters should use their discretion in applying the Sunder Knack to other kinds of weapons. These Target Numbers can be adjusted by the following modifiers:

Weapon QualityTN Adjustment
Inferior Weapon or Shield-5
Quality Weapon or Shield+5
Dracheneisen Weapon+10
Djinn or Sidhe Weapon+15

Apprentice: The Apprentice becomes used to using a triple-dagger to defend himself. He has no off-hand penalty for using a triple-dagger, and while wielding one, he gets a Free Raise on all Active Defenses he attempts using Parry (Knife).

Journeyman: The Journeyman has mastered the art of disarming. He gets a free Rank in his Disarm (Knife) Knack, which may increase it to a six. If not, he may later spend 25 XP to raise it from a five to a six.

Master: The Master of the Gaulle School is adept at defending himself from harm by using his triple-dagger. He may use Bind (Knife) as a Parry Defense Knack. If he uses it as an Active Defense Knack and succeeds, the opponent’s blade is Bound as normal, and he immediately receives one free Action which must be used to attempt to Disarm the opponent or Sunder his weapon. The TN to perform either of these Actions is not increased by ten even though this is targeting the opponent’s weapon.