Offensive or Defensive

Perhaps every culture that has carried weapons about in the civilian world has spent some time devising methods for quickly moving one’s weapon from a carrying position to one of attack. Western techniques seem to have focused on the knife or dagger, with some additional methods for quickly drawing a sword into a fighting stance or attacking immediately with the still-sheathed weapon’s haft or hilt. Where curved swords, such as the scimitar or saber, are concerned, a quick draw-and-slice appears to have been a common start to street fights and impromptu duels. Nowhere, however, does the quick-draw take the place of an art-within-an-art as it did in Earth’s Ancient Japan, where it achieved a status comparable or even surpassing that of the Old West gunslinger. In The Riddle of Steel, this art form has moved into the repertoire of many wandering bladeslingers and duelists.

Characters using this maneuver can attack with a cut, bash, or parry (so yes, this can be used as a defensive maneuver, too) with any weapon of medium reach or shorter. Because the curvature of a weapon makes this easier, straight-bladed or hafted weapons of medium or short reach require an additional 1 CP over the normal activation cost. Weapons with a range of “hand” need no such curvature, and can be quick-drawn with no penalty.

Weapons of long reach and shorter can also benefit from this maneuver by making a sudden thrusting attack with the pommel or butt end of the weapon. This has no additional cost, but does have different statistics than the parent weapon:

In all cases, the weapon being quick-drawn is assumed to be at the hip or in some other very accessible place. Less accessible carrying places, such as a boot knife or short weapon over the shoulder, add 1 CP to the activation cost (compounding with any other penalties or modifiers). Weapons in packs or other immediately inaccessible places are just that—inaccessible.

To perform this maneuver in play simply declare which weapon is being quick-drawn at the beginning of any exchange (usually the first, but not necessarily), and whether it is being used to cut, bash, or parry. After spending the activation cost and any penalties added thereon, a terrain roll is made against the weapon’s normal ATN -1 (if the drawing hand is free) or ATN -2 (if the drawing hand is on the weapon’s grip already). If this terrain roll is successful, the attack or parry goes forward normally, using standard attack and defense rules. If this Terrain roll fails then the character is forced to use duck & weave, partial evasion, full evasion or get hit; the weapon will be free for the next exchange. In the rare occasion of a fumbled terrain roll the weapon is stuck, dropped, or otherwise unavailable for use for a few moments at Seneschal discretion.

This maneuver can be combined with the rules for initiative and stealing it. Likewise, don’t forget to use weapon length rules here, including those rules for getting inside of a weapon’s reach, or this maneuver will lose much of its bite.

This maneuver is available at Proficiency level 6.

rules/quick_draw.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/03 23:30 (external edit)
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