Points

Force-Swordsmanship is the art of the superscience force sword (p. B272). In some game worlds, the force sword is the sidearm of the nobility; indeed, tradition or the law might restrict it to individuals with Status 2+. Young nobles swagger about with ornate weapons at their hips. They practice with low-powered training blades . . . but the real thing is fashionable for dueling (legal or not). This gives Force-Swordsmanship the character of fencing in 17 th- and 18th-century Europe.

In other settings, anybody can carry a force sword but few truly know how to use it. Locating an instructor requires the sort of quest found in legends about the traditional martial arts. Unlocking the weapon's secrets takes a lifetime, and the few who master it command respect for their skill, dedication, and power. This imbues the art with a flavor closer that of cinematic kung fu.

The force-swordsman practices both aggressive attacks and careful defenses, for use in two different situations. If his foe lacks a force sword, he attacks strongly, exploiting his weapon's ability to destroy lesser arms when parrying or parried. Against a similar weapon, though, the stylist fights more defensively. He uses parries to stop force-sword strikes (and Parry Missile Weapons and Precognitive Parry to deflect beams and projectiles!) and dodges - especially Acrobatic Dodge - to get out of harm's way and into a better position from which to attack. In either circumstance, the standard grip is two-handed, although practitioners learn to fight one-handed and some wield two force swords simultaneously.

Force-swordsmen often attack their enemy's weapon. This is because most ordinary weapons can't resist their blade! This tactic carries over to force sword vs. force sword duels in the form of a Beat (pp. 100-101).

The most advanced students learn grappling techniques, but rarely use them except to counter another fighter's wrestling moves. Against a similarly armed foe, the force sword makes close combat far too dangerous. Against an adversary without a force sword, the sword itself is the best option for attack.

Cinematic masters can channel their chi to stun foes with a word, resist great mental pressure, make prodigious leaps, and deflect beam-weapon attacks. Damage from the force sword isn't ST-based, but the GM might let Power Blow double (or even triple!) the weapon's damage. This is usually only possible for force-swordsmen who craft their own force sword in tune with their chi; the GM should probably require Weapon Bond. Damage bonuses for Weapon Master also apply, with the same caveats. Psi powers (pp. B254-257) accompany all of this in some settings, but with power modifiers similar to those in Chi Powers for Martial Artists (p. 46).

Luke Skywalker: All right, I'll give it a try.

Master Yoda: No. Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.

- The Empire Strikes Back

This style mainly suits space-opera campaigns with lots of superscience. It works best in cinematic games - because to most players, Force-Swordsmanship without the ability to parry blaster fire and demolish foes while wearing a helmet with the blast shield down simply isn't Force-Swordsmanship. Similar styles may exist for other "force weapons," such as the force whip.

Skills: Acrobatics; Force Sword; Force Sword Art; Parry Missile Weapons.

Techniques: Feint (Force Sword); Targeted Attack (Force Sword Swing/Arm); Targeted Attack (Force Sword Swing/Leg); Targeted Attack (Force Sword Swing/Neck).

Cinematic Skills: Blind Fighting; Body Control; Flying Leap; Kiai; Mental Strength; Power Blow; Precognitive Parry.

Cinematic Techniques: Dual-Weapon Attack (Force Sword); Dual-Weapon Defense (Force Sword); Whirlwind Attack (Force Sword).

Perks: Acrobatic Feints; Chi Resistance (Any); Grip Mastery (Force Sword); Off-Hand Weapon Training (Force Sword); Special Setup (Power Blow works with Force Sword); Sure-Footed (Slippery); Sure-Footed (Uneven).

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