Points

French Smallsword represented the apex of the fencing arms race. As fencers placed increasing emphasis on the riposte, they sought progressively shorter blades to give them greater speed and maneuverability. The result was the smallsword: a short, stiff thrusting blade. The attendant fencing style became a gentleman's martial art, with the riposte and elegant form as its core values. Proponents claimed that its defensive techniques applied to all combat - not just to smallsword fencing. Such claims resemble those of an "ultimate style" (see Ultimate Styles, p. 144). In a cinematic game, smallsword fencing might indeed hold all of the secrets of combat!

French Smallsword's signature tactic is the Riposte (pp. 124-125): a parry and counterattack "in one time." Disarms are also routine; a stylist might parry his enemy's blade, whip it from his grasp, and then dispatch his unarmed victim. Some fighters even attempt this as an All-Out Attack (Double) - but should it fail, the would-be predator is likely to end up prey. Smallsword fencers often use All-Out Attack (Long) to lunge at a distant foe, typically stabbing but occasionally making a Tip Slash (p. 113). Advanced students learn to grapple, but the aim is always to ward off the opponent's attack and run him through.

Cinematic masters of this style are fluid, elegant, and acrobatic. The Jumping and Acrobatics skills are as common as Enhanced Parry. Swashbucklers might swing from chandeliers, slide down banisters, and disarm half a dozen foes with a single sweep of the blade. They're blindingly fast and incredibly agile, and able to use their prodigious defensive abilities with any weapon. High DX and Basic Speed are a must!

This style was common from the early 18th century until about 1830. Its main weapon was the smallsword, but masters were still expected to train students in the cavalry saber and sometimes the cutlass. Smallsword fencing was significantly more artistic than the rapier styles it replaced. While it was a functional martial art, many students learned an overly artistic form . . . yet believed in its utter invincibility. Such students would often know secret techniques (p. 86) or useless techniques (p. 95).

Skills: Games (Sport Fencing); Smallsword; Smallsword Art.

Techniques: Bind Weapon (Smallsword); Close Combat (Smallsword); Disarming (Smallsword); Feint (Smallsword); Retain Weapon (Smallsword); Targeted Attack (Smallsword Thrust/Vitals). Cinematic Skills: Flying Leap.

Cinematic Techniques: Flying Lunge (Smallsword); Grand Disarm (Smallsword); Initial Carving (Smallsword).

Perks: Quick-Sheathe (Sword); Quick-Swap (Smallsword).

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