Points

Thanks to gunpowder, the popularity of armor continued its decline in the years after the Italian School (p. 156) appeared. Heavy armor-piercing weapons, in turn, also became less common. The rapiers of the time capitalized on the prevalence of light weapons and armor by becoming shorter and lighter.

In France, a fencing style soon emerged to take advantage of this. The heyday of this "Transitional French School" was between 1640 and 1720 - a period known today as the Transitional Era - when fencers widely regarded it as a superior way to use a rapier. Its masters taught that the sword alone was the basis of both offense and defense, and did away with defensive weapons such as the cloak and main-gauche. Its importance faded with the early 18th-century development of the smallsword and the rise of schools that favored it (see French Smallsword, p. 159).

A fencer of this style usually starts the fight on the defensive. He favors Evaluate and Wait until he parries and creates an opening, and then opens his own offensive with a Counterattack. Deceptive Attacks are common, typically in the form of a glide along the opponent's blade. However, the rapierist might also attempt extremely aggressive (and risky!) attacks, such as an All-Out Attack (Long) ending in a crouch - a floor lunge - to attack a distant foe, or a two-step Committed Attack (Determined) to press an adversary who's giving ground.

Cinematic masters of this style are much like those of the later French Smallsword style. They're highly mobile, attempting acrobatic techniques, great leaps, and fantastic lunges. High DX, Basic Speed, and Acrobatics are common, and Perfect Balance is extremely useful for running along banisters and landing after chandelier swings!

Historically, this style gave equal weight to elegance of execution and effectiveness of technique, and some masters taught methods that were more artistic than practical. For these, eliminate Rapier but retain Rapier Art. Such salons were a great place to learn both secret techniques (p. 86) and useless techniques (p. 95). Most schools took their training seriously, though, and prepared students for deadly duels.

Skills: Games (Sport Rapier); Rapier; Rapier Art.

Techniques: Bind Weapon (Rapier); Close Combat (Rapier); Counterattack (Rapier); Disarming (Rapier); Feint (Rapier); Retain Weapon (Rapier).

Cinematic Skills: Flying Leap.

Cinematic Techniques: Flying Lunge (Rapier); Initial Carving (Rapier).

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