What Is a Rapid Strike

A Rapid Strike (p. B370) is normally two distinct attacks - one after the other - but it doesn't have to be. It might instead be a single motion that connects more than once: a punch with an elbow behind it, a sword cut calculated to hit two legs at once, a knee to the groin that ends with a stamp to the foot, and so on. Since the two blows don't hit the same location at the same time, this is just a "special effect." The target may defend normally against each attack, and has his full DR against both.

Other Rapid Strikes consist of a blow with a vicious follow-up. The target still gets normal defenses and DR against this. For instance, a knife thrust followed by a cut could represent stabbing and then tearing. The victim might twist so that the knife slides out (dodge), use his shield to shove you away (block), or restrain your wrist (parry). His armor DR would affect the second attack - despite the knife being inside his armor - because you have to rip through him and his armor. Similar logic applies to a stamp-and-grind with the heel, chop-and-draw with a sword, a grapple that nabs one arm and pulls it across the body to trap the other, and so on.

The GM should permit anything that applies on a per-attack basis - poison or magical flame on a blade, Innate Attack with Aura, and so on - to work once per attack, not just once per Rapid Strike. Simply assume that the target is exposed for longer or over a greater proportion of his body.

Because such interpretations have no game effects, you may take dramatic license when describing a Rapid Strike. This is good roleplaying!

Example 1: An attacker with two attacks can only attack adjacent targets (in adjoining hexes, on a map). If he tried to attack two opponents with a gap between them, he'd lose an attack . . . and be back to just one attack.

Example 2: Someone who has three attacks and two adjacent opponents could make two attacks on one foe and one on the other, in any order. If his enemies were one full yard apart, he could only attack each of them once - skipping a yard would use up an attack. If he had a third adversary adjacent to the first two, he could opt to attack each of them once, moving from left to right or right to left. Skipping the one in the middle would be like fighting two people a yard apart, and cost him one attack.

When executing a technique specifically designed to engage multiple opponents, its special rules always supersede this general rule. For examples, see Grand Disarm (p. 84) and Whirlwind Attack (p. 88).

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