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Author Topic: weapon schools  (Read 7515 times)
Nick the Nevermet
Member

Posts: 352


« on: May 05, 2002, 04:55:21 PM »

I thought of an institution in tROS that I think would 1) exist, 2) would be very relevant to a lot of PCs, and 3) I have no clue about.

Namely, weapon schools, associations that teach a specific martial art style of something.  

I'll have some ideas tomorrow after my brain has slept (in retrospect, I probably should be posting tomorrow then), but does anyone else have any ideas/info?  I know or can make up stuff about religions, nobility, soldiers, and other things in society... but when it comes to weapon schools, I'm clueless.
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Lyrax
Member

Posts: 268


« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2002, 08:43:38 AM »

With weapon schools, you mostly have to think of two things:

1) What is the purpose/Who are they teaching to?
2) What is the attitude of the people towards weapons (not just the ones they're being trained in).

Purpose/Pupils: Is this school teaching to future soldiers?  Courtiers and Duelists?  Why does the school exist?  Ask yourself this question first.

People: What is the attitude?  Some, like many greatsword/longsword schools and sabre schools look upon the thin, whippy rapier with disdain.  Others, in Xanarium particularly, think that the rapier is the ultimate weapon: the ultimate combination of artistry, portability, civility and deadliness.  This is extremely important in describing opponents.  Observe.

To a greatsword-wielder:
Seneschal: "Your opponent is a wimpy, foppish little manling with a giant steel rat's tail.  He is dressed in the standard apparel for sycophants of the King: overlarge slashed sleeves, a loud tunic and funny-looking tights.  You seriously doubt that this little creature could stand up to the rigors of even a duel, much less real combat."

To a rapier-wielder:
Seneschal: "Your opponent strides confidently and artistically onto the field.  His mere walking style, much like your own, betrays his experience with a blade and his worthiness as an opponent.  He looks like one of the king's own court, but probably lacks the respect such a true artist deserves."

Of course, this isn't the only time weapon schools come into play, but I hope it helps.
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Lance Meibos
Insanity takes it's toll.  Please have exact change ready.

Get him quick!  He's still got 42 hit points left!
Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2002, 12:01:52 PM »

I would think actual weapon schools would be rather rare. Most would probably learn their craft from a master, (or if they're soldiers, from a Drill Instructor) as implied in the book. However, I can see a place for weapon schools. The wealthy might send their second sons there, to get them out of their hair. Nobles may send their trusted servants, to train them to be deadly bodyguards. These aren't the Riddle Seekers, who would seek training from an individual to best hone their skills, but professionals and dabblers alike who either cannot or choose not to afford or take the time to cultivate a weapons master to teach them individually.

I would make the schools very rare though. Maybe 1 for every major weapon style, at most. Maybe only one, with multiple focuses possible. It'd be up to the specific Seneschal, either way.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2002, 12:07:16 PM »

I would think actual weapon schools would be rather rare. Most would probably learn their craft from a master, (or if they're soldiers, from a Drill Instructor) as implied in the book. However, I can see a place for weapon schools. The wealthy might send their second sons there, to get them out of their hair. Nobles may send their trusted servants, to train them to be deadly bodyguards. These aren't the Riddle Seekers, who would seek training from an individual to best hone their skills, but professionals and dabblers alike who either cannot or choose not to afford or take the time to cultivate a weapons master to teach them individually.

I would make the schools very rare though. Maybe 1 for every major weapon style, at most. Maybe only one, with multiple focuses possible. It'd be up to the specific Seneschal, either way.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Nick the Nevermet
Member

Posts: 352


« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2002, 12:36:42 PM »

The reason why I posted my question in the first place is that I can easily see a relationship between schools and the Riddle.  Also, when I say "school", I don't necessarily mean a specific structure or location, but rather a coherent and distinct style that probably also has a social aspect of some kind.  "I see you use a saber like a member of the Stolitza School" Or whatever.

Anyways, the reason why I see a connection is that the handful of successful riddle-seekers, whether they want it or not, will become the center of something that borders on a charismatic religion.  The book mentions one master of the Riddle who lives in the mountains in Sarmatov.  I'm willing he did that to avoid his notoriety.  The book also says tons of people still go there to bug him, either with a challenge or a request for training.

I can't believe all riddler-seekers have been as ascetic.  I'm sure some started things a bit more like what I was envisioning as a weapon school.  I don't pretend to know much about martial arts of any kind, but one style I know a little about is Aikido.  The guy who founded/invented aikido was training in another art, eventually had some mystical religious experience, invented aikido (which was a 'refinement' of the other, older style), and then set up a farm up in the mountains where students tended it and trained under him. I'm leaving out a TON of details, I know, but thats generally the gist.

In the world of tROS, I would imagine there would be several places like that around, each with some kind of revered 'saint' who was either the actual founder, or the inspiration of the school.

I think more generally, I'm trying to think of what realistic social consequences something like the Riddle of Steel would have on a society.  I guess it depends on how 'real' it is and how close people get to it.  If there is only one successful riddle seeker avery 30 years or so, and everyone else stays quite grounded in human capabilities, then I guess it wouldn't really have much of an effect, huh?  Hmm...

sorry... just thuinking out loud
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2002, 01:27:31 PM »

Fencing schools? OK, I can't resist...

Inigo: You're using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?
Man in Black: I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain
Inigo: Naturally, you must expect me to attack with Capo Ferro
Man in Black: -- naturally -- but I find Thibault cancels out Capo Ferro, don't you?

- William Goldman, The Princess Bride

OK, those aren't schools being discussed so much as master swordsmens styles, but they're masters whose styles have obviously been studied and emulated over the years and so it fits nicely into the concept of "weapon school" IMO at least.

By the way Jake, The Princess Bride is a perfect example of recommended reading for any fantasy RPG. And in a pleasant exception to the norm, the film is actually pretty loyal to the book and captures its "essence" very well.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Rattlehead
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Posts: 159


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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2002, 08:33:09 PM »

Heh... I was just going to mention that particular exchange from the Princess Bride... It illustrates my vision of a world where swordplay is studied like an art.... sorta like chess is studied in our world...

Brandon
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Grooby!
Nick the Nevermet
Member

Posts: 352


« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2002, 08:45:48 PM »

God... chess...
If I can't work a chess allegory into an RPG, then it ain't worth playing ;)

Luckily, there's a few billion in TROS

The thing the most scared me about modern/hypermodern chess theory is it accounts for some openings becoming other openings.  Such and such a gambit can be played by itself, or if White wants, white can turn it into the XYZ attack after turn 4.

The fact that human beings can think in those terms bothers me.  A great, great deal.  I'm lucky if I remember to pay my bills, for goodness sake
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Bankuei
Guest
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2002, 10:45:28 PM »

Actually, most "schools" of martial arts(asian, european, african, etc.) are founded around the idea of the lineage, or the transmission of techniques and/or mystical power from a master or head teacher to a few students.  
The mass training for soldiers typically did not produce in quality as much as quantity.  

Of course, this also led to a lot of "My style's better than yours" that resulted in big bloody macho duels, or for the more cowardly, tons of trash talking.  You can still find this today in the martial arts world(at least the trash talking more than actually seeing who's better...).

Using this in ROS, you get a few great SA's from it: Passion-Loyalty to master, loyalty to fellow students, rivalry with other school, or, perhaps, duty to carry on lineage.  Tons of good stuff there.

On the note of the Chess theory...Einstein also remarked that he disliked chess because all the master players became paranoid, as their life revolved around a game with the singular goal of trapping your opponent and avoiding being trapped... :P  Also an unhealthy attitude :P

Chris
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Nick the Nevermet
Member

Posts: 352


« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2002, 06:19:26 AM »

Thanks for the post.
It was informative.

And as for chess, heh, yeah... it encourages mental unhealth
Luckily, I don't have much mental health to lose, so... weeee.....
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