Runequest Thursday #18: Five Feats of Arms for Your Game!

Clint Staples

A while back I posted about Heroic Abilities in the Legend RPG and how I was going to rename them Feats of Arms to keep them distinct from abilities gains through Heroquesting. Having had time to work some up, I thought I would throw them out here for your benefit. If you have not read my original article, you might want to click on the link above and catch up so things make more sense.

Caveat: You may need to do a little tweaking to make them work for your game. This is primarily in regard to the prerequisites, which can, and should, be pretty campaign specific. For example, in your game, the War-Dancer may need substitutes for Jar-eel the Razoress, or the Empire of the Wyrms’ Friends.


Trick Riding: Prerequisites - DEX 15, Riding 75%

Cost: 7 Hero Points, and you must seek out a tutor who has the Feat, and convince her to spend a week teaching you, for a fee of a minimum of 500 Lunars.

This classic ability of those born in the saddle became famous in the ancient world via the skills of horse nomads who, on entering Byzantine military service, so amazed their employers that they were given the name ‘Trapezitoi’ in honor of the equine acrobatics. This feat of arms gives you a 20% bonus to Riding checks to accomplish such stunts as mounting at a gallop, vaulting from side to side of a running mount, leaning down to pick an item up off the ground at a run, standing in the saddle, etc. It also allows you to mount or dismount as a free action, and allows you to spend a Combat Action each round to add 20% to your defense while mounted.


Shooting Under the Neck: Prerequisites - DEX 13, Riding 75%

Cost: 5 Hero Points, and you must seek out a tutor who has the Feat, and convince her to spend a week teaching you, for a fee of a minimum of 500 Lunars.

This technique, attributed to the Native People of the North American plains, allows a rider to hang from the side of a moving mount with one arm through a loop braided into its mane or similar, and shooting from under the neck of the mount. In game terms this means that you gain cover against ranged attacks for your Off Arm, Chest and Abdomen, and opposite Leg while shooting a bow or crossbow. If any of those locations are struck, they are considered to miss, as the shooter was attempting to hit you, not your mount [if he were trying to hit your mount, he would have said so].  However, if the shooter gains a special hit, he may choose to spend his Special Maneuver to have his shot strike you anyway in a rolled location, or target your mount instead. 


War-Dancer: Prerequisites - DEX 17, Dance 80%

Cost: 9 Hero Points, and you must spend at least one season as apprentice under a war-dancer such as Jar-eel the Razoress, who may need convincing. Or you must acquire a war-dance instruction manual, almost impossible to find since the destruction of the Empire of the Wyrms’ Friends, and study from it on your own for twice as long.

War-dancers incorporate grace into every movement, and dance as much as fight their way across a battlefield. Your Defense rises by 10% as a result of your training, and your maximum possible Defense is raised to DEXx3%. You may spend a Combat Action to automatically change range as the Change Range Maneuver, closing, adjusting or even disengaging as you prefer.


Weapon Tossing: Prerequisites – DEX 15, appropriate Weapon attack or parry skill 75%

Cost: 4 Hero Points, You must practice for one season, or study under someone with the feat for 4 weeks. For much of that time you will either be wounded [down by 25% of total hit points] or must manage magical healing through your spell-casting or payment to an NPC caster of 100 Lunars per week.

Weapon Tossing is the ability to throw your weapon up in the air in a spinning, flashing display, then catch it as it descends. You may do this freely, but in combat, you must spend a Combat Action and make a Weapon use check. If you succeed, you impress those who see the toss, which might enhance their opinion of you. If, soon after your success, you make an Intimidation attempt or CHA check, you gain a 20% bonus to succeed. If done in, or immediately before, combat, your success grants you a +3 to your Initiative check.


Might: Prerequisites – STR 17, CON 14

Cost: 8 Hero Points, and you must train under someone with this feat, at least half time, for 1d3 seasons.

Mighty people can perform feats of strength beyond their strength. They use STRx1.5 when figuring their maximum ENCumbrance. But they can also multiply their STR x 1.5 [Round up] for the amount that they can lift, or in STR checks of any sort. So if a normal person of STR 17 could lift STR x 20 pounds [340 pounds], a Mighty Person could lift 510 pounds, or would have an effective STR of 25 for STR checks.