New Fighting Art for Berserkers

Hamaskar

It is said that among the Northmen are warriors who foam at the mouth, bellow and howl like animals, and fear neither fire nor steel.

Exponent Form Skill Actions
2 Sword, Spear Strike, Great Strike, Charge, Push
3 Axe, Hammer Throw Weapon
5 Unarmed, Improvised Weapon

All Hamskar techniques must be purchased or learned in order, without exception.

Techniques Training Obstacles
Mantle of the Bear See Below* Taxidermy Ob 4 or Tanner Ob 5 Hamaskar Ob 1
Draft of Wormwood Instruction Ob 1 Apothecary or Poisons Ob 2 Health Ob 5
The Spirit Befriended Instruction Ob 2 Ritual or Meditation Ob 2 Hamaskar Ob 2
Cunning of the Bear Instruction Ob 3 Agility Ob 4 Hamaskar Ob 3
Battle Training Instruction Ob 4 Steel Ob 5 Hamaskar Ob 4
Beargrip Instruction Ob 4 Power Ob 5 Hamaskar Ob 4
Voice of Thunder Instruction Ob 5 Health Ob 5 Conspicuous Ob 4
Throw Person Instruction Ob 5 Power Ob 7 Hamaskar Ob 5
Fury of the Bear Instruction Ob 6 Ritual or Mediation Ob 3 Hamskar Ob 6
The Spirit Prevailing Instruction Ob 7 Ritual or Meditation Ob 4 Hamaskar Ob 7

Mantle of the Bear: To stand shoulder-to-shoulder among the Berserkergang you must first stand against the Bear itself. There is no instruction: your task is to hunt and slay a bear by might of arms alone, and to bring its cured pelt before the shaman.

While you wear the Mantle of the Bear (and nothing else) you are considered to be wearing Plate Mail that cannot fail, yet its Clumsy Weight is merely that of leather armor. It does not require Armor Training. The Mantle of the Bear grants +2D to Forte and Health tests for resisting the cold and wet, as well as triggers tests of Steel for any creature that fears the scent of the bear.

Scripting an Avoid or Block, or hesitating by Falling Prone and Begging for Mercy or Turning and Running Screaming while wearing the Mantle evicts the spirit from the pelt - all powers and boons granted by your mantle are lost, and a new mantle must be fashioned.

Draught of Wormwood: Quaffing a prepared tincture of wormwood allows you to enter a frenzy. It takes 12 actions in Fight for a tincture to take effect, and one hour for it to wear off.

While in a frenzy, your hesitation is halved for Pain, Fear and Surprise, while Wonderment and magic cannot trigger Steel tests at all.

You can also enter a frenzy from the imbibing of any poison, whether deliberate or not. You do not suffer the effects of that poison until your frenzy wears off.

Cunning of the Bear: You learn the Counterstrike action. If you are wearing your Mantle, you may add its armor dice to your defensive pool.

The Spirit Befriended: A ritual retelling of your fight with the Bear, or a meditation over the same, allows you to finally come to allyship with the spirit within the Mantle.

While wearing your Mantle, Great Strikes get +1D advantage and all tests of Power receive Helping dice from the Power of the bear whose pelt you now wear.

Bear Grip: You pull your foes into a bearhug and squeeze. Gain the Lock & Strike action.

Fury of the Bear: While in a Frenzy, your Strikes and Great Strikes treat your foe’s armor as one step lower in their quality: Superior armor dice fail without a re-roll, RoTM fails on a 3 or lower, and Poor Quality falls apart on a single successful strike. Beware! While your frenzy persists, Poor-quality weapons will shatter at a single blow against superior armor or weapons!

Throw Person: This action tests your Power, not Hamaskar. You are literally lifting your foes over your head and bodily hurling them. If a thrown person strikes another combatant, both experience the same Thrown Against the Wall effects at -1 Pow.

Voice of Thunder: Bellowing and howling projects your voice across the miles equal to your Health. You can Command anyone in that range who recognizes your voice, and Intimidate anyone in that range who does not.

The Spirit Prevailing: You can now shapeshift into the bear you slew while wearing your mantle. Doing so is a Physical Action, requires no test, immediately and automatically puts you into a Frenzy, which persists until you shapeshift back. Shapeshifting back requires you to fall asleep; an Ob 5 test of Will. Failure either results in insomnia or logging a difficult test of Hamaskar.

Your bear-form stats can be taken from page 15 of the free PDF Twilight in the Duchy Verdorben. Remove the Infected By the Black Oil trait. You are limited to using the stats and skills of whichever form you are currently in, although you retain your own mind and the benefits of the Mantle while in bear form. Wounds dealt to one body only affect (and heal through) that body. Such injuries persist between transformations and do not bleed or progress while you are in the other form. Essentially, this technique requires two character sheets.

When your Hamaskar skill reaches exponent 10, the Spirit Prevails. The next time you fall asleep, or swoon in combat, your body transforms: the bear is reincarnated through you and your soul is lost to the halls of death. This can only be reversed by a major miracle or some other potent magic that can undo the transformation, banish the spirit and return the soul. If this is done, the mantle that remains is nothing but a useless and festering pelt, devoid of all power.

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I love the starting point with “Mantle of the Bear”! Such a great way to begin on this Fighting Art.

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Thanks! I really liked the idea of instruction through a rite of passage :grin:

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