Sefelka Sonostra, the Fell Form

Alternate Names: Sefelka Sonostra, The Fell Form, the Path of Sacred Rage, Ranathim Force Swordsmanship, Rim Force Swordsmanship

The “Fell Form,” so called by humans because it resembles one of the four human force sword forms, is known to the Ranathim as Sefelka Sonostrum, the fighting art of Domen Sonostra. Traditionally, the cult trains to use psi-blades, which differ from force swords in that they tend to be smaller and represent condensed psychic vampirism focused by the eloi fragment in the hilt of the blade. It works just as well with force swords, however. Humanity strongly associates the form with "Knights of the Rim," but this has more to do with the rest of the galaxy assuming Ranathim or Keleni practitioners of the form picked up their moves from the street to create a hodge-podge form; in reality, while some Rim Knights steal moves from it here and there, it is a very focused body of combat lore and not a mish-mash of streetfighting techniques.

Sefelka Sonostra is an assassin’s art, a vigilante art practiced in dark alleyways. In fact, it practitioners hesitate to even call it a force sword form, and emphasize that it is a fighting form that just happens to use force swords as one of its tools. It’s primary focus, especially early on, is on hand-to-hand combat and these make up the bulk of its moves. Force swords naturally fold into the rest of the style. Its practitioners seek vengeance, not honor, and they fold improvisational dirty tricks into the style, and steal tricks from street fighting styles and, their favorite form to emulate, the Destructive Form. They also perfect their mobility, and the finest followers of the art race across the skyline or vanish into the shadows with practiced ease. Masters of the art hone their rage into divine wrath, and can draw upon the power of Dark Communion and their own inner hatred to sharpen their combat skills to near inhuman levels.

The Fell Form excels at mobility and lateral thinking. It’s practitioners tend to be unpredictable and highly mobile. The most frustrating aspect of the Fell Form for those unfamiliar with it is its focus on unarmed combat techniques, as they often step into close combat where the force swordsman is unable to truly bring his weapon to bear.

The Fell Form as Martial Arts style

Skills: Acrobatics, Force Sword, Karate, Jumping
Techniques: Acrobatic Stand, Beat (Force Sword), Counter Attack (Karate), Hammer Fist, Kick, Low Fighting (Force Sword or Karate), Targeted Attack (Hammer Fist/Face), Targeted Attack (Kick/Groin)
Cinematic Skills: Flying Leap, Kiai, Light Walk, Lizard Climb, Precognitive Parry
Cinematic Techniques: Dual-Weapon Attack (Force Sword), Dual-Weapon Defense (Force Sword), Springing Attack, Timed Defense (Force Sword)
Perks: Dirty Fighting, Committed Acrobatics, Follow-Through, Graceful Glider, Grip Mastery (Force Sword, Reverse Grip), Off-Hand Weapon Training (Force Sword), Penetrating Voice, Raging Warrior, Secret Knowledge (Sacred Rage), Style Adaption (Destructive Form, Street Fighting), Sure-Footed (Any), Trademark Move.
Optional Traits: Ambidexterity, Basic Move, Enhanced Dodge, Extra Attack, Perfect Balance.
Optional Disadvantages: Bad Temper [-10*], Berserk [-10*], Bloodlust [-10*], Code of Honor (Satemo) [-10]
Optional Skills: Armoury (Force Sword), Fast-Draw (Force Sword), Intimidation, Savoir-Faire (Dojo), Stealth, Streetwise

Fell Form – New Traits

Berserker Arts: Characters with Trademark moves are allowed to update them to “All-Out Attack” version when berserk.

Committed Acrobatics: The character may retreat after making a committed attack, but the Committed Attack “uses up” one of his retreats (he counts as having retreated once already for the turn) and this requires a successful Acrobatics roll (which grants the usual +2 to the first defense of the turn). This is a cinematic maneuver that requires the character be able to exploit Chambara rules.

Grip Mastery (Force Sword, Reverse Grip): Rather than use the Reverse Grip technique, characters may instead take this perk. It allows them to freely switch to and from standard grip and reverse grip (or vice versa) once per turn. While in Reverse Grip with a force sword, the force sword becomes range C when attacking to the front (but becomes range 1 when attacking the sides or rear of the character); attacks to the front and the side increase penalty for deceptive attacks and feints by -1; the character may use Karate skill in place of Force Sword when attacking this way. All force sword parries are at -2, or at -1 if the character uses their Karate skill instead. Damage does not change. See Martial Arts page 111 for more details.

Raging Warrior: If your character has succumbed to an “angry” disadvantage (Bad Temper, Berserk, Bloodlust, Bully, etc), he may claim a +1 to all combat rolls; however, in addition to following the dictates of their angry disadvantage, they suffer a -1 per -5 points their “angry” disadvantage is worth for all rolls other than combat rolls dealing directly with the object of their rage (including Self-Control rolls to “snap out of” Berserk)!

Sacred Warrior: You must specialize by form of Communion. If in a region of high Sanctity for your specialized form of Communion, gain +1 to all combat rolls; if in a region of Very High Sanctity, gain +2. If in an area of Low or No Sanctity, apply a -1.

Fell Form Power-Ups

Fell Form – Student

20 points as primary style; 10 points as secondary style.
Prerequisite: None

Often surprising for martial artists familiar with other forms, the FellForm focuses its student’s learning more on hand-to-hand and acrobatics than on the force sword. The student learns that their whole body can be a weapon, and the force sword is just a natural extension of his inherent lethality.

Perks: Style Familiarity (Furious Form) [1]; Off-Hand Weapon Training (Force Sword) [1]

Skills:

  • As Primary Style: Acrobatics (H) DX [4]; Karate (H) DX [4]; Force Sword (A) DX+2 [8]; Precognitive Defense (H) IQ-1 [2];
  • As Secondary Style: Acrobatics (H) DX [4]; Karate (H) DX [4];

Optional Disadvantages: The character may add the following disadvantage options to their template options, or switch out one of their disadvantages for one of the following: Bad Temper (-10*), Berserk (-10*), Bloodlust (-10*).

Furious Form – Adept

20 points as primary style; 10 points as secondary style.
Prerequisite: Furious Form – Student

The Furious Form demands that its students unlearn rigid katas and ruthlessly undermines any notion they have of “honor.” The adept learns to improvise, to throw sand in the face of his opponent, and learns to fold in new moves and methods from other styles, while also perfecting his hand-to-hand skills to the height of their power and precision.

Perks: Dirty Fighting [1]; One of Style Adaption (Destructive or Streetfighting) both [1].

Skills:

  • As Primary Style: Improve Karate one level to (H) DX+1 [8] for 4 points; Improve Force Sword two levels to (A) DX+4 [16] for 8 points; improve Precognitive Defense to (H) IQ+1 [8] for 6 points.
  • As Secondary Style: Improve Karate one level to (H) DX [4] for 4 points; Improve Force Sword one level for 4 points;

Furious Form – Master

20 points as primary style; 10 points as secondary style.
Prerequisite: Furious Form – Adept

The Master of the Furious Form’s mastery of the force sword reaches its apex, making it comparable to the effectiveness of other forms. But the greatest secret of the masters of the Furious Form give the style it’s name: they learn to hone their rage and the power of Dark Communion around them to achieve unparalleled focus and precision with their art.

Perks: Raging Warrior [1]; Sacred Warrior (Dark Communion) [1];

Skills:

  • As Primary Style: Armoury (Force Sword) (A) IQ [2]; Improve Force Sword to (A) DX+7 [28] for 12 points; improve Precognitive Defense to (H) IQ+2 [12] for 4 points.
  • As Secondary Style: Improve Force Sword two levels for 8 points;

Fell Form Moves

Falling Assault

5 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Fell Form)

The Furious Form teaches the Satemo to attack from all angles, both low and high. Many Satemo learn to turn an urban or wild landscape into their personal jungle gym (see Rimwalker, below). This allows them to pounce on their victims from above. This move teaches the “Falling Assault” trademark move, and teaches the character to make Attacks from Above at +0 to their Force Sword skill, as well as how to Breakfall at Acrobatics +5.

Note that Attacks from Above generally gain a bonus to ambush targets. Apply a -2 to quick contests to notice the attack unless they specifically state that they’re looking up. Characters with Enhanced Time Sense may halve this penalty.

Trademark Move (Falling Assault): Make a Committed (Strong) Deceptive Attack from Above. Roll Force Sword-1 to hit. Your opponent defends at -3, if they can defend at all! If you inflict damage, add +1 per two dice of damage (most force swords will deal 8d+4 damage). Roll Acrobatics+6 to reduce falling damage (success reduces the effective fall by 5 yards; allow the player to apply an additional -2 per additional yard that this is extended) and land in a Crouch. You may not retreat, and you may not parry with the weapon you attacked with, and all other active defenses (parry with your second weapon or dodge) are at -2.

Fell Form Adepts increase the penalty to -3 and their opponents defends at -4. Furious Form Masters increase the penalty to -5 and their opponent’s defend at -5.
In all cases, characters with Style Familiarity (Furious Form) may ignore -1 in penalties. At the GM’s discretion, characters with Style Familiarity (Furious Form) may also ignore the penalties for noticing characters who are above them (they often “look up”).

Perks: Trademark Move (Falling Assault) [1]

Techniques: Attack from Above (A) Force Sword+0 [1], Breakfall (A) Acrobatics+5 [3].

Fell Cry

5 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Fell Form), Trained by a Master

The code of the Satemo demands that their victim be duly warned before the begin their attack. Some Satemo warn their victim long in advance with a ring of ceremonial bells from a dark alley, or ominous notes pinned to their door, but some “warn” their victim at the moment of attack. These Satemo learn a dreadful warcry that can freeze their victim in place as their psi-swords scythe in for the kill.

Perks: Penetrating Voice [1]
Techniques: Kiai (H) HT [4]

Fell Strike

5 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Fell Form)

The Fell Strike is perhaps the most common signature move of the Furious Form. The character steps in and uses both of his weapons to attack and then quickly retreats in an “attack and fly out” pattern. His attack uses both force swords at once, and those who learn this move learn to attack with both weapons at once at Force Sword+0.

This is a collection of two Trademark moves, one for characters with Trained by a Master or Weapon Master, the other for those without. When a character with this move gains Trained by a Master or Weapon Master, his Trademark Move automatically “upgrades.” This move also contains two different perks: Special Exercise for those without Trained by a Master or Weapon Master, and Committed Acrobatics for those with. The character may freely trade in their special exercise perk when gaining TBaM or Weapon Master.

Trademark Move (Fell Strike): Make a Committed Deceptive Dual Weapon Attack. Step towards your opponent and attack with both weapons. Roll Force Sword-3 twice. Your opponent defends at -3 against both attacks. If you hit, deal normal damage. Then, Step away from your opponent. You may not retreat and you may not parry with either weapon and your dodge/other parries are at -2.

Trademark Move (Fell Strike, Cinematic): Make a Committed Dual Weapon Attack. Step towards your opponent and attack with both weapons. Roll Force Sword -3 twice. Your opponent defends at -4 against both attacks. If you hit, deal normal damage. You may not parry with either weapon, and your dodge and other parries are at -2; you may retreat, but you count as having retreated once already, and you must succeed at an acrobatics roll (which provides a +2 to your defense).

In both cases, Adepts increase the attack penalty to -5; his opponent defends at -4 (-5 for the cinematic version). Masters increase the attack penalty to -7; his opponent defends at -5 (-6 for the cinematic version).

In all cases, characters with Style Familiarity (Fell Form) reduce the defense penalty by -1, and characters with Dual Weapon Defense reduce the penalty by -1.

Perks: Trademark Move (Fell Strike) [1]; Special Exercise (Dual Weapon Attack, only against Same Opponent) [1] or Committed Acrobatics [1] (Committed Attack still allows a retreat, but you count as having retreated once already, and you must succeed at an acrobatics roll)

Techniques: Dual Weapon Attack (H) Force Sword+0 [3]

The High Hand

5 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Fell Form)

Called Shatra Rulen, literally “The High Hand,” this stance is sometimes called “The Hawk Stance,” though this term is used more by humans trying to make the stance sound more exotic to human audiences. The High Hand is a “standing” stance where the character shifts how he holds his force swords so they’re in an “ice pick” or “reversed” grip. This allows him to enter close combat and attack at no penalty, make attacks behind him up to reach 1; he suffers in that his parry drops by -2, but if he uses Karate instead of Force Sword, it drops only by -1. While holding his force swords in a reverse stance, increase the opponent’s defense penalty against any force sword attack marked as “Deceptive” by an additional -1.

He also learns to parry attacks from behind him, and to attack behind him, at no penalty.

Despite the description, the character needn’t be standing to use any techniques associated with this move.

Perks: Grip Mastery (Reverse Grip) [1]
Techniques: Back Strike (H) Force Sword +0 [2]; Timed Defense (H) Force Sword Parry-0 [2];

The Low Hand

4 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Fell Form)

Called Tazu Rulen, literally “the Low Hand” this stance is sometimes called “the Dog Stance,” but only by humans who seem to use the term to make it sound more exciting and exotic. The Low Hand is a “crouching” stance, typically assumed after a successful breakfall roll or from certain Acrobatic defenses. Those who learn the stance buy off all penalties for attacking or defending when crouched.

Furthermore, the Satemo can make a “springing attack” at Force Sword+0; this requires crouching and "charging" for a whole turn (they cannot attack during that turn; treat it as a Ready maneuver). A successful springing attack increases damage to +1 per die (or 8d+8 for more force swords), but if the attack misses, the character is at -2 to DX and all attack and defense rolls until their next turn, while on a critical failure, the fall down.

Techniques: Low Fighting (H) Force Sword +0 [2]; Springing Attack (H) Force Sword +0 [2]

Theft of Balance

5 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Fell Form)

Outsiders wrongly assume that the Furious Form is primarily a force swordsmanship style. It is not: the Furious Form teaches the Satemo to use his entire body as a weapon. Theft of Balance teaches the character to lash out with their feet in a sudden, spinning sweep attack. This move also teaches the character to make Spinning kicks (see Martial Arts 81) at Karate+0, and Sweeps (see Martial Arts p. 81) at Karate+0.

Trademark Move (Theft of Balance): The character makes a Deceptive Spinning Sweep. Roll Karate+1 vs your opponent’s best melee skill. Then roll Karate-1. Your opponent defends at a penalty equal to your margin of success, to a maximum of -2, with an additional -1, unless your opponent won the contest, in which case he defends with a +2 bonus; your opponent may not parry with anything except an unarmed skill. If you hit, roll a contest of Karate+1 or ST+1 vs your opponent’s best of ST, DX or Acrobatics; if you win, your opponent is prone. You may defend normally.

Adepts at the Furious Form increase the Karate penalty to -3; their opponents defends at an additional -1.

Characters with Style Familiarity (Furious Form) may reduce the defense penalties by -1.

Perks: Trademark Move (Theft of Balance) [1]

Techniques: Spinning (Kick) (H) Karate+0 [2]; Sweep (H) Karate+0 [2].

Theft of Beauty

5 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Fell Form)

Practiced almost exclusively by the Ranathim, who have the sturdy skulls to make it work. This move teaches the character the “Theft of Beauty” trademark move, to Headbutt at Karate+0, and to target the nose with a headbutt at -3 rather than -7.

Trademark Move (Theft of Beauty): While in close combat, make an Attack against the target’s nose. Roll Karate-2. Your opponent may not parry with anything except an unarmed skill. If you hit, inflict thr-1+Karate Bonuses (Ranathim inflict thr+Karate bonuses). Treat this as a Face injury, except inflicting more than HP/4 damage is a Major Wound, for additional effects see MA p. 137. You may defend normally.

Note that Ranathim have a skull DR of 3, thus headbutting a Ranathim inflicts self-injury unless you also have a skull DR of 3.

Perks: Trademark Move (Theft of Beauty)

Techniques: Headbutt (H) Karate+0 [1]; Targeted Attack (Headbutt/Nose) (H) Karate-3 [3].

Theft of Breath

4 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Fell Form)

The Satemo quickly punches their opponent in the throat. In addition to teaching the “Theft of Breath” trademark move, this move teaches the character to make hammer fist strikes with their weapons at Karate+0, and to attack the Neck at Karate-2.

Trademark Move (Theft of Breath): While in close combat, make an Attack against the target’s neck. Roll Karate-1. Your opponent may not parry with anything except an unarmed skill. If you hit, inflict thr+Karate Bonuses (If attacking with an empty hand, reduce this to thr-2 + Karate Bonuses) to the neck; increase all damage that bypasses DR by 1.5×. You may defend normally.

Perks: Trademark Move (Theft of Breath) [1]

Techniques: Hammer Fist (A) Karate+0 [1]; Targeted Attack (Hammer Fist/Neck) (H) Karate-2 [2].

Theft of Legacy

4 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Fell Form)

The Satemo does what it takes to win, even making low blows. This move teaches the Trademark Move “Theft of Legacy,” and teaches the Satemo to make Knee Strikes at Karate+0, and to make knee strikes to the groin at -1.

Trademark Move (Theft of Legacy): Make a Deceptive Knee Strike to the Groin. Roll Karate-2 to hit. Your opponent defends at -1 and may not parry except with an unarmed skill. If you hit, inflict thr+karate bonuses to the groin (against males, double the shock penalties and apply a -5 to stun/knockdown rolls). You may defend normally.
Characters with Style Familiarity (Furious Form) may reduce the defense penalties by -1.

Perks: Trademark Move (Theft of Legacy) [1]

Techniques: Knee Strike (A) Karate+0 [1]; Targeted Attack (Knee Strike/Groin) (H) Karate-1 [2].

Fell Form Exercises

Rim Walker

20 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Fell Form)

Most Satemo who practice the Furious Form also learn a great deal of Parkour, and use it hunt down their prey in their urban or wild hunting grounds. This exercise teaches the basics of parkour and helps them learn to perfectly balance (which grants a +1 to their Acrobatics!).

Traits: Perfect Balance [15]

Skills: Climbing (A) DX* [1]; Jumping (E) DX+1 [2]; Running (E) HT [2]

  • improved by Perfect Balance.

Shadow Walker

20 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Fell Form), Trained by a Master

The Satemo who use the Furious Form have a reputation as assassins. Their code requires them to warn their target of their impending death, but they often do this through the ringing of ceremonial bells near them three times over the course of a week, or leave ominous notes. When it comes time for the actual attack, they usually come out of the shadows and cut their opponent down with little warning. So called “Shadow Walkers” excel at this.

Characters with this exercise ignore up to -3 in penalties to attack in the dark, become masters of Stealth, can vanish in the midst of battle with a Stealth-1 roll (provided they can make use of some distraction or something like a smoke bomb) and apply almost no pressure to the ground when they walk.

Traits: Nightvision 3 [3]

Skills: Light Walk (H) DX [4]; Stealth (A) DX+2 [8]

Techniques: Vanishing (A) Stealth-1 [5];

Fell Form Secrets

Rim Runner

20 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Fell Form), Trained by a Master

The Satemo who use the Furious Form excel at parkour, to the point where some legends claim that they can race up or down walls as they would run on the ground. If this legend is true, characters may purchase the Rim Runner secret.

Characters with the Rim Runner secret may “walk” or even “run” on walls. They may move at full speed, rather than half speed, and can stand upright: they don’t need to touch the walls with their hands (though they can). This requires a Lizard Climb roll, but at no penalty and costs no fatigue. They may use this ability only on walls (they cannot use it to “stand upside down”) and the suffer penalties up to -6 on especially slick surfaces (wet stone walls, glass, etc). This secret also teaches Lizard Climb, which characters may also use normally (for example, to stick to slick surfaces, or to climb upside down on ceilings); using Lizard Climb this way follows normal rules for Lizard Climb.

Perks: Secret Knowledge (Rim Runner) [1]
Advantages: Clinging (Accessibility, Vertical surfaces only -20%; Attraction (Only to stand upright) +5%, Hard, -6, only on slick surfaces, -10%; Requires DX roll -10%) [13]; Enhanced Move (Ground; only while clinging -80%) [4];
Skills: Lizard Climb (H) DX-1 [2];

Fell Frenzy

10 points or 1 point and 2 points per use.
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Fell Form), Berserk

The Furious Form is, unsurprisingly, a force swordsmanship technique that channels rage. Thus, popular depictions of the Furious Form involve depictions of its users as maniacs who attack in a frenzy, frothing at the mouth until put down like mad dogs. This may have a basis in truth: some practitioners do learn to channel their rage into a berserk frenzy, striking faster than would seem humanely possible. However, most force swordsman dismiss these tales: such a technique would be ultimately suicidal for a force swordsman, as his opponent would only need to get a single good hit in to take his opponent down, and even if the attacker survived the encounter, they would likely be grossly injured.

This secret is offered as an option for GMs who want to allow their players (or NPCs) to explore the ultimate endpoint of the Fell Form’s rage. This grants an extra Karate attack every turn, which the character can use in addition to the attacks available in their trademark moves (for example, if making a Fell Strike, the character can make three force sword attacks plus one karate attack), and allows the character to transition any trademark moves they have over to All-Out versions for the duration of the frenzy. The GM can either price this at 10 points or 1 point (treat it as “Secret Knowledge (Fell Frenzy) [1]”) and allow players who wish to use the ability to spend 2 character points or two impulse buy points to activate the ability. This reduced cost reflects the fact that using such a move will generally result in the death of the character, so the GM may not want to require his players invest 10 points into a technique they might use only once. If the GM or players do not believe this to be so, or find ways to make it useful, go with the 10-point version.

  • Trademark Move (Falling Assault as Berserker Arts): This becomes an All-Out (Determined) Deceptive attack. Penalty remains Force Sword-1, but opponent’s defense penalty increases to -4 (-5 for Adepts, -6 for Masters). You cannot defend. Everything else remains the same.
  • Trademark Move (Fell Strike as Berserker Arts): This becomes All-Out (Double); Make Three attacks, all Deceptive. Keep the same penalties to both attack and opponent. You may move up to half of your move, taking steps before or after. You may not defend.
  • Trademark Move (Theft of Balance as Berserker Arts): The character makes an All-Out (Determined) Deceptive Spinning Sweep. Roll Karate+5 vs your opponent’s best melee skill. Then roll Karate-1. Your opponent defends at a penalty equal to your margin of success with an additional -3, unless your opponent won the contest, in which case he defends with a bonus equal to his margin of success-3, and your opponent may not parry with anything except an unarmed skill. Everything else remains the same. You may not defend.
  • Trademark Move (Theft of Beauty as Berserker Arts): This becomes an All-Out (Strong) attack. Increase damage to thr+1+karate bonuses (Ranathim inflict thr+2+karate bonuses). Everything else remains the same. You may not defend.
  • Trademark Move (Theft of Breath as Berserker Arts): This becomes an All-Out (Strong) attack. Inflict thr+2+karate bonuses damage. Everything else remains the same. You may not defend.
  • Trademark Move (Theft of Legacy as Berserker Arts): This becomes an All-Out (Strong) attack. Inflict thr+2+karate bonuses damage. Everything else remains the same. You may not defend.

Perks: Berserker’s Art [1];

Advantages: Extra Attack (All-Out -25%; Single Skill, Karate -20%; Only when Berserk -20%) [9]

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