The Simple Form

Alternate Names: Ancestral Force Swordsmanship, the Grandfather Form, the Eight Direction Stance, The Way of Water

When the Templars first liberated the Temple-Worlds of the Keleni, they brought with them the aristocratic force swordsmanship techniques of the Alexian Empire, and discovered the native force sword styles of the Umbral Rim. While studying the ways of True Communion, they began to see not just the connections between themselves, but between all forms of force swordsmanship, and found commonalities among them. From this, they derived a new form, the “orginal” form of Force Swordsmanship from which all others descend: the Simple Form.

This new style served as the foundation for most Templar training in the era of the Crusader Worlds. It seeks to teach the basics of force swordsmanship to the pupil as quickly as possible, and to lay the foundation of physical fitness and adaptability, so the student is well-served when branching out into other forms.
But those who continue to study the style after learning its basics quickly learn why masters call it the “Grandfather” form, for all forms feed back into the Simple Form. They can use the techniques learned in the Simple Form to exploit weaknesses in other styles, and legendary masters, such as Gladius Tao, used it to shift from form to form, displaying absolute mastery of all forms.

The Simple Form focuses on basic attack, defense and teaches its students unpredictable angles of attacks (best treated as Feints and Deceptive attacks). They fold in basic unarmed techniques as well, so that the student can defend himself from all forms of attacks. Students often undergo rigorous (and tedious) physical training that cultivates their endurance and reflexes, making them better all-around fighters. The style can be expanded into almost any other style, and true masters often learn to fight with all weapons with astonishing facility, translating their master of the force sword into mastery of the vibroblade or a kitchen knife.

The Simple Form has a mixed reputation among other Force Swordsmen schools. Those who learn its basics tend to be unimpressed with it and suggest that it is too general to be of real use, pointing out that it excels at nothing other schools don't do better. On the other hand, those who have faced a true master of the style claim that it is the most powerful style ever devised; such masters tend to far exceed the masters of other schools, typically because, in addition to being a master of this form, they've usually at least learned the student level of a couple other forms, and the Simple Style synergizes well with other forms, making them truly lethal warriors against other force swordsmen.

Today, the style is all but lost. A few Templar Chapters still teach it, especially the Far Striders and their Swordmaster, Mysterious Kitha, who insists on maintaining the old Templar tradition of teaching all new Templars at least the student level of mastery. The style rarely surfaces outside of the last remnants of the Templars, except for a few Knights of the Rim who seem to have picked up the basics entirely by accident through experimentation, lending some credence to the Templar notion that the Simple Form is the true basis to all other forms.

The Simple Form as Martial Art Style

Skills: Force Sword, Judo
Techniques: Breakfall (Judo), Disarm (Force Sword), Feint (Force Sword), Retain Weapon (Force Sword), Sweep (Judo), Targeted Attack (Force Sword Strike/Weapon), Trip (Judo),
Warding Parry (Judo).
Cinematic Skills: Body Mastery, Mental Strength, Precognitive Parry
Cinematic Techniques: Dual Weapon Defense (Force Sword), Timed Defense (Force Sword or Judo)
Perks: Focused Flurry, Focused Fury, Focused Step, Grip Mastery (Defensive Grip, Force Sword), Improvised Weapons, Off-Hand Weapon Training (Force Sword), Mind-Body Connection, Quick Swap (Force Sword), Secret Knowlege (Infinite Stance Mastery), Style Mastery (Force Sword Styles only), Sure-Footed (Uneven), Technique Adaption (Disarm, Feint, Sweep), Technique Mastery (Feint), Trademark Move, Weapon Adaption (Any)
Optional Advantages: Combat Reflexes, Higher Purpose (Style Mastery, Force Sword Forms), Fit or Very Fit, Weapon Master (Force Sword), Weapon Master (Any)
Optional Skills: Armoury (Force Sword), Axe/Mace, Broadsword, Expert Skill (Hoplology), Karate, Knife, Philosophy (True Communion), Polearm, Savoir-Faire (Dojo), Shortsword, Spear, Staff, Tactics, Teaching,
Optional Techniques: Armed Grapple (Any optional melee skill).

New Traits — the Simple Form

Perks

Focused Flurry: Treat the character as having Trained by a Master when using the Extra Effort option “Flurry of Blows.” That is, instead of applying a -3 penalty to each extra attack to which the character applies extra effort, apply a -1. If the character has trained by a master, reduce this penalty by -1 (thus a character who makes two attacks and pays for both suffers a -0 to both attacks; characters who make three attacks and pays for them is at -1 for each attack, and so on).

Focused Step: This allows the character to use Giant Step with All-Out Attack and Committed Attack as well as normal Attacks and Defensive Attacks; this extra step may come after the attack.

Mind-Body Connection: You may spend Energy Reserves (Psi) on physical extra-effort, including Extra Effort in Combat.

Advantages

Higher Purpose (Force Sword Style Mastery)
5 points

The character becomes highly adept at fighting opponents with styles he already knows. If the character with this trait would be able to ignore up to -1 in deceptive attack penalties thanks to sharing a Style Familiarity Perk with his opponent, he also gains a +1 to attack the target and to defend against the target. This only applies to Style Familiarity Perks associated with Force Sword styles.

Infinite Stance Mastery
16 points
Prerequisite: Force Sword 18+, Secret Knowledge (Infinite Stance Mastery), Style Familiarity (Simple Form) and at least one other Style Familiarities for Force Swordsman Forms, Weapon Master (Force Sword)

By learning multiple force swordsmanship forms and mastering the Simple Form, the character has learned to understand the heart of force swordsmanship, and can shift from stance to stance altering his fighting technique to suit combat.

Entering Infinite Stance Mastery requires a single Concentrate maneuver (the effect lasts a minute, so is generally done in battle, or shortly before battle begins), and the character must choose a force swordsman form that he has the Style Familiarity perk form. Once completed, the character gains 5-point Move in any style familiar to the character. The character may make a further concentration maneuver to change to a new “stance” and to gain a new 5-point Move.

While in the Infinite Mastery Stance, for the purposes of the benefits of Style Familiarity perks and Higher Purpose (Style Mastery), the character has only the Style Familiarity perk of the style associated with the Move he is currently using. For example, if a Simple Form Force Swordsman familiar with the Simple, Destructive and Graceful form activates Infinite Stance Mastery to gain a 5-point Destructive Form move, if his opponent has Style Familiarity (Destructive), then the opponent can ignore -1 in all deceptive attacks from Force Swordsman, even if the Force Swordsman uses a Simple or Graceful move, or if the opponent lacks Style Familiarity in the Simple or Graceful Form.

Statistics: Modular Power (“Stance Change”, 4 point base, 5 points per point of ability; single 5 point slot; Nuisance Effect, single style vulnerability -5%; Trait limited: Force Sword Combat Moves only -40%) [16]

Infinite Weapon Adaption
4 points
Prerequisite: Secret Knowledge (Weapon Adaption)

When taking this trait, the character must specialize by weapon skill. This trait allows them to use any weapon the GM would allow the Weapon Adaption perk for with that weapon skill. For example, a character with Infinite Weapon Adaption (Force Sword) would use Force Sword skill in place of Broadsword, Jitte/Sai, Knife, Shortsword and Two-Handed Sword, but not Polearm or Whip.

If the character has Weapon Master, the GM may wish to waive the normal requirement that the weapon use the same number of hands and have a default to the skill at -4 or less, and allow the character to use their core weapon skill with any weapon covered by their Weapon Master skill.

Statistics: Weapon Adaption (+300%, Universal) [4].

Techniques

Warding Parry
Hard
Default: Karate Parry -1 or Judo Parry-1; cannot exceed Unarmed Parry.

When the character uses an unarmed skill to parry an attack, he uses a combination of footwork, guidance and focusing on guiding the opponent’s limbs or hand to avoid actually touching the weapon. Against weapons that damage things that parry them, the character is unharmed on a successful parry. If the parry fails, the opponent may still elect to strike the limbs of the defending character as normal.

Simple Form Power-Ups

The Simple Form – Student

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

The Student of the Simple Form learns the basics of force swordsmanship (and often the "First Steps" move). They also supplement it with the basics of unarmed combat, good footwork and how to handle strange terrain. Most practitioners of the Simple Form never advance beyond this level of mastery.

Perks: Style Familiarity (Simple Form) [1]; Sure-Footed (Uneven) [1]

Skills:

  • As Primary Style: Force Sword (A) DX+3 [12]; Judo (H) DX [4]; Precognitive Defense (H) IQ-1 [2];
  • As Secondary Style: Improve Force Sword one level for 4 points; Judo (H) DX [4];

Simple Form – Adept

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

Almost as though to encourage the student to move on to some other force sword form, the instructor of the adept begins to teach him about all other force sword forms. Whether or not they gain Style Familiarity with them, the Adept at the Simple Form can readily recognize other martial arts styles, and discuss their strengths and weaknesses with ease. Additionally, his Force Swordsmanship steadily improves, and he gains greater facility with his unarmed skill and footwork.

Skills:

  • As Primary Style: Expert Skill (Hoplology) (H) IQ-1 [2]; Improve Force Sword to (A) DX+5 [20] for 8 points; Improve Judo to (H) DX+1 [8] for 4 points; improve Precognitive Defense to (H) IQ+1 [8] for 6 points.
  • As Secondary Style: Expert Skill (Hoplology) (H) IQ-1 [2]; Improve Force Sword one level for 4 points; Improve Judo to (H) DX+1 [8] for 4 points.

Simple Form – Master

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

Like a light switching on, the Master of the Simple Form grasps what connects all styles, why he learned about other styles, and why his instructors encouraged him to learn at least the basics of other schools. Everything lines up in his mind, and the weaknesses and strengths of other forms become completely transparent to him, provided he knows those styles. He gains a +1 to attack and defend against any practitioner using a style with which he has Style Familiarity. He also gains deeper insights into the moves he knows, and can dramatically shout out their name (either the names listed, or his particular school's peculiar variations) to apply a -1 to defend against them once per fight. Finally, he achieves the apex performance typical of other force swordsman schools.

Advantages: Higher Purpose (Style Mastery, Force Sword Forms) [5]

Perks: Secret Styles (Force Sword Forms) [1]

Skills:

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

Simple Form Moves

Cede Ground

4 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (The Simple Form)

The character learns that, sometimes, it is better to walk away than to fight. The character may make unarmed Judo parries against Force Swords and other destructive weapons without risking damage (though a failed parry still means the attacker can elect to attack the limbs, as normal), may perform a Trip (MA p. 81) at Judo+0, and gains a +4, rather than a +3, when retreating during a Judo parry.

Advantages: Enhanced Judo Parry (Retreat only -70%) [2]

Techniques: Trip (H) Judo+0 [1], Warding Parry (H) Judo Parry+0 [1]

First Steps

4 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (The Simple Form)

The First Step

Most Moves contain only one, or perhaps two variations of a, single trademark move, with the rest of the points for the move spent on the techniques behind the move. The Simple Form tends to avoid complex techniques, especially for its students. Instead, its practitioners master the "basics" of combat. As such, to round out these basic trademark moves into a full move, they've been combined together.

The GM may wish to break them up, however. Rather than have the character purchase the First Steps as a move, they can purchase some other move, and purchase individual trademark moves at one point each. This is especially useful when looking at the Simple Attack, which quickly loses utility vs the Formless Attack, which can only be performed when the character has Force Sword 20+.

The Simple Form drills its students on very simple, very straightforward combat techniques generally considered suitable only for students. However, even experts often come to rely on several of these “Simple” moves, and those who stick with the style until mastery learn the true power of an especially difficult maneuver, the “Formless Attack.”

This move teaches the character four trademark moves. At the GM’s discretion, he may reduce the cost to three, in which case the character learns the Simple Attack, the Simple Defense and Simple Deception, and when the character achieves Master-level mastery of the Simple Form, he can either pay an additional point for the Formless Attack, or trade out their Simple Attack for the Formless Attack. If the GM wishes this to be worth a full 5 points, he can allow the player to create his own trademark move as part of his First Steps; perhaps each Simple instructor has their own, unique take on the First Steps!

Trademark Move (Simple Attack): Make a Deceptive Attack. Roll Force Sword-1. Opponent defends at -1. If you succeed, roll normal damage against the torso. You may defend normally. Characters with Style Familiarity (Simple Form) may ignore the defense penalty.

Trademark Move (Simple Defense): The character makes an All-Out Defense (Double Defense). For the remainder of the turn, they may retreat from an attack and roll Force Sword Parry +1 (+3 if Trained by Master or they have Weapon Master) against all attacks (at normal penalties for multiple parries in a single turn), and if that fails, they may roll Dodge at +3. The character may ignore up to -1 in deceptive attacks and gains +1 to resist feints, ruses or beats. This move is compatible with Simple Footwork, which improves their Dodge defense against melee attacks to +4.

Trademark Move (Simple Deception): The Martial Artist uses a basic trick to deceive his foe. Make a Feint; roll Force Sword+1 in a quick contest with the best of your opponent’s melee combat skills or Tactics; on a success, apply your margin of success as a penalty to his next defense against you. You may defend normally. This move is compatible with Formless Deception, in which case, increase the Force Sword roll to Force Sword+7.

Trademark Move (the Formless Attack): Make a Deceptive All-Out (Determined) Attack. Roll Force Sword-9 (note that the character must have Force Sword-19 or better to even attempt this move). Opponent defends at -7. If you succeed, roll normal damage against the torso. You may not defend. Characters with Style Familiarity (Simple Form) may ignore -1 point of defense penalties.

Traits: Trademark Moves (Simple Attack, Simple Deception, Simple Defense, the Formless Attack) [4];

Formless Deception

5 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Simple Form);

The Simple Form teaches its practitioners to unlearn the form. Those who master the art become highly adept at flexible, dynamic attacks and feints that make their final attack seem to come from nowhere.

This move allows the character to make Feints at Force Sword+6!

Perks: Technique Mastery (Feint) [1]

Techniques: Feint (H) Force Sword+6 [4]

Formless Footwork

5 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Simple Form);

For the Simple Form, footwork and the ability to dodge matters as much as a good parry. Students of the form learn to retreat quickly, given the chance, and gain a +1 to any Dodge made while retreating.

Advantages: Enhanced Dodge (only on retreat -70%) [5]

One with the Earth

5 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Simple Form);

The Simple Form teaches the practitioner to understand the ground he treads on, an understanding that most other Forms don’t share, allowing the practitioner to see opportunities on uneven ground that others might miss. For him, “going prone” is merely a new situation he can exploit!
This move removes all Prone penalties for fighting with Judo, and allows the character to Sweep opponents with his Judo skill at no skill penalty.

Techniques: Ground Combat (H) Judo+0 [3]; Sweep (H) Judo+0 [2];

Simple Exercises

5 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (The Simple Form)

Instructors of the Simple Form often require their students to engage in repetitive physical exercise that involves exhausting displays of explosive power. After hours of sweating, the student learns to harness their body’s power better, and to marshal it at exactly the right moment for battle. The master uses this move not to teach the student to fight, but to lay the foundation upon which the student can learn to fight better.

Characters with this Move may use the Mighty Blow extra effort option with All-Out or Committed attacks; they may use the Giant Step to purchase one additional step (which may occur after the attack) with Committed or All-Out Attack options; when using Flurry of Blows, they count as having Trained by a Master (that is, they make multiple attacks at a penalty of -1 per extra attack for every attack for which they pay a fatigue point, rather than -3); if they already have Trained by a Master or Weapon Master, they instead lower the penalty by an additional -1 for every attack they pay for. Finally, they improve all Increased Defense extra effort options for all parries from +2 to +3.

Perks: Focused Flurry [1], Focused Fury [1], Focused Step [1].

Advantages: Enhanced Parry (All; Extra Effort, Increased Defense Only -80%) [2].

Simple Form Exercises

Mind-Body Connection

20 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Simple Form);

Instructors of the Simple Form often emphasizes basic exercises, such as running, push-ups, and tedious activities, such as cleaning, that tend to incorporate explosive and exhausting movements in them. While students bemoan these exercises, the end result is greater physical fitness. They complete the exercise with deep introspection, not only teaching the student to take care of their body, but also to listen to their body and to their mind-body connection, to merge the psychic with the physical.
Characters with this exercise regain fatigue twice as fast, spend fatigue at half normal rate (this does not apply to Extra Effort In Combat, but does apply to things like long-distance running, or the fatigue cost of battle) and gain +2 to all HT rolls. Additionally, they may spend psychic energy reserves on Extra Effort in combat.

Advantages: Very Fit [15]
Perks: Mind-Body Connection [1]
Skills: Body Control (H) HT-1 [2]; Meditation (H) Will-1 [2]

Simple Form Secrets

Infinite Weapon Adaption

5 points
Prerequisite: Style Familiarity (Simple Form).

The Simple Form seeks to understand the patterns that underlie all forms of combat. In exploring these foundations, some students of the Simple Form pick up other, seemingly unrelated weapons and train in them as well. This has given rise to a legend that masters of the Simple Form can use all weapons, and this may well be true.
If this secret is available, characters who learn it may use any weapon the GM would allow them to buy the Weapon Adaption perk with their Force Sword skill at no penalty. They may also apply all their Force Swordsmanship Moves, perks and techniques to their weapon of choice, as though they were wielding a force sword. Characters with Weapon Master may also use their force sword skill with any weapon covered by their Weapon Master trait.

Perk: Secret Knowledge (Infinite Weapon Adaption) [1]
Advantages: Infinite Weapon Adaption (Force Sword/All Melee) [4]

Infinite Stance Mastery

17 points
Prerequisite: Force Sword 18+, Style Familiarity (Simple Form) and at least one other Style Familiarity for Force Swordsman Forms, Weapon Master (Force Sword)

Some masters of the Simple Form call it the “Grandfather Form” and claim that it serves as the foundation of all Force Swordsmanship Forms. By this, they do not (usually) mean that it came first, as its first appearance on the Galactic scene seems to date to the founding of the Templars, which long post-dates several other forms. Rather, it has in its essence the templates for all other forms. Those who master this truth learn that they can “improvise” the moves of any style that they have at least passing familiarity with.

Activating Infinite Stance Mastery requires a single Concentrate Maneuver. After this, they may assume the “stance” of a single Force Swordsmanship Form they know, and gain a single 5-point (or less) move from that form “for free.” For the duration of the stance, for the purposes of Style Familiarity Perks or the Higher Purpose (Style Mastery) trait, they count as having only the Style Familiarity of the stance they assumed. They may change their stance with another Concentrate maneuver (and change their “free” Move), or drop the Stance at any time.

GMs who wish to round this secret off at a full 20 points can improve Expert Skill (Hoplology) to (H) IQ [4] for 2 points, and allow the player to choose one Style Familiarity Perk [1] without purchasing a full Mastery level of a new style, if the instructor at least knows the form, and the student has learned enough of the required skills that the GM finds it acceptable that the character could learn the form “from the basis of the Simple form.”

Perks: Secret Knowledge (Infinite Stance Mastery) [1]

Advantage: Infinite Stance Mastery [16]

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