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Hans Hellinger

This is the revised, and probably (at least close to) final version:

The following are new Martial Feats for Codex Martialis.

The Marksman’s Drill
For crossbowmen or handgunners. Pass a Reload skill check (either Load Firearm or Span Crossbow) DC 10, and gain a -2 Prep Time (minimum 1). Reloading is often done behind cover such as a pavise.

If two people have the Marksman’s Drill, they can work together as a team using two firearms (or crossbows). The second team member loads a weapon while the first team member shoots. Weapons can be passed from loader to shooter for the cost of 1 MP and requiring no skill check. This way you can shoot a slow-loading weapon like an arbalest or a firearm every round.

Optional: Once per day you can allow a character with this MF who has the Phlegmatic or Melancholic Temperament to add their Temperament Bonus to one single shot of their choice.

The Yeoman’s Drill
Requires at least a +1 Str mod. For longbowmen or any infantry archer. Well drilled technique with the shooting processes confers -1 Prep time. This means longbow, Yumi bow, or flat bow, go to Prep Time 0, so you can shoot up to four shots in a single turn. For English Warbows, Indian Steel Bows etc., it reduces prep time to one, so you could shoot two per turn. Accelerated rate of shots can be maintained for one turn per Str bonus. So if you have a Str bonus of +2 you can shoot at this rate for two turns.
Optional: Once per day you can allow a character with this MF who has the Choleric or Phlegmatic Temperament to add their Temperament Bonus to one single shot of their choice.

The Reiters’ Drill
This feat is for mounted handgunners and crossbowmen, , for crossbows it requires a goats-foot or cranequin spanner. The prerequisite is Ride skill 3 and Load Firearm or Span Crossbow 3. For firearms this MF generally applies to the use of at least a wheellock or more sophisticated type, therefore generally applicable for a 16th Century or later setting. There are however some examples of the use of matchlock and even touch-hole firearms from horseback as early as the mid-15th Century, but the horsemanship and reloading skill would have to be extraordinary (change prerequisite to 5 /5)!

This MF allows you to reload crossbows, pistols, carbines or petronels with -1 Prep Time, and Load Firearm or Span Crossbow DC of only 10 while on horseback. For Matchlocks the Load Firearm DC would be 12 and for Touch-hole firearms it would be 15.

If three or more riders have this drill, they can form the Caracole. This is a variant of the Parthian Shot used by Reiters and other pistol armed cavalry in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Three or more shooters take turns approaching the target and shooting while wheeling around in a tight turn (Ride Check DC 15) and then reloading their pistol or drawing another pistol from a saddle holster. This produces a rate of fire of one per turn plus an additional shot for every rider over three, to a maximum of ten. So with 13 riders that can be ten shots per turn at the same target area.

The Heroes Cast
Thrown weapons only, requires a Str mod of at least +1. Must spend one 1MP on movement (and move at least 20’) then all other available MP for the turn must be spent on the throw. Double range increment, so the range that counts as close or short range, (and thereby the range which qualifies for the close or short-range To Hit bonus), and double the Str bonus for both damage and To Hit. Strength Bonus applies at all ranges.

Optional: Once per day you can allow a character with this MF who has the Choleric or Sanguine Temperament to add their Temperament Bonus to one single shot of their choice.

You have learned to run fast and at oblique angles to the enemy, to better utilize movement for defense against missiles while simultaneously attacking. This is the technique of javelin throwers going back to the Bronze Age (such as Greek or Thracian Peltasts and Roman Velites), and used by light skirmishers well into the Renaissance. Requires a movement rate of 30’ or better and you must know the location of your enemy (s) but not be in melee range of any opponents. To pull it off you will also need to make a Run skill check DC 10.

Your movement confers a Free Dice on Active Defense from missiles (only) per the Moving Target rule, which also stacks with the Free Dice for shield defense, conferring up to two MP for Defense, and every MP you spend on movement works as if you had spent an MP on Active Defense. So for example if you spend 2 MP on movement in a round you can apply 2 MP to Active Defense. The rest of your MP can be spent throwing missiles or shooting.

The Patient Shot
For bows, crossbows, or firearms. Spend a whole turn (all MP) aiming, then gain two free dice on one shot on the next round. You can also spend more than one MP on this shot, up to your maximum. Aimed bonus also applies.

Optional: Once per day you can allow a character with this MF who has the Melancholic Temperament to add their Temperament Bonus to one single shot of their choice.

The Vicious Shot
Any missile weapon. Take an extra MP for aiming and gain +2 Damage. If you score a Critical Hit, it automatically causes a ‘Severe’ Wound (roll on Severe Wounds table).
Optional: Once per day you can allow a character with this MF who has the Melancholic or Sanguine Temperament to add their Temperament Bonus to one single shot of their choice.

The Parthian Shot
(This was formerly a rule in the “Armor and Missile Weapons” book, and is now rewritten into a MF). The Parthian Shot is named after a technique used by Parthian and many other Central Asian and Middle Eastern horse-archers, but it can also be used with javelins, crossbows, and firearms. Works two ways:

In attack: Charge your enemy and shoot just as you wheel around to disengage. Requires a ‘Fast Turn’ (Riding Skill Check, DC 15). Gain a Free Dice on attack. If you have multiple shooters with the Parthian Shot acting together you can form a Cantabrian Circle, and thereby keep up a continuous rain of missiles until the ammunition runs out.

In ‘defense’: While being pursued on horseback, once per turn you may twist around in your saddle and shoot at a pursuer at no penalty or additional Ride check, and gain a Free Dice for your attack.

The Hunter’s Lead
You must spend at least one MP aiming at any moving target. Your target gains no benefit from the Moving Target rule (no Free Dice for Active Defense, no bonus to Passive Defense).
Optional: Once per day you can allow a character with this MF who has the Phlegmatic or Melancholic Temperament to add their Temperament Bonus to one single shot of their choice.

Dead Eye
You are unflappably calm during combat and retain your professional focus despite distractions. This MF applies to only one type of missile weapon, for example: Bows, crossbows, firearms, javelins and darts, thrown daggers, thrown axes, and so on. If you have the Phlegmatic or Melancholic Temperament you can roll a new Character with this MF, if you have any other Temperament you can only gain the MF with one type of weapon you have used since the previous level-up. It is possible to gain this MF more than once with different weapon types. The Dead Eye has three effects:

1. Gain +2 To Hit for every attack with one type of missile weapon.
2. Suffer no To Hit penalty for shooting at Melee range, and no penalty when shooting into a Melee (with no chance of hitting your allies even if you miss)
3. Ignore ‘Concealment’ Defense mod if you win a contested Spot vs. Hide check against your target. This applies even if the target made their Concealment ‘Hide’ roll.

Optional: Once per day you can allow a character with this MF who has the Phlegmatic Temperament to add their Temperament Bonus to one single shot of their choice.

Blade Slinger
You have a knack for using small thrown missile weapons like knives, darts and throwing axes. This MF requires a Dex Mod of at least +1. It confers two benefits:

1. Gain a Free Dice once per round which can either be applied to a single missile attack, or be used to make an extra missile attack after you have expended all your MP (assuming you still have a missile left to throw). For cinematic reasons you can make this bonus two Free Dice when used against an inanimate object, such as to cut a rope holding up a chandelier…
2. You can expend one MP to cause an extra die of damage in a thrown missile attack similar to the Wrathful Strike rule. This is on top of your Str Mod where applicable.

Optional: Once per day you can allow a character with the Sanguine Temperament to use their Temperament Bonus to one thrown missile weapon attack.

New “Stuff”
The following are new equipment.

Spindle arrows
“Arab archers used spindle shaped arrows for incendiary purposes. These were formed from a series of hollow tubes, the ends of which were closed, the interiors ‘as hollow as the spindles women use’. There was a cylindrical extension into which the head was fixed. The combustible material consisted of chopped straw and cotton soaked in molten tar and formed into pellets. These were stuffed into the tubes and set on fire before being shot. An alternative and vastly more sophisticated version involved otter-fat wax, black sulfur, Bdellium gum (similar to Myrrh), pith of fresh cherry seeds, coconut milk, sap of wild figs, and a piece of quick lime. This unlikely mixture was ground together, kneaded with oil of Balsam, rolled into small pellets and dried. Before being shot, it was sprinkled with black sulfur. Seemingly it wasn’t lit until being sent on its way. The entry ends, “being shot from a powerful bow, as it travels through the air it spontaneously bursts into flame.” The writer is understandably skeptical of the claim, however, adding al-Tabai (a learned Arab judge) has declared this to be true, and has been practiced by an expert in Egypt.”

Half range, incendiary effect similar to Incendiary crossbow bolts.

Also called a Navak or Nawak, is long archery ‘guide’ for shooting ‘cupid arrows’ (extra small flight arrows). Prep Time is increased by 1, see Cupid Arrow, below, for effects.

Requires a Strength Bonus of at least +1 to use. A small archery guide for pulling a normal sized arrow further back than normal for extra power. Add strength bonus to arrow damage, range increment increases by 10’.

This unique Persian device turns a bow into a kind of shotgun. A special kind of archery guide which creates a kind of chute into which a kind of piston called a ‘horn traveller’ is inserted, and then up to five short arrows, (similar to Latin European crossbow bolts) are placed, one after the other. Once it is loaded, the archer pulls back and shoots, and all five bolts are shot at the target, spreading out in a small cone like shotgun pellets. Range increment is halved for the bow, and damage is stepped down (D8 becomes D6, D6 becomes D4 etc.), but you get to make 5 attacks!

Cupid Arrow
A smaller than normal flight arrow which confers better accuracy and great range, but requires the use of a special guide called a Majra. Gain +2 To Hit and maximum range increases by 100’. Though the range is increased substantially, damage is stepped down by one level, so a bow which normally causes D8 damage causes D6, a weapon which causes D6 damage causes D4 etc.

Paper Bullet Cartridge
This is a prepared package with a bullet, a premeasured portion of gunpowder for the shot, and a second much smaller measure of gunpowder for primer. They are sometimes coated in wax, tallow or lard for waterproofing and to help prevent accidental ignition by sparks. These are torn open, the powder is poured into the barrel, the bullet and a small patch is then rammed into the barrel, and then the small portion of primer is poured into the priming pan. Sometimes instead of a bullet or ‘ball’, it may contain shot.

Paper Bullet Cartridges confer -1 to Prep Time when loading firearms, cumulative with all other factors, to a minimum of 1.

New Rules
The following are new rules related to Missile Weapons.

Moving Targets
Moving targets are hard to hit with ranged weapons. For every 60’ moved (or 2 MP expended in movement outside of melee combat) in this round (or the previous round if you haven’t moved yet this round), you gain a Free Dice for Active Defense, or a +2 on Passive Defense (you have to pick one).

If you have the Run Skill or Profession: Skirmisher or something else similar, you can attempt to run evasively, which will require a skill check with a DC of 10. If you succeed you will gain a Free Dice for Active Defense or +2 Passive Defense per MP expended, instead of for every two MP expended.

Rain of Missiles
Any PC or NPC attacked more than twice per round by missile attacks, and lacks sufficient armor to be protected from those missiles (either no armor or as a rule of thumb, armor with a DC + DR less than 10), make a morale check (Battlefield Discipline skill check, DC 10 + 1 per HP of any damage they may have received) or lose 1 MP. If they fail two morale checks in a row, they flee the battle area for three rounds. This also applies to horses.

Cover vs. Concealment
Cover and concealment are key to missile combat, especially on a small scale. Cover means something you can hide behind that is solid. This could be a wall, a pile of earth or stones, a tree, a wagon or the gunwhale of a boat, or a mantlet or pavise shield you set up in the field during a battle.

Concealment means something that hides your position but does not necessarily provide protection that could stop an enemy missile from striking you. Leaves from a tree, brush, high grass, or some hanging laundry can all provide concealment, but not cover. That said, concealment can still protect you.

To use concealment requires a Hide skill check. The DC is 16 for 25% concealment, and drops 4 points for each 25% after that. So 16 for “Partial” concealment, (25%), 12 for “Half” concealment (50%), 8 for “Good” concealment (75%) and 4 for “Near Total” concealment (90%). If you make your Hide check, Concealment acts the same as Cover, i.e. one Free Dice for Active Defense per 25%. So if you have 50% concealment you gain two Free Dice.

Once you succeed in your Hide check, you are concealed until you move or attack. Then you will need to make another Hide check. If this fails then your concealment ‘goes away’ in the sense that your opponents can tell where you are, and since they can attack through the concealment, it no longer provides any protection. You’ll have to find another spot, quick!

Armed Intimidation
Any kind of unequal showdown, whether it boils down to odds, or physical size, or fighting equipment, can help to leverage an Intimidation attempt. Just as three men can more easily intimidate one person, an armored person with a sword will get a Free Dice or two in an Intimidation skill check against an unarmed person. Similarly, Intimidation and Bluff skill checks are enhanced by a loaded and ready missile weapon of some kind, particularly a bow, crossbow, or firearm which does at least D6 damage. Allow a Free Dice in such circumstances, and two Free Dice when at Close range and / or when the target is outnumbered at least 2-1.