In my previous post, I talked about selecting Edges to build different kinds of ranged combatants. This time, I’m talking melee. What are some of the classic melee archetypes? You have your martial artist, your fencer, your greatsword fighter, your hammer and shield wielder, and your two-fisted knife fighter. What Edges would suit each of these, on top of some solid Fighting skill?
For the unarmed fighter, the Martial Artist/Improved Martial Artist and Brawler/Bruiser pairings put her on a par with a regular sword-swinger. Quick is good for any combatant, but especially important for a martial artist who needs to hit first and hard, and Sweep can reflect the ability to hit multiple foes with a flurry of kicks and punches. The fencer, on the other hand, starts with Florentine, providing excellent defence when fighting single-hand, and to get a real swashbucking feel, you can add Acrobat and Block/Improved Block, to make a fighter that’s nearly impossible to hit.
What about the two-handed weapon fighter? Traditionally, he’s a damage engine – Mighty Blow and No Mercy help maximize the punishment he deals out. Add in Frenzy/Improved Frenzy for extra attacks (and Berserk, if you don’t mind occasionally nailing an ally) and you’ve got a serious potential for destruction. At the other end of the spectrum, the “sword and board” shield-based fighter is often tasked with tanking; give him Brawny, Nerves of Steel, and Hard to Kill to boost his ability to wear armor and take punishment, and add in Strong Willed to make an unshakable fighter to hold the line. Consider also making this fighter your leader and taking some Command-track Edges.
The two-fisted knife fighter will want Ambidextrous and Two-Fisted, of course. Extraction is also a nice one for an assassin-type fighter, so she can move more freely around the battlefield. Fleet-Footed adds even more to that ability, and this is another fighter where Acrobat makes great sense. Add in the Assassin Edge for a classic rogue sneaky attack.
There you have it – five different melee fighters with five completely different tactical option sets. Sure, if you’re looking to min-max damage there’s probably an optimum in there somewhere, but these five give a ton of tactical versatility.