As a means to distinguish different styles of fighting and to give the players some interesting strategies and cool attacks to put together "Scath, Shadow of the Fomori" has "combat styles". These styles can be learned by all characters when they reach a certain level of experience. Every character can learn up to two different fighting styles.
There are no prerequisites to learn a special style other than your general level. Each combat style gives you advanced actions that your character can use in both melee and ranged combat. There is no other way to learn these advanced actions. Most characters without a style are generally considered fairly inexperienced fighters, no matter how strong or tough they are.
There are five distinct combat styles in Scath, Shadow of the Fomori:
1. The Reaver
Lightning fast and full of aggression is the way of the Reaver. These warriors are fueled by blood-lust and the desire to break their enemies as quickly as possible. They are focused on attack, battering their opponents with both speed and brutal strength. A Reaver does not give much thought to defence, fighting in an aggressive, reckless manner. After all, an enemy bleeding out on the ground is no longer capable of striking back. That is the way of the Reaver. Whoever opposes them will be destroyed.
A Reaver is a combat style focused solely on damage. This style works well both against multiple weaker and a single tougher opponent, giving its adept several distinct attacks that take away some of his defence and add to his offensive capabilities. Most Reavers are big, muscular warriors swinging two handed weapons to make the best use of their power, but that is by no means a prerequisite.
2. The Blademaster
The way of the Blademaster is for the quick, the agile and the light-footed. Blademasters are warriors moving over the battlefield with alarming speed, striking wherever they desire. They are also master tacticians, not afraid to mix unconventional methods with their more regular attacks. Their aim is to control the battlefield, to make their enemies stumble and disrupt their movements. Then, when all the advantages are on his side, the Blademaster goes in for the kill.
The Blademaster style is good in both defence and offence, using speed and manoeuvres to get to whatever place of the fight he desires. He is mostly lightly – armoured to make best use of his speed and high agility and often goes into combat carrying one weapon in each hand, thus making himself even more adaptable to different opponents and conditions. The greatest strength of the Blademaster, however, is his ability to control his opponent and weaken him significantly, then finish him off.
3. The Strider
Unlike most other warriors, the Strider is a master of ranged weapons. He is a ghost, sliding across the battlefield, disappearing into the background. He circles his enemies like a wolf, watching them fight his allies, looking for the best moment to strike. A Strider's arrows and spears are capable of dealing as much, if not more damage than the big melee weapons of other combat styles, all the while allowing him to stay at a safe distance. Many an opponent has been killed by a Strider without even knowing he is there...
The style of the Strider is focused on ranged weapons, mainly bows and throwing axes or spears. He is an elusive fighter, very agile and nearly impossible to pin down. Most Striders are lightly armoured, allowing them to use their quick movements to the highest degree, but there are also more heavily armoured ones who prefer to trust in their armour more than in their legs. A Strider is expecially good in a team, where he can pin down or take down big and/or heavily armoured opponents while they are busy fighting his allies.
4. The Defender
A Defender is a bulwark of flesh, leather and metal, a fortress that stands between his enemies and those he wants to protect. Defenders are brave, selfless warriors, ready to take on any opponent, drawing their attention to him with ease. His best offence is a good defence, and even the most terrifying creatures and most experienced fighters will find it nearly impossible to break him.
Once his opponent has spent most of their energy battering at him uselessly the Defender starts his own attack, taking control of the battle and then finishing it on his terms.
The combat style of the Defender has some offensive capabilities, but defence is what he excels at. No other warrior is so hard to get through, so difficult to kill. Usually Defenders are heavily armoured, but some prefer to trust in their own agility more than in leather and metal. Nearly all Defenders carry a shield.
This style excels especially in combination with experienced allies. The Defender draws the opponent to him, weathers their heaviest attacks and weakens them, then allowing his companions to strike and kill. A good Defender can often be the tactical core of a well – coordinated team.
5. The Vessel
There are some creatures out there who have mastered more than mere bronze and iron. The Vessel is one of them, a warrior of elemental powers through whose veins run forces that could kill lesser men with a touch. A Vessel is a magical warrior, not inexperienced in battle, but whose real strength lies in his effortless control of supernatural energy. He is a force of nature, assaulting the minds and bodies of his enemies alike, and breaking both of them with the same ease.
Different to the other combat styles, the path of the Vessel is the path of magic. He is nothing more than what his name says, a vessel, a container for powerful, aggressive mystical forces who have changed both his body and mind. The way a Vessel fights depends heavily on the Domain he has chosen. He could be a raging storm, tearing apart everything in his way, a master manipulator, shaping the battle to his desire, or a powerful supporter, strengthening his allies and weakening his enemies at the same time. Whatever path he chooses, one thing is clear: a Vessel's weapon is magic, not the feeble tools of the mortal world.