Duelist is a specialization available to Rogue characters.
Restrictions: None. This specialization is available to new players so long as the training is explained in their backstory. It may also be earned through roleplay.
Invented by the Antivans, perfected by the Orlesians, and adopted by every nation on Thedas - such is the evolution of dueling. This weapons-based school stresses form, practice, wit and honor, pitting foes against one another in single combat, where only skills and talent may determine a victor rather than the unsavory methods of the unscrupulous.
Duelists live to fight, every moment and movement taken in proper time and made with technical precision. Specializing in one-on-one combat, duelists are the zealous sorts that are one with their weapon and speak more articulately with lunges and parries than with actual words. More than an impatient squabbler, even the mediocre duelist has trained most of their life with a favorite style and learned plenty more, familiar with the advantages and drawbacks of many different attacks and ever calculating for their own next move.
Such education does not come easily, of course. To master even the basics takes a great deal of effort, so those who are proficient enough to teach are even rarer and often come with a pretty price tag. Thus, the most skilled duelists are often of noble blood, taking up the art at a young age and learning it fluently like a second language. Duelists of more humble beginnings have been known, though it's certainly rare to see those of common blood strive for the honor and perfection required of this art.
Note: Proficiency in either Daggers or Swords is required for this specialization.
- Dueling Form: A weak stance is an assured loss and duelists know better than to be sloppy. Years of practice have honed their combat figure, adopting an optimum fighting stance for offensive and evasive maneuvers alike.
- Upset Balance: Control of the battle begins with control of footing, and likewise for the opposite. Duelists know this basic tenet, advancing on their foe's balance with a strike to the legs or otherwise forcing them out of position for an easy follow-up assault.
- Riposte: The most famous move in the dueling repertoire, albeit not the riskiest; still, it requires quick reflexes and invites danger to both combatants. The duelist deflects an oncoming blow - with either a dodge or parry - and advances beyond the enemy's blade, free to strike while the opponent recovers their stance.
- Cutting Barbs: Despite the fact that dueling is a noble and honorable art, duelists are not beyond taunting their enemies to gain tactical advantage or to incite a duel.
- Pinpoint Strike: Duelists are erudite and ever learning, for a moment focusing intently on their adversary's movements and posture. They shamelessly capitalize on any damaged limbs or old wounds, knowing a weakness when they see it and striking without mercy for critical effect.
- Evasive Maneuvers: Because duelists often dedicate their lives to studying not only their own form but that of their opponents, they are extremely proficient in evading oncoming blows.
- Disarm: The duelist takes a blow head on, either matching vigor with vigor and knocking an opponent's weapon out of hand outright, or else capturing the assault for a follow-up sweep at the enemy's wrist. The particularly ruthless even leave their victims crippled.
- Vendetta: While it is true duelists prefer to fight face-to-face, a duelist with a vendetta is a particularly lethal foe. When suitably motivated, the duelist will forego honor to ensure they take the first strike.
Most duelists are Ambidextrous, either naturally or by dint of their intensive training.