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|The Demented One|
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The first mortal battles were those of nature, red in tooth and claw–beasts struggling among each other, fighting with sharp claws, piercing teeth, or lashing tails. But then came man and his fellow races, primitive at first, using simple clubs and spears, conquering the beasts of the wild. Soon the mortal races abandoned their simple stone bludgeons for blades, taking up cold iron and haughty steel to war. And soon–or perhaps even already–the mortal races, ever inventing new tools and weapons, will discover a force much greater than any club or sword: the gun. The firearm, sleek, compact, and ruthlessly powerful. A knight, armored in full plate and trained for years in the noble art of the greatsword could be downed from a hundred feet by a peasant with a musket, and a master duelist could be shot down before he had a chance to draw his sword by a pistol-wielding gunslinger. And just as the sword had its true masters, the martial adepts of the Sublime Way, so too might the gun find its exalted wielders, martial adepts of the tenth path, the discipline of Black Rain. An art of finesse and ruthless power, the Black Rain discipline promises its wielders the true power of the gun. The Black Rain discipline’s associated skill is Spot, as a sharp and unwavering aim is essential to sublime gunslinging. All firearms, as well as the concussion blaster, death ray, firewand and wandgun are associated weapons of the Black Rain discipline.
Because the Black Rain discipline was never taught at the Temple of the Nine Swords or any similar center of training, most martial adepts do not know any maneuvers from it, or even know it exists. Any martial adept can learn maneuvers from the Black Rain discipline, but they must either have the Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Firearms) feat or otherwise be proficient with firearms to do so. There are two ways to master the discipline. The first is to have been trained in it. If you choose to make a martial adept that has already been trained in the Black Rain discipline, you simply replace one discipline that adept could normally learn with maneuvers from with the Black Rain discipline. He loses the associated skill of the replaced discipline as a class skill, but gains Spot as a class skill. You must take Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Firearms) at 1st level in order to begin with knowledge of the Black Rain discipline.
The other way is to seek out a master of the Black Rain discipline — a martial adept capable of using at least 5th-level maneuvers from the discipline–and training under him. You must train for a month under the master, and spend 1,000 xp at the end of your training. You gain the ability to learn maneuvers from the Black Rain discipline, and add Spot to your martial adept class’s list of class skills. In addition, you may exchange your maneuvers known for maneuvers of the Black Rain discipline. You may exchange one maneuver of each level, and the new maneuvers you learn must be of the same level as the exchanged maneuvers, unlike normal. You must still be proficient in firearms to receive training in Black Rain.
- Black Rain, Firearms, and the Campaign
Guns don’t belong in every campaign. Many campaign settings either do not have guns as a feature, or specifically do not include guns. In such a case, the Black Rain discipline simply does not have a place in such campaigns. A DM might be willing to allow a player to use firearms and Black Rain, particularly if the characters background provides a compelling justification for it–they are gnomish tinkerer who invented firearms as a new weapon, or they are an adventuring archaeologist who unearthed a cache of ancient weapons–but this should be considered an exception, rather than a rule. In campaigns where firearms are more common, then the discipline should likewise be more spread, perhaps even made a major feature of the setting.
Maneuvers of the Black Rain Discipline Edit
- To see the full, expanded description of every maneuver, click here.