So You Want to Adventure Without Weapons

Final Fantasy Tactics Monk

Final Fantasy Tactics Monk

When it comes to fantasy combat, you think swords, lances, axes, armor, crossbow, and clubs. It’s rare that a character will be known for martial arts unless they use a weapon connected to the style. Dariana doesn’t do anything like this. Her powers do give her a physical edge, but she still needs to factor in the facts that swords cut flesh and armor isn’t very kind to fists. So, what tips would she have to a person who wants to go hand-to-blade in Windemere?

  1. Dodging is your friend. Blocking a sword with your arm is a one-time trick that tends to fail. Stay out of reach, duck the swings, sidestep the jabs, and wait for an opening that you can strike at. Preferably the head to rattle the brain and make future dodges a lot easier.
  2. Patience is an essential part of #1. The chance of getting a clear shot at the beginning is very low, so you keep ducking and weaving until you know you can land a blow. Move in too early and you can get hit by something that you’d normally avoid if you were more careful.
  3. There is a pro and con when fighting someone with armor. The downside is that you can really hurt your knuckles and feet on platemail. You have to find the gaps or try to strip your enemy. If not that then knock them down and throw fair fight rules out the window. On the plus side of things, an armored opponent is slower than you as long as you aren’t in similar clothing.
  4. Using the landscape to your advantage helps when you’re facing a stronger opponent. If they have a weapon in hand then they can’t grab whatever is around. Get them to focus ahead or above, so they never see what will trip them from below. Areas where you can hide, escape, and come around from another direction should be sought out if you can choose the battlefield.
  5. Always remember that your leg has a longer reach than your arm, so learn a few kicks for emergencies. For some people, their legs are even stronger and there is also the benefit of a larger swing arc. There is a danger here since this leaves more space for the weapon to strike and you have to perfect your balance. Very few things can get you killed faster than trying to kick and falling on your back.

To see these tactics in action, read

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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34 Responses to So You Want to Adventure Without Weapons

  1. Fast reaction speed and using distracting moves to help you get close to your armed opponent (inside their weapon swing arc), then putting them face down on the ground is key.
    Once down, use your full weight to keep them there (target landing spot between the shoulder blades) while you search for the weaknesses in their armour (usually where the neck and shoulders join)
    Proceed to insert your own weapon, or if unarmed, use the pressure points on their neck to knock them out or temporarily paralyse them prior to deciding whether or not to ‘terminate’ or disarm them.
    Alternatively, always have an easily accessible loaded pistol (or small hand held crossbow) secreted about your person – and use it with accuracy (Indiana Jones Style 😄)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with Chris. Getting inside is key. I used to take martial arts a million years ago. It’s hard to punch someone who’s chest to chest with you. Swinging a sword would be nearly impossible. That’s where the pommel punch and crossguard to the eyes comes into play.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Had to laugh at the knuckle damage on armor. I also like the advice of the leg longer than arm. I think this could be called the T-Rex memorial lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are some good insights!! I always have trouble with fight scenes, trying to make them more than he did this, she did that type stuff.


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