Smoke (sage study)
Smoke is a sage study in the field of the Way of the Stone, disappearing entirely, so as to be where the enemy does not expect. The strategies employed focus upon agility, evasiveness and positioning. The character is trained to move the body in a way that minimises exposure to the opponent's attacks, while maximising opportunities for counterattacks.
The approach places strong emphasis on defensive manoeuvres, footwork and timing, all aimed at outmanuevering the adversary rather than directly countering their force. Practitioners are taught to harmonise with their natural surroundings, seemingly blending with the mist, thus eventually transcending physical limitations.
The sage abilities below are those acquired by a character through the study, according to status.
- Camouflage: the ability to proficiently camouflage the body.
- Shadow Dance: by learning to step lightly and through the opponent's strikes, the character gains a +1 to their natural armour class (AC) upon acquiring the skill, and then an additional +1 for each 8 points of knowledge possessed; thus a character with 26 points of knowledge would have a natural AC of 7.
- Stealth: improvement in the character's ability to approach others without being seen or heard.
- Phantom Strike: causes a defender to believe that an attack is coming from a given direction, inducing them to defend from that place, though there's nothing actually there; works well as a distraction, or to enable attack on the flank or rear.
- Wisp: the character may translate one hex without the enemy having noticed; this can be done directly while being observed and costs no action points.
- Ephemeral Shift: allows the character to achieve invisibility by passing through the ethereal plane of existence even while under observation.