IN THE WAR ACADEMIES of Danor, students speak of combat like a science. Their curriculum involves not merely practicing forms and maneuvers, but writing theses about renowned warriors, or crafting and defending theorems regarding the mechanics of swordplay. The normally reserved Danorans honor the graduates of these battle colleges like other nations honor great poets and sculptors. As those warriors have proven the efficacy of their innovative techniques, the sentiment has spread throughout Lanjyr, and other nations have founded similar schools.
Any brute can hurl a spear or hack through a ribcage, but students of the war academies bring reason to the savagery of war. Often rising to high military ranks, these scholars of battle study anatomy and perform autopsies to learn vulnerabilities of the body, learn physical theorems that underlie the most effective angles of attack and defense, and take time to ponder the psychological and sociological considerations of mortal conflict—from the vast scope and human cost of an invasion, down to the emotional resonance and cultural significance of specific sword techniques through history.
Playing a Martial Scientist
Danor has the greatest concentration of war colleges, but the Banhaman Academy in Risur’s capital Slate has a reputation for elite siege engineers and artillerists, and the Battalion outside of Flint has a reputation for training the best wilderness forces in Lanjyr. Smaller local schools mostly serve to provide pensions for retired soldiers turned tutors, but even they have led to noteworthy theses, such as The Wounding Effectiveness of Stealthy Singular Rapier contrasted with a Twin Strike of Dual Long Swords, which provoked a very spirited debate and even a few expulsions when things got heated.
In Drakr, emphasis is given to testing the physiological limits of endurance and surviving in battle with limited resources, as would be likely in a world-ending conflict. The Clergy in Crisillyir add a strong theological and monstrous anatomy component to the students in their military academies. The lone war college in Ber has a vast library of battle songs, which according to a disputed theory will inspire the courage and attack accuracy of soldiers, though most likely it is just meant to keep in check the often wild emotions of its bestial students. You should work with your GM to determine what your graduate thesis was, unless you left before finishing your education.
EXPERIMENTAL STRIKE (THEME FEAT)
Scientific breakthroughs are born of both careful study and wild experimentation. Your old reliable attack technique has failed, so it’s time to try option B.
Benefit: Whenever you miss with all attacks during a full attack action, you may immediately make one additional attack at your highest base attack bonus. You must use this attack for some purpose other than directly attacking an enemy, such as slicing a rope to pin an enemy with a chandelier, or smashing a pipe to spray blinding steam on an enemy. Alternately you may immediately perform one Combat Maneuver at your highest base attack bonus.1.