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Prodigy Spar System
The Prodigy Spar System is a creation in an attempt to bring forth a bit of realism to Gorean Combat as well as bring about a bit of simplicity to the way that Gorean Combat is conducted in this day and age. This spar system may not be for everyone, others however may have been looking for something like this for quite some time.

The General differences of this spar system with other systems are the following details ...

  1. Fighters start with a bank of 10 points total for the entire fight, each post does not have it's individual value. Each deduction will be removed from their initial point bank. In the event of a draw, the judge shall look to who had received the more serious of wounds to determine the loser. If the wounds are even or no wounds would of been scored, a few more rounds will be fought.
  2. This spar system will not have actual actions such as normal spar systems use them. There will not be a set number of actions that some one may use them as they please.
  3. This spar system will have each post having two parts. The First part will be the counter, the second part will be the Reaction.
  4. This spar system will actually realistically allow the use of what some systems call back posts. Since such back posts are 100 % realistic, they should be incorporated into combat that strives to be realistic. However how such things may happen may not be how they would think such are used in current systems.
General Rules
1.Fighters may use as many weapons as may be realistically available to them. This means that you may have several weapons upon your person, and not be docked for them. An example would be a quiver of 40 arrows, a belt of 7 quiva, etc, so long as it is realistic to do so. Carrying 2 battle axes, 1 kurii shield, 2 long swords, two short swords, two belts of 7 killing knives, a helmet, and a sleen knife, would not be realistic.

2. Prior to the start of combat, each fighter will post brief stances that they are in, such stances are to indicate which weapons are held how, use of shields or helmets, as well as locations of other weapons that would be visible. A fighter shall make note that he has hidden weapons some where upon their person, but would not have to disclose the exact location. Poison is not accepted if used by a man of any caste.

Once each fighter has posted their stance, it will be declared who shall go first and then the combat shall start from there. This can be done by guessing of numbers, or whatever is agreed upon for a random choice, or one fighter stating he does not care or what have you.

3. Each spar post may only contain two parts, instead of allocated actions for a fighter to do what he pleases with them in any amount. The first part will be the Counter, the second part will be the Reaction. Together these two parts will make a complete post. One round of combat would be considered as happening at nearly the exact time, with a few exceptions to perhaps listing that they are stunned or pausing to gather wits or the like.

Here is an in-depth explanation for just what exactly each part of a combat post shall be ...

Counter: The counter portion of a combat post will 9 times out of 10 consist of defensive maneuvers to block, or essentially counter the attacks that will be made toward you. Such a counter will allow you to use a combination of small simple movements that fit fluidly together to consist of one single counter movement.

Examples: ~*I crouch down by bending my knees while I raise my shield up to tilt it back over top of my upper torso so that your hammer can smash into it's face instead of my head.*~

~*I pivot quickly on my right foot to draw my left side backward as well as swipe my sheild's outside lower edge down and to my left to try and deflect your thrust at my knee wide of it's mark*~

Counters should be quick movements that can be done very quickly with over lapping one another or incredibly quick after one is completely then the next, but to be done in a short amount of time. The above two examples show what most systems would call two actions, that over lap one another, happening at the same time. This is the preferred use of counters.

For the opening post of a spar, the Counter portion will be used for the fighter to get into range in whatever manner seems best to him.

Reaction: This will 7 times out of 10 be the portion of your post where you insert your offense. However it is not required that your reaction be an attack or anything even offensive in nature. Your reaction could be used in movement or repositioning your body or weapons. Combination of small fluid movements may also be allowed during your reaction so long as they are able to happen at either exactly the same time or overlapping. Backing out of range after every attack is not acceptable.

A reaction combination to discard a weapon in a non attacking manner and draw a new weapon will be considered one reaction. A reaction to combine a body movement along with an attack at the same time is acceptable.

Examples:
    ~*I thrust my gladius forward at the left side of your chest as well as step in firmly on my right foot to try and add more force to the blow*~

    ~*I drop down quickly to my right knee while I swing my short sword in a crescent pattern down and to my left at the outside of your left ankle*~

    ~*I press upward and forward to come to stand while in an attempt to drive the length of my short sword up into your stomach*~

    ~*I quickly begin to shuffle back and to my right to try and put more distance between us to get away from you while I pull my shield and sword back into original positions.*~


Further Explanation of Rule # 3: As you can tell, what you do in each post will be severely limited, however this is made up for by allowing more posts to be done instead of just the usual 3-5 posts of combat in a normal spar. This spar will put a great deal of emphasis on waiting for your reactions to deliver a critical strike that will disable or simply kill your opponent, as such is quite realistic and often the objective of experienced fighters. The key is to find your opponent out of position, and strike.

4. No forced action will be considered for a lethal blow or knock out blow. A point will be deducted for each forced action. To avoid using forced actions, attempt to use the following ...

    ~*I thrust my sword forward at your chest, hoping to kill you.*~ Instead of, ~*I thrust my sword nto your chest so that it drives through your muscle tissue and into your heart leaving the tip of the sword poking out of your back*~

    ~*I swing my sword down and to my right, to deflect your blow wide of my right leg.*~ instead of, ~*I swing my sword down and to my right, deflecting your sword wide to my right so that it is completely out of position for anything I may then do.*~


It will be the judges decision on what a forced action is or is not.

5. Clarity is key
A fighter must be clear to the Judge and to his opponent. A judge will decide what is clear, and what is not. If a judge struggles picturing something then it is not clear enough, thus warranting a deduction. Also, if a fighter is very unclear in a reaction, to the point that A judge deems it unclear, his opponent will have a small bit of leeway in his Counter, due to the opponent possibly having been confused as well.

6. Realism is vital
A fighter must strive to be realistic, realistic to what is acceptable in modern physics, but as well as what is realistic in the Gorean World. If a judge feels something is not realistic, it will have a point deducted for it. Also if an attack is unrealistic, then it will not be considered for a lethal blow or knock out blow, even if the opponent messes up his defense.

7. Back Posts will be a complicated issue
In this type of system, because most times it does not allow for them to be performed as they are often done in other spar systems. An explanation of this is as follows ...

A fighter, in most systems, is able make attacks that will grossly leave his body exposed to a counter attack, but can get away with doing it, because to do it during an attack it would be a back post, so as such many fighters have neglected learning the skill of being able to attack while still keep themselves in the proper position to defend. Often times, people will make a multitude of attacks that would leave them greatly vulnerable, and then simply back away to clear the distance between the two men, thus keeping him safe. This is NOT realistic, and is corrected in this system.

It is largely corrected in this system because people will not have the option to make such attacks and then simply clear away to bring them to safety, despite how badly they left themselves open. I shall provide an example of such.

    Fighter A: ~*Equipped with a long sword gripped firmly in both hands. I begin to advance toward you to get into sword range. I then bring the sword upward and then around forward to slash down and to my left at the top of your left shoulder*~

    Fighter B: ~*Equiped with a Torv shield in my left hand and a gladius in my right hand, I quickly Step in and to my right as well as raise the face of my Torvaldslander shield upward and to my left to take your hack down onto the face of my shield. I then quickly react with thrusting my gladius in and to my left at the front of your stomach*~


These 2 posts are seen as happening at nearly the same time, and before fighter A could of simply used an action to back out of range after his strike, which is not overly realistic. The ability to Riposte in this spar system will prove to be most realistic, and most important.

If a fighter tries to alter what he had done in previous posts, it is still of course a back post, due to it would be as though re-writing what he already had committed to making happen. Do not consider what is described above as back posting in the normal sense. Instead it is simply counter striking, or a riposte.

If a fighter's reaction at you, is to foolishly kick his leg up at your body into your sword range, it is acceptable for your counter to be snapping your weapon down at his leg, trying to make that fighter pull back a stump, as is very realistic. However, for you to do so, that will count as your Counter, as well as your reaction.

8. To allow Prodigy to go further in separation from some other combat systems
There will be more of a rolling time limit used in prodigy battles. A time limit may be agreed upon by both and all combatants prior to a fight. Some fighters are fast, they may wish a 4 or 5 minute time limits, others are slower, they may wish a 8 to 10 minute time limit, some may wish a longer time limit then that or no time limit at all. The reason time limits were added to Gorean combat was to keep spars flowing and moving so that a 5 hour death spar would be a thing of the past. This rolling time limit shall hopefully provide benefits for speedy fighters liking to post fast, or slower fighters wishing to take it slower. The default time limit for Prodigy fights that are spontaneous (IE: Open Combat fight would be expected to perform under, is 8 minutes

Time begins when the first attack is issued, it does not start from the stances. Breaking time violation will be a time deduction in sport spars, in serious fights, the reaction in a post that has a time violation, it will be considered as though your opponent was temporarily stunned, and was unable to make a real reaction. If you notice their time violation, and are certain they busted time, in a serious fight, you may disregard their reaction and continue on with using your counter as a free movement or reposition, but not an attack. If that reaction that would be nullified by busting time, is in defense of a lethal or knock out attack, it will not be considered as doing full damage, but this should be rare as defenses should be found in the counter. A time out should never be the only cause for death. The Judge will look at it as part of the blow landed. However that still requires the defense to have been realistic. If the defense would not have worked, AND they busted time, then it is acceptable to rule them dead/captured.

When fighting Multiple Opponents, You will reply to the first attack, and have 8 minutes to reply from that first attack. Once you reply, You have 8 minutes from your OWN time stamp to reply to the 2nd attacker.

9. If an opponent's point bank reaches five
In open combat or individual duels, the fight shall be handled accordingly. In the case of a sport spar/duel, if the bank reaches 5 points, due to 5 errors, the judge may stop the fight and declare the opponent the winner. If the bank reaches 5 points during the course of open combat, that fighter is then seen as being out of the Open Combat, nothing he does from t here will be seen as valid. However, 5 deductions in Open Combat does not result in being killed or captured, it simply stops them from further participation. However, if the 5 previous mistakes/deductions add up to what would be deadly or disabling moves, the Judge can rule that person dead or captured from those mistakes/deductions.

10. The goal is to provide realism
The goal is to provide realism, and a bit of simplicity that is lacking in some systems. We are interested in having many battles from Kaiila back, and in mounted combat, like naval combat, half a dozen minor actions are always happening at once, and we hope this will provide a good system to enjoy mounted combat.

11. To escape serious combat
You must use your Counters to block, and your Reactions to try and flee to an exit. You must do this twice against your opponent. If you are fighting more then one opponent, you need only do it once to each of them. But once finished, immediately leave. Do not stay there, claiming to be safe, and proceed to run your mouth.

Prodigy Guidelines

This document is an attempt to break the typical battle down into various little tidbits, in order to help Judges better understand how to handle certain situations, and to help fighters get an even clearer view on what is permitted and what is not permitted.

Opening Counter.
The opening counter is intended to be used for a fighter to move into range of his opponent, so that within his reaction he may begin to work toward making his strike. If already within range when the combat begins, t he opening counter is to be used simply for positioning, such as circling one way or another, shifting how the weapon is positioned, etc.

If a fighter intends to begin his battle and has the opening counter post with the intent to use a missile weapon, such as a spear or quiva or throwing knife, he may use the opening counter only to adjust his body or begin to get a running start. The actual throwing of the weapon is to be performed in the reaction phase of the post, and will be considered as that rounds attack.

Basic Reaction.
The basic reaction will contain no more then one actual attack. Such an attack means attempting to inflict harm upon your opponent's person. Below are some examples of attacks and what would not be an actual attack, but may very well be found in various reactions.


    Slices at your left shin - Is an attack.

    Kicks my right foot up at your groin - Is an attack.

    Smashes my head at your nose - Is an attack.

    Tries to pin your foot to the sands with my foot - Is not an attack.

    Tries to stomp the heel of my foot down at the instep of your foot to break your foot - Is an attack.

    Bashes my shield forward at your body, trying to pin your sword and shield against you - Is not an attack.

    Drives the top rim of my shield forward and upward at the underside of your chin - Is an attack.

    Swings my shield forward and to my left at your sword, trying to parry it to my left - Is not an attack.

    Swings my shield to my right, then forward and arcing back out to my left, trying to use my outside rim at your outside rim in a shield hook to pull your shield out from your body - Is not an attack.

    I pump my shield forward at your center torso while my long sword swings forward and around to my left in a wrap around styled shot, trying to hack down at the back of your left ankle, intending to trip you up if the shield bash pushes you back - Is acceptable as one single attack. The shield is not specifically causing harm.

    Thrusts my sword forward at your face, but at the last moment I pull out of the thrust by rotating my wrist to send my sword arcing to my right to try and arc down around your left flank and then cut back in to my left at the front of your knee - The feint, is not an attack. The pull out and strike at the knee, is the attack.

    Shoves my shield forward and upward to try and blind you - Is not an attack.


To Flow or Not to Flow
This truly is the big question of Prodigy. As detailed in the rules, a counter and reaction is intended to be a series of small movements that flow together well, to accomplish your goal as you set forth to do. So to help clarify on some of these issues, the next two sections are on Counters and Reactions with numerous examples of what flows well and what is a bit much, and what is just too terribly much.

Counters
The counter should be a small series of actions put together to block the attack that is rendered against you. If a shield is used to make such a block at the end of such a block the fighter may choose to reset his shield after the block, as it would be realistic to do so once the danger had passed.


    Steps back and to my right while I draw my shield up to protect my left shoulder - Is acceptable.

    Steps back and to my right while I jerk my shield up to protect my left shoulder, and then lowers my shield back down after the thrust is stopped - Is also acceptable.

    Lowers down into a crouch so that your horizontal swing for my head passes over top of me, once safe my body springs back up to my normal height - Is acceptable.

    Lowers down to my right knee while my shield pulls up and in to my right to come over my head to protect myself from the downward hack at my skull - Is acceptable.

    Lowers down to my right knee while my shield pulls up and in to my right to come over my head to protect myself from the downward hack at my skull, once the blow is stopped, I stand upward once again while I push my shield down to cover my left flank and left front of my torso - Is also acceptable.

    I pivot on my right foot to draw my left side backward quickly, while at the same time my sword swung down and to my left in a diagonal stroke to come at the inside of your thrust, deflecting it wide to my left - Is acceptable.

    I circle to my left while my right sword swings upward and to my right with it's tip angled upward and to my left, the sword comes upward in it's diagonal hold to swing at the outside of your sword to divert it's hack at my right shoulder, wide to my right. I then draw my sword back in to its previous position after I am safe of the blow - Is acceptable.

    Seeing your swing coming in at my left ankle, I leap upward off of my feet to draw my knees up as well as I raise myself so that your swipe passes underneath my body. When your strike had cleared it was about then that I came down to land after the leap - Is acceptable.

    I bring my left short sword and my right short sword upward above my head to form a sharp X so that your downward coming axe stops from striking my skull. I then clear my swords back down and to their previous positions once I am safe from the blow - Is acceptable.

    As you begin to aim your spear, I lower down to my right knee to brace myself while my left side remained forward. I push my shield forward a bit with it's outside rim angled back closer to me and it's inside rim pushed further away, creating a sharp angle so that your spear's throw glances off of my round shield. I then slowly come up to stand after I am safe - Is acceptable.

    Your spear being thrown at my right shoulder from considerable distance, I quickly lean forward into a duck so that it passes over top of my body, I then raise back upward and begin to advance toward you - Is acceptable.

    Your thrust of your right held sword coming across my body at my right shoulder, I quickly rotate my torso to draw my right shoulder backward to avoid your thrust before I reset myself once your blade is cleared - Is acceptable.
After reading these Judges, you should be able to tell that counters are largely meant to be used for defending, and then minor tweaks to their position that would happen after they were safe from an attack. A counter could also be used to close any gap that may have opened. This should hopefully clear up what to look for as being too much for flowing and not flowing for counters.

Reactions
Reactions are a bit more difficult to match people with attempting to stay in quick flowing realistic movements to make their strikes and positioning. Generally the reaction should largely be for making attacks, or occasionally for large position changes, such as changing of weapons, and opening up distance.

A person should of course make only one actual physical attack to harm their opponent as was covered above. It is a common place for a fighter to seek to reset his weapon and shield after making strikes. While in some cases this is acceptable, but it is beginning to get out of hand with Prodigy to where it is not how things are intended to be.

When you wish to reset your weapons after strikes, fighters should be trying to use their swords natural follow through of attacks to bring them where they intend to be. This will help things flow better, because the strikes will continue the stroke after the attack and arc around to a different position to be ready again. The same can be done with many shield movements. Below are examples to emphasize what flows well together, and what does not.

    I step in hard on my right foot to add leverage as my right short sword thrusts forward at your sternum. With the attack finishing I then quickly recover from the lunge to draw my right foot and sword back a bit - Is perfectly acceptable.

    My saber back hands forward and to my right at the front of your left knee, the sword follows through out to my right to come out to my right and then up to circle back in to my left to hold the hilt at about mid torso height with it's length extending upward and forward after the follow through - Is acceptable.

    Circles forward and to my right to try and get to your left side before I thrust sharply with my short sword forward and to my left at your left shoulder. My sword quickly draws back after it's strike would of possibly landed - Is acceptable.

    Steps forward on my right foot while I thrust my spear forward at your center torso, trying to pierce your flesh or ruin your shield. After the blow would strike, I quickly step back on my right foot and draw the spear back to recover - Is acceptable.

    I come up off of my right knee to drive forward, trying to swing the face of my shield upward at the underside of your long sword, trying to force your weapon up high while my short sword follows upward and forward as I raise, coming right behind the shield to try and thrust into your stomach - Is acceptable.

    I come up off of my right knee to drive forward, trying to swing the face of my shield upward at the underside of your long sword, trying to force your weapon up high while my short sword follows upward and forward as I raise, coming right behind the shield to try and thrust into your stomach. I then yank my shield down quickly to my left side to better protect me - Is acceptable, barely.

    I come up off of my right knee to drive forward, trying to swing the face of my shield upward at the underside of your long sword, trying to force your weapon up high while my short sword follows upward and forward as I raise, coming right behind the shield to try and thrust into your stomach. I then yank my shield down quickly to my left side to better protect me, I then yank my sword back again as well - Is not acceptable. This is too much.

    I step in on my right foot to close that last bit of distance before my vertical held sword snaps forward and downward in a sharp forehanded stroke, trying to strike the blade on top of your left shoulder. The stroke follows through to rebound off of it's impact, be it on your shield or flesh to rebound back the way it came to reset up in front of my right shoulder - Is acceptable.

    My sword hilt held at shoulder height in my right hand, I struck my sword out and forward to go upward a bit, my right wrist rotates to try and snap my long sword around to curl around past your left shoulder to continue it's curl to strike at the back of the left side of your head in a wrap around stile blow. My sword then quickly comes back to me as I draw it's hilt down to my right hip level and it's length extending up toward you - Is acceptable.

    I swing saber forward in a back handed motion, trying to cut my saber across your upper chest but below the neck while the sword stroke carriers outward to my right and then quickly arcs downward to curl back in, trying to cut across your left thigh on the outside/front portion of the leg as the sword finishes it's stroke - Is acceptable, but only if there is no other movement in the reaction other then a minor step or so.

    I step in on my right foot to try and drive my short sword forward in a heavy thrust at your naval, if the blow sinks into the flesh my right arm tries to thrash the blow upward along your torso to try and gut you and as well cut my sword free to be held in front of me, if the blow did indeed land - Is acceptable.

    My short sword thrusts forward and to my left at the front of your right shoulder, trying to bury my sword into your flesh, after the sword would of made contact, I try to tear my sword down and to my right to tear the sword free, possibly cutting along your torso but likely coming across your shield face instead - Is acceptable.

    I draw back upon my short bow while I aim for my target and then release the arrow toward your center chest. My right hand then quickly pulls another arrow out of the quiver upon my back to begin to nock the arrow into the bow - Is acceptable, because the books clearly show Gorean Bows as being fast firing.

    I lean down to put my foot in the stirrup while I draw the heavy cord of the cross bow back to be set. I bring the cross bow up again to load the bolt into the bow before I raise it upward again - is acceptable. Cross bows are slower, the drawing and loading can only be done in one post if the cross bow starts out un-cocked and unloaded.
    I raise my loaded and cocked cross bow upward while I take aim at your center mass. Once aim is achieved, I release the bolt to send it rifling through the air toward you - Is acceptable. The redrawing and loading would take place in the next post.

    I drive in forward to close the small gap before I swing my shield forward and to my left in an arc, trying to trap your sword out to my left. My own short sword then thrusts forward and to my left between our bodies to try and spike into the front of your right shoulder. I am then quick to yank my short sword back to me as well as yank my shield back to my left side - Is not acceptable.

    I drive in forward to close the small gap while my shield begins to make a circular movement to press it's face forward and out to my left at the inside of your weapon, trying to drive your weapon to the outside, while my shield continues it's circle, my short sword thrusts in a tight in and out jab, forward at the front of your right shoulder. My shield continues it's circle to come back to my left flank, but not quite how it was before - Is more acceptable. This flows better, the shield makes one continuous motion, not a herky jerky movement. The sword stroke is just a typical jab, not much power, but quick and then withdrawing.

    I pump my shield forward and up to try and press the face of the shield in front of your eyes, trying to block your vision. My short sword then thrusts forward and to my right while I step forward on my right foot to thrust at the front of your left knee - Is acceptable.

    I circle forward and to my right to try and come in to your left flank, as I do so, my shield swings forward and to my left, the inside of it's rim trying to make contact with your shield's outside rim to try and trap your shield to your inside. My short sword then thrusts forward and to my left at the back/outside portion of your left shoulder - Is acceptable.

    I circle forward and to my right to try and come in to your left flank, as I do so, my shield swings forward and to my left, the inside of it's rim trying to make contact with your shield's outside rim to try and trap your shield to your inside. My short sword then thrusts forward and to my left at the back/outside portion of your left shoulder, I then draw my sword back to it's previous position with it's hilt at my hip - Is pushing it. Your sword was not in any immediate danger from being there, especially with two shields between your right arm and your opponent's weapon.

    I circle forward and to my right to try and come in to your left flank, as I do so, my shield swings forward and to my left, the inside of it's rim trying to make contact with your shield's outside rim to try and trap your shield to your inside. My short sword then thrusts forward and to my left at the back/outside portion of your left shoulder, I then yank my shield back toward my left flank to better defend - Is not acceptable.

Resetting of Weapons & Shields
This is a complicated issue for Prodigy and thus far one of the biggest obstacles in place for more people loving the rules. The resetting of shield and weapon comes down to a battle of realism, and the battle for the time meant for each counter and reaction to take place.

With real combat, a person's weapon would always be moving after a strike, be it after getting a hit or it being deflected and parried. The goal is to allow fighters to keep their weapons moving after some strikes if the arm would be in danger based upon where it was. Follow through of sword strokes are the key factors of a sword moving after it has swung. A weapon or sword stroke may fluidly continue it's path to come back around to a different place after the blow, but the alarming habit of each fighter stating, "resets my weapon and shield back to original position" each post is NOT what is intended for Prodigy.

Fighters need to learn to be able to make blows in such a manner as that their follow through will leave them in a suitable position to continue to defend and strike out of, As well as knowing how to make sure that their reaction phases of their post remain flowing and smooth, not choppy and herky jerky.

Shield resetting should try to be done after making a blow in your reaction. If you raise your shield up in front of your face to block a shot, you may lower the shield down again after you are safe from the blow. The resetting of shields should be reserved for in the counter, after a block. Or if you use them in your reaction, such as a shield hook state that they're actual hook follows around to bring the shield back to your left. Keep things smooth.

If the reaction is only a direct attack, just a simple attack, then a fighter may pull his shield and weapon into better position. If the reaction is combined with feints, shield hooks, stance changes, circling, strafing advancing etc, then a fighter should not be resetting his shield and weapon.

    With your shield low from your blow, I jab my short sword forward and to my left just a bit at your left shoulder, intending to strike your left shoulder and draw the blade back closer to me after the strike - Is acceptable. It's a typical Jab motion, forward and backward, nice and easy.

    I step in on my right foot to add power to my thrust as I strike my sword forward and to my left at the front of your left shoulder. After the strike I bring my sword back to me once again to recover from the step in lunge - Is acceptable.

    I step in on my right foot to add power to my thrust as I strike my sword forward and to my left at the front of your left shoulder. After the strike I bring my sword back to me once again to recover from the step in lunge. My shield also moves back to original position - Is not acceptable.

    I circle forward and around to my right, your left. I then swing my shield forward and to my left in a sharp arc, intending to press the front of the inside rim of my shield at your shield's outside rim, trying to jerk your s hield out from you. When your shield is hopefully pulled away, My sword strikes down at the top of your left shoulder hopefully behind the shield. I then reset my weapon and shield to wow they were - Is not acceptable. First, the Circle and to the right, should try to be put into the counter, as the counter is for defending and positioning, the just tacked on 'resets my weapons where they were' is not encouraged, especially in combined with all of the above.

    I swing my shield forward and to my left trying to smash at the inside of your sword to try and push your sword out to your left as my shield moves in it's tight arc. My sword then back hands forward and to my right to try and cut across the front of your right side chest. My shield follows through from it's shield swing to come back around to my left flank and front of my left torso. The sword's back hand having followed through down and to my right - Is acceptable. Here you see, that at the end, was not the 'herky jerky resetting' but instead, it was re-iterating where the shield would go to from it's original stroke, and where the sword would flow to from it's stroke's follow through. This is better.

    I come up off my right knee to drive forward with a sharp thrust of my sword forward and into my left, looking to drive my sword at the front of your stomach, hopefully up behind your shield's lower rim - Is acceptable.

    I come up off my right knee to drive forward with a sharp thrust of my sword forward and into my left, looking to drive my sword at the front of your stomach, hopefully up behind your shield's lower rim. After the strike, it is then that I yank the sword back to me to try and get into better position to defend - Iss acceptable, but about at it's limits. See how with the changing of position combined with the attack is used, that only the sword is reset or moved, not the shield?

    I stand head on with you, my raised long sword snaps down and forward in a straight forehanded strike, trying to snap the length of my blade down at the top of your left shoulder, after the strike I use the rebound of the blow, be it on shoulder or sword, to try and draw my sword back up to me once again - Is acceptable.

    I step forward and to my right at your left side. My shield's inside rim pumps forward to try and drive at your shield's face to try and pin it to your body, my saber then sweeps forward and around to my left in a tight wrap around styled arc to try and go behind your left held shield rim to plunge up at your left side ribs - Is acceptable.

    I step forward and to my right at your left side. My shield's inside rim pumps forward to try and drive at your shield's face to try and pin it to your body, my saber then sweeps forward and around to my left in a tight wrap around styled arc to try and go behind your left held shield rim to plunge up at your left side ribs. I then reset shield and sword to previous positions - Iss not acceptable. And not required, your shield in that position, you are in suitable enough position to defend and work out of, and your sword arm is WELL safe from danger with two shields being in between your sword arm and the opponents sword arm.

    Down on one knee, My short sword stabs forward and to my right at the top of your left foot. I then push upward to come to stand, my shield naturally comes up a bit higher as I raise my level - Is acceptable.

    Down on one knee, my short sword stabs forward and to my right at the top of your left foot. I then push upward to come to stand, my shield and sword resetting to previous positions - Is not acceptable.

    Finding myself terribly out of position after blocking, I begin to circle backward and to my right a few paces to take us out of range while I reset my shield and sword to how I wish them, or original stance positions - Is accepted and the encouraged way to perform big resets.

    With us being so close, I step in hard on my left foot while my shield drives forward and to my right at your center torso in a sharp shield punch, trying to slam you into the middle of next month. My shield then draws back to me after I finish the blow - Is acceptable.

    I swing my shield forward and to my left, trying to press the face of the shield into the inside portion of your sword to try and knock it out to your right, I then reverse the flow of the shield to bring it's inside rim portion jarring forward and upward at the right side of your head, looking to knock you out - Is acceptable.

    I swing my shield forward and to my left, trying to press the face of the shield into the inside portion of your sword to try and knock it out to your right, I then reverse the flow of the shield to bring it's inside rim portion jarring forward and upward at the right side of your head, looking to knock you out. I then reset my shield to original position - Is not encouraged. Your shield had already changed momentum and directions completely once in the post, a third time is not needed.

    My left sword swings forward and to my left, trying to parry your sword out to your left, my right sword thrusts forward and down in a strike at your left knee, but this was just a feint, at the last moment I rolled my blow out to my right, having tried to draw your shield down low. With the feint hopefully working, My left hand sword comes back in to my right off it's parry t o thrust forward at the right side of your chest - Is acceptable, but at it's limits for what would flow together.

    My spear held in both hands, my right side leading with the spear head, I quickly step in forward on my right foot as my hands move along the shaft of the spear while I send the spear in a heavy thrust forward and to my right at the center of your torso - Is acceptable.

    My spear held in both hands, my right side leading with the spear head, I quickly step in forward on my right foot as my hands move along the shaft of the spear while I send the spear in a heavy thrust forward and to my right at the center of your torso, I then begin to draw the spear back closer to me to better defend after the strike - Is also acceptable.

    My spear held in both hands, my right side leading with the spear head, I quickly step in forward on my right foot as my hands move along the shaft of the spear while I send the spear in a heavy thrust forward and to my right at the center of your torso, I then begin to draw the spear back closer to me to better defend after the strike, while I also back away 3 steps to keep distance between us - Is not acceptable.

These are done this way now to try and keep Prodigy reactions flowing better and smooth. The intent really for Prodigy is that the counter to consist of 1 action in what would be normal systems, that 1 action allowing for combinations. The reaction to also be 1 action, with combinations. Small things should be put together that FLOW WELL TOGETHER. That is the key here, while some of these things are very small things, but they do not flow well. The resetting of weapons after each single post is the biggest abuse of the rules that I have found thus far, and this I hope to curtail that abuse. Fighters need to learn to use the follow through of their original stroke to have their sword or shield continue into a safer direction. As well as learn to strike in such a manner to remain in position to safely defend and strike out from.

You can reset a weapon, and a shield if your reaction is already small with little else in it, but try to avoid doing so every single post. It is preferred that you use big resets for attack-less reactions. And if your shield is out of position from a blow, include a small bit after the defense that you shift the shield after blocking, once you know you are safe from harm. Thrust resets are acceptable, so long as they flow, and the sword stroke follow through is also allowed, just know how to do so smoothly.

Counter Attacking
Counter Attacking or counter striking, is a rare thing to be done in Prodigy, but it is a very realistic thing. Counter attacking is intended for the use for when your opponent has began his strike, and left himself so wildly out of position and vulnerable, that a strike at this point, can stop him from coming through with the blow.

If you perform a counter strike in your counter, then that also removes your ability to attack in your reaction to remain with having only one attack per round, and to keep people form imagining openings, when there are none, just for the sake of gaining two attacks. If you perform a counter strike, you may use your reaction to reposition yourself, to reset, etc. The reposition should be MINOR, not redoing an entire stance post type movement.

As a Judge, you must look at counter strikes, to see if indeed a valid opening for the striker to have made his attack to try and end the fight right then, or to prevent the attack from being made. Then you as a judge must decide if it would in fact not just be an opening, but also prevent the blow or near immediately stop the strike.

The use of Counter strikes are for more advanced fighters. They can be costly to use, but also very efficient to use. If a fighter makes a counter strike to stop a blow or end the fight, and the Judge does not feel it would stop the blow, the blow can be seen as landing with *most* of it's intent, but should not be considered a direct kill by itself.

As a fighter who may be receiving a counter strike, it is usually going to be hard to find a defense to it, because your opponent feels you were completely out of position of his strike. But you should deal with it the best that you can. Try to block it or minimize it as you can based on positioning and what you have available to you. To avoid being caught in a counter strike, goes back to my re-iteration that fighters must learn to strike in such a way that still leaves them able to defend.

A few examples of counter striking ...
    Seeing you rushing across the 5 pace distance, with your long sword held in both hands, the hilt over your head as you charge in. Not liking this one bit, I side step forward and to my left in a diagonal position to your right side as you come in at the last moment, my sword thrusts forward and upward at your stomach, looking to impale you since your torso was so wide open, and avoid the over head stroke down at my head - Is a bit of a counter strike. The opponent was rushing in, sword in both hands, up over his head to strike at the defenders head, so at the last moment, he side stepped and struck at the torso, this will take the wind out of the sails of any man.

    With your kick coming up at my shield, while my sword is poised in front of my right hip already, I snap my short sword down and to my left at your incoming foot, looking to make you draw back a stub where your foot was - Is acceptable.

    My sword raised with it's hilt at my right shoulder height, as you lean in for the head butt, my sword strikes down and to my left, looking to bend your helmet onto your skull to try and stop your headbutt - Is acceptable also.

Hopefully all of these Guidelines and examples should help fighters and Judges alike begin to see what is intended for Prodigy and what i s not to try and bring fighters and Judges alike onto the same page.

Prodigy Frequently Asked Questions


Q: With Prodigy System, are you allowed to make more then one attack per round of combat?

A: No. You are only allowed to make one attack per round of combat. This attack is generally intended to come in the reaction phase of your attack.

Q: What exactly is considered one attack? Can I shield punch the fellow and then strike? Please help us.

A: You are allowed to use a shield to punch at your opponent, to punch at his shield, his weapon, or the rising of said shield to block his vision. This may be done with intent only to get your opponent out of position, or to obscure his vision while you make the real strike. A steel rimmed shield at the jaw however, is strong enough to be your real attack. A long sword slash to aim to cut from your opponents right shoulder, to left hip, is one attack. A thrust to the stomach and then a drawing upward of the sword to try and cut the opponent, is one attack. A stab to the stomach then another stab to the hip however, is not accepted.

Q: What happens when my opponent runs out of time to post?

A: If it is a sport spar, a point will be deducted from the point total in such a tally. If it is a serious fight, such as Honor, a point will be deducted as well as the reaction considered as null as the person was stunned. For more serious fights, such as to the death or real capture attempts, points will be irrelevant but it will nullify their reaction and equate it to them as being stunned. No one will directly die or be ruled captured in the event of a time out however. If a person does not reply within the time lmit in a serious fight, and it is clear to the Judge that he/she is doing so to avoid being killed by a serious blow, the Judge may rule the fighter dead or captured. Though the Judge should be sure to consider the possibility of a RTI, Crash, emergency etc.

Q: How do you know what is fluid enough to be one clear flowing movement in a Reaction or counter?

A: Something must be able to flow together to be nice and quick, natural, such as stepping in on your leading foot and thrusting, then withdrawing the blade back to reset. That is perfectly natural, as is circling forward and to your right to strike your sword at the left shoulder and then drawing the sword back.

Q: The Prodigy System strives to allow it's reactions and counters to be a series of small realistic movements that fit very well with one another. Counters that lowers you down to your right knee and pulls your shield up over your left shoulder to stop a chop or such, is perfectly fine to be used within a counter. Yanking your shield up and across your body to make a block, then pulling it back down to clear your vision, is also acceptable in a counter. A quick momentary duck down to pass a horizontal swipe at your head and then rising back up after it would have passed is also acceptable.

A: Performing a 2 to 3 small movement reaction, then resetting your shield and sword every single reaction is not acceptable either. Fighters should begin to learn to make strokes that will help them carry their weapon back to where they want it on the follow through. An example of a bit too much would be, coming up off of your knee, driving your shield at your opponents shield, striking your short sword forward at the opponents left shin, drawing your sword and then shield back to you. This here would be a bit too much. Also doing such similar things, and then adding that you ‘back away 3 paces while resetting your weapons,' is not acceptable either. If you wish to clear out the range, then use a SIMPLE small attack, such as a swipe at the left shin while you back away to recover. Do not try to combine it every single round with all sorts of things.

Q: How can I kill a man in this so called Prodigy System?

A: It's fairly similar to most systems in that regard. To kill a man, he must make an unrealistic defense to a lethal blow, or have accumulated a multitude of wounds that would soon lead to his death. A time violation shall never directly result in a death. Point totals will never be used to determine a death either.

Q: What happens in the case that the Judge finds the fight to be a draw?

A: In the case of a Draw, the Judge should first begin to review the script, for something that he thought was borderline, sort of. An example would be "Well it kind of worked, but not really worded enough, but I guess it's kind of ok". These sort of things that some Judges are inclined to let pass if they are mostly correct. If after reviewing for such anal deductions the Judge can not find one, he will rule based upon who inflicted the most serious of wounds to the opponent as he would of saw it. If Fighter A bashed his opponent with his shield six time, but his opponent, Fighter B stabbed Fighter A in the thigh and had a huge slash across his stomach, Fighter B would win because he scored a more serious wound to his opponent. If it is a more serious fight, Tournament, or a spar with stakes, more rounds can be demanded to break the tie, such as a 3 round over time.

Q: How long are Prodigy spars supposed to be? I keep seeing different lengths.

A: Well that can depend on the fighters. In Prodigy there are less rules to over complicate things, as it hinges on the fighters and Judges knowledge of realism and the movement and workings of the weapons and bodies of the men using them. If a fighter knows what he is doing, Prodigy is easier to score clean fights under, because potentially there is less to be typed out and performed. I recommend a good 8 rounds for a serious fight to try to reduce chances of draws. A comfortable region seems to be 5-6 rounds for a normal fight.

For serious combat, such as a capture or an attempt to kill in a manner similar to Open combat, the combat will not continue on for longer then 1 hour time.