“I am wind and water. I flow around any obstacle, melt away from any attack—but when I strike with full force, nothing can stand against me.”
In your first life, you died because you weren’t fast enough or because you faced a barrier you couldn’t overcome. Whether you were fleeing from an enemy or racing to save a loved one, you weren’t quick enough, and it cost you your life. The powers you gained in the Crucible enhance both speed and precision. You are a blur on the battlefield. You can make half a dozen attacks in the blink of an eye, or a single perfect attack that can bring down the most powerful foe. Your speed and your techniques allow you to turn an enemy’s attack against them, and you are deadly opponent even when you don’t attack at all.
Forceful Phoenixes are the masters of melee combat, but your talents are equally useful off the battlefield. In the Dawn Legion, Forceful Phoenixes served as unmatched scouts and couriers, and your keen senses will serve your Wing well. The one arena you’re weak in is social interaction. You prefer to speak with your actions, and to leave negotiations to the Devoted and Durants.
The techniques of the Forceful Phoenix are more complex than those of other Schools. Some of these are derived from Skavi and Atonic martial arts, while others are based around your supernatural abilities. Forceful Phoenixes have a number of techniques that build momentum over time; as a result, you often make a flurry of small attacks. Certain Lessons require you to temporarily commit Sparks, focusing your power through a particular technique. Other Lessons benefit when you play a particular combination of cards. When all these pieces work together, no School can match you for pure offensive power; but you have to work a little harder than most to get these pieces in place.
Acrobatics, Resolve, Scouting, and Traveler. You approach physical obstacles with speed and precision, overcoming them with acrobatic grace instead of brute force. Your resolve reflects your mental discipline and determination, and it allows you to overcome fear or other effects that would slow you down. Traveler reflects your knowledge both of the many provinces of the Empire and of the wilderness itself. Scouting is your most versatile Specialty, encompassing keen senses, an eye for detail, and the ability to move swiftly and quietly. Whether it’s spotting a hidden enemy or sneaking up on a sleeping beast, your experience with scouting can make a vital difference. This is especially important because spreads related to Perception are typically tied to Intellect…but because of this Specialty, you can use Grace whenever Scouting comes into play.
Speed is the defining element of the Forceful, and you can run indefinitely at the pace of a swift horse. One question is whether you primarily fight with weapons (your Talon or mundane weapons) or if you strike your enemies with feet and fists. Rolling Stone deals additional damage with each attack, and Percussive Strikes gives you the potential for a massive single attack. Are these based purely on momentum and skill, or do you sheathe your weapons in mystical energy that builds in intensity?
- The Ranger. You were a scout in your first life, whether a forester in the Grimwald, an Aton vault runner or a Skavi nomad. You prefer the wilds to the city. You’re most likely a Hunter; are you Sneaky as well?
- The Warrior Monk. The Voices of the Deep are an order of monks in Kor Aton. They protect the people above from the dangers that lurk in the deepest vaults, but they also work to honor and placate the spirits themselves. You never left Kor Aton in your lifetime, but in your new life you strive to protect the entire world from the darkness. As you’re not well-traveled, you should replace the Traveler Specialty with Spirits or The Arcane. Absolute Conviction and Never Gives Up can represent your mental discipline, while Astonishing Luck could be derived from the favor of the spirits.
- The Celebrity. You were a renowned entertainer in your first life. You may have been an acrobat or gymnast, or you could exchange Resolve or Traveler for a specialty reflecting your talents (Athletics? Bard?). In your first life, you had wealth and fame; how are you acclimating to the serious duty of Dawn Command? Are you still recognized by your fans? Superhuman Reflexes and Makes It Look Easy are all logical Traits; are you Charming or Inspiring?
WHY PLAY A FORCEFUL?
The Forceful Phoenix can be a challenging School. Where a Bitter just needs to make the biggest Attack Spread they can, a Forceful will often want to spread their best cards out among multiple attacks, or hold cards so they can trigger an exponential combination with Arrow’s Flight or Furious Storm. However, when things line up, a Forceful can play more cards in a single turn than any other School. The ability to draw an additional card when you play two lets you set up strings of attacks…and Quick Study gives you the chance to make Skill Spreads in combat (such as a Scouting Spread to examine an enemy or an area) without wasting your combat potential.
As a Forceful, you shine in combat. You can play more cards than anyone else, and with the proper Lessons in place, you can deal more damage than any other Phoenix. The price of this is you aren’t as engaged outside of combat. Your Scouting Specialty is a versatile skill that helps you uncover secrets and spot enemies, but you lack the mystical skills of the Intellect-driven Phoenixes or the social specialties of the Devoted and Durant. There will be times when you’re waiting for something to hit…but when it’s time for a fight, you’re in your element.
Rolling Stone and Percussive Strikes are a powerful combination if you like the idea of making flurries of small attacks. If you prefer to focus on your Scouting abilities, Quick Study and Living Whirlwind are a good path to follow.
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