Coraiocht

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Celtic Age Roleplaying the Myths, Heroes and Monsters of the Celts

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According to Cornish legends, Corinaeus, the first chief of Cornwall, defeated the giant, Gog Magog, by throwing him into the sea from Plymoth Hoe during a wrestling match. Wrestling is a traditional combat sport in the Celtic lands, and those who excel at its demanding arts are celebrated as heroes among the Celtic people. Celtic wrestling requires no weapons other than a single shillelagh (on occasion), and revolves around sheer Strength, Balance, and determination.

Celtic wrestlers are brave men and women who are capable of tremendous feats of heroism, and they are often known by reputation throughout their lands.

Learning the basic skills of Coraiocht is a simple task but mastering them is much more difficult. In order to wrestle, the individual must be properly outfitted and a circle must be prepared. Equipment is simple: shorts or a kilt and a strong canvas jacket. No boots or shoes are allowed, and many Coraiocht wrestlers can be identified by their lack of footgear even in normal travels.

The play area is any flat grassed area about the size of a tennis court. To be a formal bout, referees are required. In Cornish Wrestling these are known as “sticklers,” and they are known for being very strict in judgment and application of rules. There are normally three sticklers, usually retired wrestlers who, as the name suggests, carry a stick each. A bout always commences with a handshake. The handshake communicates to each wrestler that the other is ready to begin fighting. Indeed, not even seconds elapse between the handshake and the first attempt at a hold or throw. From this position, each tries to trip, lift, or throw his opponent onto the ground in order to achieve a victory.

Coraiocht is not simply a contest or a sport. It is a combative style of fighting, and many contests are held to determine the best warriors in the Celtic lands. Coraiocht is used in combat, to break one’s opponent, and those who practice it are feared on the battlefield, even without a weapon in their hands. For those who practice Coraiocht do not need weapons and can easily disarm their opponents, thus placing the foe at a disadvantage when fighting on the Coraiocht’s ground.

As with other styles of wrestling, the aim in sporting Coraiocht and on the battlefield is to defeat your opponent. To do this in a friendly sporting event, you must either “back” your man or claim a win by points. A back is scored when a man has been picked up and dropped flat on his back so that at least three of his four “pins” hit the ground simultaneously. Pins are a man’s shoulders and hips. A back wins a contest immediately, and the bout is over.

A Coraiocht wrestler scores points when his opponent’s shoulder or hip hits the ground: one point for one pin and two points for two pins down. If, after a set time, no back has been scored, the sticklers confer and compare the number of pins that they have recorded. If there is a draw or no points at all have been scored, the bout will go to the wrestler whom the sticklers considered to be the most aggressive in his attempts.

Sporting matches begin in a standing position, toe to toe with the opponent. The wrestler puts his right arm over his opponent’s shoulder and his left arm under his opponent’s arm. Both wrestlers lock their hands behind their opponent’s back. When the judge begins the match, the contestants try to make the other man fall. They are encouraged to use all sorts of tricks – tripping the opponent, stepping on his feet, pushing or pulling him, slinging him around, or lifting him.

Coraiocht wrestlers at war are fearsome. Their quick reflexes, coupled with their unique pugilistic style, can disarm and pin an opponent in just a few, quick moves. Their pins are capable of snapping a man’s back or neck in a single throw if applied with the Coraiocht’s full Strength. In battle, they also use a short, thick club known as a bata or a shillelagh in order to beat their opponents to death or disarm longer weapons.

Hit Die: d10

Skill Points at 1st level: (2 + Intelligence Modifier) x 4

Skill points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Skills: Climb, Escape Artist, Jump, Ride, Tumble, and Swim.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Coraiocht are proficient with clubs, bata, shillelagh, quarter staves, and Daggers.

Starting Gold: 2d4 x 10

Class Features: Coraiocht gain their Class Features at a rate indicated on Table below.

Coraiocht Class Features
Class Level Attack Fort Ref Will Features Unarm. Attack Unarm.Damage
1 +1 +2 +0 +0 Unarmed Strike, Bonus Feat +0 1d6
2 +2 +3 +1 +0 Bonus Feat +1 1d6
3 +3 +3 +1 +1 Stunning Attack +2 1d6
4 +4 +4 +1 +1   +3 1d6
5 +5 +4 +1 +1 Bonus Feat +3 1d8
6 +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Comhraiceor Bata +4/+1 1d8
7 +7/+2 +5 +2 +2   +5/+2 1d8
8 +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Bonus Feat +6/+3 1d8
9 +9/+4 +6 +3 +3   +6/+3 1d8
10 +10/+5 +7 +3 +3   +7/+4/+1 1d10
11 +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Bonus Feat +8/+5/+2 1d10
12 +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Ceann Block +9/+6/+3 1d10
13 +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4   +9/+6/+3 1d10
14 +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Bonus Feat +10/+7/+4/+1 1d10
15 +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5   +11/+8/ +5/+2 1d10
16 +16/+11/ +6/+1 +10 +5 +5   +12/+9/ +6/+3 1d12
17 +17/+12/ +7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Bonus Feat +12/+9/ +6/+3 1d12
18 +18/+13/+7/+4/+1 +11 +6 +6 Flying Mare +13/+10/ +8/+ 4 1d12
19 +19/+14/+8/+5/+2 +11 +6 +6   +14/+11/ +9/+4 1d12
20 +20/+15/+9/+6/+3 +12 +6 +6 Bonus Feat +15/+12/ +10/+5 1d12

Bonus Feats (Ex): Coraiocht get a number of Bonus Feats, but they must choose these from the list shown below, Note that some of the
Feats require prerequisites, and the character must meet all of these before he or she can take the Feat in question.

Coraiocht Bonus Feats

Coraiocht must choose from the following list when selecting one of their Bonus Feats as a Class Feature.

Ambidexterity Improved Disarm
Blind-Fight Improved Initiative
Cleave Improved Trip
Combat Reflexes Mobility
Deflect Arrows Power Attack
Dodge Spring Attack
Combat Expertise Stunning Fist
Improved Bull Rush Sunder
Improved Critical Whirlwind Attack

Unarmed Strike (Ex): Coraiocht are highly trained in fighting unarmed, giving them considerable advantages when doing so. They deal more damage than usual, as shown above. A Coraiocht fighting unarmed gains the benefits of the Improved Unarmed Strike Feat, and thus does not provoke Attacks of Opportunity from armed opponents.

Stunning Attack (Ex): A Coraiocht has the ability to stun a creature damaged by his or her unarmed attacks. The Coraiocht can use this ability once per round, but no more than once per level per day. The character must declare that he or she is using a stun attack before making the attack roll (thus, a missed attack roll ruins the attempt). A foe struck by the Coraiocht is forced to make a Fortitude Saving Throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the Coraiocht’s level + Strength Modifier) in addition to receiving normal damage. If the Saving Throw fails, the opponent is stunned for 1 round. A stunned character can’t act, and loses any Dexterity Bonus to AC, while attackers get a +1 bonus on attack rolls. Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to Critical Hits cannot be stunned by the Coraiocht’s Stunning Attack.

Comhraiceoir Bata (Ex): The comhraiceor bata (pronounced cuhm- rayt-ceor bah-ta) is a style of shillelagh stick-fighting that places an emphasis on using the short club to disarm and injure opponents so that they are unable to use limbs (particularly arms, as many of the attacks with the shillelagh are designed to disable wrists and elbows). The Coraiocht does not provoke an Attack of Opportunity when attempting to Disarm an opponent, nor does the target get an attempt to Disarm the Coraiocht. Further, this attempt may be made as an additional Disarm attempt for the round if the Coraiocht also has the Improved Disarm Feat.

Ceann Block (Ex): The small staff known as the bata or shillelagh is known for its unique blocks and ability to break an opponent’s weapon. At this level, the Coraiocht may attack an opponent’s weapon, attempting to shatter it, rather than striking the foe. The attacking
weapon may be of any size so long as the Coraiocht is using a fire-tempered shillelagh. With any other weapon, the Ceann Block may only be used against a weapon of equal or smaller size than the one the Coraiocht is holding. Doing so does not provoke an Attack of Opportunity from the opponent. The Coraiocht and the defender make opposed attack rolls. If the attacker wins this contest, a good blow has been landed against the defender’s weapon or shield. Roll damage and deal it to the weapon or shield.

The Flying Mare (Ex): This throw is best done before proper grips have been taken. This is not a “shoulder throw” as found in other styles of wrestling, but is done by getting a shoulder under the other individual’s solar plexus and then heaving the opponent over and behind. This will cause the target to land on his or her back, stunned and badly injured.

The Flying Mare may only be done as an Attack Action or a Charge Action, similar to a Bull Rush. First, the Coraiocht moves into the defender’s space, provoking an Attack of Opportunity from each foe that threatens the character. Any Attack of Opportunity made by anyone other than the defender against the Coraiocht during a Flying Mare has a 50% chance of accidentally hitting the defender instead. Secondly, both the Coraiocht and the defender make opposed Strength checks. The Coraiocht may add +4 to the roll if charging. The defender gets a +4 Stability Bonus if it is a creature with more than two legs. If the Coraiocht beats the defender, the target is flipped entirely over the character’s back and onto the ground. The defender is Stunned for 3 rounds and receives double the normal damage that a Coraiocht would normally deal from an Unarmed Attack. A stunned character can’t act and loses any Dexterity Bonus to AC. Attackers gain a +1 Circumstance Bonus to hit him or her.

Code of the Wrestler

Coraiocht wrestlers are expected to be paragons of society, good and true men with stalwart hearts. There is a code in wrestling society, and if a wrestler is known for breaking it, he will be severely disciplined by the others of this class whenever they meet. Breaking the Coraiocht code is an open invitation to a beating, and the other wrestlers, in order to save their reputations, will
surely come to call.

The code is as follows:

• Do not deride the aged when you have youth, the poor when you have wealth, the lame when you are swift, the blind though you have sight, the ill when you have Strength, the dull when you are clever, or the foolish though you are with wisdom.

• Be not too wise, too foolish, too conceited, too diffident, too haughty, too humble, too talkative, too silent, too harsh, nor too feeble.

For if you are too wise, they expect much. If you are foolish, you will be deceived. If you are too conceited, you will be vexing. Be too humble, and you will be without honor. Be too talkative, you will not be heard. If you are too silent, you will not be regarded at all. If you are too harsh, you will be broken. And if you are too feeble, you will be crushed.

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