The Knifefighter Feat

So, watching the ads and the reveals for the new AMC show Into the Badlands has me wanting there to be a feat that creates the sort of crazy, knife-wielding warrior that bristles with sharp pointy things and who is yet not entirely unbalanced. It actually calls to mind the movie Exposure – which is well worth watching if you are interested in that sort of thing. One of the more accurate depictions of knife-fighting in a film that I’ve seen. 


The character has learned the “grand art” of the “Persevs” (street assassins), the skill to “perforate and sever” with smaller and more maneuverable weapons that are easily concealed and carried. This skill only works in melee combat, and only with weapons that have the Light or the Finesse qualities.

  • If attacking with Advantage, and the attack succeeds, then they gain an additional, Standard attack with that same weapon.
  • Upon making a successful Strike, but before rolling damage, the character may decide to embed the blade in their target. This means that the blade is left in the body of the target until after combat (it requires an Action, Reaction, or Bonus Action plus an Average Strength check to retrieve during combat), but does an additional +10 damage.

For anyone who has never studied knife-fighting, or never seen a video of a knife attack, the sheer speed and violence of one is rather horrifically amazing. The first ability represents this, as well as the sorts of “filleting” moves that you can find in some knife forms. The second ability is a bit more cinematic, but is also a bit of a nod to the idea that even a smaller weapon can be dramatically effective in the right hands – and that vital areas are often protected behind bone that weapons can be lodged in.

It also, incidentally, allows for the creation of a fantastic two-handed, cut & thrust (rapier and dagger) duelist character…

Categories: Game Design, House Rules | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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