Cthulhutech "Vade Mecum", pg 43

A Cascade is meant to simulate an established fighting style, one in which a Character can be trained and that is taught within a community. For example, the New Earth Government has a standardized method of unarmed combat that all soldiers are taught in Basic Training. These fighting styles encompass a particular philosophy of combat with a set of accompanying stock fighting moves. These moves, for a trained fighter, naturally flow (or cascade) one into another. By staying within the flow of a fighting style, the flurry of combat becomes more manageable and a trained combatant is capable of much more than his untrained counterpart.

Each Cascade discusses the philosophy, training, and look of the fighting style, the Skill Specialization required to use that Cascade, the fighting moves of the style and appropriate rules, and both three Action and two Action Cascades. You read Cascades just like a flow chart. Start with an opening move – most styles give you a couple of options. Follow the flow to choose a second move, and on to a third for a three Action turn. Each step of the way shows you your Multiple Action Test Penalty for that attack as well as what move you’ll be using so you can consult its specific damage and effects. It’s that easy.

To execute your Cascade attack, engage in a Combat Contest, but use the listed Multiple Action Penalty instead of the usual -2 for each Action (for two Action turns) or -4 for each Action (for three Action turns). If you successfully hit your opponent, you will determine your damage using the damage of the specific move as opposed to the normal damage for hand or fist, or a modified amount of damage in the case of weapon styles. Many moves also have special effects that accompany them and those rules are explained under each Cascade.

The main advantage, beside the specialized fighting moves, is that by going with a Cascade, you essentially eliminate one Action’s worth of Penalties. If you are taking three Actions, you only suffer a total penalty of -8 across all Actions instead of the usual -12 (-4 for each of the Actions). If you are taking two Actions, you only suffer a total penalty of -2 to all Actions instead of the usual -4 (-2 for each of the Actions).

But what if you portray a Character who is only capable of one Action per turn? Cascades are still useful to these Characters, because having access to a Cascade means that you have access to the individual combat moves within it. So while your Character may not be able to pull off a flurry of attacks, he’ll still fight in a more sophisticated way than his untrained opponents. Even if your Character has the ability to pull off two or three Actions in a turn, you may choose to only perform one of the Cascade’s special moves as an attack and forego all Action penalties that turn.

In order to use a Cascade, you must have purchased at least a Focused Specialization in the specific fighting style for your Character. He can then use any aspect of the Cascade.

Real Fighting Styles
While Cascades are meant to simulate real world fighting styles, they’re anything but real. We’ve first had to fit them into a one, two, or three Action in five seconds artificial framework. Then, we had to choose only a set of moves that would be effective and cinematic within that framework. Also, we had a limited amount of space in which to create fighting styles for CthulhuTech, so if you’re a martial arts aficionado, feel free to use these rules as guidelines and create your own.

For a list of Cascade Moves, See Cascade Moves

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