This flashy, show-off move is used primarily to intimidate but also has good damage. Unfortunately, the use of the Pinwheel Attack (so called because of the "pinwheeling" motions of the attacker's arms) results in an almost compete loss of defensive capability for its duration! The build-up to this attack is eerily silent for all its obvious power. In the moments preceding this attack, the attacker begins to whirl his weapon(s) in a circular pattern that does look like a pinwheel, all the while moving closer to the target. This attack must be the first attack in a melee round, and regardless of the initiative roll, this attack always comes last in the first group of attacks. During the build-up, the attacker may still use circular parries, but may not dodge or use a regular parry, and the circular parry is at -4.
When the attack itself comes, it comes as the whirlwind--fast and hard. The attacker spins in a complete circle, hits the target with both ends of the staff (or both rods), comes to a complete stop, and does the same thing in reverse. In essence, the character gets four attacks for the price of one! Each set of attacks (the first two, then the last two) must be rolled for separately, and unless the opponent has two weapons (or a staff) a parry of the first attack results in a -4 to the parry roll on the second attack (the weapon has been knocked out of line).
When the attack ends, the character may not do anything for the remainder of the round except defend, and may only do that with a penalty of -6! However, this attack is so impressive and cool-looking that any opponent of less than fifth level must save vs. horror factor 15 to avoid being cowed into retreat or submission. More experienced characters without martial arts ability are less impressed by flashy maneuvers and only need a 12 to save. Martial artists of fifth level or above are completely unaffected by this move, considering it the tool of a show-off and braggart.
(Example: Will, a first-level practitioner of Anbo-Jyutsu armed with a bo staff [with which he is considered to have third level proficiency], is in a duel against Kyle, a third level Soldier with Hand to Hand: Martial Arts who is armed with a sword. Will and Kyle each have three attacks per melee. The first round of combat begins; Will gets a 17 on initiative and Kyle gets a 10. Normally, Will would go first, but he declares that he is building up for a Pinwheel Strike. Kyle gets his first attack, going for a simple sword strike. Will cannot use any defense except a circular parry, and manages to parry the sword strike successfully. Now it's Will's turn. Will goes into his attack run, rolling a 16 to strike for the first pair of staff strikes. Kyle parries the first strike with his sword by rolling an 18, but because of the -4 penalty (which reduces his parry to 14) the butt end of the staff connects squarely with him and inflicts seven points of damage. Then the next two strikes come through the other way; Will rolls 14 to strike. Kyle rolls an 18 to parry, blocking both strikes successfully (but barely on the second one). Will is incapable of any attacks for the remainder of the round, but can now parry, dodge, or whatever [albeit at a -6 penalty] if Kyle attacks him. Fortunately for Will, Kyle [a martial artist of less than fifth level] rolls only a 13 on his save vs. horror factor and books away, deciding he doesn't want anything to do with this fight.)
Was this article helpful?