Weakness Identification

This proficiency, like Tactics, allows the gladiator to assess an opponent for signs of weakness. A successful proficiency check means that the gladiator has located the foe's weakness, whether it lies in fighting style or a fault in the opponent's armor. If the gladiator wants to take the usual penalties for a called shot (+1 to initiative, -4 to attack), he can cause double damage to the opponent for one round only. After such a wound, intelligent opponents adjust their fighting style so that the weakness is not as exposed. Creatures with low Intelligence or less simply try to minimize the danger by presenting a different side to the attacker. Thus, if two or more gladiators attack a weakened creature, there is a good chance they can continue exploiting its weakness throughout the battle as it shifts the damaged area from one side to another.

The bonus conferred by this proficiency can be communicated to one's allies. However, if the creature under attack understands the language used to effect this communication, anyone attacking the creature does so with a -2 penalty.

When used against a gladiator with the Arena Acting proficiency, the two sides involved must have a proficiency contest. Each character must make their respective Proficiency checks. The degree of success in this is measured by the difference between the target number and the actual die roll. The winner is the character with the higher degree of success. If the winner is using Weakness Identification, he spots the acting through some small flaw in the performance. Likewise, if the Arena Actor has the greater number, the one with Weakness Identification falls for it.

Example: Bythal has an Arena Acting proficiency of 14. His opponent Haarna has a Weakness Identification proficiency of 13. Bythal's roll is a 7, while Haarna's is a 3. Since Haarna's difference is greater at 10 (13-3=10) than Bythal's 7 (14-7=7), Haarna can easily see that Bythal is acting. He is not drawn in, and Bythal's bonus is negated.

The interchange here can be complicated. Some gladiators take both Arena Acting and Weakness Identification. Arena Acting should be checked first, so that the enemy may be fooled from the first instant he spies his opponent. After the gladiator assumes his weakness, he can begin checking his enemy for the same thing. Both these rolls should be rolled where only the DM can see them, so that the player does not know if he was successful in his various attempts.

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