Appendix A: The Houses of the Nexus
House Ares, aka "Warmasters": The basis of this house is a love for war and combat of all types. Warmasters spend much of their free time learning all they can about the art of war, and spend a lot of their time developing strategy and techniques for successful battles, from large-scale simulations of all-out war to one-on-one skirmishes with their fellow Avatars. Generally, they are the keepers of the more elaborate and unique weapons found in the Nexus, from all different Genres and universes.
First Tier Skill: Weapon Familiarity. This Skill substitutes for ANY first-level Weapon Profiency (except Martial Arts). Weapon requirements such as minimum Stats must still be honored. Note that if the Item requires a second-level Weapon Skill (such as Edged Weapons II), Weapon Familiarity will NOT substitute for it. As long as the Avatar has this Skill, it will meet the stacking requirement of any level II Weapon Skill. However, if the Avatar changes Houses, all subsequent Skills of Weapons which were dependent on it will be decreased by one level with NO refund of AP spent.
Second Tier Skill: Enhanced Focus Attack (Y). An Avatar with this Skill will receive a bonus of +12 OR during Short Range (R) Attacks that HE initiates.
Third Tier Skill: Willpower (Y). An Avatar with this Skill is able to enhance his defense against any given type of attack through the use of sheer force of will over his body. He receives a bonus of +15 to his Defensive Calculation against ANY type of attack, whether Skill, Power or Item based, including Mental attacks. This Skill has NO effect on DR when used in Offensive Calculations for Long Range Attacks.
Fourth Tier Skill: Weapon Mastery. This Skill adds ONE level to ANY Weapon Profiency (except Martial Arts), up to the maximum level allowed in each specific Weapon Skill. If the Avatar has no specific Proficiency in a given Weapon Skill, then he is assumed to have a level II Proficiency (based on this Skill combined with Weapon Familiarity) with that type of Weapon.
Fifth Tier Skill: Danger Sense (Y+). An Avatar with this Skill can NEVER be the victim of any Surprise attack, either Long Range, Mental or those designated by (S). Instead, he will ALWAYS have the benefit of an Initiative draw in an actual Combat.
Choosing House Ares
If you would like your character to focus on physical Combat, Ares is a good choice for you. The First and Fourth Tier Skills allow 7th Level Avatars to be powerhouses of almost any Combat Skill, and the Fifth Tier Skill is one of the most useful in the Avatar System. Ares is usually populated by Terrans who focus on their weapons or martial arts Skills, but there are some other Genre players who use the Ares House Skills as supplements to their other power-based attacks and defenses.
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