Carick's College of Combat

History

A retired Vishan commander named Carick Gul founded Carick’s College of Combat, or “Triple C”, about four hundred years ago. Carick had grown weary of overseeing soldiers trained with the same basic fighting principles, day in and day out. He petitioned his commanding officer to allow him to select the best men from his company and train them as a team of special operatives . . . a team designed to handle problems too sensitive for the Vishan government to deal with openly. His petition was granted and Carick set about selecting and training what was to become the finest and most clandestine platoon of soldiers that the Vishan military had ever seen.

After several years of loyal and dedicated service to his country, Carick retired from military service with full honors. He spent many months living peacefully on the large pension that his former position granted him. However, Carick soon found that while he welcomed the peace granted by not having to fight a war, he longed for the glory of combat. As he had enjoyed instructing and training elite soldiers in the arts of war, the idea of training recruits came fairly quickly to his mind. Never one to do anything on a small scale, Carick began funneling his pension money into building a large war academy, complete with archery ranges and grounds for practicing mounted combat.

Carick’s new academy soon drew a lot of attention and the fame he earned as a commander in the Vishan military attracted many hopeful students and instructors. Carick’s new school would not accept just anyone, however. His personal standards were so high that two out of every three hopeful applicants were turned away. Despite this, CCC sported over five hundred students and more than forty instructors before the first year had passed.

Both students and instructors came from all walks of life, from a myriad of races and social classes. As long as an applicant showed sufficient martial talent and could pass the complicated entrance exam, he was accepted. Payment was expected each semester, though many students were given full scholarships in exchange for remaining on the grounds as an instructor for an allotted time after their graduation. Many students who showed promise with a new weapon or style of fighting were also given the option to stay on as instructors.

CCC Today

Today, CCC is far larger than it was when Carick first built it. It has expanded to over three thousand acres and sports enough facilities to house and instruct more than the average thousand students that are accepted every semester, as well as the fifty plus instructors that live on the premises. The school offers instruction in hundreds of fighting styles. Everything from fencing to wrestling, spear fighting to shield bashing is commonly taught and many new weapons and styles are put to the test on the grounds of the famous combat college. Archery and mounted combat are daily courses and classes on subjects such as siege warfare and military history are a required part of the curriculum.

Instruction

A full school term is two three-month semesters with a month off between them. Almost forty percent of all students who attend CCC wash out before graduation. Those who do graduate are considered to be some of the best warriors in the world. Even though the school grounds are located within the borders of Visha, representatives from many nations actively recruit officers for their own militaries from CCC. The alumni are very proud of their achievements and they almost always bear the symbol of the school, three interwoven Cs, on their clothing, armor or elsewhere on their person.

Classes are referred to as “battalions,” and are separated and named by what is being taught. Thus, a class on heavy armor is referred to as “Heavy Armor Battalion.” While each battalion has a head instructor, they are usually quite large, too large for any one instructor to oversee. Because of this, the battalions are broken into smaller groups, called “companies,” which are named for the particular instructor that oversees the company. The battalion head instructor takes command one of these companies and allocates command of other companies to his sub-instructors. Thus, Heavy Armor Battalion might be broken down into “Smith Company,” “Jones Company,” and “Johnson Company,” depending on the actual names of the instructors. Within each company, the students are separated into four-man groups, called “Squads.” Members of a squad bunk in the same room as one another and are responsible for one another’s conduct. If one member of a squad is punished, the entire squad receives this punishment.

Lesson plans are drawn up by the battalion heads and are distributed to the instructors of each company. Considerable leeway is given to each battalion head regarding their individual methods of instruction, with the only rule being that no battalion head can alter the division of students above the company level, meaning that members of a squad can be rearranged, but once a student is assigned a battalion and company, he may not be moved from it short of being expelled from the college. Company heads report to battalion heads, who in turn report to the Dean of Academics. The final decision regarding the fate of a student recommended for expulsion is decided by the Dean.

Prerequisites

BAB +2 - A person who wishes to enroll at Carick’s College of Combat must first prove his martial competence.
Intelligence 13+ - A test is given to a potential student in order to judge his ability to grasp, understand and improve upon advanced concepts. If the applicant cannot read, the test will be given orally.
Exam Cost - The cost of the entrance exam (paid in advance) is 200gp, whether the applicant passes the test or not. This fee may be waived under special circumstances.
Tuition - The cost of tuition per semester is 1500gp. This includes room and board, study materials, three meals per day and any magical healing needed due to injury during instruction. Scholarships are sometimes given out to those who cannot afford tuition, but only if the applicant shows truly exceptional martial talent and only if he agrees to stay on as an instructor for a period of no less than one year per semester of his attendance.

Benefits

Language - By the time a student reaches graduation, he is better read than he was before he enrolled. If the student could not read or write when he enrolled, he is able to read and write the common language by the time of his graduation.
Defense - The first semester of schooling focuses almost totally on defense. The student chooses whether to focus on light, medium or heavy armor, shields or unarmored combat and gains a +1 competence bonus to AC when he is wearing this armor, using a shield or is unarmored (whichever he chose at the time of instruction).
Offense - The second semester of schooling focuses almost totally on offensive tactics. The student chooses a weapon, weapon combination* (such as a rapier and dagger) or unarmed (including tripping, grappling and bull rushing) and gains a +1 competence bonus to attack rolls when using this attack.
*The bonus to hit only applies to the weapon combination. Weapons from the combination do not gain the bonus when used individually.

Using CCC

Carick’s College of Combat could be useful to a dungeon master for many different reasons. As it’s a large academy with multiple buildings and very spacious grounds, it could provide a really interesting backdrop for short social adventures. Since the curriculum is almost entirely based on actual combat practice (meaning that just about everyone is armed and dangerous), it might work well as a location for a murder mystery, requiring the PCs to figure out who killed the exceptionally rough drill sergeant instructor or it may even toss the PCs into the role of attorneys, as they plead the case of a student that was accidentally responsible for the death of another student during training. Perhaps most importantly, Carick’s College of Combat could easily provide any dungeon master with a tangible justification for allowing certain combat-based prestige classes (such as the duelist, warmaster or order of the bow initiate) into his game—if a player wishes to begin taking levels in such a prestige class, he must first attend and possibly pass a term at the school.

NPCs of Note

Reese Karington, Dean of Academics
Karr Tindelman, CCC Battalion Head (heavy weapons)
Gindle Proudfoot, CCC Battalion Head (archery)
Gra’chak, CCC Battalion Head (polearms)
Dugan Hatchetpitcher, CCC Battalion Head (thrown weapons)
Elman Forestwalker, CCC Battalion Head (fencing)
Hera Glamnor, CCC Battalion Head (light armor)
Rane Konda, CCC Battalion Head (medium armor)
Melora Malvus, CCC Battalion Head (shields)
Rac Stonebreaker, CCC Battalion Head (heavy armor)
Deen Hampatin, CCC Battalion Head (unarmored)
Ki Shia Li, CCC Battalion Head (unarmed)
Slith, aka “One-hand Slith”, Master of Horses