*begins breakdancing gently* what’s wrong, son
Mass Effect E3 2014 - The only things I cared about during that presentation
Hi! So let me preface this by saying that I am an actual swordswoman. I fence competitively and have done so for about twelve years. I know what you’re thinking, fencing isn’t the same as real life combat, but although I may not be killing anyone when I fence it’s still quite similar. I use a lot of upper body strength and need to be quick on my feet. I know a lot of people, men and women, who’ve injured themselves and continue to fence despite their injuries. I’ve also seen handicapped fencers kick other people’s asses despite their handicap. Someone I know injured her right arm and she was told she would never be able to fence with that arm again, what did she do? She switched arms and her weapon hand is now her left hand.
So what I am trying to say is that even if you’re character lost her dominant arm/hand in battle there are a lot of ways to compensate for it and you do not have to change the kind of weapon she uses. I don’t know what kind of earthly weapon you are fashioning your alien swords after, as there are many different types all held and used in different ways, with different hands, but I can tell you that your character’s capabilities with a sword now will depend a couple of things:
Her physical abilities, which are completely up to you. If they are quite close to human here’s a handy guide from our tags on physical capabilities when fighting. There is also a very helpful tag on swordfighting which has some good terms as well as an article about how people die and don’t die in sword fights. We also have a nice little guide on different kinds of words. Although it does not have a description for each kind of sword, we also have a guide with different sword types here. You can very, very easily find information by just Googling the name of any type of sword on that list and find out more about the style and if they were used with one or two hands.
Her previous experience. You have to think about her past history, like did she use a shield in battle before? Maybe she did and not being able to have a shield may cause some anxiety. There is also the issue of balance. In modern fencing we use our non-weapon hand as an aid for balance. However, your balance depends a lot more on your legs than your off-arm, so concern yourself a bit more with her stance when fighting. You mention she is already a seasoned swordswoman, if she lost her arm during battle she at least has the rest of her body trained to react in battle. All she needs to do is train her other arm to wield a sword, which can be difficult but not impossible, especially not for someone like her who seems to be very perseverant.
The type of sword/fighting she was to used before. The way she fights now and how she transitions will have a lot to do with the style of fighting she was accustomed to before she lost her arm. If she used something like a longsword, which requires two hands, she will have to change the type of sword she uses. You can think of making this part of her character development because transitioning into using one hand will prove to be a bit more challenging at first. She might have to switch to something like a short sword, which can be used with a single hand.
One example that came to mind immediately that you can check out is Jaime Lannister, a character from A Song of Ice and Fire, who loses his dominant hand and is forced to fight with his left hand. Although he struggles he does pretty well, probably because he learned to fight with his left hand during training. In real life, I imagine, that fighters were trained at least a little with both hands as you might have to pick up and use your other hand to fight in a pinch. Anyway, here are a few things that might be helpful as well:
An article on sword fighting and a historically accurate sword fighting project created by Neal Stephenson, writer of Snowcrashand The Diamond Age (a personal favorite of mine).
A guide on how to write sword fights which is actually quite helpful and has literary examples as well as examples from TV and film. I can’t speak for the rest of the content of the site, but this guide is quite helpful.
A guide on single-handed and two-handed sword fighting, which is short but helpful.
Last, but not least a video on Single-handed sword fighting technique. Personally I’m a visual person and having visual reference really helps me when I write.
Mass Effect Numbers Meme / Four Outfits, Armors, or Weapons [1/4] →
Working on Collector data. Have ruled out artificially intelligent virus. Unless it’s very intelligent. And toying with me. Hmm. Tests… (x)
This phone call, it’s… it’s my note. That’s what people do, don’t they? Leave a note.
what if when you die, you hear a voice that says “simulation: complete” and a loading screen comes up and you have the options of choosing between a new game, or loading an old game. but when you choose to load an old game, the screen says “error: cannot load files” so you have to start a new game. the screen will say “are you sure you want to start a new game? previous save files will be overwritten” and you have no choice but to start a new game??