Fighting-men in the OD&D rules and retro-games such as Swords & Wizardry are mechanically cookie cutters of each other. While the personality the player puts into his character is what everyone remembers most, every player wants his character to be unique in some way or be able to perform some special maneuver that is (generally) his alone to do, bringing not only a unique personality to this character, but maybe a special fighting-style as well that he will be known for.
The Fighting-man Combat Options have been revised and expanded somewhat for the Core Rules 2nd Printing, previewed here. In addition, they are compatible with OD&D, AD&D, "B/X", RC (if not using Weapon Mastery, otherwise it gets crazy), Mentzer D&D and of course S&W Core and Whitebox.
Fighting-man Combat Options (1st level) - Fighting-men learn one combat option at 1st level. Additional combat options are gained at 5th level and every 5 levels beyond.
Fighting-man Combat Options that have a number noted in (parenthesis) beside the name cannot be taken until the character reaches that level or higher.
• Armor Mastery (15th+ Level) - Choose a class of armor you are proficient with (Light, Medium or Heavy). While wearing an armor type of this class, you gain DR 2/-.
• Armor Optimization - Choose a class of armor you are proficient with (Light, Medium or Heavy). While wearing an armor type of this class, your skill penalty due to armor is lessened by 2 (minimum of 1).
• Berserk - This grants a +2 bonus to the attack roll and damage rolls for one entire combat, but the character takes a +1[-1] penalty to armor class as well. Immediately after the combat ends, the character must rest for 1 turn or be exhausted, suffering a -2 penalty to all die rolls and a +2[-2] penalty to armor class for the rest of the day.
• Cleaving Strike (5th+ Level) - If you kill a melee opponent of 1 HD or more, you can make an immediate free attack on another opponent within your melee reach, but no more than once per round.
• Combat Defense - You can voluntarily take a penalty to attack rolls up to the value of your Bonus to Hit (pg 48, to a maximum of -4) and gain this penalty as a bonus to armor class until you decide to end the defensive stance.
• Critical Strike - You quickly determine weaknesses you can see in your opponent’s fighting style. You can score a critical hit on a natural roll of ‘19’ (if you can hit your opponent) and ‘20’.
• Disarm - The character can attempt to remove his opponent’s weapon from his grasp. If the character makes a successful attack no damage is inflicted, but the target must make a Dodge saving throw with half the attacker’s level applied as a penalty to the die roll or his weapon falls 1d10 ft distant.
• Flying Kick - When fighting unarmed and charging, you deal an extra 1d6 points of damage with your unarmed attack.
• Holding the Line - If an opponent charges and moves through your attack area, your free attack will halt their charge if it is successful and they fail a Toughness saving throw.
• Lance Attack - When charging with a lance, the character inflicts triple damage on a successful hit.
• Manyshot - You can make a bonus missile weapon attack each round by hurrying your reload at the expense of accuracy. Your regular attacks suffer a -2 penalty ‘to hit’ and the bonus attack suffers a -4.
• Melee Archer - When throwing or firing a missile weapon while in melee combat, the character does not generate a free attack from his melee opponent(s).
• Mounted Archery - You are proficient in fighting from horseback, moving wagons or chariots with missile weapons and do not suffer penalties for unstable conditions.
• Mounted Combat - You are proficient in fighting from horseback, moving wagons or chariots with melee weapons other than the spear or lance and do not suffer penalties for unstable conditions.
• Overpowering Strike (10th+ Level) - When using a two-handed melee weapon the character can choose to make only 1 attack in a round with a -4 penalty to hit. If the attack hits, the target is flung 10 ft away from the attacker if it is the same size or smaller, taking an additional 1d6 damage if he strikes a hard surface and has a 50% chance of being knocked down.
• Pugilist - The character does +1 point of damage when striking with his bare hands or feet. He is considered wielding an allowed off-hand weapon and to have the Two-weapon Fighting ability while fighting unarmed.
• Sharp Shooting - When firing a missile weapon into melee combat, the character halves any chance to hit blocking melee combatants.
• Shield Hurl - If you are using a Light shield, you can hurl it with the same range and as a hand axe.
• Shield Mastery - Choose 1 type of shield (Light, Medium or Heavy) you are proficient in. While fighting with this shield type, the character gains an additional -1[+1] bonus to his armor class from the shield.
• Shield Strike - You can use a shield as an off-hand weapon and keep its AC adjustment. You are considered to be wielding an allowed off-hand weapon and to have the Two-weapon Fighting ability while shield striking. Light shields inflict 1d4 damage, medium shields inflict 1d6 damage for you.
• Shield Optimization - Choose a class of shield you are proficient with (Medium or Heavy). While using a shield type of this class, your skill penalty due to your shield is halved (minimum of 1).
• Single Weapon Style - Fighting with a one-handed weapon and nothing in your off-hand, grants you a +1 bonus to Dodge saving throws and a -1[+1] bonus to your armor class.
• Skewering Strike (5th+ Level) - If attacking with a lance, pole-arm, spear or trident any critical hits you make also strikes the creature in the 2nd rank behind your foe for normal damage.
• Smash (10th+ Level) - If you only make a single melee attack in a round at a -4 penalty, you add half your Strength score to your damage.
• Spear Maneuvers - When fighting with a spear the character can reach the 2nd rank while fighting 1-handed. The character may set a spear or trident against a charging opponent and if the character hits (attack roll required), he inflicts double damage to the charging opponent.
• Strike Mighty Blow - When using a two-handed melee weapon, you gain a +1 damage bonus.
• Taunt - Once per combat, you can enrage an enemy within 30 ft and get him to close into melee range with you, ignoring everyone but you if he fails an Ego saving throw.
• Two-weapon Defense - When fighting proficiently with two weapons, you gain a -2[+2] bonus to armor class.
• Two-weapon Fighting - You can fight with two weapons with less of a penalty to attack rolls with certain weapons (see pg. 46).
• Two-weapon Rend (10th+ Level) - When fighting proficiently with two weapons, if both weapons successfully hit the same opponent in the same round your opponent takes an additional 1d6 points of damage.