Rival school

In this campaign theme, the characters have rivals from another martial arts school. Their Masters, teachers of philosophically different styles, have been rivals for many years and now fight through their students. This campaign theme blends well with a number of the other themes discussed elsewhere in this section. In the case of the Bad Seed, the character's rival might start out studying alongside him, and when it becomes clear that the character will be the "chosen one," the rival defects to the "other side." If the GM wishes to blend this theme with the Legendary Master, the character can discover, when he is finally accepted into the Master's tutelage, that there is a rival master with a rival school. The Karate Kid is an excellent example of how these elements can blend together.

Common Skills and Abilities: Often, the rivals are much lower level than the PC but come at him in waves. See The Chinese Connection for an example of this theme at its finest. If the characters and their rivals are to be the same level, then Know Your Enemy and Knowledge is Power would be appropriate feats for both sides.

HONG KONG KNIGHTS

Cinematic Campaign Model

Hong Kong is a city at war. An undeclared war being fought between the Skinku Kobushi, the "Crimson Fists" against the Barraku Yaiba, the "Black Blades". These gangs fight over control of the harbors, the right to extort money from the street vendors and most importantly of all; over the control of the street level drug trade.

Without weapons that would draw too much attention from the authorities these gangs fight with martial arts and the weapons of the martial arts: nunchaku, chain, fist and foot. These gangs are just pawns fighting at the behest of untouchable Yakuza overlords struggling for control of Hong Kong's ports, ports that will be used to smuggle drugs and other illicit contraband into Japan from all over the world.

The player characters are caught in the midst of this war. As young men and women they must choose a side, or take the most dangerous route of all and attempt to stay neutral. Unable to turn to the police, their only ally in such a war would be the martial arts masters who preach non-violence from local dojos. Dojos that will themselves become targets if they do not choose sides.

THE yakuza

There is an old saying that represents, perhaps better than any other, the traditional Japanese mindset: "The nail that sticks up must be hammered down". The Yakuza crime families, the Japanese equivalent of the Mafia, are the nail that refuses to be hammered down. In a society based on rigid conformity, Yakuza stand out, wearing shiny sharkskin suits, driving bulletproof Lincolns and Cadillacs, sporting tattoos over most of their body, and ritually disfiguring themselves to atone for a mistake. Even the name Yakuza denotes those willing to be losers in a society predicated on perfection. The word Yakuza comes from Ya, (8) Ku (9) and Sa (3) that adds up to 20, a losing hand in a popular Japanese card game. Thus the Yakuza are the "losing hands".

Yakuza fall into three broad categories: tekiya, bakuto and gurentai. Tekiya are the street peddlers, and have been a part of Japanese society since the 18th century selling snake-oil and other goods not legally obtainable. Today tekiya sell all manner of bootleg software and music, mostly of American origin. Bakuto are the gamblers, and in the distant past worked fairs, providing dice games and other amusements. Today they operate pachinko parlors. Pachinko is the Japanese equivalent of a slot machine, in which a chrome ball races through a maze when released. The gurentai, however, are the true gangsters, and their name itself means "hoodlum". The gurentai rose to power in the years following World War II when the American occupation created an enormous new market for black market goods. Like Prohibition in the United States, it was the American occupation that allowed the Yakuza to gain a foothold in Japanese society. And their numbers are enormous today, estimated at more than 110,000 active members. By contrast, the American Mafia is believed to have 20,000 active members, in a nation with more than twice

Kick Boxing Guide

Kick Boxing Guide

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