It is possible that a character might have two different improved versions of the same feat. In this case, the player may choose which version of the feat he uses. He can't have a feat "improved" in multiple ways unless otherwise stated. A Kajukenbo master with the Assassin occupation is scary enough. Spread those improved feats out a little!
Combination styles: Many martial arts are heavily influenced by two or more styles. If a style is listed as a combination style, you may choose the ability or improved feat from any of its component styles as your Unarmed skill progresses. For example, a character with Animal-
Imitating Chuan Fa could choose the ability from Shao-Lin Kung Fu at Unarmed rank 4, the improved feat from Monkey at Unarmed rank 8 and so on.
Some styles are a combination of more than two styles, which works as described above, except the player may select from more than two styles when eligible for a new maneuver or improved feat.
While the ability to choose maneuvers from multiple styles is a distinct advantage, combination styles come with one serious drawback as well: if an opponent knows the Know Your Enemy feat for any of the component styles, he gains its benefits when fighting the student of a combination style.
For example, if a character with Know Your Enemy (Tiger) fought a student of Hung Gar he would gain the benefits of that feat.
Weapon styles: What Martial Arts styles are to unarmed fighting, Weapon styles are to armed combat: mystical and/ or practical techniques designed to increase effectiveness with a chosen weapon. Weapon styles grant five maneuvers/ improved feats at Weapon ranks 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20. Weapon style-granted maneuvers and improved feats only work if the character is armed with an appropriate weapon. Weapon styles are subject to the Know Your Enemy feat as normal.
Designing your own styles: Previous iterations of these martial arts rules for d20 Modern featured a mathematical formula for designing your own styles. This is no longer needed in Martial Arts20, since there are fewer feat-based maneuvers and more things that used to be part of martial arts styles (modifying attack rolls with Wisdom) have now become feats. Still, there are some guidelines to creating your own styles:
-- At Unarmed (or Weapon) ranks 4 and 12, each martial arts style grants a maneuver, a special ability that modifies a standard unarmed attack. Often these abilities require a perk or Action Point to function. Many of these are seen in multiple martial arts styles and include such classic maneuvers as the Head Butt and the Jab.
-- At Unarmed (or Weapon) ranks 8, 16 and 20 a martial arts style grants an improved feat, similar to the improved feats seen in Modern20 Occupations (though more likely to be combat oriented).
Beyond these guidelines, the rest of creating a new martial arts style is up to you and your game master. Using the many styles found in these rules as a guide, you should be able to create a variant martial arts style in no time!
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