Character Templates

Below are templates for character types especially suitable as PCs in Martial Arts games. To use a template, simply pay its point cost, choose any options left open on the template, and note what abilities this gives you. To customize your PC, spend your remaining points - and any additional points from quirks or personal disadvantages - on whatever you like (subject to GM approval). See How to Use Character Templates (p. B258) for details.

Each template sets aside points for a martial-arts style but doesn't list the individual abilities to spend them on. To customize the character, choose a style from Chapter 5 and spend these reserved points on its components, as explained under Components of a Style (pp. 141-143). The template's "Customization Notes" section suggests especially suitable styles, along with appropriate "style lenses" from Choosing a Style (pp. 144-146).

Only Contender (p. 32), Instructor (pp. 34-35), Monk (p. 36), and Student (pp. 38-39) portray "career" martial artists. All of the remaining templates give traits for heroes who work at occupations where martial-art experience could be useful. These don't depict typical members of those professions, but unusual people who've chosen to invest a lot of time in martial-arts training, either for reasons of personal philosophy or to impress potential employers.

The base templates assume a 100- to 150-point realistic game. However, each has one or two "lenses" that convert it into a template suitable for a 200- to 250-point cinematic campaign. The GM should use the higher end of these point ranges if he wants the PCs to be naturally gifted and well-trained, as the templates keep attributes modest (between 10 and 13) and focus on skills. As well, the Instructor template is intended for a master - someone who is by definition better than most martial artists - and calls for closer to 200 points in a realistic game or 300 points in a cinematic one.

Remember that templates are neither required nor prescriptive. You can use them "as is," alter them, or ignore them and create a PC from whole cloth. But even if you choose to ignore them, they're worth skimming for ideas that could help you with your character concept.

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