see p. B42

Many martial artists toughen their hands by punching a heavy bag, wooden post, etc. The usual goal is to condition the hands so that hitting hard surfaces is less risky (treat this as DR; see Damage Resistance, p. 43), but some unorthodox exercises are intended to harden the hands into deadly weapons. These include striking iron or steel, driving extended fingers into hot sand, and applying rank-smelling unguents. The results often have a colorful name, such as "iron hand" or "eagle claw." Represent this using Blunt Claws [3] - and perhaps other traits.

Realistically, any toughening extensive enough to improve punching damage would irreversibly damage the hand. The GM should only let realistic fighters buy Blunt Claws if they also take Bad Grip 1 [-5]. The package is a net disadvantage (-2 points). Since Bad Grip 1 gives -2 to grapple or use melee weapons, this severely curtails the martial artist's other combat options.

In a cinematic campaign, the GM may relax this restriction and allow esoteric, non-destructive exercises or amazing ointments. If so, individuals with Trained by a Master should have access to such methods and be able to buy Blunt Claws without Bad Grip. If those without Trained by a Master want this advantage, they can either get it the hard way (with Bad Grip) or pay 10 points for Unusual Background (Access to secret hand-toughening exercises).

It's possible to modify just one hand. This doesn't reduce the point cost of Claws or Unusual Background, but Bad Grip must have the -80% limitation "One hand only." This reduces its value to -1 point and means that its -2 penalty applies to one-handed tasks with the modified hand. For two-handed tasks, the penalty is only -1.

Those who wish to do this in play should see Learnable Advantages (p. B294). Base the time required on the cost of Blunt Claws (3 points). Where applicable, any Unusual Background must be bought before training begins, while Bad Grip appears at the end of this time.

For another option, see the Limb limitation under Striker (p. 47).


Damage Resistance see p. B46

Suitably limited Damage Resistance fits many kinds of cinematic campaigns. A few ideas:

Ablative: Some action heroes can absorb a lot of damage before their luck runs out. They suffer kicks, punches, falls, etc., throughout the story, but only get hurt in the finale. To simulate this, the GM may allow DR (Ablative, -80%) [1/level]. Each point of damage rolled blows away a point of DR. This DR doesn't protect against poison - but while it lasts, it does keep poisoned weapons from delivering their deadly dose! Such DR works much like HP, but the two aren't the same. Compare lost HP to the victim's basic HP score to determine crippling, major wounds, and death.

Limited: Other fictional heroes are resistant to bludgeoning but affected normally by blades, bullets, and beams. To represent this, the GM may permit DR (Limited, Crushing, -40%) [3/level]. Limited, Unarmed is also -40%, and affects cutting and impaling Claws, Strikers, and Teeth.

Partial: Martial artists often toughen extremities or limbs into "iron body parts." Those with Trained by a Master may buy DR with Partial (-80% for one hand or one foot; -40% for two hands, two feet, one leg, or one arm; or -20% for two legs or two arms) and Tough Skin (-40%). This traditionally accompanies Claws (p. 42), or requires or is an Iron Body Parts perk (p. 50).

Tough Skin: The GM may let really tough guys buy DR (Limited, Crushing, -40%; Tough Skin, -40%) [1/level] for their whole body. Attacks that don't break the skin or carry a contact poison or chi-based touch attack simply hurt less. Some warriors have DR (Tough Skin, -40%) [3/level] and are harder to hurt with all attacks! Martial artists who simulate tough body parts using Partial must also take Tough Skin.

The GM decides how much DR to allow and of what type, and should base the time needed to acquire it through training on its final point cost (see Learnable Advantages, p. B294). Outside of superhero games, DR 1-2 is probably enough unless it's Ablative. Ablative DR could go up to HP in any cinematic game, and up to 5xHP for heroes who survive 10-story falls and 60-mph car wrecks. Anything is possible, though. Damage Resistance might have nearly any modifier when part of a chi power (see Chi Powers for Martial Artists, p. 46). The GM should design powerful defensive abilities himself and present them in a manner similar to the offensive ones under Innate Attack (pp. 45-47). For instance:

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