Combat Art or Sportf

see p. B184

In a real fight, martial artists with Combat Art or Sport skills function as if their skill were three levels lower. This is because of the -3 default penalty between Art/Sport skills and combat skills. If a combat skill enjoys special benefits - such as the +3 for a retreat when parrying with Boxing, Judo, Karate, or a fencing skill - these do apply to its Art and Sport forms. When these benefits depend on skill level, though, use the level after the -3 default penalty. For instance, to claim +1 damage for knowing Karate at DX level, a karateka with Karate Sport would need DX+3 level.

The reason why Combat Art skills aren't as effective as combat skills in a real fight isn't always that they "emphasize graceful movements and perfect stances," however. Just as often, these skills teach techniques that look impressive in a staged fight without regard for combat effectiveness or traditional aesthetics! Stunt fighters learn such Combat Art skills to put on an entertaining show for the camera or a live audience.

Qian Kun Ri Yue Dao

Even so, stunt fighters are still fighters. They may use combat and Combat Sport skills at the usual penalty (-3). To create an actor who knows nothing about fighting but who can simulate a fight by following directions, take Stage Combat (p. B222). This gives no default to combat skills. For more on simulated combat, see Faking It (p. 130).

The distinction between combat, Combat Art, and Combat Sport skills is a realistic one. It doesn't always suit fantastic and cinematic settings. The GM is free to waive the -3 default penalty between these skills and allow martial artists who know one skill to use the other two at the same level. This is suitable for action heroes, who use the same moves to pose and show off (Combat Art), compete in tournaments (Combat

Sport), and wipe the floor with the bad guys (combat skills).

See Techniques and Combat Art/Sport Skills (p. 64) and Untrained Fighters (p. 113) for other important rules pertaining to Art/Sport skills.

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