Combining Styles

Every style has flaws. Striking styles are vulnerable to limb captures by grapplers. Grappling styles - especially ground-fighting ones - aren't ideal for fighting multiple aggressors. Unarmed styles are weak against weapons. Weapons training is worthless without a weapon. Hand-to-hand styles can't fend off ranged weapons. And so on.

One way to patch these holes is to learn a style that aims to be truly comprehensive, but such breadth implies a massive time investment by the student. The more common solution is to learn multiple styles. For instance, Muay Thai (pp. 185-186) stresses striking over grappling, while Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (pp. 167-168) emphasizes grappling but teaches few strikes . . . and a martial artist who learned both would be a formidable unarmed fighter.

A PC who starts with several styles must buy each style as described in Styles Bought During Character Creation (p. 146). He must pay the full style cost for each style, even if they have overlapping skills. This represents the minimum investment in time and effort to learn those styles.

However, the martial artist doesn't have to buy duplicate skills multiple times. If he already possesses some of a style's components, for whatever reason, these do satisfy his styles' requirements. For instance, if he knows three styles that include Karate, he need only buy Karate once - not three times! If this means that the sum of the style costs for his styles exceeds the points he actually needs to meet the basic requirements of those styles, he can spent the "excess" points on any component(s) of those styles.

Example: Maj. Milstein learns Krav Maga (p. 183) and Sambo (p. 185). Krav Maga has a style cost of 3 points, for Style Familiarity (Krav Maga), Karate, and Wrestling. Sambo has a style cost of 4 points, for Style Familiarity (Sambo), Judo, Karate, and Wrestling. Maj. Milstein must spend 7 points - but Karate and Wrestling overlap, so he can spend the 2 points this "saves" him on any component of either style. He puts them into the Leg Lock technique from Sambo.

The same rules apply to second and later styles learned in play. The student doesn't "know" a new style until he spends points equal to its cost, as described in Learning New Styles During Play (pp. 146-147). If he already knows some of the basic components of the new style, though, he can use points that would normally go toward those things to buy other elements of that style or any overlapping one.

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