Fantasy

Fantasy games generally take place in pre-gunpowder environments where muscle-powered melee and missile weapons dominate combat. Such settings are ideal for the martial arts! Warriors who depend on their brawn for warfare, monster-slaying, and questing after treasure will almost certainly develop advanced fighting styles.

Two fictional styles tailored to fantasy campaigns appear in Chapter 5: Death Fist (pp. 207-208) is exclusively for mages, while Dragon-Man Kung Fu (pp. 208-209) can grant almost anyone "magical" powers. Many historical styles work as well. Traditional fantasy often takes place in a setting heavily influenced by medieval Europe, so such medieval arts as Knightly Mounted Combat (pp. 175-177) and Quarterstaff

(pp. 192-193) are appropriate. Well-rounded fighters should look at Masters of Defence Weapon Training (p. 182) - especially if the GM allows the Weapon Master advantage. For barehanded fantasy warriors, Pankration (pp. 188-189) is an excellent choice. In a game world inspired by historical Asia, the many Asian styles that trace their origins to ancient times are similarly useful.

Kalaripayit (pp. 168-169) and Pentjak Silat (pp. 189-191) are particularly well-suited to a game that features magic. The former has spell-like mantras, while practitioners of the latter ascribe magical powers to the kris. If magic is a real, active force, then it would greatly enhance either art.

Most fantasy campaigns include magic use, so cinematic martial-arts abilities aren't likely to pose much of a threat to game balance - in fact, they can actually strengthen it. If fighters can use Power Blow and Flying Leap, then their players are less likely to feel overwhelmed by mages who can fly and toss fireballs. A blend of some cinematic feats with generally realistic combat rules can also be fun, however; see Hybrid Campaigns (pp. 239-241). Any theme can work - "fantasy" is a broad category - but of course The Quest (p. 247) is a time-honored tradition.

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