Frauds

Instructor (p. 34-35) depicts a talented martial artist who genuinely teaches a fighting style - whatever his personal flaws. The world is full of frauds, though. Some have little skill but pretend otherwise because they're dishonest or crazy. Others are skilled masters who don't teach anything useful out of laziness, concern that student injuries might ruin their reputation, fear that their teachings might be turned to evil or against them, and so on.

In a lighthearted game with little mortal combat, it can be fun to play a phony. In any Martial Arts campaign, the GM might wish to keep players on their toes by making some instructors charlatans. To create a convincing fraud, consider the traits listed below. The students of such a pretender must buy their style with the "Trained by a Fraud" lens (p. 145). For rules on bogus martial arts in action, see Faking It (p. 130).

Advantages: Charisma, Reputation, Smooth Operator, and Voice can all help lure students. Alternate Identity is an excellent way to avoid getting caught! Don't overlook the Honest Face perk.

Disadvantages: Greed is the motivation of most frauds. Laziness often accompanies it in the case of those with real skill. Compulsive Lying, Delusions, and Overconfidence are all common. Even true masters might harbor Delusions about their skills - or simple Paranoia. Being a fake can be a risky Secret.

Skills: Acting, Fast-Talk, and Performance are crucial. Complete shams might add Stage Combat. Those trying to pass off watered-down styles as valuable in combat have Combat Art/Sport skills. Dishonest masters may truly possess the skills they purport to teach, even if they don't share these with their students. In all cases, Intimidation is a great way to discourage prying questions.

Techniques: Total cons don't know any techniques! Those with combat skills, or at least Art/Sport versions, know their style's usual techniques. Dishonest masters may know useless techniques (p. 95). Deluded ones likely have secret techniques (p. 86) . . . which might still be useless.

(Inscrutable, or speaks in riddles) [-5], Overconfidence [-5*], Stubbornness [-5], or Workaholic [-5]. Primary Skills: Savoir-Faire (Dojo) (E) IQ+2 [4]-14; Teaching (A) IQ+2 [8]-14; and 40 points in the skills and techniques of any style (see Chapter 5). Secondary Skills: Pick one of Diplomacy (H) IQ [4]-12, Intimidation (A) Will+1 [4]-13, or Leadership (A) IQ+1 [4]-13. • Also select one of Body Language (A) Per+1 [4]-13 or Psychology (H) IQ [4]-12. Background Skills: Any three of First Aid (E) IQ+1 [2]-13; Administration, Hidden Lore (Secret Styles), Public Speaking, or Writing, all (A) IQ [2]-12; Expert Skill (Hoplology), Philosophy (any), or Physiology, all (H) IQ-1 [2]-11; Meditation (H) Will-1 [2]-11; or Esoteric Medicine (H) Per-1 [2]-11. • Also choose one of Breath Control (H) HT-1 [2]-11, Lifting (A) HT [2]-12, or Running (A) HT [2]-12.

* Multiplied for self-control number; see p. B120. Lens

Cinematic (+125 points): Add 85 points chosen from among Blunt Claws [3], Damage Resistance 1-2 (Partial, Hands, -40%; Tough Skin, -40%) [1-2], Enhanced Block 1-3 [5/level], Enhanced Dodge 1-3 [15/level], Enhanced Parry 1-3 [5 or 10/level], Enhanced Time Sense [45], Extra Attack 1 or 2 (Multi-Strike, +20%) [30 or 60], Forceful Chi 1-4 [15/level], Heroic Archer [20], Innate Attack [Varies], Inner Balance 1-4 [15/level], Resistant to Chi Abilities (+3) [10] or (+8) [15], Striker (Crushing) [5], Trained by a Master [30], Weapon Master [20-45], or Wild Talent (Focused, Martial Arts, -20%) 1-4 [16/level]. You must take either Trained by a Master or Weapon Master! • Add 40 points in your style's cinematic skills (and prerequisites) - preferably all of them.

Customization Notes

Styles: Every style has masters, but teachers of certain styles are more likely to elicit strong reactions - usually respect, fear, or disapproval - from their community. Hoplomachia (pp. 161-162), Kalaripayit (pp. 168-169), and Pentjak Silat (pp. 189-191) all have this reputation. Historically, Masters of Defence (p. 17) were outspoken and influential, and often enjoyed noble patronage . . . or censure. In modern times, the menacing drill sergeant who teaches Military Hand-to-Hand (pp. 182-185) is among the strongest of instructor archetypes.

Style Lenses: An instructor normally practices an unmodified style - even if what he teaches has the "Military," "Police," or "Self-Defense" lens - but he could have one of these lenses himself. "Trained by a Fraud" is unlikely, but some masters are frauds; see Frauds.

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