Innate Attack

see p. B61

Use Innate Attack to create the "chi blasts" wielded by martial artists in video games and comic books. These take many forms: flaming breath, devastating kiais, "weapons" of pure chi, and so on. Some of the more improbable claims made for legendary masters in the real world would also be Innate Attacks, such as blows delivered from a distance, direct psychic attacks, and the sinister "hand of death."

If the GM allows such abilities, he should limit damage to keep Innate Attack from eclipsing the fists, swords, bows, and so forth that martial artists usually use, even in video games. Martial-arts tradition provides convenient guidelines: these abilities draw their strength from the same well as the martial artist's unarmed attacks - his chi - and should inflict comparable damage. Since most of these exotic attacks violently expend the user's chi, they should cost FP. This provides a convenient hedge against overuse.

Such an attack should still be a useful alternative to an ordinary punch, though. Otherwise, who'd waste time developing it? Fitting capabilities include non-crushing damage, ongoing injury (like poison), the capacity to partially or wholly bypass DR, and range.

Below are worked examples of suitable abilities. Damage is 1d, equivalent to a strong man's punch. In each case, the sum of the modifiers used appears in parentheses after the attack's name. To alter damage, apply this total modifier to the cost of an Innate Attack of the desired size.

Breath of Dragon (-25%): Burning Attack 1d (Costs Fatigue, 1 FP, -5%; Melee Attack, Reach 1-4, Cannot Parry, -20%) [4]. Notes: A narrow flame jet - spewed from the mouth - that can scorch a target up to four yards away. This counts as a melee attack. Take an Attack maneuver and roll against Innate Attack (Breath) to hit. 4 points.

Flying Fists (+0%): Crushing Attack 1d (Blockable, -10%; Costs Fatigue, 1 FP, -5%; Low Signature, +10%; Variable, +5%) [5]. Notes: By punching or kicking at air, you can smite a distant target. If the victim has never witnessed this ability, he must make a Sense roll at -4 to know he's being attacked! (He may defend normally against later uses.) It's otherwise a standard ranged attack with Acc 3, 1/2D 10, Max 100, and RoF 1. To use it, take an Attack maneuver. Roll against Karate to hit. 5 points.

Ghost Knife (-40%): Impaling Attack 1d (Blockable, -10%; Costs Fatigue, 1 FP, -5%; Inaccurate 3, -15%; Increased 1/2D, x5, +10%; Reduced Range, x1/5, -20%) [5]. Notes: A hurled blade of pure chi, this is a standard ranged attack with Acc 0, 1/2D 10, Max 20, and RoF 1. To use it, take an Attack maneuver and roll against Thrown Weapon (Knife) to hit. 5 points.

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