Largerthan Life

This is Borderline Realism (pp. 237-238) writ large. The world is a lot like our own but cinematic martial artists can bend the rules, just like the heroes in pulp stories and Hollywood action movies. In a larger-than-life campaign, all of the barely realistic and cinematic rules listed under Cinematic Combat (pp. 125-133) are in effect except for Chambara Fighting (pp. 128-130) and More Cinematic Combat Rules (pp. 132-133). This allows acrobatics and extra effort in combat - and makes multiple attacks and defenses easier - but everything is within the realm of the possible under absolutely ideal conditions (that rarely occur in real life!).

Strengths: Gamers who want to play action heroes are happy. Players who find that silly aren't out of luck, because not buying Trained by a Master or Weapon Master means 20-45 more points for Bow or Guns - and they can exploit "merely" borderline-realistic rules such as Tricky Shooting (p. 121) to nail the annoying, back-flipping ninja. Since most gaming groups have mixed preferences but lean more toward the cinematic side, this might be the best compromise of all.

Weaknesses: The presence of any cinematic abilities shatters many gamers' willing suspension of disbelief. Meanwhile, roleplayers who want wuxia or chambara heroes are liable to scoff at the campaign being called "cinematic." Once the genie of cinematic abilities is out of the bottle, there's no going back; some players will dump character points into such traits, yielding unbalanced PCs and making the game more cinematic than the GM intended.

The Ultimate Karate Bible

The Ultimate Karate Bible

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