Learning Techniques

Each style in Chapter 5 emphasizes specific techniques that those who know it (see Components of a Style, pp. 141143, and Buying a Style, pp. 146-148) may elect to study and improve. A fighter can attempt any technique that defaults to any of his skills, regardless of what style he practices or whether he even studies a style. Instruction in a martial art is simply a justification for buying the art's techniques above default, if the martial artist wishes.

It's fairest if individuals who receive systematic training learn fastest, although the GM may make exceptions. If using the rules on p. B292, dedicated training at a style counts as Intensive Training. Martial artists who receive instruction outside their style (e.g., from friends or visiting masters) advance according to Education, or half as fast.

Those who learn from books, videos, etc., improve as per Self-Teaching, or 1/4 as fast. Studying opponents' techniques in bouts is Learning on the Job and 1/8 as fast - but the entire duration of the tournament counts, not just time spent competing.

The GM decides whether adventurers can use earned points to improve techniques outside their style. This is probably fair if a warrior routinely attempts a technique at default in mortal combat. See Quick Learning Under Pressure (p. B292) for rules.

Whatever the justification for improving a technique, find the point cost using the Technique Cost Table (p. B230). It's sometimes tempting to invest in many techniques, but it's rarely cost-effective to spend points on more than a few - perhaps only a single Hard one - per skill. Players on a budget should check whether improving the underlying skill would be better, particularly at low skill levels where 1 or 2 points could buy up the entire skill. It's most efficient to work on the skill until it costs 4 points/level, then pick one or two techniques as "signature moves" and raise them until they're at or near the maximum. A fighter can end up with a sizeable list of techniques if he does this for several skills.

Example: Bridget has DX 13 and Karate-15 [12]. She gets Feint-15 and Kicking-13 by default. Buying Feint-16 [2] and Kicking-14 [2] would cost 4 points, but it would be more effective to invest those points in Karate. Karate-16 [16] would give Feint-16 and Kicking-14 by default, and improve every other use of Karate, too. Of course, Feint-18 [4] would give the highest Feint for 4 points and be the best choice if Bridget wanted Feint as a signature move!

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