Lizard Climb

Forbidden Kill Strikes

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You can use this skill for movement in combat. Each yard of movement along a wall costs +1 movement point; see Movement Point Costs (p. B387). You can grab walls and let go multiple times in the space of a turn, but you must make a new skill roll each time you cling to a wall, with failure meaning a fall that ends your turn.

Mind Games

An important part of martial-arts mythology, especially in cinematic settings, is that "martial artist" is as much a mindset as it is a skill set. These optional rules address this philosophy.

Fear and Martial Artists

Fear can be a killer, too. A failed Fright Check

(p. B360) is likely to stun the victim and make him easy

prey. The GM may require Fright Checks from combat-

The Contest of Wills

In martial-arts films and samurai legends, entire battles are fought in the mind. The warriors lock eyes, and then one suddenly breaks eye contact and walks away, beaten ... or charges, knowing that he's doomed.

ants who suffer dismemberment (p. B421) or lose an eye to an Eye-Pluck (p. 72), a nose or an ear to Pressure Secrets (p. 59), or any body part to a bite (see Teeth, p. 115). While most Fright Checks in combat are at +5 for the heat of battle, those for gruesome injuries are not!

To initiate a Contest of Wills, the challenger must Concentrate and lock eyes with his opponent. If his foe

Heroic PCs can use Intimidation (p. B202) on minor NPCs. The GM may want to quantify the +1 to +4 for

accepts the challenge, he must take a Concentrate maneu-

displays of strength as +1 per five of their number the

ver as well. If he rejects it, he must make a Will roll to avoid being drawn in anyway. Success means he can take his turn normally and cannot be challenged again this combat.

NPCs know the heroes have defeated, to a maximum of +4. This doesn't have to be in the same fight! It affects soldiers who hear tales from buddies who survived the last battle, thugs who see the heroes emerge unscathed from a room guarded by a dozen of their comrades, etc. Reputation is another important modifier; see The Contest of Wills (above). Enough bonuses make even


Once the Contest begins, roll a Regular Contest of Will each turn. Either fighter may substitute Intimidation or Mental Strength for Will, if better.

Modifiers: Fearlessness; +5 each for Indomitable and Unfazeable; the better fighter gets +1 per three levels by which his best combat skill exceeds his opponent's. Reputation can go either way. For instance, -2 for being a ruthless killer would give +2, but +2 for being merciful

default skill (Will-5) effective!

Faking It

To convincingly fake martial-arts skill based on what you've seen in demos and movies, make a DX-based

might give -2. In some settings, Status and other reaction

Performance roll. Success means your audience

modifiers apply.

believes you! This lets you attempt Intimidation using

Roll once per turn until somebody wins. Find the winner's margin of victory as if this were a Quick Contest and make a reaction roll for the loser, applying the margin as a bonus. Use the "potential combat situation" results on

the rules for specious intimidation. Critical success means you pass yourself off as a master, which may have minor social benefits.

To portray the martial arts on stage or screen, roll against Stage Combat (p. B222). This defaults to Combat Art/Sport skills at -2, and to combat skills and Performance at -3. For scenes involving multiple per-

the Reaction Table (p. B560). If this drives the loser to

attack, he has the winner's margin of victory as a penalty

to his attack rolls!

This rule is for PCs and major NPCs. See Fear and Martial Artists (below) for a way to demoralize thugs.

formers, roll against the lowest of the worst performer's skill and the choreographer's Fight Choreography skill

(p. B198).

Concentration and the Martial Arts

Losing your cool can mean losing the fight! If a martial artist fails his self-control roll for a mental disadvantage that would distract him (GM's opinion), he fights at -2 to DX. This includes submitting to Bad

Such tricks provide no combat benefits and are unlikely to fool real martial artists! Against a trained fighter, treat these rolls as Quick Contests. He gets an IQ-based roll against his best combat, Combat Art, or Combat Sport skill. You must win to convince him you're the real thing.

Temper in any fight, Lecherousness when facing a sexy

foe, etc., but not things like Berserk and Bloodlust.

You can end a jump stuck to a wall that's within reach of your leap. To do so, make a Lizard Climb roll when you land.

If you're against a flat surface, with enough room to climb at least half your height, you can try a Lizard Climb roll to retreat upward as part of an active defense. Apply the usual skill modifiers; for instance, if you leave hands free to parry or block, you'll have -2 per extremity less than four dedicated to the climb. Success gives a further + 1 to your retreat bonus, making it +4; critical success means your defense succeeds automatically! Failure or critical failure means the defense fails or critically fails.

Some common stunts seen in wuxia movies combine Lizard Climb with Light Walk. For instance, running up a bent bamboo cane, about 3" across, would require a Lizard Climb roll (at +2 for bark, +2 for a slope, but -4 for both hands free) and a Light Walk roll (at +8 for a feat of balance but -8 for a 3" cane), with failure on either indicating a fall.

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