Useless Techniques

A few techniques are almost worthless in a real fight. They seem to make sense but simply don't work in reality -although this doesn't automatically make them cinematic or silly (see Silly Techniques, p. 88). This is often the case for secret techniques, many of which are so secret that they've never been tested in anger (see Secret Techniques, p. 86).

If the GM wishes, he can cook up plausible-sounding techniques with intriguing names and have unscrupulous -or naive - masters offer to teach them to the PCs. Since these techniques don't really do anything special, he can assign default penalties, difficulties, and maximum levels more-or-less randomly.

A potential student gets an IQ-based roll against the technique's prerequisite skill when he first hears about or witnesses the technique. If the teacher is being deliberately deceptive, treat this as a Quick Contest, with the teacher using Fast-Talk if speaking, his combat skill if demonstrating. If the student succeeds (or wins the Contest), he realizes that the technique is a dud. Otherwise, he's unsure - the player must decide whether to spend time and points to learn the technique, and the GM has no obligation to tell the truth.

On a successful roll, offensive techniques work as attacks and defensive ones work as active defenses. But that's all they are: ordinary attacks and defenses encumbered with a default penalty. The GM should mumble, shuffle paper, and roll dice in secret whenever they're used to give the impression that something more is going on.

On a critical success, however, the sheer lack of logic involved throws the opponent off-guard! If the technique-user was attempting an attack, he rolls on the Critical Hit Table three times and picks whichever result he likes best. If he was trying a defense, he makes his opponent roll three times on the Critical Miss Table and chooses which result to apply. In effect, he gets the benefit of Luck on the roll on the table - because he got lucky!

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