Yrth

The land of Yrth, detailed in GURPS Banestorm, is an excellent setting for a Martial Arts campaign. Any medieval European or Islamic style might be present! Particularly suitable are Furusiyya (pp. 159-161), the High Medieval variation on Knightly Mounted Combat (pp. 175-177), Longsword Fighting (pp. 180-182), Masters of Defence Weapon Training (p. 182), Pollaxe Fighting (p. 191), and Quarterstaff (pp. 192193) - and Viking Spear Fighting (p. 197), at least in the Nomad Lands.

There's plenty of room for regional specialties, too. Classical arts, notably Ancient Greek Boxing (p. 153) and Pankration (pp. 188-189), might reemerge in Megalan arena combat. In Araterre, such fencing styles as the Italian School (p. 156), La Verdadera Destreza (p. 158), and Transitional French School (pp. 156-157) are suitable - albeit with less emphasis on lighter blades and more on swords capable of defeating armored opponents. Sahud is likely home to many Asian arts, including most kung fu styles and Japanese martial arts; Okinawan immigrants might even have brought Te (pp. 169-170). In any of these regions, the presence of multiple Earthly styles makes unusual combinations probable. Sahud in particular is a confusing blend of cultures and doubtless home to a bewildering variety of "fusion" martial arts.

Later banestorms could convey students and instructors of more recent styles to Yrth. Bear in mind that Yrth is a combative place, though. Styles intended for fitness, artistic display, or theatrics in a modern, gun-dominated environment simply won't do as well as arts that employ melee weapons and teach techniques useful in combat.

On top of all this, nonhumans on Yrth surely brought their styles; see Smasha (p. 210) for an example. And of course human and nonhuman systems will adapt, blend, and cross-train in strange ways, leading to variations unheard of on Earth. A campaign set outside Sahud is unlikely to fit the "kung fu movie" stereotype, but martial artists have a role to play in any combat-heavy game - or even in one that features tournaments and the accompanying courtly intrigues.

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