This chapter presents revised and expanded information on combat maneuvers, optional rules for unusual combat situations or forms of attack and an expanded list of weapons for use by martial artists.
As you read through these rules about combat, it is important to keep in mind not only the strategic aspects of the rules, but the roleplaying aspects of them as well. All too often players and GMs look at combat solely as an exercise in tactics, strategy and power-gaming, but in fact it has a lot of role-playing potential.
When using martial arts, this potential is best realized if the characters "talk out" their battles as much as possible. This simply consists of describing what your character is doing in real-world terms rather than just in game terms. "I'll hit him with my Offensive Strike" is a lot less exciting than "I'll step to his side, pivot and kick him hard in the ribs!" This sort of activity is fun, adds an important dimension to the battle, and can even result in some strategic bonuses—such as when the GM likes a maneuver's description so much that he awards a Surprise Move bonus to the character.
Keep in mind that when you are describing attacks in this fashion, you don't have to use Hit Location penalties. A player can say, "Okay, I'll punch him in the head!" without taking a -8 OCV penalty. So long as the character is not trying to get the game benefits of hitting someone in the Head (x2 BODY, x2 STUN, and so forth), he should not be subjected to the penalties either. A "described shot" to the Head does ordinary damage, it's just being described that way to make the combat more enjoyable. Of course, if the character does want the extra damage for hitting his opponent in the Head, he can take the -8 OCV penalty for his attack in the usual way.
Players who want a better idea of the "visual elements" of their character's martial art can consult some of the books listed in the Bibliography at the end of this book.
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