You saw in Chapter One that almost every Martial Arts style recommends purchase of the Knowledge Skill for that art. This skill has several functions in the campaign:
History: The character has a grounding in the history of his style. He'll know the factors that led to its development, the influences which affected the art and the names of the major personalities who contributed to its development. With a successful skill roll, the character can answer more difficult questions about the art's history.
Philosophy: The character has an understanding of the philosophical side of his art. Most Eastern martial arts have a very important philosophical side to them, often grounded in Buddhism. This is seldom important in an action-adventure game, though wise practitioners of the art are often inclined to baffle young adventurers with cryptic riddles and metaphors, which a successful Knowledge Skill roll can help unravel. Personalities: The character knows major practitioners of the art, at least by name and reputation. If the art is practiced as a sport (for example, karate has a full-contact sport as a sideline), the character will know who the current champions and contenders are with a successful Skill Roll. In modern-day campaigns, he will also know what they look like due to magazines covering the art. Schools: The character can, with a successful roll, recognize the precise style of another practitioner of the same art. One karateka (karate practitioner) observing another in combat can make his Skill Roll; with a successful roll, he will know (or at least have a good idea) of which branch of the art the other character learned, and may (if he makes his roll by 3 or better) know exactly who trained him. Symbols: The character can also (again with a successful roll) recognize the distinctive symbols used by many schools or branches of his art. Where appropriate, the character can recognize variations in the weapons used by different branches of his art. For example, different ninja clan were supposed to have different-looking shuriken; a character with KS: Ninjutsu could look at a shuriken, and with a successful roll (assuming that it was indeed a shuriken belonging to a specific school or clan, not just a store-bought thing) could recognize its school or clan of origin.
Other Styles: With a successful roll at a -2, the character can recognize a style not his own. He might see a fighter in combat, make his roll and recognize that the other fellow was performing savate maneuvers. The GM can apply additional penalties based on how unfamiliar he believes the character to be with the style he's observing. This use of the Skill doesn't allow the character to recognize specific schools or styles of the other art.
Analyze Style: If the character has the KS: Analyze Style Skill, and has a KS of the same style being used by the character he's analyzing, he can use his KS as a complementary roll to the Analyze Style Skill.
Learning new styles: If a character already knows a particular martial art (including having a KS in that art), and then buys a KS in a second art, any maneuvers that he has purchased that overlap both styles may be used in the fashion of either style. This can be a good way for a character to vary his fighting style to confuse an opponent or avoid the effects of a successful KS: Analyze Style roll. Remember, though, that just purchasing a KS in a style does not give a character access to any maneuvers that he has not paid points for. Example: Hitoshi knows Karate. He has purchased all of that style's maneuvers and has an 11- Knowledge Skill of it. After a trip to Thailand, he becomes interested in Thai Kick-Boxing and begins studying it. After a couple of months of hard work, he knows enough to buy KS: Thai Kick-Boxing at 11-.
Karate and Thai Kick-Boxing have several maneuvers in common: Killing Strike (called Knifehand Strike ("Chop") in Karate and Elbow/ Knee Killing Strike in Thai Kick-Boxing); Martial Block (called Block in both styles); Martial Strike (called Punch/Snap Kick in Karate and Low Kick in Thai Kick-Boxing) and Offensive Strike (called Side/Spin Kick in Karate and Roundhouse Kick/ Knee Strike in Thai Kick-Boxing). Since Hitoshi has a KS in both styles, he may use either version of those maneuvers when he is fighting, without having to pay for each maneuver twice.
Hitoshi soon has the misfortune to get into a fight with Seiki, another Karate practitioner. After a few seconds of fighting, Hitoshi realizes that Seiki has studiedHitoshi's maneuvers and knows enough about Hitoshi's fighting style to defeat him (in game terms, Seiki made a KS: Analyze Style roll and used his Aid: Analyze Style power to gain extra DEX when fighting Hitoshi, and Hitoshi made a PER Roll to realize that Seiki "had the drop on him").
So, Hitoshi switches to using Muay Thai maneuvers whenever possible. Seiki is unable to successfully analyze these new maneuvers (i.e., he fails to make another KS: Analyze Style roll), so he cannot use his Aided DEX to increase his OCV and DCV whenever Hitoshi use a Thai Kick-Boxing attack. Hitoshi can use his Killing Strike, Martial Block, Martial Strike and Offensive Strike as Muay Thai maneuvers and Seiki will be limited to his own DEX (without the benefit of the Aid) when attacking or defending against those maneuvers. However, if Hitoshi uses one of those maneuvers as a Karate maneuver, or if he uses any other Karate maneuver, Seiki still gains the benefit of his Aided DEX; furthermore, Hitoshi's KS: Thai Kick-Boxing does not allow him to use that style's Fast Strike or Shove maneuvers, since he has never purchased either of them.
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