Learning New And Multiple Styles

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Some characters will want to learn new martial arts styles in addition to their basic style, and some will just wish to purchase individual maneuvers from a number of styles to supplement their basic style. This is fine, logical and realistic; we encourage it. But there are a few rules that pertain to it.

Buying Maneuvers Outside Your Style

It is perfectly all right for a character to learn a maneuver from a style different than his own, or (if the GM allows) to create a new maneuver from the optional maneuver design rules. A character should know at least three maneuvers in his original style before he buys an "outside" maneuver; once that requirement is met, he can buy anything the GM will allow him.

The player must have an acceptable rationale for his character knowing this outside maneuver—he must know a PC or NPC who could have taught him, for instance. If he buys the maneuver after he begins play, he is subject to the time constraints chosen by the GM (see above under "Rate Of Learning"), and must have a logical means to learn the maneuver (i.e., access to a teacher and time to learn it).

If character wishes to learn only one or two maneuvers outside his style, he doesn't have to buy a KS in that style. Naturally, once he's spent at least 10 points on maneuvers from that style, buys his 11- KS in that style and buys his 1 pt. Fringe Benefit, he qualifies as a black belt (or equivalent) in that style.

Outside Maneuvers And The Weapons Element

If your basic style includes the Weapons Element for a particular weapon, and you buy a maneuver from a second style, you still can use the new maneuver with the weapons permitted for your style.

For example, if you know Karate and have bought the Weapons Elements for Karate Weapons and Staff, then buy the Fencing Takeaway, you can use the Fencing Takeaway with both Karate Weapons and Staff.

This is possible because the martial artist adapts his new maneuvers to his old style. However, there are some restrictions on it.

First, the maneuver still has to be appropriate for the weapon. A Fencer who learns the Side/Spinning Kick can't use the kick with a blade. See the chart under "Martial Arts Maneuvers And Weapons" earlier in this section to remind you which types of maneuvers go with which types of weapons.

Second, a character with at least ten points of maneuvers in one style can buy an outside maneuver and use that maneuver with his style's weapons. However, he can't use all his original style's maneuvers with the Weapons Element from the single outside maneuver. Example: Mutsu Sodan knows Karate; he knows ten points worth of maneuvers and has bought the Weapons Elements Karate Weapons and Staff for his Karate. He now learns the Kung Fu Punch maneuver and the Kung Fu Weapons Elements of Clubs and Swords from a Kung Fu teacher. He can use the Punch with his Karate Weapons and Staff. However, he cannot use his Karate maneuvers with Clubs and Swords.

However, if the practitioner knows two complete styles, he can use maneuvers from either art with the Weapons Elements he's purchased for either art. Example: Years later, Mutsu Sodan has learned both Karate and Kung Fu (he has at least ten points of maneuvers in each). He has bought the Karate Weapons and Staff Weapons Elements for his Karate, and the Clubs and Swords Weapons Elements for his Kung Fu. Now, he can use his Karate maneuvers and his Kung Fu maneuvers with Karate Weapons, Staff, Clubs, and Swords.

Knowledge Skills And 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 ofthatstyle'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

or less.

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.

Building New Maneuvers And Styles

A character can (with his GM's permission) create all-new maneuvers or even entire styles with the rules from the "Designing Martial Arts Maneuvers" section.

Note that a character who designs his own martial art, if it turns out to be an efficient and competitive style, will eventually find himself the object of students who wish him to teach them—and of gun-fighter-mentality martial artists who wish to challenge him to prove that their own style is better.

The character who designs an all-new style and finds himself in demand as a teacher should buy PS: Teacher and set up his own dojo (school). The campaign can revolve many plots around the hero's school, especially plots concerning the activities of enemy schools.

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