The Combat Skill Levels Martial

One way to represent a somewhat limited but still very effective martial art is to structure it entirely with Skill Levels—not using any maneuvers.

For example, a three-point Combat Skill Level gives you a +1 in three maneuvers.

Let's say you pay 24 points to buy eight of them, and you specify that they apply to the normal Strike, Dodge, and Grab maneuvers. You call this a martial arts style. Here's what you can do with this "style."

When using your normal Strike, you could have +8 OCV, or +8 DCV, or +4 OCV and +4 DCV, or any other combination adding up to +8. You could also plow some or all of the levels into increasing your damage, at +2 Skill Levels per + 1 DC; if you put them all into damage, you'd have +0 OCV, +0 DCV, and +4d6 normal damage (though the added damage can't exceed the damage from your STR; you'd have to have STR 20 to use this effectively).

When using the normal Dodge, you would have + 11 DCV. This is enough of a bonus to make most superhero-level attackers blanch.

When using the normal Grab, you could add parts of it into OCV or DCV as before, or again could be used to increase the damage of the attack (the squeezing part of the Grab) by up to +4d6, or to an amount equal to that done by the character's normal STR, whichever is less.

This is a perfectly viable arrangement. You can't do some things that are possible with martial arts maneuvers, but you can achieve much higher OCVs and DCVs for a similar expenditure of points.

However, if your campaign limits characters to a maximum OCV, the "Skill Levels martial art" still cannot exceed that maximum. If the campaign limits characters to OCV 13, then a character cannot buy eight +1 Skill Levels unless he has a normal OCV of 5 (or, if he buys that many, he cannot allocate them in such a way as to violate the campaign's ground rules).

Additionally—and this is an absolute restriction— you can't buy a batch of Skill Levels, define them as a martial arts style, and then take a Style Disadvantage for them. The Style Disadvantage can only be taken for styles built with maneuvers.

A character who buys a Combat Skill Level "martial art" can usually complement it with other "martial arts abilities" constructed out of Powers: extra STR which only works to Grab or Disarm; Hand-To-Hand Attacks bought with Advantages to simulate mystic attack powers; inches of Knockback Resistance to reflect the character's acrobatic ability to avoid taking damage from Knockback and so forth.

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