Zero Gravity And Martial Arts

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It's not likely to come up very often, but a martial artist could find himself in zero-G (no gravity). This could take place in a diving plane (such as the infamous "Vomit Comet" used to train astronauts) or in a space station adventure.

Effects of zero-G on hand-to-hand combat fall into four categories: OCV Penalties, DCV Penalties, Damage Penalties and Action/Reaction.

These penalties are all applied when the character is in free fall in Zero-G. If he is braced against a surface (for instance, if he is using magnetic shoes on a steel surface), they do not apply.

OCV/DCV Penalties

All side kicks, spinning kicks and other attacks which require the character to have his feet on the ground take a -3 OCV when performed in free fall. In some situations the GM may rule that these maneuvers cannot be used at all.

Martial arts characters are at V DCV when in free fall.

Damage Penalties

All martial arts Strikes take a -1 DC damage penalty when performed in free fall, as they normally benefit from the character's secure contact with the earth or momentum arising from a leap from the earth.


Combat in free fall should always use the Knockback rules, even if the campaign normally only uses Knockdown rules.

Knockback in free fall is always rolled with 1d6 less than normally, as if the characters are flying—which they are. You roll 2d6, not 3d6, to calculate Knockback from martial arts attacks in Zero-G combat; you roll 1d6, not 2d6, to calculate Knockback from normal-damage attacks in Zero-G.

Instead of just being applied to the target, however, Knockback is divided between attacker and target. If an attack does 4" Knockback, then the target doesn't sail back 4"—both attacker and target sail away from one another 2".

The amount of Knockback rolled is not the total Knockback. It's the rate at which the characters move every Segment (just like falling). A character who takes 2" of Knockback will sail back 2" that Segment, 2" the next Segment, 2" the Segment after that, and so on until he runs into something.


Grabbing someone negates OCV penalties for strikes and the Action/Reaction effect (when you've Grabbed someone and hit him, doing Knockback, neither of you goes anywhere).

Professional Skill: Zero-G Operations

If a character wants to cancel Zero-G penalties, he should buy the Professional Skill: Zero-G Operations.

This is a 3-point, DEX-based Professional Skill (+1 to the roll for +1 point). A character with this Skill can perform all ordinary tasks in Zero-G with none of the penalties listed above; when the task is especially difficult or complicated, he must make his PS: Zero-G Operations roll. Failure merely means that he suffers the usual penalties, not that he can't perform the tasks.

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