Characters can specialize in martial arts by spending a weapon proficiency slot on the skill. Ninja, shinobi, and other fighters can specialize in martial arts regardless of restrictions on weapon specialization based on class or kit. No character is required to specialize in martial arts.
Note: Campaigns using the Advanced Martial Arts rules (described later) should not also use these specialization rules.
A martial arts specialist gains the following benefits:
• +1 bonus to all attack rolls with martial arts;
• +1 bonus to all damage with martial arts;
• +1 chart bonus with all martial arts attacks;
• One additional martial arts attack per combat round. The character may not hold anything in either hand to gain this benefit; and
• The character may pull the attack, not causing any damage, and may also refuse to do the +1 hp damage bonus for specialization.
It is possible for some types of ninja or other characters to continue to improve their martial arts abilities beyond the values given previously. This option is available to only single-class fighters, fighting-monks (from The Complete Priest's Handbook), and ninja with the Shadow Warrior kit.
A character who continues to devote weapon proficiency slots to martial arts after the initial specialization gets the following benefits. For each additional slot devoted to martial arts, the character gains:
• +1 bonus to all martial arts attack rolls;
• +1 bonus to all martial arts damage; and
• +1 chart bonus with all martial arts attacks.
The chart bonus allows the character to affect the location of the attack. When a martial arts specialist makes an attack, he can accept the location indicated in the middle column of Table 16, or adjust it up or down the chart by a number of lines equal to the chart bonus. For example, if a martial arts specialist hits with a roll of 14, the indicated blow is a vitals punch. By using the +1 chart bonus, the martial artist can change that blow into a vitals kick for more damage, or a high kick if some other effect is desired.
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