Parti Section 1.2
The areas that have changed in Martial Arts Companion include professions, guidelines, skills, and weapon attack and critical tables. These are explained below.
While the Monk profession introduced in RMSR remains a valid profession, two new variant professions based on the Monk are introduced. These include the Taoist monk and the Zen monk, both of whom specialize in unarmed combat. These introductions were motivated by the argument of whether the Monk profession was better modeled as an Es-sence-based or a Mentalism-based spell caster (Charltonian versus Amthorian view). The original Monk profession's spell lists still retain a fair balance between the two variant professions, thus offering the most flexibility to the starting character. However, players now have the option to choose between Monk professions, depending on which heightened attributes they wish their characters to possess.
The Taoist monk is a new Essence-based spell casting martial artist that differs from its RMSR predecessor in its ability to manipulate and create elemental forces. The advantage the Taoist monk gains in elemental control is balanced by his lesser effectiveness both at controlling his body and focusing his will when compared to the standard Monk's own ability to master these traits. The Zen monk, a new Mentalism-based spell casting martial artist, on the other hand, is blessed with a superior ability to focus his will and use the power of his mind to influence the perceptions of others that out shadows even that of the standard Monk. However, the Zen monk does not have the standard Monk or Taoist monk abilities at special moving maneuvers.
Some new guidelines dealing with specialized combat situations are detailed in this companion. They cover everything from competing in challenges to fighting on top of a teetering building while it is raining. These guidelines are meant to help the Gamemaster resolve the strange and interesting situations in which players invariably find themselves.
The most important change to the original martial arts skills found in RMSR is the elimination of the four-tiered degree skill system used for martial arts attacks. For simplicity, this has been replaced with a single skill for each general type of attack, of which there are four: martial arts striking, martial arts sweeping, locking holds, and nerve strikes. While the RMSR's original damage threshold system is still present in this book, it is now embedded in the Martial Arts Style skill. The Martial Arts Style skill allows the martial artist to create a specialized unarmed attacking system. The Martial Arts Style skill is also placed in a new skill category under the umbrella Martial Arts Group called the Martial Arts Combat Maneuvers skill
category. Many other specialized martial arts skills are included in this skill category. Additional new skills are included in a wide range of skill categories, ranging from General Lore skills to Special Defenses skills. An important addition is the Weapon Style skill to the Combat Maneuvers skill category. The Weapon Style skill allows the user to create unique weapon-using fighting systems, much like the Martial Arts Style skill allows the use to create unique unarmed combat fighting systems.
An optional type of skill called a Chi Powers skill has been introduced to model some of the amazing feats performed by martial artists in history and legend. These skills are found in many different skill categories and are listed in their own section in this book.
1.2.4 • WEAPON ATTACK TABLES AND CRITICAL TABLES
New weapon attack tables offer the martial artist a greater range of choices in traditional martial arts weapons that have as of yet not been created in Arms Law format. The additional weapon attack tables for the katana, nunchaku, tetsubo, sai, kris, wakizashi, chigiriki, kusari-gama, chain, thorn staff, short stick, dart, spring sword, three-sectioned staff, butterfly knife, and metal whip are listed in this companion. Other specialized martial arts weapons are profiled as well. Furthermore, two additional critical tables, Locking Holds and Nerve Strikes, are introduced as well to offer more effective martial arts attacks.
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