Special Mechanics there are some benefits that can be considered applicable outside of melee combat and may come into question during play.
Most of the benefits conferred by a Martial Arts Style or Weapon Style skill can be considered combat related benefits. Examples of combat related benefits include (but are not limited to):
• Lesser and Greater Adrenal Defense
• Initiative bonuses
• Fumble range reduction
• Critical modifications
• Range penalty reduction
• Special Attacks skill bonuses
• Special Defenses skill bonuses
To further clarify the situation, consider some more examples with the one of the heroes of this companion, Yang Chung, also known as the Fierce Tiger. This character is using the Leaping Blade style, which incorporates Lesser Adrenal Defense, broadsword attacks, and initiative bonuses.
Example 1: Yang Chung is still embroiled in his life or death struggle with the pack of bandits. If Yang Chung attacks using his Leaping Blade style, he gains all of the benefits of his Weapon Style skill this round. If Yang Chung decides to make normal melee attacks using his higher broadsword OB, he loses all benefits associated with his Leaping Blade weapon style for this round. This is very clear-cut and as a result it is the easiest situation to adjudicate.
Example 2: Having successfully leaped across the stream, Yang Chung begins to taunt the bandits. Several bandits attempt to duplicate his feat, but they fall short and are caught in the strong current of the river. One bandit, more levelheaded than his fellows readies his crossbow and aims at Yang Chung who is standing across the river. Yang Chung's player decides it is time to beat a hasty retreat, and decides to have Yang Chung attempt to move away from the bandits towards the sheltering cover of the forest while using his Adrenal Defense skill against the missile attack. If the Yang Chung was attacking with his Leaping Blade style, he could use his Adrenal Defense skill with only a 30% action and he would gain a special +2 bonus to his initiative. Yang Chung's player argues that he should not be penalized in this case simply because he has no one to attack.
Question—In the above examples, should the player be allowed to have his Adrenal Defense action considered a 30% action?
Answer—No. The Adrenal Defense action should be considered a 40% action for the following reason. The Lesser and Greater Adrenal Defense options available with Martial Arts Styles and Weapon Styles skills allow a reduction in the required Adrenal Defense activity because the style skill allows the attacking action to be combined with the Adrenal Defense action. The Weapon Style or Martial Arts Style skill allows for improved coordination between the two skills. In one sense the Adrenal Defense skill is always a 40% action, but certain weapon and martial arts styles allow some part of that action to be incorporated into an attack with no penalty. Question—In the above examples, should the player be allowed to use his special initiative bonus? Answer—No. The initiative bonus is part of the attacking technique of the style. In a real sense the bonus only applies against the foe that the stylist is attacking since he will be committing the majority of his activity for that round to his attacking action. The initiative bonus conferred by Weapon Style or Martial Arts Style skills is due to the elusive positioning and feinting movements built into the system that momentarily confuse and distract the opponent.
Some of the benefits conferred by a Martial Arts Style or Weapon Style skill can be considered non-combat related benefits. Examples of non-combat related benefits include:
• Adrenal skill bonuses
• Other skill bonuses, such as bonuses to Missile Deflecting or Adrenal Evasion
For example if the Leaping Blade style gave a special + 10 bonus to all Missile Deflecting maneuvers, this bonus would be active if the style was actively being used. However Missile Deflecting is a 100% activity action in the round it is being used. It would be impossible to attack and use Missile Deflecting in the same round, assuming a normal 100% activity.
In the case of this and related examples, the special bonus conferred by the style is allowed even though the practitioner of the style is not actively attacking. However, the total skill bonus (including the special bonus from the style itself) cannot be higher than the style skill that conferred that bonus.
Example 3: The Leaping Blade style also offers a special +10 bonus to all Missile Deflecting maneuvers. Yang Chung's player argues that he should be able to use his special bonus to Missile Deflecting, even though he can not also attack with his style this round. The Gamemaster agrees that this is reasonable and calculates the bonus that Yang Chung will receive. His normal bonus for Missile Deflecting is +80. The special bonus conferred by his style is +10, but his total style skill is only +85. Thus his revised Missile Deflecting skill is +85 which is then modified by -20 because Yang Chung fell off his horse at the beginning of the combat and injured himself. Yang Chung can use his Missile Deflecting skill in this case with a +65 bonus (85 - 20).
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