• A description of the martial arts style's origins and history follows this information. Also included are some of the more common combat techniques that the style uses.
• A list of skills that a character will probably want to develop along with this martial arts style. These skills are not "required" but will probably be desired to take full advantage of the style.
• A breakdown of the abilities and costs for the martial arts style (costs are shown in brackets,""). The abilities are listed as "Core" because they define the style and should be used with all power levels.
• Finally, any special maneuvers or techniques used by the martial arts style are listed as well as any special skills that might be learnt by practitioners of the martial arts style. These abilities should only be used in games of Heroic or Fantastic power levels.
9.3.1 • CHINESE MARTIAL ARTS STYLES
The Chinese martial arts have a rich history of excellence. The introduction in Section 2.0 as well as the historical information on Chinese martial arts in Section 2.1 serve as a good background for this section. If desired some of the style points ranges for Chinese martial arts styles may be changed from the original ranges given for the skills in Section 9.1.
Optional Rule [Core]: When designing Chinese martial arts styles, Basic Martial Arts Styles range from 0 to 35 style points and Advanced Martial Arts Styles range from 36 to 60 style points.
Choy Lee Fut Style (Southern External Style) Basic Martial Arts Style [25 style points] Description—The Choy Lee Fut style was developed during the nineteenth century in China. It started as primarily a Southern style and it later spread to Northern China. This style was originally taught to secret rebel societies trying to overthrow the Manchu Dynasty in the nineteenth century. Therefore this style was developed with a desire to teach the basics of martial arts to its students in the shortest possible amount of time. The Choy Lee Fut style focuses on aggressive punching and kicking attacks until the opponent is conquered. This style uses long-range attacks to defeat foes quickly. It is best known for its knuckle jabs, uppercuts, and roundhouse swings. High and low kicks are used, as well as several types of kicks with 360 degree spins are featured as well. The Choy Lee Fut stylist tries to throw an opponent off-balance by moving directly at him all the while throwing hard strikes. Many of the moves of a fighter using this martial art look strikingly similar to techniques of Western boxing. See Section 2.1 for more information on the historical development of Chinese martial arts.
Recommended Skills—Martial Arts Striking, Martial Arts
Sweeping, Adrenal Defense Martial Arts Abilities [Core]—Lesser Adrenal Defense [10 points]; Degree 3 Martial Arts Striking attacks and Degree 2 Martial Arts Sweeping attacks [5 points]; +2 to initiative rolls [10 points] Special Maneuvers—None
Cobra Style (Southern Internal Style) Basic Martial Arts Style [30 style points] Description—The Cobra style is an ancient Chinese mar- i tial art. It is designed to be totally defensive in nature, modeled after a cobra lying in the grass. A master of the Cobra style will not execute acrobatic defensive maneuvers; rather he will expend as little energy as possible to avoid attacks. Most attacks against the stylist will be sidestepped rather than blocked directly. The attacks of the Cobra stylist are relentless and deadly when they are finally executed. These quick and deadly attacks are focused on the eyes and throat with hand strikes. It is said that Cobra stylists have developed deadly dim mak techniques that allow them to kill or maim with merely a touch.
The basic stance of the Cobra style is a defensive one, with the adept keeping his stance low to the ground and raising his hands and arms near his chest. This position mimics a cobra rising from the ground with an outspread hood. A variant of the Cobra style is the King Cobra style. See Section 2.1 for more information on the historical development of Chinese martial arts. Recommended Skills—Martial Arts Striking, Adrenal
Defense, Contortions, Nerve Strikes Martial Arts Abilities [Core]—Lesser Adrenal Defense [10 points]; Degree 3 Martial Arts Striking attacks and Degree 2 Nerve Strikes attacks [5 points]; +10 OB bonus to all Feint maneuvers [5 points]; +1 to initiative rolls [5 points]; Dagger weapon kata [5 points] Special Abilities—This style has a signature attack (the , Strike of the Cobra). In addition, if the GM is allowing ' Chi Power skills, this style allows access to Chi Power: Distance Strike.
Strike of the Cobra—The Cobra style teaches the martial artist to strike without mercy when his foe is hurt. If the Cobra stylist inflicts a critical against his opponent, he gains a special +10 bonus (non-cumu-lative) to his OB for his next attack against that same opponent.
Cotton Fist Style (Northern Internal Style) Basic Martial Arts Style [10 style points] Description—The Cotton Fist style is a northern style of Chinese kung fu. The name of this martial art conveys weakness, softness and slowness. This style is taught to its students very slowly. A saying about this style is "Cotton Fist, ten years stay at home," means that a student will need to practice for ten years to be able to defend himself. The cotton fist emphasizes soft training and perfection of movement. While this style is not perfect for the goal of self-defense, it is important in teaching the mental aspects of martial arts. Recommended Skills—Martial Arts Sweeping, Adrenal
Defense, Meditation Martial Arts Abilities [Core]—Lesser Adrenal Defense [10 points]; Degree 2 Martial Arts Sweeping attack [0 points]
Special Abilities—If the GM is allowing Chi Power skills, this style should allow access to either Chi Powers: Falling Leaf or Chi Powers: Sticking Hands.
Crane Style (Southern External Style) Advanced Martial Arts Style [55 style points] Description—The Crane style is an ancient Chinese martial art whose movements originally were formed to develop both muscular control and spiritual strength. The Crane style emphasizes rapid footwork and evasive techniques, coupled with relentless attacks. While the Crane style is considered to be the most beautiful of all Chinese Kung Fu martial arts styles, it is also one of the most complex with over ten thousand movements contained in ten basic form sets.
Folklore states that the Crane style was developed after a monk observed a fight between an ape and a white crane. Initially the monk expected the ape with its greater physical strength to easily crush the crane. But the white crane managed to avoid the powerful attacks of the ape and inflict accurate painful blows with its beak. The crane maintained its perfect composure as it used its short wings for balance and the long-range attack of its beak against the larger ape. Finally the ape retreated back to the forest after being severely hurt and the unharmed white crane resumed the protection of its eggs.
In combat, the Crane stylist will almost arrogantly disdain any physical contact with an opponent, instead opting for a single fierce blow, usually delivered from long range. The elusive footwork of the Crane stylist serves to help him avoid the attacks of his opponent. In most cases, a forceful opponent will be thrown off balance by such evasion as he strikes air. Once the opponent has lost his balance by missing his target, the Crane stylist will be ready to strike at the weakest point exposed by his off-balance foe. If a Crane stylist instead chose to physically block an incoming attack with strength, his foe could use the block to stabilize himself and deliver an immediate counter-attack. By concentrating on avoiding blows, the Crane stylist can rob an opponent of his trained block and counter-punch techniques.
The basic stance of the Crane style is the royal pecking Part II form. The Crane stylist raises both arms up parallel to his Section 9.3 body and forms the shape of a crane's beak with his hands. One foot of the stylist is kept raised to quickly MartjaJArts strike or block. This stance actually mimics the warning styles posture of the true white crane. Should the strike of a Crane stylist miss, he will always attempt to retreat and set up another long-range strike rather than close with his opponent and grapple. Variants of the Crane style are the Black Crane and the Imperial Crane styles. The Black Crane style emphasizes footwork and the basic hand and foot strikes while the Imperial Crane style emphasizes the use of weapons within the traditional Crane style. See Section 2.1 for more information on the historical development of Chinese martial arts. Recommended Skills—Martial Arts Striking, Martial Arts
Sweeping, Nerve Strikes, Adrenal Defense, Feint Martial Arts Abilities [Core]—Greater Adrenal Defense [20 points]; Degree 4 Martial Arts Striking attacks, Degree 4 Martial Arts Sweeping attacks, and Degree 3 Nerve Strikes attacks [20 points]; +10 OB bonus to Feint maneuvers [10 points]; Broadsword weapon kata [5 points] Special Abilities—This style has a special maneuver (Wading in the Reeds) and a special attack (Beak of the Crane). In addition, if the GM is allowing Chi Powers skills, this style allows access to either Chi Powers: No Shadow Attack or Chi Powers: Continuous Strikes.
Wading in the Reeds—The Crane stylist practices elusive footwork to prepare attacks. When an attack completely misses a Crane stylist (i.e., no hits or criticáis are delivered), the stylist gains a special +15 modification to his OB if he chooses to attack the foe that missed in the next combat round.
Beak of the Crane—The Crane stylist learns how to focus his energy to deliver punishing blows to his opponent. If the martial artist takes a 15% preparation action in a given round, he may attack during the following combat round with a special +15 modification to his OB.
Creating a Martial Arts Style
MARTIAL, ARTS COMPANION
Dragon Style (Northern Internal Style) Advanced Martial Arts Style [60 style points] Description—The Dragon style is an ancient Chinese martial art originally designed to develop alertness and concentration. This martial arts style emphasizes controlled breathing with powerful attacking movements. The Dragon stylist uses flowing movements that explode into powerful strikes using entire force of his body. The Dragon style uses continuous advancing and retreating motions, like the movements of a serpent to prevent the opponent from landing a solid blow. The powerful hissing sound emitted by the stylist is a product of his concentrated breathing and focusing of energy.
The Dragon stylist trains his hands to have powerful grasping strength to grab or twist limbs with great force. The grip of an advanced Dragon stylist is said to be almost unbreakable. In addition, the legs are used to deliver powerful lashing kicks. The Dragon style emphasizes simultaneous attack and defense techniques during combat. While one hand is attacking, the other hand is held at guard, ready to grab or twist an attacker's incoming limb.
In defense, the Dragon stylist withdraws before a strike, absorbing its power and retaliating only when he believes his foe has over-extended himself. The dragon crouch is the basic blocking technique of the Dragon style. The stylist crouches low with his hands set in the dragon claw form and positioned in front of him. In all the varied forms of this style, the martial artist's eyes appear to look directly outward like the eyes of a reptile, no matter how much his head moves about. See Section 2.1 for more information on the historical development of Chinese martial arts. Recommended Skills—Martial Arts Striking, Martial Arts Sweeping, Locking Holds, Adrenal Defense, Meditation Martial Arts Abilities [Core]—Greater Adrenal Defense [20 points]; Degree 3 Martial Arts Sweeping attack, Degree 2 Locking Holds attack, Degree 2 Martial Arts Striking attack [10 points]; Quarterstaff weapon kata [5 points]; Metal whip weapon kata [5 points]; Broadsword weapon kata [5 points]; Reduce weapon fumble range by 2 for all kata weapons (to minimum fumble range of 01-02) [10 points]; +10 bonus to all Adrenal Strength maneuvers [5 points] Special Abilities—This style has two special attacks (Lash of the Dragon and Claws of the Dragon). In addition, all Adrenal Strength maneuvers only take a 10% preparation action. Finally, if the GM is allowing Chi Power skills, this style should allow access to either Chi Powers: Cloth Lance, Chi Powers: Fists of Iron, or Chi Powers: Resist Pain.
Lash of the Dragon—By rapidly spinning a length of cloth (at least a six-foot length of cloth), the Dragon stylist can attack on the Whip Attack Table with a -20 modification to his normal OB.
Claws of the Dragon—The Dragon stylist can choose to attack on the Medium Claw Attack Table instead of his normal Martial Arts Striking Attack Table. The martial artist suffers a special -20 modifier to his OB while using the Medium Claw Attack Table and the Martial Artist must use the lesser of his Martial Arts Striking skill OB or his Dragon style skill OB for the attack.
Eight Drunken Fairies (Northern External Style) Advanced Martial Arts Style [40 style points] Description—The Eight Drunken Fairies or Drunken Boxing style is a very deceptive martial arts style. While using the techniques of the Drunken Boxing style, the martial artist appears to stagger and lurch without any control over his body. In actuality, the martial artist is in complete control of himself at all times during this display. The apparently uncontrolled movements of the adept of this style serve to distract and bewilder his opponent, allowing the martial artist to strike unexpectedly.
The Drunken Boxing style uses equal amounts of striking and locking attacks. Many of the striking techniques involve punching, but some unique kicks are included as well. It is difficult to master without superb balance and coordination, but it is a quite effective style in combat.
Recommended Skills—Adrenal Defense, Martial Arts
Striking, Martial Arts Sweeping, Adrenal Strength Martial Arts Abilities [Core]—Greater Adrenal Defense [20 points]; Degree 3 Martial Arts Striking attacks and Degree 2 Martial Arts Sweeping attacks [5 points]; +1 to all initiative rolls [5 points]; +15 bonus to Adrenal Strength maneuvers [10 points] Special Abilities—This style has a special attack (the Drunken Fist) and a special defense (the Drunken Stagger). In addition, all Adrenal Strength maneuvers only take a 10% preparation action (this does not affect the Drunken Fist attack). Finally, if the GM is allowing Chi Power skills, this style should allow access to either Chi Powers: Rise of the Phoenix, Chi Powers: Fists of Iron, or Chi Powers: Resist Pain.
Drunken Fist—By focusing his internal energy and striking an opponent, a master of the Drunken Boxing style can do triple normal concussion damage to his foe. To successfully accomplish this feat, a special Adrenal Strength maneuver must be made with a 40% preparation action. If the maneuver is successful, the next round the martial artist can attack with a +10 OB modifier and do triple concussion damage.
Drunken Stagger—By moving in unpredictable patterns, an adept of the Drunken Boxing style learns how to launch unexpected attacks against his opponent. If an adept takes a special -20 modifier to his OB, his attack happens in such an unexpected manner that his opponent will lose half of his DB against the attack.
Hsing-i Style (Northern External Style) Advanced Martial Arts Style [35 style points] Description—The Hsing-i style is an ancient Chinese martial art that has also been called Hsing-i Lu-ho Ch'uan or I Ch'uan. Most records suggest that Hsing-i was created in the mid-sixteenth century in Shanghai, China. Hsing-i is composed of five basic movements. Beyond these basic five movements, Hsing-i has an additional twelve sets of movements based on animals— Dragon, Tiger, Monkey, Horse, Water-skimmer (in-
sect), Cock, Hawk, Snake, Eagle, Bear, Swallow, and Leopard. Hsing-i uses linear movements with strong fundamental balance. When attacking, an adept strikes like a wave crashing on the shore—rising, striking, falling, and overturning.
The five basic postures correspond to the five basic elements in Chinese philosophy—fire, water, metal, wood, and earth. The fire stance is an explosive posture from which attacks can be launched with either hand or foot. The metal stance is defensive and can be used easily to block an opponent's attack. The water stance is a very stable, wide stance in which the adept can attack with his fists. The wood stance is a very low stance that is flexible enough for the adept both to be protected from attack and able to attack. The earth stance is a wide stance that allows the adept to deflect attacks easily.
The practitioner of Hsing-i uses punches, low strikes, and stances similar to those of the Shaolin hard martial arts. Like the hard schools of martial arts, the student is also taught to advance in a straight line; however, the Hsing-i body posture is unusual, as the shoulders are kept rounded and many low stances are used. In this martial arts style, blocking is through circular motions that seek to deflect incoming attacks rather than directly opposing them. In addition, the practitioner mimics the actions of an animal much more closely than in hard schools that are based on animal attacks. The true master of Hsing-i learns how to see into the forms of the various animal styles and grasp their essences. This intuition can then be used to read the intent of the opponent. At the highest level of mastery, the Hsing-i stylist will be free of form and thought and be able to react instinctively to any threat. This state of mind is called "no form, no mean-ing.
There exist several similar branches of this style that espouse philosophic and stylistic differences. The Wang Hsiang-chai branch teaches that the postures are not as important as the focus of the will. The Sun Lu-t'ang branch simplifies and merges many of the basic movements and forms to provide a less complicated martial art. See Section 2.1 for more information on the historical development of Chinese martial arts. Recommended Skills—Martial Arts Striking, Martial Arts Sweeping, Locking Holds skill, Adrenal Defense, Adrenal Speed, Meditation Martial Arts Abilities [Core]—Lesser Adrenal Defense [10 points]; Degree 3 Martial Arts Striking attack, Degree 3 Martial Arts Sweeping attack, and Degree 1 Locking Holds attack [10 points]; +15 bonus to Adrenal Speed [10 points]; +1 to initiative [5 points] Special Abilities—This style has a special technique (State of No Mind). In addition, all Adrenal Speed maneuvers only take a 10% preparation action. Finally, if the GM is allowing, Chi Power skills, this style should allow access to either Chi Powers: Light Feet, Chi Powers: Sense Weakness, or Chi Powers: Fantastic Leap.
State of No Mind—The Hsing-i stylist learns how to anticipate the attacks of his opponents. Any successful Martial Arts Style Lore or Weapon Style Lore static maneuver results in twice the normal combat bonus (because of the stylist's superior ability to read the intentions of his attackers).
(Northern External Style) Basic Martial Arts Style [25 style points] Description—The King Cobra style is a variant style of the Cobra style (see above). The unarmed attacks and movements of this fighting system are very similar to the Cobra style. Where the King Cobra style differs is in its heavier reliance on weapons. This style also teaches its students how to prepare and use poisons (such as snake venom) in combat to disable their foes. Throwing knives and daggers are often used by adepts of this martial arts style.
Recommended Skills—Adrenal Defense, Martial Arts Striking, Martial Arts Sweeping, Thrown Dagger attack skill, Poison Lore, Using/Removing Poison Martial Arts Abilities [Core]—Lesser Adrenal Defense [10 points]; Degree 3 Martial Arts Striking attacks and Degree 2 Nerve Strikes attacks [5 points]; Dagger weapon kata [5 points]; Paired-weapon dagger kata [5 points] Special Abilities—This style has a special attack (the Spit of the Cobra). In addition, if the GM is allowing Chi Power skills, this style allows access to Chi Powers: Poison Fist.
Spit of the Cobra—The King Cobra stylist learns how to integrate his thrown weapon attacks into his martial art. The stylist can make an additional thrown weapon attack during his normal attacking action if he has a weapon ready. This additional attack would be subject to all the normal restrictions outlined in the "Additional Thrown Weapon Attack" option profded in Section 8.2 under One Hand Free Options.
Iron Robe Style (Northern External Style) Advanced Martial Arts Style [50 style points] Description—The Iron Robe martial arts style is a very disciplined and difficult style to learn. The student spends many years learning how strengthen his body against attacks from all directions and ignore pain. This style of martial arts requires the student to subject himself to intense physical pain to learn how to control his reactions and still function in combat. Offensively this style relies on strong hand and foot attacks, and very few locking or throwing techniques are used. Adepts of this style rely upon their defensive skills and the ability to outlast their opponents to win challenges.
The name of this style comes from the ability of the adept to absorb blows that would seriously injure or even kill an unarmed man. An adept of the iron robe style does not fear weapons and would never resort to armor, as it would imply that he did not think his martial arts abilities were enough to protect himself from harm. Recommended Skills—Martial Arts Striking, Martial Arts Sweeping, Adrenal Defense, Adrenal Strength, Stunned Maneuvering, and Chi Power: Resist Pain (if Chi Powers skills are used) Martial Arts Abilities [Core]—Lesser Adrenal Defense [10 points]; Degree 4 Martial Arts Striking attacks and Degree 3 Martial Arts Sweeping attacks [ 10 points]; +15 bonus to Stunned Maneuvering [ 10 points]; +10 bonus to Adrenal Strength [5 points]; +10 bonus to Adrenal Tough- 49
ness [15 points]
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