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Martial Arts Companion introduces two new variant Monk professions: the Taoist monk (an Essence-based monk) and Zen monk (a Mentalism-based monk). This companion also changes some of the existing professions slightly through the modifications of some of the skill category costs, as well as offering a host of new and revised skills and other options for martial arts.

To paraphrase a certain English playwright, "The character is the thing." Never has this statement been truer than in the case of role playing games. Players wishing to create characters skilled in the martial arts will find a host of new options and capabilities to explore that will add depth and enjoyment to any campaign. Once again, all professions can benefit from the new rules and skills within these pages.

♦ 6.1 ♦ revised deveeopment point skiee costs

The chart on page 25 presents the revised development point costs for all the professions introduced into RMSS. The two changes presented in this chart are the inclusion of a new skill category called Martial Arts Combat Maneuvers and the revision of the Special Defenses skill category costs for all professions. The Combat Maneuvers, Martial Arts Strikes, Martial Arts Sweeps, Self Control, and Special Attacks skill categories are included for ease of reference even though their costs have not changed, since there are many new and revised skills introduced in these skill categories.

All professions not specifically mentioned in Section 6.3 remain unchanged except for the inclusion of the new Martial Arts Combat Maneuvers skill category and the revision of the Special Defenses skill category costs. Each profession can use any of the skills presented within this companion as they would any skill presented in the RMSR without any additional restrictions or qualifiers.

A new concept presented in this companion is the idea of variant professions. A variant profession is a profession that is closely related to an existing RMSS profession but with a unique twist or bent that makes it different. This book introduces two variant Monk professions—the Tao ist monk and the Zen monk. The concepts behind these two variant professions share some similarities with the original Monk profession presented in RMSR.

The original concept of the Taoist monk springs from Chinese philosophical thought. Taoism provided great influence on the development of Chinese martial arts. The doctrine of Tao is one of naturalism. Taoism teaches that the only means of attaining a full life is through the observation of nature and living according to the ways of nature. In Taoism, nothing should be done contrary to the natural order of the world. There are also two supporting doctrines of Taoism, first stated by its founder Lao Tzu. The first doctrine is the concept of the "Uncarved Block. ? The "Uncarved Block" represents man in his original state of existence, unpolluted by concerns of the world or hatred. Taoism strives to return man to his unconditioned natural state. The other doctrine is the concept of non-action. Nonaction does not imply doing nothing, rather it implies taking no action against natural law. This doctrine shows that force is futile in some circumstances and it is sometimes better to yield to strength than to be destroyed by striving against it. The Taoist monk profession deals more with the natural world and elemental forces than the original RMSR Monk profession. Many of the spells used in the base lists of this profession take their inspiration from the natural world.

The original concept of the Zen monk springs from Japanese philosophical thought. Meditative Buddhis? or Zen provided a great influence on the development of Japanese martial arts. The doctrine of Zen teaches the practitioner to become self-reliant, self-denying, and above all to be single-minded to such a degree that no attachments or fears could sway him from his course. Zen also introduced the concept of mushin no shin or "mind of no-mind." Also important to the concept of the Zen monk is the tradition of Shingon Buddhism in Japanese society that uses mystical incantations and practices to accomplish incredible feats. It is the attributed powers of this obscure and secretive sect of Buddhism that provides much of the inspiration for the Zen monk's base lists.

It is possible to have all three professions within a campaign; each profession has its own unique focus and approach to the martial arts and life that should make them easily distinguishable. The original RMSS Monk profession remains the most flexible of the three professions. The Taoist monk profession focuses more on the elements and the natural world. The Taoist monk can also create mystical effects that can not be attributed solely to self-discipline or willpower. The Zen monk profession focuses on mental discipline and willpower that allows the user to transcend the limitations of his body and influence the perceptions of others.

Part II

Professions

Revised Development Point Skill Costs

Unchanged Professions

New and Modified Professions

Fighters are non-spell users who will find it relatively easy to develop a variety of different weapons and to wear heavier types of armor. They are less skilled in maneuvering and manipulating mechanical devices such as locks and traps (although they are still superior to most spell users in these areas). They have the greatest difficulty learning anything connected with spells. Prime Stats: Constitution and Strength

Fighter Spell Lists

The Fighter has no base lists, though he may learn (at a high development point cost) spells from his chosen realm of magic.

Skill Classification Notes Everyman Skills: Situational Awareness: Combat, Leadership, Frenzy, Boxing, Wrestling, and any one non-Restricted Combat Maneuver Occupational Skills: none

Restricted Skills: Channeling (if the character's chosen realm is not Channeling), all skills in the Martial Arts Combat Maneuvers skill category

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