Welcome to Martial Arts Companion. This book is designed to allow Gamemasters to incorporate a wider range of martial arts into the Rolemaster Standard System (RMSS). Inside you will find rules for introducing unarmed combat systems and new martial arts skills. For ease of integration into the Gamemaster's campaign, the optional rules and skills introduced in this book are categorized into the three separate power levels: Core, Heroic, and Fantastic.
When first reading this book, concentrate on reading and understanding the core rules. Any text that is not marked as heroic, or fantastic serves as core or background information, it will be helpful to at least to skim through these sections to get a broad overview of the scope and purpose of this companion.
Pay special attention to the examples covering everything from character creation to combat. After you gain an understanding of the material, create a few sample characters using the core rules before tackling the optional heroic and fantastic rules and options in this companion. Afterwards, feel free to dive into the optional sections of the rules. Each optional ruling has a brief discussion of their impact upon the RMSS that should make the job of choosing what options to include (or exclude) in a campaign much easier for the Gamemaster. Some of the key features that are covered by Martial Arts Companion include the following:
• History of martial arts
• Guidelines for using martial arts within a campaign
• Two new variant Monk professions, the Taoist and the Zen monk, each with new spell lists
• New and revised background options for martial arts characters
• New and redesigned martial arts skills for the Rolemaster Standard System
• Rules for creating your own martial arts style with a point cost system
Examples of historical martial arts styles Introduction of Chi Powers skills to model fantastic feats of martial arts
Guidelines for using martial arts in combat
New weapon attack tables
New critical tables
New and revised training packages
Martial Arts: Traditions, History, People. John Concoran and Emil Farkas
The History and Philosophy ofKung Fu. Earl C Medeiros
Classical Bujutsu: The Martial Arts and Ways of Japan, Volume I. Donn Draeger
Classical Budo: The Martial Arts and Ways of Japan, Volume2. Donn Draeger
The Fighting Arts. Howard Reid and Micheal Croucher
Zen and Confucius in the Art of Swordmanship. Reinhard Kammer
Asian Fighting Arts. Donn Draeger and Robert Smith
Phoenix-Eye Fist: A Shaolin Fighting Art of South China. CheongCheng Leong and Donn Draeger Recommended Reading
Outlaws of the Marsh, Volumes 1 and 2. Shi Nai'an and Luo Guanzhong
Fox Volant of the Snowy Mountain. Jin Yong
Once Upon a Time in China I, II, III, IV
Last Hero in China
The Swordsman I, II
For readability purposes, the book uses the standard masculine pronouns when referring to persons of uncertain gender. In such cases, these pronouns are intended to convey non-gender specific meanings: he/she, her/him, etc. In addition, it is not the main goal of this work to present absolutely correct and historically verifiable information about each martial arts style. Where possible, historical accuracy has been preserved but some of the information regarding special strikes, maneuvers, and abilities of the martial arts practitioners has been created by the author to make each style unique and interesting to play. For those interested in a more in-depth discussion of the historical role of martial arts and deeper knowledge of a certain style, please review the sources and recommended reading list provided in the appendix.
A special thanks goes out to all the people who have helped to make this product a reality. All the participants on the Rolemaster Internet mailing list have been very helpful. A special thanks goes out to the brave group of Internet play testers—Robert Brott, Nicholas Caldwell, and Kent Krumvieda. I have not met any of you in person, but I have found all of your suggestions and ideas extremely useful. I would also like to thank my parents for all of their support and help in everything I do. A special hello goes out to the Ithaca role playing community, Scott, Laurie, Jim, Diane, Bob, J.P., and Nick. It has been a lot of fun, good luck in Ithaca and beyond! And a final thanks goes out to James Martinez for all the help and support throughout this project and my life—you are the best!
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