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Pen & Paper Roleplaying Central => Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion => Topic started by: Zalmoxis on March 20, 2006, 01:35:52 PM

Title: Martial Arts
Post by: Zalmoxis on March 20, 2006, 01:35:52 PM
Several ideas have come forward about how to make a martial arts system for D20 games that is both accurate and fun to play. On EN World some years ago, a poster mentioned making the styles a single feat with the appropriate prerequisites, leaving it up to the player to describe the more cinematic actions of the character. I like this approach personally. Examples:

Feat: Karate
Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike, Power Attack, Proficiency in Staff, Nunchaku, Kama, or Tonfa (stats same as Nunchaku)
Description: You have attained significant skill in a traditional hard style of martial arts. You gain an additional +1 to damage with your unarmed strikes, as well as with one of the weapons listed in the feat prerequisites.

Feat: Muay Thai
Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, Weapon Focus: Unarmed Strike, Toughness
Description: This martial art style emphasizes powerful strikes, close-quarter combat, and the ability to withstand and endure pain. The body is conditioned to give and take, in a brutal and very effective way. You gain Damage Resistance 2 against unarmed attacks and subdual damage. You also get a +2 to your saving throws against any effects which rely on pain, such as Pain Touch, Symbol of Pain, etc.

Feat: Judo
Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Trip, 5 ranks in Tumble, 5 ranks in Escape Artist
Description: This martial art specializes in close-quarter combat, spending less time on striking techniques and more time on pins and grapples, within the effective range of most other martial arts. You gain a +1 to touch attacks and grapple checks, and a +1 competence bonus to opposed Str/Dex checks when Tripping an opponent, or when he/she is attempting to Trip you.

What do you all think of this, and have you any suggestions for which martial arts rules worked best for you (even if non-D20)?
Title: Martial Arts
Post by: Knightcrawler on March 20, 2006, 02:06:38 PM
Doesn't Beyond Monks do something like this.  It does sound sort of familiar.
Title: Martial Arts
Post by: Zalmoxis on March 20, 2006, 02:11:54 PM
Quote from: Knightcrawler
Doesn't Beyond Monks do something like this.  It does sound sort of familiar.


I'm not familiar with that product.
Title: Martial Arts
Post by: Knightcrawler on March 20, 2006, 02:23:24 PM
Quote from: Zalmoxis
I'm not familiar with that product.

Its from Chainmail Bikini Games.
Title: Martial Arts
Post by: Zalmoxis on March 20, 2006, 02:25:13 PM
Quote from: Knightcrawler
Its from Chainmail Bikini Games.


I'll have to give it a look. Thanks. :)
Title: Martial Arts
Post by: Sobek on March 20, 2006, 03:01:16 PM
I like the basic idea.  Oriental Adventures did something similar, but their feat trees seemed too long for the pay-off.  Designing martial styles (armed and unarmed) for my world is on my rather long "to do" list.  I plan on doing it very much in the same style as you've presented.
Title: Martial Arts
Post by: Dacke on March 20, 2006, 03:27:23 PM
I'm too lazy to check my OA book, but as I recall the "style bonuses" there were freebies, rather than actual feats. In other words: take feats X, Y and Z, and get bonus A.

This might work better for these styles as well. For their prerequisites, they seem to have pretty low benefits. DR 2 vs unarmed damage and +2 to saves vs pain is not something I would give up a feat for, and it's definitely not something that would entice me into taking three feats just to qualify for it (especially one as sub-par as Toughness). But if it was a freebie if I took those feats, that makes it more attractive.
Title: Martial Arts
Post by: Sobek on March 20, 2006, 03:30:31 PM
Quote from: Dacke
I'm too lazy to check my OA book, but as I recall the "style bonuses" there were freebies, rather than actual feats. In other words: take feats X, Y and Z, and get bonus A.

Right you are, and I stand corrected.  I still believe the OA styles had too long of paths.
Title: Martial Arts
Post by: Cyclotron on March 20, 2006, 04:40:14 PM
Quote from: Zalmoxis
...and have you any suggestions for which martial arts rules worked best for you (even if non-D20)?

Spycraft 2.0, without a doubt.

Feats like these, make it worthwhile...

Quote
Unarmed Combat Feats

Martial Arts
You hand-to-hand fighting talents are black-belt caliber.
Prerequisites: Career Level 6+, Weapon proficiency (Unarmed), at least 1 other Unarmed Combat feat.
Benefit: Your base unarmed attack threat range becomes 19–20, and your unarmed damage increases by +1d6. Further, when you gain this feat, you may choose 1 attribute. If you choose Strength, your Strength modifier is applied to your Defense and Initiative bonuses in place of your Dexterity modifier. If you choose any other attribute, its modifier is applied to your unarmed attack bonus and unarmed damage rolls in place of the standard modifier. Finally, you’re always considered to be armed with a deadly weapon when making Intimidate checks.

Discipline of the Body
You have extraordinary control over your body through intense martial discipline.
Prerequisites: Career Level 6+, Martial Arts (Strength or Constitution)
Benefit: The lower of your Strength or Constitution rises by 1. You may add your Strength modifier to your Initiative rolls. You gain a +1 insight bonus to Fortitude saves. Finally, you may spend an action die to hold your breath for an additional number of minutes equal to you Constitution modifier while performing actions or for an equal number of hours while remaining still.

Discipline of the Mind
Your studies into the nature of the mind have unlocked your inner powers.
Prerequisites: Career Level 6+, Martial Arts (Dexterity or Intelligence)
Benefit: The lower of your Dexterity or Intelligence rises by 1. You may add your Intelligence modifier to your Initiative rolls. You gain a +1 insight bonus to Reflex saves. Finally, you may spend an action die to ignore the fatigued condition or reduce the exhausted condition to fatigued until the next time you receive damage.

Discipline of the Spirit
Your contemplation of the spirit has strengthened your resolve.
Prerequisites: Career Level 6+, Martial Arts (Wisdom or Charisma)
Benefit: The lower of your Wisdom or Charisma rises by 1. You may add your Charisma modifier to your Initiative rolls. You gain a +1 insight bonus to Will saves. Finally, when an adjacent character scores a threat, you may spend a single action die to activate their critical success.