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Author Topic: Review: Blood & Fists  (Read 1625 times)

Mcrow

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Review: Blood & Fists
« on: November 01, 2006, 11:32:41 PM »


  Blood & Fists is meant to supplement the combat rules for D20 Modern, not to rewrite the existing rules.  The way it makes hand to hand more exciting is primarily through feats. They are broken down into categories:

Styles: These are feats that represent specific types of martial arts such as Boxing, Hapkido, Karate, and about forty others. Some are martial arts styles and others are weapons styles. Styles have three sub categories, internal, external, and adaptable. External styles are modified normally by the strength modifier but sometimes by dex. Internal styles relate to the inner spirit and are modified by wisdom.  Adaptable styles allow you to pick maneuvers out that you would otherwise not have access to. There is also a very handy section on creating your own styles.

Maneuvers: These are actual strikes and holds, generally they provide some sort of bonus when using that particular type of attach, such as flying kick or hip throw. Maneuvers represent more advanced learned above and beyond the basics of your chosen style. Many maneuvers have a style that you must have as prerequisite.
   
Signature Maneuvers:  work just like regular maneuvers, but they are specific to one style and can only be taken by a character that has that style. An example would be that you must have the Monkey style to take the Angry Monkey Signature Maneuver.

Ki Feats: are FX feats that are above and beyond human ability an example is the Wuxia feat.

Martial Arts Mastery: Mastery feats are ones that awarded to the character as they advance in level as apart of the Martial Arts Master and Contemplative Master advanced classes. Each martial art style and has a list of masteries and bonus feats to choose from. When you advance a level you can choose a mastery or bonus feat.

All of these feats put together allow a player to build Aikido, Kung Fu and Karate masters or any other type of ass kicking martial artist they want. In my estimation this is about as close you can get in an RPG to mimicking a combat styles.

Another nice feature is the long list of new weapons. There is everything from Chinese weapons and Indonesian weapons to Samurai weapons. You can never have too many weapons to choose from, right?

The one down side to the book is the two pages devoted to Hanmei or martial arts competitions. For me this section is nearly useless. I just can see getting much use out of this section.  It basically details how to run a ladder type of event similar to say, mortal combat without the supernatural stuff. This does not appeal to me at all because then your game just boils down to combat and rolling dice. I really can’t ding them much for this though because the purpose of this supplement is to enhance combat.  The one redeeming value of this section is the four plus pages of fully stated NPCs made to use for Hanmei events. The good thing is they also make good NPCs for any martial arts campaign; just add your description and you are ready to go.

On the other hand the section on running a martial arts campaign is quite useful. It details the most common types of plots you might see in your typical martial arts movie and gives you hints how to run such a game

The looks and layout of the book is very much on the professional level with nice graphics and little wasted space. There is a fair amount of art, none of it is outstanding, but all of it is good quality. The PDF comes in landscape, three columns, format which makes for easier reading. The PDF is very well bookmarked and this easily navigated.


Conclusion:

Blood & Fist is without a doubt the best and only supplement you need for your martial arts campaign. There are over a hundred new feats all of which can be blended into several martial styles, for maximum flexibility for players. I didn’t like the Hanmei section, but I think some people will get some use out of it. This is a must have for the martial arts gamer.
 

RPGObjects_chuck

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Blood & Fists
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2006, 12:29:33 AM »
Thanks so much for the thorough and thoughtful review. Glad you enjoyed it.

About the Hanmei, I realize it's not much of a hook for a campaign, the main purpose of that section is the full stat blocks, which serve to show how the system fits together as well as give some standard opponents for the game master.

Ive also seen a lot of folks run it as a one-shot, sort of like the van Damme movie Bloodsport to introduce their players to the rules. Just hand out the NPCs and throw down, as a way to see how combat flows with the new rules.

Thanks again for the time you took to review this. Id also be happy to send you something else to review (I just extended this offer to RPGPundit and mattormeg in the general forum).

Chuck

Mcrow

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Blood & Fists
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2006, 10:43:44 AM »
Quote from: RPGObjects_chuck
Thanks so much for the thorough and thoughtful review. Glad you enjoyed it.

About the Hanmei, I realize it's not much of a hook for a campaign, the main purpose of that section is the full stat blocks, which serve to show how the system fits together as well as give some standard opponents for the game master.

Ive also seen a lot of folks run it as a one-shot, sort of like the van Damme movie Bloodsport to introduce their players to the rules. Just hand out the NPCs and throw down, as a way to see how combat flows with the new rules.

Hopefully, I didn't come across to harsh. Really it's was more of a personal taste type of thing. It would certainly work for a Bloodsport type of adventure.

Quote

Thanks again for the time you took to review this. Id also be happy to send you something else to review (I just extended this offer to RPGPundit and mattormeg in the general forum).

Chuck


No Problem. I would be more than happy to review some of your other products. Darwins World looks interesting and so do the other Blood &.... series books.

mattormeg

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Blood & Fists
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2006, 11:19:42 AM »
I just dropped you a PM Chuck.
Great review, by the way!

Lucifuge

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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2006, 02:39:51 PM »
It's the last d20 sourcebook that I got these days.

I think it's a very well depiction of martial arts. I.e. Muay Thai is cool and lethal, just like in real life!
Thumbs up!
 

Mcrow

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Blood & Fists
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2006, 02:43:06 PM »
Quote from: Lucifuge
It's the last d20 sourcebook that I got these days.

I think it's a very well depiction of martial arts. I.e. Muay Thai is cool and lethal, just like in real life!
Thumbs up!


yeah, that is the coolest thing about the book, all of the styles come about as close to the real thing as an RPG can get.