Eclipse – Compiled Martial Arts Forms

   Here we have an additional fifty-plus Martial Arts skills, compiled from the sample characters and offline sources, to add to sample martial arts in Eclipse (available in print HERE and in a shareware edition HERE).

   The Eclipse martial arts rules were designed to bridge part of the gap between the broad-based combat abilities of d20 (and many other games) and reality. Broad-based games provide broad categories of weapons, and combat “skills” (such as the “base attack bonus”) so generic that characters are likely to be able to use a great many of them with near-equal skill. Other games use far more precise categories, such as “Knives” or “Blades”. Sadly, both of those basic design philosophies lead to unrealistic results – either creating characters who are equally skilled with an immense variety of weapons, including many they’ve never seen before, or creating characters who are immensely skilled with particular weapons such as “Longswords” but who are quite incapable of using a stick even by opting to wield it like a light blunt sword, since the “Blades” skill doesn’t cover sticks – no matter how you’re using them. To be realistic, there’s plenty of overlap between weapon and combat skills, and yet there are still a lot of techniques particular to specific weapons and unarmed styles.

   Ergo, the Eclipse martial arts system was intended to add to the broad-based combat abilities of the standard d20 rules. That let characters develop a broad competence in combat – being able to make reasonably effective use of a wide variety of weapons and moves – while still allowing them to learn specific techniques associated with particular weapons and styles without getting absurdly over-specialized in them.

   Secondarily, as always, it was intended to be simple to use.

   Those few pages and the ten sample martial arts in the book have proven to be very popular indeed.

   Personally, I’m inclined to be fairly generous about what makes a suitable requirement, and on how many styles are likely to be part of a campaign’s background. After all, how many separate real-world combat systems are there? How many more would there be in most d20 worlds? If a player wants to use a self-designed art which fits into the world reasonably well, go ahead and assign it a key ability score and presume that it has a history.

   Alarian Legionary Sword Training (Str):

   This straightforward martial “art” is, unlike most martial arts, at it’s best in mass combat, where there are plenty of allies to set you up for flanking (“sneak”) attacks and – thanks to Combat Reflexes – to make anyone fool enough to charge one of your formations think that they’ve dived into a mincing machine.

  • Requires: Weapon Proficiency with Swords
  • Basic Abilities: Attack 3, Power 3, Defenses 3, Toughness 3
  • Master Techniques: Combat Reflexes, Mighty Blow, Sneak Attack II
  • Occult Techniques: None. (The price of minimal requirements).

   Asura Roushan (Dex):

   The sacred sword style of the Raline (military) order of the Varnic church, Asura Roushan focuses on mobility and combat with supernatural entities. Perhaps sadly, it’s entirely useless without a sword to wield.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus/Sword or equivalent point buy.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 3, Power 2, Strike, and Defenses 2.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Blind Fight, Combat Reflexes, Reach, and Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Light Foot, Vanishing and Wrath (blows inflict divine damage, reduce attribute drains and damage from negative energy by 4, reduce level drains by 2, and gain a +6 on saving throws versus the powers of the undead).

   Blade Expert Martial Art (Dex):

  • Requires: Weapon Proficiency with Blades
  • Basic Abilities: Attack 4, Power 2, Defenses 4
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Quick Draw, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, and Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: None. (The price of minimal requirements)

   This utterly mundane style is a product of the Core Worlds of the Federation-Apocalypse setting – and thus is the product of centuries of computer-supervised development in a purely scientific setting. It’s efficient, smooth, and gives not the slightest nod to philosophy or supernatural powers.

   Body Like Water (Dex):

   Unsurprisingly, this soft style concentrates on smooth, flowing evasions, rolling with or twisting away from impacts, and getting weapons away from attackers. Sadly, even those who choose to study the forms striking moves or optional knife techniques find the forms offensive capabilities quite limited. Of course, it’s also another mundane style, offering no occult techniques at all – unless someone in a more magical world opts to develop some.

  • Requires: Improved Unarmed Strike or equivalent point buy.
  • Basic Techniques: Defense 4, Strike, and Toughness 3.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Weapon Kata/Dagger, Mind Like Moon, Instant Stand, and Improved Disarm.

   The Breath Of Creations Morn (Charisma):

   The Staff, the Hammer, The Blade, and the Bow.

   The weapons of the first war, empowered by the eternal Word, writ in letters of celestial fire

   As above, so below.

   The hardness of stone, the suppleness of wood, the sinewy strength of beasts, and the flight of birds, united in the hands of men.

   Old, OLD, magic.

   The four primal martial arts of the first war are – in the hands of the celestial host – things of perfection, the sun source to which all lesser martial arts aspire.

   In mortal hands they are merely paths towards the light – but that is no small thing in itself.

   Focusing on breath control and soft commands spoken in Enochian, the Breath Of Creations Morn involves little actual physical motion, relying for its power on the imperishable echoes of the eternal Word. Even its “weapon kata” relies more on the symbolism of the staff as a symbol of authority than it does on actually moving it.

  • Requires: Improved Unarmed Strike, the ability to channel positive energy, and NOT being able to channel negative energy. Instruction by a current master or a celestial is also in order.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Defenses 2, Power 2, Strike, Synergy/Diplomacy and Synergy/Handle Animal.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Battlecry (a word of stillness), Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, and Weapon Kata/Staff.
  • Occult Techniques: Healing Hand, Light Foot, Paralyze, and Vanishing

   Cangmarg (Dex)

   Cangmarg is a shapeshifters martial art, designed around the ability to subtly change form – thus allowing joints to bend unnaturally, flesh to flow free from holds, claws and fangs to become unnaturally long and sharp, and muscle to be redistributed to where it is most needed to suit the flow of combat. It doesn’t take much shapeshifting to allow it’s use – but it requires at least a bit, as well as the fangs and claws the form relies on. If you lack those abilities, or have some innate objection to ripping hunks of raw flesh out of screaming enemies with your teeth, don’t study Cangmarg.

  • Requires: Natural weapons/claws and fangs, limited shapeshifting ability or better.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Defenses 2, Power 2, Strike, and Synergy/Survival.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Battlecry (Howl), Mind Like Moon, Reach, and Combat Reflexes.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Iron Skin, Resist Pain, and Light Foot

   Cheetah Style (Dex)

   Concentrating on blurringly rapid motion, the Cheetah Style attempts to dart in, strike, and escape before an opponent can strike back.

  • Requires: Improved Unarmed Strike or Natural Weapons.
  • Basic Techniques: Defenses 2, Strike, Toughness 3, Attack 2.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Reach, Instant Stand, Deflect Arrows, and Combat Reflexes.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength II, Light Foot, and Wrath (positive energy damage, provides resistance to negative energy effects).

   Close Quarter Combat System (Str):

   The first enemy is hesitation. That indecisive moment when – torn between firing, not firing, lashing out, and dodging – soldiers so often become casualties.

   The Close Quarter Combat System concentrates on making the use of a weapon reflexive and on basics, rather than on exotic special techniques. Keep moving, hit them fast, aim tolerably well, and take advantage of any openings that turn up.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus/Pistol or Weapon Focus/Combat Knife or equivalent point buy
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Defense 2, Power 1, Strike, and Synergy (Craft/Firearms).
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Improved Trip, Weapon Kata/ Dagger, Versatile, and Improved Disarm.
  • Occult Techniques: None

   Technically the dagger-based form with weapon kata/pistol is an entirely separate form from the pistol-based form with weapon kata/dagger, but it really doesn’t matter; as soon as you take the Weapon Kata ability they’re effectively identical. Like most of the other purely-physical styles, the Close Quarter Combat System offers no occult abilities.

   The Cursed Tongue (Wis) (With Anthony Robbers)

   This purely-offensive mystical martial art backs ray attacks with the power of minor curses. The user simply adds a minor malediction to his usual components. While such small curses must be tailored to the local magical environment, are extremely short-lived, and are somewhat difficult to use, they can allow a master of The Cursed Tongue to inflict crippling disabilities on anyone who dares to hurt him.

   Unfortunately, even such minor curses require some leverage; sheer spite and borrowing power from other curses may help a bit, but The Cursed Tongue can only be used to it’s full potential after an opponent has already hurt the user in some way – and the greater the injuries an opponent has inflicted, the better it works.

  • Requirements: The user must know the magical language of Saenthor, be subject to a powerful curse of some kind him or herself (to borrow power from), and possess the ability to make ray attacks.
  • Basic Abilities: Attack IV, Power IV, and Synergy/Intimidate.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Blinding Strike and Crippling III.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Serpent Strike, Paralyze and Overburden

   The Cursed Tongue is Corrupted and Specialized for Triple Effect:

  • The Basic abilities only work against targets who have injured the user, issued serious threats or insults against the user or his family, or who have otherwise wronged or offended the user. Against an opponent who has done no more than this, the abilities have only their base effect.
  • The Advanced abilities only work against targets who have seriously wounded the user, personally injured close friends or family members of the user, or gravely wronged or offended the user. Against an opponent who has committed such an offense, the forms abilities have double effect – but there is a modest chance of backlash in the form of some injury or short-term curse upon the user if he or she opts to exploit this doubling.
  • The Occult techniques only work against targets who have personally gravely wounded the user, slain his or her close friends or family members, or grievously wronged or offended him or her. Against opponents who have committed such an offense, the forms abilities have triple effect. There is, however, a great chance of backlash inflicting a serious injury or medium-duration curse on the user if the user opts to exploit this tripling.

   Variants on The Cursed Tongue use other mystical languages, and are thus slightly different arts.

  • Ma’thak Koren has several nasty side-effects, since it requires accessing some very unpleasant remnants.
  • Narthian tends to be rather limiting in the types of slights that can allow its use. Only things that would offend an animal quality – which generally lets out insults.
  • Zaban-Gozar has the usual costs vitality cost of speaking in soul speech, and so is very hard on the user.

   Cutting Wind (Dex)

   This arcane martial art relies less on physical dexterity than on subtle magical control. The feathers of the fletching, the sinew of the string, the wood of the shaft – all were once living, and resonate still with the energies of life. The master of the cutting wind has learned to attune his or her own life force to those residual forces, making the bow as much a part of him- or herself as his or her hand – and channeling his or her own strengths through the bow to strike down his or her foes with deadly effects.

  • Requires: At least +1 BAB Specialized in Bows.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Defenses 2, Power 3, Strike, Synergy/Survival
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Deflect Arrows, Rapid Shot, and Sneak Attack II
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Ki Block, Light foot, and Serpent Strike.

   Deathstrike (Str)

   The Deathstrike art is only for those who have natural claws, talons, or similar innate weapons – and who wish to put them to the most effective possible use. Unlike many martial arts, there are no “occult” techniques associated with Deathstrike: merely an efficient system for removing vital internal organs from your enemies.

  • Requires: Natural Weapons/Claws (or talons or whatever) capable of doing 1d6 or more.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Defenses 2, Power 3, Synergy (+2 to Acrobatics), and Strike.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Improved Trip, Sunder, Versatile, and Improved Disarm.
  • Occult Techniques: None

   The Division Of The Waters (Dexterity):

   The Staff, the Hammer, The Blade, and the Bow.

   The weapons of the first war, empowered by the eternal Word, writ in letters of celestial fire

   As above, so below.

   The hardness of stone, the suppleness of wood, the sinewy strength of beasts, and the flight of birds, united in the hands of men.

   Old, OLD, magic.

   The four primal martial arts of the first war are – in the hands of the celestial host – things of perfection, the sun source to which all lesser martial arts aspire.

   In mortal hands they are merely paths towards the light – but that is no small thing in itself.

   Balanced between seconds of guarded stillness, clashing wills, and flashing strikes that take advantage of any wavering in an opponents guard, the Division Of The Waters tends to give the impression of a fight illuminated with a strobe light of celestial flame.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus/Sword or equivalent point buy and NOT being able to channel negative energy. Instruction by a current master or a celestial is also in order.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Defenses 2, Power 2, Strike, Synergy/Balance, and Synergy/Intimidation.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Quick Draw, and Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Ki Block, Light Foot, One Finger, and Wrath (-2 con to inflict fire damage and gain resistance 6 to both heat and cold damage for 3d6 rounds).

   Drunken Fist (Dex)

   This classical style relies on disguising itself. Ideally, the staggering, unpredictable, movements of the form can defeat an opponent without them even realizing that their opponent is anything but lucky.

  • Requires: Tumble 5+, Dex 14+.
  • Basic Techniques: Defenses 4, Power 2, Strike, Synergy/Perform (Acting), and Synergy/Bluff.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Instant Stand, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, and Prone Combat.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength x2, Ki Focus, and Paralyze.

   In hard-science settings, simply leave out the Occult Techniques.

   Falcon’s Eye (Dex):

   This straightforward hunters art focuses on taking targets down with a single shot, preferably from ambush.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus/Bow or equivalent point buy.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 3 and Power 3.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Crippling (Con), Sneak Attack II (2d6), and Rapid Shot
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Focused Blow, Ki Focus (Dex), and Overburden.

   The Feathered Winds (Dex)

   Hitting is good. Hitting vital organs is even better. The Feathered Winds style focuses on putting arrows into sensitive spots as quickly and as accurately as humanly possible. It isn’t always necessary to kill – but you wouldn’t be shooting at people if you didn’t want to do something unpleasant to them.

  • Basic Abilities: Attack 4, Power 4
  • Advanced and Master Abilities: Mighty Blow, Rapid Shot, Prone Combat, and Versatility
  • Occult Techniques: Ki Focus/Sacred/Dexterity, Overburden, Inner Strength, and Serpents Strike.
  • Known Techniques (6): Attack 2, Power 2, Rapid Shot, Inner Strength.

   Fire Juggler (Dex)

   This highly specialized art allows the user to maximize the effectiveness of his or her flame powers in combat. Unsurprisingly for an art which relies on a particular inherent ability, it’s generally restricted to the House that happens to have that ability – in this case the House of Gynt. The Fire Juggler’s art is spectacular in use, since it sends the user’s flames coiling about his or her hands and forearms, adding a certain element of beautiful artistry to the basic ability to incinerate enemies.

   Secondarily, it’s good for both keeping warm and for cooking.

  • Requires: Inherent ability to Produce Flames
  • Basic Abilities: Attack 4, Defense 2, Power 2, Synergy/Survival, and Toughness 3.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Prone Combat, Combat Reflexes, Rapid Shot, and Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Light Foot, Resist Pain, and Vanishing.

   The First Rays Of Heavenly Fire (Dexterity):

   The Staff, the Hammer, The Blade, and the Bow.

   The weapons of the first war, empowered by the eternal Word, writ in letters of celestial fire

   As above, so below.

   The hardness of stone, the suppleness of wood, the sinewy strength of beasts, and the flight of birds, united in the hands of men.

   Old, OLD, magic.

   The four primal martial arts of the first war are – in the hands of the celestial host – things of perfection, the sun source to which all lesser martial arts aspire.

   In mortal hands they are merely paths towards the light – but that is no small thing in itself.

   The light and fire of the sun are channeled through lesser materials, infusing them with an inner fire which ignites the runes of Enochian across them. The form is quiet, infused with the inner stillness of a focused will, and is often compared with Zen archery.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus/Bow or equivalent point buy and NOT being able to channel negative energy. Instruction by a current master or a celestial is also in order.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Power 2, Synergy/Balance, Synergy/Move Silently, and Strike.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Instant Stand, Mind Like Moon, Deflect Arrows, and Rapid Shot.
  • Occult Techniques: Focused Blow, Ki Block, Touch Strike, and Wrath (-2 con to make arrows inflict divine damage, reduce damage from negative energy and attribute drains by 4, reduce level drains by 2, and gain a +6 on saves vrs negative energy for 3d6 rounds).

   Guard of the Helpful Mage (Wis) (With Anthony Robbers)

   This mystic “martial art” relies on convincing tiny elementals and lesser nature spirits to protect the user. By constantly stilling minor magical disturbances and carefully minimizing their own, users of this art gain favor with such minor spirits – who will then exert their influence to protect the obliging mage who’s providing such a pleasant environment from physical harm which might disrupt his activities. Users of this art spend a lot of time mumbling in Saenthor (the tongue of the elemental spirits), and make minor magical gestures constantly.

  • Requirements: ability to speak Saenthor, Diplomacy 5, Appraise 5, and the ability to sense minor mystical disturbances.
  • Basic Abilities: Defenses 4 and Toughness 4
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Instant Stand, Mind Like Moon, Prone Combat, and Breaking.
  • Occult Techniques: Light Foot, Wrath/Fire, Resist Pain, and Inner Strength

   Gun Bunny (Dex):

   You get the gun out fast, you fire quickly and accurately, and you try to stay under cover as much as possible. This may not qualify for most people’s idea of a martial art, but keeping your head and shooting straight while under fire takes plenty of practice.

  • Requires: BAB 6+, Thanks to this modest requirement, this is a relatively minor art.
  • Basic Abilities: Attack 4, Power 3, Strike, Defenses 4.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Prone Combat, Quick Draw, and Rapid Shot.

   Gun Bunny has no occult techniques – and thus is suitable for hard-science worlds.

   Harpist of the Weave or Spellweaving (Dex)

   This subtle style revolves around the manipulation of magical energies. Unlike spells, which draw on the energies of magic, this art simply subtly shifts it’s threads – using them to entangle incoming attacks, to transmit touch-based spells to distant targets, striking at the weak points they outline, twisting them to enhance yourself, and even tearing at them to disrupt other structures. It’s most commonly used in conjunction with touch-based attack spells – expanding their effects to strike at everyone in a modest area and/or projecting them – but masters may attack through the threads directly

   Physically the form requires very little motion: one need merely twist one’s fingers into the threads: from there, slight gestures suffice. On the magical level, of course, tiny distorting ripples will radiate from the user, and – in high-magic areas or for more powerful adepts – a readily-recognizable set of interlocking “rings” of mysterious sigils (actually energy-leakage from the diverted threads of the weave) will appear in the air around him or her.

  • Requires: Innate ability to Detect Magic or similar occult sense OR Path of the Dragon OR Spellfire.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Defenses 4 (adds to saves against occult attacks rather than AC), Power 1, Strike, Synergy/Magical Theory, Synergy/Spellcraft, Synergy/Arcane Lore.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Sneak Attack III (3d6), and Whirlwind Attack
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength x2, Ki Focus (May enhance Caster Level and up to (Int Mod) other abilities of choice), and One Finger (normally used to deliver touch spells and sneak attacks).

   Heavenly Radiant Sword (Cha)

   There are actually quite a few variants on this style, focusing on the weapons favored by various deities. They all channel small amounts of positive energy to augment the user’s weapon, attacks, and other abilities, and so require such a talent to develop.

  • Requires: Ability to channel positive energy.
  • Basic Techniques: Defenses 3, Power 1, Strike, Synergy/Turn Undead, Synergy/Heal, and Synergy/Knowledge: Religion.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Battlecry, Breaking, Mighty Blow, and Unarmed Kata.
  • Occult Techniques: Ki Focus/Sacred/Strength, Wrath (using positive energy, the resistance effect reduces attribute drains and damage from negative energy by 4, reduces level drains by 2, and provides a +6 on saves versus undead powers), Light Foot, and Resist Pain.

   Iron Spear (Str):

   This highly defensive form focuses on protective maneuvers, using the spear shaft to parry and block, and launching attacks only when safe opportunities arise. It’s favored by those who value their hides above inflicting damage.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus/Spear or equivalent point buy.
  • Basic Techniques: Defenses 4, Toughness 4, and Strike.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Improved Disarm and Mind Like Moon.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Iron Skin, Ki Block, and Light Foot.

   Iron Storm Technique (Str)

   This straightforward system focuses on raw, overwhelming, physical power – hammering its way through an enemy’s defense with a steady rain of powerful blows.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus/Greatsword or equivalent.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Defenses 2, Power 1, Strike 1, and Toughness 2.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Deflect Arrows, Instant Stand, Sunder, and Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Focused Blow, Ki Block, and Touch Strike.

   Kogusoku Kappo: (Dex)

   The way of the renewing armor of life concentrates on the circulation of chi within the body, reinforcing the user’s vital essence. The ultimate development of the art is to deflect blows and missiles with the sheer swirling power of the user’s inner strength.

  • Requires: Improved Unarmed Strike or equivalent point buy.
  • Basic Techniques: Defenses 3, Strike 1, Synergy (Heal), and Toughness 3.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Deflect Arrows, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, and Mind Like Moon.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Healing Hand, Iron Skin, and Resist Pain

   Koryu Kensho: (Dex)

   The path of the enlightened sword teaches stillness. When one is in harmony with an opponent, with the flowing wind, and with the universe’s ceaseless currents of chi, then they cannot touch you unless you will it – and your opponents own violence will carry him or her onto your blade. At the highest levels, in flickering instants, students of the way perceive the unreality of space and time.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus/Katana or equivalent ability.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 3, Defenses 3, and Power 2.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Combat Reflexes, Instant Stand, Quick Draw, and Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Focused Blow, Light Foot, and Vanishing.

   Krav Maga Mark II (Str)

   Krav Maga Mark II is loosely based on an art for normal humans – hence the weapon kata – but has been reworked to exploit the superhuman strength and durability of its practitioners, exploiting their ability to smash bones and rip through flesh. Unfortunately, it’s origins limit the style: it has no occult techniques and is suitable for teaching to almost anyone – which means that it lacks the advanced abilities that an art designed for more talented individuals might possess.

  • Requires: Strength 20+, DR 4 or better.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Power 3, and Strike.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Crippling, Mighty Blow, Prone Combat, Weapon Kata/Dagger

   Lightning Blade: (Dex)

   This straightforward fencer’s art concentrates on poking foes in vital locations by stabbing through unarmored points, such as the joints in armor. For those times when you’re confronted with many foes, heavy armor, or creatures who have no vital points, it includes several techniques for running the hell away.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus or Finesse/Rapier.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 3, Defenses 1, Power 3, and Synergy/Tumble.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Reach, Sneak Attack (2d6), and Combat Reflexes.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Light Foot, Touch Strike and Vanishing.

   Lightning Fist (Dex)

   While this acrobatic style is fairly straightforward at lower skill levels, the highest techniques require (or convey) a mastery of basic “alchemy” (as per the Full Metal Alchemist anime) – most notably, the art of disrupting structures with a mere touch.

  • Requires: Improved Unarmed Strike or equivalent point buy.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Defenses 2, Power 3, Strike, and Synergy/Balance.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Breaking, Combat Reflexes, Instant Stand, and Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Wrath (“Acid”), Focused Blow, and Touch Strike.

   Lunar Orbit Kung Fu: (Str)

   Concentrating on whirling, twisting, and circular techniques, Lunar Orbit Kung Fu attempts to turn strength into crippling leverage against vulnerable spots.

  • Requires: Improved Unarmed Strike or equivalent.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Defenses 2, Power 2, Synergy/ Tumble, and Synergy/Escape Artist.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Breaking, Deflect Arrows, Versatility, and Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Focused Blow, Inner Strength, Ki Block, and Vanishing.

   This is one of the few arts which got a full set of technique names. Mostly those get left up to the player.

  • Technique Names:
    • Attack: Rage of Night
    • Defense: Encircling The Moon
    • Power: Within the Seas of the Moon
    • Synergy/Tumble: Striding Upon the Moon
    • Synergy/Escape Artist: Waning of the Moon
    • Breaking: Summoning the Tide
    • Deflect Arrows: Lunar Radiance Drives back the Dark
    • Versatility: Slashing: Sickle of the Moon, Crushing: First Rays of the Moon, and Piercing: The Withered Moon Heart
    • Whirlwind Attack: Thousand Rays of the Moon
    • Focused Blow: Comet Strikes the Moon
    • Inner Strength: Drink Down the Moon
    • Ki Block: Eclipsing the Sun
    • Vanishing – Moonlight over Water Technique

   Makendon Combat Training (Str):

   This straightforward martial art is straightforward and brutal, designed to inflict as much damage as possible as quickly as possible. It relies on intense training – slamming the fists again and again into heated sand, toughening exercises for the wrists and ankles, and otherwise repeatedly smashing things – as well as on pure muscular power. If you want to be a solid block of muscle which pounds opponents into oblivion with barely a conscious thought, then this is the art for you.

  • Requires: Martial Arts or Equivalent Point Buy
  • Basic Abilities: Attack 4, Defenses 4, Power 3, Strike
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Breaking, Instant Stand, Reach, and Expertise.

   Makendon is an entirely mundane martial art, suitable for the hardest of hard-science worlds.

   Nine Deadly Winds: (Str)

   Flowing with the wind, masters of the Nine Deadly Winds drift as if they were weightless and strike with the terrible force of a tornado tossing wisps of straw through mighty oaks.

  • Requires: Improved Unarmed Strike or equivalent.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 3, Power 3, Synergy/Hide and Synergy/Move Silently.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Mind Like Moon, Instant Stand, Rapid Shot, and Weapon Kata/Shuriken.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Ki Focus, Light Foot, and Touch Strike.
  • Technique Names:
    • Attack: Four Winds Vortex
    • Power: Hurricane Fist
    • Synergy/Hide: The Transparency of Wind
    • Synergy/Move Silently: Drifting Zephyr Kata
    • Mind Like Moon: Moon Shining Through Clouds
    • Instant Stand: Within The Storm
    • Rapid Shot: The Hailstorm Kata
    • Weapon Kata/Shuriken: Drifting Leaf Technique
    • Inner Strength: Dance of the Four Winds
    • Ki Focus: The Tornado
    • Light Foot: Clouds Above the Earth
    • Touch Strike: Thunderbolt Touch Technique

   Pistol Expert (Dex)

   This is another Federation-Apocalypse Core style – relying on centuries of development, through training, and simple efficiency; you point at vital points, you shoot accurately, and you try to stay out of the line of fire of anyone who might be shooting back. There isn’t any real philosophy, and there certainly aren’t any “occult” techniques. As one of the “hard science:” arts, Pistol Expert has relatively modest requirements – and no occult techniques at all.

  • Requires Weapon Proficiency (Pistols, Small Arms, or Similar), Dex 14+.
  • Basic Abilities: Attack 4, Power 2, Toughness 2, Defenses 2
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Mighty Blow, Prone Combat, Rapid Shot, and Quick Draw.
  • Occult Techniques: None.

   The Rejuvenating Manual (Con):

   One of the great legendary forms, the Rejuvenating Manual focuses on meditation, the development and manipulation of Ki, and basic defensive techniques. While it is a poor offensive style even with the (optional) staff moves, it is surprisingly useful in daily life.

  • Requires: Improved Unarmed Strike or equivalent point buy.
  • Basic Techniques: Defenses 3, Strike, Synergy (Heal), Synergy (Tumble), Synergy (Diplomacy), Synergy (Knowledge/ Religion).
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Deflect Arrows, Improved Disarm, Mind Like Moon, and Weapon Kata/Staff.
  • Occult Techniques: Healing Hand, Inner Strength, Iron Skin, and Ki Block.

   Rhynsin Dragonslayer Style (Wis):

   Here we have another sample martial art – in this case, another rarity; a Specialized form. The Rhynsin Form is indeed designed specifically for use against dragons, and cannot be used against other opponents – and thus any skill points invested in the form count double, providing a +2 bonus, rather than the usual +1 – allowing the total bonus to far exceed the normal limits.

   Rhynsin is also a good example of a martial art which stretches the rules a bit. While “Defenses” normally add to the user’s armor class, this art adds the bonus to certain saves instead. I’ve been allowing that for some of the more exotic martial arts simply on the grounds that it seems reasonable enough.

   Fortunately, dragons are rare –  and so, the governing attribute of the form is Wisdom, since it provides the willpower to keep practicing a set of moves that – hopefully – will almost never be called for.  Still, odder things do happen, and there are dragons out there.

   The  Rhynsin Dragonslayer’s art revolves around an extensive study of Dragons – the way they move, the way they think, the chinks in their defenses, countermeasures against their abilities, and the best ways to attack them. It’s user’s almost invariably begin focused on how to best use a massive weapon against an equally massive creature. Later on, it brings in additional weapons and it’s practitioners begin to learn to focus their own natural power – limited as it may be – to disrupt the far greater energies of their draconic targets.

  • Requires: At least +1 BAB Specialized in Dragons or Weapon Focus/Greataxe or Greatsword.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Defenses 4 (provides a bonus on saving throws against draconic breath weapons and magic rather than a boost to AC),  Power 2, and Synergy/Knowledge skill checks related to Dragons.
  • Advanced and Master Level Techniques: Weapon Kata x 2 (normally bow and spear, but other weapons are possible), Expertise and Quick Draw.
  • Occult Techniques: Focused Blow, Inner Strength, Ki Block, and Touch Strike.

   Sabre Master Martial Art (Dex)

   The formal style of House Galano, this art focuses on swift mobility, striking unpredictably from every angle, aiming for any vital point which presents itself rather than attempting to power through defenses. Blows should be struck swiftly – but they should never be targeted against an armored or otherwise resistant spot. He who strikes home first is by far the most likely to live.

  • Requires: At least +1 BAB Specialized in Swords.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Defenses 2, Power 2, Strike, Toughness 1.
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Combat Reflexes, Sneak Attack II, and Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Ki Block, Light Foot, and Resist Pain.

   Sagcire (Dex)

   Sagcire is combat training focusing on one basic technique – lunge and bite, whether to crush, rip, or throw is immaterial. All that matters is getting the user’s jaws around a chunk of flesh and bearing down. A well-trained – or naturally talented – practitioner is easily recognizable by his or her pattern of darting in and out, snapping, twisting, and falling back, rather than locking on and ripping.

  • Requires: Natural Bite attack of 1d6 or more, Move 40+.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Defenses 4, Power 3, Strike
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Battlecry (Primal Growl), Breaking, Mind Like Moon, and Reach.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Iron Skin, Resist Pain, and Light Foot.

   Senjat (Dex):

   This straightforward gun-based style is almost purely attack-oriented, concentrating on accuracy and speed with a few minor arcane techniques thrown in at higher levels. Senjat was originally an occult crossbow style, but it’s practitioners were quick to adapt when actual guns became available.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus/Pistol or equivalent point buy.
  • Basic Techniques: Power 2, Attack 4, and Defenses 1.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Sneak Attack (+1d6), Prone Combat, Quick Draw, and Rapid Shot.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Focused Blow, Paralyze, and Touch Strike.

   Seven Deadly Pressure Points (Dex) (Courtesy of Margaret Norris)

   This martial art is a common elective offering in Battling Business World’s pharmacy schools. In fact, it’s how most of the place’s pharmacists learn anatomy. It eschews raw power for precision and a suite of subtle but potent effects. Other realms with sounder medical principles also know of this style.

  • Requires: Improved Unarmed Strike or equivalent point buy. Occult Techniques require Pharmacy 6+ (or Heal in other realms)
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Defenses 2, Power 1, Synergy (Pharmacy, Heal in other realms)
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Blinding Strike, Crippling (Dex), Mind Like Moon, Versatility
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Overburden, Paralyze, and Serpent Strike.

   Named Seven Deadly Pressure Points Techniques: Attack 2 (“Pharmacist’s Precision”), Defenses 1 (“Heartbeat Stance”), Power 1 (“Hurts Me More Than You”), Blinding Strike (“Sealing the Third Eye”), Versatility (“Finger Tricks”)

   Shadow Spear (Str):

   While there are minor variants – and names – specific to each tribe, Shadow Spear is one of the more common forms taught to young barbarians. While fairly basic at first, it focuses on striking at vital organs later on.

  • Requires: Improved Weapon Focus/Spear or equivalent point buy.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 1, Defenses 3, Power 3, and Strike.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Mighty Blow, and Reach.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Focused Blow, Resist Pain and Serpent Strike.

   The Shaping Of The New Earth (Constitution):

   The Staff, the Hammer, The Blade, and the Bow.

   The weapons of the first war, empowered by the eternal Word, writ in letters of celestial fire

   As above, so below.

   The hardness of stone, the suppleness of wood, the sinewy strength of beasts, and the flight of birds, united in the hands of men.

   Old, OLD, magic.

   The four primal martial arts of the first war are – in the hands of the celestial host – things of perfection, the sun source to which all lesser martial arts aspire.

   In mortal hands they are merely paths towards the light – but that is no small thing in itself.

   The slow, drifting, movements of the Shaping Of The New Earth unfold with a seeming inevitability, as of great masses shifting towards their predestined destinations. Nevertheless, the apparently-gentle movements are imbued with a vast kinetic energy, capable of sending opponents flying with a seemingly-careless touch.

  • Requires: Improved Unarmed Strike or equivalent point buy and NOT being able to channel negative energy. Instruction by a current master or a celestial is also in order.
  • Basic Techniques: Power 3, Strike, Toughness 3, Synergy/Heal, and Synergy/Spot.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Breaking, Mighty Blow, Weapon Kata/Hammer, and Improved Sunder.
  • Occult Techniques: Focused Blow, Healing Hand, Inner Strength, and Iron Skin.

   Skillet of Fury (Str) (Courtesy of Margaret Norris)

   In Battling Business World, even the soccer moms and dads can defend themselves. This style is an armed variant of Adamantine Fist focusing on cooking pans and skillets (which use the same stats as clubs). Even battling businesspeople should think carefully before marrying a master: they can dish out a lot of pain.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus (club) or equivalent point buy. Occult Techniques require skill in Cooking and Homemaker.
  • Basic Techniques: Strike, Power 4 (1d12+1 damage with skillet, 1d12 damage with unarmed kata), and Toughness 1.
  • Advanced Techniques: Breaking, Mighty Blow, Unarmed Kata, and Master Technique: Sunder.
  • Occult Techniques: Focused Blow, Inner Strength, Ki Focus (Str), and Overburden.

   Spider’s Fang Technique (Dex)

   Based on quick, darting, strikes, the Spider’s Fang Technique relies on putting a relatively small blade precisely where it will do the most good – preferably baffling the defender with a series of feints and concealed movements. Advanced students will usually employ a cloak, trailing sleeves, or some other piece of cloth or clothing to further confuse the issue. At its most advanced, the school focuses on evading attacks with agility, rather than attempting to meet them with raw power.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus/Short Blade (Dagger or Shortsword) or equivalent point buy.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 3, Defenses 2, Power 3, Strike, Synergy: Move Silently
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Sneak Attack III, Combat Reflexes
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Ki Block, Light Foot, and Serpent Strike

   Spring Gale Naginatajutsu (Str) (Courtesy of Margaret Norris)

   The spring wind is rapid and wild. Martial artists who practice this polearm form try to emulate it. They often treat combat as an elaborate dance, bounding over opponents and darting across the battlefield like a leaf on the wind. Advanced practitioners can channel the fury of a spring storm.

  • Requirements: Weapon Focus (Naginata) or equivalent point buy
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Defenses 2, and Synergy: Acrobatics
  • Advanced Techniques: Mind Like Moon, Reach, Master Technique: Mobility, and Master Technique: Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Light Foot, Vanishing, and Wrath (electricity damage)

   Named Spring Gale Naginatajutsu Techniques: Attack 2 (“Ascending Gale”), Defenses 2 (“Descending Gale”), Synergy: Acrobatics (“Leaf in the Gale”), Mobility (“Who Strikes the Wind”), and Reach (“Gale’s Grasp”)

   Starlight Blade (Int)

   Starlight Blade focuses on predicting the patterns of an attack and exploiting any opening which appears, hopefully allowing the user to deal with an opponent without leaving any opening in his or her own defense. While it’s certainly preferable to have a weapon, Starlight Blade doesn’t neglect unarmed techniques either. Depending utterly on a weapon is itself a flaw.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus/Greatsword or equivalent.
  • Basic Techniques: Defenses 4, Strike 1, and Toughness 3.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Deflect Arrows, Mind Like Moon, Prone Combat, and Unarmed Kata.
  • Occult Techniques: Healing Hand, Inner Strength, Iron Skin, and Vanishing.

   Street Fighting: (Dex)

   This primitive “martial art” is the rough-and-tumble knack of getting the hell out of the way, throwing stuff, and putting the boot in. You don’t learn this one formally. You just pick it up by living through enough street brawls. Eventually you may even learn the final techniques – learning to both suck it up and to get out of the way really, really, well.

  • Requires: BAB 5+, HP 40+, lots of time on the streets.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 3, Defenses 3, and Toughness 2.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Quick Draw, 1d6 Sneak Attack, Combat Reflexes, and Weapon Kata/Knife.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Light Foot, Resist Pain, and Vanishing.

   Temple Mount Krav Maga (Str) (Courtesy of Margaret Norris)

   Many forms of Krav Maga exist in Battling Business World. The style’s aggressive, effective, and popular among corporate raiders. Practitioners of its esoteric Temple Mount substyle meditate on all aspects of Judaism’s holiest site. They apply their comprehension of its durability and spiritual strength to a Battling Business Worlder’s already sturdy body. Almost always paragons of the Jewish faith, these martial artists are immovable and quietly determined in a fight.

  • Requires: Improved Unarmed Strike or equivalent point buy. Occult Techniques require Compulsive (religious) and some skill in Jewish Doctrine and Meditation.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Power 2, Strike, and Toughness 2.
  • Advanced Techniques: Crippling, Mighty Blow, Prone Combat, and Master Technique: Improved Disarm.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Iron Skin, Ki Focus (Str), Resist Pain

   Named Temple Mount Krav Maga Techniques: Attack 1 (“Hook”), Power 1 (“Invoking the Mount”), Strike (“Subdual Stance”), Toughness 2 (“Temple Mount Stance: Base”), Crippling (Str), Improved Disarm, Inner Strength (“Channeling the Mount”), Iron Skin (“Temple Mount Stance: Waystation”), Resist Pain (“Temple Mount Stance: Summit”).

   Thunder Palm (Dex):

   Thunder Palm is based around bioelectrical channeling – focusing first the muscular strength, and later the natural energies of the user’s body, into deadly strikes. Partially psychic, the form allows its users to strike against targets up to ten feet away.

  • Requires: Basic Witchcraft
  • Basic Abilities: Attack 2, Defenses 2, Power 4, Strike, and Toughness 1.
  • Master Techniques: Breaking, Mind Like Moon, Reach, and Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Ki Block, Vanishing, and Wrath (Electrical).

   Tide’s Fury (Str) (Courtesy of Margaret Norris)

   Thunder Dwarves typically group their martial arts by elemental affinity, and their relatively open society means they circulate quickly. This style, using the massive falchion, is popular among militaristic children of the Water Thunder. Practitioners believe in relentlessly pressing and crippling their opponents with the ocean’s unstoppable wrath. They balance their ferocity with attention to defensive footwork, and those capable of occult techniques can quite literally channel the tides’ power.

  • Requires: +1 BAB, proficiency with falchion, elemental attunement to water.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Defense 1, Power 2
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Battlecry, Breaking, Crippling (Con), and Reach.
  • Occult Techniques: Focused Blow, Inner Strength, One Finger, and Wrath (cold damage).

   Tiger Style Kung Fu (Str):

   While it comes with a variety of names, this “art” concentrates on simply pounding your opponent(s) into oblivion as quickly as possible while enduring any damage they manage to hand out in the process. After all, if you take them down fast enough it won’t be much.

   Secondarily it stresses being ready to fight at any moment and – if you get knocked flat – getting up to fight again as fast as you possibly can.

  • Requires: Improved Unarmed Strike or equivalent point buy.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 4, Power 4, and Toughness 4.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Blinding Strike, Mighty Blow, Mind Like Moon, and Instant Stand.
  • Occult Techniques: None.

   As a realistic martial art, Tiger Style is suitable for hard-science worlds.

   Two-Fisted Hero (Str).

   Here we have the art of pulp-hero boxing – starting off as a simple set of techniques for punching people more effectively and winding up with the ability to withstand a tremendous pounding and still punch out intangible supernatural beings. After all, they may be spirits – but you have one two, and so, if you focus properly and hit them, your spirit should be able to hit theirs shouldn’t it?

  • Requires: Str and Dex 14+, 1d6 or more base damage in “Unarmed” combat.
  • Basic Abilities: Attack 3, Power 2, Strike, Toughness 4
  • Advanced and Master Techniques: Breaking, Mighty Blow, Combat Reflexes, and Expertise (AC for Damage).
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength x2, Iron Skin, and Resist Pain.

   Urban Staff Combat (Dex)

   The Urban Staff Combat system is actually a stripped-down version of the ancient – and far more mystical – Garuda Stave style from India. Truly advanced practitioners – those who come to truly understand the patterns of the basic moves incorporated into USC – may move on into the Occult Techniques of the Garuda Stave style.

  • Requires: Dex 12+ and BAB 3+ for USC. Moving on from the basics and mastering the Garuda Stave without a teacher also requires Wis 14+, Dex 14+, and BAB 6+. Obviously enough, this is a weapon-based art.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 2, Defenses 4, Power 2, Strike, and Synergy (Theology).
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Expertise, Improved Disarm, Whirlwind Attack, and Reach
  • Occult Techniques (Garuda Stave Only): Inner Strength, Ki Block, Wrath (Sacred Energy, grants resistance to Negative Energy – reducing attribute drains and damage from negativ energy by 4, reducing level drains by 2, and +6 on saves versus undead powers), and Vanishing.

   Warmind (Wis)

   Warmind is an art designed around channeling psionic energy into the user’s aura, turning it into an ectoplasmic extension of the user’s will – in essence, a form of psionically-powered battle armor. The swirling currents of tinted “mist” which it calls into being, and the way in which they are wielded, are quite distinctive.

  • Requires: Base Power of 32+, at least one touch-based psionic attack power.
  • Basic Abilities: Attack 4, Defenses 4, Strike, Synergy (Knowledge/Psionics)
  • Master Techniques: Reach, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, and Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Healing Hand, Vanishing, and Resist Pain.

   The Whispering Blade (Dex)

   To flow like the wind and waters, each moment perfect in itself, yet ever-changing, is the first stance of the way. Allow the opponents weapon to pass through where you are not. Flow through his defenses, to bring silent death.

  • Basic Abilities: Attack +2, Power +2, Defenses +2, Synergy (Stealth), Strike.
  • Advanced and Master Abilities: Mind Like Moon, Deflect Arrows, Improved Disarm, and Whirlwind Attack.
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength, Ki Block, Light Foot, and Vanishing.
  • Known Techniques (6): Attack 2, Power 2, Mind Like Moon, Light Foot.

   Whisper of Devastation (Dex)

   Hitting is good. Hitting vital organs is even better. Whisper of Devastation focuses on putting arrows into sensitive spots as quickly and as accurately as is humanly possible. It isn’t always necessary to kill – but you wouldn’t be shooting at people if you didn’t want to do something unpleasant to them.

  • Requires: Weapon Focus/Longbow or equivalent.
  • Basic Techniques: Attack 4 and Power 3.
  • Advanced/Master Techniques: Mighty Blow, Rapid Shot, Prone Combat and Versatility.
  • Occult Techniques: Ki Focus/Sacred/Dexterity, Overburden, Inner Strength, and Serpent Strike.
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3 Responses

  1. […] Urban Staff Combat martial art skill is from the Emergence Campaign Weblog. With a total bonus of +16, Malecite has […]

  2. […] Compiled Martial Arts: All the martial arts from the sample characters and site, given alphabetically. […]

  3. […] martial art is Pistol Expert, which can be found over here. His current techniques known are Attack 1, Power 1, Defense 1, and Rapid Shot. Lute also knows […]

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