by pogroms@hotmail.com

Over the course of many games I have seen the interesting things happen with Unarmed combat. I have seen the naive to the number cruncher all interpret this skill and its use differently. Here is what I mean:

EX1: Unarmed combat/Martial Arts 3/5
EX2: Unarmed Combat/Boxing/Punch 1/3/5
EX3: Unarmed Combat/Martial Arts/Kung-Fu 2/4/6

For example 1 this isn't to drastic, but we tend to view Martial Arts as a full combat training, so there is really no draw back to the skill. Example 2 illustrates the fact that now the character is number crunching with the belief that yes the character fights well and has little weakness in the area. Example 3 shows that the character has a more liberal view of the rules in their favor. There needs to be some reason or drawback to keep these skills game balanced but keeping its effectiveness. First lets look at what the skills layout should be for clarity.

This now looks a little more cut and dry. For offensive and defensive combat style the character can put in the name of his or her favorite Martial arts Style of that type. And for Specific move pick a move like punch, kick, drop kick, judo chop etc.

How they work:
For the example assume the character has the following skill: Unarmed Combat/Karate( Offensive Combat Style): 3/5.

When the character is: Attacking or defending vs the same style his skill is 5. In the event that the character wishes to use something from a different concentration or is defending against a different fighting style his skill becomes 3.

If the character had Unarmed Combat/Aikido(Defensive Combat Style): 3/5, then he defends at 5 and attacks at 3 (unless engaging the same Style then he attacks at 5).

If the character had the skill Unarmed combat/Boxing(Offensive Combat Style)/Punching 1/3/5 they attack at 5, defend boxing at 3 and defend all others at 1. Now the drawbacks are obvious.

Why all the fuss?

With these minor adjustments to the real rules I think it solves the problem of people arguing with GM about the effectiveness of a Martial arts skill. Also I have seen all the special Martial arts rules out there and they make me sick at the amount of bonuses given to a player. They are munchkin rules-less skill for more power. My theory behind this is simple. If you learn a martial art you know how to use its attacks and defend against them. If you fight an opponent you attack the same but your defenses are too specialized to work against the new style the same as the style you were trained. In a defensive style your are trained in a broad range of techniques to help defend yourself, but you learn too few attacks to be effective.

Examples of each Classification:

This is not the be all or end all classification, just so that you can get the idea of what techniques go where.

General Concentration Specialization
Unarmed Combat Cyber Implant Weapons Specific move
Offensive Combat Style
Defensive Combat Style
Offensive Styles Defensive Styles
Kung FuNinjitsu
Muay Thai BoxingTeng-jutsu
Tae Kwon Do

Isle Of Shadows