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Martial Arts

by Andrew Theisen

Okay- I can't seem to find my rules for Savate or Kung fu, so those will have to wait for a few. The idea behind all this was to provide some colour to unarmed combat, some new weapon masteries (I'm kind of tired of normal swords, myself), and some flavour to the Known World. I had in mind quite a few different types of martial arts- aside from New Averoignian Savate, Ochalean Kung-Fu and Tortle Aikido (see below), I thought perhaps Minrothaddan Escrima, Rakastan Ninjutsu, Pearl Island Capoeira, some sort of Sindhi martial art (can't recall the name). I am also trying to work out a way to incorporate these rules with mystics, somewhat along the lines of what AD&D did with the monk in Oriental Adventures, but haven't gotten it quite right yet. Let me know what you think, and if anyone comes up with some of their own, or some based on the ideas above, I'd love to see them!


Martial Art Basic 1pt M:-1AC/1 Block(1)
[P=M] SM Skilled 1d2 M:-2AC/2 Block(2), Lock
2H + Expert 1d3 M:-2AC/3 Block(2), Lock, Throw
Master 1d4 M:-3AC/3 Block(3), Lock, Throw (save -1)
G. Master 1d4+1 M:-4AC/4 Block(3), Lock, Throw (save -2)


Block is the same as the Deflect term in the Weapon Mastery rules.

Lock is similar to disarm, but the weapon is not removed from the opponents hand, rather he can save versus strength every round, matching it with the practitioner's strength, to see if he can get the weapon free.

Throw is nearly identical to Hook, save for the following: it can be performed on anyone, regardless of whether they are mounted or not, and the victim is thrown a number of feet (in the direction of the attacker's choice!) equal to the points of damage taken from the attack (ie, receive 4 pts damage, you are thrown four feet from the attacker).

Strength: To hit/Damage bonuses and penalties from strength are not applied when using Aikido. Rather, as the art relies on using the opponent's strength against them, the modifiers used are those for the opponents strength rating (ie, if fighting an opponent with 18 strength, you receive a +3 to hit/dmg against him). The stronger an opponent, the more likely he is to hurt himself. Likewise, weaker opponents are less likely to be injured. The damage received cannot be lowered below one point, however.

History: Aikido first made it's appearance along the shores of the Savage Coast. Encroaching hordes of foreign explorers, more well armed and armoured than peaceful, slow moving Tortles that lived there, drove those creatures from their lands and claimed it for themselves. The Tortles, being driven to extinction, and desperate for a way to fight back, looked to their ancestral home, the sea, for guidance. It was there they found the answers they sought.

In the sea, they found a force that could not be conquered. Like the Tortles, it was strong but slow. It gave way before forces used against it, not expending its own energies needlessly. And though it was normally peaceful, it was powerful and merciless when moved.

The Tortles developed a philosophy and a fighting style to mimic the ocean, utilising their natural abilities. This style, termed Aikido- 'The way of the Sea' in their language- relied upon using an enemies' strength against him, throwing him off balance or barring him from using his weapons, so that he could be dispatched through the use of holds.

Armed with this way of fighting, the Tortles managed to halt the advance of the invaders. The art is still practiced today, primarily by the Tortle mystics of Dunwick castle, who often send out members to other areas along the Savage Coast, to combat oppression there. It has begun to spread throughout the world, as Texeiran and Minrothaddan traders carry it to far away ports. Some Minrothaddan Merchant-Princes have been known to study at Dunwick, and teach their crews the martial art for defence.

There it is. I'll try and find my Savate and Kung-Fu weapon masteries here soon. I haven't had a chance to try any of them out yet, so let me know what you think about them. Any ideas, suggestions, criticisms, welcome!