Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

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Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Underguard » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:40 am

As per a lengthy discussion in EU Community Chat via Hangouts, I am putting forth the following proposal.
The proposal will outline that the EU Main Site adopts the Martial Arts rules of Ninja’s and Superspies, essentially making each different Hand-To-Hand Style its own Combat Data Section like Robot Combat.

There will be caveats that are open for discussion.
==================================================================================
A Player Character can have multiple types of Hand to Hand Martial Arts, however the average will have no more than three.

When a new H2H is chosen, either via Level up (or via EP), it will start at level one (unless EP is used to purchase more levels, in which case, follow the EP guidelines as per standard skills).
    Any Exotic or Exclusive form is only available via Chargen and cannot be taken during a character level up as an OCC related skill. The Exclusive/Exotic form can be bought Via EP as a Normally Unavailable Skill.
      An Exotic or Exclusive H2H skill is defined as a H2H style that is restricted by OCC, Demographics or general availability.

When a character levels up, all Martial Arts Combat Data levels up with him separately, but simultaneously.
    EXAMPLE: A PC selected Commando at level 3. At level five, used a newly acquired OCC Related Skill to gain Jujitsu at Level 1. This makes Commando Level 5, and JJS at Level 1. At Level 6, Commando would become Level 6, and JJS would become Level 2. (Your former Martial Arts Skill does not Freeze)

Bonuses between two forms of Martial Arts do not stack.
    If both Assassin and Commando both provide a Disarm bonus, +3 and +1 respectively. You would not stack them and apply them based on which MA skill was considered active.

When a Character has multiple Martial Arts Forms, they will occupy their own Combat Data Section, identical to the Robot Combat differences between Ground, Flying, Etc.

Example wrote:Combat Data:Hand to Hand
HTH Type: Assassin [L3]
Number of Attacks: 5
Initiative Bonus: +3
Strike Bonus: +3
Parry Bonus: +2
Dodge Bonus: +2
HTH Damage Bonus: As per PS Bonus
Bonus to Roll w/Punch: +3
Bonus to Pull a Punch: +6
Bonus to Disarm: +0
Karate Punch: 2d4 S.D.C.


Combat Data: Hand to Hand
HTH Type: Expert [L3]
Number of Attacks: 6
Initiative Bonus: --
Strike Bonus: +5
Parry Bonus: +6
Dodge Bonus: +6
HTH Damage Bonus: As per PS Bonus
Bonus to Roll w/Punch: +2
Bonus to Pull a Punch: +2
Bonus to Disarm: +2
Critical strike on an unmodified roll of 18,19 or 20.
WP Paired Weapons
Judo-style body throw/flip; does 1D6 damage, and victim loses initiative and one attack


A character must identify which form of martial arts they are using per melee and stick with it through that melee round. Any character with multiple forms can select to change to a different form at the start of each melee, but unless they are Master At Arms, they must stick with that form the entire melee, using only the techniques that form provides.
    CAVEAT: Any Man-At-Arms OCC can switch between forms per action, essentially meaning they can use both forms individual techniques in a single melee (As per Example above; A trained MAA could use both the Disarm of Assassin in one action, and the Judo Flip of Expert on the next, using applicable bonuses). The # of Attacks Per Round will not change and will be based upon the starting H2H Form.
      EXAMPLE using the above H2Hs:
      Action 1: Using Expert with 6 APMs, PC does a strike roll. (Expert Strike Bonus)
      Action 2: Switching to Assassin to Disarm (Assassin Disarm Bonus)
      Action 3: Switching back to Expert to Do a Judo Throw (Expert Strike Bonus)
      Action 4: Switching back to Assassin for Karate Strike (Assassin Bonus)
      Action 5: Switching Back to Expert for normal punch (Expert)
      Action 6: Staying with Expert for normal punch (Expert)
        CAVEAT EXAMPLE: If Same PC starts with Assassin and switches to Expert, PC would be restricted to 5 actions and not 6. The skill selected as the initial or starting skill is what Dodge/Parries are based on. Character cannot switch between those bonuses.

Related Issue, Teaching Techniques: A Master-At-Arms PC who is ranked 10 or higher in a given combat form is considered an instructor in said form, and can teach specific moves or techniques to fellow PCs at the cost of IG Roleplay Time.
    Note: A MAA cannot teach the full combat form, only techniques/moves with no form related bonuses.
Any Non Master-At-Arms PCs are not considered Combat Specialists and are not considered instructors, just learned users.

@EU Population; Please feel free to add to this or make recommendations. However, please keep these recommendations or criticisms constructive.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Augur » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:24 am

"Exotic or Exclusive"
I think this needs to be defined ahead of time, or better clarified.

"A Master-At-Arms PC who is ranked 10 or higher in a given combat form is considered an instructor in said form, and can teach specific moves or techniques to fellow PCs at the cost of IG Roleplay Time."
I think it needs to be clarified ahead of time and stated explicitly that such instruction cannot convey the learning of a new HTH skill in its entirety, and that the student will not receive/cannot be "taught" bonuses of any kind from the instruction.

"A character must identify which form of martial arts they are using per melee and stick with it through that melee round."
I like the simplicity of this and instinctively dislike the exception granted to MAA characters in this regard. Or perhaps it's just written in a way that provokes my ire. I'm not sure.

This is my first take, and this is a rough draft proposal, so there's no harsh criticisms here.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Underguard » Wed Jul 15, 2020 8:01 am

I believe I have successfully addressed your points; see below.


Augur wrote:"Exotic or Exclusive"
I think this needs to be defined ahead of time, or better clarified.


Proposal wrote:When a new H2H is chosen, either via Level up (or via EP), it will start at level one (unless EP is used to purchase more levels, in which case, follow the EP guidelines as per standard skills).
Any Exotic or Exclusive form is only available via Chargen and cannot be taken during a character level up as an OCC related skill. The Exclusive/Exotic form can be bought Via EP as a Normally Unavailable Skill.
An Exotic or Exclusive H2H skill is defined as a H2H style that is restricted by OCC, Demographics or general availability



Augur wrote:"A Master-At-Arms PC who is ranked 10 or higher in a given combat form is considered an instructor in said form, and can teach specific moves or techniques to fellow PCs at the cost of IG Roleplay Time."
I think it needs to be clarified ahead of time and stated explicitly that such instruction cannot convey the learning of a new HTH skill in its entirety, and that the student will not receive/cannot be "taught" bonuses of any kind from the instruction.


Proposal wrote:Related Issue, Teaching Techniques: A Master-At-Arms PC who is ranked 10 or higher in a given combat form is considered an instructor in said form, and can teach specific moves or techniques to fellow PCs at the cost of IG Roleplay Time.
    Note: A MAA cannot teach the full combat form, only techniques/moves with no form related bonuses.
Any Non Master-At-Arms PCs are not considered Combat Specialists and are not considered instructors, just learned users.



Augur wrote:"A character must identify which form of martial arts they are using per melee and stick with it through that melee round."
I like the simplicity of this and instinctively dislike the exception granted to MAA characters in this regard. Or perhaps it's just written in a way that provokes my ire. I'm not sure.


I do believe that, as a MAA, they should be authorized to do this as they are the combat specialists of the game. Please see the example listed in the Proposal, I believe I made it clearer in application.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Armstrong » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:00 am

I think the switching between the styles should be limited on a melee round basis.

Honestly, I also think if you are not a Men at Arms character, you shouldn't be able to have more than one HTH skill. Mages and Psychics have enough to focus on
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Underguard » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:19 am

Armstrong wrote:I think the switching between the styles should be limited on a melee round basis.


It is limited to melee round basis for non MaA Archetypes, and unless you can offer some reasonable rational why a Master at Arms would be unable too to counter mine on why they should be, I don't see a reason why they shouldn't be able too.

Armstrong wrote:Honestly, I also think if you are not a Men at Arms character, you shouldn't be able to have more than one HTH skill. Mages and Psychics have enough to focus on


Plenty of non MaA Archetypes already have EP purchased different MA skills on the board, I'm not for overly restricting this but putting a cap on it.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Consumer » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:31 pm

I personally am against PCs gaining multiple Hand to Hands, as it is a class feature of at most 3 OCCs from the Ninja & Super Spies setting and those OCCs have to sacrifice a lot to be able to do that. I have no solution to this either, and personally find it a silly concept.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Underguard » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:35 pm

Consumer wrote:I personally am against PCs gaining multiple Hand to Hands, as it is a class feature of at most 3 OCCs from the Ninja & Super Spies setting and those OCCs have to sacrifice a lot to be able to do that. I have no solution to this either, and personally find it a silly concept.


The only thing this rule is truly meant to accomodate is the acquisition of a new H2H skill completely overwriting the former skill. I truly do not foresee an influx of people trying to get three different H2Hs or something silly like that. Most people only add an additional H2H skill via EP as it stands, but the question always has been why does the new skill overwrite the previous one when in any logical thought process, it shouldn't. And that question has been asked multiple times by people other than myself. I do not have a single PC with multiple H2Hs, nor do I actually intend too.

The easiest fix for this was just making it like Robot Combat and giving it its own H2H Section.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Brute » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:38 pm

If implemented, how will players who spent EP to upgrade their martial arts form under the current system be accommodated?
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Underguard » Wed Jul 15, 2020 1:42 pm

Brute wrote:If implemented, how will players who spent EP to upgrade their martial arts form under the current system be accommodated?


To apply this retroactively would require a great deal of book-keeping on both the Player's and the GM's time.

Simplest solution is that this is not retroactively applied.

More accurate solution would be, whatever H2H they started with would just be added to their sheet at their current level. But this solution would require that the PC/GM knows for sure which one they started with (I.E., Commando, Assassin or Expert/Martial Arts, w/e), which is not something that has been expected of others until now.


My recommendation would be that this is not retroactively applied, that said, I'm open to suggestions on how this would be applied.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Consumer » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:54 pm

Underguard wrote:
The only thing this rule is truly meant to accomodate is the acquisition of a new H2H skill completely overwriting the former skill. I truly do not foresee an influx of people trying to get three different H2Hs or something silly like that. Most people only add an additional H2H skill via EP as it stands, but the question always has been why does the new skill overwrite the previous one when in any logical thought process, it shouldn't. And that question has been asked multiple times by people other than myself. I do not have a single PC with multiple H2Hs, nor do I actually intend too.

The easiest fix for this was just making it like Robot Combat and giving it its own H2H Section.



Most often people get new HTH to replace lesser forms. Basic to Martial Arts for example, which keeping Basic's maneuvers offers nothing for Martial Arts.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Underguard » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:18 pm

Consumer wrote:
Underguard wrote:
The only thing this rule is truly meant to accomodate is the acquisition of a new H2H skill completely overwriting the former skill. I truly do not foresee an influx of people trying to get three different H2Hs or something silly like that. Most people only add an additional H2H skill via EP as it stands, but the question always has been why does the new skill overwrite the previous one when in any logical thought process, it shouldn't. And that question has been asked multiple times by people other than myself. I do not have a single PC with multiple H2Hs, nor do I actually intend too.

The easiest fix for this was just making it like Robot Combat and giving it its own H2H Section.



Most often people get new HTH to replace lesser forms. Basic to Martial Arts for example, which keeping Basic's maneuvers offers nothing for Martial Arts.



Sure, I understand that point. By that same respect, adding this rule and keeping the former skill, even if considered lesser, offers no ill effects or pain. It's just another combat section, one that most would likely ignore as they don't have more than one style from the get go anyways.

And, there are keen differences between what H2H Expert can do and H2H Assassin, for example. Expert is often the highest achievable for non MaA Archetypes Chargen Form available. And I've seen people on this site go from, say Commando, to something like Aikido.

Either way, this rule would not hurt anything except for another step in level up and something else to consider at the start of combat, and it addresses a problem that others (other than myself) have had with purchasing new skills related to this very thing.

It may be silly, or only applicable in certain circumstances, but it makes more sense than the current system and this proposal was at the request of others. And, you're the one who referenced NSS, in essence, proposing a viable alternative to what I was suggesting awhile ago.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Wakiza » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:51 pm

Why couldn't you just combine forms? No stacking as that would be crazy, but you take the best bonus that is provided of the two or even three forms. It would prevent you from losing skills you trained in.

Example you are at 6th level Commando, but want to switch to Shinjinken-Ryu and you pump in the EP to get that up to 6th level. You would have the 6 APM from Shinjinken-Ryu instead of the 5 from Commando, but you would have the +4 to initiative from Commando instead of only the +3 from Shinjinken-Ryu. you would retain all the moves learned, like Auto-dodge from Commando. I believe this would be much simpler and allow fighters to create their own hand to hand forms depending on the styles they pick.

Maybe limit to two forms for most OCCs and no limit for combat OCCs?
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Underguard » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:57 am

Wakiza wrote:Why couldn't you just combine forms? No stacking as that would be crazy, but you take the best bonus that is provided of the two or even three forms. It would prevent you from losing skills you trained in.

Example you are at 6th level Commando, but want to switch to Shinjinken-Ryu and you pump in the EP to get that up to 6th level. You would have the 6 APM from Shinjinken-Ryu instead of the 5 from Commando, but you would have the +4 to initiative from Commando instead of only the +3 from Shinjinken-Ryu. you would retain all the moves learned, like Auto-dodge from Commando. I believe this would be much simpler and allow fighters to create their own hand to hand forms depending on the styles they pick.

Maybe limit to two forms for most OCCs and no limit for combat OCCs?


That was actually my original idea, though my first draft did include the idea of stacking but that got weeded out quickly.

That idea didn't make it past the initial phases before being shredded apart by folks so I gave up on it. This idea has more merit and is less book work overall as there is no comparing which bonuses are better to keep, etc.

It's literally just another combat section, and I know some PCs that have like 4 different Robot Combat Sections. This would be no different than that level of book work.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Tiree » Mon Jul 20, 2020 8:26 pm

As always, I am going to ask: What does this fix? Why is it needed?

The initial proposal sounds a lot like what is already in N&SS from what I remember reading over 20 years ago. I thought it was silly then, as I do now.

I would prefer something akin of: You upgrade HTH Expert to MA, Pay a skill drop a level for the new MA form. I mean, your not going to lose your combat skills. You are just enhancing your knowledge. Or you pay a skill call it the form that you want, and you get some sort of minor bonuses like Boxing and/or Wrestling.

I also think that Martial Arts should encompass: Assassin, Commando, all the various forms from N&SS. It's just flavor text of what style. Mechanically speaking it should be roughly the same.

I also have an issue that in Rifts Earth people practicing Kung Fu, or Karate, or even more esoteric martial art forms while the world went to hell and back... yet people can find some sort of monastery in Rifts North America (specifically MercTown) to go practice it. Keep it to the regional unlocks folks.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Underguard » Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:25 am

As always, I am going to ask: What does this fix? Why is it needed?


An issue brought up in Comm Chat Hangouts on several occasions (once by me a year ago). I posted this proposal at the request of a couple others. Mechanically, you lose those skills even if, in roleplay, you're expanding them. If one has leg sweep and the new one doesn't. You cannot, mechanically, use leg sweep. That issue is what this attempts to fix. The complete wipe of the former skill.

The initial proposal sounds a lot like what is already in N&SS from what I remember reading over 20 years ago. I thought it was silly then, as I do now.


I technically agree, I don't actually prefer this method but my original suggestion was shot down or shredded apart, much like this one is. This method, while silly, makes more sense than the skill being completely wiped away.

I would prefer something akin of: You upgrade HTH Expert to MA, Pay a skill drop a level for the new MA form. I mean, your not going to lose your combat skills. You are just enhancing your knowledge. Or you pay a skill call it the form that you want, and you get some sort of minor bonuses like Boxing and/or Wrestling.


You do, in fact, lose those combat skills based on current mechanics. If something is available to Expert but not MA and you upgrade to MA. You lose said Expert Skills.

I also think that Martial Arts should encompass: Assassin, Commando, all the various forms from N&SS. It's just flavor text of what style. Mechanically speaking it should be roughly the same.


That's a failure on their part. I think of the Martial Arts H2H skill as Mixed-Martial Arts. As, All of the H2H skills are essentially a form of martial arts in actuality.

I also have an issue that in Rifts Earth people practicing Kung Fu, or Karate, or even more esoteric martial art forms while the world went to hell and back... yet people can find some sort of monastery in Rifts North America (specifically MercTown) to go practice it. Keep it to the regional unlocks folks.


Kung Fu, which is what I specifically have a Instructors Certification and BB in, is readily accessible in North America, as are many more esoteric martial arts. There is no reason why it would become a regional thing unless it was the current Army's Combatives Program, which is an adapted form of Brazilian Ju-Jitsu.

And, the said monastery in Rifts Merctown is a legit, book written place. Anything taught there, in theory, is not a regional unlock as it is readily accessible.

The only thing that should be regional unlock is a martial arts skills strictly taught to foreign military or fighting forces, such as the Korean Military, for example.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Dark Lord » Fri Jul 24, 2020 4:58 am

Some initial comments:

Underguard wrote:An Exotic or Exclusive H2H skill is defined as a H2H style that is restricted by OCC, Demographics or general availability.
Almost every HtH skill is restricted by some OCC or another. This needs to be more precise- I’d suggest making it explicitly any hand to hand style that isn’t basic, expert, martial arts, assassin, and (maybe) commando.

In addition, I want this proposal to include an EP price increase for hand-to-hand skills. I feel that’s appropriate given that this rule significantly expands their utility, and it effectively offers a little compensation to longtime players who sacrificed their native hand-to-hand skill for an EP-purchased upgrade. It doesn’t have to be a huge increase, but it should cost more than a WP.

Other notes on the substance of the rules change:
1) Many of the more exotic martial art forms provide attribute bonuses. I’m not sure they should stack, and I’d like this addressed somewhere. However, if you do decide to convince me they should stack, this should also be reflected in the revised EP cost.
2) For both realism and game balance concerns, I’d like to restrict teaching moves to those known at first level. Each move is treated as one skill for purposes of calculating time to learn.
3) I have some game balance concerns about masters-at-arms being able to switch forms at will with no cost, and would like to propose an alternative. Everyone can choose their form at the start of the melee, MaA can change form for free once per melee, after that it costs an action for everyone. Where I see potential for trouble is the ability to switch forms an unlimited number of times- shifting stance, weight, balance, positioning between different forms all don’t take very much time, but they do take a little time, and when done repeatedly that time adds up. I’m open to further discussion on this point, but I think it’s important that there be some kind of limit.

Finally, I want to point out that this proposal (among others posted other people lately) omitted the problem that it is trying to solve from its initial post. This was brought up later so I’m not going to be a stickler about it, but my point is to urge people to do that in the future for precisely this reason. I’m satisfied that this meets a legitimate need on EU, but to be clear my ultimate goal here is to enhance the game, not make EU as realistic a simulator of the instruction and practice of martial arts as possible. It is to that end I have made the above suggestions.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Underguard » Tue Jul 28, 2020 1:55 pm

Almost every HtH skill is restricted by some OCC or another. This needs to be more precise- I’d suggest making it explicitly any hand to hand style that isn’t basic, expert, martial arts, assassin, and (maybe) commando.


I can agree with that. My only counter to that is that there would not be restrictions for certain there are certain styles are taught in Merctown so a demographic restriction makes less sense for those styles (see below OOC tab)

Styles technically available in Merctown via the Book
Rifts Sourcebook: Merc Town wrote:39. The Golden Dragon Dojo:
The Golden Dragon is a school for the martial arts. Even in the high-tech arena of North America there are a great many mercenaries with a keen interest in hand to hand combat. Granted, most armies, military academies and the various Headhunter training camps teach new recruits the basics of hand to hand fighting, but very few can match the quality of instruction at the Golden Dragon .
Here a cadre of five Masters collectively know nine different and advanced styles of martial arts. Among these styles are Aikido, Hwarang-Do Karate, Judo, JUjitsu, Karate (the basic version in Rifts® Japan), Tai-Chi, Tae Kwon Do and two other forms brought from other dimensions. (Note that all of the above styles
are found in either Rifts® Japan or Rifts® China 2.)

For eight years now the Dojo has been in operation. At the present time it has more than a hundred students. Only a third of these are full-time students, residents of MercTown who attend classes regularly. The other two thirds are transient, visitors to the city such as mercenaries who attend classes when they are able. That, or martial artists seeking to merely brush up on old skills. The Golden Dragon is always willing to take on new students. Classes run three days a week and cost an average of 50 credits a session, depending on the style and the instructor (the more rarefied forms cost more to learn, some as much as 200 credits per session). The Dojo is becoming increasingly popular, especially amongst visiting mercs in search of sparring partners, serious and challenging practice sessions and finding an edge in
hand to hand combat.

The owner and chief instructor of the Golden Dragon is David Huan ( 10th level Dedicated Martial Artist), a master of both Hwarang-Do and Juj itsu.
Other instructors at the Golden Dragon come from diverse backgrounds, some hail from the Far East of
Rifts Earth while others are D-Bees from faraway dimensions.
Among them are Miko Tangara, a female Japanese warrior (7th level Bishamon Fighting Monk; A ikido expert), Michael Wong an ex-CS military unarmed combat instructor (8th level CS Special Forces; expert in Judo and Karate), Xiang Hung, an adventurer from China (8th level Martial Artist; expert in Tae Kwon
Do and Tai-Chi), and Drang Zecham, a reptilian D-Bee from another dimension (equal to a 5th level Samurai; expert in two alien forms roughly similar to the Earth styles of Zanj Shinj inken-Ryo and Snake Style Kung Fu).


Using the canonical book entry, that means that the following styles taught in canon at the Golden Dragon Dojo would not be restricted via demographic/regional.
Hwarang-Do, Ju-jitsu, Aikido, Judo, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Tai Chi, Snake Style Kung Fu, Zanj Shinjinken-Ryo

The ones we most commonly see on the site are Aikido, Judo, Tae Kwon Do and Ju-Jitsu. All of which would not be restricted (plus the additional ones listed above).

Forgoing the EU style of the Golden Dragon Dojo (which I have a cornucopia of thoughts on how to apply there)

In addition, I want this proposal to include an EP price increase for hand-to-hand skills. I feel that’s appropriate given that this rule significantly expands their utility, and it effectively offers a little compensation to longtime players who sacrificed their native hand-to-hand skill for an EP-purchased upgrade. It doesn’t have to be a huge increase, but it should cost more than a WP.


That I am also okay with, as you are correct. It is expanding the application of the skills. I'm willing to take input on their cost for the acquisition of them. As it stands, I believe all H2H changes after chargen fall under the Normally Unavailable Skill which is 6 EP.

1) Many of the more exotic martial art forms provide attribute bonuses. I’m not sure they should stack, and I’d like this addressed somewhere. However, if you do decide to convince me they should stack, this should also be reflected in the revised EP cost.


My thought is, and this may cause some blowback, that the attribute bonuses would indeed stack here. You gain a certain physical strength from being able to preform the complex moves of Jujitsu or Muay Thai. You don't suddenly not have those attributes when learning something new. I can understand not wanting bonuses to stack (which is the whole point to this proposal in reality), but an attribute bonus is a physical improvement to the body, not one that is tentative on which form you are using.

2) For both realism and game balance concerns, I’d like to restrict teaching moves to those known at first level. Each move is treated as one skill for purposes of calculating time to learn.


I can agree to that. Even in the real world, at my academy, we will teach the same five or six moves for over a month before we move on and that's only to cover criteria, not because everyone has it down. Sometimes a knife-lock or take down can take months to perfect by itself.

3) I have some game balance concerns about masters-at-arms being able to switch forms at will with no cost, and would like to propose an alternative. Everyone can choose their form at the start of the melee, MaA can change form for free once per melee, after that it costs an action for everyone. Where I see potential for trouble is the ability to switch forms an unlimited number of times- shifting stance, weight, balance, positioning between different forms all don’t take very much time, but they do take a little time, and when done repeatedly that time adds up. I’m open to further discussion on this point, but I think it’s important that there be some kind of limit.


For the sake of mechanics, I can also agree with this. Non MaA can only switch by declaring their focus at the start of a melee. MaA can make the switch once per melee, and it requires an action to do so. They can, then, in theory, declare which one they start the next melee with, and switch again if needed. You are correct in that, switching between forms takes a certain amount of concentration to do properly and I still have trouble when shifting to Northern Long Fist to Southern Hung Gar in a sparring session, for example.





Please offer additional thoughts (from all) before I begin work on a final format to the proposal addressing what has been discussed.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Dark Lord » Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:46 am

Underguard wrote:I can agree with that. My only counter to that is that there would not be restrictions for certain there are certain styles are taught in Merctown so a demographic restriction makes less sense for those styles (see below OOC tab)
Two points:
1) I think that taking multiple HtH styles should be disallowed prior to the completion of the chargen process (similar to how you can’t spend EP until you’re finished). This forces every character into a primary style, prevents super-efficient leveling of multiple HtH styles simultaneously (barring a very large, up-front EP investment), and makes designing this process a good deal simpler.
2) One thing you may want to consider as you finalize your approach is taking a page from EU’s rules for advanced training:
Augur wrote:COST: Instead of the existing "skill sacrifice method" (Listed as "Another Way!" on page 80 of Heroes of Humanity; will not be used on EU), Explorers Unlimited will offer that characters may purchase 2 Other and 3 Secondary skills through the EP menu, or may mix and match with sacrifices from skills acquired during leveling (including present unused and future unused skill slots) to pay the cost. Alternately, the player may use "Trading the Future for now" from page 80 of Heroes of Humanity.

That is, you could price each HtH style based on a combination of related and secondary skills. I realize that this would require a bit more upfront work, but long-term I think this approach would offer several advantages. Not all martial arts in rifts are created equal, either in terms of time to learn or bonuses increased, and using more of a numbers-based approach would allow us to reflect that by having some styles cost more to learn. It would also effectively build-in reasonable EP pricing based on the existing skills menu, or at least a good starting point for determining such. It would allow GMs and DMs to adjust the cost to reflect local resources that would make training easier (e.g., training at the Golden Dragon Dojo reduces the number of OCC related skills to purchase a new HtH by one). This would also allow for a setting-specific approach to training new HtH, in a way that doesn’t strain credulity by having a new PC pick up a new style in two weeks between missions or whatever. If you do adopt this approach, though, I would be sure to include a note that it doesn’t work with EP- the player has to go either entirely IC or entirely OOC when they learn a new style, they can't go to the Golden Dragon then pay EP for the 'balance due.'

If you’re looking for guidance on starting points for this approach, I’d probably go with either one related and one secondary, or two related for the lower-tier martial arts, and work my way up from there.
That I am also okay with, as you are correct. It is expanding the application of the skills. I'm willing to take input on their cost for the acquisition of them. As it stands, I believe all H2H changes after chargen fall under the Normally Unavailable Skill which is 6 EP.
I would start by almost doubling that for any HtH style beyond the basics (start with a base cost of 10 or 11 EP for non-patrons), and going from there to work out appropriate patron tiers. Off the top of my head, I don’t think diamond-level patrons should have this available for less than 5 EP. Alternatively, you could work off of my suggestion above, and price the EP cost based on the number of skills a form might cost.

My thought is, and this may cause some blowback, that the attribute bonuses would indeed stack here. You gain a certain physical strength from being able to preform the complex moves of Jujitsu or Muay Thai. You don't suddenly not have those attributes when learning something new. I can understand not wanting bonuses to stack (which is the whole point to this proposal in reality), but an attribute bonus is a physical improvement to the body, not one that is tentative on which form you are using.
I don’t have any particularly good arguments for why they shouldn’t stack, either, and not-stacking would introduce some significant bookkeeping headaches for at best a trivial benefit. Just make sure, then, that these are reflected in the final EP costs.

For the sake of mechanics, I can also agree with this. Non MaA can only switch by declaring their focus at the start of a melee. MaA can make the switch once per melee, and it requires an action to do so. They can, then, in theory, declare which one they start the next melee with, and switch again if needed. You are correct in that, switching between forms takes a certain amount of concentration to do properly and I still have trouble when shifting to Northern Long Fist to Southern Hung Gar in a sparring session, for example.
This isn’t quite what I suggested, but it works for me and is simpler. I think I even like it better than my original idea.

One last thing that occurred to me as I was writing this- this rule would not affect characters who upgrade from basic to expert/MA/etc. (or who receive close quarters combat advanced training), correct? If so, I want to make that explicit in the final rule.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Dodsrike » Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:54 pm

Okay, so I have some questions (I'm really excited by the idea though)

1) Typically when we spend EP on something, we get it more or less immediately. I get that these will be done by a certain amount of OCC related and Secondary skills (which I think is appropriate). Will we still get them immediately if we spend EP to purchase them?

2) For skills, there is the option to buy normally un-available skills. How will that work for styles not taught at the dojo? RUE has 5 hand to hand styles, Japan has another 7 styles (counting ninjutsu, zanji, and teng-jutsu), and China 2 has another 7 styles.

3) I have a feeling I know the answer, but just to be thorough, using this set of rules, is it possible to get the mystic martial arts stuff from China 2?
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Underguard » Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:03 pm

Dodsrike wrote:Okay, so I have some questions (I'm really excited by the idea though)

1) Typically when we spend EP on something, we get it more or less immediately. I get that these will be done by a certain amount of OCC related and Secondary skills (which I think is appropriate). Will we still get them immediately if we spend EP to purchase them?

2) For skills, there is the option to buy normally un-available skills. How will that work for styles not taught at the dojo? RUE has 5 hand to hand styles, Japan has another 7 styles (counting ninjutsu, zanji, and teng-jutsu), and China 2 has another 7 styles.


My initial thought for these is; If it's available canonically at the Merctown Dojo (via the Merctown Sourcebook), then in practice it'd be immediate. If not, then it'd require some degree of RP time similar to that of someone who EP buys a spell and then needs the subsequent time to learn it IG.

Those available at the Merctown Dojo could be considered Secondary Skills in terms of EP (I say that loosely as I am still okay with doubling the cost of the secondary skill)

Those not available would be Normally Unavailable Skills (Everything found in China/Japan etc that was not available at the Golden Dragon Dojo)

Dodsrike wrote:3) I have a feeling I know the answer, but just to be thorough, using this set of rules, is it possible to get the mystic martial arts stuff from China 2?


In practice, I'd argue no unless you were actually a class that could receive it upon chargen. I'm less familiar with the mystic martial arts stuff so feel free to chime in, peanut gallery. I'm quite sure those stuffs have prereqs that most classes do not meet or are OCC based
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Dodsrike » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:25 am

Underguard wrote:My initial thought for these is; If it's available canonically at the Merctown Dojo (via the Merctown Sourcebook), then in practice it'd be immediate. If not, then it'd require some degree of RP time similar to that of someone who EP buys a spell and then needs the subsequent time to learn it IG.

Those available at the Merctown Dojo could be considered Secondary Skills in terms of EP (I say that loosely as I am still okay with doubling the cost of the secondary skill)

Those not available would be Normally Unavailable Skills (Everything found in China/Japan etc that was not available at the Golden Dragon Dojo)


Part of the reason I ask, is because MercTown isn't the only part of the site to use Rifts rules. In the Atlantis game, it is theoretically possible to find a teacher for just about anything, although some are very improbable. Likewise, if DL allows these to be used in Phase World, there could be a wider variety of styles available for training.

Underguard wrote:In practice, I'd argue no unless you were actually a class that could receive it upon chargen. I'm less familiar with the mystic martial arts stuff so feel free to chime in, peanut gallery. I'm quite sure those stuffs have prereqs that most classes do not meet or are OCC based


There are two reasons I asked. One is that mages have access to PPE doubling from martial arts already. Adding the mystic stuff from China 2 (which really act as modifiers to a hand to hand style) would allows psychics the same access, since many of the mystic styles from China 2 have double ISP in there somewhere. The other reason is that they allow for some of the more fictional martial arts stuff. Not quite to wuxia levels, but still, some pretty cool things. I think if they take more skills to get than a normal hand to hand style, it wouldn't be all that bad. Just my thoughts on it, and why I asked the question in the first place.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Major James Smith » Sat Aug 08, 2020 5:01 pm

Dodsrike wrote:I have a feeling I know the answer, but just to be thorough, using this set of rules, is it possible to get the mystic martial arts stuff from China 2?


I admit to having a somewhat selfish motive here, but I am stringently opposed to this - in no small part due to the fact that I just paid 5 EP to unlock a character with said access (China unlock)
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Dark Lord » Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:25 am

Major James Smith wrote:I admit to having a somewhat selfish motive here, but I am stringently opposed to this - in no small part due to the fact that I just paid 5 EP to unlock a character with said access (China unlock)
This is a good point. I'm inclined to make the appropriate regional unlocks a prerequisite for learning exotic martial arts from Japan or China. I think that this coupled with a very small increase in the EP costs to learn and level up HtH skills will get the job done in terms of balancing out the EP side of things (or just use a scaled-down version of the skills-based method I proposed above).

I also want to distinguish between mystic martial arts and conventional- only the latter will be available through this mechanism. The mystic martial arts will all be considered OCC-specific.
There are some extant house rules for balancing characters from China, but I don't think any of them apply for non-chi-based powers. It'd be nice to see a couple of examples of how the bonuses compare across HtH skills at mid-to-high levels to make sure no additional balancing is necessary.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Dodsrike » Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:38 am

Major James Smith wrote:I admit to having a somewhat selfish motive here, but I am stringently opposed to this - in no small part due to the fact that I just paid 5 EP to unlock a character with said access (China unlock)


Honestly? If the mystic martial arts stuff is allowed under this system, I'd suggest one of two things. My personal preference would be to require the China unlock to even have the option to acquire them. It will help keep them rare, and makes a certain logical sense. The other option I could think of is make them cost between 3-5 OCC Related skills, which means a non-Patron spending EP on them is paying between 12-20 EP for them, and even a Diamond Patron is paying 6-10 EP for them.
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Dodsrike » Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:43 pm

Dark Lord wrote:There are some extant house rules for balancing characters from China, but I don't think any of them apply for non-chi-based powers. It'd be nice to see a couple of examples of how the bonuses compare across HtH skills at mid-to-high levels to make sure no additional balancing is necessary.


Eh, so I had some time this afternoon. I made a list of all the bonuses of each style, from RUE, Japan, and China 2. It doesn't include the specific attacks, or anything that didn't give a direct bonus. Several of the China 2 hand to hands offer some different things than normal, about like Tengjutsu from Japan. Mileage on them probably varies between players, so without an easy way to compare them, I left them out.

Anyway, here it is. I don't know enough BBC code to get it all formatted into a table, sorry

Basic: 7 attacks, +4 to pull punch, +2 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +3 to parry, +3 to dodge, +2 to strike, +2 to disarm, +4 to damage

Expert: 7 attacks, +3 to pull punch, +2 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +5 to parry, +5 to dodge, +2 to strike, +3 to disarm, +3 to damage, WP paired weapons, Crit on 18-20, Knockout/stun on 18-20, Deathblow on 20

Martial Arts: 7 attacks, +3 to pull punch, +3 to roll with punch/fall impact, +5 to parry, +5 to dodge, +2 to strike, +4 to disarm, +4 to damage, +2 initiative, +2 to entangle, WP paired weapons, Crit on 18-20 deathblow on natural 20

Assassin: 8 attacks, +5 to pull punch, +2 to roll with punch/fall impact, +3 to parry, +3 to dodge, +2 to strike (additional +4 to strike in hand to hand, +2 to strike with thrown weapons, and a +3 to strike with guns), +6 to damage, +3 to initiative, +2 entangle, WP paired weapons, Crit on 19-20, deathblow on 19-20, knockout/stun on 17-20

Commando: 7 attacks, +8 to pull punch, +4 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +4 to parry, +4 to dodge (+5 auto dodge), +3 to strike, +3 to disarm, +4 to damage, +6 to initiative, +5 to save vs HF, +5 to body flip/throw, Crit on 17-20, deathblow on 18-20

Tai Chi: 7 attacks, +3 to pull punch, +6 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +3 to parry, +2 to dodge, +3 to strike, +3 to disarm, +2 to damage, +1 to initiative, +4d6 ISP

Dog Boxing Kung Fu: 9 attacks, +2 pull punch, +6 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +1 to parry, +2 to dodge, +4 to strike (additional +1 with rear attacks), +4 to side flip, Crit on 19-20, deathblow on 19-20

Drunken Style Kung Fu: 6 attacks, +4 pull punch, +6 roll with punch/fall/impact, +3 to dodge (+3 to autododge), +3 to strike, +2 to disarm, +1 to damage, +1 to initiative, +2 to entangle, +2 to somersault/stagger/roll/backflip, Crit on 19-20 knockout/stun on 17-20

Eighteen Weapons Kung Fu: 8 attacks, +1 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +2 to parry, +2 to dodge, +4 to strike, +4 to disarm, +5 to damage, +2 to initiative, 19 WP's from a specific list, Crit on 18-20

White Jade Fan: 5 attacks, +3 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +2 to parry, +5 to disarm, +4 to damage, Crit on 15-20, penalties for not using a fan with the style

Monkey Style Kung Fu: 5 attacks, +2 to pull punch, +3 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +4 to parry, +4 to dodge, +1 to damage, +1 to initiative, +4 to leap/backflip/somersault, Crit on 17-20 and crit from behind

Shao-Lin Kung Fu: 8 attacks, +8 to pull punch, +7 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +3 to parry, +3 to dodge, +7 to strike, +1 to disarm, +1d6+5 to damage, +4 to initiative, +1 to backflip/leap, Crit on 18-20, +40 SDC, +1d4+1d6 PS. +1d4+1d6 PE

Zanji-Shinjinken-Ryo: 10 attacks, +2 to pull punch, +3 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +2 to parry with sword or staff, +5 to dodge, +1 to strike, +2 to disarm, +6 to damage, +2 to initiative, +2 to save vs HF, +4 to maintain balance, paired weapons, Crit on 18-20, deathblow on nat 20, +3d6 SDC, +2 ME, +2 PP. +1 PE, Double PPE, ability to make true samurai swords (minor rune weapons)

Ninjutsu/Tai-Jutsu: 8 attacks, +4 to pull punch, +5 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +2 parry, +2 to dodge, +2 to strike (additonal +2 to strike while performing any backflip or cartwheel), +1 to disarm, +6 to damage, +4 initiative, +2 to maintain balance, +2 to backflip/cartwheel, Crit on 18-20, deathblow +2 MA, +1 PS, +1 PE, +1 PP, +4 Spd, double PPE

Teng-jutsu: 8 attacks, +5 to pull punch, +2 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +2 to dodge (+6 to leap dodge (autododge)), +4 to disarm, +3 to initiative, +3 to maintain balance, +1 to breakfall, +3 on backflips, Tengu Acrobatics (+3 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +1 to breakfall), 2 attacks that let SDC humans do MD with unarmed attacks

Akido: 8 attacks, +4 to pull punch, +2 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +5 to parry, +6 to dodge, +1 to strike, +3 to initiative, +3 to break fall, +3 to body flip/throw (auto bodyflip/throw), +2 to body block/tackle, Crit on 18-20, Crit body flip/throw on 18-20, +2d6 SDC, +1d4 ME, +1 PP, +1 PE, double PPE

Jujitsu: 8 attacks, +6 to pull punch, +3 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +3 to parry, +3 to dodge, +3 to strike, +4 damage, +2 to initiative, +1 to body flip/throw, +1 to maintain balance, +2 to break fall, Crit on 18-20, crit body flip/throw on 17-20, deathblow, +3d6 SDC, +2 PS, +1 to PP

Karate: 9 attacks, +8 to pull punch, +2 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +4 to parry, +2 to dodge, +2 to strike, +6 damage, +1 to disarm, +3 to initiative, +4 to break fall, Crit on 18-20, deathblow, +3d6 SDC, +1d4 PS, +2 PE, +2 Spd

Kendo: 9 attacks, +6 to pull punch, +2 to roll with punch/fall/impact, +1 to parry (additional +1 to parry with hand strike, and +2 to parry with sword or staff), +1 to dodge, +2 to strike, +2 to disarm, +6 to damage, +3 to initiative, +3 to break fall, paired weapons, Crit on 18-20, deathblow, +2d4 SDC, +1 PS, +1 PP, +2 spd
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Re: Proposal: Martial Arts NSS Adoption (WIP)

Postby Tiree » Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:46 pm

I decided to see if we can get it into a chart format, and see what it would look like...

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

I didn't do all the information you put in. But quite a bit.
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