Martial Arts Traditions

Martial arts careers are available in all eras. These careers all have the unique ability that they can be taken simultaneously with non-martial arts careers by doubling the length of the martial arts career.

Kung Fu [1 year]

Prerequisites: martial arts.

Attributes: AGI +1, END +1, WIL +1, CHI +1

Skill choices: acrobatics, meditation, perception, reactions, staff, martial arts

Through intense and dedicated training, you've begun to unlock the secrets of the ancient martial arts of China. You can sense and feel the essence of your being and are able to manipulate not only that life energy, but also your body, to its maximum effect. With these skills at your disposal, you are a fearsome opponent in combat and able to perform feats of finesse and strength that dazzle your peers.

Eternal student. While performing any non-combat physical test (such as acrobatics, carrying, climbing, jumping, and the like), you may reroll any dice on the non-combat physical test with a natural result of 1.

Quick hands. Snatched ranged weapon attacks aimed at you from the air (Routine [10] AGI for most attacks, Strenuous [25] AGI for bullets).

Reactive trip. Turn a missed melee attack against you into a trip combat exploit.

Reactive throw*. Turn a missed melee attack against you into a throw combat exploit.

Active resistance. Once per day, spend an action to prepare and gain SOAK to one type of damage equal to your CHI for one minute. This resistance stacks with any others you or your equipment possess.

Northern Shaolin [1 year]

Prerequisites: martial arts.

Attributes: AGI +1, END +1, WIL +1, CHI +1

Skill choices: hardy, melee weapon, nature, running, martial arts

Focusing on the use of your legs and staying quick on your feet, you practice styles like Baguazhang, Eagle Claw, Northern Praying Mantis, or Chángquán.

Fast feet. You gain a +2 SPEED bonus.

Shifting forms. You gain a DEFENSE bonus equal to your CHI attribute.

Rolling defense. You may use the roll with it combat exploit without being knocked prone.

Flowing defender. When using a reactive combat exploit, it does not cost you a reaction. You may only use flowing defender a number of times per round equal to your CHI attribute.

Southern Shaolin [1 year]

Prerequisites: martial arts.

Attributes: STR +1, END +1, WIL +1, CHI +1

Skill choices: climbing, hardy, melee weapon, nature, martial arts

Your body is a weapon, and your hands are deadly indeed. Using styles like Fujian White Crane, Wing Chun, Southern Praying Mantis, Bak Mei and Dragon, you are a master of Nanquan—the Southern Fist.

Empty hand. Whenever you successfully perform a disarm combat exploit, instead of the target dropping its weapon, you take it in hand and may make one free attack on the target.

Godfist. You gain the knockback combat exploit and double the distance a target is moved. For every 10' they move, the target is winded for 1 round and limited to a single action until they recover.

Flowing attacker. For each 5’ you travel during a turn, you may make one attack. For every attack after the first, you take a cumulate -1d6 to the attack roll. Once you miss, your attack streak ends.

Gun Fu [1 year]

Prerequisites: pistols.

Attributes: AGI +1, INT +1, LUC +1, CHI +1

Skill choices: pistols, reactions, running, tactics, martial arts, jumping

You have mastered the synthesis of modern weaponry with ancient martial arts, able to maximize the power and accuracy of firearms by integrating the forms of various styles into one terrifying dance of explosive death.

Rapid reload. You can reload two one-handed firearms or any two-handed firearm for free once per round.

Sliding fusillade. For two actions, you can take your full movement in a straight line and make up to two attack actions.

Firing forms. For two actions, you can take as many attack actions as there are targets, up to your chi attribute.

Leaping ballistics. When you perform a jump, you may make one gun attack for free.

Curved bullet. You may curve a bullet round a corner once per round, effectively negating your target's cover.

Cover me! A sidearm you use automatically gains the auto trait, making it especially suitable for suppressive fire.

Dual pistols. You are considered to have the ambidextrous trait while holding two sidearms, even if you do not have that trait.

When doves fly. Once per day you can cause a number of white doves to fly across the background.

Gun Kata [1 year]

Prerequisites: pistols.

Attributes: AGI +1, INT +1, WIL +1, CHI +1

Skill choices: pistols, martial arts, acrobatics, reactions, dancing

You have learned the unusual but beautiful art of melee gun combat, where the gun is considered a total weapon and katas are performed which statistically inflict the maximum damage on the largest number of targets while avoiding statistically likely trajectories of return fire.

Gunpunch. Once per round, while holding a sidearm, your martial arts attack does the damage of your gun.

Closedown. When attacked by somebody with a gun 10' or less away from you, you immediately move adjacent to them and perform a martial arts attack.

Bulletcatcher. Once per turn you can catch a single bullet fired at you as long as you are aware of the attack.

Return trajectories. Your skill in pistols can be used as part of your DEFENSE pool against firearms.

Jujutsu [1 year]

Prerequisites: martial arts.

Attributes: STR +1, AGI +1, END +1, CHI +1

Skill choices: meditation, melee weapon, stealth, martial arts

Trained in fighting an armed opponent with your feet and fists, you are a fluid warrior in combat, adapting to best use your enemy’s movements against them.

Breaking fall. Ignore the last 10’ any time you take falling damage.

Yielding defense. Once per day, automatically turn a successful melee attack against you into a failure.

Fluid resistance. Once per turn, after taking damage from a melee attack, you automatically make a reactive attack which, if successful, initiates a grapple.

Reactive disarm. Once per turn, after a melee attack misses you, you automatically make a reactive attack which, if successful, disarms your attacker.

Reactive takedown. Once per turn, after a melee attack misses you, you automatically make a reactive attack which, if successful, trips your attacker.

Aikido [1 year]

Prerequisites: martial arts.

Attributes: AGI +1, INT +1, WIL +1, CHI +1

Skill choices: acrobatics, escape artist, reactions, martial arts

Blending the force of your attacker with your own movements, you have mastered the art of redirecting a foe’s movement to your advantage, placing them in disadvantageous positions with joint locks and a chilling understanding of functional anatomy.

Improved throw. Your throwing distance increases by 5'.

Joint-lock. Spend two actions to grapple, disarm, and attack all at once with one attack roll.

Paralyzing strike. Spend 2 actions to make a precise strike that both deals damage and immobilizes the target until they shake the condition off.

Brazilian Jujutsu [1 year]

Prerequisites: martial arts

Attributes: STR +1, AGI +1, END +1, CHI +1

Skill choices: acrobatics, meditation, martial arts

Taking your opponents down with expert technique and leverage, you take them to the ground, where you are a master combatant.

Ground fighter. You suffer no DEFENSE penalty to melee attacks while prone.

Practiced knockdown. The knockdown combat exploit costs 1 less die to perform and you may knockdown a target of any size.

Momentous knockdown*. You do not pay a dice cost to perform the knockdown combat exploit, you receive a bonus to the check equal to your CHI attribute, but both you and the target are prone after a successful attempt; on a failed attempt, you go prone.

Forced submission. Once you have a target pinned, you may spend two actions to make a STR attack with a bonus equal to your CHI attribute; on a success, your target goes unconscious for a number of rounds equal to half your CHI attribute.

Ninjutsu [1d6 years]

Prerequisites: martial arts.

Attributes: AGI +1, END +1, INT +1, CHI +1

Skill choices: acrobatics, climbing, disguise, perception, stealth, martial arts

The skills and tactics of Japan’s warriors of subterfuge, sabotage, and deception are known to you, either through a Ninja master that took you in as an apprentice, or by traveling to the ancestral homeland and earning the right to train among those who still practice ninjutsu.

Poison. With one minute of preparation, you can craft poison and apply it to one weapon; for one minute, that weapon deals +1d6 poison damage; you must deal enough damage to bypass a target’s SOAK to deal this poison damage.

Fast climb. You gain a CLIMB speed equal to your regular SPEED.

Gas poison*. By spending an action, you can deliver your poison as a dust or small burst of gas that ignores the target’s SOAK.

Weapon mastery. You can draw and sheathe a sword, staff, club, spear, naginata, kusarigama, and shuriken as free actions. Choose two of these weapons; you receive a +1d6 to damage with these weapons.

Death strike. Once per day you may strike a creature that is not aware of your presence or does not realize you are an enemy with surprising, lethal force. Make an attack roll using your CHI attribute; if you hit, you deal double damage.

Boxing [1 year]

Prerequisites: boxing.

Attributes: STR +1, END +1, WIL +1, CHA +1

Skill choices: boxing, hardy, reactions

The ring is your king. You have been in scores of fights (both sanctioned and otherwise), endured countless days and nights of strenuous physical training, and your body is a shrine to thousands of jabs, hooks, and hastily landed strikes.

One-two. Once per turn, you may make a quick second boxing attack for free. This second attack may not have any exploits attached to it.

Haymaker. With a wild swing, you pool all your attack potential into one mighty blow. The attack costs two actions, suffers a -2d6 penalty to hit, but deals double damage. If you miss, however, you put yourself at a disadvantage, allowing your opponent an immediate free attack at you.

Beat the count. Once per day, when reduced to 0 health, you may spend two actions to recover 2d6 health and stand up.

Rope-a-dope. You allow your enemy to attack you, fooling him into believing he is winning. You allow the enemy's next two attacks to strike home, choosing to receive the damage; after the second attack, you respond with a counterattack which does bonus damage equal to the damage he dealt you.

K.O. A mighty blow fells your opponent, knocking him to the ground and stunning him until he shakes that condition off.

Bare Knuckle [1 year]

Prerequisites: boxing or brawling.

Attributes: STR +1, AGI +1, END +1, LUC +1

Skill choices: bluffing, intimidate, reactions, boxing, brawling

Not every fight is in a well-lit ring with ropes, medical staff, or even gloves—and you know that better than anyone. People have been tangling with you in back alleys, bars, and maybe even prison yards, fist for fist, for years.

Battered. Cauliflower ears and broken nose you may have, but you can take a hit without flinching. You gain SOAK 5 (blunt).

Fists of iron. Your boxing damage increases by 1d6.

Pankration [1d6 years]

Prerequisites: martial arts or wrestling.

Attributes: STR +1, END +1, WIL +1, LUC +1

Skill choices: acrobatics, climbing, reactions, running, boxing

The truest expression of a person’s fighting ability, some would say, is the ancient art of wrestling—you count yourself among their number. After hundreds of matches, you know exactly the best way to grapple and pin an opponent in any situation.

Olympic stance. Spend 1 action to enter an Olympic stance. While in an Olympic stance your movement is halved, but you gain a DEFENSE bonus equal to your CHI vs. melee attacks.

Straight kick. Spend 2 actions to make a devastating kick; on a successful hit, instead of dealing damage the target is sickened until they shake the condition off.

Capoeira [1 year]

Prerequisites: dancing.

Attributes: AGI +1, INT +1, CHA +1, CHI +1

Skill choices: acrobatics, dancing, jumping, reactions, martial arts

Training with a capoeira master, you’ve become more adept at the acrobatic martial art, able to tumble, cartwheel, and flip around your enemies with ease.

Ginga. You gain +2 to your DEFENSE score against melee attacks.

Asymmetric advantage. Gain +1d6 to attack for every 3 opponents actively engaging you in melee combat.

Rasteira. If an adjacent enemy makes a movement action, you may take a free trip attack against them.

Asymmetric adept*. The bonus from asymmetric advantage is rewarded for every 2 opponents rather than every 3.

Muay Thai [1 year]

Prerequisites: martial arts.

Attributes: STR +1, END +1, WIL +1, CHI +1

Skill choices: acrobatics, climbing, jumping, reactions, martial arts

Dedicated conditioning is a part of your daily routine, and you cannot count the number of times you’ve struck out against a tree trunk with your leg, but it doesn’t matter: your body truly is a living weapon.

Mae maei. You gain +2 natural SOAK.

Thip. You make a devastating kick; on a successful hit, instead of dealing damage the target is dazed until the shake the condition off.

Chok-te. Gain +1d6 to attack for every unarmed melee attack you’ve made this turn.

Ti khao and sok. You leap quickly (up to your jump distance) and drive the momentum of your jump into a knee or elbow strike that ignores a target’s SOAK; you take an amount of damage equal to half of what you deliver to the target.

Savate [1 year]

Prerequisites: martial arts.

Attributes: AGI +1, END +1, LUC +1, CHI +1

Skill choices: acrobatics, climbing, jumping, running, martial arts

Training with a champion of the sport or learning the hard way on the meaner streets in Marseille or Paris, you’ve studied the martial art of France and can put it to great use.

Assault savate. Increase your jump distance by 50%. With a successful attack you may feint an opponent, just barely touching them (and allowing you to steal or place one item extremely small item, like a playing card or wallet, on their person without their notice).

Pre-combat savate. Any turn that you jump, add +2d6 to any attack you make as you land. You must jump more than 5’ to gain any of this bonus.

Combat savate. When you take damage from a melee attack, you may take the blow’s momentum and use it to your advantage, gaining an attack bonus equal to the damage caused to the next melee attack you make.

Krav Maga [1 year]

Prerequisites: martial arts.

Attributes: STR +1, AGI +1, END +1, CHI +1

Skill choices: perception, reactions, throwing, martial arts

Studying one of the newest and most practical martial arts has taught you to end a fight as soon as it starts (if it has to) and to make the most out of your attacks with the least effort.

Know the arena. In any location, you receive a free Challenging [13] AGI check to find any non-hidden exits from the vicinity. You are easily able to improvise weapons using your surroundings–glasses, rocks, and so on; you always count as carrying a knife or club.

Brutal counter. Once per turn, after an enemy makes a successful melee attack on you, you can make a counterattack.

Impromptu weapon. No matter the size of an impromptu weapon (so long as it is tiny or larger), you can deal slashing, blunt, piercing, or blunt damage with it by making a thrown ranged attack.

Strike the weak spot. When making an unarmed attack, ignore SOAK equal to your CHI attribute.