Martial arts

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AnubisCK
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Martial arts

Postby AnubisCK » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:52 am

Hi have any of you designed and worked out how to do combat more based on unarmed combat than with weapons. just I'm thinking of planing a Asian style game maybe Chinese and want to place a lot of martial arts and design a few styles so any help would be appreciated
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Re: Martial arts

Postby PhilHibbs » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:09 pm

I have long desired a martial arts system that works like in the movies, where the fight builds up from routine manoeuvres into increasingly more spectacular and outrageous moves. It would require some kind of points system to determine what abilities become available to each side, taking risks to increase the stakes. HQ extended actions are a step in this direction, as was the unofficial Highlander rule set for WW WoD system.

It is my opinion that Stephen Chow in Kung Fu Hustle could not do The Fist That Falls From Heaven until the end of a long fight.
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Re: Martial arts

Postby Mugen » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:26 pm

I suggest you get some inspiration from Age of Treason: Treat each Martial Art as a Combat Style that allows 2 or 3 base combat actions such as Kick, Punch, Evade (possibly with no penalty on next attack) , Parry (with bare fists), Grap, Throw.

Then, each style would offer "special techniques" that would cost 1 or more Improvement rolls and allow special tricks.

You could also take a look on the "Tao" system from Qin : the Warring States. Despite the differences in systems, I think those could be easily be used with little effort in a BRP game.
AnubisCK
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Re: Martial arts

Postby AnubisCK » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:26 pm

my line of thought was to make each martial art a combat stile with bonuses . such a a very defense style would may be get a extra cm per round for defense and could parry at no penalty and be classed as one size bigger. where as another style that was more brutal maybe getting bonuses to damage like iron fist .and then may be at certain levels gain common magic as like Ki abilities . as in the rune quest spell book there is a sorcery spell called flurry of blows which would be a good Ki ability.then even mix it up more as most kung fu styles have animals names as styles .then use spirit magic to the so called animal to gain other bonuses
just some thoughtI'mmruiningg through at moment
alex_greene
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Re: Martial arts

Postby alex_greene » Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:41 pm

Set the thing up as a martial faction teaching a bunch of Heroic Abilities and a range of appropriate faction skills, heavy on the combat but with a touch of meditation and a Craft of some sort.
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DamonJynx
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Re: Martial arts

Postby DamonJynx » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:35 pm

alex_greene wrote:Set the thing up as a martial faction teaching a bunch of Heroic Abilities and a range of appropriate faction skills, heavy on the combat but with a touch of meditation and a Craft of some sort.
I agree with Alex. Better off having the fancy stuff done via Heroic Abilities. As a characters skill increases, so to do the bonus'. As an example, assuming characters start off at base scores for CA's and the like; Striking Cobra Style when at 90% gain an additional CA, Defending Bear Style when at 90% gain the Formidable Natural Weapons Trait or something similar.
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duncan_disorderly
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Re: Martial arts

Postby duncan_disorderly » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:53 am

PhilHibbs wrote:I have long desired a martial arts system that works like in the movies, where the fight builds up from routine manoeuvres into increasingly more spectacular and outrageous moves. It would require some kind of points system to determine what abilities become available to each side, taking risks to increase the stakes. HQ extended actions are a step in this direction, as was the unofficial Highlander rule set for WW WoD system.

It is my opinion that Stephen Chow in Kung Fu Hustle could not do The Fist That Falls From Heaven until the end of a long fight.
The problem is that in a movie the fight scene is a chance for the protagonists to show off their awesome martial arts skills, whereas in a game the purpose of the fight scene is to resolve a contest - players are likely to use (what they believe to be) the best manoeuvre available to end the fight in the shortest time.

For this reason making "more powerful" manoeuvres available as you advance in skill is not really the answer - if a character can only learn "The Fist That Falls From Heaven" when his Kung Fu Hustle Combat style reaches 90% then a character with skill 89% will never get to use it however long the fight lasts, and the character with 91% skill can still use it for the opening move (and continue to do so for every blow until the end of the combat).

The best solution within the Legend framework may be to define combat styles that have a selection of Combat Manoeuvres available to them, but make a number of those CM's pre-requisites for other CM's in the style (so in order to perform "Destructive Sky Spear" you must have performed "Leaping Su Jab" in the preceeding <i>n</i> rounds)
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Re: Martial arts

Postby Deleriad » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:18 am

One way to do this might be to accumulate points "aweSome points" for successful uses of the skill in a combat against the same person. If you hit, even if you get parried then you gain some awesome. Then you could have some CMs gain you awesome while some spend it. That way, the leaping dance of ultimate death might require 10 awesome points. That way you don't have to hardwire CMs one after the other.
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Re: Martial arts

Postby RangerDan » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:57 am

Maybe the more powerful moves requires expenditure of (a significant number of) magic points (like chi). Players might be inclined to save them for when they need them.

Or maybe the Fist the Falls from Heaven is an extraordinarily difficult technique, requiring a check at -40% skill. However once per round a fighter can use a Combat Action to "Study Opponent." By spending time studying the opponent's technique the fighter can determine the perfect time to strike, gaining a cumulative +10% to one blow against that opponent.
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Re: Martial arts

Postby duncan_disorderly » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:28 am

RangerDan wrote:Maybe the more powerful moves requires expenditure of (a significant number of) magic points (like chi). Players might be inclined to save them for when they need them.
Yes and no. You won't use the Expensive move on weak opponents if you think you won't have time to recover the magic points/Chi, but if you are fighting a major foe then you will probably start with your most powerful move - after all you want to end the fight before the enemy gets to cause you (too much) damage
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Re: Martial arts

Postby PhilHibbs » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:35 am

RangerDan wrote:Maybe the more powerful moves requires expenditure of (a significant number of) magic points (like chi)... By spending time studying the opponent's technique the fighter can determine the perfect time to strike, gaining a cumulative +10% to one blow against that opponent.
I like this combination. It becomes a game of brinkmanship, who can wait the longest to get enough bonuses to risk the difficult roll on the major move? L5R iaijutsu is a bit like this, although kind of the other way around - it gets harder and harder the longer you focus, and the first one to flinch and initiate the blows gets to be the second one to strike.
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Re: Martial arts

Postby alex_greene » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:00 pm

You forget - martial arts aren't just about honing combat techniques and extracting the maximum dice bonuses, or who gets ahead in the Strike Ranks or whatever.

To a martial artist, it is not a game. The martial arts are a way of life. And consequently, to a member of a martial arts school the acquisition of Heroic Abilities would matter as much to them as the learning of new spells would a mage.

There are three elements to a martial art - Shin Gi Tai. Spirit, Uniform, Practice. Spirit means the basic attitude of the martial artist, and the relationship between his mind and his body.

Uniform means the martial artist's identity: his presence embodies the spirit of his chosen martial art, such that people who see him, who watch his style, know that the martial artist upholds the values of that school and is proud to belong to that school. It also reflects the martial artist's standing in society: the best martial arts schools remember that they remain part of the community which supports them, which means they have a duty and an obligation to protect that community.

And Practice means just that - as a mage studies, as a divine magician prays, so too does a martial artist hone his heroic abilities through meditation and kata.

Like I said, just let the school teach Heroic Abilities and lots of combat skills and meditation. The dojo can become a faction in the local town or city, offering self-defence practice to women, archery practice for every young man aged 16 or older, and so on.
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Re: Martial arts

Postby RangerDan » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:02 am

alex_greene wrote:Thoughts on martial arts as a way of life
One of the enduring tropes of martial arts cinema and cartoons are that the master does not reveal his most deadly techniques until he has determined that his more basic techniques will not suffice. Fights between masters are sometimes a kind of "arms race" where the fighters perform deadlier and deadlier techniques as the fight progresses.

And while martial arts are certainly not a game but a way of life to the character, they most likely are (at least partially) a game to the player. As duncan above says, there is a lot of real-world sense in bringing your hardest hitting techniques into play right at the start (the "alpha strike") of an engagement. Above posts are examples of tweaking mechanics so that they will encourage the desired trope behaviour.

I'm a big believer that game-rules influence game-behaviour, but that is a much larger (and interesting, at least to me) topic than can be covered here :D
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Re: Martial arts

Postby DamonJynx » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:58 am

RangerDan wrote:I'm a big believer that game-rules influence game-behaviour, but that is a much larger (and interesting, at least to me) topic than can be covered here :D
I'll second that thought! We've been playing Runequest now for the better part of a year and still haven't gotten out of the "D&D" mentality.
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Re: Martial arts

Postby alex_greene » Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:49 am

DamonJynx wrote:
RangerDan wrote:I'm a big believer that game-rules influence game-behaviour, but that is a much larger (and interesting, at least to me) topic than can be covered here :D
I'll second that thought! We've been playing Runequest now for the better part of a year and still haven't gotten out of the "D&D" mentality.
Why do you think I've been posting all this weird stuff about becoming Legendary chefs and Legendary Casanovas and the like? :)

At least we're not trying to fight our way out of a Glorantha mindset. Ducks ... *shudders* What was Greg Stafford smoking when he came up with Ducks?
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Re: Martial arts

Postby DamonJynx » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:40 pm

alex_greene wrote:Ducks ... *shudders* What was Greg Stafford smoking when he came up with Ducks?
Who knows, but after the week I've had, I wouldn't mind having a crack at whatever it was! Thank heavens it's holidays!!!

Edit: Getting back on topic, why not do something along the lines of BRP and have Martial Arts as an advanced skill that applies to an appropriate combat style. Each different style has a separate MA skill. e.g. Martial Arts: Empty Hand Style (Unarmed), Martial Arts: Tiger Claw Style (Twin Sai) or something along those lines. Rolling successfully against both MA & CS might increase the damage modifier by a step or provide an additional bonus of some type and a critical roll for MA grants the use of an Heroic Ability without necessarily meeting the prerequisites.
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