Martial Arts

Utgardloki said:
So I turn on the TV set, and I'm watching this cartoon in which Jackie Chan is dodging everything in sight, and I'm thinking "How can you do that in Runequest?"

In Runequest, you need to use a reaction to dodge, and once you run out of reactions, you can't dodge any more. This doesn't model the cartoon I'm watching. Perhaps there should be a legendary ability which allows the character to dodge as many attacks as he takes.

This should be a hard one to get, perhaps costing 15 hero points, requiring 90% in Dodge, Martial Arts, and Acrobatics. A character with this ability would be very difficult to hit. There should probably be some sort of weakness or way to counter this.

How about the old mulitple action peantly from Strombringer. They way it worked there was once you had a 90% skill, you could make multiple parres and riposte attacks, but each one at a -20% penalty (Strombringer used two skills so in mRQ terms we could use one).

SO to do a Jackie Chan Chambarra fight, he could make multiple dodges, but each one at 20% lower. For someone with a high skill that means dodging everything in sight.
How about the old mulitple action peantly from Strombringer. They way it worked there was once you had a 90% skill, you could make multiple parres and riposte attacks, but each one at a -20% penalty (Strombringer used two skills so in mRQ terms we could use one).

I'm not sure how this works. If Jackie Chan wants to split his dodge reaction 6 ways, does he take a -120% penalty?

Suppose Chan has a DEX of 21, and he is fighting a dozen ninjas, each with a DEX of 17. Under the MRQ system, Chan gets 4 CAs and 4 reactions, while the ninjas get 3 CAs each, so Jackie has to split his 4 reactions up 9 ways each to dodge 36 attacks, for a -180% penalty.

Under my initiative system (described in another thread), Jackie still gets 4 reactions, but the ninjas only get two attacks each, unless a few of them manage to squeeze out a third attack with a good iniative roll. So JC only has to split his reactions 7 ways for a -140% penalty to dodge 24-28 attacks.

Also, would it be possible to also split your attacks? The ninjas would probably be able to split each attack up three ways for a -40% penalty. Now Jackie Chan has to dodge over a hundred attacks (138 in the MRQ system, or 72-84 in my own system).

I like the old RQ rule which let a character split an action at 1/2 his chance for each action. This means the ninjas probably can't afford to split their actions more than two ways each, for a total of about 50 attacks in one combat round. But then Jackie Chan only gets about 8 dodge attempts splitting them two ways, or 16 dodges splitting them four ways.

I propose a legendary dodge ability which grants an additional number of defensive reactions equal to the character's Dexterity. So Jackie Chan would have 25 defensive reactions, and splitting them two ways can make 50 dodge attempts at 1/2 his effective skill. Enough ninjas can still overpower him.

The other way to get Jackie Chan would be to put him up against a guy who has a high enough effective strike skill to get past Chan's effective Dodge skill.

Atgxtg once suggested a specialization rule that I've adopted, in which a specialization skill can be added to another skill to determine one's effective skill. This is cool, but I am concerned about its effect on combat, especially the martial arts, since it makes it a lot easier to get an effective skill as high as 200% or higher.
Naw, the way it works is as follows>

First Parry at full %
Second @ -20%
Thrid @ -40%
Fourth @ -60% and so forth.

Now someone like Jackie is over the 100% mark for dodge (in the movies. Int he outakes he isn't).

Now the way it worked for weapon skills was that if you parried, you got a ripsote, but each successfive attack was also at -20% (cumulative. Note that you had to make the defense roll tog et the addtional attacks. Once one guy got through to the other, or the skill scores dropped below zero, the "flurry" was over.

The old RQ split attack rules only applole when fighting multiple foes, you COULD NOT split up an attack to get mutiple strikes on one target.

Without CA's and using the Strombringer riposte rules, this would work.

If you go with CA's the when Jacie is going to get overwhelmed. Even if the ninjas only hit half the time, we have Jackie in trouble. OF course, probably not more that four or five could actually get at him at one time, but that is still 12 to 15 attacks vs. 4 reactions.
It seems like it would just be simpler to allow characters to dodge as much as they need to, rather than counting reactions.

I think what I'll do is allow attackers to split attacks 50/50, whether against the same opponent or other opponents. If I do that, then dodge and parry attempts need to also be splitable 50/50.

I'll also allow a Legendary Dodge Reflexes ability that allows unrestricted dodge and parry attempts.

Another houserule is to allow a character to add his Dodge and Parry together if he has an object to parry with in his hand. Unfortunately this rule almost forces characters to specialize so that they can add two skills together to strike.

I also wonder whether, with the increased chance of being crippled or killed in runequest, whether Dodge becomes a skill that you HAVE to max out, because your life depends on it.
Okay, so suppose I create the following skills to replace the Martial Arts skill:

Martial Arts Strike: Used to hit foes with Martial arts attack. Also increases damage as discussed in this thread.

Martial Arts Block: Used to parry blows with your bare hands.

Martial Arts Throw: Used to throw or otherwise force your opponent a new position.

Martial Arts Manuevers: Used to make martial arts manuevers such as leaping kicks, etc.

How would different styles such as Judo, Karate, etc best be modelled?
Well, I might consider putting the maneuvers under strike, block, throw and the other skills. I'd also consider breaking up strikes into punches and kicks. THat way you can differential sytles like Muai THai (Thai Kick boxing) that focus on kicks as oppsed to more balanced or punch oriented styles.

A couple ways to handle different styles:

1) Each art could teach certain special maneuvers. For example Katata would have more strikes, where as judo would have more grapples and throws. Players could then buy the maneuvers.

2) Or, you could design each style as it's own package with set bonuses. FOr instance, a hard style might just give a flat increase to damage.

3) Abilities: Could factor into either of the above systems, or not. You could have some abilties tied to a style. You might even give a score in the style istself (it could represent kowledge & phliopshy). TO by certain abilities might require a certain score.

See anything you like?
I had a yellow belt in Tae Kwan Do once. But then I Gave Wan Doe back... So all I know is what I see in the movies....

I'll probably make more Martial Arts advantages and abilities such as Jump Kick, Leaping Kick, and Flying Kick (each one requiring more skill and hero points to buy, and granting a larger bonus).

As for defining Judo, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, etc, I'll probably leave more detailed rules for someone who is an expert in the field.

But I"ll still take more ideas.
To model Judo, Aikido, Karate, Tae Kwan Do, or any imaginary martial arts tradition, it is possible to implement something like the following:

1. Treat the martial arts form as a set of professions. So a Judo practitioner gets +x% for Martial Arts Throw and +y% for Martial Arts Block for a certain belt level, while the Karate practioner gets something else. PCs will be expected to use their improvement rolls to match this progression if they wish to advance their belt color.

2. List special abilities that are part of this martial arts form. Each ability can be unlocked by studying with an appropriate master and either a) spending the number of Hero Points, or b) building up the listed skill %'s. In case a), these abilities will have prerequisites that also have to be met before the hero points can be spent, like legendary abilities.