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Martial artist 'super powers' 
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Martial artist 'super powers'
“You don’t get it boy…this isn’t a mud hole…it’s an operating table. And I’m the surgeon.” - Batman


My wife has been on leave back to her mom's in GA, so I've had a chance to binge watch / read. Well a chance outside last week's time at the hospital …

One thing I kind of binged on was Batman / Gotham. I finished the show and dug out my old copy of the dark knight returns


Also, a few weeks ago, I finished season 3 of Daredevil , so I've kind of re-immersed myself in 'super hero' . Then Tree's mentioning that in a few weeks he'd be starting the long awaited Victorious game.


So, that got me thinking about the rules and how to make a martial artist hero. Specifically, what powers they would have as a class / power package ??? Specifically, stunning / debilitating attacks , and of course reducing damage resisting stuns of their own.


I know there is the martial arts skill and the knack with associated bonus to hit and damage. But just bashing away taking Hps down to 0 isn't true martial art's precision. Where is the precise strike to the elbow to deaden the opponent’s arm, the punch to the solar plex to knock the wind out of the enemy, the kick to the on/off button at the jaw hinge below the ear to send them to see the wizard, or for the bad guy the punch to the wind pipe to kill. What powers would represent that


The caveat, of course is if I was running the game, I'd lean to more gilded powers. So, it can't be over flashy, super powerful, leaping flying through the air martial arts powers.


I can see an armor or force screen – limited to self, for the protection , maybe absorption … I don't know on the armor … not unless it is specialized (like dare devil) not a natural armor from just martial arts skills. Maybe force screen to protect against kinetic attacks, maybe …


There are other powers that would fit too … lightning speed – increased AC and init – might or potency . Intuition. For a mystical flavor keen sense or more powerful/broader use of force screen.


But now, the focused attacks … a blast that is stun damage , entrap – for the arm bar / sleeper hold.


For the limitation all attacks would have to be range of touch &/require an successful martial arts attack. And would have to be stun attacks , well maybe not have to be … Batman did leave the mutant leader with a numbed arm, broken leg, and what ever he did after the leg …


So how would you all handle it ?

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Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:36 am
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Mogrl

Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 7:00 am
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Post Re: Martial artist 'super powers'
Well, as for damage absorption/reduction, instead of calling it a force field, etc... I would call it conditioning your body to be as tough as iron, then steel, etc... Or maybe start off with a softer metal, such as lead or gold, then progress to iron and steel.

As for damage, well this is a Hit Point game, so a lot of that is abstracted. However, I can see throws that make them prone, eventually add in the ability to stun for like 1 round/4 levels if they fail a CON check, so they stay prone for a round or 3, eventually attacks that knock the opponent unconscious for a round or two, making them prone and helpless, etc...

Again, this would all still be scaled to where a level appropriate challenge would likely resist all of that (Assuming Roll 20 isn't hating on me...), but the lower level thugs would be more quickly taken out, and so on...

Thats my thoughts, anyways, without rereading any of the book for more concrete inspiration on these issues, since its in AZ, and I hate reading through a PDF to research these kind of rules related issues.

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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:11 am
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Unkbartig

Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:38 pm
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Post Re: Martial artist 'super powers'
Hm. Interesting, and something I'll need to chew on a bit. Two things come to mind though:

1. Don't forget the skill Target. This basically allows one attack to ignore armor or many other defenses. I was specifically thinking of the martial strike for this one.

2. Suppression: You could suppress an attribute to reflect a loss of DEX, CON or STR to reflect a strike that cripples or maims temporarily without resulting to death.


More as I think on it...

GM Mike

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Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:31 am
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Unkbartig

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Post Re: Martial artist 'super powers'
I think Targeting would be ideal, because as its written...

Target (Wisdom): This ability allows the Hero to study a target and discern any weakness in their defensive capability. With a successful Wisdom check (adding the appropriate Wisdom bonus and class level to the roll), it allows the Hero to make a single attack per combat scene on a target that ignores any non-Dexterity defensive adjustments such as Armor, Force Screens, Invisibility or Invulnerability. The Hero must announce which attack they intend to be their "Targeted" attack before any dice are rolled. The Hero then makes a Wisdom check and if

..it would reflect a Martial Arts hero taking time for that strike that isn't obvious but does more damage than a regular attack.

thinking about it more, and reiterating this is mere opinion and not canonical, I think Entrap would work better for this sort of thing than Suppression. You'd choose the attribute and treat the 'entrapment' as their being unconscious, crippled, or otherwise unable to continue the fight. Actual descriptions of the attacks (Chop to the nerve bundle just behind the head, a twist to dislocate a shoulder, etc. could all be reflected by Entrap.

* On a side note, I'd probably cheat with a MA guy and say the strikes would reqire a save or be out of the fight for a number of rounds equal to the attacking hero's level or some such. ;)

GM Mike

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The Save for Half Podcast: Old School RPGs Reviewed
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Victorious: Steampunk Adventure in the Age of SuperMankind
http://www.victoriousrpg.com


Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:58 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Martial artist 'super powers'
& that is why I ask you smart people these questions ...

It goes without saying that you will need to change some of the narrative of the power - force screen becomes chi mastery ; armor becomes hardening of body &/or heightening of the reflexes ; etc. I don't even think I would have to worry too hard to keep it in the realm of 'gilded' and out of the realm of mystical for most of it.

For target, I'd forgotten about that skill. Yeah that would be critical as a rank or 2 of knack for a martial artist.

As a gut feeling, I'd assume that the MA should have a 'stun' attack and possibly a separate entangle attack.

The stun power is striking a pressure point or weak joint with the effect of being dazed, having a body part numbed or the like. The stun at first rank could be a simple if successful the target is at - ??? 2,4,5 I'm not sure what a good mechanical result of a rank 1 power would be ??? at 2nd rank the result if successful is double that of the st rank. At rank 3, if successful, the target is unconscious / if the target saves then they have the result be that of a rank 1 power etc.

The entangle could/would be a separate attack representing arm bars choke holds etc. With this, like the normal entangle, the MA would have to chose what attribute would have to be the target - Strength (Greco-Roman style wrestling here) Dex - (arm bar leg lock type attacks &/or Akido type throws) or Con (choke hold for this).

Hmmm ... then there are those types of martial arts that are more direct big damage attacks - kick boing etc, so for them might would be more preferred than stunning . Having seen Thi Kickboxing first hand, there is little subtle about it, they want to hurt you and beat you down as brutally fast as possible. So with them the increase damage to standard HP would be more realistic.

I think this - force screen/Chi ; Armor/body conditioning ; stun strike ; entangle ; knack targeting - gives enough options to make various viable martial artists. One is an akido master and almost unhittable, and able to throw/entangle, but not have significant stunning attacks. A Shaolin master that shrugs off almost any damage due to his Chi mastery and has devastating stun attacks, but isn't over skilled in entangles. And the examples can go on and on.

Luck, intuition & lightning speed would be add ons for those more advanced (or more willing to take shortcomings at the start).

I wonder how various types of MA characters would stack up against a paragon or a strongarm ... & I wonder how they stack up at different levels ...

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"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:17 am
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Mogrl

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Post Re: Martial artist 'super powers'
Don't forget you can do something along the lines of Iron Fist, so have a super powered manifestation of your Chi or Ki or whatever.

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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.


Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:44 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Martial artist 'super powers'
haven't seen Iron Fist, but I take your meaning. Something like a blast range of touch, or ki fueled might that does additional damage. Hmmm could a MA master develop his Khi powers enough to have a 'blast' with a range other than touch ... That is more 'mystical' than I was originally thinking about, but I have to get out of my normal box in a suppers game I guess.

Now this has bubbled up 2 more questions ...

Subdual damage in Victorious. What happens when the hero wants to beat down an enemy and not kill him ? This assuming they are a MA focused with a Stun attack . I know C&C has subdual rules, is it the same in Victorious?

Martial Arts weapons. Victorious has MA skill use des as attack and damage bonus. However melee is weapons using strength as attack and damage.

It is one thing to have The Punisher using a baseball bat brutally beating the crud out of someone, it is another to have a MA using a bo or tonfa as a precise extension of their body and hitting twisting and blocking with it like and arm or leg and thus using dex as the governing attribute of the attack with the weapon.

Hmmm 2 questions , and a 3rd ...

If martial arts 'powers' of stun attacks and entangle etc are viable, how does a hero that isn't a MA expert at creation gain them (I know mechanical it is spending the power point when gaining a level) When can one be considered able to do a MA stun attack instead of just battering away at the enemy's HPs - circling the argument back to the quote from Batman .

How / we does a vigilante classed hero have MA skills enough to do stun attacks ???

Hmmm have I made this much ado about nothing ... could it be an easy answer of any character with a martial art skill of (3 simply for arguments sake) can stun an opponent with a successful attack. The stun can be resisted with a con save. Then progress from there to unconscious if con save failed and stunned if they make the save ????

Of course, even using that, the entangle Chi armor etc are still ideas for a MA class ...

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"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

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Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:18 pm
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Unkbartig

Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:38 pm
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Post Re: Martial artist 'super powers'
Hey Lurker,

To your q’s:

1. In baseline Victorious (ie Gilded/Neutral Chronicle) damage is automatically subdual. If you want killing damage you have to specifically state that. Sort of the reverse of C&C where all damage is killing and you have to specifically state subdual. IMC, all firearms damage is killing only though.

2. I’d say just allow the use of Martial Arts weapons with the MA skill and no proficiency penalty. Basically treat the MA skill as the DEX-based version of Melee skill, but your GM may think differently

3. Well, as stated before unless you’re in a Grim/Chaos type chronicle its all baseline “Stun” attacks. Or do you mean you’re looking for something that (instead of hp damage) will cause a save vs. attribute or be stunned for X rounds?

That might involve making an entirely new supernatural power, which any GM is free to do. ;)

GM Mike

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Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:38 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Martial artist 'super powers'
Automatically subdual, that I didn't know ... Must have missed it earlier, or am just too tired for my brain to remember that key little fact ... It is good to know though. It does make sense as a 'hero' game for the combat to not be deadly.

For martial art weapons , that sounds good to me . Now Tree what do you say about it ;)

For q3 , yeah, save vs ??? or be stunned like the original question. I'm not sure what would be easier and/or balanced. Have it be a super power, or an effect of a high martial arts skill ... I can make a good argument for either choice ... however both arguments are based on assumptions so they could be horribly wrong once put into a game.

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"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

Knight Errant & Humble C&C Society Contributor
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Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:17 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Martial artist 'super powers'
I finally got to watch a few shows of Iron fist - stupid internet problems not only have kept me from gaming Monday, but also kept me from watching any shows on Netflix -

I'll say he is more mystical than my original thought on martial artist , but it does force me to consider more powers for a MA hero than I first considered.

With him, armor / body hardening - good scene of him as a boy kneeling there and 3 monks whacking the bagesiss out of his back with cane staffs to show the process of hardening - is easy to see, and that would be available to most MA guys.

then knack MA, and probably multiple skill points into MA too. With that you could narrate the various defenses making him harder to hit and the various attacks he has used thus far.

Maybe an intuitive power or speed power too, but iffy on that specifically. Oh yeah, a super movement of parkour /jumps leaps climbing would fit too

However, the big on is his glowing fist attack - powerful enough to blow a thick steel door out of the wall. I think it would best be defined as a blast attack, range touch. I don't know what else it will do in later episodes .


That said, I still default to a more 'dare devil' type martial artist when I think of playing one. But that is neither here nor there as I already have my shadow superhero, and 2 back ups made and ready for you to let lose on the American Chicago area !

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"And so I am become a knight of the Kingdom of Dreams and Shadows!" - Mark Twain

Forgive all spelling errors.

Knight Errant & Humble C&C Society Contributor
C&C Society


Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:59 am
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