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View Full Version : Martial Arts via TOB-lite [3.5ish] Practitioners please help!



Mulletmanalive
2010-10-31, 02:37 PM
Ok, this is an initial post for spitballing of ideas and to ask for comments about techniques in martial arts.

I have this simple idea to make martial arts playable in D&D via a set of feats. The form of this was inspired by Pair'O'Dice Lost's TOB Un-favouring Project and my own previous work, the Wuxia in how it works.

Your Part:

What I'm asking is for the following: Anyone who does martial arts in a particular style [i have a list of stuff i'm starting with below] who can describe some of the moves that make it different from other styles, please do, so I can work up from there.

I don't have a huge amount of experience in martial arts: I've tried karate, an aikido/karate hybrid, Monkey Kung Fu, Crane for one lesson and Ninjitsu but only stuck with karate for particularly long [keep getting injured].

If you have mechanical suggestions, sweet, I'll happily take them on board; the version i have for Boxing is based on my brother's experiences.

The mechanisms:

As previously mentioned, this is basically intended to be Tome of Battle lite. Each style consists a number of different abilities, 5 to be precise, spread over two feats. The first feat covers the basics and includes two moves, one of which is almost always a Stance and the second covers advanced abilities and ahs three moves. As there are a few things that are too common to assign to specific feats, there are going to be a few general feats as well.

Each style consists of one each of the following [though special cases are always possible, for instance, one style might have two stances and no boosts]:

Strike: The most distinctive move of each style is known as the Strike. A strike consists of a move that is performed either as a Standard or Full action and is always an attack.

Strikes occasionally have downsides to misses, but only rarely. Occasionally, they may have unique names when combined with the style's Form.

There is an additional feat called Combination [plus improved versions] that allow Standard action moves to be combined into a Full action, allowing them to be part of an attack routine. The same move cannot be repeated unless expressly stated in the move's description, such as in the case of the Tiger Claw strike. Because of this rule, efforts will be made to ensure that more Strikes are a Standard action.

There is nothing to stop a Strike being used over and over, turn on turn, but to discourage this and to mimic the predictability this creates, each turn after the first applies a cumulative -2 penalty on attack rolls with that strike until another kind of attack is made.

Stance: The stance is a signature posture and approach to fighting that is well known to those in martial arts circles. Stances can be adopted as a Swift action or as a free action after making a Strike from the style.

Stances change the balance of power in a fight. Some are overtly offensive, defensive or mobile and others are just downright wierd...

Boost: A boost is a move that is activated as a Swift action. They often apply a bonus to attacks or defence under certain conditions, allow variant movement or some other similar effect. Occasionally, they may produce attacks.

Some boosts have limits on how often they can be used. This may be once per round, once ever 1d4 rounds or perhaps once per encounter. This is included, not to befuddle, but to allow a little wiggle room in the design scheme.

Counter: A counter is a move, usually defensive though some function more like attacks of opportunity, that is activated as an Immediate action.

Counters are the move type most likely to replace others because they are usually limited in the scope that they can react to; for instance, a move may only be good when attacked in melee unarmed, when armed, when an opponent attempts a grapple, etc.

Form: While an incorrect use of the term, a form is a well known method of attacking that doesn't really count as a move in and of itself, such as the circle kick of Savate and Capoeira, the claw hands of Tiger, the ridgehand attacks of Karate, the slaps of Monkey Kung Fu or the centre-line blows common in Wing Chun.

Forms are add-ons that may be applied to attacking techniques. Most apply simply to unarmed attacks, though some are a little more specific, applying to grapple or trip attacks or specific armed attacks. Forms may be applied to Strikes, as long as the Strike involves the correct attack to be modified and may even be applied to moves of another style.

Some Forms have downsides to their use, others do not.

Template:

Name [Strike]:
Name [Stance]:
Name [Boost]:
Name [Counter]:
Name [Form]:

Planned Conversions:
Boxing [mostly complete]
Tiger Kung Fu [working]
Monkey Kung Fu - Tai Shing Pek Kwar, probably
Crane Kung Fu
Leopard Kung Fu
Savate - French kicking, woooo!
Karate
Judo [ish, i'm actually working on the premise that this didn't exist yet for what i'm working on, so it's more aimed at its predecessor]
Snake Kung Fu
Norther Shaolin Fist
I'll probably be taking requests long before this. Also happy to do weapon styles and what not...

Mulletmanalive
2010-10-31, 02:38 PM
Ok, just to start with a simple one; Boxing was the idea that kicked this all off as the abilities of the two feats upon which this pair are based create basically the following powers:

Please note that I shall be using the term "+1S" and the like to. This is a relic of one of my previous pieces of games design [full system, woo!] where dice size increases were common. The number indicates the number of dice size shifts.

Fisticuffs:
You have learned to fight in the manner of street brawlers. Little is disallowed and thank heavens humans have so many soft bits.
Description: You no longer provoke attacks of opportunity when making unarmed strikes. Your unarmed strikes deal 1d4 damage, which may be lethal.

Brawler's Delight [Strike]: As a Standard action, you may accept a -2 penalty to hit, gaining +1d4, +1/2 your BAB, Subdual damage as a Courier effect.
Note: This is intended to be one half of a substitute for the otherwise kind of lame Improved Unarmed Strike. The aim was to make it worth having even if you don't intend to run around unarmed all the time.

BoxingBoxing Basics: [Style]
You have learned the most basic parts of boxing, the ability to shift and hit efficiently. You know the rules of the Marquis of Queensbury and are always amused that people think it makes you weak.
Prerequisites: Two Weapon Fighting, Fisticuffs, BAB +2, Str 13+
Description: You learn the following two moves:

The Old One-Two [Form]: You are highly adept at following up one blow with another. When you strike an opponent successfully with an unarmed melee attack, you may choose to expend an attack of opportunity to roll to confirm the attack, similar to how you would if it were a critical threat. If you succeed, you deal additional damage equal to your base unarmed damage dice as Subdual Courier damage.

Float Like a Butterfly [Stance]: Agile and flowing, you switch between wide attacks and an incredibly narrow defence. While in this stance, you gain a +2 Dodge bonus [active] to your defence/AC and your unarmed melee attacks deal +2 damage.

Heavyweight Champion: [Style]
You have learned to switch instantly between an imprenetrable, tense castle of muscle to a twitching lash for attacks. Those who mock your avoidance of "dirty" fighting rarely manage to laugh for long.
Prerequisites: Boxing Basics, Fisticuffs, Power Attack, Two Weapon Fighting, BAB +6,
Description: You gain access to the following boxing moves:

Haymaker [Strike]: Full action. With a wide hook attack, you slam the target sideways. The attack deals double damage and automatically pushes the target into an adjacent square that you threaten.

Sting Like a Bee [Boost]: You move to a soft bit and punch hard. You make a Shift [5ft step] to another square adjacent to the target. For the rest of your turn, all attacks you make deal +1S damage.

Clinch [Counter]: When being attacked by a flurry, you grab and draw in your opponent to kill his momentum. You may make an attempt to begin a grapple when attacked with multiple attacks. If successful in starting the grapple, it lasts until the end of turn. Attacks made by the target of the grapple are resolved as normal but those that deal more than 1d4 damage are limited to 1d4 damage and half modifiers.

Yeah, not happy on the wording of Clinch. I'm sure it can be made more elegant.
Catch Wrestling:
Catch Wrestling Basics [Style]:
You have learned the basics of the pinning and submission based style, catch wrestling. If you can manage to start a grapple, your opponent is in trouble.
Prerequisites: Fisticuffs, Improved Grapple
Description: You gain access to the following moves:

Takedown [Strike]: Standard action. You begin a grapple. If successful, you automatically deal 1d8 slam damage to your opponent and both you and he become prone.

Scum Rises [Stance]: While in this stance, you do not suffer the penalties from lying prone while grappling and may make attacks of opportunity while prone to prevent others from standing up [even if no such attack is normally allowed].

Catch As Catch Can [Style]:
You rule the sideshows as a slippery devil, remaining undefeated.
Prerequisites: Fisticuffs, Improved Grapple, Clever Wrestling, BAB +6
Description: You gain access to the following moves:

Sprawl [Counter]: When an opponent attempts to grab you to begin a grapple, you counter by throwing your legs out away from him and leaning over, breaking his takedown. As an Immediate action, you may interrupt a grapple attempt, even by Improved Grab, by making a grapple attempt of your own. If you win, the opponent's attack is nullified and you gain the normal consequences of winning a grapple.

Rough and Tumble [Boost]: You know that folks panic when you hold from behind, something you use a lot. You move position in the grapple; you must win a grapple check to do this, but if you succeed, you opponent becomes Shaken until he wins a grapple check from the unnerving feeling of you literally breathing down his neck.

Submission [Form]: You know that submission is the only way to be the clear winner. Bets are off, gentlemen. When dealing Subdual damage while grappling in a prone position, you deal 1d10 damage.

Kempo:
Kempo Basics [Style]:
You have learned the hybrid martial art of the Hawian settlers. You combine close ranges, brutal flurries of attacks and a rigorous emphasis on the hard parts of the body.
Prerequisites: Improved Grapple, Dual Flurry/Two Weapon Fighting
Description: You gain access to the following moves:

Short Lash [Form]: The trick to Kempo is that it bleeds as many attacks out of the knees and elbows as humanly possible in a short time. You suffer no penalty on Unarmed attacks while grappling and add +1 damage to such attacks.

Elbow to the Face [Stance]: People who try to grab you tend to regret it. While in this stance, you can ignore special abilities that grant people immunity to Attacks of Opportunity, such as the Improved X line of feats or the Improved Grab special ability.

Daikempo [Style]:
You have reached a high standard in your brutal art. Your knees and elbows have the texture of stone.
Prerequisites: Fisticuffs/Martial Arts, Improved Grapple, Dual Flurry/Two Weapon Fighting, Kempo, BAB +6
Description: You gain access to the following moves:

Double Collar Strike [Strike]: You grab you opponent's head on the crown with both hands and pull it down to meet a rising knee. Standard action. You initiate a Grapple and immediately slam your opponent with double your normal clinch damage. Your opponent must make a Fort save against the damage rolled or be Stunned until his next turn. You may then choose to attempt to break the grapple as a Free action.

Octopus Fist [Boost]: Mui Tai, eat your heart out; eight limbs indeed You engage your extremities along with your knees and elbows to make a rabid flurry as you press in. For the remainder of the turn, you may make a Full attack action as a Standard action; this may be used once every 5 turns.

Step In [Counter]: You have learned that the risk of pressing inside your opponent's effective striking distance is often worth it. You move into your opponent's square, provoking an attack of opportunity but your opponent suffers the -4 penalty to hit inherent in grappling against you.

Martial Arts:
You have a basic understanding of Eastern unarmed combat and its derivatives. You can make nasty, efficient kick attacks, something few enemies are ready for, and defend yourself efficiently.
Description: You no longer provoke attacks of opportunity when making unarmed strikes. Your unarmed strikes deal 1d4 damage.

Ready Defence [Stance]: While in this stance, you gain a +1 Dodge bonus to your defence and unarmed strikes you make as attacks of opportunity are kicks and if you score a critical hit, you may opt not to deal additional damage, instead knocking your target prone. This must be declared before rolling to confirm the attack.

Tiger Style Kung Fu
Tiger [Style]:
Tiger is an incredibly aggressive style; it's sole defence is swatting away attacks and making it so the opponent cannot attack back efficiently. You've yet to learn such subtlety.
Prerequisites: BAB +2, Martial Arts, Power Attack
Description: You gain access to the following moves:

Teaching Tiger [Strike]: You bunch your fingers into claws, hardened by practice and tear at the muscles of your foes. Standard action. Your attacks hurt your opponent, killing their ability to respond fully. Each hit inflicts 1d6 unarmed damage, counting as a two-handed weapon, and a cumulative -1 penalty on attack rolls. This penalty can be removed in full with a Shake it Off action [a Full action and a DC 20 Fort save]. Teaching Tiger may be combined with itself.

Crouching Tiger [Stance]: Your stance is low, efficient and targets the opponent's legs first. In this stance, you cannot move beyond a Shift, but gain all the advantages of being prone, with none of the penalties. In addition, you gain a +2 bonus to hit because your enemies have no idea how to defend themselves from such low attacks.

White Tiger [Style]:
The specialised form of Tiger that is even more brutal, if such a thing were possible.
Prerequisites: BAB +6, Martial Arts, Power Attack, Tiger
Description: You gain access to the following moves:

Protecting Tiger [Stance]: Targetting, ripping and crushing windpipes but neglecting your defence. While in this stance, you may accept a penalty to your defence of up to your BAB and adding this amount to your unarmed attack damage.

Rising Tiger [Counter]: By abandoning a Tiger stance, you twist up and grab at your opponent's throat. When in a Tiger stance, you may abandon that stance to attempt a Grapple as an Immediate action. If you succeed, your opponent must make a Fort save, DC 10 + BAB, or be Dazed for one round with panic.

Savage Tiger [Form]: Your constant scratches pay dividends. While in use, you may choose to Blind your foe for 1d4 rounds rather than dealing extra damage when you score a critical hit. You must declare you are using this ability before rolling to confirm the threat.

Tae Kwon Do [Draft]:
Taekwondo Basics [Style]:
You have learned the basics of the kicking heavy arts of Korea.
Prerequisites: Martial Arts, Weapon Focus [Unarmed Strike]
Description: You gain access to the following moves:

Hook Kick [Strike]: You strike at your target's head from an unexpected direction. Standard action. You make an unarmed strike that deals one additional dice of damage. If you threaten a Critical, you may instead confirm it in such a manner that stuns your target for one round. Using this technique inflicts a -2 penalty on your defence.

Hard Blocks [Stance]: You sacrifice mobility and grace to stop blows hard, shaking your opponent. While in this stance, you add your Strength modifier to defence and to resist being moved but cannot move more than a Shift [5ft step]. You gain a +1 bonus to hit enemies who have missed you in combat.

Sahyun [Style]:
You have reached a level worthy of intense acclaim in Tae Kwon Do.
Prerequisites: Martial Arts, Weapon Focus [Unarmed Strike], Taekwondo Basics, BAB +8
Description: You gain access to the following moves:

Chagi [Form]: You specialise in kicks for their reach and power. Your unarmed strikes become kicks; this causes them to deal 1d6 damage, counting as two handed weapons, and allows you to count boots or armoured shoes as armoured gauntlets.

[b]Stand Off [Counter]: You shift your stance slightly and halt an opponent's attempt to advance into grabbing range. When an opponent attempts a Grapple or Trip, you may make an attack as an Immediate action. If successful, your opponent's action is lost before it begins and they return to their original square.

Unhorsing Kick [Boost]: You opt for the risky jump attack for extra power. One unarmed attack you make this round suffers a -2 penalty to hit but adds +2 damage per square you move prior to making the attack. If the attack misses, however, your opponent may make a free attack in reply. If he hits, you are knocked prone and take +1 damage per square moved before the kick. You may not combine this with a Charge action.

I'm not entirely happy with the fact that you don't really specialise in kicks until higher level but hey ho...

Combination:
You have learned to move fluidly from one strike to another in a brutal display of martial skill.
Prerequisites: Any two [Style] feats that grant Strike moves, the ability to make more than one attack per round.
Description: As a Full action, you may make two attacks by accepting the normal penalties, each of which having the qualities of a Strike move that requires a Standard action to perform.
Note: Unless otherwise stated in the strike description, you may not use the same strike more than once per round.

Improved Combination:
Your ability to flow from one attack to another is awe-inspiring and utterly terrifying.
Prerequisites: BAB +8, Any 3 [Style] feats that grant Strike moves, the ability to make at least 3 attacks per round.
Description: As a Full action, you may make three attacks by accepting the normal penalties, each of which having the qualities of a Strike move that requires a Standard action.
......Alternatively, you may make one Full action strike and one Standard action strike in a turn.
Note: Unless otherwise stated in the strike description, you may not use the same strike more than once per round.

Greater Combination:
So fast are you, that you appear to be executing multiple strikes simultaneously. Some would rather surrender than even try their luck against you.
Prerequisites: BAB +14, Any 4 [Style] Feats that grant Strike moves, the ability to make at least 4 attacks per round.
Description: As a Full action, you may make 4 attacks by accepting the normal penalties, each having the qualities of a Strike move that requires a Standard action to use.
.....Alternatively, you may take either two Full action strikes or a Full action strike and two Standard action strikes as a Full action.
.....Additionally, once per round, you may utilise a pair of Standard action strikes using a single Standard action.
Note: Unless otherwise stated in the strike description, you may not use the same strike more than once per round.


Name [Strike]:
Name [Stance]:
Name [Boost]:
Name [Counter]:
Name [Form]:

Mulletmanalive
2010-10-31, 02:43 PM
Reserved 2

Mulletmanalive
2010-10-31, 02:48 PM
Reserved 3, not sure i'm going to need this one... Opine away!

SurlySeraph
2010-10-31, 04:13 PM
Hm. Well I took a couple years of tae kwon do, 6 years of freestyle (American) wrestling, and I've been taking MMA classes (with elements of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Systema) on-and-off for a year. The trickiest part would probably be thinking up boosts for each, and settling on a single stance for each.

Preliminary thoughts:

Tae kwon do would probably have one of the stronger kicks as its strike; you can refluff at will, but a back kick/ spinning hook kick/ one of the jumping varieties of either is probably best. A simple damage bonus, possibly with a chance to stun or daze, possibly with a penalty to AC or attack because of the time it gives your opponent to react, would work well.
There are a fairly wide variety of stances in TKD. As the standard walking/ fighting stance is the best to start most kicks from, it's probably the best to go with. However, that's pretty much the default stance everyone fights in. Perhaps a "Solid Stance," representing back stance or horse stance and giving a stability bonus would work.
For a boost, maybe just giving an extra unarmed attack that round, or adding a damage bonus and free 5 feet of movement to one attack that round (for a lunging punch into front stance, a jumping kick, whatever) could work.
Counter? Probably just making an attack of opportunity in response to something your opponent does. Say, a kick as an AoO to interrupt a grapple or trip attempt, making the attempt automatically fail if it succeeds.
I'm not quite clear how a form would work, but anything kick-related is fine.

Freestyle wrestling has a heavier emphasis on ground fighting (as opposed to trips and throws) than most grappling arts.
The strike would pretty much have to be a takedown. Standard action, render your opponent grappled and prone.
Stance? Maybe a stability bonus, maybe a bonus to Reflex saves due to the speed at which you can sprawl.
Boost? Making a pinned opponent Helpless for an round would work.
Counter? Pretty much has to be a sprawl. In response to an opponent attempting to trip or grapple you, starting a grapple with them and gaining a +2 or +4 bonus for the first round would be a decent way to represent it.
Form? Maybe a bonus to grapple or trip attempts.

MMA probably shouldn't be a single style.

BJJ is also pretty ground-focused. It would need to have submissions figure heavily, likely as a strike. Making a grappled opponent pinned for one round, inflicting a pain-based penalty (likely making them Sickened), and dealing damage could do it.
A stance that lets you make a grapple check as a swift action (in addition to the grapple checks you get from your attack actions) would be an interesting way to do it.
Boost? I don't know. A chokehold? Upgrading the effects of a submission hold (i.e. Sickened -> Nauseated)?
Counter? Submissions again! When an opponent fails a grapple attempt against you, you can automatically put them in a submission hold for the remainder of their turn, though they can take their actions as usual.
Form? Uh, another grapple bonus?

As for possible styles, there are plenty that could be interesting and unique. Krav Maga (disarms, improvised weapons, perhaps Initiative bonuses), Eskrima (weapons, two-weapon-fighting), Wing Tsun (strong counter, perhaps a stance with a counter-like effect, an extra-attack boost), etc.

There was also a post that I saw, I think on the WotC forums, talking about using existing ToB maneuvers to emulate real-world martial arts. I can't find it, though.

Mulletmanalive
2010-10-31, 04:46 PM
Thank you for your input so far, Surly!

TKD was part of my initial list [my Ninjutsu teacher was a former pro and used much of it as simplified teaching method] but got cut because it's done what a lot of martial arts have done in the last 50 years, and that's gathered stuff in.

I'll take a look through what i can find.

My initial thoughts for Tae Kwon Do are:
Strike: Hammer Kick - target is struck for +2S damage and if it confirms a Critical, the target is Stunned for a round. User suffers a -2 penalty to defence.

Stance: I'm more using stance here to mean the kind of things like the things in TOB rather than real stances [though if i do Jit Kun Do, that could be interesting] so perhaps a focus on the rolls and recovery that are drilled so thoroughly?

Boost: Probably have to be in the advanced feat, but i reckon a jump kick with a bonus to damage based on your Jump ranks could be acceptable. The reason there's a lot of Kung Fu in there is because they are usually the easiest to do this one for. Maybe just another strike...

Counter: Some kind of hard block. Maybe damage reduction of some kind and a counter attack if you stop the attack completely.

Form: Again, tricky. Are there any particular hand shapes or wierd kicks in TKD? If nothing else comes to mind, perhaps the ability to begin a grapple in place of a critical confirmation roll?

For MMA, the intention is that you'd get something like this if you just took the basic feats for a bunch of different styles...

The Wresting...you know, i'd not even thought about grappling as a big feature :smallredface: I'm pretty sure it could work well though. Maybe by making the primary a takedown [a bit like a football sack] and a...well, i'll figure that out.

The Ju-Jutsu looks pretty solid as an idea. I'll come to that in a while but i'll get straight onto TKD once i've gotten Tiger Style sorted.

Mulletmanalive
2010-11-01, 04:55 PM
Catch Wrestling the predecessor to Freestyle and Collegate Wrestling, is up, as is Tiger.

nonsi
2010-11-02, 12:57 PM
Funny you chose the number 5.

My Ninjitsu sensei always stressed the following insights:

1. Whatever you do, stay on your feet. You're much more vulnerable off them.
2. When you go down, make sure you do so with as little injuries as the situation permits.
3. When you're down, get up as fast and as "elegantly" as you can.
4. Don't block divert blows with minimum impact this will maximize your options with your opponent's momentum.
5. When you strike (not counting intermediate distracting "gifts", of course) demolish the target organ. Make sure it cannot be used for at least the remainder of the encounter.

Mulletmanalive
2010-11-02, 01:02 PM
What, Leopard? Why funny?

I was originally intending to, if i bothered with Ninjitsu [i kind of have plans for that in setting] basically have the five moves follow the five elemental kata things of taijutsu.

Your sensei gave similar advice to me, though it included Rule 0: "Remember that you've already tried to avoid this fight so make sure you f*** him up."

EDIT: Just got it... dang.

Any suggestions as to what taijutsu could consist of?

Shyftir
2010-11-02, 01:43 PM
Well I only reached about half way to our black belt-equivalent in my Kung-fu based style but I have some knowledge of the difference between styles.

You should make sure that for each style they fall into four categories.

"Hard" styles: i.e. Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Muy Thai

These styles emphasize hard blocks and devastating single strikes.

"Soft" Styles: i.e. most kung-fu styles, Tai Chi (when practiced as a martial art)

These styles focus on redirecting blocks, and fast blows overwhelming with numbers of strikes.

Grappling: i.e. Jujitsu, various wrestling styles.

This is obvious. These styles focus on close quarters fighting involving throws and locks.

Mixed: i.e. Kenpo, Hapkido, Jeet Kun Do, MMA
These styles mix all the elements. If a style features hard blocks and overwhelming numbers of strikes, (Kenpo) or grapples along with redirection, (Hapkido) or whatever works for you, (Jeet Kun Do) or striking and grappling (MMA) it falls into this category.


So each of your sets of moves should probably fall into one of these categories.


As for my personal style, it was an aggregate put together by a group of men with experience in several martial arts.
For the most part is consisted of various parts of "Animal Kung-fu" (Pai-Lung, White Dragon Kung-fu) mixed with self defenses for standing grapples. (Chuan-Fa, adapted from Hawaiian-Chinese Kenpo) and a bit of whatever else our instructor knew. (I learned the Muy Thai roundhouse, and a little about ground fighting, but that wasn't part of the style proper.)

I have some ideas about how to work Kenpo into the system your suggesting.

The strike would specifically involve a very close quarters elbow and knee based attack. (like a flurry of blows with your elbows)

A good counter would be for a standing grapple and might involve getting to make a normal attack despite being grappled and if successful breaking the grapple. (Something like using your knowledge of anatomy to strike weak spots and force your opponent to let go.)

A boost might allow you to start a grapple, make a damaging attack and let go all in one turn. (Like grabbing your opponents head slamming it into a knee strike then releasing your enemy.)

As for a stance: Maybe one that allows you to occupy your opponents space and thereby be inside the reach of any manufactured weapons, but at the expense of taking an AoO because you pass through the weapons normal range.

For a form: Some kind of ability to bypass an opponents reach and close without provoking AoO. Like you use the stance to get in close and land a devastating forearm strike against an opponents throat.

Those are just some Ideas.

Mulletmanalive
2010-11-02, 02:05 PM
Well I only reached about half way to our black belt-equivalent in my Kung-fu based style but I have some knowledge of the difference between styles.

You should make sure that for each style they fall into four categories.

"Hard" styles: i.e. Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Muy Thai

These styles emphasize hard blocks and devastating single strikes.

"Soft" Styles: i.e. most kung-fu styles, Tai Chi (when practiced as a martial art)

These styles focus on redirecting blocks, and fast blows overwhelming with numbers of strikes.

Grappling: i.e. Jujitsu, various wrestling styles.

This is obvious. These styles focus on close quarters fighting involving throws and locks.

Mixed: i.e. Kenpo, Hapkido, Jeet Kun Do, MMA
These styles mix all the elements. If a style features hard blocks and overwhelming numbers of strikes, (Kenpo) or grapples along with redirection, (Hapkido) or whatever works for you, (Jeet Kun Do) or striking and grappling (MMA) it falls into this category.


So each of your sets of moves should probably fall into one of these categories.

It's a nice idea, and while it helps with the flavour, there's no mechanical reason to define one from the others. Hard styles and soft ones work in a mechanically similar way and it comes down to description.

There is also the fact that people don't seem to agree which styles are which; i've seen Crane listed as both [i'd call it a mixed style really], Dragon listed as the simplest and most complex of the kung fu forms, etc...


As for my personal style, it was an aggregate put together by a group of men with experience in several martial arts.
For the most part is consisted of various parts of "Animal Kung-fu" (Pai-Lung, White Dragon Kung-fu) mixed with self defenses for standing grapples. (Chuan-Fa, adapted from Hawaiian-Chinese Kenpo) and a bit of whatever else our instructor knew. (I learned the Muy Thai roundhouse, and a little about ground fighting, but that wasn't part of the style proper.)

My intention is that this should be synthesizable via a mix of first stage abilities, possibly with an advanced version of one or the other.


I have some ideas about how to work Kenpo into the system your suggesting.

The strike would specifically involve a very close quarters elbow and knee based attack. (like a flurry of blows with your elbows)

A good counter would be for a standing grapple and might involve getting to make a normal attack despite being grappled and if successful breaking the grapple. (Something like using your knowledge of anatomy to strike weak spots and force your opponent to let go.)

A boost might allow you to start a grapple, make a damaging attack and let go all in one turn. (Like grabbing your opponents head slamming it into a knee strike then releasing your enemy.)

As for a stance: Maybe one that allows you to occupy your opponents space and thereby be inside the reach of any manufactured weapons, but at the expense of taking an AoO because you pass through the weapons normal range.

For a form: Some kind of ability to bypass an opponents reach and close without provoking AoO. Like you use the stance to get in close and land a devastating forearm strike against an opponents throat.

Those are just some Ideas.

Good suggestions; my version based on this is:
Strike as your boost; grapple, deal double damage, break.
Counter similar to your stance, resistance to damage via proximity, like the Boxing Clinch counter. Difference here is that it provokes an AoO instead of requiring a Grapple.
Form no penalty on melee attacks while grappling [close in, inside your opponent's range]
Stance ignore the AoO immunity of the Improved X feats
Boost gain the ability to make a bunch of attacks. Possibly as simple as allowing an extra attack as a Swift action...

Mulletmanalive
2010-11-02, 04:02 PM
Right, Kempo is done, i'll get to TKD in a few minutes, assuming i don't run out of steam again.

BigDumbWeirdo
2010-11-02, 04:59 PM
I've got some not-too-inconsiderable experience in Ninjutsu, and I think I can help a bit, although contributing to the mechanics may be a bit beyond me, as the last game I played (not counting DDO) was 2nd Edition in high school.

Ninjutsu (or Taijutsu rather, as the unarmed combat techniques are the relevant ones here) is primarily focused on economy of motion and efficiency, with secondary emphases on intimidation (not the D&D skill) and evasion (again, not the D&D skill). Some ideas for special attacks might be a boost to disarming abilities, a boost to Bluff checks, and a stance which gives a boost to AC.

One thing worth pointing out is that Ninja weren't generally combat specialists. Although some were, the point was really to get your goals accomplished through whatever means necessary. A Fighter/Rogue is more like a ninja than a Monk, and even then, only with more levels of rogue. (I always pictured a master ninja as something like a Rogue12/Fighter3/Sorcerer 5.) I don't think it would be a particularly powerful martial art, but rather one that has cheap requirements and decent effectiveness. I'm probably showcasing my ignorance of the current rule system at this point, so I'll stop now.

I could probably answer some specific questions if you have them.

Mulletmanalive
2010-11-02, 05:05 PM
I could probably answer some specific questions if you have them.

Just one at the moment; most importantly, what's the name of those set moves? They're called Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Void...

I just finished practicing Earth [step back and to the side, whipping the outer arm out and striking with a peck blow to the ribs] and had moved onto water, which i've forgotten how that works entirely...then i got sick and gave up Ninjutsu training...

Other than that, feel free to comment; cheap access and sneaky gittishness is perfectly valid and frankly, screw the rules! I'll make those fit the fluff.

BigDumbWeirdo
2010-11-02, 06:12 PM
Just one at the moment; most importantly, what's the name of those set moves? They're called Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Void...

I just finished practicing Earth [step back and to the side, whipping the outer arm out and striking with a peck blow to the ribs] and had moved onto water, which i've forgotten how that works entirely...then i got sick and gave up Ninjutsu training...
If I'm not mistaken, water is that iconic punch-and-spin-like-a-fencer from the default stance (the boxing-like one with the off hand fisted and pointing straight at the opponent). It's hard to remember some (read: virtually ALL) of the names, because I haven't studied any martial art in over a decade, and ninjutsu was only one of three that I really got into.


Other than that, feel free to comment; cheap access and sneaky gittishness is perfectly valid and frankly, screw the rules! I'll make those fit the fluff.
Well, okay then. I'm probably just repeating myself, but let's call it "expounding" so I can feel important. ;)

I imagine that Taijutsu is kind of a template any character can choose, which grants one or two stances and a handful of moves, and that's it (at least at low levels). I dunno if you're familiar with the Enhancements system that DDO uses to govern prestige classes, but I picture it as something like that. The requirements should be fairly basic, because Taijutsu was taught to a wide variety of different "classes," as sort of a basic training for ninjas.

If a character wanted to specialize in it, I could see it granting bonuses to sneak attack (which could get absolutely epic at high levels, as assassinations were kind of a specialty of ninjas). If someone were to specialize in it as a combat art, I could see it granting some weapon and armor proficiencies, as ninjas tended to use heavy armor and complex weapons when needed. In fact, I recall something about a ninja clan that were well-known for their skill with firearms.

So if you want to work up some template for it, as a prestige class or something, I'd be happy to offer more feedback. Hopefully I've given you some ideas so far.

nonsi
2010-11-03, 02:55 AM
Any suggestions as to what taijutsu could consist of?


I The following seem most appropriate to me:

1. Stability.
2. Soft Landing - whether by jumping, an accidental fall or when thrown.
3. Kip-Up.
4. Bonuses to dodge with light/no armor AC and Using AoOs to Counterattack when an opponent misses you, with bonuses to counter moves such as disarm, grapple and trip.
5. Crippling Strike.

BigDumbWeirdo
2010-11-03, 07:15 AM
I The following seem most appropriate to me:

1. Stability.
2. Soft Landing - whether by jumping, an accidental fall or when thrown.
3. Kip-Up.
4. Bonuses to dodge with light/no armor AC and Using AoOs to Counterattack when an opponent misses you, with bonuses to counter moves such as disarm, grapple and trip.
5. Crippling Strike.
Those seem all good to me, well in keeping with the spirit of the martial art.

fil kearney
2010-11-03, 12:40 PM
[SPOILER]Just one at the moment; most importantly, what's the name of those set moves? They're called Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Void...


Earth = Chi no Kata
water = Sui no Kata
fire = Ka no Kata
air = Fu no Kata
Void = Ku no Kata

The sanshin no Kata are not really anything other than training forms...
Kamae are literally Stances... Ichi monji no Kamae, Ju monji no Kamae, Sanshin, hicho, hoko, kose, etc etc etc. all are usable unarmed AND armed....
History rant:

in feudal taijitsu, as military training, everything was taught as weapon vs weapon.. the survivors then learned unarmed vs unarmed.. and the superstars eventually picked up unarmed vs armed (because after x number of wars, they were really "good enough" to take out a spearman or swordsman unarmed.. but even these guys died a lot too.)


the amount of feats I see demonstrated is .... staggering. I spent years of just sword, katana + wakazashi 2HF techniques, spear and staff weapons, knives, chains, hand guns (amazingly similar to sword)... about 3 years IN armor... total of about 10 years of training overall
The sheer scope of taijitsu is so vast that specific styles and schools could consume 20 levels of fighter.

Here's my best at summarizing-- regardless of weapons, school, or techniques, it works mostly like this;
attack, grapple, knock prone, kill/immobilize

when facing more than one opponent, the warrior will stay in the "attack" mode until it is safe to progress further.
Rant:

unarmed attacks go to grappling ASAP because it mostly neutralizes weapons... so it's good strategy for the unarmed opponent to get close fast... but also, most ARMED techniques are designed to access grappling as well... because knocking that armored opponent prone is a huge advantage for killing them.
big problem is if in a large battle, grappling someone gets you killed... so the attacker is forced to mostly stay out of grappling, and stay "free" to engage multiple opponents.


Sticking to the mechanics provided:

Boosts I think should provide bonuses to grapple, trip, and disarm. This is the bread and butter of taijitsu.
Stance... regardless of which kamae is flavored... I think a good idea would be to allow a successful AoO attack to automatically earn "grappled" status. the warrior could choose to use it or just abandon the option... but MOST initial strikes in taijitsu is designed to open up grappling, as mentioned above.
Strike... taijitsu is not really known for "flashy strikes"... but to stick with the mechanics, I would suggest a standard attack = normal damage, but is both a stun attack (as per monk) and initiates a trip attack... end result (if things go well, supplemented by good boost usage) is a prone, stunned opponent.
Counter working with the stance above; a good counter would be to initiate an AoO against any melee attacker without reach (whether he hits or not)... this triggers a normal attack, and if successful; the option to grapple.

These 4 --to me-- boil down Taijitsu to it's core.
in stance, as long as AoO's remain, normal attacks can be used against anyone who attacks... with the freedom to grapple anyone (as long as not already grappling). The strike as a standard action prones and stuns a specific opponent if successful, and could be used with improved trip for a free attack vs prone. If this is the only opponent, then you have next round to full attack vs prone opponent, and then get the AoO if the opponent tries to stand again... opening them up for a strike + grapple. That is crazy taijitsu flavor.
The boosts make tripping and disarming easier... perhaps being considered a size larger, or just a flat + to roll.

My .02 for what it's worth.
I could go on about specifics for days.

Mulletmanalive
2010-11-03, 01:49 PM
Right, well i'm going to go with Nonsi's version, as Fil's version is easily worth 4 feats in the existing power scheme [the strike alone is worth a 4-5th level TOB manoeuvre]. If everything allows you to use AoOs to ruin your opponent's day, then it's going to make combat slow and clumsy.

As previously mentioned, I didn't really want to do ninjutsu for reasons connected to my setting but i'll write it up and have a crack at balancing it.

Anyone got any other styles to discuss?

Soulblazer87
2010-11-03, 05:52 PM
I am... working... in a style myself currently.

It's not a style per se, rather the combination of five separate styles that focus specifically on one of five aspects of fighting; speed, strength, endurance-toughness, precision and flexibility-adaptability. Each has its own element and, if you look closely at all martial arts, each and every martial art uses one or two of them, honing them as much as possible.

The idea of that style is to learn how to fight utilizing only one of these aspects at a time. However, by doing things drastically different, yet arriving at the same result, allows one to combine them to a sum far greater than the parts that make it.

For example; say we have wind and fire, or speed and strength respectively. A practicioner of wind would be extremely fast by virtue of how fast his body would move. A practicioner of fire on the other hand, would also be very fast by virtue of explosive strength, namely the ability to 'kick off' the ground for a much greater amount than anyone else. So, should someone use both styles, possessing both the immense strength necessary for a powerfull lunge as well as the immense speed, the total gain would be much greater than possessing either of them.

This style has quite a bit of potential fluff. I took the incentive to name it 'Five Heavenly Dragon Pillars' though that was mostly for a fanfic I'm writing (its japanese name being Goryu Tenchuu).

So why am I writing all this? Because I tried, and unfortunately failed, to make it possible for a monk to learn these abilities. Tried to make PrCs, but at 15-18 levels (there is a sixth, hidden pillar), it was too long to ever take without going into my hated Epic. Tried to make them separate disciplines, but there's just not much 'different' stuffs to write about, besides the fact that many are just passive abilities.

Anyway, if you want me to help form it out some more, detail it or whatever, send me a PM. I've got the starting stances, training excercises and whatnot mostly figured out if you want more fluff. So, that's it, if you want this, just ask away and I'll help you set it up.