Martial Arts Styles

Written by Chris Gunning

Writer’s note: I picked up the Pan-Asian Collective sourcebook for Shadowforce Archer – mostly because I have been dying for some descent d20 martial arts rules. The book does a good job in presenting a good deal of options for a martial artist, including some nice stance feats. But man, oh man, there are just too many feats right now for Spycraft/SFA. This is one approach to help maximize the use of a character’s feat slots while also giving them a bit more color.

Moreover, I was hoping to have some direction in order to make a master of Aikido or Ninjuitsu or whatever, but what I got was some very basic rules that need some direction. So, here is that direction. I do not claim to be a martial artist, I am much more of an armchair scholar when it comes to the fighting arts, so I am sure someone out there a bit more knowledgeable can critique my presentation. Plus, I made a lot of these with a mind to make them specifically applicable to Spycraft as well as fun – so in many cases realism is sacrificed for playability. Please, feel free to critique… I would love to get the following a bit more in line with real martial fighting forms.

Please Note: You must own a copy or have access to the Shadowforce Archer sourcebook The Pan-Asian Collective. While the Spycraft core book is useful for helping define basic martial arts, The Pan-Asian Collective gives you the feats and options necessary to use the following rules. These rules are to represent those individuals that place a good amount of time and effort into learning a martial art – rather than some who uses it as a pastime. Those who self describe themselves as a martial artist or a practitioner of a particular style are those people represented in these rules.

Requirements: In order to train and adopt one of the many Martial Arts Styles presented here a character must have an Unarmed Combat feat slot available. Any feat slot in which a character may purchase an Unarmed Combat feat will suffice. By selecting a Martial Arts feat as an Unarmed Combat feat, your character gains a series of other feats simultaneously. A character must meet the requirements for ALL the feats gained by selecting a Martial Arts feat.

If, for any reason, the character already has one of the feats granted by a Martial Arts feat, they gain no additional benefit nor do they gain a “discount” on the xp cost. Your character relearns what they already knew but gains nothing exceptional from that particular training.

For each level of a particular Martial Arts adopted, a character must have 2 skill levels in the skill Knowledge (Martial Arts). This skill is defined on p.43 of the Pan-Asian Collective sourcebook. Thus, a character with 2 feat levels of a Style, they must have 4 levels in the associated skill.

Any prerequisites gained via a martial arts grouping are waived. Additionally, a character must have experience points available to spend. This experience point expenditure must be done all at once and in such a way that it does not drop a level of the character. The experience points, once spent are lost forever, period. The expenditure represents the time and effort required for a character to learn a level of a martial arts style – the training does not come cheap! In other words, a character who is only 100 experience points into their newest level, may not spend more than those 100 experience points in an effort to train in a Martial Art style.

Finally, a character must spend the time indicated in the feat description. It takes a good amount of concentration and work to become competent in these Styles at the level represented, and should be represented in game.

In effect, for the cost of a single feat slot, 2 skill points and a variable amount of xp, the character gains a series of related feats that form the base of a particular martial arts style.

Any reference to a “Stance” feat refers to those feats listed in the Unarmed Combat feat tree with the word “stance” in the title.

The Martial Arts Styles

Aikido Basics

You have studied the most popular soft art, perfecting your ability to fight any foe using throws and grabs. Your enemies momentum and anger is a weapon you are all to familiar with – and more than capable of using.
Prerequisites: Martial Arts, Expertise, Chi Strike, 2d6 months of training, 1300 xp
Special: Only make subdual damage when using this style.
Benefit: Gain the feats: Open Stance, Blocking Basics, Dodging Basics, Holding Basics, and Throwing Basics.

Aikido Mastery

You have advanced to a notable level in Aikido, so much so that you are known to other practitioners and could train someone if you see fit. As long as you choose, you can enter combat and all but refuse to directly damage your opponent and still walk away victorious.
Prerequisites: Aikido basics, 2d6 months of additional training, 2800 xp
Special: Only make subdual damage when using this style.
Benefit: Gain the feats: Soft Master, Crane Stance, Blocking Mastery, Dodging Mastery, Holding Mastery, and Throwing Mastery.

Jujutsu (Judo) Basics

You now know one of the most offensive and direct martial arts in existence. Originally created by and for the Samurai class, this style is all about doing the most damage with the shortest amount of effort.
Prerequisites: Any one stance feat. Martial Arts, Expertise, Chi Strike, 2d4 months of training, 1800 xp
Special: May use a Basic Combat Feat slot or Melee Combat Feat slot instead of the normal Unarmed Combat feat slot.
Benefit: Gain the feats: Fluid Arts, Kicking Basics, Punching Basics, Throwing Basics, any one Stance feat, any one Melee Combat feat.

Jujutsu (Judo) Mastery

You are a master of damaging your foes. You are quick and efficient and more than a little scary to watch in combat. At this point you have also learned how to combine your knowledge of jujutsu with armed combat to make you even more effective.
Prerequisites: Jujutsu Mastery, 2d4 months of training, 3200 xp
Special: May be armed with a melee weapon while performing any of the jujutsu associated feats.
Benefit: Gain the feats: Punching Mastery, Kicking Mastery, Throwing Mastery, Linear Arts

Shao-lin Kung Fu Basics

This style is considered the basis for many other styles, and to some, is the basis on which every other eastern martial art is based. When first unveiled by the Shao-lin monks of ancient China, they were considered a security threat to the state- they were that effective.
Prerequisites: Warrior’s Grace, Martial Arts, 1d10 months of training, 1300 xp.
Special: May use a Basic Combat Feat slot or Melee Combat Feat slot instead of the normal Unarmed Combat feat slot.
Benefit: Gain the feats: Ready Stance, Punching Basics, Rolling Basics, Kicking Basics, Dodging Basics.

Shao-lin Kung Fu Mastery

There are few Martial Arts masters that are so versatile as the master of Shao-lin. You are prepared for any combat situation and it takes a truly Herculean effort to catch you off guard.
Prerequisites: Shao-lin basics, 2d10 months of training, 2700 xp.
Special: Never considered flat-footed except in cases of supernatural intervention (Control approval), even when surprised or ambushed.
Benefit: Gain the feats: Shifting Stance, Punching Mastery, Rolling Mastery, Kicking Mastery, Dodging Mastery.

Tae Kwon Do Basics

Tae Kwon Do focuses heavily on kicks and as such, is noted as a very aggressive art. While Tae Kwon Do does emphasize the usefulness and effectiveness of kicking, the rest of the body is not ignored- with the end result being a very resourceful fighter. This art has become quite popular around the world, most notably with many military forces.
Prerequisites: Chi Strike, Martial Arts, 1d8 months of training, 1100 xp.
Special: None.
Benefit: Gain the feats: Forward Stance, Punching Basics, Kicking Basics, Vital Point Basics.

Tae Kwon Do Mastery

The master of Tae Kwon Do is matched only by a few in raw offensive capabilities. They are strong, resilient, and able to do things with their legs in combat that many would simply not believe.
Prerequisites: Tae Kwon Do Basics, 1d8 months of training, 2500 xp.
Special: +2 damage to all attacks involving kicks.
Benefit: Gain the feats: Linear Arts, Iron Fist (foot), Kicking Mastery, Kicking Supremacy, Vital Point Mastery.

Wu Shu Basics

Wu Shu Kung Fu is the People’s Republic of China’s official combat form and as such, is highly structured. There is a heavy emphasis on the importance of the body over the soul in Wu Shu even in non-Chinese dojos. Jumps, twists, and back flips are all standard maneuvers for this style- making it a very flashy Martial Art to witness.
Prerequisites: Martial Arts, Mobility, 2d8 months of training, 1800 xp.
Special: May use a Basic Combat Feat slot or Melee Combat Feat slot instead of the normal Unarmed Combat feat slot.
Benefit: Gain the feats: Shifting Stance, Acrobatic, Athletic, Jump Up, Kicking Basics, Punching Basics, Dodging Basics, Rolling Basics.

Wu Shu Mastery

You are a sight to behold. You move with a fluidity matched only by other acrobatic forms and are quite capable of arming yourself with a weapon to make your attacks all the more effective. It is exceedingly difficult to anticipate your movements of such a fighter as you can strike from just about any angle with any portion of your body.
Prerequisites: Wu Shu basics, 2d8 months of training, 3700 xp.
Special: May be armed with a melee weapon while performing any of the Wu Shu associated feats.
Benefit: Gain the feats: Surge of Speed, Flag Dance, Kicking Mastery, Punching Mastery, Dodging Mastery, Rolling Mastery, any one Melee combat feat.

Capoeira Basics

Capoeira hails from Brazil and South America. Capoeira was originally practiced by plantation slaves who were forbidden from fighting and often chained while working. Because of the difficult constraints on fighting the slaves developed a fighting style that could masquerade as dancing while still be as deadly as any other martial art.
Prerequisites: Martial Arts, Mobility, 3d6 months of training, Athletic, Profession (Dance) 4 Ranks, 1800 xp.
Special: Capoeira usually requires a good deal of room to perform- thus, cramped conditions preclude the use of this martial art (GC’s judgment call). Also, if the dancer wishes to conceal their fighting as dancing they may do so as opposed roll using their profession (dance) skill.
Benefit: Gain the feats: Inverted Stance, Acrobatic, Athletic, Jump Up, Kicking Basics, Dodging Basics, Rolling Basics.

Capoeira Mastery

Your sheer physical prowess through Capoeira is astounding. You are the epitome of grace and power, moving in great beautiful arcs, devastating and skillful kicks, and jumping into the air as if the sky is your home.
Prerequisites: Capoeira Basics, 1d8 months of training, 3000 xp.
Special: At the beginning of a combat turn if you make a profession (dance) check (DC 20) then all error ranges to hit you is increased by 2.
Benefit: Gain the feats: Monkey Stance, Kicking Mastery, Kicking Supremacy, Dodging Mastery, Rolling Mastery.

Armed Arts Basics

You have studied the intricacies of using a particular melee weapon in martial combat. As such, you are a force to be reckoned with, combining the deadly utility of a weapon with conditioned training. This style represents everything from Kendo and fencing to Arnis and everything in-between.
Prerequisites: Martial Arts, Expertise, 2d6 months of training, 1500 xp.
Special: Must use a specific melee weapon type while using this martial art. Weapon types may not be substituted. You must use a Melee combat feat for this martial art.
Benefit: Gain the feats: (Selected Weapon) Basics, Guard Stance, Blocking Basics, Dodging Basics, Contempt, Signature Gear (selected weapon).

Armed Arts Mastery

You have trained extensively with your chosen weapon, so much so that the weapon is a mere extension of yourself.
Prerequisites: Martial Arts, Expertise, 4d6 months of training, 2900 xp.
Special: Must use a specific melee weapon type while using this martial art. Weapon types may not be substituted. You must use a Melee combat feat for this martial art.
Benefit: Gain the feats: (Selected Weapon) Mastery, Forward Stance, Blocking Mastery, Dodging Mastery, Trademark Weapon (selected weapon).

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