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Martial Arts
Martial Arts Styles and Related Rules...


Learning Martial Arts

...for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons(tm) in MyWorld.
...for Multiverser.
The character wishing to learn a martial arts style must be in a circumstance in which it may be learned; that is, he must be in contact with a character who is at least a master of the style.  Oriental races and sub-races are presumed to have such contact at the creation of their character, to be able to maintain contact with some master of a style being learned, and to be able to more easily locate masters if they wish to learn a style later.  Non-oriental characters must specifically learn from an identified character, usually another player character or party-affiliated non-player character.  For this reason, only oriental characters may begin with martial arts styles at the time they are created. The character wishing to learn a martial arts style must be in a circumstance in which it may be learned; that is, he must be in contact with a character who can teach him.  A non-player character will not normally presume to teach a style unless he is at least a master of the style.  Player characters must specifically learn from an identified character, possibly another player character or associate non-player character, but usually an indig in a universe in which such styles are used.  Of course, players may attempt to teach themselves under the normal rules for acquiring skills without a teacher or trainer.
Once the character is himself a master, he must learn from an honored master; that is, the title of the teacher must always exceed that of the student.  It is possible but not certain that the master is himself learning from another, and could thus either advance to the next title in time to teach the student, or recommend to the student that he approach the other teacher for instruction.  Martial arts (capable and only) weapons are learned from those skilled in the use of the weapon, and are transferable automatically once the basic style and the weapon are known.  (These titles are a device of the MyWorld campaign--an effort to define who can teach martial arts without reference to class, since many characters--especially orientals--learn martial arts not required of them and not known to those training them in advancement in their class.  Other referees may wish to designate these matters differently.) Once the character is himself a master, he will be expected to learn from an honored master; that is, the title of the teacher must if possible always exceed that of the student.  It is possible but not certain that the master is himself learning from another, and could thus either advance to the next title in time to teach the student, or recommend to the student that he approach the other teacher for instruction.  Martial arts weapons are learned from those skilled in the use of the weapon, and are automatically usable in the style once the basic style and the martial arts weapon skill in that weapon are known.
Additional slots must be spent for any weapon which will be used in the style.  It is not necessary for the character to learn all of the available weapons, or even to learn any weapon if the style is not weapon method; if the style is weapon method, the character must learn at least one martial arts capable or martial arts only weapon in order to use the style's basic attacks.  Additionally, each martial arts style has at least two and not more than eleven special maneuvers.  These are numbered according to the difficulty within the method category of the maneuvers.  Although they need not be learned in the sequence listed, all the level one maneuvers included in the style must be learned before any level two maneuvers are learned, and all the level two maneuvers before any level three maneuvers, and so forth.  Each maneuver requires the expenditure of one proficiency slot.  Oriental characters do not distinguish weapon from non-weapon proficiencies; therefore monks and non-oriental characters may use weapon and non-weapon slots for martial arts slots, except that martial arts weapons require the use of weapon slots. Weapons which will be used in the style must also be learned.  It is not necessary for the character to learn all of the weapons taught in the style, or even to learn any weapon if the style is not weapon-dependent; if the style is weapon-dependent, the character have martial arts weapon skill in at least one weapon in order to use the style's basic attacks.  (A student who has learned to use the kiseru in one style may use it in any style in which weapons are used once he has mastered the basics of that style.  Although it would be more realistic to require the character to master the weapon separately for each martial arts style in which it may be used, this would create more paperwork than the referee needs keeping track of the SAL of each weapon in each style, and would require some way of compensating a character for his understanding of the weapon in the other style; that is, a character who already uses the kau sin ke in Chow En Lai will better understand its use when he attempts to learn the application to Ho Chi Minh.  It is easier just to give him the same SAL in the use of the weapon regardless of the style.)  Additionally, each martial arts style has at least two and not more than twelve special maneuvers.  These are listed according to the difficulty within the style of the maneuvers.  Although they need not be learned strictly in the sequence listed, the referee will usually control the master, and will offer the character new maneuvers to learn usually one at a time beginning with those the master regards proper for the student to learn next; the referee should expect that an SAL of at least 1@4 (possibly as high as 1@7) will be achieved by the student in the old maneuver before the new maneuver is introduced, and that long before the character has any idea what that maneuver is the teacher will require him to work at (seemingly ridiculous) exercises to strengthen various aspects of his nature until he is ready for the challenge.  If a player character is teaching another player character a martial arts style or maneuvers, the referee may penalize the learning success rolls or the skill advancement rate if he feels either that the skills are being added too quickly or the sequence is not appropriate in terms of what is being taught.
A character must completely master all the maneuvers (but not necessarily all the weapons) of one martial arts style before he can begin to learn another style.  He must also find someone who can teach him the new style.
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To aid the referee in designing martial arts training programs, we offer these absurd training techniques, drawn from various sources or made up of whole cloth.  They will apply both to the maneuvers individually and to style techniques.
It is possible for a character to learn more than one martial arts style.  It is probable that any two styles will share at least one special maneuver.  It does not seem equitable to require a character to expend a proficiency slot learning a maneuver for a new style which he has already mastered in an old style.  Nor does it seem right to allow the use of high-level maneuvers in a new style merely because they were learned in an old style.  These rules shall govern the use of such maneuvers. It is possible for a character to learn more than one martial arts style.  Under Multiverser rules, all maneuvers which have been learned may be used in any style which is known (except for weapon maneuvers in a weapon-adverse style), and any weapon which can be used as a martial arts (B7@1) weapon can be used in any style which is not weapon-adverse.
Each maneuver has a designated level; as has been explained, maneuvers must be learned beginning with the lowest level maneuvers first.  This means that all level one maneuvers are prerequisite to any level two maneuvers.  If a character has learned a maneuver in one style which is also taught in another style, he does not need to learn that maneuver again to use it in the new style; however, before he can use any maneuver in the new style he must learn all the prerequisites to that maneuver in that style.  Thus as soon as he has learned the basic style all level one maneuvers already known are incorporated within it; any previously known level two maneuvers included in the style become possible for the character to use in the new style upon mastery of all of the new style's level one maneuvers.  This prevents unfairness both by not requiring the character to spend additional proficiencies on known maneuvers and by not permitting high-level maneuvers within a newly learned style.  Titles or other designations of levels of mastery are determined by the number of maneuvers incorporated into use; thus it is possible for a character to jump levels if he has already learned higher level maneuvers in another style, if in learning one maneuver he incorporates several others at the same time.
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As explained below under the use of multiple styles, certain maneuvers carry over outside the style, and thus may be used without reference to which style is currently in use.  Other maneuvers may begin in one round and finish in another, while permitting an associated style change.  These rules do not affect those. Certain maneuvers carry over outside the style, and may be used without reference to whether a style is currently in use.  Other manneuvers may begin in one round and finish in another, and the style may be changed while the maneuver is maintained.

 If in the course of examining this material, you want to know more about AD&D, there are at least hundreds of sites on the web which may help; I'll just recommend my own two:
M. J. Young's Dungeons & Dragons Materials as source material for many campaigns and situations;
and all you need to create a character, Character Creation for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons First Edition.
And if in the course of examining this material you want to know more about Multiverser, check it out at:
The Multiverser Information Center.

Index:  The introductory page to the material.


Introduction:  Gives an overview of the contents of the web site.

Creating a Martial Arts Style:  Describes the way styles are designed.

Attacks per Round/Attack Multipliers:  How frequently the martial artist may attack.

Learning Martial Arts:  Rules and training techniques.

Martial Arts Titles:  A MyWorld variant and Multiverser concept substituting for "belts".

Use of Multiple Styles:  How to change between styles within the game.

AC for Special Maneuvers/Modifiers for Special Maneuver Attacks:  Clarification of how to use special attacks.

Special Maneuvers Summary:  The available maneuvers are listed with all information.

Stun and Incapacitate:  AD&D rules incorporate this into standard attacks; for Multiverser, this would be a separate skill.

Translating a Player Style:  Multiverser allows a player to bring his actual martial arts skills into the game through these rules.

The Style Collection:  Our imaginary styles are offered for your use.


Other Links of Interest:  A collection of sites related to this material in one way or another.