Feb
10
2018
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GURPS Martial Art: Cheer [GURPS 4e]

Cheer – Google Docs

Cheer [15/21]

 

This underground martial art is practiced by the most hardcore of American cheerleading squads.  It’s an almost merciless discipline to learn: initiates start tough, and are ruthlessly taught to push their bodies to the maximum.  Those who stick it out become tricky and unpredictable opponents in a fight; those who don’t still keep the squad’s secrets.

 

Factoid: 85% of American corporate ninja have at least basic proficiency in Cheer, and 42% of them list Cheer as their primary martial art.

(more…)

Feb
01
2018
3

Martial Art: Batter [GURPS 4e]

Batter is, by the way, different from Batter-Up.  The former is snickering at how easy it is for the present to get the past wrong; the latter practically worships at the altar of Fallout 4. Although Moe Cronin might find Batter entertaining enough, if remarkably free of blood.

Batter [15pt]

 

This is the modern reconstruction of the ancient martial art first practiced by wandering players during the Early Middle Period of the First American Republic.  These men (fragments from the sagas suggest that women players were exceedingly rare)  were inveterate wanderers who thought nothing of spending up to half the year going from town to town as part of their ritual practices. Sober legend has them as being ascetic, dedicated athletes with a strong ethical and civic code; what popular tales survive from this time period suggest that players had a decidedly earthier style when not on the Field of Play.  

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Sep
06
2017
1

Western Union (WU) [16/26] [GURPS 4E]

The things I think of while waiting for the cashier.

Western Union (WU) – Google Docs

Western Union (WU) [16/26]

 

This mystical organization flourished in the expansionist phase of the First American Republic. Dominating as it did several primitive electromagnetic forms of communication, Western Union (WU) was a power on the North American continent, acting as a shadow government in many locations. Even in places where WU did not rule it still had great influence; it was rich, it was powerful, and it literally had an ear and mouth in every conversation in the First Republic.

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Jul
20
2017
1

Geek Fu [GURPS 4E]

Geek Fu – Google Docs

 

Geek Fu [13/18]

 

In a world where everybody knows kung fu — like, say, the worlds of ever so many martial arts movies — the martial arts style learned and used by roleplaying geeks would have to be an interesting one indeed.  Geek Fu is a ‘soft’ style: it teaches observation and evasion, not hand strikes. In keeping with it’s not-quite-serious tone, Geek Fu teaches the best way to use a trench coat (Cloak), Doctor Who scarf (Whip), and linked dice bags (Bolas) effectively; practitioners also learn how to throw their dice more, ah, pointedly.

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Nov
02
2016
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GURPS Martial Art: Batter Up. [GURPS 4e]

Batter Up

Batter Up (5pt)

This particular style is best suited for either post-apocalyptic campaigns where people have access to baseball equipment but no real memory of the game itself, or else cinematic urban campaigns where urban street gangs with bizarre costume themes are a thing.  Batter Up is a brutal street-fighting style: you hit people with the baseball bat until they fall down, and then you stomp them.  What makes Batter Up interesting is that its adepts train extensively on the bat. Some useful brawling techniques are taught, and every adept learns to throw a baseball in combat, but the style definitely encourages an almost obsessive focus on the bat.

Typically, Batter-Up adepts will wear a modified baseball uniform, with limited, light protection at the groin, joints, and head. Spiked or weighted gloves are very common. (more…)

Oct
20
2016
2

GURPS Martial Art: Zombie Defense Training [GURPS 4e]

Zombie Defense Training – Google Docs

Zombie Defense Training (9pt)

Zombie Defense Training, or ZDT, was designed in response to classic ‘slow’ zombies: mindless, clumsy, but also implacable and difficult to kill. People taught it are first trained on how to break contact; actual combat techniques are for emergencies and necessary cleanup operations.  ZDT also assumes that practitioners are wearing somewhat restrictive armor, carrying at least one club and a spear, and wearing weighted, reinforced gloves.  

The style can be used against human opponents, but the style’s lack of training in kicks (and dealing with kicks) should be particularly noted. More subtly, someone trained in ZDT is used to unsubtle foes; Romero-style zombies typically don’t use sophisticated combat maneuvers.  This isn’t enough of a problem to be worth points, but it should be considered when running combats.

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Oct
05
2016
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New GURPS Martial Art: The Five-Fold Dance. [GURPS 4e]

The Five-Fold Dance (10pt)

This is a martial art that is in the process of breaking out from ‘workaday combat school’ mode to enter into ‘cinematic fighting style’ status. The core teachings are a fairly straightforward unarmed / melee combat style, with an emphasis on misdirection and movement. The non-cinematic style is perfectly serviceable, and well-suited for an adventurer, but not otherwise noteworthy.

It’s the cinematic version that’s crucial here, though. There are five advanced schools, which very much do require Trained By A Master to join (adepts only have to buy it once, though). Mountain School teaches toughness, Kite School teaches movement, Shears School teaches advanced unarmed combat techniques, Sage School teaches body awareness, and Worm School teaches melee weapon combat techniques. Adepts in all five Schools constantly spar and compete with each other – Shears and Worm in particular both feel that the other School has stolen their rightful name – but the only way to become a full acolyte to a Master is to learn the secrets of at least three Schools, and to achieve the level of Master itself requires the mastery of all five. Adepts are thus tacitly expected to be able to balance competition and cooperation; this works… remarkably well, considering that highly-disciplined, yet spirited, martial artists are involved. (more…)

Sep
27
2016
4

New Martial Art: Full-Contact Wellness Care [GURPS 4e]

Full-Contact Wellness Care (17pt)

This is absolutely, explicitly, and without a doubt a cinematic style. Full-Contact Wellness Care was invented by an eccentric martial arts master who also happened to be a physician: it takes pressure point and chi flow theories to their logical conclusion by seeking to manipulate a patient’s health via the use of precise applications of kinetic energy. The style is a jumbled mishmash of various esoteric and mundane theories on physiology, but you can use it to kick kidney stones out of a patient’s body without lasting harm and/or permanent pain, so who cares?

Note that all legitimate practitioners of Full-Contact Wellness Care swear to follow the Hippocratic Oath. In the original Greek.  Illegitimate practitioners typically buy a few points in Poison and don’t bother holding back on their attacks.

(more…)

Aug
18
2016
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New Martial Arts Style: Poet’s Recourse [GURPS 4E]

Poet’s Recourse (6pt)

This is not a martial art for those who wish to engage in combat.  No, this is a martial art for those who are reluctantly in combat, and who wish to exit it at the first possible opportunity. It assumes that the adept is wearing no armor – possibly, no clothes – and does not have much in the way of a weapon, either.  The martial art essentially teaches how to avoid getting hit while running away, preferably while your opponent’s primary weapon has been knocked out of his grasp.  It’s best used against opponents using melee who aren’t trying to kill the adept; against anyone with a missile weapon, all the training manuals advise, pithily, “Jump through the window.” Luckily, the style teaches how to do that safely. Or… more safely. (more…)

Aug
09
2016
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New Martial Arts Style: The Mind’s Hand [GURPS 4E]

Martial Art: The Mind’s Hand (5/10 pt)

This particular martial art is taught in worlds where psionic powers are known and codified.  The basic style is taught alongside regular psionic abilities: the style teaches the student how to make skin-to-skin physical contact with his opponent, hopefully thus allowing the student to use his psionic abilities to greater effect.  The Mind’s Hand is a very fluid, very quick style; Evades and Feints are emphasized, as are unusual fighting stances. Also note: the uniform of The Mind’s Hand is typically skimpier than normal. An elbow or ankle works just as well as a hand when it comes to making skin-to-skin contact.

The cinematic version of this style is typically the province of monks who spend thirty years sitting on a mountaintop, maintaining their existence through sheer force of psionic will. A cinematic adept will still be primarily skilled in psionic techniques, with ‘merely’ enough combat abilities to terrify the average fighter.

(more…)

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