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.

One final note: the ‘Five-Fold Dance’ is not entirely a metaphor. All adepts are expected to be able to dance as well as they can, and many of the exercises and katas seem to be adapted from dance routines. In practical terms, this might allow a PC with Dancing at 14- to get Style Familiarity for free when it comes to The Five-Fold Dance; it will certainly get them a +1 reaction from adepts in this martial art.

Skills: Acrobatics, Climbing, Dancing, Hypnotism, Judo, Jumping, Karate, Melee Weapon (Jitte/Sai), Stealth
Maneuvers: Breakfall, Kicking, Retain Weapon (Jitte/Sai), Sweep
Perks: Off-Hand Weapon Training (Jitte/Sai)

Heart of the Mountain
Skills: Immovable Stance, Push
Maneuvers: Aggressive Parry, Disarm (Karate), Jam (Karate), Trip (Judo)
Cinematic Maneuvers: Grand Disarm, Hand Catch (Judo)

Dance of the Kite
Skills: Invisibility Art, Light Walk
Maneuvers: Acrobatic Stand, Attack from Above (Karate), Choke Hold, Evade
Cinematic Maneuvers: Roll With Blow, Springing Attack

Blades of the Shears
Skills: Flying Leap, Power Blow
Maneuvers: Back Strike (Karate), Counterattack, Jump Kick, Knee Strike
Cinematic Maneuvers: Pole-Vault Kick, Whirlwind Attack (Karate)

Wisdom of the Sage
Skills: Pressure Points, Pressure Secrets
Maneuvers: Elbow Strike (Karate), Feint (Karate), Leg Grapple (Judo), Wrench (Arm)
Cinematic Maneuvers: Binding (Judo) Pressure-Point Strike

Fangs of the Worm
Skills: Lizard Climb, Sensitivity
Maneuvers: Bind Weapon (Jitte/Sai), Close Combat (Jitte/Sai), Stamp Kick (Karate), Sweep (Judo)
Cinematic Maneuvers: Dual-Weapon Attack (Jitte/Sai), Timed Defense (Parry, Jitte/Sai)

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