llamaenterhear
Username: Password:

Author Topic: Parapsychic Martial arts  (Read 1288 times)

0 Members and 1 Lonely Barbarian are spying on this topic.

Offline Scrasamax

  • The Rogue Scholar
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3492
  • 20% Cooler
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Elite Systems Guild Elite Questor Gold Creator 10 Hall of Heroes 10
    • Scras' Blog
    • Awards
Parapsychic Martial arts
« on: July 10, 2012, 11:14:14 AM »
I want the feel of fighting games present in pen and paper RPGs, like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.

Core Idea 1: Combos

Combos, multiple attacks in a very short time, I would do with a variant of the CthulhuTech cascade system. Multiple actions typically incur increasing penalties to dice rolls, often to the point that anything besides aim, exhale, fire, is going to come up a bloody freaking miss. The cascade system is a flow chart approach to combat, opening move branches out into two or three secondary moves that can be done. It is limiting in what is capable, but it is offset by a 50% reduction in the multiple action penalty. It is also based off how many actions per turn a character is capable of (which in turn is generally based off of Dexterity or other relevant attributes). There are two tier and three tier cascades. This isn't special moves or anything crazy, but brings combat beyond I have two attacks, I punch twice. Instead you have a general Sword Hand (Karate) and can follow with a low kick, elbow strike, etc. So combat becomes a bit more interesting. This is probably going to be non-lethal damage

Weapon combos, same deal as above but training in the weapon allows for faster actions, at the expense of versatility. This can apply to swords and melee weapons (Draw Out attack + something else + something else). And works for Firearms as well. If you are trained to use a machine gun, you aren't going to be a rent a cop with an uzi and no concept of barrel climb. (Draw Weapon/action + three round burst + suppression fire).

Mix the two and you can get Christopher Bale from Equilibrium and the gun katas (dual draw + Gun strike/melee + One round shot)

Core Idea 2: Power Moves

There are some moves that are simply not possible by human standards, suck as Ryu's hadouken, Guile's sonic boom, or the special moves of the Mortal Kombat ninjas. Parapsychic powers come into play for these.

A move is a feat or special ability that you learn/buy with XP/however your advancement system works. So with Ryu's hadouken, he must first meet the special attack requirements. The things that come to mind: minimum martial arts ability, minimum willpower trait, possibly some sort of physical trait minimum, such as strength or stamina, and possessing the relevant parapsychic abilities. So the hadouken is fairly straight forward, so it wouldn't have a massive martial arts minimum (professional skill level should be fine) and it isn't a hard move to pull off, so willpower can be 5/10 if 3/10 is average. To keep things like having 98 pound weaklings running around doing shoryuken dragon uppercuts all over the place, the body of the fighter has to be in good shape, above average strength and stamina. Finally, the hadouken is a ranged attack. Telekinesis is a required parapsychic ability.

So, if Ryu clone wants to learn the move Hadouken, he needs Martial Arts (professional), Willpower (determined), Strength (Professional athlete), Stamina (Professional athlete) and the Telekinesis ability (student). If all of these requirements are met, the character can spend x points from their experience pool, or can select hadouken as a new feat at leveling up, etc and gain the special attack Hadouken.

Hadouken: Ranged/telekinetic damage as melee attack, add strength and intelligence score for determining damage. Range: 30 meters. Damage can be increased by expenditure of willpower/parapsychic power points.

Combos and Special Moves

Can special moves be used in combos? Yes. Can a combo be all special moves? I would say limit special moves to one per combo, such as the first part of the combo being mundane moves, and the final strike being a special move. Say with Ryu above, Stunning Palm (weak dmg), jump back or forward kick (to make room between fighters) then hadouken.

Advanced Special Moves

Most of the special attacks in street fighter can be covered with telekinesis. Mortal Kombat brings in some over the top stuff, like Sub Zero, Raiden and Scorpion. Swap cryokinesis and there is Sub Zero's special attacks, ditto for electrokinesis and pyrokinesis.


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

Tentacle Tentacle Sanity Schmanity

Offline MysticMoon

  • Mad Prophet
  • Strolenati
  • Grand Master
  • *
  • Posts: 740
  • Månlufsen (The Moon Bum)
  • Awards Golden Creator Questor Hall of Heroes 5 2011 Society of the Year
    • Awards
Re: Parapsychic Martial arts
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 03:49:16 PM »
Much to my chagrin, getting martial arts to work well in table-top RPGs is one of those things that seems to require a lot of complexity to get anywhere near realistic, even videogame realistic. Especially when you factor in all of the different strengths and weaknesses of the various styles (also sport vs combat within styles.)

Styles like Karate or Muay Thai may be the easiest, since they primarily use simple, but effective, blocks and strikes. But what do you do when someone mixes one of those with Jujitsu? How to determine whether the most appropriate response to an attack is with a block versus a grapple? What about styles like Aikido that are nearly useless when used aggressively but can be quite effective against aggressors.

In addition, how do you account for arts that are more effective when pitted against certain other styles. Drunken Boxing, for example, which is made to go against harder styles like Karate. Or Tai Chi, which gave older warriors an advantage against younger and stronger foes.

One of the styles of Kung Fu I am currently studying is called Lan Shou Quan, also known as Arresting Hands Boxing. Like Aikido, it is designed around defense. Unlike Aikido it is not primarily a grappling art. Many of the empty-hand techniques revolve around trapping an attack (catching a wrist or foot, for example) and then using that trapped limb to deliver counter attacks (like dropping body weight against an overturned elbow or pulling the attacker into combinations of punches and kicks; and as is typical of Kung Fu, it relies on some tricky body mechanics to apply force rather than brute strength, so skill is more important than muscle.) On the flip side, it has a strong focus on weapons, primarily the spear (and in fighting against spear-wielding adversaries, even when using something like a saber.)

And then you have styles designed around terrain. One of the classic examples is Northern vs Southern Kung Fu. Northern styles tend to be far more acrobatic and focus on longer-range attacks while Southern styles tend to focus on balance, minimal movement, and short-range attacks. This is attributed to the differences in landscape (open fields vs boats and rice paddies) and military vs urban combat. So someone using Northern Shaolin could be at a disadvantage against Hung Gar on a rocky boat or in a narrow city street.

There are so many arts and so many approaches to fighting. Everything I have come across so far has required too much complexity and often ends up unbalancing the rest of combat.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 03:55:05 PM by MysticMoon »
Chosen of Aktagarti – Divine Synod Guild – Level 1
Might: 2 | Agility: 3 | Wits: 4 | Charm: 3 | Spirit: 4 | Power: 2

The old man, grey-haired, braid hanging down.
He is clothed in faded brown robes.
His craggy face is turned up, bathed in moonlight;
He looks for his goddess to smile upon him.

Offline Scrasamax

  • The Rogue Scholar
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3492
  • 20% Cooler
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Elite Systems Guild Elite Questor Gold Creator 10 Hall of Heroes 10
    • Scras' Blog
    • Awards
Re: Parapsychic Martial arts
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2012, 11:33:57 AM »
I'm not worried about ParaPsi martial artists upsetting the game balance. There are tiers of combat, and they are on the top end of the bottom rung, man to man. If a ParaPsi is to much for other fighters to face, their are guns, non-martial art parapsychics (Firestarter, Yuri clones, etc) to nullify their physical advantages. ParaPsis are also able to deal integrity damage at mid to high range, they can damage vehicles and buildings. Just because Chun Li can use a Mountain Crushing Kick to take out a marine in a power armor suit doesnt mean that her technique is going to do jack against a vehicle like a main battle tank that has armor built to resist HE and AP rounds. Armor is armor. Plus, there are indiscriminate ways to threaten a martial arts machine, like artillery barrages and the like.

As for martial arts in general, I don't want to explore styles and techniques. Nothing ruins Kung Fu RPGs like someone who knows about MA


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

Tentacle Tentacle Sanity Schmanity

Offline Scrasamax

  • The Rogue Scholar
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3492
  • 20% Cooler
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Elite Systems Guild Elite Questor Gold Creator 10 Hall of Heroes 10
    • Scras' Blog
    • Awards
Re: Parapsychic Martial arts
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2012, 09:37:15 AM »
Combo Building

Rather than building an extensive array of cascade charts, I have the idea of letting the PCs build their own combo cascades. This lets the players make their own combos, in a fashion that suits their knowledge of martial arts, mixing in athletic moves (jumps, tumbles, rolls) acrobatic moves, melee attacks, blocks, feints, and so forth into their repertoire. There is one issue, combos are a representation of training, so ALL combos have to be presented before gameplay begins. New combos cannot be brought into a session in progress, but they can be developed in down time, and shouldn't be expensive in terms of XP points.

Approach 1: all of the moves in a combo string cannot have a maximum penalty greater than -12. Everyone uses the same limit.

Approach 2: You combo limit is determined by the fighter's martial arts score. I typically run a modified version of the White Wolf WOD engine, so skills are 1-5, so I would either use Martial Arts score x2 for the limit, or add Martial Arts plus their dexterity score for the limit.


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

Tentacle Tentacle Sanity Schmanity

Offline Scrasamax

  • The Rogue Scholar
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3492
  • 20% Cooler
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Elite Systems Guild Elite Questor Gold Creator 10 Hall of Heroes 10
    • Scras' Blog
    • Awards
Re: Parapsychic Martial arts
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2012, 10:22:44 AM »
Balancing Combat

There are several skills that cover combative action: Martial Arts, Brawl, Melee, Archery, Firearms, Wrestling, and Improvised Weapon.

Brawl is the basic ability to throw punches and kicks. It is unsophisticated, and at the higher levels brawl is about inflicting maximum damage and it is brutal. It isn't elegant, and there aren't schools, methodologies or storied histories. Brawl cannot use the combo system.

possessed by: street punks, wanna be MMA fighters, bikers, Police officers

Melee is the ability to use a weapon in a trained fashion. It is like brawl, typically an unsophisticated mode of combat. It is mostly about how to use a weapon without hurting the user and in the modern age, how to not hurt your sparring partner. Melee cannot use the combo system.

possessed by: SCA members (sword), RennFaire participants, Fencers, Police officers (baton)

Melee as a Martial Art, it does exist. It has an elevated XP cost like martial arts and can use the combo system. The weapon becomes an extension of the fighter and some examples include Kendo, and other eastern disciplines that use weapons.

possessed by: ninja, monks, professional bodyguards

Archery is pretty straight forward. Archery cannot use the combo system

possessed by: SCA members, bow hunters

But Legolas, but Hawkeye! Archery can be bought like martial arts, and trick shots can be bought and worked into combat. It is limited though as drawing an arrow and nocking it is an action that has to be worked into the combo. Archery as a martial art allows the archer to use athletic move actions, use their bow as a melee weapon, and so on.

possessed by Legolas, Hawkeye, the Green Arrow

Firearms is a general combat skill, shoot reload shoot. Firearms cannot use the combat system.

possessed by rednecks, hunters, police officers, soldiers

Firearms as a martial art, as demonstrated in the movie Equilibrium, martial arts and gunplay can be welded into a functional hybrid. This functions the same as archery as a martial art, allowing the guns to be used as melee weapons, fired in combat, and mixing in athletic and acrobatic moves.

possessed by Clerics in equilibrium, Neo

Wrestling isnt the same as wrasslin, it is a combative art based around grappling. Wrestling can use the combo system. Professional Wrestling is a perfect demonstration of the Brawl ability. This is more olympic wrestling, grabs and holds.

possessed by olympians, some MMA fighters

Improvised Weapon is best demonstrated by Vin Diesel in the Chronicles of Riddick, and it basically the art of turning almost anything into a melee weapon. Upper case Improvised Weapon can use the combo system.

possessed by: Riddick, the Joker, Odd Job, Gambit

So there is an issue of combat balance. I'm not going to balance out the combat system, a professional martial artist is going to beat the crap out of a brawler or other non-professional fighter. Some combat skills are better than others, Brawl and Firearms are cheap combat skills, they don't cost a lot in terms of XP costs. Archery, and melee are archaic skills, so practitioners are rare, and the skills take time to learn. The martial art variants cost double the amount of XP and have a greater variety of moves, abilities, and access to combos. Does this unbalance combat in the favor of the martial artist? I certainly hope it does. Chuck Norris should totally be able to take out Hulk Hogan.

Does it unbalance the game? I don't think so. The martial artist is the pinnacle of hand to hand combat, and they should understandably be the best at it. The martial artist isn't unbeatable. Guns are a great equalizer. Can he dodge one bullet, that's fine we aren't shooting arquebuses these days, can he dodge 30? In the setting I'm using, technology is also a great equalizer: cyborgs, cybernetically augmented humans, power armor suits, tazers and lasers.


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

Tentacle Tentacle Sanity Schmanity

Offline Scrasamax

  • The Rogue Scholar
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3492
  • 20% Cooler
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Elite Systems Guild Elite Questor Gold Creator 10 Hall of Heroes 10
    • Scras' Blog
    • Awards
Re: Parapsychic Martial arts
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2012, 10:32:01 AM »
Combat Tiers

Top down:

Hull Scale - naval combat between spaceships, surface warships, armored arcologies and fortresses, submarines, etc. combatants weight 8,000 tons or more. Naval grade weapons

Intermediate scale - craft greater than 200 tons but less than 5,000. These include naval craft smaller than destroyers but larger than personal watercraft.

Integrity Scale - mecha, tanks, fighters, bombers, gun emplacements

Hybrid scale - infantry power armor, light vehicles like motorcycles. The RPG and grenade are hybrid weapons

Vitality Scale - Mano y mano, pistols and rifles.


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

Tentacle Tentacle Sanity Schmanity

Offline MoonHunter

  • Waunderer
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3508
  • Awards Systems Guild Society Guild Locations Guild Questor Item Guild Lifeforms Guild
    • Awards
Re: Parapsychic Martial arts
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2012, 06:26:38 PM »
Hero System's Martial Arts rules rock.  They cover pretty much everything you are discussing here. They provide what you need, including all the cool powers and the limited levels that bonus up combos.  You can now get 4th and 5th editions of martial hero (both hard copy and pdf) for really cheap now. 

In short, Each martial art has a list of a number of manuvers which you can take with it.  So once you have the art, you can buy these extra manuvers that provide the modifiers to hit, defense, and damage, with any special results. 

The martial manuvers can be used for weaponed systems.  Fencing, Bows, and Firearms, are applicable.

Special abilities, chi blasts or what ever are simply purchased as extra powers.
MoonHunter
Sage, Gamer, Mystic, Wit
"The road less traveled is less traveled for a reason."
"The world needs dreamers to give it a soul."
"And it needs realists to keep it alive."
Authentic Strolenite ®©

Offline Scrasamax

  • The Rogue Scholar
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3492
  • 20% Cooler
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Elite Systems Guild Elite Questor Gold Creator 10 Hall of Heroes 10
    • Scras' Blog
    • Awards
Re: Parapsychic Martial arts
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2012, 06:46:26 PM »
Hero System's Martial Arts rules rock.  They cover pretty much everything you are discussing here. They provide what you need, including all the cool powers and the limited levels that bonus up combos.  You can now get 4th and 5th editions of martial hero (both hard copy and pdf) for really cheap now. 

In short, Each martial art has a list of a number of manuvers which you can take with it.  So once you have the art, you can buy these extra manuvers that provide the modifiers to hit, defense, and damage, with any special results. 

The martial manuvers can be used for weaponed systems.  Fencing, Bows, and Firearms, are applicable.

Special abilities, chi blasts or what ever are simply purchased as extra powers.

That would be way easier than cobbling together an expansion for an existing combat system


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

Tentacle Tentacle Sanity Schmanity