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Author Topic: Martial Arts  (Read 12277 times)
Mordacc
Member

Posts: 43


« Reply #45 on: February 24, 2003, 02:22:37 PM »

Thalaxis, believe it or not there are many people trained in Combat Ki who can take full on blows to the neck (by multiple people at the same time in fact).  I have taken it for many years and if you dont believe me, which there is no reason why you should, read about it.  I have seen it with my own eyes many times.
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The Riddle of Steel is that you are the weapon.  Swords, Magic, these are only tools.  Your most powerful weapon is the one between your ears.  When you embrace this, you will be invincible.
Thalaxis
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Posts: 42


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« Reply #46 on: February 24, 2003, 02:29:48 PM »

Quote from: Mordacc
Thalaxis, believe it or not there are many people trained in Combat Ki who can take full on blows to the neck (by multiple people at the same time in fact).  I have taken it for many years and if you dont believe me, which there is no reason why you should, read about it.  I have seen it with my own eyes many times.


That is not physiologically possible... sorry to burst your bubble. Humans are not built to handle that sort of abuse.
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Ashren Va'Hale
Member

Posts: 427


« Reply #47 on: February 24, 2003, 02:40:09 PM »

I once saw a magician in vegas cut a woman in half and then put her back together again an thats not physiologically possible either so whats your point? If the guy in vegas can cut a woman in half (and I saw it with my own eyes and there are books about it) then it must have happened that way and by the same logic mordacc's assertionson KI must be true.
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I trust my point has been made.... signing off now.
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Philosophy: Take whatever is not nailed down, for the rest, well thats what movement is for!
Nick the Nevermet
Member

Posts: 352


« Reply #48 on: February 24, 2003, 06:08:45 PM »

To move back from the brink of flamewars, the point goes back to someone asking about how 'cinematic' they want TROS to feel.  Whether one believes ki allows certain things to occur or not, I think we can all agree that a guy taking 4 hits to the neck at the same time & being perfectly fine is a little off the beaten track, shall we say.

What does this mean in game play?  Well, it means that the Seneschal allowed one character to have a 9 or a 10 Toughness starting off.

I think that the utility of this thread lies in the fact that TROS is a roleplaying game where a player really should be allowed on occasion to make characters deeply based around combat without doing so be seen as being a 'munchkin' or a 'twink.'  Therefore, a discussion on the mechanics can handle some of the more outlandish anecdotes of combat is useful.

My personal opinion is that most of these these things can be represented through SAs, combat pool, & attributes... with roleplaying backing up the reasoning on why the character can do what (s)he can.

Obviously, this is a variable that people should be clear on BEFORE gameplay starts.  Its bad to show up to a wuxia fight with just a dagger, afterall.

EDIT: added last 2 paragraphs
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Jon the Bastard
Member

Posts: 12


« Reply #49 on: February 24, 2003, 07:41:00 PM »

I remember a few years back, the Discovery channel had these Shaolin kung fu guys that were doing stunts on the street.   You know, they were bending swords on their stomachs, getting punched in the chest, and having guys break bamboo rods across their throats.   Honestly, none of these feats were all that impressive in real life.   But what was really impressive was the training these guys underwent.   Constant, day in, day out full body exercises.   The monks were walking up the side of a mountain, on their hands.   They had one monk hold the other's feet. wheelbarrow-style, and then they ran up the mountain.   It looked like it was at least a mile up and back.    That is just hard -freakin'- core.   My point is, you don't need mystic powers when you are that bad ass.   And these guys train since they can walk.  
      So the question is: can this be duplicated in TRoS?   I think so.   The real pain in the ass job is going to be modeling the martial art.   There needs to be new techniques for leaping attacks, at least for some forms, and each form is more accurately described as seperate styles, each with a collections of techniques.   You've got your Iron shirt style, your Chin-na grappling, your Crane, Tiger, and other assorted animal styles.    Then you've got to build your monk.   Definately have physicals as their primary, and Proficiencies next, or vice versa.   The real kicker are their SAs.   If we give the monk a Faith: Ki, that is, a total belief in the Monk's own martial capacity as an outgrowth of his inner tranquility, you've got a combatant who could potentially be fighting with a Combat Pool in the 15 - 20 range, as a beginning character, and whose Faith pool constantly regenerates just as long as he keeps his head during combat.   Against even a well talented opponent, the monk will just decimate him.   He could even go up against two or three poor opponents, it he plays his cards right.   Now, I don't know how you could call that anything less than astounding.  
    However, he does have his human limits.   He bleeds, just like any man, and even the greatest Iron Shirt master will be killed by a crossbow bolt in the back.   Remember, during the Boxer's Rebellion in China, the Sacred Order of the Harmonious Fist (coolest cult name. ever) were cut down by the Chinese Gov't rifles.   It was seen as something on a joke, these Shaolin Monks just charging the rifles, nothing but their faith protecting them.   Faith can move mountains, but a .30 - .06 round can move flesh, bone, and earth, and far more reliably.
   So if we really want a martial artist, we should concentrate on building the styles, and let the very robust and flexible system of TRoS do the rest.
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Bankuei
Guest
« Reply #50 on: February 24, 2003, 09:04:50 PM »

I actually got a chance to see the Shaolin live, in a high school auditorium about 8 years ago, before they started doing "stadium" tours, I saw them do a bunch of stuff, the most impressive being one guy taking hits from a massive log and not giving an inch.  

Just the same, I've said it before, and will say it again:  There's not much point in the "I believe" group and the "I don't believe" group arguing the reality of human potential on this thread.  I know what I saw, but unless I actually go out and get someone who can do it, and the people who don't believe, together in a room for a live demonstration, it all amounts to words.  

So I'm going to say it again: Let's drop all talk of what can be done in real life.

Let's stick to the simple point of how can we make this kind of stuff work in game.  

Quote
So the question is: can this be duplicated in TRoS? I think so. The real pain in the ass job is going to be modeling the martial art. There needs to be new techniques for leaping attacks, at least for some forms, and each form is more accurately described as seperate styles, each with a collections of techniques. You've got your Iron shirt style, your Chin-na grappling, your Crane, Tiger, and other assorted animal styles.


On note of what you're saying Jon, remember that the Combat Pool actions do not indicate 1) A single strike being made, but rather the decisive strike coming forth, 2) they can indicate any kind of attack, ranging from a jump attack to a funky "fold-your-knees-drop-real-quick-and-pop-back-up-under-their-guard-oops-that-wasn't-your-sternum/groin/throat-was-it?" attacks.

You don't need to make a technique for each of these styles.  Chin-na is grappling, as listed in the book, it just happens that someone who trains 14 hours a day for years on end has a crazy Combat Pool.  Tiger is offensive strikes + grappling(I know personally).  Crane is counters, +accuracy gift to get those fun spots like throat and eyes.  Iron shirt is high toughness or else the Ki rules as I described.

My personal mods to the manuevers were primarily based off of game mechanics(that is, most boil down into a strategy game of eliminating an opponent's CP so that you can deliver a finishing blow).  The couple of things that I have modified according to style, one Brian pointed out a rule that already covers it, and the second modification is not unique to my style but can be found in martial arts of all sorts around the world.  Just because my style tends to use it more often doesn't mean it earned its own rule.

Otherwise, I want rules for breaking feet by stomping on them during combat, rules for deliberately cracking and weakening opponent's blades during blocking, rules for drawing out one of 15 hidden knives on your body in combat, rules for confusing the opponent by using sounds to set up off timing, etc.  Look, I don't think anyone wants, or really needs all of those rules.  GURPS and HERO both tried that method, and the combat isn't actually very strategic, exciting, or entertaining.  You just end up picking the two or three techniques that hit the most often and do the most damage.

On the other hand, I can spend all my dice on an attack from a offensive stance and say I'm doing a "Waterfall strike" pole attack while jumping...

Same idea, less math.

Chris
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Jon the Bastard
Member

Posts: 12


« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2003, 12:49:21 AM »

Quote
You don't need to make a technique for each of these styles. Chin-na is grappling, as listed in the book, it just happens that someone who trains 14 hours a day for years on end has a crazy Combat Pool. Tiger is offensive strikes + grappling(I know personally). Crane is counters, +accuracy gift to get those fun spots like throat and eyes. Iron shirt is high toughness or else the Ki rules as I described.



   Oh, I totally agree with you.   In fact, I just made a couple fighters to play around with.   I made one Monk as a psuedo Praying Mantis fighter, with Bind and Strike, Feint, Block Open and Strike, Simultaneous Block/Strike, and plain old Punch ti simulate the rapid traps/strikes of Mantis.   He ended up with a 7 Reflex, and a total of 16 in his Mantis Combat pool.  

    Then I made a Yeoman who fought with an Axe and Shield, with a CP of 10, which is about average for most characters.   He wore a leather Jerkin, and was tough as nails (6 En).    
     I learned a few things from running the two of them through some fights.

One:   It is not neccessary for the Monk (Chiang Si- Lun) to do damage to the axe fighter (Tahner Smithyson).   As long as Chiang could just keep hitting Tahner, he could maintain the upper hand, keeping Tahner on the defensive.   With Tahner's high Toughness, and a nice round shield, it was very unlikely that Chiang could ever land a kill-shot.   In fact, it was damn near impossible.

Two:   Kicks require way too much wind up (high ATN) to use when your ass is on the line.   When the other guy is wielding a lethal weapon, a poorly placed kick can open you up for a killing blow.   Kicks work great against unarmed opponents, the extra power can be used to totally disable an opponent.

Three: Fights between high Endurance, high Willpower characters are nasty.   They both can take a lot of punishment, take a lot of pain, and not get tired any time soon.   Hoping to just wear your opponent down with nickel and dime hits can take forever.   The third fight ran nearly 10 consecutive rounds, and Chiang was nursing a severed ear, while Tahner had fractured ribs.  

Four:   Fists are not killing weapons.   At best, you must aim for the vital points on the body.   Major accuracy is a must.   A rank 3 kick to the Knee (good luck) Can cripple an an opponent with pain, but a little higher or lower and the payoffs are quite a bit less.

Five:   If Tahner ever got Chiang with that hand axe, the fight was pretty much won.   The extra shock was more than enough to take the fight out of even the most hardend monk.

Six:   if Chiang wanted to win, he had to risk putting nearly all of his dice into an attack, and hope for the best.   Feints were very helpful, or at least I think they would be, running a combat by yourself can be a bit confusing.   The only problem with a hand-to-hand feint is that it is really hard to fake out the opponent.   If you give eight dice to a thrust to the stomach, a tough opponent, who has taken a hit there, probably won't buy it.

And Seven:   If the other guy has a weapon and any kind of training, Duck and Weave is a stupid move.   Chiang ended up with an Axe buried in his head during the final fight.

   I think there is a place for martial arts in TRoS.   I love how the system pretty much confirms what I really would happen if a monk and trained axeman went at it.   Either the monk hits the axeman hard enough to cripple him, or the axeman (more likely) takes his head clean off.
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contracycle
Member

Posts: 2807


« Reply #52 on: February 25, 2003, 02:58:46 AM »

Quote from: Thalaxis

Actually, it IS real... but the idea that Ki is some sort of mystical power is the error. What it really amounts to is focus, balance, relaxation... a combination of physical elements, and is really a term rooted in Zen and Buddhist  philosophy more than anything else.


That is An Argument about chi, not The Truth.

Chi is an "ultimate realising force" which opccurs in and realises all things in the world.  It is in a sense the synthesis between Heaven and Earth, and was, as I understand it, predominantly laid outby the Mohists as a challenge to the ritual practictioners of the day.  By constructing a model in which the essential nature of godhood/reality was found within the human (which acted as a vessel for chi) and a process of refinement, the Mohists asserted a superior legitimiacy and effectiveness to that offered by the institutional ritual specialists.

The particular form of Zen, as opposed philosophies of chi, manifest in the Japanese martial arts specifically is also a heavily qualified artifact.  Some Zennists would mount the criticism that Japanese zen is a severe corruption of zen philosophy exploited as reification of warrior-elite rule, and resembles real zen very little.  This is too sectarian an argument for me to really explore, but the existance of Japanese martial Zen as even being Zen is open to debate.
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Mokkurkalfe
Member

Posts: 340


« Reply #53 on: February 25, 2003, 03:52:05 AM »

Quote

And Seven:   If the other guy has a weapon and any kind of training, Duck and Weave is a stupid move.   Chiang ended up with an Axe buried in his head during the final fight.


Duck and Weave is useful if you're on the defensive with a dice advantage in the second exchange. Especially against someone with a shield, which is useless if the Duck and Weave is successful. IMO, the good stuff about Duck and Weave is that you go around range penalties and shields and stuff.
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Joakim (with a k!) Israelsson
GreatWolf
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Posts: 1155

designer of Dirty Secrets


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« Reply #54 on: February 25, 2003, 05:38:59 AM »

Quote from: Jon the Bastard
Four: Fists are not killing weapons. At best, you must aim for the vital points on the body. Major accuracy is a must. A rank 3 kick to the Knee (good luck) Can cripple an an opponent with pain, but a little higher or lower and the payoffs are quite a bit less.


Good point.  One of the focuses of aikijutsu (as well as aikido and several other styles, IIRC) is the striking of specific nerve points to "distract" your opponent.  (At least that's what my sensei called it.)  This seems like textbook Shock to me.  So, can this be modeled?

The easiest method, I would think, would be to allow an adjustment to the d6 roll that determines area.  Perhaps burning successes from a hit to apply a modifier after the fact?

e.g.  Chiang Si- Lun and Tahner Smithyson are going at it again.  Chiang decides to sidekick Tahner in the knee.  For this example, we'll call that a bludgeoning attack against the upper legs (Zone IX).  In Zone IX, Chiang needs to roll a 1 to hit the knee.  Dice are assigned and rolled.  Chiang hits with four successes, but rolled a 3.  In order to hit the knee, Chiang can burn two of his successes to reduce the roll to a 1, thus leaving him with two successes for damage.

Since TROS characters already have a great deal of accuracy in where they hit someone, this could be limited somewhat.  A character cannot burn more successes per opponent per combat than his combined Perception+Proficiency score.  This way, a skilled fighter still has excellent accuracy but cannot get complete pinpoint accuracy on every strike.  Also, this allows this modification to apply to weapons as well as unarmed attacks.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf

edited to add bracket to quote
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Thalaxis
Member

Posts: 42


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« Reply #55 on: February 25, 2003, 07:23:11 AM »

Quote from: GreatWolf

Good point.  One of the focuses of aikijutsu (as well as aikido and several other styles, IIRC) is the striking of specific nerve points to "distract" your opponent.  (At least that's what my sensei called it.)  This seems like textbook Shock to me.  So, can this be modeled?


I don't see why not... a pressure point strike could be treated as massive non-permanent damage, like shock. If it's a successful hit to a pressure point, treat like a club strike, only instead of saying that bones got broken, just describe that much pain.

Even ignoring that, when a character takes damage in TROS, they already get a penalty which can easily be enough to decide the outcome of the fight, so it seems to me that that fits into the combat system almost perfectly... you could probably describe the effect with a few weapon stats.

The only thing that I would add to the regular system is that for a nerve strike, you CAN recover during the fight, because it's non-permanent damage, so the penalty would be transient (if you survive ;)). So just require a Willpower test to continue fighting? It would consume dice, which equates to a distraction, mechanically.

Of course, having blown an ACL, I am very aware of the fact that a solid kick to the knee is not going to cripple someone with pain... it will cripple them -- but it still requires a lot of accuracy, as the angle of attack has a lot to do with how hard it is to break... though if the loser doesn't survive, the permanence of the injury is of no consequence :)
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #56 on: February 25, 2003, 11:57:00 AM »

Quote from: GreatWolf
The easiest method, I would think, would be to allow an adjustment to the d6 roll that determines area.  Perhaps burning successes from a hit to apply a modifier after the fact?


Or you could just take the Accuracy gift.

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Drew Stevens
Member

Posts: 154


« Reply #57 on: February 25, 2003, 12:30:12 PM »

Maybe a manuver for some relatively high proficency in a Martial Arts style could emulate the Accuracy gift?

Or allow you to discard dice instead of successes to adjust the 'placement' roll?

Or maybe a new damage chart (based on thrusting for the area hit, and with higher shock and lower pain/blood loss than bludgeoning) for some styles of hand to hand stuff?
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Jon the Bastard
Member

Posts: 12


« Reply #58 on: February 25, 2003, 01:04:20 PM »

I like the idea of a technique for more accurate hand to hand attacks.   After all, it is much easier to aim with you limbs than with your weapons.

I also like the idea of a nerve strike.   Just off the top of my head, how about this :
Nerve Strike
ATN:  8  (nerve strikes are amazingly hard to connect with)
DTN: 8 (I'm not sure why you'd defend with a nerve stike...)
Damage: Str-2b
Note:  Does +x Shock, where (x = damage)
By striking the nerve clusters in the body, the martial artist can stun his opponent with decebtive ease.
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Bankuei
Guest
« Reply #59 on: February 25, 2003, 02:27:53 PM »

Well Jon, it seems that most of your experience in the game test reflects a lot of real life.  In real life, my teacher says, "Knives are not punches, you can't KEEP taking these...".   We also don't use lots of kicks for one very good reason:  If someone has something sharp, all you are doing is giving them a target, one that you might need to still be functioning to run away...

On note of shock, my personal manuever modification works like this:

Shock attacks:
On a successful hit against an unarmored area, you can inflict extra Shock by spending extra CP.  Each extra CP=1 extra shock.  You can spend up to your proficiency.

Since hands have a low ATN, it makes it effective enough to use, especially by folks with CP advantage.  On the other hand, it makes assholes with chainmail a problem, but if you're going empty hands against chainmail, you need to start grappling or run.  

Chris
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