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The New Martial Arts

Damage Reduction

Certain types of armour reduce the amount of damage done to the wearer via martial arts attacks due to their bulkiness and impact softening capabilities. This is done on a per successful strike basis.

Type of ArmourDamage Reduction/Strike
leather, chain, any purely magical protection ("armour spells", bracers of defense, etc.), shield, robes, clothingnone
heavy padding, (may be used w/ any armour types described above)*-1
scale (light animal scale), hides of any creatures with AC:5 to 2-2
half plate, creatures w/ AC:2 to 0-3
plate mail, heavy scale armour, hides of AC:-1 to -3-4
field plate, hides of AC:-4 to -6-5
full plate, hides of AC:-7 or less-6
solid armour units (eg. iron and stone golems and their kin)-7 to -9

* heavy padding is too restrictive for mages to use

Number of Attacks

Number of attacks per round is now governed by the level of the martial artist in his chosen class, not in the number of proficiencies he has in Martial Arts (In the case of dual or multi-classed characters, the level for purposes of attacks is considered to be the level of the character in the class THAC0 is used).

Level of Chosen Class # of Attacks/Round
13+ 3/1

The Study of Martial Sciences

In order for the character to become a martial artist, a style of martial arts must be chosen. The 3 styles are soft, hard, and balanced. Soft is mostly defensive, hard is attack based, and balanced is a blend of the two aforementioned styles.

Martial Arts StyleDamage/AttackAC bonusSpecial Maneuvers
soft1-2-2soft only
hard1-60hard only

Next, the martial artist must spend 3 weapon proficiency slots to master the basics of his style (usually 1 to 1.5 years of study). The martial artist now recieves the # of attacks, AC bonus, and damage/attack as described above. He may also now gain additional ranks (via weapon proficienies) to gain bonuses and special maneuvers.

Progressing in the Martial Sciences

After the basics are learned, the MA student may continue his studies by gaining martial arts ranks. Ranks are gained at a rate of 1 per weapon proficiency spent. The abilities gained per rank are described below.

RankAbilities gained
0nothing, this is the base rank
1+1 to hit; Special Maneuver I
2+1 to AC
3Special Maneuver II
4+1 to hit or damage
5Special Maneuver III; +1 to AC
6+1 to IV; +4" to land-based movement rate
7+1 to hit and damage
8Special Maneuver IV; +2" to land-based movement rate
9+1 to IV; may hit creatures who need an enchanted (+1) or silver weapon to hit
10+1 to AC and hit
11Special Maneuver V

Restrictions on Special Maneuvers

There are 2 restrictions concerning the use of special maneuvers: 1) a given SM may be used but once per round (haste does not affect this, but temp dist does), and 2) only half of your normal attacks may be SMs.

There are also restrictions governing which SMs may be taken by any given MA. Martial Artists can only select SMs included in their style (soft stylists can only take soft SMs; hard stylists can only take hard SMs). Balanced MA must select a SM from the opposite style every other SM (ie. if a hard SM was selected at Rank I, a soft must be taken at Rank III). Whenever a MA attains a rank which allows him to select a SM, the selected SM must be of the appropriate style and of a difficulty level less than or equal to the number proceding the SM label (ie. SM II indicates a SM of level less than or equal to level 2 may be selected.)

Specialized Equiptment

Several items have been developed over the ages to augment hand to hand fighting capabilities. These typically take the form of hand or foot apparel, and modify the martial artist's attacks as listed below. Note that these items may not necssarily apply to certain special maneuvers (ie. knuckledusters do not help on a ridge hand or a one finger punch). These situations are determined by the DM.

Attack typeItemDamageToHitIVWeapons Prof. Req.
strikeknuckle dusters, mailed or armoured fist+1-2-1none
strikeknuckle spikes+2-3-1none
strikeforearm blades*+2002
kickarmoured boots+1-2-1none

* cannot be used in conjunctions with any SM

** cannot cast while wearing these

Modifiers for Armour

As armour is bulky and restrictive, there is a penalty for wearing it while using martial arts.

Armour EquivalentToHit PenaltyAC Penalty

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Copyright © 1998-2006 Phillip Riley

Last Updated Sat Aug 11, 2007