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This is a greatly expanded version of the third-edition GURPS Martial Arts source book, revised to work with the fourth-edition. The GURPS Martial Arts web page is at ed combat styles for each (see Chapter 4 for more information on styles). Fourth Dan: Skill Level GURPS Martial Arts requires the GURPS Basic Set, Fourth Edition. The research on history, fighting arts, and weapons will enhance any game that features.

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By working it out in advance, you only have to glance at a piece of paper to pull of this off.

That’s where Perks come in. GURPS actually runs a really great martial arts game. If you have a Judo of 18 and that’s “enough” for Arm Lock, you don’t take the Arm Lock technique, while another fighter might focus almost exclusively on Arm Lock.

Find More Posts by Mailanka. Nobody’s going to think of that move in the middle of a fight, and there are numerous things that you need to calculate can you take a -5 to your defense with a riposte?

The whole point of things like kata is that they teach you to use very complex tactics that you’d never think of in the middle of a harried fight. For example, many people argue that Evaluate is a poor tactical choice, so few people use it. Dell’Orto Edited by Sean Punch. As I said before, Techniques aren’t the best way to add lots of character to your fighter, because you can only really take so many and eventually you’re better off simply making him a better, all-around fighter.

I took Toadkiller Dog’s advice about writing down the more complex moves that a fighter might use and giving them swell names. Psi-Warsa step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.

A good martial arts game is about turning every character into a “fighter,” and still seeing plenty of diversity. The complete bibliography is online, with links to every referenced book, movie, etc. What I am basically trying to say is that as a player, the depth of the system, especially with signature moves, can really make you think of original and deadly tactics.


GURPS Martial Arts

Take my example above about the Judo 18 guy who doesn’t bother with Arm Lock because his Judo is more than high enough. Use Techniques Sparingly I honestly find 4e’s treatment of techniques slightly frustrating. Chinese Elemental Powers — An extensive and flavorful example of using powers to represent Chinese-inspired magical arts.

What I actually found is that those one-second consequences tend to last, and once you understand how they work, you end up with a game of chess. GURPS, as always, exceeds expectations It’s a subtle mechanic, but I found it made quite a difference.

Ages ago, I posted a thread asking questions about how to run a successful and dynamic martial arts game. Sean Punch black-and-white pages, softcover. Written by Sean Punch and Peter V.

Nobody made straight attacks, because they had customized their fighting styles to support far better tactics, and clever opponents would exploit the weaknesses of a given move with their own tactics, which would lead to rapid exchanges of constantly flowing and evolving tactics. I did eventually modify Evaluate some.

What you currently have is that Hard techniques are easier to pull off by default than Average techniques That is, both a Hard technique at -2 and an Average technique at -3 cost 3 points to max out, but the Hard Technique is paradoxically easier to pull off by default, and less worth your time to study.

What’s your effective skill between Counter Attack and going after the Vitals? Cinematic Magic — New magical options for martial artists. Originally Posted by Abaddon The first time, it was fairly basic. Find More Posts by Kuroshima. Perks really provide that. The second time, it was a different game, with spearmen losing arms and getting disarmed left and right.

Find More Posts by Editoon. Likewise, I worried that GURPS would overwhelm some of my players we had one player who generally hates system and fears any game with any level of complexity much beyond free-formand yet, I found that between the Signature Moves and how GURPS normally handles, the game was surprisingly intuitive, people could do what they wanted, the fights played out swiftly, and even the system-phobe had a great experience.


Inscrutable masters from hidden temples. Technical Grappling — An expansion of Martial Arts that adds lots of options and greatly expanded rules, for those who need detailed possibilities for grappling combat. However, I found that there are so many consequences to attacking a capable foe Counterattacks, ripostes, judo throws, arm locks, exposing the trick to your secret Combo awesomeness that people often fell into Evaluate when it became obvious that their opponent was maftial powerful than expected.

I didn’t mention how often I thought a rule needed to be changed, when it didn’t.

Recreate the greatest fighters in the world, or create a style to fit a new campaign, Martial Arts has the techniques and guidelines you need. If you want to support me, check out my Patreon!

Thanks for sharing this excellent post. I highly recommend them, as they make Beats useful for everyone, and it means that you’re taking a calculating risk every time you parry or let someone parry your blade, especially if they’re stronger than you are.

GURPS Martial Arts – Wikipedia

It’s just that techniques aren’t where you go to write out how your character fights GURPS also has other tricks, as it turns out. Not all combat options map to techniques and styles, however. By giving the player’s signature moves and including signature moves with the NPCs, I found that my fights exploded with details and rich tactical depth.

Congrats on having success with a martial arts themes game. Thanks for the update.