Re: Morocanth & Martial Arts

From: Sandy Petersen (
Date: Wed 29 May 1996 - 05:10:29 EEST

>1) In the Gloranthan Bestiary we are told that the Morokanth have
developed an >unarmed combat technique just like the Kraloreans and
Pelorians(??). It doesn't >feel right (hell nor does the martial
arts system in general) I think that >their claw attack is already
        Their claw attack is deadly? 1d6+1d6 damage is nothing to
be ashamed of, I agree, but your typical human warrior with axe does
1d8+2+1d4, for an average 2 points higher. Give him a lance or
two-handed weapon and the morocanth is beat all hollow.

Why do the Morocanth have Martial Arts?
        1) Otherwise their only combat skills are Claw Attack,
Dodge, and maybe Bite, which is kind of restrictive. Sure they can
maybe manage a club, but ... so we thought 'twas cool to give them a
special skill which would enhance and complement their natural
powers. Plus rise very slowly, so they'd always have something to
look forward to.
        2) To make a tough morocanth as scary and bad as a tough
human. Now a big bad morocanth not only has a 2d6 damage bonus, but
he also gets to do extra claw damage.
        3) To give the morocanth a way to parry -- Man Shall Not
Live By Dodge Alone.
        4) To hint at the morocanth's true origins.

Who Else has Martial Arts?
        Some people have opined that Peloria might have a martial
arts style. Maybe. If they do, it's probably occult, practiced only
by a few secret societies and Danfive Xaron. It's not impossible
that any Pelorian martial arts were imported from Kralorela during
the Lunar regime.

Kralori Martial Arts
        Here is a bit of my current Kralori Martial Arts (it's all
bound up in my unpublished Mysticism stuff, so if you see anything
that makes no sense, that's why).

        In order to use other than Low Martial Arts, a martial
artist must learn one or more Styles. To master a Style, you must
spend a variable amount of Mysticism (varying with the Style) plus a
season of training under a Master who knows both the Style and
Martial Arts 90.
        An artist can evoke a known Style by taking one round to
muster his inner force, during which he must also succeed in a
Martial Arts roll. During this round, he may do nothing else, and if
injured, he needs a Concentration roll or must start over. A style,
once evoked, remains in effect throughout the combat. Duels between
martial masters typically start off with several rounds of silence,
in which both combatants muster a variety of styles.
        Each Style has a Focussed version. To use the Style's Focus
in a combat round, 1 Martial Arts percentile is permanently
expended that round.
        Styles or Focuses that are similar add their effects
together. Example: if both Centipede Focus and Mantis Style are in
use by the same artist, and he spent 6 MPs on the third round of
successive Centipede striking, the opponent's chance to parry or
dodge would be reduced by 80 percentiles.
        All Styles are described in the following format:

NAME -- (Mysticism cost to learn) Description of style.
        Focus -- description of focus.

BAG FU -- (costs 4 Mysticism) highly develops the stomach muscles
both to resist damage, plus to clench and grip. This Style may only
be used by humans whose SIZ is 16 or more (non-humans learning this
must be similarly oversize). When a Bag Fu user is struck in the
torso (i.e., his stomach or chest), damage done is reduced by his
current Damage Bonus. This even applies to attacks such as Disrupt.
If a Bag Fu artist lacks a positive damage bonus, injuries to his
torso are reduced by 1 point each.
        In addition, a Bag Fu artist struck in the torso can match
his STR vs. his attacker's STR. If he wins, the attacker's weapon is
caught (even if it is a fist) and he must drop it or try to yank it
away next round, on another STR vs. STR roll. While the weapon is
trapped, the Bag Fu user normally pounds away at his victim using
fists, kick, etc.. A trapped enemy dodges at half normal skill, and
cannot parry with the weapon in question. Also, the Bag Fu user is
considered to have Closed with his foe.
        A Bag Fu artist cannot use his STR vs. STR grab if he wears
stiff armor over the location struck, unless the attack pierces
armor. In addition, his STR for grabbing and holding enemy weapons
is reduced by the armor points of any (flexible or stiff) armor he
wears. For instance, a STR 18 Bag Fu user wearing 7-pt chainmail
grips with an effective STR of 11.
        Focus -- The roll for torso damage reduction is always the
maximum possible. Thus, a 1d4 damage bonus reduces damage by 4. In
addition, the user's effective STR for gripping weapons is increased
by the same amount (i.e., 4, if his damage bonus was 1d4).

CENTIPEDE -- (costs 9 Mysticism) If your attack succeeds, even if
parried or dodged, you can strike again on the next strike rank. If
you hit again, you keep going, until you miss or choose to do
something else. Such a series of blows can "wrap around" the end of
the round. You can parry or dodge simultaneously while using this
(but only once per round).
        Focus -- On each successive blow, your opponent's chance to
Dodge or Parry is reduced by 10 percentiles, cumulatively.

CRANE -- (costs 4 Mysticism) Lets you Jump at the same time you attack.
        Focus -- your damage bonus is figured as STR + (SIZx2) if
you successfully Jump at a foe while striking.

DRAGON -- (costs 9 Mysticism) For each 10 percentiles you choose to
reduce your Martial Arts on a given attack, you increase damage
done by 2. Hence, reducing Martial Arts by 30 means that a
successful blow does +6 damage.
        Focus -- upon a Martial special success, double the extra
damage. Example: Sun Li rolls a special success when kicking a foe
and using a -30 Dragon attack. The impact does 1d6 (the kick) +1d6
(for Martial Arts)+12 (the Dragon modifier doubled), for a total of
2d6+12. Oof.

FALCON -- (costs 4 Mysticism) the artist's blow always strikes the
hit location selected, unless he is dodged or parried. If combined
with Goat Focus, the user's chance to receive a special or critical
success is doubled, but only for Head Butt.
        Focus -- the user's chance for a special or a critical is
doubled. If combined with Leopard Focus, the critical rate is
tripled. If combined with Goat Focus, the user's chance for specials
is tripled, but only for Head Butt.

GOAT -- (costs 4+ Mysticism) The user's skull becomes significantly
tougher. Each additional Mysticism spent beyond the first 4
increases head armor by 1d6 and also increases the damage on a
successful Martial Head Butt by 1d4. If the user had spent 9
Mysticism, upon mustering Goat Style he would have +5d6 to head
armor, and +5d4 to Head Butt damage. In addition, the user gains the
new skill of Head Parry. Success in this skill indicates that the
enemy's blow automatically hits the user's head, unless physically
impossible, even if the foe aimed his blow or used Falcon Style.
        Focus -- Special successes by the user always strike the
enemy's head unless physically impossible.

LEOPARD -- (costs 9 Mysticism) The invoker can reduce the damage
he does by 1 or more. For each point loss he takes, his Martial Arts
skill is boosted by 10 percentiles.

MANTIS -- (costs 4 Mysticism) The caster can spend MPs at the
moment of striking. For each MP spent, his opponent's chance to
Dodge or Parry is reduced by 10.
        Focus -- You only need spend the MPs at the start of the
combat, and retain the bonus for the entire duration.

MONKEY -- (costs 9 Mysticism) For each 10 percentiles you reduce
all your skills, you can attack one additional time that strike
        Focus -- if you wish, you may roll just once to determine
the success or failure of all the attacks made in a single strike
rank. Damage done, armor penetration, etc. is still figured
separately for each blow.

MOUNTAIN -- (costs 4 Mysticism) For each MP spent when evoking
Mountain, you may increase your parry armor by 1 on a successful
Martial Fist Parry (or a Head Parry, if Goat Style is known).
        Focus -- If your parry armor exceeds the damage rolled by
an attacking weapon, the weapon takes the difference in damage to
its own APs, weakening or even breaking it. This does not apply to
natural weapons such as Fist, Kick, etc, only artificial ones such
as swords, spears, etc.

OX -- (costs 9 Mysticism) increases physical power. For each round
you delay your attack, increase the damage by 1d3. Can be used to
break through doors, etc. There is no limit to the amount of damage
you can accumulate using this. You can Parry and Dodge while
accumulating force, but if you are wounded, you need a Concentration
roll or you must start over.
        Focus -- you need only delay a strike rank instead of a
round per 1d3 bonus.

RAM -- (costs 4 Mysticism) This style is centered upon the user's
Fist and aims at perfection of this. When mustered by itself, it
enables the user's Martial Fist attack to do +2d3 damage instead of
+1d3, plus it enables the user's Martial Fist Parry to block 9
points instead of 6.
        Sub-Styles -- by spending 1 Mysticism, the Ram artist can
adopt another Style he has learned, creating a new sub-style within
Ram technique. For instance, if he knows Serpent, he can spend 1
Mysticism and create Serpent Ram. These sub-styles are evoked as
with any Style. Styles that by their nature have nothing to do with
the fist (such as Bag Fu or Goat) cannot be adopted.
        Sub-styles can only be used with the Fist, and act as the
Focus version of the original Style, though no Martial Arts are
lost. Example: Sung Li knows Dragon Ram sub-style. When evoked, he
lowers his Martial Arts by 30 to get +6 to his Fist damage (and +12
on a special success!). If he kicks, he receives no Dragon bonus,
unless Sung Li musters his regular Dragon Style, too.
        Sub-styles cannot be Focused.
         Focus -- damage to the user's arms is reduced by the user's
damage bonus plus 3. An artist with a 1d4 damage bonus reduces arm
damage by 1d4+3. An artist with no damage bonus always blocks 4
points. An artist with a negative damage bonus always blocks 3

SKELETON CLAW -- (costs 25 mysticism) This is considered a sinister
and evil Art. The user's natural weapons become capable of punching
right through flesh and bone (normally this art is practiced on
human skulls). The user's damage bonus (but no other damage) ignores
all armor and armor-like spells on a successful strike. Spells such
as Resist Damage only take effect vs. the main damage roll, not the
damage bonus. Parry armor does block Skeleton Claw, but the Claw
user's damage bonus is subtracted directly from the weapon's hit
points (on a Fist Parry this would be the user's arm). In addition,
Toad Power (see under Summon), Bag Fu, and Ram Focus can all reduce
or block damage by Skeleton Claw, at least to the appropriate body
        A Skeleton Claw user who lacks a positive damage bonus
still bypasses armor with 1 point of damage on a successful strike.
        Focus -- the user's damage bonus on a Strike is always the
maximum possible roll.

SERPENT -- (variable cost) Instead of attacking, you make
mesmerizing gestures. You can still parry and dodge. Match the
Mysticism you've invested in Serpent Style vs. the target's MPs. If
he is overcome, his mind is clouded and all his skills are halved.
He can attempt to throw off the mesmerism by succeeding in a
Concentration roll, attempted once per round.
        Focus -- the target's Concentration roll to shake off the
effects is reduced by your Serpent's Mysticism total. If this
reduces his chance to 0 or less, he cannot escape until you choose
to release him or cease using Serpent.

SUN -- (costs 16 Mysticism) Permits you to attack at a distance. On
a successful Martial strike, you can affect a foe up to your total
Mysticism in meters. If he is aware of your assault, he can parry or
        Focus -- spend MPs each time you attack. For each MP, you
can affect one target with your ranged blow. If you spend 0 MPs, you
still affect a single target. Spending 1 MP is, of course,

SWAN -- (costs 4 Mysticism) A defensive style. Lower your attack
skills for that round by as many percentiles as you wish, and all
opponents' chance to hit you in melee is reduced equally.
        Focus -- missile attacks on the user are affected as well.

TIGER -- (costs 9 Mysticism) All skills are lowered by 50
percentiles, but any Martial Hit maims the part of the body struck
(i.e., breaks a wrist, puts out an eye, etc.) if it penetrates armor
at all. This reduces the location to 0 HP. Extremely tough foes can
resist to this -- if a blow does less than 1/5 the location's
current HPs, this effect does not take place. Example: A Tiger
artist rolls 7 points of damage to an enemy's chest, which has 6
points of armor and 6 HP. Only one point of damage gets through the
armor, and this is less than 1/5 the chest's HP, so only a 2 pt of
damage is done. On the next round the exact same thing happens, but
this time, the point that penetrates is now equal to 1/5 the
remaining 5 chest HPs, so the foe's chest drops to 0 HP, and it is
assumed that his breastbone or collarbone snapped (or whatever).
        Focus -- On a successful blow, the target location is
reduced to a negative value just 1 less than double damage. For
instance, an arm that, undamaged, had 4 HP would be reduced to -3.

WEB -- (costs 4 Mysticism) Enables the user to parry missiles with
a successful Martial parry. A special attack still requires a
special parry, and a critical attack a critical parry.
        Focus -- The user can continue to parry successive missiles
in a round until his parry roll fails.


End of Glorantha Digest V2 #604

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