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I know there is alot of Martial Arts on this site. Way too many maybe, but this is free speech and all. Anyway, this one seemed different enough from anything I have seen to warrant creating a new, rather than adapting old/ using melee and other fun.

Going to be creating a new martial art form, and having a bit of difficulty getting it from cool concept to workable rules.
Main basis is a style that uses two shields as weapons. Now here is the conundrum. I am a firm believer in Martial Art should not require/rely to heavily on having the weapons. Therefore, it should be mostly unarmed with special benefits referring to the shields. I think the best example is Tiger Claws in Tiger Style. They are useful, and they get useful effects when you have them, but you don't need them.

I imagine the style as thus:
Fairly acrobatic but not in the standard leaping way. More with spinning and changing levels of attack, without leaving the ground. It will focus heavily on elbows, forearm(shield) smashes and a maybe some kicking for flavor. No grabbing.
As opposed to getting out of the way of people, big on getting people out of the way. One thing I think I want to avoid is the throwing of shields. I feel that is more of a shield specific thing. May develop charms like that though.

Here are some major questions.

  • Should it be an animal style? If so, what kind? Turtles come to mind, but I'm not sure. Maybe an Exalted only animal?
  • Major help developing charms. Many ideas, not so good at getting where they should be.
  • Possible names for the artifact weapons.
  • Any comments on the idea?
  • Oh, and any help formatting to look better, or moving to correct place would be greatly appreciated as well.

Once a name is found, I will put it under martial arts pages.


I'm sure I've read at least one shield-based Martial Art in the CelestialMartialArts section alone, maybe more than one. As I recall, at least one was the ... Something Defender Style ... or some such. If you do a word-search on the page you'll probably turn up something. Those styles are where I'd start for ideas of how to theme it and what to avoid.
~ Shataina

MartialArts/CelestialDefenderStyle - szilard

I believe the style you're referring to is Vermillion Sentinel Style. A quick glance offers that the Pentacle style from the player's guide also supports shields, but I don't think it uses them to attack. You might want to review the 'defensive' styles for some ideas - Mantis is really the least aggressive of the published MAs that comes to mind, but if you borrowed some soak power from Five-Dragon you'd have a pretty solid defensive lead for a Celestial MA, and could then roll into the unique or unusual tricks - BerserkSeraph

I'm pretty sure he's not referring to Vermillion Sentinel Style. There is only one shield-oriented Charm in that style. Crimson Pentacle Blade has one Charm that uses the shield to attack - the counterattack Charm, in fact. - David.

Yeah, none of those styles really fit with the idea. The Vermillion Sentinel style is a demon fighting spear and shield style, and the Crimson Pentacle blade is a terrestial polearm style. I'm looking more for a dual shield type weapon. Also the style will not be heavy on soak, more on deflection and avoidance than getting hit. One other thing is there will not be a lot that causes lethal. It will have a lot that lets you parry lethal unarmed, but not alot that actually causes lethal damage. Wait a minute, just looked at the MartialArts/CelestialDefenderStyle. That wasn't on the list by favored weapons page, so I missed it. As for the style, it does have some good ideas, but ultimately not quite what I'm looking for, so I'll continue with this project. Can anyone think of any other animals that this style may imitate, or should it be more a theme, ala Ebon Shadow or Celestial Defender? Jaelra

Tortoise comes to mind when talking about shields. "Invulnerable Tortoise Style" perhaps? I think having an strong central theme for the Martial Art will help a lot, especially if you want to design something that's primarily an unarmed combat skill, but happens to be cooler if you have a pair of shields. Oh, don't forget, what about one shield? Does your MA still work if you lose one? If you haven't already, check out the design guidelines posted at the top of MartialArts. - LiOfOrchid

I have to question why there seems to be an insistence that Martial Arts trees work unarmed. The argument that the MA Ability is primarily unarmed doesn't hold water, in my opinion, as there are several weapons useable with the Ability, regardless of the knowledge of Charms. If Martial Arts styles can demand that the character be unarmed (only two do, as far as I can recall; one of which removes that restriction with the pinnacle Charm, and the other becomes compatible with some weapons when the pinnacle Form is active), why can they not demand that the character be armed? The Ability itself is equally applicable to armed and unarmed combat, after all. Of course, in my magical dreamworld, all Martial Arts have a signature weapon, but are effective while unarmed as well. ;) - David.

As for not requiring weapons, it seems somewhat intuitive to me. If you have to have a weapon, it's not really martial arts anymore. It's fancy Melee, or in the case of Righteous Devil, fancy what should be Archery. There is no reason to make something a Martial Art style unless it actually involves what exalted has typified Martial Arts as being. On the other hand, looking at the description of the ability it says ANY style that favors speed and agility over brute strength. Which means Thunderbolt Rush Attack is not brawl and the entire Martial Art in Caste Book: Earth is brawl. Doesn't seem to quite apply. So I fall back on the golden rule. Exalted is what you want it to be. If I had a good explanation for a style being required to have a weapon I would allow it. The system on the wiki of removing Martial Arts as an ability is looking sweeter and sweeter. In the meantime, some ideas for charms I have had.

1- Remove mobility penalty for a turn, + Ess to parry if unarmed. I/R
2- + Essence to Difficulty of incoming attack, Parry lethal even if unarmed. I/R
3- Subtract MA from an attempt to parry this attack. 2M I/Supp (the reasoning for this charm is that users of the style are adept at getting within the reach of opponent and throwing quick elbow or forearm blows.)
Form Ideas- Kinda stumped on this one, honestly. Probabilities include no mobility penalty with shields. Parry lethal even while unarmed. Difficulty increase to incoming attacks, Maybe a cascade parry? Any ideas?
4- Counterattack - Parry, extra successes added to counterattack. Needs balancing. Not sure of other effects like this, their costs and such.
5- Knockdown attack, Dex+Athletics vs Diff of MA. Attack can only do bashing, only 1/2 damage or maybe no damage at all?
6- Reflexive parries, extra successes are the difficulty for anyone parried to remain standing. Dex + Athletics.

Weapon ideas are Mortal

+1 Difficulty to ranged/melee attacks for each.
Spd +0 Acc+1 Dmg +2B Def +3 Rate 3

Artifact - 3 dots, 4 for pair? Would it be balanced for both being 3 dot?

+2 Difficulty to ranged/melee each.
Spd +0 Acc+2 Dmg +4B Def+4 Rate 4
The reason the stats are so small an increase. They get the magical material bonus for both shields and weapons.

Well, give some ideas and thoughts. Too weak, too much?

I dunno about the shield getting both properties - maybe just give it the weapon properties, knock it down to Artifact 2 for a pair, and say that they're made with too much weight in steel (to be effective weapons) to get the armor bonuses. Maybe a higher-level artifact offers the shield bonuses. ~BerserkSeraph
I'd disagree with you on the weapons-thing. First, there are plenty of real-life martial arts that require weapons (kendo, for instance). Second, what makes a martial art a martial art in Exalted is, in my opinion, not the fact that it is usable unarmed or with a small set of weapons, but, rather, that it is an art - that it is a system of fighting that evokes a theme. That makes it different from Melee or Brawl or whatever, which are just focused on efficient or effective ways of fighting better (as opposed to thematically). - szilard
To Jaelra: "If you have to have a weapon, it's not really martial arts anymore. It's fancy Melee, or in the case of Righteous Devil, fancy what should be Archery." - The fact that the Ability alone can be used to wield weapons totally invalidates this argument, I think. "There is no reason to make something a Martial Art style unless it actually involves what exalted has typified Martial Arts as being." - I agree. However, what Exalted has typified Martial Arts to be is, as an Ability, a formalized method of combat both armed and unarmed. I think that if Martial Arts styles requiring the character to be unarmed are valid, then styles requiring the character to be armed are equally so.
To szilard: Honestly, the only complaint I have against your remarks is that real-world martial arts seem to have only a superficial resemblance to Exalted martial arts. The latter bit of what you said, though, I agree with fully. ^_^
-David., who apologizes if he comes across as snippy
This is just me being opinionated, but I'd say that kendo isn't a martial art as typified by Exalted (It *is* a martial art in the real world, of a sort - albeit one heavily reliant on its strict competition forms). Kendo - or Shin Kendo for live-sword kata, or Kenjutsu for live-sword fencing - is a form of fencing in that it was constructed and reliant on the use of a sword it has no unarmed forms - though some kata for Kendo include judo maneuvering, if memory serves, the styles are distinct and separate. Exalted Martial arts harken more to styles like Pak Mei and Tai Chi Ch'uan, wherein the base forms and motions are designed unarmed but weapons (sabre for Pak Mei, Jian for Tai Chi) were added to make the style more capable - the motions began unarmed and moved into the use of weapons. Thusly for the purposes of Exalted the 'kendo' is purely Melee, but there might exist a martial art that combines the Jujutsu motions with a sword - that would be a Martial Art with a sword form weapon. ~BerserkSeraph
I agree with BerserkSeraph as for my view of Martial Arts. Though if you read my entire post you do see that I quote the golden rule of exalted, and refer to the ability descriptor, which seems to agree with the required weapon. That's just not the feel I am looking for, as if using a weapon with a theme makes it Martial Arts, then that is pretty lame for Melee. Suddenly Melee has to be cut and dry? Anyways, I love the comments so far keep them coming. - Jaelra
On the Charm ideas, one thing to be careful of is to not overduplicate effects. You want to make sure you have a fairly broad range of effects... even if they are mostly defensive. Your form ideas seem to be all rehashes of other Charm ideas. You don't want the Form to make those Charms obsolete. - szilard
That was my worry when I was writing it. Do you have any suggestions? - Jaelra