Jade Fan Style / Silken Dragon Style
White paint smoothed the dancer's features, her eyes accented with hues of purple, her lips accented with hues of red. Her long robes whispered gracefully as she slowed to a stop in the alley. Ahead of her, one of the brutish thugs smirked at her, rubbing his unshaven face.
"We have a pretty one, don't we fellas?"
The other men laughed coarsley, and she heard the sounds of knives being drawn.
"Come along now, missy. Cooperate, and nobody gets hurt."
There was a popping sound as she opened her fans, bringing them up near her face as though being demure. She smiled attractively behind their glittering, bladed edges, eyes hard, as she began the first of her deadly dances.
Tepet Pecara had little time for martial endeavors as a child. There were things far more interesting, in particular, the arts. She studied them voraciously, and it was only the demands of her father that finally made her gave them up for the more militant upbringing typical to Tepet children. But she never forgot her first love.
So it was when she had her own child, she saw a small portion of herself in her daughters desire to learn the elegant dances of the realm. Indulgently, she allowed her daughter's training to slip, unwilling to argue with her other the necessity of self-defense.
When assassins took her daughter's life, she had only herself to blame.
Pecara slid out from Dragon Blooded society, despondent with the loss of her child. She traveled to many an immaculate shrine, seeking absolution, and it is said that in these shrines she witnessed the seldom seen Unbreakable Fascination Kata, and was inspired by it's graceful, fluid movements.
It was years later when she returned to Dynast society. She established a dancer's school in the Imperial City, and soon gained an excellent reputation as an instructor. In particular, she took in those who had little time for martial training.
Some of her students, however, quickly began to see Pecara's deeper purpose. The graceful, fluid movements taught by her served a dual purpose, hiding ones intentions from an enemy, and defending yourself with perfect poise.
Slowly, her subtle style slipped into Dynastic society, in an undercurrent of deadly dancers who hold their secret close to their chest, in case the need ever arises to use their art.
Long ago, when I was working on a Martial Arts campaign with a friend, he told me of a style called "White Jade Fan." It was a real style that was created by a martial artist to train a princess who could not be bothered with martial training. Disguising it as dance, he was able to interest her in it, while teaching her the self-defense that was needed. Apparently, this is still practiced in China, but it's very rare, and was almost wiped out by the "Cultural Revolution". It is almost unheard of in America.
So the idea struck me that this would be perfect for a highly cultured Dragon Blooded. It would suit his high society needs, both to remain subtle and graceful, as well as to fight back.
I envision a less than spectacular style, that is none-the- less flirtatious, slow and teasing, as well as making use of improvisation and the unpredictable movements of the dance (ala Capoeira).
When making Martial Art styles, I think it is important to consider what has come before. With Five Dragon, and Whispering Dragon, we have very direct and military styles, but not everyone will want to learn such. Thus, I feel the less combat oriented Jade Fan style would make a nice, rounded out trio of styles.
Martial Weapons note: This style may be freely used with Windfire wheels, Heaven Thunder Leaves, or "combat fans".
Combat fans have the following stats:
+1 Speed, -1 Accuracy, -1L damage, +0 defense.
They will allow you to parry lethal attacks. They require a martial arts rating of 3 to use. Combat Fans are difficult to discern as weapons. It requires a perception + melee or martial arts check at difficulty 2 to realize they are bladed and in the hands of someone who can kill with them.
I make no assumptions about attunemet and Terrestrial styles. Either this is earth, if you believe all martial arts should be attuned to Earth, or it is Air if you believe they should be attuned to something else.
Delicate Artist Attitude</b>
<b>Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 2 Min. Essence: 1 Prereqs: None
The simplest technique of the style, this is often used as incentive for those who see performance as the more important skill. By using the refined grace and smooth movements learned by practicing martial arts, the character may heighten her ability to dance.
For any performance roll involving dance, the character may add his martial arts rating to his total. This is subject to all normal dice-pool maximums.
Graceful Warrior Pirrouette</b>
<b>Cost: 1 mote per die Duration: Instant Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 3 Min. Essence: 2 Prereqs: Delicate Artist Attitude
By further refining the joint skill of performance and martial arts, and learning to utilize the spontaniety and improvisation both teach, a martial artist using this technique can turn an abyssmal mistake into a clever success.
The character may activate this charm any time a martial arts roll or a performance check involcing dance results in any 1's on the dice. Activating this charm allows the 1's to be rerolled at a cost of 1 mote per die. This charm may be used multiple times on the same roll, but only so long as 1's appear on the dice.
For example: Kayko rolls her Dex+Martial Arts in an attempt to parry an attack. She gets a 8, a 6, a 2, a 1 and a 1. Activating Graceful Warrior Pirouette, she rerolls the 1's, getting a 7 and a 1. She activates it again, and the second one comes up a 3. She now has 2 successes, rather than 1.
Jade Fan Form</b>
<b>Cost: 4 motes Duration: One scene Type: Simple Min. Martial Arts: 4 Min. Essence: 2 Prereqs: Graceful Warrior Pirrouette
By adopting a loose, elegant, and almost arrogant posture, the character can entrall her opponent with her sensuous, graceful movements as well as hiding the true nature of what she is doing.
While this charm is active, any character who attempts to attack the character as at -3 to their attack dice pool. This penalty is a visual one, and if the character is not using sight to attack, he will not be penalized. Further, the nature of the stance is such that people find it very had to look away. Any character must make a willpower roll at difficulty of 2 if they wish to turn their attention from the character. This does not preclude them from acting, just means they will give the character their attention. A side benefit of the arrogant and graceful stance is that the character gains a 1 die bonus on all social rolls involving her appearance and grace.
Finally, the stance is highly unusual, and not something most warriors would find beneficial. To realize the character has adopted a form charm, they must roll Perception + Martial Arts or Performance at a difficult of their opponents Essence, or have knowledge of this charm.
No character may have two martial arts form charms active at one given time. This form is incompatible with armor.
Harmonious Rythme Technique</b>
<b>Cost: 5 motes Duration: Varies Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 2 Prereqs: Jade Fan Form
A skilled dancer needs not know the steps of her dance, but merely to be aware of her partners body, his movements and his intentions. In battle, this is no different. By reading her opponents moves, by losing herself in "the dance", an attack simply becomes a move in the dance she must react to, and as she incorporates his attacks into her movements.
Once this charm is activated, the character gains a bonus to her defensive dice pool equal to her performance. This bonus lasts until the character makes an attack. She may reflexively dodge with her performance if she had no action remaining.
Flirtatious Two-Step Method</b>
<b>Cost: 1 mote per 2 dice Duration: One turn Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 3 Prereqs: Harmonious Rythme Technique
The dancer has learned to move with the flow of the dance, no matter how dangerous, to acquire her advantage. By taking deceptively weak positions, she can entice a weaker position from her opponent.
A character that activates this charm cannot attack on the same turn.
For the duration of this charm, all characters attacking the user of this charm gain a bonus on their attack dice pool equal to the number of dice she purchases, at a cost of 2 dice per mote. She cannot buy more dice than her performance rating. If she is attacked during the duration of this charm, she may make a free counter attack at Dex+Martial Arts + the dice purchased with this charm.For example: Cynis Ambrosia is facing four brutish thugs that are attempting to take advantage of her. Activating this charm, she spends 2 motes. Three of the thugs attack her, and add a bonus of 4 dice to their attack pools. For each attack made against her, Ambrosia may make a counter attack at her Dex + Martial Arts + 4 dice.
This charm may explicitly be placed in a combo, despite it's non-instant duration.
Deceptive Dragon Shuffle</b>
<b>Cost: 3 motes Duration: Instant Type: Supplemental Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 2 Prereqs: Jade Fan Form
The movements of a dancer can be difficult to predict, especially in battle. What looks like an attack is just the next move in a dance, and what appears to be a pointless, artistic movement can in fact be an unexpected strike. The Dancer using this charm heightens this effect, further clouding her intentions with essence.
While making a martial art attack with this charm, the character may lower her opponent's defense by an amount equal to her Performance.
Enticing Jade Strut</b>
<b>Cost: 1 mote Duration: Varies Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 3 Prereqs: Deceptive Dragon Shuffle
The slow, elegant movements of any skilled dancer can distract any onlooker. By further heightening her ability to decieve and distract, she can dull an opponents reactions. Many dancers use this technique to aid fellow warriors in their combat.
Upon activation, a number of onlookers up to the characters Performance have their initiative reduced by 1. Multiple uses of this charm are cumulative, but this charm may not be activated more than once per turn. If a character with this initiative penalty is attacked by the dancer, the penalty is lost for that person. This does not preclude the dancer from attacking others, or the dancer's allies from attacking those affected by the charm.
The effects of this charm ends when the character has left the view of those affected.
Falling Blossom Lunge</b>
<b>Cost: 1 mote Duration: Varies Type: Reflexive Min. Martial Arts: 5 Min. Essence: 3 Prereqs: Flirtatious Two-step method, Enticing Jade Strut
All dances must come to an end, especially the dangerous dance of battle. The user of this charm uses her movements to guide the battle to this end, and to her victory. By carefully timing her movements, she can open up her opponets defenses to find a weak point, and then move the dance to a moment where she may strike at that point.
After activating this charm, the characters next attack ignore 2 points of her opponent's soak. This charm may be used multiple times, and each use is cumulative, but she may not use it more than once a turn, and she may not ignore more soak than her combined Martial Arts and Performance.
The effects of this charm end after the character makes an attack, whether or not she succesfully hits or does damage.
The character may not attack on a turn that she activates this charm.
Added your thoughts on the MA design process, because I like seeing the thought process that goes into these things. Also, I liked your flavor text, so I put that in, too. - DigitalSentience
Oooh. Cool Martial Art. :) - ScrambledValkyrie
Thanks to one of the guys on The Freedom Stone, I've cooked up a 2e version of this style. There are only a few major changes, though. Feel free to take a peek at my character wikipage. - Caelene