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Mundane Martial Arts and Brawl styles are the fighting techniques most commonly used by mortals. They rely not on Essence, but technique and strength of body and spirit.

General Rules

(How to learn mundane styles)

The requirements for the styles reflects what most teachers demand of students to teach them, but also what it takes to make it through training.

Maneuvers that inflict lethal damage count as bashing attacks in all other respects. They are blocked like any hand-to-hand attack. The target's bashing soak is used against them, but the damage type is changed to lethal after soak has been applied.

(Mundane and Supernatural Styles)

Mundane bonuses do not stack with Charm and Artifact bonuses?

Brawl styles


Requirements: Stamina ••

Bonuses & penalties: +2 dice to punches and to blocking and dodging punches. -2 dice to kicks, holds, clinches, sweeps and tackles.

Special maneuvers: Multiple punches - When splitting dice pools to perform several punches (but nothing else) during a turn, they can ignore one die of penalty for each punch. Also the Rate for such attacks is increased by one.

Mammoth Fury Style

Originally a blend of tribal fighting styles from the northern Threshhold lands, Mammoth Fury Style was organised into a real fighting style by a tribe of nomad mercenaries. It has since spread and is practised as brutal self defense and popular fighting sport. The style is basically about pounding the opponent to the ground, where a number of bone-breaking submission holds finish him off. Defending yourself is considered weak and the fighters are taught to take a lot of punishment through pain tolerance drills. Some of the toughest Mammoth Fury masters make it a sport to fight bears and similar animals. Cesti are the only weapons used.

Requirements: Strength •••, Stamina •••

Bonuses & penalties: +2 dice to punches, clinches and tackles. -3 dice on kicks, blocks and other brawl maneuvers.

Special maneuvers: Pain Tolerance - Add half the Resistance rating (rounded down) to bashing soak. Bonebreaker Clinch - During a clinch, the brawler can choose to inflict Strength levels of lethal damage instead of Strength + 2 bashing damage.


Requirements: Stamina ••

Bonuses & penalties: +2 dice to holds, clinches and throws, but –2 dice to punches, kicks and sweeps.

Martial Arts styles

Ascending Crane Style

Ascending Crane Style is a purely defensive martial art that teaches how to “fight without fighting”. Teachers emphasize self-control and avoiding all unnessecary violence. Weapons are traditionally avoided. Schools can be found in most larger cities throughout Creation.

Requirements: Dexterity ••, Temperance ••, Willpower ••••

Bonuses & penalties: +2 dice to blocks, holds, sweeps, throws and disarms, but -3 dice to all other attacks, like punches, kicks and clinches.

Special maneuvers: Counterthrow - Roll for a block at +2 difficulty – any successes in the martial artist’s favor after the block counts as successes on a throw that follows directly after the block.

Crescent Red Moon Style

Spirit-worshipping monks in the southern desert lands developed the Crescent Red Moon style. When the Realm pronounced the order heretical and crushed it, the survivors fled but continued to practise their martial arts. Small schools can be found in most large southern cities. Originally the style avoided all kinds of techniques that involed the hands because of their religious beliefs and traditions. In the modern days this is still the defining trait of this style, although it’s less strict. Hands and arms are used for blocking, but little else. A multitude of kicking techniques, many quite acrobatic, is the focus of the style. Through hard training the martial artists learn kick as fast as others punch, and even to block and disarm with kicks.

Requirements: Dexterity •••, Stamina ••, Martial Arts bull;bull;

Bonuses & penalties: Kicks and sweeps recieve a +2 dice bonus, Speed +3, Rate +2, Defense +3. Kicks can be used for disarming with no penalty. All other forms of attacks and Martial Arts manuevers are at –3 dice.

Special maneuvers: Spinning/flying kick - A kick attack with Speed +3, Acc -1, Damage Strength + 6B, Defense -5, Rate 2. Multiple kicks - When splitting dice pools to perform several kicks (but nothing else) during a turn, they can ignore one die of penalty for each kick.

Onyx Scorpion Style

The origins of the Onyx Scorpion style are lost in time, but it is said it was originally practised by a demon-worshipping assassin cult. The style has survived and is secretly taught in modern days. A few assassin schools teach it, as do some less scrupulous martial art academies. Onyx Scorpion style focuses on quick and deadly strikes, but little else.

Requirements: Dexterity •••, Stamina •••, Martial Arts ••••, Conviction •••, Willpower •••••

Bonuses & penalties: Punches are at +2 dice and +3 Speed.

Special maneuvers: Sneaky strike - A strike at +1 difficulty that is at +2 difficulty to block and dodge. Lethal Strike - A strike at +3 difficulty that is piercing and inflicts lethal damage. Eye / Throat Jab - A strike at +2 difficulty that, if it bypasses soak, inflicts no more than one level of lethal damage, but blinds or silences the target until he heals the health level.

Tsunami Fist Style

The unique conditions on a rolling ship at sea makes normal martial arts troublesome to perform, especially if there’s little room to maneuver. Tsunami Fist was developed by seamen with these conditions in mind. Balance and economy of motion are central tenets, since falling on a ship can be lethal and there is usually no space for kicks or similar attacks. The throwing techniques practised are modified to work with as little motion as possible.

The weapon of choice is the stick, usually a little less than a yard long. This simple weapon has the advantage of floating and can also be easily improvised from various objects on a ship. Sticks count as martial arts weapons for Tsunami Fist fighters and have the statistics for a club.

Requirements: Dexterity ••, Sail •

Bonuses & penalties: +2 dice to punches and throws. Resisting knockdown is at +2 dice. A difficulty increase or dice pool penalty of up to two points can be ignored for unstable footing and positional disadvantages, such as rolling ship decks or fighting in the riggings. Kicks, sweeps, clinches and similar large meanuvers are at –3 dice, as is defending against them.

Special maneuvers: Pushing Strike - A strike or stick attack at +1 difficulty that adds five to the damage for determining knockdown.



Bonuses & penalties:

Special maneuvers: x -


These need balancing and polishing, as well as some rules. I'd appreciate comments and suggestions. Also, feel free to add your own mundane styles. Resplendence

Neat ideas. A possible way to integrate these would be to turn them into specialties, and just use the "no more than +3 to any roll from specialties rule from the PG". That would allow stacking with charms and supernatural arts without it getting out of hand. Another point is that you inflict bashing damage with a weapon that does lethal for +1 difficulty. The reverse also seems reasonable. Some of these also seem to indicate a 'negative specialty', which might be twinky in general, but seems fine in the context of a packaged MA. (i.e. the -3 for kicks, etc)
For "Mammoth Fury", the Pain Resistance seems weird. Maybe just say they get an extra -1 health level for bashing only? (I'd call this a 1 pt merit)(Of course, exalted is a little weird in that nothing relates your stats to how much damage you can take; 6 years and big bruisers are the same!)
For Onyx Scorpion(Sneaky Strike) this seems, well, really good. +3 difficulty to block and dodge is pretty tough! (the +1 diff to hit doesn't mean to much, ok, you need 2 succeses). That's better than many charms, I think. I'd make this two maneuvers, one with a +3 to dodge, one with a +3 to block. Otherwise it seems really nasty. --FlowsLikeBits, who likes the idea
The idea is to make them more of them than just a specialty. Anyone can come up with a specialty for MA. And yes, some are good and might need balancing, but they're also meant to take some training to learn. I'm not sure about that yet. I made the sneaky strike +2 diff. to block, BTW. Resplendence
I meant learning the Art gives you a set of pseudo-specialties(what do you call them). I'd treat these like the bonuses for, the 'Terrestrial MA'(Crimson Pentacle Blade Style!)(It has these weird posture specializations, seems like a good precedent for this) but that seems to be a good precedent for this. My point is, if I get +2 dice from my art, and +3 from a specialty, well, that's ALOT. That, and saying it doesn't stack with charms would just seem weird. Honestly, I like this better than 'standard' specialties. As, I'm just better at this always seemed weird. --FlowsLikeBits
Hmm, good point about specialties and MA bonuses stacking, but negating a speciality like "fighting blind" just because you let your Neon Turtle of Outmost Funk Style rip isn't good either. There has to be a nother solution. Resplendence
Stamina is the closest thing to relating your stats to how much damage you can take, and it doesn't really do it all that well. That is, I suppose, one thing D&D has in its favour: Constitution will give you more hit points if it is higher. But Exalted, and I think most WW games, the idea is not to take hits. Taking massive amounts of damage and living isn't represented by having a lot of health levels, it's getting hit by big damage attacks and soaking it. You could describe the wounds as being terrible and enough to kill lesser men, even if your Solar only takes 2 or 3 Lethal. ~ Andrew 02

Hmmm... What about having mundane versions of supernatural MA styles? They'd be fighting styles inspired by Exalted heroes. That could be cool. On stacking with Charms - let them stack with anything but Form Charms (which, by their nature, define the user's fighting style). - szilard

Good idea. Feel free to add them here, if you want. Resplendence
I always believed that the Exalted MAs WERE secular or mortal MAs, just enhanced with Charms - in the same way that 'using melee charms' is the same as 'fighting with a melee weapon' - the MAs already exist and are taught, but only Exalts can learn the tricks. As a supplement to this point, for example, everybody in the Cloister of Wisdom learns Five-Dragon Style as a mundane martial art, with Exalts learning MA charms in the 'advanced courses' - so even a mortal could recognize Snake Form, he just won't be able to pair it with the required Essence manipulation to create the Form's effects - for him, it's just 'the stance in which Snake stylists stand when they fight' ~ BerserkSeraph
It's a good idea, like I said, as long as it's not just a name you apply to the same old punches and kicks mortals are normally limited to.

Resplendence, I assume this is your page -- you should add it to Abilities/MartialArts.
~ Shataina

Onyx Scorpion, IMO, is too powerful for mortals. If this is something for Exalts, Onyx Scorpion still blows the other styles away. If it is for Exalts, then the 2 or 3 dice from this stuff doesn't seem all that grand. What does, however, seem grand is things like Onyx Scorpion's special maneuvers or Mammoth's lethal clinch, both of which intrude on things charms should be doing for you, and without an essence or willpower cost. Adding a willpower cost to some of the higher end special maneuvers might go a ways to help balance them out, and reflect that they are martial arts special attacks for mortals. The difficulties aren't really doing it for me, though, I suppose, for mortals, they are quite difficult indeed.

Like the idea, though. More for Brawl, which kind of needs it more. MA gets tons of advantages from being up on the pedestal of being the super ability that can do anything and will reveal all of the secrets of the world to you. ~Andrew02

Actually, I really like the difficulties. If I were going to do something like this in my game, the only way I'd allow it is with trade-offs. As in, 'Yeah, that style can let you punch for lethal, but attacks with it are at diff 2 and do one less die of damage than normal.' It strikes me as a good way to make it worthwhile for a heroic mortal who is really good at this stuff, but balance these with Charms in such a way that the effects are trivial for Exalts... which is, I think, what we seem to be looking for here. -szilard
You have figured out my secret. This entitles you to the grand prize - an Orichaclum toaster! Resplendence
Wow, now he can make Perfect toast! --Toram
I don't see why you should necessarily need a Charm to inflict lethal damage. Even so, lethal damage Charms are the most basic MA Charms there are. Breaking bones, hitting pressure points, etc, are all mundane but would logically inflict lethal damage. As for the difficulties, they're along the lines of other special maneuvers, like inflicting bashing damage with a weapon. And yes, Martial Arts are funky in Exalted. I don't see why mortals shouldn't be able to learn munande arts that don't rely on Essence. Resplendence
You don't neccessarily need a Charm to inflict lethal. Strap on a cestus or use some weapon. I don't see why these mundane mortal Martial Arts should be as good as any Exalted Charms, even if they are the basic ones with minimal costs and pre-requisites. But maybe it's just me, you know? I don't think Martial Arts should be so good that mortals are doing things even Solars need charms for, essentially for free. ~Andrew02
But how do you rationalize this? Inflicting lethal damage bare-handed is a staple of martial art films. Of course mortal ninjas need to be able to hit critical spots and pressure points. It's not only cool, it's also logical. The distinction between mortals and exalted can't be that arbitrary. Resplendence
Dude, duh. Pressure point strikes are totally Charms. Get with it, man. - willows thinks that this whole "mortals can do anything cool" palaver is ridiculous
I just don't get it. I don't see how that is logical at all. I'm going to shut up now, because lest Willows flame me for indulging in something ridiculous. All I'm saying is these special maneuvers shouldn't be better than charms, and free. ~Andrew02
For what it's worth, I really like the idea of mortal techniques that are awesome, even if they are as good as Exalted Charms. However, I have a very different view of the setting, I consider the Exalted to be horribly overpowered, and I don't like the fact that Martial Arts Charms are only allowed to the Exalted anyway. If I were running the setting, they would all be available to whoever had the dedication to study them. Unfortunately, I am not running the setting, and the setting has a number of inbuilt assumptions, one of which is that the Exalted are better than mortals, period, end of story.

Considering that this is an intrinsic part of the setting that you don't seem to want to rewrite, I can think of a couple of possible approaches to your detractors: (1) You could power up the relevant Charms. Striking Fury Claws, for example, from Tiger Style, adds Essence to damage and does lethal rather than just doing lethal. Personally, I think that the fact that Exalted lethal-damage Charms don't require that the prohibitive difficulties you've listed be met is more than enough justification for them to remain just as they already are, Essence cost and all, but it's apparent that others disagree. (To clarify: if I, as a player, had a choice of spending a couple motes to do lethal or meeting a nasty difficulty to do lethal, I'd choose to spend the motes.) (2) You could change the "lethal damage" effect to something else. I don't much like techniques that do lethal damage anyway, because they're boring and flavourless. If you want ninjas to be able to accomplish cool effects by means of pressure points, why don't you have it do something specific depending on which pressure point is hit? (A certain pressure point, for example, might cause pain, while another might fill the target with lustful hormones or something, I don't even know.) Or they can knock people out or something.
~ Shataina
(This was meant to go with this thread. Darn wikinewness): In the core book, for a +1 difficulty, you can do bashing damage with a weapon that does lethal. I'd say doing lethal with unarmed is equivilent to a called shot(a hit to the throat or solar plexus(oooh, pun!)) This is only, what +1 or +2 diff? A charm would tend to let you parry lethal also, so you get differntiation there. My point is, at +3 difficulty, the fact that your target gets, maybe 3-5 less soak is severly balanced by the vastly decreased chance of hitting in the first place. A mortal has a max possible die pool of 19 (6 dex/with a merit, 5 abilty, +2 from one of these arts,+3 from a specialty and +3 from a jaw-dropping stunt).
Personally, I'd like to see these be something you could learn as a mortal, exalt and still find somewhat useful for a while. --FlowsLikeBits

Hmm, how about this. Each MA counts against the number of specialties you can learn with that ability(you learned the art rather than practicing one thing). This makes sense to me, and cuts down on really hidious stacking. Also, a specialty can't duplicate one you get from the art(?maybe?).
Here's my take on 'costs', YMMV. This also gives a nice way to calcuate XP costs...
Maybe you could increase the cost when going above 3 specialties +1 XP per specialty? (your over specialized).
Art : Number of Specialties to learn(also gives the XP/char gen cost).
  • Boxing : 1
  • Wrestling : 1
  • Mammoth Fury : 2
  • Ascending Crane : 2
  • Crescent Red Moon : 2
  • Tsunami Fist : 2
  • Onyx Scorpion : 3

Individual Style comments:
Ascending Crane Style: The Counterthrow requires an action, correct(if not, it's really powerful)?
Crescent Red Moon: I don't think there is normally a penalty for disarming with a kick, you mean they negate the kick penalty when disarming?
Onyx Scorption: Maybe change Lethal Strike to Vital Strike, as it I think that's what it's going for and it also is idea.
Tsunami Fist: You might want to change the penalty to " -3 to defend against these maneuvers using Martial Arts". (I think this is what your going for,but -3 to all defence seems harsh. I can see having trouble getting out of a cliche, but they should have a reasonable chance to dodge the initial attack. IMHO).
This is interesting, even though I don't like these styles eating up specialty slots. I'll definitely consider your ideas, though. The Counterthrow is basically a fancy block, so yes, it requires an action. Good suggestions about the styles, I'll definitely use them. Thanks. Resplendence

Random thought, but wouldn't the best way to resolve the "this should require SOME sort of prerequisite to be able to do" and the "I really don't want to use up all of the specialties available" POV's would be to maybe make this somewhat similar to the Arts and Sciences of Thaumaturgy. Iow, in order to get access to these effects, one should purchase some trait that, similar to the arts and sciences, actually adds to one's ability in a manner similar to Specialties, but stacks with them / doesn't limit their use, AND adds spiffy things you can do. Yeah, actually using these things requires either a lot of Willpower or access to an Essence pool (which, for mortals, is rather small), but they can still pull them off. More, after exaltation, they are still potentially useful, but not as useful as charms. -Suzume (who is now trying to figure out how to implement this for her games, and extend it to mortal versions of the canon styles...)