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Old 10-30-2015, 01:34 PM   #7
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Location: Iceland*
Default Re: [Martial Arts] Aquatic Styles: Sahuagin (Shark Men)

Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Aha if this is mainly about dominance challenges, than I think breaking limbs is especially appropriate as you get to humiliate / dominate your opponent, and they get to live and continue to serve in their correct position (well once they heal).

Also I'm guessing a lack of mobility in sahuagin society comes with some extra shame, and is clear indicator that the fight is over and you have lost.
Actually, dominance challenge might be a slight misnomer. It's a formal contest between two dominant males for leadership, yes, but it's not fought to elicit a show of submission from the loser. It is always to the death, by ancient sahuagin law, itself a natural outgrowth of the lovely sahuagin philosophy of life.*

Sahuagin society is in fact so regimented by ancient strictures that such formal dominance duels are very rare. They mostly occur when a potential challenger, who will have been watched for decades** by the current holder of the rank he is challenging for, has grown big and fierce enough to consider himself able to face his liege lord in a duel to the death. Often, that will occur when such a leader starts to demonstrate mental weakness and/or has taken a wound which impairs him slightly.***

*In their view, all failure is weakness and the weak do not deserve to live.
**As well as exposed to all dangers that a sahuagin leader can legitimately expose a subordinate to, in the hopes that a challenge might be averted. Unfortunately for sahuagin leaders, they each have many subordinates, traditionally nine honour guards and from nine to 20 sub-leaders for the higher ranks than Chieftain (human equivalent for an unpronouncable sahuagin term). And while it's within acceptable norms to engineer the death of a particularly vicious rival or two, such as a mutant four-armed one, a sahuagin Price or King who continually got all his Barons killed before they grew enough to challenge him would come to be considered a race traitor, blasphemer and coward soon enough, leading to a revolution by public feeding frenzy.
***If it's a genuine crippling wound, other sahuagin would probably just kill and eat him by unspoken consent, without the need for a formal challenge.

Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
well Pressure points allows you access to all kinds of potentially fight winning moves that don't require raw strength to pull off. e.g IQ based stuns, paralysed limbs, being blinded (although in this case I say it was blocking what ever sense was most appropriate) stopping you breathing (or in this case gill function).
Agreed. Those are all good reasons to improve Pressure Points.

Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Pressure secrets is as states is potentially unbalanced! It doubles the effectiveness of locks and holds, it doubles your damage and allows you to go for vitals! (I'd think carefully about how Cutting sharp teeth/claws stack with this last one though) But either even at the most conservative reading to turns your cutting teeth and claws into impaling teeth and claws!
Which is a nice option, but one that can be duplicated by a single Technique, if he only wants to do it with his front claws.

The damage does not double, as I recall. Impaling does more injury than crushing or even cutting to the torso, but it does the same injury against limbs as crushing and less than cutting.

I think Technical Grappling had some text on Pressure Secrets used with locks. Doubled effectiveness sounds unbalancing, but some improvement would justify investment in the skill for our good Baron.

Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
What I can't remember is do teeth and claws count are unarmed attacks for the terms of this advantage?
I'm guessing they do.

Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
I'd argue that as far as sahuagin who often wield weapons are concerned they are and I'd also their use especially if you went with that more conservative reading PS replaces the cutting bonus. Especially as your using Karate/Judo to attack off and not brawling further distinguishing this chap from the usual sahuagin brawler using sheer muscle and ferocity
Just so.

Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Other than that Baron Ak'Zuma sounds a pretty cool and brutal character /NPC!
He was a more or less random encounter. A few sessions ago, when some of the PCs and their men swam into the harbour of Shussel, a city in enemy hands, as a prelude to the amphibious assault that would finally seize that city, I mentioned that there were groups of sahuagin watching them, but not interfering in any way.

In the last session I GM-ed, a long time after the PCs had seen those sahuagin (a whole big battle and several smaller ones ago), one PC and his flight of combat mages were out flying escort on a wing of tasloi (small goblinesque creatures) mounted on giant albatrosses and dropping crossbow bolts on the enemy army outside their captured city. After escorting the albatrosses over the enemy army and away, the PC and his men encountered some opposition, probably summoned by priests on the ground in response to flying enemies. The PC and flight of mages were forced to retreat some miles from the harbour of Shussel, out to sea, in order to escape a flight of divine servitors of an enemy god, intent on bringing them the holy light. After being caught by teleporting angels, the PC and his loyal allies ended up in the drink. Lacking flight magic to get back, they are now floating around waiting for a rescue that might take some time, as the rest of the friendly forces are a bit preoccupied defending the newly seized city from the field army outside the walls.

The small group of fliers, who have formed a small raft of their bodies and what remains of the dragonwings that allowed them to fly, saw shark men swimming around in the depths under them, observing them curiously. Before the sahuagin had decided that snacks that were delivered by airdrop were safe to eat, the PC leading the downed flight used a magical messaging conch to tell the sahuagin that he was a powerful wizard who wished to speak with their leader on a matter very much to his advantage.

As their leader happened to be close by, observing these new humans who were fighting his hated enemy, the Mulhorandi, he was in a position to swim over and learn what this delusionally arrogant pre-dinner wanted to speak about. And so, I had to name and detail a leader of the local sahuagin. Random* rolling for ability scores indicated incredible IQ**, so the rest of the character kind of grew from that data point.

After discovering that the local sahuagin probably were not subject to the new King of Kurrimal, after a nearby underwater eruption destroyed the former kingdom of Aleaxtis and its king some four years ago, I decided that I'd make this super-intelligent sahuagin an interesting independent Baron. As in, why would the most intelligent sahuagin of his generation (or perhaps many generations), be content to lead an independent band outside the new borders and not play some political role instead? Sahuagin barons have to be big enough to be potential Royal Guards or royal lieutenants and it would seem to offer much more scope for that sort of intelligence to be helping to rule tens of thousands of sahuagin warriors than to lead a band of maybe 200.

My speculations and some dice rolling led me to decide that this Baron should be an unusually powerful one, but that he had some problem, curse or defect that had prevented him from having challenged his Prince or King in the normal fashion, even before that King and several Princes were turned to bubbles of underwater steam. As weresharkdom is regarded as a blessing in sahuagin society, but a mixed blessing, in that it stops growth and leads to death within 200 years of infection (sahuagin live very long, most Kings are 600+ years old), it seemed perfect. Baron Ak'Zuma has less than a century to live and he will not grow any bigger. And he has no Prince or King to challenge, anyway, as his lands are now located on the other side of some desolated lava ocean floor and occasional flare-up of poisonous chemicals from the new sahuagin kingdom of Kurrimal. So if he wants to leave any kind of legacy, it can't be through normal sahuagin channels.

*Well, within a range that I consider plausible, based on what has already been established about the character, such as position, training, etc.
**First thing I rolled for, as I needed to see if the unseen, offscreen leader of the sahuagin was likely to be curious or simply growl and wonder why no one was eating the delivered dinner yet.
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Last edited by Icelander; 10-30-2015 at 01:47 PM.
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