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Old 07-28-2022, 12:11 PM   #41
alforno
 
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Default Re: [Dungeon Fantasy] Non-East Asian inspirations for Martial Artists (and Ninja)

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
Dungeon Fantasy Martial Artists are a bit of an odd man out. The other "core" professions all have roots in fantasy fiction and RPGs primarily (if loosely) based off Medieval Europe. The Martial Artist, on the other hand, has its roots in Chinese and Japanese martial arts. Sure, the barbarian template also represents an exotic foreigner—but often one from a mere few hundred miles away, as opposed to several thousand miles away. So I'm wondering about historical precedents for something that could justify using the mechanics of the Martial Artist without feeling so out of place. One thing that comes to mind, oddly, is to portray them as a sort of cinematic version of ancient Olympic athletes. But it might be that people know of other historical precedents. Thoughts?
It sounds like you are mostly talking about unarmed martial arts, because we already have an abundance of weapons-based non-Asian martial arts. Two things that come to mind are wrestling and boxing. Pugilists throughout Western civilization have competed in these forms of unarmed combat throughout history. There are probably a few H.E.M.A. enthusiasts that focus on the history of these topics and those resources could be mined for ideas.
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Old 07-28-2022, 12:52 PM   #42
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Default Re: [Dungeon Fantasy] Non-East Asian inspirations for Martial Artists (and Ninja)

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Originally Posted by alforno View Post
It sounds like you are mostly talking about unarmed martial arts, because we already have an abundance of weapons-based non-Asian martial arts. Two things that come to mind are wrestling and boxing. Pugilists throughout Western civilization have competed in these forms of unarmed combat throughout history. There are probably a few H.E.M.A. enthusiasts that focus on the history of these topics and those resources could be mined for ideas.
The DF Martial Artist is defined by having high unarmed combat capabilities (I believe it's the only template in DF1 with access to Judo and/or Karate, as well as having Trained By a Master, and I believe it also has the highest default skill in unarmed combat), having access to Chi-based superpowers (DR, Regeneration, etc, all with Chi -10%), and utilizing esoteric skills (Breath Control, Flying Leap, Power Blow, etc). They're about the only template in DF1 that can be dedicated unarmed combatants, but they don't have to be - indeed, one of the Advantages you can opt for is Weapon Master, if you want your Sun Wukong / Son Goku expy (naturally, named Mago Gosora) to be an expert with staves.

The Chi Limitation is one that requires the character to have a specific Disadvantage, Disciplines of Faith (Chi) [-10]. This Disadvantage itself requires the character to spend 1d hours every day meditating and/or exercising, and also have to pay twice as much for food (to represent both a special diet and having other consumables, like incense), which is something of a defining characteristic as well (hence my suggestion of fluffing this as balancing one's humors via diet and exercise).

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Originally Posted by thrash View Post
This would typically imply a marginalized, conquered, or oppressed subculture, or a society with politically imposed restrictions on weapons use. For medieval Europe, that immediately calls to mind the Jews. A qabalah-based secret art (perhaps anachronistically modeled after Krav Maga) that was developed to protect Jewish communities from their persecutors would work. Plenty of room here for the "don't mess with the old man in rags" trope.
That... works a lot better than it seems like it should, honestly. Disciplines of Faith (Chi) burns up 24.5 hours per week on meditation and exercise (average 3.5 hours per day for 7 days) and doubles the cost of rations. Refusing to adventure on the Sabbath would burn up 24 hours per week and requiring kosher food would boost the price of rations - probably not quite to x2, but we could still use that.
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Old 07-28-2022, 04:54 PM   #43
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Default Re: [Dungeon Fantasy] Non-East Asian inspirations for Martial Artists (and Ninja)

If you've ever read the Mongoliad, the Shield Brethren call their fighting style oplomach, and it is very comprehensive. (And obviously derivative of "hoplomachia".)
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Old 07-28-2022, 05:12 PM   #44
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Default Re: [Dungeon Fantasy] Non-East Asian inspirations for Martial Artists (and Ninja)

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Originally Posted by alforno View Post
It sounds like you are mostly talking about unarmed martial arts, because we already have an abundance of weapons-based non-Asian martial arts. Two things that come to mind are wrestling and boxing. Pugilists throughout Western civilization have competed in these forms of unarmed combat throughout history. There are probably a few H.E.M.A. enthusiasts that focus on the history of these topics and those resources could be mined for ideas.
Should have been clearer about this. I was actually mainly talking about cinematic / chi skills. Oh well.
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Old 07-28-2022, 05:23 PM   #45
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Default Re: [Dungeon Fantasy] Non-East Asian inspirations for Martial Artists (and Ninja)

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
European martial arts might include quarterstaff. Also that Irish walking stick with the cute name.
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Originally Posted by jacobmuller View Post
And don't forget the Irish Monks - after all those viking raids they added Anàil Beatha to their resumé. We all know how powerful Uisce Beatha is - just imagine Anàil...
Chi is cheesy, give me Anàil of Eireann!
Of course, a lot depends on how you pronounce it - might get a bit NSFW if your garlic is as bad as mine.
PS given that Uisce Beatha is pronounced whiskey baha; Samhain is sowain; ¿Anàil ≈ Ownail? (of iren). Maybe too drole...
Anaìl is pronounced roughly (and depending on regional dialect) "Ah-nole", and for a mystical tradition probably Anaìl Beatha, "Ah-nole beha". There is an extensive tradition of stick and unarmed fighting in Ireland that could translate well to the Martial Artist template, variously called Coraíocht, Shillelagh, Collar-and-elbow, and Irish Shin-kicking, and Irish mythology offers plenty of legendary warriors who could run fast, jump around like fleas, dual wield, wrestle monsters, etc.
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Old 07-28-2022, 10:33 PM   #46
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Default Re: [Dungeon Fantasy] Non-East Asian inspirations for Martial Artists (and Ninja)

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Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
Anaìl is pronounced roughly (and depending on regional dialect) "Ah-nole", and for a mystical tradition probably Anaìl Beatha, "Ah-nole beha". There is an extensive tradition of stick and unarmed fighting in Ireland that could translate well to the Martial Artist template, variously called Coraíocht, Shillelagh, Collar-and-elbow, and Irish Shin-kicking, and Irish mythology offers plenty of legendary warriors who could run fast, jump around like fleas, dual wield, wrestle monsters, etc.
Interesting. This crossed my mind but a quick scan of GURPS Classic Myth didn't turn up anything. On a closer read, there's a fair discussion of superhuman abilities, but exclusively in the context of sidhe and part-sidhe characters. Furthermore the book explicitly says sidhe abilities require no training (CM75). I don't know if there are exceptions to that rule to be found in Celtic myth or not—certainly, the feats of heroes in other traditions seem to be a combination of blood and training. Though the real jackpot would be non-Asian traditions that take the stand anyone can be super through training.
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Old 07-29-2022, 03:44 AM   #47
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Default Re: [Dungeon Fantasy] Non-East Asian inspirations for Martial Artists (and Ninja)

Cú Chulainn was trained by Scáthach.
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Old 07-29-2022, 10:46 AM   #48
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Default Re: [Dungeon Fantasy] Non-East Asian inspirations for Martial Artists (and Ninja)

Another option I can't believe I didn't think of earlier is the possibility that martial arts might be associated with non-humans—anything from elves, to half-celestials, to an ancient dwarven civilization with many long-lost secrets.
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Old 07-29-2022, 03:34 PM   #49
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Default Re: [Dungeon Fantasy] Non-East Asian inspirations for Martial Artists (and Ninja)

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Cú Chulainn was trained by Scáthach.
Fionn Mac Cumhàil trained with the famous warriors Bodhmall and Liath Luachra.
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Old 07-29-2022, 08:23 PM   #50
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Default Re: [Dungeon Fantasy] Non-East Asian inspirations for Martial Artists (and Ninja)

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Should have been clearer about this. I was actually mainly talking about cinematic / chi skills. Oh well.
One other possibility comes to mind. Alchemists are philosophical & often interested in pursuing immortality and such through their concoctions. There might be an offshoot that comes up with various alchemical treatments to enhance themselves. Cost & need for alchemical supplements replaces the time & cost for maintaining chi powers. Dungeon delving helps fund research. If you want chi skills as well as powers, perhaps make Trained by a Master a result of alchemical progress that gives the user superior mastery over his body which can be channeled through the various chi skills. So you could go with:

1. Hercules does kung fu.
2. God's brass knuckles - putting the monk back in Martial Artist
3. Better living through chemistry.

Or all three if you wanted fights between rival martial arts schools.
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