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Old 02-09-2018, 12:54 PM   #1
Jareth Valar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Default Martial Arts, Kusari and Rope Dart conundrum

OK, looking through Martial Arts and I have a serious conundrum. The Rope Dart and Chain Whip are traditionally Chinese martial arts weapons, however there is only 1 Chinese martial arts that gets the potential use of the skill, and that happens to be Kunato, the MAa of the Chinese in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Now, Rope Dart and Chain Whip use the Kusari skill, of which there are 9 arts that have the skill as either main or optional and most of these are Japanese arts that focus on the more traditioinal kusarigama or manriki-kusari.

Now, several (4 to be exact) of the Chinese MA's have Whip and/or Whip Art.....completely useless to them for the apparent reason they were given. I have only seen 3 total weapons that use whip between MA, Core Rules, Low Tech, etc. and they are Urumi, Whip and Light Whip...not the weapons of Chinese MAs.

I'm just trying to understand this. The easiest fix I can think of is to allow the Rope Dart and the Chain Whip to be used with the Whip/Whip Art/Whip Sport skills, like the way the Jian can be used with either Broadsword or Rapier.

Any thoughts on this or am I nuts?

P.S. I have also looked at the errata, and nothing mentioned.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:38 AM   #2
Jareth Valar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Default Re: Martial Arts, Kusari and Rope Dart conundrum

Page 4, 112 views and no one has any advice or comment?

I'm actually looking for any help here. Did I miss something? Was this addressed before and I missed it?

If this hasn't been noticed before (and actually is an issue) who would I make it known to and how?

Again, thanks
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:24 AM   #3
Tomsdad
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brighton
Default Re: Martial Arts, Kusari and Rope Dart conundrum

If you think some of the Chinese martial arts should have Kusari instead of whip just swap them out in the styles write up. If you think some styles should have Kusari added weather or not they have whip add Kusari into their listing.

FWIW the list of styles that have Kusari in are:

Banshay
Kobujutsu
Kuntao
Kusarijutsu
Kusarigamajutsu
Kumango Silat
Taihojutsu
Taijutsu

But a couple of points

1). As full as the list of Martial Art's style writes up's is, it's not a complete list of martial arts around the world or even SEA (nor does it pretend to be of course)

2). Very few martial arts were ever developed in complete isolation, most were influenced by others over a period of time especially in the local area.

3). A lot of martial arts (and more relevantly Martial Styles in MA) are broad groupings of skills and techniques that differ over time and application rather than being hard and fast absolute lists.


Which basically means you want to have a chinese version of "Kusarijutsu" which is basically "fighting with Kusari type weapons" than have one, it will cost 2 pts to begin with and if you want to adjust the tech, perks and advantages list go for it.

TBH if you look at the box about "kung Fu" on pg155 in MA it makes the point that there were/are thousands of Kung fu styles out there. MA lists some examples but they're by no means an exhaustive list or even likely a truly representative list of such a wide range of things.

So if you want to add the Kusari skill to an pre-existing Chinese martial style listing go for it, it will increase the initial cost by 1pt if it's a core skill, or will just add another skill onto the optional skills list which you have to buy to access.

If you want to call that a whole new Chinese martial art go for it, if you just want to call it a sub style of that overarching style that includes Kusari than go for it.


Basically given the sheer breadth of people in China who down the centuries have in some way swung all sorts of weapons around and sought to do so in at least vaguely structured format, I think any of these options is reasonable, even if examples of styles in MA that include Kusari are nominally not chinese.

What I would say is the Whip skill is a bit of an odd skill, I think it's bit telling that in Characters both Kusari and Whip melee skills are sub categories of the wider group "Whips". Doing a quick look the only technique that only the Whip skill can do as opposed to Whip and Kusari is "crack", ordinary whips do get some extra rules for length (and a lot more potential length). Urumi in conjunction with the Crack tech isn't that bad actually (well relatively it's still not that great a weapon)!


tl;dr GURPS Martial Arts is not a scholarly work looking to describe the complete real world history and range of Martial Arts. it's an RPG rules supplement for modelling martial arts in that RPG system and includes some examples of RL styles. If your RL knowledge tells you some Chinese martial arts have Kursari (or the local equivalent) in, add them in. So long as you do so according to the format of the examples given in MA you won't break the system or Real life.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 02-15-2018 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:54 PM   #4
dcarson
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Default Re: Martial Arts, Kusari and Rope Dart conundrum

What sort of stats would you give a rope dart that used either just a knot at the end or used a bone or horn dart. This is for an invisible man character that in order to have invisible equipment made invisible sheep to make wool clothing, rope, felt boots etc from.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:58 PM   #5
Jareth Valar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Default Re: Martial Arts, Kusari and Rope Dart conundrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
If you think some of the Chinese martial arts should have Kusari instead of whip just swap them out in the styles write up. If you think some styles should have Kusari added weather or not they have whip add Kusari into their listing.
Another valid option.

Quote:
FWIW the list of styles that have Kusari in are:

Banshay
Kobujutsu
Kuntao
Kusarijutsu
Kusarigamajutsu
Kumango Silat
Taihojutsu
Taijutsu
Also Tapak Sutji Petjak Silat

Quote:
1). As full as the list of Martial Art's style writes up's is, it's not a complete list of martial arts around the world or even SEA (nor does it pretend to be of course)
Totally understood. Not in contention.

Quote:
2). Very few martial arts were ever developed in complete isolation, most were influenced by others over a period of time especially in the local area.
True. IIRC, they were spread north from India into China and beyond.

Quote:
3). A lot of martial arts (and more relevantly Martial Styles in MA) are broad groupings of skills and techniques that differ over time and application rather than being hard and fast absolute lists.

Which basically means you want to have a chinese version of "Kusarijutsu" which is basically "fighting with Kusari type weapons" than have one, it will cost 2 pts to begin with and if you want to adjust the tech, perks and advantages list go for it.
Also very true. Many styles share similarities enough to be listed with alternate names and perhaps a suggested skill edit, as several already are in the book.


Quote:
TBH if you look at the box about "kung Fu" on pg155 in MA it makes the point that there were/are thousands of Kung fu styles out there. MA lists some examples but they're by no means an exhaustive list or even likely a truly representative list of such a wide range of things.

So if you want to add the Kusari skill to an pre-existing Chinese martial style listing go for it, it will increase the initial cost by 1pt if it's a core skill, or will just add another skill onto the optional skills list which you have to buy to access.

If you want to call that a whole new Chinese martial art go for it, if you just want to call it a sub style of that overarching style that includes Kusari than go for it.
Mentioned above, another valid alternative.


Quote:
Basically given the sheer breadth of people in China who down the centuries have in some way swung all sorts of weapons around and sought to do so in at least vaguely structured format, I think any of these options is reasonable, even if examples of styles in MA that include Kusari are nominally not chinese.
Not in contention. I understand skill usage is for a group of closely related weapons that share a base structure of use. Cultural origin not withstanding.

My point was, it appears to be an error of design. If Kusari was meant as the main skill for use with flexible non-flail weaponry, then when making the martial arts that use said weaponry it should have been added as the skill associated. If Whip was meant for that, then the weapons are improperly listed as using Kusari.

All of the MA's that list Kusari as a skill are fine. Those that list Whip as a skill are commonly associated with weapons that use the Kusari skill and do not have Kusari as an option nor are they know to use the weapons that the Whip skill encompass.

Quote:
What I would say is the Whip skill is a bit of an odd skill, I think it's bit telling that in Characters both Kusari and Whip melee skills are sub categories of the wider group "Whips". Doing a quick look the only technique that only the Whip skill can do as opposed to Whip and Kusari is "crack", ordinary whips do get some extra rules for length (and a lot more potential length). Urumi in conjunction with the Crack tech isn't that bad actually (well relatively it's still not that great a weapon)!
This is a concept that I can agree with. Never thought about combining them. And true, not that great a weapon, but having seen a demonstration of one, very intimidating non the less.

Quote:
tl;dr GURPS Martial Arts is not a scholarly work looking to describe the complete real world history and range of Martial Arts. it's an RPG rules supplement for modelling martial arts in that RPG system and includes some examples of RL styles. If your RL knowledge tells you some Chinese martial arts have Kursari (or the local equivalent) in, add them in. So long as you do so according to the format of the examples given in MA you wont break the system or Real life.
Understood it is a game book, not a MA guide book. There are a few that I had to look at several times to understand the design principles involved. For the most part I see why certain things were omitted or altered (game book, not RL how to book). Also, these changes were play-tested and altered for appropriate balance.

My point of contention, as mentioined above that the Chinese based MA mentioined have Whip as the optional/main skill. Whips are Whip, Light Whip and Urumi. The MA's in question are known to use weapons like rope dart, flying claws, meteor hammer, 9 section whip, chain whip, etc. All using Kusari by their description and the skill description.

This seems to be an error or an oversight. Less of weather I think they should have it and more of the fact they do not seem to follow the design elements they put down.

OK, here's an example of how this could be an issue. I know several GM's who use rules as written in the books+- relevant errata. Now say I'm trying to built a kung-fu stunt man in the image of his idol Jackie Chan. He has studied the MA's Jackie knows but is unable to use the techniques associated with Kusari as he had to learn it outside of the style he knows (GM using the option to not allow combat techniques outside of a MA), but if he wanted to play a cowboy, he'd crack like h**l.

I'm more wondering if others have noticed this (I personally do think it should be in the errata) and their thoughts or to possibly point out something I may have missed.

Thank you for your insight and opinions.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:00 AM   #6
Jareth Valar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Default Re: Martial Arts, Kusari and Rope Dart conundrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcarson View Post
What sort of stats would you give a rope dart that used either just a knot at the end or used a bone or horn dart. This is for an invisible man character that in order to have invisible equipment made invisible sheep to make wool clothing, rope, felt boots etc from.
No stats. He wouldn't be able to use it since it's invisible and could not aim it since he couldn't see his own arm nor the weapon to aim. Also, if the sheep were invisible, how could they find them to sheer them or to fabricate the wool after?

:-P

Last edited by Jareth Valar; 02-15-2018 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:01 AM   #7
Tomsdad
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brighton
Default Re: Martial Arts, Kusari and Rope Dart conundrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jareth Valar View Post
... Never thought about combining them. And true, not that great a weapon, but having seen a demonstration of one, very intimidating non the less.
...

I think ultimately that's pretty much what they bring and that's about it. Silly programme although it was in general "deadliest warrior" when it had the Urumi on was a bit telling.

They had their usual set up, a dummy target that was made of vaguely flesh-like material in order to record wounds and basically had the world champion* Urumi fighter flail away at it for a while. (he was brought in especially to demonstrate the thing for safety reasons!)

i.e basically the easiest set up possible to test the abstract wounding power of the weapon in the hands of the best in using it.

And well even with that set up it wasn't great. It left nasty surface cuts and slashes no doubt but it did way less than pretty much any other weapon that was tested in the same way. More tellingly the chap had to really work to get them and was clearly knacked** after maybe 10 or so seconds.

The only advantages I could see was he was doing this at maybe 3m and it looked like it would be very hard to parry or avoid. But equally it looked pretty hard to get on target as this chaps seemed to be missing as often as hitting. Although this last was hard to really judge as he spent a lot of time controlling the thing (readying it in GURPS terms) and a lot of the movement was maybe that and not direct attacks.

TBH this weapon has never come up in my games so I've only just noticed that in LT it says it doesn't get any of the special whip rules, I'm not sure what to make of that as I think I'd have a couple of the negative and positive ones from both whip and kusari apply!


But again this was on a stationary dummy, its only going to get worse in actual combat!


*although I got the impression it was a really niche skill so not a huge field

**not having a go at the man, he was constantly trying to keep a 4m length of whippy, edged steel constantly in motion, sending ot where he wanted it to go, all while avoiding losing an eye or hitting anything else


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jareth Valar View Post
.Thank you for your insight and opinions.
No worries

Cheers

TD

Last edited by Tomsdad; 02-15-2018 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:23 AM   #8
dcarson
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Default Re: Martial Arts, Kusari and Rope Dart conundrum

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Originally Posted by Jareth Valar View Post
Also, if the sheep were invisible, how could they find them to sheer them or to fabricate the wool after?
IR goggles. And doing things by touch.
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Old 02-15-2018, 07:45 AM   #9
Mailanka
 
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Default Re: Martial Arts, Kusari and Rope Dart conundrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
tl;dr GURPS Martial Arts is not a scholarly work looking to describe the complete real world history and range of Martial Arts. it's an RPG rules supplement for modelling martial arts in that RPG system and includes some examples of RL styles. If your RL knowledge tells you some Chinese martial arts have Kursari (or the local equivalent) in, add them in. So long as you do so according to the format of the examples given in MA you wont break the system or Real life.
It's also surprisingly easy to build your own while doing a little bit of homework. Find out what some typical tactics and approaches for a typical style are, or what styles it is "similar" to, and then build the style out of the necessary skills, techniques and perks to allow the description to match the mechanics, and if it's "similar" to another style you've seen stated, borrow heavily from that one.

China in particular is very underrepresented in GURPS Martial Arts, not because there's a lack of Chinese styles in the book, but because of the sheer volume of Chinese Martial Arts (Granted, many of them aren't so substantially different that each one would look so distinct: how many variations of Karate/Judo do we want?), so it's hardly surprising that we're missing some.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:05 AM   #10
Tomsdad
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brighton
Default Re: Martial Arts, Kusari and Rope Dart conundrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
It's also surprisingly easy to build your own while doing a little bit of homework. Find out what some typical tactics and approaches for a typical style are, or what styles it is "similar" to, and then build the style out of the necessary skills, techniques and perks to allow the description to match the mechanics, and if it's "similar" to another style you've seen stated, borrow heavily from that one.

China in particular is very underrepresented in GURPS Martial Arts, not because there's a lack of Chinese styles in the book, but because of the sheer volume of Chinese Martial Arts (Granted, many of them aren't so substantially different that each one would look so distinct: how many variations of Karate/Judo do we want?), so it's hardly surprising that we're missing some.
Yep, the styles write ups are great templates in this regard

Last edited by Tomsdad; 02-15-2018 at 08:09 AM.
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