Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-26-2015, 07:15 AM   #1
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

Kiai is an HT/Hard esoteric martial arts skill, requiring Trained by a Master or Weapon Master. Although the name is Japanese, the skill is more general (just like Judo and Karate) and can appear in any appropriate martial art. You project your chi in a mighty shout, aimed at a single opponent. If you win a quick contest of Kiai with his Will, he is mentally stunned. This counts as an attack and costs 1FP for each attempt. Kiai has no default and no skills default to it; Mental Strength can be used in place of Will to resist it.

Kiai has several unique modifiers: -1 to skill per two yards of range, a Hard of Hearing opponent resists at +1, and a Deaf one at +2. While the stunning only works on the target, a successful Kiai will give you +2 to Intimidation against everyone who can hear it. Kiai first appeared in Martial Arts for 3e, and its mechanics have changed somewhat at 4e.

Kiai naturally only appears on templates for cinematic martial artists, and, as is common for supporting skills, often at a pretty basic level that won't win many Quick Contests, and may not be worth sacrificing an attack for. The Chaos Monk of DF14 is a definite exception, and the Battle Cry perk in DF Denizens: Barbarians is a good example of a Rules Exemption. Madness Dossier's Sandman Regimen is a cut-down TBaM that allows Kiai and several other cinematic skills. Martial Arts has a Mega-Kiai Innate Attack that does actual injury, suggests the TBaM requirement might be waived for Kiai, and that the intimidation bonus might be achievable with musical instruments, such as bagpipes. Power-Ups 2, 3 and 7 have examples for Kiai. Chinese Elemental Powers lets Kiai substitute for Innate Attack (Breath).

I've used Kiai exactly once in a game, but it was fun. In our Crimson Skies campaign (1930s aviation and detective work in a balkanised USA) half the party found themselves appearing as extras in a Howard Hughes film. Being a Huge Oriental Guy, my character was naturally a supporting thug, until I was asked to charge a camera, tried a kiai, and the cameraman ran away. "Do that again, only less menacing!"
johndallman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2015, 07:44 AM   #2
Mailanka
 
Mailanka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

The problem with Kiai in combat is that it's a mental stun, and almost everyone will roll to recover at the end of their next turn (as most worthy opponents will have combat reflexes) which means you gave up an action to get them to give up an action, which is hardly worth it. Thus, Kiai is best for team actions (so someone can exploit the -4 penalty to defense from stunning) or, as it is an attack, you use it with Extra Attack, All-Out Attack, or you make a "rapid strike" with one of the attacks as Kiai. That means the Kiai comes up at the same time as the attack, so you can instantly exploit the penalty to defense.

Kiai came up often in CBR, unsurprisingly. I also made it the basis for a few chi powers. That said, it was definitely one of the less popular chi skills.
__________________
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.
If you want to support me, check out my Patreon!
Mailanka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2015, 10:36 AM   #3
dripton
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Virginia, USA
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

Kiai can be lethally effective against low-IQ foes that lack Combat Reflexes. Someone with IQ 8 will likely take several turns to come out of Mental Stun, during which you can be freely All-Out Attacking while he defends at -4.

In arena games without magic, IQ is often a dump stat, and powerful races such as ogres get some of their power by lowering racial IQ and not counting the points from that against the campaign disadvantage limit (because being an ogre is an advantage overall). In such games, Kiai is a great anti-ogre weapon. Well worth putting a couple of points in if you already have decent HT and Trained By A Master.

However, it's a pretty easy to counter: take Combat Reflexes. Which you want anyway. A low-Will opponent with Combat Reflexes will usually only be stunned for a single turn, which is marginally useful in a one-on-one fight, but can be really useful if you have allies who can take advantage.

Increased Will is also a good counter, but it's kind of expensive at 5 points per level. Deafness is an amusing counter, since you get points for it. But then you won't hear an opponent sneaking up behind you.
dripton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2015, 10:44 AM   #4
Refplace
 
Refplace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Yukon, OK
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

My group used it in some Supers campaigns but mostly for effect and against Mooks.
I have gone the combine with Extra Attack route with minor effect.
Also used it to break up a Calvary charge by targeting the leaders horse.

Edit:
The Supers we allowed Extra Effort to give Enhancements and a Sonic guy had decent area on it
The calvery thing was my Gnome Druid/Illusionist and used a spell to project his voice, though if that hadn't been allowed he could have snuck up before the battle.
It wasn't the most effective thing but it was funner then most other things I could have done.
__________________
Looking for group in my area
My GURPS official contributions
My GURPS fan contribution and blog:
REFPLace GURPS Landing Page
My List of GURPS You Tube videos (plus a few other useful items)
Pyramid Writers Group Pt II

Last edited by Refplace; 12-26-2015 at 10:54 AM.
Refplace is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2015, 12:01 PM   #5
roguebfl
Dog of Lysdexics
 
roguebfl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Melbourne FL, Formerly Wellington NZ
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mailanka View Post
The problem with Kiai in combat is that it's a mental stun, and almost everyone will roll to recover at the end of their next turn (as most worthy opponents will have combat reflexes) which means you gave up an action to get them to give up an action, which is hardly worth it. Thus, Kiai is best for team actions (so someone can exploit the -4 penalty to defense from stunning).
You do realize that even if they roll to recover from the stun on their very next turn, they still have the -4 until the start of the turn after, so you yourself can still hit them without needing extra attack at -4
__________________
Rogue the Bronze Firelizard
Gerald Grenier, Jr. Hail Eris!
Rogue's Weyr
roguebfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2015, 02:58 PM   #6
Mailanka
 
Mailanka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

Quote:
Originally Posted by roguebfl View Post
You do realize that even if they roll to recover from the stun on their very next turn, they still have the -4 until the start of the turn after, so you yourself can still hit them without needing extra attack at -4
No. The rules state that if you are stunned, you can roll to recover from stun at the end of your next turn, and if you succeed, you instantly recover from your stun. You do not get two turns to attack someone who is stunned, you get one.

EDIT:
I take it back, you're right. If I stun you on my turn, you're at -4 until the end of your next turn, so I kiai, then you "do nothing," then I attack (you're at -4), and then your turn ends right before you act again and you recover and then you're fine (you can attack, move, pick your nose, whatever you like)
__________________
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.
If you want to support me, check out my Patreon!

Last edited by Mailanka; 12-26-2015 at 03:04 PM.
Mailanka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2015, 03:03 PM   #7
Railstar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

If you have Trained By A Master or Weapon Master, you have much better options than Kiai to work with: any time you are using Kiai you are not using your TBAM-enhanced martial arts skills… it uses up an action, costs fatigue, makes a lot of noise (no stealthy stun), and is at a penalty for range (discouraging use of it at a distance), for an opposed roll that is not particularly reliable since Combat Reflexes blocks it so effectively (and most guys without Combat Reflexes have no business going up against guys with TBAM).

Essentially it is the kind of skill that only seems to work when you don't need the help.

Battle Cry opens up a possible use for Kiai: it could be really useful for internal squabbles and gaining position in ogre or orc clans (or similar high-HT/low-IQ monsters as dripton implies). I could see challenges among them being resolved essentially via shouting match. This could cause an interesting situation where the ogress who win fighting challenges among themselves will have high Kiai because it works so well for fights against other ogres, while the same tactic is less useful against humans.

I could see a niche for Kiai in things like bar-fights where startling people is preferable to seriously hurting them, or restraining Drunken Uncle Bertie who is getting a bit out of hand – the kind of thing I've heard referred to as “social violence” rather than “asocial violence” (which is the fighting-for-your-life kind of stuff). I could see it working well in the kind of game where the damage you cause in a confrontation will come back to haunt you, where you want to avoid causing injury – but those tend not to be cinematic campaigns that allow things like TBAM or Kiai.
Railstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2015, 03:09 PM   #8
Mailanka
 
Mailanka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

Quote:
Originally Posted by Railstar View Post
If you have Trained By A Master or Weapon Master, you have much better options than Kiai to work with: any time you are using Kiai you are not using your TBAM-enhanced martial arts skills… it uses up an action, costs fatigue, makes a lot of noise (no stealthy stun), and is at a penalty for range (discouraging use of it at a distance), for an opposed roll that is not particularly reliable since Combat Reflexes blocks it so effectively (and most guys without Combat Reflexes have no business going up against guys with TBAM).
Combat Reflexes doesn't block it, just recovers from it. It's a good way for getting around someone's defenses if they haven't also blocked that particular vulnerability. That said, though, I largely agree with you. It's a pretty specialized tool, and while it can be useful in that little niche, for the same points, you could have more Power Blow or Mental Strength or Flying Leap. I rarely found someone who wanted Kiai-25, while the guy with Power Blow-25 was generally considered ridiculously cool.
__________________
My Blog: Mailanka's Musing. Currently Playing: Psi-Wars, a step-by-step exploration of building your own Space Opera setting, inspired by Star Wars.
If you want to support me, check out my Patreon!
Mailanka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2015, 06:09 PM   #9
Humabout
 
Humabout's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

I've not used Kiai in any games, but I have included it in martial arts style writeups because it fit conceptually. Thinking about it now, it could help a lerson break free of a grapple, since you won't suffer grappling penalties to use it and if successful, your opponent will have -4 to his roll to maintain the grapple. It doesn't alleviate his +5, but it largely mitigates it. Of course, you still have -4 to your DX, so it's not an automatic get-out-grapple-free card or as good as Pressure Points, but it helps...
__________________
Buy My Stuff!

Dungeon Action!

My Blog: Above the Flatline.
Humabout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2015, 06:11 PM   #10
Refplace
 
Refplace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Yukon, OK
Default Re: [Basic] Skill of the week: Kiai

Quote:
Originally Posted by Humabout View Post
I've not used Kiai in any games, but I have included it in martial arts style writeups because it fit conceptually. Thinking about it now, it could help a lerson break free of a grapple, since you won't suffer grappling penalties to use it and if successful, your opponent will have -4 to his roll to maintain the grapple. It doesn't alleviate his +5, but it largely mitigates it. Of course, you still have -4 to your DX, so it's not an automatic get-out-grapple-free card or as good as Pressure Points, but it helps...
You might even get a bonus on the contest if you can scream directly into his ear...
__________________
Looking for group in my area
My GURPS official contributions
My GURPS fan contribution and blog:
REFPLace GURPS Landing Page
My List of GURPS You Tube videos (plus a few other useful items)
Pyramid Writers Group Pt II
Refplace is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
basic, kiai, skill of the week

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.