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Old 02-13-2011, 01:56 PM   #86
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Yucca Valley, CA
Default Re: High fantasy monk archetype recomendations

I haven't read the whole thread, but what I have read seems full of opinions that an effective open-hand fighter can't be made on 100 points, where effective means "able to take on a guys with swords and armor". I beg to differ, given a few reasonable assumptions:

1) The armed guys won't be supermen to start with if it's a 100pt campaign
2) You build the character specifically to do this; it won't be a casual sideline
3) The campaign allows cinematic traits, i.e., Trained by a Master and the skills based on it
4) Having Trained by a Master opens up exotic advantages like DR and Claws (i.e., the Chi-based Body Control power, from GURPS Powers)
5) If the GM is using styles, he gins one up that fits your concept

Here's how I might go about it:

Basic attributes, straight 10's. Attributes represent general ability, and this concept needs focus. It also means, he's just a regular guy, maybe even a bit nebbish, before being trained to an extraordinary level.

[10] Per 12
[10] Will 12

[15] Very Fit - makes up for HT 10, and it gives you more mileage from fatigue for mundane tasks, leaving more for cinematic skills. Also fits the monkish lifestyle

[5] Flexible - gives a bonus to Climbing and Escape and fighting in tight spaces where a knight is trapped

[20] Talent +4 - this adds to Karate and Wrestling, Acrobatics, and to cinematic skills Blindfighting, Breaking Blow, and Flying Leap. In the case of this character, it does not represent inborn talent but training since childhood in an integrated curriculum. Other monks, and warriors in the know, will be impressed with your mastery thereof.

[1] Attribute Substitution: Flying Leap based on Will, from GURPS Power Ups 2: Perks.

[1] Extra Option: The cool stuff for Flying Leap described in GURPS Martial Arts - lets you double jumping distance for no fatigue with an unmodified roll, although you don't get the extra damage. Also in Power Ups 2, and if I recall, in GURPS Martial Arts.

[1] Combat Vaulting - lets you jump (with Flying Leap) full distance in combat, instead of half that. Also in Power Ups 2.

[15] Trained by a Master, with limitations, a -10% Pact for you to determine, and Accessibility for Unarmed Only, which I'm pegging at -40% so that it brings the price down to less than Weapon Master for a single weapon. Here's my reasoning: TbaM normally confers its benefits with all weapons, an unarmed version is comparable to a hypothetical advantage of Weapon Master (Own Body), except that it does not confer a damage bonus beyond what Karate already assumes

[1] Style Familiarity with the Way of the Natural Beast, or whatever your style is. Wherever you find a dojo, they'll put you up for the night and give you a simple meal

[4] Ally, a 25pt nature spirit familiar, always available. This fits with the idea of animal powers, which this guy will buy later with earned points. 25 points won't pay for much; this is an insubstantial being who can't fight at your side, but he'll keep you company, give some advice, and justify a discount on advantages he confers (see the Ally advantage). If I were the GM, I'd build this ally with the Shadowform disadvantage, so it's not completely invulnerable, and I'd use the points saved to buy Common Sense aspected to stewardship of nature. You could characterize the spirit as wise, if a bit out of date, helping overcome the drawbacks of your sheltered upbringing, or he could find the ways of civilization so mysterious that he makes you look savvy by comparison

[4] DR 4, Switchable, with limitations Pact, Tough Skin, and Granted by Familiar. Game mechanically, you could substitute Can't Wear Armor for Granted by Familiar. If the GM allows more, take more

[5] Talons, Switchable, with limitations Pact and Granted by Familiar

[9] Striking ST +9, with limitations Pact, Granted by Familiar, and Accessibility for Unarmed Only. For the latter, I'm halving the value of the "Specific Natural Weapon Only" limitation suggested in GURPS Powers.

[8] Extra Attack, with limitations Pact, Granted by Familiar, and Single Skill Karate

Combat Reflexes will have to wait

[-50] Disadvantages, to include whatever disad your pact is based on. You might as well add a Vow to never use weapons, but I'd allow only -5 for that because this character is so effective with bare hands. It's more than a quirk, though, because you can't throw your fists without some amazing power like chi projection, or maybe you could get a venom spray as an animal power from your nature spirit. If your familiar has Shadowform, I think it would be neat to add Unnatural Feature: No Shadow - his familiar is his shadow, brought to life by the spirit.

[20] Karate 18 - claw for 2d+2/imp
[5] Karate Feint 22
[8] Wrestling 16 - add 2 to ST for this purpose
[1] Blingfighting 13
[1] Breaking Blow 12
[1] Power Blow 10
[1] Flying Leap 14
[1] Acrobatics 12
[1] Climbing 12
[1] Jumping 10
[1] Savoir-Faire (Dojo) 10

This write-up is VERY focused, but it does a decent job of showing what's possible with 100 points. You could pull a bit from Wrestling for customization, like a point in Housekeeeping and another in whatever skill your dad used to earn a living. To summarize, attack 4 times at effective skill 15 for 9 impaling; that'll hurt even a guy in scale armor. Alternatively, Feint at 22 and then attack the vitals, which does extra damage with impaling talons. Parry 15 with a retreat, or Parry 13 with an advance into close combat which favors bare hands over any weapon longer than a knife. Jump all over the place, although without the running speed of a DnD monk. DR 4 is nothing to sneeze at, and Very Fit help with those HT rolls to stay conscious, but this guy can't soak as much as the big warrior in all probability; heck, I'd probably include Skinny as one of his disads for that ascetic lifestyle. The character gets some serious advantage from his nature spirit ally, so that's a vulnerability, but hey, this is a 100pt game and the average fellow won't notice the spirit or know why it's important. Plenty of room for growth, buying off limitations and adding more animal powers besides eagle talons and elephant hide. I'd prioritize buying off the granted by familiar limitation from Striking ST, which you could do a level at a time. Buy talons up to long talons for 2 points, and you get +2 damage. Be sure to check out the rule for Proxy Fighting in GURPS Martial Arts; that the Jackie Chan stuff where you shove a table or a mop into someone who's too far away to hit with your fist.


PS: A final note on philosophy. This write-up is a a classic example of "min-maxing" frex, minimize attributes to 10 and maximize a talent for your fave skills. As long as a character makes sense in the game, in this case, as long as there exists a monastery where a character could develop extreme hand-to-hand skills and little else, as a GM I'd be fine with it, because it's no more bizarre than a party of full of characters with the IQ of an engineer and the physical attributes of an Olympic athlete, complaining that they can't do anything because they've no points left for expert-level skills! Remember, an average pillar of the community (Guild Rank, a bit of Wealth, and mastery of a profession) is easily a 50- to 75-point character, and even a zero-point teenager can do quite a lot with eyes and ears, hands and feet.

EDIT: Hmm, I dashed this off focused on the idea of matching weapon damage with Karate. Thinking about it since, I realize that the concept probably calls for Naturalism (studying animals to learn their way of fighting), Stealth (because it's part of some animals' way of fighting), and either Philosophy or Theology. Drop Wrestling to 14 to take these skills; buying it back up can be a development goal. Breaking Blow is included for when you face really heavy armor, but with good damage you could drop that, and replace its "slot" in the Talent with one of these three skills, whichever your training emphasized the most. One more thing, you might take Moderate Stress Atavism with Bestial, on 15, for -10 points, as one of your disads.

Last edited by Gef; 02-13-2011 at 09:28 PM.
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