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    Canonfire :: View topic - Greyhawk Martial Arts?
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    Greyhawk Martial Arts?
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:18 am  
    Greyhawk Martial Arts?

    Since monks are one of the basic PC classes in Greyhawk, I was just thinking is there a list of martial arts styles?
    So far I only know Falling Hail. I'm quite sure that no other major martial arts exist (by name), so I was thinking about creating my own styles. Such as Elven Eternal Spring Dance, Dwarven headbutting or Halflings' Hidden Squirrel. But I'd like to get as canon as possible with Greyhawk martial arts.

    Can anyone help me?
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:12 am  

    I have incorporated monks into the areas beyond the flanaess
    Baklunish
    Da'shon ("Falling Hail") Style
    El'malel ("Twilight Song") Style

    Celestial Imperium
    Lung Wang ("Dragon King") Style
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:34 am  

    This topic was important to me at the introduction of 3rd edition and the "return" of monks. I felt they added a lot of flavour to the game. Like you I wanted to integrate them and give them a greyhawk feel.

    However outside Failing Hail (Da'shon) I'm not aware of any others. The style practiced by the Scarlet Brotherhood monks must have a name. I have a vague recollection a couple are mentioned in the accessory of the same name. I'll let you know if I find them. I think asking for ideas from the guys on these forums is a good way to get good greyhawk flavour.

    You'll find a bunch of people have all different approaches to monks in Greyhawk. Some don't allow races other than humans, some do etc.

    Monks are rare IMC, but by no means unheard.

    If martial arts have been around for some time in Greyhawk, there it is fair to hypothesize that slipnter groups and off shoots from the starting styles were created over the years, potentially resulting in many smaller styles, practised and taught by only a few. IMC this has included small groups of non-humans who have adapted the ideas to suit their racial profile.

    For example: Dwarves are martial and well disciplined and I think would take to this. Moradin would look favourably upon followers who devote themselves to forging their bodies to rain hammer blows with their bare hands upon the enemy. This style has less jumping and kicking but more arm blows, leverage and grappling.

    For styles to propogate enough to become "popular" across a wider area, they must be held together by something. Since their is little marketing in this era, things only spread by word of mouth and this is unlikely to work for martial arts / monks because most of the normal populace would lack the discipline and/or desire to study it.

    Religious based ones would be good examples of styles that might spread widely. Religious order that have monks as special religious envoys (Jedi anyone?) or as temple guards might have larger followings, because it is driven and spread by the associated religion or temple.

    IMC I would have some of the lawful deities have small groups of monks. Heironeous, Rao, maybe Pholtus and a bunch more would be good candidates for small orders of monks.

    IMC Zuoken sponsors the order of the Iron Fist. They shun weapons and focus on hardening their bodies. (a prestige class).

    Way of the Iron Wind is a small Iron Hills based monastery with a style they incorporates jumping and flying kicks with the use of nunchuks and 3 piece staves.

    Following the eastern philosphy you could create some based on animals. It seems reasonable to have a Way of the Dancing Dragon or one of many variations thereof.

    A lot depends on your taste and what fits with your campaign.

    So IMC, there are a number 6-8 of religious based orders of monks with a style that reflects their deity. There is 2-3 racial styles. Then they are a larger number 12-20 "splinter" groups practising styles that have evolved over the years, and these are varied and different.

    I'll try to dig up some specific examples from my campaign when I have a bit more time. I hope in some way this helps. If other people could chip in with specific styles they have created for Greyhawk, that would help me a lot too.
    GreySage

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    Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:17 am  

    I don't really use monks/martial arts IMC. I just don't like the "feel" for my WoG. But that's just me.

    But I thought I'd add this for thought: For centuries, it was forbidden to teach "the West," the martial arts. The orientals held this fighting form to be a "secret."

    The same could apply in your Greyhawk. In other words, that's why so few people know of it -- it's only just beginning to "spread" in your Greyhawk. And it could be the splinter group/s that is/are spreading it.

    Some Flannaess warrior(s) saved the life of some Celestial Imperium martial arts "teacher" and was rewarded with instruction from same. But do to this "ban," the Flanness warrior)s) needed to return to the Flanaess -- with this "new found" knowledge and fighting style, of course.

    And now you're "off and running."

    But it's just a thought. Happy
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    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:17 pm  

    According to a website I found;

    Scarlet Brotherhood
    Selinshan "Snake" Style and Selinshan "Flame" Style
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:00 pm  

    Sutemi,

    I actually submitted an article on monastic fighting styles a year ago. I focused on more western styles. I hope this helps you. http://www.canonfire.com/cf//modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=996
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:05 pm  

    I have always taken Mystic Scholar's route in regard to Monks. I have always felt that they generally were a bit alien to the Flannaess, the fit never seemed right. However, I always liked the idea of the Scarlet Brotherhood having monks, and their appearance in 584 CY being a shock and unpleasant surprise to people (particularly for players). Of ocurse, my favorite campaign timeline starts in 575 or so, so the Scarlet Brotherhood is just a rumor at that time.
    Theoretically, other countries might attempt to create their own monks as a response, but I never developed the idea, and post-Wars, I imagine most countries would be trying to scrape up enough cash to feed and pay their troops rather than create novice monks.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:43 am  

    I have always thought of WoG martial arts as a mix of judo and western style boxing. I have always steered clear of animal type fighting styles. Which is better, Tam Tui Northern Preying Mantis or Gorgon Fist? Generalized, peasant imagery has always worked best for my campaigns (Scything wheat stance, Blacksmith hammer-hand punch, the donkey kick...as opposed to the donkey punch, falling oak block, honey badger strike, stun jelly lock, etc., etc., etc). At most, I give the Suel some strange Indus River flavor. Sorry if this hasn't helped any, I just wanted to offer my perspective on this topic.

    Some of my players have offered a different opinion, but my view has always been that when you have dragons breathing fire, wizards casting magical death and evil clerics being the vessel of divine (infernal?) wrath, monasteries and their stored knowledge tend to disappear in a very ugly, bloody, short lived way. Wow that was a run on sentence! Anyway, I can see monks discussing the legend of The White Crane form, Long Claw Tiger form or even the fabled Dancing Turtle form. But alas, if that little monastery just outside Thornwood hadn't been destroyed, or the one in Admunfort, the stone wind monastery of Monmurg or Malachite Dome in Rauxes. Sigh.... Wink
    GreySage

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    Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:43 am  

    DwarffromNyrond wrote:
    but my view has always been that when you have dragons breathing fire, wizards casting magical death and evil clerics being the vessel of divine (infernal?) wrath, monasteries and their stored knowledge tend to disappear in a very ugly, bloody, short lived way.


    Ditto.

    I could never see Mordenkanien or Rary being concerned that Conan was trying to gain entry into their respective towers . . . much less Bruce Lee. (And I'm a Bruce Lee fan.)

    Lower level magicians may need to worry about such things, but once a magician reaches the "upper" levels, those types of concerns are over.

    I realize that "they've" made the game mechanics such that some "monk" could kill a dragon with a single blow, but that's just too much B.S. for me, which is why I don't like the newer editions.

    But that's just me. Wink
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:20 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    But I thought I'd add this for thought: For centuries, it was forbidden to teach "the West," the martial arts. The orientals held this fighting form to be a "secret."


    Of course the West had their own "Martial arts".

    If you delve a bit into the Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) and (American) Renaissance Martial Arts (ARMA) scene, or research the different stickfighting traditions, you'll soon conclude that you don't even need oriental flavour for a martial artist class. Medieval knights, irish shillelagh fighters and later rapier fencers were quite well versed in wrestling and hand to hand martial arts.

    Of course the D&D monk class is based on the fantasy oriental monk quite heavily.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:22 am  

    The good and bad things about Canonfire is the widely differing views on almost any topic!

    I think this post was intended as a 'if you have input on monks, please chip in' rather than a 'do you like monks in Greyhawk or not' post.

    So I would urge those that do include monks in their campaign to contribute their ideas as some have above.

    I personally don't feel the need to westernify the martial arts. The oriental countries aren't that far away and in a land that has flying carpets and teleporting wizards (not to mention mundane ship based exploration supported by magic - no scurvy with a cleric on board) it is not too hard to see a transfer of knowledge. While in our world it developed mostly in the east and stemming from eastern philosophies I don't think it is far fetched to say it could have developed in Greyhawk.

    The suel of the scarlet brotherhood obviously have a history with it - wherever that originated from. But also the Baklunish had a strong martial arts traditional with gods like Xan Yae and Zuoken. So if the Suel and Baklunish had martial arts, how long before the war-like oeridians adopted something similar, learning by copying, from renegades, allies etc?

    I'm trying to create styles that emerged in Greyhawk, with only a handful of popular styles and many small splinter groups and variations. I wish I had time to write up something decent.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:19 am  

    Some good points have been mentioned on this thread. I have thrown a Flan druid at one party before. His bodyguards used forms based off of nature, but not necessarily animal. Lightening Style (kinda like "Drunk" Kung Fu) and it prevented dodge feats from working and had an added electrical attack. One Flan bodyguard used the Angry Volcano (couldn't be Bull Rushed, his body became extremely hot and could damage weapons used against him). The last used what I called Turtle Mountain, the bodyguard did normal damage, nothing fancy, but b/c he was like a mountain, he had super ugly damage resistance. Slow and steady wins the race...or wears down opponents.

    I could certainly see the Oredian farmers coming up with an eskrima type of stick fighting (hey, got no time to make swords or metal working ability, two strong *** and fast wooden sticks will work to ward off bandits). Wink I could see the Baklunish coming up with a nasty jump attack called the Shooting Star form or the Blade Wind (inspired by a whirling dervish). Heck, even plain good ol' jujitsu (which is really just mean aikido...and yes, that was a completely generalized statement) would be a perfect form for cross cultures. Smile
    Adept Greytalker

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    Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:07 am  

    Check this older thread on Monks in Greyhawk for many interesting details about monks in greyhawk and their martial arts styles. Also i delve a bit more into HEMA, ARMA and post some nice links to medieval grappling manuals.

    (It also includes a link to Ernest Mueller 's excellent website which outlines 5 different (2E) martial arts styles for Greyhawk while staying true to Erik Mona's Baklunish Delight articles which introduced Falling Hail.)


    Last edited by Thanael on Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:47 am; edited 1 time in total
    Adept Greytalker

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    Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:24 am  

    Phalastar wrote:
    I personally don't feel the need to westernify the martial arts. [...]
    While in our world it developed mostly in the east and stemming from eastern philosophies [...]


    This is plain wrong. It's a propaganda myth. Seriously. The old Greeks had (unarmed) martial arts, the other later Europeans sure had it too. Many (all?) fencing manuals did include grappling techniques, locks and throws, sometimes kicks and punches.

    Quote:
    While the term “martial arts” today is typically synonymous with “Asian fighting art”, for centuries highly sophisticated European martial systems existed. It is from the Latin that we actually derive the English term, “martial arts” – from “arts of Mars”, the Roman god of war. The term “martial art” was used in regard to fighting skills as early as the 1550s and in an English fencing manual of 1639 referred specifically to the science and art of swordplay. In reference to Medieval and Renaissance combat systems the terms "fencing" and "martial arts" should thus be viewed as synonymous. Fencing was in essence the “exercise of armes” –and arms meant more than just using a sword.

    [...]

    From about the 12th century, professional instructors of fencing existed across Europe. Many of these “Masters of Defence”, or instructors in arms, became highly regarded international experts.

    [...]

    But these masters were no mere “fencers”. Theirs were complete fighting systems as suited to armored as to unarmored combat. They taught integrated martial arts of both armed and unarmed components. Grappling and wrestling techniques were vital elements. The weapons of dagger, staff, and axe were studied as vigorously as pole-weapons, shields, and especially all manner of swords. Their methods were specialized for foot or mounted, single combat or group.

    [...]
    Modern boxing, wrestling, and sport fencing are the very blunt and shallow tip of a deep history which, when explored and developed properly, provides a link to traditions which are as rich and complex as any to emerge from Asia.


    Check out the HEMA site for more info.

    Also here's the wikipedia entry on HEMA
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    Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:43 am  

    Quote:

    This is plain wrong. It's a propaganda myth. Seriously. The old Greeks had (unarmed) martial arts, the other later Europeans sure had it too. Many (all?) fencing manuals did include grappling techniques, locks and throws, sometimes kicks and punches.


    Okay. "Martial Arts" meaning as we have come to know it today thanks to Hollywood and Hong Kong cinema.

    Certainly various forms of martial arts developed around the world in many cultures. My personal view is that asian martial arts took the efficient use of the body as a weapon to a new level. You sure could say that wrestling practiced throughout the ages was a martial art, because it certainly was - just not what I meant in my statement.

    This highlights the differing views out there. Importantly shows that a monks fighting style could be based on any unarmed combat method, even a rudimentary form of boxing.

    So if you want to play a monk who practices greco-roman wrestling or has read some fencing manuals to learn how to kick and punch, I wish you well. I like the jumping spinning kicking kind of monk, but each to his own Smile
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:51 am  

    "My personal view is that asian martial arts took the efficient use of the body as a weapon to a new level."

    Some Asian arts may have taken unarmed combat to a "differen"t level, but I would not go so far as to say that they are generally more effective. Many Eastern arts tend to emphasize tradition over efficiency. Bruce Lee recognized this weakness, and therefore married Western boxing techniques to Wing Chun, essentially providing the catalyst for modern MMA.

    Returning to topic, I think the only named GH MA is Falling Hail, though certainly there would be plenty of other traditons of unarmed combat in the Flanaess.

    In addition to the "styles" of the Scarlet Brotherhood & the faiths of Xan Yae & Zuoken, I could picture the Rhennee having a form of folk wrestling combined with acrobatics (kind of a wrestling/caporea [sp] hybrid). I could also see the Rovers (& possibly Tenh) having something like the reconstructed hybrid Okichitaw. There would certainly be traditions among non humans as well.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:14 am  

    DwarffromNyrond wrote:
    ...the donkey kick...as opposed to the donkey punch, falling oak block, honey badger strike...


    A donkey punch and honey badger reference, all in one post. Well done, sir! Laughing
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    Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:38 pm  

    Thank you! I was wondering if anyone caught those two references. The Dwarf from Nyrond is also a naughty dwarf from Nyrond.
    GreySage

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    Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:16 am  

    Dragon Magazine #127 discussed martial arts in detail. I haven't got a copy of it myself, so I can't give you specifics, but if you can find a copy to peruse, you may find that it offers the kind of information you are looking for.

    Additionally, Dragon Magazine #315 lists these four martial arts schools for Kara Tur (which is arguably west of the Flanaess).
    Iron Hand School
    Five Stars School
    Northern Fist School
    Southern Star School

    Feats associated with these schools are also listed, along with some new ones. A campaign in the Flanaess could incorporate any of these schools as those with such knowledge could easily have traveled east and established new monasteries for teaching their styles of fighting.

    SirXaris
    GreySage

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    Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:37 pm  

    Dragon #309 included the following martial arts styles:

    "Eastern" styles (would be associated with western Oerik)
    Blue Mountain
    Black Panda
    Koumajutsu (Demon Wrestling)

    "Western styles (native to the Flanaess)
    Temerad, an elven style, meaning "from wind and water"
    Broken Fist, a halfling style

    Dragon #281 included some details on githzerai martial arts styles.

    Dragon #358 included "monk" styles based on the buddhist monk, franciscan friar, knight hospitaller, and shinto monk, though these didn't necessarily emphasize fighting.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:09 pm  

    Thanael wrote:


    Of course the West had their own "Martial arts"...


    Thanael wrote:
    ...The old Greeks had (unarmed) martial arts, the other later Europeans sure had it too. Many (all?) fencing manuals did include grappling techniques, locks and throws, sometimes kicks and punches...


    -Which is why I never had a problem with Monks in WOG.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:27 pm  

    The honey badger bit had me rolling. Laughing For anybody who doesn't know about it, watch this video first:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c81bcjyfn6U

    Then watch this one(*adult language warning!):

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/02/honey-badger-dont-give-a-****/71284/

    Yeah, that's one badarse honey badger alright! Any monkish order based around the honey badger fighting style would obviously be one that trains in techniques to build fortitude and tenacity to be sure. Laughing
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:23 am  

    As a black belt, I can testify that martial arts are properly represented in GH. In keeping with the abstraction of the elder versions of D&D, the difference between a samurai and a knight was the setting. All samurai learned kenjutsu, and all knights learned something associated with The Tower Book. Neither is more effective than the other in game terms.

    Weaponless martial arts, represented by the monk's unarmed fighting prowess, abstractly represent any and all forms of martial art via attack rolls and damage. The specifics of what methods were used to achieve this, should have no more bearing than the difference between the above sword styles, mechanically. A d8 (the same as a sword) of damage dealt with an unarmed attack can be described in a hell of a lot of ways.

    However, if the trappings are what need fixing...

    Karate proliferated throughout Japan in the 1920's. It was originally practiced in Ryukyu (Okinawa) and was a combination of their native Te-grappling and Chinese Kempo. The art was heavily modified by the Japanese.

    I figure, in Greyhawk, the root-form of all martial arts is unknown. From it, or even a derivation thereof, the Scarlet Brotherhood obtained their style.

    There is a martial arts story about a child-servant for the master of a martial arts school. This child lived his entire life watching generation after generation of students learn the art form. When he reached adulthood, the master of the school was made to realize that his finest student was the servant, who knew the style better than any of the master's pupils.

    I figure a tale like this is how it spread from the SB. Slaves held by the SB, used for training purposes, eventually learned the art and escaped captivity. Wherever they settled, the art form was then planted.

    The appeal of martial arts is that it is accessible to the lower class, particularly farmers. All the weapons of Kobujutsu were originally farming implements. This may even merge clerics of Berei with martial-artist monks. There is nothing immanently Asian about the reasons martial arts were developed, and there is no reason similar circumstances could not have led to the same result in Greyhawk. How many cases of Imperial oppression have there been which could have led to peasants learning to defend themselves, bare-handed, against armored foes?

    There is no need to adapt the stereotypical Eastern naming convention to martial arts in Greyhawk. In reality, most forms of Wushu were named after the guy who invented the style, then those schools they were taught by, then by the cities the schools were in, then the region of China the cities were in. Iron Hand School, Five Stars School, Northern Fist School, and Southern Star School would be more appropriate than Falling Hail style.

    The Shaolin animal styles, and the philosophical admixture, are both additions to martial arts that were subjective to China, long after the art was in proliferation. It is not a necessary part of martial arts. Additionally, the word "monk" could be seen as fallacious, as without the comparison between Buddhist and Christian ascetics and mendicants, it would have no association with martial arts at all.

    Karate originally meant "Tang Hand." Tang, at the time, was synonymous with China. A practitioner of karate is called a karateka, which addresses karate as a provision or infinitive regarding a person.

    My suggestion, is to come up with the Ancient Suel words for, "Suel Hand," or "Suel Fist," and call martial arts that. Boxer would be the most accurate class-label (since fighter is already taken), which is taken from the medieval use for the word "box," which we all know was to fight with one's fists, although it did not become a sport until the 18th century or so.

    Stripping out the Wuxia-influence on martial arts in gaming will likely be important to a lot of DMs. There is just not always room in the party for Jackie Chan. So why not go with Jim Kelly?
    GreySage

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    Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:46 pm  

    Those vids are too much, Cebrion! Thanks! Cool

    "Honey Badger" style kung-fu whoops butt on "Cobra" style kung-fu . . . apparently. Laughing Laughing Laughing

    And a nice break-down there, Chaoticprime. Thanks for that. Wink
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    Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:14 am  

    I could be motivated into writing an article fully detailing my ideas for incorporating martial arts. I would need at least four people to express interest in me doing so, however.
    GreySage

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    Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:35 am  

    chaoticprime wrote:
    I could be motivated into writing an article fully detailing my ideas for incorporating martial arts. I would need at least four people to express interest in me doing so, however.


    1. SirXaris Cool
    2.
    3.
    4.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:31 pm  

    chaoticprime wrote:
    My suggestion, is to come up with the Ancient Suel words for, "Suel Hand," or "Suel Fist," and call martial arts that...


    -I like this.

    There was a Suel-English dictionary in Scarlet Brotherhood. Any cahnce it included "hand" or "fist"?

    quote="SirXaris"]
    chaoticprime wrote:
    I could be motivated into writing an article fully detailing my ideas for incorporating martial arts. I would need at least four people to express interest in me doing so, however.


    1. SirXaris Cool
    2. Jamesdglick
    3.
    4.[/quote]
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    Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:15 pm  

    chaoticprime wrote:
    I could be motivated into writing an article fully detailing my ideas for incorporating martial arts. I would need at least four people to express interest in me doing so, however.


    1. SirXaris Cool
    2. Jamesdglick
    3. BlueWitch (especially if it's easily adapted to 2nd edition)
    4.
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    Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:24 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    chaoticprime wrote:
    My suggestion, is to come up with the Ancient Suel words for, "Suel Hand," or "Suel Fist," and call martial arts that...


    -I like this.

    There was a Suel-English dictionary in Scarlet Brotherhood. Any cahnce it included "hand" or "fist"?

    quote="SirXaris"]
    chaoticprime wrote:
    I could be motivated into writing an article fully detailing my ideas for incorporating martial arts. I would need at least four people to express interest in me doing so, however.


    1. SirXaris Cool
    2. Jamesdglick
    3.
    4.
    [/quote]

    fist = shay, hand = sho, weapon = caran

    I think Caran Sho may be a good equivalent. A colloquial bastardization of "karansho" perhaps more so.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:11 pm  

    chaoticprime wrote:
    I could be motivated into writing an article fully detailing my ideas for incorporating martial arts. I would need at least four people to express interest in me doing so, however.


    1. SirXaris Cool
    2. Jamesdglick
    3. BlueWitch (especially if it's easily adapted to 2nd edition)
    4. smillan_31
    GreySage

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    Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:20 pm  

    1. SirXaris Cool
    2. Jamesdglick
    3. BlueWitch (especially if it's easily adapted to 2nd edition)
    4. smillan_31
    5. Mystic-Scholar Cool

    See how easy that was? Evil Grin
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    Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:13 am  

    Alright, you folks talked me into it. Is there any particular format that you would prefer I use?

    For the article I am going to include statistics for a class using 2nd Edition AD&D rules. I am not basing the class off of the existing Monk builds in any way. The class will not have any similarity to the super-hero Monks that martial arts movies inspired.

    AD&D does not assume that a 1st level character has just fallen off the turnip wagon. A fighter is typically someone who has trained as part of an army, and seen enough battles to be discharged from service, or have deserted from a fallen patron. 1st level means you have gone pro. All levels beyond represent esoteric growth while wielding known stills, as well as with greater confidence. Based on this, the class will begin a theoretical master of known techniques; becoming a practical master is the benefit of gaining experience.

    Here is what I have, so far:

    From Monk to Grappler

    The purpose of this article is to introduce a martial-artist character class, for use with the World of Greyhawk Campaign Setting, that does not conflict with the theme of the setting. I have chosen to base the class off of the roots of real-world martial-arts, (and how those roots have a parallel on Oerth) rather than the metaphysically-empowered super-human martial-artists that the popular media commonly portrays them to be.

    The title I have chosen for this class is Grappler. The word grapple, originated in 13th century France, and meant "hook." A verb-form rose in the 15th century, meaning, "seize and hold fast." An agent of grappling is called a grappler (or comparatively a hooker, which obviously is not appropriate). Martial-arts' heavily rely on combat forms which could easily be called grappling, based upon observation of them.

    The reason I have chosen not to use Monk as the title for this class, is that it truly no longer applies. The earliest meaning of monk meant, "religious hermit," and had etymological roots in Latin and Greek. Monk eventually came to be used to describe orders of mendicant priests, then called friars, as well. Sometime before the 20th century, monk became the English language equivalent of bikkhu, the Buddhist ascetic class. The responsibility for martial-arts being associated with monks, lies at the feet of China's famous Shaolin Monks, particularly the 1972 television series, Kung Fu, inspired by them. The comparison between Eastern and Western ascetics, and the popular collusion of martial-artist and monk, simply never happened on Oerth.

    A Hand Becomes a Weapon

    The art of close-combat for defeating an armed and armored opponent, Caran Sho (O.S, "weapon hand"), was birthed in the Sulhaut Mountains before the year 5031 SD (-484 CY). The Sulhaut Mountains were home to a great many settlements, of both combined Baklunish and Suloise descent. It is unknown if these people originated as political exiles, religious apostates, or simply pilgrims. There came to be thirty-six settlements.

    The Baklunish preyed upon these settlements for many years. The mountain people made an appeal to the Suloise Emperor to extend to them protection in exchange for tribute. The Suloise Emperor agreed, but on the condition that they may not retain any military forces of their own, or even maintain stores of weapons. The Suloise established police-rule over the thirty-six settlements with only a few hundred soldiers.. The mountain people had effectively sold themselves into slavery. With no means to abolish their agreement with the Suloise, the mountain people would have to adapt.

    The mountain people could not match the swords and armor of the occupying Suloise soldiers. The solution to this problem was simple: the bare hand must become a weapon. In much the same way as they conquered the harsh mountain terrain, the mountain people conquered the unwanted Suloise. It is not known how many years passed before the occupation ended, but it is known how. The mountain people had developed a method of unarmed combat exploiting the limited range of motion of an armored adversary, while battering them with powerful strikes with fists, elbows, knees, and feet. The occupation force was eventually deemed too expensive to maintain for the pitiful returns, and the Suloise Emperor recalled them.

    A school teaching Caran Sho to all people had been developed shortly after the occupation ended. Each settlement sent one student to learn the art and then return and spread its teaching. Three priests came from the Baklunish lands wanting to learn Caran Sho. These thirty-nine men and women became living records of Caran Sho, and would be responsible for its proliferation.

    Hostilities between the Baklunish and Suloise escalated, and the mountain people were the first to suffer. Raiding soldiers from both sides devastated the mountain people's way of life. When a host of Suloise, thousands strong, crossed over the mountains to attack the lands of their enemy, the mountain people lost what little they had remaining. When another host of Suloise soldiers came to fight their war at the expense of the mountain people, the students of Caran Sho stood in their way. Thirty-nine against a thousand, the small force held their ground in a narrow pass where the superior numbers of the Suloise counted for nothing. Only one student, one of the Baklunish priests, survived the battle. With he alone, could the teaching of Caran Sho (or in his native tongue, Ken Zuo) be further passed on.

    The mountain people dispersed and became part of the Great Migration, taking with them the basic knowledge of Caran Sho.
    GreySage

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    Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:04 pm  

    Excellent start, Chaoticprime! Cool

    But I still want more! So get to it! Evil Grin

    And thanks. Happy
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    GreySage

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    Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:37 pm  

    Yes, yes! Excellent beginning Chaoticprime. Now, I also want more. Happy

    SirXaris
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    Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:36 pm  

    I am glad to have a couple of positive responses. I am hitting a wall, here, though.

    I am thinking that most of the thirty-nine styles of Caran Sho passed on subtly to many people. Though the first ten have largely held together (stance, strike, and grapple styles), many of the other, more esoteric (psionics) styles have either been lost or are literally psionics. As for Da Shon, or falling hail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET6D2a_tJdM That is all I can think of when interpreting that one, which though cool, is not where I am going with the grappler.

    Notes on AD&D Grappler:

    A specialist grappler gets 4/1 attacks. An attack may be a strike or a grappling skill. Grappling skills have a percentile chance of success. A grappler can effectively strike an enemy, joint lock them, throw them, and then pin them, in one AD&D round.

    Striking: Repeated unarmed strikes from fist, elbow, foot, knee, etc. Deals 1 + strength bonus damage.

    Joint Lock: Grappling skill. If successful, multiplies base strike damage by 2.

    Disarm: Grappling skill. May only be performed immediately after successful use of a Join Lock. If successful, target must use their Dexterity score as a saving throw and succeed, or their held weapon is disarmed.

    Throw: Grappling skill. May only be performed immediatley after successful use of a Joint Lock. If successful, multiplies base strike damage by 3. Target must make a PPD save or be knocked prone.

    Pin: Grappling skill. May only be performed on a prone target. If, successful, multiplies base strike damage by 2. Target must make a PPD save or be rendered unconscious for 1d6 minutes.

    Avoid Missile: Grappling skill. Character must be able to see the source of the missile, and be within twenty feet from it. If successful, missile attack is avoided.

    Weapon Catch: Grappling skill. Character must be able to see the attacker. May only be used once per round. If successful, attack misses.

    Weapon Proficiency: This class may take weapon proficiencies as a fighter. However, instead of granting a bonus to attack rolls, they penalize enemies who they fight thus armed as if they lack the same proficiency.

    The whole point of the class, so far, is to make it like actual martial arts. It is not about killing, but disabling an attacker. Grappling Skills have percentage gain like Thief skills.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:39 am  

    chaoticprime wrote:

    AD&D does not assume that a 1st level character has just fallen off the turnip wagon. A fighter is typically someone who has trained as part of an army, and seen enough battles to be discharged from service, or have deserted from a fallen patron. 1st level means you have gone pro...


    -FWIW, I was always interested in the transition between O level and 1st level. D&D 3.5 simply changes it to 1st level Commoner to 1st level Expert to 1st level monk.


    chaoticprime wrote:
    A Hand Becomes a Weapon
    The art of close-combat for defeating an armed and armored opponent, Caran Sho (O.S, "weapon hand"), was birthed in the Sulhaut Mountains before the year 5031 SD (-484 CY)....


    -"Caran Sho"- you sure that Suloise? I don't have The Scarlet Brotherhood with me.

    chaoticprime wrote:
    The Sulhaut Mountains were home to a great many settlements, of both combined Baklunish and Suloise descent. It is unknown if these people originated as political exiles, religious apostates, or simply pilgrims. There came to be thirty-six settlements...The mountain people dispersed and became part of the Great Migration, taking with them the basic knowledge of Caran Sho.


    -I like this. It explains why both the Baklunis and Suel are relatively big on martial arts.

    Also brings up the sideline issue (Gazeteer-wise) of the Suel-Bakluni mountaineers who would still be there, I suppose, having survived the ROCF and ID. probably a few thousand at most, though.

    chaoticprime wrote:
    Only one student, one of the Baklunish priests, survived the battle. With he alone, could the teaching of Caran Sho (or in his native tongue, Ken Zuo) be further passed on.
    The mountain people dispersed and became part of the Great Migration, taking with them the basic knowledge of Caran Sho.


    1) Seems contradictory. Do you mean that the one student was the only one who could teach the most arcane moves, but that moany others could teach the basics?

    That would fit in with this:

    chaoticprime wrote:
    ...I am thinking that most of the thirty-nine styles of Caran Sho passed on subtly to many people. Though the first ten have largely held together (stance, strike, and grapple styles), many of the other, more esoteric (psionics) styles have either been lost or are literally psionics...


    2) If the future Scarlet Botherhood got a hold of it, the secret must have already been out, I'd think.

    chaoticprime wrote:
    I am glad to have a couple of positive responses. I am hitting a wall, here, though...


    -So far, so good!

    chaoticprime wrote:

    AD&D does not assume that a 1st level character has just fallen off the turnip wagon. A fighter is typically someone who has trained as part of an army, and seen enough battles to be discharged from service, or have deserted from a fallen patron. 1st level means you have gone pro...


    -FWIW, I was always interested in the transition between O level and 1st level. D&D 3.5 simply changes it to 1st level Commoner to 1st level Expert to 1st level Monk.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:35 pm  

    Yes, Caran Sho is from the SB book.

    What all the events basically mean, is that Zuoken (Ken Zuo) is literally the only undiluted source of the original Caran Sho, and in fact named himself after it.

    The thirty-nine were the only people who knew the entirety of the art, but hundreds of others were practitioners as well. The Scarlet Brotherhood form undoubtedly came from Suloise refugees from the mountain people who likely migrating East with other Suloise.

    I figure there is a little bit of Caran Sho in every land. Maybe the Knights of the Watch have a sword-grappling maneuver that can be traced back?
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