Friday, October 28, 2016

Martial Arts Style: Process of Eminence (Blog-or-Treat)

Skeleton puns.
So, martial arts, right? Fun book, but kinda humanocentric. I mean, every once in a while, it says something about SM or extra arms, but not enough! But then I decide to go ahead and make a martial arts style that pertains to a two-armed, two-legged upright biped, huh? Ok, never mind, let's take a look at what we can do!

Typical Skills

So what important things does a skeleton need to know? Well, for what I know of the skeletons that I fight often, the Sword-and-Shield Fighting style from p.199 of Martial Arts mostly covers the bases. If we add the skill thrown weapon (stick) it is near perfect, just need Acrobatics as well.
So now we know all the skills we need.

Typical Techniques

Looking through the list of realistic techniques, the following seem pretty skeletony.
  • Acrobatic Stand - crumpled skellies like standing up fast
  • Counterattack - Skeletons are sneaky.
  • Feint - Skeletons are very sneaky
  • Ground Fighting - A pile of bones grabbing or swinging at an ankle is not outside of the realm of abilities for a skeleton

Cinematic Techniques

Skellies are pretty cinematic, but... here's cinematic techniques anyway:
  • Flying Lunge - Skeletons love running at an enemy and flinging themselves bodily at them.
  • Grand Disarm - With no flesh prison trapping the bones, rotating around and disarming all opponents is not a difficult feat.
  • Roll with Blow - Skeletons don't have much mass, and a severe weakness to crushing weapons. This takes advantage of that!
  • Whirlwind Attack - Similar to grand disarm, it just makes sense!


Let's see what kinda perks might work well for a skelly.
  • Cotton Stomach - You can catch attacks to the stomach... for a different reason.
  • Any of the Iron Body Part perks - strong bones!
  • Off-Hand Weapon Training - Who's to say a right hand can only be on the right side of the body?
  • Unusual Technique - You have unusual anatomy, so some cinematic techniques are easy to learn.
  • Weapon Bond - You gotta have a cool reason you keep carrying your sword around, right?

Cinematic Skills

Let's see what kinda cinematic skills suit skeletons
  • Blind Fighting - deep dark tombs, right?
  • Throwing Art - some skeletons are really good at throwing stuff.

The Style Proper

The temple of the Process of Eminence is surrounded by tombs, sepulchers, and graveyards. This is not unusual for a religious institution really; several churches have a cemetery, but somehow it seems unsettling for this martial arts school. The temple, like the graveyard is immaculately manicured as if bleached white. Inside, students reflect solemnly on the meaning of life and death, or drill on the techniques of the style, or bone up on puns. By all appearances it is normal. Students are taught to respect life, death, and the strange balance of unlife and undeath in between the poles through the discipline of martial arts.
When a student earns 20 character points in the style, including the style familiarity perk, she is tested on her beliefs in the philosophy and is sent on a journey to the woods near the monastery to meditate for three days. During this meditation, on the final night, skeletons from the graveyard will rise up and observe her. They will not speak, nor threaten her, but watch her during her meditation. If she respectfully leaves them be, she passes the test, and is invited to join the upper echelons of the temple. Otherwise, she is silently excommunicated, being allowed to still practice at the dojo, but acquiring the stigma of the disadvantage Divine Curse (All undead enemies attack you first and worst)[-5] This disadvantage is a secret until the character somehow discovers it.
If on the other hand, she joins the inner circle. She may buy a skeleton racial template and the ability to take her original human (or other) form as an alternate form. This requires a 1 week ritual.

Process of Eminence

6 points
Skills:  Acrobatics; Broadsword; Shield; Thrown Weapon (Stick) Wrestling;
Techniques:  Acrobatic Stand; Counterattack (Broadsword); Feint (Broadsword or Shield); Ground Fighting (Broadsword or Wrestling)
Cinematic Skills:  Blind Fighting; Throwing Art; 
Cinematic Techniques:  Dual-Weapon Attack (Broadsword or Shield); Dual-Weapon Defense (Broadsword or Shield); Flying Lunge (Broadsword); Grand Disarm(Broadsword); Roll With Blow (Acrobatics); Whirlwind Attack (Broadsword);
Perks: Cotton Stomach; Iron Arms; Iron Hands; Iron Legs; Iron Neck; Shield-Wall  Unusual Technique (All cinematic techniques); Weapon Bond (Favored curved broadsword)
Optional Traits
Advantages: Alternate Form (Human); Ambidexterity; Damage Resistance; Fearlessness; Flexible; Indomitable; 
Chi Tal
Disadvantages: Code of Honor (Protect Humanity from undead that would upset the balance and protect innocent undead from ignorant humans)[-10] Odious Personal Habit (Skeleton Puns)[-5]
Skills: Expert Skill (Thanatology); Hidden Lore (Undead); Savoir-Faire (Dojo); Theology

Other Thoughts and Conclusion

I thought there was at least one decent racial template for Dungeon Fantasy for skeletons. Maybe I should make one of those too. Skeleton seems kinda boring, but most of the ones available are "dumb mindless murder slave," which isn't that good for players. I guess I already know what to write tomorrow.


  1. I'm gonna like this post... I can feel it it in my... *puts sunglasses on* bones

  2. Nice blog..! I really loved reading through this article. Thanks for sharing such a amazing post with us and keep blogging...
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