Monday, 6 August 2012

[Dungeon World] Martial Arts Styles, Part 1



The kung-fu moves I wrote about earlier have become central to my Daojin City Blues campaign. Each of the major mortal planes known to the denizens of Daojin City, including its home plane of Chennai, has been established to have a dominant martial arts style.

Dominant Styles

Jade Mountain Style

Perhaps the most well-known style in Daojin City, the school of the Jade Mountain Style was established during the Empire of the Many Heavens. Its practitioners learn to hold their ground against any foe, and to bolster their strength as if they were a great mountain, stern and implacable. 

Basic Techniques:
  • Jade Armour Spirit: Ignore any damage from one attack.
  • Pillar of Might Stance: Resist any forced movement or push attack.
  • Bolder-Crushing Blow: Deliver an unstoppable blow.
Preferred Weapons: Swords, shields, spears.
Weakness: Inflexibility

Flowing Water Style

This style was devised on the paradise plane of Bakuyeo, and it fits the relaxed denizens of that plane well. Techniques focus on being like the water, on avoiding blows rather than resisting them, and on using an enemy's own momentum and energy against them.

Basic Techniques:
  • Rippling Wave Escape: Move swiftly out of the path of danger.
  • Divergent Stream DefenceRedirect one foe's attack into another opponent.
  • Flow Reversal Technique: Use an enemy's momentum against them.
Preferred Weapons: Nunchaku, whips, nets.
Weakness: Softness

Deadly Blossom Style

The Peach Kingdom of Kimoko values peace and order over all other concerns, and thus the dominant style of its poet-knights emphasizes ending battles before they even begin. Practitioners of the Deadly Blossom Style learn techniques that will allow them to strike quickly and return to peaceful existence as swiftly as possible.

Basic Techniques:
  • Uncanny Scent of Danger: Avoid being surprised.
  • Sudden Blossoming of Blood: Strike an unsuspecting foe for double damage.
  • Instantaneous Strike of Cessation: Draw your weapon, strike, and return it to its scabbard before anyone knows you've attacked.
Preferred Weapons: Swords, knives, fans.
Weakness: Lack of endurance

Celestial Fist Style

The Godhead monks of Tianguo learn that the first enemies of the holy are the corrupt spirits and demons that fester just beneath the material plane, lurking and hoping to pervert the pious at every moment. Every element of the Celestial Fist Style is designed to defeat such opponents, who laugh at the laws of creation and defy mortal means.

Basic Techniques:
  • God-Blooded Fist: Smite an unholy foe for double damage.
  • Inescapable Blow Technique: Strike any enemy, even the incorporeal or spiritual.
  • Glorious Leap of Faith: Defy gravity for a few moments, the better to fight foes that do the same themselves.
Preferred Weapons: Fists only.
Weakness: Arrogance

Moving Fortress Style

Ghazi warriors of the Seven Witch-Queens of Shatranji have been known to use many martial styles, but dominant amongst them is the Moving Fortress Style. Like the chromatic moving castles of the Witch-Queens, the Moving Fortress Style emphasizes maintaining a strong defence while shattering your foes' own defences.

Basic Techniques:
  • Shield-Breaking Strike: Destroy an enemy's armour or shield.
  • Inevitable Castle Motion: Push forwards, driving your foes backwards.
  • Unyielding Rukh Defence: Ignore an enemy's attack.
Preferred Weapons: Maces, hammers.
Weakness: Rigidity 

Shadow Dancer Style

The travelling performers of Transantiago often come under threat from the many dangers of the Shrouded Land, from the agents of the inhuman Barons to bandits and monstrous creatures of the deep woods. Their own martial arts emphasize deception and movement, avoiding an enemy's attack and striking only from a position of total superiority.

Basic Techniques:
  • Shrouding Shadow Step: Vanish quickly into the shadows.
  • Instant Insight Impact: Strike without warning at your foe's weakest point, dealing terrible damage.
  • Death Defying Dance: Dance out of the path of danger.
Preferred Weapons: Daggers, staves.
Weakness: Fragility

Burning Sands Style

Harsh and unyielding, the desert sands of Haemyin do not admit those who are not willing to fight to survive. The sandslingers of the Shifting Sands are notorious for their willingness to go to any end to win a fight, regardless of honour or fairness.

Basic Techniques:
  • Burning Hand Strike: Deliver a burning wound to a foe, igniting their own chi as a source of pain.
  • Sand-Slinging Gesture: Blind your foe for a few moments.
  • Blurring Sand Shift: Move instantly from one place to another.
Preferred Weapons: Spears, knives, scimitars.
Weakness: Overcommitment

Drunken Monkey Style

A school of martial arts developed by the brewmaster monks of Konguo, Drunken Monkey Style revels in the chaos of the world. Masters of the school are never obvious martial artists, most likely to be found dishevelled and drunk in the nearest watering hole. The style emphasizes tricks and chaotic movement to confuse one's opponent, and its advanced techniques are easiest to perform when you've had one too many.

Basic Techniques:
  • Harmless Humility Stance: Appear harmless and blend into the background.
  • Irresistibly Irritating Insult: Taunt an enemy, tricking them into moving into a disadvantageous position.
  • Divide And Conquer Defence: Trick one foe into attacking another.
Preferred Weapons: Improvised weaponry, barrels.
Weakness: Incautious

1 comment:

  1. Damn. I wouldn't have thought about applying wuxia elements into Dungeon World, but when I think about it now it's absolutely perfect for the fluid style these games have. Is it cool if I use some of your ideas for my Avatar-based game?

    ReplyDelete