23 June 2020

Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting

If you haven't seen Spwack's Finders Keepers, go have a look. The character generator is absolutely glorious.

Demon Flips the Cart style
From Kill Six Billion Demons.
Anyway, I've recently seen such wonderful films as the Invincible Armour or the Five Deadly Venoms, and they got me thinking that Finders Keepers lacks some nice, dirt simple martial arts. Thus the list below. As it was envisioned for an Into the Odd adjacent rule set, it assumes hp as stamina - very low and easy to recover after a fight, plus you only start taking real injuries once you are at 0 hp. But it wouldn't be an OSR if you couldn't tweak the table to fit into your own wuxia game.
From Exalted.
Instead of a weapon, you can start proficient in a martial arts style. You can use one style at a time and it takes an action to switch between styles you know. No weapon-based martial art styles were included, so you can only use martial arts while unarmed and unarmoured. If one of your party members knows a different style than you, you can train with them and gain that style once you level up / spend enough XP.

Each martial art comes with a trick, many of which do something with no save / no roll, or grant some immunity. When two martial artists fight, a perfect defense always beats a perfect offense. Thus if a Jiu-Jitsu user tried to knock prone a master of the Jade Mountain Stance, they would fail. Otherwise, you can use the tricks at will.

Optional Rule: Odd Stunts
If you describe your attack in a cool way that incorporates your surroundings (kicking a table at your foe, running up a wall for a backflip kick), the GM may enhance your damage roll.
Elemental Bending: Fire style
From here.

d60Style NameDmgTrick
1Aikidod6When you successfully dodge an attack, you redirect it back at the attacker.
2Capoeirad6When reduced to 0 hp, immediately gain an extra turn. You may drop to 0 hp at will.
3Celestial Monkey King styled8Once per enemy, you may disarm, trip or pickpocket them with no save.
4Charcoal March of Spiders styled8When you roll max damage, you may remove one of your foe's magical or combat abilities until they rest.
5Demon Flips the Cart styled8You can automatically succeed on a STR check by dropping to 0 hp.
6Dreaming Pearl Courtesan styled6Step up damage if you're prim and proper, and again if your foe could be sexually attracted to you.
7Elemental Bending: Air styled6You can push air to project your strikes at range. You can double jump.
8Elemental Bending: Fire styled6Your strikes can deal fire damage. You take half damage from fire and heat.
9Elemental Bending: Metal styled10Metal weapons shatter when they strike you. Still take the damage normally.
10Elemental Bending: Water styled8Breathe and move freely underwater.
11Elemental Bending: Wood styled8Plants never harm, snare or slow you down. You can climb trees and move between treetops at full running speed.
12Falling Cherry Blossom styled6You fall as a feather and can jump or glide long distances.
13Fierce Horse Soul styled8You run as fast as a horse and can run forever without tiring.
14Five Deadly Venoms: Cd8You may decide to impair your damage, but attack everyone in reach.
15Five Deadly Venoms: Lizard styled6You can run on walls and ceiling until you stop moving.
16Five Deadly Venoms: Scorpion styled8Your strikes can deal either bludgeoning or piercing damage. Roll damage with advantage against unsuspecting foes.
17Five Deadly Venoms: Snake styled8Your strikes are fast nobody can even see you move. No counters, dodging or defensive actions are possible.
18Five Deadly Venoms: Toad styled6Take 1 less damage from all sources.
19Five Dragons As One styled6For each ally in the fight that also knows this style, gain +1 damage, to a maximum of +4.
20Head of John styled6Your head is completely invulnerable, both to physical and mental effects.
21Hungry Ghost styled6Ignore all special defenses (like intangibility or invulnerability).
22Jade Mountain Stance styled6You cannot be moved, tripped, etc. Gain a free attack against anyone who would try.
23Jiu-Jitsud6You can knock prone anyone, no save, as long as you also fall with them. You deal full damage in a grapple.
24Judod6When you roll higher than your foe, you may decide to deal no damage and instead reposition them with no save.
25Karated8If you have enough time to properly concentrate, you can punch through any inanimate obstacle short of adamant.
26Ki Ratad12Whenever you roll 10+ on a damage die, add another die. If you roll 3+ dice in a single attack, all the bones in your arm shatter from the strain.
27Kickboxd8While at full hp, reroll all 1s.
28Krav Magad10When you roll higher than your foe, you may decide to deal no damage and instead disarm a weapon-wielding attacker.
29Krayu Matd8You can spend a round focusing your ki to fire a beam of pure energy on your next turn, dealing your unarmed damage to everyone in a line.
30Kung-Fu: Crane styled8Your attacks have reach as a spear. You never need to roll for balance.
31Kung-Fu: Dragon styled10Murder one low-level mook per round, no questions asked. Must be indistinguishable from all other mooks.
32Kung-Fu: Mantis styled8When you roll max damage, you may maim your opponent.
33Kung-Fu: Panda styled8Advantage on STR saves with your hands pressed together.
34Kung-Fu: Tiger styled8Your strikes can deal either bludgeoning or slashing damage. Roll damage with advantage when you can run and pounce at your foe.
35Laughing Wounds styled10If you die in combat, you may continue fighting for 5 more rounds while laughing madly.
36Leisure Kicks styled6When you roll max damage, you may reroll the damage and send the target flying.
37MMAd8Once ever, when you fight another martial artist, you may decide that you know the trick of their style.
38Muay Thaid10Make a free attack when an enemy retreats or moves past you.
39Ninjutsud6You can climb nearly anything without a roll. Only impossible climbs require (and always allow) a roll.
40Old-school Fisticuffsd8When you drop a foe to 0 hp, make an extra attack.
41Pankrationd8Take no penalties from tight squeezes, being prone, grappled, engulfed, or tied up.
42Pattram Sword Hand styled10When you deal max damage, cut off a limb of the victim's choice. This style is considered evil and its adherents often persecuted.
43Peasant's Pathd6You can teach this style to anyone within a week at no XP cost.
44Porcelain Fist styled8You may deal max damage by taking half that yourself.
45Pressure Point styled8When you reduce a foe to 0 hp, they are completely paralysed until they can regain hp.
46Prismatic Arrangement of Creation styled6Choose one damage type other than bludgeoning. While at full hp, you are completely immune to it.
47Senjutsud8You are never surprised and always act first in an encounter. You can sense nearby danger.
48Soul Reaper styled6Once you strike a foe, you can freely teleport behind their back as a move until the end of the encounter.
49Straw Stops Sleet styled6Immune to ranged attacks if aware of them. Your choice of dodging, deflecting or catching them.
50Taekwondod6When you attack, deal the higher of your damage roll and your opponent's roll.
51Tai Chid6You can walk on top of snow, or twigs and leaves. You can run water surface. You leave no footprints.
52Tenfold Ebon Shadow styled6The first attack you ever make against each individual enemy deals 1d20 damage, but only if you know their name.
53Void Lotus styled6Specify a duration to lock yourself out of time, becoming inviolable. If you have an immovable rod, you also become locked in place.
54Vulcan Nerve Pinch styled6You can forgo doing damage to instead stun the enemy for half the rolled number of rounds.
55Way of the Mastersd8You can teach this style to any animal, and talk with any animal that knows this style.
56White Hand styled6Your hand counts as a shield. "Sundering" doesn't destroy your hand, but you will have to meditate to recover.
57Wrestlingd6A flashy finisher can instakill anyone at 0 hp with no save and force their allies to roll Morale.
58Zui Quand6When drunk, you automatically counter-attack against all enemies that strike at you.
5925 Purities Pathd6As long as you lead an ascetic life, you are immune to poisons, diseases and ageing. You also need only half rations.
6049 Empty Palms styled8Your attacks count as blessed if you ask for forgiveness before attacking.

From Doctor Strange.
As a side note, this is quite useful.


  1. Ok so crazy thing, like, a *lot* of these are in the list(s) already, and there is a very good chance you've never had any of them crop up. Mind if I, uh, steal all the rest of these and add them to the Talent list??

    1. Wait a second... these *are* from the lists! Just with better names, and also some nifty new ones. My initial request still stands

    2. Yup, it was an instance of "Wow, these Talents are cool! But it would be even cooler if they were not some random ability, but a wuxia martial art! Kiai!" :)

      Take anything you want. :)