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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:30 am
  

Wanderer

Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:49 am
Posts: 96
So, HU seems super intent on keeping N&SS MA styles out of people's hands. Only one character type can really get them.

But why? Why the restriction? Are they that unbalanced? I mean, the majority of them are real world styles, many of which are taught all over the world (Thai Kick Boxing I'm looking at you!). I know the original N&SS is replete with 'weeaboo' fetishization, but is there anything mechanical to limiting them as harshly as HU2 wants to do? Am I missing something? Yes, I know they can give you some 'powers' but...? I mean, what if you want to run a campaign set in a foreign country where the styles are more common? N&SS acts like the only people who learn MA are hermits in monasteries which is...pretty ridiculous.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:19 am
  

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Adventurer

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Location: "The Guides to the Megaverse(tm)" Podcast
Comment: Rifter Contributer 79, 81,82,83,84
I'm going to say it's because it's unthemely for people to have both? I think it should be restricted yes, just one less thing people can pile on to their character.

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Author of "Setting the Stage" - Rifter 79, "Hitting the Streets" - Rifter 81, "Hitting the Gym" - Rifter 82
"Saving the World", and "On the Hunt" - Rifter 83
and lastly, my baby, my long term project... The Dark City of Cascade - Rifter 84.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:16 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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Location: Rifts Denmark
Comment: 44 years in denver, but now in grand rapids.
I agree that it seem rediculous for heroes used to getting into scuffles to not have formal martial training, so I escape these confines by the power of fiat!

Matter of fact I feel like giving heroes access to martial arts is 'following the rules' since one of the rules is 'use common sense' and another rule is 'balance be damned'....


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:29 pm
  

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Monk

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2003 7:22 pm
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Location: 2nd Degree Black Belt of Post Fu
Comment: The Munchkin Fairy
What do you mean, only one? I just opened my copy of Ninja's and Superspys, it says Experiment, Hardware, Mutant, Physical Training, Psionic and all special training types can take one and Ancient Master can take two. P164/165.

_________________
Sometimes, you're like a beacon of light in the darkness, giving me some hope for humankind. ~ Killer Cyborg

You can have something done good, fast and cheap. If you want it done good and fast, it's not going to be cheap. If you want it done fast and cheap it won't be good. If you want something done good and cheap it won't be done fast. ~ Dark Brandon


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:24 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
Posts: 1945
Nekira Sudacne wrote:
What do you mean, only one? I just opened my copy of Ninja's and Superspys, it says Experiment, Hardware, Mutant, Physical Training, Psionic and all special training types can take one and Ancient Master can take two. P164/165.


N&SS Revised came out during Heroes Revised; i believe Heroes 2nd says outright that you cant use them, as the OP pointed out.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:38 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
Posts: 1945
Tywyll wrote:
So, HU seems super intent on keeping N&SS MA styles out of people's hands. Only one character type can really get them.

But why? Why the restriction? Are they that unbalanced? I mean, the majority of them are real world styles, many of which are taught all over the world (Thai Kick Boxing I'm looking at you!). I know the original N&SS is replete with 'weeaboo' fetishization, but is there anything mechanical to limiting them as harshly as HU2 wants to do? Am I missing something? Yes, I know they can give you some 'powers' but...? I mean, what if you want to run a campaign set in a foreign country where the styles are more common? N&SS acts like the only people who learn MA are hermits in monasteries which is...pretty ridiculous.


It really isn't ridiculous.

Remember that the MA forms in N&SS are the super-complicated, "original" forms. Almost anything you can learn in your local MA school in town, regardless of what it is called or based on, would, in Palladium Parlance, be "HtH: Martial Arts".

The Martial Art forms are supposed to represent someone who has dedicated their life to learning every intricacy of that form - think Kwai Chang Caine from Kung Fu. A literal lifetime of learning.

Probably a better example is Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. At the start of the show, Kwai Chang is a mid-ish level Dedicated Martial Artist with Shao-lin Kung Fu; his son Peter, a cop (who only trained for a few years as a child before they were separated) has H2H: Martial Arts. They were both trained in same style of martial arts, but since Peter didn't finish his training, he's got H2H MA.

As the series progresses, Kwai Chang levels up, gaining more of the "mystical martial arts" powers as he becomes a Shambala Master. Also as the series progresses, Peter starts to resume his training; over the course of the series (which takes place over about 6 years, as there is a year+ gap between Season 1 and Season 2, and again between 3 and 4) Peter finishes his training (so, combined with childhood, about 10 years in total) and becomes a level 1 Worldly Martial Artist with Shao-Lin Kung Fu (he is given his tattoos in the finale, as his father resumes his 'wandering', and quits being a cop to take over his fathers' place in Chinatown; Peter: 'what will I do?" KCC: 'people will come to China Town, looking for help. They will ask for Caine. You will help them.').

Martial Art forms (as represented in N&SS) are not something you learn at the corner dojo.

I guess because i did so much LARPing when i was younger, the concept of "H2H MA represents any basic martial arts training you got at a local dojo, call it whatever you want, its abstract/generic on purpose", was easy for me to pick up on.

My character might have H2H MA and i might say he was trained in Ishin-Ryu, which is a fairly common form that is taught in corner dojo's around here. Your character might also have H2H MA, and you might say he was trained in Taekwondo, also a very common corner-dojo style. H2H MA is just the game mechanic to represent that training.

But we both learned them at the corner dojo, basically, the "quickie/non-dedicated" version. Even if you became a black belt (or however they rank at the local dojo), you're still not as well trained as someone who has gone to the monastery and spent 8-15 years mastering every motion, drilling every part of the martial art into your muscle memory, and learning the super-cool mystic secrets.

If you want to be a mystic martial arts bad-ass, you have to dedicate a significant portion of your life to become so.

And, secondly, the primary reason that they dont really fit well with Heroes (especially Heroes 2nd, which "updates" the rules to the then-current 'version' of the Palladium system) is that the two games have a TON of differences in how they actually play, right down to Auto-dodge and other things working entirely differently. They dont mesh well. Add to that that N&SS forms are also kinda mechanically complicated (things like.. only being able to use WP bonuses if your MA Form has a Kata for that weapon, etc) it can really screw up a Heroes game.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:42 pm
  

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Monk

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Comment: The Munchkin Fairy
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Nekira Sudacne wrote:
What do you mean, only one? I just opened my copy of Ninja's and Superspys, it says Experiment, Hardware, Mutant, Physical Training, Psionic and all special training types can take one and Ancient Master can take two. P164/165.


N&SS Revised came out during Heroes Revised; i believe Heroes 2nd says outright that you cant use them, as the OP pointed out.


Got a page number on that? All I've seen is that the ancient Master has the option to be a dedicated martial artist instead with GM approval in the class itself. nothing about other classes NOT being able to.

_________________
Sometimes, you're like a beacon of light in the darkness, giving me some hope for humankind. ~ Killer Cyborg

You can have something done good, fast and cheap. If you want it done good and fast, it's not going to be cheap. If you want it done fast and cheap it won't be good. If you want something done good and cheap it won't be done fast. ~ Dark Brandon


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:57 pm
  

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Comment: Rifter Contributer 79, 81,82,83,84
i feel that learning to harness powers takes a lot of time, and that eliminates the chance of martial art forms. I also think it'd be insanely hard if not impossible to learn chi when you're already tapping into some other inner force

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"Saving the World", and "On the Hunt" - Rifter 83
and lastly, my baby, my long term project... The Dark City of Cascade - Rifter 84.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:53 pm
  

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Monk

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Comment: The Munchkin Fairy
zerombr wrote:
i feel that learning to harness powers takes a lot of time, and that eliminates the chance of martial art forms. I also think it'd be insanely hard if not impossible to learn chi when you're already tapping into some other inner force


Latent psychics having some super powers available already exists, so there is precident.

_________________
Sometimes, you're like a beacon of light in the darkness, giving me some hope for humankind. ~ Killer Cyborg

You can have something done good, fast and cheap. If you want it done good and fast, it's not going to be cheap. If you want it done fast and cheap it won't be good. If you want something done good and cheap it won't be done fast. ~ Dark Brandon


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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:15 pm
  

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
The main reason I can see is that MAFs are, to be blunt. Ungodly powerful when going up against people with out MAFs.
In a world where everyone has chi powers? Yeah, no problem at all.
In a world where only you and maybe one or two people have them? "I Win Button" time.
N&SS, besides being early 1e which makes it radically out of synch with the current system *AND* the way that MAFs are written making them nearly impossible to actually use in most situations...
have the advantage of powers that can only be defended against by chi powers, that can kill with no defense, and that offer a wide range of unstoppable attacks and unbreakable defenses.

When ported over to other games the characters can, if not carefully kept under strict control spiral radically out of hand into some of the most powerful beings running round rivaling godlings and Phase Adepts for sheer might.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:58 pm
  

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Monk

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Comment: The Munchkin Fairy
So if you allow players to pick N&SS martial arts, just make sure all the bad guys have them too. It only takes part of a physical skill program or a few secondary skills for almost every class in the game.

Of course you might not want to do that, which is why the books say it's entirely up to the GM if you can have them or not.

_________________
Sometimes, you're like a beacon of light in the darkness, giving me some hope for humankind. ~ Killer Cyborg

You can have something done good, fast and cheap. If you want it done good and fast, it's not going to be cheap. If you want it done fast and cheap it won't be good. If you want something done good and cheap it won't be done fast. ~ Dark Brandon


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:35 am
  

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Knight

Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 2:01 am
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Location: Nashville.....ish....
N&SS martial arts tend to be available, but fairly uncommon in the version of HU I play. First off, the book keeping can be annoying if there are half a dozen different MA forms in a game, and that is rarely a focus of our games. Every once in awhile a N&SS MA will pop up in a training character, NPC, or as an alternative to a HU book version of a class, but even these tend to be more on the physical side instead of the mystic.

That being said, we pretty much include N&SS in our "mainstream" HU. The DMA and WMA are not particularly common, but are an option that adds depth to Physical Training or Ancient Master classes. The Gizmoteers, Military types, Private Eyes, and some of the Agents show up as mercs and goons when we don't want a full HU super hero type, but want more than just a gun with a gun.

Power levels have rarely been an issue, but we also tend to stay away from some of the death touches and such. As I said earlier most of our N&SS MA tends to be more the physical types.

I know this is all house rules, but you kinda have to make some choices to use N&SS with HU anyway. Judgement calls at least.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:29 am
  

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Hero

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Comment: Hey, relaaaax. Pretend it's a game. Maybe it'll even be fun
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Nekira Sudacne wrote:
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Nekira Sudacne wrote:
What do you mean, only one? I just opened my copy of Ninja's and Superspys, it says Experiment, Hardware, Mutant, Physical Training, Psionic and all special training types can take one and Ancient Master can take two. P164/165.


N&SS Revised came out during Heroes Revised; i believe Heroes 2nd says outright that you cant use them, as the OP pointed out.


Got a page number on that? All I've seen is that the ancient Master has the option to be a dedicated martial artist instead with GM approval in the class itself. nothing about other classes NOT being able to.


I'm pretty sure I'm reading it the same way as the Dedicated Martial Artists simply being another option instead of the Ancient Master ... a quick skim didn't show any further restrictions, but I'm open to being wrong, I've just never seen it.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:27 am
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
Posts: 1945
Nekira Sudacne wrote:
zerombr wrote:
i feel that learning to harness powers takes a lot of time, and that eliminates the chance of martial art forms. I also think it'd be insanely hard if not impossible to learn chi when you're already tapping into some other inner force


Latent psychics having some super powers available already exists, so there is precident.


Chi powers are very much NOT psionics, except in Rifts.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:01 am
  

Wanderer

Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:49 am
Posts: 96
Nekira Sudacne wrote:
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Nekira Sudacne wrote:
What do you mean, only one? I just opened my copy of Ninja's and Superspys, it says Experiment, Hardware, Mutant, Physical Training, Psionic and all special training types can take one and Ancient Master can take two. P164/165.


N&SS Revised came out during Heroes Revised; i believe Heroes 2nd says outright that you cant use them, as the OP pointed out.


Got a page number on that? All I've seen is that the ancient Master has the option to be a dedicated martial artist instead with GM approval in the class itself. nothing about other classes NOT being able to.


Page 48 of HU2.

"More complex and varied forms of Oriental Martial Arts are
available in Ninjas and Superspies™ , also by Palladium Books.
However, these fighting abilities and related mystic powers are
only available to characters from the Power Categories of Physical
Training and Special Training, and only if the G . M . approves
(modification and conversions will be necessary)."


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:04 am
  

Wanderer

Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:49 am
Posts: 96
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Tywyll wrote:
So, HU seems super intent on keeping N&SS MA styles out of people's hands. Only one character type can really get them.

But why? Why the restriction? Are they that unbalanced? I mean, the majority of them are real world styles, many of which are taught all over the world (Thai Kick Boxing I'm looking at you!). I know the original N&SS is replete with 'weeaboo' fetishization, but is there anything mechanical to limiting them as harshly as HU2 wants to do? Am I missing something? Yes, I know they can give you some 'powers' but...? I mean, what if you want to run a campaign set in a foreign country where the styles are more common? N&SS acts like the only people who learn MA are hermits in monasteries which is...pretty ridiculous.


It really isn't ridiculous.

Remember that the MA forms in N&SS are the super-complicated, "original" forms. Almost anything you can learn in your local MA school in town, regardless of what it is called or based on, would, in Palladium Parlance, be "HtH: Martial Arts".

The Martial Art forms are supposed to represent someone who has dedicated their life to learning every intricacy of that form - think Kwai Chang Caine from Kung Fu. A literal lifetime of learning.

Probably a better example is Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. At the start of the show, Kwai Chang is a mid-ish level Dedicated Martial Artist with Shao-lin Kung Fu; his son Peter, a cop (who only trained for a few years as a child before they were separated) has H2H: Martial Arts. They were both trained in same style of martial arts, but since Peter didn't finish his training, he's got H2H MA.

As the series progresses, Kwai Chang levels up, gaining more of the "mystical martial arts" powers as he becomes a Shambala Master. Also as the series progresses, Peter starts to resume his training; over the course of the series (which takes place over about 6 years, as there is a year+ gap between Season 1 and Season 2, and again between 3 and 4) Peter finishes his training (so, combined with childhood, about 10 years in total) and becomes a level 1 Worldly Martial Artist with Shao-Lin Kung Fu (he is given his tattoos in the finale, as his father resumes his 'wandering', and quits being a cop to take over his fathers' place in Chinatown; Peter: 'what will I do?" KCC: 'people will come to China Town, looking for help. They will ask for Caine. You will help them.').

Martial Art forms (as represented in N&SS) are not something you learn at the corner dojo.

I guess because i did so much LARPing when i was younger, the concept of "H2H MA represents any basic martial arts training you got at a local dojo, call it whatever you want, its abstract/generic on purpose", was easy for me to pick up on.

My character might have H2H MA and i might say he was trained in Ishin-Ryu, which is a fairly common form that is taught in corner dojo's around here. Your character might also have H2H MA, and you might say he was trained in Taekwondo, also a very common corner-dojo style. H2H MA is just the game mechanic to represent that training.

But we both learned them at the corner dojo, basically, the "quickie/non-dedicated" version. Even if you became a black belt (or however they rank at the local dojo), you're still not as well trained as someone who has gone to the monastery and spent 8-15 years mastering every motion, drilling every part of the martial art into your muscle memory, and learning the super-cool mystic secrets.

If you want to be a mystic martial arts bad-ass, you have to dedicate a significant portion of your life to become so.

And, secondly, the primary reason that they dont really fit well with Heroes (especially Heroes 2nd, which "updates" the rules to the then-current 'version' of the Palladium system) is that the two games have a TON of differences in how they actually play, right down to Auto-dodge and other things working entirely differently. They dont mesh well. Add to that that N&SS forms are also kinda mechanically complicated (things like.. only being able to use WP bonuses if your MA Form has a Kata for that weapon, etc) it can really screw up a Heroes game.


As for the first reason, none of that precludes a mutant or an experiment from developing those abilities...so what if you spent 10+ years of your childhood/teens years mastering a form, when your mutant power comes in or your government experiments on you...you don't suddenly forget Kick Boxing.

Also it falls into that racist Orientalist fetishism that I'm not interested in. Recently in China, a Chinese MMA fighter wrecked the national Sholin Kung Fu champion in a contest to see which martial art was superior. The MMA fighter had to go into hiding thanks to the national outcry that he could dare challenge what was seen as the national MA style (and the favored style of the government). I don't know what happened to him after the fact. This was within the last year if I remember correctly.

In a world of super heroes and robots, we don't need every martial artist to be someone who hid in a foreign and 'exotic' temple for 20+ years.

The second reason, on the other hand, makes sense. I have seen several styles in the Rifter that seem more 'up to date'. I wonder if anyone has tried to bridge the gap?


Last edited by Tywyll on Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:23 am
  

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Dungeon Crawler

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:16 am
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Location: Solar System
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Nekira Sudacne wrote:
What do you mean, only one? I just opened my copy of Ninja's and Superspys, it says Experiment, Hardware, Mutant, Physical Training, Psionic and all special training types can take one and Ancient Master can take two. P164/165.


N&SS Revised came out during Heroes Revised; i believe Heroes 2nd says outright that you cant use them, as the OP pointed out.


Just did a quick skim of both HU2 (wow, has it been 21 years already?) & HU Revised (original copyright was 1987...wow, high school days...). I'm not seeing anything in the former saying that you can't use martial arts from N&SS...they just don't mention them at all in the descriptions. To be honest, though, HU Revised really didn't mention them either. The only power category in HUr that even mentions them was Physical Training (p. 124); not even the Ancient Master has an option in HUr for picking a MAF (even though, by their very nature, they should). However, I'll have to double-check, but I strongly suspect that it was potentially working off of the conversion from the original N&SS, & not the Revised Edition. First, the number of skills from each category that the character gives up to pick the MAF doesn't match the conversion listed on N&SS Revised (which lists the original copyright for the Revised Edition as 1990...3 years after HU Revised). Second, HUr says that Physical Training characters can select "any one of the 38 hand to hand martial arts skills" from N&SS (emphasis added); N&SS has a total of 41 MAF options (counting the 4 "Agent" variants of the 4 generic HTH skills), & the conversion listed in N&SSr says that "exclusive" forms can't be picked (which eliminates 7 of them from the mix).

I have my copy of the original N&SS at work right now, so I'll have to recheck it, but I strongly suspect that HUr's lone listing about MAF selection was a holdover from the original Ninjas rules (i.e. the ones where the Worldly Martial Artist could pick 2 MAFs...or even pick Ninjitsu), & the skill costs listed might match up with those conversions. If you have N&SSr, however, then you both have a more limited selection of MAFs for your heroes, but more of the power categories have access to them...although the Physical Training & Ancient Master characters could still select the "exclusive" forms (including having access to Thai Kick Boxing & Ninjutsu).

There was a discussion a few years back (see https://palladiumbooks.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=154196) where we debated how HU2's changes (specifically, how the Physical Training characters now selected a "focus", & had their own specialty MAF for each focus) would affect the N&SSr conversion rules. I had suggestions on some very slight alterations to the listed skill costs, as well as how characters should select the "right" MAF depending on their focus (i.e. selecting the Aggressive & Deadly focus, only to pair it with the decidedly "Defensive & Fast" Aikido MAF, would mean the "half Hit Point & S.D.C. bonuses" penalty should be applied). The nice thing is, HU2 might not be as fleshed out, but the Rifts Unlimited Edition did a really good job of bringing nearly all of the combat moves & abilities from N&SS into the mainstream settings (except, of course, for MAF-specific abilities, but those already have their specific descriptions anyway). Most of the missing ones (like Cartwheel, Automatic Body Flip/Throw, Critical Body Flip/Throw, Joint Locks, etc.) should be very easy to integrate in. I think the only iffy ones might be Multiple Dodge & Circular Parry. Multiple Dodge is easier; I think it can probably just be rewritten as "this ability lets you dodge attacks from any direction, including behind you" (not normally allowed, since you have to be aware of the attacker to dodge), which would essentially make you equivalent to the Rifts Juicer in that regards (& not every MAF grants it, either). Circular Parry...is kind of problematic. You can already parry attacks you're aware of (& everyone with HTH or MAF training automatically has "automatic" parry, so you don't use up your actions to parry individual attacks), so there's not much benefit in its restriction (using it limits you to only taking 1 offensive action that melee). Unfortunately, I'm not a martial arts expert, so I'm not 100% sure what it's even referring to, so I don't know if it would make more sense for it to be rewritten as "make 1 roll to parry multiple attacks coming towards you simultaneously", or if it would work better as "the wide-sweeping circular motions of this parry technique force your opponent to step back, requiring them to spend a melee action/attack to spend 1 melee action/attack to move closer again" (similar to how Backflip: Escape works).


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:40 am
  

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Palladin

Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 3:11 am
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Comment: 24 was the start... We are Legion.
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Tywyll wrote:
So, HU seems super intent on keeping N&SS MA styles out of people's hands. Only one character type can really get them.

But why? Why the restriction? Are they that unbalanced? I mean, the majority of them are real world styles, many of which are taught all over the world (Thai Kick Boxing I'm looking at you!). I know the original N&SS is replete with 'weeaboo' fetishization, but is there anything mechanical to limiting them as harshly as HU2 wants to do? Am I missing something? Yes, I know they can give you some 'powers' but...? I mean, what if you want to run a campaign set in a foreign country where the styles are more common? N&SS acts like the only people who learn MA are hermits in monasteries which is...pretty ridiculous.


It really isn't ridiculous.

Remember that the MA forms in N&SS are the super-complicated, "original" forms. Almost anything you can learn in your local MA school in town, regardless of what it is called or based on, would, in Palladium Parlance, be "HtH: Martial Arts".

The Martial Art forms are supposed to represent someone who has dedicated their life to learning every intricacy of that form - think Kwai Chang Caine from Kung Fu. A literal lifetime of learning.

Probably a better example is Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. At the start of the show, Kwai Chang is a mid-ish level Dedicated Martial Artist with Shao-lin Kung Fu; his son Peter, a cop (who only trained for a few years as a child before they were separated) has H2H: Martial Arts. They were both trained in same style of martial arts, but since Peter didn't finish his training, he's got H2H MA.

As the series progresses, Kwai Chang levels up, gaining more of the "mystical martial arts" powers as he becomes a Shambala Master. Also as the series progresses, Peter starts to resume his training; over the course of the series (which takes place over about 6 years, as there is a year+ gap between Season 1 and Season 2, and again between 3 and 4) Peter finishes his training (so, combined with childhood, about 10 years in total) and becomes a level 1 Worldly Martial Artist with Shao-Lin Kung Fu (he is given his tattoos in the finale, as his father resumes his 'wandering', and quits being a cop to take over his fathers' place in Chinatown; Peter: 'what will I do?" KCC: 'people will come to China Town, looking for help. They will ask for Caine. You will help them.').

Martial Art forms (as represented in N&SS) are not something you learn at the corner dojo.

I guess because i did so much LARPing when i was younger, the concept of "H2H MA represents any basic martial arts training you got at a local dojo, call it whatever you want, its abstract/generic on purpose", was easy for me to pick up on.

My character might have H2H MA and i might say he was trained in Ishin-Ryu, which is a fairly common form that is taught in corner dojo's around here. Your character might also have H2H MA, and you might say he was trained in Taekwondo, also a very common corner-dojo style. H2H MA is just the game mechanic to represent that training.

But we both learned them at the corner dojo, basically, the "quickie/non-dedicated" version. Even if you became a black belt (or however they rank at the local dojo), you're still not as well trained as someone who has gone to the monastery and spent 8-15 years mastering every motion, drilling every part of the martial art into your muscle memory, and learning the super-cool mystic secrets.

If you want to be a mystic martial arts bad-ass, you have to dedicate a significant portion of your life to become so.

And, secondly, the primary reason that they dont really fit well with Heroes (especially Heroes 2nd, which "updates" the rules to the then-current 'version' of the Palladium system) is that the two games have a TON of differences in how they actually play, right down to Auto-dodge and other things working entirely differently. They dont mesh well. Add to that that N&SS forms are also kinda mechanically complicated (things like.. only being able to use WP bonuses if your MA Form has a Kata for that weapon, etc) it can really screw up a Heroes game.



It's this. It's always been this. With a dash of "Stop twinking out your char" on the side. But 95% the above. Well said.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:15 am
  

Wanderer

Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:49 am
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green.nova343 wrote:

Just did a quick skim of both HU2 (wow, has it been 21 years already?) & HU Revised (original copyright was 1987...wow, high school days...). I'm not seeing anything in the former saying that you can't use martial arts from N&SS...they just don't mention them at all in the descriptions.


See my post above.

Quote:
There was a discussion a few years back (see https://palladiumbooks.com/forums/viewt ... 7&t=154196) where we debated how HU2's changes (specifically, how the Physical Training characters now selected a "focus", & had their own specialty MAF for each focus) would affect the N&SSr conversion rules. I had suggestions on some very slight alterations to the listed skill costs, as well as how characters should select the "right" MAF depending on their focus (i.e. selecting the Aggressive & Deadly focus, only to pair it with the decidedly "Defensive & Fast" Aikido MAF, would mean the "half Hit Point & S.D.C. bonuses" penalty should be applied). The nice thing is, HU2 might not be as fleshed out, but the Rifts Unlimited Edition did a really good job of bringing nearly all of the combat moves & abilities from N&SS into the mainstream settings (except, of course, for MAF-specific abilities, but those already have their specific descriptions anyway). Most of the missing ones (like Cartwheel, Automatic Body Flip/Throw, Critical Body Flip/Throw, Joint Locks, etc.) should be very easy to integrate in. I think the only iffy ones might be Multiple Dodge & Circular Parry. Multiple Dodge is easier; I think it can probably just be rewritten as "this ability lets you dodge attacks from any direction, including behind you" (not normally allowed, since you have to be aware of the attacker to dodge), which would essentially make you equivalent to the Rifts Juicer in that regards (& not every MAF grants it, either). Circular Parry...is kind of problematic. You can already parry attacks you're aware of (& everyone with HTH or MAF training automatically has "automatic" parry, so you don't use up your actions to parry individual attacks), so there's not much benefit in its restriction (using it limits you to only taking 1 offensive action that melee). Unfortunately, I'm not a martial arts expert, so I'm not 100% sure what it's even referring to, so I don't know if it would make more sense for it to be rewritten as "make 1 roll to parry multiple attacks coming towards you simultaneously", or if it would work better as "the wide-sweeping circular motions of this parry technique force your opponent to step back, requiring them to spend a melee action/attack to spend 1 melee action/attack to move closer again" (similar to how Backflip: Escape works).


Thanks for this. Very interesting. Yeah, I noticed some of the maneuvers didn't really make any sense (like Multiple Dodge and Circular Parry). It would be good if someone had errataed or clarified them after all these years... ;(


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:34 am
  

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Comment: The Munchkin Fairy
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Nekira Sudacne wrote:
zerombr wrote:
i feel that learning to harness powers takes a lot of time, and that eliminates the chance of martial art forms. I also think it'd be insanely hard if not impossible to learn chi when you're already tapping into some other inner force


Latent psychics having some super powers available already exists, so there is precident.


Chi powers are very much NOT psionics, except in Rifts.


Didn't say Chi powers were psionics, I said it's a precident for learning to tap into some "other inner force" (I.S.P.) while having superpowers in the latent psionic class.

So you could have a superpowered character learn Chi powers too, is my argument. Not because they're the same, just that it should be possible to learn either while having superpowers.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:45 pm
  

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Tywyll wrote:

Page 48 of HU2.

"More complex and varied forms of Oriental Martial Arts are
available in Ninjas and Superspies™ , also by Palladium Books.
However, these fighting abilities and related mystic powers are
only available to characters from the Power Categories of Physical
Training and Special Training, and only if the G . M . approves
(modification and conversions will be necessary)."


Well I'll be darned, I appreciate the citation

So I guess my official answer is that they want to keep those characters unique. I think the HTH:Martial Arts argument is also decent. It's like the difference between the Mechanical Engineer skill that anyone can have and the Class ability of the Mechanical Hardware. N&SS martial arts are supposed to be unique character defining functions


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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:22 pm
  

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Comment: The Munchkin Fairy
Aha! So there is a new limit, but it's not just one class.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:42 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
Posts: 1945
Tywyll wrote:
Nekira Sudacne wrote:
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Nekira Sudacne wrote:
What do you mean, only one? I just opened my copy of Ninja's and Superspys, it says Experiment, Hardware, Mutant, Physical Training, Psionic and all special training types can take one and Ancient Master can take two. P164/165.


N&SS Revised came out during Heroes Revised; i believe Heroes 2nd says outright that you cant use them, as the OP pointed out.


Got a page number on that? All I've seen is that the ancient Master has the option to be a dedicated martial artist instead with GM approval in the class itself. nothing about other classes NOT being able to.


Page 48 of HU2.

"More complex and varied forms of Oriental Martial Arts are
available in Ninjas and Superspies™ , also by Palladium Books.
However, these fighting abilities and related mystic powers are
only available to characters from the Power Categories of Physical
Training and Special Training, and only if the G . M . approves
(modification and conversions will be necessary)."


Oh, good, someone got it. I was afraid id have to finally stop being lazy and unpack the stack of boxes in the corner of my office with the rest of my books in them.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:01 pm
  

Adventurer

Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:54 am
Posts: 704
zerombr wrote:
i feel that learning to harness powers takes a lot of time, and that eliminates the chance of martial art forms. I also think it'd be insanely hard if not impossible to learn chi when you're already tapping into some other inner force


Even granting that for the sake of argument, as far as I can tell a character who spent all those years mastering an N&SS martial art can start play standing next to an ‘enchanted object’ character — who can simply hand that enchanted object to that martial artist, who can then simply make use of it. (That’s, like, the point of the enchanted object: it just works, right then, regardless of what the latest guy had been doing until he just now put that ring on his finger or whatever.)


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:02 am
  

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Dungeon Crawler

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:16 am
Posts: 329
Location: Solar System
Tywyll wrote:
green.nova343 wrote:

Just did a quick skim of both HU2 (wow, has it been 21 years already?) & HU Revised (original copyright was 1987...wow, high school days...). I'm not seeing anything in the former saying that you can't use martial arts from N&SS...they just don't mention them at all in the descriptions.


See my post above.

Quote:
There was a discussion a few years back (see viewtopic.php?f=7&t=154196) where we debated how HU2's changes (specifically, how the Physical Training characters now selected a "focus", & had their own specialty MAF for each focus) would affect the N&SSr conversion rules. I had suggestions on some very slight alterations to the listed skill costs, as well as how characters should select the "right" MAF depending on their focus (i.e. selecting the Aggressive & Deadly focus, only to pair it with the decidedly "Defensive & Fast" Aikido MAF, would mean the "half Hit Point & S.D.C. bonuses" penalty should be applied). The nice thing is, HU2 might not be as fleshed out, but the Rifts Unlimited Edition did a really good job of bringing nearly all of the combat moves & abilities from N&SS into the mainstream settings (except, of course, for MAF-specific abilities, but those already have their specific descriptions anyway). Most of the missing ones (like Cartwheel, Automatic Body Flip/Throw, Critical Body Flip/Throw, Joint Locks, etc.) should be very easy to integrate in. I think the only iffy ones might be Multiple Dodge & Circular Parry. Multiple Dodge is easier; I think it can probably just be rewritten as "this ability lets you dodge attacks from any direction, including behind you" (not normally allowed, since you have to be aware of the attacker to dodge), which would essentially make you equivalent to the Rifts Juicer in that regards (& not every MAF grants it, either). Circular Parry...is kind of problematic. You can already parry attacks you're aware of (& everyone with HTH or MAF training automatically has "automatic" parry, so you don't use up your actions to parry individual attacks), so there's not much benefit in its restriction (using it limits you to only taking 1 offensive action that melee). Unfortunately, I'm not a martial arts expert, so I'm not 100% sure what it's even referring to, so I don't know if it would make more sense for it to be rewritten as "make 1 roll to parry multiple attacks coming towards you simultaneously", or if it would work better as "the wide-sweeping circular motions of this parry technique force your opponent to step back, requiring them to spend a melee action/attack to spend 1 melee action/attack to move closer again" (similar to how Backflip: Escape works).


Thanks for this. Very interesting. Yeah, I noticed some of the maneuvers didn't really make any sense (like Multiple Dodge and Circular Parry). It would be good if someone had errataed or clarified them after all these years... ;(



I think you may have posted while I was writing my dissertation, :D

And yes, errata are always nice.

It's unfortunate they have that in there, though. One of the things that, to me, helped make the Megaversal system truly "megaversal" was that you could combine things from the different settings -- like, for example, the possibility of superheroes facing off against the supernatural forces of BTS evil (or even Nightbane), or having a team of psychics & parapsychologists flummoxed when facing off against the "unexpected" capabilities of Mystic China demons & monsters. Or even just the possibilities you can get when you have characters from diverse settings fall through dimensional Rifts into a future Earth filled with magic & giant robots.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:58 am
  

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Dungeon Crawler

Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:16 am
Posts: 329
Location: Solar System
I originally had this with the other response, but it was getting a bit long so I split it up.

Since I'd previously covered the Physical Training category, I might suggest the following for the Special Training characters:
Ancient Master:
  • The Ancient Master has a few MAF options: option 1 is to select only Ninjutsu or Thai Kick Boxing (as both are described as counting as 2 MAF selections for N&SS characters); option 2 is select any other two MAFs, but designates one as the "primary" and the other as the "secondary". If the latter option is selected, note that if an MAF is marked as "(Exclusive)" in N&SS, it can only be chosen as the "primary" MAF. Also, while characters can pick any non-exclusive MAF as the "secondary" MAF, I would strongly recommend that GMs "gently" persuade them that they pick from the list of "affiliated" MAFs in the primary's description (i.e. Isshin-Ryu Karate & Jujutsu list each other in their descriptions as a secondary form, so they would be a good match).
  • As an additional option, I would allow the character to select an additional secondary MAF, but they give up 4 of their Secondary skill selections (or their 2 Domestic skill selections).
  • They keep the Boxing skill, but loses Wrestling, Climbing, & the 2 Physical skill selections. Note that they add the bonus action/attack from Boxing to their actions/attacks from MAFs.
  • They do not get any of the Ancient W.P.s listed on p. 213. They only have access to W.P. skills & Katas provided to them by the MAF they selected.
  • Ignore the bonuses & abilities for HTH: Martial Arts Master (pp. 212-213). Instead, in addition to the bonuses from their MAFs & attributes they add the following: +4 attacks/actions; +6 initiative; +2 strike & dodge; +1 parry; +4 Automatic Dodge; +4 Automatic Body Flip; +3 Disarm; +3 Pull Punch; +2 roll with punch/fall/impact. They still get the bonuses to save vs. coma/death, Horror Factor, possession,& mind control listed on p. 213, as well as having a PS equivalent to Extraordinary PS.
  • Reduce the Hit Point bonus to +3D6, & the S.D.C. base to 2D4x10+3D6+PE; bonuses from Physical skills & MAFs are still added to the base.
  • All of the special abilities (including the Minor Superpower) are unchanged.
  • The primary form (or only form, for NInjitsu & Thai Kick Boxing) is at the same level as the character's starting level (1D6+3). Ideally, the secondary MAF should be seven levels lower than the primary MAF, so I would strongly recommend that GMs require the character to start at 8th or 9th level (allowing the secondary MAF to be at 1st or 2nd level).
    • That may seem very restrictive, but remember; Palladium doesn't really have many rules about having "zero-level proficiency" in skills in general, let alone MAFs or HTH training.
    • If you want or need that flexibility, however, try this. If the character is starting out at 7th level or lower, then they have limited access to the abilities of the secondary MAF. They get the listed attribute bonuses, Escape Moves, Basic Defensive Moves, Advanced Defenses, Hand Attacks, Basic Foot Attacks, Jumping Foot Attacks, Special Attacks, Holds/Locks, & Modifiers to Attacks; they do not get the additional Attacks per Melee (essentially only have the "+4" listed above as their base number), Martial Arts Powers, or any of the Advancement Bonuses for 1st level; they have access to any listed Weapon Katas (as they have trained in the use of that weapon with their MAF), but not the Ancient W.P. skill itself (as they have not fully completed their training); they have the listed Language, Physical, Philosophical, Cultural/Domestic, & other skills listed for the MAF, but they are frozen at half base proficiency (i.e. no "+x% per level" applies). When the character reaches 8th level, the secondary MAF advances to 1st level, & they gain full access to the training.
    • Again, this is very complex, especially during character creation and gameplay, so I would again recommend that because of the secondary MAF they start at 8th or 9th level
Hunter/Vigilante:
  • The Hunter/Vigilante can select a non-exclusive MAF, but sacrifice one of the skills from their Manhunter Program (or 2 Secondary skills); an exclusive MAF requires sacrificing two Manhunter Program skills (or 4 Secondary skills). Note that this is in addition to dropping HTH: Expert.
  • Because of their nature, I think it would be possible to allow these characters to select Ninjitsu or Thai Kick Boxing. However, this is an expensive option, as they will have to give up 6 of their Manhunter Program skills (or all Secondary skills).
Secret Operative:
  • The Secret Operative can replace HTH: Martial Arts with a non-exclusive MAF by dropping 1 Rogue or Physical skill selection from their Rogue Skill Program on p. 217, or 3 of their Secondary skill selections; selecting an exclusive form will require them to sacrifice the other Rogue or Physical selection (2 skills total) or another 3 Secondary skills (6 skills total). Note that they can also choose both options (i.e. drop 1 Rogue/Physical skill and3 Secondary skills). They cannot pick NInjitsu or Thai Kick Boxing, however. [If a GM is feeling really, really generous, or the player just won't stop whining, make them sacrifice both the Rogue/Physical skills and 6 Secondary skills...but I would recommend against that]
  • As an option, the character can trade in their normal skill programs by becoming one of the Agents from N&SS. I would recommend the following: first, I would avoid the Cyber Agent or Wired Agent, as those N&SS options include a number of cybernetic implants and/or limb replacement options that are better suited for the Bionics power category; second, be careful when selecting some of the Espionage & Gizmoteer skill programs, as they include a lot of skills that aren't on the official HU2 skill list; finally, their base S.D.C. (before adjusting for skills & MAF) should be cut in half (i.e. 5D6+20). Note also that while some of the Agent O.C.C.s may appear to allow them to pick 1 MAF "for free", the trade-off is that their skill selections (including the Common & General Skills and Secondary Skills) are being replaced by the N&SS options for the chosen Agent O.C.C. (for example, Bob wants to be an Operative Agent instead of the generic Secret Agent. He can now pick double the Espionage & Military skill programs -- & from a wider list -- as well as 2 Gizmoteer/Medical/Basic programs...but he only gets 6 Secondary skills, & only retains Mathematics: Basic, Speak Native Language, & Read & Write Native Language from his Common & General skills...losing the listed bonuses as well).
Stage Magician:
  • The Stage Magician can select a non-exclusive MAF by giving up two Rogue or Physical skills (the former are part of their Sleight of Hand Skill Program; the latter would require them to select the Physical Skill Program as their "One Scholastic Skill Program), or 4 Secondary skills; an exclusive MAF can be selected for the cost of a 3rd Rogue/Physical skill or 2 more Secondary skills (6 Secondary skills total), but Ninjitsu & Thai Kick Boxing are not allowed.
  • Alternately, they can select any 3 implants or Cyber-Disguises from N&SS (or even the Cybernetic Sensors & Other Features from pp. 105-106 of HU2), but give up two of their "special" skills (Sleight of Hand, Contortionist, Juggling).
  • A 3rd option that GMs can consider is to allow the character to replace their standard skill selection with those of the Thief (Free Agent) from N&SS; they still get their "special" skills. As with the Secret Operative, however, there can be some trade-offs with that choice. T
Super Sleuth:
  • The Super Sleuth can select a non-exclusive MAF by giving up two Rogue or Physical skills (the former are part of their Sleight of Hand Skill Program; the latter would require them to select the Physical Skill Program as their "One Scholastic Skill Program), or 4 Secondary skills; an exclusive MAF can be selected for the cost of a 3rd Rogue/Physical skill or 2 more Secondary skills (6 Secondary skills total), but Ninjitsu & Thai Kick Boxing are not allowed.
  • Alternately, they can select any 3 implants or Cyber-Disguises from N&SS (or even the Cybernetic Sensors & Other Features from pp. 105-106 of HU2), but give up both of their "special" skills (Computer Hacking, See Through Disguise & Forgery).
  • For a 3rd option, GMs could allow the character to replace their standard skill selection with those of the Private Eye or Thief (Free Agent) (the former would be a good fit for someone who has a more formal background in law enforcement, while the latter represents someone who has reformed their wayward ways).

Before anyone starts nitpicking: First, yes, I know, N&SS Revised only allows the Ancient Master to pick an exclusive form. However, it also allows other power categories to select MAFs. Also, the original N&SS wasn't as restrictive; if power category could select an MAF, it could select both exclusive & non-exclusive MAFs (& the only reason that Ninjitsu & Thai Kick Boxing were excluded was because they both counted as two MAF selections, & only Physical Training & Ancient Master characters could select 2 or more MAFs). This helps restore that extra flexibility, but adds an additional cost to do so.

As for the other power categories, I'll probably house-rule that those categories listed in N&SS Revised can still pick 1 MAF (costing 2 Physical or 4 Secondary skills if they don't have "extra abilities", like Hardware characters; characters with superhuman powers/abilities increase it to 3 Physical or 6 Secondary skills), with the ability to even take an exclusive (costing 1 extra Physical or 2 extra Secondary skills beyond the normal cost). I would also allow Magic category heroes to select (treating them like the Psionic characters, since they have mystic-based superhuman abilities), but not Bionics or Robotics characters. Aliens are a "maybe": an alien raised on Earth would be essentially treated little differently than, say, a Mutant Animal (which would have access to MAFs). Being raised offworld would make it much more difficult, but I would allow the following options:
  • As with Experiments, Mutants, Psionics, & Magic categories, Aliens would be considered to have superhuman abilities, so the normal cost would be 6 Secondary skills for an MAF (8 for an exclusive MAF). Since HU2 characters get additional Secondary skills at higher levels (+2 at 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th & 15th, per p. 48), the character can "bank" those selections to study an MAF. Note that it will take them a very long time to accumulate enough skills (assuming they announce it before 3rd level, they'll have enough banked for a non-exclusive form at 9th level, or an exclusive form at 12th level), & that Ninjitsu or Thai Kick Boxing are strictly verboten by this method. Plus, the new MAF starts off at 1st level, meaning that even with any additional Martial Arts Powers or techniques their actual combat capabilities will be much less than with whatever generic HTH skill they had before.
  • Another alternative is to use the "going back to school" rules. In this case, they need to study for long enough to learn the skills for a Physical skill program (3 skills for non-exclusive, 4 skills for exclusive); with the requirement to complete 3 semesters per skill (since they can't really have "homework" assignments, I would consider making the requirement that they can't miss more than 6 training sessions per "semester" or they have to redo it), each skill then taking 1.5-2 years to complete, you're looking at 4.5-6 years to complete the training for a non-exclusive form, 6-8 years for an exclusive form (interestingly enough, most MAFs in their descriptions say to add 4-6 years to the character's age if they take the MAF as a secondary form). Again, though, this MAF is going to start off at 1st level, & your character is more likely to be a higher level than that (although, depending on how fast time flows in your game setting, it might not be as bad as the "banking Secondary skills" option).
  • A "quicker" way is to simply have the character "take a break" from adventuring. In-game, they essentially go on sabbatical to learn their chosen MAF for as long as the MAF description says is required (I would strongly recommend that the "as a secondary Martial Art Form" number be used for non-exclusive MAFs). However, this means that the character is unavailable during game sessions...particularly if other heroes on the super-team are still adventuring, it could easily mean the character gets left in the dust level-wise. This method probably works best for NPCs and/or a nemesis character ("Hey, I haven't seen Yar'ghest-val in years, what's he up to? Oh, he's at some mountain monastery in Japan learning Sankukai Karate...").
  • The final option works best with "animal" MAFs. For example, the majority of the anthropomorphic alien races in Aliens Unlimited loosely resemble Terran animals. While they wouldn't truly know a Terran MAF, as long as they're not from a society of complete pacifism I would be surprised if an alien culture hadn't developed their own MAF styles, in particular MAFs that take advantage of their natural capabilities. If there's a matching Terran MAF for that particular animal phenotype, it could be allowed to be selected at 1st level as a near-analogue. For example, the Elecians (pp. 76-77 in AUr) resemble egrets & storks, so a possible "analogue" choice might be Bok Pai Crane Style Kung Fu; aside from providing a different Language choice (& possibly replacing Taoism with a made-up philosophy name), the bonuses could be applied as-is to the Elecian character. Or, if there's a particular MAF that seems to go along with the alien race's culture (or is even simply just an MAF that the player thinks is a good fit for their character concept), very minor tweaking would allow it to be an analogue to the N&SS MAF (& would make masters in that MAF notice a resemblance to their own MAF). Note the usual skill cost (3 Physical or 6 Secondary skills, 4 Physical or 8 Secondary for exclusive MAFs) would still apply, although I would allow aliens that don't have sufficient Secondary skills & no access to Physical skill selections (i.e. Pilot or Science Specialist on p. 95 of AUr, or Rogue/Smuggler or Engineer on p. 96) to use Scholastic skills instead of the Secondaries (1 Scholastic for every 2 Secondaries); for example, an Engineer could sacrifice 1 of his "Electronics and Mechanical" selections & 4 of his Secondary skills, or 1 each of the Communications & Science plus 2 Secondary skill selections, in order to start with an MAF.
  • The first 3 options would also be ways for non-alien characters to add an MAF (albeit with the same time & skill level issues).

Again, these are just house-rules. I only used what I consider common sense (& a little bit of RAW-based concepts on learning new skills), but I don't consider them official in any sense of the word.


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