Martial arts in BWG 2016

I have a player interested in ‘fighting styles’. More a western feel, than an eastern kung fu. In fact, a society of humans that were former Dwarven slaves… But all that is flavour and theme and not really the question.

I’ve searched the forums and wiki and it seems most of the info comes from Classic era with a bit that bled over into the Revised era. I’ve never read or even seen BWC or BWR.

So, if I wanted to create an fighting art using an older style as a template (such as Drunken Mantis in the wiki) what big combat mechanic differences should I be aware of between BWG and the previous versions?


Personally, I like the idea of treating Martial Arts/Boxing as a Training Skill that opens up the special maneuvers in Fight! (rather than separate fighting skills) That way, everyone uses the Brawling skill for unarmed combat, but characters with “Martial Arts Training” have a few more options than those without it, while saving you from having to advance two or three fighting skills at the same time (Boxing, Brawling, and Martial Arts), especially when two of those skills (Boxing and Martial Arts) are only available with general points as they do not appear on any of the lifepaths.

Pete and I have worked up something functional, but it’s never quite 100% releasable.

There’s TONS of space to add effects to your attacks and actions in fight. Beyond modifying weapon damage, you go so far as to invent whole new action types!

Anyway, Drunken Mantis sort of works, but you have to gut all the BWR positioning stuff and rejigger it for BWG’s engagement rules. BWG’s fighting rules are much tighter than BWR’s—and much more dangerous. So take care when juicing the power of an action. Someone is going to get killed!

As I read through the old info I found, I realized that martial arts are very much related to Fight!.. Which my group has yet to even try. So we’ve decided to leave that aside for now. One day though… I’ll be back to challenge your Kung Fu!