Wuxia Fighting Arts: Shadow Catching

Here’s another wuxia-inspired fighting art. This one is translated from an external kung fu style in the Legends of Wulin RPG, though I’ve added a few techniques of my own.

Shadow Catching

It is said that a famous master created this style long ago and that he became so quick that he could overtake his own shadow! Swiftness is the key to overcoming all adversity, he teaches, anticipating and eliminating problems before they can harm you. This style always stays on the move and seizes the initiative, striking an opponent and then retreating before a counter-attack can be made. Although it uses orthodox techniques, it is highly popular due to its fierce and impressively flashy displays, making it seem much more spectacular than its fundamental workings are.

Exponent Form Skill Actions
2 Knife Shadow Catching grants the Avoid, Beat, Block, Disarm, Feint, Push and Strike actions.
3 Saber, Sword
Techniques Instruction Ob Physical/Phil. Ob Practical Ob
Holding the Shadow Instruction Ob 2 Speed Ob 2 SC Ob 2
Penumbral Dance Instruction Ob 3 Speed Ob 3 SC Ob 3
Exceeding the Shadows Instruction Ob 4 Speed Ob 4 SC Ob 4
Arrow-Cutting Stance Instruction Ob 4 Philosophy Ob 3 SC Ob 5
Three Visions Reunion Instruction Ob 4 Philosophy Ob 4 SC Ob 5
Reflecting on Freedom Instruction Ob 5 Philosophy Ob 5 SC Ob 6
  • Holding the Shadow: Your movements are quick and your form ungraspable. Your opponents could no more harm you than they could grab illusions.
    • Gain +1D advantage to Avoid
    • When making a versus test using Speed, break ties in your favor.
  • Penumbral Dance: You have learned to weave in and out of shadows such that your movements become nearly impossible to follow.
    • This is a stance entered via the Change Stance action. This stance lasts until you change stance or disengage, or your opponent disengages from you. You can only adopt one stance at a time.
    • You may now use your Shadow Catching skill to position and for the Avoid action.
    • Your opponent suffers +1 Ob to Strikes and Great Strikes against you.
    • The Change Stance: Penumbral Dance action counts as an Avoid.
  • Exceeding the Shadow: Legend has it that the founder of this style ran so fast that he detached himself from his shadow. Although obviously nobody alive today could compare to this great grand-master, the followers of his martial tradition nevertheless master a form of footwork that allows for fabulous sprints!
    • Add +1 to Stride
    • Gain +1D advantage when engaging, vying for position, or disengaging.
  • Arrow-Cutting Stance: Your reactions have become so swift that you can dodge missiles and cut arrows from the sky in mid-flight.
    • This is a stance entered via the Change Stance action. This stance lasts until you change stance or disengage, or your opponent disengages from you. You can only adopt one stance at a time.
    • You may now use the Avoid and Block actions against the Snapshot, Fire Crossbow, Release Bow and Throw Weapon actions. This technique does not work against the Fire Gun action.
    • The Change Stance: Arrow-Cutting Stance action counts as an Avoid.
  • Three Visions Reunion: So quick do you strike in all directions that your opponents cannot tell where you are — you appear to be making several attacks at once!
    • This is a stance entered via the Change Stance action. This stance lasts until you change stance or disengage, or your opponent disengages from you or gains the advantage via any means. You can only adopt one stance at a time.
    • Increase Weapon Speed by 1.
    • When you gain the advantage via engaging, vying, or performing a successful Beat, you gain +1D advantage to Strikes and Feints until you disengage or your opponent wins the advantage.
    • Your Strikes and Feints target all opponents with whom you are currently engaged. Test once; let your successes ride for the action.
    • The Change Stance: Three Visions Reunion action counts as a Beat.
  • Reflecting on Freedom: Students of this style train knee-deep in marshes with their clothes drenched and heavy with water or while carrying great weights. Their bodies are made strong and light this way. When remembering their lessons, they feel as light as a feather!
    • Increase the exponent Cap for Speed by 1.
    • Round up when factoring Reflexes.
    • When fighting in knee-deep or greater waters (even completely submerged!) you do not suffer any environmental obstacle penalties from the water.
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I’m so glad that stances are getting the love they deserve!