Martial Arts Case Studies

More Gameable Myths

by Peter V. Dell'Orto

Previously, we presented five martial arts myths, and how to implement them in your games. The premise is simple: martial arts myths are persistent, but they can also be useful. You can take something not completely true try to make it so, to keep your martial artists on their toes.

So here is another fistful of martial arts myths to use in your campaigns! You've got two-fists now, perfect for square-jawed rollickin' action. Warning: these rules aren't extensively tested, nor are they all balanced! They're food for thought and might spice up your game . . .

#1: My Style Uses the Enemy's Strength Against Him

This myth, a favorite of throwing styles, has some basis in fact. You can use your opponent's momentum against him, with techniques like Trip. You can ignore your opponent's strength in situations simply by striking instead of grappling yourself into a Quick Contest of ST.

But what if you can actually make your opponent's strength a disadvantage? The bigger they are, the harder they strike, the less likely they are to hit you.

If this is true, soft styles (such as Aikido, Judo, Chin Na, etc. based on grappling more than power striking) have a special advantage. Any "soft" technique based on Wrestling or Judo -- including Arm Lock, Judo Throw, Sacrifice Throw, and Trip -- launched on the turn after an attack against the defender, can use either the ST of the defender, or of the attacker, . . .

This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.

Article publication date: November 7, 2008

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