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Published by Samuel Penn.

Also, see my profile for things that interest me.

Glendale Website - My main web site.

Yags - Main site for yet another game system, a generic GPL'd tabletop RPG.

Yagsbook - Documentation on the Yagsbook RPG documentation format, a Sourceforge project.

Mapcraft - Documentation on world mapping tools, another Sourceforge project.

Midnight Saga - An Ars Magica campaign.

Active Topics

The current topics are currently under active development (relatively speaking).

Yags is Another Game System - Game design notes for Yags, a Free roleplaying game system I use as the core system for most of my campaigns.

Yagsbook - Notes on an XML based documentation system I use for documenting Yags and related campaigns.

Full Thrust - Notes on Full Thrust

Stargrunt - Notes on Stargrunt.


This is an old revision of the document!

Martial Arts

See also: Techniques, Kenjutsu, Karate (etc)

Martial arts is a term used to described all forms of combat, from open hand attack styles such as Jujutsu, through viking sword and shield styles to bows, pistols and rifles. Here, we concentrate on the close quarters battle side of things - hand to hand fighting, principally the Brawl skill.

All unarmed combat is performed with the Brawl skill, regardless of whether it is a pub fight or some exotic Japanese combat art. The difference is in the techniques that are used. Generally, a person with a high Brawl but no techniques will be your typical street brawler - no particular style or artistic merit. This doesn't mean they're not dangerous, but someone with the same skill plus a few techniques may have the advantage.

Disclaimer: I know nothing about martial art styles except what I've read in books. I'm currently using GURPS Martial Arts 4th Ed as a primary source for background on various styles.

Basic Manouevres

The following can be done by anyone, using the Brawl skill.

Attack Actions

All the following must be declared when the attack is declared at the start of the round.


Covers trying to grab the defenders limbs or neck in order to get a hold. Causes a free strike, and requires a good attack for success against a limb, or an excellent attack for the neck. No damage is caused.

On success, the target is held and looses their attacks for the rest of the round, though may atttempt to break instead of their declared action by rolling their strength versus the strength x brawl of the attacker. This gives an advantage to whoever acts first.


Grab and throw a person to the ground, or otherwise knock them from their feet. Causes a free strike and needs a good attack. On success, make opposed strength x brawl checks, on success the defender is thrown. ach extra success does one stun.

Unarmed disarm

Try to disarm a foe. Causes a free strike and needs a good attack. On success, a contest of agility x brawl. If attacker fails, defender looses their next attack that round, on successs the defender is disarmed.

Defensive Actions

Following are declared as an attack. Can only be performed if declared.

Escape hold

Used if being held by a foe (i.e. grabbed). Make a strength|agility x brawl versus the foe's strength x brawl. On success, break free.

Followup Actions

The following are used to follow up an attack in a previous round.

Improve Grab

Tighten your grip on a person being held. Contest of strength x brawl. If win, get a +1 bonus to strength for all further checks for this hold (including break attempts). If a neck hold, choke victim for one fatigue. Bonus limited to doubling strength. Exra success gives more bonuses, but no extra fatigue.

If fail, then no change. On a fumble, loose hold.


Break a limb or neck that is being held. Make a basic damage roll (including strength bonus for an improved grab). If do 4 stun levels, limb or neck is broken. If neck, victim drops to fatal wounds.

yags/martial_arts.1272704438.txt.gz · Last modified: 2015/02/04 22:40 (external edit)