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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.

Brawl Manoeuvres

Manoeuvres are combat options which can be tried by anyone, without requiring a technique. Many are made easier by certain techniques. A manoeuvre needs to be declared before the attack.


You try to grab hold of your opponent with both hands. If you only use one hand (i.e. you are holding a weapon) then you will suffer a penalty, but may drop your weapon as a free action before you make your attack. Your opponent gets a free strike against you (or an automatic strike if they have a weapon), then you make an Agility x Brawl attack against their Agility x Brawl.

On success, they may try to break free or chose to willingly wrestle. If they try to avoid, both make Strength x Brawl (you are at -10 if you only have a single hand). If you succeed, you are both grappled. Each extra success you make puts them at -1 penalty to all physical attributes whilst grappled.

If they chose to wrestle, both of you compare your roll against half your opponents, and gain the advantages of above. You will probably both end up suffering penalties.

A grappled person loses all further actions that round.


This is a combined grab and throw. Make a grab manoeuvre as above, but you need a good success. If they chose to wrestle, then it automatically turns into a grapple and you don't get to trip them. If you succeed on the Strength check, then you throw them to the ground prone. Each extra success does one stun.

Unarmed disarm

Try to disarm a foe. Causes a free strike and needs a good Agility x brawl attack against the opponent's standard defence. If you succeed the opponent loses further attacks that round and there is a contest of Strength x Brawl. If you succeed, the opponent drops their weapon. On a good success, you can take their weapon.


If you are currently grappled, you can try to escape. Make a Strength x Brawl contest. On success, you break free. Your opponent loses any actions against you that round.

Improve Grab

Tighten your grip on a person being held. Contest of strength x brawl. Each success puts your opponent at a further -1 to their attributes. If you have been grappled and are at penalty, you can use this to reduce your penalty and even put your attacker at penalty.

yags/martial_arts.1272705678.txt.gz · Last modified: 2015/02/04 22:40 (external edit)