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Diagnosis: Dim Mak

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Dim Mak is a martial arts Death Touch, literally press artery, a blow that is fatal, sooner or later.

Dim mak may treated, but not be completely cured without proper equipment, special items not usually carried by most practitioners of Eastern medicine. Such gear could include...


  • 8 big eyed acupuncture needles
  • wicks for the above
  • 8 teacups, or better yet, glass tumblers
  • Dulzuck incense

The Dim Mak victim lies on his stomach. The eight needles, wicks in place, are used to penetrate his back at chi / meridian sites. The wicks are ignited. Cups are inverted over the needles. The flames quickly exhaust the limited oxygen, created a near vacuum, pulled the tissue into alarmingly large mounds, drawing yin, negative chi, away from vital points.


Modern science confirms the value of some folk medicines. Inhalants have proven to be the swiftest noninvasive way to introduce a substance into the bloodstream. So, special incense is effective. This incense takes five hours to burn, and the effective ingredient is dulzuk.


Dulzuck is the fruit which is reaped mainly from Paek Tu Mountain region. The scientific name is VACCINIUM ULIGINOSUM LINNAEUS and this breed grows spontaneously in the hilly areas 800 meters above sea level.

People in the area surrounding Mt. Paek Tu produce the multiple foodstuffs with the blue berry dulzuck.

It is consumed three times daily for health, preferably before meals.

Paek-Tu Mountain (Paek-Tu San) is a disputed site between Korea and China. Chinese call it Cho Haku Zan. Koreans consider this mountain holy.


Paek-Tu is 2,744 meters tall, almost as tall as Japan's Mount Fuji. It is topped by a caldera lake, "Heaven's Pond." There is a Chinese rumor of a dinosaur in the lake, like "Nessie," the Loch Ness monster.


While the acupuncture technique described above, dulzuck berries and Paek-Tu Mountain are all very real, there is nothing to preclude a GM from throwing one or more fictional elements into a dim mak cure, since dim mak itself may be fictional. I dare say, should someone hit me hard enough to cause internal bleeding, and I die later, is that not a death touch?

Most doctors today, and in antiquity, are not familiar with Dim Mak, even traditional Eastern healers. Here are suggested modifiers to Eastern (Chinese, Korean, etc.) Healing.


· Symptoms are known to be caused by a Dim Mak blow, +1 (credit: George King, 11/14/09)


  • Complementary Skill Rolls: KS: Dim Mak, KS: Chi, KS: Black Medicine, etc.
  • Standard Task Resolution: 5 hours, a major operation, -0
  • Never treated or assisted treatment in Dim Mak, -2
  • Treated or assisted treatment of Dim Mak once within several years, -1
  • Treated or assisted treatment of Dim Mak this year, -0
  • Treated or assisted treatment of Dim Mak this month, +1
  • Unaware of the very existence of Dim Mak, -5
  • Never saw Dim Mak, -2
  • Never read extensive treatise on curing Dim Mak, -3

Of course, all mods are cumulative.


In many games, the existence of Dim Mak is most secret. Contra wise, in some cinematic martial arts games, many people with white eyebrows are immediately suspect as Dim Mak practitioners. GMs who want to enforce the secretiveness of Dim Mak in period games may refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dim_mak

which states that Dim Mak is fictional and cites first use in 1950s wuxia novels.

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Re: Diagnosis: Dim Mak


There is more than one correct definition for Dim Mak, and, arguably, more than one type of Dim Mak. Some types of Dim Mak may require different or additional components for best healing attempts. For example, Vibrating Palm may require a piezo element to absorb the harmful pulsing, such as


Berlinite, (AlPO4), a rare phosphate mineral that is structurally identical to quartz

Cane Sugar


Rochelle Salt


Tormaline-group minerals

Dry bone, teeth (dentin and enamal) or tendon



or various modern man-made substances

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Re: Diagnosis: Dim Mak


Another Modifier found in the write up of marial arts master Fen Lo, of San Angelo's Dragon's Gate Chinatown -

Dim Mak (1d6 BODY Drain, END Cost 1, Uncontrolled, Continuous, can be stopped by KS: Chinese Healing roll at -5) -

this mod matches the - 5 PER roll needed to spot someone who successfully used Stealth from old editions of Champions.

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Re: Diagnosis: Dim Mak


While wikipedia states that Dim Mak is fictional and cites first use in 1950s wuxia novels, a large percentage of the people killed by brain trauma or various other injuries do not die right away but rather days to weeks after the event. Trepanning, a surgical intervention in which a hole is drilled or scraped into the human skull to relieve intracranial pressure among other ailments was sometimes effective in olden days. Wouldn't that be a scary thing to administer to a player character?

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