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Something I came up with years ago was a chart of martial arts maneuvers that cost zero points.  Using the system in the rules to construct martial arts maneuvers, I was able to create variants of the established martial arts-only moves like flash, disable, and so on which cost zero points.  Basically they are lousy untrained examples of each maneuver.

 

One of the things I relied on for some of them was to make the maneuver take a full phase; basically you can do them, but if you do them, you can't do anything else that phase since you're just not very good at it.  This fit well for moves like throws, for example.  However, going over the list, I cannot find that anywhere as a restrictive element.  The closest you can find is:

 

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Time +:  -1 point if attack takes extra segment (landing at end of next segment)

 

But that only applies to moves like Haymakers.  There is also this one, but it doesn't apply, as it requires a physical movement:

 

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Half Move Required: -1 point if maneuver requires character to make a Half Move; see text

 

And its that one that makes me think that the "takes a full phase" element wasn't included.  Requiring people to take a full phase is less restrictive than requiring them to take a full phase for the attack and move.

 

But it is clearly more restrictive to take a full phase than a half phase; its part of the rules for the Set maneuver, for example.  You can't move and set, you can't do ANYTHING and set except abilities which take no time or 0 phase maneuvers.  Similarly, Multiple Attacks requires a full phase, but that element isn't possible to purchase.  It seems like a missing portion of the martial arts build system; you can't actually make some maneuvers in the rules as written.

 

Anyway I'll get the full chart here and upload it when I'm done.  I will probably use the Time+ element, even though its not really what I have in mind.

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Here is the chart of the 0 cost martial arts for your use if you choose.  This allows people to try ANY martial arts maneuver, they're just going to be much weaker at it and not very effective.

 

But it also lets you build martial artists around extra damage and levels rather than maneuvers: everyone gets these, and then you're extra good at them.

 

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I might use some of these that were common in a particular genre or time period. Outside of a Marital Arts campaign they seem to be a bit overpowered for default maneuvers that you can add DC's and grouped CSL's to via martial arts (for which they have paid nothing?).

 

Just to compare a few:

Free Legsweep versus Trip standard maneuver: Trip is -1/-2. Legsweep is -0/-1. Both cause target to fall, Legsweep does strike damage as well. 

Free Shove versus Shove standard maneuver: Same except martial gains 10 STR for shove.

Free Grappling Throw versus Throw standard maneuver: Same except martial gains +1d6 to damage.

 

Also, Killing Strike versus Killing Throw: Why are these the same penalties with different effects?

Another one that seems too easy is Weapon Bind, I have friends who do various types of martial combat tell me this is a pretty difficult maneuver to pull off against an opponent of similar experience. -2 DCV does not make it seem difficult at all.

 

In any case, these seem to be generally better than the standard combat maneuvers which are the default, it's good to see the variety but I would not make them defaults. I realize these are completely optional in any case since they violate the standard rules for creating martial maneuvers (minimum 3 point cost), just wanted to caution others who might not have the Martial Arts source books.

 

- E

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Yeah there are a lot of inconsistencies in the maneuvers. I found at least three that were built completely wrong by the rules (cost 6-8 points, but only charged 4 or 5).  I think a revamp of the entire maneuver chart is in order, personally.  These were all built strictly to the rules as written in the 6th edition Martial Arts book, to result in a cost of 0 points (although as you say technically no martial arts maneuver can cost 0 points according to the rules).

 

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Another one that seems too easy is Weapon Bind, I have friends who do various types of martial combat tell me this is a pretty difficult maneuver to pull off against an opponent of similar experience. -2 DCV does not make it seem difficult at all.

 

Yeah -2 OCV probably is a better build; same cost.

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7 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Eepjr24 you are allowed to build custom maneuvers that cost from 0-1 pts and make it a free maneuver. Bind and Flail maneuver are two examples.

 

6e Martial Arts, pg 92

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COST RESTRICTIONS
When you create a Martial Maneuver, there’s an important rule you have to follow:
No Maneuver Can Cost Less Than 3 Points or More Than 5.

 

The bold and size there are not my interpretation or emphasis, they appear that way in the book.

 

So while each of us can do whatever we want in our own campaigns, the official rules do not allow it. Also, as far as I know there is no martial equivalent of the Flail element. While Bind is introduced as a zero point optional maneuver in FH 6e it does not add STR. Flail is not zero points in 6e FH, it is bought as a naked Indirect advantage with limitations for the weapon (6e FH, 193).

 

- E

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14 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

I haven’t had a chance to look over CT’s chart so his free maneuvers many very well be out of cost. 

I did not rebuild them, but his points looked pretty much in line except for the 3 point thing.

 

- E

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This entire list is predicated on the idea that Maneuvers start at 0 Points and elements add up to Points. Which they don't. They start at 3 Points and Elements add/reduce points until you reach 3 to 5 and achieve the desired effect.

 

Take the Everyman Trip: -1OCV/-2DCV, Target Falls

 

It's a 3 Point Maneuver with the Base: Throw, costs 3 Points. Hero made it cost 0 (and an everyman maneuver) by getting -3 worth of Elements then applying the System Fiat "Costs 0, Everyone can do it."

 

Every single maneuver in your list costs 3 Points by the rules. Not 0.

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4 minutes ago, ghost-angel said:

This entire list is predicated on the idea that Maneuvers start at 0 Points and elements add up to Points. Which they don't. They start at 3 Points and Elements add/reduce points until you reach 3 to 5 and achieve the desired effect.

 

This is certainly news to me.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

And to the palindromedary

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So, the bit eepjr24 pointed out about the costs of Maneuvers being 3-5 only has been around since the Build-A-Maneuver concept was introduced in the original Ninja Hero. It's always been a core tenant.

 

5th Edition was really the version to codify the concept of Base + Element (NH4E started with everything as a Strike), but 4E still had a 3 Point Floor.

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This entire list is predicated on the idea that Maneuvers start at 0 Points and elements add up to Points. Which they don't. They start at 3 Points and Elements add/reduce points until you reach 3 to 5 and achieve the desired effect.

 

You're misunderstanding the way the rules are written.  You can (and I did) literally build each of the maneuvers specifically with the different elements to their costs in the book except for a few old ones that were grandfathered in.  That's how I came up with the 0 point cost, by reducing the cost of each one to zero then checking the cost against the element builds.

 

When it says each can cost no less than 3, it means that the minimum cost is 3, not that each one starts at 3.  Go ahead and monkey around with the list of abilities and you'll find they're just built using elements starting at 0 cost.  However, as I noted in the post above, each one should (by the rules) cost 3 points simply because you're not supposed to be able to buy maneuvers lower than 3 points by the rules

 

This is just a list that shows what these maneuvers would be if bought down to 3 points, and I would suggest that as a GM you can use them as maneuvers which do not require purchase, as they are crappy versions of good maneuvers which again as noted above allows a different approach to martial arts which focuses instead on levels and damage instead of maneuvers.

 

In my opinion the free base maneuvers should be built using the same system, and aiming for a base point value for each of them so that you get consistent results rather than arbitrarily changing the list of martial arts builds.

 

*Edit: an alternate system might be to require a 1 or 2 point familiarity with Martial Arts to be able to "unlock" these maneuvers.  They allow several kind of fancy things like weapon bind and moving disarms and such which are a bit fancier than the untrained person would not realistically be able to attempt.

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8 hours ago, eepjr24 said:

I did not rebuild them, but his points looked pretty much in line except for the 3 point thing.

 

- E

Didn’t say you did. Sorry for the confusion. I was stating that by RAW a GM can design maneuvers are free but by the system build, they work out to 0-1 pts.

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9 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

You're misunderstanding the way the rules are written.

 

I'm not the one misunderstanding. Sorry, but you have completely misinterpreted the rules.

 

Now, some of the old legacy maneuvers may not cost right by the time building maneuvers was introduced into the game (and thus got grandfathered in as is); but I assure I am not misinterpreting anything at this point. Your Crush maneuver, the first in your list, costs 3 Points, not just because that's the minimum, but because you have done nothing to reduce it beyond the 3 Points used to buy the Base.

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I wouldn't consider this as a Martial Arts package per se, but as a guideline in combat when a player wants to do something different in combat.  For instance, the Flying Tackle is a classic manuever that isn't really covered in standard manuevers so it is useful to be able to assign some OCV & DCV penalties to it.  I think anything that encourages creativity in combat is probably a good thing.

 

I could also see using these manuevers for martial artists who didn't have enough points to get all the manuevers they wanted in their martial arts package.  They might be familiar with a Crush manuever but they aren't skilled enough to perform it well.  I might also let character buy a Familiarity with Martial Arts so they can use these manuevers, with the eventuality that they will purchase a full martial arts package when they have the points.

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Your Crush maneuver, the first in your list, costs 3 Points, not just because that's the minimum, but because you have done nothing to reduce it beyond the 3 Points used to buy the Base.

 

No, martial Arts do not cost 3 points as a base.  Allow me to demonstrate, using the system, building a martial arts maneuver in the rules.  I'll use Crush, since you mentioned it, and its not one of the ones miscosted in the book:
 

Crush:   ½phase; +0 OCV;  +0 DCV;  Strength damage +4d6; Must Follow Grab; 4 points

Here are the cost of all these different elements:

+0 OCV: 0 points

+0 DCV: 0 points

Strength Damage: 0 points

+4d6 damage: 6 points (2 points for the first 2d6, 2 points each for every 1d6 past that)

Must Follow Grab Maneuver: -2 points

TOTAL COST: 4

 

As you can see, there is no 3 point base cost that all martial arts start at.  Reducing the cost of a Crush maneuver by lowering the damage and other elements by 4 points does not cause this to reduce to 3 points, it causes the cost to reduce to 0 points.

 

Minimum cost means "no matter how much you buy this down, you still have to pay 3 points."  It does not mean "everything costs 3 points and you pay more for every element you add to that."  If everything cost 3 points as a base cost, then every maneuver would be 3 points more expensive, and would bust through that 5 point cap immediately.  If everything cost 3 points, the was built above that, Crush would cost SEVEN POINTS.

 

According to the rules each 0-cost maneuver should be a minimum 3 points but I've already covered that twice above.

 

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I think therea a Semantics gap. 

 

The rules say Martial Maneuvers cost a Minimum of 3 pts. 

 

There are non martial plain old combat maneuvers that are free.  I skimmed (admitting that up front; I did not do a detailed re-read) the rules last night, and I don't see anything separating the two beyond "characters who are martial artists"  and "martial arts skill" and the like. 

 

There doesn't seem to be a hard rule defining what is a martial maneuver and what is a combat maneuver.  This is further clouded by the presentation that any fighting style down to barroom brawling may be taken as a "martial art." 

 

From all I could see, there is nothing in the book disallowing the creation of infinite free maneuvers or categorizing them as "martial" and "non-martial" beyond defining them as such when they are created. 

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I like the concept, but this list, and some of the maneuvers offer way too much flexibility to offer to everyone for free.  Maybe it might be appropriate in certain types of campaigns, like a Noir Hero where everyone has some familiarity with HtH fighting.  Many of these are not necessary or appropriate for a non-trained fighter.  For example:

 

Escape - you can already attempt an escape from a grab for free.  Your maneuver allows a free +5 STR that an untrained fighter really doesn't deserve.  The -1 DCV doesn't mean much, since you're already grabbed.

Reversal - a normal person can already do a reversal:  First, you escape from the grab, then you grab.  If you want to do this as one maneuver, you have to have some martial arts training.

Shove - a normal person can use his STR to shove.  He shouldn't get any extra STR in exchange for OCV/DCV penalties.  He hasn't paid for that extra flexibility in his combat choices.

 

Likewise with all the various strikes.  Non-martial artists use normal strikes.  They don't know how to do nerve strikes and joint breaks and killing strikes, etc.

 

There are a few that seem good to me, since they're reasonably realistic for an untrained person to attempt:

 

Flash - anybody can try to poke someone in the eye.

Flying Grab - 

Flying Tackle - 

Grappling Block - 

Sacrifice Throw - These all seem like realistic things an untrained fighter might try to do to stop an adversary from pushing The Big Red Button.  As long as you've got working arms and legs, you can try to do these things.  Just like you might take a flying lunge to try to catch the priceless Ming vase or test tube full of SuperVirus before it breaks on the floor.

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Hello, Phil!

 

Lord, it's been _ages_ since I've seen something from you! :D

 

 

 

Let's establish the hated fact up front, so we can all get the boo-ing and hissing out of the way and go straight to the pitchforks and torches:

 

Martial Arts in the HERO system is flippin' _pointless_.  It is absolutely _nothing_ more than the allocation of Skill Levels and damage elements.  The newer the edition, the more pointless it actually becomes: between hardwiring concepts like naked advantages, extra damage with links and triggers and yadda-yadda-  and even making penalty skill levels a real book-approved thing, Martial Arts has even less place in the system then it ever has before.

 

Sure: it's cool to say "I use my held action to do a double flying piñata smasher then use my phase to do a triple ultra-sault and bring my heel down in my trademark Gopher Divot maneuver!"

 

At least, I'm told it's cool.

 

Martial arts in the HERO system, from it's inception, has been nothing more than paying points for special effect, and it flies in the face of everything else in the entire system.  Maybe it was popular when it was introduced because "Oh sweet!  Now I can build a Ninja!" or maybe it was taken as inviolable because it was yet another Gospel according to Allston.  I don't know.

 

But it's unnecessary and overpriced, and always has been.  Buy ten maneuvers, half with some CV adjustment, half with some extra damage elements.

 

Compare that to a couple of skill levels with H-t-H and a couple of dice of STR "Not for lifting."

 

The entire thing is screwy, yet we are unable to let it go.  The mechanic is applying skill levels and PSLs and some extra damage: the same thing you do if you _don't_ have a martial artist or a martial maneuver; the difference being you didn't pay by the trick.

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

 

Let's establish the hated fact up front, so we can all get the boo-ing and hissing out of the way and go straight to the pitchforks and torches:

 

But it's unnecessary and overpriced, and always has been. 

 

 

Pitchforks and torches are not necessary. What's necessary is to point out that no, Martial Arts are not OVER priced, they are UNDER priced.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

And a priceless palindromedary

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Martial Arts are priced with a bizarre scheme.  It's halfway to a multipower.  You can only use one maneuver at once, so each one is noticeably discounted.  But there's no reserve cost, so each one has the cost spiked compared to an actual multipower. 

So if you buy the magic correct amount it's properly priced.  Buy less and you pay too little.  Buy more and you pay too much. 

 

So yes, MA is both underpriced and overpriced at once!  What a trainwreck. 

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39 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

So yes, MA is both underpriced and overpriced at once!  What a trainwreck. 

 

 

Thank you so much for that.  Every now and again, something gives me that Zoolander moment:  "I feel like I'm taking _crazy pills_!"

 

Martial Arts has been doing it to me for year, but it's such a sacred cow for the bulk of the fandom that I don't poke it very often.  It's easy enough to just ignore (and in the last three editions, ignoring it has saved me the cost of an entire book or two each edition!)

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