Martial Artist O.C.C.
The orient has a long tradition study in the way and form of fighting. The martial arts are the result of thousands of years of study, intuition and evolution. Some methods are secrets passed from generation to generation others are taught publicly to many students but all represent the perfect use of mind, body and spirit to achieve an end. Most equate this to the synergy between the martial artist and the rise of magic in the world. But martial artists have been teaching and using these incredible powers for centuries before the coming of the rifts. What makes them special is their use and understanding of these long forgotten energies that are only now apparent to all. Martial arts training usually begins at an early age and takes up most of the students time. Most dedicated martial artists start before the age of 12 and continue to study and practice for the rest of their lives. Most masters are old men well over fifty.
All martial arts require years of study and practice to master. The martial arts represented in Rifts Japan are quickform studies and any martial arts can be studied in less time than that stated in Ninja's and Superspies but students of consumer martial arts are not as accomplished as those who are dedicated to the study of their chosen form. The martial artist described here is the dedicated martial artist who has spent most of his formative years learning these techniques from masters in the arts. This O.C.C. can be easily modified to represent people from the New Empire of Japan who have taken up arms in defense of their nation, peasant warriors not of the ninja clans. Many masters and Dojo's survived the coming of the Rifts and were even better prepared to combat the supernatural menaces that came through. From these schools arose the samurai and ninja clans and even today many unaffiliated dojo's still exist outside the Empire.
Special Abilities of the Martial Artist 1. Martial Arts: The martial artist can choose any two martial arts forms from Ninja's and Superspies. Exclusive forms cost double so only one can be chosen. Non-martial artists can only learn one form and even then do not benefit from the years of training that a martial artist must endure. Non-martial artists do not receive Martial Art Powers, Skills included in training or Philosophical training. A note on the styles included in Rifts Japan: Zanji Shinjinken-Ryu and Ninjitsu are exclusive forms in the New Empire however in the Republic of Japan they can be learned through martial arts schools, but these schools do not teach Martial Art Powers, cultural or philosophical skills. Some do teach physical and survival skills but students must spend from their 'other' skill selections to have them. The form of Aikido represented in Rifts Japan is a commercial form looked down upon by practitioners of the 'true' form.
2. Martial Arts Powers: All the martial art forms from Ninja's and Superspies provide their practitioners with Martial Art Powers. The descriptions for those powers presented in Rifts Japan take precedence over those in Ninja's and Superspies on all magic rich worlds. Some notes on powers not covered in Rifts Japan do need to be made however. Chi Mastery powers are all mystic powers that do mega damage to supernatural creatures. Chi combat is completely compatible with P.P.E. and negative Chi destroys P.P.E. at the same rate. Only undead will naturally possess negative Chi and are immune to negative Chi attacks. Chi healing can restore MDC at the rate of one MDC per point. All attacks involving Chi cannot be regenerated by supernatural creatures for 1d4 hours per point of Chi used in the attack. A Fist Gesture would inflict damage and could not be regenerated for 8d4 hours. One Finger Chi affects characters in power armor or Robots. The Martial Arts Techniques and Special Katas remain unchanged. Atemi Abilities also remain unchanged except that against supernatural opponents damage is mega damage. The power of Dim Mak requires special attention however. Once a creature, whether natural or supernatural, has been afflicted with Dim Mak it cannot regenerate at all. Only natural and scientific methods can be employed to heal the creature, and once P.P.E. has been reduced to zero, even these are ineffective. This power is especially devastating to Alien Intelligences who are P.P.E. vampires and to the manifestations of gods. Being unable to acquire more P.P.E. they wither or die in a matter of hours. Wizardly methods to restore P.P.E. are ineffective and only the gods of oriental pantheons will now that there exists a cure and even they will only now the cure if they are gods of darkness and have been afflicted with Dim Mak before. The cure to Dim Mak should not be a spell or some easily duplicated feat of magic. Even the greatest of gods should be tasked to the limits of his endurance to find and use the cure. It is much easier to let the manifestation die and create another.
3. Chi M.D. Death Blow (special): A death blow that draws on the character's inner spirit with mega-damage and mystical effect against oni and other supernatural beings. Can be inflicted with punch, staff or other hand weapons. Same as the samurai.
4. Meditation: Involves engaging the conscious mind so that the subconscious is foremost like self hypnosis. While meditating all internal resources are recovered at an accelerated rate. The martial artist recovers P.P.E. and hit points/S.D.C. at three times the normal rate. Other internal resources he may have are restored at twice the normal rate, such as I.S.P. if he is psionic. One hour of meditation can substitute for 15 minutes of sleep. Meditation is a relaxed yet alert state and while meditating the martial artist is very difficult to surprise. A bonus of +2 to initiative is gained vs. sneak attacks only. It takes an entire minute to slip into a meditative trance and it cannot be done while there are distractions.
5. P.P.E. Bonus: Martial Artists learn how to channel and focus their inner energy or Chi. As a result they tend to have large amounts of P.P.E. even though they are incapable of drawing it from Ley Lines, Ley Line Nexuses and other living creatures. Base P.P.E. is P.E. x2 plus 2d4 per level.
6. Other Bonuses: +2 to saves vs. Horror Factor and Mind Control. Also see bonuses from Martial Arts form.
Attribute Requirements: Same as Martial arts form.
O.C.C. Skills Basic Mathematics (+10%)
Language: Japanese or Chinese (98%)
Literacy: Japanese or Chinese (98%)
Computer Operation (+10%)
W.P. Two Ancient Weapons of choice.
Hand to Hand: Two Martial Arts forms or one Exclusive form.
Hand to Hand cannot be changed.
O.C.C. Related Skills: Select six other skills. plus select one additional skills at level three, one at level six, one at levels nine, twelve and fourteen. Plus many martial arts forms give bonus skills that are also part of their training. The same skill gives no additional bonuses if taken twice.
Domestic: Any (+15%)
Electrical: Basic electronics only (+5%)
Espionage: Any (+5%)
Medical: First aid and Holistic Medicine only (+5%)
Physical: Any (+15%)
Pilot Related: Any (+5%)
Rouge Skills: Any
Technical: Any (+5%)
Weapon Proficiencies: Any
Wilderness: Any (+5%)
Secondary Skills: The character also gets to select two secondary skills from the above list that do not benefit from the skill bonuses in parenthesis.
Standard Equipment: Martial Arts uniform, a belt, two sets of clothes, a canteen, food rations for fourteen days. A backpack, a small tent, a bedroll and fifty feet of high tensile (500 lb.) rope.
Personal weapons will be any ancient weapon in which he is proficient and one modern weapon. Body Armor is usually HA-4 or 5 Hiker body armor, the IA-130 Sumo or the HA 6 or 7 Frontiersman, but many who have Body hardening techniques will rely on Mega Damage transformation as their only defense against mega damage attacks.
The martial artist will generally walk from place to place disdaining the use of vehicles and horses. Of course within the Empire only Samurai are allowed to own horses and weapons so the martial artist will generally avoid them unless part of a mercenary force.
Money: Dedicated martial artist are generally poor and unskilled in anything other than fighting. Most will take jobs as couriers or bodyguards, some even become enforcers or prize fighters. Even those who have high risk/high paid jobs will tend to spend their money as fast as they get it. Starting money is 3d6x10 credits plus 2d6x100 credits in goods that can be sold on the black market.
Cybernetics: None to start and will generally avoid them though individual philosophies on mechanical augmentation might differ from martial artist to martial artist. Partial conversion cyborgs have reduced P.P.E. and use Martial Art Powers at half effectiveness and duration. Full conversion cyborgs cannot use Martial Art Powers.