Xian Tai Chi Ch'uan
Entrance Requirements: No Attribute or Alignment restrictions.
Skill Cost: 15 Years (6 Years as a Secondary Martial Art Form)
This is the most common martial art form in the world. Tai-Chi Ch'uan is also the national exercise program of China, practiced by young and old every morning. It takes many years of study before it becomes a practical combat technique, but the time is well used in, the development of Chi. A master will appear to move in slow-motion. Never hurrying, always seeming to anticipate the opponent's attacks with gentle parries and an occasional open palm shove (see below). The physical movements of Xian Tai Chi Chuan consist of measured steps, slow sweeping turns, and wide graceful sweeps. However, with Xian Tai Chuan it is revealed that the point of these movements is not simply self-defense. No, each movement has been carefully calculated, and can be used in channeling the body’s inner Chi (Chi/P.P.E./I.S.P.). The true master, while appearing to move in slow motion, is actually sweeping up, gathering, and shaping a globe of mystical and spiritual power. Note: While P.P.E., I.S.P., and Chi are essentially the same thing in Rifts China, it’s possible for someone like a Xian Tai Chi Master to see the subtle flow of Chi, where the Chi/P.P.E. /I.S.P. is too slight to observe.
Costume: Loose cotton tunic and pants.
Stance: Rear leg bent slightly at the knee, forward leg a few inches off the ground, forward hand loosely outstretched, rear hand loosely at waist.
Add 2 to M.E.
Add 2 to M.A.
Add 2 to P.P.
Attacks per Melee: 4
Escape Moves: Roll With Punch/Fall/Impact, Maintain Balance.
Basic Defensive Moves: Dodge, Parry, Automatic Parry.
Advanced Defenses: Multiple Dodge, Automatic Dodge.
Hand Attacks: Backhand, Push Open Hand (Special! Essentially a knockdown Strike that also does 1D6 damage. Any victim failing to counter the attack will be knocked back a number of feet equal to the attacker's Chi.), Palm Strike.
Basic Foot Attacks: Kick Attack, Snap Kick, Crescent Kick.
Weapon Katas: WP Sword
Special Katas: Chi Ball Kata:
Stepping slowly forward, walking in synch with Chi flowing in the immediate area, the character works at gathering Chi, eventually pulling it together into a ball suspended between the character’s hands. To an observer, it seems that the martial artist is slowly gathering an invisible substance like a mime artist, while simultaneously performing a circular dance step. On the other hand, anyone with the ability to perceive Chi will clearly see the ball of Chi energy being assembled by the character. The Chi will be either Negative or Positive, depending on the environment and it doesn’t matter whether the character has Positive Chi, Negative Chi, or no Chi at all. Getting the ball started is the hard part. At first level, it takes four full melee rounds to get the ball formed. At third level, it only takes three melee rounds and at sixth level, just two melee rounds. From ninth level onwards, a character can start a Chi Ball in just one full melee round. Once the ball has been started, it will contain an amount of Chi equal to the background Chi of the area. As soon as the Chi Ball is released from the hands of the character performing the Kata (or, for that matter, if the character stops the Kata) the Chi Ball will start to unravel and will cease to exist within 1d10 seconds. Once brought into existence, a Chi Ball can be used in the following ways: Chi Ball Lens: Once a Chi Ball has been started, the character can look through it and see all the Chi in the surrounding area up to about 600 feet (180.3 in) away. Any creatures of Chi, the Chi in side any living beings, Chi flows or deposits, and the general amount of Negative or Positive Chi will be clearly seen through the Chi Ball This sight continues no matter what else is done, so long as the character keeps performing the Chi Ball Kata and holds onto an intact Chi Ball. Chi Ball: For each gathering melee round, the character adds an amount of Chi equivalent to the ambient Chi in the area. So, for example, if the background Chi is 5 points of Positive Chi, the Chi Ball will have 5 points of Positive Chi. After a second melee found of gathering, the Chi Ball will have 10 points, then 15 points, and so forth. The maximum that any character can gather is 100 times the local Chi level, so the Largest Chi Bail available in our example would have 500 points of Positive Chi Once the maximum is reached, the character can continue the Chi Ball Kata indefinitely, maintaining the amount of Chi that has already been gathered.
Chi Ball Defense: As a shield against Chi attacks, the Chi Ball can be used against either the same kind of Chi or against opposing Chi. A Positive Chi Ball used as a shield against an attack of Positive Chi or a Negative Chi Ball used to block Negative Chi, will just get bigger, absorbing the excess. If the amount of Chi exceeds the maximum size for a Chi Ball the extra Chi will be harmlessly expelled. On the other hand, if a Positive Chi Ball blocks Negative Chi, or if a Negative Chi Ball is attacked by Positive Chi, then the incoming Chi will destroy an equal amount of Chi in the Ball destroying the Ball if the Chi is exceeded. If the Chi Ball is destroyed, the character will have to start the process of gathering all over again.
Note: As effective as a Chi Ball might be against Chi, it is to tally useless as a shield from material attacks from fists or weapons.
Throwing or inserting: the Chi Ball. It’s also possible to use the Chi Ball as a weapon, either tossing it at a target, or pushing it right into an opponent. However, due to the fragile nature of the Chi Ball it immediately loses half of its Chi when released. Then, if thrown, it loses half of the remaining Chi within 180 feet (40.6 m), and all of the rest of the Chi after traveling 300 feet (90.1 in). So, if a Chi Ball containing 80 points of Positive Chi were inserted into a creature of Pure Negative Chi (it would require a successful Roll to Strike, with no bonuses), the creature would be infected with just 40 points of Positive Chi. If the Chi Ball where thrown at the creature, standing between 50 and 180 feet (1.5 to 4.6 m) away, the amount of incoming Chi would be just 20 points, or 10 points up to 300 feet (9.1 m) distant. Throwing a Chi Ball more than 300 feet (9.1 m) is useless, since it will dissolve beyond that point. Because the Chi Ball is more impressive before it’s thrown or inserted, many users of the Chi Ball Kata find it better to use the Chi Ball as a threat, rather than as an actual weapon. Note: If a ball has been formed discarded then the character can continue the Chi Ball Kata, and another ball can be started immediately, without having to wait the usual ‘start’ melee rounds.
Modifiers to Attacks: Pull Punch, Knock-Out/Stun, Critical Strike, Death Blow
SKILLS INCLUDED IN TRAINING
Martial Art Powers: Select a total of six (6) Powers from among Chi Mastery and Special Katas (including Chi Katas). Also select 4 Zenjorike Powers. If desired, any number of Powers can be traded, one-for-one, for any Basic Skill Programs (excluding physical).
Philosophical Training: Taoism
If this is your Primary Martial Art Form, then the following other forms can be learned in a shorter time: Taido (7 Years), Fong Ngan (4Years), Mien-Ch'uan (7 Years), or Xing-Chiao (3 Years).
LEVEL ADVANCEMENT BONUSES
1st: + 2 to Roll with Punch/Fall/Impact, +2 to pull punch.+ 2 to Dodge, Critical Strike from Behind.
l. Evoking the Chi Ball: Stepping slowly, walking in sync with the flow of Chi in the immediate area, the character works at gathering Chi, eventually pulling it together into a ball suspended between the character’s hands. To an observer it seems that the martial artist is slowly gathering an invisible substance, while simultaneously performing a circular dance step, as if the character were a mime artist. On the other hand, anyone with the ability to perceive Chi will clearly see the ball of Chi being assembled by the character. Preparation: Takes four full melee rounds (one minute).
2. Gathering Chi Ball: For each “gathering" melee round, the character adds lD4 Chi/P.P.E./I.S.P. to the Chi Ball. There is really no maximum, but if the amount of Chi/P.P.E.I.S.P. in the Chi Ball grows to larger than the user’s base Chi/P.P.E./I.S.P., it becomes too difficult to control. Once the desired amount is reached, the character can continue the Chi Ball Kata indefinitely, easily maintaining the amount of Chi that has already been gathered.
3. Chi Ball Damage: The Chi Manipulator can hold the Chi Ball (like palming a basketball) and use it to hit an opponent. While harmless to mortals, living creatures, devices, machines and robots, the Chi Ball is devastating to demons, disembodied Entities and other creatures of supernatural evil. For each 10 points of Chi/P.P.E. /I.S.P. stored in the Chi Ball, it inflicts lD6 M.D. (100 points for lD6xl0 M.D.).
2nd: + 2 to Maintain Balance, +2 to Parry/Dodge, Double the character’s Permanent Chi/P.P.E. /I.S.P. Base.
3rd: Double Existing Chi.
Chi Ball Lens: Once a Chi Ball has been started, the character can then look through the Ball and see all the I.S.P. and I.S.P. based phenomena in the surrounding area (up to about 60 feetflil.3 m away). Any creatures containing Chi or l.S.P., as well as dragon lines and Entities of the supernatural or spiritual will be clearly seen through the Chi Ball. This sight continues no matter what else is done, so long as the character keeps looking through an intact Chi Ball. Chi/P.P.E. /I.S.P. Cost: 3 to activate lens effect.
4th: +1 to Strike/Parry/Dodge, Critical Strike on Natural 19 or 20, Xian Tai Chi Chuan Meditation Advancement #1: +2 to I.Q., M.E., and M.A. Attributes.
5th: Select One (1) Additional Martial Art Power from Chi Mastery, or Special Katas, +1 to damage and +1 to parry, Chi Ball Defense: As a shield against I.S.P. and magical attacks, the Chi Ball can be used to absorb psychic, mystical, spiritual, spectral, or demonic energies and other non-physical attacks. Note: As effective as a Chi Ball might be against Chi, psionics and magic, it is totally useless as a shield from attacks from physical weapons, bullets, lasers, and (non-magical) energy blasts. M.D.C.: Equal to the I.S.P. stored within the Chi Ball. Chi/P.P.E. /I.S.P. Cost: 4.
6th: +1 to Roll with Punch/Fall/Impact, +1 to Parry/Dodge. +2d6 Chi/I.S.P./P.P.E., Evoke Chi Ball in just one melee round.
7th: Double Existing Chi, + 1 to Strike, +2 to roll with punch/fall/Impact, +2 to pull punch.
Chi Ball Calm: Using the Chi Ball to instill looseness or relaxation, the character is resistant to fear, horror, panic, and other ailments of the mind. Bonus of +5 to save vs. Horror Factor and other types of fearful emotions, at least so long as the character holds the Chi Ball. Chi/P.P.E. /I.S.P. Cost: 2.
8th: +1 Attack per Melee, + 2 to Maintain Balance, Add 5D6+30 points to the character’s Permanent I.S.P. Base.
9th: Add One (1) Zenjorike Power, +2 to Maintain Balance, Xian Tai Chi Chuan Meditation Advancement #2: +1 to M.A. attribute, and +2 to save vs. Horror Factor.
10th: Select One (1) Additional Martial Art Power from Chi Mastery, or Special Katas, +1 to dodge, +2d6 Chi/I.S.P./P.P.E.
Second Chi Ball Formation: Can create two Chi Balls simultaneously, Evoke Chi Ball in just one melee Action.
11th: Double Existing Chi.
' 'Chi Ball Levitation: Willing the Chi Ball to rise, the character is able to levitate with it by holding onto it with his hands or standing on it like an invisible elevator platform. Maximum Height is 500 feet (152 m) per level of experience. I.S.P. Cost: 10.
12th: +1 to Roll with Punch/Fall/Impact, +1 to parry or Dodge, +1 to strike and +1 on initiative, Add 4D6+20 Chi/P.P.E. /I.S.P. to the character’s Permanent Chi/P.P.E. /I.S.P. Base.
13th: +1 to parry or dodge, + 2 to Maintain Balance, Knockout/Stun on Natural 19 or 20, Throwing the Chi Ball: It’s also possible to use the Chi Ball as a thrown weapon, so it arcs directly through an opponent, and then continues around to return to its owner. Mega-Damage: To demons and other creatures of supernatural evil, the ball inflicts 2D8 M.D.C./chi used on a glancing blow, and a full SDIO M.D. from a solid hit (it goes all the way through the victim’s body). Harmless to animals, humans, machines, and those not possessed by evil spirits. : +2 to strike, plus any other bonuses to strike from attributes or skills. Range: 100 feet per level of experience. Chi/P.P.E. /I.S.P. Cost: l0 per thrown ball.
14th: Select One (1) Additional Martial Art Power from Chi Mastery, or Special Katas. +1 Attack per Melee, Add 6D6+20 Chi/P.P.E. /I.S.P. to the character’s Permanent Chi/P.P.E. /I.S.P. Base.
15th: Add One (1) Zenjorike Power, Double Existing Chi, impervious to mental illusions while holding the Chi Ball and +5 to save vs. magical illusions.
Why Study Xian Tai Chi Ch'uan?
While far from the most powerful of combat forms, Tai-Chi nevertheless provides strong Chi power to its students.