Friday, May 26, 2023

GLOG Class: The Martial Artist - A Blogswap In Collaboration With FifthDragon

Fifthdragon did most of this. His blog can be found here:

GLOG Class: Martial Artist
Starting Skills (1d6):
1) Riddles
2) Meditation
3) Balance
4) Endurance Running
5) Painting & Calligraphy
6) Dance
Starting Equipment: Flowing unhindering robes (as unarmored), 20 ft of thin rope belt, shaving razor, letter of recommendation from your previous master, skilled but unscrupulous rival (Isn't it fun when you get a relationship or something else that's not literally equipment as part of your starting equipment? - semiurge wrote this)

A: Backhand Strike, Eternal Student
B: Chi, Unlocking the Gate
C: Candlesmoke Prana, +1 Chi
D: Temple-Shattering Insight, +1 Chi


Backhand Strike: If you make a successful maneuver against an enemy combatant, you may also make a free unarmed attack against them. What is a maneuver, and how do you succeed? Perhaps the answer lies in FifthDragon's GLOG. Uh ok how about you make a contested stat roll (like in Many Rats on a Stick) to trip, shove, grapple, etc., your target in lieu of an ordinary attack - it's contested strength if it's raw strength, dexterity if it's something tricky, constitution if it requires endurance.

Eternal Student: Whenever you defeat an enemy combatant in a fair fight, you may formalize your insights against them into a Stance. Choose an identity of your defeated opponent and then name your Stance and write it down somewhere. After that, you may as an intelligence-based maneuver (!maneuver again!) adopt that stance whenever you please, and it is obvious to regular people that you are a kung fu dude and to kung fu dudes exactly what stance you are in.

You get +2 defence and +2 to attack or perform maneuvers against enemy combatants the Stance is strong against. For example, you defeat a gnoll thief named Steve. After the fight, you note the Scorpion Stings the Nose Stance, which gives you +2 to fighting gnolls. Alternatively, you could note the Watchful Hound Stance, which gives +2 vs. thieves, or the Humility-Breaking Fist Stance, which gives +2 vs. people named Steve.

Those trained in martial arts can trivially overcome these stances by changing their own- you and other kung fu dudes can get a Stance's +2 bonuses against a martial artist regardless of identity, but only for the round you switch to it, and you get a -2 penalty afterwards as they learn to overcome it. You may know any number of Stances and be in only one at a time. 


Chi: Through inner centering and mastery of each individual muscle and nerve of your body, you can consciously control the flow of life energy throughout yourself and turn it to other means. You start with a maximum of 4 Chi, -1 for each object worth more than a fresh apple in your inventory. Valuable possessions weigh down your thoughts and focus your energy around themselves, disrupting the delicate patterns necessary for kung fu shit. Your starting items from this class are below this limit.

You may spend 1 Chi to immediately reroll a failed check to high jump, balance, do flips, catch a fly with chopsticks, run up walls, or otherwise do crazy kung fu shit. When you take a long rest or meditate unmoving for an hour in a location of spiritual significance, you regain all lost Chi.

Unlocking the Gate: You are initiated into the secrets of the Martial Schools. The letter of recommendation from your previous master contains within it encoded katas (that you can now read) that will teach you one technique from their school (roll 1d6 on their school’s table), and you may contact them to learn more. You may also learn more by: defeating significant kung fu opponents and learning their techniques through combat; seeking out ascetic or mendicant masters and learning from them; receiving revelations through significant study of the natural world and its secrets; acquiring secret scrolls of kung fu hidden within temples or dungeons; being gifted divine inspiration by gods or spirits as rewards for your help.

If you are still an active student of a school and pay obedience to a master, they often teach one technique of their school each time you acquire a new template, as you prove yourself more capable of handling kung fu’s devastating power.


Candlesmoke Prana: You have trained your Chi to keep your body in perfect balance. You may run along any surface, even ones that will not support your weight, so long as you do not stop moving. You could run along laundry lines, treetops, a hail of arrows, the tops of a crowd’s heads, etc., and balance a perfectly full teacup in each hand without spilling. By spending 1 Chi, you may run along things that are not surfaces, like water, candlesmoke, spiderwebs, or fire, for three rounds or until you stop moving, whichever comes first.


Temple-Shattering Insight: You may learn the secret 7th techniques of each school, though you still must be gifted or discover them as usual. You may also invent your own techniques, given a week of seclusion, a source of inspiration such as a natural feature, a recent epic battle, or the accoutrements of a philosophy, and the GM’s approval. You may formalize these creations into their own school , and other masters may give you the respect deserved of a kung fu school’s founder.

Martial Arts Schools:

Mountaintop School:
Granite Pillar of Love Style

1. Guarding Mountain Breaks the Storm: Your glance is like a palm of chiseled stone, your love like a twenty-foot statue. Once per round you may interpose yourself between one attack and its intended target, becoming the new target. You do not actually need to be adjacent, nor does your body move in a physical way. If you hold a bond of love towards the target, you may spend 1 Chi to harden that love into a skin of granite, reducing the damage by 1d4. Like granite, your love may chip or crack if the blow is strong enough.

2. Lips-on-Marble Attitude: Compassion is the bedrock of our world, the universe’s first kiss telling us “I want you to exist.” You never injure or kill a target you attack if you do not intend to, no matter the injury or weapon. If you dropped a mountain on your opponent, it would crack in half before it split their skin. By spending 1 Chi, you may focus the universe’s love for you in the same way. No thing that man did not shape out of hate or fear can harm you for one round. This means you could walk through an erupting volcano or have a building collapse on top of you, but a dagger would still cut you just the same.

3. Statue-Shaping Chisel Fist: If you kill your enemies they remain your enemies. If you love your enemies, you defeat them once and for all. Combatants you defeat must save vs CHA to attack living things for one day after their defeat as you teach them the compassion the world may hold for those who return it. Additionally, you may use your Chi to shatter the defenses around your target’s heart chakra like a sculptor strikes a statue from stone. Spend 1 Chi as you make an attack to deal an additional 1d4 of damage on a hit. A target dealt additional damage this way must save vs CHA to attack living things until your next turn.

4. Boulder Becoming Pebble Method: The world will turn and the sun will rise on the day that you die, and you know this well. The universe you build today will continue after you are gone, and it thanks you for that work. Non-magical manufactured weapons that critically fail an attack roll against you shatter before they touch you, as their spirits rebel against their cause and join the side of love. By spending 1 Chi and touching a weapon, you may speak to it and convince it to become something else. Daggers become soup ladles, swords become umbrellas, spears become walking staves, halberds become a lantern-lighter’s pole. Non-magical manufactured weapons receive no save, and powerful magical items must be argued with to change, which often takes more than one round of discussion.

5. Stars Embrace the Mountains Grasp: Your compassion for those around you, enemy or no, radiates out of you like starlight, and to be too close to it melts hatred and fear like snow from a mountaintop in spring. At the end of each round you have an enemy grappled, roll 1d8. If you roll equal to or over that target’s current HP, they surrender and lay down their weapons. By spending 1 Chi, you may make a special grapple maneuver against a target. If it succeeds, you cannot harm your target and they cannot harm you for one full round. You may spend an additional Chi at the beginning of your turn to extend this effect for an additional round. 

6. Seven-Thousand-Stone Wall Strike: Like many bricks forming one wall, each thought of love alloys itself around your fist until it is shimmering with power. If you have not moved since the beginning of your last turn, your unarmed attacks deal an additional 1 damage. You may pay 1 Chi and make an unarmed attack to increase this damage to 1d4 and to send your target flying 5 feet back for each point of damage dealt.


Your love has grown heavier and heavier over the years, drawing in the universe around it by its gravity. It sits like a mountainheart in the center of your Chi and the world revolves around it. By spending 4 Chi, you manifest your love as an immense, 100 foot tall 250 metric ton warrior of stone that shimmers into being behind you. For as long as you concentrate on nothing but the absolute necessity of your actions, you weigh as much as the statue, the statue mimics your actions perfectly, and you cannot move from your location in the cosmos, though you may move the world in relation to you with ease , which to an observer may superficially resemble you walking. If two masters of the Granite Pillar style use this ultimate technique at the same time, they may cause enormous earthquakes and rips in the fabric of reality as the universal weight of their love tears existence like paper. - this seems crazy for 4 Chi... any amount you could get really... t. semiurge

Brothel School:
Smiling Courtesan Style

The body is not sacred.
It can be bought and sold.
The body is not whole.
It can be dismembered.
The body is meat,
and the body is holes
Holes that were there before my hand was,
and holes to be eaten by worms there.
Show me a child and I see a pork bun.
No more delectable than one made from any piglet,
and worth no more sold on the street.
Now go sell some holes.

Any student of the Smiling Courtesan style has perfect at-will contraception through immaculate internal muscle control.

1. Gentle Slaughter: You can make your unarmed sneak attacks painless. Your target will feel your touch, but they may not realize you've injured them. Those you've killed with Gentle Slaughter show no indication of what's killed them without an extensive autopsy. Spend 2 Chi each to attack additional targets within range with an unarmed sneak attack.

2. Flowing Silk Curtain: You get +4 to sneak attacks, sleight-of-hand (slipping poison into a drink, etc.) while dancing to music. Elaborate costumes and cosmetics don't count against your Chi limit.

3. Cactus Blossoms Drifting: If you're embracing someone else while falling, save to transfer any fall damage you might've taken to them. Spend Chi to get +2 to this save per point.

4. Rooting Out Weeds: If you get a critical hit with an unarmed attack against an enemy with genitals, you can choose to castrate them. This stuns the victim for a round, and them and anyone else who saw you do it must immediately check morale.

5. Mantis Consummation: Your stances are twice as effective against anyone who's attracted to you. You can make anyone you're having sex with save vs. death, and restore Chi points equal to their HD if you succeed in finishing them off Xenia Onatopp-style.

6. Viper Coiling Luxuriant: There's no risk of you poisoning yourself even if you do things like applying poisoned lipstick or poisoned nail polish. Penalize a target's save against poison on a 1-to-1 basis by spending Chi points. Carried poisons don't count against your Chi limit.

Ultimate Technique: Kneading Wet Clay
Take the corpse of someone you've killed, and mold it into a child of them and you, resembling and having the characteristics of any human or animal of up to 3 HD (at the cost of 2 Chi per HD). This child also possesses two exceptional characteristics, one chosen from you, and the other from your co-parent. This child obeys you as a naive child would a beloved parent. If you have more than one child in existence at once, they instinctively know this, and become possessed by murderous jealousy. This applies to children you have the normal way too.

Riverlands School:
Crane-And-Frog Style

Go down to the riverside.
Do not come back until:
You can move like water,
Catch the slipperiest eel,
Stalk among the reeds without bending them,
Swim like the cormorant,
Laze like the crocodile,
Have metamorphosed like the tadpole.
Many do not leave the riverside.
They are the true masters.

1. Yielding Reed: You are an expert contortionist. Also, spend Chi to extend your reach, 10 ft. per point - lasts one round for combat, or one 10-minute turn for less stressful exercises.

2. Water Splits Stone: Each unarmed strike from you against an enemy reduces their AC (or increases it if you're in the wetbrained la-la land of descending AC) or reduces any damage reduction they've got by one point (only for you and your unarmed strikes though). It might take ten years of continuous striking, but eventually you could even shatter indestructible adamant.

3. Frog Meditation: You can hold your breath for 10 minutes per point of constitution. Spend 1 Chi to share this ability with another for a day. If you strike a creature holding their breath with an unarmed attack, they immediately begin suffocating.

4. Twilight Phantom: While within mist or running water, you are as invisible as if you were in total darkness, and they do not obscure your sight. Spend 1 Chi to sweat out a 5ft. radius cloud of mist.

5. Dance Between Raindrops: Your defense bonus from a stance is doubled against ranged attacks.

6. Rising Salmon: Water currents have no pull on you that you don't wish them to. You are as buoyant as you choose to be. Spend 1 Chi to pull off crazy feats like swimming up a waterfall or floating up a shipwreck.

Ultimate Technique: Dragon God Mantra
Spend 4 Chi and a 10-minute turn reciting the mantra to summon up a torrential flooding rain in the surrounding hex.

Forge School:
Seven Devils Bound Style

All that is in the body of man can also be found in an ape.
Man is not the body of man.
Outside of the body of man is the world.
Man makes many works outside himself.
Man gives form to many devils, from out of his mouth, his eye, his hand.
Without man there would be no ignorance, no war.
Without man there would be no wisdom, no peace.
The world becomes a mirror of man.
This mirror does not reflect his body.
When man is rampant the world becomes a menagerie of devils.
A devil bound exquisitely in chains becomes an angel.
A man accompanied by a choir of angels is a god.
Bind your devils and ascend, o man.

1. Annealed Surface: Touching hot (though not molten) metal or coals cannot burn you. Spend 1 Chi to form a flame the size of a torch's from the friction of your skin, which you can then throw like a javelin.

2. Pin the Quavering Tongue: If someone has lied to you, your next attack against them automatically hits. If someone has broken an oath with you, your next attack against them is also a guaranteed critical. From now on you must spend 1 Chi to break your word, and it is very obvious when you lie.

3. Terror of Untamed Beasts: Stare into another's eyes and spend Chi to make them save or be frozen with fear for as many rounds as Chi you spent. If they're harmed they get another save. From now on you must spend 1 Chi to flee from a fight.

4. Reined Agony: Take 1d6 damage when making an attack to add twice that damage to your attack.

5. Exhortation of the Crownless King: Spend 1 Chi to collectively grant your followers a 4 point bonus on morale checks or saves vs. mental effects.

6. Spirit Stands Untarnished: Spend 1 Chi to hold the progression of a deleterious condition like starvation, a disease, a curse, etc. in stasis for a day.

Ultimate Technique: Evil One, You Dance In The Palm Of My Hand

Spend 2 points of Chi to negate the effect of any magic which affects you, and contain its effect within your fist. Transfer the effect to the next thing you punch.

Storm School:
Bolt From Heaven Style

Lightning is the weapon of the gods, and it strikes down the tallest trees.
Hear me, ye who stand tall among men:
I am the weapon of the gods.
If you had not offended them, they would not have sent me unto you.

1. Lightning Flash: Spend 1 Chi to act first in the initiative order for a round, or to move twice the distance you could sprint in a round in a heartbeat.

2. Branching Bolt: You can make extra unarmed attacks in a round at a cost of 1 Chi and a cumulative -2 to hit per extra attack.

3. Thunderclap Kiai: Spend 1 Chi to shout loudly enough to deafen everyone else within 30 ft., and be heard miles away.

4. Leap From Wool To Amber: If you're caught in the range of an explosion, splash of acid, or similar attack, spend 1 Chi to automatically succeed at your save to avoid or whatever and immediately move to the edge of its range.

5. Rushing Crash: If you hit an enemy after moving they take an extra point of damage for every 10 ft. you moved.

6. Ghost Killer: Your unarmed attacks can strike incorporeal enemies. Spend 3 Chi when you kill something to prevent it from rising again, being raised, or its spirit being called up.

Ultimate Technique: Earth-Shrinking Cloud Step
Spend 4 Chi to vault into the heavens, and soon after land safely anywhere under the sky. Familiarity with the landing zone is required to have any accuracy. Anyone you manage to land on does not share your safety.

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