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[#][F] John Mørke - 3/5/2013
Sam cw wrote:
It sounded like you were saying Martial Arts was going to be both a sub-system and an Ability in 3E, which had me worried.


Which part of that worries you and why?

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/5/2013
CycloneJoker wrote:
John Mørke wrote:


This isn't fair at all. The oldest martial arts were initially just exercises for ailing monks. You're talking a lot of history you need to pass over before they are "just" fighting styles, and then you have to squint real hard to find any that don't involve ideas like chakra, qi, breathing techniques, meditation...



Well, Pankration wasn't an exercise for ailing monks, if memory serves. emotion-5.gif More seriously; things like qigong and meditation go BEYOND the martial arts in Asian culture--they pretty much suffused sweeping elements of their lifestyles. That the martial arts as developed in those nations came to include such elements is just a consequence of that.

But like I said, I'm not interested in doing in the wizard with regards to the pop culture definition of martial arts; I fully support what you want to do with it here, do not misunderstand me. All I'm saying is that "martial arts = a formalized system by which men can be trained to fight in a specific manner" isn't in any way, shape, or form a modern invention.


The martial arts didn't begin in Greece. I will concede that people wrestled and probably punched each other for millions and millions of years before China and India existed. But the martial arts started in China and got their spiritual components from India.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/5/2013
Ferrinus wrote:
John Mørke wrote:

Melee unarmed? Nah.


But, why.


Because Melee encompasses weaponry. Why can't you use Linguistics to build a spaceship?

Ferrinus wrote:
Why would "Martial Arts" be the ability to fight in a proscribed, mystical way (but one you HAD to learn from someone or something else)


Because that's what martial arts are in the sources Exalted draws on.

Ferrinus wrote:
but also the ability to fight with your bare hands?


1e had Brawl. I think most people agree that the removal of Brawl was problematic. (I take it that you're really asking, "Why do I have to fight using a mystic spirit kung fu unarmed when I would rather not?")

Ferrinus wrote:
Meanwhile, "Melee" is the ability to fight in a proscribed, mystical way (which you learned from someone else OR came up with yourself),


Melee is not a mystic system of martial arts. You can pretend it is, but it isn't. The default of Melee is formlessness. You can't actually pass the techniques on to non Solars, and other Solars can learn them completely independently of you, a master, a scroll, etc. They are intuitive traits, not techniques.

Ferrinus wrote:
so long as those held weapons aren't kind of weird? Like, what, my character can't fight with hook sword except in a proscribed, mystical way?


Meleeing with a section staff, rope dart, and other weapons that are the sole province of martial arts and require specific stances, training, etc., is outlawed because those are properties of martial arts in a game with a Martial Arts Ability. What you're butting up against is the fact that is staring you in the face: Melee is no martial style at all, it is just how good you are with a sword (or spear, or other not-essentially kung fu weapon). Personally, as an ST, I doubt I would fuss about hook swords. I certainly would let someone do Melee Charms using a daikatana. It really just depends on how well the weapon can be used when you take away the hard-coding of stances and forms and steps. Some weapons should and some shouldn't. The rules reflect this in the limitations of Melee applicable weapons and the rules have always made sense on that score.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/5/2013
Sam cw wrote:
John Mørke wrote:
Arrakiz wrote:
I have 3 problems with John's idea.


It's not an idea, it's the correct interpretation of the ideas laid down in 1e and then rejiggered into 2e a bit strangely after they got rid of Brawl.



But is it a good idea?


It's pretty clear that the MA ability has had a troubled history. I am able to entertain an idea without accepting it, and discuss an idea without espousing it.

Sam cw wrote:
Don't all the combat Abilities have equal rights to be (or not be) Martial Arts?


Not going to say what we're doing, no matter how much you ask, lol.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/5/2013
CycloneJoker wrote:
John Mørke wrote:

Also, rather than using the legalistic interpretation of a"martial art" as any system of fighting, it is referring to the martial arts in the Asian tradition, as systems grounded in mysticism, transcendentalism, and zen ideals, not just a scientific catechism on dueling with a foil (fencing) or the system of breaking bones and winning rounds that is muay thai or to a lesser extent boxing. These last few examples fall under the modern day definition of martial arts, the legalistic definition. The one Exalted uses is the one that treats the martial arts as mystical, religious, spiritual systems as well as systems for fighting.


To be fair, the historical Asian definition of martial arts (bugei, wu, etc...) pretty much was basically any formally transmitted fighting system as well. It's not a modern invention; it's older than the pop culture definition that Exalted uses.

And to be honest? I'm fine with that; I think Exalted SHOULD use the pulpy pop-culture definition of martial arts that you're talking about here. It fits the genre and is entirely appropriate. (And if form weapons are still a thing, it won't ALL be nothing but punching and kicking anyway, though if that's the case I am exceedingly interested in seeing how it ends up interacting with the rest of the system.)


This isn't fair at all. The oldest martial arts were initially just exercises for ailing monks. You're talking a lot of history you need to pass over before they are "just" fighting styles, and then you have to squint real hard to find any that don't involve ideas like chakra, qi, breathing techniques, meditation...

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/5/2013
GSD wrote:
I reject all implications that alligators are not master martial artists. Alligators are fierce, man.
I am only being partially silly here. Bears knowing kung fu is awesome and terrifying.

(Also making your student watch tigers for days, practicing and mimicking their moves ...and then throwing your student into a pit with them, to fight to the death, is an excellent way to stunt teaching a Tiger Style charm.)


If you look at 2e from the perspective of a myth, it makes perfect sense. Someone created Mantis Style by watching a mantis fight and turned its techniques and stances into a martial art. Animals using Martial Arts rolls harmonizes with the mythic feel of the setting.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/5/2013
Arrakiz wrote:
I have 3 problems with John's idea.


It's not an idea, it's the correct interpretation of the ideas laid down in 1e and then rejiggered into 2e a bit strangely after they got rid of Brawl.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/5/2013
Sam cw wrote:
John Mørke wrote:
BrilliantRain wrote:
While I agree with the other posters, to me, the big problem with the Martial Arts Ability has been that it implicitly says that "everything that is not me is not Martial Arts." Which just seems wrong for a Kung Fu action game.


It's really not. Martial Arts as an Ability is saying "This is where systems bearing ancient tradition go; where your style adheres to strict in-style weaponry and where you may not proceed to learn pre-existing systems without a sifu, a technique scroll, etc. These are the fighting forms long since mastered and laid down, time-honored techniques such as Parallel Parking which are always the same, and which form standing systems of enlightenment based on tradition and adherence to form."

Also, rather than using the legalistic interpretation of a"martial art" as any system of fighting, it is referring to the martial arts in the Asian tradition, as systems grounded in mysticism, transcendentalism, and zen ideals, not just a scientific catechism on dueling with a foil (fencing) or the system of breaking bones and winning rounds that is muay thai or to a lesser extent boxing. These last few examples fall under the modern day definition of martial arts, the legalistic definition. The one Exalted uses is the one that treats the martial arts as mystical, religious, spiritual systems as well as systems for fighting.

What a division of the Martial Arts Ability from other combat Abilities gives you is freedom from these ideals, not ignorance of them. Solar Melee Charms do not exist in any sort of a style, they are not universally on record or on tap; you can learn them as a matter of intuition. You don't need a mentor or a scroll and you are not limited to a form weapon (and a form weapon requires the correct stance* to use it 100% of the time, which means every regular attack you roll adheres to the slashing, stabbing, striking techniques of the style). Melee has none of these limitations, so that you can interpret it any way you want to. You can completely remove the mysticism component, the style and tradition component, and treat the techniques as something you came up with, and because the Charms do not adhere to form weapon rules nor do they rely on Form charms, you can fight with no stance or any stance, you can slash in any direction or in any way. You can be all forms, no form, one form. The non MA Charms are whatever you want them to look like and wherever you want them to come from. You can do Kain's Penta Thrust one second, toss away your spear, draw your sword and do Kenshin's final attack the next, and both are using IWA. You can't do that with a Martial Arts multiattack, because one weapon will work for it and the other will not.

*If you try to use snake swords, section staves, rope darts, nunchakus, and other style specific weaponry without using their associated style stances and accepted techniques of attack and defense you will die hilariously.


That's cool, but why is all that tied to punching people? Couldn't it work just fine as a sub-system that can work with all the combat Abilities?


*Throws a smoke bomb.*

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/5/2013
LeTipex wrote:
John Mørke wrote:
Also, rather than using the legalistic interpretation of a"martial art" as any system of fighting, it is referring to the martial arts in the Asian tradition, as systems grounded in mysticism, transcendentalism, and zen ideals, not just a scientific catechism on dueling with a foil (fencing) or the system of breaking bones and winning rounds that is muay thai or to a lesser extent boxing. These last few examples fall under the modern day definition of martial arts, the legalistic definition. The one Exalted uses is the one that treats the martial arts as mystical, religious, spiritual systems as well as systems for fighting.

Hmm... I get the hints of a system where Melee is used for both weapons and unarmed combat with no particular style, and where martial arts is used for both weapons and combat with an associated form and philosophy. This could be interesting.

Am I getting warmer or not at all?


Melee unarmed? Nah.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/5/2013
BrilliantRain wrote:
While I agree with the other posters, to me, the big problem with the Martial Arts Ability has been that it implicitly says that "everything that is not me is not Martial Arts." Which just seems wrong for a Kung Fu action game.


It's really not. The intention is that Martial Arts as an Ability is saying "This is where systems bearing ancient tradition go; where your style adheres to strict in-style weaponry and where you may not proceed to learn pre-existing systems without a sifu, a technique scroll, etc. These are the fighting forms long since mastered and laid down, time-honored techniques such as Parallel Parking which are always the same, and which form standing systems of enlightenment based on tradition and adherence to form."

Also, rather than using the legalistic interpretation of a"martial art" as any system of fighting, it is referring to the martial arts in the Asian tradition, as systems grounded in mysticism, transcendentalism, and zen ideals, not just a scientific catechism on dueling with a foil (fencing) or the system of breaking bones and winning rounds that is muay thai or to a lesser extent boxing. These last few examples fall under the modern day definition of martial arts, the legalistic definition. The one Exalted uses is the one that treats the martial arts as mystical, religious, spiritual systems as well as systems for fighting.

What a division of the Martial Arts Ability from other combat Abilities gives you is freedom from these ideals, not ignorance of them. Solar Melee Charms do not exist in any sort of a style, they are not universally on record or on tap; you can learn them as a matter of intuition. You don't need a mentor or a scroll and you are not limited to a form weapon (and a form weapon requires the correct stance* to use it 100% of the time, which means every regular attack you roll adheres to the slashing, stabbing, striking techniques of the style). Melee has none of these limitations, so that you can interpret it any way you want to. You can completely remove the mysticism component, the style and tradition component, and treat the techniques as something you came up with, and because the Charms do not adhere to form weapon rules nor do they rely on Form charms, you can fight with no stance or any stance, you can slash in any direction or in any way. You can be all forms, no form, one form. The non MA Charms are whatever you want them to look like and wherever you want them to come from. You can do Kain's Penta Thrust one second, toss away your spear, draw your sword and do Kenshin's final attack the next, and both are using IWA. You can't do that with a Martial Arts multiattack, because one weapon will work for it and the other will not.

*If you try to use snake swords, section staves, rope darts, nunchakus, and other style specific weaponry without using their associated style stances and accepted techniques of attack and defense you will die hilariously.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/5/2013
BrilliantRain wrote:
While I agree with the other posters, to me, the big problem with the Martial Arts Ability has been that it implicitly says that "everything that is not me is not Martial Arts." Which just seems wrong for a Kung Fu action game.


It's really not. Martial Arts as an Ability is saying "This is where systems bearing ancient tradition go; where your style adheres to strict in-style weaponry and where you may not proceed to learn pre-existing systems without a sifu, a technique scroll, etc. These are the fighting forms long since mastered and laid down, time-honored techniques such as Parallel Parking which are always the same, and which form standing systems of enlightenment based on tradition and adherence to form."

Also, rather than using the legalistic interpretation of a"martial art" as any system of fighting, it is referring to the martial arts in the Asian tradition, as systems grounded in mysticism, transcendentalism, and zen ideals, not just a scientific catechism on dueling with a foil (fencing) or the system of breaking bones and winning rounds that is muay thai or to a lesser extent boxing. These last few examples fall under the modern day definition of martial arts, the legalistic definition. The one Exalted uses is the one that treats the martial arts as mystical, religious, spiritual systems as well as systems for fighting.

What a division of the Martial Arts Ability from other combat Abilities gives you is freedom from these ideals, not ignorance of them. Solar Melee Charms do not exist in any sort of a style, they are not universally on record or on tap; you can learn them as a matter of intuition. You don't need a mentor or a scroll and you are not limited to a form weapon (and a form weapon requires the correct stance* to use it 100% of the time, which means every regular attack you roll adheres to the slashing, stabbing, striking techniques of the style). Melee has none of these limitations, so that you can interpret it any way you want to. You can completely remove the mysticism component, the style and tradition component, and treat the techniques as something you came up with, and because the Charms do not adhere to form weapon rules nor do they rely on Form charms, you can fight with no stance or any stance, you can slash in any direction or in any way. You can be all forms, no form, one form. The non MA Charms are whatever you want them to look like and wherever you want them to come from. You can do Kain's Penta Thrust one second, toss away your spear, draw your sword and do Kenshin's final attack the next, and both are using IWA. You can't do that with a Martial Arts multiattack, because one weapon will work for it and the other will not.

*If you try to use snake swords, section staves, rope darts, nunchakus, and other style specific weaponry without using their associated style stances and accepted techniques of attack and defense you will die hilariously.

[#][F] Stephen Lea Sheppard - 3/4/2013
I keep parsing this as "Bronze age Cimmeria."

[#][F] Holden - 3/4/2013
kitsune9tails wrote:
I think an important part of the OPs question is: what do the Infernal Exalted do for the Yozis that Akuma do not?


There's an assumption here.

[#][F] Holden - 3/4/2013
No. In 1e, Alchies just had a tiny core of very excited fans (I was one of them), and then majority of the fanbase just didn't care about them at all.

[#][F] John Mørke - 3/4/2013
Gayo wrote:
John Mørke wrote:

Here's the way I see it. The setting creates the system, not vice versa. Notice how we have Archery instead of Firearms, Ride instead of Drive, and we have Sail, period? Martial arts—as in, systemized fighting styles as well as mystical routes to enlightenment—are a pillar of the setting, which is why we have the Martial Arts Ability.

It's not really helpful to the conversation when somebody looks at a single decision and goes "BAD IDEA" without saying why they think it's a bad idea. There aren't enough statements in place to even make that call, so you have to assume they're working off the idea that we're going to redo Martial Arts exactly like 2e, which is a humorous position.


As you say, it's hard to judge what 3e's MA will look and feel like at this point, and I reserve judgment until I have a lot more information -- the final book, preferably. But historically, the thing I disliked about Martial Arts (the Ability) is that the other combat skills were divided by function in a fairly literal sense, while MA was a kind of "thematic span" of fighting in general -- it was a specific flavour of fighting meant to evoke genre themes, but neither the themes in question nor (eventually) the ability itself adhered to the division we saw in the rest of the Dawn skillset. The fact that, at times, the distinction of "is this Martial Arts or [other Dawn Ability]" came down to a narrative/genre distinction seemed out of sync with the rest of the skillset, which was largely exclusive and functionally-oriented.


Care to elaborate on the distinction with specific examples?