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What do you want in a Martial Arts book?

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  • What do you want in a Martial Arts book?

    As some of you may know I've recently written a little thing about martial arts, but I'm looking to go beyond just some mere crunch. I want to go more in-depth about the world of Martial Arts in Creation with paired with crunch that isn't shit (lol, Scroll of the Monk). That said, what would interest you the most in a book about martial arts? So far I've gotten some of the following notes in my outline for the planned series of books, but any of you can think of particular point of interest I'd be happy to hear it.



    EXPANDED LOTUS CORE BOOK OUTLINE
    • History - Goes over the basic history of martial arts in Creation and the origin of the Expanded Lotus philosophy
    • Why become a Martial Artist - What makes your character want to take up the life of a martial artist? Is it a sense of purpose, revenge, escaping from the world? Talks about the nature of martial artists in Creation. Also some mechanical reasons of why you'd want to take it.
    • Life in a Dojo: Discusses what life is like inside of martial arts temples in brief. Discusses how dojo's range from isolated mountain temples in An-Teng to the gentleman's boxing clubs that exist in the Realm. Goes over the life cycle of a person in a dojo from student to Grandmaster. Also goes over things such as the economics and logistics of running and maintaining a dojo and how some dojo's manage to do such a thing. Also goes over how various rivalries can form between certain dojos.
    • Mundane vs Supernatural Martial Arts: Briefly discusses the difference between mundane and Supernatural martial arts. What it means to the mortals who decide to practice such an art to the Exalts who use it to hone their skills.
    • Original Locale Fluff: An all new original locale in Creation. Set in the mountains of An-Teng a small mountain village safeguards the legacy left by the Enlightened One and how with the arrival of the Realm opportunistic Grandmasters and play a game of chess to take control of the sleepy town before the Realm. Covers its History, Geography, Government, Economy, Fishing, the Martial Arts community, and possibly a few other sections. This is likely going to be the same size as the four sections.
    • Crunch Preview: Discusses universal keywords for all future expanded lotus MA books. Includes a smattering of charm previews that will appear in future Expanded Lotus books (If I can with STV rules anyways).
    • Art: All books will have some original art, assuming if I can rope some artists on board with it.
    INDIVIDUAL MA BOOK OUTLINES
    • History/Philosophy: An in-depth look at some of the history of the martial art before expanding upon its philosophy and what values stylists from the style hold dear.
    • Locale Information: A look into how several dojo's who practice the style around Creation. Learn about the hospitals that the Crane Stylists of the Silver Sparrow dojo or the brutal cunning of the hunter(ess)s of the Tundra Stalkers who practice Tiger style in the North. Ideally I'd go cover three locations or dojo's in locations, mostly aiming for original content (e.g.: Brand new locales over pre-existing ones). One location will be a dojo in the original Tengese locale as mentioned above, which is almost a mecca for many martial artists. Also contains unique Expanded Lotus charms of the style taught only at that dojo, helping give a bit of difference amongst the same style across Creation. The outline for this is the same as outlined in the original Tengese location. Going over history, geography, how they operate, fishing, and possibly more.
    • Expanded Lotus Charms: The Expanded Lotus version of the martial art containing everything in the document above and some additional extras (Such as Dragonblooded signature charms).
    • Artifacts: A few artifacts designed to work in conjunction with the martial art mentioned in the book.
    • Antagonists: Contains several antagonists using Expanded Lotus charms ready to use in any game. Ranging from mortals using techniques to an Exalted stylist of the set.
    So yea... and stuff. Any comments or suggestions?

    Last edited by Sandact6; 08-19-2019, 09:37 PM.


    Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
    Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

  • #2
    Belated representation for weapons that haven't gotten Martial Arts Styles.

    Katanas and paired swords got some love (and the former always had some with Fire Dragon Style). Perhaps a bit too much love for katanas in Single Point. Definitely a lot of love given to hook swords.

    What about two-handed swords?

    Or axes of any size? (Outside of my opinion that White Reaper should allow the use of poleaxes.)

    Is Earth Dragon Style really the only martial art possible for any kind of hammer?


    Native (Melee or Attribute) Charms aren't enough. Those can only be bought with one kind of XP, while Martial Arts Charms can be bought with both kinds of XP. So someone with the right weapons can buy native Charms and Martial Arts Charms for their favored weapon.

    Right now, this situation unfairly favors certain popular Melee weapons, and especially swords.

    Hummingbird Style would at least improve the situation by providing the favor to a different kind of popular sword. As would a two-handed sword style.

    Axes have always been under-served in this regard, since even hammers got Earth Dragon Style from the beginning.


    Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

    My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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    • #3
      One thing I'd like to see in the "core book" is a discussion of how martial arts interacts with more general culture in Creation. This would cover both general attitudes of different regions towards martial arts and martial artists (how do your family, friends, neighbors, and general community react when you decide to become a martial artist? Can you decide to just "be a martial artist"? Is it associated in people's minds with specific behaviors and other practices? Is there a unified view that most or all martial arts fall into in this regard, or is every art its own unique thing), and attitudes between martial artists from different styles towards one another (are different styles different subcultures? are there rivalries between styles? Or do they occupy different cultural niches that don't necessarily conflict?).

      In all this, I'd also like to see a bit less homogeneity than there was in 2e - you don't need to go down to the level of individual nations in the core book, probably, but at the very least, I'd hope to see some broad explanations that things are different in different Directions, if not smaller regions.

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      • #4
        For a Martial Arts World not to exist.

        Hear me out.

        So, in martial arts dramas you tend to have a regular world, which resembles a semi- realistic historical China, and then you have a Martial Arts World adjacent to/behind it, in which monastic temples and martial arts societies live out lives of hidden drama and soap opera. Structurally this pretty much follows the tropes of modern occult urban fantasy storytelling, except with historical China instead of modern New York/Chicago/Other City People Care About and with martial artists instead of secret vampires or fair folk or magicians or whatever—wuxia handles it differently in that all the martial arts bullshit usually isn’t secret... but it’s in its own narrative venue, the story space, and then the rest of the world is a backdrop.

        This segregation doesn’t make sense in Creation.

        Who are the most prominent and influential martial artist power bloc in Creation? Either the Immaculate Order or the Sidereals, depending on which lens you examine them with! And they don’t really give a shit about other martial arts societies unless those societies get in the way of the Immaculate/Sidereal agenda. In fact, other martial artists are pretty much the things they care least about. Immaculate Order is about keeping down would-be uppity gods, who tend not to be martial artists. Sidereals have a ton of things to do, and nursing a rivalry with the Grass Spiders ain’t one of them.

        More to the point, where wuxia stories depict a world of fantastical martial arts adventures against a backdrop of seemingly-mundane history, the parts of Creation that aren’t martial arts related aren’t mundane. Any given area with a martial arts school or academy is going to have more non-martial-arts-related trouble for the school’s adherents to get involved in than it will rival schools and secret temples.

        Exceptions exist. There are spaces in the setting carved out to to allow for classic Martial Arts Rivalry stories. Wu-Jian has its Thirteen Schools; the Dreaming Sea has its occasional clash between Immaculates and Pure Way monks seeking to prove the righteousness of their ideology via martial expression. But any attempt to portray a Creation that possesses a setting-wide Martial Arts World play venue will fail. Proceed from the assumption that no such thing exists.

        (This is one of the places where Scroll of the Monk fell down; it has a Martial Arts World but doesn’t consider how such a thing would work.)
        Last edited by Stephen Lea Sheppard; 08-19-2019, 11:21 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
          snip
          Lea, I've heard of this debate from you before and quite frankly I do not share it nor do I agree with it. Not doing it is not an option for me simply because I want to do it. If your advice is "Don't do it" then I have nothing to add to it other than rejecting it.


          Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
          Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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          • #6
            I didn’t say doing a martial arts book was bad. Let me rephrase.

            If you’re going to put a Martial Arts World dedicated play venue into the setting, think about how it works and the forces that create and sustain it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post

              Hummingbird Style would at least improve the situation by providing the favor to a different kind of popular sword. As would a two-handed sword style.
              Unfortunately there isn't a chance to do this one. Hummingbird style was holden's baby. I think releasing a fencing style would be cool, but I don't think and can't release something in good conscious that was someone else's idea/work.


              Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
              Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Stephen Lea Sheppard View Post
                I didn’t say doing a martial arts book was bad. Let me rephrase.

                If you’re going to put a Martial Arts World dedicated play venue into the setting, think about how it works and the forces that create and sustain it.
                I am. You're going to the furthest extreme possible to try and address your point. I have been reading up on wuxia and I have been reading up on martial arts in both the real world and fiction. Maybe it stretches some belief? I dunno, I don't have a crystal ball and won't know until I actually start writing it. But point is I think know how to handle such a thing otherwise in a respectful fashion otherwise I wouldn't be attempting it.


                Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
                Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                  Unfortunately there isn't a chance to do this one. Hummingbird style was holden's baby. I think releasing a fencing style would be cool, but I don't think and can't release something in good conscious that was someone else's idea/work.
                  I forgot about Holden's departure and connection to Hummingbird Style.


                  Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                  My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                  • #10
                    I think Lea may have misunderstood your question of "what do you want in a martial arts book" as talking about thoughts on something that would be officially published, rather than your personal fan work. I know that I did, not initially realising what you were talking about (it's first thing in the morning, it took my brain a minute to recall your prior projects).

                    That being said, your already existing firmly defined vision seems to be something that renders the query a little bit disingenuous.


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                    Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post

                      Unfortunately there isn't a chance to do this one. Hummingbird style was holden's baby. I think releasing a fencing style would be cool, but I don't think and can't release something in good conscious that was someone else's idea/work.
                      With absolutely no respect intended, it's not like Holden invented Exalted. Holden had no problem reimagining Martial Arts styles which had been invented before his tenure (and releasing those with his name on them for money). Obviously you shouldn't just rip-off his work, but you can develop and refine an idea he shared. Heck, your first book is pretty much entirely expanding on what Holden/Vance started.

                      I get that there's fans who think Holden was horribly mistreated by Onyx Path's application of standard industry practices -- and, sure, maybe those practices should be challenged (let's not derail the thread). But if "Holden invented it" is a reason not to do something then that leaves you with precious little design space in the 3E (and 2.5) paradigm.

                      ****

                      Martial Artist is a four point merit. It's like having a thousand men under your Command. It's like owning a Hundred-Year Daiklave. It's like being a Guild Factor. It's beyond having a pet T-rex or the wealth of a Dynast who is an economy onto herself.

                      Becoming a Martial Artist is like becoming a millionaire, or a world renown scientist. It requires a lot of effort -- it's a hefty investment.

                      I agree that there probably shouldn't be a secret Martial Art's World where the enlightened practitioners of kung-fu are superhumans -- this isn't Burn Legend. Martial Arts is like owning a Hundred-Year Daiklave: it's part of your legend, it opens up vectors of power previously denied to you, it changes your fighting style. But there isn't a secret club of Hundred-Year Daiklave owners. Hundred-Year Daiklave owners don't wander the world challenging each other to duels. Hundred-Year Daiklave owners use their Daiklave to solve their problems, alongside the rest of their Circle who use other tools (like Sorcery, fabulous wealth, a personal army or Presence Charms).

                      That doesn't mean there shouldn't be dojos, or lost scrolls of martial arts, martial arts philosophy, regional varients between practitioners or all of that good stuff you've outlined. But there's no reason a master of Tiger style should want to pit her skill against an Immaculate but not against a famous Brawler (heck, I don't see a difference between challenging an Immaculate or a Winglord's army).

                      Which was the problem with Scroll of the Monk: Martial Arts wasn't just part of the setting, it was like a secret new level in the setting that elevated folks to the Next Level of Power (well, not Lunars but everyone else).

                      Last thought: an Immaculate Grandmaster is a Master of all 5 Immaculate styles. What's a Grandmaster of a dojo?

                      I think the approach you've settled on avoids the pitfalls of Scroll. And I look forward to seeing the final project.
                      Last edited by JohnDoe244; 08-20-2019, 03:57 AM.


                      Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                        With absolutely no respect intended, it's not like Holden invented Exalted. Holden had no problem reimagining Martial Arts styles which had been invented before his tenure (and releasing those with his name on them for money). Obviously you shouldn't just rip-off his work, but you can develop and refine an idea he shared. Heck, your first book is pretty much entirely expanding on what Holden/Vance started.

                        I get that there's fans who think Holden was horribly mistreated by Onyx Path's application of standard industry practices -- and, sure, maybe those practices should be challenged (let's not derail the thread). But if "Holden invented it" is a reason not to do something then that leaves you with precious little design space in the 3E (and 2.5) paradigm.
                        I'm not going to touch on Holden's treatment from OPP as I feel that is a rabbit hole best not gone down in this topic, but I'm against making a style literally called Hummingbird Style and throwing it up for sale. I am not against making a Hummingbird inspired or Fencing style in general.

                        I like the rest of your post tho, things to consider.


                        Read my shit at my homebrew topic, 2.5e and 3e material!
                        Play Alchemical's in 3e now, you're welcome.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sandact6 View Post
                          I am not against making a Hummingbird inspired or Fencing style in general.

                          I like the rest of your post tho, things to consider.
                          A fencing style would be great. (Clash of Beating Wings Style? Dance of Needles Style? Elegant Wasp Style? Trammeling Foil Style?)


                          Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                          • #14
                            So what's this Scroll of the Monk y'all talkin' about ?

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                            • #15
                              It was a 2nd ed book about martial artists and martial arts.
                              It wasn't the worst 2nd ed book, but it wasn't that great; there were some cool ideas for particular martial arts, but the mechanics were a bit wonky (the Sidereal Martial Arts were mostly broken, though some were okay). And the fluff wasn't great.


                              My characters:
                              Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                              Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
                              Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

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