CRB is a repository of all the creative things that float through my mind about the RPG Pathfinder. Two major features are random character generation and building characters based on the god they worship. Anything that seems like it adds to the creative aspects of the game will pop up from time to time, including location descriptions, adventure ideas and even short stories. CRB won't just be my own creativity, it will open the floor to anyone who has an idea sparked by what I present to you.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It's a Matter of Style

How We Fight

Like many people, I started watching Iron Fist the day it came out. I haven’t quite been able to watch more than an episode or two a day but even from the first episode it got me thinking about fighting styles. What kind of fighting styles exist within a game world? In the real world many of the fighting styles we know mimic the movements of animals or elements and are named as such. But in a fantasy world where you have bizarre beasts and unnatural elements what do the fighting styles look like.

Many times combat characters, especially straight up fighters, can seem one dimensional on the surface. When battle is the thing that you do best then thinking about how you fight is going to be one of your greatest forms of roleplay. You have to consider not just how you move and strike in combat but what the style has instilled within you. For example, the Aldori Sword style is a duelist style with a lot of fancy and showy moves. How is something like this reflected in your character?

Golarion has a vast array of combat techniques. Both armed and unarmed styles have come into being around the entire world. From sword dueling to forms of kung fu we can find many specific techniques to choose from. But the few that are touched upon in canon are probably just the surface of all the styles that exist.

Canon weapon styles have sprung up throughout Avistan. The Aldori Sworldlords of Brevoy teach a very specific style of dueling. The Andoran Defense is a style that involves a two handed grip upon one’s blade. Rondelero is a Taldan form that uses a falcate and a buckler. The followers of Sarenrae have a dervish style that transcends physical location. Even the barbarians of the Shoanti have a style in which they use an earthbreaker and a klar, called “Thunder and Fang”.

There are also many unarmed styles on Golarion. Sticking to the asian analog that is Tian Xia, that continent has many unarmed styles. The Condor Fist style that is associated with the Condor Fist Society and the UlarTangan style of serpentine fighting are both discussed in Dave Gross’ Count Jeggare novel Master of Devils. There are also three unarmed styles known on Avistan: the style that mimics the attacks of the barbed devil Hamatultsu, the technique taught by the archon Melek Taus Melekatha, and the hybrid Tina-Qadiran style taught in Taldor called the Stalwart Fist style.

But these are by no means an exhaustive list of fighting styles on the world of Golarion. To expand upon this list here are a few styles of my own invention that you might wish to add to your game.

Rattled Chain Style 

Many half-orcs are enslaved by their orcish cousins. In the Hold of Belkzen these half-orc slaves are often sent to the fighting pits of Urgir. These half-orcs show no fear and in fact have learned to cause fear in their enemies. The gladiators have learned to mix intimidating gestures while fighting with the very chains that imprison them. Over time this has become a very popular style among these half-orc warriors and has even begun to make its way into the rest of Avistan as some of these slaves have escaped.

Monks of the Closed Eye 

As outlined in the write up I did for the Empyreal Lord Vildeis, the Monks of the Closed Eye are a group of devout warriors. This style is not purely armed or unarmed as many different martial talents find their way to the alabaster monastery. What this style does is teach a means to fight without being able to see. Many of the monks lost use of their eyesight before coming to train, but some purposefully surrender their ability to see by blindfolding themselves at all times.

Have you used existing fighting styles for your characters or NPCs? What if any fighting styles have you created for your games? How do these styles affect how your character or NPCs interact with the world?

Liking fighting, everyone has their own gaming style. We can always take new things and add them to our existing techniques. If the CRB has influenced your style please consider supporting me by becoming a contributor to my Patreon or making a donation to my Paypal.

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