Okay, this is a Fighting Style based on the concept of the old Kuei-jin Discipline of the same name. For those of you who don't remember, Black Wind was a Kindred of the East Discipline that doubled as supernatural strength and speed all in one, but only one or the other at a time and had to be used violently. I had toyed with the idea of a martial art that involved leaving your opponent alive and hurting for a while, and the name was just too good to pass up. Note: yes, I know this Style is massive, both in it's complexity and it's overpowering... well... power. But I'm hoping that the ungodly prerequisites and nasty drawbacks make it a nice end-game ability with a balancing dose of "double edged blade" syndrome. Let me know what you think. Also, I didn't see any rules on here about profanity, but if there are some, please let me know and I will edit the post. In any case, *MEDIUM PROFANITY WARNING*.
Fighting Style: Black Wind
Prerequisites: Dexterity 3, Composure 3, Brawl 2, Intimidate 2, Brawling Dodge, Brawling Finesse (As fighting finesse, but replacing weapons with brawl, chosen weapon is *unarmed*), Mentor 5
This Fighting Style, also known as Martyr’s Vengeance, was supposedly developed during the course of a single duel by an angered monk in the Orient of ages past, and is predicated solely on the idea of inflicting pain and humiliation upon one’s opponent. Those martial artists who know of the discipline consider it one of the most malevolent forms of combat ever devised. A practitioner of Black Wind is capable of breaking her opponents in ways most consider impossible without a blunt instrument. While the contradiction of the statement is obvious, perhaps the best description of the art was when one Jujitsu Master called it, “the purest distillation of unbridled rage and emotionless calculation I have ever had the misfortune to witness.” Perhaps the most ironic aspect of Black Wind is that in all of its teachings, there are no moves that would kill an opponent, at least not immediately or directly.
According to legend, the Black Wind was a gift, prize or bribe (depending on the telling) given to the nameless monk so many centuries ago when he encountered and subdued a demon on the road home from war. The experience of bloody combat had hardened and broken the monk, and his only solace was in the promise of his hometown, which lay at the end of the road. The last camp he made before he expected to arrive was beset by whispering voices and malodorous winds, all of which taunted him to take his own life and spare himself the pain of the road’s last leg. Thinking it a trick of the collapsing rebellion he had helped defeat, he patiently waited for an assault that never came. He did not sleep that night. Instead, with the dawn of the next day, he continued, nearing exhaustion, back to his home. When he arrived, he found it in ruin, burning and splattered with the blood of his family and friends. Combing the town for the perpetrator, he found a demon waiting in the mayor’s house, feasting on the dead civic leader as if attending a high state function. Having lost everything, the monk flew into what the stories describe as “the perfect quiet madness,” and began beating the demon, breaking every place he knew would not kill it. Bones shattered, tendons ripped, and sockets flew into dislocation as the monk’s fury built and swirled into ever plumbing depths of obsessed hatred. The climax of the story varies. Some say the demon cried out for mercy and offered the monk an even more refined form of the violent poetry he had just written upon the demon’s material form. Others claim that the demon was the actual devisor of the art, and that when the “techniques” used upon him reached their culmination, the demon healed itself in an instant and turned its lessons back upon the teacher, going on to spread the vile art to others in exchange for perversities of which only a demon could conceive. A few modern day bards and writers claim a stranger conclusion: that the moment the monk decided to dispatch his victim, the demon’s plan came to fruition. No, they say, the demon did not turn the tables at the last moment or laugh off all of its wounds. It died, as the monk planned, but the Black Wind had been devised, and the monk not only realized the monster he had become, but knew what his place was in the Great Tapestry. He had to teach, spreading his dark combat across the world.
Effect: Your character is trained in the art of Black Wind, able to deliver debilitating and painful blows to his opponent. He could only have learned this martial art from a practitioner of multiple other fighting styles, either through military training or by finding through extraordinary luck just the right instructor at just the right dojo. It is important to note that this style is considered one of the rudest and possibly most blasphemous arts ever devised, and before your character could learn the techniques, he must have impressed someone of almost singular rarity. Instructors of this art have an almost compulsive need to perfect the art before they pass it along to a student, and after that, they rarely, if ever, pass it along to another.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for the next. So, your character can’t have “Defang the Serpent” until he has “Twisting Defense.”
1 - Bleeding Hatred: The hardest lesson any martial art has to teach is how to take a hit. Black Wind takes this lesson one step further and teaches the practitioner how to turn a wound into a weapon in and of itself. Your character has learned this lesson, and can actually fight better while injured. Any wound suffered while in combat gives a bonus to Brawl rolls against the perpetrator and his allies. Bashing damage incurs a +1 bonus, Lethal a +2, and Aggravated a +3. These bonuses do not stack; only one bonus can be granted and multiple wounds do not grant multiple bonuses.
Drawback: Using Bleeding Hatred takes its toll on the physical form. When combat ends, the form of damage used to gain the bonus doubles.
Example: Yu Jin has four Bashing damage and one Lethal. He decides to apply the +2 bonus to his Brawl rolls for the remainder of combat. At the end of combat, he has four Bashing and two Lethal. Finally relaxing, the stress of operating not only with a wound, but using the wound as fuel causes the slices in his skin to rupture, leaving him with two more Lethal damage, for a total of four Bashing and four Lethal.
If the player decides to apply a different bonus in the same combat due to a new, more painful wound, then this drawback is applied immediately for the first bonus, and then again at the end of combat.
Example: Yu Jin has just taken a point of Bashing damage. He decides to apply the +1 bonus granted by Bleeding Hatred for Bashing damage. Later, he takes a point of Aggravated damage. Deciding to take the new option of a +3 bonus to Brawl, he begins to focus on another injury to gain his spiteful inspiration. The old pain is now ignored, and the stress takes its toll. He had taken another point of Bashing before the decision was made, so now the two points become four. When combat ends, he will have the doubling of his Aggravated damage to look forward to as well.
2 - Twisting Defense: Many martial arts have used the idea that an opponent’s momentum can be turned against them. Seeing the wisdom in this concept, it was incorporated into Black Wind, but of course, the adaptation left its mark. To execute this technique, the Black Wind practitioner must declare during his turn that he is sacrificing all actions. He can move toward his opponent if he wishes, but no other actions may be taken and he is restricted to walking speed only. Until his turn comes back again, any Brawl, Weaponry or point blank range Firearms attack aimed at him provokes a simultaneous counter attack. The character rolls Dexterity + Brawl as his opponent attacks him, and if he is successful, half of the attacker’s damage is applied to the attacker instead, and none is applied to the character. Rules for defense and armor still apply. As this is a defensive attack, the character may either make as many counter attacks as he has points of Defense, or he can add his Defense to one counter attack and restrict himself to that single counterattack for the remainder of the turn. The character may not add his Defense to any counter attack roll after the first, but he is not required to counter attack his first assailant that turn. The diminishment of Defense from multiple attackers per turn still applies. Because of the offensive nature of this maneuver, the option of spending Willpower to boost one’s defense is not available while attempting a Twisting Defense.
Drawback: As this is a wild variation on the Brawling Dodge Merit, using Brawling Dodge and Twisting Defense in the same turn is a bit difficult to manage due to the varying thought processes involved. Any character attempting to make a Brawling Dodge after using Twisting Defense or vice versa must succeed on a Wits + Composure roll with at least two successes to “change modes” and show mercy during the same turn. Gaining only one success results in a failure, and the character is forced to make another Twisting Defense, if possible. If no successes are rolled or the character has already expended all of his legal Twisting Defense moves this turn, the character automatically suffers the effects of a dramatic failure on a Dodge roll.
3 - Defang the Serpent: At this level of mastery in Black Wind, the student finally learns how to launch attacks specifically designed by this school of combat. These attacks are usually enough to end a fight with all but the most persistent of opponents. Rolling Dexterity + Brawl, the character attempts to dislocate his opponent’s joints. Succeeding on this attack causes bashing damage and imposes a penalty on the victim’s dice pools involving that joint equal to the damage caused. On an exceptional success, the character may make a Strength roll, and upgrades a number of wounds to Lethal damage equal to the successes as the victim’s bones and tendons sunder with the power of the strike. Broken or dislocated legs halve the victim’s speed (rounded down) for every two points of damage. These penalties persist until the damage caused is completely healed. Using this maneuver against an opponent in conjunction with Twisting Defense grants a +1 bonus to the roll, but only one roll is made for both maneuvers (not counting the Strength roll granted by an exceptional success), and only the limb used to attack the character may be targeted.
Drawback: Since the character is using enough force to break bones, it would logically follow that he runs the risk of breaking his own bones in the process. Dramatic failures when using this maneuver call for a Stamina roll. Failure indicates that he has broken whichever bone of whichever limb he attacked with. It is not recommended to head butt with this attack. The same rules described above apply, and the damage for the roll is automatically at least two Bashing.
4 - Enlivening Rage: At this level of mastery, the Black Wind practitioner has likely gained a taste for hurting his opponents, and this sadistic urge has created a need. Necessity being the mother of invention, the artificers of Black Wind provided for this eventuality. Using a careful series of strikes, the character rattles his opponent’s resolve and self-control with wracking pain, and can even deny his opponent the merciful respite of unconsciousness. Rolling Composure + Brawl, the character causes just enough pain to piss them off a little. If the roll succeeds, one Willpower point is sapped from the opponent. In a victim with full Bashing damaged health boxes, this same maneuver causes the poor bastard to stay awake for a number of turns equal to the successes rolled. No additional damage is inflicted for either application, but wound penalties still apply in both cases, as does the penalty for an empty Willpower pool. If the victim has an obvious injury, such as a bullet hole or bleeding stab wound, the Storyteller may choose to grant a +1 bonus to the maneuver’s roll, maybe +2 if the attacker himself caused it. Needless to say, characters with the Wrath or Pride vices can easily refill their willpower pools using this maneuver.
Optional Technique: A character with Enlivening Rage may roll Dexterity + Medicine on an ally who is falling unconscious or going into shock to keep them awake until more professional help can be provided. Dramatic failure results in one point of Bashing damage, which at that point would upgrade the already existing damage the patient has in effect.
5 - Welcome Oblivion: His tutelage complete, the newly acknowledged Black Wind Master has achieved the pinnacle of torturous combat. The suffering of those who oppose him is a potent draught, and victory is merely a cry for mercy away. Even his own pain has become a symphony of power, surging through his body and encouraging his sadistic glee, but this could very well spell his own demise if he isn’t careful. The character that chooses to Welcome Oblivion is a force of nature, and that force is degradation and despair. Once invoked, the character begins reaping benefits that quickly give him an edge in subsequent turns. Whenever the character takes a wound, he gains a selective +1 to a Brawl roll. Whenever he inflicts a wound, he gains a selective +1 to a Brawl roll. These bonus die are compiled and may be spent by the character whenever he chooses, but only 5 such bonus die may be accumulated at a time, and once they are used, they are gone. All wound penalties are converted into bonuses. The character cannot be subdued by having his last health box filled by Bashing damage. The character that experiences these conditions will pass out the first turn he is not in obvious combat, but until then, he is unstoppable unless killed. The Storyteller may decide to require all characters in combat, enemy and ally alike, to succeed on a Composure roll vs. the practitioner’s Composure + Intimidate or Presence + Intimidate (whichever the Storyteller deems more appropriate) or become extremely disturbed by the sight of this madman and be denied their Defense until their next turn. Dramatic failure on this contested roll denies not only the witness’ defense, but his turn as well, as the very sight of this perversity that more resembles torture than combat turns his stomach and challenges the limits of his sympathetic tolerance.
Drawback: He who Welcomes Oblivion has either been backed into the mother of all corners, or has lost his fucking mind. Welcoming Oblivion requires that the highest bonus of Bleeding Hatred be used at all times, even if it costs the character dearly. Twisting Defense may be used at the player’s discretion, but the first opportunity to counter attack must be taken and Defense must be added to the roll. Defang the Serpent functions normally, as does Enlivening Rage, except that every combat turn spent not using these or one of the other Black Wind techniques requires the expenditure of a Willpower point. The character has not become a blathering idiot when this happens. He has merely become the pinnacle of horrific sadism and calculating mercilessness. He feels he must break his opponent, yes, but he knows exactly what he is doing. He just doesn’t care. A degeneration roll may be required at the Storyteller’s discretion, and failure likely results in sadism.