Having recently gotten and read through GURPS Martial Arts, I thought I’d try writing up a new style.
The Terukai set out to colonize new worlds with giant slowboat colony ships. One particular ship eventually made landfall on a lushly inhabitable planet, but for some reason, the industrial base never set up correctly, leaving the colonists to build an agricultural society largely on their own, and tales of their origin have faded into the dimmest of legends.
One of the few high-tech resources left from the original ship are a set of fabricators of miniature forcefield generators. They aren’t horribly rare (they have no moving parts and last a long time), but maximum coverage tends to be a couple square feet, so protecting anything large is difficult (and there’s usually not much point), but working them into a suit of armor is easy, setting up a few to mutually reinforce for a ‘force-shield’ is common, and they can also be configured to form the edge of a weapon. Such comparatively lightweight protection has made ranged weapons (bows and guns) less popular, and most fighting is dominated by melee weapons.
In addition, various forms of weapon arts are very popular, and there are regular tournaments between popular champions. These tournaments use ornate and fancy (and often fairly skimpy) protective armor, that are well laced with forcefield generators providing complete coverage. Weapons are kept on ‘blunt’ settings, which keeps them from easily penetrating the fields, and minimizes damage when they do—all while still providing an exciting light show for the audience.
The most popular of these sports is Hanosa, which uses a long, narrow, straight sword with a crosspiece (a Thrusting Bastard Sword; B271, 274, LT54, 66, 70), and a reinforced Force Buckler.
Hanosa 4 points
This is actually a family of related styles, only some of which concentrate exclusively on formal tournament dueling, and this entry tries to cover the main points of the spectrum of different schools. Thanks to the forcefield-based equipment, serious injury is difficult, and tournaments put fewer restrictions on non-Sport skill-users than normal.
Perhaps surprisingly, the style is largely defense-oriented, with users usually sticking with Defensive Attacks and Evaluate until an opportunity can be found or made for a Committed Attack, or something flashier. Tournaments are all about sword-play, so various dirty tricks and unarmed strikes are disallowed; strikes are allowed anywhere but the head, but as a pragmatic consideration, attention is focused on the upper body. Non-tournament oriented schools do teach various dirty tricks, and head strikes, but the usual emphasis is on bringing the lower body into play, and training in various kicks.
Serious practitioners are expected to dedicate their life to the art (in tournaments, deadly combat, and in study), which includes learning how to make their own equipment. Any true ‘master’ is supposed to be able to make a sword and armor as good as can be found from a dedicated armorer/weaponsmith—this mostly just gives those very few who can master all three arts bragging rights over the rest! (Note that most ‘armors’ created this way are generally harnesses to put force field generators on (which does still require the Armory (Body Armor) skill), plus protection for important/vulnerable areas such as the vitals and hands. Swords are generally crafted by dedicated weaponsmiths, though many students do learn the basics and could assist in crafting one.)
Naturally, legendary masters not only possess superior fighting skills, but hand-craft the legendary weapons that they’re known for. Combat-wise, tales talk of parrying missile weapons of all types, acrobatic mastery of battlefields, fending off hordes of opponents, and most of the other usual feats. One prominent legendary master was blinded halfway through his career, and still bested all his foes!
Skills: Broadsword or Broadsword Sport; Shield (Buckler); Two-Handed Sword or Two-Handed Sword Sport.
Techniques: Armed Grapple (Any weapon skill in style); Bind Weapon (Any weapon skill in style); Choke Hold (Two-Handed Sword); Close Combat (Any weapon skill in style); Counterattack (Any weapon skill in style); Disarming (Any weapon skill in style); Feint (Any weapon skill in style); Retain Weapon (Any weapon skill in style); Spinning Strike (Longsword); Sweep (Two-Handed Sword); Targeted Attack (Two-Handed Sword Thrust/Arm); Targeted Attack (Two-Handed Sword Thrust/Torso-Chinks in Armor).
Combinations: Broadsword Deceptive Attack/Torso + Two-Handed Sword Swing/Arm; Shield Beat/Weapon + Broadsword Thrust/Torso.
Perks: Acrobatic Feints; Form Mastery (Bastard Sword); Grip Mastery (Longsword); Skill Adaptation (Bind Weapon defaults to Two-Handed Sword).
Cinematic Skills: Blind Fighting; Precognitive Parry.
Cinematic Techniques: Roll With Blow; Timed Defense.
Secondary Characteristics: Improved Will.
Advantages: Combat Reflexes; Enhanced Block; Enhanced Dodge; Enhanced Parry (Any weapon skill in style); Fit.
Disadvantages: Code of Honor (Duelist), Overconfidence.
Skills: Acrobatics; Armorer (Body Armor)/4^; Armory (Melee Weapons)/4^; Jumping, Karate (plus the Kicking technique); Short Sword.
Perks: Weapon Bond.
Notes: Why, yes… this is all derived from an attempt to figure out a setting where ‘bikini armor’ made sense. (Thank you, Johji Manabe….) Terukai aren’t human, but they’re close enough to it for government work (and roles in Star Trek). I don’t have an entirely clear picture of how the style works, so it’s a bit fuzzy around the edges, though this has already helped focus some thoughts. The swords in use here should use regular Thrusting Broadsword stats with an Armor Divisor of (2) when on, but regular damage and crushing damage when off, and crushing with -1 damage in ‘tournament mode’ (and if it isn’t obvious, this isn’t a lightsaber; this is a regular sword, but the blade is generated by forcefield emitters lining where the regular blade would be). One forcefield generator configured for defense probably provides one square foot of coverage with DR 3 and reduces Armor Divisors by one stage. They’re generally either linked up for larger coverage or greater DR.
I’ll also note that this probably isn’t too far off of what Sword Dancing from Jennifer Roberson’s Tiger and Del books looks like. You’d need to strip it down to just Broadsword/Broadsword Sport, and use COH (Alimat), and past that… I’d have to read the books again. I’d expect a heavier emphasis on the acrobatic parts.