A friend and I are working on a Wuxia/Kung Fu setting for Dungeon World, so I’ve had to take my first crack at…

A friend and I are working on a Wuxia/Kung Fu setting for Dungeon World, so I’ve had to take my first crack at…

A friend and I are working on a Wuxia/Kung Fu setting for Dungeon World, so I’ve had to take my first crack at creating a class. I sussed out a draft of some core moves for the Martial Artist, obviously based heavily on existing Dungeon World moves. If you guys could take a look and let me know what you think that would be awesome. Thanks!

The Martial Artist

Stats HP 10+Constitution

Damage: d10

Paths (pick one):

When you learn something new about the world of martial arts mark XP

When you prove your kung fu is stronger mark XP

When you use your martial arts to make the world a better place mark XP

Signature Style

You have dedicated your life to the pursuit of a single martial arts style. Your unarmed attacks deal class damage, have the Hand tag, and your need to fight unencumbered counts as 2 weight.

Attributes (choose two):

Hard – +1 damage +1 weight

Soft – +2 piercing

Strong – add forceful

Fast – add precise

Lean – -1 weight

Long – choose another range

Calm Before the Storm

When you take a moment to centre yourself and prepare for a fight, roll +Str. On a 10+ hold 3 on a 7-9 hold 1. When engaging an enemy spend hold to:

Add +1d4 damage to your next attack

Add +1 to your next Discern Realities roll

Next time you take damage take -1d4 damage

Turn your next -6 into a 7-9

I Know Kung Fu

The first time you observe another martial artist roll +Wis. On a 10+ ask the GM three questions from the list below. On a 7-9 ask one question:

What is their style called and where does it originate?

Who is their master?

What is a weakness of their style? Take +1 forward when acting on the answers.

Hard Body

Through brutal training your body has been conditioned to absorb punishment. When you wear nothing more than cloth and carry no shield you are considered to have armour 1.

18 thoughts on “A friend and I are working on a Wuxia/Kung Fu setting for Dungeon World, so I’ve had to take my first crack at…”

  1. I personally think D10 is pretty high. I would do D8 like the thief. A Kung Fu master never clobbers an opponent with brute strength, they use technique and finesse. They are athletic, but not powerful. Signature style is a great idea.

  2. Why is Calm Before the Storm a STR roll? Seems more like a WIS thing to me. 

    Also i don’t really like this move since it is to mechanical instead of giving you more options to do things in the fiction, a bit like Druid Shapeshifting. 

  3. Ooh, I think Tim Franzke might be on to something. What if your signature style, in addition to the tags, have a monster move-style move, like “pin someone” or “leap through the air”. Then Calm before the Storm (which should be WIS, in my opinion) would give you hold, maybe 3 on a 10+, and 1 on a 7-9.

  4. This move’s based on those fantastic interchanges that happen during martial arts fights. “Your moves are Lung-Chow Ping’s!”. “I killed that dog, now I kill you!”. “I knew your father, now die!”.

    Fighting Talk

    When you engage a single opponent in banter during a fight roll +WIS. *On a 10+ choose two and learn the answers. *On a 7-9 you and your opponent choose one.

    …Who are you?

    …What do you seek?

    …What is your strength?

    …What do you fear? 

    Secondarily, this would be great because it would give the GM the chance to say “That sounds like fighting talk?” 🙂

  5. In The Right Hands

    When you grab a mundane object to use as a weapon during a fight. Roll +WIS. *On a 10+ you instantaneously fashion it into a serviceable weapon with appropriate tags that does class damage. *On a 7-9 the object’s utility is compromised in some way and it may only be used to ward off a couple of blows before it is useless.  

  6. These come as a pair:

    Dianxue Jio

    When you minister to a comrade who is stunned, unconscious, groggy, dazed or paralyzed by applying pressure to key accupuncture points roll +DEX. *On a 10+ they are revived and invigorated taking +1 forward. *On a 7-9 they are revived, but you take 1-4 HP damage yourself.

    Dianxue Sha

    When you attack an opponent by applying pressure to key accupuncture points roll +DEX. *On a 10+ you paralyze your opponent until the appropriate Dianxue counter-move is performed. *On a 7-9 your opponent takes 1-4 HP damage, but you’re in a spot. 

  7. Wire Fu

    When you attempt to cover significant ground on foot at speed, ascend or descend precipitously, or climb, leap or somersault prodigiously roll +DEX. *On a 10+ you make the move almost effortlessly as though suspended by invisible wires. *On a 7-9 you get there, but at a cost.

  8. Giovanni Lanza

    Let me see if I understand. For Signature Style the player would choose a few moves that would be adherent to his style (leap through the air, shatter their weapons, etc) and Calm Before the Storm (which I’ll change to a +Wis roll. I saw it more as using forms I think) would give you hold to perform those moves?

  9. Seth Bullock i would be carefull with the names of the first 2 moves. 

    They are

    – hard to remember

    – hard to read/pronounce

    – have (at least for me) no meaning and therefore fail to link them up with the mechanical effect 

  10. Lots of cool stuff in this thread. My buddy really wants a fighting mechanic that is a bit more involved and reactive than DW, for a martial arts style game. Something similar to Burn Legend or Burning Wheel

  11. Yeah it definitely comes from a different perspective. It’s also adversarial, which DW really isn’t. I’ve been trying to ponder up how to make a fiction-driven combat system that still requires players to make educated tough choices.

  12. Maybe in theory. But in practice, it really boils down to just rolling hack and slash against the target until you win. That’s not terribly interesting (from a mechanics perspective) nor does it have really any choices too it.

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