In addition, you cannot use the strike or mastery unless you are in that stance. It is assumed that if you see a fight coming at all you will instinctively adopt a stance, so as soon as you take your first action you also adopt your stance (or the stance of your choice if you have more than one) as a 0 shot action. If you have more than one school changing stances for them is a 1 shot action in-fight.
There are 5 styles:
· Air style emphasizes subtlety and minimalism, throwing foes off balance.
· Fire style is about speed, either in a single attack or overwhelming defenses with a flurry of blows.
· Earth style is about strength and power; minimalizing damage to you, maximizing it on your opponents.
· Water style is about turning your opponents against each other. Best used against groups.
· Void style is about movement and acrobatics. Best used against guns or in low gravity.
These have pretty basic designs: Stances are defensive; Strikes are better than normal attacks that carry with them some penalty so they aren’t the only thing you ever use. Mastery is a seriously kick ass move that has some penalty, usually a larger one. Mastery moves tend to be fight-enders, so strangely enough they cost less the longer you’ve been in the fight. This doesn’t mean you can’t use them on your first shot, but it will cost you more to do.
2.2.1 Air School
This school relies on a series of small movements – attacks, feints, dodges, and so on – that increasingly throw your foes off balance. Once the foe’s defenses off, you finish it.
When you’re in the Air Stance any opponent who attacks you with Martial Arts, successfully or not, picks up a -1 on their Martial Arts until they spend a shot recovering themselves. This either slows them down as they have to recover or makes them progressively less effective. Each shtick in Air Stance adds 1 shot to the recovery time.
By making a 3 shot attack you can distract your opponent rather than injuring them. If successful the opponent gains 3 Impairment for a number of shots equal to your Outcome.
This is a very clever feint that looks like a smaller attack until it becomes deadly. This adds +4 to the Outcome of an already successful attack. Unfortunately the feint leaves you off balance, and you are at a -3 on your Defense for the remainder of the sequence (so use it on shot 1!)
2.2.2 Fire School
This school relies on speed, both in single devastating attacks or flurries of smaller ones.
Each shtick you have in Fire Stance adds +1 to your initiative. This is added to the first combat sequence unless you declare you’re starting in a different stance – complete and total ambushes are actions outside the first sequence, so Fire School people are usually the first to hit back.
This is a flurry of small attacks against one or multiple targets. Each shtick lets you reduce your damage by 2 points to increase your Martial Arts by 1 point for the attack.
A masterful, super-fast strike that your opponent can barely see. Add the difference between your Martial Arts and the opponents Reflexes to the Damage, but the strain of the attack costs you 1/3rd of the health that would take you to a Death check. This is a 4 shot attack due to recovery time.