Monday, August 19, 2019

12 Debilitating Moves

Every since reading this post about GLOG style Monks, it mentions how stuns are boring compared to more interesting turn-wasting effects that could be powered through. Really fits the concept of Monks being less directly powerful then fighters but better at battlefield control; strike the enemy's hidden pressure points and defeat them by using their own body against them.

As such, here are some more special moves, with a training cost equal to their difficulty level as per the rules. If you are using a martial arts style that is countered by the enemy that you use these moves on, they clear them at the start of the next turn for free; no need to sacrifice a whole round.

12 Debilitating Techniques
[1] Peaceful Turtle bites with Anger - 1st Level
You can only use this technique if the round prior you fought defensively, and made no attacks. You clutch at the enemy's finger, toe, dewclaw, nose, tail-tip, or other small and sensitive part of their body. The pain they feel forces a morale check to attack you again the next round, but only lasts for one round. If your attack bonus is higher then the monster's HD, the target must make a save or lose that body part.

[2] Prick the Eye - 1st level
Make a roll to hit against the target at disadvantage. On a successful hit, you poke the target in their eyes. You deal damage equal to the number of eyes poked, which is a maximum of 5 or however many fingers you have on your striking hand. The target is also blinded in all of those eyes at least, until they take a turn to rub them and clear their vision. You don't need to roll for disadvantage if you use a surprise attack or attack while making a reaction check, as your enemy won't be guarding their face.

[3] Goat Charges off of Cliff - 2nd level
Using this move forces the enemy to continue their momentum. Instead of attacking, you shove and direct the target's motion with your hands, of which they move at full speed uncontrollably. You can direct their motion towards a cliff or obstacle if you wish, and this deals 1d4+1 damage if they slam into a solid rock wall. Additionally, if you perform any attack on the same target next round (such as directing them in a short circle and back into your fist), they take an additional 1d4+1 damage from the impact of your attack instead. Targets can redirect their momentum on a saving throw, veering back to safety or out of the way of your attack.

[4] The Fool's Mouth Gapes Open - 2nd level
This move attacks the jaw, and doesn't work if the target is wearing a mask, full face protection, or any helmet with a leather jaw strap. The strike deals no damage, but makes the target's mouth open up and gape uncontrollably, unable to close it. This prevents the target from biting or closing their mouth, though they can still speak and cast spells through slurred yawns. You can also use this move to throw poison into their open mouth which they cannot spit back out, or shove a drug into their mouth and close it to force them to swallow, etc. This effect can be ended by the target or an ally forcibly closing their mouth with their hands.

[5] Weakening Strike - 2nd level
This extremely widespread and popular move has been adopted and renamed in many martial arts schools, but its power and prestige have not diminished. By performing a strike on the target's chest, the painful blow deals one die size less in damage. So a d6 practitioner of martial arts deals 1d4 damage instead, and so on. However, it also has the added effect of slightly paralyzing the heart and lungs, causing weakness over the target's entire body. The target receives -1 to hit and damage, without a saving throw. The martial artist can only stack this a number of times equal to their to-hit class bonus, equivalent to the maximum difficulty special move they can learn, minus 1. This means a +5 Disciple can stack this effect on one target up to 4 times, meaning a -4 to hit and damage with attacks. This effect is cleared by a deep breath and resurgence of strength, which requires a round spent. This clears all stacks of the effect, and regains the fighter to full strength.

[6] Monkey Grabs the Tiger's Tail - 3rd level
This move only works on enemy's using a weapon with a sharp pointed tip. You can either perform this move for your action to prepare for the thrust, or on the round after a miss against you. You grip the tip of their weapon, making them unable to attack unless they pull the weapon away on their round's action; even if you have greater strength then them, you are only grabbing the end and they can pull back to receive their weapon. If an enemy hits you with a maximum damage roll attack using a spear, rapier, stiletto, or other thin pointed weapon you can use this move for free. You impale yourself on their weapon, using your internal mastery to avoid the sharp edge from touching your internal organs, and can now keep their weapon from attacking anyone as well as get right up in their face for close range martial arts moves. The enemy can either let go of the weapon at this point, throw you off of it with a Strength roll, or perform their own close combat maneuvers.

[7] Dancer Spasms to the Music - 3rd level
This move strikes at the muscle-attachment points in the target's arm and legs. It is treated as a 2nd level move for training cost, but requires either a +4 to hit from your class progression OR a dexterity of +2 or better to use this move do the many accurate strikes needed. The target's arms and legs start to spasm with uncomfortable cramps. Every round they roll a save, on a failed save, there is a random chance either their arms spasm (chance to drop weapon or attack a nearby ally) or their legs (fall prone, move 5ft in a random direction). Roll a 1d2 for either category to determine which effect happens, or roll a 1d3 and insert a new negative effect depending on situation (spasm causes them to crush glass vial in their hand, for example). This move can be cleared by anyone if they take a moment to stretch out their arms and legs, a round for each.

[8] Dried Earth Crumbles to Dust - 3rd level
On a successful hit, this move deals no damage, but pats the victim's skin in a rough, abrasive way. The target suffers from internal weakness, and has -2 AC from all incoming attacks. This effect lasts for an entire day before it heals, but drinking a healing potion will cure the internal injuries. Creatures with regeneration also are cured of this effect at the end of the round.

[9] Heartstopper - 4th level
This unassuming three finger strike on the chest has a deadly power behind it. Upon a successful hit, this move deals no damage. The next round, the target must make a saving throw or else their heart stops. Each round, they get a chance to restart their heart with another save, but are helpless. If they fail three in a row, their heart will not start again without outside help, and they will quickly die. They can be shocked back to life by force with any lightning spell, though they will still take the damage. The hearts of immortal beings tend to be too strong and eternal for this move to work, and the move fails against creatures with 8 HD or more.

[10] Ravenous Blow - 4th level
You strike the base of the target's root chakra; causing an intense burst of hunger. The target feels weak, famished, and ravenous until they eat. They lose -1d6 points of Constitution and Strength temporarily, and get a -2 to saving throws vs diseases and poisons. They can only end this effect by gobbling down a ration, which takes a combat round if in combat. Against monsters, they may try a swallow attack (without chewing) instead, allowing you to enter the monster's body unharmed to strike from within. Monsters may treat their HD as lowered by -2 instead for ease of simplicity.

[11] Black Flame Torturous Palm Technique - 5th level
This move requires a hit roll on the opponent that deals no damage. Once it is successful, the foe feels an incredible sense of dread spread through their body, and every motion causes massive pain. They take 1 damage each time they make an attack, move, and every time someone misses an attack roll against them or they make a saving throw. The foe can allow themselves to be hit or automatically fail the saving throw by standing perfectly still; this prevents the damage and gives them a counter. Each round they do not move or attack, they get a counter. Being hit by a healing spell, or drinking a healing potion also grants a counter. The number of counters required is 8 to end the effect, -1 per time you've been hit by it before. Skilled warriors can build up their tolerance to this move, and have become immune to it over the years, but it is still infamous for killing warriors by a thousand cuts.

[12] Freeze-Blood Technique - 5th level
By grabbing and channeling the cold essence into a foe, you may freeze their blood in their veins. It deals 1d6 cold damage on a successful hit, and then provides the additional effect. This grants a to-hit and damage negative of -2 to the enemy due to their sudden weakness and sluggish movements, but more importantly it prevents the foe from channeling life energy through their veins. Because of this, they are unable to use any of their special moves until they can heat up and pump their blood; this deadly technique is often used by vampire martial artists to weaken their foes. Any foe can heat up their blood with two rounds of jogging in place, dodging everywhere, jumping jacks, etc.


  1. Is it Rise Up Comus you're thinking of?

    1. Yep, that's it! Thanks for helping me find it, I had forgotten the blog and it was driving me crazy!