I do apologize right now for the long windedness of this post; however I felt the need to explain my thought process. So here goes.
The Agency I use for the games recruit personnel with experience; Military, Police, Intelligence. Things like that. As such they would have Hand-to-Hand combat experience. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand-to-hand_combat
This being the case I was lucky enough to have players that were in the field in RL (Cops and Ex-Military) and these resources confirmed my thought that they would have a particular level of training beyond the ‘General HTH’ training seen on James Bond films. What we had to do was, using the rules and templates as laid-out on pages 186-187 of the Pocket Guide, create Martial Arts that reflected the real world training. With those in mind we brainstormed and realized that, while using those rules and making some changes we could expand on them. When we were done we created some more.
We realized that, using the Base, Expert and Master Class tier system we could apply that same tiered structure to HTH fighting which allowed for some latitude. We considered the examples listed in the Pocket Guide as our Base system and as such we removed the 'Martial Arts' feat from that list since, as described, it gave the possessor of that feat mastery over their chosen art and we felt that this was not possible after ‘basic’ training. Some actually thought that 5 feats would be better to start with however; we agreed to see if we could work it using the system as was described in the book at least for the base; we also realized that the template that you created was a solid one since we used it as a starting point.
Wrestling Basics, Equilibrium Basic, Rolling Basics, Submission Basics.
Vital Points Basic, Warriors Grace, Footwork Basic, Momentum Basics
Submission Moves, Vital Point Moves, Rolling Moves, Martial Arts.
This is an example of what we ended up doing. We believed that if a person was chosen by the Agency for some other Non-Combat type skill they would be the ‘Penelope Garcia’ of the crowd and would not get much in the way of field work. However we created something especially for them called “Self-Taught/You-Tuber” We felt that with all the access to video type training from you tube and the like it was highly possible for them to have a rudimentary concept of fighting. We also felt that this might be the one to use for the ‘General HTH’ that one would see on TV.
The other thing we played around with was some of the Specialties so that we could make the Basic of any style a given based on the specialty…example would be Operative, Serviceman, Special Ops, Warrior. As well as what they would normally get for that specialty they would also get ‘Martial Arts Basic’ meaning that whatever country and or agency they came from they would get the martial art that their country and or agency trains them in at a basic level (Sambo, MCPAP, Krav Maga, Karate…etc). People who chose Geek, Researcher, and the Like would get the ‘Self-Taught Basic’
Now all of this became possible because I had access to people who are in thye field and access to the internet but also, and most important Crafty Pat and Alex because you put the templates in with the long list of Unarmed Combat Feats. You guys did the initial work of putting in the side bar just for guys like me and the ones I played with for years. Some have suggested that Martial Arts get their own book because of things like Chi. I personally believe that this is nonsense; in my opinion they belong in the basic system because Martial Arts in a setting such as this is not in the realm of John Woo wire fu but is practiced on a daily basis by men and women who do some semblance of the job which we are honoring by playing.
Is John Woo Wire-Fu’isim a bad thing? Absolutely not! Just look at the Big Hit; Mission Impossible (Channel the dove scene here), The Bourne Movies…Oh wait. That is not Wire-Fu; ok my bad, try Crouching Tiger/Hidden Dragon, 5 Fingers of Death, Hero, all very cool and should have their own book. The rest of it though should not have a separate book. The feats should stay the same and the sidebar should stay the same. Should they be expanded upon beyond what you folks have written out? Now that I think about it; probably not; that could be saved for a separate book but with the basic template as laid out by you guys still in place we, the players can each decide what we want to do. Do we want to expand on them like I did? Do we want to leave them out? Do we want to use them as is? That is the power of leaving them in; we, the players can decide.
Now on to the other issue. Book space; should things be torn out. Yea sure. A main book should have the basics: Character Creation, Skills, Feats, Gear, World-Adventure-NPC Building. Tear something out? Gear but not the system of giving gear (Oh wait I can hear it now---“But we need gear.”) True. However a detailed list of gear could be saved for a compendium; the only thing that needs to be delivered in a main book is type of round and weapon (9mm, 45, 3.57, 7.62, MG, SMG, Rifle, Sniper Rifle,) We don’t need a long list of weapons like the Bren or the AK-47/74 or the HK whatever. That can be saved for the compendium just like vehicles and Tradecraft gear. That is about 100 pages right there gone! Even a lot of the Game Mastering material and a lot of the non basic World/Adventure Building material could be pulled out and placed into a ‘Game Mastery’ book for lack of a better name. However the big three (Character Creation, Skills and Feats) need to be left alone. The basics though are important. If we see that a 9mm SMG does a particular amount of damage then we the players and GC’s can use that to apply to whatever weapon we look up and decide our character uses from whatever country makes them. “A 9mm does this amount of damage and can weigh from this to this…” We can do the rest guys.
Heck; want to do something cool? Give us a tool box for creating our own skills and feats! Give us the same template you cool folks used to create the skills and feats! We can do the rest.