Martial Arts

Martial Arts is an Extra which allows a Character to fight and dodge with more than just hitting your opponent with the pointy end. You are just as efficient and dangerous without a weapon as a soldier is with one, although you can just as well use one too. This form of fighting is focused on single combat and has only limited use on a large scale battlefield.


Your High Concept must reflect that you are trained in Martial Arts. You can either describe your own unique path that led you to being proficient in this field or include one of the following Archetypes in your High Concept:

Gladiator These tough and resourceful fighters don’t just put on a site in the arena of the world, they also know how to survive it.

Characters without the Extra can try to fight without a weapon, but the GM or other players get to invoke the Aspect “Unarmed and Untrained in Martial Arts” against you.


You will need to have high Skill ranks in Parcours, Physique and Melee Combat to be better at performing actions used in your Martial Arts. You will also need to spend Refresh for purchasing special moves and stunts.

When using your Martial Arts training, you can use your hands and arms, your feet and legs, or your whole body to attack, create advantages, or defend yourself. More importantly, you can use new tactics to control the Initiative in a combat scene and change them up each round.


At the beginning of each round of a conflict, you can declare your combat tactic and get special rules and actions to change up your fighting style. These are the most basic tactics, you can create new ones yourself but you need to try to balance their power with their cost. Note that some tactics are stronger against few or a single opponent and weaker against many, while some — like full defense — are just as power full against any number of opponents.

Full Defense (Defensive)

This tactic is open to any player character, even without them being trained in Martial Arts. It is part of the core rule book and describes as follows:

Full Defense
If you want, you can forgo your action for the exchange to concentrate on defense. You don’t get to do anything proactive, but you do get to roll all defend actions for the exchange at a +2 bonus.
(Source: Fate SRD)

Counterattacks (Reactive)

You can forgo your action to let’s the others make the first move — and mistake. Instead of getting your own turn, you turn every one of your Defend actions into an Attack or Create an Advantage. This means that if you succeed, you avoid damage and deal your own shifts as damage or create an Advantage, giving you a free invoke. The caveat is, that you can only use each your hands, your feet and your body once to do so. Remaining Defend actions follow the normal rules.

Full Offense (Aggressive)

The reverse of a defensive tactic, in full offense you forgo any chance to defend yourself in order to get a second full turn to do an action. You can choose to take your second turn at any point after your first one, which follows the normal initiative rule you’re using. Any attack against you will be rolled against Fair (+2) passive opposition. You can still invoke aspects to add a +2 to that opposition.

Area Defense (Overwatch)

This tactic is especially useful for ranged forms of attack. You can forgo your action to lay in waiting and shoot at anything that moves within your range. You automatically get the chance to pose active opposition to any enemy that tries to move within your area of range. If you succeed, they take damage, if they succeed, they can move but you take no penalty. If you are being attacked and need to defend yourself, you immediately abandon this tactic.


Use Melee to do things with your arms and hands:
You can overcome physical obstacles by breaking or punching them, create advantages over your opponents by “Holding Them”, or pushing them “Off Balance”, attack your opponents with jabs and punches, or defend and avoid taking stress by diverting an attack. (You can do these things with or without a weapon)


Use Parcours to do things with your legs and feet:
You can overcome physical obstacles by kicking or scaling them, create advantages over your opponents by “Outflanking Them”, or “Sweeping their Legs out Under Them”, attack your opponents with kicks, or defend by evading or moving out of the way.


Use Physique to do things with your body — your torso or head:
You can overcome physical obstacles by lifting and hauling them out of the way, create advantages over your opponents by “Tackling Them”, attack your opponents with a head-punch, or defend by hardening your body, although that does not work against slashing or piercing weapons.


Martial Arts

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