Greyhawk Martial Arts Traditions (Greyhawk 4E)
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For use with the Martial Arts Option.
Martial arts forms an undercurrent in the World of Greyhawk, with martial artists of different traditions waging secret wars with one another.
Today represented mainly by the Scarlet Brotherhood, the suel tradition exists throughout the south. Few non-suel even know it exists, but there are enough rebel masters that anyone can learn its secrets once they realize it exists. Especially annoying to the Scarlet Brotherhood is that it is spreading among their slave population. Suel martial arts is characterized by flashy displays of raw arcane power.
This tradition is based on arcane principles. The most highly regarded practitioners are Swordmages, but bards, warlocks, fighters, rangers, and rogues are also common.
Zuoken and Xan Yae are the great legendary teachers of this art, and Baklunish martial arts is divinely inspired. All Baklunish churches today have a mystic branch. Few non-Baklunish are attracted to this form of ascetics, but the mystic orders are tolerant and accept the occasional foreigner. Baklunish martial arts is characterized by mystic insight, discipline, trance, and twirling dervish dances.
The main class is paladin or cleric, with a strong presence of fighters and rangers.
The fey do not practice martial arts as much as they live martial art - with an emphasis on art. Often called wardancers, these graceful fey blend acrobatics and dance into a deadly weave. Characterized by bewildering glamor and acrobatic tumbles and feints.
War dance is based on arcane principles and might have inspired the Suel tradition in the remote past. Practiced mainly by swordmages, bards, and wizards, but fighters, warlords, rangers, and rogues are also common.
Created by pragmatic rebels from other styles, the common tradition does away with much of the esoteric teachings of its forebears and concentrates on winning quickly and surely. The common tradition is based on martial principles and was developed by assassins, thieves, and adventurers. It is economic in movement, full of subtle feints and quick, brutal attacks.
Built on martial principles, the common style is practiced mainly by rogues, but rangers, fighters, warlords, and warlocks are not uncommon. Like all martial arts styles, this style is pretty rare. Much more common is a hybrid fencing style, employing martial arts style defenses along with weapon attacks. This is represented by the Fencing and Practiced Defense feats.