Country of Origin: Cathay
Dojo: None (The fighting style is still taught by wandering masters, who seek out worthy students or wait for those with a need to come to them.)
Founded: 327 AUC
Description: Zungui Quantou is the oldest martial arts style in all of Cathay, with a documented history that spans over 2,000 years. It began among an order of holy men who lived in seclusion in a secret mountain shrine. In the many centuries since then, the monks were forced from their temple to make their way throughout the land, teaching their fighting method to peasants to help them defend themselves against bandits.
Zungui Quantou is one of the few martial arts to embrace both hard linear motions and softer circular techniques in one discipline. The style focuses on mobility and defense, even against the arrows that bandits and highwaymen use.
Its main strength is its broad array of attacks and defenses but this is also its main weakness; with so many options to choose from, the student may hesitate while selecting and thus present his enemy with a split second of vulnerability that may be exploited.
Basic Curriculum: Hard Martial Arts, Soft Martial Arts
Knacks: Corps-á-Corps, Disarm (Soft Martial Arts), Exploit Weakness (Zungui Quantou), Leaping, Snap Kick
New Swordsman Knack: Leaping. You can jump higher and farther than most people. This can often come in handy when exploring dusty tombs or fleeing across rooftops. In addition, you use this Knack as your Defense Knack while leaping. This is the same as the Leaping Knack found in the Acrobat and Athlete Skills, but per the Apprentice Technique below, it is considered a Basic Knack for students of Zungui Quantou.
New Swordsman Knack: Snap Kick. A snap kick is a counterattack made with no thought to your own defense. It is a quick kick launched at an oncoming opponent at the moment when he attacks you, in the hopes that your foot will stop him from continuing his attack. When an opponent attacks you, you may spend a Held or Current Action (not an Interrupt Action) to perform a snap kick. To do so, roll Wits + Snap Kick as an Attack Roll against the attacking opponent, taking two Raises to your roll. If you hit, you deal your normal Kick damage to him. If this causes a Dramatic Wound to your opponent, the attack he was about to make is canceled and his Action Die is discarded without effect. You may declare extra Raises to add Unkept Dice (+1k0) to your Damage Roll or to attempt a Called Shot.
Apprentice: The Apprentice learns that mobility is the key to Zungui Quantou, and that the art should be used for defense as well as offense. When using Footwork as his Defense Knack the Apprentice may increase his TN to be hit by his Rank in the Leaping Knack. If the Apprentice does not have access to Leaping in any of his Skills, he receives it as a Specialty Knack, it does not count against his limit of three Specialty Knacks, and it is considered a Basic Knack for him.
Apprentices receive a free Rank in the Swordsman Knack of their choice in lieu of membership in the Swordsman’s Guild.
Journeyman: Already capable of defending himself in hand to hand combat, a Journeyman of Zungui Quantou learns to focus his energies to defend himself from the arrows of the bandits and highwaymen that plague the roads of Han Hua. He may use Block (Unarmed) as his Defense Knack against arrows, thrown weapons, stones from slings, or crossbow bolts (but not firearms).
A missile weapon which misses due to a target’s Passive Defense simply fails to hit its target. However, if the Journeyman makes a successful Active Defense against a missile attack using Block (Unarmed), he has actually snatched the missile out of the air rather than simply batting it aside, and earns a Drama Die which disappears at the end of the current Round if it is not used. This Drama Die never converts to an Experience Point under any circumstances.
Master: As a Master, a student of Zungui Quantou has learned the terrible secret of the Lung Shiji (“Dragon Strike”), an act that builds up and focuses the martial artist’s qi into one mighty and accurate strike. The Master may add his Rank in the Leaping Knack to both Attack Rolls and Damage Rolls when using Kick as his attack Knack. Furthermore, he receives a free Rank in his Leaping Knack, which should increase it to a six. If for some reason it does not, he may increase it from a five to a six later by spending 25 XP.