GUMSHOE Zoom: Martial Arts
From Muay Thai’s ruthless “eight-point” technique, to swift and deadly Aikido, or plain-old pugilism, GUMSHOE Zoom: Martial Arts features new rules and options for any GUMSHOE setting. This Zoom includes nine styles of martial arts, both armed and unarmed, rules for customization, and The Way Of The GUMSHOE.
GUMSHOE Zoom: Martial Arts is intended to model the sorts of stories in which martial arts combat takes center stage in at least one scene. In addition to straight martial-arts films like Enter the Dragon or Ong-Bak, you can see such martial arts foregrounding in hybrid thrillers such as Raid: Redemption, The Matrix, or Haywire, or even as a set piece in a “straight” spy thriller like The Bourne Supremacy.
It’s usable in any GUMSHOE setting, and includes styles for Trail of Cthulhu, Ashen Stars, Night’s Black Agents and Esoterrorists.
GUMSHOE Zoom: Martial Arts is the second installment of Ken Writes About Stuff Volume 1.
Praise for Ken Writes About Stuff:
“The content of KWAS is top-notch, as one would expect from a RPG luminary like Kenneth Hite” – Daniel D.
“A brief injection of Hite-ian awesome … they’re just about the right length to digest in a single sitting, and full of amazing ideas that will make anyone’s game into a flavourful occult gumbo” – Bill Templeton
What is a GUMSHOE Zoom?
Not everything can support a game of its own, or even a big sourcebook. For those things, we present the GUMSHOE Zoom, a sort of supplement focused on a key game mechanic and its possible applications. In general, Zooms are interesting potential hacks, or intriguing adaptations of the main rules. Some apply to one specific topic or sub-sub-genre. Others cross all manner of GUMSHOE turf; you can slot them in and adapt them to tales of Cthulhuoid investigation, mean superpowered streets, or alien colonies alike.
Zooms are experimental. That does mean that they haven’t been playtested, necessarily. (If something in here is really really broken – and it’s not, as this ain’t our first rodeo – we’ll fix it in post.) But that also means we encourage you to experiment with them. Changing the cost, or prerequisites, or point effect, or other mechanical parameters of a given Zoom changes how often it shows up and how much drama it drives. The dials are in your hands.
Zooms will change the focus of your play if you use them. Putting a mechanic on the table puts it into your game. Adding a Zoom means more actions, possibly even more scenes, using those rules. Since the Zoom mechanics are intended to encourage specific actions or flavors, to force a card in your storytelling hand, they aren’t “balanced” against “normal” actions or rules. In general, if you don’t want to see more of it, don’t Zoom in on it.
Zooms are optional rules. You can and should ignore them if you don’t want them, or change them at will. After all, if a given Zoom turns out to be crucial to an upcoming GUMSHOE game, we’ll change it to fit that specific genre or form of storytelling.