Capoeira?

DorkOrc

Visitor
When creating the monk class, it's pretty obvious that the minds behind Dungeons and Dragons were thinking of a class of Asian martial artists. I happen to be a fan of this class and found it to make for interesting play when I put a monk in my friend's semi-post apocalyptic campaign setting (Think "Six-String Samurai").

But recently it occured to me that there were more forms of martial arts than those found in Asia. Capoeira was the first to come to mind. So I set out to make a Capoeirista prestige class when I found that lo and behold... I didn't need to. All the ingredients to make a Capoeirista are there in the original monk class. All they really need are high perform and tumble skills. Weapons are not normally used in capoeira since it would be hard to do all those cartwheels and flips with a sword in your hand. And most Capoeiristas own instruments like a Birembau.

I'm just bringing it up because I've never seen it used in a campaign before. Am I the only one to think of this?
 

Crothian

Visitor
I have seen Capoeira used in a campaign, it just wasn't a D&D campaign. It was Ninja's and Superspies.

I think that the monk is close to Capoeira, but it would need ways to combine the tumbling with the attacks. For instance I think a special manuvuer that uses the Tumble skill would give the erquivilent of Reach 10' for trip attacks. This would make a good feat.
 

Tonguez

Adventurer
Feat

Unarmed Ranged attack Dex 13, Unarmed combat
5' is added to the normal range of an unarmed attack

I've played a ninja monk, a Kalaripajit(sp) monk (Dhalsim from Street Fighter series) and a Sumo Monk using the above feat various trip feats and various other combat feats and 'spell abilities'
 

Crothian

Visitor
Nice feat, I'd require it as a full round action with a successful tumble check (DC20). THis way all monks don't have reach for all their unarmed attacks.
 

dvvega

Explorer
I've practice Capoeira myself and I can say that although it's a very acrobatic style, with a lot of foot techniques, you still use other parts of your body.

Headbutting is quite common in some of the techniques. Its more of a style with avoidance than blocking (the WIS AC bonus suits this).

The Monk class is perfectly suited to almost any Martial Art out there.

As to weapons, Capoeira uses large machettes (used for cutting sugar cane in the fields) for some performances, and you can cartwheel on one hand (some of the more advanced techniques).
 

Ma'varkith

Visitor
You might also try swapping out a few of the low-level Monk abilities (such as Deflect Arrows, Still Mind, and Purity of Body) with Feats such as Dodge, Expertise, Mobility, or Improved Bull Rush to better emulate the "feel" of Capoera.
 

Duganson

Visitor
DorkOrc,
I've seen this too. Amazingly the Monk Class is viable in almost all forms of martial arts, give or take a few fighter levels for feats.
Off the subject I created a NPC Monk that was a Sumo Wrestler. Utilizing some of the excellent feats in OA Handbook he came out quite well.

Thysl in Silver
 

Mustrum_Ridcully

Adventurer
2Syunsuke:
I believe that is what everybody knows here - the interesting fact DorkOrc mentioned was that a monk can be used to even "emulate" a capoeira user, not only a kung fu master or other asian martial artist. :)
 

Enforcer

Explorer
I know that in Shadowrun, Capoeira is an available martial art, and that Carromoleg (the elven martial art) is nearly identical. That's probably not relevant, but I think breakdancing elves are pretty cool. :)
 

Shinsetsu

Visitor
I agree that tumbling and perform are all you need to emulate the capoeira style, although I'm sure there's room for unique attributes in a martial arts style- I think one of the often overlooked advantages of using capoeira, is the ability to fight effectively while having one's hands bound- this would set it apart from other kick-heavy martial arts such as taekwondo. This martial art was developed by slaves, (who were often shackled) and was disguised as dancing (to not alert others to their practices). Also, it could be possible to not suffer the AC penalty when in a kneeling position, and at the same time gain the AC benefit vs. missiles. Just a few thoughts. A feat should do the trick here.
 

dvvega

Explorer
My View of the Capoeira Monk

Shinsetu: they were manacled yes, however the manacles often had a length of chain to allow them limited use of tools to do the work they were made to do. They also were manacled at the feet, but the chain was long enough to allow the dancing movements of the jinga.

In a big performance the jinga can be "large" and very dynamic, but if you are truly using the style to fight for your life, you keep your jinga tight, to not reveal any openings. And you circle your opponent, you don't "dance on the spot".

Capoeira also uses more avoidance than blocking, however even the jinga has a basic block in it's movement. The leading foot at the end of the motion also has your hand positioned in such a way as to block or at least partially intercept a kick to the head (and I'm not talking about those very rigid capoeira practioners but the ones who go into the movement low and graceful, almost like a cat).

I believe the monk class simulates all of these things without too many changes ... here are my suggestions (most are cosmetic, with only a couple of REAL chances).

Weapons: add the machete (longsword? cutlass?) to the weapon list

Skills: add Perfom (capoeira: dance), Perfom (capoeira: music), Knowledge (history: capoeira) to the skill list (even make it a requirement to have ranks at 1st level) - when I first began to study capoeira my maestre made sure I learnt the music and history along with the dancing, and even Portuguese (he is an old school, not new-wave school teacher) also add Bluff, Capoeira is all about attacking from an unknown direction, you size up your opponent and thing spring in suprising them. This also leads on to my later comment on Vulnerable Spot Attack.

Unarmed Strike (stunning attack, flurry of blows): unchanged, they do this as part of their style.

Evasion: very acrobatic style, suits perfectly

Deflect Arrows: I would change this to Toughness or Great Fortitude, or Improved Reflexes. Capoeira was a style that relied on fighting an opponent within reach. Perhaps you could argue the acrobatics allows you to "Avoid Arrow" more than Deflect. It's really an open one on this.

Still Mind: Fits in, however it's explanation would be with regards to being lost in the rhythmn of the dance, or the game. Extremely long-lived practioners "give themselves to the spirits of their ancestors" when performing and I have seen a 5' tall, dumpling shaped woman (basically you would not expect anything miraculous out of her), flying through the air, and tumbling all over the combat area, befuddling even the most fit looking practioners. After the game, I talked with her and she said that she had been possessed by the ancestors - take that as you will, but it fits in. Voodoo was a strong religion back in the development of Capoeira so it's highly possible that these ancestors could be Loas.

Slow Fall: This one I have a hard time justify for Capoeira. The only thing I can think of is increasing their Tumbling Skill for falls (so that they can reduce a fall by an extra 10' each time the Slow Fall ability increases). I would prefer to replace this with ...

Vulnerable Spot Attack: similar to the Rogue's sneak attack, HOWEVER, the Capoeira artist MUST use Bluff first to use this. They can also do it against a flat-footed (surprised) opponent. It would be +1d6 at 4th level, +2d6 at 6th level, +3d6 at 8th level, and +4d6 at 18th level.

Improved Trip: perfectly suits the capoeira artist. There are some nice low ground moves that enable trips and in most spectacular ways.

Wholeness of Body: Capoeira, being an old slave art could also have old way medicine so the curing is valid in a historical/mystical sense.

Leap of the Clouds: Perfectly suited to the martial artist. I would also allow a Tumble "run up" to gain even more distance, but for now the ability stays.

Improved Evasion: see Evasion.

Ki Strike: This would be renamed to something like Strike of the Ancestors or something. Since Ki Strike is supernatural, and the note I made under Still Mind is acceptable, the Capoeira artist is attuning himself/herself more and more to the connection to the ancestors.

Diamond Body: acceptable due to the fitness of the practioner and we're become more attuned to the ancestors as well.

Abundant Step: The ability is valid, however the artist actual takes a giant leaping tumble through the air or something, rather than "blinking" from one point to another ... this is more cosmetic than anything else.

Diamond Soul: See Diamond Body.

Quivering Palm: This is one ability I can't see as being in the way of a capoeira player. I would modify this to an ability that lets you call on an ancestor in some way. For example you coul allow it to mimic the Animal Affinity psionic ability but for all statistics, or something ... need help on this one.

Timeless Body: The ancestors have infused the martial artist with perfect vigor and agelessness. A true practioner.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon: Perhaps the ancestors speak through the practioner more than the practioner actually speaking. So the ancestors as a collective spirit can speak any language and the player is a conduit, but remembers what was said.

Empty Body: They practiced voodoo in the days that capoeira was developed so this could well be possible.

Perfect Self: The capoeira player has become one with the ancestors, and has become an "outsider" for game purposes.
 

Tonguez

Adventurer
Quivering Palm: This is one ability I can't see as being in the way of a capoeira player. I would modify this to an ability that lets you call on an ancestor in some way. For example you coul allow it to mimic the Animal Affinity psionic ability but for all statistics, or something ... need help on this one.
However the 'death curse' aspect of Quivering palm does fit perfectly into the voodoo mystique and I'd explain it in that context.

The Player marks her opponent with a 'death curse' (perhaps slaps them with a dead chicken:)) and thereafter can

...choose to try to slay the victim at any later time within 1 day per level of the player. The player merely wills the target to die (a free action), and unless the target makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + one-half the monk's level + Wisdom modifier), it dies. If the saving throw is successful, the target is no longer in danger from that particular quivering palm attack
 

dvvega

Explorer
Tonquez: yeah you could justify it, however Capoeira isn't about killing. The game that you play is the game of life, the circle formed represents life, all of it is in the rhythmn of life. But yes you could justify it as long as they carry a dead chicken :)
 

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