Wields Empty Hands

Published April 3, 2014 by

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The Ninth World is filled with strange individuals who bend time, walk on water, manipulate matter and pass through dimensions. These people accomplish the impossible through almost supernatural means. Where as you have only yourself. Over many years you have perfected the balance between your mind and your body, creating a weapon of deadly potential. Foregoing traditional weapons, you choose instead the art of the empty hand. Rendering your opponents into helpless heaps at your feet with your precise blows.

A character who Wields Empty Hands will usually wear very little in terms of clothing (to allow maximum mobility), but enough to appear modest. Likely it is of a calming color and made of simple fabrics. Glaives and Jacks might benefit the most from the ‘powers’ of this focus, but a Nano could potentially grow into the role as well.


GM Intrusion: The nature of your opponent is strange and your calm mind slips for a moment. Count yourself as impaired for one round against your opponent.


Pick one other PC. That PC has begun to study under you as a disciple of empty handed combat. You have taught him/her the rudiments of using energy to your own advantage and many of the stances required to harness the full potential of your attacks. When you and the chosen PC take complementary actions in combat instead of the regular +2 to your roll you count the task as one level easier. This only applies if both of you are not using weapons on the attack.

Additional Equipment:

You start off with an oddity that produces a pleasant smelling incense. You most likely use it for meditation.

Minor Effect Suggestions:
You tap a pressure point on your opponent and they lose the use of one of their limbs for a single round.
Major Effect Suggestions:
You are able to slip between the defenses of you opponent so easily that you may make another attack as a part of the same action.
Tier 1:

Art of the Empty Hand: Your limbs have hardened over the years and you now wield them with both grace and power. All unarmed attacks (kicks, punches, headbutts, etc.) count as having been delivered via a light weapon, but deal four points of damage. Enabler.

Tier 2:

Application of Force (2+ Speed points): Exploiting the lines of energy that connect all things, you are able to strike a vital area of your opponent and (if the attack is successful) render all their actions one step to their detriment. This effect lasts for one round plus an extra round for every additional point of speed spent. Action.

Perfect Balance: You are trained in all movement related tasks such as jumping, climbing, running, balancing, etc.

Tier 3:

Bending to the Wind (3 Speed points): The tree does not stand before the wind, it bends and sways to accommodate its passing. You too now bend before forces greater than you, but will never break. For the next hour you gain an asset on speed defense rolls. Action.

Still as the Water (3 Speed points): Water moves only when it is ready and can strike with ferocity unlike anything else. Like a liquid shadow, you move with silence and intent. For the next hour you gain an asset on all actions involving stealth. Action.

Tier 4:

Master of the Empty Handed: Perfect balance of both mind and body has brought your attacks a new strength and precision you never knew before. All unarmed attacks (kicks, punches, headbutts, etc.) count as having been delivered via a light weapon, but deal six points of damage. Enabler.

Tier 5:

Focused Mind: You have gained a clarity of mind and a harmonious existence with your physical form. Your heart is at peace, and you are now able to see the world more clearly. You are now trained in any task involving the following: taking the initiative, sensing motive, and intellect defense. Enabler.

Tier 6:

Death Stroke (5+ Speed points): Your strike is like that of a serpent. Deadly by touch alone. You attack falls on your opponent’s weakest point and cuts the strings of energy that keep them alive. Your attack deals an extra 6 points of damage and for every extra point of speed you spend you garner another three points of damage. Action.

3 thoughts on “Wields Empty Hands

  1. Daniel Pires says:

    I was thinking about making this focus and thankfully you did it before. I have some sugestions:

    Application of Force shouldn’t have a time limit? Or it lasts until the end of the combat? For the second option i think it’s a little overpowered.

    Master of the Empty Handed isn’t too strong for Tier 4?

    Death Stroke it’s very cool, but adding 3 points of damage for each point above the initial cost isn’t too much?

    1. Daniel Pires says:

      By the way, i loved Focused Mind, Bending to the Wind and Still as the Water.

      1. Nicholas Johnson says:

        Thank you for your thoughts 🙂 Youre right about Application of Force ill fix that. Maste of the Empty Handed is neccessary by Tier 4 because of personal experiance with my own group. Death Stroke is a system of slightly cheaper effort that can only be applied to damage.

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