Hello again! For the second half of this review, I’ll be looking at the two supplemental materials for Blood and Fists.
Blood and Fists-Hong Kong Knights
Despite its name, Hong Kong Knights isn’t specifically limited to Asia, although Asia does take up a good part of the inspiration and flavor. What does Hong Kong Knights present to someone already familiar with Blood and Fists? Some good stuff, actually. What, you may ask? Well, let me pull out my red three-prong folder-encased copy and find out…
Classes: The new advanced and prestige classes presented here are the Ninja, Totem Warrior, Weapon Master, Yakuza, Sensei, Warrior Monk, and Zen Master. I like these classes a lot more than those in the core Blood and Fists book; they have a lot more personality and…ping…to them, I guess you could say.
New Basic Feats: In addition to a feat that introduces acupunctural stuff in d20 Modern and some other heres and there, Hong Kong Knights produces the most glorious idea so far…ability defense feats. These feats add a bonus to your Defense based upon an ability score OTHER than your Dexterity; for instance, a bruiser who just bounces off attacks with his strength might take Brute to get his Strength modifier added to his Defense. The other biggy for new feats are the allegiance feats, which are based around allegiances. For instance, Street Samurai requires you to have an allegiance to honor and grants you a bonus to opponents that fight with lies and law-breaking, and Devotion (requiring loyalty to one person) lets you deal more damage when fighting to defend the person you care about.
New Style Feats: Obviously, you’d have to have new styles for this. There are a total of 40 new feats present, all of them enriching the experience. While there are some Eastern-oriented ones such as Hung Gar, there are also totally off-the-wall ones such as Greco-Roman Wrestling, French Fencing, and Lucha Libre (Mexican masked wrestling). This makes the title useful not just for the streets of Hong Kong, but for everywhere.
Maneuvers and Mysticism: There are new maneuver feats such as Tendon Lock and new ki feats such as One Finger, but those are on my “good, but not really something to discuss in depth since we already went over what they are” titles. No, what are new and talk worthy are a new type of maneuver feat…legendary maneuvers. Legendary maneuvers have a lot of requirements, but at a lot of reward, and represent the cinematic “ultra warrior” masters of martial arts that have honed themselves for decades. Two are presented: Breath of Laughter and No-Shadow Kick. It’s an interesting concept, but I would have liked to have seen it fleshed out more.
Final score for Hong Kong Knights? Totally 10/10. It takes what its predecessor created, put it on steroids, and then made it something absolutely mind-blowing.
Blood and Fists-Fantastic Styles
Here we get to the second title supplement to Blood and Fists. Fantastic Styles is dedicated to having martial arts styles for non-human races, giving magical campaigns some here and there as well.
Mystic Classes: Two new prestige classes are presented; these are the Ki Wizard and Ki Spiritualist; these are 5-level prestige classes that are essentially a martial arts/ki-user progression of the Mage and Acolyte. It’s a neat concept, and could be the end results for some very interesting characters.
New Style Feats: New style feats are presented for martial arts styles born out of animal-style elf, vampire, giant, dwarf, orc, dragon, gnome and halfling cultures. These range from Death’s Hand (a vampire technique that lets the wielder deal energy drain when using martial arts techniques) to Rho Baggasto (a giant martial art based solely around leg-based attacks), and total out at 21 new styles.
New Maneuver Feats: Of course, new maneuver feats are provided as signature moves for each of the styles as well. There are 5 regular maneuvers, 20 signature maneuvers based on styles, 4 ki maneuvers, and 8 mystical maneuvers (a new type of maneuver feat that focuses on psionic or magical powers in martial arts). They are all interesting, and have cool flavor justifying how they came to be; for instance, Godslayer Punch (an orc-based maneuver feat that allows the wielder to threaten a critical hit when performing punching attacks on creatures of the outsider type) is born from the orcish rite of “becoming god-king”.
I’ll have to tally up a final score of 10/10 for Fantastic Styles as well…it’s an awesome book, and adds a lot of flavor to fantasy settings and races.
Addendum: There is also a book called Cosmic Fury that utilizes some of the systems from Blood and Fists, but since it is tied to Blood and Space, I didn’t count it as a direct sequel..you may see a review on it soon. 😛