By Brett Hegr
Gladiators, cyborgs, headhunters, and mercenaries are the most common practitioners of this combat style. Obviously, it is the skill of boxing rounded out to include a wider range of punches for a better attack capability. It doesn't have the versatility of Expert, the kick attacks of Martial Arts, or the grappling skills of Wrestling. However, a skilled boxer can quickly batter single opponents to the point where those shortcomings aren't even relevant. The defense ability of this combat style is unmatched in American combat styles.
Skill Requirements: Must know the Physical: Boxing skill.
Attribute Requirements: P.S. of 12 or more.
Techniques Known at First Level: Automatic parry, dodge, roll with punch/fall/impact, block (special), and pull punch. Attacks include punch (1d4 damage), hard punch (1d6 damage), overhead punch (1d4 damage but is +1 to strike from the speed and angle), power punch (used with any kind of punch), and elbow or forearm smash (1d6 damage). Don't forget the special knockout punch of the boxer - an automatic (no need to declare) knockout/stun for 1d6 melees on a natural 20.
The block is a skill unique to the boxer (GMs could let other combatants purchase it separately for one secondary skill). The hands and forearms are used to deflect blunt attacks (punches, kicks, and blunt weapons). A block is an automatic defense much like a parry, but can be used to defend against any and all attacks against the frontal upper body (unlike a parry, which is only good against one attack). If successful the boxer takes no damage, or half damage if failed. The character can also block mega-damagetm blows, but he must be wearing M.D.C.tm body armor or power armor. If bought separately, add a +1 to block at levels 1, 4, 7, 11, and 15 (must have the Boxing skill and no other bonuses can be added in). If part of combat boxing, use the bonuses listed below.
Limitations: Due to the emphasis on using the hands for primary attacks, no more than one half of the character's attacks can be used to strike with a weapon or fire a gun. Small, one hand weapons (like knives and blackjacks) are the preferred choice. Forearm vibro-blades do not restrict the character at all and can be used at will. Two handed weapons (battle axes, rifles, etc.) can be used, but the boxer loses one attack and his bonuses to defend are halved. Also, for attacks that do not use the arms (like head butts, knees, and kicks) the boxer only gets to apply half the damage bonus from combat boxing due to the nature of the attack (but still add the full P.S. damage bonus).
Bonuses: +2d6+3 S.D.C.tm, +1 to P.S., and +1 to P.E.
Level 1: Three attacks per melee, +2 to strike, +2 to block, and +2 to damage. Level 2: +2 to pull punch, +1 to roll with punch/fall/impact, and +1 to parry. Level 3: +1 to dodge, +1 to maintain balance, and +1 to grapple.
Level 4: Backhand (1d6 damage), head butt (1d6 damage), +1 attack per melee, and +2 to damage. Level 5: Automatic knockout/stun on an unmodified roll of 19 or 20 (for 1d6 melees) and +2 to block. Level 6: Hard punch (2d4 damage) and critical strike on an unmodified roll of 19 or 20. Level 7: One-two punch - A special attack where the first punch (a normal punch doing 1d4 damage) distracts the victim from the real danger, a second devastating punch. The second punch can be another normal punch, a hard punch, an overhand punch, a power punch (still uses two attacks), or an uppercut/roundhouse. Initially, roll one strike roll. If that one succeeds roll damage for both punches. If it fails, roll a second strike roll for the second punch (hits as normal). If the first punch connects, then the second one automatically hits. If it doesn't, the boxer still gets another chance to nail his enemy. The boxer can only block or parry one melee attack when using this attack, and it can only be used twice per melee. Level 8: +2 to block and +2 to damage.
Level 9: Uppercut/roundhouse - A special punch that takes two melee actions. It is a critical strike that does triple damage and gets a special +1 bonus to strike, but no defenses can be done while using it. Also add +1 attack per melee and +1 to strike at this level.
Level 10: +1 attack per melee, +1 to parry, and +1 to dodge.
Level 11: +1 to strike, +2 to pull punch, and +2 to roll with punch/fall/impact.
Level 12: Kick attack (1d6 damage) and an automatic knockout/stun on an unmodified roll of 18 to 20 (for 2d4 melees).
Level 13: Automatic dodge and +2 to block. Level 14: +1 attack per melee.
Level 15: Critical strike on an unmodified roll of 17 or 20.
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