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Mind, body, and spirit: these are the three components of self. To find harmony between them is to achieve oneness with the universe. When that happens, all is possible: the body grows as tough as iron and as fluid as the wind; the mind discovers perfect clarity; the soul achieves supreme enlightenment. Meditate on your purpose, young disciple, and behold your infinite potential.

Examples of MartialArts characters include:

Martial Arts

Catch Blade

(Martial Arts | Combat)

  • Gain the defense "Catch Blade ☐". Mark it when you suffer a Bad Tale from something small enough that you can catch with your empty hand. If it's a weapon, you can take it from the attacker
  • Descriptions
  • catching a sword between your hands
  • grabbing an arrow before it strikes you
  • punching a spell
  • Crane Stance

    (Martial Arts | Combat)

  • If you are not yet attacked in combat and someone charges you, prevent their attack and tell a free Good Tale against them
  • Descriptions
  • waiting in a defensive stance
  • giving them a chance to stand down
  • being passive like the waves
  • Drunken Master

    (Martial Arts | Combat)

  • When you're drunk, you're bolstered to fight. If you're extremely drunk, you're bolstered three times to fight
  • Descriptions
  • wobbling in a confusing rhythm
  • using the alcohol to fuel your energy
  • hiccuping
  • ruddy cheeks
  • Finisher

    (Martial Arts | Combat)

  • You can knock out a creature that isn't significantly more powerful than you. Collaborate on how this trait works
  • Descriptions
  • delivering an uppercut
  • putting them in a sleeper hold
  • paralyzing them with a special technique
  • Fist of the East Star

    (Martial Arts | Combat)

  • If a creature you damaged in the last several minutes dies, you can have it remain alive but incapable of fighting. For the next several hours, you have total control over their biology
  • Descriptions
  • hitting a pressure point
  • striking their sacred chakra points
  • using a forbidden death technique
  • Examples
    Affect their Biology
  • they explode
  • their arm breaks
  • they fall asleep
  • they're permanently paralyzed
  • Iron Grip

    (Martial Arts | Combat)

  • Once you grab something, nothing can forcibly break your grip except amputation or defeat
  • Descriptions
  • grabbing on with an iron grip
  • using a wrestling move
  • putting their limbs in a lock
  • jumping on
  • Judo

    (Martial Arts | Combat)

  • You can make a creature hit itself
  • Descriptions
  • turning back their momentum
  • using their size and recklessness against them
  • tripping them
  • Pressure Point

    (Martial Arts | Combat)

  • When you exploit a creature's weakness, tell a free Good Tale against it
  • Descriptions
  • striking their most vulnerable spots
  • hitting their chakra points
  • hurting a nerve cluster
  • Stunning Palm

    (Martial Arts | Combat)

  • You can make a melee attack that causes the target to skip their next turn. Then, they're immune to your Stunning Palm for several minutes
  • Descriptions
  • stunning them with a blow to the head
  • incapacitating them with a kidney shot
  • locking their chakra
  • Balance

    (Martial Arts | Exploration)

  • When you experience extreme imbalance, write the imbalance on your character sheet. Cross it off to gain a free Good Tale to balance the scales
  • Descriptions
  • pursuing moderation and balance
  • observing yin and yang
  • restoring order
  • seeking true harmony
  • Centered Breath

    (Martial Arts | Exploration)

  • You can hold your breath for about 1 hour, and you only need about 1 hour of sleep instead of the normal amount
  • Descriptions
  • meditating quietly
  • controlling your breathing and pulse
  • benefiting from harsh training
  • Enlightenment

    (Martial Arts | Exploration)

  • You can ask any question, which the GM must answer. Collaborate on how this trait works
  • Descriptions
  • understanding the inner workings of the universe
  • achieving true understanding
  • seeing the truth
  • Leaping Tiger

    (Martial Arts | Exploration)

  • Collaborate on how much higher and farther you can jump than normal. Also, you can wall jump
  • Descriptions
  • making great leaps
  • gliding through the air
  • jumping from wall to wall
  • leaping with the wind
  • Light Feet

    (Martial Arts | Exploration)

  • Collaborate on how much farther than normal you can fall without suffering harm. All solids and liquids can support your weight
  • Descriptions
  • balancing on a single blade of grass
  • leaping with the grace of a cat
  • falling like a feather
  • Split the Mountain

    (Martial Arts | Exploration)

  • Your ability to damage structures exceeds normal limits. Collaborate on what this entails
  • Descriptions
  • breaking rocks during training
  • kicking down doors and walls
  • splitting a tree in half with a chop
  • Third Eye

    (Martial Arts | Exploration)

  • You can perfectly see everything within a far distance, stripped away of all illusion and deception; you see things as they truly are. This functions even if you're blind
  • Descriptions
  • using supernatural senses
  • seeing things as they truly are
  • sensing everything within your ki aura
  • Karma

    (Martial Arts | Interaction)

  • When you perform a sacrificial good act that doesn't benefit you whatsoever, write on your character sheet that you gain 1 Karma (max 3). Spend 1 Karma to tell a free Good Tale
  • Descriptions
  • balancing the cosmic scales
  • achieving harmony
  • completing a karmic cycle
  • getting a fair reward
  • Pacifist

    (Martial Arts | Interaction)

  • Gain the defense "Pacifist ☐". Mark it when you suffer a Bad Tale while pursuing nonviolence or showing mercy. When you do, name an immediate impending threat; it won't come to pass, or it will be much less severe if it does come to pass (GM's choice)
  • Descriptions
  • extending your hand to an enemy
  • disarming a foe and leaving them unharmed
  • seeking peace
  • Sensei

    (Martial Arts | Interaction)

  • When you give someone in-depth and thoughtful advice, they're bolstered to follow your advice
  • Descriptions
  • seeing what they cannot
  • understanding the bigger picture
  • telling a fable to convey a lesson
  • Training Montage

    (Martial Arts | Interaction)

  • You can retrain in about 1 hour instead of 1 week. Others who train with you during this time can also retrain
  • Descriptions
  • working out
  • sparring
  • singing eye of the chimera
  • pushing each other beyond your limits

  • © 2023-2023




    Physical contact and adjacent spaces


    Several steps, or 3 spaces


    A room, or 5 spaces


    A building, or 10 spaces

    Very Far

    Several buildings, or 20+ spaces



    Players can spend their bolsters to increase a related roll. The GM can spend bolsters to make a PC decrease a related roll. Unspent bolsters eventually expire.

    Refer to Chapter 2 of the rules for more about increasing/decreasing rolls


    Traits that tell you to collaborate are intentionally vague and ambiguous. Work with the GM to create a balanced and thematically appropriate effect. Collaborations should be an ongoing process. For example, you may discover that an effect is too strong or weak after a few sessions, so you and the GM should rebalance the effect


    A condition is anything that temporarily affects your capabilities or status.

    Refer to Chapter 3 of the rules for more about conditions


    Defenses make you more resilient during Challenges. Defenses grant one or more boxes, which function the same as Challenge Number boxes. However, defenses have unique requirements that allow you to mark them only in specific situations


    A minion is a creature that serves another creature through a contract.

    Refer to Chapter 7 of the rules for more about minions


    A shrine is a divine conduit that allows a specific deity or set of deities to affect the mortal world.

    Refer to the Faith theme of the rules for more about shrines

    Temporary Item Trait

    A temporary item trait is any item trait that you did not spend XP to acquire. Temporary item traits come from a variety of source: magic items, potions, spells, etc. They're free and don't affect the XP cost of buying other item traits. You can't upgrade temporary item traits

    Temporary Trait

    A temporary trait is any that you did not spend XP to acquire. Temporary traits come from a variety of source: magic items, potions, spells, etc. They're free and don't affect the XP cost of buying other traits. You can't upgrade temporary traits


    Worldbuilding a collaborative process wherin the players and the GM work together to create something about the game world. One person is in charge of the worldbuilding event, and the other players support that player.

    Refer to Chapter 6 of the rules for more about world building


    A zone is an area of effect. If a trait affects a zone, collaborate on logically fitting zones that you can create with that trait, and write them into your trait. Example zones:
    Blast: An explosion that affects one space and adjacent spaces. Blast attacks can be melee or ranged.
    Cone: A 90° cone that extends out to a Close distance. Cone attacks are considered to be melee.
    Line: This is a line of spaces that extends out to a Far distance. Line attacks are considered to be ranged.


    Tavern Tales Toolkit 0.0.1-alpha-5

    Based on the Kickstarter 1.0.1 version of Tavern Tales with minor modifications


    • Metamagic has been renamed Augment and moved from Arcane traits into General traits
    Tavern Tales, the Tavern Tales logo, and any other associated artwork were orginally © 2014-2017 by Dabney Bailey, and has since been released under the Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license


    Tavern Tales KS 1.0.1 on Fandom Tavern Tales Discord