Prerequisites: Athletics **, Brawling **, Brawling Dodge *
Effect: Your character is trained in the art of Muay Thai, or Thai kickboxing, able to deliver devastating punches, kicks, elbow and knee strikes along with the ability to shrug off punishment. Muay Thai is the traditional sport of Thailand, and it is there where prospective students may learn true Muay Thai. A short ritual in which the fighter pays homage and tribute to his school and master precedes each match. Often Muay Thai fighters learn Krabi-Krabong, a style of weapons combat also related to Muay Thai and Thailand.
Dots purchased in this Merit allow access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for the next. So, your character can’t have “Roundhouse Kick” until he has “Jumping Attack”. The maneuvers and their effects are listed below, most of which are based on the Brawl skill.
Special: Since Muay Thai and Boxing are similar on several levels, you can easily switch between fighting styles during combat. This is a reflexive action (usable only once on your turn), and you must choose either Muay Thai or Boxing. If you choose Boxing, you may grapple and throw normally, but you may not use Jumping Attack or Roundhouse Kick. If you choose Muay Thai, you can perform any Boxing maneuver that you have purchased, but the normal drawback for using Muay Thai (see above) still applies.
Drawback: If you use a Grapple or a throw maneuver, you may not use Combination Blows, Duck and Weave, Haymaker, Jumping Attack or Roundhouse Kick during your next turn (see p. 110-111 for maneuvers not listed here).
* Iron Skin
Your character has hardened his body to physical blows, allowing him to withstand repeated hits with minimal effect. He has an effective armor trait of 1 against bashing attacks.
** Jumping Attack:
Muay Thai fighters often use jumps to increase the power behind their attacks. To execute a Jumping Attack, perform a normal standing broad Jump (see p. 66), but with a penalty equal to your opponent’s Defense. If you succeed on this jump, you may make an immediate single Brawl strike against an opponent. For every odd number of successes, you gain a +1 modifier to your Brawl attack this turn.
Drawback: Your character cannot use his Defense against any attacks in the same turn in which he intends to use this maneuver. If he uses Defense against attacks that occur earlier in the Initiative roster, before he can perform this maneuver, he cannot perform the maneuver in the turn. He is too busy bobbing and weaving out of the way of attacks. Spend one Willpower point per attack. Note that this Willpower expenditure does not add three dice to the attack.
*** Roundhouse Kick
You can perform such a devastating kick that it can knock an opponent prone. A single Brawl attack that equals or exceeds the target’s Size in damage causes a Knockdown (see p. 168). The opponent still loses his next action due to Body Blows (see p. 110) whether or not the opponent was knocked prone.
Drawback: Your character cannot use his Defense against any attacks in the same turn in which he intends to use this maneuver. If he uses Defense against attacks that occur earlier in the Initiative roster, before he can perform this maneuver, he cannot perform the maneuver in the turn. He is too busy bobbing and weaving out of the way of attacks.
**** Steel Body
Your character has been trained in methods of strengthening his body. This training involves the fighter striking his hands, arms, legs, and so on against progressively harder surfaces: padded wood, bare wood, brick, stone, and finally metal. The repeated blows cause the fighter's body to toughen over time until they become like rods of iron. When your opponent succeeds in hitting you with a Brawl attack, your hardness of body may damage him. Roll your Stamina as an attack with a penalty equal to the amount of damage your opponent inflicted (a reflexive action, your opponent’s defense score does not apply). Any armor your opponent is wearing that covers the portion of the body that he struck you with, and protects against bashing damage, applies against your reflexive attack. Each success on this attack scores a point of bashing damage. Steel Body cannot be used if you are wearing heavier armor than a Kevlar vest, unless the attack targets an unprotected part of your body.
Drawback: You still take damage from your opponent's attack, which is applied before you perform this maneuver.