Fighting Style: Krav Maga

(Defensive Striking; • to •••••)
Prerequisites: Strength ••, Dexterity •••, Wits •••, Brawl •••, Brawling Dodge

Krav Maga’s core philosophy is one of practicality. It recognizes that when one is in danger he rarely starts on even footing with his assailant. Students learn to quickly turn the tables on their opponents, ending a fight expediently through use of sharp applied force, including to the face and genitals. Students train in distracting conditions such as under strobe lights and deafening music, sharpening their awareness in the worst conditions. Survival is key, adherents learn, and one survives by immediately neutralizing threats and escaping without being harmed.

Your character practices Krav Maga, and has become competent in an unarmed variant of Defensive Striking. Dots purchased in this Merit provide access to special combat maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for the next. Krav Maga maneuvers are based on the Brawl Skill unless otherwise noted and are used unarmed.

Immediate Defense (•): The character has learned to act quickly to neutralize a threat and make a fast escape. She gains a bonus equal to her Initiative equal to her Brawl Skill when fighting armed opponents.

Disarming Defense (••): The character twists her torso out of danger while grabbing her opponent’s wrist and pulling him forward, using her own torso for leverage as she tears his weapon from his hand. This acts as the Disarm Merit save that it utilizes the Brawl Skill. Rather than knocking the weapon away, the character takes the weapon from her opponent, and may use it the following turn.

Impenetrable Defense (•••): The character knows that offense and defense are one in the same. The character may add his rating in his Brawl Skill to his Defense or Dodge against a single incoming attack. The bonus from this maneuver combines with that from Brawling Dodge. Drawback: The character must expend a Willpower point to perform this maneuver. This maneuver is reflexive, and a character may use it and perform an instant action (such as attacking) so long as she did not use the Dodge action.

The First Moment (••••): The character has trained her reaction time to a tenth of a second, acting more by instinct than thought. If the character’s initiative roll results in a tie with another character involved in combat, the character automatically acts before his opponents and allies. Initiative Modifiers are not compared and initiative is never determined by a roll-off (though if multiple characters aside from the Krav Maga practitioner rolled the same initiative, their initiative ratings are resolved as normal). If two characters possess this maneuver, they act at the same time, each resolving their action as if the other had not yet acted. This can result in two characters killing each other in the same heated moment.

Finishing the Fight (•••••): The character moves defensively, but knows when to lash out at an enemy to bring him crashing to the ground. The character declares and benefits from a Dodge action (including Brawling Dodge, if she possesses it). She may abort that action to make an immediate, reflexive counter-attack against an opponent whose attack fails to overcome her Dodge trait. Drawback: This maneuver costs the character one Willpower point to enact. After making her counter-attack, the character loses her Defense for the remainder of the turn.

New Merit: The Weapon at Hand (••)
Prerequisite: Fighting Style: Krav Maga ••

Krav Maga teaches its adherents that efficacy trumps style in every case. Exposed to purposefully harsh conditions, mentors train their pupils to quickly recognize and obtain the most useful improvised implement of destruction in her immediate surroundings, whether it be a bottle of gin, a pool cue or even a stapler. The results can be brutal. A character with this Merit may roll Wits + Weaponry as a reflexive action to ascertain what nearby object is both useful and available for use as a deadly weapon. On a success, the Storyteller relates to her the nearest and most efficacious improvised weapon, which she may then take up as an instant action (or as a reflexive action if she possesses the appropriate Quick Draw Merit). On a dramatic success, the character finds a weapon so perfect that it does not suffer the usual –1 penalty for being improvised. Storytellers are encouraged to be creative with this Merit. Rarely does a character find herself in a situation in which absolutely nothing can be used as a weapon.