Books by the Author
Oriental characters other than the Monk do not differentiate between weapon and non-weapon slots, and so fill all proficiency slots at once. Martial arts styles and special maneuvers may be treated as weapon or non-weapon slots. Oriental non-weapon proficiencies are selected from lists based on the character's rolled social class.
Martial arts materials in the MyWorld campaign are extensive, and have been uploaded to a related site. You are welcome to use those materials for proficiencies for oriental characters.
Detailed weapon information is provided on other pages. The weight of each weapon and its cost in those milieus in which it is available are provided in the equipment section; players should give some consideration to what their characters will be able to afford at the beginning of the game, and how much they can carry. The size, damage, and certain other features of each weapon are listed on the weapon information page. Players will wish to select weapons which give them a variety of tactical options, depending on their class, race, and abilities. Referees will normally forbid short characters from using certain larger weapons--check on the limitations imposed by the DM. There's some advice on the selection of weapons available also.
Character proficiency slots are determined by class. Each class gets a number of starting proficiencies as stated below. Weapons must be selected from those indicated as usable for the class; follow the links for each class to find the lists for that class.
If the character is multiclassed, under the MyWorld rules he adds the total number of initial proficiencies for both classes, and gains additional slots at the appropriate level for each class. Other referees may choose a different number; popular choices are the number of slots for the class with the higher number, or the mathematical average of the number of weapons for each class. Although to allow so many slots at the creation of the character may seem unfair, in fact the multiclassed character will be older than characters in either single class (and so has had time to learn the extra skills), and will be more limited in advancement in these classes (so ultimately will learn fewer additional weapons). Characters who distinguish between weapon and non-weapon slots may be offered a referee-selected 0 slot for non-weapon proficiencies; Oriental characters who do not do so gain adequate proficiencies in other skills to obviate the need for this.
For several characters (notably the Orientals), the number of proficiency slots listed here is at variance with the numbers given in the rule books. This is because many classes are listed as having automatic proficiency in certain skills, which skills are not counted in the proficiency numbers given. The numbers given here are calculated to include all required proficiencies of the class, with the correct number of free slots available for the character to fill.
The ASSASSIN has three weapon and two non-weapon proficiency slots. The referee may offer a zero slot. At level 5 the character will gain one additional slot of each type.
An ATTORNEY begins with a single weapon slot, and three non-weapon slots. The next weapon is gained at level 7, and the next non-weapon at level 4. It is absolutely mandatory that the character invest at least one non-weapon proficiency in something which would be considered physical exercise, such as (depending on the milieu) martial arts, mountaineering, running, swimming, or other physical activity approved by the referee, and that he spend time getting such exercise every week as appropriate. Since there are attorneys in every culture and of every race, the oriental character should use the list for bushi, and others should use the list for fighter.
The BARBARIAN does not pick his own weapons. He has six slots, which will include the Hand Ax, Knife, and Spear, plus three others which the referee selects as appropriate to his particular primitive tribal origins. He also begins with three non-weapon proficiencies (in addition to the special barbarian skills selected by the referee), which may be limited by the referee to those appropriate to the milieu from which he springs. Additional slots, one of each, will be gained at level 3.
A BARD begins as either a human fighter or a half-elven fighter/thief, and follows the rules for that class or combination. (The rules are unclear about this, but when all applicable rules are considered, it appears that the intent must have been that half-elves begin as multi-classed fighter/thieves, since it would be a violation of the rules for the half-elf to begin as a fighter and change to a thief.) Upon attaining the status of Bard level 1, he will gain an additional slot in each category every fourth level.
A BERSERKER begins with only 2 weapon slots, and 3 non-weapon slots. An additional one of each is gained at level 4. The berserker is a martial combatant, and may not select any weapon which has no melee function. Initial slots are limited to those reasonably available within a Viking milieu.
The BUSHI does not distinguish weapon from non-weapon slots. They begin with 10 slots, including three in Weaponsmith, two in Armorer, and one in Bowyer. They may specialize in any weapon by investing more than one slot in it at this time, but lose honor for proficiency in ninja weapons. One more slot is gained at level 3. They may learn martial arts, but often do not do so because of their tendency to wear armor.
The CAVALIER must select as his first three weapons his weapons of choice, from the list below. Cavalier types should select all three weapons of choice if they are starting at level 1, or the first such weapon if starting at level 0H. The lance is always one of these (house rules do not distinguish proficiency in lance into three size categories). One of the three swords (long, broad, or scimitar) and one of the three indicated horseman's weapons (mace, flail, or military pick) are the other two. The character will gain bonuses with these as he increases in level. If the character is beginning as a 0 level Horseman, he selects only one of these; he will gain a second as a 0 level Lancer, and the third as a first level Armiger. If his social class permits him to begin as a first level Armiger, he begins with three. He also begins with 2 non-weapon slots. One more of each is gained at level 3.
The CLERIC may choose 2 weapons from those appropriate to his class, plus 3 non-weapons. An additional slot of each will be gained at level 5.
A DRUID begins with 2 weapon and 3 non-weapon slots, and gains an additional one of each at level 6.
The FIGHTER begins with 4 weapon and 2 non-weapon slots. One of each is gained at level 4. He may choose to specialize in a weapon at character creation by investing more than one slot in it at this time.
The HOLY ORDER OF THE STARS begin with 3 weapon and 4 non-weapon proficiencies. At level 4 he will gain one additional weapon and 2 additional non-weapon slots.
An ILLUSIONIST starts with one weapon and 3 non-weapon slots, and gains an additional non-weapon slot at level 4, an additional weapon slot at level 7. This is altered from the book rules, which provide two non-weapon slots at level 7; under MyWorld rules, it seems more logical to allow the character to pick up one slot every three levels instead of two every six.
The KENSAI has dedication to a weapon, a body part, or a martial arts style; the player selects this dedication. If a weapon or a style, he is proficient in that; if a body part (usualy hand or foot), he is proficient in one style which uses primarily that body part. Additionally, under MyWorld rules, if the dedication is to a weapon-method style, the character may be proficient in any one martial-arts only weapon as an extra proficiency slot; if the dedication is to a martial-arts only weapon, the character may have an extra proficiency in one weapon-method style. The character may decline this "extra" slot, if for example he prefers to learn a different style for the weapon. (Note that weapon-method styles and martial-arts only weapons are of little use without another proficiency; and that the damage of weapons in weapon-method styles is lower than the damage done by the same weapons in other styles.) He has three additional slots, only one of which may be spent on a weapon; he does not distinguish weapon from non-weapon proficiencies. Kensai dedication is superior to weapon specialization, and precludes it. The player should be aware that use of a weapon other than the weapon of dedication results in penalties to the character's gained experience. The next proficiency slot is gained at level 3.
A KNIGHT OF SOLAMNIA begins with 3 weapon and 2 non-weapon slots, and gains an additional one of each at level 3. They may specialize in a weapon by spending additional slots on it at this time.
A MAGIC-USER starts with one weapon and 3 non-weapon slots, and gains an additional non-weapon slot at level 4, an additional weapon slot at level 7. This is altered from the book rules, which provide two non-weapon slots at level 7; under MyWorld rules, it seems more logical to allow the character to pick up one slot every three levels instead of two every six.
The MONK does not distinguish between weapon and non-weapon slots at the point of creation, but does so with the increase of levels. He begins with 10 slots, which include a martial arts style of choice (that of his monastery, which the player should select), two maneuvers thereof, religion, calligraphy (2 slots), and missile deflection. The 3 additional slots may be spent in any way the character wishes. Thereafter, the character will gain an additional weapon slot and an additional non-weapon slot at level 3.
The NINJA adds his proficiencies to those of his other class. He is expected to spend these in ninja weapons or possibly ninja-related skills. He has 2 such slots, and these are not distinguished as to weapon or non-weapon slots. He gains another at level 4. Oddly, the ninja class is not well designed to support martial arts use; but it is possible to work it in, usually through the proficiencies of the other class.
An ORIENTAL BARBARIAN begins with 9 proficiencies. These must be selected from a short list based on the native land of the barbarian tribe, as described on the connected page. Level 3 adds the next non-discriminated proficiency slot. Referees differ as to whether these characters may begin with martial arts or under what circumstances they may learn them.
A PALADIN must select as his first three weapons his weapons of choice, from those listed. Paladins, like cavaliers, should select all three weapons of choice if they are starting at level 1, or the first such weapon if starting at level 0H. The lance is always one of these (MyWorld rules do not distinguish proficiency in lance into three size categories). One of the three swords (long, broad, or scimitar) and one of the three indicated horseman's weapons (horseman's mace, horseman's flail, or horsman's military pick) are the other two. The character will gain bonuses with these as he increases in level. If the character is beginning as a 0 level Horseman, he selects only one of these; he will gain a second as a 0 level Lancer, and the third as a first level Gallant. If his social class permits him to begin as a first level Gallant, he begins with three. He also begins with 2 non-weapon slots. One more of each is gained at level 3.
The PSIONICIST begins with 2 weapon and 3 non-weapon slots. He gains an additional weapon slot at level 5, and an additional non-weapon slot at level 3. In addition to those non-weapon proficiencies listed for occidental characters, the psionicist may choose any of these listed in the Psionics Handbook: Harness Subconscious, Hypnosis, Rejuvenation, Meditative Focus.
A RANGER begins with 3 weapon and two non-weapon proficiency slots. He may choose to specialize by investing additional slots in a weapon at this time. He gains an additional one of each type proficiency at level 4.
A RUNECASTER may choose 2 weapons, plus 3 non-weapons. An additional slot of each will be gained at level 5.
The SAMURAI begins with 6 proficiency slots, at least 2 of which must be spent to specialize in the katana. Samurai always begin with specialization in the katana, and may also specialize in the daikyu either initially or at a later time. (This is the only character class which may specialize in more than one weapon. Choice of weapons of specialization is not allowed, although these are very potent weapons.) Although he is free to spend his remaining four in any way he wishes, he must have horsemanship by level 2, the daikyu (in which he may also specialize at any time) by level 3, and Calligraphy (2 slots), Painting, and Poetry by level 6. He will gain one slot per level, not distinguishing weapon from non-weapon slots. This accounts for at least 8 of 11 slots, and the player may wish to spend the remaining 3 on specialization in the daikyu (a total of 3 slots spent on the weapon) and double specialization in the katana (a total of 3 slots). Although samurai are permitted to learn martial arts, they rarely do so, and almost never at low levels, due to their need to learn so many other things, and their commitment to two potent non-martial arts weapons, the katana and the daikyu, and their tendency to wear restrictive armor.
A SHUKENJA begins with 8 slots, not distinguishing weapon and non-weapon slots. One of these is Religion, 2 are for Calligraphy, and one for a martial arts combat style of the character's choice. Shukenja must select a martial arts style, usually a weaponless or otherwise non-aggressive (a so-called "soft") style. Of the remaining 4 slots, not more than 2 may be spent on weapons. An additional slot is gained at level 3.
The SOHEI begins with 4 proficiency slots, not distinguishing weapon from non-weapon slots. Although these may be used in any way the player wishes, if the character is proficient in any weapon at first level, he may designate it (or any one of several) as a weapon of choice to gain bonuses with it. An additional slot is gained at level 4. Many player character sohei will include the use of martial arts in the creation of the character.
A THIEF begins with 2 weapon and 3 non-weapon slots, and gains an additional one of each at level 5.
The THIEF-ACROBAT begins as a thief, and should select weapons from the thief table. 2 weapon and 3 non-weapon slots begin the character, and an additional one of each is gained at level 5.
TINKER Gnomes begin with one weapon and 5 non-weapon slots, and gain an additional weapon and 3 non-weapon slots at level 3. Although they rapidly acquire non-weapon skills, they perform all of these at a -5 penalty.
A WIZARD OF HIGH SORCERY starts with one weapon and 3 non-weapon slots. An additional weapon and two non-weapon proficiencies are added at level 6.
The WU JEN begins with 6 proficiency slots, not distinguishing weapon from non-weapon slots. Although these may be used in any way the player wishes, if the character is proficient in any weapon at first level, he may designate it (or any one of several) as a preferred weapon to gain bonuses with it. An additional slot is gained at level 3. These characters often spend some of their proficiencies on the mastery of a martial arts style.
A YAKUZA starts with 4 proficiency slots, one of which is in Gaming. They do not distinguish weapon from non-weapon proficiencies. Book rules overlook the Yakuza proficiencies. In the MyWorld campaign, an additional slot is gained at level 3, and at every odd-numbered level thereafter. Martial arts are open to the yakuza.
The site which inspired this site....
The best new role playing game....
A consideration of time travel....
Other writings by the author....
For your added enlightenment....