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Are Martial arts skills useless in a soft Science fiction setting?:

Space hobo
The hero of my story fights using various martial arts and develops in a setting with Minovski Particles, spaceships, laser guns, robots, aliens and a few supers. Given these facts, would this kind of hero be overwhelmed by the obstacles presented by a Science fiction story like Mini-Mecha, SPEHS MAREENS or sentry guns? How could my hero sort these kind of obstacles without relying on Charles Atlas Superpower?

An accurate depiction
You can always have him use bionic enhancement.
This is this.
 3 Psycho Frea X, Wed, 29th Sep '10 6:17:36 PM from Transcended Humanity
Wait, how about this? With higher technology, there are even better ways to train in martial arts like a gravity chamber or something.

edited 29th Sep '10 6:18:29 PM by PsychoFreaX

Space hobo
Oh, I forgot to mention I'm going for a Badass Normal here, so i suppose Cybernetics are out of the question. This hero also has a sniper, a psychich, a Mech driver and a pyromanica assasin on his team. Does that make up for it or should I change some details?

Edit: ^ Thats a good point Psycho, I'll think of something, virtual simulations sound pretty good.

edited 29th Sep '10 6:19:11 PM by heartlessmushroom

Also known as Katz
In a straight-up fight, it's hard to imagine what a hand-to-hand fighter would contribute to a team with a mecha.

However, hand-to-hand skills are extremely useful if you're also doing diplomacy/stealth. If you're pretending to be an envoy to gain an audience with the High Chancellor, odds are good they won't let the mecha (or even the laser gun) in.

An accurate depiction
Against tougher opponents, consider using a style prioritizing joint locks over strikes. just a suggestion.
This is this.
Space hobo
If you think about it, not all missions are possible with a mecha on your team, like your said, those requiring stealth, diplomacy or small spaces. And since some Mini-Mecha need a windshield to let the pilot see whats going on, with a little acrobatics (and hand protection) I supose one could break it with a strong enough punch and then take care of the pilot. And If my hero is strong enough, could , lets say, make a Mini Mecha or Space marine with heavy armor tumble over rather than outright destroying it?

For now, Ill go with the diplomacy/stealth option, thanks.

Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Martial arts training makes you better at beating people up at close range. This is a given regardless of the setting. It is also a given that it won't help you with anything else, other than via the strength, agility, stamina, and coordination gained from the actual training and practice.

Knowing a martial art or two should merely be a part of this guy's arsenal, not his sole gimmick. Other useful skills are subterfuge, diplomacy, firearms training, and information warfare.

EDIT: Regarding the knocking over, probably not, unless he's heavier than the Mini-Mecha/power-armoured behemoth in question, or it has very poor balance. That's probably where you'd want to start calling in support/using the environment to your advantage.

As some advice, try watching the Bourne series for a nice depiction of a brutally efficient Badass Normal.

edited 29th Sep '10 6:48:57 PM by Iaculus

Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
Darkness and Disgrace
Might I recommend Battle Angel Alita? It's a soft sci-fi setting where the lead character's claim to fame is a martial art designed for cyborgs and robots to take down much larger opponents.

edited 29th Sep '10 6:45:41 PM by TheGunheart

Save a webcomic, read Commander Kitty! "You got your head all tangled up, but if I could only make you care..."
 10 Major Tom, Wed, 29th Sep '10 6:56:41 PM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
@OP: Yes they are useful. The modern battlefield today hasn't dispensed with close quarter hand to hand fighting. US Army Combatives Training (which I participated in some basic stuff last Thursday) practices a mix of jujitsu, and other MMA arts and is highly effective in hand to hand with a knife or barehanded.

At 21 feet, a person with a knife and Combatives training is more dangerous than a guy with an automatic weapon but left slung over or holstered.

Amusingly, learning about US Army Combatives gave me ideas for my book.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
Space hobo
If my hero need a set of other skills rather than kicking close-qauarter ass, i think i have some of them thougt already. First of, he is a Trickster, and thus, quite smart, being able to think on the fly while not being a genius like The Smart Guy. And second, he has a few charms to persuade others, which can prove useful in diplomacy. I cant think of anythign else besides that and I dont want to end up with a Gary Stu with tons of skills.

On giving him a weapon of choice, Im currently on thought here. Im not sure if giving him dual blasters and perform Gun Kata while at it, or keep him to his close combat style and give him a futuristic sword as melee weapon (but swords dont make sense in science fiction if played poorly) Or how about his fellow Gadgeteer Genius supplying him with stuff like a personal energy shield or some EMP grenades so he has a better chance against mechas and SPEHS MAREHNS.

Darkness and Disgrace
Why not give him a Power Fist or two as a melee weapon?

Also, he could have Gun Kata even without the guns, since it's is also a Rule of Cool defensive skill.
Save a webcomic, read Commander Kitty! "You got your head all tangled up, but if I could only make you care..."
Space hobo
^^^ Those are good ideas, but if my hero wants to perform a "nerve/vein strike" perhaps he should take it off. Also I like that defensive Gun Kata thing, sounds awesome.

Now, Im thinking of good strategies he could use alongside a Gunslinger, a Mini mecha, a psyychic and an assasin. Like, the mecha takes care of the sentry guns and SPEHS MAREENS with armor (I just love typing that), The psychich issues commands and disrupts the enemies atatcking the mecha, the gunslinger pick enemies from afar, the hero protects both the psychic and gunslinger while the asassin flanks. Are there any flaws with this tactic?

Also known as Katz
^In team combat, he's going to be the useless guy. He's not going to be much help covering those other two guys with nothing but martial arts (if you make him a gunslinger, that's going to completely overwhelm the martial arts in normal combat). He certainly can't take on a mecha—perhaps once as a Crowning Moment Of Awesome, but that certainly can't be his strategy. Martial arts work better as a fallback for when you're disarmed, in close quarters, etc.

Come to think of it, what good is an assassin in open combat?

Space hobo
If the Asassin wouldnt be useful in full combat, then could the hero flank and attempt to take each Mook one by one? If not, how could he be more useful?

Darkness and Disgrace
I think your problem is more having the character as the Badass Normal. While, with sufficient Rule of Cool, it's definitely not impossible to have a martial arts character fight in a sci-fi battlefield, the problem is that you're limiting him to what a human could "realistically" do, and that's just not going to work.

While not a cyborg per se, perhaps you should at least give him, I don't know, a power suit of some sort. It's a bit more believable if the character has some sort of superhuman attribute, even if it's not a permanent cyborg upgrade.
Save a webcomic, read Commander Kitty! "You got your head all tangled up, but if I could only make you care..."
Space hobo
I think Im going with a discreet Power Fist that, of course, looks cool.

Also known as Katz
How about a Power Fist designed to look like a regular hand so he can sneak it into situations where weapons aren't allowed? If it can be a prosthesis, all the better.

Do bear in mind that "least useful in regular combat" doesn't equal "not worth having around." He can be the leader/combat strategist, and I sincerely hope that your team does stuff other than fight. Out of combat, it doesn't matter who has the best weapons (and of course the mecha person will be very unwieldy!). If he's useful in other situations, it's okay if he's underpowered during combat.

BTW I'm not saying the assassin would not be good in combat, I'm just wondering how one would participate in a team since working alone is usually their thing.

 19 Ryusui, Thu, 30th Sep '10 1:07:52 AM from In The Middle Of A Field
It's The Greatest Day.
Two words: Messiah Fist.
In the event of a firestorm, the salad bar will remain open.
 20 krrackknut, Thu, 30th Sep '10 2:58:58 AM from The empty Aether.
Not here, look elsewhere
If someone is smart and fast enough, they can take down giant robots with explosives, adequate cover, and maybe some smoke-bombs.
An useless name, a forsaken connection.
 21 Major Tom, Thu, 30th Sep '10 7:15:32 AM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Come to think of it, what good is an assassin in open combat?

About the same worth as either a few machine gun rounds, a well placed mortar round, or a lone artillery round. That is to say not much. If you're in the open, assassin skills will do you no good in a military scenario.

Why do you think the military trains sniper teams in the art of stealth?

Now if you're using assassin skills in close quarters with low light inside a building or other scenario that renders much military fire support as impractical or useless, then you have much more level ground against a wide variety of foes.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
Martial arts were originally designed as a method of self-defense for someone who's not allowed to use weapons. Keeping that in mind, maybe he could be a mediocre gun-slinger, one of the weaker team members, but in situations where they're all disarmed, he's the only one who isn't rendered useless.
If I'm asking for advice on a story idea, don't tell me it can't be done.
Space hobo
So by far this character would end up in a Scout/Spy of sorts? How could avoid making him a Gary Stu by accident but avoid being too overshadowd byevryone else?

(Also: Is killing zombies, of the virus kind, with your own hands considered Crazy Awesome?)

 24 Major Tom, Thu, 30th Sep '10 9:02:36 AM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
It's roughly par for the course anymore. However doing in a zombie barehanded falls into the same problem as the Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness and is usually on the scale a last resort or a first try. All other weapons are more effective.

edited 30th Sep '10 9:02:54 AM by MajorTom

"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
Space hobo
I mean, like trying that and suceeding, just for the sake of Rule of Cool, but weidling a sword or something similar in such a situation would even the odds wouldnt it?

And by the looks of it, Th Hero is a Fragile Speedester in combat compared to the rest of his team. But since he is the hero I suppose one of his roules would be moral support and leadership, wouldnt he?

Total posts: 34
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