I picked up Green Ronin's Hero's Handbook for their DC Adventures game, because I'm a sucker for superhero games and I happen to have recently reread Birds of Prey and Suicide Squad. It's pretty clear how you'd use it to do mainstream DC Comics stuff, but I'm not sure how you'd build distinct martial artists. There's this sub-genre of DCU stories about characters like Bronze Tiger, Cassandra Cain, Lady Shiva, and so on -- Chuck Dixon writes a lot of them -- who are martial artists with varying styles and subtle differences in approach and so on. What elements in DC Adventures can be used to reflect these?

In the Hero system, I'd do it by buying different maneuvers -- some focus on accuracy, some focus on controlling an opponent's movement, some focus on damage. I guess removing the DCU aspect of the question, I'm asking how you'd model the difference between a hard striking style like karate and a grappling style like jujitsu.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't forget you can use Afflict to simulate pressure point hits, chi damage etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jeff
    Feb 8, 2011 at 14:37

2 Answers 2


Keep the PL low, and concentrate on the Combat Advantages (née Feats) listed on page 70. That's where you find elements analogous to HERO's maneuvers. A practitioner of a "hard style" might use Accurate Attack, Improved Critical, and Takedown; someone using a grappling style could use Grabbing Finesse, Improved Hold, and Prone Fighting.


I know I am late in the game answering this question, but the last few pages of chapter 2 include a host of PL10 archetypes. Included with the samples is a Martial Artist build that would serve as a good jumping off point. They describe the archetype as being reliant mostly on natural abilities and the advantages system.

My suggestion would be to look at the advantages they gave their idea of a martial artist and pick and choose the ones you think reflect your character concept best and alter stats etc using the archetype as a base.

(I know I am answering this 4 years after the question was asked but the lack of mentions about the provided archetype seemed a useful enough tidbit to mention for people who might stumble upon this question later on)


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