At the Heart of the Abyss
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Martial arts as a power is distinct from the skill of hand to hand combat in that it’s focused on taking that skill and augmenting it with biotics to make melee combat something that can compete with guns even against armored foes. Because the Martial Arts power is not pure biotic, it lacks the extreme punch of regular biotic powers, but doesn’t have the same restrictions on its use. This lower-grade biotic ability can be used repeatedly to grant serious power to the user’s physical attacks.
Unless otherwise specified, Martial Arts is a passive power like the Ammo powers of other classes that modifies melee attacks. Thus there is no ‘activation roll’, the various abilities of the power simply give the character more options when making hand to hand attacks.
- Biotic Strike: The base ability of martial arts is just to deliver a strike that’s wrapped in additional biotic force. The extra power, combined with the protective field around the user’s hand, foot, or weapon, gives a physical strike the power to hurt someone even through their ceramic/kevlar weave armor.
- Melee attacks gain a +5 bonus to damage, across the board.
- When spending a Resolve point to improve the attack roll, character also adds +5 damage to the attack.
- Leverage: Adding biotic power to melee combat can do more than just increase damage, it can also give the vanguard increased control over a situation. At this level the vanguard learns to use those biotics to compensate for the difference in size between himself and an opponent he’s trying to grapple. A slender Asari can effectively grapple a Krogan, Geth Hunter, or even an Elcor as if their builds were similar. The vanguard must still be able to get a good grip on the enemy, so when it comes to much larger foes like a YMIR mech, this power can’t help.
- The damage bonus on Melee attacks increases to +7, or +14 for attacks improved by a Resolve point.
- Aerobatics: An ability that works like a less intense version of Charge, Aerobatics is a biotic boost to any kind of athletic maneuver, allowing jumps, safe falls, and bursts of speed that the vanguard couldn’t perform unassisted. Athletics checks gain +5 to the roll, and once per combat the Vanguard can move 2 spaces with a single minor action.
- The damage bonus on Melee attacks rises to +9, or +18 when using a Resolve point to boost the roll.
- Stop-Strike: Using the biotic boost, the vanguard can now make his melee-attacks shield piercing without giving up all of the bonus this power provides. He can slow a strike right as it’s reaching the enemy’s shields to prevent them from activating, then kick in the boost and hit hard. It doesn’t hit quite as hard as an uninterrupted strike, but it’s better than a regular punch for sure.
- Stop-Strikes gain the original damage bonus of +5/+10 and ignore shields.
- Regular Melee attacks now gain +12 /+24 damage bonus.