Howdy y’all. Now, you wanna talk about that there cultural appropriation, you wanna talk about the Japonisme Renaissance of the nineteen-hunnerd–eighties an’ thereabout. Folks around the world got themselves the fever for the flavor of a ninja, kinda Part Two of the seventies interest in kung fu, itself a sequel of an even creepier post WWII interest in Japanese culture and judo. The Chinese were into it early on (see movies like Heroes of the East and Five Element Ninjas), but no one went whole hog for it like the U S of A.
During that time, Frank Miller had a run on Daredevil comics which featured extremely ninjatastic plots, that ultimately formed the basis of the most recent season of Netflix’s Daredevil series. Now, I was on the tumblrs when I came across a screen cap of a hilarious tweet by someone name of Sam Kriss:
“imagine a japanese tv show in which someone investigating a corrupt american corporation is attacked by droves of lasso-wielding cowboys”
As it happens, back in my unselfconscious days of youth, I owned a role-playing game called Ninjas & Superspies, which had dozens of martial art forms. But it didn’t have Cowboy Jutsu… until now! You can thank me in the comments. Now I reckon a lot of you will care less about bonuses to Parry and Dodge, so just focus on the color text for yuks in the following section. (For the interested and egregiously nerdy, I tried to make this balanced within the system by modeling it off of Triad Assassin style from “Mystic China” but made it a bit more versatile and tough with the excuse I was making it an “Exclusive” form.)
Entrance Requirements: Heartfelt commitment to rugged individualism and personal liberty, No city slickers
Skill Cost: 10 years
The Way of the Cowboy, like the warrior traditions of the Maasai people, originated in the protection of cattle. To that end, the highest principle of the art is that rustlin’ is a hangin’ offense in these here parts. The true cowboy learns to rope cattle and people alike as needed, how to brawl, but most important, how to smoke banditos with pair of classic high-powered six guns.
As a fighting tradition that emerged in a diverse, individualistic, and vast domain, there are many schools – some even in direct, violent opposition to each other. Some schools of vaqueros speak Spanish as their primary language, some serve robber barons, some pride themselves on regulatin’ any stealin’ of people’s property, while others only grant prestige to the best of killers.
Costume: A good belt with a way to hang a lasso and two gun rig is essential. The cowboy hat is also useful, helping throw off the aim of punches and bullets alike when properly used, and shielding the eyes from the sun to keep one’s aim true. Cowboy boots make the feet into deadly weapons. Chaps protect the legs from damage while riding. Tight collared shirts with décor and broke-in jeans complete the ensemble, though personal variation is expected among these folks.
Stance: Keep them bowlegs wide, face forward, palms down and hands open. Or do what you will, lookin’ good is important.
Add 2 to MA
Add 2 to PE
Add 1 to PP
Add 15 to SDC
Attacks per Melee: 2
Escape Moves: Roll with Punch/Fall/Impact.
Basic Defensive Moves: Dodge, Parry, Automatic Parry.
Advanced Defenses: Automatic Dodge, but only vs. gunfire and when cover is available.
Hand Attacks: Punch Attack, Roundhouse Punch.
Basic Foot Attacks: Axe Kick, Kick Attack, Snap Kick.
Jumping Foot Attacks: Rideby Kick. From a horse or motorcycle, can kick a foe as they pass. Damage as Leap Kick.
Special Attacks: From Weapon Katas only.
Weapon Katas: Three are had for free. All use the cowboy’s best Strike bonus (the one for six guns), but don’t benefit from Paired Pistols.
Pistol Whippin’: Can buttstroke a fool for 1d8 damage. At level 5, can Knockout/Stun on a natural 20. At level 10, on 19-20, and at level 15, on 18-20.
Ropin’: A lariat in a cowboy’s hands can act as a whip for 2d4 damage and possible Entanglement. +1 to Entangle and Disarm at levels 1, 4, 7, 10, and 13. If a Disarm beats the foe’s roll by 10 points, the cowboy can pull the weapon or item to himself. Also, they can Pin/Incapacitate a foe with it on a roll of 18-20. Outside of combat, can use the rope as a grappling hook or to pull items to their self, or for Hojo-jutsu / non-erotical rope bondage. In a fight, if they success-fully keep a foe pinned with it for three rounds, they can make a Hojo-jutsu roll on the spot.
Trick Shootin’: With revolvers only, a cowboy can attempt wacky shots with penalties, ranging from -1 to -10 depending on GM’s estimate of difficulty. Inanimate objects “Dodge” is always 15, bullet damage is -4 per ricochet.
Modifiers to Attacks: From Weapon Katas only.
SKILLS INCLUDED IN TRAINING:
Martial Art Powers: None from this form.
Language: The wild west is diverse. Pick one language you don’t know from English, Cantonese, Japanese, Spanish, or any Native American tongues spoken west of the Mississippi.
Skills: Hojo-jutsu, Horsemanship and any three from Desert Survival, Gambling, Land Navigation, Sing, Play Musical Instrument (Harmonica, Mouth Harp, Guitar, that sort of thing), Tracking, or Wilderness Survival.
Physical (Choose 1): Weapon Improvisation, WP Bow, WP Knife, or WP Thrown Weapons.
Philosophical Training: Only a rogue cowboy would submit to a sumbitchin’ school of thought, but some do. Nefarious Libertarian cowboys serve corporate robber barons as pinkertons, and foolhardy wobbly Unionists get tied down in cities. What’re you gonna do?
If this is your Primary Martial Art Form, then the following other forms can be learned in a shorter time: Moo Gi Gong (4 years), Shih Ba Ban Wu Yi (4 years), or Zanji Shinjinken-Ryu (4 years).
LEVEL ADVANCEMENT BONUSES
1st +4 to Strike with six-guns, +1 to Strike with other attacks, +1 to Parry & Dodge, +2 to Roll with Punch/Fall/Impact
2nd +1 to Strike & No offhand penalty with six-guns
3rd Paired Guns, +1 to Strike with other attacks
4th +1 to Roll with Punch/Fall/Impact
5th +1 to Strike with six-guns, +1 to Parry & Dodge
6th Attack per Melee
7th +1 to Roll with Punch/Fall/Impact
8th +1 to Strike with six-guns, +1 to Strike with other attacks
9th Attack per Melee, +1 to Parry & Dodge
10th Can simultaneously shoot widely separated foes without penalty
11th +1 to Strike with six-guns
12th +1 Attack per Melee
13th +1 to Roll with Punch/Fall/Impact, +1 to Parry & Dodge
14th +1 to Strike with six-guns, +1 to Strike with other attacks
15th +1 Attack per Melee
Why study COWBOY JUTSU?
The versatility of ridin’, ropin’, shootin’, and roughhousin’ makes for one formiddable hombre. Plus the mystique of a world-renowned warrior tradition ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at neither.