Berserk Martial Art suggestions/tips

Hey guys. After getting back into the game after a while away, I’ve gotten an itch to try my hand at some modding. Right now this is mostly for my own edification, but I’d like to work towards getting good enough to start contributing to one of the larger mods someday.

I’d like to make a martial art representing the warrior traditions of of pre-medieval Northern Europe, represented most famously by Viking Berserkers but also present in the myths of the Celts, the Irish, Germans, etc. You know the archetype–the furious berserker, unarmored and frothing as they throw themselves against their foes without a care for injury.

My imagined archetype would be of a high-damage, low-defense style that is characterized by reckless aggression.
I’d love to figure out a way to give it some armor-based restrictions–maybe a scaling dodge debuff/buff, where being buck naked gives you a bonus to dodge, something light like leather or fur is a minor bonus, and heavier stuff like survivor or turnout gear is a major malus. I’d also consider giving it a reduced chance to block or something, to represent the carelessness to injury. No idea if that sort of encumbrance-based effect is possible in .json martial arts.

To counterbalance it, it should be an offensive powerhouse. Focusing on damage rather than accuracy–no feints or recovery or counters. Big damage buffs, maybe sweep attacks, with some brutal critical effects. Also, considering a stacking buff that triggers on taking damage, or one that reduces effective pain for a while.

I’m debating how I could represent the exhaustion aspect of the berserk–an on-kill buff that degrades over time and turns into a crippling debuff after enough time, maybe extending on kill? It might not be worth the complication.

As you can tell, I’m leaning more towards the fantastic with the ideas on this one. I’d appreciate suggestions, ideas and feedback.

Seeing that reminded me of

This is similar to what you have described and could be a decent starting point.

Just to be clear it says Barbaran, which is a person’s name. I’m personally seeing few similarities between that style and a proposed barbarian. The style you posted has bonus blocks, disarms, and accuracy bonuses which seem like the opposite of what the OP was saying.

Weren’t the berserkers high on drugs?

That is one theory! Others put it down to religious fervor, spiritual possession, a genetic madness, or even just propaganda. Unfortunately they suffer the same fate as many non-literate cultures–the stories they passed down are mainly through the eyes of their literate foes, or in the case of the Eddas, their converted descendants, who viewed their ancestors with a veil of religious contempt. That said, since most of what we know of the berserkers come through these myths, I definitely intend it to fit more into the mythical martial arts style (also since I think it’s cool.)

While the Barbaran art is much more formal and defensive than what I have in mind it’s also good to have a reference for a big-weapon art beyond Fiore di Battalia, so thanks for bringing it to my attention!

In the Norse sagas at least, berserkers are defined as much if not more than their rage by their resistance to mundane weapons. It’s usually said that they cannot be harmed “by fire or iron”. That’s why they’re reckless and unarmored - they can’t be harmed. Well, until the plucky protagonist beats them to death with a tree branch or something, which seems to happen pretty regularly.

You’re of course free to go for the mindless aggression route if you want, but I think it would be a bit tricky just because of how CDDA is set up. Namely, your offensive power would have to be out of this world to justify limiting your defense. If you wanted to synthesize theae concepts, something like a stacking OnHit armor buff might so the trick. Rewarding aggression with defense.

… I wonder if martial arts can add character tags like traits and CBMs can. It would be pretty fun if the supreme capstone (like melee 10 or something) of a fantastical style like this was to give you the HEAT_SINK tag so you were actually immune to fire

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That does sound cool, but also wildly beyond my ability to implement (at least any time soon). Still, you make a good point about the offence/defense trade off, I should back it off a little bit. Here’s what I wanna go with for my first iteration:

Level 1: Passive 33% damage buff
Levl 2: Rapid Strike
Level 3: Brutal critical, and +1 dodge attempt
Level 4: Spin attack, counterattack on hit
Level 5: When hit, applies a 50% damage buff, stacks 3 times

Now I have to try and figure out how to do it in .json. It’s all pretty basic, mostly using existing parts, so I should be able to figure it out. Once I do I can continue tweaking it.


There is not a direct way to promote an armor - less fighting in game that directly negates the benefics of martial arts but you practically anything that other martial arts does can be taken and modified into a new martial art.

You can swap the accuracy bonus of dexterity to strenght “-100% DEX accuracy, +100 STR accuracy” and have difference buffs that allows to “select” certain techniques to be used. As example you can make a buff to be activate while moving (max stack: 1, duration: 1) and a technique that does little damage but downs a target for 2 turns with a higher priority but requires said buff of moving, then have another technique that requires the target to be down that has increased damage.

You can just leave the martial art without any defensive technique to represent the recklessness of the style compare to others or in exchange of reducing dexterity (causing a direct decrease of dodging) you obtain armor stats plus pain resistance and add a buff that activates when you get hit that increases strenght and speed along with more devastating attacks.

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