Here are some practical examples of what I’m describing (numbers are placeholders):
-Leg Hunting- Learned automatically at bashing 1, usable with any weapon >10 blunt damage and a little bit of reach.
(bashing 1 non-crit attack) Leg strike: -80% damage, knockdown 3
(bashing 1 non-crit attack, downed enemy) Head strike: stun 1
(bashing 4 crit attack) Leg break: -80% damage, knockdown forever (or as close to it as reasonable to game performance)
(bashing 4 crit attack, enemy down) Skull break: +50% damage, stun 3
The “style” represents a very systematic, intuitive way of killing zombies that a person would naturally understand after some experience doing it. There’s almost no randomness outside misses because a longer reach and a mindless enemy mean you hold initiative and the same method can be repeated reliably. Crits represent the ability and opportunity to make a well-timed targeted strike, IE directly striking the knee or shin as the enemy is fully standing on it in order to break it. Non-crits represent sloppier/poorly timed hits resulting in just a forceful trip, minor fractures, etc or not hitting the skull in the most damaging way. Each of the largest weapon classes could have a basic archetype style with a very simple process behind them, while martial arts would introduce more complex systems (IE basic reach kiting vs sojutsu, with reach kiting being considered the basic system). The overall theme for blunt trauma would be copious amounts of status disable, very safe choice for low skill 1v1 and situational defense, but relatively slower/more tiring and weapon-taxing at actually finishing things off.
Unarmed or short weapons (daggers) would have more randomness, this is because you don’t have a reach advantage you are forced to directly engage the enemy in their attack range meaning a systematic process can’t be reliably performed, and CQC defense is not something a person will learn quickly or intuitively. Short weapons and unarmed is thus where formal arts would really shine over rudimentary brawling, and short weapons themselves would basically just be an accessory to brawling.
-Brawling- Autolearn at melee 1, usable in unarmed or with almost anything that isn’t too long (although is primarily useful for short weapons like knives, rocks, short sticks, etc in the absence of a real art)
(Melee 1, non-crit) Push: -90% unarmed damage, knockback 1 knockdown 1
(Melee 1, non-crit) Strike: Basic attack
(Unarmed 2, non-crit) Push Kick: -20% unarmed damage, knockback 1 knockdown 1
(Melee 2) Miss recovery
(Unarmed 3, non-crit) Trip: -90% unarmed damage, knockdown 2
(Unarmed 3, non-crit downed opponent) Ground Kick: +50% unarmed damage, knockback 1
(Melee 3, non-crit downed opponent) Hard Strike: +50% weapon damage
(Unarmed 4, crit on downed opponent) Head Kick: +100% unarmed damage, stun 2
(Unarmed 4, crit on downed opponent) Leg stomp: -90% unarmed damage, knockdown forever
(Unarmed 4) Arm blocks
(Melee 5, crit) Knockdown: +25% weapon damage, knockdown 2, stun 1
(Melee 5, non-crit stunned opponent) Fatal Strike: +100% weapon damage
(Piercing 6, crit stunned opponent) Finisher: lodsa damage
(other finishers with different qualities for their respective weapon types can go here)
(Unarmed 6) Grab Break
(Melee 8, armed opponent) -90% damage disarm, weighted 3
As you can see, a LOT of moves, especially in the non-crit section. This represents the chaotic conditions of a CQC fight, especially for someone without formal training. Legs become the main disabling tool because they are the best available means to outrange grabs/bites/scratching etc, and also have the best access to the target’s legs as well as them when they’re grounded. There are few passive defensive features because blocking/evasion/maneuvering etc are very difficult skills that formal systems go to great efforts to accomplish, and simply not something you’ll casually pick up with experience. Self-preservation is still a high priority, but it’s achieved through control rather than defense, and as a result the effectiveness of the style at protection declines rapidly when outnumbered. All the street-styles should pursue “defense through offense” as a general theme, because attacking is easy and intuitive while defending is hard and requires in-depth study. Due to the emphasis on CQC leg offense and ground game you will however learn to use your arms defensively, and eventually how to maneuver out of grabs, this makes the style a little more protective than IE Leg Hunting due to the necessity inherent to CQC. Unarmed skill is unavoidable in a realistic portrayal of short-weapon usage. It will kill stuff more safely than no-style but at low skill will take a long time to do it, meaning higher resource cost in exchange for safety, and only if you are skilled enough to achieve frequent crits will the most damaging and aggressive features start to come out to speed up kill time significantly (but still be relatively slow compared to a real weapon).
As for fast killing, high-risk high reward, low defense streetfighting that’s probably the role I’d give to cutting or medium-length piercing weapons. Essentially low-control, low-defense, just some dude trying to be as good as he can at swinging at zombie heads. Very high damage multipliers on successful hits, very high demand on accuracy to get successful hits, great at cleanly dispatching trash if you meet the accuracy requirements but absolutely atrocious against armor/high dodge and sometimes prone to lowrolling, that kind of concept.