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The Martial arts skill is used when attacking or kicking enemies while wielding nothing. Monks and Samurai possess this skill, superior to the bare hands skill. The base damage for a Martial arts attack is d4, and all bare handed melee attacks enjoy at least a +2 to hit bonus. (+1 melee, +1 bare hands / martial arts at unskilled). A bare handed monk without body armor gets an additional bonus.
The Samurai has recourse to much better attacks than martial arts, but the extra damage compared to bare hands can come in handy against acid blobs and other weapon-damaging monsters. Carrying some form of ranged attack will greatly reduce your need to resort to unarmed combat, and even a Monk can benefit from having projectiles at his disposal.
Attacking with martial arts causes silver damage if you are wearing a silver ring and no gloves. Blessed gloves or boots cause +d4 blessed damage against demons and the undead. A ring of increase damage is a worthwhile possession for a Monk who loses out on benefits of weapon enchantment, and these can be eaten if appropriately polymorphed and the ring is of the appropriate type (metal for metallivores, wooden for a gelatinous cube). The skill level for martial arts can reach Grand Master with large bonuses eventually accumulating.
Martial arts skillEdit