The starting archetypes with three fu schticks are the Martial Artist and the Special Forces. Because of this, this section is biased toward strong characters who have AV14-15. Many of these combinations are useful for the Old Master, especially when combined with the 2 Fu Power Strong Crane combination.
Combinations will be referred to either by the top power, if it is the focus, or by a new (silly) name which gives some clue as to the purpose of the combination.
The Anti-Magic and Anti-Arcanowave paths are not included because they only are useful to characters from the appropriate junctures and their utility is obvious.
Martial Artists with 8 Fu will also want to look at the Five Fu schtick combinations, because they may want to take a less effective 3 Fu combination to get at the more effective 4 or 5 Fu combinations with a little experience. Low Chi Martial Artists will not benefit as much from the Five Fu combinations, as they are all much nastier with more Chi.
"So - you think your Tiger Stance has defeated my Crane. The true power of the Awesome Crane comes not from the Master but from the Students. Feel the Beak of the Crane! (Arggghhhh..thud...thud...thud...thud....thud....thud)"
Crane Stance is useful, but not as good as Fox's retreat or Willow Step. Awesome Crane is intended for people with high reflexes and low strength. Crane Stance is mostly just a stepping stone to the Wing and Beak powers.
Wing of the Crane gives +2-3 damage for a fast, weak martial artist and uses 2 Chi. One Chi will be needed for each use of the Beak, but this path works fine with only 4 Fu. The Crane Stance and the Wing are what you use when fighting by yourself. Old Masters with Flying Windmill Kick may want the Beak as the 5th Fu Power for the really tough opponents.
The point of Awesome Crane combination is the Beak of the Crane. If you pin an opponent, his dodge is ZERO. This means that your 8 AV mooks with 9 damage knives/guns will do an average of 17 damage vs toughness each time they attack until the victim dies or breaks free. If the Beak is used with named allies, it is even worse. Most people can't break free from 14 or 15 Av with a 5-10 strength. Fear the master of the Awesome Crane if he has any allies at all.
I want to re-emphasize - this one is really cheap in Fu cost. It can be used with only 2 Fu! More fu adds more dodges and allows more opponents to be pinned in a sequence. Most other offensive combinations need 6- 8 fu to work well.
"Hey..who turned out the...."
Buy this only if your character sulks around a lot in darkness and turns out the lights a lot. But anyone who has read Daredevil comics knows how much fun it is to kill the power in a modern office building at night and beat up all the thugs before the power comes back on. Use excess Fu to get silent martial arts attacks. Be sure to buy Intimidate so you can scare people with the blade...without the intimidation bonus it is just a knife.
"Hey..who turned out the....Thwackathwackathwacka"
The prerequisite for Flying Windmill Kick insures that anyone with this power can get around (see Prodigious Leap). Flying Windmill Kick is powerful but has several drawbacks. It is slow, if the opponent active dodges it loses a lot of effectiveness and the user must do enough damage with a kick to bother someone with 10 toughness. This is best used with strong martial artists or Old Masters with the Strong Crane (2 fu power) technique. Be aware that the GM may not allow windmill kicks and leaps in rooms with low ceilings.
The point of this combination is to use darkness to lower the AV of your opponents so that the windmill kick gets many successes. It also provides a nice balance of movement and stealth for the right kind of character, but requires too much Chi for anyone other than an Old Master or Martial Artist.
"Rabble such as these mean nothing to a Dragon Master. Wait a moment while I clear them away."
The Level 1 Dragon (Bite of the Dragon) fu power does +2 damage for 2 Chi. While it does work with weapons, this is nothing to get excited about. In general Signature Weapon, Fire Strike and Hands Without Shadow are better level 1 powers and are cheaper in Chi cost. Breath of the Dragon, however, is worth two schticks by itself. You get +3 AV for 3 Chi. Getting 1 AV per chi is a bargain, and allows the following useful effects:
Using Claw of the Dragon requires a lot of Chi, and is not worth it against a named character, unless the victim is near impairment or death checks. Against Mooks, however, it is really effective. Assuming a 15 martial arts versus 8 AV mooks, you can try to take out 2 a turn at 13AV, and have a good chance of succeeding. If using Breath of the Dragon, you can take out 5 with the same roll. If you roll poorly, though you just knock 5 mooks around. If you have Claw of the Dragon, you can spend the 5 Chi to finish them off, since +4 to the outcome will overcome the bad roll and turn the mooks into hash. Against Mooks, you only need an 8 to "succeed". and fulfill the condition of the Claw. If you feel really lucky, you can go for 9 mooks from the start, counting on the Breath and Claw combination to overcome the -9 AV penalty. If you roll poorly you are out only the 3 Chi for the Breath, since you don't have to commit to the Claw until you roll the attack.
"Why do I use a sword in this day and age? It doesn't run out of ammo, it doesn't jam, it doesn't make noise and it doesn't notice kevlar.
Don't do this without the 10 body. All of these powers are only worth it with very high body. You make up for fewer actions with more mobility. Use Prodigious leap for moving anywhere on a battlefield (up to 20 meters). Use Abundant Leap only if you need to jump between 21-40 meters, since the shot cost is 3, compared to 2 for two Prodigious leaps. Damage with a sword will be +24 when doing the flying sword maneuver. Try not to miss. More Chi means more leaps and attacks, but even the 4 chi from the Special Forces pretty effective.
As a house rule in my game is I allow a separate Fu schtick called Thunder Kick which adds move to your Kick damage. Vertical Charge can also be bought for either sword/knife or punch (or both with 2 fu schticks). Thunder Kick is just as good, it does only 22 damage, but a sword is not needed. Note that Thunder Kick probably needs a lot of headroom, but Flying Sword can be done as horizontal flight (see any swordsman movie with wirework - swordsmen actually fly toward their opponents parallel to the ground)
Buy a signature weapon as soon as possible.
"Oh...I must have dislocated your arm. Hold still...*POP*...That's better."
This combination is for people who want their martial artist to be as good at healing as at fighting. With the Martial Artist archetype, you get effectively Medicine 15, and Martial Arts 15. If no one is hurt, you can lend your Chi to the guy with Tiger Stance or some other Fu intensive powers.
Be careful using Healing Chi in combat. If you take damage, any wounds are a negative modifier to the healing roll. 10 shots is a very long time to be passively dodging.
"Go ahead...come at me with your strongest technique..."
Claw of the tiger is among the weakest attacking power. A normal, non-fu kick does STR+2 - all you get is a knife for your 1 Chi. It is worse than useless for anyone with a signature weapon or for an Old Master
Tiger Stance and Unyielding Tiger Stance can be used with any Martial Arts attack, ie with weapons or with the Old Master's unique schtick in campaigns that allow the +6 damage to apply to Fu powers. I am not a fan of schticks that require the character to take damage, which is why Tiger stance is not in the 2 Fu Schtick listings.
The way to use this power is: get into hand to hand combat. If someone attacks you, first use Unyielding Tiger Stance. If your opponent hit you (and survived the first attack), use Tiger stance, because the follow up attack has half the Chi cost. This one looks really good if your character is good with both guns and martial arts - blaze away and if anyone tries to slug you take them down with the knife in the other hand. It also combines well with the Fox Power Mockery, or with a character who is good at insulting the opposition.
"I am Stone. I am impervious as long as I am aware of the attack.
The idea behind this is that the martial artist's Chi is so strong that she does not have to dodge; attacks just bounce off. Take a 10 body. If the GM rules that Fu is not Chi for the purposes of Clothed in Life, spend the remaining attribute point on Chi. The fortune die is nice, and the Clothed in Life will work on anyone except Old Masters, Scrappy Kids or people who bought up their Chi. If Fu is Chi, then you can have the 6 reflexes or mind, the archetypes that ignore Clothed in Life are Martial Artists and Old Masters.
The way to use this combination is to activate the Clothed in Life, and then wait until someone attacks you. Declare that you are using Willow step (+2 dodge for current shot), then declare a Fox's Retreat (+5 dodge vs that opponent), for a total +7 dodge
Without losing any shots, the Martial Artist will require a 17 outcome to hit on about every other shot, and will have 12 toughness, so damage + attack roll to hurt her will be 30. Against an opponent worth dodging with Fox's retreat, the outcome required is 22, and damage + attack roll must be 35 to do one point of damage. The GM should probably allow anything that hits between 15-22 outcome to appear as if it bounced off, and may allow parry attempts bare handed against edged weapons and bullets. You won't get a lot of actions, but not much can hurt you
Note that if low on Fu, an active dodge combined with Willow Step will accomplish a +5. Also note that neither of these powers help with Parry, just with Dodge. I allow either power to be bought separately for Parry. (Wall of Steel for Willow Step, Turtle Sword for Fox's Retreat)