Of course, the character I have in mind is not so one-trick-pony to be useless otherwise: i'll be adding a few more melee weapon Skills and unarmed Skills as backup. I may even add a Guns Skill. However, the core focus of this thread deals with kusari-themed weaponry.
I figure that the following counts as the basic mechanics necessary for the character type, but do offer helpful suggestions if you have them.
Minimum ST of 12.
Minimum DX of 13.
Signature Gear (Kusari).
Striking ST 2 (if ST is at least 12, then effective damage is at ST 14, which makes Weapon Master's damage bonus even more worthwhile).
Weapon Master: Kusari (is the 20 CP version broad enough, or is a costlier level required?).
Improvised Weapons: Kusari
Kusari at at least DX+2 level.
Also, with the Martial Arts supplements, I am fairly certain I can scrape together enough Cinematic Skills and Techniques to round out the character's capabilities beyond "hit target until they're incapacitated/running away/dead" (hello, Sweep).
Now, the kusari is a weapon that offers some attractive innate benefits to those that wield it. You've got the benefit of Reach up to 4 yards away, it's difficult to defend against (-4 to Parry, fencing weapons can't Parry against it, and -2 to Block), and, you get a "free" entangle attempt on a weapon that does successfully Parry it. However, on the flipside, it also possesses some rather substantial drawbacks. If possible, i'd like to know of rules legal or even reasonable houserule solutions to minimize (perhaps even eliminate) these drawbacks.
Problem: Shifting between each yard of Reach requires a Ready Maneuver (one second).
Potential Solution: There's always the Altered Time Rate Advantage, but it covers much more than Reach changing and is hideously expensive. This particular problem isn't my biggest concern, but being able to go from stationary unreadiness to attacking an opponent twelve feet away in the span of a second is one hell of an advantage, and is just the sort of maneuver you'd expect an anime/chambara/wuxia type character to pull off.
Problem: -2 to Parry.
Potential Solution: The Enhanced Parry Advantage.
Potential Solution: Unsure. I can only think of Altered Time Rate (see above). *This* is the biggie. I really need to capitalize on the Parry score which will most assuredly outclass the Dodge score. There is the Defensive Attack option from Martial Arts, and it has the unbeatable cost of Free, but it reduces damage.
Problem: Cannot be used in confined spaces/spaces with many obstructions, and has a nasty tendency to hit the wielder in the face on a Critical Miss.
Potential Solution: Use the regular kusari's thrust crushing damage option (Martial Arts). Damage suffers significantly, but chains are best in open spaces for a reason.
Other thoughts -> Is the Whip Skill worth dipping into for closely related thematic (long and flexible weapon) and strategic (great variety of improvised weaponry - rope, cord, cable, etc) reasons?