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Wuxia Campaigns

Curious how other people approach wuxia-style campaigns (regardless of system). How do you run a campaign inspired by movies and books like Come Drink with Me, Condor Heroes, House of Flying Daggers, Sword of the Third Young Master, or Bride with White Hair?
 

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DrunkonDuty

Adventurer
HERO System handles it really well. They in fact have a couple source books for the running martial arts campaigns. These cover martial arts games from the fairly realistic all the way through to the wackiest wushu.

The Speed Chart mechanic is very good for modelling the back and forth of combat. Basically it allows you to hold actions and abort to defensive actions to leverage your difference in speed. "Abort" basically means taking your turn early; it can only be used for defensive actions. What this looks like in play is characters circling one another, looking for openings to exploit.

Also as a points-buy system, no classes, players have a lot of freedom when it comes to designing their character's martial arts styles.
 

zarionofarabel

Adventurer
Is Flying Tigers Hidden Dragons wuxia? If yes then either a supers system or something with light enough rules that I could handwave breaches of physics. I totally butchered the title of that movie didn't I? Oh well.
 


zarionofarabel

Adventurer
I mean in terms of campaign structure and approaches not in terms of system
Oh. I have never done one but if I did I would make it a save-the-world deal with an Uber powerful bad person that was in the process of taking over the world. Then I would have the plucky heroes have to beat multiple less powerful bad people and multitudes of nobody mooks before finally reaching the big bad person! Like the second Flying Tigers Hunting Dragons movie. I really liked the second movie, like alot, it's one of my favorite movies!

So and so...of...this tavern. Hahaha! Plus Michelle Yeoh (so?) is awesome and has great scenes with they young girl that wants to kill the evil dude. Yep, like that movie! That's my template if I ever do a wuxia game!
 

Ulfgeir

Adventurer
The campaign I play in for "Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade", the GM had created a setting, and when we made characters we ended up being in different regions on a continent, the size of China. The GM, then created sets of characters, so each got 4 GM-made characters as well as the one we had made ourselves (so we have one character in each of the 5 regions). The ones that the GM made, were made with the same rules as the ones we made, and are just as competent, and all characters have their own agendas (and they may very well be cross-purpose to what others are doing in the same group). The idea is that there will be lots of politics and intrigues. Some of the characters are really nice persons, some are criminals, and true assholes. For example we had some characters being part of a demonic cult.

The regions are wastly different in terms of what happens there and how they appear. One of the region is the central administrative one, and the other 4 takes turn to have a person sit on the imperial throne for one season (spring, summer, autumn, winter. Each season lasts 5 years). However for some reason, the region that were supposed to have an emperor during winter, could not agree on who to send, so the throne has been empty for almost 5 years. And now it is time for another region to send their representative. Lots of demonic attack has happened all over the empire, and the regions are now preparing for war against each others. We have also found some really old temples that have been abandoned. It is starting to be evident for the characters that these are important.
 

The campaign I play in for "Tianxia: Blood, Silk & Jade", the GM had created a setting, and when we made characters we ended up being in different regions on a continent, the size of China. The GM, then created sets of characters, so each got 4 GM-made characters as well as the one we had made ourselves (so we have one character in each of the 5 regions). The ones that the GM made, were made with the same rules as the ones we made, and are just as competent, and all characters have their own agendas (and they may very well be cross-purpose to what others are doing in the same group). The idea is that there will be lots of politics and intrigues. Some of the characters are really nice persons, some are criminals, and true assholes. For example we had some characters being part of a demonic cult.

The regions are wastly different in terms of what happens there and how they appear. One of the region is the central administrative one, and the other 4 takes turn to have a person sit on the imperial throne for one season (spring, summer, autumn, winter. Each season lasts 5 years). However for some reason, the region that were supposed to have an emperor during winter, could not agree on who to send, so the throne has been empty for almost 5 years. And now it is time for another region to send their representative. Lots of demonic attack has happened all over the empire, and the regions are now preparing for war against each others. We have also found some really old temples that have been abandoned. It is starting to be evident for the characters that these are important.


Is you campaign operating more at the politics and intrigue level or is it a mixture of adventuring styles?
 

Curious how other people approach wuxia-style campaigns (regardless of system). How do you run a campaign inspired by movies and books like Come Drink with Me, Condor Heroes, House of Flying Daggers, Sword of the Third Young Master, or Bride with White Hair?
I've allowed Wuxia-lite in a couple of fantasy hero campaigns.
Hero you buy the effect, not the cause, but define the cause to fit the narrative space of the campaign.
So if you want the Wuxia Jump-Kick from across the room...
you buy two powers... a hand killing attack linked to a leaping movement.

We had a player who defined xen archery as
8 Ranged Offensive Combat Levels, (IIRC, tha only to overcome range and motion penalties (-1/2), Only with a long-used weapon (-1/2), Incantation (Yawn, -1/4). Noting that Skill levels require no End...
RKA 2d6 (30 pts), Gestures (Loosing the bowstring, even if no arrow) (-1/2), Focus: long used bow (-1), Requires Skill Roll: Meditation (-1/2). 10 points, 6 end. (The Xen Archery phantom arrow that can be fired with or in place of a physical arrow.

Another decided the Wuxia/Anime style "Enemies popping up in every town"... so he took:
Hunted: Local Badass (15-)... He used the points to buy 10 points of Presence with the limit "Only versus women" (-1) and 5 points of App with same... Pushed both to 25's....

Another had a ring of invisibility... but made it an OIF (obvious inaccessible focus) as he defined it as healed into his earlobe.

When you add the Ninja Hero or it's later edition equivalent, you get one of the most flexible martial arts systems I've ever seen. (The 4th ed and 5th ed cores have a subset of it.)

While it's highly effective, it's not an easy game to learn as a GM... and I've not run Hero since 5R released.

I do like the several one-shots I've run of Feng Shui 2... and it looks like the stuff from 1E is good adventures, for which I have the conversions book... On the Free RPG Day when they shipped the FS2 quickplay (calling it such rankles - it's really quite complete in terms of rules, just not the big picture, nor the variety of baddies), I ran it 3 times for 3 groups in one day. It's the only quick-play I've ever had that I was able to run in the time the module claimed. (I'm usually 50% over for D&D AL modules in seasons 1-3. And for STA.)

Besides, where else can you throw the minions of Furious George and Battlechimp Potempkin (both uplifted cyber-apes) as a backdrop to a victorian abduction....
... oh, yeah, TORG can do that, too. But TORG isn't as fun for me.
 

Ulfgeir

Adventurer
Is you campaign operating more at the politics and intrigue level or is it a mixture of adventuring styles?
Mixture on adventuring styles, though some intrigues bewtween the characters (for now). Even though we have played since summer, the characters hasn't had time to do any advances in power yet. Basically we have only done small stuff in each region, so we have started seeing the differences between the chartacters and regions. So, one can see it as we are still in the first few episodes of a multi-seasons tv-series like Game of Thrones and the producers are just showing of the world and setting..

edit to show the kind of chracters we have:
* The character I made was a young noble woman who was a respected scholar doctor, seeking enlightenemnet. Did not have any chi-powers of her own, but was always looking to further her knowledge. Fights with acupuncture needles that she uses to strike at opponents preassure-points. She is a very nice woman, always true to her word, but a bit naive. Has a trouble that she always gets to know the wrong people, so some of the others in the gorup are doing everytihng they can to take advantage of her.

* The character I played in the first region we visited, was a young nobleman, that liked to do poetry, reading adventure stories and basically just live the good life as a nobleman etc, He is the fiance of the character that is the focal-character in that region. (the GM had started the whole campaign with a solosession with that player, as justa a fun one-shot, and then things grew from there)-

* In the third regison, I played a professional swordswoman (a mercenary), who gets into a lot of fights. She has a magical sword.

* In the fourth region, I played an secretive assassin, who masqueraded as a travelling muscian. He was in a setting where everyone was criminal scum. This is where whe had another character being part of a demon-cult that more or less ruled the area.

* In the fifth region, I play a woman who masquerades as a courtesan, all while she and her siblings are searching for the ones that killed her family. She is a noblewoman, and a number of other families were jealous of their wealth, so they sent assassins that killed most members of the family, and then they took the land that my charcaters family controlled. Fights with a magical warfan.
 
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Bluenose

Adventurer
Three classic examples from Chinese stories are:

1. Defeat/remove the corrupt - sometimes the Emperor, more often corrupt officials. The adventurers must track down the source of the corruption that is ruining their lives, defeat it, find the next step(s) in the conspiracy and (after however many steps are desired) finally defeat it to restore order and prosperity to the Empire - Jade Empire, the Bioware cRPG, is an example.
2. Unite the empire and bring peace/prosperity. For whatever reason the Empire is no more, and you wish to restore/create it. Plenty of overcoming warlords, politicking, and the domain-game is in play as well. Romance of the Three Kingdoms fits this, to some degree.
3. The Empire needs something. Go and get it wherever it is, which might mean travelling to strange foreign lands, into the depths of magical lands within the empire, even into the hells or heavens to obtain it. Journey to the West is a classic example.
 

Voadam

Legend
I try to run high level D&D a lot like Wuxia, lots of rule of cool and over the top action descriptions particularly for the martial oriented party members and serious NPC combat enemies. High level D&D is often the caster show just based on mechanical capabilities so I like to narratively try to make martials feel cool.
 

Not as such, but wuxia traitsare not too hard in the demon zone i Cali, and wok wellin the living land.
Translated to English and expanded a touch: No, Torg doesn't have a specific Wuxia setting, but traits of the wuxia genre can be done in the demonic held zone in California, and they work well enough in the living land. You just need to work it through.
 

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