View Full Version : Ideas for a wuxia/ToB campaign

2009-04-05, 06:05 PM
I'm plan to be running a wuxia styled game in a while. How long a while iis iffy, but I'd say it will be at least two months before we actually begin. THe characters will start at level 1 and probably be wither ToB classes, or classes from OA.

Right now I'm mostly looking for plot hooks. What I've got so far is that a royal heirloom or relic has been stolen, and the PCs are charged with retreiving it for whatever reason, like they're being groomed as elite troubleshooters or something and this would be a way of testing thier progress.

As a reward for this, they'd be granted a legacy weapon, or have the powers of whatever weapons they started with "awakened," and they'd be able to advance them like the OA samurai does (I know there's an official variant like this somewhere but I don't recall where I saw it).

After that I've pretty much drawn a blank. Suggestions for why the relic was stolen or other plot hooks that tie in with it would be greatly appreciated, but by no means am I rejecting any ideas not related to that.

2009-04-05, 06:24 PM
I'm not sure.

I've heard legacy weapons are more trouble than they're worth.

On the helpful side of things, the PCs could be chosen because they're disposable. You know, if trouble comes up they can be disowned without any damage to the reputation of those in power.

Better still if no-one tells the PCs this.

2009-04-05, 09:28 PM
After that I've pretty much drawn a blank. Suggestions for why the relic was stolen or other plot hooks that tie in with it would be greatly appreciated, but by no means am I rejecting any ideas not related to that.

Step 1: Watch the movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
Step 2: Take the stats of some artifact sword to take the place of the Green Destiny from the movie.
Step 3: Steal the plot.

2009-04-05, 09:43 PM
Step 1: Watch the movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
Step 2: Take the stats of some artifact sword to take the place of the Green Destiny from the movie.
Step 3: Steal the plot.

Step 4: write down "????" as is required by law.

Kris Strife
2009-04-05, 09:48 PM
Step 4: write down "????" as is required by law.

You forgot Step 5: Write down "Profit".

2009-04-05, 10:46 PM
The missing relic could be causing disasters (weather-related, the dead walking, whatever) as long as it's away from its proper place.

These might not be obvious to the people who sent the PCs on their mission, but the PCs'd lose face if they went back to say the job was too big for them (& correspondingly look really good if they did the job anyway.) Some sort of system for tracking honor/respect would help here.

2009-04-05, 11:04 PM
I think recovering a major artifact is a teeny bit overpowered a campaign for a 1st level group, even ToB.

Here's some ideas:

1) Escort <Random NPC Noble Here> from Point A to Point B. He's a fop, who likes to think he knows how to 'sword dance', and will brag about his prowess with a blade at length. He will also brag about having never lost a match.

The reason why he has never lost a match is because his only bouts were either against his weaponsmaster, who fears for his job if he beats his pupil, or soldiers, who are under orders from said weaponsmaster to loose to the Master

He's an arrogant, snobbish, incompetent git. But he's also a high-ranking noble, or more likely, Heir to a noble. As such, he ranks the party on the social ladder by a few eons. They are told ahead of time that if they even imply by absentee that he might not be the most perfect thing that has ever excreted gold bricks that they will be hung. So they have to put up with his arrogant demeanor, and like it.

Well, he's also going with enough jewelry to start his own nation, should he decide to, plus a couple of very attractive Geisha-ladies. The PC's are the ONLY ones on guard, because no one else is stupid good enough to be trusted with the Noble's life.

Needless to say, they attract bandits like moths to a flame.

Even better, he thinks that he is the world's best swordsman. He's got a Mastercrafted sword.

He's also a Level 1 Aristocrat, who barely has proficiency in his weapon, and no BAB to speak of. Combine this with physical stats around 10-11, and you have a real problem when he charges gloriously into battle.

He will, of course, do his best to try to win glory for himself, which will include running head first into several opponents (who are level 1 Rogues, and will exploit Flanking ruthlessly), leaving the PC's no choice but to follow and salvage the situation.

If the party makes it through, he will later boast about how he had to save his own guards with his might.

However, if the party can keep their cool, not loose their heads, and keep the kid alive, the father (who has a clearer understanding of his son's lack of expertise) will quietly but handsomely reward the party for keeping his foolish son alive.

2009-04-05, 11:04 PM
Whatever it is, it had better involve hopping vampires. I <3.

2009-04-05, 11:18 PM
You could make the stolen family heirloom a double test, not only were they dispatched so their superiors could evaluate their skills, but it was in fact stolen by another group for the exact purpose of testing this new group of trouble shooters.
You can start dropping hints about this other group being interested in them, as well as hints of corruption in the organization they've sworn to serve, eventually leading up to the point where someone from the other group gets in contact with them and gives them an option to join them. This could give your group an interesting moral dilemma to uphold their oaths and loyalty to their organization which is no longer as good or just as they thought it was, or to break those oaths and side with this group that opposes them, who while maybe not morally pure themselves, are certainly striving to improve things.
Either way, the PCs and their Kung-fu ToB kick butting skills are at the forefront of this conflict between their current organization and this new group, I'd also keep the evil or their current organization proportional to their loyalty to it. If they are meh about serving it could be something simple as the taxes/prices are too high, but that's not gonna be much motivation if they are dedicating their victories "To the emperor may he have a long and blessed live!" or whatever.
I'm not 100% sure that would fit with themes you'd want to go with depending, but it's just what came to me....

2009-04-05, 11:44 PM
Before you see my suggestion, I would like to preface this that you really should be looking to the players for your source of plot. Doing that will almost always ensure that they will join on creating the plot more enthusiastically. Let their back-stories and characterizations guide the storyline. It will be a lot more satisfying for them and a lot less railroading for you. (which means far less work)

Having said that, you can always provide seeds for them to work with.

1. vengeance is always a popular trope in martial arts novels. The player should be the one to create the base "feel" of the villain if you do that.

2. another very common theme in martial art novels is the manual that contains the secrets to a school of martial arts. (i.e. Kungfu Panda anyone?) In fact, in a lot of stories, entire families and clans were killed and exterminated over a secret martial arts manual. How does this fit into your game? well, you can always say that a particular school or discipline is off limits until a character was either trained by a master or was able to read through and digest the manual / scroll itself. Or you can make it a whole new discipline that can only be accessed by reading the manual.

3. in Jing Yong novels, a lot of stories are about patriotism, nationalism, and how the heroes ultimately become movers and shakers of their country not by virtue of their skills, but by the inspiration they become.

4. the process of realizing hidden potential is another one. Villains do so at whatever the cost, heroes do so honorably but must often question the price he pays for it. This potential though, doesn't have to be raw kung fu power per say. It could be a kungfu blacksmith making the ultimate sword, and the lengths he goes to in order to do so. (i.e. he kills a sacred Kirin for it's blood in order to imbue it's magic upon the blade) Or it can be a calligraphy master who uses his kung fu as an expression of his art, and that his martial art skills are simply a means to feed into his art. If you want a classic one, just go the Akuma route, and you got a lot to work with there. Though, any Akuma-esque characters should really be subplot since there is only so much you can do with an Akuma villain.

2009-04-06, 02:39 AM
For awhile, I was playing a Korean MMORPG, 9 dragons. It had an awesome background which you were in no way involved in.

The basic premise, was that there were 9 martial arts masters. Not just masters, but so skilled they were supernatural. If not simply supernatural to begin with. "Dragon" being a title. None were actually dragons.

They formed into two groups (well, one seemed to abstain...) The white clans, who supported the emperor, and the black clans who were trying to overthrow him.

The war continued as lives were lost, until a wandering vegabond manged to get stop the war, and these 9 dragons would fight amongst themselves to decide the victor.

No one ever heard from them again, but the fighting ceased. Until now. (Now being the time at which the game starts).

Each clan had an interesting history.
Clan Heavenly Demon was founded by a man who self titled himself Emperor Heavenly Demon. Legend has it that he was a brilliant, devout Zoroastrian. Who could recite the entire holy text by memory. Then, he supposedly touched an evil book. At which point he could only recite the exact opposite of the contents.
Upon seeing how corrupt the officials of the emperor were, he made it his quest to overthrow him. As such he founded Clan Heavenly Demon. They used variations on the emperors kung fu, as well as strange forms of unknown inspiration. Very likely of demonic origin. (It's not entirely clear if "real demons" exist or not)
While Clan Heavenly Demon was viciously cruel, it was only to their enemies. When joining, you are told to recite the line "remember the weak and the elderly". They were expected to fight with honor. Hence the "heavenly" demon.
In the absence of Emperor Heavenly Demon however, the clan has become beset with infighting, and many have become nothing more than thugs. Some believe he had reincarnated in the form of an extremely gifted, murderous child. Others believe he has yet to return.

Yeah, that's the clan I ended up joining :P The tended towards large heavy sabres for weapons

The other clans I found weren't QUITE as interesting, but had good background.

The brotherhood of thieves were an organization of bandits, who attacked the emperors forces, giving money to poor peasants. With the lack of their leader, many of them turned to simply robbing and pillaging everyone. They used spears and axes.

Sacred Flower was a group militant feminists. Their leader having been kidnapped by Emperor Heavenly Demon, with the intent of making her his wife. Having escaped and on the run, she came across a Shaolin Temple in the way. When asked if she could go through, she was told more or less, "It is bad karma that has led to you being unable to enter." Even though her life was in danger, they wouldn't let her pass. She managed to escape anyways, vowing that she would change the world such that women would not be victimized. They use knives and death fans. For obvious reasons, female only clan.

Now, I can understand an alliance between Heavenly Demon and the Brotherhood of Thieves, but for some reason it never explained why Sacred Flower was ALSO a black clan. Something that always puzzled me.

The white clans include the previously mentioned Shaolin. Their Dragon was the Immoral Monk. In an effort to determine how best to fight Heavenly Demon, he started doing things like eating meat, gambling, and drinking. At least as to justify why he was engaged in these activities, he said that he was "learning." As previously indicated, male only clan. I forget what weapons they tended towards.

The league of beggars, were... well, beggars who had learned kung fu. Expected to swear off material possessions, and beg, perform, and occasionally extort or steal money. They have the best sounding martial art name in the form of "Drunken Monkey".

The Wu Tang clan is not in fact a rap group, but sword users. Or rather, straight sword users. There's something of a difference here. Well Wu-Tang sword fighting tended towards a balance of offense and defense, Heavenly Demon was pure reckless offense. Not an entirely bad strategy mind you, since their heavy sabers in theory could smash right through Wu-Tangs lighter swords.

The other groups not so much information on. They weren't included quite yet, and I stopped playing before they were introduced.

Why did I mention all of that? I had given some thought to running a campaign in a world based on that setting. Or at least taking elements of. You may have noticed that the so called "Black" Clans were not necessarily villainous. However, all had the danger of going over the edge. Even Heavenly Demon had it's fair share of heroes. The white clans were not necessarily good either. They supported the establishment. If it was D&D, I would say it's a battle between order and chaos. Though really, it's a clash of ideals.

That, is probably something which would be a good element in a Wuxia campaign. It's not a fight between good and evil. Both sides are right. And not necessarily will the PCs be able to resolve the fighting without defeating one of the sides.

As touched upon already, this is a genre filled with what we would generally consider anti heroes. So don't be afraid to let in a few types with some "villain" like qualities.

Blue Paladin
2009-04-06, 01:16 PM
I'm totally cribbing from Jin Yong's Condor series here.

- There's a martial arts competition where the best martial artists in the world gather, fighting for the ultimate prize: a special kung-fu manual.

This hook is a good way to disabuse your players of the notion that they are the best in the world. It's a way to show off high level maneuvers without using them on your players directly. Jin Yong had five ultimate masters of their respective arts, which is a small enough number to show a wide variety of styles and not big enough of a mob to be unwieldy (as a full complement of a master of each Nine Swords school could prove to be). It has a nice macguffin in the manual (which could be lost? or perhaps it crosses paths with the PCs at some later date).

- Warring factions are searching for a lost manual of battle tactics. It contains the distilled knowledge of the greatest general in recent history. Its secrets could mean the difference between victory and defeat for the army! The party could garner great praise from the emperor if they could recover this national treasure...

Another book-based macguffin. An obvious starting point would be the tomb of the great general, searching for clues as to where it might have gone. Maybe the fortress where the general held out against impossible odds for long years? Or a cave system near the general's hometown, which he enjoyed exploring in his youth. It's a great excuse for dungeon crawls of all types. Or maybe the manual was stolen! Cue chase scene.

- The man who killed one of the PCs parents... is the adoptive parent of one of the PCs!

It's a typical wuxia revelation, where a character faces conflicting loyalties. Usually bonds of family, martial school, friendship, love. And they all pull in different directions. In the above case, there's the familial requirement of revenge versus the bond of sworn brotherhood. In Jin Yong's original story, at one point the protagonist swears vengeance for his murdered sifu(s). Even though he knows he is utterly outclassed in martial arts. Even though he swears it against his love interest's father. The very same love interest for whom he had previously flouted all jiangwu convention!

- A man is targeted for death by a noble. Through a fluke, the man himself survives and spends years wandering. It so happens that he discovers his wife also survived... and is living in the care of the noble who plotted his death! For bonus angst, he also discovers his son (now grown) accepting said noble as his adoptive parent.

This is just messed up in general. But that just means it has lots of potential. In the story, the protagonist was sworn brothers with the noble's adopted son... who can't accept that his true father was a simple farmer, after living his life in the luxury of nobility.

- An apothecarist has been raising a particular rare breed of snake, feeding it human blood (perhaps even from living victims; there's a plot hook if ever I saw one: villagers are going missing! the local apothecarist swears he knows nothing...). Ultimately, he will feed on the snake's blood and become an even more powerful martial artist.

In the original story, the main protagonist comes across said snake (okay, he fell in a pit). While being constricted, the snake bites him; being the rather simple sort, the protagonist returns the favor, biting the snake. Some of the snake's blood gets in his mouth, and lo and behold, his martial arts gets a boost. Kinda cheezy and very happenstance as it occurs in the book; with Knowledge checks and maybe Martial Lore, maybe one of your PCs could recognize the snake first?

- A legendary martial artist sage lives on a mysterious island, where the trees and the elements combine to deny entry to would be visitors. But he is the only one who knows the mysterious alchemy involved in bringing someone back to life...

Okay, in d20 that's as simple as a Raise Dead spell. But in the original story, this is pretty heavy stuff. A combination of medicine at its highest level, plus martial arts at <i>its</i> highest level, in order to bring back his dead wife... As far as d20 hooks go, this is more setting hook than plot hook. But you can adapt as you see fit.
That's all I have time for right now, and I didn't even mention anything involving the Genghis Khan aspect of the story... Hope these provide some seeds for thought.

2009-04-06, 03:30 PM
All of this stuff is excellent, thank you all so much. I really appreciate the ideas you've posted, and if anyone has any others, please feel free to add them.

2009-04-06, 10:18 PM
Blue Paladin, you're awesome for bringing those up.

BTW, for those who are interested, the Nine Swords master actually is featured as a constant backdrop character in Jing Yong's books. There are parts of the book that actually do a study of his swordsmanship growth over the years that is immensely interesting. I've cribbed those passages as the basis for a number of my NPCs in my old Wuxia campaign.

here's the incarnation in my game

Hu Qiao
Age: let's say, mid 60s
Appearance: stereotypical chinese master look. He's an unassuming old man, seemingly frail, soft spoken, he carries an intensity within him that he hides beneath his soothing platitudes. Something like this:


Hu Qiao has dedicated his life to the mastery of the sword. through out his life, his swordsmanship often became a reflection of his own philosophical growth. This growth can be seen in both his translated memoirs and by examining the choice of his weapon.

It is believed by many a great masters, that the way of the sword is not just a weapon, but a way of life. Like many of those masters, I have dedicated my entire life in this pursuit, almost obsessively trying to find the ultimate sword. The perfect strike, so to speak.

And yet, after 50 years of study, contemplation, and strife, I have came to this horrible realization:

There is no perfect strike.

No strike, by virtue of being a strike, can possibly be perfect. The need of the strike alone, has already tainted the very notion of perfection.

I have mapped out my own progression for those who will come after me to bare witness and perhaps learn from what meager wisdom I may have traded for with my youth.

There are 3 levels of swordsmanship:

1st level: You and your blade is one. Your blade is nothing more than an extension of limbs and it's manipulation is no more natural than use of your own hands. You strike like lightning, without hesitation and with blinding accuracy.

2nd level: Speed of thought. That is the crux of the second level. You understand now that all strikes stem not from the limb, the arm, or the body. But rather, it strikes from the mind. With the mind, the will and the heart is what initiates your strike and it is what guides the rest of you. That mind alone, is the source of the weapon. As such, you no longer need your blade. You don't even need a weapon. With your bare hands, you may strike at a foe from 100 paces, using nothing but your own chi.

3rd level: The end of thought. I came to realize and understand the nature of conflict and strife. With the very notion of conflict comes unending strife. The will of the blade begets more conflict and ultimately violence. To end that will, is to achieve ultimate peace, for if the will for conflict is what initiates the blade, then to release that will, is to attain ultimate mastery over the self once again. After all, if one were to strike without thought, one is not thinking. And without the will to strike, one will know peace. with that, he can feel the world around him, react to it in the most natural way. He is like the water, who parts and moves in a stream around his obstacles. There is no conflict, no strife, only knowledge.

--- the late Master Hu Qiao

Through his life, he has cycled through several weapons:

The Blue Iron
This is a Chinese Jian of exquisite quality, very much the stuff that makes the Green Dynasty pale by comparison. During this period in his life, Hu Qiao was a man in his earl to late 20s, driven mostly by the desire to excel in his ability to strike fast and strike accurately. Blue Iron Hu Qiao fights primarily by using precise strikes, feints, and highly coordinated combination strikes. That is, at this stage, he is basically a rush down character with the ability to deliver a large number of strikes very quickly and with great level of precision.

Xuan Sword
Xuan Sword shows Hu Qiao's further development into the "fast" sword philosophy, where his strikes were becoming faster, and faster. The Xuan Sword is even lighter than the Blue Iron, and is made with much more flexible material. As such, this weapon, while not nearly as good for defending against blows, allows him to create even more complex and dizzy sword play. his feints now are even less predictable than before, but at the price for the loss of his ability to block some of the heavier hits. As such, Hu Qiao at this stage in his development (somewhere in his early 30s now) had to rely more on his own maneuverability to evade damage than on traditional parrying work.

Heavy Iron Sword
The Xuan Sword faired well for Hu Qiao. He was faster than he has ever been in his life, and he has begun to build a name for himself in the Wuxia world. Unfortunately, his reputation is not one of a great swordsman, but one of a great assassin, a murderer. While his strikes became faster and faster, his capacity for others decreased as he resorted more and more often to his blade. In a moment of clarity, he realized what he had become, and he gave up the fast sword in the hopes of finding something that felt right to him. Enter the Heavy Iron sword. The Heavy Iron sword is heavy. Much heavier than the average weapon, and requires considerably more muscle strength to use properly. In addition to that, his sword play had to return to basics, utilizing far simpler strikes with far more power behind each one.

Wooden Sword
The Heavy Iron sword period helped build his strength, but it wasn't getting him anywhere that he wanted. To be brutally frank, while his temperament had calmed somewhat, he felt like he was merely a brute swinging a very large piece of metal at times. He then realized an aspect of him that he had not developed, his internal chi. He was still, for all intensive purposes, being defined by the weapon he picked up and by the strength of his blows. In the end, while he had switch to a heavier weapon that required a bit more pause, he was essentially still working on the same path.

He once again gave up the Heavy Iron sword, and picked up a wooden tai chi sword. It was a simple and fragile weapon that is only used in training. With the adaption of this weapon, however, he began to see himself develop a new way of the sword - the tai chi sword. While he might not be able to match the sheer brute force of the heavy iron or the speed and maliciousness of the Xuan sword, this new territory he is exploring had taught him the art of using your chi to defend yourself. With the wooden sword, he could by simply making contact with his foe's blade, attempt to read his movements through his foes chi and defend accordingly. while capable of very devastating strikes, his primary strength now is his ability to flow like the water around his opponent, deflecting each blow with the slightest movement.

This is Hu Qiao at the height of his sword play. At this stage, he has gained the ability to manifest a weapon just by using his own chi, and can use said chi to enhance his own ability to move, defend and control nearly every aspect of his own body to fantastical affects. Swordless Hu Qiao can manifest any of the previous weapon forms, depending upon the situation. In addition, he also has the power to release all of his internal energy into his foe. When not manifesting a weapon, he also can move at great speed, and sometimes can use his chi to create what seems like an inertial barrier to deflect attacks.

about Hu Qiao's school

Many have regarded this text as the formulative philosophy behind the Shu sword. As such, it has became the standard reading for many of the new students.

This, however, while being the most defining aspect, is not the most famous of this school.

That honor belongs to the Shu Mountain sword's most treasured technique, the flying sword.

The users of this technique has tapped into their consciousness and understood the very nature of the world, allowing them to gain control over their blade without even having to make physical contact with their weapon. Just by sheer manipulation of their chi, they can control their blade and use it to fight at a distance. As their technique becomes more and more refined, so does the strength and accuracy of their blade.

By the Master Hu Qiao's own record, by the time they have attained the second level of enlightenment, they no longer need a weapon to even control, allowing them to manifest the weapon through their own chi.

Many of the masters of the art have learned to use this chi and their blade to astonishing and jaw dropping effects.

The Blade Celestial has on occasion STOOD on his own flying sword to achieve flight. Master Gung Shu, also known as the "Gladius Domini", pioneered a technique known as the "meteor shower", where he rained a thousand blades made of his own chi upon his foes.

These are the more prominant examples of the Shu Mountain sword's might. And with such prominant symbols to their name, it is no wonder that this school has managed to endure for such a long time.

Since I wanted to make this particular school represent the varying interpretative thoughts on martial arts, there will not be just one build / PrC for this class. Instead, each NPC build here represents an interpretation of their philosophy and could have vastly different builds

The Blade Celestial
Swordsage 2/psychic warrior 5//psychic weapon master X
He USED to have a name, but over the course of time, people stopped calling him by his real name and simply referred to him by the moniker "The Blade Celestial".

The Blade Celestial is the head of the orthodox Shu mountain swordsman school of thought. (The organization that Hu Qiao was at one point a member)

During Hu Qiao's younger years (whilst he was still in his Blue Iron -> Xuan phase), the Blade Celestial and him were considered the primary contenders to one day take over the leadership of the Shu Mountain Sword. This competition was at first a friendly one until the two men both fell in love with a woman by the name of Ling Er, the daughter of one of the other instructors within the school. Driven both by love and ambition, the two became increasingly more and more competitive until love and ambition consumed them both.

On a stormy night, the two fought on the rooftops of their school, wanting to decide once and for all who would get to lead the Shu Mountain Sword as well as win Ling Er's heart. As the entire school watched on from the scaffolding below, the earth trembled and the storm roared at the maelstrom of battle.

The two were determined to fight to the death until Ling Er jumped in to stop the two. Unfortunately, this killed her as the two, now blinded by bloodlust, could not stop themselves in time before they struck a fatal blow into their own beloved.

Distraught by what he had done, Hu Qiao left the school for good, and abandoned the Xuan sword as a result. The pair have not set eyes upon each other since.

The Blade Celestial, however, bound by his sense of duty to his school, stayed behind was now the de facto heir to the leadership of the clan. When the old master retired, the Blade Celestial took over leadership of the school, and for the next 30 years built the school into something that resembled more of a martial clan than simply a school.

Appearance: The Blade Celestial maintains a far more classic look about him, resembling Pai Mei in both appearance and feel.

personality: As result of being an authoritative figure for a large portion of his life Pai Mei, while of similar age to Hu Qiao, is visibly more stern and serious than his counterpart. His mannerisms are quite sullen and very serious, as to him he feels there is very little to be gained from fun and games. As such, he is always contemplative and always studious and he does not suffer fools gladly.

He is also stingy with his praises, for to him, needless praises breeds egos and makes people forget to keep their feet on the ground and their out of the clouds. Often, the most praise a student will get for a job well done would be a single smile and a simple nod from the head. (Remember the scene where Pai Mei makes Uma Thurman eat with chopsticks despite having a busted hand? That look right there.)

Fighting Style: The Blade Celestial is a master of manipulating chi and is capable of using his chi to create fantastical effects. He shows an amazing balance almost impossible to perform by human beings, (such as being able to balance himself on the tip of a blade) as well as some effects that seem like magic itself.

the most famous one he's known for, and the one that earned him the name the Blade Celestial, is the flying blade. Using his chi to manipulate the very space around him, he can actually make his sword act as a projectile that he manipulates through the air with his own energy. At the height of his power, he can command about 4 flying blades and have them fly around his body, creating a blade barrier. He can also stand on a flying blade, and let the blade carry him for quite a bit of distance.

the second technique he's known for is the meteor storm, a technique where he creates thousands of small energy blades created by his own chi, and rain them down upon his foe.

some more contenders

Huang Yao Shi: Swordsage 2 / Cleric X

Huang Yao Shi is one of the main instructors on the Shu Mountains. Unlike a lot of the other Shu Mountain warriors, Huang Yao Shi is student of many different disciplines and styles. His focus, however, turned to be internal medicine. (Owing much of his training to his time spent as a disciple of the 9 Veins, an order that teaches the moulding and usage of chi rather than just it's refinement) From a mixture of his training as a doctor and as an internal martial artist, his knowledge of internal medicine and usage of chi therapy is unmatched.

Not many are sure as to why Huang Yao Shi abandoned his old order to come under the banner of the Shu Mountain.

spiritual weapon + various other cleric buffs will make this one work nicely

Wimp Lo: Bard 1

Joke character. He'll be my Dan Hibiki. His technique? cast mage hand and use that to wield the blade with an awesome 0 str for a magnificant -5 to hit and damage. His basically my excuse to use this line: "Pay no attention to Wimp Lo, we purposely trained him wrong... as a joke"

2009-04-14, 07:24 PM
One of the things that occured to me was that, if the party lacks a dedicated healer (shaman or water shugenja since the cleric and druid classes probably won't be available to the players- I'm aware Devoted Spirit has stances and maneuvers that heal, but that's not going to be a huge help even if one of the players wants to be a crusader), healing is going to be difficult... So I'm thinking of houseruling it so a full night's rest heals a character completely, unless he was reduced to -1 or fewer HP (representing a serious injury, not just fatigue), in which case they'd heal at the normal rate as defined in the PHB for the next few days.

Another option I've come up with are small enchanted springs that essentially produce the equivalant of healng potions and are pretty common and widespread, but the water loses it's magic when taken more than a few yards from the spring.

A third is to make healing talismans (talismans basically have the same function as potions, if you don't have OA) very common and for sale pretty much everywhere.

Anyone have any other ideas for this?

2009-04-14, 08:30 PM
well, one common Wuxia trope is the master medicine man who heals by channeling his energy into his patients through either acupuncture, salves or just good ol' fashion chi manipulation.

What I would do, in this instance, is instead of trying to houserule stuff like that, just have an NPC with cleric levels provide the healing, but then refluff how his clerical powers work. Seeing as the PC party doesn't actually have anyone with that class, you can probably just make sure that the cleric NPC never actually use his cleric spells in a way that contradicts the chi fluff.

and of course, said cleric would have things like craft potions so he can make healing salves called "golden wound" medicine. (application of which, would be applying the salves to the wound instead of just drinking the potion.)

Baidas Kebante
2009-04-14, 09:14 PM
Wuxia tend fall under certain themes that may probably provide some insight on plot hooks and such. Here are a few that I've enjoyed in the past:

1. The world of the wuxia (Jiang Hu) is often at odds with the normal world. The rules that govern wuxia are different than the laws of the kingdom, and because the people are typically too powerful to control by normal means the government has to continue to think of ways how to deal with Jiang Hu.

2. There are typically three kinds of wuxia fighters, especially at high levels: those who are loyal to Jiang Hu, those who are loyal to the court and those who don't care about either side. The last group tends to consist of the most powerful wuxia and are the typical old hermits you see in movies.

3. Within the group that is loyal to Jiang there are two kinds of groups: those who are part of the "approved" martial arts dojos and those who are in the "cult-ish" martial arts dojos. Essentially, this divides those who practice the accepted styles of martial arts and those who practice in unorthodox styles. Think Light and Dark sides of the Force, but without the context of good or evil thrown in. Sure, Light siders may consider Dark siders evil, but in truth this is not always the case.

4. Speaking of unorthodox martial arts, there are two kinds of martial art styles - external and internal. Internal arts are where you find all the supernatural stuff and is more powerful. This is where you hear all about chi and stuff. Unorthodox arts usually fall under the internal arts and are unapproved because they are typically dangerous to learn. If you aren't careful your "inner demon" can take over and cause you to go crazy. Of course, since you're also powerful now it means you're extremely dangerous. Think Akuma from Street Fighter, but with some insanity.

5. Heroes in wuxia have lots of love interests. They also have tons of groupies who have a habit of either dying or trying to emulate their heroes and end up pulling a number 4. It's not uncommon for this side character to, in an effort to be closer to their love/idol, take a shortcut in martial arts, end up killing the established BBEG and become the Plot Twist BBEG in the last few minutes of the story.

6. Which leads to a common theme in which the dragon or BBEG is usually someone the heroes thought to be a friend, but may have to fight because of ideological differences or due to having conflicting loyalties. Depending on how Chaotic Stupid the BBEG is, that friend may either die in battle or side with the good guys in the end.

Erm, I've already written a lot and don't want to run too much. Hope some of this helps. Of course, if you're interested, there's more where this came from.

2009-04-15, 01:59 AM
well, one common Wuxia trope is the master medicine man who heals by channeling his energy into his patients through either acupuncture, salves or just good ol' fashion chi manipulation.

Ah, you mean lay on hands?

2009-04-15, 04:14 AM
Ah, you mean lay on hands?

umm... yeah, actually... just like that, in fact.

though, to be quite honest, a lot of cool "chi" like effects can really be emulated fairly well with touch spells and such.

2009-04-15, 05:17 AM
Download Exalted (free on rpgnow with WW's generous offer code), Weapons of the Gods, Feng Shui and/or Hong Kong Action Theatre.
Rip them off wholesale.
Job done.

2009-04-16, 05:57 AM
^ You missed Dragonfist Eggy.
It's Wuxia-ahooliay.

The Rose Dragon
2009-04-16, 06:06 AM
^ You missed Dragonfist Eggy.
It's Wuxia-ahooliay.

It is very difficult to find, though, since Pramas is supposed to be working on a new version and holds all the rights to the setting.

I second Exalted.

2009-04-16, 07:16 AM
So, it's a pretty common schtick in Wuxia to have people be the reincarnations of ancient and legendary heroes and villains and whatnot.

Would it be fun to run a campaign where, every few sessions or so, you got your players to quickly roll up a high level character, and then pop back in time a few thousand years to have an epic and quite probably fatal battle?

Points for a setting with a long and varied history. Bonus points for involving time-travel. Super bonus points for setting up the PCs to fight their past selves without them realizing what you're doing.