Original SA post
I just want to say thanks to everyone in this and the last for getting me to
spend $10 on an account here. I was going to do great things with that money. (This is a lie)
Also, I am terrible at BBCode.
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade
Wu Xing is the second RPG by
Third Eye Games
, who had first created Apocalypse Prevention Inc. (Agents of an anti-supernatural corporation) and would later go on to make
(There's a writeup for this in the previous FATAL and friends thread) and
(???) and they are working on
(Supernatural Summer Camp).
I've never been able to play this game nor have I completely read it in-depth, so this will be a journey of wonderment and discovery for me too.
Let's start with the name: The
is the name for the "five elements" (sort of) in Chinese mythology. Chinese mythology? In my game about a Japanese archetype?
Next is the "Ninja Crusade." What are the ninja crusading against? Do we get to play as ninjas? (Spoiler:
Chapter 1: Ninja vs Empire
What is a ninja? There are lots of answers, that lots of people might give; sneaky assassins, freedom fighters or magic users.
The ninja started off as rebels against an oppressive government long ago and since then they formed into clans that live separately from the masses in hidden ninja villages.
This sounds kinda familiar. Why does this sound so familiar?
Ninja divide history into four periods:
First is the
. The Orime dynasty were a bunch of assholes long ago, and the ninja used their powers and trickery to murder their way through the whole regime. After this is when the clans started forming and the first hidden villages were set up.
Next is the
. After the Orime empire collapsed, the resulting smaller states made it legal to hire ninjas as mercenaries, up to and including nobles and the nations themselves using them as military proxies. Lots of blood shed and brutality, with widespread slaughter for fun and profit. Basically, totally awesome for everyone, and by "everyone" I mean "the survivors." Eventually a lot of the clans were destroyed out and the survivors of the destroyed clans became Ronin (
Third is the
War of Withered Fangs
. A snake themed clan shows up out of the jungle. They killed their way through the minor clans while the larger ones gave no fucks- until suddenly, it turns out the snake clan has gotten super large and powerful and will completely exterminate the major clans if they don't surrender. The clans try to attack the Solid Snakes in their home and are suitably chastened (read: brutally slaughtered). The clan heads decide to bring the normals in on the action, convincing the major heads of government how terrible a word without ninja would be and together their armies and the clans beat the shit out of the snake clan.
the Expansion Wars
In the last ninja war, the non-ninja leaders realized how well they work together, merging to create the Izou Empire. During this time, some of the clans operated more openly and became closely tied to the Empire. The Empire eventually grew to encompass every known land and all of the remaining ninja clans. The ninjas in the empire benefited from all the work available during these conquests and assimilated clans were turned right around and put to use continuing the empires expansion. As it grew larger, the empire had less and less use for the ninjas, eventually rooting out all known ninja and banning open practice of their magical skills. The ninja all retreated back into their villages, but they still do odd-jobs and mercenary work.
The ninja present is called
the Ninja Crusade
. The Izou Emperor has ordered the destruction of all the ninjas, who have banded together in the Lotus Coalition to fight back.
There are a whole bunch of different clans of varying sizes, but only ten major ones.
are ninja doctors, from the Land of Seed and Blossom (one of the kingdoms that makes up the Izou Empire. They're all covered later.)
are a clan of fire manipulators and performers fro the Land of Exalted Flame living as refugees in Izou.
are one of the first clans, with powers of stealth and shadow and are the archetypical ninja spies and assassins.
Hidden Strands of Fate
are deceivers and political manipulators.
are historians and their trademark is that they cover themselves in historical records in the form of tattoos. Quote: "[...] their final goal [is] to be hung in the Grand Library for eternal preservation."
Pack of the Black Moon
are a clan of ninja dog-havers.
are the band of bastards that actually caused the Ninja Crusade only semi-indirectly. They are snake and poison themed.
Virtuous Body Gardens
are the newest of the major clans and they have tattoo powers.
Wardens of Equilibrium
aim to maintain balance. Also greedy.(?)
Will of Iron
are a clan of ninja paladins. They believe in honor and are skilled metal workers.
Ninja clans were originally literal blood-related families; to be a member, you had to be born a member. Nowadays, the clans are united by philosophy rather than relation, and clans will accept as members outsiders who prove themselves loyal and useful. In the current age of war, the clans are desperate for warm bodies, so there are a lot of new ninja who act as cut-rate cannon fodder.
When someone joins or is born into a clan, they are given a teacher who trains them. Being a master is a position of great honor and a student should always be deferential and respectful to their master.
What happens after becoming a ninja.
Ninja clans operate out of "hidden villages." Villages are often secreted outside the frontiers of "civilization," in deep forests or jungles or up high on mountains, but some are disguised as normal mundane villages that and random peasants might live in.
A lot of super old hidden villages were destroyed early in the war by the Izou and now everyone is as secretive as can be about their locations. The Lotus Coalition has asked for the location of all the hidden villages to aid in planning their defense, but a lot of clan refuse because it spreads knowledge around to more people who can leak it to the Izou, or use it against them once the wars over and the clan rivalries once again take center stage.
Normal people make a big deal about honor, in a vaguely Confucian manner befitting the vaguely Asian setting. People show respect to others, especially lords and family members as appropriate and demand to be respected in turn. Be honest and forthright. The solution to being disrespected is to confront the person about it, either verbally or violently.
As contract killers and general, all-round sneaky bastards, honor is a little trickier with ninja. They believe in loyalty to the clan and family, but are divided on other tenants: the Will of Iron, for example, believe in honorable combat (not attacking incapable targets or cheating in duels) while others (like the Grasping Shadows) think that is stupid and also dumb.
One thing ninja don't do is dishonor the dead, who are believed to have a bad happen of turning into pissed off ghosts.
Ninja who fuck up too badly often commit seppuku as the ultimate apology but some abandon their clan to become Ronin.
Every clan has it's own highly nuanced and subtly complex network of political bullshit.
The clans are hierarchical: those above command and those below obey. At the very top is the clan Master, who is the ninja emperor, whose authority is absolute.
Clans also have their own factions called sects.
Ninjas are unscrupulous assholes, so the book advises players to use all sorts of unscrupulous asshole political tactics.
Specifically, inter-clan rivalry.
Every ninja is predisposed to distrust and dislike a ninja from another clan. This makes them touchy, and leads to everyone making uncharitable assumptions and flipping out over just about everything. A lot of clans hold grudges that are centuries old.
Methods for resolving these conflicts range from mediated negotiations to covert wars of extermination.
Everyone and their ninja grandma holding on to these long-standing animosities is obstacle number one to the successful prosecution of the war against the Izou.
Next: Stuff about the Lotus Coalition and the Izou empire and it's kingdoms.
Original SA post
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade pt 2
The Lotus Coalition
Founding & Mission
The Coalition was founded after the Izou Empire wiped out a bunch of hidden villages early in the Ninja Crusade.
The Empire has been preaching anti-ninja propaganda, so the population has been turning against the ninja, up to and including some ninja being killed by lynch mobs.
A Warden of Equilibrium names Sakamoto Tadao asked all of the clan leaders to unite to oppose the Izou, speaking of the long tradition of opposing tyranny the ninja had (also the tradition of sociopathic, greed-fueled murderlust but
) Unity is their only defense against the Empire!
One year of Imperial-boot-meeting-ninja-face later, They agreed.
Ninja who join the Lotus Coalition get a bunch of perks for their trouble like safe houses and stuff.
A big advantage of the Coalition vs. every clan for itself is they can combine their tactics to greater effect; to such greater effect, that the Coalition has some hidden villages of it's own to facilitate inter-clan cooperation.
Turns out the bands of magical killers sometimes magical kill each other, Coalition be damned. Some examples are a Blazing Dancers prank that escalated into massacres on both sides, and the assassination of several of the Coalition leaders right after the Hidden Strands of Fate joined up and everyone thinks a sect in the Strands did it, but let it slide to keep the clan in the Coalition.
The worst example is called "The Wedding Fiasco." The Recoiling Serpents and the Pack of the Black Moon fought a lot. Tadao proposed a wedding between two young ninja of each clan but the Black Moon groom was poisoned into a coma, a fight ensued where several people died and they hate each other as much as ever now.
Next: The Izou Empire and it's history
Original SA post
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade part 3
The Empire is the world's superpower, looking strong from the outside with tightly defended borders and garrisoned cities, but on the inside it's ready to blow up.
Through the Ages
The Empire was born in an era of constant warfare. A fisherman named Izou Zurui commanded the respect of his villages warriors by being a super awesome swordsman and when civil war threatened his homeland and family, he ultimately mustered an army that overthrew his kingdoms government.
He battled corruption and eventually gave his cousin Izou Junshin the kingship, while he commanded the armies. Zurui defended the kingdoms as supreme general while Junshin ruled justly, a division of military and civil power that the Empire maintains to modern times.
It was Junshin's son Junshinichi who ended the 45-year-long peace by invading a neighboring kingdom and conquering it. The Izou kingdom grew into the Izou Empire over generations of gradual conquest under many Emperors.
A man named Izou Mamoru was born 691 years after the founding of the empire. He was born during a battle, to a soldier who died in the fight and carried to his father, the Emperor. This took part during a super hardcore war between the Empire and the Land of Five Blades.
Mamoru was a "Chosen One" level badass: had killed multiple men by age 8 with swordsmanship and ninja techniques he'd learned from some Ronin ninja.
His dad was poisoned by the court food taster (this is the equivalent of being blow up by a mine detector) when Mamoru was 10. Normally such a young Emperor causes turmoil, but everyone understood their place and fell into line. He ultimately won the war. Afterwards, he expanded the army, feeding the populace stories of the dangers outside of the Empire. He build a huge ass navy and improved agricultural output.
While doing so, he met a geisha named Hana whom he married after "only" a one month courtship, which seems really long to me; considering his position as probably the greatest Emperor in history, I'd expect it to take last exactly the amount of time required for her to hear his proposal and say "yes" i.e. nine seconds. But maybe he's a romantic.
Hana, as a "delicate and fertile flower," had two sons and a daughter, which is strange because the book tells us he had the hots only for her and unless she's using ninja birth control, she should have a hell of a lot more children than that.
The two sons, Yasuo and Kano were trained in battle to be as bad ass as their father. While training out in the forest (apparently unsupervised, like all direct imperial heirs should be) they were caught up in a battle between rival ninja clans and Kano was killed. (Spoiler alert: this will prove to be a big deal) Yasuo develops a grudge against ninja.
The Emperor cracks down on chi users, banning the use of chi techniques by anyone outside the army. (This is how it always begins; first you're not allowed to concealed carry your shuriken in pocket dimensions, next the army's breaking into your house, confiscating your ancient scrolls.)
As if the Emperor wasn't pissed off enough over the death of his son, a unknown group of ninja attack his wife and daughter, cutting the formers head off and afflicting the latter with a wasting poison that slowly kills her over months or years.
No one knows who committed the assassination, but the Emperor knows it was ninja, so if he kills all the ninja, he'll have killed the perpetrators and gotten justice. He makes his surviving son his general, who brings in some of his Hidden Strands of Fate allies (!) who aid him in assaulting the ninjas hidden villages (!!) and help him train special chi-technique wielding soldiers (!!!).
Wow, what assholes.
Next: Living in the Empire
A Look at the Empire
Original SA post
I want to start putting up longer updates now.
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade part 4
A Look at the Empire
Living By Class
The Izou Empire has a class system based on Karma and reincarnation: the virtuous are born into a higher social class in their next life and the wicked are punished by being reduced in status.
Most ninja live outside this system, however.
The Empire has five classes:
are at the bottom and are the farmers, fishermens, shopkeepers, etc. Most commoners are loyal to the Empire and support the Ninja Crusade. The first ninja were commoners and most modern ninja come from this class. The most common way of "moving up" as a commoner is to become a land owner. You remain a commoner, but it brings wealth and prestige.
are people who make stuff with aesthetic value: painters, jewelers, florists, chefs, etc. Geisha are also artisans, as their job is to walk around looking pretty. Ninjas born as artisans are liked by clans for their abilities to make things, especially the Blazing Dancers and Virtuous Body Gardeners.
are anyone who primarily engage in trading things that they did not make. They range from individual shopkeepers to wealthy "Merchant Princes." Wardens of Equilibrium and the Bamboo Herbalists like recruiting merchants.
are anyone born into a family with a history of martial service to the Empire or by being raised up by the Emperor. They tend to be violent but with strict codes of personal honor. The Will of Iron and Grasping Shadows like warriors.
are the top dogs, living lives of intrigue and politics while being both hated and envied by the lower classes. As manipulators and smooth talkers, the Hidden Strands of Fate love recruiting nobles.
The Empire actually has a super-secret Sixth social class:
If the Empire is a house and the other five classes are the floors, the Untouchables are the septic tank under the backyard.
Untouchables are butchers, blacksmiths* and gravediggers. Lots of people hate them for being filthy and the Untouchables resent them right back.
*Which makes little sense, a blacksmith is a very valuable member of a community. Historically, these "untouchable" classes were born out of religious ideas of purity and cleanliness, hence the association with handling dead bodies and animal parts, and discrimination against "tool making" isn't exactly a cultural survival trait.
A lot of Untouchables become ninja because the clans are often willing to overlook the social status of recruits.
Faith and Religion
There is no single religion in the Empire, but most people have beliefs that are similar in broad ways:
They believe in dharma and reincarnation, the idea that your current life is a result of your actions in a previous one. Rather than try to improve their lot in this life, they think that they should act appropriately for their station to get a leg up in their next reincarnation.
Obedience to the social order and loyalty to the Empire are great virtues that accrue good karma.
For people who are especially terrible, there are two severe penalties: reincarnation as an animal or insect. The second is you're such an awful bastard that you're kicked out of the reincarnation cycle into hell to be tormented.
The Emperor has decreed that refusing to rat out your ninja neighbors is bad for your karma.
Fantasy Buddhists. There was a being named Ko who ascended to heaven and returned to help guide other to enlightenment. They have monasteries where they meditate and learn martial arts.
Fantasy Underground Christians, kind of. There is a single, unnamed god in heaven. He is awesome and by worshiping and praying to this god and seeking forgiveness for your sins you avoid being punished when you reincarnate.
The Ten Provinces
The Izou Empire is big and it took multiple generations of Emperors to grow it so big.
The Empire is divided into ten provinces, each ruled by a Daimyo, though owned by the Imperial family itself; the Daimyo serve as appointed governors for the Emperor.
Edit: Forgot some maps.
The whole world
The center of the empire, it contains the capitol city of Daiwa (Harmony City). The Imperial palace, surrounded by thirty foot walls is located here and the Lotus Coalition has yet to find a weakness in its defenses.
To the south of the capital is Nanchou (South City), which is a giant city-sized prison where undesirables are sent. No one has ever escaped from it.
East is Heigenchou, which used to be a center of agriculture. It was the first testing area for firearms and explosives, which ruined much of the land and killed lots of people.
The Wardens of Equilibrium are powerful here.
Silk Belt Province
A lot of nobles have homes here. It is named after it's primary export, silk, which the trade of provides a large portion of the funds for the Ninja Crusade.
The two cities of Unmeishi (Sister to Fate), the major port for trade with the Land of Mountains and Valleys and Jikankei(Brother to Time), a city of art, museums and history- the city was itself the first conquered by the Empire.
The city Tennokiba (Heaven's Teeth) is the seething heart of political machination within the province.
The Hidden Strands of Fate are most powerful here.
Bridge to the World Province
A very valuable province to control due to the great wealth the city of Kiwan (Turtle Bay) generates as the largest trade port in the Empire and serves as the gateway to the Land of Crashing Waves. The countryside is all rolling fields and cherry blossoms.
This province also contains Ninja Las Vegas- Yuukou or Oil's Light, a city of non-stop partying and excess.
The Living Chronicle are strongest here and they use there presence here to keep in contact with the Land of Crashing Waves, their actual homeland. The Chronicles largest and most well hidden temple is located here.
Cradle of Life Province
The breadbasket (or whatever Chinese or Japanese idiom means the same thing) province. The city of Souchou (City of Grass) is the center of it all and is even the source of some newly created crops.
This province was strategically important in the war of Withered Fangs. Higandou (Paradise Road, but actually a city) It was used as a staging point south into the Iron Province to outflank the Empires enemies.
The Pack of the Black Moon hold the most sway in this provice.
And at this point is where my interest begins to wane. The book feels like it's using an unnecessarily large amount of word count on just describing where things are in relation to each other.
Flame River Province
Ninja started here. Lots of mountains and some volcanos.
Famous for the Wu Ji Theater that the Blazing Dancers have taken over and where they used to put on the most incredible performances. Closed because of the Ninja Crusade.
Jokryuryu City (Breathing Dragon) is a city of monasteries and temples and rumored to be the home of the last dragons. Kakou is a trade port that connects to the Land of Exalted Flame by bypassing the giant Desert of Black Sand in the way.
Black Veil Province
Was devastated by the Great Desert (I thought it was the Desert of Black Sand?) when the Empire attacked the Land of Exalted Flame.
Kafukyuu (Widow's Tear) is famous for two things: its history as the site of the murder of a past Emperor and it's red light district.
There is also Arashi Port, which is dying as the conditions of the Arashi Sea it is located on have become so hostile travel is nearly impossible. That's why commerce has shifted north to Kakou.
The Grasping Shadows are in charge here and work like a gang, protecting the people against outsiders but forcefully keeping them in line as well.
Bridge to Battle Province
Located to the southeast of the capitol, located on the isthmus between the rest of the Empire and the Triumph Province, which apparently is nice because of possible rebellion.
Has a lot of mining work as a result of the awful conditions killing lots of workers.
The Body Gardeners are centered here and like the restive populace because it plays into their plans for a revolution, and there was nothing to suggest the people here are particularly unruly until just now. Plus the fact that the Gardeners are apparently pushing to start a rebellion sounds like a major plot point that doesn't exactly fit as a throwaway line in a location description.
The Empire sneaked here from the Cradle of Life Province to get around the Snake Plisskens during there war, eventually letting them attack from the north and south simultaneously.
These days, Kitenstuchou (Shiny Metal City) is an important mountain mining center.
Hotaru no Kouji (Firefly's Path) was established as a base that attacks against the Land of Seed and Blossom could be made from.
This is part of the homeland of the Will of Iron and they are powerful here.
This is the home of the Slithering Gods, the snake clan that became the Recoiling Serpents. They defended it from Koshinchou (Sickle “Sity.” I'm seeing a lot of little gaffs like this scattered about)
The city of Dainiryoku was founded to aid the war effort and is the site of Ninja West Point, where lots of great soldiers were trained, including specialists like the Golden Lions.
During the war the Slithering Gods summoned Khis, a celestial serpent. The book gives the page for it's stats, but damn if I'll bother with that now.
After winning the war, the Izou Empire renamed the province to Triumph to rub it in everybody's faces. Imagine if after World War 2, the US had renamed Okinawa the “America, Fuck Yeah Islands.”
Oak Leaf Province
Given to the Empire by the Land of Seed and Blossom to avoid war.
The Bamboo Herbalists are from here and use magic to keep tabs on everyone who comes and goes and use illusions to lead them astray if they don't like them.
There is a city that is not really interesting.
Next: Foreign lands and then finally the clans.
The Five Kingdoms
Original SA post
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade
The Five Kingdoms
The nations outside the Empire are called the Five Kingdoms. They are all fairly xenophobic and make a point of not accepting outsiders, because the Empire has historically tried to conquer and assimilate them.
They have their own internal issues and even if they'd like to see the Empire collapse, it would likely throw everything into chaos. Because of this they provide grudging aid in the Ninja Crusade.
The Land of Crashing Waves
Across the Western Ocean, the Land of Crashing Waves has used their superior navy to fend off attempts by the Izou to invade. However, they eventually became the allies of the Empire and the two have pretty warm relations now.
The Land is a collection of islands, ruled by the Island Council. Each island elects someone to represent them on the Council.
Because of their location and alliance with the only nearby nation, the islands are peaceful, with the only conflict happening between themselves and all the pirates. The Council had a hand in the creation of the Living Chronicles to keep records of everything from business deals to “boarder” alterations.
The Grand Library
exists here, the largest collection of knowledge in the entire world. Access is strictly controlled by the Island Council.
The Land of Exalted Flame
This Land is an enigma to nearly everyone, both highly religious and pacifistic. The Izou thought they would be easy pickings and attacked, slaughtering hundreds of thousands. The Exalted Flame's most powerful Ninja-Monks enacted a ritual that ruined hundreds of miles of land, creating the Great Desert a.k.a. The Black Sand Desert, so inhospitable that it is uncrossable.
When the Empire tried to go around by boat, they created an enormous, unending hurricane that made the Arashi Sea impassible. They are the only Kingdom that hasn't provided any aid to the Izou for the Ninja Crusade.
The Land of Exalted Flame has isolated itself almost entirely from the rest of the world. They follow the teachings of the philosopher Kasai, who preached reverence for their ancestors and elders and other ways to be a goof person. The culture emphasizes community over individuality to a great degree: most marriages are arranged; “dancing, creativity and free-will are replaced with the Way.” ; the leaders are considered enlightened and thus infallible.
They don't interact much with the other nations. Sometimes pilgrims used to visit the Land of Five Blades but this has stopped since the beginning of the Ninja Crusade.
An island east of the land of Exalted Flame, it is the holy land for it's people. When citizens of the Land of Exalted Flame become adults, they make a pilgrimage here and throw their most valued possessions into the volcano on it as a rite of passage. They must make this trip without any help from others and the trip starts at the Great Desert (the other side of the country, for those not keeping track).
The Land of Five Blades
A warrior nation to the south of the Empire, it has some conflicting history:
“They were the first to be attacked by the Empire during its expansion and conquering, knowing that they stood little chance of winning in a fair fight. They instituted many secret assassins, scout parties and covert assault squads to take out key locations to incapacitate their enemies. In the end, their surprise attack worked and the Land of Five Blades was pushed back and made an ally of the Izou Empire.”
How this parses to me: The Empire attacked Five Blades back when it was expanding. The Land used lots of unconventional tactics against the Empire. The Five Blades's tactics worked so the Five Blades were pushed back and allied with the Empire.
This makes no sense. Someone needed to specify who all those “they”s and “their”s are supposed to be.
The Land of Five Blades gives materials for producing weapons to the Empire along with some troops “by the dozen,” despite both being large enough this is an absolute pittance.
The Land is more a collection of city-states rather than a nation. They are industrialized and the skies are choked with smoke. They possess steam power.
They have strict codes of honor and they fight duels over everything- whether or not they'll marry, deciding arguments or as a rite of passage for young adults. They skirmish with the nations on their borders sometimes, but mostly fight each other. Sometime people go to challenge the great fighters there to make a name for themselves. This actually sounds like a fucking awesome campaign idea: fight kung fu duels against the greatest warriors among the Industrial Revolution Samurai Spartans.
Celestial Animals like the Land of Five Blades because of their honor.
A gigantic sword driven into the ground, supposedly left after a duel between two ninja who commanded gigantic Celestial Animals. The people carved the sword into a building and used the metal to forge many legendary weapons. This place is amazing.
Land of Mountains and Valleys
To the north of the Empire. Very mountainous land with a vast divide between the rich and poor. It's spent the last 20 years in civil war, which has actually helped spark the last Ninja War.
The Empire has allied with the western people and sends troops to help them keep their commoners in line and receiving saltpeter and other supplies in exchange.
The civil war started when the Kishin Family basically took over the entire economy and looted ancient ruins for profit. A group of masters in the Way of Earth generated artificial mountains that split the country in two.
The Land is safe from attack, both due to its difficult terrain and the fact that it has nothing work taking.
The North Pole, basically.
Land of Seed and Blossom
They're weird, apparently, “...seem[ing] quite foreign to anyone that doesn't live there.” No shit.
They're pretty peaceful, just wanting to expand into the Untamed Wilds on their eastern border. When they got stuck in a war (it doesn't say which one) they caved easily and passed over a chunk of territory to the Empire as well as providing medical aid and troops to the Empire in exchange for a pledge of non-aggression.
Everyone is essentially a member of one giant tribe and they live in one huge continuous jungle. They are a gerontocracy, with the oldest person moving to the capitol and acting as ruler, though the centralized government's authority is rather weak. The last Elder was killed early in the Ninja Crusade and a much more hawkish one has taken charge.
The territory between the Land of Five Blades and the Land of Seed and Blossom is held by the Izou Empire but the two are essentially locked in a cold war on the Hantei sea between them.
Ruins of Seiseki
The people of the Land of Seed and Blossom have a ritual where children have birthstones implanted in their foreheads. To me this sounds like it would be endlessly painful and ripe for infection in a jungle, but what do I know. This used to be performed at the Temple of Seiseki, which the Izou destroyed during their expansions, so now when they visit it's super depressing.
Next, Chapter 2 (Yeah, all the previous stuff was just Chapter 1) which is the Ninja Clans
Clans part 1
Original SA post
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade Part ++TheLastOne
Chapter 2: Clans Part 1
As mentioned before, there are lots of different Ninja Clans scattered all over the place, but the book describes the 10 most prominent and powerful.
Other Names: Ika Clan, Brewers, Healers
Stereotypes: Border-Crossers, Scientific, Great in Emergencies
Everyone likes the Herbalists because they are ninja doctors, using wushu and knowledge of plants and crap to heal injuries and cure diseases. They've practiced it for so long that they've become resistant to poison and illness and live longer.
Everyone hates the Herbalists because they love to wander through other peoples territory to collect plants and other things for their medicines, in many situations without the consent of the owners of the land.
Nearly every member of the clan has joined up with the Lotus Coalition.
They like to wander, explore and learn. All the great discoveries in herbalism were made by them and they earn a lot of money selling potions they make. Herbalists take only a few students over their lifetime, usually close friends or family. An Herbalist becomes a full member of the clan when they create their first potion.
Herbalist character gain a free specialty in Holistics, which, skipping ahead to the skills chapter, is the games Heal/Medicine equivalent.
They start with the Dragon and Bear fighting styles and their favored Wushu are the clan-specific Way of Caring Hands (Healing stuff) and the general Wushu Way of Wood (Plant powers) and Way of Beasts (Animals)
Their Clan Gift is
Strong Like Bamboo
- they age one year for every two after puberty and gain bonuses against Poison, Disease and Insanity and can go longer without food, water or sleep.
The Clan Drawback is
- They enjoy adventuring and don't worry about the danger.
Each clan also has a White Wolf-style what this clan thinks of the others section:
Other Names: Odoriko Clan, Dancers, Flame-Spitters
In the words of Ichastuko no Kino posted:
Blazing Dancers: “Man, they put on a good show! Now if only they could be as effective in this war, we'd be set. I hope they keep trying.”
Grasping Shadows: “I wish there was a potion to remove the stick from their butts, but alas.”
Hidden Strands of Fate: “Maybe they're hiding something and maybe not. Either way, they throw one hell of a party.”
Living Chronicle: “Write this down. 'Inaction is Death.' Now read it back a few times and reflect.”
Pack of the Black Moon: “I tried to take a hair sample from one of their ninja dogs and the owner tried to bite me. I've heard of bonds with your pet, but...”
Recoiling Serpents: “They try to keep the good stuff from us. For being so big and bad, they sure are lax on their border patrol.”
Virtuous Body Gardeners: “I like these guys. They jump right into combat without and thought and make us look really good when we come in to save them.”
Wardens of Equilibrium: “Trying to control too many things. They'll never learn, so we'll just sit back and watch.”
Will of Iron: “We break a lot of rules. Just don't let them find out.”
Ronin: “Say hello and you may learn something new... or make a new enemy. One way or another, it'll be exciting.”
Lotus Coalition: “We joined to fight the Empire, not solve marriage issues. Still, it's probably our last chance at survival.”
The Empire: “Too many restrictions. Now you have to deal with us all and it's not going to be pretty.”
Stereotypes: Stylish, Performers, Clowns
This clan started in the Land of Exalted Flame, where they take their religion super-mega-seriously. They were famous and performed a political and religious satire in front of the king, which was seen as blasphemous and as a result they were exiled across the Great Desert, the first time it had ever been crossed. They started up again in the Empire, eventually establishing the Wu Ji theater to train performers/ninja. They shut it down after the Ninja Crusade started as a show of solidarity with the other clans and they are pretty much 100% behind the Lotus Coalition.
The clan was famous for their performances and they still train some individuals even after the closing of Wu Ji. The most promising are brought into the clan as ninja.
Where I said they're all for the Coalition? Turns out that's a lie. A lot of Blazing Dancers actually think they should just up and leave the Empire; it's not their country and they have no reason to care about what's going on in there. The clan leadership is very much for standing fast in the Ninja Crusade, though.
Blazing Dancers gain a free specialty in Performance and the Monkey and Wildcat fighting styles.
Their Wushu are the Way of the Immaculate Show (Performance and agility-related abilities), Way of Fire (Guess what this one does) and Way of Movement (this one too).
Their Clan Gift is
Stage and Sound
- They can create auditory and visual illusions as part of their performances and story telling. Sounds kind of weak after “Live twice as long and never get sick.”
Their Clan Drawback is
- Everyone sees them as a bunch of goofy entertainers and not “real” ninja.
Other Names: Kumori Clan, Shades, Shadows
In the words of Odoriko Minori posted:
Bamboo Herbalists: “Good guys to have a drink with. Their crazy adventures are not for the faint of heart, so they're right up our alley.”
Grasping Shadows: “They hate us without reason. Seems that's just how they treat everyone though. Just smile and nod.”
Hidden Strands of Fate: “All style and no substance. Like other nobles, they laugh and applaud without really getting the meaning of it all.”
Living Chronicle: “We run in different circles, but I've seen them watching us lately. Kind of creepy.”
Pack of the Black Moon: “The dance of friendship comes so naturally to this clan. Sometimes, though, the dog is the better dancer.”
Recoiling Serpents: “I've heard stories, but they are even more menacing in person. Their dance is death incarnate.”
Virtuous Body Gardeners: “They dance to the beat of their own drum. I like that.”
Wardens of Equilibrium: “Not usually the kind we'd associate with. They can't decide which dance they want to do, but accept help willingly.”
Will of Iron: “A Smith laughed at one of my pirouettes, so I made sure my foot connected with his jaw. He couldn't hit me back because he said it was just. Ha!” (What?)
Ronin: “A kind word goes a long way, especially with these ninja. The favor will come back to you in the end.”
Lotus Coalition: “Our chance to make a difference, even if we have to endure some of the graceless.”
The Empire: “They have so much and now they want it back. Sorry... No refunds.”
Stereotypes: Assassins, Traditionalists, Bigots
The Grasping Shadows are one of the first clans ever founded, and one of the three from then that is powerful and influential, along with the Hidden Strands of Fate and the Recoiling Serpents.
They had surrendered to the Hebi Clan (the snake guys) to avoid annihilation way back when, but when the Izou Empire showed up to smash them, the Grasphing Shadows signed right up. With their power over darkness they officially became the Imperial Assassins, killing rebels and the Emperor's political rivals. After the Emperors son died and he tightened his grip on the ninja , they switched sides, but when they went to the other clans to look for allies, they found a bunch of incompetent nitwits who refused to accept their training in the ways of being proper ninja (ie, cold-blooded murder). They have some relations with them because of the Ninja Crusade, but they don't like it.
The Grasping Shadows are the Ninja's Ninja, masters of stealth. People living in their territory who are useful to the clan can live prosperous and peaceful lives, but those that oppose them vanish. To join the clan fully, one must single-handed commit an assassination.
Not only do the wish to bring down the Empire, the Grasping Shadows also would like to destroy the
“lesser” clans like the Blazing Dancers, Virtuous Body Gardeners and some Wardens of Equilibrium. They respect the Hidden Strands of Fate and Living Chronicles due to their shared respect for tradition.
Grasping Shadows get a free Stealth specialty and know the Eagle and Monkey Styles. Their Wushu are the Way of Ebony Clutches (Shadow Powers), Way of the Unseen and Way of Water.
Their Clan Gift is
- Every ninja character starts with some skills (Discipline, Legerdemain (sleight of hand stuff), Stealth, Survival and their primary fighting style) for free. Grasping Shadows characters, because their training is so strict and rigorous get these starting skills at a higher level out of the gate.
Their Clan Drawback is
- They loathe pretty much every other clan, especially the foreign clans and especially especially the Blazing Dancers.
Hidden Strands of Fate
Other Names: Aisato Clan, Strands, Thread Bearers
In the Words of Kumori Kunito posted:
Bamboo Herbalists: “One of too many foreign clans to claim permanent residence here. But they can heal, so we can't afford to lose them.”
Blazing Dancers: “Assassination can be a metaphorical dance, but not a literal one. We've no use for frivolity.”
Hidden Strands of Fate: “1000 times better in form than other ninja, but 1000 times as misguided as well.”
Living Chronicles- “Keepers of the past are to be respected and protected before anyone else.”
Pack of the Black Moon- “Dismiss them. We command darkness itself and they... use dogs.”
Recoiling Serpents: “The most despicable ninja today. Their wushu should have been deemed forbidden long ago. You are wise to fear them... do not hesitate to strike one dead if need be.”
Virtuous Body Gardeners: “Overzealous, with nothing to stand for. The fools are flashy, but will get us killed by focusing on their own agenda.”
Wardens of Equilibrium: “The universe has a way of balancing itself. You are not needed in the equation.”
Will of Iron: “These honorable warriors are our opposites, but are quite useful for drawing attention from us in battle.”
Ronin: “One false move and you're dead. Never forget that.”
Lotus Coalition: “Maybe we can teach the other clans a thing or two so they'll survive after all this is over.”
The Empire: “It's been a long time coming.”
Stereotypes: Manipulative, Secretive, Untrustworthy
One of the trio of elder clans, the Hidden Strands has existed for over 600 years. In those six centuries, nearly every change of leadership has been precipitated by a coup. A history and culture of lies, deceit and double- and triple-crossings leaves every Hidden Strand untrustworthy and untrusting. The Lotus Coalition originally didn't want to let Hidden Strands members join because of this, but relented after three of their leaders were assassinated (pretty much everyone suspects the Strands but no one had any proof) and they decided that with all of them looking out for each other, the Strands wouldn't be in a position to do anything.
The Strands always close ranks against outsiders, however; a Strand will always stand by a fellow Strand against non-clan members.
The clans territory, west of the Imperial capitol, is threaded with chi-imbued strings that set off traps or alert them to the presence of intruders. Their training programs are brutal and cut-throat, with children taught from a young age to be manipulative and deceitful. Ninja initiates are trained to be self-reliant and refuse to ask others for assistance and their graduation to become full-fledged ninja requires them to compete against their fellows; the more amoral and ruthless their tactics, the more likely they are to be selected for full Ninjahood and deaths almost always occur.
The Strands hate fighting for territory and are tired of holding back the Empire. The clan leaders also hate the ninjas tradition of living in secrecy that the other clans adhere to. They were the ones who gave the Empire the information they needed for their original strikes against the other clans and to this day they sometimes provide aid to the Empire. The upper echelons plan to use the Ninja Crusade to wipe out the other clans and, with the open acknowledgment of the Emperor, claim the entire Empire as their clan territory.
Hidden Strands of Fate gain a free specialty in Deception and their clan fighting styles are Crane and Horse.
Their Wushu are their clan-specialty Way of Spun Threads, Way of the Unseen and Way of Metal.
The Clan Gift is
- A Hidden Strand can imbue any kind of thread with a bit of Chi and gain the ability to control it mentally, allowing it to be used as a weapon as well as tricks like tying itself in a knot and assorted others. The description says that the strands must be imbued before had to be usable in any wushu, but there is no description on how long it actually takes, so I guess it just defaults to “inconveniently long,” so lots within the clan keep the threads wrapped around their forearms or elsewhere on their bodies.
The Clan Drawback is
- The leadership of the clan is corrupt and pretty much 100% against the goals of the Ninja Crusade. Whenever a Hidden Strands goes on a mission, they might get side missions, a la Paranoia-style Secret Societies, to do whatever the clan leadership wants, up to and including purposefully sabotaging the mission to cause it to fail.
Here's the whole thing:
Their leadership is quite corrupt. During missions that
they believe are for the progression of the Lotus Coalition
, any character might receive an order that
seems contrary to their original objectives
. This could mean retrieving something in secret from a research site, relaying names and placed back to their superiors,
sabotaging others in their squad or even purposefully failing the mission altogether
. These requests start off small and grow in intensity as the Strand rises in the ranks and grows closer to the clan leaders. Of course,
disobeying orders means another Thread Bearer quickly takes the character's spot
I'm going to say it straight up: As written, this clan is pretty terrible for PCs. By default being from this clan is to be that guy who plans from day one to betray the party to the big bad. It's one thing to give them different goals from the other clans and the Coalition itself (that's a good engine for drama in the story), but the clans goal is literally to destroy the Lotus Coalition from within- the secret missions you're given diverge more and more from the goals of the rest of the party as you move up the ranks and it explicitly states if you refuse to perform a mission, the clan will go out of its way to eliminate and replace you.
This is like putting a NWO anti-UN conspiracy theorist in charge of a UN peacekeeping mission. This is like putting one of those Maoist college kids in charge of your corporation. This is like where you do yet another thing as a third example, where doing that thing will have the opposite result of the result you want.
This sets up the obvious “Fuck you, Ninja Dad!” character arc, only this will cost you your entire clan support structure.
Other Names: Rekishi Clan, Codices (Codex), Historians
In the words of Ishikawa Ryota posted:
Bamboo Herbalists: “Useful to have around in a pinch, but an annoyance at any other time.”
Blazing Dancers: “Damn these puppets can dance... and they think they don't have any string attached.”
Grasping Shadows: “They know our ways and still consider us allies. We'll keep them around and take special joy the day we rip them apart.”
Living Chronicles: “As long as they keep us looking good to history, I'm pleased with their presence.”
Pack of the Black Moon: “So cute with their backwater drawl. Gain their loyalty quickly, before someone can poison them against you.”
Recoiling Serpents: “They may have physical power, but we've beat them before and can do it again. Though, their ruthlessness must be revered.”
Virtuous Body Gardeners: “They make me laugh with their desperate need to be relevant. It'll be even funnier when they realize they aren't.”
Wardens of Equilibrium: “Ha! Convince them that fate hands in the balance and then prove the opposite.”
Will of Iron: “They are fueled by blind justice. IF they step out of line, hand them their eyes so they can match their credo.”
Ronin: “Effortless to trick and no clan to protect them. Too easy.”
Lotus Coalition: “Not exactly our cup of tea, bu we'll be damned if they have a party we're not invited to.”
The Empire: “We would've backed the Emperor on any decision except the Ninja Crusade. He chose wrong.” (Except. oops, turns out the Strands actually do back the Emperor, whether they know it or not!)
Stereotypes: Quiet, Knowledgeable, Distant
A long time ago, there was a group of monks that lived in seclusion, who were asked by a aging feudal lord to create a history of his land. They created a beautiful manuscript and were kept on to record everything that occurred in the court for posterity. They did this many times in many different places, until the order of monks was in place in noble courts across the land. As they spread across the land, they also copied any manuscripts they found and sent the home to the Land of Crashing Waves to be kept in the Grand Library.
In their research, they learned of ninja and the ways of chi manipulation, eventually teaching themselves wushu to aid in preserving their knowledge. An accident occurred when they used wushu beyond their control, destroying their accumulated lore and killing many of their members.
After this, the Living Chronicle was formed, with the elders of the order declaring that from then on, when members witnessed important events, the record of it would be tattooed on their own bodies and after death they were preserved using secret techniques. They joined the Lotus Coalition as simple historians but evolved into strategists.
The Living Chronicle as monastic order vs as ninja clan are closely intertwined. Only a small portion of it's members wield chi-manipulation and the ones that do are kept secret. The order is spread nearly everywhere to serve its purpose as recorders of history. Most places have laws against harming members of the order and the ninja use their mundane brethren as camoflague.
The primary goal of the clan is the collection and study of knowledge and they originally were neutral in the Ninja Crusade. However, although there is no proof of ninja members of the order, the Empire has attacked them, confiscating their books and sometimes destroying the bodies of members with important tattoos. They have joined the Ninja Crusade to protect their store of knowledge.
A Living Chronicle gains a free Knowledge specialty and is trained in the Crane and Hawk fighting styles. Their favored Wushu are the Way of Kept Lore (powers related to knowledge and reading and writing), Way of Water and Way of Movement.
Their Clan Gift is
- The order imbues its members with a rather philosophical view on death, knowing that after they die the knowledge they have collected with not be lost. This gives them a bonus resistance to fear and awe, and their background of extensive study lets them start with three free languages and once per day, they gain a big bonus to any skill check.
The Clan Drawback is
- Members of this clan don't get out and deal much with people. Additionally, they write down pretty much everything they see and hear, which is a terrible way to keep secrets.
In the words of Arai Kaede posted:
Bamboo Herbalists: “Watch them closely. They hold the key to life itself.”
Blazing Dancers: “Resourceful and entertaining. We hate little use for them, but they are a fine addition to the world.”
Grasping Shadows: “Their history is marred by heinous acts and history always repeats itself.”
Hidden Strands of Fate: “Our records on this clan fill several bodies. They're at the center of every major catastrophic event in ninja history. It scares me to think what is to come.”
Pack of the Black Moon: “Born from blood and survival through companionship. Keep their loyalty, as it could save you one day.”
Recoiling Serpents: “The Coils are a huge historical influence. Their arrogance and vengeance is legendary. I fear they may outlive us all.”
Virtuous Body Gardeners: “There is a shift in the wind and it's coming from the Inks. They are the ones to follow.”
Wardens of Equilibrium: “Personal balance is a good thing, but it cannot exist forever in the world. History will show that these ninja at least tried.”
Will of Iron. “A warrior's path is fun to record, but don't get in their way.”
Ronin: “They come and go. We wait for them to do something phenomenal.”
Lotus Coalition: “The perfect chance to see if this will really work. If history is right... not likely.”
The Empire: “They have grown corrupt as evidenced by this war. If can only get worse without intervention.”
The book has an illustration for each of the clans, but very little of the art is available easily online and I don't have a scanner, so you all get to miss out.
Next I'll finish up the last five clans and the Ronin.
Clans part 2
Original SA post
Clans Part 2: Where I complain about some of the art.
Pack of the Black Moon
Other Names: Tsuki Clan, Hounds, Mutts
Stereotypes: Faithful, Animal-friendly, Uncivilized
The clan of ninja dog-havers. The clan got its start soon after the Izou empire was founded. They have always relied on their hearts and instincts rather than brains and discovered gifts of understanding animals, which they used to better their lives. Their non-ninja neighbors (alliteration not intended) were pretty jealous of them, culminating in attempts by local nobles to evict them from their land. When the Hounds refused to leave willingly, their villages were burned and Grasping Shadows ninja murdered indiscriminately.
In this time of trial the Hounds developed sympathetic bonds with their dog companions, which aided them in fighting off their attackers. With their new found abilities, the Pack of the Black Moon took proved valuable assets in the Ninja Wars.
Most members of the clan live as farmers and ranchers just south of the capitol. Loyalty is the clans watchword- to their families, to their friends and to their dogs. In their first training they take care of their masters animals, and when they become full members they are given a new born ninja dog to be theirs. Each class of ninja selects their animals from most to least promising students, establishing the hierarchy among them.
The clan is pretty isolationist and peaceful, just wanting to be left alone. A lot of clans, meanwhile, resent the Pack because their abilities take years of training to master; Hounds just get dogs. They also hold grudges against the clans that attacked against them in the past. To ease this bad blood the Wardens of Equilibrium suggested a marriage between two young members of the Pack of the Black Moon and the Recoiling Serpents. As we all know, this ended up a disaster and “one of the pack leaders near now near death.” They blame the Serpents. Also dislike the Shadows for all the murdering back when the clan was new.
Pack of the Black Moon gain a Beast Handling specialty and the Crocodile and Dragon styles. They use wushu of the Way of Twin Beasts (techniques for use with their dogs), Way of Beasts and Way of Earth.
Their Clan Gift is
- They get a dog. Any wushu the ninja uses on themselves can be extended to affect their pet too, and they count as one character in combat.
The dogs are of one of three breeds: Fang (Chow), which get an extra action in combat and bonuses to hit and Perception; Zhu (Shiba Inu), get extra health and bonuses to Intimidation and Athletics. Lie Quan (“Banjara,” whatever that is; the game calls it a hound) get an extra action, a bonus to initiative in combat and a bonus to Survival.
Their Clan Drawback is
- They're a bunch of rural hicks, basically.
In the words of Tsuki Eiji posted:
Bamboo Herbalists: “Their ability to heal makes them invaluable, but they are a wild breed.”
Blazing Dancers: “Met one that played a wonderful song that made us dance. They're pleasant to have around and should help our warriors stay in good spirits.”
Grasping Shadows: “We have a saying. 'Never trust a Shadow.' Follow that rule and you'll never go wrong.”
Hidden Strands of Fate: “Disloyal. Might not sound strong enough a word for you, but that's as bad as it gets in my clan.”
Living Chronicle: “Good guys, educators and the sort. Haven't figured out where they fit in to this war.”
Recoiling Serpents: “Betrayers, the lot of them. They'll get their comeuppance for what they've done.”
Virtuous Body Gardeners: “They seem alright, but are more like little, scrappy dogs than ninja.”
Wardens of Equilibrium: “I guess balancing the entire world is a worthwhile cause. We prefer to seek peace.”
Will of Iron: “You have to 'teach' right from wrong, not kill wrong.”
Roning: “Offer a place to sleep and a bite to eat and then see them on their way.”
Lotus Coalition: “Glad to help the cause and even gladder that I'm not the one in charge.”
The Empire: “Never back a god into a corner. You WILL get bitten.”
The character art for this clan is pretty bad.
available on the Third Eye Games website has the image.
Other Names: Hebi Clan, Serpents, Coils
Stereotypes: Sneaky, Resilient, Malicious
The Recoiling Serpents started in the dangerous jungles and swamps of the southeast. They used to worship snakes.
That also ruled over much of the territory that belongs to the Empire now, for many generations, until the war of Withered Fangs. Now they live and let live, although they feud with the Bamboo Herbalists, who like to wander onto their land.
They were blamed for the wedding massacre and fight a lot with the Pack of the Black Moon over it.
They are the largest clan and are spread over the most territory. Initiates are trained from the very beginning about poisons, both animal and plant. The new initiates, who can be as young as 6 years old, are thrown into pits filled with snakes. The snakes bite the shit out of them but before they die, they're taken out and a wushu performed on them mingles their blood and the poison to make them immune to it.
They don't care about saving the Pack groom from the wedding, up to and including refusing to help treat him or allow the Herbalists to collect materials from their land, but they do want to find out who really did it and pay them back.
Recoiling Serpents get a free specialty for Survival and their fighting styles are Snake (No! Really?) and Hawk.
Their Wushu are the Way of Great Serpents (Awesome snake powers) way of Survival and Way of Wood.
Their Clan Gift is
- Revoiling Serpents are immune to poison, gain extra Health from being super tough and extremely flexible, gaining bonuses when relevant.
Their Clan Drawback is
- If you do anything to the Serpents that they don't like, they will hate you forever and ever and ever.
Virtuous Body Gardeners
More unfortunate female art.
Other Names: Sumi Clan, Gardeners, Inks
Stereotypes: Artistic, Innovators, Punks
In the words of Hebi Ine posted:
Bamboo Herbalists: “Their skills contend with our own, but we are kings while they are mere servants. Find one on our land and slit their throat before they get a change to run like cowards.”
Blazing Dancers: “Spin for me. Spin one more time. That's so... special. Keep doing that over there while the real ninja deal with the war.”
Grasping Shadows: “The Emperor's spurned lap dogs need to be put down. That's the first over of business after this crusade is over.”
Hidden Strands of Fate: “Always something with these guys. Never trust a word they say and if they even look at you the wrong way, kill them.”
Living Chronicle: Every Historian I've met has been respectful. Which is to say... they looked at us with the fear we deserve. Too bad they are watchers, not warriors.”
Pack of the Black Moon: “They've always been a pain, but have now accused us of betrayal and attacked out land in the night. They've bitten off more than they can chew.”
Virtuous Body Gardeners: “Silly clowns with painted bodies. They pretend to be fearless and willing to die to show their strength. Let them die then... by my blade or the Emperor's.”
Wardens of Equilibrium: “They think they're in charge. They'll know soon enough who the true bosses are.
Will of Iron: “Their blades are sharper than their minds. They are of little consequence.”
Ronin: “Unique, but just as dead as the others.”
Lotus Coalition: “Give me another order... I dare you.”
The Empire: “They beat us once, but they'll need more than firearms this time.”
The youngest of the 10 great clans, the Gardeners used to be a part of the Living Chronicle. They were the tattoo artists that would scribe onto the bodies of the Chronicles members but the younger ones were upset that they were treated as less valuable than the individuals being written on.
Their very creation made them enemies of the Will of Iron and Grasping Shadows for abandoning their clan. Unlike the Chronicle, whose tattoos take the form of neat written script, the Gardeners cover themselves with elaborate artistic designs which they incorporate into their wushu. They are respected for how innovative their techniques are, despite their flaunting of tradition.
The Lotus Coalition was reluctantly convinced to allow them to join, with the Blazing Dancers supporting them and the Living Chronicle protecting them, considering them their “wayward children.”
They see themselves as a force for change and evolution, with the struggle of the Ninja Crusade as a way to strengthen themselves and remake the world.
The clan holds a small portion of land wedged between the Pack of the Black Moon, Grasping Shadows, Recoiling Serpents and Wardens of Equilibrium. They like the friction and conflict, believing it helps empower them.
They are also basically gang taggers, placing symbols representing them around their territory and in the territory of others they want to claim.
Their initiation is an agonizing three-day ritual to prepare them for the clan wushu and some members learn to enjoy the pain and self-mortification is common.
The Gardeners ultimate goal is simple ambition: gain more members, claim more land, develop more powerful fighting and wushu techniques.
The Gardeners get their free specialty in Arts and use the Tiger and Crocodile fighting styles.
Their wushu are the Way of Inked Skin(tattoo related powers), Way of the Warrior and Way of Fire.
Their Clan Gift is
- This ability lets a Gardener hide small items on their body in the form of tattoos.
Their Clan Drawback is
Scarred and Painted
- Gardeners are covered in tattoos and scars, causing them to stand out. People might be turned off by this.
In the words of Sumi Rika
Bamboo Herbalists: “Doctors are always needed. They are truly artists with their potions.”
Blazing Dancers: “Expression is a gift our clans share. We'll need to take care of each other to make it out of this alive.”
Grasping Shadows: “So you thing you know what it is to be a “true” ninja? We'll find out one day on the battlefield.”
Hidden Strands of Fate: “Make a deal with these guys and you end up in their web.”
Living Chronicle: “Show our previous elders respect, but remember there was a reason for us to split form the Historians. We want to make history, not record it.”
Pack of the Black Moon: “Worthy combatants. I can't wait until we face them.”
Recoiling Serpents: “These guys scare me, but I'll never let them know that.”
Wardens of Equilibrium: “Balance is boring and so is greed. Change your shtick or get lost.”
Will of Iron: “The only clan with swordsmen as great as ours, but they tarnish it with proselytizing of “justice.” Don't piss them off though. We're not quite ready to take them on.”
Ronin: “That was us not too long ago. Treat them well, because we could easily end up there again.”
Lotus Coalition: “This is our shot at gaining more influence in the world to come.”
The Empire: “What a great opponent to cut your teeth on, eh?”
Wardens of Equilibrium
Other Names: Chuushin Clan, Scales, Chislers [sic] (cheats)
Stereotypes: Persuasive, Wealthy, Cheap
This clan was formed after the Serpents were beaten in the War of Withered Fangs by two men, Chuusin Nobu and Brother Yutaka, an abbot, as an organization to keep the peace in the post-war era. The two recruited young people from merchant and noble families and trained them in the methods of Brother Yutaka's monastery, which teaches a philosophy of balance in the world and within themselves. During the training, two trainees with clashing personalities are trained together.
After training, these men and women returned to lives as nobles and merchants to extend the influence of the clan.
The clan has a hand in nearly all the trade in the Empire, making them extremely rich. They try to maintain balance between all the other clans, to make sure none of them is able to become as dangerous as the Recoiling Serpents used to be. They are mad at the Empire for starting the Ninja Crusade and kicking over their whole carefully balanced house of cards.
The Wardens of Equilibrium are filthy rich, with the clan freely sharing money with its members in need. Members who train together often work together after becoming full members, often closer than family.
The Wardens dislike the Ninja Crusade, of course. However, it's not the violence they're against; they want to maintain healthy, balanced competition between the clans and the Empire running around killing everyone it can get its hands on and making the ninja ally with each other is ruining everything.
Their method of operation is to strengthen the weak and sabotage the powerful. They have suffered a severe blow to their credibility after the Wedding Fiasco (they helped organize it (the wedding, not the fiasco)) went down.
They get their free Specialization in Persuasion and fight using the Bear and Eagle Styles.
Their Wushu is Way of Balanced Scales (chi manipulation powers), Way of earth and Way of Survival.
Their Clan Gift is
- A little mechanical background is necessary for this part: Chi in this game comes in Yin and Yang. Characters have an elemental aspect (Earth, Fire, Water, Metal and Word) that determines their starting Chi and thus gives them towards Yin, Yang or neither (balanced between the two).
Every Warden trains with someone whose chi affinity is the opposite of theirs; Fire and Wood are Yang, Water and Metal are Yin, and Earth chooses either to be. The character then gets bonuses based on their type.
Yang gain bonuses to hand-to-hand and thrown attacks against Yin targets, bonuses to resist Yin wushu and get no penalty for “Cooperative attacks” made with a comrade who is Yin.
Yin gin bonuses to black and dodge against Yang opponents, bonuses to resist Yang wushu and the same penalty elimination with Yang allies.
Also, every clan member gets 1 rank in the “Social Class” advantage free, which affects buying stuff.
Will of Iron
Other Names: Hagane Clan, Sheriffs, Smiths
Stereotypes: Honorable, Courageous, Arrogant
Here's another clan with a picture of a female character, but this one looks more like the Bamboo Herbalist and Living Chronicle rather than the Recoiling Serpents and Virtuous Body Gardeners, in that she doesn't look like a theme stripper.
This clans history can be traced back to a man named Hagane Yoshio, a famous smith. He went on a pilgrimage to pray for his brother, who was accused of the murder of a man the brother had been in a heated argument with. When he reached the temple, he found a block of steel with his family crest stamped into it as an offering.
Using the first metal wushu, he turned the metal into the best sword ever.
His brother was sentenced to death, and Yoshio asked to use his new sword to execute him so that the death would be painless. However, when struck the blade left him unharmed, and the magistrate pardoned him, since it was obvious that heaven wished him to live.
The clan comes originally from the Land of Five Blades and many of the most famous smiths and swordsmen are members of the Will of Iron.
Their settlements are found near places that iron is found and they attempt to restrict the flow of iron to the Empire.
Members come from any background, including the Untouchables and are rigorously prepared psychologically. The clan sees themselves as judges and arbiters of justice and ensure their members have the strength of will and conviction to perform that duty.
The Sheriffs are expected to deal firmly with criminals; some interpret this as summary execution, others attempt to rehabilitate the perpetrators.
Many Sheriffs are filled with anger at the injustices perpetrated by the Empire against their fellow ninjas and the clan supplies the other clans with lots of high-quality weapons. Other clan leaders are afraid to get too close with them, due to their judgmental nature and quick tempers.
The Will of Iron gain a free specialty in Crafts and use the Tiger and Wildcat fighting styles.
Their wushu are the Way of Heaven's Judgment (paladin powers: detecting lies, smiting bad guys), Way of Metal and Way of the Warrior.
Their Clan Gift is Metallic Empathy- Metal items the Sheriffs use just work better for them, giving them a +2 to any rolls they make using them (yes, this DOES include when weapons in combat). Plus they count as one Class higher for acquiring metal items.
Their Clan Drawback is Black and White- Moral Relativism is bullshit, and a Sheriff will kick your ass if you suggest otherwise. A lot of people go out of their way to avoid the Will of Iron since they're so judgy, and its members have a duty to investigate any injustices they find and punish those who perpetrate them, regardless of who they are.
In the words of Chuushin Naomi posted:
Bamboo Herbalists: “As long as all you're doing is healing me, I'm fine with you still existing.”
Blazing Dancers: “Their practices are as questionable as their goals. The eye of justice is upon you all.”
Grasping Shadows: “Defenders of traditions long past, much like ourselves. They differ in tactics, but are commendable.”
Hidden Strands of Fate: “Ass corrupt as they come. One day, we will cut their strings.”
Living Chronicle: “Knowledge is only power when it has purpose. Stop standing on the sidelines and do something!”
Pack of the Black moon: “Insufferable mutts.”
Recoiling Serpents: “Rotten to the core... they need to be cleansed from this world and mine is just the blade for the job.”
Virtuous Body Gardeners: “Good swordsmen, bad aim, They may be redeemable I the end with some work.”
Wardens of Equilibrium: “Pick a side already! Staying in the middle only makes you an easy target.”
Ronin: “Don't trust a man without an allegiance. They believe in nothing.”
Lotus Coalition: Just point my blade... I'll do the rest.”
The Empire: “They fight like cowards with their guns. We will do them the pleasure of stabbing them to their face.”
So the single group spoken of completely positively here is the clan of bigoted, violently reactionary assassins who want to ultimately destroy all the other clans.
Other Names: Loners, Wanderes, Exiles
Stereotypes: Mysterious, Individualistic, Backstabbers
More art of a narrow waisted, giant boobed woman in a super revealing outfit, this time with the addition of a dumb looking sword. The fact that there are examples of not-ridiculous-cheesecake pictures by the same artist elsewhere makes these even worse.
Ronin are ninja who aren't members of a clan, either because they never were in one or got booted out for some reason.
All their description stuff is boring: they wander around, they self-teach themselves their wushu and combat skills, people sometimes don't trust them, whatever.
Ronin get no skill specialty and only one fighting style, but it can be any style they choose. Additionally, they have no favored wushu.
The Ronin Gift is
- This gives them their free fighting style and one free weapon. They start with only 4 levels of wushu instead of 5, but can choose any wushu, even clan-specific ones, as long as it is appropriate to their background; none of these count as "favored" wushu, however, so they cost more to improve later. They get extra stamina and points in the survival skill and extra "BP" to spend in character creation.
The Ronin Drawback is
- No one has their back.
The ronin get no what-they-think section.
And with that, chapter 2 is done.
Each of these clan writeups actually contains some fiction about the clan, but my eyes just slid over it as I read. My next post will be a chapter 2.5 cover it, then it will be Chapter Three, which covers character creation.
Clan Fiction 1
Original SA post
Oh shit, I'd never read grognards.txt before and I just ran into a post ripping on my RPG.net sig as an example of how terrible RPG.net is.
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade Chapter 2.5- (Some of the) Clan fiction
Two ninja, Emi and Kino, are looking for flowers and snake eggs for some potions on someone elses land in the Triumph Province. Suddenly, they're beset by a punch of rattlesnakes swarming out of a nearby cave.
Kino jumps over the snakes to the gave and looks back to see Emi controlling the snakes (somehow) to attack each other. Kino heads into the cave and grabs some of the snake eggs, but when she comes out there are several times as many snakes as before and Emi has fallen unconcious (I assume from snake bites but the text doesn't say.) Kino jumps over to her and summons a wall of wood to hold off the snakes.
A ninja with a snake tattoo shows up. He tells them that they shouldn't have disturbed the secret snake nest and “an angry reptile cannot be stopped.” (He is a Recoiling Serpent, because he has a snake tattoo and also they are on Recoiling Serpent land and when he talks about reptiles he means his clan, does this make sense?)
Kino says that they were totally just leaving.
Snake ninja says no, they're not and a bunch of ten-foot long rattlesnakes smashed through the wood wall and attacks. Kino straps Emi to her back (?) and hops into the trees to flee, where the snakes pursue. She pulls out a potion she was saving to use against a “Golden Dragon” and throws it, releasing a corrosive cloud that dissolves the snakes down to the bone.
Emi will be okay, because curing snake venom is no big deal to the Brewers, and killing a donze giant snakes will make for a good story. “All and [sic] all... a good day.”
Arisu is a 10-year-old girl and dazzled by her first festival in Daiwa (the empire capital, you recall). There is a particular performer she want to see and “she shivered with anticipation,” and fuck every creepy-fucking-game in this thread, especially everything by Chris Fields and CthuluTech for making that sound weird.
She's there with her dad and they sit down (somewhere) and watch some acrobats, some animal acts and trapeze artists who climb to the top of the tent (it was not mentioned that there was a tent earlier).
The final act is Odoriko Minori, who descends from the roof of the tent without any ropes or anything. “His muscles shines... and his costume shimmered,” and I'm imagining a super buff guy, covered in enough oil to fry a whole pig in and wearing the most ostentatiously glittery, sequined belly dancer outfit ever. “And now... the Destroyers dance!”
The other performers that were never mentioned before ask for volunteers and Arisu is one of the ten. Apparently tonight’s show is different because the volunteers are going to disappear.
Odoriko Minori starts spinning up into the air, then he fucking catches on fire. He approaches each of the participants and they are swallowed up! Arisu closes her eyes when he comes to her and when she opens them, she's in a room as a trap door closes above her, with all the other volunteers. They're led outside to reunite with their families, except one old man getting dragged off.
Mr. Odoriko seems to materialize in front of her and gives her an autograph (would this even be a thing?) Arisu asks what's up with the old man. Minori tells her he's been invited to a private party. As she leaves with her dad, Arisu can't tell if what she hears is partying, or screams, but doesn't dwell on it and enjoys the rest of the festival.
Grasping Shadows- I hope this is filled with all kinds of crazy bigot ninja assholery
The ninja Kunio watches his target wake up next to his concubine. He sneezes because her hair got into his nose. “It was quite touching.” He greets the children she gave him, eats some eggs and vegetables and gets dressed and heads to work.
He is a nobleman and second cousin of the mayor of a village he wants to take over someday. Work is boring public service crap and everyone sucks up to the man because he's expected to be important some day.
Leaving work, the man takes a carriage to visit his wife, whom has given him three sons but he doesn't love any more. Kunio has a moment of doubt. There's no time for moral quandaries though, he's got shit to do.
The man takes the carriage to a clearing and calls out some bandits he hired to “procure [some] merchandise,” but they decide they want all the money and try to attack him! He cowers and shuts his eyes, expecting to die, but when nothing happens he looks.
Two of the men are dead from kunai in the neck and the third is dragged into the forest, then there is the sound of cracking bones and choking on blood.
Kunio appears out of nowhere and basically tells the man fuck those guys, killing you is my job.
2 stars out of 5, Kunio, you could have been way more
Hidden Strands of Fate
At one end of a table is Lady Miyaka Aya, a politician's daughter that makes a lot of important deals in the Emperor's court. Her silk robes have patterns of dragons and tigers on it and this is an important detail, while the Blazing Dancers suddenly suddenly springs details
to the actual events going on you maybe four separate times. She is meeting with Ishikawa Ryota, a Hidden Strands ninja. He is wearing plain, unassuming robes.
She wants to know what he wants.
He says they have business they can “do together.”
She wants to know why it can't wait.
He says the Winter Solstice ball is tonight.
She says she knows and there's a super studly daimyo waiting for her to go with him.
He gives her a vial of poison, an undetectable one, that kills within minutes by stopping the heart.
She asks what she's supposed to do with that.
He says, her daimyo? Use it to kill him.
She says what, no way, that will ruin my position in the court.
He gives her an antidote and tells her to drink it, then apply the poison to her lips and kiss him, to make delivering the poison look as innocuous as possible.
She drinks the antidote and puts the poison on her lips and says this will erase her debt to him.
He says pfff, no way, it gets rid of half.
He gets up to leave, remarking off-handedly that he fixed the tear in her kimono while they were talking.
“Ishikawa Ryota smiled at another successful meeting and another dead politician to the cause.”
Kaede is speaking to her student, talking about the story of the clan founder by reading the kanji on her, and suddenly Living Chronicle history lectures have the possibility to get real weird. The history is about how the order decided, after the big tsunami wrecked the great library they decided to record the history on their members bodies rather than in books.
Her student asks if you can't lose a body as well.
Kaede is unruffled and tells the student that history is written down in many places, but it is devotion to the cause that lets you be chosen to have the history recorded on you...?
[qoute]“There is not a moment in history recorded in only one place, but it is through devotion to the cause that you can be deemed worthy to hold these momentous events yourself.” That doesn't sound like it answers the question.
The student asks what they are there to do. Kaede opens a door and there is a gagged man tied to a chair. Kaede tells her student to watch, and tells the man that he is the last of his comrades still alive and none of their message got through. She asks him what their plans are for snooping around the temple.
The beaten, bleeding man says, “Bando, One-Five-Seven.”
They seriously have him do the “Name, Rank and Serial Number” deal in their fantasy ninja game.
He refuses to speak, so Kaede puts her palm on his head and LITERALLY RIPS THE WORDS OUT OF HIS BRAIN and transfers them into a book. She gives it to her student to read.
“The war is coming and the Emperor knows we are a part of it.”
-1 out of 5 stars for the terrible, goofy anachronism, +3 star bonus for spooky brain fucking making them the scariest clan yet.
Pack of the Black Moon
Eiji did some farm work, and now he's napping on the porch. Suddenly, Yukiko stars barking, running out of the nearby forest. There is some description about how she is a dog. Eiji pulls out his knife and calls out to whoever's out there.
The guy does the appear-in-a-swirl-of-leave deal. He tries to strong arm Eiji into giving up his land to his boss.
Eiji is unimpressed; the nice hat and boots he's wearing he got from killing the last guys who came to threaten him, and he's going to kill this guy and steal his gloves.
He can do this because he's totally a Pack of the Black Moon ninja and not just a farmer. He uses a wushu that turns Yukiko's fur into diamond, she rushes the guy, knocks him down and stabs the shit out of him with crystal spikes.
Eiji is disappointed he was killed with one attack like such a fucking scrub. Taking off the guys gloves, he notices he has tattoos of the Reconcilers, whoever the fuck they are, who don't work for criminals... aaaaand some strings detaching themselves from the body and retracting into the woods.
“And I would have figured a Shadow for this, don't that beat all.”
DUN DUN DUUUN.
Alright, no more of this. This stuff is not good and none of your will care anyway.
Original SA post
Wouldn't casting every evocation spell at once grind the game to a halt and likely fuck things up worse than they were before you started?
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade- Character Building
Creating a character has six steps.
First, you think up your character concept, Passion, Element and Clan.
You all know what a character concept is.
Passions are things that motivate the character, influencing their actions and thoughts, blah blah blah, don't be a directionless murder hobo, blah blah blah, key to inner self, blah blah blah, plot hooks. Nothing new to see here.
But passions should also have mechanical effects! Bonus xp for roleplaying, bonuses to rolls when acting according to your Passion, penalties for acting against it.
You can change your passion if story stuff happens to justify it.
The game gives a list of Passions you can take:
Approval- You want other people to like and respect you, especially people you yourself respect. Get bonus xp when they notice you.
Code Of Honor- You have personal rules you do your best to never break because you think they're necessary to live a worthy life. Get bonus xp when following it causes problems.
Collector- You like collecting things. Get bonus xp for acquiring pieces with dangerous connections.
Community- You wrap your identity up with your connection to a group like your home town or nation. Get bonus xp when you help your community.
Escape- You're trying to get away from someone or something. Get bonus xp when you move closer to escaping.
Faith- You are very religious. Get bonus xp when you use faith to help yourself or others get overcome hardship.
Greed- You want to acquire as much as possible of something, whether money, jade, women or even knowledge of wushu. Gain bonus xp whenever you get a bunch of whatever you want.
Joy- You like being happy and making other happy. Get bonus xp when you convince someone to see the good in a bad situation.
Love- You are a romantic, either in love yourself or care about the love lives of others. Gain bonus xp when you help your own or someone elses love life.
Perfection- You want to perfect yourself, whatever that means to you. Gain bonus xp whenever you move closer to it.
Power- You want to have control and influence over others Gain bonus xp for gaining power over something.
Protection- You want to defend something or someone. Gain bonus xp for removing a threat.
Rebellion- You have “the heart of a rebel” and oppose a power greater than yourself. Gain bonus xp for fighting against an ideal or person and convincing other to join him.
Rivalry- You have a competition with another, maybe even a historical figure you wish to surpass one day. Gain bonus xp for getting “a leg up” on your rival.
Truth- You want to learn secrets or solve a great puzzle. Gain bonus xp for learning something.
Vengeance- You want to get revenge on someone or something. Gain bonus xp for getting closer to your revenge.
Warrior- You love battle and conflict. Gain bonus xp for overcoming an enemy more powerful than you.
After concept and passion you pick your Elemental Soul
“Elemental Souls” are an affinity to one of the five “elements”, that affects what chi a character starts with, their personality and special combat bonuses. Each also has effects that a character suffers if they have too much or too little chi.
characters are “sturdy, honest and trustworthy. They are the symbol of balance and are tied to the earth.” They don't like traveling or changing their minds. Often faithful.
Earth characters get one Yin and one Yang chi, and one extra of their choice. They get a bonus to Strike for a round each time they dodge an attack.
When Earth characters have too much chi, they become
Scared of Life
- stubborn and extremely cautious, they must make Fear checks to put themselves at any kind of risk.
With too little chi they become
- uninhibited and selfish, doing and taking what they want without care for the consequences.
characters are “born energetic, artistic and passionate. Like fire, they burn bright and often take the spotlight at social engagements.” They are born leaders.
Fire characters start with 4 yang chi. They get a bonus to Parry for one round each time they land an attack.
With too much chi they become
- they talk incessantly, blathering on about whatever comes to mind. Make an Insanity check to keep from leaking secrets or offending anyone.
With too little chi they become
- they become abrasive, paranoid and jumpy and must make a Fear check if startled or angered to avoid attacking. While attacking, they can only take “Assault Rounds.” (Jumping forward to what this means in the combat rules: for one round the character wigs out and attacks wildly. Give bonuses but you can't defend yourself or activate wushu)
characters are “filled with bravery, discipline and an overwhelming sense of justice.” They like routine and rules and set in their beliefs, but able to be flexible and compromise.
Metal character start with 2 Yin chi and 1 Yang chi. They get a bonus to their attack damage for one round every time they are hit by an attack.
With too much chi they have
- they must make an Insanity check or become ruthless and destructive.
With too little chi, they are a
- they become shy, withdrawn, nervous and indecisive. Make a Fear check or be too embarrassed and awkward to act decisively.
characters are “naturally intelligent, posess great memories and are cautious in their approach to life.” They have a great range of emotion and like to travel.
Water characters start with 3 Yin chi and 0 Yang chi. They gain a bonus to Strike for one round whenever they parry an attack.
With too much chi they gain
- they become obsessed with planning and scheming and must make a “Moderate check” to not waste time planning about doing something, rather than doing something. (Yes, someone forgot to put what type of check to make in here.)
With too little chi they are
- they are hesitant and worry rather than act decisively. Make a Feat check “to avoid a coward and a hermit”[sic]. This gives a whopping two fewer actions each rounds.
characters “have a king, sharing and gentle spirit to them, usually accompanying a healthy complexion.” They are often defenders of the weak, and independent but competitive.
Their starting chi is 1 Yin and 2 Yang, and they get a bonus to Strike every time they hit with an attack.( So every time they hit with an attack, they are more likely to hit with all their next attacks that round.)
With too much chi, they are
- they become inflexible and stubborn, refusing to pay any heed to the opinions of others and being overcome by pessimism. Make an Insanity check or be unable to compromise or be accepting towards new people.
With too little chi, they suffer a
Loss of Self
- the character becomes weak-willed and easily convinced. Make a Fear check or suffer a small penalty to Empathy, Persuasion and Deception.
There is a picture of a woman looking pretty
because she is holding a boulder larger than her torso with one hand, and flexing the other
gun show style
Chi is energy. It is everywhere. There's two types, Yin and Yang. Ninja are trained to use their chi and the chi around them to power their wushu.
A character has Permanent Chi ratings and Temporary Chi points. Permanent Chi is the maximum amount they can normally hold, Temporary is the amount they have at any given time. Character can have up to 10 of each type, Yin and Yang, but it tends to mess them up physically and emotionally.
Chi returns at a rate of 1 point per 30 minutes, but doesn't specify what type you get and at what point. Maybe it's one of each type? You can meditate and make a Discipline roll to get back the chi in only 5 minutes and you can spend Stamina, “sacrifice” Permanent Chi or take an action in combat to regain chi.
A ninja's chi is balanced if they have at least one chi of either types AND neither amount of temporary chi is higher than two more than their permanent Chi.
If a ninja has more Yang chi than their limit (remember, Permanent Chi + 2) then they suffer from Elemental Imbalance (the “too much chi” in the elemental soul descriptions). If they have 0 in either, they suffer from Elemental Depletion (The “too little chi” part).
Having chi over your Permanent chi is dangerous: if you Crit Fail on a wushu check while you have too much chi, the excess explodes inside you, suffering a bunch of damage per point and losing all the excess chi.
Sacrificing Chi Values
If a ninja needs a shit ton of energy in a hurry, they can convert a point of Permanent Chi into 5 points of Temporary Chi of the same type. This lowers their Permanent Chi temporarily (
) by 1, inflicts a penalty to wushu activation checks and takes 1 day to heal per point.
Yang chi “is the energy of life, the sun and physical energy.”
Sacrificing Yang chi:
Produces 5 yang chi points.
Turns non-lethal damage to lethal (I assume on your attacks) for 1 round
Heal 10 health
Get 3 extra actions in the round.
Automatic success on an Athletics, Acrobatics or Fortitude check.
Automatic success to activate a Yang wushu
Get a bigger effect of a Yang wushu
Yin chi presents “death, the moon, stillness and mental energy.”
Sacrificing Yin chi:
Produces 5 Yin chi points
Disregard an opponents AR (think Damage Reduction in D&D or soak in a White Wolf game) for one round.
Halve the damage from an attack
Start at Count 1 (the very top of initiative in a round of combat)
Automatic success on any Discipline, Empathy or Persuasion check
Automatic success to activate a Yin wushu
Get a bigger effect of a Yin wushu
There are a thing. They are
They are rated from 1 to 10, with 4 or 5 being average, and 10 is as awesome as a human can be.
You get 30 Attribute points to spend. Each attribute costs 1 point to raise by 1. 9 and 10 cost 2 each.
Power has these effects:
- Determines the damage bonus your characters attacks have. Low Power = penalty, high Power = bonus.
- How much you can pick up and haul around, 50 pounds and 25 pounds per level of Power, respectively. There are penalties for lifting too much.
Agility has these effects:
- Guess what it does, I dare you.
- Modifiers to your Strike, Throw, Parry and Dodge. Low agility gives penalties, high give bonuses.
Extra Actions per Round
- you get an extra action each round if your Agility is 8+.
I bet this one isn't as good as it seems at first glance.
Vigor has these effects:
- Character get stamina points based on vigor that they can spend to exert themselves. More on these later.
- 20 seconds per level of Vigor.
- Roll to: resist poison, disease or drugs; death if you're dying; remain conscious if you would be knocked out or need to sleep.
Intellect has these effects:
Bonus Skill Points
- Extra skill points in character creation.
- Remembering things.
Insight has these effects:
- Roll to: resist Fear/Awe; resist Insanity (used for emotional trauma and mental attacks); shrug off pain.
Char has these effects:
- You can make deals to buy stuff with a cost equal to half you Charm, rounded down, if you don't have the Class to afford it.
Other Social Checks
- It's Charisma, you know what this entails.
- Used to summon supernatural creatures.
Stuff you know how to do.
Every ninja starts with the skills Discipline, Legerdemain, Stealth, Survival and their Primary Fighting Style at 1. (This is where the Grasping Shadows clan benefit kicks in; they start at 3 in these skills instead.)
Skills are rated from 1 to 15. Characters get 30 + IQ skill points to spend. Skill levels 1 to 10 cost 1 point each, 11 to 15 cost 2 each and the same for your Primary Fighting Style. Characters spend their skill points to buy levels in their fighting style.
Characters can only put points in their clan styles, unless they buy a Gift to acquire out-of-clan ones.
Don't let using skills replace roleplaying. Don't roll for every little thing.
You use skills by rolling 1d20 and adding your level in whatever skill and particular attribute the GM decides are relevant. (This is the first time the game has said what dice you need and how you use them.)
There's a little chart for difficulties:
Some skill can't be used untrained. In opposed checks the higher total wins. You can do extended checks where you have to succeed multiple times to complete a long-running task.
A natural 20 is a critical success. A natural 1 is a critical failure.
You can retry a roll if you fail, with penalties if it's a complex task.
You can get specialties at levels 5, 10 and 15 in a skill. These are narrower applications where the character gets a +2 bonus. Alternately, you can gain the bonus to use the skill to activate related wushu (this seems like a good idea).
People can work together to do stuff.
Bonuses for high quality tools.
This is all pretty generic.
The standard skills are:
Acrobatics- Balance and tumbling and crap.
Every 3 points gives +1 Dodge, Parry and Initiative
Arts- Arts crap.
Athletics- Physical conditioning, running, jumping, climbing, etc.
Every 3 points gives +1 Strike, Throw and Grapple
Beast Handling- Controlling animals
Crafts- Making stuff.
Deception- Lying. Also disguises.
Discipline- Self control and focus.
Empathy- Reading others.
Fortitude- Endurance. Gives +1 Roll for every 3 points and extra health per level.
Holistics- Healing and medicine,
Intimidation- Scaring people.
Knowledge- Knowing stuff.
Linguistics- Knowing languages. There's a list of languages; Learn an extra one for every 3 levels.
Legerdemain- Palming, pickpocketing, lockbreaking, sleight of hand.
Perception- Noticing stuff.
Performance- Music, dancing, etc.
Persuasion- Convincing people.
Stealth- Staying hidden.
Survival- Living off the land.
Travel- Getting around. (if you know what I mean
(it means you know horses and boats and wagons and stuff))
Next post will have the fighting styles, gifts and drawbacks and finalizing your character stats and character advancement.
Original SA post
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade- Fighting Styles
Hot on the heels of the skills, we get the section on fighting styles. Now we start getting into some nitty-gritty of the system.
Every player character in Wu Xing knows martial arts. Each style is based on an animal, and gives a bunch of modifiers in combat. This is the primary way you determine your combat statistics.
Every clan has two fighting styles they teach. A player chooses one to be the character's Primary style; the other is the character's secondary style. All other styles are Outside styles and only become accessible by purchasing a Gift.
Ronin get the shaft, having only a Primary style.
Fighting Styles are purchased with the same pool of points as skills. Hmm, not a fan.
Styles have different costs depending on if they're a Primary, Secondary or Outside style.
Primary styles cost 1 point per level from 1 to 10 and 2 points per level from 11 to 15.
Secondary styles cost 1 point from 1 to 8, 2 from 9 to 13 and 3 the rest of the way to 15.
Outside styles cost 1 point from 1 to 5, 2 points from 6 to 10 and 3 points from 11 to 15.
So not only do you need to spend character resources to get extra styles, you're still hobbled because of the increasing cost to improve them. Better hope you really like your clan styles.
The book tells GMs to be leery of characters maybe getting too many levels in their fighting styles. It suggest capping Primary styles at 8 and Secondary and Outside at 5 in character creation.
Actions per Round
Every character gets 2 actions each round in combat. They can get more.
Every style lists it's best and worst areas. Some players might think certain styles are totally balls, but nothing could be further from the truth! The DGS (an acronym I've never seen before but I assume refers to the system) is designed so that you combine styles to fit your play style. That sounds alright.
For example, the Crane style has low damage, so a character might get Hawk style to make up for it.
Each style has a weapon associated with it and characters know how to use both weapon associated with their clan styles (Ronin get the weapon from their one style, plus any one of their choice). You suffer a -4 penalty to any checks you do with a non-proficient weapon. Every character also gets shuriken proficiency free because it's a fucking ninja game.
Fighting styles have a bunch of techniques you can learn that give you bonuses. You get one technique free from a style at levels 5, 10 and 15, and you can get more through a Gifts.
You will give him the high five if you're smart.
Strong: Roll Weak: Initiative
"Bear fighters are heavily trained in upper-body techniques and generally taking a hit. Their style revolved around ignoring damage while delivering devastating blows to their opponent. however, students of the Bear are often slower to act as they put a lot of thought into each move."
The Bear techniques are:
- Take +3 Speed penalty to an unarmed attack to inflict Lethal instead of Non-Lethal damage. Take this technique again to reduce the Speed penalty to +1.
- Let out a huge roar and make a Charm + Intimidation roll with a +5 bonus. All your opponents must make Fear checks or suffer a -5 penalty to their next action or reaction. Take this again, and they also lose an action if they fail.
- You can attempt to disarm an opponent without having to grapple them first. (I don't know how grappling works yet in this system, but I bet being able to avoid doing it is a blessing.
) This disarm is a Speed 5 action and has a -4 strike penalty, and taking the technique a second time removes it.
- If you have the High Ground against an opponent, you get a bigger Strike bonus (a whopping +8 instead of +4) and +3 damage as you plant your foot right in their fucking face.
- You're so tough, your skin counts as armor, giving you Armor 2/0 (vs Non-Lethal and vs Lethal respectively). Buy this technique up to two more times to increase both ratings by 1 each time.
So fucking majestic.
Strong: Extra Actions Weak: Damage
"Crane fighter training focuses on developing balance, poise and the ability to deflect an opponent's blows. Their style uses a balance of blocking with the upper body and attacking with an array of kicks, while simultaneously avoiding any direct strikes. While truly dangerous, Cranes are more known for a thousand quick strikes, [rather] than single destructive attacks."
The Crane Techniques are:
- You can use Parry against arrows at a -8 penalty instead of -12. Buy an additional time to drop it to -4 nd a third time to eliminate it all together.
- You can perform a special block as a Speed 5 action where you throw your attacker on his ass. Parry with a -4 penalty and if you succeed, throw them half your POW, rounded up, yards away and prone.
Iron and Silk
- You've learned how to parry weapons unarmed. Reduce the penalty for parrying without a weapon to -4 (from -8) and eliminate it all together with a second purchase. A third purchase actually gives a +4
- You jump out of the way of an attack as a Speed 6 action, dodging with a -4 penalty but moving a distance equal to your Movement away.
- Push a guy. Speed 4 and -4 strike and if you hit you knock the target prone POW yards away and inflict you base damage. Each additional purchase increases the damage by 2 and reduces the strike penalty by 2, for +4 damage and no strike penalty.
Look at this lazy asshole.
Strong: Health Weak: Extra Actions
"Crocodile fighters focus on enhancing and conditioning their bodies for optimal performance. They choose their strikes wisely and prefer to defeat opponents through grappling. This style uses mostly upper body techniques but also subtle kicks as well. They do not act often but make it count when they do."
The Crocodile Techniques are:
- Gain a +3 bonus to Stealth, and opponents suffer a -3 penalty to resist a Surprise Attack from you. Buy up to two more times to increase both modifiers by three each time.
- As the Bear Style technique.
- Make an attack as Speed 9, with -4 strike. If you hit, inflict an extra 5 Lethal damage AND automatically start a grapple. This attack can't be parried.
- As the Bear Style technique.
- This give a special maneuver you can use while grappling. At a -4 Grapple penalty, you claw the shit out of the person you're holding and toss them. If they fail their "Grapple Reaction," damage them with a +2 bonus and throw them up into the air.
The most fictional of fighting styles.
Strong: Parry Weak: Dodge
"Dragon fighter focus on mastering close combat while utilizing a balance of various punch and kick techniques. They are known for taking on multiple opponents at once, deflecting every attack at them and digging into their opponents with a ferocious spirit. Dragons are weaker in ranged combat, however."
The Dragon Techniques are:
- Starting in the second round of combat, you get a +2 bonus to Parry as you learn to use the environment to adapt your defenses to counter your opponent. Any penalties an attack against you gets from cover is increased by -2 as well. Buying this technique increases both modifiers by 2 and this can be done twice.
- You plant your hands on the ground and use your legs to sweep everyone around you off their feet as a Speed 6 action. You make an attack and everyone in close range makes a Balance check; on a failure, they're knocked to the ground. Buy this technique again to get a +4 bonus to the strike roll, and a third time to increase it to +8.
- Grappling sucks. That's why you take this technique and get a +4 bonus to Dodge attempts to initiate grapples and +2 to Grapple reactions and the Break Grapple action. Buying this technique up to two more times doubles the Grapple reaction and break grapple bonuses each time.
- Getting up from the ground is now a Speed 2 action, instead of Speed 4.
- If you attack multiple targets in the same rounds, you suffer no penalty. (Normally it's -2)
Strong: Dodge Weak: Grapple
Weapon: Bow (Our first ranged style)
"Eagle fighters exceed in the elegance of ranged combat. They take advantage of speed to launch quick attacks from a distance, but are certainly not weak in close combat where they primarily use kicks. Their style falters against grappling maneuvers, making many Eagles keep far from their opponents if at all possible."
The Eagle Techniques are:
- Need Leaping Dodge. As a Speed 12 action and by spending 1 stamina, you jump into battle. Move your full movement, make an attack with -4 strike but +6 damage and then move your full movement distance again.
- Reduced called shot penalties by 4. Increase reduction to 8 with a second purchase and 12 with a third.
- As the Crane Style technique.
- Required Focused Strikes. You can inflict your base damage with a Touch action. (Looking up a Touch action, it's a Speed 1 attack with +2 Strike but doesn't hurt the target because you're "just" touching them) Extra purchases each give a +2 damage bonus, to a max of +4.
- The ranged style's only ranged-related technique
. Throw 2 kunai or shoot 2 arrows as one action, with a -4 penalty to Throw. A second purchase lets you throw/shoot 4 projectiles and at up to two targets (implying the base level is both attacks against one). A third lets you divide the attacks among four targets.
Think up your own caption
Strong: Initiative Weak: Health
"Hawk fighters focus on quick, hard strikes to take down their opponents. They are primarily mental combatants, strategists that can pick out weak points easily to make their mostly punching strikes matter. This style focuses less on physical conditioning than others, often leaving their bodies weaker."
The Hawk Techniques are:
- As the Eagle Style technique.
- Gain Armor Piercing on your attacks, gaining 1 AP for every -2 to Strike or Throw you take.
- Take a -4 penalty to all your actions and reactions in the first round, but gain a +2 bonus to all your attacks from round two onward.
- A special spear attack. At Speed 7 and with a -6 Strike, you hit one target with the tip of your spear and a second with the heel. This is normally two attacks, both at a -10 penalty; with this technique you make one attack at -6 and use it for both attacks. These attacks gain +3 damage. A second purchase reduces the strike penalty to -3 and increases the damage to +6.
- As the Dragon Style technique.
So majestic, so... adhesive.
Strong: Stamina Weak: Throw
"Horse fighter train to emulate the epic endurance of their namesake. They focus primarily on precise kick attacks or keeping their distance while their opponent slows down from fatigue. While they are strong workhorses, they are also weak against ranged fighters."
The Horse Techniques are:
- Parry as a speed 4 action, at a -4 penalty. If successful you inflict "+1" damage to your attacker. (It doesn't say what to use for the base damage). Increase the damage to +3 on the second purchase and +6 on the third.
- You trained through endurance running, gaining 2 extra stamina points and +4 movement. Get two extra stamina and 4 more movement with each additional purchase, to a max of 6 stamina and +12 movement.
- You plant your hands and plant your heels in your opponents chest like the style's namesake animal. This speed 7 attack inflicts +7 damage and if they fail a balance check, they're pushed back POW yards. Double this distance each extra purchase of this technique, up to twice your POW.
- As the Hawk Style technique.
- As the Bear Style technique.
He does not need that gun to fucking end you.
Strong: Throw Weak: Strike
"Monkey fighters are trained to master tumbling and ranged combat. They focus on quick, rolling attacks, striking with punches and kicks to throw their opponents off balance while keeping control of their range. They are versatile and adaptive combatants, but are weak in close combat."
The Monkey Techniques are:
- Opponents lose the High Ground bonus against you. (So High Ground also includes attacking a prone target while standing.)
- As the Eagle Style technique.
- As the Dragon Style technique.
- You learn to end a tumble with an attack and can combine your Movement with a "Light Strike" at Speed 4. A second purchase lets you Full Strike and move for Speed 6, and a third allows a Strong Strike and move for Speed 8.
- A rolling attack in reverse; Dodge and move half your Movement as a Speed 4 reaction, with a -2 dodge penalty. A second purchase lets you also stick a Light Attack in there for Speed 8.
This happens every 3 seconds in Australia.
Strong: Grapple Weak: Roll
"Snake fighters are masters of close combat, both in keen strikes and subduing through grapple maneuvers. They primarily use hand attacks (known for the snake-like stances), but do not neglect their kicking ability. They focus on taking their opponents out quickly, but are not adept at shrugging off damage."
The Snake Techniques are:
Coil and Strike
- A Speed 10 action. Wait this long without using Movement and taking a -5 penalty to your reactions and you are rewarded with a +10 Strike bonus and +3 damage to your attack.
- As the Crocodile Style technique.
- As the Eagle Style Technique. (Starting to get kinda samey here, game)
- Get +4 to resist poison and a +2 to Holistics(poison). Double these bonuses with a second purchase and with a third you are straight up immune to all poison and the Holistics bonus increases to +6. (This is a technique in the snake-themed style that the snake-themed clan has no reason to take :shush:)
- As the Eagle Style technique.
Something something tiger stripes
Strong: Damage Weak: Stamina
"Tiger fighters are blatant power
houses, conditioning their bodies and dealing as much damage as possible. They focus on punches, using intensely painful claw-style strikes that many opponents fear. While they are strong, they tire quickly as they put so much effort into each attack."
The Tiger Techniques are:
- As the Horse Style technique.
- As the Bear Style technique.
- In any round where you would have a Pain penalty, make a Moderate (20) Pain check. On a success, ignore your Pain modifier for the round.
- As the Bear Style technique.
- Make an attack, at +3 Speed and -4 Strike. On a hit, you claw the bastard, inflicting half damage but gives them a -2 Pain penalty for one round. A second purchase lets you choose to either double the penalty or extend the duration to two rounds. (I think it lets you choose, anyway)
I don't like cats very much.
Strong: Strike Weak: Parry
"Wildcat fighter focus on quick and close strikes, hoping to defeat their opponent before they get the change to act. They utilize punches and kicks equally in swift succession, one right after the other. They are great at launching attacks, but their style leaves openings which detracts from their ability to deflect incoming blows."
The Wildcat Techniques are:
- As the Dragon Style technique.
- As the Eagle Style technique.
Lands on Feet
- As a Speed 2 reaction, make a Moderate (20) Balance check whenever you would fall or be knocked to the ground to keep your feet. Does NOT work against the Trip Grapple Action. (
- Get +3 to Strike and +1 damage on your first action if you act first in a round of combat. An extra purchase increases these to +6 strike and +2 damage, and a third grants +9 strike and +3 damage.
- As the Dragon Style technique.
After all that is the section on Gifts and Drawbacks, and it's just a big list of crap, so I'll put that off for another day. After
is calculating all your shit, and then xp and character advancement, and that will be the end of Chapter 3.
Gift and Drawbacks
Original SA post
This guy looks trustworthy enough to let into your car.
I knew a guy many years ago who was a big Werewolf fan, who had big sideburns that went almost to his chin like that. It struck me just now that there might be a connection there. Also, kind of an ass.
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade- Gift and Drawbacks
The game gives us a helpful reminder that different characters are different.
Characters can get Gifts and Drawbacks- good things and bad things, respectively. These are bought (or give) Bonus Points (BP). Each Gift/Drawback has a point value, some have a range representing a sliding scale of effect, some have different versions for different points.
This section also tells us that BP can be spent on Attributes (2 BP for 1 attribute point) or skills (1 BP for 1 skill point) or you can give up Attribute and Skill points for BP. You can get up to 10 BP from Drawbacks and Attribute/Skill sacrifice.
Some Gifts and Drawbacks are only available in character creation and you can' buy Gifts/Drawbacks that contradict each other. The game gives an example of Perfect Memory and Absent Minded as a bad combo.
The game gives a giant list here, so buckle up ladies and gentlemen. The numbers after the name is the BP value.
(3)- You suffer less penalty for activating Wushu that conflict with your Elemental Soul.
(1-5)- Someone willing to help you. More points makes them more powerful and they like you better. The examples are a "completely aloof martial arts instructor" (1), a "friend [you] can ask for a favor occasionally" (2), a "childhood friend that lets [you] stay in their home when [you're] down on your luck" (3), a "best friend that helps with anything they can" (4) and a "brother or blood brother willing to sacrifice things in his own life for [you]."
(3)- Eliminate the -4 off-hand penalty and if you use both hands to do different things at the same time, the penalty is reduced by 2. While wielding two weapons, you can attack with both at an enormous -8 penalty on each, and also a -2 penalty when making a single attack. These are some super terrible dual wielding rules.
(3 or 2)- You have a special pet. The pet knows three commands. Dogs, birds and horses are common companions. This only costs 2 BP for a member of the Pack of the Black Moon to get an extra dog.
(1-5)- You are really hot. Get +2 to Charm tests per level (except Intimidation).
(4)- You're a super good grappler, getting +2 Strike to Initiate Grapple actions, +2 Grapple, +1 Stamina and +4 Health.
(1-5)- Get +2 to balance for each level.
(2 or 5)- You can hold extra chi for longer. 2 BP lets you safely hold 4 excess Temporary Chi for 30 minutes, 5 BP lets you hold 6 excess for an hour. After these times pass the chi becomes dangerous again.
(1-5)- Social class and lifestyle. The classes are Commoner (0), Land-Owner (1), Artisan (2), Merchant (3), Warrior (4) and Noble (5).
Artisans get an extra Arts specialty; Merchants get a Persuasion specialty in Haggling or Negotiation; Warriors get an Athletics or Acrobatics specialty of their choice; Nobles get a Deception or Empathy specialty.
(3)- You get a new combat Technique.
(1-5)- You have influence with some group. The level represents both how much influence you have and how useful the group is to you. The game then says to roleplay using your connections.
(1)- +4 bonus to Survival or Travel involving navigation.
(2)- +4 to Acrobatics checks involving flexibility.
(3)- Reduce the attack penalty for two attacks by 2 and double the Parry bonus granted by "the weapon." Plus, they suffer no penalty for making one attack while wielding two weapons.
(1-5)- Gain an extra Stamina points per level.
(3)- Choose an extra General Wushu to become favored, reducing it's cost from 2 BP per level to 1 per level.
(1-5)- Get +2 to Fear checks per level.
(1-5)- You're someones boss and they do what you tell them. The follower gets 5 Skill points per level of Follower and have all Attributes at 4. They'll leave if you treat them bad enough.
- You're really big. Gain +8 Health, +3 to Lifting, +1 Stamina, +2 Fortitude and +1 Base Damage. Suffer a -2 penalty to Agility involving manual dexterity and clothing and armor costs +1 Class .
(1-5)- You're well regarded. More points spreads your rep over a wider area. A certain social circle at (1), village wide at (2), city wide at (3), empire wide at (4) and worldwide at (5).
Hard to Kill
(1-5)- Each level gives +2 to Death Checks and +1 health.
(4)- Gain +2 to Stealth, Knowledge and Survival checks on "[your] land."
(3)- When you use Improvised weapons, the penalty is -4 instead of -8, and if it's like a weapon you're trained in there's no penalty.
(1-5)- +2 to Initiative per level.
(1-5)- +2 to Insanity checks per level.
(1-5)- You have a bunch of books, giving +2 to Knowledge (research) rolls per level. The amount of books this represents range from a shelf (0) to an entire library (5).
(3)- You are fully rested from four hours of sleep instead of seven, you get +2 to checks against Unconsciousness from knockout or exhaustion and you only need to roll to not fall asleep if you get less than two hours of sleep.
(3, 6 or 9)- Reroll 1 Natural 1 per session for 3 BP, 2 Natural 1s for 6 BP and 4 for 9 BP.
Masterwork Weapon (3 or 2)- You have a super well made weapon. It gives +2 to all checks and +5 Durability. Cost only 2 BP if the character is of the Warrior class.
(3)- You are "born with hard knuckles and the fill [sic] to fight." +2 Strike, +1 Parry and +1 Base Damage.
(3)- Double your range on Hurl Weapon actions and get +2 Throw and +1 damage on ranged attacks.
(2)- You can buy an outside fighting style.
(2, 4 or 6)- Get +2 to Pain checks and reduce Pain penalties by 2. Increase each modifier by 2 for each extra level.
(3)- You never need to make a Memorize check to remember something (except when you do, where you get a +5 bonus).
(1-5)- Get +2 to resist Poison per BP. Recoiling Serpents can't take it.
(1)- You have a really good internal clock, gaining a +2 bonus to things that involve precise timing.
(2)- You perform Draw Weapon actions at half speed, rounded up.
(6)- Heal twice as fast, recovering 10 Non-lethal per hour of rest and 6 per hour of light activity. Heal the same amount of Lethal damage, except per day instead of hour.
(1-5)- You have a position of influence or authority in some organization, gaining a +2 bonus to Persuasion per level inside that group. Higher levels come with more responsibility.
(2)- Pick sight, hearing, touch and smell/taste. Gain a +4 bonus with the chosen sense(s).
(1-5)- +2 to resist disease and +1 Health per level.
(1-5)- +2 Movement and +1 Health per level.
(4)- Due to physical conditioning, you get +5 health, +5 to lifting rolls, +1 Stamina and +1 Base Damage.
(6)- You can summon one of the Celestial Animal breeds. You can spend a pint of Permanent Chi of either type instead of paying the BP cost.
(1-5)- You can take a lot of damage, gaining +3 health per level.
(2)- You are really good with one weapon, reducing it's Speed by 1. Extra purchases drop this even further, to a minimum of 0.
(1)- You're trained in an extra weapon, no longer suffering the non-proficiency penalty.
(4)- You're really good with one type of wushu, gaining +2 to activation checks with it.
(3)- You get an extra point of Yang chi, to a maximum of 10.
(3)- Like Yang Master, but grants Yin chi.
(4)- Unperceptive and forgetful, you have a -3 penalty to Memorize and Discipline (Concentration checks) and -2 to Perception.
(4)- You're deep in an addiction to some damaging substance. You lose 2 stamina or 3 health in character creation. You need to partake every day or suffer -3 to
; this penalty doubles after "a few" days and more than a week without, you need to make Tough (30) Insanity checks or be driven to get the drug no matter what.
(1-5)- The opposite of Good Reputation, you're poorly regarded for some reason.
(2)- You're a chatter box and must make IQ + Discipline checks to avoid blabbering an inopportune times.
(3)- You take 6 Lethal damage per round from bleeding, instead of 3.
(6)- You're completely sightless, automatically failing any sight-based checks and suffering
to all combat checks. (
Why would anyone ever take this
(5 or 10)- You find molding either Yin or Yang chi harder. You cannot use the Mold Action in combat for that type and spending Stamina requires 2 points for each point of Chi. The 10 BP version means you're deficient in
(1-5)- You're a scardey cat, afraid of combat. Take -2 to Initiative per level.
(3)- You suffer from kleptomania, pyromania or OCD. You need to make a Moderate (20) Insanity check to resist the compulsion.
(2)- You love sticking your nose into stuff. You need to make Insanity checks of a GM determined Difficulty to do the smart thing, rather than the interesting one.
(3)- You need nine hours of sleep per day, taking a -2 penalty to resist unconsciousness and have to roll to stay asleep from less than seven hours of sleep a day.
(4)- Something has rendered you horrific looking, causing you to automatically fail any checks based on how you look.
(1-5)- For each level, you suffer a -2 penalty to resist being poisoned.
(4)- You're easy to get riled up. You need to succeed on a Moderate (20) Insanity check to keep your cool, or Tough (30) in especially stressful conditions.
(1-5)- Someone really hates you: an annoyance (1), an equally capable enemy (2), a dangerous enemy that may have ties to an organization(3), an enemy able to threaten the entire squad (4) or the head of an entire criminal or military organization (5).
(1-5)- Your clumsiness inflicts a -2 penalty per level on Balance checks.
(1)- You can't read.
(3)- You're super young. You lose 1 Stamina and 1 Base Damage and can carry only 15 pounds per level of Power. Adults don't take them seriously. But if you perform the Take Hit Reaction (instead of trying to avoid getting murdered) your attackers needs to hit a 12 instead of 10.
(2)- You love sexing. Take a -2 penalty on Charm checks with good looking people and a -4 to resist being seduced.
(3)- You can't bear seeing others in pain, and must succeed on a Tough (30) Insanity test to resist helping someone in need.
(4)- Being super fat. -10 to all Athletics and Acrobatics checks and lose 1 Stamina per round just for being in combat. Also gain a +10 bonus whenever being super heavy is helpful.
(4)- Having a single arm cuts your carrying weight in half and inflicts a -4 penalty to Parry and Grapple.
(4)- Being reduced to a single eye causes a -4 penalty to Perception (Sight) and -2 to combat checks.
(4)- You refuse to start a fight with another person and will never kill someone.
(6)- You've lost the use of your legs and need a wheelchair to get around. In the wheelchair, your Movement is reduced to your Power.
(3)- You are afraid of something fairly common. Whenever you're exposed to the object of your phobia, make a Moderate (20) Fear check or flip the fuck out.
(1-5)- You're smelly and gross, suffering -1 per level to checks involving looks or presence and trackers get +2 per level to track you by smell.
(2 or 4)- Pick a sense, like the Sharpened Senses Gift, but instead you have a -3 penalty to Perception tests involving the sense, but it can be mitigated with corrective measures. For 5 (
) BP, the penalty is -7 and can't be fixed.
(1-5)- Being small and frail, you get -3 Health per level.
(2)- Being so shy and demure inflicts a -3 penalty to Persuasion (Oratory) and possibly someone with higher station or that they have feelings for.
(1-5)- Prone to sickness, you have -2 to Fortitude checks to resist Disease and Infection and -1 health per level.
(3)- Pick one skill you're really bad with. You have a -4 penalty with the skill and all it's specialties and can't get more than 4 levels in it.
(1-5)- Your paranoid disposition causes a -2 penalty to Fear per level.
(4)- You take a long time to heal, regaining 2 non-lethal per hour of rest and 1 per hour of light activity, or 2 lethal damage per day of rest and 1 with light activity.
(2)- Some sort of lisp, slur or stutter inflicts a -4 penalty to any checks involving speaking.
(1-5)- Your ugliness inflicts a -2 penalty per level on Charm tests that involve looks. No combining with Disfigured.
(3, 6 or 9)- The opposite of Lucky, forcing you to reroll Natural 20s.
(4)- You are a member of the untouchable class. You are disallowed from ascending to a higher social class and have a -5 penalty with social checks involving anyone who knows and cares about your social status (which is most).
(2)- Someone is hunting you and you have to be on the look out for bounty hunters and informants.
(3)- Someone has need of your protection, like a sibling or something.
(1-5)- Take a -2 Penalty to Insanity checks per level, because you go crazy by not having enough willpower (unless it doesn't actually represent your ability to resist going nuts, in which case why name it Insanity?
(3)- You have a really queasy stomach, forcing a Moderate (20) Vigor + Fortitude check to avoid vomiting or fleeing when exposed to blood or other disgusting stuff.
(3)- Pick one of your Favored Wushu and suffer a -3 penalty to it's activation checks.
Finally, we get
Health is how much injury you can withstand. Health is equal to ((
Stamina is your ability to push yourself to your physical limits. Starting Stamina is equal to
, plus any bonuses from Skills, Gifts, etc.
Vs. Balance: AGY + Acrobatics + modifiers
Vs. Fear/Awe: INS + Discipline + modifiers
Vs. Poison: VIG + Fortitude + modifiers
Vs. Disease: VIG + Fortitude + modifiers
Vs. Pain: INS + Discipline + modifiers
Vs. Insanity: INS + Empathy + modifiers
Vs. Death: VIG + Forititude[sic] + modifiers
Vs. Unconsciousness: VIG + Fortitude + modifiers
Memorization: IQ + Discipline + modifiers
Carry/Lift Weight: 25 lbs per POW / x2
Strength Check: POW + VIG + modifiers
Max Hold Breath: 20 seconds per VIG
Fighting Styles- There's big summary tables at the end of the book.
Attributes- Get damage from POW; Strike, Throw, Parry and Dodge from AGY and Stamina from VIG.
Skills- Get Initiative, Dodge and Parry bonuses from Acrobatics; Strike, Throw and Grapple from Athletics; Health bonuses from Fortitude.
Gifts/Drawbacks- Whatever they give you.
Elements- You special element from your Elemental Soul
AGY + IQ + modifiers.
Walking- Cover POW + AGY feet with a Move Action.
Running- Move POW + AGY x 20 yard per minutes. Some other rules about running through rough terrain, etc.
Jumping- Jump POW + Athletics + 10 feet horizontally and half that vertically. Jump 25% father with a 10-foot running start.
Climbing- Climb half your Movement freely. Roll AGY + Athletics to move faster. Failure means you're stuck and a critical failure causes you to fall.
Swimming- Half your normal movement with Athletics 1 or higher. Rolls are needed in rough waters.
Chasing- In a chase, each person rolls 1d20 + Movement. Add or subtract the difference between the rolls, depending on who won, to determine the lead.
I'll finish this chapter with the XP and character advancement section a little later, which marks the end of Chapter 3.
Original SA post
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade- XP and character advancement
This being a pretty traditional game so far, it has a traditional advancement method: characters earn XP from play and spend it to increase their abilities.
After a Session
Characters earn 1 to 5 XP per session, depending on what they do:
Showing up to Play
Get 1 XP for playing.
Get 1 XP for bringing your passion into play in an interesting way.
Get 1 XP for taking charge and acting leading the party.
Get 1 XP for doing something awesome and cool.
of the Story
Get 1 XP if you learned an important lesson from the game.
After a Story
At the end of a "Story," a story arc, the players get 1-5 extra XP.
This is a "story game" so you need to be able to justify the stuff you spend XP on.
1 Attribute point = 10 XP
1 Skill Point = 5 XP
1 Bonus Point = 5 XP
Permanent Chi = 9 XP
Favored Wushu = 5 XP per level
Non-Favore[sic] Wushu = 10 XP per level
The chapter ends with a reference for character creation and an example. Let's summarize:
Step 1: Choose Concept, Choose a Passion, Choose an Elemental Soul and write down your Chi and choose a Clan.
Step 2: Distribute 30 points for Attributes
Step 3: Get your starting skills and spend30 + IQ points to spend on skills and fighting styles.
Step 4: Choose 5 levels of Wushu from your clan favored wushu.
Step 5: Spend 10 Bonus Points, or 12 for Ronin, and gain up to 10 extra from Drawbacks.
Step 6: Calculate sub-attributes and combat bonuses
Wait a minute, something looks off.
That's right, the first place we find out how to get our character's Wushu is in the character creation reference at the end of the chapter.
Great job there, guys.
There's a sample character creation, but we'll skip it; I'll make a character later.
Original SA post
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade- Wushu
The ninja's magical powers are called wushu. Some are generic and widely available to learn, others are specialized techniques developed by the ninja clans and ninja can develop their own unique signature wushu.
where we get the description of gaining wushu in character creation: You get five combined levels worth from your clan favored wushu (one level 3 and two level 1 techniques, or two level two and one level one, etc.) Ronin get 4 levels total, but can select any wushu.
Wushu are purchase individually, but can have prerequisites needed to acquire them. The highest level a character can learn is equal to their permanent chi.
More wushu are bought later with BP: 1 BP per level of the wushu for Favored and twice that for others. Because ronin don't have any Favored Wushu, all their wushu cost 2 BP per level.
Yin and Yang Wushu
Like chi, wushu are divided into yin and yang. Yin wushu involved growth, light, healing and creation. Yang wushu are ones of darkness, destruction and weakness.
Clan Favored Wushu
This section tells you to flavor your wushu based on your clan.
To use a technique, you pay Chi equal to the level and make an activation check. The difficulty starts at Simple (10) for level one and increases by 5 for each level beyond. Each wushu has a skill associated with it that you roll in combination with your permanent Chi Value of the same type. Activating a wushu costs 1 action, and level 4 and 5 wushu also cost 1 Stamina to activate.
You can get bonuses to wushu activation by
yourself. Get +1 to the activation for each 1 Lethal damage you inflict to yourself and no cheating by trying to avoid taking the damage. Only properly ritualized bloodletting counts.
Get +2 to activate wushu that mesh with your clan gift and other people suffer a -2 penalty to try to replicate your clan gift.
You get bonuses for activating wushu with the same element as your own elemental soul. There's a table, and every combination has a modifier- there's no straight up unmodified rolls.
Environments can modify activation checks too, a bonus to earth and a penalty to water on top of a mountain, for example.
Wushu are easier to destroy or negate when resisting elements that destroy their element.
Earth destroys Water, destroys Fire, destroys Metal, destroys Wood, destroys Earth.
For each extra action sacrificed, get a +2 bonus to the activation check but increase the Speed by 2 as well.
Resisting Wushu Effects
Ninja, having learned how to manipulate chi, can resist the effects of wushu by spending 1 Action and 1 Stamina. If you're targeted by a wushu, pay the price and roll of 1d20 + your chi rating and if you beat the activation check, you aren't affected.
Wushu can have either a finite duration (rounts, minutes, weeks, etc) or non-finite (Scene, battle).
You can sacrifice one point of permanent chi to enhance the effect of a wushu.
Now, another big ole list of crap (I'll split this into the General and Clan wushu in a second post):
Edit: I marked the stuff I thought was particularly cool with
Way of Beasts
All of these use the Beast Handling skill.
Eagle Eye (level 1, Yang)
See better and farther away.
Sonic Hearing (Level 1, Yin)
Increase the frequency range you can hear. Sacrifice chi and you can hear whispers within ½ mile.
Bloodhound (Level 1, Yang)
Improve your olfactory senses and detect scents up to ½ mile. Sacrifice chi to smell 1 mile away.
Night Eyes (Level 1, Yin)
Better night vision. Sacrifice chi to see in absolute darkness.
Calming Touch (Level 2, Yin)
Mellow out an animal. Sacrifice 1 chi to affect all animals within a radius or 2 so that the animal remains chill no matter what you do to it.
Favor (Level 2, Yin)
Get an animal to do a favor for you, or get a bonus on Beast Handling for a scene. Sacrifice 3 chi to make the effect permanent and reduce the activation check difficulty to Simple (10). (I think this means the skill bonus with the animal is permanent and the favor-binding effect is easier to use.)
Animal Stance (Level 3, Yang)
Select an animal with an associated fighting style and gain a bonus in whatever that style is “Strong” in. Sacrifice a chi to double the bonus or gain a bonus from an “unknown” style. (So a style you don't know I guess?)
Control Beast (Level 3, Yin)
Mind control an animal for one scene or battle. The owners of specially trained animals can resist. Sacrifice a chi to make it last 1 day or to make the resist roll more difficult.
Animal Warrior (Level 4, Yang)
Drive your animal berserk, giving them a bunch of combat bonuses, but they flip out and attack everything. Sacrifice 1 chi to limit the animal to attacking the targets you designate.
Beast Form (Level 5, Yang)
Turn into an animal for one scene. Sacrifice a chi to extend it to one day.
Way of Earth
Muddied Steps (Level 1, Yang – Earth)
Turn a 20 ft by 20 ft square of earth into clinging mud. Doing stuff like attacking or dodging while stuck in it requires a Balance check. Sacrifice 1 chi to double the size and make the balance check harder, or to make the mud super slippery so you have to roll whenever you do
Stone Like Clay (Level 1, Yin – Earth)
You can mold hard stone like clay for one scene. Also gives a bonus when making sculpture. Sacrifice 1 chi and the stone's weight is halved when you pick it up.
Open the Earth (Level 2, Yin – Earth)
The earth opens itself at your command to dig holes in the ground or stone walls. Sacrifice a chi to double the dimensions.
Spitting Earth (Level 2, Yang – Earth)
You soften the earth and shoot it at your enemies. Sacrifice any amount of chi to attack that many extra people.
Pillars of Stone (Level 3, Yang – Earth)
Big pillars of stone come out of the earth. Use it to lift yourself up into the air or launch enemies into the air. Sacrifice 1 chi to make them rise further up or throw targets farther.
Stone Skin (Level 3, Yin – Earth)
Cover yourself in armor made of stone and dirt to make yourself tougher. Sacrifice a point of chi to make yourself tougher-er.
Quick Sand (Level 4, Yin – Earth)
Like Muddied Steps, except the dirt becomes quick sand instead of mud. Anyone who gets stuck in it sinks down and ultimately suffocates to death. Sacrifice chi to affect a larger area.
Earth Form (Level 5, Yang – Earth)
Turn yourself into stone, gaining a bunch of temporary health, armor and extra damage, but a hefty speed penalty to all your actions. Sacrifice 2 chi to double all the bonuses AND eliminate the speed penalty.
Way of Fire
Bright Star (Level 1, Yang – Fire)
Cover yourself in a corona of light, providing illumination and impeding the aim of attackers. Sacrifice a chi to double the attack penalties and the distance you illuminate.
Cauterize (Level 1, Yang – Fire)
Any time you suffer Bleeding for the rest of the battle, it immediately stops as the heat of your body
instantly cauterizes the wound
. This is
Spark (Level 1, Yang – Fire)
You make some sparks. Whatever.
Extinguish (Level 2, Yin – Fire)
You put a mundane fire out, or protect yourself from fire wushu. Sacrifice an amount of chi to completely
a fire wushu.
Flame Arrows (Level 2, Yang – Fire)
You shoot arrows made of fire.
Fireproof (Level 2, Yin – Fire)
Make yourself and your stuff resistant to fire for a battle or scene. Sacrifice a chi to make it
to fire. So a level 2 power that is a vigorous fuck you to anyone who fights with fire wushu.
at least this isn't D&D, so they can still just
the bullshit out of you.
Fire Breather (Level 3, Yang – Fire)
Exhale a big blasty fireball.
Fire Mantle (Level 3, Yang – Fire)
Wreathe yourself in fire and gain wreathed-in-fire related bonuses.
Rise from the Ashes (Level 4, Yang – fire)
If you have the remains of an object that was destroyed by burning, you can
reform it out of the ashes
. Also bad ass. No bringing back dead things, though.
Fire Form (Level 5, Yang – Fire)
made of fire
. Whenever you hit someone, make a roll to see if they catch on fire. Don't go indoors.
Way of Metal
Mold (Level 1, Yin – Metal)
Mold metal like clay.
Sharpen Blade (Level 1, Yin – Metal)
Make your weapon sharper, giving bonuses. Someone else using the weapon doesn't get the bonuses, however.
Melting Touch (Level 2, Yin – Metal)
Cause metal things to melt just by touching them.
The Metal Within (Level 2, Yin – Metal)
Stick metal things inside your body. Use the wushu again to get them out, or sacrifice a chi to do it without a wushu activation.
Cage (Level 3, Yang – Metal)
Create a cage of metal to try and trap someone inside.
Tough as Nails (Level 3, Yang – Metal)
Hover Disk (Level 4, Yang – Metal)
Convert nearby metal into a disk you can ride around on.
Magnetic Propulsion (Level 4, Varies – Metal)
Can be used to create two effects: you can make yourself magnetically attractive, drawing metal things to you. Alternately, you can make yourself repellant (magnetically, as well as physically) which makes you harder to hit with metal weapons and lets you throw metal armor-wearing opponents away.
Metal Form (Level 5, Yin – Metal)
Another you-turn-into-the-subject-of-the-wushu capstone. You get to pick the kind of metal you look like though, so go hog-while with making yourself out of gold.
Way of Movement
Surface Running (Level 1, Yang)
Run up walls or along ceilings. Ends if you ever move less than half your movement.
Tiger's Leap (Level 1, Yang)
Jump twice as far.
Unmoving Stance (Level 1, Yin – Earth)
Root yourself to the ground so you can't be thrown, knocked down, etc.
Lightfoot (Level 2, Yin)
Make yourself super light, so you jump farther and can stand on things that normally can't support your weight.
Lightning Speed (Level 2, Yang – Fire)
Run around super fast, to the point of “seemingly vanishing at times.”
Float (Level 3, Yang – Water)
You know “specific hand signs” to stand still in mid air, because gravity will let you slide if you know the secret handshake!
Lightning Fists (Level 3, Yang)
Run fast, punch faster. Let's you spend one action to make
Intangibility (Level 4, Yin)
Vibrate your atoms so they can pass through solid matter.
Teleporation (Level 5, Yang)
You place a special mark in one or more places and you can teleport from one mark to another within one mile.
Way of Survival
Weather Tracking (Level 1, Yin – Water)
Learn what the weather will be like for the next 24 hours, or 1 week by sacrificing a point of chi.
Escape Technique (Level 1, Yin)
Get out of bondage free technique.
Foraging Technique (Level 1, Yang)
Helps you find food.
Danger Sense (Level 2, Yang)
You sense danger for a scene, getting an emotional feeling of possible threats and dangers.
Trackless Movement (Level 2, Yin – Earth)
Eliminates any signs of your movement, including sound.
Camouflage (Level 3, Yin – Wood)
As long as you try to blend in to the environment, you get a Stealth bonus and can still move.
Second Wind (Level 3, Yang)
Get some energy and toughness for one fight.
Summon Shelter (Level 4, Yang – Wood)
Summon a wooden cabin right out of the living earth to stay in.
Realm of Warning (Level 4, Yin)
Create a field, you sense anything that enters it.
Resist the Elements (Level 5, Yin)
Become immune to the elements- wildfire? Tornados? Earthquakes? Nope. You also ignore
all of the bonuses any of the elemental form wushu gives their users
. So that guy who literally becomes fire? Fuck him.
Way of the Unseen
Here we get some real ninja powers.
The Unheard (Level 1, Yin)
You cancel all sound within 10 ft of yourself for a scene.
The Unnoticed (Level 1, Yin)
As long as you stand still, no one can notice you. It doesn't make you invisible, it explicitly says that people
won't look at you
. Sacrificing a point of chi makes you for-serious invisible and lets you move, slowly.
The Unscented (Level 1, Yin)
You can't be smelled, inflicting a -5 penalty to checks to track you by smell.
Wrap yourself in magical silence? You can't be heard, period. Make it so that people become incapable of even looking at you? You can't be seen, period. Completely erasing your smell so you don't leave a scent trail? -5 penalty.
Chameleon (Level 2, Yang)
You blend into the environment. Get +6 to stealth, but can move your base movement speed. Ends if you attack or sprint.
Unarmed Portion (Level 2, Yin)
You can hide a small object on your person so that it can't be found. Period.
Sacrifice a chi to hide
of objects or to be able to hide larger things.
Easily Forgotten Method (Level 3, Yin)
Activate this wushu while having a conversation; shortly afterward, the other person forgets having seen the character or what they spoke about.
Reflection Defense (Level 3, Yang)
Create a reflection of yourself to blur your position, inflicting a big penalty on an attack against you.
10,000 Masks (Level 4, Yin)
You can make yourself look generic, or change your face when you meet someone to look like whomever they most expect to see.
Elements Embrace (Level 4, Yin – Varies)
Pick an element. You can merge yourself with that element to hide yourself.
Invisibility (Level 5, Yin)
You cannot be seen, smelled or heard. You can't interact with anyone, however, or the effect is broken. Sacrificing chi lets you attack people and remain invisible, or make other characters invisible as well.
Way of the Warrior
Precise Eye (Level 1, Yin)
You make a super precise ranged attack. Accuracy and damage bonus, more likely to get a crit.
Sturdy Fist (Level 1, Yang)
Precise Eye for melee.
Fighter's Focus (Level 2, Yin)
Pick one guy and be better at whooping him.
Summon Weapon (Level 2, Yang)
Mark one of your weapons and activate this wushu to summon it into your hand from anywhere within your line of sight.
Cannon Punch (Level 3, Yang)
You learn a special punch where you release a burst of chi, doing more damage and also blasting the target off their feet.
Weapon Morph (Level 3, Yang – Wood or Metal)
Turn a wooden or metal object into a weapon of the same size.
Strength Boost (Level 4, Yang)
You get super strong.
Fighter's Trance (Level 5, Yin)
You attune yourself to sense the chi around you. Get +6 to ALL combat rolls and ignore any penalties from the environment. Sacrifice 1 chi and the bonus increases to +10 and you can't be blinded.
Way of Water
Liquid Breath (Level 1, Yang – Water)
Wind at the Back (Level 1, Yang – Water)
Make the wind always blow behind you, so that you travel faster by boat.
Water Walking (Level 1, Yin – Water)
You can walk on water.
Roar of the Shore (Level 2, Yin – Water)
You fill the targets ears with the sound of breaking surf, distracting and deafening them.
The Jagged Edge (Level 2, Yang – Water)
Freeze some water into a spear or kunai. IT IS CRITICAL TO GAME BALANCE THAT ONLY THESE TWO WEAPONS ARE ALLOWED. (it doesn't say that) Breaks from dealing or blocking too much damage.
Pull of the Deep (Level 3, Yin – Water)
You thicken the moisture in the air so that moving is like moving under water. Others take penalties to all their actions, and their actions take more speed to perform.
Life Water (Level 3, Yin – Water)
Use the water in the air to cushion and deflect attacks made against you.
The Ink Blurs (Level 4, Yin – Water)
You attack the targets senses, inflicting a penalty to them that slowly dissipates.
The Hidden Mist (Level 4, Yang – Water)
Spread a thick mist that's nearly impossible to see through- except by you. Sacrifice chi and you can create illusions within the mist.
Water Form (Level 5, Yin – Water)
You turn into water. Not like you are you, but made out of water, you turn into a
. You can sacrifice a point of chi to remain human shaped, however.
Way of Wood
Harvest (Level 1, Yang – Wood)
Induce a fruit-bearing plant to have it instantly bear enough fruit for one meal. Sacrificing a point of chi lets you force the plant to bear fruit it doesn't produce (Apples from an orange tree) or fruit from a plant that
doesn't have fruit
(apples from a cactus).
[i]Instant Growth (Level 1, Yang – Wood)
Make a plant grow instantly in the shape of your choosing.
Weapon Craft (Level 2, Yang – Wood)
You reach into a tree, and pull out a wooden weapon of your choosing.
Tree Hopping (Level 2, Yang – Wood)
You jump farther if you're standing on wood. That's cool I guess. :sadsmith:
Wall of Wood (Level 4, Yang – Wood)
Create a wall made out of wood, up to 10 ft tall and wide.
Hiding Place (Level 3, Yang – Wood)
You meld yourself into a tree, entering a trance where you heal rapidly.
Immaculate Bridge (Level 4, Yang – Wood)
Create a wooden bridge, up to 300 ft long.
Maze of Trees (Level 4, Yin – Wood)
Transform an area up to ½ a mile into an arboreal maze that inflicts a -12 penalty to navigate within.
Wood Form (Level 5, Yang – Wood)
Turn yourself into wood, with bark skin and tentacles made of vines. Get resistance to damage, bonuses to Grappling because of the vines and able to automatically resist any kind of trip, push, throw, etc attempts because they can root themselves into the ground. Sacrificing a point of chi doubles all the bonuses and eliminates all the penalties, but this wushu doesn't have any penalties so
And that's all the General Wushu! Next is all the clan specific things.
If I had to do this for something like the spells in the 3.5 edition PHB, I'd probably kill myself.
Or, you know, quit. One of those.
Some of the big lists could be split up or pared down to just the interesting parts, but otherwise, Hey, ninja wizards!
Turns out, I ended up not taking your advice for now.
Edit Edit: Ugh, So many errors.
Wushu Two: Electric Boogaloo
Original SA post
I don't think it's been said for a few days, so I want to remind you all that CthuluTech is fucking horrible
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade- Wushu Two: Electric Boogaloo
Here's where we finish of the Wushu, with the clan specific techniques. These are generally most interesting, however.
Again, one's I particularly like will be marked as
Way of Balancing Scales
The Wardens of Equilibrium wushu
The Balanced Mind (Level 1, Yin)
Get bonuses to discipline and
checks vs. Fear and Insanity.
Chi Conversion (Level 1, Yin or Yang)
Activate this wushu and for 1 minutes, you can use points of Yin chi as Yang, and vice versa, to activate other wushu. Sacrifice one chi and you can burn Permanent chi for each other the same way.
Weak early on, since it has a long use time (1 minute to activate), but once you've advanced some and gotten a bigger pool of chi, it starts looking better.
Many Tongues (Level 2, Yin)
Become able to fluently speak a language after listening to a few words for one scene. Doesn't say you understand it, though.
X-Ray (Level 2, Yin)
Use chi to see and hear through physical objects.
Mind's Eye (Level 3, Yin(
You sense your surroundings by "seeing" chi, rather than hearing or seeing. You ignore blindness, can see 360 degrees around you, are immune to surprise attacks and pierce Level 1 and 2 Path of the Unseen Wushu.
See Chi (Level 3, Yang)
Let's you track chi the way a dog tracks smells. :3
Destroy Chi (Level 4, Yin & Yang)
Cost 2 Yin and 2 Yang chi to activate. For the rest of the battle, whenever you hit someone with an unarmed attack, you can spend chi to blast their chi out of their body; spending Yang destroys Yin and vice versa. Sacrifice 2 chi to destroy 3 chi per round,
without having to spend any of your own
Drain Chi (Level 4, Yin and Yang) Yes, it says "and" when the entry just before it used an ampersand.
When you hit a target and deal 2 or more damage, you can inflict no damage to instead steal a point of chi for two rounds. Sacrifice 1 chi to steal up to 3 per hit, increase the duration to 6 rounds or to let you do it just by touching, so you don't need to do damage.
Poison Chi (Level 5, Yin)
Hit a guy and do 3 or more damage, and whenever the target spends any chi in the next minute, they lose 4 health.
Way of Caring Hands
Bamboo Herbalist wushu
Diagnostics (Level 1, Yin)
Look at someone and instantly know if they're sick or injured. Get bonuses to fix those problems.
Quick Needle Technique (Level 1, Yang)
Pluck some of your hairs and put chi into them to turn them into needles. Throw the needles like shuriken or get a whopping +2 to holistics.
Pure Touch (Level 1, Yin)
Touch someone to purify any natural poisons in their body and weaken supernatural ones.
Healing Trance (Level 2, Yin)
Enter a trance to heal twice as fast. Last at least 6 hours and up to 3 days. Useful, but not cool.
Heal Wound (Level 2, Yang)
Touch someone to heal some damage or give them some Stamina. Half effect when you heal yourself.
Confusion Touch (Level 3, Yin)
Hit some pressure points to scramble the electrical impulses in the targets body. This increase their chance to fumble and swaps their Strike and Dodge modifiers and their Roll and Grapple modifiers.
Paralysis Needles (Level 3, Yin)
Throw three needles and if they all hit, the target is paralyzed for a minute.
Regeneration Technique (Level 4, Yang)
Heal damage and get initiative and fortitude bonuses every round for 1 minute.
Lasting Life Technique (Level 5, Yang)
Resurrection. Return to life a person or animal that died within the last six hours. Sacrifice chi to extend this range to up to three days.
Way of Ebony Clutches
Grasping Shadows wushu
Dark Eyes (Level 1, Yin)
You can see in darkness, and retain some vision ability if blinded.
Shadow Cloak (Level 1, Yin)
Wrap yourself in shadows, making you harded to spot and obscuring your features enough so you can't be identified.
Puppetry (Level 1, Yang)
Make shadow puppets.
Shadow Fist (Level 2, Yang)
Make a barrage of shadows to strike a target.
Master of Night (Level 2, Yin)
Makes everything within a half-mile radius as dark as night. Other Ebony Clutches wushu are easier to activate in the area.
Blinding Darkness (Level 3, Yin)
Creates magical darkness, in a much smaller area that Master of Night, that blocks all light.
Shadow Tentacles (Level 3, Yang)
Create tentacles out of shadows you can grab people with.
Unmoving Shadow (Level 4, Yin)
You stick the targets shadow in place, so they can't move.
Shadow Jump (Level 4, Yang)
Activate and for a battle or scene, you can step into a shadow and step out of another one nearby.
Grasping Shadows (Level 5, Yin)
Shadows envelop the target and they are imprisoned in the Shadow Realm for a day then spit back out.
Way of Great Serpents
Asshole snake guys wushu.
Long Tongue Technique (Level 1, Yang)
Your tongue grows 5ft long and prehensile. You can pick things up with it or make attack.
Sip of Venom (Level 1, Yin)
Drink a bit of "potion" and you know what it is.
Swallow (Level 1, Yang)
Acid Spit (Level 2, Yang)
Turn your spit into acid.
Adaptation Technique (Level 2, Yin)
Negate terrain penalties.
Shed Skin (Level 2, Yang)
Slough off your outer layers of skin for some healing and... an Initiative bonus?
Venom Strike (Level 3, Yin)
Grow snake fangs at the end of your fingers, which you can use to poison the shit out of someone .
Up the Sleeves (Level 3, Yang)
Summon a bunch of snakes that swarm out of the sleeves of your shirt and bite the shit out of someone.
Nagah Form (Level 4, Yang)
Turn your lower half into a snake. Makes you move better.
Shed form (Level 4, Yang)
Grow a new body inside yourself that then climbs out of your mouth. Heals all damage and regrows limbs.
This entire clan has gone from "snake themed" to "Blatant Orochimaru clones."
Poison Body Technique (Level 5, Yin)
Turn all your body fluids into a deadly poison. Yes, it
specify "sexual encounters" in the list of things you do that will kill people now.
Way of Heaven's Judgement
Will of Iron Wushu
Sense the Guilty (level 1, Yin)
Sense if someone is guilty about a crime they committed. Doesn't work on sociopaths, though, 'cause they won't feel bad.
Hunt the Guilty (Level 1, Yin)
Bonuses to anything you do to try and catch a guilty person you're hunting down.
Deception-Proof (Level 2, Yang)
Blind Justice (Level 2, Yin)
Ignore penalties from blindness/bad vision.
Eye for an Eye (Level 3, Yang)
Get hit by an attack, deal half as much damage back.
Instant Justice (Level 3, Yin)
Put a curse on someone you see doing something wrong and the same thing will happen to them within the next few days.
Divulgence (Level 4, Yang)
Zone of Truth
Judgement Blade (Level 5, Yin - Metal)
Mingle the spirit of your weapon with that of the victim of a violent crime. The weapon does +15 damage to the perpetrator of the crime, but passes harmlessly through anyone else, like in the clan founding story.
Way of the Immaculate show
Blazing Dancers Wushu
The Perfect Show (Level 1, Yang)
Gain a +5 bonus to a
The Beautiful Dance (Level 2, Yang)
Add your performance to all your Reactions for 2 rounds, and they all have less Speed. Actually pretty powerful.
Star of the Show (Level2, Yang)
You "[brighten your] aura" to make people like you whenever they look at you.
Hypnotic Voice (level 3, Yang)
You use your chi in your voice to enthrall people who hear you.
Trick Shots (Level 3, Yang)
Use chi to bounce ranged attacks off surfaces.
Shattering Song (Level 4, Yin)
Damage objects with sound.
Understudy (Level 4, Yang)
Pick someone, you get +4 to all your combat checks against them and can copy all their Combat Techniques.
"It took your four years to master that technique. It took me four seconds."
The Destroyer's Dance (Level 5, Yang - Fire)
You're wrapped in chi and fire. Get a bunch of bonuses in combat.
Way of Inked Skin
Body Gardeners Wushu
All of these are pretty interesting.
Ink Touch (Level 1, Yang)
Touch someone and put some ink on their skin.
Withdraw Weapon (Level 1, Yang)
Draw a tattoo weapon out of your body.
Artful Defense (Level 2, Yin)
Activate when you're hit with a weapon to turn it into a tattoo on your body.
Tiger's Claws (Level 2, Yang)
Get some magical tattoos on your hands so your nails are super deadly.
:ninja: Needles of Agony (Level 3, Yang)
Needs you to use Ink Touch on the target. Turn the ink into needles stuck into the targets body, inflicts big penalties from the pain.
Pain Killer (Level 3, Yin)
Special tattoos that you can activate to eliminate pain.
Shuriken Explosion (Level 3, Yang)
You're covered with shuriken tattoos you can shoot out from your body.
:ninja:Complete Control (level 4, Yang)
Needs Ink Touch. You use the ink to control the targets actions.
:ninja:Mark of Fear (Level 4, Yin)
You have a bunch of tattoos on your face that you can make come alive and scare people.
:ninja: Extra Arm Technique (Level 5, Yang)
Special tattoos and some blood lets you grow extra arms.
Way of Kept Lore
The Long View (Level 1, Yin)
Add your Knowledge to your Initiative.
Refusal of Bedlam (Level 2, Yin)
Bonus to discipline and mental attacks.
Instant Reading (Level 2, Yang)
Touch a book, instantly learn everything it in for 1 day.
Yeah, you forget it.
:ninja: Setting the Words Loose (Level 3, Yang)
Touch an empty book (but
books :smuggo:) and will the knowledge in your head onto the pages.
Preserve the Words (Level 3, Yin)
Copy words on a piece of writing to copy it into a tattoo on your skin. Get bonuses based on what the writing was, but only for a couple hours.
:ninja: Worthy Borrower (Level 4, Yang)
Lets you give someone points of your chi. Sacrifice chi to let them use some of your wushu.
:ninja: Information consumption (Level 5, Yang)
A ritual that lets you steal the knowledge right out of the subjects mind.
Way of Spun Threads
Hidden Strands of Fate Wushu
Invisible Threads (Level 1, Yin)
Turn your imbued threads invisible and lightweight. Used for traps and faking like you have telekinesis.
:ninja: Strumming the Chords (Level 1, Yang)
Change your vocal chords to make yourself sounds scarier or mimic stuff.
I give it's :ninja: tentatively.
Spider's Scry (Level 2, Yin)
Touch one of your threads and you can hear any
conversations within 20 ft of it.
Thread Web (Level 2, Yang)
Use your threads to create a web, for whatever use you can devise.
Blast of Webbing (Level 3, Yin)
You've heard of Spider Man, right?
:ninja: Battle Strands (Level 3, Yang)
Use your threads to basically hold and attack with weapons for you.
Clothing Change (Level 4, Yang)
Touch some non-armor clothing to make it look different.
:ninja: Cloth Mask (Level 4, Yang)
Make a mask of some chi-imbued cloth and apply it to your face. The mask turns into a fake but completely real-seeming face and you look
and act like the person the mask resembles
“Some Strands have even been known to create entire suits of imbued clothe in order to become the opposite gender.” Thanks, game. Thanks you for telling me that.
:ninja: Spider's Charm (Level 5, Yin)
Use your blood for threads. Gives bonuses to your related wushu when you use your bloodthreads, plus you can use them like whips.
Way of Twin Beasts
Ninja Dog-Haver Wushu
The Hunt Begins (Level 1, Yang)
Bonuses to tracking.
In the High Grass (Level 1, Yin)
Bonuses to hiding and on Surprise Attacks.
Prodigious Howl (Level 2, Yang)
Howl really loud and deafen people. Inflicts penalties and the Dog-Havers also use it to communicate at long distance.
Canine Form (Level 2, Yang)
Take the physical form of your dog.
Linked Souls (Level 3, Yang)
Telepathy with your dog.
Meet in the Middle (Level 3, Yang)
Do a combo with your dog: you attack, then your dog attack and then you attack simultaneously for the third. Get bonuses if the first two attacks hit.
Animal Within (Level 4, Yang)
You take on “a bestial appearance,” with pointed ears, fangs and claws.
Human Form (Level 4, Yang)
The opposite of Canine Form, you turn your dog into a physical copy of yourself. They now act like a separate character from you.
Twin-Beast form (level 5, Yang)
Meld yourself and your dog into a giant, two-headed dog-ogre monster.
You can invent your own personal wushu. This can be done a few different ways.
First is by tweaking an existing wushu.
Next is by combing two wushu together. You can't combine wushu of different chi types, or that take different actions to activate. Combine the levels of the two to determine the new Wushu's level.
You can make completely new wushu. There are some guidelines for determine the Level based on what effect it has.
Next is the Equipment and Combat sections, smushed together for some reason.
Equipment, Combat & More
Original SA post
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade – Equipment, Combat and More
The section is on stuff.
Class and Wealth
The Empire has a variety of different monetary standards: jade, silver, gold, etc. None of this is relevant, because the game uses abstract resources in the form of a character's Class.
You just need a class equal to or higher than the cost of the item, and an appropriate place to buy. Alternately, Charm + Persuasion checks can be used to lower costs, maybe. Or you can barter.
Here's all of the items in the book:
Bicycle, Calligraphy Kit, Camoflague Gear, Carriage, Climbing Gear, Fireworks, Herbalists Kit, Lantern, Lopan, Make-up Kit, Masterwork Weapon, Mechanical Clock, Musical Instrument, Smoke Bombs, Spy Glass, Toolkits
Now here's all the weapons!
Bi-Su, Bo, Bokken, Dao, Firearm,Ji, Kama, Katana, Ko, Kunai, Manrikigusari, Ninjato, Nunchaku, Qiang, Sai, Sanjiegun, Shuriken, Sling, Tessen, Two kinds of Tsin, Urumi, Yari, Yumi, Zhua
And the armor:
Leather, Bamboo, Chain mail, Scale mail, Stone armor, Empire armor*.
*This one's bulletproof!
So about 3/4 of all the items revolve around for killing people and avoiding getting killed.
Objects have health and armor for breaking. It takes 15 damage to break a metal chain, or 23 to break a stone wall, or 26 to break a sword.
For measuring time and actions in combat, the system uses counts, which are ½ a second each; rounds of 20 counts, or 10 seconds; and a minute, which is 6 rounds.
When you take an action, you use the actions Speed to determine how many counts you have to wait before you can act again.
And that's all we hear about that for now.
Now we talk about stamina for some reason. As a refresher, characters have pools of Stamina points representing endurance and stuff.
You can spend stamina to get some chi, get a bonus to an attack or reaction, use certain combat techniques, extended physical exertion, perform finishing strikes, resist pain or wushu and activate the more powerful wushu.
You regain a point of Stamina every 10 minutes, and suffer a -2 penalty to all checks if your drop to 0.
At the beginning of each round of combat, roll initiative. This is a d20 + Initiative Bonus (which is Agility + IQ). Highest acts first, one Count 1. Everyone else acts 1 count later for every 4 points below the highest their result is, but no later than Count 9.
To jump into a round that's already started, roll but take a -1 penalty for each Count already passed in the round. Act on the current Count if your result would let you act earlier.
After determining initiative but before anyone does anything, characters can give up actions to act that many Counts sooner.
If you ever do an action whose Speed is greater than the number of Counts remaining in the round, you suffer a -2 penalty for each Count in excess on your next Initiative roll. Alternately, you get a +2 bonus for each action you didn't use in the last round. Except in Assault Rounds.
In a surprise round, a surprised character always acts on Count 9, and can't use a Reaction against the first attack against them that round.
Actions Vs Reaction
The game reiterates that characters get 2 actions base, and can get more throguh fighting styles, etc.
Reactions don't use up your allotment of Actions, but do have Speed costs.
Now it talks about checks you can make in combat: Strike for melee attacks, Throw for all ranged attacks, Parry to block or deflect melee attacks, Dodge to avoid Throw attacks, Roll to absorb non-lethal damage and Grappling for grapple stuff.
Roll a 20 on an attack roll and you deal +3 damage and get 2 Health. On a reaction, you can gain the 2 Health or make your attacker lose 2. Roll a 1 and you fail, plus some bad stuff happens.
Acting on the Same Count
Whomever has the lowest initiative modifier declares first, then lower IQ if that's tied, and they are resolved simultaneously. You can change your declared action but suffer a -3 penalty to the check.
Melee weapons modify your Strike actions, changing the Speed and damage as well as giving Strike and Parry modifiers. Ranged weapons have their own unique statistics.
Some stuff on how using untrained weapons is terrible, as well as dual wielding.
- A quick attack, has Speed 2 and gives +3 Strike, but no damage modifier.
- A medium attack, Speed 4 and no Strike modifier, but +3 damage instead.
- A powerful attack at Speed 6, -3 Strike but gives a total of +6 damage.
for ranged attacks and
for not-meant-to-be-thrown melee weapons.
- Speed 3 and get +2 to Strike or Throw on your next attack. Stacks up to 3 times. Take a -5 penalty to your reactions before your next action after aiming.
- A combo attack between multiple characters acting on the same Count, it has +2 Speed and -4 to the attack
but inflicts 25% more damage. Plus,
needs to hit to get the damage bonus, so comboing with more than one other guy is a terrible idea.
- Knock away the weapon of your target. Need to be grappling if you're unarmed.
- What do you think it does? Has Speed equal to the Size of the weapon, +1.
- Fake the other guy out. Make an opposed roll at Speed 3 and get +4 Strike and +1 damage if you beat the target. If they get an attack before you, they're at -3. (Some of these modifiers are so random)
Make an attack roll; the target can Dodge, but not Parry. If there's a difference in
Power of 4 or more between the two characters, the weaker loses 1 Stamina.
While you're grappling, all the actions you can take are Speed 5 and Reactions are Speed 3.
You can attack while you're grappling! Light attacks with a +2 damage bonus or a Full attack at a -4 penalty to the attack but +4 damage. (Why do the numbers have to be different in Grappling whyyyyy)
You can break the grapple!
You can disarm the other guy! Says that both of you can try to grab the weapon after it's knocked free, but worded in a very terrible way.
You can draw a weapon, on your, on the other guy, or within reach!
Push the other person! Breaks the grapple and knocks them a few feet back.
You can immobilize them! If you succeed, the victim can only attempt to break the grapple, but you have to hold them continually.
You can use them as a meat shield!
You can knock both of you prone!
You can choke them! Works exactly like Immobilize, except you do some damage every round and they have their arms left free.
You can trip! It's like the Sweep action we haven't seen. You take them off their feet out from under them, breaking the grapple and knocking them prone.
You can turn their weapon on them!
No more grappling.
- You wait to act on the next Count. RAW it looks like this costs one of your actions to perform.
- Spend 2 actions and gain 1 Yin or Yang chi.
Move - Normal
- You move ¼ your Movement as a Speed 1 action, ½ at Speed 2 and Full Movement at Speed 4. Move away from someone you're in melee with gives them a free attack and you're -5 to your next Reaction (probably that attack).
Move – Sprint
Run double your movement at Speed 6, attackers suffer a -5 penalty to Strike and Throw but you get no Reactions. If you make a melee attack after Sprinting, you get +2 to your attack and damage.
- You push them.
- Speed 4 to stand up from prone.
- Knock them off their feet. Make an attack roll and the target makes a Balance check or fall down.
- Reach out and touch someone.
- Using different skills in combat. Tells the GM to make up an appropriate Speed for whatever the skill is.
- Block or deflect an attack with your weapon or limb. Take -4 to Parry ranged attacks and -8 to parry weapons while unarmed. If you parry an unarmed attack with a bladed weapon, half the weapons damage is dealt to the blocker. Speed 3.
- Also Speed 3, but suffers the -4 penalty against melee attacks.
- Cut the damage from a non-lethal attack or fall by half.
- Try to entangle the opponents weapons or limbs. Get +4 Strike on an attempt to grapple someone you've entangled and you can Disarm after succeeding on it. Maybe immediately?
- You toughen up and just take it.
Take Hit Strategically
- You need to have a fighting style at level 5 or better. If attacked by a Targeted Attack, make a Roll check (this is literally the only part of the rules where you use Roll I've been able to find) and if you beat the attackers Strike result, you still take the full damage, but there's no extra effects from the
Other Combat Modifiers
- Subtracts AR from damage taken. Written in the format X/Y, with the first number applying against Non-lethal damage and the second against Lethal.
- Ignore up to it's rating in armor.
- At the beginning of a round, a character can basically Rage
, gaining +2 Actions, +4 to Strike and +2 Stamina for that round, but you can't perform any reactions, Mold Chi or use any Wushu.
- Take a -7 penalty to combat checks from partial blindness or -15 with total blindness. You can make Perception checks to find targets you can't see. After you grapple someone you don't suffer the penalties.
- This section specifies you can only combine attacks between 2 characters and
Concealment and Cover
- Concealment only applies against Throw attacks. The penalties range from -2 for “hiding behind a plan” to -6 only having “your head around a corner.” If you are completely behind cover, it takes the damage from an attack. If you're behind cover, you suffer the same penalty to your Throw attacks.
Firing into Close Combat
- When you make a ranged attack against someone in melee, take a -3 penalty for each person beside the target. But the rules say it's a Strike penalty, so you don't suffer anything on your attack.
If you miss, roll again and on 16+ you hit someone else in the melee.
- Get +4 to all combat checks if you have a height advantage against an opponent.
- Hit someone for 12 or more non-lethal damage and they have to make a check or fall unconscious for 2 Counts for each point of damage.
- You need to make Travel (Horsemanship) rolls to keep in the saddle, and if you charge while mounted you get +4 Strike and Damage, but it increases the difficulty to activate wushu by 4.
- At the beginning of a Round, you select one opponent. To attack anyone else you suffer a cumulative -2 Strike or Throw penalty each time you switch your target. Lasts until the end of the round.
- Take a -4 penalty when using your off hand.
- Make an IQ + Agility check to pull your hit, cutting non-lethal damage in half or lethal to non-lethal.
- Range modifiers.
- Sacrifice an action to get +5 to a Reaction. Can't use during an Assault Round.
- Take a -10 penalty when doing two things at once. This has a Speed on the higher of the two and costs 1 Stamina.
- Take a -3
penalty to hit something on the Torso, -6 to hit an arm or leg, -9 for hand/foot and -12 to hit an eye or pressure point. No penalty on melee attacks!
There's some modifiers for fighting in unusual terrain, such as in a crowd or on treetops.
Non-lethal damage is caused from unarmed attacks and bludgeoning weapons. Being dropped to 0 Health from non-lethal damage knocks you unconscious and more non-lethal damage wraps around to Lethal.
Lethal damage is caused by bladed weapons, firearms, poison, etc. Once you
drop below half your Health, you start bleeding, taking 2 Lethal damage each Round. When you go to 0, you have to check to avoid death.
Some effects give Temporary Health above and beyond your normal Health, which absorbs damage you don't have to heal.
There's some advice about receiving battle scars from really bad injuries.
If you drop to 0 Health from Lethal damage, you can spend a point of Stamina to make a Moderate (20) Death check or die. Make the roll and you are unconscious instead, and die automatically at -10 Health.
You can go three days without food and/or water and lose 1 Stamina and 5 Health for every day beyond.
There are diseases you can get. Difficulties range from Tough (30) for STDs to Simple (10) for a cold.
3 non-lethal damage for every 10 ft. Make a Roll check, Difficulty 10 + 3 per 10 ft and take half damage on success.
Deals lethal damage. Being set on fire deals damage each round based on the size of the fire: 1-2 for a candle, 4 for a torch, 8 for a campfire and 14 for a bonfire.
If you take Lethal damage in a fight, you have to check to see if your wounds get infected. Check against disease, with a difficulty based on how much Health lost. Failure means you start taking damage every day and can't heal any Lethal damage. If you don't find an “herbalist” to help recover from an infection, you can amputate an infected limb or cut out the infected flesh, but exposes you to another chance to get infected.
To resist insanity, you roll a check vs. Insanity.
Injuries hurt. If you go below ½ health, you have a -2 penalty to checks from the pain, -4 at ¼ health and -6 at 1/8. You can spend a point of Stamina and make a Pain check to ignore the penalty for one action.
Poisons and Potions
The game gives a little mix-and-match system for determining the effects of poisons and the like. First, the exposure vector determines the base difficulty to create it: Simple (10) for inhaled, Moderate (20) and Tough (30) for intravenous.
You can make the poison or potion inflict Lethal damage, make it addictive, cause it to wake someone up, make the subject go blind, cause hallucinations, knock someone unconscious, truth-serum, inflict paralysis, cause irritation or weaken the target by draining Stamina.
Antidotes can be made to resist the effects of a poison if administered quickly enough.
Creating a trap requires an IQ + Crafts check, with a difficulty based on whether you have enough time and materials.
You can make traps out of your wushu techniques, if their suited to it.
Next Chapter: Antagonists and Creatures
Original SA post
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade – Antagonists
This chapter covers things for the PCs to fight.
It starts with some animals, like the Bear (which is scary enough to have a Fear rating) and both normal and ninja dogs/wolves.
“Township Threats” include random NPCs you might find in a town/village, including the “Local Hero/Vigilante,” some kid who thinks himself tough enough to help the ninja against the empire, or beat a rogue ninja.
As the primary antagonist faction, the Empire gets a handful of NPC write ups. Foot Soldiers are grunts.
Engineers fight with weapons and explosives and wear bulletproof armor.
Executioners are the Empire's crack infantry, a bunch of psycho killers who go around burning towns and slaughtering people both on the job and off. They have a special ability to negate wushu targeting them by spending a point of Chi.
The Golden Lions are a group of elite wushu-using special forces. They're well known for capturing their ninja opponents rather than killing them, to steal their techniques. They wear distinctive golden armor that allows them to store chi
Next is three ninja templates, for Novice, Experiences and Master Ninja.
The next section describes spirits, which gives a little bit of background on the religious beliefs of the Empire. Some religions saw good people go to Heaven and bad people go to Hell and become Oni. People in heaven watch over their descendents until they reincarnate. Others work as part of the Celestial Courts to help the world. Sometimes spirits show their presence through omens.
No stats or any mechanics are given.
The most common mystical creatures are Celestial Animals. Back in the day, humans rules the world with the assistance of the Celestial Animals. Only, they fucked it up when they started hunting and eating them and the Celestial Courts got pissed. A lot of wars were fought and humanity only survived against the overpowering Animals because most of them took the moral high road by leaving the world and the humans behind. Heaven created new realms for them to inhabit. Each type of animal inhabits a different realm.
Celestial Animals sometimes wander the human world and befriend ninja. They swear pacts that allows the ninja to summon the animal to them and provide aid. These pacts are written in scrolls documenting the names of all who have sworn to the pact in the past. The last time of wide use of the Celestial Animals was the War of Withered Fangs and they were used by the Izou ninja while it was growing. After the wars, the Empire would force loyal ninjas to summon their animals and they would cage them for use as weapons. Many ninjas broke their pacts with their animals to spare them from this fate. To this day, summoning animals is a rare talent.
A ninja can pretty much always summon a Lesser Animal by spending 1 Chi.
Summoning a Greater Animal requires a blood sacrifice, spending a bunch of Chi and make a Moderate (20) Charm + Discipline check and they can only stay temporarily: 1 Minute base, extended to a scene or battle by sacrificing 1 Chi. If the animal doesn't want to stay, the Ninja must spend up to 3 extra Stamina to force it to stay (it doesn't say how to determine exactly how much). You can't just use your animals as cannon fodder, however- every time they're dropped to 0 or lower Health, you suffer a permanent -2 penalty to your summoning roll.
Greater Animals are the epic, legendarily powerful animals. They can be incredibly huge (That giant sword carved into a tower in the Land of Five Swords? That was the weapon of a Celestial Animal a long time ago) Lesser Animals are often the descendents of these Greater Animals. All animals can speak every human language, use wushu, rapidly heal injuries.. aaaaand they can breed with mundane animals of the same type.
Each type of animal is split into families, and the game suggests family rivalry between the animals of two summoners are a plot hook.
What kinds of animals are there?
Earth elemented, bears are skilled healers. Most lesser bears are cubs and when they grow up are super dangerous.
The epic Bear is Tetsuo the Aggressor is a 18 foot anthropomorphic bear. A badass fighter, he fought against the Recoiling Serpents but was defeated by one of the Serpent leaders and lost his eye.
Just as there are lots of different dog breeds on earth, there's lots of celestial dogs.
Celestial cats all look unique, as long as that look is “housecat.”
Good at finding lost things and rather tempermental.
Monkeys are smart, crafty tricksters.
Tough and easy angered, rams are “overlooked as pets in poorer communities, but it's uncommon to see them in the big cities, unless it's being led to the slaughterhouse.”
Rats are sneaky and like to collect things. Also lying.
The example Rat is Hachiro, the eighth of 27 siblings. When summoned, he brings a bunch of stuff with him that he's willing to trade for.
Loud and energetic, rooster tend to be blunt, but they're good at planning, strategy and intimidation. Celestial Roosters are all male, but Celestial Hens do live in the same realm.
Akihiko-Chan is the very genki, 10 ft tall rooster. He just got his interplanar license and he's looking for adventure. :imallears:
Very sociable, they look down on anti-social humans and serve as wingmen for their summoners, so they never look bad in social situations.
Turtles are the keepers of knowledge as ordained by heaven. Lesser turtles like being summoned in peace, but in times of need they can be carried by their summoners in pouches.
Not animals, these guys are demons! Oni are human souls sent to hell for horrible evil committed in life and twisted in a manner related to their crimes. Oni that arrive on earth are both powerful enough to break through the barrier between hell or earth and devious enough to evade capture.
Since no two Oni are the same, the GM gets a bunch of different wushu to customize them. Also, they're tough, with 85 Health and a natural 5/5 Armor, immunity to much every type of vs Check except Balance, shit tons of chi and huge bonuses to their combat checks.
Original SA post
The last chapter of
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade
is upon us! Chapter Seven: Storytelling.
First is Rebellion. The ninja are the underdogs against the great power of the Empire. Plus there's the long standing bullshit hierarchy of ninja society.
Second is Secrecy. Ninjas live in a world of hiding the truth from all but their most loyal allies and keeping double lives. Simultaneously is the seeking of knowledge and the secrets of others.
Third is Relationships between clans, ninja and their friends and family.
Wu Xing is a game of
! But that doesn't mean it only has to be fighting, even though like 85% of all the mechanics revolve exclusively around exactly that.
Wu Xing is a game of Martial Arts and Mysticism! This means it's basically a kung fu game.
I never would have known!
The game suggests
Avatar: The Last Airbender
to give an idea of the scale of the opposition that the ninja face.
for what a bunch of dickbags the clans can be to each other.
where they got most of their ideas
suggested for mixed-clan groups and training montages.
The last is
is about what life might be like when you try to balance living as a normal people while being immersed in a world of supernatural martial arts.
What's the thread running through all of these shows? They'll make you laugh!
That's right, feel free to add some jokes into your game.
The game gives some story crafting tips and plot hooks.
First is “You're the student, I'm the teacher,” covering the training of the characters. Let's you pace the scale of the enemies you fight and players get a chance to flesh out their character personalities.
Next is “Clan Vs. Clan” which lets the characters get involved in inter-clan intrigue and warfare.
Third is “Double Life,” where the characters try to balance their lives as normal individuals in society and their position as secret kung fu killers.
Last is “The Front Lines” of the war against the Izou Empire.
Staging your Story
There's so advice about the NPCs and locations in the game, but if you're not reading this for GMing advice.
And that's the end of Wu Xing. (
Wrapup & Summary
Original SA post
Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade- Wrap up and Summary
So let's take a rundown on Wu Xing:
The book is put together kind of amateurishly. The layout's simple, but works. There's a fair number of grammar mistakes and typos.
The setting ideas, along with the prose, aren't exceptional. A lot of the ideas are pretty derivative; one of the clans special powers all turn them into
a Naruto villain.
Like a lot of "traditional" RPGs, the game makes a big deal about the importance of story and role playing, but the system is very simple in many respects while the combat system is complex enough that it really can't, and isn't meant to, just "fade into the background." The explicit goals of the writing and implied focus of the mechanics are completely opposite.
In a related matter, I remember reading somewhere, someone talking about how in Wu Xing, how you become "Good" at something is by buying Wushu. The same way how competence equals Charms in Exalted, or Spells in 3.5/Pathfinder (
). But in Wu Xing, nearly every power is combat-centered or even just described in terms of combat usefulness.
The amount of art feels a little sparse, but it's good... in general.
INCLUDES GUNS BUT NO SUPPORT FOR NINJA GUNSLINGERS MINUS FIVE MILLION OUT FIVE, GAME.
So yeah, it's all right.
Anyway, I decided to look up some of the artists from the book (rather than weeks and weeks ago so I can put them in my posts, like someone who's not an imbecile
) and came up with stuff for two of the artists, one artist who did some Exalted work but who I can't find any Wu Xing pic from, and two who, as far as I could find, don't exists on the internet.
Edit: The artists of those two pieces are