The King is Dead

Friday, April 21, 2017

Wuxia Frameworks

Shaolin & Wu Tang (1981)
left to right: Shaolin adept, Wudang adept

Let’s simply assume that the dividing line between wuxia as a genre and martial arts stories in general is the presence of “wire-fu”-style quasi-magical abilities and move on from there. As one is sure to notice, these are very generic frameworks. Wuxia characters are all defined by their mastery of the martial arts; it's in their backgrounds, personalities, and fighting styles (defined by the Combat Edges and powers they choose) that their individuality is found.  







Enlightened (Deadlands-style) Adept
  • Bonus Skills: +3 dice in Fighting & initial super power skill
  • Bonus Hindrances: either Code of Honor [Major; follow the Code of Xia] or Vow [Major; serve your master or temple] AND either Enemy [Minor; see below] or Vengeful [Minor] 
  • Bonus Edges: Arcane Background (Chi Mastery; see Deadlands: Reloaded), Martial Artist, Superior Kung Fu (see Deadlands: Reloaded)
  • Bonus Gear: one martial arts weapon of the player’s choice
Shaolin (external style) Adept 
  • Bonus Skills: +3 dice Faith & Fighting 
  • Bonus Hindrances: either Code of Honor [Major; follow the Code of Xia] or Vow [Major; serve your master or temple] AND either Enemy [Minor; see below] or Vengeful [Minor] 
  • Bonus Edges: Adept, Arcane Background (Miracles), Martial Artist 
  • Bonus Gear: one martial arts weapon of the player’s choice
Wudang (internal style) Adept

  • Bonus Skills: +3 dice Fighting & Spellcasting
  • Bonus Hindrances: either Code of Honor [Major; follow the Code of Xia] or Vow [Major; serve your master or temple] AND either Enemy [Minor; see below] or Vengeful [Minor]
  • Bonus Edges: Arcane Background (Miracles), Magical Adept (as Adept, except substituting Magic for Miracles), Martial Artist
  • Bonus Gear: one martial arts weapon of the player’s choice  
 
Random Enemy Table
Long-held, unresolved grudges are an essential aspect of wuxia stories. If a player or Game Master needs inspiration for the Enemy Hiundrance, draw a card from the Action Deck and consult the following list:
  • Clubs – The family member of a friend or fellow student accidentally slain by your hand.
  • Diamonds – A villain seeking the secrets of your master or order
  • Hearts – A lover you left behind to pursue the path of wuxia
  • Spades – A fellow student you routinely bested
  • Joker – Draw twice (discarding Jokers) and combine the two results

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