Friday, April 20, 2018

BLOOD STAINED ROADS PART TWO: BLOOD STAINED INNS AND TEA HOUSES

This material is from the Blood-Stained Roads of the Martial World book which I've decided to release on the blog as an ongoing series. You can find the first entry HERE. I will have a list of Wedding Encounters up hopefully in the next few days.

Some of the inspiration for these entries came from Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan, New Dragon Inn, Death Duel, and the book The Eleventh Son

INN ENCOUNTERS
Inns are an important feature of the wuxia genre, arguably even more than in medieval fantasy. They are where much of the action and drama occurs, so dropping random encounters at the inn makes a lot of sense. Inns are an key meeting place in the jianghu and show up all the time in books, movies and shows. 
Art by Jackie Musto 


The Inn Encounter can happen any time players go to an Inn, wine shop, tea house of brothel. It is meant to add flavor and excitement to the game. Every Inn the players go into has a 2 in 10 chance of an Inn Encounter at some point during their stay. Use the following tables when an encounter occurs. You can also create new tables on your own for different contexts and places. My approach is to remove each entry as it happens and replace it with a new one. 

I started using Inn encounters to breath a bit more variety into my sessions. I don't always use them, sometimes I just decide an encounter is appropriate. But I like encounters tables because they push me out of my comfort zone. I also enjoy how it shakes up my style. I found these tables made Inn’s exciting rather than rote.

Below are the sample Inn Encounter Tables. I included some stat blocks and additional texts for selected entries on INN ENCOUNTER TABLE TWO to illustrate how these might be elaborated upon. For the most part, I use stat blocks from CHAPTER TEN in WANDERING HEROES OF OGRE GATE (WHOG*). These are just to get the ball rolling. Many can be expanded into much larger scenarios.

*It is PWYW so I included page numbers to the entries I might use for each entry, but GMs should feel free to use their own stat blocks or come up with stats in the moment. It doesn't matter what system you use. 


INN ENCOUNTER TABLE TWO
Roll 1d10
Inn Encounter 
1
A beggar sneaks into the dining area when the players are enjoying a meal and quietly sits at their table to eat some of their food (Detect TN 8 to notice). This is Lady Xiaomin, a member of Nature Loving Monk Sect. She continues to eat and if the players try to stop her she accuses them of failing to pay her for honest work. She then concocts an elaborate story, telling all who will listen that the party hired her to carry their gear through the forest and promised her food when they reached town. She encourages other martial heroes present at the inn to intervene on her behalf and give the party a good beating (roll on the Martial World Personalities Table on page 414 of the WHOG rulebook to see who might answer her call). 
2
A rich looking couple (Wei Li and Wei Hui) claiming to be Hai’anese aristocrats approach the party. The husband has a terrible black eye. They have come to the area to retrieve their son, Wei  Anzhi, who has fallen in with a gang of thieves and bandits called The Jade Horse Gang (they run the Jade Horse gambling hall nearby). They beg the party to go to the Jade Horse and bring their son back. They promise a reward of 20 Golden Taels and even offer to take the party into the household. However, Wei Anzhi is pretty happy doing errands for the Gambling Hall and learning thieving skills. The boss of the gang, Black Toad, has taken the boy under his wing and won’t give him up without a fight.
3
At some point when the player characters are seated at a table or near the dining area, a group to of three men wielding hook swords (the Hook Sword Trio) approach an elderly monk (Shen Lushan) of a nearby Sun Mai Temple who is seated at he back of the inn. They are from Mr. Yan’s Tea Leaves, a manufacturer of tea bricks. The local Sun Mai Temple also manufactures tea bricks but its goods are far superior to Mr. Yan’s. The men demand to know the temple’s secret process and ingredients and threaten to kill him if he doesn’t share them. If the players do nothing a fight breaks out. Roll 4d10 for the Monk, and 3d10 for the men. Whoever rolls highest wins the fight. The men’s boss, Monkey-Fisted Yan, is waiting outside and attacks the monk if and when he exits the inn (for this fight roll 4d10 for the Monk and 3d10 for Monkey-Fisted Yan). For Hook Sword trio stats use Mystic Sword Senior Disciples, WHOG 351 (but replace Ox Tail Dao with Hook Sword). For Monkey-Fisted Yan, us Fearsome Master, WHOG, 346 
4
A woman dressed as a man arrives in the Inn soon after the player’s arrive. She claims her name is Yu Shaonan but her real name is Yu E’hua, also known as Hidden Owl. She is the sister of Hidden Arrow, and presently looking for his son, Leng. Someone the player characters know and/or work for has kidnapped him. She approaches the players and demands they take her to this individual but she will not say why. If the player’s refuse she attacks them. If they take her, it turns out their friend has indeed kidnapped the child is using it to lure Hidden Owl so he can locate her brother to obtain information about Crocodile Sect. 
5
One of the bed’s in the room the players stay in is spirited. During the night, the player who sleeps in that bed awakens to see a beautiful woman beside him or her. The woman, Miaohui, tries to suck the life from the character. 
6
The players have their first encounter with a group calling itself One Thousand Grieving Widows. They are a sect formed in the wake of the party’s carnage. Each member is the widow of a henchmen or underling the players killed in their long career. One Thousand Grieving Widows orchestrates a plan to ambush the party when they are on their way out of the inn. When they leave the inn, the women (and men) of One Thousand Grieving Widows await them in the streets slowly forming a circle around the party. For the Grieving Widows use Standard Disciple entry WHOG, 344. For the organizations leader use Profound Master entry, WHOG page 346. 
7
When the party wakes up in the morning they find a crowd of patrons looking at a severed hand pinned to their inn room  door with a butterfly sword. If they ask, the patrons explain that this is the symbol of the Ashen Moths, a powerful and secret organization. They’ve clearly been summoned to meet them the coming evening. The players will need to investigate to find the meeting place, then if they go, they learn that the Ashen Moths are group of rebels who assassinate corrupt officials by slaughtering their household and burning down the residence. Their leader, Lady E Dao, wants to recruit the party into their organization to destroy unjust governments. If they refuse they will have to fight their way out. 
8
A group of troublesome young men hire a courtesan to dress as a ghost and frighten customers at the inn by suspending her from a rope by their window and demanding vengeance for imagined crimes. However a real ghost also haunts the premises and is angered by their antics (WHOG, 367)
9
Heroes from multiple sects arrive at the inn, for a secret heroes summit to determine the leader of a new alliance. The purpose of the alliance is up to the GM (and should depend on which sects are present). They likely have some great cause in mind or are working to thwart a particularly powerful foe. 
10
The players are awakened in the middle of the night by a terrible scream. If they go to the main dining area, they find one of the female wait staff, Min, bisected and blood covering the floor. A murder mystery begins if the players take any interest. Min was cut in half by Yu Shi, another member of the inn staff (there are six women and four men working in here in all). She had learned that Yu Shi was really the Scarlet Lover, a deadly assassin from Hai’an. So Yu Shi killed her to protect her secret. Discovering that Yu Shi is behind the killing will require some investigation. Yu Shi is on the run from the queen of Hai’an, so she will put up a fight if the players try to capture her. 

The Inn is also secretly a brothel, something the proprietor would like to keep under wraps. Both Yu Shi and Min, as well as the other serving girls are really prostitutes. 


TEA HOUSE ENCOUNTER TABLE ONE
Roll 1d10
Tea House Encounter 
1
A finely dressed swordsman begins reciting a poem that sounds like a memorial to his fallen companions. He describes each death at the hands of wicked people, carving the character on a bannister for a virtue of the individual victims. When he is done he levels his sword at the party and accuses them of the murders. This may be true or it may not be. If the party has killed a group of people for any reason in the past, he could be describing something that happened (though he may be wrong about the details of how and why).  
2
A Hai’anese scholar named He Guo approaches the party and praises them for their achievements. He seems to know a good deal about them. He offers to travel with the group so he can make a first hand record of their future exploits. He is sincere but impeccably honest in his account should he be accepted as a chronicler by the party. Within a year he should have enough material to publish a great work on the subject, which he will have printed for the benefit of government officials. Whatever the party has done in that time will become widely known among the literati. 
3
Let the players make a Detect Roll (TN 9). If they are making a point of examining the crowd, there is no need to roll. On a Success, they a group of men enjoying tea together, but can tell one of them is there against his will with a dagger against his back. These men are the members of the Red Claw Gang, led by the Firelance Brothers (WHOG 203, 311, and 353). The man is LUO TING, a lonely scholar in love with a spirited stone at Turquoise Cave. The bandits don’t know about the spirited stone but they’ve heard a rumor that he knows the location of Flying Sword Sect’s old Headquarters (see THE TURQUOISE CAVE). They are demanding he take them there, and he is reluctant to do so. 
4
When the players arrive at the Tea House they see an eccentric old man laughing as he plays chess (xiangqi). There are dead bodies with pale green skin around them (1d10 in all). These men all voluntarily drank poison after loosing to the old man, who came in offering “the ultimate game of chess for the ultimate reward”. With each death the reward he is offering goes up by 100,000 spades. The man playing loses and drinks poison. The players are free to do what they will.  
5
The place is quiet as the players sit at their table. While they drink their tea, a robust Kushen man named Nergui Mogha (WHOG, 231) drops to the ground and snorts like a boar, then attacks everyone in the inn, eating the flesh of anyone he kills. Nergui was recently in a fight with another master and is suffering from Qi disruption (he has been possessed by a Pig Spirit, WHOG page 377). He is out of his mind at the moment, and his possessed condition can be determined on a Medicine roll TN 7 or with another relevant skill roll. 
6
A beautiful woman (Hua Qiang) and handsome man (Hua Bu) approach the party and greet them, claiming to admire their reputation and talent. They have an accurate understanding of the party’s abilities and ask to be their disciples. In truth, they are con-artists seeking to learn the player’s secret techniques so they can sell them to other people in the martial world. If forced to fight, the man and woman both know lots of Secret Techniques from different sects (use the FEARSOME MASTER entry, WHOG page 346, and add any secret techniques you want to their arsenal). 
7
As the players sit down, they see the place is full and a man in colorful robes named Lord Cobra is laughing with a group of rough-looking swordsmen. Outside dozens of archers fire Arrows into the tea house at all the patrons (roll 2d10 against the Evade of all characters inside each round). The archers are commanded by Sheriff Wu Guo, who is aggressively trying to capture or kill Lord Cobra (a wanted bandit). Sheriff Wu Guo announces that Lord Cobra is wanted for murder and the arrows won’t stop until his body is brought out. Lord Cobra insists he is a hero fighting against the Glorious Emperor. The players can do whatever they want (flee, fight, join with Lord Cobra, help take Lord Cobra down, etc). The truth of the situation is up to the GM. 
8
A man with a thick beard and red robes talks to the waiter and then walks into the kitchen with him (this man is Flying Zhen Bird). As the players are about to enjoy their tea, they hear a sizzling sound and see a man drop at a nearby table. The tea he just drank was an obscure acidic poison that is harmless to porcelain cups but burns holes through flesh immediately (6d10 Open Damage, twice, to anyone who drinks it). The acid spilled onto the ground after burning through his body and the sizzle was the sound of his flesh and the wooden floor being consumed by it. Flying Zhen Bird is a powerful master who was testing his new poison (use Deadly Master entry for combat abilities, WHOG 346).  
9
A fortune teller named Gentle Xiao is reading palms for 100 spades (Divination 2d10). He will only do one reading for each table. If a player asks to have his or her palm read, he will do his best. Roll his Divination Skill TN 6. If he succeeds, he can tell the player about his or her fate. On a Total Success he can tell the player about his or her fate and about an upcoming challenge (for example any encounters you have planned or betrayals lurking on the horizon). On a Failure, he catastrophically misreads the palm, and believes the player is destined to be Emperor or Empress. He immediately pledges his loyalty and asks to be the character’s humble servant. He will sincerely follow the player from that day forward. 
10
A man Luo Shu stumbles into the tea house, his skin purple. There are three needles sticking from his neck. He begs the PCs for help, but nothing seems to improve him. He seems to die and asks the party to get revenge against Lady Plum Blossom (WHOG, 323). He points out the window and they can see Lady Plum Blossom purchasing fruit at a food stall in the street. In truth this man has painted his skin purple and is faking the whole thing. If the players inspect him closely or perform a Medicine Roll (TN 9) they may be able to see the deception.  Luo Shu has few talents but is hoping to get a bunch of martial heroes to kill each other, so he take their weapons and belongings and sell them at a high price to a an antique dealer (for relevant skills he has Deception: 3d10, Disguise: 3d10, and Talent-Theft: 2d10). If Lady Plum Blossom is killed he intends to bring her body to Ferocious Flower of the Tree-Dwelling Nuns (WHOG, 306) for a reward.  


4. HIDDEN OWL 
HIDDEN OWL 
Hidden Owl was once a member of the Majestic Lion Cult but left when she decided they were misguided. Now they are her enemies. She is also the sister of Hidden Arrow, a member of Crocodile Sect. Now she is trying to be a righteous hero and seeks her nephew (Hidden Arrow’s son) who disappeared months ago. She is following rumors of a person who may be behind the kidnapping. 

Defenses:Hardiness 3, Evade 5, Parry 6, Stealth 9, Wits 7, Resolve 7
Key Skills:Arm Strike: 3d10, Leg Strike: 3d10, Grapple: 2d10, Throw: 0d10, Light Melee: 2d10, Medium Melee: 0d10, Heavy Melee: 0d10, Small Ranged: 0d10, Athletics: 2d10, Speed: 3d10, Muscle: 1d10, Endurance: 2d10, Athletics: 3d10, Detect: 3d10, Persuade: 2d10, Empathy: 1d10, Religion/Gods (Majestic Lion Cult): 2d10, Places (Dai Bien): 3d10, Meditation: 3d10, Language (Daoyun): 3d10, Read Script (Feishu): 3d10

Qi: 3
Max Wounds: 7
Weapons: Unarmed (1d10 Damage), Daggers (1d10), Divine Powder (3d10 Open Damage in 10 foot radius per pound)
Combat Technique: Fists of Steel

Techniques (Waijia 1, Qinggong 2, Neigong 1): Crawling Tiger, Deflecting Canopy, Fierce Strike, Fluttering Kicks, Gaze of the Lion, Hands of the Hawk Beak, Kick of the Swan, Lion At Rest Stance, Pounce of the Lion, Stealth of the Spider Demon, Storming Daggers, Swift Pounce of the Cheetah, Graceful Retreat, Grasp of the Python (Counter), Spinning Back Kick (Counter)

5. SPIRITED BED
MIAOHUI
Maiohui is a spirited bed. She slowly came into existence as a byproduct of other peoples’ passions. She and the bed are one, but she can take human form to draw out the life of anyone who sleeps in the bed. She usually does this by attempting to kiss them and using the distraction to suck the energy from their lungs. 

In human form form her beauty is quite literally stunning. She can also drain victim's Qi energy by devouring their blood with her bite. She must drain life to live. Each month she doesn’t drain at least 1 point of Hardiness, she loses 1 wound (if she reaches zero in this manner she dies forever). Miaohui doesn’t always kill her victims. Those she finds handsome or pretty she allows to live and merely drains a small amount of their life. 

Defenses:Hardiness 5, Evade 8, Parry 6, Stealth 10, Wits 7, Resolve 9
Key Skills:Bite: 3d10 (6d10 Damage), Grapple: 4d10, Arm Strike: 0d10, Speed: 5d10, Fly: 6d10 (90 feet), Detect: 3d10, Persuade: 4d10, Command: 2d10, Deception: 3d10, Muscle: 2d10, Empathy: 2d10, Talent (Singing): 3d10

Max Wounds:8 (+1 per Hardiness Drained)

Powers 
Drain Life:On a Successful Grapple roll against a target, Miaohui drains 1 Hardiness by sucking the life from the lungs of the target. 

Bite and Qi Drain:Miaohui can transform her jaw into a terrifying maw filled with rows of teeth. Every wound she inflicts in this manner allows her drain the Qi energy of her target. Every ten Qi ranks she drains, she gains a new power. 

Stunning Beauty: Anyone who sees Miaohui is struck by her beauty. It is truly remarkable and fills anyone who sees her with both awe and sadness, imposing a -1d10 to any Skill roll made against her. 

Immunities: While her body can be destroyed by normal means, she always returns in 1d10 days. The only way to permanently destroy her is to burn the bed itself. 

10. THE SCARLET LOVER 
ACCOUNTANT LENG
Accountant Leng knows all the inns secrets and is the lover of Madame Liu Rong. However he is weak-willed and self-serving. He is willing to talk if things get too risky for his personal safety or security. 

Defenses:Hardiness 3, Evade 4, Parry 3, Stealth 6, Wits 9, Resolve 6
Key Skills:Grapple: 0d10, Throw: 0d10, Arm Strike: 1d10, Leg Strike: 0d10, Light Melee: 1d10, Medium Melee: 0d10, Heavy Melee: 0d10, Small Ranged: 1d10, Speed: 0d10, Muscle: 0d10, Reasoning: 3d10, Talent (Accounting): 3d10, Talent (Writing): 3d10, Read Script (Feishu): 3d10, Language (Daoyun): 3d10, Language (Hai’anese): 3d10

Max Wounds: 1

MADAME LIU RONG
The proprietor of the inn/brothel, Madame Liu Rong likes to keep up appearances. She comes from a respected family who have fallen on hard times and wishes to keep the true activities of the brothel hidden.  

Defenses:Hardiness 3, Evade 4, Parry 3, Stealth 6, Wits 8, Resolve 7
Key Skills:Grapple: 0d10, Throw: 0d10, Arm Strike: 1d10, Leg Strike: 0d10, Light Melee: 1d10, Medium Melee: 0d10, Heavy Melee: 0d10, Small Ranged: 1d10, Speed: 0d10, Muscle: 0d10, Persuade: 3d10, Deception: 2d10, Reasoning: 2d10, Institutions (Criminal Underworld): 3d10, Survival (City): 3d10, Divination: 2d10

Max Wounds: 1

YU SHI (THE SCARLET LOVER)
Yu Shi is a server at the inn, but makes her living as a prostitute as well. Many men come to the inn just to spend time with Yu Shi. She used to work for the Queen of Hai’an as an assassin, using her love making to lull victims into a sense of security before striking them dead. 

Yu Shi is a hardened killer and presently is just trying to get by. She fled Hai’an because she was tired of being Queen Ai Nu’s tool for killing. She tried to settle down and have a family but the queen found her and killed them all. One of the other female servers at the inn found out who she was and so she cut her in half. Right now she wants nothing more than to protect her secret so she can have revenge against the queen. If the players try to arrest her, she will appeal to their sense of justice, begging them to let her kill the queen first (or help her do so). She promises to face execution once this has been achieved. 

Defenses:Hardiness 5, Evade 5, Parry 7, Stealth 10, Wits 7, Resolve 7
Key Skills:Grapple: 1d10, Throw: 2d10, Arm Strike: 3d10, Leg Strike: 3d10, Light Melee: 3d10 or 4d10 with Dagger, Medium Melee: 3d10 or 6d10 with Jian, Heavy Melee: 2d10, Small Ranged: 0d10, Speed: 3d10, Muscle: 2d10, Athletics: 3d10, Empathy: 2d10, Persuade: 2d10, Meditation: 3d10, Survival (City): 3d10, Survival (Wilderness): 3d10, Talent (Singing): 3d10, Talent (Guqin): 2d10, Talent (Poetry): 1d10

Qi:6
Max Wounds:13
Weapons:Jian (3d10 Damage, +2d10 Accuracy) and Dagger (2d10 Damage)
Expertise:  Light Melee-Dagger, Medium Melee-JIan
Combat Techniques: Light Melee-From the Shadows

Key Kung Fu Techniques (Waijia 2, Qinggong 2): Blasting Blade, Double Blade Death Dance, Calm of Sunan, Curing Palm, Deep Biting Blade, Double Thrust, Drift of the Butterfly Fish, Kick of the Swan, Slashing Blade, Sword Stance, Reserve Blade Strike (Counter), Whirling Dodge (Counter)

Double Blade Death Dance: With a jian in one hand and dagger in the other, you stab a foe before you, then spin and slice many others with your dagger. Make a Medium Melee against one target, then a Light Melee against up to 10 other targets in your immediate area. On a Success both attacks do Normal Damage. Cathartic: On a Success you do Normal Damage Plus 5 Extra Wounds to the first target and Normal Damage plus 3 Extra wounds to the remaining targets. 

Reverse Blade Strike (Counter):You dip to avoid an incoming melee attack and spin backwards to stab with a dagger in your off-hand. Must be used cathartically. Make an Athletics Roll against the Attack Roll. On a Success you avoid the attack and can make a Light Melee attack roll against the target doing Normal Damage plus 4 Extra wounds on a success. 


Thursday, April 19, 2018

WUXIA INSPIRATION: KILLING MOOKS MADE EASY

This will be a short entry on something I've been trying. 

I talked about quantifying heroic power levels in wuxia on the Podcast before (I also blogged about it HERE). I want to share an idea I've been floating in my campaigns to address this concept and simplify it in play. 
art by Jackie Musto


The purpose of this idea is to allow for faster resolution of combat when we want to focus on other things (for example, if the focus in a battle is really the exchange of meaningful dialogue between the PC and NPC and micromanaging the mook-killing would get in the way). 

Basically the idea is really simple. In wuxia characters sometimes are described as being equal to a set number of soldiers or men. Whatever that number is, that is how many mooks they can kill in a single attack (no roll necessary). For Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate, I'm toying with Qi rank multiplied by 3 (I am also trying 10 as a multiplier, which I think will work better, but starting smaller to try it out). A mook in this case would be characters with 0 Qi ranks. So a Qi rank 3 Hero could dispatch 9 mooks without rolling with the whirl of a blade or swipe of a spear. 

I may play around with it more and post again if I adjust the numbers (I am also thinking of applying it to Qi Ranked characters of lower level). 


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

JOURNEY TO THE SOUTH CHAPTER TWO: KUNG FU, RITUALS AND NEW MONSTERS

This chapter describes the Kung Fu techniques from the previous chapter and rituals. It also describes a new system of Kung Fu in the game; Unorthodox Kung Fu.

Note: The Urn Minion is inspired by a creature from the film Miracle Fighters (1982). 



UNORTHODOX KUNG FU TECHNIQUES
These are techniques of an exceptionally unorthodox and reckless nature, practiced widely by worshippers of Gushan. The results of Unorthodox Kung Fu are unpredictable and produce harmful effects for the caster when they fail. These effects are usually described in each entry. If you ever fail by rolling all 1s, 2s and 3s, roll on the SPECIAL EFFECT TABLE as well.




RITUALS
RITUALS OF COLLECTIVE POWER
Many of the rituals related to Gushan rely upon the collective power of humanity. One person casting the winds of Gushan is nothing, an army of people summoning the winds can destroy a city. All ritual magic related to Gushan tends to operate on this principle.

SINJA MAGIC
Sinja Magic is commonly practiced in the south. In the north it is generally regarded as black magic. This is magic that affects people by bestowing blessings, curses or achieving some particular effect on them. However ,it requires a part of the person to cast.

Baby in a Bottle (TN 6)
With this Ritual you place an infant inside a clay vessel, such as an urn or a wine container. You must feed the child a rice porridge made from human ash over the course of many years. This ritual must be performed once per year until the child becomes an adult. With each successful result, the child grows into the receptacle like a turtle in its shell, and the porridge changes its personality. They are relatively harmless until full grown, but if they reach adulthood through this process they become an Urn Minion (See URN MINION below). 

Love Magic Ritual (TN 7)
This requires that you acquire a person’s blood and fingernails. Then you must prepare these with a kind of rice porridge while visualizing a dark energy pour into the mixture. On a Successful Ritual roll, anyone who eats it falls in love with the next person they see for 1 month.

Spiritual Attack (TN 8)
This requires the hair of the target (s). Once you have the hair you must weave it into a rope-like whip and blow gently upon it to harness the power of Gushan. Make a Ritual Roll TN 8. On a Success, for the next ten rounds, regardless of distance from the target (s), you can whip at them with the braided hair as if you were standing before them. This requires a Light Melee roll against their Parry, and does 2d10+Speed for Damage. The target cannot use a normal counter but can resist damage by making a Meditation Roll against your attack roll.

Protection From Demonic Entanglement (TN 6)
This requires you obtain the hair of the person or people you wish to protect. You must gather up all the hair, spill some of your own blood upon it, then burn it in a massive fire making a Ritual Roll TN 6. On a Success, for the next day, the target is immune to the entanglement of demonic spiders, moths and similar, web-spewing creatures.

NEW KUNG FU TECHNIQUES

DEVOURING WINDS
Discipline: Neigong
Skill: Endurance against Evade
Type: Normal
Qi: 6

You draw in a powerful intake of air that rips apart the flesh of demons.

Make an Endurance roll against the Evade of all creatures in the area (50 feet per rank of Neigong). Any Demons or Spirited Beasts take 2d10 Damage plus 3 Extra wounds. Anyone with 5 or more Karma feels a sense of peace wash over them.

Cathartic: This does 4d10 Damage plus 10 Extra Wounds to any demonic creature and restores 1 wound to anyone with 5 or more Karma.

UNORTHODOX TECHNIQUES

THE CRIPPLING WINDS OF GUSHAN
Discipline: Neigong
Skill: Endurance against Hardiness
Type: Normal
Qi: 6

You issue a powerful tornado of force from your mouth, that crushes bones, bursts eyeballs, or ruptures a person’s ears.

Make an Endurance Roll against Hardiness of any one person within 60 feet. On a Failure roll below to see what happens to you. On a success the winds crush or destroy a limb or sense of your choice, doing 2 automatic wounds. On a Total Success the target takes 4 automatic wounds instead of 2.

This must be used Cathartically and cannot be used on someone higher Qi rank than you.

Roll 1d10     Result
1                  You go blind for a month
2                  You go blind permanently
3                  Your arm is broken for a month
4                  Your arm is permanently destroyed
5                  You lose your hearing for a month
6                  You permanently lose your hearing
7                  Your leg is broken for a month
8                  Your leg is permanently destroyed
9                  You lose your sense of taste for a month
10                 Your tongue is ripped from your body and destroyed

THE HAND OF THE OX TAIL
Discipline: Neigong
Skill: Meditation TN 6 then Arm Strike Against Parry
Type: Normal
Qi: 6

You awaken the divine spark within yourself, realizing you are Gushan and forming powerful ox tail blades along your forearms and hand ridges.

Make a Meditation Roll TN 6. On a Failure, painful Ox Tail Blades erupt all over your body causing you to take 3d10 Damage plus 8 Extra Wounds. On a Success, you can strike an opponent immediately with the Ox Tail Blades for 2d10+Muscle plus 9 Extra Wounds. On a Total Success you can strike one additional target.

This technique must always be used Cathartically. When the technique is finished, the sense of revelation passes. 

GUSHAN'S GAMBIT
Discipline: Dianxue
Skill: Arm Strike against TN 10
Qi: 3
Type: Normal

You recklessly smash your hands against your own meridians in a chaotic flurry of strikes, releasing your Qi energy with wild abandon.

Make an Arm Strike Roll TN 10. On a Failure, take an Automatic Wound immediately and roll randomly on the chart below. This same effect happens to everyone in within a radius equal to Dianxue Ranks + Qi Ranks multiplied by 5 feet (this includes you and all allies).

Roll 1d10          Result
1                        Everyone is knocked unconscious for 1 minute
2                        Immediately heal up to 1d10 plus 2 Wounds and also roll on the Unorthodox Special Effect Table
3                         Immediately heal 2 Wounds and also roll on the Unorthodox Special Effect Table
4-6                     Take 6d10 Damage
7                        Take 6d10 Open Damage plus 3 extra wounds. This damage roll must overcome Resolve instead of Hardiness. Additionally, roll on the Unorthodox Special Effect Table
8                        Take 6d10 Open Damage plus 3 extra wounds. This damage roll must overcome Wits instead of Hardiness. Additionally, roll on the Unorthodox Special Effect Table
9                       Sight meridians are sealed, causing blinding everyone for ten minutes
10                      Everyone is paralyzed for 1d10 minutes

On a Success, you may choose the result of this roll for one individual. Everyone else suffers the randomly rolled effects as usual. On a Total Success, you may choose the result of this roll for 1 target per rank of Dianxue.

Regardless of the success or failure of the technique, you take 1 Automatic Wound immediately due to the unavoidable damage this technique inflicts on your body and are drained for 1 day of 1 Qi (2 if you had to roll on the Special Effects table).

This technique may only be used cathartically. It's chaotic, unpredictable energies cannot be countered by any known technique.

SPLINTERING BLADE OF GUSHAN
Discipline: Neigong
Skill: Medium Melee against Evade
Type: Normal
Qi: 6

You slice your blade through the air, creating a rippling line of energy that divides your enemies into warring halves.

Make a Medium Melee attack against the Evade of any target in 20 feet per rank of Neigong. On a Failure the line turns upon you. On a Success the target is hit and splits into two halves (see below). On a Total Success the person is divided into three.

Anyone affected by this attack is divided into two distinct replicas or aspects. They are not harmed, they merely form into two separate entities who desire to kill each other and cannot be rejoined until one half is dead. In this state the person’s wounds are divided between the two halves but they retain all other abilities. Any wounds taken while in this state, remain after the halves have been rejoined. If the person is divided into three forms due to Total Success, wounds are divided three ways and the third personality remains neutral, trying to resolve the conflict.

This technique must be used Cathartically and all counter attempts against it must succeed twice.

NEW PROFOUND TECHNIQUES

WAVE OF THE HARD WHIP
Skill: Heavy Melee
Type: Normal
Qi: 8

You send a wave of energy with the swing of your hard whip that cracks the bones of those who stand before you.

Make a Heavy Melee against the Evade of all in a 60-foot cone before you. On a Success the targets lose 1 point of Hardiness for 10 days. On a Total Success they lose 1 point of Hardiness and are stunned for 2 rounds.

This only works on targets with lower Qi ranks than you.

NEW MONSTERS

WATER MONKEYS
These terrible creatures live in the south, usually in swamps but also in rivers or lakes. They look like monkeys with dense, swamp drenched fur, and a hard shell on their backs. Their claws are sharp and can infect people with Blood Fire. They like to pull prey below the water, drown them and drink their blood. Water Monkeys have a debilitating odor that is often the first sign of their presence.

Defenses: Hardiness 7, Evade 6, Parry 7, Stealth 9, Wits 5, Resolve 6
Key Skills: Bite: 2d10, Claws: 3d10 (2d10 Damage plus Blood Fire), Muscle: 3d10, Speed: 3d10, Swim: 4d10,

Max Wounds: 5

Powers
Stench: Everyone within 30 feet of a Water Monkey must make an Endurance TN 7 roll or vomit and take -1d10 to all skill rolls for as long as they are in its presence and for 2 rounds thereafter.

Drowning Clutch: On a Total Success with their bite or claw, the Water Monkey can drag a person beneath the water. Escape requires two consecutive successful opposed muscle rolls. Killing the Water Monkey will also release the victim. This initiatives the Drowning Rules (page 83 of the WHOG rulebook).

Blood Fire: Anyone struck by the claw of a Water Monkey is exposed to Blood Fire Disease (see page 100 of the WHOG rulebook).

URN MINION
An Urn Minion is a foul-skinned creature, once human, that resides inside an urn or large wine vessel. Its hands and feel poke out from holes and its head emerged from the lid of the container. They serve their master dutifully, believing all of their master’s enemies to be completely evil. However if they form a strong emotional bond with another human or creature, the enchantment can be broken and they become mentally free. 

Urn Minions are incredibly agile and excellent at Kung Fu. They are made with the Baby in a Bottle Ritual. 

Defenses: Hardiness 8, Evade 7, Parry 7, Stealth 4 or 10, Wits 5, Resolve 7
Key Skills: Arm Strike: 3d10 (2d10 plus 2 Extra Wounds), Leg Strike: 4d10 (3d10 Open), Muscle: 2d10, Speed: 3d10, Athletics: 4d10, Endurance: 2d10

Max Wounds: 9

Powers
Marvelous Kung Fu: Urn Minions have great hand and leg strikes. Their arm strikes do 2d10 plus 2 Extra Wounds. Their leg strikes do 3d10 Open Damage. They can also Counter.

Counter: Urn Minions can block melee attacks with their hands and feet. Roll Arm Strike or Leg Strike against the attack Roll. On a Success they block the strike. On a Total Success they can hit back as a free action.

Breaking the Enchantment: This is not easy, it isn’t simply a matter of making a Persuade roll. One must befriend the Urn Minion and prove true friendship. Through this process, their loyalty to their master sways and they begin to lament their own nature.

Hide: Urn Minions can retreat into their container by pulling in their limbs and head. This raises their Stealth to 10. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

JOURNEY TO THE SOUTH CHAPTER ONE: LAND OF GUSHAN AND GAZETTEER

This is only a partly completed project. It is what I have so far for the areas south of Hai’an in the Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate setting. It is only about 1/4th complete but I am releasing it for the reasons stated in my WAR OF SWARMING BEGGARS introductory post. The reason I am releasing it is so that people at least have the material if this part of the world comes up in their games.


The concept behind the southern regions is to emulate Journey to the West style play. Essentially this is an area of the setting where that kind of mythic adventure becomes possible because the Enlightened Goddess is unable to reach here effectively (it is a kind of wild west of the Heavenly Bureaucracy).

I decided to reduce the number of chapters in this book because of its current size. So it begins with an overview and gazetteer. This is followed by Kung Fu and Rituals, then by new Objects. I will link these like I did the WAR OF SWARMING BEGGARS book.

The lands in this book are all those found south of Hai'an. 

Art by Jackie Musto
From TOURNAMENT OF DAOLU


THE LAND XIAN NU SHEN FORGOT
The South is a place of dense forests, high mountains, and enormity. The animals and plants of the south are much larger than their counterparts elsewhere, and many of them are spirited. Here, powerful spirited beasts, hunted gods and primordial deities rule.

There are many gods in the south. Some of the most important are wind gods. And there are many southern wind gods, but none more feared or strange than Gushan. According to legend, the Enlightened Goddess cut her own strands of hair to make Gushan. The influence of Gushan is strong in the lands south of Dhamma and Hai’an.

Here reality itself seems to break down. The people, the places, the cities and the geography abide by their own rules. In the south travelers find kings made of fire who rule on blackened thrones, cities populated by spirits and blood worms, forests patrolled by flying crocodiles and animal civilizations. Traces of the Enlightened Goddess and her bureaucracy are felt but her presence is weak and it is a favorite location for those wanted by the heavenly bureaucracy to seek refuge.

The Enlightened Goddess herself fears the south. Anytime she has ventured into these lands, she forgets who she is. At times this led to her assuming human form and living out a full life as a mortal without realizing her own power. High ranking members of the celestial bureaucracy suffer similar consequences when they come here (provided they still retain their title and post).

RELIGIONS AND GODS 
GUSHAN 
Where did mankind originate? The answer to this question is simple say the worshippers of Gushan: we are all Gushan.

The principles of Gushan are both opaque and basic. What matters is the world of man, the imperfect realm. In truth it isn’t imperfect, the flaw is with the perfect realm. Rather than emulate the perfect realm, like they do in the north, it is better to reshape the world in the image of mankind. For man is divine and the restraints placed upon him by the dehuans, the worshippers of Hen-Shi and even the Yen-Li practitioners are unnatural. The particular ethics vary from group to group, priest to priest and community to community, but the starting point is always mankind.

Some sects devoted to Gushan are very literal in their beliefs, some are much more symbolic. For the more symbolically oriented groups, at the higher levels of cultivation believers begin to understand that the winds of Gushan, the idea that he can destroy reality in the wake of his breath. To them this is also a symbol for man’s ability to defy fate. It is difficult to resist, but the will of heaven can be challenged.

A fundamental feature of Gushan worship is prophecy and veneration of Little Winds. Little Winds are statues with multiple open-mouthed heads forming a mass. When powerful winds flow through them, they can be heard to speak prophecies. Sometimes these prophecies address the listener directly. Sometimes they address the general nature of things. If the former use the Prophecy Table below. If the latter use the Table of Future Events from page 430 of the WANDERING HEROES OF OGRE GATE rulebook.

GIANT ANIMAL GODS AND MORE
In addition to Gushan, many people and creatures in the southern lands worship large animal gods, spirited beasts, fallen gods, and other types of beings. Some gods from the larger pantheon of Qi Xien are also present here. For example, Jiangnu the southern wind goddess, Queen Jiangnu resides at her palace in the Swamp of Endlessness. Often gods will be cast out from the Heavenly Bureaucracy or need to go into hiding, and they find a place for themselves here.

PROPHECY TABLE
From time to time, Little Winds issue prophecies. These prophecies are not just glimpses into the future, they help create it. Anything uttered by Little Winds, lends tangible weight to those events occurring in the future in the form of bonuses and penalties. So if the heads say “You will be crushed by a Raksha” then the next time that character faces a Raksha, it gains a +1d10 Bonus, while the player might gain a –1d10 Penalty. To determine the prophecy, use the table below, but feel free to modify or adjust to customize to your characters.

The first and third tables determine who is addressed by the prophecy, regardless of in what capacity. The second table provides an action, that one might do to the other, or hints towards the outcome of them meeting in some way. For example, a roll of all 1s could be interpreted as "You are going to kill a great master," or, "You are going to die by the hand of a great master," among other ways (the GM should roll with a 50% chance to see who is the subject and who is being acted upon).

NOTE: This table is also found in WAR OF SWARMING BEGGARS.

PROPHECY TABLE 1
Roll 1d10 Result
1      You
2      Someone you love
3      Your chief, king or Sifu
4      Your sworn sibling
5      Your enemy
6      Your closest friend
7      Your parents or family
8     Your child
9     Who you most fear
10    An important person you do not know

PROPHECY TABLE 2
Roll 1d10 Result
1     Death
2     Love
3     Change
4     Destruction
5     Stop
6     Life
7     Revenge
8    Discovery
9    Shared Fate
10  Roll TABLE 2B

PROPHECY TABLE 2B
Roll 1d10 Result
1     Power Struggle
2     A beheading
3     Betrayal
4     Haunting
5    Manipulation
6    A massacre
7     Escape
8   Historic event
9   A Duel
10 Shame

PROPHECY TABLE 3
Roll 1d100 Result
1-4      Great Master
5-8     Historical Figure
9-12    God or Goddess
13-16   Demon
17-20   Raksha
21-24    Official
25-28   Farmer
29-32   Merchant
33-36   Ghost
37-40   Ogre Demon
41-44   Political Leader
45-48    Artist or musician
49-52    Scholar
53-56   Poet
57-60   Great Hero
61-64   Evil Hero
65-68   Bandit King
69-72   Immortal
73-76   Courtesan
77-80   Clan Leader
81-84   Specific Martial Hero (roll on any martial hero table)
85-88   Rising star in the martial world
89-92   Servant
93-96   Priest or Monk
97-100 Something evil

THE JIN SUK
These are a people who roam in tribes in the south. The Jin Suk do not speak and consider facial expressions a sign of close intimacy (so to other’s their expressions often seem blank). They occasionally venture north and frighten the natives there with their silence and unusual manners. Jin Suk cut out their tongues when they are children. They call speaking ‘wind’ and cut out their tongues to avoid ‘evil wind’. Therefore, they communicate by silent hand gestures.

NEW FLAWS
Empty Dantian: You take 1 wound any time you fail in using a Neigong Technique.

GAZETEER

THE BANYAN SAGE
This vast tree is nearly a mile at its base and rises high into the sky. It can be seen from 60 miles away. The tree was born from the tears of Gushan. The people say “Gushan wept, and the Banyan grew.” Locals worship the tree as a kind of relic, and organize martial contests around it. When the blood of 100 heroes is spilled, the tree speaks.


THE BRIDGE OF BATONG
This long stone bridge spans Majestic Peak and Mount Mei. There are strange Gushan statues flanking the way, made to look like large bellies with massive faces and strange eyes (They have no discernable head or limbs). The bridge itself spans fifteen miles, and anyone with knowledge of such matters can tell the design is impossible. The bridge seems to be in a crumbling state most of the time, but oddly restores as people pass over it. This is because it feeds on the life of anyone walking by the bellies. The bridge has a widely known reputation and local heroes often prove themselves by crossing it.

As people pass by they grow weak and feel increasingly hungry. They lost 1 wound each mile they travel. This is reduced to 1 wound every two miles if they eat constantly while passing. If anyone should die while passing by, the bellies issue a highly accurate prophecy but clouded in obscure language.

When a prophecy is issued, Roll on the Table of Future Events on page 430 of the WANDERING HEROES OF OGRE GATE rulebook. This event will occur unless events in the campaign prevent it. The bellies speak about the events but are often poetic in their description.

CITY OF THE LION GOD (MUEANG PHRA SINGH)
This city of competing gods is ruled by a vast priesthood, forming a council with representatives from each godly sect. The most influential god in the city is the Lion God, Phra Singh. The second most influential is the Snake Goddess Phra Guo, There is also a temple dedicated to the southern sea god. They are small but routinely send barges of virgin sacrifices to a far off island where they believe the southern sea demon resides. The gods in question dwell beneath the city and can be accessed through the temples dedicated to them.

Locals call the place Meung Phra (short for Mueang Phra Singh)

CITY OF THE SPIRAL CROWN
The clans of this city feel compelled to obey whoever wears the spiral crown. Ten years ago they served Granny Ox tail, now they serve Queen Su Qian, a Bone Demoness. She keeps a man named Wan Mei as her chief consort. Su Qian stole the city and Wan Mei from Granny Ox Tail many years ago (See GRANNY OX TAIL’S CAVE entry below for details). The people of the city mainly speak Singh.


The city is an important trade hub, and it also exports indigo as well as many other dyes. They cultivate a range of vegetables and grain but subsist largely on a local variety Snake Beans that are particularly protein rich.

The Majestic Inn is a highly regarded place to stay. Rooms cost the equivalent of 20 spades a night. Operated by Chomkwan, a great hero who retired after she vowed to serve Hen-Shi. She is one of the few people in the city who venerates the goddess. The inn is known for its Zhen Bird soup.

The locals play a gambling game that involves guessing the number of sticks beneath a turtle shell.

CHOMKWAN
Chomkwan is the owner of the Majestic Inn. She was once a great hero, having defeated the demons: Fire Bearded Queen, Ten-Eyed Lotus and The Spine Snake of Sukadek. Chomkwan is tall and slender, and dresses in purple trousers and shirts. She fights with a bian.

Chomkwan had a vision of Hen-Shi after she killed Ten-Eyed Lotus. Hen-Shi told her to go to the City of the Spiral Crown, subsist on snake bean and give up meat. From now on she would redeem rather than destroy the demons.

Defenses: Hardiness 7, Evade 7, Parry 7, Stealth 8, Wits 4, Resolve 9
Key Skills: Grapple: 5d10, Arm Strike: 4d10, Leg Strike: 5d10, Light Melee: 3d10, Medium Melee: 5d10, Speed: 3d10, Fly: 4d10, Muscle: 4d10, Athletics: 3d10, Endurance: 4d10, Meditation: 3d10, Divination: 3d10, Command: 5d10, Detect: 4d10, Survival (Wilderness): 3d10, Survival (Mountain): 3d10, Trade (Stone): 2d10, Creatures (Demons): 4d10, Creatures (Spirits): 3d10

Qi: 10
Max Wounds: 21
Equipment: Bian/Hard Whip (6d10 Damage, -1d10 Damage)

Key TechniquesTechniques (Waijia 1, Qinggong 1, Neigong 2): Calm of Sunan, Crack of the Hard Whip, Croak of the Toad, Knock of the Meteor Hammer (with Hard Whip), Purge Affliction, Purge Spirit, Iron Body (Counter), Iron Spirit Reversal (Counter), Mountain in the Flood (Counter)

Profound Techniques: Wave of the Hard Whip, Ride the Cloud

QUEEN SU QIAN
Queen Su Qian is a powerful Bone Demon. She looks like a normal human when viewed by daylight. But under moonlight or in reflected surfaces her true appearance, as that of a bony corpse, is visible. She needs virtuous flesh to survive so routinely has her people invite great heroes. 

Defenses: Hardiness 8, Evade 6, Parry 6, Stealth 9, Wits 7, Resolve 9
Key Skills: Bite: 5d10 (5d10 Open Damage plus Karma drain), Bone Strike: 5d10, Arm Strike: 3d10, Fly: 4d10 (70 feet), Speed: 6d10 (90 feet), Detect: 2d10, Muscle: 3d10, Meditation: 2d10, Creatures (Humans): 3d10

Max Wounds: 40

Powers

Bite and Virtuous Hunger: The bite of a Bone Demon inflicts 6d10 Open Damage and drains 1 point of positive Karma. Every point of Karma the Bone Demon drains increases its max Wounds by 1 permanently. If it consumes a person who has good Karma in a single sitting, it extends its life by 1 month. If it consumes someone who is truly virtuous (a person with 10 Karma) in a single sitting, it extends its life by 200 years.

Bone Spear: The ribs and other bones of a Bone Demon can shoot out suddenly and impale foes (striking everyone within a ten foot area). Roll Bone Strike against Parry. On a Success this inflicts 4d10 plus 2 Wounds. On a Total Success it inflicts 4d10 Open Damage plus 3 Wounds (and an Extra Wound for each additional Total Success).

Illusions: A Bone Demon can weave a very convincing illusion to make it appear like a normal human. This can be any type of human it wishes (old, young, beautiful, ugly, tall, short, and so forth). However, the illusionary transformation inflicts a single Wound on the Bone Demon. It lasts for as long as the Bone Demon wishes or until someone magically forces it to end. This illusion cannot be detected by normal means. Only the most powerful magic can see through it.

Waste Away: Bone Demons are on the brink of death and must consume virtuous flesh to survive. A normal person can extend the demon’s life by a month, a virtuous person can extend its life by 200 years. Without eating the flesh and extending their life in this way, they must make a Meditation roll TN 7 every week or die.


CHAMBER OF THE AGELESS GUARDIAN
This ancient tomb is described fully in TOURNAMENT OF DAOLU, pages 5-8 (this book is PWYW).

GRANNY OX TAIL’S CAVE
This large cavern is in a valley-like ledge high on Majestic Peak. Before the entrance are numerous chains tethered to nearby boulders, with skeleton remains upon the ground. Sacrifices are brought here by the villagers of Sa-un. Granny Ox Tail is a powerful giantess who lives within the cave. While she enjoys eating people, she is willing to teach those who want to learn about Gushan and pay proper respects.

GRANNY OX TAIL
Granny Ox Tail is a giant creature, who lives in Majestic Peak. She has three eyes, four arms, each holding a massive ox tail dao, and eight horns circling her head from her crown to her jaw. Once a month the people in the area bring her a sacrifice to feed on. She worships Gushan and has come to believe that her physical appearance is an expression of her true humanity.

Background: Granny Ox Tail was born in the city of Labdek many years ago. She seemed a normal child and grew to be a great beauty. She enjoyed her exceptional looks and was proud. However, she didn’t realize that she was the secret daughter of Lord Demon Horn. She was conceived in lust during a chance meeting on a battlefield. Lord Demon Horn and her mother were lovers for a night, but went their separate ways.

Granny Ox Tail became a famous sword maiden (then she was known as Ox Tail Immortal), but with each kill her demon-nature grew and her body began to change until she became the mighty creature she is today.

Granny Ox Tail used to rule the city of the spiral crown, but she fell in love with a mortal who betrayed her and stole the spiral crown (giving it to the Bone Demoness Su Qian). She now longs for revenge against Su Qian and the mortal (Su Qian’s present lover), Wan Mei.

Defenses: Hardiness 8, Evade 3, Parry 8, Stealth 7, Wits 6, Resolve 8
Key Skills: Horns: 3d10 (6d10 Open Damage), Grapple: 2d10, Arm Strike: 2d10, Throw: 3d10, Kick: 4d10, Light Melee: 2d10, Medium Melee: 4d10, Heavy Melee: 3d10, Speed: 1d10, Muscle: 5d10, Endurance: 4d10, Detect: 5d10, Talent (Yu): 3d10, Ritual (Storms of Gushan): 3d10, Religion (Gushan): 3d10, Language (Singh): 3d10, Langauge (Daoyun): 3d10

Qi: 12
Wounds: 35
Expertise: Detect-Taste
Weapons: Ox Tail Daos (7d10 Damage, -1d10 Accuracy)

Key Techniques (Dianxue 1, Neigong 2, Waijia 1): Crippling Winds of Gushan, Gushan’s Gambit, Hands of the Ox Tail, Spearing Blade, Splintering Wind Blade of Guashan, Blade Pinch (Counter)

Profound Techniques: Weight of the Ox Tail

Powers
Beast Strenght (x6) and exceed Dice Cap
Mighty: All melee attacks by Granny Ox Tail do 2 Extra wounds.
Charge: On a Charge with tusks, Granny Ox Tail does an 3 Extra wounds
Weakness: Any object made of Jade inflicts 3 Extra Wounds against her.
Four Arms: Granny Ox Tail has four arms like a Juren and is able to make two skill rolls simultaneously when appropriate as well as make one additional attack each round.

JADE TORTOISE
There is a giant turtle with a whole city inside his belly. He devours people to help grow his civilization. The city is called Shui Huo and ruled by South Wind King, keeper of the Starlight Lamp. According to legend this ancient device is the source that powers the starlight at night. South Wind King is very powerful and has mastered something called 18 Fire Point Technique. With a mere look he can incinerate his foes.

In truth the Jade Tortoise is a split entity. His other half is the South Wind King who rules the city inside his belly.

SOUTH WIND KING
South Wind King looks like a man with thick green skin and three flame-like lines on his forehead. He can transform into a turtle, turtle hybrid or a human shape. South Wind King claims rule over the rivers of the South East but is said to be on good terms with Gushan. This just means he is a friend to men who reflect the virtues he cherishes. Chief among these are propriety and bravery. South Wind King is long looking for a human representative and champion, someone to let the world know of his majestic glory. He claims that he and Jade Tortoise are the twin children of the eastern Sea Goddess, Mei Lien, and the Yao Yun god of the Southern Seas

Background: South Wind King began life as a water turtle with three burning streaks upon his shell. The Enlightened Goddess, in one of her forgetful states, happened to see him one day and fed him carp from her jade pond giving him the power to cultivate. For three centuries she reclined at the edge of his river playing the guzheng and he dutifully appeared each morning to hear. Over time the turtle’s phoenix spirit and dragon spirit began to split. The result was his phoenix spirit formed the giant Jade Tortoise that roams the South Wind River, while his dragon Spirit became the South Wind King who lives inside the Jade Tortoise..

After this occurred, the Enlightened Goddess, thinking it was just a minor trinket, entrusted him with the Starlight Lamp.

Defenses: Hardiness 9, Evade 6, Parry 8, Stealth 7, Wits 7, Resolve 9
Key Skills: Grapple: 6d10, Arm Strike: 5d10, Throw: 3d10, Kick: 3d10, Light Melee: 4d10, Medium Melee: 5d10, Heavy Melee: 6d10, Speed: 3d10, Muscle: 6d10, Endurance: 2d10, Detect: 3d10, Institutions (Bureaucracy of Heaven): 3d10, Religion (Jiangnu): 3d10, Survival (Water): 3d10

Qi: 25
Wounds: 51
Equipment: The Flaming Dao of Propriety (Muscle+2d10 Fire Damage plus 2 Extra Wounds)

Powers
Mighty, Fire and Water Immunity, Control Fire, Regeneration (1 wound every round)

Key Techniques (Wiajia 3, Neigong 2, Qinggong 1): Blade of the Dancing Fox, Biting Blade, Whirling Dodge (Counter)

Profound: Hands of the Fire Shield, Fists of Flame

Special Techniques:
Flames of the Sword (Neigong Qi 6): You swing your sword and a burning arc forms striking all before you for 6d10 Fire Damage. Cathartic: This does 6d10 Fire Damage plus 4 Extra wounds. Only evasive counters work against it.

Whirling Vortex of Flame (Neigong Qi 6): You bring forth a tornado of hot wind and fire (using your preferred melee attack method). Roll against Evade of targets within 20 feet per rank of Neigong. Targets sucked into the vortex taking 4d10 Fire Damage, plus they are hurled for 3d10 Falling Damage. Cathartic: 6d10 Fire Damage plus 6d10 Falling Damage.

Fire Resistance Technique (Neigong Qi 5): Make an endurance roll against any fire or heat based attack or element to resist its effects. Must be used cathartically.

THE KHAT
This tribe of people dwell south of Mount Bao, worship the great Tiger God of Sua Pa. They adorn their bodies in tattoos of their god and those they have defeated. They live to serve Sua Pa and bring him feed. Anyone they encounter they try capture and leave tied to trees in Sua Pa’s territory. They hold the Tiger People in great respect. See SUA PA for further details.

KHAT WARRIORS (300)
Defenses: Hardiness 5, Evade 5, Parry 5, Stealth 7, Wits 6, Resolve 6
Key Skills: Grapple: 1d10, Throw: 2d10, Arm Strike: 3d10, Leg Strike: 2d10, Light Melee: 2d10, Medium Melee: 2d10, Heavy Melee: 1d10, Small Ranged: 1d10, Speed: 2d10, Muscle: 2d10

Max Wounds: 1
Weapons: Claws (3d10 Damage)

KHAT HEROES (10)
Defenses: Hardiness 6, Evade 5, Parry 7, Stealth 7, Wits 6, Resolve 7
Key Skills: Grapple: 1d10, Throw: 2d10, Arm Strike: 3d10, Leg Strike: 2d10, Light Melee: 2d10, Medium Melee: 2d10, Heavy Melee: 1d10, Small Ranged: 1d10, Speed: 2d10, Muscle: 3d10

Qi: 1
Max Wounds: 3
Weapons: Claws (4d10 Damage)

Key Techniques (Neigong 2, Qingong 2): Gaze of the Lion, Crawling Tiger, Swift Pounce of the Cheetah, Whirling Dodge (Counter)

LADY QING'ER
See TOURNAMENT OF DAOLU, page 4 (this book is PWYW).

LEBDEK
A city built upon the wasted bones of mighty demons atop a massive Sulphur deposit. Here there are houses and temples to Jiangnu erected from the skulls and hip bones of elephant demons and other such creatures. But also the seat of a great ruler called the Devouring Queen. The Devouring Queen despises Gushan and uses her Devouring Wind to fray the flesh of demons. Followers have sought her protection and she has taught some of her people how destroy demonic creatures.

The people here are skilled craftsmen and extract Sulphur for their Queen. They also fashion her thunderbolt balls, which she fills with divine powder that she makes herself. The city is known for its finely made garments which often employ indigo imported from the City of the Spiral Crown.

The people here despite the Jin Suk. They do not cut out their tongues, and they despise this practice. They worship worthy gods such as Supreme Judge Yu, Jiangnu, Jade Tortoise King and Yao Yun. Lebdeki have tried to erect temples honoring the Devouring Queen but she refuses, lest it make her a demon.

THE DEVOURING QUEEN
The Devouring Queen has cultivated a strange type of Qi energy, a perfect balance of Dragon and Phoenix that creates an incredible well of emptiness in her Dantian. This allows her to create a powerful sucking wind. It is harmful to mortals, but especially dangerous for Demons. Her Kung Fu is unique in the world. No one else has mastered this technique.

Defenses: Hardiness 6, Evade 9, Parry 9, Stealth 6, Wits 8, Resolve 8
Key Skills: Grapple: 3d10, Arm Strike: 5d10, Leg Strike: 3d10, Light Melee: 2d10, Medium Melee: 3d10, Heavy Melee: 6d10, Speed: 4d10, Fly: 5d10, Muscle: 5d10, Endurance: 2d10, Detect: 3d10, Meditation: 5d10, Trade (Alchemy): 5d10, Divination: 4d10, Command: 5d10, Read Scripts (Feishu): 3d10, Read Scripts (Sai): 3d10, Languages (Daoyun): 3d10, Language (Singh): 3d10, Qi Ritual (Supreme Activation): 4d10, Ritual (Demon Binding): 6d10, Religion (Yen-Li): 5d10, Religion (Enlightened Goddess): 3d10, Religion (Hen-Shi): 3d10, Institutions (Bureaucracy of Heaven): 2d10

Qi: 13
Wounds: 27
Weapon: Thunderbolt Balls (5d10 Fire Damage in 10 foot radius), Giant Mace (9d10 Damage)
Expertise: Trade: Alchemy-Divine Fire
Flaws: Empty Dantian

Immortal Powers: Enchanting Whisper (Convince person you are friend on successful persuade roll).
Insight: Natural Understanding (can communicate with animals and plants)

Profound Techniques: Demon Strike, Celestial Mind Technique, Ride the Cloud, Roar of the Dragon

Key Kung Fu Techniques (Neigong 2, Waijia 2): Breath of Fury, Crack of the Meteor Hammer, Devouring Winds, Heart Smashing Palm, Rage of One Thousand Grieving Widows, Roar of the Lion, Stone Shattering Finger, Trapping Wind, Iron Spirit (Counter), Iron Spirit Reversal (Counter), Iron Spirit Resistance (Counter), Blade Pinch (counter)

Powers
Regeneration: Regains 1 wound each hour
Imbue Object
Rejuvenating Rebirth
Immunity: Affected only by Kung Fu and Magical attacks.
Celestial Weapon Bearing

MERCILESS PYTHON
Merciless Python is an enormous constrictor snake with a trail of sharp black hair along his spine. A rampaging snake god, worship by man eating serpent men. Hates the world. Hen-Shi refused his advances so he vowed to kill until she relented. He is particularly fond of devouring monks and anyone associated with Hen-Shi.

Defenses: Hardiness 8, Evade 2, Parry 7, Stealth 6, Wits 8, Resolve 10
Key Skills: Bite: 5d10 (5d10 Open plus constrict), Hair Strike: 2d10, Speed: 5d10, Fly: 3d10, Muscle: 6d10, Detect: 4d10

Max Wounds: 28

Bite and Constrict: Merciless Python’s bite does 5d10 Open Damage. Anyone struck is constricted and begins to suffocate. They can escape by making a successful opposed Muscle Roll or delivering 10 wounds to Merciless Python.

Ripping Hair: The needle-tipped hair along his spine can reach out rapidly and dig into human flesh, to rip open peoples’ bodies. Make a Hair Strike Roll against the Evade of anyone in a 50 foot area around Merciless Python. On a Success they take 4d10 plus 4 Extra Wounds. On a Total Success they take 4d10 plus 8 Extra wounds. Wounds inflicted in this way take 1 week each to heal. Anyone killed by this attack is torn apart by the hair.

MOUNT MEI
This treacherous peak rises high like a tall spire. The spire itself overlooks a much lower hanging valley (which has an elevation of about 400 feet and is dense with jungle). The hanging valley supports the City of the Spiral Crown (See CITY OF THE SPIRAL CROWN for details). The sides of the mountain (even the cliffs of the long hanging valley) are particularly dangerous and difficult to climb. Climbing them is a TN 10 Athletics roll or TN 8 Survival (Mountain) Roll.

Zhen Birds are common here. There is a 2 in 10 chance of encountering 1d10 Zhen Birds every day.

SILKEN TOMB
This is a tomb composed entirely of silk threads, but they are densely packed. Many say it is the tomb of Gushan and that the silk is his hair. In truth, this is the tomb of a great sage. His tomb houses the Bronze Mirror of Gushan (see entry in CHAPTER THREE).

The tomb is guarded by a Silk Moth Demon:

SILK MOTH DEMON
These creatures look like giant Silk Moths with 20-foot wing spans. Their bodies are thick with gray hair and their features radiate hunger. They can spin long encasing webs and drink their foe's blood with a long proboscis tube. Silk Moth Demons are created when spirited silk worms cocoon. To cocoon, they must assume human form, starve themselves and cut out their insides. Their body then acts as a cocoon for their spirit to shape into a Silk Moth.

Defenses: Hardiness 7, Evade 8, Parry 6, Stealth 10, Wits 8, Resolve 6
Key Skills: Devouring: 3d10, Proboscis: 4d10, Encasing Silk: 3d10, Speed: 6d10 (90 feet), Fly: 6d10 (90 feet), Detect: 2d10, Muscle: 4d10

Max Wounds: 20

Powers
Devouring Limbs: The spiky legs of a Silk Moth Demon can shred flesh and pull out hair. On a successful Devouring roll against Parry, the creature peels off sections of skin and hair for 4d10 Open Damage plus 2 Extra Wounds.

Blood Drain: Silk Moths have a long proboscis that has a range of 20 feet. Roll 4d10 against Parry. On a Success the proboscis impales the target and the moth drinks their blood like nectar. Instead of doing damage, the Moth drains 2 Hardiness each round it succeeds on this attack.

Silk Attack: Silk Moths can strike targets with strands of silk. Roll 3d10 against Evade of up to 3 targets. On a Success the silk strikes. It can be used to restrain. On a Total Success the target is encased in Silk (Muscle TN 10 to escape; Hardiness 10, Integrity 7)

Immunities: Silk Moth Demons are immune to all normal attacks, only taking damage from Kung Fu techniques Qi level 1 or greater.

SINGH PA
This forest is populated with large flesh hungry lions. Anyone passing through must make an additional Survival (Wilderness) roll TN 7 or encounter 1d10 Giant Lions.

GIANT LIONS 
Defenses: Hardiness 8, Evade 5, Parry 7, Stealth 8, Wits 5, Resolve 6
Key Skills: Bite: 4d10 (Damage 5d10 Plus 2 Extra Wounds), Claw: 4d10 (Damage 6d10), Speed: 6d10 (120 feet), Muscle: 6d10, Detect: 5d10

Max Wounds: 8

Power
Pounce: Big cats stalk and pounce on their prey. When a Giant Lion gains surprise, it does Open Damage and gets 1 free attack.

SOUTHWIND RIVER
This river is remarkable for its pure flowing waters and the lush land on its banks. Despite its proximity to the Swamp of Endlessness, or perhaps due to this, it is quite fertile. There are hundreds of small villages along the river but four sizeable settlements of note: Mek ,Tong, Sitang and Shongpu. All of the villagers speak Singh and worship Gushan, Yao Yun and Jiangnu. However, they recently began worshipping a deity named Glimmering King. His representative, Swimming Priestess comes to the villages and demands valuable objects to give to Glimmering King. If she is not satisfied, then the waters of the river take the eyes of anyone who enters them.

The Treasure Tower
The treasures presented for Glimmering King have all been fused into a contorted monstrosity on a small island in the river. This strange statue of jade, gold, silver and curious items, towers high into the sky. There are many highly valuable objects in here. Anyone who searches is and gets a 10 on their Detect roll has a 1 in 10 chance of spotting an Object of Power. There are quite a few of note here. Among them are the Claws of Cha and Dagger of the White Phoenix (see Objects of Power chapter of this book).

GLIMMERING KING
Glimmering King is a large spirited crab but he can also take human form. He and Swimming Priestess (a Fish Demon) are in love and amassing wealth to present to Yao Yun so they can be married. Both are escaped Servants of Yao Yun.

Defenses: Hardiness 10 or 5 if underbelly, Evade 6, Parry 7, Stealth 8, Wits 7, Resolve 7
Key Skills: Claws: 3d10 (5d10 Damage plus 2 Extra Wounds), Grapple: 2d10, Arm Strike: 2d10, Throw: 3d10, Kick: 2d10, Light Melee: 2d10, Medium Melee: 3d10, Heavy Melee: 3d10, Speed: 2d10, Swim: 4d10, Muscle: 4d10, Endurance: 3d10, Detect: 3d10, Institutions (Bureaucracy of Heaven): 2d10

Wounds: 30

Powers
Twin Strike of the Claw: Glimmering King can attack two targets each round with his claws. Anyone struck
Sand Blast: He can release an 80 foot cone of sand that shreds anyone caught inside as a free action. Roll 3d10 against the Evade of all affected. On Success they take 1 Automatic Wound, plus suffer a -1d10 to Detect for an hour. On a Total Success the target’s are blinded for three rounds.
Weakness: Stone weapons do 4 Extra wounds.
Crab Swarms: Each round he is protected by swarms of Crabs. These act as collectives, covering a 100 foot area. The swarm rolls 3d10 to Attack and does 3d10 wounds.

SWIMMING PRIESTESS
Swimming Priestess is a spirited fish, and looks like a giant blue and black pike fish, with spines on her back. She can also take the form of a strange woman but her hair is always too long and wet.

Defenses: Hardiness 6, Evade 6, Parry 7, Stealth 7 (10 water), Wits 8, Resolve 8
Key Skills: Bite: 4d10 (3d10 Open plus special), Spines: 3d10, Ram/Squash: 3d10 (6d10 Damage), Grappling: 2d10, Speed: 4d10 (70 feet), Fly: 3d10 (60 feet), Muscle: 6d10, Detect: 2d10, Command: 3d10, Persuade: 3d10, Divination: 3d10, Religions (All): 2d10

Max Wounds: 18

Powers
Swallow: On a Successful Tongue attack she can swallow a person. Every round spent in her stomach does 1 Automatic wound to the person inside. To cut through, one must do enough damage to kill Swimming Priestess. Climbing out is possible on a successful Athletics Roll (TN 10).
Ram/Squash: She can ram or squash people by leaping onto their bodies for 6d10 Damage.
Shape Change: Swimming Preistess can take human form and when she does, appears as a human Yen-Li priestess.
Immunities: She only take Damage from Kung Fu Techniques Qi level 3 or greater that involve energy Attacks. Weapons that are finely crafted can also harm her.
Eye Burning Ink: She can release a terrible black ink into the water. Anyone who is exposed. Roll 4d10 against Hardiness. On a Success they take 3 wounds and if they are submerged, their eyes melt.
Venomous Spines: Swimming Priestess has poisoned spines on her back. She can fling these at targets. Roll 3d10 against all targets in a 50 foot area. Anyone struck is exposed. Roll 3d10 against Hardiness. Each day the affected person loses a point of Resolve and Wits and finds their memories fade. This can only be reversed by administering her Snapping Shrimp Pill Antidote.

SUA PA
This dense forest is hot and has a heavy canopy and thick floor strewn with roots and moss. The trees here are particularly large. The forest is inhabited people with hairy bodies, teeth and claws, called simply The Tiger People. It is also inhabited by the Great Tiger God of Sua Pa. This enormous creature stands about fifteen feet tall and is fifty feet long.

TIGER PEOPLE OF THE SUA PA
These folk looks like humans but with lion or tiger-like heads and bodies covered in yellow fur. They have sharp claws and eat meat (human being one of their preferred dishes). However, they always artfully prepare their meals and respect the lives they must take to sustain themselves by adorning their homes with the bones. Otherwise they look and behave like men. The Tiger People live in small villages and often travel in hunting parties through the forest. They worship The Great Tiger God and bring him regular offerings of metal work and jewelry (the latter they acquire through trade).

Defenses: Hardiness 5, Stealth 6, Evade 3, Parry 5, Wits 2, Resolve 2
Key Skills: Bite: 2d10 (Damage 2d10), Claw: 2d10 (Damage 3d10), Arm Strike: 1d10, Leg Strike: 2d10, Medium Melee: 2d10, Small Ranged: 2d10, Speed: 3d10 (60 feet), Muscle: 3d10, Detect: 3d10, Survival (Wilderness): 3d10, Trade (Metal): 3d10. Talent (Cooking): 2d10

Wounds: 3
Weapons: Bows (2d10 Damage), Nets, Metal Cudgels (4d10 Damage)

THE GREAT TIGER GOD OF SUA PA
The Great Tiger God of Sua Pa (often just called Sua Pa) is a gigantic tiger with a 50- foot long body. He stands 15-feet tall at shoulder height. According to legend he was once the pet of the Enlightened Goddess but was cast out from Heaven when he bit one of her consorts in the leg.

Though very powerful, the Great Tiger God of Sua Pa is not highly intelligent. He can speak and communicate, but has very little interest in scholarly matters. He likes shiny objects and is intensely jealous of Jade Tortoise and South Wind King (because people often bring them better offerings and gifts). As a rule, he kills and devours anyone who does not present an offering to his liking. Flattery works well on Great Tiger God of Sua Pa.

Defenses: Hardiness 9, Evade 3, Parry 5, Stealth 6, Wits 2, Resolve 2
Key Skills: Bite: 4d10 (Damage 7d10), Claw: 6d10 (Damage 5d10), Burn: 4d10, Speed: 3d10 (60 feet), Muscle: 6d10, Detect: 5d10, Institutions (Bureaucracy of Heaven): 1d10

Qi: 20
Max Wounds: 41

Powers
Pounce: When Great Tiger God of Sua Pa has Surprise, he does one Extra Wound on its Damage roll.
Beast Strength (x15): Multiply base lift by 15. Can also exceed damage cap up to 10d10.
Claws: Anyone Struck and damaged by his claws bleeds heavily, suffering 5d10 damage for three rounds.

Blasting Breath: Sua Pa can unleash a great fiery fur ball at will. It tumbles from his mouth and burns any in a path of his choosing. Roll Burn against Evade of anyone within 100 feet. On a Success the target takes 7d10 Fire Damage.

Immunities: Sua Pa cannot be hard by sword, foot or fist (only people with Qi equaling his own can harm him by these means). However he is affected by Dianxue Techniques.

Regeneration: Sua Pa regenerates 1 wound every minute.

SWAMPS OF ENDLESSNESS
This dreary swamp surrounds the palace of Jjiangnu and protects her from the effects of the south. There is a powerful creature in the swamp called the Passionless Goddess. If you feel any stir of passion, love, attachment, she ensnares you in her hair and drags you to die in her mouth. She appears as an enormous head, the size of an island in the swamp.

Anyone traveling in the swamp must make a Meditation Roll TN 7 each day they travel. If anyone in the group fails, they have an encounter with the Passionless Goddess.

THE PASSIONLESS GODDESS
A giant head with long hair that grabs people and pulls them into her mouth. There are actually countless Passionless Goddesses but most people believe there is just one entity in the swamp.

Defenses: Hardiness 8, Evade 2 (8 underwater), Parry 5, Stealth 6 or 10 (under water), Wits 6, Resolve 9
Key Skills: Hair: 4d10 (2d10 damage or Restrain), Bite: 3d10 (5d10 Damage plus 3 Extra wounds), Detect: 3d10, Speed: 2d10, Swim: 5d10, Muscle: 5d10, Talent (Sing): 4d10, Language (Singh): 3d10

Wounds: 30

Powers
Hair: She can attack up to 15 targets with her hair against parry.

Bite: On a Successful attack her bite does 5d10 plus 3 Extra Wounds. On a Total Success the person is takes 5d10 plus 5 Extra wounds.

Wicked Spawn: If anyone eats her flesh after killing her, they will grow a head out of their body that becomes a Passionless Goddess in 1d10 days.

THUNDER PALACE
Thunder Palace is the abode of Queen Jiangnu, the southern thunder goddess. This palace rises from the swamp like a black tower of basalt. The halls of the place course with lightning and this does 6d10 Open Damage to anyone not given permission to enter. The palace is protected by giant guards in black armor with no faces. And they say the Thunder Goddess herself resides inside 

There is a 2 in 10 chance of encountering White-Browed Tiger here (see WAR OF SWARMING BEGGARS). 

WA MEUNG
This is a walled city that is quite large given its seclusion and demography. The inhabitants are all buffalo people. They are led by King Sharp Horn. King Sharp Horn is looking for a suitable wife, preferably a human.

THE BUFFALO PEOPLE
The Buffalo People have large, heavily muscled bodies and the heads of buffalo. They can be kind or cruel depending on how well they are treated. They reciprocate intensely, greeting kindness with hospitality and rudeness with hostility with bloodshed.

Defenses: Hardiness 7, Evade 5, Parry 5, Stealth 7, Wits 5, Resolve 9
Key Skills: Grapple: 3d10, Gore: 2d10 (6d10 Damage), Heavy Melee: 2d10, Speed: 3d10 (60 feet), Bite: 2d10 (2d10 Open), Muscle: 4d10, Survival (Wilderness): 3d10

Wounds: 5
Weapons: Heavy Spears (6d10 Damage)
Abilities
Beast Strength x4
Gore: 6d10 Damage plus 1 Extra Wound

Key Kung Fu Techniques (Waijia 2, Qinggong 2):
Fierce Strike: On a Success you add +1d10 to the Damage roll. On a Total Success you add +4d10 to the Damage roll and can exceed the standard dice cap. Cathartic: Use on 3 targets in range.
Whirling Dodge: Roll Athletics against Attack roll to reduce Damage by -1d10 (-2d10 on Total Success). Cathartic: Roll Athletics against Attack roll to avoid attack.
Powers: Gore, Devour (heal 1 Wound for every inflicted by bite) and Shapechange.

KING SHARP HORN
King Sharp Horn looks like a giant half-human, half buffalo with a long black horn on his head. He is the son of Lord Demon Horn. He is enormous and dresses in the fine robes of the Hai’anese gentry. Despite his beastly appearance he can be very gentle and charming when he needs to be. He always treats his guests fairly. His enemies he has made into a great stew and fed to his people.

Defenses: Hardiness 9, Evade 5, Parry 7, Stealth 7, Wits 8, Resolve 8
Key Skills: Grapple: 2d10, Arm Strike: 2d10, Throw: 3d10, Kick: 2d10, Light Melee: 2d10, Medium Melee: 3d10, Heavy Melee: 4d10, Speed: 1d10, Muscle: 5d10, Endurance: 2d10, Detect: 3d10, Persuade: 4d10, Command: 3d10, Talent (Tea Preparation): 2d10, Survival (Wilderness): 4d10, Talent (Cooking): 5d10, Talent (Poetry): 3d10

Wounds: 30
Expertise: Detect-Taste
Equipment: The Golden Spear (7d10 Open Damage)
Powers
Mighty: All physical attacks by King Sharp Horn roll Open Damage.
Beast Strength (x7)