Archive for August, 2012

Wushu: Avatar, The Wrath Hunters

Posted in Avatar The Last Airbender: Wrath Hunters, Roleplaying Games, RPG, Wushu with tags , , on August 29, 2012 by Chall

My Thursday group enjoys an eclectic selection of RPGs. So far we’ve played Simple Superheroes and Everyone Is John. I mentioned wanting to run some Wushu and they agreed to try it.

Wushu is a RPG by Daniel Bayn, it’s wonderful in its simplicity and heavy on the action. I’m not going into a review here, you can review it yourself, Mr. Bayn has kindly provided the game for free on his website (see the link above).

I am however going to share the premise for my specific Wushu game and provide character creation rules for my buddies. If I have time I’ll add the GM notes on the adventure.

The Premise

This Wushu is based off Nicktoons’ Avatar, used without permission but I’m not selling this so it should be okay.

The Fire Nation’s shadow falls across the land. It’s been two generations since their declaration of conquest, since Fire Lord Sozin harnessed supreme power and wiped out the Air Nation. 

Zu was a mere child when the Air Temples were eradicated, how he survived is a mystery. What is known is Zu grew to be a powerful Air Bender, rumored to be the last of his kind. Driven mad with grief and rage he has waged a personal vendetta against the Fire Nation. He and his gang of Benders, known as ‘the Avatar’ have raised several Fire Nation colonies, each attack more vicious than the last, leaving hundreds dead and wounded.

Thanks to Zu’s cunning and the Earth Nation War Fire Lord Sozin’s best men have been unable to stop to the Avatar’s rampage.

You are among a select group of Benders with ties to the White Lotus Society. Skilled and wise you are best able to stop the false Avatar. While Sozin has committed horrendous crimes this does not excuse Zu’s. You are to track him down and prevent him from stirring further torment and destruction.

Character Guidelines

As per the premise your character should have some connection to the White Lotus Society. You could be a member, an acolyte, a pawn; it’s important you’re linked in.

I’m assuming some of you want to be Benders. If I get no Benders in this Avatar game I will cry. As for what kind of bending you can do all the basics are open even Air Bending. Yes I know Ang’s supposed to be the last one but I’m making an assumption that Sozin wasn’t able to kill them all in one strike. If your character’s an Air Bender you’re on the run and aren’t likely to survive the next 80 years, if you have Air bending kids they’ll likely die or be in hiding it until Ang saves the world.

Blood and Metal bending are allowed the but with the proviso your character is the type who’d keep such powerful techniques secret. Of course this means advanced Fire Bending (lightning, rocket fists and so forth) are also fair game.

If you don’t want to be a Bender that’s fine but you should have a skill that would come in handy hunting down cold blooded killers with godlike powers. The White Lotus Society refuses to send frail botanists, ditsy performers or helpless children to their deaths!

You cannot be the Avatar, sorry.

That being said it’s perfectly okay to have characters who are in some way linked to the main characters in the series. Irho’s you’re nephew? Cool! Ang was your playmate? Wonderful. You’re related to Bumi? Great! Heck be Master Pakku if you want. If you go this route all I ask is you craft your character to fit within the series. No doing things that will drastically alter Season One.

Also I’d love your characters to have a connection to Zu and his gang. He has three Bending lieutenants (you guessed it Earth, Fire and Water) who are as strong has he is. Nothing’s set in stone yet so I can easily write the big bads around what you come up with.

Character Traits

Again, for the rules go here, i’m serious Wushu is awesome.

Finished reading? Great! You have 6 Build Up Points for your Traits. This means you could have a set up like, 5, 4, 3, 1 or 4, 4, 4, 1 or 3, 3 ,3, 3, 1 and so on. In order to help choose here’s a list of common Traits and what they cover:

Bending Traits

Bending grants you control over a particular element which you can use for all sorts of handy tasks from tilling, to irrigation, to forging, to sailing. In Avatar the Last Air Bender it’s mostly used to kick ass.

All Bending techniques have the benefit of keeping their practitioners fit therefore Bending Traits can also be used for rolls involving agility, endurance and speed.

You can only have one bending Trait.

Here’s the details:

  • Water: You can shape and move water. You can freeze water and even exhale ice breath. On a Full Moon describe your Water Bending  as truly Epic, on new moons and Lunar eclipses you can’t bend at all. Most Water Benders need a source of water to use their techniques, you however are so skilled that you can use your very sweat as a weapon. If you can Blood Bend either to manipulate your foes or do other horrible things to them  be sure to include this secret tecnique in your background, one does not learn this casually.
  • Earth: You can shape and move earth. You can create a wave of earth or stomp the ground to knock a bolder into the air  and hurl it around. You can use Earth Bending to make permanent stony constructs. If you’re really good you can use a kind of earth sonar to detect people with your bare feet or even bend metal. Granted, such advanced techniques should be a big part of your background.
  • Fire: You can shape and move fire. A neat trick all Fire Benders have is to summon fire with their very chi, becoming their own personal flame thrower. Advanced techniques include throwing lightning, deflecting lightning and flying with ‘flame fists’ (no idea how this works).
  • Air: You can shape and move air. Since Air’s ubiquitous you’re never without bending material unless you’re underwater or in a sealed cave. With this Bending you can knock folks flying with a gale, increase your running speed with a wind blast and even fly with the aid of a Kite staff. I assume a lot of Ang’s techniques are advanced so I’m not sure which tricks are trickier than others.  Of course Air Bending PCs should include in their background why they’re still alive.

Warrior Traits

If you’re not a Bender I’d recommend taking one of these otherwise you’ll be doomed when you face the Avatar gang. Even if you are a bender these might be handy, Bending Traits allow you to shape the Elements but that’s it. Warrior Traits have survival, cultural and social skills that will be most useful on this hunt.

  • <Nation> Solider: You’re a solider from one of the Four Nations perhaps even a high ranking one. This gives you expertise with melee and ranged weapons. You also have basic survival skills. Of course this means you also come equipped with appropriate weapons and armor for your people. Finally you’re well versed in your nation’s culture and have clout with other soldiers and citizens of your nation. I can’t picture Air Nation Soldiers though, the Air Nation doesn’t seem the type to keep any sort of military.
  • <Nation> Scout: Similar to the soldier but missing the clout. Your job is to remain unseen not to give orders. On the other hand you’re better at survival and you have stealth skills. You’re usually armed with light armor and weapons.
  • Mercenary: You’re good with melee and ranged weapons, you’re also good with all sorts of armor. You don’t have the clout of the solider nor the stealth of the scout but you’re more world wise. You’re know all the best spots to do business or relax in the major cities of the world. You also have an eclectic mix of noble and shady connections.

Social Traits

Tracking the Avatar Gang will involve more than camping and violence. They’ve hurt and aided many people, you’ll need to talk to these people to follow the trail. Also, if you have some sort of connection with these rogues knowing how to reach them with words may be your only hope of turning them off their destructive path.

  • <Nation> Noble: You’re one of the higher classes. You’re rich, influential and may even have command over a number of soldiers. Use this trait to inspire your nation to your cause, act appropriately in higher society and use your wealth and connections to call in powerful favors. Be careful though, unless your in disguise you’ll draw undo attention to yourself.
  • Thief: You’re adept at taking what’s not yours. You’re sneaky, conniving and adept at getting into places you shouldn’t. You also have strong underworld ties and know how to find black markets all over the world.
  • Spy: Same as thief but you don’t necessarily have the street cred. However, you do have ties to some very powerful noble or military types. Chances are you’re also suave.

 Miscellaneous Traits

These are some traits that appear in Avatar but I didn’t cover above.

  • Friend of Beasts: You like and are good with Animals. You best animal friend is a specific rare beast such as an Air Bison or a Shirshu (the huge mole beast that can track with scent). You also have a few smaller beasts that can help in a pinch.  Simply use this Trait when you have them do something for you.
  • Swordsmaster: You’re a wandering swordsmaster whose not attached to a particular army. While you lack the clout of a Solider you’re respected world wide for your skill. Be warned that this Trait can attract throngs of wanna be students and rivals.
  • Den Mother: You have warm heart and kind soul. Your immediate group looks to you for leadership and relies on you for advice and to smooth tensions. You can be incredibly intimidating when the ones you love are in danger.  
  • Brilliant Goof: You’re clever as a fox but tend to outsmart yourself with your outrageous schemes. You’re quick wit makes you the life of your party. While you’re schemes get you into trouble and your luck is constantly bad you always somehow pull through. The world loves a fool.

Please note these are not the only Traits availible. Feel free to modify them to taste or make up something new, I’ll accept most Traits as long as they fit in with the Avatar universe and the game’s time frame. Pirate, Merchant and Cabbage Enthusist are fine, Space Man, Kryptionan Warlord and Robin Williams Impersonator are not.

So, those who are playing please make your characters and we’ll have fun. 🙂

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The Guardians: Yi The Archer

Posted in Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, Roleplaying Games, RPG, The Guardians with tags , , on August 16, 2012 by Chall

With this character I’m borrowing from Chinese mythology again. She’s also an Archer who has a terrible scar. I hope I’ve mixed these elements into something interesting.

Originally I was going to give Yi only one powerset but then I thought of the motorcycle; this in turn lead to who Yi saved and in turn developed into my fourth Guardian.

Affiliations

Solo: D6  Buddy: D8   Team: D10

Distinctions

  • Legacy of the Bow
  • Fire Marked
  • Stoic Guardian

Power Sets

Celestial Bow

Bow Attack: D12, Enhanced Reflexes: D8, Enhanced Vision: D12

SFX: 

  • Unleashed: Add a D12 to your Bow Attack but if you fail add a D12 to the Doom Pool.
  • Stun Shot: Yi can choose that her arrow will not kill her foe.

Limits:

  • It’s Too Much: Once per adventure the GM may rule your Enhanced Vision is too much to process. You lose your turn but gain 1 PP.
  • Spirit of Yi: Once per adventure the Spirit of Yi may request a favor. Gain 1 PP if you drop everything and follow through
  • Bow Can Vanish: Powerful counter spells or wards may banish the bow. Gain 1 PP if this happens.

Thunder Horse: Portable Motorcycle

Armored Suit (Durability): D8, Speed: D10

SFX:

  • Wall Ride/Mega Jump: Spend 1 PP to switch Speed to Super Jump or Wall Racing.
  • Shot on the Run: Add a D6 to both your Bow Attack and Movement Rolls, set up the effect for one of them
  • Quick Change: For 1 PP you can be in your costume and on your motorbike instantly.

Limits:

  • Gear: The Motorcycle, the armor and the bracelet that summons them be taken away. If this happens gain 1PP.
  • Scarred: Gain 1 PP every time your scar stymies a social interaction.

Specialties

Acrobatic: D8, Combat: 8D,  Crime: D8, Psych: D8, Tech: D8, Vehicle: D10

Benchmarks

The Masks We Wear

  • 1 XP: For every person or group who praises you for heroics.
  • 3 XP: Come to terms with your legacy or yourself in a significant way.
  • 10 XP: Accept the scar as part of you and never wear a mask again or you remove the scar somehow or you accept the government hype and live fully as your hero ID.

The Secret of Xian

  • 1 Xp: For every neighborhood in which you show up as Yi the Archer.
  • 3 Xp: Find a significant clue to what caused this disaster.
  • 10 XP: Find the full truth of what happened to the city.

History

According to legend Dijun the God of the Eastern Heavens had ten sons. Each shone with a holy light  that gave warmth to the World. Seeing this the wise god ordered his children to take turns crossing the sky, thus day and night were born.

As time went on Dijun’s children grew prideful and saw no reason to obey the laws of Heaven, they ignored their father and flew across the sky all together. Their terrible heat caused droughts and set near apocalyptic fires. The Emperor prayed for deliverance and Dijun sent Yi the God of Archery to scare his sons into obedience.

When Yi witnessed the Earth’s suffering he resorted to the sternest measures; He shot 9 suns, his arrows killing them instantly. Yi would have killed last one but Dijun intervened, he ordered Yi never to touch his last child and also banished him from Heaven. Since then the Sun has always risen and set on time for fear of Yi.

Yi and his descendants have guarded China ever since. Every generation or so  the spirit of Yi picks one of his sons to take up the Celestial Bow and become a hero. His judgement has never failed the Archers have trounced bandits, sunk pirates and slain monsters for thousands of years.

The last Archer was Xia Zhi’s Great, Great Grandfather. Zhi grew up in Jianxi but good grades, the right connections and a passion for city life brought her to Shanghai.  There she enrolled in police studies and became an officer for the Ministry of Public Security.

Shanghai was good, Zhi loved her job, got engaged and her family eventually accepted her new life.

Everything changed two years ago during a battle between Iron Man and the Mandarin.

Zhi was off duty when a stray ring blast destroyed a line of cars before her. She noticed a woman trapped in a  burning wreckage. Without thinking Zhi grabbed the crowbar off her motorbike and raced in to save her. Despite a blast of flame burning her severely she managed to wrench the door open and pull the woman out.

When Zhi came to she was a national hero, though the press only conducted interviews while her face was bandaged, her heroics resulted in a permanent, ugly scar.

From there her life went downhill. Her boyfriend left her, work put her on permanent disability and her family were proud but refused to see her.

One night she sat on the edge of her balcony, staring at the city, mourning her fate. Suddenly an old man squeezed her shoulder but his presence didn’t startle Zhi,  it was as if she had always known him.  After Zhi poured out her heart out to him the old man asked if she would do it again, save a life despite the cost. Though she was bitter Zhi admitted that yes she would. The old man smiled proudly and gave her the Celestial Bow. Zhi suddenly woke up to the fact she was the new Archer.

Her future once again has great purpose but also great responsibility.

Personality and Appearance

Becoming the Archer, being fast tracked into the Guardians, fighting along side of the likes of Wong Fie Hung and Sun Wukong; Zhi feels a little out of her league. Regardless she’ll give her all for her team.

In public Yi’s quiet, some say stoic; really she’s crowd shy. Yet with friend’s Zhi’s outgoing and adventurous, this often translates into bravery on the battlefield.

On the job Yi wears formfitting red motorcycle armor bedecked with the five stars. Given her athletic figure she wears it very well. Her helmet has a phoenix motif and allows her long black hair to fall to the small of her back.

Zhi’s helmet hides the burn scar that covers half her face. While her team has seen it she’s never shown her true visage in public, according to the Media she’s a beautiful, mysterious hero.

Zhi pretends the scar doesn’t bother her, even being cheerful and upbeat on the subject, in reality her greatest fear is rejection and ridicule.

Abilities and Resources

The Celestial Bow is one of the most powerful weapons in the cosmos, able to take out Skrull battleships. With a mental command Yi can call it; a shimmering weapon of silver radiance. While wielding the bow Yi gains enhanced reflexes and also vision rivaling the Hubble telescope.

The spirit of Yi taught Zhi stunning archery and the skills of a hero but she still has much to learn.

Occasionally Yi’s misjudged the power of bow or become befuddled with the thousand things that fill her vision.

The woman Yi saved was none other than fellow Guardian Lie Yin the Summoner; a genius technologist and head researcher for the Ministry of Science and Technology. As a thank you she gifted Zhi with the Thunder Horse Bracelet. It summons a sleek red motorcycle, the Thunder Horse. It can clock over 500km and with a rider as skilled as Yi can even race up  a 90 degree angle. The bracelet also encases her in motorcycle armor able to withstand riding at 500k and is also bullet proof.

Party Integration

Wong Fei Hung: China’s true hero. You look up to him and are even a little intimidated.

Sun Wukong: He’s scary powerful but has a good heart. He can make you laugh even in the darkest times. You respect him greatly.

Summoner: The woman whose life you saved. She’s a mad government scientist, who knew? She seems to look up to you so you try to steer her in the right direction.

Thunder: He’s a good man. You respect him greatly. It also helps that, mutant or not, he’s the most normal of you lot.