Wushu: Avatar, The Wrath Hunters

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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