Thursday, November 15, 2018

DARK WUXIA RPG

My apologies for the long absence. I have been lost in the Jianghu and working on a number of projects. In the next few weeks, I hope to resume posting on the Bedrock Blog page.

Today I have an announcement. I will be designing a Dark Wuxia RPG with Deathblade from Wuxia World. This will be a freelance project for another publisher (I will reveal more details about that in the coming months). That means this isn't a Bedrock Games release, but the game will still draw on some of the mechanical elements of Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate. However, the aim is a much simpler system, focused more on suspense, roleplaying and deadly fast combat.


Deathblade and I are in the initial phases right now. Over the next three months we will build key parts of the core system. I've already done a number of playtests of the basic framework, and they have been quite successful.

This game will be darker than Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate. It will be firmly in the Gu Long style of wuxia, with a focus on building the Jianghu setting over real-world China, but in a way that is timeless. Gu Long books don't often emphasize the historical details the way Jin Yong or Liang Yusheng stories do. The Jianghu setting is central, and the historical details can be anachronistic from time to time. While we are intending to provide brief overview of the history and geography, the goal is a game that encourages people to play with history freely, painting their adventures over the past but in a way that allows people to draw on modern influences when they desire. Again, the setting is meant to feel more timeless.

The mechanics are going to be much more lethal than Ogre Gate. A lot of the core system is there. For example we are largely using the same skill system. But the combat operates a little differently. And the characters are not built around individual Kung Fu techniques. This is a game where characters face each other down and a moment later, one of them is dead or maimed.

For the moment, this is all I can say about the project. I will have much more to say as things develop and as we get closer to the release date. In the meantime, anyone who wishes can contact me about being a play tester.

Monday, October 1, 2018

LONG ROAD TO GALLANTRY AND LOVERS BLADES

We ended Kara Hui month with Long Road to Gallantry, but also did a surprise episode on Sunday to talk about another Kara Hui Film, Lovers Blades. It was fitting because we were both surprised by these two wuxia films in different ways. Check out our thoughts below:



Wednesday, September 26, 2018

BEWARE: FLESH EATING, MIND OPENING MONSTER IN THE LIBRARY

I ran a session of Strange Tales the other night, to test out the Treasures of the Starlit Inkstone adventure. In this adventure the players are Anomaly Inspectors investigating islands in a mountain lake filled with monsters. 

They happened upon an island with a Buddhist monastery, where the monks all seemed strangely thin and had fingers that ended in metallic claws. They discovered the monks we using their fingernails to take peoples flesh as a medium for their sutras. The players went into the monastery and found a tome called The Lotus Flesh Sutra, which claimed enlightenment could be attained by the flesh of the Buddha. 

One of the players had a magic vestment that turned him into a tiger, which he used to create a distraction as the other players attacked the monks. In the end some monks fled, but they succeeded in killing most of them (but not before having section of their own flesh peeled off in the battle). 

In a library they found a desiccated corpse. When one of the players approached the orpse its skin wrapped around his body and began to fuse with it. They were able to fend it off before the transformation was complete. But the player character sensed his mind opening as the flesh bound to his body. They decided to write a warning to all who entered "Beware: Flesh Eating, Mind Opening, Monster in the library. 

They returned to their village, where one of the characters, San, learned that her mother was ill from a snake bite. After an investigation, it came to light that a lady by the name of Xi Yen was to blame. Her mother had the woman branded some time ago for poisoning several women in the village. This was her revenge. She also learned that Xi Yen, was the sister of their boat pilot, Xi Gao. Plying him with wine, San learned where his sister resided and more about her personality. 

Investigating Xi Yen's house they found a tunnel that led to an empty snake pit. But inside the floorboards was a corpse stuffed with a curse that made intruders targets for her snakes. One of the player characters was a snake charmer, so he used his knowledge to track her down (and to give an antidote to San's mother). They came eventually to a snake pit filled with hundreds of cobras. Inside the pit, Xi Yen was seated and waiting. They set fire to the snake pit after confronting Xi Yen (who explained that she did the killings because she was angry that no one in the village would marry her). San tried to reason with her, but in the end they decided she couldn't be redeemed. After the adventure the player characters went on to get nice posts in the imperial capital for all of their efforts. 

This is where the session ended. It was the last in a 10 session campaign. 

By the way, if you haven't checked out our latest release, House of Paper Shadows, take a look. It is a great wuxia horror adventure, perfect for Halloween. You can find the PDF HERE or purchase the print version at stores and online (go HERE if you have trouble finding it). 




Saturday, September 22, 2018

A CHINESE GHOST STORY 2011

We talked about the 2011 remake of A Chinese Ghost at Wuxia Weekend. It is directed by Wilson Yip and stars Liu Yifei, Louis Koo and Kara Hui. It is a new take on both the classic film and the original source material (Nie Xiaoqian by Pu Songling). 

This is Kara Hui Month at Wuxia Weekend so we discuss it with that in mind. It is an entertaining film that isn't as great as the 1987 A Chinese Ghost story. In this version, a love triangle is introduced between the Demon Hunter, the scholar and Nie Xiaoqian/Siu Sin. 



You can also check out our previous discussion of the original A Chinese Ghost Story: 


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

BLOODWRAITH KICKSTARTER AND UPCOMING INTERVIEW WITH JIM PINTO

Tomorrow I will be interviewing Jim Pinto of Post World Games about his new Kickstarter Bloodwraith: A Fantasy World of Survival and Torment. This is an OSR release set in a world where the gods are dead and extinction threatens humanity. 

You can check out the Kickstarter HERE

The interview will be posted at the Bedrock Podcast (HERE).

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

IT IS KARA HUI MONTH AT WUXIA WEEKEND

This month on Wuxia Weekend, we celebrate the films of Kara Hui. Sadly we only have four Fridays, which means only four movies to select from. And the challenge is greater because we've already discussed so many of her greats. My Young Auntie is an outstanding film that we already covered last year, for example. I am going to post links below to all of our other Kara Hui related discussions and reviews. Some of these are just late night reviews I did on my own, so we will probably discuss one or two of those again on the podcast this month. 

Kara Hui is versatile, bringing great acting and great martial arts together in her performances. She is one of the few performers that gets consistent praise from all four co-hosts at Wuxia Weekend (and we are hardly alone as she is widely respected and venerated for her talents). She is also still very relevant, regularly appearing in new films like Mrs. K, Happiness and Daughter. Her action scene with Donnie Yen in Dragon (2011; AKA Wu Xia) is one of the most memorable martial arts moments in my opinion. And she can carry a movie, elevating the quality of any film she appears in. 

Here are some of our earlier reviews and discussions. 


























Tuesday, September 4, 2018

INSIDE THE HOUSE OF PAPER SHADOWS

Here is a new trailer for House of Paper Shadows. It is available HERE in PDF and will be available in October in print. It is a wuxia dungeon with a strong dose of horror. The adventure is set inside the headquarters of a creepy spy network that masquerades as shadow play troupes and steamed bun vendors across the land. Who they truly work for is unclear, who commands them, even more mysterious. Players explore the house at their peril, but the GM can set the difficulty by selecting from different hooks. So it is designed to be lethal while also allowing for safer ventures inside. Inspired by movies like Bloody Parrot, Human Lanterns, and House of Traps, it is a blend of martial arts and the supernatural.