Friday, May 19, 2017


In the latest podcast I talk about whole cloth Kung Fu Techniques in Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate. This is just my way of referring to making techniques as needed for NPCs, or even on the fly as the game is unfolding. 

One of the things that can happen in Ogre Gate is you feel tethered to the existing Kung Fu Technique list or you are hampered by the need to design complete sets of Kung Fu Techniques for every unique Martial Hero/Villain NPC you make. This takes time but more importantly, it can sometimes distract focusing on the NPC's entry (because you have to switch back and forth between the stat block and the Kung Fu Technique). To get around this I often make my Kung Fu techniques as little notes in the NPC stat block itself. Part of this is to reduce the switching around, but mainly it is so I can focus on the technique fitting the character, without worrying about making a technique that needs to be able to apply across the board to everyone (all that matters here to me is the Qi rank and style of the NPC, not the Qi rank and other details of the technique entry. 

I talk about this on the podcast but wanted to address it here as well so I could illustrate my point. Here is the podcast discussion: 

Here is an example of what an NPC stat block looks like using this approach (this is a character from an upcoming book): 

This is Dancing Bixie’s mother. She is in her 70s but still very beautiful and has a commanding presence. She took up swordplay when her husband was killed by bandits and trained her son from an early age with the help of her brother (Jade-Faced Uncle) to protect himself and his family. Distrustful and strict, she has a soft spot for the naïve or foolish.

Defenses: Hardiness 4, Evade 4, Parry 8, Stealth 6, Wits 7, Resolve 7
Key Skills: Grapple: 1d10, Throw: 2d10, Arm Strike: 2d10, Leg Strike: 0d10, Light Melee: 2d10, Medium Melee: 3d10 or 2d10 with Ox Tail Dao, Heavy Melee: 1d10, Small Ranged: 3d10, Speed: 2d10, Muscle: 1d10, Detect: 2d10

Qi: 4
Max Wounds: 9
Weapons: Ox Tail Dao (3d10 Damage, -1d10 Accuracy)

Key Kung Fu Techniques (Waijia 2, Qinggong 1, Neigong 1): Blasting Blade, Flight of the Hawk, Slashing Blade, Twirling Sabre, Whirling Dodge (Counter), Graceful Retreat (Counter)

Twirling Sabre: You leap in a tornado-like spin, striking several foes with force that is nearly impossible to stop. Make a Melee Attack roll against Parry of up to 4 Targets. On a Success you do Normal Damage plus 1 Extra Wound. Attempts to block or resist with Neigong are made at -2d10. Cathartic: Works as above except you do 2 Additional Wounds and if the Target tries to counter but fails they instead take 4 Additional Wounds.

Here is another Ox Tail Dao using character, taken from an previous session in my campaign: 

Guan Luli is Gambling Butcher's personal bodyguard. She doesn't say much but is intensely loyal and known for her Leg Maiming Strike. Though she always follows the rules set forward by Gambling Butcher, she recently let a man go because she pitied him. He returned and killed one of her fellow disciples. Gambling Butcher never punished her for this, and she is determined never to allow such a thing to occur again. 

Defenses: Hardiness 7, Evade 7, Parry 7, Stealth 6, Wits 6, Resolve 10

Key Skills: Grapple: 2d10, Throw: 2d10, Arm Strike: 2d10, Leg Strike: 2d10, Light Melee: 2d10, Medium Melee: 3d10, Heavy Melee: 2d10, Small Ranged: 2d10, Speed: 3d10, Muscle: 2d10, Meditation: 2d10, Command: 2d10, Athletics 2d10, Detect: 3d10, Read Script (Feishu): 3d10, Language (Daoyun): 3d10, Survival (Wilderness): 2d10, Survival (Mountain): 1d10, Survival (Desert): 2d10

Qi: 5
Max Wounds: 11
Weapon: Ox Tail Dao (4d10 Damage, -1d10 Accuracy Penalty)
Expertise: Medium Melee-Ox Tail Dao

Key Techniques (Waijia 2, Qinggong 2): Butchering Sword Strike, Leg Maiming Strike, Spearing Blade, Whirling Blade,  Horizontal Sidestep (Counter), Whirling Dodge (Counter)

Leg Maiming Strike: You drop into a spin on the ground, striking at the legs of all within your reach. Make a -1d10 Melee Attack against Parry of up to 6 targets. On Success you do Normal Damage. On  a Total Success you break their legs. Cathartic: On Success does 3 Extra Wounds. On a Total Success you cut off one leg from each target (if you get two 10's, you take both legs from each target). 

Butchering Sword Strike: You gracefully twirl your blade release carving slices at your foe from countless angles. Make a Medium Melee attack against the Parry of one Target. This must be used cathartically. On a Success you do Normal Damage plus 1 Extra Wounds. On a Total Success you do Normal Damage plus 2 Extra Wounds and you roll on the Critical Injury table on page 144 of the WHOG Rulebook. 

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