I started a campaign set in the city of Daolu. It is an every-other-week campaign with a competitive bent and evil characters (or at least characters who are bandits, assassins and thieves). I structured the XP a bit differently to reflect the competition and darker focus. All the players in this campaign understand that killing another PC is entirely fine. I may get into that in future blog posts but here I am just going to break down the events of the last two sessions. Because there is a two-week gap, my memory on the first session may be hazy.
There are four player characters in this campaign:
Pan Fu died early on and was replaced by Xaio Li.
The party assembled in the slums just outside Daolu at Pan Fu's house. Pan Fu wanted to make some extra money and brought them together to thieve in the city.
They spoke about the possibilities and decided that they probably needed to deal with the local gangs and make sure they weren't stepping on anyone's toes. They learned about a group of bandits called the Red Capes, who were needling into the Divine Viper Territory. The Divine Vipers controlled the Pleasure Quarter and slums so they went to the Tea Palace Brothel and asked for an audience with their leader, Bamboo Viper.
He spoke with them and agreed to an arrangement where they paid 25% of what they made. He said he would even front them some money if they eliminated the Red Capes.
They investigated and split into two groups. Li Xun and Feng Yao went to ride on a timber ship destined for a lumber yard under Divine Viper control (they felt this was a likely target of the Red Capes). Limb Taker and Pan Fu recruited five beggars (Pu Wang, Chao, Sun, Wan and Qin), paying them 20 spades a day to help them get around the city and acquire information.
They asked Pu Wang to help them hire some muscle and he put them in touch with Long Armed Liu (a martial hero who wielded two chain whips) and the Twin Beauties (martial hero twins conjoined at the spine). Their rates were high, but they agreed to go with the party and handle the Red Capes at their cave.
They went to the cave and found it empty (getting the location was a bit of a chore as well). They went inside and stole all the spades, furniture and jewelry they could. They came out with about 6,000 spades worth of goods.
On the timber ship Feng Yao and Li Xun waited on deck. The ship was stopped by a group of women wearing Red Capes. They boarded, paid the captain and gave Li Xun and Feng Yao 2,000 spades to keep quiet. Then they took all the timber. Li Xun and Feng Yao decided to go along with things and keep the money.
When the party met up later they took their wealth to Bamboo Viper and tried to reduce their payment to him by accounting for expenses. He explained that expenses were not a consideration and said they owed him, what they owed him, regardless of how many servants they hired.
In the end they paid and he suggested they sell some of the furniture at the morning market. The party left and instead of going to the morning market they headed to the Pearl Dragon, a restaurant and gambling hall under the control of the rival gang The Killing Bixies. There they went to the backroom where illegal goods were sold and made more money than they would have otherwise at the morning market.
They spoke with the Killing Bixie's leader, a woman with one-eye and rough features named Sun Leng. She took a liking to Limb Taker and he offered to work as a spy for her, selling information about the Divine Viper Gang.
When they left, they decided to make a name for themselves in the city, so that they would have more weight when extorting local businesses. They asked Pu Wang about notable members of the Green Tiger Gang who might be tough but beatable. He suggested Silver Immortal, a spearman with metallic robes who sang during matches at the Lei Tai fighting platform. They sent Pu Wang to go find him, and he came back saying Silver Immortal was at the Silk Peony Book Shop.
They went there and cornered him. They attacked him viciously, with Feng Yao strumming a harmonizing strike on his Pipa sending a wave of crippling energy through Silver Immortal's meridians. Silver Immortal leaned forward and launched the spear on his back at them. Pan Fu came in and attacked with tremendous kicking force. He drove Silver Immortal into a book pile and Silver Immortal responded with a one-handed spear thrust that went through Pan Fu's neck, killing him instantly.
The party dropped Silver Immortal soon after. Limb Taker ripped off his arm and made sure he was dead. He then looked at the book shop proprietor and said "Make sure everyone knows this was the work of Limb Taker.....unless the constables ask, then you tell them it was someone else; got it?"
The proprietor nodded. Limb Taker started to extort him as well but opted not to when he learned that the book shop was already being extorted by two rival gangs (The Zhen Bird Society and the Killing Bixies).
The party returned to Pan Fu's residence after buying him outside the city. Pu Wang learned that Bamboo Viper wanted to speak with Limb Taker, and the rumor was he intended to hack off one of his hands and give it to the Green Tigers to avoid a war.
Limb Taker snuck around the slums, and they made a plan to go ally with the Killing Bixies to get away from Bamboo Viper. On the way they were stopped by one of Bamboo Viper's Butterfly Men. The man told them to come with him. When they refused he drew two butterfly swords and attacked. He charged forward slicing outward at Limb Taker's belly but was knocked to the ground. Limb Taker snapped his neck and they ran to the Pearl Dragon.
There they got an audience with Sun Leng. She agreed to take them in, but said she wanted special attention each night from Limb Taker. In exchange she would help train them to be assassins and possibly teach them other skills as well. She would also give them freedom to extort local businesses in her area.
They agreed and were given quarters with Xiao Li, a member of the gang. In the morning they were awakened to a ringing gong. A man stood there, and said he was to teach them broad strokes with the dagger. He trained them in the courtyard for a while, then they left to make money on their own.
They went to a restaurant called the Silk Thread Wine Shop. They ordered Blue Prawn and Wine, then demanded 1,000 spades a month from the owner. He said it was too much, but they looked at his books and decided otherwise. He cobbled together the money and paid them, then they went to go register at the fighting platform.
At the platform Xiao Li (who was already registered) had two fights before getting knocked out. She made 200 spades or so. Limb Taker found a broker, and the broker convinced him to fall in his first match for 1,000 spades.
They returned to the Pearl Dragon when some Green Tiger men came snooping around. There Sun Leng told them she had a mission for them. She wanted them to go to the Temple of Supreme Judge Yu. She had heard rumors that Bamboo Viper's personal physician was being held there against his will by the Zhen Bird Society. She figured they could rescue him, maybe get into the good graces of Bamboo Viper to smooth things over with Limb Taker and possibly learn some of his weaknesses as well.
Because the Killing Bixies specialize in forged documents, the part concocted a scheme where they dressed as constables and had a forged order from the City Lord saying they were to arrest the Physician (Wei Lingsu).
They went to the temple and presented the order dressed as constables, and found they were let inside. There they saw the temple had an illegal silk manufacturing facility (and the priests promised to send the Sheriff a bonus with his usual cut). The priests seemed disappointed that the constables wanted to arrest him but they bought the story and were more than happy to accommodate, only asking that he could be sent back to them at a later point.
This is where the session ended.