For those interested in more Kung Fu Techniques for Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate, Ryan Turner has a great blog up with new techniques all organized around individual weapons (something that the game really could use). So if you have a character who uses daggers and find there aren't enough dagger focused Kung Fu techniques in the rulebook, the Emerald Expansion may have what you are looking for. Check it out HERE.
Saturday, March 18, 2023
THE EMERALD EXPANSION
Saturday, March 11, 2023
THE KUSHEN BASIN
This is material from a book I started work on but never finished for Ogre Gate called Batuud. It covers the Kushen Basin region. Unfortunately I can't find my map, if I can I will add it to the entry. For now this is just a rough gazetteer in very notebook sketch form (these are extremely incomplete entries but including it here in case anyone finds it useful).
Note that some of these also seem to be campaign developments and notes. I don't really include meta plot in my rulebooks but because I am unsure of the exact reason for some of these elements being present here, I am leaving them. So just understand occasional entries may require some adjustment to core book details. Some sections also include text from powers that were pasted in from the sourcebook (like the Yan who have Sertorius powers). Normally this would be revised.
BATUUD: HEROIC TRIBESEMEN OF THE KUSHEN BASIN AND YANGU PLAINS
CHAPTER ONE: THE KUSHEN BASIN AND ITS PEOPLE
For the people of Qi Xien (from the Zhan Dao Empire to the Banyan), the Kushen Basin is a wild frontier filled with unexpected horrors and strange, perhaps inhuman, peoples. There is some truth to this. A number of unusual creatures reside here, and many of them are just as sentient and cunning as the people of Zhan Dao. However many of the tribes and clans are just normal humans. It can be confusing for foreigners because tribal names are descriptive and suggest things like people with many eyes or animal-like features. In some instances this is indeed the case. The Three-Eyed Claw people do in fact have three eyes and long sharp claws. But the Bear People are just regular humans and the Blood Drinkers are just regular humans.
Two major languages: Kushen and Yanli, but khubsi also spoken in some areas. Both groups use a script called Yanzi, but literacy is not widespread.
The base unit of most groups in the Kushen Basin and Yangu Plains regions is the clan. Multiple clans unite to form tribes (for example the Kailin Tribe). Occassionally these come together to establish larger federations.
Led by Princess Samga and Prince Gol. Princess Samga is Gol’s general. They are the son and daughter of Hooshal who established the Shoro and tried to combine sedentary and nomadic ways.
Led by King Galsuren, the Helka worship Vaagu and seek to unite the other Kailin tribes against the Shoro.
The Kushen are a nation of tribes from the northern basin who follow Gal Ganbataar Kaghan.
The leader of the Kushen is Gal Ganbataar.
The Kushen have roughly 225,000 warriors. Their armies are divided into groupings of ten with strong emphasis on cavalry. These can be subdivided into groups of 10, 100, 1000 and 10,000 but the most basic units are 1,000 strong, led by a Commander of One-Thousand (Mingghan). The largest units are 10,000 strong and these are led by Commanders of Ten-Thousand (Tumen), who are usually selected for their loyalty (often clan chiefs, sworn brothers of Ganbataar or his personal servants). Units of 100 are led by a Zuun and units of 10 are led by an Arban. Three of Ganbataar’s Commanders of Ten-Thousand are his wives. They are the only family he has allowed into positions of such authority, because they have earned his trust.
The Keshig are a special unit of 10,000 that form the Gal Ganbataar’s personal bodyguards and his inner circle of warriors. They are divided into ten units of 1,000 each including: Day Guards, Night Guards, Batuud, and quiver bearers.
Most of the Kushen Tribes follow a similar culture and way of life. The exception are the Arzlan, who worship the Majestic Lion and have proven the most stubborn ally for Ganbataar to manage.
Kushen Tribes and Clans: Batu (Ganbataar), Loma, Clans of the Hawk, Wolf Clans, The People of Jegei, The Girei, The Arzlan
Tall, horse-riders, speak Yanli and basically serve as a buffer for the empire. However they’ve slowly adopted more and more Daolin customs and with that has come ambition to rule Zhan Dao.
There is a mixture of many beliefs in the Kushen Basin. For the most part they are complimentary, with tribes and individuals given one particular god, belief or practice primacy but still being open to them all. So a person may believe in Loma as the most important god, but also venerate ancestors and worship Vaagu.
The one exception to this is the Majestic Lion Faith (called the Majestic Lion Cult in Eastern Qi Xien). They tend to only acknowledge the majestic lion. It isn’t against their faith to acknowledge other gods, they are just very focused on their commitment to honoring grudges and reaching paradise (so a member of Majestic Lion might beseech Vaagu when it suits this aim, but is unlikely to pay much attention to the deity otherwise).
Like the Daolun, many of the tribes of the Kushen Basis venerate their ancestors.
Magic and Spirits
Like Yen-Li practitioners in the east, the people of the Kushen Basin often believe that everything has a spirit, including plant-life and inanimate objects. Much of the magic practiced in the Kushen Basin stems from these beliefs.
This is the sun god worshipped by some northern tribes.
The Horse God of the long forgotten Harqa people. Still worshipped by the occasional shaman or tribe, according to some legends he created the world after a night of drunken revelry with the sun.
This is an earth goddess, sometimes confused with The Earthly Queen or even Hen-Shi. In reality she is a separate entity, worshipped by some Yan and Kushen. They call her the Awakened Mother and devotion to her emerged quite recently. Only a few chieftains acknowledge her, but this is spreading as these groups grow in power. They say the rivers are her flowing blood and the blossoms are her eyes. But she is also believed to be a great worm with the face of a human woman that burrows beneath the plains. Her children are the Red Worms that prey on the people of the basin. Some say she is the wife of the twin-headed thunder god, Vaagu, others say she is his mother. A few say she has come to reclaim Vaagu. Devotees of Loma believe she can impart her powers to exotic artifacts and goods, for example they claim she can summon floods with a sea shell. One striking characteristic of tribes that worship Loma (particularly those that do so exclusively) is they tend to confer greater power and prestige to their women. In many cases male chieftains have proclaimed their daughters, rather than sons, their heirs.
The Majestic Lion
The Majestic Lion is widespared here. It is different from its counter part in the Banyan. Here there is a formal hierarchy of priests and monks, and they believe in something called the Blood Oath, the promise made by the Majestic Lion, when he appeared in Usada and vowed to bring anyone to paradise if they sealed their devotion to him by fulfilling their grudges. However there are two sects: The Southern Sect, based in Qardiya and the Northern Sect, based in El-Ghizan. The Southern Sect believes this to be the literal spilling of blood. The Northern Sect believes it merely means resolving and settling grudges, to die with a clear slate between one’s enemies and friends.
This is the twin-headed god of Thunder. He is believed to be a giant who lives in the sky. He has two faces and when one sleeps, the other is awake. His left face is wicked and cruel, blowing terrible storms across the land, his right face is serene and kind, blowing gentle breezes.
In the south, there is a change taking place. The Wind God Gushan has a growing following, and they believe he will wipe away all other gods. The winds of Gushan are sacred and create their own reality changing everything in their path. The followers of Gushan also venerate “Little Winds”, which are saintly figures. Most commonly the focus of their faith is on arrangements of statues that speak when the winds of Gushan blow. These are normally several large Gushan figures with thousands of Little Winds clustered around his bodies. When the winds speak, they issue commandments, prophecies and teachings. The core of the faith is contained in a great poem, that recounts how Gushan grew from a single strand of hair to become a great god of his own making. His personality seems chaotic in the poem but virtuous. He does not adhere to tradition. He abides by practical moral principles and rejects anything that hinders life. He claims to have created all life with a purpose, and each individual must become the fullest possible expression of that purpose (whether it is through art, war, etc).
Belief in Hedra is not uncommon in the Kushen Basin, particularly in settled areas and among merchants. There are three sects but the most common one in this region is the Sect of Wisdom (see CHAPTER SEVEN of the WANDERING HEROES OF OGRE GATE RULEBOOK for more information).
THE BEAR PEOPLE
The Bear People dress in the furs of bears and this has led to rumors that they are some sort of bear-human hybrid. In truth they are normal men but they do have one exceptional ability. They can summon and control bears with song. Many who have fought the Bear people were surprised to find a line of bears charging at their flanks.
There are two tribes: The Urek and the Burgai. There is little discernable difference between them to outsiders but the Burgai are the only who use Bears in battle (The Urek consider this a taboo).
The Bear People worship Loma and the Sun (whom they call Hap).
Anyone born into the Bear Tribes gains the ability to summon or control bears by use of the Talent (Musical Instrument) Skill. This enables them to summon 1d10 Bears for 3 hours and control the bears. All such rolls are made against the Resolve of the Bears in question.
Ruler: Prince Gol
General: Princess Samga
People: 12,000 (8,000 potential soldiers)
Products: Sorghum, Sunflower, Salt, Melons and goats. They control the allied tribes in the region (there are 14 tribes) and a number of key cities along the trade route between Naqan and Qi Xien.
Exotic Wares: There are many exotic wares from Naqan, including rugs, lamps, oils and opium. There is also a blue stone sold in the markets that is purported to improve health if worn (5,000 Spades per stone).
The House of Hedra: A trade house run by Tajemi Muqtabir from Naqan.
In three weeks the Kushen will crush them with an army of 50,000.
FAI-RAZU: THE TURQUOISE CITY
Fai-Razu is a glorious city in the cliffs of the Western Horn. It is highly regarded among the Kushen tribes and viewed as something of a myth by the Daolin. Those who have been there claim the streets and buildings are made from Turquoise and the city was so wealthy they cut long roads and steps into the Western Horn mountain so merchants could easily pass through to and from Naqan.
But the wealth came with a great price. The founder of Fai-Razu formed an alliance with a dark god or spirit (depending on who is telling the story) who showed him the vast deposit of Turquoise where he eventually built his city. Initially the find allowed him to build a massive kingdom, people came from all quarters to reside in Fai-Razu. But they could have no children and they could not die a natural death. They simply aged without dying. The process appears to be slower than for most people, but eventually their bodies become prisons as muscle and bone wear down to the point of uselessness. Locals claim anyone who remains more than ten days in the city is bound to the stone and suffers this fate. Some do so willingly as the allure of eternal life proves irresistible.
The city itself is divided into an ancient quarter and a merchant quarter. The ancients, those who have lived in the city for at least three hundred years, form a kind of aristocracy, while the younger population who still resemble the rest of humanity, deal with outsiders.
This settlement of 13,000 people was established centuries ago by a group of merchants interested in the nearby copper and tin mines. However, below the oasis itself they also found a beautiful stone called Qada. This blue rock is valued for its smoothness and bright color, but it also a has a dark side, one the people of Harr Oasis know well. Regular handling of the stone, produces a profound desire for it. The miners who extracted it in the early days of the city were like drunks without wine if they went more than day without touching the stone.
There were several attempts to violently overthrow the leaders of Harr Oasis, and all of them were because people wanted Qada. To keep the population satisfied they erected temples dedicated to Hedra with floors made of Qada. This proved effective and also led to the tradition of kissing the ground when one appears before any statue of Hedra (a practice unique to Harr Oasis).
The oasis is ruled by a council of aristocrats descended from the original merchants called the Khabel. They also control the mines and the Qada desposits. A group of martial experts called the Gamadi help enforce the will of the Khabel.
The people of Harr use the properties of Qada to their advantage. Anyone who handles the stone just once, must pass a 2d10 Resolve Test each day they are without it for a week. If the result meets or exceeds their Resolve, they crave possession of the stone strongly. If the result is a 10, they will do whatever they physically can to possess it.
Qada is generally worth the equivalent of 25,000 spades per ounce.
THE LION LANDS
These are the lands of King Fash. The people here belong to the Northern Sect of the Majestic Lion faith. Mostly they are traders , herders and farmers. The King encourages the presence of Trade Houses, many of which are based in El-Ghizan.
THE LANDS OF THE LION
These are the of King Safan and the Southern Sect of the Majestic Lion Faith. Here grudges are taken are settled with great regularity.
There is no place more holy than the shores of Lake Sakasa. Many come here to settle grudges. More come to have their body burned and cast into the waters. The standard method is to put a person’s body on a floating platform adorned with red flowers and tinder. It is then lit and allowed to sink into the waters. The locals believe this is the surest way to reach paradise.
MASTER CHAN DEE
Master Chen Dee is a Hermit who lives in a cave home in the hills by the Kailing Desert. Is friendly with both the Kailin and the people of Qadiya. However it is rumored he is wanted in the Zhan Dao Empire for a terrible crime. Whatever the case, he is often a welcome sight to travelers from the east, as he is happy to be a guide and translator provided they can provide something of value in exchange.
Master Chan Dee was once a promising Martial Hero and member of the Golden Dragon Sect. However he discovered the truth about Bronze Master and his past (see the Bronze Master entry in the Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate Rulebook). As a result he was sent on a fool’s mission to kill the Emperor (in the hopes that he would be killed). He failed, but managed to escape the clutches of the Yao. Knowing that Bronze Master had meant to kill him, he retreated to the Kushen Basin and began worshipping the Majestic Lion. Now he awaits the arrival of Bronze Master so he can face him on the shores of Lake Sakasa (he has dreamed of this regularly and believes it is a fated event).
This is an important kingdom and one of the most sacred places for the Majestic Lion Cult. It is rich in Gold and Cinnabar. Ruled by King Safan, the people of Qadiya are devoted to the Majestic Lion. They believe that Lake Sakasa is a gate to paradise.
A city of craftsmen and traders, Qurn is subject to the rule of King Safan of Qadiya. In his stead the city is managed by a priesthood of the Majestic Lion Cult. Qurn is famous for its Circles of Blood. These are rings, usually just an area of sand or stone lined with a low wall or line, surrounded by tiered seats. On the first day of the month, people come here for entertainment and news. But anyone may stand in the circle and demand the settlement of a grudge. If you are called upon to settle, you must enter the circle and fight the person who called you in. Those who refuse are arrested and forced into the circle by the priesthood.
Qurn is known for its fine carpets (which are popular among the Kushen and Kailin), its glass wares, and its copper wares.
According to legend, the waters of the Sukur River can drive people into a frenzy of rage and madness. Su’r is a community of monks dedicated to the Majestic Lion, who regularly drink the waters in order to master this rage. However many come here as a pilgrimage to be tested or in anticipation of completing a grudge.
THE THREE-EYED CLAW PEOPLE
The Three-Eyed Claw People live in the foothills of the Western Horn and are adept hunters. They have three eyes, which allows them to hunt easily at night. Their bodies are long and slightly green, and their skin is covered in thin bristly hair. Though they appear ferocious at first glance, the Three-Eyed Claw People of the Kushen Basin frighten easily and prefer to avoid direct conflict when possible.
All Three Eyed Claw People have a +2d10 to their Detect Skill Rolls and can see just as clearly at night as during the day. Their third eye allows them to see at night, and they can see twice the normal distance of humans. In addition they have sharp claws that do Muscle+1d10 Damage.
THE TREE OF LOMA
From a distance this looks like a solitary large fruited elm tree. However as one approaches, it becomes apparent this is no normal vegetation. The bark is smooth and red, littered with white eye-like knots. The branches are bundled with purple orchids that that produce a sweet and calming fragrance. Beneath the surface, for hundreds of meters around the tree, her roots writhe constantly, causing the dirt to shift. The locals believe this is tree is the eye of Loma, and that anyone may approach and make a request. If the person is found worthy, they will be graced by one of the roots and a blessing bestowed. If they are unworthy, the roots will lash and bestow a curse or even death.
Many believe the Majestic Lion appeared in Usada and delivered his blood oath here. There is a temple dedicated to the Majestic Lion nearby crowned with an enormous human figure with the mane of a lion and claws.
This is the seat of King Safan.
These are Zun Tribesmen who live in the eastern mountains.
CHAPTER THREE: GAZETEER THE YAN
The yan are touched by Vaagu. They are about 7 feet tall, very strong, crude in their manners by Qi Xien standards. For example they slap shoulders rather than bow.
Abilities: Beast Strength x2; +1 Wound on Melee Damage Rolls, +1 Wound to Max Wounds. Their bones are like stone and they can punch harder than a Juren.
Penalties: -1d10 to Empathy, -1d10 to Trade Skills.
Powers: 1 Random Sertori Ability; 1 Sertori ability per Qi level.
Defenses: Hardiness 6, Evade 6, Parry 3, Stealth 6, Wits 6, Resolve 6
Key Skills: Grapple: 0d10, Throw: 0d10, Arm Strike: 0d10, Leg Strike: 0d10, Light Melee: 0d10, Medium Melee: 2d10, Heavy Melee: 3d10, Small Ranged: 3d10, Speed: 1d10, Muscle: 3d10
Max Wounds: 2
Weapons: Qiang (5d10 Damage or 3d10 Damage)
Beast Strength x2
Bolt of Fury: Roll Small Ranged against Evade. On a Success does 3d10 Open Damage. On Success it bounces off and hits another nearby target. Cathartic: On Success does 6d10 Open Damage.
Dividing Body (Counter): When struck by an attack, your body literally splits in half to avoid the blow, then quickly reforms. Make an Endurance Roll against the Attack roll. On a Success you split and avoid the attack. Cathartic: You remain slip for 1 round (diving your Max Wounds Equally) and can make two attacks during that time.
Defenses: Hardiness 8, Evade 6, Parry 6, Stealth 6, Wits 6, Resolve 7
Key Skills: Grapple: 0d10, Throw: 0d10, Arm Strike: 0d10, Leg Strike: 2d10, Light Melee: 0d10, Medium Melee: 3d10, Heavy Melee: 3d10, Small Ranged: 3d10, Speed: 2d10, Athletics: 2d10, Endurance: 3d10, Muscle: 3d10, Ride (horse): 3d10
Max Wounds: 13
Weapons: Sabre (5d10 Damage), Bow (3d10 Damage)
Sun Arrow: You fire an arrow that does 3 Automatic Wounds on a successful attack.
Sun Arrow Volley: You fire a single arrow that fragments into thousands, and carpets a 300 by 300 foot area doing 6d10 damage to everyone inside.
Vents of Steel (counter): Make an Endurance roll against the attack roll of melee. On success the attack does not harm you but the pierced flesh releases a gust of steam that strikes the attacker for 5d10 Fire Damage.
Spear Spike Blade: Make an attack with an existing Spear Spike Blade (see cathartic effect). Make a Melee roll against Parry. On a Success you do Normal Damage plus 5 Extra wounds. On a Total Success you do Open Damage Plus 5 Extra wounds. Cathartic: Using this Cathartically only requires a Move Action, but causes you to lose 1 Hardiness for an hour. On a Success, your weapon extends unnaturally long, turning red and thorny to impale multiple targets. The blade can remain in this state for up to 3 rounds if you choose (4 on a Total Success).
Defenses: Hardiness 6, Evade 6, Parry 3, Stealth 6, Wits 6, Resolve 6
Key Skills: Grapple: 0d10, Throw: 0d10, Arm Strike: 0d10, Leg Strike: 0d10, Light Melee: 0d10, Medium Melee: 2d10, Heavy Melee: 3d10, Small Ranged: 3d10, Speed: 1d10, Muscle: 3d10, Languages (Yanli): 3d10, Languages (Khubsi): 3d10, Languages (Daoyun): 2d10
Max Wounds: 5
Beast Strength x2
Impel: Catharsis: To cast Impel, roll your Command Skill against the Target’s Resolve Rating. The caster must speak his order to the Target and the Target must be able to understand the order. So, language is a barrier to Impel if the caster and Target speak different languages.On a Success, the Target does exactly as commanded for one round per 3 rounds. On a Total Success, the Target acts on the command for 6 rounds. This doubles the duration and enables the caster to impel people to perform extremely dangerous acts. If the Spell is used Cathartically then the caster can impel Targets to perform suicidal acts (attacking an overwhelming force, jumping off a cliff, etc.).
Dividing Body (Counter): When struck by an attack, your body literally splits in half to avoid the blow, then quickly reforms. Make an Endurance Roll against the Attack roll. On a Success you split and avoid the attack. Cathartic: You remain slip for 1 round (diving your Max Wounds Equally) and can make two attacks during that time.
Earth Mastery: This Spell allows the caster to manipulate earth and stone, moving it or causing it to tremble violently. In its most powerful form, the Spell shapes stone and earth as desired.
Shift or Move Earth/Stone: To cast Earth Mastery, or to shift loose earth or stone, the caster must make a Muscle Roll (TN 6, +1 per additional 10 foot area). He may try to affect 20 by 20 feet. This area can be increased but that also increases the Target Number for the Skill Roll. On a Success, he shifts the earth/stone vertically or horizontally by 20 feet (this does not work on concrete structures—just loose earth and stone). On a Total Success, the amount it shifts by doubles, if desired. Shifted earth moves at a slow speed (about a foot every thirty seconds), and it has to move into unoccupied space.
Tremble: The caster must make a Muscle Roll (TN 6). On a Success, he causes a light earthquake to a large area of 2 miles for 2 rounds. On a Total Success, the duration of the earthquake doubles. The earthquake is not strong enough to harm anyone but the shaking makes it difficult to perform delicate tasks. Anyone attempting to perform an action that requires care or concentration in the earthquake zone must succeed on an Athletics Roll (TN set by the caster’s Muscle Roll). Those who fail, suffer a −1d10 penalty to the task they are attempting. While it doesn’t apply to Melee combat Skills, it does affect Ranged Combat Skills, Speed, Talent, Ritual, and Grappling.
Cathartic: When cast Cathartically, the Spell has two possible effects and moves earth at a high speed. It can cause a furious shaking in a very focused area (200 feet). The caster rolls 2d10 for the effect, which sets TNs for those caught inside it. Anyone in the area must make an Athletics Roll against that number or be knocked off their feet and on to the ground. This lasts 2 rounds. The Spell can also be used to shape earth or stone. When applied in this way, it can be used to transform a 20 foot by 20 foot area of earth or stone (including structures). The caster can do anything he likes, cause it to bend, warp, arrange into a pattern, etc. When cast Cathartically, Earth Mastery can also be used to harm Targets by various means (shaking, engulfing, etc.) for 4d10 Open Damage.
Paralysis of Nemach: The Paralysis of Nemach causes its victims to fill with an acute sense of fear that overpowers their body and stops them dead in their tracks. Anyone under the effects of this Spell cannot easily move or speak for its entire duration.
To cast Paralysis of Nemach, the caster must speak or whisper the most frightening thing he can imagine (in any language, and the recipients don’t need to actually understand it, just hear it). Once uttered, the Spell potentially affects anyone other than the caster in hearing distance (friend or foe).While he doesn’t have complete control over who this affects, the caster can exert some influence on who is affected by adjusting the volume of his voice. The caster must make a Command Roll against Resolve of everyone who hears the casting. On a Success, the Targets are struck with paralytic fear for one round that hinders their movement, reducing their speed by 2 ranks. Though they can still speak, it takes great effort to do so, imposing a -1d10 penalty to all speech related Skills or abilities. On a Total Success, victims are completely paralyzed for two rounds and unable to speak at all. Catharsis: When cast Cathartically, the duration doubles and you add 2d10 to your initial Command Roll.
A towering figure worshipped by the local tribes.
Hardiness 8, Evade 3, Parry 3, Stealth 6, Wits 6, Resolve 6
Grapple: 4d10, Throw: 5d10, Arm Strike: 5d10, Leg Strike: 4d10, Light Melee: 0d10, Medium Melee: 0d10, Heavy Melee: 0d10, Small Ranged: 2d10, Speed: 0d10, Muscle: 7d10, Athletics 4d10, Detect: 3d10, Command: 2d10, Reasoning: 4d10, Read Script (Feishu): 3d10, Language (Daoyun): 3d10
Max Wounds: 34
Weapon: Claws (8d10 Damage)
Combat Technique: None
Juren Powers: Four Arms
Beast Strength x2
Lightning Hands: Make an Arm Strike roll against Evade of up to 10 targets within 200 feet, striking all with lightning. Anyone hit takes 6d10 Open Fire Damage.
Read Minds: Make an Empathy roll against Wits. On a Success you discern the surface emotions of the subject (whether they are afraid, for example). On a Total Success you discern deeper thoughts like intentions.
Bone Crushing Gaze: Make a Command Roll against Hardiness. On a Success the target experiences bone crushing pressure on their body taking 6d10 plus 7 Extra Wounds.
CHAPTER FOUR: NPCS
Togu is the son of Ganbataar but was exiled after he allied with his uncle Urgi to overthrow his own father. Togu is friendly, flamboyant, has facial tattoos and enjoys gambling.
Hardiness 7, Evade 6, Parry 8, Stealth 6, Wits 7, Resolve 7
Grapple: 2d10, Throw: 1d10, Arm Strike: 3d10, Leg Strike: 2d10, Light Melee: 3d10 or 2d10 with Rope Dart), Medium Melee: 2d10, Heavy Melee: 3d10, Small Ranged: 3d10 (4d10 with Composite Bow), Athletics: 3d10, Speed: 1d10, Muscle: 2d10, Survival (Mountains): 3d10, Survival (Plains): 3d10, Survival (Desert): 2d10, Deception: 3d10, Persuade: 2d10, Empathy: 3d10, Religion (Loma): 3d10, Places (Kushen Basin): 3d10,
Expertise: Survival-Travel, Light Melee-Rope Dart
Equipment: Composite Bow (3d10 Damage), Rope Dart of Chief Haagu (+1d10 to Attack and 3d10 Qi Burst when it hits Gui or Demons; 3d10 Damage, on Total Success opt to restrain or inflict 1 Extra Wound)
Disciplines: Waijia 2, Qinggong 2
Key Techniques: Storm of Arrows, Intercepting Arrow (Counter), Whirling Dodge (Counter)
Snare of the Rope Dart: On a successful attack with the Rope Dart you athletically wrap the rope around your foe, leaving them completely bound. Cathartic: You leap over the foe and wrap it around their neck inflicting normal damage plus 4 Extra Wounds (decapitating anyone you kill).
Impalement of the Rope Dart: On success your rope dart goes through multiple targets, allowing you to target up to 1 person per rank of Qi for normal damage. Cathartic: Does 1 Extra wound.
CHAPTER FIVE: NEW NEW RITUALS
Awaken Object (TN 7)
This ritual requires the use of an object that originates from a far off location. It should have inherent qualities that reflect the region it is from (sea shells for example). This can be used on crafted goods as well that reflect the qualities of the people who made them. The ritual must be performed by a woman who has given birth to at least one child. Using waters taken from a flowing river, the caster takes the water into her mouth and gently sprays it upon the object while asking Loma to awaken its powers. If successful the powers of the object are awakened. These are always unique to the object itself, with strength that varies by quality and rarity. Ultimately Loma decides what shape it takes. This can be anything from a massive flood, to a bountiful harvest or a safe journey across the plains.
CHAPTER SIX: MANUALS AND OBJECTS OF POWER
Belt of Hooshal
This artifact was worn by Chief Hooshal of the Shoro tribe and according to their ways, traces of his spirit remain in the belt. The objects primary significance is it indicates one is the true leader of the Shoro, however it has some magical power. Anyone wearing the belt gains a +1d10 to their Ride (Horse) skill and Survival (Plains or Mountains) Skill. They can also feel the will and guidance of Hooshal. This is not forceful but it is discernable. They can interact with this presence through a Divination Roll (TN 7). The will of Hooshal is not something one can call upon at any time, it only awakens in times of importance.
Hooshal’s will always serve the best interest of the wearer, but still also remains guided by a desire to see the Shoro tribe rise to greatness.
CHAPTER SEVEN: NEW MONSTERS
These giant segmented worms burrow beneath the Kushen Basin and Kailin desert and are believed to be the children of the goddess Loma. They have bright red flesh and their tubular bodies end in a round tooth filled maw. Red worms can grow up to 50 to 100 meters. They can kill in one of two ways. The first is they can release a powerful gush of acid from their maw. They can also simply devour their prey. There are rumors that touching a Red Worm causes instant death but this is untrue.
Hardiness 8, Evade 5, Parry 5, Stealth 10, Wits 2, Resolve 6
Acid: 2d10, Bite: 1d10 (8d10 Damage), Speed: 2d10 (50 feet), Detect: 4d10, Muscle 8d10
Max Wounds: 40
Acid Gush: Red Worms can essentially burp up belly acid spraying in a cone shaped area out to twenty feet long and ten feet wide. Anyone hit by the acid attack takes 6d10 Open Damage plus 1 Extra Wound.
Maw: Anyone bitten by a Red Worm is sucked into its maw and takes 8d10 Damage every round until it escapes. Escape requires an Athletics Roll TN 6.
Burrow: Red Worms can burrow and move 50 feet a round while doing so.
Beast Strength (x10)
Friday, March 10, 2023
CELESTIAL PLUME MASTERS SESSION FIFTEEN
This was the Fifteenth session^ of my Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate wuxia sandbox campaign, the Celestial Plume Masters, using the Sons of Lady 87 book, which was just released in print. You can see the first session HERE. You can see the fourteenth session HERE.
Wei Ziying: A skilled poisoner and physician, with ties to the Relentless Corpse Sect, Wei Ziying is a disciple of the Celestial Plume Masters. He also has a longstanding friendship with Kuo Qingzhao, who wishes to know more about the poisons that killed his wife (poisons Wei Ziying knows the secrets of). Grudge: Ravenous Nun Xuanji (for the murder of Red Eagle)
Wang Haoyang: A master of stealth, Wang Haoyang is one of the Celestial Plume Master disciples. He has a lifelong friendship with Pei Ye of the Vermillion Bird Teahouse, but has attracted the affection of another member of that organization, Fan Zhen'er (he does not return the affection but wishes to avoid creating friction within the Vermillion Bird Teahouse, and possibly creating enemies). Grudge: Guan Nuan (for a duel he escaped, she feels she lost face because he was weaker than her and should have been an easy victory)
Hei Ling: A one-eyed chief in the Celestial Plume Masters, Hei Ling is the father of Li Liang, whom he wishes to cease practicing her Toad Style kung fu because of the physical toll on her body. He had Li Liang with Qixia the candied fruit in his youth and since then Qixia has grown hostile. He has a working relationship with the Wu Sisters. Grudge: Qixia the Candied Fruit Vendor (of Hai'an). Grudge: Qixia (many reasons related to their pre-existing relationship)
Iron Tiger: The newest member of the party, sent by Night Thorn to help them expand. He has a longstanding friendship with Iron Beggar Sun Kang, whom he wants to leave his lap of luxury in the House of Flying Lanterns so he can train with the Nature Loving Monks and improve his Kung Fu. Iron Beggar in turn wants Iron Tiger to leave the Celestial Plume Masters. Grudge: Pei Ye (he murdered her favorite client, Golden Cobra).
THE BATTLE OF THE FORGOTTEN BRIDGE
Wei Ziying was sent on orders from Lady 87 to kill the remaining six leaders of the Seven Demons*, who were on their way to meet The House of Loma at ruined bridge over a dry riverbed south of San Ci. They came in search of allies. What the Seven Demon leadership did not realize was they were walking into an ambush set by Lady 87, and that the House of Loma were coordinating with Wei Ziying and Big Sister Hong Na.
Wei Ziying went to the bridge with Big Sister Hong Na, Mule-Head Hong (a high ranking member of the 87 Killers), Three-Handed Feng (leader of the House of Loma), Lulu (a crucial member of the house of Loma) and ten of the House of Loma Disciples. Wei Ziying snuck under the bridge with Lulu and Big Sister Hong Na, leaving Mule-Head Hong and Three-Handed Feng to wait on the bridge (the disciples stayed far from sight in the area).
The seven demons remaining were: Zhizhu (the leader), Yao Yun, Ai, Bone General, Qanku, and Wuzhi. Fubai had been killed so they had a disciple dress up as him.
Art by Jackie Musto
As the Seven Demons approached they saw the disciples hidden behind some trees**. As they got closer one of the Seven Demons recognized the face of Mule-Head Hong as a member of the 87 Killers and mentioned this to the leader Zhizhu***.
"It's a trap." Zhizhu stopped her men and instructed everyone to flee.
What ensued was rather chaotic with Yao Yun, Ai, Zhizhu, and Bone General all using Swift Stride to escape the area****. Wei Ziying leapt out and assailed Qanku with a flash of venom droplets that quickly entered his blood stream.
Wuzhi was also wounded by fled as well using his Swift Stride, only to be followed by Lulu who landed a series of kicks against him forcing until his spit up blood.
Seeing her brother in trouble, Zhizhu commended Bone General and Yaoyun to great stride with her to save him. They leapt in, and Bone General used his Bone Pulling Hook to rip Lulu's leg bones from her body*****
Lulu had a moment to choose between fleeing and landing a fatal blow against Wuzhi. She chose to flee and made her way back to the bridge (though she was possessed by a Qi Spirit at this point as she had over-exerted her martial arts).
When the battle was over, Qanku was dead and the rest of the Seven Demons had fled.
THE SHIFTING ALLIANCES OF IRON GOD MENG
Hei Ling and Wang Haoyang made their way back to Tung-On, first by land to Yun Hu, then by boat along the canal. Iron Tiger went from He Yun to Tung-On by chariot with his men, so was a couple days behind them.
When Hei Ling and Wang Haoyang arrives in Tung-On, they sent word to Hua Yin of Night Thorn's Death, then Hei Ling went to see Iron God Meng after receiving a message requesting his presence.
When he arrived at the Lucky Mountain Gambling Hall, something felt off, but he could not quite put his finger on it******
He came to Iron God Meng's new audience hall, where baskets of King Cobras lined the wall alongside Iron God Meng's guards.
"Greetings Brother," Said Iron God Meng.
Hei Ling could see that something was wrong with his sworn brother's expression. He discerned that his skin and eyes were darkened and showed signs of illness or exposure to poison.*******
Iron God Meng slumped a bit in his chair and looked more wild than normal.
"I have made a decision and need to tell you about it Brother. But I warn you, you are not going to like it."
"Please Brother," Said Hei Ling. "We can speak freely with one another."
"I have decided to join forces with the 87 Killers. The war is bending in their favor: Night Thorn is dead."********
"But brother, the winds of war can change, do not be too hasty and ally with someone who will lose in the end."
"There is more," Said Iron God Meng. "The 87 Killers have destroyed the Heavenly Wind Cult by sending their Palm Mistress to her grave, defeated Demonic Venom Sect in the same way, and is increasing its allies."
"Give me some time," Said Hei Ling. "Events are unfolding that will change the outcome I assure you. I ask you to wait before striking anyone, so you aren't committed to a losing struggle."
"I have committed my forces, but I will not use them against your men, as we are sworn brothers, and should I hear word that something has unfolded, I will remember your words."
This is where the session ended.
*Because this was going to be a major battle and a potentially long and large one (not in sheer numbers but in numbers of important NPCs), I had the two other players present (we were down one player) run the Seven Demons. I like to do this sometimes because it can make for a more competitive fight (players tend to run NPCs more ruthlessly sometimes).
**This was simply a Detect roll
***This was a result of an Institutions (Sects) Roll TN 10. So it was a very unlikely result
****Here I ruled that anyone who fled the area using Great Stride could be chased by another if that person succeeded in an opposed roll against their Great Stride roll (and that the pursuer could make an attack on a success).
*****He got two tens on the attack roll
******This was due to the player failing his Detect roll, had he succeeded he would have noticed more details alerting him to Iron God Meng's change of plans (i.e. guards at attention and placed around the hall more strategically, etc)
*******This was a result of a Medicine Roll
********As far as Hei Ling was aware, Iron God Meng did not understand Night Thorn's importance in the organization. This was true, and his awareness was a product of Lady 87 promoting Night Thorn's death and his importance to the Celestial Plume Masters throughout the martial world
^This was actually a long session but the log is short, due to much of the focus being on a major battle at the beginning which took some time to set up and run (no miniatures but the players needed to familiarize themselves with the characters they were running and each turn of combat was carefully evaluated)
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
THE SCHOLAR OF XIA KINGDOM
These are my notes for a profound masters location in one of my recent sessions, with some additional advice and material to make them more useful for general campaigns. The maps are my attempts to copy my own maps from my notebook (there were too many scribbles and turn order notes in them to use for the blog). The party was seeking a man named Tung Lu, a powerful master who had gone missing and was last known to have dueled with a mysterious hermit, Magnificent Scholar. One of the players decided to seek him out, and ended up trapped in the scholar's miniature kingdom of Xia.The adventure itself was partly inspired by The Eleventh Son (and the movie Swordsman and the Enchantress) and the thriller The Vanishing. Because I wasn't expecting the players to drink the shrining substance, I only loosely planned out Xia Kingdom. I could see going into much greater depth on this one. I considered starting a campaign here as well (decided not to do it, but it is still an interesting possibility, especially if you have player characters who were born in Xia Kingdom).
Again this was written with my campaign in mind. So the things like the hook are rather specific to it. But I do try to advise GMs running their own campaign as well in these sections.
One thing to note as well: Magnificent Scholar was generated randomly with the Bedrock App. I modified him slightly once the character became clear from the results, but his techniques are pretty wide ranging as a result of the random generation.
XIA KINGDOM AND THE MAGNIFICENT SCHOLAR
This Miniature world is found inside the home of Magnificent Scholar. He resides on a peak in Southern Li Fan, protected by a long rope bridge over a chasm that leads to hidden emerald deposits and a mountain god named Xuan.
|My crude depiction of |
Magnificent Scholar's abode
Xia Kingdom is populated by people shrunk down to the size of a thimble. Therefore while he has models of cities such as Daolu, the models themselves, even on this smaller scale, are simplified and usually populated by tens of people rather than hundreds or thousands, or tens of thousands. He also has trouble casting, for example the Ogre Demon he placed to be the Love General, refuses to fall in love with Sunan (Tung Lu), and the man he shrunk to play the role of Sun Mai spends most of his time in a drunken stupor. For characters simply pick actual heroes from the books randomly to play the different people from that period. For an elaborate campaign set in the underground world, using Legends of Ogre Gate as a guide can be useful. But information from the history section in the WHOG rulebook and in the Yao Gong Palace entry of Ogre Gate Inn (page 63) should supply plenty of material.
HOOK AND ADVENTURE
|My very crude depiction of|
For other campaigns a reasonable hook would be for the heroes to be seeking anyone imprisoned in Xia Kingdom. Most likely the whereabouts of such individuals would be a mystery and there may be an investigative adventure that eventually leads the party to Magnificent Scholar’s residence.
Magnificent Scholar is sullen and arrogant hermit who resides in a small hut on a peak in southern Li Fan. He became obsessed with the era of Demon Emperor and with creating a model replica of the empire during the Demon Emperor’s reign called Xia Kingdom. As his obsession deepened he devised a way to transform people to thimble size, and imprison them in his model. He spends his time researching and seeking out heroes to trap. Occasionally he duels them, but mostly he tries to trick them into drinking his shrinking substance (use SHRINKING SUBSTANCE in STRANGE TALES OF SONGLING, page 27).
Magnificent Scholar is a prisoner of his own record book (see The Scholar of Xia Kingdom below). This has intensified his resentment. He has a natural dislike of other people, which is why he lives as a hermit, but being imprisoned makes him appreciate good conversation with the people of Xia Kingdom. He views these prisoners as his friends. However he is incredibly frustrated by them and most of his exchanges with them end him threatening to tear off their limbs or deprive them of food if they don’t play the roles he has assigned to them.
Defenses: Hardiness 4, Parry 8, Evade 9, Stealth 6, Wits 8, Resolve 7
Key Skills: Arm Strike: 3d10, Light Melee: 4d10, Small Ranged: 4d10, Muscle: 2d10, Speed: 4d10, Athletics: 3d10, Reasoning: 4d10, Detect: 3d10, Medicine: 3d10, Talent (Calligraphy): 3d10, Talent (Poetry): 2d10, Talent (Poisoning): 4d10, Trade (Stone): 3d10, Trade (Alchemy): 4d10, Trade (Architecture): 2d10, Survival (Mountain/Hill): 4d10, Ritual (Activation): 3d10, Ritual (Create Seal of Jiangnu): 3d10, Ritual (Draw out the Demons): 2d10, Ritual (Profound Binding of the Demon): 4d10, Ritual (Supreme Activation): 3d10, History (Era of 100 Pieces): 2d10, History (Era of the Demon Emperor): 4d10, History (Era of the Glorious Emperor): 2d10, Places/Cultures (Hu Qin): 3d10, Institutions (Sects): 4d10, Religions/Gods (Dehua): 3d10, Classics (Rites of Wan Mei): 3d10, Classics (Sayings of Kong Zhi): 4d10, Classics (Scripture of Sun Mai): 3d10
Max Wounds: 19
Weapon: Iron Thread (5d10 Attack, 2d10 Damage)
Combat Techniques: Arm Strike - Outside Fighter, Light Melee - From the Shadows, Arm Strike - Inside Fighter, Light Melee – Deflect
Kung Fu Techniques (Dianxue 3, Qinggong 1): Plum Blossom Palm, Four-Point Touch, Distracting Crane Rake, Gallbladder Strike, Sealing the Winds of Gushan, Web of Lies, Tree Bounding Strike, Tree Bounding Stride, Crippling Strike of Bing, The Gentle Footsteps of Timeless Perennial, Crawling Tiger, White Flower Palm, Strike of the Raging Tiger, Bladder Strike, Sealing the Phoenix, Leap of the Swan, Bounding Spider, Stealth of the Spider Demon, Gushan's Gambit, Lurking Spider Stance, Nine Divine Snakes, Trembling Strike, Arc of the Spine Flick of the Wrist (Counter), Whirling Dodge (Counter), Onyx Backflip (Counter), Philosophical Crane's Pull (Counter)
Profound Techniques: Jade Ribbon Burst, Robes of Steel, King Viper's Fiery Greeting, Iron Strike, Lily of the Poisoned Mind, Swift Punch of Thundering Crane, Tortoise Holds Up the Sky, Devastating Strike of Thundering Crane, Throttling Web (Counter), Hands of the Fireshield (Counter)
THE SCHOLAR OF XIA KINGDOM
This began as a record book of Magnificent Scholar’s own accomplishments, but slowly his style was taken over by a voice not his own, and then the book began to write itself. This book records all the great deeds of the Magnificent Scholar and does so with the flair of the most fashionable literary works. The writer has a clear voice and often anticipates outcomes. The tomb towers at 20 feet in height and is so heavy that Magnificent Scholar cannot move it around and has become a prisoner to it.
When the person who it is written for dies, the next person to handle it becomes the new owner. It is cursed and cannot be eliminated. If thrown into the sea, it returns the moment the person turns around. If given to someone else it returns to the owner. The owner of the book can venture away from it temporarily but must ask the book’s permission (which it doesn’t always grant, and usually only allows small distance travel for essential things like sleep and food). Anyone who tries to escape the book, must make a Muscle roll against 7d10 every minute or get pulled back towards it.
MOUNTAIN GOD XUAN
This towering but weak mountain god looks like a large yak with emerald colored hairs and two great tusks. He stands on two legs and his eight hands are like a man’s. He can speak with a terrifying face that is vaguely human. Slow witted he adores music and is always kind to gentle and/or polite people. He was defeated by Magnificent Scholar and now serves him. He protects both the scholar and the emerald deposits below.
Mountain God Xuan is friendly and will gladly talk with anyone. He never attempts to deceive people, always telling them clearly the consequences of any actions they may take. Though he has vowed to protect the area, he tries not to kill anyone.
Defenses: Hardiness 9, Evade 4, Parry 8, Stealth 3, Wits 4, Resolve 10
Key Skills: Arm Strike: 4d10 (Damage 8d10), Gore: 2d10 (5d10 Open), Medium Melee: 2d10, Speed: 1d10 (40 feet), Muscle: 5d10, Detect: 2d10, Meditation: 3d10, Institutions (Bureaucracy of Heaven): 0d10
Max Wounds: 18
Key Kung Fu Techniques (Waijia 2, Qinggong 1, Neigong 2, Dianxue 1):
Hands of the Hawk Beak, Ringing Strike of the Divine Ram, Roar of the Lion, Iron Body (Counter), Whirling Dodge (Counter)
Multiple Attack: Can attack up to eight people a round by throwing stones or striking with his hands for 8d10 damage.
Deathless: Destroying Xuan’s body is only a temporary measure. Forms as an emerald crystal in the pit and slowly returns over 1d10 days when this occurs.
Immunities: Immune to Mundane Attacks and to Waijia and Qinggong attacks (from opponents lower Qi rank than him).
Beast Strength (x5)