Carpe Blogiem: Ruminations on a Wuxia Campaign III

Like my previous posts this one is kind of an “outloud thinking” post. I’ve discussed doing research on Chinese history and folklore as well as the general thrust of the campaign, this post is going to talk about the more mechanical aspects of the campaign.

First, I decided I would not be using the chi-based skills like Breaking Blow or Flying Leap. Instead, I’d be using a custom system of my own devising built specifically for the campaign. This system would be powers-based instead of fiat skills and use my article “Chi Sorcery” from Pyramid #3/105: Cinematic Magic as a basis. The system itself would be somewhere between Psionic Powers in that each power build would require a Power Skill to use and be based on levels. This would also allow for custom powers as well and without the need to worry about balancing since all powers would be based on points. That too me is a big draw for all the extra work. Besides, it might eventually even out until GURPS Powers: Chi Powers. Who knows?

Next, I came up with a list of advantages, skills, and other traits that I wanted every player to have. This was going to be a campaign about combat, but I didn’t want to limit the player budget with a mess of required disadvantages. So instead I just gave all PCs the following:

  • Combat Reflexes [15]
  • Flying Leap 1 [31]
  • Impulse Points 1 and Villainous Points 1 [0]
  • Light Walk [7]
  • Trained by a Master [30] or Weapon Master (pick your weapons) [30]

(I would later add Concealment 1 [9] to B-Team so they could carry around weapons with them in modern day New York without me having to explain why.) Next, I decided all PCs would need unarmed skills and grappling skills of some kind. There will be no non-combat characters. Like the gods of Mesopotamia each PC would be “combat focused and” with that and being decided by the player themselves. Additionally, I would be ruthlessly enforcing martial arts styles. If it didn’t appear in the Basic Set it could not be purchased, thus styles would be important for getting more advanced techniques. Moreover, styles would determine what chi abilities you could have in addition to your 2-3 “unique” chi powers that everyone got. This would make learning new styles to get new powers later on an important theme of growth.

I also decided to use Action as the basis for the campaign with the Furious Fists book providing base 250 templates for all. I wouldn’t be rigidly enforcing the templates. They were there as a guideline only. Next, I gave everyone 100 points to add in increased attributes, skills, and powers. PCs who had been in my Aersalus campaign would additionally receive a set number of bonus points based on what they had previously earned.

Picking Over the Bones

These guidelines in place I let the players build whatever their imagines came up with. I was keenly interested in seeing what developed from the mix of rules and free traits I allowed. It would let players create characters they truly wanted to play without punishing them for doing something non-combat related.



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