[Fantasy Craft] Jianghu: A Wuxia Campaign, Setting Elements and Parameters

Posted: March 29, 2013 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Campaign Design, Fantasy Craft, Roleplaying Games
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Now that I’m going through the planning phase of the Wuxia campaign, I find myself considering the possible parameters of the game. It’s important to remember that when someone says “Wuxia” they’re talking about a genre that is as broad as the “Western” or “Sci-Fi.”

While certain elements, such as daring heroes, corrupt governments and martial arts are a staple of the Wuxia Genre, the scale and nature of these can run the gamut from low-powered Noir-with-Kung-Fu to Exalted-style Shenanigans. As such I’m trying to find a good “happy medium” as it were. Fantasy Craft lends itself quite well to scaling things up and down according to the kind of game that a GM might want to run, and the campaign.

I’ve gone over the exercise of setting the mechanical parameters of the game in Fantasy Craft terms before. But to recap:

Genre: Gonzo Fantasy (Wuxia)
Age: Reason
Alignments: Chaos, Order (Law), Good, Evil
Miracles: Yes (Restricted to 1 per Party)
Sorcery: Yes
Heroic Species: Human Only

Permanent Campaign Qualities:

  • Bold Heroes – Action Dice explode on a 1 or the highest value of a die. Also, Heroes begin with 2 more Action Dice.
  • Code of Honor (Xia) – Honor, Righteousness, Grace, Indebtedness to Others, Justice, Forgiveness and Compassion. Each time a hero goes against any of these virtues, he loses 2 Reputation.
  • Complex Heroes – XP rewards of subplots are doubled.
  • Wire Fu – Special characters may move in any direction and on any safe surface – even up walls, over water and through the air. If at the end of his movement he isn’t on a solid surface, he falls (or submerges.) Also all falling damage is halved.

I’m considering making a list of possible Subplots for people to choose from when they make their characters. This will be composed of various story hooks common to Wuxia. This takes the onus of having to build one from scratch away from the Players, and results in them only having to think of how to tailor their chosen subplots for their characters.

  1. i like the wire-fu rule. requiring the move to end on a solid surface sounds logical and effectively differentiates the ‘light-foot’ idea of wuxia from superhero flight for me.

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