I’ve been checking out the Subplots available in the Fantasy Craft core rules for the Wuxia campaign I’m planning so far, and I’m pretty happy to see that most of them work for any genre.
With regards to my campaign, I’d probably allow the following as they all suit the Wuxia Genre very well.
Cursed – This is a fun one, this can be a springboard for many interesting Xia which are working to rid themselves of a curse, or just lead to all sorts of happy complications of being plagued with misfortune.
Dependents – This is a tough one, but still fits Wuxia. From parents to siblings to loved ones, many Xia worry about those who might be targeted by their enemies. Perfect for games with characters sporting a vigilante angle like Iron Monkey.
Hunted/Wanted – Being the roving do-gooders that they are, the Xia can have this one as they gain greater infamy for fighting against the corrupt government. Likewise, bounty hunters and mercenaries might want them for the price on their heads.
Mentor/Patron – Sifu! Some Xia are lucky enough to have good teachers… others might find that the price of learning their martial arts is much more costly than they thought.
Military/Political Entanglement – An excellent Subplot for Xia courtiers and spies, as well as those who serve as Generals or Magistrates.
Mistaken Identity – This is as surprisingly common plot device in Wuxia novels. Many a Xia has cursed being born with a face remarkably like a famous (or infamous) person.
Nemesis/Rival – Ah, the eternal Rival. Nowhere is it more appropriate than in a Wuxia campaign that often culminates in the final showdown between bitter rivals.
Search – The search for the Azure Dragon Halberd or some other item of great significance is a central plot in many Wuxia fiction.
Secret Identity – Much like in Hunted/Wanted some Xia hide their identities when they spring into action to better operate in dangerous areas where the Empire’s forces are in full strength. Who would ever think that Li Ping the Physician was actually the notorious vigilante that calls himself The Silver Fox?
Troubled Romance – Romance has a strong place in Wuxia fiction, often with interesting twists such as mixing it up with the heros nemesis, who will only marry a man who can defeat her in single combat.
As you can see, all of these have a place in the campaign, and I might provide this shortlist to my players to work with when they put their characters together. I’ll see if I can also ask for them to pick Subplot elements that affect them as a group as opposed to just the character as well.