Saturday, January 23, 2016

Kung Fu Fightin'

Last Monday we had our first session of Feng Shui Second Ed. Meet the characters here.

So, since Monday was a holiday, I spent all day reading the book and figuring out the system, which, I have to say, I found really intuitive. But it also meant I didn't have time to design anything game-wise, so I started running the adventure at the back of the book, which was fine, except it doesn't ever address how to include characters from different junctures, which is kinda a failure, I think.

As such, we started with the opening of the community center. Leon is there to meet an informant from his juncture. Chung Do is here doing a swordplay demonstration. Celeste is working with the foundation that built the center; they were looking into her missing sister, but they help with missing and exploited youth in general. Bai Lin just kind of wandered in, looking for spirits to bust, and Wu Tang is just here for the food.

They mingle a bit. Lin realizes the spirit world is churning - something's about to happen. Leon meets his informant, who tells him that this place is awash in magic. Leon looks at Chi, and sees that the other characters are tied into the Chi flow.

And then, SMASH! An armored truck plows through the wall, a bloodied man unconscious at the wheel. A black SUV follows, and armed figures jump out, spraying the place with bullets!

This will not stand, clearly. Do leaps into action, jumping in front of a foe with an automatic weapon and slicing it neatly in half. Lin, likewise, jumps over the pool and engages more foes with his staff. Tang puts on his mask and jumps into the fray, while Leon gets to a vantage point on a balcony and starts throwing Chi blasts at the attacks. Celeste moves in with her whip, entangling the enemies.

Highlights from the fight:

  • Tang dives into the water, surfaces, and punches the armored truck backwards, away from the pool's edge. 
  • Leon gets tackled into the water, then rises up with Flight to throw magic at foes. 
  • Lin engages the dude with the rocket launchers and winds up taking it from him, only to lose it again. It eventually winds up in the pool, and Leon fires it upwards at the ceiling just as the mooks are coming through the skylight. It is then referred to as "Chekov's Rocket Launcher."
  • Tang picks up the SUV and throws it, blocking the hole in the wall that the truck made. He later throws the truck into the pool (after Celeste gets the injured man clear). Wu Tang ain't nothing to fuck with. 
Celeste, as mentioned, drags the injured man out, and Do recognizes him...but isn't sure why. The characters come together and talk a bit, and Leon recognizes Lin (they're from the same juncture, and Lin's a known monk/exorcist, so it makes sense that he and Leon might have crossed paths). Celeste, an archaeologist, recognizes Leon from the art of the period, and asks his name (Leon gives his real name, which Celeste takes as confirmation - he's a traveler from the past!). 

An ambulance arrives and takes the bleeding man away, leaving the characters with a pile of rubble, a lot of dead or injured thugs, and a bunch of questions. Next time, we'll see where that takes them...

Thoughts so far: Getting into this system was harder for my players than I thought it would be. I think it's a lot simpler than, say, either version of WoD, because the powers all play into the same underlying systems (humblebraggingly, Chill is designed the same way). There's a bit of math, sure, but it's just simple arithmetic. I think maybe we just need a few sessions to get used to it.

I do think, with all due respect to the book's suggestion that grid-maps get in the way of imaginative play, that with a bunch of named combatants it's really helpful to have a visual representation of the fight so players can see what's going on.