No one knows who wrote the manual; they don’t even know what it is called. “Buddha’s Fury”, “Devil’s Mercy”. The most commonly used name for this obscure martial art is “Divine Fist of Righteous Fury”. Also among the common beliefs is that it is a supreme martial art, developed when the leaders of the Orthodox exchanged ideas with the leaders of the Heterodox during the Tang dynasty, in order to bring peace to Jiang hu. What happened instead was a Heterodox man and Orthodox woman would steal the manual, training in its secrets and becoming a dominant, unstoppable force in the martial world, “Golden Sparrow” and “Silver Eagle”.
Eventually, they were tracked and killed in a showdown with the leaders of the martial world, though they took their killers with them, and the book of supreme martial arts was lost, along with the last bid for peace in Jiang hu. With the changing of dynasties coinciding with the rise and fall of powerful martial factions, the pithy manual was all but forgotten.
Until, in the middle of the Ming Dynasty, the rumors of it being found again began to circulate.
Now everyone wants to find it; the Orthodox and Heterodox because it could bring one side victory over the other once and for all; The True Ming, who see way to turn their smaller army into one of super soldiers; the Court, who seek the manual to both curtail the rambunctious martial world and gain political power through credit; and finally Foreigners, seeking it for whatever reason they do.
And so there will be violence, death, fighting, pillaging and all that goes with it. All for the secrets contained in a book.
Well, I always wanted to do a Wuxia themed RP, but didn’t really see one, so I thought, why not create it? The plot is pretty much what we see above, and as to where I am putting it…probably extreme, just so we don’t limit ourselves (though there might not be much sex in this game…or there might be a LOT of sex in this game, depends on player choices)
For those who have little to no idea what Wuxia is, think back of the old kung fu movies. That is pretty much what Wuxia is. Now, there are variations of wuxia, usually ranging from “guys who know kung fu” to “people chucking buildings at each other with their swords”. I’m trying for a safe middle ground between the two, fanciful but not ridiculous. Think “Hero” starring Jet Li, or “Crouching Tiger-Hidden Dragon” for what your characters can and can’t do.
TERMS TO KNOW:Ming Dynasty
: Just give it a quick look-see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ming_Dynasty
the World of Wulin, or martial artists. It is sort of a parallel world that exists within the “real world”. Members of the martial community, both orthodox and heterodox, believe that they are apart from normal people, yet nevertheless must interact with them. Orthodox usually sees that as their duty to protect them, while Heterodox to dominate. Both viewpoints can, and often do, find themselves at odds with the authorities. Inner Force:
Think chi on this one. It won’t allow you to throw fireballs at people, but those with sufficient inner force will be able to increase their speed and strength to above that a normal person with training would. It can be used to combat poison, recover from fatigue, and even increase one’s lifespan. However, they can’t help one overcome physical limitations; an 80 year old man can have enough inner force to break Superman’s neck, but he’s still an 80 year old man with arthritis, and is not moving anywhere fast. There are also poisons that act too fast for inner force to counter, or may be exacerbated by the presence of inner force.
There is also the fallacy that having inner force makes one a powerful martial artist. True, cultivation of inner force is done typically with the practice of martial arts, but it can also be done through meditation, reciting of religious scriptures, or through the various means of the heterodox realm. This may mark you as an enlightened man, or someone not easily hurt, but without the strikes of a martial art and (more importantly) the martial art’s particular way of controlling your inner force through breathing, then you are as susceptible to a tavern bully as the local populous.
Of course, strikes without inner force won’t take you very far in the martial world. True master’s seek a balance of both.FACTIONSThe Orthodox:
Orthodox are Martial artists who uphold righteousness and loyalty to the nation, even if they sometimes feel that the laws and the Court have no interest in justice. They can sometimes be seen as narrow-minded and stubbornly set in their ways. At their best, they are everything a martial artist should be. At their worst, they are corruptible villains, worse than those they hunt as they make a pretense of justice about it.
The martial arts practiced by the orthodox are helpful and beneficial to the practitioner’s health in addition to their fighting prowess, though mastery takes a much longer time and creates a false perception of the superiority of unorthodox arts. Examples of places of Orthodox martial arts are Shaolin, Wudang, and Emei sects.Heterodox:
Martial artists who are in it for one thing and one thing only: themselves. Their loyalty is only to their clan and clan leader, and even that could potentially be shaky. Given the mindset, it is easy to see what kind of people are normally attracted to this side of the Jiang hu; brigands, sociopaths, rebels, and criminals. That is not to say that all those who walk the heterodox path are evil or irredeemable, just as not all who walk the orthodox path are good. They just represent the extreme of the martial world; that they are above the laws, or that laws are in and of themselves contemptible, and should not stand in the way of their goals.
By and large, heterodox martial arts are a quicker way to power than orthodox, but they often come with a price. For example, Red Sand Palm chips away at the user’s health and sanity, while granting great gains in inner force and power. Not all unorthodox martial arts have as extreme or even permanent prices, but there is always a risk of some sort when practicing the heterodox.
The largest heterodox clans are the Red Demons, the Sand Dragons, and the heretical True Ming. The True Ming’s are different, in that they see themselves as somewhat separate from the rest of the martial world. They claim to be the decedents of the Jianwen Emperor, grandson of the Founding Emperor of the Ming Dynasty who was deposed by his uncle (who’s descendants control the throne to this day) and supposedly burned alive in his own palace.The Court:
The Ming Dynasty sought to bring control of China back to ethnic Han, and did so with impunity. It was considered a golden era for China, as the Ming restored the Han pride, built a strong nation on laws, and opened the silver trade which opened the country to other nations. However, there is a strong current of xenophobia within the government as well (a double-standard not lost on Jiang hu) and no matter how wrong he may be, none can question the emperor’s decision. Eunuchs, once limited to managing the Emperor’s harem, now control important posts, including the secret police of the Ming Dynasty, the Brocade Guards.
The Brocade Guards have powerful martial artistry from manuals, both orthodox and heterodox, that have been lost to the martial world. Perhaps the strongest of which are the Virgin Skills, martial arts that are almost supernatural in the powers, but can only be practiced by those who have never had “traditional” sex between a man and a woman. However, these are perhaps the most heterodox of all martial arts, as they cause their practitioner to slowly start acting in ways their gender “Shouldn’t”; a man will begin to become more feminine(beards will fall out, obsess over their appearance, etc), while a woman more masculine (muscles will over develop, breasts will shrink, voice will deepen). As such, their practice is almost strictly limited to those eunuchs with an interest in martial arts, as they are seen as half-men anyway, not respected at all and feared only because of their political power.Youxia:
Youxia are the wandering loners of the martial realm. They may have belonged to a faction at some point, but for whatever reason are on their own, in some ways as apart from Jiang hu as Jiang hu is apart from the non-martial world. They are often scorned at by other clans, though those that survive are often quite powerful indeed.Foreigners:
Koreans, Japanese, Mongolians, Muslims, Tibet, even Westerners are often found in “approved” areas of Ming China. However, some of their more ambitious warriors may be after the Righteous Fury manual for their own reasons.
While it is known that the Mongolians are exceptional horseman and archers, the Koreans master swordsman, and Japanese great spearman, their martial artistry is varied and unknown, and thus quite open.WHAT IS THE GM LOOKING FOR?:
Variety-variety-variety. I want people from every walk of life coming into this one. Orthodox, Unorthodox, Foreigners, hell something I haven’t thought of yet. My only request is that it fit the theme of the game.
Appearance: (Picture and/or description)
Clan: (Shaolin, True Ming, Court, etc: you can create your own)
Martial Art: (Name and what it specializes in)
Bio: (should include reason for seeking the Manual)
This will be my first attempt at running a group game, so anyone with helpful tips and suggestions before, during and after we get underway are much appreciated!