Thursday, September 4, 2008

Kung-Fu: Spirit of the Fist!

I mentioned earlier than Hamish's throwaway remark on Sunday that I should run a kung-fu or wuxia game using SotC immediately got me thinking of just how I'd do that. So... here's a rough outline of what I came up with. I fully intend to develop this further when I have time.

The Five Phases, each of which is a very brief (3-4 sentences) story about the character related to one of the Five Virtues, and each of which is assigned one aspect:
  • Xiao - Filial Piety: Circumstances of the character's birth, his relationship with his family, whether he honors his parents, etc.
  • Yi - Righteousness: The character's sense of justice, righting wrongs, wronging rights, etc.
  • Jen - Benevolence: The character's generosity or lack thereof; a time when a gift from him benefited someone else or vice-versa, etc.
  • Zhong - Loyalty: The character's friends and associates, any organizations he belongs to, what that might mean to him, etc.
  • Li - Propriety: The character's sense of proper behavior, assuming he has one; a time when his actions were either exemplary or deplorable

The Five Elements, each of which corresponds with a Phase/Virtue. When invoked in opposition to an aspect tied to an element, these elemental aspects are either weak (+1 bonus), strong (+3 bonus), or neutral (+2 bonus). Aspects are only invoked for bonuses, never to reroll.

  • Wood (Xiao): Strong against Earth, weak against Metal
  • Fire (Yi): Strong against Metal, weak against Water
  • Earth (Jen): Strong against Water, weak against Wood
  • Metal (Zhong): Strong against Wood, weak against Fire
  • Water (Li): Strong against Fire, weak against Earth

The Three Qualities:

  • Kung-Fu: The character's interest, focus in life, or training (e.g., White Dragon Kung-Fu, Finest Chef in Zhang, Sorcerer of the Tao) -- something toward which he's devoted a significant amount of time and energy. This aspect is assigned to an Element of the player's choosing.
  • Wu Wei: The character's instinct or nature -- what comes naturally to him (e.g., Sword In Hand, Sucker for a Pretty Face). This aspect isn't assigned to an Element.
  • Sign: The character's astrological sign. An Element does apply here, in correspondence with the animal chosen.

The Ten Skills:

  • Skill pyramid with an apex of Great.

Chi, a stress track that starts at three boxes and is modified by Spirit as per Health/Composure in RAW.

  • Checking a box of Chi lets you replace one Fudge die with a d6 for one roll.
  • When you run out of Chi boxes, you can still use Chi; it just means taking a Consequence each time.
  • Chi boxes clear with a Spirit roll against a target equal to the highest box checked out of combat, or Superb in combat. The target increases by one for each consequence you've taken. Clear one box for each shift obtained on the roll.
  • Mysteries can be used to "block" Chi, using accupressure, sorcery, and the like (against an appropriate defense: Fists/Weapons/Athletics against accupressure, Spirit against sorcery, and so on). If the stress dealt exceeds the number of Chi boxes, deal a Minor spiritual consequence: "Blocked Chi." As long as the consequence remains in place, the target can't expend Chi.


  • Academics (includes the non-medicine portions of Science)
  • Alertness (includes Investigation)
  • Art
  • Athletics (includes riding from Survival)
  • Bureaucracy (the bureaucracy parts of Leadership)
  • Deceit
  • Empathy
  • Craft (formerly Engineering)
  • Fists
  • Gambling
  • Humanity (includes Rapport and Intimidation)
  • Medicine (the medicine bits of Science, with some aspects of Mysteries)
  • Might
  • Mysteries
  • Society (combines Contacting and Resources)
  • Spirit (includes Endurance and Resolve)
  • Stealth (includes Burglary and Sleight of Hand)
  • Survival
  • Weapons (includes Guns, if applicable)


  • No stunts. Use a variation on the stuntless rules. Spend a Fate Point to invoke an aspect for a bonus (+1, +2 or +3), to use one skill in place of another (e.g., invoking your "White Tiger Style Kung-Fu" aspect to use Weapons instead of Athletics for one roll), or to invoke for effect.

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