Friday, April 3, 2009

Kung Fu: Hyphen Con 2009 Characters

Ever year in San Diego, we do a little mini-con we've taken to calling Hyphen Con (so-called because of all the hyphens in the full title: The All-Day One-Shot Game-Fest). I think this'll be our fifth (?) year of consecutive Hyphen Cons (or "Hyphens Con," if you prefer), which is pretty impressive, considering it took place at someone's house for the first few years, then last year we moved it to Andy's office, which is, like, an ideal place to run a few games at once. This year we expect to have around 20 people, which will be a new record for us. We do a potluck, run six or eight games until two in the morning... it's a good time. Last year a newcomer declared the Hyph to be "better than GenCon," and I can't really argue with him, because I've never been to GenCon.

Anyway, last year I ran a Paranoia/Star Wars game, which was a lot of fun, but this year I'm running a "Spirit of the Fist" game I'm calling "Four Weapons and a Funeral." The name comes from the four traditional weapons of Chinese martial arts: the staff (the Grandfather of Weapons), the sword (the Gentleman of Weapons), the saber (the General of Weapons), and the spear (the King of Weapons). Four kick-ass martial arts dudes who hate each other come together in Song Dynasty-era Bianjiang to figure out who's going to take over for their recently deceased former sifu after receiving this letter from his daughter:

Old friend,
It has been many years since we last saw one another. Do you recall the days when we were all happy together, and the Shao clan was still strong? I write to you now with sad news. Your former sifu, my father, Kang-Xi, is no more. It was his dying wish that one of his students should re-establish the Shao clan and return it to its former glory. As his daughter, I am charged with gathering the four of you here for the Ching Ming Festival to pay your respects and determine who is most worthy to take my father's place. It saddened him that you four, once such close friends, have been enemies for so long, ever since the day the Shao clan fell, but I hope you are able to put your differences aside for one day and fulfill Kang-Xi's final request.
--Shao Mei-Li

(Awesomely enough, the Ching Ming Festival, a.k.a. the Tomb Sweeping Festival, is actually this weekend, on April 5! I didn't plan that, but what a sweet coincidence. I love it when stuff like that happens.)

The four kick-ass martial arts dudes in question:
Kuei Da-Xia, the renowned general of the Imperial Armies
Tiger Jin, the leader of the rebellious Five and Three Society
Tsai Lung, a prominent mover and shaker in the Imperial Court
White Crane, a reclusive and sagacious martial arts master

They're pretty high-powered characters, in a way. At least, they feel more high-powered than the characters I made for "Duel at Fang-Hu Mountain," in that they're more combat-oriented. But so's the opposition, so it ought to work out okay. We'll see!

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