Mock Logic Games

Blowing up the Chi War

FS2_logoI recently ran a Feng Shui 2 one shot of my own design (that should show up in a future Mox Boardinghouse article) and all the fun of Feng Shui’s cinematic combat came rushing back.  I really enjoy this game and it’s wacky setting.

Years ago when our game group regularly played Feng Shui 1, I ran one weird adventure where invaders from an alternate timeline passed through a chi rift on the moon (which was put there in a previous scenario when a doomsday weapon was last second redirected to shoot the moon with “nega-chi” instead of the planet). They arrived in flying saucers, abducted abominations, and then transformed them into gigantic kaiju style monsters.  Eventually the players battled the invaders on one of their UFOs, and two of them got enlarged to battle a pair of rampaging kaijus in Hong Kong’s bay. It was a bit whacky and outside the scope of Feng Shui 1’s setting, but it was fun. Fastforward to Feng Shui 2’s Kickstarter and it’s pop up juncture stretch goals:

Beyond the desolate future of the Jammers and Simians lies an even stranger civilization. Humankind shelters beneath a dwindling network of force domes, fearing the approach of gigantic creatures spawned by generations of C-bomb radiation. On the ground, warriors battle for control of these monstrous beings, which can be used as weapons of war. Even those that merely want to be friends to children everywhere fall to their sway. In the shadows of behemoths, you fight to free misun- derstood beasts from the dominance of merciless overlords. At this level we will add the Kaiju Patrol pop-up juncture to the Feng Shui 2 rulebook.

Saddle up for a journey to a far future terraformed Mars, where settlers battle for survival against resurgent aliens.
Released from their tombs after a million year slumber, these strange beings want their planet back. Yet the humans have no place left to go. Do your heroes side with one or the other, or get themselves caught in the crossfire? At this level, we will add the Red Red Mars pop-up juncture to the Feng Shui 2 rulebook.

It’s hard to imagine what your gun-toting assassins and kung fu heroes could gain by entering the Cretaceous Period. But when a hole opens up to the land of the triceratops and T. Rex, what you do think the players are gonna do? Because dinosaurs. And what’s that shining craft, blazing in the sky overhead? If this stretch goal is unlocked, we’ll add the What Really Killed the Dinosaurs pop-up juncture to the Secrets of the Chi War PDF.

Sadly, the last goal, of adding UFOs and Dinosaurs wasn’t achieved, but these pop-up junctures really do spell out a lot of fun concepts that remind me of my old Feng Shui ideas.  Of course kaiju abominatiosn would be a tough sell right now, seeing as all the abominations were vaporized by the C-bomb… or were they? Check out this other (sadly) missed stretch goal:

The chi bomb utterly scourged the Architects of the Flesh, abomination-wielding tyrants of the mid 21st century, from the face of the Earth. They’re gone, man, gone. Because we all know that in an action movie universe, today’s discarded bigbads never make surprise reappearances, with retribution on their minds and agony grenades in their hands. So forget this stretch goal is even here, chi warriors. Once bad guys are gone, you can always rest easy. If this stretch goal is unlocked, we’ll add the Legacy of the Architects to the Secrets of the Chi War PDF.

The lack of Architects of the Flesh and their abominations has been a sad point for many returning Feng Shui players, particularly those that enjoyed playing Abominations.  So let’s fix that!

First of all, how did any survive?  As the book points out, the Jammers largely survived the C-Bomb because they weren’t well aligned with the Chi Flow of the future.  That could also be true of any Abominations or even other former Architects of the Flesh, like Monster Hunters. But maybe you want more than that?  Maybe you want some actual Architects of the Flesh as a faction back?

The C-bomb killed 98% of people on the planet, but the Architects of the Flesh controlled more than just the planet: they also had space stations.  What if a small group of Architects survived in orbit when the C-bomb went off!  Now we have an excuse to bring our former lords of the future back.  But what about player character options?

Re-skinning existing archetypes is actually fairly easy, paticuarly once you notice the note on the bottom of page 25 about Fortune converting to one other sub-type, which makes it possible to mix various character “types.”

Gameplay Warning!

These archetypes are not playtested. The base numbers of the classes are based on existing archetypes, so they will likely work well, but the schtick combos are not tested.  In particular, their advancement options are far more open than they probably should be, and there are likely options present that don’t fit well or that are weaker than other available options.

Abomination Archetype

Feng Shui AbominationBased on Cyborg

Once long ago, you were a creature of legend: a demon of no little power.  Then strange warrirors from the future came to hunt you down and drag you off to a place worse than any Yama King’s hell. They ripped you apart and built you back up with strange machines.  When they were done you were no longer sure how much of you was still you and how much was strange demon-tech, but it was clear that they now owned you.  You were a weapon for them now: a machine built for war and suppression.  Maybe you enjoyed it, maybe they simply built you to enjoy it.  Either way, you were good at it.  So good they installed you into of their most prized locations: An orbital facility from which you could look down on the world with a target scoped eye, ready to be dropped from orbit to battle who they said.  Not that it saved them in the end.  You watched from on high as their empire crumbled into dust in the blink of a cybernetic eye.  In that moment, their hold on you was loosened.  You became your own monster again.

Play an Abomination if you want to be a monster of mass destruction with the ability to take on tanks and platoons, just as you were designed.

Note: Abominations are more machine than monster, and do not suffer from Juncture Modifiers.

Attribute Score
ScroungeTech: 13
Creature Power: 13
Defense: 13
Toughness: 9
Fortune: 6
Speed: 6
Wealth: Poor

Schticks

  • Laser Goggles (Scroungetech) – Base Damage 11 Ranged Scroungetech Attack.
  • Robot Arm (Scroungetech) – Base Damage 11 Close Scroungetech Attack.
  • Seeker Missile (Scroungetech) – Spend Fortune to take out lots of Mooks.
  • Rage Against Machines (Creature Power) – Make attacks directly against vehicles.
  • Steel Hide (Creature Power) – Bonus Toughness against guns, decreases over sequences.
  • Smokin! (Scroungetech) – Regain fortune after successfully attacking multiple foes.
  • System Malfunction (Hinderance) – Same as the Cyborg Archetype, -2 to Up checks.

Skills

  • Intimidate 13
  • Intrusion 13

Awesoming Up

  • Add any one of these Creature Power schticks: Arcane Battery, Amphibian, Blast, Blood Drain, Born in a Cage, Corded Musculature, Death Resistance I-III, Demon Bunch, Emit Smokescreen, Empathic Rage, Flight, Foul Spew, Goldenheart Monster, Inevitable Comeback, Memory Drain, Mimicry, Monstrous Foot Stomp, Natural Weapon, Night Dweller, Regeneration I-IV, Schooled in the Hell of Piercing, Transformation I-II, Venom Sac
  • Add any one of these Scroungetech schticks: Adrenal Boy-Howdy, Agony Grenade, Blow up Real Good, Buzzsaw Hand, Cortisol Field Generator, Force Blade, Fluid Spill, Grav Plate, Helix Rethreader, Helix Ripper, Improbability Capacitor, Internal Lockbox, Intra-Reality Goggles, Interceptor Drone, Kinetic Distributor, Lumbar Scorpion, Onboard Flamethrower, Molecular Disturber, Neural Stimulator, Pain Uptake Inhibitor, Plasma Tubules, Pulse Grenade, Quantum Manipulator, Reflex Ramper, Schrodinger Circuit, Shower of Sparks, Subatomic Transfuser, Subdermal Plating, Titanium Claws, Tracker Pin, Yowch!
  • Add a skill you do not have from this list, at a rating of 9: Deceit, Detective, Driving, Fix-It, Gambling, Info (any), Leadership, Medicine, Sabotage, Seduction.
  • Increase a skill value from less than 12 to 12.
  • Increase a skill value of 12+ by 1.
  • Increase your backup attack to your main attack minus 1.

Ex-Buro Monster Hunter Archetype

monsterhunterBased on Bounty Hunter

Before your chain of command literally disintegrated when the Chi bomb detonated, your job was to travel through the netherworld to hunt down monsters for conversion into Abominations, and to ensure compliance in Abominations on duty. A task left for the most elite of the Architects of the Flesh’s soldiers: the Supernatural Entity Retrieval Units. You were so elite that you got assigned to a prestigious Abomination wrangling position on a Buro space station. Sure it was isolated, but that isolation saved your life when the rest of your civilization was blown to hell.

Witnessing the death of your world from high orbit is the kind of thing that makes a person question their life choices.  Do you now your work to bring about a better world, or seek a new fate elsewhere or else when?

Play a Buro Monster Hunter if you want to be good at hunting down hard targets, and more dangerous after wiping out all their little minions first.

Attribute Score
 Guns: 13
 Martial Arts: 12
 Defense: 14
 Toughness: 7
 Fortune: 6
 Speed: 8
 Wealth: Working Stiff

Schticks

  • The Quarry (Signature): same as Bounty Hunter (p. 35)
  • Crosshairs (Signature): Your attacks against the quarry gain a +2 bonus.
  • Vampire Rounds (Scroungetech): Gain bonus damage on a gun after using it to successfully hit multiple targets.
  • Helix Rethreader (Scroungetech): Damage named targets that miss with an attack.
  • Agony Grenade (Scroungetech): Damage combatants every shot for a sequence.
  • Signature Weapon (Guns): Buro Bluespear Assault Rifle, 15*/5/2 ☠ ☠, bonus damage already included.

Skills

  • Detective: 12
  • Intrusion: 13
  • Info: Parazoology 12

Awesoming Up

  • Add any one of these Guns schticks (provided you have its prerequisite, if any): Bag Full of Guns I-IV, Bank Shot, Battle Scavenge I-III, Blam Blam Epigram, Bloody but Unbowed I-III, Both Guns Blazing I-V, Carnival of Carnage I-IV, Click Click Toss I-III, Covering Fire, Disarming Shot, Draw a Bead, Fast Draw I-IV, Flesh Wound, For the Squad, Hair-Trigger Neck Hairs, Lightning Reload I-IV, Lone Wolf, Opportunistic Fire, Scattering Fire, Stop Right There!, Soul of the Sniper, Take the Shot, The Way the Wind Blows, Wild Grenade.
  • Add any one of these Scroungetech Schticks (provided you have its prerequisite, if any): Cortisol Field Generator, Hyperadrenaline Patch, Improbability Capacitor, Intra-Reality Goggles, Interceptor Drone, Kinetic Distributor, Lumbar Scorpion, Molecular Disturber, Neural Stimulator, Pain Uptake Inhibitor, Pulse Grenade, Quantum Manipulator, Seeker Missile, Smokin’!, Subatomic Transfuser, Tracker Pin
  • Add one Schtick for which you have the prerequisite from the Martial Arts Path: Montage.
  • Add a skill you do not have from this list, at a rating of 10: Deceit, Fix-It, Gambling, Info (any), Intimidation, Leadership, Sabotage, Seduction.
  • Increase a skill value from less than 12 to 12.
  • Increase a skill value of 12+ by 1.
  • Increase your backup attack to your main attack minus 1.

Re-Skinning More Archetypes

So while we’re on the topic of reskinning existing archetypes, let’s play with those alien ideas, and maybe make a new archetype that can work with Mutant powers.  This time, we’ll tie it into the modern era and the Ascendant that secretly control the world.

Alien Hybrid Archetype

thinman_02Based on Gene Freak, Image from X-Com

It’s not entirely clear where the secret rulers of the world got their alien DNA from. A crashed UFO in 1947? Ruins found at deep under the Chicxulub crater? A Martian lander sample? The where it came from is less important than the fact they used it to develop you. At times you’ve, felt like a science experiment, a secret weapon, and a valued spy.  Then you learned about the chi war and and discovered the netherworld.  You’ve finally managed to find a place where you might be able to escape the control of your creators, but what will you do with your life now?

Play an Alien Hybrid if you like the idea of manipulating the battlefield and the foes on it.

Note: Alien Hybrids still suffer Freak Outs just as a Gene Freaks do. It’s part of the downside of being a hybrid.

Attribute Score
 Mutant: 13
 Martial Arts: 12
 Defense: 13
 Toughness: 6
 Genome: 9
 Speed: 6
 Wealth: Rich

Schticks

  • Push (Mutant): Inflict ranged damage and knock target around.
  • Brain Bleed (Mutant): Ranged attack eats up target’s shots.
  • Very Fast (Mutant): Decrease Action Shot Cost
  • Empathy (Mutant): Read emotional state of target for scene.
  • Skulky (Mutant): Defense increases when injured.
  • Psychic Vampire (Mutant): Reduce damage inflicted to gain Genome points.
  • Flight (Creature Power): Hover with psychic power!

Skills

  • Detective: 13
  • Intrusion: 13

Awesoming Up

  • Add any one of these Mutant schticks (provided you have its prerequisite, if any): Acid Blood, Adaptive Enzymes, Beserk Rage, Blinkshifter, Camouflage, Causal Leakage, Channel Pain, ChronoFuxor, Endocrine Pulse, Fear Shift, Force Shield, Go Cartilaginous, Impossibilist, Mjolnirification, Nanoportal, Noctilucent, Pain Eater, Precognitive Rescue, Probability Wave, Radioactive Exudation, Recuperate, Resource Sniff, Shared Sight, Slow Burn, Ultragloat, Why I Oughtta…!
  • Add any one of these Scroungetech Schticks (provided you have its prerequisite, if any): Intra-Reality Goggles, Pulse Grenade, Tracker Pin
  • Add any one of these Creature Power Schticks (provided you have its prerequisite, if any): Amphibian, Born in a Cage, Corded Musculature, Death Resistance I-III, Empathic Rage, Regeneration I-IV, Steel Hide
  • Add one Schtick for which you have the prerequisite from the Martial Arts Paths: Hundred Names, Montage.
  • Add a skill you do not have from this list, at a rating of 10: Deceit, Fix-It, Driving, Fix-It, Info (any), Intimidation, Sabotage, Seduction.
  • Increase a skill value from less than 12 to 12.
  • Increase a skill value of 12+ by 1.
  • Increase your backup attack to your main attack minus 1.

 Viking Archetypes

Feng Shui 1 had vikings, or at least they showed up in a splat book (Gorilla Warfare) about the future.  Yes the future, as a weird time travel quirk sucked the vikings into the future where they turned out to be a thorn in the sides of the Architects of the Flesh.  What happened to them when the C-Bomb went off?  Who Knows! Probably some of them are still around, and with pop-up junctures more could still show up! So let’s look at the classes that would work well with just a bit of reskinning:

  • Bandit is the best fit, being dangerous, tough, angry, and an even has an axe. You don’t need to really change anything here.
  • Big Bruiser is a decent fit for a large dangerous viking. Just add an Axe at damage rating 10.
  • Martial Artist could work, if you’re willing to change the schticks up. The Path of the Drunken Master related Schticks could be a fun fit for a viking character, maybe mixed with Path of the Tiger for extra power.
  • Sword Master can work if it’s reskinned to use an Axe instead of a sword.  The two use the same base damage after all, so it’s not a mechanical change.

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