Mock Logic Games

Reposting: Ride That Dark Loathsome Highway Feng Shui 2 Starting Adventure

Reposting…

It looks like Mox Boarding House has updated their website, and in the process a lot the content I made for them has vanished.  I’ve had a request to repost some of it, and thankfully I retain the rights to do so!

Here’s the first request:

What is Feng Shui 2?

First released in 1996, Feng Shui is an action movie RPG written by industry veteran Robin Laws, who famously wrote HeroQuest, the award winning GumShoe system used in games like The Esoterrorists, and the more recent Hillfolk DramaSystem, as well as the highly regarded game design book Hamlet’s Hitpoints. Where GumShoe is an investigative game system, and DramaSystem focuses on character interaction, Feng Shui is all about cinematic combat and over the top action. In 2015 a new edition of the ground breaking system was successfully kickstarted and released. Considering how much of the first edition I played and enjoyed, I jumped at the chance to get an updated copy.

So what kind of game is Feng Shui? Think of it as a mash-up of the action & drama in John Woo’s The Killer with the setting and story of John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China garnished with just about every classic Hong Kong and Hollywood action film you can imagine, and new to second edition: Post-Apocalyptic Planet of the Robo-Apes Future. The setting uses a simple time travel related concept as an excuse to mash-up genres and characters. Cowboys, Swordsmen, Sorcerers, magical creatures, ghosts, mutants, cyborgs, and maverick cops team up to battle evil across multiple timelines. You can tell how seriously this game take its action film roots by this quote from page 100:

“If it ever matters and you need a rough guess, a sequence occurs over a period of about eighty seconds. We arrive at this number scientifically, by dividing the length of the Hard Boiled warehouse shootout by three.”

Big Trouble in Hong Kong

This article is a Feng Shui 2 scenario I devised as a one shot. While it still fits into the overall setting of Feng Shui, it doesn’t require any knowledge of the “Chi War” so it’s easy to jump into without a detailed explanation. Much like Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China, the characters are drawn into a supernatural plot without having any real idea what exactly is going on, beyond there is a vaguely asian evil whose butt needs kicking. In my playtest game, the players were given less background than you’ve actually already read to this point. I simply told them to pick an Archetype from a stack I prepared and told them they were in a famed Hong Kong Nightmarket. I explained the rules as we went along, and they picked up what little setting details they needed as they encountered them or made related skill checks.

This scenario starts in the “Modern Juncture,” which might limit the archetypes you want the players to pick from. It can be a little hard to explain a Highway Ronin, Cyborg, or Supernatural Creature just browsing a street market in 2015 Hong Kong. If you have experienced players at the table, that’s an easy thing to overcome, but limiting the archetypes available as per page 232 might save you some headaches, at least at game start, and particularly with players that aren’t familiar with the game’s larger time travel related setting. Thankfully, the game has a large list of Archetypes so even with a little pruning there are still plenty of options. Also, remember that most Archetypes are viable in several junctures. Mutants might mostly hail from the future, but in the setting story some can be found in the modern era, and anyone familiar with X-men can find a way to work mutants with strange powers into the modern era. That’s what I worked out with a playtester that wanted to run a mutant and didn’t know anything about the setting.

Synopsis

The players start in a Hong Kong Nightmarket, where they are attacked by thugs and eventually a demon. In the middle of the fight, people important to them are kidnapped by thugs and dragged off.  After the fight the players follow the clues to a netherworld portal. While traveling through the netherworld to reach the pagoda where their loved ones are in danger of being sacrificed, they are attacked by a group of snakefolk riding giant bugs, which results in an impressive chase scene.  After they defeat or escape the snakefolk the players arrive at the inverted pagoda where they will battle the sorcerer mastermind to rescue their friends and prevent the unleashing of a terrible demon.

Background

Long ago, a terrible demon was imprisoned in the Netherworld. Bound in the darkest hole in that periphery of that strange land, a prophecy foretold of a sorcerer who would attempt to free it, and of the heroes that would try to stop him. Now just such a sorcerer seeks to bind and unleash that evil, and his foolish apprentice has sent a lesser demonic servant, disguised in human form, into the modern world to both acquire the rituals sacrifices needed, and to kill the foretold heroes before they can interfere.

The players are, of course, the foretold heroes, and some of their loved ones are the required sacrifices. Unfortunately for the bad guys, and much as Cassandra of legend would have warned, knowing the future isn’t the same thing as having the power to change it. The Apprentice’s attempt to have them killed is the very act that brings them to stop the ritual.  Along the way the players will battle thugs, monsters, massive insects, and ghosts.

Dramatic Hooks

The main driving force in getting this scenario underway is the kidnapping of potential sacrifices. To make that happen, look at the dramatic hooks and backgrounds your PCs have selected, and see if any of them lend towards having loved ones that could be kidnapped.  Feel free to double up where possible by having one person be connected to multiple players. For a one-off game don’t be afraid to directly ask the players if there is anyone at the market they are with or there to meet.  In my playtest game, the Bodyguard player was seeking to safely retrieve the runaway sniveling teenage son of her wealthy western patron, and that teenager also happened to be the nephew of the Ex-Special Forces character who snuck a way to meet his uncle. The second kidnapping victim was the defenseless husband of the Genefreak character. The kidnappings happened while the Magic Cop character and his partner the Karate Cop character were on duty, so they felt honor bound to get involved despite not having personal connections to the victims.  All of the players also featured on the Demon’s hit list as heroes of prophecy that needed to be killed, so vengeance for the attack was also a motivating factor in some cases as well. Particularly the cops who take even less kindly to be attacked as they do to having people kidnapped in front of them.

Act 1 – Night Market Terror

When the game starts, the player characters (probably) don’t know each other, but they all happen to be shopping or otherwise in the same area of the Temple Street Night Market in the Yaumatei area of Kowloon, Hong Kong (see page 290.)  Maybe they’re an Everyman American tourist shopping the famed market.  Maybe they’re a Killer meeting their contact to collect payment for their last hit in a public space. Maybe they are an Exorcist Monk preaching to the street. Maybe the Martial Artist or Old Master have a dojo in the neighborhood, or maybe a character runs a noodle cart and has setup shop here for the night. Have them find a reason for why their character is there, and where possible someone associated with their Dramatic Hook: Ask for buy-in, (page 23 and 210.)

The demon, in a mortal guise, has hired a local street gang (with cursed gold coins) to help him find and kill the foreseen heroes that are prophesied to stop his master. The gang, and strong hints in the prophecy, have led them to the Night Market. They are wandering through it with inked sketches of their various victims on old style parchment.  When they run into their targets, the players and their loved ones, they will start calling for their buddies, which any alert character will note as a sign of things about to go down.

In other words, they start a straight up fight instead of a proper ambush.

Use the Demon plus a number of named foes equal to two less than the number of players, and about 3 mooks per player. Use your choice of the named thugs stats.

Don’t actually reveal the demon until the second sequence, unless the players have managed to kill off all the other named characters in the first sequence or happen to have some special ability for detecting foes. Also, remember that the triad street thugs don’t know they are working for a demon, so his transformation will be an unwelcome surprise for them, but of course at that point they are deep in it already.

Once the fight is underway, the kidnapping begins in the background.  Describe it as their loved ones having gone missing while they were busy fighting, with maybe the odd glimpse of something happening as the crowded market streets clear out due to gunfire and green flames. In my playtest game, I described the kidnappings taking place between sequence 1 and 2, then dropped the demon on them immediately as a flaming roadblock between them and their loved ones being “carried off at the speed of plot.”

Cool Things to Have Happen in This Fight:

Any of the following things can be described as happening in this fight, either on good rolls of players or likewise for the named foes. Some of theses are particularly apt for Box-Cars success and failures. See Things That Could Happen During the Fight on page 215.

  • Throw someone through an exotic pet shop’s window into a pile of large snakes.
  • One of the bad guys takes a hostage from the crowded civilian streets. (Especially useful if any of the players has the “Take the shot” ability)
  • Fight leaping along the rickety stall roofs and balancing on the ropes of suspended paper lanterns and banners in high Wuxia style.
  • A powerful blow or throw launches someone up into a neon sign with a shower of sparks and glass. Alternatively, a barrage of gunfire can send a large neon sign crashing down for similar effect.
  • Use a rack of clothing to dodge and entangle a foe.
  • Merchant stalls offer a wide range of interesting improvised weapons: umbrellas, rolls of silk, buddha statues in a variety of materials and sizes, hot woks from food cards, grilled squid on a skewer, replica swords that break on one hit, kitchen cutlery, knock-off purses, and even large fish or live lobsters from fishmongers tanks (also fun to knock foes into.)
  • Overturn carts and folding tables for temporary cover, or for use as large improvised weapons.
  • Characters with massive strength can use the small Hong Kong cars as improvised weapons. Base Damage 10.

Hired Triad Street Thugs

Attack Defense Speed Damage
8 13 5 Machete: 9

 

 

Mad Kat Tang (F) Little Jo the Fist (M) Big Tony Tang (M) Wrath-Fire the Demon
Guns: 13

M. Arts: 13

Defense: 13

Toughness: 5

Speed: 7

 

Unarmed: 7

 

TCA Contender Target Pistol

(12/3/7)

 

CZ 75B Pistol (10/1/3)

M.Arts: 13+ (15 schtick)

Defense: 13 (14 ranged)

Toughness: 6

Speed: 7

 

Unarmed: 10

 

Strength: 10

Guns: 12

M. Arts: 12

Defense: 13

Toughness: 6* (8)

Speed: 7

 

Unarmed: 7

 

Franchi Spas-12 Pump Shotgun

(13p/5/4)

 

Auto-Ordnance Pit Bull Pistol

(10/1/4)

Creature: 14+

Defense: 13

Toughness: 5

Speed: 7

 

Claws: 11+Group Effort

 

Constitution 11

Headshot: After a successful attack, this foe may decide that the hero takes a –2 penalty to skill checks until the beginning of a subsequent fight. Usable once per fight.

 

 

Don’t Turn Your Back: Add +2 to Attack if this foe has not been attacked since it last attacked. Bark of the Underdog: Add +2 Toughness when more than half the mooks on this foe’s side have been put down. Green Flames!: Heroes making successful unarmed attacks against this foe take 2 Wound Points per attack.

 

Requires Group Effort: +1 Damage for each hero who has yet to attack this foe during the current fight.

 

Transformational Strike:

+2 attack on first attack as this foes transforms, once per fight.

25+:  ‐1 Impairment

30+:  ‐2 Impairment

35+:   Dead

25+:  ‐1 Impairment

30+:  ‐2 Impairment

35+:   Dead

25+:  ‐1 Impairment

30+:  ‐2 Impairment

35+:   Dead

25+:  ‐1 Impairment

30+:  ‐2 Impairment

35+:   Dead

Hero Victory:

The gang members and the demon have various clues on them that can help the players figure out what’s going on, and where to go next.  Many of the gang members have parchment scraps with sketches of the players and the kidnap victims on it. The players are on a list for killing, while the their loved ones are clearly labeled for capture as ritual sacrifices. The demon has a map on him, which has clear directions on how to get from the pagoda to the portal to the mortal world, and therefore can easily be used to find away back to the pagoda, if the portal on this end can be located. The map marks the portal with an odd looking waterfall.

In my playtest game, the Magic Cop took out the Demon with a banishing spell, but I simply described the map as being left behind in the pile of ashes left when the demon was sucked back into the underworld.  If the demon is defeated through more direct methods in your game, you can go on to have it give up valuable clues as it uses its last breath to taunt the heroes. In particular, it’s a great time to bring up the ritual, sacrifices, and prophecy.

The triad gang members know nothing about the netherwolrd, ritual, or demons, but they can certainly lead the players back to the out-of-business carwash in their turf where they first encountered the demon in human form. They consider the place haunted, and won’t actually go too close to it, but if it saves their life or keeps them out of prison they are happy to point at it from across the street.

Players with knowledge of the area and it’s gangs, such as police or criminal characters, might be able to work out the portal location without needing to question any gang members or demons. Generally, let player show off to find the location, but don’t let them stall out.

Hero Loss (Run Away):

It’s unlikely that the players will need to run from this fight, but if that happens, there are a few tricks for getting them back on track: First they could use stealth or investigation techniques to track or follow the thugs or even the demon back to the Nether Portal. There they can attack a Snakefolk demon on a giant beetle in order to get a map or directions to the pagoda where their loved ones were taken.

Hero Loss (Captured):

Should the unlikely happen, and the players lose outright, the demon captures as many of them as possible to drag them back to his masters. Clearly their lack of skill means they can’t possibly be the foretold champions! Maybe they will make better sacrifices. They will have ample time to escape while being hauled on the back of a giant scorpion through the nether caves. You can add the Wrath-Demon to the mix of the second fight/chase as the demon leads the snakefolk on a hunt to recapture the players. The players’ kidnapped loved ones, have already been taken to the temple, so the players will still need to hurry to get there in time.

The Nether Portal

It turns out that the portal is a long “out-of-order” carwash, that if driven through comes out behind a small waterfall in the periphery of the netherworld, well outside the central core. Passing through the portal means passing through the waterfall. This domain, known as the Twilight Maze, is governed by the minor eunuch sorcerer named Blood Scroll, a member of the Eaters of the Lotus (see p243.)

The waterfall features a surprisingly potent deluge of water that should give any players thinking about going through on foot second thoughts. If necessary, tell the players that obviously the best option here is a vehicle. Hopefully one or more characters has the drive skill and a vehicle to go with it.  Feel free to hand out Drive 15 and/or a car to an appropriate character if none start with the options.

In my playtest game, none of the characters started with a car on their character sheet, but it was noted that the Karate Cop had Drive.  I gave him and his Magic Cop partner a police car with stats borrowed from the Maverick Cop archetype. This proved sufficient for transporting their team of 5, along with a captured triad gang member bound in the trunk, into the netherworld.

Act 2 – Ride That the Dark Loathsome Highway

Ostensibly the players travel through the portal with one or more vehicles, and ride through the tunnels in their cars, trucks, cabs, police cars, stolen sports cars, etc.  At first the path is creepy. It’s like driving through a giant dark cave, with a spectral night (false) sky visible through the odd cave or open space. The path is not easy, and frequently has cliffs or drop-offs into utter darkness. Most of it is round tunnels punctuated by the odd stalagmites, stalactites, arched over rifts, and boulders. Signs of past occupancy, including bridges, skull shaped cave entrances, and imposing demon shaped pillars that might pass as signposts are interspaced throughout the caves.  The tunnels fork and merge in an haphazard way which helps justify the “maze” portion of its name. Thankfully for the players, they have a map.

Unfortunately the players aren’t alone long enough to do a proper sightseeing tour.  Serpent-like demonspawn riding in howdahs on the backs of giant bugs emerge to chase them as they drive down “the road.” These are serpentfolk demons summoned to patrol the region on the backs of “tamed” netherworld monsters.  Mechanically these giant bugs work as any other vehicle, and unlike the horses listed in the core rules, they are much more durable and dangerous. Of course a giant scorpion is a lot more impressive than a pickup truck.

At-least three mooks ride smaller rhinoceros beetles roughly similar to horses (actually using snowmobile stats). Players that become lost from the chase, see Left Behind on page 152, can claim one of these for a ride, as a beetle riding mook will arrive to spear the hero, conveniently allowing an opportunity to defeat them and steal a ride.

There is also a giant scorpion with a war howdah on its back, and driven by a featured foe Serpentfolk. Put three mooks on the scorpion to help backup the driver up. The giant scorpion uses the same stats as a pickup truck. Its claws and stinger are simulated with the ramming rules already included in the chase mechanics.

Lastly, and most intimidatingly, a Serpentfolk named Wormlasher guides a massive centipede through the caves.  The centipede is twice as wide as a bus and as long as a train. It uses 18 wheeler stats.  Wormlasher stands on the beast’s head lashing its rearmost pair of six sets of eyes with his live-snake whip to encourage it to go faster. Rising above him on a tall war howdah is Mama Daka: a serpent woman with a civil war era hand cranked Gatling gun. Another 6 mooks ride the centipede with her, scattered across a few more Howdahs.

If you have more than 5 players, add another Scorpion full of foes and a beetle rider to the mix. If you have less than 4, remove the scorpion and riders completely.

This fight is technically a Chase scene as per page 147. Be sure to make it clear, before the chase/fight stats, that the giant bugs are being treated as vehicles, not monsters. They can be considered to be immune to most attacks, so players should target their drivers and passengers instead unless they feature anti-vehicular powers, although good rolls will allow them to retroactively target the bugs as per the standard chase rules on page 151.  In my playtest game the players managed to end the scene by killing all the named snakefolk characters. This caused the surviving mooks to flee, leaving the players with a damaged police car, a semi-tamed colossal centipede, and the reigns to a massive scorpion.

Cool Things to Have Happen in This Chase/Fight

  • Hero grab onto a stalactite/stalagmite as their vehicle passes it so they can use it to leap onto chasing vehicle/bug.
  • Super strong characters might use a broken stalactite as an improvised weapon.
  • Pull a spiraling loop-de-loop in the round cave, smashing a few stalactites off the ceiling to fall onto foes.
  • Pull a last second hard turn into side passage, only to emerge back into the main chase on a tactically superior ridge above another vehicle.
  • Pull a jump over a rift or river to land in the skull shaped cave opening on the other side.
  • Drive under a stone arch to knock foes off the top of your car.
  • Destroy a bridge as you drive across it, forcing you and your foes to drive quickly to reach the other side before it collapses under you.
  • Pull a jump off a stone ledge to land on a beetle rider, squashing them flat.
  • Fight dangling from the side of the giant centipede, hanging on the chain reigns or one of its antennas.
  • Boulders block the passage requiring the cars to accelerate up along the curved walls of the tunnel to go around it.
  • Use heavy gunfire to knock stalactites off the ceiling onto foes.

Snakefolk Mooks

Martial Arts/Drive Defense Speed Damage
8 13 5 Spears: 10

*Toxic-crossbows:8*/4/6

Acceleration 6

Handling 6 (Squeal 8)

Frame 0 (Crunch 2)

 

Scorpion Riders:

– Broken Fang (M)

– Cracked Goggles (F)

Worm-Lasher (M) Mama-Daka! (F)
MA: 13

Drive: 15

Defense: 13

Toughness:   5

Speed:  7*

 

Punch: 7

Rusty Blade: 8

MA+Drive:  13

Defense: 13

Toughness:   5

Speed:  7*

 

Punch: 7

Snake-Whip: 9

MA+Gun:  15

Defense: 12

Toughness: 5

Speed: 8

 

Punch: 7

Hand-crank Gatling:

(11 / 5 / 1 )

Pedal to the Metal: +2 Driving if pursuing, and this Foe has more chase points.

 

Claws and Stinger: When driving, if this foe “rams” a vehicle with their Giant Scorpion, gains +2 Frame. +4 Damage Value when foe “hits” a pedestrian.

Thick Carapace: If this foe’s vehicle Frame gives an opposing vehicle a Bump value, that value increases by 3. Vehicle Hit: 3 shots, gun vs drive av. 11+outcome in damaged related Chase Points inflicted.
25+:  ‐1 Impairment

30+:  ‐2 Impairment

35+:   Dead

25+:  ‐1 Impairment

30+:  ‐2 Impairment

35+:   Dead

25+:  ‐1 Impairment

30+:  ‐2 Impairment

35+:   Dead

Acceleration 6

Handling 6 (Squeal 8)

Frame 8 (Crunch 10)

Acceleration 5

Handling 5 (Squeal 7)

Frame 9 (Crunch 12)

 

Success:

The players either manage to outrun the giant bugs, or defeat their snakefolk foes in vehicular combat.  Thanks to the map or directions they should have already, they may now finish their drive through the tunnels to the Inverted Pagoda.

Failure (Flee):

It’s not possible to run away in a chase scene, but it’s possible that the players will lose the chase, and be forced to engage the snakefolk in a post-crash fight. At that point they may attempt to cheese-it, disappearing into the tunnels on foot.  They will still be able to use the map or directions to reach the pagoda this way, although you should describe it as taking a lot longer. Make the players think they are only barely making it in time.

Failure (Captured):

If the players are defeated by the snakefolk, they are dragged directly to the pagoda so their fate can be decided by the sorcerer.

The End of the Road

At the end of the path marked on the map the tunnel-road emerges onto a wide cliff overlooking a abyssal gorge. The ceiling of the cavern extends out over this abyss, and the Pagoda of Inverted Virtues hangs downward from it well out over the depths. Each level of the pagoda is smaller than the one above it, looking like a standard pagoda built in reverse of normal order: smallest level on bottom and largest on top where it attached to the stone ceiling. The entire place is ebony black with odd bone white highlights and purple flames providing eerie illumination. Long banners declaring this the Temple of Inverted Virtues and under Lotus Eater Dominion hang down from the temples eaves on the outside.  Views into the interior of the pagoda indicate much activity inside. Clearly some kind of terrible ritual is already underway.

There is a large double set of doors at the bottom of the Pagoda but no obvious way to reach them, as it hangs out past the ledge like a massive carved stalactite. A guardian spirit, a ghost of a elderly warrior, stands waiting at the edge of the gorge.  He can open the doors and summon the hovering stones that make the steps into the pagoda, if he can be convinced. He’s no fan of the sorcerer, but he is bound by ancient compacts. Now is the time for social or magical characters to shine.

Or the players can come up with their own ideas. In my playtest game, the heroes used their newly acquired giant centipede to crash into the pagoda, forming a bug-bridge.  They even managed to coax the giant scorpion over the centipede into the pagoda, which made things very interesting in the following fight.

Act 3 – Battle at Pagoda of Inverted Virtues

The pagoda is hollow inside, with a massive corrupt Buddha statue rising up the middle like a strange but evil totem pole. A Buddha body in lotus position is the base with 5 demonic heads upon it, one atop another reaching upwards to near the ceiling off the upside-down tower. Each of the 5 heads represents a corruption of a Confucian virtue: Humanness, Justice, Rites, Knowledge, and Integrity. Each head is also level with a different floor of the pagoda. Floors beyond the bottom have railed walkways around the outside and inside of the pagoda, forming a ring around that level’s head. Including the body this makes the pagoda 6 stories “low.”  The inside of the pagoda is festooned with hanging banners, braziers of hot coals, brass incense burners on chains, large jade demon statues, and several large gongs.

The evil Lotus sorcerer is attempting to perform a dark ritual, which the players conveniently interrupt before the sacrifices have started. If the players haven’t yet learned that this is all part of a plan to resurrect a terrible evil from the past, the ritual’s chanting should make this incredibly clear: “Take this foretold sacrifice to feed, and be freed oh great demon!” He is located on the top (6th) level at an altar before the topmost demon head.  The kidnapped loved ones from the adventure’s start are bound here: either tied to the altar or bound to the (as many as necessary) horns of the demon statue’s top most head. Naturally the sorcerer responds to the interruption by demanding their deaths, and his various mooks and hench-things move to obey. He of course backs this up with blasts of magical force of his own.

There should be 3 mooks for every player character present. Use a number of a named characters equal to the number of players characters.  Start with the Boss, and then add in the Apprentice, the Ghost, and lastly 1-3 number Armored Lackies to bring the total to what is needed. If you need more foes, a bound demon similar to Wrath-Fire from the first fight can be added.

Cool Things to do in The Final Battle:

  • Slam a foe into the large gong for the pleasant reverberating noise their skull makes.
  • Have a super strong character use a jade demon statues as an improvised weapon. Damage 10.
  • Slide multiple floors down on a hanging banner, or swing on them like vines.
  • Smash foes through the banisters and railings when knocking them onto lower floors or into the abyss.
  • Burn foes in the many braziers of hot coals that heat and illuminate the pagoda.
  • Use the hanging brass incense burners as improvised weapons.
  • Smash through an outer wall to Fight dangling over the abyss while holding onto the long cloth banners hanging on the outside of the pagoda
  • Knock someone into the unholy fire that burns in the open mouths of the 5 headed demon statue.
  • Have a bad guy use one of the sacrifices as a human shield. Especially if one of the players has Take the Shot.

Temple Guard Mooks

Martial Arts Defense Speed Damage
8 13 5 Spears: 10

 

Bound Ghost of the Ancient Gunman (M) Foolish Apprentice (M) Armored Lackeys:

Clunk (M)

Thunk (M)

BOSS – Sorcerer

Blood Scroll (M)

MA+Guns: 13

Defense: 14

Toughness: 5

Speed: 6 (+3?)

 

Magic Wheelock: 7/3/6

Reload 9

Sorcery: 13

Defense: 13

Toughness: 5 (7*)

Speed: 7

 

Blast: 10

Martial Arts: 13

Defense: 11 (13)

Toughness: 6

Speed: 6

Notice: 10

 

Spears: 10

Sorcery:   16

Defense:  15 (17 Lackies)

Toughness:  7

Speed:  8

 

Blast:

PC highest damage +1

Immune to guns

(not silver or magic)

Flight

Intangible

 

Eager Dead: +3 Initiative if less than 20 wounds.

 

Protective Fury: When a mook is downed by a weapon-wielding hero, this foe may spend 1 shot to Disarm that hero.

*Numerical Superiority: +2 toughness if half or more of the mooks are up. +2 Defense if the only Armored Lackey in the scene (left up).

 

Be The Shield:

Spend 1 shot to lower Defense by -2, increase the Defense of an ally near by +2.

Furious Wrath: If this foe’s last attack missed, its current one gains +1 Attack and +3 Damage. Not cumulative.

 

Back to the Wall: Shot cost of attacks goes down to 2 if attacked by more than one hero in a sequence.

25+:  ‐1 Impairment

30+:  ‐2 Impairment

35+:   Dead

25+:  ‐1 Impairment

30+:  ‐2 Impairment

35+:   Dead

25+:  ‐1 Impairment

30+:  ‐2 Impairment

35+:   Dead

40+:  ‐1 Impairment

45+:  ‐2 Impairment

50+:   Up Checks

Where to Go From Here

Instead of a one-shot game, you can use this scenario as part of larger Feng Shui 2 game, either as a starting point, or as a follow up to the adventure in the book.

Use as a Starting Adventure

The features that make Dark Loathsome Highway a good one-shot also make it a good introductory adventure.  It features combat and chases to help get players use to the game mechanics, and was designed not to require a lot of exposition or setting knowledge to be played. It’s an easy introduction. Additionally, it also makes the players Innerwalkers, leaving them now immune to timeline changes as per Netherworld Time on page 260.  The main downside is that this adventure doesn’t feature capturing a Chi site, and so doesn’t include an advancement option. Thankfully the basic starting adventure in the core rule book does feature capturing a Chi Site…

If you want to keep going from here, then consider making the prophecy not only refer to the players as fated heroes, but expressly as the new rising Dragons.  This hint of a name can lead them on a path to reclaim that faction from its recent near death. Following the clues in the sorcerer’s prophecy scrolls, they might find their way to the community center where “Shadows of the Future of the Apes” starts.  From there the players can receive the hand-off from the remaining Dragons, and pickup a Chi Site while learning about the dangers from the Future.

Use as a Second Adventure

Alternatively, maybe you and your players have already battled Thrill Kill Mandrill from “Shadows of the Future of the Apes”, and you’re looking to use this adventure as a follow up? Great!

Use the bulletin board in the Dragon’s Den/Chi Site (p316) to lead the players to the market.  A contact, represented as a polaroid labeled “Four Fingered Lee, Nightmarket” with several yarn links leading to aspects of Dramatic Hooks of the players. That should be more than enough to get the players to start looking for Lee in the market. Just when the players find him, he’s kidnapped by triad goons for use as the sacrifice at the Pagoda of Inverted Virtue. If the players want to know how he’s connected to their dramatic hooks, they will need to save him.  Also, they are designated for death by demon, which should also get their attention.

About the Author

Brian Danford playtested this adventure with random strangers at Cafe Mox, by setting up a “Will GM For Beer” sign and waiting for someone foolish brave enough to pick up a character sheet. In that playtest, Snake Rambo (Ex-Special Forces), Detective Lance (Magic Cop), Cecelia Houston (Bodyguard), Officer Karate Rage (Karate Cop), and mutant Crystal (Gene Freak) battled their way through Hong Kong, the Netherworld, and the Inverted Pagoda to rescue a pair of kidnap loved ones… and along the way they did their GM that beer.

Art Credits

Most of the artwork in this article is made from Public Domain artwork, with the following exceptions:

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