Author Topic: AP: Feeling the Daojin City Blues  (Read 5679 times)

theloneamigo

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AP: Feeling the Daojin City Blues
« on: July 28, 2012, 01:13:57 PM »
So, despite having followed its development from the earliest stages, it's taken me quite a while to actually get around to running Dungeon World game. One of the problems is that my mind constantly sails in nine different directions at once: one moment I'm desperate to run a Farscape-inspired space opera, the next a gritty Marxist interpretation of Planescape. Since I've spent the last year or so indoctrinating a new circle of gamers into the world of role-playing games, I've confined myself to running a relatively traditional game using Old School Hack, set in a reasonably traditional D&D campaign setting that a friend and I have been running games in for years (The Coin).

But this new campaign was going to be different. I've indoctrinated the new crew now; now I have the opportunity to move beyond the fun but rather staid elves and dragons of the Coin into the less traditional realms - but I still couldn't decide what that was going to be. Marxist urban steampunk fantasy built on the bones of China Mieville? Surrealist philosophical plane-jumping adventures in Sigil or Dis? Or some sort of epic wuxia fantasy inspired by Avatar and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?

After watching Legend of Korra, the answer became clear to me: I was going to do all of them at once.

Here's the pitch I sold this game to my players with:

Daojin City.

Most people just call it the City, and it deserves the definitive article. There's no place quite like it, lying as it does in the interstices between the many worlds, towers stretching into the infinite unknown, canals crowded with gondoliers. Its portals and trade consortia services a thousand empires, its streets echo with the sound of a hundred tongues.

But it's a rough place if you haven't got two jade pieces to rub together. You came here to make it big, to show the universe what you're made of - but with the City squeezed from above by the plutocrats and sorcerers of the Jade Council, and from below by the mobsters of the many triads and tongs, there's not a lot of room for an honest adventurer to make a yuan.

A dishonest adventurer, on the other hand...


------

HOUSE RULES

The DW basics are great, but they needed a fair amount of tweaking to fit in my urban kung-fu steampunk fantasy.

Firstly, I ditched alignment and replaced it with elemental temperaments, which are essentially the same mechanically. Although the implementation of alignments in DW is one of the best I've seen, it really doesn't sit well in a revolutionary steampunk noir game.

Secondly, I ditched the concept of separate playable races: although the weird and varied races and crossbreeds of Planescape appealed to me, it's easy to overwhelm a setting with too many interpolating forces. Plus, I was already planning to have a varied array of cultural backgrounds to delineate characters - no need for those cultural backgrounds to be defined by biological facts. So humans and monsters.

Thirdly, I came up with the idea of each character having knowledge of a martial arts style. This mechanically replaces race moves, but mainly serves to enshrine the Avatar-like tone. Each character, even the slender wizard, is already a skilled martial artist.

Finally, I messed with the classes to have them better fit my interpretation of the world. I removed Clerics, used Nathan Orlando Wilson's freeform Wizard rewrite, and added an Artificer and a Mystic as character options.
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theloneamigo

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Re: AP: Feeling the Daojin City Blues
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 01:37:30 PM »
I opened the game with the premise that the PCs were broke adventurers on the periphery of Daojin City's criminal underworld, whose various schemes to get rich quick in the City of Jade had all fallen through. The four players who showed up brought this rogues' gallery to life:

  • Nobunaga the air-aspected Artifcer, a man consumed by his curiosity and desire for knowledge. An exiled noble from Kumiko, the Peach Kingdom, he is skilled in the Deadly Blossom Style developed by the poet-knights of the Peach King, which focuses on ending battles decisively and quickly, almost before they begin.
  • Sanjeev the fire-aspected Warrior, hailing from Shatranji, the Many-Coloured Raj. A fierce warrior and master of the Moving Fortress Style, he once served as a personal bodyguard to one of the Witch-Queens of Shatranji, but was banished from her presence for unknown reasons.
  • Xiao Hu ("Little Tiger") the air-aspected Mystic, a thirteen-year-old street urchin whose mystic powers were awakened when his older brother was slain by a member of the One Hand Triad. He had devoted himself to learning Jade Mountain Style, a style once practiced by the monks whose abbeys pre-dated Daojin City.
  • Li Fang the fire-aspected Ranger, who hailed from a broken town in the deserts of Haemyin, the Shifting Sands. Once a prosperous centre of trade, its fortunes vanished when the Celestial & Jade Railway bypassed the town, and when its oasis dried up. Li Fang, who is a practised artist of the Burning Sand Style, suspects that the two events are closely related.
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samuraiko

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Re: AP: Feeling the Daojin City Blues
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2012, 04:01:57 AM »
I love the re-skinning you've done here, taking a decidedly "Western" clothed game and turning it into something with a flair from other cultures.
"Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)" -- Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

skinnyghost

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Re: AP: Feeling the Daojin City Blues
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2012, 09:44:55 PM »
You are going to love Dark Heart of the Dreamer.

theloneamigo

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Re: AP: Feeling the Daojin City Blues
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2012, 04:16:58 AM »
Okay, sorry about the delay on the actual actual play report. The internet ate my first post...

---

We opened with the gang of four making their way to the Long Sing Casino, the city's most decadent pleasure barge and a wholly incorporated operation of the Black Swan Triad. Sanjeev, using his contacts in the underground fight scene, had heard of an opportunity for a big job with the Green Spider, one of the Black Swans' up-and-coming operators. The PCs, all being flat broke, leapt at the opportunity.

At the casino, Xiao Hu used his Spirit Tongue move to make contact with the spirits of greed and jade that swarmed over the gaming floor like mosquitos. He learned the true name of the mightiest spirit, Leng Su, a bloated spirit-caterpillar who tempted him with the promise of wealth at the Mijatsu tables - a temptation that the impetuous Little Tiger was ill-equipped to resist. Only the wisdom and quick action of Nobunaga was able to drag him away from the tables before he landed himself in trouble.

In the private rooms, Sanjeev and Li Feng negotiated with the Green Spider, an elegant woman who had clearly mastered a martial-arts style unknown to them. The job on offer was a complicated one - stealing an idea. Yao Lin, a powerful archmage who commanded the secret of giving life to Porcelain Men, had vanished several weeks ago, leaving his secluded estate and factory open to a raid. The Black Swan would pay handsomely to learn the secret of the golem master's art. After a brief Parley, a price was arranged that was suitable to both sides, with a small payment of jade upfront and the rest on delivery of the secret.

Deciding there was no time to waste, the group hastened immediately toward Yao Lin's tower, whose flag fluttered above the city's wealthy Temple District. Xiao Hu, as a child of the tough streets of the Jade City, took point as they scurried through the darkening night. Unfortunately, he blew his Perilous Journey roll and led them straight into the rioting strikers of the Dragonside railworks, just as the city magistrates prepared to attack the unionists with alchemical weapons. Only quick action by Sanjeev saved them from a night in the Halls of Justice, leading the group down an alleyway and away from the blossoming clouds of pain-smoke.

They finally made it to the Temple District, gasping and panting, avoiding patrols of magistrates and house guards, only to find their way blocked by the high fences of Prosperity Garden, the city's largest park, strictly off-limits to those who did not hold property in the Temple District. Just as the would-be thieves prepared to climb the fence, Nobunaga used his Magnetic Detection Goggles to scan the fence for wards. A powerful anbaric field surged through the fence's iron pillars, with enough voltage to fry any foolish enough to touch the fence. Clearly, an alternate route was preferable - which Xiao Hu was quick to identify. The fence surrounded the park on all sides save on the side of the cliff overlooking the Jade Ward, where a picturesque waterfall from Prosperity Garden tumbled down to join the Jin River. By climbing the cliff, they could bypass the anbaric ward and much of the park's security.

Unfortunately, it wasn't as easy as that. Though Sanjeev was able to climb the cliff with ease, followed quickly by Nobunaga and Xiao Hu, the ranger Li Feng's endurance and strength failed him, nearly sending him plunging to his death. He was saved only by Sanjeev's determination not to let him fall. The Shatranji warrior was dragged over rocks as he clung to Li Feng's rope, suffering brutal wounds before he was able to anchor himself and haul Li Feng to the clifftop.

As the two lay gasping and bleeding, Xiao Hu attempted to channel his Chi Healing powers in order to aid his allies - but his youthful inexperience led him to disaster. Overcharging had drawn energy from the surrounding water spirits, driving them into a zealous rage. They summoned their servants - crocodilian beasts that lurked within the park's gentle streams and reflecting pools - and set them upon the trespassers. Though the adventurers were able to demonstrate their mastery of the martial arts and quickly dispatch the beasts and the spirits, they did not escape unharmed - no member of the party escaped the battle without a nasty scratch or two.

After making their way through a topiary labyrinth and a brief scuffle with the park's guards, the adventurers came to the foot of the cliff below Yao Lin's estate. No entrance was obvious, until Li Feng discovered a secret entrance through the cliff-face into a room with a pillar of water flowing upwards. Seeing no alternative, Sanjeev stripped off his armour and flung himself into the pillar, swimming up into a fountain that lay in the courtyard of Yao Lin's estate - only to be confronted by a horde of heavily-armed porcelain warriors.

The other three quickly followed, but it seemed there was no winning this battle. The warrior's mighty spear and the artificer's Etheric Emitter Glove dispatched several porcelain men, but they continued to advance implacably on the group. Finally, Sanjeev cried out to the others to flee into the tower, as he threw himself against the porcelain army in a sacrificial last stand.

---

We ended the session there - Sanjeev's player wouldn't be able to make it to any further sessions, so it seemed appropriate for him to sacrifice himself heroically against the porcelain horde - unfortunately, because he'd just gained a level, along with Nobunaga and Xiao Hu. Stay tuned for session two and the climactic resolution...
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theloneamigo

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Re: AP: Feeling the Daojin City Blues
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2012, 12:59:51 PM »
For some reason, this post doesn't seem to be appearing...

Okay, sorry about the delay on the actual actual play report. The internet ate my first post...

---

We opened with the gang of four making their way to the Long Sing Casino, the city's most decadent pleasure barge and a wholly incorporated operation of the Black Swan Triad. Sanjeev, using his contacts in the underground fight scene, had heard of an opportunity for a big job with the Green Spider, one of the Black Swans' up-and-coming operators. The PCs, all being flat broke, leapt at the opportunity.

At the casino, Xiao Hu used his Spirit Tongue move to make contact with the spirits of greed and jade that swarmed over the gaming floor like mosquitos. He learned the true name of the mightiest spirit, Leng Su, a bloated spirit-caterpillar who tempted him with the promise of wealth at the Mijatsu tables - a temptation that the impetuous Little Tiger was ill-equipped to resist. Only the wisdom and quick action of Nobunaga was able to drag him away from the tables before he landed himself in trouble.

In the private rooms, Sanjeev and Li Feng negotiated with the Green Spider, an elegant woman who had clearly mastered a martial-arts style unknown to them. The job on offer was a complicated one - stealing an idea. Yao Lin, a powerful archmage who commanded the secret of giving life to Porcelain Men, had vanished several weeks ago, leaving his secluded estate and factory open to a raid. The Black Swan would pay handsomely to learn the secret of the golem master's art. After a brief Parley, a price was arranged that was suitable to both sides, with a small payment of jade upfront and the rest on delivery of the secret.

Deciding there was no time to waste, the group hastened immediately toward Yao Lin's tower, whose flag fluttered above the city's wealthy Temple District. Xiao Hu, as a child of the tough streets of the Jade City, took point as they scurried through the darkening night. Unfortunately, he blew his Perilous Journey roll and led them straight into the rioting strikers of the Dragonside railworks, just as the city magistrates prepared to attack the unionists with alchemical weapons. Only quick action by Sanjeev saved them from a night in the Halls of Justice, leading the group down an alleyway and away from the blossoming clouds of pain-smoke.

They finally made it to the Temple District, gasping and panting, avoiding patrols of magistrates and house guards, only to find their way blocked by the high fences of Prosperity Garden, the city's largest park, strictly off-limits to those who did not hold property in the Temple District. Just as the would-be thieves prepared to climb the fence, Nobunaga used his Magnetic Detection Goggles to scan the fence for wards. A powerful anbaric field surged through the fence's iron pillars, with enough voltage to fry any foolish enough to touch the fence. Clearly, an alternate route was preferable - which Xiao Hu was quick to identify. The fence surrounded the park on all sides save on the side of the cliff overlooking the Jade Ward, where a picturesque waterfall from Prosperity Garden tumbled down to join the Jin River. By climbing the cliff, they could bypass the anbaric ward and much of the park's security.

Unfortunately, it wasn't as easy as that. Though Sanjeev was able to climb the cliff with ease, followed quickly by Nobunaga and Xiao Hu, the ranger Li Feng's endurance and strength failed him, nearly sending him plunging to his death. He was saved only by Sanjeev's determination not to let him fall. The Shatranji warrior was dragged over rocks as he clung to Li Feng's rope, suffering brutal wounds before he was able to anchor himself and haul Li Feng to the clifftop.

As the two lay gasping and bleeding, Xiao Hu attempted to channel his Chi Healing powers in order to aid his allies - but his youthful inexperience led him to disaster. Overcharging had drawn energy from the surrounding water spirits, driving them into a zealous rage. They summoned their servants - crocodilian beasts that lurked within the park's gentle streams and reflecting pools - and set them upon the trespassers. Though the adventurers were able to demonstrate their mastery of the martial arts and quickly dispatch the beasts and the spirits, they did not escape unharmed - no member of the party escaped the battle without a nasty scratch or two.

After making their way through a topiary labyrinth and a brief scuffle with the park's guards, the adventurers came to the foot of the cliff below Yao Lin's estate. No entrance was obvious, until Li Feng discovered a secret entrance through the cliff-face into a room with a pillar of water flowing upwards. Seeing no alternative, Sanjeev stripped off his armour and flung himself into the pillar, swimming up into a fountain that lay in the courtyard of Yao Lin's estate - only to be confronted by a horde of heavily-armed porcelain warriors.

The other three quickly followed, but it seemed there was no winning this battle. The warrior's mighty spear and the artificer's Etheric Emitter Glove dispatched several porcelain men, but they continued to advance implacably on the group. Finally, Sanjeev cried out to the others to flee into the tower, as he threw himself against the porcelain army in a sacrificial last stand.

---

We ended the session there - Sanjeev's player wouldn't be able to make it to any further sessions, so it seemed appropriate for him to sacrifice himself heroically against the porcelain horde - unfortunately, because he'd just gained a level, along with Nobunaga and Xiao Hu. Stay tuned for session two and the climactic resolution...
+++THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Ambition knows no bounds.+++

Rogue Trader: Apocalypse

theloneamigo

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Re: AP: Feeling the Daojin City Blues
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2012, 06:08:44 AM »
Adventure Front: The Vanity of Yao Lin

Danger: Yao Lin
Power-Mad Wizard
Impulse: to seek power over life itself


Yao Lin has been delving into the secrets of life for decades, and over the past five years has perfected the art of creating living porcelain servants. Unfortunately, that process requires draining energy from skilled users of chi energy - martial artists, wizards, and the like. He's successfully concealed the murderous secrets behind his commercial empire, but has recently fallen victim to his own creations. They have trapped him in his bedchamber, where he is being slowly drained of chi in order to fuel the birth of a Clay Archmage.

Grim Portents:
 - Yao Lin partially awakes from his induced coma and reaches out to turn the estate's magical defenses against the Porcelain Men.
 - A magical summons is issued, calling demon-spiders from the Hell Courts of Yuan Shin through the Portal Chamber that lies at the base of his tower.
 - The Demon-Spiders battle against the porcelain geishas to free Yao Lin.
 - Yao Lin returns to the land of the living.
 - He defeats the porcelain guardians of the Kiln.
 - He decides to transfer his consciousness into the body of the Clay Archmage and rule the porcelain army.
Impending Doom: Yao Lin uses the porcelain army to conquer the city.

Danger: The New Kiln
Revolutionary Golems
Impulse: to replace humanity


The beautiful creations of Yao Lin served faithfully for many years, but the spirits of the future have now given them a vision of a Clay Archmage who will lead them to victory against humankind. To achieve that vision, they must drain the energy from their creator, turning his very soul to their own ends.

Grim Portents:
 - The body of the Clay Archmage is finished.
 - The chi drained from Yao Lin and several others is poured into his body.
 - The Clay Archmage awakens.
 - He calls to all the porcelain men in the city, leading a great army to battle against humanity.
Impending Doom: The Clay Archmage leads a revolution of all created life against its creators.
+++THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Ambition knows no bounds.+++

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theloneamigo

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Re: AP: Feeling the Daojin City Blues
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2012, 02:54:05 AM »
Second session started out with four (!) new players, who came up with these characters:
  • Kael Tomlyn the fire-aspected Wizard, an exile from the shrouded plane of Transantiago where she had mastered the Shadow Dancer Style.
  • Barys the air-aspected Thief, once a member of a travelling troupe of performers on Transantiago, now a notorious burglar in the City. Along with Tomlyn, he was a Shadow Dancer Style scion.
  • Shikiko the earth-aspected Inquisitive (a new class for urban detective types), who had once served in the secret police of the Peach Kingdom before she delved too deep into the wrong family's past. Now working as a private eye in the Jade City, she is quick to end any dispute using Deadly Blossom Style.
  • Zhao Li the earth-aspected Fighter, once a pirate-hunter on the Broken Sea of Chennai, now land-locked in Daojin City. His mastery of Jade Mountain Style once struck fear into the pirates of Chennai, who still whisper the name of his sword, The Fury of the Broken Sea, in hushed tones.
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theloneamigo

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Re: AP: Feeling the Daojin City Blues
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2012, 02:15:13 PM »
The second session was a bit of a marathon - seven players and six hours of gaming, all in the service of discovering the secrets of Yao Lin. It can be exhausting running a game for that many players, and I think I may have only just been up to the task. Everyone enjoyed the adventure, though, so I hope it

---

We opened with the four new PCs leaping out of an airship into the courtyard of Yao Lin's estate - a new group of ne'er-do-wells employed instead by the Celestial & Jade Railway Company for much the same ends as our original adventurers. A backfired spell from Tomlyn sent the airship crashing, on fire, into Prosperity Garden, but not before all four new adventurers joined our other protagonists. After a brief moment of arguing, they fled the erupting battle between Sanjeev and the porcelain army, purposefully ignoring the massive engraved door that lead into the main tower and heading into Yao Lin's bath-house.

This is where the PCs first started to get a picture of how the porcelain men were made - in the bath-house, they were confronted with a group of porcelain geishas whose tongues took the form of wicked needles, driven straight into the throat chakra to drain chi from a victim. The battle was short but violent, with a few of the party suffering energy drain from the vampiric golems - and some of them noticing that the estate's magical defences were in fact working directly against the beautiful but deadly creatures. They decided to take advantage of the battle outside to take a few minutes of rest, restoring their chi through meditation and martial practice, Nobunaga building up arcane Charge.

Adventurers resting in the middle of a dangerous wizard's estate? You couldn't have handed me a better golden opportunity to advance the Grim Portents, and hurl Demon-Spiders from the Hell Courts of Yuan Shin at the party. Two of them unlocked the door from the portal antechamber to the bath-house, descending upon our heroes like death personified, flinging acidic silk and striking with sharpened forelimbs. Zhao Li stoutly defended the weaker members of the party using Jade Mountain Style, but his bravery could not save them all. First to face her Last Breath was Kael Tomlyn, the Transantiagian transvestite wizardess, who perished, crushed beneath the bulky corpse of a Demon-Spider. Nobunaga also faced his Last Breath while trapped in an acidic web, but was lucky enough to survive the experience - if only through the aid of Xiao Hu's chi-healing abilities.

They triumphed in the battle against the infernal arachnoids, but not without terrible cost. In no shape to face another such battle, the crew tramped into the portal chamber, with the goal of sealing the portal against any further infernal assaults. Xiao Hu spoke with the spirit of the planar orrery that empowered the mystic gate, hoping to strike a bargain to shutter it forever. The spirit revealed that it could easily be sealed, but Xiao Hu would have to lure one of his spirit allies into the portal and sacrifice them to do so. A moment of consideration, and he decided to attempt to summon Leng Su, the greed spirit that had tempted him on the Long Sing... an attempt which did not go well. Xiao Hu's inexperienced poker face failed him, leading Leng Su to discover his deception and curse him with poor luck for the rest of his life. The portal was instead sealed by a new arrival - Inari Shuto, a wizardess of the Peach Kingdom and sister of Nobunaga Shuto, the party's artificer, whose near-death experience had sent a telepathic distress cry across the planar interstices.

Hearing the sounds of battle outside subside, they decide to mount the stairs of Yao Lin's tower and proceed to the next floor, which turns out to house a large tea-lounge - and a demon bound behind elaborately decorated paper screens. The demon, Ixclub, turns out to be a mid-level bureaucrat from the Hell Courts of Yuan Shin, obsequiously polite and willing to promise the PCs anything if they free him from his bounds. He offers to refresh their minds and spirits with an occult tea service, which all but Li Feng grudgingly accept. Li Feng instead returns to the portal chamber to investigate, where he glimpses the porcelain men draining Sanjeev's body of life force, watching it pulse across the floor towards the great kilns of Yao Lin's factory.

The demon holds to his word, and even stops to chat for a few minutes as the players rest and relax. It again seems like an ideal moment to advance the Grim Portents - I decide that while the players take tea with Ixclub, Demon-Spiders defeat the porcelain geishas who are holding Yao Lin in his bedchamber three stories above, and begin to awaken him. Suitably refreshed by the occult remedies, the players proceed to root through the next two stories - the wizard's library and his occult workshop, turning up a number of magical treasures, but not the ultimate secret of the porcelain men:
  • The Homunculus Bracer: A bracer that taps into the user's chi to give temporary life to small creations. At the cost of 1 chi, any small inanimate object held in the wielder's hand can be given a sort of life, animating and following the commands of its creator for an hour or so.
  • The Fanged Manual of Angolyn the Thirsty: A guide to the art of draining another's chi - which, if opened without a proper key, will quickly drain the life-force from the holder until they are left as a shrivelled corpse.
  • The Sword of Clay: An immense ceramic sword, forged from the same Primordial Clay which gave birth to mankind. It is an ancient and powerful weapon that commands power over flesh - wounds inflicted by it are passed down to the victim's children.

Finally, the characters reach Yao Lin's personal chambers, where he is being dressed by his two remaining Demon-Spider servants. There is an instant where combat could potentially be avoided - but Nobunaga decides to cut the negotiations short before they begin, not trusting the ancient archmage, and launches a crossbow bolt at his head. In a smooth, flowing movement, the archmage moves in such a way as to easily absorb the force of the bolt into his body, without suffering any harm. In that moment, the players suddenly realise they are dealing with not only an archmage, but also a master of the Jade Mountain Style.

The battle is long, and again nearly results in death for Nobunaga, but the gang does prevail over the weakened archmage, slaying him and his demonic servants. Ransacking his bedchambers for treasure, they find a secret portal to a demi-plane hidden within his mirror, where a trapped chest lies, presumably holding his most prized possessions. A botched roll or two leads to Xiao Hu and Barys barely escaping the collapsing demi-pane with their life - and the chest. The chest contains jewels, stock certificates, a locket with a picture of Yao Lin's dead lover, and the key to the Fanged Manual - a veritable haul, but no secret recipe for porcelain men.

Again, the players decide to rest and recuperate before descending to the ground floor. They briefly investigate Yao Lin's scrying chamber, the topmost story of his tower, and this seems like a golden opportunity to confront them with the final opponent to face - the unfinished Clay Archmage, at the head of a small porcelain army. Though the Clay Archmage has much of Yao Lin's power, it has none of his acumen or wisdom, and the battle against the porcelain tide is much shorter.

Having bested the wizard, ransacked his tower, and slain his golem clone, it seems like an opportune time for the assorted adventurers to return to the task they were hired for. Investigating the kiln-factory and the energy paths that Yao Lin built, Nobunaga and Inari are able to identify the basic principles behind the porcelain men's animation - chi is drained from those with opened chakras, and used to create a self-sustaining porcelain heart for each golem. It's reasonably unanimous amongst the adventurers that this knowledge should not be given to their employers, who will are likely to have the murderous instincts to utilise it. The only logical answer is to destroy the tower and its kiln-factory. Nobunaga's alchemical skills give them the means to do so - as the sun rises over Daojin City, it is joined by a second dawn as the white-hot explosion consumes the last remnants of the vanity of Yao Lin.

---
+++THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Ambition knows no bounds.+++

Rogue Trader: Apocalypse

theloneamigo

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Re: AP: Feeling the Daojin City Blues
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2012, 06:34:36 AM »
Headlines from the next day's city papers

The Jade City Journal
Recording the truth for all to see

ARCHMAGE ASSASSINATED BY ANARCHIST AGENTS: MAYOR ANNOUNCES STATE FUNERAL FOR PORCELAIN PHILANTHROPIST

MAGISTRATES ROUT RADICAL RIOT: "NO TOLERANCE FOR VIOLENCE"

SON OF RAILWAY MAGNATE KIDNAPPED!: CELESTIAL & JADE FOUNDER "DEVASTATED" BY LOSS

SLIM KIM BREAKS "LUCKY" STREAK: LUCKY LEE GOES DOWN IN ARENA NAILBITER



The Crimson Equalist
Radical news for a revolutionary age

WHEN STRIKEBREAKERS ATTACK: DRAGONSIDE DEVASTATED BY MURDEROUS MAGISTRATES

CLAY CAPITALIST LATEST CASUALTY IN CORPORATE CLASH: TRIADS TIED UP IN TYCOONS' TUSSLE

RALLY FOR THE REVOLUTION! RED HU CALLS FOR PROLETARIAN ACTION!



The Emerald Inquisitive
News you won't believe!

"I WAS A DEMON'S SECRETARY!": WOMAN ESCAPES HELL PLANES

WOLF? BAT? MAN? MASKED MYSTERY MAKES SHORT WORK OF MUGGERS!

VOID VULTURES ABDUCT DASHING DILETTANTE!
+++THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Ambition knows no bounds.+++

Rogue Trader: Apocalypse

theloneamigo

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Re: AP: Feeling the Daojin City Blues
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2012, 11:32:29 AM »
This week we only had three players - Li Feng the Ranger and Zhao Li the Fighter, joined by Fantaji Kyu, the fire-aspected Inquisitive, formerly a corporate agent on the water-plane of Bakuyeo (and thus skilled in the Flowing Water Style).

-----

While Fantaji's character was created, we checked up flashback-style (just using one roll to judge outcomes) on what Li Feng and Zhao Li had been doing since the last adventure. Zhao Li had been undertaking security work on the docks, while Li Feng's continued investigations into the mystery of the disappearance of his home town's water had borne fruit. The Ranger had made friends with a plucky young reporter from the Crimson Equalist, Zai Yuhn, who suggested investigating the Celestial & Jade Co.'s new water & sewer works.

At her suggestion, the gang traipsed off to the Jade Ward, the wealthy financial and entertainment centre in town, hoping to find an easy entrance to the city's sewer-works through the old River Temple. Unfortunately, they neglected to change for the evening, and were soon accosted by city guards for openly carrying weapons without appropriate permits. Impatient with the idea of talking their way out of the situation, Li Feng sucker-punched a guard and started a running battle-chase through the Jade Ward, only ended when Fantaji called on some of his Triad contacts to get them out of the situation (a basic Inquisitive move called Friends in Low Places).

At the ancient River Temple, carved out of the cliffs on the banks of the Jin River, Fantaji quickly befriend the apparent vagrants who made it their temporary home. He discovered that they were none other than the successors of the River Monks who had once made the temple their home and palace, banned long ago because they refused to bow to the authority of the Great White Temple. Recently, their peaceful existence had been disrupted by the strange appearance of several dead bodies, which had floated out of the sewer system and through the Temple.

As Fantaji investigated, the group was disturbed by a scream from Zai Yuhn. Another body had washed out of the sewers, bloated and covered in terrible boils and pox-marks - but this time, it was a body Zai Yuhn recognised: a union leader named Temuzang, who had vanished when the magistrates shut down the strike in Dragonside. Many other prominent radicals had vanished that night, and it was clear that there was something more going on than simple murder, especially with no signs of violence on the body.

With the assistance of one of the younger River Monks, Soo Kai, the party decided to delve into the sewers and discover the cause of these mysterious deaths. They travelled in pitch darkness, relying on Soo Kai's mystic connection with the water to guide them through the tunnels. With keen awareness on their side, they were able to detect and ambush a pair of magistrates, who were patrolling the sewers at high-speed on specially-build dragoncycles. Memorably, Zhao Li was able to essentially decapitate one magistrate simply by holding out his sword at neck height and letting the dragoncycle's momentum do the work. Unfortunately, the other magistrate was not so easily dispatched, first fleeing at high speed and then using some terrible alchemical potion to transform himself into a hulking green man-beast.

After dispatching the magistrates and commandeering their flame-powered vehicles, the adventurers decided it would be best to find a quiet place to rest and recuperate, before continuing to follow the trail. Soo Kai led them to a tiny and ancient shrine to a forgotten warrior from the old Empire named Chen Hulai - which Li Feng promptly began to steal from. The brazen theft of his wealth called Chen Hulai to erupt into semi-corporeal form, threatening the trespassers with death and dishonour. Somehow, Fantaji was able to talk the spirit out of slaughtering the thief, and allowed them to remain for a few hours' rest - although Li Feng was able to get no sleep.

Li Feng's insomnia was perhaps fortunate, however, as it allowed him to keep watch and detect the appearance of another, larger patrol of magistrates, letting the crew avoid the magistrate's pain gas, and talk Chen Hulai into fighting beside them against the five cycle-mounted magistrates. A rough-and-tumble battle in the sewers ensued, where all the PCs were able to demonstrate their mastery of martial forms - but they were unable to prevent one of the magistrates from unleashing a Jade Mountain Punch against Chen Hulai, disrupting the ghost and driving it from this plane of existence.

Having defeated the magistrates, Li Feng tracked their tyre-tracks through the sewers to a secret entrance of the Imperial Crypt, where the immense statues of the old Emperors of the Many Heavens stood guard over vast wealth. After their previous experiences in crypt-robbing, the adventurers passed through the immense vaulted chamber at high speed - perhaps too high a speed, as Li Feng lost control of his dragoncycle and slammed into a treasure vault, leaving him half-broken in an immense pile of jade coins. A quick intervention and prayer by Soo Kai seemed to placate the spirits, if they were indeed even aware of the disruption, and the party moved on.

The trail ended at an immense elevator shaft that plunged deep into the earth, probably built in the time of the old jade miners. Clearly, whatever evils lurked within this place were at the bottom of this shaft. Soo Kai, Zai Yuhn, Li Feng, Zhao Li, and Fantaji quickly fastened ropes and began their descent into the bowels of the Undercity - a descent which Li Feng took far too rapidly, losing his grip on the rope and plunging nearly twenty metres. In his Last Breaths, he was granted a vision from a demon of the Hell Courts of Yuan Shin, who offered to save his life and restore his health in return for eternal servitude after death as a secretary in the Hell Courts. Despite haggling, no better deal could be secured, and seeing it as the only option that would allow him to save his home town, Li Feng bartered away his immortal soul for a few short more years of life.

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+++THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Ambition knows no bounds.+++

Rogue Trader: Apocalypse

metaman42

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Re: AP: Feeling the Daojin City Blues
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2012, 06:47:05 AM »
Dude, this game sounds awesome! Any chance you run this in Portland Oregon or thereabouts? Also, how much custom stuff did you create for this? Did you rename all the class moves? Any chance we can see the inquisitive class and you race replacements with the styles?