Some Basic Thoughts

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Some Basic Thoughts

Post  Admin on Sun Aug 17, 2008 4:41 am

So, here we are ! Since the idea of a Chinese spinoff of M&M seems to generate quite a bit of enthusiasm, I've created the new Forum category to allow us to discuss and hopefully develop this project. As some of you may recall, I have begun working on "Vikings & Valkyries", a Norse supplement for M&M (which will normally appear sometime in 2009) and I think we should develop such projects along similar lines, using the same overall structure and approach. I thought it would be a good idea to start the discussion by setting those "basic lines" and how they could/should apply to our Chinese project.

Rules & Mechanics

This is a supplement, not a stand-out game. This means the basic rules and game mechanics will remain the same. Of course, it will include additional rules to cover specific aspects of the setting (like martial arts - see below) but the idea here is not to re-design the way the M&M rules work.

These additional / new rules should, I think, be limited to the emblematic / iconic features of the setting - classes, magic, martial arts, a few extra combat maneuvers, perhaps something about etiquette but we must keep in mind that M&M is an adventure game, focusing on combat, magic and daring exploits - so we won't need complex rules about favors, courtly graces etc. Whenever possible, the new rules should be made to fit as smoothly as possible within the existing framework. Take meditation, for instance; in this setting, I think meditation should simply be the way some magician classes recover their lost Power points... and nothing more. Sure, in fiction, warriors may be seen meditating, but this doesn't mean that such general, non-magical meditation has to have effects in game terms - as a general rule, we should avoid complicating things too much and always keep in mind that we are aiming for a "faux old school" fantasy adventure gaming feel here, which leads me to the next point.

Setting

This is not a supplement about Ancient China or even Legendary China. There are already several games which cover this territory, including some very good ones, such as Qin or Outlaws of the Water Margin. Our setting should be an imaginary world, like the world of Mythika... and it should be to Ancient / Mythic China what Mythika is to Ancient / Mythic Greece - so things like historical accuracy or mythological orthodoxy should definitely take a backseat here. M&M has more to do with "Jason & the Argonauts" and "Clash of the Titans" than with Homer's epics or Bullfinch's Mythology - likewise, our setting should have more to do with "Chinese Ghost Story" or "Zu" movies than with serious sources about Imperial China or Chinese Mythology.

Spirit

M&M was designed as a kind of "faux old-school RPG" and I think we should always keep this in mind here - we should try to retain this spirit and feel here too. More specifically, we should keep in mind that old school gaming is about adventuring, fighting monsters, working magic and seeking mythic items - quests, perilous journeys etc. This should take precedence over topics which are normally more important in "serious" China-inspired gaming, like court intrigue or political struggles - this doesn't mean we can't include such things in the background but they should definitely take a backseat in favor of epic adventuring.

So, I'm off to lunch. I'll try to post something about Classes and Martial Arts later today ! Somewhere in my files, I also have a "summary / chapter distribution" which I had devised for Vikings & Valkyries but which could, I think, be applied to all "elseworld" M&M supplements.

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Classes

Post  hoplitenomad on Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:45 am

Thank you sir for your above post.

The following are some quick thoughts on some classes:

Geomancer or Five Element Sorcerer: control of the 5 Chinese Elements of Wood, Fire, Water. Metal, and Earth
Maybe similar to the Elementalist in M&M

Chi Kung Master/ Taoist masters of chi maybe similar to Priest


Ghost Hunter specializes in hunting supernatural "monsters." maybe similar to Hunters

Shadow Warrior I'm not sure of the Chinese equivalent of Ninja similar to Thieves

Weapon Master superlative skill in a single weapon

Imperial Guard police, soldiers etc.... can fight in armor

Martial artist general all purpose fighter armed or unarmed

Warrior Monk a mix between a martial artist and a Chi master.

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No-Demi humans

Post  hoplitenomad on Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:47 am

In most Chinese films there are no demi-humans. I vote for keeping it that way.

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts

Post  Admin on Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:27 am

So here's my list of possible classes - and as you'll see, there are many similarities with the one posted by hoplitenomad.

M&M rules separate classes into three categories : warriors, magicians and specialists. Even though this distribution may not seem very relevant here (in many wuxia/mythic China movies, many heroic characters seem to be both magicians and weapon masters), I wish to keep it - it's part of the "faux old school" feel of M&M and if we dump this, the result will not be M&M-esque. I'd also like to focus on warriors and magicians and to have as many warrior classes as magician classes (in M&M, the distribution is 5 warrior classes including 1 demihuman one (Centaurs), 5 magician classes including 1 demihuman one (Nymphs) and 2 spcialist classes).

Another thing : I'd like to keep as much material from M&M as possible - as far as game mechanics are concerned, some classes (like Sorcerers) can be transferred "as is".

Warriors (4 classes - we could do with a fifth one)
NOBLES - as in M&M, but China-style.
SWORDSMAN - an all-purpose class, as ubiquitous as the Spearman in M&M (would encompass sword saints, weaponmasters etc)
"MARTIAL ARTIST / FIGHTING MONK" (we need a proper name for this one - and I'd like to avoid using Chinese or Chinese-derived names)
BANDIT (not to be confused with Thieves - they would be the heroic highwaymen found in many Chinese tales - and full warriors, which mean higher Hits and combat abilities, Glory points and Reputation effect etc)

For the fifth class... perhaps an all-purpose Soldier class or the Cavalryman from M&M Companion... or since you suggest Imperial Guard, a Guardsman class encompassing soldiers, bodyguards etc. Yes, I think this would work quite well... even if it's not a very "Glorious" class.

Magicians (4 classes - but see Demihumans below)
SORCERERS (just like in M&M)
ELEMENTALISTS (like in M&M, with some variant effects for some Elements and new Elements of Wood and Metal - they would be the "Taoists" of this setting)
"MYSTIC / PRIEST / MONK" (would be the Priest-counterpart of the setting; thus "monks" would be split in two classes : "fighting monks" - see warrior above and "mystic monks", with magical powers)
ANIMIST (entirely new class, with power over nature spirits etc - la "Wu Jen" in Oriental Adventures)

Specialists (2 classes)
I don't think Thieves and Hunters would work very well here, but I think Assassins (the same as your "Shadow Warrior chinese pseudo-ninja" !) and perhaps Archers (detailed in the M&M Companion) would work well here.

Demihumans
I know demihumans are not really "at home" here... but hey, consider Nymphs. Under another name, they would fit TOTALLY in such a setting - female nature spirits who look like beautiful mortal girls, with magical powers of charm and nature manipulation... In game terms, the ghostly heroine of the first "Chinese Ghost Story" would definitely be a "Nymph"... so there's definitely a case here in favor of a demihuman magician class (perhaps we could make an exception and find a proper Chinese term for such beings - I'm sure it must exist).

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts

Post  seneschal on Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:00 pm

Some kung fu movies feature various immortal animal spirits who have cultures of their own but who can assume human form, at least until detected by a devout Buddhist or Taoist holy man. They sometimes take human lovers but, like human/mermaid or selkie unions in Western folklore, it rarely works out. In the movies they have assorted magical powers as well as kick-butt martial arts skills.

I find the best fantasies are built on a solid skeleton of reality. "Jason and the Argonauts" and "Clash of the Titans" worked because Ray Harryhaussen had an understanding of and appreciation for Greek mythology. His version was merely jazzed up for Hollywood. In the same way, the Asian wuxia movies are based on an understanding of Chinese history and folklore. If you completely ditch the skeleton, your fantasy won't hold up. I might come up with a Three Musketeers style game set in a fantasized Europe, but if I don't have some clue as to what 17th-century France was like, it won't feel right.

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts

Post  hoplitenomad on Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:58 pm

I have no qualms about a female spirit/ ghost etc as the nymph class here. It works quite well.

As for the Guardsman, the idea that I had in mind were the Soldier from I believe "Chinese Ghost Story III". The one who cut off his arm to splatter the invisible ghost, The warriors from "Warriors of Heaven and Earth", and Jackie Chan's character in the film "The Myth".

For the Archer perhaps it could be an all encompassing class for missile weapons. Here you could have arrows, daggers, throwing stars, needles, etc...


Maybe instead of Bandits you could keep Barbarians. , Between, Mongols, Manchus, Turks, and various others there are enough references to keep the class. The
heroic highwaymen
just isn't grabbing me. Could you provide few example maybe.

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Martial arts

Post  hoplitenomad on Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:05 pm

I like the idea of all attacks doing the same damage( except dagger, stars, needles etc..)

What about armored vs non armored. Traditionally only the Government soldiers and barbarians had armor but as this is a different world I don't know how to work this out.

Could iron skin be a class feature for warrior perhaps?

Maybe armor is shunned because interferes with the martial arts movements?

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts

Post  Admin on Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:38 pm

seneschal wrote:I find the best fantasies are built on a solid skeleton of reality. "Jason and the Argonauts" and "Clash of the Titans" worked because Ray Harryhaussen had an understanding of and appreciation for Greek mythology. His version was merely jazzed up for Hollywood. In the same way, the Asian wuxia movies are based on an understanding of Chinese history and folklore. If you completely ditch the skeleton, your fantasy won't hold up. I might come up with a Three Musketeers style game set in a fantasized Europe, but if I don't have some clue as to what 17th-century France was like, it won't feel right.

Don't get me wrong ! I completely agree with you - I wasn't talking about 'ditching the skeleton'... simply that we had to keep in mind that other skeleton, the "faux old school RPG" spirit of M&M. If I was to make a "serious" RPG based on Greek myth, it would be very, very different from what M&M is - and likewise I think our project should really try to be "Oriental M&M" rather than "mythic China game borrowing some M&M mechanics".

hoplitenomad wrote:I have no qualms about a female spirit/ ghost etc as the nymph class here. It works quite well.

As for the Guardsman, the idea that I had in mind were the Soldier from I believe "Chinese Ghost Story III". The one who cut off his arm to splatter the invisible ghost, The warriors from "Warriors of Heaven and Earth", and Jackie Chan's character in the film "The Myth".

For the Archer perhaps it could be an all encompassing class for missile weapons. Here you could have arrows, daggers, throwing stars, needles, etc...

But I think that should be an area for Bandits and Assassins too... so perhaps we should simply have the Soldier as our fifth warrior class... but I realized a few hours ago that "fighting monks / martial art experts" could really be categorized as specialists rather than warriors... so perhaps we do have room for another warrior class... speaking of which :

hoplitenomad wrote:Maybe instead of Bandits you could keep Barbarians. , Between, Mongols, Manchus, Turks, and various others there are enough references to keep the class. The
heroic highwaymen
just isn't grabbing me. Could you provide few example maybe.
[/quote]

About Barbarians, yes horse nomads... but I don't think these people would be Barbarians in M&M terms (with Might-based damage bonuses etc). If we go this way, we should perhaps develop a whole new "Raider" class. About bandits / highwaymen, well I was thinking about that famous Chinese book that inspired the "Outlaws of the Water Margin" RPG but I don't know its English title (in French, it translates as "Au bord de l'eau" - "by the water side"). In the Judge Dee stories, the Judge also has one of his assistants who is a former brigand or highwayman and is sometimes referred as a former "knight of the forests"... This character type is apparently a very solid archetype in Chinese literature - and one that literraly cries out "character class !"

As for martial arts and armor, yes, the fact that armor will be much less frequent in this setting accentuates the necessity of a martial arts system - I have ideas on this but I'll post this in a few days, once I've had time to put them in a more-or-less cohesive form.

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts

Post  hoplitenomad on Sun Aug 17, 2008 4:37 pm

I may need to clarify. I don't have a problem with the Bandit per se I just don't have a idea of how to make it a class unto itself.

It it like Robin Hood, or a down and out soldier, a renegade from justice,...how do you envision the class?

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts

Post  Admin on Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:17 am

hoplitenomad wrote:I may need to clarify. I don't have a problem with the Bandit per se I just don't have a idea of how to make it a class unto itself.

It it like Robin Hood, or a down and out soldier, a renegade from justice,...how do you envision the class?

Well it could be either of these and all of them ! I'd like each class to be as flexible as possible and to avoid classes that are too much like specialized professions.

So, to sum up, we would have

Warriors = Nobles, Swordsmen, Soldiers, Bandits and a fifth class corresponding to "horse barbarians" - but I'm still having doubts about this one - it's surely 100% relevant in a historical approach but let's not forget that M&M is all about fantasy old-school adventuring. That being said, on a meta-game thinking level, these guys could be the Oriental counterpart of "Centaurs" (ie they would only be useful in wilderness adventures).

Magicians = Sorcerers, Elementalists, "Mystic Monks", Animists and "Nymphs"

Specialists = Assassins, "Martial Artists / Fighting Monks"

And now... a few ideas about martial arts.

There are three big reasons why we NEED an additional martial arts system for this spinoff. The first, quite obvious reason is spirit & flavor - an Oriental spinoff with no additional rules about martial arts would, I think, completely miss its target. The other reason is more "mechanical" - since armor and shields will obviously take a backseat here, we have to provide a mechanical "counterbalance" to this - something that will prevent this "armor scarcity" from making characters more vulnerable to injury than their M&M counterparts (especially since the protagonists of wuxia movies etc always seem amazingly adept at dodging or parrying blows - or even missiles, for that matter). Having a specific martial arts system will also give a "special feel" to the resolution of combat itself. The third big reason has to do with I mentioned earlier about Oriental mystics/magicians often possessing impressive martial arts skills - and the best way to convey this in the game is to have a martial arts system separate from the basic, class-based special abilities.

That being said, I'd like to keep things as simple as possible and the last thing I want is a complex system with myriads of feat-like sub-abilities, nor do I want to be bogged down in "realistic" distinctions between real-world martial arts styles or schools. Here are my basic ideas on how these things should/could work :

1) Each player-character, regardless of class, would have access to a single "style" or "way". This would be a mandatory benefit of being a PC. The "fighting monk / martial artist" class would obviously have the unique benefit of combining several of these ways together but let's keep this out of the picture for now.

2) Those various ways/styles would be based on animal analogies (eg Way of the Tiger, Way of the Mantis etc)

3) Each way would be based on a combination of two attributes - Might, Skill, Will, Wits and even Grace could all apply here ! Only Luck would be out of the picture here, emphasizing the idea of martial arts based on an individual's better physical and mental qualities (and maintaining some game balance too, given that Luck is already the ber-attribute of M&M). Thus, each character would pick the way corresponding to the most advantageous combination of attributes. This would also ensure some diversity / variety in the group - everyone would have martial arts, but every one could have his own distinctive style.

4) And how would they work in practice ? Well, pretty much like the special abilities of warriors. Each way would give two combat advantages, each one based on an attribute modifier. Thus, a way/style based on Skill and Grace would give one Skill-based advantage and one Grace-based advantage. In most cases, these would be one offensive advantage and one defensive advantage.

In the case of warriors and specialists, these advantages could sometimes "stack up" with the ones given by their class special abilities, resulting in truly impressive scores - but that's the way it should be, I think.

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts

Post  gebeji on Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:56 am

I may be jumping the gun a bit here, but i wanted to post some title ideas that popped in my mind while reading this thread, before i forget them all Wink

Buddhists & Boxers, Temples & Taoists, Swordsmen & Shaolins (my favourite Wink), Monks & Mountains, Scholars & Spirits, Priests & Pagodas, Dragons & Dynasties, Tigers & Tai Chi, Exorcists & Emperors, Kirins & Kung Fu, Virtues & Vagabonds, Combatants & Calligraphy.

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Chinese Errant Knights 5th Warrior Class

Post  hoplitenomad on Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:41 am

Instead of Barbarians I suggest the Chinese Errant Knight which definitely has literary support.

see here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_knight-errant

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts

Post  Admin on Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:49 pm

Well, this "Chinese knight errant" archetype seems to fall under the Swordsman class (in terms of special abilities, attribute requirements etc) rather than be a separate class - and this is perfect because I'd like the Swordsman class to be as diversified as possible and not just restricted to bodyguards or sword saints.

About titles, indeed, I was gonna ask you about this, because none of the "X&X" things I came up with seem to work...(incidentally, I had thought about "Temples & Taoists" too but "T&T" is perhaps too Tunnels & Trolls-esque)

"Swordsmen and Shaolins" has a nice ring to it but implies that we DO use the "Shaolin" term in it.

I had thought about "Swords & Spirits" but it's not as explicitly Chinese as "Mazes & Minotaurs" is Greek or "Vikings & Valkyries" is Norse.

Perhaps we should go for another type of title - it's a better option than a lousy X&X title, I think. Perhaps something la "Oriental Adventures" or "Land of the Rising Sun" (too bad somebody already used "Swords of the Middle Kingdom").

But let's get back to the project itself. I think we have some fairly solid ideas about classes etc - these, of course, will have to be developed but frankly, I feel this will be quite easy to do once we have a clear picture of our setting.

I think we should focus on building a consistent, Chinese equivalent of Mythika - and here I really, really need all the help I can get. Here are two examples of the basic questions that need to be answered :

After which period / dynasty of Chinese history should we model our world (or perhaps we could attempt a "collage" of different eras) ?

When I was working on the first M&M rulebook, I exchanged a few mails with Paul Elliott - who pointed out that such a game would have to have some equivalent of D&D's goblinoid races (you know, goblins, orcs, hobgoblins, gnolls etc), ie humanoid "spear-fodder" for low-level heroes - and this niche was eventually filled by the various Beastmen found in M&M (that's why there are so many of them). What could be the equivalent here ?

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Creatures

Post  hoplitenomad on Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:10 pm

These might be less than are available in a "Western" Style game.

I have yet to go through this site but it may help if we take a Pan-Asian view for monsters:

http://www.monstropedia.org/index.php?title=Category:Asian_mythology

These are some of the top of my head:

Demons of various levels
Ghosts
Hopping Vampires
Yeti
Ki-rin
Dragons (Asian)
Eunuch sorcerer
Skeleton warrior
Animal shifters
Tigermen
elemental spirits
Statue warriors
Snake men( Naga)
Shadows

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Game Names

Post  hoplitenomad on Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:18 pm

Here are some names I made up:

Jade Lotus
Heaven's Dragons
Of Swords and Fists
Children of Dragons
Of Dragons and Tigers
The Tao of War
Mandate of Heaven
Temple of Disciple
Sacred Fists
Hidden Kingdom
Swords and Dragons

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Kung Fu Fighting

Post  hoplitenomad on Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:54 pm

2) Those various ways/styles would be based on animal analogies (eg Way of the Tiger, Way of the Mantis etc)


Here again is just a rough first thought. If it is to complicated no problem.

Kung Fu names also have "mystical" names also like: The Mandarin term "t'ai chi ch'uan" literally translates as "supreme ultimate fist",Bāguzhǎng is one of the major "internal" (a.k.a. Nijiā) Chinese martial arts. Bāgu zhǎng literally means "eight trigram palm,Hsing I Ch'an) is one of the major "internal" (nijiā) Chinese martial arts. Xingyiquan translates approximately to "Form/Intention Boxing", or "Shape/Will Boxing", and is characterised by aggressive, seemingly linear movements and explosive power, and Wing Chun, occasionally romanized as Ving Tsun or "Wing Tsun" (literally "spring chant").


Maybe we can make a distinction between hard and soft styles?
Maybe hard styles are geared for attacking and damage
Soft styles defense and resistance

Or maybe there are six style that work off the six attributes?

Maybe your class favors certain styles?

These are various ideas for martial arts OR class abilities

Mind over body vs hunger, pain, weather,

Serenity calming effect

Chi blast

Breath control heal self

Chi healing heal other

Heightened senses

Iron skin

Jumping maybe 5 feet vertical per level and 10 feet forward per level

Levitation

Feather walk can walk on water or stand on branching or the edge of things

all round sense can't be surprised

air walk can run through the air

immune to poison

immune to disease

slowed aging

block missiles maybe two rolls again take the better

Just some quick thoughts

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Luck vs Chi

Post  hoplitenomad on Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:55 pm

Maybe we should change luck to chi?

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Time period

Post  hoplitenomad on Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:20 pm

I think not using a specific time period would be better. That way we have more options.

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Oriental classes

Post  Wyvern on Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:45 pm

The Guardsman seems like a closer equivalent to the Spearman than the Swordsman does. I expect they'd also fight in formation and use spears as their primary weapon. In fact, you could probably reuse the same rules under a different name.

I think you should definitely include a Horseman class, perhaps in place of the Bandit. It could include highwaymen as well as cavalry and horse nomads.

If you're looking for a one-word name for the "Martial Artist/Fighting Monk", why not just Monk? It worked for D&D, after all. I prefer Mystic for the name of the priestly class. Also, I don't really see the Monk as a specialist; it seems more of a warrior class to me. Though if any character can be a master martial artist, I'm not sure what role that leaves for the monk.

While Assassins are definitely a good idea, I think there's still room for Thieves as well. Have you ever seen a comic series called Way of the Rat? The hero was an Aladdin-like thief in a Chinese-flavored setting.

To sum up, here are the classes I'd pick from the suggestions made so far:

Warrior: Noble, Guardsman, Swordsman, Horseman, Monk

Magician: Sorcerer, Elementalist, Mystic, Animist, Nymph

Specialist: Assassin, Archer, Thief

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts

Post  Admin on Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:55 am

Martial Arts

Well, as I said earlier, I'd like to avoid martial arts "powers" and leave the most "magical" effects to magicians - if only to preserve the "old school RPG" feel we're aiming for. For this reason, things like imperviousness to the elements, immunity to age and other similar stuff should be treated as the magical powers of Monks (see below) rather than be available to all characters with martial arts.

I'd much prefer to treat each martial arts style as a set of fixed abilities rather than as a menu-like list of feat-like powers. Again, it's a matter of style and spirit. In M&M as in D&D, T&T and Dragon Warriors, characters' abilities are mainly determined by his class - I've even dumped spell lists to give all magicians of the same class the same powers... so I'd like to keep this logic here too. Let's call it a matter of system "integrity".

Chi vs Luck

Well, that's precisely the kind of things I want to avoid - changing stat names, rewriting the game etc. If we go this way, Speed would also be an "obvious" attribute but then we might as well start from zero and design an entirely new game, which is really not the same thing.

Classes

I've given some extra thought to this matter, taking into account the various comments made on this thread.

First, I think I'll forget about separating Monks into "Mystic Monks" and "Fighting Monks". Let's go for an all purpose Monk class, in the magician category, with powers like immunity to age, imperviousness to the elements and other cool stuff. The "martial arts" aspect of the class will simply be reflected by the fact that all PCs in the game would have a martial arts Way - including Monks.

This means that there would be no "martial artist", Bruce Lee-like, "karate guy" class per se in the game, since all PCs would be martial artists. This may seem like a weird option but (a) it's a better choice as far as game balance is concerned, (b) the more mystical / spiritual aspects of "martial arts mastery" would be reflected by the powers of Monks, which (as far as game mechanics are concerned) would be categorized as magic and would be separate from the combat advantages granted by "martial arts" proper. Remember we're only talking game mechanics and game consistency here - in a serious oriental RPG, it would probably be more sensible to develop a system of feat-like "chi abilities" but in an M&M spinoff, everything mystical or supernatural (like resistance to age etc) must be treated as Magic. Otherwise, we'll lose the spirit and consistency of the rules.

So, taking all this into account, our current class list would look something like this - for balance / consistency reasons, I don't want more classes than in M&M (twelve) and I'd like to have the same number of warrior and magician classes.

Warriors
Noble
Swordsman
Bandit
Soldier / Guardsman (not sure about the name here - I'd like to avoid giving the feeling that all NPC guards must belong to this class, when they're really only Minor NPCs)
Horseman / Nomad / Raider (I'm still having doubts about this one - I know it's historically relevant but in a fantasy world, the role of Mongols and other "mounted hordes" could perhaps be devoted to imaginary creatures, so we must really think this over quite carefully)

Magicians
Sorcerer
Elementalist
Animist
Monk
"Nymph" (perhaps we could simply call them "Nature Spirits" but this sounds a bit bland)

Specialists
Since I'd like to have the same number of classes as in M&M (12), we can only accomodate for 2 specialist classes... and "Assassin" must obviously be one of them. Is there room for Thieves ? Well, I don't know because Assassins will probably be a "boosted" version of Thieves so such characters would be left at a disadvantage here and appear as a "second rate" class.

As for Archers, I think they should simply be presented as an option (along with Cavalrymen) for military-based campaigns, just like in the M&M Companion.

Creatures

I do know that "goblinoid" creatures obviously seem less "at home" here but so did they in M&M... but I think we have to come up with some equivalent (like Beastmen in M&M) because it's one of the staples of old school gaming. Here again, we see the difference between a "serious" game about Mythic China and a Chinese-style M&M spinoff. That being said, some M&M Beastfolk could be at home here - I'm thinking about Ratlings, for one.

I won't be available for discussion in the next few days (busy finishing the editorial / layout work on "Tomb of the Bull King") but do feel free to continue without me !

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts

Post  hoplitenomad on Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:27 pm

This means that there would be no "martial artist", Bruce Lee-like, "karate guy" class per se in the game, since all PCs would be martial artists. This may seem like a weird option but (a) it's a better choice as far as game balance is concerned, (b) the more mystical / spiritual aspects of "martial arts mastery" would be reflected by the powers of Monks, which (as far as game mechanics are concerned) would be categorized as magic and would be separate from the combat advantages granted by "martial arts" proper. Remember we're only talking game mechanics and game consistency here - in a serious oriental RPG, it would probably be more sensible to develop a system of feat-like "chi abilities" but in an M&M spinoff, everything mystical or supernatural (like resistance to age etc) must be treated as Magic. Otherwise, we'll lose the spirit and consistency of the rules.


and this

Horseman / Nomad / Raider (I'm still having doubts about this one - I know it's historically relevant but in a fantasy world, the role of Mongols and other "mounted hordes" could perhaps be devoted to imaginary creatures, so we must really think this over quite carefully)

Maybe we don't have to ditch the "martial artist or the Karate Guy" and but drop the Horseman/Nomad/Raider this way:

We could have a class called the Pugilist. . As the Swordsman is a generic name for a warrior whom focuses on a single weapon the Pugilist would excel at unarmed combat. A boastful prizefighter, a peaceful warrior, an poor peasant from an area were weapons were outlawed.

The mystic arts can go the monks while acrobatic Jackie Chan style unarmed fighting could be this class.

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts

Post  hoplitenomad on Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:39 pm

Specialists
Since I'd like to have the same number of classes as in M&M (12), we can only accomodate for 2 specialist classes... and "Assassin" must obviously be one of them. Is there room for Thieves ? Well, I don't know because Assassins will probably be a "boosted" version of Thieves so such characters would be left at a disadvantage here and appear as a "second rate" class.

I agree a Ninja type character is a must but maybe another name than assassin. Shadow Rogue or something.

I still think " Dark Stalker " style character could fit. While the hunter in M&M went after beasts this one would specialize in ghost, undead, spirits, demons, non natural enemies.

Now for a few one that are stretching it a bit

The Master, Teacher, Instructor, scholar, etc.... sort of like the Stratageos were his/her presence benefits the party as a whole

The Courtsean

Street performer

Doctor/Healer

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Game useful powers

Post  hoplitenomad on Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:17 pm

Here is a suggestion that I have, powers should be game relevant.

An example would be have a monk with longevity. It's cool but does it have a direct adventuring advantage?

HN

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts

Post  Wyvern on Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:09 am

Horseman / Nomad / Raider (I'm still having doubts about this one - I know it's historically relevant but in a fantasy world, the role of Mongols and other "mounted hordes" could perhaps be devoted to imaginary creatures, so we must really think this over quite carefully)
Historical relevance wasn't the reason I suggested a Horseman class. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Myth, Mulan all feature mounted warriors. Furthermore, it's a broad archetype that can cover a number of different character concepts, including highwaymen. If you make Bandit a class of its own, what abilities would that class have?

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First post and my thoughts about the chinese spinoff

Post  yellow_sign2000 on Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:11 pm

Hi, this is my first post in the forum and I think that a suplement about Mythic China can be very enjoying to play, what do you think about this ideas?

Magic
Types of magic:
- Magic of the Five Elements
- Magic of writing characters, paintings and seals
- Qi powers
- Feng Shui

Magic Objects:
- Scrolls (magic of the characters)
- Jade Objects
- And so on..

Creatures
Terracotta Soldiers (perhaps created by magic long forgotten, may be similar to the golem and used as guardians of tombs)

Dragons (magic beings of great power and wisdom, some may live in remote and secret places, like the top of some mountain and be the secret rulers of the country)

Ghostly creatures and undead:
- Gaki (hungry spirits of Japan)
- Kuang-Shi / Shi-Chiang (necrophagous, China)
- Gyonshi (jumping vampire, China)
- Nukebibi (floating vampire head of Japan, similar to Malaysia's Pennangalan)
- Shut-Doji (vampire, Japan)
- Yasha / Nobushuma (vampire bat, Japan)

Other creatures:
- Yeti
- "Heavenly" horses (horses of the Mongols)
- And so on...

Interesting and mythical places
Tombs of kings and emperors of ancient times
Monasteries at the top of mountains
Lost or hidden valleys (like Shangri-La)
Lost Cities in the Silk Road

The suplement can deal with the myriad of gods and religion also, and secret societies can be fun to use.

What do you think? Question

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Re: Some Basic Thoughts

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