Welcome to Wushu! This has been discussed in various other topics, and after some planning, it's finally getting off the ground! So, we're kicking it off with the rules and character signups for your first learn-as-you-play campaign! Oh my god, exclamatory sentences are awesome, I can't stop using them!INDEX
This is going to be a long introductory post, as this is RPM's first Wushu campaign. Thus, everything needs to be explained, and I will attempt to be as concise as possible. So, here's the golden rules of Wushu, the ancient art of roleplaying:
PRINCIPLE OF NARRATIVE TRUTH
“Everything the players describe happens exactly as they describe it, when they describe it.”
Basically, what you say happens. All narrative and authoritative power is the player's. You don't ask the DM if you can do something, and then role to see if you succeed. You do it. You do that something, and the dice merely determine how much you progress the scene.
And speaking of dice... That's the DM's job. Don't worry about pilfering a handful of dice from Monopoly or something.
Now, of course, there are exceptions. Everyone should more or less be on the same page as the other players. You don't bring forcefields to a Cops and Robbers game. If your character pulls something out of their ass that comes straight out of nowhere and has nothing to do with the game or scene or anything, the DM (and other players) have the option to veto this.
Veto: If the description doesn't feel right, veto it. This basically keeps god-moding in check. If a character does something out of line with their character description, veto it. If Jabba rushes from one end of the room to another so he can body-check some mook, veto the hell out of that! Jabba doesn't walk-- he bounces.
COUP DE GRACE
“You can’t narrate complete victory without first resolving a scene’s mechanical component.”
You can't narrate blowing away everything and the entire challenge in your first turn. For example, you're a bounty hunter after a wily smuggler. You can't narrate hauling the smuggler in and getting paid in your first scene. First, you need to find that smuggler. Then, you need to apprehend him. But, that smuggler has friends! You need to get passed those friends. There are mechanical story points and challenges that need to be met before a scene is over. This rule also prevents blatant god-moding.
EVERYTHING IS A DETAIL
Basically, the devil is in the details. We're using a modified version in which the DM awards dice to players depending on their narrative and how well it progresses a scene. If you give us a really good narrative that describes you ass-kicking your way through a platoon of mooks with such finesse and flair, so you can fight your way across the room and disarm the locks to the door that has trapped your fellow players in a garbage masher, you'd get more dice. If you give us a narrative of filler that does nothing but describe how awesome your bicycle kicks are, you don't get any additional dice, as you had not progressed the narrative.
Go nuts. Describe stuff in detail. But, avoid mindless filler. Progress the scene and do it with style!
...CHOOSE THE RIGHT DETAILS FOR THE GAME
Continuing... make sure your details make sense within the context of the campaign. If you're playing a Star Wars campaign, keep it Star Wars related.
More rules! This is going to be long.
Wushu uses a dice pool. Basically, a handful of d6. Each item of your description is a die, and for this campaign, there is a cap of five dice. By all means, go nuts with your description, but keep in mind that it won't earn you additional dice. Also keep in mind that the dice are awarded by the DM. You need to impress us (Ringman and I).
Basically, a description would go something like this: "Fett steps into the room (1) and eyes the competition. (2) He pulls out his blaster (3) and fires off a round of shots in quick succession (4), which topple the unsuspecting faceless mercenaries like dominoes. (5)" (Note: You don't need to add the numbers. Those were to show what equals to a die.)
After your description, the DM rolls your dice (default is three) and they tell you how effective your narration was in bringing the scene closer to a resolution. Keep in mind, everything happens how you describe it. If you kick down a door, you kick down a door.
Yin and Yang (Defense and Offense)
When faced with opposition, the dice would be split into two separate pools, which would be rolled against each other and your character's traits. This is where it gets complicated, the main reason why the DM would be handling all of this. Yang dice are offensive dice. Yin dice are defensive dice. Your successful Yin rolls cancel out someone else's successful Yang rolls.
Characters are defined by traits (more later), which are rated from 1-5. When it's time to roll your dice, pick a trait that's relevant to the actions you described. If you don't have one, the default rating is 2. Every dice that rolls above that trait's rating is a failure. Rolls under that rating are a success. If there are any Yang successes that have not been canceled out by your Yin rolls, you take a hit.
Chi could basically be seen as energy. Default Chi rating is usually 3. If your Yin does not cancel out the opposing Yang, your Chi takes a hit. For example, if there is a remaining Yang die, your Chi takes 1 hit. Keep in mind, though, that you can still play and kick ass just as fine as you did before. The Chi is your narrative power. If it reaches 0, you become incapacitated and unable to narrate. At the DM's discretion, Chi points can be awarded after a round or so. Until then, though, your incapacitated character is at the mercy of the DM's whims.
These nameless, faceless NPCs are as the player describes, in any number as the player describes. The scene will be assigned a threat rating (general number on how many mooks there are), but the description of these NPCs are all left to the player. Go nuts. They can be cloned as needed.
The threat rating will be determined by the DM. The easy equation we plan to use would be the dice cap minus 2, times the number of rounds (DC-2xRN=TR). So, the dice cap is 5, minus 2, times, say, ten rounds, which gives us a threat rating of 30. Now that you're confused, keep in mind that this is the DM's job. So, if you want to DM a Wushu campaign, I hope that you're taking notes!
Each Yang success by the player reduces the Threat Rating by 1. When the rating reaches 0, the player who knocked it out gets to describe the coup de grace and resolve the scene. Basically, if your turn eliminates the threat rating, you get to describe the killing blow.
Mooks don't roll any dice, so each player facing mooks must get 1 Yin success per round, or lose 1 point of Chi.
Basically, the boss. These guys (usually one, but they can have mini-bosses on their side!) are treated as a player. They have a character sheet, traits, weaknesses, they describe their actions and they roll. The DM will handle these. These are NPCs with attitude.
The coup de grace rule still applies here. When the boss's Chi is knocked down to 0, the boss is essentially defeated and the player who delivered the final blow gets to describe the scene resolution. Keep in mind that since the boss is a character, they can also do the same to you!
This is for when you want to roll against something without making a big production out of it. Say, stumbling across the room to find a light switch. Grab dice equal to the relevant trait and roll them, comparing them to the following scale:
1- Good work! You succeeded without fail!
2- Good success, but mission (barely) accomplished.
3- You succeed, but there are some consequences.
4- Garden variety failure.
5- Really bad, embarrassing failure.
6- Failing so hard that it defies comprehension.
These types of rolls can also work for sneaking past guards.
These can be anything from a profession to an adjective. It's good to have a nice balance of physical (fighting) and mental traits. Traits start at 2 and you can have 8 points to raise them. A maximum of 3 traits is usually a good amount. And it's good to have some generic and catch-all traits to make up for anything that might come up in the narrative. Otherwise, if your traits are far too specific, you'd be rolling against a 2 for most of the game.
These are traits with a rating of 1. They can be anything. These are to balance out your character and keep the god-moding in check. These will not come into play often, as normally, your character would try to avoid their weaknesses, whatever they may be. Your character sheet will have two weaknesses, both rating a 1. If you attempt to act against your weakness, you need to roll a 1. Only a 1 is a success.
Players will have twenty-four (24) hours to submit a narrative during their turn. After that point, if the player has not submitted a narrative, the DM will commandeer that player's character for that turn. This time limit is mainly to keep the game moving along.Discussion
So, there you have it! That's the basics of Wushu. Ringman and I will DM the play-as-you-learn game, and we have pre-built character sheets already. There will be a period of signups, which I may start either later this weekend, or wait until Monday. But, until then... after you slogged through the tl;dr, you guys up for Wushu?