Monday, October 24, 2016


This is a log for my ongoing Disposable Disciples of Bone Kingdom campaign. You can see the previous session HERE. 

Player Characters: 
Shen Chun
Little Bai
Bao Yang
Chao Feng


The Righteous Outlaws
Calamity Star
Ou Jinghzhu
Tea Master Houzhou

Stone Palace Sect (Also called Golden Way)
A gambling hall and criminal network in Yun Hu. Currently under control of party, with Weeping Lotus managing it. They've absorbed many other sects into this organization including Crocodile Sect, Blades of the Weeping Lotus, Temple of the Jade Mercies, Relentless Corpse Sect and more. 

Bao Yang (Chief)
Shen Chun (Second Chief)
Weeping Lotus (Right Vanguard)
Feng (Accountant)
Gu (Head Chef)
Little Bai

Dancing Scorpions
Criminal network in Yun Hu

Relentless Corpse Sect
Da Mei Mei

Temple of the Jade Mercies (see Stone Palace)
Abbot Wei Zhao
Abbess Bao-Yu
Yao Tu-On
Yao Chun
Yao Ba

Southern Hill Sect
Yellow Mantis
White Chysanthemum
Green Mantis (Dead but important)

Twin-Fisted Eagle Sect
Twin Fisted Eagle
Jade Fist

Bone Breaking Sect
Destroyed and taken over by Drunken Hero Kang

Glorious Death Cult
Led by Supreme Master Tung, who says he is a god of death

The Party had just killed Treasury Inspector Qu in his courtyard. They also killed a young student of his and an accountant. Little Bai ducked into the studio where Chao was searching and he found the Manual of Qu (which he took). Chao set fire to the studio. 

Everyone except Chao fled as soldiers approached and formed a corridor of men. A sedan chair approached and dropped before the soldiers. A magistrate exited the sedan and walked through the corridor of men into the courtyard. 

He spoke: "Great hero, you have killed a corrupt and scheming official. I wish to bestow titular office upon you and express our gratitude". 

Chao, who was hiding inside the studio and record office, fired a hail of storming arrows, wounding everyone in the courtyard. 

He heard the feint cry of the magistrate. "I only sought to give you praise, why have you attacked?"

Chao released another hail of arrows, killing everyone in the courtyard. He then examined one of the soldiers and noted his facial features for later copying. He then looked at the magistrate and took his medallion, which said "City Magistrate Dao Qi." From there he went to the edge of town to render a mask in the image of the man's face. 

Min followed him and brought him back to stone palace. 

When Shen Chun reached Stone Palace, Feng the Accountant approached and said "There is a man in the audience hall waiting to see you, he seems like a powerful martial hero". 

Shen Chun expressed displeasure at this but Feng said the man had threatened him and he feared he wouldn't fair well against him. So he sent him to the audience hall to make time to time to warn Shen Chun and Bao Yang. He suggested caution. 

Shen Chun took men with him and greeted the man. The visitor was there with ten women dressed in pink robes and he carried two heavy maces at his side. He said his name was Flower-Handed Snake and he'd come to find his brother, Blue-Handed Snake after hearing he was last seen at Stone Palace. 

Shen Chun explained that Blue-Handed Snake was a follower of one of their former members, someone who had died some time ago (this was Chao who had spread rumors of his own death and taken an assumed name: Wen**). Flower-Handed Snake was not impressed by this explanation and said he would return in a day for more information. 

Throughout the conversation Flower-Handed Snake was informal, occasionally rude and never showed any formal respect to Shen Chun. This made Shen Chun suspect he was a powerful master and to be dealt with cautiously. 

In the kitchen, Little Bai read through the manual of Qu and saw that it had some pressure point techniques in it. He asked Chef Gu to make him a roast duck, then used it to practice pressure techniques on. When this didn't work he ate the duck and gave the manual to Shen Chun. 

That evening, Little Bai, bored with the kitchen staff, went out into the city to look for people to fight. He eventually came upon a group of drunken men in nice robes stumbling from a wineshop. 

"Do you know how to fight?" He asked. 

One of the men crouched low and flamboyantly spread his hands "Yes, I know how to fight!"

"Good, my name is Little Bai and I want to fight someone" Little Bai said then stabbed the man in his belly. He could easily have killed the man with the attack but decided to make a less lethal strike. 

The man fell to the ground. "I was joking you fool!" 

His companions shouted "You have wounded the great Scholar Shen!". 

Little Bai said, "well I don't know what a joke is but thanks for the great fight. I will see you later." Then he left and heard Scholar Shen Screaming something. 

Shen Chun went to speak with Master Xiao, who had requested a conversation. Master Xiao informed him that the magistrate killed by Chao at the residence of Treasury Inspector Qu, was an official he had corrupted and relied upon. Further he said that the magistrate was there to help smooth over the death of Treasury Inspector Qu for them. He wasn't pointing fingers but felt they needed to plan accordingly because the Empire would soon be sending a replacement and someone, probably a very powerful and well-resourced someone, to investigate the death of a city magistrate. 

That night Shen Chun was awakened in the middle of the night to sight of Yusheng, the Yen-Li Priest, trying to strangle him. They had placed Yusheng in a locked chamber when they learned he was cursed by a Golden Raksha medallion. Now he was somehow before Shen Chun trying to kill him. 

Shen Chun fled and Yusheng did not pursue. He heard a scream from Bao Yang's room. Going there he found Bao Yang in a pallid state with a dark ring around his neck. He looked very weak. "Go kill Yusheng" he screamed. 

Yusheng called Min since she had knowledge of these matters and asked her what to do. They weighed their options. They decided against killing him and burying him in a pit with the talisman and instead settled on letting him leave Stone Palace so he could travel far away. 

The next day Shen Chun went to Yusheng's chamber and brought him out. Yusheng confirmed he had had dreams of attacking people. They decided he was somehow traveling in his sleep due to the talisman and said he should travel far away from Li Fan. He wanted to be merciful and show his thanks for Yusheng's good service. For his part, Yusheng was grateful for the mercy, as he understood the gravity of the situation. He said he would go to the Silk Tavern and continue to research the matter. That Shen Chun could go there and kill him if the attacks continued. He then departed. 

Flower-Handed Snake returned and met with Chao at the entrance of Stone Palace Sect, who explained that Blue-Handed Snake had gone in search of the Immortal Killing Sword. Flower-Handed Snake was displeased. Little Bai wandered up to them and peppered Flower-Handed Snake with questions seemingly interested in learning from him. Flower-Handed Snake sent him away and he grumbled that he wouldn't make a good master anyways.

Flower-Handed Snake grasped at Little Bai saying "How dare you say this to me." 

Little Bai said "Well you have a giant mace and that isn't a very good weapon. Everyone knows the jian is the best weapon in the martial world. I don't want to learn from you. 

Flower-Handed Snake insisted that his maces could strike a man with enough force to send them any distance he desired. Then he shook his head in disgust and turned to Chao "I will be back in twelve days, have more information on my brother by that time." As Flower-Handed Snake walked away, Chao said he would make finding Blue-Handed Snake his top priority. 

Little Bai walked around town and noticed everyone calling him Cruel Deceitful Little Bai. They also seemed afraid of him. He asked what deceitful meant and a frightened resident said it meant he was incredibly smart and intelligent. 

"I like that" said Little Bai. He then went to search for Scholar Shen. He found him in a tavern. Surrounded by his men, Scholar Shen reprimanded Little Bai and said he was going to defame him in an epic romance he was working on. It was clear he was deeply angered and despised the young hero. 

"Great," said Little Bai. "Can you do me a favor since you are a scholar. Can you make me posters telling people I want someone to fight?"

Scholar Shen's demeanor softened and he said "Why of course. In fact, I will not charge you a spade for the service. This is entirely my pleasure. But let's make sure we phrase this correctly so you get truly worthy opponents."

"Yes, that would be excellent, I'll be back in a few hours for them"

When Little Bai had returned, Scholar Shen produced a number of posters with a quickly drawn, but skillfully rendered likeness of Little Bai, showing him ripping a baby in half. The poster read "Cruel Deceitful Little Bai will kill a baby every day until a great hero comes and stops him."

Little Bai was pleased and spread the posters around the city.

Around this time, Min had gone to a book shop looking for Yen-Li ritual manuals. She found a book that contained Drawing Out the Demons and Forceful Opening. She purchased it and the proprietor told her their was a master in town recently. She asked who and he said it was Flower-Handed Snake. 

Min asked what he knew of Flower Handed Snake and he said only that he loved pretty women and was terrified of his wife. 

Leaving, Min noticed posters of Little Bai all around town. She was quite concerned and began gathering them. She then asked people who the artist was. They told her it was Scholar Shen. 

Min, who was acquainted with these things, knew that Scholar Shen was the writer of the Erotic Chamber of the Hidden Chrysanthemum, the Romance of the Banyan Heroes and a number of commentaries on Dehuan virtues. She also knew he frequented the Sword and Wine tavern, so went to confront him. 

He was visibly frightened of her when she arrived. She insisted that he make posters that wouldn't attract powerful heroes to kill him, and would ensure he received only fair competition. He explained that Little Bai had stabbed him in the stomach for no reason. She insisted that he was young and didn't know any better. Scholar Shen promised to make new posters, but said it would be at least two days. 

Min continued to take down posters then found Little Bai and brought him back to the tavern where they dined on a spicy meal Chef Gu prepared for them. 

A swordsman arrived, calling himself Restless Sword. He was dressed in blue and wore a conical hat. He said he was there to bring the baby killer to justice. 

Little Bai said he would be happy to fight Restless Sword but Min intervened and told Restless Sword the poster was fraudulent, that Little Bai meant no harm and was just looking for a fair fight. Restless Sword agreed to fight fair then and said he wanted to kill the man who made the poster (which Min talked him out of). 

Little Bai and Restless Sword clashed. Despite Restless Sword clearly having more experience and internal strength, he was handily defeated by Little Bai. This both impressed and embarrassed him. Little Bai asked if he could learn from him, but Restless Sword said he wasn't sure, since if he taught Little Bai any moves, it would only put him at a greater disadvantage the next time they dueled. 
Restless Sword asked who Little Bai's master was. He simply said his master was 'master'. 

Seeing that line of discussion went no where, Restless Sword suggested that Little Bai go with him on his next job. He was protecting a big shipment of jade traveling from the Banyan to the empire and after losing so badly he feared he might need more help than he initially thought. 

Little Bai said he could not, but Restless Sword said he would stop by in the future. 

In the meantime, Chao had travelled south to East Gate. He had sent word to Fearless Cat that he wanted to arrange a meeting to discuss the whereabouts of her son. He had done so by masquerading as Hidden Arrow and going to a steamed bun vendor. East Gate was a military outpost and settlement. He went to The Ox Plow and waited for Fearless Cat to arrive. Days later he had a private meeting in a dining hall with a man dressed in black. 

Chao continued to masquerade as Hidden Arrow, but the agent said he knew Hidden Arrow was dead. He said he knew a number of other things about Chao and that he shouldn't continue deceiving them. As the conversation turned hostile, the sounds of flutes filled the air and leather shadow puppets crawled along the walls of the partitioned dining area. They attacked Chao's shadow, causing both his arms to fall useless to his side, paralyzed. He ran from the chamber as they continued to attack. One nearly struck his leg, but he dodged and used Stealth of the Spider Demon to flee to the roof tops. 

This is where the session ended. 

**For clarity I've retained the use of Chao when referring to this character. 

Monday, October 17, 2016


This is a log for my ongoing Disposable Disciples of Bone Kingdom campaign. You can see the previous session HERE. 

Player Characters: 
Shen Chun
Hidden Arrow
Bao Yang
Chao Feng


The Righteous Outlaws
Calamity Star
Ou Jinghzhu
Tea Master Houzhou

Crocodile Sect*
Player Characters (See above)

Dancing Scorpions
Criminal network in Yun Hu

Relentless Corpse Sect
Relentless Corpse Queen
Da Mei Mei

Temple of the Jade Mercies
Abbot Wei Zhao
Abbess Bao-Yu
Weeping Lotus

Bone Breaking Sect
Destroyed and taken over by Drunken Hero Kang

Glorious Death Cult
Led by Supreme Master Tung, who says he is a god of death

Stone Palace Sect
A gambling hall and criminal network in Yun Hu
Currently under control of party, with Weeping Lotus managing it
Feng is an important member (the accountant)


The party was in Yun Hu at Stone Palace, awaiting the return of Hidden Arrow. Chao, who is a peripheral member of the party, with his own aims and goals, went to the Singing Reed and secured a room. From there he went to Master Xiao to find out if he knew anything about the theft of his Immortal Killing Sword. Xiao said he did not but suggested he speak with Five Dagger Chang of Tiger Clan. 

The party had put out a call for heroes to help them destroy Southern Hill Sect. The first to arrive was Min (a new player character). Skilled in Yen-Li magic, she offered her services to the group and was accepted. Next to arrive was a man in eccentric red clothing called the Red Killer of Hu Qin. 

Red Killer of Hu Qin was granted an audience with Shen Chun (who had Dim-Witted Chen with him and some disciples). Red Killer of Hu Qin said he wanted to help him kill Yellow Mantis, who had made his sister a widow. Shen Chun asked how he would be of service to them, and Red Killer of Hu Qin leapt forward to attack shouting "By killing you!"

Shen Chun countered and tapped Red Killer's meridian points, causing him to freeze in place. He demanded to know what the attack was for as his men bound the man. Red Killer of Hu Qin said it was revenge for Green Mantis. 

Shen Chun tried to reason, saying it didn't need to be an endless conflict between them. That they could work something out. But Red Killer of Hu Qin rejected any efforts to negotiate, even saying he would rather die than continue talking, so Shen Chun decapitated him. 

As this was going on, Chao went to the Sword and Wine Tavern where he heard Five Dagger Chang stayed. There he saw Five Dagger Chang dining with his men in a private hall. He called over the server and paid for their bill (which amounted to 8,000 spades). Then he sent a message to Five Dagger Chang requesting a meeting. 

Chao received word that he was granted meeting with Chang and went to the Sword and Wine to speak with him. There he found Chang and his men wearing clothes made from tiger skin. He also noted a claw scar on Chang's face (who boasted he had been mauled by a tiger that he killed). 

Chao said he didn't know anything about the immortal killing sword but would inform him if he heard anything. Chao asked if there were any matters he wanted help with, any lucrative jobs. Chang said he knew of a shipment of jade that would be passing through for a large works project (heading from Hu Qin to the capital). He could bring Chao on the venture and give him 10%. Chao wanted in and demonstrated his skills by painting a mask of Chang's face that was a perfect likeness. Impressed, Chang offered him 20%. They agreed and Chao was told the shipment would pass by in the second lunar month. 

Hidden Arrow reached Yun Hu (he had been north at Plum Tree Temple). He had his Golden Raksha disciples and sub chiefs with him. He first sent them to the Singing Reed (and Chao witnessed the group in the common area). Then he took them south to a cave on the canal. He took two disciples with him to Stone Palace and prepared some concealed poisoned needles then went inside. 

The reason for his caution was that Bao Yang (the leader of the group) had grown increasingly paranoid. Hidden Arrow had received a secret order from Fearless Cat to kill Bao Yang, and his information network informed him of Stone Palace's heightened state of security. 

When he arrived, Bao Yang was resting so Shen Chun had the men take Hidden Arrow to a reception hall where fifteen disciples waited for him with chains and rope. They encircled him when he entered and he demanded they cease their attack. The disciples said they were under orders and it was a security precaution. Eventually Hidden Arrow relented and allowed them to bind him rather than kill the disciples. 

Shen Chun began interrogating Hidden Arrow. He used the stick he'd taken from Green Mantis and looked into its orb, where he saw an image of Hidden Arrow killing the servant of Silken Robe Society in an alley. 

Bao Yang awoke and entered the room. He told Hidden Arrow that he knew he was working for Fearless Cat and he should just confess. Hidden Arrow denied the accusation, saying he was working for her in the same way the rest of the party was. For a moment it seemed Bao Yang might be persuaded but he continued to press and demanded more information, threatening to kill him if he didn't. 

Hidden Arrow said he was not afraid of death, that he had already made preparations for the next life and would come back for revenge with ease if he were killed. Bao Yang brought the mace down upon Hidden Arrow's head, nearly killing him. Hidden Arrow desperately flicked his concealed needles at Bao Yang (which struck his robes uselessly). Then Bao Yang brought down the final killing blow on Hidden Arrow and instructed the men to chop his body into bits. As they did so, his body dissipated*. All that remained was a Golden Raksha Medallion (and they had their Yen-Li priest, Yusheng, bury it). Bao Yang then told everyone to go searching for any agents Hidden Arrow had in the city. 

Chao arrived as they were leaving and informed Bao Yang that he had seen a number of men at arrive at the Singing Reed recently. They followed the trail of Hidden Arrow's men. They learned they had gone south of the city. Before following the trail, Bao Yang went to Master Xiao and asked him about the medallion. 

Master Xiao said it belonged to the Golden Rakshas, a terrible organization. He also told him that the medallion was cursed. 

Bao Yang changed his mind and told his people to return to Stone Palace sect. There they locked up Yusheng, knowing he was cursed (the medallion kept returning to his body no matter how much he buried it). 

Later that day, another hero arrived, this one called himself Little Bai**. He told Bao Yang he had just come to the martial world after living on the mountain with his master. He seemed incredibly naive, not knowing that there was more mountains in the world than the one he had lived on. But he expressed interest in fighting and being the best swordsman in the world. Bao Yang and the others decided to take him on. 

Wanting to test Little Bai and Min's skills, he took them with him to kill the incorruptible Treasury Inspector, Qu. They went to Qu's courtyard residence, with Min and Chao sneaking in first. In the courtyard they saw Qu instructing a boy in martial arts. There were also two guards and clerk. 

The party knocked on the gate and were allowed in. Min leapt to attack, but Qu pulled out a huge sword and knocked her hook swords toward Bao Yang. The battle went on for considerable time. Every attack they landed he seemed to block with the strength of a pillar, often doing considerable damage to the attackers. Shen Chun managed to hit him with Strike of the Raging Tiger and this caused him to deflect their incoming weapons at both his clerk and the boy (the clerk died instantly, but the boy fell unconscious from the blow). 

The guards fled. Little Bai stabbed Qu in the belly. Min and Bao Yang finished him off but many in the group were wounded. 

Bao Yang then grabbed Qu's big sword and killed the boy. The party went into Qu's studio and started collecting his records. A group of city soldiers arrived at the gate. 

This is where the session ended. 

*Hidden Arrow very much died, but he had formed an agreement with the Ghostly Emperor that his spirit would be rescued from the eight magistrates and he would be made an elder of the Golden Raksha Clan. His character may come back as a ghost or painted death down the road (but as an NPC). 

**This was the new character of the Hidden Arrow's player. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I did an article about Chang Cheh's Brave Archer 3 at Shaw Brothers Universe. The third film in a series based on Legend of Condor Heroes, Brave Archer 3 is worth checking out but also worth getting to know the source material if you really want to appreciate it. In the article I review the movie but also talk about its context.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016


This is a log for my ongoing Disposable Disciples of Bone Kingdom campaign. You can see the previous session HERE

Player Characters: 
Shen Chun
Hidden Arrow
Bao Yang
Chao Feng
Wei Ruomei 


The Righteous Outlaws
Calamity Star
Ou Jinghzhu
Tea Master Houzhou

Crocodile Sect*
Player Characters (See above)
King Iron Beard
Li Sou Chao (Witch of Zhaoze Zhou)

The Roaming Avengers
A group of five brothers who swore loyalty to Hidden Arrow.

The Golden Way
Iron God Meng

Dancing Scorpions
Criminal network in Yun Hu

Relentless Corpse Sect
Relentless Corpse Queen
Da Mei Mei

Temple of the Jade Mercies
Abbot Wei Zhao
Abbess Bao-Yu
Weeping Lotus

Bone Breaking Sect
Destroyed and taken over by Drunken Hero Kang

Glorious Death Cult
Led by Supreme Master Tung, who says he is a god of death

Stone Palace Sect
A gambling hall and criminal network in Yun Hu
Currently under control of party, with Weeping Lotus managing it
Feng is an important member (the accountant)

This session the party was pretty well split up so each member, or small group, will get its own session in the log. 

Hidden Arrow received reports on the Queen's palace security, learning that she had a contingent of 5,000 soldiers protecting her, plus a group called The Five Heroes of Xuanlu (who guarded her at all times). 

He performed the Pearl Burning Ritual, which worked but caused the room to quake and the air to thrust in and out of the room. A face appeared in the wall and said "I am the Ghostly Emperor. What do you want?"

Hidden Arrow said he wanted to serve and to receive the benefits of serving the Ghostly Emperor. 

The Ghostly Emperor was pleased and explained he had powers to breach the celestial realms and bestow immortality upon those who went into his service. When he was convinced that Hidden Arrow was sincere he told he gave him a counterfeit Talisman of the Lunar Kingdom, which would enable him to travel freely to and through Supreme Judge Yu's lands. He also handed him a Golden Medallion with the head of a Raksha upon it. 

"You will go to the Lunar Kingdom and help the Plum Tree Monk Escape from the Cliffs of Arraignment."

Hidden Arrow agreed to the request and accepted the items. He asked for assistance in the form of resources. The Ghostly Emperor told him there were men waiting outside the city ready to serve him and they should all go to Plum Tree Temple, where they would find a gateway to Lunar Kingdom. 

Hidden Arrow did as asked and headed by ship toward Mount Dao. There he went to Plum Tree temple, a stone monetary in the hills where the air was heavy with a salty odor. As they approached the ground became swampy. A monk greeted them and Hidden Arrow demanded to be shown the portal. 

The monks revealed a luminous disc-shaped hole beneath their abbot's kang stove bed. The monks, the Golden Raksha Clan, and Hidden Arrow entered the portal and found themselves in a dry broken landscape. To the west was a road and beyond the road was a large cliff. 

They headed toward the cliff and a number of men began to straggle behind them. They looked emaciated and hungry. Hidden Arrow used gaze of the lion to deter them, causing them to fall back. However by the time they reached the cliff, a horde of hungry men were swarming around them. 

They continued to the cliff and found a door guarded by two giant men who looked like they were made of sandstone with Raksha-like faces. He showed the Talisman of Lunar Kingdom and demanded entrance. They let him in. 

Inside was a magistrate behind a standing desk. He approached the magistrate and said he needed to interrogate the Plum Tree Monk. The magistrate seemed nervous and asked for more details. Hidden Arrow grew angry, thrusting the Talisman in the face of the magistrate and warning him not to test his patience. 

The Magistrate told him to go to room 3675. Hidden Arrow took his men down a long, long hall, traveling at least three miles before reaching the door on the right. A soldier stood guard over the door. 

He went into the cell and found a large man there with menacing eyes. He was enveloped in chains and thick purple energy left his body overtime he exhaled. 

Hidden Arrow told the soldier to bring him the key to the chains so he could take the prisoner to be tortured. The soldier left to get the key and returned with the magistrate who begged him not to torture the prisoner, as he was far too dangerous. Hidden Arrow threatened to have him executed if he kept interfering with his methods, and the magistrate handed the key to him then returned to his desk. 

Hidden Arrow released the chains and told Plum Tree Monk that he was rescuing him. The Plum Tree Monk asked if he had the Life Giving Stone, and Hidden Arrow said it was at his inn room in Xuanlu. 

They killed the soldier and escaped. Then headed for the portal again. As they did a bell sounded. They ran fast and all but two made it through back to Plum Tree Temple. 

Hidden Arrow commanded them to seal the gate, and the Plum Tree Monk used his Qi energy to close it. 

"Where is the Life Giving Stone?" Asked the Plum Tree Monk. 

"Oh...I thought you said the Wife Giving Stone".

The Plum Tree Monk grabbed him by the throat and Hidden Arrow said "I was just joking".

"Do you think you can toy with me?"

Hidden Arrow apologized and said he would get the stone. He took the Plum Tree Monk to a side room and performed the Pearl Burning Ritual once again (he estimated the pearl he had could be used up to three times). 

The face of the Ghostly Emperor appeared in the stone and spoke. He requested the Talisman of Lunar Kingdom, which Hidden Arrow returned. Then said "You are the 13th Chief of the Golden Raksha Clan."

Hidden Arrow said "Excellent, I look forward to meeting the other chiefs."

"No," Said the Ghostly Emperor, "You are the 13th person to be the chief of the Golden Raksha Clan. Now, leave me to speak with the Plum Tree Monk."

"Thank you Master, what does this mean."

"It means, in life you command the Golden Rakshas, and if you die, I shall help you become a Painted Death to continue your service."

Shen Chun spoke with their Yen-Li priest, Yusheng, about finding a ritual to help him control the spirit of Kwan (whom they had imprisoned in a sealed chamber). 

Yusheng said he could find rituals that would give him near but not total certainty (95%). he said they would need to seek the wisdom of more powerful people or entities if they wanted more. Shen Chun told him to begin making a list of such people. 

Shen Chun and Wei Ruomei went to Twin-Fisted Eagle Clan headquarters in Southern Hai'an to negotiate an alliance so they could defeat Southern Hill Sect. On the way they were spotted by Twin-Fisted Eagles' scouts who brought them to his Earthen Round House. 

They discussed how many men each side had. From what Twin-Fisted Eagle said, it sounded like Southern Hill Sect had more heroes but fewer disciples. They agreed to work together against Southern Hill Sect. 

As Shen Chun and Ruomei headed back to Crocodile Sect headquarters, they were ambushed in the Skinless Forest. A man appeared in the distance with a stick in his hand and from either side a number of men enclosed on them. 

"It is time for you to die," Said the man. 

Shen Chun said "It doesn't have to be this way, why do I have to die."

"You killed your Sifu," Said the man, who they knew to be Green Mantis. "You are unfilial beasts."

"I did no such thing."

"The man held out his stick, which had an odd golden sphere on top, and said "I see your crimes. I know you killed not only Iron God Meng, but you also killed Relentless Corpse Queen. Time to die."

The man leapt into the air and dug his rigid fingers into Shen Chun's head, cracking his skull slightly. Shen Chen backed up and commanded his men to take on the flanking enemies. 

Ruomei leapt forward and attacked, and did Dim-Witted Chen. They wounded Green Mantis but not enough to bring him down. 

Shen Chun used Phoenix Spirit Disruption to open Green Mantis' heart so he would fall in love at the next kind word and said "You are very brave and very righteous."

A look of confusion passed over Green Mantis' face. 

"You don't have to hurt me," Shen Chun said. 

Pained, Green Mantis said "I am sorry my love, but justice must be served." Then he raised his stick and tried to sever Shen Chun's arm. But Shen Chun countered, tapping Green Mantis' meridians and freezing him in place. 

They were able to grab hold of Green Mantis and threaten to kill him if the others didn't stop fighting. 

The disciples of Green Mantis put their weapons down and were all tied up. Shen Chun had them killed, then returned to the Crocodile Sect Headquarters to kill Green Mantis. 

After killing him, he made arrangements to go to Li Fan with all his men, taking their entire force out of Hai'an. 

Before he left though, he examined Green Mantis' staff. Looking at the orb he realized he could see the crimes or misdeeds of anyone who stood before him. For example he learned that Yusheng had stolen money from their treasury. 


Chao recruited a scholar who was hard on his luck and needed funds to pass the exams. Soon a person arrived named Scholar Shan. However it was clear to Chao that Shan was a woman dressed as a man. He offered to help her master the art of disguise and give her funding if she would do as he asked once appointed to the Dak Station. She protested that Dak Station positions were appointed by a higher magistrate, but Chao said he would handle those details. She told him her real name was Zhu Shanhu and agreed to his terms. 

Chao then went to Blacksmith Fu and asked him to make a replica of the Immortal Killing Sword. He agreed to do it for 7,000 spades and said it would take two weeks. 

Then Chao went to Li Fan. 

Bao Yang continued to consolidate things in Li Fan. He hired a man named Devil-Faced Toad to assassinate Gentle Blade (the head of Southern Hill Sect's information network). Then he hired two bounty hunters: Long Sword Leng and Bronze-Faced Yu to track down Li Sou Chao. He made initial payments and the three headed off together. 

When Chao arrived, Bao Yang reprimanded him for impersonating him in a meeting with Xiao. He said he'd have him killed if he did it again. He even stated he was thinking of bashing in his head but decided against it. 

Bao Yang hired an engineer named Pan Hu to design a heavily trapped complex to use as a base of operations. The man told him they would need to build it away from the eyes of the local authorities because they would be suspicious if he built such a heavily fortified base of operations near Yun Hu. He suggested the area by the Dragon Tooth Caverns. He also said it would take many months, possibly much longer and cost millions of spades. Bao Yang gave him some initial funding and ten men to go scout the location and began planning. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Here is my last week or so of wuxia reviews. Highly recommend The Blade, but this was an interesting selection: Tsui Hark, Sammo Hung and Chang Cheh. 
THE BLADE (1995)



Tuesday, October 4, 2016


This is a small adventure for Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate. While it takes place in Li Fan, it can be used anywhere the GM finds convenient. Forgive the formatting, it was tricky to get this all on the blog page. 
Ghost in the Fields, by Jackie Musto

Overview: Player Characters go to Hero Guan's Villa to obtain his many treasures and riches after hearing rumors that he retired from the secular world and left behind a vast wealth of artifacts. When they arrive they must contend with another group of heroes who are looking for his fortune as well, then discover that Hero Guan never retired at all but murdered his entire family turning everyone into hate-filled ghosts. If they want to survive they need to find a way to destroy the spirits or lay them to rest. 

Background: Hero Guan was respected and adored in Li Fan for helping drive back the Kushen many years ago and for his ongoing efforts to hunt spirited beasts and ghosts. He was also enormously proud of his family: his wife, Di, and his three sons Chor, Bun and Meng. One night he found a letter revealing that his wife had a secret lover who was the true father of his three children. He went mad with rage, butchering his family and his servants. He tied his sons to a tree and made them watch while he beheaded their mother with the Diamond Sword. He then stabbed his three sons before drowning all his servants in the courtyard pond. 

Guan Su took the Diamond Sword and stabbed himself in the heart. His blood and spirit filled the sword with hate. Now anyone who picks up the sword is overwhelmed by his rage. 

The sons rose became tree ghosts who feast on human blood and control other trees. The wife rose as a headless ghost, bound to the Diamond Sword. The servants became pond muck-spirits, their long, distended limbs and bodies intertwined as one water-logged entity that reaches out and grabs passerby. 

Introduction: A new rumor spreads through the martial world slowly, reaching a contact or ally of the PCs before most other people. Hero Guan has not been seen in some time and a local wine shop owner (Red Eagle of the Red Eagle Wine Shop) claims he overheard Hero Guan say he was going to take his family to the Banyan and live in seclusion, leaving all his earthly possessions behind. None of this is true of course, Red Eagle likes to insert himself into any local happening and has a talent for embellishment (see the BACKGROUND section above for what really happened). 

Either way, the PCs learn that if they are fast, they can get there before anyone else and acquire one of his Diamond Sword, riches and other treasures. Alternatively someone can hire them to, or they could be asked by a concerned family member to check on him. 

Meeting Bao of the Roaming Avengers
On their way their they encounter one of the Roaming Avengers, a man named Bao who tries to insert himself into the party by feigning cowardice and expertise in antiques. He waits in a nearby tree on the outskirts and says he is looking for martial heroes to help him. He claims to be an antique dealer and have come here on his own but fled when he thought he saw a demon in the woods (this is a lie but is close to the reality of the situation). If they'd be kind enough to help him venture in, he'd let them take first pick of what they want, and only want one or two minor objects for himself. 

In truth, Bao is one of four brothers, the Roaming Avengers (See below). He and his brothers are setting a trap for whoever comes first. They've heard rumors that something sinister may be going on at the villa and don't want to take chances themselves. Their main purpose is to get the white jade Statue of Hen-Shi. So they sent him to join the first heroes to arrive in order to attack and rob them on the way out (he can lead them to the ambush site and help catch them off guard). 

Approaching the Villa
The players may approach the villa however they like. But they must make Detect Rolls TN 10 to avoid being ambushed by the Three Sons if they take the main trail. Even if they succeed, the Three Brothers will be aware of their presence and try to attack if they take the main trail. If they take another route, they must make a Survival Roll TN 8 to not attract the Three Son's attention. 

The sons bodies and spirits are joined in the form of a giant tree with gnarled bark and bright yellow leaves. Their faces appear on different sides of the trunk, and can also appear on nearby trees under their control. They are obsessed with getting revenge for the death of their mother and believe everyone they see is their father. 

The Brothers can move as one entity by their roots somewhat slowly (40 feet a round). They are physically unable to enter the villa itself. They are unable to leave the 1 mile area in the Yellow Forest around the villa. 

Anyone without the Diamond Sword is wise to run from the Three Sons. 

Hardiness 7, Evade 5, Parry 7, Stealth 10, Wits 6, Resolve 9

Key Skills
Bite: 2d10 (4d10 Damage), Thrusting Roots: 1-5d10 (1d10 Damage Each)

Wounds: 14

Bite: The bite of the brothers does 4d10 Damage and subjects targets to a draining effect as they drink the blood. 

Thrusting Roots: The Brothers can shoot out up to five thrusting roots that attack targets at a distance of 30 feet. They can attack multiple targets or direct many roots at fewer targets. On a Total Success the root impales the target doing 1 Extra Wound. Otherwise, each root in an attack does 1d10 damage. 

Blood Drain: When the brothers bite into the flesh of the living they suck up the blood and drain 1 point of Hardiness. 

Immunities: They are immune to normal weapons but harmed by the Diamond Sword. 

Tree Minions: They can use nearby trees to attack. Each round they can command 3 trees to attack (but must forgo any attack themselves when they do). Trees roll 2d10 for their attacks and do 3d10 damage. 

This is a courtyard house surrounded by a hall and made up of several halls divided into three rooms each. The walls of the rooms are separated by sliding doors made from framed oiled paper. 

My hand-drawn map of the villa
The Villa has been abandoned for months, but even before that it was falling into disrepair as the Hero Guan was distracted with suspicions of his son's parentage. The players are free to explore, and the GM can certainly add more elements to the map as desired. For space consideration on the blog page I am keeping it simple. However in my campaign when I ran this I had more extensive entries on the individual chambers (for example in the kitchen was a considerable quantity of exotic poison for a mysterious reason that could be explained by further investigation). GMs are encouraged to elaborate with the map in that way to add their own style and flavor. 


Areas and Things of Note
Muck-Filled Pond (D-Servants)
This pond is filled with a thick green coating and appears viscous. It is unusual even for a pond that hasn't been cared for in months. A Creatures (Spirits) roll TN 7 indicates the presence of some kind of Gui (or Ghost) is the cause. 

Beneath the surface of the pond are the intertwined and warped bodies of the household servants. There were five in all, but they are now barely recognizable as human. 

The servants bodies now form a single entity. Their bodies are pulled long like clay and intertwined like string used to make a rope. The skin itself is dark and moist but one can occasionally catch glimpses of their human facial features or limbs. This mass can change shape readily and form new appendages which seem somewhat hand-like and can reach from the pond to pull in victims from many feet away. They retain residual loyalty to Guan and try to prevent anyone who enters from reaching his residence hall. 

Hardiness 5, Evade 7, Parry 5, Stealth 8, Wits 10, Resolve 10

Key Skills
Grapple: 1d10, Arm Strike: 1d10, Muscle: 1d10, Speed: 5d10

Wounds: 20


Rotting Hands: They can launch a long single limb from the pond up to forty feet to entangle and pull in victims. Anyone hit immediately feels their skin grow damp and their skin begins to rot as they are exposed to Heart Fire. Unlike normal Heartier, this has a potency of 4d10, so roll that against the target's Hardiness. If it beats their Hardiness they acquire Heart Disease plus their skin starts to take on a rotting appearance and smell. 

Guan's Body
This is the body of Hero Guan. It is quite rotten. But a deep wound is visible in the chest over his heart upon inspection (Medicine TN 6 to confirm this is the cause of death and to tell the body is completely depleted of blood). 

Wall Breach

This enormous crack and hole in the wall was caused by the Three Sons when they tried to gain entry into the villa. They smashed it with their roots but found they could not enter even when no barrier existed. Players can use this to get in and out of the Villa. 

Reception Hall (C-Wife's Head)
The head of Guan's wife is here, upon a tall cabinet near the door to the treasury. The head is resting and will only attack in two conditions: if the players attack/awaken the body in the bedroom or if they try to walk past the head into the Treasury. 

See Bedroom for Head's stats.

Bedroom (B-Wife's Body)
This is a normal looking bedroom. The wife's body is resting on a canopied Kang Stove bed. The canopy obscures her. Behind her, there is a cabinet at the head of the bed. Inside the cabinet is a gourd filled with 17 Blue Phoenix Pills.On her body is stamped a letter from her former lover, Jong Sheng, asking about his illegitimate sons. 

Di is a ghost whose body and head are serrate. She appears as she did in life but her face is emotionless. When she attacks her eyes fill with rage. Her teach are unusually sharp and large. Her laughter fills people with tremors. She tries to protect the villa from intruders and prevents people from obtaining the Diamond Sword. She can only be harmed by the Diamond Sword. Not even Qi energy attacks her her. 

Hardiness 7, Evade 8, Parry 5, Stealth 7, Wits 7, Resolve 10

Key Skills
Arm Strike: 1d10 (3d10 Damage), Bite: 2d10 (damage 3d10 Open), Grapple: 2d10, Speed: 3d10, Fly (head): 2d10, Muscle: 2d10

Wounds: 10

Life Drain: On a successful attack with her bite or hands she drains 1 point of Hardiness. 

Laugh: When she laughs people feel an uneasy trembling inside their body and can lose the ability to move easily. Roll 2d10 against Hardiness. On a success any target hearing her laughter is filled with trembling, like their heart is out of control. They take a -2d10 to all skill rolls that round (which also reduces their movement accordingly). 

Floating Head: Her head floats and attacks separately. On a successful bite it does 3d10 open damage. 

Immunities: Only the Diamond Sword can word her. Nothing else does any damage to her body. If she is killed by the Diamond Sword, she permanently is laid to rest. 

This is where Hero Guan's treasury is. Unfortunately it is less splendid than its reputation suggests. It was mainly his studio for painting and writing. So there are a number of paintings of the nearby pond and trees on the wall. There is also a large lacquered cabinet with the following objects displayed prominently: 

The Diamond Sword: This is an Ox Tail Dao made from a fine metal that is smooth like ice and sharp as diamond. It is famous for killing many demons and spirits and does do 1 Extra wound against all creatures of those types (including ghosts). However the residence of Guan's villa are especially susceptible to it. Not only does the blade kill them permanently, it does 2 Extra Wounds to them. 

However it is cursed with the blood and spirit of Guan's anger. Anyone who holds the sword is overwhelmed with a violent rage. Roll 5d10 against their resolve each hour they hold or carry it. If they fail, they fly into an explosion of anger and must attack all nearest targets indiscriminately for 1d10 rounds to the best of their ability. After a person has managed to hold the sword for at least a day, the 5d10 roll against Resolve lowers to 3d10 against Resolve. 

Jade Hen-Shi Statue: This doesn't seem valuable at first. In fact it doesn't even look like jade it is so dirty. Anyone with Trade (Jewelry) can identity it as White Jade on a TN 7 roll (those with other trade skills can make the roll at -1d10).  This weighs 29 ounces, which means it is worth a fortune (over 1 Million Spades). 

Crown: There is an old crown from the Era of the Five Dragon Emperors worth approximately 14,000 spades. 

The Belt of Wu: This is a belt of unknown origin. On a successful History (Era of the Five Dragon Emperors) roll TN 8, it is possible to know that this object is the Belt of Wu, an item of unknown origin that makes one incredibly strong but also crave alcohol. Anyone who wears it against Beast Strength x2 and does 1 Extra Wound on Arm Strike rolls. However they also must pass a 3d10 daily Resolve test not to get drunk. 

The Book of the Ghostly Emperor: This is a strange text that talks about an entity called the ghostly emperor. He is a kind of celestial kingpin, or criminal mastermind. They say he was one of the Five Dragon Emperors who became obsessed with longevity and tried to cheat death. He fled from the Eight Magistrates and found spaces in between the realms. Now he is a ghostly creature who appears in stone, metal water, earth and wood. He can be summoned by a ritual called The Pearl Burning Ritual (not described fully in the book) and is aided by a cult called The Golden Rakshas. Mainly what he does is gives people favors or counterfeit celestial medallions so they can travel between different realms. He can also help people escape from Supreme Judge Yu's prison. 

The Roaming Avengers is a name this group has taken upon themselves, most do not acknowledge this title and instead call them the Five Thieving Brothers. They travel the world working for wealthy patrons and reclusive masters, in search of ancient treasures. However their preferred method is to let others do the hard work, then rob them.

The Roaming Avengers are five brothers, the sons of a man named Se Yong. Their childhood was idyllic, they lived in a nice villa in Hu Qin, and their father was a wealthy merchant. One day, after weeks of consternation, their father kicked them out of their home late at night, and had his men beat them with sticks until they left, saying they were never to return, never to claim to be his sons until they had earned Ten Hundred Million Taels.

The sum was outrageous but the brothers took the number very seriously and have been stealing artifacts and selling them, so they can return home. What they don’t realize is their father and mother are both dead and kicked them out to protect their lives.

In truth, Se Yong was really an aristocrat from Li Fan. His real surname was Han and he was supposed to marry the daughter of an important official named Lu Cong. Before the wedding, Se Yong fell in love with a young woman from another great clan: Pei Mochou. Not only was this forbidden by Li Fan law, but Lu Cong was enraged and threatened to kill Se Yong and Pei Mochou. The two fled and assumed new identities in Hu Qin. Twenty three years later, Lu Cong found them. He had devoted himself to revenge and martial arts. Fearing for the safety of their five sons, the couple kicked their children from the home, and came up with the implausible sum of ten hundred million taels so they would never be in danger. They were both killed by Lu Cong.

The Roaming Avengers have no real beliefs except that they must earn their father’s acceptance by obtaining ten hundred million taels. They will use any means they can to achieve it and prefer to let others do the heavy lifting, which is why they’ve resorted to robbery. However they are not blood thirsty. They like to tie-up and threaten people with a horrible death, but they just want to get their money and have no desire to spill real blood.

The brothers have developed a poor reputation in the martial world. They area aware of this, so often use assumed identities to trick their victims. Most consider them thieves of the lowest sort.


The five brothers all wear matching outfits, except for Bao. They

Roaming Archer is the eldest of the brothers and the most devoted to earning a fortune to gain their father’s good graces (see sect entry for details on this). He focuses all his mental energy on planning and scheming to obtain as much wealth in as short a period as possible. He treats interactions with people as transactions toward this end. He is capable of demonstrating tremendous affection, wit, and passion, but these are masks. His true nature, is sullen and cold.

Hardiness 5, Evade 9, Parry 3, Stealth 6, Wits 8, Resolve 8

Key Skills
Grapple: 1d10, Throw: 0d10, Arm Strike: 1d10, Leg Strike: 2d10, Light Melee: 2d10 or 3d10 with Stick, Medium Melee: 0d10, Heavy Melee: 0d10, Small Ranged: 3d10 or 5d10 with Composite Bow, Speed: 3d10, Muscle: 1d10, Meditation: 2d10, Athletics 3d10, Detect: 2d10, Empathy: 3d10, Reasoning: 3d10, Persuade: 1d10, Deception: 2d10, Survival (Wilderness): 2d10, Survival (Mountain): 2d10, Survival (Desert): 2d10, Trade (Wood): 2d10, Talent (Disguise): 2d10, Read Script (Feishu): 3d10, Language (Daoyun): 3d10, History (Era of the Great Emperor): 1d10, History (Era of the Compassionate Daughter): 1d10, History (Era of the Demon Emperor): 1d10, History (Era of the Five Dragon Emperors): 1d10, History (Era of the Righteous Emperor): 1d10, Places (Hai’an): 2d10, Places (Li Fan): 2d10

Qi: 4
Max Wounds: 9
Weapon: Composite Bow (3d10 Damage, +1d10 Accuracy), Stick (3d10 Damage, +1d10 Accuracy)
Combat Technique: Small Ranged-Accurate
Expertise: Bow

Key Techniques (Waijia 3, Qinggong 1): Endless Arrow, Rain of Arrows, Storm of Arrows, Slashing Arrow, Intercepting Arrow (Counter)

Bao is the sort of person who believes his own lies and makes friends quickly. He seems sincere, even when he isn’t and knows how to earn peoples’ trust. He often approaches victims before the other brothers under some pretense so he can travel with them then help his brothers take their treasure.

Hardiness 6, Evade 4, Parry 4, Stealth 8, Wits 7, Resolve 6

Key Skills
Grapple: 2d10, Throw: 2d10, Arm Strike: 3d10, Leg Strike: 1d10, Light Melee: 1d10, Medium Melee: 0d10, Heavy Melee: 2d10, Small Ranged: 0d10, Speed: 0d10, Muscle: 2d10 or 1d10 with Hard Whip, Meditation: 1d10, Athletics 1d10, Detect: 1d10, Persuade: 2d10, Deception: 3d10, Empathy: 3d10, Talent (Disguise): 3d10, Read Script (Feishu): 3d10, Language (Daoyun): 3d10

Qi: 3
Max Wounds: 7
Weapon: Hard Whip (4d10 Damage, -1d10 Accuracy)
Combat Technique: Heavy Melee-Set Up

Key Techniques (Neigong 1, Waijia 3): Crack of the Hard Whip, Hands of the Hawk Beak, Grasp of the Python (Counter)

Dresses all in white and uses the venom of the white spider.  He is quiet and thoughtful, only occasionally voicing his opinion (usually when he believes it has exceptional merit). He judges others harshly, despite rarely expressing his disdain.

Hardiness 3, Evade 5, Parry 3, Stealth 10, Wits 7, Resolve 6

Key Skills
Grapple: 1d10, Throw: 1d10, Arm Strike: 1d10, Leg Strike: 1d10, Light Melee: 1d10, Medium Melee: 0d10, Heavy Melee: 0d10, Small Ranged: 0d10, Speed: 2d10, Muscle: 1d10, Meditation: 1d10, Athletics 0d10, Detect: 3d10, Talent (Poison): 3d10, Trade (Alchemy): 2d10, Creatures (Insects): 2d10, Read Script (Feishu): 3d10, Language (Daoyun): 3d10, Read Script (Yanzi): 3d10, Language (Kushen): 3d10

Qi: 2
Max Wounds: 5
Weapon: Needles
Combat Technique: None
Equipment: White Spider Venom, Fury Powder

Key Techniques (Neigong 1, Waijia 2, Dianxue 1): Merciless Black Claw, Storming Needles

Lu Cong is the least intelligent of the brothers and the most prone to simple solutions. However he is oddly insightful at times. The correct conclusion to complex problems often comes to him from nowhere. 

Hardiness 7, Evade 3, Parry 7, Stealth 6, Wits 6, Resolve 6

Key Skills
Grapple: 0d10, Throw: 0d10, Arm Strike: 2d10, Leg Strike: 3d10, Light Melee: 2d10, Medium Melee: 2d10, Heavy Melee: 3d10 or 2d10 with Hard Whip, Small Ranged: 0d10, Speed: 1d10, Muscle: 3d10, Meditation: 0d10, Athletics 1d10, Detect: 2d10, Reasoning: 3d10, Read Script (Feishu): 3d10, Language (Daoyun): 3d10

Qi: 3
Max Wounds: 7
Weapon: Hard Whip (5d10 Damage, -1d10 Accuracy)
Combat Technique: Fists of Steel
Flaw: Unintelligent (-1d10 to all Knowledge Skills)

Key Techniques (Neigong 1, Waijia 3): Crack of the Hard Whip, Fierce Strike, Clutch of the Hawk (Counter)

White Spider Venom
This venom is taken from the white spider and induces sleep. It must enter the blood stream to work, usually through a needle or dart (but any cutting weapon will do). Once it enters the body, the target falls asleep in 1d10 minutes for 2d10 hours. When they wake they suffer no ill effects.

White Spider Venom

Fury Powder
Fury Powder can be dispersed into a 20 by 20 foot area easily where it lingers in the air for 1d10 rounds. Anyone exposed to it is susceptible to its effects. While not lethal, Fury Powder drives its victims into a murderous frenzy directed at their allies. Anyone must make a 5d10 Resolve check every round for 1d10 minutes or attack their nearest ally. Enemies are spared. The powder only creates murderous anger toward those the person trusts and has some positive emotional connection to. There are 32 ingredients in Fury Powder including lead and at least an ounce of crushed gold.

Fury Powder

Discipline: Waijia
Skill: Light Melee and Ranged Attack
Type: Normal
Qi: 3

You fire an arrow so that it bounces off the bones of your targets and continues to strike.

Make a small ranged roll against anyone within range. On a success the arrow does normal damage and continues to another target of your choice.

Cathartic: This works as above, except it keeps going after the second target, working until you fail.

Discipline: Waijia
Skill: Light Melee and Ranged Attack
Type: Normal
Qi: 3

You slice in a wide circle with an arrow, cutting down foes before knocking it for a single shot.

Make a Light Melee attack against all targets in your immediate area and roll 1d10+Muscle for damage on any successes. Then roll Small Ranged to fire the arrow at any target in range.

Cathartic: Works as above except the melee attack with the arrow does 3d10+Muslce for Damage and you can knock two arrows to fire at up to two targets.