Xion
 member, 54 posts
Sat 7 Jul 2018
at 18:13
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
I am looking for interest in a Xianxia style game using the Pathfinder rule-set. For those not familiar with Xianxia, think wuxia with high-magic fantasy elements, where the characters are cultivators of various sorts attempting to walk the path towards immortality. Comics and light novels that serve as examples include Spirit Blade Mountain, Tales of Demons and Gods, Martial God Space, God of Martial Arts, Volcanic Age, Red Spirit and many more.

I'm considering using Pathfinder for the base rules, and then using Gestalt (at least for PC's and select NPC's) as well as the Mythic, Spheres of Power/Might and Paths of War rulesets to further flesh out the abilities of people trying to ascend to immortality. There will be a big emphasis on ki, and while there will still be a distinction between arcane and divine magic it will be considered 'arcane ki' and 'divine ki' rather than through concepts similar to western magic. The same will apply to other supernatural or psionic (if somebody wants to go that route) abilities, as everything is interpreted as a form of ki. Everything comes back to ki in some way, as it is how you advance your cultivation. Ki feats will also exist to permit non-ki using classes access without needing to dilute class levels.

Cultivation realms (levels) will be acquired as level increases (about 1-3/1-4 levels being in a single 'realm'), with each realm of cultivation granting additional specific bonuses. Penalties will also accrue when attacking someone of a higher realm, while they gain bonuses to attack you, underscoring the fundamental difference between cultivators in different realms. This may include penalties to saving throws, and higher realm cultivators having damage reduction and spell resistance boosts vs lower realms.

The game would be fairly growth driven moderately paced game, with a 60-65% combat, 25-30% roleplaying and 10% puzzles split approach to the game-play. Time-skips may occur between some levels, particularly when ascending to a higher realm.

I will include some elements of western fantasy, but this will still primarily be eastern focused to the best of my ability. Some exceptions may include some of the western fantasy races included (elves and dwarves, still undecided on halflings/gnomes), even though humans will still dominate. I may reject concepts if I feel they lack the flavor I am looking for in the game. I am not looking for people poised to take advantage of all the rule-sets I'll be permitting, I'm looking for people with a genuine interest in playing the setting and developing character. I know the genre itself can be a bit one-dimensional in this aspect, so I consider it a challenge that we need to hurdle to make a fun game.

Players would all be a bit unique, as I would utilize another common trope of the genre, reincarnation/memories of different era. Everyone would be a reincarnated soul from the our own time and place, either born with their complete memories of the 21st century, or suddenly jammed into an older body (no more than 5-15 years of age at this point) that has undergone trauma and had the reincarnated mind take over, with access to the memories of the old self. The PC's would have had some a fair time to adapt to their current situation in the latter case, and PC's would either know of each other prior to beginning to game, or realize this fact about one another relatively quickly. It appears to be a very uncommon but not entirely unheard of phenomena. However each such case in history was previously an isolated one, nobody has ever heard of a group of souls reincarnating in the same time and place. We can even discuss everyone reincarnating after dying together in the same event, so people might even have known each other prior to reincarnation.

The world itself would be similar to many of the comics, with martial sects occupying positions of power both political and military in and amidst the existing kingdoms, while the wilds and sub-dimensions and alternate dimensions teem with monsters and cultivators of sources initially unknown to you. All the PC's would belong to the same sect, and would presumably have just been elevated to a division of their sect together, and be placed under a master. From there, it will be a struggle to advance yourselves as you make relationships with people around you who could just as easily seek to either bully you or outright kill you for their own advancement or purposes as help you. While societal rules exist, the one rule in this word of martial arts is that strength is the underpinning of everything, the one who has strength can make the law. People will often turn a blind eye to the actions of those stronger than themselves, for fear of retaliation.

This message was last edited by the user at 18:14, Sat 07 July.

cltchrn
 member, 40 posts
Sat 7 Jul 2018
at 19:00
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
Sounds interesting
GreyGriffin
 member, 206 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Sat 7 Jul 2018
at 19:32
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
I'm always interested in Xia-style stories, but does Pathfinder mechanically support the kind of combat you want to portray in 60% of your game?
Aidhogan
 member, 70 posts
Sun 8 Jul 2018
at 05:16
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
Legends of the Wulin does, at roughly Pathfinder's crunch level.  LotW is honestly designed for this kind of play, at a lower starting level, and you could scale it up pretty readily.  Exalted pretends to but never really delivers on that.  Godbound is the current quick-play darling for these kinds of hijinks, and probably the best choice with care taken about the Words.  But Pathfinder sounds like it would be a hard modification.
Xion
 member, 55 posts
Sun 8 Jul 2018
at 16:49
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
I have experience with Exalted, it doesn't fit with what I am going for, but I am not familiar with Godbound or Legends of Wulin, and don't have the book materials. I'd definitely take a look if I had access to it.

Pathfinder as is is not necessarily the most optimized system for it, but I am very familiar with it and am confident I can tweak it sufficiently that I'll be satisfied. It doesn't have to be perfect, just... close enough. The tweaks will involve powerups and realm bonuses, as well as in-game opportunities to expand your foundational training (training will grants feats, spell-like abilities, and more).
meschlum
 member, 180 posts
Sun 8 Jul 2018
at 17:34
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
It's the precursor to Legends of the Wulin, but Weapons of the Gods has a highly entertaining introductory scenario which is free on DriveThruRPG. A way to get to know the system (or an early version thereof) and see if it appeals. You can find it at http://www.drivethrurpg.com/pr...uspicious-Beginnings

There are multiple schools of martial arts, which teach their own techniques - you can (and to some extent must) mix them to get your own style. More advanced martial arts schools give you access to better techniques, though the basic ones are never useless. Characters all start with the ability to run on walls, water, and so on because they are heroes (and can get better at it).

There are tiers of ability with one's chi which reflect power to a fair extent - you can beat someone with  higher tier, but they have a lot of passive bonuses as well as (typically) access to better techniques.

There is mechanical incentive to mix up your techniques a bit rather than always use the same attack combo - and a way to build up to an overwhelming attack after having spent some time in combat.


On the minus side, it's very easy to develop characters with wildly different combat skills (primarily by investing in skills and contacts versus investing in martial arts and Weapons of the Gods). The ability to build up more powerful attacks does not reset between fights, so you may want to go out of your way to beat up minions in order to have an alpha strike available when meeting the big boss (there are limits, though). And the non combat system exists but is rather open to interpretation.
Xion
 member, 56 posts
Sun 8 Jul 2018
at 20:42
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
I took a look and its definitely the flavor I am going for, for certain, but I can't glean enough of the mechanics from it to decide whether its something I'm willing to work with.
Aidhogan
 member, 71 posts
Sun 8 Jul 2018
at 20:54
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
Godbound has basic rules available free on DriveThruRPG.  Every roll in that system is 1d20, and characters are assumed to have quite broad areas of mastery where there's no need to roll at all.  They are gods reborn, afterall.  Character advancement is more in the vein of how long you can keep up the miracles, not how big they can be.
Xion
 member, 57 posts
Sun 8 Jul 2018
at 20:59
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
The Spheres of Power/Might rules-set has a lot of stuff to support the flavor I am going for as well, and the Ki feats from Heroes of the Jade Oath offer a lot of stuff as well, some of them will be incorporated into the realms to represent the basic xianxia abilities, like the wall-walking/water-walking, getting permanently ki-infused organs at higher realms etc etc, whereas most of the other ki feats would be available through leveling up/training/cultivating.

http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/

Check the Sage class from Spheres of Power/Might, it fits really well, whereas the Spheres of Power correspond to 'natural laws' or 'worldly principles' for the most part with little adjustment necessary. On the side-bar you'll also find the Heroes of the Jade Oath ruleset, but I am only really interested in the ki/chakra ruleset from it.

Something I'm also considering is the inclusion of gunpowder technology as well, with little emphasis on its technological development, so basic firearms being available (and gunslinger classes as well), with perhaps the most advanced pistol being a 3-shot cylinder revolver. It would be typically seen as a lesser weapon for a cultivator, but atypical examples have existed, and a few rare techniques of melding ki and fire-arms would exist.
meschlum
 member, 181 posts
Sun 8 Jul 2018
at 21:58
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
The introductory scenario has sections showing how the mechanics work, albeit a bit at a time.

Basic mechanics are simple:

1) roll Xd10, where X is your skill (almost - you get a bonus if you have a high attribute or an applicable specialty), where skills go up to 5 dice maximum (so you can have at most 7 dice, from skill 5, a specialty, and a superhuman attribute).

2) Look for rolls with the same number. For instance, if you roll 4 dice and get 2, 5, 6, 5 there is one pair (the two 5s).

3) Pick one of the numbers you rolled - you usually want the number that you rolled most often, and the highest one in case of ties.

4) Get a two digit total where the tens digit is the number of times your number is represented and the units is the number you rolled (10s count as 0).

So if you picked the 2, you'd have a total of 12 (one die rolled 2, so 10 to start with, and 2 for the die value)
If you picked the 5, you'd have a total of 25 (two dice rolled 5, so 20 to start with, and 5 for the die value)
If you picked the 6, you'd have a total of 16 (one die rolled 6, so 10 to start with, and 6 for the die value)

     2.1) If you pick a value you only rolled one, you get 10 + the die value
     2.2) If you pick a value you rolled twice, you get 20 + the die value
     2.3) If you pick a value you rolled three times, you get 30 + the die value
     2.4) If you pick a value you rolled four times, you get 40 + the die value
     ...

5) If your total is more than a threshold (or beats an opponent's roll in opposed tasks), you succeed.

6) If you're just rolling to see how well you did, it's a "Style" roll, which lets you look awesome or not but cannot be farmed for bonuses. If it doesn't matter to the overall plot whether the townsfolk think you're a master martial artist or a clumsy fool, a style roll can be used to show off. If it does matter, you may come to regret revealing your secret techniques or failing to get the support of the common folk.


If tasks are challenging or easy, they can get bonuses or penalties: +/- 5 for easy things, +/- 10 for notable ones, and +/- 15 or +/- 20 for extreme factors. The nice thing is that only the largest bonus and penalty count. If you're trying to perform archery blindfolded (-10), it doesn't matter that you're on unstable ground (-5) or not.


Players get to mess with things a bit more via the River: when you roll a double or more, you can store some of the dice you rolled in your River, and use them later.

So you could put both 5s in your River, and keep the 6 instead - rolling 16 rather than 25, but the next time you roll even a single 5 (or none!) you can use the dice you have stored to get a really high roll. With just a single 5 rolled, you could use both dice from the River to get a 35 instead...

As your Chi develops, the number of dice you can put in your River increases. You cannot use stye rolls to fill your River, though you can spend your River on boosting a style roll.


Players can also benefit from joss: if the die roll you picked uses 10s, you get some good or bad luck to use later. If the task succeeded, you get good joss, which you can spend to roll an extra die later on. If it failed, you get bad joss, which you can spend to remove one die from the pool of someone opposing you. You cannot get joss from a style roll, though you can spend good joss to boost one.


It's also possible to create chi conditions, beneficial or otherwise, which unbalance your chi flow but can give nice benefits (improved attributes, faster chi recovery, bonuses to specific tasks) or penalties. Scholars can curse their foes or bless their allies and courtiers can inspire and demoralize people. Warriors 'just' use awesome martial arts.


Combat gets a bit more complicated, but it's basically opposed attack / defense rolls, with your chi mastery granting some damage soaking if you get hit. Techniques give you bonuses to this by spending chi - you have five colors of chi, and your pool in each color is equal to your attribute. You only regenerate chi of the colors you don't use on a given round, so having techniques that use different colors is important!

The characters provided in the introductory scenario should give you an idea of what different techniques allow. Note that having a weapon is usually worthwhile, barring extreme martial arts.
Aidhogan
 member, 72 posts
Sun 8 Jul 2018
at 22:41
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
Spheres isn't a bad adaptation, true.
GreyGriffin
 member, 207 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Mon 9 Jul 2018
at 03:04
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
Legends of the Wulin is a strict upgrade from Weapons of the Gods, having played both.
Morty
 member, 321 posts
 The Doctor.
Mon 9 Jul 2018
at 11:30
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
very interested.

finding a system for this flavor is difficult, tho. I'd suggest also looking outside the common ones (and the suggested Weapons of the Gods, Qin, Wu Xing, Legends of the Wulin...), or using a much simpler system (like TWERPS, Microlite20, or Searchers of the Unknown) and adding specific rules as the need arises (so the Supreme Yin Palm can reroll when opposing the Verdant Art of Bountiful Forest and so on).
Redfoxmagi
 member, 142 posts
Fri 13 Jul 2018
at 13:55
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
Very interested as I devour this theme like some sort of ancient Eldritch Horror!

I've played through a short campaign of Legends of Wulin and think that it does the best for the flavor with minimal work since this is the kind of theme it was designed for, but I don't mind doing whatever the GM wishes to do for the scenario.  The caveat I have is: as long as it works for the scenario.  I'm more into the RP than the crunch, so my only request is that the mechanics aren't so convoluted because they were bent over backwards trying to shoehorn them into the system.  When that happens it tends to interrupt the immersion and RP, which I really don't like.  That would probably ruin it for me.
Fairman
 member, 9 posts
Fri 13 Jul 2018
at 14:08
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
I'm definitely interested as well. I would be fine with Wulin/Weapons of the Gods, Pathfinder, or any other flexible system. In most situations, I would question Pathfinder's viability for such a setting, but it should be perfectly doable with PoW + Spheres.

This message was last edited by the user at 14:08, Fri 13 July.

Studynot
 member, 90 posts
Fri 13 Jul 2018
at 16:56
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
Sounds fun! I would be interested in this using Pathfinder w/changes. I don't have the bandwidth to learn a new game system right now.
Siran
 member, 90 posts
Fri 13 Jul 2018
at 18:41
Interest Check - Xianxia-style game - Pathfinder w/changes
I'm very interested in Wuxia games.

I'm running a RPOL game at the moment using 'weapons of the gods'. It is working OK on RPOL, but the die system is too complex in my opinion. I am using a slightly simplified version and even that's too much much. The rules are perfect though

I don't think pathfinder does wuxia at all well (or I'd be using it). I agree with the comment about 'shoehorning': it really isn't great for this. I think you will struggle getting the feel right

Another really good option is Feng Shui. This takes about a couple of hours to learn (it's really simple), and is seriously fun to play.