Friday, June 20, 2014

Jadepunk Character Highlight: Shen Hu

Mike recently shared his review of Jadepunk, which you can read here. I highly recommend you do, as its a thorough analysis of what makes the setting and the mechanics tick. Ryan Danks, Jacob Possin, and Mike Olson have created something that is chock-full of high-octane narrative, and supports a wide-range of heroic character concepts.

+Gary Anastasio is soon to be running a game that takes the setting to a very interesting place - about 100 years in the future. What does the region look like with jade powering an exponential growth in technology? What does such a society look like on the verge of a Transhumanism? He's re-imagined  Kausao city as a dystopian cyberpunk setting, and it fits like a Red Jade-powered glove. +Jacob Possin outlines the setting with a bit more detail in his blogpost, and shares the two-fisted character he'll be playing for the game - best summarized it as a "Jadei".

I wanted to play some kind of classic wuxia old martial arts master, a Shaolin monk who tends to the needs of the poor and disenfranchised. I wanted to use the Asset system to create a martial arts style that is an analog to that ideal, which was surprisingly easy to do. I thought it would be fun to have a cybernetic tiger companion with human intelligence. Who wouldn't want that, really? A future Jadepunk supplement is planned that outlines how such Chaemeras work in the setting, but I found the Ally asset system simple and powerful enough to handle what I was asking of it.

Shen Hu


Aspects
  • Portrayal: Crusading Master of Bihu Xuanya Martial Arts
  • Background: Vowed To Assist The Poor And Helpless
  • Inciting Incident: Last Survivor Of the Bihu Xuanya Temple
  • Belief: Enlightenment Is Impossible Under Oppression
  • Trouble: Always Help The Poor And Needy
Professions
+3 Fighter
+2 Explorer, Aristocrat
+1 Scholar, Scoundrel
+0 Engineer

Assets
Immortal Dance of the Invisible Guardians
Spinning and leaping, moving in and out of the throng - this technique requires a calm mind to interpret the ever-changing features of the environment. When the mind is focused, the world slows down, allowing the practitioner to manipulate the subtleties of his environment to his and his allies’ advantage.
  • Type: Technique
  • Guiding Aspect: Crusading Master of Bihu Xuanya Martial Arts
  • Features: Exceptional 1 (When creating an advantage, instead of putting a free invocation on an aspect, you can create an additional aspect.)
  • Flaws: Situational (Only when at least one ally is in the same zone), Limited (Can only be used once per scene)
  • Cost: 1
Whirlwind Avalanche Of Infinite Solitudes
Altruism is a core tenet of Bihu Xuanya. Enlightenment can only be achieved when one freely gives of the self.
  • Type: Technique
  • Guiding Aspect: Crusading Master of Bihu Xuanya Martial Arts
  • Features: Protective 1 (reduces the shift value of a successful attack against an ally by one)
  • Flaws: Situational (Can only be used when the attack targets an ally in the same zone), Situational (Can only be used on someone else)
  • Cost: 1
Perfect Thoughtful Falcon Toe
In the Void, the soul is lost and alone, but in unison, two souls can achieve magnificence. A master of Bihu Xuanya is acutely aware of this, and with the faintest touch, can use this harmony to his advantage.
  • Type: Technique
  • Guiding Aspect: Crusading Master of Bihu Xuanya Martial Arts
  • Features: Harmful 2
  • Flaws: Situational (Can only be used when you tag an aspect created by an ally)
  • Cost:

Baihu The Spirit Tiger
Sometimes, the universe expresses itself with a symbol of perfection. This is Baihu, a gentle but powerful soul. She can sense the Chi in others, and to those of pure spirit, is a formidable ally. To those who seek to corrupt others, she is a relentless foe.
  • Type: Ally
  • Function Aspect: Genetically Enhanced Tiger
  • Features: Professional 2 (Fighting +2, Exploration +1), Resilient 1 (1 mild consequence slot), Sturdy 2 (2 stress boxes), Independent (can act on her own without spending a Fate Point)
  • Flaws: Troubling 2 (I Didn't Steal Her - She Chose Me, Human Intelligence Doesn't Mean She Understands Human Customs)
  • Cost: 1
Green Jade Prayer Beads
The monks of the Bihu Xuanya temple are not materialistic; they only use that which charity gives them. The altruistic have donated Green Jade to the cause, which the monks use to recite their mantras. With practice, a Master can use these beads to channel the power of Green Jade to relieve the suffering of others.
  • Type: Device
  • Function Aspect: Fo Of The Five Virtues
  • Features: Exceptional 1 ( Reduce an ally’s consequence by one step)
  • Flaws: Effort: (Time: One action), Situational (Can only be used once per scene)
  • Cost:

Refresh: 2
Stress: OOO
Consequences:

  • Mild (2):
  • Moderate (4):
  • Severe (6):
Backstory:

Shen Hu has spent his long life at the Bihu Xuanya Temple, serving the the poor and the laborers of the Jade Mines and Refinery District. The temple espouses a philosophy stating “The Path To Understanding Comes Through Helping Others:, and “To Help Another You Must First Help Yourself.” To this extent, the monks provide food, education and spiritual enlightenment to all who ask. The temple humbly accepted any donation from those who have more, and strove to put use it to noble ends.

His rewarding life took a different turn a few years ago. In his dreams, he was visited by a spirit tiger named Baihu. A few weeks later, Baihu appeared at the temple. Baihu could understand the language of men, and claimed Shen Hu as her spirit brother. Baihu was beloved by the people of the area as the children would ride her back and play with her. Unfortunately, she is a genetically engineered tiger, designed to be a weapon by a biotech firm, and escaped. The firm threatened to shut down the temple if they would not give her up; the monks simply stated she was free to leave at any time if she wished.

Several weeks later, one of the mining companies pushed the worker crews to the limit, and they went on strike. The monks of the temple fed and cared for the strikers during that time. When the company cracked down on the strikers with force, the monks fought back, dealing a devastating below to the company’s military forces. Undeterred, and perhaps aided with the forces of the biotech firm, they destroyed the temple in the dead of night, killing all but Shen Hu and Baihu. Now the two fight side-by-side with the Jianghu, aiding the meek whenever possible, trying to right any wrong.

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