Sunday, April 19, 2015

Jadepunk Skill Modes

So, when I started my Jadepunk game I mentioned that the Professions system was pretty close to Fate Accelerated's Approaches system, which isn't really my cup of tea. Professions is closer, but I'm a bit too much of a crunchy, traditionalist gamer not to at least play with it a bit.

The thing is, after discussing it with my players we decided that you couldn't really take a Jadepunk character and translate it directly into the Fate skill pyramid, so I decided to give Modes a try instead. This feels closer. It's not quite right, I need to move some skills around before I'm really happy with it, but I like the direction it's moving.

So, it's not ready for use yet, but here's what I've got so far.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Catching Up with Jadepunk (part 3)

So, this is the last of these updates, enough to get us caught up to date so people can get an idea of how we put together a #Jadepunk campaign and got it rolling. If anyone has any interest I'll keep making my session updates available. I'm going to write them anyways for my own notes, so if it doesn't become annoying to my readers I may as well share them.

Session Three

Knowing they needed to hurry in case the Green Tiger came back with reinforcements, the group got right to work. Han and Saffron set about freeing the prisoner and bandaging the most grievous of his wounds while Keiko started searching the warehouse and fallen guards for clues.

The old man told them what had happened in the hours since he was kidnapped. Apparently he had been badly tortured, and in an effort to end his pain and get the Hu brothers to leave his daughter alone he had told them where the item (a book) that his daughter had stolen was located. The Red Dragon, the Hu brother the group had met during the fight at the tea shop had already left with several men to retrieve it, but his brother remained to continue gathering information from the old man.

Retrieving the stolen property hadn't been enough. They wanted his daughter dead.

Keiko, meanwhile, had found something else interesting. All of the fallen guards had evidence of old, congealed blood on their boots. Thinking that it was unlikely the entire squad had somehow walked through a murder scene, the group came to the decision that they must have been to a nearby slaughterhouse for some reason.

Having discovered what they could, Saffron picked up the Green Tiger's fallen knife and the group returned to their bolt hole to decide on their next course of action and give the old man a safe place to heal. There it was decided that the Red Dragon probably had too much of a lead on them to recover the book. That left them with only one choice: They had to leave the city, find the girl, and figure out what she knew that was so important that a large number of private police officers had been willing to die for it.

Thus the group split up one more time. Saffron returned to her shop to prepare some devices for their travels, Han returned to the Qin household to "borrow" a blue jade cloak that they kept there, and Keiko moved to investigate the slaughterhouse.

From the outside the slaughterhouse looked much like one would expect, a low structure in a bad part of town, clearly still in use. The smells were terrible, attracting all sorts of vermin and birds. Around back however was a different story. Keeping an eye on the place for a couple of hours, Keiko watched as one by one men would approach the building, pay a heavily tattooed guard, and then enter. Using her disguise to try and fit in Keiko approached the guard herself and learned that the people who came through here were selling some sort of jade concoction, but she was unable to produce enough money to buy-in herself, and was forced to exit before the guard became suspicious.


Finally ready to leave, the group got directions to the hiding hole from Mr. Nguyen and made their way to the train leaving town as quickly as possible. Most of the journey went well, but the end would be tricky.

Since the group didn't have the white jade kite that Daiyu had used to get off the train while it was still in motion, they would have to jump when the train slowed down to cross a bridge passing over the river. Timed just right they would be able to land safely in the deep, muddy water and continue along their way.

I was too lazy to bring out tokens and cards to represent the
characters and zones, so you get to see my terrible art work.
Of course, nothing is ever quite that easy. As the group jumped into the river Saffron slipped. She landed without injury, but slipped too deep for a moment and disturbed something very large that moved beneath the surface.

Never content to let a bad roll go, and unwilling to let a single mistake bring the game to a halt, I generally use them to introduce some sort of consequence. In this case I decided to introduce something new: a very angry, green jade tainted, hippopotamus.

The thing came out of the water in the midst of the group like a force of nature. Saffron and Han quickly made their way to the shoreline while Keiko stayed to engage the thing. The fight was hard, complicated by the fact that Saffron's pistol had gotten clogged with mud (thanks to a compel on its aspect) during her fall and the fact that Keiko refused to run from a fight (thanks to a compel on her personal aspect.

The poker chips represent fate points (white), created advantages
(blue), and boosts (red) that had been spent during the fight.
In the end the group was successful in killing the thing, but now they were cold, wet, stuck on the banks of a river in the middle of nowhere, and very short on Fate points. It was going to be a very long night.

Left with little choice, the group gathered on the shoreline and began the next part of their journey into the mountains surrounding Kausao city. They needed to find Daiyu and figure out what she knew, and hoped that whatever it was would make all of this worth while.

End Session Three.