Tuesday, March 16, 2010

RPG Ability: Wuxia Hero

The ogre chief stood over the beaten and bloody Wizard. "Is that all?" he laughed. "I expected more from one so promising." He hefted the idol. "After I stole this from your village and killed your teacher, I was afraid I had gone too far." He turned to his ogre goons. "Bring out the cages! We feast in triumph tonight!"

The Wizard rolled onto his hands and knees, then slowly, painfully lifted himself to his feet. "You killed my teacher," he said, and the ogres' laughter died when they heard the edge in his voice. "I will not let you defeat me! Instead it is I who will defeat you with my righteous fireball of burning power!"

Their eyes met and time seemed to freeze between them. Then the Wizard tore off his shirt and flexed, giving a high-pitched yell of challenge. A nearby goon stared, slack-jawed, and dropped the cage of doves he had been carrying. The cage door burst open as the Wizard held his arms to his side, his muscles standing out like steel cables as a fireball formed between his hands....

Wuxia hero gives a player character the abilities of a protagonist in a kung fu movie or Hong Kong action flick. Perhaps an honorable, martial god has taken the character as a champion. Perhaps the character is the host to the spirit of a master monk. Maybe he's simple learned to channel the power of pure awesome. Whatever the case may be, he finds himself able to turn cinematic courage, grit, and skill into combat bonuses.

  • Tearing off the character's shirt, flexing, and yelling immediately grants a healing surge.

  • Every time the character receives a badass wound (becomes bloodied), all opponents with line of sight to him must immediately save versus fear or take a penalty to their next attack.

  • Enemies are inclined to come at the hero one at a time. Each consecutive opponent to attack the character in a single turn earns a cumulative penalty.

  • If the character makes a badass declaration before attacking, he receives a bonus to his attack.

  • The character never takes penalties for improvised weaponry.

  • A character with Wuxia Hero who has a weapon feat also has that weapon feat with that weapon's "-chuck" version. So a character with Weapon Proficiency: Greatsword also has Weapon Proficiency: Greatsword-chucks, or someone with Weapon Focus: Battle-axe also has Weapon Focus: Battle-axe-chucks.

  • The character never takes penalties for leaping or falling when shooting, and may actually receive a bonus. Extra bonus points for leaping while shooting more than one weapon at a time.

  • Finally, every time the character scores a critical hit, something awesome happens. Doves fly by in the background, something explodes, glass shatters, etc. All nearby opponents must make a save or be stunned for a round.

While some people might try to make this into a prestige class (or paragon path etc), I really love the idea of giving these powers to a character that would not otherwise be eligible for this sort of thing. If a DM and the player can discuss the power outside of their gaming session without the other players knowing, imagine the looks on their faces when the halfling rogue suddenly steps forward to confront the lich king in his necro-volcano lair, declaring that the necromancer will pay for his evil, before leaping through the air and firing two hand-crossbows as gouts of green fire rise up around him.

(I'll try to make the next ability a bit more serious. No promises, though.)

1 comment:

Zane said...

Sounds awesome. D&D needs more nun-chucks.