Feng Shui supplement quality

Seroster

Miw!
Validated User
Hi folks,

What do you think are the best supplements (is the best one?) for Feng Shui?

I currently have the Daedalus-edition main book, Marked for Death, and Golden Comeback. I've been thinking about getting either Thorns of the Lotus or Blood of the Valiant (which an online store lists as having available...) - which is better? Are any of the other sourcebooks on the different factions even better?

I guess I'm a bit of a traditionalist; if I was to run a FS game I'd probably want to run something in one juncture, with no secret war, so either 69 AD (free the emperor!), 1850 (free China!) or modern-day action. I know there's Seal of the Wheel, I don't feel I'd need it for a modern game.
 

Marion Poliquin

I eat plants.
Validated User
CCamfield said:
Hi folks,

What do you think are the best supplements (is the best one?) for Feng Shui?

I currently have the Daedalus-edition main book, Marked for Death, and Golden Comeback. I've been thinking about getting either Thorns of the Lotus or Blood of the Valiant (which an online store lists as having available...) - which is better? Are any of the other sourcebooks on the different factions even better?

I guess I'm a bit of a traditionalist; if I was to run a FS game I'd probably want to run something in one juncture, with no secret war, so either 69 AD (free the emperor!), 1850 (free China!) or modern-day action. I know there's Seal of the Wheel, I don't feel I'd need it for a modern game.
If i didn't already have both :D, I'd buy Blood of the Valiant first. I find that it's a better read and that it's bits are crunchier. But then again, I also happen to really, really like the Guiding Hand timeline.
 

Patrick O'Duffy

Man I hate fractions
Validated User
CCamfield said:
I currently have the Daedalus-edition main book, Marked for Death, and Golden Comeback. I've been thinking about getting either Thorns of the Lotus or Blood of the Valiant (which an online store lists as having available...) - which is better? Are any of the other sourcebooks on the different factions even better?
I haven't read BLOOD, but I have read THORNS.

I'd go with BLOOD, because THORNS is a very flawed book in my opinion.

I wrote a review of THORNS some years ago, which you can still find at this link:

http://www.innocence.com/fengshui/news/thorns-review-1.html

I've heard much better things about BLOOD.
 

Lunatic Tokyo

Retired User
Blood of the Valiant

I don't have Thorns of the Lotus, but Blood of the Valiant is one of the better sourcebooks I have for the game. Gives you everything you ever wanted to know about the Guiding Hand. The stats for two of the orders of the disciples are missing, but you can find them in Back for Seconds. If you're going to be running a game set solely (or in large part) in the 1850's, this is THE book to have. Details on the Hand's operations, campaign ideas using real-world history, period firearms (which were sorely lacking from the core book), and all of the new crucnchies like fu powers and archetypes make this the book of choice. Like I said, I can't speak for Thorns, but it seems to be mostly a GM supplement, whereas Blood could be used by most anyone.

If that's what you're looking for, then Blood of the Valiant is the way to go.
 

Knight

Retired User
None of the stuff from the Atlas Games (purveyors of such high-quality product as Furry Pirates) era is worth the bother. They've really managed to loose the original spirit of the game.
 

Ben Brown

Radical Dslamist
Validated User
After looking at the various supplements (and buying several) I've come to the conclusion that Feng Shui has been eaten by its backstory.

Somewhere along the line it veered off sharply from the source material that inspired it (and inspired me to check it out) and became something else entirely.

Not that it isn't worth looking at--there are some nifty bits--but it doesn't have much to do with Hong Kong action movies.
 

Seroster

Miw!
Validated User
To a certain extent, yes... it is, always really HAS been, the RPG of the Shadowfist universe, which is built on the concepts in HK cinema, but which has something of a life of its own.
 

Metallian

Geek Orthodox Patriarch
Validated User
Re: Re: Feng Shui supplement quality

Patrick O'Duffy said:


I haven't read BLOOD, but I have read THORNS.

I'd go with BLOOD, because THORNS is a very flawed book in my opinion.

I wrote a review of THORNS some years ago, which you can still find at this link:

http://www.innocence.com/fengshui/news/thorns-review-1.html

I've heard much better things about BLOOD.
Hmmm....your review, though negative, only strengthens my desire to have this book. It's always the mark of a good review when it can have the opposite effect on someone. (I once wrote a very positive review that made someone decide they'd hate the book.)


Sadly, I can't find the damn thing anywhere and I'm tired of waiting for Atlas to publish it...can anybody help me out, here?

The Metallian
 

mearls

really should be working.
Validated User
BenBrown said:
After looking at the various supplements (and buying several) I've come to the conclusion that Feng Shui has been eaten by its backstory.

Somewhere along the line it veered off sharply from the source material that inspired it (and inspired me to check it out) and became something else entirely.

Not that it isn't worth looking at--there are some nifty bits--but it doesn't have much to do with Hong Kong action movies.
Bingo.

The problem with Feng Shui is the setting. The rules are great, but I've only rarely seen people play the game with the full setting in place. IME, most use it for modern day action movie adventures and ignore the possibilities of using the netherworld to hop around in time.

In fact, I go so far as to label FS as what I call a "campaign" RPG, in that the provided setting provides for one typical story arc that, when completed, exhausts the setting.

Were I developing the line from scratch, I'd set the game firmly in the modern day, junk the idea of feng shui sites and the secret war, and build back stories meant to provide explanations as to why demons/cyborgs/ancient kung fu masters are running around in the modern world.

The setting works quite well for the card game, but it turns into a sprawling mess for an RPG.

- Mearls
 

Metallian

Geek Orthodox Patriarch
Validated User
mearls said:
Were I developing the line from scratch, I'd set the game firmly in the modern day, junk the idea of feng shui sites and the secret war, and build back stories meant to provide explanations as to why demons/cyborgs/ancient kung fu masters are running around in the modern world.

The setting works quite well for the card game, but it turns into a sprawling mess for an RPG.
I agree that the setting/metaplot isn't an amazing story in the conventional sense...BUT, I've found it extremely unobtrusive and useful.

By unobtrusive, I mean you could ignore it entirely and still get a lot of use out of the supplements. Just make all of the Feng Shui sites, NPCs, and equipment stand-alone bad guys with different motivations. If you want a modern-day game, go with the modern juncture. If you want to emulate classic martial arts action, use 69 AD or 1850. If you want a cyberpunk game, use the future juncture. The PCs never even have to go to the Netherworld, or another time.

By useful, I mean that I think the factions, the stuff about Feng Shui sites, and the Netherworld are all just excuses to do cool stuff, and they work pretty well in that regard.

The factions are just excuses to have "themed" bad guys.

Feng shui sites are just excuses to fight over stuff.

The Netherworld is just an excuse to do any other weird-ass things you can think of.

There may not be many Hong Kong action movies that have to do with time-travelling, lateral reincarnation, or dystopian futures, but I think all of the parts of the game work well in isolation...and if you want to include the other elements, you have ready-made support and justifications for doing so. A nice framework on which to hang whatever you want, or ignore entirely.

I just want a sourcebook for the Underworld. Real bad. Hell, I'd help write it if I had the time to research it....

The Metallian
 
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