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Hearts of Wulin, a new wuxia rpg

Daz Florp Lebam

Registered User
Validated User
I'm friends with one of the creators (although we've fallen out of touch of late), so I'm very excited about this. He's done a lot of game design on the side and has decades of hardcore gaming under his belt. Thrilled to see his first KS project is doing so well!
 

Black Flag

Dweller on the Threshold
Validated User
I look forward to play out wuxia melodrama like, a lot. I might even need to get a PbP game going here on the boards or something,
I’ve never done PbP, but I’d give it a shot for this. It seems like a genre that would benefit from having time to write thoughtful responses and descriptions.

On one hand, I really like the sound of this. On the other hand, I'm trying to save money for a trip to Japan later in the year. Gonna be hard to decide whether to back this or not.
I don’t know your situation, but I thought I’d point out (in case it matters to anyone) that the price is very affordable. A hardcover plus digital stuff for $30 is pretty sweet. If you don’t want a hardcover it’s even less.
 

Extrakun

Tinker of Games
Validated User
Argh. It's one of those games that uses one roll to decide the outcome of a fight, much like Uncharted Worlds. I know that long combat has a bad rep in the industry but blow by blow exchange is one of the cornerstone of a good wuxia show and movie. Heck, Jin Yong spent paragraphs explaining the techniques and thinking behind each of the comabtant's move, and the fights are part of the stories itself because he took the time to explain the history and backstory of those combat moves, and even the motivations the combatants as they fight.

This is enough to get me to unback the game.
 
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Argent

Anywhere... just not here
Validated User
Argh. It's one of those games that uses one roll to decide the outcome of a fight, much like Uncharted Worlds. I know that long combat has a bad rep in the industry but blow by blow exchange is one of the cornerstone of a good wuxia show and movie. Heck, Jin Yong spent paragraphs explaining the techniques and thinking behind each of the comabtant's move, and the fights are part of the stories itself because he took the time to explain the history and backstory of those combat moves, and even the motivations the combatants as they fight.

This is enough to get me to unback the game.
I honestly don´t think that it needs to be blow-by-blow in resolution to be able to give a decent depiction of the fight. I mean, there are ways to do that as well (it was basically a cornerstone of Legends of the Wulin), but since the focus here is on romance and melodrama rather than semi-tactical fighting it seems like a good choice not to detract from that too much.
 

Weisenheim

Baroque Space Orc Mage
Validated User
If combat needs to be more involved to develop the story/characters, I can see that making sense. But I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to have simple combat, mechanically, especially with what it seems this game is trying to do.

When I read cultivation fantasy, more often than not I am more satisfied and interested in the characters, their history, and their motives than I am the combat itself. The combat can sometimes be refreshing but it can also definitely feel samey in some ways to me.
 

Skywalker

Back Off the Buddha!
Validated User
I’m new to the PbtA world, so I look forward to hearing what more experienced sages think.
I like what I see. Supers, wuxia and mecha are three genres that I love but struggle with in RPG format because the orthodox approach is to focus on super powers, combat techniques, and mecha construction. However, what really makes these genres appeal is the types of stories they tell and the kinds of relationships they focus on.

Masks was the first supers RPG to finally work for me and this was because of its focus on the stories and relationships. My hope is that Hearts of Wulin will do the same for wuxia and it certainly looks promising from what I can see.

Fingers crossed that a mecha PbtA RPG is in the pipeline with the same sort of focus :)

Looking at HoW mechanically, it looks solid. They are staying close to the default PbtA structure with playbooks and moves, and using these to highlight its novel focus on story. The stuff around scaling, where villains will require multiple conflicts to overcome in which PCs will need to fail and learn, looks great. I also love the idea of players offering tangible benefits to other players to allow their PC to raise in scale.

The setup with the triangular relationships works great in Masks, so I expect good things here.
 

farseerixirvost

Member in Good Standing
Validated User
Not entirely sure this will be my jam, but as soon as I saw Lowell Francis' name as co-creator, I figured I could spare $30.
 

Black Flag

Dweller on the Threshold
Validated User
I honestly don´t think that it needs to be blow-by-blow in resolution to be able to give a decent depiction of the fight. I mean, there are ways to do that as well (it was basically a cornerstone of Legends of the Wulin), but since the focus here is on romance and melodrama rather than semi-tactical fighting it seems like a good choice not to detract from that too much.
Yeah, I don’t think the ability to describe blow-by-blow combat is being curtailed, so much as the mechanics are focused elsewhere.

In an interview Lowell said he had initially designed it more like a trad game with rules for specific techniques etc. and shifted away from that based on playtester feedback. Also Agatha seems to really know the literature and thinks it’s a good representation.

I’m not entirely clear how it’s meant to work, but I suspect you might roll when someone initiates combat and then work out a more detailed blow-by-blow description based on the result, if desired. You also need to figure out what it means that your character’s fire element is wounded etc., or what it means that the opponent is above your scale, and that’s all going to be highly contextual.
 

Eilathen

Soul of the wild card
Validated User
Hmm...i hope this is not thread-crapping but isn't there another PbtA wuxia game on KS at the moment?

...oh, it was canceled by the creator (Once Upon a Time in Jianghu was the name, for those interested)...nevermind (too bad, though).

HoW looks great! I really dig the cover-art (I know, i know, never judge a book by its cover...but still :D )
 

Tarion

Registered User
Validated User
Hmm...i hope this is not thread-crapping but isn't there another PbtA wuxia game on KS at the moment?

...oh, it was canceled by the creator (Once Upon a Time in Jianghu was the name, for those interested)...nevermind (too bad, though).

HoW looks great! I really dig the cover-art (I know, i know, never judge a book by its cover...but still :D )
Yeah, I had some serious deja vu when a friend posted his second Kickstarter link for PbtA wuxia Kickstarters on Facebook within a fortnight. Still, the comparison to Masks was enough to get me into this - I'm not a wuxia expert, but I've got friends who are and Masks has been literally the best games I've ever run. It's enough for me to be curious.
 
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