Baptism of Fire for 2 to 3 players: Help needed!

I've been trying to get a game going of Feng Shui for some time now and I finally have the chance. However, I've only got 2, maybe three at the most, players.

I'm aiming to have my players play gun bunnies or martial artists in BoF starting setting - no monsters or magic (as I want the setting to be a surprise later on.)

I was wondering if anyone has got any advice for playing with few players? Perhaps different stats/numbers for mooks or strength of named characters.

Oh, and Queex, if you're still about - I love your rules clarification for "I hit some mooks" - anyone who actually still reads this forum should check it out as well as the rest of the site

Edit: and a quick extra question - I think this has already been answered but at Character creation can you use skill bonuses for extra skills, i.e the Killer template has no Martial Arts - could you use the +6 skills on Martial Arts if you wanted to?

Adjusting mooks is easy- perhaps the best way is to keep the number the same but decree that those still standing after a certain number have been killed run away. Getting through mooks is just a matter of time, the main danger is from having lots attack from once. So, if you come up with reasons why not all of the mooks can attack (a crowded restaurant, for example) you shouldn't have to change too much.

Named characters are a different matter. I'd certainly consider dropping the AV by a point or two, but it depends on which types the characters are- dedicated combat characters like the killer, martial artist or old master are better equipped to cope with that kind of heat. There's an NPC Big Bruiser, as I recall- I'd certainly recommend being lenient when it comes to PC plans to take him out by indirect means, otherwise the fights could drag quite a bit.

The main combat skills (Martial Arts, Sorcery, etc.) are listed in italics in the list of skills section before the characters. It says that such italicised skills can't be bought as extras during character creation. But, as GM, you can be more generous. It might be sensible to impose a lower AV limit on them instead, to keep the characters 'on message', as it were.

re: buying Martial Arts for the Killer

yeah I remember you've actually told me this before (should really read it again properly). I just feel that the Killer's lack of Martial Arts of any kind doesn't reflect a Leon/Hard Boiled esque Killer very if they lost a gun they'd be in a lot of trouble, even from Mooks... but I understand for balance reasons why it's in place. I think I might lose the unskilled -3 (I think it is if I remember quickly) or something like that...

I tend to think of the 'Leon'-style killers and those multi-purpose Chow Yun Fat bad-asses as either having plenty of experience under their belts or technically being Ex-Special Forces.

Losing the unskilled penalty is an interesting thought- perhaps it could be extended to Guns as well, or Sorcery if someone's reading from the Big Book o'Spells. It's more important to have differentials in ability for non-combat skills as the opportunities for a character to shine using them are much briefer.

Well I've noticed you have a Martial Artist variant of the Killer on your website (i.e MA =15 rather than Guns =15 if I remember correctly) - He would then be able to attempt to use a gun without the -3 penalty which would make sense. He might not be very good with it but he's combat savvy enough to be able to point and fire.

If I were to implement the removal of the -3 for untrained combat skills though it would be more because whilst I don't see the Killer doing vast amounts of Kung-Fu-Madness I would see him being able to leap over walls (or would this just go off his guns skill anyway) and be able to rough up some thugs/hold his own against a mook in a hand to hand combat situation.

This might not make much sense, currently juggling the kids

...not in a feng shui rpg way..

Hell, if he jumps over the wall and then fires a gun, just make the whole thing a Guns roll. It's all style.

Just going back to the original part of my post. For a 2/3 player game, would a sorcery score for Ta Yu in Baptism of Fire of about 14 be better? Or is that a little low?

I just remember my first game as a plyer of Feng Shui when there were actually 5 of us and I played a Masked Avenger with no Fortune points who could only ever hit him on a positive 6.

As I've said I'm only allowing contemporary (well 1996) gun bunnies and ku fu types, but I feel having/keeping a sorcerer at the end would keep an interest to my players for what's to come.

Two characters with AVs or 14 and 15 should be able to put an AV 16 sorcerer to bed (I can't remember what his specified AV is off the top of my head). If, however, they're already banged up a bit from previous encounters, it's probably worthwhile dropping him by a point. If there's a character with an AV of 12 or 13, then it's good to take another point from him.

Actually, as a side recommendation for two players, really encourage them to go for that buddy film style banter. It's even better if the characters don't get on that well but have to work together anyway.

Yeah a kind of buddy cop film feel is what I was hoping to do. I think the problem with when I went up against the sorcerer from BoF was that I had no fortune points, an highest AV of 13 (if I remember right) and he had an AV of 17. I'm pretty sure the rules say that as magic is used the magic score goes down therefore the sorcerer's DV should have come down too...but that didn't happen.

He wasn't presented as in the book either, but I liked that as our GM presented him a bit like the Baron Harkonnen from Dave Lynch's version of Dune...i.e the Floating Fat Man. He terribly wounded me with fire (blast), which considering my masked avenger wore a mask for most of the time didn't matter to much. Anyhow, he got away anyhow and later on during a critical shift where we all ended up attached to the Buro (and not liking it though my scarring had vanished) I ended up with a big robot arm and went hunting for the Floating Fat Man in true Avenger style back in 69 which made me happy.

I'm actually surprised. I've run BoF a number of times, for large and small groups, and fudged little if any, and never really changed any stats, and it still came out more or less the same, and the last one was just last year and only had 3 players, and went perfectly, though they were 18, 19 and 41 with them having about the levels of experience playing you'd expect, with the youngest only having played about half a year and the oldest having played since he was like 16. If any Fortune or Fate points or whatever were used, it wasn't very many, though the youngest did have to hide behind a car door to reduce the massive damage that tore through him from construction site mooks.

Just like the group before them, this group went in to the final scene from the roof, but the main difference at the end was this group, when told of the burning building and kids and old people in it, were like "Sucks to be them. How bout a beer?"