Critical shifts from your games?

What are some fun critical shifts you've used in your Feng Shui games?

A critical shift is when you change something in the past and alter the flow of chi enough that it becomes "permanent" and changes things in the present, altering the world somehow around your characters.

From my campaign:

From Bum to Magnate: Working class factory worker Brick Manly pursued a lead into the 1850s, where they met Manly's ancestor, Stanley Manly, who was trying to invent a new process to refine steel. In the course of a pitched battle with local gunslingers and ancient sorcerers, the Dragons saved Stanley Manley's invention and stopped the greedy land baron who was trying to steal it. When they returned to the Contemporary Juncture, Brick Manly was RICH, his family was extremely successful, and his relatives were running for Congress and making movies and TV shows.

This one was fun because Brick Manly had already resolved his primary melodramatic hook in tracking down gangster Ugly Shing, who had been interfering with the factory where he worked. It mixed things up and Manly now had huge resources available to him, along with a web of complex responsibilities that go with success.

Saving the Dragon: The heroes went through a Pop-Up Juncture to Hong Kong 1973, with two objectives: Kill Handsome Shing, the father of Ugly Shing, their main gangster enemy; and prevent the death of Bruce Lee. It turned out Handsome Shing was plotting the death of Bruce, and the heroes split up and battled ninjas at Golden Harvest Studios as well as interrupting a deal between gangster Handsome Shing and an Ascended who was a giant Transformed Snake. They defeated the ninjas, saved the filming of Enter the Dragon, and the Ascended reverted into a Giant Snake, destroying Handsome Shing's new floating restaurant. In the battle, Handsome Shing was killed!

When the heroes returned to the Contemporary Juncture, Bruce Lee was alive and well at age 80, and their former antagonist, vicious triad boss Ugly Shing, was now respected philanthropist Generous Shing. Oh, and Brick Manly, Everyday Hero, was now engaged to be married to Generous Shing's daughter!

We're still playing out the consequences of this. The heroes don't know for sure if Generous Shing has been into the Netherworld. If he went into the Netherworld as Ugly Shing, then he would still be the evil and vindictive gang boss they defeated and put in jail, but he'd be in the body of a respected public figure. If he never went into the Netherworld, then his life was changed when his father was killed, and he may have grown up away from his evil influence, into a sincerely good and generous person!

Do you have any fun examples from your own games?

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Oh, I like those. Very nicely done.

I haven't done much with critical shifts since I tend to run Feng Shui as a convention game so strictly one-offs. Well actually I have a run of 5 (plus one in development) episodes but they are strictly stand along. You can play them in any order and with any characters.

However "Brick Manley" reminded me, obviously of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. How could it not? For all your Everyday Hero, Big Bruiser or Ex-special-forces needs:


Matthew, Feng Shui 2 is so great for convention games, isn't it?

It's been a while but I had some great improv games of FS2 at cons. I'd let the players pick their archetypes, explain to them roughly what a melodramatic hook is, and ask them to make one up for their character.

Then just improvise some fights and connective material before a big climax! It's great fun.

In improv games I'd sometimes have portals just go straight from one juncture to another, to simplify the ideas and speed things up. Either way it's great.