Feng Shui Lite (for Star Wars)

Bit of cross-pollination with a thread on RPGnet : http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=288014 I thought I'd see what people over here thought as well.

Parts of the system are too crunchy for my tastes nowadays, but I have fond memories of the games of Feng Shui I played, and it does have a nice, simple structure to it that might be more conducive to introducing people (some with no prior experience, others with some) than my staple Wushu.

So a cut-down Feng Shui is my goal, specifically optimised for Star Wars, which is the intended setting. What I'd appreciate is comments/critique on whether I'd be unbalancing aspects of the game, particularly the archetypes. Bear in mind reduction of detail and crunch is a feature, not a bug.

Core System

D10s in place of D6s; extends the ranges and make characters a little less unpredictable in their efficacy (lower chance of boxcars leading to major failure and less explosions of dice).

All the gun silhouettes go, instead a simple table of weapon equivalents:

  • Leia's dinky blaster is a .22 bobcat
  • A standard blaster pistol is a 9mm Browning
  • A chunky pistol (Han) is a .357 magnum
  • Stormtroopers and Rebel troops use Uzis (with or without autofire to taste)
  • Luke's long rifle from his youth is a 30.06 hunting rifle.
  • Blaster rifle (used by clonetroopers) is an AK-47
  • Bowcaster is a shotgun

Lightsabers do 15 damage. All the melee weapons remain.

All the stuff about feng shui sites, attunement and the Secret War goes. Same with advancement/XP. Instead a simpler scheme of after each session you gain one point on a Secondary Attribute, a schtick or one point on a combat skill/two points on another. Or something like that. That's if I do any advancement at all.

Schtick Types

The following are cut in their entirety:

  • Fu schticks (too crunchy, too many of them, too mechanics-heavy)
  • Arcanowave schticks (never liked them, don't fit IMO)
  • Transformed Animal schticks (again too mechanics-heavy)


  • Gun schticks - Lightning Reload disappears. Not interested in tracking ammo.
  • Sorcery schticks - this is the Force. Core schticks are Divination, Movement and Influence. Minor tweaks for flavour to most of them, Summoning only works on Force spirits and other weirdness.
  • Creature Powers are now Alien Powers. They can also be used as "tech schticks too, Flight for jetpacks, Armour for armour, Blast for built-in weapons and so on.



As a result of those changes, we lose the following Archetypes: Abomination, Cyborg, Ghost (doesn't really fit in Star Wars as is), Martial Artist, Masked Avenger, Monster Hunter, Ninja, Old Master (that 16 MA is unbalanced anyway), Transformed Animal.

Mods to remaining:

  • Big Bruiser get a couple of extra Schticks, a mixture of Gun/Weapon and/or Creature Powers (if they're an alien).
  • ex-Special Forces loses the Fu options, and the points in Fu go into Fortune instead.
  • Might ditch Karate Cop too.
  • Killer becomes Bounty Hunter.
  • Magic Cop becomes Jedi. Guns is switched for Martial Arts. Maybe with the option of making one 14 and the other 11. Schticks are changed. Unique one goes. Automatically get Divination plus one other Sorcery schtick. Then a choice of 3 schticks from Weapon and Sorcery. Police becomes a choice of Detective or Medicine.
  • Medic loses Fu options. If you want a Jedi or Force-based healer, go with Magic Cop or Sorceror.
  • Maverick Cop becomes Smuggler/Scoundrel. Police skill is switched for Detective.
  • Sorceror becomes Force Adept.
  • Supernatural Creature becomes Alien Sidekick.

Also, everyone can buy down skill ratings locked by an "=" or "Max" to earn extra skill points mostly for Info skills and non-combat ones.

Perhaps for aliens other than the Alien Sidekick, other archetypes can switch one schtick for a Creature/Alien one.

I'm considering giving bonus schticks (say a couple) to all the archetypes that don't start with any. Because they really are short-changed by comparison to the schticked-up types.


Neat idea. I like your mechanical modifications.

The thing that would worry me most would be that players who're familiar with as-written Feng Shui would bring (accidentally or purposely) the sense of outrageousness in stunting that Feng Shui is good at modeling over into the Star Wars universe. Which is not to say that characters in the latter only do sober things — obviously not the case — but I think that there's a subtle difference in the way the physical action is approached from the one to the other. Does that make sense?

Not a problem that could really be solved mechanically, though.

Good point about the difference between what's appropriate in Hong Kong movies, and Star Wars. Same sense of taking risk, just different style of execution. Though a lot of the wire-fu we're used to has strongly influenced the prequels, so I think there's less problems in a Jedi-heavy game, than say one based more on the tone of the original trilogy.

My potential players haven't played Feng Shui before, so I think I'm safe in that respect. Only two have any roleplaying experience at all; one with some Shadowrun homebrew, the other with Wushu solo games.

Would the existing un-schtick-ed archetypes break if they get some schticks added?

[color=darkblue]Hey, Kiero.

I posted something to the RPGnet forum, but I'll post here too, just to spread my insidious influence as far as possible... [size=75]heh heh heh! [/size]...

Do you have access to Gorilla Warfare? I don't even like Jammers, per se, but this is one of the best Shui supplements written. The Hardware Schticks could easily be used in a Star Wars game.

I've only got the corebook, and I'm limiting myself to what's in there. Using Jammer stuff would mean more rules, rather than less. Thus if I can twist something I'm already using, that would be a more elegant solution than adding in new stuff.

Um... maybe?

It's been too long since I've sat down to actually play Feng Shui for me to venture a guess, but I do know that the archetypes in the core book were created pretty carefully to be more-or-less balanced with each other. I'd be careful, I guess.

But also, keep in mind that the spirit of Feng Shui is very much, "Sure, try it! We can always put things back the way they were if there's a problem." Players are most cool with this if they know in advance that the change is provisional.

I thought they were eye-balled rather than any "scientific" means applied to balancing? Either way the schtick-less seem worse off than the schtick-ed. There was a cheeky little formula for working out how much each archetype is worth (I think based on points costs for Nexus characters), and those without were consisently lower than those with.

Right — there's no math-based method for making sure the different the different archetypes are somehow equivalent, but it's my understanding that the current set were playtested into their final shape. But I could be wrong; I wasn't involved with the game at that point.

yeah, the schitckless get reamed by the schticked. as a gm you really have to cater the schickless characters skills in order to keep them happy.

I'd rather just give them schticks. Simpler than messing around with their numbers.

Alien characters can get a couple of Creature Powers if they want, otherwise there's Gun/Weapon schticks, or else Creature Powers as tech-gear.

How would you stat up some of the classic mooks (battle droids, stormtroopers, Sith commandoes etc)?

I had a go at creating my own archetypes for this, from a similar base. Critique:


Each built on 6 Primary + 6 Secondary attribute points, 30 Skill points and 5 schticks. Default Wealth level is Working Stiff. Poor gives an extra schtick, Rich costs one. 1 Primary = 3 Secondary = 1 Schtick = 5 Skill points

Alien Sidekick


You're a non-human in what has, with the advent of the Empire, become a human's galaxy. Your people might have withdrawn to their homeworld, or even been enslaved by the new regime. When travelling around the galactic Core you may face discriminatory laws and even outright racism.

Bod 5
For 0 [Max 3]
Mnd 5
Ref 5

Add 8 points to Primary attributes.

Alien Powers +9 (=14)
Blaster +4 (9) [Max 12]
Martial Arts +4 (9) [Max 13]
Intimidation +4 (9) or Deceit +4 (9)

Add 8 Skill bonuses.

Schticks: Any 5 Alien Power, Blaster or Weapon schticks.

Weapons: Two appropriate weapons.

Quick Schtick Pick:
Alien Power:

Wealth level: Working stiff

Bounty Hunter

"There’s a price on your head and I mean to collect."

You track down criminals and unfortunates for money.

Bod 5
For=0 (Des=3)
Mnd 5
Ref 5

Add 6 points to Primary attributes.

Blaster +7 (=14)
Deceit +3 (8) [Max 12]
Gadgets +5 (10) [Max 13]
Info/Underworld Politics +3 (8)
Martial Arts +3 (8) [Max 11]
Piloting +6 (11)

Add 3 Skill bonuses.

Schticks: Five of any combination of Blaster and Gadget schticks.

Weapons: Five appropriate weapons.

Quick Schtick Pick:
Blaster: 10,000 Bolts, Fast-Draw, Hair-trigger Neck Hairs.
Gadget: Armour, Damage Immunity.
Weapons: Blaster carbine, twin blaster pistols, vibroblade, brace of grenades.

Wealth level: Rich

Clueless Sap

"Hey, what'd you that for?"

There are those who choose the life of the Rebel, having debated the issue with themselves before finally reaching a decision. Then there are those who fall into it, largely oblivious to what is going on around them, surviving more by luck than judgement. You fall squarely into the latter category, momentous events happen around you and you don't even know it. You're brave, kind-hearted and believe everyone deserves an even chance.

Bod 5
For 0 (Des=10)
Mnd 5 (Wil 6)
Ref 5

Add 5 points to Primary attributes. Add 1 point to a Secondary attribute

Piloting +4 (9) [Max 14]
Blaster +4 (9) [Max 13]
Martial Arts +4 (9) [Max 13]
Info/Starships +6 (11)
Info/Holo-dramas +4 (9)
Repair +4 (9)

Add 4 Skill bonuses. Feel free to swap the Info skills for other similarly low-brow interests.

Schticks: Everyman Hero's Unique Schtick plus any 3 Blaster or Weapon schticks.

Weapons: One appropriate weapon.

Quick Schtick Pick:
Blaster: Eagle Eye II, Signature Weapon.
Weapon: Sporting blaster.

Wealth level: Working Stiff

Ex-Special Forces

"Listen up people, I've got a plan. We do this just like it went down on Drongar…"

You're a veteran of the Clone Wars who was unable to give up the fight. Perhaps you've been doing it so long you don't know how to do anything else. Maybe you were so changed by it you couldn’t get the same kick out of civilian pursuits. Or perhaps you resent the outcome of the conflict and continue the war by other means as best you can.

Bod 5
For=0 (Des 4)
Mnd 5
Ref 5

Add 6 points to Primary attributes. Add 2 points to Secondary attributes.

Blaster +9 (=14)
Leadership +2 (7)
Martial Arts +5 (=10)
Piloting +7 (=12)
Sabotage +4 (9)

Add 3 Skill bonuses. Switch Blaster and Martial Arts if desired.

Schticks: Any five Blaster or Weapon schticks.

Weapons: Five appropriate weapons.

Quick Schtick Pick:
Blaster: Carnival of Carnage III, Cover Fire, Hair-trigger Neck Hairs.
Weapons: Blaster rifle, blaster pistol, vibroblade, knife, brace of grenades.

Wealth level: Working stiff

Failed Jedi

"Yeah I was one of them Jedi once. We parted company, probably for the best."

The Force runs strong in you, so much so that the Jedi Order recruited you as an infant. Yours was an august destiny, great deeds in service were foretold. But it all went wrong somewhere. Perhaps you just weren't cut out for a life of monastic devotion and unemotional reflection. Perhaps you were too wild and reckless and deemed unsuitable material for a Jedi. Regardless of the cause, you never reached the Trials for Knighthood. You left the Order as a Padawan, and took on a more normal life. With Order 66 your life changed. Bounty hunters came for you, and despite not being associated with the Order for years, suddenly you were a target.

Bod 5
For 0 (Sen 4)
Mnd 5
Ref 5

Add 6 points to Primary attributes. Add 2 points to Secondary attributes

Blaster +5 (10) [Max 13]
Deceit +5 (10) or Intimidation +5 (10)
Force Powers +5 (9) [Max 12]
Info/Jedi History +3 (8)
Martial Arts +4 (9) [Max 11]

Add 8 Skill bonuses. Swap bonuses and caps for Blaster and Martial Arts if desired.

Schticks: Divination, plus either one Force Power and three Blaster/Weapon schticks or four Blaster/Weapon schticks.

Weapons: Two appropriate weapons

Quick Schtick Pick:
Force Powers: Divination, Influence
Blaster: Both Guns Blazing III
Weapons: Twin blaster pistols.

Wealth level: Working Stiff

Force Adept


There are Force traditions which pre-date the Jedi Order, along with those which spring up from time to time around a particular individual or group. You are trained in one of these other philosophies of the Force. You might be a martial Matukai adept who channels the force into unarmed martial arts, or one of the survivalist Zeison Sha, a Jal Shey initiate, or one of countless others. Some are more militant than others, and hold differing views on violence and the role of introspection and meditation.

Bod 5
For 0 (Sen 5)
Mnd 5 (Wil 6)
Ref 5

Add 6 points to Primary attributes.

Deceit +5 (10) or Leadership +5 (10)
Force Powers +5 (10) [Max 13]
Info/[Force Tradition] +5 (10)
Info/[your choice] +2 (8)
Martial Arts +5 (10) or Blaster +5 (10) [Max 12]

Add 8 Skill bonuses. Switch caps for Force Powers and Blaster/Martial Arts if desired.

Schticks: Any 5 Force Powers or Blaster/Weapon schticks.

Weapons: One appropriate weapon.

Quick Schtick Pick:
Force Powers: Divination, Influence, Movement.
Weapon schticks: Razor-keen Reflexes, Signature Weapon.
Weapons: Vibrosword.

Wealth level: Working Stiff

Jedi Survivor

"I must do this, it is the will of the Force that it comes to pass."

With Order 66 the light of the Jedi Order faded from the galaxy. Or so the Empire would have everyone believe. You're one of the survivors, somehow you managed to escape the grisly fate of most of your comrades. Perhaps you were able to fight off your former clonetroopers, maybe you were away from the fighting fronts, perhaps someone warned you in time. Unfortunately surviving Great Purge isn’t the end of the story. You're now public enemy number one, there's a bounty out for any Jedi caught and revealing yourself might bring the full might of the Empire to bear.

Bod 5
For 0 (Sen 6)
Mnd 5
Ref 5

Add 6 points to Primary attributes. Add 3 points to Secondary attributes.

Martial Arts +7 (=12)
Force Powers +8 (=14)
Info/Jedi History +3 (8)
Investigation +5 (10) or Piloting +5 (10)

Add 8 Skill bonuses. Swap Martial Arts and Force Power ratings if desired. Feel free to switch Investigation or Piloting for something else more appropriate to the kind of Jedi you’re playing.

One other Force Power
3 of any mix of Force Powers and Weapon schticks

Weapons: Lightsaber

Quick Schtick Pick:
Force Powers: Divination, Healing, Movement.
Weapon schticks: Symphony of Slaughter II.

Wealth level: Poor


"Double or nothing, what do you say?"

You get by on your wits, skill and often, luck.

Bod 5
For=0 (Des 5)
Mnd 6
Ref 6

Add 4 points to Primary attributes. Add 1 point to a Secondary attribute.

Blaster +5 (11) [Max 13]
Deceit +5 (11)
Gambling +6 [Max 14]
Martial Arts +2 [Max 10]
Piloting +9 (=15)

Add 8 Skill bonuses. May swap Martial Arts for Gadgets or Alien Powers if desired.

Schticks: 4 Blaster or Weapon schticks.

Weapons: Any two weapons.

Quick Schtick Pick:
Blaster: Fast Draw III, Signature Weapon.
Weapons: Heavy blaster, holdout blaster in hidden rig.

Wealth level: Working stiff

Tech Specialist

"Now if I just connect the hyperdrive motivator coil to the flux capacitor – oh no!"

Machines speak to you. Not in words, so much as you understand them in the same way other people read each other.

Bod 5
For 0 (Des 2)
Mnd 7 (Per 9)
Ref 5 (Dex 7)

Add 4 to Primary attributes.

Repair +6 (=15)
Piloting +6 (=15)
Blaster +4 (11) [Max 13]
Info/Science +4 (11)
Info/[Your choice] +2 (9)
Gadgets +5 (=14)

Add 8 Skill bonuses.

Schticks: Techie's Unique schtick, plus 3 Blaster or Gadget schticks.

Weapons: One appropriate weapon.

Quick Schtick Pick:
Gadget: Blast, Damage Immunity, Low-light Goggles.
Weapon: Blaster pistol.

Wealth level: Working stiff

Young Senatorial

"How dare you apprehend my ship like this, Captain, I am a member of the Imperial Senate and I will not be treated like a common criminal!"

You were born into a rich and powerful old family, perhaps from a founding world of the Republic in the Core, now the heart of the Empire.

Bod 5
For 0 (Des 2)
Mnd 5 (Int 6, Cha 6)
Ref 5

Add 6 points to Primary attributes. Add 2 points to Secondary attributes.

Deceit +9 (=15)
Leadership +5 (11) or Seduction +5 (11)
Blaster +7 (12) [Max 13]
Martial Arts +4 (9) [Max 13]
Info/Politics +3 (9)
Info/High Culture +3 (9)

Add 4 Skill bonuses.

Schticks: Spy's Unique Schtick, plus two Blaster or Weapon schticks.

Weapons: Two appropriate weapons.

Quick Schtick Pick:
Weapons: Vibrorapier, duelling blaster.

Wealth level: Rich

Updated with a bit more meat to the archetypes. Ten of them, three Force-users. I've got four players (though it might now be as many as six!).


So did this ever run? I'm a fan of the old West End Games Star Wars and I winder how FS Star Wars would work.

No, in the end I ran a FS-Lite fantasy game, which didn't go as well as I'd hoped.