Now imaging! You have an almost unlimited budget and you have a cast of breathtaking artists, writers and proofreaders.

What would you do and change for Feng Shui 2nd edition?

Actually I wouldn´t change too much, for FS is already one hell of a game package. I would of course try to continue the fluent, dramatic, over the top, kung fu, kick them all - play style which is the center of FS and the background of the Secret War which I love.

But even the best RPG in the world can have some upgrades.

  • In my "FS reloaded" I would use new artwork. To be honest: I feel that about 95% of the artwork used in all Feng Shui books simply sucks. I try not to be disrespectful of the artists but if I look at both old books form the 1996 area and the modern area like on Deviant Art, FSr could really use a total art overhaul. There are some terrific artists out there who already capture the feeling of FS without evening mentioning or knowing FS. Image the game where not only the rules, the characters, the setting or the style and atmosphere captures the players, but the artwork as well. Eye candy is important, especially in a role playing game. And for the love of the game: please please please remove those horrible gun frames and use real gun pictures/drawings.

  • I would love to see a very simply and basic point buy system for the character generation. I know that the FS rule systems has its origins in the Nexus RPG which used a very simply point buy system. I would love to see that in a new edition. Simply choose attributes, skills, special abilities and circumstances, schticks and combine the awesomeness of FSr in your dream character. I accept the archetype system but I definitely prefer a free building system, even if that means that my sorcerer can start with Martial Arts 9

  • Some filling of missing combat rules. While i definitely want to continue the easy and fast style of FS combat, some very basic rules (like the use of grenades against names/unnamed characters) should be included.

  • Continue the story of the Secret War. I know that many FS player to not like or use the Secret War as a central plot point, but I simply love it. Time Travel, the desperate battle for a billion souls already dead, living or not yet born, the Netherworld, the various factions - I simply want to continue and expand this story. Of course not too detailed, after all there are some player characters who should be the main protagonists.

  • Some balancing issue - like Kung Fu vs Guns or skil- vs combat-archetypes etc. I am not searching for a mathematically super-balanced game (this is not really possible) but things like the old water sword should be avoided.

  • NPC overhaul: NPC statblocks are a strange thing in FS. IMHO if I give a NPC some stats these stats should be carefully designed and checked. I mean lets have a look at the Prof. Or better at the different versions of the Prof. Sometimes with low Fix It. Sometimes with high Fix It. Sometimes without Arcanowave Knowledge (funny - after all she did invented Arcanowave theory). Something does not add up there. Numbers and values ingame should make sense. They should not be something which you must ignore.

  • Expand the skill list a little bit. New skills are not that necessary, but perhaps some hacking rules for 1996 and 2056 included in the Fix It skill? Some dancing/climbing/athletics ideas for the Martial Artist skill? I thinkthat would be very helpful for the characters.

  • An extensive update of the actor/film list, including Video/PC Games

  • And since we have an almost unlimited budget: the rest would go into a world wide marketing campaign. After all, all people on this little blue ball deserve the privilege to know about the true power for Feng Shui (reloaded).

I can't think of any major changes, but a couple of small tweaks:

  • Make the use of Fu schticks and tranimal schticks dependant purely on the character's Fu score, rather than his Chi score. This means you can create characters with starting stats along the lines of Chi 8 (Fu =0), who have hi Chi scores but lack immediate access to fu powers.

  • Make Geomancy a separate skill, rather than one of the info skills. (As detailed in Out for Blood)

  • More nuns!

dammit, I well thought you were announcing that there was going to be a new edition out...:frowning:

Sounds like there could be if you industrious people tried...

Here's my list:

  • This is the big one for me: no more archetypes with zero Martial Arts skill. In Hong Kong cinema (and indeed in many of our own action movies), everybody knows Kung Fu, or at least knows how to kick ass in hand-to-hand combat. Even Chow Yun-Fat, the king of gun fu, beat mooks around every now and then in his gunplay movies, and in THE KILLER, he even knifed one sorry mook to death. And quite a few people in action movies in general know how to kick ass melee-style in equal measure with their gunplay or their weird powers, and this needs to be reflected a bit.
  • Athletics needs to be a skill, if nothing else because of all the freerunners and traceurs that populate action movies nowadays. Foot chases are a rather underused element in action gaming anyway.
  • Some melee-specific schticks for those who use swords and other melee weapons but do not have access to fu schticks (especially important for non-fu archetypes who want to mix it up in the past junctures).

More than one number influencing combat. My players and I are getting kind of tired of the guys with a 15 Action Value being better at everything, all the time, in every situation, than the guys with a 13 or 11 Action Value. Hitting, Dodging, and Soaking Damage really need to be parsed out somehow so a character can potentially be good at one without being good at them all.

While I like the MA value being your Dodge also, I can see your point, as someone who runs a game that has a Parry stat, and Toughness - just those divisions do break things up (though FS does have its own Toughness for Soak also, unless you're talking about mooks being taken out on a certain value without any consideration for Tgh). I suppose FS could adopt the same idea of Dodge/Parry being equal to your Martial Arts/2 +2, and then you would use Fu powers or unique schticks or skills to increase it. As far as the mooks, you could introduce a new "layer" of "elite" mooks that function more like PCs, with their own normal MA/Dodge value and Toughness, but as soon as you do full damage to them, it takes them out.

MA also being the Dodge stat would be fine in and of itself, but since it also contributes to damage, you have one skill serving the role Strength and Toughness while doing it's own work too.

While, numerically you can have a character that looks like he's clumsy but tough, or fast but fragile, in reality it all piles up to one big number- A character with MA 15, Toughness 6 is going to take the exact same amount of damage from a a given attack as a character with MA 12, Toughness 9. The only difference is that the first character has a higher chance to just plain not be hit at all, meaning he's going to last longer in a fight.

I don't think I am understanding how you are interpreting Martial Arts skill as affecting your own Toughness. I know the difference (Outcome) between your roll and your TN (enemy's MA/Dodge) is added to your damage, but each entity has their own actual Toughness value that is based on BODY, not Strength. I may not be fully comprehending your expanded particular avenue of logic that leads you to make the statement about one skill determining hit rolls, damage and toughness.

In your example you even have two different values for Toughness, 6 and 9. Toughness is purely a defensive stat and has nothing to do with MA, and Str is the main rating for damage, with MA skill helping add additional damage via Outcome - I'm still not seeing where, other than metaphorically, MA has anything to do with Toughness. Also I'm not sure you can lower MA from 15 to 12 in your example and assert the "chances" and amount of damage, given Tgh 6 and 9, will change and scale symmetrically, due to the exploding die. It seems like there is more difference between MA 15, Tgh 6 and MA 12, Tgh 9 than you are suggesting, mostly because the hit roll is dynamic and explodes, but base damage is Strength and is static and tends to be lower than MA skill, and applies directly to Toughness. Changing MA from 15 to 12 lowers your hit roll by 3, but raising your Toughness 3 at the same time offsets this (from my view) in a larger ratio. I suppose it does also depend on just what each combatants' MA and Tgh are, to help give a better, more specific example of the hear of the issue.

That said, I do have issues with the mechanics of Feng Shui, and some of it is from this area of the system. Since the system I am currently running for fantasy is Savage Worlds, I can say that it compares very closely to FS's overall model, and its original damage was static much like FS's, with Str +1, +2, +3, +4 or +5 being the standard range of most weapons, plus Str is a die type, and explodes. Their new rules turn +1 into d4, +2 into d6, etc. and THAT weapon die bonus also can explode, which, if it weren't for that fact, would be a pretty significant change anyway, but adding a second exploding die totally changes the landscape of possible damage ranges.

FS uses the equivalent of the original SvgW damage, static bonuses to Str, with the total subtracted from the enemy's Tgh. In FS, I've seen a MA hit roll of about 26, resulting in extra damage of +9, which blew through the enemy's Toughness of say, 10, when coupled with the PC's Str of 10 and weapon bonus of +2, for a 21 damage total, doing 11 Wounds. Compared that to SW's single +d6 damage roll for a high Fighting vs. Parry hit roll, which might be Fighting d10 (with d6 Wild Die) with a die exploding to a total of 23 by itself, against a typical Parry of 6, results in only the one single raise for the 23, but that still adds that +d6 to the PC's damage roll, which would be Str (say d8) + Weapon Damage (again d8 for sword), and all three dice can explode. In SvgW I've had players routinely roll 25-30 damage at least once a session against a major enemy whose Toughness might be 12-15, which, even at top end, will cause Shaken and 2 or more Wounds, nearly effectively 1-shotting the main villain. I've NEVER had that happen in FS, so while it may seem like MA is overpowered, and maybe it is a bit, but then again, it is a cinematic martial arts game, compared to at least one other game system, a single fighting skill in FS is not NEARLY as severely significant, though I realize there are other differences between the two systems that also change some of this, such as Bennies to spend to avoid or soak damage, etc.

It is hard to say exactly what one could do to streamline the MA issue though, for FS, as this system doesn't work the same as, say, SW, for instance, which allows you to routinely buy new Edges, such as things that raise your Dodge/Parry, though I suppose you could make those "always on" Fu Powers or something.

I quote myself - perhaps some ideas can be taken into the new edition crossfingers for better artwork and free character creation


I can tell you that one of our big goals for the new edition is a graphical overhaul of the whole book, including interior color. (Whether it's just a little or the whole thing in color remains to be seen.)

[size=200]Shut up and take my money![/size]

Don't listen to him. Take his money and keep talking.

... especially about if we can finally hope for a more freeform character creation.