Feng Shui with 7 players

Just to calibrate some things in case you are also , I ran the first session of FS last week and had 7 players.

It was meant to be both an introductory/learning experience before the players picked their final characters, as well a TPK as the characters were all the 'old' Dragons; which would lead to melodramatic hooks et al during the main storyline.

I had a Killer, Martial Artist, Ninja, Driver, Private Detective, Sword Master, and a Big Bruiser.

They were up against 3 bosses, 4 featured foes, and 21 mooks where 14 of them were AV 9/ Def 14.

The players wiped the floor with the bad guys.

Well.. I got frustrated with my players and put the FIVE of them against an uber boss (16 attack/16 def), four bosses (15 attack/14 defense), and unlimited waves of mooks, and I had to cheat most of my rolls to even put a hurt on the heroes so the encounter wasn't an entire cakewalk for the party.

My players had irritatingly good luck.

Now, if your mooks had a 14 av, that is exactly why everyone died. Mooks should only have about 8 or 9. 14 av mooks is almost a guaranteed party wipe, (unless you're me).

P.S. I made an encounter that was so over the top ridiculous for this group, everyone was either down or heavily impaired, and I even had someone at over 100 wound points, and they still won. (The encounter was designed for them to lose and be captured to progress the story.)

Feng Shui is unforgiving to players/storytellers with bad luck. Which is why I recommend the GM cheats for the sake of the story. Because having an important boss die after from three very lucky attacks in a row, or having a player, who's been unlucky the entire campaign, finally getting a chance to be the the big damn hero who can take down the big bad guy and save all their friends, failing because the boss made his 8th upcheck and dropper her the next attack is BAD storytelling, and basically the least fun thing you can do.

In short, screw the rules in any tabletop. Nudge rolls, ad schticks to enemies mid fight, homebrew enemy schticks, throw unlucky rollers a bone once in a while.

As a played, I NEVER roll well in any game. In tabletops, I'm the equivalent of the weird, unpopular girl who's only at the party because her best friend is really attractive. You know the type. The one that gets ignored the whole time, until she's peer pressured into doing something she's said "no, I don't want to," a half dozen times.

I want to play and belong to the group, but I'm a failure at rolling and never contribute to the party in combat, but I roleplay and solve problems, but then die because an enemy decided to attack me and the storyteller was rolling like thindar and I was rolling nothing but ones.

Honestly.. Being a player murders my self-esteem, amd more frequently than i care to admit, sends me home in tears, which is why every character I make has a horrible and tragic back story, because at least their inevitable death that's caused by my poor rolls is putting an end to their suffering.

In short, don't make your bad luck players feel like I do every time I've ever played a tabletop, and don't let your lucky, min maxing players have it too easy. Games are supposed to be about fun and making a memorable story, not making someone feel like they can't do anything right and the group would be better off without them, because without them being there, there'd be one less featured for in the encounter.

I'm not saying give everyone a trophy for showing up, but I am saying as a storyteller, you're not just a god in your fantasy world, you're in a unique position to give players happiness. Be it overcoming a nearly impossible challenge, or making a sad and depressed loser feel like she's an asset to her friends. Either way, don't make it obvious you cheat. It pisses off the good players, and crushes the bad players.

Players be crazy. :slight_smile:

In general, I try not to shoehorn the players (i.e. require them to accomplish a very specific outcome in each scene for the story to play out). I'd suggest you always think about a way to forward the story along regardless of what happens. Think of it as 'choose your own adventure story' - every single page should have at least two options, worked out by you ahead of time. Maybe not in detail, but at least have like a one-sentence description of how you will handle it. "if they beat my unbeatable Grendel army....I'll have Grendel's mom show up, really angry..." That way, when someone caps the critically helpful NPC, shows mercy to some named bad guy you really needed killed, or defeats your undefeatable 'meant to take them captive' army, you have a way forward. Also that way, you'll never have to rely on the luck of the dice to make the plot work ever again.

Never fear, Feng Shui has a template for that! Take the Gambler. Convert all of those -10 swerves into +10s (or the opposite, when the uber boss rolls them). The schtick might not seem all that impressive, but I think I calculated that a 5-point swerve occurs about once every 8 or 9 rolls on average. Which mean you'll be converting a PC bad miss into a great hit, or an enemy heavy hit into a complete whiff probably about once every sequence.

Combo that with gun schticks that gives you back fortune, and you'll be an eternal swerve monster. Firm Grip combined with Lightning Reload(s) and a low-reload semi-automatic should do it. Battle Scavenge III also looks like it might do the trick. Oooh - combine Battle Scavenge with Click Click Toss! Fire until you run out of bullets (you really want to run out). Then throw your gun, pick up another at a shot cost of 0, get 3 fortune back doing it, and then icing on the cake, attack with that new gun at +11 AV. Muhahahaha!

I play as a ghost with inevitable comeback now, and I never go below three magic, so I'm fine.

We play it so you can sub class and take an advancement block from another class, and I chose sorcerer, so I just heal and boost the whole time..

But then my party doesn't take that much damage anymore, so.. =\

Yeah, one of my player's has discovered the joys of that particular power.

I'm getting a DVD of God Of Gamblers so she can watch it, so that I can start /requiring/ the attached requirement of 'describe how your incredible planning lead to this outcome'.


While my original plan was to wipe out the 'temp' characters, build some connection to the previous generation of Dragons, and introduce some recurring villains to the players (but not their real characters), we ended the combat before the players actually achieved victory.

I couldn't fudge things too much - two of the players had a good ideas and some rolls to keep Thrill Kill Mandrill from climbing into the building. When he buzzed the office floor with a chaingun in his hand, the PI managed to disarm him, meaning the chaingun fell 30+ floors down. :slight_smile: Then Mandrill leapt into the building but on the shot count he landed a player called a stunt and then knocked him of the window - though he did grab onto the ledge with his feet. But then the killer and PI ganged up on him and since I wanted to emphasize the advantage of descriptive actions, the ape just had to fall.

Oh, he'll be back. Just a little.... enhanced. Along with Easton Chou, his bodyguard, the three Pledged Men-In-Black (named foes with the ablative mook power), and a boss ghost.

And one of the Dragons will have been a traitor. I'm going to introduce the 'dead' Dragons and what happened to turn their victory into defeat in flashbacks and melodramatic hooks throughout the game.

With 7 players, I'd be throwing 40 or 50 mooks at them :slight_smile:

40 or 50 mooks you say? :smiley:



Exactly. Tequila is worth 7 players all by himself :slight_smile: