Help me brainstorm a new campaign

I was excited about Feng Shui 2, so I told my current group we'd do a one-shot. We started with the adventure in the FS2 playtest draft, got about 1/3rd of the way through it, and the unanimous response from the group was "Forget the game we've been running, let's play this instead!!" So now I'm stuck brainstorming for a new campaign for a game system I always loved but never actually got to run or play in. Yay me.

Cast of characters:
Johnny Wu, Maverick Cop. Melodramatic hook: wishes to clear the name of his father (likewise a cop) who was found dead among mountains of (planted) evidence of corruption.
CeCe Bouhm, Full Metal Nutjob. Melodramatic hook: in love with Ricky Shen (of the Victoria Peak Shens), whose family strongly disapproves of the potential match.
Amy Chen, aka The Rainbow Liberator. Masked Avenger, fighting for the cause of feminism and GLBT rights everywhere. Melodramatic hook: daughter of the Mountain Master of one Triad, in love with the daughter of the Mountain Master of another Triad. We'll be Montaguing and Capuletting all over the place.
Emmy Zhou, Scrappy Kid. Melodramatic Hook: daughter of the Red Pole of yet a third Triad.
, Old Master. . Player is switching archetypes.

I've got some ideas already. I want to start off slowly, with the chi war elements under the surface for the most part. (The adventure in FS1 would be a good example: it is caused by the Lotus wanting a Feng Shui site, but the Lotus influence is not really apparent until the end of the adventure.) So the players would not have much information to start with. I need help figuring out what the various factions might be up to in Contemporary Hong Kong, though, so I can use that as a framework to build adventures around.

The problem is that according to the book, Contemporary Hong Kong is an Ascended strong-point. Every other faction tiptoes around the Ascended, and the Ascended themselves are mostly resting on their laurels, content to maintain their stranglehold. So what I need are some examples of what various factions might be subtly trying to do within Hong Kong.

The other thing I need assistance with is tying in player melodramatic hooks to the chi war.
The Full Metal Nutjob appears easy -- Ricky is either the son of Euston Chau, or a close relative -- but I'm having trouble figuring out what Euston might do in response to this forbidden romance. Dropping an Ascended strike team on the Nutjob's head is far too obvious and unsubtle.
One idea I had was Euston using his contacts to 'hire' the Nutjob for dangerous missions for the Ascended. Either she completes the mission or she winds up dead, he wins either way. Can anyone think of anything else?

The obvious thing to do with the Maverick Cop is to make his father a former member of the Dragons. Is there anything else that would fit?

I'm really not sure what to do with the Scrappy Kid. Make her father an Incense Master instead of a Red Pole for his Triad and give him connections to the Lotus is the only thing that springs to mind, but I'm very open to alternate ideas.

The Masked Avenger's melodramatic hook doesn't really need any chi war influences, there's plenty of material there without it, but some sort of link might be fun anyway. What do you think would work best?

The contemporary juncture is an Ascended stronghold, but Hong Kong itself is more of a hodgepodge because so many active factions are fighting over it. Another thing to keep in mind is that most Tranimals avoid Hong Kong because it's more magic-friendly than the rest of the contemporary juncture. This means that when you do run into Ascended there, it's more likely that they're just normal Pledged humans, and thus maybe not as competent as, say, a Scorpion Assassin team. At any rate, that's how I'd run the Ascended in Hong Kong - just normal cops, who aren't always surprised by Weird Sh!t happening, but they can be overwhelmed and outgunned. The Ascended's real power base is infrastructure: they run all the police stations, the hospitals, the television stations, the subways, the banks, etc. I tend to use them more as a "Don't Go There" warning sign than an active antagonist. But while the Ascended controls the infrastructure, every faction has a foothold somewhere, and the concentration of Feng Shui sites makes it easy to say "The Ascended control HK, but control of the sites swaps around so much that whenever they think they have every corner nailed down, they look away for one second and several chunks disappear or unravel."

My favorite website for campaign ideas was the Jade Agenda, particularly "The Unemployables". It's gone now, but you can still find it with the Wayback Machine: ... ~jiglesia/ ... mpaign.htm ... employ.htm

The most fantastic book for campaign ideas was Friends of the Dragon. More specifically, thinking about your campaign as a TV series, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the X-Files. Very highly recommended, and the crunch in there is generic enough that you can use it for 2nd edition without too much trouble.

If you're stuck on how to involve the players in what's going on, that's what the "Buy In" is for. Ask the players to come up with a reason for why they want to get involved. If they can't think of anything right then, just shrug and leave it blank, so you can patch it in later. This is part of the structure of the game - in most RPGs, the players are responsible for their PCs and the "good" things that happen to them, while the GM comes up with the antagonists and the "bad" things that happen. This is ingrained with so many players, they just assume this is how all RPGs work. One of the keys to understanding Feng Shui is that ideally the players should control both sides of the narrative - they are supposed to do things that hurt or complicate things for their own characters because it makes for a better story or a better fight scene. Not everybody "gets" this in Feng Shui right away, so it may take a while before the players are buying in with gusto.

I'd probably start with a Macguffin: a piece of paper with five addresses written on it. The PCs wind up with it through some strange accident, and all of a sudden everybody wants them dead. The five addresses are five Feng Shui sites that will control the next critical shift. If one faction gets all five, they can pull the rug out from the Ascended and take control of the juncture. (One of the problems I had in my old Feng Shui campaign was the Secret War was too massive. The PCs never got a feel that they were in control of anything, too many hundreds of sites spread across too many junctures, there just wasn't any reason to care about fighting over any particular site. Giving them a list of Five Important Sites gives the PCs the "Illusion of Control" and they can tell with a quick glance at a rough map if they are winning/losing. It makes the stakes involved look manageable and believable - control what happens to these five sites, and you control what happens in the world.)

The List dictates how each faction responds to the PCs:

The Ascended naturally want to put the kibosh on anything that could cause a critical shift. If the PCs decide they want to stop the shift from happening, then this makes the Ascended potential allies later on, but with plenty of violent misunderstandings and dramatic head-butting beforehand.

Jammers need control of the Contemporary to try and stop the C-Bomb. Make one of the sites a Cryogenics lab, with the idea that Potemkin wants to try freezing some monkey sleeper-agents to wake up in the future and stop the events that lead to 2074. This likely makes them adversaries, but soft-heared PCs may eventually feel that Potemkin's heart is in the right place, and may want to help him some other way. Simians obviously want to stop this, and will be trying to burn the five sites, old-school-Jammer-style. Trying to tell the two groups apart will probably be difficult for the PCs early on.

The Lotus needs more leverage in every juncture, but make one of the sites an ancient tomb (such as this one: ... omb_Museum) that might hold a clue to the final resting spot of Gao Zhang, and heck yeah they'll want a piece of the action.

I'm not sure what to do with the Hand, but they hate the Ascended, so anything that puts their control at risk is probably something they'll be interested in. Taking control of the contemporary juncture could be just the big break they were looking for - now they can show all the infidels how a properly-ordered modern society should look!

Four Monarchs I'd save for a Big Reveal - just when one faction locks down four sites, a turncoat betrayal suddenly reveals that it was really one of the Four Monarchs orchestrating a return to power all along - can the PCs rush to the final site in time to turn the tide of battle?

[quoteI'm having trouble figuring out what Euston might do in response to this forbidden romance. Dropping an Ascended strike team on the Nutjob's head is far too obvious and unsubtle.]

mayby they found a pop up juncture to the time of his father/mother and sent someone back to eliminate the future potential threat of him in the present by erasing or changing the past. mayby one day someone close to him all of a sudden doesnt know who he is etc to where he is being phased out and has to fix it. ala back tot he future with marti mcfly (probably horrendously miss spelled)

Thanks for the responses so far, guys. The Jade Agenda website is particularly helpful.

One idea I'm playing with is that -- spoilers for Feng Shui 2 --
[spoiler]the Architects of the Flesh may not be down for the count. There have got to be some of them who weren't attuned to Feng Shui sites when the C-bomb went off, or were otherwise shielded from the effects. Deep-cover operatives in other junctions, people who were attuned to some site that the Jammers burned a few days before the bomb, Insert Convoluted Reasoning Here.

They'd be in very deep trouble, of course. Their economic base is gone, arcanowave tech is gone, everything they've based their power on is no longer there. But there may well be a few small enclaves who're hunkered down, frantically trying to come up with some way to survive, rebuild, and take back their world.[/spoiler]