How many Schticks per character?

Hi guys! I am a newbe here. I am from Italy.
I am just starting with Feng Shui (2). I am studying how to create a hero. I am scanning the corebook, but it seems I am not able to find the information:

  • how many Schticks each character takes in creation?

  • Must they all belong to the same category?

  • If not, where it is written which categories are accesible for each archetype?

Thank you very much!


Particularly with Feng Shui 2 the assumption is that characters are archetypes. Character generation consists of choosing an archetype, given them a name and coming up with a melodramatic plot hook. The archetype comes with the set of schticks they have.

There are no character generation rules as action films traffic in archetypes, not characters. Which is not to say that you can't create new archetypes if you want to, there are just no rules for it.

Give them as many or as few schticks as you like. Just be aware that giving them too many will make them overly powerful compared to other PCs. Also remember niche preservation. Try to avoid giving archetypes overlapping schticks. Each PC should have their own area of expertise which means when it comes up they are the ones who get to take the spotlight.

Obviously there's a lot of judgement involved. Some schticks absolutely appear on multiple archetypes. Lots of action heroes can reload their gun so fast you can't see it or make death-defying leaps across roof tops. However only the full metal nutball has a hold-all full of escalating fire power. That's unique to them and it would dilute that character if the ex-special forces had it as well. Instead they just carry all their guns about their person clearly displayed for all to see.

As for the original Feng Shui, each archetype tells you how many of what type of schtick to take. For example the Abomination (p20 of the Atlas edition) says "Schticks: 3 Arcanowave schticks, 2 Creature powers." It's the 4th label below the block of flavour text to the left of the illustration.

Thank you very much!

Now it is clearer.

What it is a bit odd to me is that it seems that the characters - or heroes - must have those schticks.
I mean... let me do an example...

I pick the archetype ot the Old Master.

Must I have those schticks? Why can I not choose its own Fu Path? Can he not really be a Master of the Tiger Path, for example?

If I can disgard those schticks and replace them with other ones, should I replace as many as those of the archetype and they must be of the same kind?

In the case of the Old Master must I have, or replace, a maximum of 7 Schticks? And they have to be, 1 Core Schtick, 5 Fu Schticks and 1 Disadvantage?

This is letting me a bit puzzled... or maybe I am misinterpreting or have an incorrect approach?

The schticks presented in an archetype have been chosen because they effectively evoke the capabilities and feel of that archetype in action films. But just as in every other game in the world, if you don't like what the book says then by all means feel free to do something else.

Just be aware that if you are used to a style of play which is all about maximising your character's combat effectiveness through carefully curating their skills then, paradoxically, Feng Shui is not that sort of game. It is much more interested in evoking the feeling of watching a Hong-Kong action film. What's on the character sheet is much less important than the cool descriptions the players and GM come up with around the table.

Speaking directly to your question, if you are using the original Feng Shui then then the answer is right there on the archetype description. The list of schticks is called the "Quick Schtick Pick". It represents a selection which you can just pick up, use and expect to have fun. However if you have a different idea for your character then of course you can pick alternatives although your GM will probably want to have a look at the result.

If you are using Feng Shui 2 then I refer you to "Skill Swapping" on page 24 and note that of course that applies to schticks too. Why would it not? Ultimately roleplaying is always a collaboration between the players. As long as they are happy with your alternative pick then you are ready to go.

None of this is holy writ. Everything is amenable to an adult conversation.

Thank you very much Matthew!

That's great!

I simply agree with all you have said!

Now it is very clear!


Matthew's answer was solid and excellent. Not disagreeing with anything he said, but I would like to add that there's a bit of guidance / precedent hidden in the 2nd Edition rulebook for making your own Archetype. Customizing your character is in the rules, it's just tucked away as a rare option, rather than being the default.

As Matthew mentioned, on page 24 they talk about swapping skills. In addition:

On page 139 they specifically talk about swapping out the Fu Path on an existing Martial Artist or Old Master character for a new one.

On page 161 they talk about swapping out Sorcery sticks.

On page 178 they talk about how to make other types of Transformed Animal characters, and got into a fair amount of detail. The "template" they use there is:
5 Schticks (with some limitations on how many from various categories)
13 in one normal skill (determined by animal type)
13 in one Info skill (determined by animal type)
12 in one other skill of the player's choice
Attack & Defense: one at 14 the other at 13
Toughness, Chi & Speed: One at 8, one at 7, and one at 6.
So if you are custom-tailoring your own Archetype / Character, you might use those as your guidelines or starting point.

In all cases, as Matthew said, you'd want to clear it with your GM, and make sure both parties agreed that the changes were balanced.

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