I've written some FS2 character generation rules (Free PDF)

Hello Everyone, as the title says I've been busy writing some Feng Shui 2 character generation rules for my own campaign and thought I would share them with the community.

I'm very new to the game so would appreciate reviews, feedback and suggestions for improvements.

You can download the PDF here:

Thanks in advance.


That's great! I will give you a feedback as soon as possible!

In case you weren't aware, the game does actually already have rules for customizing characters, they're just hidden throughout the book.
Page 24 - Swapping skills
Page 139 - Swapping Fu Paths
Page 161 - Swapping Sorcery Schticks
Page 178 - Template for making your own Transformed Animals
Personally, I've used those rules to good effect, telling my players to pick an Archetype that's close to their character concept, and then just tweaking the fewest bits necessary to align it with what exactly they had in mind.

But that's just how I do things. If you and your players are interested in a point-buy system, that's great. We all have our own preferences and tastes.

I do, however, think that the system you laid out has a few rough edges that could use some revision. Here's some feedback for you, since you asked... though, apparently I'm several weeks late.

The stats are not created equally, and probably shouldn't cost the same, nor should the costs scale linearly, in my opinion.

For example, I definitely wouldn't recommend anyone ever play a Feng Shui character with a Primary Attack of less than 10, as they'll struggle to contribute meaningfully during the game's frequent fight scenes. I would expect with your proposed point-buy system, nearly every character will have a 15 in their primary attack, because the difference between Martial Arts 15 and Martial Arts 14 in terms of performance is honestly much bigger than you'd expect, and probably worth a lot more than a mere 1% of your point budget.

I would also expect that with your system, almost no one will ever take a backup attack form. It's just too expensive. If for some reason I felt I needed a backup attack (like if I was making a Guns character and was really worried about the GM disarming me), I'd spend the 11 points to get Martial Arts at level 1, and just plan to spend my first Advancement on "Increase your backup attack to your main attack minus 1." Or, maybe I'd just take the Schtick "Bag Full Of Guns" (or "Tools of the Trade") as a way to end-run around it. I'd feel a little guilty doing it that way, but I'd do it.

Using your system, I looked at recreating the Drifter Archetype. By just skipping the Backup Attack, I was able to afford the following stats:
Guns 15 (+2 better than the Archetype version)
Defense 15 (+2 better than the Archetype)
Toughness 10 (+2 better than the Archetype)
Fortune 7 (same as the Archetype)
Speed 8 (+2 better than the Archetype)
Schticks 4 and 4 (+3 extra Schticks)
Skill Points 30 (+8 extra skill points)
That tells me that the point totals there aren't dialed in correctly yet.

Also, this isn't a game that typically cares too much about money and equipment, so I suspect you're charging way too much for Rich. For that 20 points I could buy two skills at level 15 and a third skill at level 10. The skills (assuming you don't waste them on dubious Info: Stamp Collecting or the like) are probably going to be a bigger impact on both the plot and your enjoyment of the game. (Wealth has no impact on starting weapons, it's not uncommon for a "Poor" or "Working Stiff" character to start with several good weapons, and most of the "Rich" characters have only a single item. Wealth is mostly for flavor.)

I would encourage you to re-evaluate your scales and charts with the Awesoming-Up system in mind. During play, it costs a single Advance to raise a skill from 1 to 12, and one advance to raise a skill from 12 to 13. But if you started with your Primary Attack at 11, you can't raise it to 13 until your 10th Advancement. So there's a huge difference there. It's less of an issue if you're also planning to create a custom level-up system, but if you leave it as is with things being valued differently in character creation than via in-play Advancement, it will be a system open to abuse by mathematically-inclined players (to the disadvantage of more casual players who don't feel inclined to do the math homework).

I noticed that your charts in steps 1 - 3 don't have a clear-cut option for playing a Ghost... at least not the rules-as-written hybrid with sorcery and creature powers that's on the existing Archetype sheet. Is that an intentional house-rule?

Lastly, and I only mention this because you stated that you're new to the game, but I couldn't help but notice that you referred to Transformed Animals as "Shapeshifters". That's definitely NOT what they are canonically. If that's what you've house-ruled them to be, that's cool, but I figured I should point it out in case you'd just skimmed that part of the book. It seems like it's a thing you'd want to know (and decide whether or not to house-rule) before you put this rules system in front of a player. Transforming back into animal form is not a power they have, it's more like "a fate worse than death" that they really want to avoid. It could be quite the shock if a player thought they were something else entirely during character creation.

Anyhow, I can see the appeal of having a point-buy system, and I don't want to discourage you, but I just don't think you've quite got it dialed-in yet. I would suggest giving it a revision or two.

I certainly appreciate the effort and you did a good job artistically, matching the layout of the main book.

I really can't tell if the math matches up or not, so I'll give you a wishlist instead:
I've certainly had Feng Shui players want to make their own templates and I missed the parts of the book that told me how to do it (we tend to play fast and loose)
Considering the nature of Feng Shui, I don't mind players making OP characters as long as everyone has a chance to do it (but only one of my players ever gets down to the nitty gritty like that)
So, what I would have liked to have seen is more combat options/attack picks for the more fringe characters. And you could have combined that into the first couple charts and saved space, something like:

[since they're all the same, you could have just listed this first instead of putting it in the table]
cost for main attack: yadda yadda
cost for backup attack: yadda yadda
Archetype or Whatever: data (pick one for main, optional: the other's for backup) era notes
Cyborg: victim of experiments (Scroungetech, Guns) steampunk in eras before Modern
Mutant: Darwin gave you superpowers (Mutation, Creature) magical curse in eras before Modern
(Also, if you combine mutant and supernatural creature into one, you can shave it down to six archetypes, which would make it possible to create a COMPLETELY RANDOM template. Feng Shui Ultimate Powers Book anyone? Mooha... MOOhaHAha... )

I hope that helps?

[if you didn't care about the rules at all, you could do this]
GUNS (shoot bullets, shiruken or arrows)
MARTIAL ARTS (kick, punch and use melee weapons)
SORCERY (fling magic spells)
ENERGISTICS (emit force beams and overclock your flesh)

D6: action hero (pick one for main, optional for backup) era notes and bennies
1: Heroic Interloper (GUNS, MARTIAL ARTS) +1 pool if using FORTUNE, never RICH, shouldn't be here
2: Futurization Victim (GUNS, ENERGISTICS) can equip from Future in any era, not always from there
3: Nice Monster (SORCERY, ENERGISTICS) doctors can tell you're not human, can take Creature schticks
4: Occultist Classic (SORCERY, GUNS) has Spells schtick for free, low max TOU or something
5: Mystic Assassin (SORCERY, MARTIAL ARTS) not always a ninja, can take FU schticks
6: Chi Warrior (ENERGISTICS, MARTIAL ARTS) +1 pool if using CHI, can take Fu schticks

For another take on Chargen, I put this together back just after FS2 was released. Enjoy.

Generic Template

Step 1: Develop your character concept, catchphrase, juncture, hooks, and fortune subtype (if you plan on having one)

You may not be a transformed crab or dragon. For those concepts, use the book versions. I would also welcome feedback on whether this generic template is too strong for other transformed animals. If so, suggest ways to modify these rules to make it more balanced.

Step 2: Begin with the following:

  • AV 12 (you pick which type; it should be allowable with your fortune subtype)
    • Backup AV 11 (it can’t use a different fortune subtype)
  • DV 12
  • Distribute a 6, 7, and 8 between Toughness, Fortune, and Speed
  • Take “working stiff” wealth

Step 3: decide on role. What role does your character play in your party?

  • Cannon: you kick butt and take names. Increase AV to 14, and Backup AV to 13
  • Lawnmower: you clear the scene of riff raff. Increase your backup AV to 12 and gain the schtick “Lawnmower: when you drop one mook, drop two additional mooks.”
  • Tank: you protect the innocent and hold off the big bad. Increase DV to 14 or Toughness by +2, your choice.
  • Skill monkey: you solve the puzzles and problems that leave the rest of your party flabbergasted. Take one skill at 15 and two others at 12. You may exchange any one of these regular skills for two Info skills at the same level.

Step 4: flesh out character. Choose six of the following. You may pick the same benefit more than once, unless the text says otherwise.

  • Add 1 to both AV and backup AV. You may only take this benefit once, and only if you didn’t take “cannon” as your role.
  • Add 1 to DV. You may only take this benefit twice, and only to a maximum DV of 14.
  • Add 1 to Toughness, or Fortune, or Speed. The maximum value of each is 9. If you exceeded toughness 9 in step 3, that is okay, but you can’t increase it higher than 10.
  • Take a Schtick. You may only take this benefit five times. You may not take Schticks of a different fortune sub-type than the one you have chosen, but you may mix and match schticks between all types allowed by your fortune subtype (so, for example, take any combination of sorcery and monster schticks. Or transformed animal and fu schticks). Other standard schtick rules apply, so for example you cannot take transformed animal schticks from different animals or take any schtick without taking its prerequisite(s).
  • Add one skill at 15, or two skills at 12, or three Info skills at 12.
  • Take “rich” wealth.
  • With the GM’s permission, you may take the “Juncture Adapted” core schtick.

Step 5: Sanity check

The GM should review the character and veto any character that looks completely mechanically superior to one of the templates. The generic template is not supposed to do that, but hey, I’m not perfect.

Step 6: add icing on the cake. Once the GM approves your PC, take all of the following.

  • One info skill at 12 which is hobby-like or character defining, but unlikely to be that useful. (Info: karaoke!)
  • Pick two weapons appropriate to your AV and skill set.
  • If you have at least two Vehicle schticks, or a Driving skill of 15, or the rich wealth level, take a car. Work out what is appropriate with your GM. If you meet two of those prerequisites, tell the GM to give you a nice car.

Awesoming up: generic characters may awesome up in the following ways:

  • Add a new skill at 9
  • Increase a current skill to 12
  • Increase a current skill by +1, subject to the standard rules.
  • Take a schtick of the same type(s) you took during character generation, subject to the standard rules.