Preparing to run "Burning Dragon"

I'm working my way through the "Burning Dragon" PDF with a view to running it for my regular group. There's clearly a few sessions play here, no one evening wonder this.

I have noticed one thing which is a little confusing, page 24.

"Pork Chops" Fong's Defense is given as 13*. The asterisk states that "+1 Defense vs. Martial Arts attacks. Explain this to players after first ranged attack against him." Is this a mistake or does he betray his martial arts prowess by the way he gets hit by bullets?

There's a followup statement that "Pork Chop's the kind of guy who casually breaks bottles over his own head." but if this is supposed to explain the apparent mismatch I don't get it.

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My guess would be that ranged should be replaced by melee, which would probably make more sense. Good spot! (And good luck!)

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@Matthew Hambley I was facing same problem. Luckily i saw your post thanks for sharing this with us. You are doing great job. :slightly_smiling_face:

I should post an update. I've been incommunicado recently as I had to rebuild my workstation.

The first session was very scrappy. It suffered from my insufficiently internalising all the people and locations so when the players decided to go to a certain place I had to scrabble through the paperwork to find out what and who were there.

In subsequent sessions I knew where the players were so I could mug up on that particular part of the material.

While we know the map is not our friend in combats I think a map of the festival would be a nice prop. Something for the PCs to be given when they arrive or when they visit the information desk. In a sandbox game it's sometimes nice to have a menu of places to visit and it adds a little immersion.

We did discover one oddity in the rules. If you have an Archer in a group which is otherwise only melee characters there is a way to read the Archer's schticks such that they do -1 (i.e. they heal a point) of damage with each successful strike. Obviously we went with the default damage of a bow and later on one of the other characters acquired themselves a Tokarev. There's nothing which says they have to be using it for the Archer to get their damage bonus. :slight_smile:

The Thief did their thiefy thing and found out everything there was to find out from the administration centre without raising an eyebrow.

I slightly flubbed the "flight of the student" chase. I thought the whole combat seemed a bit mook light. What I had missed was that it isn't one mook per 2 characters but one truck full of mooks per 2 characters.

Still there were more than enough named characters, none of whom the players wanted to interrogate so I suppose they will have to find out about the ghosts and things from somewhere else. I should have probably telegraphed that the possibility existed by having them groaning and clutching their various bits in pain.

I too decided that Pork Chop's bonus should probably be elucidated on the first melee attack. It's what made sense. My players loved the image of the mutton-choped villain called Pork Chops".

Post session update the second.

Going back to last week, I noticed that Ronny Tsou and Jackie Ma are armed with Battons but have the Guns skill. I made the obvious switch to Martial Arts.

I feel a bit bad for calling out the mistakes and confusions I find as I go along. Particularly in Atlas Games' own forum. I console myself by telling myself that it is useful information for people planning to run this adventure. If it is not or Atlas moderators would rather I didn't then you just have to say.

Talking of confusion, we had another read at the Archer's schticks and another PC having a firearm on their person doesn't help. They actually have to have "Guns" as their primary attack which none of them do. I still refuse to rule that the archer is healing the bad guys for a point every time he hits so base 7 damage it is.

This week the PCs decide that they want to investigate the guy in Dust Town who bench-pressed a truck, for real. The introductory summary of Dust Town states that the wrestling and archery happens here but the archery is in Seven Lakes.

Going to the wrestling triggered the "Monkey Business" fight. This was a little alarming when I realised that with 12 mooks per PC I was looking at 60 mooks. If you aren't using the web tool which prints out a page of mook attack values then you are going to suffer.

In an attempt to lower the amount of work I had to do I just had the two massed ranks of mooks plow into each other and ignore the PCs. This worked as far as reducing what I had to do but I think we lost a sense of danger for the players. It would require more effort but I recommend having them attack the players in gangs of 5 or 6.

Next week our martial artists fancies his chances in the wrestling tournament.