Archive for the ‘situations’ Category


Runa: Boto Fallen, Jala Standing

July 5, 2009


Once, Bota was a free land, the center of trade between the Lunar Empire and the Bayan lands to the south. Over 30 years ago it fell with hardly much bloodshed, some say, because it was already flooded with traitors, converted to foreign ways by the missionaries.

Today, Jala has become the center of resistance- both refugees streaming in from the north from Lunar raids as well as a few seeking adventure and a name for themselves by fighting the invaders.

War Comes…

A small group of Bayan missionaries have come from Boto, begging that Jala surrender peacefully. The Imperials have grown tired of the long struggle to take the Bayan lands- they have sent a new general, Maratha, brutal, cruel, and determined to break all resistance.

The Heroes

Young members of Jala, either natives or refugees, who must decide how to best protect and serve the people in the face of oncoming war.

Does it make more sense to try to engage the Lunars in the contested jungles further north? Make alliances with the Siyan Hill Clans? Try to move as many refugees south? Can any compromise be struck with the Lunar missionaries or is it just another Lunar trick?

Keyword: Jala Native
Abilities: Traveler-wise, Refugee-wise, Hates the Lunars, Hardworking, R-ship: Diwata Selene, Family Standing

Jala Resources:
Bayan Cultural Identity, Fierce Warriors & Militia, Local Alliances, Craft & Trades, Freedom for Bayan Lands

Defining your character:
Each character should have some description of how the Lunar Invasion impacted them directly (including family history), some abilities and social position that would put them in a place to do something about it, and some ties to the cultural aspects in particular.

Diwata Selene

The guardian spirit of Jala, small altars are found all around town, and along the roads. Selene appears to be a young woman dressed in colorful clothing, wearing a distinctive traditional headwrap and wielding a curved dagger. Her spirit is called upon to fight tigers and dangerous beasts of the jungle, to find lost children, and, to protect Jala when in danger. Most travelers, traders, and refugees give offerings before any journey and thanks after one.

Other Communities

Boto Resources:
Bayan Cultural Identity, Lunar Cultural Influence, Lunar Garrison, Northern Trade Center, Town Expansion

Siyan Resources:
Fierce Independence, Brutal Infighting, Guerilla Mastery, Rare Herbal Medicine and Poison, Spirit Traditions


Mining for Situations: Seven Swords of Tianshan

October 17, 2008

I’m re-watching the Seven Swords of Tianshan and blown away at how good a lot of the situations are and how many of them would be great for a campaign or even a one shot.

The basic premise is that you have loyalists of the old dynasty seeking to overthrow the new dynasty, and generally being on the run as outlaws.  And the rest is pure drama – love triangles, misunderstandings, betrayals, etc.  (The series sadly has pretty wack roles for women- though each could really stand out on their own, all of them basically become sacrificial girlfriends for the men… grr.)

Here’s some of the situations worth mining:

– The rebels are hiding out in a cave while soldiers are searching the mountains.  Then they find out the water has been poisoned- they have a traitor in their midst…

– The prince has captured their ace swordsman, and is trying to break his will and convince him to join.  How long will he hold out?  Will he play the role of double agent, and can he maintain it convincingly?  How will he convince his friends when he gets back out?

– A few of the outlaws are in charge of the children of the village – they all hide out in a temple during a wedding with soldiers just a day behind them.  How will they explain themselves, how will they feed the kids, how will they keep their cover?

– A few days before a giant festival, a horrible storm has driven everyone inside.  A few rebels are laying low in an inn, while soldiers are searching for troublemakers.  At the same time, a spy for the enemy, a sword for hire who is seeking bounty and reputation, and a unknown loyalist all are in the same inn.  Everyone knows the others are skilled warriors, but who do they serve, and who is allied with whom?

Of course, all of these situations are even more loaded with the various characters falling in love, becoming jealous, having self esteem issues, getting separated, getting reunited, imagining betrayal, actually betraying, etc.  There’s also generally a lot of action (though, the fight scenes are pretty tame with handwavey-wuxia smoke and lights swordfighting).

I should probably dig out some Jin Hong books too and mine those for ideas as well…