August 26, 2015

Archetype Alterations for Feng Shui 2

This post is inspired by fellow d20 Radio alumni and Gamer Nation member Taigia Reilly, due to a FB Messenger comment he sent me.  Sorry for not directly replying, but felt the reply might work better as a blog post.

In my last blog post, I'd made a brief mention of looking at tweaking some of the ready-to-play archetypes found in the core rulebook of Feng Shui 2.  Now, the intent of the archetypes in FS2 is that they are literally "ready to play" as in the only thing you need to do is provide a name and a dramatic hook.  For this new version of Feng Shui, the designers made the very deliberate choice to not include a traditional character creation system, and in fact there really aren't any character creation rules at all.

Now as I've alluded to in the past, I am an incessant tinker-monkey when it comes to RPGs.  It's something I've enjoyed doing, even if the fruits of my efforts have been less-than-stellar.  Then again, enough folks have liked the various rules tweaks I've posted over the years, ranging from an array of new crunch for Star Wars RCR (way back on the Holonet Forums) and Saga Edition (Deflect Blasters seemed to be quite popular back in the day, and it's been the rare GM that I've played under that disallowed the talent).  Heck, the Unofficial Species Menagerie still sees use even though it's been quite some time since it last got an update.

So with that in mind, here's some of the various tweaks I've thought up for the Feng Shui 2 archetypes.  Now to be clear, I like many of these as written, and am certainly not claiming that my proposed alterations are necessarily better.  They're simply different.

Everyday Hero (FS pg43)
About the only real changes I'd think of making would be swap out the Info skills for things not quite so stereotypical but still reflecting that the archetype is that of the ordinary Joe/Jane that's found themselves dragged into a life of adventure and danger.

Alternatively, you could go for a bit more of a Jack Burton feel by dropping a couple of the skills and either take the Blam Blam Epigram schtick (FS2 pg124), or as Taigia suggested modify it to "Wham Wham Epigram" and have the effects apply to a Martial Arts attack instead, though perhaps restricted to fists and improvised weapons rather than any melee weapon.  Either way, it gets you a nice boost for making a pithy one-liner, which is something most players are bound to be doing anyway.

Martial Artist (FS2 pg65)
Replace Hands Without Shadow, Lightning Fist, and Dim Mak with one of the following sets:
Set 1 - The Bruce Lee Clone: Hammer Punch, Back Leg Kick, Target the Core
Set 2 - Wuxia Themed: Prodigious Leap, Horse Stance, Crane Stance
Set 3 - The Brute: Claw of the Tiger, Tiger Stance, Unyielding Tiger Stance
Set 4 - The Ultimate 'Chucker: Cyclone of Wood and Chain, Rain of Pain, Signature Weapon
Set 5 - The Drunken Boxer: Drunken Stance, Drunken Fist, Wily Stupor

Maverick Cop (FS2 pg69)
For a bit less Dirty Harry,  swap out the S&W Model 29 and Winchester Model 70 for a Berreta M9 autoloader (also noted as the character's Signature Weapon) and a Remington 870 Police shotgun.  You could also drop Police skill's Action Value by 1 and add it to Driving to make the Maverick Cop a bit more capable in a vehicle chase.

Spy (FS2 pg85)
Aside from swapping out the Walther PPK for a bigger handgun (though probably want to stick to something that's got a low Concealment rating just to keep with the theme), you could re-arrange the Action Values of the Spy's skills as follows to be a bit less Moore!Bond and a bit more Craig!Bond:
Deceit - reduce to 13
Info: Food & Drink - reduce to 12
Detective - add at rank 12
Sabotage - add at rank 12

In a similar vein, swap Guns and Martial Arts to make Guns the Backup Attack at 13 and Martial Arts the main attack at 14 for a Spy that's more focused on melee beatdowns.  Still keep the Integrated Training to reflect the Spy being able to quickly mix up their attacks and keep foes off-balance.

I'll probably have more down the line, such as alternative set-ups for the Supernatural Creature archetype and maybe even some pre-set schtick set-ups for the other Transformed Creatures, but those will be a later post.  To be honest, a lot of my focus on the FS2 archetypes have been those that would function within a modern setting, something that a lot of the supernatural types such as the creatures and the sorcerer aren't very good at.  But now that I've codified these proposed changes, I may at some point get around to figuring some alternate set-ups for a few other archetypes.

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