GURPS - Celestial Phoenix - Myth-Weavers

GURPS - Celestial Phoenix

Old Jun 5 '19, 12:11am
Dr Strangelove Dr Strangelove is offline
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GURPS - Celestial Phoenix

Celestial Phoenix - Forum

I’ve started recruiting players for a campaign set in the ancient China, or more specifically, the time of the famous Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Player characters will embark on an adventure in the southern part of Liu Bei’s country, fighting barbarians and rebels, uncovering plots, catching spies and generally pacifying the untamed lands so that they may prove useful to the noble Liu Bei and support his struggle for a unified China.

I plan to have a dynamic world, where players’ actions change the landscape of the land, which would still remain realistic with masses of refugees and Liu Bei’s support. Players will make vital decisions on the province’s development and perhaps in the future, they may even be put in charge of it.

Overall, I plan a realistic campaign, with a lot of roleplaying but also quite a bit of fighting - things can sometimes be avoided by diplomacy, but people like the fanatical Yellow Turbans are unlikely to negotiate. Similarly, while mental skills will be useful to uncover spies, they will try to do everything to escape so expect hired bandits and traps along the way.

Should you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them.

Game Description:

The Celestial Phoenix

“We three —-Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei —-though of different families, swear brotherhood, and promise mutual help to one end. We will rescue each other in difficulty; we will aid each other in danger. We swear to serve the state and save the people. We ask not the same day of birth, but we seek to die together. May Heaven, the all-ruling, and Earth, the all-producing, read our hearts. If we turn aside from righteousness or forget kindliness, may Heaven and Human smite us!” – Luo Guanzhong, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, transl. by C.H. Brewitt-Taylor

The Campaign
This is a historical campaign set in 215, just after famous warlord Liu Bei took control of the Yi Province in the southwest China. Liu Bei, known as the people’s champion, a wise and benevolent ruler, is expanding south, gaining territories and resources to fuel his war against the traitor Cao Cao.

Player characters are a group sent by Liu Bei to support the efforts of local administrators of the Jianning Commandery, an area where his power is still not fully established – traitors and bandits roam the province, local barbarian tribes, while compliant at the time, may be persuaded by Cao Cao’s men to rebel at any time, and small groups of fanatical Yellow Turbans hide in the wilderness, poisoning peasants with their twisted ideology and sow discontent. Liu Bei wants to expand local farmlands and mines, far from Cao Cao’s armies, but needs your help.

The system used is GURPS 3ed. GURPS China handbook is not obligatory but helpful.

Historical Background
China has been in a state of constant warfare for almost 30 years. As the Han Dynasty approached its end, signaled by earthquakes, floods and thunderstorms, the Yellow Turban Rebellion proved enough to break the Celestial Empire, as local lords and opportunists soon gained power and the rule of corrupt court eunuchs was replaced by the rule of warlords, fiercely competing for domination. Emperor Xian, controlled by the wicked Cao Cao is but a puppet, and has been reduced to a ceremonial reminder of the days gone by.
Liu Bei, Cao Cao and Sun Quan are the only contenders left, willing to unify China at any price. Liu Bei, the cherished champion of the people and a wise, benevolent ruler, rules the southwest. Cao Cao, Duke of Wei and Imperial Chancellor, who betrayed his friends and showed little mercy to his enemies, rules the rich north. Sun Quan, the uneasy ally of Liu Bei, rules the vast but underdeveloped lands of the east and southeast. So far, none of the rulers had been able to achieve an absolute dominance, and though Cao Cao is the most powerful warlord, the Liu-Sun alliance is strong enough to stop his expansion.
[URL unfurl="true"][/URL]'s_takeover_of_Yi_Province

I want potential players to create characters just like they want them, within certain limits:

A scholar [currently taken] – only one, trusted by Liu Bei, can fight with a sword, but that is by far not his forte. He specialises in negotiations, law, and has a keen eye for detail. He is also of good birth, which may prove advantageous.
No points needed for:
Wealth – comfortable
Good reputation with Liu Bei’s forces (+4, has to announce himself as one)
Scholarly literate

An officer – only one, served for years in Liu Bei’s army, skilled with a spear and able to command his men efficiently. He is in charge of the soldiers assigned to the expedition, has a very strong sense of duty, and while not as educated as the scholar, he is rather intelligent as well.
No points needed for:
Wealth – comfortable
Good reputation with Liu Bei’s forces (+4, has to announce himself as one)
Military rank - rank 4
Legal enforcement powers - lvl 2
Fully literate

Soldiers – perhaps two or three, must specialise in fighting with a spear, but apart from that, feel free to add some interesting, useful skills that may benefit the party in the treacherous lands of Jianning, track the bandits, or perhaps solve the puzzles along the way.

The scholar and the officer can use 125 points each, while soldiers can use 100 points. You should take no more than 40 points in disadvantages and 5 in quirks. Should you need any assistance or advice creating a character, do not hesitate to contact me.

Note that I will accept characters on first-come first-served basis, as long as they are within reason and limits stated above.
Inventory will be provided for each character later.

Name: Kong Yi

Bio: Kong Yi is the youngest son of Kong Zhi, a provincial bureaucrat, whose family, though impoverished, claims that one of their ancestors was a relative of the great Confucius’s father.

Yi’s father is a bureaucrat, whose twisting fate had been shaped by the Yellow Turban rebellion and then many misfortunes of Liu Bei, his master. As Liu Bei was betrayed by Lu Bu, Kong Zhi came to serve Yuan Shao, and after his defeat by Cao Cao, he was forced to work for the traitor. Yi’s youth was thus filled with tales of the great Liu Bei and strong longing for peace and unification under someone who truly deserves to rule the civilised world. A legalist to the core, Zhi taught young Yi that the world needs an all-powerful Emperor and that it was their family’s sacred duty to assist Liu Bei, even if it means death.

A good friend of Kong Rong, who was executed by Cao Cao along with his entire family, and fearing that the same might happen to him, Kong Zhi made a daring escape with his wives and children in 208 and joined Liu Bei just before The Battle of Red Cliffs. He was put in charge of Liu Bei’s supplies and so young Yi was able to see the great ruler personally on many occasions.

Yi had been a minor magistrate for a while before Liu Bei noticed his potential and made him a trusted court undersecretary. 32 years old now, Yi is ready to assume more difficult duties and had been sent by his master on a difficult mission to help subjugate the southern part of his new province. Legalist to the core, Yi will carry the will of his ruler without mercy or pause, vanquish the traitor and bring prosperity to people who know nothing but sorrow.

Appearance: 5’ 7”, 140 lbs, dark hair and eyes

Age: 32

ST: 8

DX: 12

IQ: 16

HT: 11


Charisma lvl 1


Gentleman’s Code of Honour (5 points)

Compulsive Behaviours (5 points) – need to read Confucius daily

Fanaticism (15 points) – a fanatical patriot who would never betray an honourable ruler like Liu Bei


Afraid of larger bodies of water (like lakes)

Never gets drunk

Often quotes Confucius

Sensitive about his grandfather

Has a strong fascination with flowers


Poetry – 15

Fencing – 13

Law – 18

Heraldry – 15

Agronomy – 15

Criminology – 16

Economics – 15

History – 16

Literature – 16

Psychology – 16

Theology – 16

Acting – 13

Administration – 16

Diplomacy – 18

Fast-Talk – 18

Leadership – 15

Merchant – 14

Politics – 15

Strategy – 15

Savoir-Faire – 15

Sum: 125

I,m going to have to look up my dynasty warriors game and make a character....

Can I possibly play Wei Yan?

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