(Maintained by David Blewer)
Comments and corrections can be sent to email@example.com
Acknowledgments to Robin D. Laws, John Tynes, Jose Garcia and everyone else I'm forgetting for providing the questions and answers in this FAQ. Many thanks also to Jason Langlois, the original owner of this FAQ, who came up with most of these answers.
Feng Shui ©, terms from the rules of and symbols used in these games are the property of Robin Laws, Atlas Games and Trident Publications, and are used here without permission.
Rulings in italics are unofficial.
New means a new entry.
means a changed entry.
Feng Shui is a role-playing game of Hong Kong Action cinema, sharing a common background with the CCG Shadowfist. It uses a simple rules system to model HK movie conventions in play.
It is also the ancient Chinese art of geomancy.
Bit complicated this one. First printing was the colour Daedalus run that is an absolute feast for the eyes (but falls apart within weeks), this was released in 1996. When this sold out they ran another print run, but this time in black and white with some revised rules (detailed in this FAQ) and character clarifications, this was published (I think) in 1997. The Atlas Games version is a re-run of this second printing with a couple of very minor changes to the text and (mostly) new art.
A sidebar on page 192 explaining why the game is set in 1996 in the Contemporary Juncture and some up to date (as of 1999) details in John Woo's Filmography.
Daedalus published three supplements for Feng Shui; Marked for Death, a collection of five scenarios, Back for Seconds, GMC's for Feng Shui, and Thorns of the Lotus, A Sourcebook for the Eaters of the Lotus. They are all very good, but sadly they are no longer published. I suggest that you look in the second hand bins at your local gaming store and occasionally you find some up for sale or auction on RPG Newsgroups. Do Not pay an exorbitant amount for Thorns of the Lotus, Atlas Have re-published it.
The Guiding Hand sourcebook published by Ronin Publishing, written by Chris Pramas. This is a truly excellent piece of work and was produced under license from Daedalus. Sadly this book is now out of print, but still may be available in the stores.
Atlas have reached an agreement with Chris and will be re-printing Blood of the Valiant, sometime in 2002!
I am not so sure when these following items will be released, sometime in 2003
Haven't I seen alternative covers to the Feng Shui Books on the net?
Not exactly. Atlas has licensed a French language version of Feng Shui to the company Oriflam. They have put their own covers on the books and pretty darn spiffy they are too. The creator of these covers is Didier Florentz (AKA Zéphyr). If you haven't seen this artwork look here.
Will there ever be a Pulp Juncture for Feng Shui?
This one comes up on the list serv about every three months, and many of the folks there think that there should be. By Pulp Juncture we mean the 30's and early 40's, sqaure jawed heroes, dinosaur islands and nefarious nazis as seen in many a Saturday morning matinee and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Official response from Atlas has been non-commital, but I for one lead the chant of "Feng Shui needs Nazis" :-)
Common Abbreviations Used:
BFG - Big F'ing Gun
BGB - Both Guns Blazing
CCG - Collectible Card Game
COC - Carnival of Carnage
HK - Hong Kong
LR - Lightning Reload
Web sites related to Feng Shui:
David Eber's Fortress of Shadow
Bryant Durrell's Feng Shui Page
John Harper's FENG
The Jade Page
Joe Kilmartin's Comrade in Arms Index
If you have a Feng Shui related Website, send me the URL and I'll add it to the list.
To subscribe to the Feng Shui Mailing List, send the message SUBSCRIBE FENGSHUI to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why wasn't a system for creating our own character templates included with the rules, ala West End's Star Wars game?
The lack of a build system is not an accident. The types were created and balanced against one another not according to some over arcing numerical system, but through a) eyeballing and b) play testing.
In order to create solid types through eyeballing it, Robin D. Laws suggests playing for a while and getting familiar with the system, then applying common sense. Not any kind of numerical rules system; these can always be hosed.
What about a formula for modifying the primary and secondary attributes of a template?
The types have been designed to be as hose-proof as possible, given a system where 1 pt means a lot. Robin D. Laws wouldn't recommend any blanket formula that encourages you to mess around with the existing types; better to field player requests for changes on a case by case basis.
During creation, it costs 5 Transformed Schticks to become a Dragon. When purchasing schticks later, do these count towards the cost of a new schtick? Or is the Dragon assumed to begin with zero Transformed Animal Schticks?
The five schticks spent to become a Transformed Dragon are lost, and so you begin the game with 0 Transformed Animal Schticks.
What happens to skill bonuses with [Max] and = AVs? For example, I've got a Ref 5, Guns + 9 (=14). What happens to the bonuses if I increase my Ref during creation? What if the skill was Guns + 5 (10) [Max 14]?
Skill bonuses are lost if they would put you over the [Max] or = AV. If you were to increase your Ref to 10, your skill would be Guns + 4 (14) and the extra +5 bonuses would be lost. In the second case, your skill would be Guns + 4 (14) and the extra bonus would be lost. After creation, the [Max] and = no longer apply.
Skill bonuses are only relevant during creation. After creation, only the AV of the skill matters.
Can attributes be raised after character creation?
Yes, by using experience and attuning to a Feng Shui site. See p. 161 for details. (184 in the Daedalus edition)
If I have a Chi 10 (For 0) and raise the Chi to 11, what happens to my For? What if I had Chi 0 (For 10) and raised my Chi by 1? And if I raise all my sub-attributes to the same level, does my attribute equal that level (e.g.. if my For, Mag, and Fu are all 2, is my Chi 2)?
Your stat would be Chi 11 (For 1) in the first case. In the second case, your stat would be Chi 1 (For 10). In the third case, your stat would be Chi 0 (For 2, Fu 2, Mag 2). See pg. 161 of the rule book. (184 in the Daedalus edition)
Jammer's can't attune to sites. How do they raise attributes? How do they gain Shaping skill?
By Burning the sites instead. Experience gained from Burning the Site can be spent on raising attributes. Jammers don't gain Shaping: they use duct tape instead.
Some schticks have Chi costs that exceed an archetype's starting Chi or Fu attribute. Is it still possible to take these schticks, even though the character can't afford to use them?
What is the maximum starting Martial Arts AV for a Transformed Animal?
Despite the ambiguous nature of page 129, the maximum Martial Arts AV for a Transformed Animal is as listed (Max 13). The skill caps are not affected by the package bonuses to Attributes. What page 109 (129 in the Daedalus edition) is trying to say is that you always have the 8 skill bonuses from the Transformed Animal package and you don't gain or lose adds from the increase in Attributes. The 'Max' and '=' caps always apply. When increases in Attributes would take the skill over the Max or cap, reduce the applicable skill bonus to let it fit.
I have the Daedalus colour version of the rules, and I keep finding references on the net to a "This'll Do" Schtick for the Everyman Hero, what's that?
Another Fix, the text reads. You get +1 AV for any creative attack you make with an improvised weapon. Pool cues, barbells, frozen chicken dinners,weathervanes, beer bottles, and so on can all be weapons. If the same improvised weapon is used excessively , no bonus is received-it is no longer considered an improvised weapon.
Does the Old Master really start with an Fortune of 10?
No, that was another thing fixed in the revisions between the colour and black and white versions of the Daedalus printings. It now reads Chi =10 (For =0).
I have the Daedalus Back for Seconds supplement and the Atlas Feng Shui rulebook, the Magic Cop archetype seems to have lost his Martial Arts skill between the two different printings, which is correct?
Robin has stated, that the Magic Cop should have a Martial Arts skill of +7 (=12). He says "After all, Lam Ching-Ying could kick some serious ass in his more serious Magic Cop-type roles".
Why are there so few Skills to pick from?
These were kept purposely sparse. They didn't want gobs of skills covering all sorts of minutiae; that's why skills like Guns include non-combat knowledge like contacts and such. The skills exist to cover the needs of the archetypes, with Info being such a generic sucker that you can deal with most anything that way.
You can't take italicized skills at the start. Can you take these skills later, after character creation?
Yes, these skills can be learned after character creation with experience and a teacher.
If a character increases an attribute, does the AV of any skill associated with that attribute also increase?
Is there a penalty or restriction on Transformed Animals learning the 69 AD Medicine Skill (based on Magic)?
It's a form of magic, so Transformed Animals who aren't native to the 69 AD juncture shouldn't be able to learn or use it. Those from the 69 AD juncture are better suited to magic.
Why are there so many Fu schticks, and so few of the other types? It doesn't seem fair.
There are a lot of fu powers, but the nature of their structure is such that few people will have very many different paths. You're better off sticking to just a couple of paths, so as to reach the Way Cool powers at the end of each path; so, having umpteen different fu powers to choose from isn't as big a choice as it seems.
For Gun schticks, its a matter of there not being too many different things that people do with guns in the movies. A few new schticks for bows and thrown weapons may be coming.
New Creature, Sorcery, Arcanowave and Transformed Animal schticks will be appearing in the forth coming supplements.
Some schticks do damage that can only be healed by Magic. What qualifies as Magic for the purposes of healing?
A Slap Patch, the Sorcery special effect Heal, and the 69 AD Healing skill (based on Magic) count as magical healing. The Fu schtick Healing Chi does not count as magical healing.
Both Fu and Transformed Animal Schticks require you to spend Chi. Does the Chi spent come from the same or different pools? For example, if I have a Chi 4 (Fu 7), do I have 4 points to spend on Transformed Animals schticks or Fu schticks, and 3 points that can only be spent on Fu schticks?
The Chi for Transformed Animal and Fu schticks comes from the same pool -- your Fu or Chi, which ever is higher. If you had a Chi 4 (Fu 7), you would have 7 points to spend on either type of schtick. The comment on pg. 109 is incorrect. (129 in the Daedalus edition)
The Karate Cop gains a +2 AV on all non-offensive Martial Arts actions. Does this include his or her Passive and Active Dodge AV?
The bonus would apply to Active Dodges only (effectively giving the Karate Cop a +5 Active Dodge).
Does the Old Master's +6 damage bonus with punches and kicks apply to his damage using Fu Powers?
No. The Old Master's damage bonus only applies to his normal punches and kicks. Note that not all the Fu paths are particularly useful to the Old Master (for example, the Path of Sharpened Scales).
I have heard that there were some other Unique Schticks for various Archetypes detailed in the Daedalus Back for Seconds, can you give me any details?
There were Unique Schticks detailed for The Everyday Hero, Masked Avenger, Maverick Cop and Ninja. The Everyday Hero Schtick made it into the Atlas version of The Rulebook (This'll Do), but the others did not for some reason the others did not. Here are the details:
Do you need Both Guns Blazing to shoot with pistols in each hand? Do you need it to shoot more than one target with both pistols? And what good is it, since the AV penalty can make it do less damage than a single pistol? What if I use different pistols?
Shooting with pistols in each hand is just a matter of style. Anyone with Guns can do it, as long as the weapons are small enough to be carried that way. There are no special penalties associated with this. However, you only do damage from one gun, not both. If the guns do different damage, use the higher of the two.
You can also shoot more than one target at a time with guns in each hand, using the standard stunt penalty (-X AV, where X is the number of targets you want to shoot).
What Both Guns Blazing allows you to do is shoot a target with both guns and do more damage. Against high Big Bruiser type characters, BGB sometimes won't do more damage ... if you're using low damage guns. It has been suggested that BGB, with BFGs like the Desert Eagles, and Signature Weapons can overcome this. If the guns do different damage, add it together, rather than multiplying by 2.
Danny Lee doesn't have Both Guns Blazing, and he's carrying a Berreta in each hand. He shoots Happy Cheung with both guns, getting an outcome of 1. He does (DAM 10 - 10 TGH + 1) 1 WP.
Chow Yun Fat has Both Guns Blazing and two Berretas. He shoots Happy, getting an outcome of 1 (harder to do, with the -2AV). He does (10+10 - 10x2 + 1) 1 WP.
Sly has a signature Desert Eagle .50, and a signature Colt M1911A1. He shoots Happy with an outcome of 1 and does (15 - 10 + 1) 6 WP.
Arnie has a signature Desert Eagle .50, and a signature Colt M1911A1 and BGB. He shoots Happy with an outcome of 1 and does (15+13 - 10x2 + 1) 9 WP.
The official rationalization is: if you buy BGB, you look cool doing it. Therefore, it is effective.
What benefit is there to having multiple levels of Eagle Eye?
This is something that changed between the printings of the colour and black and white Daedalus editions of the Feng Shui Rulebook. Now each shtick of Eagle Eye allows a shooter to ignore 2 pts worth of Difficulty Modifiers due to cover or range. One level of Eagle Eye negates all armour, even that bestowed by the Armour schtick.
Can I use Both Guns Blazing with a bow? What if the bow is a Signature Weapon?
Yes. Consider it to be firing two arrows at once. If the bow is a Signature Weapon, add the +3 damage bonus to each arrow.
If I have Lighting Reload x 3, I "never run out of bullets". Does this mean that my guns have endless ammo?
No. You can still only fire as many rounds as are in the gun in a single action. However, you never run out of bullets, clips or (for 69AD types) arrows to stick in your weapons.
I am a bit confused about the automatic burst fire rules, can you clarify them?
You only make one attack. You fire several bullets as part of the attack. Each 3-bullet burst gives you +1 to damage. So firing 6 bullets in one attack (2 bursts of 3 bullets) gives you +2 damage to the gun's attack.
Therefore, a submachine gun with a normal damage of 10 would have a damage of 12. But, for every 3 bursts (each burst = 3 bullets) you receive a -1 to your Acting Value.
1 burst : +1 damage
2 bursts : +2 damage
3 bursts : +3 damage and -1 to AV.
4 bursts : +4 damage and -1 to AV.
5 bursts : +5 damage and -1 to AV.
6 bursts : +6 damage and -2 to AV. and so on...
Remember, this is considered only one attack, with a bunch of bursts of bullets.
Are Chi points spent regardless of success with a Fu strike (like Lightning Fist) or Fu hold (Talon of the Crane)?
The Fu Schtick 'Natural Order' protects against guns and Arcanowave Devices. Does this include things like grenades, bombs, rockets, etc?
This is the GM's decision, though Robin notes that he likes to consider "Things What Go Boom" to be an entirely different category of damage. That's why they're listed on the non-combat damage chart.
I have heard rumours that Water Sword has changed, can you give me any details?
Well, the original Water Sword had the ability to turn almost any Named character into a mook (X Chi cost and the targets Dodge was reduced by that amount for the rest of the Sequence, but only for attacks launched by the character with the Water Sword. Old Masters with this Schtick just laugh at that wuss, Draco). The revised version costs 5 Chi to use and reduces the targets Dodge by -2 for attacks by the character with Water Sword for the rest of the Sequence, scary but not deadly.
Does the Harvest Chi effect under the Sorcery Schtick Fertility require a task check?
Yes, as there is still the chance of a Backlash (which would add a negative die).
Can you roll a Fortune die AND a Harvest Chi die on a Task Check?
By the rules, yes. However, its has been suggested that you limit the number of additional dice rolled on a Task Check to one (either a Fortune or the Harvest Chi die).
My Abomination has a Helix Ripper. Should he shoot with his Guns skill?
All Arcanowave Schticks are used with the Arcanowave Device skill.
The Juicer protects an Arcanowave user from all impairment for an entire session, makes the Agony Grenade a bit redundant doesn't it?
This is another revision that occured between the Daedalus colour and black and white printings, the text now reads "negates any Impairment you might otherwise suffer for the rest of the session except Impairment incurred due to arcanowave shticks.
My Transformed Monkey wants to use Caper. Is this used as an Active Defense? Does the new target of the attack have to be someone along the firing path, or can it be anyone in range (like the original firer)?
You use this when you are attacked, like an active dodge. However, as it says on p.112, (134 in the Daedalus edition) you make a Martial Arts check in order to make this work, instead of simply giving your opponent +3 difficulty to hit you. The new target can be anyone in range, but the more extreme possibilities (like getting the shooter to shoot themselves) will involve a pretty good stunt description, and an AV penalty at the GM's discretion.
Transformed Animal don't have a lot of schticks to pick from, and will likely run out. It seems like they'll have to buy Fu and Gun schticks instead. Is this alright?
Yes. The Transformed tend to live a long time, and learn a lot of different things. So it's perfectly alright for them to acquire Fu and Gun Schticks.
Does a Transformed Animal gain reversion points for using a Swindled Arcanowave schtick? For using other devices that cause mutation checks (e.g. Slap Patch or No Medicine)? For using Swindled Sorcery or Swindled 69AD Medicine skill?
They should acquire reversion points for using a swindled Arcanowave schtick or Slap Patch as listed on pg110. (130 in the Daedalus edition). For No Medicine, the Transformed Animal will gain reversion points if the check is failed. For Sorcery and Medicine, assign a reversion point each sequence they use the Swindled power (or each time, if you're feeling really nasty).
Is there anything other than Arcanowave Devices that can give a Transformed Animal from 69AD reversion points?
Spending time in other junctures can give Transformed Animals reversion points (see pg 110) (130 in the Daedalus edition), if the Sorcery modifier is greater than +3.
But according to the rules, there isn't any place with a Sorcery modifier higher than +3. What gives?
In each juncture, there are particular areas where the Sorcery modifier can go higher than +3. These sites are special locations of power, and their placement is up to the GM.
For Transformed Animals, there are schticks that no starting character can use do to the high Chi cost. Is this intentional?
Yes. Those powers won't see use until after the Chi score is raised.
The Transformed Fox power 'Mockery' says it makes the target unable to attack anyone but the Fox. Does this mean the target must attack the Fox as its next action (flying into a rage, etc.) or just that if the target is going to attack, it has to be against the Fox?
The latter. The target is not required to launch an attack.
My Supernatural Creature has Abysmal Spines taken as claws. Should I use my Martial Arts skill when I fight with them?
Some Creature Shticks require a Creature Powers roll, some require a Martial Arts roll and some require both. Confused? Well, here is a quick list of which power needs which roll:
Creature Powers That require Creature Power skill roll: Absorption, Abysmal Spines, Blast, Brain Shredder, Domination, Foul Spew and Tentacles.
Creature Powers that require a Martial Arts skill roll: Poison (Fangs and stinger), Rancid Breath and Soul Twist.
Powers That don't fall into either of the other categories: Blood Drain ( you hit with either Abysmal spines, tentacles or a Martial arts roll, then you roll Creature Powers) Corruption ( You have to do more than 25 points of damage through non weapon hand-to hand attacks. Although, a case can be made for Blast and Rancid Breath too).
How can I use a Fu power that I have gained using Absorption, when I don't have enough Chi or Kung Fu to power it?
This is another power that was revised between printings. You use the Chi rating of the Martial Artist from whom you stole it.
Does the Armour Schtick reduce my agility like all non-natural armour does?
No, it is part of the Supernatural Creatures body and his musculature has learned to cope with it.
What's the penalty for shooting more than one target? What if they have different Dodge AVs? What if I shoot a mook and a named character as part of the same action?
The penalty for shooting multiple targets is -X AV, where X is the number of targets. E.g.. Shooting 3 mooks is -3 AV. You apply the outcome separately against each target. For example, if I were shooting Dopey Chan (AV 12) and a mook (AV 6), a result of 11 would take out the mook and miss Dopey, while a result of 12+ would hit Dopey and take out the mook. If I were shooting two mooks (AV 6 and AV 9) an 11-13 result would drop the first, while a 14+ would drop them both.
Why would anyone wear armor? It adds to your toughness but makes you easier to hit, negating the toughness bonus? And what effect does it have for mooks?
Wearing armor reduces your Agility attribute. That lowers your Martial Arts skill. Other combat AVs are untouched, so armor really only penalizes martial artist types. However, since Martial Arts is the skill for all those wacky acrobatic stunts nearly everyone will be doing, armor can still cause problems. Since few people in the movies wear body armor, the game doesn't encourage it. As for mooks, so far it only seems to make them look mildly interesting without making them harder to take down.
Can my character spend 7 Fortune dice to do a really big Blast/punch/etc effect with his Sorcery/Gun/Fu/etc (rolling 8 positive dice)?
No. Page 14 (38 in the Daedalus edition) says "Only one Fortune Die may be spent per task check".
Are Fortune Dice open ended, If I roll a 6 with a Fortune Dice, do I keep on rolling?
No actually, Robin has said on the Feng Shui Listserv that Fortune rolls are not open ended.
What's the difference between a Parry and a Dodge?
The rules are unclear.
A character's Dodge AV is equal to their highest combat AV.
A character's Parry AV is equal to their Martial Arts or Sorcery (w/ Blast or Movement Schticks) AV.
You can Dodge or Parry at no cost, or you can Active Dodge or Active Parry for 1 shot, giving your opponent +3 difficulty to hit you. There may be times (GMs call) where Dodging may be difficult, or where Parrying may be a more appropriate defense.
How would I handle reactive stunts? E.g.. An Old Master is about to get shot by 10 mooks who just spilled out of the back of a truck, and he wants to leap amongst them so they have trouble shooting him.
Reactive stunts are handled like Active Dodges requiring successful Martial Arts checks for success. The difficulty of the check is up to the GM.
My player wants to use a speedloader for his revolver. How do I represent this?
It takes 5 shots to reload a revolver, whether a speedloader is used or not. The rational is that in the movies, it always seems to take a long time to reload a revolver (movie time) whether or not a speedloader is used.
Does Eagle Eye work against Supernatural Creature Armor?
Yes. As do Called Shots.