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Plot: Fiendish Plot of Dr. Wu Ming Tsu (long)


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I finished my rough outline of The Fiendish Plot... . It's a rather long post, for which I apologize. I'd love to hear some feedback, including comments on things that didn't make sense, wheteher I seem to be railroading the PCs, etc. Thanks in advance!


Guy Hoyle


The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Wu Ming Tsu


Things you might want to know:

San Frederico: Large West Coast city

Peking West (Chinatown equivalent)

Dr. Wu Ming Tsu: Businessman, benefactor and godfather of Peking West, evil sorcerer

Sum Dim tong: Tong loyal to Dr. Wu.

Ching Kung tong: rival to Sim Dum tong.

Argonaut Society: society of adventurers, explorers, daredevils, crimebusters, etc. (the Player Characters are members).





  • (c. 800 BC) General Chang leads a nigh-invincible army across China in a matter of months with the potent magic of his cook, a Taoist wizard, renegade from the Pao Kung sect. With the aid of Pao Kung temple, the army is destroyed. Pao Kung priests obtain the recipe (written on black jade tablet) and break it into three fragments. They bury the tablets in three separate Pao Kung temples. The secret of the destruction of the army is lost save for the Prophecy of the Palace of the Diamond: “In the city of earthquakes, dogs will be roasted in the Palace of the Diamond, and the Invincible Army shall meet defeat.†[The secret of General Chang’s invincible army is the magical recipe for General Chang’s Legendary Chicken, which makes anybody who eats it a rampaging , nigh-invulnerable berserker in the sway of whoever made the dish. The modern-day version of the antidote is hot dogs, which you find at a baseball stadium, of course! They smell so good to the berserkers that they instantly rush upon them and consume them, breaking the spell of the chicken.]
  • (1276 AD) Pao Kung temple in Hangchow falls to Ghengis Khan; second fragment taken as plunder, eventually buried in a Mongol tomb and rediscovered by Professor Abernathy in 1934.
  • (1864) Pao Kung priests in Nanking flee from the Manchus, emigrating to San Frederico, taking the Third Fragment with them. They set up a hidden temple in Peking West community.
  • (1900) Pao Kung temple in Peking looted by American adventurers during Boxer Rebellion. First Fragment passes through many hands, eventually reaching the Forbidden City in 1872.

  • (1927) Dr. Wu retrieves the First Fragment from the Forbidden City. He recognizes its significance, but could not locate the other fragnments because of Chiang Kai-Shek’s revolution. Fleeing China, he performs a spell that will draw the fragments to him, wherever he is. Pao Kung priests are alerted, through omens, of the casting of the spell, which they cannot prevent; however, they conceal the fragment magically from divination.
  • (1928) Dr. Wu arrives in San Frederico, takes control of the Sim Dum tong. Buys Oriental Import Export Co., changes it to Sim Dum Oriental Trading Co. Both legitimate business and cover for opium dens, brothel, slave trading, etc.
  • (1930-1931) “The Year of Righteous Chopsticksâ€, tong wars between Sim Dum and Ching Kung. Sim Dums defeat Ching Kung. (Chopsticks are the traditional weapon of the Sim Dums; Ching Kungs use rolling pins). Dr. Wu, as patron of the Sim Dums, becomes “Godfather of Peking Westâ€. Peking West tourist trade suffers; police adopt unofficial “hands off†policy.
  • (Weeks ago) Noted Archaeologist Professor Abernathydiscovers the second fragment in China, while excavating a Mongol chieftain’s tomb. .
  • (Weeks ago) Dr. Wu learns of the coming of the Second Fragment via divination. Sends for the Iron Chefs, who have been preparing for the ceremony for years. Priests of the Pao Kung temple sense a potentially catastrophic shift in San Frederico’s feng shui.
  • (Last week) On Dr. Wu’s instructions, Sim Dums kidnap all the chefs in Peking West to prepare for the ceremony. Chinese demons, ghosts, and hopping vampires throng the streets of Peking West at night. Pao Kung priests try contain the manifestations, to little avail. Many priests attempting to stem the tide of black feng shui are badly injured by hopping vampires and other manifestations.. First earthquake tremors, which most of the population shrug off.
  • (Days ago) Chinese hopping vampires spill over into adjacent San Frederico neighborhoods; feng shui imbalance rapidly gaining in intensity. Pao Kung priests trying to redirect the bad feng shui (Pre-scenario PC encounter?); all but one is slain in the combat. Captured by Sim Dums, taken to warehouse, interrogated.

Newspaper Clippings (handouts)


Of the several slight earthquake tremors lately, which have alarmed many visitors to the city, San Frederico mayor Walter Studnucker said in a news conference that “this is something everybody in San Frederico is used to. A little quake like that, even the little kids don’t notice ‘em!†[Early manifestations of earthquake activity resulting from Dr. Wu’s preparations]


Residents of Acropolis, Gold Beach, Nabob Hill, and the Banking District [regions around Peking West] have had their slumbers disturbed by “pugnacious packs of pogo-jumping Chinamen!†Police Chief Gallowglass has increased the number of beat patrolmen in those areas, adding “A Chinaman on a pogo stick? Mother Macree, someone’s been making up for Prohibition, don’t ye know?†[Pao Kung priests fighting the hopping vampires which have escaped from Peking West]


San Frederico Warlocks pitcher Bart Koslansky pitched his second no-hitter of the season vs. the Powhattan Privateers. Speculation is rampant that the Warlocks will be taking a trip to the World Series for the first time in the franchise’s history, but most sports pundits are wondering if the team’s nigh-unbroken string of victories this season can last until the playoffs. “Well, we’re the Warlocks, ain’t we?†grins Koslansky. “Guess I believe in magic, all right!â€



“East meets West!†when prominent Chinese businessman Dr. Wu Ming Tsu hosted Mayor Walter Studnucker and the San Frederico Chamber of Commerce at his sumptuous mansion last Thursday. Among the topics discussed was “flied liceâ€! (Hey Mr. Mayor, I hope you asked him why it’s so hard to find an open Chinese restaurant in Peking West lately?)



  • Argonaut Society is inducting Professor Abernathy into the Society tonight, player characters present. Elegant dinner, plenty of wine; the Chinese waiters give rather bad service, and several appear particularly unkempt. Maitre d’ apologizes, saying that their usual waiters had some kind of religious obligations and were unavailable. (Sim Dum tong members were substituted for regular waiters; the Iron Chefs, disguised as cooks, are waiting in the kitchen.)
  • Professor Abernathy tells of finding the tomb of a Mongolian chieftain dating from the time of Ghengis Khan, traveling for weeks across bleak deserts, fighting off nomads, evading the Red Army, smuggling the precious artifact out of the country in a hollow statue of Buddha. The PCs learn that the second. It seems to be part of some sort of religious ceremony or magical ritual, possibly as much as 3000 years old, and makes reference to a legendary General Chang. He unveils the fragment….
  • …and then Sim Dum tong members, disguised as waiters, attack with chopsticks, trying to seize the second fragment. If they are unsuccessful, the Iron Chefs are waiting to attack from the kitchen. If either the Sim Dums or the Iron Chefs are successful, they will take the fragment to Dr. Wu. If they are unsuccessful, they will kidnap Professor Abernathy (or someone else, if need be) and arrange for an exchange.
  • The players are faced with several questions which must be answered. Who are those tong guys with chopsticks? Who are the funky-looking Chinese chefs? What would they want with the (second) fragment? Why would they kidnap Professor Abernathy? The answer lies in Peking West!
  • The Sim Dum are easy to track to Peking West, to the Sim Dum Oriental Trading Company; the Iron Chefs are not as easy to track, since they fly, but they’ll go to the same place.

o Alternate means of tracking them (question the locals) will generally be met with silence or hostility.

o The locals will admit that the Sim Dum Oriental Trading Co. is owned by the prominent businessman Dr. Wu Ming Tsu.

  • Getting information out of the reclusive Chinese residents of Peking West will not be easy because of their mistrust of “white devilsâ€. [Need to come up with some locals for information here]. However, it should eventually be possible to find out or notice that:
    • the tong with the chopsticks is the Sim Dum gang.
    • many restaurants in Chinatown are closed, with signs proclaiming “religious holiday†or “family emergency†or something like that. Very few Chinese restaurants are, in fact, open, and those that are probably have some Ching Kungs hanging around. They have the rolling-pin nunchuks thrust in their belts.
    • While the players watch, a few Sim Dums come up to a Ching Kung restaurant and try to kidnap the cook [Dr. Wu needs more participants for the big ceremony]
    • If the PCs choose to intervene to the benefit of the restaurant, they will be told to “ask Sim Dum!†about the restaurants that are closed. The restaurants that are closed are almost all associated with the Sim Dums.
    • None of the locals know anything about the jade tablet fragments.

    [*]The kidnap victim (if there is one) is taken to the Sim Dum Import/Export Company warehouses. This is a good place to meet lots of friendly guards and be put into charming deathtraps.

    • Face to face meeting with Dr. Wu Ming Tsu. He’s within his rights to turn them over to the police (if the PCs invaded his domain). Look at the pretty bronze warrior statues in Dr. Wu’s parlour!
    • Will offer to exchange the kidnap victim (supposing that there are any “uninvited guests†on his property) for a certain object of sentimental value only.
    • If the PCs cooperate, an exchange point is set up, with the Iron Chefs swooping in to retrieve the second fragment and try to make the PCs dead.
    • If the PCs do not cooperate, they’ll have to fight their way out through Dr. Wu’s guards.

    [*]Shortly after Dr. Wu obtains the second fragment, a noticeable earthquake rocks the city for several minutes.

    [*]The Last Pao Kung Priest knows the location of the Third Fragment and the Prophecy of the Diamond Palace. He might be met and befriended by the PCs during the earlier parts of the adventure (perhaps combating some monster), or maybe he was captured by the Sim Dums and taken to the same warehouse as the kidnapped PC. It will take a lot of proof that the PCs are honorable before he reveals the secret of the fragments or the Prophecy of the Palace of the Diamond.

    [*]If the characters gain possession of the third fragment:

o The Sim Dums rouse the locals to a frenzy. Peking West erupts in riots, looking for the westerners who have stolen the valuable Chinese artifact. The San Frederico police will not get involved as long as the problems are confined to Peking West. The Sim Dum will eventually find the PCs and challenge them for possession of the third fragment.

o The Ching Kung tong (opposed to the Sim Dum) may come to the rescue if the PCs are having trouble beating the Sim Dum [especially if they fought the Sim Dums earlier]. If the third fragment is lost, the Ching Kung (at the behest of the Priest) will take the PCs to the Hidden Pao Kung temple to meet the Last Pao Kung Priest.. He can take them to the secret entrance to Dr. Wu’s Kitchen Stadium. (If he’s dead, his ghost will be there.)

  • If Dr. Wu gets the Third Fragment:

o The Ceremony Begins! Earthquake tremors start to build during the ceremony. The Iron Chefs are working their culinary magic at butcher-block tables adjacent to the Big Wok in the middle of Kitchen Stadium, where Dr. Wu is stirring up an enormous but tasty-smelling dish.

o The Last Pao Kung Priest leads them to the underground entrance to Kitchen Stadium just as a Chinese demon with an enormous mouth attacks. He holds it off at the cost of his life as the players run through the underground entrance. The monster pops the Lask Pao Kung priest into his mouth and gulps him down.

o Obstacles to overcome on the way to Kitchen Stadium.

o Big fight scene!


· If the PCs fail to stop Dr. Wu:

o All those present at the ceremony will get a taste of General Chang’s Legendary Chicken, and immediately rush to completely destroy every “white devil†in San Frederico.

o Let’s hope that the players will have figured out the Prophecy of the Diamond Palace and go rushing to San Frederico’s baseball stadium, home of the San Frederico Warlocks! Meanwhile, the Iron Chefs are taking the Big Wok to the next city on their agenda, to spread the madness further…

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