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GhostDancer

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Everything posted by GhostDancer

  1. Thank you, Matt the Bruins, for post #33. My request for The religions of Mongolia / Walther Heissig ; translated from the German edition by Geoffrey Samuel. was successful. Item requested from Grand Valley State Univ My request will be delivered to Roseville Public Library at Roseville Public Library when it is available. I opted for the 2000 edition- there's also a 1980 edition. FYI, Steve Long, I no longer have good access to a Mongolian translator.
  2. Pegasus40218- a board member came up with tactical notes mostly like this- A character can stand up as part of an Abort ("Get to one's feet" being a 1/2 Phase Maneuver that has the defensive benefit of improving the character's DCV from 1/2 DCV for being Prone). Ask the GM to fully describe the SFX, any "wind up" for various maneuvers, various "tells" required by activation Limitations on their abilities, and similar in-game details pertaining to the opponents' actions not only informs tactical decisions, it also results in a much better described and higher quality mental picture of an encounter. And that's just beneficial to good roleplaying, plain and simple. Similarly that amount of detail makes opponents far more memorable and is particularly advantageous and enriching to the game in the case of reoccurring NPC's. KNOW THE TERRAIN The terrain is either your greatest ally or your greatest enemy. More battles have been affected by terrain and environment than any other consideration. Pay attention to the details of the battleground du jour, taking full advantage of sight lines, cover, concealment, avenues of approach, useful objects, and high ground. Use it to your own advantage, deprive advantages to the opposition, and be mindful of hazards. Ask the GM to describe the scene in detail and if not playing on a battlemap, draw a quick abstract sketch and ask the GM if it's accurate. Understanding where things are at in relation to each other is very important, particularly for highly mobile characters. MAINTAIN SITUATIONAL AWARENESS Pay attention to events in play. Be aware of where characters are in relation to each other, who has yet to act in a Phase, who has acted in a Phase, and be particularly alert to unexpected opportunities that transpire. TIMING Combat is all about timing. Doing the exact same move with the exact same rolls can be brilliant or stupid, all based upon timing. Assuming you Know the System, Your Character, Your Enemy, and the Terrain, you have a plethora of tools in your character's toolbox at your disposal, but without understanding when it is a good idea to use which one it amounts to naught. Some players have a tendency to find one or two actions that work for them and then just blindly apply them to every situation regardless of whether it is appropriate or not. Don't get hung up on a particular stunt or trick. It's not a question of Holding, or Aborting, or Maneuvering, or Alpha-striking, or what have you. All are good options for characters of various designs, but only when timing favors them. Similarly some players have abilities that are only useful in certain circumstances, but they try to use them in situations where they are not appropriate, or success with them is not auspicious. Growing frustrated by failure, the player then disregards the ability and never uses it again. It's like getting frustrated when a wrench fails to drive a screw, and subsequently never using the wrench even when presented with a bolt that needs to be tightened. A good chunk of solid tactics is simply using the right tool at the right time. RISK MANAGEMENT An important corollary to tactics is managing your character's risk. Blindly charging about doing dangerous things without a commensurate potential for payoff only works for so long. It's all well and good to take risks, but remember to Cover Your Ass (CYA). Understand when the situation is conducive to employing an all out attack, when it is conducive to holding back, when an all out defense is necessary, and when you should gain space to recover. In a larger sense you should also consider risk to your character's teammates and allies, if any. Sometimes the best thing to do in the bigger picture is to "take one for the team" to protect a crucial teammate, or to set another teammate up. OPPORTUNISM Sometimes events occur that are irregular, unplanned for, unpredictable. It is often worth extra risk to capitalize on these unexpected opportunities. In militaristic jargon this is known as "targets of opportunity". When opponents unexpectedly lower their DCV, turn their back to the character, suffer a fumble, take an action early in a Phase (and thus briefly lose their ability to Abort), have to change clips, or otherwise suffer a momentary impediment it is tactically sound to exploit the opportunity. Characters with "Code of the HERO", "Honorable", and similar Disadvantages may not be able to capitalize on such boons, but other characters certainly can. TACTICAL TENETS Tactics are essentially fluid and situational so it is basically impossible to codify them into inviolate strictures without rendering them counterproductive. For tactics to remain viable they must remain flexible and agile. However, there are some general rules of thumb that will serve you well in a HERO System combat. DON'T BE A ROCK EM SOCK EM ROBOT Do not have your characters just stand around hitting and getting hit. Not only is this boring, it uses like 1% of the Combat System. You might as well just roll dice randomly to kill time, if that's all you want to do. Move around, use Manuevers, Abort to defensive actions intelligently, use things in play to springboard off of, get creative. Combat doesn't have to be a race to the last hit point. HOLD YOUR PHASE 12 All HERO System combats start on Phase 12. This gives everyone a chance to go in the same Phase and prevents slower characters from getting bent over a barrel before they get a chance to do anything. It is all too tempting to start off the combat with a bang and rip loose with an all out attack, but unless you can totally devastate the opposition or have defenses that are so good you can weather the return fire it is a mistake. Hold your action and be prepared to take evasive / defensive action if necessary. Let your opponent show their hand first, and if possible counter punch after they have committed themselves to something.- EXCEPTION: PREEMPTIVE STRIKE If your character happens to know that the opposition has an attack that is so powerful allowing them to use it results in something between an unfavorable trade and total catastrophe, then by all means take them out first even if it means going in Phase 12. EXCEPTION: HIGH ENDURANCE COST ABILITY If your character has an attack that has a non-negligible Endurance cost, then use it before the end of Segment 12 if possible so that the free Post Segment 12 REC will help defray it's cost. ONE IN THE HAND IS WORTH TWO IN THE BUSH aka "Kick em when they are down" A lot of players are used to games without a clean "STUN" concept, and once opponents go down they stay down. Not so in the HERO System. While "agents" or "mooks" might stay down at the GM's option, notable characters get Recoveries and will stand back up again if allowed to regain their composure. It's amazing how even players that have been playing HERO's for a while seem to forget this. When a tough opponent gets staggered or goes below 0 STUN hit 'em again to make sure they stay down (unless it runs against your character's roleplaying of course). LOW DCV = SWEEP, HIGH DCV = OTHER OPTIONS Once they are exposed to the idea and see how it works, many a player becomes enamored of Sweep and Rapid Fire (same mechanic), and proceed to use the Maneuver every chance they get without recourse to the consequences. This is a mistake that they are easily made to pay for as their DCV drops to half and they subsequently get drubbed by return fire. Which isn't to say that Sweep and Rapid Fire aren't good options. They are fantastic options in general, but they favor characters that have lower DCV and higher OCV via combat levels. The lower the character's DCV to begin with, the less impact dropping to 1/2 DCV is. Characters with high DCV should pursue other options to increase their volume of attacks such as Multiple Power Attacks, Autofire, or taking advantage of Two Weapon Fighting to reduce the DCV penalty of Sweep / Rapid Fire. For some characters Spreading is another useful option for affecting more than one opponent, but this has bigger ramifications and is discussed independently below. SEGMENTS (1, 5 ,7, 11) According to the Speed Chart that drives combat's flow, fewer SPD values get actions on Segments 1, 5, 7, and 11 making these Phases ideal for taking Held Actions, particularly if your character has a follow-up action in the Segment immediately following. Its also useful to set up Haymakers to end in 5, 7, and 11 (not so much 1 due to crossing Post-Segment 12). Hold to the end of 4, 6, or 10 and start a Haymaker, and let it land in 5,7, or 11. TWO-FOR-ONE SPECIAL Using one action to take out two opponents, particularly in a case where one is adjacent (in HtH range) and the other isn't, is a very effective tactic. There are several ways to do this. KNOCKBACK RICOCHET Not in the main rulebook, but clarified in the Rules FAQ and later publications (such as the aforementioned Combat Handbook), a character can Knockback an opponent in such a way as to hit a third character. This requires a to-hit roll using only the attackers base OCV vs. the third character's DCV. PITCHING ENEMIES Similarly, though not as efficiently, it is possible to throw an opponent that has already been grabbed in a previous Phase at another character. SHOVE The Martial Maneuver Shove is quite useful in this regard -- you can Shove one character some distance and into another, also gaining some movement yourself. It is also one of the easier ways to move opponents around against their will, and all in all a very under utilized Maneuver. MARTIAL MANEUVERS AND MULTIPLE POWER ATTACKS Martial Maneuvers built on different bases can be used together as a Multiple Power Attack to pull off very efficient actions like Nerve Strike + Take Away + Leg Sweep and other such devastating combos. If one is prone to watching Kung Fu movies, a lot of the crazier stunts seen therein are most closely modeled in the HERO System via creative combinations of MPA'd Martial Maneuvers. SPREADING A frequently overlooked gem of a rule, Spreading allows a character to either trade damage classes for extra OCV, or more commonly to trade damage classes to make a non-AoE attack into a small AoE. I've seen innumerable players with characters that could spread their attacks never use the option. There is even an option to allow characters to Spread their Strength, which is a very useful trick. Beg your GM to allow it, but beware the opposition using it on you. KEEP YOUR ENEMIES WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM aka "don't turn your back on a loaded gun" If possible, try to position your character so that no enemies are behind them, particularly if the character has a high DCV and lower defenses. DEFENSE MANEUVER Failing that, if it is at all justifiable for your character's concept, get Defense Maneuver IV. It's just about the best spent 10 points you'll likely have on your sheet. TARGETABLE FOCI aka "How many points did you save with that Focus again?" Don't forget you can target Foci. Even if a Focus is indestructible (most aren't), you can knock it loose if it's Accessible and thus deprive an opponent of whatever abilities were purchased via the Focus. CONCEALMENT When using the Terrain to ones own advantage, Concealment is often available. Use it. SHIELD OF OPPORTUNITY If the situation presents itself and your character is taking ranged fire, feel free to rip up or grab some appropriately useful object and use it as a Tower Shield to provide concealment and if the GM is kind some extra DEF. INTERPOSING In a situation where some opponents are close in to fight in HtH, and other opponents are standing off to use Ranged attacks try to maneuver in such a way to keep the closer HtH opponents between your character and the ranged opponents. DROPPING PRONE When receiving ranged fire, and assuming no opponents are inconveniently close to melee range, don't forget that you can Drop Prone as a 0 Phase Action, which is combinable with an Abort to Dodge or similar. This is not exactly the same as Dive For Cover, though you do go to 1/2 DCV for being prone. The advantages of doing so are three fold; first off unlike D4C there is no DEX Roll involved, secondly if you don't abort to it but do it on your own Phase it can be combined with other Actions (such as Full Move, Drop Prone), and finally you benefit from any Concealment which can either impose an OCV penalty on a shooter or even prevent them from firing at your character at all if they can no longer see you. AERIAL SUPERIORITY Ideally you want to keep enemies on the ground and your character or allies that have the capability off the ground. It is almost always a smart tactical move to ground an opponent or to get oneself or an ally off the ground. ALTITUDE An efficient tactic for characters able to gain altitude via some fashion is to get above an opponent and shoot from above them, seeking to do downward Knockback. This gains three things if successful; firstly the opponent takes damage from the initial attack, secondly they lose altitude at a disfavorable rate (it takes 2" to go up 1" for most forms of movement, but Knockback is 1 for 1), and thirdly enough Knockback will put them into the ground for more damage (and if they are Flying, Gliding, or Swinging they take an extra d6 of Knockback). FMOVE IS YOUR FRIEND Full Move (FMove) Maneuvers are great because they frequently allow your character to take three or more 1/2 Phase Actions in a single Full Phase. That's just good Action Economy no matter how you slice it. The three FMove Standard Maneuvers (Move By, Move Thru, and Grab By) are all decent, but the FMove Martial Maneuvers are all worth their weight and several are among the best Maneuvers in the game. Whether your character has the Martial versions or must rely on the Standard ones, get familiar with them and apply that knowledge liberally. CLUSTER**** This probably goes without saying, but if your character has a respectable AoE or Autofire and several opponents clump together in nice tight little kill radius, it might be a good idea to shift gears from what you were planning on doing that Phase and taking advantage of the opportunity to punish them for it. CHANNELING Similarly, it is possible to arrange a battlefield to force opponents to clump up for AoE's, and it is also possible to push them together over time via intersecting lines of fire that leave a seemingly safe pocket somewhere. The opposition naturally finds their way into this pocket and then blammo. In games with more unusual abilities this can also be accomplished by using abilities like Force Wall, Darkness, and Change Environment to render areas undesirable or off limits, forcing foes to group up. Knockback and Throws can also be used to cluster opponents; several allies could all deposit an opponent into a tight area to set a blaster or equivalent up for a big finish, for instance. SWITCH UP Often a GM will present a group of opponents that are individually well suited to facing off against one or more PC's. If the GM then engages the PC's individually with these mini-nemesis and the PC's get stuck in with them accordingly, it can make for a long fight. Let the GM have a little fun, but after about a TURN or so consider having your character deliberately disrupt the pairings. Cheapshot an opponent that is giving a comrade a hard time of it, freeing your ally to either finish them off or in turn helping out another ally (maybe even you). This is good tactics (it's never smart to fight your enemies battle), but on the other hand it can be frustrating to the GM, so use responsibly. DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO If for some reason you aren't sure what to do, or no particularly worthwhile target is presenting itself then 1/2 Move and Hold a 1/2 Phase. Consider it your filler action of choice. If you frequently find yourself with nothing to do it's possible you need to reevaluate the character and either get an ability that takes time to use like Find Weakness or Aid so that you can translate all those extra actions into something useful, or perhaps lower your SPD and recoup some points. Alternately you might just be indecisive, which you are on your own to resolve. -
  3. Re: post #82- oops, forgot to buy Weapons Familiarities
  4. Thanks, bubba smith. Just added Chinese characters in the Background section, Wu Tang Skills area.
  5. ILLUMINATED LU Val Char Cost Roll Notes 15 STR 5 12­ Lift 200.0kg; 3d6 [1] 20 DEX 30 13­ OCV: 7/DCV: 7 18 CON 16 13­ 15 BODY 10 12­ 13 INT 3 12­ PER Roll 12­ 11 EGO 2 11­ ECV: 4 15 PRE 5 12­ PRE Attack: 3d6 16 COM 3 12­ 5 PD 2 Total: 5 PD (0 rPD) 5 ED 1 Total: 5 ED (0 rED) 4 SPD 10 Phases: 3, 6, 9, 12 7 REC 0 36 END 0 32 STUN 0 Total Characteristic Cost: 89 Movement: Running: 7"/14" Leaping: 13"/26" Swimming: 2"/4" Cost Powers END 2 Snake*, Hawk or Crane Stance: +1 with Block (or *Dodge), Requires a DEX Roll, Costs END Heart ­Focused Breathing, all slots Extra Time (1 Turn (Post­ Segment 12), Only to Activate, ­3/4), Not Persistent (­1/4) 1 1) Enhanced Reaction Time: Lightning Reflexes: +2 DEX to act first with All Actions; Extra Time (1 Turn (Post ­Segment 12), Only to Activate, ­3/4), Not Persistent (­1/4) 2 2) Self ­Regulation: Rapid Healing; Extra Time (1 Turn (Post­ Segment 12), Only to Activate, ­3/4), Not Persistent (­1/4) 1 3) Strategic Thinking: +1 with Tactics; Extra Time (1 Turn (Post­ Segment 12), Only to Activate, ­3/4), Not Persistent (­1/4) 1 Blink: Sight Group Flash Defense (3 points); Awareness Based (­1/2), Activation = DEX Roll 14­ (­1/2), Nonpersistent (­1/4) 5 Ch'i Healing: Simplified Healing BODY + STUN 1d6; Requires A Chinese Healing Roll (­1/2), 8 Charges (­1/2) [8] Wu Tang Abilities 7 Cloud­Ascending Ladder: Leaping +10" (13" forward, 6 1/2" upward); Requires An Acrobatics Roll (­1/2) 1 5 Dianxue Hand : Killing Attack ­ Hand­To­Hand 1 point (1/2d6 w/STR), Uncontrolled (+1/2), Reduced Endurance (0 END; +1/2), Continuous (+1); Gradual Effect (1 Day; ­1 3/4), Requires A Chinese Healing Roll (­1/2) Notes: Shut off by Chinese Healing. 4 Martial Block +2 +2 Block, Abort 4 Martial Disarm ­1 +1 Disarm; 25 STR to Disarm 4 Martial Dodge ­­ +5 Dodge, Affects All Attacks, Abort 3 Martial Grab ­1 ­1 Grab Two Limbs, 25 STR for holding on 3 Martial Throw +0 +1 3d6 +v/5, Target Falls 5 Palm Slap / Kick ­2 +1 7d6 Strike 4 Counterstrike +2 +2 5d6 Strike, Must Follow Block 5 Heaven and Earth as One: Passing Strike +1 +0 3d6 +v/5; FMove 5 Defensive Throw +2 +2 Abort, Block, Target Falls 4 Taiji Swordplay or Lightning Fist or Rocket Fist; Fast Strike +2 +0 5d6 Strike 4 Soft Snow Swordplay or Turning Finger Soft Swordplay or Sword Finger: Killing Strike ­2 +0 HKA 1d6 +1; S ­ Damage, STUN Only (­0) 2 Weapon Element: Blades, Staffs Talents 3 Environmental Movement (Supreme Balance) Skills 3 Acrobatics 13­ 3 Stained Clothes Eighteen Falls : Breakfall 13­ 3 Climbing 13­ 3 +1 with Martial Maneuvers 3 Deduction 12­ 3 Fast Draw Blades 13­ 3 Feint 13­ 3 Zhenwu Seven Sections Formation : Tactics 12­ 3 Zhenwu Sword Formation : Teamwork 13­ 3 PS: Sifu (Instructor) 12­ 3 Stealth 13­ 0 Everyman Skills: AK: Hubei Province, Climbing, Concealment, Language Skill: Mandarin, PS: Taoist Priest 11­, TF: Riding Animals (Custom Adder) 3 Scholar 4 1) KS: Chinese Healing 14­ 2 2) KS: Christianity 12­ 4 3) KS: Tai Ch'i Ch'aun 14­ 4 4) KS: Taoism 14­ 2 5) KS: The Martial World 12­ 4 6) KS: Wu Tang Martial Arts 14­ Total Powers & Skill Cost: 130 Total Cost: 219 115+ Disadvantages 5 Distinctive Features: Large Dragon Tattoo On Left Upper Arm (Easily Concealed; Noticed and Recognizable; Detectable By Commonly­ Used Senses) 10 Distinctive Features: Tai Ch'i Ch'uan Style: (Not Concealable; Noticed and Recognizable; Detectable By Large Group) 10 Distinctive Features: Wu Tang Style: (Not Concealable; Noticed and Recognizable; Detectable By Large Group) 5 Hunted Guer (Orphan): 8­ (Less Pow; Harshly Punish) 20 Normal Characteristic Maxima 15 Psychological Limitation: Loves Best Friend: Dulzuk Blossom (Common; Strong) 10 Psychological Limitation: Chinese Patriot (Common; Moderate) 10 Psychological Limitation: Christian (Common; Moderate) 10 Psychological Limitation: Loves Father and Mother; Siun Kang and Pheonix (Uncommon; Strong) 5 Psychological Limitation: Warrior Mentality­ ready to kill to prevent a larger crime. (Uncommon; Moderate) 5 Reputation: Defrocked Taoist Priest, Wu Tang Clan Exile, 8­ (5 points unspent) Total Disadvantage Points: 105 Background/History: Most Wu Tang Clan members are Taoist priests, as was Young Master Lu. Here are his sayings of last year, 1646 AD. Two Kinds of Wisdom There are two kinds of wisdom: the practical and the static one. The practical is the wisdom which helps one doing things. It is a rather short living wisdom because it ceases when time comes. The static one doesn't help one in doing things and looks like a store of unsold goods. People cherish the static wisdom and leave or ignore the practical one. Tao Is the Same A new start is always a vivid source of intense feelings. Still one should consider what is really knew or if there's something that he/she could call new. Taoist thinks that there's nothing new under the sun. Only the ever lasting mixture of yin and yang. In Tao­te ching we are told that at the very beginning there was a kind of shape without shape. Lao­tzu called this "shape" the Tao. It is just what I wished to say above. Tao is everywhere the same. If you wish to penetrate its "movements" just close your eyes and contemplate its essence. Lost in Tao Me (Wu from the Northern Sea): Someone told me that he felt like lost in Tao. It was about the starting point, he said: When you start your Tao experience and how you know that you actually have a Tao experience? What you think about this? Mater Lu: There's no way to feel like you are lost in the Tao. Tao is not a country or land or something alike to feel like you're lost. Tao is like a Father who shows you the way. How could one feel lost in this? I really don't imagine. Tao Is not God Question: I remember I had a problem with my wife and been very affected. I am practicing the Tao but it didn't help me. Answer: Tao is not God. One can't ask Tao to behave like God and do things to help one and so forth. Stop thinking of Tao in terms of a mighty God who can change things and do anything. If you have problems with your mate or family just keep that state of nondoing and see what is. This is the way. Question: Well, I was keeping that state and still there was so much suffering. Answer: This is because Tao is not God. It doesn't help you with your suffering. Actually it brings the suffering! No Tao at All Mater Lu said: Sometime we know the Tao as the Tao ­ sometimes it seems it vanishes so one can say: "There's no Tao at all". This is the way of the beginner: knowing that the Tao exists but not having the perpetual perception of his presence. Tao Machine... I once asked Master Lu if going with the Tao doesn't make one feel like he/she is a machine... No personal will, no desire... He answered: We are all machines, indeed ­ as we perform various tasks machinelike. Very few are wise enough to retain what is worth and escape the passing­by. The Worst ­ What is the worst thing one can do in following the Path? ­ Not being with Tao but only thinking of it. This is the worst: talking of Tao but not living it. Tao, Good and Bad ­ What is the Tao good for? asked Wu from the Northern Sea. Is it good for food, for ride or perhaps for fighting enemies? ­ No, replied the Master of No Concern, it is not good for any food, ride or fighting your enemies. It is just the Lord of everything, so you shouldn't ask about good and bad. Beginners and the True Understanding ­ Is this all that can be said about the Tao? asked someone after reading Tao­te ching. ­ Yes, replied Master Lu. This is all. ­ Still I don't understand much and wonder if this is because I am a beginner. ­ If you think you are a beginner, yes, this is the reason. But if you don't think at all, you may touch the True Understanding, replied Master Lu. If Nothing Matters... ­ If nothing matters in this world, if everything is just passing by, why don't you grab as much as you can, why don't you travel better and better, and enjoy all this world has to offer? In fact, we can do anything... ­ Not exactly, said Master Lu. Just think about the payback ­ you may lose your freedom. And even if this wouldn't be your case, when you cling to worldly things, you feel astray from your inner essence and lose gold for the sake of iron. Master Lu said: For common people Taoists are not Taoists. If they are, then the Taoists are not Taoists. Explanation: When the Taoist adept is working in the public sphere he/she is not different from others, persons that don't follow the Tao. For the common eye the adept doesn't act differently. Master Lu said: Eyes can't tell the truth. Explanation: The same as above; you don't have to believe your eyes. Questions about Tao and Nature ­ Is Tao nature, or Mother Nature? ­ Tao is everything natural. But it is not nature itself. Nature is subject of it. Every living thing in this universe is subject to the Tao. ­ I mean when one follows Tao is he/she following the simplicity and purity of nature? ­ Not necessary. Today people living in huge cities are not following nature. But this is also subject to the Tao. Everything in this universe is subject to the Tao. ­ Old Taoists used to talk about Tao in connection with water. That is, they said Tao is like water or one who follows Tao should be like water. What is the meaning of this statement? ­ Water and Tao have one common feature: they are ever changing phenomena. Being like water means one have to be changeable like water and thus emulating the Tao. The Greatest Enemies The good and bad are the two poles of the human ethics, I know ­ you may call them the core of humanity. Still there's no greatest enemy for the one who follows the Tao than these two. If you start your search for the Greatest Lord you may stop also your aim at judging things in relation to these two principles. But, you may ask me: "What if I loose the guidance of good­bad pair? Who'll guide me then?" The answer is your final finding: The Tao. He is your guidance. Go straight to him and ask: "What if I..."? ***************************************** The name of Lu's home province, Hubei, means "north of the lake", referring to its position north of Lake Dongting. Lu's parents, Sien Kang and Sien Pheonix, reside by Lake, making a living by fishing. Hubei is often called the "Land of Fish and Rice". It is in easternmost central China. Important agricultural products in Hubei include cotton, rice, wheat, and tea, while industries include metallurgy and textiles. Hubei produces a modest amount of coal. It is well known for it mines of fine turquiose and green faustite. The Shennongjia area is the alleged home of the Yeren, a wild undiscovered red or white giant hairy hominid that lives in the forested hills. The people of Hubei are given the uncomplimentary nickname "Nine Headed Birds" by other Chinese, from a mythological creature said to be very aggressive and hard to kill. "In the sky live nine­headed birds. On the earth live Hubei people." Yu's best friend, Dulzuk Blossom is not originally from Hubei. She is from the venerated Mount Paek­Tu, and is named for the fruit which is reaped mainly from Paek Tu Mountain region. The scientific name is VACCINIUM ULIGINOSUM LINNAEUS and this breed grows spontaneously in the hilly areas 800 meters above sea level.People in the area surrounding Mt. Paek Tu produce the multiple foodstuffs with the blue berry dulzuck. It is consumed three times daily for health, preferably before meals. Dulzuk Blossom practices Paek­tu martial arts in addition to Wu Tang style. She is a senior student of Wu Tang, and several years older than Lu. She is a sweetheart, especially to Lu, though she is sometimes almost brutally honest with him. They are sometimes overprotective of each other. Young Master Lao would still be a Taoist preist, if he was discreet about his new Christian faith, introduced to him by martial artist Jang Dong Gun. The Good News traveled via long­ established, well­ mapped routes of trade between China and the Arabian peninsula, employed since at least the Han Dynasty. The Bible story had to be related to him eight times before he believed. Since then, he became the youngest master healer ever known, and the youngest to learn the Dianxue Hand. The only documented occasion of Lu using Dianxue Hand was against a rabid bear that he lead away from a village. Since Lu refused to hide his light of Christian faith under a bushel, he was defrocked and exiled from Mount Wu Tang. Now he must seek practice and improvement elsewhere, and has renamed himself Illuminated Lu. Guer (Orphan), a Wu Tang advanced student, seeks Lu to put an end to his betrayal, as he sees it, of the Wu Tang Clan. Guer was left at the temple door, a baby in a basket, with no note. The Wu Tang Clan is his only family. As such, he takes Lu's dismissal of Taoism personally. He mistakenly believes he is a better fighter than Lu, because he is older and never abandoned the Tao faith. Personality/Motivation: Lu endeavors to follow his understanding of the Ten Commandments, including refraining from murder and marital infidelity, and especially following the Golden Rule; Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. As such, he won't hesitate to lie or kill to prevent a larger crime. He wants to better himself, so as to better serve others, especially his loved ones. Lu has no problem with most Taoist philosophies, but he recanted Taoist deities. Wu Tang Taoist temples and monasteries have a special association with Xuan Wu (lit. "Dark" or "Mysterious Warrior"), one of the higher ­ranking Taoist deities and one of the more revered deities in China. He is revered as a powerful god, able to control the elements and capable of great magic. He is particularly revered by martial artists and is the patron saint of Hebei, Manchuria, and Mongolia. Illuminated Lu has a special respect for Shaolin martial arts, the forbearer of Wu Tang Style. Quote: "Do you have any kind of spiritual beliefs?" Powers/Tactics: Illuminated Lu is as agile as a mountain goat, able to leap from rock to rock, ledge to ledge, with no apparent effort. Lu is adept at heart­ focused breathing. The heart functions somewhat like a second brain. It signals the brain more than the brain signals it. The heart effects strategic thinking, reaction times, and self ­regulation. This is improved with heart ­focused breathing; concentrate on breathing with your heart (previously said to be breathing from your diaphragm), inhale 5 seconds, exhale 5 seconds. ­Jim Marshall III, MD Although the following skills are entirely fictional, from wuxia stories, some are based on actual martial arts. Among other things, Lu has been introduced to the following: Foundation skills: Shiduanjin (十段錦) Thirty­ two Styles of Long Fist (三十二勢長拳) Wudang Long Fist (武當長拳) Wudang Heart Sutra (武當長拳) Eight Trigrams Soaring Dragon Palm (八卦遊龍掌) Armed combat styles: Divine Gate Thirteen Swords (神門十三劍) sfx; every BODY roll = separate strike. Ex: Lu rolls 13 BODY vs. Grandmaster Owl, hitting Owl 13 times. Owl has one level of Combat Luck, so three of said hits just graze him, no damage. Ten strikes get through, doing one BODY each. Heaven Relying Dragon Slaying Skill (神門十三劍) Mystical Saber Style (玄虛刀法) Heaven and Earth as One (天地同壽) Soft Snow Swordplay (柔雲劍法) Turning Finger Soft Swordplay (繞指柔劍) Taiji Swordplay (太極劍) Unarmed combat styles: Wuji Mystical Skill Fist (無極玄功拳) Dianxue Hand (點穴手) Heaven Shaking Iron Palm (震天鐵掌) Taiji Fist (太極拳) Returning Wind Palm (迴風掌) Great Tablet Smashing Hand (大摔碑手) Silky Palm (綿掌) Tiger Claw Ending Hand (虎爪絕戶手) Tiger Claw Hand (虎爪手) Stained Clothes Eighteen Falls (沾衣十八跌) Qinggong: Cloud ­Ascending Ladder (梯雲縱) Battle formations: Zhenwu Seven Sections Formation (真武七截陣) Zhenwu Sword Formation (真武劍陣) Inner energy skills: Wudang Nine Yang Skill (武當九陽功) Pure Yang Wuji Skill (純陽無極功) ****************************** As typical for a Tai Ch'i Chuan practioner, Lu likes to start with a Block, or, better yet, Defensive Throw, followed by a Multiple Powers Attack. Gear: 1d6K Jien; +1 OCV, STR 7, 5d6 Kuen; +1 OCV; STR 10, +1", soft leather rerebraces and vambraces 1 DEF; Protects Locations 7­8, banded mail cuirass; Protects Locations 9­13 or Act. 11­, dried dulzuk berries, pine nuts, smoked wuchang fish, yam chips, medic kit, acupuncture needles, alcohol, herb ­impregnated rice paper bandages, willow bark extract, smelling salts, silk thread, suture needles, marbles, water flask, scriptures, stationary set, scroll case, 88 cash. Campaign Use: Illuminated Lu is a master healer, so skilled that he can cure Dim Mak. He seeks to be a new Shaolin student. Appearance: Well­ armed pretty boy. Because he's clearly a teenager, and doesn't brag, he has yet to be acknowledged for his grand master achievement.
  6. Yay! How about a Mongol wrestler? Mongols figure heavily in sumo championships, and won Olympic gold medals in Judo and Boxing, 2008.
  7. Happy Dragon Boat Festival! http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/SonsOfTheDragon/
  8. 1920s Mongolia, which also works for Pulp games, natch. Read Beasts, Men and Gods by Ferdinand Ossendowski. Once I picked it up, I did not put it down until it was finished.. Adventure, revolution, politics, spies, travel, eastern religions, geology, survival are just a short list of items covered in this compelling book. -Robert Ferguson, February 18, 2009 After Kolchak's defeat in 1920, Ossendowski joined a group of Poles and White Russians trying to escape from communist-controlled Siberia to India through Mongolia, China and Tibet. After a journey of several thousand miles the group reached Chinese-controlled Mongolia, only to be stopped there by the take-over of the country led by mysterious Baron Roman Ungern von Sternberg. The Baron was a mystic who was fascinated by the beliefs and religions of the Far East such as Buddhism and Lamaism, and who believed himself to be a reincarnation of Kangchendzönga, the Mongolian god of war. Ungern-Sternberg's philosophy was an exceptionally muddled mixture of Russian nationalism with Chinese and Mongol beliefs. However he also proved to be an exceptional military commander and his forces grew rapidly. Ossendowski joined the baron's army as a commanding officer of one of the self-defense troops. He also briefly became Ungern von Sternberg's political advisor and chief of intelligence. Little is known of his service at the latter post, which adds to Ossendowski's legend as a mysterious person. In late 1920 he was sent with a diplomatic mission to Japan and then the USA, never to return to Mongolia. Some writers believe that Ossendowski was one of the people who hid the semi-mythical treasures of the Bloody Baron. After his arrival to New York, Ossendowski started to work for the Polish diplomatic service and possibly as a spy. At the same time, in late 1921 he published his first English language book: Beasts, Men and Gods. The novel, a description of his travels during the Russian Civil War and the wars led by the Bloody Baron, became a striking success and a best-seller. In 1923 it was translated into Polish and then into several other languages. Check out the fascinating section and chapter titles- PART I. DRAWING LOTS WITH DEATH CHAPTER I. INTO THE FORESTS II. THE SECRET OF MY FELLOW TRAVELER III. THE STRUGGLE FOR LIFE IV. A FISHERMAN V. A DANGEROUS NEIGHBOR VI. A RIVER IN TRAVAIL VII. THROUGH SOVIET SIBERIA VIII. THREE DAYS ON THE EDGE OF A PRECIPICE IX. TO THE SAYANS AND SAFETY X. THE BATTLE OF THE SEYBI XI. THE BARRIER OF RED PARTISANS XII. IN THE COUNTRY OF ETERNAL PEACE XIII. MYSTERIES, MIRACLES AND A NEW FIGHT XIV. THE RIVER OF THE DEVIL XV. THE MARCH OF GHOSTS XVI. IN MYSTERIOUS TIBET PART II. THE LAND OF DEMONS XVII. MYSTERIOUS MONGOLIA XVIII. THE MYSTERIOUS LAMA AVENGER XIX. WILD CHAHARS XX. THE DEMON OF JAGISSTAI XXI. THE NEST OF DEATH XXII. AMONG THE MURDERERS XXIII. ON A VOLCANO XXIV. A BLOODY CHASTISEMENT XXV. HARASSING DAYS XXVI. THE BAND OF WHITE HUNGHUTZES XXVII. MYSTERY IN A SMALL TEMPLE XXVIII. THE BREATH OF DEATH PART III. THE STRAINING HEART OF ASIA XXIX. ON THE ROAD OF GREAT CONQUERORS XXX. ARRESTED! XXXI. TRAVELING BY "URGA" XXXII. AN OLD FORTUNE TELLER XXXIII. "DEATH FROM THE WHITE MAN WILL STAND BEHIND YOU" XXXIV. THE HORROR OF WAR! XXXV. IN THE CITY OF LIVING GODS, 30,000 BUDDHAS AND 60,000 MONKS XXXVI. A SON OF CRUSADERS AND PRIVATEERS XXXVII. THE CAMP OF MARTYRS
  9. Patience, please scroll down.... [/url=http://sbrb.ent.sirsi.net/client/rsv/search/results.displaypanel.displaycell.detailclick/0/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f1337$002fSD_ILS:1337734/0/0?qu=stormdancer&d=ent%3A%2F%2FSD_ILS%2F1337%2FSD_ ILS%3A1337734%7EILS%7E0%7E5] Stormdancer[/url=http://sbrb.ent.sirsi.net/client/rsv/search/results?qu=stormdancer&te=#] byKristoff, Jay. Publication Date 2012...Japanese-inspired steampunk, strong teen female protagonist, civil war, mythological creatures, slow (but not tedious IMO) start, good descriptions and story, 9 out of 10. And now the rant- I saw mostly positive reviews of this book, and several bloggers who were offended that the author was not Asian - he's an Aussie. I feel this is an over-reaction, esp. since he's not writing about a version of *any* actual Asians, or even a version of actual Asia. He doesn't use the term Japan or Nippon or the like. While I generally prefer authentic experiences, some tributes are worthy. Of course, we all draw the line differently- here's my preferences; Genghis Khan movie lead actor: Chow Yun-Fat or a talented Mongol or other talented Asian, not Mickey Rourke. Asian restaurants well attended by Asian clientele, regardless of the cook's heritage. I make a renowned (by local Mongols) huurhog, authentic Mongol-style bbq, which uses a pressure cooker, not like U.S. restaurants, even though I'm western euro + Swedish heritage. Most cosplay by most people, including the African Americans from late, lamented Chou Anime Cafe in Detroit, MI. [url=http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-10-14/detroit-maid-cafe-chou-anime-closes-its-doors]http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-10-14/detroit-maid-cafe-chou-anime-closes-its-doors[/url=http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2012-10-14/detroit-maid-cafe-chou-anime-closes-its-doors] One Love! What do you think about works inspired by other cultures? Where do you draw the line?
  10. Re: "Neat" Pictures It's good' date=' but is it better than all of these?[ATTACH=CONFIG']45682[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]45683[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]45684[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]45685[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]45686[/ATTACH]
  11. Re: The .50 Beowulf 'Monster Slayer'
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