\ Haven:Mist and Shadow Dreamworlds/Shu Mountain
Dreamworlds

Shu Mountain

Shu Mountain

Summary

Shu Mountain is home to two competing schools of martials arts and Qi cultivation. Their acolytes are mostly young adults from noble or royal families, drawn from any of the hundreds of small kingdoms that cover the breadth of the Luxia mainland.

The stoic, or Shui, school teaches a form of cultivation based on ascetic, self-denial principles. Shui acolytes may use fasting, sleeping on uncomfortable beds, wearing painfully tight belts and similar methods to create physical wants, xiang, and then generate Qi energy by denying those wants. This generation is stronger the greater the want and so they may for instance tempt themselves with delicious smelling food before not eating it to generate Qi.

The indulgence, or Huo, school teaches the opposite practice, Qi is generated by indulging in wants, the greater the want that's indulged in the more Qi is generated.

Particularly while learning, xiang have a tendency to spill from acolytes, often influencing others with their desires. An acolyte who has been tempting themselves with a delicious smelling chicken for instance may spill that want onto others, a process known as xiang-sa, causing others nearby to start craving chicken.

Acolytes can use their Qi to perform incredible feats of martial arts as well as other mystical tasks. The two schools are fierce rivals with students taking any and all opportunities to pick fights or show up members of their rival school.

The greater land of Luxia is a Final Fantasy-esque Wuxia setting, with most modern technology and vehicles, dieselpunk aesthetics and fashion and a predominance of airships.

Both the world at large and Shu mountain is plagued by demons, typically taking the form of shadowy monsters with glowing red eyes, demons are born from the evil thoughts of people. While most are simple monsters, some are far more evolved, cunning tricksters and manipulative devils who can semble to look like other normal people.

If you're interested in more info about Chinese fantasy, Wuxia-Xianxia-Xuanhuan Terms Is a good resource. You don't have to know any of this but feel free to integrate things into your play if you wish.

Roles

Shui Acolyte
Shui, or Stoic, Acolytes cultivate Qi through self-denial. This can take any form, they can deny themselves relief from pain, discomfort or fatigue, or deny themselves physically enjoyable things such as delicious food. The greater the want they deny, the greater the power and the strongest acolytes walk as close as they can to the edge of temptation without crossing over it.

Any indulgence will weaken a Shui acolyte, with any large indulges causing them to experience qi-deviation, a complete, but temporary loss of qi that renders them no more powerful than a normal person. The backlash from Qi-deviation often causes the acolyte to go into a daze for several hours where they find it difficult to think clearly, are more emotional and much more suggestible and gullible. Qi-deviation usually lasts 1-2 days, but can be shortened by particularly rigorous efforts to recultivate their qi.


Huo Acolyte
Huo, or Indulgence, Acolytes cultivate Qi through physical indulgence. This can take any form, relief from pains or fatigue or enjoying any physical things such as food, alcohol, or narcotics. While cultivating Qi is consequently a quite enjoyable experience for a Huo acolyte, their Qi is constantly draining, requiring them to always be active in seeking out and engaging in indulgences. Huo acolytes are also weakened by any temptation they cannot indulge, and so grow weaker over the course of a fight or other strenuous activity as soreness and fatigue they cannot satiate build up.

A Huo who experiences too intense a level of unsatiated desire for too long can cause them to experience qi-deviation, a complete but temporary loss of qi that renders them no more powerful than a normal person. The backlash from Qi-Deviation often causes the acolyte to enter a bestial rage state for several hours, mindlessly fixed on satiating animalistic urges.

Stats

Martial Arts
Martial Arts govern the ability to harness Qi to attain incredible levels of kung-fu style combat proficiency, in unarmed combat as well as with melee or throwing weapons.

In combat: Both characters use dreamworld rollnumber Martial Arts. The highest character lands a solid blow. Then the striking character can rollnumber Qi Strikes, while the defender rolls Willpower. If Qi strikes is greater or equal to will power it is effective. Shui acolytes are disabled after taking 2 successful qi strikes or 5 successful attacks, Huo acolytes are disabled after taking 3 successful qi strikes or 4 successful attacks.

Qi Entanglement: Particularly intense combat, especially between individuals with strong negative feelings towards each other, can sometimes result in the two acolytes qi becoming entangled. This can last anywhere from a few days to their whole lifetime and is called being Zhuding. These individuals find being too far away from each other uncomfortable and can generally sense where the other is or if they're nearby as well as feeling their distress and sometimes other emotions. They may experience visions of things the other is doing and become easily affected by each other's emotional states.


Agility
Governs the ability to harness qi to run up or along walls, leap between branches, move without sound or dodge bullets and other projectiles.


Willpower
Governs ability to avoid spilling wants, xiang-sa, as well as how well they can resist the effects of qi strikes.


Qi Strikes
Qi strikes involve using your qi to effect metaphysical changes in others through your martial arts. You must make solid physical contact to attempt a qi strike. With a successful qi strike you can:
Send a Vision: Make the target experience a short vision or hallucinatory experience of up to a dozen or so seconds in length in the blink of an eye.
Enhance/create emotion/desire: Make a target more angry/hungry etc.
Create sensation: Make the target feel something, e.g. being lashed across the back with a phantom whip.
Alter/destroy item: You can use this to make a sword snap in half, a piece of armor crumble to nothing or someone's shirt transform to have your face on it.
Confound: Impair the targets memories or certain types of higher reasoning.
Impair: Cause some specific physical impairment such as making a particular limb weak, or blindness.
Transform: Transform some physical property of the target such as making them shorter or fatter.

Impairments/Alterations range in duration from a few seconds to permanent at the discretion of the victim.

In combat: You can apply one of the above on your target if your qi strikes roll is equal or higher to their willpower roll after landing a successful attack. You can add an additional effect for each extra point above their roll you obtain. E.g. if you roll 5 and they roll 4 you can apply two effects.


Mysticism
Mysticism governs the ability to use Qi to heal others, have visions, read portents and manipulate elements.


Reputation
Determines how you are thought of by other NPCs, high reputation could come from being from a particularly important royal/noble family, having a famous ancestor or just developing a reputation in the school.
(Reputation 2 required to play royalty.)

RP Guide

  • Ambient RP, several locations such as the teahouse are ideal for general chitchat. Your characters are all likely from different kingdoms with different political/social situations and problems and this can be a good source of conversation.
  • Training RP, sparring, physical exercise, meditation practice.
  • Cultivation RP, For Shui acolytes, get together to find ways to create and resist temptation, for Huo acolytes get together to indulge yourselves and have fun.
  • Demon attacks, demons can attack students anywhere or any time but are particularly likely to in the deep forest or caves. Can use emit to broadcast the demons for fellow players.
  • Fight RP, find excuses to pick fights with rival acolytes or challenge them to combat. (Example below)



Misc rules
In general, you can roll any stat to do a thing, succeeding on average or higher. So if you want to dodge a bullet you could 'roll agility', or to sense someone's presence 'roll mysticism'.

Mysticism can be rolled in lieu of making any kind of attack in a combat scene to help another player, if you get average or better you can heal a physical or spiritual wound. This can even be done on characters who have been knocked out to get them back into the fight but still only lets them recover one wound at a time.

Chase scenes: Both rollnumber agility, if the person trying to get away rolls equal or higher to their opponent the scene moves one room closer to where they want to go, if the person chasing rolls equal or higher they get to land an uncontested martial arts strike or qi strike. This means if both roll a tie a hit is landed and they move a room. Acolytes can't pursue into opposing acolyte's facilities.

Combat Example
Bao the Huo Acolyte has picked a fight with Nuwa, a Shui Acolyte.

Bao rolls Martial Arts for a 2
Nuwa rolls Martial Arts for a 1
(Bao wins and so connects, then rolls for successful Qi Strike)
Bao rolls Qi Strikes for a 1
Nuwa rolls Willpower for a 1
(Qi Strike is successful on a tie, Bao can now write his emote)

Bao sizes Nuwa up for a few seconds before bursting into action, he leaps for a nearby try and bounces off it, coming in fast with a flurry of high kicks before following up with a solid punch to the stomach. He lets out a sharp exhalation of breath as the blow connects, letting his Chi flow along it and forcing Nuwa to experience an indulgent vision of being in a cold ice cave and yet sinking into a steaming hot bath, the hot water flowing over her skin, the warmth seeping slowly, luxuriously into her body inch by inch.

Nuwa's eyes narrow as she sees Bao's attack coming, she skips to one side, fending off the series of high kicks and throws a few quick jabs herself although they are all slipped by Bao. When the punch connects with her stomach she gasps, staggering back a few steps, eyes widening as the vision is forced upon her and gritting her teeth as she fights against letting herself enjoy the indulgence.

Bao rolls Martial Arts for a 1
Nuwa rolls Martial Arts for a 1
(Tie, no Qi strikes, both take damage, either can emote first)

Bao smirks as he sees Nuwa's reaction to his Qi Strike and comes in again hard and fast, delivering a few quick fast punches and slipping a hook past her guard to connect with his opponent's ribs.

Nuwa recovers quickly, fending off Bao's punches and but staggering to the side when his hook connects, wincing in discomfort. She throws a series of quick kicks herself and then leaps up, her flying knee connecting with the side of Bao's temple before she falls back down to land gracefully on her feet.

(At this point Nuwa has been hit twice, and Qi Struck once, as a Shui acolyte she'll be defeated if she is Qi Struck one more time, or hit three more times. Bao has only been hit once, he'll need to be hit three more times or Qi Struck three more times to lose.)

Bao rolls Martial Arts for a 1
Nuwa rolls Martial Arts for a 2
Bao rolls Willpower for a 1
Nuwa rolls Qi Strikes for a 2
(Qi strike is successful, Nuwa can write her emote affecting Bao with two Qi Strike effects since she rolls 1 higher than his willpower)

Nuwa follows up the knee to the head with another quick combination, fists flying hard and fast to keep Bao distracted before she flips over his head, twisting in midair as her foot lashes out to connect with the center of his back and she discharges her Qi. The Shui acolyte uses her power to try and weaken Bao by created an unfulfillable want, creating an illusion sensation of the smell of a delicious, baking chicken at the same time as she impairs him with temporary blindness.

Bao picks off Nuwa's incoming attacks, but is slow to react to her high flip and staggers forwards with a grunt when her foot lands in the center of his back, he starts to turn before his eyesight suddenly vanishes and that tempting smell hits his senses, all the more magnified by his lack of sight. He gives ground quickly, trying to avoid getting hit any further as he focuses his Qi to recover his sight, managing it a few seconds later and glaring across the glade at Nuwa angrily.

Bao rolls Martial Arts for a 2
Nuwa rolls Martial Arts for a 1
Bao rolls Qi Strikes for a 1
Nuwa rolls Willpower for a 0
(Bao lands another successful hit and another successful Qi strike, this time with two effects. This will disable Nuwa as the second successful Qi Strike against a Shui Acolyte.)

Bao turns towards a nearby tree and runs up along the length of it, landing on one of the tree's branches he leaps from branch to branch before swooping in to engage Nuwa, a combination of heavy elbows and knees followed up by a spinning back kick that punches right through her guard and lands on her sternum at the same time he unleashes his Qi. He impairs Nuwa's higher reasoning, making it more difficult for her to think temporarily at the same time that he sends through a sensation, turning her own technique back on her he makes her experience the taste of eating the roasted chicken she'd tempted him with before, filling her mind with the tastes of the savory meats.

Nuwa watches Bao take to the trees and follows him up, quickly running up a tree of her own and moving branch to branch to follow him, she skips back as he leaps over onto her branch, balancing precariously as she fends off the first couple of dozen hits and then is struck firmly by that backkick, sending her flying backwards through the air to collide with a tree trunk. Dazed and struggling to think through the impairment she's overwhelmed by the sensations Bao sends to her mind, letting herself enjoy the feeling of the delicious meal which makes the Shui acolyte's Qi leave her and she slumps down to the ground, semi-conscious.

(Please always remember when fighting to be RP generous to your opponent, helping to make them feel cool, badass, special and so on.)

Logs

Roster