Sunday, March 30, 2014

Design Notes: Cathai

The mythic China rulebook (aka Cathai) is coming into focus. Two new races; the shanxiao (monkey-men) and yao (dog-men) but none of the regular demihuman races. New character classes; the monk (sub-class of fighter), wu (sub-class of cleric), and fangshi (sub-class of mage). No bards, jesters, cavaliers, paladins, or illusionists. Combat is the same, except with different weapons and armor (of course), and the addition of kung fu styles.

Kung fu styles work just like secondary skills in the core Players Manual; you pay x.p. to get a skill level, and get a bonus or power accordingly. The rub is finding someone willing and able to teach higher-level skills; the rare ones are very difficult to find someone who is even able to teach it, and harder still to find someone willing to do so.

Everything is designed to integrate completely and seamlessly with the main rules, which means they'll also integrate well with most OSR type rules. Kung fu skills will give bonuses and some cool theatrical effects, but nothing game-busting. A plain sixth level fighter should be roughly equivalent to a fourth level fighter who spent the extra x.p. on some kung fu skill levels.

On the whole, I'm really liking the direction the book is taking. And yes, there will be terra cotta golems.

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