The Feng Shui 2 Kickstarter is more than half-done, and things are going very well. I swear I thought of this weeks theme before Robin’s Blowing Up The Movies stretch goal was announced. I’m super excited that it just funded. Here’s hoping the stretch goals just keep getting better and better.
We are going a little meta this week, and exploring incorporating the filming of an action movie into your Feng Shui adventure. Not in the silly “the characters know they are in a movie” sense. The rules, rightly, warn us away from that. Instead what if part of your adventure takes place on a movie set. The action and the stunts become real and deadly.
For the Feng Shui Site Friday opener to Action! Week, we present the sound stage. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
You’re thinking that your role as “Karate Student #3” in this picture isn’t worth the money. There is so much boring standing around in the making of a movie. Leaning against a totem pole, you notice a new guy manning the prop table, and some extras you don’t remember from yesterday. You see the prop guy hand one of the extras a sword from a box off to one side. It looks heavier than your rubber sword. Something’s up…
Wary now, you stand on your mark to start the scene. As the beautiful and talented Johanna Scarlettson moves into position you realize she’s the target. As the director calls “Action!” you spring into it.
The sound stage is a large, open warehouse like building, that is acoustically isolated from the outside world. Inside whole worlds come to life as sets and props are built for specific movies.
Cool Things That Can Happen
The best thing about a sound stage, is that inside can be any setting you want. From space opera battle cruisers, to an old west saloon, to a Roman colosseum. The cool things below focus on stuff with movie making equipment that can happen in any sound stage. You will want to add your own layer of cool things based on what is being filmed when your adventure takes place.
- Bad guys, maybe even a sniper, will try to shoot from the catwalks above the stage
- Somebody can fall off the catwalk onto a pointy piece of scenery, or get strangled in a lighting cable.
- A hot stage light will get smashed over somebody’s head.
- If the studio is old school, a camera can fly open tangling somebody in the film
- Somebody might swing around on a camera boom, or ride on a camera track
- There is a food service table
- Real weapons might get mixed up with the prop weapons
- Mooks might be disguised as extras in strange or humorous costumes
- There are wind fans, rain makers and smoke machines that can get used to go effect
- A named foe, who is a movie star, might get hit with a chair that has his name on it
- A light diffuser screen will get smashed over somebody’s head
- There are lots of wires around that might get used as lasso’s, trip lines or garrets
- Two words: Gaffers Tape
- There are lots of green screens these days. Somebody might get thrown through one, or it could get pulled over a bunch of mooks
- The fight might get caught on camera, which might become a clue later
I can’t explain why, but the sound stage doesn’t feel like a feng shui site to me. It is a great set piece, but it just doesn’t seem chi-full to me. However, if you want it to be a feng shui site with special powers, then it is sensible the site would enhance communication somehow. Perhaps it gives +2 to social skills like deceit, intimidation, seduction, and leadership to everybody who is attuned to the site.
In Your Campaign
The Lodge has full control of most major centers of film production in the world: Hollywood, Bollywood, Hong Kong. It uses this control to produce films that influence public perceptions and attitudes. A popular starlet is a dedicated member of the Lodge. Until one of her enemies planted evidence she intends to betray the Lodge. Now the Lodge plans to kill her and make it look like an accident.
With their martial arts skills, the characters hired on as extras. Not knowing the starlet is a lodge member they, of course, intervene and stop the assassination attempt. Perhaps, as the characters work through the adventure to protect and save her. Will she come around to the side of righteousness. Or, will she betray them to increase her own status with the Lodge.
The C-Bomb didn’t kill everybody associated with the Buro. A Buro media exec was one of the more unlikely survivors. He has made his way to the modern juncture and back into the only industry he ever knew. He has brought some special equipment with him, and now he is using that equipment to film special commercials and music videos.
The special equipment allows for the insertion of subliminal messages and even commands into this content. These messages are much more subtle and harder to detect than clumsy, modern Lodge attempts to do the same. At the moment the media exec is just using this for his own personal gain. However, his former comrades are sure to find out and they will want to use this to rebuild here in the modern juncture.
The small Pacific nation of New Zealand has some of the most beautiful terrain. Terrain rich in feng shui sites, that channel chi to a bountiful and happy nation. The Lotus see this island as a potential beach head into the modern juncture. It is lightly guarded, remote and easy to protect, yet still close enough to threaten and influence the Ascended strongholds in Asia.
The Lotus created a brilliant plan to take control of the islands. They will start a small but well funded movie studio to produce a trilogy of blockbuster fantasy movies. These movies give cover to move in hordes of sword wielding mooks, smiths and other historic craftsmen to support them. Monsters and magic can be explained away as special effects.
Filming will occur all over the islands allowing access to the feng shui sites. Gradually, over the course of the decade long project, the chi of the islands will flow through the film studio to the islands’ new eunuch masters. Unless somebody figures out what is going on and stops it.