This is an exciting week for the Feng Shui 2 Kickstarter. It is the last week, and that means two things. The final mad rush is about to begin, and the best stretch goals are about to come out. I believe the Kickstarter will break $200k, maybe even $250k. The chi seems to be flowing in the right direction. Let’s do what we can to make it happen.
Speaking of flowing chi, the theme for my posts during this final week is Vile Sorcery. We are looking at all things magical, including the Lotus, as they struggle to find a foothold in their new juncture. For Feng Shui Site Friday, I present the Ancestral Tomb.
The old man said that the tomb covered an area the size of a small city. You can’t understand how all of that could be underground now. However, you have no doubt that the spooky hole opening before you is the right place. You snap a chemical light stick and descend into the darkness.
When the 69AD juncture closed, the Lotus found themselves forced to relocate into the 7th century. One of the first orders of business was to find the tombs of those left behind, now long dead. In these tombs, they hoped to find magic and relics to aid them in this more hostile juncture. A rare few of these tombs were feng shui sites themselves, providing an early source of chi power. Several key tombs remain lost, including Gao Zhang’s, so the hunt continues.
To be fair, the tomb depicted here is more of an emperor’s tomb than a family mausoleum. The Tomb of the First Qin Emperor is the archetype of tombs from pulp stories. Its designers laid the necropolis out like a miniature version of his capital city. “Miniature” is a relative term, as tomb is 1 1/4 miles in diameter. Period accounts of its construction claim it had crossbow traps and pools of mercury simulated the rivers that ran through the capital city. The legendary terra cotta warriors occupied part of the city. After the Emperor’s funeral, workers buried the whole thing under a 250 foot high mound of earth to look like a hill.
To date, archeologists have not excavated much of the necropolis. Even if the political and cultural issues could be resolved, high levels of mercury in the soil would make excavation of the tomb proper very dangerous.
Cool Things That Can Happen
- If the parties are trying to acquire a fragile object it might get damaged in the fight. Any time a named character misses an attack roll, they must make a fortune check against a difficulty of 5 to avoid jeopardizing the item. If they fail that roll, they should describe what happens that puts the item at risk. The next named character to go, must do something to save the item or it will break.
- The terra cotta soldiers (mooks) guarding the tomb come to life and attack
- Ceramic pots will break over somebody’s head, or get thrown as improvised weapons
- The stone sarcophagus makes good cover
- Until it is blown or knocked open, then somebody gets knocked into it and gets tangled in the remains
- Somebody who is very strong can use the lid as an improvised weapon
- There are death traps that might be triggered during the fight
- Mercury from a pool or river can be thrown at an enemy doing damage as a strong poison
- If somebody gets pushed into the mercury fountain it acts as if they had ingested an extremely toxic poison
- Ancient weapons on racks can get picked up and used
The Ancestral Tomb channels the chi of deceased allies to the living. Every character who is attuned to the tomb gets 2 extra wound points for every player character who has died since the start of the current campaign. Characters who die after attunement do not add to this amount. GM’s might want to change the awarded wound points depending on how many characters have died and how many extra wound points they want their PCs to have.
In Your Campaign
A powerful magic artifact was sealed away in an ancient tomb. The Dragons are racing against other factions to recover the item first. Once the item is recovered, the characters can attune to the site to get some extra wound points as the bad guys try to claim the MacGuffin for themselves.
One of the characters discovers that they are descended from an ancient leader. When he finds the tomb and explores it, he encounters the ghost of this lost ancestor. The ancestor has unfinished business, and the character can pick up a melodramatic hook to finish their ancestors task. As an alternative, the ghost might become an NPC mentor to the party, or even another player character if somebody wants to play it.
Ming I has discovered or created a zombie virus, and has infected a town in rural China. Her goal is to create and army of the dead she can use to restore herself to power. The Chinese military tried to intervene, but casualties of the living add to the army of the dead. She seems unstoppable.
With no other recourse, the player characters venture into the tomb of an ancient Chinese emperor. If they find a way to activate its army of terra cotta warriors, they will have a force capable of fighting the zombies.
If you want to go wild, this adventure idea can be combined with the two above it. The emperor could be the distant ancestor, and the artifact the item needed to activate the army.