The basic experience point awards are the usual 0–6 per session (that’s one night of gaming) of Feng Shui, with 3 as the usual.
Attunement to a power site— special because of excellent feng shui, or because it is a temple or palace of long-term mystic significance— grants the usual bonus of 3 xp per session per site.
Characters who travel frequently may find it difficult to stay attuned to power sites. One may only attune to a power site by being important to it— and one may only stay attuned by remaining important to it. Generally, the only people attuned to a site are prominent in its denizens— e.g., a royal family, chancellor, castellan, Monarch—s Champion, and heroes based there and prominent in its defense. Characters travelling in the long term from island to island, well beyond recall in time of need, will tend to lose their attunement to sites.
Travelling sites, such as small islands floating in Chaos, bearing adventurers from one place of need to another, may be great prizes if they possess a power site— the chance to maintain a link to a power site and adventure all over the planet!
Another way to gain the effect of attunement to a power site is to embark upon quests. Anyone charged with a quest receives the full benefit of attunement to a power site as long as they attempt to make progress toward the goal of that quests. Further, anyone who helps a person with a quest can gain benefits as well— a farmer who houses a questor for a night may gain a bit of good fortune, while the comrades-in-arms of a questor, who expose themselves to the same dangers to accomplish the quest, will receive the full 3 xp appropriate to attunement to a power site.
All such quests are finite in duration: they end when a particular goal is reached. Quests are generally bestowed by deities, though kings ruling by divine right have been known to grant them, and druids and rangers who are attuned directly to the forces of Nature seem to be able to discover quests awaiting them through use of Divination. You do not need to know you are on a quest to receive the benefit of working to fulfill it!
There are also rare and powerful magic items known as quest items. Quest items have a permanent purpose: the freeing of slaves, the overthrow of tyrants, the eradication of worshippers of opposing deities. Bearers of quest items are not on continuous quests, but they tend to search for opportunities to fulfill them— and they tend to receive dreams pointing them at new opportunities if they do not. Quest items that go long unused have a way of getting lost, in order to improve their chances of falling into another person’s hands; this can happen even if the item is a Signature Weapon, presuming a character has been ignoring its virtue as a quest item for long enough.
Quest items make their bearer a permanent questor. If a group of five adventurers, each with a different quest item, finds a common goal that furthers all five quests, the group gets the benefit of attunement to five power sites as long as they pursue that goal.
Under the current system, the rules for buying up stats are simple, but make the order in which you buy them very important for efficient use of experience points. To avoid worrying about that, we came up with a system that should be very close to the original rules but does not have the order-dependent problems, and does not penalize players for not doing their math ahead of time and planning out the exact order in which to spend experience points.
Example: The Chi of an Old Master is the minimum of the Old Master’s Kung Fu and Magic ratings. To raise Chi, both Kung Fu and Magic must be raised; if one of them drops, Chi drops.
Example: An Old Master wants to raise his Chi to 11 from 10. To do this, he must pay 22 xp to raise his Fu, and then 11 xp to raise his Magic.
Because he has acquired a passion for gambling, he decides he wants to bring his Fortune up to the level of his Chi. He pays 2 xp to raise it to 1, 4 to get to 2, and so on (2 + 4 + 6 + 8 + 10 + 12 + 14 + 16 + 18 + 20 = 110 xp) until his Fortune reaches 10. However, it only costs 11 more xp to raise his Fortune to 11, since he’s already bought two Chi stats up to 11.
Example: If the Old Master uses Shadowfist to permanently damage a foe, sacrificing a point of his own Magic, his Magic drops to 10 and his Chi along with it. To get his Chi back up, he’ll need to pay 22 xp.
This set of rules means that buying up a single secondary stat which is below its primary costs the same as in the standard rules, as does increasing a primary stat that is equal to all its secondaries, but does not penalize someone for upping a single secondary stat and then the primary.
In the beginning of the book and on the character sheet at the end, it seems clear that your skill AV is a matter of adding your Skill Bonus to the appropriate Attribute. However, in the Getting Even Tougher section, buying skills is based on the AV rather than the Bonus. This doesn’t seem to make a great deal of sense— it introduces more order-dependence in making it profitable to up stats after skills. To avoid more order-dependence, we’ve set all skill buying to be with a default stat of 5:
If you have a rare opportunity for a training montage but not quite enough XP to actually buy the skill, you may place a “down payment” on the skill (or sphere, or fu schtick) of 1/3 its cost, with the intention that the rest will be paid off with your next XP. With only the down payment paid, your character should exhibit some signs of their training but still be messing up visibly, showing that they are internalizing their new knowledge. (That way, if you save the Old Master and can get access to his secret techniques, but don’t have the full XP right now and are about to leave the island, you can gain the benefit of the favor he owes you.)
Learning to wield new weapon categories or ride new steeds costs 3 xp, instead of the 1 for a new vehicle in Feng Shui. Steed categories are broad— if you can ride a horse, you have no problems with ponies, mules, donkeys, and unicorns.
New info skills only cost 5 xp to acquire a +1 bonus. It’s easier to acquire a smattering of knowledge with no physical component.
In canonical Feng Shui, it’s generally desirable to ignore language differences: everyone speaks Cantonese with subtitles in Mandarin and English. For a high fantasy game, it should be a little harder than that. Languages cost x experience points, where x is the level at which you will speak the language when you’ve bought it up. At 1, you can ask the way to the privy and order basic food; at 5, you have a native accent and can handle odd dialects. Uneducated people tend to speak their native tongue at 4; well-educated ones speak it at 5, and only scholars and poets tend to have a 6.
|Difference||1 xp per...|
In addition, you can learn languages through immersion— you get free experience points in a skill. If you’re regularly using a language, day in and day out, you get the free xp as specified in the table on the right. If you’re hanging back while the party merchant schmoozes with everyone, without risking embarrassment from possibly screwing up your use of the language, you learn at one level down on the chart.
Example: Narya has just arrived in Throlaia and is trying to learn the local dwarven language. She’s in luck: long-lived species like dwarves tend to have their language skills at 5, so she gets 1 xp per session until her skill hits 3— that’s 6 sessions if she stays down there that long. She’ll then get 1 xp per month of spelunking with the local cavers, bringing her skill up to 4 in another 4 months; it would take another year and a quarter in Throlaia to bring it up to 5.
New spheres of magic cost the usual 16 + x experience points, where x is the number of spheres you will have when you have acquired this one. In order to buy a new sphere, you must obtain crucial knowledge, either by training from another wizard or priest, perusing ancient tomes, consulting supernatural wisdom, or studying appropriate magical phenomena. Generally, you must learn from a wizard who uses the same source of power as you do; wizards teaching spheres very well suited to their source of power can teach anyone. (Wizards attuned to the Elements can teach Earth, Air, Fire, and Water to anyone, for instance; necromancers can teach anyone Summoning.) Priests can learn from other priests in the same pantheon.
New blast schticks and life schticks cost 3 experience points each.
Magic is a difficult endeavor that requires more than a training sequence to learn. The apprenticeship usually lasts years. A Scrappy Kid with Sorcery is unusually talented to be so accomplished so young; the Ranger and Paladin are more typical examples of magical study at the age of about 20, and most starting Wizards and Priests will clock in at 25 to 30.
Learning Theurgy or Thaumaturgy requires apprenticeship to a full Priest or Wizard; the Priest must be of the god you yourself worship, or in some cases only of their pantheon. (Exceptions are often made for followers of forgotten gods.) If one member of the party apprentices themselves to another member, they can continue adventuring while serving their apprenticeship, but it should take quite a while, during which the free time of both the master and apprentice will be largely curtailed in favor of instruction.
Fu powers come from long-ritualized paths of learning; the teachings of one power contain the seeds of the next one in the path. You can always buy a single fu power up from one that you have been taught; after that, you must seek instruction from a more experienced practitioner of your path, practice manuals, or ancient inscriptions. The GM may always rule that some fu powers require special knowledge.
Example: Narya comes from a clan of rangers who use the Path of the Leaping Storm to great advantage when fighting in woodlands and mountains; she starts the game with Prodigious Leap and Gathering of the Clouds. She can buy Abundant Leap and Awesome Downpour without further instruction; the GM rules that Flying Windmill Kick is an important and powerful secret and that she would need to find a master to teach it to her explicitly. If she wants to learn Flying Sword or Rain of Fury, she’ll need to find someone else who knows Path of the Leaping Storm that high to teach her... after she’s mastered the prerequisites.
As usual, fu powers cost (3 + x) experience points, where x is the number of fu schticks you will have when you gain this one. You cannot learn fu powers if your Martial Arts Action Value is less than 12. (This is distinct from the Feng Shui rules, where this last is not specified.)
New Bow and Weapon schticks cost (8 + x) points, where x is the number of the appropriate sort of schtick you will have when you’ve bought this one. (They are on separate tracks.) Your appropriate fighting AV (Bows for projectile weapons, Melee or Martial Arts for melee weapons) must be at least 12 in order to purchase new schticks.
As usual, Supernatural Creatures can buy new Creature Abilities for (8 + x) experience points, where x = the number of Creature Abilities schticks you will have when you gain the new one. You must clear the schticks with the gamemaster to make sure they are appropriate for your brand of supernatural creature— e.g., a young dragon could easily buy a schtick in Really Big to represent slow progress toward their adult size, but justifying Insubstantial would be a stretch.