The Path of the Eight-Armed Ape
Inspired by Louis Cha’s The Deer & the Cauldron
‘“Oh, do you want the plaster?” said the old villain, and he placed it in the fellow’s hand.
‘The man swore at him: “Old dog!” he said. “What do you think you’re doing?”
‘Then somehow— I don’t quite know how he did it— the old villain gave the manservant a little push so that he swivelled round and clapped the steaming hot plaster right over his master’s mouth.[...]
‘Then, while Lu Yifeng tried to tear the plaster off his mouth,’ Young Bo went on, ‘the old villain began urging the menservants to do something. “Go on!” he said. “Go and help His Honour!” and the next thing we heard was “slap, slap, slap, slap, slap, slap”: the four of them looked as if they wer eplaying some sort of game, taking it in turns to slap their master’s face. It was the old villain, of course, with his diabolical skill, manipulating them from behind like puppets. Within a very short time the wretched man’s face was red and swollen...
‘You can understand why this old Xu came to be nicknamed the Eight-Armed Ape,’ he said. ‘In the “fancy” branch of Catch-Can wrestling he’s reckoned to be the greatest living Master.[...]
‘We couldn’t help laughing[...] Lu Yifeng stood there with blood trickling down both sides of his face, surrounded by customers from other parts of the shop who’d come to watch the fun, while the old villain kept shouting, “Don’t hit him! Don’t hit His Honour! You mustn’t lay hands on your own master!” and all the time dancing round like a big monkey, giving a little push here and a little push there to the arm or hand of one or the other of the four thuggish menservants, yet managing to look as if he were trying to dodge out of their way, so that none of the bystanders was aware that he was responsible for their movements. He kept this game up until Lu Yifeng fell down unconscious on the floor, then he quietly slipped back and sat down again at his own table.
‘The four menservants thought they’d been bewitched. They couldn’t for the life of them make out how they had come to be hitting their own master; yet th blood on their hands was real enough.[...]’
— from The Deer & the Cauldron, volume 1
This is a trickster path that is based in getting your opponent to hit someone else. It was inspired by this passage from The Deer & the Cauldron, a book which I heartily recommend. (This novel inspired the films Royal Tramp and Royal Tramp II, but it has a lot more in it than the films.)
|Helping Hand||Chi Cost: 1||Shot Cost: 1|
Deflect a blow aimed at you (a parry version of Fox’s Retreat). Adds +5 to parry AV; can be performed with bare hands against a weapon.
|Prerequisite: none||Path: Guiding Touch|
|Guiding Touch||Chi Cost: 3||Shot Cost: 1|
Redirect a blow to someone nearby by disorienting and turning someone who attacks you, or by ducking if you’re between the targets. Roll MA vs. opponent AR + half target defensive AV. Defensive action. Primarily useful for making mooks hit their masters.
|Prerequisite: Helping Hand||Path: Gentle Assistance|
|Gentle Assistance||Chi Cost: 3||Shot Cost: 3|
Cause someone to strike someone else by pushing them subtly. No damage occurs to anyone if your AR only gets your opponent, rather than the other target.
|Prerequisite: Guiding Hand||Path: Harmonious Palm|
|Harmonious Palm||Chi Cost: 3 + X||Shot Cost: Special|
Push your chi through someone to use another fu power; the victim may use their own fu for self-defense, but cannot stack their fu power on top of yours for a bigger attack. Costs 3 + X chi where X is the cost of the fu power you’re channeling, and takes the greater of 3 shots or the cost of the power you’re channeling.
|Prerequisite: Gentle Assistance||Path: none|