Monday, December 16, 2013

Feng Shui -- The Day the Reindeer Died!

Every year I like to run a Christmas themed adventure for my gaming group. A couple of years ago, it was a Necessary Evil game where the "heroes" had to fight off murderous V'sori gingerbread men. Had Stan! published Gingerbread Kaiju that year, the minis for those V'sori would have been edible. To be honest, when I say "Christmas themed" I almost always mean "based on the opening sequence of Scrooged." What can I say? I love the movie and it makes perfect fodder for role playing action.

This year my gaming group was introduced to the joy that is Feng Shui during the alpha playtest. I played quite a bit of Feng Shui in the late 90s and early 00s, but most of my group are young whippersnappers who blink unknowingly when I mention films like KILLER, HARDBOILED, THE BRIDE WITH WHILE HAIR, or FIST OF LEGEND...this will be corrected. The group really enjoys the cinematic/narrative style of the Feng Shui system and really want me to put together a campaign for the game. I'm happy to oblige, but being a Ph.D. student and a Program Director at a non-profit doesn't leave too much prep time. So while I didn't have time to outline some branches for the overall campaign yet, I decided that I would take the time to adapt my old stand by THE NIGHT THE REINDEER DIED to Feng Shui. I ran the game this past weekend and it was pretty fun. We didn't get as far as I'd have liked -- I wanted to send the group into 2056 where they facilitate a JINGLE ALL THE WAY-esque riot that begins to undermine the Buro's control due to people actually caring about a hot Christmas item -- but we didn't get that far. Instead, they stopped at "shutting down the Star Gate."

For those of you interested in playing a session, here is the outline and a couple of special characters as well.  We've got Skipper from MADAGASCAR, Lee Majors, and Krampus available for groups who don't have existing characters. Now...onto the show...dim the lights...pull back the curtain...and...

In a world...


The player characters are resting at their hideout/attuned Feng Shui site in between forays into the Netherworld, shadow runs against the Ascended, and secret battles against the Hand. All seems calm. Let the players role play some of their background subplots and ask them where they'd like the narrative direction of their character's lives to go. Take notes. Just as the conversation gets going really well and some strong roleplaying is going on, have there be a "knock on the door." It will be an insistent knock that will not go away. It even sounds excited...if it is possible for a knock to sound excited.

When the PCs open the door Buddy the Elf - Will Farrell from the movie ELF - will be standing at the door in a near panic. He will explain to the PCs that an army of mechanical monkeys (Jammers) from the future are at the North Pole attempting to blow up Santa's Workshop. It turns out that Santa's Workshop is a major Feng Shui site, which explains a great deal about how he accomplishes his deliveries. Santa is currently losing the battle and needs the player's help. If the Jammers succeed in blowing up the North Pole at the exact right moment (midnight Christmas Eve), it will have a ripple effect that might allow the Jammers to destroy all Feng Shui sites simultaneously. This will cause the world to turn into a combination of the future from the TERMINATOR and PLANET OF THE APES films.

Flight to the North Pole

Try to make the trip to the North Pole quick, but feel free to add moments where they come under aerial attack. As they approach the Pole, give them the full description of how there are Searchlights scanning the sky and flak exploding at almost random. Have the PCs land at the Pole, meet Santa, and be sent on a mission to get behind enemy lines, find the computer that has opened a gateway between now and 2056, and shut it down. This should include 3 basic battles in the blood covered snow scape of the Pole. 

Make sure to insert lots of references to your favorite Christmas movies. Is Bruce Willis there? Is he fighting Satan Claws? Abominable? Heatmiser? You get the picture.

The final fight will be the PCs against BattleChimp Yamato and a number of Macaque mooks equal to the PCs +4. There will be a clock counting down as the Jammers are bringing a nuclear warhead through the portal. The PCs must disconnect the portal from the heart of the kid from Polar Express (the only child with enough belief in Santa to make the connection to 2056) without harming the child, defeat BattleChimp Yamato and crew.  If you wish, you can have the PCs continue on into 2056 to take the fight to the Jammers and the Buro.


Map of the North Pole

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