The Final Bullet - The Rev Plays Hong Kong Action Theatre
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This is my ongoing solo campaign of the Hong Kong Action Theatre!.

Enjoy, comments welcome!
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1. RPG Item: Hong Kong Action Theatre! [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:6038]
RPG Item: Hong Kong Action Theatre!
Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Recently picked up a used copy of the 1st edition of this action-packed RPG that attempts to emulate Hong Kong action movies. One of its interesting twists is that your "character" is actually the actor who will play a "role" in each movie (adventure). So if you die in the movie, it is just the "role" that dies, not the actor. This also means your actor has some signature moves and abilities, but their specific skills will change from movie to movie.

From gallery of reverendunclebastard


There is a 2nd edition, but IMO it just added a ton of unnecessary rules/stats/abilities/etc. As I get older I am becoming a bigger fan of RPGs that can keep their mechanisms simple and reflective of the theme they are attempting to model. The 1st edition of HKAT! is beautifully simple. One of my favourite aspects is that the number you need to beat to hit someone is not based on their armour, dexterity or other stats, it is based on their importance to the plot! This is genius, so a minor thug is super easy to hit, a named henchman is harder to hit, the villain's right-hand man/woman is very hard to hit and the final villain is extremely hard to hit. A perfect example of a simple mechanic that helps the gameplay reflect the theme of the game. So while you can mow down nameless thugs at an incredible rate, the key NPCs in the game will be a much bigger struggle.

The simplicity of weapons in the 1st edition is also right up my alley. A weapon has a name, a speed and a damage amount. That's it! The only things relevant to game play, does it slow me down and how much hurt will I put on my enemy. The revised edition adds abilities, disabilities and skills for each weapon, which may appeal to some but for me it detracts from what I want the game to do for me.

From gallery of reverendunclebastard


So I rolled up my actor (character), Peng Min. She is fast and strong, practices shaolin kung fu, carries a 9mm pistol, is known for her butterfly knife which she will reveal with a stylish flourish to intimidate her enemies, and she has a signature stunt involving extravagant motorcycle jumps which will appear in most of her movies.

From gallery of reverendunclebastard
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2. RPG Item: Hong Kong Action Theatre! [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:6038]
RPG Item: Hong Kong Action Theatre!
Reverend Uncle Bastard
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I decided to generate Peng Min's first film from scratch instead of using one of the included templates. I figured that this would allow me to invest myself a little more completely into the game, plus it would give me a chance to show how I use some of my favourite solo RPG tools. I thought it might be useful for others to see the possibilities and process contained in these tools (well my process at least, these tools are very flexible).

Step One - Tool: Hong Kong Action Theatre!

Honk Kong Action Theater helpfully includes a number of random charts for generating plot ideas for your films. I have chosen "gunplay" as my genre (the others are martial arts and bizarre fantasy). Rolling on the included tables I get the following starting ideas:

Main Plot: Revenge for Injustice

Sub-Plots (randomly determined there will be 4):
1 - revenge for betrayal
2 - 3rd party attempting to interfere with characters
3 - conflict vs. authority
4 - character is having relationship troubles

Step Two - Tool: Instant Game

In order to flesh out these plot points I used one of my favourite tools, Instant Game. It has a ton of useful charts. To make the main plot a little more specific I rolled on the "opposition" chart and the "people" chart.

1 - Opposition: Outsiders
2 - People: Elected Official

To flesh out the first three sub-plots I rolled on the "people" and "personalities" charts. I figured that whoever was interfering with the characters (sub-plot 1) was working for the authorities (sub-plot 3) and was seeking revenge for betrayal (sub-plot 2). I also rolled on the "action" and "thing" and "other thing" charts to get a better sense of what they were seeking revenge for.

1 - Personalities: Humble
2 - People: Bounty Hunter
3 - Action: Guard
4 - Thing: Stronghold
5 - Action: Spy
6 - Other Thing: Election

Step Three - Tool: ÜNE

Finally to figure out who the "elected official", "humble bounty hunter" and the "relationship trouble" are I used the UNE.

- Elected Official: A prying performer as strong as the hero who embraces legends, informs vigilance and robs enemies.

- Humble Bounty Hunter: An obnoxious brute as strong as the hero who composes success, persecutes the wealthy and is a blight on discrimination.

- Relationship Trouble: A coarse civilian slightly weaker then the hero who comprehends secret societies, offends science and accounts pleasure.

Step Four - Tool: My Imagination!

Peng Min's character in this film is a mercenary for hire, she was originally brought in by the notorious TV star and politician Zhuan Yong to spy on his main rival, Shi Ling. Zhuan claimed that Shi Ling was leaking state secrets to the Americans and it was Peng Min's job to break into Shi Ling's HQ and retrieve the incriminating documents.

In order to infiltrate the HQ, Peng Min had seduced the head of Shi Ling's security team, Song Bao, a notoriously difficult but highly principled ex-bounty hunter. Once Peng Min had retrieved the documents and fled, Song Bao vowed to hunt her down and seek justice.

After Peng Min had delivered the stolen documents to Zhuan Yong, she was sought out by Liu Chen, the foul-mouthed host of an underground conspiracy radio show. Liu Chen claimed that the documents that Peng Min had stolen for Zhuan were actually proof that Zhuan Yong was working with the Americans to stage an event to trigger a war. Shi Ling had initially stolen the documents from Zhuan in order to give them to the press and stop his dastardly plan. Peng Min wasn't sure who to believe, but could not rest until she had stolen the documents back from Zhuan so she could see the truth for herself. This was complicated by the fact that she was finding herself increasingly attracted to the scandalous Liu Chen.

It's a race against the clock! Can Peng Min track down the documents and find the truth before Zhuan triggers a war? Will Song Bao hunt her down and get his revenge first? Can she convince him to join her in retrieving the documents? Is Liu Chen telling the truth about the documents, or is it really Shi Ling who was working with the Americans?

Stay tuned to find out.

In the next installment I am going to use a combination of Instant Game and The Location Crafter to generate the location tables to determine where these adventures will take place.

I will also create the stats for the main NPCs (Zhuan Yong, Shi Ling, Song Bao and Liu Chen) and some low-level cops and thugs to populate the scenes.
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3. RPG Item: Hong Kong Action Theatre! [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:6038]
RPG Item: Hong Kong Action Theatre!
Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Finally played my first scene tonight.

From gallery of reverendunclebastard


Quick recap: Peng Min, a mercenary for hire, had stolen documents from politician Shi Ling at the orders of notorious TV star and rival politician Zhuan Yong. Zhuan Yong claimed the documents proved Shi Ling was leaking secrets to the U.S.. Peng Min was later approached by foul-mouthed conspiracy-obsessed radio-host Liu Chen who claimed those documents actually proved that Zhuan Yong was planning with the Americans to start a war. Peng Min was now on a mission to track down the documents, now in the hands of Zhaun Yong, and find the truth for herself.

From gallery of reverendunclebastard


Hong Kong Action Theatre!, To Live and Die in HK, The Triad Sourcebook and Mythic Game Master Emulator, plus a bunch of d6, d10 and d20.

The Final Bullet!

Scene 1:

Peng Min was scheduled to meet radio host and conspiracy theorist Liu Chen in a parking lot downtown. He claimed to have information on where the documents were being held.

Upon arrival, Peng Min was ambushed by three members of Shi Ling's security team, who were attempting to find the documents themselves.

Shi Ling drew her 9mm and blasted one of the team who took several bullets and was thrown over a car then she dove behind a car for cover. As the toppled thug staggered to his feet, the other thugs fired on Peng Min with their Uzis, destroying the front of the car she was hiding behind.

Peng Min popped up from what little remained of her cover and blew all three thugs away!

Liu Chen finally arrived for the meeting, just as two more thugs peeled away from the scene in a flashy sports car.

Peng Min jumped on her motorcycle, pulling Liu Chen on to the seat behind her, and sped after the thugs, determined to find the truth...

To be continued!

Tools used in this session:
- Mythic Game Master Emulator
- The Location Crafter
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4. RPG Item: Hong Kong Action Theatre! [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:6038]
RPG Item: Hong Kong Action Theatre!
Reverend Uncle Bastard
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The Final Bullet!

Scene 2:


When we last left Peng Min she was on her motorcycle (with conspiracy theorist Liu Chen on the back), chasing a pair of Shi Ling's thugs driving a sports car. She hoped to catch them and interrogate them for information on the whereabouts of the controversial documents.

From gallery of reverendunclebastard


Peng Min shot up the car, wounding the driver and the passenger.

The two security agents returned fire with their uzis, one of them scoring a hit on Peng Min who took a bullet to the shoulder.

Peng Min continued to pepper the car with bullets, dodging the agent's return fire. Finally the driver took a critical hit and the car spun to halt.

As Shi Ling's security agent climbed out of the car, Peng Min leapt from her motorcycle and kicked his uzi out of his hand. With the agent pinned to the ground Peng Min held a gun to his head and demanded to know where the documents where being held. The agent, terrified for his life, said that Zhuan Yong still held the documents, but that Shi Lin's daughter and an entourage of security agents were about to board a plane to Lantau Island to meet with members of the Chinese Government who claimed to have evidence that would put Zhuan Yong behind bars.

Handcuffing the agent to the door of the disabled car, Peng Min and Liu Chen climbed back on to the motorcycle to head to the airport to attempt to intercept Shi Ling's daughter.

to be continued...

Tools used this session:

- The Location Crafter
- The GameMaster's Apprentice
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