The Alexandrian

Tagline: With Atlas acquiring the rights to Feng Shui let’s take a look at one of the old-school supplements.

Feng Shui: Marked for Death - Daedalus EntertainmentAs this review is being written I have just received news that Atlas Games has acquired the rights to the core Feng Shui rulebook, virtually guaranteeing a re-release of one of the best RPGs ever created. I thought I’d review a couple of old sourcebooks for the game (this one and also Back for Seconds) as a form of mild celebration. Although Atlas hasn’t negotiated the rights to these supplements, I figured what the hell. You should be able to find some of these in a used box somewhere.

Marked for Death is a collection of five adventures for the Feng Shui game – one written by each of the authors. It’s a pretty impressive credit list, with some of the really great creators in this industry taking part – demonstrating that the pure action-packed fun of this game attracted the best of the best. The results don’t disappoint, although it’s always been difficult to get really excited about a set of disjointed adventures. In a lot of ways I feel like I’ve picked up a themed issue of Dungeon magazine instead of a supplement.

As always this review is prefaced by the notice that these are a set of modules. The plots will be discussed as part of the reviews and players should avoid reading this review if they feel that their GM might end up using any of these in the course of their game.

In any case these adventures are really quite excellent. They are also well-balanced, taking advantage of almost all the available facets of the Feng Shui mythos to one degree or another and ranging in complexity from basic introductory to exceptionally complicated.

The first adventured, “Brinks”, written by Bruce Baugh, gets the PCs involved in a bank robbery which is really just a cover for the seizure of a highly potent feng shui site. Very basic, very simple, very good.

In “Blood for the Master”, by Greg Stolze, the PCs are drawn into one of the great staples of HK action flicks – a gang trying to terrorize a neighborhood into submission. The twist? The gang is terrorizing the neighborhood because a demonic temple is about to materialize. The PCs’ mission? Kick demon butt.

“Pai Lai”, by Chris Pramas, takes the PCs into Feng Shui’s future where they are asked to help free a site from Buro control. Unfortunately they get screwed over (welcome to Feng Shui) and a Jammer tries to doublecross them and destroy the site. Oh, did I mention the ancient demon lord that gets freed? Well, there’s this ancient demon lord….

John Tynes really shows off in “The Shape of Guilt”, weaving a complicated political tale in the Netherworld. Tynes describes it as “Hamlet meets The Heroic Trio” – and that’s not the half of it. I’d tell you more, but I don’t want to spoil the fun; plus trying to untangle this twisted web is practically impossible without overwhelming this review. You’ll like it. Trust me.

Finally Allen Varney takes on the challenge presented by “The Shape of Guilt” and succeeds in crafting an even better story with “Shaolin Heartbreak”. This expertly crafted adventure may be a little bit difficult to work into a campaign, but if you take the time and effort to do so you won’t be disappointed. The basic summary: A monk from 1850 travels into the present to save the warrior woman he loves (naturally against the taboos of his religion) from an evil magician. Natually (this is a Hong Kong action flick after all) this warrior woman is a dead ringer for a celebrity that the PCs have become involved with. Fun and mayhem result.

This book is a fun read even if you don’t get the chance to play through the adventures. It’s relatively cheap and I don’t think you can go wrong by taking a look at it.

Style: 4
Substance: 3

Writers: Bruce A. Baugh, Chris Pramas, Greg Stolze, John Tynes, and Allen Varney
Publisher: Daedalus Entertainment, Inc.
Price: $12.95
Page Count: 78
ISBN: 1-888335-01-7

Originally Posted: 1999/04/13

For an explanation of where these reviews came from and why you can no longer find them at RPGNet, click here.

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