1. Josh's Ghost Hunter character is named Lao Zun. Dean couldn't remember.
2. Jeremy's Taoist was using the Heart Crusher spell, not sleep. No need to have moral debates about throat slitting of sleeping foes when their chests have already been caved in!
Here's Dean's report of play, just as he sent it to me:
August 24, 2012
Last weekend (August 24, 2012) we playtested Dennis’s roleplaying game “Flying Swordsman.” There was Wu Xiaowei the Taoist magician played by Jeremy; a Ghost Hunter (similar to an assassin) played by Josh; and Xiong Di Di, an Animist Shaman of the Great Bear played by Dean.
Very Elder Karl was summoned across the veil from Ur by the prayers of a group of monks to the Great Panda. The monks called him Xiong Di Di, Little Brother Bear, in their language. The Ghost Hunter had already adventured once previously, so he instructed the two new party members on the convolutions of intrigue in this town. At the outset of this current adventure the party was seeking information about a star map which had been pulled out of the butt of a wooden monkey statuette.
Gong Lan the beautiful and deadly thief aided us and persuaded us to help her further. We visited Dian Ma Su the County Examiner, one of whose bureaucratic duties was to store and catalogue the county’s maps. This man revealed that the map was not a star map of any known stars, but that it was probably a map of local features encoded as a fake star map: a treasure map in other words. The Examiner was very friendly, suspiciously so, and helpful to a point, at which he quickly made his exit and refused any enticement to linger. Our wizard detected a faint glamour upon him.
Further questions in the market place and in taverns from such men as Old Kwan “who loves maps” revealed that an old gentleman scholar and cartographer named Hwang lived two hours walk from town in a country villa. The heroes traveled there immediately, and the scholar informed them that he would gladly help decipher the map, if only the party would take care of the local bandits for him. Said bandits had paid especial attention to stealing rare and learned books.
We decided to rush back to the town and use various resources to locate the bandits by drunken rumours, thievish secrets and monastic wisdom. The Abbot of the Great Panda revealed that the bandits were a threat to sacred texts as well, and that there was a rumour that the bandit chieftain was a monster of some sort who appeared human. Then everyone returned to the scholar’s villa, attempting to draw out the bandits by appearing as learned and feeble scholars debating along the road and with scrolls sticking from our backpacks.
Xiong Di Di mentioned that at dawn the next day, he could pray to a minor spirit of the Great Panda and ask four questions. We decided to ask, “Where is the bandit lair?” “What is the key to the code of the map?” “Who personally knows the bandits?” “What sort of creature is the bandit leader?” Of course there was little guarantee that such a minor spirit would know much regarding these questions, but we hoped for the best.
However even before darkness had settled long that night, the villa was attacked by twenty bandits! We ran to the gatehouse and saw three tough-looking leaders among the throng. Gong Lan immediately sprang down into the midst thereof though to little effect at first. The Ghost Hunter prepared to fight, Elder Karl blessed everyone and Wu Xiaowei cast a spell of sleep upon some of the lesser bandits.
Two of the bandits jumped high into the air onto the ramparts of the wall, and there they struck down the Ghost Hunter with two mighty blows. Xiong Di Di healed him, but things were desparate. Wu Xiaowei continued to cast spells of sleep, followed eventually by a charm spell against one of the leaders. The fight quickly turned against the bandits. Xiong Di Di realized that most of the bandits were not at the gate and hurried back to the inner house, but it was too late: the bandits had knocked the scholar unconscious and stolen some sort of document or map.
Fortunately the charmed bandit proved very willing to discuss his comrades’ immediate plans and location. The party made great plans for the next day as rest and recuperation were required now. The next chapter awaits.