Monday, February 16, 2015

New Host for Flying Swordsmen...third time's a charm?

Thanks to Fabio for pointing out that the link to Flying Swordsmen has gone dead. 

I'd been hosting my files on blogger Brad Ncube's website, but that's apparently down.  And I haven't heard anything from Brad in a long time.  I hope everything's alright with him.  He's a good guy.

To get my game back up on the web, I'm now hosting it at Google Drive.  The sidebar link has been updated and I'll update the links on the Flying Swordsmen page directly.  I'll get my other file links migrated to Google Drive and links fixed in the near future (if anyone's clamoring for the Unique Magic Items series or one of my adventures, which I doubt, shoot me a message here with an email addy and I'll get it off to you pronto).


  1. @ Lord Gwyd:

    I've been meaning to write something about Flying Swordsmen for a bit now, but I'm a little confused about the overall theme of the game. It's written very much like a D&D clone with "Eastern" flavor: here are (Eastern) monsters, (Eastern) classes, (Eastern) spell lists, etc. Kind of like a mix of basic D&D and the old OA book. However, it states its main inspiration is wuxia adventure stories.

    Now perhaps I don't have enough of a background in wuxia, but I've seen at least half of the films in Appendix 1 (and several others that I believe fall into the category of "wuxia") and they're not what I'd call "Eastern D&D," even though they may include elements of the supernatural. Instead, they're about humans confronting humans (or very near humans) using their "fu" to right injustices (or take vengeance or defend the helpless or whatever), bringing the world into balance/harmony (in the metaphysical sense).

    To me your game feels a little split-personality: like it can't decide whether it wants to be a true wuxia game OR an "adventure in ancient (mythological) China" game...wuxia (and kung fu in general) is something I associate with post-Shaolin periods in China, even if martial arts have legendary origins.

    Bul like I said, I don't have the firmest grounding in wuxia, especially its literary tradition...I've just seen a lot of Hong Kong action flicks. And I got the impression (from the introduction) that that's what you were kind of going for...which, to me, is at odds with what was later presented in the bulk of the book.

    [it is a beautiful book, by the way, and an impressive piece of work. But I know you've said yourself you've found it challenging to play, and I wonder if part of this is contradictory themes/styles]

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head, JB. This was a retro-clone of Chris Pramas's Dragon Fist, which was basically wuxia classes bolted onto 2E AD&D. I made it a bit more like BX D&D and added a few things, but it does suffer from not really encouraging the sort of play that emulates wuxia fiction, instead putting wuxia heroes into typical D&D play.

    That is something I hope to fix when I get enough time to revise the game. Any insights or suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!

    1. @ Lord G:

      I'd love to offer insights/suggestions, but I'd need to know what you want the game to be. There's a lot of cool stuff in the book, but it probably needs to be edited to a single focus to make it "work;" alternatively, you might include the "cuts" in an appendix describing an "alternate style o play."

      I'm really not familiar with Dragon Fist. Have you played/enjoyed it? Does it work "the same" and were you just trying to streamline ("BX-ify") it? Or were you trying for something more elaborate (setting- or fu-wise)?

  3. Wuxia doesn't complicate FS to me.The majority of the "inspirations" could be poured into a very standard D&D adventure, especially if you start at the bottom of the list. Make one a (scripted) sample dungeon and iron down the theme. I'd reduce the introductory campaign world scope, perhaps. Save the imperial factions and drama for a gazette release...

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  5. Dennis, did you ever create any supplements for Flying Swordsmen? Are you aware of any other designers who wrote something for the system?

  6. Tim - no, I didn't. I think Lee Barber had some stuff on his old Plateau of Xolgmod blog, but he seems to have taken it down.

    I went right into working on Chanbara after I had released FS, so never came up with anything extra for it.

  7. Thank you for taking the time to reply. This question came up on The Piazza forum. I'll share your response there. I thought I'd let you know that your game is being discussed over there.

  8. Thanks for the heads up, Tim. I just applied for an account there. Once Havard approves me, I'll be happy to discuss Flying Swordsmen and Dragon Fist with you guys there.

  9. Awesome! Thanks for letting me know.