23 Days of Monkey, Day 9 If you see Buddha on the Road

This an introductory scenario for Monkey, that I’ll be including in the main rulebook if he Kickstarter funds as one of the Stretch Goals. The following is the pitch I gave when i ran it Furnace 2015 a UK convention in Sheffield held during October.

If you see Buddha on the Road

Five pilgrims on their way to India to pick up the lost scrolls of Buddhist cannon to bring enlightenment to a China beset by social ills, find their way blocked by a mountain range. Their only way through is a mountain pass which goes through a huge statue of Buddha himself! A winding stair leads up from a village nestled by Buddha’s feet, through temples and chambers carved out the rock in Buddha’s Lungs and heart, all the way up to the deity’s brow where the road continues onwards to India.

The pilgrims stop and gaze up at the giant statue:

  • Tripitaka, the Priest who leads the expedition wants to pay his respects at the many temples that line the winding stairs to Buddha’s brow.
  • Monkey is restless and after a long boring journey looks for opportunities for mischief.
  • Sandy is worried that all is not what it seems and despite the smiling local people and happy monks.
  • Pigsy hungry and thirsty after the trek through the desert just wants to gorge himself on food, wine and introduce himself to the pretty local women who live in the village built at Buddha’s feet.
  • Horse, being a shapeshifted Dragon Prince transformed into a stead for Tripitaka by the Goddess Kuan Yin momentarily wishes that he could transform back into a dragon and fly over the mountain, but is quietly resigned to plodding up all those stairs.

Come play a quick story inspired by the Chinese classic “Journey to the West”, using the four main characters from the book. Knowledge of the system, a straightforward fun set of rules using a deck of playing cards, or setting not required. Help celebrate 10 years of games of Monkey at Furnace, which saw the first convention game in its inaugural year!

Tags: Monkey Magic!, Comedy, Kung-Fu Action, MGF!

Sandy is right to be worried that all is not what it seems, since the village at the base of the Buddha and the three chambers within the buddha (corresponding to the three energy centers in the body or the 3 dantians) have been over run by Demons who have taken the villagers captive. Its up to the player immortals to rescue the villagers and cleanse the Buddha before continuing on to India.

The scenario can be played either as a standalone one off, using Monkey, Pigsy, Sandy and Tripitaka who all have write ups for the scenario, or as a chapter in your own home campaign. Its designed not only to be a rip roaring action scenario but also a gentle induction to some of the concepts of Chinese Religion and Philosophy.

Day 9 of 23 Days of Monkey, Monkey 2nd Incarnation Kickstarter opens 8th January 2017.

Kung Fu Christmas: Water Margin True Colours of Heroes

water-margin-true-colours-of-heroesFrom the 1990s comes this film based off the Chinese Classic The Water Margin.  It covers the meeting of two of the heroes Li Chung and the monk Lu Chi Sum, and the downfall of Lin Chung at the hands of corrupt nobles at court which leads to his outlawing.

From the blurb on YouTube

In this thrilling adaptation of the classic Chinese novel The Water Margin, Lin (Tony K.F. Leung) is the military instructor of the Imperial Guards — a crack fighting outfit. Sensing a diamond in the rough, Lin befriends Lu Chi Sum, an obnoxious monk with superb martial arts powers. But when Lin is framed by the double-dealing court officials, he must join Lu in exile long enough to plot a vengeful return.

The early part of the film establishes Lin as a character and shows how good he is at martial arts, yet how he is noble and honest. But there’s one problem, being a martial artist he’s obsessed with training, despite the wishes of his wife that he should calm down and spend more time doing other stuff. Then one day he meets Lu Chi Sum (a wandering martial artist) at the market, they fight, and then stop to talk. There then follows a fine “Bromance” between the two kung fu heroes, as Lu Chi Sum comes to live with Lin, and they are sparing literally 24 hours a day, smashing up pots, breaking through walls much to Lin’s wife dismay. Lu Chi Sum finally leaves when his wild nature gets him in trouble with the  authorities. The film then .switches to the down fall of Lin at court at the hands of the dim witted but corrupt son of the Prime Minister. It ends on a real low with Lin outlawed swearing vengeance on his tormentors.

This was very much a film I watched on a whim, being linked from some trailers I was watching on YouTube.  Its not up to the production standards of modern releases, and at times almost feels like a TV movie, but the fight scenes (which are numerous) are well up to standard and the storytelling while predictable (which I why I felt no qualms detailing it above) is full of character and good acting.

Anyway pull up a pew, grab some popcorn and enjoy courtesy of YouTube

Kung Fu Christmas Introduction

For some its Wizard of Oz. For others it’s Die Hard which brings them Christmas cheer.  Me I’m not one of them, I like my Christmas tales filled with Kung Fu action of the Hong Kong variety.

It was the UK’s Channel 4 that introduced me to Hong Kong Action movies in the 80s with a short session of Chinese Ghost Stories, which featured Sammo Hung’s classic Spooky Encounters.

Since then the Christmas holidays have always been a time to catch up with new releases and discover old classics. Kung Fu Hustle (which I got as Christmas present), a season of Bruce Lee’s films (other than Enter the Dragon), Donnie Yen’s Ip Man films, Jet Li in the Once Upon a Time in China films and John Woo’s fantastic four hour version of Red Cliff, are films that immediately spring to mind.

This christmas holiday I’ll be doing my usual Kung Fu fest, so come join me as I quickly review what I watch over the festive season. There will definitely be some Monkey inspired stuff, Stephen’ Chow’s excellent Journey to the West Conquering Demons is on the watch list and I’m hoping to make a trip to the cinema to see the newly released Surprise: Journey to the West.