APE ATTACK! – a Feng Shui 2 One-Shot

Something I’m determined to do more of is post some ready-to-run one-shots here. So, here’s one that might not be quite ready to run without some system (and setting) mastery, but might give some interesting insight into the creative process. This is at a level slightly above the ‘back of a cigarette packet’ level of prep that I’d do for a convention game – I ran this at Kraken 2022, and I’m sure I’ll get to run it again.

Of note:

  • I don’t list interesting things that can happen in each fight, as recommended in the core rules. I find that if I have a complex, messy enough setting for the fight, and clear permission for the players to make shit up, they fill in the blanks well enough
  • You’ll see that the stats (and pre-rolled initiatives) for the opponents take up quite a bit of space on the page; this is deliberate, as this is what I’ll be looking at in play.
  • If this looks like a series of fight scenes held together by a paper-thin plot and some bad ape puns, you’d be right. There’s a future post coming about running Feng Shui 2 one-shots, and I’d recommend leaning in to both Robin Laws’ excellent prep advice, and the pulpy ridiculousness of the whole setting.
  • If game balance is your jam, this was for 5 players using standard FS2 archetypes. I tend to reduce down the number of opponents for all but the final battle, just because in a con game you want fights to be pretty fast (and the default for FS2 is hard-ish; so you want some easy-ish fights as well)

While you’re reading this, I should tell you about my Patreon. Patrons get access to content 7 days before they hit this site, the chance to request articles or content, and the chance to play in one-shot games, for a very reasonable backer level of £2 per month. If you like what you read, want to support the blog, and have the funds for it, please consider supporting here. Telling people about the blog, and sharing links/retweeting is much appreciated also – thanks!

Enjoy! Kudos to my “playtesters” at Kraken, and let me know if you get any play out of it!

Ape Attack!

There is an ancient battle across the junctures for control of Feng Shui sites, which give unimaginable power. From 1st-century China, to 19th century China, to modern Hong Kong, to a devastated future, time-shifting Chi Warriors fight to keep enough of these under control to keep the Chi War in a delicate balance.

You are such warriors! As the music swells up, describe your character in an action scene from the previous mission.

Scene 1 – PARIS, present day

That mission was a great success, and you’re now taking some well-earned downtime in Paris – city of Love! You’re all sat around the general area of the Eiffel tower – are you sipping coffee, or wine, or maybe visiting the attractions? Where are you in the scene?

As you relax, a loud crack sounds – and you see an eruption from the ground. It’s a portal – and from it, you see a pair of cobbled-together WWII planes, piloted by apes, fly up to the Tower, as a huge beast claws its way out of the ground – a giant ape, with a cybernetic arm! They slowly begin an assault on the Eiffel tower as tourists scream for help. Taking in the situation, you see several of the Parisiens around you remove their faces – to reveal they are actually apes in disguise! Gunfire peels out – what do you do??

Initiative Rolls

FOES1S2S3S4
Messerschmidt9131211
Giant Gorilla1291211
Apes7696
Sorcerers9610

Featured Foe – Gorilla Messerschmidts (there are two, but one is taken out at the end of the first sequence by the sorcerers)

GUNS 14 / DEF 14 / TOU 6 / SPD 8 Machinegun 11

Featured Foe – Giant Gorilla

CREATURE 14 / DEF 11 / TOU 6 / SPD 6 Ape-arms 11

Furious Wrath – if last attack missed, gains +1 Attack and +3 Damage

ATK 8 / DEF 13 / SPD 5

Mooks – At the start of the scenario, 5 Gorillas are engaging the PCs (dam 10)

After Sequence 1, 5 more Gorillas take off their gorilla masks to reveal Ancient sorcerers! (dam 9)

In the aftermath, they can take stock of what has happened – they know the Eiffel tower is a Feng Shui site, and anyone with any magical connection will know that, although that assault was unsuccessful, the Feng Shui site isn’t connected to the Dragons any more – they’ve already got hold of it!

Scene 2  – INVESTIGATION -> FIGHT!

There’s a portal to a pop-up juncture somewhere in Paris that will lead them to the site of the original assault – estimated to be Paris 1889, in the middle of the Belle Epoque, when the Eiffel Tower was being built!

EVENTUALLY, their investigations will throw up two leads – a recent circus has arrived on the outskirts of Paris with many performing chimpanzees, and men in gorilla suits – some of whom have been seen asking questions about the Eiffel tower. At the same time, a group of men in odd robes with high-pitched voices have based themselves in the luxury Art Deco Four Seasons hotel (google it) and have been hanging around the Tower.

Whichever lead they follow, there’s a fight on their hands to discover the portal(s) – there’s one in each location!

This is an all-mook fight. In order for this to work, you will have 25 mooks stationed around and  about the general area – in the circus, one PC can be fighting apes on the Dodgems while another climbs the Ferris wheel to try and catch their leader. In the Hotel, while some PCs might head up to their room there will be disguised sorcerers in the restaurant and kitchen – and even the streets outside – to fight.

FOES1S2S3S4
APEs or SORCERERs91198

APEs or SORCERERs (mooks) –

ATK 8 / DEF 13 / SPD 5 either Blast 9 or Improvised Circus Stuff 9

Scene 3 – Into the Netherworld

MONTAGE through the Netherworld to get to the Belle Epoque

Use the 13th Age Montage method for this, pointing out that multiple junctures can be crossed to get to the Belle Epoque.

Scene 4 – Belle Epoque Paris!

You need to sneak into the opening of the Eiffel Tower, and defeat the apes. As you approach, you see an exhibit from the Paris Zoo has been delivered, full of chimpanzees and monkeys clad in hilarious human clothes, juggling and having hijinx. A bespectacled man, Erik Satie, plays impressionistic music on his piano. 

Satie pauses, and acknowledges you as he continues to play

You’re too late – we have the area surrounded. Literally everyone in this exhibition is ready to seize control of the tower.

The humans dancing and watching pull off their human faces and are revealed to be monkeys. The apes in the exhibition pull off their monkey faces and are human sorcerers!

FOES1S2S3S4
KONG1213119
Furious G1010119
Grenadier1210812
Satie9131112
Gorillas101078
Sorcerers116118

Boss – KING KONG (massive gorilla)

CREATURE 17 / DEF 13 / TOU 8 / SPD 7 Ape-arms 14

Back to the Wall – if attacked by more than 1 character in a sequence, shot cost drops to 2 until the end of the sequence

FF – Furious George

SCROUNGETECH 14 / DEF 12 / TOU 7 / SPD 7 Metal bite 11

Furious Wrath – if last attack missed, gains +1 Attack and +3 Damage

FF – La Grenadier, explosives expert, ape disguised as human

SCROUNGETECH 14 / DEF 12 / TOU 7 / SPD 7 Boom-gun 11

Explosive Vest – all nearby heroes take a smackdown of 12 when the foe goes down

FF – Erik Satie, eunuch sorcerer

SORCERY 13 / DEF 13 / TOU 5 / SPD 7 Blast 10

Anti-Tech – +1 Def vs. Guns, Scroungetech and Mutant powers

Mooks

ATK 8 / DEF 13 / SPD 5

1H = 8 Gorilla flappers (Guns 10)

1H = 8 sorcereous cabals (Blast 9)

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