There are two things important in the Wuxia genre: speed versus strength and concentration.
Speed versus strength means that you can either strike many times within a single combat action, or strike only once with much more force.
Concentration means that, if the character concentrates prior to battle, he can achieve much better results.
I propose an unholy union between Shadowrun 1st edition, Amber DRPG and Swords of the Middle Kingdom, to get a fast, light-weight system that supports this mode of play.
Attrbutes and Skills
Attributes and skills are all in the range of 1-10, with 4 being the human average. Action resolution uses the Shadowrun system: roll a number of D6 equal to (Skill + Attribute). A roll of 1 on a die means it's a failure, if you roll a 6 you may roll again and add the result of the roll to the 6 (and if you roll a 6 again, then roll again and add the result, and so on until you don't roll a 6 anymore).
The number of beat is the Difficulty Number. Simple tasks have a Difficulty Number of 2, nearly impossible tasks have a DN of 10+. It takes only a single success (a roll equal or higher than the DN) to succeed at a task, but more successes yield a better result.
If you're undertaking an opposed action (for instance, sneaking past the city guard), you need more successes than your opponent (you need more successes in Sneak than the guard in Spot).
Initiative and Multiple Actions
At the beginning of a combat round, everybody rolls initiative against a base diffuculty of 5. For every success, you can undertake one extra action during the combat round.
Extra actions can be used for four things:
- extra attacks at the same opponent (the flurry of kicks and punches we see in the movies);
- increasing the change to hit. Every action spent this way lowers the DN by 2. You will have to announce the number of extra actions used in this way before attacking;
- increasing the damage dealt by a succesfull attack. You will have to announce the number of extra actions used in this way before attacking;
- undertaking a manoever, readying a weapon, etc.
Combat uses the opposed skill resolution mechanic: the attack rolls an attack skill, the defender rolls a defense skill, and successes cancel each other out. You can use a single Defense skill 'free' every combat round, but multiple uses of a Defense skill requires an extra action. Attribute-based defenses are always available (your reflexes are always 'on', but a determined Defense requires conscious action).
There are five stages of Damage: Undamaged, Stressed, Wounded, Critically Wounded and Incapacitated. Undamaged characters are, you know, undamaged. Incapacitated characters are unconscious and unable to defend themselves. For every stage in between, the DN of every action increased with 1. The DN for a Wounded character is 2 higher than it would normally be.
Characters have a number of points they can soak up equal to their Body Attribute. A character with a Body of 6 can sustain 6 Damage Points before he becomes Stressed. Another 6 will make him Wounded. Damange Points are cumulative.
A succesfull attack delives the amount of DPs associated with the attack Skill. For instance, a simple kick does 3 DP damage, when succesfull. For each additional Success that the attacker has left after subtracting the Successes of the defender, an additional DP is dealt.
For each additional action used to increased the Damage of an attack, half of the normal attack DP is added (rounded up). So if you use one additional action to increase the damage dealt by a simple kick, and you get a single Success against the defender, you will deal 3 + (3/2) = 5 DPs.
Each combat manoever has it's own Skill!
Every character has a Chi pool. Chi is the amount of 'inner focus' the character possesses. Characters with high Chi are focussed, cool and collected.
When a character is in a pinch, they can tap their inner strength to aid them. Chi Points can be used in the following way:
- Use a Chi Point to add a die to the number of dice you roll for a check;
- Use a Chi Point to add the full damage rating of an attack to the damage dealt;
- Use a Chi Point to prevent taking damage: 1 CP cancels out 3 DPs received in the round the CP is used;
- Chi Points are also used for Magic.
If you want to use a CP, you will have to announce this before undertaking the action. Regardless of whether the CP had any effect, it is lost.
Characters have as many CPs in their Chi Pool as their Chi Attribute. At the start of each 'scene', the Chi Pool is replenished.
(Alternative Rule: Each session the Chi Pool is replenished. Or maybe even each scenario!)
Attributes, Skills and Character Creation
Characters have the following Attributes: Body, Chi, Muscle, Intellect, Charisma, Dexterity, Agility and Speed.
Skills are governed by an Attribute. Lock picking falls under Dexterity, tumbling under Agility, and so on. If a character wants to undertake an action for which he has no appropriate Skill, he will use his raw Ability score as the number of dice to roll. There is no Skill-list: make up your own!
Players have 40 Attribute Points to distribute over the Attributes. Remember, a value of 4 is the human average.
In addition, players have 36 Skill Points to put into Skills. The first point in a Skill costs one SP, and each following point costs as much as your current rating in the Skill (so the second point costs 1 SP, the third 2, the fourth 3, etc.)
You may convert 1 Attribute Point to 5 SPs, if you wish.
If you have Attribute Points left, you can take Good Stuff. Good Stuff means that the character is lucky and makes good first impressions. However, if you find that your character needs more than 40 APs to create, you may take Bad Stuff. 1 point of Bad Stuff equals 1 AP. Bad Stuff means that the character is unlucky and is initially regarded with suspicion.
Characters with large Chi and high Intellect have the ability to learn Magic. Every Spell has its own Skill, goverened by the Intellect Attribute. The more successes you get while casting a Spell, the better your finesse or the larger the effect.
Also, every Spell has a cost in Chi Points, which the character has to pay out of their Chi Pool. The higher the CP cost, the more disruptive or damaging the Spell is. As a rule, 3 DPs (either as attack or defense) should 'cost' 1 CP.
If you use a Spell to attack or defend, you roll your Spell just as you would roll for an attack or defensive Skill.
(Optional Rule: Spells (and characters) should have an Element. Offensive Spells are most effective against their opposing Element, Defensive Spells are most effective against their own Element.)
OK, so that was horribly written, and probably has all sorts of loose ends. Still, I think it has some sort of potential. Taking the good things out of all the RPGs available to you and making your own out of those fragments is fun. :)