Champions – Yu Qilin, the Jade Unicorn, Archmage of the Pulp Orient

Yu Qilin – “Jade Unicorn” – has been the Archmage of the Orient, the “Dragon of the East”, the protector of the Celestial Empire, and Rìchu Qíshì (Guardian of the Sunrise , he-who-ensures-that-the-Sun-rises-upon-the-Celestial-Kingdom-each-day) for more than a hundred years. Each passing day has deepened his understanding of the Yin and Yang flows of universal energy that he calls upon, although a mere few centuries is barely enough to scratch the surface. He has been privileged to wear the Pinyan Coat of the Pheonix King, which incorporates some of the Feathers of an Immortal – and thus bestows long life, resistance to injury, and certain other benefits of the true immortals upon any mortal who wears it.

It’s worth noting that the Coat of the Phoenix King is NOT a sober item; it is embroidered with dragons, phoenixes, blossoming chrysanthemums, and mystic symbols, in brilliant emerald, ruby, gold, silver, and sapphire threads that seem to have been spun from jewels and fire. “Stealth” is fairly obviously not his thing.

He is one of the most powerful mages in the “pulp” world – and, while he is generally a “good guy”… his primary duty is the protection of China. Where that duty clashes with the heroes and guardians of the west and can be quite ruthless. Believing as he does in reincarnation, when he judges bandits, street gangers, and similar petty “trash” he does not hesitate to send them off to their next incarnation if they cannot be readily reformed or placed under supervision. The most vicious and evil he sentences to the Chinese Hells, there to be reforged into something more useful – and to win their redemption in service. This is rumored to be the source of the beasts he calls on to fight for him.

Across the centuries he has aided dozens of heroes in battle against mystic menaces and things from beyond the earth – the Tyrant Saurian Kings, the Ku She Clan, the Hei Biao Dracolich, the Triads, the Nightfall Fleet, the Razor-Winged Storm

And then there was a pause. For decades there was little more than petty crime and vulgar human grabs for power and wealth to deal with. There were villains of course, even some with a bit of true personal power (such as the Blood Adept, Pol Pot) – but the epic threats of the previous century appeared no more.

And Yu Qilin focused on his studies. He had reached a plateau, the deeper mysteries apparently beyond his grasp – yet somewhere, somehow, he would find a key. Many of the elder heroes were passing, when the storms returned once more… he would have to be prepared.

——————————————————————————-

Yu Qilan knows aspects of eight of the sixty-four great spells of the Book of Changes personally – and can access more both through the Dragon Gauntlets and through his mastery of ritual magic.

  • The Thousand Venoms masters the art of alchemical toxins. Yu Qilan can induce strange and terrible illnesses, strange compulsions, and bizarre transformations – and almost everyone is vulnerable, although this power may take some time to take effect.
  • The Gates of Kunlun allows him to summon beasts to his service – powerful lions or tigers, swarms of wasps, giant spiders, faithful steeds, and a wide variety of other beasts.
  • The Visions of Li Kao allow him to see and hear what is happening in distant locations – and even to peer into the future, although the future is always cryptic.
  • The Earth Spiders Web sticks it’s victims to the whatever they happen to be touching with Str 45 (it’s based on HIS strength) – quite enough to hold most people still, although powerful bricks will manage easily.
  • The Mists of the White Snake are for long range travel – a teleportation effect that spans up to a hundred miles. Given a few moments… Yu Qilan can almost always successfully retreat from a losing battle.
  • The vapors of The Elixir of Immortality can heal virtually any injury, refresh flagging energies – and affect everyone that Yu Qilin wishes to heal within forty-six feet – a boon for any group he assists.
  • The Transformation of Wujing can be called upon when he MUST engage in a physical battle – lending him great speed, and strength, and a skin of iron. Unfortunately, the effect has a serious flaw; to infuse mere mortal flesh with such strength and speed requires calling upon a powerful spirit of the heavens – and sometimes there is a price for their assistance.
  • The Gates of Fusang – his last and most terrible personal spell – can cast those nearby into the underworld, there to either fight their way out, to succumb to its demonic inhabitants, or to escape through their own magics. Of course, it’s pretty unreliable and can’t be used very often…

His Taoist Rituals enable him to access other magics – including extremely powerful ones – but preparing such a ritual requires about half an hour and he can only store the results of a few (eight, or one for each of the great Trigrams) such rituals at any one time. Still, combined with his personal spells… given time, he can accomplish a vast number of feats.

The spells granted by his Dragon Gauntlets vary – but the six listed are reasonably common:

  • The Eye of Erleng Shen is a reasonably powerful mental blast, capable of affecting those in a fair radius. While it is unlikely to defeat any powerful figure, it can easily clear away minor foes.
  • The Chant of Creation allows Yu Qilin to reshape the local environment – adding, removing, and changing features of the landscape, buildings, and similar features within an area up to one kilometer across. It is a spell of terrible power, allowing him to erect walls and labyrinths, change the course of rivers, create or destroy citadels, raise crops and forests, or open roads. Yu Qilin treats this spell with the utmost respect when he has access to it at all, and usually settles for smaller changes to the environment – walls and such – rather than trying to redesign cities and citadels. He isn’t much of an architect, and knows it.
  • Veiling the Sun’s Eyes lays impenetrable darkness across an area, also providing the user with a mystic sense of his or her surroundings – and is mostly useful for escaping, although it’s sometimes a tactical option if he has no allies in the area who need to see.
  • The Light of the Ten Suns is a straightforward – indeed, an almost trivial, spell, creating a mighty burst of magical illumination. Yu Wilin suspects that it has some deeper meaning, or else is simply drawing on the primal light.
  • The Unbroken Grasp of the Underworld grows vines of iron-like wood from the Earth, entrapping most weaker creatures beyond any hope of escape – leaving them no choice save to await the Bailiffs of the Underworld.
  • Finally, The Dreams of the Moon allows the creation of large-scale, detailed, audiovisual illusions – a useful tactic in many situations, even if one that’s quite incapable of harming anyone.

——————————————————————————-

For a pulp magician Yu Qilin is fearsomely powerful; his spells have active point totals far above the norm for a pulp campaign, he can defeat a small army of normal folks, he can rebuild and restructure massive areas, and much, much, more.

Of course his spells generally require gestures and incantations and extra time – so it’s fairly easy to throw a spike into his wheels. Even more importantly… he has no mighty shields, tactical-level teleportation, invisibility, or blasts of power. He has only one spell that actually inflicts damage – and that is a limited-use, stun-only, mental blast, and only powerful in that it can affect groups. He has one spell that makes him a light-duty brick – but that spell has a substantial choice of leaving him stuck with awkward extra missions, so he avoids using it if he can.

He has spells that make people ill, summon normal animals (while annoying, a couple of lions or some such really aren’t really too much of a bother for a set of pulp heroes or superheroes), provide cryptic visions, hinder movement, allow him to escape, allow him to heal injuries, let him send people on their own private adventure, manipulate the battlefield, make it hard to see, very briefly flashblind enemies, entrap single targets, and create illusions. Those are useful and versatile effects – but, while he has many ways to hinder and manipulate his foes… he lacks any way to actually fight them directly if they’re much past being normal humans.

Yu Qilin NEEDS a team. He’s superb backup for other heroes though – and he should be kept that way. Don’t let him buy a force field and a big energy blast and become just like every other superheroic mage. He’s much more interesting the way he is.

Still, with the return of the great menaces, Yyu Qilin may be on the verge of breaking that 180-point cap and reaching the mysteries that lay beyond.

 

Yu Qilin (Jade Unicorn)

Value Characteristic Points
15 STR 5
15 DEX 15
13/18 CON 6
10 BODY 0
13 INT 3
14 EGO 8
10 PRE 0
13 COM 1
4 PD 1
4 ED 0
4 SPD 15
7 REC 0
20 END -8
27 STUN 0
Total 46

 

Points Powers END
33 Taoist Sorcery Multipower (92-pt reserve); Gestures: Instant Power, -¼; Incantation: Instant Power, -¼; Variable Limitations (Each slot already has at least -1 in limitations, leaving only another -1/2 – usually an OIF/Magical Rings): -1½, -¾; Extra Time: full phase, -½
u-2 1d6 The Thousand Venoms: Transform: induce illness, poisoning, or hypnotic transformations (Minor, Limited Class); Range: 450; Invisible: To All Senses, +1; No Normal Defense (Full Life Support): +1; Champions Advantage (NND that does body): +1; Cumulative: +½; Continuous: +1; Uncontrolled (Shut down by an appropriate set of medical treatments): +½; Autofire: 10 shots, ¾; Reduced END: Zero & Persistent, +2; Activation: 14-, -½; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½ 0
u-2 Gates of Kunlun / Summon Beasts (2 80-point creatures); Range: 0; Summon: Limited Group, +¼; Champions Advantage (All animals are considered trained by him): +½; Charges (Even he will only have so many beasts handy): +8, -½; Generic Limitation (Earthly beasts only – although oversized versions and swarm-creatures are all right.): -½ 0
u-2 Visions of Li Kao / Clairsentience (Hearing, Sight); Reduced END: Zero, +½; See: Future, +20; Dimensions: Current, +0; Range: 1,000″; OAF (Seeing Crystal): -1; Generic Limitation (Glimpses of the future are always confusing prophecies, not simple visions.): -½ 0
u-2 The Earth Spider’s Web / Clinging (Clinging STR +30); Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Area Effect (Radius): 160″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×32, +1¼; Personal Immunity: +¼; No Range: -½; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½
u-2 10″ Mists of the White Snake / Teleportation (Long Range 80,000″); Increased Range: ×8000, +65; Long Range: 80,000″; Long Range (miles): 99.42; Mass Multiplier: ×1, +0; Fixed Locations: 0; Floating Locations: 1, 5; Generic Limitation (Only for long-range transport, not tactical teleportation): -1 2
u-2 4d6 Elixir of Immortality / Aid to all damaged atributes and abilities (Fade/turn, Max. 24); Range: 0; Affects: All Powers of Special Effect, +2; Trigger (When severely injured or distressed. ): Set, +¼; Charges: 8, -½; Selective Target: +¼; Area Effect (Radius): 7″ radius, +1; OIF (Philosophers Stone Ring): -½ 0
u-2 Transformation of Wujing; Charges: 3, -¼; Continuing Charges: 5 Minutes, -4 lev; Trigger (Getting into a serious melee): Set, +¼; Burnout: 14, -¼; Side Effects (User winds up owing a notable service to heaven, and will have to undertake some sort of mission to restore the use of this spell): 30/Half, -½; IAF (Sacred Symbol of Wujing): -½
(7) +8 DEX; Charges: 3, -¼; Continuing Charges: 5 Minutes, -4 lev; Trigger (Getting into a serious melee): Set, +¼; Burnout: 14, -¼; Side Effects (User winds up owing a notable service to heaven, and will have to undertake some sort of mission to restore the use of this spell): 30/Half, -½; IAF (Sacred Symbol of Wujing): -½
(7) +25 STR; Charges: 3, -¼; Continuing Charges: 5 Minutes, -4 lev; Trigger (Getting into a serious melee): Set, +¼; Burnout: 14, -¼; Side Effects (User winds up owing a notable service to heaven, and will have to undertake some sort of mission to restore the use of this spell): 30/Half, -½; IAF (Sacred Symbol of Wujing): -½ 0
(6) Force Field (12 PD/8 ED); Charges: 3, -¼; Continuing Charges: 5 Minutes, -4 lev; Trigger (Getting into a serious melee): Set, +¼; Burnout: 14, -¼; Side Effects (User winds up owing a notable service to heaven, and will have to undertake some sort of mission to restore the use of this spell): 30/Half, -½; IAF (Sacred Symbol of Wujing): -½ 0
u-2 Gates of Fusang / Extra-Dimensional Movement; Dimensions (The Chinese Afterworlds): Group, +10; Time Travel: None, +0; Mass Multiplier: ×1, +0; Carrying Mass: None; Usable Against Others: ×1 mass, 1; Area Effect (Radius): 7″ radius, +1; Selective Target: +¼; Active Points: 97; Charges: 3, -1¼; Focus (Golden Key hanging from belt): Inobvious Accessible, -½; Activation: 11-, -1; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½ 0
u-1 3d6 Eight Trigram Taoist Ritual Magic (Fade/turn, Max. 90); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Trigger: Changeable, +½; Extra Time: 1 min., -1½; Activation: 11-, -1; Generic Limitation (May only have eight pre-prepared ritual effects at a time): -½; Generic Limitation (Ability goes away after one activation.): -½ 3
Common Slots from the Dragon Gauntlets

These are mostly when anticipating combat; if he isn’t he’s likely to have a utility spell or two handy.

u-2 5d6 Eye of Erleng Shen / Energy Blast; Range: 0; Versus: ED; Based on EGO Combat Value: vs. ECV, +1; Area Effect (Radius): 12″ radius, +1; Selective Target: +¼; Increased Area: ×2, +¼; No Range: -½; Charges: +8, -½; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼; Incantation: Instant Power, -¼; Variable Limitations (Each slot already has at least -1 in limitations, leaving only another -1/2 – usually an OIF/Magical Rings): -1½, -¾; Extra Time: full phase, -½ 0
u-2 1d6 Chant of Creation / Transform Landscape and Structures (Major, Limited Class); Range: 0; Cumulative: +½; Area Effect (Radius): 250″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×125, +1¾; Autofire: 10 shots, ¾; Charges: 125, +¾; No Range (Only works in a radius around him.): -½; Concentrate: 0 DCV, -½ 0
u-2 Veiling The Sun’s Eyes; Charges: 3, -½; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev; Focus (Bag of Alchemical Dust): Obvious Inaccessible, -½; Focus Expendability: Hard to Acquire, -¼; Gestures: Instant Power, -¼; Incantation: Instant Power, -¼; Variable Limitations (Each slot already has at least -1 in limitations, leaving only another -1/2 – usually an OIF/Magical Rings): -1½, -¾; Extra Time: full phase, -½
(6) Spatial Awareness; Charges: 3, -½; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev; Focus (Bag of Alchemical Dust): Obvious Inaccessible, -½; Focus Expendability: Hard to Acquire, -¼
(2) 360-Degree Sensing (Spatial Awareness) (Unusual Senses); Charges: 3, -½; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev; Focus (Bag of Alchemical Dust): Obvious Inaccessible, -½; Focus Expendability: Hard to Acquire, -¼
(13) Darkness (Hearing, Sight, 5″ radius); Range: 0; No Range: -½; Charges: 3, -½; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev; Focus (Bag of Alchemical Dust): Obvious Inaccessible, -½; Focus Expendability: Hard to Acquire, -¼ 0
u-2 3d6 Light of the Ten Suns / Flash (Detect, Sight); Range: 450; Area Effect (Radius): 8″ radius, +1; Increased Area: ×2, +¼; Charges: 12, -¼; Focus (Bag of Alchemical Dust): Obvious Inaccessible, -½; Focus Expendability: Hard to Acquire, -¼ 0
u-2 9d6 Unbroken Grasp of the Underworld / Entangle (DEF 9); Range: 450; Generic Limitation (Only works on creatures within 3″ of the ground): -¼; Generic Limitation: -¼; Charges: +6, -¾ 0
u-2 Dreams of the Moon / Images (Hearing, Sight, 16″ radius); Range: 440; Observer PER Penalty: 8, +24; Charges: +6, +0; Continuing Charges: 1 Minute, -3 lev; OAF (A Mirror): -1 0
2 Elemental Control: Pulp Hero (5-pt reserve); Generic Limitation (No power may exceed 10 active points.): -¾; Visible (Obvious pulp hero.): -¼
a-2 Armor: Only a flesh wound! (4 PD/3 ED)
b-2 +10 PRE: I’ve seen worse!
c-2 Mental Defense: Unconquered Will (13 pts)
d-2 +5 CON: Tough As Nails
e-2 Regeneration (1 BODY/hour); Regenerate: Standard, +0
f-2 Resistance (+10 to EGO Rolls)
6 1d6 30-Point Equipment Allowance Aid (Fade/month, Max. 30); Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; Only activates in armories, labs, or between outings: -1½; Personal Only: -1; Difficult to Dispel: ×4, +½; Increased END: ×10, -4; This allows a character to haul along 30 CP worth of customized gear. 20
70 Total Powers  

 

Points Skills, Talents, Perks Roll
15 Money (Filthy Rich)
10 +2 level w/Multipower
2 Diplomatic Immunity; Generic Limitation (Only in the Chinese Spirit Worlds): -1
3 Scholar
1 Knowledge: Alchemy and Magical Artifacts 11-
1 Knowledge: China 11-
1 Knowledge:History 11-
1 Knowledge: Sorcery 11-
1 Knowledge: The Magical Realms 11-
1 Knowledge: Magical Beings 11-
1 Knowledge: Mystic Artifacts 11-
3 Linguist
0 Mandarin (Imitate Dialects); Literacy: Standard, 0
2 Wu (Completely Fluent w/accent); Literacy: Standard, 0
1 English (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
1 Arabic (Fluent Conv.); Literacy: Standard, 0
Yu Qilin has plenty of servants and minions – but in game terms they’re all built on zero points with a couple of disadvantages, and are pretty ineffectual compared to any hero. They were good at kidnapping DNPC’s and such back in the 20’s when the west often saw Yu Qilin as being a villain or some such though. Similarily, he has plenty of “bases” too, but they are – once again – built on zero points with a couple of disadvantages, and don’t actually cost him anything.
44 Total Skills, Talents, Perks  

 

Cost Equipment
25 Pinyan of the Pheonix King; OIF (Pinyan – a Chinese-Style Jacket): -½; Side Effects (Watched by the Phoenix King and the Eyes of Heaven, ): 30/Half, -½; Generic Limitation (Side Effects cannot be avoided. ): -½; Visible (The magical aura of the Celestial Phoenix Feathers in the garment are obvious to any mage. The coat itself is absurdly conspicuous.): -¼
(5) 5″ Flight (NC: 10″) 0; Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 15; Reduced END: Zero, +½
(4) Running (+4″, 10″, NC: 20″) 0; Non-Combat Multiplier: ×2, +0; Non-Combat (MPH): 12; Reduced END: Zero, +½
(5) Armor (5 PD/5 ED)
(11) Life Support (total)
5 2d6 The Dragon Guantlets: Aid to Taoist Sorcery Multipower Slots (Fade/week, Max. 12) 0; Range: 0; Affects: Single Power of Special Effect, +¼; Charges: +3, -1¼; Extra Time: 1 hour, -2½; OIF (Dragon Gauntlets): -½; Generic Limitation (Game Master allots half the granted points.): -1; Autofire: 5 shots, ½
30 Total Equipment

 

100+ Disadvantages
20 Normal Characteristic Maxima
5 Dependent NPC (Daughter) (Slightly Less Powerful, 8-); Skills: Normal, +0
10 Dependent NPC: Descendant (Normal, 8-); Skills: Normal, +0
5 Distinctive Features: Dresses as an Ancient Chinese Sorcerer-Priest; Concealability: Easily, 5; Reaction: Noticed and Recognizable, +0
10 Hunted: Assorted other Occultists (They want the Pinyan of the Phoenix King). (11-); Capabilities: Less Powerful, 5; Non-combat Influence: None, +0; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Actions: Hunting, ×1; Punishment: Harsh, 0
20 No Code Against Killing (Common, Total)
15 Honorable (Common, Strong)
15 Reputation: Elder Chinese Sorcerer-Judge (11-, Extreme)
10 Watched: Western Heroes (8-); Capabilities: More Powerful, 15; Non-combat Influence: Extensive, +5; Geographical Area: Unlimited, -0; Only Watching: ×½; Punishment: Harsh, 0
15 Superpatriot (Uncommon, Total)
125 Total Disadvantages

 

COSTS: Char. Powers Total Total Disadv. Base
46 + 114 = 160 225 = 125 + 100

 

OCV DCV ECV Mental Def. PD/rPD ED/rED Phases
5 5 5 13 13/9 12/8 3, 6, 9, 12

 

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