To play a more supernatural and fantastic game, the following suggested changes should be made to the playbooks. Each playbook has a new optional Role for players to choose, and each playbook has moves that should be removed and new moves that should be swapped in their place.
The Aware Playbook
New Role: Sorcerer
There is a lot of symbology and association of Taoism with magic in these stories. Some of that comes from an effort by historical Taoists to present themselves as possessing such powers. It might be better to use a more neutral name for this role. In any case, think Yin Chik-ha from A Chinese Ghost Story or Priest Tsui from Encounters of a Spooky Kind.
When you Duel with supernatural forces, take +1 Ongoing.
Changes to Aware Playbook Moves
Remove the following moves from the Aware playbook: Clans of Intrigue, Hidden Dragon, and A Touch of Zen. Add the following moves:
Furious Sword, Mad Flowers
When you Deal with Troops, on a Hit you may choose one of the following additional options: force the group into another location, bind them to prevent their movement, disarm them of arms or equipment, or dispatch them quietly so as not to raise alarms or attention.
God of Gamblers
When you compete in a game of chance, roll. On a Hit, you win. On a 10+ you cause financial distress or obligation to someone playing. On a 6-, you still win but you are cut off, kicked out, or accused of cheating. However, if you roll two 1’s with this move, you lose the game and this move until you complete a quest or task of the GM’s discretion.
Phoenix Flying in the Sky
You can communicate across vast distances via some supernatural medium (messenger familiar, dreams, visions, voices, etc.). You must know the person you're talking with. If you have a Bond with your target, they can speak back.
The Bravo Playbook
New Role: Monster Hunter
You have dedicated your life to tracking down monsters. In your time on the road you have learned their tricks and ways. Think Xia Bing from Painted Skin or Xiaolan from Monster Hunt.
Your experience allows you to use the Study Move on supernatural creatures without access to experts or records. When you try to see through the illusions and disguises of monsters and supernatural creatures, roll Study. Without spending hold you may ask: What is this creature called? If the target is above your Scale, your Study questions may offer impressions rather than specifics. You begin with an additional Entanglement to either a ghost who loves you, a monster you protect, or a creature seeking revenge tied to someone they care for.
Changes to Bravo Playbook Moves
Remove the following moves from the Bravo playbook: Golden Knight, Laughing in the Wind, and Legend of the Fox . Add the following moves:
Along Came a Tiger
When you stalk someone quietly, roll. On a Hit, they have no sense of your presence before you appear. Take +1 Forward against them. On a 10+, you may also choose one: change the environment in a subtle way, remove something from their person, substitute something for an item of the same relative size and weight, or have a hidden path of escape. On a Miss, you’ve played into their hands.
Legend of the Wolf
Take +1 Ongoing to orchestrate an act of revenge against someone who has harmed a person named in one of your Entanglements.
When you reveal you know a second combat style after rolling for a Duel, raise your level of success (6- becomes a 7-9, 7-9 becomes a 10+). Write in the name and Element of this style. If the new style’s Element differs from your starting Style Element, it replaces that one and is used for both styles going forward. Then erase this move. Choose another move at the end of session, but keep the second style (and Style Element, if different) as part of your character’s backstory.
The Loyal Playbook
New Role: Alchemist
This can represent a fantastical version of Chinese medicine or acupuncture. Think Egg Shen from Big Trouble in Little China or Hu Qingniu from The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber.
When you Duel someone equal to your Scale, you may enflame one of their Elements. Say which Element you wish to target. If the Duel roll is a hit, in addition to the normal results, they are driven by one of the negative impulses associated with the Element until treated. On a 10+ they will be completely unaware of the source. On a Miss in the duel you enflame yourself in addition to other results.
Changes to Loyal Playbook Moves
Remove the following moves from the Loyal playbook: Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre, Paladins in Troubled Times, and Rage of the Tiger. Add the following moves:
Hell's Wild Staff
When you Duel or Deal with Troops, you may always choose to move the conflict to a nearby location, even against foes of superior Scale. Take +1 Forward when you Deal with Troops from a secure point (bridge, gate, doorway, etc.).
In the Hand of Buddha
When you search for mystical locations or fonts of power, roll. On a Hit, you find one. On a 10+, clear an Element and you may utilize the location’s power immediately. On a 7-9 there's a seal, obstruction, or guardian. On a Miss, the source is corrupted and unleashes new dangers.
Once Upon a Time
When you use your techniques to read the world, you may Study to uncover events and details from even the distant past related to a scene or object.
The Outsider Playbook
New Role: Cursed
You are bound by the forces of fate and destiny. This may have a concrete form, such as a mystical person who has control over you. Think Nip Siu-sin from A Chinese Ghost Story or Lian Nichang from The Bride with White Hair.
You have a four segment count-down clock. In play, you may add a tick to the clock to give yourself +1 to your roll. Additionally, you may add a tick as a cost or consequence. When your countdown clock fills, a future scene will showcase a terrible event involving a close NPC. They might be injured, haunted, or seek revenge. You reset this clock when you deal with their issue.
Changes to Outsider Playbook Moves
Remove the following moves from the Outsider playbook: All Men Are Brothers, A Deadly Secret, and The Imposter. Add the following moves:
Eerie Moon and Evil Star
You have been hurt by otherworldly forces in the past, leaving you marked. When you enter a place clearly tainted by a supernatural presence, now or in the recent past, roll. On a Hit, you perceive the hidden energies and may ask a Study question about it. On a 10+ take +1 Forward in dealing with it and learn the manifestation’s purpose. Additionally you may always mark an Element (choice) to have a supernatural foe engage you before other targets.
When you flee to your private refuge, describe it and roll. On a Hit, you reach your sanctuary. On a 10+ choose one: bring someone with you, clear an Element, or discover an omen suggesting your next course of action. On a Miss, choose: the way is blocked and you find yourself in immediate peril or you reach it but reveal the location to someone dangerous.
When you conceal a small object (knife, gem, message, etc.) on your person, it cannot be found. Anytime someone tries to take a small object away from you, roll. On a 10+, you may hide or hand the object off without anyone noticing. On a Miss, you fumble the object, or the other person get the item, GM's choice.
The Student Playbook
New Role: Exorcist
Through study or experience, you have learned how to protect yourself and others from malign forces. Think Ning Choi-san from A Chinese Ghost Story or Abbot Fahai from The Sorcerer and the White Snake.
When you create a barrier to expel or bar a supernatural spirit, roll. If the spirit is of a higher Scale, mark an Element (choice). On a 10+ you do so, forcing the spirit away for a time. You may ask one question about the spirit. On a 7-9 you do drive them away, but there’s a complication. Choose: mark Element (choice), someone is left out, something breaks, someone becomes vulnerable, or the effect is fleeting. On a Miss, your efforts make things worse for you and others.
Changes to Student Playbook Moves
Remove the following moves from the Student playbook: Rage and Passion, Savior of the Soul, and Smiling, Proud Wanderer. Add the following moves:
Book of Heroes
When a nearby ally would mark an Element, you may mark one instead. If you do so, gain a Bond with them.
When you protect a group of innocents or bystanders, roll. On a Hit, you provide them safety from whatever threatens them. On a 10+, choose one: relocate them a distance away, gain a Bond with them, push someone reluctant to action, or inspire an ally who may take +1 Forward or clear an Element. On a Miss, the most vulnerable are caught outside of safety and suffer the full effect of the threat.
When you remember a past-life connection to someone, describe it and take +1 Forward in dealing with them. When you reveal that connection to them, roll. On a Hit, choose one: halt their current action, clear an Element (you or them), make them answer a question, or drive them off. On a 7-9, roll Inner Conflict over what you're not telling them. On a 6-, your past-life story connection tragically and you turn them against you fully.
The Unorthodox Playbook
New Role: In Human Guise
You are secretly a monster, drawn to the human world through desire and love. Think Susu or Qingqing from The Sorcerer and the White Snake or Xiaowei from Painted Skin.
You hide your true face from others, including fellow PCs. Decide what your tell is (birthmark, fear of jade, obsession with jewels, etc.). You have +1 when you use Hearts & Minds to create or enhance misunderstandings between people. At the end of a game session, if you have created complications with another PC’s Entanglement, clear an Element.
Changes to Unorthodox Playbook Moves
Remove the following moves from the Unorthodox playbook: Everlasting Chivalry, His Name is Nobody, and Kid with the Golden Arm. Add the following moves:
Emperor of the Underworld
When you strip away your mask to reveal your baleful visage, roll. On a Hit, any gathering of people below your Scale will flee. On a 10+ choose two; on a 7-9, choose one: no one is injured, you direct their flight, or their memories of this will be incomplete. On a Miss, the gathering turns upon you.
You can change your physical appearance and dress instantly. You need only a moment out of view to appear as someone completely different.
Pursuit of Vengeance
When you try to evade pursuit, roll. On a Hit, you do so successfully. On a 10+ choose two; on a 7-9 choose one: humiliate your pursuers, bring others along, they all follow you, double back on them, or trap them for a time. On a Miss, you fall into their clutches.
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