Xia: Character Generation

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Xia: Main Page -> Xia: Character Generation

This page runs through the basics of character generation.

1. Traits[edit]

There are three Traits: Physical, Social and Mental.

Apply the values 1, 2 and 3 to them.

You choose which value goes where, but it is strongly advised that Physical scores at least 2, to reflect the physical nature of most stories.

Note that ordinary everyday average humans only have Trait values of 1, for all three traits, so even in your weakest area your Xia hero is at least as good as an average human!

2. Trigrams[edit]

There are four Yang Trigrams: Heaven, Fire, Wind, Thunder.

There are four Yin Trigrams: Earth, Water, Mist, Mountain.

You have 8 values to assign as you will:

  • 4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, 1,

What do the trigrams mean?

  • Heaven is the Trigram of celestial perfection, control and leadership. Those strong in heaven are confident, forceful, accurate, full of focus and driven to attain great things.
  • Fire is the Trigram of passion, strength, positive energy and aggression. Those strong in fire are powerful lovers, ruled by emotions, naturally dominant and aggressive in all things.
  • Wind is the Trigram of forward movement, momentum and flow of action. Those strong in wind are dynamic, opportunistic, naturally nomadic, forward thinking and favouring constant progress.
  • Thunder is the Trigram of speed, quickness and preemptive action. Those strong in thunder are quick witted, fast to act and react and quick to take the initative.
  • Earth is the Trigram of passive defence, acceptance and integration. Those strong in earth are nurturing, protective, accepting of hardship and hard to affect as difficulties flow past them.
  • Water is the Trigram of absorption, adaptation and intelligence. Those strong in water are well educated, are good at accepting injury and are able to rise above weakness and setbacks.
  • Mist is the Trigram of deception, evasion and cunning. Those strong in mist are rarely what they seem to be. They are adept at concealment, both of their physical selves and of their hearts.
  • Mountain is the Trigram of unmoving solidity. Those strong in mountain are tough, durable, able to endure massive injury and rarely shaken by anything.

If you are a new player, its worth being strong (i.e. with a rating of 4) in at least one Yin Trigram, as these are the trigrams that see to your defence and survivability.

3. Chi Pools[edit]

You have two Chi Pools.

  • Your Yang Chi is equal to the total of Heaven + Fire + Wind + Thunder
  • Your Yin Chi is equal to the total of Earth + Water + Mist + Mountain

Chi is used to activate your kung fu secrets, and also to power the eight basic Chi Effects related to your Trigrams. These are described in a later chapter.

Also, if your Yang Chi is greater than your Yin Chi, you are said to be Yang-dominant.

This should reflect in your roleplaying, as Yang-dominant individuals tend to be proactive, restless, forceful personalities with a predisposition towards acting rather than waiting.

Alternatively, if your Yin Chi is greater than your Yang Chi, you are said to be Yin-dominant.

Yin-dominant individuals tend to be passive, accepting personalities with a predisposition towards reacting to the world rather than seeking to change it, but who also are better at accepting the world as it is.

4. Resilience Pools[edit]

Your Health reflects how resistant you are to injury of various sorts.

  • Your Physical Resilience is equal to your Mountain Trigram multiplied by your Physical Trait, with +10 added to that total.
  • Your Mental Resilience is equal to your Mountain Trigram multiplied by your Mental Trait, with +10 added to that total.
  • Your Social Resilience is equal to your Mountain Trigram multiplied by your Social Trait, with +10 added to that total.

So, for example, if the Xia hero Iron Fist Weng has a Mountain Trigram of 3, and traits of Physical 3, Social 2, Mental 1, then his Resilience ratings would be: Physical Resilience 19, Social Resilience 16, Mental Resilience 13.

5. Kung Fu Secrets[edit]

You gain two Kung Fu secrets.

These exist in various categories:

  • Wushu Secrets
  • Heart Secrets
  • Shen Secrets
  • Inner Masteries
  • Specialised Skills
  • Quality items
  • Major edges
  • Magic

Experienced players are encouraged to design their own advantages, working with the GM. For newer players, its worth referring to the Lore Sheets linked from the main page for examples of advantages.

Note that Kung Fu Secrets emphatically are not just about martial arts.

Kung Fu is a far broader term than most realise, referring to striving for success and pursuing self-excellence. A courtier's heart-mind techniques, a priest's taoist elementalism or even a musician's artful music... these are all Kung Fu!

Wushu Secrets[edit]

These represent mystical wushu powers that let you achieve certain effects in physical combat, albeit at cost of Chi.

Heart Secrets[edit]

Heart Secrets are like Wushu, but for social conflict! They are structured in a way that mirrors wushu, but allow the application of secret courtier techniques to overwhelm an enemy socially.

Shen Secrets[edit]

Shen Secrets are like Wushu, but for mental conflict! They are structured in a way that mirrors wushu, but allow the application of secret scholar techniques to overwhelm an enemy mentally.

Inner Masteries[edit]

Inner Masteries reflect your enhanced chi control, which manifests in various ways, such as reduced rate of aging, or immunity to disease.

Specialised Skills[edit]

Specialised skills represent fields of expertise and tasks that cannot normally be attempted by Xia heroes.

Note that most tasks in Xia can be attempted by any individual, so this list is quite small in scope, and relates specifically to tasks that could only be attempted with specialist training. For example: blacksmithy, or musicianship.

Quality items[edit]

Quality items are pieces of equipment that have inherent stat bonuses. For example, a Sword which gives +1 to Physical Accuracy when used would be a Quality item.

Major edges[edit]

Major edges are things which are not equipment, but which have inherent stat bonuses. For example, the title of "Bureaucrat of the Protectorate of The Middle Kingdom" which gives +1 to Social Power when used would be a Major edge.


The magic advantage gives you knowledge of a single spell, for example a spell to make transformed creatures reveal true form, or a spell to ban ghosts from a house. Magic doesn't usually directly affect dice rolls in a conflict, but it gives you access to special effects and actions that you wouldn't be able to create normally.

6. Who Are You?[edit]

Your character sheet is not your character, but rather just a set of descriptors showing certain facets. Its now up to you to add the life and the detail!
At the very least you'll need a name - you can either go with proper Chinese names (like Liu Bei), or if you're less confident with your Chinese, you could pick a descriptive "world of martial arts" name, such as "Falling Sword", or "Snow".
Then its probably worth deciding what your character looks like, what his personality is, what his history is and what his motivation is. How detailed you make this is up to you, but the more you tell about your character, the more information the GM has to make great stories centred around him!

Character Sheet[edit]

You can make your own character sheets! But you may find the following graphic useful as a core:


Don't forget to also add space for Kung Fu Secrets and character details!


This page created by Asklepios.

Character Sheet created by Bayonder