Deng Zhi-Hao

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Deng Zhi-Hao (鄧志豪), roughly "Brave-Willed Deng"


Crane / Weapons Master (Demonbane)


Deng Zhi-Hao grew up here in the capital of the Butterfly Kingdom. Son of a blacksmith, he grew up in modest means, though comfortably enough. Both Yang Shen-Ji and he grew up in the same neighborhood, and have been friends since childhood. Unfortunately, in his teen years, they ran with a bit of a tough crowd, and due to some troubles, Zhi-Hao needed to leave town and went to join the Imperial Army.

In the army, it was quickly realized that young Zhi-Hao had an aptitude both for weapons and the ability to teach others how to use them. As such, he spent most of his time in the main training battallion in the Savanna of Tears honing these skills.

About a year and a half before the run, he received word that his father had been seriously injured. Rushing home to his father's side, he finds that someone had broken his father's legs, thus crippling him, although under mysterious circumstances. Zhi-Hao realized that he now had to take care of his family. Because of his expertise, and the connections of his friend Yang Shen-Ji, Master Deng got a posting within the weapons masters at the court of the Butterfly King. His primary responsibility is to train the prince Ti Jun.


Master Deng is in his mid to upper twenties. Usually seen with some weapon at his side (typically a sword), he carries himself with purpose. While typically serious in demeanor, it is not always so and he can let loose from time to time.


  • Eto the Wolf: Senior Dragon Army weapons trainer
  • Chen Family: Family of differentiated stats in the Strand, of which we rescued their father in Four Brothers
  • Captain Fa Zhou: Expert swordsman near the Pearl River, who teaches a shtick at a time instead of having a shtick tree
  • Shen-Shin Gao: Arms and Tactics Master for High Warlord Ze. Master Deng helped protect his sons during Enemies of My Enemies so he has agreed to teach him a few shticks. He later agreed to become a regular shtick source in exchange for Deng occasionally helping to train up Shen-Shi's troops.
  • Butterfly Captain: Captain of the Royal Guard in the Butterfly Court.
  • Miyamoto Musashi: Master strategist on the Shrouded Isle. Now deceased.
  • Prince Ho Tan Mi: Sovereign of the Golden Palace of the Immortals. Deng has agreed to become his "Mortal Blade" after the death of Miyamoto Musashi.

Starting Contacts

  • Yang Shen-Ji (Derrick): Childhood friend
  • Xiao Fa (Eon): Xiao Fa and Zhi-Hao met in a small town near the Savanna of Tears, where, Seven Samurai-like, Zhi-Hao helped defend it against some bandits, with a few other stalwart warriors. Xiao Fa was only able to save Zhi-Hao, however, and they are the only two survivors of the incident.
  • Li Merit (Drew): Brought the message to Zhi-Hao about his father's injury

Hunted / Hunting


Physical Mental Spiritual
Body 12 Reflexes 20 Mind 9 Social 8 Tao 8
Force/Offense Strength 14 Accuracy 20 Intelligence 11 Charisma 8 Yang 8
Precision/Defense Resistance 12 Dexterity 20 Wit 10 Grace 8 Yin 8
Reserve Health 12 Energy 20 Resolve 9 Status 10 Chi 8
Hit Points HP = 150 (Health + Energy) * 5
Move Move = 17 (Strength + Energy) / 2


Level 1

  • Dramatic Entrance: 1/run, if I'm not on the battlemap in one Drift, I can spend a Chi to appear on the battlemap in any semi-plausible unobserved location in the next Drift. Freq 1, Power 4.
  • Father's Intelligence: Once per scene, +1 to Mind. Freq 3, Power 2.
  • Father's Quickness: Once per scene, +1 to Reflexes. Freq 3, Power 2.
  • Hidden Risk: 1/run, make a Yin roll to determine what the greatest tactical risk in a plan that I'm underestimating. Freq 2, Power 3.
  • Initiate of the White Lotus: The Initiate will be shown respect by higher members of the order and begin learning the secrets of the order from them. May always find friendly shelter in a civilized location. Freq 6, Power 1.
  • Never Gauche: Can wear weapons and armor in social situations without being considered impolite. Freq 6, Power 1.
  • Really Disarm: Once per run, if I spend a Yang, I can disarm my opponent of the weapon they are holding, and cast it away. (This is for stacking on top of Disarm when necessary). Freq 1, Power 4.
  • Stern Mercy: You may strike an enemy using Charisma, Int, Yang. (May use combat buffs as if it were Accuracy, but base your stat off the new stat.) If you take the enemy down with this blow, then they, then they are not taken down physically, but their defeat is instead Social, Mental, or Spiritual; this defeat has repercussions on their Plan. (Otherwise no effect.) You must not also defeat them physically on top of that (so no killing them, or giving them to the guard to be hung, etc.) if you wish the effect to persist. Freq 1, Power 6.
  • Sword Strikes: +1 die to sword attack. Freq 6, Power 1.
  • Sword Strikes: +1 die to sword attack. Freq 6, Power 1.
  • Sword Strikes: +1 die to sword attack. Freq 6, Power 1.
  • Weapon Pride: My weapons are always clean and in good condition, no matter what. Freq 5, Power 1.

Level 2

  • Adept of the White Lotus: The Adept will be shown respect by higher members of the order and should set an example for the initiates. May always send one message a run to any higher member of the order regardless of death or captivity. Freq 6, Power 2.
  • Armor: I can wear armor. Freq 6, Power 2.
  • Combat Analysis: Learn someone's combat training, level, aspect, and general potential from seeing them fight. Once/scene. Freq 3, Power 3
  • Combat Awareness: Take an action in any surprise round useful only for arming/armoring and repositioning yourself more advantageously. (No attacks/dodges/blocks, etc.) Freq 3, Power 3.
  • Disarm: Once per combat, I can disarm my opponent of the weapon they are holding, and cast it away. Freq 3, Power 4.
  • Ranged Parry: Can parry ranged attacks with a sword as if they were melee attacks Freq 4, Power 3.
  • Sword Sure Strikes: My sword strikes are at -1 difficulty Freq 6, Power 2. Self-taught
  • Tactical Fighter: Int/Tactics is an in-stat action for me. (1/turn). Freq 4, Power 3.
  • Talk with My Hands: Can use Acc on a Fast Talk roll. Freq 3, Power 3.
  • Taunt: May taunt an enemy into targeting me. Freg 4, Power 3.

Level 3

  • Cut the Tension: Cut the tension in a situation, affecting social / environmental effects (can use other sword shticks) Freq 2, Power 8
  • Detect Enemies of the Dragon Empire: Used on a person in line of sight, this shtick will tell if someone truly is an active knowing participant in some plan to subvert the Empire, or merely a pawn/innocent. Freq 3, Power 5.
  • Greater Sword Strike: +5 dice to sword attack. Freq 6, Power 3.
  • Greater Sword Strike: +5 dice to sword attack. Freq 6, Power 3.
  • Greater Sword Strike: +5 dice to sword attack. Freq 6, Power 3.
  • Knock You Flat: The damage I do (sword) comes back very quickly post-combat, and does not cause death checks. Freq 6, Power 3.
  • See Undead: Freq 6, Power 3.
  • Threat Assessment: Determine the greatest sources and manner of danger nearby. Freq 6, Power 3.
  • Weaponsense: Weapons cannot be hidden from me. (1/minute sense mode). Freq 5, Power 3.

Level 4

  • Assist: If I get doubles on my speed roll, I can give a duplicate action to someone else, only during that action. (If they already have an action then, it doesn't stack.). Freq 4, Power 5.
  • Death Blossom: 1/action, spend a Yang to attack as many targets as you wish, splitting a single die pool as much as is necessary to do so. Freq 4, Power 6.
  • Deflect: Can deflect parried ranged attacks to hit my attacker. Works like riposte. Freq 4, Power 5.
  • Half Damage from Demons: Freq 6, Power 4.
  • If It's a Sword, I Can Use It: Freq 6, Power 4.
  • Revenge: Once per action, I can move up to double my move to put me in range to attack someone who has just attacked an ally. Freq 5, Power 4.
  • Riposte: Successes of my dodge = successes of an attack on my attacker. Freq 6, Power 4.
  • Yielding Water: 1/action, Spend a Yin to double my Dexterity for parry. Freq 4, Power 6.

Level 5

  • Actions Abound: Diced and diceless actions can occur in any order. Freq 5, Power 5.
  • Chop Like the Wind: One extra katana strike per action. Freq 5, Power 5.
  • Design Battle Plan: I can make an Int roll with Tactics to create a battle plan; as long as everyone on my team sticks to the plan (which must be somewhat constraining) they are at -1 difficulty to attack and maneuver rolls once/action for the duration of the plan. #successes determines size/scope of the plan. Freq 5, Power 6.
  • Fa's Parry: You may generate a die pool for parrying a melee attack with a sword (1/phase). Freq 6, Power 5.
  • Fa's Parry: You may generate a die pool for parrying a melee attack with a sword (1/phase). Freq 6, Power 5.
  • Demon Smite: With a sacrifice cost of 10 (healable) hit points to Carnage, my next strike carries a Smite.Freq 3, Power 10.

Level 6

  • Cut Away Influences: Cut away influences of social effects on a person (can use other sword shticks). Freq 4, Power 8.
  • Sword of the Dire Wolf: My sword strike is x6. Freq 6, Power 6.
  • Whew! That was Close: Attacks not targeted on me (Area effect, mass effect, etc,) simply don't hit me. Freq 4, Power 8

Level 7

  • Sword of the Wyvern: My sword strike is x8. Freq 5, Power 8. Self-taught.

Mastery Tree

  • Precision Striking: Can add my Acc as well as Str as damage. Freq 6, Power 5.
  • Energy Fortune Pool: The true master can always react: I have a fortune die pool based on my energy, in addition to my regular fortune pools. Freq 2, Power 8.

Mortal Blade Tree

  • Mortal Blade: Enables the Mortal Blade tree, at a price. Freq 0, Power 12.
  • Sword of Truth: Spend a chi to cut away the mental bindings on any one target, be they mystical, social, or whatever, and allow them to make their own choice/decisions/understands about on specified issue (1/turn). Freq 3, Power 8.
  • Cut Away Magic: Cut away magical effects on a person (can use other sword shticks) Freq 4, Power 9.
  • Parry Magic: May use a sword to parry incoming dodgeable magic Freq 5, Power 3.

True Mastery

  • Specialized Invincibility
  • Not for Amateurs
  • Mastery Tree


(Somewhat arbitrary groupings, but useful ones)


  • All Blades (x5): 50
  • True Blades (x5): 25
  • All Blunts (x5): 4
  • Unarmed Combat (x3): 1
  • Kung Fu (x3): 2
  • Precision Throwing (x5): 5
  • Dodge (x5): 10
  • Metal Armor (x3): 32
  • Tactics (x3): 12
  • Suprise Attacks (x4): 1
  • Wield Magic Device (x5): 1


  • Intimidation (x2): 7
  • Combat Riding (x4): 10
  • Athletics (x5): 22
  • Outdoorsman (x5): 15
  • Stealth (x4, Intrinsic): 26
  • Graceful (x2): 8
  • Boating (x2): 1
  • Catching (x5): 4
  • Bodyguard (x3): 5


  • Strong Willed (x3): 10
  • Teaching (x2): 5
  • KS: Butterfly Kingdom (x2): 4
  • KS: Dragon's Throne (x2): 5
  • KS: Honeth Arcade (x2): 10
  • KS: Dragon Army (x2): 10
  • KS: Organized Crime (x2): 10
  • KS: Tattoos (x1): 4
  • KS: Circus (x1): 4
  • KS: Recurring NPCs (x5): 8
  • KS: Combat Styles (x3): 3
  • KS: Weapons (x5): 8
  • KS: Demons (x2): 10
  • KS: Spirit/Demon World (x5): 4
  • KS: The Party (x2): 6
  • KS: Blood Magic (x3): 1
  • KS: Battle Magic (x3): 1
  • Heraldry (x2): 6
  • Streetwise (x3, intrinsic): 9
  • Military Leadership (x2): 5
  • Leadership (x3): 8
  • Etiquette (x3): 7
  • Gather Information (x4): 6
  • Conversation (x5, Intrinsic): 6
  • Fast Talk (x4): 12
  • Charismatic (x4): 4
  • Oratory (x3): 15
  • All Politics (x5): 8
  • Language: Senatali (x1): 8
  • Language: Torghut (x1): 8
  • Logistics (x2): 8
  • Really Well Travelled (x5): 11
  • Bureaucracy (x2): 4
  • Meditation (x2): 3
  • Librarian (x5): 1
  • High Society (x3): 6
  • Fashion (x1): 1
  • Gravitas (x4): 4
  • Administration (x2): 5
  • Diplomacy (x3): 1
  • Bargaining (x3): 4
  • Memory (x3): 10
  • Military Organization (x3): 5


  • Animal Handling (x2): 10
  • Blacksmith (x3): 10
  • Weaponsmith (x3): 5
  • Active Perception (x2): 5
  • Passive Perception (x4): 12
  • Hardy (x4): 10
  • Impressive (x3): 4
  • Inspire (x3): 6
  • Poisons (x3): 8
  • Sense Motive (x4): 6
  • Worldwalking (x5): 8
  • Alertness (x4): 4
  • Escape (x4): 8
  • Seduction (x2, intrinsic): 5
  • First Aid (x3): 7
  • Medicine (x5): 1
  • Holdout (x2): 4
  • Eye for Detail (x1): 4
  • Expressive Gestures (x2): 4
  • Noble Lord Pastimes (x3): 3
  • Being Still (x1): 5
  • Traps (x5): 1
  • Pick Locks (x3, intrinsic): 15
  • Tracking (x3): 5


(These are actually meta, but stuff I've been thinking about)

  • Skill suggestions: Accepting ideas for skills that Deng could get...want to branch out some
  • Masterwork weapon
  • Shtick sources