Kung Foo City is a tabletop role-playing game about the dramatic conflicts of powerful martial artists. Their troubles propel them across the Lantern Kingdoms, a fantastic version of China that never was, filled to the brim with mystery and melancholy. The game blends the sensibilities of the Chinese wuxia genre with the weirdness of 70s New Wave science fiction to create a fantasy world fresh and exciting enough to keep players gaming into perpetuity. Add a dash of insanity stolen liberally from ancient kung fu flicks, garnish generously with the wheeling and dealing of modern political fantasy and you start to see where we’re going with this.
Lotus City is a metropolis that floats throughout the Lantern Kingdoms, working hard to influence them subtly and overtly and to keep their empire alive. Fueled by the misery of a thousand imprisoned and forgotten gods, the City holds the Yellow Emperor and his Imperial Bureaucracy and strives tirelessly to shape the land in his immortal image. It’s a city of great wonders: Death Buddhists shawled in white mingle with clockwork servants, martial artists and their grudges converge endlessly and Imperial mandarins deal freely with ghosts and criminals in order to seize a political advantage. In the higher levels of the City, the Emperor’s word is higher than any law and to be caught wearing the wrong shade is a death sentence. In the lower levels, the poor and the desperate suffer with and against the Society of Heaven and Earth, a criminal syndicate that will stop at nothing to put one of their own on the throne. The chefs at Zhong’s strive tirelessly to create dishes designed to sustain everlasting life or to bring incredible fortune to the diner, and are caught in an ancient mystical cold war with the two other sorcery academies in the city. There is murder in the streets, and blades made of yellow ink have already taken a hundred lives.
To Lotus City’s allies, it’s a state capable of great benevolence, bringing trade and supplies from far-distant lands and providing military protection and stability in addition to commerce. To almost everyone else it’s a creature of great evil, and an undying threat to freedom across the world.
Lotus City is the titular main character of Kung Foo City and the glue that binds the rest of the Lantern Kingdoms together. It and twenty-one other unique, deadly places and their people form the setting and culture of the game.
Kung Foo City – the game itself – is a narrative-based tabletop role-playing game. (What a mouthful, hey?). This means, broadly speaking, that it’s a game about telling stories with your friends. In Kung Foo City’s case, the stories are about high adventure, incredible martial arts and a sublime mix of tragedy and vengeance. Tentative release date is sometime in 2018, though kungfoocity.com will be updated as things progress.
At the moment, we’re working on polishing the latest draft, organizing a new round of playtests and drumming up interest in the community. This website is part of the effort. If you have any thoughts, questions, criticisms, etc. please don’t hesitate to contact us at natfrobinson@gmail..com.