Creating one of the Hsien (Shinma) is not quite the same as creating one of the Kithain. Those Traits that remain unchanged will pass largely unmentioned — please refer to changeling character creation for details. Specific Hsien traits are as follows:
- Li Shen — The Traditionalists
- Xian Mo — The Quiet Ones
- Yü — The Classicists
- Xian Mun — The Worldly
- Wu Hsien — The Peasants
- Tu Shen — The Ambassadors of Heaven
- Shu Shen — The Profane Gods
- The Yellow Lotus
- Mu Courts — The Greater Demon Courts
When a Hsien’s Yin Chi is higher than her Yang Chi, her Yin Legacy dominates, and vice versa. When a Hsien’s Chi is in balance, she may express either Legacy, switching between them with a moment’s meditation.
Quest: The dominant Legacy’s Quest determines how the Hsien regains Willpower.
Ban: Violating her current Ban troubles the flow of chi through the Hsien’s body, and thus in her environment as well. This is terribly inauspicious and reflects the root causes of the Shinma exile — trouble will certainly follow.
The Yin Legacies are
The Yang Legacies are
(Hsien Kith) Kwannon-jin: Hirayanu & Kamuii
Once, the Hirayanu were the lowest of the gods in the celestial hierarchy. Taking the shapes of animals, they carried out the August Personage of Jade’s commands with regards to nature.
- Fu Hsi – Curious, ever curious, the fu hsi. These snake people are renowned for wisdom and deliberation, and for taking their time over questions of great import.
- Hanumen – History is replete with tales of monkey kings upsetting the essential nature of the universe, and more importantly getting away with it! The hanumen have acquired a unique place in Shinma society, occupying a gray area between Hirayanu and Kamuii, and commanding more respect from both than their relative stations might necessarily imply.
- Heng Po – The heng po swim through the river of life, surfacing to take a peek at the world around them only when it suits them before returning to the water that sustains them. They are often considered unreliable and unpredictable, but nonetheless a source of great knowledge and wisdom.
- Nyan – Responsible for folktales of spiritual and demonic cats across Asia, a nyan may, at times, resemble any of them, depending exclusively on her mood. Fickle, self-interested, and commonly driven to excess, these cats are smarter than they seem; indeed, they’re too clever by half.
- Tanuki – The raccoon dogs of East Asia are often mistaken by Westerners for badgers or raccoons. Confrontational and given to practical jokes, tanuki can sometimes be hard to get along with, but when push comes to shove and violence is on the line, no one is likelier to come to a friend’s aid.
Once, the Kamuii were the intermediaries between the Hirayanu and the greater gods of the celestial bureaucracy, and guided their lesser cousins in their labors.
- Chu-ih-yu – When it is time for justice to be meted out, it is often the chu-ih-yu who make themselves known. Unflinchingly brave and wholly dedicated to retribution, they allow nothing to stand in the way of the “eye for an eye” principle.
- Chu Jung – Outgoing and quick with their words, the chu jung look forward and act passionately, as the flame gives light and heat. Unlike the legalistic chu-ih-yu, chu jung may give a measure of respect to the letter of the law, but will bend its spirit freely.
- Hou-Chi – The spirits of wood are calm and contemplative, dwelling in their groves and forests, their gardens and farms. Woe betide those who threaten what a hou-chi protects.
- Komuko – Enamored of tradition and stability, komuko are revered even above the other kamuii for their air of serenity and their connection to the 10,000 Things. However, their deeply-rooted and solid nature can make them difficult to relate to.
- Suijen – The deepest principle of Yin, suijen take in all around them and make it their own as a whirlpool consumes the flotsam of the sea. Suijen are always aware of their surroundings, not only physical but social, and few secrets escape them.
Rank is equal to the sum of the character’s Chi scores. This also determines her maximum Yugen, which is twice her Rank. The Shentao Skill can be used to assess the Rank of other Hsien.
The Shinma use several new or different Abilities. Leadership is now a Talent rather than a Skill, and Shentao replaces Kenning. Occult replaces Gremayre. Points are distributed among Attributes and Abilities as usual.
Advantages: Luck, Curse, & Backgrounds
Hsien do not have Glamour or Banality.
Hsien have Luck and Curses based on their kith, which give them bonuses and challenges that reflect their natures.
A Hsien’s wani form also has unique abilities associated with it, including the ability to use the Mask of Shintai.
The character receives 5 dots in Backgrounds.
Several Changeling Backgrounds are expressed differently for the Shinma. Holdings, Remembrance, Title, and Treasure have been redefined. New Backgrounds include Jade Talisman and Pakua.
The sacred magical alchemy of the Hsien is called Wu Tan, and is divided into five elemental arts: Di Tan (earth), Hou Tan (fire), Lin Tan (wood), Tieh Tan (metal), and Shui Tan (water). In addition, a sixth alchemy exists, called Nei Tan, reflecting Daoist internal alchemy.
A character starts with one dot in the Alchemy that corresponds to her Fortune — Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, or Water.
The player may place three additional dots in this or other Alchemies in any manner she chooses, though none may rise above three dots and none of these dots may be placed in Nei Tan (though this can be purchased with freebie points).
Yin Chi and Yang Chi
Hsien have Chi values between 1 and 5, representing her internal store of both Yin and Yang Chi.
Aside from determining which of her Legacies is ascendant, it is essential for Wu Tan—higher Chi means greater facility with elemental alchemy.
Kwannon-jin determines the starting Chi values:
- Chu Jung & Nyan: 1 Yin, 3 Yang
- Suijen & Heng Po: 3 Yin, 1 Yang
- Komuko & Hanumen: 2 Yin, 2 Yang
- Chu-ih-yu & Tanuki: 2 Yin, 1 Yang*
- Hou-chi & Fu-hsi: 1 Yin, 2 Yang*
* The Hsien may place one dot in either Yin or Yang, as she desires.
Tao reflects the Hsien’s ability to internalize balance between Yin and Yang. It always equals the average of her Yin and Yang Chi.
Yugen is a special kind of Chi generated by mortal reverence and celebration. It typically gathers in dragon nests, and may be directly absorbed by the Hsien at festivals and other religious observances.
A Hsien’s maximum Yugen is equal to twice the sum of her Yin and Yang Chi values, though a Jade Talisman may also be used to store extra Yugen.
All hsien begin play with 4 dots of Willpower.
Merits, Flaws, and Freebie Points
Many Merits and Flaws don’t make sense for Shinma: Surreal Quality, Iron Allergy, Chimerical Magnet, Faerie Eternity, Poetic Heart, Cleared Mists, Chimerical Disability, Seeming’s Blessing, Slipped Seeming, and Sidhe’s Curse are not appropriate for Hsien characters.
Freebie Points Trait Costs
- Abilities 2
- Attributes 5
- Backgrounds 1
- Chi 4
- Willpower 2 per level (House Rule)
- Wu Tan 5
- Experience Points Trait Costs
- Attributes Current Rating x4
- New Abilities 3
- Abilities Current Rating x2
- Willpower Current Rating x2
- Wu Tan Current Rating x5
- New Wu Tan 6
- Chi Current Rating x3