Game Maste Information





No specific alignments are given, though the characters possess intrinsic alignments from their backgrounds and personalities. If a character acts out of alignment then penalise them in their role playing score.


All armour in this world is made of wicker or bamboo with leather ties. There is no metal in the armour except the helmets which are made of iron. All NPCs with an armour class of below four have these metal helmets. All other NPCs have no helmet.

Back Stabbing

No member has backstabbing as an ability. They cannot backstab anyone, though they still get the attack from the rear bonus, if attacking from the rear.


Calligraphy is the only Oriental Adventure non-weapon proficiency that we have given to any of the players.

The Reading/Writing proficiency allows the character to read and write their own language. Calligraphy is the skill to write their own language in a fancy manner, like the skill of a signwriter. The rogue's read languages skill is a skill aimed at reading languages that the character does not understand.


All NPCs and monsters are considered dead when they reach zero hit points. All player characters are dead when they reach negative their constitution. (For Fang Zien Shang when in owl form this is her human constitution score.)

Divine Intervention

Divine intervention is occurring all through the module. The characters will never be able to get divine intervention at their own request.

Flying Creatures

Creature capable of flying can do so at full capability as long as they have positive hit points.

Fortune Telling

Wen Cha Lin has the ability to do fortune telling as a non-weapon proficiency.

This skill allows her to tell the fortune of anyone whose future is not closely associated with her own. (The telling of Yuen Wu Ye's was an exception to this rule allowed by the Heavenly Bureaucracy).

To use the skill she must roll her proficiency. If she fails her roll it means that the future is too muddy to predict.

To determine a NPCs fortune talk into what is happening in this area. (e.g. Most people in Wu Tze Lee will probably die in the near future.) Then roll 1d100, the higher the result the more favourable their fortune.

Wen Cha Lin does not have to tell the NPC that her prediction has failed or the truth about what she sees. In fact part of her skill is to only tell the NPCs the sections that they will like and leave out the bad sections unless they are really important.

Hand To Hand Combat

The only hand to hand combat allowed is that provided by martial arts in Oriental Adventures. A character who does not have martial arts skill ability specifically noted does not have any martial arts abilities.


Only characters with herb knowledge as a non-weapon proficiency can find herbs of any use and know their purpose. No character can add this proficiency to anyone else's proficiency.


Any character seeing an illusion which has been pre-cast is not entitled to a saving throw unless they say they are disbelieving. If something unrealistic happens involving an illusion (such as an arrow flying through a wall) then the character will automatically detect the illusion as being an illusion. An illusion which has been detected is still visible to the character, but becomes translucent


Use the standard initiative rules in the second edition without any of the options. That is, both sides roll 1d10. The lowest roll goes first. If they are the same then every thing occurs simultaneously. Spell casters use the group roll. They will not have their spells disrupted unless the caster dies. The only modifiers are as per table 55 in the Players Handbook (page 94).

Item Saving Throws

All items which are to be given to the players will make their saving throws under all circumstances.


The primary type of sea transport in the Ming period is the junk. The Mings built the largest junks, up to five masts (in the module only the Ming navy has junks this large) and several hundred feet long.

Key Numbers

By command of the Imperial Bureaucracy all keys and locks in the Addle Kingdom are made by the Central Lock Making Agency and sold to outsiders. As these locks are magically made they are better than any others and everyone tends to use them. The owner of a lock must be registered, though anyone can have keys. The locks do not have a number on them, the keys do.

072 Dormitories and Temporary Storage Rooms WTL 016.
177 Watch house WTL 030.
209 Unknown WTM 033.
212 Door: Slave's Quarters WTM 033.
213 Door WTM 019, WTM 020.
228 Treasury Entrance WTL 017a, WTL 017b.
366 Conference Room doors WTL 015a, WTL 015b.
399 Gondola & Chests NGZ 005.
402 Door WTL 1001.
460 Central Keep WTL 006a, WTL 006b.
470 Ambush Room WTL 019.
503 Secret Door WTL 9000, WTL 9001.
507 Trap Door WTL 1001.
521 Iron door WTL 9000, WTL 1004.
613 Front entrance to Jade Mines CC 002.
626 Conference Room doors WTL 014.
721 Chest HC 006b.
728 Command Level WTL 012.
780 Doors HC 006a, HC 006b.
807 Unknown WTM 033.
869 Door HC 007.
882 Trap Door NGZ 002.

Magic Resistance

Only applies to spells directly cast at the creature with the resistance.

Missile combat

When a missile weapon is fired into a melee combat, any miss may strike one of the other participants. The attacker must roll to hit against all characters fighting the opponent aimed at until a hit is registered or there are no more characters fighting the original opponent.


Unless otherwise noted NPCs and monsters fight until they are dead.

Movement Rate

All characters have a movement rate expressed in inches. For a base rate of IT' this would translate to 120' when inside or 120 yards outside. In reality characters can move faster than this but then this is fantasy. When travelling across the world from town to town the characters have the following movement rates regardless of terrain. Walk 1 Hex/Day, Sail 3 Hexes/Day and Fly 5 Hexes/Day. One hex is twenty four miles or forty kilometres.

Oriental Adventures

We have only picked out parts of Oriental Adventures because the book is mostly based on Japanese society. Chinese society is something closer to western society.

The most important difference is the difference in honour. While honour is important in Chinese society, it follows a much more western view than the Japanese. No special honour rules apply to this module, nor should any be, inferred.


Characters gain hit points at a rate of one per hour (two if anyone uses his healing proficiency) when their score is greater then zero.

When their hit point score is zero or negative they regain hit points at a rate of one per day (two if anyone uses his healing proficiency). No resting period is required for characters who have had zero or negative hit point scores.


In this world people who die are reincarnated. As a result no resurrection or raise dead spells are used by good people as they wreak the reincarnation process. There is a land of the dead where people go after they die and before they are resurrected.


Any character who specifically state that they are searching an area will automatically find anything that is hidden or concealed unless otherwise specifically stated in the module. All searching (including finding traps) involves touching and tapping the area to be searched.

Shi Ren

This is a character class for Wen Cha Lin. It is loosely based on a bard. (Shi Ren is a Chinese translation for bard.) We have changed some of the bardic abilities to conform with this module.


When flying the players can see one hex, except Fang Zien Shang who can see three hexes.


Characters can choose their spells at the time of casting. No reverse spell is allowed unless the spell is listed in its reversed form on the character sheet.


All characters can swim well enough to swim fifty feet in bathers. They cannot swim any more than this unless otherwise stated. Characters may stay afloat for a number of hours equalling their constitution.


The era this module is based on is the Ming Dynasty in China. This empire represented the pinnacle of Chinese culture and existed from 1368 to 1644.

Magnets were common.

Very large junks were built (See section on junks) in the 1400s.

We have limited gunpowder to the Ming army only as we did not have time to include a set of rules and test them. Anyway, gunpowder mixed by hand in uncertain quantities is probably more dangerous for the person firing it than the person at the receiving end.

Transcribing Spells

No character can learn a spell not listed specifically on their character sheet.


The following weapon is the only one we have added which is specific to this world.

Gunpowder propelled arrows

Gunpowder propelled arrows are the only weapon which uses the recently invented gunpowder in the Middle Kingdom. The only side which has this invention is the Mings. Prince Hei Ho Bang has purchased some for his fleet and armed his blips with them.

They have the same range as composite long bows (S = 6" M = 12"; L = 21") and are fired ten at a time in a single volley from a rack. The rack holds ten in a single horizontal line and they all share a common fuse. Even if a hit is rolled only 2d4+2 of the missiles will strike the target. The rest will miss 50150 long and short. A natural roll of one indicates that the missiles exploded at launch doing 2d6 damage to all those within a twenty feet radius.


Windows do not have glass in them unless stated. They have shutters on the outside and latticework (of various patterns) in lieu of glass. Pattern details depends on the wealth of the person who bought the window.


This is a new character class we have invented specifically to fit into the background of Hao Shou Shi. It is a combination of a fighter, a wizard and a rogue.


The following section restricts the way people play some spells as the designers are concerned that some spells are abused in their usage, and highlights the way some of the spells have changed now that Second Edition has been released. It is very important that you use this section as it can severely imbalance and favour a team if you use a different interpretation. The spells we listed in alphabetic order.

Detect Harmony (OA 58)

This spell does NOT DETECT HARMONY. It is an area of effect Know Alignment. It works by telling them the relative ratios of good, evil, lawful and chaotic, no more.

Enchanted Blade(OA 78)

This spell takes ONE TURN to cast. Do not let the players fool you into thinking they can cast several per combat.

Fiery Eyes(OA 75)

An opponent gets a Saving Throw before they lose initiative. They have to make this Saving throw at the start of every round they attack the character with fiery eyes.

The - 1 on their Saying Throw does not apply to their Saving Throw vs this spell.

Haste(PH 149)

The caster cannot cause certain people to be affected. The spell works on who is nearest to the centre of it up to the number of creatures selected or range.

Polymorph Self (PH 161)

This spell only gives the character the movement and breathing abilities of the creature. NOTHING ELSE.

They can take on ANY FORM, not just that of an animal except:

The smallest they can be is the size of a wren.
The largest they m be, is the size of a hippopotamus.

Substitution (OA 64)

A substitution spell will absorb hit points damage that the player takes until it is destroyed. The player will then take damage as normal.

It cannot be added to once it has taken damage.

Xue Shu Chong is assumed to have one on his person for a value of twenty points when the module starts.

A new one cannot be created until the old one is destroyed.

Each time the spell is cast only the statue gains the ability to absorb another 1d4 points of damage. (So it will take Xue several days to create one with the maximum twenty points of absorption.)

Web (PH 146)

A web spell cannot be cast as a blob. Likewise the strands will only be as wide as the OPPOSING (like facing each other) surfaces. (eg. If a web is cast between two trees then it is as deep as the trees are thick.) One piece of ground and another piece of ground ten feet away are not opposing surfaces. A rope is not considered solid.



Chopsticks are commonly used as weapons in Chinese society. Magic chopsticks receive the bonus specified on the To Hit Roll and the Damage Roll. They can be used for eating, though there is a 10% chance minus the level of the user that they will impale the user's mouth. (A roll of. 1% is always a fail.)

Chopsticks are fired at a rate of two per round in a single volley. (Both at once.)

Eight Diagram Coins

These coins are actually copper disks, each engraved with a specific symbol. When all eight are tossed and the command word "Mingyun" is spoken, Wen Cha Lin can learn the fate of another person not closely associated to herself.

Emperor's Banner

This magic item, when used in the Middle Kingdom, will make all those who view it treat the bearer as if he were Emperor. They will not do anything to harm the bearer and will do their best to ensure the safety of the bearer if this is required. The item can be used by anyone. If the person is not Emperor or a likely candidate for Emperor then as soon as that person releases the banner he will be attacked as an impostor. The banner is controlled by the Heavenly Bureaucracy and any misuse will meet with their wrath.

Glow Stones

These are stones of any size or shape with a continual light spell cast on them. They are quite common.

Gong of Ironwood

This magical gong has the ability to cast a magical spell similar to an Ironwood spell once per day. The spell is cast by hitting the gong, while resting on the wood to be altered, with the small striker provided. The gong can be used once per day.

This gong will only affect non-living wood. The effect is to cause 23 cubic feet to become as hard as the finest grade steel. Colour, texture and weight are unaffected. The effect is permanent until some magic is cast which reverses its effect such as Dispel Magic, Wish etc...

Horn of summoning

The horn of summoning is used to summon mice. It will summon 1d100 mice.

Miner's Headband

This item appears as a normal white cloth headband with a one inch Ying-Yang symbol at its centre. When worn the symbol gives off light in a conical beam stretching sixty feet from the headband. The light is three feet wide at the end. The beam turns on and off according to the user's need for light.

Portable Collapsible Wardrobe

This wardrobe appears as either a large five feet wide by six feet tall by two feet deep wardrobe or as a small five inch wide by six inch high by two feet deep miniature of a wardrobe. By constantly folding it in half or unfolding it it is possible to change the wardrobe from one state to the other.

The interior of the wardrobe is a space, ten feet cubed, lined with hangers and drawers. (Like an en suite.) Just inside the door is a Chinese screen and on the back wall a large mirror.

The door to the wardrobe cannot be closed while a living creature is inside.

The weight of the wardrobe is 100GP regardless of what it carries.

Tea Set. Bone White

The tea set is a highly favoured device for telling fortunes. It has a plain tea pot and six cups, all of the highest quality. It will only work with Lap San Shu Chong tea.

Once per week the user can make tea, and see a clue to guide that person in the near future after the user(s) have drunk from the cup(s). The clues always tend to be cryptic and are never more than six characters long.

For the purposes of this module Wen Cha Lin will see the following things as she looks into the future.

  1. I Soldier Fight
  2. Salt Weed or Locust
  3. Capital
  4. Capital
  5. Capital

Three Heavenly Opals

The Three Heavenly Opals were made by a servant of the Jade Emperor and given as a gift to the Ming Emperor. They have become a symbol of the right to rule the Middle Kingdom.

When separated they are three equal parts of a sphere one foot in diameter. Each part is one primary colour with flecks of the other two in it. Individually they have no power.

When placed together by the legal Emperor of the Middle Kingdom they fuse to become a black opal. When together they have the ability to influence the weather in a two thousand kilometre radius. The user must be careful and skilled or they will very seriously upset the weather balance and cause major unexpected side effects. (eg. rain in one place may cause drought or floods in another.)

Wondrous Writing Set

This magical writing set comes in a lacquered box and contains a brush, inking stone and inkwell with ink. It improves the user's calligraphy by +2. If die person has an example of another's handwriting, a perfect forgery of that person's handwriting can be produced on a successful calligraphy roll. The inkwell contains enough to write 1d4+1 pages. (The set in this module has enough for three pages.)




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(c) 1990, 2000, 2001 Brian Yap and Bradley Bush

02 January 2001