A ton of Hong Kong action movie generators

I think I have mentioned that Hong Kong Action Theatre! is the single best Hong Kong action film rpg out there. Not the rules (we’re playing FKR-style, baybeeeeee), but the setting.

In the original edition of the game (or, to be more exact, the first supplement, titled ‘To live and die in HK’), you could find a page filled with nifty random generators for your HK movie adventure.

I have built those tables in perchance for y’all to use:

Title Generator

Gunplay (bullet ballet, heroic bloodshed)

Modern Martial Arts

Period Martial Arts

Bizarre Fantasy


Action Sequence Generator

FKR HKAT!, part 1

Gareth Skarka’s Hong Kong Action Theatre! (first edition) is the single best Hong Kong action movie game on the market.

Impeccable ideas… HUGE FUN… but the rules are a bit slow.

So let’s FKR-ify it!

This is the first of a few FKR HKAT! posts.

Create your Character:
Roll d66 twice to know who you are. Let the words you rolled inspire you. Extrapolate your character’s skills and powers. Do this in-game so it can grow naturally.

For conflict resolution:
Roll 1d vs. the referee’s 1d. Higher roll wins. The more competent in a task, the bigger the die. Roll only for really interesting conflicts or tasks.

Roll Adjective

11 Young brash
12 Wise old
13 Lovable
14 Stone-cold
15 Mystical
16 Hard-boiled
21 Shapeshifter
22 Vengeful
23 Triad
24 Happy-go-lucky
25 Drunk
26 Disguised
31 Elite
32 Dedicated
33 Cocky
34 Over-eager
35 Spiritual
36 Experienced
41 Imperial
42 Daoist
43 Streetwise
44 Bumbling
45 Heavy-Duty
46 Two-Fisted
51 Burned-out
52 Retired
53 Hong Kong
54 Mainland
55 Rookie
56 Undercover
61 Kung Fu
62 Bare-handed
63 Orphaned
64 Cowardly
65 Comical
66 Magic

Roll Role

11 Cop
12 Monk
13 Buddy
14 Assassin
15 Cardshark/Gambler
16 Ghost
21 Detective/Inspector
22 Dragon
23 Former Enforcer
24 Bruiser/Brick
25 Agent
26 IT Specialist
31 Black Ops Specialist
32 Drunkard
33 Noble
34 Sorcerer
35 Sniper
36 Enforcer
41 Treasure Hunter
42 Stuntman
43 Bumpkin
44 Ninja
45 Ex inmate
46 Gun-nut
51 Warrior
53 Street Kid
54 Driver
55 Wandering Saint
56 Immortal
61 Stranger
62 Thief
63 Boss
64 Master of Arms
65 Swordsman
66 Monkey-King

Hong Kong action: film titles

In the old HKAT! game you could roll action movie titles with a wonderfully simple generator. Very often I start with the movie title and then use it as a springboard for further adventure ideas.

A special feature of Hong Kong film titles is the translation of the Cantonese original into Mandarin. The Mandarin titles usually have nothing to do with the Cantonese original.

Snake in the Snow (Cold Fingers to Stop a Murderer)
Wuxia: Heroes hunt down notorious assassin who hides in the mountains.

Secret Fist (Garage Blood)
Modern Martial Arts: Ultra-secret agent force used for difficult missions. Secret Ultimate Fights that go to the death, identifying the heroes.

Hong Kong Kung Fu Force (Fool’s Come Running)
Modern Martial Arts: Foolish Kungfu students witness an attack and decide to find the culprit on their own.

Black Evil (Man with Eyes of Fire)
Superhero: Heroes are superheroes and fight against a powerful opponent: Black Evil. Lots of SFX.

Mighty Red Shadow (To Fight for Freedom)
Modern Martial Arts: At the time of the Cultural Revolution, or when China allowed Great Britain to keep Hong Kong for another 99 years. Chinese secret service groups are letting British businessmen  jump over the blade by the dozen in order to have as few “capitalist elements” in HK as possible already now. Heroes fight against injustice. Picturesque clubs, HK in luxury.

Storm Triad Brothers (Cat’s Meow)
Heroic Bloodshed: Siblings, working together in their father’s company. One or more of them slowly slide into the Storm Triad. At some point, a conflict arises in which they have to decide where their loyalty lies: to their own family, or to the Triad.

City’s Revenge (Boots the Largest Size)
Bizarre: Real estate moguls tear down venerable, old buildings everywhere in Hong Kong and plant high-rise buildings. When they start to tear down the old horse race track as well, the heroes appear on the scene. They accidentally uncover a large-scale fraud: The buildings were listed and should not have been demolished. But the construction companies continue. Even the small shop of a relative is to be demolished, the owner was beaten and threatened. Time for the heroes to intervene. They get support from City – the incarnated Hong Kong that doesn’t want to be wounded anymore.

The King, the Monkey & the Cop (Throne War)
Heroic Bloodshed: Young gang leader (Monkey) makes life difficult for a triad boss (King). As revenge he tries to commit horrible crimes against the police and to make them look as if they had committed Monkey. Monkey on the other hand becomes even more insane in his actions against King. The heroes are either police officers or relatives of the victims of the gang war.

Fearless Sword (Screams Banned into Steel)
Wuxia: The heroes are in search of the legendary demon sword Huet Pan Chuen (Blood Source) to destroy it forever. Other groups try to get their hands on it before it comes to that.

Way of the Exploding Sword – action-gaming with the Index Card RPG

Art © Jörg Drühl

Here we go!

I’m presenting the latest incarnation of my tag-heavy, freeform ICRPG.

Character Creation
  • no stats
  • write down 6 tags – they can be as short or long as you want, single words or whole sentences
  • mechanically, each tag counts as +1 to your roll
  • weapons and armor are tags

E. Honda,
Class: Sumotori
Bioform: Human
extremely heavy, strong as an ox, one of the best sumotori in the world, tough as nails, Buddha Thousand-Palm-Slap, deals massive damage

  • Method A:
    In a fight, add all relevant tags to your d20 roll. If there are any disadvantageous tags, subtract 1 from your roll for each. The gamemaster/referee does the same for monsters and npcs.
    Higher roll does damage.
    If one side has severely more powerful tags, add +1d4 to that side’s roll.
  • Method B:
    Count the number of relevant tags.
    If 0–2, roll 1d4
    if 3–4, roll 1d6
    if 5–6, roll 1d8
    if 7–8, roll 1d10
    if 9–10, roll 1d12
    if 11+, roll 1d20

You roll vs GM/referee’s roll.Higher roll does damage.

If one side has severely more powerful tags, add +1d4 to your roll.

Principle of Narrative Truth
  • Everything the players describe happens exactly how they describe it, when they describe it.
  • Narration must not describe the defeat of a character if they still have hit points/heartbeats left.
  • Higher rolls in combat now grant the right to narrate, and the side with the lower roll also takes damage.
  • This way, when winning a roll, a player could also describe how their character gets hit and/or injured, only to have a sensational comeback (when, mechanically, the opponent has been reduced to zero hearts).

One fighting against many
Your total result (roll+tags) counts against every single opponent – or you treat the horde as one single opponent

Checks and Attempts
roll d20+relevant tags vs. target number

either roll damage+relevant tags and subtract total from hp
1 heart = 3 heartbeats
1 hit = -1 heartbeat
1 crit = -1d4 heartbeats

have tags, GM/referee determines
when using loot or casting spells, GM/ref rolls 1d20; 18+: loot/spell has extremely beneficial effects, maybe even functionality it usually doesn’t have

Every tag is a +3 instead of a +1 to your roll.

Example combat, just the mechanics, no narration

_E. Honda, _
Class: Sumotori
Bioform: Human
extremely heavy, strong as an ox, one of the best sumotori in the world, tough as nails, Buddha Thousand-Palm-Slap, deals massive damage

Horde of goblins
there’s a lot of them, swords

Honda amazingly has 6 tags that are relevant for a fight. Note that if Honda or the goblins wore armor, it would also simply count as one tag. Honda adds 6 to his d20.
The goblins have 2 relevant tags for fighting. The goblins add 2 to their d20.

Round 1
Honda: rolls 9, +6 = 15
Goblins: roll 14, +2 = 16
=> Goblins hit, Honda loses 1 heartbeat and has 2 left.

Round 2
Honda: rolls 12, +6 = 18
Goblins: roll 10, +2 = 12
=> Honda hits, Goblins lose 1 heartbeat and have 2 left.

Round 3
Honda rolls a 20 (crit!), +6 = 26
Goblins roll 10, +2 =12 and cry
=> Honda rolls 1d4 to determine how many heartbeats the goblins lose, and rolls… a 1; the goblins are down to 1 heartbeat

Round 4
Honda rolls 16, +6 = 22
Goblins roll 13, +2 = 15
=> Goblins lose their last heartbeat; their fate now is in Honda’s hands. Will he slaughter them? Spare them? Befriend them? Enslave them?

A combat example for Kung Fu Goons

Referee: Cheng, you open the door to the restaurant, and a dozen or so mooks come running at you. You see blades flashing, and one of them has a submachinegun. What do you do?
Cheng: Okay… I have Kung Fu 1, so I add +1 to my 2d6 roll, right?
Ref: Yes.
Cheng: And for every cool detail I describe, I add another +1?
Ref: Yep! What do you do? They’re closing in fast.
Cheng: I wait till the first two are close to me, then I throw a low kick that sweeps them off their feet (1), the three mooks behind them are crashing right into them and tumble to the floor, as well (2). I regain my footing and high-kick the next, sending him into the glass cabinet where the porcellaine dishes are stored (3).
That’s three details, correct?
Ref: Yep, it’s a +3.
Cheng (rolls 2d6 and adds 3 for the details, plus 1 for his Kung Fu stat): 10!
Ref (compares Cheng’s 10 to the mooks’ 8; now the mooks are down to Difficulty Score 6): Great! What next?
Cheng: I cock my fist for a mighty blow (1), but before I can punch, two mooks swing at my face with full force (2). Their blows connect with a sickening crunch, and I drop to the ground (3).
(rolls 2d6+4): 11!
Ref (compares the mooks’ 6 to the Cheng’s 11; a whopping 5 points damage, which means they’re down to 1 – the next roll will definitely take them out, leaving their fate in Cheng’s hands): Wow, solid roll, Cheng! Mind if I join you to describe a few things?
Cheng: Not at all! So, I’m on the floor, still dizzy, and try to pick myself up…
Ref: …and in the corner of your eye, you see the submachinegun guy, and before you can react, he shoots! You can see the line of destruction the bullets are cutting into the carpet. TATATATAAT!
Cheng: Aaah! AAAAAH! I make a desperate kip-up, and where I was just moments before, the bullets turn the floor into a fricking mess! You can see my face. I’m grinning. Oh yes, I’m grinning. Then I start running towards that guy.
Ref: SMG guy squeezes off another burst, and you hear the bullet tearing into the wall behind you, then you’re directly before him. He drops the gun and pulls a huge knife…
Cheng: …and hits me in the shoulder! AAAH! My blood colors my 300 dollar shirt red. BASTARD! Chain fists to his face! He falls backward, I leap with a flying guillotine kick and ram him head-first into a chair. Then I look around, casually brushing my nose with my thumb.
Ref: The rest of the mooks are running now, they’re headed for the exit!
Cheng: Pah. I allow it. Cowards.

Ten thousand Buddha Palms – the action rpg

You haven’t been waiting for it – but here it comes! Ten thousand Buddha Palms, my new action rpg. It’s built for Hong Kong, Hollywood, Bollywood, Korean and every other type of action movie you can imagine.

All you need is your trusted rpg dice, some poker chips and pen and paper. Kick butts, take names!
(Easily combinable with minimald6 games).

Download the game here: https://matausch.itch.io/ten-thousand-buddha-palms