Tian Xia Jianghu Rank

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In TianXia, mastery of martial arts and comparable mystical abilities allows for incredible feats. A trained kung fu master can defeat dozens of lesser opponents with ease. To reflect this, every character has what is known as a Jianghu ("Martial World") rank, based on how advanced their training has been.

This rank unlocks some specific, potent benefits:

  • Superior Kung Fu: If you know a kung fu Form (see TianXia Kung Fu), you gain one free invocation of it when facing opponents who are all of lower rank than you.
  • Immune to Mobs: If your opponents are lower rank, they cannot receive or provide a teamwork bonus against you in a conflict of martial arts or mystical abilities.
  • Rapid Movement: You can move one extra zone in a conflict at rank 1-2, or two extra zones at rank 3-4. In addition, you have +2 on rolls to overcome obstacles to this movement if they were created by lower-ranked foes.
  • Chi Armor: The difficulty to create a Chi Armor advantage (see TianXia Character Basics) is equal to the highest Jianghu rank on the other side. So the higher your rank, the harder it is for foes to use Chi Armor.

Jianghu Rank Levels

A typical person is rank 0. See below to learn what it takes to quality for higher ranks, along with commentary by famed Grandmaster of the Three Mountains School, Faultless Wu.

Unless stated otherwise, all of exorcism techniques, kung fu techniques, sorcerous techniques, and lost techniques count toward meeting any required numbers.

(If all you know is kung fu, the chart on p. 63 of TianXia is a bit simpler because it omits mystical stuff.)

Jianghu Rank 1

Passable; you may not be a complete loss. There are two acceptable paths to this destination:

  • Knows at least one technique that is not a lost technique (so exorcism, kung fu, or sorcery).
  • Has the Natural Fighter stunt (see TianXia Character Basics).

Jianghu Rank 2

Ah, you are finally learning what it means to do Kung Fu! Clearly you have accomplished one of the following:

  • Has mastered one style of kung fu.
  • Knows at least two kung fu styles and eight total techniques.
  • Knows exorcism or sorcery and at least eight total techniques.

(Note that it is impossible to reach this rank via exorcism alone, as only six techniques are available to an exorcist.)

Jianghu Rank 3

Yes! An opponent worthy of respect! I have heard stories of how you made it this far:

  • Has mastered two or more styles of kung fu.
  • Has mastered one style of kung fu and knows at least 12 total techniques.
  • Knows at least 12 total techniques, including all of the techniques of a sorcerous element.

Jianghu Rank 4

A true peer in the Martial World!

  • Has become a grandmaster of kung fu (TianXia, p. 79).
  • Has learned three sorcerous elements.

(The GM may allow other methods by which this level can be reached, of course.)

Special Note for Sorcerers

In areas of "dulled" Shentong (see TianXia Sorcery for details), only two of your sorcerous techniques count toward the above, while in "choked" areas, none do! Thus, if the only techniques you know are from sorcery, your effective Jianghu rank is just 1 or 0, respectively, in those areas. If you have exorcism or kung fu techniques as well, things are more complex, so note what your rank drops to in these areas.

But Wait, What About . . . ?

Other forms of training, even those which fit the theme, do not raise your Jianghu rank. For example, while having a high skill at Athletics, Fight, Shoot, etc. certainly demonstrates your martial prowess, it does not improve Jianghu rank. And while the mystical world respects those who master alchemy, divination, geomancy, and prophecy, those leave you at rank 0 as well.


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