Long ago, in ancient times, there were creatures of great power, giant flying creatures who could breathe fire or acid and roamed the skies. Some were good of heart, others evil and twisted. Men called them dragons.
The dragons were feared by humans, who sought to destroy them for their rumored wealth (which did exist for some but not others), or for Honor or Glory. Although the dragons defeated most of the warriors, over many years the dragon race, immortal but slow to repopulate, began to die out.
The greatest of the dragons, Tan Kang, called to his brothers from around the world. They met in a secret place, all of the remaining dragons in The Great Meeting.
In this meeting, the remaining dragons decided on a plan to save their race. All dragons had the natural ability to assume human form, but were easily detected by the humans with high Chi flow and perception. They could still be found by determined humans even in this disguise, unless they willed the change to be permanent, a decision usually enforced on the worst of criminals in the dragon community.
So Tan Kang called that the last of the dragons will themselves to become forever human, and thus have less chance of becoming known to the human populace. After a lengthy debate, all the dragons bowed to Tan Kang's wish.
The beings that stepped from the hidden cave were human, but much more than that. They were still immortal (they could not die of old age), yet lost most of their powers. However, they still had a great degree of power that could be harnessed again, with the proper focus. The immortal beings began to search the globe and within themselves to find the key to unlocking this inner power once again.
For hundreds of years, the dragons failed to find the answer. Most entered The Sleep, where the dragon would hibernate and awaken hundreds of years later, his enemies dead of old age, his minor items of wealth now priceless antiques, yet his dragon friends (mostly) still alive. The Sleep was a wonderful way to escape one's problems. In their human forms, most chose far away, hidden places to hide.
Still, some of the more restless dragons continued with the search. Most were killed in battles they fought with humans that they had befriended, but others survived, one wise dragon in particular, who had become a follower of the human teachings of Buddhism, and called himself Bodhidharma. Some say he was Tan Kang.
Bodhidharma, under the assumed identity of the son of a Brahmin King he had befriended, joined the Buddist priesthood of India in 448 A.D, and rose quickly into it's highest ranks. He decided to tech his ways of wisdom to the people of China, and walked the long journey there, surviving many dangers along the way.
After angering the Chinese emperor by dismissing his works as "mundane", the dragon left for the Shaolin Temple. He was refused entrance. Bodhidharma petitioned by sitting by a cliff, intently staring at it for nine years! The leader of the temple relented, seeing that this was an exceptional creature of patience and power, and allowed Bodhidharma to enter the temple.
Of course, he became the spiritual leader of the monks, but decided that the monks were physically weak and needed exercise. He began to form a way for the humans to train their minds and bodies by focusing their Chi and using movements of grace and power. Bodhidharma also discovered that the movements, once perfected, began to awaken the powers inside him, as well as the hidden powers of the humans, powers they never knew existed within themselves. Over many years, these movements became the art of Kung Fu.
There are no records of what happened to Bodhidharma. Some say he died in battle, others say he traveled to other parts of the world where he invented other Styles. Yet others say he entered The Sleep and remains somewhere near (or in) the ruins of the first Shaolin Temple. No one knows for sure.
DRAGONS AS PLAYER CHARACTERS
If a player wishes to play a dragon, he must have some level in the Dragon Background, of course. This implies that the newly created character has awakened from The Sleep to discover a new world around him. The character has probably been awake for at least a few years, and has had some time to become at least somewhat familiar with the new world around him. Many have traveled to America, where there were no dragons in the past. The great riches there attract many of the evil dragons, while the opportunity to fight evil attract the dragons of good.
Special Dragon Benefits
Dragons can sense the awakening of another dragon, and use this to find each other when they awaken. Therefore, it was quickly passed on from one dragon to another that the martial arts were a way of awakening their lost power, if not their true form. Therefore, almost every dragon in the world practices a form of Kung Fu, usually Dragon Kung Fu, the Style formed by Bodhidharma.
Dragons are immortal, in the sense that they cannot die of old age. They also have no need to eat or drink, but they must breathe.
Dragons can earn superhuman traits of up to 8 for the normal experience costs.
Dragons may learn the Dragon Maneuvers in addition to any other Maneuvers associated with their style (see listing below).
Other benefits depend on the level of the Dragon Background:
1. The dragon is still young, probably only a few hundred years old, or perhaps a half-
2. The dragon is mature, at least 1000 years old. The character begins play with +1 Chi and 1 dot of Mysteries.
3. The dragon is aged, at least 10, 000 years old, although much of this time was spent in The Sleep. He has 2 dots of Mysteries free, and begins play with +2 Chi.
4. The dragon is old, at least 100,000 years old, although much of this time was spent in The Sleep. He begins the character creation process with 3 dots of Mysteries, +2 Chi, and one extra point to add to a physical Attribute.
5. The character is ancient. The dragon begins the character creation process with 4 dots of Mysteries, +3 Chi and two extra points to add to physical Attributes.
Despite all their powers, dragons must learn to focus their Chi again, and learn special maneuvers just like normal characters, including their special Dragon Maneuvers.
Dragons are magical creatures, but trapped in their human form silver is their bane. A character attacked with a silvered weapon such as a sword or a knife is in danger. Such attacks cause aggravated damage to them and are at -
When learning these powers, the dragon may use his level of Dragon Background in place of any Focus or Background requirement, but must have an equal or greater level of Dragon as the level of the requirement listed. The dragon must pay the highest point cost listed when learning a special maneuver through the Dragon Background (learning these maneuvers through the use of a Style is much easier).
Acid Breath *(sf 126) The fighter spews highly acidic liquid onto his opponent
To Learn: Focus 3
Power Points: Any 4
Air Blast (pg. 91) The fighter fires a blast of air at an opponent
To Learn / Training Notes: : First, the practitioner must learn Air Blast punch 1, focus 2, elemental 2. He may then move on to learn Push focus 3, elemental 3, air blast
and / or...
First, the character must learn Air Blast punch 1, focus 2, elemental 2. He is then ready to move on to Vacuum focus 3, elemental 4, Air Blast
Power Points: Elemental (air) 3
Chi Kung Healing (sf 126) The practitioner uses mystical energy to heal
To learn: Focus 4
Power Points: Tai chi chaun 2, kabaddi, kung fu, aikido, lua, silat 3, native American wrestling, shotokan karate, wu shu, Thai kickboxing, majestic crow kung fu, baraquah, jeet kune do, ju jitsu 4
Cobra Charm *(sf 127) The fighter exerts a hypnotic trance on a victim
To Learn: Focus 2
Power Points: Kabaddi 2, ler drit, animal hybrid 3, any 4
Death's Visage (Show true Form) (pg. 92) The fighter causes fear within an opponent
To Learn: Focus 3
Power Points: Ninjitsu 3
Entrancing Cobra (pg. 94) The fighter attempts to confuse the victim with strange mystical powers
To Learn: Focus 2
Power Points: Ninjitsu 4
Fire Strike (pg. 94) The fighter shoots out a long stream of fire
To Learn: First, the elemental must learn Flaming Fist punch 1, focus 1, elemental 2. He may then move on to Fire Strike focus 2, elemental 3, flaming fist
Power Points: Elemental (fire) 3
Fireball (sf 127) The character can launch a ball of flame at a target
To Learn: Focus 3
Power Points: Kabaddi, shotokan karate, aikido 3, kung fu, wu shu, majestic crow kung fu, lua, silat, Thai kickboxing (called Tiger Fireball) 4, any 5