Tianxia is a rules-light to rules-medium Wuxia game that introduces the genre in a friendly, easy-to-learn fashion. The book is written well, with a clear language devoid of unnecessary flourish that could distract of obscure the information needed to run the game, something that I certainly find to be very helpful.
The game itself applies minor rules adjustments and a fully formed Martial Arts system on top of the FATE Core rules in a relatively seamless manner, and feels like a system that was intended to work with FATE from the get go rather than being welded on forcibly. Fans of the FATE Core system will find this to be very easy to learn.
Fans of the genre will find that Tianxia covers all the bases when it comes to Wuxia. There’s a little lack of emphasis on the tone and themes of Wuxia in the book, but that’s a minor nitpick on my end as I wish it was brought up a bit in the start of the book rather than at the end with the GM chapters.
There’s an awful lot of mechanical support for GMs, from a campaign creation worksheet, to an adventure menu and pre-generated characters and antagonists to work with.
As a relatively new person to FATE, I feel that I’ll need to get a couple of test sessions to really get comfortable with the combat system to find out the true extent of the various Techniques in the Kung Fu system of Tianxia, but from what I’ve seen they’re certainly formidable.
Overall, Tianxia is a great start to a Wuxia RPG. There’s enough to run a campaign, but plenty of white space around for GMs and the authors to add on new elements. If you’re a fan of Wuxia, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t pick this up for your collection.
If you're interested in checking out an in-depth 5 part study of Tianxia, check out my blog:
[5 of 5 Stars!]