Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Bamboo General

"The Bamboo General" didn't make an appearance in Kausao City until The Miners Rebellion of SF 65. In the clashes that followed the brutal repression of the miners' march, a small group of workers broke off from the multitude and invaded one of the exclusive gardens belonging to one of the Council of Nine. They chopped down a number of bamboos and used them to fashion deadly weapons based on an ancient Tuyang model.

A hand cannon, the Bamboo General is stuffed with stones, broken pottery shards, broken glass or shards of obsidian. The weapon is charged with an explosive powder derived from red jade. The weapons used in The Miners Rebellion were one-shot affairs, as the bamboo is rarely sturdy enough to withstand more than one explosive discharge. However, bamboo grown in proximity to green jade deposits is of particular value. When used to build hand cannons, green jade infused bamboo retains its utility indefinitely.


The Bamboo General (Device)
Function Aspect: Red Jade Hand Cannon

  • ExceptionalAttack prevents target from checking a stress box to reduce a hit
  • Harmful 1
  • Limited - One shot weapon; then you need a scene to make a new one
  • Situational - Only effective on a target in the same or an adjacent zone


  1. I like these as one-use-only weapons of ambush or desperate defense...or even assassination. If this setting has magic at all, then a surrogate of the old 'Glassteel' type spells might allow for someone to manufacture more resilient and re-usable bamboo cannon. that could prove to be a real game-changer...depending on who has the spells and cannons, of course.

    1. Glad you like it. After I posted it, I was struck by how much I've been influenced by the variety of chemical concoctions and firearms in Wermspittle. In the Jadepunk setting, there isn't magic per se, although there is a lot of alchemy going on based on powders derived from jade. So one of my other thoughts about how to make a reusable Bamboo General was to do a green jade lacquer on the bamboo, since that is the color of jade in the game associated with strength and resiliency.

    2. We're finished-up work on a player's guide sort of thingy, which will have more fire-arms and loads more chemistry-experiments in it. If you're going to use a jade-derived substance, consider converting powdered jade into some sort of enamel, or once it is melted, maybe it can be cast into a form like iron, only it would be entirely some sort of alchemically transmuted jade. That might lead to some fun stuff.

    3. I really like the idea of jade enamels. I am currently writing the Green Jadetech booklet, and a lot of what you guys are talking about here is similar to the directions I am heading with Jadetech. Kudos!

    4. Glad you like it Jake! The one question I have about the world is "What about 'normal' chemistry?" Has gunpowder been invented, for example? Are there non-Jadetech firearms? I am curious whether JT has simply foreclosed inquiry into other technologies, or whether the chemistry and physics of the setting is actually different in that some "normal" chemistries are not available.

    5. Gunpowder was never invented. In fact the Aerum and Naramel never invented Bows and arrows. Red Jade is incredibly volatile all on its own, so some Naramel long ago began to use it to power projectiles down a tube. It is way easier than inventing Gunpowder. In the case of guns, red jade has basically made many technological inquiries non-existent.

      Also, the universe of Jadepunk is non-rational. By and large the laws of physics work just like they do here. Except when Jade is involved. Jade does not obey laws or rules. It follows themes, and falls into general directions, but it is not based on anything like physics, chemistry, or biology.

      Jadetech is an attempt, in world, to do science in a world where scientific understanding is inconsistent.

    6. Thanks, Jake! So in theory you might still have non-jade fueled firearms that work on springs and clockwork mechanism, even without gunpowder.

      It sounds like "jade science" is quite Taoist: very intuitive and individual. I imagine that although there are certain industrial processes such as refining of jade which are "scientific" that the actual application of jade - its use in inventions produces very different results for different individuals. Technology as craft.