The All Men are Brothers 'zine covers my own Outlaws of the
Water Margin adventures, and can also include articles from
contributors who love this game, or the culture and history of Ancient
China. The 'zine issues are all produced as Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files, and
you'll need a copy of the Acrobat Reader (at least version 3) to read the
files. You can find copies of the following issues linked to this page:
Volume One, Issue Zero (about 2MB in size)
For back issues of the 'zine (there aren't any currently), you'll need to
contact me directly at viktor underbar haag at mac dot com.
If you'd like to contribute material to the 'zine (it's in its infancy
right now, so I'd appreciate it), then please contact me about what you'd
like to add, and I'll let you know if it's appropriate, and when/if I'll
fit it in.
The Mailing List
I moderate a mailing list for fans of roleplaying in ancient China. You
can find information about it here.
Outlaws of the Water Margin is © 1998 by Paul
Mason, and is published by Panurgic Publishing. The
contents of this page are not in any way intended as a challenge to this
Made with GNU Emacs.
All Men are Brothers
On this page are attached notes, characters, plots, maps, and so forth,
associated with my campaign using Paul Mason's Outlaws of the Water
Margin rolegame. The first major step in Phase One is completed
now, and I've moved on (perhaps temporarily) to running Masks of
Nyarlathotep. Accordingly, these pages aren't like to get updated in
Outlaws of the Water Margin is a face-to-face rolegame designed
for heroic adventure role-playing in 12th century China. It's
published by Paul's own imprint,
This section contains links to the reference sheets, rules modifications,
extensions and clarifications I've made.
Dribs and Drabs
This page contains a miscellaneous collection of tweaks and adjustments
I'm thinking about that don't necessarily warrant an entire page on their
Master Ability List
Outlaws employs a unique system for measuring abilities
(aptitudes and skills). I thought it would be useful to build a table
describing all the abilities mentioned in the rulebook.
Outlaws uses quite a simple task resolution system; but, I think
it has a few rough edges. This page has some proposed tweaks for the
basic mechanics to smoothe things out.
Forms and Tables collection
I've collected some forms and tables from Paul's Outalws
rulebook, and put them in this PDF. In it you will find character record
sheets and two pages of combat reference tables. Please note that these
pages are copyright © 1998 by Paul Mason, and my inclusion of
them here is solely for the personal use of players of his game.
Phase One: The Cases of Judge Yu
The first series of stories told: the players assume the roles of
assistants to the young, but talented, Judge Yu. These stories form a
Magistrate campaign, loosely based on the Judge Dee mystery books by
Robert van Gulik. The power level is 3 (average), and none of the
principle characters (with the possible exception of the Judge himself)
should be heroic.
Here's a variety of resources specific to the Judge Yu stories.
Map of East Jingdong Circuit
In the first stories, Judge Yu has accepted a post as Magistrate for the
district of Penglai (in the port town of Penglai). The town lies on the
borders of Laizhou and Weizhou prefectures, on the banks of the Sticky
River about ten miles from the sea coast.
Note: this map was created by Paul Mason. I've made the map available
here as a PDF because this gave the clearest rendition of the original
Non-player, principle characters are intended for referee and/or troupe
play. Principle player characters are designed for play by the troupe's
Judge Yu (Viktor Haag)
A young man of 33, Judge Yu, is a rising star in the Imperial bureaucracy;
however, he has been ill-fortuned with a streak of stubborn
independence. Rather than accept a lucrative, functionary position in the
Eastern Capital (Bianliang), Yu petitioned to fill the position in the
remote town of Peng-Lai (a small port town in Laizhou prefecture, in the
province of East Jingdog).
Scholar Gong (Vidal Bairos)
The "elder brother" of the player group, Scholar Gong is a middle-aged
scholar of some reputation, both for his rhetorical skill and his taste in
Instructor Li (Pat Phillips)
Instructor Li is a slightly scruffy, rural-looking character who never
seems to go anywhere without his staff. He is not someone to be trifled
with. Judge Yu has put Li in charge of training his constables and
Gambler Fu (Dave Ferguson)
Gambler Fu is a reformed gambler whom Judge Yu has taken under his
wing. Despite his hot temper and superstitious nature, he's making an
honest effort to lead a more responsible life.
Apothecary Gong (James Nicoll)
Apothecary Gong is a tall, spindly apothecary of remarkable talent. Being a
Taoist and alchemical dabbler is an unfortunate flaw in his character (as
far as the Judge is concerned), but his pharmacological and medical skill
are above reproach.
Here's a number of accounts of Judge Yu's exploits based upon the progress
of the players in the series.
The Case of the Woman in the River
On the last leg of his journey to Penglai, Judge Yu and his associates
encounter a young woman drowning in the middle of the Wei River. When they
rescue her, they discover that she has a strange story to tell.
The Case of the
After a brief, but spooky, enounter on the road, the Judge and his
associates arrive in Penglai. There, they begin to acquaint themselves
with the town and to investigate the murder of Wang Te-hwa, the town's
Note: this case is derived principally from the events in van Gulik's
book, 'The Chinese Gold Murders'.