Since I started working on Xao: Island of Iron and Silk a lot of people have been like, " I can't believe you are doing a wuxia setting game. There are already so many of those types of games on the market already." At this point, my response is somehting that shocks and surprises them. Because Xao: Island of Iron and Silk ISN'T a wuxia setting RPG game. It is a political thriller RPG setting with Kung-Fu Theatre movie elements and a "dash" of wuxia into it. Xao: Island of Iron and Silk is all about the political and government intrigue, mysteries and conspiracies that exist in the island of Xao and the world of Exodus. If you examine the history of China, the politics of the region has GREATLY effected the development of the county and Xao takes that same angle.
The two things that I think are going to make Xao: Island of Iron and Silk very unique to the majority of D20 and OGL RPGs on the market it is:
1) We are looking to have as much as and even more political intrigue as you could find in Paradigm Concepts' Arcanis: World of Shattered Empires and Living Arcanis. The Paradigm Concepts guys (being great friends of mine) have proved it is possible to do a interesting political based RPG and setting.
2) With exception of me, I plan for the enitre campaign setting to be writen by women writers. You heard me right, the ENTIRE campaign setting will be written by women writers. Now I am sure you are asking why is that. Simple answer. The majority of male gamers I know are a mix of 50 - 75 % hack -n-slash / 25 -50% "role players. Most of the women gamers I know are 50 - 75% role players / 25 - 50% hack-n-slash. Since this setting is about 75% role playing / 25 % hack-n-slash it only seemed logical to get people who are ready were interested in the role playing side of it. The other reason I wanted women writers only on this project is that (In my own personal feelings) I feel that women understand the whole political "backstabbing" and "assassinating someone's character" aspect I am looking to build better then men. Don't believe me, watch what happens when men fight versus when women fight. Men phyically attack each other; women get other women to turn on the person they are fighting and virtually ostracize them at any opportunity they can. Chris Rock said it best, "There is nothing more danger than a woman with a plan." Talk to you later.