However, once the players have chosen a surname for their PCs using the list on p8, they may become stuck during Step Ten of character generation if they want a real Chinese-sounding given name — the guidelines given on p46-47 are pretty brief and concentrate on the kind of names that one expects in Chinese fiction.
I suggest the use of this web-site for the creation of Chinese-sounding names. This tool was originally meant to provide a Chinese translation for Western names, but it works perfectly well for our intent.
Just enter any character string (even rubbish) in the first two fields, adjust the following two fields to your personal taste, and voilà! here's your instant Chinese name.
Given Name John
Family Name Doe
Desired Essence of the Name: Mind and Intelligence
Your Gender: Male
Your Birthdate: 1 January 1951 [Warning: early birthdates return an error message]
譚皎翰 Tan Jiaohan [actually Tán Jiǎohàn] -- you were born in the Year of the Tiger.
Let us assume that a GM wants to start his Celestial Empire campaign under the Qīng, on 4 July 1776. Obviously he can't use the date as such, he must convert it to the Xià calendar. This web-site will translate any Western date into its equivalent Chinese date.
I enter '4 July 1776 in Chinese calendar' in the Wolfram bar. The web-site returns the following:
19 wuyue, 4473Everything in the above answer may be used, except the year. 19 is the day. wuyue is the fifth month (as per the Wikipedia article). The Chinese didn't have any continuously numbered years until the Republic, so 4473 can't possibly be used in a Celestial Empire game. So if the GM wants to start his campaign game on 4 July 1776, the equivalent Chinese date is:
Year of the Monkey (Yang Fire)
the 19th day of the 5th month of the Year of the Fire Monkey.
This is enough to start a campaign game, as per p13 of the rules.
However, the GM and/or the players may want more accurate a reckoning for the year of the campaign game. Unless he owns a book with the correspondence of all Western years and Chinese years [I do], the average Celestial Empire GM must look up in an encyclopaedia what emperor actually ruled in 1776, when he was crowned, and deduce what year of his reign 1776 was. In our case, the emperor who ruled China in 1776 was Qiánlóng, who ascended to the throne in 1735. The year is hence the 41st year of the reign of Qiánlóng.
The full Xià date for 4 July 1776 then reads as follows:
the 19th day of the 5th month of the Year of the Fire Monkey, 41st year of the reign of Qiánlóng.
The Plain Girl knows the sexual techniques to heal, but she also knows the ones to steal qì from a victim. A character who is a member of the Xié Sect, and who successfully resists the Plain Girl’s attempt to seduce him, may in turn try to seduce her trough an opposed skill roll of his Heterodoxy allegiance against the Plain Girl’s Charisma. If the character has rolled successfully, the Plain Girl will teach him her secret technique to steal qì from a sexual partner. For every night spent in company of a partner of the opposite sex, the character can now definitively ‘transfer’ 1 CON characteristic point from the victim to himself. The victim will appear to age 5 years for each characteristic point lost in this way – which may eventually arouse suspicion in her relationship.