Anime World Laws and the Anime Template

   The Anime Realms cover an immense stretch of territory – ranging from (reasonably) realistic historical realms on through the wildest reaches of fantasy and futuristic fantasy – but there are enough stylistic elements to unite the entire realm. In Eclipse: The Codex Persona (available as a free download HERE), just as in the Manifold setting, that usually means that there are a set of World Laws in operation.

   And here they are:

Anime World Laws

  1. Characters may take a move action using Jump, Acrobatics, or a similar physical skill once per round as a free action. If necessary, such skills may be combined with Tumble to avoid Attacks of Opportunity that would otherwise result from such movement.
  2. Minor details – hair and eye color, costumes, and similar items – are freely variable. As such, any attempts at disguise (no matter how thin) receive a +10 bonus and clothing, makeup, and hair can be damaged only by deliberate attacks on it.
  3. Characters may conceal their weapons about their persons from anything short of a full strip search, no matter how impracticable this appears, as long as they have any clothing left at all. Similarly, they never run out of ammunition and automatically gain the Anime Master feat, allowing them to wield weapons of one size category larger than normal.
  4. Everyone has +10 points of energy resistance to all forms of energy, although they will still be temporarily blackened, iced over, or electrically charged by appropriate energy attacks. This lets them wear their usual outfits regardless of how inappropriate they are for the local weather and makes blades and projectiles the most effective known weapons.
  5. Characters may use personal dexterity-based rolls, such as Acrobatics, Tumbling, Jumping, and Reflex Saves, on behalf of their vehicles.

   Now that we’ve dealt with the Mechanics, there are two Stylistic Laws of Anime as well:

  • Everything glows and/or explodes noisily, whether or not this is possible. Thus fatal wounds tend to glow, weapons charge up with energy and glow, massive explosions are heard in space, characters channeling energy glow, and stricken opponents blow up or disappear in a burst of light.
  • While other anime conventions include children often being much smarter than adults, extremely rapid healing, bandages counting as temporary hit points, death being either extremely fast or extremely drawn out (and filled with flashbacks and insights), and a certain flexibility about time, these are not particularly universal – and so such abilities must be purchased by the individual characters who wish to have them. 

The d20 Anime Template:

   Now, if we’re hauling Anime Characters out of their universes and want to keep those abilities, we’re going to want an Anime Template to apply. Ideally, to keep it at a nice, consistent, +1 ECL it should have a total value of 31 CP. So lets see what we can get.

  • Opportunist: May take a Move Action using Acrobatics, Jump, or Tumble once per round as a Free Action. This may be combined with Tumble to avoid Attacks of Opportunity (6 CP).
  • Anime Master: May use weapons one size category larger than usual (6 CP).
  • Innate Enchantment (6000 GP Value / 7 CP. All effects use-activated unlimited use at caster level one, personal only): Void Sheathe (Conceals Weapons, 700 GP), Mending (Fixes Hair, Clothing, Etc, 700 GP), Disguise Self (+10 bonus only, 1400 GP), Resist Energy (1400 GP), Fast Healing I (up to a limit of 20/level/day, 1400), and Prestidigitation (only provides glowing special effects, half cost, 350 GP).
  • Opportunist: The characters may make personal dexterity-based rolls, such as Acrobatics, Tumbling, Jumping, and Reflex Saves, on behalf of any vehicle he or she is piloting (6 CP).

Anime Identities:

   Now, for some Anime-World Identities. Interestingly, while most Identities are limited to a single world, or to a very limited group of closely-related worlds, Anime Identities tend to apply throughout the entire Anime Multiverse.

   Lingering Smoke tends to take on the role of Fire-On-The-Mountain, a young mystical monk of vaguely taoist persuasion, a tendency to “go with the flow” by meddling as whim takes him, and tremendous martial art skills. Fortunately, Fire-On-The-Mountains ability to induce a loss of recent memories with a focused nerve strike allows him to keep his reputation from spreading. As a level four identity, Fire-On-The-Mountain gains an extra 32 CP worth of abilities:

  • Enhanced Martial Arts: 1d20 base unarmed damage (increased from 1d12, 6 CP)
  • Double Damage vrs Inanimate Objects and Generic Thugs (6 CP)
  • Enhanced Strike/Focused (for a total of 2d20 +2d6 Force +10, 6 CP)
  • Enhanced Strike/ Hammer (Inflict maximum damage at +5 to hit with a single blow, 6 CP)
  • Trick/Amnesia Strike (Victims lose all memories of the last few hours, 6 CP)
  • +2 bonus to Jump (2 CP).

   As a Sidereal Exalted, Lingering Smoke has considerable experience with slipping into Identities – but has been taken somewhat aback by the Manifold’s tendency to simply drop you into them willy-nilly. Still, at least Fire-On-The-Mountain isn’t that far from his usual reality.

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   Marty tends to fall into the role of Genin Tabard – a slightly “ninjafied” version of his usual Battling Businessman persona, with a darker-colored suit, slightly enhanced reflexes, and more skill in parrying attacks. As Genin Tabard he has a somewhat more ruthless streak than Marty, and is even more fixated on “contracts” – offers of which he seems to attract. As a level four identity, Genin Tabard provides 32 CP worth of abilities:

  • Reflex Training/Combat Reflexes Variant (+4 Attacks of Opportunity, 6 CP).
  • Improved Melee Block (DC 15 Reflex Save to block up to 60 points of damage. Unfortunately, this uses up an attack of opportunity. 12 CP).
  • Augmented Attack/+2d6 Sneak Attack (6 CP).
  • Innate Enchantment/7000 GP Value: All effects use-activated unlimited use at caster level one, personal only. +10 to Jump (1400 GP), +4 Shield bonus to AC (2000 GP), +6 Competence Bonus to all Dexterity-Related Checks (1400 GP), Scalywrath (may take lizard-man form, gaining +5 natural armor, 1d4 natural weapons, and a +4 bonus on Balance, Jump, and Swim checks, 1400 GP), and Message (700 GP). 8 CP).

   Marty is beginning to get used to the Manifold, and to the ability to adopt particular identities in it – however he still tends to default to various versions of his basic identity. While that somewhat limits the variety of abilities he gets to play with, it does have the virtue of keeping things familiar for him.

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   Kevin falls into the role of Arken of the Sands – an incredibly agile young mercenary swordsman with dark mystic powers which he usually winds up winds up wielding against far greater darknesses. Unfortunately, he tends to feel that if people don’t have either (a) the ability to protect themselves or (b) the resources to pay for such protection, then they’re obviously (c) – the property of whoever rescues them. He has no compunctions about saving a bunch of kids from demons, only to turn around and either ransom them to their parents or sell them on the local slave market. They’re better off aren’t they? Doesn’t that make him a good guy?

   As a level six identity, Arken provides 48 CP worth of abilities:

  • +6 Warcraft/BAB (specialized in Swords, 18 CP).
  • Improved Melee Block (may block up to 60 points of damage from an attack with a DC 15 melee save. This uses up an attack of opportunity, 12 CP)
  • Opportunist/can reflexively throw a transmutation spell on anyone in the immediate vicinity who’s just gone unconscious (6 CP). Arken usually throws a protective, or move-to-safety spell on allies or people they’re rescuing, and a stabilize-bind-and-ready-for-sale effect on enemies.
  • May do Stun Damage with Blades without penalty (add Strike to the Blade Expert martial art, 2 CP)
  • Add Vanishing to his Lightning Fist Martial Art (2 CP).
  • Innate Enchantment (5000 GP, 6 CP): +2 Resistance Bonus on Saves (1400 GP), +10 to Jump (1400 GP), and a +4 Shield bonus to AC (2000 GP).
  • Contacts: A local dealer in “dark” magical merchandise and a slave trader (2 CP).

   As an experienced wanderer of the Manifold, Kevin is mildly annoyed at just how strong the drag of the anime conventions are. There are a number of other identities he could try to slip into, and he could probably change things given enough time and effort – but every time he turns around in an anime universe he gets shunted back into being Arken. Not that it isn’t FUN to be Arken sometimes, but it’s a bit blatant.

Secrets of the Elders

   Have you ever noticed that, in Legend of the Five Rings, aging has no effect – and there is no requirement that a character ever actually die?

   OK, there aren’t any rules for children either – but apparently people remain hale and hearty (at least to judge by their undiminished Rings and Skills) until, it is vaguely assumed, they abruptly fall over dead at some undefined time. Obviously, aging must be voluntary – and if its voluntary, why do so many people do it? What secret techniques do the elderly gain?

   At last, the Secrets of the Elders can be revealed! Read now, and glory in, the secret knowledge of the “Courtier” SCHOOL OF SENILITY.

  • Trait Bonus: +1 Void
  • School Skills: Calligraphy, Ceremony, Courtier, Defense, Etiquette, Meditation, Storytelling, and Theology. Free choice of any two Lore skills and any two other skills.
  • Special: Any character may start taking ranks in the School of Senility at any time after reaching 40 without explanation. At 60 they may start trading in ranks in old schools for ranks in the School of Senility.

First Technique: Retiree

  • Hard of Hearing: The elder may ignore the effects of any social skill check by simply invoking the mystic mantra “Eh? What was that you said? (random sentence with a word or two which vaguely sounds like what was said)” or some variation thereof (Immunity/Social Effects, 10 Points).
  • Nearly Blind: You don’t have to see anything that you don’t want to, and thus lose no honor for “overlooking” any misbehavior or situation (Immunity/Honor Losses for overlooking things. 5 Points).
  • Querulous Demand: You may select a skill for which you may obtain Favors. (5 Points)

Second Technique: Respected Grandparent

  • You Don’t Get To Be My Age Without Becoming Very Good At Not Dying. You may increase the TN for all attacks or spells used against you by (Void x 5) at the cost of accepting a similar penalty to all other rolls except Defense. (15, -5/Limited Activities, net 10 Points).
  • Rambling Digression Prana: You may make a contested Void check against up to three targets in the immediate area. If you win, they are trapped listening to you tell some long and incoherent story of your childhood, looking at pictures of your grandchildren, or some similar digression, and may not move, attack, or take other actions unless violently disturbed for one minute, plus one minute per rank by which the user’s void exceeds theirs. While this occupies the user as well, he or she may continue to invoke the Rambling Digression Prana against any new targets who make the error of getting too close. Fortunately, an individual target may only be so pinned down once per hour by any single user (Contested Void Paralysis 10, -5 for occupying the user, +5 for extended duration. Net 10 points).

Third Technique: Doddering Old Fool

  • There’s No Cure For Old Age: The effects of this schools techniques cannot be negated, blocked, or otherwise taken away (5 Points).
  • Doddering Elder Technique: Anyone who attempts to attack you, or who lays violent hands upon you, loses honor points equal to your rank in addition to any other honor losses they would normally take for such an action (5 Points).
  • Senile Dementia: You may ramble on incoherently, saying anything you please to anyone you please, and no one will take offense. In addition, you lose no Honor for anything you say (Immunity/Giving Offense, 10 Points, plus Immunity/Honor loss for saying things, 5 Points. Unfortunately, due to your general incoherence, no one will take anything you say too seriously, -5 points. Net 10 points)

Fourth Technique: Withered Geezer

  • Moment of Clarity: Experience counts for something you young whippersnapper! During those rare moments when you focus on something properly, you may demonstrate all your old skill and insight. Gain a daily pool of (2x Void) Free Raises which may be used on any desired roll – but they must all be used on a single roll and you will lapse back into senility – unable to take any non-defensive actions on your own – for at least a minute (in combat) or an hour (out of combat) after completing the task in question. (15 Points – 5 Points – 5 Points, taken twice = 10 Points)
  • Imperious Demand: Your dementia now lets you see beyond the usual boundaries; you may select an additional four skills with which you can request Favors. Unfortunately, you must spend a Void point to invoke this privilege (10 Points, -5 for Void requirement, net 5 Points).
  • Practiced Reflexes: You have trained so long that your Kata have become ingrained: you may keep one of them active at all times, spending either the usual practice time or a void point to switch (5 Points).

Fifth Technique: Wizened Ancient

  • Obvious Harmlessness: So long as you carry no weapon and make no threatening moves, you are so obviously harmless that no one will pay attention to you, allowing you to pass where you will. At most, guards will gently steer you away from the most secure locations or keep your hands away from the most dangerous or important items. Sadly, you must either spend a Void point or spend at least fifteen minutes talking to yourself to activate this technique. In other ways it is generally similar to the Steal the Air Dragon Kiho (10 Points).
  • Blessings of the Patriarch / Matriarch: You have hordes of descendants, relatives, and connections through them. You may make a TN 20 Void check to call on a “floating” 2-point human ally once per session (10 Points).

   OK, so this is a bit tongue in cheek and stretches the rules a bit here and there – but no more than most schools. I can see some circumstances under which someone might actually want to start taking ranks in it. In heavily social games, it might even be seriously overpowered. It doesn’t have any real offensive potential, but it will let you get away with all kinds of things.