Eclipse and Anime – the Sekirei

   Here’s another special request – the “Sekirei” for Eclipse d20.

   Now that’s from another source I’m not familiar with, but – in this case – Alzrius included enough information for me to take a shot at a conversion.

   Sekirei is apparently an anime which focuses on beautiful young “alien” women with special powers (and often without much clothing) who bond with a human master – their “Ashikabi” – who somehow boosts their power based on the strength of the bond. For unknown reasons, bonding with an Ashikabi puts a tattoo on their backs.

   They then engage in battles to the death with each other.

   Well, that’s slightly more gruesome than the usual harem anime, but there are certainly stranger and more violent ones out there.

   Now, each Sekirei has a unique power. I’d guess that those are generally flashy, often destructive to the scenery, can be used without specified limit (although the characters may become fatigued after a lengthy battle), are usually combative, and are usually a lot more effective against inanimate objects than they are against living creatures. How flexible they are is probably open to debate: it seems likely that – the more often a given character appears – the more likely they are to display new uses of their talents with no firm limits.

  • For that, it’s easiest to use the Path of the Dragon: Take Shaping, Pulse of the Dragon, and Heart of the Dragon II (30 CP), all Specialized and Corrupted for triple effect – allowing the creation of effects of up to level three. Secondarily, we’ll want Double Damage versus Inanimate Objects (Specialized and Corrupted in the same fashion for x4 damage, 6 CP).

   The limitations include:

  • The effects are limited to a very narrow field, such as control of a particular element, enhancing personal physical attributes, generating some versatile “weapon”, or manipulating computers and electronics.
  • The effects tend to be excessively flashy, dramatic, and destructive of the scenery.
  • The user’s control is poor, and there will often be random side effects – unless the user is bonded with an Ashikabi.

   Sekirei can also combine their powers by using effects designed to compliment or build on each other, but that’s inherent in the ability to make up their own variant effects – and so there’s no cost there.

   A few Sekirei – apparently the oldest (or perhaps the less-tampered with) are notably more powerful: To add that feature and create an Elder Sekirei add Pulse of the Dragon II and Heart of the Dragon III, Specialized and Corrupted as above for Double Effect and two-thirds cost (+24 CP). That will allow them to generate specific effects of up to level five. Elder Sekirei also gain a +2 racial bonus to any two different attributes (24 CP in a racial template) and two Bonus Feats (12 CP).

   Since I haven’t seen the original source material that’s a bit generic of course, but it should provide playable statistics for their special powers.

   Each Sekirei also has a “Norito” – a power-up triggered by kissing their Ashikabi and reciting a brief incantation. That’s Metamagic/Amplify and Metamagic/Sculpting with Streamline x4, Specialized and Corrupted/only to amplify a specific set (Cha Mod maximum) of preset Path of the Dragon effects, must be activated by kissing the user’s Ashikabi before each use and reciting a brief incantation, must be used within one minute of activation, only one use may be prepared at a time (12 CP). For no obvious reason, the powered-up Sekirei will briefly manifest large translucent wings on her back, but these apparently serve no real function.

   Occasional, extraordinarily powerful, Norito have nasty side effects. That’s Metamagic/Compact, Specialized and Corrupted/only applicable to Norito abilities, effects are preset on each ability, MUST be applied with the Norito is used, and the same activation problems as the basic Norito, for a net cost of (2 CP). Not all Sekirei in the anime have this ability, but those few who do find that their Norito is even more powerful than usual – but ALWAYS exacts a price to use.

   Sekirei can find suitable masters somehow, although it’s vaguely implied that only a few people have the potential to bind them to service. As usual for a Harem Anime, most of those who can do so seem to be failures or otherwise badly flawed personalities. In Eclipse this implies that they’re spending their character points on buying and upgrading Companions – their Sekirei – rather than on the skills and abilities most useful in their daily lives.

It’s apparently also stated that training will have very little effect on a Sekirei’s abilities, although their power will grow with the strength of their bond to their Ashikabi. That, of course, also fits in with the Companion ability; the Companion will only improve as the master does – and as he or she invests more character points in the bond.

   In any case, locating a master that way calls for Occult Sense/Locate Ashikabi, Specialized / only to locate one in particular – theirs (3 CP). This usually provides minor visions, and – once they have an Ashikabi – helps keep track of them (and helps them avoid accidentally blowing up their own masters in battle).

   Once a Sekirei has an Ashikabi, they’re both always aware of each other’s conditions – a basic Mystic Link effect (3 CP).

   The ability to jump around really well was mentioned, so I’ll presume that all Sekirei have some basic anime powers (and, also that their “wings” only appear briefly and don’t actually let them fly around, or they’d have no need to jump). Basic anime powers include..

  • 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).
  • Immunity/the normal XP cost of Innate Enchantments (Uncommon, Minor, Trivial [only covers first level effects at caster level one], Specialized/only to cover basic anime abilities as listed below, 1 CP). Most of the spells are either from the SRD or The Practical Enchanter.
  • Innate Enchantment (11,000 GP Value / 12 CP. All effects use-activated unlimited use at caster level one, x.7 personal only):
    • Enhance Attribute/+2 Charisma (1400 GP).
    • Fast Healing I. This has an upper limit of 36 hit points per day (560 GP).
    • Immortal Vigor I. This provides two extra six-sided hit dice (treated as 12) (1400 GP).
    • Jump. Provides a +10 enhancement bonus to Jump (1400 GP).
    • Lesser Resist Energy. Provides resistance-5 to all forms of energy (1400 GP).
    • Light Foot. This provides +30′ movement, +10 to Jump, and DR 10 versus falling only, but the user is treated as one size category smaller against grapple, bull rush, etc (1400 GP).
    • Makeover. This cantrip that fixes their hair, cleans them up, refreshes their makeup, and repairs their clothing between scenes (700 GP).
    • Prestidigitation. This cantrip only provides flashy special effects (half cost), 350 GP).
    • Toughness. This is built using the Damage Reduction spell template from The Practical Enchanter and turns the first five points of physical damage from any attack into nonlethal damage (1400 GP).
    • Void Sheathe. This cantrip lets them conceal a sizeable personal weapon in a bikini if they so desire (700 GP).

   Finally, this is a harem anime. Ergo, they all get +4 Charisma (24 CP in a Template).

   All Sekirei have a couple of disadvantages as well. They’re…

   Accursed; A Sekirei immediately dies if her connection to her Ashikabi is ever broken; if a bonded Sekirei recites her Norito incantation while touching the crest (a tattoo on the back) of another bonded Sekirei, that Sekirei’s crest will vanish and her connection to her Ashikabi will be broken, resulting in her demise. This does not work between Sekirei of the same Ashikabi (-3 CP).

   OK, that’s a very specific curse – but the consequences (instant death!) are also unusually serious, so that’s acceptable. It’s only (-3 CP) anyway.

   And…

   Compulsive: All Sekirei are driven to find and submit to an Ashikabi / Master. In some cases this is a particular individual that they’re drawn to, in others they just pick someone who was nice to them and has the right “potential”, and in others they’re simply forcibly kissed (and thus bonded) by a would-be master. Most tend to develop a loving/worshipful attitude towards their Ashikabi (-3 CP).

   Hm. Unwilling powerful women tamed and bound to a ruthless master with a kiss. I don’t know whether or not that aspect is played up in the anime or whether it’s just left as a teaser subtext, but there are definitely more than a few risqué implications here.

   Sekirei also apparently tend to lost their clothes a lot – but that’s probably simply a local world law (also known as a genre convention) and has no actual game impact – unless, of course, the game master is using some pretty peculiar visual aids. If that’s the case in your games, kindly don’t tell me about it. I really don’t want to know.

   Now, to add all of this up…

   A Basic Sekirei gets:

  • A Basic Power (36 CP) (only fully effective after bonding with an Ashikabi).
  • A Norito (12 CP) (only usable after bonding with an Ashikabi).
  • (Optional) A Draining Norito (+2 CP).
  • The ability to Locate and Bond with an Ashikabi (6 CP).
  • Some Basic Anime Powers (19 CP).
  • A +4 to their Charisma (24 CP).
  • And two Disadvantages (-6 CP).

   That’s 93 CP with the Draining Norito, or 91 CP if you skip that bit – a +2 ECL Racial Template.

   Now, if you want to make an Elder Sekirei, you’ll want to throw in the Advanced Powers (+24 CP), another pair of +2 attribute bonuses (24 CP), and two Bonus Feats (12 CP), bringing the total up to 151 or 153 CP (with Draining Norito) – a +4 ECL Race.

   To “buy” a Sekirei for a character you’ll want the Companion ability, choosing the “Creature” option. Since “Sekirei” is a racial template, and companion creatures are normally of CR 2 or less, what we’ll want is a generic second level humanoid with either one (normal Sekirai) or two (elder Sekirei) levels of the Template modifier. Given that the Sekirai seem – as usual for the genre – to come with complications and troubles attached, as well as probably being prone to doing things that they think that their Ashikabi would want without thinking them through, this purchase can be counted as Corrupted – for a total of (8 CP) for a basic Sekirei or (12 CP) for an elder Sekirei. That’s not a lot, but the Sekirei seem to bring more than enough trouble with them to make up for it.

   A generic second level humanoid will have normally-determined attributes, 72 CP to spend, a base of (5 x Int Mod) skill points, and a base of 2d4 Hit Points. I’d recommend spending at least a chunk of those character points on buying large hit dice, some base attack bonus, and some basic defenses. That isn’t absolutely required, but that whole “battle to the death” thing makes it seem pretty advisable.

   That, and the bonus hit dice from the Immortal Vigor effect, will also give them a basic total of four hit dice and an effective level of four for using their special powers, That means that their basic magical attacks will generally do 4d6 damage – or 16d6 against inanimate objects. That lets them smash through brick walls and destroy tanks with relative ease, while still having trouble with living opponents. Those with higher-level Ashikabi will gain additional bonuses, as usual for Companions.

   Now, there are doubtless details – both positive and negative – that I’m not aware of and thus haven’t covered, but a lot of those will fall under character customization anyway – and that’s a big part of what those basic 72 character points (and additional bonuses from their Ashikabi) are for.

   Eclipse Campaign Options:

   In Eclipse, Pulse of the Dragon and Heart of the Dragon are intentionally left open.

   Pulse of the Dragon notes that no more than three spell levels worth of magical energy can be summoned per round and that “beyond this point the magic begins to discharge at random” – but does not specify whether Specialization and Corruption can be applied to increase that limit. If they can, users who restrict themselves somehow can gather a great deal of power very quickly. If not, Path of the Dragon Adepts must spend several rounds building up power for major effects, and will have to find another way to control that power.

   Heart of the Dragon can be read as either “you must have all the energy you need for a spell in your personal reserves” or as “you must have all the energy you need for a spell above what Pulse of the Dragon supplies ready in your personal reserves”. The first option keeps Path of the Dragon adepts under rather tight control, and works in most games. The second lets them cast all the low-level spells they please, and is suitable for various high-powered settings, such as many anime and most superhero games. Given that this IS an anime conversion, I’m using the second reading in both cases, just as we do for the Federation-Apocalypse setting. Basic fantasy games are better off using the first reading in both cases. “Classic” d20 games are probably best off using the first reading for Pulse of the Dragon and the second for Heart of the Dragon. However you choose to read it for your game is just another way to customize your magic system to suit the game you want to play, like the rest of the Campaign Options checklist.

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5 Responses

  1. Looking back on this article, you did a heck of a job translating the series of notes I gave you into a working template. I also noticed that you did some of your own research here, since you mention some things I overlooked (such as the draining norito, something we only see once in the series).

    Kudos to you!

    I also wanted to ask about Pulse of the Dragon – more specifically, does it have any real use besides existing as a prerequisite for other powers?

    What I mean is, just taking Pulse of the Dragon by itself doesn’t seem to grant any abilities. It lets you summon ambient magical energy, but grants no capacity to retain or utilize the power that you gather (since those are gained by other abilities in Path of the Dragon).

    Is there any practical reason to have Pulse of the Dragon by itself, without any further Path of the Dragon abilities that build on it?

    • Once again, I’m sorry this is late; I’ve been ill for a bit.

      First up, I’m glad you liked it! I can’t claim all that much credit for research though; it’s not like I went out, found the series, and watched it… you can find wikis devoted to the most obscure things though, and I do read quickly.

      Now, as for the Pulse of the Dragon… There are a few reasons why you might want to take it without taking more of the Path of the Dragon in Eclipse; you can use it as a setup for other powers (generating a high, or aspected, magic zone to fulfill the requirements of the Compact metamagical theorem or powers which you’ve Corrupted to require such a high-magic area or to recharge from one), to power items built with the Spell Storing/Focusing/Occult Focus option, or as a ritual magic component.

      You might get absurdly lucky and find a game master who will let you get away with using it to partially power Thaumaturgy and Dweomer with it, but I certainly wouldn’t count on that; it’s not quite equivalent to allowing a sorcerer to power his or her spells with it, but it comes pretty close.

      Other than that, there’s not much reason to take it by itself – in Eclipse. Eclipse, after all, is devoted to purely personal powers. If you’re also using The Practical Enchanter, however, you can easily construct a Runic Formula (page 120) to channel raw, unfocused, power into whatever effects you want – or to create items that need to be fueled with raw magic.

      Going beyond that, there are plenty of other devices and situations that call for raw magic to power them out there in the greater d20 universe – perhaps most classically, spelljammer helms and similar devices.

  2. I just wanted to mention that I referenced this article pretty heavily in my own article on the sekirei (for Pathfinder). It can be found over here

    • Well, it’s nice to know that you’ve found it useful; it is a rather specialized writeup… And you’re more than welcome to use it; after all, you’re the one who requested it!

      Hm. I may have to put out an “Eclipse Pathfinder” booklet.

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