Take control of d20 System character creation! BESM d20 provides you with a point-based character creation mechanic that gives players and GMs a method to create exciting, dynamic, and balanced d20 System characters for all styles and genres of play. It's built for anime--but powerful enough to handle anything. Taking characters to the next level.
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Pulver, Jesse Scoble, and Ian Sturrock. All Rights Reserved. All images of their respective copyright holders and used with permission.
A copy of this License can be found at www. No part of this book may be reproduced in part or in whole, in any form or by any means, without permission from the publisher, except for Open Gaming Content and personal copies of the character sheet, or brief quotes for use in reviews.
Playing BESM d Anime is the accepted term for animation from Japan. It has garnered much more respect in its native country than North American cartoons have in Canada and the United States. One reason for the popularity of anime is its diverse subject matter, ranging from fantasy and science fiction to romantic comedy and horror. While North American cartoons tend to be written for younger audiences with a few exceptions , anime includes many shows aimed explicitly at teenagers or older viewers, and this in turn permits more sophisticated story lines and a wider array of genres.
Another factor in the appeal of anime is the ongoing multi-episode story arcs that are a common feature of many live-action TV dramas. A show can tell a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end rather than simply present a series of disconnected episodes that lurch onward until cancellation. Science fiction and fantasy fare very well in anime. Freed from the budgetary constraints imposed by the high cost of live-action special effects, coupled with a willingness to tackle stories that appeal to older viewers, many shows bring fantastic visions to vivid life.
Alien invasions, world-shaking sorcery, transforming robots, super-powered heroes, demonic monsters, obsessively detailed military hardware, and realistic depictions of life in space are all a part of anime. Characters in these shows are often larger than life: angst-ridden, utterly clueless, burning for revenge, or hopelessly in love. In , the impossible happened when the magical girl show, Sailor Moon, began appearing on North American television, the first shojo young girl anime to do so.
Its success has added a new generation of young female and male fans. The start of the new century is seeing an explosion in anime with TV series being translated and released on video within months of their appearance in Japan, and anime returning to mainstream American television. Its a good time to be an anime fan! The Japanese comics industry is among the most prolific and vibrant in the world. Japanese manga published almost exclusively in black and white are even more diverse than anime, and widely accepted as a legitimate literary and artistic form.
Manga serve as inspiration for television series, direct-to-video releases, and theatrical movies. Recently, manga has also influenced the drawing style of comic titles from Marvel and DC. Anime includes familiar genres such as space opera, cyberpunk, cops-and-robbers shows, high-school soap operas, and more. Some of the more exotic sub-genres are outlined here. It is very common for shows to combine elements from several genres.
Later, this series became popular in the West as Astro Boy. A major breakthrough came in the early s, when direct-to-video OAV; Original Animation Video anime releases caught on, allowing production studios to produce shows aimed at smaller niche audiences or older viewers in a much greater diversity of genres. The legacy of this OAV boom and the rise of speciality cable TV was a renaissance in original television anime in the late s, of which the most influential series were the mecha-conspiracy saga, Neon Genesis Evangelion , and monster gladiator kids show, P okemon In North America, relatively few anime-derived series were translated and adapted for television in the s and s.
Most of those that did appear were heavily altered, often losing those Japanese elements such as a continuing story arc that made them interesting in the first place. Notable exceptions were Star Blazers , the U. The fandom that developed around these shows was sustained by various comics, books, and fan activities and helped fuel the first anime-inspired giant robot board games and RPGs.
In and the first American anime magazines appeared. More and more Westerners became active in the distribution of Japanese language or fansubtitled tapes, as fans became aware of the OAV boom taking place in Japan. Successful comic book translations of high quality Japanese manga such as Akira, L one Wolf and Cub, Nausicaa and Appleseed and the theatrical release of the Akira motion picture captured new fans. In the late s, a number of American companies began releasing quality subtitled and dubbed translations of anime releases, including some of the best of the then-new science fiction OAV series like Gunbuster and Bubblegum Crisis In the s, the growing popularity of anime allowed companies to release longer TV series.
Mecha shows are anime that feature such machines in action, often giant, human-piloted robots, spaceships, submarines, fighter planes, or suits of form-fitting powered armour. Among the first mecha anime series were hero shows, in which teenage champions fought evil masterminds from inside super powered cars, subs, or giant robots. The niftiest robots, like Mazinger Z, could transform into different shapes or combine into even bigger robots which also sold lots of cool toys.
Then came series like Mobile Suit Gundam, which treated giant robots or space battleships as real military hardware used by governments or corporations to fight wars or combat terrorism. Instead of comic book heroes and villains, the characters were often young and talented soldiers facing combat and death for the first time, fighting opponents much like themselves.
If you suspend disbelief in the robots or spaceships themselves, the mecha anime genre offers quality space opera or cyberpunk drama with a dash of soap opera that often matches or exceeds the best of Western cinematic science fiction television. Be sure to check out Guardians Of Orders d20 mecha creation system supplement, d20 Mecha Product , and the far-future hard SF setting, Centauri Knights d20 Product , if you plan to add mecha to your games. These series usually feature an elementary or high school-aged girl who is granted the power to transform into a costumed magical superheroine to fight evil.
Often the magical girl will discover other magical girls who become her allies. Common elements in these anime are cute talking animal companions, mysterious male allies, evil monsters bent on world domination a different set each season , high school romance, and the value of friendship. Many magical girl anime also include strong dramatic elements with characters encountering heartbreak, tragedy, and occasionally death in their struggle to win love for themselves and protect the world from evil.
These often draw inspiration from liveaction hero team shows such as Ultra Man or Power Rangers. An occasionally popular sub-genre is the boys in armour series, featuring a team of buff, angst-ridden teenage boys whose pretty boy features are designed to appeal to female fans while the action typically draws male viewers.
MARTIAL ARTS Featuring battles inspired by manga, video games, and Hong Kong wuxia wire fu movies, anime martial artist shows regularly transcend the limitations of reality to produce incredibly ki-powered special attacks such as fireballs or geysers of energy. Characters in martial arts anime are often obsessed with proving themselves and discovering new techniques, much like fantasy RPG characters want to go up in level. Martial arts stories may be set in the real world or in exotic landscapes such as postapocalyptic wastelands or medieval China.
Often the martial arts genre crosses over with the supernatural as heroes battle magicians or labour under strange curses. Some sports anime are even set in the future, with science fiction sports that do not exist today. The plots in sports anime focus as much on their characters emotional development as on the actual training, matches, or tournaments.
The hero often starts out lacking self-confidence and skill, but with the help of a best friend or coach pulls through, wins the respect of fellow team members, and leads them to victory in the final competition. Sequels often feature greater challenges or travel on to the Olympics! This genre can cross over with the martial arts or even mecha genres, depending on the kind of sports involved.
The guy may be an ordinary teenager, or he may be more than he seems. The girls are aliens, goddesses, martial artists, robots, fighter pilots, etc. Often the hero would like nothing more than to dump the lot of them and just date a normal girl next door, but the plot alien invaders, the world needs saving, etc. Since the girls have special powers or big guns, this offers a combination of love triangle and action-comedy that appeals to both boys and girls.
The genre has spun off into Dating Simulation console games, many of which spawn their own anime. There are rare variations that feature a bunch of guys and one girl. Something weird happens, and the characters are magically summoned or otherwise sucked into another dimension a fantasy world where magic, alien races or lost super technologies exist, and an epic battle rages between rival forces.
In this world, the exiled Earthlings often possess special abilities, allowing them to become mecha pilots, magicians, leaders, or warriors in the earthshaking struggle taking place if they pick the right side with which to join. Often the battle lines are not so clear cut, and the group of castaways ends up split between both sides.
The big difference is that instead of being ineffectual, the heroes often have access to high technology, cybernetics, martial arts, magical powers, or supernatural abilities of their own and can battle the monsters on an even basis. Thus, these anime are really action-adventure shows with a supernatural twist. Sometimes the horror is purely supernatural, or it may have a sciencefiction rationale with psychic powers or sinister parasitic or shape-shifting aliens.
Magical girls can be considered one unique sub-set of this genre, as are the naughty tentacle shows where the horrific demons are interested in more than just their victims blood and souls. A heroic samurai or ninja can dispatch a dozen enemies with his blade, and a ninjas bag of tricks range from explosive bombs to literal invisibility. These shows are generally historical fantasies playing fast and loose with Japanese history in the same way that westerns do with the Old West. Variations are shows that take place in pseudo-historical China or India.
This includes visual elements anime elves often have huge ears , insanely destructive magical spells mostly powered-up variations of fireballs and often a blend of magic and technology. The latter consists of techno-magical robots, androids, or flying ships, and the relics of ancient civilisations whose secrets are now lost. Often an innocent school boy or girl is a pawn in some sinister project to create or control a super weapon designed to fight a hidden enemy, or discovers a clue like a mecha suit that leads him or her into its midst.
Neither side is what it seems, and there are wheels within wheels, and even the characters own identity may be a lie. This sort of show often crosses over with the supernatural action or mecha genres, with artificial intelligence, psychic powers, or advanced mecha as part of the experiment. The GM is also responsible for creating the plot and the setting for the game adventures and works closely with the players to keep the game interesting and fun for all.
The game system helps players assign some strengths and weaknesses to their characters using numbers to indicate relative ability. The remaining elements of a characters background, family, hobbies, and interests are not covered by the rules and are described by each player according to his or her choice of character personality. As a player, you control your characters actions in the game. He or she can be likened to one of the major characters in an anime movie, working through the unexpected twists and turns of the plot with the help of other major characters.
Your characters actions can greatly affect the outcome of the adventure, but you must keep in mind that every action has a consequence that could return to haunt your character in a future session. Role-playing is a group effort, however, and positive interactions between your character and those of the other players are vital to everyones enjoyment of the game.
As a GM, your contribution will be much greater than that from any one player. You must establish the genre, setting, conflicts, and plot of the adventure as well as all the non-player characters NPCs your group of players will meet during the game. NPCs are similar to the background characters in a movie few are given quality screen time with the major characters unless they are good buddies, or central to the plot. Additionally, you must be able to project your imagination to the players by describing in vivid detail the world in which they live.
Then, after all that, your game plot must remain sufficiently flexible to allow the characters actions to make a definite impact on the adventure.
A plot that is too rigid may leave players feeling their characters have lost the free will to affect their own destiny. Should you assume the role of GM, you must possess creativity, good judgement, and the ability to improvise in unexpected situations. It takes extra time and effort, but the reward of a well-played adventure can be almost euphoric. Each role-playing adventure or episode will require one or two sessions, each several hours in length.
A number of episodes using the same characters can be linked together to form an anime campaign.
Besm d20 - Anime Role-Player's Handbook (Revised)
ISBN 13: 9781894938020