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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 171 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Anime Fantasy Donjon  (Read 2887 times)

Posts: 729

« on: September 12, 2002, 05:05:23 AM »

This has been kicked around before (back when Donjon was still embriotic as Donjon Krawl), but I've got some things to riff on and ask about:

I've been quite sick this last week, so I've taken off work and rented Anime.  I rewatched a few episodes of the Slayers and discovered a pretty durned cool series called ORPHEN (I believe titled initially something like Sorcerous Stabber Orphen... nice eh?).  It was Orphen that got me thinking about trying to replicate distinctly anime-style magic in a game... and that led me rather handliy to Donjon...  

In Orphen magic always involves some kind of incantation- typically short- and some of the translations sound suspiciously like DONJON power-word-in-name spells.  Its always been problematic trying to replicate an Anime magic user's full arsenal of spells... some only get used one or twice, but all typicaly share certain common thematic elements... like a Donjon spell caster's Words.  

Here is an incomplete Orphen spell list I found online:


And here is a brilliant one for Slayers:


Mechanicly, DONJON can do the job of capturing Anime style action with no real alterations- as players win authorial power, descriptions in the Anime falre can be properly encouraged.  One of the basic assumptions of Donjon is the existence of a distinct 'donjon'- a place where adventures occor- which comes with its own base rating of peril...  for a somewhat less structured, more campaign/quest-oriented game structure, what would a good tweak be?  I was thinking of something as easy as a rating each Episode (since I'm going for a anime series kind of feel, with stand-alone episodes mingled with continuity and backstory episodes) rather than each 'place of danger'...  I can also see a pretty cool way of adventure building based on a very simple GM setup description, then letting Players build the episode with their discovery rolls...

"You are all trecking through the Grey Marrow Forest... not lost exaclty, just not where you want to be.  You are tired.  You are hungry.  You got rained on last night, and your boots are still squishy.  And judging from the clouds hanging out over head, tonight looks pretty wet too.  What are you going to do?"

Its a good bet that some smart-guy is going to try and percieve a village or town somewhere near by... and right there you have your Episode intro.  Now what's up with this town?  Unlike normal Donjon, the town itself might hold the Episode's peril... or a single person they neet there might... or the Town might lead them handily to whatever trouble the GM decides to dredge up fro his Notebook of Doom.

As for rating Episode Level...   I was thinking that a given episode's level would reflect the amount of Series Continuity, Character Backstory, and overt Peril seen in it.  Characters could go from a real trial by fire as their old nemisis tries to resurect a demon god and destroy the world while holding their estranged families hostage and being allied with one of their lovers-turned-evil all the way down to a simple romb involving drunken goblins under a local monestery.  Revealing the Episode Level to the players before play begins is sort of like a teaser preview of the coming episode... if it is loaded with Backstory and Continuity, then the characters are in for a beating... if it is low, then they are more free for wacky action and humor.  

These ideas are immature at best... comments?  Suggestion?
Clinton R. Nixon
Posts: 2624

« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2002, 05:53:03 AM »

I think you're on the right track here. As Ron said long ago, "I thought Donjon was anime D&D, for all intents and purposes." He's right - and this is from the guy who's seen about 90 seconds of anime total in his entire life.

As for your concepts about Episode Level - they sound great. In fact, if you really work on the concept of "Donjon unleashed," feel free to write all this up as a mini-supplement. One thing: the Donjon Level not only determines the difficulty of tasks for the characters, but it also determines how "flashy" they are. In other words, characters will be able to leap higher, jump further, run faster, cast better, and do more crazy stuff on lower Donjon Levels.

Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
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