If you hadn’t heard, there’s been a few developments lately for those who enjoy sex and romance in their Pathfinder game.
The big development in this department is that Paizo released the free player’s guide for their new Jade Regent Adventure Path. Tucked away in their are a set of new relationship rules for how your characters can relate to the four major NPCs in the campaign. This is divided into two possible paths: friendship or rivalry, but with a small notation that if you get your “relationship score” gets high enough, you can eventually start a romance with that NPC.
The need for mechanics like this is something that we’ve blogged about before here on Intelligence Check, so it’s nice to see Paizo following along. No worries that they didn’t credit me for the original idea, of course; I’m just happy to contribute something to the community. *knowing wink*
In all seriousness though, these relationship mechanics are good, but strike me as more of a foundation than anything else. There is some room to grow here, and it’ll be interesting to see if any third-party publishers step in to build on these (and if they don’t, you may just seem some expansions here).
The second half of this equation is that the Pathfinder-compatible version (or rather, the “PFRPG version,” due to the restrictions on Paizo’s compatibility license) version of Sisters of Rapture has been released! If you recall, this particular sourcebook has also been featured here on Intelligence Check, so this really goes to show that we’re ahead of the curve on predicting the next big thing!
It’s in the spirit of these new releases that today’s post focuses on bringing a sexy new element into your Pathfinder game. Of course, being gigantic nerds, we’re going to make sure it has lots of rules and mechanics as well. After all, nothing says “hot” like numerical modifiers to polyhedral die rolls, am I right?
Here at Intelligence Check, we like to think that our stance on sex as part of the game is pretty clear. After all, it’s been blogged about here twice before. Now, in case you don’t want to go read those posts again, it’s easy enough to summarize: adding a sexual dimension to the game world is perfectly fine, so long as it makes sense. It’s when it starts to become gratuitous that things go off the rails.
Having said that, there’s also something to be said for the occasional bit of self-indulgence. After all, rules were meant to be broken. It’s in that spirit that we’re going to completely ignore our own advice and present something erotic entirely for your character’s own gratification. After all, it’s a fantasy role-playing game, so why not throw in a sex fantasy too?
As such, we present: the sekirei.
A bit of background. “Sekirei” is a manga (Japanese comic) that’s currently published in Japan (though if you look around, you can find English translations online easily enough). Set in contemporary Tokyo, it’s of the harem genre, and is pretty stereotypical in what it portrays (e.g. the leading male is rather spineless, the women fall into typical personalities like “tsundere,” “perky ditz,” etc.).
What’s notable for our purposes here are the eponymous sekirei themselves. While the Japanese word “sekirei” literally means “wagtail,” a kind of bird, in this series the sekirei are a race of pulchritudinous humanoids (mostly female) with special powers. And in a rather pokemon-esque twist, they also need to find a human master to bond with, who then has them compete with other bonded sekirei.
…if it sounds kinda crazy, well, it is. There’s more to it, of course, but really you’re mostly reading it for the T & A anyway, as the girls in this series can’t seem to keep their clothes on very well.
Bringing things back around, what we’re going to do here is present Pathfinder stats for the sekirei race, so that your character(s) can have one or more sekirei of their own!
Okay, so now we’re going to go through and convert the sekirei from the manga into a Pathfinder race. This will be fairly easy to do, since it’s already been done…sort of.
A little while ago, mostly for crits and giggles, I asked Thoth of the Emergence Campaign Weblog (over on my blogroll!) to make up sekirei stats, and that’s just what he did. However, his conversion used the rules from Eclipse: the Codex Persona (of which he’s the author), a d20 point-buy sourcebook. Now, I should mention that I’m quite enamored of the rules in Eclipse, as they make virtually any character idea possible – I’ve mentioned the book here on Intelligence Check more than once. However, for someone looking to enjoy a straight Pathfinder game, the rules presented there can seem fairly arcane, and thus difficult to use with the material in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook.
Hence this blog post. While I’d wanted to go through and translate the Eclipse rules into Pathfinder rules step-by-step, that’d make for an incredibly long blog post, and I figure that most of you would probably just want to skip to the end results anyway.
As such, we’ll go ahead and post the end results:
Sekirei are a young race, having been brought into existence within the last twenty years. Created by mortal magic to be the perfect companions to humans and other mortal races, sekirei care for little save for finding a master to bond with, which they call their “ashikabi.” Once they’ve bonded with someone, they become devoted to that person, putting them first for the rest of their lives.
Physical Description: Sekirei look human on close examination. One can tell a bonded sekirei, however, by the pink crest that appears between their shoulder blades, showing the silhouette of a bird in flight. The only other commonality in a sekirei’s appearance is their beauty – there are no ugly sekirei.
Society: Sekirei have no society of their own. Their compulsion to find a master to bond with keeps them much more focused on individual needs rather than forming any stable groups. Bonded sekirei inevitably become part of whatever society their master belongs to.
Relations: Sekirei treat all races equally, looking for an ashikabi among any race that will take them, though this only applies to humanoids. Once they find a master, however, they’re submissive and worshipful towards them, living only to please their ashikabi. Sekirei don’t tend to get along very well with each other, as there seems to be an innate drive to fight amongst themselves, though multiple sekirei bound to the same master can learn to get along.
Alignment and Religion: Sekirei can be of any alignment. They tend to find a master with a matching alignment of their own, though this doesn’t always hold true. As sekirei tend to focus entirely on their bonded master, they have no use for religion of any sort, and virtually never take up worship of a deity.
Adventurers: Sekirei don’t become adventurers unless their master is also, in which case they journey to protect their ashikabi. Many sekirei who are searching for a master to bond with tend to fall into adventures inadvertantly.
SEKIREI RACIAL TRAITS
+4 Charisma: All sekirei are beautiful.
Medium: Sekirei are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Special Powers (Sp): Each sekirei has a thematic special ability, such as “super-strong” or “master of a single weapon” or “manipulates plants.” The GM should assign a sekirei any number of spell-like abilities, of 3rd-level or less, which can be used at will or are constantly in effect, that fit with this theme. Damage-dealing powers deal quadruple damage against inanimate objects. The caster level is set by the GM (usually caster level equal to their Hit Dice).
Norito (Su): As a full-round action, a bound Sekirei that starts their turn adjacent to their ashikabi can use one of their special powers with increased potency. By kissing their ashikabi (as part of the full-round action) a sekirei gains four levels of metamagic that can be applied to one of her special powers. These levels of metamagic may be put into Empower Spell, Maximize Spell, or Selective spell. Multiple feats may be used this way. Using a norito causes wings of light to momentarily appear on the sekirei’s back as they kiss their ashikabi.
Some sekirei gain five levels of metamagic that can be applied to the above feats when using a norito. However, these sekirei always take 1d6 points of damage per level of metamagic modifier, taken after the norito is used (e.g. using Empower Spell would cause 2d6 points of damage). This damage cannot be reduced by damage reduction. The choice to use this option must be made at character creation, and thereafter cannot be changed.
Empathic Link (Su): A bound sekirei shares a link with her master; this link functions over any distance, so long as both are on the same plane. The master can communicate emphatically with the sekirei, but cannot see through her eyes. Because of the link’s limited nature, only general emotions can be shared. The master has the same connection to an item or place that his sekirei does.
Bonded (Ex): A sekirei’s bond with her ashikabi is her life. If her ashikabi dies, a sekirei bound to him immediately dies also. A bound sekirei that has died cannot be resurrected if her master is not alive.
A sekirei’s bond may be forcibly broken, but only by another bound sekirei. In this case, one bound sekirei must touch the crest on another’s back and recite the words of her norito. This is only possible if the sekirei’s back is bare and the crest visible. This requires a touch attack, which provokes an attack of opportunity. On a successful touch, the sekirei being attacked must make a Fortitude save (DC 30) or die. On a successful save, the sekirei has managed to twist away before the attacker finished reciting her incantation, and so avoided the attack. This attack does not work between sekirei bound to the same ashikabi.
A sekirei that has not yet found an ashikabi does not have this trait. However, each day an unbound sekirei must make a Will save (DC 20 + 1 per previous successful save) or go looking for a suitable ashikabi (someone with the Bind Sekirei feat, see below).
Languages: Sekirei begin play speaking Common. Sekirei with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
It’s worth noting that a few sekirei are far stronger than their peers. These are covered below:
Elder sekirei are the original sekirei made, before the process was refined to allow for their mass creation. As such, these sekirei are more powerful than their younger siblings.
Elder sekirei use the same racial traits as sekirei, but with the following modifications: They may have spell-like abilities of up to 5th-level for their special powers. They gain two +2 ability modifiers that may be placed on any attributes (including the same attribute, if desired); once this choice is made it cannot be changed. They also gain two bonus feats.
Now, the above captures what’s unique about the sekirei in-and-of themselves. However, we see them with other abilities that are clearly far and away above what normal humans can accomplish. Hence, the original article presented them with a suite of powers that were considered basic for anime/manga characters.
Since some people may find these to be a bit over the top for a Pathfinder game, we’re going to separate these. Hence, what follows is the anime template:
The anime template is an inherited template that may be applied to any humanoid (hereafter referred to as the base creature). The base creature uses its normal stats and abilities except as noted here:
Defensive Abilities: The base creature gains resistance to acid 5, cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5, and sonic 5. They also gain damage reduction 10/- against falling damage only. Finally, the first 5 points of damage from any attack that deals hit point damage (that isn’t stopped by their energy resistance or damage reduction) are converted to nonlethal damage.
Weakness: An anime creature is treated as one size smaller for the purpose of calculating their CMB and CMD.
Speed: Same as the base creature +30.
Special Qualities: An anime character gains the following:
Flashy (Su): An anime character has flashy special effects that appear when necessary, though these have no mechanical impact.
Immortal Vigor (Ex): The base creature gains 7 bonus hit points.
Limited Fast Healing (Ex): When injured, the base creature gains fast healing 1. This heals up to a maximum of 36 hit points per day.
Makeover (Su): An anime character’s personal appearance (hairstyle, scuff marks, etc.) is always cleaned up between scenes.
Quickness (Ex): May take a Move Action using Acrobatics once per round as a free action. This may be used as part of an Acrobatics check to avoid attacks of opportunity.
Void Sheathe (Su): An anime creature may conceal a personal weapon that belongs to them on their person, regardless of its size or what they’re wearing (or not wearing). This item cannot be found by Perception checks.
Ability Scores: +2 Cha.
Skills: An anime character gains a +10 enhancement bonus on all Acrobatics checks made to jump.
As presented in the source manga, their racial traits alongside this template make up pretty much everything most sekirei can do. There are some particular things not covered here, but most of those are individual special qualities rather than universal abilities.
However, there are still a few tropes of the given series that aren’t answered. A big one is the fact that clothes come off a lot during the course of the series. And most of the time that happens in fights. Now, by itself that can simply be declared as a sunder attempt (most clothes have a hardness of 0 and 1 hit point), that still requires a check, provokes an attack of opportunity, etc. In order to make this a little more applicable (remember, attacking a sekirei’s crest – in the “bonded” power above – requires that it not be covered), we’ll have to institute a new rule:
Optional Rule: Wear and Tear
When making an attack roll with a weapon that deals slashing damage (or, at the GM’s option, piercing damage), you can compare the result to the target creature’s CMD. If the attack roll is greater than the target’s CMD, one piece of clothing that they wear is shredded. For every 5 by which it surpasses the target’s CMD, one additional piece of clothing is destroyed. This does not work against armor or magic items – only mundane clothing is affected.
An unarmed character may, as a combat maneuver, attempt to rip off another creature’s clothes. This provokes an attack of opportunity. On a success, one piece of clothing is torn off. For every 5 by which it surpasses the target’s CMD, one additional piece of clothing is destroyed. This does not work against armor or magic items – only mundane clothing is affected.
So that about covers it (or not covers it, as the case may be). Let’s close things out with an example.
Musubi is the leading lady of the Sekirei manga. As such, we’ll write up her stat block as an example of what a typical sekirei would look like. Note that we’re using a few materials (an archetype, and a feat) from Paizo’s Ultimate Combat sourcebook.
The girl in front of you is dressed rather outlandishly, wearing a monk’s gi, a short skirt, thigh-high pink stockings, and combat gloves. Despite her odd dress, however, she’s very attractive, having pale skin, brown hair that’s cut short save for a long ponytail and a cowlick sticking up, and the largest breasts you’ve ever seen. She peers at you for a moment, blinking, and then exclaims, “Ah! Are you my ashikabi?”
Musubi CR 2
Female anime sekirei fighter (unarmed fighter) 3
NG Medium humanoid (sekirei)
Init +3; Senses Perception +2
AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 11 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 shield)
hp 40 (3d10+19); fast healing 1 (limited; 36 hit point maximum per day)
Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +2 (+1 vs. exhaustion, fatigue, staggered, and temporary ability score penalties)
Defensive Abilities convert 5 lethal damage to nonlethal per attack; DR 10/- (falling only), 1/- (nonlethal and grappling damage only); Resist acid 5, cold 5, electricity 5, fire 5, sonic 5
Speed 60 ft.
Melee unarmed strike +8 (1d6+4)
Special Atks norito
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd; concentration +8)
Constant – bear’s endurance, bull’s strength, cat’s grace, stone fist
Str 19, Dex 16, Con 17, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 20
Base Atk +3; CMB +6; CMD 19
Feats Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike (B), Iron Will, Snapping Turtle Style (B), Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
Skills Acrobatics +6, Perception +2; Racial Modifiers +10 Acrobatics (jump only)
SQ empathic link, flashy, immortal vigor, makeover, quickness, void sheathe
The above statistics represent Musubi at the beginning of the story; she hasn’t yet developed any of the powers she’ll gain later.
And One Other Thing
Of course, all of this up until now has ignored one salient detail: there’s no listing for how your PC can actually gain a sekirei of their own! Technically, you could get one with the Leadership feat, or even just role-play having a devotee follow you around, but let’s go a bit further. The following new feat allows you to gain a sekirei:
You have become the ashikabi of a sekirei, sealing her to yourself with a kiss.
Prerequisites: Character level 7th, Charisma 14.
Benefit: You become the ashikabi of a sekirei. Your sekirei begins play with three levels in a PC class, but their statistics are generated by the GM. Your sekirei gains experience points normally, but can never have more levels than your level -2. You may take this feat more than once.
Of course, binding an elder sekirei is much more difficult:
Bind Elder Sekirei
You have managed to become the ashikabi of a powerful elder sekirei.
Prerequisites: Character level 11th, Charisma 16.
Benefit: You become the ashikabi of an elder sekirei. Your elder sekirei begins play with five levels in a PC class, but their statistics are generated by the GM. Your elder sekirei gains experience points normally, but can never have more levels than your level -2. You may take this feat more than once.
That last part, about sekirei gaining experience normally, is something of a deviation from the manga. Later on, it’s revealed that a sekirei’s powers grow in direct proportion to the strength of their (emotional) bond with their ashikabi. To better represent this in your game, here’s an optional rule:
Optional Rule: Ashikabi’s Devotion
Bound sekirei do not gain experience points. Instead, when their ashikabi gains experience points, he may choose to give up a certain amount of XP. This sacrificed XP is multiplied by the total number of sekirei that he has, and can be distributed among them in any amount.
For example, Minato has four sekirei. He gains 3,000 XP from a story award, but decides to give it all to his sekirei. In that case, it becomes 12,000 XP (1,000 x four sekirei), and he gives half of it to Musubi. The remaining 6,000 XP is distributed evenly among the remaining sekirei; 2,000 each.
Note that this method of distribution isn’t in-character; rather, it’s representative of the ashikabi exercising their bond with their sekirei.
Until next time, dear readers, may all of your PC’s companions be cute young things!