Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Brand!

Berserk 13 takes the manga beyond the anima.
It explains why in the first issues that various undead and other night hauntings were happening to Guts.
See, Griffith gave Guts a little present; the Brand. This makes him and makes him visible to entities that live in another world.
It also lets Guts detect them.
In many ways, it's a perfect Game Master tool.
Want to let the player know how powerful an enemy is? The brand really burns. Want to know where there is an infestation of vile entities? The brand pulls you west.
There are methods of stopping the attraction and draw of the brand. For example, Guts ally and lover, Caska, is ruined after their last adventure and could not survive with the brand in the outside world. Fortunately, elf hills are rich with elf metal and this apparently is good enough to keep the brand from attracting the wrong kind of attention. Further volumes also illustrate different methods to keep the brand from activating.
For those looking for a quick way to get the players to battle a monster of the week like the early episodes of say Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Brand of a tool like it does the job.