Sunday, March 27, 2011

Black Blood Brothers

When I think about the origins of Appendix N, in the first Advanced Dungeon Master's Guide, I often wonder how things would have been different had it been done years later. Anime and manga really hadn't made it over big in America at that point yet, and while Appendix N didn't cover comics or movies for that matter, the idea of seeing some of the self spoofs like Slayer's on such a list makes me smile a bit.

Having said that, I used my good old Netflix account to watch Black Blood Brothers. It's a short, 12 ep, feature, each one being a half hour, that brings a few interesting characters together for some big battles and brings with it some things I'd crib for my own games.

For instance, one of the main characters, Jiro, has a few earned names of his own including the Silver Blade, named so after his sword, and the Kin Killer, named so because he had fought and killed a lot of other vampires. Many of the other characters, even those that don't get a lot of screen time, have their own long lists of alias and earned names. If you can provide the players some earned names, see if they stick.

This is something that was looked for in the book, The Heroes. The people of the north went out to war to earn their names like the Bloody Nine for example.

There's also the idea of the Kowloon children. In this series, you generally don't become a vampire unless you're given the blood. The Kowloon Children however, are highly contagious and just a bite will turn man or vampire into one of the Kowloon Children. It gives people reason to fight together when something no one else wants starts cropping up. In some ways, its similar to a zombie plague, another great disease based undead attack theme.

The thing I would try to avoid taking from the series though, is letting the NPCs NOT do their job. At the end of the series, the King of the East is cleansing the city left and right of the Kowloon Children. Another power player, an 800 year old pyro master, is burning them up with his fire eye. All of this and they let one of them get away because the main character, Jiro, was fighting her. If I was the King of the East or one of the others, it'd be bye bye Jiro as all of them would get the hand of god cleansing. Maybe I missed it why they couldn't specifically take care of those two individuals and had to have Jiro do it but it seemed a cop out to give Jiro a chance to shine and then allow his failure to actually happen.

Hulu has some of the series on now: and as I've already mentioned, Netflix has the whole run and apparently other venues are available to those who wish to watch it and judge for themselves.