Slayers

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Has nothing to do with the Dwarf Slayers or the Halatu, the House of the Second World.

It's Friday night. You're sitting at the table with your face in your hands. "What's wrong?" asks Dave, rubbing his Cheetos-stained fingers on your back for comfort. You can't bear to look at him. "I'm sick of it," you mumble between your fingers. "I'm sick of half-naked muscular men fighting with half-naked muscular dwarves against half-naked androgynous elves. I'm sick of protagonists like Conan and Geralt and Aragorn. I'm sick of everything being a life-threatening situation. I come here to relax, not to have homo-erotic panic attacks!"

Does this sound like you? Do you want a protagonist you could break in half with your four-inch dick? Have I got a deal for you!

The Slayers is a series of light novels, anime, and manga written by Hajime Kanzaka and drawn by Rui Araizumi about a sorceress and her adventuring party of murderhobos. The Slayers was originally a Westaboo's steampunk vision of a fifteen year-old girl and her ten year-old clone, but ultimately the focus was changed to a European sword and sorcery setting - which were becoming popular at the time. Take for example, Record of the Lodoss War - which was based on another Westaboo's DnD campaigns - or Berserk, Claymore, and Sorcerous Stabber Orphen. The biggest difference between Slayers and the rest of the genre is that it focuses on comedy, rather than calamity.

When you see it, you'll shit brix.

The protagonist is Lina Inverse, an extremely powerful black magic sorceress. Her companion through most of the stories is Gourry Gabriev, self-proclaimed guardian and possibly greatest swordsman on the planet (though he's stuck with the brains of a jellyfish). Other occasional party members include the chimera Zelgadis Greywords, a "blessed-with-suck" arcane-warrior that's an expert in Shamanism, and Amelia Wil Tesla Saillune, a princess that is gifted in restorative white magic. Before meeting Gourry, Lina also traveled with one Gracia Ul Naga Saillune, better known as "Naga the Serpent" in the stories, though they were just as much enemies as allies as the latter proclaimed herself "Lina's greatest and more-attractive rival".

Through the series there were a collection of interesting villains any DM could learn from. Rezo the Red Priest is their first antagonist, an extremely-powerful cleric regarded as one of the Five Wise Men of the age. Originally perfoming great miracles and healing the sick or injured, he slowly descended into madness in pursuit of a cure for his own incurable blindness. Other antagonists include wizards adept at creating chimeras, warlocks who make pacts with demons in the pursuit of immortality, demonic generals and priests capable of militarizing entire countries to war, their masters who have control over death and Hell, and even fragments of the Dark Lord Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo which are so powerful they've killed gods.

Furthermore, the magic system is very consistent, and ties into the cosmology of the world in an interesting way. There are enough limitations to keep the story interesting. It's a good example for anyone wishing to create their own campaign.

Cast of Characters[edit]

Whilst the precise cast of characters and more importantly details on those characters varies between the light novel and anime continuities, there's still a pretty solid core set.

Lina is 4'10". Gourry is 6'2". You do the math.

Lina Inverse is our star, a Chaotic Neutral Black Mage who has an uncanny aptitude for the most destructive spells in her setting - most famously the Dragon Slave, which is pretty much THE biggest boom in the canon. And she uses all this magic of mass destruction in a VERY casual manner. Vain, arrogant, temperamental, greedy and gluttonous, she mostly travels to gain loot, see new places and make herself famous. She was already infamous by the age of thirteen as both a "Bandit Killer" (having a minor catchphrase, "Villains have no rights!" before executing them and taking their hard-earned stolen loot), and "Dragon Spooker", a shortened way of saying "dragons are so disgusted by her existence they want nothing to do with her". Her big sister, despite being a part-time waitress back in their hometown, is a "Knight of Ceipheed, or a mortal born with the power of God himself. Lina's twitching inferiority complex over being essentially the less-powerful, less-attractive, less-successful version of her is at the root of many of her personal issues, and the reason she joined the Sorcerers' Guild at such a young age. However, as the story progresses, it becomes apparent that with her magic capacity and spell selection, she could just be the strongest mortal spellcaster on the continent. The meta-joke with her is, to avoid being Murphey's Punchline, she hits first, and usually harder.

Gourry Gabriev is the only non-caster of the group. A skilled swordsman in amazing physical condition, his stat-dump has left him with an incredibly-low intelligence score. Regardless, his combat perception is phenomenal, letting him detect the presences of enemies nearby and perceive things in a near-dark environment. Gourry is the descendant of the legendary Swordsman of Light who used the eponymous Sword of Light, Gorun Nova, to defeat the Great Beast Zanaffar, an alchemical chimera whose evil was so potent, the miasma its corpse left behind needed a holy tree to contain it. Gourry inherited the legendary Sword of Light, and has it in his possession at the start of the story. We later find out he has a bad relationship with his family, as he stole the weapon and ran away from home because of the in-fighting it caused as to who would inherit it. By the time Lina meets him, he had operated as a mercenary, served in a war, and become a folk hero for the city of Sairaag, earning him a modicum of fame and admiration. There's a great deal of discussion as to whether or not he and Lina are romantically involved; while there is nothing to confirm it, by the end of the light novel stories he requests Lina take him to see her hometown, leading her to believe he wants to ask her parents for permission to marry her.

Don't worry, she's eighteen now. He's in his mid-twenties. You do the math.

Zelgadis Greywords is a cursed sorcerer-swordsman whose great-grandfather, the famous Red Priest Rezo, magically fused him with two different kinds of monsters to make him stronger. From a blow demon, he gained increased magical aptitude and superhuman speed and reflexes, whilst a stone Golem gave him super-tough rocky skin and metallic wire for hair. He hates looking like a freak and is always out to find a cure for his condition. Despite attempting to appear dark and mysterious, he has an extremely sensitive side, contrasting with his rough, outer appearance. When he first captures Lina early in the story, he refuses to "kiss" Lina as he can't stand crying women, and by his own admission he has a soft-spot for maidens. Due to this unique personality, he's often shipped with Amelia, appreciating her naive nature while also having the ability to reel her in during her wild moments. His super-durable body has, on various occasions, resulted in him blocking cannonballs by headbutting them and being used as a makeshift ship's anchor.

Amelia Wil Tesla Saillune is a well-meaning, cheerful, good-hearted white mage princess whose desire for JUSTICE runs hot and deep. Whereas most parties would focus on where each party member is in relation to each other, Amelia's priority is to find the tallest object nearby, climb it, and make a hero speech to demoralize the bad guys. She was raised to believe in the good in people's hearts and strive for peace, and she will kick anyone's ass that gets in the way of that goal. Originally joining up with Lina as an act of hero-worship, she's come to realize that Lina isn't the best example to follow. When not campaigning, she serves as a diplomat and emissary for the Kingdom of Saillune, though she often gets entangled in Lina's messes while doing so.

Xellos is the enigmatic trickster priest of the Mazoku race, who specializes in trolling Lina's group and playing them like puppets. Is an evil jerk, but he's funny and charming enough to also be a fan favorite. He NEVER lies, using half-truths or his catchphrase "It's a secret" instead. He is notable for being the only creation of one of Ruby-Eye's subordinates, Greater Beast Zelas Metallum; unlike the other subordinates who created at least one priest and one general to serve them, Greater Beast made Xellos to serve both roles by himself. As the story progresses, it becomes apparent why giving so much power to one individual was a grand idea, as he was able to kill thousands of golden dragons on his own during the War of Monster's Fall over a thousand years ago.

You can't be over-encumbered if you're wearing nothing at all.

Naga the Serpent is Lina's original traveling partner, before she finally managed to ditch her. An incredibly arrogant ditz with an ojou-sama laugh that can crack glass, she infuriated Lina as much for her bungling stupidity as for her incessant wearing of super-skimpy clothing to show off her ridiculously oversized rack, which made Lina feel quite inadequate. Her real name is Gracia Ul Naga Saillune, the elder princess of Saillune. She ran away after witnessing her mother's murder, stealing the family's hereditary Battle Bikini and subsequently killing the murderer herself.

Milgazia is an ancient dragon that possesses at least a thousand years'-worth of experience. He originally guided Lina to a copy of the "Claire Bible", a manuscript left behind by Aqualord Regradia containing all of her knowledge, and later accompanies her as a large demonic incursion swept the north of the continent. He is known for having unbearably dry humor, and has devastatingly potent holy dragon magic in his arsenal. His magic is so far beyond Lina's capacity that she's unable to break a ward he casts on one of Gourry's items, for example.

Memphis Linesword is an elf who accompanies Milgazia as he travels in human form. Haughty and disdainful towards humans as per elven tradition, she is still a skilled fighter and magic-user, having access to "lost" traditional elven magic. Her most-powerful item, however, comes in the form of Zanaffa Armor, created with secret knowledge found in the Claire Bible that allows her to transform into a white giant that shoots lasers. She is largely antagonistic towards Lina despite being forced to work with her, until the two reach a mutual understanding and even a modest friendship.

Filia Ul Copt is a Gold Dragon priestess who recruits Lina's party to help her save the world in the third season of the anime. She knows holy magic, a skill completely lost to humanity on Lina's continent because of the "Mazoku Barrier" that was established after the death of one-fourth of God, the Aqualord Regradia, and tends to whip out the mace she keeps under her skirt whenever angered or flustered. While she has some understanding of her race's past, she's largely ignorant of the implications of it. Despite Xellos striking fear into every dragon he meets while also being as diplomatic as possible, Filia instead treats him with absolute contempt, referring to him as "raw garbage". So far, she's the only person to genuinely make the trickster angry.

Pokota is a prince whose people were experimented upon by Rezo, resulting in him being ripped out of his body and stuck in the body of a living doll. He's largely ignored due to his resemblance to a Digimon and being a detriment to the two half-seasons he appears in, and anyone telling you they got emotionally-invested in his character is either lying or is seriously brain-damaged.

Cold stare. Cold chest.

Sylphiel Nels Lahda is a timid cleric with healing and protective magics that are second to none, but she is comically inept at casting offensive spells. (Despite this, somehow she manage to learn how to use the Dragon Slave on the same level as Lina...) She met Gourry prior to him traveling with Lina when he performed an unnamed deed for Sairaag. She's a sheltered priestess, and given that Gourry is tall, handsome, and charming, she fell head-over-heels for the man. She ultimately gives up on her one-sided love after deducing Lina has feelings for him, despite how much she denies (or fails to recognize) them.

Luke is an arcane-warrior and self-proclaimed treasure hunter, described as having "evil eyes" and is armed with a sword capable of storing and releasing magic. He has a competitive and ambitious nature that led to him being a rival of Lina's, but as their stories intertwine they find working in-tandem, rather than against each other, serves their interests more. He is traveling companions with Milina, whom he has a disturbing infatuation with. His first and only goal, no matter what he's doing, is to try and impress her, much to her chagrin.

Milina is a sorcerer / cleric that makes up for her lack of emotions with acute critical thinking and planning. Extremely perceptive and rational, she is the person who keeps Luke from flying off the handle and making situations worse for the both of them. Whereas Luke is happy to tag along wherever she goes, she finds Luke's acts of devotion off-putting, and regularly knocks him down a peg when he tries to make a move. While her casting level isn't something too remarkable, she has a different spell selection from Lina, letting her stand out on her own in terms of battle prowess.

Plot[edit]

Lina's story has a few branches paths across the light novels, anime, and manga / video games, though there's largely a common "core" between them all. Although it's not necessarily perfect in its delivery, we nonetheless get to find out great detail about her setting and magic system. Simply put, while the world may have its ups and downs, there's nonetheless consistency between the works.

Lina is fourteen. Naga is almost twenty. You do the math.

Long before Lina's journey began, the Lord of Nightmares accidentally created four worlds parallel to each other. On these four worlds existed "shinzoku" (gods) and "mazoku" (demons), with humans forced to live among them. On Lina's world, the Flare Dragon Ceipheed fought against Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo, who sought to return the world back to the Sea of Chaos by destroying it. Ceipheed managed to carve Shabranigdo into seven pieces, trapping the fragments into the souls of humans hoping that countless generations of reincarnations would drain the wickedness of Ruby-Eye until there was nothing left. However, this cost Ceipheed his life, and he created the four Dragon Lords with his remaining power. These Dragon Lords would continue the fight against Shabranigdo's subordinates: Chaos Dragon Garv, Hellmaster Phibrizo, Dynast Grausherra, Greater Beast Zelas Metallum, and Deep Sea Dolphin. Thousands of years after Ruby-Eye's imprisonment, Hellmaster would attempt to awaken a fragment of his master that had been trapped in a powerful sorcerer named Lei Magnus by instigating a global conflict centered on the northern continent, wherin thousands of human, elven, and dragon lives would be lost in what would be called the War of Monster's Fall (Great Koma War). The war's resolution came when Aqualord Regradia defeated Chaos Dragon Garv, forcing his essence to reincarnate in human form much like Shabranigdo's, and trapped Lei Magnus, the "Demon King of the North", in ice. However, Aqualord died as a result, sinking into the sea. Hellmaster then constructed the Mazoku Barrier over the continent, trapping everyone living within it, and preventing the outside world from coming in. Without the Aqualord, holy magic became lost to humanity within the Barrier. Since the global conflict had seen almost every spellcaster put on the battlefield, and the Mazoku Barrier trapped them inside, magic soon became a lost, truly "arcane" art to the outside world, leading to their technological advancement.

Lina's early stories follow her as a young girl of about fourteen, traveling with, or fighting against, her self-proclaimed rival Naga the Serpent. As seen in both the light novels Slayers Special / Smash, the OVAs, and most of the movies, Lina had accomplished more in her early days than most sorcerers do in their entire lives. Most of these stories are considered comedic one-offs, but nonetheless help frame the context for most of her behavior. These stories also explain a couple of the other characters' histories, such as Naga's or Gourry's backstories.

The best way to start a campaign is to fight the hardest boss in the manual.

However, Lina's main adventures come after she and Gourry meet where he "protects" her from some bandits seeking revenge for her killing their leader and blowing up their base. She had stolen a large amount of treasure from them, one piece being a statue made of orihalcon containing the Philosopher's Stone, a fragment from the creation of the world capable of amplifying one's magical capacity to absurd amounts. This causes her to be hunted by Zelgadis at first, who seeks it to get revenge on his great-grandfather, the Wise Man Rezo the Red Priest, for turning him into a chimera and ruining his appearance. Ultimately, Rezo himself is seeking the Philosopher's Stone as a means of curing his blindness, which no magic he's researched has been able to cure. Despite succeeding, Rezo unwittingly discovers that a fragment of Shabranigdo was sealed within his own eyes. When Rezo finally opens them, he releases Ruby-Eye himself, forcing Lina, Gourry, and Zelgadis to fight the monstrosity. Lina only barely succeeds by amplifying her magic with Gourry's Sword of Light to cast Giga Slave, which calls upon a Dark Lord stronger than Shabranigdo himself, and only manages to have the time to cast the spell thanks to the remaining spirit of Rezo combating his possessive invader. Rather than report this to the Sorcerers' Guild, Lina keeps this information to herself, knowing full-well she would have no way to prove her claims.

Zelgadis departs, hunting a cure for his condition, and Lina and Gourry soon find themselves caught-up in a Sorcerers' Guild squabble involving everything from clones, chimeras, and a pact with a demon named Seigram in the pursuit of immortality. Despite resolving the issue, they find no rest as a series of arrest warrants are made out for them. Following the trail to Sairaag while fighting off bounty hunters along the way, they reunite with Zelgadis, who also has an issue out for his arrest. They soon discover by talking with Sylphiel that the one who filed for their capture was apparently Rezo himself, much to their shock. When they confront him, they're surprised to learn that this Rezo is only a copy, created when the original was still attempting any means at a cure for his blindness. "Copy Rezo" is infatuated with proving that he's succeeded and surpassed the original, even going so far as to cast a spell so powerful it blows up the entire city of Sairaag in the process, reducing it to nothing, much to Sylphiel's distress. After defeating the copy, they volunteer to escort Sylphiel to her remaining family in Saillune, as Sairaag is nothing but a lifeless crater.

In Saillune, there's a royal assassination plot underfoot. Amelia's father, Prince Philionel El Di Saillune, has gone missing after an attempt on his life, and Amelia's cousin, Alfred, is pointing the finger at Philionel's brother, Christopher Wil Borgg Saillune, having invited demons into the kingdom in the pursuit of power. With their father sick, Philionel has been acting as regent in his stead, and already one of his younger brothers, Randioinel, has tried to murder him for the throne, though he was thwarted thanks to Lina's intervention years ago. While trying to find clues, Lina and Gourry are attacked by a legendary assassin by the name of Zuuma, who is rumored to have killed all of his marks without fail. Amelia joins the party, and together the four of them manage to discover the truth of the matter; Alfred himself is the culprit, believing that his father deserves the crown and will do anything in the process to make it happen. Ultimately, the demons he invites into the kingdom kill him, and Lina manages to overcome both the greater demon summoned and blow off both of Zuuma's arms, who just barely escapes with his life, threatening revenge. Phil, instead of throwing the book at Christopher, shows him mercy, "because [he is] my brother". With a kingdom to put back together after a hostile takeover attempt, Phil gives Amelia permission to leave, and their journey continues.

This ugly bastard is the kindest, gentlest, sweetest man to ever bash in a criminal's head.

Lina accidentally discovers a cult forming in the backwoods, called the Cult of Shabranigdo. Proclaiming Ruby-Eye's benevolence at bringing the world back to nothingness, her attempts to interfere cause her magic to become sealed by a greater demon. Without the ability to cast spells, she panics, realizing she's become largely useless in terms of the group's ability to fight. Zuuma makes an attempt on Lina's life while she's weakened, having mysteriously gained new arms, but she is rescued by a priest named Xellos, whom she mistakes for the Great Sage Lei Magnus due to his ability to cast extremely powerful, costly spells. Zuuma escapes, once again threatening revenge. After the battle, Xellos corrects her with her identification, pointing that he's using magic amplification with gifts from Lei Magnus called Demon's Blood Talismans, which, according to him, contain the power of not just Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo, but also his three counterparts on other worlds. She offers him a deal for the talismans, bidding an incredibly low price, and when he angrily corrects her on their real value, she immediately provides goods that she had been storing her cape (operating as a bag of holding) that are equivalent to the price he demands. Begrudgingly, he gives them up to her in exchange, frustrated at being had. He explains that he's investigating the Cult of Shabranigdo because they apparently have a copy of something called the "Claire Bible", rumored to have Aqualord Regradia's knowledge within it. Thanks to the manuscript, they have schematics to fashion dangerous equipment to use in war. It's his duty, as a priest, to find copies of the Bible so they do not fall into improper hands. Working together, albeit separately, Lina gets her magic back after Xellos apparently kills the demon that sealed her magic by chasing it into a burning building, and the group finds the Bible in the cult's inner-sanctum. However, before Zelgadis can examine the manuscript to see if there's a cure for his chimerism, Xellos burns it, causing Zelgadis to become enraged. Xellos calmly tells him that specific portion only mentioned how to fashion Zanaffa Armor, which, when it was improperly made it the past, created the Great Beast Zanaffar that destroyed Sairaag decades ago. Despite this explanation, Zelgadis would remain permanently hostile to the priest. Xellos is also revealed to be a demon, both priest and general to Greater Beast Zelus Metallum. After Xellos leaves, the team turns their attention towards another important matter: the assassin Zuuma, who has been hunting Lina for quite some time.

That smug bastard has better hair, better muscles, and better fashion-sense than you ever will.

Zuuma sends a threat to Lina telling her she must travel to the city of Vezendi, or else he will kill someone, presumably someone she knows. Reluctant and without much choice, they group travels there, and are immediately scouted by the local populace to be hired by the wealthiest man in town, Radok Ranzaad, as his bodyguard. He does this as he's received a notice from Zuuma, telling him he must hire Lina and her party, as the assassin is targeting him as well. Lina, taking advantage of the situation, tries to take Radok for a large sum of money, raising the ire of Radok's son, Abel, who calls them charlatans and believes the threat to be a fake so Lina can get an immense fortune quickly. While trying to defend Radok, two lesser demons, led by none-other than Seigram, whom Lina and Gourry had encountered months earlier, attempt to divide the group, splitting up Zelgadis and Amelia from Lina and Gourry, while Zuuma strikes Radok's estate. The businessman, fed up with being caged, decides to take a business trip claiming he must still do his work, but ostensibly trying to bring Zuuma out into the open so the "siege" can end. It isn't until an attack on the caravan that the truth is revealed: Radok is Zuuma himself, having a desire to kill and that he had fused with Seigram to get his arms back. Abel admits to knowing the truth, having tried to get Lina and her friends kicked out for their safety, and is left alone after Lina kills the assassin. However, this wasn't going to offer Lina and her friends a respite.

Radok's one and only servant, a man named Raltaak, outed himself as a demon, and none-other than the priest of Chaos Dragon Garv. Garv, being reincarnated within human bodies for generations, had changed his perspective on demon-kind's goal of destroying the world and sinking it into the Sea of Chaos, and as such was considered a "rebel" in the eyes of Shabranigdo's other subordinates. Garv's faction had come to learn that Hellmaster Phibrizo was plotting something, and Lina herself was the crux of the plan. Despite having details, Raltaak attempted to kill Lina near Gyria City far to the north, but his assault is rebuffed by Xellos' interference, who is now working with Hellmaster and has instructions to not only keep Lina safe, but to lead her to where she can potentially access the Claire Bible herself. They make it to Gyria City, only to find it militarizing itself for war. The military general, Rashaart, requests that Lina train their soldiers in basic black magic for a large fee, which she considers. However, she finds herself attacked in her sleep by an unknown assailant, and even worse, Gyria City has been lit on fire, with blazes running through the streets, the destruction of which takes the life of a young boy she had bumped into just earlier that day. Infuriated, she reunites with her party, and they barely escape the city, with Xellos fighting off both Raltaak and the now-revealed demon Rashaart. The group manages to make it up the Kataart Mountains, where dragons reside. Against his will, the ancient dragon Milgazia leads Lina to a copy of the Claire Bible, where she discovers the true nature of the Lord of Nightmares: Her desire to reunite all of the four worlds back into Herself, into a state of nothingness, and that the Giga Slave calls directly on Her. In other words, Lina has been casting a spell that draws the creator of all things into her recklessly, with the chance of sinking everyone and everything back into zero. However, her meditations are brought to an end when the location comes under assault by none-other than Chaos Dragon Garv himself.

The best way to end a campaign is to kill a shota.

Garv easily bests not only Lina's party, but Xellos himself. Boasting, he explains his position; he was seeking to get Gyria City ready to wage war against demons in an attempt to purge all demon-kind from the world, having learned that Hellmaster Phibrizo was plotting to start an even greater war himself, echoing the conflict from thousands of years ago when Aqualord Regradia fought against a portion of Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo's power, killing off thousands of humans, elves, and dragons. In his eyes, attacking first was the best way to end the conflict, and more importantly killing Lina should put an end to all of Hellmaster's plans. Lina barely manages to injure Garv with the spell "Ragna Blade", a form of magic still drawing on the power of the Lord of Nightmares, and in his weakened state Garv is executed by Hellmaster himself, his physical form being that of the boy Lina had found under the rubble. He mocks her openly, explaining that it was Xellos who attacked her at night in Gyria City, and was also the one who lit the city on fire. Xellos had been ordered to do this to make Lina believe Rashaart had attacked her, swinging her over to Hellmaster's side without her realizing it. He delights in preying on her emotions, and realizing she won't cast Giga Slave voluntarily, he kidnaps Gourry, demanding she come to the ruins of Sairaag, or he'll kill him. Seeing no other choice, the party makes their way there, only to discover that the city has been completely rebuilt, as if it were never damaged. The party also reuinites with Sylphiel, who is understandably distraught as her family, which had been killed by the copy Rezo's spell, were now back alive, and Flagoon, the Holy Tree that was once in the center of town, has been replaced with a nondescript, gargantuan temple. Zelgadis and Amelia investigate the temple, while Lina and Sylphiel visit the latter's family, and discover that Sairaag is a literal ghost town. Hellmaster, with control over souls and Hell itself, has brought Sairaag back "from the grave" specifically to prove his ability to give and take life. Infuriated, Lina and Sylphiel enter Hellmaster's temple. Inside, Hellmaster explains the true nature of Gourry's Sword of Light, Gorun Nova, as being a weapon created from the essence of a parallel Dark Lord from another world, Dark Star Dugradigdu, and returns the weapon back to its proper world. Then, with everyone's lives on the line, Hellmaster demands Lina cast the Giga Slave, summoning the Lord of Nightmares into their world, and causing absolute destruction. With no other option, Lina casts the spell, bringing the Lord of Nightmares into her body. Confused and bewildered, Hellmaster at first didn't understand why the Lord of Nightmares manifested Herself into Lina's body instead of appearing in Her own avatar, and theorized that Lina was restraining Her true power. He attacks Her, trying to break Her "vessel" to "free" Her, but it does nothing. Perturbed at being assaulted, She kills Hellmaster instantly and effortlessly, before Her possession ends. With Hellmaster dead, his temple begins to collapse, and the group escapes with the now-rescued Gourry, only to find Sairaag a barren city once more. It is here that the party splits up: Sylphiel returns with Amelia back to Saillune while Zelgadis continues to try and find a cure for his condition. Lina and Gourry, meanwhile, have their own trouble. Gourry traveled with Lina under the auspices of being her guardian, but without the Sword of Light, he couldn't protect her from demons. On a similar note, Lina very vocally made it clear that the only reason she let him travel with her was because she would find a way to convince him to give the Sword of Light to her. With the sword gone, the two appear to have no reason to journey together. Before they can say goodbye, Lina quickly makes the argument that it's her fault he lost his family heirloom, and it's her obligation to find him a new, powerful magic weapon. Pleased with that excuse, the two continue their adventures together.

It is here that Lina's story vastly differs, depending on the medium being used.

Cosmology[edit]

How do you "accidentally" create reality?

The Slayers world is one of four, separated from and parallel to each other. In the beginning, there was nothing but the Sea of Chaos, the very material the Lord of Nightmares is created from. Accidentally and without her knowledge, these four worlds appeared from her essence, different but with many similarities. All of them have "shinzoku", gods, and "mazoku", demons. The chief god of Lina's world is Flare Dragon Ceipheed, while the chief demon is Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo. Thanks to the Demon's Blood Talismans Lina uses, and the invocation involved with it, we know the (partial) names of Shabranigdo's "parallels": Dark Star Dugradigdu, Death Fog, and Chaotic Blue. The only known "parallel" to Ceipheed is Night Dragon Vorpheed, the opponent of Dark Star, with the presumed titles of the other two being Blue Dragon and White Dragon.

Based upon the Ars Goetia.

Their power is in the form of a pyramid, with the Lord of Nightmares at its peak. Just below Her are the Dragon Gods and the Dark Lords, and each of them have their own subordinates. Just before his death, Ceipheed created four Dragon Lords to look over the world in his absence: Aqualord Regradia to the North, which is Lina's continent; Flarelord Vrabazard to the East, which is Filia's homeland; Airlord Valwin to the West, where the manga Knight of the Aqualord takes place; and Earthlord Rangort to the South. In a similar fashion, Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo created five subordinates: Chaos Dragon Garv, Dynast Grausherra, Greater Beast Zelas Metallum, Deep Sea Dolphin, and Hellmaster Phibrizo. These five subordinates created their own priests and generals: Garv had Priest Raltaak and General Rashaart; Dynast had Priests Grau and Dee and Generals Sherra and Norst; Greater Beast has Xellos; and Dolphin had Riksfalto and Huraker. These priests and generals would operate on the behalf of their creator, though it was not unheard of for them to perform tasks for another subordinate. For example, Hellmaster relies heavily on Xellos, because his own priests and generals were wiped out in the War of Monsters' Fall.

In terms of pure power, no regular human has the ability to harm Dragon Lords or high-ranking demons. Lina's party has been shown on multiple occassions to be unable to deal with just Xellos fighting by himself. However, there are exceptions. Just as Ruby-Eye's fragments can be found in humans, waiting to be reawakened, so too can a portion of Ceipheed's power be found among them. Such a person carrying that mantle is named the Knight of Ceipheed. Despite having mortal limitations, their power is tremendous, able to carve apart the strongest of spells with ease. It is rumored that a Knight is even capable of fighting, and even winning, against a Demon Lord subordinate's retainer. In Lina's time, the Knight of Ceipheed is her older sister, Luna Inverse.

Regular humans, meanwhile, have a modest ability to fight against lesser demons, and potentially against dragons should they be trained properly. Dragons, the "ryuzoku", by and large serve the gods, with entire religious sects being devoted to either a Dragon Lord, or Flare Dragon Ceipheed himself. Demons meanwhile serve the Dark Lord or his subordinates, and thanks to the Dark Lord's existence monsters such as trolls and orcs run rampant throughout the world. Humans can learn spells to summon dragons or tear through lesser demon's with magic. As long as there is not a great cataclysm, heroes from the human race will always find a way.

It must be noted that demons do not exist in physical reality. On the contrary, they "project" themselves into reality, meaning that even the clothes they appear to wear are all part of one-whole frame used to give themselves physical shape. A demon's true form can always be seen inside of the Astral, or Spirit, World, where demons truly reside. Demons, having an astral body, are unharmed by elemental Shamanistic spells which draw upon the physical world. However, they are critically weak to Astral Shamanism and White Magic that uses purification or exorcism. Demons can be harmed by Black Magic, but only if the power draws upon a force greater than themselves. A Garv Flare spell, which calls upon Chaos Dragon Garv, cannot harm Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo in the slightest, but a Giga Slave calling upon the Lord of Nightmares, who is greater than him, can.

Again, as the terms of power operate as a pyramid, there is a strict hierarchy among all living things. The stronger an entity, the more-united its soul and body are. As such, a creature like Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo, despite being a demon with an astral body, is immune to the astral magic found in Shamanism. The Lord of Nightmares, being in perfect harmony with Her soul and body, and having no force greater than Herself, cannot be harmed; She is omnipotent. She is omniscient, Her mind making up all things, and omnipresent, because everything is made up of Her. Her true name is Lucifer.

... No, seriously, look it up. (You'll also find that there's no black people in Slayers unless you go outside of the Mazoku Barrier, so it's a racist's paradise.) https://web.archive.org/web/20090727235003/http://homepage3.nifty.com/QPHOUSE/slrev/blast12.html

Magic[edit]

Magic is a force that permeates the world of Slayers. The Sorcerers' Guild is a body of spellcasters who work together in various fields, whether it's alchemy, chimeras, or archaeology. Some sorcerers, such as Lina, earn a traveling license, giving them permission to move from city to city and perform tasks with magic. Theoretically, anyone can become a sorcerer, not just in terms of donating to get special training, but also by learning and studying independently.

"I'm angry! Angry about ELVES!!"

To perform magic, one must first know the Chaos and Power Words. Chaos Words are recitations that invoke the spell being used. Generally speaking, Black magic invokes demonic forces, Shamanism invokes nature and Mother Earth, and White and Holy magic invokes the powers of God. Chaos Words are difficult to master, not only because of memorization, but also because they can be interrupted while in a battle. If someone lacks the ability to remember or the ability to concentrate, it severely limits their spellcasting ability. Chaos Words can be recited mentally, but this is much-more difficult than verbal incantation. Power Words, meanwhile, are the actual names of the spells being used. After the power of a spell has been built using the Chaos Words, the Power Words fully releases that power, letting a spell "fire".

However, rote memorization isn't enough. Every person has natural "capacities", a "pool" and a "bucket". A pool capacity is a person's maximum magical potential and represents their personal stamina. A person with a larger pool capacity can cast magic longer than someone with a smaller one. However, having a large pool isn't enough to make someone a powerful sorcerer. Some people can tap into a vast amount of their power all at once, while others can only do smaller portions at a time. This ability to tap is called a bucket capacity, as the visualization of scooping water out of a pool with a bucket helps explain the magic system within Slayers. Lina Inverse is known to have both an extremely large pool and bucket capacity, being one of the only humans to cast Dragon Slave, the strongest spell within Black magic, and to do so repeatedly without becoming exhausted.

There are four known schools of magic, and one "theorized" school of magic.

Magic Schools[edit]

roll:20

Black Magic draws its powers from the dark, destructive, negative energies embodied by demons. It is an offensive style, most useful for delivering powerful magical attacks with a side in curses. It is the most useful anti-demon school known on the continent of Lina and her crew, because it tends to attack physical and astral bodies at the same time. However, that makes it very subject to nerfing; if the demon you're blasting is stronger than the demon you're drawing energy from, then that spell's not going to do anything. Likewise, spells drawn from a particular demon will do all of jack squat if you cast them on that very same demon. If a demon is ever permanently destroyed, all black magic spells drawn from them will never work again.

Holy Magic is the polar opposite of Black Magic, drawing its power from the positive energies embodied by the gods. The characters know very little about this kind of magic because it's been lost on their continent for generations thanks to the Mazoku Barrier. In the Outer Realms magic itself has dwindled, becoming virtually a lost art. Almost every magically skilled individual was drafted for the ancient war that created the Mazoku Barrier, leaving all the mages stuck inside and the non-mages stuck outside. It presumably has similar abilities to White Magic, but with vastly more potent demon-killing spells.

White Magic is a lesser form of Holy Magic mixed with aspects of Astral Shamanism. It focuses on curative and protective spells, healing injuries and trying to keep people safe. Amusingly, the various temples don't know White Magic on their own. Instead they have to request spellcasters from the Sorcerers' Guild to teach their acolytes how to perform Healing and Exorcism. The temples are the biggest donors to the Guild of any business.

Magic can also be used for alteration and transmutation.

Shamanism is a form of elementalism that draws its power from the five elements; Earth, Air, Water, Fire and Spirit. It's the most well-rounded and utilitarian of schools, with lots of spells for attack, defense, and general purposes. Earth Shamanism focuses on manipulating earth and metal, such as throwing giant rocks at people, causing spontaneous eruptions under them, or creating protective walls. Air Shamanism grants flight, razor sharp wind projectiles, lightning bolts and protective barriers. Fire Shamanism burns the shit out of things. Water Shamanism can manipulate water or hurl icy blasts, and is useful for countering Fire Shamanism. Spirit Shamanism is more commonly referred to as Astral Shamanism, as A: all shamanism spells call upon spirits, and B: its spells focus on manipulating the Astral Plane. This makes it the only branch of Shamanism that can hope to affect demons, with its Ra Tilt spell being considered as powerful as the Dragon Slave. It should be noted that while Astral Shamanism cannot physically harm a human, it does directly assault their spirit. While a Ra Tilt cannot kill a person, it will leave them unconscious for quite some time.

Chaos Magic is an unexplored and given name to two of Lina's spells, the "Ragna Blade" and the "Giga Slave". No real research has been done on this school - as far as history can tell only Lina herself has ever cast these spells. In the anime, however, a race of dragons created something similar by combining black magic with holy magic. Unlike other Black Magic, these spells draw upon the power of the Lord of Nightmares Herself; if She gets annoyed by the caster, She may wind up wiping out the entire campaign world. Lina learned Giga Slave after reading a partial Claire Bible manuscript, and figured it was only a more-powerful version of the Dragon Slave. The first time she cast it, it killed everything inside of a lake and polluted its waters. She developed the Ragna Blade by studying the complete Claire Bible, creating it to have a less dangerous "super spell" to rely on after she learned how dangerous the Giga Slave was. Regardless, she has had too many life-threatening adventures to be able to pause and study this theoretical field.



_

Slayers and Gaming[edit]

Guardians of Order has, on two occasions, failed to make a good RPG out of the license. First was a series of three splatbooks for their BESM tristat game, each book represents a single season of the series. These books did nothing a veteran gamemaster couldn't already do. But they did present playable stats of all of the main characters from the season they covered. Their second failure was the Slayers d20 book, which was one of many hanger-ons to the d20 OGL. Unlike most copycats though, this system did try to rebalance the classes, but ended up making a shit-ton of crap, such as the man-at-arms, shrine-maiden and sorcerer classes. One good feature was its innovative magic system; it allowed a caster to know a level dependent number of spell level worth of spells. This was also capped in that there wasn't a spells per day system, but instead a caster roll based on the arcana skill.

The Slayers D20[edit]

Since 1d4chan takes pride in rescuing lost /tg/ stuff from the depths of time, let's take a look at some of the unique material from the Slayers D20 game that might be worth stealing, or at least building upon for your own games.

Slayers D20 Races[edit]

The Slayers anime is a weird setting; humans, beastfolk and dragons abound, and so do various hybrids or magically crafted fusions. To represent this, the Slayers D20 has a relatively small set of true races, but a larger set of racial templates. These allow players to represent half-breeds or chimeras - a chimera is literally just a character that takes a base race and then takes two or more templates. It's an interesting idea, but, sadly, the scourge of Level Adjustment makes it incredibly impractical.

There are only three core races in Slayers D20; Humans (use the stats from the 3e PHB), Beastfolk, and Golden Dragons. The templates consist of the Half-Demon, Half-Dragon, Half-Golem, Half-Mazoku and Half-Troll.

Beastfolk[edit]

Technically called "beastmen" in the actual series, beastfolk are a strange phenomena in the Slayers world. We really don't know much about them, except that they are distantly connected to the Mazoku and tend to fill the generic enemy mooks slot. A sprawling, chaotic mess of a species, beastfolk consist of both the typical humanoid beasts and what D&D would call "monstrous humanoids" - Slayers-world orcs are literally porcine beastfolk, whilst the "Berserker" monsters are considered a kind of beastman. For simplicity's sake, the Slayers D20 version of the race focuses strictly on the various humanoid animal beastfolk.

Most beastfolk look humans with animalistic heads and skins, but one strain is particularly weird. Fishfolk look like giant trout who have human arms and legs, and are unabashedly used as the most comedic of comic mooks. Even the book wasn't sure what to do with them - it gave them a specific ability score modifier set and favored class (+2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence, Favored Class: Bandit), but didn't give them a swim speed.

Beastfolk strains have different ability score modifiers and Favored Classes, as described here:

Bear: +4 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -4 Charisma, Favored Class: Warrior
Boar: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma, Favored Class: Warrior
Bull: +6 Strength, +2 Constitution, -4 Intelligence, -4 Charisma, Favored Class: Warrior
Dog: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma, Favored Class: Bounty Hunter
Fox: +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Strength, -2 Constitution, Favored Class: Rogue
Goat: +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma, Favored Class: Bandit
Lizard: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisma, Favored Class: Bandit
Raccoon: +4 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Strength, -2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom, Favored Class: Rogue
Wolf: +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma, Favored Class: Bounty Hunter

All beastfolk, regardless of their strain, have the following stats:

Medium
Base land speed 30 feet
Low-light Vision
Bonus Feat: From a list of Endurance, Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Loyal, Run, Scent, Toughness or Track.
+2 racial bonus on List, Spot and Survival checks
Golden Dragon[edit]

The dragons are another example of the somewhat slipshod approach to lore seen in Slayers. Golden Dragons, we know for a fact, are intelligent beings directly descended from the Shinzoku of their world, which gives them a powerful affinity for the forces of holy & white magic and a natural instinct to preserve the world. They view themselves as the living exemplars of good, and have an understandable hatred for the Mazoku, but as is shown in the series, they are - much like Dragonlance elves - nowhere near as morally infallible or as perfect as they like to view themselves. Then... there are the other dragons, which seem to vary from apparently sapient to mindless beasts, and with no explanation ever given.

Technically, Golden Dragon PCs are supposed to be restricted to Non-Evil, Non-Chaotic alignments.

Ability Score Modifiers: +6 Strength, +2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom
Dragon type
Medium
Base land speed 30 feet
Low-Light Vision
Breath Weapon (Su): A Golden Dragon has two different kinds of breath weapon; Laser and Diflasher. Both are single-target attacks that can be dodged to avoid all damage if the target passes Reflex save (DC 10 + half the dragon's character level + the dragon's Con modifier). Laser Breath is a 100ft line of radiant energy that inflicts 1d8 Fire damage per character level possessed by the dragon. Diflasher is an astral attack, meaning it only affects Outsiders and other creatures vulnerable to astral damage; it inflicts 1d10 astral damage per character level possessed by the dragon.
Alternate Form: Golden Dragons can shift between their true draconic form and a humanoid "interaction" form (which basically resembles an elf with some minor draconic traits, like a tail, slipping through) by making checks of their Control Shape skill - this is always a class skill for golden dragons and keys off of Constitution. Changing between forms requires a DC 15 Control Shape check, and a Golden Dragon in a highly stressful situation may be forced to take Control Shape checks (typically DC 20 or higher) to avoid reverting to their draconic form. In dragon form, a Golden Dragon is Huge sized, has a base land speed of 40 feet, has a Fly speed of 200 feet (Poor maneuverability), and receives the standard modifiers for changing size: +16 Strength, -4 Dexterity, +8 Constitution, +5 natural armor, -2 size penalty to attack rolls and Armor Class.
Dragon Magic (Ex): Golden Dragons receive a +5 racial bonus to their Spell Drain & Spell Control Checks when casting White Magic.
Dragon Faith (Ex): Golden Dragons of the Priest class don't require a staff to use that class's abilities.
Hunger Resistance (Ex): Golden Dragons can go twice as long without food and water as a human, and only need to make checks against starvation/dehydration once every two hours.
Spell Resistance: 11 + Character Level
Damage Reduction: 10/Magic
Favored Class: Priest
Level Adjustment: +6
Half-Demon[edit]

If dragons are confusing when it comes to the question of where they sit amongst the racial hierarchy, then demons are worse. We know that they're lower down on the hierarchy than Mazoku, but share many of the same traits, such as being predominantly astral beings who manifest themselves in the world physically. However, they don't seem to be as invested in the whole "commit cosmic murder-suicide" deal. Theoretically, a half-demon could have a demon parent, at least in the Slayers D20 understanding of the lore, but the majority of half-demons are either a case of a mortal being possessed by a demon and having the ability to tap into that demon's inherent power, or else they are sorcerous fusions created to power-up the existing being. Demons are actually quite popular for this, especially if you're trying to make a chimera with enhanced spellcasting ability.

This is a Template Race, so you apply the following modifiers to a base race first.

Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution
Intuitive Spellcaster: A half-demon has the ability to cast Common spells, regardless of its class. White/Black/Shamanism spells still require that the half-demon take the appropriate classes.
Intuitive Magic (Ex): +2 racial bonus to all Spell Drain and Spell Control Checks.
Spell Resistance: 10 + Character Level
Racial Skills: +2 to Spellcraft, Summoning and Use Magic Device checks.
Level Adjustment: +2


Half-Dragon[edit]

Of the five template races, Half-Dragons are one of the only two that are likely to have actual interspecies erotica for a backstory. Whilst the lesser dragons, with their more bestial levels of intelligence, are used in chimeric fusion experiments, the template itself focuses on a half-golden dragon race, which is almost certainly the result of a rare tryst between races.

This is a Template Race, so you apply the following modifiers to a base race first.

Ability Score Modifiers: +4 Strength, +2 Charisma
Breath Weapon (Su): A half-dragon can use its laser breath as a single-target attack that can be dodged to avoid all damage if the target passes Reflex save (DC 10 + half the half-dragon's character level + the half-dragon's Con modifier). Laser Breath is a 100ft line of radiant energy that inflicts 1d6 Fire damage per character level possessed by the dragon.
Damage Reduction (Ex): 5/Magic
Low-Light Vision (Ex)
Hunger Resistance (Ex): Half-Dragons can go twice as long without food and water as a human, and only need to make checks against starvation/dehydration once every two hours.
Intuitive White Magic: Half-Dragons gain a +2 racial bonus to all Spell Drain and Spell Control Checks when casting White Magic spells.
Spell Resistance: 5 + Character Level
Level Adjustment: +2
Half-Golem[edit]

Like any good high fantasy setting, the Slayers world is full of golems - simple masses of stone animated by sorcery to serve the bidding of a master. They're strong, tough... and stupid. Half-Golems, mortals magically merged with animate stone to gain the golem's toughness and resilience, are far superior.

This is a Template Race, so you apply the following modifiers to a base race first.

Ability Score Modifiers: +4 Strength
+4 natural armor
Damage Reduction: 10/Magic
Immune to Poison and Disease
Level Adjustment: +2
Half-Mazoku[edit]

As incarnations of negative energy compelled by their divine creator to seek the oblivion of all things, Mazoku don't have a very rich dating life. In fact, they reproduce asexually, giving up fragments of their own astral being and letting these fragments awaken as new Mazoku. Half-Mazoku, then, are the result of magic. Whilst Mazoku are far more powerful and willful than demons, some mages are strong enough (or crazy enough, or stupid enough) to use them as power-boosters in chimera fusion experiments. Other "Half-Mazoku" are actually sealed Mazoku - mortals with Mazoku bound inside of them, creating a kind of possession where the host retains control over their body and can tap into the power of their spiritual occupant.

This is a Template Race, so you apply the following modifiers to a base race first.

Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +4 Intelligence, +4 Charisma
Type changes to Outsider (Native)
Shield of Will: A half-mazoku adds their positive Charisma modifier to their Armor Class as a deflection bonus.
Damage Reduction: 10/Magic
Darkvision 60 feet
Hunger Resistance (Ex): Half-Mazoku can go twice as long without food and water as a human, and only need to make checks against starvation/dehydration once every two hours.
Immune to Poison & Disease
Astral Phasing (Ex): Once per day per 2 character levels, a half-mazoku can shift from the material plane to the Astral Plane, and can return from the Astral to the material at will. They can also take along other people they are in physical contact with by giving up one extra "charge" of this ability to do so.
Racial Skills: Vision is always a class skill for half-mazoku, and they receive a +2 racial bonus on Bluff, Intimidate and Summoning checks.
Level Adjustment: +4
Half-Troll[edit]

In the Slayers world, trolls are a species of monstrous humanoid known for their strength, their toughness, and their ability to heal from almost anything. They readily interbreed with other races, or at least with Beastfolk, and are also a logical choice for the chimera-maker's arts.

This is a Template Race, so you apply the following modifiers to a base race first.

Ability Score Modifiers: +4 Strength, +4 Constitution, -2 Intelligence, -2 Charisa
+2 Natural Armor
Regeneration (Ex): A half-troll automatically recovers hit points every single round, at a rate of (1/2 character level + 1/2 Constitution bonus, round down). A half-troll reduced below 0 hit points automatically stabilizies itself, and regains 1 hit point per round until its hit point total reaches 0, at which point it resumes its normal regeneration rate. A half-troll reduced to -10 hit points is dead, having been damaged too badly for even its trollish regenerative ability to cope with.
Level Adjustment: +1

Slayers D20 Spellcasting[edit]

If there's anything mechanically sound in the Slayers D20, it's the unique spellcasting mechanics it came up with, which actually reflect the mechanics of the setting very well.

Casting Mechanics[edit]

To start with, all spells require a single standard action to start casting. Then, the spellcaster has to make a Fortitude save, based on the difficulty of the spell; this is called a Spell Drain Check, and reflects the struggle to pull the mana for the spell out of the caster's own spirit. To further reflect how much a spell saps the caster's strength, all spells have an automatic Drain value, which is an amount of non-lethal damage they take as a side-effect of casting the spell. If they're exhausted when they try to cast, then Drain becomes lethal damage instead.

And you got to pay attention to how well you do on your Spell Drain Check. If you pass the check by 10 points or more, you halve the Drain you suffer. If you fail the check, then you take double the Drain anyway and need to make a Control Check, but if you fail it by 10 points or more, you're also automatically Exhausted.

What's a Control Check? It's a check of (1d20 + character's total caster levels + character's relevant ability score modifier) against the spell's Spell Drain DC - 10. If you pass this check, the spell still goes off, it just took a lot more out of you than it should have. If you fail, then the spell flubs in some way; usually harmless or annoying, this could potentially be incredibly dangerous for high complexity spells, such as Dragon Slave or Giga Slave.

Pretty simple rules. But, there's a lot of little sub-rules that make things more complex.

For one thing, you can use the spell's name as part of casting. This alerts everyone within earshot of what you've actually cast, but gives you a +5 bonus to your Drain and Control Checks.

Secondly, you can use the spell's incantation. This changes the casting to a full-round action, but gives you a +5 bonus to Drain & Control (which stacks with naming the incantation) and boosts the save DCs of the spell by +2. You can actually use the incantation without naming the spell, in which case listeners must make a Spellcraft check to see if they identify it.

Thirdly, there's Lethal Drain - so long as you weren't exhausted to begin with, you can choose to take your Drain as lethal damage for +5 to the Drain & Control Checks. This stacks with all of the above.

Now, this is pretty flavorful, but since the Wizard class in Slayers D20 is still running off a D6 hit dice mechanic, it's inherently flawed; spells quickly become too taxing on hit points to be worth casting at all, which really messes up the paradigm.

Cooperative Casting[edit]

Spellcasters using the Slayers D20 system can work to combine their powers in multiple ways.

For starters, up to three casters can pool their efforts to cast the same spell; this functions as a designated "primary" spellcaster making their Drain & Control checks, but with a bonus to the check equal to the secondary caster's caster level and equal to 1/2 the tertiary caster's caster level. This increases the chance of the spell going off, and lightens the load; drain is shared out as equally as possible amongst the participating casters, with excess going to the primary caster - so, if three casters pull off a spell that inflicts 22 points of drain, then the primary takes 8 damage and the other two take 7 damage each.

Secondly, when a caster has a spell sustained, a friendly caster can attempt to boost it by making a Spellcraft check (DC equal to the spell's Base DC -10); this lets the secondary caster either increase the spell's effect by one-half their caster level, or apply a single metamagic feat. As with pooling a spell, drain is shared out equally, but with excess going to the primary caster.

Finally, multiple casters can attempt to merge their spells together for greater effectiveness. To do this, each caster has to individually cast the same spell, but direct them at the same target. Area of effect and damage are multiplied by the number of casters merging spells (doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc), unless the spells have different values to the others, in which case it's the largest individual value that applies. Save DC is always the highest DC of the individual spells, plus the appropriate ability modifiers of all participating casters. For countering spell resistance, a merged spell uses the combined caster level of all participating casters.

Concentration[edit]

Concentration works differently under Slayers magic. Certain spells, called Sustained Spells, can be held as long as the caster concentrates. This requires a new Control Check each round; fortunately, all of the original bonuses the caster benefited from when they first cast the spell still apply to each Control Check they make whilst sustaining a spell. However, a sustained spell is less taxing; a successful Control Check causes them to sustain the spell without any drain, whilst failing the check still only inflicts half the normal drain for that spell.

A caster can also attempt to use other spells whilst they have a sustained spell active, which requires a Concentration check (DC 10 + 10 per sustained spell). If they fail the check, the spell fails to go off. Likewise, if they get distracted whilst sustaining spells, they need to make a separate Concentration check for each spell they have sustained; depending on the roll of the dice, this may mean some stay active, or lead to a cascade failure.

Disguising Spells[edit]

One final little trick of Slayers D20 spellcasting is that it's possible to fake out others as to what spell your casting. This is a Bluff check opposed by Spellcraft, but it prevents the caster from using the Naming & Incantation options and inflicts a -5 penalty on the Drain & Control checks.

Metamagic[edit]

Under this system, metamagic doesn't influence spell-level or casting time. Instead, it simply ups the spellcasting checks by an amount determined by the metamagic effects you apply. On the plus side, this means you can apply metamagic on the fly and as much as you need it.

Gallery[edit]

Lost Universe[edit]

The Slayers' own science fiction spin off that also started as a light novel series. Despite reusing names and titles, the Lost Universe light novels are not connected to the Slayers universe, even though the former alludes to such a bridge existing. In the author's own words:

Dear readers, it has been a long time since I wrote the previous book. Here I brought the last book of the Lost Universe, "Yami Owaru Toki". From the beginning, this story had such words as "Dark Star" or "Nightmare", and those words easily reminded the readers of another novel series that I'm writing. I know that many many people are wondering how this story is related with Slayers. Now, I give you the answer! The correct answer is, "there is little relationship between the two stories." .....................Ouch! No! Please! Don't throw stones! .... Well, to tell the truth, I liked those names Dark Star or Gorunnova, and I used those names in two different stories. That was the beginning, and nothing more. Basically, Lost Universe and Slayers are different stories, so, even though they have some common names or common words, it's no good to let those characters be the same things. If I let Gorunnova in the two different stories the same thing, it would be unrifined for an Edokko. (Citizens of Edo. An "Edokko" is stylish and don't stick to things.) Anyway, I was born in Hyogo, and live in Osaka...

http://www.inverse.org/e/res/msgs/1933.shtml

Time to get the rust off your Elder Futhark!

However, the anime for Lost Universe is connected to the Slayers anime, which makes the relationship between the two series even more confusing. In the DVD release for Lost Universe, one of the bonuses includes translation notes that explain that Lost Universe takes place on the "Black World" (Dark Star Dugradigdu, Night Dragon Vorpheed) while Slayers happens on the "Red World" (Flare Dragon Ceipheed, Ruby-Eye Shabranigdo). It also uses the same symbolism and hierarchy depictions in its end credits that can be found in the credits of each episode of Slayers TRY. One of the characters, Rail Claymore, even has a chant that is part of the full Giga Slave incantation Lina Inverse uses.

In spite all of this, Lost Universe did not become as popular as Slayers in its seven-year light novel run. The anime adaptation had bad luck as well, as a studio fire damaged half of the cels for the season, requiring the animation team to re-create everything in only six months. The poor reception and lack of funds prevented a second season from being made, leaving the anime hanging on a cliffhanger. It does not have its own d20 system, and is mentioned solely as a reference here.

Background[edit]

There once was a civilization in one galaxy. The aliens of this galaxy parted in two groups and fought each other for a many years. Finally, one of two groups created a critial offensive program; "System Dark Star". It uses the "fear" of the victims to kill themself. When this system works, the victims feel fear and this emotion affects the brain and checks the exchange of living energy. This system works without any distriction, so the creators of this system made an automatic battleship (spaceship Dugradigudo) to load this system on. As spaceship Dugradigudo was filled with the devices of the System Dark Star and there was no room for the deffensive weapons, the creators of the system made five escorting battleships; the spaceship Nezard, the spaceship Garveira, the spaceship Gorrunnova, the spaceship Ragdo Mezegis and the spaceship Bordigar. They were all automatic battleships and their energy was the power of human mind (in LU world, there is a technology which uses the power of human mind as energy, for example, psyblade). There are many patterns of human mind wave, and these battleships used the pattern of fear, for fear is always available at the battle. These six battleships ate fear and spread destruction in the whole universe. The first victim was their creators and their home-planet.

It's not creatively-bankrupt to steal from yourself.

When System Dark Star worked, people saw a huge pentagram (upside down) appeared in the sky. It can kill all the living things on one planet during a few hours.

Then there came spaceship Vorfeed with erasing system for those six demonic spaceships. Vorfeed's energy was hope of human. When it irradiated its enegy at Dugradigudo and its guardian ships, their energy (fear) was erased by hope and those six battleships became enable to work. They fought each other a long time ago, and finally, Vorfeed succeeded in erasing the energy of the enemies, but it lost its energy, too. These seven battleships fell down on to the nearby planet.

Many years passed by, and those battleships repaired themselve automatically. Then there came a boy. The AI of Dugradigudo found the boy and influenced his mind with its energy. This boy became human Dugradigudo, and when he was grown up, he named himself as Nightmare. Dugradigudo affected the mind and body of Nightmare so as to survive in the System Dark Star. He managed a powerful crime organization Nightmare to ready for another annihilation.

Dugradigudo and Nightmare thought that Vorfeed would come back again, and it begun to ready for that. It repaired its escorting battlships, and made a huge fortress Hecatombkale. And finally, Dugardigudo and Nightmare found spaceship Sword Breaker with AI Canal Vorfeed. So the battle begun again.

http://www.inverse.org/e/res/msgs/1933.shtml

The Plot[edit]

The main cast. From left to right: Who fucking cares?

In the Lost Universe anime, Dark Star is a powerful space ship that evolves every time it awakens.

Many, many years ago, Dark Star and his shinzoku counterpart, Night Dragon Vorfeed, grew tired of fighting and went to rest on a planet. They took the forms of spaceships. Years later, humans discovered the ships, and two young children, brother and sister, came across them at night. The boy, Albert Von Stargazer, found Dark Star. The girl, Alicia Shon Stargazer, found Vorfeed. Each child became the master of his and her respective spaceship. Thus, a family was torn by light and darkness.

Albert formed the Gazer Concern, which was a front for the Nightmare syndicate. Nightmare stove to spread Dark Star's evil throughout the universe. They kept the sleeping Dark Star inside a giant machine, Hekatoncheir, that served as Nightmare's headquarters.

Dark Star made Albert clone himself so that Dark Star would have a human body in which he could reside and use to interact with humans. This human body was referred to as Yami, sometimes called the Spreader of Darkness.

Ten years before the anime, the Spreader of Darkness (one of Dark Star's aliases), captaining Gorun Nova, confronted Alicia Shon Stargazer in Swordbreaker. She used the latter's Psi Code Final to defeat Gorun Nova, but at the cost of her own life. The Spreader of Darkness was put into stasis for ten years (87016 hours) in order to heal.

Throughout the years, more ancient spaceships were discovered, and named Lost Ships. Five of these are subordinates of Dark Star. Dark Star and his Lost Ships could be temporarily rendered helpless whenever someone chanted special phrases referencing the Lord of Nightmares.

The only known Lost Ship that served the light was Vorfeed's ship, named Swordbreaker. Swordbreaker was piloted by Alicia, but she died in a battle with Dark Star. Later, Alicia's grandson, Kane Blueriver, became the pilot and risked himself in order to completely rid the universe of Nightmare and more importantly, Dark Star. However, Dark Star was not completely destroyed, and only three of his subordinates had been disabled. Thus the battle was not over.

Taken from https://kanzaka.fandom.com/wiki/Dark_Star_Dugradigdu#Lost_Universe because I really don't want to re-summarize this silliness.