One of the iconic elements of the manga and anime series Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi is its resident MacGuffin, the Shikon no Tama (Jewel of Four Souls). Below is my humble attempt to capture the properties of this item in a Cypher System friendly form.
Shikon Jewel – Complete (Artifact)
Form: Spherical pink (or black if tainted) gem.
Effect: In its complete state this gem has the same effect as a Shikon Jewel Shard, but it also allows the holder to make a single wish and have it granted, within limits. The level of the effect granted is no greater than the level of the artifact, as determined by the GM, who can modify the actual effect of the wish accordingly. (The larger the wish, the more likely the GM will limit its effect. A tainted gem is more likely to twist the intent of a wish). The holder can only ever use the jewel to grant themself a single wish, but can still gain the normal benefit from possession of this gem.
Depletion: — (Succeeding on a difficulty 9 Intellect task and using this gem to wish for its own destruction destroys it.)
Shikon Jewel Shard (Artifact)
Form: Pink (or black if tainted) gem fragment.
Effect: The holder of a shard of this gem can insert it into a character, creature, or object(other than another shard of the Shikon Jewel) painlessly with minimal force. This causes one effect from the appropriate following table until the shard is removed. This effect can be chosen or rolled randomly. A character, creature, or object can only ever gain the effect of up to 2 shards, though they can contain more than this number. The effects of multiple jewel shards are cumulative. Additionally, the holder of a Shikon Jewel shard gains an asset on all tasks to influence the action or behavior of a character, creature, or object(that becomes a creature) they insert a Shikon jewel shard into until that shard is removed.
The position of a jewel shard inside of a visible creature or object within long range can be located with a difficulty 4 Intellect task. A shard can be removed from a destroyed object or an incapacitated, dead, or willing creature with a difficulty 1 Speed task. Otherwise the difficulty of the task is equal to the level of the creature or object. Characters can resist removal of a shard from their body with a Speed defense roll.
|1||A dead character resurrects and restores 4 points to each of their pools. Such a character immediately dies if all of the shards in their body are removed.|
|2||If all of their pools are full the character can to regrow a lost body part by expending a recovery roll.|
|3||The character gains a single character advancement benefit other than “Skills”. This benefit does not effect progresses towards the character’s next tier or interfere with gaining a benefit of the selected type by spending XP.|
|4||The character gains an asset on a skill of their choice.|
|5||The character gains sharp teeth or claws that count as light weapons.|
|6||The character gains Fleet of Foot (141) or Greater Enhanced Speed (146).|
|1||A dead creature resurrects, restoring its health to full. Such a creature immediately dies if all shards in it are removed.|
|2||The creature increases its level by 1.|
|3||The creature performs a single skill as 2 levels higher than normal.|
|4||The creature increases its Movement by 1 step up to very long.|
|5||A normally unintelligent creature gains human-like intelligence.|
|6||The creature regains points to its health every round equal to the number of shards in it. When its health or pools are full it begins to regrow lost body parts at a rate of 1 per round starting with the most debilitating.|
|7||The creature Intellect, Might, or Speed defense as 2 levels higher than normal.|
|8||The creature increases its Armor by 1.|
|9||The creature increases its Damage Inflicted by 2.|
|10||The creature increases its Health by 10.|
|1||The object becomes a creature of its level of the GMs choice. For example a level 5 doll might become a Killer Clown(339). Alternatively it could simply gain the ability to move along with gaining Health and Damage Inflicted based on its target number and level respectively. Such an object remains a creature until all of the Shikon jewel shards in it are removed. If additional jewel shards are inserted after the object becomes a creature it only gains further benefits as if it were a creature.|
|2||The object’s level increases by 2.|
|3||If the object is a weapon its damage increases by 2.|
|4||A broken object is made whole again even if pieces are missing, but it can still be rebroken. It returns to its previous state if all shards in it are removed.|
|5||The object becomes a random cypher of its level. It crumbles to dust after use.|
|6||If the object is a cypher it becomes an artifact with “Depletion: Removal of jewel shard (upon depletion, crumbles into dust)”.|
Depletion: Combination into completed Shikon Jewel.
GM Intrusions: Your Shikon Jewel shards are being purified by a holy aura. or Your Shikon Jewel shards are being tainted by a dark presence.
Tainting or Purifying Jewel Shards/Completed Jewel: The difficulty of this task is equal to the level of the creature that last purified or tainted a jewel shard. If that creature was a character an opposed roll must be made instead. A tainted jewel turns black and grants two benefits when used, but a creature containing a tainted jewel shard begins loosing its sanity. The rate of this descent into madness should be determined by the GM. In the case of a character with a tainted gem or shard, use of the Madness optional rule (284) is recommended.
Combining Jewel Shards: Two or more shards can be combined into a single larger shard with a difficulty 6 Intellect task. Shards being combined must be of the same type(pure or tainted). A combined shard only has the effect of a single shard. Combining all existing shards together however creates the artifact Shikon Jewel – Complete in its purified or tainted form depending on the shards used.
Notes: An alternate option to limit the number of Shikon jewel shards a character can benefit from is to reduce the character’s cypher capacity by 1 for each shard they are gaining the effect of.
On the questions of “How many shards are there?” and “How does the nearly indestructible gem get shattered in the first place?”, the answer is them same. Depends on the needs of the campaign and its plot.
All the above page numbers above reference to the Cypher System Revised rulebook.
If you enjoyed this anime to RPG conversion, or want to help support content on this blog in general, please consider joining my Patreon or buying me a cup of coffee. This would let me know that you like what you are seeing and provides a bit of welcome fuel for my creative fires.