Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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    The original version of this article was written by the creator(s) of the work being discussed. Other viewpoints are requested.

    As the author, "Thrythlind" sees the two angriest people with an intense dislike for each other's races as the official couple. "What's wrong with me?"
    "I am skilled and not unbloodied"
    —Toshiko Kikage before exile
    "Red meets yellow..." "...kills a fellow"
    —A bandit realizing what the Woman With No Name is before she finishes the statement for him, with example.

    Zodiacs is a Sourcebook written by Luke "Thrythlind" Green intended for use by gamers. The sourcebook contains a two-three page discussion of several of the more common gaming systems and mechanics along with discussion of pros and cons. However, beyond that, there is no mention of statistics in the sourcebook.

    The book contains sections on:

    • Gaming Systems and Theory
    • Cultures: Six total: Bharita, The Golden Empire, The Hordelands, Ryouiki, The Star Republic, The Volstagg
    • Zodiac Species: Canine (Wolf and Dog), Large Feline (Tiger, Lion, Jaguar, Leopard, Puma), Fox, Raccoon, Rodent (Rat and Mouse), Small Cat (lynx and cat) and Snake, with a section for "other"
    • Martial Arts and Military: For each of the six cultures
    • Magic Traditions: For each of the six cultures
    • An extended Sample Campaign and sample characters.
    • Suggested campaign blurbs.

    In addition to the sourcebook, there is a short story book which is the author's rendition of what would happen if you used his campaign with his characters played the way he would play them.

    Note from the Author: I tend to use these pages as sounding boards for ideas as well as a form of self-promotion. For my original fictions, I do most of my troping on my own files offline, because I don't want to spoil anything...as I am want to do when ranting about my stories. However, currently most of the entries were done by me as part of a way of figuring out how to summarize the setting. From here on out, however, this page will be only occasionally updated by me specifically. (Though I might run a promotion that involves troping my stuff.)

    Tropes used in Zodiacs include:
    • Action Girl: Jun and The Woman With No Name
    • And Man Grew Proud: The world is set at least ten thousand years after a highly advanced society crumbled suddenly and left the world resource poor. the example campaign suggests the campaign setting is actually North America in the far future, but again, the implication is that that is up to individual GM decision
    • Berserk Button: Threaten a child in front of a snake.
    • The Big Guy: Sigurd
    • Blood Knight: Enkil and Sigurd
    • Blood Magic: Ryouiki Maho-Tsukai have five types. One is actually White, focused on self-sacrifice for others. One is grey, and focused on knowledge. Two are black. And the last is deepest black.
    • Bloody Murder: Ryouiki Maho-Tsukai Ryokankuchi
    • Body Surf: Lady Adrasteia does this with her willing minions
    • Compliment Backfire: Sigurd assumes that Jun is a dog because she's a good cook. Being a wolf, Jun is not amused.
    • Cloning Blues: Acacia as a clone of 16 year old pre-villainy Adrasteia complete with memories
    • Crapsack World: Adrasteia is deliberately trying to MAKE the world this because if there's plenty of chaos and evil in the world, then people won't look for her and she can avoid being brought to justice longer.
      • She started with sinking her homeland into a civil war that obliterated the one noble household whose loss could not be recovered from.
      • She's supported Elias in his rise to power, united the Hordelands under his fist.
      • She helped place a lunatic on the Imperial throne in the Golden Empire.
      • She's helped the Shogun wage an undeclared civil war while ensuring the young empress remains in a poisoned coma.
      • She is currently linked to a Demon Gate which occasionally cracks open and will flood open if she dies.
      • She likely has fingers in the Star Republic too, though the precise nature of her plan there is undetermined.
    • The Determinator: The Woman With No Name, who is in constant pain due to the fact her poison is constantly leaking into her system.
    • Enlightenment Superpowers: Rama as someone who was born in the Hecate Project and Adrasteia as one who was trained by them.
    • Face Heel Turn: Adrasteia was a heroic sorceress for many years before she turned evil.
    • Fallen Princess: Adrasteia is one upon discovery of her magic. Acacia feels like one due to her inherited memories.
    • Fantastic Racism: Humans towards Zodiacs for the most part.
      • Wolves and Dogs, despite being genetically identical save for a trend in hair/fur colors, absolutely hate each other and refuse to admit being related.
        • This is especially unfortunate for Sigurd, whom the sourcebook says has trouble remembering that Jun is a wolf.
      • Snakes in particular are hated by everybody due to the fact that they can kill by age 10 via poison
        • A popular method of lynching snakes is "fanging", which is basically cutting or ripping out their fangs. The snake usually dies within a year due to their own uncontrollably leaked poison.
        • Bharita revere snakes as holy creatures publicly. Secretly, the Brahmin caste maintains hidden fortresses were they send female snakes who were supposed to be either executed or euphenized but were still capable of carrying a child to term.
      • Bharita considers all zodiacs to be born as property of one of the four castes based on their species.
      • The Golden Empire considers all zodiacs to be animals.
      • Magicians are hated even more than snakes as most people believe they choose their path rather than are born to it.
    • Faux Action Girl: Acacia, who is still getting used to the fact she has wings.
    • The Fettered: Jun and Enkil
    • Friend to All Children: Snakes, on account of having a high death rate, regard all children as sacred.
    • Functional Magic: Of the Inherent Gift variety, though people believe that it is a learned ability.
    • Guile Hero: Adrasteia originally. Xun Fu presently.
    • Gun Fu: The Woman With No Name
    • The Gunslinger: The Woman With No Name is one. Such are implied to be relatively common in the Republic.
    • Heroes Prefer Swords: Averted with the example characters who include: a spear-woman, an unarmed specialist, a whip using magician, a defensive specialist, a gadgeteer and a pistoleer.
    • Improbable Loading Skills: The Woman With No Name again.
    • Interspecies Romance: Zodiacs and humans are genetically compatiable given one was created from the other. Children are the same species as the mother 3 out of 4 times.
      • Averted with the Golden Empire who consider zodiacs nothing more than animals and view those who interbreed with them as freaks.
      • A special note: Sigurd, a nearly 7' tall tiger zodiac is especially attracted to Dog women, having grown up with them.
    • Katanas Are Just Better: This attitude convinced the Ryouiki nobility to declare that no zodiac, samurai or not, is allowed to use a katana despite the Imperial Family otherwise granting equal social status. As a result, the Kitsune Court uses wakizashi and the Kikage Clan use spears.
    • Kleptomaniac Hero: Xun Fu
    • Samurai in Sour Armor: Jun the Cook
    • Loveable Sex Maniac: Sigurd is mentioned in the sourcebook as having multiple children with Volstagg women. Of the example female characters, Acacia is too young for his tastes and "Sour Lady" is too fragile. This leaves Jun who is a "dog" and an awesome warrior which is just made of win from his point of view.
    • Magic A Is Magic A: The author describes magic as a very complex mixture of telepathy and telekinesis on an atomic level in one small statement in the sourcebook, but also at least implies that any particular gamemaster can run the world however he wants.
    • Magic Mirror: One of Lady Adrasteia's tools.
    • Masquerade: The Kitsune Court is hiding the fact that the Imperial Family are now almost entirely fox zodiacs.
    • The Medic: The Woman With No Name
    • Ninja: Ryokankuchi, Orochi-Clans, one possible path of the Kikage's return to importance, Shudra assassins, the Shudra Zodiac rebels
    • Noble Fugitive: Jun/Toshiko
    • No Name Given: The Woman With No Name, who is also called "Holy One" by Acacia, "Sour Lady" by Sigurd, "Snake" by Jun, "Coral" by Enkil and "Hunter" by Xun Fu
    • Official Couple: In anything further done by the author: The Woman With No Name and Enkil
      • Jun and Sigurd is more up in the air.
      • Xun Fu and Acacia could go either a Big Brother/Little Sister or May-December Romance.
    • Old Master: Rama
    • Pocket Dimension: The Hecate Project
    • Proud Warrior Race: Wolves, Samurai, Kshatriya, Republican Career Military
    • Proud Warrior Race Lady: Jun the Cook whose daimyo's last command to her is to be his successor of the KikageSamurai composed almost entirely of wolf zodiacs
    • Psychic Powers: The author's explanation for True Masters and Magicians, with True Masters being people that have reached the potential of the average human/zodiac and Magicians being people with a few more genetic markers than average.
    • Reference Overdosed: Pretty much the point of the setting.
    • Ronin: Jun
    • Rule Magic: Wu Jen have taboos which, if they break them, cause a loss of power for some days. This includes a taboo which prevents them from explaining the taboos to anyone.
    • Samurai: Jun
    • Samurai Cowboy: The setting as a whole.
    • Scars Are Forever: The Woman With No Name
    • Shout-Out: Pretty much part of the intention of the setting and the example characters.
      • Jun the Cook/Toshiko Kikage: Her story borrows heavily from the 47 Ronin and can be considered a shout out to Yukimura Sanada as well.
      • Enkil: is a shout out to Streetfighter characters as well as Inigo Montoya
      • The Woman With No Name: is a shout out to Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name as well as Harmonica and Tombstone Doc Holiday
      • Sigurd: a shout out to various viking myths, Jackie Chan and the good-guy versions of Streetfighter Zangief
      • Acacia: was originally a Kodachi Kuno shout out, but has been buried under other things
      • Xun Fu: Is a shout out to MacGyver and Robin Hood
      • Rama: Is a shout out to Ranma Saotome and Kwai Chang Kain
      • Adrasteia: Is a shout out to Kodachi Kuno as well as the Evil Queen of Snow White
      • Ryouiki as a culture is a shout out toward Japanese and Celtic myth
        • The capital of Ryouiki is "Deishi" (D.C)
      • Two Maho-Tsukai Universities Japanese translations of Dunwich and Innsmouth
      • The Hordelands are a shout out to Native Americans, Mongols, Sumerians and have a sport that is basically jugging.
      • The Star Republic is basically Texas
      • Bharita is a shout out to Hindu myth and caste society with an American style Checks and Balances system and Greek names
      • Volstaggs are a shout out to viking myths
      • The Golden Empire is a shout out to Romance of the Three Kingdoms
    • Sleeping Beauty: Empress Moricha.
    • Summon Magic: Rakbu from the Hordelands
    • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Sigurd prefers not to kill.
    • Walk the Earth: All the example characters in one way or another.
    • Weapon of Choice: Most of the heroes has their preference.
      • Acacia: Whips and thrown weapons
      • Adrasteia: Whips and magic
      • Enkil: Unarmed
      • Jun/Toshiko: Spears and Staves, but especially Naginata (though she has abandoned weapons in the first adventure)
      • Rama: Unarmed
      • The Woman With No Name: Revolver
      • Xun Fu: caltrops and rope
      • Sigurd: Mildly averted, Sigurd is fine with any weapon he picks up or fighting unarmed, but is awesome on defense in addition to being the toughest character.
      • Kitsune Court: Wakizashis
      • Kikage Samurai: Naginata, Nagimaki
    • White Magic: Brahma and Vishnu Chudail, some Republican Magi