[Odd Inspirations; Mage: the Awakening] 3×3 Eyes

Posted: October 4, 2011 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Mage: the Awakening, Roleplaying Games, World of Darkness

Today we take a look at an interesting source of inspiration for Mage: the Awakening in the form of an old Manga called 3×3 Eyes.  3×3 Eyes was first published in 1987, and chronicled the adventures of Pai, the last surviving member of an ancient civilization of three eyed beings known as the Sanjiyan Unkara, and her immortal bodyguard/servant Yakumo Fuji.

3×3 Eyes is a looong story, spanning 40 volumes in the manga, and deals with the supernatural in a manner that isn’t specific to Japanese myth and culture, as one would expect.  Instead, 3×3 Eyes draws from a multitude of sources, from Chinese to Tibetan beliefs, to monsters drawn from Indian and Malaysian mythologies as well in some of the stories.  There’s a bunch of crazy stuff in the series, and Pai and Yakumo encounter, defeat and occasionally befriend various other supernaturals in their quest to stop the big bad of the story.

So how does this tie in with Mage?  Well, there’s always been mention that Mage: the Awakening lends itself well to tales of Supernatural Archaeology, and 3×3 Eyes has this in spades.  Yakumo Fuji and Pai end up all over the world hunting down bits and pieces of various artifacts relating to the civilization of the Sanjiyan Unkara, which seem to have influences many of the ancient civilizations.  (Much in the same way that the Atlantean paradigm in Mage influenced many of the beliefs of the Sleepers.)

Along the way, they run into various servants of another of the Sanjiyan Unkara (yes, I said she was the last surviving member, but that’s how this story rolls) who is intent on obtaining vast power to take over the world.  Their enemies are ruthless, and have the upper hand in most cases, but the heroes do their best, even having some time to take on some “monster busting” on the side to help pay for all their crazy expenses obtained trying to keep up with the bad guys.

Overall, 3×3 Eyes has a lot of neat ideas.  From strange spirit realms, bizarre opponents, and interesting artifacts, 3×3 Eyes has a ton of interesting things that can be converted into an nWoD game.  But since it deals with a lot of hidden secrets plus an ancient proto-civilization with incredible magic, I’d say that Mage: the Awakening is the best fit.

  1. Hikkikomori says:

    Gotta catch ’em All!

    • sheimaruenn says:

      Lack of paradox is an issue : /
      but the plot is interesting. But then with Chroniclers GUide you could theoretically pull it off with a lot of system tweaks. I feel this would be more appropriate for Mage: the Ascension though given its scope and power level, some of the themes work well with older traditions actually… I want to see when if they’ll release a conversion like they did for vamp~

      • bumbayker says:

        The Mage conversion for The Awakening to Ancension if I read correctly is slated for late next year. Hopefully there won’t be any delays for its release. I wonder though how they will convert the system since there are 9 traditions in Ascension but 10 Arcana/Spheres in Awakening.

        • Hey there,

          I’m looking forward to the Ascenion to Awakening conversion guide as well. Not sure how they’ll do it, but I trust the people of White Wolf to think of something appropriate. 😀

  2. bumbayker says:

    I hope so too. The recent mass lay offs of WW employees by CCP might affect the amount of book releases,

    With regards to the article you wrote, I felt 3 x 3 Eyes was more related to Kindred of the East vampires in cWoD than to Mage since they had a discipline of the third eye. The manga/anime does have much Mage elements in it but for me the overall feel was more like eastern vampire.

    • I regret never having had a chance to check out Kindred of the East. I’ve heard nice things about it, and I do believe that you may have a good point. Perhaps when I’ve managed to free up some funds I’ll check out the books in PDF format.

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