3x3 Eyes is a very open setting, and as such, it requires the GM to carefully plan ahead the start of a 3x3 Eyes campaign. The general geographic location, time span and epoch the campaign will encompass must be thoughtfully chosen, lest the game become confusing and complicated to run.
Although most of the setting described in this text and in the earlier volumes of the 3x3 Eyes manga encompasses only 1984 to 1994, with a few glimpses of the past (around year 1680), it is perfectly possible to run a 3x3 Eyes campaign in earlier epochs as well as in the not so distant future. Just do a few adjustments to the original setting found in the 3x3 Eyes manga and you are ready to go. Crossovers with other genres are also possible, and worked very well in the playtesting campaigns, further increasing the GM's choices.
One must only keep in mind he sample spells and beasts included here, as well as most found in the 3x3 Eyes manga, were designed for a time frame encompassing years 1500 to 2000. As time advances, technology gradually surpasses magic in both power and flexibility, at least in most settings. Game Masters may wish to balance this fact by creating technological-specfic magic. Of course, role-playing a Sanjiyan Unkara or Wu gradually feeling their power become less and less effective as protection against a developing and expansionist spacefaring society might be just what you want....
Going too far into the past might require some small adjustments, too. Carefully planning the power level and location of campaigns set during the time the Sanjiyan Unkara species were still active is important, as well as defining how much they interacted with the humans who lived outside their Holy Land. The original manga setting is filled with surprising connections between the world of the Sanjiyan Unkara), and real world legends and religions. Important PC and NPC characters living during that time might have been influences in such legends.
3x3 Eyes is really more suitable for campaigns with an occult overtone, although creative GMs and players will find other interesting uses for a Wu or Sanjiyan Unkara (e.g.: In some "4-Color" settings a Wu could be a super hero, or an evil and powerful Sanjiyan Unkara might be just the foe you were looking for). The campaign itself does not have to be centered in an occult theme, but it would be very difficult to fully develop the possibilities of a 3x3 Eyes game without a suitable atmosphere.
Characters in a typical long-term 3x3 Eyes campaign could develop very much. A point level increase of more than 300 points for a 50 session campaign is easily possible, so it might be wise to start with low point value PCs (50 to 75 point base, 100 to 150 points with disadvantages) and let them develop to higher point levels by themselves. This works very well with human parties, as well as very young Sanjiyan. Unfortunately, a such a Heroic Level campaign severely limits the choice of characters in a high-point genre such as 3x3 Eyes.
Normal Sanjiyan Unkara characters are simply not suitable as PCs in low point-level games, but they make great medium and high level NPCs, who might be patrons to some of the characters. In medium-level campaigns (150 to 200 point characters, 75 to 100 point base), a Sanjiyan Unkara PC should fit in a human party without problems, although a 150-point Sanjiyan Unkara might need a detailed background to explain his relative weakness when compared to other Sanjiyan.
Campaigns at higher point levels usually need elements to keep the party together. Powerful characters are not likely to tag along and go out of their way just to increase their survival chances, and plain survival is rarely the point of a high level 3x3 Eyes campaign. In long campaigns the careful design of such elements might be a difficult task, but the return is always worth it. Well designed, those "party glue" elements keep the group together, cushioning the internal relationship problems a high level party often has, and giving the players a sense of objective to guide them. Such elements might take any form: common friends, common interests, honor and sense of duty imposed tasks or bounds, previous relationships among the party members, common enemies. Usually more than one of those factors is present, and while some of them will change over time, as long as the web they make is strong and flexible, the party will hold.
A point balance problem arises with the Wu. It costs 265 points to be a Wu, but all those points go directly to a set of advantages dealing only with Wu immortality; it does not improve the character's effectiveness in most games. A 400-point Wu is actually a much "weaker" character than a 400-point demon, a 250-point starting superhero, and even a 150-point Heroic Level normal, because such characters would employ most of their points in Skills and Characteristics.
Solutions to this problem must be worked out between the Players and the GM. If the Players don't care much about the point balance inside the party—as long as everybody is happy with their characters—a mixed set of 150-point humans and one 425-point Wu (which is effectively an immortal 150-point character) is perfectly acceptable and is the easier way to deal with the issue, both for the Players and the GM.
The most common scenario, however, will have at least one Player who will feel "unable to enjoy the game" due to the point issues, as well as other Players who will quickly grow unhappy with constant arguments with the GM over the issue. This kind of group may rule out the possibility of a Wu PC (and sometimes even a Wu NPC) in Heroic games, and might put the GM through a lot of headaches during character creation in Super Heroic games.
Suppose one of the PCs should be a Wu and we have the scenario described above. The GM will need to limit the starting characters so as to keep some kind of balance and avoid the "my character is useless" problem later, sometimes ruling out perfectly acceptable characters just because one of them is too limited. Extremely specialized characters are prone to cause that kind of trouble, and Wu are no exception.
Another way to solve the problem would be to award the Wu status to one of the PCs/NPCs during role-play, by letting a Sanjiyan Unkara PC/NPC choose one of the available characters to become a Wu. That might possibly earn the wrath of some Players, but since those are usually the Players who made it impossible to use the better method of a lesser Wu at game start, it is only fitting. Awarding some form of compensation to the other players, such as a brand new beast, grimoire, or familiar to a mage PC, the possibility of some difficult to get training to other PCs, or a powerful new ally to a demon PC will help restore the party balance.
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