WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?
Silent Möbius Zeta is a HERO System campaign based off the manga series Silent Möbius. Silent Möbius itself is a manga (Japanese comic) series written and drawn by Kia Asamiya. The series fills 12 volumes or "Sides", and has spawned at least two animated films (Silent Möbius: the Motion Picture I and Silent Möbius: the Motion Picture II) as well as a number of novels. Kia Asamiya has also written a one volume prequel to Silent Möbius called Mobius Klien. Recently, a revised and revamped Silent Möbius has been released as a weekly television show.
The Silent Möbius Zeta Worldbook is my attempt to present the Silent Möbius universe using HERO System game mechanics. Here one will find character sheets for both original and 'Zeta' versions of the Silent Möbius cast, character sheets for new officers, the AMP package deal, weapons, the AMP spinner and sample Lucifer Folk. Zeta is not meant to be an exact translation of the original series into HERO System gaming terms, instead, I'm trying to capture the 'flavor' or 'spirit' of the original material.
I used a number of different sources in order to create conversions posted here. These include Viz Graphic's translated Silent Möbius manga (volumes 1-3), Silent Möbius Sides 1-12, fan translated versions of Sides 1-12, Streamline Video's dubbed version of Silent Möbius the Movie, fan subbed versions of Silent Möbius the Movie and Silent Möbius the Movie II, the commercial subtitled release of the Silent Möbius TV Series, and finally, the Art of Silent Möbius the Movie I and the Art of Silent Möbius the Movie II.
WHAT IS SILENT MOBIUS?
Silent Möbius was a reasonably manga popular series in Japan, with a growing American following. The series concerns itself with the adventures of an elite police force, known as the "Attacked Mystification Police" and their attempts to combat the intrusions of extra-dimensional supernatural creatures called "Entities," "Lucifer Folk" or "Lucifer Hawks".
For English speaking fans of Silent Möbius, the pickings up until now have been pretty sparse. Viz Graphics has finally re-released the first three volumes of Silent Möbius in new trade paperbacks. These volumes are in the original black and white (as opposed to the older colorized versions) but suffer from slightly muddy printing and some poor examples of editing. Viz has finally started releasing translated issues of Silent Möbius again, starting with Side 4. Hopefully they will be able to release the entire series. Streamline Video produced an English-dubbed version of Silent Möbius the Movie I, but was never able to release the second movie. The film should still be available, as Streamline was absorbed by Manga Video. In both cases, the translators took a number of liberties with the original material. In Viz Comics version, Lebia Maverlick's name became "Lebia Maverick", and in both the Streamline video and the Viz comic "Attacked Mystification Police" becomes "Abnormal Mystery Police". The new Silent Möbius comic from Viz has corrected some of these errors.
Finally, Bandai has begun to release the 26 episode Silent Möbius TV series in subtitled and dubbed formats. The TV series crams all 10 years of the manga's original run into one TV season. Although some liberties are taken, over all the results are pretty nice and look good.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SILENT MOBIUS AND SILENT MOBIUS ZETA?
I will admit that I have made a number of changes to the original Silent Möbius universe when I set about creating my own 'Zeta' version of the universe. These changes are as follows:
The word "zeta" is often used in Japan to distinguish one similar anime series from another. For example, Mobile Suit Gundam gave rise to Gundam Zeta; and the manga series Dragonball became the anime Dragonball Z(etc). In America, the sequel to Mekton was named Mekton Zeta.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH ALL THIS?
When I initially began creating the Silent Möbius Zeta campaign, I first had to establish a frame of reference, such as location and year. For some odd reason, I decided that Yuki was to be 20 years old at the start of the campaign, which gave me a start date of 2030 (since Yuki was born in 2010). After that, I realized that I didn't want 12+ officers in the game and I would need a good reason to eliminate some of the original characters. Rather than go with some sort of tragic disaster (which, it seems is how the actual series is going to turn out), I decided to run with an idea suggested by a friend of mine, and have Lebia Maverlick (or, in this case, Linda Maverick), establish a new AMP office in her hometown of Los Angeles. After that, it seemed only natural to move Katsumi Liqueur and Kiddy Phenil to the LA office. These three characters (Katsumi, Kiddy and Lebia) are some of the most powerful ones in the series, with abilities that could easily overshadow beginning Player Characters. It also helps that all three of them are native English speakers (Lebia is from Los Angeles, Katsumi is from Hawaii and Kiddy is from Australia). On the down side, this left me with Yuki and Nami, two characters I was a little less sure of in terms of personality and actions.
After some initial play-test and a short-lived campaign, the first run of Silent Möbius Zeta came to an end. After a bit of work, I started the game anew, setting the game in the Los Angeles office (and moving Katsumi and Kiddy back to Tokyo. Once I had assembled my new players I began to fully revise the setting and layout. This reworking forms the new Silent Möbius Zeta campaign as seen on these pages.
I should point out that there are two Silent Möbius characters that I've left out amid all this character shifting about. The first is Mana Isozaki, the mysterious woman brought in as the new leader of the AMP in Side 4. I had heard of her, and even knew what she looked like, but had no idea of her powers. Since the inception of SMZ as a ongoing campaign, I have picked up Silent Möbius Sides 1-10 and now have a pretty good idea as to her powers and personality. Thus, she has been included in the new Osaka division. The second character is Lum Cheng. She arrives in Side 9 and is made a fully-fledged AMP officer in Side 10. As of this writing, she has not been introduced to the SMZ setting, mainly because I am unsure how to use her. Once I get a better feel for the character and develop a character sheet, I will introduce her, probably as a member of the possible Hong Kong AMP division.
Note that just as I did, Game Masters should feel free to develop whatever setting suits them. I have seen (or heard of) games that presume the AMP has spread to England and/or France, while Tokyo remains the home office. One could also place a game in Hong Kong, San Francisco or New York. Following the original setting too closely will probably end up frustrating a potential Game Master, so GMs should not feel confined by the original manga. Make the world you own and do what makes sense to you (and your players).
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