Sekiro: D&D Conversion Project
Inspired by From Soft’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Experience D&D with the Shinobi fighting arts
An Ongoing Project by Leuku
When From Soft’s latest video game, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, came out last year, I fell in love immediately. One year later, From Soft releases a free major update to the game, and my love and obsession for the game inspires me to finally put it to pen and paper form.
I am indebted to the youtuber Katiecakes and her discord channel for their friendship, support, and inspiration.
My goal is to capture as much of the spirit of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice in 5th edition D&D (5e) mechanics. This means that I will try to find and develop the most appropriate 5e mechanics that capture the imagination of as many of the items and abilities in the game. This also means that I will not attempt to translate any mechanics in the game that will not translate well to a turn-based, pen & paper, group-roleplaying, dice rolling game such as D&D. Such mechanics include, but are not limited to: Posture, Poise, Deathblows, Blocks, and Deflects.
This project is not necessarily an attempt to translate everything in Sekiro into D&D. I am continually expanding what I want to include, and foresee stopping only when I feel like stopping.
This project is not an adventure. Anything and everything in this project can be brought into an existing adventure. You can focus on unique objects like the Shinobi Prosthetic and all of its Prosthetic Tools, or take in new combat mechanics, like Sweeps and Thrusts. Pick and choose what interests you and leave the rest. Hopefully there’s something for everyone.
This project is not a setting. I will not opine on the setting of Ashina and the surrounding lands, its people, its politics, its factions, etc. Any lore will be only be present in the descriptions I have adapted from the game in the various items and mechanics throughout the project.
This project is not complete. I will continue to add to it more and more as time passes. Please expect frequent additions, revisions, and sometimes substractions.
Why is this free?
Because all art is either owned by From Soft or is royalty-free stock imagery. Even if I could charge anyone, I wouldn’t, because I don’t feel like it. Not for this, at least. I just want to make this thing and then share it.
New to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice?
Sekiro is a PS4 and PC game by the company From Soft, famous for its Dark Souls series, brutally punishing combat, and obscure, esoteric lore scattered across countless item descriptions. Taking a break from their usual lore formula, Sekiro presents a remarkably easy to understand story of a shinobi dedicated to the protection of their young lord, whose power can grant immortality via resurrection to others, from desperate forces.
You play as Sekiro, a shinobi equipped with a prosthetic arm, the Shinobi Prosthetic. Using your grappling hook and other Prosthetic Tools, you leap across rooftops and gorges, counter deadly apparitions, and bewilder your enemies. Using your Shinobi Arts, you stealth, backstab, and intercept deadly enemy thrust attacks. Using your Ashina Arts, you strike, deflect, and exchange blows toe-to-toe with powerful enemies and great beasts.
The combat can be brutally difficult, as it demands of its players to learn enemy attack patterns, stand your ground against faster and towering bosses, hit the block button with expert timing to deflect attacks, and stop hesitating. But the feeling of relief and acquisition after defeating a boss that you just spent the prior 3 hours attempting, as well as the euphoric dance you experience as you deflect each and every single one of an enemy’s long combo of attacks, reaches incomparable heights.
If this is not your type of game, but D&D is, then you’re right where you need to be! Have all the fun of Sekiro-inspired mechanics with none of From Soft’s difficulty expectations!
Hesitation is defeat.Isshin Ashina
New to Dungeons and Dragons?
Dungeons and Dragons (D&D or DnD) is a pen-&-paper roleplaying game where you gather a group of people together, make characters, roll dice, and have an adventure. It was invented by a man named Gary Gygax alongside his friends decades ago, and has since spawned into a worldwide gaming experience. D&D is in its 5th edition currently, and each edition has wildly different rulesets, so make sure you don’t confuse one edition for another!
D&D is traditionally played using pens, pencils, and paper around a table, but thanks to TECHNOLOGY countless people now take advantage of online programs like Roll20 and audo/visual programs like Skype or Discord to create characters, arrange battlemaps, and communicate with each other remotely.
D&D can be a totally cost-free experience. D&D’s publisher, Wizards of the Coast (WOTC), provides the Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons for free as a pdf, which provides you with everything you need to make several simple characters and the knowledge of how to play the game. You can use dice rolling apps for dice, and you can create your own battlemaps or play completely in the theater of the mind.
All you really need is a group of people to play with, and one person willing to be the Dungeon Master. The Dungeon Master is the individual who prepares and executes the adventure campaign. They determine what, who, where, and when something or someone is available to each player in the adventure. They also determine any consequences of any action and die roll that are not explicitly described by the rules. They also improvise when the players inevitably go off the rails. Please watch JoCat’s A Crap Guide to D&D [5th Edition] – Dungeon Master for visceral details.
If you want to spend a small amount of money, then the most important thing you’ll want is the Player’s Handbook. It greatly expands on the Basic Rules and covers all of the general subjects you should be aware of when playing a game.
New to D&D Homebrew?
Homebrew in this context is not beer. It is any set of rules not published by the official source like WOTC. The greatest thing about D&D is that unlike a video game it is not bound by its rules. Much like the Pirate’s Code, the rules are merely a guideline for establishing a cohesive game. By following them you make sure that the game makes sense (more or less), and that no one can claim ridiculous abilities like the ability to punch the moon.
But sometimes you really want to punch the moon, and that’s where homebrew comes in. Homebrew fills the gaps where the official source miss or may never touch. Homebrew fulfills your personal fantasies. Homebrew lets you wind up your octopus arm, get onto your dragoncycle, and ride to the 1st star of the Butterfly kingdom.
What’s equally important as fulfilling your fantasy, however, is knowing when and how to stop and what to disallow. Why? Why stop fun? Because D&D is a cooperative group game. It’s about shining a light on a group of adventurers, not just your own. Homebrew can easily draw too much attention to the one individual using it and end up centering the game around that individual rather than the group as a whole. For that reason, homebrew needs Balancing, which is the act of identifying a homebrew’s strengths and weaknesses and comparing them with similar benefits available in official sources.
Because of the difficulty in identifying and executing balance in homebrew, only a small percentage of homebrew on the internet can be considered balanced, even much of the material made available on WOTC’s official homebrew selling platform, DMsguild. Be especially wary of any material found on the homebrew hosting website dandwiki. Be wary of any homebrew in general, honestly.
If it’s your first time, try playing the game by the books to get a feel for its rule and expectations. Then, when you feel comfortable, try expanding out a bit. As a avid homebrewer, I will not be the last to tell you to be careful around homebrew.