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[Sell Me] On a Fantasy-Themed Anime/Manga Inspired Ninja-Samurai-Shugenja Type RPG (more details inside...)

farseerixirvost

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#1
Thinking of running an Asian-themed fantasy RPG for my son and his friend who enjoy various fantasy themed manga and anime.

So I'm interested in a shopping list of all sorts of RPGs that cover this.

You can suggest whatever, but you get bonus Internet Points (tm) for suggesting things that are in the medium-crunch range of mechanics. It would be cool if there was a little more to unarmed combat than a single "brawl" or "martial arts" skill, but given medium crunch, would't go off the deep end in endless possibilities versus endless possibilities that requires dozens of tables and randomizers to get through (think AD&D 2e's Oriental Adventures book's martial arts where you chose a style and could gain up to half dozen or so cool moves based on the style - Tae Kwon Do more kick related, Jujitsu more grapple based, Karate more hand based).
 

ANT Pogo

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#5

Jay

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#6
I would recommend Ninja Crusade 2nd edition - https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/173085/The-Ninja-Crusade-2nd-Edition

There is a free quickstart here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/186926/The-Ninja-Crusade-2nd-Edition-QuickStart

It has medium crunch, lots of focus on different fighting styles, and has an anime/manga vibe.
This would be my recommendation too.
And mine, especially since it's heavily influenced by Naruto, with its many styles. In fact, I was surprised, as I thought you were referring to Ninja Crusade in the thread title.
 

farseerixirvost

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#7
Excellent. I’ve nabbed the Ninja Crusade quick start.

Couple possibilities I saw on YouTube were OVA and Tenra Bansho Zero. Anyone able to comment on those?
 

Skywalker

Back Off the Buddha!
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#8
OVA is an anime RPG (as in any type of anime). Its good but at its heart its relatively vanilla, so you will need to add all the specific genre flavour you want to it.

Tenra Bansho Zero is another fantastic game, but it does have a very set structure that was designed to satisfy the needs of its Japanese audience. Its also fiddly due to its age, with each archetype being very different from the other.
 

ANT Pogo

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#9
TBZ is not really fantasy themed so much as techno-fantasy themed. It's more Final Fantasy VII than Naruto, with a much wider focus than ninjas and magic users. It has guns and giant piloted mecha and robot girls, for instance.

Its rules are also very much designed for the specific setting and story it wants to tell, and while I like it, it may not meet your specific requirements (and would be hard to adapt to another setting/genre).
 

Haaz

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#10
I'll third or fourth the Ninja Crusade, particularly if you want to focus on a more narrow theme of martial arts.

Also, I've seen complaints that the Quickstart is vague in ways that the Core is not. Compressing the rules might have made it a bit confusing. Check out the character creation thread for a bit more flavor.

OVA and TBZ are more 'kitchen sink', which might be good if you\re considering a wider range of anime.
 
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