View Full Version : Martial Arts RPGs

Inquisitor Tremayne
03-31-2008, 08:07 AM
Can anyone suggest a good martial arts RPG?

Something involving ancient/medieval Japan and samurai.


NOT Oriental Adventures please.

03-31-2008, 08:34 AM
Did you check this thread (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5142&highlight=bushido) ? There was a few consideration about medieval Japan RPG. I find it interesting that you associate "martial arts" and medieval Japan :)

Inquisitor Tremayne
03-31-2008, 08:46 AM

Sengoku sounds interesting!

And not really a relationship between martial arts and Japan, more of my love for feudal Japan and ninjas.

03-31-2008, 09:54 AM
Maybe Legend of the Five Rings RPG (http://www.l5r.com/rpg/)? It is not feudal Japan, but it is in fictional world of Rokugan (err... Technically NOT Oriental Adventures, right?)
Hmmm, and you want to look at Qin (http://www.7emecercle.com/7cv2us/rpg/qin.html)? It takes place in ancient China but anyway...
Legends of the Samurai (http://www.rpgobjects.com/index.php?page=los) looks interesting too...
And if you like GURPS, you might be interested in GURPS Japan (http://www.warehouse23.com/item.html?id=SJG6006)...

03-31-2008, 09:23 PM
I think a RPG based on the old Kung Fu show would be interesting. System, that is another matter. Hong Kong martial arts film style would also have a certian, flare, to it.

03-31-2008, 11:02 PM
Please tell me you've played Feng Shui then tesral. It's one of the finest little game systems I've ever had the pleasure of discovering. It's pure style. As long as the end result is the same, the way you get there isn't important. The game master should intentionally leave things vague for players to fill in, and there are just two types of bad guys: Named characters (they're the tough ones) and nameless mooks (they go down by the scores).

GM: You chase the ninja into the kitchen, you see three others waiting for you.
Player: I kick a kitchen stool into the skull of the one I'm chasing.
(Notice the GM never mentioned anything about a kitchen stool, but it's an action movie, so why not? Where ought to be one right there...)

GM (standard combat roll, default difficulty of 5 because he's trying to incapacitate one mook... rolls 2 dice, adds Fu skill, gets an 12, subtracts ninja's skill, gets 7, higher than 5 thus...): You kick the stool square into the back of his skull sending him face-first into a large pot of soup on a stovetop. His skull rings off it with a *CLANG* and both he and the soup go to the floor in a crumpled heap and a scalding SPLOOSH!!. The other ninjas draw swords and move to surround you. You have one more action before they attack!

Player: I quickly grab a toaster and start whirling it by it's cord around my head, I try to knock out all three with a sweeping move!
(Again, it's an action movie, the toaster idea is cool, it must be there...)

GM (standard combat roll... one roll for all three. Difficulty is +2 because he's trying to incapacitate 3 mooks in one move. It doesn't matter how, just that the result is the same: 3 incapacitated mooks, thus he needs a result of a 7. Roll dice, adds skill, get's lucky with a 16, subtracts ninja's skill and they all have a skill of 6, thus result 10, they all go down): You snap the toaster cord from the wall and spin the thing in an arc around your head! CLANG! One ninja drops, another dives in toward you right then... CLANK! You catch him in the face and he drops! The third looks confused he holds his position, but you snap the cord in and with a kick, send the toaster into his jaw and with a sickening crack, you drop him cold as well! Then, you see a whole mess more ninjas start charging into the kitchen from the back door! You're going to have a long fight ahead of you!

In Feng Shui, you only worry about the exciting parts, and ignore the boring parts. Buying the gear for an assault on a drug lord's den? Boring... skip to the players arriving at the den and as long as the gear they want is reasonable, assume they got it. Mooks die or get incapacitated by the hundreds, the named characters only drop in long, drawn-out fights of skill and prowess. It's a wild system. I recommend it to anyone who wants a rules-light game engine that's good for hong kong action.

04-01-2008, 07:01 PM
having played feng shui, i have two reactions. like the action style, really want to tweak the default campaign setting. ^^ however, it is one of the better headlong action style rpgs. being rules light, it doesn't detract much from rp opportunity. lots of starting templates shamelessly ripped off of every action adventure, kung fu, and samurai flick in existance helps speed character creation along nicely.

learning curve is not too bad, unless you are compulsive about understanding all of your choices before choosing. things are pretty much split into fu, gun, and magic/other. the system encourages creation of new schticks and templates. the good chi/bad chi dice concept is charming. if you've ever wanted to play a movie, this is your system.

as with any system... byorp.

04-02-2008, 04:15 PM
So many systems, so little time. I can't say I've encountered it. However it sounds a hell of a lot like how I play D&D.

04-02-2008, 05:26 PM
You gotta pick it up tesral... I mean, you got abilities like "Carnival of Carnage" for pete's sake and taking that one extra action to make a pump-action shotgun go *ca-chink!!* gives you a +1! :D

It's only one book as well, which makes things easy.