Aniventure is my Anime Role Playing Game System.
It is currently version 5, which is really the first true version that is all of my own devising. No borrowed mechanics any more. No sir! (the old versions were based upon the Storyteller system, which is copyright of White Wolf games). Its bizarre, wacky, and downright fun bundled into 240 pages of goodness. It’s been updated with a companion volume, Shimaihen, in 2013, which includes a huge stack of new features, and errata
You can now purchase Aniventure at Lulu, using one of the following links:
THE ORIGINAL BOOK:
The SUPPLEMENT BOOK, SHIMAIHEN:
Update 05/05/2013: New Link added for Shimaihen’s character sheet.
WTF is this?
Its a book that allows you to create anime roleplaying (pen & paper) games. Yes, like Dungeon & Dragons. Only more streamlined, more strange, and wholly more ANIME. This book includes everything (besides ten-sided dice and pencils) that you need to play.
Basically, Aniventure came about after the first time I read the BESM system and thought “Bah! I could do better!”. A tall, arrogant claim, perhaps. But one which filled me with a surprising amount of drive, being who I am, that is, someone with an intense love for both Anime and Role Playing Games.
Also, at this time, (about 2004) I was impressed at the versatility of the (old) Storyteller system and its D10 based mechanics, so I chose to use that as a basis, with the usual clans of vampires and such being replaced with Anime Classes (or Anime Cliches, rather) like the Magical Girl, Creature Trainer, Samurai, Student, Hengyokai, Kannushi, Sharpshooter, Technomancer and the like.
Similarily, I replaced the usual Merits and Flaws with Aspects and Anime Mannerisms. See, in Anime, the actual look and behavior of a character is usually pretty important. Most RPG’s gloss over the descriptive aspects of characters (probably in the pervue of political correctness and all that jest) but I figured, why SHOULD’NT it matter?
So, in Aniventure, obscene things like your Hair Style and Cup Size have important effects on your statistics and skills. And of course, you can heal yourself through the amazing medium of Fanservice (i.e. ripping your shirt in the right places fixes those wounds right up!).
All of these things combined to create Aniventure v3 (it went through several test phases, which were the v2 and v1, in case you were wondering).
This was perhaps a great time of stability for the system. Aniventure v3 went through a full six month campaign and several one shots.
From that experience, I learned alot about RPG creation, and the system also helped me develop a fairly high GM’ing skill.
However, since then, I endevoured to also attempt to move away from reliance on Storyteller and also integrate a more versatile combat mechanic. As much as I love it, its tremendously bulky. The newer Storyteller system, in my opinion, went too far in the other direction and made characters ridiculously powerful.
Hence, I chose to try developing a D100 percentile system and began working on version 4.
Version 4 was, in retrospect, a disaster from the get go. At the time (2007), I was highly inspired by allowing a great deal of player choice whilst allowing strange and novel mechanics. Unfortunately, this meant the rules got so complex, even I didn’t remember them. Which is never a good thing. It was good that I ran an early alpha test, because it allowed me to catch this screw up before I got too engrossed and ended up with some real cack.
Then, there was Version 4.5, so called because it still utilised a similar core mechanic with D100. I went back to basics, saw that the main flaw was in the complexity, and instead tried the opposite, creating a very streamlined system where there were no such thing as skills, and only ten different types of dice roll. More quirkily, the system was such a hoot that it only required a half-size (A5!) character sheet.
Version 4.5 was, I have to say, far more of a success than 4. It ran for two fairly short campaigns in 2008, and again, taught me alot. Mainly that too simple can occassionally be just that, too simple. Though the mechanics ~were~ sound, it gave me difficulty as a GM having to shoehorn skillchecks into one of ten different types of roll. Also, the system was simple and original at its core, but it piggybacked onto a tactical, grid based combat system that highly resembled D&D 4th edition. Which, again, I love, but it really just hogs things down here.
Then, one day, waking up from a dream at 4am, I had an amazing, insane idea for a new dice system. Which, the more I considered, the more I liked. It was stupid, it was insane, and it would require another bloody entire rehash.
But I thought…Screw IT! Lets do something totally radical!
And I did. Version 5 was concieved.
Version 5 is really my magnus opus. It clocks in at around 230 pages. Not bad for nine months of work on the side. Especially considering this version, unlike the older ones, is replete with my own original illustrations (not very great ones, in some cases, but hey!).
More importantly, Version 5 is really, truly, the first version I can totally call my own. It borrows absolutely nothing, mechanically speaking; and is entirely my own design.
Version 5 Features
- It uses an entirely new dice system completely of my own devising called the Stacks System, which is perfectly suited to a slightly eccentric anime roleplaying setting, as it allows one to make multiple hit attacks, parry with handgun shots, dodge with bone cracking back flips, etc. far more easily than before.
- More importantly, Stacks allows you to have efficient combat that is still very, very detailed and open to opposed checks between players and NPCs. It rewards both high and low numbers in different ways, so its also handy for those unfortunate people who can’t roll high numbers on dice to save their lives.
- The Stacks is supported with a unique iteration of the D100 percentile check system on the side for basic skill checks, and interacts with a high flying (literally) combat system, where movement, footspeed, tactics and even physics have absolutely NO relevance at all (just like a good Anime fight scene!) and it is quite possible to lay down seven sword slashes in the space of 4 seconds (Time is just as important as space in the system, which is to say, it means absolutely nothing…).
- All of this interlocks with a new, aspiration based character development schematic. Characters aspire for Glory, Dread, Love or Repute, and become more powerful as they meet their innermost desires. And thats not even mentioning Fan Loyalty. You, as a player, act as your own characters fanbase and can meddle with reality for their favour by spending Fan-Loyalty, which is in turn rewarded through good roleplaying.
- Finally, much like older Aniventures, this version stresses the importance of Anime archetypes. Looks are very important in an anime based universe. Bizarre hair colours, tsundere tendancies, cat ears, and a ludicrous number of other stereotypes exist, each with their own effect on your character and statistics.
Notes and free goodies
It might eventually also become available through additional means, both on Amazon.com and DriveThruRPG; but I really don’t have the funds to go purchasing ISBN numbers right now. At least you can be amused by the fact that if you buy a hardback copy at the moment, it’ll eventually be a un-barcoded rarity & collectors item when the day comes when this game floods the market (bwahahaha!).
By and the by, these books are priced at an affordable level; I make about $2 only for each copy sold; most of the rest is the printing cost; a hardback in A4 with that many pages really does cost that much to print, shockingly. Though I imagine there is also a markup for their costs and profits. If you’re skint, please consider the PDF instead, as it’s rather cheap.
If you want to read a short preview of the original, you can also look at THIS PDF. Its a hash together PDF of some of my favourite pages.
To see the original’s cover, click here.
If you want CHARACTER SHEETS, click here.
If you’re interested in Aniventure, leave a comment!