When I saw this Kickstarter, I knew that I had to back it. And, since it only has a few days left to expand its funding base, I figured I'd spread the word as best as I could! I'm talking about Tenra Bansho Zero, a native Japanese RPG that came out in 1997, a full fifteen years ago.
What is Tenra Bansho Zero?
Tenra Bansho Zero (TBZ) is a Japanese high fantasy game, combining massive amounts of Japanese culture and history with wild fantasy concepts. Here's a sampling of some of the character types, from the Kickstarter page:
- Mecha called "Armours" are piloted by innocent children of regional lords.
- Warriors with energy-producing gems embedded in their flesh called Samurai who have traded their humanity for the ability to spontaneously gain muscle, power and speed (think "The Incredible Hulk with a katana").
- Phenomenally beautiful and cultured geisha-like Kugutsu (mannequins) are crafted from spirit-trees as pieces of art for the rich and powerful, but secretly yearn to become human.
An Impressive Project
TBZ has been seven years in the translation; Andy Kitowski is a lone translator who has been localizing the entire game, translating it and helping to make it more accessible to an American audience. Not only that, but Luke Crane has thrown his hat into the ring, doing layout for the English edition.
With 700 pages of content between the player's book and the gamemaster's book, TBZ is no lightweight. It boasts a fluid d6-pool system, which is claimed to be the fastest system in gaming. TBZ is also supposed to be incredibly easy to understand, and I'm sure that the game's explanation manga helps. That's right--part of the rulebook is a short manga that illustrates gameplay. How awesome is that?
Basically, you should check out Tenra Bansho Zero, and I promise that's the last time I link that post.