novi
 member, 12 posts
 born in 1983
 wasting his time on RPGs
Wed 19 Aug 2020
at 14:21
A Naruto-esque game, with less shounen and more Shadowrun
So, I enjoyed Naruto more back near the beginning, before power creep went crazy and we got space alien god trees.  You know, back when clever tactics meant something, and S-class ninjas were almost mythical background elements, and not every other character.

I've been wondering how many other people share that like, and want a game that's far more Shadowrun than shounen.  That is, mercenaries doing missions, rather than chosen heroes battling a world-ending threat after ridiculous power growth.

A related issue is the best game system for it.  I'm not a fan of anything level-based, or d20 systems in general.  Beyond that, I'm not sure what system fits best.  It needs to be something where jonin clearly outclass genin, but without either being crunched onto one side of the system.  Might need to be a custom system cobbled together, but that should have several inputs to avoid biases and exploits.

Also, It seem to me that it should have a similar but different world than canon Naruto, so that we're free to do things good for the game, and not stuck with all the weirdness of the Manga/show.  But I'm unsure just how far it needs to be made different.  But that can probably wait until I know there's enough people for a game.

This message was last updated by the user at 06:26, Wed 26 Aug.

Sith_Happens
 member, 36 posts
Wed 19 Aug 2020
at 23:13
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
novi:
I'm not a fan of... d20 systems in general.

Does that include Mutants & Masterminds? Because itís hard to go wrong with Mutants & Masterminds.
AegisGame
 member, 39 posts
Fri 21 Aug 2020
at 02:36
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
Thereís a game called Shinobigami that would probably fit the bill for a usable system.
novi
 member, 13 posts
 born in 1983
 wasting his time on RPGs
Fri 21 Aug 2020
at 03:24
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
I'll try and keep this brief so I don't get this kicked over to the Game System forum.  I find that d20 and percentile based systems have probability ranges for rolls that are too broad and flat.  I like HERO, GURPS, or FATE better, since the rolls there are more centrally weighted.  Die pools are okay, with predictable average results, though they can feel as swingy as d20s some days.

My comment was mostly directed at Naruto d20, which I do not remember much about, other than not liking it.

M&M is decent, and hero points do add a bit of narrative control to the game.  Not my favorite system because it still labors under the d20, but I can live with it as a compromise system.  One thing I wonder, as the show plays fast and loose with it, but it initially made chakra sound like an MP system.  And I'm not sure if M&M has rules for that.

I had not heard of Shinobigami; I shall have to investigate.
Sith_Happens
 member, 37 posts
Fri 21 Aug 2020
at 05:44
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
novi:
I'll try and keep this brief so I don't get this kicked over to the Game System forum.  I find that d20 and percentile based systems have probability ranges for rolls that are too broad and flat.  I like HERO, GURPS, or FATE better, since the rolls there are more centrally weighted.  Die pools are okay, with predictable average results, though they can feel as swingy as d20s some days.

OVA would be my next recommendation then, its core mechanic is really weird but did have a decent level of central tendency when I looked up how to code it in Anydice.

quote:
One thing I wonder, as the show plays fast and loose with it, but it initially made chakra sound like an MP system.  And I'm not sure if M&M has rules for that.

Given that, as you said, chakra depletion tends to ultimately come down to rule of drama, it probably works best as a complication.
novi
 member, 14 posts
 born in 1983
 wasting his time on RPGs
Wed 26 Aug 2020
at 06:29
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
Shinobigami:  Yeah, it's got mystical ninjas, but they're not really the same as Naruto-style ninjas.  Doesn't seem that applicable to me.

OVA:  Hey, somebody cloned BESM.  With a wonky but interesting dice mechanic.  I'd probably want to see it in action, but it does seem like a plausible choice.

Chakra:  Well, let's face it, shounen manga and rpgs have rather different means and goals.  And part of this is trying to move away from Naruto canon and being bound by what Kishimoto wrote.



But more importantly than the game system, are there other people out there interested in that general concept, mystical ninja mercenaries doing missions?
zeone3000
 member, 551 posts
Wed 26 Aug 2020
at 06:59
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
Oh, yes certainly. A more seinen take on Naruto, I'm for it. Set in modern times or a cyberpunk-like future? Dope.
AegisGame
 member, 40 posts
Thu 27 Aug 2020
at 04:28
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
Thereís also Ninja Crusade that says that itís inspired by Naruto and Shippuden. Donít know much about it besides that though.
novi
 member, 15 posts
 born in 1983
 wasting his time on RPGs
Thu 3 Sep 2020
at 07:50
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
re: Ninja Crusade - I can't find much about it either.  Without more info, I'm not inclined to spend my own or other people's money on it.



Honestly, I said Shadowrun instead of seinen because I feel it is a more widely known word, especially on an rpg site, even if it might be the more accurate word.

Now, weird as it may seem, Naruto is theoretically set in modern day.  Note the presence of cell/smart phones in Boruto, and the fridge in Naruto's apartment in the early episodes.  Or the prince in the 3rd movie, he's playing a color gameboy in his horse-drawn coach.  Or Tazuna's crane.  OTOH, I can see why you'd think otherwise, since ninja seem to go out of their way to reject technology on their job.

My take on it, other than the no guns, is that the presence of persons of mass destruction has screwed with the economic development of the world.  Nobody is willing to invest in giant factories or infrastructure projects that some random dude can blow up.  So ninja world doesn't have the advanced urbanization and industrialization of our world.  Their tech isn't that far behind, but the prices and availability of things is skewed from our perspective.  Computers max out at Apple IIs/IBM PCs, because better chips require more elaborate factories than anyone is willing to build.  Away from cities and coasts, horses still make more sense than a car, because the only way to ship large quantities of gas is by boat.

I'd also say that their atmosphere is weird, and does not reflect radio waves, which is why there is no long distance radio communication - like FM, you can't go over the horizon.

Huh, that's more than I meant to say.  The short of it is that I was looking to be a bit more rigorous in explaining the schizo-modern setting that I saw in the show.  But I'm up for some discussion of what the world looks like exactly.



So, that's what, about 4 or 5 of us who have some interest in a game like this?
zeone3000
 member, 554 posts
Thu 3 Sep 2020
at 20:36
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
So what I'm getting out of this, you still want Naruto, as it does take place in a schizo-modern time, just fewer to no shounen tropes. That's where the power creep and larger then life threats come from. Instead of starting as genins, more in the chuunin/jounin range as genin's wouldn't get the type of missions you seem to be looking for. More grounded in the universe it takes place.
Sir Swindle
 member, 237 posts
Thu 3 Sep 2020
at 20:39
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
Sith_Happens:
novi:
I'm not a fan of... d20 systems in general.

Does that include Mutants & Masterminds? Because itís hard to go wrong with Mutants & Masterminds.

To be fair. My group runs M&M using 2d10 and GURPS-ifying a d20 game is literally a one step process.
AegisGame
 member, 44 posts
Fri 4 Sep 2020
at 03:39
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
I promise Iím not trying to sell Ninja Crusade, but I wanted you to see this. The second link is a 4 part series that goes pretty in depth.

Ninja crusade review and explanation:
https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/16/16889.phtml

https://www.google.com/amp/s/p...ming-and-review/amp/

That said, I would be interested in seeing if it could work in shadow run. Hats an interesting way to do it.
novi
 member, 16 posts
 born in 1983
 wasting his time on RPGs
Fri 4 Sep 2020
at 07:54
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
In reply to zeone3000 (msg # 10):

Eh, pretty much, yeah.  There are a lot of things I like about Naruto, and/or think could make for a cool adventure setting.  And the first few arcs, where trickery and distraction were valid tactics, not just there to buy time to build up Rasenflatulence Mark III.  Which, yeah, is less shounen tropes.

If we're going to be mystical ninjas, I'm not against some larger than life threats.  Like Orochimaru before the time skip.  An overpowered and slippery threat, sure, but not invincible and not capable of flattening a city in a single jutsu.  And motives beyond evil, conquest, or genocide.

As for ranks and starting points, I'm not sure I entirely agree with what you're saying.  There is something to be said for starting as genin and building up.  But it does tie into how fast advancement is, how fast time passes, and what kinds of missions there are.

I like how you put it, more grounded in the universe.  There are times Naruto comes across as an early JRPG, with maybe a couple dozen defined locations where things happen, and no NPCs who live anywhere else.  I'd like it to come across that the ninja villages are just a small, if important, part of the world.



In reply to Sir Swindle (msg # 11):

Hmm, that's an interesting house rule.  And I'm a HERO guy at heart.  But it strikes me as a little too crunchy for Naruto.  And my other go to, FATE, is not crunchy enough.



In reply to Sir Swindle (msg # 11):

I'll try and take a look later.

As for using Shadowrun (5th, I'm not going to learn 6th unless I absolutely have to), it does have some things going for it.  But it would require a fair bit of modding.  Shadowrun magic is vastly different from Naruto magic.  And the qualities would need overhaul, too.
Sir Swindle
 member, 238 posts
Fri 4 Sep 2020
at 12:14
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
novi:
As for using Shadowrun (5th, I'm not going to learn 6th unless I absolutely have to), it does have some things going for it.  But it would require a fair bit of modding.  Shadowrun magic is vastly different from Naruto magic.  And the qualities would need overhaul, too.

Wouldn't you mostly use Adept powers? WHich are a lot more in line with Naruto Magic.
novi
 member, 17 posts
 born in 1983
 wasting his time on RPGs
Sat 5 Sep 2020
at 01:48
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
In reply to Sir Swindle (msg # 14):

I'm not sure mostly is the word I would use.  Mystic Adept is perhaps closest to Naruto ninja.  A lot of elemental jutsu are fairly spell like - breathing fire, gusts of wind, rock and water bullets.

You also have clone techniques being fairly common in setting, and I'm almost pretty sure the only similar thing In Shadowrun is summoning.  But even that would require reworking to match up.

And that's before we get to that old argument - is Henge an illusion or a transformation?
zeone3000
 member, 555 posts
Sat 5 Sep 2020
at 03:01
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
Going by the official databooks i.e. in-universe, it is indeed a transformation.

On a less sidetracked note, finding a system that fits your prerequisite is tough, to say the least. A point-based system with benchmarks would seem to fit the best. Though there are a lot of nuances to the jutsus if you want to be detailed. Now, if you ignore some of them, there are a few systems that would do the job. Though, having the right amount of crunch is the hardest part. I do agree that FATE is not enough and I don't enough about HERO to sign off on it being too crunchy. If it's anything like M&M, I would have to disagree because it's effect based.

This message was last edited by the user at 03:07, Sat 05 Sept.

novi
 member, 18 posts
 born in 1983
 wasting his time on RPGs
Sat 5 Sep 2020
at 03:40
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
In reply to zeone3000 (msg # 16):

But if a henge is a transformation, why don't we see more ninjas transforming into shuriken, animals, or inanimate objects?  And the only real answer is that they are ninjas, not animorphs or shapeshifters, and they do ninja things in ninja ways.  That's why I'm not sure it should be a real transformation.  Especially as an E-rank jutsu.

As for HERO, it and M&M have a lot of similarities.  But I think most would say HERO is crunchier than M&M.  It has stayed a lot closer to it's miniature wargaming roots than D&D/M&M.  Honestly, the penultimate edition was still using the inch as it's standard measurement unit, from 20mm/1:72 minis, where 1" = 2 meters.  Also, almost everything scales linearly, with lifting strength being the major exception.

I'll probably have to compromise somewhere on a system, I realize.  But I'd like to be sure I've considered all the options before I start picking.



How would people feel about opening up a game to do some more arguing and world building, but with directed threads?  As well as being advertising in players wanted?
zeone3000
 member, 556 posts
Sat 5 Sep 2020
at 04:09
Re: A Naruto-esque game, but with less shounen
Because of  Masashi Kishimoto didn't deem it necessary and they were 'better' jutsu to use. Either way, you're redundantly asking the wrong guy. Also, they didn't always do ninja things the ninja way, hence sorta your misgivings with the Naruto universe.


I'm sure the mods would appreciate that.