Anime has enchanted audiences worldwide with its colorful artwork, vibrant characters, and epic storylines. Its fantastical elements, combined with a distinct blend of drama, humor, and adventure, create a captivating universe that millions love to immerse themselves in. The unique charm and spirit of anime have not only influenced film and TV but have also made a significant impact on the world of tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs).
As TTRPGs strive to create diverse, engaging, and immersive worlds for players to explore, the narrative and stylistic elements characteristic of anime have proven to be a perfect fit. Anime-inspired TTRPGs bring the larger-than-life characters, high-stakes conflicts, epic battles, and intense emotions of anime to the gaming table. Players can step into the shoes of their favorite anime archetypes, from the hot-blooded hero to the wise mentor, the cunning rogue, or the mysterious mystic.
In these games, dramatic showdowns, comedic interactions, emotional growth, and complex relationships typical of anime come to life. Players have the opportunity to shape the storyline, make critical decisions, and even influence the world’s fate, providing an interactive anime experience that goes beyond passive watching.
This article delves into some of the best anime-inspired TTRPGs available today, capturing the essence of anime in their gameplay, character creation, and storytelling. Whether you’re a seasoned roleplayer or a newcomer, these games offer a unique opportunity to experience the magic of anime in a whole new way.
Anima Prime is a fast-paced, combat-driven tabletop RPG inspired by anime and video game narratives, especially the Final Fantasy series. Developed by Christian Griffen, the game emphasizes dramatic and high-stakes battles, relying heavily on tactics, strategy, and cooperative play. Anima Prime is renowned for its vibrant settings and the powerful role it grants players in shaping the story.
In Anima Prime, players portray heroes in a war-torn world, fighting against formidable adversaries while protecting what they hold dear. The character creation system is highly flexible, allowing for a vast range of characters inspired by various anime and video game archetypes. The game’s mechanics are designed to encourage dramatic, narrative-rich gameplay, and the combat system rewards teamwork and strategic thinking.
Valor: The Heroic Roleplay System
Valor: The Heroic Roleplay System is a tabletop RPG designed to simulate the feel of your favorite anime adventures. Valor stands out with its versatile character creation system and its focus on tactical combat and narrative drama. The game uses an intuitive, streamlined system that gives players the flexibility to create any character concept they can imagine.
Valor encourages dramatic storylines and over-the-top battles, just like those found in various anime and video game genres. The game’s system supports high-flying combat and dramatic abilities, with the potential for powerful combos and impressive displays of power. Despite the high-octane combat, Valor also values roleplay and character development, ensuring a balanced blend of action and story.
Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game
Avatar Legends: The Roleplaying Game, developed by Magpie Games, allows players to explore the rich world of Nickelodeon’s “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “The Legend of Korra.” This tabletop RPG offers an opportunity for players to create their own characters and stories within the beloved universe, complete with elemental bending, high-stakes politics, and the struggle to maintain balance in a world fraught with conflict.
The game uses a modified version of the Powered by the Apocalypse system, emphasizing narrative-driven gameplay and character development. Players can create benders, warriors, and specialists from a variety of cultures within the Avatar universe. With its focus on balance, harmony, and the four elements, Avatar Legends presents a unique, anime-inspired TTRPG experience.
Drawing from various reference styles including JRPGs and anime, Fabula Ultima offers players the freedom to shape their world. This includes creating kingdoms, villages, historical events, and their inhabitants, making each adventure personal and vibrant.
The game employs a simple, intuitive ruleset that mirrors beloved JRPGs. Players are encouraged to set goals and make pivotal choices, with every decision carrying meaningful consequences.
Featuring a wide array of monsters and beasts, from routine encounters to formidable bosses, Fabula Ultima promises challenging combat scenarios that require strategy and teamwork.
With fifteen unique classes, players can mix and match to create complex, one-of-a-kind characters. This modular growth system, along with the choice of group type, sets the stage for a wide array of adventures.
Fabula Ultima provides Game Masters with comprehensive tools for guiding the group through their adventures. These include advice, guidelines, and resources for setting the scene and introducing memorable villains.
Cowboy Bebop Roleplaying Game
Drawing inspiration from Shinichiro Watanabe’s critically acclaimed anime, the Cowboy Bebop Roleplaying Game invites players into the year 2071, embodying space bounty hunters while grappling with past events and existential quandaries.
The game features an original d6 dice-based system for thrilling space adventures. Players can fully shape their bounty hunter characters, defining their past, present, and future.
Narrators, or “Big Shots”, are provided with ample resources to create captivating narratives, including tailor-made bounties. Additionally, players can explore detailed planets and environments within the Cowboy Bebop universe.
Dynamic tables offer endless adventure possibilities, from bounty generation to spaceship customization. Players can interact with iconic series characters, pilot spaceships, and navigate vast cosmos using the Astral Gate Map.
The Cowboy Bebop Roleplaying Game provides all the tools to immerse players in this iconic anime universe, enabling unique space-faring adventures.
BREAK!!, a recently funded Kickstarter project, offers an exciting tabletop RPG experience set in the perilous Outer World. Drawing inspiration from anime, classic JRPGs, and NES era video games, BREAK!! promises a distinct fantasy experience with rules-light gameplay packed with flavor.
The game system supports a vast array of unique character options, including Battle Princesses, Bio-Mechanoids, Chibis, and modern-day humans. Whether it’s elaborate combat stunts, using battlefield features, or navigating social encounters, BREAK!! provides players with a wide range of engaging options in their adventures.
Folstavia – The Anime Fantasy 5E RPG Setting
Folstavia is an anime-inspired expansion for the Fifth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D 5E). This expansion introduces the prime world of Folstavia: The Infinite Crossroads, providing a wealth of new content for Anime 5E, including new player character species, magical objects, and dozens of monsters.
The campaign features a spectrum of fantasy sub-genres, offering a vibrant backdrop for roleplay and adventures. From woodland creatures to high mountain horrors, Folstavia’s content supplements Anime 5E with rich detail and anime-inspired creativity.
Otherworlds, a recent Kickstarter success, is an anime-inspired fantasy RPG designed by Vincent Baker of Vindicated Entertainment. Otherworlds offers a unique, multi-genre experience focused on “future fantasy.” The game allows players to traverse various eras in the expansive Veralyis Galaxy, combining elements of magic, wonder, and advanced technology.
Offering streamlined rules, dynamic combat, and a character creation system boasting over a million combinations, Otherworlds provides an extensive character customization experience that remains accessible for newcomers. Whether you’re new to TTRPGs, experienced with Otherworlds, or a veteran of TTRPGs, this game offers something for everyone.
The game’s combat system combines narrative with tactical and strategic play, making for a stylish, fast, and immersive experience. The simple yet exciting resolution system, the Edge system that introduces narrative-driven advantages and disadvantages, and the intriguing Milestone advancement make Otherworlds a must-play for fans of anime-inspired TTRPGs.
Whether you’re new to the world of tabletop roleplaying games or an experienced adventurer, the variety and depth of these Anime TTRPGs promise to offer a thrilling and immersive experience. Whether it’s exploring the extraordinary universe of Cowboy Bebop, the meticulously crafted lands of Folstavia, or creating your own epic JRPG adventures in Fabula Ultima, there’s a game to meet every anime fan’s dream.
While each of these games features a unique set of rules and mechanics, they all share a common goal: to transport players into vibrant worlds inspired by some of the most beloved anime series. Through engaging storytelling, strategic decision-making, and imaginative world-building, players will form memorable bonds and experience extraordinary adventures.
So gather your friends, grab your dice, and embark on an epic journey of courage, heroism, and adventure. The world of anime-inspired tabletop roleplaying games is vast and vibrant, and it’s waiting for you to make your mark. Your adventure begins now.