A slight change of plans. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am going to be easing up on the theme of Anime/Manga gaming and just posting whatever I feel like talking about, including Anime/Manga gaming if indeed the mood strikes me. With the generally lackluster response and interest in the subject however, I am loosing steam and my thoughts are drifting to other ideas. I've mentioned this before, it's how my head works. So for now, I did want to show off one of my favorite Japanese Table Top RPGS. A mix of Dungeons and Dragons and Battletech - Medieval Fantasy crossed with Giant Robots. Lord of the Rings + Pacific Rim = WARES BLADE
Clockwise from Upper Left;Wares Blade - 1st Edition Boxed Set (1988),
Wares Blade 'The Renewal' - 2nd Edition Boxed Set (1995-97)Wares Blade D20 Rulebook (2008), Fan art from one of dozens of Wares Blade blog sitesWares Blade - Wares 1092 Tactical/Strategy Game for the Playstation (1997)Wares Blade 'Ryude Knight' Resin Model Kit (2000),
One of the many Wares Blade setting novels (2003)Center: Wares Blade Fold Out Poster From 'RPG' Magazine (1994)
The cover of the May, 1991 issue of one of my favorite Japanese gaming magazines, entitled simply and elegantly enough, RPG Magazine. This is probably one of the first issues I ever purchased and it is still in mint condition. The feature article is of course, Wares Blade.
In its original form the game plays like a modified and slightly streamlined version of the original Battletech game, with PCs handled in a system most closely akin to Call of Cthulhu meets D&D.
Magic is somewhat akin to Ars Magica crossed with Runequest. There are schools of magic, known as 'Gates' that correspond to various elements. The eight Gates are Earth, Fire, Metal, Moon, Sun, Water, Wind and Wood.
Interestingly, the Undead are tied to the Earth Gate, since they dead are buried in the Earth. Dwarves are usually of the Earth or Metal Gate, leading many to distrust them and view them as having contact with Necromancers. Dragons, most of them anyway, are connected to the Fire Gate and Shapeshifters with the Moon.
Mana, known as Renpo in the game, is everywhere and in all things, although the type/Gate of the Renpo is dependant on the thing you are referring to. Mountains contain mainly Earth and Metal Gate Renpo with the Ocean contains mainly Water and perhaps some Wood.
Ware Stones are rare mystical rocks (more minerals than gems or crystals) that contain and focus Renpo. Wizard often wear jewelry and carry foci embedded with this stones to assist with spell casting. The stones are required to create an kind of permanent magic item, including the 12-18 foot battle armors known as the Machine Soldiers.
Original Wares Blade illustration by
Machine Soldiers are the giant robots that give this otherwise traditional fantasy game its rather specific twist. There are many kinds of Machine Soldiers and indeed, 'Machine Soldier' is perhaps the least impressive of them. Those that existed in the time of the 'Old Dynasty Empire' were far more amazing than the ones being built in the setting's present (Wares 1092) and are called Ryude Knights. Between the artifact-like Ryude Knights and the cheap, 'modern' copy Machine Soldiers are the Machine Knights, which are either of superior modern craftsmanship or are partially made from the remains of a damaged Ryude Knight.
GEOGRAPHY AND SETTING
Map of The Ahanic Western Continent from The Wares 1092 Artbook and SourcebookModified by me. I removed the Japanese place names and intend to rewrite them in English.
The physical setting is called Ahan, also known as 'The World of Wares' (in reference to the important of the Renpo stones). Only the Ahanic Western Continent is fully fleshed out in the original game, with the East being a 'land of spirits'. At one point, we do learn of a Human and Elven land whose people resemble the Celts and Gauls mixed together that sits on the very edge of this mysterious place. The place itself, 'Farthest Ki'Dein', is somewhat like Ireland or Scotland.
The center of the Western Continent is called Kedamon, a land of demons and monsters that also houses the ruins of the Old Dynasty Empire. It is mainly desert and in some areas borders haunted Jungles and woodlands prone to terrible storms.
At the continent's most Western edges are the kingdoms most player characters would call home. These include many 'holy sites', places of historical, cultural and spiritual importance to the people of Ahan. There are few if any gods remaining, as apparently most of them were killed in a war between the Old Dynasty Empire and the heavens which resulted in the demon infested wasteland in the middle of the continent. Instead, the people worship spirits and spirtual places. These locations are often fought over by various factions and are one of the key sources of conflict in the Wares Blade setting.
There is a lot more I can tell you but for now this will do.
I am disappointed in the turn out for this month but at the same time, I realize not everyone is going to get jazzed about something so foreign (pun intended) to their experience.
Next up...I'm not sure.