JP On Gaming

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Played Kanabo RPG - Mini Review

This past Saturday (Nov 12), I went on Warhorn and joined a random game that was announce to be "Bushido." I was interested and wanted to play that game forever but never got the opportunity (or when I did get the opportunity, there were other things I wanted to do more).

So the adventure was called "Kwaidan" - the same as the movie of the same name and that loosely translates to "Ghost Story". The movie is awesome and beautiful at the same time, presenting us with four tales of ghost. Many of them fairly well known today. One of the things I love about these old Japanese horror movies for their aesthetics.

But enough about the movies, on to the gaming!

Well... the game turned out NOT to be Bushido but a rules-light system called Kanabo by Monkey's Paw Games. Very story game.

Background of the setting (as presented) was a non-descript Japan where a major war ended about five years ago. The specifics were not important. Cool. Still in.

How rules light? You have 4 stats Earth (discipline, durability), Fire (aggressivity, speed), Water (inquisitivity, tranquility), and Wind (grace, intuition). D100 system (I have Ea22 Fi39 Wa26 Wi33), so someone who is aggressive and agile but without much consistency or insistence. Background generated through character generation elements. I was born in a castle and an artist by trade.

So I came up with a quick story: I worked as a painter in a village with my family. A drunk samurai set the house on fire while I was away. I plot revenge against him but am too much of a coward to actually do anything about it. So, in an effort to steel my (crappy) resolve, I became an adventurer/ investigator for hire.

One unique element of the game: if you die (and the system is pretty deadly), you make a new character the party encounters shortly afterwards. "Poor Hiro, he was a good friend... But hey there Tatsu the villager" We had one death that could easily have been more than that.

Okay already, I liked it. It was simple, quick and highly versatile. Setting and rules easy to grasp. I won't give you all the details of the adventure but it were confronted with some ghosts that gave us little chance. A great little story game.

My rating? It was a 3/5. I don't see this game as something I would like to run a campaign with. But it is a nice system, perfect for a one-shot: quick, simple, and fun.

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