Shinobi is a Wild Talents variant based on the Naruto and Naruto Shippūden anime series by Masashi Kishimoto. No challenge to anyone's copyright is intended and any similarities to anyone else's work is probably completely intentional. My most profound apologies to anyone that I fail to credit at any point.
Why Wild Talents
Lots of different rule sets could be used to run a game based on Naruto and quite a few conversions are already out there. I'm going with ORE out of personal preference and because I firmly believe that at its core Naruto is a super hero story. That requires a set of rules flexible enough to support a wide variety of powers without significant work on the part of the players or referee. Wild Talents' flexible power design system is especially well suited to this task and should permit players to create any thematically appropriate character that they desire to.
Changes from Wild Talents & Optional Rules
Shinobi power their jutsu with Chakra, a trait derived from a character's spiritual and physical training/prowess. Each shinobi possesses a base Chakra pool equal to 5x his or her (Body+Command). This trait effectively replaces willpower. Base Will may be spent in the standard fashion to gain additional Chakra. Unlike willpower, Chakra recovers at a rate of one per round inside of combat and will normally recover completely after a short rest. Activating any jutsu requires Chakra to be bid.
Chakra is the defining resource of the source material. Shinobi with larger amounts of it are simply able to do more than those with less. To reflect this Chakra may be spent, at a rate of two for one, to buy hard dice for any single round. Chakra must be spent in this fashion when actions are declared and a player may only spend twice his or her character's base will per round. For uncontested actions this will result in an automatic success with a minimum width of one. Hard dice bought in this fashion are removed as normal from the pool when penalties are incurred. In this way penalties may be bought off with chakra.
Named characters in Naruto are amazingly resilient. To reflect this all damage, regardless of source, will be considered shock. All powers that would normally inflict shock and kill use the Limited Damage flaw and now only inflict shock. Obviously this will result in a situation where many weapons that would seem to be more dangerous will inflict a similar amount of damage as far less impressive weapons. Weapons in the series are far more often props and foci for jutsu than anything else though, so this seems appropriate to me.
Equip your character with any of the weapons appearing below.
|Katana||W+1||4||4||Weaponry||W+2 when used with two hands|
|Kyoketsu Shogi||W+1||3||3||Weaponry||15' rope|
|Shuriken||W-1||2||3||Weaponry||Range 1/15; Spray 1|
The vast majority of these weapons are adapted from Colin Chapman's The Complete Martial Artist.
Very few weapons in the series have any real value. They are consistently thrown away, broken, or otherwise discarded in favor of ninjutsu powers. Exceptions to this are characters that rely heavily on one powerful weapon. If you wish your character to have a signature weapon, it is strongly recommended that you purchase it as miracles using the focus flaw.
I will be substituting the following for the standard Wild Talents skill list.
|Academics||Crafts||Investigation||Ninja Art: Taijutsu||Socialize|
|Brawl||Husbandry||Ninja Art: Genjutsu||Resistance||Survival|
|Computer||Intimidation||Ninja Art: Ninjutsu||Science||Weaponry|
By default any skill may be combined with any stat and a character may attempt any skill roll that he or she does not possess any dice in at -1.
Unarmed combat will be resolved using Body+Brawl, armed combat will be resolved with Body+Weaponry. The various Ninja Art skills will come into play to identify the techniques employed by opponents and may be used in conjunction with the Attached flaw for some especially challenging jutsu.
For each skill purchased select one narrow area of specialization. All rolls falling under this area gain +1. Additional specializations may be purchased as stunt dice.
Like Dice Cancel
Per page 21 of Essential Edition, two opponents possessing special dice of the same type will cancel each other out in contested actions.
Easier Multiple Actions
Per page 21 of Essential Edition, roll the larger dice pool on all multiple actions. If only one set is rolled, it must be applied to the action for the larger pool. Penalties are still applied. As per the normal multiple action rules, special dice must be applied to the action for the pool rolled.
Shinobi is set in a unique world that blends elements of feudal Japan with modern technology, magic, and supernatural powers. The stories take place in the five great nations and the smaller countries that border them. These nations are ruled by diamyos and defended by superhuman ninjas trained in hidden villages. In essence, these stories are about super heroes that battle super villains in defense of their countries and comrades.
The author of the series made some very specific decisions regarding the technology that would be presented. For example; there are no firearms. While there have been characters that use projectile weapons similar to guns, there is no such thing as a pistol or rifle. Paved roads are uncommon and motorized vehicles have never appeared in the series. Computers do exist, but they play a much smaller role in society than in the real world. Short range radios have appeared in the series but they seem to be uncommon. All long-range communication appears to be performed via trained birds. Characters designed for the proposed game may wander around in outfits made of synthetic fibers with Velcro fasteners, but they won't have cell phones or any form of personal transportation.
Ninjutsu, discussed below, is the most common form of magic in the series. In addition, magical devices and weapons can be created to accomplish various tasks. Other forms of magic may be possible, but have not appeared in canon. For the proposed game I would prefer to keep all magic in terms of ninjutsu.
The titular character has a demon bound into his stomach and a wide variety of alien-looking characters have appeared throughout the series. The supernatural is so commonplace in the source material that is elicits no comment. That said very few ghosts, spirits, or monsters appear apart from the tailed beasts. Dabbling in unexplored areas of the supernatural for character ideas is actually encouraged. Since I want to avoid disrupting the canon any more than necessary, tailed beasts and jinchuriki are pretty much off limits though.
The players will take on the roles of genin ninjas, recent graduates from ninja academy, placed in their first team. These characters will be engaging in low (E and D) level missions under the leadership of a jonin level captain. Per the source material, genin must complete at least eight missions before they can be recommended by their team captain for the chunin exams.
Stats 65 points or 13 dice
Skills 30 points or 15 dice
Powers 40 points; not including the common jutsu (see below)
Points not spent on powers may be allocated elsewhere with referee permission.
The source material divides the superhuman abilities of ninja into three categories; taijutsu, genjutsu, and ninjutsu. In game this will be reflected as skills and miracles.
Taijutsu is made up of the various hand to hand styles employed by the characters in the series. In game it will be generally simulated by normal brawl rolls and levels of the Attacks and Defends qualities; Go First and Penetrating extras may also be applied. Special, named, taijutsu maneuvers will be custom designed on an as needed basis. Additionally, all characters begin with the ability to bid chakra to accomplish superhuman leaps, run up vertical surfaces, walk on water, etc.
Genjutsu is the art of mind-control and is not frequently displayed by characters in the source material. While any character may have one or more miracles that would fall under the heading of genjutsu, it is recommended that only genin that specialize in genjutsu have more than one or two.
Ninjutsu is something of a catch-all term for any power that doesn't fall into the other two categories. Virtually anything may be accomplished with ninjutsu. However, while it is a broadly open-ended category, it should be noted that most characters in the series rely heavily on one or two techniques that tend to be unique to them. Please do not consider the opportunity to do anything an invitation to do everything.
All characters begin with five dice in each of the following ninjutsu techniques:
Cloak of Invisibility Technique
Additional dice may be purchased in each of these techniques if the player chooses.
Not all jutsu are freely taught, some techniques are passed down generation to generation. Players may feel free to define one or more of their themed techniques as a family secret passed down by a relative or mentor. This is a useful way to distinguish your character, very few NPCs will appear with the power, while tying them to one or more specific NPCs. Some hidden jutsu may be dependent on the character possessing an appropriate kekkei genkai.
In addition to jutsu, which typically require some form of invoking ritual and in theory at least can be learned by any ninja, the series acknowledges the existence of powers that are passed down genetically. Kekkei genkai cannot be learned and must under normal circumstances be purchased at character generation. Per the source material, only direct blood relatives of a character will be able to use any power defined as a kekkei genkai.
Players may define one or more miracles as kekkei genkai with referee permission. Kekkei genkai that have appeared in the series fall into one of three broad categories; alters perception, alters form, allows unorthodox elemental bias. Please consider these guidelines, not hard and fast rules.
The following kekkei genkai have already been defined in the series. While they provide a useful illustration of what sort of things fall under the heading of kekkei genkai, please do not reproduce them without referee permission. Doing so will necessarily involve those characters that already possess these abilities.
|Byakugan||Grants the wielder the ability to see chakra flows.|
|Ice Release||Grants the wielder the ability to combine air and water chakra at will.|
|Iron Sand||Grants the wielder the ability to manipulate magnetic fields.|
|Kurama Genjutsu||Grants the wielder the ability to kill with genjutsu.|
|Rinnegan||Grants the wielder the ability to quickly master jutsu and see chakra.|
|Sharingan||Grants the wielder the ability to anticipate his or her opponents' moves.|
|Shikotsumyaku||Grants the wielder the ability to manipulate his or her own skeleton to create weapons.|
|Soma no Ko||Grants the wielders the ability to combine their bodies.|
|Wood Release||Grants the wielder the ability to combine earth and water chakra at will.|