TENRA BANSHO ZERO is a Japanese Storytelling Game of "Hyper-Asian Fantasy", in the author's own words. Conceived, designed and illustrated by famous manga author Junichi Inoue (and featuring gorgeous art from illustrators Hiroyuki Ishida, Rasenjin Hayami and others), Tenra Bansho Zero is one of the most recognized "Made in Japan" tabletop role-playing games, and indeed the first licensed RPG from Japan to be translated in
On a distant world in the far future, the Sengoku (Feudal/Warring States) period of Japan is happening all over again- But this time with high-tech weapons, magically powered mecha, taoist magic masters, cursed shinobi operatives and super-powered samurai.
The focus of the game is on acting out the characters, their backgrounds and, and their destiny in the world of Tenra. The players get bonus points by acting in character and entertaining the other players, which can be spent to boost powers and gain abilities. Creativity, energy, and camaraderie is physically rewarded in the game. Spend these gains recklessly, though, and you lose control of your character as they spiral down the Path of the corrupt Asura. Character choices, character drama, and most of all character change take center stage in this drama-focused high-action tabletop RPG.
Finally, TBZ is a fast RPG. It was designed to play out like a theatrical production, complete with Scenes, Acts, Intermissions and Coming Attractions. And like a play or movie, an entire story or campaign can play out in its entirety within one 4-6 hour gaming session. From there you can tell another story using the same character, or retire them for good and focus on another tale of Heaven and Earth.
Background: Almost a decade ago, Japanese artist and game designer Junichi Inoue sat down to create a uniquely and unmistakably "Hyper Asian" (in his own words) Japanese world: A world of magic and technology, of samurai and Taoist sorcery, of powerful mecha and cultured geisha. The world was named Tenra, and the game was named Tenra Bansho, or "Everything in Heaven and Earth". With a rulebook dripping cover-to-cover with high quality anime-style art, a setting rich in culture both real and fantastical, and a revised and simplified rules system that focused with precision on roleplaying and character drama, this game took the Japanese tabletop RPG market by storm and spearheaded both a renaissance and revolution in the Japanese gaming industry.
Years later, this unique and revolutionary game has finally been painstakingly translated into English for play in the West!