Tenra Bansho Zero

So I ran a little poll for NewMexicon about what two games I should bring and try to run. It’s kind of a weird operation! Whole con is run GoD-ish in that you pitch a game at each slot, and folks either work out tables or they don’t.

The two games that ended up at the top of the poll were Tenra Bansho Zero and Sagas of the Icelanders. TBZ needs prep; I can run SotI in my sleep, completely improvised.

So I pull my TBZ books off the shelf and it’s all completely cryptic. I have no idea how anything works, can’t remember how the aiki-kiai-karma cycle works exactly, saw a mention about some emotion matrix thing, then there’s stuff about your dice and options and shit.

Ugh. This is what I get for constantly cramming new games into my brain every few weeks/months. It’s coming back, but fuck if I know what to prep or what the game’s best practices turned out to be.

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0 thoughts on “Tenra Bansho Zero”

  1. And awoken koalas. Because every adventuring party needs an awoken koala. He did not last long in tomb of Horrors, but he did make it to the second room.

  2. I’m in the same boat: I’ve been giving it a thorough read over the last couple of weeks and trying to work out what I absolutely need to know. I decided to run a pre-generated adventure / set of characters, in order to reduce my GM load.

  3. TBZ is a difficult game to grok but it’s simple to run, especially if you make pregens with good Zero Acts and Fates/Destinies. Everything pretty much runs itself from that point.

  4. Oh yeah, I’ve run it a lot! But I can’t remember the details. It’s coming back slowly as I continue to read. The karma cycle is locked back into place, for one.

    Actually, my pitch has always been “I run TBZ like I hate anime,” because I do. Which, like running a fantasy game when you really hate fantasy tropes (also true), can produce interesting results.

  5. Though the RPG has manga inspiration, I think TBZ has enough cultural grounding to tell many kinds of Japanese stories, from samurai action to horror. Though these stories can be told via manga and anime, they are also told via chanbara and kabuki (Tenshu Monogatari is a good example).  A lot depends on the PCs, which you can influence if you generate the PCs.

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