Kickstarter Kunai Academy live on Kickstarter

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to share my new game Kunai Academy that has just gone live on Kickstarter!

Kunai Academy is a tabletop RPG about teenage ninjas with mystical powers. It's heavily inspired by action manga and anime, especially Naruto. It features highly cinematic combat which inspires player's to be creative and work as a team. Character creation is easy to jump into and features collaborative world building. And progression is directly linked to characters dealing with growing up, having new experiences, and balancing their childish desires with their newfound responsibilities.



I've always dreamed of playing a game like this, so I made it! I hope some of you are as excited about it as I am. Also, for you game mechanics nerds out there (like me), it's a whole new game system that draws a lot of inspiration from different places. Here's some examples of game mechanics and the RPGs that inspired them:

Characters can create "Edges" that act a little bit like "Advantages" in Fate. Player's can define what the Edge is by giving it a name and each Edge allows for a number of re-rolls. But, they'll also have to deal with "Obstacles" created by the opposition. Each Obstacle has a specific mechanical effect that hinders or threatens the players until they overcome it. The back-and-forth between Edges and Obstacles allows for environmental interaction that moves more quickly than using a tactical map and allows for a lot more creativity.

The character's "Attributes" are all represented by dice of varying sizes, similar to Savage Worlds or Cortex. Players roll dice as a pool and can get additional dice in their pool if an ally uses "Teamwork" to help them. Each character gets one use of Teamwork per round, and deciding when to help has a big impact. You can add dice to offensive rolls, defensive rolls, recovery rolls, or even use Teamwork to negate penalties imposed by enemy Obstacles.

One of the most enjoyable parts of character creation is picking "Techniques". Techniques are powers of different kinds with specific mechanical effects. But, similar to Champions or Mutants and Masterminds, players are encouraged to flavor each Technique to make it specific to each character. And, these flavorful descriptions can potentially provide mechanical advantages if the narrative circumstance dictate it should, such as blasting a wall of fire with a magically conjured stream of water.

My other favorite part of character creation is the collaborative world building that's inspired by "Village Backgrounds". Each character can choose one part of the imagined world to define, similar to some aspects of The Veil or Legacy: Life Among the Ruins. And, each character's background is inevitably impacted by the other backgrounds in play. So, the conversation starts and people get to feed off of each-others creativity to make a unique and personalized world.

Also, I have to mention Masks: A New Generation. This game inspired the total experience of Kunai Academy more than any other. One of my guiding principles early on was to create a game that was "like Masks but with more involved combat". Inspiration from Masks can be most directly felt in the "Experiences" mechanic. After an encounter, characters will each set their own scene based on one of many experience prompts. These prompts encourage characters to explore how they are dealing with growing up and how their relationships are evolving. Experiences are also how character will deal with "Lingering Emotions" they may be carrying around after a conflict. Through these prompts, character are encouraged to craft their own narrative arcs and show how their characters are changing over the course of a campaign.

Well, thanks for letting me gush about my game. I hope you'll check it out and feel free to reach out if you have any questions! I can be most easily reached on twitter @sweaterpunks.

Best,
Justin Kahler
 

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