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Shin Megami Tensei RPG Getting English Language Edition

First English edition for the Megami Tensei/Persona RPG

The popular Japanese RPG based on the JRPG video game Shin Megami Tensei and its spin-off Persona is getting its first English language translation as Shin Megami Tensei The Roleplaying Game: Tokyo Conception from Lionwing Publishing and Atlus.


The tabletop RPG has been out in Japan since 1993 with five editions in print. The initial launch will include three different covers – “Death Variant”, “Nocturn Variant”, and “Nihilo Variant” – available in PDF for $30, hardcover for $50, a combo with both for $60, and an ultimate bundle with all three covers and a PDF edition. From the product description:
Shin Megami Tensei - The Roleplaying Game: Tokyo Conception is a deep yet accessible TTRPG for 3-5 players + 1 GM (Game Master) that perfectly captures themes of the original Shin Megami Tensei™ video game series, allowing players to wield familiar spells such as Agi and Megido against legendary demons like Jack Frost, Metatron, and the Moirae Sisters.

Tokyo Conception further preserves the franchise's essence by incorporating staple elements such as demon negotiation, the Affinity system, and punishing status ailments like Poison and Stun while also introducing more typical TTRPG mechanics such as critical hits, fumbles, and exploding dice, to ensure encounters are both challenging and rewarding.


  • EXQUISITE WORLD DETAIL – Tokyo Conception is based on the world of Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne™. The game designers have recreated every region with great attention to detail. The book offers nearly 100 pages of stats for every demon, including bosses like Ahriman, Baal Avatar, Noah, and Kagutsuchi itself, and plenty of seeds for brand-new adventures.
  • A BOOK SUITABLE FOR ALL SKILL LEVELS – For video game enthusiasts who enjoy Japanese RPGs and are interested in exploring the world of tabletop roleplaying games, Tokyo Conception is an excellent starting point, as no prior knowledge of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise is needed to enjoy the game. For existing and seasoned TTPRG enthusiasts, Tokyo Conception contains plenty of familiar gameplay features, compelling pre-made scenarios, engaging mechanics, and a deep character advancement system that can be played over days, weeks, months, or longer!
  • CLASSES AND PROGRESSION – In Tokyo Conception, players start out by choosing one of three character classes: Human, Fiend, or Demon, with each class possessing its own unique strengths and weaknesses.
  • FACTION DYNAMICS – While a lot of Tokyo Conception deals with fighting demons, it definitely doesn't stop there. Kagutsuchi still burns brightly in the middle of the Vortex World, and it awaits to judge those who would offer their Reason as the basis for the new world. Will players support one of the three existing factions? Help the manikins develop their own Reason? Or will they use the robust faction rules to establish their very own? The choice is theirs… if they have the will.
  • DEMON NEGOTIATION – Similar to the video game series, players must carefully navigate Tokyo Conception’s Talk Flowchart and use an array of talk skills to engage in conversation and negotiate with demons to earn items, gems, or even acquire their Demon Cards. Make a wrong move, though, and the demon may attack or even flee entirely!
The physical editions are expected to begin shipping in Q3 2024.

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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott


Great video game series, not sure how it will translate to the game table though.
I've helped fans with adaptations of SMT to both True20 and Savage Worlds Deluxe. Both were reported to have worked well, but having not actually played at the table I can only go by what was reported to me. Three of the big things to tackle with the SMT Verse are creature capturing, creature summoning and creature fusion - power creep/combat inbalance being a concern with the summoning. With SWD, the capture was handled with a 3-5 round (dependent upon creature rank) Dramatic Task that involved activations of the Beast Friend power - duration was modded to be permanent. The Fusion was handled by another 3-5 round Dramatic Task, but I can't remember the power or skill. The summoning was handled via a great broadening/reworking of the Summon Ally power. That proved to be a good choice, because the strength of potential creatures summoned is related to rank. So fiends or demons that could lay waste to any threat they encountered were avoided.

For the True20 adpatation, the GM used the True Sorcery supplement which allows for more of a free-form magic approach. They used the TS Summon spell, which worked because that spell only has a verbal component. There's examples in TS for a Summon Monster, Improved Summon Monster and an even more potent Call Monster. So the GM just expanded upon that with a few more ranks. They used the Hold spell for the capturing, but a much more potent form of it. Both required some tweaking, as True Sorcery despite the name was originally designed for the 3.5/d20 rules. The GM used a D&d 4E-like skills challenge for the fusions, with involved a custom-created, supernatural skill.

I've been homebrewing as of late with the new BRP:UGE and I can't see why SMT wouldn't adapt just as well with a d100 TTRPG like it. I can imagine how some of the BRP Magic Book concepts, like Shaman-Spirit magic or ritual magic Binding (species) Enchantment, could possibly work.
Otherwise, for all other roleplay the rules and concepts you find in a universal TTRPG work well.
Where I could see challenges for a SMT adaptation, is someone trying to shoe horn the setting into a non-Universal RPG like 5E.

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