Defenders of Tokyo: The RPG by Cyphoderus
IntroductionOriginal SA post
Brazil has a lot going for it that people don't know about. It has, for instance, the second largest population of Japanese people in the world, the first being Japan. Back in the ltate 80's and early 90's, Brazilian TV channels used to license Japanese shows because it was cheap. Way cheaper than producing a soap opera, which was (and is) one of the mainstays of national television. Bear in mind, back then we had no idea that "anime" was even a word or that it was going to be big and lucrative in the future. Entire generations of Brazilian children grew up watching Yu Yu Hakusho, Saint Seiya, and those deliciosuly campy live action shows like Kamen Raider, Winspector, and a plethora of super sentai flavors. Japan had (and arguably has), in the national youth culture, as much influence as anything from the West.
Brazil has also the second largest population of role-playing gamers (we call them RPGists here) in the world, the first being the United States. The hobby is different here, too: Dungeons & Dragons only became the most played game in the country after the release of its third edition. During the 90's, it shared its niche of most played game with Vampire: the Masquerade and GURPS.
Here I present to you the intersection of some of the nation's favorite geek pasttimes: decades-old campy Japanese TV shows, and RPGs.
Defenders of Tokyo: the RPG game.
Created as a satire of everything cliche from the glorious land of Nippon, it's a fast-paced game about dumb heroes and dumber villains. It doesn't take itself (or anything else) seriously. It has an ultra light rules set that can be picked up by anybody. It's also a thoroughly fun read, and just 64 pages long.
See you next time when we tackle the book proper!
(sorry for shit image quality but it's what I have available right now)
Teach Me the KaiohkenOriginal SA post Defenders of Tokyo, Episode One: Teach Me The Kaiohken
Tokusatsu are Japanese live-action superhero TV shows. If you've never seen one, Power Rangers is basically a tokusatsu. Defenders of Tokyo is to tokusatsu what Toon is to Western cartoons. It's what would've happened if the guys who wrote Toon were watching Ultraman instead of Road Runner. There are plenty of anime influences in DoT, but the tokusatsu theme is stronger and, if I may add, much more interesting.
Adventures of DoT are structured like TV episodes. A campaign is a season. The fourth wall is flimsy for both characters and players - defeated minions disappear in a puff of bad special effects; regular punches make monster shoot out sparks; cliches should be embraced and used to your favor. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.
Like Toon, the DoT book opens with a disclaimer, "for the experienced roleplayer." It's a warning: forget everything you know about RPGs. Forget careful planning and sensible characters. From now on, common sense has no place here! You are a goddamned Defender of Tokyo!
You don't care about your own survival. Not one bit. Why? Because Defenders of Toyko don't die. Ever. They do get defeated - but then it's just a matter of retreating to a secret underground cave, faraway temple or hospital room for a couple of days and voila, ready for action again. Following the Defenders of Tokyo code of honor (we'll get to that later) is more important than everything. You take a full clip of rifle shots to your chest, but you do not let the innocent Tokyo citizen be harmed!
Sneaking up on villains? Picking locks? Nonsense. You introduce yourself formally to all enemies, preferably while loudly announcing your name and your theme music plays in the background. You dismiss a well-aimed, efficient cannon shot in favor of a giant, clumsy and colorful robot. Nope, Defenders of Tokyo aren't very bright, but they get to do cool stuff too!
You can use swords, bazookas and giant robots that are kept god knows where. You can lose gallons of blood only to miraculously recover at the last moment and beat your enemy to a pulp. You can blow half of Japan up in a fight against a giant monster, only to be called a hero by the population. You can even have a hot girlfriend, though you'll probably spend a lot of your time saving her from whatever alien empire decided to attack the country this weekend...
Tokyo in Danger (again!)
The next chapter is a very brief explanation of the essential rules which is followed by a quick adventure, mostly for introducing people who have never played before to RPGs.
It starts with the PCs right outside a warehouse where a terrible villain is keeping the egg of a horrible monster. The PCs must find a way to get in - they can break down the door or somersault through the window or teleport inside or use any method they have available (the door is unlocked, but why would this matter to a good Defender of Tokyo?). Inside, they're attacked by a mob of Horrible Supporting Cast Men, wearing cheap bright blue clothing, rubber masks and metallic blades (by the ease with which they're holding them, the weapons are probably made of wood and painted over).
The next obstacle is a hallway lined with laser cannons, designed to teach players the dodging mechanics. After going through, the players find the monster's egg, though it is defended by General Bang-Bang. He is not a Supporting Cast Man - he wears a paintball mask, G.I. Joe vest and wields a huge gun. He's there to stop the players. Since ganging up on one foe is not the Defenders' way (and gives no XP), the characters should alternate between fighting the General and trying to destroy the monster egg.
After being defeated, the General flees using a smoke grenade. The egg is destroyed, but it was about to hatch anyway! What comes out is not a horrible monstrosity, but a baby monster. It's all fuzzy and fluffy and has huge, wet eyes and says nothing but "zig-zig-zig". The monster picks a random PC and decides that character is its mommy.
That is the end of the introductory adventure, although readers are free to come up with the sequel, "In Search of Zigmon's True Mother."
In the next episode - Creating your own Defenders of Tokyo! Also, the System Explanation!
Who Is This Pokemon?Original SA post
And now for something completely and totally different than World of Darkness!
Strange Matter posted:
hahahah is NotGoku's hair made of bananas?
Funny of you to mention that...
Defenders of Tokyo, Episode Two: Who Is This Pokemon?
Characters in Defenders of Tokyo are mechanically composed of Attributes, Skills and Advantages. It's a character-point based system. Read on if you're interested in mechanics.
Attributes are Strength, Ability, Armor, Resistance and Firepower. The human average is 0, the human maximum is 1, and starting characters can have 1-5. Strength and Firepower determine melee and ranged damage; the visuals of the damage are up to you. Your Firepower 1 character can be equipped like Rambo, but that Firepower 5 Squirtle's Water Gun still does a ton more damage. Ability is the most important atribute, as it deals with most non-combat situations and a bunch of combat ones, too. Armor soaks damage (again, the visuals are up to you: force field, great dodging, absurd luck). Resistance determines HP and is used to... well, resist ill effects.
An attribute test is 1d6, success if you roll equal or lower than your value, 6 is always a failure.
Skills aren't numeric. You either buy a skill and have it or you don't. All skill tests are done as Ability tests - having the skill improves your odds. If you don't have a skill, easy tasks are tested with Ability -1, medium tasks with Ability -3 and hard tasks are automatic failure. If you do have a relevant skill, easy tasks are automatic success, medium tasks are done with Ability +1, and hard tasks are done with Ability -2.
The available skills are Acrobatics; Alertness; Breaking In - doors broken by Defenders tend to fall in many white pieces (as if they were foam) that fall lightly to the floor (as if they were foam); Disguise; Climbing; Hotness - can only be used in the civil identity (for some reason, a Defender in his hero form becomes an asexual creature, incapable of creating desire in the opposite sex); Stealth; Investigation; Subterfuge; Mechanics; Riding; Moral - used for yelling out your name, making fancy gestures and somersaulting over the camera while everyone looks on, incapable of reacting; Swimming; Driving and Tracking.
Advantages are all the cool superpower stuff. Invisibility, alternate forms, transforming into giant size, pocket monster allies, everything your Defender could possibly ever need is here. It's a lot of fun, but let's concentrate on another parts of creating your Defender for this episode.
Creating a Defender of Tokyo
The first thing you worry about when creating your Defender is his civil identity. What does he do when he's not fighting monsters to save the city? Is his identity publicly known or not?
After that you choose your appearance. Ninja in bright clothing that's terrible for hiding in the shadows but great to sell toys? Space cop with glass fiber armor? Girl with overly short high school uniform? A robot with a wheel on its chest that lies down and rides itself as a motorcycle? A small fluffy talking animal? It's up to you. Pick any appearance you like.
There's also the androgynous look, called "bishonen" in Japan or just "gay" in Brazil.
Next we come to the Enemy. Most Defenders of Tokyo have a sworn Enemy, a rival among the ranks of the villains that the Defender has a special grudge with. The most common one is the evil twin - it's a lot more common and less ridiculous in tokusatsu than you think. There's almost always that one dude who dresses exaclty as the Defender , only in black, and is out for your head.
There's also the rival who is just out to mess with your life, stealing your girlfriend, trying to reveal your civil identity... Another one is the love/hate relationship, which starts out as someone trying to kill you because you killed her father/brother/pet/whatever, saw her face under her amazon mask, is in love with a non-villain woman... but is secretly in love with the Defender. There's a ton of Enemy types to choose from.
Having an Enemy is not mandatory, but it's cool and defeating him/her grants XP.
The Defender of Tokyo Code of Honor
This is the Defenders' most absolute dogma. No, there's no way to become a Defender of Tokyo being an asshole, liar, dishonest or a cheater. Do these kinds of things and the true Defenders of Tokyo will eventually catch up to you! These are the things every Defender must do:
Defend Tokyo. Duh. Above all, you msut protect the capital of Japan. If a threat appears, you must be there to combat it. When every menace is gone and Tokyo is completely safe, the only thing left is to take your motorcycle/car/space cruiser and disappear in the horizon, never to come back. What an awful fate!
Protect the Innocent. A Defender must save everyone who's in danger - even the villains, sometimes. Rescuing people gives XP, and failing to do so always backfires in some way. You can't transform into hero mode for a day, your pet monster loses loyalty, you lose the keys of your giant robot... And the forces of good that granted your powers aren't always very tolerating!
Fight Fair. A Defender always fights one-on-one. He never attacks an enemy who has a disadvantage. If he has a giant robot, who doesn't use it to fight regular-sized ooponents (although villains tend to do that). Ganging up on one opponent is disloyal and grants no XP, though Defenders can alternate fighting the same enemy.
Do Not Attack Without Reason. An innocent person is someone who thus far has not done an evil deed. A Defender never attacks an innocent. You cannot fight that dude with read glowing eyes in a black armor adorned with human skulls, wielding a serrated sword, who has just come down from a huge spaceship. Not until he deserves it. If the villain announces his evil intentions in a loud voice (and they usually do), then it's fair game. Attacking an innocent is such a terrible mistake that doing so will remove XP from the Defender.
Every Defender has a "devotion": a motivation, belief or typical mania. The list of suggested devotions is delightful, and I'm going to leave it for Next Episode!
DevotionsOriginal SA post Defenders of Tokyo, Episode Three: Devotions
"Devotions" are the personality and motivation traits of Defenders. No Defender of Tokyo is completely normal. Every one of them is messed up in his or her own way. You can pick a devotion from the list in the book, or you can make your own up, though the list includes the more common ones.
Without further ado!
The Defender's Devotion
"I (fancy gesturing) am the mighty (crane stance) , fearless (more fancy gesturing) and cunning Super Saiama..." POW!
The most common type of Defender, the one who just won't stop talking. You have crazy names for all your weapons, special attacks and moves. Don't forget to yell them out loud in battle. Really fond of useless poses.
"So, what are we waiting for? I LOVE this job!"
The Defender who not only protects Tokyo, but enjoys it! Always a smile on your face when leaving for missions. You shouldn't especially pick a lot of fights, but once you're in one, that's where you wanna be.
"With power comes great responsibility."
The one who takes the defense of Tokyo too seriously. Always think twice before using your powers. You're the one who wastes time picking the lock instead of bringing down the door with a laser blast - something that any sane Defender would do instead.
"Hey, I could've defeated that!"
The Hercule syndrome. You think you can win every fight, or at least will go to no end to convince others of that! When you lose, you waste no time coming up with all sorts of freaky excuses. You can't run away from a fight if there's anyone else watching!
"I don't WANNA be a Magical Sailor-Whatever!"
The whiny, coward Defender. Usually got your powers by accident. All you want is to go home and watch TV. You have a tendency to break down and bitch when faced with tough opponents.
Ah, one of the most classic Defenders! The eternally hungry one. You're the one who picks a bowl of noodles over a cute girl. Is always eating, and "one meal" translates to an entire fridge or every item in a restaurant's menu!
"Beautiful fighters never lose battles!"
Defender who believes he's handsome, elegant and glamorous, and does everything to stay that way (maybe you're not any of these things, but it will take a lot to convince you). Terribly vain, you hate to get blood or dirt on your face (some even wear masks). You fight sending kisses to the fans and holding a rose between your teeth.
"No, you're doing it wrong! Here, pay attention..."
The real martial "artist". It's not enough to win, you gotta win with style, class and originality. Fighting is an art. Blowing monsters up with bazookas is so vulgar; the real Defender should show all his skill with the most complex moves.
"So much unnecessary violence!"
The fake pacifist. You preach harmony and love between all living things... this does not stop you from turning monsters and villains into pate, though. Just make sure to apologize to the ashes later.
Linked for smug breast-groping
"Brute, me? But it was going to DISINTEGRATE you!"
This poor Defender is in love with a girl who hates him. You're always making a fool of yourself to make her notice you. You protect her, but she doesn't notice - on the contrary, she gets mad at you for messing her hair up, staining her new dress or hurting that perfectly adorable innocent monster... Yep, yours is one terrible predicament indeed.
"Dude, relax! We've got plenty of time before that meteor falls in Tokyo! You're way too tense!"
A lot of Defenders are very laid-back. When you're not saving Tokyo, you're all about chillaxing. Going shopping, playing videogames, going out clubbing or just sleeping on the space cruiser's chair with their feet up on the control panel are your favorite activites.
"Stop bothering me! Leave me alone!"
This one likes to wear normal clothing, and wants to live a happy life in his civil identity. Of course you never manage to - there's always someone showing up to attack you or menace Tokyo. It's a tough life.
"I... (ugh!) need to... (agh!) protect... (ghn!) Anthena..."
Besides the entire population of Tokyo, there's a certain special someone that you must protect, no matter how many punches, lasers, kamehamehas or golden arrows you must take to save her. Allowing the person to die would be the end of your career. It might be your little brother, girlfriend, the incarnation of a goddess on Earth...
"I'm the strongest fighter in the world!"
Classical motivation of Game Fighters., XYZ Fighters and Pokemonster Trainers. You wanna show the world (or yourself, or your master, or your girl...) that you're the best. Always looking for new, tougher opponents and chances to fight. Of course, defending Tokyo is the ideal opportunity for that...
"Hey babe. Wanna date the guy who saved the world?"
AKA the Johny Bravo Defender. Never misses the opportunity to hit on girls he's saving (and take a slap later). Defending Tokyo is a great way to meet chicks. They might have the weirdest hair colors, buuuut...
"I need to find my _______! (fill in with father, brother, sister, master...) "
You're in search of a missing loved one. Always looking for clues of his location. Villains love luring you into traps, though.
"Curse you! You killed my _______!" (fill in with father, brother, sister, master...) "
You want to punch in the face of someone who killed one of your loved ones. Your soul will only rest when you spread the bastard's little pieces across the four corners of Tokyo.
Next Episode: Types of Defenders, or "Character Classes"!
The Assorted Types of DefendersOriginal SA post
Goggle Fox posted:
Oh, people commented on it. Not so much on the mechanics but the art now and then. The art is hilarious and at the same time true to the genre. Not-Goku and Not-Frieza having a slap-fight will forever be the faces of Defenders of Tokyo to me.
This seems like a great "Let's just have fun, dammit!" sort of game.
The art is all by Eduardo Francisco. He has some international work too. Here's his deviantart page: http://edufrancisco.deviantart.com/
Defenders of Tokyo, Episode Four: The Assorted Types of Defenders
These are the suggestions to those are having trouble coming up with Defender concepts.
Alien with Bitching Armor
Also known as the Space Cop, even if he isn't part of any police force. Came from a far away planet in a far away galaxy in a space ship that becomes a giant robot. You wear a shining armor and a helmet that makes everyone mistake you for a Formula 1 racer. Your task is protecting the Earth from some alien empire that want to conquer it - even though your own robot usually causes more damage than the invading monsters...
No point trying to dress the Space Cop up as a "digital warrior" or something: it's still essentially the same thing, only more ridiculous and with a much worse theme song.
Hero in a Skin-Tight Suit, Member of a Group of Five
Just as it says on the cover - you wear a skin-tight suit, a helmet, and are part of a group with 5 members. Exactly five, not one more or less. It's three men and two women - or three men, a woman and a dumbass. The men wear red, blue, green or black clothing (in a legitimate group, the leader's always the one in red); the women wear white, pink or yellow; the dumbass may wear anything at all, preferably with polka dots.
Mutant Guy with Grasshopper Head
You were relaxing at your birthday party when you were captured by an evil corporation, who experimented on you - making you into a mutant with a grasshopper's head and cockroach blood. You get super-human powers, a brand new armor and big red multifaceted eyes, but you decide to use your powers to stop the plans of the evil corporation (who are asking themselves who had this stupid idea, anyway?).
50-Meters Tall Silver Man
You're an alien from a planet called M-whatever. Your terrestrial identity is just a normal dude (don't forget the Oriental features) who's part of special police forces of some sort. But when it comes to stopping giant monsters, you turn into a huge, 50m tall (that's 164 feet) silver guy.
A variant of this type of hero are the Tattooed Gay Men of Beverly Hills (remember this one?), a mix of the 50-Meters Tall Silver Man and Heroes in a Skin-Tight Suit, Members of a Group of Five. Of course they aren't true Defenders - but they're so cheap an imitation that it's enough...
Superpowerful High School Student
You were just a teenage girl. You didn't have the psychological profile of a Defender - you were whiny, coward, stuck up, vain or all of these together. Then, one day, you were chosen by fate, for your noble heart or for your long legs, to receive amazing powers and protect Tokyo.
Your costume is a variant of a high school or sailor uniform, maybe with some pieces of armor tacked on - but always shorter than it should be. Remember, in Tokyo, there's nothing sexier than a little girl in a costume (we don't argue about taste...).
Ninja in Colorful Armor
You're a reeeeeally unlucky teenager, born to a family descended from ancient ninja. Your dad is a ninja master and makes you train 25-8. You never have the spare time to hang out with friends, hit on chicks or play RPG. As a ninja, you're an expert at hiding in shadows - which is a miracle, because your master makes you wear a ridiculous suit with flashy colors.
Despite being trained in thousand-years-old martial arts, you can use ultra-technogical firearms and may even have a computerized car or a giant robot. No one will care.
Japanese Robocop Rip-Off
You are the result of a copyright infringment: you were part of the Tokyo Police Force when you suffered an accident and scientists decided to turn you into a niponic Robocop. Your pistol holster is inside your right thigh, but you're always using much bigger weapons that come out of nowhere. You walk around with stiff legs, but when it comes time to fight you suddenly develop Van Damme's agility. Despite having been completely rebuilt, you can turn back to your human form at any time (God knows how).
As a variant, instead of a robot, you may have a cybernetic armor (in the end it's the same deal). Amazingly, it isn't always you who fights against monsters - sometimes some androids show up. Most of the time, your mission is to get into a flaming warehouse and rescue some dumb child or runaway bandit. After the rescue, you take the helmet off and show your sweat-covered face, even if you had the armor on for no more than 30 seconds...
The latest fashion in Defender! You're just a regular kid, no superpowers, but somehow you get one or more companion monsters to fight in your place. This kind of Defender usually is very friendly to their monsters, while the villains use them just for fighting and mistreat them. The better you treat your Digi... I mean, Pokemonsters, the better it treats you. Or not! Remember Charizard?
Giant Robot Pilot
This sort of Defender has no superpowers. You're a normal dude (with skills above the general population of Tokyo, but even then, normal). You fight monster using a giant robot, or a vehicle, or both, like a fighter jet that turns into a robot. Usually you're part of a squadron that uses giant robots regularly. It may be that you're the only one capable of piloting this sort of machine, or maybe this specific robot just fell into your backyard.
A variant of this type of Defender is the one who doesn't drive a giant robot, but remotely controls one. Or who has a hyperpowerful weapon that works only when it's used by him.
Z, GT, WC, WTF... Fighter
The evolutionary peak of the Defenders! You're a fighter powerful enough to level cities, destroy entire fleets, explode planets, move in super heavy gravity...
These warriors are always transforming into something else and becoming more powerful - which is useless, because the next foe is always going to be even stronger! Despite their cosmis power, there are mysteries around the skills of these fighters. They fly at incredible speeds but take several episodes to reach the location of a fight. They resist attacks that take down mountains, but are afraid of needles. And the more they get beaten up, the more powerful they become, but never seem to make intelligent use of this resource (except Vegeta, bless him).
The Z-GT-SOB-Whatever-Fighter can't see anyone more powerful than him without wanting to fight. Your only true fear is the woman you love. Speaking of which, the way these Defenders find girlfriends is unknown: none of them can be sexier than a cardboard box...
As crazy as this sounds, not all Defenders wear shining armor, colorful clothes, yell histerically, and drive cars that look like toys. You can defend Tokyo just by working - usually as a cop, but detectives, secret agents, artists, pilots... even teachers and student can protect the world!
The difference between a Superpro and a regular pro is that the former is usually the best at what he does in the world. A Defender detective can make James Bond jealous. Defender cops, despite not having giant robots or cybernetic armor, can defeat monsters. A public school student Defender can save Tokyo with his martial arts training, even if he transforms into a girl when bathed in cold water...
Knight of Wossname
You were trained to harness a mystical energy that increases every time you get beaten to a pulp. You wear a metallic armor of dubious efficiency that doesn't cover your abdomen, face, thighs, crotch and other vulnerable areas. This armor can only be fixed by blood - which is not a problem, since you have this to spare. Despite the human body carrying only 5,5l of blood, you're capable of bleeding a hundred times that amount in one fight.
You're among the best fighters in the world, taking part in great tournament in remote islands, hidden temples, private arenas, other dimensions or just on the streets. The fights are like no other: Amazonic mutants shoot lightning at elastic Indians; ninjas reborn from hell dodge strikes by gods in funny hats; gallant vampires squash down beautiful succubi and ancient mummies. This is the Game Fighters' world: full of really weird people, even by Defender of Tokyo standards!
Samurai With Stuffed Animal Face
Somewhat out of fashion, but still remembered by the older fans (even though we'd LIKE to forget...). In your civil identity, you're just a regular human. But when in hero form, you look like something that ran away from a Thundercats episode: you have the body and head of a lion, tiger, black panther, white lion or some other big cat.
A Samurai With Stuffed Animal Face rarely uses firearms, vehicles or other "technological stuff". Even in the modern world, you still prefer a good old sword and a trusty horse. Any Defender with an animal face can fit this category, including turtles!
Also known as the "Mysterious Undecided Guy" or just "Racer X". At some point, in the middle of the fight between the villain and the heroes, a weird fellow shows up. No one knows what's up with him, if he's a hero or a villain. Sometimes he helps the good guys when they're down, sometimes he beats them up badly.
The Gatecrasher Hero may have various origins. You may be someone who has unfinished business with one of the heroes and doesn't let anyone kill him if not you; a sixth superhero to help that Group of Five; an old Defender who had retired and decided to go back in the fray; an enemy created by the villains who chose to change sides. The Gatecrasher Hero always wears a costume that has a different color from the main group and is much more stylish.
Each group of Defender may have only ONE Gatecrasher Hero!
Throughout the series, it happens a lot that a villain decided to change side. One or other Gold Knight, giant crocodile-man, a thick-voiced woman, a grumpy Saiyajin, a dude in green clothig that becomes white later... they were all villains and, one day, chose to join the good guy side.
You were one of Tokyo's many attackers, but something happened. Maybe you're tired of being cruel, maybe you fell in love with a Defender, maybe you caused the death of a buddy, maybe you didn't get the raise you asked your boss for. Anyway, you were smart and realized that the Defenders of Tokyo always win, and it's best to join them before being made into bacon!
Next Episode: The Episodes and the Series , stay tuned!