Shinobigami: The Book
The original books are all roughly “paperback book” sized, approx 4.25 x 7 inches/ 11 x 17.5 cm and 250 pages. The first 150 or so pages feature a “Replay”, or complete text transcription in screenplay format of an actual game session, complete with liner notes, explanations, and a few illustrations of key scenes and characters. This helps readers understand the ins and outs of what the game looks like in play, the text equivalent of an “actual play” video cast. It also helps readers new to the role-playing hobby understand what roleplayng is all about, and how fun it can be. Since this is an actual transcription of a game that occurred, a real and grounded session is presented, complete with side commentary and jokes that emerge in play.
The last 100 pages contain the entirety of the rules needed to play, written in a very concise outline/bullet-point format (about 70 pages); followed by 30 pages of appendix items: Character sheets, antagonist sheets, charts and the like. The rules are cohesive and easily understood. There are also lots of charts and tables that assist with helping get into the action: It’s hard to come up with a “authentic-sounding” character name on the fly, so there are tables to help players quickly generate character names, power names, motivations, scene descriptions and more if they wish to use them.
This unique format of:
* Hand-held/small form-factor book
* Replay in front, rules in back
* Concise rules with helpful random charts, aimed at the creation of a full story within 4 hours
* Most of the rules presented on the character sheet to help facilitate fast and easy play
* Presentation appeals to experienced gamers, but is also clearly aimed at people new to or curious about the hobby
…is a hallmark of Shinobigami and other games in APS’s “Dice Fiction” role-playing game line (of which Shinobigami is the most successful game).
The English edition of the game will bear almost the exact same layout and form factor of the original: However, for language purposes, since English is a left to right language and the Japanese in Shinobigami is written all top to bottom, we will have a slightly different form factor that still is similar to the size of manga books released in English overseas: Currently experimenting with approx 5 x 8 inches (manga books are commonly 5 x 7.5), and slightly smaller page count.
There will be no changes in rules or content for the English version. However, to help facilitate play, there will be a small additional chapter with helpful advice and notes for new players, cultivated through experienced play and Japanese reference material.
The first supplement book for Shinobigami contains additional rules for “normal people” (), additional clans and abilities, expanded setting material, illustrations, a few full scenarios and of course a second complete replay that uses this new material.
In the planned Kickstarter campaign, we will release the revised core book set (the core rulebook and the first supplement book) in paperback/softcover form. We are also funding the creation of unique and exciting scenarios for the English language from many authors. We are also putting together some print-on-demand handouts like cards to help facilitate play. We will be producing more “chibi art” to be used as miniatures in play. Finally, we’ll be producing a very limited collector’s edition of the game, hardcover with alternate cover art (“Lost Demonic Ninja Journal” style).