Naruto Pen and Paper RPG
Character Creation Rules
Okay, so first, the basics... I like simplicity, and in order to keep the system as simplistic as possible, I’ve kept the dice needed for this game down to just your standard six sided dice (D6's) so that anybody can play. With this system, all you really need to play are a couple sheets of paper, a couple pencils, some supermarket or dollar store dice, some friends, and your imagination. I have nothing against games that use massive lists and compendiums or a thousand different polyhedral dice (I love my polyhedral dice) but I like having easier, more kickback RPGs that can be thrown together anywhere with little or no warning and still be fun.
Also in the name of simplicity, I’ve forced the stats down to three physical (Perception/Initiative, Strength/Stamina, and Speed/Dodge) and three Jutsu (knowledge) (Genjutsu, Ninjutsu, Kinjutsu, Taijutsu, and Fuuinjutsu) stats. I’ll admit, I took a little tiny bit of artistic license here tying them into elements, but the game mechanic is more interesting and fun this way. Read on past the empty character sheet to find out how.
What the Numbers Indicate
Essentially, the numbers indicate the number of dice you can roll when using a specific stat (like dodge, when you’re faced with an attack) or when using a skill (like a ninjutsu). Three in any stat is average for a Genin Ninja, but everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Your core knowledge stats apply themselves to any skills that fall into the same category, giving you a basic bonus to however many dice you have in any particular skill of the same time (say Pre-Genin Naruto wants to use Kage Bushin no Jutsu–he can roll up to 12 dice [3 Ninjutsu + 9 Kage Bushin] with each success on the dice [a five or a six] indicating a shadow clone was created and a Chakra point was spent.)
Additional dice can be added to this if your character has the skill “Change In Chakra Nature” and your character’s element (a character with multiple elements can get multiple bonuses, but we’ll discuss that in another installment) is the same as whatever discipline you’re using. (I.e. Naruto is Air, so he would get a bonus to Genjutsu skills and skills that he chooses to apply an Air nature to [like Rasengan] equal to however many levels are in his Change in Chakra Nature skill.) This reflects the affinity that individual characters have in regards to their own natural chakra element.
Numbers in Your Core Knowledge Stats
The numbers in your core knowledge stats also indicate your character’s skill at breaking out of an enemy’s skill of the same type or element. (I.e. Naruto would have 1 die to help him escape from an enemy Genjutsu, which isn’t very promising, especially if it’s a high level Genjutsu, but he’d have 3 dice if he was trying to escape from a prison of earth-natured chakra) Only Taijutsus are immune to this, and must be met with Strength, Speed, or a defensive move. (Like using throw with a kunai to get a +1 die in addition to your speed)
Hit Points are determined by multiplying your Strength by two and then adding any additional HP purchased as a “High Endurance” quality, (1 HP/quality point spent.) And indicate the number of successes an enemy can get against you in his roll for a skill or attack (like throwing a kunai) before you become unconscious. The only way to really “die” is for an attacker to consciously announce that they’re going to deliver the killing blow to an unconscious opponent. Your character’s dodge stat is how many dice you can roll to avoid just about anything, and your successes in that roll are subtracted from your opponent’s attacking successes, leaving the remainder of the attack to be soaked by your Hit Points.
Chakra/Ki points (I added Ki because I’m considering expanding the system beyond Naruto to Fullmetal Alchemist and/or DBZ) are determined by adding a base pool of 10 to one die roll (in Naruto’s case, I figured he rolled high, giving him a 16) and adding in any extra Chakra points purchased at a rate of two Chakra points per quality point spent. Chakra points are spent on hits for Jutsu used, meaning that if you roll ten dice for a skill (except Taijutsu or physical stat attacks) and you get five successes, you spend five Chakra points. Taijutsu and physical stat attacks (like unarmed combat, throwing, or weapon skills) use one chakra regardless of how many hits turn up on the roll.
Luck are extra dice you can use at any time, and your starting number is determined by a 1d6 roll. They are rare, and cannot be regained except by spending 5 Mission Points (experience) per luck point, so spend them wisely.
What would you like to see more gameplay information on?
Points When Creating a Character
When creating a character, you are given 60 points to spend on stats, skills and qualities, but keep in mind the following limitations:
- No more than 25 points may be spent on stats (Knowledge and Physical combined) or on skills.
- You may spend any number of points on qualities, but your Core stats can never be less than one.
It is recommended that in purchasing skills, you think about the sorts of skills that a ninja should have in order to survive in the Naruto universe.
Concentrate is a key one, (5 points for first level, 10 for second, 15 for third, etc.) as it allows you to spend a turn building chakra by rolling a number of dice equal to your HP, recovering a number of points equal to the number of hits you get.
Henge, Replacement, and Sneak
You might also want to think about Henge (Genjutsu/Transform), Replacement (Ninjutsu/Evade), and Sneak (which is tested against an opponent’s Perception, with applicable bonuses or penalties, depending on the situation as the Ninja Master (NM, aka referee) sees it. In this game, a lot of decisions are left up to the NM. (After all, it’s the story he or she is telling.)
The emphasis in skills is, however, primarily on creating your own jutsu. Pick something, give it a name and an effect, and then put some levels in it. (I.e. Poison Moth Cave Vision (Genjutsu) which makes the target think they’re in a cave full of poisonous moths, with the strength of the illusion being the number of hits you get when you create it. If you’re flinging fireballs, (Katon: Chakra burst) the number of hits can reflect the size of the fireball or the number of them that are thrown at once. Talk with your Ninja Master about the effect you’re going for so the two of you can come up with something you both agree upon. Ninja Masters are encouraged to give small bonuses or advantages to players who really get into the game, come up with creative jutsus, or get everybody else excited and talking. It can really be a blast to get all the players so into the game that they’re shouting “Gatsuuga!” instead of saying “I’m gonna use that charge jutsu thing against the dude.”
What Do the Different “Jutsu” Stats Mean
If you’re unclear as to what the different “Jutsu” stats mean, check the tables of skills at the end of this page for descriptions. Also: Elements names in the Naruto universe are as follows: Katon (Fire), Fuuton (Air), Suiton (Water), Doton (Earth), and Raiton (Lightning).
Notes on Ninja Tools
- Kunai, shiruken, needles and most small blades add +1 die,
- Large stars add +2,
- Windmill stars add +3.
- Melee weapons like Kunai and daggers add +1,
- Short swords add +2,
- Large weapons add +3.
I’m still working on more general equipment, like night vision goggles and radio gear, but you can find more information about chakra conducting weapons (like Asuma's knives) below.
Breakdown of How Mission Points Work
Lastly, but not leastly (before the skill tables) I’ll give a quick breakdown of how Mission Points (aka experience) work. As you complete missions and defeat enemy shinobi or spirits, your Ninja Master will award you Mission Points that you can spend upgrading your stats.
- Core Stat Upgrade: New value of stat x2
- Skill Upgrade: New value of skill
- Chakra pool/HP: 1 point/1 point
- Luck point: 5 points/1 point of luck.
You can add new qualities as well, but only if your Ninja Master allows it. Consider the upgraded Naruto (beginning of Shippuden) below:
Ninjutsu (Ninja Arts):
- Bushin (Ninjutsu/Clone): Creates one illusion clone per hit that cannot effect or be effected by anything.
- Kage Bushin (Ninjutsu/Clone): Creates one shadow (real) clone per hit. (HP 1, Chakra pool split between clones)
- Moku Bushin (Ninjutsu/Clone): Creates one wood clone. Hits = HP. Chakra pool equal.
- Chakra Burst: (Ninjutsu/Ranged): Ranged burst of chakra
- Chakra Form (Ninjutsu/Melee): Shape Chakra to do damage in melee
- Earth Wall: (Ninjutsu/Barrier): Adds 1 armor, +1 per hit.
- Replacement Technique: (Ninjutsu/Evade): Dodge technique with chakra hits + dodge value
- Throw Multiple: (Ninjutsu/Speed): Throw a number of kunai, shirukens, etc. equal to the level of the skill in one turn. (Use Speed+Throw for each)
- Vanish: (Ninjutsu/Speed): Used against enemy perception.
- Hemophilia (Ninjutsu/Dark): Targets already injured take 1 HP/round for a number of rounds equal to the number of hits (due to bleeding)
Genjutsu (Illusion Arts):
- Henge (Genjutsu) Transform. Hits indicate strength of illusion
- Poison Moth Cave Vision (Genjutsu) Creates a dream illusion of a cave full of poison moths. Hits indicate strength of illusion/effectiveness of the poison.
- Effect Vision (Genjutsu) Blurring to full on blindness depending on hits. GM’s discretion.
- Charm (Genjutsu) Makes target more friendly. Hits increase effect.
- Feign Death (Genjutsu) Allows you to fake your own death. Hits indicate believability. (V.s. Perception)
- Soul Eye (Genjutsu) Allows you to see into a soul of a person to read their intent. Information yielded depends on hits.
- Fear (Genjutsu) Inspires fear in a target. Hits indicate effect.
- Bringer of Darkness (Genjutsu) Illusion of being surrounded by total darkness
Fuuinjutsu (Transfer of Chakra Through Touch):
- Healing Touch: (Fuuinjutsu) Hits indicate HP healed.
- Chakra Binding: (Fuuinjutsu) Use with Healing Touch to add the levels of the two skills together.
- Absorb Poison: (Fuuinjutsu) Hits indicate success of removal
- Engrave Runes: (Fuuinjutsu) Protection, explosive, warning, etc. Hits determine effect
- Enstrengthen: (Fuuinjutsu) Hits indicate temporary strength increase. May only be done one at a time, though may still be “focused” to increase hits. Costs 1 chakra/round to maintain.
- Goguoukaiin: (Fuuinjutsu) Dispels curses, magic, etc. Each hit removes 1 hit of target effect.
Kinjutsu (Bloodline/Family Specific): (No levels - one per character, max.)
- Byakugan (Kinjutsu): Cost: 1 chakra/round. 360 degree vision, perception/initiative doubled. Hits that damage an opponent’s Chakra do additional points of damage to the chakra equal to your Kinjutsu stat.
- Sharingan (Kinjutsu): Cost: 1 chakra/round. 5 per technique copied (You must roll a cumulative number of hits with your Kinjutsu stat over multiple rolls equal to the level of the technique witnessed to learn it. all start at level 1), Genjutsu skill uses up to full chakra pool as dice pool for mind crippling illusion. Hits indicate strength.
- Rinnegan (Kinjutsu): Cost: 1 chakra/round. While active, you may add your Kinjutsu stat dice to any other jutsu you perform.
Taijutsu (Body Arts and Physical): (1 Chakra cost)
- Baika (Taijustu/Enlarge): Makes the body or parts of the body larger. (Hits add to stats, 1 chakra cost/round to maintain.)
- Gentle fist: (Taijutsu/Strike) Hits do damage, split as character chooses between Chakra and HP.
- Block: (Taijutsu) Simple defensive gesture. Hits used to offset damage.
- Dynamic Entry (Taijutsu/Strike): Flying kick. Add 1d6 + Skill level to strength for hit dice pool.
- Tsuuga: (Taijutsu/Charge) Add Strength and speed to Tsuuga level to get maximum dice pool for damage. Any hits the opponent generates reacting or defending are also subtracted from your HP.
- Zankuuha: (Taijutsu/Shout) Shout that invokes fear. Hits indicate effectiveness of shout.
- 1000 Years of Pain (Taijutsu/Strike): May only be performed as a surprise strike. Successes indicate effectiveness of stun effect. (Ninja Master’s Discretion.)
Physical Stat and Non-Aligned skills:
- Concentrate: (each level costs 5 points) Spend a turn drawing chakra (roll a dice pool up to current HP) each additional level regenerates 1 extra chakra per hit.
- Throw (Speed): Throw kunai, shiruken, etc.
- Unarmed (Strength): Basic punches, kicks, etc.
- Sneak: Compared against opponent’s perception.
- Weapon (Strength): Sword, knife, etc. Specific melee weapon.
- Ranged Weapon (Speed): Bow, etc. Specific ranged weapon.
- Light Fall: Hits indicate how easily the character copes with a long distance fall (Discretion of the NM)
- Change in Chakra Nature: (Apply the level of this skill to the dice pool for a skill with a discipline that shares the same element as your character’s Chakra or to a skill that can take an element (like Chakra Form, aka: Pyramid Fist or Rasengan)
- Jutsu dice pools are used primarily to determine in combat effects. If a character chooses to focus on the jutsu before performing it, he or she can reroll the dice that did not turn up with hits and add the new hits to the old ones, and may do this once for every round he or she spends focusing before performing. (Theoretically meaning that if you spend lots of time, you’ll get it perfect. Great for healing.)
When it comes to qualities, there are two main categories: GM qualities, which are high power, costless, story-driven qualities assigned by the Ninja Master (like Jinchuruuki), and normal qualities, which give you small bonuses to give your character a little edge in the field (like an increased chakra pool, etc.)
- Unusually High Chakra: (+2 chakra points per quality point spent.)
High Endurance: (+2 HP per quality point spent.)
Examples of GM Qualities:
Jinchuruuki: Those who have had a spirit sealed within them (such as the Kyuubi or the Shikaku) The Kyuubi is detailed on the sheets for Naruto, but the rest will be detailed in another installment concerned specifically with Jinchuruuki and their Bijou.
A Note About Combat
When a character throws a jutsu at an opponent who is aware of the attack, the target always gets a chance to react, dodge, or defend in response. This happens in addition to a player’s normal turn. (Meaning there’s a chance that, if two players attack and react by attacking back multiple times, they’re essentially going nuts in the middle of everyone.) More importantly, it means that, if one person has fifty guys after him, he has a chance to strike each of them in turn... for all the good that might do him.
This isn’t the end all and be all by any means. It’s enough to get you started out as Genin and maybe build a Chunnin or Jounin to run a team of characters through a mission, but I’m working on implementing more material as you’re reading this. I’ll add the links up under this paragraph as they come in, right here:
If you have any questions or comments (except for “OMG NARUTARD!”) or want to drop me a link to something you’ve done using this system, feel free to post in the comments area below! I’d love to hear from ya!
Since I don’t own Naruto and this system is based on the series, I’m not going to hunt you down if you use anything you find here. What I would ask though, is that you credit me back with a link or a byline, and even send me a link to whatever you’ve created so I can witness the sweetness and appreciate what you’ve done with the materials I’ve assembled here. I’d love to see what other people come up with for this system!
Also: if you, who are wandering into this page, happen to own Naruto, I’d love to work with you on making this available in some form commercially so we can get it out there to more people.