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A high-action high-drama fantasy RPG originally from Japan! A world of magic and mecha, with rules that emulate a Kabuki play or anime.
1,704 backers pledged $129,640 to help bring this project to life.

Another Tenra Scenario! The Death and Life of Monjuro!

Posted by Andy Kitkowski (Creator)

Hey Tenra backers: This will be a quick update.

I have a quick reward drop for you. It's another ready-to-play Tenra Bansho Zero scenario, this one designed by my good friend Mark Causey. He pulled the inspiration for it directly from a real Kabuki theater play. It's called "The Death and Life of Monjuro", and it too features excellent mapwork by Claytonian JP.

"Destiny binds four unlikely companions together and sets them against a corrupt Priesthood and a Shogun gone mad with power. A great warrior’s soul has been bound to a powerful cybernetic body, but the memories of his past are slowly breaking through the barriers, and destroying the soul of the man who bound him. A mysterious woman with incredible skill has become the warrior’s final pupil, and with a rebellious Priestess acting as their compass, they seek out the demons of their past and the devils of their future. Will they find what they need, and overcome their powerful enemies, or will they fall before the overwhelming odds? Let’s find out as we open the curtain on The Death and Life of Monjuro!"

It's plain awesome, and even comes with new ready-to-print-and-play sample characters. Get it!

The download link is here, and will be available for a few weeks at this location:

If the above Google Drive link times out, you can download it directly from the Tenra site (note: Your browser might give off "Danger! This Site is Unsafe!" warnings; those can be ignored. There was a spam comment tucked deep in the design blog, but the entire design blog was recently closed/removed, so when the next Google site scan goes through my site in a few days it'll be marked safe again):

I'll eventually also have it for sale on DriveThruRPG (not likely pay-what-you-want; the results were a little disappointing for the previous scenario release, so instead I'm going to go with a dirt-cheap price point).

What's coming next: Putting the final touches on the anticipated extra character bundle (yes, the one that features "Ninja Robot Dog", "The Gunslinger", and "Basically a JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Stand-User". That'll come out in the next few weeks (really!), and shortly after we'll be dropping the WAR supplement next.


Scenario: Tragedy in the Kose Art District, now available!

Posted by Andy Kitkowski (Creator)

Hey everyone: Good news: Tragedy in the Kose Art District is now available to everyone!

At long last, the train is rolling, and we are finalizing the layout (and quickly publishing) a number of Tenra scenarios and supplements.

The first official scenario offering since Albert Huang's incredible epic Lotus Blossom's Bridal Path, Tradegy in the Kose Art District is a more modular Tenra scenario than you may be used to: Each Scene in each Act corresponds to a different location within the city; you can complete some or all before moving to the next Act. This kind of modularity is perfect for open convention scenarios where time may be a factor, or home games where you want a more open flow of the story.

It's written by my good friend and Tenra torchbearer Eric Provost, who put a lot of thought into a more open-world experience but still with enough guidelines and backbone to keep it dramatically anchored.

It also features five unique and fully-realized/statted player characters (they can be printed and used as-is right from the book), and has a detailed run-through for each character's Zero Act scene and initial Destiny. Even if you don't play the scenario as-is, the content is worth it for the new characters alone!

It's illustrated by my friend, OSR DIY guru and fellow Yokohama-ite Claytonian (if you like OSR-style stuff or DIY game crafting, you really need to check out his Wizardarium of Calabraxis, available on DriveThruRPG with his other works): He crafted a very Tenra-feeling setting map that can be used for this scenario, or lifted and used in your own city-themed game: We purposely left it unmarked so that you can repurpose it for your own scenarios (or new events within the city of Kose).

Finally, it was edited by Mike Pureka and laid out by DTP Maestro Diego Menéndez from the Spanish RPG publisher Other-Selves (his work is also on DTRPG).

I've experimented for now by leaving this scenario on DriveThruRPG as "Pay What You Want" for the community (if we get more funds from new players, we can push more original scenarios down the line), however those of you who backed this Kickstarter project and are seeing this update: Don't pay/donate any more! This offering is one of the stretch goals promised (regardless of pledge level), and thus your support has already covered that tab.

The level-specific rewards will eventually make their way through layout, and be sent directly to those backers who backed the project at that level, then put up for sale on DriveThruRPG.

The next projects that we'll see posted (I'll post an update to you backers for each one) are another scenario loosely based on an actual kabuki theater play, and the Tenra War supplement.

Thanks for your patience, team!

(Remember: It's Pay What You Want for others, for you backers please just purchase/download at the "$0.00" offering)

Quick Tenra Update

Posted by Andy Kitkowski (Creator)

Hey Team Tenra: A quick status update.

I ended up sitting down with some friends at Game Festival in Atami last month, getting some help with Japanese cultural elements and pulling in help to plot out the course for the rest of the campaign materials. Also got into some discussions on how to tweak Tenra for longer campaign play, getting advice from people in Japan who have tried (both successfully and unsuccessfully) running multiple-session Tenra games: Ideas that will be applied to the Personaesque setting as well as later posted on the web for free for folks who want to play "one Tenra story" out over a longer span of time.

Apologies for the delay with some of the materials releasing: I just got a lock on a reliable layout artist who will be putting together the scenarios for release: I'm aiming to get out one a month for the next few months, the first dropping four weeks or so from now.

On the Personaesque: Solid progress has been made on getting NPC character art, and the visual aspects are coming along to match the excellent setting writing. Just to share a few resources we're working on:

Local Cafe Owner
Local Cafe Owner


Business-minded Fashionista High School Girl (After School)
Business-minded Fashionista High School Girl (After School)

We're lining up more art to create cool NPC/setting characters to use in the game. 

While I expected to have a draft ready by now, there's a few rules glitches I'm hammering out this next weekend (one combat element, and I'm waffling on one of two character creation methods). One notebook, two coffees, and four hours at Azteca (my local neighborhood equivalent of Cafe Leblanc) will get that on lock.

The next update will have a draft of the personaesque mechanics, with a followup shortly after on the scenario material: I expect it to be within the next two weeks (let's set the weekend of November 11/12 for sure).


Quick Status Update: Scenarios, WAR and Persona-esque

Posted by Andy Kitkowski (Creator)

Hello Team Tenra: Andy here with a brief update.

We're going to start seeing materials manifest over the next few weeks, starting with some complete Tenra scenarios, then the WAR supplement. Further, within the next few weeks I'll be posting the draft of the current Persona-esque rules (which went from "Tenra with one rules hack and a slightly different character sheet" to "An almost entirely different conceptual system, but keeping the core components; one that supports one-shot OR campaign play" (!!!)). I've even recruited a Japanese manga artist to do character/NPC illustrations for this one, and the initial deliveries are incredible (I'll be sharing them with the draft).

Aside from finding a layout tech, one of the setbacks to the scenarios was making the final decision to either keep them together in a "scenario book", or releasing each one individually. There are pros and cons to each method. However, I decided on the latter: Focusing on each scenario as a micro-project helped get the writing wrapped up, without the need for joiner text and other extras. Further, I've recruited for some additional scenario writing, and I'd rather provide more scenarios over a longer period of time, than to cause any more wait on delivering the ones that are already done and edited.

Layout has begun, and in fact I'm recruiting a second layout tech now to assist with getting a few of these complete even faster.

I shied away from further dates until I could determine at least an initial cadence; however, within four weeks (by mid-July) we'll see at least 1-2 complete scenarios delivered, plus the Persona-esque rules draft. At that time, I'll be able to set the pace for the next update after that as well; I'm hoping to eventually get a pace/cadence of one scenario per month, one supplement every two months, within the next 1-2 cycles.

Thanks again for your patience, and I'll be posting the first of the extra scenarios within the next few weeks!


Stretch Goals: Introductory Scenarios: Final Draft! Plus Apologies!

Posted by Andy Kitkowski (Creator)

Hi Tenra backers!

Let me drop the goods, then tell you what's going on. Here's a direct link to TWO Tenra Bansho Zero introductory scenarios: Fully written, different in scope and focus, both with a full set of pregen characters, 100% ready to play. The only thing missing is a "pretty layout", which is what I will circle back with within the next few weeks:


Included in this package are two nearly twenty page long scenarios. In my stretch goals, I promised you one Tenra Bansho Zero introductory scenario. As you may recall, the skilled Albert Hwang developed an incredible intro scenario for us, called Lotus Blossom's Bridal Path, available here. Many of you played it, some as your first session of Tenra. 

However, I meant to provide another, and in the spirit of how I usually do things, I'm giving you more than I promised. There are two introductory scenarios included in this set, fully playable and with pregens. The format and writing of the scenarios is different; there is not a lot of standardization in the formatting. This is a planned feature: The original Japanese language scenario format was quite railroady ("In this scene character X and Y appear; Z happens. Then, of course, Character X will do Action A..." ...really? What if they do not...?), and so I left the formatting, style, and presentation to the individual contributors. I think the scenarios are richer for this format; and indeed in reading them I was inspired to create further scenarios with elements borrowed from both styles!

Tragedy in the Kose Art District by Eric Provost is a convention or one-shot focused scenario, with a play time of about 2 hours (just two Acts after the Zero Act) give or take how long it takes the players to grasp the setting/rules. Further, aside from the last scene, the scenes are totally modular and can happen in ANY ORDER. It takes place in one city, where each district/location represents a different scene where things happen. It's very dialogue/drama focused, with of course a few fights for good measure.

The writing is very invigorating, the author is clearly addressing the GM, painting vivid pictures of the events that happen in the scenes so they can be relayed to the players as well as positioning potential repercussions and fallout from each event. And again, the modular nature of the scenes are a wonderful idea.

The pregens are in the last pages of the document.

The second one is The Death and Life of Monjuro by Mark Causey. It's a VERY content-rich scenario, meant to be played over 6-8 hours (so likely 2 sessions for many groups; maybe less time depending on how much scene-chewing is involved). It has a lot of backstory to situate the action, much like traditional adventure RPG scenarios include. There are a few special rules (minor tweaks to help the scenario flow).

I love this scenario as well. Mark put a lot of time and thought into prepping new players to get into the game, and even conceived of writing the Destinies on cards to be handed to the characters, as well as other "prop cards". He also puts a lot of effort into not only the things that will happen, but opportunities to get the GM to help the players shine: Role-playing Prompts to provide the players in order to get them to engage and the like. 

The pregents are included as four separate character sheets in the download package.


Yes and no. 

Content-wise, they are 100% complete and playable. Not like the "hey guys here's my latest notes!" content for other stretch material, these are the final products. And yet, they are text only at this stage.

I made a promise to some friends and backers to have ready some finalized content, either pre or post-layout format; unfortunately I could not meet my goal of finalized layout, but that will come next. Within the next 4-6 weeks I'll have these each laid out, as well as featuring a piece of art/map by my friend and OSR fanatic "Claytonian JP". It took a little more time that I expected on the layout piece, I apologize.

So, the next update you will get from me, and soon, is the layout-finalized version of these scenarios (with art). I'll also be providing information and timelines on my next stretch goal fulfillment.


...speaking of stretch goals... what the hell happened?

A lot of people were satisfied with receiving their book and PDF, proud to make the project manifest. I was not one of them: I made promises (with a clear idea of the work/money involved to make them manifest) during the campaign for the various stretch goal and extra rewards, promises that I planned on fulfilling, or else refunding folks' money.


I dropped communication on their status, which confused a lot of people ("...are they dead? Is that it?"). And worse, while I sloooooowly worked here and there on them the past few years, I did not lay out personal deadlines, milestones and the like to meet on my end. "A goal without a plan is a wish", I saw on some trite success poster, but yeah having a clear idea of what I wanted, but not using my project management skills to meticulously plan it out and set milestones and deadlines like I do at work... ultimately that led to a lot of frustration, and for that I deeply apologize.

To that end, I've now got solid plans and actions in the background, to get the stretch goal rewards to you as timely as possible. Further, I won't just provide you with the bare bones and drop the mic going "Peace, out"; I'm dedicated to ensuring the quality I initially planned on putting into these goals, moreso for some: Case in point, I told you I'd have one scenario, now we have three including Albert's. This trend of regular updates to you (and internal workflow-setting, process engagement and milestone-hitting for me behind the scenes) will continue until you have everything you pledged for in your hands.

While you now have the scenarios, I've begin pushing - hard - two other goal materials on my side simultaneously in order to keep that momentum going. We'll cross that finish line, or else I'll be refunding your money for each unfulfilled goal.

Here's a reminder of what we have left to go: 

* The ready-to-play scenario (PDF) (two finished and delivered; now in final art and layout stage)
* An the illustrated Tenra Bansho Zero replay (PDF)  
* the Mythos Hunters Zero campaign reskin (PDF)
* A Set of scenarios and scenario seeds by a game designer friend (PDF) 
* Tokyo High-School Demon Hunters campaign reskin (PDF) - (NOTE: Crap, I did say Tokyo! I meant to say Kobe, because that was a more perfect city setting that straddles the middle ground of the feel of both Persona 3 AND 4. But it's still otherwise the same)
* Extra Characters DLC (PDF)
* Mass Combat Rules DLC (PDF) 
(further, since I plan on putting the above on DTRPG, you will be able to order print POD versions of all of the above at cost)

...and I have other Tenra supplement ideas in the works (planning, not production or execution until the above are fulfilled).

I will make good on all the above. I don't want to blurt out a date that I may miss, so please give me a little time to consider order, resources and the like. By the time the layout is finished on the scenarios, I'll be ready to announce the next goal and fulfillment date (however, I'm aiming for a two month cadence for each).

I appreciate your patience with this. It was my first KS project, and for a few days the single most successful tabletop RPG project on Kickstarter. I made some mis-steps for sure, but we're back on the rails and ready to push towards the end. I won't rest (that's... not hyperbole. I actually think about this Every Day) until this project is closed, and you all are happy with the results. 

Thanks again so much for believing in this project. The book is in your hands (or tablets); and in short order the companion pieces will be there, too. 

-Andy K