Alright… Buckle yourselves in… We’re going to be tackling a certain roleplaying game. Oh yes, that roleplaying game. Some of you are probably anticipating what I’m about to unveil on a day commonly associated with tricks and troll moments, so I’m going to cut the crap and give it straight to you.
I’m taking a look at A Certain Roleplaying Game…
What? Not all April Fool’s Day pranks have to be long, drawn out skits. Sometimes the best trick is one that doesn’t need to be one.
A Certain Roleplaying Game is a homebrewed roleplaying game set in the universe of A Certain Magical Index, A Certain Scientific Railgun, and a Certain Scientific Accelerator… Which doesn’t clear up ambiguity in the slightest. It’s why most fans call it either To Aru or Raildex, To Aru being the Japanese way of saying “A Certain” and Raildex being the portmanteau of Index and Railgun. For me, I’ll call this ACSRPG, as the PDF I have says “A Certain Scientific Roleplaying Game”.
But, what’s the game about? What is the To Aru universe? Well, in the year 20XX, technological and scientific advancements have caused Tokyo to be a juggernaut, paving the way for the next step in human evolution: Espers. There are about two million of them in Tokyo alone, particularly the prefecture known as Academy City. However, they are not alone. Magicians and those who use ancient rituals and gods exist side by side with the Espers.
In short: a mash up of science, magic, and psionics in one city. I could go into more detail about where the Index, Railgun, and Accelerator fit in (as they are characters in the story of To Aru), but I doubt we’ll come across them in our game. As with some other Stat Its, I will make two characters: a completely random character and a predetermined one.
First, the random. The rules say to roll five sets of 2d10, the highest ones get to be the four stats: Physical, Mental, Social, and Coordination. Using the good ol’ “compare to D&D” formula, Physical is your Strength, Mental is your Intelligence, Social is your Charisma, and Coordination is your Dexterity. We get a result of two tens, a thirteen, and a seventeen. Placing them in their respective category, our character’s healths (there’s a physical and mental health) and speed are determined to be 50, 30, and 8 respectively.
We get 35 Character Points to spend on either skills or our Esper level, which is how powerful the Esper’s powers are. 0 being the weakest, and 5 being the absolute strongest, a rank so rare that the PDF points out there’s only 7 Level 5s in existence. While you can spend your points on an Esper level (even obtaining Level 5 for a whopping 25 points), I’m going to be true to this character and randomly determine the Esper level, assuming that I have to pay for the level with the Character Points. How this works is a D10 + the Mental Stat.
A Level 4 Esper. So, I’ll spend 20 points (it costs 5 per level) and the 15 points will go into skills. I’m going to spread out the remaining points to Running, Computers, Charm, and Driving, or 3, 3, 3, and 4. As the game has a roll-under system and the skills add to the stats when making relevant rolls, that means that this person’s a boss at driving.
Next is generating abilities. What would this Esper be good at?
[Roll: 8 & 2, Physical Enhancement]
Ooooh, this is pretty interesting. The character has average strength, but with this, they could be a muscleman.
Next, we’ll see what school they’ve enrolled in and their background. However, instead of rolling for a school, we’re going to make our own using the handy random table the PDF has.
[Roll: 3, 9, 3, 10, 9]
So, the story behind this school is that it is an Ivy League-style school. Famous alumni and brilliant teachers work at high tech labs and a Level 5 Esper is attending. So, I figure the name of Tsutadomei University would work. As for our student’s backstory, which also has its own random table…
He is a drug addict… Oh… Oh no… No… That’s just sad! No! You know what’s worse? His addiction is steroids. And guess what he can do with his Esper powers? … Wait, actually that might be better because then he could just replicate the steroids without the addiction drawback… Ooooh, that might actually work.
So that is Chikara, our randomly determined PC. Next is our PC. You know… Considering the Level 5 attends the school…
[Q: Am I the Level 5? Purpose: To Knowledge. A: 77, SC becomes 1]
Oh snap! Random event!
- Event Focus: 3, Remote Event.
- Event Meaning: 70 & 22, Extravagance Energy
The Sports Festival is about to begin, and Chikara had been picked out for it, alongside our handpicked character, Sataro. As such, the stats I rolled, 17, 14, 9, and 15 are going into Physical, Mental, Social, and Coordination. A talented guy without any actual social skills. He’s a Level 5 so he gets only 10 points. Which means 3 in Karate, 3 in Chess, and 4 in Bows.
As for what his ESP power is, I have picked one from each category based off what fits for him and the D10 roll will determine what he gets:
3, so it’s telekinesis. And I had already figured out the backstory, so let’s generate the hook for the session:
It is the Sports Festival for Tsutadomei University! The best of the best have gathered to show what it takes to win the Tsutadomei Premium Cup, something that’s handed out once every four years. Winning it guarantees a cushy life of income for the next four years. With a Level 5 Esper in the mix, things are bound to heat up.
… Okay, pretty vanilla as far as things go. I’m sure down the line we’ll have some sort of traditional Solo RPG Voyage drama go down, which is almost guaranteed given one of the PCs is a former drug addict that’s able to replicate the feel-good part of the drug without the addiction, but I’m pretty excited for this all the same.