Category: Roleplaying

  • Success and Failure

    There are going to be at least two broad types of activity in the game. The first is single actions. A persona wants to remember a fact, identify a picture, persuade someone to do something, or open a stuck door. These will be resolved with a single roll. The second type of activity is creating […]

  • Core Mechanic

    Having set the scene in general terms, I’d like to start getting into the details of how I want the game to work. The core mechanic I plan to use for Kannagara is as follows. For every significant action, the player rolls a number of six-sided dice. She keeps some of them, and adds the […]

  • Shinto, The Traditional Religion of Japan

    Shinto is the traditional religion of Japan. As is normal with real-world situations, every single word (even “is”, “the”, and “of”) in that sentence is controversial, and potentially misleading, but it is still the best place to start. I believe that Shinto is best thought of as a religion, but that word tends to create […]

  • Why me?

    This post is basically about boasting. As I’m British, this doesn’t come easily to me, but since I am British, people might well wonder why I should be writing a roleplaying game about Shinto. Let’s handle the roleplaying game part first. I have been writing professionally for roleplaying games for twenty years, and I have […]

  • What Does It Mean?

    In the last post, I explained “kami” and “jinja”, and I will return to “matsuri” in more detail later. However, there are two other Japanese words that should be explained. Specifically, what are “Mimusubi” and “Kannagara”? “Mimusubi” is taken from the name of two of the first kami to arise in the creation myth found […]

  • Shinto, Jinja, and Kami

    Shinto is a central element in the setting of Kannagara, but it is not well-known outside Japan. I aim to have the game itself introduce the necessary ideas in play, but for this development blog, I fear that short info dumps are unavoidable. Shinto is the practice of performing matsuri for kami, primarily at jinja. […]

  • Mechanical Philosophy

    Kannagara is a tabletop roleplaying game, and therefore it has mechanics. Since I’ve already talked about the guiding ideas behind the game itself, I’d like to talk briefly about my approach to the mechanics. Anyone who is familiar with my work on Ars Magica will know that I lean towards mechanical systems that are quite […]

  • What Is Kannagara?

    Kannagara is a table-top, pen & paper roleplaying game in which players portray people associated with a Shinto sacred space, who create and perform its rituals. They build relationships with the mundane and supernatural inhabitants of the area so that the sacred space, people, and spirits flourish, mysteries are solved, and wonders are both uncovered […]

  • Welcome to Kannagara

    Welcome to Kannagara. Kannagara will be a modern fantasy roleplaying game set in contemporary Japan, drawing heavily on Shinto folklore, legends, and practices. I say “will be” because it is not yet written; I will talk about the design on this blog, and hope that the readers of the blog will make comments about the […]

  • Mimusubi

    I have a new project, and it has its own website: Mimusubi. It’s a role-playing game about creating things. Those of you with good memories may remember some work on this topic here a couple of years ago. I’ll be discussing the design on the Mimusubi website, and plan to release it commercially in some […]