After playing Kagematsu and Lady Blackbird with us, Wim invited us over for a game of Tenra Bansho Zero. Wim is a terrific player of the improv persuasion and he gave a great pitch for Tenra Basho Zero as a delivery system for drama.
So I was a little surprised when he showed us the world book and it was filled with the worst kind of anime art ever! Blow-up boobs all over the place! Weird. Luckily I had recruited two anime die-hards who were not easily phased.
This week we sat down for the first few acts of the scenario “Lotus Blossom’s Bridal Path”. There was quite a bit of explaining to do because TBZ has quite a few stats. I won’t go into the particulars, except for this one really cool thing: Whenever you encounter a new PC or NPC you roll on the reaction matrix to see how you feel about them. That sounds a bit D&D random table-ish, but in practice it works quite nicely. It doesn’t hurt that the descriptions on the matrix are easy and fun to work with.
We divvied up the characters and the girls liked the idea of Jan playing Lotus Blossom, the living doll promised to a rival family to bring peace. Jan reluctantly agreed, not because he didn’t find playing her appealing, but because he’s been playing a lot of female PC’s as of late. Tâm played the old general, tired of war. Frosty played the rough and tough mercenary Rosuke. I played Lotus Blossom’s yojimbo, formally yojimbo to the late son of their Lord.
- Act 0 saw us get started on our quest to deliver Lotus Blossom to the Daiketsu family to seal the peace between the two families.
- Act I saw us leave on an airship, get attacked by a big bad and and crash!
It’s a pretty neat scenario, though I suspect Wim running it adds a lot of narrative flair. He happily rolled with all the drama and background we thought up for our characters to everyone’s enjoyment. I established that I had confessed my love to our Lord’s son, and that this was the reason he was unprotected and killed on that fateful day. Tâm established a shitload of drama for her character. An additional nice thing was that the GM gets to tell what happens in the Act before we start playing it, allowing you to get a lot more narrative awesomeness in.