If you’re in the tabletop game space, there are good odds you’re currently on the lookout for a new system to try. Maybe that’s because you just like finding new games; maybe it’s for other, more newsworthy reasons. Whatever they may be, we’re here to help with a selection of anime TTRPG systems to give a go!
There are tons of titles out there for fans of anime, video games, and even tokusatsu. (Take a look at the newly-translated Convictor Drive: Armored by Grief if you’re a Kamen Rider fan.) To make that search slightly less daunting, start here!
Big Eyes, Small Mouth—Anime in General
If what you’re looking for in an anime TTRPG is anime flavor in general, look no further than the granddaddy of them all. Big Eyes, Small Mouth is four editions deep, and even has a d20 iteration if you’re most comfortable with Dungeons and Dragons. This system is designed to help you build pretty much any type of anime or anime-adjacent campaign you want. Wield magic, pilot a robot, train cute animals, and more. Plus, character traits mirror familiar anime tropes.
You can pick up BESM 4th Edition as a PDF and start playing right away. If you really enjoy it, there are expansions to help build out the exact world you’re looking for.
Glitter Hearts—Magical Girl Adventures
Maybe your interest in an anime TTRPG is narrower. Maybe you’re ready to meet a mascot, make a contract, and start slinging magic. If you want to build a magical girl adventure with your friends, head straight for Glitter Hearts.
This genre-specific title lets you build highly individualized characters with unique strengths and powers. Construct a civilian identity, a magical girl (or gender of your choice) identity, and a power set. If you’re big into “cinematics” in gameplay, you’ll love how the system encourages you to cook up your transformation and attack visuals. There’s even a section on building characters as a team, so you can construct your own unified squad.
Sword World RPG—Literally Lodoss
Most of the games on this anime TTRPG list are super easy to find. In fact, surfing through DriveThruRPG will yield even more anime-themed game results. You’ll have to dig a little harder for Sword World RPG, as there’s no official English translation yet. Created by Group SNE, Sword World is set in Forcelia, where Record of Lodoss War and Legend of Crystania take place. First published in 1989, the 2d6 system was convenient for gaming fans in Japan, where d20s weren’t as readily available.
If you want to give it a try, there are fan translation projects out there for its various editions. Hopefully, someday we’ll get a proper published release and be able to explore Forcelia in full!
Need more excitement? Check out these action-packed anime titles.