Persona is both a computer game series and anime-spin off in which teenagers can manifest avatars of their own subconscious to fight evils and do it in a world that looks a lot like our own.
Redditor Casuabahn-mi has been working on a One Roll Engine-powered roleplaying game tailored to bring the series to life for the tabletop.
The Velvet Book is built from the ground up to be a complete Persona experience. Unlike Voidheart Symphony, a very excellent book in its own right, The Velvet Book works for all kinds of Persona games, not just Persona 5, and gives GMs the tools they need to customize their setting exactly how they want, fully fleshing out the way the Other World works and the kind of Themes they want to explore. And unlike games like OverArms, another excellent product, The Velvet Book is laser-focused on Persona specifically; while one could use it to play Jojo or any number of Supernatural Sidekick games, from front to back it’s all about giving you the best possible Persona experience.
The Velvet Book was once based on Monsters and Other Childish Things but has since diverged significantly.
While the game is described as a Persona RPG, it suits the whole genre of Japanese roleplaying games that lean into school, dramas about awakening your true self and dealing with the associated drama.
The latest version, which is labelled 0.9, so not quite a final release, customises the One Roll Engine so that players can interact with the scenario to gain advantages against their rivals.
Characters can build and harness Relationships in search of an edge in a tricky situation or a way to channel their Persona into their psychic strength.
As it’s a school-themed game, there are also rules for schoolwork, social encounters, and the challenges that youngsters face. Even if they’re also battling actual demons to keep us safe, not just their own.
The game has its own Arcana system, exploring psychological archetypes which grow and mature.
The free to download game also comes with 69 unique enemies – Shadows.
If that sounds a lot, it is. The book is well over 350 pages, and so the free to download nature is incredibly generous. The game successfully re-creates the vibe of Persona without ever being a dull clone of it, or a tabletop RPG that slavishly tries to recreate cRPG mechanics.
The game is hosted on Dropbox. That means it’s free and easy to access, but also that the URL may become invalid if version 0.95 or 1.0 is released. Please let leave a note in the comments if you notice that happening.
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