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Naruto: Naruto d20: what's the attraction?

M&M explicitly requires a certain amount of GM discretion, so technically this doesn't involve any houseruling...even though the process is identical to what you'd call houseruling in another system.

Originally Posted by Greyfeld View Post
As passionate as you are about... well, everything honestly... it's hard to have a discussion when you don't state your reasoning behind your statements.

That said, M&M could technically work, but it would take a lot of tweaking and house rules to actually make it feel like Naruto, instead of a poorly implemented, half-baked, anime-wannabe system.
Explain my reasoning behind using a comic book superhero system to emulate a superhero comic? I shouldn't think that necessary.

Thing is, that's exactly what Naruto is; a superhero comic, with all the cues therein. Ninja are superheroes, within certain constraints.

And there's no such thing as an anime system, wannabe or otherwise. Anime isn't a genre; it's a medium. It doesn't really have coherent genre conventions around which to build a game. BESM is not an anime game; it's a subpar generic system that uses anime for its examples. It's far more reasonable and effective to use the same system for a Firefly game and a Cowboy Bebop game than it is to use the same system for a Bleach game and a magical girl game a la Cardcaptor Sakura, let alone for a DBZ game and something along the lines of Nana or Usagi Drop.

You're better off discarding all notions of a generic "anime system" entirely, to pay attention to the actual genre. Take a look at some real anime systems like the kind you'll find from Cel*Style and you'll find that they aren't really about anime at all. Nothing about GxB, which is designed to emulate dating sims, is inherently Japanese and can easily be used to tell entirely western stories because it's all about awkward teenage romance.
Originally Posted by Greyfeld View Post
Well for one thing, all Naruto characters have access to a baseline of certain abilities (Bunshin, Kawarimi, Henge), which means that every character will end up receiving at least a few abilities for free before spending their character points.

Secondly, you have to develop a Chakra system (similar to mana), because ninjas in the Naruto universe can't continuously use their jutsus without depleting their own resources.

Third, jutsus in Naruto tend to be thematically aligned, which makes building all the powers available to one ninja especially difficult and time-consuming with the M&M powers system. Something as simple as an earth-based ninja might require Burrowing, Create, Damage, Deflect, Enhanced trait, Movement, Protection, Remote Sensing, and Transform just to cover their earth-based techniques. And even then, you'd probably have to house rule a few new powers just to get the proper skillset you wanted, after flawing each power out the wazoo to make sure they're all thematically correct.

I haven't seen the mecha/manga supplement, so I don't know if any of this is dealt with in that book or not.
You have raised precisely zero issues with using M&M.

You go in, build a ninja, and play. That's all it takes in M&M.

For clones and substitution and transformation? Though in theory, every leaf ninja learns 'em, that is and isn't true. It's part of the curriculum, but many characters never use any of them, and different characters use them in very different ways (Naruto's shadow clones, Kakashi's lightning clone, and the generic clone are certainly not the same power). What's more, clone and substitution don't even need mechanics; they can easily serve as nothing more than flavor text for just how that attack that just missed you really hit a log or a clone. Pair that with the number of characters who never use transformation, who are more than adequately covered with stunts, that comes down to nothing more than, "Make a ninja."

As for chakra? It is absolutely not a mana bar in the series. It's exactly like stamina in any other supers comic or fight series. You have as much as the plot demands. For the extreme example, look at Sasuke, who wore himself out fighting Deidara, was low on chakra, and then not only summoned the lord of all snakes in an instant, but took over his mind and climbed in. Limits on chakra reserve are more about individual fluff than a mana bar, and only serves as flavor text on how you achieve things. By and large, you don't need an accounting of how many zots you have left to use that fireball jutsu you always spam. At most, all you need is a discretionary application of Fatiguing or Unreliable: Limited Uses on some of the bigger powers, and maybe the odd complication declared by the GM, same as if a GM were to declare that Iron Man is running out of power (such complications are M&M's bread and butter).

As for jutsu in general? What you just described is a completely ordinary hero in Mutants & Masterminds. You take a few primary, common uses for your abilities as powers, probably in an array, then stunt the rest. That's the system's strength, and it's why M&M's the appropriate system. There's no extra effort or houserules involved there.

Truer words, then there's always hero points to get rid of fatigue. It works. I know, as the GM of long running One Piece game using M&M.

To answer the first question, because a lot of the prep work is done. All the jutsus, classes, skills and equipment, all ready and waiting. It's still fun to play even if the naysayers disagree with me.

Originally Posted by Vox Clamantis View Post
M&M explicitly requires a certain amount of GM discretion, so technically this doesn't involve any houseruling...even though the process is identical to what you'd call houseruling in another system.
It's an interesting observation. M&M is clearly much more flexible than most systems, ergo, houseruling is far less necessary to fit the game to a particular kind of play (within limits--M&M is not suited to all play styles and genres). There is room for houseruling within M&M (changing power costs, monkeying with the damage track, etc.), but none of that is necessary for modeling super-ninjas as is being discussed here.

The simple fact is: Greyfeld said that in order to play Naruto you need a system that can handle X, Y, and Z. My point was to demonstrate that M&M handles X, Y, and Z right out of the box, using the core systems of the game, without any changes necessary, without any stretching of the rules, and without having to house rule anything. Though I will be the first to admit it may not model X, Y, and Z in the play-style that everyone prefers.

If, however, by "houseruling" and "GM Discretion" someone means: "We all sit down to play Naruto, and one of the players wants to build a time-traveling, insubstantial, living rock IN SPACE!!!!, because 'Those powers are in the book!' and the GM has to tell him, 'No you can't, because we're building Naruto-style ninjas'," then . . . yeah, it will take both houseruling and GM Discretion to play any game with M&M.

Or a replacement player. :-)

Obviously my idea of "house ruling" is different from other peoples'. I tend to see it as changing anything that's specifically written in the rules, or having to rule on something that's not covered by the book. Slinging around DM fiat like it's going out of style constitutes as house ruling to me.

Obviously, others don't feel the same way, which is fine. This is really just a discussion about semantics and technicalities, anyway.

What GM fiat? What changes in the rules? There've been none. At all. Just "make ninja" and "use complications." (A very important part of GMing any Mutants & Masterminds game.)

Ok VV, you're right, you win.

I would imagine the same thing that draws people to the Naruto manga: a burning itch to play crazy-stupid, flamboyant and obviously colored ninjas and a blatant disregard for continuity, human relations and coherent writing.

Originally Posted by Barghesto View Post
this is just peoples opinion of the system, and I respect that, but just because you think the rules are not good or are too complicated (which is likely because it takes more than a minute to understand them) is no excuse to call the system bad. It has balance issue, but so does D&D 3.5 and D20 modern, and any system no matter what is tried to balance them. If you dislike it, don't play it, but don't go around giving a system a bad rep too many people will take it to heart and not even give the system a fair chance. Also, I don't see anyone trying to make another ND20 system because they will be too lazy to put forth the effort it takes to do it.
I'd argue that thinking the rules are bad is an excellent reason to say so. I'm a little confused by your reasoning. People have a right to express their displeasure with one brand or another - even when they're actual brands, and not a collection of homebrew. If Naruto d20 acquires a bad reputation, it will do so because a large number of people think poorly of it, not because a few people give detailed reviews.

Edit: Weird, I think he deleted that post.

Personally of Anime themed D20, I prefer GitS D20 and Ultima's Bleach D20.

I tried to get into Naruto D20 but simply couldn't grasp at all of it.


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