Monday, November 22, 2010

Make Your Kingdom


May be the coolest RPG of all time.

I'm talking about the Japanese RPG by Hobby Base and Adventure Planning Service entitled Meikyuu Kingdom, which comes with the English phonetic subtitle 'Make You Kingdom'. The title is one of those multilingual puns the Japanese are so fond of as the word 'meikyuu' translates to 'labyrinth'. So essentially, its Labyrinth Kingdom, a reference to the Endless Labyrinth dungeons that permeate the world in the games setting (though setting may not be the right word).

As one of my players said upon hearing the games background and premise, "This game has one fluffy macguffin." He is so right.

Basically a magical 'genesis effect' called the 'Endless Dungeon Hazard' transformed all the underground places of the world (as well as some of the sea and the sky) into an interconnecting network of trap and monster filled dungeons. Think your megadungeon is big? Try a planet. Yeah baby.

The game plays like one part RPG, one part RTS game and one part crazy parody. The players play the ruler and members of court who venture into these dungeons that way Starfleet allows its command crew to beam down to hostile alien planets. Each character has a 'Class', such as Ruler, Knight, Ninja, Oracle, Servant or Priest (there are others). This gives them one skill at the start from a list of different abilities. The skills are more like special abilities or powers in some cases. They then get a 'job'. This is a more mundane (though not necessarily) occupation that come with only one skill each. Options include but are not limited to Cook, Doctor, Eunuch, Hunter, Thief and several more. Hunters have "Hunting" which enables them to find things your party needs to survive. Cook gives you "Apron", the ability to turn slain monster parts into food. Doctors can heal.

The players also create their home country of origin, determining how many people they have and a number of other elements. One of the most interesting is what they call 'Rooms', which are basically locations in one or more buildings in your Kingdom with special properties that can help (or in some rare cases hinder) the PC party before they venture into the Labyrinths.

Actually play is like a classic dungeon crawl with a resource management element as you bring followers with you into the dungeons. Followers are disposable NPC goons of various types that you can use to help fight monsters, set off traps or otherwise get red-shirted into oblivion. Note however that there are limitations and lots of dead followers means a smaller population for your fictional nation. Finding treasure can not only give your characters nifty new weapons and magic potions but can also make your country richer. Over a campaign the country with grow and get more rooms and people. Feels like Ogre Battle meets Suikoden meets classic D&D.

We had a blast trying it out recently but didn't have enough players to may it really shine. After the game I did some research on the 'net and realized the game has way more potential then I even thought of at first. Spin-offs include tactical card games (Meikyuu Conquest) and supplements designed to expand the role playing elements (Meikyuu Chronicle). Also, the standard approach to the game is to randomly roll everything, including ability and the name of your country. Be prepared to defend the sovereign nation of "The United States of Champion Land" or "St. Banana Kingdom".

I could write volumes more about this rules-lite piece of gaming genius but I'll let you do the research. I'm already thinking of some expanded elements, house rules and wondering why there is no Sci-Fi supplement where you land on alien planets with your crew since many aspects of the premise and rules remind me of Star Trek. Meikyuu Cosmos anyone?

Barking Alien


  1. Holy shit, that sounds awesome. There's no way to get an English copy yet, is there?

  2. Alas no but I'm cobbling together a homebrew based on my experience and the numerous notes I've found on the internet.

    More on that in the near future.

    1. We're on the future, where are those notes!? *Sparkling eyes of curiosity*

  3. Some people had already fan translate the game