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Check Out This Unofficial Persona Tabletop Game

Jack Gardner



The Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series stands as one of the most popular JRPG series these days. The series typically focuses on mild-mannered high school students who lead double lives as wielders of powerful entities known as personas. Persona 5 proved to be one of the most popular games of 2017, so it is no surprise that fans have been creating art and projects based off of the series. One of those fans, James Austin, created a flexible set of rules to govern a creative tabletop roleplaying campaign. 


Currently the game sits at version 0.2, meaning that there are still a number of alterations planned for Shin Megami Tensei: Persona The Tabletop RPG. As it stands now, the rules cover character creation, persona creation, character progression, a basic compendium of skills, combat, status ailments, items, an overview of downtime activity examples, examples of how "the other world" works, detailing social links, and some ideas about how to expand the game in interesting ways. It's not comprehensive, occasionally filling gaps in its contents by suggesting players refer to the Persona wiki pages. However,


One of the interesting aspects of the rule set is how flexible it seems to be. Many tabletops can fall into the trap of rule complexity equating compelling gameplay. Not so in James Austin's adaptation of Persona. The entire system relies on the rolls of six-sided die, a break from your typical d12 or d20-based games. Keeping it simple opens the game up to newcomers to tabletop roleplaying in general while encouraging players to go bananas with their created characters and game masters to go as big and as crazy as they can manage with where they want to take the fiction of Persona. 


Overall, it seems to be a fairly light RPG system that a creative group could really turn into something interesting. Austin has set up a Tumblr where he plans to post updates to the game as he continues developing the idea. You can download version 0.2 and the character sheets for free. A printer-friendly version is available for people who still rely on pen and paper for their tabletop fix. He also welcomes feedback to help improve the ongoing development of the unofficial tabletop adaptation of Persona. 

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