There’s a Shin Megami Tensei tabletop RPG? Yes please

I dibs on recruiting Mermaid.

4 mins read
A screenshot from Shin Megami Tensei 3

I had no idea that there was a Shin Megami Tensei tabletop RPG, but there is indeed one, and a press release just landed in my inbox today to say that it was being localised into English for the first time.

The tabletop game is called Tokyo Conception, and is based on Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, and was originally released back in 2004 in Japan. Yes, we needed to wait 20 years to be able to play this in English.

It does seem to have all the qualities of Shin Megami Tensei. According to the press release:

●     EXQUISITE WORLD DETAIL – Tokyo Conception is based on the world of Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne™. The game designers have recreated every region with great attention to detail. The book offers nearly 100 pages of stats for every demon, including bosses like Ahriman, Baal Avatar, Noah, and Kagutsuchi itself, and plenty of seeds for brand-new adventures.

●     A BOOK SUITABLE FOR ALL SKILL LEVELS – For video game enthusiasts who enjoy Japanese RPGs and are interested in exploring the world of tabletop roleplaying games, Tokyo Conception is an excellent starting point, as no prior knowledge of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise is needed to enjoy the game. For existing and seasoned TTPRG enthusiasts, Tokyo Conception contains plenty of familiar gameplay features, compelling pre-made scenarios, engaging mechanics, and a deep character advancement system that can be played over days, weeks, months, or longer!

●     CLASSES AND PROGRESSION – In Tokyo Conception, players start out by choosing one of three character classes: Human, Fiend, or Demon, with each class possessing its own unique strengths and weaknesses.

●     FACTION DYNAMICS – While a lot of Tokyo Conception deals with fighting demons, it definitely doesn’t stop there. Kagutsuchi still burns brightly in the middle of the Vortex World, and it awaits to judge those who would offer their Reason as the basis for the new world. Will players support one of the three existing factions? Help the manikins develop their own Reason? Or will they use the robust faction rules to establish their very own? The choice is theirs… if they have the will.

●     DEMON NEGOTIATION – Similar to the video game series, players must carefully navigate Tokyo Conception’s Talk Flowchart and use an array of talk skills to engage in conversation and negotiate with demons to earn items, gems, or even acquire their Demon Cards. Make a wrong move, though, and the demon may attack or even flee entirely!

I actually think that Shin Megami Tensei is an excellent franchise for a tabletop RPG – the dark world and variety of monsters and creatures gives it a similar quality as Dungeons & Dragons, and the mechanical depth of the games would translate well to an analogue medium.

I’ll be picking this up. And who knows, in 20 years from now, they might localise the Elden Ring tabletop RPG ruleset I picked up from Japan last year.

Anyhow. I digress. Pre-orders are now open for both the hardcover and PDF versions of the rulebook.

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Matt S. is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of DDNet. He's been writing about games for over 20 years, including a book, but is perhaps best-known for being the high priest of the Church of Hatsune Miku.

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