Phantasm Adventure

ファンタズム・アドベンチャー “Phantasm Adventure” (1988) is a fantasy RPG designed by Troy Christensen, an American attending school in Japan. The translation credits suggest Christensen wrote the rules in English. They aren’t available in English to my knowledge, though an advanced version of the game did get published in both Japanese and English. The cover art is by Akihiro Yamada, who also did the covers for the four supplements (not pictured) Dainihonkaiga published in support of the game.

PA offers 75 playable races. You can be a human, elf, dwarf, minotaur, centaur, goblin, giant, fairy, insect man, treant, slime, or even something resembling a xorn. Pretty much any sentient monster in Dungeons & Dragons is playable. A d100 roll is made and a table accounting for race is consulted to determine the character’s homeland. Six d100 rolls are then made to determine arm strength, stamina, bravery, cleverness, intelligence, and ego. Both race and homeland contribute bonuses or penalties to the six abilities.

The character next chooses his 6 skills. Or the character can forego 3 skills—or 5 skills depending on the character’s homeland—to have a capacity for magic instead. However, the character does not start out able to cast spells. Experience points must be acquired and spent to learn them. The character also chooses one of six clans to belong to, and rolls a d10 to determine rank in the clan, with higher standing conferring more benefits. One can spend money to improve rank. Finally, the character can belong to a religious cult. Members of the cult can be one of twenty levels. Characters start at the first level and spend experience points to advance.

PA’s biggest claim to fame might be that it allows you to play a catgirl. D&D has “rakastas” and Traveller has “aslan”, but sadly these are humans with cat heads. A proper catgirl is a human with cat ears and a tail. Catgirls are a special case of kemonomimi (people with animal ears and a tail). Having a human face enhances the emotional effect and makes cosplay easier. In PA cat people can see in the dark and have retractable claws which give them a +1 when attacking barehanded.

Perfect bound A4 softcover, 152 pp.

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