ワープス “WARPS” (1988) is the creation of Masayuki Onuki, the translator of the Dungeons & Dragons basic set. WARPS presents a generic set of rules intended to be supplemented by additional box sets, nine of which were produced by Tsukuda Hobby. A second edition of the game was announced but never published because of Onuki’s death in 1993 when he was only 28 years old.
WARPS is an initialism for Wild Adventure Role Playing Game. The name recalls GURPS, and like GURPS the game uses a hex grid for combat, but beyond that the games have little in common mechanically. Of greater influence was the James Bond RPG by Victory Games, a translation of which was being sold in Japan and from which the idea of “hero points” are taken. Onuki saw in hero points a way to give game play a dramatic quality like the plots of books and TV.
In WARPS characters have 12 ability scores generated by percentile roles. The game has no classes, but a character can advance to the 100,000th level if 100 billion experience points are earned. Players are free to choose the age of their characters, and this has consequences in terms of ability score bonuses and penalties. Age also determines how many rolls a character can make on a table containing 100 skills, which incidentally tend to be the kind of thing one might learn in college or at a trade school. Hit points start at 3d10 and max out at 10d10.
Characters have a “direct hit” score and an “evasion score”, both which improve with level. When attacking, a character must roll under his direct hit score with 2d6. The defender also rolls 2d6 and compares with his evasion score. If the difference is greater than the attacker’s difference, he evades the attack. Also, both the attacker and defender can incur critical hits or fumbles by rolling a 12 or 2 respectively.
There are 16 heroic actions available to first level characters and hero points can be spent to perform them. There is a heroic action which allows the player to ask a question of the GM, who must answer truthfully. Another heroic action allows a character to sacrifice himself so that the other players can overcome an obstacle.
A short guide to monsters is provided at the back of the rule book. Among the described monsters are wolf, cloud man, “yamata no orochi”, pteranodon, merman, and Loch Ness monster.
• rulebook, B5 pamphlet, 64 pp.
• master screen, 28cm x 59cm
• 30 character sheets, top-tearing B5 pad
• two hex mats, 26cm x 20cm
• dice: 2d10, 2d6