Picaresque Roman: A Requiem for Rogues is played with 4-5 people, as well as a gamemaster. Each person makes their own player character (PC) with a quick, streamlined system, then competes with each other in addition to the GM to earn the highest amount of "influence" each game. Over the course of a session, players can earn secret info that gives them a leg up on the other PCs, as well as make deals with or even steal from them. Regardless of whether or not you decide to help or hinder your fellow rogue, all that matters at the end of the day is who's got the most influence of the group, which means stealing from the sought-after "VIP" character who's under the GM's control each game and is often the focal point of the scenario or story.
Do watch out though, because just to make things interesting, one of the players is secretly a traitor working for the VIP. If you can't figure out who it is before the end of the game, you might just find all your hard-earned influence gone—stolen by the traitor!
Picaresque Roman: A Requiem for Rogues takes place in an area of Japan that isn't located on any map; an area simply called the City. The City is the nexus where crime, corruption, and power meet. It's got all sorts too, from hustlers to assassins to embezzlers, and more. Sure, it's got a domed sky, and that's a little weird, and the oldest and tallest building in the area is the Clock Tower with its hands stuck at 4:32, but there's just nowhere else like it, with its neon-lit streets filled with vice and temptation.
The game features five core classes (called Main Gigs) that represent what the PCs do in the City. The five Main Gigs are Yakuza, Info Broker, Swindler, Heartbreaker, and Gambler. Each Main Gig comes with its own unique list of skills, as well as instructions on how to assign its stats.
There are also Side Gigs to choose as well. These represent either what the PCs used to do before coming to the City, or what they still do as a side hustle. Side Gigs provide their own unique skill, as well as a boost to a single stat. With 21 Side Gigs in total, players can play their Heartbreaker any number of ways. Are they an idol, used to fame? A martial artist that can't help but draw eyes? Or maybe they're a cynical lawyer. It's all up to the player!
Picaresque Roman: A Requiem for Rogues has been influenced by a number of popular video games and anime series. Franchises and shows such as Yakuza, Baccano!, and Black Lagoon can all be felt in the game's theme, visual tone, and gameplay approach.
Picaresque Roman is in its fifth edition in Japan and is considered one of the most popular Japanese doujin (aka self-published) TRPGs on the market. Thus, we are beyond excited to help bring it to the West so that even more players get a chance to experience all it has to offer. For the book's English release, we worked with the original design team to add over a dozen new pieces of art (all from the latest edition's illustrator, Takamu) as well as a host of graphic design and layout elements. We are also presenting the game in hardcover form, providing two different variations, in addition to offering a slew of Kickstarter accessories and extras. The English version will retain the Japanese release's original 7.1" x 10.1" sizing in addition to its manga-style black-and-white presentation.