In keeping with the beginner-friendly nature of the game, the Game Master’s section starts off by defining the role of the Game Master in an RPG before moving on to the advice. It’s a simple section but useful in grounding new players with the concept and what they’re supposed to do with this game if they’re GMing.
What follows next is advice on making an Adventure, with a focus on key points of the story, and a few neat little practical points of GMing advice such as not outright revealing the source of the problem, and leaving it to the players to discover it for themselves. Again, this might be common sense to more experienced GMs, but it’s valuable for new GMs to have this kind of advice.
NPCs are also handled here, along with a Threat Value calculation for balancing encounters. It’s an interesting system to use, just to make sure that the player characters have a fighting chance since it’s easy for a GM to go overboard when building bad guys.
The last part handles running the game, with sage advice from the author on how to handle plots, adding things that will make people care about their characters and pacing. Finally, experience point gain and advancement is also explained here.
Sample NPCs are also provided at the end of the book, mostly villains that you can just drop into any game you’re running. It’s handy for GMs as a reference as well of what kind of villains can be put into the game as well.
OVA: the Anime Role-Playing Game is a solid beginner-level RPG that has enough flexibility to handle wacky ideas from the anime crowd, while retaining enough crunch to feel like enough of a “game” to satisfy the average rpg gamer.
The system is easy to learn, and feels very quick to implement. The customizability of the characters is a big plus, and the system manages to handle all the bizarre situations of anime gaming without breaking a sweat.
With a clean layout, pleasing artwork, and a host of sample characters to work with OVA is a polished work that feels very professional and worth every dollar. Definitely a must by and a great gateway game to use in Anime and Gaming Conventions to get new players into the hobby.