Old time readers might remember the time when I checked out Wu Xing: the Ninja Crusade by Third Eye Games. Well, I’ve been meaning to write this follow up on the new edition of the game, now just called Ninja Crusade, for a while now and we’re finally getting to it!
What is it?
Ninja Crusade is a fictional asian-flavoured fantasy featuring super-powered martial arts ninjas along the lines of those found in the Naruto and Ninja Scroll anime. In the setting, Ninja are powerful entities that must move in secret as they are subject to the Ninja Crusade, a campaign of eradication initiated by the latest emperor of the Izou Empire to kill off the Ninja.
The game provides players with the tools they need to create their own ninja characters and craft dramatic, engaging stories.
The Ten Clans
It wouldn’t be a good ninja game if it didn’t feature different ninja Clans. Ninja Crusade features Ten of them, each featuring their own brand of special jutsu, or ninja abilities.
Bamboo Herbalists: Genius doctors and thrill-seekers, they are masters of medicinal jutsu
Blazing Dancers: Entertainers, well known for their acrobatic acts and fiery performances
Grasping Shadows: Traditionalists, spies and assassins, they wield power over shadows and stealth
Hidden Strands of Fate: Master manipulators, adept at pulling strings (both literal and political)
Living Chronicle: Historians, keeping knowledge alive in their minds and on their bodies
Pack of the Black Moon: Ranchers and farmers, they are experts on animals, particularly their specially-bred ninja dogs
Recoiling Serpents: Fallen lords, masters of poison and survival in dangerous lands
Virtuous Body Gardeners: Feisty warriors and artists who specialize in tattoo manipulation as their newest art form
Wardens of Equilibrium: Merchant ninja who seek to balance the world and turn a profit at the same time
Will of Iron: Wandering, lone magistrates who believe in invoking justice wherever they go
Ronin: Clanless ninja, composed of exiles from other clans or self-taught ninja
It’s a fun list of interesting Ninja Clans to choose from, and so far all signs point to awesome.
I remember my discomfort for the first edition was in the tone of its writing, and I quote:
I’m also slightly put off by the modern language and concepts used in character dialogue in the fiction parts of the book. One particular vignette for the Blazing Dancers Clan had me strangely bothered when the Ninja offers a fan an autograph. It seemed like a very strange anachronism, and one that kept jarring my suspension of disbelief. Some turns of phrase were also far too informal to match the setting, but I think that’s just my expectations clashing with the setting as intended by the author.
The Introduction seems to be no-nonsense right now, and I’m hoping that it holds.
Next up, we’ll be taking the time to check out character creation, which seems to have taken a route similar to the the Fusion Lifepath system where you organically build your character based off key choices in each phase.
Should be fun!