Origins of Mundus

by Ville Huohvanainen

Mundus RPG is an Asian themed fantasy tabletop RPG. Drawing inspiration from Japanese history, myths, anime and manga, Mundus RPG is played in the land of Tentaika - a realm filled with samurais, demons, political intrigue and epic adventure. The game system uses six-sided dice. The deep and interesting combat driven game system creates exciting and lethal challenges throughout all stages of gameplay.

Key features:

Diverse Character Creation
* Build your character using the Life Module System or by point-buy system
* Life Module System defines your character's childhood and upbringing creating a rich and interesting history
* Endless different combinations for character creation to maximize the game's life cycle

Detailed and diverse Combat System
* The detailed battle system offers satisfying gameplay from mundane samurai duels to epic anime style battles between powerful demigods
* The Channeling System allows players to use diverse tactics in combat
* Create your unique fighting style by combining various options from mystical arcane arts or spiritual power (Genki) to overpowering your enemies with pure samurai skills
* The 5 second battle turns create a variety of options for each combat sequence

Awe-inspiring Land of Tentaika
* 8 prefectures, 5 casts, 3 planes, 10 Gods, several factions, one shogun
* Pseudo-Japanese world with a system that supports all kinds of anime inspired gaming you can imagine
* Ready made characters and monsters with rich backgrounds

PDF details:

* 416 pages in full color
* Fully bookmarked
* Beautiful art to inspire your campaigns

Video teaser:

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At the time of writing this it has been roughly two months since Mundus RPG was finished. After almost 3 years of development this two months has given us a chance to step back a bit and take a look at our game from a different perspective. The finished game is definitely nothing like what we thought it would be when we started working on it. For us the biggest thing is probably the scale of the project, as it grew from a small weekend project to a released 400 page book. Even though there are still things we would have liked to work on, and there would probably be until the end of the world, the game still became something larger and definitely better than we ever hoped it could be.

--- NOTE: The first chapter is kind of an intro for the main text and thus it has a bit of a different feel compared to the main part of the text, thus putting a pic here to separate it from the main text a bit would not be a bad idea

It all begun as a short weekend project to create a simple post-apocalyptic fantasy game with elements from acrobatic wuxia combat. However when we started we didn’t anticipate that our little project would live through the next week and beyond.

The post-apocalyptic theme quickly faded away as we started fleshing out the world of Mundus. Most of the early development centered on creating a rule system for the core elements of the game.

We draw most of our inspiration from obvious sources such as samurai and wuxia movies, sh?nen anime (Bleach, Dragon Ball etc.) and video games such as Jade Empire. As a funny fact we had never played fantasy tabletop RPGs before making Mundus RPG. One reason for making Mundus RPG in the first place was that we didn’t find a fantasy tabletop RPG which would have suited our taste.

One of the first core elements we designed was channeling. The channeling arts were the center of the combat system from the beginning. The concept of channeling was originally centered on two “elements”. These black and white facets of channeling represented the offensive and defensive aspects of the art, however these were soon replaced by the two skills that are in the finished game. These skills represent the character’s ability to control his life force inside and outside of his body. The design process of channeling faced balancing problems as the skill is extremely powerful. We intentionally left this imbalance in the game as we thought that it would only reflect the reality that a fighter who can boost his speed, strength and movements past human limits for a short period of time would have a clear advantage in small scale combat.

From the beginning we wanted to center our rules around combat. This in mind we left the rules for social interaction very simple and the idea is that social interaction should be actually roleplayed instead of just rolling dice to decide the outcome.The combat rules were in a constant state of change throughout the development process. One of the few things that has remained the same from the day one is the 2d6 dice system. In the end our combat system ended up being detailed and slow paced. As such, it is best suited for 1vs1 to 3vs3 battles.

The design process of the lore started off by drawing rough versions of the most important maps and creating the rules of the universe and the deciding on the origin of the planes of existence. The lore for the game was developed through constant discussions between the designers about the world, the rules of the universe and politics of different in-game factions and a large part of the lore was also created by playing the game. As we had our development play sessions we would stop to discuss the lore every now and then. We usually tried to leave the minor things to be decided outside our play sessions but in the end we usually didn’t. This has led to us having a large collection of minor lore that has been designed unnecessarily deeply.

We were lucky that we had many friends who were interested in playing role-playing games. We hosted weekly sessions of Mundus RPG during the whole development process and we had our own weekly developer sessions. We also had many chances to play the game with players who were new to traditional tabletop role-playing.

Mundus was in development for roughly 2 years and 7 months. The book was put together during the last 6 months of development and during these 6 months our development team was increased to 4 members from the original two designers. In addition to two designers our team had one artist and layout designer. Earlier in the project we also received some funding which we used to order creature art from an artist we know.

--- NOTE: The last chapter is kind of an outro for the main text and thus it has a bit of a different feel compared to the main part of the text, thus putting a pic here to separate it from the main text a bit would not be a bad idea

When looking back at the last three years or so it is hard to believe what we managed to achieve. Designing a game of this size with just two people is not something a sane person would knowingly decide on and getting the book done without the irreplaceable help from our layout designer and artist would have been borderline impossible. It was not only once or twice that we thought that we would never get the game done and released but here we are. Retrospectively it is easy to say what we could have done better and as such this project has been a great learning experience but most importantly for us these past years are definitely unforgettable.