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Page history last edited by Ian Young 14 years, 2 months ago


A Roleplaying Game of Early Feudal Japan


It is the waning days of Imperial Heian rule and tensions run high between the Taira family in the west and the Minamoto clan in the east.  Infighting revolving around the Imperial court and outright conflicts on the battlefield have become the order of the day.  Against this backdrop, the two clans from the emergent buke class – samurai ready to fight and die at their masters' command – jostle for the right to rule in the nobility's stead.  For this right, only one can survive.






GENPEI is an unofficial supplement to ArtHaus' critically acclaimed roleplaying game, King Arthur Pendragon, which will allow you to explore one of Japan's most fascinating and captivating periods of history.  Founded upon the rules from King Arthur Pendragon, GENPEI's system of Traits and Passions brings to life your character's dramatic conflicts of honor, duty, and obligation.  These rules do not attempt to reproduce the existing rules in full, and to utilise it you will need a copy of King Arthur Pendragon.


GENPEI is set specifically during the period leading up to and immediately following the great civil war from 1180 to 1185.  However, this supplement is written to incorporate the perspective of noh, bunraku, and kabuki theatre, which incorporate a number of obvious anachronisms, primarily of a social nature.  This was done for a number of specific reasons.


First, drawing on non-contemporary and anachronistic sources complements the variety of sources that give rise to and support the Arthurian legends upon which King Arthur Pendragon is based.  Aside from the Heike Monogatari, the theatrical sources from noh, bunraku, and kabuki provide some of the most vivid and dramatic, if not the most historically accurate accounts of the period.  Written during the oppressive Tokugawa period, contemporary social commentary had to be disguised in order to pass the scrutiny of the official censors.  Commonly, contemporary events were re-enacted against classical backdrops, substituting the names of traditional heroes and villains in lieu of intended personalities, but typically leaving the contemporary social conventions and technologies intact.  Thus, one finds reference to the fully formed code of bushido indicated centuries before it had attained its final form.


Second, though intended to specifically address legendary conflict between the Taira and Minamoto culminating in the Genpei War, the inclusion of these anachronistic elements will allow players to ignore this particular time period yet still utilise this supplement to set a campaign in the later Sengoku or Tokugawa periods.


A Note to the Reader

Due to some unforeseen difficulties in the years since I began this project, certain inexplicable holes have occurred in the documents that follow.  Please be patient; in the days and weeks to come, I'll try filling these to the best of my ability and ambition.


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