Project KIPO

A fan RPG by Beau Gilbert

Basics

Project Kipo is a d6-based tabletop roleplaying game set in the world of Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts. In it, each player creates a character with 4 basic stats: Strength, Speed, Wits, and Wiles. To do anything in the game, you’ll roll a number of dice equal to your most relevant stat and count your successful rolls. A roll of 5 or 6 is a success. 

 

1 success is enough for a relatively easy task

2 successes for a task of medium difficulty (that requires some skill)

3 successes for a hard task

4 successes for a very hard task

5 successes for a nearly impossible task

 

There is a fifth skill as well, called Trust, that works to augment your main skills. Using Trust, you can accomplish things with your teammates that you could never manage on your own. It’s, like, a lesson, you know?

 

Character Creation

Rundown: Decide your stats, pick your Core, pick a background, pick a background ability, pick a second ability or a signature item, and answer the Central Questions. You should also write a short backstory for your character. GMs may reward players who do this with a signature item (of the GM’s choosing).

 

Every stat starts at 1, you have 7 points to apply when you create your character. You can’t set any stat higher than 4 at first, but they can go higher later.    

 

Choose one of your 4 main stats to be your Core (usually your highest stat). How this works is detailed below, but for now know that your Core will be lowered or raised as your character tires out or rests. 

 

Answer these Central Questions:

What are you looking for? (whether your character knows it or not)

What do you believe?

 

Real people have more than one answer to each of those questions, but pick one thing that feels central to your character to be the main one. Whenever you make a roll that is directly related to either answer, roll an extra die. Whenever you make a roll that is directly opposed to either answer, roll 1 fewer die (minimum of 1). You can change your answer to either or both questions whenever you level up. 

 

Backgrounds:

Each background comes with a set of Abilities to choose from. When you create your character you’ll pick at least one of these (2 if you forego a signature item). You can always choose the others later whenever you would gain a new Ability. Some Backgrounds also allow you to choose from an expanded list of Signature Items if you decide to start with one of those. 

 

Burrow Kid

Scholar - You roll 1 extra die when you make Wits checks to learn or recall something, and you can re-roll 1 failure.  

Stronger Together - Whenever you give or receive aid with Trust, roll 1 extra die.

 

Surface Human

Survivor - You roll one extra die whenever you make a check to hide, search, or track. 

Fighter - Each round in combat, you may re-roll up to 2 dice.

 

Mod Frog

Crouching Frog - Once per chase, you can move twice your Speed in a round.

Hidden Tongue - You have a dexterous tongue you can shoot out in front of you. In combat you can use this, once per round, after dice have been rolled, to pull 1 die from a teammate’s pile to your own. In chases you can take an action to roll 1d6 and grab onto anything or anyone that far away (or closer).

You may choose a fancy suit as your starting signature item.

 

Carnival Rat

Stronger Together - Whenever you give or receive aid with Trust, roll 1 extra die.

Savvy - Whenever you use your Wiles to persuade someone, 4’s count as successes. 

 

Umlaut Snake

Vibration Sense - You can feel vibrations through the ground. Creatures that try to sneak up on you succeed only on rolls of 6.

Venomous - Once per fight, if you roll more successes than your enemy pool, you can knock out twice as many dice as you normally would. You are also immune to all effects of poison or venom.

 

Timber Cats

Tough - You can re-roll 1 die for every Strength check.

Claws - You can climb up things made of wood without making a check. You roll 1 extra die when you punch. 

You may choose an axe as your starting signature item. 

 

Newton Wolf

Stronger Together - Whenever you give or receive aid with Trust, roll 1 extra die.

Scholar - You roll 1 extra die when you make Wits checks to learn or recall something, and you can re-roll 1 failure.  

Hunter - You roll all checks for tracking or stalking a creature with 1 extra die. If you attack a creature who doesn’t know you’re there, roll 2 extra dice. 

 

Dave

Metamorphosis - After every check, roll a d6. If you roll the number for the next stage in your progression, immediately molt and become that stage. You also change state if you would die. When you do, your stats recover as if you have rested. After molting, you can choose to immediately roll again to see if you would molt to the next stage. This can continue as long as you keep succeeding.

  1. Larva - You can’t do anything other than cry, coo, and sleep, and you can’t choose which you do. Every time you roll to molt, if you stay or become a baby, roll a second time. On a 1 or 2, cry. You’re loud and annoying. On a 3 or 4, coo. You’re small and adorable. On a 5 or 6, sleep. Same effect as cooing, but you don’t know it because you’re asleep. 

  2. Grub - All of your stats except Trust are at -1. Your Trust stat is at +1.

  3. Teenager - No change to your stats.

  4. Adult - No change to your stats.

  5. Super - All of your stats except Trust are at +2. You can fly. Every time you roll to change stage, roll twice. If either die is a 6, move on to the next stage.

  6. Old - All of your stats are at -2.

Start with no signature items, and no pants. Never wear pants, Dave.

 

Fitness Raccoon

In Shape and Denial - All Strength or Speed checks outside of combat succeed on 4’s. But whenever there is immediate danger, make Wits checks with 2 fewer dice.

 

TheaOtter

Thank You 5 - Whenever you roll a 5 on a Wiles check to perform, it counts as two successes.

Faith in the Ensemble - Whenever you receive aid from someone via Trust, you can re-roll up 2 dice.

 

Dubstep Bee

Lights and Sounds - Once per fight, before rolling, you can choose to temporarily blind and/or deafen the enemies in your pool. For that round, your enemy pool doesn’t roll 2 of its dice (minimum of 0).

You can fly.

 

Glamrock Hamster

Run Into Danger - You roll 1 extra die on all Wits and Wiles checks while in mortal peril.

Run Out of Danger - You roll 1 extra die on all Strength and Speed checks made to flee from mortal peril.

Squishy - You can squeeze through tight spaces, and you can never lost more than 1 Core point at a time.

 

Scooter Skunk

Stink Cloud - Once per fight, before rolling, you can choose to spray noxious gas at the enemies in your pool. For that round, your enemy pool doesn’t roll 1 of its dice (minimum of 0). Once per chase, you can choose to spray behind you, adding 2 to your (or your group’s) Speed for the round. If you are being pursued, your chasers also roll 1 fewer die for the round.

You may choose a scooter as your starting signature item. 

 

Hummingbomber

Nectar Chemist - Every session, you can make 1 nectar bomb.

Aerial Agility - You roll 1 extra die on all Speed checks while in the air.

You may choose a full nectar bomb bandolier as your starting signature item. 

You can fly. 

 

Primate Courtier

Naturally Strong - You can climb most surfaces at your normal Speed without making any checks. In addition, Strength checks made to carry or lift things succeed on 4’s as well.

Manners - Whenever you make a Wiles check to charm another creature, you can re-roll up to 2 dice. 

You may choose a french fancy suit as your starting signature item. (It’s a regular fancy suit, but French.)

 

Anything else you can think of

To create your own mute, pick an animal and either make a pun on its name (as in Theotter) or take a natural characteristic of that animal and add to it the human version of that (as in the wolves - who howl at the moon - becoming astronomers). For best results, do both (as in Beats Bees).

 

 

More about Stats & Actions

Stats:

Strength - climbing, jumping, lifting, punching, and anything else that makes sense. 

Speed - dodging, chasing, avoiding damage if you fall, stealth, and anything else that makes sense.

Wits - investigating, noticing, learning, recalling, stealth (if it makes more sense than Speed in context), and anything else that makes sense.

Wiles - persuading, performing, charming, intimidating, and… you get it.

 

Trust - Unlike the other stats, your Trust is not how many dice you roll when you use it, but how many points you have available to use. Whenever you or a teammate do something that requires a roll, you can both choose to spend a point of Trust to lend or receive aid. If you and your teammate both spend a point, one of you can lend the dice from a relevant stat to the other character, to help them accomplish their goal. The character receiving aid rolls their own dice as well as whatever dice have been lent to them, adding all the successes together.

 

Core - A character’s Core is their central, driving attribute. It’s what they use to accomplish most things they accomplish. If you haven’t already, pick a stat (any of the other 5) to act as your Core. During fights, chases, or for other reasons your GM may decide, your character’s Core might be lowered by 1 or more. 

 

While your character’s Core is lowered, the stat you chose to tie to it should be treated as being that much lower than normal. This represents your character taking hits, tiring out, and generally becoming less effective. If your Core drops to 0, your character passes out. If all characters pass out, the group might be taken hostage, left to rot, or forced to face some other dangerous fate of the GM’s design, but no player character ever dies in Project KIPO.

 

You regain 1 point to your Core (up to your max) for each scene your character is in in which you don’t lose any Core points (i.e. if you don’t fight, you heal). Unless it wouldn’t make sense to the story, you always start each new session with your maximum Core.

 

Complex Tasks

For complex tasks, the GM may ask a player to roll 2 stats that would be necessary to complete it. If so, the GM should consider the difficulty for each stat independently, then add that together as the total number of successes needed from the combined roll.

 

For example, Wolf has been separated from the group by a collapsed tunnel. She thinks she could dig her way through, but she needs to figure out where she can safely dig so that it doesn’t collapse more, making it even harder. The GM could call for her to make a combined Strength and Wits roll to see how well she manages the task. 

 

Combat

Fighting is common in the world of Wonderbeasts, but it’s no more important than any other part of the game. That said, the rules for combat won’t be short, but hopefully they’ll feel relatively straightforward. Players should expect to fight in one or two battles most sessions, which should last not much longer in the real world than they do in the imaginary world. Fighting in the show moves at a fast pace, with much of the action happening simultaneously. I hope these rules help you capture that feeling.

 

First, as the GM, determine how many and how difficult the enemies are that the players are fighting. Assemble a pool of dice based on that information. The table below tells you how many dice to add for each enemy.

 

With the exception of bosses, there’s no need to keep track of which dice belong to which enemy in the pool. (I recommend using a different color dice set for the boss to help with this.) You need to be able to tell which characters are fighting a boss, both for the story and because bosses will have special abilities. 

 

Boss Abilities work like player character Abilities, and may even be identical in some cases. Every boss should have at least 1 combat Ability and perhaps 1 or more non-combat Abilities as well. At the end of the combat section, I’ve listed some sample Boss Abilities that are not available to players.

 

Once a dice pool is assembled, players will take turns choosing opponents to face off against. The characters with the highest Speed pick first. If there’s a tie, whoever acts first goes first. Arbitrate beyond that as you see fit, but it doesn’t matter too much.

 

A player can pick any number of dice to face off against (even 0 or 1), and declare how they intend to face them (i.e. what stat they’re using). As such, the dice from one enemy might be split amongst several player characters. Imagine this as those characters taking turns or working together to attack the same enemy. Players can use this time to communicate short strategic messages in character to other player’s characters (use your judgement).

 

Once all players have decided how much of the fight to take on (and how to do so), the GM should distribute any remaining dice as they see fit. If there are no remaining dice in the pool when it’s a players turn to pick, they may take dice from an ally’s pool or immediately spend a Trust to join an ally against their pool.

 

Optional Rule: Wait until after rolling to distribute unchosen dice. Only do this if you want the fight to be particularly tough. This can represent the baddies who weren’t fully occupied seeing an opportunity and pouncing on it. 

 

Once everyone has their portion of the dice pool chosen, each player character will secretly decide whether or not to use Trust. Everybody should mark their decision with their Trust token and hide it away until rolling has happened. Note that, as characters shouted strategies to each other earlier, players may have a good idea of whether or not they should use Trust in a given round. Hopefully they’ll get better at reading their teammates’ cues over time. They may even develop codes to indicate exactly what they want to each other. All of this is perfectly legal, as long as it happens naturally and in character.

 

Next, players and the GM simultaneously roll all piles of dice, with players rolling for the stat they chose earlier. Players will check their successes against the successes rolled by the dice they were faced off against. The greater number wins. Before determining results though, everyone should reveal whether they decided to use Trust. Anyone who chose to use it immediately spends one Trust, regardless of if they get to use it. Any characters who spent a Trust can give or receive aid to or from another player who spent a Trust. The character giving aid must use a stat other than the one they’re using for their own pool, or use the same stat but roll 1 fewer die than they did for their pool.

 

For every success over your opposing pile, remove 1 die from it. For every success under your opposing pile, remove 1 Core from your character. Once all players have determined what happened mechanically in their corner of the fight, work together (GM and players) to describe narratively what happened. This is the point, so don’t skimp on the fun here.

 

If there are people left standing on both sides of the fight, each side has the chance to run, surrender, or try to keep fighting. If one side runs, you may wish to start a CHASE - see the rules for that below.

 

Sample Boss Abilities

Heavy Hitter - The boss’s successes in combat count as double.

Can’t Disappoint the Boss - Any henchmen dice in the same pool as any boss dice succeed on 4’s as well.

Intimidating Presence - In combat, players only succeed against the boss on 6’s.

 

Chases

Speed rules in chases. At the start of a chase, the GM determines how much of a lead the character(s) in front have on their pursuers. This lead will be a number, from 3-10. (If it would be smaller or larger, don’t bother with the chase.) Every round, each character will move their Speed. If the pursuers have a higher Speed, they catch up, if not, they fall behind. If several characters are using the same source of Speed, as in riding a dragonfly together, only the Speed of the character in control of the source matters.

 

To make things interesting, each round every character can take an action to either help them or hinder their opponents. These could include throwing down something behind you, trying to spot a short cut, or anything else a character might think of. Roll for these as usual (no combined rolls), either adding your successes to your Speed or subtracting your successes from your opponents Speed

 

You can dodge as your action (Speed) to try and nullify anything that might slow you down. If you do, cancel each success against you with a success of your own. Any excess successes you rolled make you look cooler (but don’t otherwise help).

 

The GM should keep track of how far each character (or group) has moved throughout the chase, imposing a challenge of some sort whenever anyone (or either the first or last character) reaches certain milestones. For example, once you’ve moved 20, you have to run along a ledge behind a waterfall for the next 10 movement. The wet stones slow your Speed by half unless you figure out a way to counteract the slipperiness.

 

If the chased characters every get more than 10 away from their pursuers, they escape. If the pursuers catch up, well, that’s what they do.

 

Leveling Up

Rather than tracking experience points, your GM will pay attention to how your character grows and changes over time based on the challenges they face. One way to measure that is to pay attention to a character’s Core Questions and how their relationship to those questions changes. This is a flexible system that requires personal judgement, so there’s no way to say when exactly you’ll level up. Just work on it with your GM. In general, you should expect to level up once or twice per “season”, with a season consisting of 1 large story arc (perhaps around 10 play sessions, depending on length). No one should ever be more than 1 level above or below their teammates.

 

At each new level, add 1 point to a stat of your choice and change either or both of your Core Question answers (if you want to). Gain 1 new Ability as well, either from your Background list or from the list available to everyone. If you lost or destroyed a signature item as part of the leveling up process, you may immediately bond with a new signature item as well.

 

Alternative Rule: If you don't like the strange flux of "personal growth" as a measure for, well, personal growth, or you find it doesn't fit with your players, feel free to use a more standardized XP system. I recommend giving each player 1 XP per enemy they "defeat" (either in batle or contentious dialogue). Under this system, your players should probably level up every 25 points (no need for exponential growth here).

 

Items/Companions

You can have up to 2 signature items. An item becomes your signature item by bonding with it over the course of an adventure. You can hold up to 2 extra items at any point, but you must get rid of them by the end of the adventure in which you picked them up, unless you have something that can carry them. 

 

Because your bond is so strong with a signature item, you can only get rid of it if it’s lost or destroyed. If so, you are devastated, and must roll with 1 fewer die for all checks that aren’t related to finding it or avenging it. This penalty ends when you find it or when 10 scenes have passed in-game.

 

Items:

Backpack - you can stash up to 4 other items in here

Cool Jacket - you can stash up to 2 small items in the pockets, and you can re-roll 1 failure on any Wiles check. 

Instrument (any kind) - Wiles checks to perform or charm are made with 2 extra dice.

Hand Stopper/Jump rope - When you get this item, choose one of the following: 

a) Once per combat, when you knock any dice out of your enemy pool, you can “hand stop” up to that many dice remaining in your pool. Dice tied up in this way, cannot be rolled for 2 rounds.

b) This sure is a fun toy to bond over with your friends. Your Trust score is 1 higher.

If this is your signature item, you get both a and b.

Fighting Sticks/Devil sticks - When you get this item choose one of the following: 

a) Re-roll up to 1 die per combat round. In addition, up to 3 times in a combat, when you would knock out a die from your enemy pool, you can choose to instead throw a stick and knock out 1 die from a teammate’s pool. When you use all 3, you no longer get the re-roll this item provides.

b) You can dance with these! And they’re so pretty! Wow! Up to 3 times per session, you can re-roll an entire Wiles check.

If this is your signature item, you get both a and b.

Walkman - Play a song in real life and choose any stat. As long as the song lasts, you roll 2 extra dice on all checks for that skill. You can use this up to twice a session. 

Bike - In chases, you can travel twice your Speed in a round. You can carry 1 passenger, but your Speed is 2 lower per round if you do.

Animal Cloak - Re-roll up to 1 die on all checks made to hide. Roll 1 extra die on Wiles checks made to intimidate a mute of the same kind as the cloak.

Cool Sneakers - Roll 1 extra die on all Speed checks made to dodge or jump, and re-roll up to 1 die on any Wiles check.

Mask - Roll 2 extra dice on all Wiles checks made to deceive while wearing the mask.

Long Staff - In combat, roll 2 extra dice per round. You can attach something to one end of the staff to give it another feature.

 

You can only start with these items if stated in your background:

Nectar Bomb - explodes, breaking stuff. Roll an appropriate check to see how well you broke stuff. In combat, this deals 2 extra damage to every character and their enemy pools. Players can avoid this damage by spending a point of Trust (when they would normally spend it).

Nectar Bomb bandolier - holds up to 3 nectar bombs.

Axe - Attacks are made with Strength and rolled with 1 extra die. Strength checks made to chop down wooden objects are made with 2 extra dice.

Fancy Suit - Roll 1 extra die on all Wiles checks, and re-roll up to 1 die.

Scooter - In chases, your Speed is 7. You can carry up to 2 passengers, but your Speed is 1 lower per passenger.

Tranquilizing Crossbow - Out of combat, roll Wits and knock out half as many unsuspecting enemies as successes rolled (rounded down). Once per round in combat, before dice have been rolled, temporarily knock out 1 die from any enemy pool. This die returns next round.

 

Companions:

Companions work the same way as signature items, but with feelings!

Dragonfly - In chases, your Speed is 6, and you can fly. You can carry up to 3 passenger, but your Speed is 1 lower per passenger. In addition, the dragonfly can swoop into save you from a dire situation once per session.

Baby Boar - Increase your Trust by 1.

Flies - A pair of flies counts as 1 companion. They will do menial tasks for you, and if you wear them on your feet, you can fly with a Speed of 5. If you get another pair, you can attach all 4 to a car and fly it at that Speed instead.

 

If you have a specific item/companion in mind that isn’t listed above, just talk about how to best implement it with your GM.

Abilities

The following Abilities are available to anyone at anytime when they would gain a new Ability.

 

Super Nerd - Whenever you make a Wits check to understand or recall something about science or math, 4’s count as successes.

Parkour - Roll 2 extra dice on all Speed or Strength checks made to leap, vault, climb, or fall safely. 

Materialist - You can have up to 3 signature items/companions. (Take this Ability a second time to upgrade it to 4.)

Sprinter - Double your Speed for any purpose up to 3 times per session. 

Scholar - You roll 1 extra die when you make Wits checks to learn or recall something, and you can re-roll up to 1 die. 

Survivor - You roll 1 extra die whenever you make a check to hide, search, or track. 

Fighter - Each round in combat, you may re-roll up to 2 dice.

Stronger Together - Whenever you give or receive aid with Trust, roll 1 extra die.

Unshakable Faith - When you spend a Trust point, you can lend or receive aid to/from people who didn’t also spend a Trust point.

Awesome Friend - If you use Trust and it makes the difference between success and failure, both you and your teammate regain the Trust point you spent.

Savvy - Whenever you use your Wiles to persuade someone, 4’s count as successes. 

Tough - You can re-roll 1 die for every Strength check.

Hunter - You roll all checks for tracking or stalking a creature with 1 extra die. If you attack a creature who doesn’t know you’re there, roll 2 extra dice. 

Run Into Danger - You roll 1 extra die on all Wits and Wiles checks while in mortal peril.

Run Out of Danger - You roll 1 extra die on all Strength and Speed checks made to flee from mortal peril.

Aerial Agility - You roll 1 extra die on all Speed checks while in the air.* *must be able to fly

Manners - Whenever you make a Wiles check to charm another creature, you can re-roll up to 2 failures. 

ENEMY DIFFICULTY

Easy

Average

Hard

Boss

DICE ADDED

2

3

4

5+