We inspected the merchandise..... made our purchase..... examined the documentation..... perused the graphics..... sampled the interface..... tested game play..... mapped flow charts..... benchmarked response..... clocked repeatability..... estimated variations..... discussed and argued over some very fine points..... then finally reached a mutual conclusion.....

Four Stars!!!

It's not often that we declare a product a "must buy," so we won't. This is a "required buy."

Sailor Moon RPG Cover"The Sailor Moon Role-Playing Game and Resource Book" from the Guardians Of Order, is simply the best RPG game we've seen (and one of the best products ever created) in the "Sailor Moon" universe. Finally a game (and resource book) created by actual fans of the anime and not by some hired guns of some huge corporation!

Although delayed for several months (and we can see why) it was released just in time for Christmas of 1998. It's the perfect gift at anytime of the year for the "Sailor Moon" fan in your family. The Resource Book is filled with facts and pictures from the Japanese series and explains many of the elements origin (some of which survived or didn't survive in the English dubbed version). Fascinating and illuminating reading!

You can purchase copies of this RPG at anime stores, at some hobby shops (which specialize in games) and directly from The Guardians Of Order. Delivery from them will take a few weeks.

Besides the Resource Book, there is the actual RPG game. These games (for those of you new to the subject) use only dice and notepads. It's important that game players know the characters--otherwise they'll be lost!

For ultimate game playing enjoyability get several fans together, serve cola, chips & dip, and then spin some original background music (BGM) from the series/features! (May we suggest COCC 11777?)

The game is very simple and easy to play, however our review below is not! Be forewarned, you'll need to be very familiar with the world of RPG to fully appreciate and understand our review! This is for professionals only! (To explain everything would double its length.)

Sailor Moon Role-Playing Action!

The Guardians Of Order "Sailor Moon" Role Playing Game is designed to have fewer rolls of the dice for faster action, open ended rules for variety of play with character traits & attributes which are very appropriate for Anime.

Rather than have a character's abilities controlled by a big table of stats determined by multiple dice rolls, the BESM system features only three stats determined by point distribution; the rest of the character's skills are completely point-allocated.

A nice quiet drive could turn into adventure when Black Moon forces attack!
Now you too can be like Haruka & Michiru!
So, whereas in Dungeons & Dragons you could roll a wimpy 8 in Strength (one of about eight such triple-die rolls) and have the guy next to you (trying for a Wizard character) roll a 16 by sheer luck, in BESM you roll two dice and add 10 to them, then distribute the points amongst the three stats (Body, Mind, and Soul) however you want them to be for your character.

Then, you take a number of Attribute Points predetermined by the Game Master and allocate them to "buy" skills for your character, ranging from "Acrobatics" (one point per level) to "Own Big Robot" (four points per level). Not only can you select from the skills given in the book, but you can (and are encouraged to) talk to the Game Master about getting Unique Attributes, such as "Infinite Headbands."

For each level you buy of a skill, its effect increases; for instance, "Own a Big Robot" Level 1 would be like a Hardsuit from Bubblegum Crisis whereas Level 2 would be Escaflowne, Level 3 would be an Eva, etc.

Then you take Character Defects, which are negative traits that give you more points to spend on good skills. These can be just as fun as the positive attributes; for example, "Easily Distracted" (That guy looks just like my old boyfriend!) or a Unique Defect like "Obligations of a Goddess."

Hmmm, I don't know about all my abilities being regulated by just a few numbers.
If you ever wondered what makes Tux tick, now you'll have access to the numbers that shape his world.
The character's combat ability, health points, and mana points are determined by their stats and skills, thus doing all the calculation before the game actually starts. This is a huge benefit to gameplay. For example, in Dungeons & Dragons you would have to consult a big table in the instructions and various parts of your character and the monster's stats to see what you have to roll on a 20-sided dice to hit it, then look on a table to see what type of dice you have to roll to see how much damage you do.

In BESM, you roll less than your Combat Value (which is predetermined) on two normal dice, then the opponent gets to do the same; if you succeed and he fails, you deal damage equal to the same Combat Value plus a set number for the weapon you're using.

Not only is this much simpler than most gaming systems, it also saves a lot of time.

For instance, in Palladium's Robotech RPG, say you're piloting a Raidar X Desdroid (a light mecha with two laser cannons on each arm) and you want to attack something. Each laser arm fires 8 times; for each shot of each arm, you roll a 20-sided die to hit, the opponent rolls a 20-sided die to dodge, then rolls a 20-sided die to roll with impact, then you roll two 10-sided dice to determine damage. This comes to 80 die being rolled just in your turn; the other combatants still have to roll their attacks. As you can imagine, this takes a good long time, during which players are bound to get bored or fall asleep.

In BESM, however, you make only one roll of two normal dice to see if you hit, and your opponent does the same to see if they dodge. No dice are rolled for damage; they come right from the weapon's damage on a rulebook chart, which hopefully you've written right next to the weapon on your character sheet. Thus your combat action takes maybe ten seconds to complete.

The loose rules and emphasis on roleplaying are really what make BESM shine in the role of an Anime RPG. If you've ever tried to create an Anime character (and we have) in Shadowrun or GURPS (which are two of the more open-ended RPGs out there), you know how frustrating it can be when the rules just plain don't allow for what you're trying to do.

Yes, now you too can give Katsy a new, unique voice.
Play anyone in Sailor Moon's universe, or create your own unique character.
In BESM, the rules are loose enough that you can create virtually any character that could conceivably fit into an Anime. Then, the game is focused toward letting you play out an Anime type plotline; the outrageous comedy bits and ridiculous stunts that make Anime so fun to watch can be carried out in this system without hindrance and without knowing a tangled web of figures and limitations.

And now for what you're really wondering: How well is Sailor Moon implemented? Surprisingly well, actually. In an additional character creation step, you select whether you want your character to be a Dark / Negaverse warrior, a Knight (like Tuxedo Mask or Moonlight Knight) or a Sailor Senshi.

You then go through a set of sub-attributes and pick out the character's powers, element of influence for Senshi (Mercury = Water, Mars = Fire, etc), an emotion of influence for a Knight (Hope for Tuxedo Mask, etc) and various pertinent skills like Mind Control (Prince Diamond), Drain Energy (Jadeite) or Summon Servant (the four generals, the four sisters and Emerald). Using these, your character will possess the abilities that mark a Sailor Moon character and be able to use them in a still-simple system.

Congratulations to the Guardians Of Order for getting it right!

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