Tag Archives: Maid RPG

Maid RPG Update: Viva La Revolution!

Maid RPG is now available through Indie Press Revolution!

They should have print copies in stock some time in early November, but you can preorder if you like, and you can order the PDF through IPR right now. That’ll pretty much be the only way to get it while Andy’s off in Japan.

PDF Version
Print Version (Pre-Order)
Print + PDF

This should also make it easier for retailers to get a hold of copies to sell next month. I know some of the folks at my awesome local game store (Game Kastle) are eagerly awaiting it. Plus, you know, you can brows tons of other kickass games.

I Do Not Feel Awesome

Some various small updates rolled into one:

We’ve started working on preparing the extra Maid RPG scenarios that didn’t make it into the book. They’ll be no-frills compared to Ben’s awesome layout work for the book, but they’ll be free too.

I’ve been reading Dark Heresy, and enjoying it a lot. Like Maid RPG, it’s an example of random character creation done right. Also, 40K has a really neat setting. It’s just a shame that it took them 20 years to make an RPG version.

Usually Random is trying to do a mini-RPG design challenge on 4chan’s /tg/ board. The original thread has slipped off the board, which is just as well because there was a troll who just couldn’t handle the idea that people might design RPGs because they enjoy designing RPGs, and not for fame and fortune. And who couldn’t grasp the idea that some of us have friends who are not total jerks and are willing to give an unpublished game a chance. Anyway, the deadline for the contest is on the 28th.

I’m about halfway done with the next Kyawaii RPG, which is about stuff that a lot of people will likely find very disturbing or disgusting, a few people will enjoy entirely too much, and a tiny minority will find thought-provoking like I intended. I was thinking about not releasing it, or doing so under a pseudonym, but I’ve been having a shitty time lately because of school, so I don’t really care what people think at the moment.

On a more positive note, I’m making some good progress on Slime Story. It’s like a cross between Tunnels & Trolls and… uh… some indie RPG about high school.

Also, some more Wordles:

Maid RPG Update: Small Things

I probably should have posted about this sooner, but Maid RPG is available for order on the Maid RPG website. It has sold extremely well — I think even faster than it did at GenCon. Also, the PDF is a steal at $8.

The mailing list has like three times the number of people we were expecting (and still growing), so we may put up an actual forum.

For those of you who live in the UK, Leisure Games UK is now an official distributor of Maid RPG. They have a blog post about the details here.

The Nun-Approved file (which has all the stuff we cut out or altered beyond recognition) is now up on the mailing list’s site.

Random Thought #1: Maid RPG is not a Forge/indie game. It’s not a “traditional” game either. That’s a false dichotomy; it’s from the Japanese TRPG scene.

Random Thought #2: A lot of people recoil at the idea of a Maid RPG, but I’ve yet to hear of anyone legitimately giving it a chance and not enjoying it.

Also: Wordle of Maid RPG’s text:

Maid RPG Update: What I’m Working On/What They’re Saying

Maid RPG is out in the world, which is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. My biggest hurdle–getting the actual translation done–is totally out of the way, but there’s still a fair amount of stuff to do. In particular, there are three things I’m working on, with vastly varying degrees of urgency, that will be available for free on the website, and one more thing that Andy is probably going to put together when he has time:

  • Errata: I spent basically two days going over the book looking for errors. Little stuff like that drives me totally crazy. Thankfully errors that actually affect the game rules were few and far between, but we’ll hopefully be turning everyone’s lists of corrections into a proper errata file soon. Regardless, this’ll be integrated into the second printing, which will be for sale (and at the rate things are going, disappear shortly thereafter) in about 2 weeks.
  • Quickstart: After prodding from a Brazilian guy in the comments on this blog, I’ve started working on quickstart rules for Maid RPG. I’m thinking of calling it a “Trainee Edition,” or something similarly thematic but punchier. It’s kind of a low priority at the moment, and I want to commission some original artwork to go with it, but it’s coming along nicely so far. It will include six pre-made maids (each with one thing you customize with a die roll), the basic gameplay rules, a sample master and mansion, the basic Contemporary Random Event table, and original scenario (called “You Can Be Replaced”) by yours truly. In short, it will follow the rough mold of the quickstarts White Wolf does, but with the added fun of being able to run random event-driven sessions with.
  • Nun-Approved File: I might have to think of a better title (it’s a reference to a Monty Python sketch where a nun says, “I prefer the dirty version”), but this is basically a collection of all the stuff we changed or removed for the English version. Some of it was too obscure (like, things where there’s almost no information in English, and in some cases not even that much in Japanese), some of it was just hard to translate in a usable fashion, and some of it a bit too squicky. (For example, several entries in the item table were sex toys). This will have all of that stuff for your… enjoyment.
  • Free Scenarios: There were five scenarios that didn’t make it into the printed rulebook, basically because we had to drop something to get the layout done. Admittedly, we put the scenarios we thought were the cream of the crop into the actual book, but there’s still some entertaining stuff here.
    • Farewell Master: The Master is a girl who is in line to the throne. If the maids don’t do something, their beloved mistress will be sent to a convent through foul play, never to return!
    • The Master Has Amnesia?!: Robbers broke into the mansion about a month ago. The Master is finally recovering, but he can remember very few details of what happened, and very little of anything aside from his own status.
    • Secret Base: The Master is convinced that he’s a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. He’s wrong, but there is something of a mystery waiting to be solved.
    • Tales of Suspense: The Master, Kira Tsukishima, will be starting high school in April. He’s the only child of Yoichiro Tsukishima, and he’ll be the next leader of the Tsukishima Zaibatsu. Since Kira’s high school is far away from the main house, he’s now living with some maids in a villa located a mere 5-minute walk from the campus. The main house has sent a butler, Haru Amajiri. However, Haru is more than she seems, and the maids will have to unravel the mystery before it’s too late.
    • Until the Master Is Born: The “Black Tea King,” Sir Lepton, sleeps eternally. The news spreads through England like wildfire, and his mansion and all of his assets will become someone’s inheritance. His adopted daughter Natalie sinks into an abyss of grief. Julio, Sir Lepton’s real son, has come to claim the inheritance as his own. With Julio intent on taking the mansion, what will become of Natalie and the maids?

What They’re Saying About Maid RPG
For a while now I’ve been making a hobby of Googling “Maid RPG” to see what comes up, plus checking the trackbacks on this blog entirely too often. Here are some of the things people have said about Maid RPG on the internet.
Continue reading Maid RPG Update: What I’m Working On/What They’re Saying

Maid RPG Update: GenCon Indy 2008

I am so out of it right now, and very relieved that I’m done with conventions for the summer. ^_^;

This year’s GenCon was the launch of Maid RPG. We shared a booth with Khepera Publishing and Aetherial Forge, so the booth’s main offerings were Hellas, Ninja Burger, and Maid RPG. Three very different games, but all of them are awesome. Also, Jerry Grayson is a really awesome guy, and hanging out with him, Andy, Renee, Mike, and everyone else at the booth helped make the con for me.

Selling Maid RPG was one of the more amusing things I’ve done in a while. People would walk by the booth, eye it, and as soon as they started to comprehend what they were looking at, they would either be drawn closer like a magnet, or be repulsed like one. The word of mouth and internet buzz apparently paid off, because as this small press/indie stuff goes, it sold like hotcakes. We had a grand total of 70 copies to sell, and they were gone by the end of Saturday. I wish we could’ve had more, but we’ll hopefully have the online orders up and running soon enough, and Andy didn’t have to carry any home.

I ran two scheduled Maid RPG events. One was a purely random game where the Master turned out to be the son of Satan (Special Qualities: Demon, Evil Emperor, Family Hate, in a Post-Apocalyptic world). It was a very random game that sort of hilariously shambled along. Then on Saturday I went to run the Maidenrangers scenario I had so diligently prepared for, and found that I was running it for a familiar bunch of guys from Kentucky who proved that perverting the situation in Maid RPG does not require any random events if you’re determined enough. It was seriously amazing. And one of the tape-recorded everything. Be afraid.

Another cool thing about this project is just that I got to meet a bunch of RPG designers and other people big in the hobby. Several indie game designers stopped by the booth, as well as a good number of podcasters and whatnot. I lost count of how many people came by with Adept Press exhibitor badges (i.e., people who were part of the IPR booth), and I was routinely bumping into people whose names I know from online and from indie games. I also got to chat a little bit with Christopher Clark of Inner City Games, and when I went by the Arc Dream Publishing booth for a copy of Wild Talents they congratulated me on the game and were going on about how jazzed they were about it.

All in all, I’m extremely happy about how things turned out for us at the con. Admittedly I now need to stay home and curl up into a ball for a day or two, but it was easily the best convention experience I’ve had this summer, and for that matter in quite a while. Our friends from Kentucky want me to come again next year, but I really have no goddamn clue where my life will be at next year. If Maid RPG 120% or an English version of Yuuyake Koyake, or something else of mine comes to fruition I could well wind up feeling obligated to do that, but who knows. Andy will definitely be there with Tenra Bansho Zero and Maid RPG for sale, and if my finances permit that’d be enough of an excuse to come to help out.

Up Next For Maid RPG
As happy as I am to have Maid RPG out into the world, I’ve already spotted a few errors. We’ll have to put together an errata file in the very near future, and try to fix as much as possible in time for the next printing. We did as much as we could, but we also wound up giving ourselves tight deadlines for GenCon. If you have a copy and you catch something, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We’re kind of new to this whole “being an RPG publisher” thing, so I have to ask for you patience. The next one will be better.

There’s also the matter of doing the layouts and PDFs for the remaining scenarios that didn’t get into the book, and getting the full website up and running. I don’t know when that’s all going to happen, but it’s definitely on the to-do list.

I’ll be poking at my own original material too, and I intend to give all of it a decent amount of playtesting. However for the time being life is hectic, and I have no idea when I’ll really be able to commit the time needed to it.

One thing I am definitely going to do in the near future is put together a packet of all the stuff for my expanded version of the Maidenrangers scenario, complete with pregens, character sheets, etc. If the scenario sounds neat to you, I’d suggest waiting until I get this stuff ready, since I have a few important additions based on having two runs through it under my belt now.

I didn’t take that many pictures, but here’s what I did get. Mike (the Ninja Burger Mike) took some pictures of things I missed, including this unbelievably cute girl wearing bunny ears and holding a copy of Maid.

Non-Maid RPG stuff after the cut.
Continue reading Maid RPG Update: GenCon Indy 2008

Maid RPG: Update 9 (Goodies!)

The layout for Maid RPG is all done, so at this point we’re pretty much just getting our crap together for GenCon. In the meantime, I have some nifty stuff to share:

Andy’s done an update to the placeholder for the Maid RPG website, with some links, some info, and the English character sheets. We also now have a Maid RPG mailing list set up.

Maid For Yotsuba
For those of you who can stomach such things, a friend of mine (Usually Random) has been running demo games via IRC coordinated through 4chan’s /tg/ board. There are inevitably people who feel the need to denounce the game, often with profanity, but there’s actually a lot more enthusiasm than anything else. There are logs, characters, and even the beginnings of a Sangoku Musou (Dynasty Warriors) mod on this wiki.

My artist friend finished up some printable Maid RPG miniatures he did for me as a birthday present. One set is for the pregens I made for running Maidenrangers of Love and Justice at the con, and the other is a smattering of generic masters and maids, and one butler.

Print them out (preferably on cardstock), cut them out, and glue them together (a glue stick or simple white glue works best), and you’re ready to go.

The original Japanese books had some little comics that for various reasons didn’t make it into the English version. I’ve whipped up some quick translations of these for your amusement. I didn’t flip them, so all of these read right to left.
Continue reading Maid RPG: Update 9 (Goodies!)

Maid RPG: Update 8

Sent to me by Ben, whose girlfriend sent it to him.
Sent to me by Ben, whose girlfriend sent it to him.

We’re now down to the wire for getting the layout done. The good news is that we’re just about there. The bad news is we can’t put all of the adventure scenarios into the book and still get it done on time. BUT, we’re going to make the remaining ones available as free downloads. (Just keep in mind that we put what we felt were all the choicest ones in the book). Everything’s getting to be last-minute, but it is looking to come together on time.

The other thing I’m happy about is that it looks like the book will be very reasonably priced. The three books from the original Japanese version cost 6720 yen (at the current exchange rate that’s about $65), but the US version is looking to be $23 or $24 at GenCon, and slightly higher (not more than $25 if at all possible) afterwards. (The estimate I posted earlier was off by about a dollar, owing to the complexities of calculating printing costs). The book will be about 200 pages (8.5×11 format), including all of the optional rules (butlers, masters, mansions, seduction, costume changes, items, etc.), three replays, and eleven scenarios. It is seriously going to be an incredible value for the amount of stuff you’re getting.

Anyway, as I’ve said before we’ll have a limited print run for GenCon. It’s hard to say how well it will sell, but it could go pretty quickly. After that we’ll probably start up selling from a proper print run around mid to late September.

Title Goes Here
The full English title will be “Maid: The Roleplaying Game” (Maid RPG is thus an abbreviation). It looks very nice on the cover, though being the creature of habit that I am I will still call it Maid RPG.

Well, Duh
The other day Ben Lehman pointed out something so blindingly obvious that I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before. One of the great things about Maid RPG is that it makes the GM’s role especially fun. I mean, you get to be the Master of the House, with a bunch of maids who have to fawn over you if they want to get ahead. You can play the Master however you like, but you’ve got to remember that the point of the core Maid RPG gameplay is that you’re the Master of the Game, and the game is rewarding you for it.

Maid RPG: Update 7

(Updated the update on 7/10)

A short update this time. Things are basically moving smoothly. Kamiya-sensei and his friends were kind enough to offer some feedback on the English translation, which will hopefully help compensate for my inadequacies. Kamiya-sensei has also written an afterword/designer’s notes thing in the form of a conversation between him and E.B. II (the android maid with purple hair from the cover).

Maid RPG at Anime Expo
Although I wound up showing up about half an hour late, I ran a lively session of Maid RPG at Anime Expo on Saturday. I was too tired from life in general to plan out a scenario, so I just did a random event driven thing, though it was the first such game where the players didn’t spam the 1D6 Favor = Random Event button. At one point some Japanese people passed through the tabletop gaming room, saw the little sign that said メイドRPG and commented in Japanese that it looked like something perverted, but rushed off before I could comment back in Japanese. (Andy contends I should’ve told her it was perverted). It was satisfying in a way that the players would occasionally answer cell phone calls with “Dude! I’m playing Maid RPG! It’s awesome! My character is a cyborg fox spirit!”

See the comments for a sketch of the PCs that one of the players commissioned from Persona!

We have a placeholder up for the Maid RPG website, but we’re hoping to have the full thing up and running in the next couple of weeks.

Maidenrangers of Love and Justice
I ran “Maidenrangers of Love and Justice” the other day, which I’m also going to be running in a scheduled game at GenCon (already full in case you’re wondering). It has this neat board game element where you set up a grid of 16 playing cards, which also represent random events. I was lucky that the generic pawns I ordered from Great Hall Games arrived about 2 hours before we started playing. My only complaint about the scenario is that because the PCs are searching rooms for items, and in some cases they’re rolling up to 5 times on the item table, it got exceedingly cumbersome at times, and I was getting a sore throat just from reading off item descriptions. I decided to make a set of item cards for myself. First I tried gluing printouts of the items to index cards, and the result is just plain massive and labor intensive. I then got micro-perforated printable business cards and just printed them out. The result was much better and altogether more managable, but it’s still a deck of 214 cards, with no coating whatsoever, so they’re awfully hard to shuffle. I’d like to be able to provide something like that to people, but (1) printing cards is expensive, especially for an accessory for a game we’re selling on a relatively small scale, and (2) making a PDF of the cards complicates matters a bit, since that’s about 20 pages of copyrighted material. (Of course, owners of the book, or the PDF, would still be able to make their own if they’re so inclined).

If I can swing it, I’m going to have paper miniatures and pregens and such for when I run it at GenCon (since playing with random characters resulted in having some PCs be at odds with the scenario’s goals), and some kind of tokens to mark when someone has searched a room (since only one search is allowed per room).

For this scenario the order in which PCs act becomes important, especially when you have 4+ characters. I think I’m going to implement some kind of initiative rule.

Original Stuff
I keep poking at what I’m tentatively calling “Maid RPG 120%”, which would be a collection of original material for Maid RPG. The “120%” indicates excessive completeness, since in its Japanese incarnation it was a 32-page game with 200 pages of supplementary material, and here I am trying to add more stuff.

  • I’m turning two of my original characters (Kurumi and Kitty) into maids so that I can write Kamiya-esque dialogues to demonstrate the new rules and such.
  • Rules for playing “stewards,” basically butlers, but with a power level more in line with maids. I have a draft of the rules finished, though apart from the Steward Types I sidestepped making any new random tables in favor of using ones from the rules for making butlers or maids.
  • Another costume table, and another item table. I have the costume table all planned out, and I have a little over half the number of item ideas needed to make a new D666 item table.
  • New worlds — Gothic (good for castles, vampires, zombies, etc.), Superheroes, and Bizarro (looks Contemporary, but stuff is truly weird and random under the surface). Combined with the ones from the core rules, this would let you roll a d12 for the World. Also, two new moods: Melodrama (for overblown soap opera stuff) and Intrigue (for conspiracies, assassination attempts, etc.).
  • I have way too many ideas for scenarios. So much so that I’m putting together a table of 36 scenario seeds so I can include some of the ideas that are very by-the-numbers to set up and run (like the one where the Master buys android replacements for each maid, and they have to prove they’re better). There are still some scenarios I want to do full-length writeups for, including multiple prequels to Liberty: The Final Maid Maiden. I also want to put together some scenarios that make good use of the optional rules both from the Japanese version and that I’m working on.
  • I’m planning to try my hand at putting together at least one replay.

If this ever does come to fruition I want to be able to take submissions from fans (who may well produce better material than me), though if it turns into an actual book it will then take actual money to produce, and we’ll have to limit the quantity of material to a reasonable amount.

Maid RPG: Update 6

Editing: Done!
Andy has finished the editing for Maid RPG, after which he has to get back into Tenra (AFAIK still on track for February 2009). He’s been going insane about editing, much like how I’d been going nuts with translating day in and day out, but that part is pretty much done. We did decide to change some things that seriously just went too far outside the realm of good taste (and it took a lot for a given thing to earn that judgment, honestly), and a few (especially in the item table) that were just too ridiculously obscure to Americans (like the references to Akumetsu and Patalliro). Regardless, Andy tried to be subtle about it, or at least find something keeping with the wacky and referential spirit of the original.

Anyway, that means that except for some possible last-minute fine tuning, we are well and truly into the layout stage. Exciting, huh? :3

Actual Play
I ran a scenario from the book, “Black Cat Mansion.” It went rather smoothly and surprisingly quickly. I don’t think I’ve ever once gotten through a game session in 2 hours before. In that scenario, the Master hasn’t shown up yet, so the maids need to use the seduction rules just to have Favor points to accomplish stuff. I got two interesting things from running the scenario. First, the two players who I expected to be the most skeeved out by having their characters seduce each other were the ones who went all-out doing so. The other thing is that the relatively simple, structured setup of the scenario helped the game laser-focus on certain things. That’s almost certainly why the session went by so quickly. It probably wasn’t as immersive, but then (1) being a wacky one-shot with totally random characters will do that anyway, and (2) it likely helped the players get their characters into seduction and shows of affection without feeling embarrassed. And they got the mega-happy ending, although one of the PCs had to get a good roll and then go crazy spending Favor to pull it off.

There are still some details to work out, but we’re planning to put together a free PDF (or some such) for paper miniatures of several maids, plus a handful of masters and butlers. The game in no way requires them, but (1) they’re fun, and (2) they would in fact be handy for the Maidenrangers scenario. Very silly chibi art, and I’m thinking of putting together full stats for each of the characters pictured.

Maid RPG: Update 5

I don’t have any news that’s directly related to Maid RPG, but at FanimeCon I attended an interesting panel called “Butler Cafes Exposed,” hosted by some ladies from Yaoi-Con‘s Cafe Verfuhren (which means “to lead astray” in German). I took some notes, and hopefully I didn’t get anything wrong. It’s interesting as a cultural thing in general, and it provides some insight into why people are so into maids and butlers.

Maid cafes are taking off in Japan (and popping up here and there in the U.S.), and with more and more women otaku out there, it was only natural that someone would try to make an equivalent that appeals to them. Butler and maid cafes have somewhat different aesthetics–black and wood grain versus white and pink–but they are both essentially a place where customers go to spend time in a safe environment and enjoy viewing a fantasy. Although interaction between the customers and staff is an important part of the experience, there is a very prominent divide. Despite the gimmick, these establishments have a proper client-customer relationship in place. Maid/butler cafes are not host clubs. In a host club, a customer is essentially paying someone to be their date, but in a maid or butler cafe the customer is just a customer at a cafe with some added flavor. Maid cafes still outnumber the butler cafes probably by a ratio of 4:1 or so, and in both cases these businesses come and go.

Each cafe creates something of a distinct brand, and the staff creates their own personas for the cafe. They use assumed character names, and build up a personality to play while they’re at work. In a sense, they are drawing on anime, manga, etc. to create a fantasy experience grounded in the media that the customers enjoy so much. The customers are coming home to an English country home, where handsome servants welcome them and wait on them hand and foot. This is a factor in all of these cafes, but in fact butlers are more often than not women playing the part of men. This calls to mind the Takarazuka Revue all-female theater group, and indeed it does create a greater feeling of safety. They tend to push the BL angle and build up a story more than the cafes with actual male staff. Amusingly, there’s also at least one butler cafe with English-speaking Western men for the butlers, and being able to practice your English is one of the selling points.

Maid cafes may be a little different, but the customers of butler cafes are mainly women in their 20s and 30s. I get the impression that the female fans (“otome”) tend to live relatively normal lives and work ordinary jobs, and go get their fix of BL manga and spend time at a butler cafe once a week or once a month. Many of them do serve alcohol, and all of them are fairly expensive. They also don’t allow photography, but will be happy to sell you signed pictures, along with other merchandise. Surprisingly, the women on the panel saw a lot of men at butler cafes. This is partly because a lot of maid and butler cafes are run by the same people (as with Pinafore and Checkmate), and in some cases there would be (for example) a special opening of a butler cafe where you have to buy something at a given maid cafe to get tickets. For that matter, maid and butler cafes alike often have theme nights, and some maid cafes will actually have “butler nights” where the girls who are normally maids dress up as butlers.

The panel also touched on the experiences setting up a butler cafe at an American con. There were the inevitable difficulties with unions and convention center policies getting in the way of doing things that should by all rights be relatively simple. It was also an explosive success the first year, to the point where they were running out of food to serve people, to say nothing of what happened when they lost the hot water. The second year they worked things out to be in a better space, to serve better food and even alcohol, and so on. Also, at some point the owner of Eighty Plus One (a Japanese number pun on the syllables of yaoi, in case you’re wondering) visited the cafe. Some people even said that Verfuhren provided the only decent food they’d eaten all weekend. (Which makes me appreciate the variety and quality of food available in downtown San Jose during Fanime, if nothing else).

So, as I’ve mentioned before, Maid RPG’s butler rules require you to have one single butler among the maids, who is a badass and an island of calm in a sea of chaos. I want to put together rules for “stewards” (the Japanese word, 執事/shitsuji, can mean either), junior butlers who are more on par with maids, though I think I’m going to need some input from fans of such things if I’m going to get it right. Even among the 4chan crowd, there are people who want to do a game purely about butlers, whether because they’d be more comfortable with it, because they’ve been watching Hayate no Gotoku, or just because they really like butlers. In terms of They Are My Noble Masters, the existing butler rules would be perfect for creating the Colonel, and I want to make rules for creating the likes of Ren.