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"When it comes down to it, Maid RPG is a goddamn weird game."—Ewen Cluney, the translator.
Maid RPG is a Tabletop Game created by Ryo Kamiya in 2004, and brought into English in 2008 by Ewen Cluney and Diamond Sutra. It revolves around the Anime concept of maids, and all its related tropes. The setting could be anywhere, from fantasy to present-day to cyberpunk to space, as long as there are the Maids (players), the Master (the GMPC), and the Mansion (where the adventures take place).
Players choose their character name and age, and roll for everything else. Apart from their Attributes, however, they may reroll anything they want (with the GM's permission), or simply pick and choose from the tables directly. However, the most fun is had when you are forced to randomly generate everything, as the results are often the funniest part of the game.
The English website can be found here.
The original core rulebook is less than 40 pages, but two expansions containing optional rules, Koi Suru Maid (Maids in Love) and Yume Miru Maid (Dreaming Maids) were released in 2005. The English version puts them all together into a book over two hundred pages long. The rules are presented with example skits featuring Demon Maid Hizumi, Perverted Maid Yugami, and Ryo Kamiya himself. Later optional rules include commentary from Mistress Nejiri, EB II, and Y.
Has the distinction of being the first Japanese tabletop RPG ever to be officially brought to the West.
Though there is little to no inhibition to playing as The Loonie like few other TTRPGS, it still allows itself to retain dark, dramatic, romantic, or horror-esque capabilities.
This game is also notable in that nearly any anime trope you can think of (especially character-related ones) are built into the rules somehow.
Provides examples of:
- Action Girl - Most Maids are these by default.
- Anachronism Stew - Robots, spaceships, guns, bazookas, etc, all still work perfectly fine in Wild West/Edo/Medieval periods. On the opposite end, space age, cyber networks, and alternate planets still have a great supply of medieval swords/katanas.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes - You work hard to please your master in all capacities, and one of the things you can spend Favor on? Clothes! Ability shifting clothes, but clothes nonetheless!
- Armor Is Useless - Armor is one of the aforementioned ability changing clothes your character can have. Although it does grant some protection in combat, characters without it are actually safer from harm than characters with it.
- Unless it's Bikini Armor.
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever - Several different whatevers, from giant killer robots to space monsters to maids.
- Author Avatar / Author Stand In - Kamiya.
- Bad Ass Old Guy - Y, well past his prime, is more than capable of kicking ass with a pistol and a katana!
- Bandage Babe - Optional clothing.
- Battle Butler - All butlers created with the optional rules tend towards this by default. Y is this from the start, though he doesn't tend to do much.
- BFS: The Big-Ass Anime Sword item.
- Biting the Handkerchief - In one of the example roleplays under Seduction, Yugami is seen biting the handkerchief over the fact that Hizumi is being seduced by the Mistress again.
- Butt Monkey - Kamiya isn't exactly well-liked, despite how he wrote everyone into existence.
- Chainsaw Good - One of the possible weapons
- Chandler's Law - The Random Events tables run on this.
- Clingy Jealous Girl - Yugami Aino. "Waaaah! My sempai is sullied!"
- Clothes Make the Superman - The Costume Change special rules allow the maid to wear other sets of clothes or uniforms, gaining the abilities of the relevant profession in the process.
- Clothing Damage - If a maid loses/dirties/damages any part of her uniform (but especially the frilly headdress), she gets penalties to her rolls. This is cumulative.
- Corner of Woe - Kamiya is implied to wander into one after the maids confirm that he's a pervert.
- Cross Dresser - Possible character traits are "Actually A Guy" for maids, and "A Girl" for butlers.
- Cute Monster Girl - Hizumi Kokorono, demon by accident.
- Determinator - By default if you have high Will. Alternatively, the Immune To Pain power.
- Everyone Is Bi - "Heterosexuals" can have their preferences quickly overridden if the seducer rolls a higher die.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- Gender Bender - A couple Random Events in Fantasy settings involve some maids changing gender because of a spell/potion/accident/etc.
- Girls Love - If you use the Seduction and Romance rules.
- Girl with Psycho Weapon - Knives, axes, whips, chainsaws, and more than several other weapons. Craziness optional.
- GMPC - Required, in the form of the Master.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath - EB II isn't a nice girl to begin with, but in the Afterwords she starts channeling Saw on Kamiya.
- Hilarity Ensues - A "typical" example game using only the core rules ends up like this.
- Ork maids, see Recycled in Space below.
- Actually name-checked when referring to a failing roll to remove another character's Adamantium Chastity Belt.
- Hollywood Healing - To ludicrous levels. Injuries (which invoke Stress, rather than actual HP) can be healed simply by being comforted.
- Humongous Mecha - One of the items a maid can acquire.
- Improbable Weapon User - Most of the Weapons tables are weapon-like, but the rest are rather less so.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon - One of the weapons is Summoning; as in, devil summoning. Another is a combat helicopter. Hell, they even have an Eva Unit!
- Intimate Healing - A character loses stress by doing lovey dovey stuff with their partner.
- Japanese Vampire - Nejiri.
- Jet Pack - The Rocket Pack in the Great List of Items.
- Jumped the Shark - Lampshaded.
Hizumi: See this? [mimes] This is a shark. [mimes jumping over it] And here I am jumping over it. I'm jumping over a shark here. Shark? Jumping. Over.
- Kuudere - EB II. She has yet to have a genuine "dere" moment.
- Lesbian Vampire - Nejiri, the "replacement Mistress" for Kamiya.
- Level Up At Intimacy 5 - Maids and butlers can gain favor from a source other than the master by being seduced. This is particularly powerful if two maids seduce each other.
- Lovable Sex Maniac - Yugami.
- Love Makes You Crazy / Love Makes You Evil - The Tragedy Events.
- Manly Tears - One of the Butler powers.
- Meido - Obviously.
- Miko - Besides having Shrine Maiden attire as a possible costume, the rulebook also has a scenario that cast the players as mikos (instead of maids), who have to fight a Sealed Evil in a Can.
- Ninja Maid
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot - What the player characters tend to be, very easily. It's possible to be a perfectly normal and realistic maid, but it's even more possible to be something else entirely.
- Also, the example characters Hizumi, Yugami, and EB II.
- With random tables, it's possible to be something that completely contradicts itself. Like having brown skin and being an albino.
- No Fourth Wall - The example characters don't just demonstrate the rules, they roll the dice themselves and comment on the results in between roleplaying.
- Off the Rails - You can spend Favor to cause something to happen. The results are usually this. When the GM bursts out laughing after looking at the result you know it's good.
- Older Than They Look / Younger Than They Look - Possible character traits. Almost exactly as listed ("Looks Older" and "Looks Younger").
- Only a Flesh Wound - It's almost impossible to die in the game outside of plot mandation--injuries just give you Stress.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Masami Onji, a scholarly genius in the replay "Maids at the End of the World".
- Pragmatic Adaptation - The translator had to alter or cut several things due to being too creepy when translated directly, or simply too obscurely or weirdly Japanese. The changes were all documented in the "Nun-Approved Version" extra PDF.
- Rage Against the Author - The maids have a low opinion of Kamiya.
- Recycled in Space - If anyone is hesitant to try this game, think of it as Paranoia, but with maids.
- Completely compatible with Dark Heresy.
- Renaissance Man: Masami Onji, a scholarly genius in the replay "Maids at the End of the World".
- Robot Girl - Maid Robot Electric-motored Battle-maiden Code 0002, aka EB II.
- Schoolgirl Lesbians - Yugami. Turns into Psycho Lesbian after Nejiri "demonstrates" the Seduction rules on Hizumi.
- ShoutOut/TabletopGames - A great many, not all of which survived translation.
- Sole Surviving Scientist: Masami Onji, the Master trying to restore the Earth in the replay "Maids at the End of the World".
- Stalker with a Crush - Yugami has "Stalker" as one of her traits.
- Take That - Cluney has some emphatic opinions on Japanophiles, if the Desu Note is any indication.
- Technicolour Eyes - Eye colour picks are taken from the same table as the maid uniform colours (and Hair Colours, if so desired). It's possible to have transparent eyes.
- Tender Tears - Maid power.
- Theory of Narrative Causality
- "Three Laws"-Compliant - EB II claims to be this way.
- Transforming Mecha - A result of the event table can cause the mansion to turn into one.
- Vapor Wear - Literally. Two words: Transparent uniforms.
- Weapon of Choice - What weapon you choose has no game mechanic impact.
- Wholesome Crossdresser - One of the possible Maid qualities is 'Actually A Guy' and one of the possible butler qualities is 'A Girl'. Also, the costume rules only rarely specify that they must be worn by girls, and usually add 'or at least androgynous.'
- Widget Series - See quote.
- Yakuza - Optional backstory or setting.
- You All Work In A Mansion
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair - You can have a hair color of the entire spectrum--even transparent or rainbow!
- Hizumi herself has blue hair.
- You Lose At Zero Trust