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Kamen Rider-inspired Japanese tabletop RPG Convictor Drive is getting an English release

Launching on Kickstarter next month.

A tabletop RPG inspired by classic Japanese TV series Kamen Rider is headed west with an English-language release.

The excellently-titled Convictor Drive: Armored by Grief draws from Shotaro Ishinomori’s hugely influential series about a masked motorcycle-riding superhero - the spiritual predecessor to later ‘transforming hero’ series such as Power Rangers - as well as taking cues from more modern superhero series such as My Hero Academia.

Players create characters under the employ of a private security company called DRIVE, which equips them with the ability to use the force of personal pain and loss to transform into Convictors - robot-like exoskeletons that grant them superhuman strength and speed.

As their crime-fighting alter-egos, the players must take on missions in the game’s futuristic setting of the Yokohama Zone, a city used as a test site for robotic ‘mechatronics’ in the form of AI assistants, flying drones and more.

Missions can be solved through a mixture of investigation and action, with the RPG split into a dedicated investigation phase - during which players can identify suspects by gathering clues - and combat, which plays out on a three-by-three grid to represent the verticality gained by using their Convictor exoskeletons.

10-sided dice drive the game, with players rolling to calculate their success in a mission - extra dice are added to the pool by roleplaying and utilising their Convictors’ abilities. Missions can range from finding missing people to tackling gangs in the city, with failed mission attempts strengthening the hurdles faced by the party.

Individual missions contribute towards foiling the plot of an overarching mastermind; each completed mission provides the group with an intel card that sheds light on the villain’s identity, leading to a finale climax phase.

Wheels takes a look at the RPG bigger than D&D in Japan

As you’d hope, players can fully customise their robotic shells with a variety of different body parts and weaponry, speccing their Convictor around brute force, agility or a mix of traits. Specific attachments such as flight units or rollers can provide an advantage during fights, while armour can help defend against both material and energy attacks, determined via another dice roll.

The combat system allows positioning and targeting to play a role during battles by aiding players - or putting them in a sticky spot. If things get too tight, each Convictor can perform a unique ‘Convictor Drive’ skill to help turn the tide.

The upcoming RPG comes from the folks behind Picaresque Roman, last year’s Yakuza-flavoured mix of social deduction game and roleplaying game. The English localisation will be handled by LionWing Publishing.

Convictor Drive will hit Kickstarter on November 1st, ahead of a future release date yet to be announced. The English-language release will include new art from lead illustrator Temi, replacing the mixture of multiple artists and styles in the original Japanese release.

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About the Author
Matt Jarvis avatar

Matt Jarvis


After starting his career writing about music, films and video games for various places, Matt spent many years as a technology, PC and video game journalist before writing about tabletop games as the editor of Tabletop Gaming magazine. He joined Dicebreaker as editor-in-chief in 2019, and has been trying to convince the rest of the team to play Diplomacy since.