This chapter is meant to introduce the basic ideas of what Ranma 1/2 and roleplaying are to those who may be familiar with one, the other, or neither. If you still are totally lost by the time you've finished this you might as well delete this file as it is eating up useful space on your hard drive.
Roleplaying is a leisure activity that has come under more scrutiny than most - mainly because of the well publicized actions of a few persons who were mentally unbalanced. While their actions were tragic they had nothing to do with the fact that they played games. Everyday people crack - some violently, most not - and to one degree or another all of us live "lives of quiet desperation." Role playing helps us escape that. Most complaints have arisen to surround AD&D, a fairly simple game system that is very action oriented and appeals to many adolescent youths who are looking for an activity their parents will hate because it is new. However, as the first role players begin reaching their forties and fifties new games have arisen - more complicated, more plot driven and many more adult. This particular one is none of these.
This game is based on the Ranma 1/2 stories and uses modifications of the Street Fighter Storyteller rules to allow the players a medium to experience the world of Ranma 1/2. The world of Ranma 1/2 presents a group of exceptional late adolescents. Trained in martial arts as a means unto itself, these youths are faced with problems that violence only aggravates.
To date, the animation includes at least 143 episodes, three theatrical release movies and eight direct to video releases (OVAs) and some video specials. The manga has recently been finished and stands at thrity-eight volumes. It's ending is very open ended and coupled with the rich background, makes Ranma 1/2 an ideal gaming setting. More fan fictions have been written than even I am willing to read. You can find posters, music CDs, computer games, CD-ROMs, t- shirts, and every kind of computer file imaginable. Anime dedicated nets have message bases, BBSes, and internet sites dedicated to Ranma 1/2.
By playing the Ranma 1/2 roleplaying game you join the thousands of people who love Ranma 1/2 by adding to the sum of it even if you aren't writing a program, drawing a picture or writing a fan fiction. Playing a game, watching a movie, reading a book - these are all creative acts that every one performs on a daily basis. You do not have to create a tangible object to create something - the very experience you share with others when you play with them is art. Think of the artist Christo, who does huge production projects that stay up for only a few days at a time and then markets documentaries - in his art the final product is not so important as the process itself and the experience of roleplaying is of the same nature.
The basic premise of Ranma 1/2 is that Saotome Ranma is a seventeen year old male who has been raised since birth by his self absorbed, unethical and stupid father Genma to be a man among men and martial artist. His father dragging him to China and dumping him into a cursed spring which turns him female when hit with cold water doesn't simplify his life. Upon returning to Japan he is forcibly engaged to a very cute, but man hater, martial artist named Tendo Akane. Although Ranma loves Akane he has trouble communicating with her. That's where the story begins....
If you want to explore sources of the world of Ranma 1/2 you should check out Ranma related files at various places.
the Ranma 1/2 Universe at
If you are looking for more information on Ranma 1/2 I would suggest you ask around in anime (Japanese animation) related message groups. On the internet check rec.arts.anime or try to find the Fidonet anime discussion group on a local BBS. Try local comic stores to buy the Ranma 1/2 manga (manga is what we would call comic books) published by Viz (www.viz.com) or have a book store order any of the five collected editions presently out. A retail video store might carry a selection of anime and you can buy the subtitled (Collector's Edition) or dubbed Ranma 1/2 tapes distributed in the U.S. by Viz Video.
At times in this document you will also hear about a game called Street Fighter. It is a popular video game released for a variety of game systems by Capcom. White Wolf released a role playing game of it under the Storyteller system which has rules for fantastic - mythical styled martial arts, and which I adapted into a system that could represent Ranma 1/2. Many fans of Ranma 1/2 are also Street Fighter fans. However, there is no relationship between Ranma 1/2 and Street Fighter. If you want to learn a little more about it check out Azrael's Street Fighter Page and Dominion's Street Fighter Page, both excellent.
You will need a few things to be able to play the game. What you will need : paper, pencils, some ten sided dice, an imagination, this document, and the Street Fighter source book.