Golden Sky Stories (Japanese: Yuuyake Koyakenote ) is a heartwarming, non-violent Tabletop RPG from Ryo Kamiya and Tsugihagi Honpo. It is translated by Ewen Cluney. If this does not ring a bell, Ryo Kamiya is the one who brought us much weirdness in the form of Maid RPG and Nechronica.
While Golden Sky Stories has its own share of strangeness, compared to the above works, it is much more tame in comparison. (In fact, it is recommended for ages 10 and up.)
The players take on the roles of henge (pronounced: hen-gay), magical animals who live in a small Japanese town, helping the local residents solve their everyday problems. There is no over-arching quest to save the world and usually no fighting or anything that could be traditionally called a villain.
That does not mean that the stories get boring. On the contrary, the honesty of the small everyday occurrences will touch your heart and reinvigorate your spirit.
It is pretty much Iyashikei in RPG form.
It has three English supplements: The Colors of the Sky, featuring additional character types, scenarios, stories, and more, combining translated Japanese GSS material not collected elsewhere with original English material; Faerie Skies, an alternate setting where you play fae in a small English town; and Fantasy Friends, an alternate setting where you play Lighter and Softer versions of Dungeons & Dragons monsters in a fantasy town. It also has three untranslated Japanese supplements, which further expand the available player options (mononokenote , elder henge, and humans respectively)
The English website can be found here.
Provides examples of:
- Actual Pacifist: Almost all henge, as encouraged by the system: any violence will result in a reduction of relation with the town they are in regardless of reason. Everyone in the default setting are these as well.
- Crossover: Backers of the English version's kickstarter got a game that combines elements of this game and Engine Heart, as well as supplements for both this game that ports elements of it to the second edition of OVA, and vice versa for backers of that Kickstarter.
- Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: the goal of the players is to achieve this.
- Cute Witch: Rules for playing one of these, or variations upon the concept, are introduced in The Colors of the Sky. It directly mentions that in a lot of ways they're actually more like the mononoke introduced in a later supplement, but the rules treat them as a special type of henge so you can use them with just the corebook.
- Functional Magic: Henge and mononoke have magical abilities, most of which cost Wonder.
- Iyashikei in RPG form.
- Our Fairies Are Different: Faerie Skies offers six playable types of fae: brownies (helpful fae who like to do things for others); elves (incredibly beautiful nobles); gnomes (industrious crafters associated with the earth); nymphs (beautiful nature fae); pixies (tiny winged tricksters); and pucas (Little Bit Beastly shapeshifters and tricksters).
- Our Mermaids Are Different: Fish henge, introduced in The Colors of the Sky, have a mermaid form as their least costly transformation, with Little Bit Beastly and human forms requiring increasingly more Wonder.
- Power at a Price: At character creation, henge choose from 1-3 weaknesses from a list for their type, each of which comes with a corresponding power.
- Relationship Values: The game has these going for all the PCs' relationships with each other, the town, and its inhabitants. Building up these relationships is important since it gives you more Wonder and Dreams, which can be used for henge magic and social encounters.
- Slice of Life
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: The henge can take multiple forms from the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism, including:
- Warm and Fuzzy Feeling the game.
- Youkai: The player characters in the corebook are all various kinds of henge, although from the more benign variety. Mononoke are introduced in a later Japanese supplement.