Follow TV Tropes


Tabletop Game / Gratuitous Anime Gimmick

Go To

Gratuitous Anime Gimmick is an anime themed Tabletop RPG developed by Matthew Morgan. It was made with the self-admitted goal of invoking as many anime cliches, tropes, and archetypes as humanly possible. It uses its own system, mostly based on class abilities (called "gimmicks") and d10s.

It's available here. It was to receive an expansion focusing more on Horror Anime & Manga called Of Raised Dead & Evening Rituals, but after languishing in Development Hell for quite some time it was announced that it was not happening. You can find the Kickstarter here.


This game provides examples of:

  • Astral Projection: The Spirit Projection gimmick lets characters astrally project themselves. Any character can take it as it's a cross class gimmick, but it's an esper gimmick by default. The Transcendent Tonic lets any character use this ability temporarily.
  • Bad Ass Crew: Characters can acquire one throughout the story, leading groups of followers into battle. Gimmicks can also provide followers, but most of them only give the character one: However, one of the Delinquent's gimmicks is called The Boys, and gives the character a gang of loyal delinquents. A party of player characters is also this.
  • Badass Driver: Any character with points in the Driving skill is this, as it represents the ability to pull off insane stunts while driving. It's even the only skill that explicitly lets the player reroll attack and defense checks. Gun bunnies in particular come with the Driving skill by default, and the Defensive Driving gimmick makes them the best at it, letting them turn cars into armor.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bag of Holding: The Hammerspace Bag is more this than Hammerspace.
  • Baleful Polymorph: The Transmorgrify gimmick lets witches transform both enemies and allies into harmless animals. This is treated as a One-Hit Kill ability against those with low enough HP, but it can also be used on those with more HP, as long as the Witch has their permission. Just in case you want to spy around using the ability.
  • Barrier Warrior: The esper can become this through the use of the Psionic Shell gimmick, which lets them create shields that they can apply to one person. They also gain the ability to create much larger shields of potentially any size after becoming untethered.
  • Blob Monster: Acid gels are a type of monster listed in the book, and are the product of industrial waste.
  • Cat Girl: And cat guys, naturally (although they're much rarer). One of the playable races, officially named the Nyanko. They're a tribal race, but not much else is known about them.
  • Advertisement:
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: The Delinquent class is Made of Iron already. Upon taking the Body of a God gimmick, though, their basically superhuman status is cemented. They can leap through buildings In a Single Bound, are immune to falling damage, can climb up walls like a spider, and sprint "with the speed and force of a semi truck."
  • Critical Existence Failure: This was averted in the first version of the rules: characters would roll one less die for each hit point they lost. Now it is played straight.
  • Cthulhumanoid: The octopodes. They are regarded with hesitance and distrust, but not because they're actively malicious. They're described as peddling strange alien wares and obsessing over local customs.
  • Desperation Attack: Since Version 1.01, instead of rolling one less die, all combat checks are 1 easier for each hit point one loses.
  • Draw Aggro: The gimmick Hey! You! lets the delinquent challenge opponents to fight them, forcing their opponent to attack the delinquent. However, the delinquent must also attack their opponent.
  • Energy Weapon: The mecha pilot class gets access to a Ray Gun and a Laser Blade, and Energy Weapon is also a shonin gimmick that lets you make one. It can be cross-classed, as well.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: The game assumes that the setting is one of these.
  • Fiery Salamander: A listed type of monster. They tend to crowd around hot places within the mountains, and will eat anything: even humans.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The witch has access to a trio of gimmicks: Studied [Fire], {Electricity], and [Ice], that let them control the elements and create potions based on those elements. These can be cross-classed, letting anyone potentially wield the 3 elements: however, only the witch has access to these potions, as they can only be used as long as one possesses the Potions gimmick.
  • Flight, Strength, Heart: Nyanko start with one free rank in the Athletics and Perception skills, possess superhuman speed, quickness, and dexterity, can see in the dark, cling to and climb up walls... and speak the language of cats.
  • Flying Broomstick: The Flying Broom gimmick lets witches fly on staff like objects such as shovels and brooms. They can also grant this ability to other characters using their potions.
  • Functional Magic: Magical girls are an explicit example of Device Magic as their magic comes from arcane gadgets. The way in witches gain their powers can change depending on the setting, and the type of magic that they use isn't so explicitly defined. According to Word of God in the default universe magic can be learned through years of hard work and meticulous practice, but it's hard for most people to wrap their head around. On the other hand some witches have a gift and learn magic much more easily.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The title of the game itself, in addition to the expansion
  • Golem: All one race here, known as golems in version 1.00, and renamed automatons in version 1.01 since they are not necessarily actual golems. If it moves but does not breathe, then it's an automaton.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Delinquents have no formal training in combat, but they're just as effective a fist fighter as any shonin.
  • Gun Fu: The gun bunny class is built almost entirely around making trick shots and dodging bullets.
  • Gun Kata / Deadly Dodging: Bullet Ballet is this.
  • Heroic BSoD: A player character who has has been defeated by accosts goes through one of these, giving the villain a chance to finish them off.
  • Heroic Willpower: Some diseases, poisons, curses, and transformations are less effective on player characters than they are on non-player characters. For example, petrification does not turn player characters into stone, as it makes them slow and awkward instead. Player characters can also resist the effects of Nekomata Disease. While others afflicted with the virus go rabid, player characters do not lose control. However, they have some trouble thinking and speaking straight. Finally, tranquilizers fail to knock out player characters. It becomes difficult for them to continue fighting instead.
  • Hit Points: Player characters only get three, with non-player characters and enemies usually getting more. Player characters make up for it with readily accessible healing, armor, or the ability to just flat out ignore damage.
    • Normally any attack will do exactly 1 HP in damage. Characters can deal bonus damage by playing creatively or exploiting enemy weaknesses, but player characters will never take more than 1 HP in damage.note 
  • Humongous Mecha: The mecha pilot class. The average size of a mecha in this setting is around 12-20 feet.
  • Improvised Weapon: The delinquent can reroll attack checks made using improvised weapons after picking up the Improvised Weapon gimmick, although the weapon will break afterwards.
  • Invisibility Cloak: The Sneaking Suit artifact is a technological variant of this.
  • Japanese Delinquents: Both types can be found in this game: delinquent is a character class that can be part of either category, while bozosoku gang members are listed as an enemy type in the bestiary. The delinquent character class in particular is extremely tough, primarily because they're criminals in a world where the ghetto is filled with monsters.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The Chi Blast gimmick lets shonin fire energy blasts by default, but they can also apply a variety of additional effects to them. Normally this would result in them burning an equal amount of points, and forces them to make an additional Powerful check at a higher difficulty depending on how many effects they add. They can, however, avoid this every once and a while by shouting the name of the attack out loud. So if you're playing with a shonin with this gimmick expect to hear stuff like this often.
  • Klingons Love Shakespeare: In the default setting, many extraterrestials find Earth culture fascinating. Unfortunately the reverse is generally not true, particularly in Jippon.
  • The Klutz: A character with the "Clumsy" quirk. However, since quirks can be serious character flaws that let the player fail important checks or take undue risks in order to regain burned points, the results are not necessarily cute or hilarious.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Besides the Nyanko, there are also the Usagi, who have bunny ears. They come from the heavily militarized culture of Usaag and are defined by their impatient attitude. While gun bunny is a real life word with it's own etymology, here gunslingers are called gun bunnies because of all the Usagi mercenaries and gunrunners.
  • Made of Iron: All characters fit this, but the delinquent class is built around this. Both of its base gimmicks allow it to ignore restraints, curses, poisons, illusions, and a whole mess of other impairments, including straight up damage. Not because the delinquent is supernatural, but because the Delinquent is just that tough.
  • Mad Scientist: The expansion will include mad scientists as a new class.
  • Magical Girl: One of the playable classes. The normal girl form and magical girl form have different abilities, and a magical girl's identity is kept secret with magic... even if she doesn't do anything to hide it.
  • Magnetism Manipulation: Witches with the Studied [Electricity] Gimmick can brew potions which grant Hollywood-style magnetic powers at the potential cost of Power Incontinence.
  • Man on Fire: While normally upon drinking a fire potion made by a witch a character becomes Wreathed in Flames, it has a potential side effect of simply setting that person on fire for a brief period.
  • Mind over Matter: The Telekinesis gimmick lets espers lift objects, up to 500 lbs. They can go over this limit while untethered as long as they pass a Powerful check.
  • Muggle: The everyguy class has no magic, psychic power, mecha, or even the incredible physique of the Delinquent. As a result, the class' gimmicks alter the game's meta, altering turn orders or deciding who's getting attacked this round. The player has a great deal of power; the character has none.
  • Multi-Armed Multitasking: Octopodes are capable of this.
  • Nature Hero: The primal class. The class mixes druidic powers such as communing with nature and manipulating earth with more combat-focused abilities, making it sort of a mix of a barbarian and druid. Princess Mononoke is the inspiration.
  • Necromancy: Listed as part of the new gimmicks available in GAG:ORDER.
  • Ninja: As might be expected, they're still around. They serve as something of an Evil Counterpart to the shonin class, which is partially inspired by the highly visible kind of ninja itself.
  • No-Sell: The delinquent's Blow for Blow gimmick lets it completely ignore a punch, and return with a counter attack.
  • Not Zilla: Pteradion is a Pastiche of several famous Kaiju, but mostly Godzilla. It's a "dinosaur" mutated by radiation with radioactive breath, and a few have even been intelligent. As a pterodactyl it might also be a reference to Rodan.
  • One-Hit Kill: All One-Hit Kill abilities require that the foe has a certain amount of HP or less, and out of the released ones this means HP equal to one of your stat scores. Thus while you can finish off most enemies using the abilities you can only One-Hit Kill Mooks. Which is probably why all of these abilities have some other purpose, hopefully averting Useless Useful Spell.
    • It is impossible to use One-Hit Kill abilities against other players. Which is all well and good, because player characters in this game have HP equal to or less than most Mooks and so have no real way to get around such an ability. Abilities which disable characters entirely (such as the Witch's Transmogrify) also count as One-Hit Kill abilities for the purposes of the rules.
    • There are also Filth Lickers, the weakest enemy in the core rulebook's bestiary. They have exactly 2 HP and a weak point (their eye), meaning that all a player has to do is make a called shot in order to defeat the monster.
  • Oni: A playable race. They are long-lived ogre-like humanoids that primarily dwell alone in places like caves and abandoned ruins.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: One of the suggested occupations of the everyguy class. Magical girls also appear to be this in their civilian identity, if they're young enough to be a high school student.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Yousei are not actually fairies, but if there is any difference even the yousei have no idea what it is. They tend to gather around magical and divine hotspots.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Ningyo. Since they are usually called merfolk they are now listed as that within the book. Merfolk fascinate residents of Neo Dokio, and are a race that has taken to magic rather than science.
  • Psychic Link: Magical girls can create a psychic link between them and one of their allies using the Bond gimmick, known as a "deep bond".
  • Psychic Powers: The Esper class revolves around telepathy, telekinesis, and every other psychic staple.
  • RPGs Equal Combat: Averted: in this game "combat" can be resolved entirely through words, and there are also rules for challenges, which involve threats to player characters that aren't actually enemies so much as the situation itself. A scene in this game could just as easily center around circumventing a security system or interrogating enemies as it could a direct fight, and many powers within the game are informational, social, or have utility outside of combat. Experience is also handed out upon reaching significant milestones, and not defeating enemies. The system is still very action-oriented, but not everything has to end in a fight.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: The Hunter's Prey Gimmick lets the player ask a variety of in depth questions about someone that they're hunting.
  • Shark Man: GAG:ORDER will include a race of shark people, named Samebito.
  • Shout-Out: Many. To list just the obvious ones:
  • Shown Their Work: Past the Fantasy Kitchen Sink, Neo Dokio is surprisingly realistic and accurate to Japan for the default setting of a game named "GAG".
  • Skeleton Key: A Skeleton Key is a listed artifact.
  • Slime Girl: And guys. They're known as the oozlings, and were created to serve mages. They don't start out as particularly intelligent, but they grow smarter as they age. Unfortunately they're regarded as something of a mistake by the general public.
  • Spider-Sense: The Precognition gimmick gives espers a sort of sixth sense that lets them divine the consequences of their actions and tell whether or not they're in danger.
  • Tanuki: One of the game's races. They're 2 feet tall magical shapeshifters. They're good natured but mischievous and have a weakness for human vices, which is why they're not gods anymore.
  • Team Pet: The Magical Girl's Cute Animal Buddy is a reference to this kind of character in magical girl series. It's a Talking Animal that transforms along with the Magical Girl that is its master and can answer any question that its master might have about magical or divine things. Its master shares its sight, letting them see a variety of things that they wouldn't be able to otherwise. The Cute Animal Buddy that appears in the Magical Girl's official art is also arguably this game's mascot: it appears on the cover art and in official ads.
  • Technopath: Espers can pick up the Technopathy gimmick, which lets them communicate with machines. This can be cross-classed, with the possible implication of cybernetic implants.
  • Telepathy: 2 gimmicks involve this, both of which are esper gimmicks. One is Brain Drain, which is a form of Touch Telepathy exclusive to Espers, while the gimmick actually called this lets you communicate telepathically. It can be cross classed, but is best used by the esper class since while they are untethered they can communicate with any number of people over any distance with no effort, while other characters can only communicate with one person over a larger distance, and cannot take main actions while they're doing so. It can also be used to see when people are lying.
  • Telescoping Staff: The Monkey King's staff is an available artifact, called the As-You-Will Pole.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: The merfolk's racial abilities are only useful in water, much like the Trope Namer. Besides that, thanks to heavy emphasis on utility abilities in general, there are a couple of potential examples.
    • The Hobbyist gimmick effectively maxes out three pseudo-skills of your choosing... but these "skills" are situational abilities involving gaming and art that may never come up in a campaign.
    • Downplayed by the Primal, whose abilities are still usable in urban environments but much less effective.
    • The Shonin is in it's element when it's doing something that it's trained for, as this lets them burn up to three Training Pool points in the place of a stat. A lot of mechanics are balanced around requiring you to burn a point, so this is really good. The downside is that, again, it requires you to be doing something that you trained for, so if you trained in order to fight robots and you're up against zombies, then you're not fighting the right enemy and so you can't use it. It also has to be specific: "fighting in general" is not an option.
  • Touch Telepathy: The Brain Drain gimmick lets espers read the mind of anyone they touch by asking the DM questions about what the person they're reading the mind of knows. At first, they can only ask yes-or-no questions, but after becoming untethered they can ask any sort of question. Unfortunately if the esper fails a Charming check then the one they're reading the mind of will know exactly what they just did.
  • Translator Microbes: A Universal Translator is an alien artifact that players can potentially get their hands on.
  • Überwald: GAG:ORDER is set to include a new setting, Ilstadt, a send up to this trope.
  • Underwater City: Ryugu, home of the merfolk. It was built by the dragon god Ryujin.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The Primal Rage gimmick. It's a primal gimmick but can be cross-classed. It powers up the character that uses it, but makes them go berserk, which has obvious drawbacks.
  • Urban Fantasy: The game's default setting, Neo Dokio. Somewhere between corporate espionage, private militaries, and modern politics are witches, giant monsters, and alien invasions.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Characters with the "Phobic" quirk have this as one of their major flaws.
  • Winged Humanoid: One of the races, called angels. They may or may not be literal angels from Heaven. (Or tennin from Tengoku, as this is a Japanese setting. Yes, there are angels in Japanese folk religion.) Yousei also have wings.
  • Witch Classic: The Witch class, which draws on arcane power and magical potions.
  • Wreathed in Flames: If a Witch takes the Studied [Fire] Gimmick, they can brew fire potions, which grants this ability to anyone who drinks them.
  • Youkai: The book includes both friendly youkai as playable races and enemy youkai such as onryo and jorogumo.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: