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Tabletop Game / Ninjas And Superspies

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A Palladium Books product written by Eric Wujcik who also made Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness. As the name suggests, it's a combination of James Bond- and Mission: Impossible- style Spy adventures combined with Martial Arts flicks. What makes it specially unique among Palladium's many works however, is not its story or characters but the sheer number of different martial arts included in the base game, which makes it an excellent combat sourcebook for other Palladium series such as After the Bomb or Heroes Unlimited.

It also received an additional sourcebook called Mystic China that introduced more supernatural elements from Chinese mythology such as demons and powerful magical chi spells along with a handful of brand new character classes. Also, as with other Palladium Books series everything included in both titles can be easily adapted to other entries in the megaverse, which makes Ninjas & Superspies a great supplement to any sort of adventure players can dream up!


  • Adventure Archaeologist: Downplayed with the new Antiquarian O.C.C. introduced in Mystic China which is described as a non-combat class with a higher focus on skills and abilities than brute force. They still get some limited martial arts knowledge and a few combat bonuses though.
  • Arrow Catch: can be done by spending next attack to roll to strike to grab if a character successfully parries an arrow. Rule is unique to this game, absent in other Palladium products.
  • Artificial Limbs: Much like rifts players can get various cybernetic limb replacements to assist them in battle.
  • Ascended Demon: One of the new R.C.C. added in Mystic China are the Reformed Demons, ancient demonic beings who were once evil and now have to try and become enlightened or risk being recaptured by the forces of hell.
  • Asian Fox Spirit: Mystic China adds shapeshifting fox spirits called "Hu Ching" as one of the new R.C.C. available to the players.
  • Asian Rudeness: There's a section in the back with notes on Asian countries and cultures, including a section on how western characters can expect local Asians to treat them rudely. One wonders if Wujcik had a bad experience on vacation.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: Mystic China introduces a powerful high level chi spell that removes a character's heart and converts it into a gem (see Body to Jewel and Soul Jar below) while allowing their body to otherwise function as it would normally. There are apparently similar abilities for removing other organs as well, such as the kidneys or liver.
  • Body to Jewel: A high level chi spell from Mystic China allows players who have mastered the skill to remove a human heart and convert it into a gem that remains functioning even if transported thousands of miles away from its owner or taken to another dimension. There are also a few similar spells for certain other organs as well.
  • Cool Car: Like any good spy series there are a wide variety of vehicles and modifications available for the players to use. See Weaponized Car below for more details.
  • Cyborg: Cybernetics are available, particularly to espionage agents (but a couple of other classes get them as well). They're very rarely the equal of Heroes Unlimited bionics, or sometimes even normal flesh, though.
  • Drunken Boxing: Players can learn drunken styles as (ironically) a form of stealthy martial art. The idea is to make it look like the practitioner is merely a harmless drunk scoring "lucky hits" against his opponent while stumbling around in an intoxicated stupor. Great for when the agent needs to neutralize someone without blowing their cover.
  • Eastern Zodiac: The Chinese Zodiac plays a very large role in Mystic China and the book includes a section listing all the various zodiac years from the 1800s all the way up until over a hundred years in the future. It can even influence character creation with personality traits and other details directly taken from certain elements and animals listed in the zodiac.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: Martial arts play a very big role in this RPG and most characters can be expected to know at least one style. Several non-martial-artist O.C.C.s get a Martial Art Form essentially "because," particularly wanderer or dilettante types.
  • Fantastic Fighting Style: Far too many to list. Ninjas & Superspies has just about any kind of martial art players could ever dream of, with well over 30 different unique fighting styles in total to choose from.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: Special fingertip attacks can be made available to skilled enough martial artists. See also Touch of Death below.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: The Gizmoteer O.C.C. has a strong focus on this type of skill set and gets many special abilities built around making and tinkering with various gadgets.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The art of the Kiai (Kaijutsu) is a special series of techniques that revolve around powerful martial arts yells. With the proper method these shouts can be used to kill someone dead without the user even needing to physically touch them.
  • Multinational Team: It's very easy for the player group to become this, especially if they use the random character tables to determine their nationality and background with dice rolls. (Though the table does skew a bit more heavily towards Asian nationalities like Chinese, Japanese or Korean due to the setting.)
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The game provides a few evil organizations for the players to fight against such as K.R.A.K. and The White Moth, but they don't really get much character development beyond a small block of text explaining their goals and a handful of affiliated NPC character profiles.
  • Pressure Point: Far too many martial arts to list involve using these to afflict opponents with damage or ill effects.
  • The Red Mage: Dedicated martial artists learn two Martial Art Forms. They don't necessarily have anything in common, and indeed one might combine the pacifistic and soft Aikido with the aggressive power of Kyokushinkai Karate.
  • Soul Jar: Players who are afflicted by the "Remove Heart" chi spell have their hearts extracted and transformed into a gem that keeps their body alive while also removing a major weak point from it. The gem isn't indestructible by any means though, and must be carefully protected by the owner.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: Some martial arts focus on using chi powers to attack opponents rather than physical kicks and punches.
    • The game's only sourcebook Mystic China focuses entirely around this and greatly expands on the amount of supernatural content available in the game.
  • Touch of Death: The dreaded Dim Mak makes an appearance here but functions a bit differently than most other media portrayals. Instead of instantly killing the victim it cuts off their Chi which prevents them from healing in any way and insures a slow and painful death as their weakened body slowly succumbs to a build up of minor injuries and diseases. Naturally, this deadly technique is typically restricted to only the most evil characters.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Chinese Demons have several of these, including vulnerabilities to both tickling and hangovers.
  • Weaponized Car: Is your Cool Car just not cool enough? There are plenty of vehicle modifications to fix that! Available mods include several classic spy fiction gadgets like Caltrops dispensers, oil slicks, smokescreens and even ejector seats!