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Hit anime Cowboy Bebop gets tabletop RPG with musical stats

A tabletop RPG is being made for celebrated anime Cowboy Bebop - the project's Kickstarter passed its funding goal in the first 10 minutes

Cowboy Bebop RPG - artwork of Spike from Cowboy Bebop aiming a gun.

Stylish sci-fi/noir anime Cowboy Bebop is getting a tabletop RPG that puts players in the shoes of spacefaring bounty hunters. Based on the hit 90s Japanese anime, a Kickstarter campaign for Cowboy Bebop – The Roleplaying Game launched on Wednesday, October 19. It dashed past its crowdfunding goal faster than you can say 3, 2, 1, let’s jam – reaching the target of $19,522 in just 10 minutes.

The Cowboy Bebop RPG is being made by French board game publisher Don’t Panic Games, in partnership with Italian tabletop RPG publisher Mana Project Studio.

Don’t Panic  Games has previously worked on anime board games for Attack on Titan, Tokyo Ghoul, and Naruto. This isn’t its first time handling the property either, as in 2019 it launched the deckbuilding game Cowboy Bebop: Space Serenade. Mana Project Studio, meanwhile, are behind RPGs such as Journey to Ragnarok and Nightfell.

Cowboy Bebop artwork of Spike from Cowboy Bebop smoking a cigar.

The Cowboy Bebop RPG will be sold in the forms of a PDF or a 240-page hardcover book, as well as a deluxe edition bound in faux leather. It’ll contain rules on creating your own custom bounty hunters and bounties, a guide to the Cowboy Bebop universe, and material that’ll help the narrator incorporate famous characters from the series. There’s also a GM screen, custom Cowboy Bebop dice – and more down in the stretch goals.

For this licensed game, the designers have created their own custom d6-based system with some interesting features. For instance, the Cowboy Bebop RPG doesn’t have the standard array of DnD stats. Rather than typical strength and dexterity tests, problems are overcome through one of five different approaches, each one named after a genre of music. There’s rock, dance, blues, tango, and jazz.

Puzzled? Well fortunately you can find out exactly what that means, and discover the game’s full list of mechanics such as hits, shocks, and clocks, through its Quickstart document, available for free at DriveThruRPG.

Though being designed by a French and an Italian company, the Cowboy Bebop RPG will only be available in English and Italian initially. However, a French version is coming, in a separate campaign due to arrive in March 2023.

The Cowboy Bebop RPG Kickstarter runs to November 16. Backers should see their copies in about a year’s time, in November 2023.