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Shadow Academy, a Naruto Inspired Swordsfall Campaign Setting, now in Early Access

Afropunk Ninjas

Story Highlights
  • A New Swordsfall Campaign Setting
  • Early Access

I’ve mentioned it on and off, but it was finally the time to do it. Release the Naruto TTRPG hack I made over a decade ago. Except I changed it up a bit. For one, it’s now an official Swordsfall Campaign Setting with a new name.

Shadow Academy.

Anime Origins

My original game was a big giant love letter to Naruto. I wanted to take the anime and encapsulate it in a tabletop RPG as much as possible. At the time, I called it Naruto: Path of Chaos, and I had minor aspirations of having it picked up and becoming an official title.

Fast forward some 15 years later, and it’s clear that road will never happen, which is fine because now I have the world of Swordsfall to use for my narrative backdrops. So that’s what I’ve done. I ripped the “Naruto” out of the game and put “Swordsfall” in instead.

The Shadow Academies of Tikor

Tikor’s world is a huge one, one comparable to Earth, which means that its secrets have secrets. That means that having a secret society of night stalking badasses is in line with the world.

In the world of Tikor, there are secret cities devoted to the development of the Shadow Arts, a unique form of Hekan. These special arts are taught in a school called a Shadow Academy. It’s here that Axum’s are trained, special fighters trained in the air of subterfuge, stealth, and mystical Hekan Arts.

The Shadow Academies exist in the shadow of the great nations like Garuda and Vinyata, staying secret to the public but doing the dirty work for nations in secret.

Create Your Own - Shadow Academy, a Naruto Inspired Swordsfall Campaign Setting, now in Early Access

Making Afropunk Ninjas

I’ve been thinking about what Afropunk ninjas would look like for a while now. The profession Shadowtail, in fact, is a form of them. Though with that I focused exclusively on using shadows to be ninja-like. However the world of Naruto really blows the lid off of what a ninja can be, and I wanted to reflect that as a whole as well.

However, I didn’t want to just take ninja’s and put them in Swordsfall as they are uniquely Japanese in origin despite the pop culture figure they’ve become. For inspiration, I took the ancient Ethiopian kingdom, the Aksumite Empire, and their elite warriors, the Axum.

Early Access

What makes this release very different from others is that Shadow Academy is not finished and there’s others projects in front of it. Welcome to Tikor and Fifth Ebon Expedition have my focus right now, but Shadow Academy is next up on that list.

So what I’m doing is releasing Shadow Academy as an Early Access title. You can down the 174-page book in its current Alpha form. The price of the PDF is reduced to reflect its alpha nature and the price will go up as I complete the game. All the way up until it’s final, released version.

No matter when you get Shadow Academy the updates are free for life, so you get to get in on the cheap while it’s in alpha status.

The Game

The game itself is currently over 170 pages and I cover the main Shadow Academies, along with the combat rules and character generator. The game currently has enough to play a game, but there is still a lot left I want to add before I call it “complete”

However, the biggest thing about Shadow Academy is that it uses its own custom d10 system. I stitched together many years ago. In the future, I may think about making it compatible with the Swordsfall Cinematic System that will be used in all the games, but for now, I didn’t want to throw away the work I had already done.

The system is freeform so you’re clear to make whatever kind of character you want with plenty of classic moves from the anime you’d recognize. It’s in the store now so grab and tell me what you think!


Creator and Author of Swordsfall. He's a longtime omni-nerd who grew up during the classic days of Toonami, TechTV, and Transformers. However, as a black man in the hobby, he found himself longing for more stories that told the adventures of people that looked like him. Creating Swordsfall has not only been an effort to be the change he wanted to see but also as his own personal journey.

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