PbtA recommendations for a Ghibli-esque Fantasy

It seems like there a few games that aspire to the sweeter, more pastoral elements of Studio Ghibli movies, but is there anything besides DW that fits for a Ghibli fantasy setting that’s a bit of a mash up of Mononoke, Nausicaä, Shadow of the Colossus and Breath of the Wild?

I’d been thinking about a “kitchen sink” setting like DysonLogo’s https://dysonlogos.blog/2021/03/05/snapshot-of-the-age-of-hexploration-game/ and for me that is a fantasy setting that features all these settings as distinct “regions” (an ancient forest, a blasted wasteland with a poisoned jungle, a hidden valley of giant colossi, etc.).

I was thinking maybe Hearts of Wulin, but then I am hoping for more of a exploration loop, so am wondering what other PbtA games or hacks might be a good fit. Any ideas?

Depending on how much you like crunch Flying Circus is probably an option. The game is about pilots roughly in the ww1 period, but set in a world very much like Nausicaa. A great war occurred a few decades ago in the scars of it are still felt, but “there’s beauty in this world”

It’s directly inspired by Miyazaki and the very prevalent post-apocalyptic theme in his work

Having airplanes means exploring the continent can certainly be a big part of the game. And by default, the fae of this world are alien to the human experience in a mechanized way even, so setting into the unknown is always an adventure

But, as I said, the game can be pretty crunchy, not in a bad sense but it does take a bit to wrap your mind around it


Not to self-promote, but I think Stonetop might fit this bill.


I haven’t played it yet and it is Forged in the Dark rather than PbtA but I seem to recall that Moth-Light by @Dissonance was described as heavily inspired by Nausicaä.
I also agree with Jeremy on Stonetop as it has kitchen sink elements and exploration.


Yes!! Flying Circus is a game that’s on my list to try. I like the Ghibli inspired world of Himmelgard, but I’ve been reading a comic called Skies of Fire by Mythopoeia and just love the world (and map!) they’ve created. Definitely worth a look if you like Flying Circus— I can totally see having a Bebop or Firefly campaign where your “base” is an armoured dirigible being a thing.


Ah, thanks! I had been thinking and wondering about Stonetop, actually! So that definitely gets a look and a vote from me. I was thinking it might be nice to start in a village in the centre and for various reasons, they could venture out and explore. I’m loving what I’ve seen of Stonetop so I’m excited to try it.

Moth-light! I am definitely interested in trying this as well at some point, but I do want to try more of a fantasy setting.

Thanks so much for all the suggestions!


Moth-Light is really great! Definitely more on the sci fi side of things but the setting is built more collaboratively than other FitD games. Well worth a look.

Give Ryne a look! the creators cite most of the worlds you listed as inspirations for the design.


Ooh, yes! It does seem to be trying to tap into a similar confluence of ideas. Thank you for this, I’m going to check out the playtest.

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Ryuutama is the quintessential “I’m looking for a Ghibli-like game” game recommendation.


I just checked this and it looks so freaking cool! I might get the digital deluxe :3

To quote my betters… Not to self-promote, but I think Fantasy World might fit this bill :upside_down_face:


If you’re not set on PbtA, then “Zin never dies” might be worth keeping an eye on


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Believe it or not, that was on my list to consider as well. I’m quite glad of the self promotion on this thread, they’ve been solid, and it’s good to know the creators can see something like this working in their own creations. :slight_smile:

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It is! Thank you for this. :slight_smile:

Girl Underground could be an interesting option, as well.