The artwork for this Japanese-inspired TTRPG gives me shivers

Artwork from the upcoming Project: Blue Moon TTRPG
(Image credit: R. Talsorian Games)

How timely it is that, just days after the last Super Blue Moon, a second sneak peak at the Project: Blue Moon TTRPG should arise. This upcoming tabletop game by R. Talsorian games—makers of the Cyperpunk RED TTRPG—comes from Cody Pondsmith, whose mind birthed The Witcher TTRPG. 

Just to be clear, Project: Blue Moon isn’t the final name for the game. It’s just a working title, but where Ponsmith neglects it’s name, he sure as heck makes up for it in atmosphere. Prepare yourself for a dangerous, Japanese-themed world full of dragon spirits and ever-churning death machines.

The first Blue Moon TTRPG sneak peak (via Dicebreaker) showed off some ethereal, east-Asian inspired artwork featuring a great Torii gate and lanterns. Behind it, trees of blood red surround an orb-like fire pit, a shrine perhaps, standing ominously at the top of a grand stairway. With the moon shining bright above the scene, it certainly sets a mood—a touch of mystery, a waxing wanderlust, and a little sprinkle of spooky thrown in. And the description offers would-be players an ultimatum of the ages.

"You’ve seen beyond the mask and now you must make a choice: forget what you’ve seen or leave what you know behind. If you join us, you’ll be able to protect everything you’ve ever known and everything beyond your wildest dreams. Our enemy lurks in the darkest corners of reality. They hide behind masks of deception, waiting to strike.

"But remember, once you step through the gate you cannot go back."

I can’t help but envision Morpheus holding out his red and blue pills, and asking me to choose. Some tough decisions lie ahead, it would seem. 

The most recent Blue Moon teaser is a little less cryptic, but also presents some pretty hard-to-swallow pills. With this latest announcement, we appear to have stepped beyond the gate into The First World: Nakatsukuni.

In the newest artwork we see a great glowing tree rising high behind sparkling streets, bustling with people. Spirits in the form of dragons and other creatures dance about the tree, and floating islands sit high above the mountains.

"It’s hard to believe this is where it all started. Looking at the peaceful streets and the vibrant life it’s hard to imagine a time when this world was burning away to oblivion. To imagine great armies of humans and spirits waging a hopeless war against a corrupted deity employing once-peaceful creatures, twisted into a horde of mindless monsters, to collect souls for a traitorous Afterlife.

"Yet, even now, this world still isn’t safe. The enemy continues to finds ways to slither past our defenses. In the wake of the Hundred Years of Sorrow and the Reunification Wars, this world struggles to recover. The wilderness is overgrown and perilous. The cities, tainted by an unrest born from years of fear and conflict. Despite our best efforts we cannot watch every dingy alley and dark corner."

There is more info to come on September 30, and since Nakatsukuni is known as "The First World", you can bet there are many more worlds to explore. 

The next to be revealed looks to be a slightly more advanced civilisation than that of these edo-centric tree-huggers. Advanced, but terrible. “A world of steel and steam where the engines of innovation are fueled by the sacrifice of the masses. Where the enemy seeks to spark a revolution to bring down history’s greatest empire and plunge the world into chaos.”

Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been rambling about games, tech and science—rather sarcastically—for four years since. She can be found admiring technological advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. Right now she's waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.