Front cover to the K5 RPG.
The cover to the Kazei 5 RPG sourcebook.


Is not good enough. Want to be stronger? Faster? Smarter? You can, provided you are willing to pay the price... your humanity.

Cybernetics allow you to punch harder, shoot straighter, run faster, and even think better. And if that’s not enough, you can become a full-conversion cyborg, sacrificing mere meat for cutting-edge machine.

You might opt for a genetic upgrade, a reworking of your DNA with the intent of “fixing” all of nature’s mistakes. Or you might be a replicated human, vat-grown and computer-designed for a specific purpose.

Still not satisfied? You can take on the role of an esper, a living weapon with powerful psychokinetic abilities.

Kazei 5 presents an original near-future campaign setting designed for use with the HERO System 6th Edition ruleset. Recommended for experienced GMs and players looking for an anime-themed cyberpunk setting, this world book includes:

Created by the author of The Asian Bestiary (Volumes I & II) and Ninja Hero, Kazei 5 is a setting that’s been a decade in the making. Enter a world of cyborgs, cybernetics, genetic enhancement, and replicated humans, where the entire idea of what it means to be a normal human is in question.

Technology is making man obsolete. The choice is yours, upgrade or die.


As of February, 2010, Kazei 5 is available from BlackWyrm Games. The book is 320 pages, 216,000 words, and costs $39.95. You can order your copy from the BlackWyrm website. An 8-page sampler is avaliable here: Kazei 5 Preview (a 2.1 MB PDF). And you can get the cover (in jpeg form) here: Kazei 5 Cover.


This section contains characters you may find useful in your Kazei 5 games. Some are original creations, some are loose adaptations of published characters.

In The Court Of The Empress
In which I discuss the thought process behind designing a 700-point (now nearly 1,000-point) esper weapon.
Lace & Steel
In 2030 one of the most popular TV shows features female contestants fighting in no-holds-barred gladiatorial styled combat. This material is very out of date, seeing as it uses 4th Edition HERO System rules and 1st Edition Kazei 5 concepts.
A simplified way to handle netrunners and computer hackers in the Kazei 5 universe. Based on ideas presented by Darren Hansen. These concepts are now mostly superceded by the new cyberhacking rules found in Kazei 5 Second Edition.
The final frontier in the Kazei 5 setting. No longer considered canon for the setting.
Trillium Arms
Firearms from the Republic of Quebec. Created by Dany St-Pierre.
WooChan Arms Catalog
Firearms from the Pacific Rim. Created by Dany St-Pierre.
A collection of cars and trucks, all designed by Dany St-Pierre.


One of the more interesting things about my campaign (well, to me at least) is the sheer volume of e-mail created interactive fiction. Side stories, memos, adventure introductions, interludes and even full scale combats and adventures have been written via e-mail during the course of the game. I have selected a number of the more interesting stories and arraigned them into several story-lines or 'arcs' to try and provide an idea of what life in Kazei 5 universe is like. It should be noted that unlike a traditional 'fanfic', these stories are usually meant to be short sequences of character development, not full blown novels.

Dramatis Personae
The major players in the campaign.
The Enemy of My Enemy
Takeda Johnson and Shion Nys. Originally implacable enemies, they have eventually turned into a highly unlikely set of allies.
Out of the Darkness
In which most the loose ends from The Enemy of My Enemy story arc are tied off.
The Courtship of Jagger and Kitten
A story of two cyborgs in love.
Assorted Side Stories
Miscellaneous slices of life.
A Touch of Humor
Yeah, even in a world as grim as this, one can occasionally find a good laugh.


The Kazei 5 PBEM campaign ran off and on for roughly five years (or more). The link leads to the campaign archives, which contain more characters, more stories, and a gallery of character and setting images.

Kazei 5 and all related characters and material (unless otherwise noted) are copyright © 1996-2010 Michael Surbrook and BlackWyrm Games. Permission granted for private use only. It cannot be distributed for profit or included in any distribution media other than the Internet or private BBS systems. Kazei 5 cannot be distributed on printed matter. You are allowed to print a few copies for personal use of your RPG gaming group only.

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