The Mountain Witch

Once I had the jpg of the full wraparound art.  No more... If you have it do me a favor and upload it somewheres?

Is a role playing game, written by Timothy Kleinert, and printed in 2005.  This site is a repository of electronic ephemera associated with the game.


As you watch the night sky start to gray over what appears to be a
sea of clouds, you recall how you ended up on top of the icy slopes
of Mount Fuji. As a ronin, you were use to a hard and lonely life,
traveling from village to village, looking for whatever employment
you could find. So naturally, when you were approached this time
you quickly accepted the offer, though not fully realizing what you
were getting into. Now you find yourself far from help on top this
cold rock preparing for an assault on O-Yanma, the Mountain
Witch himself. At your side is a group of men you neither know nor
want to know. A group of men who all carry a similar story as
Who knows what the dawn of this day will bring? How will
desperate men incapable of trust react when their only means of
survival is to rely on each other?


“The Mountain Witch” is a single role-playing adventure in which the players take on the roles of ronin, masterless samurai in mythical medieval Japan, who have been hired to attempt an assault on the Mountain Witch of Mount Fuji, O-Yanma. The characters may have different reasons for accepting the task, but what they share is that they have all been disenfranchised from their former lives and from society. They also have all grown desperate from the difficulties of their lives, and hope the payoff from this adventure will finally allow them to regain whatever life they have lost.

The characters do not know each other prior to the adventure, and are most likely leery of the new company. What's more, the characters all carry their own dark secret or fate, that when revealed, will test their own courage and the newly formed trust of the company.

The Mountain Witch mixes elements from Japanese mythology, horror, and gangster heist movies to create a dark samurai fantasy about trust, betrayal and confronting one's fate.


The Mountain Witch was originally written for the “Son of Iron Game Chef (IGC)” competition held at the Forge website in April of 2004. The IGC competition challenged game designers to write a fantasy RPG in under a week that incorporated at least three of following four elements: Ice, Island, Dawn, and Assault.


" outstanding alpha-game... Massive positive response... Not only was the fun factor very high, but also the sense of Wham, Story shared across everyone..."

"I've said before and I'll say it again: The Mountain Witch makes better friends out of its players."

-Ron Edwards, author of Sorcerer

"I'm pretty impressed with how close [The Mountain Witch] is to delivering on the accessibility of a boardgame [or] cardgame."

-Paul Czege, author of My Life with Master

"Wow... Amazing... What's happening with people poking and proding RPGs today is exciting as all hell -- and The Mountain Witch is a gleaming example of how cool games are right now."

"From choosing a zodiac to picking your Abilties to resolving Fates to using Trust Points -- everything turns on how the PCs are treating each other. It's sort of amazing that way."

-Christopher Kubasik, author of The Interactive Toolkit

"I gotta say, playing The Mountain Witch has changed my future game designs. Like, other games have shown me how to do things that I thought were impossible; The Mountain Witch shows me something I didn't know about before."

-Vincent Baker, author of Dogs in the Vineyard

"[The Mountain Witch] stands as perhaps the state of the art of story-centric RPG design. It is also sheerly beautiful... [and] gorgeous."

-Kenneth Hite, columnist for Out of the Box