In short, it's not just you. Maid RPG is weird in Japan too. -Ewen Cluney, English translator for Maid RPG.
So, I was trolling TV-Tropes one day and came across the page
for this little beauty of a system. I've never been particularly enamored with the maid fetish or most anime inspired RPG systems but when I saw this, it just jumped out at me. This was too quirky and fun looking to pass up. Within an hour of reading the TV tropes page and some of the text on the official English website, my curiosity was piqued enough to pay the $6.00 USD price of admission for the online PDF at Indie Press Revolution
I spent an afternoon reading the sourcebook and not only came away from it rather entertained (It's rather humorously written), but also somewhat impressed with the system itself. Character creation and core rules are very simple and easy to learn, (I believe the claim the author makes about being able to start playing with a group of brand new players in fifteen minutes), the extended rules are interesting, modular, and not particularly complicated, and the game is flexible with three different types of play and a wide variety of settings, and tones for the game to take (although it certainly errs heavily on the side of light romantic, slapstick comedy).
Let's be clear though, this in mainstream culture would be considered a weird game. In a lot of anime and roleplaying culture it would be considered a quirky game at best. The game is about exactly what it says on the tin. The PCs all play (feminine) maids in the service of a GM controlled master in a mansion. There are mechanics such as favor points for making the master happy which can be spent in various ways, stat penalties for removing or damaging maid uniforms, stress points for failure which result in a "stress explosion" when critical levels are reached, etc. However, I think the majority of players here on E who are interested in anime and it's tropes wouldn't find the game or it's mechanics too off-putting. The relationship between the master and the maids at first sounds like it would be very dom/sub, and although that is possible, it certainly isn't required or even how it usually works out. There are rules/examples in the book for inter-maid romance as well for those who would be interested.
The game occupies a kind of weird place in terms of sexuality. The translator seems to try to downplay anything past the "PG-13" level, but I think the more sexual elements that are usually glossed over in the book could make for an interesting game here on E. Of course, the game could occupy any level of sexuality the players were comfortable with, I tend to prefer fewer more significant sex scenes in my general roleplaying, but this game could comfortably fit many different levels. It would work just as well in a game with no/glossed over sex as it would where it's all over the place.Character Creation
Character creation is very simple and a fun part of the game. There are 8 very simple steps, depending on the GM and your own personal preferences, you may reroll anything you wish as many times as you wish (aside from attributes in step one) or simply just choose traits directly from the tables. However, a good part of the fun of this system is generating your character and then roleplaying the results. Additionally, the GM may restrict certain options to keep the game within certain limits.
Because so much of character creation is based heavily on big tables, having an access to a copy of the book will make this much easier. The PDF is DRM free and only $6, and the book is an entertaining enough read to justify the cost even if you don't play. If you want, I could probably send you a copy, but I do ask that if you decide to play either in a game here or anywhere else that you end up buying a copy (this is basically what the creator encourages).1. Roll Attributes for your character
Roll 2d6 and divide by 3 (round down) for each of your six attributes, they are Athletics, Affection, Skill, Cunning, Luck, and Will. In play, the core mechanic for resolving conflict is to roll a d6 and multiply it by the relevant attribute. Much of gameplay then is maneuvering situations around so that you can use attributes your character is strongest in.2. Determine Maid Type
Roll 1d6 twice to determine your character's two maid archetypes. Apply bonuses and penalties as appropriate, if a penalty would reduce your attribute to below zero, set it to zero. Note that a character with a score of zero will always fail checks in that attribute.3. Determine Maid Colors
Roll 1d66 (two D6s, one is the 10s digit, one is the 1s digit, for a total of 36 possible results.) This will determine the two colors of your character's maid uniform. Optionally, you may also use this to determine character eye and hair color.4. Determine Special Qualities
Roll 1d66 and then another d6 for any relevant sub-tables twice for two special qualities. These special qualities can range from anything from wearing glasses, to being a secret princess, to notable accents.5. Maid Roots, Stress Explosion, and any optional tables
Roll 1d66 for each table above. Other tables if the GM includes them are maid weapons, traumas, and other such optional rules. Maid roots describe in very general terms why your character is a maid, from doing it for money, to returning a favor, to infiltrating the mansion in hopes of spying or killing the master. Stress explosions include things like drinking until your character forgets, violence, shopping, etc.6. Choose Maid Powers
Find your character's highest attribute, and roll 1d6 on the corresponding Maid Power table. If your highest attribute is tied with another, you may choose which table. If the sum of all your attribute scores is nine or less, you may choose a second power. Maid powers include the ability to declare your character has seen other events in the mansion, cook food for other characters to relieve stress, etc.7. Calculate Spirit and starting Favor
Your character starts with two times their Affection score in favor. Their spirit is equal to ten times their Will score.8. Choose your character's name and age
Determine these as you see fit. This is also where you flesh out your character from the traits, attributes, roots, etc. that you rolled up.Optional Rules and tweaks I am considering
-Seduction rules - Either tweaked or omitted.
-Adding a blanket +1 to all character attributes after finalizing character creation. This would prevent characters from starting with 0 favor or 0 spirit and ensures that there is no check that is outright impossible.
-Butler rules - Undecided, leaning towards a no on this one.
-Game type - For an initial game, considering a short favor race/random events game, but eventually a scenario driven game would be fun.
Overall though I am very open to what people may want to do with this, I'd just really like to get one or more games using this system started on E. I think it's a great system that mixes structure with freeform in a concept that I think would mesh quite well here. I highly encourage people to check out the website, take a look at the PDF and let me know if these seems like a fun system. It's also a simple enough system that even if you've never played a system game before, I am confident you will have no trouble picking it up. If there's enough interest in the general system and idea, then we can start talking specifics.