Hands on Shinobi Empire

I finally had a chance to play Shinobi Empire, one of the games I got at the last Game Market. I found it to be an easy to pick up and lighthearted game that was fun to play. One of the coolest things about this game is the cards themselves. Each card has a unique image, a mix of cute and cool, and they form a neat multi-storied castle as you play.

Instructions, 35 tokens, and 54 cards
Instructions, 35 tokens, and 54 cards

Players choose a set of seven colored tokens that correspond to the color of the ninjas they receive points for. Each player is dealt a hand of five cards. The player who is wearing the simplest clothes (most ninja-like) goes first, with play proceeding clockwise. A turn consists of a player drawing a card from the deck and then placing one card.

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Thank you, Mr Wizards

My 5th edition D&D Player’s Handbook finally failed its third death save and succumbed to the curse of early editions losing their pages. I had heard that this was a common problem and that Wizards of the Coast had a replacement program, but I assumed that shipping to Japan would complicate the replacement. That assumption couldn’t be further from the truth as I received this wonderful response to my request: Continue reading Thank you, Mr Wizards

Back from the Tokyo Game Market – Spring 2017

Tokyo Big Sight

Back from the Spring 2017 Tokyo Game Market at Tokyo Big Sight and my wallet is a bit lighter. I had a blast at my second Tokyo Game Market even without participating in any organized play. It was really fun to just walk around and check out the various booths. I couldn’t resist all the temptations, though, and ended up picking up four games; a spiffy game bag; and an Imperial Assault villain pack that I found in a remainder bin at the Shosen booth.

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Game Market – Spring 2017

2017 Spring Catalog Cover
2017 Spring Catalog

The thrice yearly analog Game Market is coming up on May 14th! It’s a great chance to check out the Japanese analog gaming scene if you happen to be in the Tokyo area.

There will be game creators, publishers, shops, and hobby groups exhibiting. In addition to that, there will be event and vendor organized games that you can participate in. There is also ample free play space where you can grab a seat and play games. Continue reading Game Market – Spring 2017

How do you say “THAC0” in Japanese?

Moving from the US to Japan was a chance to shed a lot of material possessions and start fresh. One thing I do regret getting rid of is some of my old AD&D 2nd edition books. I recently decided to pick up a few of the books again and was surprised to discover some Japanese editions at my local gaming shop.

Player's Handbook Cover

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Sword World 2.0 Starter Set

Sword World Starter Set Box
Sword World Starter Set Box

It seems appropriate that the first Japanese RPG I write about was also one of the first made in Japanー Sword World (ソード・ワールド). Sword World first caught my eye a few years ago, but I never had a chance to play it until I mentioned my interest to a friend and he offered to run a session.

My friend hadn’t played it in a long time, so he graciously picked up the Sword World 2.0 Starter Set (Japanese) and gathered together four additional players. We ran through the entire box set in an afternoon at a games play space in Ikebukuro called Naruneko House (Japanese).

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Tokyo D&D Adventurers League

Reserved for D&D Adventurers League
Reserved for D&D Adventurers League

I’ve been regularly attending weekly D&D sessions at one of the local game shops Role & Roll (Japanese) in Akihabara. These week day sessions run for two hours from 7pm to 9pm, but they also occasionally host events on the weekend, which usually run from 12pm to 8pm, at the latest.

These Adventurers League games are sponsored by the Japanese publisher of D&D Hobby Japan (Japanese). Interestingly, only the free basic rules (Japanese) have been officially translated. This leads to a mix of Japanese and English source materials at the table, both paper and digital.

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One Year of Gaming in Japan

It has been one year since I first started gaming in Japan. Despite a friend’s suggestion, I held off on trying to game in Japan because I was afraid my Japanese ability wasn’t enough to actively participate. After a while, and at the prodding of my wife, I decided to give it a shot and am really glad that I did. I’ve made many friends and have been able to continue enjoying a hobby that I love despite being far from my long term gaming group.

Role playing in Japanese has been a hidden method of study— it not only forces me to actively use Japanese at the table, but I am also more motivated to study.

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