The last month has kept me busy, so I haven’t been able to work on my blog as much as I’ve wanted. New posts are in the works, though.
Following on the rebirth of the Dragon Novels imprint, Kadokawa is doubling down on fantasy novels by releasing digital versions of their D&D novel translations. DragonLance, the Dark Elf Story, and some Greyhawk novels are receiving this special treatment, with the DragonLance novels available both individually, as well as collected in a 25 volume set.
The GM-less game Dialect is being translated to Japanese by Harrow Hill, who also localized Fiasco. Dialect is a game about language and its loss, which I’ve been curious to try. Check out Bored Ghost’s (English) episode, as well as their supplementary primer episode, if you’re interested in what a game of Dialect is like.
I’ve recently been enjoying Infinit Region, a blog about learning English through D&D. Started in 2011, the first post was about the author’s purchase of the Madness at Gardmore Abbey for 4e. In subsequent posts, the author focuses primarily on their experience learning English through their love of D&D, providing examples and advice for how to do so.
Today we’ll be taking a look at Sakura Arms (桜降る代に決闘を), a two player card game I picked up at a previous Tokyo Game Market. There is now a new edition and apparently a digital edition as well, but we’ll be taking a look at the previous version, which is also the base for the English version of the game.
Coming in a sturdy box, the first thing that stands out is the beautiful artwork. The artist Tokiame has developed quite the following with signing events at Tokyo Game Market always having long lines.
Game play is estimated to take ten to twenty minutes, including deck building. When I played with a friend, our games took a bit longer as we were still learning the rules, but even so, finished quickly.
Included in the box are 80 cards, 7 goddess (“megami” 女神 cards), two interlocking boards, cherry blossom petal counters, a short rulebook and card list. The cards themselves have a high quality feel to them and are quite beautiful. Continue reading Sakura Arms – 桜降る代に決闘を
Publisher Kadokawa recently announced the rebirth of the Dragon Novels imprint for novelizations of table-talk role playing games. In addition to releasing five novels on Feb 5th, Kadokawa is also attempting to build a community. As part of that, they’re opening up the Sword World universe for writers to set their stories in, and hint at future worlds also being opened to third party stories. Call of Cthulhu is one of the TRPGs that has a novel in the first release, but they also mention Meikyuu Kingdom and future systems receiving novels. Rounding out the announcement is a contest that will take place on the online novel site Kakuyomu.
What makes this particularly interesting to me is it’s a distinct return to novels, rather than replays, which have long been the dominate literature for TRPGs in Japan. Additionally, the focus on digital as well as paper content seems progressive. Hat tip to ChuoDori on Twitter for first putting me onto this.
I had been wanting to try my hand at DMing in Japanese for a long time, but always found an excuse to wait. That procrastination finally came to an end when the regular DM for the monthly D&D 5e game I play in suddenly had to work. The group considered playing something else, but at the coaxing of my wife, I volunteered to run a one shot. Both the game and prep were fun, so it was definitely worth the challenge! I hope to inspire others to try DMing in a second language by diving into how I went about prepping and running the game.
Having only a day to prepare was surprisingly useful because it forced me to focus on the most important tasks.
First, I decided that I’d use a pre-written scenario and after some research, settled on “A Starry Breach” from Kobold Press’s Prepared! 2. I already had their Tome of Beasts, so ran the monsters as written, but there are suggested replacements from the Monster Manual as well. Next, I printed out the three pages of the adventure and monster entries and sleeved them in a folio for easy reference. Scenario to run now in hand, I had one problem: it was in English, but the game would be in Japanese. Continue reading First Time DMing in Japanese
I finally made it back to the Tokyo Game Market on November 25th. I had fun last time I went, and this time was no different. Taking place over the course of two days, Tokyo Game Market is dedicated to all types of analog games. I had previously heard that the second day tends to have more TRPG booths, so I only attended the second day.
Taking place in the West Halls 3 & 4 at Tokyo Big Sight, it felt like there were more vendors than last time. Surrounding the entrance were the larger booths, such as Domina Games, Magic: The Gathering, Arclight, and Delight Works.
I went to Hawaii in October and stopped by the game store Gam3Escape in Hilo. Previously in Pahoa, they moved to a larger space in Hilo about three months ago. The staff and owner were very friendly and knowledgeable.
The shop was spacious with an emphasis on play space, easily accommodating the thirty-five players that attend its weekly D&D Adventurers League. There were two games of Gaslands going on while I was there, and a few customers shuffling through TCG cards. The main product categories appeared to be D&D, Magic: The Gathering, and Games Workshop products. Continue reading Hilo Gam3Escape
Kamigakari (神我狩) is a TRPG set in modern Japan that mixes anime action with Japanese folklore and then turns it up to 11. The Kickstarter for an official English translation was funded in just 55 hours and has already met its first stretch goal of including translator notes.
With the Kickstarter by Serpent Sea Games funded in just 55 hours, Kamigakari is now getting an official English translation! The Kickstarter runs until the end of November, so there’s still time to get in on some god hunting action.
Kamigakari: God Hunters (神我狩) is a Japanese TRPG about beings with supernatural powers protecting an unsuspecting world from the false gods. It draws on Japanese folklore, mixing it with a heavy dose of anime action for very cool results. Check out the Kickstarter description for more details.