Magicalogia – The Great Book War

Magicalogia (マギカロギア) Cover

Magicalogia: The Grimoire Wars RPG (マギカロギア:魔道書対戦RPG) is a TRPG written by Toichiro Kawashima, illustrated by Torizo, and published by Adventure Planning Service. It is the fourth entry in the Dice Fiction series, which includes Shinobigami. Following the formula this series is known for, the first half of the book consists of a replay while the second half is the rules. To give a feel of what it’s like to read, I’ll follow the same general order and summarize the interesting bits. Continue reading Magicalogia – The Great Book War

Tokyo Game Market – Spring 2019

Used books in creates and games on shelves
Used books and games

I haven’t even played all the games I got at the last Tokyo Game Market, and I already have some new additions from the Spring 2019 market. I usually go on Sundays, which is the TRPG day, but this time I went on Saturday. The main booths don’t change between days, but some of the events and a number of the indie exhibitors do. There were some TRPG related booths, but the focus was definitely board and card games. Even the large Arclight booth was only selling their TRPG products on Sunday. While I was hoping for more TRPGs, I did enjoy myself and spent most of the day there. Continue reading Tokyo Game Market – Spring 2019

A Potpourri of TRPGs

A friend’s daughter is an avid TRPG player and offered to run a session of Magicalogia for my wife and I. I’m working on a detailed post about that game, but in the meanwhile, I thought it’d be interesting to look at some of the games she’s been playing:

Call of Cthulhu, Shinobigami, Magikarogia (hers, the new collected edition), Monotone Museum, Magikarogia (mine, the older edition), Kill Death Business, and Insane.

Clockwise from top left:

  • Call of Cthulhu – the classic and ever popular
  • Shinobigami – modern day ninjas
  • Magicalogia – (hers, the new collected edition) – mages fighting to save the world
  • Monotone Museum – fairy tale fantasy
  • Magicalogia (mine, the older edition)
  • Kill Death Business – hellish assassins on a TV show in Hell
  • Insane – multi-genre horror

Not making it in the above Continue reading A Potpourri of TRPGs

Word Sniper

Today we’ll be taking a look at the card game Word Sniper. Designed by Masahiro Ogawa, the board game shop Rigolier picked it up and released a new version with art by hoccipocci. A word play game, players complete to say a word beginning with a character related to a theme. For example, if the “Food” theme came up and the “su” card was on the table, I could say “sushi” and get a point.

What’s Inside

Coming in a playing card sized box, it includes 50 double sided cards and one set of instructions. One side of the card has a theme Continue reading Word Sniper

The Fantasy Novel Resurgence Continues

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.

Infinit Region – Understanding D&D in English

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.

Discussing the "Acolyte" background and one of the table entries from the PHB
Discussing the “Acolyte” background in D&D 5e.

It’s both interesting and inspiring to see their approach. As someone who enjoys learning Japanese through analog games, it’s very much relatable as well. The two points raised in Understanding D&D in English echoes my experience as well. To paraphrase what they wrote: Continue reading Infinit Region – Understanding D&D in English

Sakura Arms – 桜降る代に決闘を

Box frontToday 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.Back of the box

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.

Contents

Box contents

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

The Once and Future Dragon Novels

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.

A Bit of History

Record of Lodoss War novels
Record of Lodoss War novels by Ryou Mizuno and illustrated by Yutaka Izubuchi by a different Kadokawa imprint

Before we look at the new offerings, let’s make a brief stop in the late eighties and early nineties, the golden age of TRPGs in Japan. The novelization of Record of Lodoss War was published Continue reading The Once and Future Dragon Novels

First Time DMing in Japanese

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.

Prep!

Having only a day to prepare was surprisingly useful because it forced me to focus on the most important tasks.

The Scenario

Prepared 2 by Kobold PressFirst, 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