RPG Dragon Magazine

Following the look at Warlock magazine, we’ll go back to August 1994 and take a look at volume 2 of RPG Dragon (RPGドラゴン). Released as a bimonthly supplementary magazine to the monthly Dragon Magazine (ドラゴンマガジン), it sold for 800 yen at the time. I ordered it from Suruga-ya along with another magazine with a supplement about Magicalogia. Based on the insert advertising RPG Dragon, the main magazine sold for 600 Yen.

What caught my eye, was the list of games it focused on: Sword World, Battletech and Mechwarrior, Shadowrun, Monster Maker, Dragon Half, and Paradise Fleet, among others.

RPG Dragon No. 2 Cover

The page direction follows the traditional style of right to left, while modern game magazines are usually left to right. There’s a lot of content, and the order of it tends to be mixed, so rather than showcase in page order, I’ll list it by category. Continue reading RPG Dragon Magazine

Warlock Magazine

I wrote about Japanese TRPG magazines a few years ago, with deeper looks at Role & Roll and Game Mastering Magazine. At the time I didn’t have a copy of Warlock magazine, but I picked up volume five and wanted to introduce it here.

Warlock vol.5 and the bonus scenario

Group SNE publishes Warlock magazine, which primarily focuses on Advanced Fighting Fantasy and Tunnels and Trolls. I don’t play either game, but picked up this issue because of its special on Pugmire. Looking at some of the reviews on Amazon, I’m not alone in this. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Continue reading Warlock Magazine

Hands on Gundam the Game

Amuro looking at the game

Last year my wife and I became hooked on the original Gundam TV show. Surprisingly, neither of us had watched it before, so what started as a lark inspired by this Yoshinoya commercial turned us into fans.  When Arclight announced they were releasing a cooperative Gundam board game, I knew I wanted to give it, so picked it up at Tokyo Game Market.

The game is for 1-4 players and takes at least 30 minutes to play each phase. There are always four characters being played, so how many each player controls scales inversely with the number of players. Its gameplay is straight forward and simple, following the original TV show story. Like many story-based games, Continue reading Hands on Gundam the Game

From Season to Season

From Season to Season is a cute game of winning by losing. Coming in a small confectionary-sized box, the labeling and design is that of traditional Japanese sweets. The game really plays to the idea of hospitality and ometenashi, with players giving points to others, and the player with the fewest points wins.

The reference sheet, season with point tracker card, and sweets tiles
The top left card is a reference card. The bottom left card is used to track points, as well as indicate the player’s season.

Continue reading From Season to Season

Udonarium

I played in a D&D Dragon Heist online session the other day. We used discord for the audio and general chat, but rounded it out with an open source tool called Udonarium that has a neat approach to tabletop.

Toolbar, inventory, main chat, and map
Toolbar, inventory, main chat, and map. The images are the standard tutorial images.

The first thing that struck me was its approach to the map. Most software, such as roll20, provides a top down view. Udonarium, on the other hand, provides a 3D view, with the tokens “standing” on the map, giving it a feeling similar to in-person table top play. The board and tokens themselves can be rotated. A brief video showing this functionality:

Continue reading Udonarium

The New Year Makes Three

It’s hard to believe it’s almost already February and I’m just now making my first post of the year. 2020 marks the third year of this blog, which in itself is still a surprise for me at times. So what’s next for Entropic Dreams? I’m working on two more TRPG magazine posts: one on Warlock and another about an old issue of Warlock and Dragon MagazinesDragon from the ’90s. After that, I’d like to spend some time introducing some more indie TRPGs, but the Dark Souls TRPG is also on my list. Sprinkled amongst those will be some board games, such as Gundam, as well. I’m also considering working on some gaming vocabulary pages or maybe a guide.

On a Star Wars kick

Force Awakens Beginner Game and Force and Destiny

Between the new movie, the Mandalorian, and just general geekiness, I’ve been on a Star Wars binge lately. Continue reading The New Year Makes Three

Dragon Castle

Tokyo Game Market booth listing for Dragon Castle
Tokyo Game Market booth listing

I was immediately drawn to the listing for Dragon Castle TRPG as I flipped through the Game Market catalog. The old school feeling by the design and mechanics is something I really dig.

Being but a few pages, Dragon Castle was a very quick read. The rules, monsters, and character sheet are just three pages on card stock. Included looseleaf in the package is a thin cardboard battle sheet to track position during combat, a double sided FAQ sheet, and finally a card stock single page adventure.

Contents of the basic rules for Dragon Castle
Contents of the basic rules for Dragon Castle

It’s a well thought out way of packaging the beginner rules. The scenario is detached from the rules, making it easy for the DM to reference. Additional monsters are also included, and the Continue reading Dragon Castle

Game Market Fall 2019

I was originally going to skip the Fall Tokyo Game Market because I haven’t played all the games I picked up last time, but in the end I found myself at Tokyo Big Sight again surrounded by analog games.

This time I went on Sunday, which is the more TRPG heavy day of the two day event. In terms of indie TRPGs, Cthulhu scenarios and supplements were again the most prevalent, but it seemed there were more indie supplements for other systems than before. Classics like Shinobigami and Kamigakari were still represented, but there were several scenarios for Stellar Knights of the Silver Sword and more recent games. One scenario book I looked at actually contained scenarios for multiple systems. There were also a number of original systems present.

Booth listings in the Tokyo Game Market catalog
Booth listings in the Tokyo Game Market catalog

The catalog was a hefty 317 Continue reading Game Market Fall 2019

Core Connection Sacred Machine Resonance

Giant robots piloted by teenage girls? Check.
Fighting to save the world from a secret society? Check.
Deck building game? Check.

The indie card game Core Connection Sacred Machine Resonance: (神機共鳴 コア・コネクション) embodies the giant mecha genre and comes in a sleek package. Players begin as unknown pilots in mass produced robots, and later choose a famous pilot and ancient humanoid weapon known as “Resonant”. Together with their robot, they’ll battle the secret organization “Nebula’s Heart”. From the back of the box: choose from six pilots that grow in power as the game plays and six robots for a total of 36 variations. And when things get rough, unleash the pilot and robot’s true power.

Box cover and contents

Continue reading Core Connection Sacred Machine Resonance

Playing at the Game of Life

Things are starting to settle down a bit and I’m finally able to game again. A friend organized a board game day and the first game we played was quite interesting– Life (人生ゲーム). I’ve played the American version when I was a kid, so it was interesting to revisit as an adult. Adding on to that, there are a number of changes unique to the Japanese version. I got a kick out of it, so wanted to share a few pictures of it.

Back of the box. The game has expanded from what I remember. There are now four add on expansion boards included with the game.
The game has expanded from what I remember. There are now four add on expansion boards included with the game.

Continue reading Playing at the Game of Life