It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since I started blogging. I’ve learned a lot in the process, and am very thankful for all of you who take the time to read it. One of the highlights for me last year was learning that one of the players in the weekly Adventurer’s League game I attend found it because of this site.
January and February will be very busy for me, but I hope to start going through my backlog of games once things calm down a bit. In addition to some board and card games, there’s a number of TRPGs I’ve been hankering to introduce here. It’s funny to think that I was worried about finding topics to write about; it’s more a matter of finding the time to research and write.
The new year already brings some change- namely an impending move from Tokyo to Yokohama. After checking out apartments there, we dropped by a few game shops and cafes. I’ll write about that trip and gaming over the New Years holiday soon.
7 thoughts on “One Year of Entropic Dreams”
Hi-just recently found your blog when researching Sword world. Do you plan to do more coverage of it in the future?
Do keep up the great work – i love to hear more about Tabletop rpgs from Japan [i was suprised its popular when console and PC games are so prelevant].
Also what would you say is the average age for TRPG players over there? over her we run the gammut from early teen to near penisoners!
Again Keep up the great work
Hi, thank you for the kind words! I don’t have an specific plans for Sword World at the moment, but do plan to talk more about Japanese tabletop rpgs. Anything specific about Sword World you’re interested in or would like to know more about? Also, how did you first hear about Sword World?
TRPGs are definitely a small niche in Japan and nowhere near as popular as video games, but despite that, there’s a surprising variety of TRPGs. Cthulhu TRPG is probably one of the most popular and attracts a more diverse crowd than games like D&D.
It might be due to the venues I go to, but I don’t see many teens playing TRPGs. Probably 20s to 50s, with the middle of that range being the most common. Nothing concrete to back up this hunch, but I get the sense that a number of people start playing in college, take a break when they start working, and then come back to the hobby in their 30s.
It’s great to hear the wide age range of people enjoying TRPGs where you are! What country are you in?
>Anything specific about Sword World you’re interested in or would like to know more about?
Im curious as to wether its just the fans of the rpg who say it is, or is sword world really that popular as an RPG? has it been surpassed by other, newer games?
> Also, how did you first hear about Sword World?
I was actually researching record of Lodoss war when i found out it was a setting used by the RPG, and after further looking around i found more a#bout the game, and throught that the various google+ forums, and by them your own blog.
that being said do you know of any other blogs like your own that cover the Japanese tabletop rpg scene?
>It might be due to the venues I go to, but I don’t see many teens playing TRPGs. Probably 20s to 50s, with the middle of that range being the most common.
Thats rather suprising to me as i, like alot of people in the west, assume that, with the excessive workload ethic we hear about concerning Japan, it woul mean that it was a younger age range [high school to college age] that played RPGS, with the older age range that dropped off as work commitiments got in the way.
>What country are you in?
United kingdom me so mostly the same scene as America with pathfinder and DND at the top, gurps and traveller below but with a dedicated fanbase. What was White wolf [onw called Onix path -dont ask] have released 20th anniversery editions of their World of darkness games.
Also if ##n case you didnt kb#now weve started to see more forign RPGS coming over in english -with Germanys Das Schwarze Auge [released as the dark eye], and some Japanese rpgs coming over via American companys such as :
Star line publishing [Yuuyake Koyake, in english as Golden sky story, and maid the rpg]
version blue amusment [Double cross]
And Kotodam heavy industys [Tenra Bansho Zero, Shinobigami – God of the Shinobi and Ryuutama] – http://kotohi.com/.
Finally there have been fan attempts to translate some games overto english including the 1st edtion of Sword world, the Log horizon Trpg and Kamigakari.
> Im curious as to wether its just the fans of the rpg who say it is, or is sword world really that popular as an RPG? has it been surpassed by other, newer games?
Hmm, good question. I’d say it’s definitely popular, but Cthulhu might be the most popular. There’s always fan made scenarios and expansions for Cthulhu being sold at Game Market, and the attendance of Cthulhu events seems quite large, though I haven’t been to one myself. Sounds like an interesting topic to look into.
> I was actually researching record of Lodoss war when i found out it was a setting used by the RPG
Cool. I actually found out about Sword World through Lodoss War as well.
> do you know of any other blogs like your own that cover the Japanese tabletop rpg scene?
Hmm, I’m not aware of too many active blogs, which is partly why I started. There’s https://yarukizerogames.com and http://j-rpg.com and its previous incarnation http://www.j-rpg.com/talk/ , though the latter two haven’t really been updated. There’s this google+ group , but it sounds like you may have already seen that.
> Thats rather suprising to me as i, like alot of people in the west, assume that … that it was a younger age range [high school to college age] that played RPGS, with the older age range that dropped off as work commitiments got in the way.
Yeah, now that you mention it, the younger age range actually are probably the most common, but play at other venues, such as on campus as part of a club. When I see teens at a game store, they’re usually in the magic/yu-gi-oh/other CCG duel space area. I do see a number of what I assume to be college students, though, and they seem to be well represented at Game Market.
In addition to venue, I think another aspect of the age distribution I see is the TRPG boom in the late 80s and 90s was when a lot of people first got exposed to them, so once they get settled down in their job or their kids get older, they sometimes come back to TRPGs (or maybe they never left). Work hours can definitely be long in Japan, but I think it can be especially tough when a person first enters the company.
> if ##n case you didnt kb#now weve started to see more forign RPGS coming over in english -with Germanys Das Schwarze Auge [released as the dark eye], and some Japanese rpgs coming over via American companys
Thanks for the heads up! I knew about a couple of those, but the number of options have increased since I last looked. It’s really nice that more translated games are available. I’ll add a page listing translated Japanese TRPGs.
Speaking of The Dark Eye, it’s currently on bundle of holding. Have you played it before?
>Speaking of The Dark Eye, it’s currently on bundle of holding. Have you played it before?
Sadly no, and at this time i cant get time to play it, however one thing i have noted about the game is that combat in TDE is LETHAL – armour taking the brunt of damage [acting as damage reduction] first and then the leftover damage is taken by you. in theory even a low level thug could take out even a high level character with the right blows.
The game instead offers alternative to the murdehobo route – wether through trade, Espioage, court intrigue – its all there. Also magic is apparently very low powered to say DnD – it’ll help win a fight, but it cant win a fight on its own.
Finally [and this is my own critique of the game] the game is built around the game setting of Aventuria – you’d need to do some work to either make a homebrew seting, or use it for another setting.
forgot to add – ullisses spiel have an english language forum for their games, including TDE –
Sounds really interesting! Thanks for the description and link to the publisher’s English forums. You’ve sold me on it and I picked up a copy. Probably won’t get to play it anytime soon, but I definitely want to take a look. The lethal combat and alternatives to life as a murderhobo definitely sounds attractive. I imagine the lethality helps promote non-combat heavy life styles.
One (non-Japanese RPG) I recently picked up and have been wanting to try out is Coriolis by Modiphius. It’s an SF RPG that bills itself as the “Arabian Nights in Space”. If nothing else it’s a beautiful book.