The TRPG resurgence continues

Cover of Kedamono Opera
Cover of Kedamono Opera

I wrote about a resurgence of role playing games in my New Years post, and that trend has continued well beyond expectation. First, Lion Wing Publishing announced several English TRPG translations, including the Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne TRPG from 2004, Kedamono Opera, and Wares Blade!

The Shin Megami Tensei TRPG has long been out of print in Japan and commands hefty prices on the secondary market. Kedamono Opera is narrative TRPG from 2022 that I’ve mentioned on Twitter previously. Wares Blade is a robot-fantasy game from the eighties and nineties that has similarly been out of print, though not as rare as Shin Megami Tensei. I happen to have a copy of the starter box set and will write about it later this year.

Wares Blade starter set box opened. Box lid on the left with content partially in the box to the right.
Wares Blade starter set box.

Domestically, Wares Blade is having a comeback in Japan. It began with a board game and fiction, but they’ve started releasing PDF versions of the core game and supplements. I purchased a couple of the PDFs and the content is very clean scan data that has not been run through OCR. A sample PDF is available from the official site.

Cover of the third edition of Blade of Arcana.
Previous edition of Blade Arcana. The new book is much larger than the 3rd edition (pictured) that I have.

Blade Arcana, a game of heroic fantasy, also recently got a massive tome of a new version, and there’s a steady stream of new TRPGs, including one where players are cats.

Very exciting times!

Welcoming 2024

My wife was joking that 2024 would be a year of games for me, and it appears to be on track for that. I’ve already had several board and TRPG sessions. One of which was on Board Game Arena. I hadn’t heard of it before, but the automated bookkeeping was great. Hoping that an increase in gaming translates to more blog posts, but Baldur’s Gate 3 has been a counter argument to that.

ダンジョンカバン player board and four face down cards.

Reviewing 2023, in addition to eleven blog posts, I also created a site to search the Japanese/English D&D word list released by Hobby Japan. It was fun project, and the positive reception was rewarding. The FFG Forum Archive continues to be visited, and it’s always fun when I find it in search results. This blog continues to grow slowly, but surely, in readership. Finally, the migration of the server that runs all of the above was mostly smooth, with minimal downtime.

More broadly, the pace of TRPGs making their way into English has increased. Among those is Eldritch Escape, an upcoming dual language release with a successful kickstarter. While updating the Games with Translations page, I was surprised to find it missing several more recent TRPGs. In the opposite direction, I was very excited to see Runequest get a new Japanese version.

Looking forward, my backlog of games to share continues to grow despite seven years of blogging. My new plan is to try out alternating between long and short posts. The latter will include trips to shops I’ve visited during my travels, as well as gaming activities and news.

Here’s to a wonderful 2024, an auspicious year of the dragon!

Welcoming 2023

Hope the New Year is off to a good start for everyone! After not much posting in 2021, a goal for 2022 was better consistency, which I think I mostly achieved with eleven posts. Of those, one highlight was a multipart deep dive of the Dark Souls TRPG. For 2023, I’d like to continue that momentum and focus on showcasing more TRPGs, even if just in brief. As much fun as deep dives are to research and write, there are a lot of books on my shelf I’d like to share with all of you.

First Games of the Year

Flamecraft board and cards mid to late game.
Flamecraft was a hit with its beautiful art.

I met with some friends to welcome in the New Year with some boardgames. Among those we played were Continue reading Welcoming 2023

Consistency in 2022

Happy New Year! I have the same thought every January: I can’t believe this blog I started in 2017 is still going. My passion for it has waxed and waned over the years, with a several month hiatus in 2021, but my passion for it has once again returned!

One of my goals for 2022 is to post here more consistently. To that end, I’m considering some shorter, incremental posts as I read longer material. I enjoy the holistic view that writing after having finished a book provides, but the immediacy of writing about what I’m reading while it’s fresh in my mind is appealing.

As always, I’m grateful for all of you taking the time to read. Wishing you all the best in 2022. Stay safe!

Into 2021 and Beyond

This January marks the 4th anniversary of Entropic Dreams. I’ve been remiss in posting the last few months, but I hope to rectify that soon. A few people have reached out to check on me, which I really appreciated.  I am thankfully doing well and my silence here was due to my hobby time being directed elsewhere.

Speaking of which, my Star Wars obsession continues into the New Year, and I’m proud to announce a project I’ve been working on over the last month. After Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) announced that they were going to close their community forums, I decided to supplement the various efforts to save the content with one of my ownー an archive of the entire forum. Work on it is starting to wind down, so I’ll be revisiting Entropic Dreams and adding new content, with an eye on TRPGs, in the near future.

Thank you all again for your concern. Your messages have definitely been an inspiration. I hope 2021 treats you all well. Stay safe!

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

Yokohama game shops list update

The Yokohama game shops list has been updated:

I recently heard about Yellow Submarine in Yokohama moving to a new location and went to check it out. It’s much larger than the previous space, which was quite cramped. Cards, board games, and TRPGs are now all on the same floor rather than split across several floors. They’re currently running an Autumn sale on a few items, mostly Magic cards with some board games and a couple of TRPGs.

Also, removed the details of Board Game Realm DDT, which was in Kikuna, but is now closed.

Speaking of shops, Warhammer Yokohama is having their first anniversary tomorrow (9/14)!

It’s been a busy month, so far, but planning to have another game write up soon!

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.

Dialect Getting a Japanese Translation

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.

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 from 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