The most common size for American TRPGs is 8.5″x11″, but that size is rare in Japan. In fact, it’s only really used for translated editions of western games. Instead, a variety of smaller paperback sizes are the norm here. So being a bit of a bibliophile, I thought it’d be interesting to take a look at the formats and pricing of TRPGs in Japan. Continue reading TRPG Book Sizes
A new TRPG Kousai-no-Revulture (光砕のリヴァルチャー) was just published and immediately caught my eye. Created by the same group as Silver Sword Stellar Knights (銀剣のステラナイツ), it’s a game of giant robots and relationships! One of the unique things about this game is that it’s a two player TRPG. Not just playable with two people, but the mechanics themselves are built around the relationship of the Chevalier (pilot of the Revulture robot) and their Fiancee (the navigator and game master).
Being one of the most popular TRPGs in Japan, Call of Cthulhu has a plethora of official and unofficial supplements. Given its popularity, it’s about time we take a look at one of them. Entitled Our Lady of Kanzashi (かんざしの聖母【マリア】) it is a scenario book for Call of Cthulhu.
Containing three scenarios ranging between 1924 and 1950, its cover channels the Taisho and early Showa era aesthetic. Kanzashi, which the girl on the right is holding and involves the third scenario, is an ornate hairpin that comes in a variety of styles.
We’ll take a brief detour and discuss the aesthetic of the cover and the period it references. The first scenario takes place in 1924, two years before the end of Taisho, and the last scenario in 1928, two years after the end. Continue reading Sanity in the Taisho Era
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.
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
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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
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.
The catalog was a hefty 317 Continue reading Game Market Fall 2019
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.