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

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

Novi Novi TRPG: The Horror

Novi Novi TRPG: The Horror box front
Novi Novi TRPG: The Horror box back

I had my eye on the “NoviNovi” TRPG games for a while before finally picking up “The Horror” edition at Tokyo Game Market. Created and illustrated by Takashi Konno, the original version that was self-published by the creator was a fantasy setting. It was picked up by Arclight Games and both horror and steampunk versions have been released. The subtitle explains the meaning behind the name: NOVIce NOVIce Table talk Role-Playing Game the HORROR. It’s a self-contained and easy to play TRPG that only takes thirty to sixty minutes, with everything you need to play in the box. No paper or pencils required. Continue reading Novi Novi TRPG: The Horror

For the Love of Uplifted Dogs

I recently found out about the RPG Pugmire and that it’s being localized to Japanese by Group SNE, the makers of Sword World. Not being familiar with Pugmire, I started looking for more info and stumbled upon tweets by its translator Yuli Bethe. There’s a number of interesting tweets, but one I found particularly interesting was a discussion about how to translate the word “lover” into Japanese. This probably seems like a straightforward thing to translate, but it’s deceptively complicated and really illustrates the problems translators face.

For those of you, like me, who hadn’t heard of Pugmire, it’s an RPG that adapts 5e’s SRD to a world of uplifted dogs. Humans have long since vanished, but dogs and other animals have inherited the world.

Now why would translating “lover” be potentially problematic in that setting? In Japanese, the most common ways of writing “lover” (such as 恋人) include the character for “human” (人). That’s all well and good except the fact that in Pugmire humans are extinct and it’s a world of animals.

The following is a rough translation Continue reading For the Love of Uplifted Dogs

Hands on Magicalogia

I wanted to try Magicalogia (マギカロギア) for quite a while and finally had the chance to play thanks to a friend’s daughter who ran a game for my wife and I. It was a game of many firsts– while it was the first time for me playing Magicalogia, it as my wife’s first time playing a TRPG at all. We were originally going to do a two person game, but the scenario in question worked better for two players plus the game master, so my wife volunteered to join in.

After briefly scanning the scenario book “Tasogare”, the GM decided on the “Call” scenario. Tasogare is a collection of scenarios, some of which have been published in other sources and some that are new. One thing that impressed me with the book was being able to run the scenario, including character generation, without having preparing beforehand. Also, the guide to the scenarios breaks down the number of players, their level, Continue reading Hands on Magicalogia

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