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, 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, 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

A Potpourri of TRPGs

A friend’s daughter is an avid TRPG player and offered to run a session of Magicalogia for my wife and I. I’m working on a detailed post about that game, but in the meanwhile, I thought it’d be interesting to look at some of the games she’s been playing:

Call of Cthulhu, Shinobigami, Magikarogia (hers, the new collected edition), Monotone Museum, Magikarogia (mine, the older edition), Kill Death Business, and Insane.

Clockwise from top left:

  • Call of Cthulhu – the classic and ever popular
  • Shinobigami – modern day ninjas
  • Magicalogia – (hers, the new collected edition) – mages fighting to save the world
  • Monotone Museum – fairy tale fantasy
  • Magicalogia (mine, the older edition)
  • Kill Death Business – hellish assassins on a TV show in Hell
  • Insane – multi-genre horror

Not making it in the above Continue reading A Potpourri of TRPGs

Infinit Region – Understanding D&D in English

I’ve recently been enjoying Infinit Region, a blog about learning English through D&D. Started in 2011, the first post was about the author’s purchase of the Madness at Gardmore Abbey for 4e. In subsequent posts, the author focuses primarily on their experience learning English through their love of D&D, providing examples and advice for how to do so.

Discussing the "Acolyte" background and one of the table entries from the PHB
Discussing the “Acolyte” background in D&D 5e.

It’s both interesting and inspiring to see their approach. As someone who enjoys learning Japanese through analog games, it’s very much relatable as well. The two points raised in Understanding D&D in English echoes my experience as well. To paraphrase what they wrote: Continue reading Infinit Region – Understanding D&D in English

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 by 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

Interview with Amy Veeres

Kamigakari: God Hunters coverAmy Veeres of Serpent Sea Games and project manager of the Kamigakari: God Hunters English translation was kind enough to answer a few of my questions.

Kamigakari (神我狩) is a TRPG set in modern Japan that mixes anime action with Japanese folklore and then turns it up to 11. The Kickstarter for an official English translation was funded in just 55 hours and has already met its first stretch goal of including translator notes.

The Project

Scott: How did the project first come to life?

Amy: A friend was planning on running Kamigakari for my group. While reading the original fan translation, I said to myself, “This game sounds great, Continue reading Interview with Amy Veeres

Kamigakari Kickstarter

With the Kickstarter by Serpent Sea Games funded in just 55 hours, Kamigakari is now getting an official English translation! The Kickstarter runs until the end of November, so there’s still time to get in on some god hunting action.

Kamigakari: God Hunters (神我狩) is a Japanese TRPG about beings with supernatural powers protecting an unsuspecting world from the false gods. It draws on Japanese folklore, mixing it with a heavy dose of anime action for very cool results. Check out the Kickstarter description for more details.

Cover of Kamigakari: God Hunters
Cover of Kamigakari: God Hunters

Mechanically speaking, its uses what it calls a “dice control system.” Continue reading Kamigakari Kickstarter