RPG Dragon Magazine

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.

RPG Dragon No. 2 Cover

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

Warlock 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.

Warlock vol.5 and the bonus scenario

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

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

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

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