First Time DMing in Japanese

I had been wanting to try my hand at DMing in Japanese for a long time, but always found an excuse to wait. That procrastination finally came to an end when the regular DM for the monthly D&D 5e game I play in suddenly had to work. The group considered playing something else, but at the coaxing of my wife, I volunteered to run a one shot. Both the game and prep were fun, so it was definitely worth the challenge! I hope to inspire others to try DMing in a second language by diving into how I went about prepping and running the game.

Prep!

Having only a day to prepare was surprisingly useful because it forced me to focus on the most important tasks.

The Scenario

Prepared 2 by Kobold PressFirst, I decided that I’d use a pre-written scenario and after some research, settled on “A Starry Breach” from Kobold Press’s Prepared! 2. I already had their Tome of Beasts, so ran the monsters as written, but there are suggested replacements from the Monster Manual as well. Next, I printed out the three pages of the adventure and monster entries and sleeved them in a folio for easy reference. Scenario to run now in hand, I had one problem: it was in English, but the game would be in Japanese. Continue reading First Time DMing in Japanese

Gaming until First Light

August has been a whirlwind of a month for me, so it was wonderful to let loose with an all night gaming session at the local gaming shop Rigoler. I wrote about the shop previously, and my appreciation of it has only increased the more I go.

The all night event officially started at 12 midnight and went to 5 AM at a bar in the same building as the shop, but the “pre-game” event started at 6pm and Rigoler was packed. My pre-game, though, was to go a local Bon Dance festival.

Bon Dance
The dancers circle around the stand performing the same movements

My friend and I showed up around midnight Continue reading Gaming until First Light

Babel

Continuing on the success of Pandemic: Iberia over New Years with my wife, we next tried the balance game Babel.

Babel Box

Box Contents

Babel comes in a sturdy box with a nice pulp texture to it. It can be played with 1 to 5 players and takes 15-30 minutes. The version we played was the new version that came out in 2017. The previous version came out in 2016 and had some differences with the components.

Unboxing Babel

In the box are 36 wall cards, 45 blue print cards, 10 base cards, one ceiling card, and 5 language cards, plus the instruction booklet. The components are well-made and sturdy. Appropriate to its biblical namesake, Hebrew is used as a design element on the cards.

Babel Contents

Continue reading Babel

Scouting Yokohama Shops and Cafes

As I mentioned last post, I’ll be moving to Yokohama soon. Curious what my gaming options would look like, we decided to swing by some game shops and cafes after checking out apartments. I’ll add a list of Yokohama shops, similar to my Tokyo list, once I get to know the area a bit better. Now to the shops!

Continue reading Scouting Yokohama Shops and Cafes

A Day at the DAC 2017

DAC 2017 Sign on whiteboard
This way to the 2017 DAC!

The Dungeons & Dragons Annual Convention (DAC) usually falls at a busy time of year for me, so I haven’t been able to participate until this year. The convention consists of two days of D&D-related gaming, with each player participating in one game for the entire day.

I only attended the Saturday session, but it was packed. Reception started at 9:30 am and was followed by the opening ceremony at 10am where they introduced the DMs for the day. Gaming started at 10:30am and continued until 7pm with a few breaks decided by the table. After that, closing comments, announcements, and a raffle with tons of prizes. Continue reading A Day at the DAC 2017

Friday Night Adventurers

With the Japanese edition of Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition coming out this Autumn, there has been an increased interest in D&D. We’ve had a number of new players, or those returning from older editions, stop by the Wednesday night Adventurer’s League as well.

The cast
The cast of Friday Night Adventurers

There’s a Japanese language stream of D&D on Friday nights that just recently restarted after a hiatus called Friday Night Adventurers (金曜夜は冒険者). It’s structured in a way that also teaches a bit of the system. There is a natural feel to it, like we’re just joining in and watching a group play instead of watching a more theatric performance. While enjoyable to watch for veteran players, I imagine this style is especially helpful for beginners and those who have an interest in seeing how a real game plays out. Hopefully this and the Japanese edition will increase the number of players in Japan. Continue reading Friday Night Adventurers

Rise of the Game Cafe

I was a bit surprised by this article on the growing popularity of board game cafes in America and Canada. Board game cafes have become popular in Japan as well, but that’s partly by necessity since most people don’t have the space to play at home.

In the time that I’ve been gaming here, I’ve actually never played at a friend’s house. I have played at game stores, game spaces, business conference rooms, community centers, and cafes, but no homes. On the other hand, in America I played exclusively at someone’s house or online. While it’s partly space related, there’s also a cultural element about entertaining others outside the home. Continue reading Rise of the Game Cafe