Hope the New Year is off to a good start for everyone! After not much posting in 2021, a goal for 2022 was better consistency, which I think I mostly achieved with eleven posts. Of those, one highlight was a multipart deep dive of the Dark Souls TRPG. For 2023, I’d like to continue that momentum and focus on showcasing more TRPGs, even if just in brief. As much fun as deep dives are to research and write, there are a lot of books on my shelf I’d like to share with all of you.
After spending so much time with the Japanese Dark Souls TRPG (part one and part two), I wanted to give its tutorial scenario a try. The following are my play through notes with my impressions at the end. I played with real playing cards and dice, but marked up a PDF version of the character sheet on my tablet. Now, it goes without saying, but this post containsspoilers for the solo Dark Souls TRPG tutorial scenario.
The scenario is intended for a single player, and I ended up playing it solo. To make it more interesting for me, I did not read the scenario beforehand. Instead, I played through while reading it for the first time, and did my best to not read ahead. Continue reading Dark Souls TRPG Solo Play Report
Sadly, Role & Roll Station in Akihabara closed its doors on May 29th, 2022. It was my gateway to analog gaming in Japan, and I have many fond memories of the time I spent there. Thanks to their events, I was able to make a lot of new friends. I made two pilgrimages before it closed. Continue reading Farewell to Role & Roll Station
Over the holidays I finally had a chance to play Novi Novi TRPG: The Horror. I had high expectations for it being an accessible TRPG to play with my wife, but it didn’t quite work as well as I had hoped. It’s a good game, it just wasn’t a good fit for us.
For background, my wife’s experience with TRPGs is playing a game of Magicalogia and seeing me play games of D&D and FFG Star Wars. We’ve watched a number of zombie shows and movies together, so I thought the horror theme would be a better hook than fantasy. To my surprise, she was more engaged with Magicalogia, Continue reading Hands on Novi Novi TRPG: The Horror
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.
I played in a D&D Dragon Heist online session the other day. We used discord for the audio and general chat, but rounded it out with an open source tool called Udonarium that has a neat approach to tabletop.
Toolbar, inventory, main chat, and map. The images are the standard tutorial images.
The first thing that struck me was its approach to the map. Most software, such as roll20, provides a top down view. Udonarium, on the other hand, provides a 3D view, with the tokens “standing” on the map, giving it a feeling similar to in-person table top play. The board and tokens themselves can be rotated. A brief video showing this functionality:
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
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.
Having only a day to prepare was surprisingly useful because it forced me to focus on the most important tasks.
First, 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
The designer Hisashi Hayashi and illustrator Ryoko Hayashi of the board game Yokohama (横濱紳商伝) were at Rigoler last Sunday. There was a special event for the game with signed copies available that had quite the turnout, with the game actually selling out.