The last few years have seen a proliferation of digital editions of TRPG books and related tools in Japan. While many books are still physical only, there’s a growing number of both indie and commercial games with digital editions available.
While several sites focus on games and fan made content, many that originally focused on digital comics have extended their selection to include TRPGs. The sites focused on gaming products tend to have more categorization and filtering specific to games. They also usually provide the content as PDFs and/or zip files of contents instead of EPUBs with DRM or browser/app based viewing.
There are a lot of options, but I usually start my search at Booth and Conos, and then branch out to other services if they don’t have the content I’m looking for. Many publishers list on multiple sites, and while the pricing is uniform, their offerings will sometimes differ.
In terms of pricing, physical and digital editions of commercial games are often the same price or only a slight discount provided. As an example, the Japanese edition of Cyberpunk RED costs ¥7,200 for either physical or digital, while the English edition costs $60 for physical and $30 for digital. Indie games often have a bit of a discount. The indie game Praise for Angels, for example, costs ¥1,800 for the PDF and ¥2,900 for the print edition. Some services provide point systems, often with sales that increase the points received for a purchase while leaving the purchase price unchanged.
A word of warning for those hoping to use built in dictionaries: from what I’ve seen, text is not selectable in most rulebooks except those sold as PDFs. Replays formatted like a novel that I’ve read on Kindle have had selectable text and the dictionary worked, but I haven’t tested replays on other services. PDFs generally don’t have this problem, though sometimes text selection can be odd. Continue reading TRPG Digital Delve
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
I finally got the chance to drop by Jinbocho again over the weekend. Known for its numerous book stores, it’s easy to spend hours there if you’re a bibliophile.
There’s now a Sugorokuya branch on the seventh floor of the Kanda Kosho Center. Brightly lit and clean, it has a number of well organized board games. The staff appeared both friendly and knowledgeable. I was looking for TRPGs, though, so headed off to Shosen Grande.
I went to Hawaii in October and stopped by the game store Gam3Escape in Hilo. Previously in Pahoa, they moved to a larger space in Hilo about three months ago. The staff and owner were very friendly and knowledgeable.
The shop was spacious with an emphasis on play space, easily accommodating the thirty-five players that attend its weekly D&D Adventurers League. There were two games of Gaslands going on while I was there, and a few customers shuffling through TCG cards. The main product categories appeared to be D&D, Magic: The Gathering, and Games Workshop products. Continue reading Hilo Gam3Escape
Long on my radar, I finally made it to used board game shop Board Game Recycle Cube (ボードゲームリサイクルCUBE). Near Yokohama station, it’s tucked away on the third floor in a nondescript build that is easy to miss. Continue reading Board Game Recycle Cube
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!