News of Hobby Japan losing the license to D&D and planned releases being cancelled was a shock to the Japanese D&D community. This led to numerous calls to keep D&D in Japan, including a petition to Wizards of the Coast. A few months later WOTC announced that they’d be releasing 5E in Japan directly. The price point actually dropped from ¥6,000 to ¥5,500 per book, with the starter and deluxe play sets being competitively priced.
As I mentioned in my write up about Game Market Fall 2022, Wizards is putting a lot of effort into promoting D&D. Most recently was a Magic: The Gathering Players Convention in Yokohama where there was a D&D booth with 10 minute trial sessions.
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
The last month has kept me busy, so I haven’t been able to work on my blog as much as I’ve wanted. New posts are in the works, though.
Following on the rebirth of the Dragon Novels imprint, Kadokawa is doubling down on fantasy novels by releasing digital versions of their D&D novel translations. DragonLance, the Dark Elf Story, and some Greyhawk novels are receiving this special treatment, with the DragonLance novels available both individually, as well as collected in a 25 volume set.
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.
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 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
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
My 5th edition D&D Player’s Handbook finally failed its third death save and succumbed to the curse of early editions losing their pages. I had heard that this was a common problem and that Wizards of the Coast had a replacement program, but I assumed that shipping to Japan would complicate the replacement. That assumption couldn’t be further from the truth as I received this wonderful response to my request: Continue reading Thank you, Mr Wizards
Moving from the US to Japan was a chance to shed a lot of material possessions and start fresh. One thing I do regret getting rid of is some of my old AD&D 2nd edition books. I recently decided to pick up a few of the books again and was surprised to discover some Japanese editions at my local gaming shop.
I’ve been regularly attending weekly D&D sessions at one of the local game shops Role & Roll (Japanese) in Akihabara. These week day sessions run for two hours from 7pm to 9pm, but they also occasionally host events on the weekend, which usually run from 12pm to 8pm, at the latest.
These Adventurers League games are sponsored by the Japanese publisher of D&D Hobby Japan (Japanese). Interestingly, only the free basic rules (Japanese) have been officially translated. This leads to a mix of Japanese and English source materials at the table, both paper and digital.