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grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

Professor Nova Sez: Life is a karmic struggle in which the weak are ultimately crushed!

Because RPGs Weren't Shameful Enough Already

Once upon a time, a bunch of Japanese nerds sat down and started playing their dog-eared imported copy of OD&D or Traveler or GURPS or some other drat thing, wrote down what happened, and posted it to the primordial internet or sent a transcript to their other nerdy friends and it became a thing. Suddenly there was a thriving community of replay transcripts, sort of like P&P RPG versions of Let's Plays. Some of them even got popular enough to get published in magazines, or merchandized. The big one was Record of Lodoss War, which got serialized in 1986. It got big enough to make a vast series of animated knockoffs.

At the same time, TSR was in its "sue the poo poo out of anyone who even looks funny at our IP" phase, shutting down fan sites and publications. TSR gets approached by the Lodoss folks, who have this ready-made market, and all they had to do to make a hell of a lot of money was draft some new interior art, pay one of their new associates to do the translation and shut the hell up. TSR doesn't like that one bit and tells them to get bent, so the Japanese market loses out on most western P&P games for a hell of a long time and becomes this weird Galapagos of RPG development.

(Case in point, nearly every system in Japan relies on some kind of d6 mechanic, like d66 systems, or Xd6 and roll under a stat, or 2d6 divided by a stat and compared to a chart, like some even worse version of THAC0. Astonishingly, this has a straight-forward reason behind it - pretty much nobody makes anything but six-siders in Japan. It's still weird as hell to flip through a book in a language you can't read and see tables with entries from 11 to 66.)

You should care about this parallel development because of what it's done to the general idea of RPGs in Japan. As a generalization, JTTRPGs focus more on light play rules. There are probably J-grogs out there who slave over their translated and annotated editions of GURPS: Vehicles and Hackmaster or their locally-grown equivalents, but by and large the games play more like FATE or Fudge, maybe nWoD on the outside, rather than D&D or Shadowrun. Mix the emphasis on player-produced content with the weird poo poo Japan produces and you get some really interesting results. Not always good, but interesting.

Which is not to say that GURPS or D&D or Shadowrun are totally unknown - some of them have actually been translated and published in Japan, from the aforementioned games to things like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1e, Earthdawn, Tunnels and Trolls, Traveler and many others. Most of the importation happened during the 90's, though, so don't stroll your porky rear end into Comiket with a box full of nWoD books looking for a game.

Wikipedia's list of JTTRPGs. Apart from all the licensed properties, there are a tons of original games. Much like in the West, you're not going to hear about the good stuff in favor of someone's half-assed Geimu ohvu Saronzu port 99% of the time.

Games I Know Even Slightly Something About

Record of Lodoss War/Sword World

Sword World, First Edition Cover

The Ur-JTTRPG. Sword World and the Lodoss War setting is to D&D as Final Fantasy is to Wizardry and the SSI Gold Box games. The thing started as a replay of D&D in an old computer magazine and sort of spiralled out from there. It was published by Group SNE, a body very loosely comparable to TSR, in the sense that they created the big names that people recognize in the context of TTRPGs and then a whole bunch of other crap of varying levels of forgettableness, up to and including a lot of licensed garbage.

Sword World is the Lodoss setting from the replays, plus the actual rules you'd need to play a game. It's got the cultural clout of D&D over in Moonland, which is about as useful there as it is here. Sword World is the one that uses the weird d6-THAC0 system I mentioned, and it's had a ton of sales in addition to being the subject of a truly staggering number of officially-published replays on top of all the fan dreck.

A second edition was published relatively recently, presumably to much complaining on 2chan about how the game was ruined because now you could play as a Lilldraken and how it was spitting on E. Hitoshi Yasuda's grave.

Potsticker on Sword World 2.0.

Maid RPG

Shut up about Maid.

Ryutama

Ryutama, apparently the all-natural RPG

A game about adventures, in a sense someone who is not a filthy participant in our hobby would recognize. Characters are focused more on journeys and travel, a little like Oregon Trail, rather than murdering monsters for their loot or licking the wizard's curly-toed boot. One of the less common games to use more than just d6s, and filled with adorable art. Go click that link and look at everything.

Unfortunately, while translated editions exist, they're intentionally crippled so as to not deprive the game's creators of sales from lunatics in the West who'd buy such a thing, and the translation isn't for sale anyway. Here's an example of play, just to rub it in.
Ryutama in Japanese, free for the taking.

ProfessorProf posted:

Started a Ryuutama campaign yesterday over roll20 with some online friends and my own jumbled translation of the rules. It was very nice, in a way that I'm not used to tabletop games being.

The quest of the first adventure involved putting an end to a series of raids on an inn's food supplies by a pair of catgoblins. When the party found them, they ended up healing their sick child in exchange for a promise that the goblins would move on peacefully. No combat occurred. The party spend about half an hour, without prompting, playing out eating dinner, with no actual relevance to ongoing plotlines.

Mechanically, the system is fairly simple, but functional. There's some weirdness we found where camping outside can be more beneficial than paying for cramped lodgings, and it's unexpectedly easy for characters to fail at things, so the GM needs to be prepared for the party to mess up repeatedly, especially with a low-level group. My favorite mechanic is probably the daily Condition Check, because what other system has rules for waking up on the wrong side of the bed and having it throw off your groove for the rest of the day?

Overall everyone had a huge amount of fun. It's a system that encourages characters to spend a lot of time just being characters at each other, and that was before I added in the house rule to allow player nominations of good roleplaying moments at the end of the session for bonus XP. Looking forward to getting further into this.

Andy's back to take your money! Pledge over at the Ryuutama kickstarter today!

Tenra Bansho Zero

There's some cyborgs behind the ninja girl if you squint

What would happen if Japan vomited in your face and there were dice stuck in there somewhere. Set in a far future where an isolated group of colonists have recreated their society based in a very approximate fashion on the Sengoku period of Japanese history. Samurai and cyborgs are equally valid character archetypes in this game. Play is very big on theatrical motifs, and it's rules-light.

An English version is supposed to have a Kickstarter sometime in late spring or early summer. Kickstarter is live and funded! Buy it anyway! YIP YIP ALL YO YENS Kickstarter is ludicrously well funded and books are going out soon! Hooray!

Buy TBZ here!

Golden Sky Stories

It's another loving cover, what do you want from me

A slice-of-life RPG, in which the players are helpful spirits assisting the people of a rural town. It has no dice, no resources, and likely no competition. I want to play it purely because I want to give John Tarnowski an aneurism at a great distance. But it also looks like a cool game with good production values.

GSS should have a Kickstarter shortly after Tenra Bansho. Ewan Cluney, one of the guys behind the GSS localization reads these forums and I vaguely recall him posting once or twice. I'd tell you to not be assholes if he shows up, but alas, he has already seen grognards.txt.

GSS Kickstarter is up! Go forth and spend.

Here's the first GSS supplement for free, if you can read moon runes.

Arianrhod
Ewan Cluney on Arianrhod, part one part two.

Meikyuu Kingdom

MK Second Edition Cover

The world is a giant dungeon, and the PCs are members of the court of a tiny kingdom carving out a slice of it for their own. Some lunatic took every weird JRPG cliche and made it into a TTRPG, loaded with puns and painfully dorky jokes. The name of the thing is a broken pun in English, for chrissakes.

It looks rad as hell, and since I'm intentionally guilting Mikan into writing about this thing, I'm going to leave it at that.

Ewan Cluney on Meikyuu Kingdom.
Bitchtits and Rasamune's translation project.
Mikan on MK.
Mikan shows off his copies, the bastard.

Meikyuu now has its own thread! Go here for more details of the ongoing localization, and to nag Fax.

Feedback loop

Thanks to the miracle of all the weird poo poo the internet brings us, something peculiar has happened. Really, really recently, a handful of Western nerds have started making games based on Japanese TTRPGs, which in turn are based on Western RPGs. Magical Burst is the one that got me interested in all this crap, so go read Dareon's writeup from the FATAL and Friends thread if you haven't already. Other brilliant or terrible creations of this bizarre trade are more than welcome.

Other Links
A shorter, much better summation of what the hell's going on over there, from the Ryutama translator.
Cheap Trick goes to Yellow Submarine.
DiamondSutra translates a whole bunch of stuff and talks about behind-the-scenes bits.
Diamond Sutra and friends talk about JTTRPGs and other things on this podcast.

Post about games that came from somewhere around the eastern shore of Asia. Corrections and new stuff to put in the OP are always good.

grassy gnoll fucked around with this message at Nov 4, 2013 around 02:52

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Triple-Kan
Dec 29, 2008


I have a copy of the Meikyuu Kingdom core book, and what I'm guessing is the monster manual, tucked away somewhere. A friend got them for me from Japan because he knows I love weird RPGs, though it's too bad I can't make head or tails of the language. Both books are absolutely adorable, cover to cover, and I'd kill for a translated copy.

Gau
Nov 18, 2003

ASK ME ABOUT THE KEYS TO KICKSTARTER SUCCESS

I'm just here to say I'm really happy someone posted this thread, and if you want to see some awesome faux-Japanese game design, I really recommend poking around Neko_Ewen's other games that are not Maid RPG.

clockworkjoe
May 31, 2000

Rolled a 1 on the random encounter table, didn't you?

oh my god I want a copy of Ryutama so I can run it for the RPPR AP podacst

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

You pick up the nugget of URANIUM and...

Oh that was so stupid. Why would you do that?


Someone please talk a lot about Meikyuu Kingdom.

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



Yesssssss I've been waiting for this thread

I've been interested in Ryutama for a while, as it sounds like it would be great for one shots or laid back episodic gaming with a lot of in-party roleplaying. The lesser emphasis on combat and hard tactical crunch would leave a a lot of room for things to be, you know, fantasy-like too.

Anybody who knows more feel free to taunt me with how awesome it is and how I'm never going to play it. Or tell me how wrong I am and how amazing it still is in entirely different ways, that is cool too.

Pretty please?

InfiniteJesters
Jan 26, 2012


Ooh, ooh, I've been waiting to post this! (Please forgive the 1d4chan link.)

http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Touhou_Danm...ugi_Flowers_RPG

It's based off of the Touhou shmups that're so popular over there. Wholly inoffensive game but either the translation or the game itself was not designed clearly because it's hard to tell what the dealie is here.

That and the maths/mechanics for the game are terrible.

Hell, even the fluff isn't that great in this case. The shmup games have a pretty large amount of lore (backed up by fanbooks made by the one-man studio behind the games) and Yuugi Flowers' sole concession to this is a lackluster map in the back.

Given how absurdly popular the Touhou games are in Japan you'd expect this thing to have more effort behind it.

InfiniteJesters fucked around with this message at May 17, 2012 around 17:06

Ewen Cluney
May 8, 2012

Ask me about
Japanese elfgames!


Evil Mastermind posted:

Someone please talk a lot about Meikyuu Kingdom.
I'll write about it more thoroughly when I have time to pull out the books and stuff.

The game takes place in what was a more or less typical fantasy world until the Dungeon Hazard happened and the entire world became one colossal landscape of dungeons. In the game you play the ruler of a very small kindgom (with a population of 40-50 to start with) and his or her retinue. The base classes are things like King/Queen, Servant, Ninja, Knight, Priest, etc., and there are also "jobs" (which I can't remember any good examples of off the top of my head). Classes give you a selection of 6 or so skills to choose from, and a job gives you IIRC one job-specific skill. (Skills here in the Japanese TRPG sense, being a discrete character ability, in the manner of a Power or Feat in D&D4e terms.) When you go adventuring you have the option to bring some subjects with you, and certain Skills become more effective as you have more with you.

Each session runs through certain "phases." You do some stuff to manage your kingdom, you go on an adventure into a dungeon, and you reap the spoils of your adventure. Conquering a dungeon gives you both territory to expand into and resources to use to build stuff, so you can add "Facilities" to your kingdom (which are in the back of the book and have specific mechanical effects).

The basic action resolution rules are a 2d6+Stat vs. Target Number type setup, except that any time you roll a 6 on an individual die it counts as zero for your roll but you get a personal Hope point. Hope points let you boost your rolls and power certain Skills. Your kingdom also has a pool of "Voice of the People" hope points that the PCs all share.

Combat is pretty simple and quick. It uses a "battlefield map", which has six areas arranged vertically, giving it a little bit of tactical movement without resorting to a full grid map (and I'm totally stealing that idea for some of my own games). It uses HP and damage kinda like D&D, though the numbers are relatively low (a longsword is 1D6 damage, a dagger is 2 damage).

The whole game is chock full of discrete bits of game material printed in the form of cards (you're meant to photocopy them and cut them out, but they do sell pre-printed cards in color), and the monsters are one of the most fun parts, especially if you don't read Japanese. There's some fairly normal fantasy fare, and there's a bunch of random weirdness that earns the game the "Cynical Pop Dungeon Fantasy" subtitle on the cover. One of the signature monsters is "Mayokin," a sapient bottle of mayonnaise, and there's the Cup Men, a cup noodle that attacks people, using its noodles as tentacles. There's the Rust Samurai, which is indeed a cross between a rust monster and a samurai. My favorite is the one that shows a girl in a Playboy bunny outfit, holding a katana in one hand and a severed head in the other--the vorpal bunny. It also has plenty of traps, including stuff like the Living Room, where the room turns out to be alive and will eat you if you try to make camp there.

I got to play the game with the designers when they were at Gen Con in 2008 (which was interesting given their rough English). We glossed over most of the kingdom phase and just made characters and did a simple dungeon, but it was a lot of fun. (Also, the other group was led by King Friday XIII.)

I've mentioned before, but Meikyuu Kingdom is at the top of our list of possible Japanese RPGs to pursue next (and I do have contacts with the publisher), but an English version would be a long ways off.

e: Oh, and thanks for the shout-out about my games and stuff. I think of myself as having Traditional, Indie, and Japanese as the three pillars of my RPG design influences, though the game of mine with the most Japanese influence (Slime Quest) is going to involve a ton more work.

Ewen Cluney fucked around with this message at May 17, 2012 around 17:27

Bitchtits McGee
Jul 1, 2011



Well, there was going to be a Meikyuu writeup in this post, but then I previewed to proofread and saw Ewen had gone and done a better job of it in the meantime, so skip that I guess. Still, I have got one piece of news to add: fellow goon Rasamune (rhyme! ) and I have been working on translating it for a few months now, and enough has been done that I've actually got a test game running; only one session so far, but hey. I started a thread for the project a while back, but it was awful so I closed it and never got around to making a new one, but there is still the #MeikyuuKingdom channel on synIRC if anyone wants to stop by.

Potsticker
Jan 13, 2006

~*~ SIIIIGH ~*~


How awesome, this thread comes on the heels of me ordering the Sword World 2.0 books a little while ago. I got a crush on the system after finding out that character building/stats works a little similarly to Cadwallon. (which would be the game I would pick if I could only ever play one fantasy TRPG ever again) This weekend I'll be introducing it to a bunch of college kids, and I've been shopping it around a couple of friends to see if I can't get some traction into getting them to try it out. I don't really want to give it to my current gaming group yet, as I'm already running Danger Patrol and I don't want to distract them with something new.

At this point, though, I sort of wish I had bought a replay book and/or one of the scenario books as well. Especially since I took a bullet to the head on shipping costs the first time (or any time I order books from overseas) Does anyone have any suggestions on places to order from (that I can get shipped to America) that won't cost me an arm and a leg in shipping costs?

SinetheGuy
Feb 21, 2007


While I don't have a particularly strong inclination toward anime-style fantasy, and its art style may be bit too florid for my taste, the mechanics idea behind Ryutama sounds really refreshing. Hell, I'm a big enough fan of Ghibli movies to see the setting appeal, too. I know there are a few low-conflict RPGs in English, but are there any that focus specifically on travel-based scenarios?

Mikan
Sep 5, 2007


Looks like I got beaten to Meikyuuchat, but let me see if I can still add something. Also I'm going to be helping with the translation process, this game owns.

Ewen Cluney posted:

and there are also "jobs" (which I can't remember any good examples of off the top of my head).

Jobs provide a stat bonus, starting equipment, a Skill and another cool power. Most classes get one Job, while the Servant gets two.
They range from Thief (disable traps) and Hunter (bonuses against monsters, increased material gain) to the Happymancer (a clown who starts the game with party favors and an instrument) to the Drone (slacker, begins play with Booze and Playing Cards, gets rewards for being lazy and letting other people do all the work).
The second book has some advanced Jobs, including Dungeon Masters and Producers and Crime Lords.

In addition to Class, Job and other Skills you can also steal Skills from monsters.

Oh, the awesome charts. There are a lot of random options in Meikyuu Kingdom - you design your Kingdom with random charts, for example. So you might run the Kingdom of The Imperial Arcade Conquest or Heroic Neo-Shogunate. Your Facilities might consist of a well-balanced array of Blacksmiths and Temples and Theaters, or you might have monster citizens hanging around thanks to your royal Fae bloodline.

Game owns.

Ewen Cluney
May 8, 2012

Ask me about
Japanese elfgames!


I'll have to go look at my bookshelf later, but here are a few more I could write a bit about if you guys are interested:

Shinobigami: A super-simple and super-fast modern-day ninja action game from the same publisher as Meikyuu Kingdom. The default mode of play is competitive, and players take turns doing scenes trying to find information before you get into epic supersonic battles.

Nechronica: The latest from Ryo Kamiya (creator of Maid RPG and Golden Sky Stories), about undead girls fighting to survive in a blasted post-apocalyptic landscape while a cruel necromancer sends enemies so he can watch them suffer.

Giant Allege: A 28-page GM-less mini-RPG sold as a PDF (PDF games are exceedingly rare in Japan, and this is the ONLY GM-less Japanese RPG I've ever heard of) where you play lawyers who have giant robot battles on behalf of their clients.

Arianrhod: From F.E.A.R. (same publisher as Tenra Bansho Zero), a cute fantasy game in the style of a Japanese console RPG or Asian MMO (including stuff like rules for Guild Skills). Not hugely remarkable in itself, but incredibly popular as TRPGs go.

Oh, and another one available in English (you're welcome) is Witch Quest. I did an English translation of the free version that apparently the publisher put up online back in the BBS/CompuServe days. It's aimed at Kiki's Delivery Service type stuff with witches and their cat familiars, though the rules are very... eccentric.

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



Ewen Cluney posted:

Giant Allege: A 28-page GM-less mini-RPG sold as a PDF (PDF games are exceedingly rare in Japan, and this is the ONLY GM-less Japanese RPG I've ever heard of) where you play lawyers who have giant robot battles on behalf of their clients.

I... I must learn more about this. If the style is anything like Phoenix Wright or Super Robot Wars then I might be in love.

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

Professor Nova Sez: Life is a karmic struggle in which the weak are ultimately crushed!

Ewen Cluney posted:

e: Oh, and thanks for the shout-out about my games and stuff. I think of myself as having Traditional, Indie, and Japanese as the three pillars of my RPG design influences, though the game of mine with the most Japanese influence (Slime Quest) is going to involve a ton more work.

Thanks for contributing. This'd be a real quiet thread real quick otherwise. And hell, I'll give you my firstborn child if it means I can buy a totally legit copy of MK.

How is Slime Quest going to differ from Slime Story mechanically? I was a little surprised at how relatively complex Story is to a lot of your other games.

Potsticker posted:

How awesome, this thread comes on the heels of me ordering the Sword World 2.0 books a little while ago. I got a crush on the system after finding out that character building/stats works a little similarly to Cadwallon. (which would be the game I would pick if I could only ever play one fantasy TRPG ever again) This weekend I'll be introducing it to a bunch of college kids, and I've been shopping it around a couple of friends to see if I can't get some traction into getting them to try it out. I don't really want to give it to my current gaming group yet, as I'm already running Danger Patrol and I don't want to distract them with something new.

At this point, though, I sort of wish I had bought a replay book and/or one of the scenario books as well. Especially since I took a bullet to the head on shipping costs the first time (or any time I order books from overseas) Does anyone have any suggestions on places to order from (that I can get shipped to America) that won't cost me an arm and a leg in shipping costs?

How is SW 2.0 different from the first one, and what's it play like?

As far as the books, it seems like your best bet is to order from Amazon.co.jp and just buy a bunch of stuff all in one go, either to soak the costs for yourself, or split the costs as part of a group buy. If anyone has any better suggestions, I'll stick it in the OP.

Guilty Spork
Feb 25, 2011

Thunder rolled. It rolled a six.


Derp. Ignore me.

Guilty Spork fucked around with this message at May 17, 2012 around 22:38

Ewen Cluney
May 8, 2012

Ask me about
Japanese elfgames!


Desty posted:

How is Slime Quest going to differ from Slime Story mechanically? I was a little surprised at how relatively complex Story is to a lot of your other games.
I wrote up a blog post outlining what I have planned for the game, but basically where Slime Story is kind of a slice of life thing mixed with fighting monsters, Slime Quest is kind of a D&D-style game, so the structure is more open like a traditional RPG. I'm working on some stuff like a conflict/challenge system that's meant to be like what Skill Challenges should've been.

Captain Rufus
Sep 16, 2005

Viktor was born in the spring of '44.
And never saw his father anymore.
A child of sacrifice, a child of war.
Another son who never had
a father after Leningrad.


The JTTRPG I most wanted to come out over here was Gundam Senki. Its the 0079 Gundam RPG using the tried and tested ITS REALLY GUNDAM TO BEGIN WITH Zeta Gundam ruleset.

It was being translated by 2 guys one of which I was talking to on IRC when he was working on it. R Talsorian told him to quit working so fast because they weren't gonna be able to pay him any time soon. Which is stand up from a business point but it means we never got the official Gundam RPG. Which used a US system. Which was designed to do Gundam to begin with.

It would be like if Japan had a VOTOMS game based on Heavy Gear's rules. And then we got the VOTOMS game here translated.

(Though R Tal did make a VOTOMS game using Fuzion but I don't think those count for this thread.)

From a nerd perspective its cool looking at how so many console JRPGs seem to basically use a variant of the Tunnels & Trolls ruleset. Its all about Attack and Defense ratings and high level PCs ALWAYS beat low levels if you go just by the numbers.

Seeing the influences flow back and forth is really cool. (Of course the infamous Queen's Blade is basically those old "Lost Worlds" fighting books. Except turned full color, hardback, and with anime T&A of varying levels of .)

I've never really had the chance to play any J TTRPGs but I kind of want to. Some I would just like to own because they are so pretty.

The Japanese edition of the D&D Rules Cyclopedia is beautiful. I'd put it up there with the current French edition of Call of Cthulhu as a game I own in English that I want the version in a language I can't read or speak just because of how nice the books are. (Thorf UK's Mystara site has some pics of the Japanese D&D Cyclopedia.)

Also going back to the Lodoss War stuff the OP mentioned? The Canadian company that eventually made Heavy Gear also did the Protoculture Addicts magazine. (And later Mecha Press which was mech focused and had lots of gaming info in it.) In like 89-91 timeframe their magazine did an article about Lodoss War a good 4-5 years before we got the show in the US. They mentioned they asked TSR if they could put D&D stats in their magazine. They were told no.

(Yet TSR kept putting out Buck Rogers stuff nobody asked for or wanted because the owner was basically scamming the company thanks to inherited IP. Is it any wonder the company failed?)

Triple-Kan
Dec 29, 2008


Ewen Cluney posted:

I'll have to go look at my bookshelf later, but here are a few more I could write a bit about if you guys are interested:

Shinobigami: A super-simple and super-fast modern-day ninja action game from the same publisher as Meikyuu Kingdom. The default mode of play is competitive, and players take turns doing scenes trying to find information before you get into epic supersonic battles.

Nechronica: The latest from Ryo Kamiya (creator of Maid RPG and Golden Sky Stories), about undead girls fighting to survive in a blasted post-apocalyptic landscape while a cruel necromancer sends enemies so he can watch them suffer.

Giant Allege: A 28-page GM-less mini-RPG sold as a PDF (PDF games are exceedingly rare in Japan, and this is the ONLY GM-less Japanese RPG I've ever heard of) where you play lawyers who have giant robot battles on behalf of their clients.

Arianrhod: From F.E.A.R. (same publisher as Tenra Bansho Zero), a cute fantasy game in the style of a Japanese console RPG or Asian MMO (including stuff like rules for Guild Skills). Not hugely remarkable in itself, but incredibly popular as TRPGs go.

Oh, and another one available in English (you're welcome) is Witch Quest. I did an English translation of the free version that apparently the publisher put up online back in the BBS/CompuServe days. It's aimed at Kiki's Delivery Service type stuff with witches and their cat familiars, though the rules are very... eccentric.

ALL OF THEM. But specifically, Arianrhod.

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011

The strongest! The smartest! The rightest!


Hey Ewen, last I checked Alshard was the big hitter o're in Japan as far as popularity goes. Is it still the big dog or have others come up on the sides?

Mikan
Sep 5, 2007


Guilty Spork posted:

Derp. Ignore me.

I saw that

Anyway, here are a few Meikyuu Kingdom things. This is one of the classes: http://d66roc.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/meikyuu-kingdom/
and this is a monster + a chart: http://faustusnotes.wordpress.com/2...ke-you-kingdom/

Potsticker
Jan 13, 2006

~*~ SIIIIGH ~*~


Desty posted:


How is SW 2.0 different from the first one, and what's it play like?

As far as the books, it seems like your best bet is to order from Amazon.co.jp and just buy a bunch of stuff all in one go, either to soak the costs for yourself, or split the costs as part of a group buy. If anyone has any better suggestions, I'll stick it in the OP.


I've never played the original, so I can't speak of the differences. SW 2.0 is, for the most part, a pretty light system. I think I want to equate it a bit with a stripped down D&D 3.5 in terms of gameplay complexity, but I certainly want to get some play in with it and do more than leaf through the 2nd and 3rd books. There's some systems, like Reputation, that are outlined in more detail there that I haven't broached.

Combat seems pretty simple, I like the idea that melee scrums are cordoned-off zones where the characters involved occupy the entire range in some quantum state of both existing in some way in all parts of the zone.
I like the fact that everything pretty much goes off of 2d6 and all the bell-curve probability that it entails. The choices for making characters gives a lot of options-- honestly it's the level of crunch that feels right. If you have something like ORE or Old School hack on one side, and Traveller or RIFTs on the other, this seems to occupy a nice spot in the middle. Or at least it's at a spot I feel very comfortable with.

The biggest downside so far is I haven't hit a lot of setting information, but I'm not so sure that's an entirely bad thing. The races are (mostly) generic, but I feel like the mechanics are solid enough that it doesn't necessarily need to be tied to a specific setting.

Of course, I don't have a lot of experience with J-RPGs, so some of the design choices that I feel are refreshing with SW, like getting xp every time you roll an auto-fail (snake eyes) or the compactness of the skill/class system might be more common, might be more common than in the Western TRPGs I'm more familiar with.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008

You gotta fight for your right to party!


How many Meikyuu Kingdom books are there? I want to say I remember reading there were at least 2.

Isn't there an official Japanese edition of 3.X Dungeons and Dragons that has slightly different races? I remember seeing something a while ago that talked about how one of the races is the stereotypical, child people races you see in JRPG's. I could be misremembering this though or making it up.

What is the tabletop culture like in Japan? Could I go to a bookstore in any city and pick up Meikyuu Kingdom or would I have to go to some poorly lit, probably not filthy but cluttered, game shop? I'm going to be visiting Japan in January or February and I'm tempted to pick up the book(s).

I can see Shadowrun doing well in Japan, there's an official release, because of its use of d6's and 80's holdover focus on Japan.

RocknRollaAyatollah fucked around with this message at May 18, 2012 around 02:21

Ewen Cluney
May 8, 2012

Ask me about
Japanese elfgames!


ProfessorCirno posted:

Hey Ewen, last I checked Alshard was the big hitter o're in Japan as far as popularity goes. Is it still the big dog or have others come up on the sides?
I'd have to bug Andy about it to really be sure; he's the one who can actually afford to go to Japan and has friends in the industry. I get the impression that Alshard is still big (it was intended to appeal to console RPG fans after all), but Arianrhod is big too, as is Double Cross (kinda like a manga version of X-Men, about teenagers who got superpowers from a strange virus) and Shinobigami and others. One thing I love about the Japanese TRPG scene is that no one game dominates.

RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

How many Meikyuu Kingdom books are there? I want to say I remember reading there were at least 2.

Isn't there an official Japanese edition of 3.X Dungeons and Dragons that has slightly different races? I remember seeing something a while ago that talked about how one of the races is the stereotypical, child people races you see in JRPG's. I could be misremembering this though or making it up.

What is the tabletop culture like in Japan? Could I go to a bookstore in any city and pick up Meikyuu Kingdom or would I have to go to some poorly lit, probably not filthy but cluttered, game shop? I'm going to be going to Japan in January or February and I'm tempted to pick up the book(s).
The current edition of Meikyuu Kingdom AFAIK has the two core rulebooks, plus some replays and one campaign supplement. The prior edition had a whole slew of supplements, adding stuff like rules for playing as monsters, for having weddings and festivals and such, plus general game material. A lot of it got folded into the current edition I believe.

AFAIK from at least 3rd Edition on the Japanese translations of D&D have been super-faithful to the original English versions. Like, the 3/3.5/4e rulebooks look almost identical apart from the Japanese text. They have put out some replays and such with a more typical Japanese aesthetic though. The Japanese World of Darkness books stick close to the original feel too, though lots of other Western games get totally revamped.

Tabletop RPGs in Japan are weird in that they're incredibly niche, but also have a tremendous vitality. You're not likely to find TRPGs at regular bookstores, not even the ginormous Kinokuniya locations that put just about every American bookstore ever to shame, but there are specialty stores like Yellow Submarine and R&R Station here and there. If you're going to Japan and interested in picking up some TRPGs I'd recommend looking up the proper Yellow Submarine location (they're in Akihabara and a few other places, though they have multiple locations, not all of which carry RPGs) in advance.

Oh, and a thing I totally should have linked to sooner, some podcasts that Andy and/or myself have been on:
Yellow Menace
Yaruki Zero (Part 1) and Part 2

Red_Mage
Jul 23, 2007
I SHOULD BE FUCKING PERMABANNED BUT IN THE MEANTIME ASK ME ABOUT MY FAILED KICKSTARTER AND RUNNING OFF WITH THE MONEY


RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

I can see Shadowrun doing well in Japan, there's an official release, because of its use of d6's and 80's holdover focus on Japan.

SHadowrun got a very anime segacd game in japan. IIRC it didnt have orks or dwarves though.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008

You gotta fight for your right to party!


Red_Mage posted:

SHadowrun got a very anime segacd game in japan. IIRC it didnt have orks or dwarves though.

Well of course there weren't any, they got sent to Yomi.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008

Bear Witness


Is Nechronica going to get a translation soon? I really liked Maid, and I was wondering how Ryo's other games were like.

mikeycp
Nov 24, 2010


This wasn't what I thought I would be looking for/buying when I'm in Japan for the summer, but I guess it is now. Seems like I also know what I'll be trying as my next translation project. Gotta find me some of that sweet Ryuutama.

gdsfjkl
Feb 28, 2011


Oh my god, Meikyuu Kingdom sounds amazing

Ewen Cluney posted:

but an English version would be a long ways off.

Ewen Cluney
May 8, 2012

Ask me about
Japanese elfgames!


CommissarMega posted:

Is Nechronica going to get a translation soon? I really liked Maid, and I was wondering how Ryo's other games were like.
It's definitely on my radar--I really like what I've seen of it so far--but I do want to represent other Japanese designers besides Kamiya, so it'll most likely end up being even further off than Meikyuu Kingdom.

Since Tsugihagi Honpo released their preview replay of it for free, I put my quick and dirty translation of said replay up online, which should give you a good idea what the game is like, though you can see why Kamiya has been a little nervous about the kind of reception it might get in the U.S.

Rangpur
Dec 31, 2008

formido oppugnatura exsequens

Question for the folks who actually ordered these online: how the hell did you do it? I thought Amazon.jp only accepted Japanese credit cards.

Rasamune
Jan 19, 2011

MORT
MORT
MORT


Ewen Cluney posted:

Since Tsugihagi Honpo released their preview replay of it for free, I put my quick and dirty translation of said replay up online, which should give you a good idea what the game is like, though you can see why Kamiya has been a little nervous about the kind of reception it might get in the U.S.

uhhhhhhhhh yeah I can

Goddamn, Kamiya's a weird motherfucker. How do you go from fetishy maid roleplay to heartwarming talking-animal stories to this?

Ewen Cluney
May 8, 2012

Ask me about
Japanese elfgames!


Rangpur posted:

Question for the folks who actually ordered these online: how the hell did you do it? I thought Amazon.jp only accepted Japanese credit cards.
Most of the JRPGs I own I got by talking friends who were going to Japan into hitting up Yellow Submarine for me. I have ordered from Amazon.jp with my American credit card just fine, though I haven't done it in a while because the shipping costs are pretty ridiculous (like, it can easily add another $40 to an order). I've also gotten a few by putting in a special order through the local Kinokuniya bookstore. I think there are a few other places that can order stuff from Japan for you, but regardless you're going to get dinged pretty badly for shipping.

Rasamune posted:

uhhhhhhhhh yeah I can

Goddamn, Kamiya's a weird motherfucker. How do you go from fetishy maid roleplay to heartwarming talking-animal stories to this?
You don't even want to know about his other game, Absolute Slaves then. Suffice to say it's not in any danger of coming out in English.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003



Ewen Cluney posted:

You don't even want to know about his other game, Absolute Slaves then. Suffice to say it's not in any danger of coming out in English.
... Can you give a one-sentence description of it then?

Ewen Cluney
May 8, 2012

Ask me about
Japanese elfgames!


Zereth posted:

... Can you give a one-sentence description of it then?
It is a real, fully playable RPG (though apparently kind of a vehicle for publishing his friends' adult art too) for 2-3 consenting adults where you play immortal demons who do battle and try to dominate one another and act out weird fetishes.

...Aaaaanyway, I'm gonna see about doing a writeup of Arianrhod for you guys over the weekend.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

You pick up the nugget of URANIUM and...

Oh that was so stupid. Why would you do that?


quote:

Head Parts: Brain, Eyeballs, Jaw
Arm Parts: Fist, Arm, Shoulder, Katana, Iron Ball and
Chain, Plush Toy
Torso Parts: Spine, Entrails, Entrails, Cyborg, Steelborn
Leg Parts: Bone, Bone, Foot, Hopper



I want to know more about this game, and less about this game.

Ewen Cluney posted:

It is a real, fully playable RPG (though apparently kind of a vehicle for publishing his friends' adult art too) for 2-3 consenting adults where you play immortal demons who do battle and try to dominate one another and act out weird fetishes.



So Kamiya's like the Suda51 of tabletop RPGs, then?

Mikan
Sep 5, 2007


After rolling on random tables, here is a Meikyuu Kingdom kingdom.

The King is Cypress Seven Enemies, a Bartender. He hates meddling and waking up early, but loves bragging and monsters. When he's out in the dungeon, he can grant allies extra actions by causing Anarchy in the kingdom. (which means a roll on the Disasters chart) Between battles the King gets everyone else drunk to make them better fighters.
The kingdom itself is The Independent Socialist Academy. People are the most important part of The Independent Socialist Academy, which is why it has a Casino and a Jail and an Execution Grounds. It's all because a crazy alchemist used to make artificial people, and the citizens of The Independent Socialist Academy are terrified they might not be real. They gamble all their money away, and when they get out of line they're thrown in prison or the city's three Ogrekin execute them. The party can learn skills from artificial monsters though!

Cypress Seven Enemies is too busy drinking and boasting to do anything but fight in dungeons

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003



Evil Mastermind posted:



I want to know more about this game, and less about this game.
Yeah I am completely incapable of not zoning out when reading transcripts of or PBP threads of games I'm not involved in but based on the little I could glean from the replay there I... don't know if I want to know more.

Ewen Cluney posted:

It is a real, fully playable RPG (though apparently kind of a vehicle for publishing his friends' adult art too) for 2-3 consenting adults where you play immortal demons who do battle and try to dominate one another and act out weird fetishes.
... I. See.

At least Meikyuu Kingdom sounds cool!

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

You pick up the nugget of URANIUM and...

Oh that was so stupid. Why would you do that?


Mikan posted:

After rolling on random tables, here is a Meikyuu Kingdom kingdom.

The King is Cypress Seven Enemies, a Bartender. He hates meddling and waking up early, but loves bragging and monsters. When he's out in the dungeon, he can grant allies extra actions by causing Anarchy in the kingdom. (which means a roll on the Disasters chart) Between battles the King gets everyone else drunk to make them better fighters.
The kingdom itself is The Independent Socialist Academy. People are the most important part of The Independent Socialist Academy, which is why it has a Casino and a Jail and an Execution Grounds. It's all because a crazy alchemist used to make artificial people, and the citizens of The Independent Socialist Academy are terrified they might not be real. They gamble all their money away, and when they get out of line they're thrown in prison or the city's three Ogrekin execute them. The party can learn skills from artificial monsters though!

Cypress Seven Enemies is too busy drinking and boasting to do anything but fight in dungeons

Holy poo poo I want this game so hard.

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Mikan
Sep 5, 2007


I should probably point out that Cypress is one of the party members, not an NPC or GM thing. He's a straight up player character.

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