August 13, 2010

Nostalgia I Shouldn't Feel: Japanese TRPG Books

Sometimes I feel lots of nostalgia for bygone days in Japan, though I was not even here. Books often bring that feeling to me. Used book store Book Off presented me with an awesome sale recently, and I could not resist. Vid:

So let's talk about some of the books I found. Note that I will be throwing out Amazon links to line my blogging coffers, but to be honest if you live in Japan you should just go out to your own local Book Off store and pick one up.

One series that I have now completed my collection of is the Ringu series. You may recall I reviewed a translation of one of Koji Suzuki's books a while back, and I'm eager to read the books that inspired one of my favorite movies (The Ring).
If you are down, here's the links for the books:
リング, らせん, ループ, and バースデイ
Or their respective translations on
Ring, Spiral, Loop, and Birthday
If you want a compelling review of the series, I recommend Sarudama's blog.

Then there are the TRPG and gaming books I've found under the Sneaker Bunko imprint of Kadokawa. Most of them are replays, or transcripts of tabletop (table talk in Japanese parlance) role playing sessions. The series that started this trend is Record of Lodos War. Here's the link to the first book. Unfortunately, the original sessions, based of OD&D were only in magazines AFAIK, and they decided to make an entirely new rules system so that they could more legally publish the series. So, basically the same, but the players are probably not all brilliant SF writers like in the original. Would love to get my hands on those original articles.

Another series that seems to be popular in the replays is GURPs. I've never played GURPs myself, but it's not that hard to follow the replays. Here's one of the books I picked up.

Interestingly, while searching A list of G Bunko Replays, I found a D&D 3rd edition replay. Guess they hashed out those legal problems.  

Finally, if you are somehow nerdy enough to have learned Japanese but still don't understand all this RPG business, I present you with テーブルトークRPGがよくわかる本.

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