Announcement: New Translation from Kotodama Heavy Industries!

•October 1, 2012 • 1 Comment

Hey, are you going to be at Spiel Essen?

I’ll be there with Bouken/Adventure Planning Service, finally announcing the translation of a project that has been on my plate for a long time. I’ll be doing demos of a certain Japanese ninja role playing game, so if you’re in the area, please come by! I’ll be running stuff from Thursday morning to Saturday night, and I’ll be available to talk to anyone interested in JRPGs. 

temporarily out of action..

•June 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

There hasn’t been any action on this blog for a while now. In the past few months, I was transferred, moved to Atlanta, bought a house… well, I’ve been busy. I haven’t had much time for more than the occasional game of Meikyuu Kingdom or Shinobigami.

Sometime soon…ish, things will be back to normal and I’ll be posting more game reports, some interviews I’ve done, and a bunch of other things. After I can figure out this new life of mine…

D66? RoC?

•November 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

So what’s with the name of my blog, anyway?

I don’t think I ever really explained what these mean, so I’ll explain here.


Astute gamers know that there’s no such thing as a 66 sided dice, unless you’re playing in Rilyeh with non-euclidean dice (of which I have a dice-decahedron full of). Rolling a d66 is achieved by rolling 2d6 and interpreting the results in one of two ways:

  • Bouken (Shinobigami, etc.): The lowest dice becomes the tens digit while the highest dice becomes the ones digit. a roll of a 1 and 4 becomes 14, 3 and 2 becomes 23, and 4 and 4 becomes 44. Note that there is no 21, 31-32, 41-43, 51-54, or 61-65.
  • F.E.A.R. (Tenra Bansho, Monotone Museum, etc.): One dice is designated as the tens and the other as the singles digits. This allows for the full 36 different outcomes, but can get annoying if you don’t have 2 different types of dice.

d66 charts are usual accompanied by:


Roll or Choice. D66 RoC charts are usually life path, personality, or background charts; things that define a character and has an impact on role-playing. If a player has a strong image of a character floating in their head, they can choose the best fit option, otherwise they’ll be rolling the dice to see what character they’ll be making.

Often times, a d66 RoC chart has an option that is impossible to roll–a roll of 00, for example. In these cases, a player must choose the option, obviously, and these are usually the more difficult role-playing challenges or character types that are rare.

Bouken/Adventure Planning Service New Releases for the End of 2011

•November 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Today a local convention, NiGHTS, held a “guest convention,” with Saitou Takayoshi and Kawashima Toichiro from the Adventure Planning Service as the guests of honor. Saitou is the writer of Hunters Moon, and Kawashima will be known to frequent readers of my blog as the writer of Shinobigami. They each GMed a game for lucky gamers who won the raffle to get into each game, then held a Q&A session at the end of the day. Unfortunately I didn’t get to participate in either game (I GMed Dungeon World instead), but I took some notes at the Q&A and picked up some really interesting news. They revealed their line up for the next few months, including new books for most of the Saikoro Fiction line, plus more!


  • A new Meikyu Kingdom “game book” (basically a choose your own adventure sort of book) of a title I forgot to write
  • A new Magicalogica supplement, with a really interesting replay that starts in the Meiji period–but each cycle represents 10 years; the entire scenario takes place over 50-60 years!


  • “Special Satasupe” An anniversary supplement for the 15 year old game Satasupe (Saturday Night Special). Includes lots of new rules and additions to the game.
  • “Blood Crusade” A new Saikoro Fiction game, in the vein of Hunters Moon. This time, the enemies are vampires, which will add a layer of complexity to the enemies, while making it easier to play. The weapons from Hunters Moon will be available to PCs.


  • “Shinobigami Ryu” A new Shinobigami supplement that takes place in another new setting: Meiji period London! This time, PCs will be facing off against vampires as well as other ninja clans both local and foreign.

I’m totally excited about these new announcements and can’t wait to throw my money at Bouken!!

Yuuyake Koyake/Golden Sky Stories translation coming soon!

•October 31, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Ewen Cluney has recently announced the translation of Yuuyake Koyake! You can read his exciting announcement here. He’s translated the title as Golden Sky Stories, which works well and keeps the gentle sunset image that graces the cover of the book.

I feel that the game is a very important part of the Japanese RPG landscape, one of the cornerstones of that Japanese style of gaming called “honobono.” In this style of gaming, there is no (or little) battle, few life or death situations, and no pillaging or murdering for treasure. Instead, these games focus on relationships between people, everyday drama and that glory feeling you get when you watch a Miyazaki film.

In this particular game, you play a “henge,” a forest animal with a few magical abilities. You also have the ability to take the form of a human in order to have an easier time fitting into human society, but unless you really focus, you’re going to have a few tell-tale signs of your animal nature.

You live in a small town surrounded by rice fields, with one or two main roads and a small community of simple humans. They live in harmony with the forest around them, and your curiosity and kind nature drives you to help them in their everyday troubles. Lost puppies, hurt feelings, and dog-eaten homework are the sorts of problems that you’ll be fretting about, and forming relationships is the basis for the game mechanics, which use no dice but a point resource that grows as you strengthen your bonds with others.

Ewen has said on his page over here that he’s going to be putting up a kickstarter project, so I hope you’ll take some time to check it out and see if this game is something that you’ll be interested in. Fans of games like Ryuutama should definitely take a look. It’s not for everyone (I don’t know if it’s possible to power-game) but it’s a great game for those who are sick of wanton destruction and hack n’ slash (or at least want to take a break!).

Ryuutama – New Rules for Roles

•October 15, 2011 • 1 Comment

A couple of months ago, an article appeared in Role and Roll magazine with some nifty new rules for Ryuutama. They add another layer to character creation beyond class and type: roles. There are already some informal rules in the text, giving advice for each member of the party to take up a role within the party to help play run smoothly.  These new rules codifies these, giving new abilities and bonuses. Characters can now be categorized by class/type/role, such as hunter/skill/mapper, or farmer/magic/sub-leader.  There are some simple guidelines for the rules, as follows:

  • Roles can be chosen during character creation or anytime during a scenario.  Characters that wish to change their roles can do so in-between sessions.
  • Unless there are 7 or more players, two characters may not be the same role.
  • As long as two characters don’t have the same role, characters may take on more than 1 role at a time.

Okada-san and Tabletalk Cafe ~Daydream~

•September 27, 2011 • 2 Comments

Okada Atsuhiro, writer of Ryuutama, image by ITmedia

Now that I’m home and finished with my American wedding, I can take a short breather before we need to start tackling the Japanese one.  FInally I get to talk about my meeting with Okada-san at the Tabletalk Cafe ~Daydream~!

Continue reading ‘Okada-san and Tabletalk Cafe ~Daydream~’