RPG FAQ from Japan

FAQ of Tabletop RPG in Japan for speaker of English.

This FAQs the present condition of Japan in English.

FAQs (2012-12-31 23:33 JST update)

update history.I want easy question.


Q. What is TRPG?
TRPG is an abbreviation of "Table-talk Role Playing Game". In English-speaking cultures, it is known as "Pen and paper RPG". It is an English term coined in Japan. In contrast, RPG means computer RPG to many Japanese.
Q. What is the most popular TRPG in Japan?
Sword World RPG

It is called "Sword World RPG", designed by Group SNE, first published 1989. It is a simple traditional fantasy RPG. Group SNE is the most prominent company in Japanese TRPG industry.

Q. What is the oldest TRPG that was translated into Japanese?
Classic Traveller was the first, published in 1984. It was followed by Classic D&D Box in 1985.
How is the state of the TRPG industry in Japan ?
The peak of the TRPG boom was 1989-1994. The market has been slightly expansive since 2000. Every month, one or two rule books are published. Most of the case, two supplements are published for each rule system.
New core rulebook for Japanese language
(You can play any of the following with only one rulebook)
Arianrhod RPG
Arianrhod RPG
Star Legend
Star Legend
Sword World RPG Basic
Sword World RPG Basic
Call of Cthulhu d20
Call of Cthulhu d20 (jp)
StarOcean Till the End of Time TRPG
StarOcean Till the End of Time TRPG
Q. Is it possible to buy some Japanese TRPGs from abraod?
You can buy it in Amazon.co.jp which has a RPG category. But this category includes computer RPGs as well. And Hobby Games BOARDWALK(okayama,Japan) sell WarGame.
Q. Where do Japanese people play a TRPG?
In their homes, in classrooms after school, and/or in public facilities.
Q. Is there any TRPG hobbist group in Japan with English-speaking members?
There is a flyer for a foreigner RPG club at Yellow Submarine in Shinjuku. Yellow Submarine is the largest franchise-chain in Japan in the area of table-top game retail.
You can also use TRPG society BBS(mainly in Japanese, but postings in other languages are welcome).
If you want to play a particular game title, mention it on a corresponding TRPG.NET BBS.
If you want to search English-speaking players in Japan, the following sites might be helpful.
Q. Is there any large-scale game convention in Japan sponsored by TRPG companies?
JGC(Japan Game Convention). JGC in Tokyo will open in August. JGC in Osaka will open in March.
Q. What kind of RPG magazine is published in Japan?
  • "Game-Gather"(Monthly Magazine) is mainly M:tG. It supports D&D.
  • "Gamers Field"(Bimonthly Magazine) is supported F.E.A.R. Product.
  • "RPGamer"(Quarterly Magazine) start 2003-03.
  • "Role&Roll"(Bimonthly Magazine) start 2003-05.
  • "TRPG:supplement"
  • and more suspend magazines.

Relevant News:2003-03-03: Two new quarterly RPG magazines to launch this spring

Q. What is Japanese playing and reading English RPG ?
Some Japanese are barely playing games that isn't translated into Japanese . Generally , those exist that old edition translated .
Mainly, they play D&D 3.5e (3e is translated ) , Shadowrun 3rd (2nd is translated ) , World of Darkness (V:tM/W:tA/M:tA rulebook is translated ) , GURPS (rulebook and some supplement is translated ) , Traveller ( Classic and Mega Traveller is translated ) , Paranoia .
Most Japanese are satisfied only Japanese TRPG . Because Japanese are poor English. And Japanese don't need English to life in Japan .
Q. Are there any free tabletop rpg that I could download and print ?
English version is not found. If you can read Japanese language , Free downloadable tabletop rpg's written by Japanese language.

Japanese TRPG maker/publishers


Company nameTypeworks
Group SNEDesign / Translate"Sword World RPG","RECORD OF LODOSS WAR",GURPS(Translation),"Ghost hunter RPG 02"
KADOKAWA Shoten / FUJIMI ShobouPublish"Sword World RPG","RECORD OF LODOSS WAR",GURPS(Translation)
F.E.A.R.Design"Tokyo NOVA","ALSHARD","Seven Fortress","Night Wizard","Double Cross",etc
Game FieldPublishF.E.A.R. Product,"Gamers Field"(Bimonthly Magazine)
Enter BrainPublishF.E.A.R. Product,TOY International Product,"Blue Rose","TOKUMEI TENKOUSEI",etc.
Suzaku GamesDesign / Translate / Publish"SHIN EN","IT CAME FROM THE LATE,LATE,LATE SHOW"(Translation),"Blue Rose"
Atelier ThirdTranslate / PublishWorld of Darkness series(Translation),"Hero Wars"(Translation),"TRPG:supplement"(Magazine)
Hobby JapanTranslate / PublishD&D3e,"Game-Gather"(Monthly Magazine: mainly M:tGm, support D&D )
Yellow submarineTranslate / Publish / ShopCyberpunk2.0.2.0.(Translation),"Ghost hunter RPG 02"
TOY International Inc.Translate / DesignMekton Gundam,"VOTOMS TRPG"
Raimei, Inc.Translate / Publish"Classic Traveller New translation Version"
KokusaiTsushin Co., Ltd.Translate / Publish"RPGamer"(Quarterly Magazine),"Castle Falkenstein"(Translation)
ArcLightCopyright Agent/Publish"Role&Roll"(Quarterly Magazine)

Japanese Major RPG title

incomplete. In Japan, there are several hundred game titles.

Tenra Bansho
see Tenra Bansho in English website
Sword World RPG
The most famous TRPG in Japan. Traditional fantasy. first printed 1989. its world setting is the world of "RECORD OF LODOSS WAR".
Tokyo NOVA
Urbane action RPG. postapocalyptic cyber fantasy. This game uses cards for all resolutions.
Seven Fortress
Computer game-like, spectacle action fantasy.
Night Wizard
Modern fantasy (?). The rule sytem is compatible with Seven Fortress.
"Final Fantasy"-like world. Cyber fantasy with machines and an evil empire.
Double Cross
virus brought about superpower.
Ghost hunter RPG 02
Horror RPG staged in the 1920's. This game uses cards to handle expression of fear.
Witch Quest RPG
"Everyday magic" fantasy. It resembles "Kiki's Delivery Service".
It was translated 4 times. Classic D&D Box , AD&D 2nd , D&D Cyclopedia , and D&D 3rd .
Relation:GURPS Around the World
World of Darkness series(Translation)
Vampire: The Masquerade Revised , Werewolf: The Apocalypse Revised , Mage: The Ascension Revised .
Hero Wars(Translation)
Related site (outside of TRPG.NET):Greg's Japan Trip

TRPG.NET webmaster mail-address: sf@trpg.net. I request "[en]" in mail Subject. Because , I receive many English spam and virus mail, one hundred or more in a day. I'm weak reading/writing English language.

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