Ties between TRPG, anime, and manga
  • I've been wondering about this for a while in terms of how the TRPGs in Japan interact with anime and manga.

    As far as I know the only major connecting is the Record of Lodoss Wars that was the replay based on the creators D&D campaign and then how it was reintegrated into the TRPG canon (so to speak) through Sword World as the Island of Lodoss is an actual place within the campaign world.

    It would be interesting to learn more, especially more recent ones as Lodoss was years ago.
  • Yea I definitely see that.

    While I was doing some research for my project I ran into an old universal gaming system called MAGIUS. Apparently this was used, like GURPS, as a rule base for many games based on anime like Tenchi Muyo, Eva, Martian Successor Nadesico, etc. I think it would be almost strange to see a JRPG without some manga drawings within it.


    Light novels is an odd term, I mean I understand the meaning, like light reading novels, but it seems like it would be better to call them short novels. Though both work.....its just a strange conundrum.
  • Well, "table-talk" role-playing games sounds kind of weird too. It's that whole 和製英語 thing.

    From what I've heard (from Andy) MAGIUS was pretty lame and bland, and it's something of a mystery how the publisher got so many anime licenses, though they're all out of print now. OTOH there is a Scrapped Princess RPG (though IIRC that was also a light novel first), and there was at one point a Dragon Half RPG (which I really want to get some day).
  • I think we should include arguing about 和製英語 as a nono right after flaming.

    I never said MAGIUS was good. I never played it after all, I just said it existed ;)

    It seems more like that they borrow elements from series now rather than licenses, could just be a $$ thing. Although I do think that the concept behind MAGIUS was positive with the whole universal system to bring your favorite anime and light novel heroes to life in new advetures"
  • @neko even:
    The anime/manga influence is more than just apparent, the game designers of TenraWar for example give you a short list of animes and movies that influenced them: mostly mecha-anime like "Gundanm" and "Code Geas" western movies like "The last mohican". So the influence is undeniable I'd say. Then they have a second list that lists books/manga, that had a influence: "Gunnmu" (="Battle Angel Alita"), "Trigun Maximum", "Gone with the Wind",...

    In addition I think that a possible influence of videogames (especially JRPGs like final fantasy) should also be considered. Maybe not when it comes to the visual design of games (there I think anime & manga are the basic source), but when it comes to the game system, which we seem to have left out of the discussion so far. Of course there're the western rpgs and the restriction when it comes to type of dice that play a role in Japan, but when I flipped through my TenraWar book (=SRS) I felt like I was flipping through a video game manual:
    No skills, mostly combat related techniques, gauge meters like in FinalFantasy games, etc.

    Yasuda Hitoshi (安田均), who was involved in the group that produced the replays of "Record of Lodoss War", speaks in the postscript of the first "Record of Lodoss War" novel about the influence that at that time (80's) the new genre of videogame RPGs had on the gerne of novels. It seems to him, that at the beginning videogames, took their stories from fantasy novels, and then themselves influenced fantasy novels. So why shouldn't they also strongly influence the genre of TRPGs, that was just starting in Japan...?
  • There've been are even earlier replays in Japan for the TRPG 『ローズ・トゥ・ロード』 in 1985, and Yasuda also writes in the mentioned postscript, that there were others, yet he claims that the group he played in made the first version of a replay, that was "readable". We should also distinct between replays and replay books, with the first being more like a transcript of the session, and the second one being a novel based on a replay/session. So first Record of Lodoss War was published as a replay and the two years later made into a novel series.
  • I recently picked up some TRPG books. Because I heard that F.E.A.R.s releases have very nice artworks I bought Night Wizard 2nd and a used copy of Alshard.
    Those books almost looked like a Perfect Guide for a video game RPG. Especially the colored pages with the characters. Or the way monster data was presented.

    I also had to smile because the item list in Ryuu Tama looks exactly like from a videogame book. Somehow it just makes sense to present it in this way, wich is known to a potential player. One who will have played some kind of console RPG beforehand in his lifetime.

    I don't think they would call their style of game artworks an "anime style". It's just the standard way comics and pictures are drawn over there.

    I think it's interesting that the Japanese game deigners seem to have realized much earlier that video/computer RPGs are probably the greatest challenger of potential gamers free time. Especially in the set up phase before the play has begun. Of all the games i purchased almost every one uses an archetype system with focussed abilities. And the ones with a seemingly deeper character generation provides plenty of pre-made characters to begin play as fast as possible.
  • Where do you get your J-TRPGS?
  • I got most of mine while I was in Japan. I picked up a copy of Role & Roll and it told me all the places that sold TRPG books. I snagged the Tenchi MAGIUS at a Japanese bookstore over here in Honolulu along with the Lodoss REPLAY.

    I know Amazon.jp ships internationally thought. Something like $30 shipping per order or something like that I think.

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