Tuesday, July 28, 2020

TRPGs in Japan! Exploring Double Moon TRPG (Part 1 of many)

So, let me share Double Moon with you. I've been fanslating it for a while now (link), and our Sunday group has been using it to explore Stonehell.

 Double Moon was a few play by post games and TRPG systems. I'll talk about the main one that came out in book for here. The Double moon system was published as part of the CompRPG magazine's Comp/Collection series. The series was kicked off with the first iteration of Record of Lodoss's RPG rules. Record of Lodoss's history is an epic in its own right, but we're talking Dub Moon today, which has more in common with D&D than the percentile beast that Lodoss was at that time.
Double Moon is the one on the bottom right


 The production value is great. This could have been a very short book, because the rules aren't that complex and most of the text would have been spell descriptions, but it is chock full of commentary, advice, characters describing how things work, comics, and scads of art by Hotspace, a group that seems to have also designed video-game books like this one (link), a book which has a lot of the hallmarks in DubMoon (these came out the same year), but Hotspace did way better when they worked on Comp/collection series of books. Comp/collection are all video game related. Double Moon started as a game book series of articles, became a Famicom game, then finally this RPG. The other comp/collection books kinda have this graphic design style in common.

One of the super charming things about this book is that the sample adventurers all have well developed personalities, and these characters talk a lot throughout the book, star in comics, &ct. They are also all from the Nintendo game, but preceded it. In the optional classes section, we will meet some new characters.
A very zoomed out view of the world. We have places likeLancaster, the Misty Forest, and the White Desert (the reason why it is white has a lot to do with an ancient basilisk). The world is divided into two continents by the Raidis straight. This map says the Double Moon of the title refers to the forces of swords and magic. The southern continent is the abode of the dark godess Lorefiel. Other places feel the influence of more gods, benign and beneficent.
Title: The Battle with Samoiren the Demonic

Samoiren leads the Five Evil Stars, a group that worships the dark and terrible god Damon. He heads the 13 Black Magicians and schemes to rule the world of Double Moon. However, even terrible evil must pass in its time, and Samoiren found his downfall at the hands of Mueller and the magic sword Wintia. One stroke felled him. "Don't think this is the end," Samoiren's decapitated head warned with a grin. "I have many backup vessels"
Challenging the new foe, Solomon

Solomon the black mage is the head of Lucifion, a dark and mysterious organization. Safis donned the magical armor Black Dome and confronted Solomon with his party. "This is the destruction I desire!" said Solomon. "I will be refined in the fires of hell." Perhaps Solomon intended to resurrect the legendary beast called Dark Dragon. This story will be played out in days to come.


Caption: And endless adventure awaits.

Why were the continents of Double Moon really created?
Yeah, I figure this stuff is all a bit clearer if you play the Nintendo game or have access to the magazines where play by post happened...
The table of contents
Next time we'll tackle chapter 1: What's an RPG?
It'll be good, I promise.


2 comments:

yle said...

Very interested to see more on this!

And a question, what are pen and paper RPGs called in Japan? My teachers always seem to think I'm talking about computer games. I guess tabletop RPGs aren't well known.

Claytonian said...

@yle
They are called TRPGs, but 99% of Japanese people won't know that. You may get further by calling it a "table-talk RPG" but still, it's an alien concept to normies here.