It is nearly the end of the month and I have over 9000 views for April. Nine thousand.
That is the most I've had in a long while and I want to thank each and every one of you out there who has taken the time to give my weirdo, Narrative promoting, Anime discussing, Space Adventure loving RPG blog a looksee.
You guys are the best.
For my final entry (for the time being) regarding my Goblin Slayer TRPG One-Shot run over the internet with four players in Japan, I want to talk about some interesting bits that didn't fit anywhere else.
Hope you enjoy.
The Demon of The Lake
of The Ruins of The Castle in The Lake
I was reminded early on about one of the reasons I find Fantasy RPGs and just Fantasy in general so irritating sometimes - it is all so bog standard that any attempt to do something different often feels frustrating.
I thought it would be cool to place the adventure in an interesting setting and terrain; a flooded castle, half submerged in a lake, and it was raining. I then took to the internet to find an image of a submerged castle. Nothing even remotely cool.
I search for Sunken castle? No. Not completely underwater, how about Flooded Castle? Nope. Castle in a Lake? Hmmm. Castle with Water? Nothing. ARGH!
Are you telling me I am the first person in the history of Fantasy RPGs to have this type of setting in an adventure? Surely not. The first person to want a picture of it? Good grief man! WTH! I am other a savant genius of setting design or you Fantasy artists out there need to step up your game.
Strangely, the idea was inspired by one of the early volumes of the Manga 'Dungeon Meshi' or Delicious in Dungeon. I didn't want to use that art though and confuse the IPs.
Don't even get me started on the Giant Killer Mermaid. At least that I could put together myself. Sheesh.
"I will make it rain Fire and Death." Naoko said this when it looked like the Lake Demon was going to eat Lady Knight and the children on the raft. She said it in a tone that was so incredibly nonchalant that I burst out laughing. It was an even, soft, but serious tone. She might as well have said, "Here are the quarterly reports you asked for" or "I took the liberty of ordering tea and scones for us". My favorite line of the night.
Just like how [in the Anime] Goblin Slayer says 'Souka' or 'I see' a lot, Yasa's Armored Dwarf has the catchphrase Mondai Nai, which basically mean 'It's no problem'. He said it often enough that it became clear he was doing it to be funny. He would lean back on his chair and smile the same way almost every time while saying it. His Dwarf was so laid back he wasn't bothered by any dangerous or difficult task the group asked of him.
"Dwarf, do you think you could retrieve the dagger I threw into that goblin's guts?'
"Hai. Mondai nai." Sure, no problem.
When Jenn's Lady Knight needed to reach the three children tied up on a raft in the middle of the watery ritual chamber, she started to get this desperate, earnest look on her face. She was honestly worried Knight Woman wouldn't be able to jump the distance to save the kids. John noticed her look and mentioned that the Dwarf was already in the water. She looked at Yasa (via screen of course) and asked, "Is that OK?" Clearly Yasahiro had no idea what she was planning but lean back and said, "Mondai nai."
Jenn describes Knight Woman leaping off the ledge onto the floundering Dwarf, then off him and onto the raft. Yasa's face was priceless. He laughed and laughed, moving his arms as if he was trying to tread water and then pantomimed sinking. Hero and Hilarious! For her part, Jennifer described the Lady Knight landing on the raft with a Superhero 'Three Point Landing' stance.
Lastly, I described the Lake Demon in some detail; a beautiful but gigantic mermaid with a very curvy figure. Yasahiro smiled and basically said, "Oh ho!". Then I mentioned her rows of razor sharp teeth and long, sharp claws. He then said something under his breath in Japanese that caused Naoko to laugh for a full minute.
After the game I asked him what he'd said. He told me that after his "Oh ho", he had also whispered, "Sexy" in Japanese. After the full description he changed his opinion saying, "Oh. Not sexy Mermaid. Scary Mermaid."
In the Goblin Slayer series (Anime and Manga for sure - not sure about the Light Novels) none of the characters have proper names. We never find out the given names of any of the characters. The Goblin Slayer is always called Goblin Slayer. The High Elf Ranger is referred to as 'Elf', 'High Elf', ' High Elf Archer', and 'Ranger'. Even the credits of the show list the voice actors as playing secondary characters like 'Guild Girl', 'Sword Maiden', and 'Cow Girl's Uncle'.
According to the series creator, Kumo Kagyu, this was done to reflect the fact that many players and Gamemasters of Fantasy TRPGs find it hard to come up with names for both PCs and NPCs and often forget them, simply calling them by their Race and Profession.
When we started the game I told the players that it was fine if they created names for their PCs but I will only be calling them by their Species and Class. They were stunned and then told me the idea was brilliant. Perfect for this game world. I was pretty proud of that small but immersive choice.
We shall see.
A question I've been asked by Tim Knight and others is, will we do it again?
I would love to and I am sure the players would too but the timing on the session we did was just a perfect zeitgeist. Normally Jenn, John, and Yasa only get the chance to play on the weekends and not usually together (though they might now - John and Yasa exchanged the names of their respective favorite Gaming Cafes.).
If the opportunity comes up I would happily run for this group again. Such energy, investment, good RPG, good tactics, and a mindset many gamers these days lack - We only have 4-5 hours to play. Do stuff. Take action. Convey your character in a line or two. Keep it moving.
I will conclude here by thanking Naoko for this opportunity and her hospitality in inviting me into her home and world if only virtually. The same goes for all those involved. Jennifer, John, and Yasahiro, it was a pleasure and I look forward to the chance to enjoy your company again.
正式にありがとう Seishiki ni arigatō