A rare opportunity has come up and I couldn't say no...though perhaps I should have thought my yes out more carefully.
My friend Naoko, who lives in the Chiba Prefecture of Japan, has invited me to/requested that I run an Tabletop RPG One-Shot for herself and some friends tomorrow evening. To be clear, tomorrow evening for them is early tomorrow morning for me.
The game in question is the official Goblin Slayer TRPG published by Softbank Creative. Not long ago, I was able to obtain a copy of the Limited Edition boxed set of this game thanks to Naoko.
I am incredibly flattered to be asked to GM for this collection of players and overjoyed to run a game I know I might not get to play otherwise. I do have some concerns however.
Oh boy do I have concerns...
First and foremost, I do not speak Japanese. While I might know some words and phrases, I can't actually speak or understand the language for the purposes of a conversation.
Second, I haven't read the rules. See the first conundrum. The game is written in Japanese instead of the use of English on the front cover of the box set and rule book. It has not yet been translated into English, professionally or by fans, though there are some groups working on that noble cause even as we speak.
I don't know these players, their likes and dislikes, and the proper protocols for gaming over the internet with people from Japan. That is, are there cultural elements about gaming online that differ from those of the US? Given the subject matter of the early episodes of Goblin Slayer, is there anything that might offend any of them or make them uneasy that I should avoid referencing?
Well, check this out...
A Dice Bag, Custom Dice, and
a Goblin Slayer Miniature!
According to Naoko there will be four players - an American Female friend of hers who teaches English in Chiba, her friend's boyfriend - also an American, a Male colleague from work who is a Japanese native, and herself, also a Japanese native.
The two Americans speak English fluently but also Japanese (particularly the teacher) so they can help with translations. Naoko and her Male friend speak English, though she says she knows her pronunciation and usage of some words isn't perfect. Her friend is similar.
Naoko and I have spoken a couple of times online and I have never had a problem understanding her. She sometimes has difficulty understanding me when I speak too quickly, which I realize I do quite often. I will make an effort to slow down tomorrow.
As far as the rules, I have been able to obtain some basic rule information, though I am concerned about where it will be enough. At least one other person in the group has read the rules in full and Naoko is going over them tonight (or is that today? hmmm).
Finally, in regards to what I can say, can't say, should or shouldn't say, I generally go by the simple rule that if there is nothing to added by being vulgar then there is no reason to be. It isn't something that concerns me because, generally speaking, I don't create scenes that might 'trigger' people.
Granted, I have also played with people who don't get set off by in game actions or words easily. Sure, this might come up and if and when it does we will address it. If there is anything they don't want me to talk about or cover, I will ask them up front if there are any such things so there won't be any issues later on.
After going over all that I am feeling...still nervous has heck but I am really excited and can hardly wait to see what happens. I do need to calm down and relax a bit though. After all...I'm gaming in 8 and a half hours!
“Luck, wisdom and courage! It all begins with whether or not you’re going to do something,
So do something!”
-Burglar, Goblin Slayer Season 1, Episode 8
Let's hope this group, unlike many US players, take that advice.