Thursday, July 29, 2021

August Rush

My series of blog posts dedicated to Japanese Tabletop RPGs has been delayed by my overactive but under performing brain. My head is in too many places as once and the next set of posts on Superhero RPGs in Japan has suffered because of it.

In addition, my business has been picking up considerably. I've starting going back to the gym and otherwise exercising more regularly. All positives to be sure but ones that have taken up a good deal of my energy and time. 

As July ends and August begins, my aforementioned analysis of Japanese TRPGS in general and Superhero ones specifically are going to have to remain on hold. At least for a while.

For August, I am once again going to be participating in the RPGaDay Challenge. This year - 2021 - will see my 7th annual outing with this initiative and while I have often teased it, taunted it, and even outright mocked it on various occasions...I have to admit I love it. I really enjoy challenging myself to complete the entire RPGaDay month, even when the prompts have been incredibly frustrating. 

This year, I am pretty happy with the primary prompt words. I find them simple, straightforward, and at the same time full of the capacity for expansive interpretation. Most notably the words this year seem a heck of a lot more interesting then last year. Maybe they saw how much difficulty a number of us had in 2020 and decided to go with terms that were more RPG oriented. 

Alternative words have also been included in case the main prompt doesn't do anything for you but I'll definitely be sticking with the primary ones. It just seems more sporting for some reason.

What I am especially pleased to see is that they have fixed my biggest complaint of last year: The early prompts - the first week or so - are good ones. In 2020 the few good prompts came towards the end. The first dozen or so words were kind of lame, dampening ones' enthusiasm for continuing. 

Yes, I can already see a few tough ones on this prompt calendar. There are certainly words that I will find difficult to write anything engaging about, at least at first glance. My hope is that the early ones will excite me and rev up my energy for tackling the trickier ones. We shall see.

Anywho, Japanese Tabletop Gaming shall return in September along with a variety of other bits and bobs. In the meantime, here's hoping you will join me and many other RPG fans for the RPGaDay 2021 Event this August. 

See you then,

Barking Alien

PS: Don't forget that August 25th marks my 44th Year in the Hobby Anniversary! Woot!


Monday, July 5, 2021

VISIONS of The Force

Two of my biggest loves in the world of Pop Culture Entertainment and Role Playing Games are Star Wars and Anime/Manga as clearly evidenced by recent and past posts on both subjects. It's a shame that the two were never fully combined into one amazing Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of complimentary awesomeness. 

Wait...what's this? 

Whoah. I think I died and became a Force Ghost. Force Yokai? Are there Force Yokai? I suppose there could be now...

Star Wars Visions is an all new short form, animated anthology series set in that familiar galaxy far, far away, produced by Lucasfilms and featuring the work of seven different Japanese Anime studios. It is Star Wars through the eyes of some of the top creative teams in Japan, paying homage to both the legendary universe of Droids and Jedi and the cultural perspective of those artists involved. 

There will be nine shorts in total:

  • The Duel by Kamikaze Douga
  • Lop and Ocho by Geno Studio
  • Tatooine Rhapsody by Studio Colorido
  • The Twins by Trigger
  • The Elder by Trigger
  • The Village Bride by Kinema Citrus
  • Akakiri by Science Saru
  • TO-B1 by Science Saru
  • The Ninth Jedi by Production I.G.

After seeing the trailer, which is really more of a 'behind the scenes' look at the creation of some of these shorts, I am even more excited about this series than I was when the idea was first announced in December of last year. Already I am in love with some of the character designs and art styles and very eager to absorb the stories that will surround them. 

Sometime later this month, if all goes well, I will tackle Star Wars TRPG gaming in Japan and what Star Wars Visions might add to running that universe in my own games. Since much of my gaming is Anime influenced already (even when it isn't an 'Anime/Manga Game', I feel like this could inspire a whole new long term Star Wars campaign. 

Check out some of the concept art below...

From 'The Duel' by Kamikaze Douga

From 'Lop and Ocho' by Geno Studio

From 'Twins' by Trigger

From 'The Ninth Jedi' by Production I.G

From Tatoonine Rhapsody by Studio Colorido

Star Wars Visions will drop on Disney+ on September 22nd, 2021. According to current reports, the entire series will be available to stream on that day. You can see the trailer here.

More news and information as it becomes available.

フォースと共にあれ (Foosu to tomo ni are). 

May the Force be with you.

Barking Alien


Sunday, July 4, 2021


 Hi all,

Sorry for the long delay in getting back to my blog and coverage of Tabletop RPGs in Japan. I've been busy with some real world concerns, most of which have already been dealt with and the results have been positive. Although I am still struggling with some elements, things are generally looking up and so I can get back to doing what I love - jabbering about obscure subjects only a handful of people care about. Yay me!

While I have you here, I thought I'd update you on my 'State of Gaming' and where I and this blog are going in the near future...

These days I am only playing in one game and it's a great one. I am currently in year five of our bi-weekly Hogwarts/Wizarding World campaign. This game continues to be amazing and I am absolutely loving it. Kudos and thanks to my friend and Gamemaster Alex.

I am currently running my ongoing Star Trek: Prosperity campaign, a bi-weekly Star Trek Adventures game now in its fifth year of real time. 'Season 6' has had a bit of a 'Horror' feel to it and remains popular among all the players and myself. 

Additionally, I am running a weekly Mobile Suit Gundam game, UC 0079: The Siege of New York, using my homebrew Mecha System Variant game mechanics. I have decided they need more playtesting and so that is essentially what I am doing as I run this campaign. The campaign is likely to end soon and I am not entirely sure what the follow up will be. 

Later this month I will be starting a Champions 4th Edition campaign set in the my favorite milieu, the Champions Universe of my friend William Corpening's 10+ year campaign. Tentatively, this campaign has been titled 'Champions: UNITY'. I have not revisited this world or the Champions game since the passing of my friend Dave Cotton. It is a little melancholy to think about running a Champions game without Dave but I think it's time and I will be introducing the setting to a group largely if not completely unfamiliar with it which is very exciting. It's a 'Dedicated to Dave', spread the love kind of thing.

Finally, and this is big, we are tentatively set to run the final Episode/Session of our ALIEN FRONTIER campaign on August 7th. This will be an in-person game, not remote, with roughly 8 players and myself, at a public play location. More details as they become available. So excited for this I don't even have the words.

There is a lot more I'd like to talk about but most of it is not directly related to the games I'm currently playing in and running. Instead, my goal is to get back to the subject of Japanese TRPGs and so I'll end here with this...

Happy Fourth of July to the United States of America and all my friends and family who dwell within it. Though an imperfect work to put it mildly, it is nonetheless a grand experiment and a thing of beauty. As we celebrate, let us also contemplate how to truly progress and improve for the betterment of all people.

Barking Alien