Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Japanese Tabletop RPG Collector's List

Early Japanese "table talk" role playing games, presented in order of publication with cover art. Also universal supplements, replays, relevant magazines, and selected gamebooks. For games published 2000 or later see a subsequent post.



タクテクス
TACTICS
Hobby Japan
1982
Gallery | Checklist | Index
TACTICS magazine covered the wargaming hobby in Japan and Hobby Japan's own games, often translations of Avalon Hill games. 

The 3rd issue (May 1982) contains an article on adventure role playing games. It includes a short sci-fi RPG called "Donkey Commando" as an example. This is the first Japanese language TRPG!

The 18th issue (November 1984) is dedicated to Traveller, which Hobby Japan had just published in Japanese.

Even-numbered issues from 46 (September 1987) to 76 (March 1990) are role-playing game issues.  After issue 76 Hobby Japan introduced "RPG Magazine" and TACTICS reverted to a periodical exclusively for wargames.


クラッシャージョウ (Crusher Joe) box set
クラッシャージョウ
Crusher Joe
Tsukuda Hobby
1983
Checklist
The Crusher Joe series of novels started appearing in 1977. They got an anime adaption in 1983 in addition to these two RPG box sets.


Enterprise RPG box set
エンタープライズ
Enterprise: Role Play Game in Star Trek
Tsukuda Hobby
1983
Checklist
An original game designed by Tama Yutaka. The product code is HG-014-R, suggesting it was released before Crusher Joe which has product code HG-015-R. Hence Enterprise may be the first stand-alone Japanese RPG to be published.

Tsukuda Hobby also sold a boardgame called "Star Trek: The Invasion of Klingon Empire" and Star Trek themed plastic kits and minis.


オペレーション
Operation
Tsukuda Hobby
1983
Gallery | Checklist
A quarterly house magazine largely devoted to wargaming. Vol. 2 has an article titled "What is a Role Play Game?" Vol. 6 featured "The Roads to the Lord" on the cover.


ファイティング・ファンタジー
Fighting Fantasy
社会思想社 (Shakaishisosha)
1984
Gallery | Checklist
The Fighting Fantasy series is intended for solo play and might not be regarded as RPG items by some. But dice are required to play and the reader starts out by randomly generating a character with scores for skill, stamina, and luck. Moreover the Japanese translations of the Fighting Fantasy series deserve some credit for spreading knowledge of tabletop RPG idioms in Japan. The original English language series had 59 titles and the first 33 got translated into Japanese.


ローズトゥロード
The Roads to the Lord
Tsukuda Hobby
1984
Gallery | Checklist
An original fantasy game sold as a box set. Tsukuda Hobby sold lead minis for the game in blister packs.

The setting takes place in a land called ユルセルーム (Jerusalem). The land, once united under a single kingdom, is now divided. The titular road run through the land from east to west and the people regret that it is no longer maintained and can't be traveled in safety.

Guin World uses the same rules as The Roads to the Lord but is set in the world described in the Guin Saga novels.

The initial box set was followed up by a box set called "Beyond Roads to Lord" in 1989, and another called "Far Roads to Lord" in 1993.

Enterbrain released editions of Roads to Lord in 2002 and 2010.


スタークェスト
Star Quest
Tsukuda Hobby
1984
Checklist
Ed Lipsett wrote 4 English language Sci-Fi RPG supplements for Phoenix Games in 1979. One of the titles, the Spacefarer's Guide to Alien Races, used 6 ability scores which range from 1 to 1000, a feature that would reappear in Star Quest, although the names of some of the abilities would change. By 1984 Lipsett relocated to Japan and got this game published. There was no English language version of it.


トラベラー
Traveller
Hobby Japan
1984
Gallery | Checklist
Hobby Japan translated quite a bit of the classic Traveller line. GDW sold adventures and supplements as à la carte booklets, but Hobby Japan preferred to sell them in box sets grouped in twos and threes. Hobby Japan even produced a box set containing FASA adventures. 安田均 (Hitoshi Yasuda), who later founded Group SNE, was the translator.


アドベンチャーヒーローブックス
Adventure Hero Books
勁文社 (Keibunsha)
1985
Gallery | Checklist
An original series of 46 gamebooks. Dice are not needed.


ダンジョンズ&ドラゴンズ
Dungeons & Dragons
新和 (Shinwa)
1985
Gallery | Checklist
Shinwa was the first translator of Dungeons & Dragons into Japanese. They translated 38 items from the classic D&D line and created a few supplements of their own, giving them module codes starting with "ACJ". Spell cards were a favorite supplement of this sort.


Fujimi Gamebooks
富士見書房 (Fujimi Shobo)
1985
The Fujimi Dragon Books are best known for publishing RPG content, but they got their start with gamebooks, and in particular translations of the AD&D gamebooks originally published by TSR.

Fujimi also translated the Legends of Skyfall gamebooks, providing them with original cover art by Hitoshi Yoneda who would also become the cover artist for the Japanese edition of Warlock magazine.

The Blood Sword series of gamebooks also got translated. These could be played solo or with multiple players and Fujimi advertised them as RPGs.


スーパーアドベンチャーゲーム
Super Adventure Game
東京創元社 (Tokyo Sogensha)
1985
GalleryChecklist
This gamebook series contains a mix of translations and original works.

The Sorcery books are translations of books written by Steve Jackson, one of the Fighting Fantasy authors. They give the player the choice of class: warrior or wizard. 創土社 (Sodosha) reprinted the Sorcery translations in 2003.

The Neverland books are a series of three gamebooks by the same author, Tomohiko Hayashi. In these gamebooks the player gets three lives. To run a gamebook the player is at times instructed to write down values in one of 36 "keys" and refer to them later. The second book is ニフルハイムのユリ (Lily of Niflheim) and the third is ネバーランドのカボチャ男 (Pumpkin Man of Neverland).


クトゥルフの呼び声
Call of Cthulhu
Hobby Japan
1986
Gallery | Checklist
Hobby Japan translated the 2nd Edition of Call of Cthulhu in 1986. They translated a number of scenarios and supplements for the game, releasing them as box sets even when the originals were not. They also translated the 5th edition of Call of Cthulhu and released it as an A4 softcover.


コンプティーク
Comptiq
角川書店 (Kadokawa Shoten)
1986
An eclectic magazine originally aimed at computer hobbyists. Starting with the January 1986 issue it featured a column by Kuro-chan on tabletop RPGs, writing from which would be collected and re-published by Fujimi Shobo as part of its Fantasy File series.

In September 1986 Comptiq began to serialize a transcript of a Dungeons & Dragons session called "Record of Lodoss War", which would get light novel, manga, and anime adaptations. The Sword World RPG was developed so that "Record of Lodoss War" could be published as a game setting. Finally, the "Record of Lodoss War" serialization popularized the replay format, which is its own genre of literature in Japan. Short transcripts of gaming sessions appear for didactic reasons in the earliest English language editions of D&D, but publishing complete sessions and selling them as standalone books is a distinctly Japanese phenomenon.

The "Record of Lodoss War" serialization concluded in the September 1989 issue. Kadokawa Shoten launched Comp RPG magazine in November 1991, but Crystania replays were serialized in Comptiq as late as April 1993.


ドラゴン  マガジン / ファンタジィ  ゲーマーズ  ジャーナル
Dragon Magazine / Fantasy Gamers' Journal
新和 (Shinwa)
1986
Gallery | Checklist
A quarterly magazine dedicated exclusively to Dungeons & Dragons. After four volumes the name of the magazine was changed to Fantasy Gamers' Journal, and volumes 3 and 4 were re-issued with the new name.


ファミコン冒険ゲームブック
Famicon Adventure Gamebook
双葉社 (Futabasha)
1986
The Famicon was the video game console known as the NES in the United States. Computer RPGs for the Famicon popularized role playing game idioms in Japan. Futabasha produced a line of game books based on titles for the Famicon, including the computer RPGs. They sold in part because they were cheap and the corresponding video games were expensive.


ファンタジー・ファイル
Fantasy File
 富士見書房 (Fujimi Shobo)
1986
Gallery | Checklist
A series of generic fantasy RPG supplements published in bunkobon format. There were at least 37 titles and they were published as late as 1997.


ゲームグラフィックス
Game Graphix
大日本絵画 (Dainihonkaiga)
1986
Gallery | Checklist
Originally the magazine covered games such as board games, darts, and slot cars. RPGs and reader participation games dominated later issues. Issues 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 21 include original RPGs. The special issue "Excallibur" contains a mini painting guide and an original RPG.


ハヤカワ・ゲームブック
Hayakawa Game Book
早川書房 (Hayakawa Publishing)
1986
Gallery | Checklist
A series of original gamebooks. The "Witch Dinon" books were written by the designer of "The Roads to the Lord", Naoto Kadokura (門倉直人), and set in the world of that game.


James Bond 007
Hobby Japan
1986
Checklist
A translation of the box set by Victory Games.


RPG幻想事典
RPG Fantasy Encyclopedia
SoftBank Creative
1986
Gallery | Checklist
This series of fantasy RPG supplements got its start with an encyclopedia of fantasy creatures. A short RPG game was included in an appendix.


ウォーロック
Warlock
社会思想社 (Shakaishisosha)
1986
Gallery | Checklist
"Warlock: The Fighting Fantasy Magazine" was a British magazine dedicated to the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. The Japanese version of the magazine outlived the original.  Towards the end of its run the Japanese version dropped the "Fighting Fantasy Magazine" subtitle and covered RPGs generally.


フォーリナー
Foreigner
Hobby Japan
1987
Gallery | Checklist
An original RPG which takes place in medieval European fantasy setting.


指輪物語ロールプレイング
Middle-Earth Role Playing
Hobby Japan
1987
Gallery | Checklist
The Lord of the Rings is called 指輪物語 (yubiwa monogatari, literally "Ring Story") in Japanese.


とンネルズ&とロールズ
Tunnels & Trolls
社会思想社 (Shakaishisosha)
1987
Gallery | Checklist
If you don't count gamebooks, Tunnels & Trolls was the first RPG published as a bunkobon. Monsters! Monsters! and 8 solo adventures were also translated and published as bunkobons.

In 1991 a rules supplement with rule modifications called ハイパートンネルズ&トロールズ (Hyper Tunnels & Trolls) was published by Shakaishisosha. It was written by Group SNE and is not a translation of an English work.


ワープス
WARPS
Tsukuda Hobby
1987
Gallery | Checklist
An initialism for Wild Adventure Role Playing System. This was a generic system like GURPS. Also pictured above are the supplements for the fantasy setting, all of which were box sets. The supplements "Tokyo City" and "Appleseed" are for the futuristic setting.


ドラゴンマガジン
Dragon Magazine
富士見書房 (Fujimi Shobo)
1988
Gallery | Checklist
Shinwa published a quarterly "Dragon Magazine", but the name was changed to "Fantasy Gamer Journal" when Fujimi Shobo introduced this magazine which mostly contains serializations of light novels and manga. There are some replays and reviews of RPGs.


幻のユニコーンクエスト
The Fantasy Trip (Phantom Unicorn Quest)
Hobby Japan
1988
Checklist
A tankobon book with glossy full color interior pages. It collects and translates seven titles from The Fantasy Trip: "Melee", "Wizard", "Death Test", "Death Test 2", "Grail Quest", "Treasure of the Silver Dragon", and "Treasure of Unicorn Gold".


混沌の渦
Maelstrom
社会思想社  (Shakaishisosha)
1988
Checklist
A translation of a 1984 game set in Tudor England.


ナイトメア・ハンター
Nightmare Hunter
翔企画 (Sho Planning)
1988
Checklist
This game set in a modern setting has the PCs hunting demons in dreams. In 2007 a sequel called "Nightmare Hunter Deep" was released.


オフィシャル D&D マガジン
Official Dungeons & Dragons Magazine
新和 (Shinwa)
1988
Gallery | Checklist
This magazine replaced the Fantasy Gamers' Journal. Initially it was published 6 times a year.


ファンタズム・アドベンチャー
Phantasm Adventure
大日本絵画 (Dainihonkaiga)
1988
Gallery | Checklist
Troy Christiansen is from Michigan. According to Wikipedia he created the game Phantasm Adventure in 1982. In 1987 he moved to Japan to study and the following year he got a translation of his game published. An advanced version of the game was released in 1990.


Rule the World
ルール・ザ・ワールド
Epoch
1988
A box set. Player take the part of heroes fighting an evil organization run by the gamemaster.


ルーンクエスト
RuneQuest
Hobby Japan 
1988
Gallery | Checklist
Hobby Japan translated 17 products from Avalon Hill's RuneQuest line, often providing original cover art.

Although there is an English language "Runequest Companion", the Japanese version is original material.

Runequest '90s is a simplified version of the RuneQuest by Rei Katsura. Dragon Atlas is the accompanying world guide.


社会思想社アドベンチャーゲームブック
Shakaishisosha Original Gamebook
 社会思想社 (Shakaishisosha)
1988
Gallery | Checklist
Four original bunkobon gamebooks published by the same company that translated the Fighting Fantasy series.

The second in the series 送り雛は瑠璃色の (Escort of Young Chicks is Blue) draws on Japanese folklore and and poetry. One plays the part of the young girl who is a member of a history club. The gamebook was originally published in issues #30 and #31 of Warlock magazine. Also I think a separate adventure called "The Faceless Village" was also included in the bunkobon. The gamebook was republished (with modifications) by 創土社  (Sodosha) in 2003.


Shinkigensha RPG Series
新紀元社 (Shinkigensha)
1988
Gallery | Checklist
A survey of the available RPGs of the day and advice on play.


ストームブリンガー
Stormbringer
Hobby Japan
1988
Gallery | Checklist
A box set translation of Chaosium's 2nd edition. The Stormbringer Companion and Demon Magic were translated and published in 1990 and 1992. Also in 1992 a collection of scenarios called ヴェルヴェットサークル (Velvet Circle) was published. The English language version of Demon Magic contains a scenario called "Velvet Circle", so maybe it isn't in the Japanese language version of Demon Magic?


ウィザードリィRPG
Wizardy RPG
ASCII / Group SNE
1988
Gallery | Checklist
A tabletop RPG based on the Wizardry series of role playing video games which were initially released in North America and translated to Japanese and ported to Famicom starting in1985 by ASCII Entertainment, who would later merge with Media Works. The translated video games were even more popular than the originals and spawned the Japanese computer RPG industry.

As an aside, role playing video games are what many in Japan think of when someone mentions RPGs. The Japanese say "テーブルトークRPG" or "TRPG" to refer to pen-and-paper games unambiguously. Note that "テーブルトーク" looks like a borrowing of the English phrase "table talk" but it means something different. It is an example of 和製英語 (Wasei Eigo).

As for the tabletop Wizardry RPG, the 1988 box set was followed up by a 1993 tankobon edition called 真ウィザードリィ. I'm not sure how this was pronounced. Shin Wizardry? Ma Wizardry? A bunkobon edition called Advanced Wizardry followed in 1995.


ワースブレイド
Wares Blade: Magic and Machinery
Hobby Japan
1988
Gallery | Checklist
A box set fantasy RPG with giant fighting robots. 4 expansion box sets were also produced. A total of 17 products were released for the original edition in the years 1988–1994. In 2008 a d20 based 2nd edition was released.


ドラゴンリング
Dragon Ring
新紀元社 (Shinkigensha)
1989
Checklist
The book is a manga with rules for a TRPG at the back. The manga tells the story of Yuji who grows dissatisfied with computer RPGs and starts playing a table-top game.


レムリカ
Remurica
翔企画 (Sho Planning)
1989
Gallery | Checklist
An RPG which uses cards. The three box sets are "Musketeers", "Monsters", and "Arms Collection".


ロールプレイング・ゲームの達人
Role-Playing Mastery
社会思想社 (Shakaishisosha)
1989
Gallery | Checklist
Translations of "Role-Playing Mastery" (1987) and "Master of the Game" (1989), two books by Gary Gygax containing generic RPG advice.


ソード・ワールド
Sword World
富士見書房 (Fujimi Shobo) / Group SNE
1989
Gallery | Checklist
Sword World came into existence as a way to publish "Record of Lodoss War" replays and adventures. Some say this was for many years the most popular TRPG in Japan.

The setting is a world called Forcelia which contains Lodoss Island. The game uses d6 dice exclusively. A notable feature is the rating table, which uses a key number depending on the difficulty of a task and a 2d6 roll to generate a number in the range from 0 to 15.

A new version called Sword World 2.0 was released in 2008.


ロードス島戦記
Record of Lodoss War
角川書店 (Kadokawa Shoten) / Group SNE
1989
Gallery | Checklist
"Record of Lodoss War" got its start as a "replay" serialized in Comptiq magazine in 1986. A replay is the published transcript of a TRPG session; publishing session transcripts is a Japanese innovation. The Lodoss players were playing Dungeons & Dragons and what got serialized in Comptiq was the first replay.

Lodoss would get a novelization in 1988, a computer RPG adaptation in 1988, a TRPG treatment in 1989, an anime in 1990, and a manga in 1991.

The TRPG treatment is the tankobon volumes picture above. They were published in 1989, 1991, and 1994. The "Record of Lodoss War Companion" is intended to be used with Sword World, which was written for this purpose, since using D&D would involve copyright issues. A stand-alone game called "Lodoss Island RPG" was published in 1995.


アドバンスト・ダンジョンズ&ドラゴンズ 第2版
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd Edition
新和 (Shinwa)
1990
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Shinwa was also the translator of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition, but it does not appear to have sold well for them since they stopped publishing material soon after its release.


アドバンスト・ファイティング・ファンタジー
Advanced Fighting Fantasy
 社会思想社 (Shakaishisosha)
1990
Gallery | Checklist
The original, English language edition of Advanced Fighting Fantasy was published in 1989. The Japanese edition is a two volume bunkobon set. モンスター事典 (Monster Dictionary) is a translation of "Out of the Pit", a catalog of monsters compiled from the Fighting Fantasy game books.  タイタン  (Titan) describes the world introduced by the FF game books.


ブルーフォレスト物語
Blue Forest Story
Tsukuda Hobby
1990
Gallery | Checklist
This is another fantasy TRPG released as a box set, but it draws from East Asian and South Asian folklore instead of European folklore. The supplementary box sets "Blue Forest Wars" and "Blue Forest Tales" were released in 1991 and 1992.

In 1996 a game based on it was released for the PlayStation. A designer's edition of the TRPG was released the same year.


ガンダムセンチネルRPG
Gundam Sentinel RPG
大日本絵画 (Dainihonkaiga)
1990
Gallery | Checklist
Gundam Sentinel was a novel set in the Gundam universe and serialized in Game Graphix magazine from September 1987 to August 1988. The novel was noted for the amount of technical detail it provides for the battle suits.

Also pictured is ガンダム:0079 RPG (Gundam 0079 RPG), published in 1991 by Dainihonkaiga. It is dedicated to the original Gundam anime series and appears to be a stand-alone game. I'm not sure how similar to rules are to Gundam Sentinal RPG.


メタルヘッド
Metalhead
Hobby Japan
1990
Gallery | Checklist
A cyberpunk/post-apocalyptic RPG set in the year 2150. The first edition was a box set. The second edition released 2000 was a tankobon. Two more editions were released in 2008, one of which was a d20 version of the game.


プライマリー・ギルド・ワールド
Primary Guild World
プライマリー・ギルド・オフィス (Primary Guild Office)
1990
Gallery | Checklist
An original fantasy RPG. "Tertiary Guild" is the players' guide and "Primary Guild" is the game master's guide. The playable races are human, elf, dwarf, or "prairie folk", the last of which are similar to hobbits. One can also play a half-breed cross between any of the four preceding races. The available classes are adventurer, warrior, knight, thief, priest, pilgrim, spirit master, and magic user.


ロールマスター
Rolemaster
Hobby Japan
1990
Gallery | Checklist
"Creatures & Treasures" is a perfect bound softcover. The others are hardbacks.


RPG Magazine
Hobby Japan
1990
Gallery | Checklist
Hobby Japan included an increasing amount of RPG material in Tactics magazine over the years, but eventually established a dedicated magazine for RPGs. My understanding is that one of the issues contains a mini-game called Mobile Racer Championship, set in the cyberpunk world of Metalhead.

When the magazine was discontinued in 1999, Hobby Japan replaced it with the monthly ゲームジャパン (Game Japan) which ran to 2011. Topics included a small amount of TRPG mixed in with card games, computer games, and board games.



魔獣戦士ルナ・ヴァルガー
Beast Warrior Luna Valger
角川書店 (Kadokawa Shoten)
1991
Gallery | Checklist
The first of the Beast Warrior Luna Valger light novels was published in 1988. The series got a straight-to-video anime in 1990 and an RPG in 1991. The rules were published as a standalone book, but each of the bunkobon replays has rules at the end.


ブレード・アンド・ワード
Blade & Word
キラメキ (Kirameki)
1991
Gallery | Checklist
An original fantasy RPG released as a box set. "Acoustic Leaf" is a 2nd edition released as a book.


コンプRPG
Comp RPG
角川書店 (Kadokawa Shoten)
1991
Gallery | Checklist
A quarterly and later every-two-monthly magazine.


ドラゴンハーフ
Dragon Half
富士見書房 (Fujimi Shobo) / Group SNE
1991
Gallery | Checklist
Dragon Half was a manga serialized in Dragon Magazine from 1988 to 1994. The strip contains references to RPGs and features Mink, a half-human, half-dragon teenage girl.

The Dragon Half RPG is similar to the Sword World RPG but with rules to achieve comic effects.


フォーチュン・クエスト
Fortune Quest
角川書店 (Kadokawa Shoten)
1991
Gallery | Checklist
An RPG adaptation of a light novel written in 1989. The light novel also got manga, anime, and video game adaptations.

The 1991 rulebook contains pre-generated character sheets and masks which are intended to be detached. Each character has scores for attack power, defense power, magic avoidance, and trap avoidance. Play proceeds counterclockwise from the game master with success often determined by a 2d6 dice roll.

The 1995 rulebook describes a more elaborate game.

The 2005 box set contains a rulebook, world guide, scenario book, replay book, character sheets, and masks.


ギア・アンティーク
Gear Antique
Tsukuda Hobby
1991
Gallery | Checklist
The game was designed by the same author who wrote Blue Forest Story, Kenji Fushimi, and uses similar rules. It's a steampunk game with some fantasy elements and a setting like 19th century Europe.

Two supplementary box sets: Art Alchemy and Steam Parade, were released in 1992 and 1993. The artist for Gear Antique also published two comic books for the game.

In 1999 a second edition called "Gear Antique—Renaissance" was published.


蓬萊学園の冒険!!
Horai School Adventure!!
遊演体 (Yuentai)
1991
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Horai School Adventure started as play-by-mail game conducted in 1990. The titular Horai School is an institution with more than 100,000 students. The PBM weaved together plots involving a murder mystery, an underground cave, romantic comedy, political intrigue, jungle adventures, pirates, and theft of a sword. Participants were mailed copies of the "Hourai Times" illustrated by Hirofumi Nakamura, whose art also appears on the box sets of the RPG. The events of the RPG pick up where the PBM left off.


テーブルトークRPG入門
Introduction to Tabletop RPG
冒険企画局 (Adventure Planning Bureau)
1991
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Two of these books are introductions to tabletop RPGs by Hitoshi Yasuda, the founder of Group SNE. Yasuda wrote a column called "Introduction to Role-Playing Games" which appeared in Tactics magazine from issue #17 to issue #40.


イサー・ウェン=アー
Itha Wen Ua
Treasure House
1991
Gallery | Checklist
A Fantasy RPG. The brown box set covers levels 1–5. The black box levels 6–16. The blue box levels 17–34. The people with cat ears and dog heads on the box covers are playable races. Two perfect-bound books containing scenarios for the game were also published.


モンスターホラーショウ
Monster Horror Show
社会思想社 (Shakaishisosha)
1991
Checklist
A translation of a 1987 game.


マルチバース
Multiverse
大日本絵画 (Dainihonkaiga)
1991
Checklist
A science fiction RPG by the author of Phantasm Adventure. A perfect bound book.


パワープレイ
Power Play
Hobby Japan
1991
Gallery | Checklist
A generic fantasy RPG. F.E.A.R. released a 2nd edition in 2000.


ウォーハンマーファンタシー
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
 社会思想社 (Shakaishisosha)
1991
Gallery | Checklist
A translation of the RPG by Games Workshop, published as a three volume bunkobon.

Hobby Japan published a translation of the 2nd Edition of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay in 2006.


ウィッチクエスト
Witch Quest
冒険企画局 (Adventure Planning Bureau)
1991
Gallery | Checklist
These are 6.9" x 4.6" tankobon books. It's a 魔法 少女 (magical girl) genre game in which ones plays a 13 year-old girl or a cat. An even number of characters is best so each girl can pair off with a cat. The first two volumes, subtitled "Little Witch Edith", are a rulebook and a replay. The rulebook is the "lower" (下) volume. The second two volumes, subtitled "City Without Edith and the Cat", are a rulebook supplement and another replay.


甲竜伝説ヴィルガスト RPG
Armored Dragon Virgast RPG
Keibunsha
1992
Based on a line of toys introduced by Bandai in 1990.


ASURAシステム
ASURA System
Cosmo Engineering
1992
Gallery | Checklist
A family of RPGs with a common system of combat resolution which uses injury ranks instead of hit points to indicate how much damage a character has suffered. There are RPGs for fantasy, horror, far-future science fiction, near future dystopic science fiction, mystery crime solving, and wrestling.


クレギオン
Creguian
Hobby Data
1992
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Set three thousand years in the future. Hobby Data ran ten play-by-mail sessions in this setting, the first in 1990 and the ninth in 2000. A tenth PBM, called "Creguian Endless", was run in 2002 and re-used scenarios from the previous PBMs. Fujimi Shobo published Creguian novels.

Hobby Data ran PBMs for other settings as well. The company went out of business abruptly in 2003, causing several PBMs to be canceled mid-session.


クリスタニア
Crystania
角川書店 (Kadokawa Shoten) / Group SNE
1992
Gallery | Checklist
Like Record of Lodoss War, Crystania was a campaign run by Ryo Mizuno who then serialized a replay of it in Comptiq magazine beginning in 1989.

The rules were also published in Comptiq magazine. In 1992 Kadokawa published a companion to the Sword World RPG for the Crystania setting. In 1994 Media Works published a stand-alone game called the Crystania RPG.


大活劇 江戸の始末人
Daikatugeki
Hobby Japan / Group SNE
1992
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Set in the Edo period. A box set with one supplement.


恐竜戦隊ジュウレンジャーRPG大百科
Dinosaur Squadron Juuranger RPG Encyclopedia
勁文社 (Keibunsha)
1992
Checklist
The Power Rangers are based on the Japanese Super Sentai franchise and used footage from its television shows. Dinosaur Squadron Juuranger is the 16th Super Sentai series and it aired in 1992. The RPG uses  じゃんけん (rock-paper-scissors) to resolve actions.


ダブルムーン伝説
Double Moon Legend
角川書店 (Kadokawa Shoten) / ORG
1992
Gallery | Checklist
The game was developed with reader participation. It was serialized in マル勝スーパーファミコ (Maru Sho Super Famicon) in the years 1989–1990. The books are 10" x 6.9" tankobons.


ガープス
GURPS
角川書店 (Kadokawa Shoten) / Group SNE
1992
In addition to the basic rulebook, the GURPS Magic, Martial Arts, Psionics, and Cyberpunk supplements were translated. There is an original supplement for the martial arts book as well as several original settings, including Cocoon (a Sword World parody), Creatures of the Night (modern horror), Ring Dream (female professional wrestling), and Runal (a setting inspired by RuneQuest). This summarizes what was printed under the Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko label. Fujimi Shobo also published GURPS material starting in 1999.

The GURPS Runal setting was developed by Group SNE writers. It is a fantasy world involving the worship of one of seven moon religions. The setting was influenced by RuneQuest and Glorantha. Kadokawa also published 6 replays for Runal.  A GURPS Runal "Complete Edition" was published by Fujimi Shobo in 1999, and Fujimi Shobo also published 8 replays. In 2005 a sequel called "GURPS Yuel" was published.


学園ぱらだいす
High School Paradise
Tsukuda Hobby / ORG
1992
Checklist
Bishojo games have been a part of Japanese video gaming since the 1980s. This looks like an attempt to bring that genre to the tabletop.


カイゼル・レギオン
Kaiser Legion
Tsukuda Hobby
1992
Checklist
A fantasy RPG sold in a box set. No supplements were produced that I'm aware of.



聖珠伝説パールシード
The Legend of the Pearl Seed
Tsukuda Hobby / 冒険企画局 (Adventure Planning Bureau)
1992
Checklist
A fantasy RPG with easy-to-learn rules and  adventures which can be completed in less than an hour.


ログアウト
LOGOUT
Aspect
1992
Gallery | Checklist
A magazine by the same people responsible for the Wizardry RPG. The magazine includes a lot of fiction and was thus similar to Fujimi's Dragon magazine.


まじかるランド
Magical Land
大日本絵画 (Dainihonkaiga)
1992
Checklist
Fantasy game with comic elements, published as an A4 book.


モンスターメーカーRPGホリィアックス
Monster Maker RPG Holy Axe
富士見書房 (Fujimi Shobo)
1992
Gallery | Checklist
Monster Maker is a collectible card game. It came out in 1988 at the start of a boom in such games.

It was adapted to be a TRPG in 1992. The artwork is by 九月姫 (Hime Kugatsu) who also did the covers for Witch Quest. "Monster Maker RPG: Holy Axe" is the rulebook and "Burgundy Dream: Monster Maker RPG" is a supplement.  A scenario collection and replay were also published. These were both labeled as if they would be the first in a series, though no additional volumes ever got published. Instead, a new edition of the game using the MAGIUS rule system was published in 1995.


RPGなんてこわくない!
RPGs Are Not Scary!
Hobby Japan
1992
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A manga about girls being introduced to tabletop role-playing games. Originally this was serialized in RPG Magazine.  Game Field reprinted the manga with updates in 2000 and came out with a second volume in 2006.


スモール・スティル・ボイス
Small Still Voice
Office Zero
1992
Gallery | Checklist
A fantasy RPG. All magic is performed by means of summoning spirits.


スペオペヒーローズ
Space Opera Heroes
Hobby Japan
1992
Gallery | Checklist
An original game.  Rulebook and supplement are perfect bound A4 books.


聖刻1092RPG
Wares 1092
Asahi Sonorama
1992
Gallery | Checklist
This game was published both as a gamebook and a replay, each with RPG rules in the back. The setting is the same one used by the Wares Blade RPG and comes originally from a series of novels about giant robots in a medieval fantasy world.


イース―テーブルトークRPG
Ys Tabletop RPG
ASCII
1992
Gallery | Checklist
Ys was originally a computer RPG which was ported to the Famicon in 1988. 


サイバーパンク2.0.2.0.
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0
Hobby Base
1993
Gallery | Checklist
A translation of the 1990 R. Talsorian game.


ダーク・コンスピラシー
Dark Conspiracy
Hobby Japan
1993
Gallery | Checklist
A translation of the 1991 GDW game which uses the Twilight 2000 rules in a near-future horror setting. I have not been able to confirm the publication date of the Japanese edition; 1993 is the year the scenario "Singing in the Storm" was published.


メックウォリア
Mechwarrior
富士見文庫 (Fujimi Shobo)
1993
Gallery | Checklist
Mechwarrior is an RPG set in the same universe as the Battletech tabletop wargame. FASA published the 1st edition in 1986 and the 2nd edition in 1991.


リングバース
Ringverse
新紀元社  (Shinkigensha)
1993
Checklist
An example of the 異世界 (isekai) genre. The players assume present-day characters summoned to another world to participate in adventure.


秘境探検ファム&イーリー
Ruin Explorers Fam & Ihrie
Hobby Japan
1993
A manga featuring two female treasure hunters was serialized in RPG Magazine starting in 1992. The following year the RPG was released in a special issue of RPG Magazine. A four episode original video animation was released in 1995.


RPG福袋
RPG Fortune Bag
Hobby Japan
1993
Gallery | Checklist
Hobby Japan released these A4 sized annuals in 1993, 1994, and 1996. Each was about 136 pages long and contained 6 or 7 short RPGs. Enterbrain released a fourth annual called RPG Super Session Feast in 2002 with some of the same authors.


RPG Supplement
 社会思想社 (Shakaishisosha)
1993
Checklist | Gallery
An attempt perhaps to produce a line of generic supplements comparable to the Fantasy File series.


 真・女神転生
Shin Megami Tensei
ASCII
1993
Gallery | Checklist
女神転生 (Megami Tensei) was a series of novels, the first of which was published in 1986. There was an anime adaption and a computer RPG adaption in 1987. The computer game had a successor in 1992 called 真・女神転生 (Shin Megami Tensei) which the TRPG was based on.


夜桜忍法帖
Yozakura Ninpo Jo
遊演体 (Yuentai)
1993
Checklist
This RPG enables one to play a ninja in a modern day setting. Yuentai also ran a related play-by-mail game in 1993.


戦国霊異伝
Sengoku Reiden
キラメキ (Kirameki)
1993
Gallery | Checklist
Set in the fictional land of Fuso modeled after Japan during the Warring States period (1467–1568 CE). Characters are tasked with exterminating 妖怪 (yokai) and 魔物 (demons) which roam the streets. There was a 2005 reprint by Booking. Booking later produced Bakumatsu Ryoiden, which uses the same rules as Sengoku Reiden but  takes place in the Edo period.


トーキョーN◎VA
Tokyo NOVA
Tsukuda Hobby
1993
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A cyberpunk game set in a Tokyo of the future. Tokyo bay has dried up and the city has relocated to the bottom of the bay. The game uses cards instead of dice. Two replays were published to go with the 1st edition. The 2nd edition (1995) got supplements and scenarios. The 3rd edition (1998) is called 『トーキョーN◎VA The Revolution』.


トーグ
TORG
新紀元社 (Shinkigensha)
1993
Gallery | Checklist
A translation of the RPG by West End Games. The basic rules are two books in a slipcase cover. The supplements are standalone books which cover the various "realms" of the TORG universe.


放課後奇譚
After School Mystery
Aspect
1994
Checklist
The players attempt to solve mysteries involving ghosts or monsters. The game was issued in a bunkobon and there are no supplements or later editions.


アラベスク 運命の風
Arabesque Fortuna Ventus
Hobby Data
1994
Checklist
A Fantasy RPG with an Arabian setting. Hobby Data ran "Arabesque" play-by-mail games in 1994, 1995, and 1996. A novel for the setting was also published in 1994.


ベルファール魔法学園
Belfahr's Magic School
角川書店 (Kadokawa Shoten)
1994
Checklist
An RPG about children studying at a school for magic. It predates the first Harry Potter novel by three years. The rulebook is a bunkobon. Four articles in support of the game were published in Comp RPG magazine.


電撃アドベンチャーズ
Dengeki Adventures
Media Works
1994
Gallery | Checklist
Launched as a TRPG magazine, but articles on TRPG were largely gone towards the end of the run, being replaced by articles on collectible card games and "reader participation" games. Light novels were also serialized.


ダウン・ザ・ワールド
Down the World
Aspect
1994
Checklist
Bunkobon. Released together with a computer RPG for the Super Nintendo.


ダンジョンズ&ドラゴンズ
Dungeons & Dragons
Media Works / Group SNE
1994
Gallery | Checklist
Group SNE translated the Rules Cyclopedia and Media Works published it under their Dengeki Bunko label. Although the RC is a single volume hardcover, the translation is divided into three bunkobon volumes. The names of the volumes: "Monsters", "Players", and "Dungeon Masters", echo the core rulebooks of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. All artwork is original to the translation and in a style characteristic of Japanese manga.

The rulebooks were supported by translations of B10 "Nights Dark Terror", B11 "King's Festival", and B12 "Queen's Harvest", and 5 replays, all in bunkobon format. In addition there was an A4-sized D&D Game Master Screen.

Media Works also published seven D&D novels.


ゴーストハンター
Ghost Hunter
ASCII / Group SNE
1994
Gallery | Checklist
A horror genre RPG set in the USA in the 1920s. There is even an entity summoned from beyond called 名前無きもの "Nameless thing". The setting for this game was first used in the 1987 computer RPG ラプラスの魔 "Laplace's Demon". Hitoshi Yasuda, founder of Group SNE, wrote a novelization in 1988.


ハイパーT&T
Hyper Tunnels & Trolls
角川書店 (Kadokawa Shoten)
1994
Gallery | Checklist
In 1994 Kadokawa Shoten published a version of Hyper Tunnels & Trolls that incorporated the rules from Tunnels & Trolls so as to be a complete game by itself.


央華封神
Oka Shujin
Media Works / Group SNE
1994
Gallery | Checklist
The setting of this game is based on the 16th century Chinese novel 封神演義 (Investiture of the Gods).  One plays a hermit and Taoist concepts figure prominently. This is a 2d6 game. The first edition was published as two bunkobon volumes; the first for players and the second for the game master. There have been two subsequent editions.


パラダイス・フリート
Paradise Fleet
富士見書房 (Fujimi Shobo)
1994
Gallery | Checklist
A science fiction RPG with rules for spaceship battles and trade negotiations. Fiction with the same name was serialized in Dragon Magazine starting with the July 1994 issue. A source says this was originally a light novel for which fans submitted rules to Dragon Magazine in the early 90s, culminating in the 1994 bunkobon.


RPGドラゴン
RPG Dragon
富士見書房 (Fujimi Shobo)
1994
Gallery | Checklist
A quarterly house magazine for games published by Fujimi Shobo.


シャドウラン
Shadowrun
富士見書房 (Fujimi Shobo)
1994
Gallery | Checklist
A translation of the 2nd edition. The other materials pictured above are original and were written by Group SNE. Fujimi Shobo also published two titles for Shadowrun in the Fantasy File series. The 4th edition was translated in 2007.


MAGIUS
富士見書房 (Fujimi Shobo)
1995
Gallery | Checklist
An initialism for "Multiple Assignable Game Interface for Universal System", the start book presents a base of rules on which more detailed and setting specific games can be built. It is similar to GURPS but simpler. 5 books were produced for a Slayers RPG, 3 books for a Neon Genesis Evangelion RPG, 4 books for a Tenchi Muyo RPG, and 2 books for a Sorcerous Stabber Orphen RPG.

Horai School (蓬莱学園) and Monster Maker (モンスターメーカー) also got books describing RPGs on the MAGIUS system, and notably so, since RPGs for those settings already existed.

The Go Ryutei (五竜亭) RPG is based on the fantasy setting introduced in the Fantasy File quiz books.


マイトレーヤ SWORD SYSTEM
Maitreiya Sword System
新紀元社 (Shinkigensha)
1995
Checklist
A set of rules for fantasy combat in the world of Adelworth. Spell casting is not covered in the book—possibly that was intended for a future volume that never got published.


三國志演技
Sangokushi Engi
Koei / F.E.A.R.
1995
Gallery | Checklist
A setting based on the 14th century Chinese novel 三国志演義 (Romance of the Three Kingdoms).


鋼鉄の虹 パンツァーメルヒェン
Steel Rainbow Panzermärchen
Aspect
1995
Gallery | Checklist
The game takes place in a fictional central European country in 1937. It thus features WW2 style combat, but there is also a type of humanoid robot called a Jäger. The play-by-mail game "Steel Rainbow die Eisenglorie" takes place in the same setting.


CRY-MAX RPG 熱血専用!
CRY-MAX RPG Only For Hot Blood!
Hobby Japan
1996
Character attributes such as hit points depend on whether one is the hero or the villain. The intent is to encourage a certain story to happen.


 エルジェネシス
El Genesis
Game Field
1996
Shown in the top row are box sets published in 1996, 1997, and 1998. The first is appropriate for playing fantasy in the style of "Slayers". The second introduces machines and modern technology. The third is set in a school.


ゲーマーズ・フィールド
Gamers Field
Game Field
1996
An RPG magazine published 6 times a year and the oldest Japanese RPG magazine still being published.

The magazine covers games written by the members of F.E.A.R. (Far East Amusement Research). Two of the organization's games are Tokyo NOVA and Seven Fortress. F.E.A.R. has a publishing arm called Game Field, though some of their games are published by other publishers for better distribution.


摩陀羅RPG
Madara RPG
Media Works
1996
A related series of novels, manga, and video games were developed by Media Works about Madara, the prince of light, and his struggles with the demon king Miroku.


新世紀エヴァンゲリオン
Neon Genesis Evangelion
角川書店 (Kadokawa Shoten)
1996
Two Comp Collection specials, each with a slightly different set of rules for play. Both are unrelated to Neon Genesis Evangelion game by Fujimi Shobo which uses the Magius system. 


セブン=フォートレス
Seven Fortress
Hobby Japan
1996
Gallery | Checklist
The origins of this game go back to sessions run by Takeshi Kikuchi (菊池たけし), serialized in RPG Magazine in 1991. Kikuchi developed rules to replicate a shonen manga style adventure such as Dragon Ball. He used a 2d6 system in which one of the values from 2 to 12 is designated as a critical hit value and another as a fumble value. These values are chosen randomly at the start of play.

7 is the most likely occurring value in a 2d6 roll and the number features prominently throughout the game. There are 7 attributes: sky 空, fire 炎, forest 森, sea 海, darkness 闇, ice 氷, and illusion 幻. The setting is a fantasy world called Lars Feria which is divided into 7 cultures. The ruins of ancient cultures are found throughout the two continents, the most famous of which are 7 forts.

Enterbrain published a V3 edition in 2002 and a fourth edition (called Mobius) in 2008. Fujimi Shobo published replays (dragon book series number 20) for the V3 edition.


天羅万象
Tenra Basho
Hobby Japan
1996
Gallery | Checklist
The setting is a mix of futuristic (mecha, cyberpunk) and traditional Japanese elements (Sengoku culture, Buddhism). The second edition is called 天羅万象・零 (Tenra Basho Zero) and was released in 2000.


VS騎士ラムネ&40炎RPG
VS Knight Ramune & 40 Flame RPG
Kadokawa
1996
Released the same year as the anime of the same name in which two shrine maidens from the glittering spirit world use a video game to recruit a champion to fight the evil god Abraham.


深淵
Abyss
Hobby Japan
1997
Gallery | Checklist
A 2d6 fantasy game with an elaborate setting and fate cards.


番長学園!!
Bancho Gakuen!!
Hobby Japan
1997
Gallery | Checklist
The word 番長 (bancho) means "leader of a group of juvenile delinquents". Modified versions of the rulebook and supplement were reprinted by Booking.


CLAMP学園
CLAMP School
角川書店 (Kadokawa Shoten)
1997
Checklist
CLAMP学園探偵団 (CLAMP School Detectives) is a manga first appearing in 1992. CLAMP学園公式ガイドブック (CLAMP School Official Guidebook) is a book with information about the fictional school in the manga. The RPG is contained in an appendix at the end of the guidebook.


アースドーン
Earthdawn
Media Works
1997
Gallery | Checklist
A translation of the fantasy game by FASA, a prequel to Shadowrun.


機動戦士ガンダムRPG 
Mobile Suit Gundam RPG
Hobby Japan
1997
Gallery | Checklist
A new game which uses different rules than the Gundam games published by Dainihonkaiga in 1990 and 1991.


トレイダーズ!
Traders!
Game Field
1997
Gallery | Checklist
A fantasy world of magic and monsters where players engage in trade. There is a game master, but play requires a board and the GM must prepare a card for each event that can happen. Game Field sold booklets—called "Super Scenario Support"—of scenarios with pre-fabricated cards. They were mostly sold via mail order. Traders! was the first game to have them, but other games got Super Scenario Support as well.


放課後怪奇くらぶ
Twilight Zone in School
Hobby Japan
1997
Checklist
A closer translation of the Japanese title would be "After School Mystery Club". This game is similar to the Call of Cthulhu RPG to the point of sharing rules with the Basic Role Playing system. Published as an oversize 120 page book.


新星界スターロード
Star Road
Game Field
1998
Checklist
A revised version of Space Opera Heroes by the same author.


BEAST BIND 魔獣の絆
Beast Bind
小学館 (Shogakukan)
1999
Gallery | Checklist
The game takes place in a modern setting and players assume the roles of half-demons. The first edition was supported by one supplement.

The second edition (2004) is called Beast Bind New Testament and the third edition (2010) is called Beast Bind Trinity.


x
ブレイド・オブ・アルカナ
Blade of Arcana
ASCII
1999
Gallery | Checklist
The game uses d20 and d12 dice. The title of the game contains a reference to the 22 arcana of a deck of tarot cards.

The second edition was released in 2001 and a third edition in 2006. A fourth edition, called Blade of Arcana: Reincarnation, was released in 2015.


ガープス
GURPS
Fujimi Shobo
1999
GURPS found a home with Fujimi Shobo after Kadokawa stopped publishing material for it in 1997. The first set of Fujimi rulebooks were based on 3rd edition and set of rulebooks based on 4th edition followed in 2005.

Fujimi republished Runal material it in a single volume and introduced several new settings.

In Dragon Merc, characters are possessed by the spirit of super-dimensional entities called "dragons" and attempt to prevent villains called "divas" from traveling back in time to change history.

Yuell is western-style fantasy and a sequel to the Runal setting.

Power-up contains four different settings: "Magical Thieves", "Sosal Knights Academy", "Mysterious Cats", and "Chivalric Warriors".


For a list of all items mentioned in this post, see the consolidated collector's list.

For games published 2000 or later see a subsequent post.