American board game publisher CMON and Japanese TTRPG publisher Adventure Planning Service (Bouken) have announced a partnership that will localise Bouken’s deep catalogue of Japanese RPGs for worldwide audiences. A joint press release on Wednesday announced that three translated games will be coming in “mid-to-late 2024”, with more to follow.
Bouken was founded in 1987, making it older than DnD publisher Wizards of the Coast, but despite being a major player in the Japanese tabletop RPG market it is little known in English-speaking countries. CMON’s publishing wing, Guillotine Press, will handle the localisation of its catalogue.
The first games to be published in this partnership will be Meikyuu Kingdoms, Magika Logia, and Insane. In Meikyuu Kingdoms the entire world – earth, air, and sea – has been mysteriously transformed into dungeons. Players are Landmakers, tasked with driving back the monsters of the “million dungeons” and forging safe realms for their people. Here’s YouTuber Aaron De Schadel giving an overview of the system:
In Magika Logia, magic has returned to the world, with miracles and catastrophes commonplace. Players take on the role of wizards seeking the source of the upheaval, The Forbidden Book.
Insane is a multi-genre horror RPG. Player characters are inexplicably drawn to sources of terror, whether that’s zombies, school ghosts, the Cthulhu mythos, or – in one expansion – SCP containment breaches.
Japanese RPGs developed along different lines to Western RPGs. DnD came into Japanese pop culture via the computer game Wizardry, which had a massive influence on videogame series like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, with the actual TTRPG arriving later. So while Western TTRPGs shaped videogames, in Japan it was the other way around. Differences in how people socialize also led to RPGs that better suited sessions played in cafes or bars rather than at home.
If you want to start building an infinite dungeon in anticipation of Meikyuu Kingdoms, check out our guide to DnD One shots, which has links to some excellent random dungeon map generators. Or if you want to start designing a bishonen wizard for Magika Logia, we have a guide to creating the best wizard names (alongside our guides to DnD Wizard 5e and Wizard spells).