Tag Archives: Witch Quest

Happy Games

Lately there’s been some discussion of some pretty awful stuff that happens in the RPG scene, to the point where I get genuinely tempted to distance myself from the whole thing. I’ve been working on a blog post trying to address some of the awfulness, but it’s long and depressing and given the kinds of discussion that sort of thing can attract I’m not sure I can really handle it at the moment.[1]

Right now I want to blog about something more pleasant. I want to talk about happy, pleasant RPGs. It can be frustrating to try to talk to people about these kinds of things, and I see two major reasons. One is that violence is so ingrained into RPGs that many people just can’t even comprehend how you could have one without it, much less how it could be fun. The other is that I’ve found that any time you propose doing something unconventional in an RPG design, people act as though you’re demanding that the entire hobby should be that way from now on. I’m very big on variety, and while I’ve been involved in some very memorable long-term campaigns, to me the sheer variety of games available is one of the best things about the RPG scene we have today. When I say I want to see heartwarming, non-violent RPGs, I’m saying so from personal experiences that show to me that they can be great, and I mean I want to see them alongside all kinds of other games.

I’ve had direct experience with four such games–Golden Sky Stories, Raspberry Heaven, Clover, and Adventures of the Space Patrol[2]–which is probably a lot more than most people.

Continue reading Happy Games

A Small Update

I’ve kind of been all over the place lately, and getting creatively obsessed with different things at different times. I’ve done three playtest sessions of Dragon World (it’s getting there), then got into working on my UFO Girl novel, then started having a creative crisis over Neko Machi, then we went through a bit of a shakeup at work, and now I have a cold. I’ve been meaning to record and post up a solo podcast for ages now, and thinking of trying to do them as kind of a regular thing. Somehow I haven’t been able to find the time to even get started, and with this cold it’s not gonna happen this weekend.

Kin-Yoobi Con
I had a booth at Kin-Yoobi Con, and sold Neko Machi mini-comics and buttons, plus Maid RPG. It taught me some interesting lessons about the anime crowd, most notably that when it comes to art those folks gravitate much more strongly to characters they already know. I’m wondering if there’s a way to use that kind of appeal for RPGs but on the level of fan art seen at the artists alley at an anime convention.

A while back I had an idea to do new games based on the Maid RPG rules, which I would call the M.A.I.D. (Maniacs’ Asymmetrical Interactive Delusion) Engine. I decided to start working on a new version of Mascot-tan that’s basically a Maid RPG hack. So far it’s sticking fairly close to the basic Maid RPG rules, the main difference being that (by default) the group rolls and agrees on one mascot theme (bands, fighter jets, game consoles, RPGs, whatever), rolls up random stuff for their characters, and then each player picks which specific thing their character is a mascots of. Also, I started writing up new tables for most everything from scratch. Funnily enough even for anime maids I’d end up changing some things if I were to write up a Special Qualities table today, on account of anime has generated new kinds of cliches since Maid RPG’s original publication in Japan.

There’s also something else cooking for Maid RPG. :3

I want to bring Magical Burst or Dragon World to fruition in the next 6 months or so. Lately I’ve had kind of a love-hate thing going with Magical Burst, so it’s been hard to muster up the desire to actually look at it, but I have gotten some more feedback. (Plus I’m not good at balancing creative projects. I tend to work on one thing to the exclusion of others.)

Shout Outs

  • With Neko Machi I have the privilege of collaborating with C. Ellis, a woman who is very dedicated to creating comics. She’s doing a webcomic of her own (We’re All Star Children), is a contributor to the Womanthology project (which looks all kinds of amazing), and does plenty more stuff besides. I really do know a lot of amazing people these days, and she’s high on the list.
  • A while ago I translated a short story for Kizuna: Fiction For Japan, a charity fiction anthology for Japan tsunami relief, and it’s now available as a Kindle e-book.

Witch Quest Book II Release


Some time back (last August) I posted about how I was planning to translate the free version of Witch Quest, a venerable (from 1991) Japanese TRPG about witches and their cats, in the vein of Kiki’s Delivery Service. I’ve been exceedingly inspired to translate stuff lately, so I’ve finished off Book II of the game. As I noted before, I’m doing Book II first because it contains the actual rules of the game. In some ways it’s very old-school (lots of randomness, no unified mechanics), and in other ways it’s just very quirky (a “Witch Tarot” deck features prominently in the game).

I’ve put together a PDF from the best layout I could manage in MS Word, and I don’t really have the skills to do anything better, or to make a character sheet. If anyone wants to tackle either, I’ll be happy to provide the files and such.

Witch Quest Book II PDF
Text-Based Tarot Cards (PDF)
Japanese Share Text (LZH Archive)

Update: Wilper has been really passionate about this game, and amongst other things he’s made a Crowdsource Witch Tarot Deck.

Announcing Witch Quest!


I haven’t been all that inspired to work on my own projects (though I did have some nifty ideas for Slime Story the other day), so I’ve been translating various things of interest, and I’ve hit on a project to tackle to kill time.

Witch Quest is a Japanese RPG that originally came out in 1991. It was designed by Adventure Planning Service and published by Oozora, which mainly specializes in shoujo manga. In 1995 they released a “share text” version, a set of free text files with the complete rules. After it went out of print, a doujinshi circle called Majo no Kai bought the rights and put out a revised version in 2001. My aim is to produce an English translation of the share text version and make a simple but pleasant PDF. It’s not the most recent, but it is free and complete.

The game is an “everyday magic” RPG. Players form pairs where one is a 13-year-old witch, and the other is a 1-year-old cat. Together, they solve magical problems and generally help people out. It’s very much in the vein of Kiki’s Delivery Service.

The share text consists of two books. Book I contains two full replays and two scenarios, while Book II contains the actual rules. Of both preference and necessity, I’ll be tackling Book II first. I need to nail down the game terminology and understand the rules to have any hope of translating a replay, and the rulebook part is more interesting to me anyway. I’m not desperate for assistance, but I’d welcome help with the translation if anyone with the requisite skills is so inclined, and I could use some help with layout stuff, especially when it comes to making a character sheet.

A lot of the rules are fairly traditional, and characters have attributes and skills and such, you roll dice to figure things out, and there are even hit points. One of the more interesting things is the “Witch Tarot” the game comes with. It’s a set of customized tarot cards that you use in character creation, and there are also instructions for using it for fortune-telling. One amusing thing with the share text is that, as with the character sheets and everything else, it includes text-based cards for you to print out.

As it’s a simple matter of cut and paste, I’ve made a PDF of the text-based cards (a PDF so those the folks who don’t have Japanese text support installed can see). The first four pages are the actual cards, and the last three are pages of the three different backings. If you want to make a set, print out pages 1-4, flip your paper around, and pick page 5, 6, or 7, whichever you like more.

Text-Based Witch Tarot Cards (PDF)
Japanese Share Text (LZH Archive)

Yaruki Zero Podcast #9: Everyday Magic


In this podcast I give an overview of a talk between Ryo Kamiya (designer of Maid RPG and Yuuyake Koyake) and South (current publisher of Witch Quest) about “everyday magic” RPGs that appeared in a doujinshi they collaboratively produced called “Doko ni Demo Aru Fushigi.” They discuss the challenges of heartwarming, nonviolent RPGs.

Yaruki Zero Podcast #9 (20 minutes, 9 seconds)

  1. Introduction
  2. Games Without Combat
  3. Assembling Scenarios
  4. Conventions & Catharsis
  5. The Limitations of Classes/System Does Matter
  6. Kamiya’s Early RPG Experiences
  7. A Fantasy Countryside

This podcast uses selections from the song “Click Click” by Grünemusik, available for free from Jamendo.com. If you like the song, consider buying some CDs from Nankado’s website.

Very awesome caricature of Ewen courtesy of the talented C. Ellis.


TRPG Book Report: Doko ni Demo Aru Fushigi

Doko ni Demo Aru Fushigi

With so many TRPG books to go through, I’ve decided to start posting about the various books I’ve got as I go along. First up is Doko ni Demo Aru Fushigi. This is a 50-page doujinshi produced as a collaboration between Tsugihagi Honbo and Majo no Kai. Tsugihagi is Ryo Kamiya’s circle, and responsible for Yuuyake Koyake. Majo no Kai, headed up by “South,” published a print edition of Witch Quest, a free TRPG available as text files. Witch Quest and Yuuyake Koyake are both heart-warming “everyday magic” games, so it was natural for the two circles to collaborate on something. However, the notion of doing so came right when Kamiya was hard at work on Mononoke Koyake, so if they were going to do such a project, it needed to be one that wouldn’t place undue burden on either party. This book is the result. They met online, played a session of each of their games, and had a lengthy dialogue about everyday magic in general, and the book has a transcript of the discussion, sandwiched between two replays. It’s not the most impressive RPG book out there, but for me it was definitely worth the 500 yen.
Continue reading TRPG Book Report: Doko ni Demo Aru Fushigi