Hein (fub) wrote,

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Golden Sky Stories readthrough

As I wrote earlier, I am a backer of the (now succesfully funded) kickstarter campaign for Golden Sky Stories. So this week I got a link to the pre-release PDF of the book, and I have since read through the game. (This is "only" the main book -- there will be supplemental material as well, which was unlocked by achieving the various stretch goals.)

This version of the RPG where you play magical animals in an idealised village in rural Japan has been translated with great love for the source material. Thanks to some sidebars explaining various Japanese cultural phenomena, it was very easy (for me) to grasp the setting and the aim of the game -- but then again, I have watched the majority of the anime the translator recommends as inspiration. I found it striking to see how many Japanese mannerisms made it through the translation process relatively unscathed. The word "please" figures prominently in the text, in phrases like "Please read on a little bit" but also for prose describing the rules: "Please divide 8 points between the attributes".
It is truly a unique game. Where most games spend a lot of space detailing their combat system (ever going for 'realism'), with infinite tables, round sequences and what-not, Golden Sky Stories spends exactly one paragraph of its 144 pages on fighting. The message is that it might solve the immediate case, but won't fix the underlying issues. ("Even if you win the fight, nothing good will come of it.")
The (manga-)art is pretty good as well, and gives a good feel for the setting. I'm really interested to see the final version and the additional material.
Tags: japan, rpg

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