Mork Borg looks excellent. The death metal RPG is an art project, a visual treat, and a streamlined and liberatingly bleak adventure.
However, the style has created a localisation problem for Japanese fans. Trying to dig into the “why” it’s so awkward, I’m told it is because there is no alphabet-as-such for Japanese, and therefore a translation project swiftly escalates into needing to design a whole new book.
Nobunaga’s Black Castle is the first third-party Japanese supplement for Mork Borg. It’s already a success, funding quickly, and now Yusuke Tokida and the “Nobunaga’s Black Castle” Production Team are getting requests for an English version. You can see more about the game from its Kickstarter pitch page.
Are there plans for an English version of Nobunaga’s Black Castle? Originally, no. Now? I asked and was told it is now undecided whether a non-Japanese version can be supported. It’s clearly a big ask. Few English language publishers translate to Japanese, after all.
However, free for backers, there will be a plain text version of the stripped-down Japanese. It’s an approach designed to be easy to translate from Japanese into English. I assume by something like Google Translate.
The story takes place in the dark Sengoku period in Japan. It has been turned into hell by Nobunaga Oda, who escaped death at Honnoji and became a true Dark Lord. You are the dead who have returned for revenge. You have been killed by Nobunaga, but you will go back in time to before he took control of the world and embark on adventures to defeat him.
In Nobunaga’s Black Castle makes some alterations to the gimmick of the Psalms in Mörk Borg. In this game, it’s called a Vision. At the start of every game, the GM can roll a D66 die to see if they’ll see one of them. It’s up to the GM to decide exactly what happens, but they include Visions such as dungeons or enemies are in the waiting. In this way, visions can be used as hooks for the next story or dungeon.
The lowest tier in the rewards starts at ¥2,200, which is about $16. The top comes out to a daunting ¥275,000 or nearly $2,000.
Brave backers or people who speak better Japanese than me (ie; any Japanese) outside Japan must be careful with their pledges as not all the tiers support international delivery.
This game features a lot of great and powerful artwork evocative of the Samurai era. However, this is hardly surprising given that various Japanese and international artists have joined the project and are in charge of the illustrations. The creature arts, in particular, are all quite remarkable.
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