The first installment of ロードス島戦記 “Record of Lodoss War” appeared in the September 1986 issue of Comptiq magazine. Record of Lodoss War would go on to get light novel, manga, anime, and video game adaptations—even its own tabletop RPG. But in the beginning it was just a Dungeons & Dragons session written out with didactic intent as a dialogue between dungeon master and players. D&D had been available in Japanese for 15 months and the authors observed that people still didn’t know how to play. The only participant to get a credit is Hitoshi Yasuda, the founder of Group SNE, who I understand played Ghimu the dwarf.
The dialogue starts with character generation and to my satisfaction ability scores are rolled 3d6 down the line. In addition to the dwarf the party contains Parn the fighter, Etoh the cleric, Slayn the magic user, Woodchuck the thief, and Deedlit the elf, all inhabitants of Lodoss Island, which has as features the White Dragon Mountains, the Forest of Demons, the Desert of Death, and the Swamp of No Return. These forbiddingly named destinations are left for future installments and the party journeys from Zaxxon, the village of their youth, to a town where they purchase a map from a shady character for 5 GP. The map indicates the location of a crystal warrior guarding a hidden treasure.
This issue contains something more significant than the start of the Record of Lodoss War franchise. It contains the start of the TRPG session or “replay” as a form of literature in Japan. Replays are generally written in the voice of the DM and the players, just like the sample session in the original edition of D&D. However, at least in the Lodoss replay the players and DM often speak in character and players are referred to by the names of their characters.
B5 perfect bound magazine 218 pp.