Illustrated Fantasy Book Guide

The “Illustrated Fantasy Book Guide” is a magazine-format book (or mook) released in 1989 by the publisher of ファミコン必勝本 “Famicon Winning Book”, an NES gaming magazine. The mook lists 37 works of fantasy originally written in English except for “Ficciones” by Borges. The editors of “Famicon Winning Book” were fond of the Wizardry port to the NES, which is my explanation for their interest in this stuff. In any case, they created the best Appendix N so to speak of fantasy translated into Japanese that I have yet found. The Japanese titles are provided below to aid the online searches of would-be buyers.

The Lord of the Rings 指輪物語
Earthsea Trilogy ゲド戦記
Chronicles of Narnia ナルニア国ものがたり
Conan コナン・シリーズ
The Worm Ouroboros ウロボロス
The Wood Beyond the World 世界のかなたの森
Lilith リリス
Nine Princess in Amber アンバーの九王子
The King of Elfland’s Daughter エルフランドの王女
Gormenghast Trilogy ゴーメンガスト
Magic Kingdom for Sale-Sold! 魔法の王国売ります!
The Chronicles of Castle Brass ブラス城年代記
Night’s Master 闇の公子
A Voyage to Arcturus アルクトゥルスへの旅
The Princess Bride プリンセス・ブライド
Witch World ウィッチ・ワールド
A Spell for Chameleon カメレオンの呪文
The Last Unicorn 最後のユニコーン
At the Mountains of Madness 狂気の山脈にて
Swords and Deviltry ファファード&グレイ・マウザー
The White Hart アイルの書
She 洞窟の女王
Charmed Life 魔女集会通り26番地
Darkover Series ダーコーヴァ年代記
The Riddle-Master of Hed イルスの竪琴
The Sorcerer’s Ship 魔法つかいの船
Dragonlance Chronicles ラゴンランス戦記
Pawn of Prophecy ベルガリアード物語
Dragon Flight パーンの竜騎士
The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz ボアズ=ヤキンのライオン
Momo モモ
The Magic Goes Away 魔法の国が消えていく
Magician リフトウォー・サーガ
The Ship of Ishtar イシュタルの船
Tea with the Black Dragon 黒龍とお茶を
Ficciones 伝奇集
Dandelion Wine たんぽぽのお酒

Goblin Slayer

Goblin Slayer first appeared as online ASCII art in 2014, and has since appeared in light novels, manga, and an anime television series. The franchise contains numerous references to role-playing games and things came full circle when the RPG was published in 2019 as a somewhat thick (3 cm) bunkobon. An English translation of the RPG is imminent.

In the RPG the playable races are 只人 (human), 鉱人 (dwarf), 森人 (elf), 蜥蜴人 (lizard man), and 圃人 (rhea), the last one having the size and other characteristics of a hobbit. Although the words for “dwarf” and “elf” are written with kanji characters and literally mean “mineral-person” and “forest-person”, the ruby text shows they are to be pronounced as in English. Similarly 小鬼 is to be read as “goblin”, though it literally means “little ogre”.

The primary abilities are stamina, soul, skill, and wisdom. The secondary abilities are concentration, patience, and reflection. All are determined by a 1d3 roll, but races have their bonuses and penalties, so the scores range from 0 to 5. Each primary ability is added to a secondary ability to get the twelve scores that are used in play. Only six-sided dice are needed to play the game, which incidentally are the dice seen being rolled in the opening credits of the anime.

The game has classes, experience points, and 10 levels. In the manga and the anime the characters wear dog tags which are color coded to indicate their level. Priestess starts out as porcelain (1st level) and Goblin Slayer is already silver (8th level). The RPG just refers to levels by number though.

There are two scenarios in the book. Both come with a picture of the bulletin board posting the party will see at the guild. The first asks the party to go into a goblin lair to rescue an infant. The second is from a young widow, who wants adventurers to eradicate the wild beasts inhabiting a mountain pass.