Roads to Lord

ローズ・トゥ・ロード “Roads to Lord” (1984) designed by Naoto Kadokura and published by Tsukada Hobby, is the first Japanese fantasy RPG, preceding Dungeons & Dragons in Japanese by a year.

Character generation starts by rolling percentile dice and consulting a table to determine one’s race and social status. The races are human, fairy (elf, sylph, gnome, salamandar, or undine), dwarf, halfling, shape changer (wolf, tiger, bear, or snake), half-elf, and giant. There are unnumbered rows for goblin and ogre, so apparently a player cannot play these. Whatever roll the player gets, there are initial values for Strength, Dexterity, Will, and Charisma, to which the player adds the result of d6 roll.

A weapon chart indicates the amount of damage each weapon does. Armor subtracts from the damage taken. So for example a short sword does 2d6-1 points of damage, but if the defender is wearing chain armor the result of the roll is reduced by 3 points. If a player takes damage, it is subtracted from Strength, Dexterity, or Will at the player’s discretion.

Magic is of the following types: black (B), white (W), water (T), fire (T), earth (E), air (A), and mind (M). There is a deck of spell cards with letters on the back indicating the type of magic. Anyone can cast a spell if they have the card and the necessary Will. Players are given opportunities during the course of play to draw from the spell deck.

The fairy races sylph, gnome, salamander, and undine are strong in air, earth, fire, and water magic respectively. These names are taken from a team of DC Comics superheroes called the Elementals which first appeared in 1978.

A setting book describes the world of Jerusalem. A scenario book contains two adventures: “Cave of the Witch” and “Black Tower of Millea Island”.

Box contents:
• Rulebook, B5 pamphlet, 16 pp.
• World Guide, B5 pamphlet, 20 pp.
• Scenario book, B5 pamphlet, 20 pp.
• Jerusalem World, folded map, 82 cm x 58 cm
• charts, 20 cm x 28 cm pamphlet, 8 pp.
• 100 spell cards, 5.7 cm x 8.4 cm
• cardstock hex sheet, 20 cm x 28 cm
• ~20 hex titles
• ~30 counters and unit case
• 4 lead minis
• dice: 2 d20 and 2 d6