Online Cthulhu Mythos TRPG in Japan

These days, tabletop role-playing game (TRPG) videos have been becoming popular on Nico Nico Douga, which is one of the biggest online video share service in Japan.  TRPG is a traditional game style that participants describe their character’s actions and create stories with other participants.  It invented and became popular in 1970’s in Western countries, especially the USA.  Although TRPG is very classic style, many young people are interested in it.  Furthermore, some of them gathered and started to play a tabletop role-playing game instead of online games.  Specifically, TRPG of Cthulhu Mythos and Paranoia are popular among Nico Nico Douga users.

Cthulhu Mythos

Cthulhu Mythos is a system of co-created fictional mythology , based on novels by American novelist, H. P. Lovecraft.  Cthulhu Mythos has its roots in Lovecraft’s short story “Call of Cthulhu” written in 1928. The members of “Lovecraft Circle” such as Clark Ashton Smith , Robert E. Howard , Robert Bloch , Frank Belknap Long  and Henry Kuttne had co-created the methodological system using shared creatures, settings and view of the world for more than ten years.  After Lovecraft passed away in 1937,  August Derleth categorized and developed the mythodological system.  Furthermore, some writers such as Lin Carter, Colin Wilson, and Brian Lumley wrote stories using the world of Cthulhu Mythos.

Tabletop role-playing game

Tabletop role-playing game (TRPG) is a game style using fantasy based scenario and a dice.  There are lots of game scenarios provided by game companies.  Most players use them, but some players create their own games using existing game rules.

TRPG is similar to video RPG, but it is more flexible than video games because players have freedom to describe their dialogue and actions.  Each player chooses a character from assets, and set his or her character’s skills and background.  A game master who organize whole story lead players to achieve their goal, and assess their actions and acting according to rules.

Interactive and non-linear Narrative

TRPG is a kind of interactive and non-linear narrative.  Generally, basic story line and the goal are prepared by scenario books.  However, there are lots of scenario branches and choices for players.  Players can find different characters, course of story and goals even though players have  many game sessions using just one scenario.

Let’s play videos on the internet

In 1970s, there was a limitation that players had to gather in a room. However, players can use online chat tools to hold a session nowadays.  Online TRPG playing videos provide opportunities to find different kinds of TRPG scenarios and other players.



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