Nill Kamui is an independent island caught in a power struggle between the forces of Donatia, the land of Knights and the Church, and Koran, an empire of secrets and the immortal empress Ghost Mother. When the Red Dragon, the ancient protector of the island, goes berserk and starts killing for no reason, a desperate plan is hatched: a team of representatives from each of the three powers is given a mission to find why the Red Dragon went mad and stop him by any means necessary. Red Dragon
is a tabletop RPG campaign with its own trailer
, and that's not all.
The trailer is specifically for the series of books (also known as Red Dragon
) based on transcripts of sessions from the campaign, all of which are available for free online
(Japanese only). Unlike novelizations of campaigns sometimes released in English, "replays" are written as transcripts of actual play rather than as fiction from the perspective of the characters. Originally an outgrowth of "How to Play" introductions to RPGs, they've formed into their own genre in Japan and enjoy popularity on their own, as well as spawning better-known adaptations such as the Record of the Lodoss War
anime. However, Red Dragon
is a little different.
Besides putting all the books free online, the campaign has its own soundtrack and a team of artists providing maps and character illustrations (the head artist, Shimadoriru
, is also a player). Play is also supplemented by occasional narrated recordings
by professional voice actors playing the parts of important NPCs, which are embedded directly in the online version or accessible via QR code from the published books. Perhaps most interestingly, the majority of the players are professional writers, including Urobuchi Gen
(Madoka Magica), Kinoko Nasu
(Fate/stay Night), and Ryohgo Narita
(Baccano!). The GM, Makoto Sanda, mainly writes RPGs but was also the principal author for the Rental Magica
light novel series and later anime version.
Replays are not common in English, but in the past few years a few Japanese tabletop RPGs
(called TRPGs in Japan, from "table-talk") have been translated and brought incidental replays with them. MAID RPG
was a modest success, but Tenra Bansho Zero
and Golden Sky Stories
both had wildly successful Kickstarter campaigns, which may open the door for more replay translations.
Though actual play transcripts are hard to find
in English, a few sources do exist. Hack and Slash
has some literal line-for-line transcripts of D&D style play, while The Delvers
is an extensive campaign in a more condensed style. There's also a subreddit, RPGrecordings
, for recordings and transcripts of actual play.