Sunday, December 29, 2013

Basement Delving: The Japanese Borderlands

I am in Germany for the holidays and I ended up "delving" in my basement to see what "treasures" are down there. Here's a first round of interesting finds in terms of D&D stuff. Let's start with the Japanese version of B2: The Keep on the Borderlands.

First of all I have absolutely no idea why the heck I have this, but hey, I guess in a way there's really no need to know. My dwarven delver wouldn't care too much about the "why" of a bunch of rubies he finds either! As you can see it has the "classic" cover unlike many of the other translations of the module. It's kinda fun to take a peek inside, so here you go:

Note the glossy inside cover, I have never seen another version of B2 that was made like that. Also note that the colors are still pretty crisp, I think the scanned version available from WotC these days actually looks more faded. Classic Roslof drawing is classic.

Yep, translated reference tables too. Presumably even the Japanese version has the same stuff? Sadly I cannot tell. And to get an impression of the module proper:

I've always loved that drawing of the insane hermit, just pure awesome. If someone who reads Japanese finds this I'd be most interested in hearing how the descriptions translate back into English, i.e. whether there was any re-writing compared to the original to make things more culturally appropriate? Finally, the back cover:

And now that I've exploited this thing for my blog, I think I'll just give it away to someone who actually speaks/reads Japanese. Any takers? Bonus points if you're in Europe so the shipping charges don't kill me.


  1. I'm in Canada, but my wife speaks Japanese. If you can get this to me (or a scanned copy) I might be able to talk her into comparing them.

    1. I'll have to bring it with me to the US and then mail it there, so it'll take a bit longer.

  2. "It should be a translation, right? Why would it be different?"

    I think she's not terribly interested in helping :/

    I'd still like to take a look, but if you find someone else interested I'm totally okay with not getting it -- it's curiosity more than anything on my side now.

  3. Do you have a way to scan the front/back covers?
    I can make-out the large characters, but not the small

    1. Sorry, I actually left it in Germany by mistake, so I can't get better scans right now. I should, however, have larger images somewhere. Can you email me? I'll send the larger images your way if you want.

  4. ヅンジヨンモジュールB2 .... Dungeon Module B2 (donjiyon mojyuru)
    国境の城塞 .... Provincial Border‘s Fortress (Country Border Castle Stop/Block)

    (best I can make of it...)