Pleased to Meet you! I’m Shinobicow

Hey Everyone!  It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.  My name is Shinobicow from .  I’ll be doing a guest column or two for Stargazer’s World and I wanted to properly introduce myself to everyone.

My real name is Greg.  I was born in Tokyo, back in the 80’s before the bubble burst.  So, as you can imagine I’ve grown up pretty much indoctrinated with the Japanese culture.  I’ve taken several trips back there and right now, I’m living in Japan as a foreign exchange student as I finish up my college degree in Asian Studies.

I first got into the role-playing genre through video games, mostly through the Final Fantasy Series.  However, when I was 12 I started my first venture into Advanced Dungeons and Dragons when I picked up the Baldur’s Gate games when my mom took me on a shopping trip down to Costco (yes Costco sold computer games even back in the late 90’s).  I really enjoyed them, loved the concept, but the mechanics seemed tricky to me; I wanted to understand more about how the game was run.  I managed to convince my parents, somehow, it is still a bit fuzzy, to drive me down to our local hobby store so that I could pick up some of the AD&D rules.  Well, to me, they didn’t make much sense, but once I hit high school, I immediately got involved with a group of friends and started running my first ever 3.0 Dungeons and Dragons game.  With their help, I learned the rules and had my first real gaming group.

We made a request to the same hobby store where I bought my first D&D game to let us use the place for our ongoing campaign.  Through this, I became known in the store, started running various games from there, and eventually was hired and worked as an assistant manager for almost two years.  During that time, I expanded into some other RPG’s:  Shadowrun, World of Darkness, GURPS, CoC.  At the same time, D&D became my favorite.

Now, I’m almost done with college, my game groups have come and gone as people graduate and move away, but through living in Japan, I’ve been able to see an entirely new side to the hobby.  Role-playing in Japanese… that is a wild world of its own.  I hope to elaborate on this crazy realm of fantasy in my column here on Stargazers World.

So, I guess that brings me to describing my column(s).  First off, I’ll be doing a short series on how my background in Japan has affected not only the way my games are played, but who they are played with and the type of influences that go into adventure and world building.  I’ll also introduce the gaming world to some of Japan’s closely guarded role-playing secrets and its hive of scum and villainy…. Sounds exciting right?  Following this short series, I’ll begin to delve into my personal world building experiences, especially when it comes to designing campaign settings that have a distinctly Japanese influence.  I’ll go into some tips for building your games not only from a historically accurate perspective, but also from a Pop culture perspective, because like it or not, anime is a great place to draw inspiration from for role-playing, Dungeons and Dragons is no exception.

I hope everyone can get something out of these articles.  I’m pleased to be writing them.  If you want to check out my blog, come on over, I would love to here your comments on my existing works, what few there may be.  You can see the URL address at the top of this page.

If you would like to shoot me an e-mail, I can be reached through the comments here, or at my e-mail address:  thedumpstat(at)yahoo(dot)com.