From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
GURPS Japan 1st ed. cover.jpg
Cover of first edition, GURPS Japan: roleplaying in the world of the shogunate
Designer(s) Lee Gold and Hunter Johnson
Publisher(s) Steve Jackson Games
Publication date 1988, 1999
Genre(s) role-playing game
System(s) GURPS
Cover of second edition, GURPS Japan: beauty, terror, and adventure

GURPS Japan, full title GURPS Japan: Roleplaying in the World of the Shogunate (1st edition) or GURPS Japan: Beauty, Terror, and Adventure (2nd edition), is a sourcebook for GURPS, a role-playing game by Steve Jackson Games. The first edition was published in 1988.


Lee Gold is an author, editor, game designer, and filk musician. In 1975, Gold founded Alarums and Excursions, a monthly amateur press association for RPG writers. She has served as editor ever since. Alarums and Excursions won the Charles S. Roberts Award for Best Amateur Wargame Magazine in 1984, and the Origins Award for Best Amateur Game Periodical in 2000, 2001, and 2002.[1] Gold designed the RPGs Land of the Rising Sun (1980) and Lands of Adventure (1983), published by Fantasy Games Unlimited. She also published Vikings for Iron Crown Enterprises.[2] Gold was the sole author of the first edition of GURPS Japan.

Hunter Johnson is a freelance game designer, author, and translator. He has translated many game rules and websites from German for Mayfair Games. He authored, co-authored, or contributed to seven books for Steve Jackson Games, including GURPS Monsters and this second edition of GURPS Japan, and served for five years as the first coordinator of GURPS errata for the company.[3] Johnson expanded and revised Gold's work into its second edition.


GURPS Japan is a GURPS supplement of rules for campaigns set in feudal Japan. It covers Japanese history, culture, and geography, rules for character creation, combat, ninja, magic, monsters, religion, and how the Japanese interacted with Westerners.[4]

Publication history[edit]

GURPS Japan: Roleplaying in the World of the Shogunate was written by Lee Gold, with art by Guy Burchak, and was published by Steve Jackson Games in 1988 as a 112-page book.[4]

GURPS Japan: Beauty, Terror, and Adventure, the second edition of the book, now revised and expanded to 128 pages by Hunter Johnson, was published by Steve Jackson Games in November 1999, written by Gold and Johnson, with art by Burchak and Theo Black. This second edition is compatible with the third edition of the GURPS gaming system.[5][6]

GURPS Japan was the first in the series of historical sourcebooks from Steve Jackson Games,[7] and one of the smaller subgenre books published after the first broad genre GURPS books.[8]


Strategicon convention manager and game critic Eric M. Aldrich I[9] said in his review of the first edition:

For what it covers there are few, if any, gaming books that do so that are this well written. The major criticism I have is that it doesn't cover enough! But 112 pages is enough to scratch the surface. If one is interested in the eras in question, it's worth the price of admission.[7]

In his favorable review of this second edition, Kenneth Hite says, "Sengoku and L5R RPG players and GMs can both get a lot out of this book," adding that "medieval Japan, broadly defined, is suddenly one of the most solidly playable milieux in gaming."[6]


  1. ^ "2000 List of Winners". Academy of Adventure Gaming, Arts & Design. 2006-11-14. Archived from the original on 2006-12-21. Retrieved 2006-12-07. 
  2. ^ McElroy, Matt. "Lee Gold". Pen & Paper RPG Database. Archived from the original on 2005-02-26. Retrieved 03-10-2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ "Biographie : J. Hunter Johnson (French)". Guide du roliste. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  4. ^ a b Schick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. p. 391. ISBN 0-87975-653-5. 
  5. ^ Gold, Lee; Johnson, Hunter (November 1999). GURPS Japan: beauty, terror, and adventure (PDF) (2nd ed.). Steve Jackson Games. p. 1. ISBN 1556343884. Retrieved 20 August 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Hite, Kenneth. "GURPS Japan 2nd Edition". Out of the Box (archived). Archived from the original on August 21, 2002. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Aldrich I, Eric M. "Subject: A watershed moment". rpggeekcom. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7. 
  9. ^ Orccon 2013 (PDF). Los Angeles: Strategicon. February 2013. p. 1. Retrieved 21 August 2014.