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Deck O' Names - Japanese $7.50
Average Rating:5.0 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
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Deck O\' Names - Japanese
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Deck O' Names - Japanese
Publisher: Tabletop Adventures, LLC
by Lyle H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/29/2011 17:15:35
This is a comparatively simple product that can be used to quickly generate Japanese names (or at least close approximations - not being a speaker of Japanese, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of information, but it is certainly much better than anything I could achieve on my own).
Besides the name generation, the cards also include the Japanese characters and translations (again, I make no statement as to the accuracy), and the product includes some detailed discussion into Japanese dating and numbering, as well as numerology and divination using names.
It is a very good product that achieves its stated goal and can be used quickly and easily, and is certainly of great use to anyone who needs to produce a number of believable Japanese-sounding names and does not speak Japanese.
It is also a nice touch that the cards are designed with different borders (to distinguish male, female, and etc.) so that they can be printed out in black & white and still be used (although I suspect that they are much easier to confuse when the color-coding is not evident)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deck O' Names - Japanese
Publisher: Tabletop Adventures, LLC
by Kenneth W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/22/2009 09:06:52
Wonderful product to help me generate names and to check wether they are good luck or bad luck names.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deck O' Names - Japanese
Publisher: Tabletop Adventures, LLC
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/28/2006 00:00:00
Deck O? Names ? Japanese is a generic supplement from Tabletop Adventures, LLC. The zipped file is somewhat over five megabytes in size, and contains three PDFs and a text readme file, which catalogues the contents of everything in the zipped file. One of the PDFs is a single full page color ad for Tabletop Adventures. The second one is nine pages worth of cards, and the last one is a twenty-nine page file of support information.

The file with the cards contains twelve cards to a page. One each of the cards? four sides is a kanji (Japanese character), along with a number that denotes the number of strokes used in drawing the kanji, its pronunciation, and its meaning. One of the four sides of the card is colored, with a special border, while the other three are white. The different colors indicate what type of name the card contains; blue for male, pink for female, purple for surnames, and grey for place names. You create a complete Japanese name by taking two cards of the same type, putting one of the white-edged names first, and then combining it with the colored edge of a card of the same type to build a name.

If this sounds horribly complex, rest assured that the design is elegantly simple. I could take two female name cards, for example, and take one of the white edges of one that reads ?kiyo? and use the pink-shaded side of the other that reads ?mi,? and I?d have a female name, ?Kiyomi,? and know that it means ?pure beauty? and how to write that in Japanese. While there are a total of one hundred eight cards in the set, the last eight are blank, allowing you to make your own.

The last PDF file opens with a full-color cover that takes up a page. The first page after this contains the instructions for how to use the cards in the other PDF, giving the aforementioned instructions, as well as some alternate ways to use them for name-generation.

After this there?s a table of contents to the rest of the file (as well as bookmarks). The people at Tabletop Adventures made the rest of this file into a primer on Japanese language and culture, allowing for you to use this to not only make Japanese names for you game, but add all the flavorful touches to truly make it feel like a game set in Japan. Perhaps I?m a bit biased, as I majored in Japanese Studies at college, but I absolutely loved this, and couldn?t get enough.

The file opens with some basic naming conventions, including notes on suffixes used to denote the level of respect you feel for a person. There?s a huge difference in calling a guy Takashi-kun and Takashi-sama, after all. A little over a page of cultural tidbits follows before it then gives a pronunciation guide to the Japanese language in general.

It then deals with an introduction to the Japanese alphabets, covering the kana syllabic alphabets, as well as the lithographic kanji alphabet that was imported from China well over a millennium ago. A handy table displaying the entire kana alphabets is then given. Oddly though, there?s nothing given that displays the pronunciations for numbers, which is strange since the next section deals with the superstition and beliefs of numbers, and even gives a form of Japanese numerology.

The file then closes out with several pages of information on the Japanese system for counting days, weeks, months, years, and eras, before giving a page of resources to use for more information. The product ends with a cut-out box for the cards, with instructions on how to cut it out and assemble it, and card backs for the cards themselves, also with assembly instructions.

All in all, I found Deck O? Names ? Japanese to be a product that is as useful as it is interesting, which is to say interesting, and I think that you will too. This is far more than just a generator for authentic-sounding names, but rather it offers a glimpse into how the Japanese view the basics of life, and helps you to transport that into your game. The fact that it does that by educating you is a bonus. Few products make learning fun, but this is one that manages to masterfully pull it off.



LIKED: This product not only delivered a varied but simple system for generating Japanese names, but also went far above and beyond that by including many basic facts about Japan and Japanese life and history.

DISLIKED: It was a little odd to talk about the beliefs and numerology of numbers in Japan without actually listing at least the numbers one through ten in Japanese. That's a minor oversight though, as this is otherwise packed with great information.

QUALITY: Excellent

VALUE: Very Satisfied


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Deck O' Names - Japanese
Publisher: Tabletop Adventures, LLC
by Andrew B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/28/2006 00:00:00
The Deck O' Names system allows on-the-fly random name generation with a twist. The cards have an advantage over charts in that, if the results don't work for you, its very easy to simply rotate the results into something better. The system is intuitive, easy to use, and I think it works great at the gaming table.

The latest product in this series focuses on names for Japanese or Japanese-themed characters. Using the cards, one can quickly generate male, female, or place names. Each card also lists the basic meaning of each name. The usefulness of the Deck O' Names is best illustrated by creating a few on-the-fly names. Grabbing a few cards at random, here's what I came up with:

Turning the first card up revealed the prefix "hama", which means seacoast or beach. I grabbed the second card and turned it until a male suffix was on top. This gave me the name "hamashi" which, according to the cards, means something akin to "beach plan". Not the most logical combo, so I didn't use it. I decided to rotate the first card 180 degrees to the prefix "bou". This new combination "boushi" means "forget plan". This brought to my mind the image of a bumbling, forgetful character with good intentions but poor memory. I rather liked this, so I stuck with it.

In addition to the name deck itself, the authors have included a detailed appendix on Japanese naming conventions, pronunciation, and random facts. This isn't going to turn your typical gaijin (i.e. ignorant westerner) into an expert on Japanese culture, but it should serve for your average oriental adventures campaign. Sections not necessarily tied to naming include common Japanese phrases, the Japanese calendar, a list of holidays, and traditional dress. These little touches help to make this product into more than just a means of random name generation. The cultural notes, while not directly related to naming, are interesting and brief enough to be useful. Again, this isn't a detailed lesson on Japanese language or culture, but a quick primer to help the GM keep things consistent. Its a great addition to the naming deck itself, and a must have for any prospective GM running an oriental campaign.

LIKED: The printable card system is a useful and easy means of creating random oriental names. The included Japanese symbols and translations add tremendously to the deck's usefulness. All the extra stuff is just gravy, but its a very tasty gravy indeed. The notes on culture, superstition, and pronunciation help elevate this product to its final rating.

DISLIKED: There are a lot of names possible with the 100 cards in this PDF but, by the time you divide them into male, female, and location names, the final tally is a little lower than I'd expected. I'm not sure of the total number of possible names, although I'm sure its a large number. It just felt a little small to me in my analysis.

QUALITY: Very Good

VALUE: Very Satisfied

[THIS REVIEW WAS EDITED]


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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