Hey folks, on a request by Elidis, I'll try to show you how the various Earthdawn versions in different countries and in different languages look like and what the publishing companies are about.
So I'll start with the hardest one.
I completely don't know what the Japanese Earthdawn scene is about, but I would say they have a "different" view on the Earthdawn universe. Thank god that they didn't make some kind of weird Earthdawn manga out of it. Most of the web resource or webpages are down or not up to date, but there was or is a scene of fans that had long discussions about Earthdawn. If anyone knows what is going on there please contact me or leave a comment.
The japanese Earthdawn edition, called ASUDON was translated by Megumi Tsuge for the SNE Group, which is or was one of the pioneers for roleplaying material in Japan. Earthdawn was published 1997 by Mediawakusu or Media Works Inc. in Japan.
It's a pity but I wasn't able to discover some pics of the Japanese rulebooks or something else of the japanese version except the novel covers beneath.
UPDATE, May 16th 2010
Some weeks ago I discovered a working Japanese Earthdawn page….. and I immediately left a comment to get in touch with the author of the さり海馬 blog. The author is Thalion and he provided some information about Earthdawn in Japan.
In the times around 1997-2000, when Earthdawn had it’s publisher in Japan (Media Works), it was played actively. But when Media Works stopped translating Earthdawn books and support it on their magazine, “the community gradually diminished like a deflating balloon”. (Had to use his words here :-))
Right now there is a limited number of old fans who play Earthdawn in Japan. So, unfortunately it seems that Earthdawn is dying in Japan. Thalion told me that mostly D&D4e Japanese Edition has a rather big scene in Japan.
Only a few books from the first, the FASA, edition were translated into Japanese:
Aasudoon ruuru bukku (Earthdawn Core rulesbook, pic above), Misuto obu bitoreiyaru (Mists of Betrayal), SHATAADO pattaan (Shattered Pattern), Baaseivu aasudoon waarudo gaido (Barsaive: Earthdawn World Guide, an edited book based on the Barsaive Box Set) and below you see the novel “Reimei no Yuusha Tachi” “Braves of the Dawn” 黎明の勇者たち (Japanese original author: Tsuge Megumi).
The last title is one of two novels, that were only published in Japan.
I don't know what the title of the second one is. The second novel that has been translated to Japanese seems to be Talisman, but I don’t know if the picture below is the actual cover of the talisman novel. By the way I guess the title of the first novel is completely wrong translated (google translation of the japanese page).
I hope you enjoyed the short excursion into the the Japanese Earthdawn world.
Big thanks go to Elidis who inspired me to make this post and supported me with the pics.
And after the update I also thank Thalion. Hope he keeps the flag up for Earthdawn in Japan.